Service & Maintenance

Service & Maintenance

W+hy Does My House Have a Musty Smell?

Why Does My House Have a Musty Smell?

If you experience a musty smell when returning home, odds mold or mildew is growing somewhere inside your home. Mold has a fluffy appearance and can be white, black, or colorful. Food often becomes moldy as it rots. A few types of cheese, like blue and Roquefort, have veins of mold growing inside them. Mildew is a powdery substance that grows on living plants and fabrics like carpeting, drapes and upholstery.Mold and mildew are mother nature’s natural decomposers. Both require moisture and organic matter as food to thrive. When you smell it in your home, it indicates that there is a colony of mold or mildew growing somewhere. The odor may be an early warning sign for water leaks inside walls or a basement that’s wicking water from the soil. Other sources might be plumbing fixtures like sink drains, washing machine, or the garbage disposal.

Finding the Source

Your nose is the best way to track down the source of the musty smell. If it’s in the walls, look for mildew or mold growing on the drywall or nearby. Leaking pipes, ice dams, or roof leaks can send water into the walls or ceilings. Spongy drywall also indicates mold.Plumbers use cameras to find the source of leaks inside walls or ceilings and you might be able to find a roof leak by entering the attic on a sunny day and looking for daylight. Wet insulation also indicates a roof leak. Look for compressed areas or darker areas.

Getting Rid of the Problem

Vinegar is one of the least toxic ways to get rid of mold and mildew. Pour it down the sink drains or add some to the washing machine. Washing or deep cleaning fabrics might remove the mildew odor. Having the HVAC thoroughly cleaned, including the ducts, can remove much of the smell as well. Putting UV (ultraviolet) lights in the HVAC system will also stop mold and mildew infestations.

For more information about getting rid of the musty smell, contact Air Assurance, providing HVAC services for Broken Arrow homeowners.

Our goal is to help educate our customers in the Tulsa and Broken Arrow, Oklahoma area about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems). For more information about other HVAC topics, call us at 918-217-8273.

Service & Maintenance

Puppy-Proof Your HVAC System

Puppy-Proof Your HVAC System

Owning a puppy is an incredibly rewarding experience. However, it can harm your HVAC equipment in more ways than one.Dogs come with dander that can pose a severe problem to the equipment. What's more, the notorious nature of young puppies to chew on just about anything can land them in lots of trouble while damaging your HVAC system. Use the HVAC protection tips below to keep both your system and four-legged friend safe.

Safeguard Your Outdoor Unit

The outdoor air conditioning unit is usually installed in the side yard or backyard. That means your pooch can easily access it when going outside to play or for bathroom breaks. The unit's wires, sharp edges, and metal pieces can create perilous situations for your dog.On the other hand, your furry child can damage the unit by scratching or chewing on it. Dog urine can also be extremely harmful to the unit. Consistent urination will degrade your unit and cause problems like erosion of fins and refrigerant leaks, forcing you to shell out hundreds or thousands of dollars for repairs.You can prevent accidents by putting up a reasonable barrier like a small fence around the outdoor condenser to prevent the puppy from accessing it. Just make sure you leave at least three feet between the barrier and the unit.

Control Hair and Dander

Dander and hair from your puppy can quickly become airborne and get into your HVAC system. Besides clogging up your filter, they can wrap around critical parts like the coils and cause severe damage. You can prevent such issues by:

  • Replacing your filter frequently

  • Cleaning your entire home including the air intakes regularly

  • Washing and brushing your furry friend often to keep the dander and hair it sheds to a minimum

Remember, having a puppy requires you to make an extra effort toward HVAC protection. Don't forget to schedule a furnace or A/C tuneup regularly to ensure reliable performance and efficiency even if you have a furry friend. If you need dependable HVAC maintenance or repair in the Broken Arrow area, contact the experts at Air Assurance.

Our goal is to help educate our customers in the Tulsa and Broken Arrow, Oklahoma area about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems). For more information about other HVAC topics, call us at 918-217-8273.

Service & Maintenance

Why Is My Heat Pump So Loud?

Why Is My Heat Pump So Loud?

When your heat pump suddenly becomes noisy, the first thing that may come to your mind is that it's about to break down. But don't panic just yet. Loud heat pumps could be just that — loud. At times, the loud noise could be a sign of a problem. So how can you tell the difference? Read on to find out the common noises that heat pumps make and what they indicate.

Normal Noises

Heat pumps usually make some strange sounds while they operate. For instance, those that have a Scroll-type compressor make clicking and tapping sounds as they shut down. When coming on, they make rickety sounds. Swooshing sounds are also to be expected when heat pumps go into defrost mode. Shifting valves are responsible for the sounds, which shouldn't be a cause for concern. Rattling sounds at startup or shutdown that resemble an unbalanced washing machine are also typical.

Unsettling Noises

Some loud noises can be signs of trouble. They include:

  • Gurgling — Low refrigerant charge often causes gurgling noises. It can severely downgrade your heat pump's performance.

