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It’s Never Too Early—Your Pre-Winter HVAC Checklist

As summer starts to come to a close, we start dreaming of cooler weather, which means it’s time to start thinking about your winter heating needs. You wouldn’t let your car go without inspections and oil changes—treat your HVAC system the same way.

Your HVAC system for heating or cooling requires regular maintenance, and while the repairs should be left to us, there are steps you can take to assess if there are any problems that need to be addressed. It may seem early, but it’s better to catch problems before you lose functionality in the middle of winter when you need the heat.

Your cooling system may be running great, but that doesn’t necessarily mean that your heating system is. In the off time during the spring and fall months, elements of your heating system may stop working. Here are a few simple steps you can take to assess if your heating system is working properly.

Check Your Thermostat

It may seem obvious, but the first thing you should do is turn the unit on and see if it’s working. Set your thermostat to about 75 degrees and wait a moment. Put your hand over the vent and feel if warm air is pushing out. If you don’t feel warm air, or if it takes more than a few minutes to put out warm air, there may be a larger issue.

Check the Air Filter

Sometimes, limited heat or slow heat could point to the air filter. Use your owner’s manual to check where your air filter is located. It’s a pretty quick check to see if the air filter is dirty or clogged. Air filters typically need to be cleaned or changed every three to nine months.

Tune-up

Have one of our professionals come to your home and perform a fall tune-up. An HVAC tune-up is not something you should do yourself, and a technician can make sure your unit is running at optimal capacity.

Registers, Grilles, and Vents

It goes by many names, but the register is the vent through which warm air pushes into the home. Turn on your heating system and check every register to feel that they are all putting out warm air at the same force and temperature. Contact a technician if one of your registers is not functioning properly.

Return Air Vent

All HVAC systems have a return air vent, which sucks in air to either be cooled again or warmed. This air will also be filtered. The return vent is an essential part of your system, so you should include this as part of your pre-season checklist. The return air vent is usually huge, and you can assess its effectiveness by putting your hand close to the grille—you should feel a light suction.

Clean Around Your HVAC System

As a matter of safety, you should clean the area surrounding your unit and remove any debris, vegetation, and potentially flammable material.

Your Seasonal Experts

Don’t wait for winter to come before your check your heating system. Total Comfort Heating and Cooling can fill all of your HVAC needs.  Contact us so we can perform a seasonal tune-up and make sure everything is going to perform when you need it.

HVAC Service and Repair

3 Signs Your HVAC is On Its Way Out

HVAC units are always an investment, so it is important to maintain them for as long as possible. No one wants to have to go through the hassle of replacing their unit. However, there comes a time when it becomes more cost-effective to replace the unit than to keep doing repairs. If you aren’t sure if your HVAC unit is worth saving, this quick guide can help.

How to Tell if HVAC Services are Needed

There are several ways to notice if a unit needs servicing or replacing. The first is excess moisture forming on or around the unit. If an air conditioner is dripping, for example, it could be an indication that one or more of the internal components are damaged. Anytime the unit is making unusual noises, not working, or is excessively dirty or leaking, you should contact a professional to help you.

In most cases, professionals can fix the issue. A technician may recommend completely replacing the unit. Here are some reasons why replacing can be better than repair:

It’s Cost-Effective

Some units require lots of ongoing maintenance or extensive repairs. These expenses can add up very quickly. This makes investing in a new unit, as opposed to keeping an old unit, a much more attractive option.

Energy-Efficient Features

Older units may be repairable, but they won’t offer the best performance. Energy efficiency can help keep utility bills low and reduce your household’s carbon footprint. Identify your current usage and see how it compares to newer models.

Consistent Air Flow

Sometimes, after technicians make repairs, they don’t know how long a machine will work until it breaks again. This instance is common with older units that can easily become blocked. If you want a consistent home temperature and air flow, you need to invest in a reliable unit.

All Heating and Cooling Needs in One Place

If you aren’t sure if your home or office has the best HVAC unit available, contact Total Comfort Heating and Cooling. Our remarkable service includes everything from installations to repairs. We will be happy to provide you with an honest diagnosis of your system and suggestions on how to improve it. Contact us today to learn more!

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Furnace or AC Unit? Common Types of HVAC Systems

After 30 years in the HVAC business, we have learned how to help customers with any type of home ventilation system. From interactions with our cherished customers over the years, it appears that homeowners know a fair amount about home heating and air conditioning options. It’s great to have in-depth conversations about some of the key features of the homes air control system.

One question we keep getting asked is: what are some of the common types of HVAC systems that could work for me? This post is meant to answer this question for all our inquisitive customers.

Single or Multi-Stage System

Single and multi-stage systems are popular in hot and cold climates alike. The system is designed to operate effectively on the hottest or coldest days of the year, thus guaranteeing warmth or cool air throughout the home.

