Your home or business needs regular HVAC maintenance in Houston, to ensure your air conditioner, furnace or heating system, and air filters all function optimally and last as long as possible between needed repairs and replacement. As with regular oil changes and tune-ups for your car, heating and cooling system maintenance reduces wear and tear and ensures all parts function as optimally as possible.
If you’ve been putting off Houston HVAC maintenance for your home or business, you might note what’s included in most maintenance service calls and why this work is so beneficial. You might also consider some signs that it’s time for heating and cooling repairs, so you schedule timely fixes as needed. These simple tips might very well extend the life of your residential or commercial HVAC system and help avoid costly and otherwise unnecessary repairs.
As with any other appliance or machinery with moving parts, a residential or commercial HVAC system needs regular maintenance, including cleaning, belt tightening, and oiling. Note what most heating and cooling companies in Houston include in a standard HVAC maintenance call and how these services benefit you.
All of these vital steps keep your residential or commercial heating and cooling system in good repair and ensure it operates as efficiently as possible. You’ll then avoid early breakdown and might even see lower utility bills throughout the year when you schedule regular HVAC maintenance.
Your HVAC system doesn’t need to shut down completely to need repairs. Very often a worn air conditioner or furnace will cycle on and off but not function as it should, so consider a few signs that it’s time to call a Houston HVAC contractor. Timely fixes help to avoid more extensive and expensive repairs down the road!
One common sign of an HVAC system needing repairs is that your home or business never seems to reach a comfortable temperature, even when the furnace or AC cycles on. In many cases, old and worn parts result in an air conditioner or furnace not able to push air through a structure’s ductwork. A faulty thermostat or worn wiring between the thermostat and HVAC system might also signal those appliances to cycle off prematurely.
If your interior spaces are also overly humid in summertime or very warm and then very drafty in wintertime, this also typically signals the need for HVAC repairs in Houston! Your air conditioner might cycle off before it can remove humidity as well as heat, or the furnace might be cycling on and off too quickly so that rooms get very warm and then very cold. A thermostat adjustment or other simple repairs often mean a comfortable environment once again.
Old and worn furnaces and air conditioners also tend to draw more power than they should, as damaged parts work harder to operate. You might then notice a sudden increase in your utility bills or experience brownouts and blown circuits in your home or office.
Scheduling HVAC maintenance in Houston also gives your technician a chance to check for needed repairs. He or she can inspect appliance belts and bearings and note excessive wear, as well as an unusual buildup of dirt and debris in the furnace filter. Making even the simplest repairs when needed keeps that HVAC system running as it should and helps avoid wasting energy and utility costs.
One of the best ways to improve indoor air quality and create a healthy interior environment is with home air filters in Houston. A whole house air filtration system keeps your home’s interior free of dust, pet hair and dander, air pollution residues, pollen, and other debris that are often bothersome to both people and pets!
There are many types of whole house air filtration systems for Houston area homes and commercial-quality filtration systems designed for businesses as well. Understanding a bit more about your choices and how they work can help you better understand if they’re worth the cost, and decide which air filter is right for your home or business!
In simple terms, a home media air filter in Houston traps dirt, dust, and other debris so that these bothersome residues don’t circulate through the home. Your home’s furnace should have an air filter that works year-round to trap and lock dirt and debris as air is pushed through the ducts connected to your heating and cooling system.
An electronic air purification system for Houston homes is a bit different; these systems don’t simply trap and lock debris but use ionization or another means to kill germs and bacteria in the air. A high-voltage charge attracts and then “zaps” or kills contaminants before they’re circulated around your home. Some home air filtration systems in Houston are hybrid, or a combination of both a filter and electronic ionizer, and some also have a carbon element that works to kill odors.
Knowing a bit more about your choices for home air filters in Houston can help you decide the best choice for your house, as well as how often they need changing or other maintenance throughout the year.
It’s vital that a homeowner change the furnace filter often, as these clog with dirt and debris rather quickly and especially the more often you use your furnace or air conditioner. Once a filter is clogged or otherwise at full capacity, your HVAC system runs less efficiently and more dirt and dust circulate throughout your home. You might even notice more layers of dust on your furniture, dry skin and eyes, and a general uncomfortable feeling in the home when you neglect to change that filter!
The Environmental Protection Agency also notes that the efficiency and effectiveness of a filter depends on its overall rating and manufacture. Mid-range filters are excellent for removing dirt as well as allergens, allowing those with allergies and other sensitivities to breathe better in the home. Filters with higher ratings remove automotive fumes and smaller particles of dust and dirt, while hospital quality filters remove the tiniest particles as well as bacteria, residual cigarette smoke, and even germs from sneezing!
Along with a whole house filtration system in Houston, remember to keep your vacuum cleaner canister or bag changed often, and vacuum your floors every day or at least every other day! Regular vacuuming removes dust, dirt, pollen, and other residues from the carpet so they don’t become airborne. Everyday dusting with a static cloth or cleaning fluid is also a great way to keep the home fresh and clean.
