You would think that closing vents in unused rooms would save money on heating and cooling costs. It’s less space to cool or heat, correct? Regardless of that logic, it’s a real error that closing vents in unused rooms save energy. Honestly, it can waste more energy than working your unit typically does. Closing vents in unused rooms stop energy from coming into the room. However, it also blows the extra air to other areas in your house.
It doesn’t matter how many vents you open, the AC or heater produces the same amount of air.
The additional pressure from closing a vent produces air leaks in your system, creating unnecessary, long-term energy waste. Air leaks make the unit to work harder as it attempts to make your house comfortable. Additionally, shutting vents could harm your heater or AC, leading to high repair costs.
Does it save money to close vents in unused rooms? The answer is no. It’s better if you keep the vents open to make sure the system functions effectively. This way over the life of your system you can save on energy usage and repairs.
One of the Ways Closing Vents in Unused Rooms Can Work
The primary issue is that closing vents alter what comes out in a specific location. It doesn't alter what the blower is attempting to do. Nor does it adjust the amount of heat the furnace, heat pump, or air conditioner is trying to produce or move.
You might be okay closing a vent or two in your house, but it will be contingent on how leaky and restrictive your duct unit is. If it’s a custom duct system with over 55% higher static pressure than the maximum stated, closing even one vent can put it over the edge. If it’s a well-crafted unit with sealed ducts and low static pressure, you shouldn’t have an issue as long as you don’t close too many.
The only way this can work is if closing a vent made the blower move less air and the furnace, heat pump, or air conditioner produces or runs less heat. Zoned duct units that are accurately designed do this by using variable speed blowers (ECM). If not, you're subject to unplanned consequences, one of them possibly fatal. If you want a Rochester HVAC Technician to check your duct work, contact us today.
Manufacturers construct furnace filters with the goal that air goes in one direction via the filter medium. This way, the filter does what it’s supposed to do in stopping dust from collecting on motors and blowers inside the furnace. You might ask, “What happens if the air filter is backwards?” While installing an air filter backwards isn’t likely to damage your unit, it can cost you in effectiveness.
Air filters are vital pieces in your total home comfort unit. They keep undesirable sediment and debris out of your indoor air, and they assist your unit in running effortlessly for years. Though, if you’re not cautious, an air filter installed backwards can create quite a few issues with your heating and cooling unit.
The most common issue you will have with a backwards installed filter is inefficiency. If your furnace is forced to blow air via the non-porous part of a filter, it will use more energy to do so. The blower will be overburdened, and your heating bill will increase. The same is also true for an AC that has many filters in place to have outdoor pollutants stay out of your indoor air.
Beyond the cost of incorrect filtering, you will have a reduction in indoor air quality. The filter is built to eliminate undesired debris, but only when installed in a specific direction. If you put your filter in backwards, the usually collective end of the device will not face the air supply. Your filter will aid in keeping debris in the air.
This results in a clogged filter and inaccurately cleaned air getting into your lungs. If you have a home indoor air quality unit, it will help to supplement this issue for a while, but the clog will sooner or later become unbearable for your unit. This is what happens when the air filter is backwards.
How to Avoid This
There are two ways to avoid incorrect air filter installation. First, you can have a professional Rochester heating and cooling install the filter for you. When you need a new filter contact a technician to come and take care of it. While he or she is working, pay close attention to how they install the filter and any other pertinent steps they perform. You can find out what it takes to do the task yourself and optimistically keep your unit functioning efficiently for a long time.
As technology progresses in the heating and cooling industry, many improvements are being made that allows our AC and heating function better and more effectively. One example of this is a variable speed air handler.
Let’s look at what a variable speed air handler is and how you can benefit from having one in your house.
Whereas customary air handlers only work at high speed, variable speed air handlers work at many different rates based on your home’s demands. Your home needs various amounts of air at multiple times based on things like the outside temp and the state of your air filter. Variable speed air handlers change themselves to give the correct amount of air that’s necessary for getting the job done.
When cooling is needed in a house with the usual air handler, the AC provides a blast of cold air until the house reaches the temp set by the thermostat. It then cuts off until cooling is needed again. On the other hand, variable speed air handlers work all the time at much more reduced speeds.
