Monday, April 30, 2018

NOT ESPECIALLY HANDY? 3 REASONS YOU SHOULD CONSIDER AN HVAC SERVICE CONTRACT



Heating and cooling system failures can cause a long list of problems, ranging from simple discomfort to serious safety hazards. Unfortunately, if you aren't especially handy or you struggle with mobility, it might not be possible to fix your own HVAC system, which is why an ongoing service contract could be useful. Here are three reasons you should consider an HVAC service contract and why you won't regret the decision.

SAVE TIME AND MONEY


Oftentimes, homeowners who are committed to saving money and learning something new attempt to fix their own furnaces and air conditioners-armed with nothing more than a few basic tools and a smartphone queued up with an instructional video. Unfortunately, HVAC systems are more complex than most people realize, and trying your hand at repairs could end up costing you extra time and money.

In addition to combing the web for diagrams of HVAC systems, you might also find yourself going back and forth to home improvement stores trying to find the right parts for your repair. If you are able to access and adjust your system, you might spend hours afterwards wondering if the fix worked, leaving you nervous about the safety of your home's air supply.

While DIY repairs might seem less expensive, they can also void warranty coverage, since most manufacturers require professional repairs. If you try to fix your system on your own and then run into problems later, the manufacturer might be unwilling to help even though you understand where you went wrong.

On the other hand, when you have an ongoing HVAC maintenance contract, you can simply notify your favorite contractor whenever you experience issues. Professional HVAC specialists will carefully diagnose issues, recommend a treatment plan and make the proper repairs, saving you time and preserving standing warranties.

EXTEND THE LIFE OF YOUR SYSTEM


Dust and grime can wreak havoc on the inside of your heater and air conditioner, shortening the expected lifespan of your system. In fact, the EPA states that a dust buildup of only .042 inches can lower your system's efficiency by more than 20%, forcing your furnace or air conditioner to work harder than it needs to in order to do the same job.

Fortunately, during routine system checkups, HVAC technicians will carefully inspect your unit for buildup, dirty air filters and individual components that seem worn. In addition to preventing heating and cooling emergencies, these routine exams also keep you from having to replace your system before the end of its usable lifespan, saving you money.

TRACK MAINTENANCE METICULOUSLY


Wouldn't it be nice if you could hand prospective buyers of your home a well-kept home manual complete with service records for your major home appliances? One of the best things about having a maintenance contract is the fact that experts will keep close track of your past repairs, making it easier to sell your home in the future.

Instead of worrying about the age of your furnace or air conditioner, buyers will walk away with a positive impression of your dedication to home maintenance, which might even bolster the sales price of your home. Additionally, new homeowners will have easy access to crucial information about their home, making proper care easier in the future.

If you are ready to say goodbye to heating and cooling problems, come say hello to us here at Authorized Heating & Air. With our customer's convenience and busy schedules in mind, we have created a preferred customer maintenance plan, helping people with everything from coolant checks and ductwork evaluations to routine air flow tests and safety inspections. In addition to receiving discounts on parts and services, our preferred customers have the peace of mind of knowing their HVAC system is supported by professionals. To learn more, give us a call.

Wednesday, February 28, 2018

WHY HAVE YOUR HEATING BILLS INCREASED?



You bought an energy-efficient furnace. So why have your heating bills shot up in recent years? As it turns out, even energy-efficient furnaces only conserve energy when they are operating properly, connected to a proper and effective system of ducts, and receive the proper maintenance. If your heating bills have increased in recent years, here are five possible reasons why.

BLOCKED VENTS


Your furnace's blower unit is designed to operate under a certain amount of pressure. If one or more of the vents in your system becomes blocked, the pressure inside the ducts increases, which forces the blower motor to work harder and use more energy. Many people close some vents in their home in an effort to reduce heating costs, but this practice tends to raise pressure levels in the ducts and drive energy bills up - not down.

Your vents may also be blocked by furniture. Open all vents and make sure they're unobstructed, and then you may notice your heating bills decrease.

LEAKY DUCTS


Ducts can also develop leaks over time. Vibrations from a mild earthquake can shake ducts loose, or animals in your walls may damage the ducts and lead to leaks. If a lot of heated air is leaving the ducts rather than being sent out through the vents, then your furnace will have to turn on more often to compensate.

Other signs of leaky ducts include slow airflow at one or more vents and warm spots on the walls or floors. Your HVAC contractor can check for leaky vents, and if needed, repair or replace the ducts that have come loose.