For homes near production facilities or other areas prone to dust and debris, consider window and door screens with small mesh, to keep outside debris from making its way into the home. If your home has a fireplace, ensure that the chimney and hearth are cleaned often, to remove soot and ash and keep them from settling around the home.
Regular ductwork cleaning is also vital for fresh air inside the home. Clean ducts also work with your home air filters in Houston to keep dirt and debris from circulating around the home, allowing for easier breathing overall. Cleaner ducts also reduce wear and tear on your home’s furnace and air conditioning, keeping these appliances working at maximum efficiency and eliminating otherwise unnecessary repairs and maintenance.
If you’re like most homeowners, you rarely think about your Houston HVAC system until the weather changes and it’s time to crank up the AC or turn on the heat. While a high-quality heating and air conditioning system will typically last for years before needing repairs, it’s vital that homeowners know when it’s time to call an HVAC contractor for needed fixes or maintenance. Timely repairs and routine cleaning and parts replacement of your Houston HVAC system ensures that your furnace and air conditioner function properly while also potentially saving you money on your utility bills.
Before you face a sweltering Houston summer without proper air conditioning or shiver through a sudden drop in temperatures, check out 7 reasons why your Houston HVAC system might need some TLC. Be sure to call a heating and air conditioning contractor in Houston when you notice any of these signs, to ensure your home is always comfortable and that your residential HVAC system is always functioning as it should.
It’s not unusual to notice the sound of an HVAC fan spinning or air “whooshing” through a home’s ductwork and vents. While these minor noises are normal and don’t typically indicate a problem, clunking or grinding noises often indicate a loose or broken part inside your HVAC system. High-pitched squealing might indicate worn bearings that need replacing. Worn or broken belts or a bent fan might create popping sounds. Whatever the case, don’t overlook these signs of needed Houston HVAC repair but call a contractor once you notice these odd sounds.
If you notice rising utility bills throughout the year, and know that those increased costs are not due to an increase from your local power company or because you’re using your furnace and air conditioner more often, it’s time to call for HVAC maintenance! Worn parts, cracks and resultant leaks, and other damage to your home HVAC system causes the air conditioner and furnace to work harder so that it then draws more power. A maintenance call can lower those bills while upgrading to an energy-efficient HVAC system can mean a cost savings of up to 20% or even more throughout the year!
As with the car you drive, sometimes a Houston HVAC system is simply so old that it’s beyond repair, or the repairs needed far outweigh the benefits of a new furnace and air conditioner installation for a Houston home. An HVAC system that is over 10 years old will probably need consistent repairs and will use far more energy than today’s energy-efficient models, so ask your Houston HVAC contractor about an upgrade as well as financing options, rebates, tax incentives, and other ways to lower the cost.
A residential air conditioner or furnace should never leaks water, Freon, or gas. Those substances are meant to be fully contained in your residential HVAC system, so when your furnace or AC unit suffers a clog or leak, this indicates a broken hose, drain pipe, or other such part. Freon and gas are both unhealthy if not downright dangerous to you and your family, so don’t assume that such leaks are normal and to be expected. If you notice a loud hissing sound near your HVAC system or signs of leaks and spills, call and HVAC contractor in Houston right away.
A quality Houston HVAC system in good repair will push air through the home’s entire system of ducts and vents evenly, so that back rooms and rooms upstairs will be just as comfortable as those near the compressor or furnace. If you notice uneven or inconsistent heating and cooling throughout your home, the ducts might have leaks or the motor of the HVAC system might be struggling. Your furnace or air conditioner might also be undersized for your home and a new air conditioning installation is in order!
A residential furnace and air conditioner both have lots of moving parts that wear out over time. Dust and other debris also settle onto furnaces and AC units, causing friction and other damage. Neglecting needed Houston HVAC maintenance puts added stress and strain on your home’s appliances and can lead to early breakdown. If you know you’ve neglected regular AC maintenance in Houston or haven’t had your home’s furnace cleaned and checked in some time, consider calling an HVAC contractor for needed maintenance as soon as possible.
A residential air conditioner removes humidity as well as heat from a home so if your interior rooms feel cold and clammy or cool but still humid during summer months, it’s time for Houston HVAC maintenance or repairs. Your system might be oversized and cycling off too quickly for it to remove humidity properly, or the motor and blower might be struggling to circulate indoor air as it should. Whatever the cause, routine maintenance or some small fixes can often address this issue and keep your Houston HVAC system functioning properly so that it removes humidity as well as heat from the home.
You're well aware that you need to have an HVAC inspection in Houston done on a routine basis. However, you're left wondering what's that entails and if it's worth the money.
An HVAC inspection in Houston done by the right HVAC contractors follows a specific process. To ensure nothing is overlooked, a thorough check of all the components of your heating and cooling equipment is required. When done correctly, it should include assessments of the electrical components, filters, moving parts, safety features, pressures, and more.
