HVAC Installation for Summer in Vancouver, WA

HVAC installation is something that should always be left to professionals. Even so, there are many things homeowners need to do to prepare their homes for installation, and prepare to make smart purchase decisions for their families.

There are many types and models of heating and cooling systems on the market – learning the ins and outs of each will help you determine which system is the best solution for your heating and cooling needs. With information on HVAC installation and system types, you’ll make a purchase decision that makes financial sense for your family while offering the comfort you need for years to come.

While the winter months might be dark and cold in the Pacific Northwest, the summers are long and hot. A cooling system that runs at peak performance will not only keep you more comfortable but can save you money on utility bills, as well.

The following quick tips can help ensure that your air conditioner offers you cooling relief when you need it the most.

Maximize System Efficiency

It’s a basic principle of Air Conditioning 101: Systems that use less energy perform better too. An efficiently operating system maintains your ideal temperature. It also helps keep indoor humidity levels balanced. Start by keeping your air conditioner clean. Dirt, dust and debris can have a big impact on the system’s performance:

Change the Air Filter.

Your air conditioner’s air filter is the equipment’s first line of defense against damaging dirt and dust. Check it frequently during the warm-weather season. Be sure to change it at the first sign of dirt.

Check the Vents.

Vacuum and dust air conditioning vents often. Make sure they’re not blocked by furnishings, floor coverings or window treatments.

Landscape Wisely.

Prune back vegetation around the outdoor unit. Doing this ensures maximum air flow and keeps the condenser clean of loose leaves and debris.

Schedule HVAC Maintenance

One of the best ways to optimize your system’s performance is to request an appointment for preventive maintenance. Our professional HVAC maintenance service includes a seasonal checkup of all the components of your air conditioning system. This includes the ductwork and blowers to the refrigerant levels and electrical connections. With our fully stocked service trucks, we can usually resolve any potential problems on the spot as well.

Now is the best time to take steps to improve your air conditioner’s performance, before the full heat of summer arrives. For more information about timely air conditioning solutions, check out ComfortAir at https://comfortairnow.com/ or call 503-655-0221

 

Prepare Your AC for Spring

We know that it’s cold right now, but that’s why it’s the perfect time to start thinking about your AC unit! You never want to be stuck with a broken AC when you really need it, so it’s best to fix it early. Check out your HVAC Vancouver WA experts at Comfort Air.

  1. Give Your Air Conditioner a Trial Run

Sometimes heating and cooling systems simply stop working while not in use. This usually happens to older systems with end-of-life issues, but it can also happen to younger systems with unresolved issues from last summer. If the system isn’t working like it should, or if it isn’t working at all, you can schedule HVAC repair and get the problem taken care of before you need actually need your air conditioner.

  1. Schedule AC Maintenance

If your heat pump or air conditioner still works, schedule HVAC maintenance to ensure that it works efficiently. Your technician will inspect and clean the entire unit to prime it for optimal summer performance. If any existing issues or potential problems are detected, you can get air conditioner repair on the spot.

  1. Consider Air Conditioning Replacement

Heat pumps and air conditioners generally last from 15 to 25 years. Because AC replacement is expensive, it is common for homeowners to keep their existing units instead of replacing them. The downside is inefficiency. A new system will always be more efficient than an old one.

If your cooling costs were steadily increasing last summer, chances are good that they will increase even more this year. If your present system is losing efficiency, an air conditioner replacement can maximize indoor comfort while offsetting installation costs with lower energy bills.

To learn more about getting the most from your HVAC in Vancouver WA visit Comfort Air  or call 360-891-2665.

 

When Should You Replace Your Furnace

 

Replacing your furnace is a great opportunity to increase your energy efficiency and comfort levels. Many times our technicians will ask how long it will take to install a new furnace. As long as your existing ductwork is intact and works correctly, it normally takes less than a day to replace an outdated furnace. However, there are decisions to be made before installation that can and should take some time.

Factors to Consider Before Installation

Combustion furnaces have an average lifespan of 15 to 20 years, so it’s important to make sure that you install a furnace that fits your needs and your home perfectly:

Size

Your home has specific heating needs, and these needs won’t be met if you install a system that is either too big or too small for your home. So how do properly size your furnace? By working with a trained professional on a heat load calculation. This calculation is comprised of things like:

  • Your home’s orientation
  • Levels of insulation
  • Floor plan
  • Number of occupants
  • Number and type of windows and doors
  • Square footage
  • Once the heat load calculation is done, you’ll know exactly what size furnace you’ll need to comfortable heat your home.

