HVAC Can Flood Your House

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HVAC units remove heat, cold, and moisture from your house, but this process has an unfortunate by-product in the form of moisture build-up. There is a built-in mechanism designed to address this issue, but sometimes, it fails. When this happens, the unit leaks excessive water—flooding your house. Other problems, such as malfunctioning parts of the HVAC units, can cause moisture build-up as well.

Water Build-up on HVAC Units

While moisture build-up on the HVAC units is perfectly normal, it becomes a problem when it leaks into your house. To better understand this scenario, try pouring cold water into a glass on a hot day. Notice the moisture build-up on the exterior of the glass; eventually, it begins to drip down.

This condensation process happens in your standard AC unit. An AC unit contains an evaporator coil that houses the cold refrigerant. Warm air inside your room is blown over it, cooling the air and causing moisture to build-up on the coils. This moisture then drips into a drip pan and down a condensate drain line that leads out of your home. This process is contained inside the HVAC unit. If you see any water outside the unit, there is a problem.  Listed are a few reasons why there may be water escaping from your HVAC unit.

Clogged Condensate Drain Line

A clogged drain line is the number one cause of water leaks from your AC unit. Accumulated dirt can easily find its way to the drain line with the help of water flow. When this happens, water backs up. Backed water causes further problems because it can create sludge and mold, clogging the line even more and will eventually fill up the drip pan—overflowing the unit.

There are numerous unclogging methods, but a guaranteed way is to have a professional use a vacuum to suck out the blockage material or opt for a drain line with an air vent and P-trap.

Old Damaged Drip Pan

Due to its long service duration, old drip pans can develop rust and holes, so water just falls right through. If this happens, you must replace it with a new drip pan.  Maybe add it to your yearly maintenance routine.

Malfunctioning Condensate Pump

If your HVAC units are located in the basement, it needs a condensate pump to push the water outside your home. But if the pump is malfunctioning, there will be no means to push water outside and will eventually fill up the drip pan—overflowing the unit. Ensure that the condensate pump is functioning soundly.

Dirty Air Filter

Dirty air filters block the smooth airflow of warm air to the evaporator coils. Due to obstructions, an insufficient amount of warm air is blown over the evaporator coils causing it to get too cold and freeze over. The accumulated ice will eventually melt, and the drip pan may not be able to handle the excess water, causing it to overflow. Cleaning your air filter is an easy task, and you need to do it frequently to prevent dirt build-up.

Misaligned Unit Placement

AC units placed on an inclined surface may not allow condensation to drain properly. Instead, install the unit slightly inclined towards the condensate drain line to force the water into the drain line by gravity.

Unsealed Unit

If your AC unit is not sealed completely, warm air can get inside the unit. Excess warm air constitutes excess moisture build-up due to condensation, which can overflow the drip pan. Ensure that your unit is correctly sealed.

If you see water pooling near your HVAC unit, call the professionals at Good Deals Heating and Cooling at 215-947-1166.

Innovations Improve HVAC Systems

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Heating, Ventilation, and Air Conditioning (HVAC) is the system that controls both the climate and air quality of a residential or office building. All three components work together and provide proper room air distribution in all the rooms while controlling humidity and temperature. These systems have been improved continuously, especially in homes with the constant demand by homeowners for stronger efficiency and to reduce energy costs.

One of the latest improvements built into the HVAC system is motion-activation that provides air conditioning only when someone is present in the room. A digital thermostat that can be set to lower or raise the temperature on a schedule, but that still costs money when nobody is home. With motion sensors in the room, the HVAC will only turn on when someone is present and thus preserve the energy all day.

Air conditioning is able to be thermally or solar-driven, which virtually eliminates the need for electricity – the main reason energy costs go up. Of course, it is likely to work best in places with warm climates like Florida, Texas, Arizona, and California, but is still a viable option when going Eco-friendly.

HVAC systems can also use sensors that involve the ventilation of the home keeping it under control. This monitor measures a home‏’s temperature and air pressure and makes the necessary adjustments. New homes being built are now “smart.” They are connected to all technology through apps and touch systems accessed throughout the house. The smart technology that is in our phones, laptops, and appliances, are now being built in everything else we touch. With voice-activated objects, people can call for the temperature to change or fans to turn on or off.