The first thing a professional HVAC contractor in Houston is going to do is take a look at your thermostat. It is the central operational point of your heating and cooling systems. Your inspector will check to make sure that all the on/off functions are working. He or she will also check the temperature control settings. You'll see them clean the unit out too to get rid of any debris or dust that could cause the device to malfunction.
Your HVAC contractors will ask you to turn off the power to your heating and cooling units. If not, they will have you direct them to the breaker box so they can. This step must be done to keep everyone safe during the inspection process. Your air conditioner and furnace have moving parts that could cause injury if they turn on while someone is working on them.
Next, your expert HVAC contractor in Houston will take the time to clean your unit on the outside thoroughly. It usually involves carefully vacuuming or brushing away dust, leaves, and other materials. He or she can then open up the system without worrying about the debris falling into it while the delicate components are exposed.
The fins are a crucial component of your HVAC unit. They not only have to be clean, but each one also must be straight. For incredibly dirty fins, a contractor will use a powerful cleaning agent. A pressure washer should never be implemented during this part of the HVAC inspection in Houston because it could bend the fins.
If your HVAC contractor does discover any unevenness in your fins, he or she will straighten them using a selective fin-straightening tool.
When your HVAC unit was installed, there probably wasn't any landscaping in the area. However, over time, plants and shrubs grow and take over areas they didn't before. Ideally, you should have at least two feet of open space around your exterior HVAC system to prevent the vegetation from causing problems. During a fall or early winter HVAC inspection in Houston of an air conditioning unit, your maintenance company will cover the device with a tarp or other materials. It's done for protection while not in use.
You know that no matter what you do, you can't stop the Earth from naturally shifting. As a result, your air conditioner moves with it. When the unit isn't straight, the compressor can fail prematurely. Shims, props, or other arrangements can be implemented to get your HVAC system on even ground again to prevent that from happening.
The HVAC contractor that is completing your HVAC inspection in Houston will spend a decent amount of time cleaning your evaporator coil. Then the technician will check the flow of runoff water. If the evaporator drain gets clogged, you could have issues like flooding that result in a failed system and costly repairs or a complete replacement. Depending on the severity of the clog, the debris might have to be sucked out with a vacuum or cleared away using other professional tools. It's extremely beneficial to have an expert on call in the event you need air conditioning repair in Houston.
Your HVAC system filters have to be replaced regularly to keep equipment running efficiently and energy costs down. Experts say it should be done every one to three months, but six months is maximum. It is one of the last steps of your HVAC inspection in Houston.
Your ductwork is nearly as important as your HVAC systems themselves. It's where airflow happens. Your HVAC contractor will check all your ductwork looking for leaks or clogs. He or she will also open all your registers removing anything that could disrupt the movement of your controlled air.
The very last thing a professional HVAC contractor should do when doing their inspection correctly is restoring all the components to their original positioning. Quality HVAC companies will clean up all their messes too so you won't have to. When they're done, you can turn the power back on with peace of mind knowing your systems are ready for whatever weather comes your way!
Houston heating and cooling systems are an essential part of living and working comfortably. Have you ever thought about how they work?
To better understand HVAC repairs, maintenance, and installations, you need to know how your Houston heating and cooling systems function. Essentially, it's a combination of an operational thermostat, ventilation or ductwork, and either the central heating or cooling unit.
When you're too warm or a bit chilly, the first thing you do is go and check your thermostat. It's the primary operational control for your Houston heating and cooling systems. All that you have to do is turn it on and off or adjust the temperature. The thermostat is connected to your air conditioner and furnace. When you change the setting, the thermostat kicks in and tells your systems to either warm up the air or cool it down. That's how the entire process begins.
Your Houston heating and cooling systems are made up of several different parts including supply and return vents or registers, filters, a circulating fan, and ductwork. Each component serves a specific purpose.
With forced air systems, the circulating fan starts by pulling your inside air from the home into the return vents. Then, it pushes the air through the ductwork to the appropriate HVAC system. The air is then either heated up or cooled down, depending on what your instructions from the thermostat are. Finally, the fan pushes the temperature-controlled air back through the ductwork into the house through the registers located in each room.
There are several different types of air conditioning units available, but the most common in households today are split-systems. There is an external piece of equipment located outside the home and an indoor evaporator coil. Refrigerant is run between the two through a copper tubing connection.
The cooling of your air starts in the outdoor compressor when the refrigerant is a cold, low-pressure gas. It gets compressed into a higher-pressure, warm gas that goes through the exterior condenser to be cooled. Any hot excess air is expelled through a fan outside. The cooled down refrigerant creates cold air. It goes through the coil and then reaches a fan on the inside of the house. It's finally pushed through your ductwork and supply vents to keep your home cool. The same process of air circulation gets repeated while your system is on. The thermostat will tell your air conditioner that the temperature you've set has been reached and it then it will shut off.
Houston heating and cooling systems are somewhat diverse, but the basic premise for functionality is quite similar. The air in your home gets pulled into the ductwork where the heating system warms it up before it gets circulated back into each room through the supply vents. The change occurs when discussing how the air gets heated. It depends on what kind of heating system you have for starters.