  • Rattling — Frequent rattling or vibration-like sounds could be caused by loose components or unsecured ducts.

  • Metal-to-metal noises — At times, a heat pump can make banging or clanging sounds like metal hitting against metal. The fan blades could be hitting a chunk of ice or other components. The contact could damage the fan or the parts that the fan blades are hitting. To avoid costly repairs, turn the unit off as soon as you hear these noises.

  • Popping — This sound could be as a result of liquid refrigerant entering the compressor. You should have it fixed soonest possible.

  • Squealing — A high-pitched squealing sound could indicate your unit's motor is going bad. It could also be due to your compressor putting too much pressure on the refrigerant.

If your heat pump is making any of these worrisome sounds, call in an HVAC professional to examine it. If you need help with a noisy unit in the Broken Arrow area, contact the heat pump specialists at Air Assurance.

Our goal is to help educate our customers in the Tulsa and Broken Arrow, Oklahoma area about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems). For more information about other HVAC topics, call us at 918-217-8273.

Service & Maintenance

What to Look for When Hiring an HVAC Contractor

What to Look for When Hiring an HVAC Contractor

It pays to spend a little time researching the credentials and reputation of an HVAC contractor before you schedule service or repairs. In most homes, the HVAC system is the sole means of maintaining comfort day and night. Hiring a capable and reputable company might make a good deal of difference.

Licensing.

In Oklahoma, all HVAC contractors and technicians have to have a license issued by the state to practice. They must also have bonding and insurance coverage. Using someone who isn’t licensed could void your warranty and leave you vulnerable for financial or physical damages that occur at your home during a service call or installation.

Memberships.

The key to finding a solid contractor you can trust is to look for one who has NATE (North American Technician Excellence). NATE is a nonprofit organization dedicated to increasing the capabilities and competence of HVAC technicians and contractors. They require passing a battery of rigorous tests for membership. Additionally, members have to continue their educations and retest every two years.

Reputation.

Most HVAC contractors are local, which means you can ask the contractors you’re interviewing for a list of past and current customers. You can also access the Better Business Bureau’s database online that will give you their ratings with this trusted authority on companies large and small. Air Assurance has an A+ rating in the Broken Arrow region.

Authorizations.

In order for an HVAC contractor to be an authorized dealer, the company has to exhibit high performance and competency standards. The contractor will have advanced knowledge of the equipment, since they can access all the technical information available. At their simplest, HVAC systems are complicated and when the technician has all the information at his fingertips, installing and servicing the equipment will be exact.Whenever you need to hire an HVAC contractor, look for these qualifications.

For more information, contact Air Assurance, a local HVAC company serving Broken Arrow homeowners. We have NATE certification, a top rating with the BBB, and are a premier dealer for Lennox.

Our goal is to help educate our customers in the Tulsa and Broken Arrow, Oklahoma area about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems). For more information about other HVAC topics, call us at 918-217-8273.

Service & Maintenance

January HVAC Maintenance To-Dos

January HVAC Maintenance To-Dos

Now that the new year is upon us, it's time to start thinking about January HVAC maintenance that will help improve your household. To help you out, we've compiled some quick tasks that you can add to your to-do list:

Replace the Air Filter

Now that the holidays are over and your guests have returned home, there's a good chance that your air filter has become a bit clogged and needs to be replaced. Some models can be cleaned instead, but the main point is to get an operational filter in your system so that it runs more smoothly. This will save you both energy and money on your monthly utility bill.

Contact an HVAC Technician

January is a great month to hire a qualified technician for the annual HVAC maintenance of your system. He or she will perform a tune-up of the system and pinpoint any problems that currently exist or could be an issue later on down the road. This maintenance will keep the unit running smoothly and efficiently. Plus, it will prolong the system's operational longevity.

Seal Air Leaks in Your Home

Air leaks throughout your home force your HVAC system to work harder in order to maintain a good comfort level. Find these air leaks and get them sealed with either weather stripping, caulk, or spray foam depending on the location and size. Around the edges of your doors and windows are a great place to start, and checking for tears in your home's ductwork is a good idea, too.

Check Your Registers

If you had a bunch of activity in your home over the holidays, there's a good chance that your registers have become blocked by furniture or simply gotten clogged up with dirt or debris. Make sure that the registers are clean and unobstructed to ensure proper airflow throughout your home.

For more expert advice on January HVAC maintenance or any other issues related to home comfort, reach out to the friendly professionals at Air Assurance. We've been serving Broken Arrow and the surrounding area for over 30 years.

Our goal is to help educate our customers in the Tulsa and Broken Arrow, Oklahoma area about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems). For more information about other HVAC topics, call us at 918-217-8273.

