Tag Archives: HVAC system

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

How to find quality HVAC contractors

Tips to Maintain Your HVAC System in Optimal Condition

Keep Your HVAC System Up and Running

Your home HVAC system is in charge of keeping your family comfy at all times, regardless of the weather outside, but, in order to do its job properly, it needs to have the proper maintenance. Taking the time to clean and have it checked every once in a while, not only will guarantee good performance but it will also help you save a significant amount of money on your electrical bill. Here are 4 HVAC maintenance tips to keep your HVAC system in great shape:

Schedule Professional Maintenance at Least Twice a Year

The best way to be certain that your HVAC system is performing as it should is to schedule an appointment with a professional HVAC technician to check on your unit and make sure everything is working fine. It is recommended that you contact your trusted HVAC company to check on your unit at least twice a year.

Use the Recommended Temperature

When you use the recommended temperatures according to the season of the year, you will save a significant amount of money every month. The recommended temperatures are 24° to 25° degrees Celsius (75° Fahrenheit) in summer and 17° to 19° degrees Celsius (62° F) in winter.

Change Your HVAC Filters When Needed

HVAC filter plays a very important role to keep the air from your unit fresh and clean, but, it does have an ending lifetime. Make sure to change your HVAC filter on time and keep your family healthy and safe.  

Get Rid of Any Outside Obstacles

Go to the exterior of your home where your HVAC unit is located and make sure it is free of obstacles such as plants, debris, and any other objects that could keep the fresh air from entering the unit.

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High-Quality HVAC Services and Products at Your Reach!!!

TOTAL COMFORT Heating and Cooling is a family-owned business, where we insist on treating others as our own. You have our TOTAL commitment that our entire staff will provide you with a 100% customer satisfaction. We serve Aurora, Highlands Ranch, Parker and the surrounding Denver Metro areas. Contact us today and leave your home HVAC system in the hands of the real experts!

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Protect Your HVAC Unit From Snow and Ice

Denver residents know exactly what winter can bring—icy conditions, piles of snow, and of course, frigid temperatures. Your heater is working overtime to help keep you and your family warm, but snow and ice can potentially cause some problems to your system.

Heat Pump

If your HVAC system has a heat pump condenser, it needs proper ventilation to work efficiently. Just as you need to keep the unit free of leaves in the fall and tall grass in the summer, you need to clear the unit of snow and ice in the winter. It’s important to clear an area of about 18 inches around the unit and remove any snow or ice on top.

The unit has small fins, which is how it transfers heat, and you need to take special care not to damage these fins while you’re clearing away the snow. So no heavy hitting with your shovel.

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While we’re on the subject of protecting fins, icicles can also cause some serious damage. Make sure your gutters don’t have any damage that can cause icicles to form. If they do form over your outdoor unit, knock them away, so they don’t fall on the condenser.

Intake and Exhaust Pipes

If you notice that your furnace is constantly trying to start without turning on, the intake and exhaust pipe outside may be blocked. To find the pipe, look for a black or white pipe leading away from your furnace and see where it leads outside the house. If there is a pileup of snow, clear it away.

If you get snowed or iced in and you think your system needs assistance, out technicians at Total Comfort Heating and Cooling can take time for a home visit to help make sure your furnace is clear enough to keep working properly. Contact us today!

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Don’t Suffer Through Poor Air Quality This Winter

The days where you could just open a door or window to let in fresh air are gone, so it’s time to make sure you maintain good air quality. You’re going to be spending more time indoors and breathing in the recirculating air, so it’s even more important to make sure that the air you’re breathing is clean. Here are a few tips for coping with life indoors.

Registers and Vents

Your heater or furnace system will have registers and vents spread across your home. Over time, these build up with dust and allergens. Keep them clean by using a duster or the wand attachment on your vacuum.

Ceiling Fans

Ceiling fans are in constant motion and start to pick up all of the dust that circulates in the house. Take time to clean the ceiling fan blades and remove the grime. This is also a good time to reverse the direction to clockwise so that it creates an updraft and circulates warm air. This could potentially allow you to lower your thermostat a little bit.

Ductwork

You may not even be able to see the culprit for poor air quality—the ducts. A technician can come to your home and clean the ducts using special vacuums and disinfectants.

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

Filters

Changing your filters is a year-round task, but as people and pets spend more time indoors, those filters can become clogged more quickly. Check and replace your filters more frequently in the winter.

Air Filtration System

If you’re serious about indoor air quality, a filtration system can be installed to complement your existing HVAC system.

If you have questions about maintaining good indoor air quality, contact us at Total Comfort Heating & Cooling. One of our experienced technicians can answer all of your questions, and you may be able to schedule a duct cleaning.

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The Most Common Furnace Problems

It’s getting into the colder months of the year, and it’s important to make sure your heating system is working correctly. We’ve put together a list of the most common heating system problems. Knowing what they are and how they occur can help you possibly avoid them in the future.

Common Problems

Below are some of the common causes of furnace problems.

  • Lack of Maintenance – If you fail to keep up with annual inspections, you may run into unexpected problems. Regular maintenance can help keep your heater working at maximum efficiency.
  • Dirty Filters – Clogged filters block airflow, forcing your system to work even harder. Replace them according to the manufacturer’s schedule.
  • Mechanical Wear – Mechanical parts wear down and need replacing over time. Parts failure can cause overheating and poor performance.
  • Thermostat Issues – It’s possible it’s not the furnace that’s malfunctioning, and it’s actually the thermostat. This can lead to no heat, intermittent heat, or blasts of hot air.
  • Ignition Control – A faulty ignition or pilot can create heating problems. A specialist can determine the cause of the outage.
  • Noisy Unit – There could be a mechanical issue at play. Rumbling and rattles are not typical.

What to Do

Regularly change your air filters. This will prevent at least one problem from coming to the surface. Follow the manufacturer’s directions.

Double check your thermostat. Sometimes the battery simply needs replacing; other times the fan or heat setting may not be where it should be.

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Reduce drafts where you can and make sure the unit didn’t blow a fuse. If those at-home checks don’t change anything, it’s time to call a specialist.

If you’re having a problem with your heater, contact Total Comfort Heating & Cooling. We can send one of our expert technicians to your home and assess and fix your problem. Don’t get stuck in the cold!