Helping Texas Customers Save Money - 2018 Top Questions & Answers
2. Do I Have A No Cool Problem, Or Is My Zoning System Malfunctioning? For Customers that live In Townhouses. Video
3. Does Your Landlord Have To Replace Or Repair Your Broken Air Conditioner? Video
4. A/C Tune Up Disaster. Accident Or Scam? Video
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My Nest Thermostat Has A Blank Screen, What Do I Do?
How Often Should I Replace My Filters?There are many things to take in consideration, when trying to figure out how often I should replace my filter. Every home has a unique finger print on how it accumulates dust and dirt. It will probably take about 6 months of close observation, to see how often your filter accumulates dirt and dust. After that you can make a good decision on how often the filters need to be replaced. Some homes have more than one filter, like townhouses. The more filters you have in a home the less often you will have to clean them. Homes with only one filter have to be replaced more often.
- Homes with dogs and cats will need more filter replacements.
- Homes with filters near the ground floor will pick up dirt faster, than filters in the ceiling.
- Homes with larger families will require filter changes more often.
- Filters that are located in high traffic areas will require more filter changes.
- The use of high quality filters will get dirtier twice as fast.
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My Air Conditioning Unit Is Freezing Up, What Do I Do?
Which One Do I Get, Home Warranty Policy Or Preventative / Maintenance Agreement?Which Insurance Policy Do I Get? Both of the agreements have their positives and negatives. It really depends on your current situation. If you have an older unit that breaks down once a year, you might want to go with the home warranty. The home warranties policy is probably one of the worst insurance policies out there. Home warranty policies will usually fix your ac equipment if the repairs don't exceed $1,000. The home warranty policies are written by some of the finest attorneys. Since you have just signed a policy where the policy is designed to protect the home warranty, you are at a disadvantage if the repairs get to expensive. The home warranty company can easily say we are not covering your system for lack of maintenance. Its' a big numbers game with the home warranties. If they are taking big losses in a current quarter, they might start making excuses not to replace or fix your equipment. However, if you call on another day with the same problem, you might get lucky and get the unit replaced with no problem.
The maintenance agreement is only as good as the company you purchased it from. You only want to buy a maintenance agreement from a company that has an outstanding reputation. A company with a solid reputation is not going monkey around with you. You must be careful when buying both policies. You should do lots of research when you are buying these policies. Most ac companies that offer maintenance agreements / preventative maintenance agreements, use them as an opportunity for upselling services every time they come to your home. So you must be alert when you think a technician is trying to sell you something you don't really need.
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My Furnace Is Leaking Water In The Attic, What Do I Do?
Should I Use Bleach To Clear My PVC Drain Pipes?There has been much confusion about the use of clorox bleach in your HVAC system. About 30 years ago many ac contractors told their customers that it was ok to use bleach to blow out your drains. That advice has spread like a virus worldwide. The problem with bleach is that there hasn't been much debate on how it damages pvc pipes. When students go to technical school its a subject that is somehow not talked about by the instructor. There is no chapter in the HVAC books that suggest clorox bleach is a good solution to flush your lines. People still do it because it still works, but it is only a short term solution. It usually takes about 20 years of pouring bleach down your drain lines to damage them. Pvc pipes become hard and brittle after many years bleach. The problem gets worse when people have horizontal drain pans in the attic. Many people are pouring beach in the emergency drain pan. The emergency drain pan also known as the auxiliary pan is made of galvanized metal. Pouring bleach in that drain pan only once a year will destroy it in 5 years. You will then have to call a professional ac company to replace that drain pan.
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Before You Schedule Service, Check Emergency Water Float Switches.It is very important to have your safety float switches, checked if they work. They are usually reliable, but they sometimes fail or aren't connected properly. Most bad stories happen when people go on vacation. When you return from vacation, you have a home full of water. The ceiling has collapsed and the wood floors have popped. Not properly checking your condensate float switches for proper functionality can cost thousands of dollars in structural damage.
Should I Have My Ducts Cleaned?There have been many good and bad experiences with duct cleaning companies. If not done by a real professional duct cleaning can turn into a real disaster. I will tell you a real story. A beautiful $1 million dollar mansion called for duct cleaning. The mansion had white granite counter tops, white furniture, white marble floors and white walls. After the cleaning was complete, the customer turned on his air conditioning unit. Black broken fiberglass particles got all over his house and white expensive furniture. When they tried to clean his furniture the black dust particles smeared right into his furniture. The they tried to clean his furniture with professional cleaning chemicals. The furniture instantly absorbed the black dust particles, and was permanently damaged. There are few companies that are truly professional air duct cleaners. The only company that we can truly say that cleans ducts professionally is "coit". Coit has been in business for many years, so if you are looking for a real duct cleaning company you should go there.
