FAQs about Conventional HVAC Systems

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What does HVAC actually mean?

HVAC (it’s pronounced as “H-vack”) is an acronym for Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning. The relation between the three functions of heating, ventilation, and air conditioning is very close because each of them helps to provide comfort, acceptable air quality indoors, and affordable costs of installation, operation, and maintenance. HVAC systems are usually used to provide proper ventilation, maintain pressure relationships, and reduce the filtration of air. Air and heating professionals usually go by the title “HVAC contractor,” and they can provide various HVAC operation and maintenance expertise and services.

How often should I replace the filter?

In truth, there’s no answer that works for everyone. The frequency with which you change your HVAC filter will depend largely on how much you make use of your air conditioning and heating systems, which in turn is influenced by the climate in your region. For instance, for folks that live in a busy downtown Philadelphia business, will most likely need to change their filter every month, as opposed to a home in a more rural area like Holland, Pa, where the air is cleaner can wait 2 to 3 months.

However, to know whether it’s time to change a filter, you just need to regularly monitor it.

What are the procedures for checking if my filter needs a change?

To start, make sure to check the filters of the system at least once every three weeks. Hold the filter that is currently being used to the light and compare it to a clean and unused filter. If the light that ideally should penetrate its spaces is obstructed by dust and dirt particles, and that would be an indicator that the filter needs to be changed.

When all else fails, it is recommended to at least change your filters at the start of heating and cooling seasons. Other times, the filters can be changed at your discretion and according to your need.

Why should I replace my working furnace or air conditioner?

While it is true that your present air conditioner or furnace might be functional, you should look into replacing it for a more effective system fit has been used for over 12 years. With a new air conditioning and heating system, you will have the opportunity to save close to 50% on your energy and utility costs, and you’ll also be able to make a significant amount of savings on heating repairs in the long-run.

What is the impact of the Clean Air Act on heating and cooling systems?

There is a section of the Clean Air Act that is related to the HVAC industry, and it encourages the development of eco-friendly alternatives for chemicals that contain chlorine (a substance that poses many threats to the Ozone layer). These chemicals are called hydrochlorofluorocarbons (or HCFCs, if you will). For instance, R-22, the preferred chemical refrigerant for over 40 years, is a major HCFC. Over the years, R-22 was used a lot in heat pumps and air conditioners’ condensing units to keep the temperatures of homes at a comfortable level. However, today, an ozone-friendly refrigerant known as R-410A has been developed as a safer alternative.

For more FAQ about your HVAC system, be sure to follow HVAC Philly Blog, for helpful tips and information related to heating repair, heating maintenance and services provided to the greater Philadelphia, Bucks County, PA and Montgomery County, PA areas.

If you are in the greater Philadelphia, Montgomery County,  or Bucks County, PA areas, HVAC Philly offers affordable, professional and expert HVAC services to commercial buildings and homes throughout the area. They have over 20 years experience and rated top ten HVAC companies in Philadelphia.

Heating Service areas:

Looking for a first-class HVAC service? Contact us today! 215-725-6111

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Prevent Costly Repairs With These Monthly HVAC Maintenance Tips

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Here at HVAC Philly, we’re all about customer satisfaction; Continued Satisfaction, in the sense that our prerequisite is not only to install and service your air conditioning and heating systems properly but also to provide your appliances with longevity. That is a continued and unquenchable passion of ours which is why major brands like LG, Fujitsu, Air Temp to mention but a few place their esteemed trust in our services.

This piece here aims to show our unending desire for said longevity for your unit by listing out a few maintenance tips every month that will help keep away those dreaded costly repairs on your HVAC systems.

  1. Furnace Maintenance tips: Now, before venturing to shut off the furnace, it is EXTREMELY important to check for a couple of very vital signs; First off is checking for black soot around the furnace which might indicate a carbon monoxide problem, looking to see if the burning flame of the furnace is anything other than a constant blue flame and last but not least smelling in and around the furnace for any potential gas leaks. In the event that any of these checks come up positive, it is imperative to immediately contact an HVAC Philly Technician as neglect poses a serious threat both to life and property.

Next tip is to regularly replace the filter. The filter is responsible for preventing dirt and other particles from getting into the furnace. Replacement intervals should be between 1-3 months depending on the type of filter and climate and condition of the home.

Another important tip is to regularly dust off and clean the surfaces in and around the furnace as doing so adds valuable years to your furnace life. Vents can be cleaned with a vacuum while other parts can be cleaned with a damp cloth or dust brush.

