Beat the Heat: Simple Tips for Your A/C This Summer!

Brutal summer temperatures frequently leave Phoenix homeowners looking for HVAC support. Phoenix enjoys average highs surpassing the 100-degree mark from June through September and trust us, you don’t want your air conditioner to fail during this stretch. In order to stay cool and in control this summer, we have pulled together a list of fantastic yet simple tips for your air conditioning system.

Whether you have a small house or a massive warehouse, keep on reading to find the tips YOU need to stay cool this year!

Adjust Your Ceiling Fans

If you have to rely on your ceiling fans to keep the heat at bay, make sure to set them correctly for the summer months. In order to do this, all you have to do is set your fan to blow downwards. This causes your room to feel cooler as hot air is replaced by the cooler air from above. This is a simple fix that you can implement today that won’t cause a single penny — and we like that!

Check Your A/C Filters

Did you know that you should be in the habit of regularly changing your air conditioning filters? It’s true! While it can be easy to forget that these filters need to be changed, avoiding doing so will lead to a reduction in efficiency throughout your household.

Dirty filters make it harder for air to pass through your system and this can cause your A/C to strain from the efforts. Not only will you feel less cool, but your home’s energy will also become less efficient — leading to increased energy bills throughout the summer.

Tip — Some air conditioning filters can be cleaned at home. Check online with your filter’s manufacturer to see if yours can be scrubbed clean. Try to change your filter at least once every three months, changing based upon use.

Trap Cool Night Air

While Phoenix can feel like it is boiling during the day, nights in Arizona are actually rather comfortable. Before you go to bed at night make sure to turn off your air conditioning unit before opening all of your windows. Allow the cool night air to fill the home and then in the morning make sure to close the windows before the heat of the day arrives.

By closing the windows before it gets too hot, you can trap that cool air in your home. Shut the blinds to retain all of that precious cool air.

Install a High-Efficiency System

How long have you lived in your current home? When was the last time you oversaw the installation of a new HVAC system? The average air conditioning unit can operate effectively for between 10 and 15 years, often depending on the level of maintenance the system enjoys. As most homeowners tend to ignore their HVAC system until it breaks, the odds are good that your building is due for an upgrade.

Consider investing in a high-efficiency HVAC system by contacting a local HVAC contractor. Discuss SEER ratings and any potential green energy credits that are available with your purchase. An upgraded HVAC system can leave your home cooler for longer periods of time at a more affordable rate.

Install Blackout Curtains

Radiant heat leaking through your window can go a long way toward raising the temperature of your home. If you really want to hide from the heat, consider investing in blackout curtains. Blackout curtains are designed to completely remove the light from your room, and they are often used by people who work overnight shifts.

Blackout curtains can remove the light from your home while allowing the ambient temperature in the room to decrease. While blackout curtains aren’t exactly cheap, they are infinitely more affordable than some other options available.

Buy a Programmable Thermostat

As it turns out, micromanaging the thermostat in your home can save you money and sweat. Programmable thermostats make adjusting the dial more efficient than ever, giving you the chance to take absolute control over your cooling efforts. Some studies suggest that programmable thermostats can save homeowners hundreds of dollars every single year in energy costs.

With a programmable thermostat, set the A/C to stay cool when you are awake and to turn off when you are in bed or away from the home. Easy!

About One Stop Heating & Cooling

As temperatures begin to rise, Arizona residents need to know that their cooling solutions will work. The team at One Stop Heating & Cooling has dedicated themselves to providing top-tier sales, service, repair, and installation for all air conditioning, heating, and indoor air quality products.

Driven by honest and reliable work, One Stop Heating & Cooling is proud to offer an array of winning benefits to its clients throughout the area.

  • Family-Owned, Family Operated
  • 24 Hour Emergency Hours
  • Free Estimates
  • Commercial and Residential Services
  • Flexible Financing Solutions (On Approval!)

For an appointment with the best residential and commercial HVAC team in Arizona, fill out our online contact form or pick up the phone and call for a quote at your convenience!

Tips to Keep Your Home Cool During an Arizona Summer

During the summer months, it is not uncommon for the average temperature in Phoenix to exceed 99 degrees Fahrenheit! That means your home’s air conditioning system is working hard around the clock to keep your home comfortable. However, there are some steps you can take to keep your home cool during the sweltering months of summer that don’t involve cranking the thermostat down!

Create Shade Around Your Home

You can use landscaping to your advantage to reduce the amount of sun that reaches your home in the first place. Specifically, having larger shrubs or trees around your home’s east- and west-facing windows can create some much-needed shade that will keep your home a little cooler during the hottest times of the day.

If you don’t have any significant landscaping around your home’s perimeter, now is a good time to consider working with a landscaping professional to minimize sun exposure in your home and add some curb appeal in the process!

