1. How to Know if It’s Time to Replace Your Old Gas Heater

    Homeowners always want to know when it’s time to replace a furnace. With an appliance such as a furnace they don’t want to be caught flatfooted in the dead of winter when their furnace breathes its last breath, and their home ices over. So, when is the time for a furnace replacement? Find out more from your Chicago HVAC professionals.

    How Old is Old?

    In general, the average life of a gas furnace is 15 years. If your furnace has passed 15 years of service, and maintenance needs to be done more frequently, the writing is on the wall. That is, residential furnace replacement needs to happen soon. A general sign it needs replacement is it is not running as efficiently, and consequently your power bills are making a significant dent in your budget. Another way to know if your old gas furnace needs replacing is if you’re paying more than 15% it would cost to purchase a new furnace.

    How long do gas furnaces last? The cited 15- to 20-year average service of a furnace is not set in cement. Dependable furnaces can endure 20 to 30 years. To eliminate the guesswork of when you can expect your old gas heater needs replacement is to find the suggested average life of a furnace in your owner’s manual. Or an alternative method is to contact the manufacturer, and give them the model number of the unit.

    Different Temperatures for Different Rooms

    If a higher-than-normal power bill hasn’t caught your attention, then perhaps noticing temperature changes between rooms will. When an old gas heater is nearing the end of its lifespan, its increasing inefficiency can cause rooms to feel either warmer or colder, instead of the heat being evenly distributed across all rooms. Uneven temperatures registering from room to room can come about when a furnace has entered old age, and its antiquated ductwork no longer possesses the ability to register even heating from one room to another. Then furnace replacement needs to be considered.

    A Sooty Environment

    An old gas furnace entering the final years of its life can start to belch dust, dirt, even rust particulate matter. This not only is an insult to a well-kept home, but also poses an environmental hazard to family members, pets, and plants.

    If you see soot or rust accumulating near the furnace or its registers, this indicates the furnace is producing an excess of CO2. An increase in CO2 can create extreme dryness, affecting the interior of your home as well as its inhabitants, with symptoms such as dry eyes and irritated throats. It’s time to contact an HVAC contractor to find out if you need to replace your furnace.

    Noise Pollution

    Furnaces will typically make some sounds when they start up and shut down. However, if you find your furnace making more noise than usual, this may be an indicator furnace replacement is in the near future. The kinds of sounds to look for are: any noise that doesn’t sound right or is unfamiliar to you.

    Odor Problems

    Odd odors emanating from your furnace can be an indicator your unit is not operating correctly. Those peculiar odors can spell trouble for your household. If you experience a burning odor it could be traced to faulty wiring, or the wire insulation is burning. Don’t ignore strange odors; call an HVAC contractor to check your unit. Only they can tell you if you’ll need furnace replacement service from them.

    Running in Short Cycles

    If your furnace is struggling to stay on and shutting off too quickly, you may need to replace your furnace. But other issues that can be resolved without replacing your furnace include a grimy air filter, a dead battery, incorrect thermostat setting, or the fan control is not functioning correctly. As far as thermostat settings go, if you need to constantly adjust your thermostat, your furnace is signaling it is not functioning normally, and you may need furnace replacement in the home.

    Yellow Pilot Light

    It is wise as your old gas furnace ages into its golden years to check the pilot light regularly. You should see a blue flame, which means all is well. If you see the flame is yellow a problem exists. A yellow flame is an indicator the furnace is not burning hot enough, due to the thermocouple’s inability to heat to the required temperature. The result is the gas supply will shut down. At this point you might want to start researching the cost to replace your furnace.

    More seriously, a yellow pilot light could mean a deficiency in oxygen. A yellow pilot light can also mean carbon monoxide is present, a danger to family members’ health. Leaking carbon monoxide in the home is no joke. It is important to call in an HVAC professional immediately for possible residential furnace replacement service.

  2. Why is My Central Air Conditioner Blowing Warm Air?

    You may believe running your air conditioner faithfully during summer’s hottest days is enough to keep your home cool. This is not the whole truth: there are many factors that can compromise the air conditioning’s ability to keep your home at the most optimal comfort level. What you Chicago HVAC team is trying to say here is: your air conditioning system cannot alone do the job of keeping your home cool as a cumber.

