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Let Your Air Conditioner Breathe!

Posted on July 15, 2014 at 9:27 AM Comments comments (102)
Here's an easy thing you can do to keep your air conditioner running as efficiently as possible: Don't crowd the condensing unit, the outdoor part of your AC. In the photo below, you see a common problem.


As the shrubbery gets bigger, it's going to crowd that condensing unit. When it does, it's going to restrict the air flow across the condensing coil. Basically, the condensing coil is where all the heatthat got picked up from your home gets dumped outside. Your AC is engineered to remove the heat by having a designed amount of air flow over the condensing coil. If less air flows over the coil, less heat is removed. That means the whole cycle warms up a bit, and your AC works harder to keep your home cool.

You'll pay extra for it in more than one way: (1) Your monthly electric bill will be higher; (2) your equipment may not last as long, so you'll pay more in repair bills and in having to replace the AC sooner.

Remember, keep some space around your condenser and let your air conditioner breathe!

R-22 Refrigerant: What you should know....

Posted on April 14, 2014 at 11:24 AM Comments comments (1)
R-22 Refrigerant and what you should know:

Prices for R-22 refrigerant, commonly known as “Freon,” have definitely risen over the past few years.
Here’s why: About 25 years ago, the EPA ordered the phasing out of R-22 as part of the international treaty on protecting the ozone layer called the “Montreal Protocol”, because of the refrigerant’s ozone-depleting substances.

As part of the agreement, production ended in 2010 for new air conditioning units “charged” with R-22 and production of the refrigerant itself was reduced by 75 percent. By 2015, there will be a 90 percent reduction in the production of R-22. By 2020, it will no longer be produced at all. Because production is limited, costs to charge existing units that are leaking R-22 refrigerant have gone up and are only expected to rise.

All that said, all homeowners should look at the bigger issue here. If you paid to have R-22 added to your A/C four years ago. Really, R-22 should never need to be replaced. If your system needs R-22, that means you have a leak. Rather than continuing to pay these increased costs to replenish the leaking R-22, we recommend you invest your hard earned dollars to replace the entire system.

The good news is that, if you do invest in a new unit, it will be more environmentally friendly and more energy efficient. You’ll save money on your monthly cooling costs – those long-term savings can really add up – plus you can take advantage of federal Energy Star tax credits and local state credits. To read more about energy credits, go to: http://www.goodmanmfg.com/ResidentialProducts/FederalTaxCredits/tabid/1461/Default.aspx


Identify the "Dirty Sock Syndrome"!

Posted on January 6, 2014 at 12:24 PM Comments comments (98)
Does your home suffer from what we in the HVAC industry call the "Dirty Sock Syndrome"? The smell, typically described as a musky, dirty, locker room smell is usually caused by  a bacteria that collects and grows on the indoor coils of heat pumps and air conditioners.
Our Fillmore HVAC technicians typically start to get calls of a funky smell in their home when heat pumps go into defrost or when systems are run on the "heating" mode for a brief time then switched back into cooling (A/C). The bacteria or odor collects and grows on the coil during this heating time and is released all at once when the indoor coil gets cool and damp. Heat pump owners notice the odor when the system goes into defrost, usually when the outdoor temperature dips below 40 degrees. Heat pumps and air conditioners experience the problem when the air conditioner is turned back on after the heating has been used. Our climate can require heating in the morning and cooling in the afternoon which is a perfect condition for a complaint to surface. 
 
 
Free $48 service call/inspection with any Repair.
 
24-hour. Same-day Service.
 
We NEVER charge overtime.
 
Licensed-Bonded-Insured for your peace of mind!
 