Use Ceiling Fans to Your Advantage

Ceiling fans can be a great (and energy-efficient) way to keep each room of your home a few degrees cooler without having to adjust your thermostat. Make sure you’re using any existing ceiling fans in your home to keep air circulating. If you don’t have ceiling fans in your home (or if they’re missing from your main living spaces), having one installed is relatively simple and inexpensive. In fact, any money you spend having ceiling fans installed can be offset by energy savings down the road!

Invest in Window Treatments

Just as you can use strategically placed landscaping to cut down on sunlight entering your home, you can use window treatments in a similar manner. Specifically, you’ll want to make sure that any east- and west-facing rooms in your home (which will naturally receive the most sunlight) have light-blocking window treatments. This can include blinds, drapes, curtains, or even full blackout panels.

During the brightest times of day in these rooms, be sure to draw these window treatments closed. This will reduce the amount of sunlight that enters the room and thus keep the temperature down in your home. And of course, the right window treatments can also add some beauty to your space!

Reduce Your Use of Heat-Generating Appliances

You might be surprised at just how much heat clothes dryers, ovens, and even dishwashers can put off as they operate. With this in mind, you may want to avoid using these appliances during the heat of the day whenever possible. If you have to run a load of dishes or dry a load of laundry, try to do so during the evening or nighttime hours instead.

You can also cut down on your use of these heat-generating appliances by making sure that your dishwasher is completely full before you run it. Likewise, avoid doing laundry until you have a full load of clothes to wash. This will not only keep your home more comfortable during the summer months, but will cut down on the wear and tear of these appliances as well.

Maintain Your Air Conditioner

The last thing you need in the middle of a sweltering Arizona summer is to run into mechanical problems with your air conditioning unit. This is why it’s so important to take care of all components of your AC system year-round! There are plenty of steps you can take to maintain your AC system, starting with swapping out the air filter as needed. Typically, filters should be changed about once every 90 days to ensure proper airflow and maximize the efficiency of your unit. When was the last time you changed yours?

You’ll also want to take measures to protect your outdoor AC compressor unit from the elements. This includes keeping any landscaping (shrubs, plants, weeds, etc.) trimmed back and away from the unit itself to allow for proper airflow.

In addition to all of this, scheduling an annual air conditioning tune-up and inspection with a trusted HVAC professional can also extend the life of your unit and help you avoid unwanted surprises this summer. An annual inspection can alert you to potential problems that you can repair before they turn into more costly issues. Meanwhile, a tune-up can keep your air conditioning running smoothly all summer long.

Schedule Your AC Service Today!

A little creativity can go a long way towards keeping your Arizona home cool this summer. By following these tips, you can give your air conditioner a much-needed break without sacrificing comfort in the process.

Looking for an HVAC company you can trust with your annual AC inspection and tune-up? One Stop Heating & Cooling has you covered! Contact us today at (623) 688-6556 to schedule your inspection or to find out more about our residential services.

Things You Can Do To Prep Your AC for the Arizona Summer!

As summer approaches and temperatures rise throughout Arizona, homeowners find themselves relying more and more on their air conditioning systems to stay comfortable indoors. Before the most sweltering temperatures of the year hit, however, it’s a good idea to make sure your home’s air conditioning system receives a little TLC. After all, a well-maintained air conditioner will run more efficiently and be less prone to mechanical failures throughout the summer.

Not sure where to begin when it comes to preparing your AC for another sweltering Arizona summer? We’ve got you covered with some practical tips and recommendations.

Replace Dirty Air Filters

Start by asking yourself when you last changed your HVAC system’s air filter. If it’s been more than a few months, then there’s a good chance that your air filter is in dire need of replacement. With most furnace and AC air filters, the recommended amount of time in between changes is around 90 days.

Swapping out your air filter with a fresh one ensures that you’re not trying to run your air conditioning with a clogged filtration system. This, in turn, improves your indoor air quality and helps your unit run more efficiently. By preventing your air conditioning system from working harder than it needs to this summer, you’re also reducing the likelihood of needing costly and unexpected repairs.

Optimize Efficiency

Now is also a good time to take some proactive measures to improve the efficiency of your air conditioning system, which in turn can keep it running more smoothly. There are plenty of steps you can take to optimize efficiency, such as checking around your home for drafty windows and doors. Taking the time to caulk around drafty areas of the home provides better insulation, thus protecting your air conditioning unit from being overworked.

If any of the ductwork in your home is exposed, you may also want to consider having it insulated. This will help to keep cold air traveling from your AC’s condenser unit as cool as possible as it makes it way to your vents. This improves energy efficiency, which can save you money on your electric bills while also helping your AC unit run more efficiently.

