Category: HVAC

How To Save On Houston Air Conditioning By Keeping Things Chill

Top 15 Ways To Keep Your Home Cool With No Air Conditioning In Houston

Warmer months can be particularly hot making you want to sit close to the fan or crank the AC up. While the trick may work, it isn’t the most convenient way to keep your house cool. Turning the AC up only leads to increased energy consumption hence higher electricity bills. Outlined below are a few ways you can keep your home cool and comfortable without air conditioning.

1. Keep blinds closed.

While it may seem like nothing, keeping your blinds closed helps block excess heat from entering your home. Opening the windows and doors equates to around 30% of heat gain in your house, Family Handyman. Keeping these closed and using shades, curtains, and blinds can help keep your home cooler for longer, thus saving you at least 7% in energy bills. Keeping blinds closed prevents the greenhouse effect, a typical case in west and south facing windows.

2. Use blackout curtains.

Blackout curtains create an extra layer of insulation around your windows by blocking direct sunlight. Consider investing in neutral-colored curtains with white plastic backings for better results. According to Consumer Reports, this helps reduce heat gain by up to 33%.

3. Keep your doors closed.

Any entries that aren’t in use, especially access doors, should be kept closed at all times. This helps prevent hot air from getting in the house, as well as prevent fresh air from escaping. You can, however, open these doors in the evening when the air outside is cooler. This should help keep the house fresh and cool.

4. Switch the fans on.

The AC isn’t particularly efficient when the weather is too hot. Fans, however, help keep the air around you in motion, thus giving you a faux sea breeze. You can even hack the fan by placing a bowl of ice in front of the fan facing you. You will be surprised at the extra-chilled air being blown your way through the ice bowl.

5. Swap sheets.

Changing your sheets often helps keep the room fresh, and is healthy for you as well. Swapping the current sheets with those that promote cooling should help keep you comfortable while asleep. While flannel sheets and fleece blankets are good for insulation, cotton sheets are a better option. This is because cotton breathes easier and stays cooler than any other material. You might also want to add one or two buckwheat pillows for extra comfort and cooling.

6. Set The Ceiling Fan To Anti-Clockwise Rotation.

Some people believe the ceiling fan only rotates in one direction. What they don’t know is that it can turn in all direction. The direction of the fan needs to be changed seasonally for improved efficiency. Setting the fan to turn anticlockwise creates a wind-chill breeze that helps cool your home.

7. Lower your body temperature, not the houses.

Air conditioning units were a fantasy several decades ago, and yet our ancestors still survived. Doing it their way by drinking lots of water, and especially iced drinks will keep you cool for several hours. You can also apply a cold cloth on your neck and wrist to drive the temperature down even farther. You might also have to change to lighter clothing as well. Dipping your feet in a bowl of cold water should help lower your body temperature as well.

8. Turn on bathroom and exhaust fans.

Exhaust and bathroom fans are designed to pull hot air out of the house. Turning them on will help get rid of the hot air paving the way for a cool breeze.

9. Heat-proof your bed.

Use a cool chillow as a pillow when you go to bed. Keep your feet cool by placing a bottle filled with cold water at the foot of the bed. If this doesn’t seem to work well, dampen your sheets by popping them in the freezer, and only take them out when you go to bed. This should help keep you cool for some time.

10. Sleep low.

According to science, hot air rises. That said, sleeping low might help keep you cool through the night. One way to do this is by sleeping on the couch downstairs, or even in the basement. If this isn’t enough, put the mattress on the floor. Sleeping on the floor should help keep you cool and comfortable through the night.

11. Open the windows at night.

Despite the hot weather during the day, summer nights are particularly cool and chilly. You can, therefore, take advantage of the chilly air outside to cool your house. One way to do this is by opening the windows to let fresh air in. The fresh air should push hot air out too. You can take this a notch higher by using a fan to force the cool air in. Simply place the fan close to the window to help force fresh air in the house. Remember to close the windows and blinds first thing when you wake up.

12. Play around with the windows.

Did you know you can hack into your windows to create a cooling pressure current? To do this, open the top section of windows downstairs, then open windows the bottom part of the windows upstairs. Use a fan to push hot air our through the upper windows. This effect can be amplified by hanging a wet sheet in front of the window, like a curtain.

