|Identifying Common Heat Repair Problems|
|September 15, 2012 - Heating And Cooling |
By Blake Ballard
If you are a homeowner, you are almost guaranteed to have to deal with heat repair problems at some point. This article will run you through some basic diagnostic steps to help you get a fair estimate; it is not meant as a do it yourself guide, nor should you try to fix your heating system yourself.
There are potential hazards not only in damaging your HVAC system, but you run the risk of personal injury if you try to repair it yourself. For your own sake, please leave the work to the professionals!
This article is meant to familiarize you with common heating issues. This way, you are better prepared to get an estimate, and you may even be able to identify a dishonest contractor.
Checking Your Ducted Heating System for Problems
In all cases with electrically run systems, the first place to check for a failure is the breaker or fuse box. If a breaker is flipped or a fuse is blown, your solution could be as simple as flipping the breaker or replacing the fuse.
If that does not fix the problem; whether your breaker/fuse is flipped or blown, or if it immediately flips or blows after you close it, you at least have some information to provide to the contractor about your ducted heating system.
If the problem could not be solved at the breaker or fuse box, the next place to check is your thermostat. Sometimes friends and family will change your thermostat's settings or even turn it off and forget to tell you. If your thermostat settings are not out of the norm, then you should check your air filters.
Unless you have specialized electrostatic filters, this is an issue you can take care of yourself. Filters should be changed once a month as a general rule. A filter that has gone longer than this without being changed can dramatically affect the air flow in your system, which can cause problems with it working effectively.
Over a long enough period of time, inadequate maintenance on your filters can cause even more pressing problems with your system. If changing your filter does not fix your problem, it is definitely time to call a professional.
Identify Your Heating and Cooling System
Not every heating and cooling system is the same, and different systems have different needs. To narrow down heating problems, you need to know what kind of heating system you have. These come in 3 types: Heat pumps, furnaces,and boilers.
Heat pumps are becoming more and more popular. Simply put, heat pumps move warm air to cooler areas, and cool air to warmer areas. These are outdoor units for the most part, but there are also some that operate indoors.
Furnaces are easy to find, but telling them apart from boilers can be slightly more tricky. Both can be found indoors, and usually in "out of the way" places such as the attic, garage, basement or (in the case of furnaces) in a dedicated closet. The main way to identify furnaces is that furnaces heat the air directly and blow it into ducts.
Boilers, on the other hand, heat water contained in pipes and radiators, which can then either heat rooms specifically, or provide heat that can be blown through duct work. Few homes use room radiator heating anymore. In either the case of boilers or furnaces, and sometimes with heat pumps, natural gas is the usual fuel that is used for heating your home.
Keeping Your Head With Heating Repair Service
There are two primary causes of heating repair problems. One is that it's a result of a faulty installation;the other is bad maintenance.
If you have already had someone try to fix your problem, it is also possible that they did not adequately fix your heating problem, or they may have inadvertently caused another problem.
When your contractor makes his estimate, he will probably ask you if you have checked the breaker/fuse box, the thermostat and the filters. Having already done this, you will have saved a lot of time and effort in the estimation process. He can then go on to check the duct-work, look more in-depth at the thermostat, and at the heater itself.
The net result is that as you shop around for a good estimate for your heat repair, you will have shaven off about 15 minutes for every contractor to make his estimate. This can save you a substantial amount of time searching for the right contractor, and that is all the earlier that you can get your home warm and toasty again.
You can also see through the contractors that say you have a "radiator leak" when you know you have a furnace!
Are you in need of a Las Vegas heat repair provider that handles any job no matter how big or small? Try a company that has been in the area for decades and knows the seasons of Clark County like the back of their hand. Sahara Air has 24 hour dispatch at (702) 796-9677. Visit our website for more information at http://www.SaharaAir.com
Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=Blake_Ballard
|Win The Battle Over Rising Heating Costs|
|September 22, 2011 - Heating And Cooling |
(ARA) - With fall approaching, the leaves drop to the ground and the temperature begins to plummet, but your heating bills move in the opposite direction - 'tis the season of high heating costs. According to early reports, heat and oil prices will continue to rise, which can cut a large chunk out of your home heating budget this winter, if you're not careful.|
It's not too late to do something in the battle against rising heating costs. You can start by winterizing your home, plugging up the leaks and drafts that deplete energy - and your family budget. Here's your money-saving strategy:
* Start early - When the weather is still balmy, take care of the places outside your home where the uncomfortable chill of new seasons can creep indoors. Then, move inside to ensure there are no "holes" in the house where the chilly drafts of winter can hide.
