One Hour Heating & AC Kentucky: Why Is My Heat Pump Not HEATING?!
Here in Kentucky, we get all four seasons. In the summer, it is hot, hot, hot. But with summer winding down and fall looming, it’s time to start thinking about staying warm. Because Kentucky winters are cold, cold, COLD. Any good heating technician knows that the time to call for furnace or heat pump repair isn’t the winter. It’s the fall. We’ve got a couple of good reasons for saying that. First, most heating repair companies are busier in the winter and summer, and a little slower in the mild seasons. Second, you don’t want to have your equipment down for repair right at the time you need it most. For that reason, we recommend keeping a scheduled biannual maintenance appointment with One Hour Heating and Air Conditioning. As part of our standard service contract, we’ll make sure you never forget to tune up your system. However, in the event that you don’t have a standing appointment, or something has just gone wrong anyway, we’d like to prepare you. What do you do if your heat pump isn’t blowing hot air? After all, that’s the only job that particular device has got, right? Heating and cooling? Here’s the scenario: you’ve just noticed the air coming out of your heat pump is lukewarm, and you’re worried, because it’s going to get cold soon. Heat Pump Repair: When You Need It If your heat pump isn’t doing the thing it’s named after – pumping heat into or out of your home as needed – you’re right to be concerned. But before you panic and start booking hotel rooms or something, take a deep breath and read on. The two likeliest issues are: Your heat pump is malfunctioning in some way.Your body is being fooled, and everything is fine. We’ve mentioned this second thing in this article primarily because we mention it on the phone or in person. It surprises most people. It especially surprises people who’ve recently switched from a gas or propane furnace or some other heat source to a heat pump. So here’s the deal there. Your body, as you may know, runs (when healthy) at about 98.6 degrees Fahrenheit. When the winters get chilly, a heat pump is likely to blow air out somewhere in the neighborhood of 95 degrees Fahrenheit. That minor discrepancy will make the air coming out of your vents feel a bit mediocre relative to your body temperature. If you’re used to furnaces, you’ll probably notice this, since most furnaces are churning out air that’s over 100 degrees. You shouldn’t be worried if this turns out to be the case. 95 degree air is plenty warm enough to keep your home comfortable. Here’s what you do: run over to your thermostat and check it out. If your home is the temperature you set, or on the way to it, you’re probably okay. Make sure that the heat pump shuts off when it reaches the desired temperature, too. If it behaves normally, you’re fine – and you are just getting used to heat pumps. If the thermostat registers a different temperature than it should, or the heat pump is misbehaving in other ways, read on and let’s troubleshoot. Heating Repair Troubleshooting: Heat Pumps For the troubleshooting portion of this article to make sense, you’ll need a basic understanding of how your heat pump works. But you’re here, reading this, so let’s assume you’re an enterprising DIY-er. Here are the basics. A heat pump replaces an air conditioner and a furnace. In most cases, it is the one-stop shop for all of your climate control needs. In especially cold areas, a supplemental heat system may sometimes be installed as a sort of assistant to a heat pump.Heat pumps consume less energy than conventional gas furnaces, and are significantly greener than almost all traditional furnaces. They use renewable energy. They also utilize what we explained to you earlier: low temperature heat.Heat pumps pump heat. That’s right, it’s that simple. They use small amounts of energy to move heat around. In the winter, they pull heat out of the air or ground to heat your home. In the summer, they reverse, and pull heat out of your home in order to cool it. Got all that? Good. The mechanics of your heat pump are actually similar to a traditional central air unit, and they look just about the same. Usually, a heat pump consists of an indoor blower unit, and an outdoor condenser unit, just like your AC. They use refrigerant, too – they just know how to do it in reverse, which is a pretty neat trick. The Issues That Plague Your Heat Pump (and How To Fix Them) Here are a few of the things that could cause your heat pump to perform inadequately. The condenser unit has dirt or debris build up. A dirty outside unit is a big problem, but an easy fix. When your heat pump is in heating mode, the refrigerant is being used to absorb ambient heat from the air. It then transfers that heat indoors to keep you toasty. If the coils in the outdoor unit are covered in dirt, grass clippings, dust, pollen, and other assorted debris, however, it can’t do it’s job. This is also the case if there are obstructions like fencing or bushes too close to the outdoor unit. The Fix: Good news, guys. If you clean the outside unit, these problems will resolve themselves very