Thursday, May 16, 2019

5 Things That Your Air Conditioning Contractor Should Never Do

When deciding who to choose for your air conditioning contractor, there are certain characteristics and behaviors to look out for. Good air conditioning contractors typically have positive reviews and recommendations, an easily navigable website, punctuality, professionalism, and reasonable rates. It's important as a consumer to understand what types of things a reputable air conditioning company would never do, so we’ve listed a few of them below:

  • Take All the Money Up Front: When it comes to tune-ups and repairs, an air conditioning contractor will typically finish the work first and then bill you for it. When it comes to AC installation, they may ask for some money first, as they will have to make large purchases. But a good AC contractor will typically not ask upfront for all the money.
  • Show Up Two Hours Late: Punctuality is the sign of any good contractor. So, even if someone comes highly recommended to you, don't trust them if they can't show up at the time they say they will.
  • Return a Repaired AC Which Breaks Down Two Days Later: If a contractor takes away a window unit and brings it back, saying that it is repaired, only to have it break down after a couple of days, this is not a sign of reliability.
  • Advise You to Go for Outdated AC Systems: If you've been looking at AC systems and want to get something new but your AC contractor is telling you to get something outdated, either because it's cheap or because they are more familiar with that system, don't listen to them. Speak to some other contractors and get their opinion too.
  • Advise You to Replace a Newly-Installed System: Why would an AC contractor ask you to replace something that you just got a year or two before? It just indicates that they are out to get money from you. Go with someone who gives you reasonable, logical advice instead.

If you're interested in learning about our team's experience and getting an estimate for any of your HVAC needs, contact our team today!

Monday, April 15, 2019

Helpful Tips for Preparing your HVAC System for Spring

When the warm weather hits, issues with your HVAC system will be the last thing you’ll want to worry about. A properly functioning air conditioning system is essential for spring and summer comfort. Consider these four tips to help you prepare your HVAC system for spring.

Air Filter

When was the last time you gave any thought to your air filter? If you haven’t replaced your air filter in a while, now is the time to think about it. By purchasing a new air filter and replacing your current one, your air quality and efficiency will be improved. Also, be sure to have your air filter checked every thirty days during the warm weather months and replace it when needed.

Ductwork 

To ensure proper duct performance for distributing conditioned air in a home or building, have an air conditioning repair or installation contractor test your ductwork for leaks this spring. Having leaks in your ductwork repaired will increase your system’s efficiency and help your HVAC system cool your home more effectively.

Consider an Upgrade

An air conditioner has a typical lifespan of around 10 to 15 years. Therefore, if your air conditioner is acting up, and it is over 15-years-old, then it might be better to upgrade and replace it. Spring is a great time to have a new air conditioning system installed. If your system is old, having it replaced by a new, efficient system will save you money and reduce your cooling bill.

A Programmable Thermostat 

Are you trying to find the best way to save energy? If you do not have a programmable thermostat, have one installed sooner rather than later. You will enjoy better control of the temperature in your home and will lower your energy bills as well.

For example, if you go to work all day, during that time, you can raise the temperature in your home. This way, you can avoid wasting energy dollars cooling a vacant home. Then, you can program the thermostat to kick on at a lower temperature about a half hour before you are scheduled to get home. Therefore, you won’t miss a minute of optimal comfort!

For more information, or to schedule an air conditioning service or repair, please contact us here at Blackie's Heating and Air Conditioning.

Wednesday, March 13, 2019

4 Ways to Improve Your Indoor Air Quality

Most people think of the outdoors when they think of air pollution. However, the air inside your house can be up to five times more polluted than outdoor air. Children, elderly people, and those with asthma are especially affected by indoor pollutants. Here are four ways you can improve your indoor air quality.

Replace Air Filters

Keeping your furnace's air filters clean is one of the best ways to improve the air quality in your home. Dust, debris, and dirt will build up in your heating and cooling system over time. How often your furnace's filters need changing depends on what type of filter you use. Follow the recommendation of the manufacturer. Not only will changing your air filters improve your air quality, it will also boost your HVAC system's performance.

