Can a Heat Pump Keep Me Warm During the Winter?

November 22nd, 2013

Heat pumps have become increasingly popular as a method to provide year-round comfort for homes. Their rise in popularity makes sense: they offer a two-in-one package for air conditioning and heating, and they use far less power to operate than heating systems that burn fuel.

However, heating pumps haven’t dominated the market yet, and that’s because of one drawback about which you may have heard: they have difficulty with extreme cold temperatures. If you’re wondering whether a heat pump will work at keeping you warm this winter, read on and learn a bit more about how they operate.

If you have more questions, or if you are interested in installing a heat pump in Middletown, KY, then get in touch with AccuTemp Heating and Air Conditioning. We never charge by the hour, and our Straight Forward Pricing Guide™ will guarantee that you know what our services will cost before we start work.

How a heat pump keeps you warm

Heat pumps don’t operate the same way as furnaces and boilers. Those systems burn energy in order to create heat. Heat pumps instead use heat exchange, which is the movement of heat from one location to another. In air conditioning mode, heat pumps draw heat from inside your home—cooling you down in the process—and remove it to the outdoors. In heating mode, the direction of heat exchange reverses, and heat drawn from outside is moved inside your home.

But this leads to the question: how does the heat pump extract heat from the cold outdoor air? The answer is that there is always some heat available in the air, no matter the temperature. However, it becomes more arduous for the heat pump to extract sufficient heat from air that has dropped below approximately 35°F. At that point, the efficiency of the system will start to taper off.

That’s good news if you live in Middletown, since you can only expect a few days during the winter when the temperature drops into the low 30s. The average low during the coldest month, January, is 34°F—right about the point where a heat pump might start encountering trouble. If your home has quality insulation, then a heat pump should manage to keep you comfortable most of the winter.

When you’re interested in heat pump installation in Middletown, KY, call HVAC experts before you make a decision. Despite the advantages of heat pumps, they will not work for every home, and professionals will identify your home’s specific heating requirements. Contact AccuTemp Heating and Air Conditioning today when you think a heat pump may be in your future. We have the expertise to make sure you get the right system to warm you up all winter long.

How Hard Is It to Switch to a New Type of Heating System?

November 15th, 2013

If you’ve lived with one kind of heating system for most of your life, such as a gas-powered furnace, the idea of switching to an entirely different one may feel a bit intimidating—particularly if you are planning a replacement heater installation in your home. However, the possible improvements in efficiency and heating power of a new system are tempting, and if your old system seems to be running its last lap, you may be ready to get that replacement.

How hard is it to make the switch? Well, here’s the bad news: it can be extremely difficult. Arduous. Destructive to your home. Ineffective.

But here’s the good news: it will only be that difficult if you hire amateurs or an inexperienced contractor to handle your heating installation in the Highlands, KY. If you trust the work to an accredited company like AccuTemp Heating and Air Conditioning, you should experience few headaches—even minor ones—making the change from one type of heating system to another. Our installers have years of experience performing this work, and they can handle your installation speedily and with few difficulties. You’ll be relaxing in your warm home in no time.

If you are switching from a furnace to a heat pump, or vice versa, you will already have a head start on the installation: existing ductwork. Both systems use force-air to circulate warmth through your home (and cooling, in the case of a heat pump) and they can hook up to the same set of ducts to channel the air. Installers may need to make a few adjustments to the ductwork to accommodate the new system, but one of the biggest construction worries will already be out of the way. And, if ductwork presents trouble for getting a new heat pump installed, you can always go with a ductless split system instead.

Changing over to a different fuel source can be a tricky issue, but if you have the HVAC experts helping you out from the beginning of the process, you won’t run into too much trouble because they will steer you toward a replacement choice that will make the transition smoother, and leave you with a heating system that will serve you better.

At AccuTemp Heating and Air Conditioning, we take pride in our work. That’s why we have our “Fixed Right or It’s FREE!”™ guarantee. Our Straight Forward Pricing Guide™ will let you know the cost of the work before we start. We want you to be part of our large family of satisfied customers, so call us for your heating installation in the Highlands, KY. We’ll make the heating switch easy for you.

What Are Common Heating Repairs in the Winter?

November 4th, 2013

Middletown heating repairs are often compounded in the winter, when temperatures drop in Kentucky and even the coziest homes need a reliable furnace to stay warm and comfortable. A well-maintained heater will help you endure the cold for a good long time. Sooner or later, however even the most reliable appliance experiences problems, and  winter makes a particularly tough time to deal with them. What are common heating repairs in the winter? A few of the most prominent appear below.

