maintenance

Featured, HVAC system

What To Do Before Turning on Your Heater

What To Do Before Turning on Your Heater

Turning on your heater is an annual event marking the start of a new season. With the hot summer behind, you’re looking forward to staying comfortable in cold weather to come. Making sure a few start-up essentials are done first can help ensure a smooth transition into the heating season. Here are some suggestions for turning on your heater in an organized procedure to make sure all parts of the system are working together.

Inspect the vent duct

Verify that the furnace connection to the vent duct is secure and the duct is intact. Go outside and look up at the vent cap where the vent duct terminates on the roof. Verify that the cap is in place and look for any signs of bird’s nests, leaves or other obstructions.

Ensure adequate clearance

Make sure no items are placed within three feet of the furnace on all sides. Flammable liquids, paints, solvents, etc, should never be stored in the same room as the furnace at all.

Install a new filter

Don’t start the heating season with a dirty filter left over from the cooling season. From now on, continue to change the furnace filter at least every other month.

Check the vents

Check supply vents in each room to verify that they're fully open. Check return vents (or there central return if there’s only one) and make sure they’re not obstructed by furniture, drapes or other objects.

Start the furnace

Follow manufacturer’s instructions for starting up the furnace.

Feel for airflow

Check for warm airflow at every supply vent. If you don’t feel warmth from one or more vents, shut down the furnace and call for professional HVAC service.

Schedule an annual tune-up

Get professional preventive maintenance performed by a qualified HVAC technician. The service includes manufacturer-recommended maintenance procedures to ensure maximum furnace efficiency, lowest cost and reduced wear and tear. It also includes an up-close inspection of furnace components to detect and resolve any incipient problems now, before they become a major issue later.

For qualified service when it's time for turning on your heater, contact 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.

Featured

Water Heater Maintenance Can Affect Your HVAC

Water Heater Maintenance Can Affect Your HVAC

If you have a forced-air central HVAC system and a gas water heater like many area homes, and you're looking for ways to save energy, you need to understand that there's a maintenance correlation between the two. What this means is when you're taking steps to boost the efficiency of your HVAC, you'll waste potential savings if you ignore water heater maintenance.

Why Water Heater Maintenance is Important

When it comes to home comfort, your HVAC system and water heater are two necessities you rely on daily. They're also the two biggest energy users in most households. Just as twice-yearly maintenance is vital to keep your HVAC operating efficiently, it's essential for your water heater too.Having your water heater serviced regularly by an experienced professional not only helps with efficiency, but it also keeps the appliance running reliably and can prolong its lifespan too. Here are some key maintenance tasks that a pro will tackle:

  • Testing the T&P valve. This valve needs to be fully functional so excess pressure/hot water can exit the tank. If it's seized up, it should be replaced to prevent a dangerous rupture or explosion.

  • Checking/replacing the anode rod. This metal rod is in place to attract corrosion so it doesn't eat away at the tank material. Eventually, the rod will disintegrate, so it should be checked routinely and replaced as needed.

  • Flushing sediment from the tank. Some minerals present in water form into sediment particles during the heating process, then settle to the tank bottom. Draining, flushing and refilling the tank every year is necessary to clear out sediment so it doesn't affect the unit's energy efficiency, or cause it to fail prematurely.

  • Inspecting the tank for corrosion. If your plumber finds considerable rust development along the tank's seams and at various connections, it can be a sign that your water heater might start leaking or even rupture unexpectedly. If the appliance is badly rusted, having a new water heater installed will probably be recommended.

To schedule HVAC system or water heater maintenance in your Broken Arrow home, contact us at Air Assurance 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). For more information about other HVAC topics, call us at 918-217-8273.

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”

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”

Preventative Maintenance

Ways to Protect Your Home Until Next Winter

Ways to Protect Your Home Until Next Winter

While it may seem a little odd to be worrying about your furnace and heating system during months when you don't typically need them, the truth is that it's necessary. To get you started, here are a few tips that will help you protect your home until next winter:

Schedule Maintenance

If you've ever scheduled maintenance on your heating system after winter had begun, you already know that those days of waiting due to backed-up service contractors can be horrible. This is why your annual maintenance should be done during the warmer months. Even if you have to wait a few days, you won't be freezing during that time.

