Colleen Salzman

Air Conditioner Tune Up

Summer is coming and soon enough it will be time to turn on your air conditioner. It is important to have your air conditioner checked out before the Summer heat arrives. It is important to have your unit inspected by a professional HVAC company so you can reduce your energy usage. When there are deficiencies in a unit such as low refrigerant levels, or clogged coils it causes your air conditioner to work harder and uses more utilities.

In addition to reducing utility bills, tune ups on your air conditioner can prevent on untimely breakdowns.There is nothing worse than coming home from work on a hot summer day and discovering you have no air conditioning. When you tune up your air conditioner, the professional technician will be able to notify you of any potential issues with your unit. 90% of the time problems with your air conditioner can be detected by a simple tune up. Technicians will report their findings and recommendations, if any, and you can address the problems without any down time. You will also have time to think about if the repair is the best option for you or if it is more cost effective to purchase a new air conditioner. The more information you have allows you to make an educated decision instead of a rushed one due to extreme temperatures outside.

During the tune up on your air conditioner, the technician will essentially give you an overall health report of your unit. Including potential problems and the expected lifespan of your air conditioning unit. It allows consumers to be prepared as to an idea when they may need a new air conditioning unit. No one likes to have to have an unplanned expense. Getting a tune up on your unit, can help you plan for the future.

Colleen Salzman

Seasonal Allergy Solutions

Although it doesn’t always feel like it, Spring has started. Allergy suffers are already feeling the effects of allergens in the air. This year doctors are predicting it to be the worst allergy season in quite a while. Many people take medication to control their allergies. I know from personal experience medication does not always work and medication can be costly when you constantly have to take it. Seasonal allergens are caused by airborne allergens that enter your nose, mouth, and eyes to cause an allergic reaction. There are products available for your home to alleviate you and your families’ seasonal allergies.

Electronic air cleaners (EAC): American Standard Accuclean

– American Standard a top of the line indoor air quality product to relieve allergens from your home. You never realize what effect indoor air quality has on your life until you personally experience the debilitating symptoms of allergies. I can personally tell you that it has made a large impact on my family by having this product installed in my home. My husband suffers from horrific allergies. He suffered every night waking up not being able to breath. Ever since we had the American Standard Accuclean he is finally able to sleep at night with out struggling. The Accuclean removes 99.98% of air born allergens. This product removes us to .1 microns which is smaller than an atom. Unlike you conventional media filters, you never have to purchase new filters for an electronic air cleaner. It has removable filters that you vacuum out. The indicator light on the Accuclean lets homeowners know when it is time to clean the filter. I would recommend this product to anyone that suffers from allergies.

Media Filter:

– Although an electronic air cleaner is the best solution for indoor air quality, it may not be an affordable option for every homeowner. Media filters are another way to increase the air quality of your home. Media filters capture 85% more air contaminants than your conventional 1″ filters. The filter itself is usually 3″ or 5″ depending on the brand of Media filter cabinet your purchase. Homeowners also do not have to change the filter once a month like they do with 1″ filters. It is recommended to replace the media filter once every three months. However, this can vary depending on the amount of people living in the home and the presence of pets. Media filters come in different MERV ratings for consumers. MERV ratings determine the amount of particles they capture. The higher the MERV rating, the more particles they capture.

Colleen Salzman

Furnace Repair

Most people’s heating and cooling systems are the last thing that is on their mind until it does not work. So you come home from a hard day of work and it if cold in your house. What do you do??

1) Check your thermostat:
Many consumers have thermostats that have battery back up. If your thermostat is blank take the thermostat off the wall and change the batteries. If your thermostat does not have batteries and is blank you may have a break in the line from the circuit board to your thermostat. In the case where your thermostat is showing a screen, turn up the temperature on your thermostat and press the hold button. By chance if your unit does come on the programs in your thermostat may not be set right.

2) Check your filter:
Filters should be changed once a month. Your filter may be clogged which is causing the unit to go off on high limit. If your filter is clogged replace the filter. Turn the unit off and then back on. If your unit does not fire, call a heating contractor.