    Your air conditioner unit needs assistance to help it run as efficiently as possible. You’ll be surprised to know how many things can cause your home to retain more heat than it should. In this blog, we will explain first how heat in your home happens; what problems with the air conditioning may be impeding its ability to do a sufficient job of cooling your living spaces; and some guidelines on how to support your air conditioner in doing its work.

    Why is My Air Conditioner Blowing Hot Air Instead of Cold?

    The laws of physics dictate hot air (conduction) moves towards cool air (convection). Concerning your home, heat from outside is absorbed by your ceiling, windows, walls, and doors. The foundation of your house also absorbs heat. So, you could say the entire infrastructure of your home is under assault by heat waves. No wonder the A / C is not cooling enough. To continue, if your home absorbs heat at a higher rate than the air conditioning can eliminate it, the temperature goes up. This explanation answers the concern: my A / C is blowing but not cold.

    In the face of all these factors adding to the heat gain of your home, there are plenty of steps you can take to resolve the issue of your home A / C not blowing cold air, lessening the burden on your air conditioner unit to do all the grunt work of cooling. Assuming your air conditioning system has been completely inspected, and all components are in working order; the remedies for the home A / C blowing hot air, even in the midst of oven-like heat, follow.

    Why is My Air Conditioner Not Cooling the House?

    Sealing Cracks

    A common source of high heat gain, which interferes with the air conditioner’s ability to cool your home, are minute cracks found around the perimeters of doors and windows, which let in heat from the outside. An ingenious method to discovering where these cracks are is to light a stick of incense. When you are near doors and windows, observe if the incense smoke is streaming vertically or horizontally. If the incense has a horizontal tail, that tells you a crack is present which needs sealing.

    Besides sealing cracks around the window, you can also buy heavy-weight drapery and blinds, which will further lessen heat gain. In this way, you help your air conditioning unit to optimally perform its cooling operations.

    My A / C Isn’t Cold

    Roof Replacement

    When the time comes to have a new roof installed, it’s an opportunity to reduce heat gain in your house. Roofing shingles both absorb and radiate heat. Heat from the roof works its way into your home via the attic and is absorbed into the ceiling.

    One solution for your attic, where temperatures have been known to rise as high as 150 degrees and beyond, is to purchase an attic fan. Having a dedicated thermostat for just the fan will help to determine at what temperature the fan will turn on to keep the attic cool, holding heat gain at bay.

    Another facet of shingles, which also adds to the heat gain and affects the air conditioning’s cooling properties, is their color. If they are dark they absorb more heat. This helps in the cold weather months when your home is crying out for heat, but in hot weather it only creates more heat gain. The next time you’re ready to replace the shingles talk to your roofing contractor about what colors are best for both summer and winter months.

    My Central Air Conditioner is Blowing Warm Air: Other Reasons

    Preparing Meals

    When you turn on the stove or oven in summertime, you force your air conditioner to toil harder to address the high heat gain these appliances create. A good rule-of-thumb to follow is once the outdoor temperature soars over 90 degrees, cook outdoors on your patio or sundeck. And to put a fine point on it, your dishwasher, clothes washer, and dryer also add to the heat-load demand. Wait until later in the evening when the temperature drops, ideally just before you retire, to turn on the dishwasher, or do a load of wash.

    Appliances

    Desktops and laptops as well as TVs produce heat, so shut them off when you’re not using them.

    Showering

    Shower steam equals heat gain, so ensure everyone in your home uses the ventilation fan in the bathroom.

    Water Heater

    The water heater is yet another source of heat gain in your home during the summer. Use an insulating blanket to wrap the water heater in.As you can see now there are many reasons your air conditioner is blowing warm air in the house. Take the steps we’ve suggested to bring cooling comfort to your home.

  3. Why is Your Air Conditioner Leaking Water Inside Your House?

    The moment you discover water dripping from your air conditioning unit—which can result in water damage to your house—take the immediate step of shutting off your air conditioner. Because the water might be affecting the electrical components in a harmful way. The next step is to call in an air conditioning repair professional to take care of the problem.

    If you’re curious-minded about how the problem of the central air conditioner leaking water inside your home occurs, read on for a basic explanation about how water is created during the operation of your air conditioner, and why water from the air conditioning ends up on your floor.

