fall maintenance

Preventative Maintenance

Your Go-To Fall Maintenance Checklist

fall hvac maintenance.jpg

Now that the summer season is over and the kids are back in school, you may be wondering what's next for your household. Well, like any responsible homeowner, it's time to fill out that fall maintenance to-do list. Here are a few of our favorite tasks:

Set an Appointment with Your Technician

If you want to improve the performance of your HVAC system while also prolonging its operational lifespan, set up an appointment with a technician. He or she will check to make sure that everything is running smoothly, perform maintenance on the unit, and inform you of any problems.

Clean Your Floor and Ceiling Fans

Using your floor and ceiling fans is a great way to save energy and money by giving your HVAC equipment a bit of a rest. Just keep in mind that dust has possibly accumulated during the months prior to the season, so you should definitely wipe them down so that the dust doesn't spread and clog up your air.

Clean or Replace Your Air Filter

Once your HVAC system’s air filter has been clogged up with debris, harmful particulates can enter your air and your equipment won’t work as efficiently. Check your filter every 30 days and replace it as necessary for the best results.

Seal Cracks and Gaps Around the Home

For small problem areas, such as around your doors and windows, use caulking or weather-stripping to prevent air leakage. Bigger problems, such as gaps large enough where a rodent could get through, can be covered up with heavy-duty hardware cloth.

Unblock Your Registers

Many households experience a lot of activity over the summer, so it’s easy for registers to become blocked by boxes, furniture, or other such items. Take the time to go around to each register and make sure nothing is impeding its airflow. Also check to see that the registers are open and clear of dust and debris inside.

If you have any other questions about fall maintenance or home comfort needs, then the professionals at Air Assurance can help. We've been serving Broken Arrow and the surrounding area since 1985.

Thermostats

Thermostat Best Practices for Fall

Thermostat Best Practices for Fall

The fall season is finally here and you know what that means - time to reevaluate your home's heating and cooling needs! Since many of these needs are tied to your home's thermostat, let's take a look at a few thermostat best practices that you should immediately put on your to-do list.

Upgrade to a More Advanced Unit

If your home still has a manual thermostat, it's definitely time to upgrade to a programmable model. This will allow you to set the dates and times when your heating or cooling system kicks on, which will allow you to have greater control over energy costs.

Pick a Schedule and Stick to It

Once you've set the days and times for your HVAC system to run, make sure that you stay with this schedule whenever possible. Making changes on a regular basis will cause your energy usage and costs to fluctuate.

Enlist the Help of a Qualified Technician

The fall season is a great time to get your HVAC system checked out by a qualified technician, and while he or she is there, why not have your thermostat checked as well? After all, without a fully functional thermostat, you''ll have difficulties with the heating and cooling of your home.

Install a Zoned System

Traditional heating and cooling setups are forced to condition your entire home and eat up valuable energy resources, but this problem can be solved easily with the installation of a zoned system. This system uses multiple thermostats - one for each designated "zone" in your home - to give you better control over your home's comfort needs.

Replace the Batteries

Modern thermostats will tell you when the batteries need to be replaced by either emitting a beeping sound or flashing a small light. Simply open the battery compartment, remove the old batteries, and put in the new ones. It couldn't be easier.

If you need more advice on thermostat best practices or any other home comfort concerns, please contact the friendly professionals at Air Assurance. We've been serving the HVAC needs of 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.

HVAC system

HVAC Considerations for Hosting Fall Get-togethers

HVAC Considerations for Hosting Fall Get-togethers

When the seasons change, the possibilities for fall parties abound. Be it a fall harvest festival or Halloween costume party, a football-watching marathon or a German-themed Oktoberfest, you'll want to decorate in style. But in addition to decorations, you'll also want to ensure your guests enjoy maximum comfort during the party. Large gatherings of people can create sometimes stuffy conditions, so be prepared to make some adjustments to your home's temperature.Here are some HVAC considerations that could impact your fall party:

Adjusting the Temperature

Even when it's a bit chilly outdoors, you may find an indoor gathering can generate quite a bit of heat, so be judicious about turning the thermostat up. In fact, you might even have to turn on the air conditioner and some fans to keep things comfy. The last thing you want is guests sweating beneath their makeup and costumes at your Halloween costume party.You've probably also been cooking away the day of the party, so be mindful about how your oven has raised the temperature.