Advantages of a Variable Speed Air Handler
More consistent cooling. Instead of giving big blasts of cold air like custom air handlers, variable speed air handlers gradually decrease and increase their speeds. This creates much more reliable cooling and fewer temp swings in your house.
Energy efficient. Conventional air handlers can use up lots of energy since they only run at high speed and have to turn on and off often. Even though variable speed air handlers operate more frequently than customary air handlers, they use less energy since they run at lower speeds.
Quiet operation. You’ve heard the noise of your AC coming on and blasting air into your house. Variable speed air handlers are much quieter than custom air handlers since they function at lower speeds and don’t turn on and off too often.
Better air quality. Since variable speed air handlers have lengthier functioning cycles than usual ones, they put air through an air filter more frequently. This means that your living space has peak air quality since it’s almost continually being filtered.
If you have any questions or concerns about your air conditioner unit, contact Rochester HVAC and we will have a trained professional give you a service call!
Some common furnace issues you can take care if without needing to call a professional. Try looking for these issues yourself first. If you discover these problems have nothing to do with your furnace, you’ll need to make a service call.
Clogged air filter
Clogged air filters are common furnace issues. If your furnace comes on and blows hot air for a short period, there’s a good chance that you have a clogged air filter. When dust collects on the filter, it diminishes airflow through the unit, and this can cause your furnace to shut down. Check for dirty air filters!
One primary reason your furnace doesn’t work is that the thermostat isn’t set right. This is common with programmable thermostats since you might have created a program last spring and forgot about it when you want to cut your heat back on in September. Verify the temp setting and that your thermostat is set to heat, rather than “off” or “air.”
Here are some ordinary furnace issues you’ll want to call a Rochester HVAC Repair Expert about:
Contemporary gas furnaces don’t use standing pilot lights. In its place, they use either hot surface or intermittent pilot ignition to work the furnace. These are more effective than a standing pilot light since they’re not continuously burning a little amount of gas to keep the furnace ready to go. Most common is the hot surface ignition system, which is something similar to the filament in a light bulb. When the thermostat tells the furnace to switch on, electricity goes through the igniter and heats it. Like a standard light bulb, the igniter doesn’t last forever.
Burner Needs Cleaning or Adjusting
When the furnace is lit, it depends on a burner to heat the air that is pushed through your air ducts and flows into the rooms in your house. There are times the ignition system works fine, but the burner won’t light. Other times, the burner doesn’t work correctly. This could also lead to little or no heat at all.
Making sure you get right individual is crucial when it comes to hiring an AC contractor. You have to realize that you are welcoming this person into your house and you are trusting her/him to be fair and honest when it comes to costs and repairs. During the summer months, your air conditioner will be in peak demand, so you will have to bring in someone to do maintenance, and any repairs that might are necessary. You have to make sure you’re getting the right Rochester air conditioning professional.
Hiring the Right AC Contractor
Know What You Want Before You Call. Be clued-up about what you need to be done to your AC. Take a little time to learn about your heating and cooling unit. You should know the model and make of your current system and the maintenance history. If you have any problems, write them down to let the customer service rep know when you call.
Proof of Insurance. It might surprise you to find out that HVAC servicing can be very dangerous. This is why it’s crucial your Rochester HVAC service company is insured. Don’t be hesitant to ask for proof when you call.
Check Certifications and Licenses. You can usually see a company’s certifications and licenses on their website. They are more than just a bunch of cute initials to add to their resume. Knowing that your HVAC repair technician is certified means he or she has passed knowledge and quality standards that you want in your house.
Get It in Writing. When a specialist comes in for a service call, the costs can quickly add up. Get everything in writing, including estimates.
Trust your Instincts. When it comes to working with an HVAC contractor, pay attention to your gut feeling. If something is off when it comes to the professionalism or service, don’t work with that company.
Ask for Recommendations. You have faith in your friends’ opinions about your outfits, so why not trust their expertise with a heating and cooling contractor? Ask family members, co-workers, and friends for who they use. Check reference sites like Angie’s List, Yelp, and the BBB for other customers’ experiences and reviews.
Winter’s here! The air is dry!
