Posted on September 9th, 2020
Indoor Air Contaminations 101
Here in Utah, there was a time when we thought that outdoor air pollution was best avoided by staying indoors. While that may be true in certain parts of the world at different times, most of the pollution we’re exposed to can be found right in our own homes. What exactly are these indoor air contaminations, and how do they affect us? Here’s a basic rundown of the contaminants that lurk in the air you breathe at home.
Volatile organic compounds (VOCs) are emitted from certain liquids and solids at room temperature. Some of these are toxic and lead to illnesses like cancer. Aerosols, paints, building materials, and air fresheners can all give off VOCs.
While technically not a pollutant, carbon dioxide becomes a problem gas when levels get too high. A buildup in your home can cause headaches and fatigue and, in extreme cases, nausea and vomiting. If you find yourself struggling to shake “brain fog,” even though you’ve slept for nine hours, high carbon dioxide levels might be the culprit.
Particles in the air, like dust and allergens, can irritate your nose and throat and intensify the common cold symptoms. Second-hand tobacco, smoke from cooking, and a wood-burning fireplace can settle in the lungs and cause short and long term respiratory issues.
Radon is a colorless, odorless radioactive gas that occurs in nature. It can build up in your home and lead to cancer, so ensuring that radon levels stay low is critical in keeping your family safe.
When you clean your home with chemical cleaners, you might be causing more harm than good to your family’s health. Fortunately, you don’t have to sacrifice a clean house. Maintain adequate ventilation and choose safer options to keep your family safe.
Pets shed dead skin just like we do. Unfortunately, these particles can cause allergic reactions and can, over time, lead to respiratory issues. You have to take special care to ensure you keep your home’s air system clean so you and your pets can breathe easier.
Viruses and bacteria
Another invisible enemy, viruses, and bacteria can devastate your family. As we all discovered, there are worse things than the common cold. Protect your family by ensuring that these pathogens don’t get a chance to multiply.
At Western, we believe that your concerns are our concerns. We want your family to be safe and comfortable year-round. If you’re concerned about the indoor air contaminations in your home, don’t hesitate to give us a call at 375-273-3200 or visit us at www.westernheatingair.com, and we can help boost your indoor air quality with the right ventilation system.
Posted on August 13th, 2020
Why Is My Air Conditioner Constantly Running?
We have seen some unusually hot days these last few weeks, and your air conditioner may seem to be running nonstop. You might ask yourself, “Why is my air conditioner constantly running? Is this normal, or is something wrong?”
Before calling a repair company, ask yourself a few things. Are you staying comfortable? Does the airflow from your vents seem reasonable? Are your energy bills staying about the same as they were last year? If not, here are a few things to consider.
Check your air filter
A dirty air filter will restrict airflow, and this will cut down on the amount of cold air your air conditioner unit can produce. When your air filter is clogged, your unit must work harder to compensate, making your air conditioner run more throughout the day.
Air conditioning coils are covered in dirt
Similar to your air filter, if your condenser coils are dirty, the airflow will be blocked. You can maintain condenser coil efficiency by merely hosing down your unit. Make sure to turn off any electrical power to your system first.
Something else is blocking air to the blower
Open all return and supply vents and make sure rugs, curtains or furniture are not blocking them.
The thermostat is not working
If it seems like your system never shuts off, the issue could be your thermostat. Your home may have reached the correct temperature, but if the thermostat isn’t working, it will not correctly register it. When temperatures reach triple digits, keeping your home between 74 and 78 degrees to make sure your unit doesn’t overwork.
Home has air leaks or poor insulation
If you are losing cool air through air leaks and poor insulation, your home may never reach the desired temperature, causing the air conditioning unit to run continuously.
Your unit needs maintenance
If your ducts, coils, and air filter aren’t clean, you will likely encounter airflow problems. It is recommended that a licensed technician perform maintenance twice a year to ensure your system is clean and properly lubricated. He/she will also conduct efficiency tests, replace worn parts, and confirm that your thermostat is functioning correctly.