13. Switch to CFL and LED lights.

Most households use incandescent bulbs for lighting. These bulbs not only waste energy but also release heat making your home warmer than it should. Replacing these with LED or CFL bulbs should however take care of the heat gain. LED and CFLs use up only a fraction of the energy hence lower electricity bills. Making the switch will also help keep your home cooler.

14. Do your grilling outside.

Many of us use the oven or stove for grilling. This only leaves your home hotter than it was. The last thing you want to do under the hot summer sun is turning on the oven. Consider grilling outside or in the backyard. It is much safer there.

15. Take on long-term improvements.

There are many ways of ensuring your home is cool and comfortable. Taking on long-term home improvements to make your home energy efficient will go a long way in avoiding the AC route. Simple things such as installing window films, planting vines and trees around the house, and adding awning near windows and other openings should help reduce heat gain in the house. These also absorb heat inside the house leaving it more comfortable than it was.

Please feel free to give us a call or contact us today! Also, we invite you to visit our blog for more related articles.

What Is The Life Span Of Your Houston Air Conditioning Unit?

How Long Does an AC Unit Last In Houston Texas?

Is your air conditioner giving you signs that it is about to quit? If so, you may be wondering if it has lived a full life or not. The average life expectancy of a central air unit is about 15 years. If the unit is well maintained it can last for 20 years.

To keep an air conditioner running well it has to be maintained. This involves a few simple steps. Get it tuned up once a year, change the filter out and keep the outside condensing units free of debris, dirt or leaves.

Another factor that determines the lifespan of your AC is where you live. An AC unit in Texas, for instance, will run about 24 hours every day. An AC unit in Indiana, however, only runs for a season. When an AC runs often it undergoes a lot of wear and tear. Even if you keep it maintained it will still fail a lot sooner than a unit that only runs once a season. If you live near an ocean, the salt air will rust the AC’s components out and cause it to fail soon. Never point sprinklers at the unit. This can also cause rusting to occur which is another way an AC unit can fail faster.

You know the saying that “you get what you pay for” is true. Keep it in mind whenever you buy an air conditioner. Buying an HVAC system is a significant expense. Do your research carefully. Make certain that you work with an experienced HVAC technician to determine which system is best for you.

You want the HVAC to last. So, you need to be sure to get a product that is built to last and get it from someone from a quality team. Ignore any company that sends a salesperson out while wearing an HVAC tech’s outfit. It’s a gimmick! At AC Man, we treat you with respect and do so without any gimmicks. Both the salesmen and technicians work to sell and service equipment fairly. They go over all your options in detail.

If your AC unit goes kaput – stay cool! Remain calm and collected – AC Man is here to help!

We are the first choice for Houston AC service and AC repair in Katy, TX as well as the Greater Houston area. You have choices when it comes to your heating and cooling service. We know that. This is why we go out of our way for our residential and commercial clients. We can service and repair all types of AC units from all top makers.

Our technicians are professional, courteous and knowledgeable. They will provide you with a detailed estimate that you approve before the work even begins. When the summer heat hits hard, you need your AC to be working optimally. Having a fully functioning AC unit is essential and it can be a true lifesaver. Do not get caught with an air conditioner that is on its last legs.

Our Highly Rated Air Conditioning Repair Services

Come to AC Man in Houston for complete and reliable air conditioning repairs. Our top-notch technicians can help you with every one of your AC needs including maintenance and repair, or replacements and routine servicing. We take care of all makes and models of air conditioners. Depend on us for a huge selection of central AC systems. We are proud to be one of the few companies around that have certification.

We are the best of the best. So many others just will not pass this test. If you have received quotes for low-quality AC units, consult with us. Your home must be a comfortable, safe place that offers plenty of space for your family to rest and relax. Do not let indoor air pollution spoil it. Did you know that indoor air pollution is one of the top five environmental dangers?

Give us a call today for more information or you can visit our blog for more related articles.

Helpful Tips For When You’re Looking To Replace Your Houston HVAC System

3 Quick Tips To Keep In Mind When Replacing Your HVAC System In Houston

While there are several factors you need to consider when choosing an HVAC system, the process is not that complicated. What matters is picking the right HVAC because such an investment is not one that you will make regularly. As such, you should be familiar with what’s available in the market, the efficiencies of the different HVAC, their maintenance or repair demands, and price ranges.

We always emphasize on the need to call us and schedule an appointment for your heating and cooling systems to be examined by an expert. But even before you do this, you need to be aware of a few things that you should do so that make an informed choice when discussing with our technicians. It is more fun and way better to be informed before you handle matters or topics you are less conversant with.

