How Heating Maintenance Can Prevent Heating Repair

March 7th, 2014

Any mechanical device that runs often and provides an important service in your life will need to have occasional maintenance to make sure that it will keep running. Cars are usually the machine we think of first when it comes to maintenance. However, the heating system in your home needs maintenance just as much as your car—sometimes more. Think about how often you run your heater during a typical winter, and additionally during the fall and the occasional cold days in the spring. All that work adds up…and without regular maintenance, it can lead to malfunctions and eventual breakdowns at the worst times possible.

Here is how signing up for maintenance can prevent heating repair in Middletown, KY. To get started with maintenance, contact AccuTemp Heating and Air Conditioning today.

Maintenance Catches Repairs Before They’re Repairs

The technicians who perform inspections on your furnace or heat pump during a maintenance visit are trained to notice places where the heater might start to incur damage that will turn into a repair need. For example, cracks in the fan belt of a blower motor, corrosion starting across a furnace’s heat exchanger, or loose components that might tear off. Sometimes the technician can quickly solve these problems; other times, he or she will schedule a repair visit before the problem becomes more expensive—or causes a complete breakdown.

Maintenance Reduces Wear and Tear

As your heater runs, it will start to age. Without routine maintenance to make necessary replacements and adjustments, the stress from regular operation will cause deterioration leading to motors burning out, compressors and capacitors failing, and air handlers breaking. Maintenance also takes care of cleaning the unit to remove dust, dirt, and other grime that can begin to accumulate inside the furnace or heat pump cabinet. A contamination of debris can lead to numerous malfunctions, such as burners failing to ignite and damage to motor bearings. The dirtier the heater, the more stress it will undergo, leading to many repair needs.

Schedule Annual Maintenance

You should sign up for two maintenance inspections and tune-ups a year: one for your heater and one for your air conditioner. Make sure that you find a professional and experienced heating and cooling contractor to do this work; a sloppy maintenance job isn’t much better than no maintenance job.

AccuTemp Heating and Air Conditioning has an excellent team of specialists who can take care of your needs for maintenance to help prevent additional and unnecessary heating repair in Middletown, KY. Contact us today and schedule your next heating system service in Middleton.

Why Are Geothermal Systems So Cost-Effective

February 28th, 2014

If you have investigated the possibility of installing a geothermal heating and cooling system in your home, you have probably already discovered how much money a properly installed one can save you each year. According to various studies, installing a ground-source heat pump can provide savings of up to 80% over existing heating and cooling systems.

We’ll explain in this post how ground-source heat pumps—heat pumps that use geothermal energy as their medium of exchange rather than the air—can run so cost-effectively. If you’re interested in installing a geothermal system in Middletown, KY, call the experts at AccuTemp Heating and Air Conditioning today to schedule an appointment.

Why Geothermal Heat Pumps Will Save You Money:

  • Temperature consistency: The temperature of the earth ten feet below the surface remains at a constant temperature, regardless of the temperature on the surface. Where an air-source heat pump can have difficulty with climate extremes, a ground source heat pump will always have a steady source for heat exchange. According to the U.S. Department of Energy, a geothermal heat pump on the coldest winter night is twice as efficient as an air-source heat pump.
  • Extended lifespan: Geothermal systems have an estimated lifespan of 25+ years for the inside components and 50+ years for the ground loops, longer than almost any other heating or cooling system. This means years and years of additional savings beyond the payback period.
  • They’re heat pumps: Finally, we should add that heat pumps in general are money-savers, ground-source or air-source, when compared to furnaces and boilers. Because heat pumps only need a small amount of electricity to move heat, instead of burning fuel to create it, they can save you up to 30% on your heating bills if you switch from another system.

Find Out if Geothermal is Right For You

There are two cautions regarding ground-source heat pumps: initial installation can be expensive, and they will not work for all properties. The enormous energy savings from geothermal means they will pay back their installation costs after 5–10 years, but you should check with professional installers to see if a system in your area will actually do the job you need it to. AccuTemp Heating and Air Conditioning specializes in providing geothermal system services in Middletown, KY.

Why Does Frost Form on a Heat Pump?

February 19th, 2014

The appearance of ice across the coils of a heat pump, either in the indoor or outdoor unit, is a common problem that repair technicians often face. The reason this happens can be confusing to people unfamiliar with how heat pumps operate, but we will give a simple explanation in this post to help you understand why this is a serious problem that requires professional repairs.

AccuTemp Heating and Air Conditioning repairs and maintains all types of heat pumps in Clarksville, IN. We have a “Fixed Right or It’s FREE!”™ promise and a Straight Forward Pricing Guide™ to put you at ease. We are confident in our ability to get your heat pump free of ice and working for you again.

The Reasons for Icing Along Heat Pump Coils

Depending on the mode your heat pump is in, icing will appear on the outdoor or the indoor coils. In air conditioning mode, you’ll notice ice on the indoor unit; in heating mode, it will appear on the outdoor unit. Basically, whichever coil is working as the evaporator is the one that can start to ice up.

What is occurring here is the coil losing its ability to effectively absorb heat. During evaporation, the coil absorbs heat, raising the temperature of the refrigerant inside the coil, which then moves to the other coil to release the heat through condensation. If the coil absorbs less heat, the low temperature of the refrigerant will turn the moisture on the coil to ice. When this happens, the coil will have an even harder time absorbing heat, creating more ice. This can eventually lead to a solid block of ice across the coil and complete failure of the heat exchange cycle: the heat pump will, at best, deliver lukewarm air whatever mode it’s in.