quickly. You can do this quite easily. Simply turn off the breaker (for safety’s sake) and go at it with a broom, and then, if necessary, a cloth. Be sure not to bend the fins on the unit while you’re cleaning it. If you’re not sure how, this is a standard part of our Tune Up service. Call us anytime with questions! Snow and ice are over-insulating the outside unit. When we said you’ve got to keep the outside unit unobstructed, we meant it. That includes snow and ice. Snow and ice act as natural insulation – that’s why the inside of igloos can be quite cozy, and why animals can hibernate in the snow. When your outdoor unit is all snowed in, it can’t absorb any ambient heat. Left to struggle against the snow and ice, it will blow a compressor before too long, so this can NOT be left long. The Fix: Just like number one, all you’ve got to do is remove the obstruction and let the machine work as intended. The outside unit has lost power. Condenser and blower – the two parts of a heat pump. If the outdoor unit has lost power, the indoor unit will just blow cold air. You’ll notice that fast, because the air it blows won’t remain lukewarm for very long. The outdoor unit allows the indoor unit to heat a coil over which air is blown in order to heat your home. If it can’t do it’s job, you’re essentially running a fan. The Fix: Check your breaker box and look for a tripped one. If it’s tripped, reset it and keep an eye on things. If it doesn’t trip again after awhile, you’re probably okay. If it does trip again, turn the whole system off and call your Kentucky One Hour Heating and Air Conditioning team, because that could be symptomatic of a larger issue. Refrigerant leaks. Refrigerant is the magic ingredient that makes everything work. The outdoor unit uses refrigerant to leech heat from the air and carry it inside. If you have a refrigerant leak, there is less of it to do that important work, and your system’s performance will suffer. It’s analogous to bailing out a sinking ship with a coffee mug – you need more than that to make a real impact. The Fix: Get a technician out to your house as soon as possible. Refrigerant is a hazardous chemical, and it requires a certified AC/ heating repair technician to handle it. One of our techs will find and repair the leak, then charge your system back up to full refrigerant capacity. Ductwork issues. If the heat pump is the heart, the ductwork is the circulatory system. After all, the heat being produced needs those ducts in order to pump the heat somewhere. Your return ducts carry cold air from your home back through to be reheated by the heat pump. If those ducts are leaking, or traveling through poorly insulated attics or crawl spaces, they’ll pull cold, unfiltered air along and make your heat pump work harder. The Fix: This is another area where you’ll need the specialists on hand. Duct sealing can be complex work sometimes. Wrapping Up Other things can affect your heat pump as well – a bad reversing valve, for instance, or a failure in your auxiliary/supplementary heat during a particularly bad cold snap. Heat pumps are getting better and better at handling temperatures below freezing, but there are still times when they need a hand. If you need a hand keeping your home at just the right temperature, give the expert technicians at One Hour Heating and Air Conditioning Kentucky a call. Our highly trained teams will meet your needs, and your budget, every time.
Questions To Ask Before You Buy A New Furnace
With regular maintenance, your furnace should last you anywhere from 10-20 years. It’s also not uncommon for a furnace to last beyond that – but at some point, they start to become as much liability as appliance. If you’re reading this article, you may be buying a furnace for the first time. Conversely, you could be an experienced house flipper or property manager who’s done this before – but is looking for a new angle. In either case, you’re going to get what you came for. Before buying a new furnace, it is important to consider all of the variables. There’s (hopefully) no need to rush into that decision. Even if there is, we can help you make a quick but informed selection. You might be thinking, “Why is it such an important decision, anyway?” Furnaces are not all created equal. There are different fuel sources, different features, and different price points to consider, for starters. It also bears mentioning that HVAC equipment is often the most expensive single investment in your home. That’s right – over the course of home ownership, unless you’re literally building the house (and sometimes even then), the HVAC will be the biggest-ticket item. With that consideration in mind, why wouldn’t you put some serious thought into things? Here are the questions you should be asking yourself: What size or capacity furnace do I need? Contractors who aren’t worth their fee do something that most of us in the industry frown upon: They opt to replace your system with an equivalently sized system. Why is that a mistake, you ask? First, let’s define “sizing” for you. The size of your system is basically a measure of its power. This is measured in BTUs (British