Why Is Your Air Conditioner Blowing Hot Air?

There’s a lot of summer fun to be had in North Carolina, as long as you have a solid plan to beat the heat. With the past summers bringing record temperatures, this year is on track to be a particularly hot one. A high quality AC system is vital to staying cool, and in Denver, NC, we certainly put our HVAC units through their paces.

If you have an older or under-serviced air conditioner, you might find yourself in an unexpected situation this summer. Your system could begin blowing warm or hot air.

Here are a few of the most common causes for warm air from emanating from your air conditioning unit. You’ll learn what can create this problem and what you need to do to ensure your system performs properly in the dog days of summer.

Reasons Your AC Is Blowing Hot Air

Hot air blowing from your AC seemes like a very specific problem, so you’d likely expect a straightforward cause. But the truth is there are actually a few potential issues at work here, many of which call for professional repair.

Operator error

It might be a startling cause and even maybe a bit embarrassing, but either through accident or miscommunication, this is actually the number one cause. Everybody makes mistakes sometimes.

Check your system carefully before calling in for costly repairs. See that it is absolutely set to “cool” instead of “warm”. Sometimes a stray shoulder-bump or a bit of forgetfulness can be the source of your troubles.

Poor electrical connections

Electrical failure is a common cause of a wide number of air conditioner issues. If the breaker for your outdoor unit has flipped, then your system will refuse to operate. If the blower motor has a poor connection, you’re likely going to experience warm air in the home.

Refrigerant leaks

Your system uses refrigerant to perform its job, cycling the product form a gas to a liquid, then back to a gas as it goes about its work. When you have a refrigerant leak, your system doesn’t really have a way to know that the problem is there. This means it just goes about its operations, continuing to demand the same efforts of whatever refrigerant in your system. This can result in your system blowing poorly cycled, warm air.

And the reason it’s a “leak” rather than “low refrigerant” is that your system never actually uses up refrigerant. The only thing that can alter the amount in your system is a leak.

 A clogged outdoor unit

Going outdoors and checking the exterior unit might provide you with the cause. Are dust, debris, and leaves choking the fins of your unit? If so, this is altering the air flow in your system and killing its ability to provide cool air to your home.

Beat the Heat with AC Maintenance

To ensure your system never encounters the warm air problems above, the experts at Lakeside Heating & Air Conditioning recommend you seek professional maintenance on a routine basis. High quality cooling system care will ensure you never experience a refrigerant leak, or if one occurs, you’ll have help just a quick call away.

For more information on air conditioning services in the Denver, North Carolina area, visit our Services page.

This post originally appeared on John Nugent & Sons.

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Are Exhaust Fans Causing Heat Loss in Your Home?

Heat loss can be frustrating when you are trying to warm up your house during the colder months in Denver, North Carolina. And you may wind up turning up the thermostat, ultimately spending more on your heating bill, just to get your home feeling comfortable.

You might assume an improperly sealed window or a poorly framed door is the culprit. But you may need to consider another potential source of heat loss in your home: your exhaust fans.

Exhaust fans are a necessary part of your home’s ventilation system. They remove unwanted airborne particles and moisture from the room and send them outside into the air. The exhaust duct should only operate as a one-way traffic route for these particles. However, cold winter weather may creep in the wrong way, causing heat loss.

Kitchen Stove Exhaust Fan

Why Are Exhaust Fans So Important?

Your home’s exhaust fans provide some pretty important functions. In kitchens, they help rid the room of smoke, oil, and particularly strong odors. Your kitchen exhaust also has the duty of carrying the steam from your pots of boiling water away, which is vital to protecting the walls and ceiling near your stove from moisture damage.

If you are cooking on a gas range, your kitchen exhaust also helps draw away the fumes from lighting the stove. And in the summer your exhaust fan can draw hot air out, letting your air conditioner run with a bit less constraint.

In the bathroom, the exhaust fan serves as a prime function for mold and mildew prevention. Its main job is to remove the warm, moist air from the room after a hot shower or bath, thereby making it harder for mold or mildew to thrive and protecting your walls from moisture damage. It can even allow you to get out of the shower to a clearer, fog-free mirror if the fan is properly sized for the bathroom.

Preventing Heat Loss from Your Home’s Exhaust Fans

kitchen exhaust fanThough more modern exhaust fans feature timers or heaters to limit heat loss, many homes still have regular fans. Even with a standard exhaust fan, however, it’s possible to keep that undesirable stale or humid air out of your home and minimize heat loss without purchasing an expensive fan.

