Summer Vacation Tips

 

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Its offically Summer! Do you have a vacation planned? Heres some great tips to protect your HVAC while your gone!

– Set the thermostat

Some people believe that turning your HVAC system off while you’re out of town is a great way to conserve energy and save a little money. We however do not recommend this. Your heating and cooling system is designed to run continuously. Keeping the system running will prevent frozen pipes during the winters and development of moisture and mold during the summers. We recommend setting the thermostat about five degrees higher or lower depending on the season than your usual temperature before going on a vacation.

– Install a surge protector

This is an easy effective and inexpensive way to protect your HVAC system from being toasted due to a power spike or outage.

– Clean the exterior unit

Again this is something you can do even when not going on vacation but a great thing to check before you go! Ensure that you clear all debris from your outdoor unit. This includes leaves, sticks, tree limbs, and grass clippings near the exterior unit that may hinder the air flow. Clogged air vents can strain the HVAC unit performance leading to a mechanical failure.

– Change air filters

Regularly changing your filters is always important but especially before going out of town. This will ensure that your unit does not need to take extra energy while operating. A clean air filter will make sure that the HVAC system works efficiently and does not break down when you are away.

 

 

Dryer Vents

Dryer vents are blamed for many house fires across the nation. The reason fires get started is typically due to clogged vents. Over time lint from cloths builds up inside the dryer vent and slowly over time restricts air flow. At a certain point the lint can be forced back into the dryer area landing on the heating elements of the dryer and catching on fire. This of course is the extreme problem that may occur and one that is certainly the most serious.

What most people do not consider is how a partially blocked dryer vent can cause excess electrical consumption, and unnecessary wear and tear on you dryer. As the vent from the dryer starts to fill up with lint it forces the dryer to work harder and you will find yourself having run your dryer longer and longer to get cloths dry. This may not seem like a big problem but the over all affect is more money on your electric bill and a shorter life for your appliance.

Things you can do
Some things you can do to help avoid these problems is to always clean your lint trap out every time you use your dryer
-Check behind the dryer to ensure the dryer vent hose that attaches to the dyer and wall is not obstructed and kinked off.
-Check outside where the dryer vent terminates to ensure the screen is not obstructed or clogged with lint or other debree
-Finally having a professional come out once every year to clean the dryer vent out from wall to where it terminates outside will help considerably in preventing a possible fire. It will also help your dryer run efficiently and hopefully longer.
If you would like a your dryer vent cleaned out please contact Evergreen Heating & Air, LLC at (704) 449-3454

Air Flow Issues

Do you find that one half of your house stays cooler or warmer than another? Or a certain room in your house is always very cold or very hot? You may have an air flow problem. There are so many different things that could be causing this from clogged vents to damaged ducts. It could even just be the way your duct and installation was installed. If this is a newer problem before calling your local HVAC professional there is a few things you can check on your own. First ensure your filters are clean. Dirty clogged filters can reduce air flow. If that’s not an issue you can try checking your actual vents. Check out our spring cleaning blog for more information on cleaning these. At this point if you have not solved your problem it’s time to call a professional. They can access what the problem is and decide what to do. They may want to install more registries or do some testing and balancing. For more information give us a call at 704-449-3454.

Why is my AC blowing warm air?

Is your AC blowing warm air? Below we have listed some possible causes and solutions.
• Dirty Evaporator Coils
If the evaporator coil gets dirty or clogged there may not be enough airflow to allow for proper cooling operation. This can actually be caused by a dirty air filter. A dirty air filter can actually cause your evaporator coils to freeze which can cut off the air flow. You can try to cut power off to the unit and change the air filter. Wait about an hour or so and then turn it back on. If the coils freeze up again, turn the unit off and at this point it’s time to call a professional technician.
• Thermostat
Remember your Thermostat is a key player when it comes to your HVAC. If your every having issues this is one of the first things I recommend checking. Obviously ensure your AC is set on cool and you may want to make sure that the batteries are working and that the temperature is not set too high.
• Condenser Coils                                                                                                                            Check your outdoor unit. Something could be blocking it or it could simply just need cleaned from built up dust and debris. Just as we mentioned the indoor evaporator coils need free airflow, so do the outdoor evaporator coils. If your outdoor unit is clogged we recommend calling a professional because it could cause more damage and even be dangerous to attempt to do this yourself.
• Refrigerant
We tend to find one of the main reasons for a malfunctioning air conditioner is low refrigerant. It could be a leak in the coil, poor assembly, or a variety of issues. Refrigerant/Freon can be very dangerous. Unless you are a qualified technician, you should never try fixing refrigerant problems on your own. If you notice your AC blowing warm air and hissing/gurgling noises there is a good chance your unit has too much or not enough refrigerant.