1. Review the HVAC system types.

Some of the HVAC systems available include the duct-free split system, geothermal systems, split systems, and the hybrid heat split systems among others. Go over these to know as much as you can about them and be in a position to make an informed choice. You can also review the videos you find to have some practical knowledge or the workings of the HVAC systems.

When armed with such data, you will be in a position to have a lively and informed discussion with the HVAC technician about various issues such as the SEER rating, heat pumps, geothermal systems, and the recommended tonnage.

2. Make the smart choice, consider a smart thermostat

Most of the electrical tech available today is automated, and now is the best time to consider investing in the latest HVAC systems. It is about time that you automated the operations of heating and cooling in your home or office. Gone are the days of having to stand around as you click on buttons trying to program HVAC systems and having to reset them.

With the latest tech, you not only have it easy, but you also get to save money and energy. If what you have in your home is yesterday’s technology that is not yet obsolete, it soon will be, and there is no need to wait until such a time. Make the right investment today and start saving energy, time, and money. Moreover, the current HVAC look amazing and will be an addition to your home or office that will impress all that you welcome.

3. Maintenance plans are worth the money.

Would you buy that dream car and fail to check and change the oil or have it serviced? If not, then the same applies to your new HVAC. We know that some of the “specialists” out there will not be quick to recommend maintenance plans. Such a move would only see you planning to have a system starts to malfunction and stop working no sooner than it has been installed.

Do not be fooled into believing that maintenance agreements are self-serving for the HVAC experts. Such plans are customer-serving, designed to keep your HVAC units running smoothly. For us, they make work easier when we come to inspect the system and show that we are the guys to call for matters related to heating and cooling systems.

Find out more by visiting some related articles on our blog. Contact us or give us a call today for more information.

Heat Pump Or Gas Furnace?

Should Houston Homeowners Get A Heat Pump Or Gas Furnace?

Houston homeowners often wind up asking the same question if they need to replace their home’s heating and cooling system. Should they get a heat pump, or should they get an air conditioner and furnace system?

There is a good rule of thumb to use when choosing between a heat pump or a more conventional AC/furnace combo:

If you live somewhere really warm, like Houston, that has electricity cheaper than gas, then seriously consider a heat pump. On the other hand, if your location has sub-freezing temperatures in winter and your electricity costs more than gas, use a combination of a furnace and air conditioner. Simple enough, right? Your utility rates and local climate should determine just which HVAC system is going to be your best bet.

We’ll go into why each of these factors matters as well as how they apply to Houston homeowners.

Why Climate Matters

To know why climate is so decisive as a factor, it’s important to first understand how heat pumps work.

The following is a simple explanation:

In the summertime, a heat pump will work like an air conditioner does, as it uses refrigerant to actually absorb the heat of your home’s air before moving it outside. In wintertime, it does the reverse, as it extracts heat from the air outside to move into the home. That’s different from gas furnaces that produce heat by burning fuel. So this is the point where climate factors in. If the weather goes below 40F, a heat pump isn’t able to heat a home up to the temperature setting the thermostat is at. So, it would have to have a backup heating system that can kick in and help out.

A gas furnace.

A gas furnace is certainly more efficient than an electric coil. As such, a lot of homeowners choose to pair up their heat pump with a gas furnace in order to have a ‘dual-fuel heating system’. Now, you might be thinking why would you get a heat pump and a furnace when you can just opt for an air conditioner and a furnace? The answer comes from how often a heat pump needs to rely on its backup heating system. In most of Houston, a heat pump only needs to rely on its backup gas furnace for only a very few winter days that get really truly cold. So, even though a heat pump/furnace combo might cost a bit more in advance than an AC/furnace combo, your utility rates could be lower across the calendar with the former over the latter. We are certainly implying that the heating rate of a heat pump doesn’t cost as much as a furnace’s. That topic is covered in the next section.

Why Electric Vs Gas Rates Are Deciding Factors

Heat pumps and air conditioners have similar cooling efficiencies. A 13 SEER heat pump will cool just as efficiently as a 13 SEER AC unit. That should simplify a few things for you. So, your only necessary comparison is the cost of using a gas furnace as compared to a heat pump. In the end, everything comes down to how much electricity costs versus how much gas costs. Per Entergy, a heat pump might save you around $300 per year. That makes heat pumps the better heating option in Houston in terms of cost-efficiency.

