Jan 08 , 2019
Heating your home makes up for approximately 70% of your household energy consumption. Here are some easy ways that you can reduce your consumption and lower your bills:
- Close your curtains when it gets dark. Your curtains provide another layer of insulation and keep rooms warmer. The opposite is true as well so make sure curtains are open during the day to capture the sun.
- Install a programmable thermostat. You don’t want to pay for heat when you don’t need it. The following temps are recommended from “This Old House”
- 6am-9am 68 degrees
- 9am-6pm 60 degrees
- 6pm-11pm 68 degrees
- 11pm-6am 60 degrees
- Make sure your hot water tank is properly insulated. This will keep the water warmer for longer and reduce heating costs.
- Block out draughts in your windows and doors by using a self-adhesive rubber seal. Caulking can become your best friend!
- Wood burning fireplaces is extremely inefficient for heating your home. The heated air goes up the chimney and the cold air is pushed into the house elsewhere. Remember to keep the flue closed when the fireplace is not in use, it is basically like having an open window.
- Set your ceiling fans clockwise to push heat back down into your rooms.
- Make sure furniture is not blocking vents which could cause air pressure issues.
- Add layers to your wood and tile floors with rugs or roll of carpet.
Dec 01 , 2018
To run or not to run the HVAC fan has been a debate among the industry. Here are the pros and cons:
The pros to keeping the fan on:
- Creates a more even distribution of heating and cooling by circulating the air especially if you hot or cold spots in rooms of your house
- When the fan has less starts and stop it will help reduce the amount of stress on your unit and help extend the fan’s lifespan
- If you have allergies, leaving the fan on will result in cleaner air since the air is pulled through the filtration system
The cons to keeping the fan on:
- You will be spending more money on energy costs since the average unit has a 500 watt fan about the same energy level as a refrigerator.
- You may be running your AC more in the summer more since the ducts close to your walls can fill with warm air which results in the fan blowing hot air into your house.
- In the winter time, you may feel cold air coming out of your events.
- Keeping the fan on will clog your furnace filter quicker which means you will need to change your filter more often.
Contact Family Air to discuss your individual needs to make sure you are making the decision that is right for your home and family.
Nov 01 , 2018
With Halloween behind us, you don’t want to have scary sounds coming from your furnace. Here are some of the reasons you are hearing these noises:
Screech – never a pleasant sound to say the least, your furnace makes this sound when the motor or blower wheel of the fan is turned on. You most likely have a faulty motor, belt or motor bearing which you definitely need to get your furnace looked at and fixed.
Boom or thump – these noises usually happen when the ducts in your furnace expand and contract in cold weather. The sound may mean that your furnace has dirty burners or is getting a build-up of gas from delayed ignition.
Rumbling or rattling – the rumbling noise may be caused by a buildup of grime on the heating elements which causes the unit to strain. The worst case scenario for this sound, you have a leak in the heat exchanger which can allow carbon monoxide gasses to work their way into your home.
It’s best to get your furnace checked if it is making any of the above noises to make sure your family is safe and your home is comfortable. Contact Family Air today for a heat inspection.
Oct 01 , 2018
It still may be warm out, but now is the time to start preparing your heater for winter so you don’t get a cold blast of air when you turn it on or worse yet, nothing at all! By checking your heating unit before cold weather sets in you will have peace of mind that everything is working properly and help lower your energy bills since heating your home and producing hot water are generally the largest energy expenses for a homeowner.
We recommend you complete these tips in the fall to ensure your HVAC system is operating efficiently throughout winter.
Change the Air Filter and Clean the Vents
One of the easiest and most important things you can do is change the air filter every month or at least every 3 months. The same day the filter is replaced is also a good time to vacuum off the air vents. This keeps them clean and allows warm air to flow freely, easing temperature regulation throughout the home.
Have Your HVAC Inspected
Having your HVAC system serviced annually ensures it runs properly. Homeowners should have the system inspected in the fall to best prepare it for the demands of winter.
If Your System is more than 10 Years Old, Replace It
Replacing the home’s HVAC system is an expensive proposition, but if your system is old and inefficient, the added comfort and financial benefits of a new system can be very beneficial. If your system is more than 10 years old, ask a service technician’s opinion on the longevity of your system. Replacing it with a new high-efficiency model could reduce your home’s annual energy bill by as much as 20% to 40%!
Install a Programmable Thermostat
The right temperature inside a home depends largely on who is there at the time, and when no one is in the home, the right temperature can be significantly lower than a conventional “living area” temperature. A programmable thermostat can solve this problem so you don’t have to think about it and ensure you are coming home to a comfortable house.
Sep 01 , 2018
Family Air Heating and Cooling is a licensed and insured HVAC contractor. Sometimes our technicians are called to homes were the previous service work was done by an unlicensed worker and their equipment failed. Now the homeowner is unable to locate the unlicensed worker whom they have already paid and ends up calling us to repair their poor work. Our technicians address customer questions and concerns to ensure they feel comfortable with our work before starting any service.
Here are the reasons why it is important to you, the consumer to hire a licensed contractor:
Warranties and System Safety
Manufacturer warranties are only reimbursed if work is performed by a licensed contractor. Find out how long the contractor or the business they work for has been licensed and certified to perform warranty work. We guarantee our work and the warranty on the equipment we install.
Make sure the contractor has a proper id badge and uniform. Unlicensed contractors have been linked to crimes. You can pre-check if a worker is licensed by going to https://roc.az.gov/before-hire
Ask if the worker is covered under an insurance policy or worker’s compensation. If not, you could be responsible if the worker injures themselves on your property.