Check the Condensate Line

Your air conditioning system also contains a part known as a “condensate drain,” which is responsible for carrying moisture away from the unit that is formed during the refrigeration cycle. Unfortunately, condensate drain lines can become clogged over time. When this happens, water can become backed up in the drain pan and eventually overflow, causing water damage that can affect other important parts of your air conditioning system.

For this reason, it’s a good idea to check your AC’s condensate line for clogs at least once a year—and to clear them out as necessary. This small step can protect you from much more costly damage and repairs down the road.

Schedule Preventative Maintenance

If you’re not already enrolled in an HVAC service plan for your home, now is the time to consider signing up for an annual maintenance and tune-up plan for your air conditioning system. Having a yearly inspection done by an experienced and knowledgeable HVAC professional is a great way to stay on top of small repairs and other issues that need to be addressed before they turn into major and costly AC repairs or premature replacement.

Meanwhile, many HVAC service plans also include tune-up services, which can help to get your air conditioning system ready for summer. While the exact services included in a tune-up can vary greatly from one company to the next, many will include such services as cleaning parts, checking condensate lines, measuring refrigerant levels, and much more. An annual tune-up is a great way to keep your home’s AC system running as smoothly as possible.

Ideally, you should have an AC inspection and tune-up done in the early spring months; this gives you time to have any necessary repairs done and ensures that your AC system is ready to perform as the warmer months of the year approach. However, you can have an AC inspection done at any time.

One Stop Heating & Cooling is Here to Help

Looking for a local HVAC company you can trust with your home’s AC inspection and tune-up? One Stop Heating & Cooling has you covered. Our NATE-certified technicians can also handle any necessary repairs or even total AC replacement to suit your needs. Ultimately, our goal is to help you stay as comfortable as possible in your home this summer—no matter what Arizona’s harsh climate brings.

Schedule your AC tune-up and inspection with our friendly team at One Stop Heating & Cooling today by our contact form or calling us anytime at (623) 688-6556. We look forward to serving you! We’d also be happy to answer any questions you may have about our residential services or schedule a quote for AC replacement, so feel free to reach out.

How to Prepare For Your Spring A/C Tune-Up!

As spring rolls into view once again and the temperatures begin to rise, air conditioning units throughout Arizona will be relied upon once again. Arizona’s spring season rolls into view starting in early March as temperatures climb from the steady 50°Fs into the 80°Fs with regularity. As temperatures continue to climb, cities like Phoenix can get hit with daily highs exceeding 100 °F!

To beat the heat and stay cool this year, make sure that you prepare your air conditioning system with a tune-up service. Let’s explore how air conditioning maintenance routines can benefit your home, your health, and your overall bottom line.

How to Prepare for Your AC Tune-Up 

As Arizona’s warmer months fully roll into view, our reliance on the air conditioning system within our home increases. With high temperatures in July, August, and September elevating past 107 °F, access to proper cooling solutions can impact your overall health and wellness.

Before ringing your favorite HVAC technicians at One Stop Heating & Cooling, there are a few ways that you can prepare for your AC tune-up service.

  1. Inspect Outdoor Unit — Properly preparing for a professional A/C tune-up should include assessing the outdoor unit attached to your home. Take this time to monitor for potential issues including broken panels or failing components. This is also a good time to make sure there are no animals or nests near your equipment.
  2. Change AC Filter — One of the easiest ways to vastly improve the operational efficiency and lifespan of your AC unit is by regularly changing the air filter. Air filters should be replaced between 30 and 90 days, pending the level of use that your household experiences. Not only are clean air filters vital to the efficiency of your air conditioning system, but they are also your first line of defense when it comes to maintaining the air quality of your household.
  3. Clear Debris From Near Outdoor Unit — From ants and bees to pack rats and birds, the pests and rodents of Arizona are always ready to make a nest or make a mess. While inspecting your HVAC unit outside, look for any twigs, debris, or potential nesting materials put in place by an animal.
  4. Schedule Regular Services Every Spring — Regular air conditioning tune-ups can go a long way toward improving the air quality of your home, the comfort of your household, and the size of your bank account. With a $49.95 maintenance special currently available, now is the best time to call on One Stop Heating & Cooling to book your annual maintenance services.

With these points of preparation out of the way, we can move forward by scheduling a maintenance appointment with the team at One Stop Heating & Cooling! One Stop Heating & Cooling specializes in upfront pricing for services offered by qualified experts!

Benefits of Regular AC Maintenance 

As the world seemingly comes to life around us with Spring’s full introduction, improving our air quality and ensuring proper access to our cooling system should become a priority. While the average air conditioning unit can last for up to 15 years, regular maintenance and competent check-ups are imperative. Let’s look at a few key advantages that come with regular AC tune-up services.

