Aug 01 , 2020

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The monsoons may provide us with rain, but they also leave us with dreaded humidity. While you cannot control the humidity outside your home there are some ways to control the humidity in your home to keep you comfortable.

  1. Use your air conditioner – if you have a swamp cooler and an AC unit, switch to the AC exclusively. AC helps reduce indoor humidity because it is introducing cooler air while removing the warm, humid air.
  2. Fix leaking pipes and faucets – wrap exposed pipes in insulators to keep condensation from forming. Signs of leaks include stained drywall, wet spots, and changes in your water bill.
  3. 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.
  4. Clean your 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.
  5. Window leaks – 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.
  6. Use your exhaust and ventilation fans- 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 shorter and colder showers helps as well and cools you off quicker too! Leave them both on a little longer even after you have completed showering or cooking to help reduce indoor humidity even more.
  7. Get a dehumidifier – these can fit right inside your furnace air handler and remove moisture from the air as it passes through.

We hope these ideas can help; you only have two more months to survive the humidity!

Jul 06 , 2020

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Comments Off on Does your air conditioner use R-22 refrigerant?

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 a newer or the older type identified as HCFC-22 or R-22.

If your unit does take R-22 refrigerant, it is important to know that the USA plans to phase it out completely 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.

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 you have an air conditioner that uses R-22, contact Family Air at 520-399-5850 to do a tune-up on your system and get small leaks fixed to help reduce future costs and extend the life of your system.

Jun 08 , 2020

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AC units built today incorporate sound-dampening technology and variable speed compressors to keep noise levels to a minimum. 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 that you should 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.

If you hear any of these sounds, contact Family Air  at 520-200-1057 to come out and determine where the noise is coming from and give you quiet comfort!

May 01 , 2020

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Comments Off on Help!  My AC unit is not blowing cold air!

Our Tucson temperatures have been hitting 100 degrees already and you have probably turned on you AC unit for the summer season.  The last thing you want to feel is a blast of hot air.  Here are some reasons why this is happening:

  • Make sure your thermostat is set correctly. Is it set to cool and “auto”?  You do not want the fan set to “on” as this will cause your AC to blow out warmer air when the outside unit is not working
  • You may have restricted air flow into your home which can happen if you your air filter is old or the coils in your system are dirty.
  • Your circuit breaker may have tripped, or a fuse has blown. Check your circuit breaker and fuse panel.
  • The compressor is low on refrigerant
  • A return duct is disconnected and pulling in unconditioned hot air into your home.

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 , 2020

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Comments Off on Time to get your AC ready for summer

Temperatures are going into the 80s this month and before you know it summer is here. You want to be   prepared when you do turn your AC on for the first time of the season.  There is nothing worse than your system blowing hot air or nothing at all.

Here are some suggestions for you to do right now:

  • Change your air-filter – You are probably not changing your filter as often as you should because this task is the most often overlooked. At the very least, change them out per season. 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 can help you cut down your electric bill since energy is used only when you and your family are at home. These are easy to install yourself.
  • Clean your AC fins – This tip will help your AC run more efficiently. Try using a soft brush to carefully run the brush across each fin. Be gentle so you don’t bend the metal.
  • Check your ductwork for leaks – Leaky ducts make your AC unit work harder. Inspect your ductwork for disconnected joints, separated pieces and small holes.

If you do the above steps and your AC still isn’t working properly, call us for a checkup at 520-399-5850!

Mar 01 , 2020

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If your current heating or cooling system is over ten years old, there is a good chance that it uses R22 refrigerant. R22 is an ozone-depleting substance (ODS). Your equipment may have a label that identifies the type of refrigerant type used, but it’s a good idea to ask your licensed professional AC or heat pump dealer for confirmation.

As of January 1, 2020, production and import of R22 refrigerant will be illegal in the United States. Of course, continued use of your air conditioner/heat pump system using R22 refrigerant is allowed.

The ban doesn’t require you to replace a functioning, R22 refrigerant AC or heat pump system. However, you may need to evaluate your options if your air conditioning or heat pump system fails or requires emergency repairs. You may have to decide between a hefty refrigerant bill and a system replacement.

Repair

The price of R22 refrigerant is in shrinking supply which makes it very expensive. As the supply becomes limited, you may end up paying more for a repair that requires R22 refrigerant than a down payment on a new heat pump or AC system. If your technician suspects a leak, they should locate and repair the refrigerant leak instead of simply “topping off” a leaking system.

Replace

If your unit is over ten years old, you need to start looking at replacing it before it quits. Take the time to evaluate energy efficiencies, products reviews and potential costs of the latest replacements available. Most likely, there are new features and benefits available today that weren’t available when your current system was installed.

If paying for a new system is a concern, Family Air can offer affordable financing options with low monthly payments. If you qualify, financing may help you fit a new HCAC system into your budget without breaking the bank.

Whatever option you choose, make sure you use a licensed professional such as Family Air to provide routine maintenance. Professional maintenance helps your heating and cooling system to operate at its designed efficiency level and alerts you to small, fixable issues before they may become expensive problems.

Feb 01 , 2020

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Comments Off on Allergies and your HVAC Unit

As spring approaches in Tucson, the weather change also brings on those dreaded allergies.  Here are some things you can do to help protect yourself at least while you are inside your home!

Your air conditioner can protect you from the outside elements and is a better solution than the old swamp cooler for your allergies. However, you still need to keep the unit properly maintained.

