Preparing Your HVAC Unit for Summer

Preparing Your HVAC Unit For Summer

Preparing Your HVAC Unit for Summer Heat!

It’s starting to get warmer, which means the Sacramento heat will be here before we know it! We’re just as excited for summer as you are. As you put final touches on your plans for summer, don’t forget to get your HVAC system ready for the heat waves.

Preparing Your HVAC Unit for Summer Heat!

It’s starting to get warmer, which means the Sacramento heat will be here before we know it! We’re just as excited for summer as you are. As you put the final touches on your plans for summer, don’t forget to get your HVAC system ready for the heat waves. In this article, the best residential ac company in Placerville shares some simple tips for preparing your HVAC unit for summer.

Preparing Your HVAC Unit For Summer

Change the Air Filters

Summer is a very demanding season for HVAC systems, and one of the easiest ways to ease the work of the system is by replacing the air filters.

When filters are dirty, the entire system has to work a lot harder in order to circulate conditioned air throughout your home. This leads to the use of more energy than is necessary, and the system components are put under added strain that can make them fail prematurely.

Clean filters avert these problems, and they also serve the added benefit of keeping the ductwork free from contaminants like pollen and dust.

If you aren’t sure about how often to change the filters, talk to our service techs at Gilmore Heating and Air.

Clean the Condenser Coils

The grill-like sections on the outdoor unit of your AC are referred to as condenser coils. They play a crucial role in transferring heat, and once clogged, the proper functioning of your HVAC unit will be compromised.

HVAC repair professionals in Placerville, therefore, recommend that you clean these coils as you prepare the unit for summer. Use a garden hose to get rid of all the dirt and grime that had accumulated on the coils.

Keep the Surrounding of the Outdoor Unit Clean

If you check the manual of your HVAC unit, you will notice that the manufacturer recommends a certain clearance (of about 2 feet) around the outdoor unit.

Sacramento HVAC maintenance experts say the clearance is important in allowing airflow around that outdoor component. So, to get your outdoor unit prepared for summer, you should remove any debris, mulch, foliage, and any other objects that are too close to the unit.

Dry vegetation is particularly problematic because it poses a fire risk, and it can also attract rodents to nest in the condenser unit.

Replace or Repair Damaged Pipe Insulation

Placerville HVAC technicians point out that there is a suction pipe which links the outdoor unit to the indoor HVAC unit. If the insulation on this suction pipe is damaged, then your home will not get as much cool air as possible.

According to Tureks Plumbing, a plumbing company in Appleton, WI, says that pipe problems are bound to happen at some point. Like many home problems, the suction pipe insulation is normally damaged due to normal wear and tear, humidity, or even pests. No need to worry, contact our Sacramento HVAC technicians at Gilmore HVAC for a repair or replacement. Our team will have your central ac unit functioning at its best just in time for summer.

Schedule Its Annual Maintenance

Having a professional from Gilmore Heating and Air perform scheduled maintenance on your HVAC unit is worth it. Our heating and air tune-up services ensure that the HVAC system will continue to work when you need it most. You don’t want your HVAC system to develop a serious problem in the heat of the summer, do you?

Invest in a Programmable Thermostat

If you don’t already have one, now is the time to install a programmable thermostat before summer sets in.

The summer months are characterized by a lot of outdoor activities and travel. A programmable thermostat can come in handy to ensure comfortable conditions in your home without breaking the bank.

Ask your Folsom AC service technician for advice on the most suitable programmable thermostat. You can control the HVAC system on the go! 

Consider Updating Your Unit

Has your HVAC unit been breaking down frequently, or is it more than ten years old? Now maybe the right time to upgrade to a newer model. Gilmore Heating and Air will provide their expert opinion about the best energy-efficient ac systems around. Don’t wait until your central ac system breaks when it’s over 100°F outside! Contact us today to schedule a residential ac tune-up, residential ac repair, or residential ac replacement. Be sure to check out our HVAC coupons for discounted HVAC services!

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Furnace Care

As summer turns to fall, inevitably the day comes where it’s time to switch your thermostat from ‘cool’ to ‘heat,’ and bring your furnace to life. But how well your furnace performs depends on how well it’s maintained, because even a new furnace loses efficiency after just one year.

The combustion chamber is a common source of lost efficiency.

Lost efficiency begins in the combustion chamber. Soot buildup can corrode chamber walls; cleaning it out boosts performance. Before replacing the cover, it’s important to inspect for holes and corrosion.

Damage to the heat exchanger can affect performance and safety.

The heat exchanger should be carefully inspected by a professional, because a cracked exchanger can potentially increase carbon monoxide levels, which can pose a danger to a home’s occupants. That’s why testing combustion ensures not just performance, but safety as well. Gases are measured in the exhaust flue, checking for proper fuel and air balance.

Burners and ignitors should be checked carefully.