Other improvements being developed at the moment have not yet become a reality for consumers. Air conditioning powered by ice and 3D air conditioners are being constructed and tested to improve the quality of life.

HVAC systems are the nucleus of the home’s livability because cold, warmth, and comfort all come from one place. These innovations are being incorporated into the HVAC system, so consumers are kept comfortable, and costs are kept down.

For more information on the latest innovative HVAC systems contact Good Deals Heating and Cooling at 215-947-1166.

How Do I Keep the Leaves Out of My Air Conditioner?

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Keeping your air conditioning equipment clean and the debris out makes it more efficient and durable. Plants are great and beautiful. They provide shade, beauty, and camouflage the air conditioner. However, having plants too close to the AC unit interferes with the airflow and efficiency of the system. There is a lot you can do to keep leaves out of the air conditioner.

Keep Plants Trimmed

You should always ensure the plants surrounding your air conditioner are trimmed regularly. Cut the plants leaving at least two feet of clearance around the air conditioning system. This way, they won’t interfere with the airflow, and you also prevent the leaves and organic debris from getting inside the equipment.

Mow the Grass

If your air conditioner is surrounded by grass, make sure you mow it, and the clippings are mulched or blown away from the air conditioning equipment.

Put a Lid On It

You might have a tree providing shade to the air conditioner, and you don’t want to cut it. You can use a cover and place it on top of the AC equipment. The cover should be a mesh or screen made of PVC coated polyester. It helps keep the leaves away, especially when the system is running.

Cover It Up

There are seasons when the air conditioner when it’s not running at all. There is a specially designed fabric that is made to cover the entire air conditioning equipment. It also has a water-repellent undercoating meaning you don’t have to worry about water or debris getting inside the HVAC unit.

Turn It Off When You Rake

Sometimes, the only option you have to keep leaves out of your air conditioning equipment is raking and collecting the leaves and debris around the air conditioner. To do this, turn off its power and make sure it’s not running. Rake away all the leaves and debris around the outdoor unit and if there are any inside the protective grill, unscrew it and remove the grill to clean all the leaves and debris especially near the condenser coil.

Keeping leaves and debris away from the air conditioner is daunting at times. No matter how much you try, there is going to be debris and leaves that make way into the outside air conditioner. Proper yard planning and regular raking, brushing away dust and debris with a broom are recommended. It’s good to schedule a tune-up with a qualified HVAC company every spring to keep your AC running smoothly.

For more tips on keeping debris out of your air conditioner, contact Good Deals Heating and Cooling at 215-947-1166.

Back To School Lessons On Air Conditioning

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While students are out on holiday, schools are fixing up their classrooms and hallways. It is the summertime, which means it’s hot in many regions of the country, especially in southern areas like Florida, Arizona, and California. When students come back in late August/early September, the summer heat is still around and affects the students. Research has shown that hot rooms make it difficult for students to study and pay attention to the teacher. Air conditioning can give plenty of relief, but only if the schools had adequate, fully functioning air conditioning.

Schools without adequate air conditioning higher temperatures by a few degrees, which can have adverse effects on students. For every 1-degree Fahrenheit increase, there is a 1% decrease in learning. One research study measured students PSAT scores. One group took the test in a classroom an averaged temperature and one group in a classroom two degrees higher. The average scores were higher from the students who had a cooler classroom. Other studies have focused on students taking general exams in certain conditions. In warm rooms, the chance of failing a test rises to 12%. Why? A person working in high temperatures loses concentration as they focus more on finding a way to cool down.

The problem with air conditioning is more prevalent in schools in low-income areas that are overpopulated. In these schools, classroom temperatures run one to three degrees hotter than in higher income schools with proper air conditioning. There is a racial factor because these low-income schools feature a higher percentage of minority students, namely, Hispanics and Blacks. White students were from higher income schools. Many of the schools are public, and the cost of installing a new air conditioning system is not within the school administration budget.