Service & Maintenance

Decoration Storage Do's and Don't's

Decoration Storage Do's and Don't's

Most homeowners have a collection of treasured decorations that help make the holiday season more festive. You may not realize it, but there's a direct correlation between protecting your decorations while they're in storage and keeping your home and family safe from harm. Here are some decoration storage do's and don't's that can help you accomplish both:

Don't Assume That Decorations Aren't Dangerous

You might mistakenly think you only have to worry about hazards like frayed electric holiday lights or placing a tree too close to your fireplace when your decorations are in use. However, some stored decorations can add fuel to a fire or produce noxious fumes when they melt, such as:

  • Boxes and egg cartons used for ornament storage

  • Fabric holiday stockings and tree skirts

  • Components of wreaths, garlands and artificial trees

  • Holiday candles

  • Plastic totes and storage containers

Don't Use the Furnace Room for Decoration Storage

If you have some extra space around your furnace, you might be tempted to use it to store your holiday decorations. The truth is, having any of the above items close to a combustion device like your furnace (or water heater) is a serious safety hazard. Other flammable and combustible items that shouldn't be stored near your furnace are fuels like gasoline, paint and paint thinners, aerosol sprays, cleaning and laundry products, wood products, paper goods, cat litter and fabric/textile materials.

Do Choose a Safe Spot for Storing Decorations

After you've carefully packed up your holiday decorations to keep them safe while in storage, here are some potential storage location where they're unlikely to cause any danger:

  • The attic. A well-lit attic can be a good spot to store seasonal holiday decor, just don't include items like paraffin candles that may melt.

  • Your garage. A dedicated shelving unit in the garage can make a great location for storing decorations during the off-season.

  • A bedroom closet. An empty closet in a seldom-used bedroom can give you easy access to stored boxes of holiday decorations.

To learn more safe decoration storage ideas for your Broken Arrow home, contact us today at Air Assurance.

Our goal is to help educate our customers in the Tulsa and Broken Arrow, Oklahoma area about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems). For more information about other HVAC topics, us at 918-217-8273.

Service & Maintenance

Post-Holidays HVAC Checklist

Post-Holidays HVAC Checklist

Despite all the fun that the holidays deliver, you're probably looking forward to getting your household back to normal. We'd like to help you get started, which is why we've compiled a few of our favorite post-holiday tips. Adding these to your HVAC checklist is a great way to get your household ready for the new year.

Scheduled Maintenance with an HVAC Technician

To keep your HVAC system running efficiently and prolong its operational lifespan, you should schedule inspection of the equipment once per year. If you were too busy over the holidays to get this done, then now is the perfect time to contact a qualified technician and make an appointment.

Adjust the Temperature of Your Thermostat

With all the hustle and bustle that happens over the holidays, it's quite likely that the temperature on your thermostat has been changed. Take the time to check it out and adjusted back to a comfortable setting for your household.

Check the Registers for Any Obstructions

Registers can easily be blocked by obstructions, especially over the busy holiday. Now that the festivities is over, check the registers and make sure you move anything like furniture or boxes to allow air to flow properly.

Clean or Replace Your HVAC System's Air Filter

If you run your home's heating system a lot over the holidays, then your air filter will fill up very quickly. Now's the time to check to see if it's clogged, and if it is, either clean or replace it depending on what type of filter the system uses.

Use Microfiber Cloths to Remove Dust

Items like feather dusters and even many vacuum cleaners have a tendency to spread dust around. A better alternative is to use microfiber cloths, which attract and capture the dust. Use these to clean up once your holiday festivities have ended and your home will be dust-free in no time.

For more post-holiday tips to add to your HVAC checklist or any other home comfort concerns, please reach out to the experts at Air Assurance. We've been serving Broken Arrow and the surrounding area since 1985.

Our goal is to help educate our customers in the Tulsa and Broken Arrow, Oklahoma area about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems). For more information about other HVAC topics, call us at 918-217-8273.

Service & Maintenance

How to Locate Cold Air Leaks Around the House

How to Locate Cold Air Leaks Around the House

Air leaks allow cold outside air to sneak into your home and steal your comfort and money. As the cold air gets into your home, your heating system is forced to work harder to deliver more hot air continuously, driving up your energy bills. The first step to winning the fight against cold air leaks is finding out where exactly the leakage is occurring. Here are some useful tips to help you achieve that.

Visual Inspection

The most common place for warm air to leak out of your home is around doors and windows. You can spot existing gaps by simply looking over door and window frames. If you see daylight around the frame, that's a sign of a leak. Having someone go outside at night and shine a flashlight over window and door frames will also reveal locations of large air leaks. If you observe from inside dark rooms, you'll see the light in the areas where the leaks are taking place.Also check for gaps and cracks around:

Smoke Test

You can locate the leaks that are less easily visible by conducting a smoke test.

  1. Turn off your furnace and any other combustion appliances on a cool, windy day.

  2. Walk around the potential leak sites with a lit incense stick. You'll know you have a leak if the smoke wavers or is blown back into the room.

