Read these 9 HVAC Contractors Tips tips to make your life smarter, better, faster and wiser. Each tip is approved by our Editors and created by expert writers so great we call them Gurus. LifeTips is the place to go when you need to know about HVAC tips and hundreds of other topics.
If you are replacing an existing central air conditioner, don't expect the unit's size to be the same. Additions and changes to your house, and better insulation, can affect cooling demands. Your HVAC contractor will gather information about your house and calculate the size you need.
Ask your HVAC contractor to check your heating and cooling system annually. It's a good idea to schedule an appointment in the spring or fall, ahead of peak seasons for running HVAC systems. Summers and winters also are peak times for HVAC contractors to work, and their schedules fill fast. The following is a thorough list for an HVAC system checkup:
* Check thermostat settings.
* Review electrical connections and measure voltage and current on motors.
* Lubricate all moving parts.
* Check and clean the drain.
* Make sure the system starts and shuts off properly.
* Clean air conditioning coils.
* Check and refresh refrigerant levels.
* Clean blower parts.
* Check all gas (or oil) connections.
* Clean or change air filters.
If one or two rooms are unusually hot or cold in your home, you may need an HVAC contractor to identify the problem. The contractor can do an in-home evaluation and will use diagnostic equipment to understand the problems. Here are questions to ask the contractor who reviews your heating and cooling system:
1.) Is the heating and cooling system operating properly?
2.) Are ducts well sealed?
3.) Is air being distributed throughout the house?
4.) Are there areas of high humidity or moisture buildup?
5.) Does the home's insulation seem adequate?
A variety of problems can cause certain rooms in your house to overheat or get too cold. That is why it is a good idea to call a specialist. Your HVAC system may be the problem and need repairs. Your home may have inadequate insulation. The contractor should check every room, from the basement to the attic.
Independent HVAC contractors need to partner with heating and cooling makers that offer quality products and solid support. HVAC manufacturers that are not trustworthy or reliable will hurt small business owners and independent service contractors. Here are some tips to follow when seeking HVAC contractors:
* Find companies that provide online access to technical information, service manuals, maintenance resources and installation guides.
* Consider partnering with manufacturers that have a record of reliability.
* Partner with HVAC makers that offer standard appliances as well as high-efficiency ENERGY STAR products. This gives your customers more options.
* Avoid products that require a lot of extra work to install. Overly complicated units may need a lot of extra work to repair as well.
* Ask about access and ease to ordering. The last thing you need is to waste time waiting on a product, or to have to make excuses when a product is not available.
* Make sure regional distribution centers are near or located in the areas you serve.
* Check out the customer service. What are the hours of availability? How long do you have to wait on the phone for assistance?
Poorly sized commercial indoor air quality systems may allow unhealthy mold to grow. Your heating and cooling contractor can identify the problem. The HVAC specialist may need to make system upgrades or add dehumidification equipment.
Does your building have an aging HVAC system? Are you worried that you will soon need to replace it, but lack the expertise to make the best decisions? Business owners need to find solutions they can afford while ensuring the comfort and health of workers and the public.
Upgrading or buying a new HVAC system is a major investment. Maintaining and keeping your system running properly also costs a lot. You may want to consider
an independent evaluation of your current HVAC equipment and its operation.
HVAC contractors and dealers can put you in contact with independent consultants and industry experts in HVAC audits and evaluations. It's an expense that may save you thousands of dollars in operation costs and repairs. Look for a certified consultant to conduct the evaluation, report on systems operations, and offer detailed recommendations. A major member organization of certified consultants is NATE, or the North American Technician Excellence Inc.
If your office building or retail store is too humid, the problem may be the commercial HVAC system.
- Is the system well-maintained? Clean dirty coils, which reduce cooling and dehumidification. Clogged pans may hold standing water. Leaks in the mechanical system let moisture enter the building.
- Is the indoor air quality system being operated properly? Make sure the cooling fans run at a moderate speed. Sometimes air velocity is set too high, because spaces are not adequately cooled. But the result can be higher humidity levels in a building.
The local climate, your area's electric rates, even how often doors and windows are opened and shut affect the costs to run your central air conditioner. Know the factors, so you can save money on electric bills and maintenance.
HVAC contractors and your local utility company may offer home energy audits or refer you to an independent consultant. Of course, there are some factors you cannot control, like climate. A central air conditioner will run a lot harder and get more use in Florida, than in the Northeast.
But you can lower operating costs by better insulating your home, and by keeping windows and doors to the outside shut as much as possible. Also, look at household activities and use of appliances that may require the air conditioner to work harder to cool the house.
Proper installation and care of energy-saving central air conditioners improve efficiency. Better efficiency lowers your monthly electric bills. Here is a checklist to follow for new home HVAC systems:
- Ask your HVAC contractor to locate the outdoor condenser where it can be protected from shrubbery, snow and rain.
- Make sure there is space around the site for installation, service and maintenance.
- Cover outdoor units in the winter to shield them from ice and snow.