By now you’ve noticed the dryness. Perhaps you’ve begun using Chapstick. You might have started wearing fuzzy socks or run across the carpet to “shock” someone. Whatever it is, it’s evident that the air isn’t retaining a lot of humidity. Does this mean you need to install a whole house humidifier? If there were an easy answer to that question, we wouldn’t have to write this article. Yet here it is.
Whole house humidifiers are widespread today. They connect to your ductwork and drive moist air into your house, increasing your relative humidity and enhancing your total comfort.
However, just like dehumidifiers aren’t always the best choice for reducing humidity during the summer, humidifiers aren’t the top choice for improving moisture during the wintertime. Moreover, humidifiers can create just as many issues as they resolve.
If You Really Want a Whole House Humidifier…
Air sealing should forever be your first course of action to relieve issues created by dry indoor air. With that being said, there are situations when you might want a humidifier regardless. For example, it could be your household activities don’t produce enough humidity to make you comfortable, even after air sealing your house. You need a humidifier, basically, to even things out.
Whatever your reasons for getting a whole house humidifier, these tips will assist you in preventing mold and indoor air quality problems:
Get a steam humidifier: Steam humidifiers boil their water. Unlike bypass humidifiers, which rob some hot air from your supply duct to produce water vapor, steam models are more effective. Mostly, you get more humidity with shorter run time. Bypass models also put hot air directly back into your return plenum, which can raise the temp of incoming air and make your system overheat.
Only operate the humidifier when the furnace is on: If your ducts are located in an unconditioned space (most are), working the humidifier while the ducts are cold raises your risk of mold. By putting the humidifier to only work when the furnace is calling, you can be pretty sure that the hot air is driving the moisture out of your ducts and into your house.
Every house is different, so your whole house humidifier installation might require a distinctive approach. Always contact experienced heating and cooling contractor who uses perfected installation techniques and stringent quality control measures.
Your central A/C unit is critical to the comfort of your home. If it isn’t working right, your home can become hot quite fast, and you’ll have to troubleshoot the issue. Today we’re going to talk about a common issue: your A/C fan not spinning.
Your central cooling system has two fans: one situated inside that drives cool air into your house, and one located outside that moves over condenser coils to get heat out of your house’s air. If there are issues with one of these fans, your A/C won’t be able to cool your home correctly. Here are a few reasons for an AC fan not spinning and what you need to do.
Reasons Why Your AC Fan Is Not Spinning
Broken or loose belt. In older units with belt-powered fans, the belt can break or get loose and make the fan stop spinning correctly. This can be repaired, but it’s usually a good indication that it’s time for a new cooling unit.
Contactor problems. An A/C contactor is an electrical switch that regulates the condenser fan motor and the compressor. It’s typical for the contactor to break down which stops the outside fan from accurately working. This is another part that has to be replaced by a professional HVAC repair contractor.
Burnt out motor. Fan motors are victims of plenty of wear and tear. They burn out due to too much stress. This is particularly true for cooling systems that are not correctly maintained. A bad fan motor is a serious problem that will necessitate a unit replacement professional air conditioning repairs based on the condition and age of your unit.
Capacitor issues. A capacitor collects energy that is used to give power to your air conditioner fans. For numerous reasons, your capacitor can malfunction and quit working correctly which will make one of your unit’s fans stop spinning. Usually, a bad capacitor needs to be replaced by a Rochester air conditioning professional.
It’s imperative to note that many central A/C fan problems can be stopped by getting a yearly air conditioner tune-up. The price you pay for an annual assessment will pay off tremendously in the future by ending possible costly A/C fan repairs.
When the cold weather arrives, and you have to turn on your furnace for the first time after many months of not using it, the last thing you want to discover is that it isn’t working. Even worse, you feel your furnace blowing cold air. It can be very annoying to have to deal with a broken furnace at the point when you need it the most.
There’s no need to panic. As frustrating as this problem is, the answer could be an easy fix. Here are a few reasons for your furnace blowing cold air.
With most of these, you can correct the issue yourself. For some, though, you’ll have to call for assistance from an HVAC repair professional.
If you get a burst of cold air when you first turn on the furnace, but after a few minutes the air is warm, that is nothing to be worried about. It’s typical for cold air to come out of the vents at first since the furnace has to warm up.
It’s like turning on the hot water. You get cold water first.