Here are some of the steps you can take to prevent heat loss:

  • Insulate exhaust pipes that go through the attic from a second story or top floor to prevent heat loss
  • Ensure your exhaust fans have a backdraft damper installed at the location of the exhaust duct’s exit either on an exterior wall or the roof
  • Regularly check dampers for broken pieces and flaps, especially after a serious storm
  • If you notice a cold spot near an exhaust fan despite a lack of damaged parts, you may wish to consider installing a higher quality system

For more information on duct work services in the Denver, North Carolina area, visit our Services page.

 

This post originally appeared on Galmiche & Sons.

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10 Things You Need to Know about Commercial HVAC Regulations

From time to time, Lakeside Heating & Air Conditioning feels it’s important to share with you some of the information we view as significant within our industry. Today’s commercial HVAC market is focused on improving efficiency and reducing costs of consumer utility bills.

AC & Heating Connect has compiled this handy infographic to help inform technicians and interested consumers alike about changes to commercial HVAC regulations that may impact their business.

10 Things to Know about Commercial HVAC Regulations

To download the infographic in PDF format, click here.

For more information on commercial HVAC services in the Denver, North Carolina area, visit our Services page.

 

This post originally appeared on AC & Heating Connect.

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Estimates Are Available For HVAC Repair In Huntersville, N.C.

Dealing with HVAC Issues in Your Huntersville Home?

The best way you can beat the heat this summer shouldn’t be by sitting on your porch hoping to feel a cool breeze. If your Huntersville, NC home currently has no air-conditioning system or has an inefficient system that leaves you with high energy bills, it’s time to call an HVAC professional who knows the Huntersville area, and can help you quickly and efficiently.

Finding an HVAC Professional – What to Expect:

When you contact a service provider, you will probably need to provide just a few pieces of basic information, such as your home address, name, and availability. The next step is scheduling an appointment for a technician to stop by your house or business and estimate the costs for each of your air-conditioning options. You might want to research the different types of air conditioning that are prevalent in your area before making the call. This will help you to better understand the estimate and how the suggested system will benefit you.

Available Air-Conditioning Services

HVAC services aren’t just limited to repair and maintenance. Other common needs regarding air conditioning include making an appointment for either maintenance, repair, or replacement.

If your cooling system suddenly goes on the fritz, there are companies that in the Huntersville, North Carolina area that provide 24-hour emergency service. It’s best to find a company ahead of time that provides such last-minute attention to customers, so you won’t be left searching for help in the sweltering heat during the early morning hours.

HVAC Repair That Won’t Break The Bank

Once you’ve asked for and received an estimate, you might be left with the sobering fact that your preferred air-conditioning system is expensive. This doesn’t mean you can’t afford to fix it. Some service providers in HVAC in Huntersville, N.C. might offer financing options that will allow you to break up the cost into manageable payments over time. This is another question that you should probably ask when researching companies that you might hire, in addition to finding out about repair services and all your options for new air conditioning. No matter what, there are plenty of Huntersville-area HVAC repair experts who can help with your issue.

Have more questions, or want to speak with an HVAC repair expert in or around the Huntersville area? Contact us today: (704) 483-4273.

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HVAC Tips For First Time Home Buyers

It is not unusual to get lost in the excitement of choosing and buying a new home, especially when you are a first-time home buyer. It is also not unusual in these instances to overlook items that are not in plain sight, such as the heating and air conditioning systems. With the humid summers and cool winters in Huntersville, NC, understanding to the type of HVAC system your new home has is important.

Determine The System Type

HVAC systems can use furnaces, boilers or heat pumps. The energy source affects your heating bills. In addition, if the system has a furnace or boiler, you need to know if it uses natural gas, oil, propane, or some other fuel source.

Find Out The Age Of The System

A system that is more than 10 years old is at the end of its lifespan. It may be able to perform for years longer, but it will probably require major repairs or even need to be completely replaced.

Check Out The Efficiency Rating

Older systems are usually less efficient, but regardless of age, a high-efficiency system will save you more than a mid-efficiency system. Check the Annual Fuel Utilization Efficiency (AFUE) measure on the furnace or boiler. Check the Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio (SEER) and the Heating Seasonal Performance Factor (HSPF) in the heat pump. A higher-efficiency system will also include variable speed motors and other features that improve performance.

Check The Warranty

Depending on the age of the system, the warranty may still be valid. Improper maintenance or missed annual inspections can void the warranty, so be sure to get the repair records. Without a warranty, you will be responsible for the cost of repairs or parts replacement.

Get The Results Of The Latest Inspection

Climate control systems require annual inspections by a professional to run at top efficiency and prevent damage to components from normal wear and tear. After each inspection, the technician supplies a report covering any issues with the system. This report will alert you to any potential problems.

Bottom line? Reduce your Huntersville, NC HVAC heating bill & save on preventative maintenance by choosing the right HVAC system.

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How Do Heat Pumps Work?