  • Ignition problems. The pilot light ignites the gas which creates the heat for your furnace. It’s usually connected to a thermocouple, which regulates the flow of gas and cuts it off if the pilot light goes out (keeping the gas from flooding your home otherwise). Over time, the pilot light can become dirty, keeping it from lighting. The thermocouple may also malfunction, which shuts off the entire furnace, and if there are electrical connection problems, the pilot may not light at all.
  • Motor problems. Most furnace contains a blower fan to move hot air through the ducts in your home. When the motor is overloaded or suffers from mechanical problems, the air won’t move into your system. Heaters see a lot of use during the winter, which increases the chances of a blower overload.
  • Air flow problems. In addition to the fan motor, dust and debris can build up in your system, interfering with the air flow. You might also suffer from damaged ducts, or a leak somewhere in your system, which pulls hot air out and further reduces the flow. Change your air filters regularly to help reduce the risks of low air flow, especially in the winter when you’re apt to use the heater a lot.

If you’re experiences common heating repairs in the winter, don’t hesitate to call upon an expert. Middletown heating services fall under the purveyance of AccuTemp Heating and Air Conditioning. We can handle your heating repair issue and get your furnace up and running again before it turns your home into an ice box.

Give us a call to set up an appointment today.

How Rust Causes Heating Problems

November 3rd, 2013

Since the beginning of time, rust has loomed as the principle enemy of the integrity of metal. Rust occurs because of a chemical reaction between iron and oxygen due to the presence of water or moisture. Rust significantly weakens metal, and if it gets into your home it can cause significant damage in many places.

In this post, we’ll focus on the specific troubles that rust can cause for heating your home. You might not think of rust in connection with getting proper heat during the winter season, but it can trigger a number of issues that will require professional repair. If you have rust disrupting your heater, call in AccuTemp Heating and Air Conditioning – we provide heating services to The Highlands, KY community and the surrounding area.

Rust Related Heating Problems You May Encounter

Rusted heat exchanger: This occurs in gas-powered furnaces and is potentially a serious health threat. The heat exchanger transfers heat from the gas jets to the air that is blown through your vents. A rusted heat exchanger can easily crack, which is a major carbon monoxide leak hazard. If you hear clicking noises from your furnace cabinet, shut off the gas and call for professional repair as soon as you can. Don’t take risks with a potential gas leak.

Rust inside a boiler tank or its connections: Boilers usually run with reduced repair needs because they have few moving parts. The exception is leaks, and a rusted tank or corrosion along its connections is one of the main reasons a boiler will start leaking. An anode rod at the top of the top prevents oxidation from occurring within the tank, but should the rod rust all the way through—which it will do eventually—then rust can start to develop inside the tank. Make sure to schedule yearly maintenance on your boiler to prevent rust problems and leaks.

Broken ducts: The ductwork that carries heated air from a furnace or a heat pump is sealed along its length to prevent air pressure loss. If moisture begins to develop inside the ducts, the ductwork can start to rust, leading to breaks and gaps. Not only will this lower your heating system’s efficiency, it can also cause dust contamination inside the ducts, leading to lowered air quality.

Whether rust has struck your boiler, furnace, or ducts, you can trust AccuTemp Heating and Air Conditioning to take care of heating repair in The Highlands, KY. In addition, we install dehumidifiers that can reduce the moisture that leads to rust in your HVAC system. We offer a “Fixed Right or It’s FREE”™ guarantee, so you know to expect quality from our technicians.

Common Duct Contaminants You May Encounter

October 24th, 2013

Your ducts are a crucial part of seasonal comfort in your home: during the summer, they bring cool air from the air conditioner to different rooms. During the winter, they circulate warm air from the furnace or heat pump. Because your ducts are so closely connected to the air moving through your living space, you want to make sure they are as clean as possible.

The U.S. Department of Health has determined that poor indoor air quality is one of the leading health hazards in the country. Are your ducts contributing to a decline in the air quality of your home? It may be time to get duct cleaning service in Prospect, KY to make sure you are getting only the best quality air from those vents. AccuTemp Heating and Air Conditioning has a team of licensed duct cleaning specialists on staff that can help you reach your goal of contamination-free ducts.

There are two main kinds of duct contaminants we often remove during cleaning:

Dust: This is your Duct Enemy #1. Dust is insidious and can gather anywhere in your home and enter the vents. As it builds up inside the ducts, it gets blown out again into your home, helping to create even more dust. If the dust in your ducts isn’t cleaned out, it will affect your air quality and make your whole home dirty to the point that no matter how much you clean, the dust will continue to gather.

Microbiological growths: Nobody wants to think about the possibility of mold or other bacterial growths getting inside their ducts, but it’s an unfortunate fact that the recesses of ductwork provide a fertile ground for them to grow. Bacterial infestations are among the most problematic for health, so they need to be removed as soon as possible and steps must be taken to prevent their return. Duct cleaning is especially important to eliminate possible mold growth after a humid season, when the increased water in the air gives mold an environment in which it can thrive.

