An Exploration of Air Conditioner Maintenance and Repairs

About HVAC System Heat Pump Problems & Getting Them Repaired

Have you noticed a change in the amount of warm and cold air coming from the heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) system? The inefficiency from the system may be due to there being something wrong with the heat pump, as it is used for exchanging air between the inside and outside of your house. In this article, learn about heat pump problems and how a professional can resolve them.

What Kind of Problems Can a Heat Pump Cause?

Although the furnace and evaporator coil to your HVAC system are responsible for producing hot and cold air, the heat pump plays a role in it as well. The pump brings in exterior cold air to mix with air produced in the evaporator coil, while removing warm air from the inside of your house. The pump also brings in hot air from the exterior and removes cool air from the interior when the heater is on, but an auxiliary heater is used if no exterior warm air is available. You will feel an insufficient amount of warm and cold air if the heat pump is malfunctioning.

There are a few different things that can lead to the heat pump not working right, including freezing weather. If it rains during freezing weather, the water can freeze up the heat pump motor. Dirt is another thing that can interfere with the operation of a heat pump. It doesn’t take much for dirt to accumulate on the pump, as it is located on the outside of your house.

What Can a Professional Do to Repair a Malfunctioning Heat Pump?

The first thing that will be done is an inspection of the heat pump to determine if ice or dirt is responsible for the problem. If there is ice on the pump, the contractor will melt it by pouring hot water on it. There is also a defrost timer on the pump that can assist in melting the ice. If dirt is the problem, the contractor will simply clean the pump. The motor is the main focus as dirt may have jammed it up and caused the pump to stop working.

It may be necessary for the contractor to install a new heat pump. If so, you can expect to spend a minimum of $2,000 or more for one that is sufficient enough for your entire house. Speak to an air conditioning repair contractor about the inefficiency of your HVAC system so he or she can find out if the heat pump is the problem.

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New Homeowner’s Guide To Keeping That Old AC Chugging Along

So, you just bought a house that’s at least a half century old and the AC looks like it might have been installed sometime around the Carter administration. After spending every dollar you had buying this grand old house, you’re planning to  live with this AC unit for a while. Old air conditioners come with a whole host of problems that require regular AC repair. If you’ve never owned a house or an air conditioner before, it’s helpful to recognize the symptoms of an AC problem, so you can take the appropriate course of action. Read on to find out more.

If Your AC Freezes…

You could literally walk outside one day to discover that your air conditioner isn’t working and the entire condenser has frozen into a block of ice. This may look dramatic, but it’s not the life-or-death situation you might be imagining. The reason this is happening is because something is causing your AC coils to cool more than necessary. This can happen because of low Freon levels, because the blower is broken, or because of a clogged and dirty air filter.

Course of Action: Turn off the AC and let the coils thaw for 24 hours. Replace the air filter. If this doesn’t work, call an AC repair person for service.

If Your AC Won’t Cool…

If the AC won’t cool the house, this could be the result of a faulty blower, leaks in the ducts, a broken motor, or a lack of refrigerant in the unit.

Course of Action: You’re probably not going to be able to fix this problem yourself. Have the AC repair person come out right away to service the unit.

If Your AC Smells…

Air conditioners can smell as well as freeze. There are a number of reasons that your air conditioner could smell—and some of them are a little more off-the-wall than others.

One of the problems could be a clogged condensate drain. The condensate drain allows condensation from the unit to drain out of the pan and onto the ground. If the drain clogs, the pan can get moldy and smells are the result.

Alternatively, it could also be dirty coils. Air inside the HVAC unit blows over the coils, cools off and goes back into the house. If the coils are dirty, the air will smell dirty. Dirty coils can be the result of everything from bacteria and pollutants in the air to debris from vermin.

Of course, these smells don’t have to be coming from the AC at all—they could be originating with mold or mildew in the ducts.

Course of Action: Call an AC repair person to come service your unit and take a look at your ducts.

For more tips and information, speak with your AC repair person about the various things that could go wrong with your “brand new” really old air conditioner. 

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4 Ways To Add The Look Of Wood Decking To Your In-Ground Pool

If you have an in-ground pool, you may want to resurface the decking around it. This is often done with a type of concrete or stone. Today, there are many other materials that you can choose from, such as rubber composites, wood and even stamped concrete. You may want to have a wood look for your pool, but still have a durable decking surface. Here are a few ways that you can create the look of wood for your new pool deck resurfacing:

1. Using Stamped Concrete With Acid Staining

If you want to have a concrete pool deck, it can also have decoration using concrete stamping techniques. The concrete can be stamped and then acid staining added to give the concrete the look of wood grain. This is great if you want to have a durable pool decking that will last for many years. It can be hard on the feet and slippery when wet, however, so you may want to consider other concrete textures or different materials if you have children.