Type of Furnace

There are 2 main types of furnaces: electric and combustion. Combustion furnaces commonly use natural gas, but they can also use propane and oil. Electric furnaces can be good choices for homes that do not have immediate access to fossil fuels, or that don’t want to use a combustion system.

Energy Efficiency

Furnaces have become very energy efficient. The best way to check a furnace’s efficiency is to review its AFUE rating. The AFUE rating stands for annual fuel utilization efficiency, and it measures a furnace’s efficiency in converting fuel to energy. The higher AFUE rating, the greater energy efficiency of the furnace.

The installation of your furnace should be the last step of a process conducted with a trained expert. Taking these steps helps ensure that you’ll install a new furnace that will heat your home as you need it to for years to come. Visit ComfortAir today and schedule an appointment with one of our installation experts!

Winter HVAC Checklist

Cold weather is here and it’s only going to get colder. Gone are the days of opening up the windows to fill your home with fresh air — in many parts of the country, you’re about to stay huddled up indoors for the next several weeks. And since you’ll be breathing more indoor air than in the months past, it’s the most important time of year to focus on your home’s indoor air quality.

There are a lot of ways you can improve the quality of the air you breathe at home. Some are as simple as routine cleaning and maintenance, while others involve installing new systems that purify the air on a microscopic level. The combination of approaches that’s best for you may depend on how well sealed your home is, whether you have pets, and whether anyone in your home has respiratory problems.

Here are a few things you might consider at the outset of the winter heating season:

Clean your HVAC registers and vents. This is an affordable way to improve your quality of life in your home. All of the air handled by your HVAC system blows through them, so these vents will inevitably get dusty. A flexible duster or the wand attachment on your vacuum should make this an easy job, and it can cut down on the amount of dust blowing through your home.

Clean your ceiling fan blades. This is one that many people forget about. The tops of your fan can collect large amounts of dust that then circulate whenever you turn them on. Be careful reaching up there when you go to wipe down the blades!

Schedule professional duct cleaning. The worst accumulation of dust and allergens in your home may be in the places you can’t see. Professional duct cleaning lets technicians reach deep into your ductwork with special vacuums and spray gentle disinfectants that can help keep your ducts cleaner for months to come.

Check and replace your filters. This is a year-round job, but it’s as important as ever during the winter. When people and pets spend more time indoors, their skin cells and hair collect inside, causing filters to fill up faster.

Add an air filtration system. If you’re ready to make an investment in your indoor air quality, professional installation of an air filtration system is a smart first step. These systems complement your existing HVAC system by filtering out microscopic particles that may currently be flowing through your HVAC filters. And by keeping your indoor air clean, they can also make your HVAC system more efficient and longer lasting.

Disinfect with UV light. You can go a step further by installing UV disinfection systems in strategic locations throughout your ductwork. While these systems don’t capture airborne particles, they can remove toxic gases, odors, germs, bacteria and viruses using low-voltage UV light.

If you want to learn more about professional maintenance like duct cleaning or advanced systems for purifying your indoor air, remember Comfort Air. We’re your local expert when it comes to all things HVAC.

How to Protect You Home From Allergens

This is the worst time of year for allergy sufferers. Many of us just accept the sneezing, itching, and sniffling as a part of life during the spring. We may stock up on allergy pills or try to stay indoors on days with high pollen counts, but some of those allergens are actually circulating in your home as well.

Indoor air quality should be of concern to you if anyone in the household suffers from allergies, asthma, or even an immune system disorder. The quality of the air inside of your home might be even worse than the air outside, but choosing between these common installations can make a difference.

A quality air conditioner

First, to control the flow of particulate throughout the household, you also need to control the flow of air. A quality air conditioning system can do this for you, provided it’s installed properly and is the right size for your home, with a filter that is changed every few months.

When an air conditioner is the wrong size for your home, it’s not pulling in the amount of air it is designed for. And that means you’re not getting the level of filtration your home needs. Make sure your system is properly installed by calling in trained professionals only, and ask about installing a filter with a high MERV (minimum efficiency reporting value) so that you start getting cleaner air right away.

Dehumidifier

Most air conditioners are dehumidifiers, to an extent, but they cannot do the job as smoothly as a dehumidifier. This installation is available as a portable unit, but we recommend keeping one within your air conditioning system. A whole-house dehumidifier works along with your cooling equipment to remove moisture from the air.

How can this help to relieve your allergy symptoms? Less moisture in the air means fewer mold spores. Your air conditioning system is likely to develop mold and mildew over time, moving pollutants straight into your living space, so it’s a good investment to make in such a humid climate.

