Category: News and Tips

Do’s & Don’ts Of Wintertime HVAC Maintenance

Your HVAC system works especially hard when the weather outside is frightful, making a little TLC extra important. Keep your system working at an optimal level throughout the coldest months of the year with a few essential do’s and don’ts. These tips will prevent energy bills that make your wallet weep, as well as premature system failures and replacements. Read on, and save your system.

Do: Clean The Filters

Clean your air filters regularly to avoid airflow restrictions that cause the system to work extra hard…and increase your energy bills. Check and clean the filter every month and replace it as necessary. Filter longevity is based mainly on thickness, so refer to your manufacturer’s instructions if you have questions about the cleaning/replacement schedule.

Don’t: Forget About Your Thermostat

Get in the habit of checking your thermostat before you leave for the day and go to bed. Keeping your thermostat up when no one is home or everyone is sleep is a waste of energy that also contributes to dirty filters and premature system wear. If remembering to look at the thermostat is an issue, leave notes or consider a programmable thermostat installation.

Do: Keep Flammable Items AWAY From The System

Ensure everything that could possibly catch fire is nowhere near your HVAC system. This includes all paper products, fabrics and clothing, and holiday decorations. Maintain a distance of at least five feet around the entire system, and keep flammable objects away from your radiators for the same reasons.

Don’t: Skip Register & Vent Cleaning

Walk around your home with a dust rag and non-toxic cleaning solution to clean every vent and register. These things get coated with dust and other debris easily, again restricting airflow and increasing your utility bills. Clean vents promote healthy indoor air to reduce allergy symptoms among your family members.

Make certain the registers are not blocked by area rugs as well.

Do: Schedule A Professional Inspection Every Year

Have your local HVAC maintenance company inspect your system every year before winter sets in. Annual inspections check the system for potential and actual problems to make repairs before they become severe and costly. Routine inspections keep any issues from worsening to prolong the life of this important system and subsequently save money over time.

Schedule HVAC services with Precise Air Systems to keep your heating and cooling components in excellent condition this winter and beyond.  

3 Common HVAC Problems During Winter

As much as you may have prepared your HVAC system for winter, there’s always the possibility of problems arising. The chilly weather can destroy the best of intentions to keep up on maintenance and the sturdiest of parts of your home.

 

Some of the most common issues we see on heating and cooling systems during winter can often be avoided, but occasionally there’s just nothing to stand between you and an HVAC disaster. That’s when repair companies like Precise Air Systems come in.

 

But, to avoid the top heating and cooling mishaps during wintertime, familiarize yourself with what usually goes wrong. Then, you’ll be in a better position to make the best decisions for your system and your home.

 

  1. Frozen Pipes

 

Frozen pipes are one of the most common HVAC problems that plague homeowners. When the temperatures plunge, ice accumulates on coils and pipes. This can cause pipes to freeze over completely and stop functioning entirely.

 

Steam radiators and hydraulic hot water systems often fail when water ceases to flow through pipes. This can lead to more than just frustration for a homeowner. It can cause pipes to burst (which means a huge repair bill) due to pressure build up.

 

  1. Heat Pump Malfunction

 

Many homes depend on outside heat pumps for warmth. This means that frigid temperatures and winds may damage essential heating components. In order for an exterior heat pump to function optimally, you should be aware of potential hazards like broken or compromised coils and fan motors.

 

Heat pumps have to be clear of frost to work correctly, which means you should have an automatic defrost function on your unit. This will melt ice before it forms into thick layers that ruin your entire system.

 

  1. Uneven Temperature and Air Flow

 

Having heat flowing in some of the rooms in your house and not the others can be irritating. Families don’t always congregate in the same area but they usually all want to avoid feeling chilled.

 

You can remedy uneven temperature and air flow by taking action that is not even HVAC related. Throughout winter, check for holes and cracks around doorways and windowsills. Inspect ducts and vents for debris and blockages. Patch up and clear out all possible problem areas.

