You need your furnace to run as efficiently as possible; however, even with routine servicing there are things that may go wrong and require the assistance of an emergency HVAC technician. Here are four reasons to call in your local HVAC experts for emergency heating repairs rather than waiting until regular business hours.
Your Furnace Doesn't Turn On
If your furnace fails to turn on, takes longer than usual to turn on, or turns on but doesn't stay turned on, there are several issues that could be causing this problem. For example, the pilot light may not be working correctly or there could be faulty wiring.
Either of these problems can cause additional significant damage to the furnace, so it is important to contact an HVAC repair technician for emergency services to prevent the problem from getting worse.
A Family Member's Health Is at Stake
Elderly family members, children and anyone in the house who's sick may not be able to endure a lengthy period of time without heat. If the furnace suddenly turns off or if you cannot get it to turn on, check to make sure the circuit didn't flip and the thermostat is set correctly. If neither of these is the problem, contact an emergency HVAC technician right away, and let them know that someone in your home may not be able to handle a long wait without heat.
Your Furnace Is Making Strange Sounds
A furnace generally makes some type of noise when it is running; however, if you notice unusual sounds - such as banging, groaning or whining coming from your furnace, you should contact an emergency HVAC technician. These types of noises may indicate a broken part or a loose belt, which may cause more damage if not repaired quickly.
You Smell Gas in Your Home
When there is a residential gas leak, you will smell an unusual odor, such as sulfur or rotten eggs. If this occurs, shut off your main gas line and immediately contact an emergency HVAC technician. You should also routinely check the pilot light. The flame should be blue. If it is yellow, it may be a carbon monoxide leak, and you should have it repaired immediately.
Ways to Stay Warm While Waiting for the Technician to Arrive
As soon as you call your local emergency HVAC team, they will send someone to service your call. While you are waiting for them to drive to your home, here are a few things you can do to stay warm until they arrive:
Keep in mind that when the weather is especially cold, delaying heating repairs may be dangerous for your health. It is much safer to contact an emergency HVAC technician than to risk harm to your family. It's also best to request emergency services if you suspect that running the furnace may cause further damage.
If your home's heating system breaks down in the middle of a cold winter day (or night), contact your local emergency HVAC company immediately. Modern Heating & Cooling, Inc., has emergency technicians available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, to make sure you stay comfortable and warm all winter long.
Your home AC system can help you keep your indoor air clean, boosting its quality in several ways such as by filtering out dust and providing some dehumidifying effects. But if you have someone with allergies in your home, you'll probably want to supplement that with further indoor air quality improvements such as extra filtration. Here are five ways to reduce the allergens in your home air.
Although humidity itself isn't an allergen, high-humidity environments tend to be an ideal habitat for dust mites, which produce the allergens found in dust. So the more humid your home is, the higher your concentrations of allergens are likely to be.
Your AC unit can serve as a dehumidifier to some extent (as long as you have the fan set to AUTO rather than ON, allowing the unit to condense water out of your air). However, this is simply a by-product of the cooling mechanism, rather than a separate feature that can be turned up and down. So if you live in a very humid location, you may wish to run separate dehumidifiers as well.
2. Change AC Filters
"Change your AC air filters frequently" is common advice, but what's even more useful is changing them to the most effective filters. For maximum allergen removal, you'll want to have high-efficiency pleated filters installed in your AC intake vents. These can remove almost as many particles from the air as HEPA filters (at each pass) but also allow air to flow through more quickly than HEPA filters do, which not only allows for more passes through the filter (and thus more filtration) but also allows your AC unit to function as designed.
3. Get More Plants
Houseplants can be a great investment in indoor air quality. This may seem a bit counterintuitive since plants can produce allergens, but as long as you choose the right plants you should be able to achieve an overall positive effect. Plants only produce pollen when they flower, but they filter pollutants out of the air with their leaves every day. So choose plants that don't flower in low-light situations, or just make sure they don't flower by pinching off any buds that you see.