Air conditioning in schools is becoming more essential because of climate change. It is up to government officials to counter the rising temperature and focus on more Eco-friendly ways to use energy that allows air conditioning to work for all. Global increased temperatures mean that all students, regardless of where they are, will be affected. Improving school infrastructure should be an immediate “yes,” but local governments with numerous issues have yet to commit.

Anyone around hot temperatures can easily suffer from dehydration, heat stroke, and nausea. In the sweltering southern locations the heat lasts longer than in the north, and air conditioning is more critical in schools. Having the classrooms maintain a comfortable temperature improves students’ energy levels and increases the students’ ability to maintain focus.

For more information on air conditioning service, contact Good Deals Heating and Cooling at 215-947-1166.

Energy Saving HVAC Tips for Summer

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Most people assume that the cold winter weather is the most demanding on your HVAC system, but the summer is worse.

During the summer, most people wonder how to save money on the utility bill without sacrificing their comfort. Here are the tips to save energy and money this summer:

Replace Old HVAC Units With Energy Star Units

Investing in a new model might sound daunting, but it is well worth it. The latest models, especially those labeled with Energy Star Ratings, use 50% less the energy than the older models. They are more efficient and save you money over their lifespan.

Protect the HVAC Unit From Debris and Direct Sunlight

An outdoor HVAC unit should be debris free and in the shade, if possible. The hot summer weather brings weeds and overgrown vegetation. If plants get too close to the unit, they can affect the efficiency of the system.
The unit should be able to pull in air efficiently without resistance. Having debris and excess vegetation around the unit is dangerous and can cause damage to the system. The shade cuts energy consumption and helps the unit operate smoothly.

Clean Out Vents

It goes unnoticed sometimes. Some vents can be shut and never opened again. Check the vents, especially if there is an unusually warm area in the house. Cleaning the vents provides smooth airflow and keeps particulates from circulating through the home.

Clean the Air Filters

The winter weather can take a toll on the HVAC system. Air filters become clogged with dirt making it hard for the HVAC unit to operate. Make sure the air filters are clean and replace the damaged ones to help the unit run smoothly and efficiently using less energy.

Get a Programmable Thermostat

The programmable thermostat helps you control the HVAC unit even when no one is around. Don’t set the thermostat to keep the house cold when it’s empty. Set the temperature to match your schedule: warmer when away and cool down before returning home.

Other Tips

Having ceiling fans or standing fans can help circulate the air around the house to create a refreshing environment. Have the doors and windows sealed to avoid letting the cool air out and keep the blinds and drapes shut to keep out direct sunlight.

For more information on energy saving HVAC units, contact Good Deals Heating and Cooling at 215-947-1166.

HVAC: Stay Cool in the Summer Heat

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With the temperatures rising and summer here to stay, it’s time to revisit the ways we beat the heat on a budget. There are so many ways you can help your HVAC unit out as it goes through one of the toughest seasons.

Keep a Maintenance Schedule

Your HVAC unit needs biannual tender loving care. Each year, before the busy season of summer, you should have an HVAC technician come and perform maintenance. This service may be a part of an HVAC maintenance contract. Having this maintenance done helps locate any potential issues before the increased usage that comes in the summer months.

Check the Air Filters

During the summer months, you should be checking the air filter every thirty days. When doing their job, these filters will catch dirt and debris that will eventually clog them, causing the HVAC unit to overwork. By keeping an eye on your filter and changing it when needed, you can save up to 15% on your HVAC’s energy consumption.

Check the Drainage Line

Just like the air filter, the HVAC drainage line will need to be cleared from time to time. When the drainage line gets blocked with debris, it can be difficult for the HVAC to alleviate indoor humidity. To fix this problem, get a shop vac and clean out the dust and dirt particulates. You should also occasionally pour bleach into the line to kill any algae or mildew growing inside of the line.

Install a Smart Thermostat

A smart thermostat is a budget saver. A smart thermostat allows you to set the thermostat for different temperatures throughout the day. You can save money by setting the temperature higher during the workday when no one is home, so the HVAC works less. Then let it begin cooling the house shortly before you come home. This device can save as much as 15% on your power bill each month.