Understand How A Heat Pump Works

For climates with moderate cooling and heating needs such as Lucia, NC, a heat pump can offer an efficient alternative environmental control. In much the same way as a refrigerator removes the unwanted heat that accumulates when its door is opened, a heat pump takes heat that is available in the outdoor air during the winter and delivers it inside the home to keep you comfortably warm.

In the summertime, the process reverses. The heat pump extracts heat out of the indoor air and pushes it outside to keep the home cool. A liquid refrigerant circulates between the indoor and outdoor unit, absorbing and releasing heat as it goes through the loop.

A heat pump has two parts. An indoor unit called an air handler that is similar in looks to a gas furnace. It also has an outdoor unit that looks like a central air conditioner and contains the compressor. The compressor is the heart of the system, whether the heat pump is cooling or heating, because this is the mechanisms that circulates the refrigerant through the loop.

Explore The Difference Between Air, Geothermal, And Water Source Heat Pumps

There are three kinds of heat pumps: air source, geothermal, and water source. An air source heat pump is described above. If the unit is a geothermal heat pump, it uses the energy from the ground instead of using the surrounding air. And, as you might have guessed, a water source model uses water, either a pond, a lake, or the ocean, as an energy source.

The most basic difference between these three energy sources is the temperature of the heat source and, correspondingly, the temperature of the heat delivered. The greater the difference, the less efficient the unit is.

Choose The Most Economical Option For Your Home

The fact that heat pumps only have to move heat, not create it, makes them an economical option for home heating. The source of energy—air, geothermal, or water—determines how much power input a heat pump requires and forms the basis for the advantage in efficiency that geothermal heat pumps have over air-source heat pumps.

Bottom line? Geothermal & air-source heat pumps can help you reduce your Lucia, NC heat bill, save on preventative maintenance, and reduce your carbon footprint by saving more energy.

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Geothermal Heat Pumps vs. Air-Source Heat Pumps

The efficient, eco-friendly heating that a geothermal heat pump provides is responsible for its quickly rising popularity. In fact, with the constant, relatively warm ground temperatures around Terrell, NC geothermal seems like an ideal heating and cooling system. However, as great as geothermal heat pumps can be, sometimes there are times when a conventional air-source heat pump is preferable.

Both air-source and geothermal heat pumps deliver heated or cooled air more economically than gas and oil furnaces. But beyond that, there are important differences between each of these two types of heat pumps.

Energy Efficiency

A geothermal heat pump system is generally more energy efficient. Even in the coldest weather, this type of heat pump operates at between 300% to 600% efficiency. On the other hand, an air-source heat pump reaches reach 175% to 300% efficiency even when the winter weather is mild.

Upfront Costs

It costs more the purchase and install a geothermal systems. You recoup your investment costs with lower energy costs over time. However, if you’re planning to relocate soon, you may wish to choose a less expensive air-source heat pump.

Maintenance

Air-source heat pumps require an outdoor unit that needs regular cleaning and that can be damaged by the elements. In a geothermal heat pump system, all the components are protected from inclement weather, debris, and vandalism. In addition, a geothermal heat pump indoor unit can last up to 25 years, while an air-source heat pump can last approximately 15 years.

Space

Installation of a geothermal system requires excavation. If you’ve put a lot of work into your landscaping or you have a very limited amount of space, you may be better off with an air-source heat pump.

Tax Credits

For buying and installing an Energy Star-qualified geothermal heat pumps, you’ll be eligible for a 30 percent federal tax credit with no limit. For the most efficient air-source heat pumps, you can claim a tax credit of up to $300.

Bottom line? Geothermal & air-source heat pumps can help you reduce your Terrell, NC heat bill, save on preventative maintenance, and reduce your carbon footprint by saving more energy.

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Hybrid Heating Systems And Sustainability

The cost of heating and cooling a home can be prohibitive, so homeowners are on the lookout for the most energy efficient and cost effective way to control the indoor air temperature available. And while most modern homes use an HVAC system, many homeowners in Mooresville, NC are looking for a cheaper, cleaner, more sustainable option. This has generated interest in hybrid heating systems.

A hybrid heating system works with changes in temperature to maximize energy efficiency and uniformly distribute heat throughout a home. Below is an explanation of a hybrid heating system and how it operates.

Hybrid Heating System Basics

A typical air conditioning and heating system combines a heating furnace with an air conditioning unit. A hybrid heating system makes use of a heat pump instead of an AC unit. In warm weather, the heat pump will help keep a home cool. In colder weather, a heat pump will heat the home. The system monitors changes in temperature and adjust its energy usage to produce as much energy savings as possible. It not only helps reduce a home’s carbon footprint, but also reduces costs to the homeowner.

Energy Savings With A Hybrid Heating System

In addition to saving money by monitoring and adjusting to temperature changes, a hybrid heating system saves energy by the method in which it creates heat. Instead of depending on a burning flame that requires a steady stream of fuel, a hybrid heating system circulates a refrigerant, such as puron, to control the temperature throughout a home. The energy savings can average out to three to four percent cost reductions annually.

