Spring is the Best time to Schedule Air Conditioner Maintenance

The air is warmer and flowers are beginning to perk up again. Spring is clearly on its way, and after a long, cold winter, both homes and humans are ready for rejuvenation. To prepare for the seasonal shift, there are a few steps you should take to ensure that your residential or commercial property is in tip-top condition.

The best time to schedule air conditioning maintenance is early or pre-spring. Any damage or stress caused by the unforgiving old man winter can be treated and reversed with some springtime TLC.

A/C maintenance includes a 60 to 90-minute professional walk-through and cleaning by a trained technician. We highly recommend scheduling bi-annual HVAC tune-ups, one in the fall for your heating and one in the spring for your cooling.

Why schedule HVAC service in the spring?

With warmer weather comes a renewed need for air conditioning. Late spring and summer are the peak times for blasting the A/C. It’s also the busiest time of the year for HVAC repair specialists. Anything that can go wrong with overused air conditioning units, usually does, putting HVAC specialists in high demand.

By scheduling a professional tune-up before we hit peak temperatures, you’re guaranteed a convenient appointment time, and a sense of relief heading into the heat. You’ll know your unit is ready to perform reliably through the summer and any necessary post-winter repairs can be dealt with without much discomfort or inconvenience.

Don’t wait until your air conditioning system breaks down on a hot and muggy day!

Who knows how long you’ll have to wait for service. Instead, take the preventative route and schedule professional maintenance in early spring.

Benefits of Springtime A/C Maintenance

  1. Reduce Energy Bills

Are you looking for a simple way to lower your utility bills in 2018? Bi-annual tune-ups keep your unit up-to-date and your bills under control. The smoother your machine is functioning, the more reliable both the unit and the amount on your monthly bill will be. Remember, more build-up and neglect in your unit = more money and repairs.

We recommend maintenance because it’s has been proven to reduce your heating and cooling bill by up to 20%, when your unit is running efficiently.

  1. Not Another Repair!

Maintenance by trained professionals is guaranteed to curb the need for costly repairs. When maintenance is scheduled and followed through, we save HVAC units and wallets from more frequent breakdowns. These repairs are typically more expensive than any preventative tune-up would have been.

Tune-ups and maintenance are meant to catch any problems before they become extensive and expensive.

  1. Extend the Life & Efficiency of Your Unit

Did you know that bi-annual maintenance could increase the lifespan of your HVAC unit by 30-50%? An average unit has a lifespan of about 15 years. With cost-effective maintenance plans, you’re looking at least an additional 5 years. On the other hand, if you neglect professional maintenance for years on end, you could experience a major repair or breakdown before the unit hits its 10th year.

Better yet, maintenance not only extends the lifespan of your system, it also makes it more efficient. Routine maintenance tune-ups can improve your system’s efficiency by 25%!

  1. Maintain Manufacturer Warranties

Without regular HVAC maintenance, the manufacturer may choose to void any warranties attached to your system. This is because manufacturers and technicians alike know how important regular maintenance is. So, in addition to changing your filters every 1-3 months, it’s also important to maintain records of your regular professional maintenance.

The HVAC manufacturer may also choose to void your warranty if the unit was improperly installed, off-brand replacement parts were used, or you never registered the warranty in the first place.

Prolong the life of your unit and maintain your manufacturer warranty for as many years as possible.

Should I Conduct Any DIY A/C Maintenance?

The only thing you should definitely be doing is remembering to replace your air filter when it gets dirty and clogged. This is the single most important thing a homeowner can do to keep their system clean and efficient.

We recommend setting reminders to check your filter every month. Remove the filter and hold it up to a light source to see how clogged it is. If barely any light can pass through, it’s a good idea to replace the filter. Depending on a variety of factors including the number of pets and people in your household, expect to replace your HVAC filter every 1-3 months.

What are the signs that my Water Heater is Dying

At Mount Vernon Heating and Cooling, we specialize in water heating repairs and replacements. Of course, we’re here for when your water heater decides to quit, but how can you be proactive about noticing it before it stops completely? The last thing you want is for your water heater to fail unexpectedly, which can cause damage to your home. A busted water heater can cause soggy carpets, extensive water damage and can make for a bad day.

We’ve created a quick reference guide for homeowners to use when you happen to notice something abnormal about your water heater.

1. The area around your tank is wet.

If you happen to see moisture and condensation outside of your tank, it could be a sign of a slow leak. As the metal heats, it expands, and if you have any kinds of cracks in your heater, then water may leak from the tank. When the metal cools, the inner tank will stop leaking, but it is important to observe your tank and the after effects. Make sure that no other cracks have formed around critical areas, like fittings or the connection to the tank.

2. You see rust forming.

If you see orange or dark red rust in the water surrounding the tank, it could be a sign that your heater is corroding. If you start to smell something metallic, it could mean that rust is developing inside of your heater, giving off that odor.

3. You hear loud or unusual noises.

If you hear strange noises coming from your tank, it could be caused by interactions between the heating elements and the mineral deposits inside your heater. These deposits harden and cause a low rumbling, popping and cracking noises from inside. Flushing your water heater periodically can stop these sounds, but if the problem persists, it may be time for a new heater.