Thermal Units), which is defined as the amount of heat required to raise a pound of water one degree Fahrenheit. That’s too much jargon already, right? But hang in there, there’s a bit more. To get the BTU rating of your system, you multiply the efficiency rating (typically expressed as a percentage) by the input BTUs. Thus, a system that operates at 90% efficiency and has 100,000 input BTUs outputs 90,000 BTUs. A system is considered properly “sized” for your home when the output BTUs are a match for your home’s heating needs. To figure that out, a contractor performs a heat load calculation called the Manual J. That takes into account your climate, your home’s thermal envelope, your home’s ductwork and design, the number of residents or inhabitants, the number of doors, windows, and other variables. However, some contractors – a word used here quite loosely – will simply multiply the square footage of your home by 45 BTUs, an oversimplification that often leads to an oversized unit. So how does this affect you and your decision? Well, an improperly sized unit will be inefficient and have a shortened lifespan. If your old furnace was problematic, it’s possible that sizing was a factor. A good contractor will do a load calculation for you and make sure that your new system is a perfect fit for your home. Sizing is a Goldilocks endeavor; it can’t be too big, or the system will cycle on and off too frequently and your home will be humid; it can’t be too small, or the system will be overworked and insufficient to the task at hand. It has to be just right. How efficient should my new furnace be? Efficiency is measured through yet another acronym, this time the AFUE rating. AFUE stands for Annual Fuel Utilization Efficiency. Typically, every furnace will have a big yellow sticker on it that tells you what that rating is, on a scale from 1-100. No furnace manufactured today has an AFUE rating below 80, which is the mandatory minimum from the Department of Energy. High-Efficiency models can have AFUE ratings as high as 97 – meaning that 97% of your fuel goes directly to heating your home, with only a fractional 3% loss. Regarding new furnace purchases, most customers will go for either the lowest budget or the highest efficiency rating. Neither of those are necessarily the right choice for you. Most of the time, you can’t go wrong by simply choosing the most efficient furnace you can reasonably afford. However, because we handle residential and commercial heating needs over a wide area, we’ve run into a few exceptions to that rule. For instance, let’s say that you’re a property manager with many properties, or a homeowner preparing to sell your home and move. It may not make sense, in that case, to choose the highest-efficiency models available, as you won’t be there long enough to reap the savings benefits. On the other hand, if you’re planning to live in your home long term, then buying a low-budget furnace is a serious judgment error; you will lose more money long term due to higher bills than you will have saved up front. Strike a balance between upfront costs and operational costs. That’s the best advice we can offer on that subject. What kind of furnace should I buy? Another variable worth considering is the type of furnace you need. Consider which energy source makes the most sense. Is natural gas the cheapest energy option in your region, or could you potentially save my money by switching to propane? In some regions, even electricity is a great option, because electric furnaces are efficient, and those specific areas may have lower electricity costs. Of course, we have to point out that it’s more commonly the case that electric heat is the most expensive on a monthly basis, as generating heat electrically is less efficient than doing so through combustible fuels. Oil furnaces remain an option, but they take up more space and have a harsher environmental impact. If your old furnace is oil, perhaps a furnace installation Owensboro could be your opportunity to make the switch to natural gas or propane. You might also consider a heat pump, which in some ways represents the best of both worlds – however, if your home is already set up for natural gas, it’s likely going to be cheapest to stick with it. What features do I want? One very popular feature in modern furnaces is the variable-stage compressor. That allows your system to change the speed at which the blower operates, which keeps your home more evenly heated, saves energy, and reduces noisiness in your home. A standard compressor has only two speeds – ON and OFF. Another readily available option is the electronic igniter, an alternative to the traditional pilot light. Because pilot lights are always burning away in your furnace, they are consuming fuel 24 hours a day. In small amounts, sure, but it does add up. An electronic pilot ignites only when it is needed, ensuring that all of your fuel is devoted to keeping you cozy. What accessories might I need? The features available to you might influence your purchasing decision as well. For instance, many complaints during our furnace repair Owensboro service calls revolve