 
 
 
Here's a few tips to help rule out other odor causing issues:
 
  • eliminate dirty drain pans holding water
  • correct drain lines connected to plumbing systems without adequate water traps or dry traps
  • return air leaks in ductwork or chases, or
  • dead animals in ductwork or near the living space.
If you require assistance to determine whether or not your home is suffering from the "Dirty Sock Syndrome" call us for a thorough inspection to get to the root of the problem. Once the problem has been properly identified, action can then be taken to resolve or reduce the complaint, starting with a thorough cleaning of the evaporator coil with a non-acid coil cleaner. Cleaning will bring the system back to normal and will usually prevent a complaint for the rest of the heating season.
Connect with us on Twitter: @fillmorehvac
 

Indoor Air Polution

Posted on November 27, 2013 at 12:14 PM Comments comments (97)
Indoor air pollution ranks among the top five environmental health risks. The best way to address this risk is to control or eliminate the sources of pollution inside your home: https://www.activtek.net/Content/whyactivtek.aspx

Pictured he...re is a mold buildup case taken by one of our trained and certified technicians. If your HVAC Contractor finds mold buildup in any way you may want to consider the activTek Air Scrubber Plus.

If you have this problem or your home smells like a stinky sock, call us we can help! (972) 365-8356 or Email: [email protected]
 

R-22 Refrigerant Phase-out and what you should know.

Posted on August 19, 2013 at 12:00 PM Comments comments (301)
Air conditioners use refrigerant to cool indoor air that passes over the cold, refrigerant-filled coils. If your air conditioner was manufactured prior to 2010, there is a good chance it requires R-22 refrigerant, which means you will begin to notice continuing annual increases in maintenance costs because supplies of R-22 are dwindling.
 
R-22 refrigerant is a hydrochlorofluorocarbon (HFC) that emits ozone-depleting chlorine. As such, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has set strict limitations on it’s production for use in commercial and residential A/Cs through 2020. After that, the only way to recharge equipment requiring R-22 will be to capture and recycle it from phased out units. The extra labor costs, as well as the rising refrigerant costs due to lack of supply, will be transferred directly to the consumer.
 
To prepare for the R-22 phase-out:
 
If you haven’t scheduled your A/C Maintenance yet, now is a good time to make an appointment. Ask our technicians whether or not your unit requires the use of R-22. If it does, you will need to begin preparing for increasing refrigerant costs over the next several years.
 
If your unit was made prior to 2010 and it requires R-22, you should begin thinking about a system replacement.
 
Beware of alternative refrigerant options! You may have read alternative refrigerants, such as R-407C, R-438A and R-422 are compatible in an R-22 system. Unfortunately, they can seriously compromise your equipment.
 
Contact Fillmore HVAC at 972-365-8356 to learn more about your options during the R-22 phase-out. We’re dedicated to helping Dallas/DFW-area residents find cost-effective HVAC solutions.

No Cool Air Problem DIY

Posted on August 12, 2013 at 9:15 AM Comments comments (108)
At Fillmore HVAC we understand budgets are sometimes tight and you’d rather try to figure out the problem before calling us for service. Below is a potential problem with central air conditioning to help you better understand your HVAC and when you have a serious air conditioning repair problem. We're never insulted when people would rather ask about an air conditioning repair problem rather than ...call us to service one. 

No Cool Air Problem

1.) Remember to always refer to the owner’s manual and follow the guidelines.

2.) Some units with this problem may need cleaning. When completing this air conditioning repair, turn off the power to the unit. Typically, you’ll need to shut of the unit’s 240-volt circuit at the electrical panel and the panel next to the outdoor compressor.

3) Remove any debris away from the condenser (located outside). You don’t want anything blocking the airflow.

4) Unscrew the protective and top cover grilles from the compressor. Be careful if the fan is attached to the grille. You can unknowingly pull wires loose when removing it.

5) Use a (soft) brush to clean the debris from the fins

6) Use a vacuum—with a brush attachment—to vacuum the fins

7) Inside the unit, place plastic covering over the motor and wiring to protect them from getting wet (a plastic garbage bag works too). You can use a spray bottle or hose with a sprayer attached to it.

Use the hose to remove any pesky dirt and debris that wasn’t removed during the first cleaning

9) Remove the plastic sheeting then reassemble

10) To make sure the unit works properly, turn the thermostat to the OFF position.

11) Reset the power (the reverse of what you did when you disconnected the power)

12) Wait five minutes

13) Set the thermostat to the ON position

The unit should run for about three minutes before you check the two pipes which connect the condenser unit to the handler. Sometimes the pipes are covered by insulation. Just need to slide the insulation back to check the pipes. One of the pipes should feel cool and the other warm.