4. Last but not lease the obvious one. The tank just is not producing as much hot water anymore.

Decrease in hot water productionIf your water isn’t quite as hot as it once was, and it feels lukewarm, it could mean that you need to replace your water heater. Pay attention to the water pressure as well – lukewarm water and low pressure water is a sign that your water heater needs replacing. How long does it take for your water to heat up? If it takes longer than usual to reach a warm temperature, the heating mechanism in your hot water tank may be broken.

Don’t wait for your water heater to quit while you’re in the middle of a relaxing shower. Use this guide as a checklist, and call us with any questions or concerns. Contact us today, and we’ll get you back under hot water fast.

Why should I have my Gas fireplace inspected?

It seems obvious to most people that the chimney of a wood-burning fireplace is going to need annual cleaning because of the buildup of soot and creosote. A gas fireplace, on the other hand, burns nice and neat. So, why is it important to get the chimney for a gas appliance inspected and cleaned annually? Gas-burning fireplaces are a real convenience and, compared to wood burning, have a low maintenance factor. But there are several potential problems that can occur with gas and with a chimney used for any type of heating system, all of which can become a danger if not resolved.

Buildup

Gas fireplaces sometimes have a buildup of debris. For example, ceramic logs can deteriorate and clog vents.

If the exterior chimney has a cracked crown or if the mortar joints are in poor condition, moisture can enter the chimney system and cause the flue tiles to break off and fall into the hearth.

It’s important to have the entire fireplace cleaned and ready for another year of use, including cleaning any residue from the glass doors, inside and out.

Functionality

One thing you don’t ever want to take for granted year after year is that the equipment in a gas fireplace is operating the way it should. Over time, valves and connections could develop leaks. Thermopile and thermocouple could be worn and/or need cleaning. The ceramic logs should be checked to ensure they are properly placed and in working condition.

Gas fireplaces are susceptible to explosions and sudden fires, if there are any leaks or malfunctions. One problem that occurs is that the pilot light will be on, the gas turned to the “on” position, but the fireplace isn’t operating. People have been injured by standing in front of gas fireplaces when broken glass is thrust outward, due to a malfunction.

Ventilation

Animals, such as birds, can get into your chimney and build a nest which blocks proper ventilation for your gas fireplace.

Even though a gas fireplace burns clean, meaning that no creosote or soot is deposited in your chimney, the structure still needs to be inspected annually.  As mentioned above, moisture problems can cause the chimney to deteriorate and fail to function properly.

Fires

Any type of open combustion system has the potential to cause house fires. Gas fireplaces should be treated with the same level of awareness and respect as wood-burning fireplaces, including being cleaned and inspected annually.

Contact our certified professional chimney sweeps for help installing and maintaining your gas fireplace system, to keep your family safe.

HVAC so much, here’s a list of HVAC facts and statistics that you should consider!

Because we love HVAC so much, here’s a list of HVAC facts and statistics that you should consider (some of them will save you money):

Turning Your Thermostat Back can save you up to 1% for each degree you set it back, if you leave it for 8 hours. So, if you set it back 10º when you go to work, you could save 10% on your heating/cooling bill. Setting it back will cause your HVAC system to run less, saving you money in the long-run.

41.5% of Energy Consumption Goes to Heating in the average U.S. home as of 2009. Heaters run more often and harder than air conditioners. We recommend having your heating system serviced to make sure it’s still in good working condition.

We Used 99 Quadrillion BTU in 2017. Quadrillion is after the trillion, and a BTU is the amount of energy it takes to heat 1 pound of water by 1ºF.

The Average Expected Lifespan of a Furnace is 20 years. How does your furnace compare? If it’s been more than 20 years, it’s probably time to find a new one because yours may not last much longer! When you find one, let us know and we’ll come out to install it for you.

The Average Expected Lifespan of a Boiler is 15 years. Boilers are generally cheaper than furnaces in the long-run, but they go up much earlier=. If yours is approaching or has passed the 15 year point, it may be time for a new one.

The Average Expected Lifespan of a Central Air Conditioner is 20 years. Don’t let this sneak up on you in the middle of a hot summer. Shop around before it’s too late.
In 2012, the U.S. Received 2.2 Million Shipments of Furnaces. How many of these were installed in total is unknown, but it’s a safe guess to say around 1.8-2.0 million furnaces are in U.S. homes today. Over 98% of them are gas furnaces; 2% are oil furnaces.

What will a furnace repair cost?

This is a question I get constantly. What will a furnace repair cost?

Site unseen this is something that cannot be answered on the phone. Further investigation is necessary to determine what has malfunctioned.

On average Iowa spends $310.00 per repair. Ranges can be between $92.00 on the low end and $1350.00 on the high side.

Things that need to be factored into the cost is the type of furnace, (Electric, Propane, Natural Gas, Forced Air Heating, Boiler Repair or Heat Pump).

In addition the parts necessary with the labor hours. There are items in a furnace that can go bad such as blower motors, heat  exchangers, igniters, flame sensors, thermostats, and again those all depend on the age, make, model of the unit.

At some point in time you will need to weigh the cost of repairs with the cost of replacement. Let Mount Vernon Heating and Cooling help you make that decision.

A good rule of thumb is if your repairs exceed 50% of the cost of a new one. its time to replace.