What You Do When Your AC Breaks Down In Houston

Your Guide To Knowing When Your Houston AC Unit Needs Maintenance

What do Houstonians fear the most? It is their air conditioner breaking down! And there is a good reason for this! Losing the refreshing coolness can be brutal when humidity and temperatures are in the 90’s or higher. However, air conditioners do break down, and then they do, you have to be fully prepared. The two major kinds of AC outages are your AC dying due to a mechanical problem or age or because your electricity has gone out.

What To Do Whenever Your AC Breaks Down & Your Electricity Is Out?

Assuming that your house was cool when your AC broke down, you should do the following:

Darken Your House By Closing All Of The Blinds Or Curtains.

You will ideally have blackout curtains on the window to help with blocking out the heat from the sun. If not, then cover up windows as best as possible.

Leave Your Windows Closed As Long As You Can.

If you have cool air inside of your house already, but you can bet that it is less humid compared to outside. For as long as possible, keep your windows shut and blinds drawn. Depending on how long you are without electricity, you might need to eventually open them. However, keep the drier air that is inside your house as long as you possibly can.

Rinse A Sheet Or Towel Out In Cold Water And Then Put It Over Yourself As You Are Sleeping.

Wear cotton. Put on the loosest, coolest cotton clothes that you own. Cool down as fast as you can. If you feel really hot, cool your pulse points down using ice or cold water. Those points include behind the knees, ankles, elbows, groin, neck, and wrists. Just be sure you don’t leave your freezer open for a long time. You want all of your frozen foods to last for as long as possible.

Keep Away From Everybody.

That sounds very antisocial. However, you will be a lot cooler if you are not sleeping or sitting next to someone. Besides need, there is a reason, the people have slept together in the same bd before there was central heating – which was to generate heat. So keep your distance, if you would like to stay cool.

Stay Hydrated.

That means you need to drink plenty of water. There are other adult beverages and liquid that are not hydrated. Whenever you are hot, you end up losing a lot of hydration from sweating. It needs to be replenished.

Sleep On Your Floor.

There are file floors on many houses in Houston. Although it is not comfortable, it is cool and tiles do not retain heat the way a mattress does. Keep in mind that hot air rises. Stay on your first floor, if you have a second one. When it is time to go to bed, think about sleeping on your floor instead of the top bunk. That is one time your kids won’t be arguing about who should sleep on top.

Take Off Your Socks & Shoes.

Keep all of your pulse points free of any warm and tight clothing.

Eat Cold Foods.

Especially since they are melting anyway in your freeze. Take the ice cream and popsicles out and enjoy them while you still can.

Open Your Windows.

You will eventually have to open your windows if the outage does last long enough. Get as much cross ventilation as you can when you do this. However, if your house faces the west or south, and it is in the middle of the afternoon unless there is a refreshing breeze that is blowing through, it is usually best to keep your front windows covered up. The sun will warm your house a lot more efficient than the breeze can cool it down.

Go someplace where there is electricity or go swimming.

Outages are often localized. Just because there is no power in your neighborhood, the AC at the library or mall across town might be working just fine. During the hottest part of the day, find someplace to cool off, like a local Houston pool.

From hurricanes to car crashes to blown transformers to unexpected lightning storms, those who live in Houston seem like they lose electricity several times per life at least. This is why it is so important having the following items handy.

  • Bottled water. If possible, store it in a dark, cool place (64 ounces for each member of your household. That will get you through the day. Also make sure you have water for your pets.)
  • Battery-operated fans
  • Clean towels
  • Flashlights
  • Battery-operated weather radio to stay current on weather conditions.

One last note on the Houston area’s bad weather. There are some unexpected outages. However, when there is a storm, the power can go out any time. Make sure your phone stay charged. Allow your battery to go down to 10% means if the electricity goes out then your phone will die right away.

You will lose your phone power eventually, but if it is fully charged when the power goes out, it will last much longer. That is important since you can keep informed on when the electricity is going to be restored.

What To Do When Your AC Dies Or It Needs to Be Replaced?

If your air conditioner dies due to age or a mechanical issue, here at AC Man of Houston is here to help and has 24-hour AC technicians on call. So how can you tell if your air conditioning unit is about to die? Typically, there are signs that will clue you in.

