Q: What do I need to do, to maintain my central air conditioner?

Central air conditioners sometimes need regular maintenance to perform well. You can do some of the simple maintenance yourself. Sometimes it doesn't need major repairs, just tweak or clean it. Here are some of the simple steps you need to do in cleaning your AC.

  • To clean your central air conditioner; you need to turn off power to the unit. There should be a switch outdoors next to the compressor.
  • Next, vacuum or use a soft brush to rid the outdoor coil of dirt, debris and grass clippings.
  • Inspect the filters on your air handler, or furnace. If they look dirty, you will need to replace or clean them, based on the manufacturer's instructions. The air handler moves heated or cooled air through the ductwork of your home.
  • Clean and oil the indoor furnace fan, or air handler fan. Also clean the fan on the outdoor unit. Again, check the manufacturer's instructions in your owner's manual.

Q: What are some heating alternatives to furnaces and boilers?

There are a variety of alternative you could choose from if your furnace or boiler is not available.

  • Active solar heating. The sun heats air or liquid. Homeowners often use solar heat as an additional heating source.
  • Electric resistance heating. A costly way to heat your home, it converts the energy in electricity to heat. Electric heat is often more expensive than heat produced in the home using natural gas, propane, and oil furnaces.
  • Heat pumps. Heat pumps draw heat from a cool area to a warm area, making the cool space cooler and the warm space warmer. Because they move heat rather than generate heat, heat pumps are energy efficient.
  • Radiant heat. These systems heat floors or panels in the wall or ceiling of a house. They may use a variety of energy sources -- electricity, boilers, solar energy or wood and pellet-fuel heating.

Q: Will commercial HVAC systems stop mold growth?

HVAC systems can stop unhealthy mold growth if it performs efficiently. All you have to do is to keep indoor humidity low to prevent mold growth. They dehumidify, ventilate and filter the air. Their smooth operation is vital to the health of employees and customers. Buildings also need to be well-maintained for the HVAC systems to function well. Here are problems to watch for, and tips for maintaining indoor air quality:

  • Check for wet spots and condensation in your building. Mold grows rapidly in a wet environment, so scrub and dry wet areas within 48 hours.
  • Keep indoor humidity low.
  • Reduce moisture levels in the air if you spot condensation.
  • Repair leaks and increase ventilation if outside air is cold and dry. Dehumidify, if outdoor air is warm and humid.
  • Raise the surface temperature through better insulation or by increasing air circulation.
  • Clean heating, ventilation, and air conditioning drip pans.
  • Perform routine repairs and cleaning of your HVAC system.

Q: How can we find out why our office is so humid?

You must check your HVAC system because it may be the reason why the office or building is too humid. Sometimes humidity may result from problems with air quality system.

  • Is the HVAC system well-maintained? Clean dirty coils, which reduce cooling and dehumidification. Clogged pans may hold standing water. Leaks in the mechanical system let moisture enter the building.
  • Is the indoor air quality system being operated properly? Make sure the cooling fans run at a moderate speed. Sometimes air velocity is set too high, because spaces are not adequately cooled. But the result can be higher humidity levels in a building.

Q: Why HVAC preventive maintenance is important?

All mechanical equipments are designed to operate within certain limits. Having your HVAC system undergo preventive maintenance or service on a regular basis is very important because it will help the equipments to function properly and that extensive and costly repairs can be prevented. A regular inspection of the equipments where in proper operation of the equipments are checked and verified is the key thing for preventive maintenance program.

Q: What equipment requires preventive maintenance?

Preventive maintenance is a good investment and it is your assurance that your HVAC system will function properly. On a regular basis, heat pumps and air conditioners should be tune-up by professionals. Gas-fired equipments function with greater efficiency should be maintained every other year. Inspections on boiler and furnace systems should include ductwork, pipes, dampers, valves, the chimney, registers, radiators, pumps, blowers, fuel lines, the gas meter, oil tank and every part of the actual furnace and boiler. Meanwhile, heat pump and air conditioning unit inspections should also include inspections of the fan, compressor, indoor coils, outdoor coils and refrigerant lines.

Q: What should I do about my aging office HVAC system?

Buying or upgrading your HVAC is a major investment that you have to do, maintaining and keeping your equipment to run efficiently is also costly but it can be a good decision to make. Having a new HVAC system can help you save money in operation cost and repairs. Considering an evaluation from a certified professional can help you make sound decisions. Congressional HVAC can conduct an evaluation of your current HVAC system and that we can also provide you quality HVAC needs.

Q: Can I troubleshoot HVAC problems on my own?

