Monthly Archives: June 2017

HVAC MAINTENANCE

Preventive HVAC Maintenance

 By Lora Davis

36.-HVAC-Maintenance HVAC MAINTENANCE

HVAC Maintenance

HVAC (Heating, Ventilation, and Air Conditioning) systems will usually require preventive maintenance in order to keep the systems working properly. Skilled technicians are the ones that do the preventive HVAC maintenance on the larger units that are used in office buildings, hospitals, factories, and schools. For simple repair jobs and maintenance on home air conditioning or heating units can usually be performed by technicians that have little experience or knowledge with HVAC systems.

There are some large buildings like hospitals and manufacturing plants that keep a skilled HVAC technician as a full-or part time employee to make emergency repairs and to do preventive HVAC maintenance. Most skilled technicians have a detailed knowledge of every aspect of the HVAC system. This includes the interior of mechanical engines and the function and structure of air vents. They can consult the system’s blueprints and operation manuals to help with maintenance jobs.

In preventive HVAC maintenance the first step will usually involve cleaning the exterior and interior of the unit thoroughly. The performance of the system will be improved significantly when the debris and dirt is removed from the vents, fans, and other parts. It will also help to prevent pieces from becoming clogged. The technician will also check the different internal parts of the electrical system and engine for wear.

preventive HVAC maintenance

The technician will test the system to make sure that it is running smoothly and quietly. Some HVAC systems. Will need to be checked every few weeks or months to make sure that everything is ok, if it is a system that is not regularly used or is a new system. May only need preventive HVAC maintenance one or two times a year.

If the heating and cooling in your home is uneven and hard to regulate, cheap, but imperfect  duct and register booster fans may help. If your house has notoriously cold spots during winter, or uncomfortably warm rooms in summer. Even when your HVAC is working fine the culprit may be your ductwork. Twists and turns in ducts, along with long spans of ductwork, conspire to restrict air flow. While some parts of your house seem cozy. Cthers may suffer from a lack of heated or cooled air from your HVAC system.

If you have a HVAC system installed in your home they may have a technician perform any detailed maintenance jobs. But for simple preventative HVAC maintenance a homeowner can do the tasks themselves using basic tools. The system’s operation manual will usually have detailed instructions on how to maintain the system.

HVAC Maintenance

check out my other guide on : Air Conditioning Repairs | HVAC Certification | HVAC Installation

HVAC CERTIFICATION

The Difference Between HVAC Certification and HVAC License

By Lorn H.

Heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) technicians are skilled tradespersons that install heating and cooling systems. Additionally, they maintain and repair the system when problems arise. This may be in a residential setting or for commercial facilities. Those who work for a retailer are often responsible for selling service contracts to clients.

Types of Certification

35.-HVAC-Certification HVAC CERTIFICATION

HVAC Certification

Becoming HVAC certified will depend on the type of certification that you desire and the training that you have achieved. Since many people work in the field under a licensed HVAC person, they may have some experience before taking classes. Those who have over a year of experience in installation and at least 2 years in maintenance will have a wider choice when it comes to the type of HVAC certification they choose.

This is required for admittance to most accredited HVAC training programs. These programs offer classes in the installation and repair of HVAC as well as reading blueprints, temperature control, construction and equipment design. The programs are available at various schools and colleges as well as online.

The programs are generally from six months to two years and depending on the length of the course, upon successful completion, the student will receive a certificate or an associate’s degree. There are also opportunities available for those who join the Armed Forces to receive specialized training in the HVAC field.

Licensing

After completing the training program successfully, earning a certification or a degree, sitting for the HVAC licensing exam will be required by most states to work in this field. The licensing exam will differ somewhat from one location to another. The main consideration is the knowledge of all the aspects of installation and repair of HVAC systems. In addition, some licensing exams require the applicant to know electrical codes.

This includes high and low-pressure refrigerants and servicing small appliances. When this career is chosen at an early age, usually while in high school, it is beneficial to take classes that can help in preparing the student for the classes they will take next. The basic recommendations are mathematics, physics, electronics and mechanical drawing.

