3 Signs your Air Conditioner desperately needs an HVAC tech

In the midst of hot summer, who wants his Air Conditioning system to fail? No sane person ever wishes this for his home but guess what, not enough people take the prerequisites to avoid sudden appliance breakdowns. And usually, no HVAC appliance fails without showing some prior signs. Appliances do show some signs when they are in need of maintenance or repairs. When these signs are neglected, the result comes in the form of breakdown. This blog is to help you find out in time when your Air Conditioner needs help. There are a few easy to notice signs.





- Dropping efficiency

You can tell when you are uncomfortable even when the Air Conditioner is on. You can compare your current level of comfort from that of the last year and can easily decide that the AC is not as efficient as it used to be. This kind of significant change in efficiency in one year is an indication that there is something wrong with the system that needs to be fixed. If you did perform proper maintenance & cleaning before starting the unit, are following the same temperature schedules and the weather is not unusually hot, then there's something that requires an HVAC tech's help. So as soon as you suspect a noticeable drop in the unit's efficiency, call a professional as early as possible.


- A sudden rise in energy bills

Energy bills are always loathsome, aren't they? But they become equally shocking sometimes. That happens when there's a sudden rise in them. Your usage remains the same but the graph of monthly energy bills changes. Although Air Conditioners as they get older do start to consume more energy, this does not happen over the course of a month or two. So if your bills have suddenly started to become coarse towards you, there's an indication of something annoying the system. It could be dirty filters, leaking ductwork, problematic compressor or something else. Take also this sign seriously.


- Frequent Short Cycling

One of the indications of the Air Conditioner going through something serious is when it short cycles frequently. Short cycling is when the AC turns off and on. The possible causes of short cycling are dirty filter or compressor fan, frozen evaporator coils or electrical wiring issues. So as your Air Conditioner starts to short cycle frequently, consider calling a professional to inspect what's wrong.

They say prevention is better than cure. Every year, many homeowners have to face serious accidents or costly repairs and the reason behind is not performing maintenance or ignoring the repair signs that the system shows. We as HVAC professionals suggest homeowners to learn at least the basics of their HVAC appliances and especially about the signs of appliance sickness so that preventive measures can be taken in time.

If your Air Conditioner shows all or one of the above-mentioned signs then don't postpone calling out a professional for help.

Some hundred dollars spent on in time repairs are better than the thousands of dollars that you'll have to spend otherwise on worsen damages or entire unit replacement. Be wise towards your HVAC appliance.

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The cost of Heating & Air Conditioning in cars

So it becomes comfortable to travel when you've Air Conditioning in your car. You can travel with ease even if the sun is super hot out on the road. Similarly, as the winter becomes unbearable and it's snowfall everywhere outside, it becomes a nightmare to travel without some heat along. Heating in cars is another blessing that the technology has provided us in the recent years. But do both of these come for free or is their an extra price you have to pay for the heating and cooling to keep functioning in your car? In this blog, we'll explore the cost of Heating and Air Conditioning in cars.

The heating and cooling in cars don't come from the same source so don't imagine it as your heat pump or your Split Inverter Air Conditioner. Things do get different when it comes to electric cars but let's first talk about the cars we are now using.



Did you know, Car Heating is almost FREE! O yeah!

This might be something new you're hearing but actually, making your car warm does not cost you anything extra. It just the engine that gets hot and the heat of the engine gets transferred to the indoor of the car instead of escaping out as it does in summer. But we'd be honest here. It's not 100% free. There's a fan to push the heat of the engine inside and that fan needs some energy to operate. It takes that energy from the battery. For that purpose, only a negligible quantity of petrol is consumed.

Cooling isn't FREE, it comes at around 1 Litre per 100 KM

Unlike the heating, the cooling cost does take enough. It takes almost 1 litre of petrol for the car's air conditioner to operate for a distance of almost 100KM. A rough estimate could be between 0.2 to 1 litre per 100 km. The consumption varies according to the usage and the outside temperature.

How things work in electric cars

So in summer, you don't need heat, right? Which means the heat of the engine that you use to warm your car in winters simply go wasted all the times you're not using that heat. Electric cars have an ideology of energy consumption so both heating and cooling use the car's battery. Which means no energy is going to waste and as you don't use heating in winter, no energy is going to waste either. Similarly, as you use Air Conditioning in summers, it operates only when you want it to operate. This ensures energy consumption and saving. 