Air Quality

Cooking large quantities of food will not only raise the temperature, but could also diminish the air quality in your home by contributing to higher humidity and odors. Higher humidity will make your home feel warmer. You may need to crack windows and run some fans to improve ventilation if you don't have a dedicated ventilation system.Be sure to change your air filter; a good quality filter will help your air conditioner do a better job of dehumidifying the home. Portable dehumidifiers can help, but a whole-home model will work even better to lower damp conditions.Consider installing a whole-house air cleaner, or even a portable model, to improve air quality. Gas-phased air filters will help diminish odors from many substances, including cigarette smoke.

Whether you use the A/C or it's cold enough to run the furnace, schedule maintenance by an HVAC tech prior to the party so the system is running right for your event.

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 considerations and other HVAC topics, call us at 918-217-8273. Credit/Copyright Attribution: “Alexas_Fotos/Pixabay”

IAQ – Indoor Air Quality

Fall IAQ Concerns and Considerations in Oklahoma

Fall IAQ Concerns and Considerations in Oklahoma

Fall offers some relief from the scorching summer heat. Unfortunately, it comes with its own set of indoor air quality (IAQ) concerns. These problems can adversely affect your comfort, health, and wallet by lowering your HVAC system's efficiency. Here are the main air quality concerns to watch out for this fall along with the steps you can take to address them:

Airborne Particles

Pollen, mold, and dust mites are some of the airborne particulates that can trigger allergies in the fall. A standard HVAC filter will only remove the larger particles and contaminants from the air in your Oklahoma home.Switch to a high-quality air filter that will trap smaller particles, for example, a pleated filter. Make sure you change your filter regularly. If the filter doesn't help you enough, consider installing an air purifier to remove pet dander, mold spores, pollen, and other harmful contaminants from your indoor air.

Temperature Fluctuations

Fall is a season in which a temperature roller coaster is expected. With cold mornings and sunny afternoons, you'll find yourself tampering with your manual thermostat several times in a day. That can overwork your heating and cooling system, reducing its performance and your IAQ.The best way to solve this problem is by installing a smart thermostat. You can program it for different temperatures during the day. A Wi-Fi enabled model can adjust itself according to the weather forecast. Many smart thermostats can also switch smoothly between heating and cooling.

High Humidity

Although temperatures drop in the fall, the high humidity that was in the air during the summer doesn't automatically evaporate. Excess indoor humidity encourages mold growth and can cause respiratory problems.Run exhaust fans as you cook and shower to reduce moisture levels. Running your A/C can also help. If you have a severe humidity problem, consider purchasing a whole-house dehumidifier.

Scheduling professional maintenance each spring and fall will boost your HVAC system's ability to keep your home's air clean. To learn more about air quality concerns, contact us at Air Assurance. We proudly serve the Broken Arrow 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). For more information about IAQ and other HVAC topics, call us at 918-217-8273.

Winterizing

Winterizing Your HVAC System

Winterizing Your HVAC System

Your furnace gets quite a workout in Broken Arrow during the winter, so it pays to schedule annual preventative maintenance to ensure it works reliably through the worst of winter. Here's what winterizing your HVAC system, particularly your furnace, should look like:

Air Conditioner

Before you schedule preventative maintenance, you should square things away with the air conditioner. First, clean up around the outdoor condenser, removing leaves, weeds and other debris. Trim overhanging limbs and shrubs away so that nothing falls on the unit during a storm.If you're concerned about freezing rain dripping inside the unit -- moisture that freezes, melts and refreezes can cause damage -- then place a square of plywood over the top and secure it to the ground. You can cover the unit up with a commercial cover, but be aware that sometimes covers provide a cozy habitat for rodents and other creatures through the winter.

Change the Air Filter

The change of seasons is a good time to change the air filter. Starting the heating season with a clean filter will help ensure that the inner workings of the system are free of dust so that the furnace runs more efficiently.Follow manufacturer's instructions to change the filter. If you don't know where your filter is located, ask your HVAC technician to show you, and to show you how to change it.

Preventative Maintenance

When you schedule your preventative maintenance on your HVAC system you can expect the technician to perform a number of tasks. Among them are these:

  • Check thermostat to ensure the system attains the right temperature set points.

  • Inspect and tighten electrical connections.

  • Lubricate moving parts to reduce friction, which decreases efficiency.

