No, we are not talking about the ducks that go “quack quack”… today we are talking about ducts! The ducts that blow cool, conditioned air all over your home!
How often do you actually think about your ducts? Our guess is that it is probably not often—you probably find yourself thinking about ducks more! But, we don’t blame you—your ducts are pretty much hidden from sight, traveling through the spaces between your walls and attic, so of course, it is only natural that you’d forget about them.
But here’s the thing: it could do you well to think about your ductwork every once in a while. Why? Because any issues with your ductwork directly affect your air conditioner. One issue, in particular, is dirty ducts, which is why you should consider scheduling duct cleaning services.
Keep reading below to find out more!
How Do Ducts Get Dirty?
Dust and various airborne particles circulate around your house during the year, and most of them pass through your ventilation system multiple times per day. In fact, a six-room house can circulate up to 40 lbs of dust annually … yuck! This dust, dander, and lint can start to settle on the inside of your ducts, accumulating more and more as time goes on. Eventually, these contaminants can build up so much that they begin to restrict airflow through the system, affect your comfort, and reduce your indoor air quality.
Here’s How Duct Cleaning Can Help
There are plenty of reasons why you should invest in regular duct cleaning services:
The debris inside your ducts can certainly restrict airflow through the system, forcing your AC to work much harder than normal. When your AC has to work harder, it drains more power, causing your utility bills to sky-rocket! But when you invest in duct cleaning services, you won’t have to worry about rising cooling costs due to dirty ducts!
When your AC has to work harder than normal, it is more likely to accumulate wear and tear. Of course, you don’t want to be spending your money on costly repairs, so why not stay ahead of the curve and invest in duct cleaning services?
When air can move freely through your HVAC system, you will find that your overall comfort improves. With regular duct cleaning services, you are sure to stay cool and comfortable all summer long, no matter the temperature outside!
Better Indoor Air Quality
Cleaning your ducts eliminates a huge reservoir of dust and other debris you don’t want floating around in your home. Duct cleaning services are key to reducing sneezing, coughing, and wheezing!
Call in a Professional
Your air conditioning in Alexandria, VA needs professional services to keep it working efficiently and effectively all summer long. That’s why you don’t want to take any risks! Be sure you hire a professional who can properly clean out your ductwork with the right tools and expertise.
Summer has officially arrived, but that doesn’t mean that all those springtime allergens are going to just disappear! Bees are still buzzing and flowers are still blooming, meaning that you’ll still be sneezing and wheezing if you’re one of those people unfortunate enough to have been dealt seasonal allergies. So, what can you do about it?
Fortunately, there are indoor air quality systems designed to eliminate allergens and other contaminants from your indoor air, and air cleaners are one of these systems! So below, we have listed just some of the reasons why you should consider installing one of these systems in your home. Keep reading to find out more!
What Exactly Does an Air Cleaner Do?
Not all air cleaners are made to remove exactly the same types of contaminants: some are better for snagging certain allergens while others do more to eliminate gasses and smoke odors. Because of these differences, it’s important to know what you’re looking for.
If you looking for ways to alleviate your allergy symptoms, we recommend an air cleaner that uses either filtration technology or an air purifier that uses ionization technology. These systems are installed directly into the ductwork of your HVAC system to trap allergens as they pass through the system.
What are the Benefits?
When used correctly, your air cleaner can trap and filer up to 99% of airborne particles that pass through your HVAC system, ensuring that cleaner air is distributed to all the rooms in your home. Because of this technology, your indoor air will be free of the allergens that contribute to sneezing, coughing, itching, and wheezing, making for a much more enjoyable summer season.
Additionally, the addition of an air cleaner can improve your overall cooling efficiency. You see, when your indoor air is riddled with contaminants, your AC must work much harder than normal to keep your home cool. This leads to decreased efficiency and sky-high energy bills! So, when you install an air cleaner in your home, you are sure to see lower bills and increased savings!
You Need a Whole-House Solution
Sure, you might be able to go to your local pharmacy or home goods store and pick up a portable air cleaner. However, these systems are often ineffective and incapable of giving you the results you desire. Instead, you need to have a whole-house air cleaner installed directly into your HVAC system’s ductwork. This way, you can treat the entirety of your indoor air!
Remember, it is important that you hire a professional from an HVAC company in Alexandria, VA install your new air cleaner. Only a professional has the training and experience to ensure that your system is properly installed and works effectively for years to come. Trust us, you wouldn’t want to trust these services to just any “handyman” willing to lend a hand for a cheaper price. If you want the job done right, you’ll call in a pro!