Call in a Pro

If you want an accurate gauge of your home's cold air leaks, hire a technician to conduct a professional energy audit. He or she can perform a thermal infrared scan or a blower door test to measure your home's airtightness and locate sources of air leaks.

The energy you lose through cold air leaks can be equivalent to leaving a window open throughout the winter, so locating and sealing these leaks is well worth the time and effort. If you want to truly maximize your Broken Arrow home's energy efficiency by scheduling an energy audit, contact the professionals at Air Assurance.

Our goal is to help educate our customers in the Tulsa and Broken Arrow, Oklahoma area about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems). For more information about other HVAC topics, call us at 918-217-8273.

Service & Maintenance

Questions to Ask During an HVAC System Estimate

Questions to Ask During an HVAC System Estimate

If you're planning to update your home's HVAC equipment, you'll likely research reputable local contractors and get estimates from at least three. Before you obtain an HVAC system estimate, ask each contractor the following questions to help judge their industry knowledge, installation expertise and service quality:

How Do You Size New Equipment?

To ensure that the new equipment capacity matches your home's square footage and characteristics, a skilled HVAC contractor will advise you that they'll do a load calculation with Manual J, then select the right equipment using Manual S.

Will My Duct System Need an Upgrade?

Your existing ductwork has a big impact on how well your new equipment performs and your comfort. Experienced HVAC pros know this, so they will tell you they thoroughly inspect the installed ductwork to determine if its design and condition is up to par, based on Manual D guidelines.

Should I Compare Efficiency Ratings?

When you're getting an estimate for new HVAC equipment, a good contractor should willingly provide you with information on the upfront and lifetime costs of models at different efficiency levels. If you ask, a dependable HVAC pro will help you weigh your options to decide if you should invest in higher-rated equipment that gives you long-term savings on energy.

Do You Offer Preventive Maintenance Agreements?

Trustworthy HVAC contractors don't just install new equipment, they also offer expert preventive maintenance and repair services to keep your system working efficiently and reliably. An installer worth hiring should offer extended service protection plans that cover semi-annual planned maintenance, priority service, and savings on parts, labor and after-hours and weekend emergency assistance.

Are There Financing Options Available?

Well-established HVAC companies understand that new equipment is a major purchase for most homeowners, so they team with reputable local financial institutions to provide a range of financing options for their customers. If you ask about financing, you should expect your HVAC installer to give you good alternatives along with advice on how to apply.

When you need a customized HVAC system estimate on new equipment for your Broken Arrow home, contact us at Air Assurance.

Our goal is to help educate our customers in the Tulsa and Broken Arrow, Oklahoma area about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems). For more information about HVAC systems and other HVAC topics, call us at 918-217-8273.

Service & Maintenance

Whose Responsibility are Apartment Maintenance Requests?

Whose Responsibility are Apartment Maintenance Requests?

If something breaks, leaks or stops working in your apartment, how do you know whether to handle it yourself or submit a maintenance request? The best course of action is to email or phone your landlord to ask who's responsible for making repairs. Here's a look at some common apartment maintenance issues and who generally takes care of them:

Malfunctioning Appliances

Appliances like the stove, dishwasher, refrigerator, washer/dryer and hot water heater get a lot of use, so they're bound to malfunction or break down occasionally. If the issue is with an appliance that came with the apartment, your landlord needs to get it fixed or replace it.

Carbon Monoxide/Smoke Detectors

A landlord should test safety devices like smoke and carbon monoxide detectors in between tenants to make sure they're working properly. While you're living there, you're responsible for replacing the detector batteries if they die, and you'll want to put in fresh ones right away so you're fully protected.

Plumbing System Problems

Who handles plumbing repairs really depends on whether you, the tenant, caused the problem. For example, if you're not careful with the garbage disposal and it seizes up, or you flush something bulky that clogs the toilet, you'll probably have to hire a plumber. If a supply line or water pipes starts leaking, or the fill valve fails on the toilet, fixing it is your landlord's responsibility.

Defective Window and Door Locks

If the entry door lock breaks or a window lock comes apart, put in a maintenance request right away so your landlord can get it repaired or replaced so your apartment stays safe and secure.

Heating or Cooling Issues

If your apartment has an individual heating and cooling system, and it freezes up, stops producing conditioned air, or won't start at all, don't hesitate to contact your landlord. They'll likely have it looked at by the maintenance crew to determine if an experienced HVAC professional should be called in.

If you need expert advice about an apartment maintenance problem that involves the heating or cooling equipment, contact the Broken Arrow comfort pros at Air Assurance.

Our goal is to help educate our customers in the Tulsa and Broken Arrow, Oklahoma area about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems). For more information about apartment maintenance and other HVAC topics, call us at 918-217-8273. Credit/Copyright Attribution: “Free-Photos/Pixabay”

Service & Maintenance

Back-to-School Maintenance Tips

Back-to-School Maintenance Tips

Now that summer is near its end, there's a good chance that your kids are all set to go with back-to-school supplies. What many homeowners forget, though, is that their HVAC equipment needs attention, too. Here are a few of our favorite maintenance tips to get done before we enter a new season:

Perform an Annual Check

If you want your HVAC equipment to last longer and run better, an annual check by a professional technician is definitely something you don't want to skip. By keeping up with a yearly maintenance schedule, your system will run more efficiently and you'll extend its overall operational lifespan.