    What Causes Condensation on Your Air Conditioning

    Among the many functions your air conditioner performs, one of them is the evaporation of humidity from the air inside your home. First the air conditioning blower draws hot and moist air through the return grille and sends it to the air conditioning evaporator coil for cooling. The evaporator coil forms condensation in the appearance of droplets much like you find on a cold beverage during hot weather.

    The water from the evaporator coil then spills into a slanted drain pan, and further into a condensate drain line, exiting either into your plumbing or outside your home. If the condensate drain line, drain pan, or evaporator coil is malfunctioning standing water is the result.

    There are 7 common reasons which often cause the A / C unit leaking water on the floor:

    • Condensate Drain Line

    A blocked drain line which is filled with debris such as dirt, mold, insects or other matter forces the water to back up into the house.

    • Evaporator Coil

    A grimy evaporator coil causes the mixture of dirt and water, which seeps into the drain pan, causing it to become plugged up. If the drain pan has become corroded with rust, enough to allow water leakage to occur, that also causes the A / C unit leaking water on the floor.

    A secondary problem with the evaporator coil is when it freezes over. As the frozen water melts, and there is a lot of it, it streams heavily above the drain pan, and water dripping from the air conditioning unit results. How does an evaporator coil become frozen? Most often either it’s a grimy air filter, or low refrigerant.

    • Air Filter

    An air filter, which has accumulated debris of one kind or another, becomes blocked and prevents airflow from traveling above the evaporator coil. This results in a temperature drop to below freezing, causing the evaporator coil to ice over.

    • Refrigerant

    If there is not enough refrigerant the evaporator coil will also freeze over.

    • Condensate Line

    A blocked condensate line is the number one reason for A / C leaking water inside the house.

    The condensate line receives condensation from the drain pan and sends it into a drainpipe or outside the home. A blocked line causes water backup, flooding the overflow pan.

    How to Unclog an A / C Drain Line

    If you own a current-model air conditioner it may feature a water-overflow shutoff lever. When your air conditioning unit senses a blocked condensate line, it will move to automatically shut off the air conditioner, to aid in preventing water damage. Check the condensate line and clean it if it is dirty.  An

    a / c drain line cleaning tool such as a wet / dry vacuum can be used to clear the blockage.

    But it’s better to be proactive, and avoid a blocked condensate line altogether. You’ll avert water damage and save on costly service calls. Make it a habit to unclog the air conditioner drain line with bleach. After clearing the blockage, use chlorine bleach by pouring it into the line. Do this two to three times a year.

    • Installation

    If you own a modern air conditioner, the installation of it may be at fault. This could mean a poorly-designed condensate trap has stopped the condensate from draining. The drain pan fills with water and floods your home, causing the air conditioner to drip water inside the house.

    Another installation issue is a disconnected drain line. This occurs when an air conditioning technician hasn’t had enough experience installing air conditioners and doesn’t attach the drain line correctly. A loosened drain line can result in a water leak.

    • Insulation

    Insulated coils perform the function of allowing built-up condensation to flow down the coil. If the insulation develops fissures or holes, water will drip rather than flow, causing the A / C unit leaking water on the floor, with the potential of water damage if you don’t discover the problem soon enough.

  4. What’s the Difference Between High-Efficiency Furnaces and Low-Efficiency Heaters?

    High-efficiency gas furnaces versus regular gas heaters: just what is the difference? Trust the Chicago HVAC team at Aircor—it all comes down to a furnace’s AFUE rating (Annual Fuel Utilization Efficiency). A standard or low-efficiency gas furnace has an AFUE rating of between 80%–85%. In a high-efficiency furnace, the AFUE rating, according to the model ranges between 90%–95%.

    But AFUE ratings don’t paint the whole picture. Because if you buy an 80%-efficiency furnace that doesn’t mean you won’t get a well-engineered and reliable furnace. You will. And it can give good service for 10 to 20 years. Modern technology has made it possible for low-efficiency furnaces to conserve energy better than the outdated gravity furnaces of the past.

    To talk about today’s high-efficiency gas furnaces you need to know they have changed greatly over the past 10 years. High-efficiency gas heaters can support AFUE ratings as high as 95%. And these programmable models come with many extra features to help conserve energy output.

