3 Reasons for the Loss of Gas Flow in Your Furnace

January 31st, 2014

Gas-powered furnaces remain the most popular type of furnace for home heating because of their effectiveness and reliability; you can beat any level of cold in Kentucky with a gas furnace at your service.

However, a gas furnace is only as good as the gas flow its burners receive. A loss of gas flow means a loss of your heating. When this happens, don’t attempt to figure out the problem for yourself. Any repairs that are connected to a main gas line require the work of trained, licensed professionals to perform. Do not risk serious injury with amateur repairs. When you need help with your furnace in the Highlands, KY, call AccuTemp Heating and Air Conditioning. We promise to fix it right… or it’s free.

Reasons you have a loss of gas flow to your furnace

  1. Bad gas valve: The gas valve controls the flow of the gas to your furnace; this is where the gas can be locally shut off when a technician must perform repairs. A bad gas valve can cause the gas line to be blocked, in which case it will need to be replaced.
  2. Tripped ECO (energy cut-off) device: This is a safety mechanism that will shut off your furnace should the temperature in the combustion chamber become too high. Although you can re-set the ECO on your own, you should have a technician look at the furnace to discover why it has started to overheat to the point that this safety device activated.
  3. Broken gas line: This is the most serious problem, since it will result in carbon monoxide entering your home. It’s difficult to detect CO on your own because it is odorless and colorless. You should have CO detectors in your home to warn you of this problem. It’s safest to shut off the gas entirely when your furnace stops working as a precaution—but you still need to call for professionals as soon as possible.

Sometimes, failure of the pilot light or the burners to come on is due to other malfunctions, such as a bad thermocouple or corrosion along the burner unit. A heating technician will be able to determine what has caused the malfunction and provide the necessary repairs.

Please resist “do-it-yourself” impulses, if you have them. Natural gas isn’t something to toy with. At the first sign of a loss of gas flow, shut off the gas completely and call a heating contractor. Contact AccuTemp Heating and Air Conditioning when you need repairs for your furnace in The Highlands, KY.

3 Steps to Help Ensure the Best Heating Installation Possible

January 24th, 2014

Heating installation is a large task, and when the time comes for you to replace your system, or to install the first heater in a new home, you need to take special precautions to ensure that everything goes without hiccups. Most importantly: you need to make sure that you have the right heater for your home before it gets installed. It’s an unpleasant surprise to discover after the fact that your heater cannot deliver the performance you need.

Here are the crucial steps for ensuring the installation of your heating in Middletown, KY goes well. AccuTemp Heating and Air Conditioning has the experience necessary to help you with each of these steps.

  1. Properly size the system: No, “the bigger the better” does not work here. A heating system that is too large for a house will begin to short-cycle, turning off prematurely and wasting energy while wearing the system down faster. A heating system that’s too small will not be able to provide sufficient warmth. Properly sizing a heater requires knowing the heat load your house requires; to find this out, hire professional installers to perform a heat load calculation.
  2. Let professionals install the system: Hiring an unlicensed or untrained contractor can lead to disastrous situations. Heaters put in with amateur work rarely function properly, efficiently, or safely. The safety issues aren’t limited to gas-powered heaters, either: improper wiring on electrical heaters can lead to fire hazards. This is too complex and too important a job to be given to anyone but licensed professionals. You’ll save money in the long run with fewer repairs and a heating system with a long life.
  3. Select a system that works with your available energy: A common mistake homeowners make when picking a heater for new installation is to go with a system because it has “the best features!” or “top heating efficiency rating!” or “the lowest price!” but they don’t take into account the energy supply available to their house. For example, if your home has a natural gas line, then deciding to go with an electric heater because it has the lowest installation price can end up costing you a large amount of money in the future because electric prices tend to be higher than gas prices. So while it will cost less install, it will give you higher utility bills which might eat up the initial savings. Be sure to talk to your contractor about what you are looking for in a heating system, and they can help you choose one that fits your home’s needs.

