Author Archives: West-o-plex

Your AC Maintenance Checklist

Air conditioning units outside a residence.

Dealing With Broken AC

What could be the worst thing to happen during the middle of a Texas summer? Yup, the air conditioning has quit working. By July and August, the humidity is higher than the temperature and it is downright miserable. So, to keep that from happening, the best thing a homeowner can do is keep their ac maintenance up each month and have professional ac maintenance and inspection every year. 

What is AC maintenance and why is AC maintenance important?

AC maintenance for the homeowner consists of changing the air filter every 30 days, check and emptying the drain pain every 30 days and cleaning the air return vents every days. AC maintenance by a professional ac technician will consists of voltage testing the system, checking the thermostat, inspecting the air ducts, belts, and vents. 

Professional ac maintenance will also include checking the drain pain and drain lines, check the refrigerant level and recharge if necessary, lubricate any moving parts and make sure the blower motor and fans are working properly.

These ac maintenance steps are necessary now as the humidity and temperatures are getting higher because we are using our air conditioning almost non-stop! The ac maintenance described above are important for the following reasons: 

  • Protects Your AC Equipment

Yes, a professional ac maintenance call will cost, but not near as much as it would be to replace your air conditioner! Keeping the ac maintenance on a schedule will extend the life of the ac system and gives the technician the opportunity to find small issues before they become a bigger and more expensive problem. 

  • Energy Saving

Preventative ac maintenance will keep your air conditioner working at optimum capacity which will help your energy bill because you won’t be adjusting the thermostat constantly. AC maintenance will include cleaning and oiling all the important parts like the blades, cooling coils, and other important components. When these components are clean and oiled properly, it maximizes the energy efficiency and that is a money saver with the utility bills.

  • Comfort and Peace of Mind

With routine ac maintenance by you and the annual checkup and ac maintenance by a professional, you can have a peace of mind your ac system is working properly and keep your family comfortable. 

Is it necessary to service AC every year?

In answer to the question of how often ac maintenance is needed for a brand new ac system, every two years is sufficient. After the fifth year, once a year is recommended, and by the eighth year, twice annually. Having AC maintenance service at these recommended frequencies will ensure that it is always working correctly and efficiently. AC maintenance for summer weather is a good idea once in the spring and once in the fall in preparation for winter use.    

How much does AC maintenance cost?

If you haven’t had any professional ac maintenance, you can expect the initial appointment to cost around $200.00. This will include a thorough inspection, cleaning, and tune-up that will bring your air conditioning system up to standards. 

If you have a routine of ac maintenance without a maintenance agreement, it cost around $75 or more for a basic cleaning and tune-up. To purchase an extended service contract that will include an annual ac maintenance check-up, the cost can vary between $150 and $500 depending on the size and type of HVAC system you have and the size of your home. 

Once you have an AC maintenance program in place, the technician can answer the question of how often you should have your air conditioner serviced. The older a system gets, the more frequent professional AC maintenance will be needed. Then, at a certain age, the technician will start talking to you about replacing the unit to be more cost-effective. 

What are the AC maintenance benefits?

There are ten reasons why you need to establish a professional ac maintenance program: 

  • Extend Your AC System’s Life

With a professional technician performing ac maintenance and inspection, they will often find and identify minor problems, fix them and save you an emergency ac phone call and repair. This will also keep your ac system running well and give it a longer lifespan. 

  • Better Air Quality and Health

An ac maintenance program will keep your air conditioning system running better and cleaner, making the air quality in your home better and healthier. 

  • Reduces Humidity 

Keeping the ac maintenance up will keep the humidity lower inside your home. As the air moves through the ac cooling and filtration system, it is pulling excess water out of the air. When that moisture isn’t pulling out, it is creating a mildew and mold environment that your family is breathing. 

  • System Upgrades

With the ac maintenance appointment, the technician can advise you of changes and upgrades in temperature control technology. These are things that will make your system run better like a smart thermostat or electrostatic air filters. 

  • AC System Efficiency Increased

An air conditioning system that is ineffective isn’t just keeping your home warm, but it is working harder and that is costing you more each month on the utility bills. With routine ac maintenance, repairs are made a soon as they are needed and that will keep it all running smoother, cooler, and be less expensive. 

  • Removal Of Unwanted Pests

During the summer, not only do humans want to be comfortable, so do critters and insects. With a routine ac maintenance program, the technician will find where these critters and insects are taking residence and remove them, block where they are entering, or advise you where structural repairs are needed, like the roof.

Technician working on an air conditioning unit.

In Closing 

So, are you thinking an AC maintenance contract may be an expense you can’t afford? Do you know how much a new AC system will cost you? Depending on the size of your home will determine the size of AC unit you’ll need, along with the brand and the model of the unit you choose. Pricing for a new HVAC system can start around $3,500 and go to upwards of $8,000. When you look at those costs, a $200 AC maintenance contract may not be so bad! You can learn more about this by reaching out to the West-O-Plex Air Conditioning and Heating team at 817-244-2511.

How Long Does It Take to Install a Split System Air Conditioner?

ac system

How long does it take to install a split system air conditioner?

Here in Texas, there are certain things you don’t do. You don’t touch another man’s cowboy hat, you don’t take away our Blue Bell or Dr Pepper, and you don’t mess around with our air conditioning. Now, if you’re new to The Lone Star state, you may not realize how important those things are, but you can be certain by mid-June, you’ll know how important air conditioning installation is for survival here. 

If you’re going to go to the expense of having air conditioning, go that extra few dollars and have a professional that knows how to install an air conditioner system to the work. Why is that recommended?  The air conditioning installation process isn’t just a matter of setting it in place then plugging it in. The wiring needs to be correct, or you could short-circuit the air conditioning and all the wiring in your home.  Then there is the refrigerant. Extreme care needs to be used when installing this chemical, and in most cities and states, it has to be done by a licensed contractor. So, go with a professional air conditioning installation contractor and have it done right from the beginning. 

A split air conditioning system is a unique type of air conditioning. The condensing unit and the evaporative coil unit are separate and connected by a copper tube. That copper tube  carries the refrigerant between the different units.

In most cases, a professional split air conditioning installation can be completed in one day. For a DIY homeowner with no experience, it can up to two days. 

Can I install a split system air conditioner myself?

