Fort Collins Heating & Air Conditioning Blog: Archive for May, 2014

Keep Your Air Conditioner Maintained in the Summer

Friday, May 30th, 2014

While spring and fall are ideal times to conduct maintenance on your air conditioning system, summer, too, can be a good time to ensure that it’s running properly.

Why is it important to schedule regular maintenance for your air conditioner? In a nutshell, regular maintenance can help you avoid costly repairs, save you money, make your air conditioner run more efficiently and increase its longevity. How? We’ll outline below what you can expect from air conditioning maintenance in Bellvue and why it’s important.

What Happens During Maintenance?

Three main things happen during a routine maintenance visit from your Fort Collins Heating & Air Conditioning specialist:

  • Inspection
  • Cleaning
  • Adjusting

Inspection

During a maintenance appointment, all aspects of your air conditioning system are thoroughly inspected for any current and/or potential problems. Items that are inspected include the different components in both the indoor and outdoor units, electrical connections, wiring, belts, ball bearings, coils, etc. The inspection allows your Fort Collins Heating & Air Conditioning specialist to see everything happening with your air conditioner and detect any possible problems.

Cleaning

It is normal for your system to accumulate a certain amount of dirt and dust, including debris like leaves, grass and twigs, particularly in the outside unit; what is unhealthy for your air conditioner is when these things aren’t removed. Debris can cause a number of problems if left unattended, including clogs, breakage and potential breakdown of the system. During a regular maintenance appointment, both the indoor and outdoor units are cleaned, including the coils. This cleaning can help save you money down the road by preventing repairs that can develop from having a dirty system.

Adjusting

Regular use of your air conditioner can cause screws to come loose, ball bearings to become dry, wires to fray, and other small issues. These items will be adjusted as needed during a routine maintenance appointment, preventing them from becoming bigger and potentially more costly problems.

Behind on Your Maintenance? Call Us!

Regular maintenance is one of the best ways to ensure that your air conditioner runs optimally throughout the year.

If you haven’t scheduled air conditioning maintenance in Bellvue with us yet this year, call us, and let one of our experts help keep your AC running great this summer!

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3 Things to Prepare for When Replacing Your Air Conditioner

Friday, May 23rd, 2014

If you have planned to replace an aging air conditioning system, this period right before summer begins is a good time to have the work done. We have some advice to help you make preparations so you will have a smooth transition to the better cooling of an up-to-date new cooling system.

Contact Fort Collins Heating & Air Conditioning today for the assistance you will need during this process. We have a long history with air conditioning replacement in Johnstown, CO, going back to our founding in 1934. We’re a big enough company to handle all your needs, but small enough to bring the personal touch that keeps our customers loyal.

3 things to prepare for AC replacement

  • Hire a professional installation company: This is the first step… as soon as you decide it’s time to retire your old air conditioner, call up a licensed and qualified HVAC company to handle the installation. The installers will help you will the pre-installation steps that are crucial to making sure that you end up with the right system.
  • Get the ventilation system in perfect shape: If you are replacing an old central air conditioner, you should take a look at the ductwork connected to it. Time may not have been kind to it, and leaks and breaks in it will hamper the new air conditioner and lower the efficiency that you expect from it. Have duct repair and sealing specialists look over the network of ducts to see if there is work that can be done to make the seal along the ducts airtight.
  • Sign up for a maintenance program: Here is a great piece of preparation: have your new air conditioner already enrolled in a maintenance program that will deliver annual tune-ups and inspections. Take away many of your worries with a yearly scheduled maintenance session that will keep your new AC running efficiently and effectively for many years.

Fort Collins Heating & Air Conditioning will handle selecting the right system, and will have indoor air quality specialists perform duct repair and sealing if you want that taken care of as well. We also have an excellent maintenance program to make sure that you get the most from your air conditioning replacement in Johnstown, CO.

At Fort Collins Heating & Air Conditioning, we know that replacing an AC is a large task, but we promise to take most of the worries off of your shoulders.

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How Does Zone Air Conditioning Work with a Duct System?

Friday, May 16th, 2014

Before zone control systems, turning on a central air conditioner meant cooling down all of home, regardless of whether certain rooms required it or not. An AC was either on or it was off, and there was no in-between to account for the changing temperature needs for different rooms or individuals.

The installation of zone control systems has changed this, however. Zone control divides a home into different regions (“zones”) with separate temperature controls that operate individually of each other for room-to-room air conditioning. A homeowner can lower or close off cooling power to locations that either require less cooling or which aren’t being used. This not only alleviates energy waste and lowers utility bills, but it accounts for the variable temperature needs of people in a household and gives them control over the cooling level wherever they are.

To find out more about how zone air conditioning can work for you in Bellevue, CO, call our AC professionals at Fort Collins Heating & Air Conditioning. Whether you are looking for a completely new air conditioning installation with zone control, or you want to retro-fit your current system for zone control, we can handle the job.

Zone control and ductwork

How do zone controls actually work with air conditioners? They aren’t part of the AC unit itself, but are placed inside the ductwork that channels the cooled air from the unit throughout the house. Installers place dampers inside the ducts to separate the house into its various zones. These zone dampers control the air flow and air pressure. Each of zone dampers is connected to an individual thermostat located on the wall in the zone, allowing someone to control the temperature locally without affecting the other zones.