around dry air or breathing issues. Many furnaces leave the home feeling too arid. One way around that is through opting to have a whole-home humidifier installed in your ductwork. The humidifier will use a humidistat to check the humidity in the air and introduce moisture as needed to ensure your comfort. It’s also better for your hardwood floors, and for reducing the incidence of static electricity shocks in your home. You might also consider a UV light. This ultraviolet accessory kills bacteria and mold in your ductworks so that the air circulating around your home is extra clean. Another accessory that’s growing in popularity is the air purifier. They capture contaminants with highly efficient filtration. Some even use a small electrical charge to kill mold, bacteria, and viruses. They fill the same niche as a UV light, in some ways, but use different technology. A note of warning, though – super efficient MERV filters like those used in air purification can, in some cases, reduce the efficiency of your system or put undue strain on the blower and compressor. Before buying that kind of system, speak to a professional and make sure that your system is properly rated for it. The most popular accessory – and the one we suggest every homeowner spring for – is the Wi-Fi capable programmable thermostat. It makes your system a smart system, and renders it controllable from your home. Programmable thermostats drastically improve performance and efficiency. Who should install my new furnace? Installation is the single most important factor in determining the success or failure of your furnace. A cut-rate installer is enough to offset every advantage of your shiny new equipment. Unequivocally, your choice of furnace installation Owensboro contractor is more important even than which furnace you buy. That means that it’s up to you to vet your options and choose the right contractor. Fortunately, we’ve made that decision easier by writing blog articles on how to choose the right installation contractor, but here’s the short version. A great contractor is: NATE-certifiedExperiencedLicensed and insuredInvolved with, and certified by, the best HVAC manufacturers.Able to perform a Manual J Load CalculationReady to check your existing ductwork and look for design improvements or repairs.Willing to back their work up with a satisfaction guarantee.Probably not your cheapest option.Probably not your most expensive option, either. Reputable contractors may not be able to compete with fly-by-night prices, but shady contractors will cost you a fortune when their installations lead to poor performance and premature equipment failure. By the same token, the very best contractors are often not the most expensive – not because we don’t know our worth, but because we work hard to ensure our customers don’t overpay. How much will it cost? There’s no obvious number to pin on this, as it will depend on all of the other variables we’ve been talking about. It will also vary depending on how long the installation takes, as labor costs have to be taken into account. A standard installation can usually be completed in just one day, but a more complicated one – such as one that involves installing new ducts – could take up to a week. Medium quality gas or propane furnaces can be had for as little as a couple thousand dollars, plus the cost of labor and any necessary duct repairs. The cost will also go up if you want some of the accessories we discussed above, such as the humidifier or ultraviolet light. You may have to pony up a little extra if your house needs a new electric panel to support the system, as well, or if you need your home divided into zones, or if your home is large enough to require two systems. It’s rare for the total cost to exceed 10,000, though, so a range of about 2,000-10,000 is a reasonable expectation to have. You could potentially save a little money by opting for a less experienced contractor or doing some of the work yourself – but we’ve already told you what a disaster that usually turns out to be. The smart play is to choose the best contractor around, weigh their advice against your available budget, and make the most informed decision that you can. Are there any warranties, rebates, or tax incentives available? One great way to reduce your costs is to shop around for rebates and tax incentives. They are most commonly available on higher-end models, but they allow you to get a super efficient furnace for the cost of a mediocre one. For that reason, they’re a godsend. One Hour Heating and Air Conditioning furnace installation Owensboro technicians and sales personnel will be able to talk you through what promotions and incentives are available when you call. You should always make sure that any equipment you buy has a competitive warranty. Most HVAC equipment comes with a warranty that lasts about 10 years, and you shouldn’t settle for less. Make sure that the warranty covers the most expensive parts – like the compressor. If you aren’t certain about the warranty, talk to your installation technician or the salesperson with whom you are speaking. Our team would never steer you wrong.