Yes, maybe.  A ductless mini split system has refrigerant lines and high-voltage electrical connections and wiring. These can be tricky to work with and as we stated earlier, there are some cities and states that require the refrigerant to be installed by a licensed contractor. The same is to be said with the electrical components as well. 

So, before you pass on the air conditioning with installation to do your own, air conditioning installation, check the local building code and ordinance. If you are having it professionally installed, you need to inquire about any necessary permit requirements as well. 

If all is a go for your do your own air conditioning installation, each manufacturer provides instructions with the unit, or you can download them from their website. Be sure to follow those instructions step-by-step for the specific details. Any short cuts on the refrigerant or the wiring, you could find yourself with a burned out mini split air conditioner system.

How long do reverse cycle air conditioners last?

Reverse cycle air conditioning is an air conditioning that cools and heats. Experts recommend  having these service in the autumn and again in the spring, like you would an HVAC system. However, if you use your reverse air condition system 24/7, you may need to have it inspected and service 3 to 4 time a year. 

Can an electrician install an air conditioner?

Yes, but just as we have warned the city and state where you live may require the electrician to be licensed in his given profession and have a license for install the refrigerant. Being certified and licensed as an electrician doesn’t necessarily mean they are licensed for refrigerant too. 

ac system outside

How long can you run an air conditioner continuously?

In general, central air conditioner unit will run between fifteen and twenty minutes for 15-20 minutes, enough to cool down the house. However, in extreme heat, typical of Texas, if may run longer because it is working against those high temperatures. If you’re not feeling anything cooler after that time frame, you need to have a professional air conditioning professional inspect your air conditioning system.  

Once your air conditioning installation for home has been completed, you need to maintain a regular maintenance routine that will ensure it keeps working as it should. As we stated, experts recommend twice a year, more if you run the air conditioner 24/7. 

In addition to having it professional inspected and serviced, there are things you can do to keep your air conditioner working. 

  • Change or Clean the Air Filter – This is the easiest thing a homeowner can do to extend the life and service of their air conditioner. No less than every 30 days is recommended. 
  • Clean the vents and clean the outside unit – By keeping the vents and outdoor unit clean of debris, dirt, leaves, and trash, you’ll ensure its longevity. 
  • Do visual inspections of the pipes at the outside unit. 
  • Empty the condensation pan weekly. 

When an air conditioning system is neglected, it will quit working as efficient as it should. This results in two things:  Higher utility bills and the need to replace the unit sooner. Call 817-244-2511 today for split AC installation in Fort Worth, TX.

How do you know if a house thermostat is bad?

old broken thermostat not responding

Signs your thermostat needs repair

Well, we got through a winter like many Texans have never experienced! Whew, there are part of this Lone Star State that have never seen snow and don’t care to ever see it again thank you.  Now, our kind of weather is around the corner, summer. Now is the time to make sure your air conditioning and thermostat are in working order.

If you already went through your furnace or thermostat not working earlier this year, then you’re probably all set for summer. For central cooling and heating, generally the thermostat for HVAC all work within the same setup with the hvac thermostat controlling both the air conditioning and the thermostat.

But then, what if your cooling and heating aren’t like that? How do you know if your thermostat is bad? What are the symptoms of a bad home thermostat? A wall thermostat can last 30 years before they need to be replaced, but they can also quit working as well as they should during that time. How do you know your thermostat needs replacing? Here are 4 indications you need to replace your thermostat:

1. System Runs Constantly

If the air conditioning is running all the time, even after you adjust the thermostat up or turned off the unit, you probably have a malfunctioning thermostat. It may be the wiring or some other malfunction with the signal relaying between the thermostat and the HVAC system. Sometimes the thermostat simply needs to be recalibrated or reset.  How do I reset my thermostat?

Most thermostats can be reset by holding the reset button down for five seconds. If your thermostat is battery powered, flip the batteries direction for five seconds, then flip back. One last option is to turn the breaker off for 2-3 minutes then back on. If none of these work , you need to replace your thermostat.

2. The Air Conditioner Or Heater Won’t Turn On

If your HVAC system isn’t turning on at all, there is likely a wiring issue with the thermostat to the HVAC system. The internal part of the thermostat is malfunctioning, or it could be something with your HVAC system.  Replacing the thermostat would be the least expensive thing to try and if that doesn’t get the HVAC system turned on, call your repairman.

 Of course, if you have a maintenance agreement, call them first before replacing the thermostat because it may be covered. Same if you have a home warranty policy, call them first before replacing the thermostat.

3. Room Temperatures Vary

If one room is ice cold and another room isn’t getting any cooler, this could be the thermostat malfunctioning. Your HVAC system depends on the thermostat to tell when the house is cool or warm, and if the room furthest away isn’t getting cooled or warmed as needed, replace the thermostat. If that doesn’t help, call your HVAC repair company.

4. Thermostat Has No Power

A battery powered thermostat that has no power, simply replace the batteries.  A wired thermostat that won’t turn on after pressing all the buttons needs to be replaced.

Can low batteries affect thermostat?

Batteries in your thermostat have a primary function of saving any programmed information should there be a temporary power outage. This allows the cooling and heating system to continue operating uninterrupted. So, now, low batteries won’t affect the operation of the thermostat or HVAC system.

However, when the batteries dies, the screen will go black, the thermostat will quit working, and your HVAC system won’t cool or heat because the thermostat isn’t telling it what to do. Here are three tips that your thermostat batteries should be changed:

  • The low battery indicator light comes on, some will have a beep too.  
  • The air conditioning or heat won’t turn on.
  • The thermostat screen is blank, and you can’t set the thermostat or turn the HVAC system on.

Many homeowners have set up a system where they replace the batteries in the smoke detectors and the thermostat at the same time, then buy replacement batteries to have on hand.

How do I fix my thermostat?

With the following tips, you may be able to get your thermostat working again:

  • Circuit breaker panel: Even if there is a display on your thermostat, it doesn’t mean the HVAC system is working. Check the breaker, if it is off, flip it on. If resetting it doesn’t work or it trips again, call a HVAC repair service.
  • Thermostat Setting: Set the thermostat to the opposite setting you want. If the system doesn’t turn on, then replace the batteries in the thermostat. If this doesn’t work, then call a HVAC repair service.
Themostat replaced for newer model

Can you replace your own thermostat?

Yes, you can but it is recommended to try this only if you have some basic electrical knowledge and basic, general knowledge of the tools you’ll need to use changing your thermostat.  If you’re going with hardwired, it would be best to have a professional electrician or HVAC tech do the switch for you.