Clean or Replace the Filter

Air filters are resilient pieces of equipment, but they don't last forever. It only takes 1-3 months, on average, for a filter to become clogged up with enough dirt and debris that it hurts the system's performance. Some filters can be cleaned and used again, while others must be replaced. No matter which type you have, consistent attention will keep your HVAC system in tip-top shape.

Maintain the Outdoor Unit

Your HVAC equipment's outdoor unit will get clogged up over the summer with things like dirt, leaves, and all sorts of other debris. Some homeowners even go out to discover a fallen bird nest! You can easily clean up the obvious stuff by hand, and then grab a hose and spray it down to get rid of anything that's left over.

Seal Holes in Your Ductwork

No matter how well you take care of your home, problems such as holes, gaps, and tears are likely to occur in your ductwork. This leads to a waste of energy as your heating or cooling system is forced to run longer to get the same results. Sealing these problem areas to keep things running smoothly.

For more expert advice on back-to-school maintenance, or if you have any other concerns related to home comfort, please don't hesitate to contact the friendly professionals at Air Assurance. We've been serving the HVAC needs of Broken Arrow and the surrounding area for more than 30 years.

Our goal is to help educate our customers in the Tulsa and Broken Arrow, Oklahoma area about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems). For more information about maintenance and other HVAC topics, call us at 918-217-8273. Credit/Copyright Attribution: “Wokandapix/Pixabay”

Service & Maintenance

Preparing Your Home's HVAC for Your Summer Vacation

Preparing Your Home's HVAC for Your Summer Vacation

You're all set for summer vacation. Your neighbor will take in the mail and water the plants; you've put your lights on a timer so they'll come on at strategic times; you've made provisions for Fido at the kennel. But wait a minute: what about the HVAC system? Have you included the most important system in your house in your vacation plans?

Here's some valuable advice on how to get your HVAC ready when you leave home this summer:

1. Schedule maintenance.

If you haven't done this already, be sure to have your system professionally inspected. The HVAC tech should check refrigerant charge, condensate drain, coils, controls, thermostat, wiring and the blower motor and fans. This is your best assurance that your A/C will keep cooling your home properly while you're away. Ask the tech to check for refrigerant leaks as well as problems with the condensate drain. You don't want it overflowing while you're away.

2. Change the air filter.

A clean filter ensures there's proper air flow to your HVAC system, so that it does its job more efficiently.

3. Install a programmable or Wi-Fi thermostat.

With either of these types of thermostats you can set the A/C up at night so it's using less energy. Be sure you don't set it up too high; you want it to keep turning on. An additional benefit of a Wi-Fi thermostat is that you will have even more control while you're away. Set the thermostat down a bit more during a heat wave to keep the house cooler, or adjust humidity as needed.

4. Make sure your indoor and outdoor A/C components are not blocked.

Check around the condenser for weeds, limbs and any other obstructions that may block air flow around it; indoors, check supply and return vents for blockage by furniture, drapes or carpets. Vents should be cleaned periodically and cleared of dirt and pet hair.

For more on how to prep your HVAC system before you depart for summer vacation, contact Air Assurance. We've served Broken Arrow and the surrounding area since 1985.

Our goal is to help educate our customers in the Tulsa and Broken Arrow, Oklahoma area about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems). For more information about summer vacation maintenance and other HVAC topics, call us at 918-217-8273. Credit/Copyright Attribution: “ardoramanda/Pixabay”

Service & Maintenance

Here's How to Know You're Working With a Quality HVAC Company

Here's How to Know You're Working With a Quality HVAC Company

When your furnace is on the fritz, a dozen doubts and questions may run through your mind. "What's wrong now? How do I get it to work? Who do I call? How much will it cost?" and more. Suddenly, the quality and integrity of the company you invite into your home to assess and solve the HVAC problem becomes a principal factor. Use the following tips to narrow your field of companies and ensure you receive the quality customer service you deserve.

Testimonials and Reviews

You can find out a lot of information about companies these days with a few simple searches on the Internet. Many companies with websites may have a "Testimonials" page to browse. There are other Internet resources to research, such as Google reviews and Angie's List, that offer customer reviews. Your local Better Business Bureau provides reviews from actual customers, in addition to their popular rating system.

Years of Service

Quality matters, but so does quantity in terms of years in business. Why go with a rookie company when there are many veteran companies to choose from?If pricing is a factor when considering hiring a newer company, bear in mind that your HVAC system is only going to work as well as the quality of skills and customer service your HVAC company and technician bring to the table. Invest your time and resources in an HVAC company with a proven track record.