AC Repair owensboro – 8 Tips For Choosing a Reliable HVAC Contractor
Life can be hard … and expensive. It’s crazy enough out there without worrying about getting ripped off or having someone take advantage of you. But it happens – and we’re sad to say, there are some Owensboro HVAC contractors who are guilty of shady business practices. Most of our customers have, at one point or another, had a contractor or some fly-by-night company do something that left them with a bad taste in their mouth. So how do you avoid it? We’re here to help. First off, it helps to be honest. We totally think you should call us. There’s no point in pretending otherwise. This article is, at least in part, our way of reminding you that we are a premier Owensboro AC repair contractor and we come with a few things that separate us from the competition. As a One Hour franchisee, we get access to exclusive training and all the latest technology. That means our teams are never in the dark. We’re well equipped, well-prepared and always ready for anything. We also adhere to the strictest standards in the industry. We back up our work with a 100% one-year satisfaction guarantee. Our customer service commitment is the stuff of legend, and as we’re fond of saying: We are always on time – or you don’t pay a dime! Okay, now that we’ve plugged ourselves … The rest of this article isn’t a sales pitch. If you follow all the tips in this article and you end up with another company, we’re happy for you, and we wish you the best. That could happen – only YOU can decide who is right for you. So we’ll take away some of your risk factors. We’ll give you some great advice. And when you’re done, you’ll know how to cross the ne’er-do-wells off of your list of Owensboro air conditioning service providers. Read LOTS of online reviews. They work, and they’re an absolute diamond mine full of information. You may have to sift through a lot of information, but, as Scully and Mulder might say … The Truth Is Out There Where To Start GoogleYou can’t go wrong with a Google search. It’s the fastest, and arguably the most reliable. Of course, because Google knows everything, you’ll also have a lot of information to look through. The best thing about Google is probably the fact that their reviews are unfiltered. That means that no business can pay Google to have something negative suppressed. So if a company has great reviews on Google, it’s a fair bet that no one has really had a bad thing to say. If you’re considering a specific company, you can also specifically search for them in conjunction with some “red flag” words like “scam,” “ripoff,” and so on. Yelp(Pro Tip: Yelp was recently criticized for allowing a climate of “good review payola” to come into being) Yelp is a great resource, of course. Despite the fact that they’ve been occasionally criticized, they’re also the world’s largest collator of reviews, which means that you’ll get a lot of easily sortable feedback to look through. Everyone ElseEveryone else is our favorite. That mean’s the Better Business Bureau, Angie’s List, HomeAdvisor, Thumbtack, Porch, and other websites that help you find contractor referrals. Angie’s List, as a for instance, has had over three million unique visitors reading their swarm-sourced audits and reviews. A note on those reviews: don’t be immediately put-off by a review that isn’t perfect. It’s important to remember that sometimes, a contractor can go out of their way to please a customer, and still get an undeserved mediocre review. Don’t just look at stars – read why the stars were given. If a red flag gets thrown up, you’ll know it. As with anything else in life, your instincts are critical. 2.Owensboro AC repair - Always Check Their Papers That sounds like a line from a spy novel, doesn’t it? However, it’s true. If you’re dealing with a contractor who is unable, unwilling, or even just reluctant to show you all of their paperwork – licenses, certifications, insurance, etc – then you should find a new contractor. Immediately. We’ve heard too many tales of a customer choosing an company based on incredibly attractive prices, only to find out down the line that the amazing deal they found was, in fact, too good to be true. They lived to regret that decision, and we helped clean up the mess. Look, everyone loves low prices. That’s a gimme – but we work hard to strike a balance between low and fair. No one is out there beating our prices and also providing our level of competence and service. If you’re looking at a contractor whose prices are far below the average, you could safely assume that they’re cutting corners or engaging in questionable practices in order to keep their own costs low. Which questionable practices, you say? Well, we can’t name names, obviously, but we’ve known of regional companies and the occasional Owensboro HVAC technician who has gone without insurance, used a borrowed truck, skimped on tools, passed used equipment off as new, uses substandard materials, or failed to renew their certifications. That’s just for starters. You’ve got to be careful out there. Make sure anyone with whom you speak has: Comprehensive insurance, covering their personnel, their work, and your home while it is a job site. All the correct licenses as required by their state or county, as well as a surety bond.Certifications from organizations like NATE and the EPA to prove that they’re actually qualified, and not just a DIY handyman playing professional. Everything Gets Written Down The HVAC industry is unique in that, unlike workers in most fields, we’re hesitant to give quotes over email, chat, or phone. That’s not because we’re dishonest, as a group. It’s because heating, ventilation, and air conditioning is an extremely complex field in which to work. Technicians in this field are a combination of