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fall preventative maintenance

Fall Preventative Maintenance for Your HVAC Unit

Category:General,Tips

West Tennessee is starting to experience cooler mornings. With Fall peaking from around the corner, it will soon be time to turn the thermostat from cool to heat. There are things that you as the homeowner can do around your home to make sure things run smooth, but you also need an experienced HVAC technician to regularly maintain your unit through the seasons as well. Cagle Service offers a Preventative Maintenance Program to keep your unit running at it’s best through all seasons.

As the homeowner, there are some things you can do around your home to help the life of your HVAC unit:

1) Filters: Homeowners are recommended to change the air filters in their home once a month, especially in high pollen areas. Not only does that help air flow but also keeps allergens and dust from getting into the air system. (Read more on the importance of changing your air filters)

2) Routine Cleaning/Dusting: With the cooler temps coming in, some people are tempted to raise the windows to let fresh air in and give the HVAC unit a break. Dust, mold, allergens, etc. can get inside and settle within the home. Without cleaning and dusting, all of the allergens, dust, and other particles will circulate inside, lowering the quality of air.

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Temperature, Humidity, and your HVAC System

Category:General

When temperatures rise most will notice the HVAC unit not cooling as well as they would like it to. Sometimes this could be signs of an issue with the HVAC unit, but a lot of times its simply due to the outdoor temps and humidity.

If the outside temperature reaches 95 or higher, the unit is running at maximum efficiency. This will normally put the indoor air at a temperature somewhere between 76-80 degrees. This is not usually a comfortable temperature for inside the home, and first reaction is to try and lower the temperature on the thermostat to try and cool the home quicker. This will not help. It will make your unit continuously run without seeing a temperature change. Running it continuously will dramatically increase your energy bill.

Some people are under the impression  “BIGGER IS BETTER“. This is not the case when it comes to HVAC units.  While yes, a bigger unit will cool the area down faster, but not efficiently. Buying a bigger unit means it will cool the area too fast leaving moisture in the air. Check out another one of our blogs discussing all the disadvantages of buying a wrong sized unit:  https://cagleservice.com/disadvantages-buying-undersized-hvac-unit/

All air conditioners are designed to remove the moisture from the air, but when humidity levels spike, most systems cannot keep up. This will make your home feel warmer than you would like and also take more money out of your pocket. Warm summer air holds more moisture so the humidity is naturally higher. Here are a few signs you may have a high indoor humidity problem:

  1. The air feels wet. You make even have a clammy feel to your skin.
  2. An “old house” smell. The excessive humidity causes dampness and can eventually lead to an “old”, stale air, or musty smell.
  3. Foggy windows will occur when the humidity becomes trapped in the home.
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refrigerant leak

Refrigerant Leaks: When to repair or replace?

Category:General

So, What if the HVAC unit has a refrigerant leak?

Most people would be tempted to have their refrigerant or Freon*, as most people call it, refilled, as to try and avoid costly repairs or replacing the unit. This tends to only exacerbate the problem and could end up being more costly in the long run. Many people believe that, over time, an air conditioner uses up the refrigerant. Most believe when the warm air starts blowing, they just need a recharge like in their automobiles.  In reality, an air conditioner or heat pump has a sealed refrigerant system that should never “use up” or run out of refrigerant.

*Freon is a name brand, not the actual name of refrigerant.

Signs I may have a refrigerant leak?

If your A/C is running at a specific temperature but not blowing cool air, or if you notice your areas are taking longer to cool, you may have a leak. Sometimes a person may notice an accumulation of water near the furnace due to condensation from the build up of ice on the copper lines that extend from the HVAC unit to it’s outside coils. Another sign may be your utility bill. Basically the unit will have to work harder than it should to keep the area cool, in turn raising your electric bill. A unit with only a 10% leak can double the electric usage which cause the spike in the bill.

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fun facts about hvac

20 Fun Facts about HVAC

Category:General Tags : 

20 Fun Facts about HVAC

5. The Romans were the first to use any kind of air heating system. They also had heated floors in the winter.

6. The first modern air conditioning unit was invented in 1902 by Willis Carter, with the intent of keeping temperatures and humidity low for a publishing company in New York. It made their paper a more consistent product.

7. Ceiling fans are good for cooling your skin and keeping a higher temperature room comfortable, but they dont actually help the unit. Turn your fans off in the unoccupied rooms to decrease the utility bill.

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heating, ventilation and air conditioning

Understanding HVAC Terms

Category:General,Tips Tags : 

Your HVAC unit has quit working! As you call to find someone to check it out, all of these HVAC terms are being said and it can be quite confusing. We’re going to define a few for you to help you concerning your future Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning questions:

What Does HVAC Mean?

Short answer: Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning

HVAC Unit:
This is the machine that heats and cools your home or work space.
Heating, ventilation and air conditioning

Compressor:
A mechanical device in the HVAC unit that compresses gas used by the air conditioner to compress freon.

Evaporator Coils:
The part of the HVAC unit where liquid refrigerant that the compressor moves into it turns to gas. As the air that blows from the blower fan moves over the coils the cold refrigerant removes the heat from the space’s air.

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air conditioning problems

Top 10 Causes of Air Conditioning Problems

Category:Tips

The average lifespan of an air conditioning unit system is 10-15 years. Once a unit hits 10 years of age and begins to have air conditioning problems, it is time to see if AC repair costs will outweigh replacing the unit. New units will improve the indoor air quality and also help the resale value of the home.

Noticing white dust in the home? That happens to the duct work as it gets older. The combustion exhaust in a furnace is acidic. If this makes contact with galvanized steel, the acid will react with the zinc in the galvanizing, and this can produce a white powdery residue, as is commonly seen on the terminals of a car battery. If this substance is getting into the circulating air system, there could be a crack or hole in the heat exchanger, and that would be hazardous.