Check and Replace Your Air Filter

It's easy to forget about your furnace's air filter once the heating season has ended. This is the best time for you to take a look at the filter and see if it's ready to be replaced. This will ensure that once winter arrives, your furnace's efficiency will already be ready to provide you with exceptional service.

Upgrade Your Furnace

If you walk into a home appliance store during the late spring or summer and tell them you're looking for a new furnace, you're probably going to get a funny look or two, but that's okay. Since you're not in any hurry to warm up your home with a new system, you can take your time and find the best deal possible. If you need help in selecting the best one for you, seek the assistance of a professional.

Maintain Your Carbon Monoxide Detector

When your furnace is up and running in the winter, you must be sure that your home is protected from possible carbon monoxide leaks. This can be done by changing out the batteries of your current detector or installing a new model, if needed.

If you'd like more expert advice on ways to protect your home, or if you have any other home comfort concerns, 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 areas 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 maintenance and other HVAC topics, call us at 918-217-8273. Credit/Copyright Attribution: “ArtsyBee/Pixabay”

Preventative Maintenance

Why it Pays to Invest in Preventive Maintenance

Why it Pays to Invest in Preventive Maintenance

Everyone wants to save money, and when it comes to your HVAC systems, the more you save the better. One way in which you can save money, frustration and even wear and tear on your system is with preventive maintenance. Here are three reasons why investing in maintenance for your system is a wise choice.

Help Your Equipment Last Longer

If there's one thing you can do to ensure your air conditioner or furnace lasts as long as possible, it's preventive maintenance. Regular maintenance reduces stress and wear and tear on your unit, and helps ensure all of the parts stay in good working order. By investing in preventive maintenance, you can ensure you get the longest possible life out of your system.

Help Keep More Money in Your Pocket

Preventive maintenance saves you money in two ways. First, it lowers your energy bills by keeping your systems running at their most efficient levels. Maintenance will remove obstructions, oil moving parts and check all system components for signs of wear. By taking care of these small problems, the maintenance check can help improve the system's overall efficiency.In addition, regular maintenance helps save money by lowering your repair costs. At your annual maintenance check, your HVAC technician will catch small problems that you can address before they grow. This prevents the risk of a bigger, more costly breakdown later.

Help Protect You From System Failure

Finally, investing in maintenance will help protect you from system breakdown. Breakdowns are almost always at the least convenient time, and when you know your system's well maintained, you don't have to worry about it going out in the middle of the hottest or coldest day of the year.

Invest in Preventive Maintenance Now!

The bet time to have your maintenance done is in the spring before the cooling season and in the winter before the heating season.

If you are due for a maintenance check for your Broken Arrow home, the Air Assurance team is here to help. Contact Air Assurance to schedule a maintenance check 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). For more information about preventative maintenance and other HVAC topics, call us at 918-217-8273. Credit/Copyright Attribution: “PeteLinforth/Pixabay”

Heating

Face It — Your Heating System is Ready for an Upgrade

Face It — Your Heating System is Ready for an Upgrade

Many people move into homes and only have a vague idea of the age of the heating system that comes with the home. Years later, it's even harder to know how long that heating equipment has been chugging away. Or perhaps you bought the furnace or heat pump yourself some years ago.Whatever the case, it's important to recognize signs that your heating system is ready for replacement. Following are some red flags to watch out for:

The age of the system

Furnaces last an average of 15-20 years, though it can be more or less depending on maintenance and usage. For example, a furnace operating in a cold-weather climate that seldom gets professional maintenance probably will go kaput at the short end of the average service life. With heat pumps, the average service life typically runs from 12-15 years. When your heating system gets close to the end of its expected service life, start watching for signs that a replacement is warranted.

The frequency of repairs

Obviously, if your older furnace or heat pump is breaking down or malfunctioning frequently – requiring serious repairs more than once a year – consider replacement. Once some components start to go bad, other components soon will begin following suit.

Loss of efficiency and/or comfort

If your energy bills are rising and comfort decreasing, and you can't find any other obvious reason for those negative developments, it could mean your old heating equipment is going bad.

Obvious corrosion or deterioration

Sometimes you can see for yourself that aging equipment is near its end. Corrosion or rust on a furnace heat exchanger may signal cracks, which can be hazardous to your family.The good news when it comes to a heating system upgrade is that modern HVAC equipment is much more energy efficient than equipment produced 15-20 years ago. With a new system, you can begin saving on energy bills immediately, while enjoying enhanced whole-house comfort.

