Posts Tagged ‘Bullitt County’

Parkland Heat Pump Repair Question: Why Won’t My Heat Pump Start?

Monday, January 30th, 2012

If you are having trouble with your Parkland home’s heat pump, you may be surprised to learn that it is probably not the heat pump that is to blame, especially if the trouble is that it simply won’t start up. That seems counterintuitive, but it’s true: the heat pump can be in perfect working order but still not turn on.

The good news, then, is that your heat pump is fine and you won’t have to pay an arm and a leg to fix or replace it. Still though, these types of problems can very frustrating to diagnose and correct. Here are four common culprits when a heat pump won’t start:

  1. No power to the heat pump. Check your breaker box to see if the circuit breaker was tripped. If so, reset it and see if that fixes the problem. Another possibility is that your heat pump is wired to a wall switch, or that there is a switch on the unit itself. Make sure the switch is turned on.
  2. Make sure the thermostat is set to the proper mode, such as “heat” mode if you desire more heat. It seems overly simple, but sometimes the trouble is as simple as that.
  3. A recently replaced thermostat. If you recently upgraded or replaced the thermostat in your home, it’s possible that something went wrong that is preventing your heat pump from starting. It may be the wrong kind of thermostat – heat pumps require a specific type – or it may have been improperly wired.
  4. Finally, the heat pump may have its own circuit breaker on the air handler cabinet. This is often the case with heat pumps that have supplemental electric elements. If that breaker is tripped, that could cause the problems you are experiencing.

If you exhaust these problems and the problem persists or recurs – for example, if the circuit breaker trips again – call a contractor to work on your heat pump. There may be something larger at work that is causing problems in the electrical system that controls your heat pump, and that requires some expertise to properly address.

Question from Prospect: Why is My Furnace Turning On and Off?

Friday, December 16th, 2011

One of the most annoying things your Prospect furnace can do is to constantly keep turning on and off. This on-off cycling keeps your home from heating up properly. This action – called short cycling – also requires more electricity and drives up utility bills.

Short cycling is caused by an overheated furnace, which triggers safety mechanisms and shuts down the furnace. After a brief interval and cooling down, the furnace starts up again the cycle keeps repeating itself. Not only is it an annoyance, it can also signal more serious problems. A leaking heat exchanger can cause a furnace to overheat – and produce deadly carbon monoxide gas.

If a furnace is working too hard and overheating, it is usually because of airflow in and out. Your home’s ventilation system needs to be clear of dirt, dust, and debris. The more blockage in your ductwork and vents, the more friction is created, slowing down airflow and ultimately ending with an overworked furnace that continues to cycle on and off. And a blocked exhaust vent, such as a chimney or dedicated exhaust vent, can also cause a furnace to work harder. Check for things like leaves or bird’s nests.

The blockage may also be coming from a clogged furnace filter. You should clean or replace your furnace filter after a visual inspection reveals any type of build-up of dust or dirt. Do this at least every three-six months.

If you have a two-speed fan on your furnace, it is recommended that you run the fan in low speed during the cold months and high speed in the warm months. The reason? Warm air is lighter and takes less force to move.

There are other measures to take to prevent short cycling but these usually require a professional heating and cooling service technician to correct the problem. If in doubt, call your local qualified heating and cooling contractor and schedule a furnace inspection. Don’t make your furnace work any harder than it was designed for – and keep your home’s occupants comfortable and safe.

Components of a Heat Pump: A Guide from Hikes Point

Monday, November 14th, 2011

Because of their simply designed function – pumping heat one way or the other – heat pumps have relatively few components. However, these components do not work the way you might expect, if you are picturing, for example, a fan that blows heat in or out.