  • Extended System Lifespan — With an average lifespan between 10 and 15 years, homeowners can make sure they get the most out of their system by scheduling regular tune-up services. Regular maintenance calls are ideal for addressing issues before they come to their full realization.
  • Improve Operational Efficiency — An air conditioning system that does not experience frequent maintenance will begin to heavily showcase signs of wear-and-tear. As issues manifest throughout the system, operational efficiency can drop while causing your energy bill to skyrocket!
  • Save Money in the Long Run — An ounce of preparation is more affordable than a pound of repairs. By engaging in regular maintenance services, we are keeping an eye on one of the most important systems within our household. Pay for maintenance today to avoid exorbitant bills in the future!

According to the team at One Stop Heating & Cooling, it is imperative to schedule at least one AC tune-up per year to ensure your systems continued operational effectiveness.

Call One Stop Heating & Cooling For a Quote, Today!

One Stop Heating & Cooling is a family-owned and operated company that has been proudly serving residents of Arizona for years.  With a full team of sales, service, repair, and installation technicians at the ready, One Stop Heating & Cooling is proud to offer 24/7 services to keep you cool no matter the situation or time of day.

In addition to offering 24/7 emergency service hours, One Stop Heating & Cooling can be counted on for a variety of beneficial services.

  • Residential & Commercial Repairs
  • FREE Estimates on All Service Calls
  • Customer Satisfaction GUARANTEED
  • Frequent Specials & Financing Options

Don’t sweat out your next service call, let the team at One Stop Heating & Cooling help you, today!

4 Common Causes of HVAC Failure in Modern Homes

Heating and cooling solutions have been part and parcel of daily life since they were first introduced in the early 1900s. The air conditioner was brought forth by Willis Carrier in 1902 while the furnace as we know it was introduced in 1919. Since then, homes around the nation have been outfitted with modern and advanced HVAC systems.

Yet for all the comfort and convenience that our modern HVAC systems provide, they also experience some common causes of failure. There are many reasons that an HVAC system can fail and the majority of them should be diagnosed by the professionals at One Stop Heating and Cooling.

Before you pick up the phone to call on your team of HVAC professionals, let’s take some time to outline four of the most common causes of HVAC failure in homes and businesses, today.

Dirty Filters Due to Neglect

Did you know that one of the most effective ways to maintain a high level of air quality is by changing out your air filters on a routine basis? It’s true and yet so many people neglect to even find out where the filters for their HVAC units are.

Dirty air filters are one of the most common causes of struggling HVAC systems in the world. Thankfully, this is a relatively simple fix. Merely find the dirty filters within your HVAC system before replacing them entirely. There are washable filter options available for people that want to shop for more sustainable heating and cooling solutions.

Changing out your dirty filters should become a priority and the first line of defense against a failing HVAC unit. The team at One Stop Heating and Cooling suggests changing air filters at least once every three months, depending on use.

Malfunctioning Thermostat / Broken Thermostat

Without the thermostat centrally controlling your HVAC system, things can stop working as they should. Broken thermostats are far more often the cause of issues within HVAC systems than many might expect. Thankfully, this is a relatively simple and inexpensive repair. With that being said, use this time to consider upgrading to a better style of a thermostat, particularly if you live in an older home with an older and out of date HVAC system.

Broken thermostats can be quickly fixed by an HVAC repair technician. The big hurdle that must be overcome with this problem is that a broken thermostat may be hard to pin down at first due to the evolving nature of HVAC systems. As always, a careful inspection with the assistance of an HVAC tech can clarify this issue further.

Frozen Evaporator Coil

When we don’t regularly clean our air filtration devices, we can end up with a big issue in the form of a frozen evaporator coil. Frozen coils are caused by air filtration problems that cause a build-up of frost on or near the actual coil. This issue can get identified rather quickly by inspecting the coil itself. This is an issue that would benefit from a professional set of hands, so consider a technician when it comes time to fix and solve this problem for the future.

Frozen evaporator coils can also happen when an air conditioning system is operated too long and too intensely. Make sure to pay attention to your AC needs and to quickly identify potential frozen coil problems. A small issue today can grow into a large issue tomorrow.

HVAC Without Power Might Signify a Tripped Breaker

Have you ever come home to a cold or otherwise non-temperature controlled home? While our first thoughts may run to the thermostat, another likely cause for this issue is a tripped breaker. When an HVAC system refuses to function at all it potentially signifies an issue between the power system and the furnace, likely fixable through simply resetting the break.

The first time that a homeowner finds a non-function HVAC system, check the breaker box. If resetting the breakers doesn’t bring power back to your heating and cooling systems, make sure to pick up the phone and call on the team at One Stop Heating and Cooling for a free estimate.

Maximize Your Winter Energy Efficiency by Watching For This!