Heat pumps work just like air conditioners but in reverse warming the air instead of cooling it off. Living in Houston, TX where winters are short and summers are long, heat pumps are standard because they can be used for both heating and cooling. Going with a heat pump is a great option, but it is extra important to keep your HVAC system maintained, otherwise you won't have heating or cooling!
However, if you're in a region where winters last longer, a furnace that runs off of oil or natural gas is more realistic. That's because they can be run for a more extended period at a lower price. The same process is followed as far as operations, but your ductwork will force the air to the furnace. It is generally located somewhere inside the home like in the basement.
Another option is hybrid Houston heating and cooling systems. They are becoming more popular because of how economical they are. Instead of only having a furnace or heat pump, you have both. Your system decides which piece of equipment to use based on what the weather is outside. The economic balancing point or a calculation of what would be more efficient to run is determined. It can then switch between the two, depending on which is the better option. It keeps energy costs low while maintaining the desired temperature.
You know the basics of how your Houston heating and cooling systems work now. So, the next time something isn't acting as it should, you can have a better idea of repairs or replacements before calling your favorite HVAC contractor.
If you nearly had a heart attack when looking at your latest electricity bill, you’re not alone. Millions of Americans pay too much for their electricity services, or simply consume unnecessary amounts of energy, driving up the cost of what would be a fairly reasonable electricity statement. So, if you haven’t thought twice about turning off those lights or switching to LED light bulbs, maybe you should give some of these things a little more consideration.
To no true surprise, your HVAC unit uses a significant chunk of electricity each month - every day, in fact. During the sweltering heat of the summer (or really just any time of year) here in the Houston area, most homes crank their air conditioning up in order to be comfortable, which feels great, but at the expense of more electricity consumption. To save more money on your electricity bill, we don’t expect you to endure the heat of Texas without air conditioning, but there are some simple things that you can do around the house to reduce your electricity consumption here and there.
Your air conditioning installation experts in Spring are going to go over some of these electricity-saving tips and tricks in today’s blog post. Learn more about our air conditioning installation services or air conditioning repair services, or feel free to get in touch with Superior HVAC today with any questions. Let’s get started.
Some people believe that closing vents can reduce energy consumption by preventing the need to cool or heat a particular room, but that’s actually a myth: closing vents will actually raise your energy costs. So, it puts more money back in your pocket by keeping these vents open.
In terms of keeping the vents clean inside your home, stay up-to-date with your air filters. Air filters keep dirt, dust and other unwanted particles from blowing throughout your home. Do you really want to breathe nasty air inside of your own home? Of course not. These filters need to be replaced monthly or they won’t provide ideal airflow. You can pick up a bulk pack of vent filters at your local hardware store for about one or two dollars per filter - a very minimal investment. Just make sure to measure the size of your vents before you go and get the right ones.
To do a thorough job of washing your dishes, your dishwasher requires some heat. However, to dry your dishes, heat is unnecessary and can be rather costly. While the “heated dry” setting helps prevent water spots on your dishes, so do rinsing agents like Jet Dry. So, if you already use a rinsing agent, you can forget the heated dry setting.
We’ve all been guilty of leaving things like fans, lights, appliances and various electronics on at night while we sleep, but doing so wastes energy. Are you really using your PlayStation when you’re asleep? Those would be some impressive sleepwalking skills, but we doubt it.
To reduce electricity usage, do a nightly sweep through your house in order to make sure that all of your electronic devices are turned off before you go to bed. This might be a pain, but realistically, it doesn’t take that long and will save you considerable amounts of money in the long run. Indeed, according to the Department of Energy, just leaving your cable box (if you still have one) plugged in but not turned on for one year will cost you about $17.83. Yikes! Taking the two seconds to unplug various devices around your home every night is sure to save you some money on that costly electricity bill.
Programmable thermostats are fairly standard technology these days, but many homes and apartment buildings still don’t have them. The convenience of a programmable thermostat is that it automatically sets the target temperature higher in the summer and lower in the winter when you or your family aren’t home. You can even set it to a schedule where it the air conditioning or heating kick on some twenty minutes before you get home, ensuring that your home is comfortable but no energy is wasted while your home is empty.
Programmable thermostats are also pretty cheap these days - you can buy one from a hardware or home improvement store for as little as $25. That’s a pretty small investment when you consider the EPA estimated savings of $180 per year when a properly programmed thermostat is used. It’s 2017, after all, so put technology to work in your favor.
While your entertainment systems and televisions might be top-of-the-line, many homes around the country are using appliances that are simply outdated. Purchasing modern, energy-efficient appliances is far from cheap, but there are a good number of state and local governments as well as utility companies that offer financial incentives for homeowners to upgrade their appliances.
These incentives usually take the form of rebate checks for homeowners who can provide proof of purchase, so keep that receipt on hand (many receipts are sent via email these days anyway).
We specialize in Spring, Texas air conditioning installation, but Superior HVAC also has HVAC maintenance and AC repair in Houston taken care of. We can work with you to make sure that your AC unit or heater is working efficiently, saving you money over time. Learn more about heating and cooling units in Spring today!
