Despite Arizona’s generally dry conditions, you may notice a musty smell, especially the first time you turn on the air conditioning for the season. A Phoenix HVAC service can diagnose the units you have and identify if that is the source of the odor. However, that is not the only reason desert homes may have a stale or dank scent. Whether your home is newly built or has stood for decades, here are a few tips to help determine where the smell is coming from and how to get rid of it.
Identify the Source
Put your nose to work and sniff around the house. Is the smell in one room such as a bedroom or family room? Check under and behind furniture, as well as in closets. Smell the carpet or flooring and walls. It is possible that a damp towel or washcloth got missed and it has developed mold. Removing the source can reduce the odor.
If the foul smell comes from the kitchen or a bathroom, sniff the drains. P-traps are the U-shaped pipes under the sink. Over time, they may become clogged with soap scum, hair, toothpaste, and other common debris. Clean the P-trap or use a drain cleaner to remove the build-up. Seldom-used drains may have a bad scent. If you are a snowbird, have someone turn on the water once or twice a month to prevent septic or sewer gases from entering the house.
Does the smell permeate several rooms? Are the room vents the source of the odor? A Phoenix home cooling company can remove the dust and contaminants, improving the smell as well as the air quality in your home.
Once you identify and address the source of the odor, open the windows to clear out the contaminated air. Opening cabinets, closets, and cupboards can help thoroughly air out the house. Sometimes lack of ventilation and dust build-up can cause a stale aroma. Letting in the fresh air can reduce or eliminate the issue. Turn on the central ventilation or bring in fans to get the air moving.
Fix Moisture Issues
If there is a leak or other moisture problem in your HVAC, the musty odor will hang around if it isn’t addressed. Mold can grow in pipes, attics, at the corner of windows, and places that have flooded. Depending on the issue, you may need to hire a professional to handle the project. Once fixed, deep clean the area by using products such as white vinegar and water, baking soda, or commercial cleaning agents. Make sure you use gloves, wear a mask, and ventilate the area to reduce the risk of health issues that could be aggravated by exposure to mildew, mold, and chemicals.
Sweep the floors and mop with a cleaner made for that particular surface and material. Use a feather duster or damp cloth on ceiling fans, hard surfaces, and to wipe down walls. Vacuum upholstery to get rid of the dust on all household surfaces.
Use Natural Air Fresheners
Boil lemon peels in a pan of water until a lemony fragrance fills the air. Remove the pan from heat and place it in the room you want to air out or wait until the water cools, fill a spray bottle, and spritz around the room. Fans can help increase ventilation. For small areas, such as cupboards or closets, set out a plate of baking soda for up to 24 hours. It can absorb unpleasant odors and moisture.
New Home A/C in Phoenix
If your air conditioner doesn’t work as well as it used to or an odor is coming from your vents, the professionals at Howard Air can help. We install new units and offer a full line of repair and maintenance services that can help your current system last longer. Contact us today at Howard Air in Phoenix to schedule an appointment with our NATE certified technicians.
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*Manufacturer rebate offers vary based on equipment package selection. Manufacturer rebate offers cannot be combined with manufacturer financing offers. Financing offers are subject to credit approval. Other restrictions apply. See dealer for details. Offer expires 07/06/19.
You know your air conditioning system keeps your home or business cool in the hot summer months, but have you ever wondered how it works? One interesting fact you might not know is that your air conditioner and your refrigerator work primarily the same way. The difference is your refrigerator cools a small, insulated space, and an air conditioner keeps your home, office, or commercial space at a comfortable temperature.
The entire process of making the air in your property a comfortable temperature is based on a very simple scientific principle, and the rest is achieved by mechanical means. Let’s take a look at how air conditioning works to cool your home.
The Process of Cooling Your Home with AC
Your air conditioning unit uses chemicals that convert from gas to liquid and back again quickly. These chemicals transfer the heat from the air inside your property to the outside air.
The AC unit has three key parts. These are the compressor, the condenser, and the evaporator. Your unit’s compressor and condenser are typically located in the outside part of the air conditioning system. Inside the house is where you will find the evaporator.
The cooling fluid reaches the compressor as a low-pressure gas. The compressor squeezes this gas/fluid, and the molecules in the liquid are packed closer together. The closer the compressor forces these molecules together, the higher the temperature and energy rise.
