Air Conditioning and Heating Service

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Beware of Air Duct Cleaning Ads

Air duct cleaning ads and circulars show up in the mail boxes of some of our best customers. Unfortunately these air duct cleaning scams are happening all across the country. Many of them make rather extravagant claims about the benefits of duct cleaning but the fact remains that most of the work and the expense is totally unnecessary.
air duct cleaning
Duct cleaning usually involves cleaning of the rigid and semi rigid vents and pipes that snake through the underside of your floors, in the walls or parts of the walls and through crawlspaces. The really dedicated duct cleaners will get both intake and outward flowing air ducts clean and clean your air conditioning coils and change your furnace filters.

This probably sounds pretty good. In fact, changing the air conditioning filters and the furnace filters is pretty important, but in combination with a lot of duct cleaning that probably isn’t necessary, it’s up to ten times more expensive than necessary.

Any central air conditioning or forced air system can be contaminated. Mildew and mold will occasionally start to grow where a plumbing leak or a water source from the air conditioner is leaking where it shouldn’t be. Identifying, repairing and drying such a leak will almost always solve the problem, and usually for almost every one.

People with allergies of any severity are usually the worst off. Only you can determine then, the severity of the need for cleaning, which depends really on the allergies suffered by the people frequenting the space, be it your home, building or work space.

People with more severe allergy problems, and depending on the specific allergen, may find homes with pets or the homes of smokers intolerable.These problems are actually more common than the scarier sounding molds and air borne contaminants. Air duct cleaning may spare some misery to those allergic to some of these more common irritants.

Some states will actually require that ducts be cleaned by a licensed professional duct cleaning company so broad have been the claims about the health benefits of air duct cleaning. Other than for allergies though, these health claims have not been proven.

If you or someone in your family really is suffering from allergies, either from pets, cigarette smoke or from mold, we’ll be happy to discuss an air duct cleaning that is thorough and that will eliminate any odors from the ducts or from your furnace or air conditioning. It will also remove irritants from your ducts at least temporarily. Changing the air conditioning filters and the furnace filters will often do as much good as a duct cleaning. But we do frequently perform or consult on air duct cleaning projects, usually as a result of water damage or a similar contamination.

Remember, furnace filters and cleaning a few other key spots around your ducts may be all the duct cleaning you need. They’ll likely put your system in good running order without the invasive nature and expense of a really complete duct cleaning.

Gas Furnace Maintenance for the Fall Season

gas furnace maintenanceYour gas furnace maintenance routine is something you need to get used to. Likewise, some heater maintenance tips can be just the trick to cut your heating costs and better heat your home. We’re hoping to provide here the heater maintenance tips and useful furnace maintenance tips so that your gas furnace or heater is in good shape before winter really kicks in.

These gas furnace maintenance procedures are simple and easy to understand but are too often taken for granted.

There are many more advanced adjustments that are best left to your gas furnace maintenance company. We’ll advise you should any of those come up. The entire procedure of these gas furnace maintenance tips won’t take more than 1 hour or so. Keep your service manual close for reference. Remember, we always recommend an annual gas furnace maintenance check up.

Furnace Maintenance Tips

These furnace maintenance tips may be the first step before calling for professional maintenanceand they’re not intended to replace regular professional furnace maintenance.

  • Switch off the main electric power to the furnace and familiarize yourself with the main components of the unit.
  • It’s important to steer clear of the burners and the pilot light of your furnace during visual inspection we’re going to describe here. The number and severity of problems that can result from misaligned burners and over-sized pilots are significant. All of them are serious and require professional service.
  • With the combustion chamber door off, turn the power back on and turn the thermostat up in order to get the burners to come on. Inspect the flames by checking that they burn even and blue in color. If they are more yellow than blue you’ll probably need to call in a professional to clean them.
  • You may also blow any dust from the area of the pilot light, when the gas is turned back off. Do not touch the pilot but use a directed blast of air, through a straw or a compressed air can. Be sure the gas is turned off.
  • With the power off again, you may run a vacuum cleaner to clean the blower assembly and clean the blades with a brush, however, you don’t want to partially clean it. Be as thorough as possible.
  • Replace the furnace filter. Inexpensive filters will protect the blower and blower motor and they should also help prevent the need for cleaning it. Gas furnace maintenance in older homes often means checking the belts in a belt-driven blower. These need to be inspected and replaced as needed,
  • You also need to check the dampers, the metal flaps that open and close ducts, and see that each moves freely and easily.

