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A Homeowner’s Guide to Protecting Your HVAC System from Storms and Extreme Weather

Inclement and extreme weather can cause damage to your home in a thousand different ways, from hail and wind damage to floods and even lightning strikes. While the majority of homeowners take steps to prepare their home and defend against these weather possibilities, many don’t often give too much thought to a part of the home that is especially prone to damage during storms and extreme weather – the home heating and air conditioning system.

A home heating and cooling system is a big part of a home and a big investment; while many of us often neglect to properly protect these systems from extreme weather, there are a series of simple steps you can take, and simple safeguards that you can put in-place to ensure that your home heating and air conditioning systems will weather even the worst annual extreme weather.

Protecting Your HVAC System Against Lightning

LightningOne of the most detrimental weather-related issues that cause damage to HVAC systems is lightning. This is because unlike the damage that can be done with water or wind, a lightning strike can literally “total” you HVAC System in a split second. While rooftop units are especially open to lightning strikes, it should be said that ALL HVAC systems can be open to a lightning strike, whether they are located on the roof, on the ground, or even installed as a window unit. Of course, a homeowner cannot 100% protect HVAC systems from a direct lightning strike, they can take action to ensure that a direct or nearby lightning strike does not severely damage or completely destroy the unit.

HVAC System and Whole Home Surge Protectors

Man and electrical arcThat’s right, just like we place strip-surge protectors between wall outlets and our most expensive electronics, whole home and HVAC surge protectors are built to perform the same function and protect the delicate electronics in HVAC systems and home utilities by re-routing the massive electric surge from lightning strikes and power surges away from these items. Whole home and HVAC surge protectors are much different than the power strips that most have us see and use every day, these surge protectors are industrial-strength and are designed with protection of major utilities in mind. These protectors are so effective at protecting HVAC systems, washer/dryers, and other home utilities that some manufacturers of whole home and HVAC surge protectors will give a guarantee to fully replace any utility or HVAC system if the surge protector fails. Homeowners would be advised to have their home’s electrical system and HVAC system checked to see if they are missing this crucial component in protecting their homes and HVAC systems.

Protecting Your HVAC System Against Snow and Ice

Snow and IceSnow and Ice is another enemy against HVAC systems that comes into town with the annual winter storms. While modern air conditioning and heating systems have been built to function-in and survive both snow and ice, the two can bring damaging effects if your HVAC system is not well-protected from the elements. The biggest threat that the snow and ice can bring to your heating and cooling system is the threat of freezing – specifically the pipes, which can freeze and burst. Again, modern HVAC systems are fairly well protected against this, though yearly maintenance of your HVAC system will ensure that your pipes are well-insulated and protected from the direct touch of freezing temperatures. Keeping intakes and exhaust pipes clear of snow and ice is essential in making sure that your system is not damaged during a snow storm. Simply keeping a watchful eye on the snow pack levels and routinely shoveling excess snow from 3-5 feet around the HVAC unit and its components can easily be done by a homeowner, and this simple step can save you the time and money of repairing or replacing your system due to damage from ice and snow.

Protecting Your HVAC System Against Wind and Dust

Wind and DustA larger issue for those living in the “Plains States” and the desert southwest – but affecting HVAC systems all around the country – is the threat of heavy winds and blowing dust. The threat to HVAC units from dust and win is not necessarily direct damage from the wind or collateral damage from dust and debris hitting the unit, the real damage comes from the wind and debris clogging air intakes and ductwork. HVAC units are finely tuned to work efficiently at a standard pressure throughout the system. When the air moving through the system becomes restricted, it forces the HVAC unit to work much harder than normal to put out the same base results. All this extra pressure causes stress on all parts of the HVAC system, causing parts to wear down more quickly and causing the slow death of the unit. To combat this, homeowners are advised to NOT run their HVAC units during heavy winds. After a heavy windstorm, always check your unit and the intakes to make sure there is no visible damage, and clean away and dust and debris from the storm. Leaves especially tend to easily find their way into the nooks and crannies of the system, and leaves account for the majority of repairs and replacements due to clogged airways. Making sure that you have at least two seasonal maintenance checks of your HVAC system per year will ensure that the HVAC unit gets a thorough cleaning and that your systems is once again protected for another possible windstorm.

