Common HVAC Problems To Detect Early

Summer is coming, which means warmer weather is on its way. While we’re all glad to get out of the cold, this does mean that your HVAC system, particularly your air conditioning, is probably going to get a lot more use in the coming days. More usage means more stress on your system, so it pays to take good care of it all season long. You don’t want to come home to an uncomfortably hot home because something has gone wrong and your air conditioner is no longer pumping cool air. Here’s a look at some of the common problems we’ve helped our customers with here at Comfort Air, and how you can try to detect them earlier.

Dirty Filters

After a long and cold winter, your HVAC system has probably been putting in some serious work. While it was circulating warm air throughout your house, it may have picked up some dust and other contaminants. Before you really start to put your air conditioner to work this year, check and see if you need a filter change. A dirty filter can cause your HVAC system to work harder than it should. This could mean higher electric bills and a shorter life for your unit. A dirty filter is an easy problem to spot early and fix, and this small effort could pay dividends later.

Water Leaks

An air conditioner that’s working hard is creating a lot of condensate. Normally, an HVAC system is ready to drain that water and properly dispose of it. If there’s a problem with your drain lines, that water might not drain properly. If you notice a water leak coming from your air conditioner, it’s a problem that you’ll want to fix right away. Not only is it an issue for your A/C, but it can also cause water damage elsewhere. That means mold and potentially expensive repairs, so you’ll want to take care of any water leaks quickly.

Low Refrigerant

If you’ve noticed that the air circulating through your home isn’t as cool as it should be, that could be a sign of low refrigerant levels. It pays to get this problem fixed early on, and we mean that literally. In this situation some people just turn down the thermostat, making the air conditioning unit work harder. If your refrigerant levels are low, that won’t help. Instead it will just cause your system to overexert itself and cost you more money. One of our air conditioner repair experts can help you out with any refrigerant issues you encounter.

Strange Noises

A strange noise could be indicative of a variety of problems. While all HVAC systems are going to make a little bit of noise from time to time, unfamiliar or particularly loud noises could be a cause for alarm. It could be a sign that a component is broken or malfunctioning. Letting that go for too long can lead to a more expensive issue later, so don’t ignore any strange noises you hear from your air conditioner this summer.

Pros and Cons of Installing a Trane Air Conditioner

Pros

  • Trane air conditioners are a line that contains high SEER rating –Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio. This helps unit owners to determine how efficient their units are in terms of energy and how the units help to save money. As a rule, the widely accepted Seasonal Energy Efficient Ratio rating is thirteen, but the SEER rating of most Trane units range from fourteen to about twenty five.
  • Trane line of air conditioners comes with lasting warranties which is a peculiar reason why Trane air conditioners are a common choice among homeowners and businesses. The part warranties underneath their belts together with sturdy materials from which they are being made from make these units become incredibly low when it comes to maintenance.
  • Trane air conditioning units are durable and much reliable. They are a great appliance for any homeowner or business owner that opt for convenience and comfort while saving money.
  • They are available in a range of styles and sizes.
  • They are suitable for all climates around the world.
  • Trane units are very effective and highly efficient as they make cooling and heating solutions available for smaller and bigger indoor spaces. If the rooms in your house or spaces in your workplace are too hot for you to deal with, Trane air conditioners can easily cool them off.

Cons

  • Unlike the traditional air conditioning units, Trane air conditioners are a bit expensive and they are not suitable for people on tight budgets.
  • Installation of Train air conditioning units in big apartment or commercial buildings requires more than the service of one professional, hence costing more money per installation.
  • Though their replacement parts are not that scarce unlike some air conditioning lines, but the parts are not easily replaced when damaged.

We choose Trane air conditioners simply because what we want basically in air conditioning units are effectiveness, cool airflow, and energy efficiency while saving some money and this line offers them all.

 

Install a Ductless System

Most people have heard of ductless cooling and heating systems, and they have probably seen the small, indoor devices installed high on walls in homes, restaurants or office buildings. But what do you really know about these systems?

 

  1. They Offer Highly Flexible Solutions

Whereas traditional heat pumps and central air conditioning systems force cooled and heated air through ducts, ductless systems deliver air directly into different zones. They are comprised of a small outdoor unit and one or more indoor units that require nothing more than mounting capabilities and access to electricity.

Sometimes referred to as split systems, multi-split systems, or split-ductless systems, ductless cooling and heating offers home and business owners a cost-effective way to replace inefficient window units, space heaters and electric baseboard heaters. They can be installed in home additions, new construction, condominiums and apartments, or to improve temperature control in specific rooms. Ductless systems can even be fit for buildings that currently use ducted forced-air systems.

 

  1. They Save You Money

One of the biggest reasons why homeowners switch to ductless cooling and heating is overall cost savings. In recent years, utility costs across the country have skyrocketed. When a home’s temperature depends upon an inefficient system, monthly bills can quickly climb out of control. Ductless systems operate on less power – they are smaller than traditional forced-air systems, and because the temperature-controlled air is delivered directly into a room, there is no loss in efficiency. Multi-split systems also allow homeowners to create “zones” in their home, which means they no longer have to cool or heat rooms that aren’t occupied.