electrician, plumber, HAZMAT chemical handler, and general contractor – in addition to being an HVAC technician. Because a cooling system is such a complex beast of a machine, and because every home is shaped differently, every job is different. So every cost will also be different. We’re protecting our consumers by insisting on coming out in person to see the site before we give any kind of firm commitments. If you call and get an easy, concrete phone estimate, mark it down as a red flag. That shouldn’t be how this works. When you get a lowball phone quote, it almost guarantees that you’ll end up with a contractor who either does a handshake deal or wants the terms of the estimate to be vague. That way, they can hit you with surprise fees once the job is underway and it’s too late to turn back. Of course, that only works once, but those companies don’t care much for repeat business. If you’re not the patient type, don’t worry. We’re the quickest Owensboro air conditioning service in the region – one hour, every time. Let us explain how this should work: A good HVAC technician will quickly arrange a time to come see your home. They’ll take a thorough look at the problem, and then, on the spot, you’ll get a written repair quote that covers every detail of the proposed job. We always provide you with the most accurate quote possible. Old school? No thanks. We talked earlier about ongoing training, and about the latest technology. In this industry, they aren’t toys. We’re not talking about a faster smartphone, we’re talking about equipment innovations that will save you money, increase your comfort, and last for years longer than the old stuff. But that doesn’t stop the old school techs from rehashing their glory days. And while experience is great, it isn’t everything. You have to have experience and an innovative spirit. No Owensboro HVAC contractors are going to come right out and tell you that they haven’t kept up with the newest advances in the HVAC field. If a contractor is very confident on a specific 5-year-old model, he may try to sell you on that just to make his life easier. You’ll lose out on better SEER ratings, better filters, UV decontamination, pest control, wi-fi thermostats, and a hundred other useful innovations because you’ve chosen a contractor who values age over evolution. The best companies can provide both. Hold out for that. How do you know? Do some research and ask lots of questions. Right off the bat, this will let you vet their customer service skills, which could save you a headache down the line. Ask them questions about your current equipment, about what you might want, and about what is available to you. If they recommend equipment because it’s the cheapest and easiest to install, reconsider whether they have your interests at heart or their own. If they recommend the most efficient units, and the accessories best suited to your home based on a conversation they’ve had with you, you’re probably in good hands. If they are prepared to talk to you about tax incentives, manufacturer rebates, and specials they can provide through dealer relationships, you’re definitely in good hands. Oh, and don’t be shy. If you’re worried about offending someone, remember – we work for you. Don’t go with the lowest bid. You may have figured this out already, but the lowest bid is never going to be the best bid. In any industry, there will always be some lunatic out there undercutting everyone’s prices, no matter what they have to do in order to accomplish that. A depressingly large percentage of our new business comes from helping customers out of a jam that began because they had an hvac repair or installation performed by someone more interested in a quick buck than a quality experience. In fact, we can’t even count how many times we repaired an air conditioner that was less than two years old. These guys in their borrowed trucks, with their shoddy workmanship, are costing you money, and we hate to see that. So look at all of the tips on this list. Try to figure out which contractors provide the most value for the money. That’s who you want. You’ll never find a genius in the bargain bin; that’s where the crooks live, unfortunately. However, with that said, don’t fall for the highest bid, either. Somewhere in the middle of any contractor’s list is the Goldilocks candidate; the one who is just right for you. Ask friends and family for a referral. Almost all of a good Owensboro HVAC company’s business is going to come from repeats and referrals. That’s the nature of this industry. You have people in your life who have probably had their own run-ins with AC repair. Get their advice, get names and numbers, and add those names and numbers to the list you compiled when you searched for contractors online. The great thing about referrals is that they come from people who have nothing to gain from you, in most cases. They’ll be able to tell you how satisfied or furious they were when the job was done, and they’ll be able to tell you if they paid a fair price. Word of mouth is the very best form of advertising, after all. Here are a few questions to ask your friends and family: Did the contractor(s) come out to do a home audit, load calculation, and repair estimate if you need a new system?How close to the written estimate was the final bill?How closely did they keep to the projected schedule?How professional, polite, and neat were the contractors?Did they clean the job up each day as they finished? Then reach out to those contacts, and ask them the questions we recommended above. We’re confident that you’ll feel equipped, by then, to make the most responsible decision for your home. And of course, we hope you choose One Hour Heating and Air Conditioning Kentucky for all of your heating and cooling needs. Call us today at 270-826-9998!
