Prevent Your Pipes From Freezing

Temperatures are dropping, and if they get low enough your pipes could be at risk for freezing and bursting. When water freezes, it expands and will put pressure on whatever is containing it, this includes metal and plastic pipes. In fact, one of the most common causes of property damage during bitter winter weather is burst pipes. Pipes most likely to freeze are ones that run against exterior walls with little to no insulation, pipes exposed to extremely cold temperatures such as outdoor hose bibs, or water sprinkler lines, and pipes in unheated interior spaces such as basements, attics, crawl spaces, and garages. Burst pipes can end up causing thousands of dollars in damage, so we are here to let you know how you can prevent this from happening.

Preventing Frozen Pipes

Before the extremely cold weather arrives there are some things you can do to protect your pipes and keep them from freezing.

  • Follow the manufacture’s/installer’s directions to drain water from water sprinkler supply lines and other similar types of lines. You can either use directions to do it yourself or call a professional to do it for you, either way, this is an important task.
  • Remove, drain, and store outdoor hoses. Make sure to close the valves supplying the outdoor hose bibs, and then open the outside hose bibs allowing water to drain. You’ll want to keep the outside valve open allowing any remaining water to expand without the pipe breaking.
  • We talked about pipes in areas such as basements, attics, crawl spaces, and garages being more prone to feezing, to prevent these pipes from freezing make sure to add some insulation to these areas in order to maintain a higher temperature.
  • Install specific products made to help insulate water pipes. There are many different products you can use for this such as a pipe sleeve, heat tap, heat cable, or even newspaper. Believe it or not even 1/4” of newspaper can provide some degree of protection.
  • Keep your thermostat set to the same temperature during the day and at night. If you leave for a period of time during the cold months, make sure to leave the heat on in your home. It is recommended to keep your home no lower than 55 degrees while you’re away.
Thawing Frozen Pipes

If you turn on a faucet and only a small trickle of water comes out, it is safe to suspect a frozen pipe. There are a few things you can do to try and unfreeze them before having to call a professional.

  • Keep the faucet open so that water can flow through the frozen area once you treat it and it begins to melt. Running water through the pipe will help melt the ice in the pipe.
  • After you’ve checked the vulnerable areas for freezing and found where the pipe is frozen you will want to apply heat to that section. You can do this by wrapping an electrical heating pad around the pipe, using an electric hair dryer to apply heat, or by wrapping the pipes with towels that have been soaked in hot water. Do not use open flame devices.
  • Keep applying heat until you have full water pressure. Make sure to check other faucets throughout your house in order to determine if you have any additional frozen pipes. Chances are, if one pipe freezes, others may too.
  • If you suspect a frozen pipe but are not able to locate it, or if the pipe is not accessible, call a professional plumber.

Be prepared and follow the steps to prevent pipe freezing before the freezing temperatures hit. SAM’S Heating & Air Conditioning is ready to come to your service if you have pipes giving you the cold shoulder. Call us today for a free service call.

 

What to Do When the Heat Goes Out

It’s cold outside, but luckily our heating systems allow us to stay nice and warm inside the comfort of our own homes. What happens if your heat stops working in the middle of Winter? Or maybe it doesn’t stop working but it stops working as well, and your home isn’t warming up enough for you to stay comfortable? There are professionals you can call to help with this issue, but there may not be someone available right away, or there may be just a minor problem causing the issue that you are able to fix. Keep reading to learn about the things you can check before having to call a technician.

Do You Have Fuel?

If your unit requires fuel to operate this is a very important factor to think about. Often times your fuel will run out and the way you find out is because your heat has stopped working. If you stay aware of the fuel you have available you can make sure to restock before you run into the issue of having no fuel and no heat.