In addition to saving money on utilities, homeowners may also be eligible for tax credits or utility rebates for the year they install a ductless system. There are many programs at the federal, state and local level that allow homeowners and businesses to take advantage of these additional savings.

 

  1. They Improve Indoor Air Quality – Happy Breathing!

Often times, the quality of indoor air can actually be lower than the quality of outdoor air. With traditional HVAC systems, air ducts must be professionally cleaned on a regular basis, and even after cleaning, dust and allergens are left behind. Ductless systems, on the other hand, offer multi-stage filtration that can drastically reduce dust, bacteria, pollen, allergens and other particulates in the air.

 

  1. They Are Quick and Easy to Install

Installing a traditional, ducted system can take several weeks and disrupts daily activities in the home. Ductless systems are far less invasive to install, and depending upon the number of indoor and outdoor units required, can be up and running in as little as one day.  

Multi-split systems run on small pipes that require a mere three-inch hole. That means homeowners don’t have to worry about rebuilding walls or ceilings around ductwork and there is no loss of precious square footage.

 

  1. Ductless Cooling Lowers Your Carbon Footprint

The small size of a ductless cooling system and its zoning capabilities allows for greater energy efficiency. Ductless cooling and heating systems follow ENERGY STAR guidelines, which means they are far more energy efficient than the minimum standards set forth by the U.S. federal government. Improved efficiency saves money, of course, but it also helps reduce your total carbon output.

Additionally, ductless systems take advantage of advances in chemistry to reduce effects on the environment. Ductless systems use a refrigerant called R410A, which is known for its zero ozone depletion potential. This means the system will have less impact on the environment throughout its lifecycle.

Ductless cooling and heating systems are energy efficient, environmentally friendly and completely customizable. They offer homeowners the ability to cool and heat specific zones of their home to the exact temperature they desire, providing consistent and exceptional year-round comfort.

3 Furnace Noises You Shouldn’t Ignore

Here at Comfort Air, we know that you want to take great care of your HVAC system. It keeps you warm in the winter and cool in the summer, making it an important part of your household. So it can be alarming when your furnace starts to make an unfamiliar noise. We understand that you may not want to run to the repairman every time you think something is off, because that can end up costing you a lot of money in a short period of time.

We get that, but you should also know that there are some sounds that you should never ignore. These three kinds of sounds could indicate a huge problem. You want our furnace repair experts to get to them early before more expensive damage is done. If you wait too long, you may even need a complete replacement! So listen for these kinds of sounds and contact us at (360) 891-2665 if you do.

Scraping

One major red flag can be a scraping sound. If you hear metal on metal sounds, it could be an indicator that the blower wheel has run into some issues. You want to turn off your system right away to make sure that it won’t cause more damage.

The scraping noise could be indicative of a broken blower wheel or a loose blower wheel. For the latter, a technician might just be able to tighten the wheel up again. This easy fix can save you a lot of money on repairs later on. The motor mount that holds the blower assembly in place could also be broken, which also means that you need a prompt repair.

Banging

A banging noise can also be indicative of major issues with your furnace. A variety of problems could be causing this banging noise. You’ll usually hear a loud bang or pop upon starting up the furnace, which means that you’re likely in need of some professional assistance. You might have a clogged air filter or a major issue with your ductwork. Improperly installed or low-quality ductwork can both cause banging noises. Your ductwork could even be the wrong size.

Dirty furnace burners could also be the culprit. The dirt on the burners stops them from igniting the gas right away, causing a buildup. A buildup of gas fumes can end up causing damage to the heat exchanger once it finally ignites. Repairing the heat exchanger can get expensive, so this is a noise you definitely can’t ignore. This is one reason that routine maintenance for your furnace can be so important. A technician can spot this kind of issue as they inspect your burners and help you avoid more costly work later.

Squealing

A sharp squealing or whining noise can also be a sign that you need our furnace repair experts. It can be caused by a failing blower mower or shaft bearings that need lubrication. It could also be caused by a blower belt that’s come loose or past its prime. We can help you put a stop to that squealing sound by replacing some parts or making sure that others are properly placed.

Spring Duct Cleaning with Comfort Air

Think the air you’re breathing inside your home is fresh? Think again.

With your house being closed up all winter long, dirt, allergens and other contaminants have been building up and are being cycled throughout your house, courtesy of your furnace and ductwork. Do you have any idea what’s in your ducts? Dirt, Dust mites, Pollen, Pet fur and potentially fungus and mold could be in your ducts. This is why you should consider duct cleaning from Comfort Air Vancouver WA.

 

Duct Cleaning Procedure

Duct cleaning is really a simple procedure. All you really need to do is call the HVAC professionals at Comfort Air Vancouver WA to schedule your duct cleaning.

 

Benefits of Duct Cleaning

In addition to cleaner indoor air, duct cleaning can also help improve the efficiency of your heating and cooling systems. Your HVAC systems have air filters to prevent contaminants from getting inside the heating or cooling unit. When ducts are dirty, these filters clog up quickly. Clogged filters keep air from getting to the furnace or air conditioner, and that makes the unit work harder.

