Air Conditioning and Heating Service

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Spring is the best time to schedule air conditioning maintenance with a qualified HVAC professional. Having your air conditioner maintained professionally will keep it in optimum operating condition during the cooling season, and will also save you money on utility costs by improving its overall efficiency. However, even with preventive maintenance, things can go wrong with your air conditioner. This troubleshooting guide will help you pinpoint the problem and possibly resolve it before service is needed.

Problem: Air conditioner won’t turn on.

  • Check the thermostat to make sure it’s set to “cool.”
  • Check the circuit breakers associated with your air conditioner to make sure they haven’t tripped.
  • Check that all the air conditioner switches, including the external safety switch.
  • If your unit has a condensate overflow tray, check to make sure it isn’t overflowing, which may cause a sensor switch to turn the unit off.
  • Make sure the blower door is securely closed.

Problem: The airflow from the vents is too low.

  • Check your air filter and replace it if it’s dirty. A dirty filter will impede the flow of air to your system.
  • Make sure your ductwork is intact. A loose joint can reduce airflow. Repair the damage with metal tape or mastic sealant.
  • Check the dampers on your supply registers to make sure they’re open.

Problem: The air conditioner kicks on too frequently.

  • Make sure your thermostat isn’t obstructed.
  • Check the outside condensing unit for debris or bent fins. If the fins are bent, straighten them with a fine comb.
  • Check your air filter and replace it if it’s dirty.

If your system is still operating improperly, call a service technician for air conditioning maintenance. If your system hasn’t been maintained, the problem will most likely be solved with a service call, but it’s a good idea to ask your technician to perform preventive air conditioning maintenance on your system to prevent more problems down the road.

HVAC professionals agree that your best defense against mid-summer breakdowns is preventive air conditioning maintenance at the beginning of the cooling season. If you haven’t already scheduled your service call, now is a good time to do so!

air conditioning serviceSpring is right around the corner and New York homeowners are looking for a qualified HVAC professional to perform routine air conditioning service.

A yearly tune-up at the beginning of spring by a certified HVAC technician will ensure your air conditioner operates safely and efficiently all summer long.

Yearly air conditioning service extends the life of your air conditioner, lowers your cooling costs and helps prevent the need for expensive repairs. A comprehensive tune-up will include these essential points.

  • Lubricate the moving parts of the system to reduce friction.
  • Test the system controls to ensure your air conditioner starts, runs and shuts off properly.
  • Measure and adjust the refrigerant and check for refrigerant leaks.
  • Flush the condensate drain to prevent overflow, which can promote the growth of mold and mildew.
  • Clean and tighten electrical connections for safety.
  • Check the blower motor for wear and tighten or replace fan belts as needed.
  • Check the compressor contacts.
  • Clean the outdoor condenser coil to remove dirt and debris.

Air conditioning service shouldn’t stop there. There are several things you can do to keep your air conditioner operating optimally for the duration of the cooling season.

  • Check your air filter every month and replace it when it’s dirty. A dirty air filter reduces the air flow to your system and reduces its efficiency. Keeping your air filter clean will not only extend the life of your system, but will also considerably improve your home’s indoor air quality.
  • Keep your outdoor unit free of debris such as weeds and grass clippings from mowing.
  • Hose down the outdoor coil every month to remove dirt buildup, which can make your system work inefficiently.
  • Keep the area around your air conditioner clean and free of obstructions for easy access and to help prevent dust buildup on the interior of your system.
  • Make sure your furniture isn’t blocking your supply and return registers, which can reduce the flow of air to your system.
  • Don’t close off more than 20 percent of your supply registers in an attempt to save money on cooling costs. Doing so can impede the flow of air to the system and possibly result in overheating and other damage.

Neglecting your air conditioner can result in expensive repairs and higher energy costs. With a combination of professional and DIY air conditioning service, your air conditioner should last at least 15 years.

Heating and air conditioning systems are are among the most vital systems in our homes. The problem may well be that they often work too well. In fact, we usually don’t have to think about them at all.

heating and air conditioningIf your home is cool and comfortable in summer and plenty warm in winter, you can go for years hardly thinking about heating and air conditioning. Though a heating system and an air conditioner are both made up of pretty simple technology. It will break down eventually. Even a basic knowledge will help you to keep your system up and running and running well.

Heating and air conditioning systems aren’t so complicated that you can’t pick up the basics yourself, and get more and more efficient use out of your system. Here’s what you need to know.

Basics of Heating and Air Conditioning

All heating and air conditioning systems rely on three fundamental parts: a source for air that’s cooled or warmed, a fan or similar distribution system to blow the air where you want it and a thermostat that turns it on and off. Even most portable heating and air conditioning units have basically the same components. It’s usually just the distribution system that seems a lot smaller.

