When it comes to efficient heating and cooling, most people figure that they need to upgrade their furnace or air conditioner to the latest models, when an alternative system has been on the market for years.
Frozen Heat Pumps
It’s been raining all night and the temperature is dropping, the forecast for this weekend says most of us are going to get a lot of ice, so some of you might end up with frozen heat pumps.
How Much Frost or Ice Is Normal?
If there is a thin layer of frost and It’s not covering the entire unit, your unit is probably fine, it’s probably due to the cold weather and how cold the coils are getting trying to heat up your house. However, if you go outside and see your unit frozen in a cube of ice like a cartoon, you may have a serious problem. Or if your system has thick ice covering most of the outdoor unit, you should probably call an HVAC technician. Here are a few examples of frozen heat pumps: If your unit looks like this, it’s okay as long as it is still keeping your house warm.
What Can I Do to Get Ready for The Tech When He Gets Here?Well the technician can’t do much to your unit while it’s frozen, so after you call for service, go ahead and turn your unit to emergency heat, this will turn on your inside gas or electric furnace and keep your outside unit from freezing anymore and also keep your house warm. So hopefully some of the ice will melt off before he gets there.
What If It’s Not Frozen Up, But It’s Making a Lot of Noise?Well, if your unit is outside rattling and making all kinds of noise, maybe it sounds similar to a washing machine that’s not level. Your fan blade probably has ice on it, as minor as it sounds, this can cause a lot of problems. On top of the obvious problem of putting a lot of extra stress on the fan motor and wearing it out, it can also shake things lose and wear things down, breaking all kinds of parts that you’ll have to pay someone to replace. If this is the case, and it is just ice on your fan blades, turn off your heat pump (or switch it to emergency heat) and get a pitcher of hot water. When the blades aren’t spinning, pour the hot water on it and do that until the ice melts. You should be able to turn it back on now, but if the sound persists, you should go ahead and give us a call.
Why, When, and How, Everything You Need to Know About Changing Your Air Filters
Is it Really Even Important To Change My Air Filter?
Air filters are very important! In fact, they are the top reason we get called in for a service. Dirty filters restrict the airflow through your duct work and make the system work much harder, it’s like driving your car with one foot on the break and one on the gas pedal. This will not only overwork your system, it will also raise your energy bill considerably and may also damage your unit beyond repair. We can’t count the number of units we’ve replaced because the filters didn’t get changed enough!
How Often Do I Need to Change My Filters, And How Do I Do It?
You should change your air filter every ninety days, that’s only four times a year, and it could save you thousands in energy bills and costs for repair and replacement.
To change your filter, first you need to find it.
For some units, believe it or not, the filter is actually right on the inside unit. The unit will have a small door on it about an inch or so tall, that’s where the filter will be if it’s on your unit. For others, the filter can be found at the return vents. Just take off the cover and see if your filter is there. If your inside unit is in a particularly difficult place to get to, such as an attic or crawlspace, I would check here first. Usually if the filter is here, there is some kind of easy release for the grate.
So now that you’ve found your filter, take it out and see what size you need, the filters will usually say on them what size they are. You can purchase a new one at Walmart, Home Depot, Roweton’s, etc. Once you have your new filter, just put it in where it was before, close it up and you’re good to go for another 3 months! It’s that simple!
Help! None of These Stores Have The Right Size!
There are tons of different sizes of air handlers and vents, so it kind of makes since that you can’t always find the one you need, our best advice is to get one that’s too big and cut it. Yep, you can do that. Measure it to the size you need then grab a pair of scissors and cut it up. Put it where you took out the old one, and you’re good to go. Another way if you don’t want to cut your own, call us over hear at David’s Heating and Cooling and we will get a hold of a supplier who can get you the size you need!
Now you know everything you need to know in order to change your filters, If you still have any questions let us here at David’s Heating and Cooling know!
Help! My Heat Exchanger is Cracked!
What is a heat exchanger anyway?
A heat exchanger is the part of your system that allows heat to be exchanged between two fluids without them mixing, hence the name “heat exchanger.” In the case of gas furnaces, air is blown past hot tubes or coils full of hot exhaust created by burning gas, this heats the air up before sending it into your home.
Okay, so what?
Well, if your heat exchanger is cracked or damaged the hot exhaust can mix with the air being sent into your home which doesn’t sound so bad, but one of the chemicals in this exhaust is Carbon Monoxide which can be extremely harmful to you and your family.
How can I keep my family safe!?
There are a few ways to keep you and your family safe from carbon monoxide poisoning.
First, it is very important make sure to have the proper amount of carbon monoxide detectors in your home. If you aren’t sure how many carbon monoxide detectors your home should have or you don’t know where to put them, or just generally want to know more about carbon monoxide, check out this link or give us a call.
Another way is to make sure you have your furnace inspected annually or at least biannually, there are plenty of sources out there on how to inspect your furnace yourself, but HVAC Technicians are usually a bit more thorough and tend to know what they are looking for.
Here are some examples of cracked heat exchangers.
If your heat exchanger looks like this call an HVAC company right away!
There is nothing wrong with having a gas furnace, in fact they can be very efficient. However if they are not cared for properly, they can be one of the most dangerous parts of your heating and cooling system. But no worries, if you do your part by installing carbon monoxide detectors and having your furnace inspected regularly you can keep yourself and your family safe from harm.