Why is my A/C not cold?

5 Ways to Keep Your HVAC Unit Running Well

1.Replace Your Filters

The easiest way to keep your HVAC unit running well is to change the air filters regularly. All of the air that flows through your home goes through these filters, and allergens, irritants, and other floating debris are filtered out. However, as these particles are trapped in the filter, they make it harder for air to flow through. Your HVAC unit has to work harder to push air through, and the dirty filter does a poor job at removing irritants. Replacing the filter is really easy, most of them just slide in and out of position. To make it even easier, you can sign up to have filters delivered to your home automatically. That way you don’t have to remember the size of the filter you need, or when it needs to be replaced. The filter arrives in the mail, and you know it’s time to change it. Most filters should be changed at least every 90 days, but the packaging will tell you when to change it. You should also change filters more frequently if your home is prone to more irritants, such as cigarette smoke or pet hair, or if someone in the home has breathing issues, like asthma or allergies.

2.Have Air Ducts and Vents Cleaned

Air ducts and vents need to be cleaned regularly. Just like air filters, they can become clogged with debris and this makes the HVAC unit work harder to force air through. The harder the unit has to work, the shorter its lifespan will be. To keep your HVAC unit running well, schedule routine cleaning. Although you could do it yourself, it is a time consuming job that requires knowledge of how the unit works and access to the ducts and vents. We recommend scheduling with a professional to have your ducts and vents cleaned about every 3 years.

3. Check Outdoor Unit

The outdoor unit of your HVAC is supposed to release the hot air outside, so that your home stays cool during the summer months. In order for it to do that, your outdoor unit needs to have clear space to push the hot air out. The outdoor unit generally tends to attract leaves, trash, and other debris. This builds up around the outside of the unit, and makes it hard for the air to flow freely, in turn making the HVAC unit work harder to move air. The more efficiently air can flow through the entire unit, the longer lifespan an HVAC unit will have. You can check your outdoor unit frequently – add it to part of your grass cutting routine, or to your teenager’s chore list. We would also recommend providing shade for your unit if there isn’t any available. With all the hot air blowing out of the outdoor unit, providing shade might seem silly because it’s already so hot. However, even lowering the temperature a few degrees can make a big difference and keep your HVAC unit running well. You definitely don’t want your outdoor unit to overheat and go kaput in the middle of a heat wave, but you also don’t want your unit to work harder than it has to. Shades made specifically for HVAC units are available, or you could create your own. Ask an HVAC specialist about the best placement for the shade – to provide the most shade, while still allowing for proper air flow.

4. Programmable Thermostat

Using a programmable thermostat can also help to keep your HVAC unit running well. By programming it to your routine, it can adjust the temperature a few degrees when you are not home, allowing the unit to work a little less. If you switch to a smart thermostat, which can be controlled remotely, and can make adjustments by itself, you can save money on your heating and cooling bills and extend the life of your HVAC unit. Check out all the benefits of a smart thermostat here.

5. Annual Maintenance

Scheduling maintenance for your HVAC is key to the health and longevity of the unit. Trained professionals can help keep your unit running efficiently and point out any problems before they become big issues. You should have a tune up run on your HVAC at least once a year, but it is even better to have someone come out twice a year. Schedule an appointment in the spring, before you plan to run your air conditioning, and another in the fall, just before you turn the heat on. Prevention is the most important step you can take in maintaining your HVAC unit. Even if you constantly check things yourself, you could easily still miss something. It may cost a bit to use a professional, but you will save that money in the long run by extending the life of your HVAC unit for many more years.

Here at Weather Crafters, we are here to help. Give us a call today to schedule maintenance, ask questions about how to operate your smart thermostat, or how to help your HVAC unit run more efficiently.

For more information on how to keep your HVAC unit running well, check out https://www.diynetwork.com/how-to/maintenance-and-repair/cleaning/10-easy-steps-to-keep-your-air-conditioning-unit-running-smoothl

Benefits of a Smart Thermostat

“Smart” technology is a buzzword that you hear a lot these days, especially when talking about home improvement. Even if you aren’t a fan of smart technology, a smart thermostat might be worth looking into. The main benefits of a smart thermostat involve saving energy and money. Make your home’s heating and air conditioning system work smarter – not harder.