UV light air cleaning

A UV light air cleaning system is fairly simple: it’s a bulb of ultraviolet light that cleans the air naturally. Ultraviolet light is able to kill off and sterilize germs like bacteria and viruses. When germs are unable to reproduce, they are safe to breathe in. As air moves through your HVAC system and past the UV light, it is sterilized, like the air in hospitals and research laboratories.

Air filtration systems and air purifiers

An air filtration system is separate from your air filter. You’ll still need to change your filter regularly and replace the filtration media from time to time. But it has a larger surface area to catch more of the particulate that you’d like out of your airflow.

Alternatively, an electronic air cleaner could offer the purification you need. This system is innovative in that it poses no risk of blocking air from moving into your home. Rather, it uses ionization to give particles a charge. Then, they can cling to a surface with the opposite charge. Ask your technician which system is right for your home!

Should You Replace Your Furnace?

Thinking of replacing or repairing your furnace? Here are 4 signs that your heating system has reached the end of its useful life. It’s best to start investigating now in the fall instead of the middle of winter when you are rushed into a decision. Since nearly 30% of our annual energy bill goes towards heating, it’s a good idea to spend the time now to decide on a new furnace or not.

 

SHOULD YOU REPLACE YOUR FURNACE?

 

  1. Old Age (furnace is over 16 years old)

The average life expectancy of your home’s oil or natural gas furnace is between 16 and 20 years. If your furnace is near this age or older, it’s time to start shopping! You’ll want to start right away since waiting till the last minute often produces rushed and unwise decisions.

 

The lifespan of a furnace can vary based on how often a technician services it, so if you want your furnace to live a long and happy life, schedule annual maintenance with a technician at Cassel Home Comfort. Another good reason to schedule annual furnace maintenance is that your factory warranty most likely requires regular service visits. Schedule your Champaign area furnace tune-up here.

 

  1. High Energy Bills

If you’re noticing a rise in energy costs, address the issue promptly. As your furnace ages, it will lose its efficiency, especially if it hasn’t been properly maintained. Consequently, your furnace may run longer, only to provide the same amount of heat and hike up your bill. One quick thing you can do to increase your unit’s efficiency is to change your air filters (check every month and change/clean the filter every 1-3 months depending upon usage and other factors). You can hold up your filter to the light for a quick test – if you cannot see light passing through, it’s time to change your filter.

 

  1. Uneven Temperatures

If you feel that some rooms are too hot while others are too cold, or you’re constantly adjusting the thermostat to try and make the house more comfortable, you may want to consider shopping around for a new furnace. Similarly, if you have noticed that your heating bill keeps going up year after year, it may be more economical to replace your system than to keep using an inefficient HVAC system.

 

  1. Yellow Burner Flame

A properly functioning gas furnace has a flame that is blue with a small yellow tip at the flame’s inner cone. If your flame is almost entirely yellow, this signifies that you have a very serious and potentially dangerous problem as it could be producing carbon monoxide.

 

If you don’t have carbon monoxide detectors on every floor of your home, including the basement and attic, and within 10 feet of every sleeping area, get them installed right away.

Also, remember to schedule annual furnace maintenance in the fall to prevent any carbon monoxide problems from your heating system during midwinter.

 

Furnace Replacement Benefits:

 

Convenience – less repairs means less waiting around for your service technician to arrive, diagnose the issue, go back for parts, return, and then have a similar issues weeks later.

Lower energy bills – heating and cooling accounts for over half of our annual energy bill, with about 30% of your annual bill going towards heating.

Peace of mind – with professional heating installations from a qualified HVAC contractor, any safety or reliability issues will be addressed to keep it running as close to its factory settings as possible. Annual furnace maintenance will also ensure your manufacturer’s warranties remain in effect!

 

For more home energy efficiency tips, see the U.S. Dept. of Energy’s four-step guide to making your home more comfortable, energy efficient and healthy.

 

The HVAC Maintenance Checklist

At Comfort Air, we’re well-equipped to handle all of your HVAC needs. One of the most important parts of caring for an HVAC system is sticking to a routine maintenance schedule. As your Vancouver, WA HVAC maintenance experts, we can help you keep your air conditioning and heating system in top shape while avoiding expensive, complicated repairs later.

Why Is HVAC Maintenance Important?

HVAC maintenance is critical for so many reasons. Like many other machines, taking small steps and focusing on preventative maintenance can help you save money and avoid bigger issues. Parts can wear out and belts can crack. Some components require lubricant, while other parts can become dirty and unable to perform as well.