Owensboro KY AC Repair – Prevent Expensive AC Repair With These 6 Simple Tips
We’ve got 6 simple rules for you today, and they can help prevent expensive repairs to your heating and cooling system. Today we are going to talk about Owensboro AC repair needs, and how you can prevent costly visits from HVAC contractors. We aren’t going to be talking about theories, here. These are proven, actionable tips that you can make a part of your regular routine, and they will guarantee lower repair costs over the life of your system. Take a moment to notice that we are promising LOWER BILLS – not zero bills. That’s because we’re not trying to sell ice to Eskimos, and we don’t have any bridges on clearance, either. Over the years, any heat pump or central AC will need a little attention now and again. In and around Owensboro, air conditioning repair can be complex only because Kentucky really experiences all four seasons. We might not get as much snowfall as our friends in New England, but it gets into the 100s in the summer, and the 20s in the winter. That’ll put your system through its paces. Anyone saying they can install a system that won’t need repairs is not being 100% honest. What we can promise is that with the tips we’re going to go over in this article, you can minimize the impact on your wallet, and maximize the performance and longevity of your own system. So what’s our magic method? It’s simple. Follow these 6 easy steps, and watch as your system makes like Old Man River and just keeps rolling along. 1. Air Filters, Air Filters, Air Filters. As the premier Owensboro HVAC repair company, we’ve probably given this piece of advice about 40,000 times. Who knows, maybe more! Still, they say you can’t have too much of a good thing, right? Your air filters are the FIRST line of defense. Like stalwart soldiers of cleanliness, they sit inside your system and collect all the nasty stuff you don’t want floating around; dust, pollen, mold, debris, and even odor-causing muck. However, in order to their job, they have to be clean. And the most common issues that warrant air conditioning repair in Owensboro or anywhere else can usually be traced back to dirty air filters. It’s a ten minute process – less, in some cases – to change all the filters in your AC system, but out of sight is out of mind. What happens when you let this chore go undone for too long? Here’s the short list: Restricted airflowUneven cooling (some rooms won’t cool, or will cool slowly)Short cycling (where your AC turns on and off too frequently)Frozen evaporator coilsDamage to the compressor, blower motor, or other moving parts. And to cap things off, several of those issues can lead to a full-scale breakdown. Suddenly, your search for the right Owensboro HVAC contractor is about a new installation instead of AC repair, and you’re facing a bill with far too many zeroes on the end. The SOLUTION? Change. Those. Filters. If you aren’t sure how, check your owner’s manual, or give us a call, and we’ll walk you through it. 2. The Tune-Up, and Why It Matters We also spend a lot of time telling our friends in the area that they need to keep a regularly scheduled tune-up as part of their HVAC repair and maintenance routing. Sometimes, they take our advice. Sometimes, they smile and nod and then we see them a few months later to fix something that shouldn’t have broken in the first place. Sometimes, they ask us what the heck we mean by a tune-up. Let’s head that last one off and explain it now for anyone who doesn’t now. When an HVAC professional recommends a tune-up, they are talking about a thorough service call that includes a wide variety of tasks designed to unearth any impending problems and correct them. It also restores your HVAC system to peak performance as an added bonus. Some of the tasks include: A hands-on visual inspection.A routine cleaning of the indoor and outdoor unit, including straightening of condenser fins and checking of drain lines.A check (and if necessary, adjustment) on filters, belts, and motors.Lubrication for all the bits that move.A refrigerant level check, and if necessary, a leak repair and recharge. Depending on your system’s condition, there could be more or less involved in the tune-up. It’s the same as having a tune-up on your car when you have the oil changed, except that you only have to do this once a year or so. Of course, it may sound a little suspect for an Owensboro air conditioning repair company to recommend this particular service, which we offer. We get that, and we encourage you to go do some independent research. Call a competitor. Ask anyone you like, they’ll all tell you the same. Tune-ups are one of the smartest and simplest ways to keep your HVAC system up and running for years. 3. Thermostats, and taking full advantage of them. Unless you’re somehow reading this from the 1980s – in which case, take us on a ride in your time machine – you’ve probably got a programmable thermostat. It might be a basic model, or it might have lots of bells and whistles. Guess what, though? We’ve found that no matter how fancy the thermostat, most homeowners aren’t taking advantage of the money-saving features. We hear lots of reasons: Skeptical – “It can’t save that much money, it’s just a way to get me to buy an expensive thermostat.Habitual – “I adjust the temperature manually. I’ve always done it that way, and it works fine for me.”Technically challenged – “It’s too complex. I can’t figure it out, so I just adjust the temperature by hand.” Unfortunately, if any of those excuses sound familiar to you, we can virtually guarantee that you’re wasting money – and probably setting yourself up for repairs. Here’s why: Thermostats are the brains of the operation. They send an electrical signal to the control board and turn the system on and off based on the settings you provide. Right off the bat, we can tell you this, Owensboro HVAC contractors spend a lot of time repairing units because the owner was a frequent manual adjuster. We briefly mentioned “short