Older thermostats can be programmed manually to turn the heat down when you’re away, based on whatever time schedule you set. However, studies show that 89% of homeowners don’t properly use the programmable option on their thermostat anyway. Maybe you forgot to adjust the programming on your thermostat, maybe it seems too complicated, or maybe you don’t have a traditional schedule. A smart thermostat can help in all these situations. It can be controlled remotely through your smart phone, and the programs are very user friendly. The thermostat communicates via wifi so that you can change the temperature even if you aren’t home. This is a nice feature if you travel a lot – you may not have a set schedule but can adjust the temperature to save yourself money on the heating bill. There’s no point in heating a home if no one is there.

Another one of the benefits of a smart thermostat is the fact that it is “smart”. It doesn’t just rely on you to tell it what to do. It learns your habits and preferences and then anticipates what temperature you will want it to be. You can also adjust settings so that the thermostat is alerted when you are on your way home. Let’s say that you leave work early because you’re sick. A traditional thermostat wouldn’t know to turn on until the programmed time. However, your smart thermostat can tell that you are on your route home, so it starts to warm up the house. Instead of coming home to a chilly house, and manually cranking up the heat, your smart thermostat has already kicked on and warmed the house to your preferred temperature.

The fact that your thermostat can tell when you are on your way home may seem a little bit over the top. However, letting your smart phone alert the thermostat that you are heading home can save you a lot of energy and money on your heating bill. If you came home to a house that was chilly, you would probably just walk over to the thermostat and manually turn up the heat to the desired temperature. In order to save energy, you may have programmed your thermostat to a lower temperature during the day, when no one is home. If you come home early, the house might be at a chilly 67 degrees. If you manually adjust the temperature to 72 degrees, that means your heating system has to raise the temperature by 5 degrees, rather quickly. This will cause your heating system to go to full-blast to get the room to 72 degrees as quickly as possible. With a smart thermostat that knows you are on your way home, it can adjust the temperature more slowly. This is one of the  benefits of a smart thermostat that allows your heating system to work more efficiently, which saves energy and money.

The EPA estimates that smart thermostats can save homes up to $180 a year in heating and cooling costs. These smart thermostats cost between $200 and $500, so you will have earned back your money in about two years. The benefits of a smart thermostat can be found in saving money and in the convenience and comfort they provide your home. If you are interested in upgrading to a smart thermostat, call Weather Crafters. We can answer any questions you might have about the functions of a smart thermostat, and how it is installed. We are also happy to recommend different types of thermostats, based on your needs. Smart thermostats are an investment in the comfort and energy efficiency of your home. Don’t wait – give Weather Crafters a call today!

 

For more information about the benefits of a smart thermostat, check out https://smartthermostatguide.com/8-smart-thermostat-advantages/

Should You Replace or Repair your Furnace?

Your furnace is a key part in keeping your home comfortable during the winter months. It is important for it to run efficiently and safely. Regular maintenance and inspections by our certified HVAC specialists can help to extend your system’s lifespan. However, there will always come a point when you start to wonder, should you replace or repair your furnace? The lifespan of a furnace varies. There are many factors that come in to play: the quality of the system, the age, how well it is maintained, and how much it is used. Regular maintenance will help find issues before they become problematic – but repairs can become costly. How do you know if it’s smart to hire an HVAC company to service and repair a furnace versus just purchasing a new one?

REPAIRS – you should consider repairs if your furnace:

  • Is 12 years old, or younger
  • Has regular maintenance – which means there most likely won’t be any big “surprise” issues in the near future
  • You can also spend time in other areas of your home to try to keep things more energy efficient. The more heat you can keep inside your home, the less work your furnace will have to do
  • Upgrade to energy efficient windows and doors
  • Have your ductwork inspected for leaks
  • A general rule for repairs: pay for a repair if a) your furnace is less than 15 years old and b) the repair will be less than half of what a new furnace will cost

REPLACE – you should consider replacing your furnace if:

  • It is 16 years or older (average lifespan for furnaces today is 16-20 years)
  • Your energy bill has increased drastically compared to previous years. If you notice an increase in your heating expenses, it is time to start looking for a new furnace. The extra money spent on heating bills could go toward the cost of a new furnace instead.
  • You hear strange noises
  • Your furnace has needed more repairs in the past two years than any other time. A clear warning sign is an increase in repairs – furnaces will usually need more repairs than usual in the last two years of life

SHOP – time to buy a new furnace

If your furnace is more than 15 years old, or if it needs more repairs than usual, it’s time to start shopping. Even if you are planning to run your furnace until it dies (although this is definitely not recommended), you don’t want to wait until the furnace has gone kaput to start looking for a replacement. More than likely your furnace will die during the colder part of the year because that is when it is being used. So the question is, how many nights do you want to spend shivering in your own home? If you are forced to purchase a new furnace ASAP, you probably won’t be able to get the best deal, or even really know what it is you’re looking for. By shopping around ahead of time, you can compare prices and determine which furnace model is the best fit for your home.

When faced with the question, “Should you replace or repair your furnace?”, it can be difficult to know what to do. A new furnace is expensive, but repairing an old, inefficient furnace can cost almost as much. Knowing when to give your current furnace a little TLC, or when it is time to throw in the towel is something we at Weather Crafters can help you with. Give us a call and we will share our expert knowledge with you. Whether you want help picking out a new furnace, determining what that annoying clanging noise is, or are just in need of some routine maintenance – we’ve got you covered. Don’t wait until your furnace goes out to contact us. Give Weather Crafters a call today.

For more information when deciding if you should replace or repair your furnace, check out https://www.nationalheatingandac.com/blog/repair-or-replace-furnace

Carbon Monoxide Poisoning in a Home Furnace System

Carbon monoxide poisoning in your home is no joke. It is the cause of nearly 400 deaths and it sends 20,000 people to the hospital every year. Carbon monoxide is created when a heating system runs – not just a furnace. Carbon monoxide is a byproduct of many heating systems, such as gas and oil furnaces, gas and oil boilers, wood pellet stoves, and wood burning stoves. It is almost impossible for humans to detect a carbon monoxide leak because it is odorless and colorless, and the beginning stages of carbon monoxide poisoning are similar to symptoms of the flu (nausea, dizziness, vomiting, headache, weakness, unconsciousness). So, in order to protect your loved ones from carbon monoxide poisoning, we first need to know what causes this, and what we can do to prevent and detect it.

If you are worried about carbon monoxide poisoning harming your family, the first thing you should do is have a professional check your furnace or heating system. This should be part of your HVAC preventative maintenance your HVAC professional conducts twice a year.

Every spring you should have your air conditioning system checked by an HVAC specialist before you run it for the summer. Every fall you should have your heating system checked as well. If your heating system is running properly, there is pretty much no way that you will have a carbon monoxide leak. However, if your system is having issues, a trained HVAC specialist will be able to find these problems before they become deadly. The most common causes for carbon monoxide leaks are: cracks in the combustion chamber, cracked exhaust piping, leaking seams, or a combustion process that is incomplete. If you have an older system, this will increase the likelihood of a carbon monoxide leak, but normal wear and tear can also cause leaks. 

Although some home projects can be DIY, HVAC maintenance should not be one of those things. HVAC systems can be complicated, and with something as deadly as carbon monoxide poisoning as a consequence, leave it to a professional. They know what issues to be on the lookout for, as well as warning signs for problems that may come up later on. HVAC specialists recommend having your system checked in the fall and the spring. 

Even though you shouldn’t do the maintenance yourself, you can still help keep your loved ones safe. If you haven’t already, go purchase carbon monoxide detectors immediately! They are similar to smoke detectors, and they are the only way to detect carbon monoxide (an odorless, colorless gas). Safety.com recommends installing detectors on each floor of your home, as well as in or near each bedroom. If your garage is attached, consider placing one in there as well. 