For help deciding whether you need to repair or replace the aging furnace or heat pump in 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). For more information about heating system upgrades and other HVAC topics, call us at 918-217-8273. Credit/Copyright Attribution: “geralt/Pixabay”

Featured, Preventative Maintenance

Winter Vacation: Maintenance Checklist

Winter Vacation: Maintenance Checklist

Whether you’re going to visit family for the holidays or planning on heading to a warmer place to get a break from the cold, it’s important to make sure your HVAC system is prepared. Your heating system should continue running when you’re gone to lower the risk of having your pipes freeze and burst. Ensuring that it’s in good condition is essential in order for it to run properly and safely. Use the following vacation maintenance tips to help you get your HVAC system ready.

Adjust the Thermostat

Turn your thermostat down at least a few degrees before leaving for vacation. You’ll save a bit of money on heating costs while also making sure your home doesn’t get too cold when you’re gone.

Open Air Vents

You might be tempted to close the air vents in certain area in order to save money, but this makes your HVAC system heat your home less efficiently. Go around your home and open every air vent before heading out the door for your trip.

Check the Air Filter

Your HVAC system’s air filter traps pollutants, which helps it run more efficiently and improves your home’s indoor air quality. If your air filter looks dusty or dirty, replace it with a new one before you leave.

Clean Your HVAC System

Your HVAC system should be free of debris, dust and dirt, so it can function properly. When parts of your system are dirty, it can end up breaking down and needing repairs. Your heating system will also have a harder time running efficiently when it has debris inside. Check the burners, pilot and other parts of your HVAC system for debris, and clean them as needed.

Schedule Maintenance

For peace of mind, having a technician come by to perform vacation maintenance on your heating system. A technician can do a thoroughly cleaning and check for problems that might occur and take steps to prevent them from happening when you’re gone.If you need HVAC maintenance or repairs done, please contact Air Assurance. We provide reliable 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 maintenance and other HVAC topics, call us at 918-217-8273. Credit/Copyright Attribution: “clker-free-vector-images/Pixabay”

Energy Savings, Featured

Energy Saving Tips for Summer

Energy Saving Tips for Summer

After a fleeting spring, another energy-guzzling season is here: Summer, when air-conditioning costs threaten to break the bank. However, don't despair. There are many energy saving tips available for homes, and most of them are relatively simple to put into effect.Summer Energy Saving Tips

  • Program for savings. There's no reason why your A/C has to be cooling your home at a comfortable temperature 24/7. If you don't already have one, install a programmable thermostat, then set it to higher temperatures (low to mid-80s) for times when you're at work or away from home. Program the temperature to return to a cool and comfortable level shortly before you expect to arrive home.

  • Use ceiling fans. A ceiling fan can make the temperature in a room seem like it's several degrees lower than it actually is, as long as the fan is blowing air at people in the room. You can turn up the thermostat several degrees and save energy, while not sacrificing comfort. Just remember to turn off the fan when the room is empty. The fan's cooling effect is useless if nobody's around to feel it.

  • Open the windows. When the outside air isn't too hot or moist, open windows and doors and let natural ventilation cool off your home. Open them at nighttime, then seal the house in the mid-morning before it gets hot. That cool morning air should allow you to delay turning on the A/C a few hours.

  • Weatherize the house. Seal air leaks in the home's envelope, using weatherstripping, caulk or spray foam depending on the size and type of leak. Make sure the attic is well insulated to keep heated air from gravitating downward into your living spaces.

  • Schedule preventive maintenance. Before summer really heats up, schedule an A/C maintenance visit. This will ensure that your cooling system is ready to perform efficiently and effectively all summer long. Perform air-filter maintenance yourself at least monthly during the summer.

For more energy saving tips for this summer, please contact us at Air Assurance, providing quality HVAC services in 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). Credit/Copyright Attribution: “Ondrej Supitar/StockSnap”

Featured, HVAC system

Is Your HVAC System Ready to Spring Forward?

Is Your HVAC System Ready to Spring Forward?

With Daylight Saving Time coming up, now is an ideal time to spring forward when it comes to your Broken Arrow home’s HVAC system. Put the following tasks on your list of things to do to prepare for spring.

