Do I Really Have To Change My Air Filter Often?

ThinkstockPhotos-178384618Regular HVAC maintenance is important in ensuring efficient operation and prolonging the unit’s life. Proper maintenance could also keep the house within a reasonable temperature change. It could also help in saving money, especially in the long-term.

Changing the Air Filter

The air filter keeps debris and pollutants out of the equipment, thus ensuring efficient and proper operation. A clogged or dirty filter restricts air flow, which forces the unit to work harder in achieving the set heating goals. This results in excessive energy consumption and high utility bills.

How Often?

The frequency depends on the unit’s location, filter type, season and how often the system is used. For residential HVAC units, the filters need to be checked once every 3 months. If higher efficiency filters are being used, then the life could range between 6-12 months.

Air filters in restaurants, strip malls and retail chains need to be changed every 4-8 weeks, depending on the type and customer traffic. For industrial facilities, filters need to be changed weekly. Environmental factors such as presence of tobacco smoke, pet hair and heavy traffic could however necessitate more frequent changes.

Changing the Filter

One needs to follow the manufacturer’s instructions to ensure that the proper procedure is followed when changing the filter. Before purchasing, one should read the manual to identify the right size and number. Most filter types can be found at local hardware and department outlets.

The unit needs to be turned off completely before trying to change the filter. This is done for safety reasons. If it’s hard to figure out how to switch off the equipment, one can turn off the breaker. After switching the unit off, the old filter now needs to be removed.

Typically, the filter will be located on the right side of the equipment. It should also be easy to pull out of place in the furnace. Though rare, some filters can be located inside the indoor air vents. For such cases, professional help would be required to change the filter.

The new filter can be inserted by simply sliding it into place. Arrows on the unit should help in determining which side faces outside. Changing the HVAC filter should be a simple process. If one is unsure however, they could always contact a professional for help. Follow us for more articles that will keep your heating and cooling systems running efficiently.

Heat Pump Freezing Up? What Do You Do?

481723049Heat pump freeze up is a problem that can occur at any time, regardless of the outdoor temperature. With a little bit of knowledge about how your heat pump works, you will know exactly what to do the next time yours freezes up.

Your heat pump keeps your home warm by using refrigerant to absorb heat from outside air. The absorption process leaves behind excess moisture on the coils. If the air temperature is cold enough, the water freezes and can interfere with the unit’s performance. Under normal circumstances, the unit goes into automatic defrost mode to melt the ice. If the ice has not melted away after 30 minutes in the defrost cycle, you should have a qualified HVAC technician check your system because it may have a faulty control or sensor.

Anything that restricts airflow across the coils can cause the system to freeze up. Inspect the area around your outside unit and clear away any brush, branches, leaves, snow, grass and other debris that may be blocking airflow to the unit. Make sure no furniture, doors, wall hangings or other objects are blocking your indoor vents. If you have floor vents, make sure the carpeting is not blocking them.

Inspect the area above your outside unit for leaking or clogged gutters. Excess water from a blocked or damaged rain gutter could freeze on the coils in frigid temperatures.

Sometimes the slab supporting the unit shifts or settles in a way that interferes with the unit’s drainage system. Water condensed by the unit should be free to flow away. If you cannot figure out why the water will not drain away, an experienced HVAC technician can diagnose the problem and offer an affordable solution.

Following a regular maintenance routine will help you avoid problems with your heat pump. You should check the filter every month and replace it or clean it as necessary. Having a reputable HVAC specialist inspect your unit for faulty or worn components can save you a significant amount of money in future repairs.

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All You Need To Know About Replacing HVAC Heating And Air Conditioning Systems

491836769It can be difficult to decide when to go forward with a total HVAC system replacement. Replacing the system can be a costly process; however, it may actually save you money in the future. When your existing system becomes inefficient, it can cause more expensive utility bills each month. If the need for repairs becomes more frequent, this too can start to add up and be costly. A total replacement can eliminate these issues as well as lowering utility costs by being a more energy efficient system. But before you make this substantial purchase, there are a few things to consider to ensure you get the perfect HVAC system for your home.

Initially, you want to find a reputable HVAC company that will come out and provide a no obligation, free estimate for the system as well as the labor. This will help prepare you for the financial responsibility for the installation. Make sure the estimate includes prices for the parts, labor costs, warranty information and specific information regarding the energy efficiency of the product. You should also inquire about any potential rebates or special offers that are available.

With the help of HVAC professionals, determine which type of system will work the best. It may not be ideal to simply replicate the system you had previously, especially if you have done remodeling or added on to the home. Forced heating and cooling systems are quite common but there are alternatives such as heat pumps that you should consider. There are also certain products that may qualify for tax credit at the end of the year due to their energy efficiency. Also, check into the type of filters utilized by the HVAC unit. Are they washable? How often must they be replaced? Some filters are designed to improve air quality, making them beneficial for your family’s overall health.

You should also research the HVAC company’s service plan. You want to hire a company that stands behind their products, offers routine maintenance and provides dependable, honest service. Follow us for more articles that will help keep your HVAC systems running efficiently.

What Is Thermal Comfort?

ThinkstockPhotos-475991232If you feel comfortable sited in a room without worrying about the surrounding temperature, you are most likely experiencing what is known as thermal comfort. This is a situation which happens when the body is in state of comfort. When engineers are designing HVAC systems, they consider thermal comfort as a primary goal to satisfy their clients. It is achieved when the heat generated by humans is allowed to dissipate therefore creating temperature equilibrium.

Factors Influencing Thermal Comfort

1. Personal Factors

Personal factors like clothing and work rate affects how one feels in relation to temperature differences. For instance, one may wear less or more clothes to feel better or even engage in a activity which raises the work rate. These effects causes thermal discomfort.

2. Environmental conditions

Air speed, radiant and air temperatures as well as humidity affects thermal comfort. Flowing air creates uniformity in air temperature making room occupants feel comfortable. Heat radiating from hot points affects the surrounding temperature as it affects how the human body gains or loses heat. When humidity is high, the body tends to sweat as a means of reducing heat whereas low humidity translates to less sweating in order to conserve heat.

Measuring Thermal Comfort

To establish how comfortable your employees feel about their surrounding environment, you may need a thermal comfort checklist to assess their needs. Using the employees, an employer may use problems identified and carry out adjustment and possibly improve thermal comfort. When discomfort is an issue, you may need to use risk analysis. If thermal comfort is affected by personal factors, risk assessment is done using the type of clothing where an yearly risk assessment may also be needed.

Control Thermal Comfort

In order to control thermal comfort, control the environment. This include monitoring humidity and air temperatures. Distance your employees from the sources of heat and cold. This may be done through insulation. Control your tasks by automation and limiting exposure time. In addition, employees may adapt to changes, change behavioral adaptation as well as controlling individual employees through supervising and training may regulate thermal comfort.

Thermal comfort plays a vital role in employee productivity. Therefore investing in quality HVAC may help you have the perfect environment for your employees.

For these reasons, follow us for more articles that will keep your heating and cooling systems running efficiently