Wednesday, July 17, 2019

AC Air Filter Changing, Selecting and Replacing

An AC or HVAC filter maintenance is important for your home because it contributes to the quality of air inside a home. A filter is able to keep airborne particles from circulating throughout the home. Here are some essentials to know when it comes to replacing and selecting an air filter.

Choosing a filter

There are washable filters, pleated filters, disposable filters, and fiberglass filters. So which one is right for your home? There is a MERV rating scale that ranks the quality of a filter. This scale ranged from 1 to 16 with 16 being the best of the bunch. This means that it removes the highest concentration of particles. The higher the rating, the more expensive the prices.

Economizing a filter

Homeowners do not need to choose the most expensive air filters to ensure high quality air. However, inexpensive filters should be changed out more frequently.  The frequency, or lack thereof, can also dictate how often you should change out your filter. The type of air filter also determines the frequency of changing it out. Standard air filters can be changed every three months, although it should be done sooner if you have pets or allergies.

The role of an air filter

The role of an air filter is to keep debris out of your AC unit. The less often you change the debris, the more damage it could do to your AC unit. The functionality and integrity of your AC unit often depends on the effectiveness of your air filter. That is why it is a good idea to stay on top of replacing used ones.

What are they filtering?

Air filters collect debris, but the exact composition of that debris escapes some people. Human hair is a type of debris and it, like other debris, is measured in microns, which is a term that describes the size of particles. For example, human hair is around 70 microns while pollen can range from 10 to 100 microns. Dust particles can be less than a micron and reach as high as five. Smoke is also measured in microns, although it tallies less than one.

dirty air filter, AC filter, air conditioner filter
A very dirty HVAC filter.
Replacing an air filter is something that can be done as preventative maintenance. Should you need any other kind of assistance with your AC unit, be sure to contact Neighborhood HVAC Service. We proudly continue to provide top-notch AC service in Charlotte, NC and the surrounding communities.

Wednesday, June 26, 2019

What are the difference heat pumps, furnaces and strip heaters?

There are a lot of questions when it comes to a home heating unit and it is important to know the differences when deciding which one to install. Knowing the differences also allows homeowners the proper methods for maintaining their specific unit. Here is a look at the essentials on heat pumps, furnaces and strip heaters.

Furnaces can be powered by electricity, oil or gas with the latter being the most common. Heat pumps fall into three different distinctions: air, water and geothermal. These distinctions are used to describe the source of energy that powers the unit. Heat pumps also cool homes in the summer months. Strip heaters are powered by electricity and use convection heating to provide heat from the floor level up. These are often installed at a relatively low cost and are more common in warmer climates or to add additional heat on a cold night. They look like long strips and are typically installed on the base of a wall.

Safety

Furnaces that operate on gas are efficient, although there is always the chance for problems because of the natural gas element. Meanwhile, heat pumps and strop heaters are powered by electric so there is never a risk of carbon monoxide poisoning. However, a short in the system can also be problematic.


Lifespan

A furnace will last longer than a heat pump because a heat pump functions in both the winter and summer, providing heating and cooling. A furnace is only used in the winter months. That translates into a lifespan that is almost double that of a heat pump. Most heat pumps last between 10 and 15 years.

Variety

Heat pumps come in many different varieties as there are a lot more types than furnaces Charlotte NC. Trip heaters are all relatively the same with slight deviations between them. The sheer function remains the same as heat pumps transfer heat while furnaces produce heat. Strip heaters rely on convection heating.

Which to choose?

Heat pumps have more versatility because they operate all year around and usually provide better energy efficiency than either strip heaters or furnaces, However, nothing will heat your home quite like a furnace on a cold winter day. Installing a furnace is also cheaper than installing a heat pump while strip heater installation is less than both. Milder winters can make it more cost efficient to run a heat pump or strip heater as climate will often dictate a homeowner’s choice.

Monday, May 27, 2019

To Replace or Repair your AC Unit?

Air conditioning units are not going to last forever. Before they completely break down, they will begin to show signs of wear and tear. Some of those signs do not mean you have to rush right out and buy a new unit. Repair could be a viable option and here is a closer look at how to know whether you should repair or replace your AC unit.

Take note of the age

The most obvious sign of that a unit is on its way out is age. The majority of units are built to last anywhere from 15 to 20 years. Frequency of use, weather elements and prior repairs will also impact the overall lifespan of a unit. If your unit is not that old, repair could be an option for several years.

Consider the issues

There are problems that affect AC units which may seem major, but are actually simple to fix. For example, a noisy unit could have you prematurely considering replacement. But the reality is that some simple maintenance work could resolve the issue. Also, electrical problems are also on the more inexpensive side. But if a compressor goes on a relatively older air conditioner, then replacement may be more feasible because of the high cost of repair. Also, compressor problems can be the result of another issue, which means you could have a couple costly fixes.