The same thing happens with your furnace. It has to push out the cold air before the warm air can come. Of course, if warm air doesn’t come out after a couple of minutes, something may be wrong, and it’s time to call a heating and cooling company.
The Thermostat is at “On”
If there’s a continuous flow of cold air coming out of your furnace, look at your thermostat to see if the system’s fan is set to “auto” or “on.”
Probably, the fan setting on your thermostat is at “on,” meaning your furnace blower will continually operate even when your furnace isn’t blowing out warm air. By changing the thermostat to “auto,” the fan operates only when the furnace is blowing warm air.
Dirty Flame Sensor
Ignition furnaces that are pilotless use a flame sensor to operate the furnace. If you have a dirty flame sensor, your furnace will turn on and start heating then become cold very fast.
If you know about furnace parts, you can clean the flame sensor, which should re-establish your furnace’s heating task. You could also use the services of an HVAC repair specialist to clean the sensor for you.
While some HVAC problems are just a matter of cleaning filters and coils, something that you can do, many of the common HVAC issues will grow into much bigger things if not handled early. Most of these can be evaded with regular preventive maintenance work. It’s smart to have your unit examined every year to stop outages.
Routinely scheduled maintenance by a licensed Rochester heating and cooling contractor is imperative to keep your unit in the right working order. Many of the most common HVAC issues can be avoided with proper maintenance by a certified service contractor. You have likely invested hundreds of dollars in your HVAC unit. Why not safeguard that investment? If you forget to get regular maintenance, you will probably experience rising energy costs, unpredicted breakdowns, frustration, and bad performance.
Swapping out your filter frequently is one of the most crucial things you can do to prolong the efficiency and life of your system. If your filter is dirty, it will limit airflow making your unit work harder to move the air through your house. This puts a needless strain on your unit’s blower, resulting in comfort problems. Also, a dirty filter causes the unit to shut off and overheat.
Ignition and Pilot Issues
Pilot issues can come from numerous reasons. A dirty burner, flames sensor, or pilot can cause short cycling or delayed ignition of the burners. Also, it can be due to a gas supply issue or wear and tear of an ignition component that should be replaced like the thermocouple or hot surface ignitor. It is best to have these issues handled by a trained HVAC repair technician since this deals with hazardous elements like high voltage and natural gas.
Weird Furnace Noises
There are normal furnace noises, while others may be an indication of a mechanical issue. A squealing or whining motor can be a sign that the bearings in a blower motor or inducer motor are breaking down. Replacing the motor may be necessary to stop a furnace failure. Some noises may be due to dirty burners or airflow problems. It’s best not to neglect these warnings as they may be telling you of a dangerous operating condition.
It’s probably weird to see a frozen A/C coil when it is 95 degrees outside. Sadly, frozen A/C coils are a huge sign that something isn’t right with your A/C and ignoring the issue can make your compressor burn out.
Signs That You Have a Frozen AC Coil
If you believe there are issues with your A/C, you might want to see if your A/C coils are freezing up. You can also:
Open up your air handler and inspect A/C coil for condensation or frost. If your HVAC unit shows any of the above symptoms, it is imperative that you address the problem ASAP. A frozen A/C is never a good sign.
If you see that you have frozen A/C coils, the first thing you should do is turn off your unit by the breaker box. To realize your situation, let’s look at a couple of causes and the solutions.
Dirty A/C Coils
If dirt and dust collect around the AC coils, which pass on refrigerant to the heat pump, it will put more strain on your system to condition the air, putting your AC coil at the risk of freezing. The coils need to be cleaned regularly for proper heat absorption to occur; otherwise, the coils might freeze over.
This is another reason why it is critical to schedule yearly professional maintenance with a Rochester heating and cooling company. Your unit will be cleaned and examined to avert possible issues like this one.
Since refrigerant runs in a closed system, you probably don’t have to replace your refrigerant unless there is a leak someplace in the unit. Although leaks due to regular wear and tear are common, they sometimes go undetected for extended lengths of time. Running your HVAC unit with low refrigerant levels puts a needless strain on your unit and can make ice form on your AC coils.
Your best bet is to call in a professional that specializes in air conditioning in Rochester to assess your unit for leaks as well as restore your refrigerant levels. If you don’t take care of the underlying leak, you will have the same issue again pretty soon.