A heat pump operates on the same principle as the air conditioner or refrigerator in your Hikes Point home, which may seem complicated at first, but it’s not. The heat pump consists of five main functional components, which are outlined below:

  1. The coils absorb heat from the surrounding air and channel it in or out of the home. There are two different types of coils in a heat pump. Condenser coils are outside the home transferring heat to and from the outside air. Evaporator coils are the reverse, transferring heat to and from the air inside the home.
  2. The coils are filled with a refrigerant, which is the medium that carries heat into or out of the home. On a cold day, for example, when the heat pump is in heating mode, the refrigerant in the condenser coils will absorb heat from the outside air, the flow inward into the evaporator coils, warming the interior of the house.
  3. The compressor pressurizes the refrigerant so that it is able to readily absorb as much heat from the air as possible. This is how your heat pump is able to gather warm air from the chilly outdoors to keep your home warm.
  4. The reversing valve is the component that changes the flow of the refrigerant when switching from heating mode to cooling mode, or vice versa.
  5. Finally, the air handler is the fan component that distributed the heat throughout the house via your home’s ductwork.

While these are the five main components, there are several smaller parts involved within and alongside each of these, as well. You need not concern yourself with them, since you won’t have occasion to interact with them. A professional will be able to identify and repair any of the components of a heat pump as needed.

In addition to these five primary components, most heat pumps also include a heater pack, which is a bunch of actual heating elements for use when the heat pump cannot operate on its own. For example, you would turn on the “Emergency Heat” setting of your heat pump after a power outage to warm the refrigerant before use. That setting is supported by the heater pack.

Why Fall Maintenance is Important for Your Heating System: A Tip from Russell

Monday, November 7th, 2011

When it comes to heating equipment maintenance and repairs, it does not pay to procrastinate. The longer you put off the maintenance, the higher the probability that your heating system will break down or your Russell heating and cooling contractor will be unable to make an emergency repair when you need it. That’s why fall is the best time of the year to have maintenance and repair procedures performed.

Consider this: when do most people call a heating and cooling contractor? The answer: when they need a repair. The call could come in the middle of the night when a furnace stops working or during a family party on a weekend – both times when it is hard to find someone to do the repair work. Has this happened to you?

You can avoid this aggravation and extra expense by scheduling fall maintenance for your heating system. Fall is often the “slow season” for heating and cooling professionals and many schedule their routine service and maintenance appointments during this time. Contractors expect to be busy during the peak winter months and prefer to spread out the workload as evenly as possible.

Most heating and cooling contractors offer service or maintenance agreements, which lock in at least one or two visits a year for furnace or air conditioner inspection. It is rare to find a contractor who will schedule a furnace inspection during the cold winter months. They know that time is usually saved for people with real emergencies. If you don’t have a service agreement with a contractor, you may want to consider signing up for one and avoid the risk of waiting in line for a furnace repair in the dead of winter.

During fall maintenance, your heating equipment will be switched on and inspected. That may sound routine but by running your heating system early, you may be spared the expense of repairing your system when it fails to operate or run smoothly during the cold months. If there is a problem, it is better to fix it ahead of time.

There is no guarantee that a furnace that is tuned up in the fall will last throughout the winter without needing service. But a little preventive maintenance ahead of time will save a lot of heartache – and dollars – when a real emergency comes up.

The Benefits of Duct Sealing: A Tip from Parkland

Monday, October 24th, 2011

Ductwork is an integral part of any Parkland home HVAC system. It moves heated or cooled air between your air handler and the rooms of your home and it usually contains the filtration and humidity control devices needed to keep your air clean and healthy. Unfortunately, despite how important ductwork is, many homeowners ignore it, even when extra sealing is needed.

What Duct Sealing Does

Duct work ideally should be a closed environment. Crafted of sheet metal, duct work is tasked with keeping the conditioned air in one place until it can be delivered to each room of your house. If gaps open between ductwork or if it starts to erode with time, you lose a lot of conditioned air, and you guessed it, your bills go up.

Unsealed ductwork forces your air conditioner and furnace to work harder, increasing your energy bill in the process. The lack of sealing also makes it possible for things like exhaust fumes to escape the ventilation system and enter your home. This is a serious air quality issue and can be harmful to your health.

Solving the Problem

Fortunately, the problem is pretty easy to fix. You just need to have your ductwork checked on a regular basis and sealed when a problem is found. Checking the pressure retention in your ductwork will usually uncover any gaps that need to be sealed and with modern technology, inspections are easier than ever.