THERMOSTAT PROBLEMS


A thermostat that is not wired properly or that is beginning to fail may not communicate effectively with your furnace. For instance, the thermostat may detect that your home is still below the set temperature and trigger your furnace to turn on when the home is already warm enough. Over time, this leads to a lot of wasted energy.

Thermostat problems are common among homeowners who wired their own thermostats and did not do so properly. You may also have trouble if your thermostat is near a window or door that has become increasingly drafty. Thankfully, thermostats are not expensive to replace, and your HVAC contractor can even relocate your thermostat to improve its accuracy.

CLOGGED AIR FILTERS


How often do you change your furnace air filter? Most filters need to be changed every one to two months, but most homeowners forget about this task for months on end. It takes a lot more energy for your furnace to push air through a clogged filter than through a clean, fresh one. Start changing your air filter on the first of every month, and your heating bills will probably go down.

FAILING BLOWER MOTOR


Many times, the blower motor, which is the component that propels air through your heating system, starts experiencing problems before it fails completely. There may be a loose bearing in the system, a belt may be starting to fray, or the motor may just be dirty. All of these problems can make a motor less efficient.

If your furnace has been making any sort of rattling, squealing, or banging noises, then you probably have a problem with the blower. Most blower motor problems are pretty easy for your HVAC contractor to fix. You'll probably recoup the cost of the repairs in energy savings.

If your once-efficient furnace has become less efficient, then there's a good chance that multiple factors are at fault. Consider scheduling a furnace inspection to get to the source of the problem. An HVAC technician, like those at Authorized Heating & Air Conditioning. Inc., can look over your furnace, thermost

Monday, January 15, 2018

5 REASONS YOU SHOULD HAVE YOUR HVAC SYSTEM SERVICED REGULARLY



When was the last time you had your HVAC system serviced? If you haven't had a visit from your HVAC technician within the past year, then it's time to have your system professionally inspected and maintained. Without regularly scheduled service, you could be missing out on the following benefits.

LOWER ENERGY USAGE


Nearly half of the average home's energy usage goes toward keeping your home comfortable year-round. With heating and cooling representing the largest energy expense in your home, making sure your HVAC system is operating as efficiently as possible should be a paramount goal.

Even if your HVAC system isn't suffering from any obvious problems, it can still suffer a noticeable decline in energy efficiency as time goes on. Skipping out on regularly scheduled maintenance can make your HVAC system even less efficient, causing it to consume more energy just to perform the same amount of work as before.

Just as giving your car a regular tune-up helps improve its fuel economy, having your HVAC system serviced on a regular basis can help reduce its energy consumption and lower your annual heating and cooling bills.

BETTER AIR QUALITY


Recent studies have found that the air inside your home often contains a higher level of harmful pollutants than outdoor air. Given that the average person spends most of their time indoors, poor indoor air quality can have a tremendous impact on your health. For instance, poor air quality can easily trigger allergies and asthma symptoms, especially in children, the elderly, and those with weakened immune systems.

Your HVAC system plays an important role when it comes to regulating your home's indoor air quality. A neglected HVAC system that's full of dust and debris is next to useless for keeping your indoor air reasonably clean. Regularly scheduled maintenance helps keep your HVAC equipment clean, which in turn gives your home healthier and cleaner indoor air.

FEWER EMERGENCY REPAIRS


Nothing brings about a feeling of dread faster than your HVAC system suddenly breaking down when you need it most. Emergency repairs can be a time-consuming and expensive experience, especially if you're dealing with unreliable equipment with a tendency to break down at multiple points throughout the year.

There's no guarantee that your HVAC system won't need an emergency repair at some point in its life. Staying on top of your HVAC system's maintenance, however, can help lessen the likelihood of it needing one.

INCREASED SYSTEM LONGEVITY


Another reason to stay on top of your HVAC system's maintenance is that it can drastically affect the longevity of your heating and cooling equipment. A typical HVAC system can offer anywhere from 15 to 25 years of reliable service before needing replacement. Of course, this longevity depends greatly on how well you've maintained your system throughout its life.

Without regular maintenance, your HVAC system will have a much shorter lifespan due to increased parts wear and system damage due to neglect. A lack of regular maintenance also means you'll likely find yourself investing in another HVAC system sooner than you expect. Keeping up with your HVAC system's maintenance also leaves you with greater peace of mind when it comes to reliability and overall performance.