If you’re feeling defeated by high heating bills this winter, it may be time to re-evaluate the energy-efficiency of your home’s heating system. Whether you have a gas or electric furnace, there are a number of issues that can waste energy and cost you money. And of course, a furnace with poor energy-efficiency has to work harder to keep your home comfortable—which results in premature wear and tear.

There are many potential sources of skyrocketing energy bills during the winter months, but one you won’t want to overlook is that of leaky air ducts. By understanding what causes air duct leaks and what you can do about them, you can optimize the efficiency of your home’s heating system and possibly cut down on those energy bills as a result.

Are Duct Leaks Costing You Money?

Your home’s furnace is connected to a series of ductwork that runs throughout your home. Because ductwork tends to be hidden in ceilings and behind drywall, you probably don’t think much about it. Over time, however, individual sections of ductwork can loosen (especially as your house naturally settles). This creates gaps that allow air to escape.

Why is this a problem? Because after your furnace works to generate warm air, that air can be lost through leaks in your ductwork. As a result, your furnace needs to work even harder to create more heat. As you can imagine, this is detrimental to your home’s energy efficiency and may lead to higher energy bills.

Ideally, sections of ductwork in your home should be completely airtight. Unfortunately, even small leaks in your home’s ductwork can lead to a loss of up to 40% of efficiency. Meanwhile, these small leaks in your home’s ductwork can also invite dust and other debris to make their way into your ducts and vents. This can result in poor indoor air quality in addition to higher energy bills. What a drag!

How to Diagnose an Air Duct Leak

Determining whether air duct leaks are a problem in your home can be difficult, especially when you consider that much of your home’s ductwork is hidden behind walls. Still, there are several “red flags” you can watch out for that may indicate the presence of air duct leaks in your home, such as:

  • a sudden or gradual increase in energy bills
  • inconsistent heating/cooling (some rooms are colder/warmer than others)
  • noticeable increase in dust throughout your home

If there are visible areas of ductwork (such as in your basement or attic), there are also some things you can do to check for leaks. Start with a visual inspection to look for obvious tears or other damage. Pay careful attention to duct joints, which are areas where two sections of ductwork are joined together.

You’ll also want to be on the lookout for signs of patched ductwork from previous homeowners. For example, if you notice that there is duct tape wrapped around a section of ductwork, this is probably a sign that the duct had an air leak in the past and was not properly repaired.

What to Do About an Air Duct Leak

If you believe your home has air duct leaks, you’ll want to repair them as soon as possible. Otherwise, you’ll continue to throw money out the window each month with high heating bills.

Generally, it’s best to leave air duct leak repairs to an HVAC professional. Not only will an experienced HVAC specialist be able to pinpoint the exact locations of leaks throughout your home, but he or she will also be able to repair them properly. Using specialized metallic tapes and sealants, it is possible to repair most air duct leaks in a way that will last.

Likewise, if it is discovered that any of your home’s air ducts have fallen out of alignment, this is something that an HVAC professional will be able to assist with. Once everything is sealed back up and aligned properly, you can rest assured that both cool and warm air will be carried efficiently throughout your home with minimal temperature loss and proper air pressure. This, in turn, should lead to lower energy bills, a more comfortable living space, and improved overall indoor air quality for everybody in your household!

Schedule an Appointment With One Stop Heating & Cooling

Ready to have an HVAC specialist check your home’s air ducts for leaks? Need air duct leaks patched or repaired? Our team at One Stop Heating & Cooling is here to help. We proudly serve Phoenix and the surrounding areas with a wide range of HVAC services that include air duct repair. Our goal is to help you maximize energy efficiency in your home by detecting and sealing off leaks. We can also assist with correcting air pressure imbalances within your system.

Reach out to our friendly team at (623) 688-6556 to schedule your appointment or to find out more about what we can do for you!

Heater Maintenance Tips to Get You Through the Winter

Proper heater maintenance will ensure that you and your family stay warm and cozy throughout the winter months. There’s nothing worse than a heating system that’s not working right on a cold winter night. Here’s a list of things that you should check on to keep your heating system in good condition for the chillier months. With the proper maintenance, your heating system will everyone warm, run more efficiently and last a lot longer. Just like a car needs to be maintained, so does your home’s heating system.

Check the Furnace Filter

A clean filter will keep your heating system operating well and with efficiency. The filter should be replaced about every 30 to 90 days, depending on how often you use the heat. Dirty filters just make the heating system have to work harder and longer. Be sure to stock up on furnace filters for the winter, so you’re prepared for those cold nights.  You can also ask your HVAC technician if you’re using the proper filter on a maintenance visit.

Flush Out the Hot Water Tank

Flushing out the hot water tank will remove sediment that could impede the operation of your HVAC system. Over time, debris builds up in your heating system and it has to be flushed out. You can also check the pressure relief valve to ensure it’s in good working order.