Undersized unit for your home
Air conditioners must be adequately sized for your home. If it’s undersized, your air conditioner can’t keep up and runs continuously. This can cause your coils to freeze and refrigerant to flood back into your compressor and break it, which can be a very costly repair. You can read our previous blog to learn more about how we can come in and do an analysis of your home.
Your unit needs to be replaced
All air conditioning units have a lifespan of typically 15-20 years. Even if you’ve done everything you can to keep it properly maintained, it will eventually wear out. You may want to consider replacing your old, inefficient unit with a new one. This will also save you money in the long run, because newer units run much more efficiently, saving you money on utility bills.
At Western Heating and Air Conditioning, our goal is to make you and your home as comfortable as possible. If you find yourself asking “Why is my AC constantly running?” Or if you’ve got further questions or would like to schedule an appointment for general maintenance or repair, don’t hesitate to call us at 375-273-3200 or visit www.Westernheatingair.com. Our dedicated team is here to help you with all your home comfort needs.
Posted on August 6th, 2020
Four Common Questions About HVAC
By Sharee Landers
As a Comfort Advisor for Western Heating and Air Conditioning, my job is to help homeowners identify and evaluate the best system and solutions for their home comfort. Every day I get asked many of the same questions. Here are four common questions about HVAC homeowners ask.
How do I get rid of the hot and cold spots in my home? (For example: The upstairs is roasting, while downstairs is an icicle! OR… The east side of my house is so hot, but the west side is cold?)
This is a great question! Here are the first things you can do to try and solve the problem yourself.
- Check your air vents for blockages. A rug or a piece of furniture can be covering up your vents, causing a blockage of airflow.
- Check your air filter for dirt. If your filter is clogged by dirt & dust, your entire HVAC system is forced to work twice as hard for air to pass through it.
- Put up shades or blinds. If certain parts of your home are being hit by direct sunlight, those spots could be a little too warm for comfort.
- Change your thermostat location. Your thermostat regulates the temperature in your home, and if it’s exposed to a heat source like direct sunlight, it could be forcing your unit to work overtime.
- Check your doors and windows for air leaks. Check for any possible spots where air could seep in from the outside. The main culprits are usually cracks & crevices around windows and doors. You will want to seal off as many of these leaks as possible.
Call us if these 5 things don’t fix the problem
If these things don’t fix your issues, it may be time to give us a call. Often when the home is first built, the contractor will size the furnace and air conditioner for the size of it, but when they go to install the ductwork, they don’t put in the correct ducting. The great news is that there are solutions!
My job as a Comfort Advisor is to come up with the best solution for you. The first thing I will do when I come into your home is perform a load calculation and duct analysis. This will help me figure out which size of heating and air conditioning system is right for your home. With that into consideration, we also need to measure your ducting system.
We can replace the furnace and air conditioner with the correct size. Often, we can add one or more air returns to your system, which allows the system to breathe better. Adding more returns isn’t as scary as it sounds, and it can usually be done easily without any significant construction.
How do I eliminate the dust in my home and get better filtration?
Did you know there are some great filters we can install to your heating and air conditioning system? We can put in a larger filter that is anywhere from 4 inches to 24 inches in width. This creates more room to collect all of the dust particles without restricting airflow. These filters last anywhere from 6 to 12 months! I suggest that homeowners get rid of that 1″ filter, which must be replaced every month because they get so clogged with dust and dirt and restrict the airflow.
“I have been looking at my gas bill and see that I am using a lot more fuel than my neighbor. How do I figure out how efficient my furnace and air conditioner are?”
Furnace efficiency can range anywhere from 60% to 98%. Government standards at the present time is 80% efficient, but there are many older homes that still only have a 60% efficient furnace.
Air conditioning systems are rated in SEER ratings, which stands for Seasonal \Energy Efficiency Rating. The government standard is 13 SEER, but if the air conditioner is over ten years old, there is a possibility it’s a lot less. Usually, we can evaluate this by just looking at the equipment. However, we can dive deeper into the system and have our trained professionals use specialized equipment to measure how efficient the gas is that is burning in the furnace, as well as how many amps we are pulling on or air conditioner. This deep dive will tell us how efficient your equipment is running.
