Tag Archive for: HVAC

Maintenance technician holding gauges.

HVAC Maintenance Will Save You Time and Money

They say that the kitchen is the heart of the home. If that’s true, we would say your HVAC system is the pulse. Your HVAC system works tirelessly to ensure your optimal comfort. Without an adequate heating and cooling system, your entire house could become virtually unlivable at certain times of the year. That’s why proper, regular home HVAC maintenance is so important.

In short, it’s essential to make sure your heating and cooling system gets the proper care and maintenance it needs for high-quality performance and longevity. Taking a few basic steps for proper care can even eliminate future replacement or repair costs. Plus, it’s not hard!

Here are a few obvious steps to get you started on easy home HVAC maintenance:

Change Your Filters Regularly

The temptation to put off replacing filters has hit even the most dedicated of homeowners. We recommend changing your filters every 3 months for the best home HVAC maintenance results. This is the number one thing you can do to keep your home system functioning properly.

Clean filters reduce wear and tear on the blower components, increase the air quality in your home and help reduce airborne allergies such as dust and pet dander. If you find that replacing the filters every 3 months isn’t sufficient, don’t be afraid to swap them out more often.

Do your research and find the correct filters as using ones that aren’t a good fit for your unit can reduce the airflow to your system. This will create an unnecessary strain that will reduce its efficiency. If you have an air purification system or other aftermarket accessories, like a humidifier, follow the manufacturer’s instructions for changing those filters. Don’t forget, even ductless systems have filters that need to be changed.

Clean Your Ductwork

Ductwork is an often neglected part of home HVAC maintenance because it’s out of sight and often, out of mind! Ductwork needs to be cleaned every 4-6 years depending on the dust and allergen factor of your local area and your desired level of inside air quality. Dust bunnies seem to spontaneously reproduce in these hidden spaces and then get blown out with the heat or AC and can cover your home in dust and allergens.

It’s especially noticeable if you have hardwood floors as carpets easily hide the level of dust that is really adding up. A professional is usually the best for the job, as they have the proper equipment to easily and safely clean even the hardest to reach spots in the enclosed ducts.

Check Your Outside Condenser Unit For Debris

Keeping overgrown vegetation, such as bushes and piles of blown leaves, clear from your AC condenser unit is key to keeping the airflow intake free of any debris and working at top performance. Be aware that pollen or seeds from certain trees, like cottonwoods or the helicopter seeds from maple trees, are notorious for clogging outdoor AC condensing units.

Take off the exterior cover and clean seeds from the interior. An unexpected home HVAC maintenance issue can also arise if dryer vents are pointed towards your condenser. Dryer lint can be blown into the unit causing loads of problems that could result in an expensive replacement. Ensure that the vent is pointed away from the condenser.

Inspect Your Evaporator Coil’s Drain Pipe

Your AC condenser drain pipe can hold a myriad of issues, including blockages of algae and mold. Keeping it clean is a critical part of home HVAC maintenance. During the wet weather months of spring and summer, this can be a very common problem.

First, locate your drain line. It is usually a white, grey or black one-inch PVC pipe that typically drains outside near the condenser unit. Inspect it to see if there are blockages or build up inside the pipe. Then, using a wet-dry vacuum hose to suck up any plugged areas out of the line. If super duty help is needed, pouring a liberal amount of bleach through the drain pipe can help clear out any biological matter as well. Finally, don’t forget to remove the paper filter from the wet/dry vac so it doesn’t get ruined in this process.

Clean and Straighten The Fins On Your Outdoor Unit

Carefully remove the exterior outer cover of your condenser unit and brush it off or use a vacuum with a brush attachment to remove all outside dirt or vegetation that may be built up. Then, gently use a garden hose and spray from the inside out through the fins to clear any built-up dirt or debris that may be restricting the airflow. Make sure that the pressure you use is just enough to do the job, strong pressure can damage the fin.

Bent fins can happen from simple accidental bumps with the lawnmower or a yard toy. More serious incidents, such as a bad hail storm, can create significant damage. This can cause blocked airflow which will always add to more wear and tear on your unit, shorten it’s the life span and cause higher utility bills. Fins are easily bent back into place using a tool called a “fin comb,” which are sold online from HVAC retailers. Be sure and unplug the unit before working on any kind of home HVAC maintenance.