Clean the Humidifier

The home humidifier is a critical part of the heating system. Maintaining the right amount of humidity inside your house keeps the air quality good and your heating system operating well. Be sure to change the evaporator pad, too.

Bleed Radiator Valves

If your home has a hot water radiator, it’s important to bleed the valves. This helps remove trapped air. When you bleed the valves, it helps your heating system operate better. Just open the valves a little bit and close them when the water starts to leak.

Keep the Furnace Area Clean

Proper airflow is essential for your heating system to work properly. Remove items block any vents or air duct registers. Remove stored items that are close to your heating system and move them away from the unit. With proper airflow, your heating system doesn’t have to work as hard to provide heat for your home.

Inspect for Leaks

Take a good look around the air ducts. Do a thorough inspection.  Are there any loose joints, leaks or holes? If so, do some ductwork repair or call a professional to do it for you. This will prevent warm air from escaping and keep your heating system operating at its top performance.

Check the Thermostat

Don’t just assume that the thermostat is working properly. Test it out. Turn the thermostat up a few degrees. You should hear the heater turn and then feel some warm air coming out. Be sure to check the thermostat before winter rolls in. If it’s time for a new thermostat, go ahead and invest in one.

Clean the Outside Unit

Your heating system is not just operating inside your house. It draws air from the exterior, warms it up and then distributes the warm air inside your home. Remove debris from the outside unit from all of the elements, including leaves.  It will only block and stall the air intake. And if it snows, shovel it away from the unit, so the unit can breathe. The outdoor unit should always be clean and free of debris.

Clean and Unblock Vents

Heat won’t come from the ducts if the vents are blocked. And the built-up heat can cause damage to your hearing system. Be sure t dust and unblock all vents from things like pet hair and other types of blockages. This way, the warm air can flow freely into the rooms.

Fix Crack and Holes

It’s important that your heating system doesn’t have to overwork in the wintertime. The warm air that constantly escapes from drafty windows and cracks in the walls will force your heating system to have to work harder. So, plug up any cracks or holes. You can plug holes with caulk and cover drafty windows with plastic. This will help the home retain heat and lessen the load on your heating system.

Get a Winter Tune-Up

Getting a winter tune is well worth the investment. During a tune-up, all ductwork and airflow are checked, gas pressure and gas leaks are tested, electrical controls are inspected, the thermostat is tested and air temperature tests at vents are done. A winter tune-up for your heating system is the ideal way to maintain your heating unit. Plus, it’s best to know if any repairs are needed before things breakdown on a cold night.

If you don’t properly maintain your heating system, it just might not make it through the winter. Follow this list of maintenance steps to take and stay warm this winter.

The Differences Between Air Ventilation, Filtration, and Purification

Understanding Your Air Handling Options

Modern HVAC technology offers a variety of methods for maintaining the cleanliness and healthfulness of your air. Three primary approaches include air ventilation, purification, and filtration. Let’s take a look at the main features, limitations, and benefits of each.

Ventilation: Air Exchange and Circulation

Pushing air around your home doesn’t automatically make that air any cleaner. If you constantly breathe the same old stale indoor air, you might actually get better air quality by going outside. Air circulation only improves air quality when you have a means of replacing the old, stale air with new, fresh air. Properly-installed, well-designed mechanical ventilation systems can make this possible. A mechanical ventilation system uses fans and ducts to pull cleaned, filtered air into the home while also pushing “used” air out. Bear in mind, however, that this very basic level of air cleaning may not be sufficient for your needs; nor can it prevent the infiltration of germs.

Filtration: Pulling Particles Out of the Air

Filtration works by setting up a physical, permeable barrier to airborne particles. Particles smaller than a particular size may pass through the filter, while anything larger gets stopped by the filter material. This straining process can provide much cleaner air for anyone sensitive to dust, dander, mold, pollen, and other common irritants. Less dust in the air also means less dust on your air conditioning coils. (Coils that get clogged with dust simply can’t operate efficiently.)

Many standard HVAC air filters do little to block any but the largest particles, which may prove beneficial only to your air conditioning components. For filtration that also helps to preserve your health, look into MERV-16 or HEPA filters, which can block particles as small as 0.3 microns.

Purification: Killing Contaminants Before They Cause Trouble

Air purification focuses on killing any germs that may infiltrate a home’s HVAC system. This makes them a natural complement to filtration systems, which may stop the majority of germs but still permit the tiniest one to remain airborne. Air purifiers work their magic by implementing either of these two technologies:

  • Ultraviolet light – Some air purifiers expose incoming air to UVC radiation (the most toxic and destructive type of UV), killing viruses and bacteria.
  • Photocatalytic ionization – This air-scrubbing technology adds a chemical catalyst to the UVC component in an air purifier system. As the UVC kills the germs, the catalyst produces chemical changes that reduce them to CO2 and water.