Now that summer is almost here, you want to be sure that your air conditioner is fully equipped to handle the heat. Of course, for some of you, that might mean having to invest in a new system. And if this is the case, you want to make sure that your new air conditioner is the perfect fit for your home!
We understand that it might be your first instinct to buy the biggest, most powerful air conditioner, especially if you’ve spent previous summers sweating your behind off. But we are here to tell you that this isn’t such a great idea. You see, when it comes to your air conditioner, size really does matter, and below, we are going to explain why. All you have to do is keep reading to find out more.
Yes, Size Does Matter
When the time comes to purchase a new air conditioner, you want to be sure that your new system is the perfect fit for your home! Here’s why:
The problem with oversized units
You might think that an oversized unit is better for keeping your home cool, and sure, it may cool your home off more quickly, but it will do so quite inefficiently. This is because optimal AC efficiency occurs through continued operation and longer cycles. So when your air conditioner is too big for your home, desired temperatures will be reached before your system has had a chance to complete a full cooling cycle. This is known as short-cycling.
Short-cycling is a big deal! Not only is it extremely inefficient, but it also puts an enormous strain on your system, leading to an increased need for air conditioning repair in Leesburg, VA. The only way to fix this issue is to replace the system entirely, which can be quite an expensive undertaking. This is why it is important to have a professional match you with the right system the first time around.
The problem with undersized units
As you may have guessed, an undersized unit will not be able to keep up with your household’s cooling demands, forcing the system to work much harder than it normally would have to. When the system has to work harder than normal, you can surely expect a rise in energy costs!
Additionally, an undersized unit will simply not be able to keep your home as comfortable as you’d like it to be, and during a hot summer day, this can be quite problematic. Therefore, it is better to ensure that you install a properly sized air conditioner right from the get-go.
Making Sure Your System is the Right Size
Properly sizing an air conditioner isn’t just a matter of getting the right physical dimensions (though that is important!). Sizing an air conditioner involves looking at the overall output of the system relative to the size of your home. This can be quite tricky to do on your own, which is why we recommend hiring a professional.
Your indoor air quality is a big deal! Of course, you want your indoor air free and clear of the contaminants that contribute to illness and allergies! But the truth of the matter is that many of us do not know that we’ve got poor indoor air quality, simply because we’ve become accustomed to it.
But there are quite a few signs that suggest you’re dealing with poor indoor air quality, and below, we’ve listed some of them for you. And remember, if any of the following apply to you, be sure to contact a professional for HVAC services in McLean, VA. A professional will be able to match you with the systems and services you need to combat your IAQ issues!
Signs You’ve Got a Problem
There are plenty of signs that suggest you’ve got poor indoor air quality in your home. These signs include:
Worsening Allergy Symptoms
Indoor air contaminants such as pollen and pet dander can all worsen your allergy symptoms. Pay attention to extra sneezing, wheezing, itching, and coughing, as this can indicate you are in need of indoor air quality services.
If you or your family members seem to be getting sick more often, it could be that you have poor indoor air quality. Bacteria and germs can all make their way into your indoor air, and if they do, you might find that you’re constantly ill. For your health and safety, it is best to contact a local indoor air quality expert!
Lots of Dust
If you have excess dust built up around your vents or on the surfaces in your home, you likely have an indoor air quality problem that needs to be addressed. The build-up of contaminants like pet dander, dust mites, and pollen can all aggravate allergies and contribute to illness.
High humidity levels in your home create the perfect environment for mold and mildew to breed and thrive. As you may know, mold spores can make your family quite ill, so it is important to address the issue right away if you notice mold growing on surfaces of your home.
Uneven Cooling or Heating
If you are noticing cold or warm spots around your home, the problem might not be with your heater or air conditioner. Instead, it might be that you’ve got an indoor air quality issue on your hands. If this is the case, it is likely that your ducts need to be cleared out, as many indoor air contaminants wind up settling inside your ductwork system.
If you have found that you are paying more and more to keep your home cool, it might be the result of an IAQ issue. Poor indoor air quality forces your air conditioner to work much harder than normal to keep your home cool, thus putting extra strain on the system. All this extra stress causes cooling bills to skyrocket!
If you own a ductless system, you know how great they truly are–they’re efficient, effective, and can provide year-round comfort with just the flip of a switch! In fact, ductless systems are among the most popular home comfort systems on the market today.