    To explain further the differences between a low-efficiency gas furnace versus a high-efficiency gas furnace let’s consider four components of both.

    1. Condensing Process. Furnace vent condensation concerns come with regular gas furnaces. These gas furnaces (with an AFUE rating of 80%) exhaust 20% of its heating energy up the furnace’s vent.

    High-efficiency furnaces rated at 90% AFUE or better are known as condensing furnaces. A condensing furnace possesses an integrated extra heat exchanger, whose job is to replenish the 20% lost in a low-efficiency heater. This is accomplished when combustion gases are redirected, condensed, and converted to water, releasing heat, and the heat removed by the extra heat exchanger. The result is the AFUE percentage bumps up, reducing the cost of operation.

    1. Adaptable-Speed ECM Blower. 80%-efficiency furnaces possess common one-speed, on-and-off blowers. When turned on the blowers run at 100% of capacity and eat approximately 500 watts of electrical power. Because of the frequent on-and-off cycles, temperatures fluctuate conspicuously from room to room. The drawback of a one-speed blower is once a home is completely heated, a blower operating at full capacity is not necessary to maintain the comfort level of a home. In other words, electricity is being wasted.

    In contrast, the adaptable ECM (electrical commutated motors) blowers on 90%-efficiency heaters operate almost all of the time, stopping the on-and-off cycling, which produces temperature fluctuations. Because they run at a lower heat volume, they only use approximately 80 watts, a considerable savings in energy.

    1. Multi-Stage Burners. With an 80%-efficiency furnace the burners operate at 100% of capacity. In temperate weather conditions, this high-capacity burner is only useful for the cold season, otherwise it uses up energy needlessly.

    A 90%-efficiency furnace contains multi-stage burners that intuit what temperatures are necessary to maintain the comfort level of a home. As heating requirements lessen, the multi-stage burner automatically switches to a lower, energy-savings level. The benefits include reduced power bills, energy conservation, and cleaner emissions.

    1. Sealed Combustion. A low-efficiency furnace uses the air from inside the home to initiate the burner flame. As a consequence, this lowers the humidity in living spaces and increases winter-air symptoms of itchy skin, irritated throat, and static electricity.

    A more serious issue is the possibility of carbon monoxide being released into the home due to backdrafts. This means combustion gases don’t go up the exhaust vent like they should, but are diverted into living spaces.

    A high-efficiency furnace contains a sealed-off combustion unit that protects the home from fumes. Two pipes work in conjunction to one, route the combusted air outside the home, and two, exhaust the gases. As a result, the home’s humidity level is protected.

  5. Tips for HVAC Spring Cleaning

     

    The Chicago winter has been brutal so far, with nose-hair freezing temperatures and a heaping helping of that powdery white stuff. No wonder you’ve been sitting around your house in front of the furnace and the TV, keeping your toes warm while you watch the Chicago Bears dominate opponents on their way to the Super Bowl. (Sorry, is it too soon to joke about that? It’s too soon. There’s always next year, right?)

    Fortunately, the spring season (and a new football season) are right around the proverbial “corner”—and with the warmer weather comes some excellent opportunities to give your home and your HVAC system a tune-up.

    In this blog, the Chicago HVAC team at Aircor will give you a step by step checklist for improving your HVAC system, your indoor air quality, and the health and wellness of your family. The earlier to get moving on the these tips, the better air quality you’ll have and the more money you’ll save on your energy bill!

    Dust and mop all over your home.

    Dust is essentially a Heinz ‘57 of all of the pet dander, chemical residue, fireplace ash, dead skin flakes (that’s right, your dead skin flakes), clothing lint, dirt, and a bunch of other substances found within your home and the outside world. When all that stuff comes together and becomes a part of your home, it can cause allergies and respiratory problems—but it can make your HVAC unit sick, too.

    Dust buildup in your filters, ducts, and HVAC unit can clog things up and make your HVAC system work harder than ever before to produce clean and perfectly warm or cool air—and that can raise your energy bill by up to 15 percent per year, according to the US Department of Energy (DOE). Plus, all that dust gets recirculated throughout your system and your home, which can lead to frequent sneezing at best and serious allergic reactions at worst.