IMPROVED OVERALL COMFORT


Regularly scheduled maintenance is absolutely essential if you want your HVAC system to deliver effective and reliable comfort year-round. Without proper maintenance, your HVAC equipment won't be able to perform at the level required to efficiently meet your home's heating and cooling needs.

A comprehensive service agreement can help you stay on top of your HVAC system's maintenance at a reasonable cost. To find out more about our available preventative maintenance plans, contact the professionals at Authorized Heating & Air Conditioning, Inc., today.

Wednesday, November 1, 2017

HOW TO CUT DOWN YOUR AIR-CONDITIONING COST



The hot season can assault your senses and wallet. While the sound of a running the air conditioner is quite relieving during summer, it could also be the sound of a drying bank account if you do not work out a money- and energy-saving strategy. Use these tips to ensure that your air conditioner does not blow your money away.

IMPROVE YOUR NATURAL VEGETATION


Direct sunlight overworks your AC. Plant leafy trees around your house to stop the sun from shining directly inside your house. According to the U.S. Department of Energy, you can increase your AC's efficiency by 10% by having trees and shrubs that shade your air conditioner's outside unit.

If you do not have the space to plant trees, consider climbing plants such as vines and other thick hanging flowers. Shrubs and groundcover plants also shade your ground and pavements, which minimizes heat radiation and cools the air before it reaches your windows and walls.

CONDUCT A HOME ENERGY AUDIT


If yours is a typical home without any special energy needs, heating and cooling is your largest energy expense accounting for close to 50% of your energy bill. Conducting a home energy audit or assessment helps you evaluate how much energy you are consuming and how to make your home more energy efficient.

The wrong type or size of AC, for example, can mean you are using more energy than necessary to cool your home. Doors and windows that are worn out, poor insulation and other cracks can allow cold air to seep out into the neighborhood, meaning your AC has to work more than it should to keep the house continuously cool. A home energy audit will reveal problems you can correct and save significant amounts of money.

USE YOUR WINDOWS APPROPRIATELY


Clothing your windows with a mesh-like solar screen can help intercept heat before it gets into your house. Window films are also a good option. They are metalized sheets that reflect heat before it is transmitted into a room. In the seasons when it is cold at night, turn off your AC and open the windows.

Before it gets hot during the day, close your windows and shut your blinds to keep the cold air inside. It is wise to consult your HVAC contractor to understand what measures best compliment your air conditioning unit.

SET YOUR THERMOSTAT RIGHT


When the indoor temperature is closer to the outside temperature, your AC unit will use less energy. In the summer, try to set your thermostat to the highest temperature that you can comfortably withstand.

Minimize that difference even further while you're out of the house. Upgrading to a thermostat that is programmable can make it easier to set the temperatures appropriately. After you get home on a hot day, you should avoid setting your thermostat to an abnormally low temperature in an attempt to cool your house faster. It will only result in too much cooling and a higher energy bill.

MAINTAIN YOUR COOLING SYSTEM REGULARLY


It is not enough to put in place all the cold retention measures in and outside your home. If you do not properly care for your AC and maintain it regularly, it will raise your energy bill. A simple maintenance task such as changing your filters to allow sufficient air flow can cut the AC's energy consumption by as much as 15%. Always use a certified HVAC contractor for maintenance to avoid damaging your air conditioning unit.

Summer should not automatically translate into high energy bills. A well-thought strategy to keep your house cool can help you stay comfortable without having to break your bank account. A good cooling plan, however, starts with a good air conditioning unit and expert installation.

Contact Authorized Heating & Air Conditioning. Inc. to replace or upgrade your cooling or air quality system.

Thursday, August 31, 2017

AC TIPS TO HELP INCREASE YOUR INDOOR AIR QUALITY



Improving your indoor air quality can be a constant struggle if you or a family member has an allergy or another sensitivity to air pollutants such as pet dander. But did you know that your AC system can help boost indoor air quality? How you use and care for your AC system can greatly affect the pollutant levels and humidity in your indoor air.

So whether you have asthma, need tips on getting the upper hand in a fight with mildew, or just want to provide a clean environment for your children to grow up in, your air conditioning system should be your ally. Here are three ways to use your AC unit to help optimize your indoor air quality.

1. CHOOSE THE RIGHT AIR FILTERS AND CHANGE THEM FREQUENTLY


Each AC intake vent should have an air filter attached to it in order to filter out most of the dust in the indrawn air. The dirtier the air filters get, though, the more dust and pollutants can push through and get into the vents, which means you should change the filters at least as often as recommended if not more often. And you should, of course, choose the best filters to optimize the cleanliness of the air in your system.

