HVAC Maintenance - Blog Posts by Tag

A Timeline of HVAC Replacement and Maintenance

A Timeline of HVAC Replacement and MaintenanceWhen you buy a new HVAC system, you want it to run as efficiently as possible for as long as possible. But the only way to do that is to keep it properly maintained throughout its lifetime. If you don’t take care of it, it will run down and begin using more energy. To prevent that and keep your system in top shape, here’s a basic HVAC maintenance timeline to follow over the system’s lifetime.

Every month                           

Check your air filter. If your air filter becomes clogged, it can not only reduce your indoor air quality, but also reduce airflow through your system, which wastes energy and ultimately damages the system. Check your filter every month to see if it should be replaced.

Every 3–6 months

Replace your filter. How often your filter needs replacing depends on the quality of the filter, your home’s lifestyle, and other factors. If the filter is white and translucent, it’s still usable. If it’s grey and opaque, it’s time to replace it.

Every year

Schedule maintenance. An essential part of your HVAC maintenance timeline, this should technically be two annual visits — one in the autumn for your furnace and one in the spring for your A/C. Your HVAC service technician will inspect the system to make sure it’s operating at peak efficiency. This includes calibrating the thermostat, tightening all electrical components, oiling the motor and other moving parts, and checking the condensate drain for blockages. For your A/C, they should also check the refrigerant level, and for your furnace, they should check the gas pressure and connections.

Every 15 years

Replace the unit. With regular maintenance, an A/C will last about 10–15 years, a furnace will last 15–20 years, and a heat pump will last around 16 years. Even if the system seems to be in good working order, when it gets to be around 15 years old, you should start shopping around for a new one.

For more help with your HVAC maintenance timeline, contact us at Sherlock Heating & Air Conditioning today. We’ve been San Diego’s source for quality HVAC service since 2002.

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).

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Does Your Air Filter Require Changing More Frequently During Summer?

Does Your Air Filter Require Changing More Frequently During Summer?As a responsible homeowner, you try to keep up with basic HVAC maintenance, and that means checking your HVAC filter on a regular basis, and changing it when it looks clogged or dirty. However, for folks living in areas with defined season changes (which includes Southern California), the frequency of air filter changes will depend on the seasons and what sort of system you operate.

If your home uses a furnace for heating and an A/C for cooling, the air conditioner’s evaporator coil is likely attached to the furnace, and uses the furnace blower to blow air across the coil and then distribute it throughout the house, via ducts and registers. The air filter typically is located in the furnace, near where the ductwork is attached. In this case, you’ll want to check the furnace’s air filter at least once a month during any season when cooling or heating is being used.

If your home uses a heat pump for both cooling and heating, the air filter will be located in the system’s air handler. As with the preceding situation, you should check the filter monthly, and change it when necessary, during both heating and cooling seasons. During the in-between seasons, fall and spring, when not much heating or cooling is needed, it’s still a good idea to expend a minute or two once a month to check the filter. However, you won’t need to change it nearly as often.

In all cases, a clean HVAC air filter will maintain smooth air circulation, whereas a clogged filter will force the system to work harder to push air through. This wastes energy, stresses parts, and leads to longer heating and cooling cycles. Your home will take longer to get comfortable. A dirty filter also allows dirt and debris to get into sensitive system components, which impairs efficiency and performance.

For more information on the benefits of proper air filter maintenance, please contact us today at Sherlock Heating & Air Conditioning. We provide superior HVAC services in North San Diego, Carlsbad, San Marcos and other San Diego area communities.

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). 

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Don’t Forget About Your HVAC System in Your Spring Cleaning Chores

Don't Forget About Your HVAC System in Your Spring Cleaning ChoresNow that winter is over, it’s the ideal time to give the house a thorough cleaning before hot summer weather settles in. When you’re making a list of chores to tackle, be sure to add the following HVAC spring cleaning tasks to boost the system’s performance and energy efficiency, and preserve your indoor air quality.

Clean the Return Air Registers

With every HVAC system cycle, airborne dust and debris is drawn to the return registers. As they clog up, vital airflow that’s needed for the system to function properly can start to decline, so it’s important to keep them clean. Vacuum them first to get rid of any loose debris, then take the registers off and give them a thorough cleaning on both sides with clean soapy water. While they’re off, vacuum any dust bunnies inside the accessible return duct.

Scrub the Floor Registers

Your floor registers can become a repository for an unappealing collection of miscellaneous items over the winter months, like dust, human and pet hair, animal dander, stray pieces of pet food—virtually any small bits of debris that hit the floor can fall through. To scrub them clean, follow the same procedure you used for the return registers. Be sure to let all of the registers dry thoroughly before putting them back in place.