 

If you’ve never had your ducts cleaned, you might notice a difference on your energy bill after duct cleaning. If you get your ducts cleaned regularly, you may not see significant savings on your energy bill, but you can be assured that you are helping to improve your indoor air quality.

 

Schedule Duct Cleaning Today!

Comfort Air is ready to help you with your spring cleaning. Call us for a duct cleaning quote for your home or business or to schedule your duct cleaning service.

 

How Often Should You Clean Your Air Filter?

Here at Comfort Air, we know that part of keeping an HVAC system running smoothly is maintenance. We can help you out with much of that, but there are actually some things that you can do on your own to ensure that your heating and air conditioning are working properly all season long. One of those tasks that you can handle is changing out or cleaning your air filter. As time passes, this component has a harder time doing its job as well as it should. It’s important to get a new one or clean your current one, which can help keep your HVAC system in top shape.

What Does My Air Filter Do?

What your air filter does should seem obvious. It filters out impurities and makes sure that they’re not being pumped through your house. When your heat or air conditioning turns on, it begins to blast warm or cold air through your vents. You don’t want potentially harmful particles to be a part of the air circulating in your home.

In recent years, studies have shown that pollutants inside your home can be just as damaging as pollution outside. That’s why indoor air quality is so important. By taking care of this simple task, you can ensure that the air inside of your home isn’t getting your family sick or triggering allergies.

Having a clean air filter also brings some other benefits. A clean air filter makes it so that your HVAC system doesn’t have to work as hard to do its job. That means that neglecting it can result in you paying more on your utility bills. Cleaning or replacing your air filter is an easy way to save money and improve your air quality.

When to Clean It

When you should change out or clean your air filter can vary. Some people try to change it once per season. It’s especially wise to make sure that your air filter is in top shape before the winter and summer months, where your HVAC system is working the hardest. Others change or clean their filter even more frequently, like once per month. That may not be necessary for all homes, but it really can’t hurt.

You can also evaluate your air filtration needs and see if you’ve noticed a difference in your indoor air quality. If you already changed your filter for the season but you notice that the air inside your home isn’t as fresh, it might be in need of a cleaning. You could notice that your allergies are acting up or that people are getting sick more often.

Other factors can also affect how often you need to change or clean your filter. The more people in your house, the more dust and dirt they could kick up. If you have pets, you may have to worry about dander and fur. In these cases, you’ll want to clean your filter more often.

Really though, the best possible rule of thumb is to change or clean your filter when it gets dirty. Keep an eye on it, and keep your HVAC system in top shape all season long!

3 Ways To Reduce Your Heating Costs

Here at Comfort Air, we know that many of you are concerned about your heating bills. Sometimes it can seem like they’re so expensive and that there’s nothing that you can do to fix that. Fortunately you local HVAC experts in Vancouver, WA have some helpful tips for you. With our expertise and a little bit of work, we can help you lower your heating costs while keeping your home nice and toasty during the winter months.

Keep Warm Air Inside Your House

So you’ve set your thermostat to the desired temperature and waited for your house to warm up, but you haven’t noticed your house getting any more comfortable just yet. So you turn up the heat a little more, and then you’re shocked by your heating bill. There might not be an issue with your HVAC system. It could be a problem with heat escaping your home.

Heat can easily escape out of the attic or your walls. That’s why it pays to make sure that your home is properly insulated. When we say “pays,” we actually mean it. A properly insulated home means lower heating costs. You can also take some other steps to ensure that your heat isn’t escaping during the winter months. Keep windows closed and try not to use ventilation fans in the kitchen or bathrooms. These can help heat escape. Also keep an eye on your fireplace. Closing the fireplace damper when it’s not in use can save you some money.

Have an Expert Look at Your HVAC System

Sometimes, your colder house and higher heating bills are a result of an issue with your HVAC system. In that case, it pays to have one of our experts take a look. We can see if there’s a simple filter problem or if there’s a bigger issue. Problems like a blocked air duct or an obstructed radiator can each hurt the efficiency of your system. We can make sure that you’re getting the most out of your system and that you’re not overpaying for your heat all season long due to a mechanical issue. Your favorite heating and cooling experts are on the case.

Lower Your Thermostat or Upgrade It

Here’s an obvious one. You may think you’re comfortable only at a certain temperature or above during the winter, but lowering your thermostat a bit can help you save big money over the course of the season. Just a few degrees can make a big difference on your heating bill.

You can also invest in a programmable thermostat. It may surprise you to learn how rapidly this technology has evolved in recent years. We offer a variety of home automation products that can help you reduce your energy consumption and your heating bill. You’ll be able to turn on your heat right before you enter the house, making sure it’s comfortable without wasting electricity. A small investment right now could make a big difference in your heating bills later. So if you’re looking for any kind of heating and cooling services in the Vancouver, WA area, make Comfort Air your first stop.

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!