A few tips for heating & air conditioning in cars


- If you think turning on AC takes loads of energy and you can be comfortable will only a little cooling, consider using a portable desktop fan. It will suffice perfectly for you if you drive all by yourself

- Use blinds as you go for long drives. The direct sunlight that reaches the car heats the indoor more, requiring more air conditioning

- How about hot and cold pads? Try them out this time you go for a long drive. It's a cool idea that can keep your travelling comfortable both in winters and summers.

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Here's how your ductwork keeps you in discomfort

So when you think of improving your indoor heating and cooling comfort, what is the first thing that comes to the mind? The heating and cooling appliances? You are right! They are of course the primary factor for increasing the comfort level but not the only factor. Many homeowners, never think of other factors that would sooner or later affect the indoor comfort and the efficiency of the HVAC appliances. Take, for instance, Ductwork. How many people when they purchase a new Air Conditioner or Furnace also get their ductwork inspected for repairs or perform its thorough maintenance? Or more importantly, how many people actually find out how that the system they are installing is suitable for their ductwork or not. Not taking these considerations into account results in indoor discomfort despite having expensive appliances installed. This blog is dedicated to the ways in which ductwork problems could become the primary factor to affect the indoor comfort.


Here's how ductwork deficiencies affect your comfort 

Energy Star says that it causes an energy loss of 20% - 30% to a home with having ductwork issues active. The common ductwork deficiencies include;

Design problems 

When it comes to ductwork, the design is extremely important. The ducts are, therefore, designed with customized designs keeping the home's particular need into account. Poorly designed ductwork bars the proper distribution of air resulting in hot and cold spots, overburdening of the system and frequent duct wear and tear.

Leak problems 

The duct leaks result in escape of conditioned air to the areas where it is not needed. This situation compromises the comfort but raises the energy bills because a lot of conditioned air go wasted. Also, another consequence of duct leaks is that it affects the IAQ. The duct and debris of the ductwork find their way out into the living place.

Insulation problems 

Since the conventional large ductworks cannot be accommodated, they are installed in the basement, attic or anywhere underground. As the temperature of these areas is always more than normal, the temperature of the ductwork can get affected too resulting in the appliances running for extra time and high energy bills.

Recipe to a perfect Ductwork 

The recipe for a perfect ductwork comes with fixing the above-mentioned ductwork problems. Here are some additional tips to not let your ductwork hinder the level of your comfort;
- Always hire professionals for installing a ductwork
- Before purchasing a new unit, make sure it is suitable for the ductwork type
- Perform regular maintenance to avoid duct leaks
- When any duct leaks are found, fix them instantly. The smaller the leak,  the quicker the air will escape
- Be very careful regarding insulation. Perform ductwork insulation if you have high temperatures in the basement, attic and underground. It is recommended to have the ductwork insulated at the time of installation
- If your ductwork is new and is constantly worrying you, there are chances that it is designed wrongly. Do not hesitate to consult a professional regarding redesigning the ductwork if needed. It is better to make an in-time investment than to continue to waste energy and compromise comfort.

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Here's how wise landscaping can help lower energy bills

Ever thought of lowering energy bills using landscaping? If not, you're not alone. Not many homeowners seriously think about how landscaping would affect the energy bills and end up building homes that almost suck energy; get very hot in summers and very cold in winters resulting in high energy bills. So here's a treat from us; We are helping you discover ways that will affect your energy bills and will pull their graph low. You don't necessarily have to apply these ways only when you are building a new home. Some simple additions to your currently in use home will make a massive difference. Let's begins



The power of shady trees

We have always read in the stories of the old times how people would take rest under the shady trees while taking long road journeys in hot summers. But the shades of the trees are all time beneficial. Did you know that homes with trees around them remain relatively cooler in summers? Grow trees strategically such that they cover the areas that get the direct sunlight. It is best to plant those trees that shed their leaves in winters so that the home gets the sunlight that is desireful in winters and keeps the heating bills in control.   
If you have space around the home and it is being used for no good reason, it's your time to plant some deciduous trees.

Install a Pergola or Trellis 

You may be living in a rented place or maybe shifting places often or can't really wait for the trees to grow. A good alternative could be grown trees that are simply installed by digging the place. Or to consider installing structures like trellis and pergolas. With a base of wooden, these structures, if added with fastly growing vines can add a great degree of coolness to your patio, yard and walls.