* Be prepared - Rounding up products in the fall that will ensure comfort and warmth is a DIY task that is easier than you think. With the affordable, easy-to-use tools on the market, the job is doable in a weekend. Try these products for a sure victory in the heating cost battle:
For interior and exterior doors, there's Duck brand Double Draft Seal. Engineered to hug the bottom of a door or window from both sides, the seal offers two layers of protection from drafts. It has exclusive adjustable straps to keep the seal from sliding and getting stuck in the door. The seal is designed to work on a variety of floor types and features abrasion-resistant, washable fabric. It works well on windows as well. The window can be closed onto the flat middle section for a snug, double sided seal.
Stop drafts through windows by using Duck brand Roll-On Window Kits, which provide an airtight seal against the energy-sucking winds of winter. These kits are practically invisible, come in a variety of sizes, are easy to install, fit snugly to your window frame and can be easily removed come spring. You might also consider dressing your windows for the winter. Thermal drapes, blinds or other window clothing can protect not only your windows and your family's comfort, but your finances as well. If you are able to make a more costly investment in window replacement, double glazed windows provide the best protection against wind and ice.
For outdoor faucets that freeze from frustrating cold winds, consider covers that insulate and protect. Faucet covers can help prevent pipes from freezing and save on expensive repair work. Duck brand offers two kinds of faucet covers: a rigid foam version and a flexible, insulated version. These faucet covers work on a variety of faucet types.
Layer up - As the winds of November cause you to wear extra layers, it's time to think about insulation for your home too. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) estimates that homeowners can typically save up to 20 percent of heating and cooling costs (or up to 10 percent of total energy costs) by air sealing their homes and adding insulation in attics, floors over crawl spaces, and accessible basement rim joists. Discover the best products available, such as foam or eco-friendly ways to do it yourself. Insulation does not require maintenance, upkeep or adjustment, so it's a reliable member of the team that will secure your home from the frigid weather.
Protect the warmth - Make sure your furnace is well maintained, which means cleaning filters monthly to maximize their efficiency (and save money). At a minimum, change the filter every three months. A dirty filter will slow down air flow and make the system work harder to keep you warm or cool - wasting energy. A programmable thermostat is ideal for people who are away from home during set periods of time throughout the week. According to EnergyStar, a properly programed thermostat can save about $180 every year in energy costs.
Plug the holes through walls - Select Duck brand Socket Sealers to combat the cold air that invades your home from indoor and outdoor electrical outlets and switch plates. They are easy to install and made from flame retardant foam. Rubber, foam or silicone weatherstrip seals can also be used to insulate around doors and windows and keep your home comfortable and cozy.
Make yourself a promise this fall - you will close the door on heat loss, slam the windows on energy drain and reward yourself with ample savings throughout the winter. Improving your household's energy budget will help keep your family warm and comfortable, so start early. Rest assured the tools to be victorious over energy loss are better than ever, the steps are simpler than imagined and the results are almost immediate.
For more information and tips to protect your home and your wallet from the weather that can drain your energy usage, visit DuckBrand.com/HomeSmart.
|Stationary Generators Offer Added Security|
|January 03, 2011 - Heating And Cooling |
(NAPSI)-Increasingly, homeowners are seeking alternative sources of energy that can meet their needs in an emergency.|
When a home loses power, off goes the heat, out go the lights, the food in the refrigerator spoils and the garage doors can become disabled. Losing power for days, weeks or even longer can be costly, inconvenient and dangerous.
While many homeowners have tried to address their need for electricity in an emergency with a portable generator, portability may not be the key. Experts such as the American Red Cross suggest that during power outages, permanently installed stationary generators are better suited for providing backup power to the home than portable generators.
An automatic standby generator can sense an outage and respond immediately. There are no extension cords to plug in, gas tanks to fill or switches to flip. Plus, portable generators-if misused-can cause hazards such as carbon monoxide poisoning from toxic engine exhaust, electric shock or fire.
However, in the past, some have found the cost of automatic stationary generator systems to be prohibitive. The good news, according to Jake Thomas of Generac Power Systems, is that all that is changing. There are now automatic standby systems available at nearly the same price as a portable generator.