You should have heating professionals help you along the way. Trained HVAC installers know how to select and size a system. When it comes time to install it, they can make sure your system is installed quickly and properly. For this level of quality work on your heating in Middletown, KY, look to AccuTemp Heating and Air Conditioning.

Signs That Your Furnace Burners May Be Broken

January 19th, 2014

Natural gas furnaces are one of the most effective ways to warm up a house. In our current cold weather, you want to make sure that your gas furnace is working in top condition; any sign that it might be malfunctioning should send you straight to the phone to call for professional repairs. The sooner you have repairs done, the less likely they are to develop into bigger problems. For fast service for your furnace in Middletown, KY, call AccuTemp Heating and Air Conditioning.

A common repair need for gas furnaces is broken burners. The burners are where the pilot light or electric ignition starts up the gas jets that create the heat that will transfer to the air. Broken burners will usually end up with you having no heat. If you experience trouble with your furnace, here are some ways to determine if it is due to broken burners.

Look for these signs of broken furnace burners

  • A booming or popping sound: One of the common warning sounds that people should listen for from a furnace is a booming or popping noise. This usually indicates that the burners are too dirty for the gas jets to ignite, or they could have rusting. You can usually see for yourself if the burners are covered with dirt or lint, but you shouldn’t try to clean them yourself.
  • The pilot/igniter works, but the burners don’t come on: If you have no trouble with the pilot light or the electric ignition, and yet the burners do not light, there could be a number of problems such as issues with the gas valve or the furnace control board. It will be hard to tell where the trouble comes from, so make sure you call for professional assistance.
  • The burner flames look wrong: During regular operation, the flames on a gas burner should be about 1” high, and the top of the flame will appear blue. If the flame is too small, or if its color changes to orange or red, there is usually a problem in the burner such as excess debris or an improper mixing of gas and air.

Caution: don’t attempt anything further on your own

With a gas furnace, you need to exercise extreme caution. Even observing the flames on the burner can be hazardous, so make sure you stand a safe distance away when trying to determine if they are burning correctly. To make the final determination as to what it wrong with your furnace, you need to have experts do the job. Stay safe and call AccuTemp Heating and Air Conditioning to assist you with your furnace in Middletown, KY as soon as you think you may have a broken burner.

Why a Broom and Duct Tape Aren’t Suitable for Cleaning Your Ductwork

January 12th, 2014

Keeping the ductwork in your home clean and as free as possible from dust, debris, and other pollutants is important for a number of reasons. It improves you indoor air quality. It reduces the strain on your HVAC system. And it prevents damage to the inside of your HVAC system.

Ductwork cleaning requires specialists, but the do-it-yourself urge sometimes leads homeowners to try to clean and patch up leaks in their ducts on their own. A whisk broom pushed through the vents and duct tape applied to any visible breaks… isn’t that enough?

No, it isn’t. Duct cleaning and sealing are specialized tasks requiring professional equipment and knowledge. We’ll explain why you need to call experts in duct cleaning in The Highlands, KY when it’s time to cleanse your ductwork. AccuTemp Heating and Air Conditioning offers full-service duct cleaning and repairs. Schedule regular cleaning with us today.

Duct tape is not for ducts

It’s unfortunate that duct tape has that name, because it should never be used on ducts! In fact, duct tape was originally known as “duck tape” when it was invented (the reasons for the name are obscure), and the “duct” confusion came about in the 1950s. Duct tape serves many useful functions, but laboratory tests have shown it is useless for actually sealing ducts, since it cannot deal with heat strain and quickly falls apart. Sealing ducts requires expert services; professionals use metallic tape and mastic sealing to make sure your ducts won’t let any excess dust or other contaminants inside.

As for cleaning, a broom is insufficient because:

  1. It cannot reach far inside the ducts
  2. And it will not eliminate ground-in dirt and other pollutants.

The equipment professionals use to clean ducts, such as power vacuums and rotary brushes, are designed to reach far into ductwork and dislodge and remove particles that no broom could touch. Don’t attempt to access the interior of your ducts yourself to try other cleaning methods (no, your home hose vacuum won’t do the job either) because you could cause serious damage to the ductwork that will then require repairs or even replacements.