Business Best Practices

There are a few red flags to watch for. If a company asks you to pull permits, buyer beware! The individual may not be licensed. If an HVAC company doesn't provide you contact information to confirm that their insurance policies are up to date, move on to the next prospect.

The Fine Print

From the free estimate to the work order contract, get everything in writing! It's for your own protection and clarification of work to be performed, replacement parts, workmanship guarantees and manufacturer warranty.

For the best results, contact the experts at Air Assurance. We've provided superior customer service for our Broken Arrow customers for more than 30 years!

Our goal is to help educate our customers in the Tulsa and Broken Arrow, Oklahoma area about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems). For more information about quality HVAC companies and other HVAC topics, call us at 918-217-8273. Credit/Copyright Attribution: “tumisu/Pixabay”

Featured, Service & Maintenance

Back-to-School Tips for Your HVAC System

Back-to-School Tips for Your HVAC System

A great way to remember it's time for fall HVAC maintenance is to tie it in with back-to-school activities. Once the kids have started their fall routines, they'll be out of the house more, and you'll have an opportunity to make some energy-saving adjustments and perform some maintenance that will keep your HVAC system in good shape for the season ahead.

1. Adjust your programmable thermostat.

If you spent the entire summer adjusting the thermostat manually, maybe it's time you looked at more efficient operation. If you have a programmable thermostat and you're not using it in an efficient way, then it's time to start. While it's still warm, program the thermostat up a few degrees at night and when the house is unoccupied. As the weather cools, set the thermostat a few degrees lower for those times.

2. Change the air filter.

The change of seasons is always a good time to change the air filter. You probably won't need the HVAC system to run the HVAC that much until the cold weather sets in, but keep a clean filter in it so you'll be ready when it's time to turn the furnace on. A clean filter ensures your system runs more efficiently, and that parts are less subject to friction and wear.

3. Clean up around the compressor.

Perhaps you won't be using the air conditioner much longer, but take a look around the outdoor compressor and make sure it's got plenty of clearance for air flow. Trim branches and limbs within two feet of the unit. Clear away leaves and other debris. Trim weeds and grass.

4. Schedule fall maintenance.

No need to wait till the cold weather arrives and your HVAC service pro is booked to the max. Schedule fall maintenance ahead so you have a jump on replacements or repairs. Be sure your service tech looks at the heat exchanger and burners of your furnace to ensure proper combustion.

To learn more about back-to-school season maintenance for your HVAC system, contact Air Assurance. We serve Broken Arrow and the surrounding area.

Our goal is to help educate our customers in the Tulsa and Broken Arrow, Oklahoma area about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems). Credit/Copyright Attribution: “geralt/Pixabay”

Featured, HVAC system, Service & Maintenance

A Timeline for HVAC Maintenance and Replacements

A Timeline for HVAC Maintenance and Replacements

HVAC systems are sophisticated machines that, hopefully, keep your home comfortable year-round. If you are like many homeowners, you may have questions about maintaining your system, how long it should last, or even how often you should change your furnace filter. That's normal. Read on to get a clear picture of the suggested HVAC maintenance timeline and the average service life.

HVAC Service Life

The service life of an HVAC system depends on many factors. The first factor is the quality of the installation. Installing an HVAC system entails calculating your home's load, sizing the HVAC units, and a ductwork evaluation for sizing, repairs, or replacement.The second factor for estimating service life is the manufacturing quality of any HVAC unit. In the long run, it's best to stick with a reputable, factory-authorized HVAC contractor that offers a good warranty and workmanship guarantee.

Lastly, the quality and frequency of HVAC maintenance determines how long your HVAC system lasts before you need to replace it. Following are widely accepted estimates of expected service life for common HVAC units:

  • Central air conditioner: 10 to 15 years

  • Central heat pump: 10 to 15 years

  • Geothermal heat pump: Indoor components 25 years and outdoor ground loop 50 years

  • Furnace: 15 to 20 years

  • Ductless mini split: 20 to 30 years

  • Ductwork: Metal ducts may last a lifetime

HVAC Maintenance Timeline

Scheduled professional HVAC preventive maintenance is a win-win situation to boost your comfort and save money by minimizing repairs and lowering energy bills. Your HVAC technician should visit your home in the spring and fall so you don't have to call him or her for repairs in the summer and winter!Following is a suggested HVAC maintenance timeline:

  • Central air conditioner: Every spring

  • Central heat pump: Every spring and fall

  • Geothermal heat pump: Every spring and fall

  • Furnace: Every fall

  • Ductless mini split: Every spring or fall

  • Ductwork: Every spring or fall

Don't push back your HVAC maintenance timeline or you may be replacing it sooner rather than later. Contact Air Assurance in Broken Arrow to schedule regular service today!

