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HVAC Service Can Prevent Repairs

HVAC Service Can Prevent Repairs

Spring is officially here, and with it comes an increased need for your air conditioner system. In addition, your heating system is apt to see less and less use in the coming weeks until you shutter it for the summer. Now is an excellent time to schedule servicing for your entire HVAC system: both the heater and the air conditioner. Doing so can save you a great deal of time and money. More importantly, it can help prevent breakdowns and repair calls for both systems.

What Is HVAC Servicing?

HVAC servicing most closely resembles a tune-up on your car or a check-up at the doctor’s. It’s not strictly a repair call, which is designed to address a single specific problem that is interfering with the system’s ability to do its job. Rather, it’s an effort to check for any lingering issues that may create problems in the future. The technician gives the system a thorough going over, and looks for big problems and small ones alike. If the issue is minor–say, a loose bolt or refrigerant levels that are running low–the technician can correct it as part of the service. If the issue requires more serious repairs, they can be scheduled immediately upon conclusion of the session.

How Does That Prevent Repairs?

Prevention means stopping repairs before they start, which is exactly what a servicing session is designed to do. That starts with those little corrections like tightened bolts and cleaned filters. For example, say that a loose bolt causes a component to rattle in its housing. That increases the stress and strain on it, and may eventually cause it to break down completely. That, in turn, may affect other components, and eventually create a serious, expensive breakdown. The simple act of tightening that bolt can save you the cost of a significant repair.

But it goes beyond that. By increasing the overall efficiency of the system, it lowers the strain on individual components. That, in turn makes those components less prone to breakdowns: helping them last longer and do their jobs without trouble.

Even in the event repairs are needed, HVAC servicing can cut down on their cost and frequency. Spotting a repair job early is the best way to keep costs down, since the damage won’t have as much time to spread. (It also provides a great deal of convenience, since you can schedule repairs at your leisure instead of being forced to rush around in the wake of a crisis.) Indeed, with regular servicing sessions applied once a year, you can lower both the frequency of repairs later in the system’s life, and the overall costs of those repairs when they do occur. You can even extend the overall life of your system by months or years in some cases, and ensure that it runs as smoothly as possible until the day finally comes when you need to swap it out for a new one.There are a number of people you can contact for your commercial HVAC needs. But do they have the right level of experience?

For HVAC servicing in The Woodlands, TX, call in the friendly professionals at Vanderford Air, Inc. today!

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Alternate Types of HVAC System

Alternate Types of HVAC System

Most people are accustomed to traditional centralized air conditioners and furnaces, which heat or cool the air inside the unit before blowing them into the home with a fan. It’s a simple and effective way to control the temperatures in your home, but it’s not the only way to do so, and depending upon the needs of your home, you may benefit from something a little different.

Spring makes an excellent time to replace an old or outdated HVAC system with a new one. The weather is growing warm, but it’s not yet hot enough to need an air conditioner. And if a centralized system isn’t quite what your home needs, or you flat-out can’t make a typical system work given your home’s specific dimensions, then one of these alternate forms of HVAC system may be just what the doctor ordered.

Ductless Mini-Split Systems

One of the most common reasons why a given home can’t use central air conditioners is because it can’t support the network of ducts required for such a system. Homes built before the advent of air conditioning might not have the space, and other homes with similar architectural features may be forced to use window box units, portable space heaters, and similar jury-rigged solutions.

ductless mini-split system solves that problem by installing multiple smaller units in your home instead of one large one. Each unit is responsible for heating and cooling a single room or section of the home. Not only does that provide comprehensive temperature control without the need for ducts, but it allows family members to set temperatures to taste in different parts of the house. And by turning off those units in parts of the home you aren’t using, you can save a great deal of money in monthly costs.

Heat Pumps

Heat pumps are a great addition to homes in the area that already have a duct system in place. They operate according to the same principles as air conditioning systems, but with a unique twist: the flow of refrigerant can be reversed, which releases warm air inside and cool air outside. That allows the heat pump to work as both a heater and an air conditioner, and because the system relies on refrigerant (which is not consumed like gas or oil) for heating, it can save you big money on your winter heating bills.

In many cases, heat pumps are installed as part of a dual fuel system, which includes a smaller furnace to help with particularly cold days. But the savings incurred are still considerable, and can be a huge boon next winter when the weather gets chilly, as well as helping your home stay comfortable more efficiently and lowering the overall strain on the system.

If either of these options sound like a good fit for your home, or you have one of these HVAC systems in your The Woodlands, TX home and it needs a little attention, call the pros at Vanderford Air, Inc. to set up an appointment.