    You’ll obviously need to get your HVAC unit inspected and cleaned (more on that later) but it’s also important for you to scrub, dust, and mop throughout your home to keep dust at a minimum. The more time you spend in your home during the winter, the more dust that will build up—so give things a thorough cleaning at least once per season, and call your HVAC professionals once per season as well.

    Change your filters.

    Your filters are meant to trap dust throughout your home, but they can only last so long and do so much to keep dust at bay, especially if you haven’t replaced them in months or *gasp* years. At the least, you need to change your filters in your system every three months, but that’s pushing it for most folks, especially those with allergies. Filters are fairly inexpensive, so we’d recommend changing them once a month or every two months to ensure your air is as clean as possible.

    Not sure how to change your filters or what kind of filters to buy? That’s alright—you can always call the HVAC maintenance professionals to change out your filters and perform an air duct cleaning you so can breathe easy.

    Clear out the clutter in your home.

    Dust, dust, dust—we can’t stop talking about dust today, can we? Ultimately, it’s because dust is the supervillian when it comes to poor indoor air quality and poor health. Dust can be hiding anywhere—but more often than not, it’s hiding behind your knick knacks, Star Wars collectibles, fratty top-of-the-kitchen-cabinet booze bottles, and other items that take up physical space. Dust loves to cling to clutter—so if you’re going to get rid of dust, you’ll need to get rid of some of the clutter as well.

    Once you’ve paired things down, give your remaining clutter a wipe-down to stop dust in its tracks, and be sure to wipe things down again and again every few months so keep your home virtually dust-free.

    Trust the professionals.

    Every season is HVAC season—that’s why you need an experienced HVAC maintenance and repair team to ensure that your system is working well regardless of the temperature or the weather. Fortunately, that’s where Aircor can help. As Chicago’s premier HVAC team, we can make sure your HVAC system is ready for the warm months ahead. Don’t wait—schedule an appointment with us today!

  6. Why Is My House So Cold?

    Brrrrrr! It’s not just cold right now—it’s Chicago cold. The Midwestern breeze can slice through the best parka or wool socks, and it can certainly break into your home. But how, exactly, does all that cold air get inside? Why is it that your house always seems cold, even when you’re cranking up the heat?

    In this blog, the Chicago HVAC professionals at Aircor will take a look at steps you can take to keep your house warm. Spoiler alert: you’re probably overlooking at least two thirds of these steps. Take care of these tasks, and your home will become warmer instantly, which will increase your level of comfort and lower your energy bill to boot!

    Step 1 – Check Your Windows & Doors

    If your home was built before 1990, it probably doesn’t have any sort of energy efficient windows or doors—and that could be a big reason why your home is seemingly cold all the time. Doors and windows with poor seals can let cold air in and warm air out, which makes your crank up your heater, and in turn, your energy bill—you’ll need to seal up these areas in order to keep all that hard-earned warm air you paid for inside of your home.

    While a complete window replacement would be the most effective option, replacing the seals on the bottoms of your windows and using thermal curtains will help slow down the rate at which cold air enters your home, and it’ll make sure you don’t have to turn up your heat quite as high when things cool off in the evenings. Be sure to realign your doors and replace their weatherstirpping as well—a drafty door is the most common culprit for air leakage in the home.

    Step 2 – Close Your Fireplace Damper

    Your fireplace damper opens and shuts to direct the flow of air from the inside to the outside—so when you leave it all the way open when you don’t have a fire in your firebox, all of the warm air in your home is literally being pulled up and out of your chimney. Easy solution here: go ahead and shut that damper all the way—but don’t forget to open it back up whenever you’re about to make a fire. Otherwise, you’ll be in for a smoky surprise.

    Step 3 – Change Up Your Ceiling Fans

    What if we told you that you could change the direction of your ceiling fans? Would you believe us? You should—changing the direction of your fans has a direct effect on how heat is dispersed throughout your home. Turn your fans clockwise, and you’ll push your warm air straight up toward the ceiling—not ideal when you’re trying get warm in your bed. But turn that bad boy to counterclockwise, and the blades will push your hot air down exactly where you want it. Mmmm… warm.

    So how do you achieve the magical feat of switching the direction of your ceiling fans? It’s easier than you think: just take a look at the middle of your fan, find the tiny switch, and flip it between clockwise and counterclockwise. Easy AND breezy.