  • Check smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors — Make sure these devices are working, and put a new set of batteries in them. Dust them off to ensure that they are able to work properly.

  • Change HVAC filters — The filters in your HVAC system can collect a lot of dust and other debris during winter. Replace them with new ones in order to protect the indoor air quality in your home by cutting down on the amount of dust and other pollutants.

  • Test your air conditioner — If you have a central air conditioning unit, test it out before hotter weather arrives. This helps ensure that your system will work efficiently to cool your home this coming summer.

  • Schedule an HVAC inspection — Have a technician come to your Broken Arrow home to inspect your heating and cooling equipment and perform preventive HVAC maintenance. Your technician can make sure that your furnace is ready for the off season and your air conditioner is ready for the summer months.

  • Remove debris around outdoor units — Clear away piles of leaves and any vegetation that could obstruct your outdoor unit, such as weeds and shrubs. This type of debris can prevent your HVAC system’s compressor from working properly, leading to costly repairs.

  • Seal ductwork cracks — Check the ductwork in your home for cracks or holes that could make it harder for your HVAC system to cool your home efficiently. Seal up these holes or cracks for proper ventilation in your home.

If you're ready to spring forward with HVAC maintenance, please contact Air Assurance today. We provide HVAC repair and maintenance services to homeowners in 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: “Valentyn Volkov/Shutterstock”

Featured, Preventative Maintenance

What Should You Do to Prepare Your Air Conditioner for Fall?

What Should You Do to Prepare Your Air Conditioner for Fall?

Fall is a time when you are likely ready to stop thinking about your air conditioner and start thinking about pumpkin spice drinks and jackets.Keeping your air conditioner well maintained in the fall will keep you well prepared for the coming summer, and also help you avoid costly repair bills if something goes wrong over the winter.

Fall Maintenance Tips for Cooling Systems

While your air conditioner will run less often in the fall—if you run it at all—it still needs to be maintained properly. Here are some steps to take to ensure it continues to provide years of excellent service:

  • Keep the outdoor unit free of debris, such as fallen leaves. Check occasionally to see if any new leaves are blocking the outdoor unit.

  • Clean the unit well, including the coils, in the fall.

  • Replace the old air filter for a new one.

  • Ensure that the unit is covered with a waterproof material before winter.

  • Cover the outdoor unit when you are done using it for the season, but remember to remove the cover if you need to use it again.

Taking a little bit of time to address these maintenance tasks will help protect your system until you are ready to use it again, all while avoiding common problems with air conditioning systems.

Consider Scheduling a Fall Maintenance Check

In addition to these tips, consider scheduling a fall check of your entire HVAC system. A fall HVAC inspection will ensure your cooling system is properly prepared for winter, and also check to ensure that your heating system is ready for cooler weather.If you have further questions about preparing your air conditioning system for fall, contact the HVAC professionals at Air Assurance—your source for heating, cooling, and home comfort needs in Broken Arrow, Oklahoma.

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: “Carlos Amarillo/Shutterstock”

Preventative Maintenance

Essential Spring Maintenance Tips for Your Broken Arrow Home

Essential Spring Maintenance Tips for Your Broken Arrow Hom

With spring almost here, it's time to perform some standard maintenance procedures around your home again. Preventative maintenance isn't something you want to skip, as taking a few proactive steps can result in energy savings and a more comfortable and attractive home. Here are a few spring maintenance tips to get you started:

Spring MaintenanceCheck your roof and gutters.

During the winter months, it's not uncommon for your roof and rain gutters to take a beating. Visually inspect your roof for lost or damaged shingles, and eyeball your gutters for damage. While you can make some repairs yourself, you're probably better off contacting a professional. Whatever you do, you'll want to prevent water from leaking into your walls and foundation.

Change your HVAC filter.

With the heating season soon coming to a close, now's a good time to inspect your forced-air system's air filter. A clogged filter can restrict system airflow and allow dirt and dust to get into sensitive machinery and coils, leading to an overworked A/C or heat pump, higher energy bills and eventual equipment breakdowns. Inspect your filter monthly and change it when it looks dirty.

Vacuum refrigerator coils.

This is an easy job that will improve refrigerator performance. Don't forget to clean debris away from your A/C's outside compressor/condenser. Accumulated leaves, sticks and other debris can restrict essential airflow.

Schedule a spring maintenance tune-up for your air conditioning system.