Heating systems have become increasingly cost effective and energy efficient during the last few decades. Ranging from effectively combining mechanical components to reducing the need for fossil fuels, these improvements can help preserve the environment. By minimizing carbon footprints and decreasing the costs of heating, hybrid heating systems play a role in creating a more sustainable future in Mooresville, NC.

Bottom line? Hybrid heating systems can help you reduce your Mooresville, NC heat bill, save on preventative maintenance, and reduce your carbon footprint by saving more energy.

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Common Green Heating Options

Green heating systems fall under two distinct categories: passive and active. Passive systems maximize nature’s ability to heat without furnaces. Active designs use a variety of mechanical heating and cooling systems. These systems run on solar power, geothermal power or other sources of green energy. Below are common green and renewable heating options for Cornelius, NC.

Geothermal

Earth is brimming with a seemingly limitless energy source deep beneath the surface. But you don’t really have to dig too deep to use this energy. Just a few feet under the surface the temperature is constant all year round. A geothermal system can use this energy to heat almost any kind of building.

Passive Solar Energy

The sun is the best provider of green energy. Solar power is renewable and constant, and most likely won’t run out any time soon. And you don’t need unsightly arrays of panes to enjoy the benefits of solar energy. Passive solar technology uses the building’s walls, windows, and floors to gather, store, and release energy from the sun. However, a passive solar home will still need mechanical equipment such as a radiant heating or forced air system.

Active Solar Energy

Active solar energy involves solar cells containing photovoltaic materials to convert sunlight directly into electricity. That electricity is used to heat a house. Although they’ve been around for decades, solar cells are not efficient. They covert a mere 10% of the sunlight they gather into energy. Photovoltaics can also be costly and it can take 12 to 15 years to recover the cost on your energy bill.

Hydronic Heating

Hydronic heating systems (radiators) have also been around for decades. They’ve become more sophisticated and now use hot water piped through tubes that run under floorboards, through radiators or along base boards.

Absorption

Generally powered by natural gas, absorption heating systems can also use solar or geothermal power. Although an absorption heat pump works like any other heat pump, there are two main differences. It is driven by a natural gas burner instead of electricity and it uses a water-ammonia solution instead of refrigerant. The solution absorbs Earth’s heat and then the pump moves the heated liquid into the house, thus warming the air.

Bottom line? Renewable heating options can help you reduce your Cornelius, NC heat bill, save on preventative maintenance, and reduce your carbon footprint by saving more energy.

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Pros And Cons Of A Heat Pump vs A Gas Furnace

When the time comes to replace the heating system in your Claremont, NC home, there are many options to choose from, but the most popular is either a heat pump system or a gas furnace. Each option will effectively heat your home, they do have their pros and cons. Below is a breakdown of the pros and cons of both types of systems to help you make an informed decision.

Heat Pump Pros And Cons

A heat pump system operates on electricity and is ideal for heating and cooling homes in moderate climates. There are three types of heat pump systems: air, ground, or water. In general, the pros and cons are:

Efficiency

Compared to a gas operated furnace, a heat pump uses significantly less energy and you should see the savings on your bill each month.

Cost Of Installation

Installing a heat pump system generally costs less than the installing a furnace. A furnace requires an extensive ventilation system, which will increase the cost if your home does not already have this system.

Cost Of Operation

Electricity rates are generally lower than natural gas rates, so a heat pump will cost less to operate in most areas.

Noise

A hot air heat pump is quieter than a furnace.

Safety

With a heat pump there is no risk of carbon monoxide poisoning.

Size

A heat pump system has two parts, an indoor and outdoor component. A gas furnace has only one, an indoor component.

Effectiveness

If the temperature drops too low, a heat pump may not be as effective at heating a home. A heat pump works best when the temperature is above freezing and the difference between the temperature outside and the temperature the thermostat is set at is 10-15 degrees.

Gas Furnace Pros And Cons

Gas fired furnaces are a time-tested method for heating houses. However, they also have pros and cons as listed below:

Lifespan

A gas furnace will generally last longer than a heat pump.

Less Maintenance

In general, a gas operated furnace is used for a few months out of each year, so it requires less maintenance than a heat pump that is used year round.

Dependability

With fewer mechanical parts, a gas furnace has fewer things that can break down or malfunction.

Safety

If there is a gas leak it could cause an explosion and fire.

Cleanliness

Since a gas furnace produces heat with combustion, it can create poor indoor air quality in the home.

Bottom line? Decide if a heat pump or gas furnace is for you to reduce your Claremont, NC heat bill, save on preventative maintenance, and reduce your carbon footprint by saving more energy.

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