6 Problems You May Have With Your Air Conditioner
Air conditioning provides a great way to beat the summer heat, so issues with your A/C unit can be a huge inconvenience. As a homeowner with an air conditioned home, it’s good to be able to identify warning signs of potential air conditioning problems and get your system serviced as soon as possible. Here are six problems you could run into with your central air conditioning.
A cooling system can cause several odors that are an indicator of a potential problem somewhere in the system. These are two common causes of odors.
Clogged Condensation Pan
Is there a mold smell coming from the vents when the air conditioner is turned on? The smell could be due to an issue with a plugged drain in the condensate pan, which collects water that drips off the condenser coil. Fixing the issue will require unclogging the drain and cleaning it with a diluted bleach solution. (more…)
4 Conditioning Myths You Shouldn’t Buy Into
As spring turns to summer, it’s time to start thinking about your air conditioning, including regular service of your unit for maximum efficiency. There are a lot of theories circulating on the web concerning how to save on air conditioning costs, and these myths can lead to plenty of inaccurate knowledge about how your air conditioning system actually works.
Here are some common myths you should not buy into, especially as you prepare your home for this year’s warm season.
Myth: Fans Will Cool Your Home
One of the easiest and oldest methods of cooling involves using moving air to evaporate sweat from your skin. A breeze feels good on a hot day, and a ceiling or portable fan feels good inside. But some people think a fan will lower the temperature in the home, so they leave ceiling fans or portable fans running in every room as an attempt to help reduce the workload or their home’s air conditioning system.
Fans can make you feel cooler by creating a wind chill which can make you feel cooler. Fans may help lower your cooling bill because you may feel comfortable when increasing the thermostat a few degrees. Fans don’t actually lower the temperature of your home.
So if you run a fan in rooms that you’re not actually in, you’re burning electricity for nothing. Take the time to turn off fans before you leave the room. (more…)
Keep Your Air Conditioner From Freezing Up With These 5 Tips
Seeing your air conditioner coil or refrigerant lines encased in ice can be a surprising sight, especially if the incident happens on a hot summer day.
Fortunately, you can keep this from happening to your air conditioner simply by taking the following precautions.
#1: Have Your HVAC Technician Check for Refrigerant Leaks
Low refrigerant levels are a surprisingly common culprit when it comes to ice buildup on air-conditioning systems. As the unit attempts to operate with less refrigerant than intended, the resulting drop in pressure can cause evaporator-coil temperatures to dip below freezing.
When the temperatures dip like this, it can cause nearby water vapor to freeze onto the coils’ surface. While this initially creates a light coat of frost, the frost can eventually build up into a thick sheet of ice.
Your air conditioning system is a closed system. Meaning the refrigerant should not escape the system. Low refrigerant levels are usually caused by a leak somewhere within the system, whether it be in the refrigerant lines or a component that regularly handles refrigerant (such as the compressor or evaporator coil). (more…)
10 Quick Ways to Save on Heating Costs
Winter weather can be harsh on your budget. While you try to stay warm, your heating bills go sky high.
Fortunately, you can save money on heating costs while still feeling toasty warm at home.
- Adjust the Thermostat
Many people end up paying for heat when they don’t need it. If you work during the day, you may see saving if you set your thermostat 5 to 8 degrees cooler while you’re gone. You can also set your thermostat to a colder temperature at night. After all, you’re typically under blankets keeping warm anyway.
Setbacks are most beneficial for homes heated by a gas furnace. Homes with heat pumps should the setbacks should be no more than 3 to 4 degrees, especially for all-electric homes. Why? Larger swings in temperature are sometimes less manageable for a properly sized heat pump. Although an electric furnace can recover quicker from a setback, it is less efficient than your heat pump. If your electric furnace is called upon during recovery, setback savings may be minimal at best.
Systems with variable and staging technology are designed to run at very efficient levels only working as hard as it needs. If your home is set at consistent temperatures, your system can save you money while sustaining these temperatures very efficiently.
- Add Humidity
Adding proper humidity to your home with a whole home humidifier added to your home heating system can make your home feel warmer. (more…)
Understanding the Risks of Oversizing Your HVAC System
There’s a lot to consider when upgrading your HVAC system, including how much heating and cooling capacity it should have to keep your home comfortable year-round. You want to keep your HVAC system’s overall size closely matched to your home’s size and the Nebraska climate control needs, otherwise you could find yourself wasting energy and money.
Unfortunately, many homeowners end up purchasing an HVAC system that’s often too large for their homes to handle. Below, we explain why oversizing your HVAC system could end up being a major drawback for your home’s overall comfort and energy efficiency.
What Makes an HVAC System Oversized?
To understand what makes an HVAC system oversized, you should understand how heating and cooling systems are measured. (more…)
Are Tankless Water Heaters the Right Choice for You?
When it’s time to replace your water heater, one option you may come across is a tankless hot water heater. Instead of keeping a tank of water hot until you need it, tankless hot water heaters warm your water on demand.
These types of water heaters are very energy efficiency. Since they provide an endless stream of hot water, multiple people can shower one after the other without the hot water running out.
In many cases, a tankless hot water heater is a smart choice for your home. However, there are a few situations in which you may be better off sticking with a traditional, tank-style unit. Below, we’ll tell you why tankless water heaters are usually a better option and when you may need to go with a tank heater instead.
When Is a Tankless Water Heater a Good Choice?