This doesn't necessarily mean buying the thickest filters with the tiniest holes that let practically nothing through, though. This type of filter can do more harm than good by making it hard for air to get into the system. Instead of a HEPA filter, you may wish to choose a high-efficiency pleated filter that catches almost as much dust but lets the air pass through more easily. (Or if you have a little more money to invest, you can install an external system that takes air from the duct on a detour out of the duct to filter it with a HEPA filter.)

2. HAVE YOUR DUCTS CLEANED WHEN NEEDED


You can choose to have your ducts cleaned on a regular basis or to only call for professional cleaning if you're having a specific problem such as pests, allergy flare-ups, or mold outbreaks. Ducts can accumulate a whole lot of dust and other pollutant build-up despite the filters on their intake vents, so this can be a useful way to reduce aggravation of your allergies.

It's not recommended that you try to clean the ducts yourself, since the operation requires quite a bit of specialized equipment in order to be successful. Plus, you could mess up something inside the system if you're not familiar with how the inside of a duct system works.

3. USE THE AUTO OR ON FAN SETTINGS TO CONTROL DEHUMIDIFYING EFFECT


You may have heard that AC systems can help reduce humidity, but you may not know that you can effectively turn that function on and off. If you have the fan switched to ON, it will run continuously, and the water that condensed out of your air inside the HVAC system will then evaporate back into your indoor air, meaning your humidity will remain about the same. (If you live in an area that already has low humidity, you may wish to choose this option.)

On the other hand, if you have the fan set on AUTO, it will switch off when the unit isn't busy cooling your home. This allows a dehumidifying effect because then the water that was condensed out of your air is removed from your home and doesn't get blown back in.

These three tips can help you intelligently manage your AC system as a tool in your fight against indoor air pollution. For more AC system information or to learn about our services, visit Authorized Heating & Air Conditioning, Inc. on the web today.

Thursday, June 29, 2017

7 ESSENTIAL SUMMERTIME AIR CONDITIONING CARE TIPS



Summer's here and it's not going away any time soon. Keeping your air conditioning system in the best shape possible is essential if you want to keep your home cool and comfortable all season long. There's a lot you can do to properly maintain your air conditioner, some of which you can do on your own and others you can with the help of your HVAC contractor.

DON'T BLOCK THE RETURN AIR INTAKE GRILLE


If you have any furniture, drapes or any other obstacles in front of your return air intake grille, you should have them moved out of the way immediately. These obstructions can stifle airflow your air conditioner needs to run efficiently and effectively.

KEEP THE CONDENSER UNIT CLEAR OF VEGETATION AND DEBRIS


Encroaching grasses, shrubbery and other types of vegetation can cover the bottom of the outdoor condenser portion of your air conditioning system, making it harder for the condenser fan to pull air from the bottom of the unit. To prevent airflow problems, you should keep a two- to three-foot radius around the condenser unit clear of any and all vegetation.

CONSIDER UPGRADING TO A SMART THERMOSTAT


A smart thermostat can help you better manage your air conditioning system, bringing you better comfort and improved energy efficiency. Unlike a typical programmable thermostat, smart thermostats are Wi-Fi enabled, allowing you to remotely adjust temperature and fan settings from virtually anywhere using your smartphone, tablet or laptop. You can also receive weather alerts and various online updates when using your smart thermostat.

CHECK AND CLEAR THE CONDENSATE DRAIN


The condensate drain plays an important part when it comes to removing excess moisture. It's not unusual for these drains to end up clogged with debris or algae growth. It's a good idea to occasionally inspect and, if necessary, unclog the condensate drain to avoid water spillage and subsequent leaks.

KEEP AN EYE ON YOUR REFRIGERANT LINES


Another area you'll want to pay attention to is the portion of your split air conditioning system where the refrigerant lines run from the outdoor condenser unit to your home's interior. These lines are usually covered with foam insulation in order to prevent energy losses. Nature can take its toll on this insulation: animals may gnaw away at the insulation for food and bedding while constant rainfall and erosion does the rest.

Use foam insulation tape or foam insulation sleeves with electrical tape to re-cover areas where the original foam insulation is missing. This will help reduce minor energy losses and keep your A/C system operating efficiently.

HAVE A PROFESSIONAL CLEAN THE EVAPORATOR COIL


Time can also take its toll on the evaporator coil, especially if it hasn't been cleaned in a long time. Dust and debris can accumulate on the coil located inside of your air conditioner's air handler unit, eventually preventing air from flowing through the coil fins. Without sufficient airflow, the evaporator coil becomes vulnerable to ice buildup and other HVAC issues.