If you’re upgrading to a battery operated, programmable thermostat, consider getting an  hvac thermostat with humidity control.  By controlling the humidity, it will ease the strain on your HVAC system which will save you money too. Need help with your thermostat in Fort Worth, TX? Call 817-244-2511 today.

How to Do HVAC Maintenance

hvac system

What is HVAC preventative maintenance?

What does HVAC maintenance mean? HVAC is an acronym for , heating, ventilation, and air conditioning. This is a mechanical system that maintain a comfortable temperature level in your home. The HVAC system also maintains an optimal air quality and provides a level of energy efficiency too. 

There are many things that can go wrong with an HVAC system, including corrosion, leaks, and issues with distributing cold or hot air. Things like clogged filters, dirty coils, and more  can lead these problems, which where HVAC maintenance is important. HVAC maintenance is being proactive and preventative in making sure your HVAC system is running in proper condition and minimizing future issues and problems. 

What is preventive maintenance checklist?

For you, the homeowner, your maintenance checklist  should include the following tasks to help keep your HVAC equipment running smoothly in between the professional HVAC maintenance and tune up appointments by a trained HVAC technician:

  • Change or clean the HVAC filter every month. Most new HVAC systems today have an indicator light to remind you the HVAC filter needs attention. 
  • Keep debris cleared away from the outdoor unit. Things like leaves and trash get sucked up against the unit affecting its efficiency. 
  • Once a month clean the outdoor unit by spraying it down with water hose. 
  • Keep foliage trimmed back a minimum of 18 inches away  from the outdoor unit.
  • Keep return and supply registers clear of drapes, furniture, or rugs.

How often should I replace HVAC filter?

It is recommended by HVAC manufacturers and professionals that a HVAC filter should be replaced every 30 days. If you have a reusable filter, cleaning it every 30 day is recommended. Exceptions to this is for households with occupants with breathing issues, has indoor pets, or live on a dirt, dusty road.  In those instances, changing or cleaning the HVAC filter should be done twice a month.

What is involved in HVAC maintenance?

There are some preventative HVAC maintenance steps that can’t be or shouldn’t be done by the homeowner. There are skills learned by training and experience, and specific tools that trained HVAC technicians have access. This is the purpose of taking an HVAC maintenance contract with the company that installs your HVAC unit.  Care for your HVAC system should be taken seriously in order to get a longer lifespan from the unit. It will also save you money over the year and minimize the chances of your system breaking down on a cold winter night or in the middle of a hot summer day. 

Here is a list of what HVAC technicians will do when they arrive for a HVAC maintenance and tune-up: 

  • Check the system controls to ensure they are in proper and safe operating condition.
  • Clean and adjust dampers.
  • Inspect area surrounding air intake.
  • Ensure air flow is proper volume.
  • Check air filters, clean or replace.
  • Check air duct system .
  • Check refrigerant.
  • Inspect electric terminals and apply non-conductive coating.
  • Verify correct electric control.
  • Check heat amps.
  • Lubricate motors and other moving parts.
  • Clean blower motor.
  • Inspect fan, belts, and bearings.
  • Test thermostat is cycling on and off properly.
  • Check drainage of condensation system. 
  • Check outdoor unit fins are straight.
  • Clean exterior and  interior of outdoor unit.
  • Check defrost board, aka heat pump.
  • Inspect the gas piping and pressure.
  • Check flue vent.
  • Check burner combustion and heat exchanger.
  • Check fuel lines.
  • Clean and inspect the condenser coils and evaporator for any dirt or  obstructions.

How often should your HVAC be serviced? 

As the homeowner, your HVAC maintenance tasks should be done monthly, especially the changing or cleaning of the air filter.  In keeping the outdoor unit clear of debris like leaves, any time you’re walking by, remove anything that has blown up or sucked up by the unit. 

For a professional HVAC maintenance plan once a year minimum is recommended by manufacturer and HVAC experts. This will keep your HVAC system is proper working order or if any small issues have occurred, the technician will catch them and be able to repair or correct them before they become a major and costly problem. 

What is included in a HVAC tune up?

The common HVAC tune-up by a professional HVAC technician should include the following: 

  • Clean condenser coil.
  • Calibrate thermostat.
  • Check refrigerant level. 
  • Check for refrigerant leaks.
  • Inspect and tighten electrical connections and parts.
  • Check blower belt and motor. 

How long does an HVAC tune-up take?

A professional technician will take between thirty and forty-five minutes to perform a thorough tune-up. In some cases, the size of the house or if there are multiple HVAC units, the tune-up could take as long as an hour. If the system(s) need refrigerant added, the job can take additional 30 minutes. 

Two exterior HVAC units

Are HVAC tune ups worth it?

Definitely!  There are several benefits with regular HVAC maintenance by the homeowner and professionally scheduled appointments. Among those benefits are: 

  • Less Repairs: With routine HVAC maintenance by you or a professional, anything that is common or ordinary will be caught and repair or replacement can take place before the system fails. 
  • Safe Operation: A routine HVAC maintenance place will save you money by keeping the HVAC system in proper working order, saving you money on repairs. 
  • Longer Lifespan: With a routine HVAC maintenance schedule, malfunctioning parts can be replaced and eliminate possible domino effect of other components breaking down. This will keep the equipment in proper working condition which will extend its lifespan. 
  • Lower Energy Costs: When your HVAC system is operating correctly in at full capacity, it will save you money each month. When HVAC maintenance is neglected, the system will get bogged down and have to work harder. The harder it works, the more this will cost you each month in utilities.

Need help with your HVAC today in Fort Worth, TX? Call 817-244-2511 today.

How bad is indoor air quality?

dusty filter

Discovering indoor air quality

When you look around your home, does it look clean, smell clean? Do you give the indoor air quality and health of your family any thought when you look and smell your home? If your home is clean and unless you cooked fish or turnup greens last night, and nobody is apparently sick, you probably aren’t concerned about the indoor air quality

You may not be aware of what your home’s indoor air quality is affected by, but it may not be as clean and healthy as you think. Even without the fish, turnup greens, wet dog, or anyone being sick. Today, the indoor air quality of our homes isn’t much better, maybe not as good, as the outdoor air quality. 

What causes poor air quality in home?