Of course, if you own one of these systems, you fully expect that it’ll be able to keep up with all your comfort needs, no matter the season. But, what happens when something does go wrong?
Unfortunately, ductless systems, like all heating and cooling systems, need repairs from time to time–this is totally normal! It can be quite annoying, but it’s not necessarily the end of the world, especially if you are already aware of the problems your system may face. So for your convenience, we have listed some of the unique yet common repairs your ductless system may need. Keep reading below to find out more.
Be on The Lookout for These Ductless Repairs
Here are some repairs unique to ductless systems:
One: Water Leaks Behind the Air Handler
Each of the wall-mounted air handlers in your home has a series of connections routed through a hole behind them. These connections include a power line, a refrigerant line, and a condensate line. The condensate line is responsible for removing moisture from the cooling process so it doesn’t enter your home. However, these lines may leak, and when they do, water will begin to collect between the back of the air handler and the wall.
If the issue isn’t caught right away, the wall material behind the air handler can begin to weaken, causing the air handler to rip away and fall. In the end, you’ll be left with a damaged wall and a broken air handler. It’s important that you call for AC repairs in Leesburg, VA right away if you notice any signs of water on your walls.
Two: Broken Air Handlers
There are a number of things that can cause an air handler to malfunction, including a failed motor and other mechanical issues. When an air handler breaks, you can expect a decline in comfort in the room that particular air handler is located in.
The good news is that if one air handler breaks, you don’t have to worry so much, as the rest of the air handlers will continue to operate just fine (yet another benefit of a ductless system!). You still want to schedule repairs as soon as possible to prevent further damage to the system.
Three: Refrigerant Leaks
Okay sure, refrigerant leaks aren’t unique to ductless systems–any air conditioner can experience this problem. However, ductless systems are more at risk for refrigerant leaks because they have more refrigerant lines running through them than a standard AC does.
It is important to keep a close eye out for any warning signs of a refrigerant leak. This includes a drop in cooling or heating power, a frozen evaporator coil, and hissing sounds coming from the system. If you notice any of these signs, call your local HVAC pro right away!
With summer coming, you want to be sure that your air conditioner is in good working condition, and for some of you, that may mean having to invest in a new system. Of course, purchasing a new AC can be a bit overwhelming, but with the right team of experts on your side, it doesn’t have to be so scary.
Knowing when to replace your air conditioner can be a bit tricky. Below, we have listed just some of the tell-tale signs! Of course, only a professional technician can truly determine if your air conditioner is ready to go. However, we figured we’d give you a head start.
Is Your AC Ready to Go?
There are a number of signs that suggest it’s time to replace your air conditioner. Consider a replacement if your AC:
Although built to last, the average lifespan of an air conditioner is anywhere between 10 and 15 years. (Yours may last longer if you’ve kept up on maintenance!) So, if your system has aged beyond this average life expectancy, it might do you well to consider a replacement. Older, outdated systems are simply not going to be as efficient or effective as newer models.
Requires Frequent Repairs
Generally, your AC should not require more than just one or two repairs every few years. If you are calling for repair services more often than that, it might just be that your system is simply worn out. As a rule of thumb, if you are spending 50% or more of thee cost of a new system on repairs, it is better to bite the bullet and invest in a new AC.
Has Trouble Keeping You Cool
The primary role of your air conditioner is to keep your home cool and comfortable all summer long. If your system is no longer able to provide you with the cooling power that your household demands, why keep it? Your HVAC professional can properly size and install a new system so that it provides the level of cooling you need to keep comfortable.
Is Costing You Lots of Money
We recommend keeping a close eye on your monthly utility bills. If you find that you’re paying more and more each month, it suggests that your AC is no longer efficient. Your HVAC technician should be able to tell you if this inefficiency is due to the need for air conditioning repair in Alexandria, VA or if it’s simply time for a replacement.
Call in a Professional
If you suspect that you are in need of air conditioning replacement services, it is best to contact your local HVAC professional. Professional replacement and installation services ensure that your new system is set up for a long and successful service life.
Sure, there are going to be plenty of amateurs willing to service your system, but sometimes an attempt to save money can end up costing you much more in the long run. Be sure to get the job done right the first time.