2. Installing Vinyl Decking Materials

There are also many vinyl decking materials that can be great for a pool deck. These materials are better than composite decking because they can withstand the abuse of water and chemicals that decking will get near your pool. If you want to use vinyl decking, you may want to get a material that has a textured surface to make your pool area more slip resistant.

3. Using Real Wood For Deck Surfacing

There are also real wood materials that can be used to create the deck around your pool. You can use treated materials if you want to have something that is affordable. If you want a wood that will last longer and can take the wear of pool use, cedar and tropical hardwoods can be a great choice. For the pool area, you can also use hidden fasteners to give your deck a clean appearance.

4. Using Wood Textured Flooring Materials

There are also many water resistant flooring materials for indoors and outdoors that can be applied over a concrete surface around your pool. These materials are made of rubber or PVC and come in many styles. This can be good if you just want to repair damaged deck surfacing and add new flooring for a different look for your pool area.

These are some things that you can do to create the look of wood for your pool deck surfacing. If it is time to have a new surface for your pool deck, contact a pool deck resurfacing service to get the help you need to change the look of your pool area.

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Solving A Noisy Window Air Conditioner Problem

When it comes to cooling small spaces in an energy-efficient way, window air conditioners have an edge over central heating systems. This is mainly because these air conditioners can be positioned in such a way that they only cool spaces that need cooling. The fact that they tend to be smaller in size also tends to help so far as energy consumption is concerned.

Unlike central air conditioning units that rely on air vents to distribute cool air throughout a home, window air conditioners have to be placed next to the room that they have to cool. This is great in that it helps avoid energy losses. However, it can be a constant source of noise.

Luckily, any window air conditioner noise problems can be easily fixed. Here are tips that may come in handy in helping you do so.

The front panel and its screws

When an air conditioner is in operation, it tends to vibrate. This vibration is usually negligible, especially in cases where the unit is in good shape. However, if the screws of the front panel are loose, the vibrations of the unit tend to be amplified. This can be quite irritating.

If your unit is making your home uncomfortable because of the amount of noise that it is producing, check for any loose screws on its panel. If you find any, tighten them. And if you can’t find any, simply secure the panel with a masking tape. This should be enough to keep the panel from knocking on the unit and will therefore come in handy in helping you to eliminate any noise coming from your air conditioner.

Fan blades and their tendency to bend

Window air conditioners use fan blades to generate enough force to suck in and push out air. When the unit is in good condition, these fan blades usually do their work without touching any other parts. Therefore, they don’t produce any noises that are loud enough to be irritating.

However, these blades sometimes bend. They can also become unbalanced as a result of dirt accumulation, something that may cause them to wobble when rotating. All this may lead to flawed motion that may cause the blades to rub against condenser fins and other parts of the air conditioning unit, causing the unit to produce noise.

To fix this problem, start by unplugging the unit from the power source. After that, loosen the fasteners of the surrounding cabin. You should now be able to see the blades.

Try spinning the blades and take note of whether they are rubbing against any other parts of the unit. If they are, simply bend them away from the part. If there is any dust on the blades, remove it. And if the blades appear unbalanced and out of place, try bending them back to their respective places. 

If you have questions about other types of HVAC issues, you may want to call a plumbing and heating contractor in your area. 

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Cutting Down A Tree: Do You Really Need To Remove The Stump?

When contacting a tree service to inquire about having an unwanted or diseased tree cut down, one of the first questions you will be asked is whether or not you also wish to have the stump removed. Your answer to this question will have a huge impact on the quote you receive since stump removal adds a considerable amount of work to the tree removal process. Consequently, the question most homeowners find themselves asking is whether or not they really need to remove the stump. While this is a question that must be answered on a case by case basis, you should know that there are many benefits that come along with choosing to have the tree stump removed. Below you will learn more about some of these benefits so that you can decide for yourself whether or not it is time for that stump to go.

Tree Stumps Can Sprout New Trees

When cutting down a healthy tree, the tree’s root system will remain intact unless the entire stump and attached roots are also removed. In some cases, these roots can sprout cloned trees that are an exact duplicate of the tree that you just had removed. To make matters worse, not only will these roots sprout one new tree, they can end up sprouting dozens of small trees in the area surrounding the stump. Even if you pull these trees when they are still very small, new ones can sprout up in their place. The only guaranteed way to prevent this from happening is to remove the stump and the entire root system at the time the tree is cut down.