“What is the average life of a furnace and air conditioner?”
The average life of a furnace is 15 to 18 years and for an air conditioner, it is 10 to 13 years. But, if your furnace has been having to work extra hard because it is not the right size for your home, that could shorten the life of it considerably.
If you have any additional questions for our Home Comfort Advisors, please call to -schedule a complimentary visit ($89 value) today. Give us a call at 375-273-3200 or visit us online at www.WesternHeatingAir.com. Our team of dedicated Comfort Advisors love to educate homeowners and help them make the best decisions for their home!
Posted on June 20th, 2017
We are Celebrating HVAC Tech Day!
On June 22nd, we celebrate HVAC (Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning) Tech Day, showing appreciation for those awesome technicians with the special skills to keep our indoor conditions just right. These men and women come in late at night, on weekends and holidays to climb on your roof, into your crawlspace and attic to install and keep your HVAC systems going.
They maintain equipment like furnaces, fans and air-conditioners. They install and maintain ductwork, refrigerant piping, hot water piping, controls, thermostats and combustion venting for our systems to work.
Why should you celebrate HVAC technicians?
– They help keep you warm in winter and cool in summer.
Sometimes we tend to take our comfort for granted as long as everything is working well. But nevertheless, when things go array we always have technicians to help keep our equipment in check.
– They make sure you’re getting the right ventilation
Heating and cooling equipment are not the only systems critical to indoor air quality. HVAC technicians also maintain equipment that gives you the right amount of fresh air to keep your family healthy.
– They keep you safe
When things go wrong with HVAC systems, it’s more than just discomfort. Carbon monoxide leaks, electrical fire, explosion hazards and gas leaks can all put you at risk. Keeping your equipment in top shape is another way HVAC technicians help protect you from disasters.
– They save you energy
When your equipment is new, energy use is low as efficiencies are higher. As your home and HVAC equipment age, you need the right maintenance to minimize power and gas usage. HVAC technicians keep your energy consumption low by maintenance and upgrades to your systems.
– They save you money
When you use less electricity and gas, your bills go down, allowing you to keep more of your hard-earned cash. Not only do HVAC technicians help lower your bills, but their maintenance of your equipment postpones the time before you need to replace it. This saves money in the long run and allows you the opportunity to upgrade after enjoying the full lifespan of your HVAC equipment.
We’re here to serve you!
As we celebrate HVAC Tech Day, we hope you will take time to thank your technician for the hard work and dedication to serving their community. In return, we’d like to thank you for your support and letting us serve you. Give Utah’s Most Wanted Techs from Western Heating & Air Conditioning a call if you need anything done to your HVAC System and we’ll be happy to help.
Visit www.TimeForComfort.com or call 801-921-5250.
Posted on May 17th, 2017
Case Study: A/C Tune-Up
Western Heating & Air Conditioning provides solutions to your HVAC problems. See how we helped this customer cool his home again.
Russell and his family live in Provo and noticed that they couldn’t feel as much cold air coming through their vents and figured it was just a problem with their blower filter being clogged. Like most people, they put the issue aside and forgot about it. Thankfully they are Monument Club Members, so Western gave them a call reminding them that it was time for their routine tune-up at a discounted price.
One of Western’s Most Wanted Technicians, Adam, was sent to visit Russell for a tune-up. Adam first checked the outside A/C unit before going inside to make sure the unit itself was working properly. From the outside, Adam saw that the A/C looked clean and damage free. It wasn’t until he unscrewed the cover to see how dirty and cluttered it was inside the A/C unit.
There were cobwebs, leaves, and dirt everywhere. After a 30 point Precision Tune-Up, Adam found that the A/C was working properly. Like every tune-up Western does, Adam took the time to properly clean and clear out the inside of the A/C unit to prevent it from potential break downs or issues in the future.