How about aqua cooling?

O yes! How about aqua cooling? Ever felt roaming in gardens, a cool breeze of air, as you pass by waterfalls, swimming pools or small fountains? The same effect can be added to your front yard, patio or even at some interior location of the home. The presence of water adds coolness in the air and as it circulates, it spreads the coolness in the home.

Avoid black 

By painting your door, roof or any other major exterior part of the home, what you invite in is a lot of heat. Since black absorbs all of the light rays, it is a bad idea with regards to HAVC to use black or similar darker shades on the exterior of the home. Doing so does benefit in winter but as long as summer is concerned, consider green and white. Also, to include an added effect of cooling, consider adding plants in the indoor and some useful shrubs on the driveways and sidewalks.

Did you find this blog useful? What landscaping hacks do you use to control the energy bills? Share some with us!

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Hydronic Heating - A healthier home heating solution

Every appliance that you install in your home will affect the entire home in one way or the other. For example, installing a Central Air Conditioning system and not maintaining the ductwork results in compromised indoor air quality. But this aspect is often neglected by homeowners. When installing a home comfort heating system, many homeowners keep their focus on the heating factors not weighing how that particular heating system will affect the indoor air quality. Just like different types of fuels are available to run the appliances and it is always recommended to go for more efficient, affordable and eco-friendly fuels, there are also several options for the heating systems to choose from. The same formulae should be applied to heating systems; choosing more efficient and most eco-friendly systems. While the conventional ductwork system heating is suitable for many home types, the Hydronic System remains an effective and affordable home heating method.

Boilers

Furnace VS Boiler - What wins?


Furnace warms the air and blows it towards the ductwork in order to reach the rooms. As the homes are more tightly packed in winters, the same air is warmed again and again and every cycle makes the air decrease its quality because of passing through the ductwork and circulating all those pollutants produced either inside of the home or entered from outside.

Unlike that, Boiler boils water and the steam passes through the pipelines that are spread throughout the house. This steam is then delivered to the baseboard and is then supplied from there. Since the heat coming from the baseboards rise naturally, the process is slow and the heat is retained longer. The warmth caused is uniform.
Since every time new water is heated, Boilers offer a cleaner solution.


Impacts of Hydronic Heating


As said, hydronic heating is safe. Every time a new cycle starts, unlike the Furnace heating in which the same cycle and the same air is circulated again and again. One major benefit this offers is that it reduces the risks of air pollutants. It is a known fact that an exposure to polluted air even for a short period can result in allergies, asthma and other immune system issues. In addition to that, as Hydronic heating of Combi Boilers warm the indoor through steam, the air has moisture which combats the winter issues like insufficient humidity and static electricity.

One major issue that homeowners face is different temperature needs of homeowners. Since this problem cannot easily be combated with the Furnace system as shutting the vents off or partially closing them overburdens the ductwork, the Hydronic system does offer a solution for this as well. Individuals can control the supply of heat to their place.

A residential Boiler of good quality can last for almost 15 years. More efficient systems with proper maintenance can last even longer than that. This makes Boilers (Combi Boilers) kill three birds with one arrow. They heat water, heat the indoor while also humidify it.

All these benefits combine to make Boilers an efficient and healthier solution for home heating.

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Ductwork Leaks - Signs and Causes

As homeowners begin to sense a compromised comfort in the indoor, the first thought goes towards the HVAC system. It is true that for most of the times, the reason behind compromised indoor comfort is the HVAC units but it is not always the case. Sometimes, the units are all okay but it is the ductwork that aches. Did you know that even small leaks and cracks can devoid you of 20% conditioned air rising the use of the appliances and the energy bills? It is, therefore, important to not be careless towards this issue and fix the problem as soon as it is observed.

All homes usually have one these three duct types;
They either have a metal sheet or an insulated flexible or insulated duct board. In the modern homes, the duct most commonly installed is of the flexible sheet. This, though easy to install and flexible to accommodate is hard to take care of. Not only that it is easily damaged but is also relatively less energy efficient. Whatever the duct type is, once it gets the leaks, the situation keeps on getting worse; the leaks widen and cracks expand resulting in more loss of energy and higher energy bills.
There are some signs that can help detect ductwork leaks;


Sings of a leaking ductwork 

* If your utility bills suddenly start to escalate and the HVAC units are working fine, it's the ductwork that you should check
* If there are rooms or areas of the home that are becoming difficult to warm/cool
* Indoor getting stuffy
* Air filters frequently getting dirty
* Dents or cracks in the ductwork
* Discolouring ceiling could also be an indication of leaking ductwork
* Home getting unusually dusty

These sings can help you find out the leaks and cracks. But you should also get to know of the primary causes of duct leaks.