The burner may need adjustment. The burner flame’s color and shape at the ignitor are the best indication of complete and stable combustion.

In gas furnaces, ignitor tubes are typically vacuumed clean as part of an annual checkup. Your system’s exhaust flue pipe also needs careful inspection for holes that could allow carbon monoxide leaks. While smaller holes can be patched, a corroded flue pipe should be replaced.

Finally, there are some steps homeowners can take to help their systems breathe easier.

Check and replace air filters regularly. Be sure to use the right size. Pleated ones work best. You should also annually remove and clean registers, and vacuum floor ducts. Lost efficiency means increased energy bills. That’s why annual maintenance helps keep your home warm and your system efficient.

You Shouldn’t Be Heating Your Home With a Space Heater

Space heaters are a handy way of staying warm in areas where it isn’t possible to take advantage of central heating. However, many households try to use space heaters in their homes as an alternative to central heating. Their reasons for doing so may include:

  • Furnace isn’t working or is working poorly.
  • Trying to minimize gas bill.
  • Heating rooms that aren’t connected to central heating.
  • Home uses old-style wall furnace, and far-away rooms have to be warmed with a space heater.

Regardless of the motivation, space heaters simply aren’t a long-term solution for home heating needs.

Space heaters are extremely dangerous. The National Fire Protection Association estimates that between 2009 and 2013, heating equipment caused more than 56,000 home fires in the United States. Space heaters were the cause of 40% of these fires, and caused 5 out of 6 (84%) of the deaths resulting from all house fires caused by heating equipment.

Part of the problem is that we have become overly comfortable with space heaters. We see them in the workplace, at store checkout counters that are close to an open door, in cabins and tents, and so on. As a result, we place space heaters without much regard for what’s around them.

As a consequence, the leading factor in fatal home fires is too little space between heating equipment and flammable materials, such as mattresses, bedding, clothing, and furniture. Many of these accidents may have been the result of children or pets knocking over heaters or setting down flammable items nearby.

It’s very difficult to make a space heater “safe.” They’re easily tampered with by children, their size makes them difficult to secure, and they usually have scalding hot surfaces, or white-hot elements just inches behind a guard.

We can help. Call Gilmore for a home central heating solution, and get rid of your space heater.

49% of all home heating fires occur in December, January, and February. NOW is the time to do something about your unsafe space heater. We can install a central heating system in your home faster than anyone else, and we’ll do it right the first time.

Call Gilmore, and find out what makes us the best heating and air company around.

Is a Portable Home Air Conditioner Right For Your Home?

 

Window AC units have been a popular home cooling solution, especially for those who live in apartments and older homes that lack central AC. But window units aren’t a workable solution for some, due to a lack of an appropriately sized window, or other issues.

In response to this need, manufacturers have recently started marketing “portable air conditioners.” These units, which are similar in appearance to dehumidifiers, are essentially a small air conditioner that doesn’t mount in a window, but instead uses a hose to pass warm air out through a sliding or casement window, sliding door, an exhaust vent cut into a wall, or a dryer vent.

While portable ACs provide homeowners and renters with an additional option to consider, the question has to be asked: how effective are these products?

According to Consumer Reports, portable air conditioners aren’t particularly effective.

Recently, Consumer Reports —the nonprofit organization that reviewed a wide variety of consumer products for more than 80 years—published an article providing a brief overview of the effectiveness of popular portable air conditioners.

What they found wasn’t terribly reassuring. Consumer Reports tests window and portable AC units by placing them in a 90 degree room, and seeing how long it takes the unit to bring the temperature down to 75 degrees. However, they reported that, “few [portable ACs] made it to even 80 [degrees] after 100 minutes.”

Chances are that you don’t want to wait 2 hours for the temperature to drop to still stifling 80 degrees. And the best of the bunch that Consumer Reports has tested—keep in mind, none of the portable units they tested made CR’s list of recommended air conditioners—lists for $600.

Portable air conditioners have other problems to deal with as well.

It may be that you live in an area with a mild climate, and so being able to lower the temperature a few degrees is good enough. However, there are other unpleasant issues to contend with if you choose to purchase a portable AC.

The exhaust hose. For an air conditioner to be effective, it has to expel the hot air outside of the home. Window units accomplish this by venting hot air right out the window into which they’re mounted. But because portable ACs are free-standing, they use an exhaust hose that has to be directed outside. You’ll either have to spend some time inserting what is essentially a piece of flat plastic with a hole in it into your window, cut a hole in the wall through which to put the hose, or figure out some other solution.

The noise. The process of cooling air is rather noisy. Central air conditioning units have the advantage of putting the noisy condenser outside your home, so that you aren’t subjected to the worst of the noise. But a portable AC contains the condenser, meaning that whatever room you’re cooling will be very noisy.