Unlicensed contractors do not have to abide by any laws, they are not actively pursued by the law because they are hard to find and they don’t pay worker’s compensation or insurance to their workers. They may provide you with a bid that is cheaper but it is far from better. For your personal peace of mind and a better investment, always use a licensed contractor.
Aug 01 , 2018
It’s no longer a dry heat in the desert! The monsoons bring much needed rain but they also the dreaded humidity. While you can’t control the humidity outside there are some ways to control the humidity in your home to keep you comfortable.
- Houseplants – plants release moisture in the air so if you have a lot of plants around your house, the moisture can accumulate. Also, don’t overwater them and consider switching them to be outside during humid months.
- Gutters – make sure your gutters are clean and carrying water away from your home’s foundation. Even though your gutters are outside, excess water that builds up at the foundations can seep into your home.
- Windows – if you have old windows, moisture from outside can build up in your home. Adding weather stripping and caulking on the outside and inside of the window can help. If you see moisture coming between the panes, its best to replace them.
- Ventilation- areas like the kitchen and bathroom experience the most moisture. Cracking a window when showering or cooking as well as running the exhaust fans can help lower the humidity. Taking a shorter and colder shower helps as well and cools you off quicker too!
We hope these suggestions help. You only have a couple of more months to go before the humidity goes away on its own!
Jul 02 , 2018
Refrigerant (also known as Freon) is the chemical that cools the air within your air conditioning system. Reduced levels of refrigerant could imply a leak or problem with the refrigerant system. If your air conditioning system needs to be recharged with refrigerant, 90% of the time there is a leak. All refrigerant leaks should be located and repaired.
If your unit takes R-22 refrigerant, the US plans to phase it out by 2020. Studies have shown that the use of this refrigerant has a damaging effect on the ozone layer. Up until 2015, air conditioners could still be manufactured to use R-22 refrigerant. The phase out has driven up the price to be cost prohibitive for consumers and manufactures are rationing the amount of R-22 refrigerant being sold to HVAC contractors.
To tell which refrigerant your air conditioner takes, look at the label on your compressor unit. The label will either have type R-410A which is the newer type or the older type identified as HCFC-22 or R-22.
If you have an air conditioner that uses R-22, contact Family Air to do a tune-up on your system and get small leads fixed to help reduce future costs and extend the life of your system.
Jun 08 , 2018
AC units built today incorporate sound-dampening technology and variable speed compressors to keep noise levels to a minimum so if you are hearing sounds from your AC when it is running, this could be a sign that your unit needs repair. Here are some noises to be aware of:
Banging – usually means there is a loose or broken part inside the AC’s compressor or your compressor needs replacing
- Clanking – the indoor blower or outdoor fan and their blades may be out of balance and hitting other parts
- Clicking – it is normal for a clicking sound when your AC starts up and shuts down, but it the noise is constant it could be a sign of a defective control or failing thermostat.
- Squealing – your fan motor or indoor blower motors squeal loudly when they are going bad
- Rattling – a sign that your AC system is starting to deteriorate and parts are loosening or debris is clogging your system
- Screaming – most likely cause is a refrigerant leak. Turn off your AC and call a professional immediately.
Contact Family Air to come out and determine where the noise is coming from and give you quiet comfort!
May 08 , 2018
With temperatures hitting 100 degrees, the last thing you want is a blast of hot air when you return home. When your air conditioning is working, but not running cold air, there is a good chance that your condenser is dirty. Here is how to clean your condenser:
- Shut down all power to the unit – your condenser should have a metal box attached that has a disconnect switch. Also turn off the circuit at your main electrical panel.
- Unscrew and remove the top and side grilles. Make sure you don’t disturb any wires connected to the fan.
- Brush the fins and coils – with a soft brush, clean the fins and coils of any debris or dust
- Wash the fins and coils – cover the wiring and the motor with a garbage bag and duct tape then use a garden hose with a nozzle to clean out (don’t use high pressure or you will bend the coils)
- Replace the panels and grilles – use a level to make sure the unit is properly balanced so you don’t have drainage problems.
- Reconnect the unit- turn the thermostat off before reconnecting the power to the unit, and then re-engage the power to the unit at the main service panel.
The easiest way to fix the problem is to contact us to come by and service your AC unit to get you comfortable in your home again! Call us at 520-399-5850 to schedule an appointment.
Apr 01 , 2018
Spring is here and summer is coming quickly so you want to be prepared when you do turn your AC on for the first time of the season. Here are some things you can do beforehand:
- Change your air-filter – This is the easiest thing to do, but more often than not people do not change them out often enough. Ideally, they should be replaced once a month for maximum efficiency.
- Check the condensation lines – the pipe that carries condensation away from your air conditioner can get clogged and back up into your unit. Locate where the pipe drains and check to see if it is draining properly. If they aren’t, use an algaecide found at pool supply stores or call us to clean.
- Install a programmable thermostat – these are pretty easy to install and help cut down on your electric bill since you are only using energy when your family is at home.
- Clean your AC fins – Use a soft brush and gently run the brush across each fin carefully so you don’t bend the metal. This will help your AC run better.
- Check your ductwork for leaks – look for disconnected joints, separated pieces and small holes in your ductwork. Leaky ducts make your AC unit work harder.
If you do the above steps and your AC still isn’t working properly, call us for a checkup!