Seal Windows and Doors

Sealing your windows and doors isn’t just for the wintertime anymore. Keep the cold air in by replacing your windows with energy efficient windows. This change can help lower your power bill by as much as 30% over a year.

For more information about summer HVAC service, contact Good Deals Heating and Cooling at 215-947-1166.

Air Conditioning and Your Summer Vacation

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Summer is here and this is the time people start traveling on vacation. Holidays are exciting, but a few preparations around the house will allow peace of mind while relaxing. Items to include on the list are: arrange to have the mail held or picked up, contact a pet sitter, place lights on timers, and compile a packing list for the trip. When making this list, don’t forget about the HVAC system. Preparing the air conditioning system for the house to be empty for an extended period will save money and avoid problems while you’re away.

Turn Up the Thermostat

Summer heat can have a significant effect on wood flooring, doors, and cabinets. Don’t make the mistake of turning the AC system off in a bid to try and save energy. The summer heat and humidity can cause hardwood floors to expand and buckle, and wood doors to expand and not close properly. Save yourself the cost of repairs by turning up the thermostat setting to between 80-85 degrees Fahrenheit. This temperature range will not damage plants or fabrics, and by keeping the HVAC running, the humidity will be controlled. If there is a programmable thermostat, program it to have the house return to a comfortable temperature a hours before returning.

Consider Surge Protection

While on vacation, losing power is a possibility. In case there is a power surge or outage in your area, and no one is around, the HVAC system might get damaged. Install a surge protector for the system to avoid that problem.

Schedule General Maintenance

Have a technician check the HVAC system before the summer season. A service technician will check the following: refrigerant levels, coils, air filters, electronic connections, and the system is producing the correct temperature across the evaporator coil. Knowing the HVAC is in optimal working condition while on vacation will lessen any worries.

Air Filter Routine Maintenance

Clean air filters before leaving. Clogged air filters cause the HVAC unit to overwork. Clean air filters prevent the system from malfunctioning while no one is around.

Reduce the Load

Computers and other electronics produce heat when they are running. Turn off or disconnect these items while away to reduce heat generated within the house. The HVAC system will turn on less frequently.

When anyone goes on vacation, they want to have some time away from home to relax. Follow these simple tips for, and you’ll have a worry-free vacation.

For more information on air conditioning maintenance, contact Good Deals Heating and Cooling at 215-947-1166.

What Are The Different Types Of HVAC Air Filters

Good Deals Heating and Cooling HVAC air filtersOne of the most critical parts of your HVAC system is the air filter. The air filter is responsible for keeping the air that enters your home clean of contaminants. Bad air quality can also clog your HVAC system. Understanding the different types of HVAC air filters will help you to determine which is best for your home.

Fiberglass or Synthetic Filters

If you are looking to spend the least amount of money, what you are looking for are fiberglass and synthetic filters. These are both affordable and disposable. Particles 50 microns or larger are filtered out up to 80% by these filters. Particles between the size of 3 and 10 microns are filtered at 25%. BY using these filters, you can filter out dust and dirt but not all harmful contaminants from your home or office.

Polyester Based Filters

Filters made from polyester are one of the highest quality that you can get. Particles at or above 5 microns are filtered between 80 and 95%. You will get extreme filtration but at approximately four times the cost of the fiberglass or synthetic filters mentioned above.

Electrostatic Filters

The fibers in these filters are self-charged to create electrostatic attraction. Both standard versions of electrostatic filters and washable versions are available. Between the two there will be a MERV (Minimum Efficiency Reporting Value) rating of 4 to 10 depending on the specific filter. Washable filters will last longer than disposable filters.

Pleated Filters

For those that desire to catch the smallest particles floating around, the pleated filter is the right option. They can catch particulates that are down to .3 microns in size. That includes most contaminants and allergens. At the same time that pleated air filters give you the best filtration, they allow decent airflow.

HEPA Air Filters

Out of all of the HVAC air filters, a HEPA filter is the most effective. It will capture up to 99% of particles that are .3 microns or above. HEPA filters provide fantastic filtration at the cost of some airflow. Your system will have to work slightly harder when using these filters, costing more money.