Said Thomas, "Our new 7-kilowatt [kW] CorePower System consists of a generator and transfer switch conveniently packaged together at a price point significantly less than any other automatic standby generator and switch combination on the market-for as little as $1,799. Its compact design is engineered for easy maintenance and serviceability and is ideal when space is at a premium."
Automatic standby generators operate on natural gas or liquid propane vapor, eliminating the fuel storage, spillage, spoilage or odor concerns that are common with gasoline or diesel models. Because of their favorable emissions profile, gaseous-fueled generators, such as the new Generac CorePower System, are becoming increasingly popular as an environmentally conscious solution for backup power needs.
For those who want to go even greener, Generac's new EcoGen generator is the first automatic standby generator designed and warranted for off-grid use when used in an alternative energy system. Whether one is living off grid by choice or as a requirement, EcoGen is considered an affordable, reliable, propane-fueled alternative to traditional standby and portable generators.
Generac introduced the first gaseous-fueled automatic home standby system in 1989 and has been the leader in standby power ever since with its popular Guardian Series line.
For more information, visit www.Generac.com or call (888) GENERAC.
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|Considering Air Duct Cleaning? |
|September 24, 2010 - Heating And Cooling |
|How to get what you paid for|
(ARA) - News that the air inside your home can actually harbor more pollutants and irritants than outside air may have you thinking about taking steps to improve your indoor air quality -- such as having your home's heating, air conditioning and ventilation system (HVAC) cleaned. With cool weather approaching, you know your family will spend more time indoors and you want the air they breathe to be as healthful as possible.|
Duct cleaning is a good way to remove irritants from the air inside your home and can help your HVAC system function better for longer. But if you've ever had your ducts cleaned and wondered just what you paid for, you may be hesitant to go through the process again.
"Unfortunately, it's easy to find bait-and-switch offers by individuals or groups purporting to be experienced duct cleaners," says Aaron Marshbanks, board member of the National Air Duct Cleaners Association (NADCA). "If someone comes to your home, sticks a big vacuum hose in a duct, turns it on for a few minutes, and then hands you a hefty bill, you didn't get a proper duct cleaning. A proper cleaning involves not just the ductwork but all the components of your home's HVAC system as well."
It's not always easy to know when you're getting your money's worth out of a professional service, especially when it involves an area of the home that you don't normally see -- or know that much about. NADCA offers some advice to help you evaluate whether a duct cleaner is doing the job right, or sucking money from your wallet for a shoddy job.
First, know the "why" behind the service
HVAC systems not only provide warm air in winter and cool air in summer, they are also supposed to keep air moving and fresh throughout your home. Dust, debris and allergens naturally build up in the system as it carries air through the ducts and filters out irritants.
To determine if your system needs cleaning, use a screwdriver to remove a floor or wall register. Use a small mirror and a flashlight to look inside the duct. Or, use a digital camera, held inside the duct, to take a picture of the interior. If you can actually see any dust, dirt or debris, it's time to have the system cleaned.
Next, know the "what"
"It's actually a misnomer to call what NADCA certified professionals do simply 'air duct cleaning,'" says Marshbanks. "Actually, the entire HVAC system should be cleaned, including the air ducts, coils, drain pan, registers, grills, air plenum, blower motor and assembly, heat exchanger, air filter and air cleaner."
Not cleaning all components of the system can lead to recontamination of the entire system, thereby minimizing the benefits of any cleaning. "Just as you wouldn't only clean half your living room floor, you would also not want to clean only part of your HVAC system," Marshbanks says.
A proper cleaning should not only involve the big hose stuck in the ductwork, but actual cleaning of the HVAC components as well. NADCA suggests homeowners run down a checklist with the duct cleaner of just what he or she will be doing as part of their service. You can find a checklist on the association's website, www.nadca.com.
Find a qualified professional
As with any contractor you hire, make sure you check an air duct cleaner's credentials and references before you give him the job. One way to find qualified HVAC technicians near you is to log on to NADCA's home page, where a search function allows you to find a NADCA-certified professional by ZIP code. Members of the nonprofit organization must meet stringent educational and performance standards.
Courtesy of ARAcontent
Advice to help you evaluate whether a duct cleaner is doing the job right, or sucking money from your wallet for a shoddy job.