Getting Your AC Ready for Spring and Summer

Spring is here and summer is just around the corner. Instead of waiting until the heat comes, get your air conditioning unit ready now. During the start of the summer months, we get a lot of calls for fixing air conditioning units, it’s best to inspect yours ahead of time.


Change the filter

Most people don’t change the filters in their air conditioners often enough. Before you start to use your unit, check to make sure the filter doesn’t need cleaned or replaced. You should be replacing the filter on your air conditioner once a month when it is in use. Some air conditioners have a permanent, reusable filter. If yours has a permanent filter, clean it once a month with a water and vinegar solution.

Clean the lines in your AC unit

The condensation lines in your air conditioning unit can become plugged up with debris. You really don’t want this to happen as this can cause a big mess. It can also be expensive to repair. A lot of times these lines become backed up due to algae growth. If it is not draining properly, you can use an algaecide to kill the algae growth.

Remove debris from around the unit

After a long season, a lot of things can grow around or even in the air conditioning unit. Look for tall grass, weeds, or vines that may be obstructing it. Be sure and remove any plants or other items that are blocking it and making your air conditioning less effective.

Clean the coils and fins on the outside of your AC unit

After sitting unused for a long period of time, your AC unit can collect a lot of dust and it is exposed to the elements, especially if you don’t use a cover. Disconnect the power and wash down the outside of your AC unit. If it is extra dirty, you can buy a specialized cleaner for your unit. To clean the fins, gently clean with a soft brush. Also try and straighten out any severely bent fins.


Do you want to get your air conditioning unit inspected before the hot weather hits? Contact us about getting your unit serviced. We also install new units and programmable thermostats.

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.

 

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

Signs Your HVAC System is on Its Last Leg

Do you hear weird noises when your heat/air conditioning kicks on? Have your energy bills been robbing your wallet? Don’t ignore these signs. Eventually your heating and air conditioning system will reach the end of its lifetime and will need to be replaced.  Many homeowners continue to make little fixes to their system a long the way, but it might be more beneficial to just upgrade your system. We are here to let you know some signs it’s time to upgrade your heating and air conditioning system.

1.Your System is Over a Decade Old

Typically the average span of an HVAC system is 10-15 years. If your system has reached this age or is coming close it might be a good idea to upgrade to a new system, rather than putting money into equipment that is going to need updated soon anyways. A benefit to upgrading is you you won’t have to worry about your system quitting during the cold winter months and being left without heat, or being left without AC during the hot summer months.

2.Noisy Equipment

Does your system make a lot of noise when running? This could be due to having the wrong size system installed. People may have thoughts of “a bigger system will cool/heat my home faster” or “the smaller system will save money” and these typically end up costing you more in the long run. If it’s over sized or undersized for the space it’s trying to cool/heat, your equipment will be working overtime, costing you more money than it should. We recommend getting a quote from a HVAC professional to make sure you’ve got the right size system in order for it to work the most efficiently. Having the right size system could lower your monthly costs dramatically.

3. Comfortable Temperature isn’t Maintain

Do you often find yourself too hot or very cold? An HVAC system that is getting old will often struggle to keep your home at a consistent temperature. This could be from various things such as; worn out motor, clogged filters, damaged thermostat, or cracked air ducts. Temperature inconsistencies usually mean your system is not powerful enough to supply air throughout your home for whatever reason. Maybe your duct work isn’t installed properly or like mentioned in sign 2 your system could be the wrong size. Temperature inconsistencies will result in higher energy bills, so make sure to look for those inconsistencies and get your system checked out if you notice them.

4. Frequent Repairs

Of course maintenance on your system is important and repairs will be needed from time to time, especially if your system is older, but if you have your HVAC company on speed dial you might consider upgrading your system. Instead of investing money for tons of repairs, and having an HVAC technician at your home all the time, you could invest that money into a new system. Your HVAC tech will still be there for any repairs needed to your new system over time, but wouldn’t it be nice to not worry about that for a while?

5. Poor Air Quality

Over time your HVAC system can lose its ability to filter out pollen, dust, mildew, and various other allergens. Pay close attention to the dust in your home as well as allergy symptoms in your family. This could be being caused by your air filters and duct work becoming faulty, which does happen as they age. Your system isn’t only responsible for heating and cooling your home, it also controls the quality of the air you and your family are breathing. If you notice more dust than usual in your home it may be due to your HVAC system needed upgraded.

Feel free to leave a comment or send an email with any questions. We would love to hear about any other signs you’ve experienced before having to replace your HVAC system, or about your experience after you’ve had your system replaced. Thanks for reading!

Don’t Duck Out of Clean Air Ducts – HVAC System Cleaning

Air ducts are often out of sight, out of mind for a lot of homeowners, however, your body could be suffering from the side effects of dirty air ducts. Ducking out of HVAC Maintenance and Cleaning could be a hazard to your health and here’s why.

According to the National Air Duct Cleaners Association (NADCA), the rule of thumb for homeowners are “if your air ducts look dirty, they probably are”. Hiring a trusted, certified HVAC professional to inspect your HVAC system is important. The need for performing HVAC system cleaning on your home and office is not just because dust and dirt regularly accumulates in your air ducts, but because of all the other factors that also accumulate inside as well:

  • Cigarette and Cigar Smoke
  • Pets in the house
  • Occupants with Allergies or Asthma
  • Mold
  • Home Renovation or Remodeling Projects
  • Water Contamination or Damage to the Home or HVAC System

Before and After Duct Cleaning

 

A good HVAC System Cleaning to clean out your residential or commercial air ducts will help address that poor indoor air quality that could be a hazard to occupants who are more sensitive to these contaminants such as those who suffer with allergies and asthma, young children and the elderly.

Indoor Air Quality is important for many homeowners and business owners. Your heating and cooling system are the lungs of your home as the system takes air in and breathes air out. Contaminants such as dander, dust, and chemicals are pulled into the HVAC system and re-circulate an average of 5 to 7 times per day. Over time, this re-circulation causes a build-up of these contaminants in the duct work.

While dirty ducts don’t necessarily mean unhealthy air in your home or business, they may be part of larger health issues or harboring contaminants that could cause serious problems for people with respiratory health conditions, autoimmune disorders or some environmental allergies.

Good health is not the only thing at risk if you are avoiding giving your HVAC System and Air Ducts a professional cleaning. Your hard earned money is also at risk. Cleaning the HVAC unit and ductwork allows your HVAC System to run efficiently. There is evidence that dirty heating and cooling coils, motors, and air handling units can make your HVAC unit less efficient.

Our qualified, certified team here at Sam’s Heating & Air Conditioning in Montrose, Colorado is experienced in HVAC Cleaning and creating a healthy atmosphere within the home and work place through clean HVAC units, coils, air ducts, and the whole system. Let us create a healthier environment for your family!


Call Sam’s Heating & Air Conditioning with confidence at (970) 249-6790 to schedule your appointment with a NATE Certified Technician. Located in Montrose, CO and serving the Western Slope.

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

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

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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.