Get Regular Professional Maintenance

Hiring a professional to help keep things running smoothly is essential to keep your HVAC system healthy and running efficiently. Most problems and home HVAC maintenance can easily be completed DIY, but a competent professional has the knowledge and experience to run more complex fixes. The technician will have the tools and equipment to handle the hazardous coolant and diagnose any air leakages or electrical problems. A professional inspection will find signs of trouble well before they happen, saving you thousands in repair or replacement costs. They should inspect the blower motor, refrigerant levels and observe the thermostat to ensure the proper operation and can make recommendations as needed.

Staying on top of your HVAC maintenance will save you time, money and hassle as well as create a true home that is comfortable and welcoming. Spend some time at the beginning of each season to go through the recommended maintenance and the “heart” of your family’s home, as well as your pocketbook, will thank you.

Fall is Coming! Don’t Forget To…

Summer was great, but aren’t we all ready for things to cool off a bit?

Every season change, we like to remind our customers that there are a few things they need to be doing to get their homes ready for what’s ahead. For the fall, there are just a few crucial things.

Clean those gutters.

Gutters are easy to forget about, but, trust us, you’ll regret forgetting about them once fall debris keeps them from working properly. You should be cleaning them regularly, but it’s especially important to make sure they’re clear and in working order before we’re in the thick of winter. Why? Because clean gutters help to prevent ice overflow, which can melt onto the outdoor A/C unit and refreeze in the unit and cause unnecessary damage.

Replace your air filters.

We can’t preach this one enough! Regularly cleaning your air filters not only helps you save on energy bills, but it also ensures that your family is breathing in quality air at home.

Getting fresh filters at the beginning of fall is important because winter is about to push your family indoors. That means that air pollutants will collect and circulate at an even higher rate than in summer. You’ll be thankful to have a fresh set of filters before this begins.

Clean the HVAC unit.

Over the summer, debris collects in your unit that will need to be washed away to ensure your HVAC unit’s optimal performance this fall. It’s pretty easy to clear away excess leaves and other obvious debris yourself, but you’ll want to be sure to get your system a complete professional maintenance checkup twice a year. As part of our maintenance plan visits, we always check various electrical components, refrigerant levels, and do a deep cleaning of your unit.

Start preparing for winter.

While you’ll want to go through most of this checklist again before winter, it’s also smart to check this list of ways that you can save money in the winter and create a fall checklist accordingly. It will be much more enjoyable to re-insulate your home or to spend an afternoon sealing your openings when it’s 60 degrees outside than when you’re in the thick of winter!

Thinking of getting a new system this year?

Call our team at BNG Heating & Cooling to schedule an in-home assessment today, so that we can make the best recommendation for your home!

Perks of Working with a Bryant Authorized Dealer

We talk about being a Factory Authorized Bryant Dealer, but do you know why it’s so important to us?

 

 

Trustworthy Services

If you’re a new homebuyer or new to the Tri-State area, it can be hard to know exactly which HVAC service provider is the most trustworthy. When you see that Bryant has authorized a dealer, you can rest assured that that company’s services have been fine-tuned, that their employees have been trained to give professional, friendly service.

Superior Products

We’re not biased—we’re experts! Bryant products have a long history of excellence. What’s more is that Bryant offers yearly rebates, so that you can rest assured that you’re getting the absolute best price for quality home comfort.

Easy Financing

We’re proud to be able to offer our customers several financing options. One of the best options is to take advantage of the Bryant Credit Card, offered exclusively through Bryant Factory Authorized Dealers. We talk more about this option in this blog [link to August Blog 1].  

Customer Education

Bryant Factory Authorized Dealers receive thorough education on the entire breadth of Bryant products and how each of them work together to achieve optimal home comfort. That means that when our specialists come to your house, they have a full picture of exactly what we can do to make sure that your home is running efficiently.

Want to work with the Tri-State’s best? Call us to schedule your consultation today!