Protecting Your HVAC System Against Torrential Rain

Rain

Running through the elements, we come to rain and the damaging effects it can have on your home heating and cooling systems. Water and humidity are a constant force against HVAC systems, even when it is not raining. HVAC systems do a good job of “scrubbing” the from the intake to remove humidity and water levels in the air on a day-to-day basis, but when heavy rains come in and push humidity levels even higher, your HVAC system will have to work even harder. A common homeowner complaint after heavy, wet storms is the leaking of water coming from or near the air conditioning unit and components. These leaks come from a number of different places but most often they develop from the drip pan of the unit becoming too full – due to slow draining – and running over, creating pudding within walls and eventually water damage. Regular maintenance of your HVAC systems will ensure that there is ample volume in the drip pan for water collected, and insure that the pumping system is adequate for evacuating that collected water.

Elevate Your HVAC Systems

Elevate Your HVAC SystemsAnother common cause of damage to HVAC systems via rain comes in the form of flooding. As strong and protected as modern day HVAC systems are, they can’t survive when submerged in water. The easiest way to protect from this is to look at the location of your HVAC systems and components and assess their risk of flood. Is your furnace located in your basement that tends to have flooding issues? Is the outside air conditioning unit sitting in an area of your yard with no drainage or grading to wick away the water? Is your unit installed on a flat roof that tends to accumulate water quickly? Looking at the placement of your HVAC system with this mindset is the best way to assess the flood risks of your system. Contractors will recommend anywhere from a minimum of six inches to twelve inches elevation from the ground to the base of the unit, but these are not magic numbers, the placement of the unit and the risk of flood should be your basis for how elevated the system needs to be.

Proper and Routine HVAC Maintenance is the Key

HVAC MaintenanceWhile there are a lot of steps that a homeowner can take toward protecting their HVAC systems in all seasons and in all extremes of weather, proper HVAC maintenance throughout the year is the best defense one can take. A heating and air conditioning contractor takes all of the above-mentioned threats into account on every service call, and will see a potential problem and address it proactively, ensuring that no matter what type of weather is heading-in, your system is protected. HVAC Contractors recommend a minimum of two HVAC maintenance appointments per year (usually in spring and fall, before the extreme seasons), and with scheduled maintenance plans, the health of your system is easily monitored and scheduled out at your convenience. Remember to take good care of your home heating and air conditioning systems, because they are battling the elements and extreme climates so that you don’t have to.

What Size Air Conditioner is Right for My Home?

Choosing the right size air conditioner for your home is crucial for many reasons. A unit that is not the right size will not cool your home effectively. It may fail to take the humidity out of the air and generally won’t keep your home as comfortable as you want it to be. A mismatched unit will also run inefficiently, which means that you will be overpaying on your home energy bills. Here are some things to keep in mind as you decide on an air conditioner for your home.

What if an AC Unit is Too Big? 

If you misjudge the correct size of air conditioner for your home and get one that is too big, it will cool down your home very quickly and then shut off early. When this happens, the air cools, but because the unit doesn’t stay on for very long, the structure of your home does not cool off sufficiently. This means your home will quickly heat up again and your AC unit will kick on again and again, running far too much.

What if an AC Unit is Too Small? 

On the other hand, if you choose a unit that is too small for your home it will run constantly, trying very hard to cool down an area that is much too big. With the unit running all the time, you still may not get a comfortable temperature or humidity level and your energy bills will skyrocket.

Factors to Consider in Choosing the Right Size Air Conditioner

So, how do you know just which unit is right for your home? There are several factors to consider, which include:

  • The square footage and volume of space in your home
  • The number of windows and their age and condition
  • The amount of shade or sun exposure your home gets
  • The state of your ducts and ventilation
  • How many windows face south

TON and SEER

Once you have a good idea of the factors guiding your choice of an air conditioner, you need to understand how units are rated. In terms of size they are labeled by tons of cooling capacity. The higher the TON rating, the bigger the unit and the more it can cool.

SEER rating is also important. This is the seasonal energy efficiency ratio and the higher the SEER rating the more efficient an air conditioner is. Choose a unit by appropriate TON first and then choose the one with the best SEER, which will save you money on energy bills.