The Temperature Varies From One Room To The Next

Whenever you can detect a noticeable difference in temperature by simply walking into a different room, then your air conditioner will start to lose its ability to evenly distribute cool throughout your house. The air filters might be clogged or dirty, but it also can signal that the motor on the AC unit is not as efficient and is set to die.

The AC Is Very Noisy

If the AC unit in your house is very noisy, then most likely it is working harder than it is supposed to be to keep cold air circulating all through your house. AC units that are about to die with frequently make a squealing or clanging sound whenever they are running. That might mean the compressor is about to die, the ban blades have worn out, or there are some loose parts inside of the unit. No matter what the reason is for your air conditioner is so loud, there is a high chance it is about to die.

The AC Will Not Turn Off

If your air conditioner continues to run, but your home is not getting very cool, then the motor on the unit might be becoming overworked and is about to break down. That can signal that there is a refrigerant leak or problem with the compressor. Also, the system might get clogged with dirt that is blowing inside, and that might be causing the AC unit to not be as efficient as it should be. If the temperature inside your home is not getting as cool as the temperature that is set on your thermostat, then you might need to replace your air conditioner.

The Air Inside Your Home Is Dusty And Dry

Another symptom of a dying air condition is it not being able to filter impurities like carbon monoxide, mold, and dust out of the air. That might not only be a sign that your air conditioner is dying, but might affect your health as well. If you have a dry throat or notice an unusually high amount of dust on the furniture, you definitely should have your air conditioner looked at by an AC technician as soon as you can.

The AC Unit Needs To Be Repaired Frequently

If your air conditioner has to be repaired frequently, then investing in a new one is probably a good idea. At some point, it won’t be worth it to keep paying for repairs, and your AC technician can inform you whether or not you need to get a new AC unit.

The AC Unit Is Old

If you have an air conditioner that is over 12 years old, then it might be time to get it replaced. However, run time is a lot more important than the age of the unit. That is especially true in Houston, where a majority of air conditioners run all year long. The bottom line is you need to monitor your AC unit’s condition, so you would be surprised if it breaks down.

Do You Need A New AC Unit?

At some point where the AC unit will finally die a natural death. Therefore, you need to be prepared to replace it, especially during those long dog days of summer in Houston. Our highly experienced and trained technicians will inform you of what your options are. If you do need to get a new air conditioner, then AC Man of Houston has affordable financing options available for you.

Air Conditioning Maintenance Services

There are trained Comfort Specialists on our staff who are here to help you achieve a comfortable home with colling services – from superior equipment, design, installation, maintenance, and customer service. AC Man of Houston will assist you with improving your home’s efficiency by providing you with prompt and precise service. AC Man of Houston technicians can service all brands. We are one of the most trustworthy air conditioning repair companies in Houston. The commitment of our staff to customers and our expertise is what sets us apart in our field and in the Houston area. Combined with our quality products and technical services, we guarantee to provide the best customer service experience to you.

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

Most Common Problems With Your Houston AC

How To Solve The Most Common AC Problems In Houston

In Houston air conditioning is an absolute necessity, and life can be miserable if your air conditioner breaks down. Repairs can be expensive, so it is very important to ensure that your air conditioner is in optimal shape through regular maintenance. It is a good idea to always be aware of some of the most common problems that can occur with your air conditioner.

10 Of The Most Common Air Conditioning Problems & How To Solve Them

Filter

One common reason why air conditioners do not work correctly is a dirty or clogged filter. Follow the recommendations of the manufacturer to find out how frequently to change the air filter on your air conditioner. Some are once a month, others are every three months, and others are reusable and need to be cleaned whenever they get dirty. One way of determining whether a filter should be cleaned or not is to check to see if there is any light passing through it. If you can’t, then it is time for you to clean it. Not only do dirty filters reduce air flow but may cause the air conditioner unit to freeze as well.

Thermostat

Another thing that is easy to fix is to ensure your thermostat (which controls your home’s temperature setting) is turn on, that it is clean inside, that it is level, that sunlight is not affecting it, and it is on the proper setting. If the problems still persist, then there might be another problem.

Refrigerant Leaks

Whenever the coolant starts to leak in your air conditioner, then the unit will not perform properly, and the temperature is going to fluctuate. The leak’s location with affect how much the repair costs so it is recommended that you have a trained AC technician examine your unit every year.

Drainage

The drain line, like the filer, can become clogged with lint, dust, and dirt. If it does become clogged, then the drain pan will start filling up, and water is going to leak out which can potentially cause damage to the air conditioning unit or whatever is surrounding your pan.