With summer coming, we can bet that many of you are dreading those pesky energy bills. And of course, you’d rather not sacrifice your comfort, however, the cost of keeping your home cool and comfortable during the summer can be quite expensive. So, what do you do? You turn to your local cooling experts for advice is what you do!
Consider yourself lucky for stumbling across this week’s blog because below, we have listed some of our favorite ways to boost air conditioning efficiency. When your home is energy efficient, you’ll spend less time worrying about sky-high bills and instead focus on the things that matter this summer, like getting the perfect tan and eating as much ice cream as you possibly can.
Our Favorite Tips and Tricks
One: Use Your Ceiling Fan
If you have a ceiling fan in your home, use it! Your ceiling fans help to better circulate conditioned air throughout your home, taking much of the burden off of your air conditioner. Using your ceiling fan during the summer is one of the best ways to cut down on cooling costs.
Two: Use Your Curtains Wisely
It’s no secret that the sun is hot, so consider blocking out those hot rays by shutting the curtains on your south-facing windows during the day. Closing your blinds or your curtains is a great way to keep excess heat out of your home, making it much easier to keep cool.
Three: Invest in a Programmable Thermostat
Investing in a programmable thermostat is another great way to boost your AC efficiency. A programmable thermostat allows you to create a cooling program based around your personal schedule, so you’ll never have to worry about wasting excess energy when you step out of your home for the day.
Four: Change Out Your Air Filter
A clogged air filter can create a boat-load of issues for your air conditioner, including decreased efficiency. When the air filter becomes too clogged, airflow in out of the system is restricted, making it much harder for it to do its job. We recommend changing your air filter every 1–3 months during the cooling season. If you are not sure how to change your filter, have your local HVAC technician teach you!
Five: Make Sure Your Ducts Are Sealed
Did you know that 30% of cool, conditioned air can escape through faulty ducts? Leaks and breaches in your ductwork system can significantly lower your energy efficiency, causing your bills to skyrocket! Be sure to have a professional HVAC technician inspect your ducts to ensure that they’re properly sealed.
Six: Schedule Annual Maintenance
Annual AC maintenance in Alexandria, VA is the best way to ensure that your AC works efficiently and effectively all summer long. During your maintenance visit, your technician will thoroughly inspect your system in order to locate and repair minor issues before they become major. Additionally, they will make adjustments when necessary to boost performance and efficiency.
With summer well on its way, you want to be sure that your air conditioner is equipped to handle any heatwave that comes our way. But sometimes, your system is going to require repairs, and when that happens, you’re going to need to call your local HVAC technician right away. Trust us, holding off on repairs is only going to make matters worse, leaving you with an even costlier repair bill.
But, how do you know when it is time for AC repair in Alexandria, VA? Well, there are plenty of signs that indicate you need to schedule repairs ASAP. So for your convenience, we’ve listed a few of these signs below. Keep reading to find out more information.
You Need Air Conditioning Repairs If…
You hear strange noises
One of the first tell-tale signs of a faulty air conditioner is strange noises. Your AC is not inherently noisy. In fact, the only sounds you should hear coming from the system is the sound it makes when it clicks on and the sound of air gently whooshing through the vents. So, noises that resemble screeching, clanking, banging, humming, or rattling are definitely a cause for concern. Your repair technician will be able to pinpoint the exact source of the sound in order to fix your system properly.
You notice a lack of cold air
The primary role of your air conditioner is to keep your home cool and comfortable during the summer, so if you notice that it is unable to provide your home with cool air, then it is definitely not performing as it should. A lack of cool air definitely should warrant a call to your local HVAC contractor. There are a number of issues that could contribute to a lack of cooling power, including dirty coils, a clogged air filter, or even an air leak. Be sure to have it checked out!
Your AC is short cycling
Short cycling is a term used to describe when your system repeatedly turns on and off throughout the day without ever completing a full cooling cycle. Not only does this put a lot of strain on your air conditioner, but it is also extremely inefficient. It takes a lot of energy for your AC to begin the cooling cycle, so imagine just how much energy is wasted when it is constantly doing so. Short cycling is a serious problem, so it is important that you schedule service right away.
You’re bills are more expensive
We recommend keeping a close eye on your energy bills this summer. If you are finding that you’re paying more than you’re used to, then it could be that there is something wrong with your air conditioner. High bills suggest that your AC is inefficient, often due to an underlying issue. A professional technician should be able to locate the root of the issue and repair it promptly, ensuring that your bills stay where they should.