4 Ways to Improve Air Quality in Your Home

4 Ways to Improve Air Quality in Your Home
• Air Purifier: Air purifiers will actually clean the air in your home this is especially a great idea for those with allergies. We recommend models that features a High-Efficiency Particulate Air (HEPA) filter, which is proven to eliminate 99.97 percent of common airborne allergens like dust mites, pollen, mold spores and pet dander.

• Duct Cleanings: We recommend having your ducts clean once a year especially if people in the home have allergies or health issues. Every time your furnace runs, it blasts tiny particles of pollen, dust, dander, and other contaminants into your home’s air. These contaminants foment the growth of fungus, bacteria, and mold. Keeping Ducts clean can greatly reduce this.

• Change Filters Regularly: Changing your filters regularly is not only important for your HVAC system but as well as your health! Most people tend to use the disposable filters we recommend checking these every 30 days. Check out our blog about filters to learn more!

• Open Windows: These may seem like an obvious one but the air quality outdoors is always much better than the air trapped inside your home. Open your windows on nice days and let the fresh air in!

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Spring Checklist for your HVAC

Spring is in the air! Most people have heard of Spring cleaning, but did you know this should include your HVAC? As we have talked about in other blogs first and foremost you need to have an HVAC professional out before you start using your air conditioner regularly. During this visit they will clean coils, check fluids, test system operation and much more. This will help prevent those inconvenient breakdowns during the scorching summer months and help your unit run more efficiently. There are also some things you can do as well.

Clean Floor Vents
It’s very easy for debris and dirt to get into floor registers it’s a great idea to add this to your clean springing yearly to prevent them from getting clogged or not working properly. This is simple to do. Remove the vent from the floor and place it in warm soapy water. I recommend letting it soak and the using a sponge to clean thoroughly. Make sure to let try before placing the register back on the floor.

Clean Air Vents
Dust and dirt builds up on your return air vents as well. There’s a few ways you can go about cleaning these. I just use my vacuum to suck up any loose debris and a small brush to wipe it down.

Dryer Vent Cleaning
This is one you will need to call your HVAC professional for. Clogged dryer vents can lead to other issues such as hacing to run dryer excessively to get cloths dry (costing money) dryer not working at all, or worse case it may cause a house fire. we recommend having this one at least once a year.

Clean Bathroom Exhaust Fan
Turn circuit switch off to the exhaust fan. Then remove cover and clean thoroughly. Wait until dry and then replace.

Adding heat & air to your basement?

Are you or have you considered finishing your basement? Maybe you want to make a game room or even a guest space? Whether you’ll be using a general contractor or doing it yourself, you will need to consider if your current heating and air conditioning systems can accommodate the additional space and if not how it will be cooled and heated. We evaluate this by considering the system your home has and how many square feet it covers as well as other factors. If your home’s existing heating and air conditioning systems are not at the capacity needed you then need to decide whether to upgrade your existing heating and cooling system to a larger capacity system, or add a second heating and cooling system for your basement. This question to me can only be answered on a case by case situation depending on how old your unit is, how efficient your current unit is etc. If you do decide to add a separate system for the downstairs I typically recommend a ductless mini-split system. These heat pump systems do not require ducts to be ran therefore saving time and money. If you’re ready to move forward in this process call your local HVAC professional to evaluate the job and they can talk you though your different options.

Space Heater Safety Tips

Space heaters can be great for temporary use or to help with heating certain rooms with airflow issues, although we do not recommend using them as your main source of heat. They can be dangerous below we have listed some safety tips to utilize when your space heater is in use.

• First off read and follow all manufacturer’s directions for your space heater. All models are different.
• Keep anything that can burn at least 5 feet from the heater including but not limited to curtains, blankets, and clothes.
• NEVER leave a space heater unattended. Turn it off when you’re leaving a room or going to sleep, and don’t let pets or children play near a space heater.
• Never put a space heater on a countertop unless it’s specifically designed for it.
• Install smoke and carbon monoxide alarms and test monthly.
• Don’t use gas- or oil-burning space heaters indoors, only outdoors.
• Do not use an extension cord or power strip, which could overheat and potentially result in a fire.