Our goal is to help educate our customers in the Tulsa and Broken Arrow, Oklahoma area about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems). Credit/Copyright Attribution: “Clker-Free-Vector-Images/pixabay”

Duct System, Featured, Service & Maintenance

Get the Most From Your System by Aiming and Redirecting Vents

Get the Most From Your System by Aiming and Redirecting Vents | Air Assurance

While the ample rainfall and rolling hills of the Broken Arrow area make the outdoors enjoyable nearly year round, getting your indoor temperatures just right still takes some planning. Redirecting vents lets you fine tune your heating and cooling system to maximize your comfort.

Managing Airflow in Your Rooms

Standard vent covers protect your ducts from debris and reduce drafts, but they don't direct airflow. If drafts are your main problem, installing a vent diffuser can help. Alternatively, install decorative Victorian-style vent covers with intricate scroll designs that diffuse airflow more effectively than standard grills.A vent deflector helps with redirecting vents more accurately. This device sits over the vent to guide air away from a wall, sofa, curtains or other surface, and focus it toward your living space.To get more air from a vent under an item of furniture, install a vent extender. Shaped like a low, flat tunnel, this channels air out from under the obstruction so more of it reaches your living space. If you're planning to build cabinetry over a vent, install a toe kick register into the toe kick recess at the bottom of the cabinet so air can escape.

Managing Airflow in Your Duct System

If there's a room or part of a room where you don't want airflow, you can close the vent entirely. This allows the air to flow back into the duct system and out to other rooms. Place an adjustable vent deflector over the vent and lower top of the deflector to limit or block airflow as required. If you have metal vent grilles, you can apply magnetic vent covers to block the air flow.Make sure no more than 10 percent of your vents are closed. Closing more than this creates excess air pressure in your ducts, which leads to wasteful air leakage and damages your system's components. For a more efficient way to direct airflow, ask your technician about installing a zoning system.

For tips on redirecting vents and other ways to stay more comfortable affordably, contact us at Air Assurance anywhere around Broken Arrow.

Our goal is to help educate our customers in the Tulsa and Broken Arrow, Oklahoma area about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems). Credit/Copyright Attribution: “Kevin_Hsieh/Shutterstock”

Featured, Service & Maintenance

The Basics of Refrigerant

The Basics of Refrigerant

Many homeowners take for granted their residence's heating and cooling systems without having more than a basic idea of how they work. While a gas furnace is relatively easy to understand, systems that rely upon the refrigeration process are more complicated. Yet, understanding how your air conditioner or heat pump works to condition your home will help you troubleshoot problems in the future.

How Does an Air Conditioner Work?

It's incorrect to think that an A/C cools the outside air, then draws it into the house. Air conditioners (and the cooling mode of heat pumps) actually extract heat energy from inside air, with the removal of heat resulting in cooler air. Refrigerant, a chemical formula also referred to as coolant, does the actual work of taking heat from the air, and then expelling that heat into the outside air. The ability of coolant to easily transition between a liquid and gas drives the refrigeration process.

In the most common type of air conditioner, the split system, a compressor pumps a refrigerant solution into the home, where it runs through copper coils in the air handler/evaporator unit. An expansion valve eases pressure on the liquid refrigerant, allowing it to evaporate and convert into a gas. The liquid-to-gas conversion extracts heat from air that's being blown across the evaporator coil, reducing the air temperature. A fan in the air handler (or furnace) then circulates the conditioned air throughout the house. Eventually, it's drawn back into the inside A/C unit to be cooled again.

The refrigerant, in a gaseous state, is then pumped outside to the condenser/compressor unit, where the gas is compressed and changes back to a liquid. As this happens, the stored heat in the refrigerant is released into air as it's blown across the condenser coil, and then dissipates into the outside environment. The coolant, returned to liquid stage, flows back into the house, and the process repeats.

To learn more about how your A/C or heat pump brings comfort to your Broken Arrow area home, please contact us at Air Assurance.

Our goal is to help educate our customers in the Tulsa and Broken Arrow, Oklahoma area about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems). Credit/Copyright Attribution: “Alhovik/Shutterstock”

Duct System, Featured, Load Calculation, Service & Maintenance

Guide to Understanding Manuals J, D, and S

Guide to Understanding Manuals J, D, and S

During an HVAC system installation, there are several important technical elements that must be taken into account to ensure the system is correct for your home and that it will work at its best. The Air Conditioning Contractors of America (ACCA) publishes three technical references that provide all the guidance, procedures, and best practices that your HVAC professional will need for a successful installation. Here is a brief introduction to Manuals J, D, and S, and what they cover.

Manual J Residential Load Calculation

Manual J provides all the technical guidance necessary for a residential load calculation. Each building has a heating or cooling load, which is the amount of heating or cooling needed to keep the inside spaces at the temperature the residents prefer. A load calculation takes into consideration multiple thermal and physical characteristics of the building to determine its load. Once your HVAC professional knows the building's load, he can easily guide you to the type of HVAC equipment that has the functional capacity to satisfy that load.