If this doesn’t work, CALL US @ (972) 365-8356. You probably did everything right. The refrigerant may require recharging.
‪#‎TheMoreYouKnow‬‪#‎HVAC‬‪#‎StayCool‬ my friends! @fillmorehvac

Volatile organic compounds (VOCs) are much more toxic than mold, pollen, and dead skin cells.

Posted on July 21, 2013 at 12:55 AM Comments comments (706)
If your HVAC technicians aren’t recommending that you add at least one standard ultraviolet (UV) light "system sanitizer" for your system, they’re doing you a disservice!

Here are some things you may not know about our standard ultraviolet (UV) light "system sanitizer"

1. You no longer really have to pull and clean indoor coils any more. Shine a UV light on a dirty evaporator coil 24 hours a day, and by the time the system is due for its next tune-up, the coil will be cleaner than it would have been if it had been cleaned it by hand. Try it. Take a dirty coil you’ve replaced and shine a UV light on it. It will take a month or two to get the job done, but the UV light will clean it.

2. You don’t need to have a mold problem or allergies to need a UV light shining on the coil. Nearly every indoor coil has debris on it. That debris is almost certainly composed primarily of dead skin cells: we shed up to 30,000 of them per hour. Those dead skin cells are also on the blower wheel. That’s why indoor coils and blowers stink.  Go out and pick up a handful of dirt and sniff it. Dirt doesn’t stink. Neither does pollen. Most molds have a sweet smell. Dead skin cells stink. If your HVAC equipment is 8 years old, and you've only lived in the house for two years, you have six years worth of the previous residents’ dead skin cells on your equipment!

3. Volatile organic compounds (VOCs) are much more toxic than mold, pollen, and dead skin cells. Television commercials quote the EPA as saying that indoor air pollution is up to five times worse inside your home than it is outside. 

Common VOCs are most cleaning supplies, wax, hairspray, deodorant, air fresheners, the formaldehyde in the carpet, the glues holding everything in the house together, pesticides, carbonless paper, dry cleaned clothing, moth repellents, and drier sheets.The most effective way to reduce VOCs is with our standard UV Light. 

If you have plug-in air fresheners, you're a prime candidate for a standard UV light. Have you ever considered opening up that air freshener and drinking the liquid inside of it?  Think we're crazy? Well, if you can smell it, you’re ingesting it. It’s in your blood stream. Inhaling the VOCs emanating from any air freshener is the same thing as eating or drinking it. Trying to hide an odor? The most effective way to reduce odors is to eliminate them with a standard UV Light. By the way, the odor is probably all the dead skin cells in your heating & cooling equipment and ductwork.

And now you know.  You're welcome!  @fillmorehvac

How a Central Air Conditioner Works

Posted on June 27, 2013 at 10:07 AM Comments comments (233)
Facts:
  • The typical central air conditioning system is a split system, with an outdoor air conditioning, or "compressor bearing unit" and an indoor coil, which is usually installed on top of the furnace in the home.
  • Using electricity as its power source, the compressor pumps refrigerant through the system to gather heat and moisture from indoors and remove it from the home.
  • Heat and moisture are removed from the home when warm air from inside the home is blown over the cooled indoor coil. The heat in the air transfers to the coil, thereby "cooling" the air.
  • The heat that has transferred to the coil is then "pumped" to the exterior of the home, while the cooled air is pumped back inside, helping to maintain a comfortable indoor temperature.
  • Central air conditioning can also be provided through a package unit or a heat pump
 Benefits:
  • Indoor comfort during warm weather - Central air conditioning helps keep your home cool and reduces humidity levels.
  • Cleaner air - As your central air conditioning system draws air out of various rooms in the house through return air ducts, the air is pulled through an air filter, which removes airborne particles such as dust and lint. Sophisticated filters may remove microscopic pollutants, as well. The filtered air is then routed to air supply duct work that carries it back to rooms.
  • Quieter operation - Because the compressor bearing unit is located outside the home, the indoor noise level from its operation is much lower than that of a free-standing air conditioning unit.