Look at the leaks

Refrigerant leaks may cause alarm, but one tiny leak is not difficult or costly to fix. When there are multiple leaks, then it is usually a sign of a larger problem. Fixing multiple leaks does not negate the real possibility that future leaks will occur. Identifying several leaks is an indicator that there is a real problem. When that occurs, replacement is a more likely option.

Unit history

When a problem occurs, look back at the history of the unit and that will give you a better handle on the situation. For instance, identify how often the system has been received maintenance or tune ups. Regular service will keep parts up to date. Therefore, a sudden problem is more likely to be fixed with repair as opposed to replacement. It is also important to make a note of how the system has been performing recently. A recent history of breakdowns may indicate that replacement is a more favorable choice.




If you have questions about repairing or replacing your AC unit, call Neighborhood HVAC Service right away and we will help you arrive at the best solution for your home.

Monday, April 29, 2019

Why should you get your A/C tuned up every year?

There are plenty of reasons your air conditioner should undergo a tune-up every year, although most homeowners are unaware of how important this form of maintenance can be. There are times when the summer months can bring extreme heat and that forces an air conditioning unit to work around the clock. It is always better to have your unit prepared for that type of workload and here are some more reasons why a tune-up is a sound investment.

Your AC unit has been inactive
Over the course of the winter months, AC units collect an abundance of debris in its coils. Too much debris can create problems with the functionality of a cooling system. The chill of winter can also take its toll on a unit’s electrical system. A tune-up will clean out all the debris from the coils while also doing a complete check of the electrical system and other key parts 

It’s a money saver
Paying a little bit of money for a tune-up could save you a whole lot of money down the line. A tune-up will identify minor problems and correct them before they can snowball into bigger, costlier problems. Something like a small leak in a drainage line is a quick and cheap fix, although if it is not corrected then it could lead to a major breakdown.

Better efficiency
It is a proven fact that routine AC service will increase efficiency and lower the costs of cooling. The EPA even goes as far to recommend annual tune ups for air conditioning units. This will also increase the overall lifespan of a unit and prolong the time in which homeowners need to consider a replacement for their AC unit. The money saved in energy bills may even exceed the cost of an annual tune up.

It’s hot out there
The changing climate has led to higher temperatures on an annual basis. The state of North Carolina has been experiencing a steady rise in annual temperatures. In 2018, the average temperature in the city of Charlotte saw a 3-degree increase than the previous 30-year average. There were more than 60 days with above-normal temperatures in Charlotte in 2018 and that trend is not slowing down. More days with dangerously hot temperatures also cause AC units to work overtime.

When you are in need of an AC tune up in Charlotte, NC, contact the team of professionals at Neighborhood HVAC Service.

Wednesday, March 27, 2019

Improve Energy Savings by Managing Your HVAC Unit Better

Energy savings is at the top of every homeowner’s priority list, although not every homeowner knows exactly how to carry out this endeavor. There are many simple ways to cut down on your monthly energy bills. Today, we are focused on helping you decrease energy consumption with this guide to smarter HVAC operating. Following the simple steps below will keep a little extra money in your pocket every month.

Position Your Thermostat

Many people check their thermostat for a temperature reading and adjust it accordingly. However, checking your thermostat is very important. The first factor that should be checked is the location. A thermostat that is exposed to direct sunlight or drafts may produce inaccurate readings. It is also a good idea to keep your thermostat away from doorways or windows.

Set Temperature Limits

The Department of Energy recommends temperature limits of 78 degrees in the summer months and 68 in the winter months. This will keep energy costs down, although preferences may vary. Programming your thermostat to operate on a daily schedule will also reduce costs. This will allow homeowners to adjust the temperatures during the hours when no one is home. If your thermostat does not have that programming function, it is wise to invest in a more updated version, as it will save you money in the long run.

Repair, Replace and Upkeep

Poor ductwork can hinder the airflow throughout your home. Inspecting your ductwork will identify whether repair or replacement is needed. Another way to ensure maximum airflow is to replace your air filters on a regular basis. Keeping up your Heating Ventilation and Air Conditioning system also applies to keeping your drain lines clear. A quick inspection every so often can attend to all these matters. Setting up a maintenance plan with your local heating and cooling service provider can help you avoid any hassle.

Minimize Space

Not every room in your home needs to be cooled in the summer or heated fully in the winter. If you have a room or two that is not always in use, then there is the option of closing it off. Shutting the door and closing the vents will force your HVAC unit to do less work, which translates into a reduction in energy consumption. There will simply be less space to heat and cool.

Sealed and Secure

A window or door can be the source of a draft, presuming it is not installed or sealed correctly. Conducting a check of all your windows and doors is a way of ensuring there is no air seeping in. If a draft is detected, then there are several ways to fix the issue, which includes professional maintenance.

Ready to start saving on energy but still not sure how to begin? Start with a call to Neighborhood HVAC Service. They can help you with any of these issues and introduce you to ways of cutting energy costs. Heating and cooling specialist are standing by to assist you. For the best HVAC service in Charlotte, NC and the surrounding areas, contact Neighborhood HVAC Service today.