Manual D Residential Duct Systems

Manual D covers the ductwork in residential settings. The HVAC system ductwork is the network of pipes that directs heated or cooled air from your HVAC equipment to the inside of your home. Ductwork must be properly designed, installed, sealed, and insulated to ensure it carries conditioned air without loss of energy and without wasteful air leaks.

Manual S Residential Heating and Cooling Equipment Selection

Manual S includes detailed technical specifications and performance information on multiple brands of air conditioners and heat pumps. This type of data helps your HVAC pro choose the best equipment for your particular needs. Manual S also provides additional information on equipment sizing, ventilation, and air distribution.

With more than three decades of experience in the HVAC industry, Air Assurance brings top-quality sales, installation, maintenance, and repair to customers in Tulsa and the neighboring communities. Contact us today for more information on Manuals J, D, and S and how these important technical references are used to ensure the best possible HVAC performance in your home.

Our goal is to help educate our customers in the Tulsa and Broken Arrow, Oklahoma area about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems). Credit/Copyright Attribution: “Tang Yan Song/Shutterstock”

Contractor, Featured, Service & Maintenance, Technicians

What is Great HVAC Customer Service?

What is Great HVAC Customer Service?

Savvy consumers have little patience these days with poor customer service. The HVAC business community realizes this, but we also know that not all HVAC customers are sure what good service in our industry looks like. If you're in the market for HVAC repairs or an installation, here are some things we suggest looking for when it comes to great HVAC customer service.

Prompt First Response

Many HVAC customers are in panic mode when they call or email an HVAC company for service. They need assurance from the moment they place the call or send an email that someone will respond quickly to their emergency. Phone attendants should be patient and courteous, taking down all the information, relaying it to the right person and following up as needed. If the company uses email for service requests, someone should be regularly checking the messages and passing them on. If the company advertises 24/7 service, the customer shouldn't have to wait very long for a response.

Good Communication Skills

A contractor or technician who can't explain why a repair is needed in clear layman's terms — or summarize the scope of an installation in as much detail as the homeowner can handle — won't inspire confidence. Customers deserve a coherent explanation of what's going on with their equipment, along with estimated costs and how long repairs will take. Those purchasing new equipment need to know how conditions in the home impact the efficiency of their systems so they can plan improvements prior to installation.

Skillful Time Management

Technicians should arrive on time, as scheduled, or if there's a delay, should notify the homeowner as soon as possible. If for some reason the job has to be interrupted, the technician should explain why and exactly when the job will be completed.

Good Inventory Control

HVAC companies should maintain proper inventory in their trucks or warehouse so that parts are quickly accessible and delays minimal.

To learn more about what constitutes great HVAC customer service, contact Air Assurance. We've provided award-winning service in the Broken Arrow area since 1985.

Our goal is to help educate our customers in the Tulsa and Broken Arrow, Oklahoma area about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems). Credit/Copyright Attribution: “Lukiyanova Natalia frenta/Shutterstock”

Featured, Service & Maintenance

How to Perform Quality Home Maintenance this Fall

How to Perform Quality Home Maintenance this Fall

With winter just around the corner, there's no time like the present to complete some important fall home maintenance tasks in addition to essential fall HVAC maintenance. Get your home ready for winter by doing the following:

  • Inspect the outer perimeter of your home for holes and gaps in the walls and foundation. Air leaks typically can be found around window and door frames, at spots where utility wires, vents and pipes penetrate walls, and at the intersection of foundation, sill plates and walls. Use caulk to seal smaller gaps and cracks and use expanding spray foam for larger leaks.

  • Inspect the interior of your home for air leaks. Take a lit incense stick and walk along the inside of the home's outer envelope. If the smoke wavers, you've found an air leak. Use weatherstripping, caulk or spray foam to seal leaks, depending on their size and location.

  • Check attic insulation to make sure there's enough to block heat movement between the outside and the attic, and between the attic and the living spaces below. The insulation should rise to the top of the floor joists. Also, seal the attic hatch or door to prevent air movement.

  • Install storm windows and doors, and remove screens, if your home is the type that allows you to do so.

  • Check your roof for loose or missing shingles and replace them. Winter can be very hard on your roof, especially if it already has weak spots. Ideally, get a professional roofing contractor to perform a comprehensive inspection.

  • Clear leaves out of the gutters. This should be done periodically during the fall if you have overhanging trees, and then a final time before winter arrives. If the gutters can drain rainwater and melted snow efficiently, you'll have less chance of ice dams developing and foundation, wall or roof damage from clogged gutters.

  • Inspect carbon monoxide and smoke detectors for proper operation and fresh batteries. This could be a life-saving fall home maintenance step.

For more fall home maintenance tips for your Broken Arrow area home, please contact us at Air Assurance.

Our goal is to help educate our customers in the Tulsa and Broken Arrow, Oklahoma area about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems).Credit/Copyright Attribution: “iQoncept/Shutterstock”