According to the EPA, Environmental Protection Agency, a government agency, indoor air pollution is caused by gases or particles being released into the air inside our homes and businesses. Because most structures have inadequate ventilation, the indoor pollutants aren’t being diluted and carried outdoor. 

Those gases and particles that are creating poor indoor air quality primarily come from the following five things, most of which are found in every home or business: 

  1. Household Cleaning Supplies: While these help you keep your home or business clean, they also cause indoor air pollution. As you use those cleaning supplies, they are circulated in the air that everyone is breathing, many of them are toxic as the warning labels advise.
  2. New Carpet: The adhesive used for installing and the vinyl backing of new carpet can sometimes release chemicals, referred to as off-gassing. Some of those chemicals create poor indoor air quality, causing breathing issues, dizziness, headaches, and more. Most of that off-gassing has dissipated during the first month or so after installation, but the chemicals that they are made from can have an effect on the indoor air quality for up to five years. If you’re getting new carpeting, make sure your home or business has extra ventilation for three to five days after installation.
  3. Paint Compounds: Household and indoor paint have an abundance of VOCS (volatile organic compounds). So, when you’re getting the house or office repainted, some may start experiencing headaches. Those VOCs are gone by the time the paint dries, but there may still be some lingering, affecting the indoor air quality. Again, make sure there is extra ventilation in the house or office for three to five days after the painting is completed.
  4. Mildew and Mold: Mold forms in homes and businesses from too much moisture in the air, and this creates poor indoor air quality from the microscopic spores of that mold. The humidity levels need to be maintained even so that they aren’t too high, even using a dehumidifier if needed is recommended. 
  5. Inadequate Ventilation: When there is an inadequate ventilation system, the indoor and outdoor air can’t circulate properly. The air intake and exhausts for every room in your home or business should be checked and cleaned, removing any dust or pollutants. With a proper ventilation system, indoor pollutants are reduced. Upgrading the air conditioning system with a built-in dehumidifier can help the humidity levels and indoor air quality of your home or business. 
  6. Cigarette Smoke: One single cigarette has hundreds of toxic substances, the biggest contributor to poor indoor air quality. Requiring smokers to go outside helps keep the indoor air quality healthy and adding air purifiers inside the home or office can help with any lingering smoke that follows the smokers inside. 

What are the symptoms of bad air quality in the home?

Here are a few indication that you may have poor indoor air quality in your home or business: 

  1. Allergies: Yes, the change in the seasons and weather can irritate allergies, but so can poor indoor air quality. There is a wide range of materials that can irritate allergies like dust, pollen, and more. Any excessive coughing and congestion, headaches and sneezing, watery eyes, or bloody noses are typical symptoms. 
  2. Symptoms: When contaminants like asbestos, mold, or hazardous chemicals are in the air, mild ailments and health symptoms will worsen as they affect the occupant’s health. When there are new complaints or an increase in complaints from anyone with breathing issues, chills, dizziness, fever, hearing issues,  muscle aches, nausea, or rashes, there could be something extremely wrong with the indoor air quality that should be checked out by a professional. 
  3. Lungs: When the chemical used in a home or business is left unaddressed, it can affect the lungs of everyone living or work inside quickly. In an extreme situation, severe health issues can develop like bronchitis or pneumonia from the airborne particles creating poor indoor air quality. 
  4. Environment: When there is an increase in family members or employees with health issues, it is time to have the indoor air quality checked and take the steps needed to improve the environment.  
  5. Improvements or Repairs: If there are improvements or repairs going on inside your home or business, like flooring, painting, or even new furniture being brought in, they can have an effect on the indoor air quality. There are chemicals in all of these things and the particles from them collect in the HVAC system and are circulated throughout the home or office,  causing a negative effect. Your home or business’s indoor air quality and HVAC systems are intricately connected and should be watched. 
  6. Air Distribution: Another issue that can cause poor indoor air quality are inconsistencies throughout your home or business. When the air is cold in area and warm in another, then the air from your HVAC system isn’t being distributed evenly. Have the HVAC system inspected and attended to by a professional contractor and the air duct system professionally cleaned will usually eliminate this problem. 

What is acceptable indoor air quality?

From smoking to vehicle exhaust, the  sources of things that have an effect on our indoor air quality, like NO2, PM2.5, and  VOCs.  While the government can put limits and standards on businesses to maintain healthier indoor air quality, there isn’t much they can do for private residences.  Some of the limits imposed to create acceptable indoor air quality are: 

  • PM2.5: A particulate matter has a threshold limit of 25 μg/m3.
  • CO: This colorless and odorless lethal gas, CO, (carbon monoxide) has an exposure recommendation of  35 ppm.
  • CO2: A natural airborne compound has an average of 300 to 400ppm of outdoor concentration and an occupational limit of 5,000 ppm TLV-TWA, 30,000 ppm TLV-STEL.
  • Radon: This radioactive gas is created from the decay of Uranium is carcinogenic with no safe exposure levels, but the EPA has set the level at 4 pCi/L.
  • PAHs: Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons contains organic compounds that are semi-volatile  with a threshold limit of 10 ppm.
  • Formaldehyde: A common VOC that emits from cooking, furniture, and incense burning, has a threshold limit of 0.1 ppm TLV-TWA, 0.3 ppm TLV-STEL.
  • Methylene chloride or dichloromethane: Both are found in solvents and has a threshold of 250 ppm with warning that exposure for a long-term and central nervous system problems are related.
  • Nitrogen dioxide: (NO2) has a one hour standard of 100 ppb limit.

Who regulates indoor air quality?

While the outdoor air quality is regulated by the Environmental Protection Agency, they have no governing over the indoor air quality. However, what they do to help with indoor air quality is advise the public and businesses on what affects it and how it can be improved. The EPA also governs the chemicals and other factors that make up the things that are used inside homes and businesses, such as carpeting, paint, and more.  

clean air filter

What are the four most dangerous indoor air pollutants?

Construction materials, furnishings and other materials or products release pollutants on a continuous basis, creating poor indoor quality. Add activities like cleaning,  hobbies, redecorating, or smoking, and the indoor air quality goes down more.  Appliances that are malfunctioning or unvented, improper use of products add to the degrading of indoor air quality. Four pollutants that are found in these things are: 

  • Asbestos.
  • Carbon Monoxide 
  • Nitrogen Dioxide 
  • Radon 

After reading this piece, you may wonder when it comes to indoor air quality vs outdoor, is the indoor air better? Surprising, telling somebody to go outside and get some fresh air is good advice. The indoor air quality is more often worse than the outdoor air, which could be in part due to the EPA guidelines on the things they have control over. Call 817-244-2511 today for your indoor air quality testing in Fort Worth, TX.