Buy Now, Pay Later: Financing Options

In a perfect world, we’d all have our savings built up so that we have enough money for surprise HVAC repairs or total breakdowns. But it’s not a perfect world, and we’re all too familiar with how HVAC units tend to shut down at the most inconvenient times for homeowners. Sure enough, a trusty system will tend to break down when you’ve just remodeled your kitchen or you’re getting ready to send your child to college.

Because we know how important it is to maintain system functionality—both for your wellbeing and for the wellbeing of your home—we have made it our mission to help our customers when they face this situation.

First, we offer low-priced maintenance plans. With these, you’re getting regular checkups from our HVAC experts, so that we’re more likely to spot a potential problem BEFORE it becomes an actual problem.  

Second, we offer several flexible options for financing a new system. We recommend this option when a customer desperately needs a new system but hasn’t been able to save for one. A few of our financing options include:

Custom Timeframes

We don’t believe in one-size fits all. That’s why we offer options from 12 – 60 months. That means that you can spread your payment out as thinly as you need to, depending on your family’s needs.

0% Interest and Nothing Down

Yes, really! Some of our options include 0% interest and no money down, as long as your regular monthly payments are made.

Online Bill Pay

We make those monthly payments as easy as possible through our online web portal. It’s a safe and easy way to make sure you’re staying on track with your unit’s custom financing option.

Learn more about this BNG Heating & Cooling financing options here.

Ready to get your new system?

Call our team at BNG Heating & Cooling to schedule an in-home assessment today, so that we can make the best recommendation for your home!

The Homeowner’s Fall Preparedness Checklist

Last month, we covered all the fall maintenance projects that you’re getting all wrong.

This month, we wanted to give you one, concise list that tells you everything you need to do when you’re preparing your home to be in tip-top shape throughout the winter and when the warm months return.

Leaf Management

It’s easy for us to put off raking leaves and cleaning our gutters. If you’ve got a lot of trees around your yard, it can be a LOT of work!

We encourage you, however, to be vigilant about leaf maintenance.

Not only will raking benefit the health of your grass especially want to make sure that leaves aren’t collecting in or around your HVAC unit. It may be the perfect season to spend time on landscaping, anyway!

And don’t forget about the leaves building up in your gutters. If you do, you’ll be creating a problem that could result in water leaks, rotting wood, mold, and mildew.

Water Management

You don’t want your water sources to freeze during the winter. You won’t be needing your water hose as much this season, so go ahead and remove them from outdoor faucets.

If you have an underground sprinkler system, you’ll want to winterize that too, in order to avoid frozen and bursting pipes.

Energy Management

Winter is going to put your home’s energy efficiency to the test. If your home is leaking air, it will likely be around windows and doors. We tell you how to seal those areas up here.

Of course, you need to make sure that your insulation is ready to take on another hard winter. You should call an insulation expert to give your home a proper inspection before the cold weather hits.

You never know—you may only need an insulation topper!

Appliance Management

Be sure to store your lawn equipment in a safe place, so that they’ll be in good shape to start right back up in the spring. And, even more importantly, you need to be proactive about your HVAC and furnace maintenance.

Luckily for those of you in the Tri-State area, BNG Heating and Cooling offers maintenance plans that start at just $15 a month.

When you enroll in this program, our technicians regularly visit your home to ensure that you won’t be faced with any surprise breakdowns when the harsh weather invades Indiana!

Ready to tackle the winter together?

Call the experts at BNG Heating and Cooling or come by one of our locations in Boonville, Evansville, Newburgh, or Richland to schedule a consultation today!

How To: Seal Your Windows for Energy Savings

Sometimes we hear from our customers that they’ve done all they can to ensure energy efficiency, but they still see an unnecessary uptick in their energy bills when cooler weather comes around.

They’ve made sure their insulation is healthy (even in crawlspaces and attics!) This means they’ve gotten their air filters cleaned or replaced, and they’ve even gotten their thermostat set to the optimal temperatures for energy savings.

If this sounds like you, and you’re starting to feel hopeless about your rising energy bills, we’ve got a small, easy solution that can make a BIG difference when it comes to energy leaks: sealing behind your window and door trim.