You deserve to breathe healthy air in your home while still receiving the best heating and cooling from your HVAC system. If your ducts have gone more than a year without a proper cleaning, you might have unseen problems with dust and microbacteria inside them. Don’t go without a duct cleaning services: schedule an appointment with AccuTemp Heating and Air Conditioning today.

Heating Problems Caused by Dirty Burners

October 15th, 2013

In Middleton, heating problems need to be addressed promptly, lest chilly winters turn your formerly cozy home into an icebox. Calling a qualified technician to correct the issue is usually the proper step, but it helps to have some notion of what’s causing the problem, to better direct the technician to the trouble spot. A dirty burner, covered in dust, soot or similar detritus, is a significant and common problem for homeowners with furnaces.

Here’s a list of some (but not all) of the heating problems caused by dirty burners.

  • Heating issues. Burners in your furnace need to light evenly in order to provide a steady and regular heat. If one or more burners is too dirty, they won’t light evenly and/or must work harder to heat your home effectively. Regardless, it means having to pay higher bills to get the heating you need at best and a complete inability to warm your home at worst.
  • Safety issues. A dirty burner that won’t light effectively can release harmful gases into your home, creating a danger to you and your family. This effect can be delayed despite the damage being done; for instance, gas by products can cause your faulty burner to rust, which will allow unlit gas to escape more readily. In any case, it’s more than just a heating problem; it’s an active problem with the safety of your house. You need to shut off the gas to your furnace and call a repair service immediately.
  •  Wear and tear. Any malfunctioning component automatically puts extra strain on the other components in your system. That increases the risk of a more serious breakdown in the future, one which could potentially cost much more than replacing the faulty burn now.

If you’re experiencing heating problems caused by dirty burners, call the Middletown heating experts at AccuTemp Heating and Air Conditioning. We handle Middleton heating issues of all varieties, and our staff has considerable experience with repairing and replacing faulty furnace burners. Give us a call today; we’ll schedule an inspection based on your schedule and get your burner up to speed as quickly as possible.

Heating Tasks to Do Before Fall

October 11th, 2013

Before the weather gets any colder and Halloween zips past you, ask yourself if your heater is ready to take on the change in seasons. It’s likely that it hasn’t done much work during the summer, and so when the fall cold snap hits, it may face trouble giving you the heat level you want. Here are three important tasks you should get done before the cold months arrive. If you need help with heating services in Prospect, KY, AccuTemp Heating and Air Conditioning has the experience and training to give you top-quality service.

Change your air filters: The air filter in your furnace or heat pump is a crucial part of making the system work effectively. The filter traps dust, dirt, and other debris before they can reach the interior of the heater and hurt its components. A dust-choked filter will also lead to lowering your air quality and a restricted air flow for the heater. You should change the filter once a month during the heating season, and make sure you get the filter changed before the season starts.

Give the heater a trial run: Before that first cold day, you should know if your heater has any operating deficiencies—or if it will turn on at all! Pick a warm day and give the heater a trial session to flush out any problems that need repairs. Aside from checking to see that the heater will turn on, look out for odd noises, unusual smells, poor airflow, or weakened heating power. Get any necessary repairs done before that first day of real cold.

Schedule regular maintenance: Your heating system, like your car, needs to get regular tune-ups so it runs its best and won’t break down unexpectedly. We recommend an annual maintenance visit for your heater, and fall is the best time to get it done. You’ll end up with a heater running at peak efficiency and with few repair worries for the next year.

No matter the precautions you take, you may still run into the need for heater repair during the fall. If that happens, call on AccuTemp Heating and Air Conditioning for any Prospect, KY heating troubles: we offer a “Fixed Right or It’s FREE!”™ guarantee to put you at ease. We perform excellent maintenance as well, so call us today to get started.

2 Ways to Avoid Heating Repairs

October 1st, 2013

Heating repairs in Louisville, KY can be bothersome affairs, especially during the winter when even a few hours without heat can turn your home into an icebox. Heaters can come in all shapes and sizes, from traditional centralized units to more energy efficient systems such as heat pumps and geothermal heaters. But all of them require upkeep, and repairs often come right at the point when you need your heater to function at its peak capacity. You can help prevent that with a littler care and foresight, along with some help from a qualified professional.

Here are 2 ways to avoid heating repairs.