Tankless Hot Water Heaters vs Standard

Have you considered switching? In my professional opinion this is really based on what your homes needs are as well as your expectations. This blog will help you learn more about each as well as some pros and cons. As always if you have any specific questions feel free to reach out and I will help in anyway I can. Let’s get started. Tankless water heaters instantly heat water as it flows through the device, and do not retain any water internally except for what is in the heat exchanger coil unlike the standard which heats water stored in a tank. That’s right this means no more running out of hot water! You wouldn’t have to wait thirty minutes in between showers or have to use cold water. Tankless heaters have been around for quite some time, but they haven’t gained popularity until recently in the United States. Efficiently is another big plus for a tankless water heater. It only heats water on demand. It’s a compact system that heats water when you need it, and turns off as soon as you turn off the water source. They are also better for the environment and will reduce greenhouse gases. Studies also show the life span is greater on the tankless systems, and they typically offer a longer warranty. On the downside they are more than double the cost of a typical water heater and may not be as beneficial for a smaller household and home. Not all homes are ready to support tankless water heaters. For homeowners with electric-only utilities your electrical system may needed to be upgraded, which could possibly add more cost. We do offer free estimates if this is something your interested in give us a call to schedule your free quote!

Maintenance Tips for Pet owners

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We all love our fur babies so not only do we want to ensure there safe, but also that your keeping your home safe. Everyone should have regular maintenance done at their home but if you are a pet owner you will need to do some extra things to ensure proper air quality and safety.

Regularly check your HVAC filters & change them
In a home without pets and a standard disposable filter we recommend changing your filters every 60 to 90 days depending on various factors. In a home with pets we recommend checking your filter every 30 days. Clogged filters cause less efficiency and in turn higher utility bills. It can also cause breakdowns and shorten the overall life of your unit.
Brush & Bathe Pets Regularly
Pet dander is the common cause of many allergies. Regular brushing and bathing will decrease the amount of loose hair which in turn will mean less will end up in your filters and air ducts. Vacuuming loose hair regularly will help this as well!
Protect Your Outdoor Unit
We recommend enclosing your outdoor unit if your pets have access to its location. You can use fencing or any kind of barrier if it allows airflow. If they claw at the condenser they can hurt themselves as well as the unit. Also, them “marking their territory” it can cause corrosion and other issues.

These things can and will help keep your home and pets safe. If you have allergies or other issues and air filtration becomes an issue there is always more you can do such as an air filtration system. If you would like more information give us a call anytime.

 

Avoid Carbon Monoxide in your home

I think when we hear carbon monoxide it’s scary, but it’s good to know that there are things we can do to prevent this. As a worry wart myself I want to educate everyone on where the dangers lie with Carbon Monoxide leaks and ways to protect your home. First let’s talk about items in our home than can produce it. Gas furnaces, gas stoves, water heaters, clothes dryers, and even improperly vented fireplaces can be a source of carbon monoxide. The number one thing to prevent this is to be aware. Ensure you have at least one detector in your home and ensure it is in working order. The Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) actually recommends that every home with fuel-burning appliances of any kind be equipped with a least one Carbon Monoxide detector. You can place your detectors anywhere from 14 inches above the floor to eye level, but never where there is a draft like near windows and doors. You should at the very least have a professional out once a year to ensure your detector as well as your equipment is running properly. If you have HVAC maintenance this is usually part of it, but always ask to be sure! There are also some signs to look out for if you notice any of these things in your home call a professional immediately! A noticeably decreasing hot-water supply, Soot collecting on, under, and around any appliance, a furnace that runs constantly but doesn’t heat your house, an unfamiliar burning odor, or a loose or missing furnace panel or vent pipe.

How to tell if your home is well insulated

There are a few signs most people tend to notice when their home is poorly insulated. Do you notice your unit constantly running? Has your electric bill been slowly increasing each month? Do you notice that some rooms in your home stay more comfortable? Here are some things you can do yourself to check for poor insulation.

  • Touch Test: The interior ceilings, walls, and floors typically should feel warm and dry in your home. If you notice parts of drywall or floors feel damp & cold in your warm house this could be a good indicator you have insulation issues.
  • Leak Test: Check for water in your attic as well as around windows. Your attic can be a great indicator on your homes insulation.
  • Temperature Check: You will need to open all of the inside doors for a while and let the temperature of your home even out. After you have let it even out take a walk around and check for rooms that seem significantly warmer or colder than other areas.

If you feel you have insulation problems in your home we recommend calling a pro to access the job and help get your home insulated correctly!

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