All posts by Total Comfort Heating & Cooling

HVAC Unit

Clean Your Outdoor Unit for Fall

After summer, we always get the urge to clean out our closets and our space to get ready for the new season. Preparing your home for fall should always include a scheduled maintenance of your heating, ventilation and cooling system to make sure you breathe clean and healthy air during winter and avoid break-downs and unnecessary expenses at a most unfortunate time. By cleaning both your indoor and your outdoor central unit you will prolong the life of your air conditioning system so take some time to make sure your outdoor unit is in good shape. Follow these simple steps for an easy DIY maintenance job.

Inspect the Filter

Usually located next to the air conditioner return duct, air filters with time get dirty and full of debris so locate yours and remove them. Wash your plastic and metal filters thoroughly with a garden hose to eliminate dust and dirt. Discard cardboard and fiber filters and replace the filters with new ones.HVAC System technician needs to be certified and trustworthy.

Turn Off Power and Open the Unit

Flip the breaker switch off on the unit and carefully remove the access panel from the vent openings.

Bring Out the Vacuum

By removing the panel, you will expose the condenser coils in your unit. Examine them thoroughly for debris and dust, and clean them with your home vacuum. Be careful not to bend the fins and coils. After vacuuming, get your garden hose again and rinse the coils well. When handling the condenser coils be careful and wear heavy gloves because the fins are sharp and often cause scratches and cuts you could easily have avoided with proper equipment.

Clean the Fans of Your Unit

Use a moist rag and carefully clean the dust from fan vents in the unit and the top panel. Screw back the panel and don’t forget to turn the power back on!

If you find this a hassle and you are located in the Denver area, contact us at Total Comfort Heating & Cooling and we will be glad to help with the maintenance of your HVAC system.

Efficient HVAC System

Getting an Efficient HVAC System

When considering an investment like installing a new heating, ventilation and cooling system, do your homework first and thoroughly research the market. Being realistic about your needs and shopping accordingly will save you a significant amount of money in the long run, so pay attention to these suggestions and choose a system that completely suits your home.

The Matter of Efficiency

Researching the effectiveness of the system you are considering can help you save money on your utility bills, since effective units cool and heat your space by using less power. When reviewing the specifications of your top options, look for SEER or AFUE ratings, as well as models that have energy stars.

The Matter of Size

Bigger is not always better, and HVAC systems are the perfect example. The size of your unit should be directly proportional to the square footage of your house because large units placed in small spaces and vice versa usually wear out faster. Small units need to work extremely hard to keep your desired temperature in a larger home, while large units achieve it too easily, which in turn causes them to continuously turn on and off, trying to keep the temperature constant.

HVAC 1

The Matter of Quality

It always pays off to invest in quality. In HVAC terms that means your units will last longer and have fewer issues.

The Matter of Special Features

Newer systems come with a whole array of special features, many of which you might not even need. Research a bit what a particular feature stands for and opt for the system that ticks all your boxes.

The Matter of Installation

A good contractor can go a long way, so ask for recommendations and always make sure you use a licensed professional located in your area because that usually means they can react quickly if you have any questions or problems with your system.

Our Total Comfort Heating & Cooling team proudly serves the Greater Denver, Colorado area, and the surrounding Denver, Colorado suburbs. Feel free to reach out to us if you have any questions about your system or need our professional services.

Air Conditioning Repair

Tips on Cleaning a Commercial Property HVAC System

Besides many other tasks that need to be performed day in and day out, being a responsible and efficient landlord or manager of commercial properties also includes taking good care of the HVAC system. By doing so you will eliminate odors, excessive moisture, and stop mold from developing in and around your units, as well as lower your energy costs and make your space a more pleasant place to live in. The easiest way to ensure that your HVAC system is working without a glitch is to follow these simple steps as frequently as possible.

Plan Your Action

Cleaning air ducts is not a risk-free activity and by doing so without being careful, you can release toxic contaminants into your building. In order to avoid possible injuries and discomfort, notify your occupants in advance and take all the necessary steps to keep them protected and your property in good shape.

Dispose of Standing Water

Cooling towers, (de)humidification equipment and drain pans are places where water tends to pool, which in turn can cause mold growth, increase humidity and release odors to your HVAC system. Dispose of all unnecessary standing water around your system, and frequently clean these surfaces.

How to find quality HVAC contractors

Time to Clean

Check both your outdoor and your indoor components and use different sized brushes to loosen dirt and debris that accumulated in the system. Use a vacuum cleaner to reach deeper into the unit and clean thoroughly.

Clean and Change Air Filters

If your building has reusable filters, check them for damage and clean them by carefully following the instructions from the manufacturer. Replace all used-up filters.

Apply Additional Protection

After cleaning all the surfaces, apply necessary sealants, antimicrobial agents and resurfacing materials following all the applicable instructions and regulations.