Professional help is available in The Highlands

The task of cleaning your ducts is a simple one for experts, and with only one call you can schedule a cleaning visit that will return your ducts to “like-new” condition. The Highlands, KY duct cleaning specialists at AccuTemp Heating and Air Conditioning have all the tools necessary to clean and repair your ductwork with little inconvenience to you. Get into a regular duct cleaning routine today for better indoor air and performance from your heating and cooling system.

New Year’s Traditions Explained

December 31st, 2013

2014 is almost upon us, and with the coming of the New Year, we thought we’d take a brief look at some of the more popular traditions associated with this holiday. It’s been around for at least 4,000 years: as long as we’ve figured out how long it takes for the seasons to come and go. Here’s a quick discussion about some of our more modern traditions and where they started:

  • Auld Lang Syne. The famous song began in Scotland, where it was published by Robert Burns in 1796.  He claims he initially heard it sung by an elderly resident of his hometown, which suggests it has traditional folk origins even before that. It became even more popular when big band leader, Guy Lombardo, started playing it every New Year’s Eve, starting in 1929 at the Roosevelt Hotel in New York City.
  • The Dropping of the Ball in Times Square. The tradition of dropping the ball in Times Square started in 1907. It was made out of iron and wood with light bulbs located on the surface, and the ball originally “dropped” over the offices of the New York Times at One Times Square. Dick Clark famously broadcast the event every year from 1972, until his death in 2012.
  • The Rose Parade. The Tournament of Roses Parade has been held in Pasadena every year since 1890; taking advantage of California’s warm weather to present a parade of floats, bands and horses. A football game was eventually added to the festivities in 1902, when Michigan dominated Stanford’s team by a score of 49-0
  • Baby New Year. The use of a baby to signify the New Year dates back to Ancient Greece, where it symbolized the rebirth of Dionysus (the god of wine and parties). Early Christians initially resisted the pagan elements of the story, but soon came to adopt it since it matched the traditional Christmas symbol of baby Jesus in the manger. Today, people of all faiths and traditions refer to the New Year as a baby, representing new beginnings.

Whatever traditions you choose to celebrate, we here at AccuTemp Heating and Air Conditioning wish you the very safest and happiest of New Years. May 2014 bring you nothing but the best!

Wishing You a Happy and Safe Holiday Season!

December 25th, 2013

It’s the holiday season once again, and everyone at AccuTemp Heating and Air Conditioning wishes the very best for you, your family, and your friends. We hope that whatever brings you joy fills these last days of the year.

We’d like to thank all of our customers for giving us the opportunity to provide you with services that improve your lives and help you better enjoy this time with your loved ones. You are the reason that we exist as a company, and that’s something we always keep that in mind. We are eager to work with you in the coming year.

Here’s something to remember for the season: many companies in our industry are very busy on service calls during December—it’s one of the most crowded times of the year. If you need service, make sure you schedule it as soon as possible so you can continue to enjoy the pleasures of this time of year.

Lastly, we at AccuTemp Heating and Air Conditioning want to conclude with a thought from the late Earl Nightingale to help remind us all that we do not need to wait for a holiday to have a reason to enjoy or celebrate ourselves, our lives or our family:

Learn to enjoy every minute of your life. Be happy now. Don’t wait for something outside of yourself to make you happy in the future. Think how really precious is the time you have to spend, whether it’s at work or with your family. Every minute should be enjoyed and savored.

What Causes Refrigerant Leaks in Heat Pumps?

December 20th, 2013

Refrigerant is a chemical mixture (the different types are referred to as “blends”) responsible for the basic operation of heat pumps and air conditioners. This chemical can change from gas to liquid and back with only a small amount of energy, allowing it to absorb heat from one location (evaporation) and release it in another (condensation). The earliest refrigerants were chemicals that were either toxic or highly combustible, such as ammonia, but modern refrigerants are specially developed blends designed with safety in mind. The name “Freon”—a trademark of DuPont—is now the general term used for modern blends.