Here in the greater Houston area, having a properly working air conditioning unit is more or less essential - who wants to sweat inside their home, after all? In light of all the heat that we experience here in Texas, it makes sense to give your air conditioning unit special attention. While you can get AC repair in The Woodlands with just a few clicks by getting in touch with us here at Superior HVAC, it’s nice to know how to take care of your AC unit yourself.
Now, we hardly expect our readers to have thorough and extensive knowledge of how to keep their system running smoothly. Fortunately, your AC repair and installation experts at Superior HVAC have such knowledge, and we’d like to continue sharing that knowledge with you in today’s blog post. If you have any questions at all about any of our air conditioning installation, air conditioning repair and air conditioning replacement services in the greater Houston area, we’d love to hear from you! Contact us today.
Now, let’s get back to some more useful air conditioning maintenance pointers.
While we’ve focused a lot on the outside and surrounding area of the air conditioning unit, we’re now going to move inside. Quick note: Like we mentioned before, please make sure to shut off the power to your AC unit to prevent the risk of electrocution as well as injury from moving parts. With that safety note aside, look inside your blower or furnace unit, and you’ll find the evaporator coil door. To access this area, you might need to remove some foil duct tape or take out a few screws or bolts, so make sure that you have some basic tools on hand.
Inside, use a soft brush to dust off the coil itself, and then spray it down with a no-rinse coil cleaner. You can usually find this at most home improvement stores. The spray should foam up and then drip into the drain pan. Next, clean out the drain pan with soap, hot water, and a little bit of bleach. Pour a cup of half bleach and half water down the drain of your unit. As a good way to keep the drain clear for the long-term, place a commercially available drain pan tablet in the pan. This should inhibit future algae growth.
The filter in your HVAC unit should be changed at least twice a year - ideally, once just before the heating season begins and once before the cooling season begins (though here in Texas, it’s more like cooling season all year round!). For those living in a particularly dusty area, it’s generally recommended to replace the blower filter even more often than twice a year.
You’ll want to replace the filter with a new filter that has the same airflow rating - don’t use a filter that isn’t rated to your current filter! While “air purifying” or HEPA filters might be tempting to use for environmental reasons, exercise caution with these filters because they can dramatically reduce airflow in your system. That, in turn, can cause the indoor coil to freeze due to the reduced amount of airflow. To replace the filter, locate the filter enclosure on the indoor furnace or AC unit where the large fresh air return duct enters the unit. Like we mentioned above, having basic tools on hand is a good idea as you may need a screwdriver to turn the latch to open the door to the filter enclosure. Remove the old filter and install the new filter, matching the airflow direction arrows on the filter to the arrows on the unit. Finish the job by closing and latching the door.
On the interior of your unit, the warm, humid air from the inside of your home is blown through the evaporator coil. Over time, algae and mold can build up and potentially plug the evaporator drain, so if the drain is not flowing or is flowing very slowly, it needs to be unplugged. A plugged drain is no good, as it can cause the system to stop cooling in order to avoid flooding.
Start by finding the drain line where it leaves the evaporator coil enclosure. The drain is typically a one-inch PVC pipe, usually in white, grey or black color. Follow it to the end where it drains, which is usually near the condenser unit but can also drain into a utility sink or a basement floor drain. Once you’ve located this area, use a shop vac to clear the drain. To prevent any damage to your vacuum filter, remove the paper filter inside of it before vacuuming.
Hold the hose or the vacuum to the end of the drain line. To “seal” the gap between the vacuum hose and the drain line, you can use duct tape or even just a rag. Vacuuming for two to three minutes should be sufficient, and clear the drain of any growing biological matter - on that note, maybe wear a pair of gloves when you’re doing this.
For any HVAC repair jobs that you can’t handle, that’s why Superior HVAC is around to help. We also do air conditioning installation and air conditioning replacement. Any questions? Contact Superior HVAC today!
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People like things to be comfortable and a lot of that comfort comes down to the temperature. We can’t really control the temperature outside, but with the help of modern HVAC technology, we are able to create a controlled environment inside of a building or a home. So, when the going gets rough outside (as it often does in the Houston area, especially with the frequent sweltering heat we experience), the simple and effective solution is to go inside. Don’t forget to thank your local HVAC system professionals in The Woodlands for making a comfortable home possible!
If the key to being comfortable inside of your home is with an HVAC system, then it definitely pays to take proper care of it. Here at Superior HVAC, we don’t necessarily expect our readers to be heating and cooling experts, and that’s perfectly okay. That’s why our air conditioning installation and residential HVAC repair services exist, actually, to help your home stay at a comfortable temperature even when things go awry with your heating and cooling systems.
In the spirit of education (and talking about something that we’re passionate about), The Woodlands air conditioning installation experts here at Superior HVAC are going to cover some HVAC system maintenance pointers. Even if you’re not mechanically-inclined, you might be pleasantly surprised at how easy and effective some of these pointers are. For even more information, feel free to reach out to our HVAC specialists today.