Find A Reputable Houston HVAC Contractor

Regardless of the particular heating/cooling system you choose, the caliber of the installation has a huge influence on how much efficiency you’ll get. Per ENERGYSTAR, the estimated savings potential of a good installation will range from 18 percent up to 36 percent for air conditioners or heat pumps, but 11 percent to 18 percent for a furnace.

Should You Repair Or Replace That Old Furnace?

Use These 3 Factors To Decide Whether You Should Replace Or Repair Your Gas Furnace

It’s sad to hear that your furnace is no longer working as it should.

The hard part howev, however,ves making a choice between spending your money on repairs or a new replacement.

Keep the three essential factors listed below in mind when making this decision.

1. How Long Has The Furnace Been In Use?

If your furnace doesn’t have a long life ahead, you don’t want to be spending too much money on repairs. Before you decide, make a comparison between its average lifespan and its current age.

According to the National Association of Home Builders, the average lifespan of furnaces is estimated to be somewhere between 15 and 20 years.

If you don’t know how old your furnace is, use the following tips:

  • Inspect the unit for a year of installation. This information is written on furnaces by some installation technicians.
  • You need to switch off the furnace and give it some time to cool down before you conduct the inspection. Check for a metallic identification plate, normally on the chamber door of the furnace. Copy the serial and model numbers there. To get a specific date on when the furnace was manufactured, contact the manufacturer using their customer service number.
  • You don’t have to replace the furnace if you find out that it was made more than 20 years ago. With proper maintenance many, furnaces deliver reliable performance long after the 15 to 20-year useful life.

2. Replacement versus Repair Costs

Make a comparison of these two costs while considering the age of your furnace:

  • Furnace repair cost.
  • Furnace replacement cost.

Remember the following to ensure that you arrive at the correct repair cost, Seek numerous quotes.

To find out if you can save on repair costs by paying for labor and getting parts for free, remember to find out what the warranty covers and whether it is still has some time before it expires.

Replacement costs are determined by:

  • Your preferred furnace size
  • Your desired Annual Fuel Utilization Efficiency level
  • Single or two-stage and type of blower
  • You might have to spend anything between 1,100 and 6,000 dollars on a new replacement.

As a rule of thumb, if the repair cost of your furnace is a third, or more, of the replacement cost and it has already been in use for two thirds, or more, of its useful life, you should seriously consider having it replaced.

For instance, it is better to replace your furnace, in the long term, if it has been in use for 15 years or more and requires an 800 dollar repair cost, versus a 2,400 dollar replacement cost.

3. Your Current Situation

The most important factor to consider is your current situation. Some situations and issues may relate to you:

  • Your available budget: Your budget, at present, may not allow you to spend big on a new furnace, making repairs your only option. However, if you really need a replacement but can’t afford it, consider seeking financing.
  • Huge energy Bills: If you are looking to start making savings on your energy bills, consider getting a replacement. Depending on the energy efficiency of the new furnace you stand to make savings ranging between 10 and 25 percent off your energy bills.
  • Your Expectations: You might be better off having your furnace replaced if you it always struggles to meet your expectations.
  • Frequency of Repairs: It is best that you replace an old furnace that is always in need of some sort of repairs, regardless of how much they cost.

Contact us now or call us today for more information!

HVAC Repair Specialists Troubleshoot Your Finicky Furnace

Furnace Blowing Cold Air: A Homeowner’s Troubleshooting Guide

Homeowners live in a huge range of climates, and every house is different. Turning on your furnace universal, though. No matter who you are or where you are, the last result you want is a blast of cold air.

What could be behind this sort of mechanical betrayal? Lots of things! There are many issues that can push down the temperature of the air your furnace emits, and some of them can be easily solved without professional assistance.

Before you get on the phone to your preferred HVAC experts, here are four solid pieces of furnace troubleshooting advice:

Check The FAN Setting On Your Thermostat

If your heating system seems to alternate between hot and cold air, the culprit might be a blower fan running full time.

Check your thermostat’s fan setting. If it’s turned to “ON,” your heating system’s blower will be running around the clock, whether or not your furnace is actually warming up the air in the system. This can easily produce chilly air currents at unwanted times.