4. Use HEPA Filters
Even if HEPA filters aren't necessarily the best choice for your AC system vents, they can be a great help elsewhere. You can use a freestanding or in-duct air filtration system that uses fans to push air through a HEPA filter, removing nearly all contaminants from the air that it processes. And you should always have a HEPA filter on your vacuum cleaner to reduce dust distribution while cleaning.
5. Clean Carpets and Ducts
Your air ducts, despite the filters at their intake vents, can still end up with piles of dust inside them after a few years. And ducts tend not to get cleaned very often because it's the sort of job you just can't do adequately at home without professional equipment. However, both professional duct cleaning and professional carpet cleaning can sometimes help with allergies, because they remove a stockpile of dust that sits in your home waiting to contaminate the air.
These five steps will help you keep allergens as low as possible in your home to improve the quality of life for you or anyone else in your family who suffers allergies. If you'd like more info about air purification systems, duct cleaning, or other allergy reduction strategies, Modern Heating & Cooling will be only too happy to help out. Feel free to browse our website for more information or call us today at 608-767-2689.
Summers in the Midwest are both hot and humid—a combination of factors that makes a reliable air conditioner a downright necessity. Of course, having an air conditioner is only half the battle. The other half involves keeping it properly maintained by a reputable HVAC company, to avoid the additional expenses associated with poor performance and mechanical breakdowns.
Many people struggle to keep their air conditioning system properly maintained simply because they fail to understand the various parts that go to make it up. If you would like to learn more about what it takes to keep your air conditioner ticking, read on. This article will introduce you to one important—and often overlooked—component: the capillary tube.
A capillary tube is a thin coiled piece of copper piping. The chief characteristic of a capillary tube is the extremely narrow nature of the tube, which can have a diameter as small as 0.5mm. The reason for this is that, by restricting the flow of refrigerant, a capillary tube affects important changes in both its pressure and its temperature.
The capillary tube in most air conditioning systems resides inside the condenser unit—i.e., that large square box sitting in your backyard. This component is located on the supply side of the system. In other words, it is used to treat the refrigerant as it is on its way back to the indoor evaporator unit.
To fully appreciate the role played by the capillary tube, it is important to have a thorough understanding of the movement of refrigerant throughout your system. The actual act of cooling takes place inside of your home, in the evaporator coil. As the refrigerant absorbs heat from home, it changes from a liquid to a gaseous state.
It is the state in which the refrigerant arrives back to the outdoor condenser unit. There it passes first into the compressor, which raises its pressure. Then it flows to the condenser, which is responsible for turning the refrigerant back into its liquid state. Once this has been accomplished, the refrigerant flows through the capillary tube en route back to the evaporator.
The restrictive nature of the capillary tube helps to prime the refrigerant for the absorption of more heat. It does this by lowering its temperature, while also increasing the pressure. Both of these changes are brought about by the restricted size of the tube.
Here it is important to acknowledge that a capillary tube belongs to a broader category of refrigeration components known as throttling devices. A capillary tube is what is not as a non-adjustable throttling device. It is the simplest type and one which is distinguished by the fact that the flow rate of the refrigerant cannot be altered or changed in any way.
It is a perfectly acceptable limitation for a residential air conditioning system. Commercial systems, on the other hand, often require more sophisticated types of throttling devices. These allow the flow rate of the refrigerant to be altered to meet changes in the service demands being placed on the unit.
Capillary Tube Problems
Capillary tubes are subject to two main types of problem: leaks and clogs. Leaks occur thanks to the relatively fragile nature of this component. Should internal vibrations cause the capillary tube to start rubbing up against the walls of the condenser unit, holes will soon form in the wall of the tube. Such leaks will greatly reduce the effectiveness of the system as more and more refrigerant escapes.
Clogs are equally problematic. These are caused by debris, contaminants, or build up occurring within the refrigerant lines. Such things can limit or even obstruct the flow of refrigerant through the very narrow capillary tube. This, in turn, will make it harder for your air conditioning system to achieve a given cooling task.
