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  1. Air Duct Inspecting & Cleaning

    October 30, 2012 by admin | Category: InformationComments (0)


    Air Duct Inspecting & Cleaning

    By Emily Beach
    Air Duct Inspecting & Cleaning thumbnail

    Air ducts are part of a home’s heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) system. They transport air from heating and cooling units to locations throughout the home. Ducts also bring fresh air in from outdoors and remove stale air from each room. Over time, these systems may require cleaning to remove dust, mold or other contaminants. By having your air ducts inspected and cleaned, you can improve the indoor air quality in your home and enjoy a number of other benefits.

    1. How Ducts are Cleaned

      • Licensed HVAC contractors typically perform air duct cleaning. They will start by visually inspecting the ducts and air vents for mold, dirt, dust and debris. The ducts are then cleaned using a high-efficiency particulate air (HEPA) vacuum. The HEPA vacuum may be combined with a duster or scrub brush to remove tough substances. Air duct cleaners will also clean the air-handling unit along with intake grilles, vents and registers. Many companies offer homeowners the option of having the ducts treated with a chemical spray to prohibit mold and mildew growth after the ducts have been cleaned. The use of sprays should be considered carefully due to potential respiratory and health issues associated with these types of chemicals.

      When to Clean Air Ducts

      • Air duct cleaning in not considered a routine maintenance task, according to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. Instead, it should be performed only as needed in the home. To determine if your ducts should be cleaned, inspect them for visual dirt, mold or dust. You should also look for rodent or insect infestations within the ducts and at vents or grilles. If you find any of these signs, it may be time to call a duct-cleaning company.

        Wet insulation or duct condensation is another sign it may be time to clean your ducts, as these are often signs of mold and mildew. Visual dirt or dust blowing from air vents is another clear indication that air ducts should be cleaned.


      • Air duct cleaning can offer many benefits to homeowners. Removing dirt or mildew can improve indoor air quality, which can have significant health benefits. It may also allow your system to operate more efficiently. This helps HVAC systems last longer and leads to fewer equipment replacements. Efficient HVAC operation can also reduce energy consumption, which may result lower utility bills along with a reduced environmental impact.



  2. How To Flush A Water Heater

    September 13, 2012 by admin | Category: Educational, Helpful, InformationTags: , , , | Comments (0)

    Flushing your water heater is a simple project.   Mineral deposits build up in the water heater causing it to run less efficiently. If you will flush the water heater once a year, you can extend its life.  See the following instructions below, followed by a step by step video that will show you exactly what to do:

    Electric water heater -Turn the power off.

    Gas water heater – Set the control knob to the pilot position.

    Cut the water supply off to your water heater.  Remove the aerator from the kitchen faucet and turn on the hot water side.  This will allow air into the water heater so it can drain.  Attach a garden hose to the drain valve and drain the water heater.  When your tank is empty you can remove your drain valve and install  a ball valve or you can try a flush with your regular drain valve.

    To flush hot water heater- turn the water supply on and off several times, each time allowing the heater to drain until its empty.

    You’ll only want to add 3 to 5 gallons each time. Do this until the water runs clear.  When you’re finished, close the drain valve and refill the tank.  Let the hot side of the kitchen faucet run until all the air is out of the line.  Replace the aerator.

    Turn the power on (electric water heater).

    Turn the control knob back to the on position (gas water heater).


    Check out this video to see exactly how to flush a water heater!

    Read more on This Old House


  3. Air Conditioning Tips and Tricks You Must Know

    September 10, 2012 by admin | Category: InformationTags: , , , , , | Comments (0)

    We will be giving everyone a few simple tips and steps that can end up saving you a lot of money when it comes to running your air conditioner. A little planning before installing your air conditioner will save you energy and money.