Why is sealing windows worth the time?

After uninsulated walls and attic spaces, windows and doors are the #3 biggest causes of heat loss in your home.

You should try performing one of these really helpful air leak checks if you have been noticing:

  • Drafts around your closed windows or doors.
  • Light shining through the edges of windows or doors.
  • Peeling paint around the window or door frame.

When these leak checks reveal the exposed openings around your windows and doors, you shouldn’t wait any longer to seal them up.

This project may seem intimidating at first, but it’s really a simple do-it-yourself project.

Even small improvements help with energy savings.

If you’ve only got a light breeze coming through, all you need to do is seal the gaps between the trim and the wall.

You just need some caulk and painter’s tape!

Click here for a great video tutorial showing you what to do.

If the wind coming through your window and door trim is more aggressive, you may want to take this DIY a step further.

You can accomplish this by stripping the trim completely off, then using foam sealant to fill the space between the frame and actual window or door.

The energy experts at Energy Star have the best step-by-step guide for this procedure: find it here.


Was this article helpful? Tell us in the comments!

And if you’re worried that you’ve got more than just a window and door sealant problem, you should call the insulation experts at BNG Heating & Cooling so that we can perform a home energy audit before temperatures lower!

How to Be Sure Your New Home Isn’t an Energy-Suck

Buying a home is an incredibly exciting move, but it can also be really stressful for first-timers. The biggest mistake you can make is to find a home that is seemingly perfect, but that is an energy-suck—and the worst part?

Most people don’t figure that out until the first utility bill comes in.

We want you to choose a home that is as energy efficient as possible. Here are a few things you should be on the lookout for when you tour a home:

Have a home energy audit performed.

It’s actually recommended that homeowners do this occasionally, so that they have a clear picture of how their home is holding up over time.

A professional energy auditor comes in, runs some tests, and can actually pinpoint the areas of the home that are losing energy and money.

Don’t forget to check the fine details.

You may feel awkward asking to check the house’s crawl spaces, but it might be the smartest move you make while house shopping!

The seemingly small details can make a HUGE difference in the home’s ability to keep cool in the summer or warm in the winter.

Try getting a record of the previous homeowners’ past utility bills.

We know—it sounds strange. But it’s a smart question to ask and it’s the surest way to get an idea of how the home is currently operating.

You can try asking the realtor or homeowners themselves, or you can call the electric utility provider for your area and ask for the records for the address of the home you’re interested in.

Ask pointed questions about energy efficiency.

This way, your realtor will understand that energy efficiency isn’t just a good idea to you—it’s a priority! Ask about how new the roof is and what material it’s made of. Ask about the lighting throughout the house—are there currently energy-efficient bulbs?

This, of course, is an easy fix, but replacing every light bulb in the house could be a big and unexpected added expense.

Ask if the appliances are ENERGY STAR-certified, if the windows are double-paneled, and if the insulation is holding up nicely.

We wish you the best of luck in house hunting, and we can assure you that a home that has been maintained by the experts at BNG Heating & Cooling is a home that we’d recommend buying! If you’re looking to sell, give us a call so that we can make sure your home is in tip-top energy efficiency condition.

Did You Clean THERE? If Not, Your Bills May Be Suffering.

We know that we talk about your energy bills all the time, but it’s only because we know what a vital role your HVAC system, insulation, and maintenance plays in your home’s energy efficiency. Basically, it’s our responsibility to make sure that our customers are completely safeguarded against common energy-sucks.

Lately, we’ve told you how to manage your thermostat efficiency, how to tell if the air in your home is less-than-optimal, and how you might cool your home with no AC at all.

Today, we’re digging into the deepest corners of your house—the corners that you love to ignore but that have a massive impact on how hard you’re making your equipment work during the summer months. Be sure not to miss these unexpected places when you’re doing your deep cleans before summer:

Behind the Refrigerator

Those strange coils between the wall and the back of your refrigerator are a hot spot for dust, dirt, and maybe even rodents. Aside from those threats to your respiratory health (and hygiene!), the United States Department of Energy recommends keeping refrigerator coils clean because not doing so could result in a 30% increase in energy consumption.