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Freon Leak Repair Quick Fix Video.Freon Leaks can be a homeowners worst nightmare. Most freon leaks are usually created by poor installation. The best time to have your central air conditioning unit installed is in the winter. Prices are usually 25% cheaper, and attics are allot cooler for the installer to do a high quality job. It is usually a double win for the customer. Unfortunately that is not the case most of the time. Most systems break down in the middle of summer and the job has to get done when the attics can get over 130°F. When attics get that hot the installers performance will drop a bit. The installation crew will get tired much faster and the quality of work will be lowered. Most installation crews are accustomed to work at temperatures max temperatures 130°F, but sometimes the attics can reach over 140°F +. When hiring a company to perform your installation it should be a reputable company. Sad to say as much as the customer pays for that installation, most installers are underpaid to crawl in hot attics.
Reliable A/C Equipment Brands That Don't Leak Freon OftenThere is only one manufacturer that has a unit that rarely ever leaks. That is the American Standard & Trane Co. They are the most reliable when it comes to air conditioning equipment. No other manufacturer comes close to them. Number two on our list is the Carrier Corp. They have a quality product and are very reliable. Number three as far as value & quality is Rheem & Ruud. Buying a quality HVAC equipment will save you lots of headaches in the future. You should go with a trusted local dealer that will install a quality job for you. There are different qualities of copper used to produce quality HVAC equipment. Many manufactures have to use a lower quality of copper to reduce cost of the equipment. Some manufactures use aluminum coils. Aluminum coils last a long time and don't rust. We have seen 30 year old aluminum condenser coils work like brand new.
Freon Leak Repair Using Electronic Leak Detector.There are many different methods used to look for freon leaks. Electronic Leak Detectors are excellent as long as the sensors are being replaced when they are suppose to. Ultrasonic detectors are also another option for leak detection. Ultraviolet Dyes are excellent for looking for microscopic leaks that come and go. Another reliable method is the good old fashion bubble test. You can use soap bubbles on an area where you think that the leak might be in. After you find the leak, you will have to use a blow torch to fix the leak. The technician will thoroughly use sand paper to clean the surface of the leaking area. Then spot weld the leak.
Refrigerant Leak Found At Condensing Unit.In your air conditioning system is divided into two different pressures. You have a high and low pressure side of the system. Leaks that are in your evaporator coil are in the low pressure side of the system. Leaks that are in your low pressure side will generally last longer. Leaks that are in your condenser coil are in the high pressure side. If your system has developed a refrigerant leak on the high side of the equipment, all the refrigerant can be gone in just a few hours. Most of the freon leaks are man made, usually welding mistakes are the biggest cause of freon leaks. Properly tightening expansion valves & orifices in equipment is another area of key refrigerant leaks. Refrigerant leak testing and vacuuming of systems should be done on all equipment after an installation is complete. Some installation crews are in a rush and don't bother to leak check. Beware of installation crews that can be real rough bringing your equipment into your attic. Some crews can ruin the integrity of your equipment during the installation process.
Freon Leak Testing Using Nitrogen Compressed Gas.Nitrogen leak testing is a classic way of looking for a refrigerant leak in a system. Also known a high pressure gas testing. Nitrogen leak testing is very versatile way of looking for leaks, but probably the most expensive. To do a proper nitrogen leak test, usually requires lots of time and materials. After the company spends a few hours looking for the leak, now the company has to spend more time to fix the leak. Where your evaporator coil is, also makes a big difference if it can be repaired or replaced. Coils in the attic can be harder to repair, than units that are in closet. There is also a big difference between air handlers and evaporator coils. The coils in evaporators slide right out and are much easier and cheaper to repair. Evaporator coils in the attic are much more difficult to access to, and are usually more expensive to repair.
My Condensing Unit Needs Maintenance. How Do I Clean It?.