Air Filters – check your air filter at least every 30 days to see if it needs changing. Most people only check these 2-4 times a year ~ not enough. If you are not changing your air filter regularly, the filter will become overloaded with airborne particles and dust, making your air conditioning unit work less effectively. If you used reusable filers, make sure that after you wash them that they are completely dried before re-installing.  Otherwise they become an ideal spot for bacteria to grow.

Air Ducts – Check your air ducts for leaks since condensation happens when the cool air meets the warm air in your ducts when using air conditioning. These should be cleaned annually to decrease the risk of mold.

Family Air can check your air ducts and air filters during an annual inspection test to keep your allergies in check. Call us today to learn how we can assist you in improving the air quality in your home.

If you are looking for other ways outside of your HVAC unit to reduce the frequency and severity of allergies, you may want to try turmeric which has numerous health benefits https://lyfebotanicals.com/health/turmeric-benefits/

Dec 03 , 2019

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If you are in the market for a new HVAC system, here are some things to consider making sure your home is comfortable and cost efficient for years to come:

Ductwork
Before purchasing a new unit, we highly recommend that you have a professional review your current duct work to make sure it is in good condition since poorly sealed joints can cost you money and cause up to 30% energy loss in your system.   The contract can fix any insulation and debris issues.

Furnaces
New furnaces have much high efficiency ratings, up to 98% which are achieved through improvements in the design of the air handler.  There are 3 basic choices for air handler types:

Single State Air Handlers – have one speed setting and the motors run at maximum speed regardless of indoor heating requirements that results in wasted energy.

Two-Stage Air Handlers – have two speed settings (high and low) Usually the low setting is adequate to maintain desired heat.

Variable Speed Air Handlers – Multiple varying speeds allow for greater energy efficiency since you can choose the desired speed needed.  You will need to calculate the size of the heating system that your house needs to ensure optimal and efficient operations.

Air Conditioner Units
You want to choose the correct SEER (Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio) Rating for your home. A higher number indicates higher energy efficiency. We recommend you purchase air conditioners with variable-speed scroll compressors, these models produce less noise. An all-aluminum evaporator coil is less susceptible to leaks and corrosion compared to the copper and steel evaporator coils of older units.

Heat Pumps
If you are looking for an all-in-one heating and cooling system, consider buying a heat pump. These are the most efficient electrical heating systems currently available on the market.  Heat pumps work just like air conditioners – when in cooling mode, it uses a refrigerant to remove heat from the inside of your home. In heating mode, the reverse valve changes the direction in which the refrigerant flows allowing the heat pump to heat your home by picking warmth from the outside and bringing it inside the house.

Call us to determine the best choices for your home today!

Nov 01 , 2019

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Comments Off on How Do I Choose the Right SEER Air Conditioner for My Home?

If you are considering a HVAC replacement for your home and confused about SEER options, you are not alone! Family Air offers professional HVAC installation and can help you make sense of it all so you can make the right decision.

Types of SEER Ratings
The federal minimum is a 14 SEER with the highest being 25.  The prices escalate based on the higher SEER ratings.

What does a SEER Rating Mean?
SEER Rating stands for Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio and is an efficiency rating taken into account the typical cooling output divided by the total electric energy input. The higher an air conditioner unit’s SEER rating, the more efficient it is.

However, there a few factors you need to consider when determining whether to replace your current air conditioner with a higher SEER rated unit.

What SEER rating is right for my home?
There are a lot of determining factors to consider when making this decision. Typically, a 14 SEER can be used to replace your 8 to 10 SEER air conditioner. Keep in mind larger is not always better. Purchasing a higher SEER AC unit will cost 50% more and will not always deliver the energy savings to make it cost effective.

A 14SEER AC unit will keep your home at the same temperature as a higher rated unit, such as a 16 SEER AC unit. It is the thermal rating on you home that can play a much bigger part in lowering utility consumption.

While a higher SEER AC Unit will save you money over years, doing the math is often the best way to determine which is best for your situation.

How long do you plan on living in your current home?
If it is less than 5 years, getting a return on your investment in a higher SEER air conditioner may not likely.

Do the math. Take the BTUs divided by the SEER and then divide that by 1000 to see how many Kwh consumed each hour. Then multiply that by hours of operation annually and finally by cost of Kwh for that unit.

Therefore, while the higher SEER units are more efficient and deliver energy savings, determine the right SEER AC unit for your situation simply comes down to determining how long before you see the savings versus the initial cost.

If you need help determining which SEER air conditioner replacement is right for your home, call Family Air.  We offer full-service installation and replacement to keep you comfortable!

Oct 03

Aging HVAC?

Oct 03 , 2019

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If your HVAC unit is over 10 years old and starting to have problems, it’s time to shop for a replacement. A new unit will offer you save energy, lower electric bills and provide you with continuous comfort.  Here is a check list of how to start:

Determine Need

If your current unit is not performing, contact us to conduct an inspection to learn if a simple repair is in order or if a new system is needed.  Most HVAC systems can last anywhere from 10 to 20 years but get less efficient with time.

Research Options

We can help you choose which unit would be best for your home by considering the size of your house and family.  A larger HVAC won’t save you money if your home is small.  There are a lot of different brands to choose from.  You want to make sure that they endorsed by your HVAC specialist.  Family Air has experience with a lot of different brand models and has easy access to the parts and accessories for those brands.  You should consider BTU output, energy efficiency, the size of the HVAC, available warranties and finally the cost of the system.

Financing

Since a new HVAC unit can be expensive, Family Air has financing options to help you pay for the system.  Contact them for all available options.

We hope you find this checklist helpful.  If you need more information on choosing a new HVAC system, please contact us at 520-399-5850 today!