How Your Air Conditioner Removes Hot Air & Blows Cold Air
Howard Air – How Does an Air Conditioner Work?
This working fluid exits the compressor as a high-pressure, hot gas, and it moves to the condenser. The outside unit of an air conditioning system has metal fins all around the housing. These fins work like the radiator on a vehicle, and they help dissipate heat more quickly.
When the fluid leaves the condenser, it is much cooler. It’s also changed from a gas to liquid because of the high pressure. The fluid makes its way into the evaporator through a minuscule, narrow hole and when the liquid reaches the other side of this passage, its pressure drops. When this happens, the fluid begins to evaporate to gas.
As this occurs, the heat is extracted from the surrounding air. This heat is required to separate the molecules of the liquid into a gas. The metal fins on the evaporator also help exchange thermal energy with the surrounding air.
When the refrigerant leaves the evaporator, it is once again a low-pressure, chilled gas. The process starts all over when it goes back to the compressor. There is a fan that’s connected to the evaporator, and it circulates air around the inside of the property and across the fins of the evaporator.
The air conditioner sucks air into the ducts through a vent. This air is used to cool gas in the evaporator, and as the heat is removed from the air, it’s cooled. Ducts then blow air back into the house.
This process continues until the inside air of your home or business reaches the desired temperature. When the thermostat senses that the interior temperature is at the desired level, it shuts the air conditioner off. When the room heats up again, the thermostat turns the air conditioner back on until the preferred ambient temperature is achieved again.
Trust in Howard Air for All of Your Phoenix Area AC Needs
The great news is that you don’t have to know how an air conditioning system works to enjoy its effects! At Howard Air, we can help you if your system is going out, you want to upgrade to a new air conditioner, or if you’ve got any questions. We understand air conditioning, and we are here to provide our valued customers with exceptional service, quality repairs, and professional installations. Click here to email us or call (623) 201-5153 to speak with a representative immediately.
As the weather warms up, finding A/C maintenance in the Phoenix area and ensuring that your HVAC system remains functional becomes more important, as is knowing what problems look like. Most homeowners think HVAC problems begin and end with the central cooling (or heating) and its components. However, even if the A/C unit is operating, it can’t properly cool your home if the airflow is cut off in some way. Uneven temperatures through the house are a giveaway, and if unattended, the result could be higher energy bills or your system failing from excess strain. Understanding the common causes of HVAC airflow problems can help you keep your home cool this summer.
Clogged or Damaged Ducts
A frequent cause of airflow loss is obstructions within the ductwork running through the building. Dust builds up over time if unchecked, gradually forming blockages. Narrow ducts are especially prone to this since there is already less space for air to flow through. Ducts can also be blocked by birds, insects, or rodents building nests within them—this is especially common in older buildings. A related issue is cracks or leaks forming in ducts and diverting airflow. Either problem can be detected by a professional inspection of the ductwork.
Your A/C’s filters exist to keep dust and debris out of ducts and HVAC equipment and prevent clogging. However, the filters themselves can become overloaded and impede airflow as well, making the air inside your home feel stuffy. Regularly change filters, according to the manufacturer’s guide, to prevent clogging. Usually, filters should be changed every one to three months. Additionally, make sure the filter is not too dense for your system; this could also impede airflow.
Obstructed Vents and Dampers
Vents and registers throughout the housing output the cooled air circulated by the A/C unit, and a misplaced chair, shelf, curtain, or rug can block the opening. Additionally, for HVAC systems that are divided into multiple ‘zones’ for the building, dampers are installed to control which zones get airflow and which don’t. The dampers can sometimes get stuck in a closed position, keeping airflow out of the room; alternatively, dampers in unused rooms may be left open, diverting cool air away from where it’s needed. If you notice one part of the building is much warmer or cooler than others, check the vents and dampers for obstructions.
Incompatible HVAC and Ductwork
If you’ve recently renovated or had new ductwork installed, you may notice decreased airflow indoors. This can happen if you neglect to update your A/C unit in turn. The unit is designed and set with a given static pressure in mind. If the ductwork is too large, the A/C can struggle to maintain the necessary pressure; conversely, if it’s too small, airflow will be restricted. Consult a Phoenix home cooling company to have your equipment inspected in order to determine if this is the cause of your weak airflow.
