Common HVAC Odors: The Cause and How to Eliminate the Smell
When the summer heats up, you turn to your trusty air conditioner to keep your family and pets comfortable. Like any other appliance in your home, your HVAC system can emit some strange and downright offensive odors. The reasons for these smells could be anything from innocuous to potentially dangerous.
Here are a few common HVAC odors you might encounter, the cause of the smell and what you can do to fix the problem.
A Musty Odor
If you notice a musty odor coming from your HVAC system, the culprit is a very common issue that many homeowners face: mold. Your air conditioner is working overtime in the summer, and all the moisture that’s produced will often collect in the unit itself or in the ductwork. All mold requires warmth, air and moisture, which makes your HVAC system the ideal place for it to grow.
How to Select the Right Location for a New Air Conditioner
When getting a new air conditioner for your Lincoln, NE home, installing the correct size and model to fit your needs is extremely important. An incorrectly sized air conditioner may have troubles keeping up, or removing humidity, all leading to comfort issues. You should also consider where you’d like your new air conditioner installed. If you have thought about changing the location or your air conditioner, when replacing is a perfect time to make it happen. Here are some tips on how to pick the perfect spot for it. (more…)
Why Routine Maintenance Is the Best Way to Keep Mold Out of Your Air Conditioner
Air conditioning makes your home’s interior air healthier and cleaner when it is working correctly, especially once you’ve installed a quality pleated filter or even better a high efficiency filter system that traps as much dust and pollen as possible. Practically any part of your home can become a source of irritating mold spores if moisture is involved, since one of the major tasks of your air conditioning system is to pull out the humidity of your home’s air, there is plenty of moisture present during the summer months. Find out why having your air conditioning system cleaned and maintained at least once a year is the best way to both prevent mold growth and deal with it when it appears. (more…)
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:
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- 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.