The qualifications to apply for a license as an HVAC contractor include being at least 18 years of age, speaking and reading the English language and four years of verifiable experience in warm heating. If the applicant meets these qualifications, they must take an ICC examination. The International Code Council (ICC) develops these exams and they are in charge of giving them for many states. As seen, the HVAC career is quite diverse. It can include various aspects of this profession, each having their own requirements and licenses.

HVAC Certification

check out my other guide on : Air Conditioning Repairs | HVAC Installation | Air Conditioning Contractors

HVAC INSTALLATION

How to Make Sure You Are Getting A Quality HVAC Installation

By Jill Dretzka

34.-HVAC-Installation-300x225 HVAC INSTALLATION

HVAC Installation

Many homeowners don’t realize this, but the most important factor into your new HVAC installation isn’t the brand, but it is WHO installs your system. We are going to talk today about quality installation. The right contractor can install a system that when installed properly can significantly reduce your bills.

ENERGY STAR has come up with their Quality Installation Guidelines. These are based on the Air Conditioning Contractors of America’s (ACCA) HVAC quality installation specification. They created these “best practices” to help ensure that every system is installed properly however some contractors do what’s best for them instead of what’s best for you. It is important to make sure you are working with a quality contractor and a quality installation team.

The top 4 best practices that are outlined in the guidelines are :

  • Correctly sized to meet your home’s needs
  • Connect to a well-sealed duct system
  • Operate with sufficient airflow in the system
  • Install with the proper amount of refrigerant

The quality of your installation is so important because estimated savings with a quality installation is 18% to 36% for air conditioners and heat pumps and 11% to 18% for furnaces.

Let’s dive deeper into 4 best practices for a quality HVAC installation :

Proper Sizing of Equipment

Installing the right size equipment for your home is essential to getting the best performance for your heating and cooling equipment and maintaining the comfort you deserve. Oversized equipment may cycle on and off more frequently, which can make the home less comfortable and shorten the equipment life.

Sealing Ducts

Ducts circulate air from the furnace, central air conditioner or heat pump throughout the house. Often ducts have damage or poor connections that leak the hot or cold air and waste a lot of energy. Sealing ducts can greatly improve the efficiency of your heating and cooling system.

Optimizing Air Flow

To operate well, a heating or cooling system needs to have the proper volume of air flow, If air flow is too high or too low, it may make the home less comfortable and increase your home or business utility bills. The right contractor can install a system that when installed properly can significantly reduce your bills. The quality of your installation is so important because estimated savings with a quality installation is 18% to 36% for air conditioners and heat pumps and 11% to 18% for furnaces.

Proper Refrigerant Charge (Central Air Conditioners and Heat Pumps Only)

It is important for an air conditioner or heat pump to have the correct amount of refrigerant, or correct refrigerant charge. An improperly charged system may consume more energy and provide less dehumidification.

HVAC Installation

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AIR CONDITIONING CONTRACTORS

What to Look for in a Heating and Air Conditioning Contractor

By Curtis Moore

33.-Air-Conditioning-Contractors AIR CONDITIONING CONTRACTORS

Air Conditioning Contractors

Most of us couldn’t imagine what life would be like without our heating and air conditioning units. This is especially true during the worst of summer and winter when temperatures can make life practically unbearable if you don’t have the help of an air conditioning or heating unit working to make things comfortable. That’s why, if yours suffers any problems or you simply need to have it inspected, you don’t want to waste any time or money on heating and air conditioning contractors who won’t do the best job possible. Fortunately, there are some easy ways to make this process a simple one.

Ask Around

This is probably the easiest way to get a short list of excellent heating and air conditioning contractors in your area. Whether you need heating or air conditioning installation, repairs or inspections, no advertisement is better than someone you trust reporting that they had a good experience with the professional they used.

Go Online

If you don’t know enough people who have used heating and air conditioning contractors, you’re far from out of luck. Go online and take advantage of the countless review sites out there. Obviously, you don’t know the people leaving the reviews, so take each with a grain of salt.

Ensure They’re Licensed

The necessary credentials will differ by state. But every serviceman who wants to work on your HVAC unit has to be certified and licensed to work. For one thing, it doesn’t say much for their professionalism if they won’t even take the time to get the proper credentials necessary to work legally. However, it may also reflect that they’re out of the loop in terms of best practices in the industry.