How Do I Know If I Problems With My Ductwork?Your attic is an unconditioned space, it acts like a barrier between the indoor comfortable environment and the outdoor conditions. On a hot summer day its natural for the attic to be 40 degrees warmer than it is outside. If you poke your head in the attic in a hot summer day, and you feel cold air. That is an indicator that you have leaks in your ductwork. Other indicators will be high utility bills or a unit that seems to never shut off. The first place to check for a duct leaks, is right where it connects with the register or main trunk line. People crawl through attics all the time, it very easy to damage ducts while you are up there. When you go up in the attic, you want to visually inspect the ductwork for additional leaks. Sometimes just feeling around the register or ductwork will help you find those hidden leaks. Finding leaks in your ductwork can save you as much 40% in your energy bill. There are a few things you are going to need in order to fix these leaks. You are going to need mastic and a paint brush. You are going to use the paint brush to apply the mastic. Mastic is a paste flexible sealant. It bonds well with the surface of ductwork, thus creating an excellent seal. Adhesive spray glue is also an important tool. You are going spray the area, where you are going to use duct tape. The spray glue will help the duct tape, stick better to the leaking area.
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Using " Delta T " To Troubleshoot My Air Conditioning Unit.
How Does The Furnace Help Cool My Home?When most people think of air conditioning, they don't think of the furnace. While the condenser is the heart & soul of the air conditioning system. The brains & lungs of the cooling system is the furnace & thermostat. Most people didn't know that it's the furnace that blows the cold & hot air in your home. It also the furnace that plays an important part in the high efficiency process of your cooling and heating system. There are two types of blower motors you should be aware about. There is single speed blower motor & variable speed blower motor. The single speed motor is your classic old school motor. The biggest benefit of single stage motors is when they break down, they are much more inexpensive to repair than a variable speed blower motor. Most companies will actually have a single speed replacement motor in their company trucks. It is very important when buying a variable speed furnace, to buy a reputable brand. The repairs can be very expensive on these types of furnaces, so a high quality brand should give you some peace of mind. Most of the variable speed fan motors come with a 10 year factory warranty. The problem is most companies don't carry these (OEM) parts in truck stock. If your variable speed motor or control board break down, right before the weekend starts, you might be without cooling for a few days. Don't get confused between capacity and efficiency, they both with get your home cool. The more efficient furnace will save you allot more money on your utility and gas bills. If you are looking for premium indoor air quality a high efficiency furnace is the way to go. High efficiency furnaces are much better at removing humidity from your home. Lowering the humidity in your home will also make your home smell better. Lower humidity levels will reduce allergens such as dust mites, mold, and mildew. Lower humidity levels in your home will actually keep the food more fresh. Computer equipment, electronics, & TV's work much better in low humidity levels. High humidity levels can also cause sleeping problems There is lots of technology that goes into a variable speed fan motor. Variable motors operate from both high and low voltage 120 Volt alternating current. There is also a main control board in the furnace that controls the variable speed blower motor.
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60% relative humidity or higher can put your home at risk of mold growth.1. Alternaria mold is often found in your kitchen & bathroom sinks & shower. Health issues are allergic reactions & asthma attacks.
2. Aspergilus is a common indoor mold. This type of mold attacks your respiratory system. It inflames your lungs and causes allergic reactions.
3. Aureobasidium mold has a reputation for causing serious health issues. It is found in wallpaper, painted walls, & wooden furniture. If you see pinkish & black spots in those areas, its most likely that type of mold.
4. Chaetomium is the the mold you find in drywall. It has a smelly and musty order.
5. Cladosporium grows in wood & older fabrics. It causes inhalation & respiratory problems.
6. Stachysbotrys Chartarum also known as black mold & toxic mold. It reproduces in areas that stay damp. It is commonly found in your air conditioning pvc pipes. It also like to spread in your ductwork and air registers. People that have been exposed to this mold develop asthma attack, fatigue, depression, sinus infections, & breathing problems.
7. Serpula lacrymans This yellowish type of mold grows inside wooden surfaces. It slowly dry rots wood as it slowly feeds on it.
8. Trichoderma mold like humid and wet areas. It produces dangerous mycotoxins that cause sinus and allergic reactions.
9. Ulocladium mold is usually found in homes that have gone through flooding. This type of mold will cause people to develop infections and allergic reactions
10. Fusarium mold likes colder wetter areas. It can cause breathing infections in your lungs and respiratory inflammation.
11. Penicillium mold spreads like a virus inside insulation, fiberglass, damp furniture, & wet carpeting. It causes severe lung inflammation & allergic reactions.