Heating - Blog Posts by Tag

The Key to Finding a Reputable HVAC Contractor

The Key to Finding a Reputable HVAC ContractorThe search for a great HVAC contractor for your home can seem daunting, but it’s pretty simple once you know what to look for. We understand the need for proper heating, cooling, and other needs, which is why we’ve come up with a few simple questions for you to ask:

Do the Contractors Keep Up with Industry Knowledge?

We’re not talking about basic industry knowledge — they all have that. What you need to check on is how well the company keeps up with changes in technology and techniques.

What Does Their BBB Listing Look Like?

The first thing you can check out about a company on the Better Business Bureau website is their rating. This is a great indication of how they conduct business. But, also pay attention to any customer complaints and how those were handled.

Are They Properly Licensed and Bonded?

The industry is full of rules and regulations that must be followed in order for an HVAC company to remain in operation. Proof of proper licensing and bonding is always available upon request to ensure that you’re working with a reputable organization.

What Do Their Referrals Say About Them?

First and foremost, you want to obtain a random sampling by choosing a letter or two from the alphabet and asking to see referrals where the last name match those letters. Then, reach out to these people and ask about their experiences in terms of time completion, quality, and other service details.

Is Their Contract All-Inclusive?

When the time comes to employ an HVAC contractor for any job on your home, you want to make sure that the contract covers a variety of information. You’ll obviously want a company to provide a cost and timeframe for completion, but you also need to know how they’ll handle problems that may arise.

For more expert advice on selecting an HVAC contractor for your home, or any other home comfort questions, reach out to the incredible professionals at Sherlock Heating & Air Conditioning. We’ve been making homeowners happy in the North San Diego area with more than 100 years of combined experience.

Our goal is to help educate our customers in the greater San Diego and San Marcos, California area about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems).

Credit/Copyright Attribution: “PeteLinforth/Pixabay”

Furnace Odor: What it Could Mean

Furnace Odor: What it Could MeanIf you notice a strange odor from your furnace, don’t ignore it. While it could be something as simple as collected dust in the HVAC system or a dirty filter, an unusual furnace smell may also signal a more serious or even dangerous situation. Read on to learn the cause of common furnace odors and what to do about them.

Musty or Earthy Odors

Musty or earthy odors are often caused by a dirty and contaminated air filter or mold and mildew development on the evaporator coil and/or air ducts. Check your air filter first. Change or clean it as needed.

The reason that mold and mildew commonly grow on the evaporator coil and inside air ducts is because of the presence of condensation and food source (e.g. organic matter in the air). Servicing and cleaning the evaporator coil and air ducts should be left to your HVAC professional.

Sewer-like Odors

The evaporator coil collects an excessive amount of condensate during the cooling months. This means that your furnace or heat pump needs a drainage system to remove the water. During the heating months, if the water in the drain trap evaporates, foul sewer-like odors may seep up through the line into the HVAC ductwork and circulate through your home.

Pour a quart of more of a 50/50 bleach and water solution into the condensate pan. The bleach will kill microorganisms in the drain line. Pour another gallon of fresh water into the pan to flush out the system and allow water to collect in the trap.

Rotten Eggs

The smell of rotten eggs is one odor you don’t want emanating from your furnace and air vents. This odor indicates a natural gas leak. While natural gas is odorless, a chemical is added to give it a smell often described as rotten eggs. In this emergency situation, you should exit your home and call 911 for assistance.

If you need help identifying and remedying the source of your furnace smell, please contact Sherlock Heating & Air Conditioning today. We serve residents of San Diego, Oceanside, Del Mar and all surrounding areas.

Our goal is to help educate our customers in the greater San Diego and San Marcos, California area about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems).

Credit/Copyright Attribution: “piotr-marcinski/Shutterstock”

Everything You Need to Know About BTUs

Everything You Need to Know About BTUsMaking sense of all the terminology used in reference to a home heating system isn’t easy. One term you’ve probably heard many times is “BTU.” If you’d like to know exactly what it means and the role it plays when you’re choosing a furnace or heat pump, here’s a brief primer that can help clarify the topic.

BTUs Explained

BTU is short for “British thermal unit,” but it’s not a term related to heating systems in the U.K. Here in the U.S., it’s used as a measurement of heat energy, with one BTU being the amount of energy used to heat a pound of water by one degree. To help you gauge how much energy that is, one BTU is produced when you completely burn a 4-inch wooden match stick.

Home Heating Equipment and BTUs

When you’re comparing heating equipment like furnaces and heat pumps, you’ll probably notice that they have two BTUs listed. The first number is the input, which is the amount of fuel the unit burns. The second number is the output, or the usable heat the unit generates. When you’re looking at specific models, the input number tells you the capacity or size, while the output number tells you how efficiently they operate.

How Many BTUs Should Your Heating Equipment Have?

Furnaces and heat pumps are available with input BTUs ranging from 40,000 up to 100,000. When you’re selecting new equipment, it’s may seem logical that a bigger capacity is better, but that’s not true. Equipment will short cycle if it’s oversized for your living space, making it too hot when it cycles on and too chilly when it cycles off.

To size equipment correctly for your home, an HVAC contractor needs to do a Manual J calculation based on specific conditions like your:

  • Square footage.
  • Size/type of windows.
  • Amount/type of insulation.
  • Ductwork design.
  • Local climate.

With the equipment capacity calculated, a pro can recommend specific models based on their efficiency ratings.

For expert advice about BTU and efficiency ratings of heating equipment for your San Diego home, contact us at Sherlock Heating & Air Conditioning.
Our goal is to help educate our customers in the greater San Diego and San Marcos, California area about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems).

Credit/Copyright Attribution: “geralt/Pixabay”