Knowing all the factors and information that guide your choice of the right size air conditioner for your home is an important way to ensure you are getting the best. Still, it’s not easy to make that choice, so rely on one of our HVAC specialists to help you decide, and keep following our Airmaxx blog for more stories like this one.

HVAC Safety Tips: Carbon Monoxide Leaks at Work

If you run a business, you have a responsibility to provide employees with the safest work environment possible. Did you know that carbon monoxide could be an issue? This colorless, odorless gas can leak into your workplace and quietly poison you and your workers. An HVAC system that is not working correctly or has not been maintained can leak carbon monoxide with disastrous consequences. To avoid a leak, use these HVAC safety tips:

  1. Get Your HVAC System Maintained Regularly

As long as your HVAC is churning away and working, you tend to forget about it right? Regular maintenance is important, though, especially for preventing carbon monoxide leaks or catching them early. Schedule a recurring maintenance visit so that you don’t have to remember to do it.

  1. Clean the Flues and Vents

One major area of maintenance you want to be sure gets done is keeping the vents and flues clean. Clogs in these areas of the ventilation system can cause carbon monoxide to build up inside a room or building. These components are supposed to flush dangerous gasses out, but they can’t do it if they are dirty and blocked.

  1. Check out the Heat Exchangers

Heat exchangers are not always inspected during regular HVAC maintenance, but it is important in preventing carbon monoxide leaks, so make sure it gets done. A failed heat exchanger is a major cause of carbon monoxide leaks. Your furnace will keep working even if this component fails, so it is important to have it regularly checked.

  1. Use Carbon Monoxide Detectors

A carbon monoxide detector alerts you to the presence of the toxic gas in your air. Make sure you have enough to cover your entire workplace and that they are set to detect low levels of the gas. Using detectors is not a substitute for good maintenance, cleaning, and heat exchanger inspection, but it is one important layer of protection.

Carbon monoxide is a silent killer, which means you must be vigilant to ensure it does not leak into your workplace. With regular HVAC maintenance, regular cleaning of vents and flues, checking the heat exchangers, and by using carbon monoxide detectors, you can avoid leaks and keep your staff safe.

 

For more tips like these, follow the Airmaxx Heating and Cooling blog.

Reasons To Replace Your Attic Insulation

A tight home is more energy efficient. This is one of the best reasons for insulating your home. By eliminating air leaks, you don’t have to worry about extreme fluctuations in the house temperatures during the winter or summer months. With proper insulation, your heating and cooling systems work better while also provide energy savings. If you live in an older home, it’s probably time to start replacing worn-out insulation to improve the efficiency of your home.

 

Better Comfort Level

By replacing attic insulation, you help to regulate the temperature in your home. A consistent level is more comfortable for the inhabitants. The insulation prevents cold air from entering the house and heat loss in the winter. During the summer you don’t have to worry about hot air entering the house and the cold air from the cooling system leaking out.

 

Lower Monthly Bills

Replacing insulation makes your house tight. You save money with a well-insulated house. The insulation reduces the heating costs in winter and the cooling costs in summer. This helps to lower your monthly energy bills.

 

Better Quality Insulation

The insulation materials available today are far superior to those used decades ago. By replacing your insulation, you get higher quality insulation that lasts for a longer period of time and does a better job of sealing up your home.

 

Eliminate Infestation Problems

Insects like to live in insulation. This is especially true for attic insulation. If you find pests in your home, you need to check the insulation, and replace it.

 

Fix Water Damage

Heavy rains and snowfalls can cause water damage in the attic, especially if the insulation is old. If the insulation does not dry properly, it’s not as effective in insulating the home. Also, mold can form due to the higher moisture levels. Replacing wet and old insulation is the only solution.

When you’re ready to replace the insulation in your home, it’s important to hire a professional to do the job. Newer insulation provides many benefits and saves you money.

For more articles about getting an energy efficient house with a HVAC system, visit our website.

How To Find An Authorized Factory Dealer For Your Carrier Products?

You want to buy an expensive HVAC system and you have done your research. You’ve also researched brands and you are convinced about the quality of Carrier goods. In fact, you know that Carrier offers quality goods at an affordable rate. To ensure that customers get the best, Carrier also trains dealership personnel to offer the best training, sales, customer service, maintenance, and repair facilities. As a result, if you buy from a Carrier factory authorized dealer, you know that you are getting value for money.

