Tuesday, February 27, 2018

Why is Your Air Conditioner Leaking?

A dripping sound in the middle of the night is usually one of the first noticeable signs that something is wrong with your air conditioning system. Unfortunately, a leak is a common development and doesn't help narrow down what might be wrong with your HVAC system. The best short-term solution is to place a bowl lined with a towel under the source of the drip and call in an expert technician first thing in the morning. An unfixed leak can cause water damage the longer you let it drip, and it's usually a sign that your unit isn't draining or cooling properly.

What are some of the most common causes of a dripping air conditioner, and what can you do to solve it?

If your air conditioner is dripping, then the coils might be dirty. This might not be the singular cause behind the drip, but condenser coils pick up the dust, dander, and pet hair that circulate through your house and the coils aren't regularly cleaned. All of this debris acts a bit like insulation, and your machine has to work harder and harder around the obstruction, which can lead to a frozen coil and cause water to bypass the drain.

There are two ways to respond to this problem, and both steps are essential. The first is to get your HVAC system regularly serviced. A trained technician can clean the condenser coil as well as check the condensate line for clogs and the drain pans for cracks, which are the two most common causes for drips. Only when an expert checks and repairs your system can you rest assured that the problem has been solved for the season. The second step is to regularly replace your air filter. That air filter helps catch dust and debris in the air, and a lot of general repairs are caused by an air filter that isn't changed regularly.

If you have any questions or service requests, please feel free to contact us at Blackie's Heating and Air Conditioning.

Thursday, January 18, 2018

Why is my Furnace Blowing Cold Air?

As the temperature outside drops, you and your family depend on your furnace to keep your home comfortably warm. Unfortunately, as reliable as your furnace is, there are times when a malfunction can turn the warm air blowing through your vents into cold air. If you're having this problem, don't panic, there may be a simple solution. Below, we've listed 4 possible reasons why your furnace is producing cold air instead of warm air.

Check Your Thermostat

If your thermostat is set to on, instead of auto, the nonstop stream of cold air from your vents is most likely caused by the fan running constantly. Switching the setting to auto ensures the fan only runs when your furnace kicks on.

The Pilot Light

Older gas furnaces are usually equipped with a standing pilot light. If the pilot light goes out, your system will blow cold air. Luckily, the instructions on how to relight the pilot are often printed directly on the furnace. While something as simple as a draft can cause a pilot light to go out, there are other more serious reasons, meaning the problem may be a bad thermocouple or low gas pressure. If you have to relight the pilot light several times during a single winter, a call to a heating technician is warranted.

Problems With Your Ducts

The warm air created by your furnace travels through your home's duct work, unfortunately, if the duct is poorly insulated, warm air will lose its heat and become cold air. That cold air will end up blowing through your vents instead of the heated air produced by your furnace. Getting a duct inspection by a HVAC technician will identify the problem areas and what improvements need to be made to your duct system.

Dirty Flame Sensor

If a dirty flame sensor is the problem, the air coming from your furnace will usually start off warm, but quickly turns cold. When this is the case, the flame sensor is prematurely signaling for the burner to turn off, which causes the air to become cold. Scheduling a yearly maintenance check-up ensures the flame sensor is inspected and cleaned before it can become an issue.

If your furnace is blowing cold air or you simply want to schedule a yearly inspection, please contact Blackie’s Heating and Cooling today for help.

Monday, December 18, 2017

3 Steps to Improving Your Home's Air Quality This Winter

During the heating season, poor indoor air quality in your home can have an adverse effect on your family's health. Thankfully, there are steps you can take to prevent bad air from infiltrating your house. To help you get started, we've listed 3 tips that will quickly improve the air quality in your home.

The Filter
A clean and regularly replaced filter is vital to the quality of your home's air. Your furnace filter removes dirt and debris from the air before it moves through your heating system and into your home. When you don't routinely change your filter, it is unable to perform its job, meaning dust, pollen, pet dander and other pollutants are not sufficiently extracted from your home's air. Luckily, poor air quality due to a dirty filter is an easy fix. By simply changing your filter every three months you can improve your home's air quality. However, if you have pets or a family member with allergies, you should consider replacing your furnace filter at a more frequent rate.

Open A Window
While opening a window in the dead of winter may seem counterproductive, it's actually beneficial to your home's air quality and the health of your family. Fresh air is key to keeping bacteria and viruses at bay. An open window a couple of minutes a day will invigorate the air in your home and help fight off many unwanted impurities or better yet, get a hrv/erv system installed. It will provide fresh air to your home will filtering and tempering it first.

Get Your Furnace Checked
Scheduling an annual maintenance check-up and cleaning will ensure your furnace is functioning properly, which will help improve your home's indoor air quality. Allowing years to pass without getting your furnace tuned-up won't only affect the air in your home, but it will also cut years off your appliance's life. When your unit is performing inefficiently due to a lack of maintenance you will notice increased energy bills and a more frequent need for repairs. All of these issues are easily avoidable with a yearly service plan.

If you would like to schedule a yearly service plan, please contact Blackie’s Heating and Air Conditioning and we'll be happy to help you.