Now you know the major types of HVAC air filters out there you can make an informed decision about which one is best for your system. Are you okay with minimum filtration with the benefit of cost saving or do you need something more robust? If you already have an HVAC system in place, make sure that the filter you decide to use is compatible with your system.

For more information on HVAC air filters contact Good Deals Heating and Cooling at 215-947-1166.

Is My AC Low on Freon?

Good Deals Heating and Cooling air conditioningAir conditioners are fantastic at keeping a home cool. Unlike fans, air conditioning adjusts to maintain a home at a precise temperature. Throughout the summer, people trust that their AC will be there to keep their house cool. That is, as long as the air conditioner has the proper level of freon. How do can one tell when an air conditioner is running low on freon? We are going to examine some of the signs today.

AC Isn’t Keeping The Room/House Cold

There are two main reasons that an air conditioner might not be keeping a home or room cold. One reason is that the unit is the wrong size for the overall area to be cooled. But, if the AC unit usually works fine for cooling the area, but now it is not then it probably lacks freon. Then It is time to call a technician to check the freon levels. If the freon levels are fine, then the technician can check the rest of the unit for problems.

When the temperature in a room doesn’t feel right, compare the temperature on which the air conditioner is set with the actual room temperature. This check is an excellent way to verify if the AC unit is keeping the area regulated.

Ice Is Building Up On the AC Unit

A specific part of the AC unit, called the evaporator coil, handles the chilling of air. That means this is the only part of the unit that could build up condensation during normal operation. If ice is noticed building up around the air conditioner unit, it is running low on freon. Replace the freon before continuing to run the system. Water leaking into the wrong part of the AC unit can cause a short circuit.

Electric Bills Are Going Up

When an air conditioner unit is low on freon, it has to work harder to keep the air cold. That means that it requires additional electricity. There can be a lot of reasons that an electric bill might go up, but when troubleshooting the problem, place check freon level to the list.

While an air conditioner is capable of running without the freon topped off, it should be filled as soon as possible. Many people start to notice the lack of freon when it starts to hurt their wallets. At the same time, running the risk of a unit breaking down when the freon is low will cost more in the long run because a service call to have the freon level checked is much less expensive than replacing a unit.

If you have a question about your air conditioning unit contact Good Deals Heating and Cooling at 215-947-1166.

What Temperature Should I Set My Air Conditioning While On Vacation?

Good Deals Heating and Cooling air conditioningThe summer vacation is the ideal time to give residential air conditioning units a break. In fact, it is pointless and expensive to have the central air conditioner running if no one is present at the house. The one exception is if the pets are left at home, in this case, the air conditioner must not be completely turned off. Instead, the air conditioning unit should be but can be set at a higher temperature than usual.

By setting the thermostat to a warmer temperature, you can cut your electricity bill. Raising the temperature by one degree, cuts about 3% off the electricity bill. However, just because a higher setting will cut a monthly utility bill, a homeowner should not increase the temperature too much. Remember air conditioning does not only regulate the temperature in your home it also controls the humidity level. When the atmosphere within the home becomes exceptionally humid and hot, microorganisms and mildew can thrive making the indoor air unhealthy.

When the temperature is too high within the house, appliances like refrigerators can start to emit moisture and run harder to stay cool. Also when you return from vacation, cooling down the home to a comfortable temperature, the air conditioning unit will have to work hard thus eliminating some of the savings.

Therefore, the temperature should be raised about 4 degrees above the comfortable temperature the homeowners generally use. For instance, if the normal temperature is 72, increase it to about 76 before everyone leaves the house. With such a setting, the house will maintain an adequate temperature (which is not too hot) and still save some electricity. However, if there are pets in the house and the family is leaving for several days adequate measures must be taken. That means the pets should be sent to a care center or ask a friend or a relative to look them after. Even when the pets are left at the house for about a few days, the best practice is to ask the veterinarian about the best temperature setting according to the type and size of the animal.

If you have a question about your air conditioning system contact Good Deals Heating and Cooling at 215-947-1166.