  • Conduct regular maintenance. An ounce of prevention beats a pound of cure as the saying goes, and the best way to stop a big problem is to catch it when it’s still a little problem.  A regular maintenance session can clean up dust or dirt, replace worn parts before they fail, and identify any trouble spots to repair in a more formal session. In so doing, you can stop a lot of serious repair issues before they start, while extending the life of your heating unit beyond what it might ordinarily be capable of.
  • Take steps to conserve energy. The less strain you can put on your heating unit, the less likely it is to need repairs. Simple steps can help this, such as dressing warmly at home and setting your thermostat a few degrees lower than you might otherwise. You can also install energy-saving devices such as a programmable thermostat (letting you turn the heat off and on when you go to work) or zone controls (letting you turn the heat on in just a single part of the house instead of the whole building). That reduces wear and tear on the system as well as saving you money on your monthly energy bills

In addition to these 2 ways to avoid heating repairs, a good service can make numerous suggestions to help. The experts at AccuTemp Heating and Air Conditioning handle heating repairs in Louisville, KY and can provide sound advice before setting up a maintenance plan or installation service to help. Give us a call today.

How to Get the Most Out of Your New Air Conditioning Installation

September 26th, 2013

It’s all finished: you have a new AC installed in your home, giving you the comfort you want. The hard part of getting your air conditioning installation in your Middletown, KY home is complete, but the story doesn’t stop here. You want to get the most out of your new air conditioner. Here are some simple steps you can take to make sure you have an AC working for you to the best of its ability.

AccuTemp Heating and Air Conditioning wants to help you get the best cooling performance possible from your air conditioner. If you have questions or want to schedule maintenance, contact us.

Regularly change the air filter: The air filter helps keep your air conditioner clean: it traps dust, dirt, and other pollutants that could potentially damage interior components if they got through. The filter also keeps those contaminants out of your indoor air. But a clogged filter can’t do the job well, so change the filter once a month during the height of the cooling season. During the times you use your AC less, change the filter every three to four months.

Don’t set your thermostat too low: A new air conditioner can give you crisp and cool temperatures, but you don’t need to press it down to the lowest setting to get the most comfort from it. In fact, you’ll put extra strain on the system and raise your electricity bills if you keep it set too low. Most people can be comfortable indoors at 78°. By raising the temperature a mere six degrees, from 72° to 78°, you will save approximately 18% on your energy costs, according to the EPA.

Schedule regular maintenance: You newly installed AC may seem like it could run forever without trouble, but it will still need regular tune-ups to prevent repair needs and unnecessary wear and tear. We recommend a yearly maintenance visit from a trained technician, who will check your air conditioning system for any repair needs and clean it so it functions efficiently for you. This will add up to a longer lifespan and lower electricity bills.

If you follow this guide, you will be on your way to years of refreshing cool temperatures in your home. If you have any questions in Middletown, KY, about air conditioning installation, give AccuTemp Heating and Air Conditioning a call. We’re confident enough in our work to offer a “Fixed Right or It’s FREE!”™ guarantee.

Why Does My AC Need an Air Filter?

September 16th, 2013

“Clean and change your air conditioner’s filter regularly.” You may have heard this advice before, and we hope you’ve followed through on it. The air filter is a crucial component in your AC, even though it’s less complicated a device than a heat compressor or blower fan motor. Without an air filter, hot Kentucky weather would be far tougher to soldier through.

Whatever your needs to stay cool, contact our highly-trained technicians at AccuTemp Heating and Air Conditioning for your air conditioning service needs.

Here are the reasons your air conditioning needs an air filter—a clean one:

It shields the AC’s components

The main purpose of an air filter is to protect the interior components. You don’t want dust and debris getting into your lungs—so you certainly don’t want them getting inside your air conditioner. Without a filter, components like the motors and fans could get clogged with dust and dirt, eventually leading to expensive repairs.

It protects your air quality

An air filter traps dust and other debris floating through the air. Your AC doesn’t just keep you cool, it also removes contaminants from the air in your home. Without regularly changing the filter, you may experience a drop in your air quality. This can be a problem if you have pets or live with people who have allergies.

It maintains the AC’s efficiency

When the air filter traps contaminants, it prevents dust from spreading through the ductwork. The dirtier the ducts become, the more your air conditioner has to work to maintain the temperature you want to be comfortable. An inefficient AC will end up costing you more money on your electricity bills.

Keep in mind that your air filter won’t provide you with these benefits if it isn’t routinely changed. (We recommend a filter change once a month during the hot seasons, and every three or four months the rest of the year.) A clogged filter will cut down on air flow, put more dust into the air, and possibly break and let particles damage your AC’s interior.

Changing the air filter is only one part of doing regular maintenance on your air conditioner. AccuTemp Heating and Air Conditioning offers customized preventive maintenance plans that will keep your AC healthy and running. Give our staff a call for your Middleton air conditioning needs.