Adjust Your Home's Humidity

Dust mites and mold thrive in a humid environment. Make sure that you repair any water leaks as quickly as possible. When you shower, run your bathroom exhaust fan to reduce humidity. Have your heating and cooling system inspected to ensure that it's keeping your humidity at an optimal level. Consider having a whole-home dehumidifier installed.

Keep Your Home Clean

Dirt and dust collect on your floor. Vacuum your home at least once per week. Use a vacuum cleaner with rotating brushes and strong suction power. Make sure it has a high-efficiency particulate air (HEPA) filter, which will pick up allergens. If any dust is left after vacuuming, mop your floors. Use a microfiber dust mop, which will pick up more dust and dirt particles.

Use bedding that's machine-washable, and wash it weekly to reduce allergens. Minimize the amount of dirt that's tracked into your home from outdoors. Place a mat at each door, and consider asking guests to take off their shoes when they come inside.

Avoid Smoking While Indoors

A number of health problems are caused by exposure to secondhand smoke. If you or your guests are going to smoke, do so outside to keep your indoor air clean.

For more information, or to schedule heating service, please contact us today.

Tuesday, February 19, 2019

Is a Gas or Electric Furnace Better?

If you are in the market for a new furnace, you not only want a new model that is within your price range, but you also want the best model. However, another factor that you need to consider is whether you want it to be gas or electric, as the fuel source can play a crucial role.

For houses with overly difficult gas hook-ups or no gas hook-ups at all, sometimes electric may be the only option available. However, electric furnaces come with some distinct benefits. Typically they require less of a financial investment when you purchase them and last slightly longer. Unfortunately, they will be more expensive to operate. You also get the benefit of having no risk of carbon monoxide poisoning.

Alternatively, gas furnaces run more efficiently, so while they are more expensive to purchase, they cost less to run overall. Gas furnaces will heat up the home faster and reach a higher temperature. However, they have a lower life span and can potentially run a small risk of carbon monoxide poisoning.

In most cases, you may want to choose electric if it doesn't get very cold in your area. For areas that experience extreme cold temperatures, it may be best to select a gas furnace due to its efficiency and how optimal of a fuel source it is for heating.

While there seems to be minimal advantages and disadvantages between these two furnace fuel sources, they do make a big difference. If you are still having doubts on which furnace to pick, you may want to look at other important factors such as cost. Furthermore, you will also want to make sure the furnace of your choice is actually an appropriate size for your home. In terms of furnaces, bigger is not better. In actuality, bigger is significantly less energy efficient no matter what fuel source it runs on.

If you have any questions about which type of furnace is right for you, contact us today. Our team of professionals will be able to advise you on the right decision given your home’s characteristics, budget, and any other needs.

Tuesday, January 22, 2019

Five Questions to Ask a Heating Contractor

It’s only a matter of time that your HVAC unit runs into problems. Whether it’s a minor problem like a dirty air filter that’s easily and quickly fixed, or something major like the pilot light failing to ignite or a gas leak, you will need to seek out a heating contractor to perform the necessary repairs or replacement.

Not Always a "Quick Fix"

When repairing or replacing a heating unit, there are many pieces to examine and time is needed to ensure the entire unit is ready to operate successfully. Even the smallest mistake can result in a lack of heat, or worst case scenario, the carbon monoxide poisoning.

Ask the Important Questions

In order to avoid these problems, you want to ask your heating contractor some important questions to help determine if they are a good fit for you. Here are five questions to start out with:

1. How do they handle estimates?

The contractor should provide a written and certified estimate ahead of any work that displays the breakdown of costs between parts and labor. In addition, it should contain an approximate time of completion. If there are any changes in cost or timeframe, you must approve them before the contractor can move forward.

2. Who supplies their parts?

An HVAC unit is not a vehicle. In other words, you can't go with a certified used heating unit or parts. You must know who their suppliers are or what manufacturers they're connected with. Don't go with unfamiliar names because it saves a few dollars.

3. What type of warranty to they provide?

If the contractor is replacing certain parts, then they must provide a warranty on them. This should be somewhere between one year and the part's lifetime. If it's a new heating unit, then you need to know how long the manufacturer's warranty is and if it covers both parts and labor.