​Cleaning the evaporator coil can be rather delicate work due to the fragile coil fins, so it's a good idea to have the professionals take care of this important task. Your HVAC contractor will have the right tools as well as the experience needed to clean the coil without causing any damage.

DON'T FORGET TO CHANGE YOUR AIR FILTER


Changing the air filter is one of the simplest things you can do to your air conditioning system. Unfortunately, it's also one of the most commonly forgotten tasks involving A/C upkeep. Forgetting about your air filter can have dire consequences for your A/C unit, as the resulting dust and debris buildup can block airflow, promote overheating and add unnecessary wear and tear on your A/C system.

For more ways you can care for your air conditioning system, you can turn to the professionals at Authorized Heating & Air Conditioning Inc. Don't hesitate to get in touch with us whenever you need heating and air conditioning service in the Greenville area.

Monday, March 6, 2017

TIPS ON MAINTENANCE FOR YOUR FURNACE



Your furnace keeps your house warm and just like any appliance, it requires some care to work at top performance. There are three different types of furnaces: gas, electric and oil. Each one functions a little bit differently, but each should be maintained. Some maintenance is best left to professionals, but there are some pretty simple things that you can do yourself to prevent problems. Here are some general tips on maintenance for your furnace that you can follow.

  • For a gas furnace, make sure the pilot light is lit.

  • Replace the filter in a gas furnace at the beginning of the season and every 30 days until the end of the season.

  • Keep any type of furnace free of dirt.

  • Check the flue and make sure it is venting outside.

  • Keep the blower motor well lubricated.

  • Replace the oil filter three to four times a year in an oil furnace.

  • Electric furnaces are best cared for by a professional. Have it maintained yearly.


When you keep your furnace clean and well cared for, you are more likely to have a warm house during the cold, winter months. If you feel your furnace is not working properly, check for any of the above mentioned problems first. For more information regarding furnace maintenance, call Authorized Heating & Air Conditioning.

Thursday, January 5, 2017

SIGNS YOUR HEATER NEEDS REPAIR



A furnace is essential to keeping your space heated sufficiently. There are many signs that something may be amiss with your equipment. Knowing them ahead of time will save you time and frustration.

LACK OF RESPONSE WHEN TWEAKING YOUR THERMOSTAT


Raising the temperature on your thermostat should always result in a response from your thermostat. If this stops happening, it could be a sign of trouble with your furnace.

A DISCOLORED PILOT LIGHT


If your pilot light is yellow, this is actually a sign of an equipment problem. A healthy pilot light should be blue because it demonstrates a healthy combination of gasses involved in providing your heat.

SIGNS OF UNEVEN HEATING


Your home may have developed uneven heat. You may be experiencing chills in certain spots or even ice. The same amount of heat could also be causing your bills to skyrocket.

It goes without saying that none of these possible problems are a good sign. These and more signs could be very serious indicators that you need to have your equipment inspected and possibly repaired. It is safest to err on the side of caution so that you do not face larger problems. When you need assistance, seek a qualified professional. Call Authorized Heating & Air Conditioning for more information on getting your heater repaired.

Thursday, November 3, 2016

BENEFITS OF HUMIDIFYING YOUR HOME



Gone are the days of the small portable humidifier that you would take from room to room. Now, you can humidify your whole home at once. Here are some of the reasons that you might want to take advantage of that.

IMPROVE YOUR HEALTH


Air that is too dry can certainly be uncomfortable, especially on the skin and sinuses. But it can also cause health issues, making lung problems like asthma worse, exacerbating skin issues such as eczema and increasing allergy symptoms. In addition, there are many bacteria and viruses that prefer a dry environment in which they will proliferate. Putting moisture in the air can help with all of these potential problems.

LOWER YOUR ENERGY BILLS


Humid air makes you feel warmer so you will be comfortable with the heat at a lower setting. Every degree that you lower your thermostat can result in as much as 4% savings on your bill.

EXTEND THE LIFE OF YOUR HOME


Dry air can have damaging effects on your home too, causing not just the walls and floor to peel and crack, but also your belongings. Furniture, electronics, artwork, instruments and more can be damaged when they get too dry.

Whole house humidifiers can be installed in your heating and cooling system – whether it’s new or existing. To find out more about whether it’s the right choice for you, visit Authorized Heating & Air Conditioning. Inc. in Indianapolis.