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What Kind of Company Can Perform Heater Repair?

What Kind of Company Can Perform Heater Repair?

Heating repair services can be as important to the quality of your life as your auto mechanic and even your doctor. Your heating system is just as important to your home, and a broken heater can mean far more than a loss of comfort. Without reliable service from your furnace, your home could resemble a deep freeze in a matter of hours. This is a problem for every home, but particularly homes with sensitive or vulnerable family members such as infants and the elderly. If your heater is experiencing problems, you need to get it repaired by a team that knows what it’s doing.

But how can you find the right company for your system? There are a number of heating repair services in the area, and most of them can do at least a competent job when it comes to fixing basic problems. But you likely want more than basic competence when it comes to something so important. How do you find the best possible service for your system? Ultimately, only you can decide which service works best for you. There are, however, certain qualities you can look for in your heating service that speak to a high level of professionalism and care. We’ve listed a few of the most prominent ones below.

1. Emergency Services

No one can be certain when a heating problem might strike and breakdowns don’t always limit themselves to regular business hours. A loss of heat in the middle of the night–when temperatures are coldest–can be absolutely devastating, as can a heater breakdown over the weekend when it might be days before a heating service can be contacted. That’s why reputable heating repair services often offer emergency calls 24 hours a day, seven days a week, which ensure that your problem is addressed swiftly no matter when it takes place. Ideally, the service won’t charge any overtime for such calls, even when they occur in the middle of the night or similarly awkward times.

2. Affiliations

Most reputable heating repair companies offer endorsements from satisfied customers testifying to their effectiveness and professionalism. But if you’re looking for a service that goes above and beyond, there are several specific endorsements and affiliations you should look for. They include the Better Business Bureau (always a good place to check for reputable companies of any sort), Angie’s List, and particularly NATE, which stands for North American Technician Excellence. This is an objective third party that evaluates heating and air conditioning technicians and applies the very strictest standards for certifying them.

3. Guarantees

Nothing speaks to a company’s quality more than putting its money where its mouth is. A heating service that guarantees its effectiveness is one that will make sure the job is done right the first time every time. If it isn’t, then you get your money back. It’s as simple as that.

For quality heating repairs in the Pearland, TX area, call on Vanderford Air, Inc. We have NATE-certified technicians, we offer emergency services, and all of our work is backed by a 100% guarantee!

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Signs of Needing Heater Repair Are Easy to Spot

Signs of Needing Heater Repair Are Easy to Spot

Winters are milder here in Texas than in most other parts of the country, but we still get plenty of freezing cold temperatures and snow in the winter months. You need your heating system to work as expected every day in such weather, and when the unexpected arises, you need your system to be fixed as quickly as possible by a team that knows what they’re doing.

The bad news is that heating systems rarely deliver overt signs when they’re experiencing trouble. (When they do, it’s usually because they simply fail to turn on, which is typically a safety feature designed to prevent dangers like leaking gas or further damage to the system.) The good news is that there are a number of common symptoms that recur across many issues, and while you should never attempt to diagnose a problem with your furnace,  you can usually spot the signs of a problem if you know what to look for. These sings can include the following:

Low Air Flow

Low air flow means that the heated air from the furnace is emerging from the vents more slowly than it should. You can spot this by feeling the air from your vents, or by tying a ribbon to each vent grate and watching them to see how fiercely they flutter. It can be caused by a number of things, but it usually boils down to either a blockage of some sort, or a problem with the fan.

Low air flow is problematic for two reasons. First, it lowers your system’s efficiency, which forces it to work harder than it should to warm your home. That, in turn, will drive up your monthly bills, as well as place additional strain on individual components within the system. Even worse, the hot air will often stay trapped in the system, causing components to overheat and force a shutdown if you don’t get the matter addressed.

Reduced Heat Levels

If your heater blows only cold air when you turn it on, you know there’s a problem. In some cases, however, the air may be warm, just not quite as warm as you expected. As with low air flow, that means the system needs to work harder than it should to get your home warm: raising monthly costs and the chances of a more serious breakdown.

Sounds

Sounds can be one of the easiest ways to spot a problem with a heating system. You can usually notice such sounds because they don’t match the normal noises your heater makes, which your ears are likely attuned to by default. When anything odd or unusual mars that sound pattern, it usually means something is wrong. That can include anything from hums to clangs to whirs to buzzes to whistles. In most cases, the noise will start and stop with the starting and stopping of the heating system. Never run a heater that is making unusual sounds.