Stumps Can Present A Falling Hazard

Since tree stumps often fall below our natural line of sight, it is not uncommon for them to go unnoticed, especially when moving about in a fairly familiar environment. If you or a child falls over a tree stump that goes unnoticed, you could be dealing with some rather serious injuries as a result. However, if a neighbor or other visitor falls over this tree stump, not only will personal injury be an issue, but so will legal liability. This is because you can be held legally liable for any injuries that occur on your property.

If you do choose to leave the tree stump in place, it is always better to leave a large stump than to have it cut as low to the ground as possible. This will help to prevent the stump from being hidden in high grass and will reduce the risk of someone accidentally falling over the stump.

Tree Stumps Can Attract Bugs

There are many bugs that choose to make old tree stumps their home, including termites and wood-eating beetles. Once these insects infest the stump in your yard, it does not take much for them to migrate from the stump to the foundation of your home. Choosing to remove the stump at the time the tree is cut down will help to minimize the chances of these potentially destructive bugs being drawn towards your property.

Click here to continue reading more about stump removal.

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Stylish Ideas For Small Bathrooms

Everyone would love to have a gigantic master bath reminiscent of a favorite spa. The reality, though, is that many people have homes with small bathrooms. That doesn’t mean you’re doomed to being cramped – it just means you need to get creative with your bathroom remodel.

Replace the Sink

A sink on top of a full vanity takes up valuable real estate. One option for a small bathroom is replacing the standard vanity with a pedestal sink. Not only is such an installation attractive, it takes up far less space. Another option is replacing a regular vanity with a floating one. The area beneath can be used for additional storage or just to increase the visual space.

Install on a Wall

Speaking of the sink area, another option is having the plumbing extend directly from the wall. Indeed, Better Homes and Gardens suggests having a single-handle faucet installed in the wall. Another option is a tankless toilet, which receives water directly from the water line. This set up eliminates the need for a bulky tank.

Include Glass Tile

Not only is tile easy to clean and maintain, it’s also very attractive. While regular porcelain tile is lovely, glass is an excellent choice for a small bathroom. The surface of glass tile shimmers automatically, thus increasing the light in the room. More light makes the space seem bigger. Choose light colors to further promote that feeling of airy space.

Add a Glass Shower Door

Whether your bathroom has a shower-bathtub combination or simply a walk-in stall, add a glass shower door. Have it installed as a sliding glass door rather than on a pivot. This minimizes the amount of space the door takes up when open. Likewise, just like glass tiles maximize the visual space, so, too, does a glass shower door.

Customize Your Storage

There’s never seems to be enough storage space, even in the largest of bathrooms. That’s because the space is appropriate for the home owner’s needs. You may have dozens of towels but no place to put them because the storage is constructed for toiletries. Since you’re having your bathroom remodeled anyway, have the storage designed to meet your needs specifically. Make a list of all the items you want to keep near to hand in the bathroom, and talk to your contractors about the best storage configuration.

Don’t lament your small bathroom. Instead, add stylish upgrades that increase the visual space while helping your bathroom complement your morning routine. For more information, speak to contractors like ULF & Associates, LLC.

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Tips To Care For Your Trees

The trees on your property are more than a nice decorative touch. They serve a real function that not only impacts you, but others. It is because of the many benefits of trees that it is important to properly care for them. Here are some tips for ensuring your trees are in good health all year. 

Why Are Trees Important?

Trees provide a number of functions, including helping to absorb pollutants that can be found in the air and soil. They also help to remove harmful carbon dioxide that is in the air. 

The benefits are not limited to the environment. Trees help to reduce your energy bills during the warm months by providing shade. Your home is also better insulated from noise pollution when you have trees in the yard. 

If you are thinking of selling your home, the presence of healthy trees can help improve your curb appeal and entice more potential homebuyers to your property. If you are renting your property, trees can even be a reason to ask for a few more dollars each month. 

What Can You Do to Care for Your Trees?

Ideally, you should work with a professional to ensure your trees stay healthy. A professional can not only provide invaluable regular care to your trees, but he or she can spot problems before they spread throughout a tree. 

Good care of a tree involves several steps, including watering the trees. How often you water your tree depends on its age. For instance, if you have a tree that is two years of age and younger, you need to water your tree for about 30 seconds daily

Trimming your trees is also important. Trimming the trees helps to remove dead wood and also helps to remove the risk of a branch falling and causing damage to property. 

Knowing when to trim your tree can be difficult to determine. Some species of trees are better trimmed during the winter months, while others are best during the summer. Let your tree professional help you determine the best time.

Mulching is also important to your tree. Mulch provides soil insulation and helps the roots of your trees stay moist[,] which is important to growth. 

Your trees are important to not only you and your family, but those around you. Taking care of your tree is a smart, financial decision that will pay off in the long run. (For more information, contact Tall Timbers Tree & Shrub Service Inc or another company)

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