An air purifier may offer more air cleaning power than your home and family actually need. Some models also produce UVC radiation at frequencies that result in the production of ozone (which you don’t want in your home). If you choose this solution, ask your HVAC installer about recommended makes and models.

Which Approach Makes the Most Sense for Your Needs?

Even after examining the various pros and cons of each home air handling solution, you may still wonder which of them to install in your home. The ideal scenario, of course, would involve installing all three of them. In reality, though, one or two of these options may be all you need to tackle a pressing air handling concern or challenge. Let’s examine some specific factors that might influence your decision.

Health Considerations

Do you or your family members suffer from a respiratory condition, poor immune system, or extreme sensitivity to allergens? If health concerns dominate your air handling questions, your primary goal is to keep those particles away from your loved ones. This means starting with air filtration and purification. This “one-two punch” can strain out all but the tiniest particles while also killing viruses and bacteria. Some products actually incorporate both of these functions into their design.

Home Considerations

Your size and style of home may affect what kind of air handling devices you require. For example, if you live in a particularly snug little home with little natural air circulation, your first goal may be to get that air moving better with the aid of mechanical ventilation. It’s also possible that you simply need a better ventilation system that your home currently employs. Faulty installation or poor design can actually cause a ventilation system to make air quality worse instead of better. If you’re seeing lots of dust, your current system is probably just pushing dirty air around.

Whether your home’s air needs ventilation, purification, filtration, or any combination of the above, ask One Stop Heating & Cooling for assistance. We can evaluate your current setup, note any particular complications you might want to address, and install the ideal components to keep you breathing freely.

 

My A/C Isn’t Cooling My Home, What’s Wrong?

Troubleshooting HVAC Cooling Issues

You might not think much about your air conditioning until something goes wrong with it. When this unsung hero of your home suddenly experiences a total failure, you know you need to get an A/C technician to come fix it immediately. Sometimes, however, an HVAC system can seem to function as it always does without producing anywhere near its normal cooling effects. What’s going on, and what can you do about it? Let’s look at some common symptoms, problems, and solutions.

Temperature Settings Make Your System Work Too Hard

When everyday temperatures get out of control, so can your electric bill. It only makes sense, then, to raise your thermostat a bit above comfortable levels when no one is at home, as a means of saving energy — right? Unfortunately, this practice may not be worth whatever money you might think you’re saving.

While you might come out ahead on this strategy when temperatures are warm but still manageable, hotter days and high thermostat settings can make your home feel like an oven by the time you get home. You then have to run the system extra-hard to get the ambient temperature back to a livable level. That extra work can cause premature wear and tear that reduces your system’s ability to do its job.

If you choose to raise your thermostat level while you’re out, turn it up only a couple of degrees higher than you’d find comfortable. You’ll still save some energy without also pushing your HVAC system to restore that comfort zone later.

Refrigerant Issues Keep Your Air From Cooling

Your air conditioner relies on refrigerant to keep your home cool. This substance can change pressure rapidly, going from extremely hot to extremely cold as it goes through your system’s condenser and evaporator coils. Air moving over the chilled coils becomes cool and sheds moisture through condensation.

If your system is running low on refrigerant, it can’t perform this important cooling process satisfactorily, no matter how long it cycles. Modern refrigerants don’t wear out or “go bad,” but they leak through any holes or gaps that permit it to do so. If you can’t get cold air out of a hard-working air conditioner, ask your HVAC technician to check the refrigerant.

Dirty Coils Interfere With Essential Functions

Even with normal amounts of refrigerant running through them, your HVAC system’s condenser and evaporator coils won’t operate at full efficiency if they’ve gotten dirty. These components depend on efficient heat transfer between their surfaces and the outside air. Dirt acts as a barrier that interferes with this heat transfer, resulting in incomplete cooling. Evaporator coils may even freeze up, making normal function impossible and allowing moisture to hang in your ambient air.

A Glitchy Thermostat Can’t Control Your Climate

Do the numbers on your thermostat tell the truth — and is your thermostat issuing the proper instructions to the rest of your HVAC system? Wiring problems, dust in the works, corrosion, loose terminals, screws, and other common problems can cause your thermostat to malfunction, which in turn may cause the HVAC system to short cycle (turning off too quickly after engaging to have much effect on temperature and humidity levels). Fortunately, your technician can replace faulty thermostat components relatively easily.

Air Leaks Deprive You of Your Air Conditioning

If all the components of your air conditioning system appear to be running normally, why does your home never seem to cool down? The answer may lie in unseen gaps or holes in your ductwork. If this closed system isn’t quite so closed as it was designed to be, all that cool air produced by your HVAC system may be flowing into your walls instead of your rooms. Have your ducts checked for any disconnection or damage that needs patching. Don’t forget to examine your home for any air leaks caused by defective weatherstripping or other gaps.