Fuses Or Breakers

The fuses and breakers protect the AC unit’s compressor or motor from overheating. Whenever a motor dies, quite often one of the first parts checked by the HVAC technician is the breaker.

Capacitors

If there were no capacitors, then the motor powering the fans and compressor will not work. A jolt is sent by the start capacitor to activate the motor and the run capacitor sends out a series of jolts in order to keep the motor operating. If either one burns out the AC unit will not run efficiently.

Compressor

Energy is applied to the refrigerant by the compressor and propels it throughout the coils in order for heat exchange to be carried out. If the compressor does not work, then the AC until cannot cool your home. The compressor will start running hot and seize eventually if there isn’t enough refrigerant. If there is too much refrigerant then it will return back into the compressor, and that may cause the compressor to fail.

Evaporator Coils

Heat in the air is absorbed by the evaporator coils and send it back into the house in the form of cold air via air ducts. Evaporator coils can become corroded. However, if they are inside, then typically they will only need maintenance once every three years or so.

Condenser Coils

These coils are on the outside along with the compressor. Therefore, they can get dirty from the element. Usually, you can use a water hose to clean them one per year. However, if they become too dirty, you will need to get an HVAC technician to use a chemical cleaner to get them clean.

Worn Contactor

AC units have contractors for the condenser fan motor, the blower motor, and the compressor. These contractors make electrical connections that start the compressor and motor. If the contractor has pitting and arcing on it, then it becomes hard for the motors to be started by the electrical current.

Check out our blog for more related content. For more information on Houston HVAC services, contact AC Man Of Houston today by giving us a callContact us today for any questions or concerns.

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 directions. 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 throughout 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 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.

Tips On Maintaining Your Air Conditioning Unit In Houston

Maintain Your Houston Air Conditioner For Better Results

In many areas, an air conditioner is really an absolute necessity, and that doesn’t even dive into the idea of how much AC really affects the quality of life. However, an air conditioner isn’t magic, it’s a machine, and that means it needs proper maintenance to keep it up and running at full efficiency. This means paying special attention to the coils, fins, and filters in an air conditioner. If you don’t pay attention to these, then over time the air conditioner will steadily lose power and effectiveness.

Don’t Forget The Filters!

This is one of the most frequent, and important, tasks that will fall to you to make sure your air conditioning unit is running at full capacity. Filters get dirty over time and with a lot of use, and that means not only does the air not get as cold, but the air conditioner works harder to push that air through. Add in the fact that not changing filters can eventually result in dirt, dust, and other things getting through to the coils and that can cause bigger issues with other parts of the air conditioner.

Pay attention to how often air filters need to be changed and make sure to change them out on a regular basis. They aren’t expensive and changing out a dirty filter can help increase an AC unit’s efficiency a full 15% or more in some circumstances. That’s nothing to sneeze at.

Air Conditioner Coils

There are a couple of coils that need attention. There are the condenser coils and evaporator coils. Both can collect dirt and other airborne debris. A clean filter is a great way to prevent more dirt from gathering. At the same time, making sure to keep the coils clean is important. Reducing airflow isn’t good for the air conditioner. The good news is that these coils don’t need to be checked up as often as filters.

Generally speaking, you want to look at cleaning the coils once a year. This will normally be enough, and keeping all the coils clean is important to prevent additional heat from building up within the system. You want heat absorbed where it is supposed to be, but the other parts of the unit to cool air that is brought in without bringing in a lot of other dirt and gunk.

Maintaining The Coil Fins

Generally speaking, the fins that are found on both types of coils are made with aluminum. This means that they can be fairly easily bent and when that happens airflow can be partially blocked. This is why you will want a “fin comb” which is a pretty common tool available in most handyman type stores. Using these fins will allow you to comb them back to their original pristine condition which will maximize the cool air flow.

Check The Condensate Drains

The biggest concern with drains is if they get clogged. If this happens, then the air conditioner is going to have a tough time reducing humidity. It only takes a stiff wire to run through the drain channels to see if there are any clogs and then clear them out. Clearing these out will help the air conditioner work at full speed once again.

Check The Seal

If you’re using a window unit as opposed to centralized air then you will want to check the seal around the unit before each summer to make sure that it is solid and will keep hot air out so the air conditioner’s cold air can be more effectively contained inside.