Lastly, inspect your thermostat to make sure it’s in tip-top shape. If it’s not, you should call an HVAC Philly technician to properly check the thermostat and replace it if need be.

  1. Air Conditioner Maintenance tips: The first step to take is to turn off the power to the unit at the main power source in your home. Then, it is advisable to check for sign of overheating and any broken or loose electrical components. If any of the said problems occur, it is advisable to call an HVAC Philly technician to properly fix the problem.

One important thing that is essential to the high functioning nature of the unit is the air filter. It should be cleaned or replaced on a monthly basis, as too much dust and debris clogging it will reduce the airflow it produces. Additional things to check for are the functionalities of the condenser unit fan and the thermostat. If there are any chips in the condenser unit fan blades, it should be replaced.

All in all, in the course of maintenance of your HVAC system, it is always advisable to call an HVAC Philly technician if any problem is found or unexpectedly occurs. Lastly, when it’s all said and done it is more cost effective to maintain your unit than to repair it.

For more FAQ about your HVAC system, be sure to follow HVAC Philly Blog, for helpful tips and information related to heating repair, heating maintenance and services provided to the greater Philadelphia, Bucks County, PA and Montgomery County, PA areas.

If you are in the greater Philadelphia, Montgomery County,  or Bucks County, PA areas, HVAC Philly offers affordable, professional and expert HVAC services to commercial buildings and homes throughout the area. They have over 20 years experience and rated top ten HVAC companies in Philadelphia.

Heating Service areas:

Looking for a first-class HVAC service? Contact us today215-725-6111

All You Need To Know About Central Heating Repair and Installation

With any significant home equipment, there inevitably comes a time when your central heating will be in need of repair. The most faithfully maintained heating units can still come across a malfunction or breakdown. Central heating that is maintained by a professional HVAC technician can certainly add longevity and life to your heating unit, however, you can not predict when something should go awry and an unexpected repair or a new heating unit will need to be installed.

HVAC Philly Heating Repair and Installation
HVAC Philly. Heating repair and installation.

HVAC Philly, one of Philadelphia’s top-rated HVAC professionals, highly suggests being prepared for these sudden disasters, by being aware of the type of unit you have and any potential problems that could come up. Here is a breakdown of the different types of central heating, to familiarize yourself in case you are looking to install a new system, or are in need of a repair.

Ducted Warm Air System

A ducted warm air system uses a boiler to heat the air, once the air is heated it is With this system, a boiler heats the air, which is then circulated throughout your heating space through ductwork and exits through wall or floor vents. A ducted warm air system may be fueled by natural gas, electricity, geothermal, or a heat pump.

Radiators

Even though radiator may be thought of as outdated, they are actually cost efficient as well as energy saving.

Heat Pump

In the colder months of winter and fall, heat pumps that are powered by electricity will move the cold air from outside your home to the inside of your home. And vice versa during the warmer months of spring and fall. The way the heat is moved instead of generating it is what makes this a less costly way to operate heating appliances.

Furnace

A furnace uses natural gas or oil to generate heat. They consist of many components which include a heat exchanger, blower, burners, and controls. Forced air heating systems, also known as a gas furnace, will run when the thermostat goes below the programmed temperature, the furnace will then ignite a burner. The heat is created inside the chamber and moves into the heat exchanger then through the home’s ductwork to each heating space. Gases exit from the home through a flue.

What To Know About Central Heating Repair

Something to think about when deciding if you should get central heating repair is that after you get your heating system evaluated by an HVAC professional. it may come down to the decision of whether or not it is more cost efficient to get a repair or install a new system. Talk about your options with your HVAC technician, to avoid wasting money on a repair only to turn around and have to install a new unit shortly after.

A home that uses a ductwork warm air system may also need to have the ducts repaired at the same time. Especially if the ductwork is showing damage and is not functioning right. Normally, ducts will remain intact without splitting or getting holes but if an infestation occurs like mice, rats, squirrels, or possums access your attic, they will do a lot of damage to your wiring, insulation, and ductwork. This is why it’s a good idea to have your ductwork inspected.

Tips for Preparing for Central Heating Installation

Enlist the assistance of a certified HVAC professional in your area to measure the home to ensure that you buy a system that performs properly.  You want to avoid spending money on a heating system that may not be large enough or is oversized, you will only waste money and heat.