While central air conditioning is a lot less common in the New York City area, where it’s been installed, the cool air flows through the same ducts (the distribution system) as heated air. Getting familiar with these three parts is a good start to understanding how it’s working – or should be working.

A furnace will put heated air wherever it’s cooler, and an air conditioner will remove it and send it to an outside location, even if that doesn’t always seem cooler. Both systems rely on the principle that warm air will always move to a cooler location.

Heating and air conditioning systems all need a power source. Air conditioners run on electricity and your heating system will burn fuel, usually natural gas. You may also have a furnace that runs on fuel oil and in New York there are still lots of older boiler systems that heat water and run it through pipes to heat a building. You already know if you live with one of these (usually) cranky old set-ups. The boiler is used for heating and storing the water supply before it gets sent out to your home.They’re often supremely efficient, but boilers present some slightly different problems for home or building owners that we won’t go into here.

Still more recent technology goes into heat pumps that will do both jobs, heating and cooling, essentially by pulling the warm air outside in summer and by pulling the warm air outside to the inside in wintertime. Heat pumps provide central air conditioning and the same heat pumps are are often used in conjunction with a traditional furnace, in part because the electricity required to run them is always more expensive than natural gas. Heat pumps are actually the most common type of central air conditioning installed in the city. But a heat pump and a furnace used simultaneously will keep most homes comfortable, without over relying on either one of them.

When your heater or furnace is running, it’s burning fuel and heat is produced and sent to the cooler areas through the distribution system mentioned above. It’s really as simple as that.

In the same sense your air conditioner is using electricity to cool freon gas inside the coils until the gas turns to a cold liquid. When the warm air in your home cools on contact with the coils, warmer air is easily coaxed along and moved to where you want it. (Remember the principle mentioned above?) Heat pumps work exactly the same way except in reverse.

Because of the relatively complex technology that goes into any of these heating and air conditioning systems, they can get complicated. Read your manufacturer’s instructions thoroughly if you’ve got them. If not, give us a call and we’ll give you a point by point assessment of your system and how you can get the most out of it.

Heating repair calls come in every day and we’re always happy to give advice over the phone or to pay you a service visit. Here’s some of the most important information you should know if you’re having trouble with your gas furnace.

Noisy Operation

Noise from your furnace can be caused by slipping blower belts or a shaft bearings; usually a high pitched or shrieking sound. Belts may need to be replaced and bearings need to be lubricated. A rumbling sound though less frequently a cause for heating repair we do sometimes hear lower pitched rumbling sounds caused either by a poorly adjusted pilot light or dirty gas burners. We recommend calling in either case, to have the pilot or the burners adjusted.

Not Enough Heatheating repair

Heating repair calls often enough come in with the simple complaint that there’s just not enough heat. This can be caused a dirty air filter, dirty burners or some kind of obstruction, especially at the vent leading into the furnace. Replacing your air filter can solve a lot of problems, as can checking to make sure nothing is obstructing any of the intake or outbound vents. Again, if you suspect your burners are dirty, you should call and a heating repair technician can adjust and clean them, usually the same day.

No Heat At All

This one can be a bigger issue, with many possible causes. Often it’s either the thermostat has stopped working or it’s set to low. There can also be problems with a circuit breaker or similar electrical malfunction, or the gas line is interrupted or closed. There can also be problems with electronic ignition systems, intermittent pilots or traditional pilot lights.

You want to first check the level to which your thermostat is set. If it’s set to an appropriate temperature you should try moving it up a few degrees. You may also want to clean the contacts on an older analog thermostat, but that won’t help much with newer models. Check the gas line, and for blown fuses or thrown circuit breakers. If you have a traditional standing pilot light and you know how to light it, you can check that, too. For other electrical or ignition problems we recommend calling for heating repair.

On and Off

If your furnace is going on and off too often it could be as simple as a dirty filter (check that first). It could also be as complex as a problem with the motor for the fan or, again, the thermostat. Fan motors can be lubricated, but in most cases we recommend a visit so that we can check the belt tension and lubricate the motor at the same time. We might also check your thermostat heat anticipator.

Always On

In most cases this is a problem with the fan and the fan control or with the thermostat. If you can’t switch the fan off from the thermostat, then most likely we’ll need to replace the entire unit. We’ll also investigate any other possible problems with the blower assembly.

These are among the most common heating repair complaints we hear about. Of course, we’ll be happy to discuss your own furnace, be it a gas or oil furnace or a heat pump.

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