The network of zone thermostats hooks up to a central control panel where the homeowners can oversee the temperatures in all zones and change which ones receive cooling. The system can be programmed to regulate the different temperatures throughout the house automatically.

Zone control installation is complicated and requires accessing the ducts without damaging them and creating air leaks. The electrical work required to hook up the dampers to the thermostats and the thermostats to the central panel is also intricate. You will need to hire trained professionals with years of experience working with air conditioning and ventilation to perform the job correctly.

If you find that you waste a large amount of energy each summer cooling down rooms that don’t need it (such as guest rooms), or if you find it difficult to locate a temperature setting that keeps everyone in your household comfortable, than consider a retro-fit zone control system.

Our installers at Fort Collins Heating & Air Conditioning can handle fitting your house in Bellevue, Co for zone air conditioning. Call us today and set up an appointment.

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Things to Know about Installing a Ductless Mini Split System

Friday, May 9th, 2014

Late spring is a time when many people choose to have new installation of home comfort systems. Getting rid of an aging heater or air conditioner is one of the ultimate forms of “spring cleaning”; it makes for good planning to have the work done during this slower season for HVAC professionals and to prepare for the next period of extreme temperatures.

Among your options for spring air conditioning installation in Windsor, CO, you might have considered a ductless mini split heat pump. Perhaps you’re not sure if such a system will work for you, or what extra benefit you’ll receive. We’ll give you some pertinent information about ductless systems to help you with making a choice.

You will need professional assistance when choosing new installation. Call Fort Collins Heating & Air Conditioning, where we’ve helped heat and cool homes since 1924.

We’ll help you narrow down your choices and find out if a ductless mini split heat pump is your ideal system for this summer and the many after it.

What you need to know about ductless mini split installation

  • It may need assistance in winter: Although you will have summer on your mind when you have a heat pump installed in spring, keep in mind that heat pumps perform the dual function of cooling and heating. If you invest in a ductless system, you’re investing in year-round comfort. Because heat pumps can struggle during extremely low winter temperatures, you may need to have a hybrid system installed with a backup furnace that uses natural gas or propane. All the cautions regarding a heat pump also apply to a ductless system.
  • It works bests for new construction and old homes: If you already have a ventilation network in your home, a ductless mini split may not be the right installation for you; a standard heat pump will hook up and work just as well. However, if you are building a new home, adding on a room, or live in an old home without room for ducts, then ductless mini split heat pumps are often the best of all choices. Bypassing ducts saves you space and allows you to put in an air conditioning system far more powerful than a window unit.
  • It offers zone control: This is one of the major advantages of ductless mini split heat pumps: you can control the temperature separately around the house. Since ductless systems use blower units mounted on walls to send air directly into rooms, you can control which rooms receive cool air (or warm air), You don’t need to cool down rooms that no one is using, which will add up to large savings on your utility bills.

Our air experts in air conditioning installation in Windsor, CO will help you decide if a ductless system will do the job for your home. Whatever system you decide to install this spring, let Fort Collins Heating & Air Conditioning handle the hard work for you.

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How Condenser Issues Impact Your Air Conditioner

Friday, May 2nd, 2014

It’s hard to believe we are thinking about air conditioning in Loveland after the winter we’ve had, but summer is definitely on its way. The three key components of your air conditioner – the compressor, the evaporator and the condenser – will be working in sync to make sure your property stays cool this summer. Each of the 3 components has its own job to do, but if one begins to malfunction, it can affect the other two. Let’s take a look at how issues with your condenser affect your air conditioning system.

How Condenser Issues Impact the Operation of Your Air Conditioner

The condenser in your air conditioning unit helps to remove heat from the system and bring it outdoors. It resides in the outdoor unit of your system, and has coils, fins and a fan. The condenser releases the heat from indoors through hot refrigerant gas in its coils, pulls in air from the outdoors through the fins and cools the coils with the fan. The cooled refrigerant – which is now a liquid – moves to the evaporator. With this process, there are several ways a malfunctioning condenser can impact your air conditioner:

Decreased air flow – the condenser unit pulls air into your air conditioning system through the fins on outside of the unit. If these fins get bent, the air flow can become restricted, and this restriction can run through the entire system.

Decreased efficiency – if the condenser becomes strained in any way, it can put pressure on the rest of the components; this means your air conditioner is working harder to achieve the same temperature it was before. In order to work harder, the system needs more power. The best way to spot decreased efficiency is in increased energy bills.

Warm Air – the condenser requires the correct amount of refrigerant to work properly. If there has been a loss in refrigerant, the condenser can’t release enough heat to cool down as needed. The result can be  warm air blowing into your property.

Test Your Air Conditioner in Spring

Spring provides a great opportunity to test your air conditioning system for problems. Schedule an appointment with Fort Collins Heating & Air Conditioning today.

If you suspect your condenser isn’t working, or that there may be an issue elsewhere in the system, don’t hesitate to call Fort Collins Heating & Air Conditioning for an appointment.

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