During the process of sizing the home, you will want to remember that there will be heat loss in certain parts. Doors, windows, and outer walls lose heat in cold months. Make any necessary repairs or winterizing by filling holes, caulking, weather stripping etc, will save on energy costs.

For a brand new system that is being placed for the first time, you will need to determine where it is to be located.

The installation set up that is completed by the HVAC professional will depend on what type of central heating. Once all of the components are connected, your contractor will run a thorough complete system check to make sure that all the parts of the central heating system are running and heating each room properly.

Maintenance of Central Heating Systems

The best defense is maintenance. Perform occasional visual checks to make sure that there are no broken wires, leaks, blocked vents, or cracks. Never block the airflow to the heating system, listen for any peculiar sounds, and should your home feel as if it is not warming, call your HVAC professional.

Homes that have ductwork also need to remember to do visual checks, as well as set up annual inspections with an HVAC specialist.

Having your ducts cleaned is a great idea to remove dust, dirt, dander, and allergens that can build up and then be dispersed throughout the home once the system is in use. Another area that needs to be kept clean is the vents, also called registers.

Perform a maintenance check-up once or twice a year before summer temperatures soar and before cold winter weather.

If you are in the greater Philadelphia, Montgomery County,  or Bucks County, PA areas, HVAC Philly offers affordable, professional and expert HVAC services to commercial buildings and homes throughout the area. They have over 20 years experience and rated top ten HVAC companies in Philadelphia.

Heating Service areas:

Looking for a first-class HVAC service? Contact us today! 215-725-6111

 

Is it time to upgrade my heating unit?

HVAC Philly Heating Unit Upgrade
HVAC Philly Heating Unit Upgrade

Most homeowners do not put much thought into the form of their heating system, that is, of course, until it malfunctions and they are in need of heating repair. The age of your HVAC unit and if it may need an upgrade is often overlooked.  If you are getting to the point where the cost of constantly having to repair your heating unit is more than an actual upgrade, it is definitely time to go all in and upgrade to a better-updated version. Look for these noticeable and not so noticeable signs that it’s time to upgrade your heating system.

The Life Cycle Of Your Heating Unit Has Come To An End

For very obvious reasons, your HVAC system works best at the beginning of it’s “life”. The older it gets, the more likely it is to break down and need repairs.  If your heating system is ten years or older, it makes more financial and performance sense to replace the unit instead of paying for repairs.

Your Energy Costs Are On The Rise

When your energy bill comes in and you find yourself breaking out in a sweat (not related to the warmth of your fireplace) it is definitely time to consider upgrading your HVAC systems. When your air conditioners or heat pumps aren’t able to work as properly as a newer unit can, it puts a strain on your heating system as well as your wallet by using way more energy than normal. You can set up an inspection with a local HVAC professional, like our trained technicians at HVAC Philly, we have been serving the greater Philadelphia, Bucks County, and Montgomery County, PA areas for over 20 years.

Your Heating Unit Just Had A Major Repair and Now Needs ANOTHER Repair

If your repairs are getting too frequent, it is another reason to make an investment in a new heating unit. Having your HVAC specialist on speed dial is a sure sign that there is, indeed a problem. Believe it or not, upgrading your system may be one of the soundest financial decisions you’ll make when it comes to your HVAC system.

The Noises Coming From Your Heating Unit Are Getting Increasingly Louder

If you find yourself lying awake in bed listening to your heating unit noisily working to heat your home, it definitely does not bode well for your HVAC system. If you are starting to notice an increase in the amount of noise coming from your HVAC unit as it is operating it is a clear sign that your unit is in trouble. Contact an HVAC technician to see if you need a repair or a replacement of your heating system.

All Your Heating Repair and Maintenace Needs Answered By HVAC Philly

HVAC Philly uses the latest technology to keep your house warm and comfortable throughout the cooler season. With our knowledge and skills, we offer installation, repairs, and preventative maintenance that ensure you can stay comfortable in your home or commercial building.

Looking for a service team with the skills and training to bring you reliable heating repair? We’ve been offering leading heating services for over 20 years, so call us now or contact us online to schedule service!

Follow our HVAC Philly FAQ Series; Heating Repair and Maintenance all winter long on FacebookGoogle+TumblrTwitter, or LinkedIn to learn more.