There are two primary causes for the loss of absorption. The first is dirt along the coil. A technician will need to detach the coil and clean it. The second is a drop in refrigerant because of a leak. Refrigerant does not get used up during normal operation, but a leak in the line or the compressors can lower its charge. The less refrigerant, the less heat absorption—but there’s still enough to ice up the coils. A technician must find and seal the leak, and then recharge the refrigerant.

Call for Repairs

People sometime ignore icing along the coils in cooling mode (“I’m supposed to get cool air, why not a little ice?”) and don’t see it during heating mode because they don’t inspect the outdoor unit. But this problem needs immediate remedy. If you see ice on the indoor coil, or detect a drop in temperature during heating mode, call for repairs right away. Give AccuTemp Heating and Air Conditioning a call today. We have trained technicians ready to restore your heat pump or provide you with any other heating services in Clarksville.

Other Anniversaries of Valentine’s Day

February 14th, 2014

For more than a hundred years, people in countries around the world have marked the 14th day of February as a time for lovers to give each other gifts and for children to write cards to each other and eat heart-shaped candy. But Valentine’s Day isn’t the only important event to occur on February 14th. There are many other anniversaries to mark on this day. Here are a few:

1400 – The death of King Richard II: The same English king whose engagement resulted in the first love poem mentioning Valentine’s Day (from court poet Geoffrey Chaucer) dies in prison in Pontefract Castle after his cousin Henry overthrows him. He probably starved to death, although another famous author, William Shakespeare, would portray his death as murder.

1859 – Hello, Oregon: The Oregon Country is admitted to the United States of America as the 33rd state.

1876 – Who invented the telephone? Alexander Graham Bell applies for a patent for his new invention, the telephone. Another inventor, Elisha Gray, applies the same day for a similar device, sparking a long controversy over who invented what first.

1912 – Hello, Arizona: Continuing the statehood tradition that Oregon established, the Territory of Arizona is admitted to the U.S. as the 48th state. Women are granted the right to vote in Arizona the same year, eight years before the rest of the nation.

1929 – The world’s most infamous mob hit: Unknown assailants shoot down seven people in Chicago, IL. Six of the dead are gangsters in the mob of Bugs Moran, an enemy of Al Capone in the business of selling Prohibition bootleg liquor. No one is ever arrested or charged for the crime—but there isn’t much doubt who masterminded it.

1931 – “I am… Dracula”: The most influential vampire movie ever made, and the start of Universal Studio’s famous monsters series, Dracula starring Bela Lugosi, premieres in theaters. Universal cannily uses Valentine’s Day to promote the film as “The Story of the Strangest Passion the World Has Ever Known!”

1961 – The Periodic Table becomes larger: The 103rd chemical element, Lawrencium, is discovered at the University of California. The name comes from the laboratory where it is synthesized, the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory.

2005 – Now it’s easy to watch funny animal videos: A group of college students launch a video sharing website call YouTube.

Even if Valentine’s Day itself isn’t a major holiday for you, February 14th has many reasons to celebrate—unless you are a member of Bugs Moran’s gang or a supporter of Richard II. All of us at AccuTemp Heating and Air Conditioning would like to wish you a happy Valentine’s Day, however you observe it.

What to Expect with Duct Cleaning Services

February 7th, 2014

The ductwork for your forced-air HVAC system (furnace, AC, heat pump) needs to remain as clean as possible in order for the system to work at its most efficient. Cleaner ductwork also assists with reducing the level of pollutants in your indoor air, contributing to better health and a decrease in allergy and flu-like symptoms. For most ductwork, you should schedule a cleaning once a year in to achieve optimal HVAC performance and indoor air quality.

Professional cleaners must perform this task, because it requires special training and equipment. We’ll look at what you can expect from technicians during duct cleaning. You’ll receive all this work and more for your Middletown, KY duct cleaning service when you call on the services of AccuTemp Heating and Air Conditioning.

  • Rotary brushing: A basic step of duct cleaning is using motorized rotary brushes on long lines to reach inside the ductwork. The brushes loosen dust, dirt, and other contamination from the interior lining of the duct without causing damage.
  • Power vacuuming: This is the most important step in cleaning ducts. The technicians will go to the key access points along your ducts and use power vacuums on long hoses to enter the ductwork and suction up contamination (the rotary brushes loosened many of these particles to make it easier for the vacuum). The vacuums can also put the entire duct system under negative pressure to cause dirt and dust to float away from the interior lining, making it easier to remove.
  • Recommendations for indoor air quality: During duct cleaning, your technicians will get a sense of what kind of contamination is affecting your ventilation system. If they notice particular problems that special precautions and upgrades can address, they will make recommendations for installation and further services. If your ducts have developed mold or other microbacteria, the technicians may suggest you have UV germicidal lights put in. They may also recommend special filters, or humidifiers/dehumidifiers. Duct cleaning is about more than immediate problems; it will help you address future ones as well.

At AccuTemp Heating and Air Conditioning, we are not only concerned with cleaning your ducts, we are concerned with your indoor air quality. That’s why, in addition to our Middletown, KY duct cleaning services, we also offer other options for superior indoor air quality. Call our duct cleaning technicians today to schedule a cleaning and talk about other ways to bolster your home’s air quality.

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!