Unfortunately, carbon monoxide detectors are only able to detect extremely high levels of the gas. If your detectors do go off, exit your home immediately and call your local fire department to come check for the gas leak. However, you may still have a carbon monoxide leak, even if your detectors do not go off. Smaller leaks can still be harmful to humans when exposed to the gas for extended periods of time. The best way to ensure that your heating system is not leaking is to schedule an annual inspection with an HVAC specialist. The Center for Disease Control strongly recommends having a trained HVAC technician check out your system each year. Don’t wait until you hear you hear your carbon monoxide alarm beep, by then it might be too late. Call and schedule an appointment with an HVAC specialist today.

For more information about carbon monoxide poisoning in a home furnace system, check out https://www.carbon-monoxide-poisoning.com/co-furnace.html 

Prepare Your HVAC System for the Fall

Cooler weather is approaching and that means it will soon be time to switch from air conditioning to heating your home. However, simply switching the thermostat from “cool” to “heat” is not enough. You should prepare your HVAC system for the fall to ensure that it runs optimally throughout the autumn and winter. Here are a few things you can do to make sure things are ready for cooler weather.

Maintenance

Just like your car needs to have routine maintenance, your HVAC system is no different.

Most HVAC specialists recommend that you have routine furnace maintenance completed on your system every spring and fall – before it’s time to switch from heating to cooling, and vice versa. Trained HVAC specialists can quickly check your system to ensure that it is run efficiently. If your system is not running at its most efficient, you are wasting energy and money. Get in touch with Weather Crafters and we can schedule routine maintenance for you. Let us take one more thing off your To-Do List.

Filters

An easy way to keep your HVAC running efficiently is to change the filters regularly.

Filters come in a wide range – some need to be changed every 30 days, and others can last for 180 days. It’s important to change the filters accordingly because clean filters allow air to flow through your home easily. Filters that are clogged impede the flow of air, which means, not only does your system have to work harder to move the air, but it is also circulating airborne bacteria, dust, and allergens. Filters that are regularly changed keep the air you breath cleaner. Check the packaging on your filter to see how often it should be changed.

Warm Ups

Your heating system has sat idly in your home since last spring, and it will need a few hours to get back into the swing of things. So whenever you are ready to turn the heat on inside, put it on a lower setting than you normally would, just for the first few hours. This will help you prepare your HVAC system for the fall. This allows your HVAC system time to warm up, without overworking itself. All you need to do is put on an extra layer of clothes for a few hours. Once the system has been running for a bit, feel free to bump it up a few degrees to a more comfortable temperature.

Upgrades

The average lifespan of an HVAC system ranges anywhere from 10 to 20 years. If your system is getting older, it is really important to have an HVAC specialist complete routine maintenance. They can make sure the system is running well, and spot any potential problems. If your system is in need of repair, a specialist can help you determine whether it is time to replace or upgrade your current system.

Putting in a new system is usually less expensive in the fall because contractors are generally less busy in the fall, so they will probably charge less for an install than they would to do the same job during the busy summer season.

Check the Thermostat

Lowering the thermostat one or two degrees below your usual desired temperature can save energy and money. Every degree lowered saves your household about 2% on monthly utility bills. While that may not seem like much, it does add up over the months and years. It will also save you money by extending the life of your HVAC unit. The less work your system has to do, the longer it will live. Save money and still stay warm by pulling on a comfy sweater, or wearing slippers in the house.

Leaks

Another aspect of routine HVAC maintenance is checking for leaks in the system. Your system works hard to keep your home comfortable, and if heated air is escaping from the air ducts, it is a big waste. Not only can heated air leak inside your home, but also outside. If you have poorly sealed windows or doors, warm air will rise, causing cold air to be sucked in from outside. Prepare your HVAC system for the fall by taking care of these issues. Trained specialists can quickly check for leaks in the ducts, windows, and doors of your home. They will make sure your system is working efficiently, and help you correct any issues they find.

It is important to get ready for the cooler weather, especially by preparing your home’s heating system. At Weather Crafters we have a lot of experience with HVAC systems. Whether you just have a question for us about your unit, or if you want to schedule routine maintenance, we are more than happy to help. Give Weather Crafters a call!

For more information about how to prepare your HVAC system for the fall, check out https://www.directenergy.com/blog/preparing-home-hvac-system-fall/