Here’s something important you need to know about the refrigerant in your heat pump: it remains at a fixed amount in the system, known as its “charge.” When your heat pump operates, whether keeping you warm or cool, the refrigerant will not dissipate or get used up. However, it might start to leak, and this will lead to icing along the coils and a loss of heating and cooling power.

If refrigerant starts leaking, you need to contact experts like those at AccuTemp Heating and Air Conditioning for repairs on your heat pump in Prospect, KY that will seal the leaks and recharge the refrigerant with the proper blend.

So what causes these refrigerant leaks, you ask?

There are a variety of things that can trigger leaks inside heat pumps (and ACs). An aging system can begin to develop cracks along the copper tubes that carry the refrigerant, often at connection points. If this happens, it usually stems from a manufacturing flaw, and a technician can fix it so the problem will not reoccur.

Another culprit for leaking is formic acid developing along the copper lines and creating tiny holes through acid corrosion. The source of formic acid getting into a heat pump is formaldehyde, a pollutant that often infiltrates homes. Formaldehyde can convert to formic acid inside the heat pump and drill these holes. To combat this problem, some heat pump manufacturers have switched to using aluminum instead of copper for the refrigerant lines.

Debris getting inside your heat pump’s cabinet can also cause damage that will lead to leaks: this is one of the reasons you need to make certain to change your heat pump’s filter monthly during times when the system sees regular use. A clogged air filter will start letting particles inside the cabinet, which might end up creating cracks along the refrigerant lines.

Seek professional sealing and recharging

Heat pumps are complex devices, and refrigerant a complex chemical mixture, so you’ll need professionals to find the leaks, seal them, and use the correct refrigerant to recharge the heat pump to the right level. AccuTemp Heating and Air Conditioning can handle your leaking heat pump in Prospect, KY, and it’s “Fixed Right or It’s FREE!”™

What’s the Difference Between an Electric and Gas Furnace?

December 15th, 2013

In the dawn days of home heating, furnaces ran from wood or coal. Eventually, oil and propane became common options, and you will still find propane-powered furnaces working in some homes today. However, modern furnaces usually run off one of two fuel sources: natural gas, and electricity.

If you are now in the process of choosing a heating system for your home in Clarksville, IN, a furnace is probably near the top of your list of choices. If you don’t have gas power in your home, then you have your options narrowed down already to the electric furnace. But if you have a natural gas line in your home, you might still opt for an electric furnace. The choice will depend on many factors, which is why you should have professionals like AccuTemp Heating and Air Conditioning helping you with their extensive knowledge of heating systems.

Did you know AccuTemp Heating & Air Conditioning installs and services furnaces in Clarksville?

Aside from fuel, is there a difference between electric and gas furnaces?

Yes, there is. Electric and gas furnaces handle the generation of heat and its transfer to the air differently. The end result is the same for both, however: a blower fan distributes the heated air through the ductwork of a home.

With a gas furnace, a silicon nitride igniter or electrical ignition activates gas jets along a burner inside the furnace cabinet. The high-temperature combustion gas rises up into a group of clamshell-shaped metal chambers called heat exchangers. The gas heats up the metal, causing the heat exchanger to temporarily expand as it turn hot. A fan blows air across the outside of the heat exchanger, allowing the heat to transfer to the air. This heated air now goes out into the vents via the blower fan.

Electric furnaces do not require burners, jet, or heat exchangers. An electric ignition turns on a series of heating elements inside the cabinet—the more heat the thermostat requires, the more will activate. These elements consist of coils that grow red hot as current runs through them, which then transfers directly to the air, which will then get sent through the ductwork

Which furnace is the best option for me?

It depends on your home and your budget plans. You’ll need to have HVAC professionals go over your home and discuss your options with you. Don’t try to make the decision on your own, since you’ll risk ending up with a furnace that won’t suit your home’s needs and will cost you more to run than other options while giving you inferior heating power.

Call AccuTemp Heating and Air Conditioning to help you choose the right type of furnace in Clarksville, IN. We offer a Straight Forward Pricing Guide™ so you’ll always know upfront the price of our services and equipment.