Your A/C has been sitting dormant since last fall and should be cleaned, lubricated and adjusted for the new season. A professional technician can complete these tasks by checking your refrigerant level, adjusting airflow, checking all wiring connections and cleaning both inside and outside coils, among other things.

We've barely scratched the surface with these spring maintenance tips. For more information, or to schedule a spring tune-up for your Broken Arrow or Tulsa home's HVAC system, please contact Air Assurance 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: “Mert-Toker/Shutterstock”

Preventative Maintenance

Refrigerant Huffing: What It Is, And Why You Need To Know About It

Refrigerant Huffing: What It Is, And Why You Need To Know About It

Trends around the United States suggest that air conditioning and refrigeration units are in more danger than ever from thieves. Once targeted for the valuable metal such as copper, A/C units are increasingly being hit by drug users in search of refrigerant. Thieves inhale the refrigerant for a quick and intense high. This practice, known as refrigerant huffing, is both dangerous to the health of the user and expensive to the owner of the HVAC system.Refrigerant huffing is becoming more and more common among teenagers. Thieves extract refrigerant from air conditioning and refrigeration systems by opening the service valve where other refrigerant would normally be added during maintenance. They capture the refrigerant in a plastic bag or other container, then quickly inhale it before it can be lost. The high is very strong but does not last long, which means repeated thefts are likely.Some refrigerants are extremely dangerous substances controlled by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. The effects of refrigerant huffing include the high the user is seeking, but also other harmful effects such as skin burns, headaches, dizziness and nausea. In the long term, exposure to refrigerant can cause lung damage, vision loss, coronary problems and cancer. In severe cases, refrigerant huffing can kill instantly.Air conditioner owners who are victims of refrigerant theft will experience possible damage to their HVAC equipment, especially the service valve. Lowered levels of refrigerant in the air conditioner will cause reduced cooling and will make the unit work harder, placing additional wear and tear on the system.Refrigerant thefts can be reduced by installing a specially designed locking cap on the service valve. These caps, constructed of very tough metal, prevent attempts to open the valve. If someone tries to remove the cap, it simply spins in place. A specialized key is required to remove the cap.Air Assurance has served the HVAC needs of customers in the Tulsa and the Broken Arrow areas for more than 30 years. Contact us for more information on air conditioner safety and for help preventing refrigerant thefts from your cooling or refrigeration systems.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

Air Conditioning, Central, Energy Evaluations, IAQ – Indoor Air Quality, Planned Maintenance, Room, Service & Maintenance

Have Your Air-Conditioning System Checked Out Now To Keep It Humming All Summer Long

Things are beginning to heat up here in Broken Arrow, reminding us that summer will be here before we know it. Before the spring weather gives way to those hot, sweaty dog days, make it a priority to have your air conditioning system checked out. It’ll be comforting to know that you are doing your best to prevent a breakdown on one of those stifling days when you need cool air the most.It’s also a great way to keep a handle on your summer electricity bills, since air conditioners that are running efficiently consume less energy. With regular maintenance, a good A/C system can last a long time, so make sure that you’re getting the most mileage possible out of yours.One simple thing that you can do yourself to reduce your energy costs is to keep your air conditioning unit clean (wash from the inside out). Make sure that the air filter and vents on the inside and outside are dirt- and dust-free; remove any debris and make sure the vents are clear of anything that could obstruct them.A service technician will be able to dig deeper by:

  • Checking the refrigerant, air flow and thermostat
  • Making sure that the ducts are all properly sealed
  • Tightening connections as necessary
  • Checking the motors for wear and tear and lubricating them

He or she should also be able to diagnose and resolve other issues your air conditioning system may be experiencing, such as over-frequent cycling on and off, ice buildup, odors or any problems with the breakers. To make sure you’re getting the best advice possible, find someone who is a certified NATE technician (North American Technician Excellence).Don’t take any chances with your comfort or energy bills this summer. Have the expert NATE-certified technicians at Air Assurance service your air conditioning system now, and enjoy smooth sailing all summer long. To ask questions or to get expert advice on this or other HVAC issues, please visit our website.Our goal is to help educate our customers about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems).  For more information, click here to download our free Home Comfort Resource guide. Air Assurance services Tulsa, Broken Arrow and the surrounding areas. To get started, check out our website or see our current promotions.