    Step 4 – Install a Whole House Humidifier

    Your home should rest at around 40-45 percent humidity during the winter—but oftentimes, your heating system can suck the moisture out of your indoor air, which can actually make cold temperatures feel even colder. To solve this problem, place humidifiers throughout your home, or even better, have a whole house humidifier installed to make sure your home is perfectly humid in every room.


    That’s it for Part 1 of our series on why your house is so cold. Stay tuned for Part 2, and check out our other blog posts in the meantime!

  7. Tips for Home Comfort (And Energy Savings) This Winter

    Winter is coming here, and your comfort in your home is as important as ever. But how do you keep your home warm and cozy when that icy Chicago wind rolls through? In this blog, the Chicago HVAC specialists at Aircor will give you a few tips for keeping your home perfectly toasty this winter. With the right tools and strategies, you’ll enjoy your time in your home and save money on your energy bill to boot!

    Keep things insulated.

    The biggest battle you’ll face during the winter isn’t just about keeping the cold air out—it’s about keeping the warm air in. If your home is full of cracks and gaps, you’ll be losing all of that comfy and cozy air, and you’ll force your HVAC unit to work harder in order to produce a suitable amount of heat. This can cause damage to your HVAC system, and it’ll spike your energy bill, too.

    To prevent this problem, you’ll need to seal up the cracks and keep your home properly insulated. First, use caulking solution to seal up draft-prone seams around vents and pipes. Next, adjust your doors and use door stops and seals to ensure tight fits between doors and frames (this is a common area for drafts). Finally, use thermal curtains on your windows to slow the rate at which cold air enters your home. These steps will make your home more airtight than ever before, and will ensure your HVAC system doesn’t have to work too hard to heat up your home.

    Practice proper thermostat habits.

    For every degree you set your thermostat over 78 degrees in the summer, you’ll save around seven percent on your energy bill—per degree. Those are huge savings! The same concept still applies in the winter as well—so instead of jacking your heater up to 85 degrees to keep things warm, try keeping your thermostat at around 68 degrees while you’re at home.

    We get it—68 just doesn’t sound toasty enough. But it’ll keep your home at a consistently livable temperature, and you’ll save plenty of money in the process. The closer you set your thermostat to the outdoor temperature, the less energy you’ll consume—and that could save you 15 to 20 percent per year on your bill!

    Install a programmable thermostat.

    While setting your thermostat at a reasonable temperature is fine and dandy while you’re home, what happens when you’re not home? For some folks, coming home to an icy cold house is fine—but for others, well, they’d rather run that thermostat all day long (and pay the price for it) so they can come home to comfortable temperatures.

    Fortunately, there’s a better way: using a programmable thermostat. Instead of leaving your thermostat running or icing out your entire home, you can use your smartphone or other mobile device to create a schedule for your thermostat so you can have a comfortable home and maximum energy savings. Schedule your thermostat to turn off (or to a lower temperature) right before you leave for work, and then 20 minutes before you get home at the end of the day, schedule it to turn up the heat a bit so you can walk inside and take your shoes off without your toes freezing solid. You’ll save 7-10 percent on your energy bill, and you’ll always have the comfortable home you desire!

    Have your HVAC system serviced.

    It doesn’t matter how perfectly insulated your home is, or how efficient your thermostat usage is—if your HVAC system hasn’t been cleaned and serviced for awhile, you’re not going to get the warm air you want, and you’ll end up paying a premium on energy. You need experienced HVAC professionals to keep your HVAC system in good shape—and that’s where Aircor can help. Our friendly HVAC technicians can prepare your heating system for winter so you can maximize your savings and stay comfortable all winter long. Get started with us today!

  8. Most Common Furnace Issues

    Is there are a word more brutal than brutal? If so, that’s the word you’d use to describe winter in Chicago. With January and February temperatures diving below zero, and that Windy City wind chill making things even colder (down to -20 degrees in some cases), staying warm in winter is incredibly important throughout Chicago and the surrounding areas.

    But if your heating system or furnace isn’t working properly, you’re going to spend more on heating than you’d like, you’ll put your system at risk for damage, and you won’t have that warm and comfortable air that keeps your boogers from turning into icicles. That’s cold.