Change Air-Conditioning Filters

It seems obvious, but this detail is often overlooked by first-time homeowners and long-time homeowners alike. You’ll feel a change in air quality and help your system run as efficiently as possible. This becomes especially important in the summer months, when you’re constantly tracking outdoor allergens into your home.

Get Rid of Air Leaks

Over time, cracks form in doors and windows, and, over time, those cracks let out the air that your AC is working to cool. In 2012, a study found that a third of the energy you buy probably leaks through these holes and cracks in your house. Identifying these holes is trickier than you’d think, so we advise calling your local experts to conduct a survey of your home for you.

The most important thing you can do is to be sure that you’re being proactive in caring for your home’s energy efficiency. That’s why BNG HVAC offers maintenance plans, so that you worry less and see better results on your monthly energy bill.

Ready to schedule your maintenance checkup? Call us today or go online to schedule an appointment with our incredible technicians!

Signs That Your Home Isn’t as Comfortable as It Should Be

Your home, however big or small, is your palace! It’s the place that you get to call your own—that you get to fill with your favorite, most special belongings and even with your favorite people.

If you experience any of these scenarios in your home, it’s time to take action!

You walk in and are instantly hit with an unpleasant smell.

And, even worse, you don’t know where it’s coming from! Though your air conditioner won’t always work as an immediate air freshener, it should be well-maintained enough to actually pull some of that daily odor out of the stagnant air.

Your shower makes you sneeze.

You’re probably (definitely) not allergic to water! You may have a mold or mildew issue, which can be remedied with the proper ventilation.

Your eyes are constantly itching because of quickly-collecting dust bunnies.

Sure, dust will always come back to those areas that attract it most. But there is such a thing as a dust problem.

You have to wear sweatpants and a jacket to stay warm.

Or, conversely, you have to sweat it out in a tank top! Maybe you prefer to freeze or to sweat? If it’s not personal preference, you shouldn’t have to live with an inaccurate thermostat. Especially since there are thermostats these days that are programmable, wi-fi enabled, and more efficient than ever before.

You can’t find a place to sit.

Okay, maybe this isn’t an air problem. But you really should set aside time to tidy up at least once a week! Studies show that people who make a regular practice of organizing and cleaning house have a stronger peace of mind and have an easier time relaxing.

Does your house pass the test?

While we can’t come in and organize your junk drawer (we all have one!), we can make sure that your home’s air purification, ventilation, heating, and cooling are running like a finely-tuned machine. Keeping your home comfortable is our passion!

Call or go online to schedule your spring maintenance check-up before we’re in the heat of summer!

Preparing Your Home for Spring Allergies

Sneezing? Scratchy throat? Watery eyes? You’re not alone! Allergies affect more than 20 percent of Americans. Medications can help relieve allergy symptoms, but removing irritants from your home is a much more effective way to stop your stuffy nose, headache, itchy eyes, and shortness of breathe.

The first place to start is the allergist! There’s no point in making changes at home without knowing your particular allergies. Who knows, you might be allergic to cats and keeping your windows closed! Once you know what you are allergic to, then you’ll be able to identify preventative measures.

Once you’ve established what causes your allergies, work your way through the house eliminating specific allergens, starting with your bedroom. If dust is one of your problems, cover your mattress and pillows with zip-on dust mite covers. You spend so much of your day in bed, it’s the natural place to start!

Avoid trekking in trouble by placing two doormats at each entryway – one outside, one inside – to keep outdoor irritants from finding their way inside. Or, have your family and guests remove their shoes when they enter, so they don’t spread allergens around.

Another great way to diminish your spring allergy symptoms is to zap them from the air! Global Plasma Solutions, a pioneer in plasma technology (and available at BNG!), reduces airborne particles and kills viruses, bacteria and mold! The positive and negative ions generated in the HVAC system flow free into the occupied space through the forced air system. Once the GPS system works its magic, people with allergies have reported a reduction in symptoms and many have reported a reduction in required medication or no medication at all!

What measures are you currently taking to control your allergies? If you’re continuing to suffer, call BNG for an air quality analysis to see how we can help you keep allergens out of your home.