Why is My Furnace Not Heating?

furnace vacuum

Furnace wear and tear

Even in Texas, the winters can get cold, really cold. Sometimes, we go from a temperature of 75 to 40 in one day. The last thing you want on a day like that is the furnace not turn on. What can cause a furnace to stop working and cause you to have an emergency furnace repair?

There can be a number of causes of furnace problems, among them: 

  1. Maintenance: This is when you, the homeowner, don’t schedule the recommended annual furnace maintenance and inspection. The routine inspection and maintenance will minimize the need for those emergency furnace repair and keep the furnace working at optimal possibility. 
  2. Filter: The furnace filter needs to be changed or cleaned every 30 days. When left clogged and dirty, the airflow reduces, and the furnace has to work harder to heat. Not only does this cause an increase in your energy bill but shortens the lifespan.  By changing or cleaning the air filter, you may be able to eliminate a furnace repair service call. 
  3. Normal wear and tear: The normal wear and tear on anything will wear it out, including a furnace. When a furnace is wearing out, it can generate heat control-related issues, even allow the furnace to overheat.
  4. Ignition or Pilot Light: A faulty ignition or pilot light can cause a furnace not to fire up and heat your home. The thermocouple can go out, or any clogs in the system or drafts around the furnace can cause the pilot light to go out. 
  5. Thermostat: A thermostat can quit working properly, causing the comfort level not to set or the fan quit blowing. A thermostat is easy to change or you can schedule a professional furnace repair call to install a new thermostat. 
  6. No Heat: When a furnace doesn’t perform, it can be caused by the thermostat setting, electrical or gas power, or the pilot light not lit.
  7. Not enough heat: A clogged, or ill-fitted filter will keep the furnace heated air from circulating through the house.  
  8. Cycling: When the furnace keeps cycling from “On” to “Off”  is sometimes an indication of either a clogged or dirty filter or the thermostat setting. 
  9. Continuous running blowers: A blower that is continuously running, it is usually the switch needs to be replaced, an easy furnace repair. 
  10. Loud and noisy: A furnace that rattles, squeaks, or rumbles isn’t normal. This often indicates air reduction, clogged burner, or a mechanical problem. Schedule a professional furnace repair as soon as possible. 

What to do if furnace stops working?

The following are four issues that are common when a furnace quits working: 

  1. Dirty filters: As we mentioned earlier, the air filter should be changed or cleaned every 30 days to keep it from becoming clogged up. A clogged air filter will keep a furnace from blowing that warm air you’re looking for on a cold winter night. Change or clean that filter and you can probably save a furnace repair service call.
  2. The thermostat: This could be a simple fix you can do and save that furnace service call with this troubleshooting steps:  Sent the thermostat to heat and set it five degrees above the current room temperature. If the furnace turns on, it’s working. If not, change the batteries. If it still isn’t working, troubleshoot, set your thermostat to heat instead of cool, then set it to 5 degrees above room temperature and see if the furnace comes on. If it still doesn’t come on, change the batteries. Still no heat, change the thermostat or call a professional furnace repair call. 
  3. Make sure the furnace is on: This could be a silly question, but any furnace repair service calls have been fixed by turning the furnace on, especially if you have had it serviced recently during warm weather. If the furnace is on and the thermostat is set to heat, then check the circuit breaker or fuse. Make sure the blower motor’s cover is closed and secured and is turned on. 
  4. The air ducts: When you’re noticing cold spots through your home, check the air vents. Are they all open? Check the air ducts, they may need cleaning, or they may need repairing beyond what you can see. A furnace repair service call may not be the answer, but a professional air duct cleaning could be the fix. 

Should you repair or replace your furnace?

Other than the steps we have discussed here, or you have professional know-how to repair a furnace, it is recommended that you have a professional do any furnace repair needed. Whether the system is electrical or gas, attempting furnace repair yourself could do more damage. 

Can a dirty filter cause your furnace not to work?

Absolutely!  Furnace air filters trap the dirt, debris, and dust from your home, allowing the warm air to blow through the air cuts to be clean. When they aren’t changed or cleaned as recommended, the furnace can’t operate efficiently. The blocked and restricted air flow will overheat the furnace air exchanger and the furnace will eventually quit. 

cleaning out a furnace

How do you diagnose a furnace problem?

There can be numerous reasons why your furnace isn’t working correctly. The following are a few things you can check and depending on the results you get, you may need to schedule a furnace repair appointment. 

  • Furnace not starting: Check the furnace switch, the circuit breaker, the thermostat is on heat and on, thermostat batteries. If none of these work, you need to schedule a furnace repair call.
  • Cold air: Make sure the gas is on, the pilot light is on for gas-powered furnace. If everything you check is in proper order and you’re still getting cold air, call for a furnace repair service.
  • Motor runs but no heat: Call for furnace repair service. 
  • Motor won’t start: Call for furnace repair service. 
  • Flame comes on but cuts off: Make sure the furnace thermostat isn’t on auto, replace the thermostat and if those don’t’ fix your furnace, make a furnace repair call. 
  • Furnace shuts off: Change or clean the air filter, replace the thermostat, and if those don’t fix your furnace, a furnace repair call is needed. 

Are furnace repairs worth it?

Is your furnace worth professional service repair or is replacement the better option? A professional technician experienced with furnace repair and replacement can give you knowledgeable advice. If you’ve had repeated furnace repair calls, and the cost is more than half the cost of a new unit, it is time to replace the unit. Call 817-244-2511 today for furnace repairs in Fort Worth, TX.

What is the difference between commercial and residential HVAC?

HVAC system with fan on roof

What is a commercial HVAC system?

The HVAC system in your home is nothing like the commercial HVAC system at the bank, department stores, or grocery stores, and probably where you work.  From the exterior parts of a commercial HVAC system versus residential HVAC system, they are the same but different. 

HVAC commercial or residential systems are the same in regard to the goal of keeping internal temperatures comfortable, but they are different in sizes, how they are setup, and how the operate. Look at commercial HVAC ductwork for starters, it has to be larger than residential HVAC ductwork because it is cooling and heating larger areas with higher ceilings. 