cycling” earlier, without getting into what it means. It’s when your system turns on and off too frequently. That’s bad for several reasons, but most importantly, 1) it lowers the efficiency of your system by making the motor start up repeatedly rather than settle into a comfortable hum, and 2) it damages the compressor. If you’re doing frequent manual adjustments, you are manually short cycling your own system. So if it’s habit, break the habit. If it’s complicated, give us a call and we’ll help you out. No matter what, take full advantage of the modern thermostat. A few quick recommendations: Program it according to your schedule.Get a wi-fi capable thermostat so you can make changes even when you aren’t at home.Make sure your HVAC contractor puts the thermostat somewhere ideal – where it won’t be exposed to excess heat or cold and will get an accurate temperature read.Pair it with ceiling fans for ultra-efficient performance. Do that, and we promise two things: you’ll see a little less of us, and you’ll see a lot less on your electric bill. 4. The condenser unit should be in a shady place. Your condenser is the unit that sits outside of your home. It’s designed to survive the outdoors, but it’s most efficient when it’s not fighting against serious heat. Since our summers can get pretty scorching at times, you’ll want to locate a shady place for your outdoor unit. But, wait, you’re saying. Our system is already installed, and that thing is right on the south side of the house, getting as much sun as the garden! Now what do we do? That’s easy. You can acquire or build a simple shade for your condenser. Many companies manufacture them specifically for that purpose, or you can create an awning or shade of your own. That can reduce the ambient temperature around your condenser by anywhere from 4-10 degrees. Just enusre you DO NOT block the airflow as it exists the unit. Be sure nothing is closer than 6 feet above the unit ensure the exiting heat is properly dissipated. That, like a well-programmed thermostat, will spell savings on your electric bill. Just as important, it will stave off the inevitable AC repair costs so many homeowners dread by easing the condenser’s workload. Oh, and speaking of the condenser … 5. Keep your outdoor unit clean. Living outdoors isn’t easy, even for a metal box. Wind, rain, snow, dusty dry heat … all of these things attack your condenser throughout the year. It does a lot of the heavy lifting for your system, though – and that means you want to take great care of the outdoor unit in return. That’s because the condenser pumps the refrigerant through your system, and dissipates heat through a basic thermal exchange. You’ll likely have noticed that when your system is running, the outdoor unit gives off hot air? That hot air is coming from inside your house, in a way. If you let the condenser’s fins, or any moving parts, get dusty, dirty, or choked with muck and slime, it can’t do the job of releasing that heat. It gets locked in, instead, and the system can overheat, shut down, or sustain serious damage. But taking care of the condenser is not a complicated prospect, Owensboro – HVAC contractors have it down to a science that the most technically inept folks in the world could manage. In fact, if you’re getting regular tune-ups, something as simple as hosing the outdoor unit off once a month or so will do wonders for your entire system. You’ll also want to make sure nothing is growing near it, falling on it, or getting tangled up in there. Don’t let weeds, bushes, flowers, or even grass grow within a couple feet of the condenser unit. Occasionally, a more serious cleaning may be called for; you can leave that up to your friendly Owensboro HVAC repair experts at One Hour Heating and Air Conditioning. 6.Don’t let your vents or returns get clogged, either! Last but not least, we’d like to offer you some advice regarding the most immediately noticeable part of your system – the supply and return ducts. Those get dirty pretty fast, too, if you’re not careful. When they clog, they restrict airflow, much like a dirty air filter would, and they stress the entire system. Your intake register is especially problematic in that regard – as dirt, debris, and dust that gets sucked in through those will circulate through your house or clog your air filters. Giving those registers a simple cleaning once in a while is a simple (and some might say therapeutic) task that improves the air quality in your entire home. Failing to do it leads to air quality issues that can impact anyone in your life with asthma or lung problems. Failing to do so also increases the amount of money you’re spending on energy each month. So don’t think too much. Grab a damp cloth and get the dust bunnies out of your air supply and intake registers every few weeks. It is a great idea to make this a part of your filter change routine. Pro Tip: If you’re having trouble with the slits in your vents and returns, use a butter knife to slip the cloth between them and get everything sparkling. If you’ve let things go too long and it’s particularly grimy, you can carefully remove the vents, give them a super short soak in warm water with dish soap, and then replace them when they’ve completely dried. For our friends out there with pets, pay extra attention – that pet hair can get inside your system and make a nuisance of itself, if you’re not careful. Well, there you have it. Follow those tips, and you’ll only see an Owensboro HVAC repair team for scheduled maintenance and the rare issue that can’t be predicted or avoided. And don’t forget, we are a One Hour company – that means we adhere to the strictest standards, train our technicians on the latest and greatest, and we back everything up with a 100% satisfaction guarantee. If you need help with anything, give us a call. We are always on time – or you don’t pay a dime. If you have questions or need to speak to us, Awesome! We love to help! Call 270-826-9998 for immediate help Have a lovely day and stay cool out there!