safety

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

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.

Safety

Safety Hazards of a Multi-Purpose Furnace Room 

Safety Hazards of a Multi-Purpose Furnace Room

Safety should always be a top priority in every household. Unfortunately, many homeowners make simple mistakes without considering what might happen. A great example is when families create storage in mechanical room areas of the home, primarily where their furnace is located. This results in a fire just waiting to happen.

People Own More Stuff

It's getting a little ridiculous at how much "stuff" exists that you can buy these days. Many households are full of boxes with everything from Christmas ornaments and legal documents to comic books and action figures. Much of what we buy will end up in a box somewhere, which necessitates the need for more storare areas around your home. So, why not use the furnace room, right? Wrong!

The Dangers of Using a Furnace Room for Storage

When you place storage items in an area that houses a source of heat, you're asking for trouble. If the furnace isn't operating properly or your personal belongings are too close to the furnace, a fire could ignite. This is especially true if you're storing items like half-empty paint cans, cleaning supplies, or solvents. Don't laugh - we've probably all put these items in places that weren't entirely safe.

What You Can Do to Prevent a Fire

The good news is that preventing a fire in the room where your furnace is stored is rather simple. Here are some quick rules that you can follow:

  • Remove any flammable materials such as storage boxes, cleaning materials, and other items discussed throughout this article.

  • Equip your home with smoke and carbon monoxide detectors.

  • Have a fire extinguisher readily accessible in the kitchen and near the furnace area.

  • Hire a technician to perform an annual check of the system to keep it operating properly.

  • Never block the entrance or area around the furnace in case firefighters require access.

For more advice on safe storage in mechanical room areas, or if you have any other questions related to home comfort, reach out to the experts 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 other HVAC topics, call us at 918-217-8273.

Air Conditioning

Refrigerant 101: What it is and Why it Matters

Refrigerant 101: What it is and Why it Matters

You don’t need a course in Refrigerant 101 to know whether your air conditioner’s keeping the house cool on a summer day. Without refrigerant circulating in the cooling system, we’d all be a lot less comfortable in hot weather. Here are more basics of Refrigerant 101 and how this remarkable substance handles the household cooling load.

The Cycle Of Coolness

In your central air conditioner, refrigerant passing through the indoor evaporator coil is a frigid vapor that efficiently absorbs household heat from the system airflow. After passing through an insulated line to your outdoor condenser unit, refrigerant is compressed into a hot liquid and rapidly releases absorbed heat into the air as it passes through the condenser coil. The refrigerant flow then circles back to the indoor evaporator, converting to a cold vapor again to extract still more heat from your home.

Low Refrigerant Means A Leak

Air conditioners don’t “use up” refrigerant. Theoretically, as long as the system is intact and functional, it should not require addition of extra refrigerant. If your A/C exhibits signs of a low refrigerant charge—such as poor cooling performance, ice formation on the indoor coil or rapid on/off cycling—there’s usually a leak somewhere in the system. Simply adding more refrigerant without resolving the leak isn't a solution that lasts. Call for professional HVAC service to pinpoint the problem, repair the leak, then restore the refrigerant to the proper level.

Old Refrigerant Is Going Away

R-22 refrigerant, the industry standard in air conditioners for decades, is being removed from the market due to environmental concerns. It will become completely unavailable in 2020. All new A/C units manufactured today utilize R-410A refrigerant, the environmentally-friendly replacement for R-22. As 2020 approaches, expect R-22 to become increasingly less available and more expensive. Ultimately, all R-22 units will have to be replaced with new R-410 units by 2020.

To learn more about the basics of Refrigerant 101, contact the cooling 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.

Air Conditioning

Why Your A/C Freezes in the Summer

Why Your A/C Freezes in the Summer

While ice on a hot summer day is usually a welcome sight, an A/C freeze isn’t. Ice formation on the indoor evaporator coil of your central air conditioner can eventually turn into a solid block, obstructing all airflow through the system. This can seriously damage expensive components such as the compressor. Since the evaporator coil is sealed inside the indoor air handler, you're usually unaware that ice is accumulating. The only noticeable signs may be warm air blowing from the A/C vents, automatic system shutdowns for no apparent reason, or water pooling on the floor around the air handler when the ice melts.Here are some common causes of an A/C freeze and what may be required to resolve them:

Dirty Air Filter

As the air filter clogs, system airflow is strangled. Low airflow through the evaporator coil reduces heat extraction and causes the coil temperature to drop from normal approximately 40 degrees to below freezing. Condensation on the coil then freezes and ice accumulation begins. To prevent low airflow, replace the filter monthly during the cooling season.