Confirm They Know Your Make and Model

Finding the right heating or air conditioning service means asking about which makes and models a serviceman has experience with. Just like not all mechanics are experienced with working on certain cars, many repairmen simply may not know the type of HVAC system you rely on. go with those who have trained on and/or worked on your specific type of unit.

Always Get Estimates

get a quote before allowing anyone to work on your unit or install one for you. Preferably, you want it in writing so there’s no confusion later.

Furthermore, when you want heating or air conditioning installation, a serviceman will generally visit your home to take a look at what the process will entail prior to providing you a quote. you should expect the same kind of service when you simply want heating or air conditioning service on a preexisting unit. Until they see your unit, don’t take any quotes seriously.

Don’t put off repairs, inspections or installation a minute longer. Using the above advice, get the contractor you need today.

Air Conditioning Contractors

check out my other guide on : HVAC Contractors | Air Conditioning Service Repair | Heating Air Conditioning

AIR CONDITIONING SERVICE REPAIR

Signs You May Need an Air Conditioning Service Repair

 By Lora Davis

32.-Air-Conditioning-Service-Repair AIR CONDITIONING SERVICE REPAIR

Air Conditioning Service Repair

Hiring a professional for Air Conditioning Service Repair can be expensive but if you do general maintenance on your AC unit, you can reduce the AC repair service calls. One of the most effective and simplest ways to keep your AC running efficiently is to change the filter at least once a month. When a filter is clogged or dirty it will make your air conditioner work much harder. Buying new filters are easy on your budget, will help to extend the life of your air conditioner, and help to lower your utility bill.

You should also make sure that the fins and AC coils on the outside of the unit are clear of obstruction and clean. Sometimes debris such as leaves accumulate around the AC unit so your unit will have to work harder to function. To clean it just use a broom and a regular garden hose but do not use a pressure washer. It could harm the system with the strong spray. Even if you do regular maintenance on your air conditioner unit, there still may be times that you will need to call an Air Conditioning Service Repair company.

Here are some signs to look and listen for that might indicate the need for service.

  • If it does not work at all, look to see if the thermostat is put on the “cool” position. Make sure that the cooling temperature is not higher than the home or room temperature. If those two things are okay then it could be a breaker has not tripped. After checking all and your AC unit is still not running you should call an Air Conditioning Service Repair.
  • If you can hear it operating but has no or little cool air coming from the vents and the thermostat is at a practical temperature there could be a problem inside the unit.
  • Most air conditioners make some noise that seems like a normal part of the environment but if it starts to make strange unusual noises you should call the repair service
  • If you start to notice strange smells coming from the AC unit. It could be an indication that there is mold, mildew, or dirt inside the unit. The contaminated air that AC is putting out will circulate through the house and could cause health problems. This problem should be addressed as soon as possible.
  • Air conditioners normally cycle off and on to retain a steady temperature throughout the home. If the temperature outside is not warmer than usual and it starts to turn off and on more frequently than it usually does this could indicate that there is a problem with the AC unit.
  • You notice water is leaking around or in the unit

Air Conditioning Service Repair

check out my other guide on : HVAC Contractors | Heating Air Conditioning | HVAC Companies

HEATING AIR CONDITIONING

Choosing the Best Heating Air Conditioning

By Lora Davis

31.-Heating-Air-Conditioning HEATING AIR CONDITIONING

Heating Air Conditioning

Whether the system is for your workplace or home there are some factors that you need to consider before you decide on one heating air conditioning system. The one that is selected should be powerful enough to keep the area at a comfortable temperature, affordable, and energy-efficient. On the market today there are many different types of heating air conditioning systems. One of the systems you can find on the market is called hybrids because they use a combination of electricity and natural gas to work. In the hybrids the heating components use the natural gas to warm the air that is distributed throughout the air.

Qualities and the Right General Design Heating Air Conditioning

In addition to having energy efficient qualities and the right general design it is also important that you choose the system that will adequately heat and cool the area without putting too much stress on the equipment. This smaller system will have to work much harder to try and keep the area at a comfortable temperature. This will cause the components to wear down faster along with using a lot of energy. Check with a professional before you purchase your system. To ensure that it is big enough to heat and cool the area you have.