Proper maintenance can also improve the efficiency of your unit. An inefficient HVAC unit is working harder, which means that it could be shortening its own lifespan. A system that’s performing inefficiently can also cause your utility bills to soar. Properly maintained machinery can also provide better indoor air quality. A technician can check for contaminants that can affect the air inside of your home. Finally, keeping up with maintenance can reduce the risk of a breakdown during extremely hot or cold weather. You don’t want your HVAC system to let you down when you need it the most.

HVAC Maintenance Checklist

It’s usually a good idea to get your HVAC system checked out every fall and spring. Here are a few of the tasks that we can take care of.

  1. Checking the ductwork for leaks: A leak in the ductwork of your HVAC unit can waste energy and force it to work harder while not cooling or heating as effectively. We can measure air flow rate and pressure to make sure that your machinery is working at peak performance.
  2. Lubricate moving parts: This step can reduce friction within your HVAC system. More friction can lead to inefficient performance and shorten the life of your unit.
  3. Check wires and tighten electrical connections: Loose connections can damage your unit in the long term and adversely affect its performance in the short term.
  4. Look for mold and other contaminants: Do you smell something musty when you turn on your heat or air conditioning? That might mean mold on the coils or ductwork of your unit. Contaminants like mold, pollen, and dirt can all cause air quality problems or damage your HVAC system. A checkup and preventative maintenance can help you avoid an expensive issue later. To help avoid this problem, it’s also a good idea to keep leaves and other natural debris away from any outdoor units.
  5. Check fuel line connections and refrigerant levels: Our experts can check fuel line connections before the winter starts to ensure that your heat will work just fine all season long. We can also check refrigerant levels to make sure that your HVAC system operates at peak efficiency during the hot summer months.

So let the experts at Comfort Air assist you with all of your HVAC maintenance needs. Contact us today to schedule a repair or a checkup for the system that keeps your house or office comfortable all year long.

The Benefits of HVAC Preventative Maintenance

HVAC Maintenance is not just for when something goes wrong. While most people would agree that preventive maintenance is a good thing, it is also something that is easy to ignore until you have a more substantial issue. But preventative HVAC maintenance can save you bundles on the long run, with the added benefit of peace of mind over your HVAC system. This is particularly important if you are a landlord or hotelier. A broken or noisy HVAC system just won’t look good.

Let’s take a deeper look at some of the potential benefits of preventive maintenance and quantify the importance of partnering yourself with reliable, smart HVAC contractors near you.

Increased Energy Efficiency

The use of high-performance HVAC equipment can result in considerable energy, emissions and cost savings of between 10%-40%—according to Whole Building Design Guide, a program of the National Institute of Building Sciences. So, why not give your equipment the ability to run at peak performance, while benefitting from lowered monthly utility bills and increased annual savings with energy efficient operations?

Extended Equipment Lifespan

Equipment that is clogged with dirt, dust and grime has to work much harder and longer to create the same amount of heating or cooling, which leads to early burnout and failure. Don’t spend more on preventable replacements and frequent component change-outs. Spend smarter on preventive maintenance to extend the shelf life of your existing heating, cooling and ventilation equipment.

Improved Air Quality

 Indoor air quality can be affected by dirty coils and blower parts within your air conditioning unit. This raises many health-related concerns, such as pollen, fungi and bacteria buildup, that you could be breathing in on an everyday basis. This sort of buildup can trigger asthma attacks; eye, nose, and throat irritation; and flu-like illnesses. Regular cleaning of these components significantly reduces contamination of your airstream and makes for a healthier household and happier living environment.

Decreased Costly Repairs

Scheduling regular maintenance can greatly reduce the potential for a costly service down the road by as much as 95%. Although it is impossible to avoid all HVAC repair situations, preventive care can save a lot of money on unanticipated heating and cooling emergencies.

 

Remember, prevention is always better than the cure. The benefits of preventive maintenance are certainly telling, with all leading to big savings in time and money. By scheduling a pre-season maintenance visit, it allows enough time for any repairs to be completed prior to a serious weather change like summer, which is right around the corner.

 

If You Want to get Ahead of Your HVAC Maintenance, Call The Vancouver, WA Air Conditioning Repair Experts!

Is Your Air Conditioner Making A Weird Noise?

When your air conditioner starts to make a weird noise, there could be a number of reasons to call for air conditioner repair. Whether you hear buzzing, screeching, or a loud banging noise, all of these sounds can indicate a problem with your air conditioning. If you hear a noise that you can’t identify, it’s time to call Comfort Air in Vancouver, WA to check out your air conditioning unit!