Talking To A Professional

Sometimes you will need a professional technician to check on things. The technician will have the skill and tools to check on refrigerant levels, see if there are any leaks, take care of any necessary repairs, measure air flow, and make sure your unit is fully back up to snuff and working at full capacity. There are many small issues that can affect the overall effectiveness of the air conditioner that only a fully trained and certified technician can figure out so if you’ve gone through all the basic maintenance steps and still can’t figure out what’s wrong then it’s time to call a professional.

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

AC Man Houston | Local HVAC Company | Professional Repair & MaintenanceWhile 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 there 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 looks 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.

How To Troubleshoot Your Furnace Before Calling A Houston Heater Company

Troubleshooting Your Furnace: 4 Quick Fixes To Try Before You Call A Professional AC Man In Houston

Would you want to spend $100 and then be told the obvious? You wouldn’t?

We didn’t think so. However, that is what frequently occurs when homeowners in Houston call us about furnace repair. The “problem” is often caused by a minor problem that could have been repaired, which could save themselves the expense of a service call.

If your furnace is not working the way that it should be, wait on the service call. First, try out the following 4 simple troubleshooting tasks. If they do not fix the problem, then call us for assistance.

1. Check The Thermostat For Problems

Is your furnace not turning on? First, check your thermostat and then do the following tasks:

  • Make sure that your thermostat is set on “heat” and not on “cool”
  • Also, be sure the thermostat is turned 5 degrees higher at least than the room temperature is.
  • Replace the battery on the thermostat
  • Open up the thermostat and blow out any accumulated dirt or dust. If your furnace is sometimes blowing cool air, you should check your thermostat fan setting in order to be sure it is on “auto” and not “on.” A furnace’s “on” setting” causes the blower to run continuously even when the air is not being heated by the furnace.

2. Check Your Furnace Filter

Is the furnace randomly shutting down? Does it run for long periods of time and seem to not heat your house? Is it weak air coming out of the vents? If so, then the furnace filter may be dirty.

When your system has a dirty furnace filter it restricts the airflow over the heat exchanger over the furnace, which can cause a number of different problems:

  • The heat exchanger overheats and then shuts down.
  • Soot may accumulate on the heat exchanger, which reduces the efficiency of your furnace. This reduces airflow that comes out of the vents. Which means that the furnace is operating, but you are never comfortable.

The owner’s manual for your furnace should show where the filter is and direction on how to replace it. Your filter should be checked once a month at least and then change it, as necessary. So when is a filter considered to be “too dirty” for you to keep? Hold your filter up to a light. If you are unable to clearly see any light coming through, then replace the filter.

3. Check The Shutoff Switches & Circuit Breakers

Is your furnace refusing to turn on no matter what the temperature has been set to? It might be turned on. The following are a couple of places to check:

  • Standard wall switch close to the furnace. It may look like a regular light switch.
  • Circuit breaker panel. Search for the switch that has a furnace label close to it. When the switch is in the center position, that means it is tripped. Turn the switch to “off” and then “on.” If that results in the circuit breaker tripping again, then you have another problem that needs to be fixed (such as having to replace the air filter.)
  • The front panel that covers the blower. Be sure the panel is shut closed all of the way. Under the panel is a switch that must be depressed in order for your furnace to work.

4. Open Up Any Air Vents That Are Closed

Homeowners frequently close the air vents in the rooms they are not using in order to save money.

However, when vents are closed in any room it actually causes the opposite to occur: it actually wastes money – and may also cause your furnace to shut off.

How?

The size of your furnace is designed for heating up your whole house, including unused rooms. Closing vents will not reduce how much air is pushed out by the blower. It only increases the pressure inside the air duct system.

(Picture yourself attempting to run while breathing with just one nostril. You are still attempting to move around the same amount of air, but there is a lot more pressure that travels through only one nostril.)

The added pressure within the duct system can cause several of the problems that you might be experiencing:

Less comfortable – A majority of houses have air duct leaks, that allows for the escape of conditioned air. Extra air pressure inside of the ducts pushes out more air through the leaks – or creates even more air leaks. This means that less air is getting into certain parts of your house.

Furnace continues to shut down – The added pressure causes your blower to work at lower speeds. That decreases the air over your heat exchanger, which cause it to overheat and then shut down. That is like you have a dirty air filter.

Call or contact us 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 the 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, however, is 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 in 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 metal 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!