  • Test controls. Make sure they are operating properly.

  • Inspect condensate drain. This drain can get stopped up over time, resulting in flooding.

  • Inspect furnace parts, including gas connections, burners and heat exchanger. A crack in a heat exchanger can cause unsafe operation, including the leaking of carbon monoxide.

For more on winterizing 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). For more information about winterizing and other HVAC topics, call us at 918-217-8273. Credit/Copyright Attribution: “kmicican/Pixabay”

Featured, HVAC system

When Should You Upgrade Your HVAC System?

When Should You Upgrade Your HVAC System?

An HVAC upgrade is a major expense, so it's an investment you want to make only when it's really necessary. With regular preventive maintenance, you can expect your equipment to last for 10-15 years, so advancing age is often the first indicator that it needs replacement. Other signs that it's time to upgrade your HVAC include:

  • Frequent repair bills. Mechanical equipment tends to break down more often as it ages, so if your HVAC system is getting older, you're likely to see more repair bills. In this situation, you should get the input of a trusted HVAC pro to decide when upgrading is more cost-effective than making repairs.

  • Inefficient operation. If your HVAC system runs for extended periods, but it never seems to get your home comfortably warm or cool, it may not be properly sized for your home. The capacity for older systems were often sized using a rule of thumb instead of a detailed load calculation, and the result is inefficient operation, a lack of comfort, and higher-than-necessary energy bills.

  • Rising energy bills. If your usage habits haven't changed, but your energy bills are rising, it may be due to a decline in your HVAC equipment's efficiency. If you have older equipment, upgrading might bring you significant energy savings since today's systems are much more efficient.

Do You Need to Replace Your Entire System?

It's always best to upgrade both halves of a split-system air conditioner or heat pump because mismatched equipment can cause a host of problems. However, you may not need to upgrade your furnace at the same time if it's in good working condition, or replace all the ductwork if it's properly sized and well-maintained.Before you decide to upgrade, it's also wise to schedule a home energy audit. You might discover that by making efficiency improvements like air sealing the exterior or adding more insulation, you can postpone an HVAC upgrade or that a smaller, less expensive system can keep your home comfortable.

For expert advice about whether it's time to upgrade the HVAC in 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 upgrading your HVAC system and other HVAC topics, call us at 918-217-8273. Credit/Copyright Attribution: “geralt/Pixabay”

Preventative Maintenance

How Do Fallen Leaves Affect Your HVAC?

How Do Fallen Leaves Affect Your HVAC?

The outdoor half of your home's HVAC system contains critically-important cooling components: the compressor and condenser coil. Because this unit is typically situated somewhere out of sight, it's easy for yard debris to accumulate outside and even inside the unit's housing if you're not paying attention. A buildup of broken branches, fallen leaves, seed pods and grass trimmings can cause various problems you want to avoid, like:

  • Airflow restrictions through the coil that interfere with proper heat transfer.

  • Added strain on the compressor that can cause a premature failure of your system's most costly component.

  • A decline in the HVAC system's efficiency that results in higher energy bills.

How to Prevent Adverse Effects from Fallen Leaves

Taking the following steps can help you avoid any adverse effects on your cooling system from leaves and other kinds of yard debris:

  • Invest in a custom cover. A custom cover is designed to fit just right, and it has ventilation built in to prevent rust-causing condensation while keeping out debris and dirt. Your HVAC contractor can advise you on the right cover to buy for your brand and model of equipment.

  • Prepare the unit for the off season. When cooling season is over, prepare the unit for winter by flipping the outdoor shut-off switch, and shutting off its breaker in your home's circuit breaker panel. Then, remove any debris and dead vegetation from outside and inside the housing, and install its fitted cover. Before you turn on the cooling system next spring, do another cleanup around the unit, remove and store the cover and switch the power supply back on.

  • Give the unit a year-round extra layer of debris protection.Another way to minimize any debris accumulation inside the unit throughout the year is to install a screen filter. These washable filters that wrap around the unit's fins aren't expensive, and they're quite effective for keeping yard debris out without restricting airflow through the coil.