Check Your Thermostat

Check that your thermostat is working, and is on the correct setting. Most thermostats have the options for ‘heat’, ‘cool’, ‘fan’, ‘auto’, or ‘on’. During the cold months, your thermostat should be on the ‘heat’ and ‘auto’ setting choosing a temperature you would like to be maintained. Your thermostat may either be hard-wired or battery operated. If your thermostat requires batteries, check to make sure those are not dead. If your batteries are dead your thermostat will not send the signal for the heat to kick on.

Is power reaching the heating unit?

First, check your electrical panel to make sure the breaker hasn’t tripped. If that is not the problem check that the boiler/furnace is in the on position. If you have a boiler, reset it or check to make sure the pilot light is on. If you have a furnace make sure your filter is not clogged.

 

If these simple solutions do not get your heat back up and running, there may be a bigger issue. If you run across the problem of having no heat and aren’t able to fix the problem on your own you need to get a professional to look at the problem.


Our team of professionals are available 24/7 for your HVAC needs. We will restore your heat in no time! Contact us today for a free service call.

Preparing for Fall-HVAC Tips

It’s hard to believe that Summer is already ending. Now that it’s September, Fall is just around the corner, and Winter isn’t far behind, we can only hope they’ll fly by as fast as Summer did! It’s time to start packing up the sandals, and tank tops, and get ready for football and hot cocoa. Sandals and tank tops aren’t the only things that won’t be needed for the chilly months ahead. Your Summer HVAC system won’t be needed either. While you’re getting ready for football and hot cocoa, your furnace needs to get ready for its job ahead. Here are some things you should do this September to finish the Summer off and prepare for Fall and Winter.

1.Change the Air Filter

The chilly days haven’t come just yet, so you are probably still running your A/C, but changing your air filter will help give your furnace a fresh start for when it has to start doing work. It is recommended you change your air filter every 90 days. This will also help with the air quality in your home.

2.End of Season A/C Tune-Up

A professional end of season A/C tune-up will ensure that your system is still working efficiently, it doesn’t need any repairs, and everything is ready for the next summer. This is especially important if you didn’t have a tune-up done before summer started. These tune-ups help catch any small problems before they become big ones.

3.Get A Professional Furnace Evaluation

If your system is older, you have remodeled, or you just recently bought a new home, have a professional HVAC tech come to evaluate your furnace to make sure you don’t need to update your system. Having the right system will ensure your home is heated properly, and it helps save you money in the long run, as you will save a lot of money on utility costs.

4.Schedule a Fall Furnace Tune-Up

Make sure your furnace is running properly and safely and is ready for the long winter ahead. A professional tune-up will make sure your unit is clean and running efficiently. A technician will calibrate the thermostat, inspect the system and clean it, test the airflow, measure the motor voltages and tighten any electrical connections. Another good reason for a tune-up is if you have a warranty for your system. A yearly tune-up will keep your warranty valid.

Make sure your system is ready for Fall. Have a professional HVAC tech do an end of season A/C tune-up and make sure your furnace is in top shape!

 

 

HVAC Safety: Carbon Monoxide

When people hear about carbon monoxide (CO), they immediately think about running vehicles in enclosed spaces. Actually, there’s been quite the buzz in the news lately, for it seems that owners of keyless cars are accidentally leaving their cars running in their garages. Even though car exhaust is the primary factor to CO poisoning, you may be at risk with your central heating and air units. Annual maintenance of your furnace, your water heater, and/or boiler is not only good for keeping your heating appliances in tip-top shape, it’s also essential for safety.  According to the Center for Disease Control (CDC), an average of 400 Americans die from CO poisoning each year. Read below to see how your HVAC can be connected with carbon monoxide, and what steps you can take to prevent carbon monoxide poisoning.

What is Carbon Monoxide?

Carbon monoxide is an odorless, colorless, and tasteless gas that can be fatal. That’s why this poisonous gas can be scary–you never know when it will rise. Essentially, CO displaces the oxygen in your body, depriving the heart, brain, and other vital organs of oxygen. Carbon monoxide basically suffocates you. It can happen in a matter of minutes.