A commercial HVAC system is installed in larger spaces like businesses and large enterprises, restaurants, and schools, etc. While they work the same, they are larger and more robust which requires different parts that are of robust in stature. The main parts of a commercial HVAC system includes: 

  • The Thermostat: The HVAC system in your home has a thermostat for temperature control. The difference in a commercial HVAC system thermostat is that is wired to control the temperature in a larger area, perhaps 100,000’s of square feet, on multiple floors. This of course, usually entails having a separate thermostat on each floor, but in general, the thermostat for a commercial HVAC system does the same job as your residential HVAC thermostat – just a bigger area. 
  • The Furnace: This is typically the largest part of a commercial HVAC system, like the residential HVAC furnace in your home, but again, it is providing the heat for a much larger area.
  • The Heat exchanger: The heat exchanger is within the furnace and as air is pulled into the furnace, it heats it before sending it out through the commercial HVAC air ducts. 
  • The Refrigerant lines: These lines are what makes the cooling part of a commercial HVAC system cool during the summer by turning the refrigerant substance into a liquid form.
  • The Ductwork and the vents: The ductwork and vents maybe the most obvious difference to the untrained eye because the commercial HVAC ductwork is larger is diameter, longer in sections, and there are more of the vents placed around the structure that is being cooled or heated by the commercial HVAC system. 

How do commercial HVAC systems work?

A commercial HVAC system enables three different operations: air conditioning, heating, and ventilation.  Each of these operations are an individual unit within a larger unit that is the commercial HVAC system, and they are all controlled by a central thermostat, enabling them to work as follows: 

THE COOLING

The air conditioner within a commercial HVAC system uses refrigeration that cools the air. The refrigerants, or substances absorb the heat, and a gas or liquid form is created. The a compressor is compresses that gas or liquate and raises the temperature.

Once the gas or liquid is pressurized, it transfers into a condensation coil where the heat is released and converts into a cool liquid. From there, the blower inside the commercial HVAC system releases the warm air over an evaporator, converting the liquid into a cooler gas, absorbing the heat out of the air and cooling it down. 

THE HEATING

The furnace in a commercial HVAC system gets started by the thermostat signaling heat is needed. The gas valve inside the furnace opens up and the gas burner is ignited. The burner generates the heat that heats the exchanger, and the heat is transformed into the air, flowing through the exchanger and distributed by an internal fan and motor through the commercial HVAC air duct system. 

THE VENTILATION

A commercial HVAC system requires ventilation that allows the right amount of fresh air into the commercial space for both cooling and heating procedures. Without fresh air, the commercial area would be subjected to contaminates and odors. The ventilation system releases harmful contaminants that are created during the cooling and heating process via flues and vents as it allows controlled new air to enter the building through the air ducts.

What are the different types of commercial HVAC systems?

It is essential that a business or public entity have a professionally installed and working commercial HVAC system. Not only is it a legal requirement in some cases, but it ensures that your clients and customers are comfortable as they conduct business. This is especially a significant matter in hospitals and restaurants where the temperature needs to be maintained a certain point. 

Here, we have listed the various types of commercial HVAC systems that are available and what benefits can be expected.

  • Single Split System: A popular choice that is affordable and compact, ideal for commercial shopping, restaurants, small offices, and server rooms. The single split system will sometimes include an air conditioner for cooling the refrigerant, a furnace that converts the refrigerant, and the evaporator coil to distribute the air throughout the structure. A standard thermostat is used to control the unit. Less expensive than a complete centralized system, and if one unit quits, the remain units will still operate. 
  • Multi Split System: This system and a single split system have several similarities in the way of how it operates. The difference is how they function. ng ally speaking, with single split systems. But functionally speaking, there are significant differences between the two. The single split requires each indoor component be paired with an outdoor component.  This multi split system can connect as many as nine indoor units to one outdoor unit. This cuts back on the energy use that the single split system uses and is minimal amount of energy used by a standard commercial HVAC system. There are built-in sensors for temperature adjustments and corrections when needed.

This system also has heat pumps that will help save heating expenses by moving the heat from a warm area to a cool one. A more aesthetic appealing unit with less required units will maintain the structure’s appearance. 

  • A VRF System, aka a variable refrigerant flow system, that is ideal for med size to large spaces like hotels and office spaces. There  is a heat pump type of VRF and a heat recovery type of VRF. The heat pump version provides either cooling or heating independently, not simultaneously, and is ideal for an open floor plan. The heat recovery system, on the other hand, can provide both cooling and heating at the same time and is ideal for a building with several small rooms. 

How long do commercial HVAC systems last?

With routine professional commercial hvac maintenance, you can expect your commercial HVAC system to have a lifespan of fifteen years. Maintenance is important to achieve this life span, including regular filter changes or cleaning, an inspection of all components by a professional commercial hvac installer and technician. 

multiple hvac system

How do you size a commercial HVAC system?

Air conditioners are measured in tons, the measurement of a unit’s ability to cool an heat an area. In simple terms of thinking, one BTU can cool or heat one pound of water by one degree. So, how do you determine what size of a commercial HVAC system you need for your structure? Here is a math equation to use: 

  • The square footage of your structure
  • Multiply it by twenty-five
  • Divide that by 12,000
  • Then subtract  0.5

If you are replacing a unit that it was in the building when you purchased it, the current size may not be the right size today. Commercial HVAC units have become more energy efficient over the years, so the size of the unit you’ll need will be different. 

Using the above formula can help you determine what size you need, but if that is still a confusing figure, ask the commercial HVAC technician you choose to work with. With this formula, you can double check what they are telling you and ask questions is you’re not sure. Call 817-244-2511 today for commercial HVAC in Fort Worth, TX.

What is the Difference Between a Heat Pump and an Air Conditioner?

heat pump system

Does a Heat Pump Really Save You Money?

Are you wondering whether or not a heat pump system will save you money? According to a leading energy resource website, heat pumps do have the capacity to save money on energy bills. This would translate into lower electricity bills for a household. It is also important to consider that installing a heat pump can also be quite affordable as well. One of the major considerations to take into account is the fact that you can save money on fuel consumption in the winter, but a heat pump will use more electricity than a standard furnace and air conditioner as it is heating and cooling your home.

What is the Difference Between a Heat Pump and an Air Conditioner?