Heater Maintenance Tips

  • Heater maintenance tips are very similar to the furnace maintenance tips above except, of course, on a smaller scale. You need to follow the same safety precautions, particularly when it comes to gas burners and pilot lights.
  • The key to an efficient and safe gas heater is to inspect the flames, whether or not they are normally visible. You may need to disassemble the blower assembly for cleaning and inspection but remember, no list of heater maintenance tips will make up for a professional inspection and cleaning.
  • Lastly, just because a gas heater is smaller and less expensive to purchase and install doesn’t mean it won’t benefit from a good visual inspection and an annual or biennial inspection and service. We’re here to help! Call 646-783-2475.

 

common air conditioner problemsCommon air conditioner problems present a unique set of challenges for the Do It Yourself-er.  People who have no trouble making simple repairs around the home, or even the car, will often neglect air conditioning maintenance until the unit simply needs to be replaced.

In most cases, calling an air conditioning repair company when problems arise, will save you hundreds of dollars on replacing the unit. However, following these troubleshooting tips can help prevent or solve most of your air conditioner problems to avoid unnecessary repair or replacement costs.

Keeping air conditioning units clean and replacing the filters will prevent most air conditioning problems from ever developing, and short of replacing or refilling the coolant these common air conditioner problems can be addressed without the need for professional air conditioning repair.

Troubleshooting Common Air Conditioner Problems

  • Often air conditioning units simply won’t turn on. If the electrical connections are clean and connected, and the circuit breakers haven’t been thrown then you will need to call and air conditioning repair company to check the thermostat, wiring, compressor or control board.
  • Inadequate cooling is one of the most common air conditioner problems. If the fan is working, it is likely that your evaporator is in need of cleaning. You should also check coils on the warm end of the air conditioner and clean them with a soft brush. Set the thermostat to a lower temperature first and if there is no improvement, clean the evaporator.
  • Common air conditioner problems can also result from trouble with the condenser, motor, evaporator or compressor which will again require professional air conditioning repair. However, take a close look at the condenser. Any debris blocking the area of the condenser should be cleaned away immediately. A blockage can actually lead to more serious air conditioning problems with the compressor.
  • Erratic off and on problems can also result from a dirty or blocked condenser unit, or a dirty evaporator. So again, a good regular cleaning  will help you avoid an air conditioning repair call.
  • The air damper should be closed and not bringing in outside air. This is one of the most common air conditioner problems. Check the back cover, and open it as soon as the winter season is over. Many cooling problems will be solved by checking that outside air is not being drawn in.
  • Excessive water leakage from air conditioning units is one of the more common air conditioner problems and is almost always solved by simply tilting the unit to allow the water to drain better. However more serious, and all too common air conditioner problems can result from water damage and rust, so make sure your unit is tilted and draining properly.

No company checks and repairs as many air conditioning units in a season as we do. If you’re undecided about the next step in dealing with your air conditioning problems simply give us a call at 646-783-2475.

HVAC Maintenance is Like an Insurance Policy

A commercial HVAC maintenance visit should improve the HVAC system’s reliability and reduce the need for future, possibly more expensive, HVAC repairs. It’s important to think of commercial HVAC maintenance as an insurance policy against the need for future charges or costs for climate control, heating or air conditioning. Just like with any insurance policy, it’s important to carefully record and document every HVAC maintenance visit whether or not it’s from a licensed HVAC maintenance company or not.

Work orders, invoices and records of any charges or complaints need to be carefully compiled and stored. Likewise, records of equipment failures should be noted and stored in the same place. Any HVAC repair is probably going to cost a lot more than regular HVAC maintenance, but records of the maintenance kept as it’s performed will be a big help when the next commercial HVAC repair is necessary. Everything will be less expensive and every task better performed.

hvac maintenance nyc

The more lax your HVAC maintenance has been, the more likely you are to need some form of commercial HVAC repair. Managing your budget means including enough to properly maintain the HVAC equipment, and this too is better justified with solid documentation.

Predicting the reliability of your entire HVAC system really depends on the quality of the records you can put together. How long has every component been in service? And what was the nature of the HVAC maintenance or HVAC repair calls that were made in the past?

A Commercial HVAC system’s life ultimately depends on the quality of HVAC maintenance and the ability to predict when further maintenance is necessary. Commercial HVAC repair experts can actually help you to determine the life spans and the expected reliability of the various components of your system, but they’ll give you a more accurate prediction when you have good records in order.

Commercial HVAC maintenance is scientific. It comes down to repeating controlled environmental factors and conditions. These really don’t differ so much that an experienced commercial HVAC repair company can’t give you a good picture of how reliable your system will be.

Remember! The need for an unplanned commercial HVAC repair during business hours can present a major problem for any business. HVAC repair can be intrusive, troublesome and expensive well beyond the cost of parts and labor. If you want to rely on the system your running now, start keeping records of everything you’re doing to it. Call us today at 646-783-2475 to schedule a HVAC maintenance consultation.

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