How do you know when this is needed? Look for spikes in your energy bill or uneven cooling or heating in your home. If your upstairs bedroom simply doesn’t stay warm, you may need to have your ductwork inspected a little more thoroughly. Don’t forget your ductwork – it is just as vital a component in your HVAC system as the furnace, air conditioner or air handler.

How Does Geothermal Energy Work? A Guide From Belknap

Friday, September 30th, 2011

Geothermal energy is energy extracted from the ground. This energy is in the ground in the first place because the ground absorbs the heat coming from the sun. This heat is always there, even when it is very cold outside. In fact, even when the ground appears to be frozen, you can actually extract plenty of heat to keep your Belknap home nice and toasty.

While this may at first appear to defy logic, the way that geothermal energy can be used for heating your home is actually quite simple. A geothermal heating system typically consists of an indoor air handler with a fan, a series of air ducts for the heated air to travel through and a closed loop of pipe that extends into the ground below and around your home.

This closed loop of pipe is actually where the geothermal heat is collected. Some type of liquid, usually water or antifreeze, will be continuously run through this pipe loop. As the liquid passes through the area of pipe that is below ground, it will absorb the heat from the surrounding soil. Once the liquid makes it back up to the air handler, the heat is able to disperse, heating the air in the chamber.

This heated air is then circulated throughout your house through the ducts by a fan. After it has released its heat into the air in your home, the liquid will cycle back into the ground to absorb more. This allows a geothermal heating system to provide you with a constant supply of warm air.

Unlike a furnace, which mixes in blasts of very hot air with periods of inactivity to try and keep your house at a constant temperature, a geothermal heat pump is able to provide a more consistent flow of air that is just the right temperature to keep your home comfortable. This means that these types of heat pumps are running just about all of the time as opposed to furnaces, but they are designed to work this way and the constant operation does not cause any excessive wear and tear.

Another great benefit of geothermal heat pumps is that they are able to keep your house cool in the summer as well. Just as the ground is warmer than the air in the winter, it is also cooler in the summer. That means that heat removed from your indoor air can be transferred to the ground in the same way that it was transferred in during the winter.

IAQ – Humidification/Dehumidification: A Tip From Anchorage

Friday, September 16th, 2011

Most people don’t think much about the humidity in their Anchorage home unless it gets unbearably high in the summer or extremely low in the winter. However, even slightly low or high humidity levels can have a huge impact on your indoor air quality, so even if you feel comfortable most of the time, a humidifier or dehumidifier is something you should look into. Many homes have humidity problems, and even if it’s not something you notice on a regular basis, air that’s too moist or too dry can have a large impact on your family’s health and the overall quality of your indoor air.

The Risks of High and Low Humidity

There are many reasons that proper humidity in your home is so important. For one thing, air that’s too humid promotes the growth of things like mold and dust mites that are significant airborne allergens. Without enough moisture, however, mold and dust mites can’t grow, so if you keep your indoor humidity below 50%, you’ll likely never need to worry about these allergens disrupting your family’s health or causing damage to your furniture.

But, dry air isn’t much better. Once the humidity level gets below 35%, a number of negative things can happen. Dry air enhances the symptoms of asthma, colds and allergies, and it causes damage to the wood fixtures and furnishings in your home. Even if it doesn’t do so much damage, dry air is simply uncomfortable, causing dried out skin, eyes, and hair.

Why Humidity Control Matters

Even if you have a state of the art air quality system installed in your home, humidity is very much something you need to be concerned about. Air that’s too moist or too dry can actually make it more difficult for indoor air cleaners and filters to get those contaminants out. In effect, poor humidity control makes every aspect of your air quality worse.

So if you want to be sure you’re getting the most possible out of your indoor air cleaner, the best thing you can do is put in a good humidification system as well. And when you’ve done that, you may even find that you can turn down the heat and air conditioning as well. Properly humidified air makes home heating and cooling more efficient, saving you both money on your monthly energy bill and wear and tear on your system. No matter how you look at it, proper humidity control is good for you and your home.