The Wrong A/C Size Can Doom You to Discomfort

Have you never felt satisfied with your air conditioner’s ability to cool your home? Maybe you have the wrong size of A/C unit installed. An overly-small air conditioner will never be able to cool your square footage adequately. An overly-large air conditioner will short cycle constantly, failing to live up to its capabilities. Ask your HVAC technician for recommendations on whether you need to right-size your HVAC system to suit your residence.

If you need expert help for your HVAC cooling problem, contact One Stop Heating and Cooling. We can discover the reason for your discomfort and make the necessary fixes to give you the powerful, efficient air conditioning you need!

 

Air Conditioning and COVID-19: Does Your Air Conditioner Impact the Spread of Coronavirus?

When the Coronavirus pandemic first kicked off in the United States, misinformation and misunderstanding were the norms. Now, months later, our understanding of the novel coronavirus has been enhanced, though some key questions remain. The novel coronavirus is a new strain of coronavirus that has not been previously identified or understood. This new virus causes the COVID-19 infection that we have been tracking for so long, killing almost one million people around the world.

As a highly contagious respiratory condition, it stands to reason that questions would linger about the impact of air conditioning on the spread of the virus. Today, we want to delve into the question by using scientific research to back up our conclusions. As always, for a full understanding of any infectious disease please refer to the experts at the CDC for final thoughts.

Coronavirus vs. Air Conditioning: A Complicated Battle

Anytime that questions are surrounding an infectious respiratory illness, our thoughts go to the ways that we may interact with this virus. Let’s take a closer look at how COVID-19 is currently understood to spread to answer this question more completely.

COVID-19 is spread primarily from one person to the next through respiratory droplets that are produced when an individual coughs, talks, or sneezes. Infected droplets that are inhaled or consumed orally can lead to to infection, thus leading to the sustainable issues surrounding community spread, where one member of the community is gifted the disease from someone else within that same community.

As a respiratory illness that requires simply inhaling infected droplets, wearing a mask while practicing social distancing can help to seriously stem the tide of coronavirus infections. Yet, it is through understanding this process that we can see how air conditioning and COVID-19 intersect. To accomplish this task, let’s look at how air conditioning works at a basic level.

When your air conditioning unit runs, it transfers energy from one place to the next. Central A/C units operate by extracting heat from a conditioned space before relocating it outside of your home. The terminology here is important as your A/C unit is moving energy and not air. The same air in your home will be recirculated over and over again, less the installation of a proper ventilation system such as a Heat Recovery Ventilator.

What does this mean? It means that your air conditioning system can spread the coronavirus infection from one room to the next. This is particularly important when considering inviting outside members of the household to your home. Individuals who cohabitate should not worry about A/C as a viral vector until a third party is brought into the home from the outside.

Reclaiming Air Purity: Ozone Generator vs. Air Purifier

While the coronavirus has seemingly continued to spread throughout the world despite mitigation efforts, some methods are being explored to prevent the continued risk of exposure at home. With that being said, the novel coronavirus is still new and not thoroughly understood. Any product, good, or service claiming to offer a cure for COVID-19 should be met with significant skepticism. All final word when discussing COVID-19 should be focused on the medical professionals at the CDC and WHO.

Understanding that there is no tried-and-true cure does not mean that there aren’t any potential ways to protect yourself and your home.  Independent air quality tests in controlled environments have been shown to destroy pathogens with nearly 99.99% effectiveness through the use of ozone generators. While this is exciting and positive news, it should be underscored that the level of ozone required to neutralize COVID-19 was too high for human and animal safety.

Ozone generators operate by creating ozone through the breaking-apart of an oxygen molecule. These broken-down oxygen molecules attach to other molecules in the air to create ozone (O3). While ozone is marketed as ‘pure air’ or ‘activated oxygen’ the unfortunate truth is that ozone is a toxic gas and thus unfit for inhalation due to the inherent dangers it poses toward human health.

While ozone generators are not yet an actionable solution for preventing the spread of COVID-19 through our air conditioning unit, in-duct air purifiers may offer a rewarding opportunity. As air conditioners circulate air repeatedly throughout the home, the addition of an in-line duct purifier can help to purify the air that maneuvers through the entire home. Air purifiers like the REME HALO, Air Scrubber Plus, and the APCO Fresh Aire Air Purifier both offer value as stand-alone purifiers to kill airborne contaminants.

As it stands right now, there are no perfect solutions to preventing the spread of the novel coronavirus. Our understanding of the respiratory illness is always evolving as new science dictates. What we do understand is that COVID-19 CAN SPREAD through air conditioning and that in-line purifiers have been shown to decrease the risk of airborne pathogens circulating in a household.