Regular maintenance visits are the key to ensuring proper functioning not only of the capillary tube but of all the components inside of an air conditioner. Be sure to contact a reliable HVAC technician in your area to perform check-ups on a regular basis.
Geothermal systems stand out as being one of the most efficient heating and cooling systems you can install in your home. Capable of harnessing the Earth's natural heat energy, a geothermal system is also an environmentally friendly way of keeping your home comfortable.
As you research your geothermal heating and cooling options, the biggest choice you'll likely face is one between an open loop and closed loop geothermal system. Both types have their own unique set of benefits and drawbacks to consider, so it's important to carefully vet each option before choosing your new geothermal system.
Open loop geothermal heating and cooling systems work by pulling groundwater directly from a conventional well or a deep lake. The groundwater circulates through the geothermal heat pump, where it absorbs heat removed from the indoor air during the summer or releases heat into the indoor space during the winter.
Afterwards, the water used in the geothermal process is discharged directly into a nearby body of water, such as a pond, lake or stream. Some open loop systems utilize a return well, allowing discharged water to replenish the ground aquifer instead of being dumped into an existing water source.
Open loop geothermal systems used to be common decades ago until advances in geothermal technology made closed loop systems more desirable among homeowners.
Pros and Cons
Open loop systems are usually less expensive to install than their closed loop counterparts, owing to the relative simplicity of an open loop setup. Most open loop systems only require a shallow trench to bury the required plumbing to the water source. An open loop system also uses less plumbing compared to a closed loop system.
Water quality issues are one of the biggest drawbacks of operating an open loop system. It's important to test your water source for mineral deposits as well as hardness and acidity prior to installation, as these issues can easily impact your open loop geothermal system's reliability and efficiency.
Open loop systems also require a steady, reliable source of water in order to maintain adequate water flow rates for the geothermal unit. As a result, an open loop system might not be ideal for areas with water availability issues.
Unlike an open loop system, a closed loop system features a continuous, self-contained loop between the ground and the heat pump. Instead of using water, closed loop systems rely on an antifreeze solution to not only facilitate the heat transfer process, but also to prevent the pipes from freezing. While most closed loop systems used methanol in the past, most modern systems use ethanol, ethylene glycol, propylene glycol or calcium chloride.
One particular type of closed loop geothermal system, known as a direct exchange system, feeds refrigerant through copper tubing that's buried in the same fashion as normal closed loop tubing. The refrigerant exchanges heat directly with the soil underground, hence the name.
Pros and Cons
One advantage of a closed loop system is that it can be installed horizontally through the use of trenches or vertically through drilling. A vertical installation is ideal for areas where space is at a premium. Like open loop systems, a closed loop system can also take advantage of a nearby lake or pond. Another advantage is that since closed loop systems don't rely on any nearby water sources, you won't have to worry about how the water quality will impact your geothermal heat pump.
On the other hand, closed loop systems are more expensive to install than their open loop counterparts, especially when it comes to vertical installations that require significant amounts of drilling. Certain types of antifreeze used in closed loop systems, including ethylene glycol and methanol, can potentially contaminate and poison groundwater if leaks occur.
The experts at Modern Heating & Cooling will gladly take your questions if you're interested in having a geothermal heating and cooling system installed for your home.
Many people are concerned about the air they breathe when they are out and about in the city. However, the air you are breathing in your own home could be even more detrimental.
Pay attention to how well you feel when you are just hanging out at home. If you do not properly maintain your home’s HVAC system, then various contaminants can get into the air, and you will have problems breathing. You may also develop an inflammation within your sinuses.
If you already have asthma, then poor indoor air quality can make it even worse. Various things can trigger an asthma attack, including:
Many people are allergic to things such as pollen and mold. If you regularly have allergy attacks when you are just sitting at home, then you need to get your system looked at.
If you are not careful, then breathing in all these materials can lead to a respiratory infection. Germs can easily be spread throughout your home, so you need to be proactive about your AC system.
Be healthy in your own house, and have air flowing through that is free of contaminants. If you require assistance with your heating and cooling system, call Modern Heating & Cooling today at 608-767-2689.