Thursday, September 20, 2018

Air Conditioning Service Tips for Fall

The temperature is dropping, which means homeowners are beginning to think about end-of-summer home maintenance. This fall, don't leave air conditioning service off your to-do list. The change of seasons can have a number of effects on your home systems, and pushing HVAC maintenance off can have costly consequences.

Vacuum your AC unit

As leaves begin to fall, they can easily be pulled into your AC unit. Additionally, grass bits thrown into the air while mowing your lawn, lint particles that escape through your dryer vent, and dust in the air on a hot summer day can stick to your unit's coils, creating an insulating barrier that reduces efficiency. In time, dirt, pollen, pebbles and bugs can wind up clogging up your unit. Use an industrial vacuum to clear your AC of unwanted debris.

Clear the condensate drain tube

Condensation formed on the air conditioning coils can lead to bacteria and slime, which can clog up your drain tubes. The result is pooling, nasty water that can turn into bigger problems, like ineffective cooling or a smelly AC. Clear out the tubes to keep your unit free of bacteria and working properly. Use a diluted bleach solution to kill any bacteria.

Check the surroundings

The perfect environment for an AC unit is on firm, level ground that isn't crowded. If the land surrounding your unit is starting to slope, take the time to level it out. Also, make sure the area is clear of unnecessary items like toys, lawn furniture or broken branches. Leave at least a 2-foot clearance around the AC.

Arrange for seasonal AC maintenance

Conducting basic maintenance on your AC unit can help in identifying problems early. However, it's also a good idea to have your unit inspected periodically to ensure any small issues are fixed before they become larger problems.

Your air conditioner should keep your home cool for years to come, and proper maintenance is the best way to ensure it'll last. To schedule a maintenance check with Blackie’s Heating and Air Conditioning, contact us today.

Friday, August 17, 2018

How to Prepare Your Air Conditioner for the Off-Season

The last days of summer are quickly sneaking up on us, which means the cooling season is coming to an end. As your air conditioner starts to see less use, you should begin preparing it for the off-season. Executing a few basic precautionary tasks can ensure your AC is ready to start up next spring without running into any major issues. Follow the steps provided below to prepare your system for the next cooling season.

Evaluate Your Air Conditioner's Overall Performance 
Take a moment at the end of the cooling season to evaluate your air conditioner's efficiency and overall performance. Start by pulling out your utility bill for the last three months. Look for any drastic spikes in energy consumption. If you find your bill has substantially increased, especially compared to previous summers, your A/C may be struggling to cool your home. You should also take note of any performance issues, such as weak airflow or strange noises. If your evaluation points out a variety of problems and your system is over 15 years old, you may want to consider investing in a new air conditioner before the next cooling season rolls around.

Have Your Air Conditioner Serviced by a Professional
Scheduling a service appointment will guarantee your air conditioner is ready for the off-season. Our HVAC technicians will inspect your system and perform a variety of tasks designed to keep your AC in its most optimal condition. From removing dirt and debris, to evaluating your system's overall performance, our technicians can spot any underlying issues that may lead to a costly malfunction next cooling season. In the long run, having your air conditioner serviced at the end of the summer ensures your AC will operate at its most efficient level when it's time to turn it back on.

Keep Your Outside Unit Clean

Clearing the area around your outdoor unit is an important part of preparing your air conditioner for the off-season. Leaves, branches, weeds, and grass clippings can enter the unit, causing a variety of issues. Removing the debris immediately before the off-season, and sporadically throughout the fall and winter, will save your system from major problems down the road.

If you would like to schedule a service appointment, please contact us today to help you maintain the health of your air conditioner.


Thursday, July 19, 2018

How to Deal with Inconsistent Temperatures in Your Home

Many factors are taken into account when an HVAC professional calculates the appropriate system for your home. Even if a contractor configures and installs everything correctly, the temperature throughout your house will not necessarily be consistent. There are lots of variables that can affect the temperature consistency of your home.

Why do homes have inconsistent temperatures?

In some cases, the problem could be the layout of your home. A home that has two stories and a basement and has a single HVAC zone will most likely have cooler temperatures below ground-level, and warmer temperatures on the top floor. Although professionals typically address this type of issue before building a home, some homeowners shy away from the initial cost of additional units. Another problem is when a homeowner extends their house. Because the new addition of the home was not accounted for during the installation of the HVAC system, it could mess with the temperature balance of the entire house.

Consider adding additional units

If a house has a proper HVAC system but has inconsistent temperatures, it could very well be that a second HVAC zone is necessary. It is costly to create a second zone in an existing home, but it is more cost efficient to run than a single-zone system. In addition to having more stable temperatures, the additional units will end up paying for themselves in the long run.

Add a ductless split system

Ductless systems are great for home additions, or for areas that are not as easy to service as the rest of the home. They can cool and heat a sizable portion of a house, and they are more energy efficient than central air systems. Installation and maintenance are also less complicated and time-consuming than duct systems.

HVAC systems can be complicated. If you are having trouble balancing the temperature in your home, give us a call today and we’d be happy to evaluate your home and work to correct the issues so that you will have balanced temperatures throughout your home.

Thursday, June 21, 2018

3 Common Air Conditioning Mistakes Homeowners Should Avoid

When the weather warms up, you rely on your air conditioner to keep your home comfortable at all times. However, if you're like most homeowners, you likely end up making a few mistakes when it comes to maintaining your HVAC system. Here are a few of the most common mistakes people make with their units and how you can avoid them in the future.

Not Changing the Filters
No matter how large or small your air conditioner is, you'll need to change out the filters regularly. Air conditioner filters keep dirt, allergens, and debris from making it inside your home. As a result, filters can get clogged quickly, especially if you're running the system all day, every day. Over time, these clogs put a strain on your unit and may lead to more frequent repairs. Change your filters at least once every three months and inspect them every month if you're using your system daily.

Not Scheduling Regular Tune-UpsIt's not uncommon for homeowners to only think of their HVAC system when something is broken. However, when it comes to keeping your AC unit working efficiently, you'll want to schedule annual preventative maintenance appointments with your technician. Doing so will help keep your air conditioner in good shape and reduce the risk of unexpected repairs during the warmest part of the year. Schedule a tune-up for your AC at least once per year.

Ignoring High Energy Bills

During the heat of the summer, you expect your energy bills to increase. However, if they're higher than normal, don't assume that it's due to your AC usage. When an air conditioner is failing, it becomes less efficient and has to work harder to maintain the temperature you set on the thermostat. If you notice higher-than-normal energy bills, schedule an inspection with your HVAC technician. They'll be able to make sure your unit is working properly and address any minor repair issues that may impact the unit's efficiency.

Ready to get your air conditioner ready for everything the summer heat can bring? Contact us at Blackie's Heating and Air Conditioning today and schedule a tune-up with one of our experienced technicians.