    • Try setting your thermostat between 72°F and 78°F. Each degree setting below 78°F will increase your energy consumption by approximately 8%. As you can see, that can add up to a lot of money over a year.
    • Inspect and clean both the indoor and outdoor AC/Heating coils. The indoor coil in your air conditioner acts as a magnet for dust because it is constantly wetted during the cooling season. Dirt build-up on the indoor coil is the single most common cause of poor efficiency. The outdoor coil must also be checked periodically for dirt build-up and cleaned if necessary.
    • Check the refrigerant charge. The circulating fluid in your air conditioner is a special refrigerant gas that is put in when the system is installed. If the system is overcharged or undercharged with refrigerant, it will not work properly. You may need a service contractor to check the fluid and adjust it appropriately.
    • Use bath and kitchen fans sparsely when you are running the air conditioning system.
    • Reduce the cooling load by using cost-effective conservation measures. For example, effectively shade east and west windows. When possible, delay heat-generating activities, such as dishwashing or baking, until the evening on hot days.
    • Try to not use a dehumidifier at the same time your air conditioner is operating. The dehumidifier will increase the cooling load and force the air conditioner to work harder, which in turn increases your utility bill.
    • Over most of the cooling season, keep the house closed tight during the day. Don’t let in unwanted heat and humidity. If practical, ventilate at night either naturally or with fans.



  4. Maintenance Checklist

    September 3, 2012 by admin | Category: Educational, Energy Efficiency, HelpfulTags: , , , | Comments (0)

    Maintain your equipment to prevent future problems and unwanted costs. Keep your cooling and heating system at peak performance by having a contractor do annual pre-season check-ups. Contractors get busy once summer and winter come, so it’s best to check the cooling system in the spring and the heating system in the fall. To remember, you might plan the check-ups around the time changes in the spring and fall.

    A typical maintenance check-up should include the following.

    • Check thermostat settings to ensure the cooling and heating system keeps you comfortable when you are home and saves energy while you are away.
    • Tighten all electrical connections and measure voltage and current on motors. Faulty electrical connections can cause unsafe operation of your system and reduce the life of major components.
    • Lubricate all moving parts. Parts that lack lubrication cause friction in motors and increases the amount of electricity you use.
    • Check and inspect the condensate drain in your central air conditioner, furnace and/or heat pump (when in cooling mode). A plugged drain can cause water damage in the house and affect indoor humidity levels.
    • Check controls of the system to ensure proper and safe operation. Check the starting cycle of the equipment to assure the system starts, operates, and shuts off properly.

    Cooling Specific

    • Clean evaporator and condenser air conditioning coils. Dirty coils reduce the system’s ability to cool your home and cause the system to run longer, increasing energy costs and reducing the life of the equipment.
    • Check your central air conditioner’s refrigerant level and adjust if necessary. Too much or too little refrigerant will make your system less efficient increasing energy costs and reducing the life of the equipment.
    • Clean and adjust blower components to provide proper system airflow for greater comfort levels. Airflow problems can reduce your system’s efficiency by up to 15 percent.

    Heating Specific

    • Check all gas (or oil) connections, gas pressure, burner combustion and heat exchanger. Improperly operating gas (or oil) connections are a fire hazard and can contribute to health problems. A dirty burner or cracked heat exchanger causes improper burner operation. Either can cause the equipment to operate less safely and efficiently.

    Actions To Do Yourself

    • Inspect, clean, or change air filters once a month in your central air conditioner, furnace, and/or heat pump. Your contractor can show you how to do this. A dirty filter can increase energy costs and damage your equipment, leading to early failure.




  5. How to Set the Weight for an HVAC Furnace

    July 19, 2012 by admin | Category: Educational, Helpful, InformationTags: , | Comments (0)

    An oil-fired HVAC furnace uses a barometric damper with adjustable weight to automatically regulate the amount of air entering the chimney while the oil burner is operating. This damper is a round or oval swinging door that normally is located in the flue pipe that connects the furnace to the chimney. An incorrectly set damper weight can lead to chimney overheating, erratic burning, soot formation, combustion puffbacks and excessive carbon monoxide formation.


    1. Inspect the barometric damper for correct operation. The damper should be level and plumb. The door should move freely and should be completely closed if the furnace is not operating. Start the furnace and fire it at its full rate.
    2. Insert the sensor tube of the draft gauge through a small opening in the firebox front or door while the furnace is running and take a reading over the fire. Compare the reading to the burner manufacturer’s specifications for correct draft. If the barometric damper is adjusted correctly, the draft gauge reading over the fire for a typical home oil burner generally should be between 0.02 inches of water and 0.03 inches of water.
    3. Check the damper adjustment weight on the damper door. Some damper weights screw in or out. Some weights loosen with a screwdriver and slide in or out. If the draft reading is too low, move the weight outward, toward you, to increase the draft. If the reading is too high, move the weight inward, away from you, to reduce the draft.