4. Do they install Carbon Monoxide detectors?

State and federal regulations require carbon monoxide detectors be installed on all floors of a home when utilizing a gas heater. Your heating contractor should provide these as part of the installation package. In addition, they should be warrantied in case they begin to fail.

5. Are you allowed to speak to previous clients?

If the heating contractor says they don't want you speaking with them, then it's time to say goodbye and look elsewhere. While you can find online reviews, some of them are from customers who are disgruntled for something other than the service or price. It’s most valuable to speak with people the contractor has directly dealt with.

Take these actions first to ensure you heating repairs are done right the first time. If you have any questions, we encourage you to contact us today.

Thursday, December 20, 2018

Why Is My Furnace Not Igniting?

Gas furnaces are one of the most popular means of home heating. Like any appliance, your gas furnace will occasionally need repairs. A common issue with gas furnaces is a failure to ignite. If your furnace does not ignite, one of these components may be causing the issue.

Air Filters

If your air filters are especially dirty, they may be impeding airflow to and from your furnace. It will not ignite if airflow is too restricted. Try replacing your air filters and see if your furnace will ignite. Continue to replace your air filters regularly. Keeping your filters clean will improve both your indoor air quality and the performance of your heating system.

Thermostat

You've raised the thermostat temperature, but your furnace hasn't responded. In some cases, the problem isn't the furnace itself, but a faulty thermostat. If your thermostat's screen is unresponsive, or if your programmed settings are lost, the thermostat is likely to be the problem. Contact a heating repair technician to determine the cause of the issue.

Burners

If your burners are rusty or have begun to corrode, they will not ignite. A heating contractor can clean the burners for you or replace them if necessary.

Circuit Breaker

Modern gas furnaces are lit by an electric ignition system. Check the circuit breaker connected to your furnace. If the circuit breaker has been tripped, turn it off for several minutes and then try to reset it. If the furnace continues to trip the breaker, call a Blackie’s Heating and Air Conditioning HVAC technician for repairs right away.

Safety Switch

The furnace's burners will not turn on if the safety switch is open. The safety switch could be triggered by a clogged flue, a failing blower, or a dirty air filter. A repair technician can diagnose the problem and ensure that your furnace is running safely.

If your furnace isn't igniting properly, contact us to schedule heating service.

Thursday, November 15, 2018

Signs You Need Furnace Repair

Before winter hits, you want to make sure your furnace is in good working condition. Faulty pilot lights, dirty air filters, and other issues can make your furnace less energy efficient and less functional for keeping your home warm.

Are you in need of furnace repair? Before you begin to rely heavily on your heating unit on for the season, use this guide to help you determine if it's time to call a furnace specialist for repairs.

You haven't had your furnace inspected

Responsible furnace care and maintenance involves having your heating appliance inspected every year before use. Some homeowners have their furnace inspected during the summer so repairs can be made in advance of winter use. If you haven't had your furnace inspected in recent months, or can't remember the last time you had your unit serviced, you may be in need of repairs.

Call your HVAC specialist to check out your furnace, even if you haven't had issues with your heating unit in the past. Small repairs done now can prevent costly replacement in the future.

Your heating bill keeps going up

Furnaces will start to use a lot of energy to keep areas warm when they start to fail. Pay attention to your energy bill; if your heating costs keep going up every year, poor air filtration, a failing motor, or even a deteriorating heating element may be to blame. Your heating specialist will make repairs to your unit by replacing dated or worn elements or may recommend replacing your appliance for a modern model.

Your heating is unreliable

Do you have to constantly check your thermostat and reset your furnace to keep your home warm? Your furnace should be able to supply you with reliable, consistent heat. Power breaker surges, declining heat, or poor heat quality in your furnace are all signs your unit is in need of repairs.

Always hire a professional furnace and heating specialist to inspect your appliance for you. Contact us today to schedule a system inspection. Home repairs are not recommended, so it’s best to invest in quality furnace repair when your unit isn't working as it should.