 

To avoid common HVAC issues during winter, you should also regularly clean dirty heaters. Looking at your thermostat wiring could uncover problems as could recalibrating your unit.

 

If you need help diagnosing a winter HVAC issue, contact Precise Air Systems.

 

Christmas And Your HVAC System: Safety Tips

‘Tis the season for merriment and for making sure your family home is safe.

 

Christmas is the perfect time to deck the halls with fresh garland and trees. And, to cozy up by the fire or in a warm heated home. But, along with bringing nature and beauty into a house during the chilliest time of year, some homeowners invite fire risk inside.

 

While you most certainly should enjoy all of the decorations and traditions that come with Christmastime, just take care to go over some safety precautions. Making a fire safety checklist as fall turns into winter is a good idea so that you’re not caught off guard with an emergency.

 

You will have the best cheer and joy for Christmas if you consider the little extra steps that are needed to stay safe when you bring new items into your home. Even piled up packages can pose a safety hazard if left near a furnace or heater.

 

Lights strewn too close to a heating unit can be just the overload of warmth that ignites drapery or furniture. And, of course, Christmas trees and fresh garlands along with real wreaths need to be placed far from HVAC systems or else you risk turning a festive mood into a nightmare.

 

To protect yourself, your loved ones and your home from accidental fire this Christmas, here are some safety tips to consider:

 

Pick a Tree with Needles that Stay Put

 

Many Christmas tree varietals have leaves that stay on the branches rather than wither away and fall off, leaving a pile of potential fire fuel on the floor. Choose trees known to last a while, and opt for a short tree season to avoid dead and dried branches.

 

Choose Your Tree in Consideration of Your Home

 

When you pick a Christmas tree, know exactly where you’ll put it. Avoid having to crowd out furnaces and heaters with a tree that is too large for the area. Ideally, there should be a 3 to 4-foot gap between your Christmas tree and heating sources, which include fireplaces and radiators.

 

Water Your Tree Daily

 

Christmas trees need to be watered, or at least monitored, daily. Ensure your tree doesn’t become brown and lose a lot of needles. If it does and you still have days to go until Christmas, don’t take the risk. Swap your real tree for an artificial one.

 

Don’t Use Candles to Light Your Tree

 

There are plenty of low-heat lights you can string on your Christmas Tree. Even though picture books and old movies make it seem like a tree adorned with candles is a good idea, it absolutely is not.

 

The National Fire Protection Association says that one-third of all Christmas tree fires are started because of electrical issues. Before the Christmas season, make sure you schedule a check of your HVAC system by a qualified professional.

 

 

 

Top 10 HVAC Energy Saving Tips For Winter

As we head into the holidays, we’re likely going to be busy preparing, shopping and engaging in fun activities. Before it gets too hectic, consider doing a quick check of your HVAC system to make sure you’ll be able to enjoy comfort in the most energy-efficient way possible.

In particular, you’ll want to make sure your maintenance schedule is up to date so you’re not hit with any big breaks that require unexpected costs. You’ll also want to look for any fixes that need to be made, such as leaks, so you don’t waste energy.

No one wants to be in the middle of a holiday gathering or winter chill and realize their HVAC system is not working properly. This means costly repairs and surprisingly high bills come the new year.

By putting in a bit of effort now to make sure everything is functioning and looking as it should, you can save yourself a lot of worries and money.

Here are our top 10 HVAC energy saving tips for winter:

1. Have Your HVAC System Inspected

You should service your HVAC system yearly to make sure it’s working properly. If you can, schedule your appointment well before your holiday parties, events, and gatherings. Fall is the perfect time to prepare for winter’s demands.

2. Replace Your Old Heating System

Ancient heating systems are huge energy drains. With the help of a certified contractor, evaluate your system for energy use and functionality. While it’s not always fun to part with money for system upgrades, in the end, your bank account and comfort will thank you. Systems that are more than 10 years old can likely be replaced with new high-efficiency models to reduce energy bills by up to 40 percent.