To solve this problem, simply set the fan to “AUTO” on your thermostat. This will link the blower to the furnace so that it only pushes out air when the furnace is running.

Check The Air Filter Of Your Furnace

An old, dirty, clogged-up filter can cause your furnace to blow cold air.

This happens because your furnace relies on a steady flow of air over its heat exchanger. If that airflow is impeded by a clogged filter, an automatic filter may be shutting your burners off to prevent damage. Allowing the heat exchanger to get too hot could cause it to crack.

To fix this problem, check the furnace filter and replace it if it’s dirty. You’ll need to shut your furnace down (at the thermostat) first. Note that resetting the furnace may require professional assistance.

Check Your Pilot Light

In older-model furnaces, the burners need a standing pilot light to switch on. If the pilot light has been extinguished, the heating system won’t function.

You can relight your pilot with this simple procedure:

  1. Turn your furnace off.
    Switch your thermostat to the “OFF” position.
  2. Locate the plot light and reset switch.
    These pieces of equipment are usually at the bottom of the furnace. If you’re having trouble finding them, check your manual. The furnace reset switch is typically behind an access cover you’ll need to open. The switch will have three settings: PILOT, OFF, and ON.
  3. Set the reset switch to “OFF” and wait 5 minutes.
    This step shuts off the gas flow. You need to wait to let any remaining gas dissipate.
  4. Set the switch to “PILOT” and press it down.
    This restarts the gas flor to the pilot light.
  5. While holding the switch down, hold a lighter at the pilot opening.
    When the gas catches and the flame lights, you should see a steady blue flame. If it’s working properly, it should hit the furnace’s thermocouple (a small copper bar) right in the middle.
  6. Set the switch to “ON.”
    This will allow your furnace to function properly.
  7. Turn your furnace back on at your thermostat.
    Set the thermostat to “HEAT” again. Start with the temperature setting 5 degrees below your normal room temperature and check for hot air.

If Your Pilot Light Won’t Light Or Hold A Flame

If the pilot light isn’t functioning properly, you need professional help. The problem may be a broken thermocouple (which is a cheap, fast repair) or something more serious.

Check Your Condensate Line

If your home has a more modern, high-efficiency furnace, you may have a condensate line blockage. The blocked line will cause your furnace to shut down automatically. The telltale sign of a blockage is puddled water around the furnace.

High-efficiency furnaces produce water (the condensate) while they’re running. This has to drain out of the furnace, typically through a PVC pipe. If water can’t leave, it will trigger a kill switch and shut down the furnace so that the water can’t damage it.

Condensate lines can be blocked by dust, dirt, mold, or (if the line runs through an uninsulated area) ice. Your furnace may also suffer condensate overflow if its condensate pump breaks down. This is another problem that requires a professional fix.

You can use this in-depth Energy Vanguard tutorial to help you unclog a condensate line. If your line is being clogged with ice, use pipe insulation and heat tape to wrap it where it runs through unconditioned spaces.

Contact us now or call us today for more information!

What Sort Of Questions Should You Be Asking Your Houston HVAC Repair Company

HVAC Questions That You Should Ask Your Service Provider (And The Answers You Should Get) Part 1

Do you trust that your contractor will answer the HVAC questions that you have honestly? When you are looking for an HVAC service provider to repair broken equipment, do preventative maintenance or install your new unit, we know you will have some questions that you need answers to. Over our many years in business, we have been able to figure out the top HVAC questions that people are wondering about but are not comfortable to ask. That might be due to the fact that you don’t think you will get an honest answer from a service provider who only wants to sell services to you.

So today we will be giving you honest answers to some of the toughest HVAC questions that people ask. AC Man of Houston is the Houston metro area’s biggest HVAC service provider. We have been providing these services for over 60 years. Therefore, we have plenty of information about everything we are telling you. So go ahead, ask your HVAC company these questions and find out if they give you the same answers that we are giving you today.

Reliable answers to the main 5 HVAC questions

1. How long is my new air conditioner expected to last?

A majority of light commercial systems have been built to last for approximately 15 to 20 years. However, there are various conditions that may shorten their life expectancy. When rooftop and outdoor units get exposed to salt air and smog, since they are in Houston, build-up and corrosion of debris may damage the parts. This is also true when it comes to corrosive chemical exposure as frequently occurs in manufacturing plants.