How Duct Leaks Can Cause Heating Problems

December 6th, 2013

The ducts that channel air from your heater (as well as your air conditioner) are designed to work as perfect seals from where they leave the blower unit to the point they exit the vents into the rooms of your house. This seal prevents the loss of air pressure, so if breaks form along their length, it can end up adversely affecting the heating in your home.

Duct breaks can occur for a number of reasons: corrosion is the most common, although the ductwork getting dislodged because of other construction projects happens frequently as well. Regardless of what causes the break, they need to be repaired as soon as you detect something is wrong. This isn’t always easy, since ducts remain mostly hidden from your sight. If you start to encounter troubles with your heating (as we’ll go over below) or detect odd smells from the vents, you should contact duct repair specialists immediately.

AccuTemp Heating and Air Conditioning performs duct sealing and other heating repairs in The Highlands, KY, so contact us if you encounter any of these issues from duct leaks.

Some heating problems caused by leaky ducts

  • Low airflow: Because of a drop in air pressure along the ducts due to leaks, the airflow from the vents will feel much weaker. This will consequently cause a plunge in heating power.
  • Uneven heating: One of the first signs of duct leaks is that some rooms in your home will feel abnormally cooler than others. These are usually the rooms nearest the break in the duct works.
  • Dust infestation: If your ducts have leaks, they will start to draw air from parts of the house that often contain large amounts of dust and dirt, such as crawlspaces and the attic. This dust will not only have an adverse effect on your indoor air quality, it will cause increased resistance to the airflow that will make your heater work harder to reach its target temperature. Which ties into the next issue…
  • The heater will overwork: As the duct leaks siphon away the heater’s effectiveness, the heater will overwork to compensate. This will shorten its lifespan because of unecessary wear and tear and the need for frequent repairs.

Make sure to protect your heating from these duct leaks issues with prompt repairs. Don’t try to seal the ducts yourself with duct tape (it won’t work); instead, call in the duct specialists at AccuTemp Heating and Air Conditioning. We work with all kinds of ductwork issues and any other heating repair in The Highlands, KY you may need.

The History of the Presidential Turkey Pardon

November 28th, 2013

Thanksgiving began in 1621, but didn’t become a national tradition until 1863, when Abraham Lincoln declared it as such in hopes of bringing a divided nation together. We have many Thanksgiving traditions in this country, from turkey as the meal to the annual Cowboys and Lions games on television. But one of the most beloved is the annual Presidential turkey pardon, in which the U.S. President “pardons” a turkey, allowing them to live the remainder of their live freely roaming on farmland. As we celebrate this Thanksgiving, we thought you’d like to know a little more about the history of this fascinating tradition.

Farmers have sent turkeys to the White House as far back as the 1800s, hoping to have the honor of providing the President’s annual meal. There have been scattered stories of individual turkeys being “pardoned” throughout that time, including one in which President Lincoln’s son Tad successfully convinced the president to spare a bird intended for the family’s Christmas dinner.

Starting in 1947, the National Turkey Federation became the official supplier of the President’s Thanksgiving birds. The White House arranged for an annual photo op that year with the President receiving the turkey in the Rose Garden. Sadly, there was no pardon as yet; those birds all ended up on the Presidential table.

The push for an official pardon picked up steam in 1963, when President Kennedy asked that the bird be spared, just a few days before his assassination. President Nixon opted to send each of the birds he received to a nearby petting zoo after the photo op, though there was no formal pardon attached.

But it wasn’t until 1989 that the pardon became official. On November 14 of that year, President George H. W. Bush made the announcement, and sent the bird to a Virginia game preserve to live the rest of its life out in cranberry-and-stuffing-free bliss. Since then, every President has held an annual pardoning ceremony, with the lucky turkey spared the axe and sent off to live in peace. Since 2005, the pardoned birds have gone to Disneyland in Anaheim, California, where they have lived as part of a petting zoo exhibit in Frontierland.

No matter what traditions you enjoy this holiday, or who you enjoy them with, all of us here wish you a peaceful and happy Thanksgiving weekend.