HVAC Philly is readily available to answer any questions or to schedule an appointment. www.hvacphilly.com

HVAC Service Provided to

PhiladelphiaSouth Philadelphia FeastervilleBensalemBristolLanghorneYardleyFairless HillsChurchvilleNewtownSouthamptown,  Warminster,  Holland,  Jamison,  MorrisvilleElkins ParkCheltenhamGlensideAbingtonHuntingdon ValleyWillow grooveHorsham , and Jenkintown.

Why Does My Furnace Keep Starting And Stopping?

IS YOUR FURNACE SHORT-CYCLING?

HVAC Philly Shorty Cycling Furnace
HVAC Philly; Why Does My Furnace Keep Starting and Stopping?

Does it seem like your furnace is constantly running, ceaselessly starting and stopping? It may actually be a fairly typical furnace issue called “short cycling”. Short cycling is when your furnace starts and stops too rapidly and too frequently. Although short cycling is more often an issue that is correlated with air conditioners, furnaces can also be affected by it as well, and for like reasons.

HVAC Philly, Philadelphia’s heating repair experts, gives three main reasons why your furnace might be short cycling, and ways to fix it.

A Case Of Too Big For Your Space

In the case that you recently installed a brand new furnace and are running into short cycling right away, it may be very upsetting. Short cycling can be caused by a furnace that too large and strong for your heating area. That type of error will cost you more than you expected in the long run.

All homeowners want their furnace to heat up their rooms rapidly, but most importantly, they would choose to warm up there areas in the most efficient AND  that they heat spaces in a cost-effective way. This is the reason that it is necessary for the HVAC professional that is installing the furnace to accurately match the space to the size of the furnace. If your furnace is too big, it will excessively use energy as it’s heating your home. The overwhelming use of power will lead to the heat not getting properly distributed throughout your home, and create the short cycling process of turning off and on after short intervals.

There are several reasons why this is not great news. When your furnace short cycles it runs up your monthly energy bills, but it also puts a lot of overuse on your HVAC fan. This will mean having to service or replace the fan way sooner than you’d expect, and at the same time paying more money on your energy bill for an inefficient system. If you are unsure if your furnace is short cycling because of a furnace that is too large contact one of our HVAC Philly top technicians to help assess your space.

Your Furnace Is Producing Too Much Heat

There may be a possibility that your furnace is shutting itself down too soon to safeguard itself from suffering damage from overheating. If a furnace overheats, it can generate cracks in the heat exchanger, and that can be devastatingly severe. Cracked heat exchangers can cause carbon monoxide to leak into your home, producing an urgent risk to life. Frequent overheating can add to the risk of cracks even when the furnace short cycles to save itself, so it is vital to call in the professionals if you think this might be happening.

Overheating most often comes from restricted airflow, which can keep hot air in the area closest to the heat exchanger. The culprit could be a dirty air filter, blocked interior vents or even a blocked exhaust vent on the roof. If you are not positive where the problem is coming from, a licensed HVAC technician can help find the exact cause.

A Malfunctioning Thermostat

Your furnace goes off of the direction of your thermostat and if your thermostat should malfunction it can lead to a host of issues. For one, your furnace might start short cycling, or stay on all the time and even refuse to start altogether. If you suspect the issue lies within your thermostat, an experienced HVAC professional can tell you definitively.

Even if your thermostat is perfectly in tact and working, it could still cause short cycling if it is improperly installed close to a large heat source, like a stove or a large sun-facing window. This might deceive the thermostat into reading the temperature in the home as too hot, which can kick-start a series of short cycles.

Short cycling increases physical wear on your HVAC system and sucks up energy, adding more cost than necessary. If you’re having a hard time getting this problem in check contact us at HVAC Philly today.

Looking for a service team with the skills and training to bring you reliable heating repair? We’ve been offering leading heating services for over 20 years, so call us now or contact us online to schedule service!

Follow our HVAC Philly FAQ Series; Heating Repair and Maintenance all winter long on FacebookGoogle+TumblrTwitter, or LinkedIn to learn more.

HVAC Philly is readily available to answer any questions or to schedule an appointment. www.hvacphilly.com

HVAC Service Provided to

PhiladelphiaSouth Philadelphia FeastervilleBensalemBristolLanghorneYardleyFairless HillsChurchvilleNewtownSouthamptown,  Warminster,  Holland,  Jamison,  MorrisvilleElkins ParkCheltenhamGlensideAbingtonHuntingdon ValleyWillow grooveHorsham , and Jenkintown.