Single-stage systems are common in older homes and can only operate at only one level of heating or cooling. This can get expensive and be rather loud to live with, which is why the multi-stage system was designed. The multi-stage system operates much like a light dimmer switch in that it has the ability to adapt to the temperature outside.

The single-stage system is certainly less energy efficient than the multi-stage system. It’s a popular choice for homeowners with older property to update their HVAC system to multi-stage.

Zonal System

Another newer option is a zoned system. The home’s furnace or AC unit can be applied only to specific areas of the home that need it most. It is the most effective way to deal with heating and cooling in the home, and most homes built today come with this kind of infrastructure. The zonal system saves energy, cuts back on costs, and is quite functional for homes of all shapes and sizes. HVAC 1

Specific Changes to Heating or Cooling Components

Sometimes a home just needs an update in the heating or cooling department. This is the case for people living in hotter climates that need a fully functional AC unit but do not require a furnace.

Total Comfort offers all these types of HVAC upgrades to their customers. Contact us today for more info about how we can bring more heating and cooling comfort to your home!

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Energy Efficiency in HVAC Units

Energy efficiency is the name of the game for modern HVAC systems. It’s one of the few excellent reasons why a homeowner would look to replace the system they already have in place completely. But, there many ways a conscientious home owner can make their older units perform better and keep their monthly bills down at the same time.

An Older Unit Can Operate More Efficiently

If you’ve noticed a spike in your gas or electric bill, there are a few things you can try before you replace the system entirely.

Change the Air Filter Regularly

Checking your air filter on a monthly basis, and replacing it if necessary is a good way to keep your costs down. The problem with dirty filters is that they slow the flow of air and force the system to work harder. That means more energy is being used and higher energy bills. Changing the filter once every three months, and checking monthly during the summer and winter, when the HVAC is working its hardest, is the best way to keep your costs down.

Yearly Tune Ups Will Pay for Themselves

A tune up for your car improves your gas mileage. A tune up for your HVAC system will enhance its energy efficiency. On top of that, an excellent HVAC service can catch minor problems before they turn into major ones. A yearly tune up will pay for itself.

Install a Programmable Thermostat

Person adjusting the AC thermostat temperature

If you’re like most people, you work for a living and are generally out of the house while you’re working. That means there are large chunks of time during the day when you’re not home. Installing a programmable thermostat is an ideal way to cut your costs. It can save you around $180 yearly.

Seal Your Ducts

Forced air systems work most efficiently when there is a clear passage from the HVAC unit to the living space. If there is anything either obstructing or venting air anywhere, but in your living space, it’s forcing the system to work harder to cool or heat the room. That costs you more money, both in monthly utilities and in wear and tear on the unit.

Contact the Pros

If you’re looking to retrofit your old unit with Energy Star rated equipment in the Denver area, we would be delighted to help you. We believe in customer service and integrity, and can help you make the best choice for your needs. Please feel free to contact us, and we’ll see what we can do to help out!

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5 Common HVAC Problems to Check For

Diagnosing Your Own HVAC Issues

Working in the business for over 30 years has taught me a thing or two about HVAC companies. Some will only try to sell you new equipment even when your old HVAC system just needs minor repairs. While it’s certainly sometimes the right choice to upgrade your HVAC system if it’s bleeding you dry each month on your utility bills, sometimes all you need is a small repair. If your HVAC system doesn’t seem to be working properly, there are a few things that you can check.

Senior male reaching up to open filter holder for air conditioning filter in ceiling

Refrigerant Leaks

What you’re looking for here is an air conditioner that seems to be blowing out warmer air. Most of the time, when that happens, it’s simply a refrigerant leak. While it’s not a major issue, it’s something that you want to have repaired because it will force the condenser to work harder and shorten the life of the HVAC system.

Compressor and Fan Failure

When your air conditioner seems not to be adequately blowing out air, this indicates a problem in the electrical wiring. In some instances, the wires have begun to corrode, and this will happen with older units, or units that are powered on and off frequently. It can be fixed without scrapping the unit.

Dirty Filters

If you notice your energy bill seems to be going up, or the quality of your air appears to be going down, one place to look is the filters. Filters should be changed once a month because the system will have to work extra hard to cool the room. A dirty filter will result in more wear and tear and higher energy bills.

Drainage Issues

If the condensation pump breaks, you may notice water pooling within or around the HVAC unit. This pooling could result in water damage to your home, and it also forces the unit to work harder making it less efficient.

Sensor Malfunctions

The thermostat triggers the HVAC system, so if the thermostat isn’t working properly, it could mean your HVAC system doesn’t know if it’s supposed to be cooling the house or warming the house. Obviously, this is bad because now you don’t have a functioning HVAC system. On the other hand, it’s easily repaired.

Our techs don’t get paid to make sales, they get paid to repair HVAC systems. So if you’re not looking to be sold a brand new unit when all you need is a minor repair contact our client specialists and let us help make your home comfortable again!