Nowadays, heating and cooling systems are more sophisticated and that repair requires special diagnostic equipment. HVAC systems repair should be done by specialist and not by weekend handymen because there is some air-conditioning and heating condition/repairs that only specialist can perform. If you have encountered a repair problem, call HVAC service technician to fix your HVAC system.

Q: Should I have my air ducts cleaned?

Yes. Air ducts should be cleaned because the cleaning process can help eradicate bacteria, dust, debris and other dirt that can improve the air quality of your home and office. It would also mean cleaner environment. Cleaning your air duct can help your HVAC system to run efficiently and that it can result to lesser time run and most importantly, lower heating and cooling bills.

Q: What are your product manufacturers?

Our product manufacturers are Lennox, Carrier and Bryant, the most reliable and trusted in HVAC business industry.

Q: What is the most efficient way to run my heating and cooling system?

Here are several tips to help you keep your heating and cooling system running at its most efficient level:

  1. Thermostat should be at a constant temperature, suggested temperature is 78º even no one is at home.
  2. Filters should be change every month
  3. Regularly check the outside condensing unit for any grass or leaves jammed to the coil.
  4. You have to first disconnect the power to the circuit breaker
  5. Use garden hose and spray water through the coil until it is clean or when the water passing through is already clear.
  6. Turn the power back on.
  7. Have your HVAC unit serviced and maintained every spring by a licensed specialist/service company.

Q: How to prevent furnaces and fuels emit harmful Gases?

Furnaces, flues and chimneys can emit deadly gases like carbon monoxide if you do not have a regular maintenance of the heating equipment. The air flowing inside your house can be a harmful pollution.

Here are some tips to prevent harmful gases inside your house:

  • Read the owner's manual and follow the instructions in changing and cleaning air filters. Always change the filters monthly or twice every winter.
  • Release furnaces to the outdoors or check the EPA website for more helpful advice.
  • Contact a service professional about your heating system if you cannot make it on your own.

Q: What are the ways to fix the leaks in the Heating System's Pipework?

We can easily fix simple leaks in heating systems without calling service professionals. First you should drain the heating system, connect the joint that leaks and replaced it. Compression joint leaks can be fixed by tightening the nut by a quarter turn. Keep the other nut in place with a wrench so the joint is not pulled from the pipe.

Q: What could be the cause of the indoor coil to freeze up?

Low refrigerant charge is the cause of freeze up most of the time. It can also be caused by a dirty blower wheel, dragging motor or a dirty evaporator coil. Also make sure that your filter is clean.

Q: What is the difference of using a pneumatic and electronic control system?

In pneumatic control system , it has simple components and no complex structure, easy to maintain and useful in flame proof application. It has a slow response and limited power capacity for a large mass transfer but it's difficult to operate in sub-normal temperatures. While in electronic control system, it has a low power, linear and quick response and accurate but it is not possible for flame proof areas. It also requires good wiring layout.

Q: How to prevent corrosion and sludge from your heating system?

You need to lose the air from the heating system in the radiator every winter, then add a corrosion inhibitor if you see a sludge buildup. Add a liquid inhibitor to the feed and expand cistern of the open vent system. For the sealed system, use a cartridge that injects the inhibitor through the air bleed valve on the radiator. Always read the manufacturer's manual to make sure proper procedure is made.

Q: How to have a quality HVAC system?

  • Have the sealed supply of ductwork that will provide proper air flow.
  • To maintain neutral pressure, balanced air flows between supply and return systems.

Q: What you should do if your heating system is not working?

If your water system is not working after checking if the power supply is on, set the thermostat on high and the heating system on, then check the pilot light.

Q: When should I replace my central air conditioner?

Older model that has been for more than 12 years are oversized, so noisy and sometimes inefficient. They are usually high in maintenance and will cost you too much. Try upgrading your central air conditioner. It will make you feel comfortable and it will saves time and energy too compared to old models.

Q: What type of filter should I use to keep the system and ductwork clean?

They usually used the standard filter but they don't really improve the indoor air quality. In order to remove more the dust and particle, use the media filter. The media filter rest between the main return duct and the blower cabinet. You can also upgrade it to pleated media filter. It helps in removing everything including insecticide dust to airborne viruses.

Q: Why is it important to change the air filter?

Your air conditioner may be operating just fine but it doesn't mean that you're receiving the cooling or heating comfort that you're paying for. The dirt accumulated in your air filter slows down the flow of air. This makes the HVAC system works harder. Always change your filter every month .It will prevent your HVAC system from building up dirt and dust that will lead to a high maintenance. This will also help you save money in the long run.