After you’ve noticed that your home isn’t so cooled down anymore despite multiple attempts at banging on your thermostat, you’ll want to investigate the situation. Before you meddle with anything on your air conditioning unit, do yourself a favor and shut the power off. Due to the inherent dangers of working around electricity and the air conditioner’s moving parts, it is absolutely essential that you completely turn off power to the unit. On the exterior condenser and compressor area, look for an exterior shut-off box near the unit. Also, don’t forget to turn the power off at the breaker box.
You don’t have to be a mechanic or HVAC repairman to notice and remove any debris lodged in your system - so long as you have access to extremely basic tools, you’ve got this. Begin with the exterior condenser and compressor area by removing the fan cage. Next, using a standard screwdriver or wrench, remove the fasteners and lift the cage or fan grill away from the top of the unit. With a gloved hand or a vacuum of sorts, clean out any leaves or other debris from the interior.
This is another relatively simple Houston HVAC maintenance tip that’s no more difficult than removing any debris from your unit. Start by removing the outer covers and use the brush attachment on a powerful shop vacuum to remove all the outside dirt that you can. Next, by using the gentle stream of water from a standard garden hose, simply spray through the pins from the inside out to remove any built-up dirt or debris that’s stuck in between each fin. Note that you should never use a pressure washer to do this because the sheer power can damage and bend the fins.
If the fins of your residential HVAC unit are particularly dirty, you can easily purchase a commercial cleaning spray at a local home improvement or hardware store. Just follow the directions on the container and your fins should be just about as good as new.
Over time, fins become bent due to debris, adverse weather conditions, and other reasons. Any reduction in airflow through the fins can reduce your system’s efficiency, so you’ll want to make sure that the fins are straightened out as best you can. To do this, you can use a butter knife or a specialized fin-straightening tool. Make sure to be gentle enough to that the tubing embedded within the fins is not damaged.
Once you’ve finished cleaning up inside the unit, replace the fan cage. Rake any leaves and leftover debris outside the condenser and cut back branches and vegetation at least two feet in all directions, as this will help ensure proper airflow around the unit. During any periods of time when your air conditioning condenser is not in use (a rarity down here in Texas, to be sure), it’s a good idea to cover the top of the unit with a simple piece of plywood or plastic in order to keep debris from falling in.
That being said, make sure not to completely cover the unit’s sides as moisture can build up inside and cause corrosion. It’s also worth noting that a completely covered unit encourages vermin to build nests inside, so be sure to remove any cover when the unit is in operation.
Next, you’ll want to level your unit. This is because, over time, the pad upon which the condenser unit sits on can begin to tip as the soil settles beneath it. An out-of-level condenser unit can cause the compressor inside of it to fail prematurely. Check your condenser to see how level it is and use rot-resistant shims to bring it back to a proper level. The only exception here is if you have a heat pump system, as many heating and cooling experts agree that it’s okay for the pad to be slightly sloped away from the home’s foundation in order allow defrost run-off during the winter. Of course, this rarely applies to us here in the south.
There are many other maintenance items that we didn’t even get to, so hopefully today’s blog post gave you more of an idea about some of the things that go into properly upkeeping your HVAC system. Stay tuned as we cover additional pointers to ensure that your heating and cooling unit works properly and efficiently, keeping you comfortable in your home and even saving you money on your energy bills. If you have any questions or you’re in need of AC repair in The Woodlands, please contact Superior HVAC today!
Air conditioning is an amazing luxury, especially while we are trying to beat this Houston heat. But when your AC system starts making weird noises, it can be hard to keep your cool. At Superior HVAC, your comfort and happiness are our priority. We would hate to spend a second without air conditioning in our own homes, but we would hate it even more if one of our loyal customers had to do without cool, circulating air this summer. That being said, we want to provide you with the proper tools to diagnose a problem with your AC unit, should it start making funny noises. What sound is it making and what might that mean–we’ll help you get to the root of the issue. And if you realize you need further assistance, we look forward to answering any questions you may have or helping you schedule a time for us to come out and repair or replace your air conditioning unit.
So what sound is your AC making?
If your air conditioning system is making clanking sounds, there are a couple of different things that may be going on within your unit. There may be a part that is loose, out of balance or that has completely fallen off and is now bouncing around inside the unit making an annoying and troublesome clanking noise. If the part that’s loose is the compressor, this might require repair or replacement that we are highly qualified to take care of for you! A clanking sound may also mean the the fan’s blades are bent or out of balance and are hitting other parts within the unit. More than likely, it will be difficult to ignore the clanking sound within your AC unit, but if you are somehow able to tune it out, don’t tune out the fact that you will need to have this issue repaired as soon as possible. If you go without calling Superior HVAC, the problem with your air conditioner will only get worse and you may eventually need to have your full system replaced—we can also take care of a full AC replacement, if need be!
