Vanderford Air, Inc. Blog

How Do Heat Pumps Work?

October 9th, 2017

heat-pump-heaterMost of us are accustomed to heating units and air conditioning units being two separate appliances: often linked by a shared duct system, but doing their jobs much differently and requiring entirely different types of systems to handle those jobs. Heat pumps offer a viable alternative to this model by performing both heating and air conditioning duties in a single unit. They work particularly well in our neck of the woods, where winters are milder than they might be further north. If you’re looking at replacing your HVAC system this fall, consider the benefits of a heat pump and whether one might make a good fit for your home. A heat pump performs the functions of both a heater and an air conditioner in one.

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Don’t Wait for a Breakdown to Schedule AC Repair

September 25th, 2017

air-conditioner-repairTexas gets its share of warm days in the fall, and while your air conditioner will likely see reduced use in the next few weeks, you’ll likely need to run it at least a few more times before winter sets in for the remainder of the year. Ironically, this is the time of year we tend to see more breakdowns and repair calls in air conditioners. A system running on a daily basis for months on end is apt to pick up some serious wear and tear, and all of that can catch up to it when you try to turn it on after a few days or weeks of non-use.

If you’ve had trouble with your air conditioner over the summer but haven’t had a chance to get it looked at, or even if you just have an older air conditioner whose warranty has expired, it pays to schedule repairs–or at least check for them–now, before the winter sets in. That ensures not only that your AC can handle any remaining hot days this year, but that it will be ready to go next spring when you’re going to need it on a much more regular basis. 

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Air Conditioning Service Can’t Wait Long

September 11th, 2017

air-conditioning-repairAs we all work to recover from the devastating impact of Hurricane Harvey, your heating and air conditioning systems should rank among the top of your efforts. Once your home has been secured and is habitable, the next step is to deal with key systems in your home, including your air conditioner. Water damage on your system can be severe, and even if you think your system escaped the flood unscathed, it always pays for a trained technician to give it a look. And the sooner you can get those issues addressed, the better off you’ll be.

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Consider a Ductless Mini Split Air Conditioning System

August 28th, 2017


New air conditioners can be a serious purchase this time of year. Ideally, you should install a new air conditioning system during the off-season, when you have time to prepare properly. But the summer is coming to an end, and if your current air conditioner isn’t doing the job the way you need it to, you might want to consider an installation right now. Furthermore, while central air conditioners are the go-to configuration for keeping your home cool, ductless mini-split systems offer an alternative you might want to consider. And while you may want to install a new system quickly, it pays to consider all of your options before making a decision.

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Watch for Signs You Need Central AC Repair

August 14th, 2017

Most homes in our area rely on centralized air conditioning to stay cool in the heat of the summer. They use refrigerant to cool the air in a single unit, then blow that air through a network of ducts into the rooms of your home. It’s an efficient and inexpensive system, but like any system, it can run into problems from time to time. Summer is a particularly bad time for air conditioning breakdowns, since you need to run your system constantly in order to keep cool and the added strain can result in big trouble just when you need the system the most.

A good air conditioning service can be as important as your car mechanic this time of year: responding swiftly to any service calls and ensuring that the problem is corrected the right way the first time. You should never attempt to diagnose or repair an air conditioner on your own. ACs contain components like refrigerant that require formal training and licensing to handle safely. But you do still need to spot the signs that something is wrong in order to call in a repair service in the first place.

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What Is Short Cycling and Why Is It a Problem?

July 31st, 2017

Air conditioners work hard in the greater Houston area every summer, as high temperatures and higher humidity levels push them to the limit. Keeping your house comfortable in the face of a heat wave is more than just a luxury: it’s absolutely vital for comfort and even the health of individual family members.

Ideally, your system has been well-maintained and will function effectively throughout the entire summer, but it pays to watch for any signs that the system isn’t acting the way it should. Among the things to watch for is a condition known as short cycling: when the air conditioner turns on and runs for a short time, then turns off, only to turn on again a few minutes later. It might not sound like a pressing issue, but it can be devastating if you let it continue.

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Size Matters with New Air Conditioners

July 17th, 2017

air-conditioning-maintenanceIf you’re looking into a new air conditioner at this time of year, you’re usually in a bit of a rush. Spring or fall are the ideal times to replace your system, when the weather is cooler and you have more time to plan and prepare for the replacement. When air conditioners need replacement in the middle of the summer it usually means a sudden breakdown or similar serious problem. Luckily, a well-trained technician can move quickly to get a new air conditioner into your home.

But as quickly as you may need to move, it’s important to slow down and prepare for the operation properly. Selecting the wrong air conditioner because you’re moving swiftly can have serious long-term implications: leading to more repair calls earlier for your system and even forcing you to replace it well before its warranty has expired.

Perhaps the most important step in this process is determining the proper power levels for your new system, The issue is trickier than you think and you and your technician should plan for it carefully. Here’s a quick breakdown as to why this is so important.

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Is There a Breach in Your Ducts?

July 3rd, 2017


No one likes to think about a problem with their ducts, especially in the heat of summer when your air conditioner needs to run all the time to keep you comfortable. Unfortunately, while ducts are usually protected from damage by virtue of their locations behind walls and in crawl spaces, damage can still take place. It could be an animal or work on another part of the home, or just a bolt or a seal that has finally worn out after years of use. Regardless of the sources of such damage, it needs to be dealt with, and that can’t happen until you learn how to spot the signs.

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The Benefits of Modular Commercial Air Conditioning

June 19th, 2017

modular-hvac-systemIn many ways, commercial air conditioning systems differ little from residential systems: they need to keep the space cool. But in other ways, commercial HVAC systems have a much more complicated job, which goes beyond cooling a larger space than most homes. For starters, individual businesses may have additional cooling needs, such as the need to keep materials at a certain temperature, or banks of computers that need to stay cool in order to keep functioning. That comes on top of changing occupants, and a new business moving into the same space as an older business with wildly different cooling needs.

That’s why modular commercial air conditioning makes so much sense for businesses with an eye on the bottom line. It’s a common method of keeping commercial spaces of all varieties cool, and it’s not hard to see the benefits.

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How to Make Better Use of Your Thermostat

June 5th, 2017


Thermostats are designed to last many decades, which gives you good value for your money and ensures that you always have a reliable control system for your furnace and air conditioner. Most thermostats are simple and self-explanatory, and modern models are all digital so there aren’t a lot of moving parts to wear out. (If you have a model with a mercury switch that predates digital thermostats, you need to replace it immediately. Mercury is poisonous and can present a threat to your home.)

As the control mechanism for your system, thermostats can do a great deal to helping you keep your home cool this summer without costing you an arm and a leg. Some techniques are easy, and indeed you’re likely to be already using them. Others may require the services of a technician. We’ve gone through some basic categories and provided a bit of advice.

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