3) Check your breaker:
Certain areas may experience power surges and pop your breaker. Go to your electrical breaker and make sure your breaker for your furnace is in the proper position.

If you ever hear an unusual noise/smell coming from your unit or these steps doe not rectify your issues call a qualified Heating contractor. Within the past 10 years furnaces have become more complicated with electronics and diagnostics that are involved. It often makes it more difficult for homeowners to troubleshoot and repair their own unit. When in doubt, contact your heating and cooling company.

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Colleen Salzman

Why perform maintenance on your heating system?

Your Safety: Gas furnaces, root top units, and boiler all have two things in common. 1) They all use gas as their fuel source. Periodically, customer’s may have a gas leak coming from their system and may not even know. When maintenance is performed on your equipment, service technicians use an electronic gas detector to check over your system to make sure there aren’t any gas leaks. In the event there is a gas leak, they are able to make the repair the point of leakage. It will not only save on your gas bill but could potentially save your family’s life. 2) They all expel carbon monoxide. Carbon monoxide is an odorless gas that is produced from the heating equipment. It is important to have a service technician examine your unit and determine if any carbon monoxide is being emitted into the space. Carbon monoxide is a silent killer. Every home needs to have a carbon monoxide detector. I recommend a detector that is a plug in with a battery back up. Please remember that Carbon monoxide detectors do have an expiration date so if you already have one make sure it is still good.

Prevent Un-timely Breakdowns: There is nothing worse that having your heating system break down when its below zero outside. Service technicians clean your heating system, test the mechanical and electrical components of your unit in order to prevent breakdowns. There have been many times where customer’s have called, had no heat and it was due to there system being dirty. Majority of the heating problems can be detected during a routine maintenance tune-up. Customer’s can then have the time to make educated decisions regarding their system instead of being forced to make a quick decision when the unit has already failed.

Efficiency and Longevity: Equipment that is not properly maintenance causes stress on all of the components. In turn, these causes the unit to work harder and it not outputting heat as efficient. Also, equipment parts that are starting to wear cause other parts to work harder. Getting your heating unit tuned-up will increase the efficiency of your system. A well maintained heating system will have a longer life than those that have been neglected over the years.

Contact us to schedule maintenance with our qualified service technicians.

Colleen Salzman

What is IAQ and do I really need to be concerned by it?

IAQ stands for indoor air quality. It is a subject matter that is continuously overlooked by the HVAC community and homeowners alike.Homes are repetitively being exposed to indoor pollutants. Scented candles, air fresheners, and house hold cleaners are expelling toxic pollutants into the air and your family is breathing them in. In addition to man made pollutants exposing your family to toxins, homes are also infiltrated by outdoor pollutants such as bacteria, viruses, mold, and allergens.

You may ask, what can I do to improve the IAQ of my home?

1) Stop using scented candles and air fresheners
– If you want to make your home smell nice for guests that may be coming over try boiling water and adding cinnamon sticks with cut up apples.

2) Use non-toxic house hold cleaners
– Use Eco-friendly non-toxic products. Make sure to read your labels. The more natural ingredients the less toxins it will produce in the air.

3) Install an air filtration system
– Install a media filter, or an electronic air cleaner to filter out any allergens in the air. There are numerous electronic air cleaners (EACs) on the market today. Make sure that the EAC is connected to your heating/cooling system. Do not waste your money on the units that stand in the room. They only clean a very small portion of the room. Do your research on the devices.

4) Install an air purification device
– Install a Global Plasma Solution (GPS) or a UV bulb system. These products service to purify your air of mold, bacteria and viruses. Again, make sure to do your research.

5) Install a whole house humidifier.
– Whole house humidifier will alleviate stuffy noses, bloody noses, dry skin and eyes. Not to mention it will reduce the static electricity.

If you would like to know more about IAQ please contact us. Indoor air quality can and will effect the health and welfare of your family.

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Colleen Salzman

Why are consumers choosing home automation?