When it comes to buzzing sounds resonating from your air conditioner, there are several things this sound could mean, including:
Finding the cause of the buzzing sound may be difficult on your own, which is why we recommend giving us a call. We will be able to quickly diagnose the problem and have it resolved immediately. You will be back enjoying cool, circulating air in no time—and without any annoying buzzing sounds!
A humming sound coming from your AC unit may not be the result of a serious problem—sometimes it may even be difficult to differentiate a “problematic” humming sound from the normal humming your system makes. This sound typically points to an electrical issue like problems with the motor including loose wiring. Loose parts and refrigerant piping can all vibrate within your air conditioning unit causing the humming sound, as well. Again, it may be difficult to get to the root of your problem on your own, so please give us a call when you need some assistance. And don’t forget, as with most HVAC issues, even a small problem that seems insignificant can eventually turn into a large issue if ignored.
You may notice a clicking sound when you turn your AC unit on or off, and this type of clicking sound is normal. If, however, you consistently notice a clicking sound while the air conditioner is running, this could point to issues with the thermostat. The thermostat senses the air temperature in the room and automatically switches your system on or off when your desired temperature is reached. Beyond the clicking sound in your air conditioner, other ways you can tell the thermostat has failed include:
If you think your thermostat has failed or is failing, give our HVAC experts a call today. Whether you are hearing a clicking sound coming from within your AC system or your air conditioning is running without stopping, our team will be able to diagnose the problem and resolve it immediately.
Most of the time, a rattling sound coming from your AC is caused by loose parts that are bouncing around or debris that has clogged the system. If the fan is loose, this may also be the culprit, as a loose fan will rattle violently and can even knock into other parts within the unit—this is a dangerous problem that should be resolved immediately. If you are set on checking out and finding the cause of the rattling sound on your own, start your search looking for loose screws and then change your indoor air filter. If the sound persists, give us a call. We want you to stay cool and comfortable during this Houston heat!
Never ever ignore a high-pitched whistling sound coming from your air conditioner! If you hear this sound, turn your AC unit off immediately and get the professionals at Superior HVAC on the phone right away. A whistling or screaming sound can be an indicator that your system is leaking refrigerant. Not only does a refrigerant leak cause damage to your AC unit, it can also cause serious, serious health issues for you and your family. When people inhale refrigerant, which is a tasteless, odorless gas, problems such as troubled breathing, fluid buildup in the lungs, organ damage and even death. Why does this happen? In short, refrigerant cuts off the supply of oxygen to your cells and lungs. If you are worried that someone in your family is experiencing refrigerant poisoning, call 911 or the National Poison Control Hotline (1-800-222-1222).
If you notice a whistling sound and are able to turn off your air conditioning unit before any real issues arise, call us right away. We will hurry to your home to fix the problem, ensuring your family is safe and that your AC is working properly. We offer same-day service calls, so you will never have to wait to have an immediate issue resolved by our professionals.
A squealing or screeching sound coming from your air conditioner usually means you have a broken or damaged belt. A belt needs to be repaired by an HVAC professional and is, of course, another problem we will be able to quickly and easily resolve for you. The belt is what enables the fan within your AC unit to spin properly. Belt-powered fans are typically found in older AC units, so if the belt in your system fails, you may consider replacing your old air conditioner with a new, more efficient unit—it’s completely up to you, but we recommend upgrading your current system.
Bubbling sounds are very troublesome and dangerous and are early warning signs of a slow refrigerant leak. Turn off your AC system immediately and call Superior HVAC. The bubbling sound comes from gas bubbles that are moving through the refrigerant line. If this sound goes ignored, it will turn into a full blown leak, which, like we explained, is a serious health hazard and can even be fatal. So don’t delay when you hear bubbling noises—call us right away!
If you notice any other abnormal sound coming from your AC unit, give our team a call today! Because of the serious problems that could be happening within your unit, we recommend calling right away when you notice a sound that is out of the ordinary. When you call us, we’ll be able to arrange your free estimate and even get out to your house, same day, if your HVAC problem needs immediate attention. We are currently offering a special on AC replacement that includes a free Wi-Fi thermostat with installation. If you are someone who has an old, out-of-date AC system, take advantage of this special today!
At Superior HVAC, we are proud supporters of the Wounded Warrior Project. We donate a large portion of our service fees, installation fees and repair invoices to this incredible project. Read more here to learn about our specials and the exact amount of money we donate to the WWP. We know there are many other HVAC companies that you can turn to when you are in need of repair or replacement services, which is why we appreciate your business and look forward to working with you soon.
Air conditioning: it’s like oxygen. In the depths of summer, having a quality air conditioning system in place is absolutely essential. After a long, hot day, there are few things that feel better than getting home, cranking up the AC and letting the cool, refreshing air breathe new life into you. While you are most certainly thankful to have an air conditioning system in your home, have you ever found yourself wondering who you should thank for the original invention of air conditioning?