Probably the most common thing that causes the early demise of an air conditioner is neglect. Your system needs to be cleaned and maintained on a regular basis to get the maximum life expectancy from them. that means twice per year at least (once before starting it up in the spring and then again in the fall when the system is shut down), you will need to have a certified HVAC professional to come out and tune up and thoroughly clean your air conditioner. Having an annual maintenance contract means you will receive the best price and get reminders.

2. Does it really pay off to spend money on maintenance on a regular basis?

As previously discussed, AC Man of Houston repairs and maintains thousands of HVAC systems each year (sometimes during the busy season it is every month) so our answer is based on our extensive experience. I promise that our customers who have a preventative maintenance contract, with well cared for equipment, experience few costly repairs and breakdowns compared to those who neglect replacing worn parts, tune-ups, and cleaning. Preventative maintenance not only helps you save money on repairs but also helps your equipment to last for a longer period of time.

It can also help save money on your energy bills also. When deposits and debris build up in your air conditioner’s fan blades, coils, and other parts, it results in the metal corroding, which can lead to refrigerant leaks and finally system failure. This results in a drain on your system, which forces it to constantly run to keep the area cool and to use more electricity during the process. If you clean the unit on a regular basis it will help to ensure that it runs at its optimal efficiency and will keep its parts in good condition in order to last longer.

3. Can Your Maintenance Staff Do HVAC Cleaning?

There are some cases where this is possible. If you have an air conditioner that has a heavy load, your cleaning crew could be able to dust the soils and remove debris from around the unit. However, you need to ensure that they do not use any liquids around the electrical components.

While this is possible, you will still need to have the system cleaned by a professional twice a year. Professionals have special chemical cleaners that will remove any scale and other buildup from the coils. They are also able to clean parts of the system that would be dangerous for the maintenance staff to work with including the fan blade.

Drain lines will also be kept clear by a professional cleaning and drip pants will be emptied to prevent mold. If you work with a certified HVAC technician, they will be able to check the electrical connections and refrigerant while inspecting the whole system for any wear. Potential signs of trouble will also be picked up by a professional and these are all tasks that you do not want to leave to the maintenance team.

4. Your Air Conditioning Unit Keeps Breaking Down, Should You Repair Or Replace?

There is no simple answer to this and you will need to take a number of factors into account when you make your decision. You need to consider how old the unit is. If it is older than 10 years, it would be better to replace the unit instead of repairing.

The maintenance that has been done on the unit is also important. If the system was regularly maintained, cleaned and serviced, you could probably keep it going for longer. This is particularly true if the parts are still in good condition.

What is broken will also need to be looked at. If you have a problem with the compressor or the coils ate leaking, you should replace because repairing will be expensive. If it is an electrical problem, you should consider repairing because this may be simple and inexpensive.

If your unit is using R22 refrigerant, you should look at replacing it. This refrigerant is being phased out by the EPA and you will need to replace the unit at some point.

5. How Can You Reduce The Expense Of The Air Conditioner In The Summer?

There are a number of ways that you can improve the energy efficiency of your air conditioning system. Some of these ways are easy such as replacing the filters and using a programmable thermostat. You should also ensure that all maintenance is being done including the cleaning of the coils and fan blade. This will keep your system running correctly and reduce energy waste.

You should also look at adjusting the temperature by a few degrees. You might be surprised at the amount that you can save by doing this. This is generally something that you should do when there are fewer people in the building.

Replacing your old system with a new one can also help you save money. A new unit will often use less electricity which enables it to pay for itself through your energy savings. If you know the SEER rating of your current unit, you will be able to calculate how much you can save. If the unit has a SEET rating of 8 to 10, a new unit with a rating of 18 will save you up to 50% on your energy bills.

How Do You Know You Can Trust Your HVAC Service Provider?

Unless you have worked with the provider for a number of years, it can be hard to determine if they are trustworthy. There are some companies that will show you what they are doing during their maintenance visits and this can help you trust them.

Contact us now or call us today for more information!

Houston HVAC Company Addresses Heat Pump Maintenance & Their FAQ’s

Learn More About How Houston Heat Pump Maintenance Can Benefit You

We’ve been discussing in our blog all month that heat pump technology is rapidly evolving, and heat pumps are picking up in popularity in colder climates. In fact, you may be considering a heat pump yourself, if you’re interested in:

  • Supplementing your existing heat system
  • Replacing your existing combined systems with one combined solution
  • Reduce your carbon footprint and boost your energy efficiency
  • Reduce your regular energy costs and enjoy the heat pump tax credit

However, if combining heating and cooling into one system concerns you, especially when it comes to maintenance, you don’t need to worry.