The next step is to consider the cost to buy the heating air conditioning system and have it installed. The system may be very affordable if the connections for the natural gas and electrical power are already in place and you do not have to install new ductwork. On the surface these systems may appear to give you the same level of ease of use. And efficiency but check the ratings to be sure. If you find a few heating air conditioning systems that the same in all ways. Choose the one that has the lower price. Before choosing the lower price one make sure the conditions and terms that are associated with the warranty.

Heating Air Conditioning

check out my other guide on : Furnace Repair | HVAC Companies | What Is a HVAC System

HVAC COMPANIES

Typical Services Performed by HVAC Companies

 By Nicolas Hantge

30.-hvac-companies HVAC COMPANIES

HVAC Companies

The typical services performed by HVAC companies are enough to keep your heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) system efficient. Keeping your heating and ventilation system in good shape will keep you warm when the weather is cold, in the same way that you air conditioning keeps you cool during summer without getting overworked. A poorly maintained HVAC system consumes more energy to just regulate the temperature. If you think that your heating and air conditioning unit is less efficient than before, it is about time that you avail one of the following services.

Inspection and Free Estimate

Typical services performed by HVAC companies start with inspection. Your HVAC system is surveyed as well as the space to which it will provide ventilation. This applies to every kind of HVAC. If you have a centralized HVAC system, it may take more time for the contractors to make a full estimate. There are HVAC contractors that do free estimates. Choose one that offers this package so you can save.

Cleaning and Repair

If your HVAC system is only a few years old and is still in good condition, they may perform the cleaning and repair. The ways HVAC contractors do this vary. Some companies use state of the art technology and some companies don’t. They ask different prices too. Just remember that the more sophisticated a contractor is, the more likely you are to charge you higher. Reputable contractors arrive in time on site to perform these tasks.

Replacement and Installation

If your HVAC is old and outdated, your HVAC contractor may suggest replacement. Large and established HVAC repair companies offer their own HVAC system units. Medium sized companies may recommend a particular brand that they find adequate for your needs. You always have the liberty to choose your own HVAC system, though.

After you have decided on your new HVAC unit, the contractors will install it for you. And because installation is done by professionals, you can rest assured that your heating, ventilation and air conditioning system will bring comfort to your family. Reliable HVAC contractors will also be able to answer your questions during the installation process.

Post Installation Support

The services of an HVAC contractor do not end when the HVAC system is cleaned and repaired or installed. They are always reachable to provide support when something goes wrong with your HVAC. It is true that the works of professionals are impeccable but it is also true that there are variables that affect the entire repair and installation job. But no matter what the problem is, your reputable HVAC contractor will be ready to assist.

To find a good contractor, start searching through the internet. List down several contractors according to your preference and do some research about them. You can ask your family and friends if they heard about these companies. Remember the typical services performed by HVAC companies because these is the core of their business and these are all that you need.

HVAC Companies

check out my other guide on : Furnace Repair | What Is a HVAC System | HVAC System

WHAT IS A HVAC SYSTEM

What Is a HVAC System? Upkeep, Shopping Tips, and More

 By Cathie Ericson

29.-what-is-a-hvac-system WHAT IS A HVAC SYSTEM

What is a HVAC System

An HVAC system (for heating, ventilating, and air conditioning) is what keeps your home cozy in the winter and cool in the summer. Those of us who have experienced the record-breaking high temperatures of summer or frigid conditions in the winter have no doubt praised our AC units or heaters at one point or another for keeping us comfortable in extreme weather. Or cursed them when they go on the fritz.

But not all HVAC units are built the same, and there are several different types. So  let’s dive in and see which one is right for you.

Types of HVAC systems

What Is a HVAC System? The best HVAC system for you depends on your preferences and the size of your house. An HVAC pro can help you make the right choice, says Mike Nicholson, owner of Nicholson Plumbing, Heating, and Air Conditioning in Ashland, MA.

There are three main heating systems

Furnace: The most common type of system, a furnace heats the air and then a blower motor moves the air through the home’s duct system. Expect to pay between $2,500 and $7,500 for a centralized furnace.