You have still got to be convinced though. There are so many dealerships and retailers offering different HVAC products. In fact, you do have a few extra questions that you would like to clarify and they are:
 

Question #1 – What If The Local Dealer Is Offering a Better Rate?

Yes, local dealers do offer discounts on goods. However, you should know that local dealers buy in bulk. As a result, these goods might have been sitting in their warehouses for several years. As a result, the dealer has got a bulk discount on the goods and he is transferring this discount to you. But you still lose as you are getting older models that have already been affected by dust and grime. Furthermore, these mechanical items may contain outdated spare parts that will not be able to find in the future.

 

Question #2 – What about the Warranty?

Both retailers and dealers offer warranties. However, when you buy your products from a dealer, you get a faster response time on your complaints. This is because a dealership has a service section that deals only with Carrier products. Technicians are trained by Carrier and they are familiar with all Carrier products and models. A retailer, on the other hand, will forward your complaint to the dealership and this will mean that it will take 12-48 hours for someone to get in touch with you. Some retailers may send in their own technicians who may not know Carrier products. And of course, you do know that messing around inside a Carrier product during the warranty period (without adequate training) may result in your warranty being null and void.

As you can see, it does make sense to use the services of a dealership to. In case you are finding it difficult to do so, you can always write in to us and we will help pick your Carrier prodcut. You can also leave a comment here and we will follow up with you.

Also, you can follow our blog for more great articles on heating, air conditioning and home needs.

Benefits Of Hiring Residential Air Conditioning Service In San Diego

It goes without saying that heating and air conditioning units are indispensable during extreme weather conditions to enjoy soothing comforts all the year around. Unfortunately, these handy units are exposed to various wear and tear in due course of time. In order to enjoy uninterrupted services from your HVAC units, it becomes essential to hire a reliable residential air conditioning service in San Diego that can repair your appliances professionally. There are many benefits of hiring a trusted HVAC repairing service.

On time repairs

The primary benefit of hiring a reputed repairing service is you get your units repaired on time as desired. It can be highly discomforting when your HVAC system starts malfunctioning, especially during extreme climatic conditions. Intense heat or chilling cold can affect your health badly. Moreover, pursuing your regular chores in an uneasy temperature can be highly inconvenient. Thankfully, a reputed repairing service will fix your units on time as desired, and allow you the much needed comfort and convenience.

Increase the longevity of HVAC system

Often homeowners try to fix their heating and cooling units on their own. Being your own technician can be a great idea as long as you are comfortable with the repairing work. However, if you do not have technical know how, you might end up damaging your unit completely. Luckily, you can avoid such a scenario by hiring an experienced residential & commercial installation of AC. Such a repairer will fix your units professionally which in turn will increase the longevity of your appliances.

Quality repairs

Many homeowners turn to novice repairers to fix their HVAC system. If the repairs are simple and minor, it can be fixed through a beginner repairer. However, fixing complicated issues through a novice repairer is not a wise idea. A beginner repairer will only make the situation worse by compounding the issue instead of fixing the unit. This in turn will trigger many new problems. On the other hand, when you hire a competent and well qualified HVAC service, you can expect quality repairs of your HVAC system.

Save money

A qualified HVAC repairer such as AirMaxx heating and air conditioning will save you a lot of money by fixing your units effectively. When your HVAC system works efficiently, it consumes less electricity. As a result, your energy bills come down to a great extent. In this way, you will be able to save decent amount of money each month, besides recouping the cost of repairs.

Thus, there are loads of benefits of hiring a reputed HVAC repairing service. Make a list of reliable repairers after enquiring offline as well as online. Seek help from a reputable Carrier dealer in San Diego, and he might recommend you the names of a couple of competent HVAC services. After assessing different repairing contractors, choose the best one who offers quality repairs at budget friendly charges.

San Diego HVAC Experts

Two things without which life would be very difficult: heating and air conditioning. San Diego is a pretty warm city, and in some cases, things can get quite hot, so air conditioning is probably the more important of the two. Of course, this does not mean that heating systems are unimportant. That being said it is always important to work only with professionals when installing, replacing and repairing HVAC systems.