    So what problems are most likely to happen to your furnace during the wintertime? What should you look out for in order to avoid heating issues in your home? In this blog, the Chicago HVAC specialists at Aircor will discuss the most common issues that arise with furnaces and heating systems. Be sure to call your heater repair team at Aircor if you encounter any of these problems throughout the chilliest months of the year!

    Wear & Tear

    Furnaces are made of plenty of mechanical components like belts, bearings, and fans—and if any of these pieces break down or malfunction, your system is going to experience overheating, no heat, or intermittent heat. That’s just the way it goes—parts of machinery will break down over time after heavy use, and you’ll need for them to be replaced. If your system breaks down due to wear and tear, get in touch with your local heater repair team for a quick fix.

    Dirty or Clogged Filters

    Replacing your filter(s) is one of the most important things you can do to keep your furnace healthy and your indoor air clean—you should ideally replace filters once a month, or once every two months in seasons where you don’t use your furnace as much. But if you wait longer than that, you’re putting your heating system at risk for damage, and you’re compromising the quality of your indoor air. Keep some spare filters on hand so you can always change them on time, and have the heater maintenance guys in your neighborhood clean your system so it runs smoothly and produces clean and comfortable air.

    Pilot or Ignition Control Problems

    Pilot and ignition control systems are the two most common systems in furnaces and HVAC units today—and if they aren’t working properly, there’s a chance you end up with no heat at all. Unfortunately, the components have a higher likelihood of malfunctioning than most parts of heating units. Whenever you turn on your thermostat to request heat, these components are supposed to kick into motion—but if they don’t, you’ll need to give your local furnace repair team a shout.

    Thermostat Malfunction

    A faulty thermostat can cause a wide variety of problems for your heating system—it can create heating malfunctions that can lead to the constant stream of heat, intermittent heat, or no heat at all, and it can stop your fan from functioning, which means you’ll be producing heat without a fan to direct that heat through your home. If you think you might have a thermostat malfunction, you’ll need to call the HVAC repair professionals to sort things out.

    Lack of Maintenance

    You could spend thousands of dollars on the latest and greatest furnace or heating system—but it won’t mean a darn thing if you don’t keep it properly maintained. Deciding to ignore routine maintenance for your furnace has its consequences—it can make your furnace work harder to produce heat, which can spike your energy bill, it can diminish the indoor air quality of your home, and it can even cause costly damage to your heating system, which will be much more expensive than routine maintenance. If you’re going to keep your furnace and energy bill in good shape, you need the best in HVAC maintenance professionals—and that’s where Aircor can help. Our experienced HVAC team offers heating installation, maintenance, and repair services throughout Chicago—so no matter what issues you have with your heating system, you’ll stay warm throughout the brutal Chicago winter. Don’t wait until the brutally cold weather sets in—schedule an appointment with Aircor today!

  9. When It’s Time for an Air Conditioning Tune-Up

    Aircor-air-conditioning-tune-up-air-conditioner-cleaning-maintenance-performance

    HVAC air conditioning tune-ups are a necessity to keep your air conditioning humming along. And as a matter of course air conditioner tune-ups should be performed twice a year, particularly in the spring before the hot and humid days of summer arrive.

    If you’ve been lax about scheduling a tune-up for your air conditioner you could be caught unawares in the middle of a heat wave, when your air conditioner has to work its hardest to keep your home cool. If it’s dirty and neglected and straining to cool your home, a breakdown is not surprising.

    Before you find yourself in the middle of an air conditioning crisis, here are some signs you can be aware of when your air conditioner is showing signs of strain, and threatening to break down:

    • If you’ve been operating your air conditioning unit day and night, and not getting relief from the heat, check one of the supply registers by putting your hand above one of them. The chances are the air will feel warm. This is an indicator your air conditioner is undercooling your home, or maybe not cooling it, period. If you find the air is cool enough but the airflow is weak, this means cool air can’t spread throughout your home. Two reasons could be the cause of the problem: a leaky duct or a worn-out filter.
    • Do you find the air conditioning is shutting on and off too often? We’re talking about a span of a few seconds. When this occurs the air conditioner is not able to remove excessive moisture from the air, leaving you with humid and stifling air. The constant turning on and off causes more wear-and-tear on the air conditioner components.
    • Are you feeling too hot in one room and too cold in another? Aside from poor insulation, direct exposure to the sun, or windows that let in too much air, your air conditioner might be the cause.
    • If you discover an outdoor air conditioner part that looks like it is leaking, the cause could be an obstructed or damaged drain tube. Although not considered a grave problem, the longer you delay getting it repaired, the more likely you will develop a mold problem.
    • If you’ve had your air conditioner a number of years you’ve become acquainted with how it should behave. Any deviation from the normal sounds of its operation should be a red flag you need a tune-up sooner rather than later. Typical sounds your air conditioner is malfunctioning are squeaking, shrieking, scraping, or some sound that hasn’t shown up before. Irregular sounds demand you schedule an appointment for an air conditioner tune-up immediately before a serious problem develops.
    • If you are becoming aware of musty odors emanating from your air conditioning, mold is growing in some unknown part of your air conditioner. If you smell sharp or burning odors, the cause might be burnt-out wire insulation. The only way to take care of this problem is to call for an air conditioning tune-up. The HVAC air conditioning repair technician will know how to rid the air conditioner of the odors and repair whatever has caused them.

    If you’re finding yourself needing to dust more frequently, it could be a dirty and undermaintained air conditioning unit is at the root of it. When dirt and dust have been allowed to accumulate on the air conditioning unit parts, the air blower will blow the built-up dust into your air. An HVAC air conditioning repair technician can come out, and do a thorough cleaning of all the air conditioning parts, which will have the air conditioner running like new again.

  10. AC Tips: Before Calling an Air Conditioning Repair Technician

    Warm weather is not far off, specially in Chicago where oppressively hot days are the norm, you want to make sure your air conditioning unit will be able to handle the job of keeping your home cool. You especially want to avoid an emergency repair call if you can. The best way to reduce the odds of needing an HVAC air conditioning repair technician to come to your home that has now become a sweat lodge is to take some proactive steps to maintain your air conditioner unit in top working order to forestall its needing repair work done on the dog days of the year.

    If your air conditioning unit is not functioning, before you call an HVAC air conditioning repair technician to come out and find out what the problem is and possibly do repairs, here are some steps you can take to troubleshoot your air conditioner system beforehand, and maybe solve the problem yourself.

    Has the air conditioner unit not turned on at all? Don’t panic. Check out the following:

    Circuit Breaker

    It’s possible the circuit breaker has tripped. Are you running more than one appliance, using your lights and TV? Too many household items running at the same time can cause an overload of juice, causing the circuit breaker to shut off. Checking the circuit breaker to see if it has tripped, and returning the lever to its on position—if it has—will make you heave a sigh of relief you don’t have to spend money on repairs.

    Thermostat

    Inspect your thermostat to see if it has shut off, or only the blower fan is operating. A battery-operated air conditioner may only need the batteries replaced.

    Filters

    A grimy and blocked filter will interfere with air flow and lower cooling efficiency. Sometimes a filter that has gotten dirty and clogged can cause your air conditioning unit to form ice. Regularly inspect your filters and change them often to prevent the air conditioner from malfunctioning.

    Buildup of Ice

    Built-up ice on your AC air conditioning will interfere with its cooling feature. There are two methods to dealing with ice buildup: 1) shut the air conditioner unit off and operate the fan to aid in melting the ice fast. 2) turn off the air conditioner unit and wait for the ice to melt in due time.

    Ducts

    Check your ductwork to ensure you’re getting enough air flow. Dirty ducts will certainly impede airflow, so clean them if they need it. And while you’re checking your ductwork, look to see if a register has inadvertently been completely closed. Even a partially closed register will obstruct airflow to the ducts. 

    General Cleaning

    The entire AC air conditioning unit may just need a good cleaning to get it operating again. Consider giving the air conditioner unit a thorough cleaning before you determine it needs repairing. For the outside air conditioning unit, conscientiously wipe the fan blades and condenser fins. Caution: don’t try to clean the air conditioner unit while it is running.

    If it turns out your HVAC air conditioning system is actually out of commission, call an HVAC air conditioning repair technician to come out and discover what the real problem is. They will do a complete inspection of your air conditioner unit, pinpoint the problem or problems, repair them, and have your air conditioner unit up and running in no time.