    Learn more at eHow 


  6. How to Troubleshoot an HVAC Furnace

    by admin | Category: Educational, Helpful, InformationTags: , | Comments (0)

    HVAC (heating, ventilation and air conditioning) furnaces require regular troubleshooting and maintenance to ensure that your home or office maintains comfortable temperatures during those cold months. Problems that can diminish your unit’s energy output include incorrect thermostat settings, dirty or damaged filters, blocked air supply registers and tripped circuit breakers. Many of these problems can be solved quickly to improve your unit’s performance.


  7. Check the gas valve at the gas company meter. This meter is generally located next to the outdoor gas tank. If your valve is off, contact your gas company to have it turned on. Contact your gas company if you have run out of fuel.
  8. Check the shutoff valve at your furnace and make sure it is on. Check your thermostat’s settings and make sure it is set to “Heat” if your room is not getting warm. Adjust your thermostat’s temperature settings. Select a temperature setting that is higher than the room temperature displayed on your unit’s screen. For example, if your thermostat displays a 65 degree Fahrenheit room temperature, select at least 68 degrees.
  9. Check your gas furnace’s circuit breakers to see if they are tripped. Circuit breakers are tripped when they fall between the “On” and “Off” positions. The circuit breakers are usually located in an electrical panel next to your outdoor unit. Refer to your unit’s manual if you are unsure where your circuit breakers are located. Once you find the breakers, turn them off and then turn them back on. This resets them.
  10. Inspect the SSU switch next your your gas furnace if your unit comes with one. Turn it “On.” If your thermostat has a fan switch, turn it on.
  11. Check the filters on your outdoor unit. The task of removing filters varies with different furnaces, so refer to your unit’s manual. Brush off dirt and debris if you find any. Replace the filters if they are damaged. Some gas furnaces recommend replacing filters monthly. Refer to your manual for additional maintenance tips tailored to your unit.
  12. Inspect the air supply registers and vents and make sure objects such as furniture do not block the air supply. Make sure they are open and blowing air.
  13. Read more at eHow


  14. How to Lift an HVAC Air Conditioning Condenser

    July 9, 2012 by admin | Category: Educational, Helpful, InformationTags: , , , | Comments (0)

    An HVAC condenser changes gas to a liquid under high pressure for cooling a building. The condenser is one of the three main components in the heating, ventilation and air conditioning system, the other two being the compressor and the evaporator. The condenser is a rectangular or L-shaped unit with coils extending in loops from one end. Follow the safety precautions when lifting the part, as the metal edges are sharp as razor blades. Recruiting a friend to help lift the component can reduce chance of injury.


  15. Shut off the HVAC unit at the thermostat, then cut off electricity at the fuse box or circuitbreaker.
  16. Remove the slotted bolts in the HVAC cowling, or cover, with a screwdriver. Lift the cowling off the unit and set aside.
  17. Disconnect the hoses from the side of the condenser using the adjustable wrench to loosen the nut on the end of each coupler where the hoses attach to the unit.
  18. Place a piece of duct tape over the open end of each hose to prevent dirt, which can cause mechanical problems, from getting inside.
  19. Remove the screws holding the condenser to the mounting plates inside the HVAC unit. Wear work gloves while unscrewing the hardware close to the metal edges on the unit.
  20. Lift one end of the condenser while your helper raises the opposite end to remove the part from the HVAC unit. Wear work gloves to prevent slicing your fingers and hands on the sharp edges.
  21. Read more at eHow


  22. The Dangers of a Clogged Furnace Filter

    by admin | Category: Educational, Helpful, InformationTags: , , , | Comments (0)

    Without your house furnace, cold winter nights could be a lot worse. Because of the recent myth that furnaces are hard to keep up to date, maintenance of your furnace and the filters can accidentally be neglected. You might think that because your furnace is down deep in the basement of your house, it can’t be that important. Well it really can. There are many great reasons to go down and make sure that your house heating and filter system is kept clean and working properly.

    Getting your filter clean has many different benefits. Think about the big reason for filters. The filters first job is to clean the air of impurities from your house air. If your filter fails, because of dirt clogging, your furnace must work overtime and that is less efficient and costs you more money than usual. The more your system must work, the more gas it’s going to use and the larger your electric bill will be.

    Electrostatic filters decrease this issue since they clean dust from your air using a new technology made of static electricity. These types of of systems bring down the amount the furnace requires to work properly to get all the clean air through. This is extremely helpful to your furnace as it goes up and helps extend the life of your furnace.

