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refrigerant leak

Refrigerant Leaks: When to repair or replace?

Category:General

What if the HVAC unit has a refrigerant leak? 

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. refrigerant leak

 

Signs I may have a refrigerant leak?

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HVAC

20 Fun Facts about HVAC

Category:General Tags : 

*20 Fun Facts about HVAC*

HVAC

2. The first record of the idea of air conditioning was attributed to British Scientist Michael Faraday. He discovered in 1820 that by compressing and liquefying ammonia gas, one could chill an adjacent substance when ammonia was allowed to evaporate.

3. Closing air conditioning unit registers (air vents) on unused portions of the home or building to save electricity and money is a myth. It can actually cause the unit to have problems due to excess pressure on the compressor. 

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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.

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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.

Is there dust all over the home? That is a good indication that there are leaks in the duct work. 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.

Top 10 Causes of HVAC Air Flow Problems

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air filter

The Importance of Changing Air Filters in HVAC Systems

Category:General

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 the air filter 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.

air filter

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. When the filter is not changed, the air cannot pass through it readily, as it is designed to do.

Effects of Dirty 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 over heat or freeze up. Basically, the unit will run, costing you the same amount of gas/oil, but no change in the indoor temperature.

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routine maintenance

Why Regular Maintenance on HVAC Units is Needed

Category:General

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.

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.
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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water heaters

Tank Water Heaters vs. Tank-less Water Heaters

Category:General

Understanding Tank vs Tank-less 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. A tank-less heater can solve those problems. How? It’s because of how the two kinds of heaters work:

Tank heaters pre-heat 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.

Tank-less 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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heating and air units

Disadvantages to buying an undersized HVAC unit

Category:General,Tips

Heating and Air units can get expensive. Some people, thinking they are saving some money, buy a smaller unit than needed. Companies like ours understand the driving force behind this idea but we also know its going to cost you more in the long run.

Your Energy Bill will Rise

Although buying a smaller unit will initially save you money on cost of the unit, monthly the electricity use will increase, eventually using the money saved…plus more. An undersized unit will lack what it takes to reach a set temperature in an appropriate cycle time. Basically, the unit will be running at all times trying to cool the desired area to the desired temperature. The town of Wellesley, Mass., has estimated the average cost of running central air conditioning in a typical home for six hours a day will use 900 kilowatt/hours (kWh) per month. At a cost of $0.134 per kWh, this amounts to $120.60 per month. If that was being run on an undersized unit, the cost could be up to 4 times that! The constant running of the unit also arises our next concern for undersized units.

Repair Needs will Increase

Running the unit non stop will add a lot of wear and tear on the unit quickly. Undersized heating and air units do not produce enough velocity to push all the cool air out of the duct work. The air comes out, but not at the speed it needs to properly cool the area. When adding up the cost of repairs and regular maintenance, the undersized unit is costing you more than what you would have initially paid for the right sized unit.

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prevent frozen pipes

How to prevent frozen pipes

Category:Tips Tags : 

Frozen pipes can create leaks as the frozen water expands and cracks the copper tubing. When this happens, not only will you have little to no water supply, but when the pipes do thaw out, you can have some serious leaks to repair—or worse. But no worries. In this post we’re going to share some tips with you to prevent frozen pipes!

HOW TO PREVENT PIPES FROM FREEZING

Keep all water-supply piping away from outside walls, where it could be exposed to cold winter weather.
If it is imperative to have pipes located on an outside wall, as they must be well-insulated. Piping insulation is sold in both rubber and fiberglass.
Insulate pipes in all other unheated areas as well, such as crawl spaces, basement, attic, and garage. Fix the source of any drafts (such as near cables, dryer vents, bathroom fan vents, windows) and insulate pipes at risk.
Before winter, close the water shut-off valve inside your home that provides water to outside spigots, and then drain each line by opening its spigot until it no longer drips. The, close the spigot.

HOW TO KEEP PIPES FROM FREEZING IN SUBFREEZING TEMPERATURES

Keep garage doors and outside doors closed, and plug up drafts.
Open all faucets, both hot and cold water, to just a trickle, to keep water moving in the pipes to help to prevent icing.
Set the thermostat to at least 55ºF both day and night—no lower. Higher is even better, especially if your home is not well-insulated.
Keep doors to all rooms open to allow heat to flow to all areas, which helps to warm the pipes in the walls.

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