hvac maintenance

Preventative Maintenance

Your Go-To Fall Maintenance Checklist

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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.

Air filters

Types of Air Filters

You need to change your HVAC system's air filter regularly to keep your air clean and your system functioning efficiently. Do you know what kind of filter you need? Here's a brief guide to different types of air filters and how they work.

Fiberglass

The cheapest and most basic type of air filter, fiberglass filters are the lowest rated ones on the MERV scale. They can capture and remove large dust particles, but things like mold, pollen, and other allergens remain in your air.

Pleated

Made of cotton fabric and folded into pleats like a curtain, these filters are designed to remove smaller particles from the air, such as dust mites and pet dander. The more pleats the filter has, the better airflow it allows through it, and the more efficiently your HVAC system can heat or cool your home.

Electrostatic

Rather than simply creating a barrier to trap allergens and contaminants, this one actually generates an electrostatic charge, which attracts contaminants to it. They stick to the filter, while the clean air passes through. Electrostatic filters can remove things like mold, mildew, bacteria, and even cigarette smoke, which makes them ideal for allergy and asthma sufferers.

HEPA

High Efficiency Particulate Air filters. Designed for medical uses and laboratory clean rooms, these filters can remove 99.97 percent of impurities from the air, down to 0.3 microns. That includes viruses, sea salt, milled flour, and more. Unfortunately, these filters are too thick to fit into a regular HVAC system without damaging it. If you want extra air protection, you'll need to invest in a separate air purifier for your home, that's designed for the HEPA filter.

Washable

There are two types of air filters that are washable. Some cloth filters can be washed regularly instead of replaced. More common, though, are washable electrostatic filters. Washable filters last three to five years, making them much more practical than the expensive disposable ones, which must be replaced every few months.

To learn more about different types of air filters, contact us at Air Assurance. We proudly serve all of Broken Arrow's HVAC needs.

Air Conditioning

How to Care for Your HVAC Condensor Fan Motor

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The condenser is located in the outdoor unit of the HVAC system, along with the compressor and condenser coils. This HVAC condenser fan motor is key to the proper operation of the entire HVAC system, keeping the air conditioner cool as the fan motor turns the blades, blowing air across the condenser coil where the refrigerant is cooled from hot gas into a liquid. During this process, warm air from the house is exhausted outdoors.

It's important to keep the condenser from overheating or working too hard. Regular maintenance includes lubricating the fan and other parts at least once a year, before you turn the air conditioner on for the season.

Condenser Problems

Some of the main things that can go wrong with the condenser are these:

  • Motor can go bad. If the motor is incorrectly sized in the unit, it is likely to malfunction.

  • If the fan blades are not installed correctly, airflow may be impeded and the motor may overheat.

  • An incorrect start run capacitor or incorrectly sized fan blade may cause a condition called overamping.

  • Poor air flow can also result from obstructions near the unit, such as weeds, leaves, grass, shrubs and garden furniture. Clear all vegetation and debris away from the condenser so it can properly exhaust warm air.

  • Dirty coils can prevent the unit from transferring warm air, which will result in inadequate cooling in the home. The coils should be cleaned annually.

  • Refrigerant leaks can develop in the condenser and the lines leading to it. Insufficient refrigerant can result in inadequate cooling, as well as strain on the compressor, leading to breakdown.

To tell if your condenser fan motor is overheating, place your hand on the unit. You can also check the temperature of the condenser fan motor with a regular thermometer, but it's best to hire an HVAC professional with proper equipment to do the job.

For more on your HVAC condenser fan motor and other HVAC parts, contact Air Assurance of Broken Arrow. Call us to schedule repairs, maintenance or new installations; we've served Broken Arrow since 1985.

Service and Maintenance

New Home HVAC System: Your Checklist

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If you're moving into a new home, it's a good idea to get to know your new appliances and equipment. Turn things on, look at the owner's manual and find out all the dos and don'ts. And nowhere is that more important than with your new home HVAC system.

The HVAC encompasses the heating, air conditioning and ventilation systems, all of which, when working at their peak, are designed to keep you comfortable. Of the several different kinds of systems, the most common is the forced air furnace and air conditioner, which use ductwork to distribute conditioned air. Whatever type of system you have, be sure to schedule a maintenance visit from your HVAC technician to check it for any potential problems. It always pays to fix things before they turn into major repairs or breakdowns. You don't want a breakdown in the midst of the cooling or heating season.

Here are a few tips for caring for your new home HVAC.

Caretaking for Your HVAC System

  1. Change the air filter. This is the most important thing you can do with a forced air system. Change the filter whenever it's dirty to improve airflow and indoor air quality. Learn which type of filter works best with your system.

  2. Maintain good airflow with your outside compressor/condenser. Clear away dirt, debris, leaves, weeds, grass, shrubs and limbs, as well as garden furniture and tools so that your condenser can adequately exhaust the heat that the refrigerant carries from the home.

  3. Find out whatever you can about your HVAC system. How old is it? If your system is 10 years old or older, schedule a visit from the HVAC technician to check it out and see if it's the right capacity for your home so you can plan for the right size replacement when the time comes. Also, have the ductwork assessed to see if it needs repair or if it is adequate to deliver the right volume of air for your home.

To learn more about new home HVAC issues from Air Assurance. We serve Broken Arrow and the surrounding area.

Service and Maintenance

Signing an HVAC Contract? What You Need to Know Before Agreeing With Services

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Are you thinking of signing a contract for HVAC maintenance, but you're leery of what it might contain? Knowing what you should expect in an HVAC contract can make a signing decision easier, and provide peace of mind that you'll receive dependable HVAC care. Here's what your contract should contain:

Covered Components

Your contract should list the specific HVAC components in your home that will be covered by the agreement.

Number of Maintenance Visits

While two visits per year is the norm, the contract should state exactly how many you'll receive.

Tasks Completed During Maintenance

It's important that a contract includes a complete list of the tasks a technician will perform on your cooling and heating systems, so you know they're being thoroughly inspected and serviced during each maintenance visit.

Beneficial Cost Savings

A detailed contract should mention the specific savings signing brings you – like the parts/labor for maintenance visits, or discounts on certain services and repairs.

Specific Exclusions

As well as stating what it includes, a contract should also specify any exclusions – such a extra fees for after hours service calls, additions for travel time, or charges for priority service.

Explanation of Labor Calculations

The contract should explain whether the company charges a set service call fee, an hourly labor rate or a combination of the two.

How Minor Repairs Are Handled

It should be clearly stated whether minor repairs will taken care of during maintenance visits (up to a certain dollar amount), or you'll receive an estimate for any needed repairs and be charged for another service call.

Scheduling Responsibility

You need to know if the contractor sends out reminders about scheduling maintenance, or if you'll need to remember to call and make an appointment.

Renewal Details

Will the maintenance agreement renew automatically, or does it expire and leave you without any preventive care coverage on a specific date?

Payment Terms

The payment terms should be clearly spelled out, along with any discount offerings or flexible payment options.

To find out more about the HVAC contracts we offer Broken Arrow homeowners, contact us at Air Assurance.