Most homeowners who want tankless water heaters also want to save money on their energy bills and benefit from endless hot water. (more…)
Is Your Home Safe From Carbon Monoxide?
Usually it’s a relief to have insurance claims and repairs completed, however it has turned into a headache in more ways than one for some homeowners.
This summer’s hail storm left many Lincoln area homeowners searching for a reputable company to replace their roof. Unfortunately the damage was so widespread, this was no easy task. Now as we are coming into heating season some homeowners are finding the roofing company they trusted didn’t take all the proper steps to ensure their safety.
As local news sources have stated, it appears some roofing installers removed necessary vents, sheeting over them and others improperly installed vent caps. Not only are these mistakes making headlines, they are endangering those living under each roof.
If you have gas burning appliances including, but not limited to, a furnace and/or water heater they produce carbon monoxide. This potentially deadly gas which must be vented from your home. The flue vent on many homes can be seen from the ground. If you do not see a flue pipe/vent coming out of your new roof where you once did, this must be fixed immediately.
Bryant has also found several homes where the vent caps were improperly installed. The caps were pushed down so far on the flue that carbon monoxide was unable to properly vent. This issue is not as easily seen from the ground and should be assessed from the roof. Yet another possibility, the flue could come loose at a joint within the home if moved considerably when installing the roof and flashing. When assessing your home’s roofline for a flue vent it’s also a good idea to ensure other vents were not covered. Take the time to ensure all plumbing stacks and exhaust fans are still fully vented out of your home.
If you suspect your home’s roof replacement may be putting you in harm’s way, give Bryant Air Conditioning, Heating, Electrical & Plumbing a call at 402-467-1111 and have your systems inspected by a licensed professional. Remember carbon monoxide is a major reason it is important to have your furnace serviced every heating season. Bryant technicians use the most accurate testing methods to ensure your furnace is operating efficiently and safely.
Things to know about carbon monoxide:
- Carbon monoxide must be vented properly.
- Carbon monoxide poisoning is serious and potentially life threatening.
- Ensure your safety, your home should have at least one carbon monoxide detector, ideally located in close proximity of bedrooms and living spaces.
- Know the signs of carbon monoxide poisoning. Symptoms are often described as “Flu-like” including headaches, dizziness, weakness, upset stomach, vomiting, and chest pain.
What Is Staging and How Will Make a Difference?
If you are unfamiliar with the term “staging”, you’re likely unfamiliar with how it can positively affect your comfort level and the energy savings it can provide. The benefits of staging are great, because of this Bryant Heating & Cooling Systems offer staging options for your home in both heating and cooling equipment.
How Does Staging Work In Your Cooling System.
Whether you have an air conditioner or a heat pump there is a compressor that powers the system. Various models of Bryant Heating & Cooling Systems offer compressors that incorporate staging technology. So, how does it work? A staging compressor only works as hard as it really needs. When the thermostat calls for cooling, the compressor will first operate in a low stage. This allows the unit to provide long, even and very efficient cooling runs. If the thermostat’s cooling call continues the system will ramp up to a higher stage to achieve the need. (more…)
Avoid Unnecessary Repairs
Spring means the greening of the grass, sprouting of leaves and of course as plants begin to grow up their roots continue to grow. For some homes growing plants and tree roots mean more than a greater foundation for growth, it also means issues with sewer lines. Older homes with cast or clay sewer lines it can be fairly common to have root growth make it into the joints and obstruct the drain.
Recently our plumbing department was called for a second opinion on a sewer line. One of our well known competitors tried to convince the homeowner that their sewer line was collapsed in several places and the only fix was to excavate and replace (Although we do not know the price that was quoted, repairs like this can be quite expensive). Our service plumber ran our camera down the pipe to assess any and all damage. In this case we were able to save a homeowner a large amount of money. How? By simply showing them exactly what our plumber saw. The home’s pipes were in pretty good shape, except for some common root grow that routine cabling would resolve.
What should be taken from these events? First of all, if you’re told expensive sewer repairs are necessary insist on having a camera run through the line. Also insist on seeing either the live video of the damage or ask for a copy of the video on the spot. If a company is not willing to provide either, walk away. Secondly, save yourself a major headache and call Bryant! Our plumbers have quality equipment and work every day to turn customers into happy customers, not to sell costly unnecessary services. If major repairs are the only and best option our plumbers can locate the location of the damage, minimizing any excavation necessary.
Spring means warmer weather is in our future, which means landscaping cleanup and sometimes additions. Our service department would like to remind you as you are cleaning up leftover leaves and picking up sticks and other debris make sure you check your air conditioner or heat pump. Remove any debris that may be on or around the condenser. If you’ve covered your outdoor unit make sure to remove your cover and replace the disconnect if it was pulled. Check to make sure the unit and the pad it sits on is still level, depending on where your gutters and downspouts cast your runoff water it can cause erosion around and under the pad causing issues.
When checking off your list inside the home make sure replacing your air filter is on your list along with turning off you humidifier for the season. Make sure your cooling system is fully prepared for cooling season by calling Bryant.
Does service need to be done before you ever turn on your air? Not necessarily, but we do encourage you to test out your air conditioning before you really need it. Once outdoor temperatures climb above 65 degrees consistently turn it on and make sure the unit turns on and cool air is coming from your vents. If you suspect something is wrong with the operation give us a call and we can check things over.
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