You can’t just call anyone to undertake this kind of work all in the name of trying to save as much as possible because you might end up with a bunch of very costly regrets. If you are in need of any HVAC- related services in San Diego, then Airmaxx Heating & Air conditioning Company is who you should approach. Here, you will find highly trained and qualified HVAC experts who will comfortably deliver above and beyond your expectations.

 

One thing that people need to understand is that installation and replacement are not all there is to air conditioning and heating; it goes deeper than that. First, there is the issue of the quality of equipment used; this, in fact, is one of the most important factors to consider. Here again, the issue of cost is likely to arise for some people where you will find someone trying to make as much savings as possible by purchasing low quality equipment. Such people eventually come to find out that any shortcuts taken in the present usually end up causing a whole lot of trouble in the not-so-far future.

At Airmaxx.com, quality is very important to us; it is one thing that we simply cannot compromise on. Our company is a certified Carrier equipment dealer in San Diego and has been so for quite a while. It is our job to install HVAC systems that will withstand the test of time. This means that our customers won’t have to call us only a few months down the line to undertake repairs or even replacements — something that is quite common with sub-standard merchandise.

At Airmaxx, we understand that our customers are the most important of all entities. To us, it’s not just about installing or replacing a HVAC system; it’s also about delivering the very best customer experience. When you call us for help, you won’t have to wait for days or even hours on end in order to get the service you need. We understand all too well that your time is very important and so is your money and peace of mind. Our job, therefore, is to ensure that you get the assistance you need when you need it. In fact, we guarantee that you will not be able to find the quality of service we offer anywhere else.

We take professionalism very seriously and so all the HVAC experts we dispatch to homes and businesses of our clients will not only be very qualified, but respectable, as well. This means that you don’t have to worry about dealing with a drunken technician or one who is under the influence of any illegal substance. You can also rest easy knowing that the Airmaxx employee who will be handling your HVAC system does not have any criminal record because a thorough background check is performed on each and every one of them.

Our pricing is also very competitive; in fact very few, if any, other service providers come close to matching us. When you contact our offices, you will not have to deal with pushy salespeople whose only interest is earning a commission. We guarantee that you will feel absolutely comfortable engaging with us from start to finish. Best of all, you won’t have to worry about any surprise charges because we will present a very clear picture of the total cost prior to the commencement of any job.

Use of Filters in HVAC Performance

Many people are not aware that filters play a crucial role in ensuring good performance of an HVAC system. It not only keeps the equipment in a good condition but also keeps the people healthy by filtering the dirty air out of it. An inefficient filter can minimize the cooling capacity and can also create control problems by wasting more energy. It is thus important to buy a quality filter which is long lasting and performs with low airflow resistance. A good filter usually helps to reduce the dust and the foreign particles getting accumulated on the HVAC ducts and evaporator coils which may impact its performance. Read this article to know more about the use of filters in HVAC performance.

 

When the dust particles get clogged in the system due to ineffective filters, the blower and the compressor has to work hard to circulate the air which in due course of time would heat up the entire system and lead to failure of the cooling modes. The dust particles stick to the coils and ducts and do not allow the heat to get transferred between the air and the coil coolant. A quality air filter present in your HVAC system helps you breathe fresh by preventing foreign particles, dusts and allergens from getting circulated in your home.  Learn more about indoor air quality here

 

Now-a-days, there are also electrostatic filters and electronic air cleaners available that are more efficient and also need not be replaced frequently like the usual filters. The Department of Energy from the US Government has certified the HEPA (High Efficiency Particulate Air) filters as being very efficient in removing dust particles. Thus these filters are widely used in the HVAC systems in research labs and hospitals. It is important to check the efficiency rating before purchasing filters for your HVAC system. There are many types of HVAC filters used for commercial and residential uses.

 

Electrostatic filters, Electronic filters, pleated filters, Fiberglass Panel filters and Media Air filters are the most common types used for residential purposes. Bag filters, HEPA filters, Rigid Cell filters, and Automatic Roll filters along with the filters that are used for residential purposes can also be used for commercial purpose. Usually, a medium efficiency filter is suitable for businesses and homes but in case there are people suffering from allergies, it is important to use high efficient filters. The high efficient filters would be more moisture-resistant which prevents the growth of bacteria and molds in the filter and thus ensures best performance of the HVAC system.