A Loud Buzzing

A loud buzzing noise can indicate that the system is malfunctioning. If your unit starts to leak refrigerant, this can cause the system to start to freeze up. Leaking refrigerant will eventually cause ice to build up in your unit. The air conditioning repair experts at Comfort Air prefer Trane brand products for their high quality, but even the best air conditioning units aren’t perfect: leaks can happen.

A High-Pitched Hiss

A high pitched hiss or squeal noise coming from your air conditioning unit usually indicates a problem with your compressor. You’re more likely to hear the noise when your system starts up, and it can go away in a few seconds. This is not a safe situation and you need to shut off your unit and call for air conditioner repair as soon as possible. Your system may also turn off and on frequently because of the problem.

A Banging Noise

A banging noise when your unit turns on can indicate that a foreign object got into the unit. For example, if a stray stick is hitting the fan when the unit turns on, a banging noise will occur. Try turning your unit to fan only. If the noise stops, there’s either something hitting the fan or the fan has become loose and is wobbling. While this is not dangerous in itself, ignoring the problem will lead to the need for larger repairs.

A Gurgling Noise

A gurgling noise when your air conditioning is running can be a number of problems. The drain for condensation may be causing the gurgle, or you may be leaking refrigerant. While this is not a problem that is going to cause immediate danger, pay attention to see if the problem becomes worse. You’ll want to call for a repair, but it’s not an emergency.

A Screeching Noise

A screeching noise when your unit turns on and continues to run can be a problem with the bearings on your fan motor. The noise can be very loud, but it isn’t necessarily a danger. If you hear a loud screeching sound like two pieces of metal rubbing together, you can still leave your unit on while waiting for a repair. If the heat is unbearable, call for a repair and leave your system running. If the weather isn’t too hot, turn your system off to give it a break.

If You Hear a Strange Noise, Call The Vancouver, WA Air Conditioning Repair Experts!

Whenever your air conditioning makes a noise you don’t recognize, it’s time to call Comfort Air in Vancouver, WA to see what is going on with your unit.

Fire Safety & Air Duct Cleaning: A Guide

Keeping your home free from dirt, dust, allergens, and other contaminants is not only good for you health, but it can also help keep your home safer. When your air circulation system is full of dirt and other substances, it could pose a fire risk in some circumstances. Professional duct cleaning in Vancouver WA will ensure your home is safe and comfortable.

What is Air Duct Cleaning?

Air duct cleaning is the process of removing dirt, dust, and grime from heating and cooling system components including the air ducts, registers, diffusers, heating and cooling coils, air handling unit, and other parts that come into contact with circulating air. These parts can become contaminated with allergens and other household particles, and if there is moisture present, mold can also become a problem.

Duct Cleaning and Fire Safety

Accumulated dust and debris in any area is a risk for fire and poses a danger of spreading fire to other parts of a home via the ventilation system. In most homes, a significant buildup of dust is unlikely as the simple circulation of air through the ventilation system prevents much settling. However, if your central heating and cooling system is not used frequently, or you rely on other systems such as a wood-burning stove or fireplace for heat, then settlement can occur. Pest infestation can also lead to heavy accumulations in your ducts, especially from rodents, birds, and other small animals.

When to Clean Your Ducts

If anyone in your home is experiencing upper respiratory problems from allergies or illness, regular duct cleaning is essential. If you’ve just moved into a new home, getting a thorough cleaning is also a good idea, especially if the previous owners had pets. You should also schedule duct cleaning in Vancouver, WA, in these situations:

  • Mold is Discovered. Although not a risk for fire, if mold is detected anywhere in your heating and cooling system, a full cleaning is necessary.
  • Pest Infestation. Whether the infestation is in the air system or not, a full duct cleaning should follow after eliminating the infestation. Rodents and birds can also carry debris throughout your ventilation system and these accumulations will put your home at risk for fire.
  • Major Remodeling. Demolition and construction can cause a significant decrease in indoor air quality and the continual circulation of dirt, dust, and debris can lead to accumulations in your ducts. Always schedule a duct cleaning following any major home improvement project.

Scheduling Your Duct Cleaning in Vancouver, WA

Comfort Air is your duct cleaning specialist serving the Portland and Vancouver Metro market since 1983. Unlike many of our competitors, we charge by the job rather than by the hour. That means – NO SURPRISES! To learn more about duct cleaning and fire safety or to schedule an appointment, call us today!