A-Avis Home Services Plumbing, Heating & Air Conditioning, Inc. Blog : Archive for October, 2014

2 Ways to Avoid Heating Repairs

Friday, October 31st, 2014

No one likes to deal with heating repairs. It’s a pain to have your heating system break down, call the HVAC technician, wait for them to examine your heater, and then have to pay potentially hundreds of dollars to replace whatever part decided to give out. The worst part is that most of these repair issues are completely preventable. Here are the two best ways to ensure that you avoid major heating repairs.

Fall Maintenance

It is recommended by pretty much everyone in the HVAC field that you have your heating system examined at least once a year. As the best time to have any appliance checked is right before you plan on using it a lot, the best time to have your heater checked is during the fall season. This both catches any minor problems that may be developing in your heating system, and ensures that it is operating at its best during the winter.

Problems like a cracked heat exchanger almost never happen on their own. They are the result of something else going wrong in your system which contributed to further damage. In the case of these less-noticeable-but-more-insidious issues, you may not get any sort of warning before they cause real problems. Therefore, it is safest to conduct annual maintenance in the interest of being safe and thorough.

Know the Signs

However, if you do happen to have indications of a problem between maintenance appointments, it pays to know the signs. Short-cycling is a common one. This is characterized by your heating system rapidly and continuously turning on and off. Usually this is caused by your system overheating, tripping a safety measure that causes it to turn off prematurely. It then restarts and overheats again, reactivating the safety measure and perpetuating the cycle.

Other signs to watch out for include uneven heating, no heat coming from the vents, the heater staying on indefinitely, and odd noises during operation or on startup. These signs all indicate that something may need immediate attention in your heating system. If you notice any of these, don’t delay. Call an HVAC technician, just to be sure.

If you are experiencing problems with your heating system, or you haven’t had your annual maintenance yet, call Avis Plumbing, Heating and Air. Our heating professionals cover all of Riverside, CA.

 

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Why Isn’t My Pilot Light Staying Lit?

Friday, October 24th, 2014

Everyone’s pilot light goes out every once in a while. It’s annoying, but pretty much unavoidable. This isn’t really that much of a problem, as any HVAC technician can relight it for you pretty fast. If your pilot light is stubbornly refusing to stay lit, however, it’s an indication of something a bit more serious. Read on for a list of possible reasons why your pilot light won’t stay lit.

Bad Thermocouple

The thermocouple is a sensor that controls the flow of gas to the pilot light. When it senses the heat from the pilot light, the thermocouple opens the gas line to keep it lit. When the pilot light goes out, the thermocouple senses this and shuts the gas line. This is a safety feature, designed to prevent your home from filling up with gas if the pilot light goes out. A bad thermocouple, however, is often unable to sense the heat from the pilot light. This leads it to think that the pilot light is out when it really isn’t, and close the gas line, stifling the flame. This is the most common reason that pilot lights refuse to stay lit. The thermocouple keeps smothering the flame because it can’t detect it anymore.

Unlike a faulty thermocouple, these last two issues can be fixed without having to replace the part. It’s possible that the rod serving as the thermocouple’s sensor is bent away from the flame. This results in the same effect as a bad sensor, smothering the pilot light because it can’t detect the heat from the flame. The best case scenario is that the thermocouple sensor is simply dirty. If the pilot light isn’t burning as clean as it should be, the thermocouple can become coated in soot. This will insulate it from the heat of the pilot light.

If your pilot light seems to be having trouble staying lit, call Avis Plumbing, Heating and Air. Our HVAC experts offer heating service to all of Riverside, CA.

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How Can a New Thermostat Improve My Heating?

Friday, October 17th, 2014

Energy efficiency and comfort are always priorities when it comes to heating your home, and there is an easy but often overlooked way to achieve both this winter: upgrade your thermostat. Thermostats are the control center for your heating system: you use your thermostat to set the temperature, which controls the cycling of your heating. If you have an updated thermostat, you can do a great job with controlling your system; if you have an older, less capable thermostat, you may lose out on saving some money on your heating. With professional installation from an Avis Plumbing, Heating and Air technician, you can enjoy the benefits of an upgraded thermostat with a single appointment, so call us today!