Boiler: This uses hot water rather than air to heat the house. The heated water, flows through pipes throughout the house, into radiators, which provide the warmth. A standard boiler costs about $4,000.

Ductless heating and cooling system: This third option is gaining popularity because its main calling card is energy efficiency. It works by heating and cooling specific zones, whereas the other two are whole-house systems. Rather than being one central piece, this system is “split,” with a unit outside that collects air and uses a compressor to heat it and deliver it inside. Units inside (the number depends on the size of your home) disperse the treated air. When the system is being used to cool the house, it reverses the cycle and sends the hot air from inside the house outside. These systems can cost around $7,000 for a multiple-zone system.

All about the AC

What Is a HVAC System? While the systems are all called HVAC in general terms, not every house has AC.

A whole-house air conditioner combines with a furnace and comes in either a “single” configuration (meaning it sends the same amount of heated and cooled air all the time) or “multistage variable speed” configuration (which uses the lowest level of heating or cooling needed and uses higher levels only for extremely hot or cold temperatures).

“[Whole house AC] is more efficient because the system doesn’t need to turn on and off as often to maintain a constant temperature,” says Rick Blank, HVAC field service representative and trainer for Ferguson Enterprises, based in Newport News, VA.

Because boilers don’t have a duct system, a central AC system won’t be an option. But your other two choices would be to add a mini-split system, which works similarly to a ductless system but offers just the cooling option, or window units.

What to inspect on an HVAC unit

A heating and cooling system is expensive to replace, so you’ll want to make sure the one in your potential new house is in good repair. Here’s what to look for:

Check the pipes: See if it’s a high-efficiency furnace by checking to see if there is big 2- to 3-inch PVC pipe coming off of it and venting outdoors. “That shows it is 90%-plus efficient, which means it is a high-efficiency unit and will cost less to operate,” Nicholson says.

Check the age and service history: If it’s not noted on the unit with stickers, ask the seller for the details. “Although regular maintenance won’t guarantee there won’t be future repairs, it can prevent premature failure of components,” Blank points out. And if the equipment has had excessive repairs, that might indicate installation issues or an improperly functioning system.

Inspect the ductwork: Take a damp white paper towel, lift up a floor register, and wipe the inside to see if it is dirty. If so, consider having the ductwork cleaned before moving in, Nicholson suggests.

HVAC unit shopping tips

Nicholson recommends looking for energy-efficient units that have an Energy Star label. “The days of the old dinosaur energy sucker in the basement are over,” he says. Yay!

Choose a well-known brand like American Standard, Carrier, or Ruud that will stand the test of time. Use a contractor who is certified in that particular manufacturer’s products to install it.

If you really want the bells and whistles. Go for thermostats that have Wi-Fi which allows you to control your unit from your smartphone.

HVAC maintenance 101

Like your car, routine maintenance will extend the life of the equipment and keep the unit operating at its proper efficiency, Blank says. Coils, fans, and other parts of the system are continually exposed to dirt, which affects the efficiency and capacity of the equipment. And, as the coils become dirty, parts of the system are subject to more stress and can shorten the life of components.

With the right amount of TLC, your furnace or ductless system should last about 12 to 15 years. While the boiler can go 15 to 20, Nicholson says.

Be sure to follow through with these HVAC maintenance tasks:

  • Change the filter on your furnace regularly and have it checked annually by a contractor.
  • Get your boiler tuned up to clean the burners and check for carbon monoxide leaks.
  • Clean the filter on a ductless system by removing, washing, and reinserting it.

What Is a HVAC System

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HVAC SYSTEM

Importance of HVAC System Maintenance in School Buildings

By Amy Nutt

28.-hvac-system-300x225 HVAC SYSTEM

HVAC System

Even more so than in the home, the proper maintenance of an HVAC (heating, ventilation, and air conditioning) system is important in school buildings. There are a number of reasons why it’s vital that a school keep its HVAC equipment well maintained. Any school facilities administrator needs HVAC units and ensure they are working properly.

One important factor to consider is that school buildings are generally much larger than personal homes or apartments. That means that HVAC systems in school buildings are going to have to be larger as well. With more area to cover in terms of ductwork and a more powerful unit needed to heat, cool, and ventilate a school. There is also a greater chance of something going wrong.