Dirty Condenser Coils
Another way that the central A/C unit could be the culprit is if its components aren’t maintained properly, namely the condenser coils. These disperse heat taken from circulating air, typically into the outdoor environment. Because of how they work, the coils are exposed to open air and thus can accumulate dirt and debris. In urban areas, air pollution from automobiles contributes to this especially. As the coils are coated, more power is needed to properly vent heat, hampering airflow inside. Have the coils cleaned regularly to prevent this buildup—once or twice a year will do, though depending on where you live, more cleaning may be required.
Though there are many possible causes for HVAC airflow to get cut off, managing them is easy if you know what to look for and respond sooner rather than later. Don’t hesitate and let things get worse—contact Howard Air today for professional Phoenix air conditioner repair and maintenance.
Whether you’ve been watching a lot of HGTV or you’ve just been told your HVAC needs to be replaced, the HVAC industry has been undergoing a huge transformation. Thanks to the skyrocketing trajectory of technological advances, HVAC systems are becoming more efficient and advanced. If it’s about time to contact a Phoenix HVAC service, here are some of the latest trends and innovations in HVAC technology that you should consider for your home update.
If you have a tiny space that you’re looking to heat or cool, or you are adding a room to your house, a ductless HVAC system could be a good solution for your home or office. These units are also perfect for houses that have rooms with different heating and cooling needs. Ductless units are smaller and can be placed throughout a home. Ductless HVAC systems are also ideal for spaces where you need to keep dust out. Regular ducted HVAC systems have a tendency to accumulate dust which can easily be spread throughout a space. If you are interested in going the ductless route, it’s important to work with a Phoenix A/C repair service to ensure proper installation.
Similar to installing ductless units that can allow different temperature variations, one of the hottest trends in HVAC is creating different zones in your home or office. When you have a large space, a single HVAC unit may not be enough. By adding another unit to your home, it is possible to have different temperatures and airflow in different regions of your house. This can be done using either a ducted or ductless unit. If you’re searching for new A/C systems in Phoenix, check out some options offered by Howard Air.
Opt for Smart Thermostats
If you rely on Alexa or Siri, this trend is a no brainer. Smart thermostats are an innovative trend that allows you to connect your thermostat to Wi-Fi. This, in turn, can be hooked up to any smart devices you may be running in your home such as Nest. Imagine being able to control the heating and cooling of your home from your smartphone. Your greater Phoenix area A/C repair service can help you install and program your smart thermostat to ensure ease of use.
Use Geothermal Energy
As the name implies, geothermal energy is energy that comes from under your home. It’s a cleaner source of energy that can heat and cool your home while saving you money and protecting the environment. Geothermal heat pumps are a long-term solution to your heating needs. They are also low maintenance. Environmentally friendly HVAC systems are a burgeoning trend that will only pick up as more people look for ways to cut down on their carbon footprint.
Get More Energy Efficiency
Over the last 20 years, it has become standard practice to ensure that new HVAC systems are Energy Star certified. This certification is a government recognized seal that means the HVAC unit is running at optimal energy efficiency which both helps you cut down on costs associated with heating and cooling as well as ensures that less harmful pollutants are generated by your system. If your current HVAC unit is not Energy Star certified, contact your Phoenix A/C repair service to find out about new options.
Contact Howard Air
If it’s been a while since your last HVAC upgrade or you’re interested in trying some of these amazing new trends in heating and cooling, contact Howard Air. We are the leading Phoenix HVAC service with more than 40 years’ experience in the maintenance and installation of HVAC systems. We provide emergency HVAC service 24 hours a day. Contact us today to discuss your needs or to schedule an appointment.
Arizona really knows how to bring the heat, so is there a way to cut your energy bill while remaining comfortable in your home? With the help of your Phoenix HVAC service professionals at Howard Air, there is a multitude of things you can do to lower your energy bill in the warmer months:
Rethink the Laundry
For your laundry, use cold water instead of hot. Hang your laundry on a line instead of using your dryer.
