Repetitive Part Replacement: Condenser Fan

Some air conditioning systems are plagued by the same problem year after year. No matter how many times the homeowner replaces a part, they only get one or two years of function out of it. The air conditioner could be a lemon, but there may be another issue causing the same damage to the part every season. Get to the source of the problem and you could put the problem to bed for good. Although we may be entering the winter season, problems you are having during the summer may be caused by damage that is done during the winter. The condenser motor and condenser fan are costly parts to replace, but many homeowners are replacing them every other season without ever finding and correcting the source of damage.

Air Conditioner Fan Function

As the refrigerant or Freon inside your air conditioner pulls heat from the air, the condenser fan and motor work to cool the refrigerant down so that it can continue to absorb more heat. If the refrigerant is not cooled down, the air conditioner will overheat and cease to work properly. Continue reading

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Burning Smells and Professional Maintenance

As you turn on your furnace for the first time, you may notice a smell as the heat starts coming out. Most times that smell is the dust and lint that has built up over the summer months burning off in the unit. It sounds nasty and can be if this is a regular occurrence in your home every winter season. The best way to get rid of the dust in your unit is to have it cleaned at the beginning of the heating season.

Eliminate Odors and Prevent Problems

However, the smell could be caused by something else. Electrical malfunctions and debris from inside the duct could also cause a burning smell in the furnace. The only way to be sure is to have your yearly maintenance cleaning performed by a professional. Regular maintenance will not only help to eliminate potential odors from your unit but will also help to keep your unit running efficiently and safely.

Fall is Here! Time to Prepare for Winter

We have officially entered the fall season. The weather is changing as well as the color on the trees and it’s my favorite time of year. However it is also a time of year were many people while enjoying the fall colors forget about preparing for the winter just ahead.

Pre-Winter Maintenance

Have you done the pre-winter maintenance? Checked your humidifier for proper operation? Replaced the bulbs in your UV light? Changed your filter and had the furnace and hot water tank combustion compartments cleaned? What about covering your air conditioner with a proper fitting cover has that been taken care of too? Continue reading

Northerners Faced with Furnace Replacement

Those of us that live in the northern half of the United States endure some of the most extreme winter seasons. Blizzards are not uncommon in Maine or Illinois, and as a result, the heating system is used around the clock during the coldest months of the year, typically October to April or May depending on the year. Heavy use of the heating system not only leads to high energy costs, but it also causes a lot of air pollution.

The combustion process that your heating system uses to create heat for the home pumps out greenhouse gases into the atmosphere. Natural gas furnaces may be the cleanest burning units when compared to the alternatives, propane, oil, wood, and electricity, but if your furnace is wasteful with the natural gas it consumes it can still be a major contributor to pollution. Continue reading

Let the Fresh Air in this Fall!

Finally, the nights are cooling down enough to allow us to open the windows and with the chill of fall comes fresh air into the home! But, before you know it the temperatures will be too cold to leave the windows open, so before you lock up the windows for the rest of the year, ask yourself, “How is the air quality in my home?” Dirt, dust, dander, and millions of other particles build up in our HVAC duct system all year long, and as long as the debris is stuck in the ducts, it will continue to circulate into the air you and your family breathes!

Dirty Duct Work

Dirty ducts could be the source of continued allergy and respiratory irritations and unexplained illnesses. Luckily, there is something you can do to get this mess out of your ducts, and the results could last up to the three years or more! Continue reading

Keep Your Family Safe during a Flood

The severe flooding that hit the coast of Louisiana caused millions of dollars worth of damage and put the lives of residents in danger. You may not live in Louisiana and you may never have that much water inside your home, but flood waters at any height do pose a safety risk. If a severe rainstorm causes flooding in your home, you need to know how to properly protect your family from harm. These are four tips that every homeowner should keep in mind when the flood waters begin to rise:

  • Gas Leaks: Any appliance that uses gas for fuel and comes in contact with a flood can pose a risk to safety in the home. Once the water is gone, these units need to be cleaned and inspected before they are operated. If you ever smell gas in the home, quickly evacuate and call your local fire department. They can repair the leak safely and prevent a fire or explosion! Continue reading

Severe Storms Can Severely Damage Air Conditioners

With the severe storms that recently came through the Chicagoland area, it is once again worth mentioning that you need to check on your air conditioner occasionally to ensure debris-free operation. Heavy winds blow down tree branches among other things and sometimes they end up stuck in our air conditioners. Turning a unit “On” in this condition could cause damage to your unit.

Clear the Way for Proper Operation

To avoid any possible damage you to your unit you simply need to take a moment and check the unit before turning it on! If you do find debris lodged in the unit simply turn the unit off and remove anything that may obstruct proper operation. After the debris is removed, take a moment to pull the weeds or plants surrounding the system that may impede proper air flow. Once everything is cleared out of the way, test your air conditioner. Everything should be working properly, and these few moments of your time could have saved you hundreds in air conditioner repairs.

Closing Up the Air Conditioner for Winter

It sure doesn’t seem like fall is close but we are just a couple days away from September. As we get closer to the end of the air conditioning season we need to make sure we protect our air conditioners from the winter elements. Many units get damaged during winter months simply due to not being protected. Tree debris, ice and snow all can damage your unit during the fall and winter months.

Finding the Right Fit for Your AC Cover

Most manufacturers recommend protecting your unit with a proper fitting cover. Covers that are two big can allow debris into the unit and covers that are plastic or a poor fit will cause moisture to remain in the unit causing them to rust. A cover designed specifically for your unit gives you maximum protection at a minimum cost. So protect your air conditioner and contact your HVAC dealer to get a cover that fits and protects without causing damage.

Duct-Less Air Conditioning and Heating

Recently, a friend asked me to help him find a way to air condition his new TV room in the attic of his home. He has an old Chicago house with a walk up attic, and he and his wife thought that the attic was the best place for the kids to watch TV and be out of their hair all in one shot. Unfortunately, their attic was never a conditioned space, and therefore did not have any duct work attaching it to the existing heating and cooling systems. We checked out all of the possibilities, and even considered snaking flexible duct work up to the attic. Despite our best efforts, we could not come up with any way that wouldn’t involve ripping out a wall or two. Continue reading

Programmable Thermostat Location and Use

There has been a lot of talk about how much money programmable thermostats can supposedly save the average homeowner, but can a programmable really save you as much money as they say it can? Energy Star states that the average homeowner can save about $180 a year when properly using a programmable thermostat, but the problem is that most of us invest in these pricier thermostats but never use them correctly. You have to find a program that works best with your schedule and actually set the thermostat to run that program! If your schedule changes you have to adjust the program. This is the only way you will see these kinds of savings on your energy bills. Continue reading