Also, when a problem does occur it harder to track down its exact source since the system is so large. That’s why it’s a good idea to do regular preventative maintenance on an HVAC system so that problems can be detected and fixed early.

It’s a major problem if any element of an HVAC system fails while school is in session. If the heating fails during the winter. Then the students will get cold and could even get sick if they’re stuck in the cold for too long.

Ventilation problems in HVAC System

It’s equally important that the cooling and ventilation systems work properly. Most school classrooms have anywhere between 20 and 40 people packed in to a relatively small space. If the cooling system fails on a hot summer day, those classrooms can practically turn into saunas. The body heat of so many people all in the space can really ramp up the temperature.

Ventilation problems can also be made more severe by the sheer number of people who are often in classrooms. It could lead to students getting really uncomfortable, and potentially even cause problems for people with asthma or similar conditions.

In order to keep on top of HVAC system maintenance in a school building, there are a few important steps that should be undertaken. The filters in the units should be replaced once every couple of months in order to ensure that they stay clean and don’t become a breeding ground for mold and fungus. The filters will need to be changed more often in dirtier environments.

Also, the evaporator and condenser coils should be cleaned once or twice each year. Evaporator coils are pretty much always damp. Making them a likely spot for mold or fungus to grow and affect the air supply. Condenser coils are easily damaged and degraded by dirt buildup. Routine cleaning of these key components of the HVAC system will not only extend the life of the system, but will also make it run more efficiently.

These key steps, along with routine inspections, will help make sure that a school’s HVAC system stays in good shape.

HVAC System

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WHAT IS THE HVAC SYSTEM

What Is The HVAC System?

What Is The HVAC System? – The initials HVAC stand for Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning. They describe the functions of the HVAC system. This mechanical system’s design is primarily an attempt to take control of the environmental conditions inside the space you work.

The main functions of the HVAC system

The HVAC system is designed to control the environment in which it works.

It achieves this by controlling the temperature of a room through heating and cooling. It also controls the humidity level in that environment by controlling the movement and distribution of air inside the room. The system also ensures cleanliness of air inside the said environment.

Types of HVAC Systems Available

The three main types of HVAC systems available today are

  • Split and Window AC
  • Packaged Heating & Air Conditioning System
  • Central AC System
27.-what-is-the-hvac-system WHAT IS THE HVAC SYSTEM

What is the HVAC System

How Does the System Work?

Not all types of HVAC systems work the same way. Some are faster than others while others serve larger environments. In short, some HVAC systems are more effective than others in certain situations.

Here’s how the different systems work

Split and Window AC Systems

In a window AC, fans blow air through the coils. This improves how they separate the heat and cold. Heat gets lost to the outside air while introducing cold is into the room.

The split AC focuses on splitting the cold from the hot side of the system. The cold side has the cold coil and the expansion valve. This is usually placed inside a furnace or any other form of air handler. The handler blows air over the coil and the cooled air is distributed to various rooms in the building through the air ducts.

Packaged Heating & Air Conditioning System

These units provide an all-in-one benefit in that they have both heating and cooling equipment in a single “package”. Users can place them in mechanical rooms, on the rooftop or at a grade close to the conditioning space.

Unlike in split systems where the cold and hot units are separate, the package AC has all the components in one unit. These elements have a centrifugal fan or blower that helps distribute the air throughout the elements of the structure.

Central AC Systems

Most of the air conditioners in residential buildings are in the form of split systems – only bigger. They have a cooling fan, a condenser coil and a compressor housed in a separate condensing unit. The evaporator coil is usually inside an air handler (indoor) unit normally installed on the furnace. When the furnace is electric, a blower is included in the system.

The compressor uses electricity as its source of power to pump the refrigerant across the system collecting indoor heat and removing it from the home. The heat dissipates outdoors by the coil in the condensing unit.

Warm air indoors gets blown through the indoor coil (cold) to remove moisture and heat. The heat in the air transfers to the coil and thus the air cools. The water vapor condenses on the coil (since it is cold) and collects inside a drain pan. It goes outside through the condensate drain.

The heat, after flowing to the evaporator coil, pumps outdoors while the now cooled air inside the room circulates through the fan on the air handler.

What Is The Hvac System

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