3. Insulate Your Attic

Insulating your attic is one of the easiest ways to ensure your HVAC system is operating optimally. You can lighten your system’s load by keeping warm air in your home and preventing it from escaping outside. This helps your HVAC system do less to control temperature, which saves energy.

4. Install a Programmable Thermostat

Cutting down on energy costs during winter is easier when you can precisely control your indoor air temperature. A programmable thermostat is a great way to do this. You can program and teach smart thermostats to keep a certain air temperature when your family is away and home, and turn it off when you’re not in a particular room or part of the house.

5. Upgrade Your Heating and Cooling at the Same time

You might not be thinking of cooling your home right now, but if you’re considering upgrading your heating system, you can save money and energy by purchasing new heating and cooling solutions at the same time.

6. Clean or Replace Your Air Filters

If your HVAC filters are dirty, they will restrict airflow and reduce the energy efficiency of your entire system. Fall is the perfect time to clean or replace your air filters. This should actually be done every 1 to 3 months.

7. Unblock All Registers and Vents

Make sure all of your registers and vents are clean and clear of furniture, rugs, and draperies.

8. Reprogram Your Thermostat

Consider whether or not you can be comfortable in indoor air that is not quite as warm as you usually have it. You might be able to save yourself tons of money and energy by adjusting your settings.

9. Check Your Home for Drafts

Inspect every room in your home for cracks and places where cold air can come in.

10. Make Energy Education a Priority

Stay on top of the energy efficiency in your home by committing to ongoing education on HVAC maintenance and repair procedures.

How To Get Your HVAC System Ready For Fall: A Checklist

Fall is upon us and with it brings a relief from scorching temperatures. But even though days and nights are cooler, we’re still bound to need our AC now and then. As fall wanes into winter, heaters will play a big part in our home lives.

 

To get your HVAC system ready for the weather fluctuations that are in store for us over the next couple of months, it’s best to prepare now. We’ve put together a handy checklist that you can review to ensure your air-conditioning and heating unit will deliver what you need when you need it.

 

Check and Replace Air Filters

 

Regularly check and replace HVAC filters to promote the longevity of your system and to prevent breakdowns. You should change your filters every 3 months, so consider the start of each season a reminder to do so.

 

Allergy sufferers or those living with pets especially need to keep up with the cleanliness of their air filters. Every 2 to 3 weeks, take a peek at your air filters to make sure they’re performing correctly.

 

Clean the Outdoor Unit

 

As you enter fall, check to make sure the outdoor unit of your HVAC system is free from damage and debris. Trim any shrubs, grass, and trees that might encroach on your outdoor unit.

 

Rinse off dirt, remove twigs and ensure all parts of the unit are functioning properly. You can call Precise Air Systems if you notice any damage or unusual function from your unit. We’re happy to help you keep your HVAC working as it should.

 

Clean Air Ducts and Vents

 

Your HVAC system’s air ducts and vents are what keep air effectively circulating throughout your house. To make sure indoor air is filtered and circulated the way it needs to be, clean air ducts and vents at the start of the season.

 

Obstructed ducts and vents force your AC and heating systems to work harder than they need to. This decreases your unit’s efficiency and its lifespan. For fall, make sure the registers to the ducts and vents are open and that they’re not covered by draperies, furniture or other items.

 

Find Leaks and Seal Them

 

Air leaks are the top cause of inefficiency in cooling and heating systems. To prepare for fall’s weather changes, check doors and windows to see if there’s any air coming through the cracks. If you find leaks, apply weather stripping to seal them.

 

Sometimes homeowners consistently feel some rooms are cooler or warmer than they should be. This might mean that you have leaks in your ventilation system, which requires identification of the breach and prompt repair.

 

Don’t get caught unprepared with a home that doesn’t meet your comfort needs. Call Precise Air Systems for any system checks or fixes that you need to make to ensure a comfortable and cozy end of the year!