This week, we’d like to go through the questions that we get asked most often, as well as offer some standard heat pump maintenance tips to help you feel more at ease.

Do heat pumps require service?

Like any other heating or cooling system, your heat pump will benefit from regular preventative maintenance. The difference between a system that is well-maintained and a system that is neglected can range from 10% to 25%, according to energy.gov.

Heat pump maintenance on a routine basis will help ensure that the system performs at its best. It will also help limit damage to the components, including the compressor, making sure that your expensive investment is well protected.

Routine service limits the risk of the heat pump needing unexpected and expensive repairs, as well as helping the system to run more reliably.

What does it cost to maintain a heat pump?

The cost of maintaining a heat pump will vary quite a bit, depending on where you live, how often you have the service performed, the age of your system, and who provides the service.

To understand why the preventative maintenance is worth the ongoing investment, let’s examine the difference between the cost of this important preventative measure and replacing a heat pump after it’s gone bad.

The national average cost for residential heat pump repair ranges from around $350-$1250.

The cost of preventative maintenance on the heat pump averages $170, making this service both cost-effective and a smart option. You can also save on the price of this routine maintenance if you sign a contract for ongoing service with the same HVAC provider.

Can I troubleshoot my heat pump on my own and do my own maintenance?

You should definitely keep an eye on your heat pump for specific issues that commonly develop so that you can prevent future issues.

For example, the defrost cycle will typically run when it is quite cold outside. However, if you notice that the defrost mode keeps coming on, or stays on for more than fifteen minutes, it may be time to call in a professional to evaluate your system.

You can also keep your heat pump running at its best by taking care of routine tasks like dusting around the vents and replacing the air filters.

The reality is that preventative heat pump maintenance is not a job that you can do on your own. If you’re not experienced and trained, it’s very dangerous to work with refrigerant and high voltage electricity. You could wind up doing more harm than good. In these cases, it’s important to turn to a skilled professional for ongoing HVAC maintenance.

How often should the heat pump service be scheduled?

Professional heat pump maintenance should be scheduled at least once per year.

If you use the heat pump for the main heating and cooling system, as opposed to a supplemental system, it may mean that you need to schedule this service twice yearly – once in the spring and once in the fall.

Contact us now or call us today for more information!

How to Eliminate Bad Locker Room Smell Before You Lose Customers Part II

Have Houston HVAC Technicians Take A Closer Look At Your Gyms’ Bad Locker Room Smells Part II

Deep Cleaning At Least Once Every Week

If regular cleaning is not helping with the situation with the locker room, then you should consider deep cleaning because it can help go to the root of the problem. Scrub and sanitize lockers and benches at least once a week so that you will be able to reach spots that you miss when cleaning daily.

Removing The Carpeting

Have you ever seen someone put a carpet in the bathroom or kitchen? People don’t do this because it ends up getting stained, damp, and gross very easily. This is the same case with a carpet at a fitness center.

Carpets absorb humidity and this can result in the room smell. A gym is a place that has a lot of traffic and this makes it hard to keep the carpet clean. You should consider replacing the carpet with less absorbent options like a tile. This will help in eliminating odors and making it easier to clean the floor.

3 Ways Of Controlling Humidity To Lose The locker room smell

Improving Ventilation

Keeping humidity low is important if you want to control odor. This is because moisture in the air will lead to the odor lingering, so ensure you have humidity levels in check, and more importantly the locker room. Locker rooms are the most humid part of gyms because of people sweating and showering. Other high humidity areas are pools and steam rooms.

According to the International Building Code, moist air needs to be vented out instead of being recirculated. This will mean having a proper ventilation system that will be able to keep the room healthy, odor-free, and up to code.

Fitness centers have a higher risk of air quality issues like increased CO2 levels. Exercising results in a number of changes in the body, and these include faster breathing and elevated heart rate. Breathing faster will lead to a higher production of CO2. Breathing too much CO2 is unhealthy, and it will leave a person feeling tired and foggy, which is not something anyone wants to feel when they are exercising. This is a common problem in dance studios, weight rooms, and an enclosed space where classes are taking place. This is why it is important to ensure ventilation is there.