Heat pumps have the capacity to both heat and cool areas. This is unlike air conditioners which only have the ability to cool. This is the main difference between heat pumps and air conditioners. Heat pumps have the ability to reverse the process from cooling to heating as applicable to the prevailing weather temperatures.

What is a Heat Pump and How Does it Work?

If you are not acquainted with what a heat pump is, and how it works, now is the best time to learn. Heat pumps are able to transfer heat by circulating a substance known as a refrigerant through a cycle of evaporation and condensation. The compressor pumps the refrigerant between two heat exchanger coils. In one of the coils, the refrigerant is evaporated at low pressure and absorbs heat from its surroundings. 

What are the Disadvantages of a Heat Pump?

While there are many advantages to having a heat pump, it’s also important to consider the disadvantages. Please review the following potential disadvantages to discover more.

  • Upfront costs can be high. The operating costs of having a heat pump can translate into savings on energy bills. However, it is important to weigh the initial price of the unit and installation.
  • The difficulty of installation. If you are on the receiving end of a brand new heat pump installation, you will want to contact a reputable and experienced HVAC company.
  • Carbon neutral. It’s important to understand that heat pumps rely for the most part on electricity to operate, which is why they will never be completely carbon neutral.

Can a Heat Pump Heat My Whole House?

If you are interested in investing in a heat pump to heat the entirety of your home, it will be critical for you to understand the capacity of what a heat pump can permit. For a 1200 square foot two-story home, you would need an eighteen thousand BTU heat pump for that allotted space. There are a number of different considerations to make, such as the number of floors, layout, square footage, and more. Please consult with a verified expert in heat pumps to determine your individual heat pump needs.

What is Heat Pump System?

A heat pump system is a mechanical-compression cycle refrigeration system that can be reversed to either heat or cool a small space. The reason why this system is effective is because even in cold air, energy is present. Whenever the weather is very cold outdoors, the heat pump extracts what outside heat is available and transfers it indoors.

How Do Heat Pump Systems Work

In order to provide heat, a heat pump works by extracting heat from outdoors and transferring it to a refrigeration coolant. At that point, the coolant is compressed and the temperature increases significantly. After that, the coolant is moved to the indoor unit of the heat pump, which passes over the hot coolant.

Heat Pump System for Pool

Heat pump swimming pool heaters are an extraordinary development for aquatic exercise. Heat pumps, in these instances, capture heat and move it from one place to another. These heat pumps do not create heat. Instead, as the pool pump circulates the water in the swimming pool, the water is drawn from the pass and passes through both the filter and the heat pump heater.

heat pump system

Heat Pump System in Cold Weather

Whether the weather outdoors is hot or cold, it is important for you to have a great indoor temperature. When the temperatures are nice and mild, a heat pump can keep your operating costs low. It’s important to remember that when the weather dips into cold and freezing, that the backup gas-fired kicker can kick on to maintain high energy-efficiency levels. Since heat pumps are much better at moving heat rather than generating it, heat pumps are recommended for temperate climate zones.

If you require repairs or a replacement for your heat pump system in Fort Worth, TX, please reach out to us at 817-244-2511.

Why is my AC running but not cooling?

ac outside of brick  house

What are common problems with air conditioners?

Here in Texas, September is not the time for the air conditioning to quit working! Miserable weather with temperatures in the 90s to low 100s, and a humidity level to match, with no wind. It is torture just going outside to get the mail. Yet, it happens to the best of us sooner or later, and the ac repair guys are our best friends. 

With a little bit of knowledge, though, sometimes, a homeowner can do their ac repair emergency before they make that phone call to an ac repair company. It can sometimes be a minor issue, and with that, we’re going to answer a few questions that hopefully will help you next time you find you’re faced with an ac repair job: 

Air conditioners are expensive, and so are ac repairs, probably because they seem to always breakdown when you least expect it, and the budget isn’t prepared. With a homeowner maintenance schedule and regular professional maintenance and tune-ups, you should have fewer, maybe even no ac repair needs. 

If you do, by keeping your end of the maintenance up-to-date, like the filter changed or cleaned, and recording the dates you do this, you may be eligible for an ac repair with warranty. Here are seven problems that are commonly found during ac repair calls and a possible solution: 

1. UNIT WON’T TURN ON

First, check the thermostat and make sure the batteries are good, and if they aren’t, then replace them and check the settings on the thermostat. If the thermostat is in the relaxed mode, and the batteries are good, but the unit still won’t turn on, check the circuit breaker. Trip it back if it is off and try the unit again. If the ac still isn’t turning on, call a professional ac repair technician and turn the unit off. 

2. AIR BLOWING ISN’T COLD

Check the filter and either change it or clean it. A dirty air filter isn’t going to let the airflow through and cool your house. It will freeze up the system, and you may see ice on the condenser because the cold air can’t get to the fan and into the air ducts. The air filter should be changed or cleaned every 30 days, more if you have pets in the house or live in a dusty area, like road construction. 

3. OUTSIDE UNIT FREEZING UP

The outside unit can freeze up if the airflow is insufficient, the outside temperature is low, the unit needs refrigerant, or the blower motor is out. Again, check the air filter and either clean it or change it. Make sure the outside unit is free of any debris or grass.  If all that checks out, call your ac repair technician. 

4. LEAKING REFRIGERANT

When the refrigerant starts leaking from your ac unit, the temperature will fluctuate and won’t cool as it should. It becomes inefficient, starts using more electricity, the coils freeze up, and the compressor could be damaged. Call your ac repair technician to inspect the unit, which will include checking the refrigerant level. If there isn’t a leak, they can add refrigerant, but you need to start budgeting for a new unit by next summer. Refrigerant leaks are usually an indicator you’re going to need ac repair or replacement soon.

5. NOISES COMING FROM AIR CONDITIONER

An air conditioner should be reasonably quiet. If you hear sounds, there could be several reasons why such a hissing sound is refrigerant leaking. Clicking sounds are typically a relay issue. Banging, rattling, or thumping sounds is either the blower or motor assembly. A screeching sound is usually the fan freezing up or going out, and buzzing means your ac unit has an electrical issue. All of these things warrant an ac repair service call. 

6. EVAPORATOR COIL FROZEN

When the evaporator coil freezes, this indicates that the air conditioner isn’t getting sufficient airflow. Check the filter as we have stated earlier, check the ducts and vents, and make sure they are not blocked. If all of that proves to be in good shape, contact your ac repair technician. 