Not quite so portable. Portable ACs are typically mounted on wheels, allowing you to move them from room to room. But they’re only portable in the loosest sense of the word, tipping the scales at up to 80 pounds. If your home is carpeted, or if you wish to use the unit in an upstairs room, you’ll have to use some muscle to get one around the house.

Limited area of effect. Like window units, portable ACs are only designed to cool a very small area, such as a bedroom. This means that only a small part of your home will be cooled, and all the doors connecting it to the rest of your home will need to be closed at all times.

Negative pressure. Portable ACs, like window units, use a small amount of the air they draw in to push out waste heat through the outside exhaust. Because air is being pulled out of the room and not replaced, this creates negative pressure. As a consequence, warm air in surrounding rooms will be pulled into the room that you’re trying to cool. This air in the surrounding rooms will, in turn, be replaced by warm outside air that is pulled in through cracks, window seals, and door frames. So, your portable AC will have to continuously work to deal with this constantly intruding warm air, while in turn effectively heating up the rest of your home.

Portable air conditioners are an expensive solution to hot summer weather. For a bit more money, an internal air conditioning solution will cool your whole home, without the unpleasant noise and inconveniences associated with a portable AC.

To find out what Gilmore Heating Air and Plumbing can do to keep your home cool this summer, give us a call at 888-868-2316, or use our contact form to schedule an appointment.

How to Choose an HVAC Contractor

 

You may spend weeks or even months doing research, trying to decide upon an air conditioning system to install in your home. This due diligence makes perfect sense. After all, you’ll likely own your next air conditioner for 10 or 20 years, or even longer! However, the effectiveness of an air conditioner isn’t just determined by the stats on the box. A poorly installed air conditioner will never perform as well as advertised, and will cost you dearly on your power bill.

But how can you choose the right heating and air expert? Well, this guide will provide you with some helpful suggestions.

Look up reviews for popular heating and air installers in your area.

It’s definitely a good idea to start by looking for the best-rated AC installers in your area. Yelp and Google are reliable standbys that are great sources of information. But there are also other sources of reviews to check out, including Facebook and the Better Business Bureau, as well as more industry specific review sources like HomeAdvisor.

Really take some time to read some of the reviews written by past customers, so you can get a sense of what you can expect from each company. Look for reviews written by customers with questions and concerns similar to yours, and see what their experiences were like.

Ask around for referrals and opinions.

No opinion is more valuable than then opinions offered by trusted friends and family members. Ask them who they have worked with previously, and what their experiences were like. In addition, try mentioning some of the potential companies you’ve found in your research—naming names may remind them of experiences they’ve forgotten, or may prompt a recollection that, “Oh, so-and-so worked with that HVAC company. You should give them a call and see what their experience was like.”

We know from experience that word-of-mouth and family recommendations go a long way. In a few instances, we have worked with three generations of the same family. So be sure to ask around and see if your loved ones have any insight.

Call up the AC installation companies you like best and pick their brains.

Every job is different. In your case, you may know that your home will pose a particular challenge due to its layout or construction, or you have specific requests for your system setup. Or you may simply have particular preferences, such as a specific brand of air conditioner you have found consistently reliable.

Call your short list of promising HVAC installers and pose your questions to them. Treat it like a job interview or audition—you have a list of very specific needs, and you need to ensure that the installer you choose has the skillset and experience necessary to fulfill your needs. In addition, be sure to ask what guarantees and warranties do they offer for their work. If they won’t stand by their work, why should you?

If they don’t have experience with your preferred brand of AC or they don’t sound confident about their work, then it’s probably wise to move onto the next contractor on your list.

Ask for a home inspection.

Once you’ve weeded out the lemons, call the remaining companies and request an onsite inspection. The only way an HVAC contractor can provide a reliable cost estimate is by actually inspecting your home.

Don’t make your determination based upon the price tag alone. It’s often worth it to pay a little more—after all, you get what you pay for. Instead, look for attention to detail and evidence of professionalism and competence. A good contractor won’t do a quick in-and-out. They should look over your entire home: check the insulation, visually inspect the windows and doors, examine the condition of your home’s insulation, and so on.

Once they have completed their inspection, make sure to get a written estimate. Never accept a bid unless the contractor stands by it with a written budget and a guarantee that they’ll get the job done. Follow these same guidelines for choosing company for A/C repairs as well.

Now, http://air-conditioning-repair/it’s time to make your decision.

But if you’re still feeling uncertain about the process of choosing an HVAC installer, we are more than happy to answer any questions you might have. Here at Gilmore, we’re big believers in providing customers with all of the information they need in order to make an informed decision. Our goal isn’t to make a sale, but to make you happy.

To get a hold of one of our HVAC experts, just give us a call at 888-868-2316, or schedule an appointment with us using our convenient contact form. We’ll be happy to assist you in any way we can!