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.
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.
That’s right. We said air conditioners. As the weather turns cold, it may seem strange to think about air conditioning, but there are a few good reasons to invest now. We’ve put together a list of some of the advantages to buying a new air conditioning unit in the fall, as opposed to waiting until when the weather is warm.
Avoid Potential Delays
Most people don’t think about cooling until the weather starts to turn, and HVAC installers naturally get busier. This could lead to a delay in installation and a delay in your comfort. The average air conditioner lasts about 15 years, depending on the unit, and if your unit is getting close to the end its lifespan, replacing it can help lower your cooling bills.
Avoid Expensive Repairs
If your unit is approaching the end of its life, you may notice it requires more and more repairs, which can get expensive. Also, if your unit has to work harder, it’s using more energy. Replacing your unit now before it gives out entirely will save you headaches and costly repairs.
Time to Research
If you’re planning ahead for your air conditioning needs, you have the luxury of comparing products and making the best decision for your needs. When your unit conks out in the middle of summer, you’re inevitably rushed to make a quick, emergency decision.
Protect Your A/C in Winter
It doesn’t matter if you buy a new unit in the fall or if you already have it installed—either way, you should take measures to winterize your unit.
- Turn off exterior power
- Make sure the outside is clean
- Inspect for damage
- Cover the unit
Your HVAC Experts
Don’t wait for your aging unit to fail when you need it most. Contact Total Comfort Heating and Cooling to have a new unit installed ahead of the cooling season.
The evaporative cooler, colloquially known as a swamp cooler, is a type of air conditioner that works well in the hot, dry air of Colorado and the Southwest. This method of pushing air over water to create a cooling effect has even been used by ancient Egyptians who hung wet blankets over doors or had servants wave fans over jugs of water.
Swamp coolers, despite the name, do not perform well in swampy conditions, but rather in drier climates. The name may come from the fact that they add humidity to the air.
The Evaporation Process
Liquid evaporates by releasing molecules into the air, which is then converted into gas form. The hotter, faster-moving molecules are likely to dissipate quickly, cooling off the remaining liquid and thus cooling the warm air.
Swamp Cooler Mechanics
So we know the process of water evaporation causes the air to cool, but now there needs to be a way to circulate that air in your home. The swamp cooler contains damp pads that stay moist thanks to a small pump. A blower sits at one end of the box and pulls air from outside across the damp pads and pushes the now cooled air into the house.
The A/C Difference
An air conditioner works by recirculating air through a unit that passes over a set of coils cooled by a refrigerant or coolant, such as Freon. Air conditioners are different from swamp coolers not only in their mechanics but their output—swamp coolers humidify the air while air conditioners dry the air, making the swamp cooler ideal for dry climates.
Even though summer is over, your unit still needs maintenance. Denver Total Comfort can help you make sure your evaporative cooler is properly stored for winter. Give us a call or contact us through our website and set up a winterization appointment today.
Having a home requires a lot of maintenance, and one of the areas that require upkeep is your HVAC system. When not properly maintained, your system can become inefficient and have poor performance. One task that you can take on to help your HVAC system is to change the air filter.
Your HVAC System
Every HVAC system has an air filter that filters out larger airborne particles that can clog the machinery in your system. A dirty air filter can lead to poor airflow or even a lack of air infiltration altogether. A clogged filter can also cause your system to work harder at heating or cooling, leading to increased energy bills and possibly future repairs. Your air filter needs to be replaced or cleaned periodically, as often as once every three months. If you run your system regularly, have pets, or live in a dusty climate, you may need to change the filter more frequently.
Locate the Filter
Your air filter is located just behind the return air intake vent, which is usually a huge vent. If you have a larger home, you may have multiple return air intakes. There are usually a couple of clips at the top of the vent that you release to open, and you should see a large filter just behind the vent.
Measure the Filter
Not all filters are the same, so when you are shopping for a replacement, it’s important to find the right fit. Take the old filter out and measure it. Do this for all of the filters in your house, as they may not all be the same size.
Once you know what size to buy, go to any hardware store to find a replacement. There are one-month and three-month options, as well as washable filters. Your HVAC manual will have a filter recommendation.
Don’t live with an inefficient HVAC system—check your filters regularly and replace as needed for optimal performance. If you need help, you can always contact us at Total Comfort Heating and Cooling and our knowledgeable staff can assist you with your system.
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.
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.
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!