Friday, November 17, 2017

3 Reasons Fall is the Perfect Time for Heating Installation

With winter around the corner, fall is the perfect time to consider having your heating system replaced. If you experienced any issues with your heater last year, having it replaced now could save you some stress in the coming months. If your furnace is in need of replacement, here are just a few of the reasons to consider having it replaced this fall.

It Will Ensure Your Comfort This Winter

If you experienced problems with your furnace last winter, and you were not as comfortable as you would like to have been, why suffer again this winter? Having your furnace replaced now will ensure the comfort of you and your family in the coming months, and it will prevent you from having to deal with furnace failure in the dead of winter.

Fall Installation Can Save You Money

If your furnace is aging then you will likely need to have it replaced in the near future. However, doing so in the fall can save you money compared to the cost of having your furnace replaced in winter. Fall, being between the busy HVAC seasons of summer and winter, is when you can find the best deals on HVAC systems. You may be surprised by how much you could save by having your system replaced in the off-season.

You Have the Convenience of Time

Fall is when you are least likely to need your HVAC system, which means that you will not be in the same hurry to have it replaced that you would be in if your system died in the dead of winter. This means that by having your system replaced in fall you can take your time to research HVAC installation companies, and you will be able to schedule to have your new system installed at a time that is convenient to you.

These factors make fall the best time to consider having your furnace, or your entire HVAC system, replaced. If you need your furnace replaced, contact Blackie’s Heating and Air Conditioning to schedule an appointment.

Tuesday, October 3, 2017

So Your Pilot Light Won’t Stay Lit

One of the most common gas furnace problems is a pilot light that goes out only seconds after being lit. Not only is this frustrating, but since it can keep your furnace from starting up properly, it can be quite distressing as well. Fortunately, this problem is often relatively simple to overcome. This article will teach you how to troubleshoot a pilot light that keeps going out.

How a Pilot Light Works 

The whole idea of a pilot light is that it stays lit all the time. When working, this is the result of the accompanying component known as the thermocouple. The thermocouple senses the heat from the pilot and sends an electrical impulse to the gas valve, telling it to keep the pilot light’s gas flow open. Should the pilot light go out, the thermocouple will cool down and the gas valve leading to the pilot tube will close. This is a safety precaution used to prevent gas from leaking out into your home.

Override Button 

In order to light the pilot, the flow of gas must be restored once more. This is done by pressing a manual override button on the gas valve. This button allows gas to flow up the pilot tube, despite the fact that the thermocouple is not telling the valve to open.

The most common reason for a pilot light to sputter and go out after being lit is that the override button was not depressed for long enough. In other words, the thermocouple simply hasn’t had long enough to heat up. Next time you try lighting the pilot, continue to hold down the override button for ten or fifteen seconds. This will greatly increase the likelihood that your pilot stays going.

As always, please feel free to call Blackie's Heating and Air Conditioning with any questions and/or service needs you may have.

Thursday, August 10, 2017

Energy Efficiency Guide for Summer

With summer in full swing and at least a few more weeks of hot, sunny days on the horizon, it’s more important than ever that your home is as energy efficient as possible in order to keep you and your family cool and comfortable without causing your energy bills to skyrocket. There are many ways in which you can make your HVAC system and home as a whole more energy efficient this summer. Continue reading for a few of our top tips on energy efficiency.

·         System maintenance: If it’s been over a year since you’ve had your HVAC system serviced, now is the time! An inspection and overall maintenance can help your system to run at peak performance, saving you money and keeping your home cool.

·         Clean air filters: The air filters in your HVAC system should be cleaned or replaced at the start of every new season, sometimes more often depending on your system usage. When your air filters are dirty, your system is forced to work harder in order to push air through your vents into your home. Keeping your air filters clean can go a long way in keeping your system running at maximum efficiency.

·         Keep clean: Keeping your home clean is an easy way to increase energy efficiency. When dust, pet fur, and other allergens are eliminated from the air, furniture, and linens in your home, they are less likely to get caught in ducts and air filters and slow down your system. Frequent vacuuming and sweeping can go a long way towards eliminating these allergens, and an air conditioning expert can also help to clean your ducts.

·         Energy audit: A home energy audit can alert you to where energy is being lost in your home and the changes you can make in order to make your home more energy efficient. Our team is proud to offer energy evaluations in order to help you make your home as comfortable and healthy as possible.

For more information on energy efficiency or to schedule a home energy audit in Tilton IL, click here to visit our website.

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Why We're Here

Most of you don’t call us just because you feel like chatting (unless our moms are reading this blog). Most of you get in touch with us because you have something on your mind. We’re glad that you do.
We want to know whatever problem you’re experiencing with your home comfort, because we want to help solve it. That’s why we’re here. It’s to serve customers who want to be comfortable indoors, who want to breathe clean indoor air and who want to save on their energy bills.
We’re part of the air conditioning and heating industry for a reason. And it’s not because we’re afraid of hard work. This kind of residential contracting work that takes us into attics, basements and all other parts of the home on really hot days can get quite messy. But that is not a problem for us.
In fact, we like knowing that we’re going to make your life better and a lot more comfortable by the time we’re done with our service or installation. After all, it sure does feel great to restore someone’s air conditioning system on a very hot day – and see the relief on their face when they feel the relief in their cool home.
So, if we can ever be of service to you, be sure to let us know. We’re happy to help.