Causes of Ductwork leaks? 

* Ductwork needs to be renewed after its lifetime is over. If you have an old home with an old ductwork installed, chances are you'll have leaks frequently
* Many people close the vents in the unused rooms. Doing so keeps the air trapped in the ductwork resulting in cracks
* If you have rats and rodents at home and a foil or flexible ductwork, you are at a constant risk. They can leave multiple cracks and leaks in your ductwork anytime
* A professional installation always matters. So if you had chosen a wrong tech who left loopholes, the loose connections in the ductwork would cause leaks
* Some ductworks need to have insulation in order to be properly efficient. Improper insulation may cause leaks

If you are suspecting a ductwork leak, do the following;
Take a piece of paper or burning candle and move it closer to the areas that you think have leaks. If the candle flickers or the piece of paper moves rapidly, there are leaks. Seal the leaks with a duct tape. However, there would be times when you'll find it difficult to find the leaks or to fix them on your own. When that happens, never overlook the matter and call a professional to check the ductwork to find and fix the problem. 

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Getting to know Negative and Positive Air Pressure

Ever experienced sudden slamming of doors and windows? A strange whoosh and whistle sound? Light objects automatically getting an outward flow? All of this, if it happens when you’re with the rest of the members may not scare you but imagine yourself completely alone at home and the doors and windows start to bang! Huh! Scary, very scary! The only thought that this occurrence will give you would be; ‘’I need to call a ghostbuster as early as possible’’. Interestingly, for such an issue, the right person to call is an HVAC professional. This type of occurrences take place as a result of improper air pressure. It could be a negative air pressure or a positive air pressure; anything but a normal air pressure. The symptoms may include;

* Uneven temperature in different parts of home
* Sudden slamming of doors and windows
* Easy to open doors/windows requiring unnecessary energy
* Strange noises (whoosh, whistling)
* Doors, windows getting automatically open
* Differentiating positive and negative air pressure


When you have a high indoor pressure and the air rushes from inside towards outside, it is the positive air pressure. As a result of such pressure, the doors/windows open outwardly on their own. Also, as there’s a high indoor pressure, it may make the opening of windows/doors difficult from outside.

Negative air pressure, on the other hand, is a scenario in which the outdoor air pressure is higher than the indoor air pressure. In other words, there’s insufficient air pressure in the indoors. As air moves from higher pressure towards lower pressure, the indoors will suck the outer air resulting in inward opening/slamming of doors/windows and overburdening of the HVAC system as it has to counteract with higher and more pressure.

Why does pressure go out of balance?


The question is; why in the first place, does the indoor air pressure go out of control? Here are the reasons;

1. Hot air consequences:


Hot air rises, remember that first hot air balloon experiment from primary school? The phenomenon of negative air pressure often takes place in winters as the hot air accumulates the indoors. The hot air rises to the upper portions or evacuates through vents and chimneys, leaving a low air pressure behind. As a result, the air pressure imbalance takes place.

2. Effect of exhaust fans


Exhausts fans help expel the undesirable air but they may perform over efficiently and expel so much air so as to cause a negative air pressure in the indoor.

3. Duct leaks


Leaking ducts compromise air pressure. They will overly supply air to the enclosed areas while leaving the open areas with an insufficient supply of air. This will result in negative air pressure in the open areas and positive air pressure in the enclosed areas.

4. Fan speed


While you may look here and there to find the cause of improper air balance, it could be in the speed of your Air Conditioner/Furnace fan. A very high speed of the fan will push more air towards the indoors through ducts, resulting in positive air pressure.

Many homeowners live under constantly imbalanced air pressure and never bother to balance it. The fact is, an improper and unbalanced air pressure will not only give you scary instances when you are home alone, it also has the potential to affect the HVAC system by overburdening it (as explained above).

If you figure out that you are living under positive or negative air pressure, make no delay and fix the problem by calling an HVAC professional as soon as possible.

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