For heating repairs throughout the Pearland, TX area, call Vanderford Air, Inc. today.

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A New HVAC System Needs to Be Sized Properly

A New HVAC System Needs to Be Sized Properly

We enjoy very mild winters in this part of the world, and that makes now a good time to replace older HVAC systems that just can’t do the job anymore. But that means more than just carting the used system away and putting a new one in place. A number of calculations need to be made in order to ensure that the new system works exactly as intended and provides the maximum efficiency for your home. That starts with proper sizing.

When we say “sizing,” we don’t mean the physical size of the new HVAC system, though obviously that comes into play when you need to fit the new unit in a particular corner. Far more important, however, is the power output of the new system. Power levels for heating and cooling can be far more delicate than you may think.

Too Powerful Can Be a Problem

You’re likely aware that an underpowered HVAC system isn’t going to do you much good. It will run and run all day without ever making the home comfortable, raising both the monthly rates and the strain on the individual components, which in turn increases the risk of a breakdown.

Most people mistakenly assume, however, that the solution is to get the most powerful system they can afford. After all, a powerful system will heat and cool the air quicker, right? It can, but in point of fact, that’s not a good thing at all.

HVAC systems use far more energy starting up and shutting down than they do while simply running. Turning on and off also puts a lot of strain on moving parts. Ideally, your HVAC system should run at least 15 minutes at a time to work at maximum efficiency. It can’t do that if it heats or cools the air too quickly. The system will shut down, only to start up again a few minutes later in a process known as short cycling.

You can see how this is a big problem. The system will cycle on and off many times throughout the day, adding to the energy consumption and raising both your monthly bills and the chances of a more serious breakdown. Over time, the damage will only get worse, and you’ll likely be forced to replace the system long before you should.

The Goldilocks Rule

In light of that, the best way to ensure the most efficient heating system is the one that follows what we like to call the Goldilocks Rule: neither overpowered nor underpowered, but just right. That involves a careful examination of your home, covering not only square footage but things like the presence of insulation in the walls or large west-facing windows that might get a lot of sun. With those details in mind, the technician can then choose the perfect power levels to keep you comfortable no matter what.

If you live in Pearland, TX, and need a new HVAC system installed, call the friendly professionals at Vanderford Air, Inc. to set up an appointment!

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3 Signs You Need Furnace Repair

3 Signs You Need Furnace Repair

With winter here, the weather has turned cold, and you’ll likely be running your furnace on a daily basis for the next few months. The last thing you want to deal with is an unexpected breakdown on the coldest day of the year, forcing you to scramble for repairs while your home slowly turns into a deep freeze. The good news is that few furnace repair issues simply spring up out of the blue. If you can spot the signs that something is wrong, you can shut the system down and call for repairs before it becomes an emergency.

While you should never attempt to diagnose a problem formally, let alone try to repair the furnace (furnaces require formal training and licensing to perform), you can spot the signs of an issue fairly readily. Common symptoms can recur across multiple different problems, and in general, anything you don’t recognize as part of your furnace’s normal functioning is cause for concern. Three of the most common symptoms of a problem are listed below.

1. Strange Noises

You’re probably accustomed to the standard sounds your furnace make while it’s running. Any changes in those sounds should be a sign of concern. They can include, but are not limited to, hums, whirrs, groans, clangs, rattles, buzzes, and creaks. They’re usually centered around the furnace itself, though they can echo through the ducts sometimes (and even be centered around the duct, as when breaches lead to leaking air). In most cases, they will start and stop with the starting and the stopping of the furnace itself.

2. Low Heat Levels

If you turn on your heater and only cool air comes out, you probably know there’s a big problem. But the same problem can occur if the air coming out of your vents is warm, just not as warm as you’d expect. It can be caused by anything from a breach in the ducts to the burners becoming clogged. It’s a problem because it forces the heater to work harder than it should to get the job done. That, in turn, puts extra strain on the rest of the system, as well as increasing your monthly heating bills in the process.

3. Low Air Flow

Low air flow results in the same problems that low heat levels do, with additional problems as well. Its causes are varied, but generally boil down to two basic categories:

  1. Something blocking the flow of air through the vents, such as damage to the ducts, breaches to the ducts or clogged air filters.
  2. Something affecting the fan blower or fan blades themselves.

Regardless, not only will the heater work harder to warm your home, but the hot air will stay trapped in the furnace, causing other components to overheat as well. Modern furnaces have safety features that will shut the system down before this happens, but you still have a considerable problem you need to deal with.

For quality heating repair services in Kingwood, TX, call on the pros at Vanderford Air, Inc.

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