Adam spoke with Russell and let him know that his diagnosis of the issue was that the system just needed to be cleaned and serviced. He also mentioned that there was nothing wrong with the A/C unit besides that it was dirty on the inside, which could cause several problems in a few years since his A/C was 10 years old. Adam helped switch the filter in Russell’s vents and had the A/C blowing cold air again. Russell was glad he got a tune-up to rejuvenate his A/C and keep it in great shape and that Adam showed him how to keep his A/C clean so that it’d extend the life of the unit.
1) A/C units have an average 15 year lifetime. Around this time different parts begin to wear and the unit can break down. If your A/C is routinely maintained then you may be able to extend the life for several additional years. That’s why we’ve provided the Monument Club for customers so we can keep track of their A/C for them!
2) A/C units are easy to clean! Adam has said that anyone can simply screw the cover off their unit, check what’s inside, and clean it out. Simply, all you need to do is to remove any debris, hose the outside and inside, and if any of the outside fins are bent, grab a butter knife and straighten them out! There is a lot more to a tune-up than that, but those 3 things are basic things that homeowners can do.
3) Every A/C is different, so be sure to call Western Heating & Air Conditioning today to have a technician come out to give your A/C tune-up to keep it running great. It could save you hundreds, even thousands of dollars down the road to take a few minutes to clean and service your A/C unit.
Call 801-375-COOL or visit our website at timeforcomfort.com!
Posted on December 3rd, 2014
If you have already eliminated the thermostat as the source of trouble, there are few other things you can checkwhen the air conditioner stops working. Begin with the condenser. These components sometimes get blocked by weeds and grass or they may be dirty from debris or dust that has been blown into them. Give the condenser a thorough cleaning. If this doesn’t resolve the issue, try cleaning the evaporator which could also be dirty.
Some air conditioning issues should be treated only by professionals. These include a faulty compressor or motor, a lack of refrigerant, and an improperly sized air conditioner. If the thermostat is not the problem and cleaning your air conditioner hasn’t helped, then your next step should be to call in a professional.
Posted on December 3rd, 2014
There are a few common problems that you can troubleshoot on your own. First, simply check to be sure that your furnace has been switched to heat. A surprising number of thermostats have not been set correctly before winter starts. Next, replace the filter. This is an inexpensive fix that can prevent a lot of trouble and improve the efficiency of your system. The next important step is to check batteries and make sure that the furnace is receiving electricity. Older furnaces have pilot lights that sometimes need to be relit.
There are some safety issues that can crop up as you try to troubleshoot and perform repairs on your own. A good guide to follow when it comes to calling in a heating technician is: when you begin to feel uncomfortable, call in the professionals.
Posted on December 3rd, 2014
There are several issues that may be causing your home heating system to operate sluggishly and inefficiently. The pilot light on your furnace may be out or the heat pump could be affected by the sudden drop in temperature. Some of the most common issues include:
- Aging and clogged filters
- Thermostat is not working appropriately
- Air ducts are leaking air
- Clogged air ducts
- Broken components of the furnace
Ongoing maintenance of the heating system is an effective way to ensure your home is being heated efficiently. Homeowners often end up spending more money than they need during the cold days of winter, simply because their furnace needs a new filter or the air ducts are so clogged that the heated air can’t move through. Work closely with technicians to ensure that your heating system is prepared for the cold months.
Posted on December 3rd, 2014
Have you noticed a lot of dust building up on the surfaces of your home? Is there any discoloration around intake and blower vents? Do you own pets? If the answer to any of these questions is “yes”, then having your air ducts cleaned can certainly improve the air quality of your home.
There are many signs that air duct cleaning on its own could be beneficial to you: indoor smokers, buildup in the vents, fires in the home, musty odors, members of the family with asthma or respiratory problems, reduction of the air coming from your vents, and an increased amount of dust after using the fireplace. There may be many things you can do to improve the air quality of home; having your air ducts cleaned is just one effective step.