Clean Up Around the Outdoor Unit

Broken branches, twigs, dead leaves and other yard debris that collects around the outdoor unit over the winter can impede airflow through the condenser coil. To prevent this, tidy the area up before you start using the air conditioner this spring, and trim back any overgrown vegetation within a two-foot radius of the unit.

Schedule Professional HVAC Spring Cleaning

During a spring maintenance visit, an HVAC technician inspects and tunes up the equipment, and cleans dirt and debris from key components including the blower unit, evaporator coil and outdoor condenser coil. Your technician can also inspect the ducts to see if negative pressure duct cleaning is needed.

To schedule professional HVAC spring cleaning for your San Diego home, contact us today 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).

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Get Relief With These Helpful Allergy Season Tips

Get Relief With These Helpful Allergy Season TipsSpring typically means allergy season for many parts of the country, but in the San Diego area, allergies can hit you all year long. Warmer temperatures throughout the year give mold a chance to thrive, while windy conditions blow pollen from grass and trees around the region. If allergens have you sniffling, taking steps to improve the indoor air quality in your home can be a big help. Use the following allergy tips to breathe easier in your San Diego home.

Look for Signs of Mold

Mold spores can enter the air in your home and trigger allergic reactions. They can also end up causing serious health problems, so it’s important to have mold removed as soon as possible if you spot any. Check your ducts, air handler, drip pain and evaporator coils for mold growth. While you might be able to handle a mild mold problem on your own, have professionals handle more serious mold problems to make sure it’s completely removed.

Replace Air Filters

The air filters inside your HVAC system aren’t able to do their job when they’re covered in debris. Put in new filters about every few months to help lower the amount of indoor allergens in your home. For even better protection against allergens, use high-quality filters that can capture smaller particles.

Clean Ducts and HVAC Units

Make sure you don’t let dust and other debris build up around your indoor and outdoor HVAC units and inside your ducts. Keep the areas around these units and your ductwork as clean as possible, which will help reduce indoor allergens that are blown throughout your home.

Have HVAC Maintenance Done

Regular HVAC maintenance done helps ensure that your system runs efficiently. It also helps lower indoor allergens by keeping your HVAC system clean and free of dust and debris. Plan on having maintenance done once or twice a year.

From duct cleaning to air purification system installations, we can help improve the indoor air quality in your San Diego area home to relieve allergy symptoms. Contact Sherlock Heating & Air Conditioning for more allergy tips.

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).

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Important Heat Pump Maintenance Tips

Important Heat Pump Maintenance TipsWhile a heat pump is an inherently efficient way to heat your home, it gives you the best performance when it’s optimally maintained. This appliance works doubly hard, since it functions as both a heating system and air conditioner. At a minimum, it needs to be professionally serviced annually, requires periodic filter changes and outdoor condenser cleaning.

What You Can Do

  • Check and change the air filter when it’s dirty. The filter keeps the parts inside the air handler clean that allows optimal airflow and keeps the parts inside it clean. All heat pumps use an evaporator coil that contains the refrigerant that both heats and cools your home. When dust covers the coil, the heat transfer process slows, and it takes it longer to condition your home.
  • Keep the outdoor condenser clean and free from landscaping debris and blockages. The condenser works summer and winter to exchange heat, and if the coils inside it are dirty or the air flowing through them is blocked, they won’t work efficiently.

Professional Servicing

During the heat pump maintenance visit, the HVAC technician will:

  • Clean, inspect and adjust the parts. The electrical parts, in particular, may need to be cleaned and tightened, which speeds the transfer of power through them, improving their efficiency. The motors may need oiling, and any belts need tightening or replacing.
  • Test the refrigerant levels. The refrigerant inside the pump carries the heat into and out of your home. It needs to be within the levels the manufacturer specifies for optimal performance.
  • Evaluate the airflow into the air handler and through the ductwork. Duct leaks undermine home comfort and increase energy costs.

If your heating bills seem too high, ask the technician about using an intelligent recovery thermostat, designed specifically for heat pumps. Without such a thermostat, it’s better to keep the temperature the same day and night rather than turn it down overnight.

Staying on top of heat pump maintenance lowers energy consumption and improves the performance and longevity of this appliance. To learn more, contact Sherlock Heating & Air Conditioning, providing HVAC services for North County homeowners.

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).