If you are still using an old system (you have not updated your HVAC), you should get it checked by an HVAC professional so it can work how it is supposed to. There are a number of things that can be done to increase the effectiveness of the ventilation system. Some features that can help with these include HEPA filters, which traps mold, bacteria, and small particles.

Duct Cleaning

The HVAC ducts are responsible for moving air around the gym and through the HVAC system. With time, they can start clogging with dust and accumulate moisture. When the air is traveling through these ducts, it will end up picking the smell then carry it throughout the building. If you have to deal with nasty odors inside the gym, then it is a good idea to have the ducts checked and cleaned by a professional.

When the ducts are cleaned, the HVAC will circulate fresh air.

Regular HVAC Maintenance

When the ventilation is working well and the ducts are cleaned, it is still important to maintain the HVAC equipment. This is because things such as blocked condensation drains, clogged air filters, and water leaks can all lead to smelly gyms.

You should consider getting maintenance services twice a year. This ensures everything is working well and prevent the gym from smelling. Regular maintenance will prevent breakdowns that can sometimes affect your business because of the lack of AC or heat. The cost you are to spend on maintenance is less than what you could have spent or repairs.

Clean air is important for any clean gym. There is no need to lose your customers because of issues like odor. You can schedule regular HVAC maintenance so you don’t have to worry about it again.

Visit the first part of this article by visiting here. Call or contact AC Man of Houston today with any questions that you might have!

How to Eliminate Bad Locker Room Smell Before You Lose Customers Part I

Have Houston HVAC Technicians Take A Closer Look At Your Gyms’ Bad Locker Room Smells Part I

The New Year has started and what this means is more people coming to use the gym. It is normal to see a high number of people showing up in the gym at the beginning of the year. There are many new and returning customers looking to accomplish their resolutions. You should ensure your gym is a place where people will want to come back to. Having a bad locker room smell is the fastest way of ruining your first impression.

The good thing is that it is not hard to fix this problem. Below are some tips you can use to deal with locker room odor and keeping the air clean and fresh.

Let’s start by looking at why the odor is more than just a nuisance; it is also bad for health. This is not something you want in a place where people are coming to improve their health.

The Smell Could Be A Sign That There Is Poor Air Quality Indoors

Poor indoor air quality could cause the gym locker to smell bad. When there is odor around, then there could be pollutants and bacteria too. Odors are usually carried around by humidity, and when there is moisture in the air, it provides the perfect condition for bacteria or mold to grow. Spreading of germs in the gym is easy because there are many people entering and coming in contact with equipment. When you improve the air quality in the room, you will make the place a little healthier.

There are other causes of odors in the room. There was a study done and it showed that the gym has a high level of indoor pollutants like carbon dioxide, dust, VOCs, formaldehyde, and dust. If you notice a chemical smell, then that could be VOCs from the paint, carpet, and other building materials. This is more common in old buildings that have an outdated HVAC system. When you breathe in these substances over time, they will start causing health problems such as breathing difficulties, infections, rashes, nose, eye, and throat irritations.

When people are searching for a gym, they will look for a place that has a pleasant environment. You can easily lose a lot of customers because of the smell in the locker room of the gym and poor quality of air. This is why it is important to ensure there ventilation and quality air inside the room, or else you end up losing a lot of money. People going to the gym want to improve their health, and the last thing they need is the poor quality of air as they exercise.

There is a good chance you have tried different products to get rid of the odor but they don’t work. They will succeed in covering up the odors, and some will even absorb them. But they are not able to deal with the source of the problem. How can you get rid of this problem once and for all?

The Basics For Odor Control

Removing Used Towels Regularly

One of the biggest contributors to the nasty smell in the locker room is used towels. In order to contain the odors and humidity, consider using laundry baskets that have lids. The laundry baskets should also be emptied on a regular basis. You should also look out for any towels left on the stalls, hooks, and benches too.

Stepping Up Dialing Cleaning

You already have a system you follow when it comes to cleaning, but if you have not gone through the routine for some time, then the routine might not be working the way it should be. There are some areas that you will need to clean more regularly. Some of these areas include bathrooms, drains, showerheads, and saunas.

Emptying The Lockers On A Daily Basis

You should not wait for your customers to properly clean the lockers. If you don’t know what has been left inside, it could be contributing to the smell in the locker room. It is a good idea to empty them every day. You should tell the customers that anything they leave behind will be put in the lost and found or thrown out.

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