Even the slightest exposure can cause headaches, fatigue, and dizziness. More significant doses can cause loss of consciousness, vomiting, and muscle weakness. Finally, too much CO exposure can be fatal. The most susceptible people include young children and the elderly. Also, living in higher altitudes, such as on the Western Slope, can make you even more likely to be impacted by carbon monoxide poisoning.

Primary Causes

As we mentioned, the primary cause of carbon monoxide poisoning is from car exhaust. Yet, CO hazards can stem from your heating and cooking appliances. In brief, carbon monoxide is the result of incomplete burning of natural gas or any flammable carbon. This includes fuel, gasoline, propane, coal, and wood. Check your home, do you use any of these methods to heat your household? If you checked ‘yes’ to any of the CO causing heat sources, then annual maintenance is your best line of defense against CO poisoning.

For the most part, your heating appliances are relatively safe when used properly. However, after a while, parts begin to break down. For water heaters, boilers, or furnaces, the heat exchange can wear down and cause carbon monoxide to leak through. Furthermore, closed vents or enclosed spaces significantly increase the exposure to CO gas. When using a cooking range, make sure that you have proper ventilation installed. If not, SAM’s Heating and Air Conditioning can help with that.

Prevention

Being heralded as “The Silent Killer,” the idea of carbon monoxide lurking in your vents can be terrifying. So, how can you protect your family from CO gas poisoning? First, you should install a battery-operated carbon monoxide detector. This can be a quick and cheap step towards preventing illness from exposure to CO. Check the manufacturing label, but a carbon monoxide monitor should last between 5 to 7 years.

Secondly, hire SAM’s Heating and Air Conditioning to inspect and regularly service your heating appliances. Winter is right around the corner, and you’ll need your furnace or boiler checked anyway. When you’re bundled up on your couch with hot chocolate and the fireplace is blazing, you’ll not only be cozy, but you’ll be safe. Remember, annual furnace or boiler checks help keep your carbon monoxide concerns in check.

SAM’S Heating & Air Conditioning only has NATE-Certified Technicians, so you can trust that you will receive only the best service. Call us today for a free service call.

Swamp Cooler in Hot Water?

Montrose, Colorado, is located in the high desert, a geographical location known for warm, dry air.  If you look around, the majority of the residential homes on the Western Slope have evaporative coolers.  Not only are they cost effective and more energy efficient than standard central air units, they actually add moisture to your home.  Essentially, an evaporative cooler changes liquid water into water vapor, adding both moisturizer and cooler temperatures.  Even in the dog days of summer, an evaporative cooler may require a maintenance call.

Take it from experience, you don’t want your swamp cooler “in hot water.”  At SAM’s Heating & Air Conditioning, we have the skills to keep your swamp cooler running efficiently during the hotter months.  Read below to learn some of the restorative methods that Team SAM’s uses, as well as some tips on keeping you cool this summer.

Midsummer Maintenance

Hopefully, when you took the dusty cover off of your swamp cooler in the spring, you had a thorough inspection completed.  Now that summer is in full swing, conducting a midsummer maintenance routine could improve the longevity of your cooler, and boost your efficiency.  While you may be tempted to climb on your roof to inspect your own evaporative cooler, you may be breaching your cooler’s, or home’s, warranty.  Instead, save yourself the trouble and let the professionals at SAM’s Heating & Air Conditioning take care of it.  Here are a few items that we’ll look for:

  • Water in the panIt’s important to check if your water is at the proper level.  The water level should fall just below the top of the pan.
  • Shallow water–If the water is below the proper level, the float arm may need to be adjusted.
  • Comprehensive check-up–We’ll execute a routine examination on the pump, motor, and fan belt.  Moreover, we’ll inspect, and change, your cooler pads too.