    It’s just like if you have a small toothache and you ignore it, soon enough it becomes a huge problem. The identical thing can occur to you if you decide to disregard your furnace filters. If you changes the filters and correctly care for your home, the heating system will around the long haul, save you a whole lot of money and time.

    Remember that filters clogged with dirt allows dirt to go through your air system in each room of your house, At the worst, you might have exposed your family to deadly fumes that could bring a severe health risk to you. With persons spending a lot of time in their houses do you believe it’s worth it to take the risk?

    Even though it’s not likely, a neglected and backed up filter system can really catch on fire or explode in your house. Often times checking something like the furnace filters is required and can prevent fire and explosions that present a risk to your family and to all your personal belongings.

    Take out some time to make sure that the furnace system in your house is is up properly running, a lot of efficient and clean filters should be replaced often. The air in your house is the air you can control and keep clean, and you need to for the sake of your family.

    Read more at Ezine Articles


  23. A Checklist for HVAC Preventive Maintenance

    July 1, 2012 by admin | Category: Educational, Helpful, InformationTags: , , | Comments (0)

    Here’s the checklist for HVAC preventive maintenance:

    • Inspect at least twice a year, with seasonal start-up and run inspections.
    • Seasonal PM of chillers and boilers is involved; industry practice is to have a qualified mechanical contractor provide services.
    • For cooling towers, disassemble screens and access panels for inspection; inspect the tower fill, support structure, sump and spray nozzles, fill valve, gear box, drive coupling, fan blades, and motor bearings; clean starter and cabinet; inspect wiring; check motor starter contacts for wear and proper operation; megger test the motor and log readings; and check the condition of the sump heater and contactor, and log observations.
    • Pumps usually require bearing lubrication at least annually. Inspect couplings and check for leaks. Investigate unusual noises.
    • Air-handling unit maintenance should include cleaning or replacing air filters at least quarterly, based on condition.

    Learn more at Goodway


  24. How to Identify Each Wire for an HVAC for a Thermostat

    by admin | Category: Educational, Helpful, InformationTags: , , , | Comments (0)

    Thermostats communicate with HVAC units via low voltage control wiring. Each function of a thermostat needs an appropriate wire that will run from the thermostat to the HVAC unit. Depending on what kind of HVAC unit you have, the number of wires could range from two all the way up to eight. Two wire systems are heating only, and by adding additional functions, you add another wire for each.


  25. Turn off power to the HVAC unit. There will be a switch on the side of the unit that controls power to it. Turn it to the “off” position.
  26. Remove the access panel on the front of the furnace and set it aside.
  27. Look for the control board inside the furnace. It will have a terminal strip on it where the low voltage control wiring hooks up to. Terminals on the terminal strip will most likely be “R, Y, W, G and C.” If your furnace has a second stage cooling or heating, you may have “Y2 and W2.” The wires on the furnace control board will be connected up to the same labeled terminals on the thermostat.
  28. Look at and make note of which wires go to which terminals. The terminals that control the heating are “R and W.” The “R” terminal is the power terminal and usually has the red wire connected to it. The “W” terminal is the heating terminal and usually has the white wire connected to it. The terminals that control the cooling are “Y and C.” If you have air conditioning, you will notice that there are two wires connected to these that run to your outside condensing unit. There will also be a wire going from the “Y” terminal to the thermostat, and it is usually colored yellow. If your thermostat uses power from the furnace, the black wire will run from the “C” terminal to the thermostat. The “G” terminal controls the furnace blower fan which can be operated separately at the thermostat from the heating and cooling system. The wire that is usually connected to this is the green wire.
  29. Check to see if your system has the additional terminals “Y2 and W2.” These terminals exist if your furnace or air conditioner has a “second stage” of heating or cooling. What these do is allow the furnace or air conditioner to first come on with a low setting to see if it can meet the heating or cooling requirements. If after a certain time, the temperature requirement isn’t satisfied, the furnace will kick up to a higher setting to finish the heating or cooling needs. For the second stage heat, the “W2” terminal is used and this is usually connected with a brown wire from the furnace control board to the thermostat. For second stage cooling, the “Y2” terminal is used and is connected with the light blue wire from the furnace control board to the thermostat.
  30. Put the unit’s access panel back on after identifying all the thermostat wires.
  31. Turn the power back on to the HVAC unit.
  32. Learn more at eHow