To learn more ways to protect your Broken Arrow home's outdoor HVAC unit from the effects of yard debris like fallen leaves, 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 fall maintenance and other HVAC topics, call us at 918-217-8273. Credit/Copyright Attribution: “Kaz/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”

Furnaces

Check Your Furnace's Readiness for Winter Usage

Check Your Furnace's Readiness for Winter Usage

With winter just around the corner in Oklahoma, now's the right time to start preparing your furnace or heat pump for the cold weather. This means both professional maintenance and do-it-yourself tasks, to make sure your forced-air heating system will be ready when the temperatures go south of freezing.

Preparing your heating system for winter early is a good idea since many HVAC businesses get very busy once cold weather arrives.

A professional furnace or heat pump maintenance visit will accomplish the following:

  • Enhance energy efficiency. An efficient furnace or heat pump will require less energy to provide comfortable heating than a system for which maintenance has been neglected.

  • Ensure safety. The technician will inspect and adjust your heating system to minimize the risk of fire or hazardous gas leaks in a combustion furnace, or electrical or refrigerant issues in a heat pump.

  • Repair small problems before they turn into big, expensive ones.

  • Ensure proper airflow so all parts of your home are evenly and comfortably heated.

What Happens During Professional Maintenance?

While different levels of maintenance are available, a comprehensive heating system maintenance visit will include an inspection of your equipment and air distribution system. The technician should clean and lubricate moving parts, check the thermostat, electrical connections and system controls, and perform appropriate diagnostic tests. They'll also replace the air filter if necessary.

With furnace maintenance, the technician will check and/or adjust the ignition system and combustion burners, making sure the burners aren't clogged. They'll check that the exhaust system is working correctly, among other things.If you have a heat pump, the technician should check the refrigerant level, ensure that heat-exchange coils are clean, and make sure the condensate drain system isn't clogged.

Homeowner maintenance steps include regular air filter checks, making sure the area around the heating appliance is clean and clear of clutter, and removing any items that might be blocking heating vents and registers.

To schedule a fall maintenance tune-up for your heating system, please contact us at Air Assurance, providing quality HVAC services to 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). For more information about furnaces and other HVAC topics, call us at 918-217-8273. Credit/Copyright Attribution: “openclipart-vectors/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, 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”

Preventative Maintenance

Fall Maintenance: It's Not Too Soon to Think About It for Your Tulsa Home

AirAssurance 10.1.13

AirAssurance 10.1.13

The sun and the elements are always taking a toll on your home, regardless of the season. As the summer begins to wane, it is a good time to start handling the maintenance tasks that you need to get to before winter sets in.Here are a few things to do to get the house ready for winter:

  • Caulk around pipes and other openings into the house. Cold air can easily infiltrate these small cracks and make heating the home harder.

  • Apply weather-stripping around doors and windows. This will keep these large openings free from air leaks.

  • As the weather gets cooler, replace screens with storm windows and doors.

  • Inspect the roof for damage. Air and water can infiltrate which makes heating and cooling the house difficult.

  • Check the insulation levels in the attic. Consult with an expert to find the recommended R-value -- the thermal resistance rating for insulation -- for your area. Experts will need to know what type of insulation you have, where it is located and how thick it is to determine if it offers sufficient protection against heat loss.

  • Have the heating system checked by a professional. All systems need routine maintenance to work properly.

  • Make sure your stove or fireplace is in good shape. Have your chimney cleaned and serviced also.

  • Change the direction of ceiling fans to pull air up. You want to pull cool air up and send warm air down to heat the house.

Getting your home ready for winter by performing fall maintenance does not take a great deal of time. And the time you spend is worth it for lower energy costs and a comfortable house during the cold months of the year.You also need to call in the professionals to check your heating system as part of your fall maintenance. Remember, by doing so, there is currently a $30 Rebate from Oklahoma Natural Gas!! If you want to talk to an expert in home comfort, contact us here at Air Assurance. We are a family owned and operated company that has served the Tulsa metropolitan area since 1985.Normal0falsefalsefalseEN-USX-NONEX-NONE/* Style Definitions */table.MsoNormalTable{mso-style-name:"Table Normal";mso-tstyle-rowband-size:0;mso-tstyle-colband-size:0;mso-style-noshow:yes;mso-style-priority:99;mso-style-parent:"";mso-padding-alt:0in 5.4pt 0in 5.4pt;mso-para-margin:0in;mso-para-margin-bottom:.0001pt;mso-pagination:widow-orphan;font-size:10.0pt;font-family:"Calibri","sans-serif";}

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). 

Image courtesy of Shutterstock