Smell Fresh

Generally speaking, evaporative coolers create moisture, and moisture can lead to mildew and/or mold build-up.  If an unwanted smell is coming from your cooler vent, give SAM’s Heating & Air Conditioning a call.  We’ll run your swamp cooler for at least an hour, mostly to ensure that all the components are running properly.  Next, we’ll drain the existing water, and give the unit a good cleaning.  This, in itself, should rid the cooler from unwanted smells flowing through the water vapor.  Then again, it’s becoming more common to add essential oils to the water.  Tea Tree and Lavender oils both have antibacterial properties, while lemon oil can bring a fresh scent.  It’s important to note, that we do not provide the oils; however, we are happy to assist you with your desired smell while working on your unit.

Cool Runnings

In between routine maintenance inspections, you can take these simple steps to have your evaporative cooler running more efficiently.  Here are three, easy steps that will improve your temperature:

  • Is it warm enough?–Wait until the outside temperature is at least 85 degrees before running your cooler, you’ll save 50% water usage.
  • Pump it up–Turn on your pump at least five minutes before switching on the cooler. This will help circulate the water and help the vapor cool down.
  • Release the heat–Inside your home, have fans circulating in every room and leave some windows cracked. Perhaps it wouldn’t be wise to crack all of the windows, just certain ones in warmer spaces.  This allows the hot air out and the cool air to circulate.

While none of these maintenance steps are too difficult for the adventurous DIYer (do it yourself), we urge you to let the professionals at our heating and air conditioning company handle your evaporative cooler needs.  As an HVAC licensed and NATE certified company, we’ll meet your expectations with honesty and integrity.

Experience the difference today, and contact us today for a free service call

Why You Should Switch to a High-Efficiency Air Conditioner

The official first day of Summer season is right around the corner, and the outside temperatures have definitely made us aware of this. With the rising temperatures you may want to consider an air conditioning upgrade for your home. During the hottest days of Summer your air conditioning unit is going to be working hard to keep your home cool, and having a high-efficiency air conditioning unit will help you stay comfortable in your home. A high-efficiency air conditioning will do more than allow you to stay comfortable and cool in your home, keep reading to learn about the benefits that high-efficiency air conditioners have to offer you.

1.Saves On Energy Bills

One of the biggest benefits to having a high-efficiency air conditioning unit is that you will save dramatically on your energy bill. When you install a new high-efficiency air conditioner your SEER (seasonal energy efficiency ratio) will increase. This means you will be consuming less energy during the peak seasons of Summer because a high-efficiency air conditioning unit uses less energy to produce superior cooling results, therefore, the amount you pay on your monthly energy utility bill will be much less compared to what you usually pay.

2.Overall Cooling

High-efficiency air conditioning units can provide you with improved cooling performance. Have you ever noticed that one or more of your rooms doesn’t get or stay as cool as some areas of the house? This is very common with units such as swamp coolers, if you have noticed this happening, it may be time to upgrade to a high-efficiency model. High-efficiency units will adequately deliver controlled air to every space in your house, you will also notice less occurrences in swings of temperature.

3.Longer Life

A big benefit to having a high-efficiency air conditioner is that it will be a great long term investment. High-efficiency air conditioners have longer overall lifespans than your typical unit. This is because high-efficiency units are designed to have less on and off cycling while operating. Along with saving money on your energy bill, you will be saving on repairs as well. High-efficiency units don’t tend to need many repairs because of the way they are built to operate (less turning on and off). The energy saving technology of a high-efficiency model will help your unit last for at least a decade, if not longer.

Get more information about high-efficiency air conditioning units from your heating and air conditioning specialists. Feel free to comment or email us with any questions.

SAM’S Heating  & Air Conditioning specializes in all HVAC-related services. Experience The Difference!

2726 Tender Drive, Montrose, CO
(970) 249-6790

Contact Form

Areas We Service

Our NATE Certified Technicians are happy to serve Montrose, CO and our neighbors in Grand Junction, Clifton, Mesa, Whitewater,  Delta, Olathe, Crawford, Austin, Cedaredge, Fruita, Palisade, Hotchkiss, Paonia, Orchard City, Ridgway, Colona, Ouray, Cory, Eckert, and Lazear.