Excess noise shows the possibility of the duct work not being large enough for the square footage or a problem with the unit’s indoor coil.

Are you experiencing a rise in the energy bill but no change in how the unit is being used? That is always a big indicator the system is not running as efficient as it once was. In this post we are going to share with you some common air conditioning problems that hinder air flow.

Top 10 Air Conditioning Problems That Hinder Air Flow

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changing air filters

The Importance of Changing Air Filters in HVAC Systems

Category:General

HVAC Air filters are our best defense against pollen, dust, pet dander, etc. circulating in our indoor areas. But air filters also provide a defense against any larger objects that could be pulled into the system, such as loose insulation, which could create a fire risk. Not changing air filters regularly will not only create more nastiness in the air, but it leads to conditions that foster mold or bacteria growth, and can cause unnecessary strain on the HVAC system. This can lead to future ac repair costs.

Believe it or not, clogged air filters are the number one cause of HVAC system failures. The job of the air filter is to collect all dirt, hair, dust, mold, etc. Failure in changing air filters regularly can cause hindering of the air passing through freely, as it is designed to do.

Concerns of Dirty Air Filters

changing air filters

The blower fan in the HVAC system has to work harder to push air. This will increase your energy bill plus put extra strain on the system, making the system wear out faster.

The difficulty in the air moving means rooms are not getting the air they need. This means the temperature sensors which regulate when the HVAC system turns on and off, may not register the temperature needed to signal the system to power down. That will eventually wear down your fan motor.

When the air can’t travel out of the furnace, heat pump, or air conditioner the system could possibly overheat or freeze up. Basically, the unit will run, costing you the same amount of gas/oil, but causing no change in the indoor temperature.

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Why Regular Maintenance on HVAC Units is Needed

Category:General

routine maintenance

Air conditioners have filters, coils, and fins that need routine maintenance for the HVAC unit to function at it’s most efficient through the years. If the unit runs without proper routine maintenance, it can eventually lead to the unit performing less and less but also causing the energy bill to increase. Cagle Service offers a VIP Priority Maintenance Membership program to help keep the HVAC unit running as smooth as possible.

Routine Maintenance – Air Filters

The most important maintenance task that will ensure the efficiency of your air conditioner is to routinely replace or clean its filters. Clogged, dirty filters block normal airflow and reduce a system’s efficiency significantly. For example, neglecting to clean or replace an air filter in a furnace can be the culprit of the furnace not blowing hot air in the winter. None of us want to experience that!

Some types of filters are reusable; others must be replaced. They are available in a variety of types and efficiencies. Clean or replace your air conditioning system’s filter or filters every month or two during the cooling season. Filters may need more frequent attention if the air conditioner is in constant use, is subjected to dusty conditions, or you have fur-bearing pets in the house.

routine maintenance

Routine Maintenance – Evaporator Coils

The ac unit’s evaporator coil and condenser coil collect dirt over their months and years of service. A clean filter prevents the evaporator coil from soiling quickly. In time, however, the evaporator coil will still collect dirt. This dirt reduces airflow and insulates the coil, reducing its ability to absorb heat.

Outdoor condenser coils can also become very dirty if the outdoor environment is dusty or if there is foliage nearby. You can easily see the condenser coil and notice if dirt is collecting on its fins. You should minimize dirt and debris near the condenser unit. Your dryer vents, falling leaves, and lawn mower are all potential sources of dirt and debris.

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tankless water heaters

Tank Water Heaters vs. Tankless Water Heaters

Category:General

Understanding Tank vs Tankless Water Heaters

The differences in tank vs tankless water heaters can be summed up in four categories:

Convenience

The biggest problems that people have with their hot water is not having enough. You may find that hot water doesn’t last long enough for everyone in your family to get a shower, or that it runs out partway through. These are problems that only exist with a tank water heater. Tankless water heaters can solve those problems. How? It’s because of how the two kinds of heaters work:

Tank heaters preheat a limited amount of water in their tank. You can get bigger tanks, but they’re expensive and there’s still a limit. If you use up all the hot water in the tank, you run out until it refills and reheats. This is what makes taking a long shower no fun.

Tankless heaters heat up water as it’s needed—whenever you turn the faucet. They can bring water up to steaming, soothing temperatures in a matter of seconds. They can provide hot water indefinitely.

Efficiency

One of the biggest things homeowners want out of a new water heater is energy efficiency. This is where there’s the most dramatic difference between the two heaters:

A tank heater operates continuously. That means it’s running even when you’re asleep, and much of that hot water will never even be used. That’s a lot of wasted energy—that you pay for.

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hvac units

Why springtime is the best time to service your HVAC unit

Category:General

Imagine buying a car. The oil is never changed and there is never a tune up. How long would you expect that car to last? It is the same concept with HVAC units. No matter how well the brand, units are complicated pieces of mechanical equipment that need servicing, repairs, and will have breakdowns every now and then. By having a preventive maintenance package, you can reduce the need for repairs caused by breakdowns.

Why Leave the Work for HVAC Professionals?

Many homeowners wonder why they can’t just complete an entire tune-up themselves. The fact is a thorough tune-up requires skills, tools and knowledge that only experienced HVAC technicians can deliver. Here’s what to expect when you call in the pros to perform annual HVAC system maintenance:

Check the thermostat: The tech makes sure the thermostat is calibrated correctly to ensure comfort in every season. If you don’t have a programmable thermostat installed, the technician may recommend one and install it for you on the spot.

Tighten electrical connections: Loose connections are dangerous and can cause improper operation that shortens the equipment’s lifespan. The technician also measures voltage and current on equipment motors.

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