Insufficient Refrigerant

When refrigerant pressure in the system drops too low, the refrigerant vapor expands excessively and actually becomes colder. This, in turn, causes the evaporator coil temperature to drop below freezing and ice to form. Low refrigerant charge is usually traceable to a leak in the system that must be pinpointed and repaired by a qualified HVAC service tech. When the refrigerant charge is returned to specs, coil temperature should stay above freezing.

Dirty Coil

Dust and dirt particulates in the system airflow gradually accumulate on the coil. This inhibits heat extraction, allowing the coil temperature to fall below 32 degrees and ice formation to begin. Since the coil is mounted inside the air handler, it’s not accessible for DIY cleaning. Coil cleaning should be performed by a qualified professional. It’s also a standard part of regular annual preventive maintenance offered by your HVAC contractor.

Don't suffer due to an A/C freeze on a hot summer's day. Contact Air Assurance for fast professional service.

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.

Air Conditioning

Benefits of a Portable A/C 

Benefits of a Portable A/C

Although it’s hard to match the convenience and comfort of a central air conditioner, sometimes it makes sense to use a portable A/C in junction with it or independently. Over the last few years, portable air conditioners have become more energy efficient and versatile and they may be just what you need in certain situations.

Supplemental Cooling

If you need supplemental cooling in one particular room or area of your home because it’s consistently hotter than the rest, a portable air conditioner might be the best solution. You can use the A/C as a supplemental cooling unit only when you plan to use the areas that are overly warm.You might have a home office or a hobby room that isn’t consistently used. When the air conditioner isn’t in use, you can disconnect the venting hose and tuck the unit into a closet or roll it into a corner.You may also use the cooling unit to make a guest or family member more comfortable. What’s comfortable for one person may not be for another and rather than cooling the whole house down to accommodate their preferred sleeping temperatures, it makes sense to use a portable unit to cool just their bedroom instead.

Dehumidification

One of the newest features a portable A/C may have is a dehumidify-only switch. Being able to remove the humidity without having to cool the room. Humidity increases the "feels like” temperature and by lowering it, you will feel cooler. You can also use this feature in the winter to dry out a damp, clammy basement.

Appearances

Unlike window or wall air conditioners, portable units have small venting requirements that aren’t necessarily visible from the street. When the unit isn’t in use, simply remove the vent and store the A/C. Wall and window A/C units, on the other hand, have an unsightly appearance both indoors and out.

A portable A/C might help you solve some of your cooling and humidity challenges. For more information, contact Air Assurance, providing trusted 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.

Safety

Tis the Season to Replace Detectors Around Your Home

Tis the Season to Replace Detectors Around Your Home

In wintertime, residential home fires and carbon monoxide poisoning are of particular concern. Colder weather demands we turn on the heat, but our heating sources may be the cause of fires and poisoning. What's more, we introduce additional fire and CO hazards into our homes during holiday time, with candles, electric lights and extra cooking.Sound safety procedures that include well-maintained CO and smoke detectors are your first line of defense against fires and poison. But did you know your monitors need to be replaced now and then?Here's the lowdown on why you should replace detectors.

Detectors Have an Expiration Date

Your smoke and CO detectors, like everything else, have a lifespan. For CO detectors, it's five to seven years. For smoke detectors, it's 10 years.When it's time to replace your detectors, you should make sure you have enough of them to protect your home. Both types of detectors should go on every level of the home. Smoke alarms should go in every sleeping room, in the living room and near the stairway to an upper level. Smoke alarms should be mounted on the ceiling.Mount CO monitors from knee level to 5 feet from the floor, placing one on every level of the home. Place them in the living room/dining room, and in all bedrooms. Place them in any area where there is a fuel-burning appliance.