Do an Annual Inspection with a Professional

Checking the entire system once a year will help detect possible problems with the system and prevent significant malfunctions down the road.

If you encounter any difficulties or have any questions, contact us at Total Comfort Heating and Cooling to schedule a consultation with our team.

Expert HVAC System Services

HVAC Repairs You Cannot DIY

HVAC systems usually break down on the hottest summer days, during holidays and at rather inconvenient times, when most professionals are off-duty and cannot help at a moments notice. It is not a big surprise that we try to find a DIY solution to our problems in such cases. Some of us are also frugal and believe strongly that we can do everything by ourselves to save money. Most things we can actually fix with some elbow grease, but there are some repairs that you should never try to do on your own. The HVAC system, in particular, repairing it is not an easy or a safe task unless you are a trained professional since it involves harmful chemicals and dangerously high voltages. Here are some rules of thumb when considering a DIY repair of your HVAC unit.

Never Open Your Unit Without Proper Tools

Your basic toolkit might be useful when doing small tasks around the house, but using it to open up and tinker around your HVAC unit can cause further damage. Specialized tools must be used to identify possible issues and fix small and fragile parts.

Refrigerants Must be Handled With Care

A refrigerant is a highly toxic chemical that needs to be disposed of in a specific manner which is outlined by law, and that task must be done by a certified professional. Handling it yourself can cause serious damage to your surroundings and put you and your family in harm’s way.

HVAC technician testing voltage on a mercury thermostat.

Do Not Experiment With Electrical Repairs

All HVAC units use high voltages and strong electric currents that can cause electric shocks when touched, or even cause a fire in your home. If you notice something is wrong with your unit, hire a professional to find the problem and fix it.

Never Assume You Know What is Wrong With Your Unit

Unless you are an experienced professional, it is really hard to guess the real cause your HVAC system is malfunctioning. Short circuits, for example, are not always a sign of an electrical problem but can also be a symptom of a whole string of possible problems, such as a broken thermostat, a refrigerant leak or a blocked air filter that needs careful cleaning. By getting involved you might worsen the problem and actually increase your repair expenses.

If you encounter any difficulties or have any questions, contact us at Total Comfort Heating and Cooling to schedule a consultation with our team.

spring heating system maintenance

Key Terms for Understanding Your HVAC System

 

All complex systems have a defined set of important expressions and abbreviations that help both the professionals and the consumers understand how everything works. It is our job, as responsible users of the HVAC system to take some time and learn all the key terms that describe our units, in order to better understand how to use them in our everyday lives, how to compare and make informed choices when buying new units, as well as how to properly maintain our systems. Let’s get back to basics!

HVAC – Heating, Ventilation, and Air Conditioning

The basic HVAC system is usually comprised of three elements: the heating system (a furnace or boiler), the ventilation, and the air-conditioning unit. There are simpler and more complex systems available, depending on the user’s needs. For example, more complex systems might include an air filtration and cleaning element, different humidifiers, radiant floors, swamp coolers, and so on…

SEER – Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio

This useful abbreviation informs users about the cooling efficiency of their units. The SEER rating is determined by the Air Conditioning, Heating, and Refrigeration Institute by dividing the cooling output by the total electric energy input of a particular unit. The higher the SEER rating, the better.

BTU – British Thermal Units

BTU is an abbreviation most often seen on units imported from outside the USA, signifying their strength. More precisely, one BTU stands for the amount of heat needed to increase or decrease the temperature of one pound of water by one degree Fahrenheit.

How to find quality HVAC contractors

AFUE – Average Fuel Utilization Efficiency

The gas furnace in your HVAC system turns gas into energy, and the AFUE tag helps you know the amount of energy you should receive from your unit. When considering the AFUE values, keep in mind that the higher the rating is, the more energy (and money) you will save. For example, if your appliance’s AFUE rating is 90, this means that 90 % of the energy created is used to heat up your home, while 10 % is lost during heating.

HSPF – Heating Seasonal Performance Factor

Heating seasonal performance factor lets you know the amount of heat created during an entire heating system. Just like SEER and AFUE, the higher the rating, the better efficiency your HVAC unit has.

EER – Energy Efficiency Ratio

Before the introduction of the SEER ratio, EER was the standardized way of measuring the cooling efficiency of the HVAC system. EER is measured by a set inside air temperature, as well as a set outside air temperature and a 50 % relative humidity.

MERV – Minimum Efficiency Reporting Value

Another older efficiency signifier, MERV was used on Energy Star approved appliances before being replaced by the SEER. As well as the SEER, a higher MERV rating means better efficiency.

If you have questions about your HVAC system, feel free to contact us at Total Comfort Heating & Cooling and one of our experienced technicians will be happy to assist you