Let’s take a stroll back in time—way, way back to 1758 when Benjamin Franklin and John Hadley, a chemistry professor at Cambridge University, began to explore the concept of “evaporation” as a means to rapidly cool and object. The duo concluded that evaporation of liquids such as alcohol and ether could be used to drive down the temperature of a given object, below the freezing point of water. Benjamin Franklin claimed that, “From this experiment, one may see the possibility of freezing a man to death on a warm summer’s day.”
His conclusion may sound a bit morbid, but this discovery kickstarted research that continued and evolved over time, eventually becoming the superior air conditioning system that is currently keeping you cool and comfortable!
Next, we’re going to jump ahead to 1842 when Dr. John Gorrie came up with an idea to help cool cities and relieve its residents of “the evils of high temperatures.” He believed that cooler temperatures in hospitals were the key to keeping patients comfortable and even avoiding certain diseases like malaria. His initial attempts at creating a cooling system involved having ice shipped to Florida from frozen lakes in the northern United States—an expensive challenge in his otherwise brilliant plan. He decided to come up with a way to make his own ice using a compressor powered by a horse, water and steam. The doctor used the creation to cool rooms in the hospital and received a patent for his ice-making machine in 1851. Unfortunately, the doctor’s financial backer passed away, and without finances, Gorrie was unable to develop the machine. His efforts were not in vain, though. His invention and discoveries laid the foundation for future studies of artificial cooling.
The desire for cooler interior temperatures went unstudied for another 40 years until a naval engineer built a cooling unit for President James Garfield after he was shot on July 2, 1881. The machine was a box filled with water-soaked cloths and a fan that blew hot air up, away from the ground while keeping cool air low and close to the President in his hospital bed. The cooling unit was able to drop the room’s temperature to 20 degrees Fahrenheit, which was a huge achievement! Cool air, here we come, right!? Not quite! In two months, the device used more than 500,000 lbs of ice to cool the President—another costly setback in the quest to create an air conditioning system.
Twenty years later, Willis Trane was working for the Buffalo Forge Company and was asked to come up with a way to solve the problem of humidity in the office that was causing magazine pages to wrinkle at Sackett-Wilhelms Lithographing and Publishing Company in Brooklyn. (And boy-oh-boy are we thankful for whoever assigned Trane to this task!) Trane invented a cooling system, called the “Apparatus for Treating Air,” that blew air through cold coils filled with cold water, thereby controlling the room’s temperature and humidity. Many consider this to be the first modern electrical air conditioning system. Thank you, Willis Trane! His invention was such a success that he started his own company, the Trane Air Conditioning Company of America. Fast forward a bit to 1922 when the Trane Engineering Corporation installed the first large-scale cooling system in a movie theater in Los Angeles. The system pumped cool air throughout the venue and helped control humidity making the movie watching experience much more comfortable that it had previously had been. Early cooling systems in movie theaters had pumped cool air through floor vents, pushing hot, muggy air towards the upper levels. The result was way too cold temperatures at the lower levels and uncomfortable, hot viewing experiences up top.
Let’s jump back to 1906. Stuart Cramer created a ventilating device to use in a yarn factory. His largest contribution to this “history of” story? He is the first person to bring the phrase “air conditioning” into existence!
The first in-home air conditioning system debuted in a mansion in Minneapolis in 1914 and measured in at seven feet tall, six feet wide and 20 feet long. After many, many modifications, an air conditioning until that fit on a window ledge was invented by H.H Schultz and J.Q. Sherman in 1931. The systems were available for purchase in 1932, but priced at a whopping $50,000, the upper-class and wealthy were the only ones able to afford the home cooling systems. Engineer Henry Galson went on to create a smaller and more affordable version of Schultz and Sherman’s air conditioning unit. In 1947, almost 45,000 systems were sold and people were finally able to enjoy the luxury of cool, circulating air within their home. Hooray, Henry Galson!
Fast forward to 1970 when almost every new home came equipped with a central air conditioning unit. Window air conditioners were affordable alternatives for those who did not have central air, but with all of the energy being used to power these cooling units, lawmakers were forced to jump to action. The Energy Department’s “Appliance and Equipment Standards Program” created federal conservation standards for air conditioner manufacturers that are expected to net almost $30 billion in energy bill savings from 1993 to 2023.
Now that you are well-versed in all things air conditioning, always remember the movers and shakers who were daring and innovative enough to make this cool luxury a reality. Without them, there would be no escaping this Houston heat!
Here at Superior HVAC, we are thankful for the thinkers and creators who made our jobs possible. If you live in the greater Houston area and have questions about your air conditioning system, feel free to give us a call today. We would be happy to discuss anything HVAC with you. We offer air conditioning installation, repair and replacement services and are currently running a special for the installation of a free WIFI thermostat when you have us replace your old, loud air conditioning unit! And if you are someone in need of same-day service, call today—our $45 same-day service fee cannot be beat! At Superior HVAC, your happiness and comfort are our priorities. Check out the extensive list of services we offer and schedule your appointment today! In the words of author Lorraine Peterson, “Anyone can be cool, but awesome takes practice.” When you call Superior HVAC, though, you’ll be both—totally awesome and oh-so cool!