7. ELECTRIC CONTROL FAILED

Over time, the compressor and fan controls can wear out. These can usually be repaired or replaced by a professional ac repair technician. 

How do you troubleshoot an AC unit?

We’ve covered this topic earlier, but redundancy isn’t bad when it comes to working air conditioners in Texas. Here are the things you need to troubleshoot before you call for ac repair service: 

  1. Check the air filter – as you can see from earlier, this is often the root of many problems. Clean it or change it and make a reminder to do this once a month, all year long. If you have animals in the house, live on a dirt road, or there is construction around, you may need to do this twice a month.
  2. Check the thermostat settings – somebody may have flipped it from cool to heat or raised the setting too high, or the batteries may have gone out. Like the filter, this is a common problem that an ac repair call will cost you money, and it doesn’t have to when you check it yourself.
  3. Check the circuit breakers – this is another simple thing to check before you make that ac repair call. If the breaker has tripped and you flip it back on, then it trips again, you need to call the ac repair technician. This electrical power issue means something is wrong with your ac unit, and the circuit breaker is protecting it and your home from damage.
  4. Check the outdoor unit – just like the filter. You should check the outside unit once a month. Keeping grass trimmed away, make sure there isn’t any debris pulled up against it. 
  5. Check the air ducts and vents – if the vents are closed in one room, it can affect the entire house. If the ducts have come loose or broken, the air can’t circulate through the house.

How do I reset my air conditioning unit?

Sometimes, doing a reset on your computer fixes it, and the same is true with an air conditioning unit. Follow these steps: 

  • Turn the AC Unit Off: Turn the thermostat to off first and then follow the owner’s manual to find the shutoff button to the system.
  • The Circuit Breaker Box: The breaker box should have each breaker labeled. Find the one marked AC and turn it off. 
  • Wait 60 Seconds: After turning everything off, wait 60 seconds and flip the breaker back on.
  • Turn AC Back On: Wait another minute, and the AC unit should be reset. Turn the thermostat on and then the AC unit. 

If this didn’t get your air conditioning unit reset, call your ac repair technician. 

person enjoying their home

How long do AC units last?

The average lifespan of an AC system is fifteen years. Some will last up to twenty years if maintenance and upkeep are regular. Extreme weather conditions can affect the lifespan of an air conditioning unit. Some brands will last longer than others, check the warranty when buying new and get the best you can afford.

Can I replace my outside AC unit?

That is going to depend on how old your system is, but generally, no, it isn’t a good idea to do that for several reasons. The inside and outside components were designed to work together as a team. A new condenser may not match up with the older part and vice versa. To get the most efficiency possible and best performance, replacing both the inside and outside components is always the best choice. Need ac replacement in Fort Worth, TX? Call 817-244-2511 today!

What Can Cause a Furnace to Stop Working?

What Can Cause a Furnace to Stop Working?

Are you wondering what would cause a furnace to stop working? There are multiple reasons why. Please review the following bullet points to discover more.

  • Your thermostat could be malfunctioning. Review the temperature of your thermostat to see if the temperature is set correctly. If it is, a thermostat replacement may be the correct repair.
  • The circuit breaker could have been tripped. Check the circuit board and review any connections that are relevant.
  • A blown fuse. If you have a blown fuse, the best person to diagnose and repair your furnace is a licensed and insured HVAC repairman.
furnace repair

Should You Repair or Replace Your Furnace?

It’s an important question to ponder, and it is one that many homeowners must face. Will furnace repair be enough, or do you need a furnace replacement? The age of your furnace will impact whether you should replace it or not. A furnace that is twenty years old, for example, will be far less efficient than a new furnace. If your furnace is consistently having issues and it is decades old, you may want to seriously consider a furnace replacement. A qualified HVAC repairman will be able to tell you exactly what is wrong with your furnace and whether or not it can be repaired at a good price. If not, once again, you may want to consider a replacement.

How Do You Restart a Furnace?

If you have a furnace, it will be valuable for you to know how to restart it should it ever go down. If you have any questions about the following protocol, it is important for you to consult with an HVAC professional. The first thing that you should do is turn the circuit breaker off. At that point, you can turn off the furnace power button as well. The next thing that you can do is access the pilot light by removing the access panel. At this point, it will be important for you to turn the gas control valve off. Allow the gas to dissipate for five minutes before turning it back on. This will help you avoid a fire hazard. As previously mentioned, it is important for homeowners to first consult an HVAC professional before attempting any serious tinkering with your gas furnace.

How Many Times Can I Hit the Reset Button on my Furnace?

It is integral to note that it is not a good idea to hit the reset button on your furnace more than twice. This is because the process pumps oil into the burner chamber where it can accumulate if you have no ignition. Inevitably, when the furnace finally does start, it can cause an explosion. Thus, if the button won’t reset or it quickly pops up again, it is a good idea to call a professional HVAC repairman.

Why Is My Furnace Blowing Cold Air Instead of Heat?

If your furnace is blowing cold air instead of hot air it could be because the filter is too dirty. A dirty air filter is a very serious problem when it comes to furnaces. When an air filter is clogged, it blocks airflow over the furnace’s heat exchanger. This causes the furnace to overheat. Another reason why your furnace may not be blowing hot air is that the pilot light has gone out.

Who to Call for Furnace Repair

If your furnace is acting up, it will be necessary for you to review who the best person is for your furnace repair. There are several different options to consider. For one, you can ask a friend or neighbor for a referral. Another option is for you to go online and use relevant search terms. Once a good HVAC company is selected, you can review their services and their rating.

What is Furnace Repair

Furnace repair can tackle any number of problems that your furnace is having. One of the best ways to address any repairs your furnace needs or any potential hiccups in the coming years is to schedule furnace maintenance. Furnace maintenance is a preventative measure that homeowners can make that involves a thorough inspection and tune-up of your existing system.

Can We Repair Furnace

While you may think you have the tools and the capability to repair your own furnace, it simply isn’t advisable under any circumstances. An insured HVAC repair company is the best way to move forward if your furnace is making strange noises or underperforming.

furnace repair

How to Repair Furnace Humidifier

The best way to move forward if your are attempting to repair your humidifier is to troubleshoot it. If after troubleshooting you are not successful at fixing the humidifier, it is easy to call a repairman to replace it.

If you in need of furnace repair in Fort Worth, TX, our HVAC experts are the ones to call. You can reach us at our phone number, 817-244-2511.