Cool Your Water
Check the thermostat on your water heater. Is it higher than 100 ̊? Start by lowering it just 20 ̊ until you’re at 100 ̊. For example, if it’s currently set to 140 ̊, turn it to 120 ̊ for a couple of weeks until you are used to the difference, then turn it down to 100 ̊ and leave it at that.
Install New Lights
Installing LED light bulbs and turning out the lights when you leave a room can make a big difference.
Your electric bill may go down by as much as 25% when you improve insulation. Blown-in attic insulation helps, as does spray foam insulation for the rest of your home.
Clean the Ducts
Your HVAC system has to work extra hard if the air finds resistance trying to get through the ducts. If it’s been a while since you’ve had them cleaned, now’s a good time to get that done.
Replace the Windows
Whether you have single or double pane windows, there are savings to be found in replacing them with Energy Star qualified windows.
Consider a New AC Unit
If your air conditioner is outdated or inefficient, a new unit might be your best option. Consider a mini-split air conditioner for an energy efficient system.
Replace the Thermostat
Using a Wi-Fi thermostat allows you control over your HVAC system no matter where you are. Headed out for the night and forgot to turn down your AC? Hop on the app and turn it down!
Install a Load Controller
Using load controllers keeps your appliances from running during peak energy hours of the day. If you need to use them, it’s easy to turn them back on.
Turn the Thermostat Down
Knocking the temperature down just one degree on the thermostat can translate to bigger savings than you might imagine.
Having an attic fan installed is a great way to circulate air and eliminate heat. Consider a solar fan for even more savings.e is lower, contact the professionals for Phoenix HVAC maintenance. This ensures your system is in the best, most efficient working order.
Acquire a Home Energy Audit
A home energy audit will show you where you can improve energy efficiency. An audit generally includes a visual inspection as well as a blower test that detects leaks.
Install Radiant Barrier
A Radiant barrier takes the area of your home where heat collects the most (the attic) and blocks it from the roof where the heat soaks through.
Give the Pool a Break
You don’t have to run all your pool equipment all the time. If you’re not going to be using it, turn the heater off. Install a variable pump. Install a cover. All these things will decrease energy use and your energy bill.
As you can see, there are a lot of things you can do to cut your Arizona energy bill this year. Contact Howard Air to learn more today.
During the colder months, families all across the United States rely on furnaces to heat their homes, but many fail to keep up with regular maintenance. Still, even the most well-maintained systems can have minor hiccups that require heating repair. Here are 21 things that can go wrong with your home’s heater.
1. Safety Switch Left On
If your home heater does not turn on, this could be due to the safety switch on the furnace floor being on.
No one wants to be freezing at home for the holidays. If you notice your home heater is making strange sounds, isn’t heating up the house effectively, or won’t turn on at all, call a professional before it’s too late. If you live in or around the Phoenix area, we would be happy to help. Contact us at Howard Air, and we’ll get your furnace up and running again in no time!
At Howard Air, we are proud to offer a full line of maintenance services that can add years of life to your heating and cooling system. With the help of our HVAC maintenance, your system will run with greater efficiency in addition to lasting longer. This increased efficiency will keep your home more comfortable and help you reduce the cost of your utility bills.
Our customers don’t have to wait long to get the maintenance they need. In some cases, we can even offer same-day service. This fast response helps you rest assured that help is on the way, and we’ll get your heating and cooling systems back up and running as quickly as possible.
Not only is our service fast, but it’s also extremely effective. All of our technicians are NATE certified, which is the highest rating in our industry. Thanks to our excellent staff, you can count on quality maintenance that will hold up for the long haul to keep you and your family comfortable.
Arizona is known for its scorching summers, and the winters can get surprisingly cold as well. No matter what the weather is like, you’ll want to be prepared by making sure your HVAC system is as well-maintained as possible. Our skilled technicians will perform a thorough evaluation of your system, fix any problems, and do everything they can to prevent future issues.
We’ll make sure everything is in working order, and that it’s clean, too. Your heating and cooling systems run through your whole house, so this is a great place to start the battle against dust, allergens, and bacteria. Part of our maintenance process is focused on helping you and your family breath easier.
We’ve been performing HVAC maintenance for over 40 years, relying on the most innovative technology and expert technicians at every step along the way. As a family run company, we stake our reputation on our business and do everything in our power to make clean, comfortable air accessible to everyone. Learn more about our maintenance services below.