Yes, it is still cold outside. Yes, you still need to throw on a coat to stay warm. But, before you know it, summer is going to be here, and trust us, it is better to start preparing now for the coming season. Sure, that may sound silly, but actually, thinking about the warm, sunny weather while your teeth are still chattering can benefit you greatly in the long run.
One of the best ways to prepare for summer is to schedule air conditioning HVAC services in Leesburg, VA with a professional. Scheduling your air conditioning maintenance now ensures your system will remain efficient and effective throughout the entire season you rely on it most. In case you aren’t yet convinced, we have provided a list of reasons as to why you should schedule your pre-season maintenance. Keep reading below to learn more.
Here’s Why You Should Schedule AC Maintenance Now
Perhaps the most important reason to stay on top of your air conditioning maintenance is energy efficiency. Ensuring that your system is energy efficient is the best way to keep repair costs and utility bills to a minimum, as operating an inefficient system can lead to a wide range of problems.
During your maintenance visit, your technician will thoroughly inspect your system and make minor adjustments when necessary to boost performance. These adjustments will keep your system running smoothly all summer long so you won’t have to worry about your comfort or your budget.
Reliability and Comfort
The last thing that any homeowner should have to deal with is a fussy AC during the summer. A broken AC could leave you and your family quite uncomfortable and could drive cooling costs way up. Therefore, it is best to schedule your services now.
When you schedule now, you can have peace of mind knowing that your system will be reliable all summer long, keeping you cool and comfortable, even during the hottest heatwave.
Time and Convenience
Far too many homeowners wait until the last minute to schedule their air conditioning services, leaving HVAC professionals quite busy answering dozens of service calls. Though this is good for business, it does not do you any favors when it comes to scheduling your services during a time that is convenient for you.
When you schedule now, you won’t have to worry about beating the summertime rush. Additionally, there will be plenty of time to resolve any problems that are discovered.
Be Sure to Call in a Professional
If you are looking to get the most out of your air conditioner this summer, be sure to hire a professional HVAC technician. Only a professional has the knowledge, training, and experience to diagnose and repair complex AC issues.
We always recommend scheduling your AC services with a professional ahead of the summer season to ensure maximum performance and efficiency. Besides, you have plenty of other things to worry about this summer besides a broken AC, like perfecting your cannonball and getting a great tan.
Regardless of whether the winter season just began or if you’re at the tail end of it, you should always keep an eye (and ear) out for furnace performance issues. But don’t worry—we’re not asking you to give your furnace an inspection every night. The most common furnace repair issues are pretty hard to ignore. If your furnace is suddenly doing a bad job or acting strangely, we urge you not to ignore it.
That all being said, here are some of the things you should pay extra close attention to:
After running your heater for some time, does it still feel like one or more rooms still aren’t warm enough? Well, it might not just be you. When your furnace is failing to heat the entire home evenly, it might be an indication that there’s something wrong with your furnace. It’s hard to say what the exact problem is without a thorough inspection from an expert at furnace repair in Alexandria, VA, but it might be due to:
Dirty air filters
Obstructed air registers
An aging furnace
Your furnace is designed to go through several heating cycles as part of its normal operation. You should hear it click on, blow air for several minutes, and then shut down. If these cycles are cut short or are happening quicker than normal, there’s definitely an underlying issue, such as:
Overheating: Your furnace has what’s called a limit switch, and one of its functions is to shut off fuel to the gas burners if the furnace becomes too hot. If this switch malfunctions or breaks, the unit can continue to overheat and may shut down abruptly.
Short-Cycling: If the aforementioned cycles are happening rapidly, you’ve got a short-cycling issue on your hands. This can put a lot of stress on the system, and it will drive up your heating bill, as it will fail to heat the home properly.
Operational issues in your furnace won’t be possible to diagnose through a blog post, so be sure to call in for a professional opinion and possible inspection.
Your furnace has one job to do, and if it can’t even do that, then there’s no doubt you’ve got a repair issue. Of course, “no heat” is a very general symptom, and its causes can be numerous.
Any of the issues listed above could produce no-heat-like symptoms, as well as things like:
A malfunctioning or improperly programmed thermostat.
Dirty gas burners.
Broken pilot light or hot surface ignition component.
No matter what the issue is, we can assure you that a quick maintenance check from a member of our team can get your furnace up and running again. Even a simple function like firing up the furnace requires the cooperation of several parts and components, and all it takes is a broken connection or a buildup of soot to stop it from functioning properly.