Imagine controlling your home from your tablet or phone. It is the newest trend in technology today. You can control everything from your heating and cooling system to locking your door. Homeowners can now stay connected to their homes at all times. There are a number of companies that are now offering home automation to consumers. It allows consumers to check up on their home and family with a click of a button.

Most homeowners are starting to enter home automation by adding thermostats such as The Nest. These thermostats allow homeowners to control their heating and cooling systems while they are not home. The only downside of majority of these thermostats is that there are very limited products available to add on to the system in order control their home. Nexia Home Intelligence offers a wide variety of products for home automation to keep you connected. Not only can you control your heating and cooling system but also turn off/on a lamp or even the television when you are not home. There are indoor and outdoor cameras available so you can see if your kids are doing their homework or if that package you have been waiting for has been delivered. How many times have you had to turn around to see if you closed the garage door or locked your front door? With Nexia, you can live with peace of mind and stay connected with your home when you are not there.

Unlike other companies, Nexia does not charge a large monthly fee with a contract for home automation. Nexia charges a monthly fee of $9.99 with no contract. Meaning, you may start and stop your system as you please. Some people may not be ready to streamline home automation into their lives yet but still would like to be able to control their heating and cooling system digitally. Consumers have the capability of adding up to four Nexia thermostats and four appliance modules or light dimmers to their systems without a monthly fee. With the Nexia thermostat, it gives consumers the opportunity to add additional products to their home in the future.

Contact us today to find out more information about Nexia Home Intelligence and other home automation products to fit your lifestyle.

Colleen Salzman

Buying tips for getting a new HVAC system installed

Step 1: Establish a budget. Since there are so many options, it is important to determine your budget. Many Hvac companies also have financing available.

Step 2: Do your research. Research different brands. Just like any type of purchase, there is a wide variety available. Perform and online search for various reviews on the brand equipment. Consumer Report also has a ranking for Hvac equipment that is helpful for any homeowner.

Step 3: Find a qualified contractor. Step 3 is by far the most important step in this process. Your purchase is only as good as the contractor installing it. Make sure the contractor has the proper licenses and insurance. Find a contractor that you can rely will be there for you in the event you have any issues. Most contractors will provide some sort of labor warranty. You want to make sure that they will ensure your issues will not go unresolved.

Step 4: Get an estimate. Ask the contractor questions. It is important for the line of communication is clear between yourself and your contractor. It would also be a good time to give your contractor an estimated budget so that they can provide the best possible options for your price range. The contractor should supply he brand name and model number of he unit they are recommending you. After your estimate you may have a reference for doing additional research on the equipment.

Step 5: Review all of your information. Look at all of your research and estimates from your qualified contractors. Feel confident in the estimate you were given and the company you are choosing. If you are still unsure which company to choose, ask the company for some references in your area. Speaking with another customer may put your concerns at ease.

Colleen Salzman

Should you repair your AC? Or is it time to replace?

There are many factors when trying to decide if you should repair or replace your air conditioning system.

Repair Cost: If you have had trouble with your air conditioning system, how much will it cost to repair it? Major components such as a failed compressor or a leaking system can be quite costly. Before getting any costly repair work done, I recommend getting an estimate for a new system. Estimates for new systems are free. You can then use a cost comparison for the repair vs a new unit. I also recommend speaking to your trusted technician. If the repair needed on your unit is a minor one and you have had no major issues with the unit, many contractors would recommend preforming the minor repair. It is important to make sure you are educated on the overall condition of your system and the repair that is being suggested to you. Ask your contractor questions about the repair being done. The more you know about your system, the better decisions you can make.

Age: Is your air conditioner towards the upper end of system expectancy? Manufactures state that the average air conditioner lasts between 10-15 years. If your air conditioner is anywhere in end of expectancy age range it would be a good idea to start budgeting for a new unit. Get a tune-up and cleaning done on your air conditioner by a qualified technician in the spring season. As a homeowner, you will be will informed of the health of your system and you will be able to make education decisions on your unit.

For more information about repairing or replacing your air conditioner, contact a qualified HVAC contractor.