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Furnace Tune Up Special Just in Time for the Cold Weather in San Diego

sherlock-furnace-maintenance-repairDuring heating season, when you use your furnace the most, you need to make sure that you remember the importance of routine system maintenance and furnace repair for your safety and comfort.

That’s why, this time of year, we have a furnace special that makes getting your furnace inspected, cleaned and ready for the season easy.  Our Sherlock Air Furnace Tune Up is available during this promotional period (now through February 28, 2015) for only $59.  This furnace special includes a twenty-five point inspection, system cleaning and calibration, and a $25 coupon on future service from us.

When Do I Need Furnace Repair?

There are a few signs that signal you may need furnace repair, and we want to make sure all of our local homeowners can spot them.  If you are having trouble maintaining the temperature that you set; if your furnace is making loud sounds like banging, whining or groaning; if you have noticed a spike in your energy bill that you can’t attribute to changes in your usage habits, you need furnace repair.

Other signs that there are problems with your furnace that require repair include a yellow pilot light and poor indoor air quality.  You may suspect changes to the quality of the air in your home if you have noticed that you or members of your household have been sneezing, coughing, or having unusual allergy or asthma symptoms.

If you notice these or other signs, like a furnace that has trouble kicking on or staying on, contact us for immediate furnace repair in Vista, Ca. Continue reading “Furnace Tune Up Special Just in Time for the Cold Weather in San Diego” »

HVAC Maintenance Now Means Less Trouble Later

HVAC Maintenance Now Means Less Trouble LaterYour HVAC system is just like any other complicated system of machinery, as it requires ongoing maintenance if you want to to function smoothly. The most convenient way for most homeowners to maintain their system is by using a yearly maintenance service that local HVAC professionals offer.

The Benefits of Regular Maintenance

Whether you have the experience to do it yourself or you hire a professional, there are many benefits of yearly HVAC maintenance:

  • Reduced utility bills. Most pieces of equipment run less efficiently as they get older. Maintenance will reduce or eliminate performance reduction and keep utility bills low.
  • Better air. Having clean filters and a proper functioning blower motor is imperative to circulating air and cleaning out harmful particles.
  • Longer lifespan. While it may seem like maintenance is costing you money, it will save you money in the long run. A well maintained HVAC system will last much longer than if you run it into the ground.
  • Fewer emergencies. When you rely on an HVAC system for comfort, a big malfunction is not only costly but inconvenient as well. With professional maintenance you will spot potential issues and fix them before an emergency arises.

What to Expect During a Maintenance Visit

Depending on the service you get, your technician will do slightly different things, but a standard visit usually includes:

  • Lubricating moving parts (mostly in motors)

  • Checking condensate drains to see if it’s plugged

  • Tighten electrical connections for safety and performance

  • Make sure all HVAC controls function correctly

  • Check thermostat settings and function

  • Inspecting your air conditioner, heat pump or furnace for any issues causing inefficiencies

Most services will also replace your disposable air filter if you use one, but you should also be doing this along with other simple maintenance tasks throughout the year.

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). For more information about maintenance and other HVAC topics, visit our website.

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If you need help with yearly HVAC maintenance in your San Diego home, feel free to contact Sherlock Heating & Air Conditioning.

Your Energy-Efficient Home and Its Interdependent Systems

Your Energy-Efficient Home and Its Interdependent SystemsIf you think of your home as a body, you might better understand the interdependence of its systems. When you injure your ankle and have to use crutches, the rest of your body has to make up for and accommodate what the ankle does naturally. The same holds true for your home. If one system falters, it affects them all. For an energy-efficient home, you need to make sure all of the systems are working properly. Below is a list of things to check to maximize the efficiency. Continue reading “Your Energy-Efficient Home and Its Interdependent Systems” »

Your Furnace Has Quit on You? Simple Troubleshooting That Might Get It Going Again

Your Furnace Has Quit on You? Simple Troubleshooting That Might Get It Going AgainWith the cooler months upon us, every homeowner should run through his or her checklist for fall maintenance. But what happens when something goes wrong, despite your preparations, and your furnace breaks down? Try these eight simple furnace troubleshooting tips before you make a service call.  Continue reading “Your Furnace Has Quit on You? Simple Troubleshooting That Might Get It Going Again” »

Shutting Rooms to Save Energy: Good Idea or Bad Idea?

Shutting Rooms to Save Energy: Good Idea or Bad Idea?If you’re considering strategies to save energy in your San Diego area home, here’s one to avoid. Shutting rooms to save energy has been shown to be ineffective in modern homes.   Continue reading “Shutting Rooms to Save Energy: Good Idea or Bad Idea?” »