What Kind of Detectors?

Detectors may run on batteries, be plugged in or be wired into your home. Check batteries by testing the unit. Check wires for fraying or loose connections. It's a good idea to connect all your wired detectors so if one sounds off, they all sound off.When you replace your CO detectors, select replacements with digital readouts so you can tell what level of CO is being leaked. Also, look for one with an electro-chemical sensor. These are more sensitive than other models, and better able to detect CO leaks.

If you're planning to replace detectors in your Broken Arrow home, 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 home safety and other HVAC topics, call us at 918-217-8273.

Safety

Here's One Fire Hazard You May Never Have Thought About

Here's One Fire Hazard You May Never Have Thought About

While many household fire hazards are well-known, could you be missing one that’s less so? The clothes dryer in your laundry room could contain the makings of a damaging and even fatal house fire. In fact, these fires happen over 3,000 times a year in this country. Lint accumulation in a dryer and the dryer vent duct can ignite with catastrophic results. These tiny fibers from fabrics placed in the dryer are highly flammable and burn extremely hot once ignited by an overheated dryer.

Dryers can overheat from two principle causes: a clogged lint filter or an obstructed dryer vent.

  • When the lint filter isn’t regularly cleaned, proper dryer ventilation is reduced and the dryer may overheat. Lint residue accumulating on surfaces inside the dryer ignites and catches drying clothes and other fabrics on fire also.

  • When airflow through the dryer vent duct is insufficient, layers of lint may accumulate inside the duct, further blocking ventilation. Fire that originates in the under-ventilated, over-heated dryer will rapidly expand into lint accumulating in the vent duct and then spread into the house.

To reduce the fire hazard from a clothes dryer, take these steps:

  • Always clean the lint filter before each load goes into the dryer.

  • Check your dryer vent duct. To reduce the accumulation of lint inside, the vent duct should be as short as possible and should be routed with as few bends and joints as possible. Most dryers include specifications for the maximum safe length of the vent. The dryer vent should be metal or aluminum — plastic flex-vent will melt if fire erupts and easily spread flames to the structure of the house.

  • Have the dryer and vent duct inspected annually, including verifying that the dryer high-temperature cut-off switch is functional to reduce fire hazard. Professional duct cleaning services can blow out or vacuum the entire duct without dismantling it to ensure that all lint build-up is removed.

Ask the professionals at Air Assurance for more information about reducing the fire hazard from your clothes dryer.

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

Featured, HVAC system

Be Prepared for Storm Season

Be Prepared for Storm Season

Given our location in tornado alley, it's important to take spring storm preparation seriously, especially for your HVAC system. With some preparation, you might be able avoid disabling damage to your system to avoid loss of use and repair or replacement costs.

Power Surges

Ask your HVAC technician to install a surge protector for your HVAC system. These systems contain many electronic components that can be damaged by electrical spikes in the line voltage. Surge protectors are especially helpful if no one is home to turn the circuit breaker for the HVAC system off during a severe storm. Another option is to use a Wi-Fi thermostat that you can control remotely to turn the system off when severe storms approach.

Secure the Condenser

Your HVAC expert can tie the outdoor condenser to its pad as part of spring storm preparation to prevent it from moving off its pad during a tornado or a severe wind storm. Strong winds may damage the condenser to the point where it needs to be replaced. Unless your system is fairly new, it may need to be replaced with an entirely new system if a condenser replacement isn't available. The condenser and indoor air handler must match each other in terms of capacity, refrigerant used and energy efficiency rating.

Learn About Your System

Before you restore power to your system, learn what kind it is and how it should look. Note the condition of the condenser beforehand and inspect it after the storm passes to verify it's not damaged. If you use a heat pump, ask your contractor about restarting it in the heating function after a prolonged power outage. It may need to be set on its emergency or supplemental heat setting to avoid compressor damage.

The time you take to secure your HVAC system is an important step in spring storm preparation to maintain your comfort and prevent an expensive repair or replacement. To learn more, contact Air Assurance, providing top-notch 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). Credit/Copyright Attribution: “Ivelin Radkov/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”