Phoenix, AZ, March 5, 2019– Howard Air is proud to announce that it has earned the home service industry’s coveted Angie’s List Super Service Award (SSA). This award honors service professionals who have maintained exceptional service ratings and reviews on Angie’s List in 2018.
“Service pros that receive our Angie’s List Super Service Award represent the best in our network, who are consistently making great customer service their mission,” said Angie’s List Founder Angie Hicks. “These pros have provided exceptional service to our members and absolutely deserve recognition for the exemplary customer service they exhibited in the past year.”
Angie’s List Super Service Award 2018 winners have met strict eligibility requirements, which include maintaining an “A” rating in overall grade, recent grade, and review period grade. The SSA winners must be in good standing with Angie’s List and undergo additional screening.
Howard Air has been listed on Angie’s List since 2005. This is the 13th year Howard Air has received this honor.
Service company ratings are updated continually on Angie’s List as new, verified consumer reviews are submitted. Companies are graded on an A through F scale in multiple fields ranging from price to professionalism to punctuality.
For over two decades, Angie’s List has been a trusted name for connecting consumers to top-rated service professionals. Angie’s List provides unique tools and support designed to improve the local service experience for both consumers and service professionals.
Regular maintenance is required to keep your home’s heating system working in optimal condition. An annual tune-up by an experienced professional technician will prolong the life of your heater and increase its efficiency, which will, in turn, lower your utility bills. If you need a heating tune-up in Phoenix, here’s what you need to know.
When Should I Have My Home’s Furnace Serviced?
Most heating system manufacturers recommend an annual tune-up. According to Angie’s List, it’s best to schedule service in the fall so the heater will be in peak condition in the winter months when you need to use it more often.
If you’re not sure if your system is working as well as it should, remove the heater’s air filter and hold it up to the light. If the filter is no longer transparent, it’s time for a cleaning and system maintenance.
The older your home’s heating system, the more critical regular maintenance becomes. In fact, you may even want to have a qualified technician come out for a tune-up every six months to extend the life of the unit and repair age-related problems quickly.
What Is Included in Heater Maintenance Tune-up?
The technician will visually inspect your heating system for leaks, corrosion, and other telltale signs of an issue that needs repair. He or she will also check the carbon monoxide detector, burners, flame sensor, and other system components to make sure they are working properly. The technician will replace your air filter if necessary and ensure that vents and ducts are clear.
Depending on the type of furnace in your home and the age of the system, additional aspects of the heater service may include:
Calibrating the thermostat
Testing for proper exhaust venting
Making sure the ignition is working correctly and safely
Testing proper operation of circuit and safety controls
Adjusting the tension of the fan belt
Cleaning and lubricating motor air vents
Inspecting and cleaning heat exchangers and furnace burner
Cleaning the exterior of the system
Adjusting the gas pressure for peak efficiency
Measuring the operation of the blower motor
Lubricating all moving parts of the system
Inspecting electrical components of the system and tightening connections, if necessary
Checking for natural gas leaks
Cleaning and inspecting combustion vents
What Are the Benefits of Regular Heater Maintenance?
Proper maintenance of your heating system can keep minor problems from turning into major ones. Although you may be tempted to avoid the cost of a tune-up if your system seems to be working fine, undetected issues can eventually cause the heater to break down, resulting in costly repairs or even the need for system replacement.
If your heating system is damaged, poorly vented, or otherwise faulty, it also creates a safety hazard for your family. Toxic carbon monoxide can leak into the home if the heating vents become clogged.
Heaters that are still under the manufacturer warranty may require regular maintenance by a professional technician. If you skip this step or opt for DIY system maintenance, the warranty may no longer cover issues that arise with the system.
Howard Air is proud to be your Phoenix home heating company. Not only have we been serving area homeowners for more than 40 years, but we also recently received the Torch Award for Ethics from the Better Business Bureau. When it’s time for heating system service, trust our comprehensive 44-point inspection.
We service and repair all furnace makes and models and aim to return your heating system to factory specifications for optimal efficiency, performance, and safety. We also offer a no breakdown guarantee, which means that if your system breaks after service, we’ll fix it for free. Schedule your heating system and furnace maintenance online or give us a call today at (480) 508-9866.