Types of Thermostats

There are 3 main types of thermostats, and each can help improve energy efficiency: 

  • Digital
  • Programmable
  • Smart

How Each Type Can Help Improve Heating

  • Digital – unlike dial or slide thermostats, digital thermostats allow for precision when setting the temperature. Considering each degree higher can equal up to 3% of your monthly energy bill, precision can be key toward becoming more energy efficient.
  • Programmable – programmable thermostats allow you to program as far as 7 days out. You can tailor your program to accommodate for times when no one is home, weekends and nighttime. Being able to program your heating can help you reduce the amount of heating you use, which is good for energy conservation and your system.
  • Smart – with a smart thermostat, you can access your home’s heating and cooling system using a simple app on any smart device; as long as you have access to the internet, you can access your system. Not only can you monitor and program your thermostat from anywhere, you can also track your monthly energy usage to see where improvements can be made.

An upgraded thermostat can be the perfect tool to help you improve your heating system. Call Avis Plumbing, Heating and Air today and schedule heating service in Riverside, CA with one of our HVAC specialists.

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Signs of an Oversized Furnace

Friday, October 10th, 2014

There are a lot of incorrect ideas floating around about furnaces. One of those ideas is that “one size fits all” when it comes to selecting a furnace. People tend to install large furnaces in their homes because they believe that a larger furnace will heat their home more efficiently. This is only partially true, and invariably ends up causing more harm than good when the cost vs benefit is calculated. Have a look at the symptoms below to see if you might be using an oversized furnace.

Short-Cycling

This is one of the most common symptoms of an oversized furnace. Short-cycling is when your furnace won’t stop turning on and off. The reason it happens is because a larger furnace generates quite a bit more heat when it turns on. If the rest of your system is not designed to handle that level of heat, it perceives the furnace as overheating and shuts it down for safety reasons. Once the furnace has cooled off, the thermostat turns it on again and the cycle continues indefinitely. This is irritating, inefficient, and ultimately shortens the life of your heating system by increasing wear and tear. It can also cost you quite a bit extra in higher heating bills. If you suspect this is occurring, shut your heating system down and call a professional.

Uncomfortable Temperature

An oversized furnace has a greater heat output, and it can heat a house far more quickly than a properly sized unit. Unfortunately, this output tends to combine with short-cycling to produce rapid and drastic fluctuations in room temperature. Some rooms may warm up much faster than others, making living space quite uncomfortable. If you experience drastic differences in temperature between the rooms of your house while the furnace is on, you may have an oversized heater.

Though it may seem better to have a larger furnace for the winter months, an oversized furnace causes a great many problems. In the end, it is far more beneficial to make sure that your furnace is properly sized to meet your heating needs. If you think you may have an oversized furnace, call Avis Plumbing, Heating and Air. We offer heating services throughout the entire Riverside, CA area.

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Does My Heat Pump Need Maintenance Before Winter?

Friday, October 3rd, 2014

Do you like to wake up in a cold house on a winter day? How about coming home to a cold home after a long day at work? One of the top causes of winter breakdown is lack of maintenance. Maintenance isn’t a quick check of your system – it is an in-depth appointment, during which your system is thoroughly inspected. But this is just one reason to consider scheduling heating maintenance. There are several other important benefits to scheduling maintenance for your heat pump, as we’ll discuss below. Hiring professionals is critical to achieving the benefits of maintenance, so call the people you can trust: Avis Plumbing, Heating and Air.

What Happens During a Heat Pump Maintenance Appointment?

Here is a quick overview of what will a technician will do during a maintenance appointment for your heat pump:

  • Check refrigerant levels
  • Check electrical components, including wiring, circuit board and capacitors
  • Test the system’s performance
  • Cleaning of components, including evaporator coils
  • Inspection and cleaning of condensate array

What Are the Benefits of Fall Maintenance?

Because your heat pump offers both heating and cooling, it runs all year-round. This much operation provides more opportunity for wear-and-tear. Preparing your heat pump for the winter and summer seasons can help in the following ways:

  • Prevent repair – the thorough inspection your system undergoes allows the technician to detect any existing or developing problems. This allows you to get ahead of repairs for the coming season.
  • Extend life of system – keeping your heat pump in good operation means the system does not run while stressed. This can help reduce premature aging.
  • Improve energy efficiency – when your system gets bogged down with dirt and dust, and components have become worn from use, the system can’t operate at its normal efficiency level. This can cause higher energy bills for you. During maintenance, components are cleaned, adjusted and lubricated as needed, which helps them operate optimally.

Your heat pump does a lot of work, and going into the winter season without scheduling maintenance could lead to problems. Do yourself and your heating a good turn and schedule fall heating maintenance in Riverside, CA with an expert from Avis Plumbing, Heating and Air today!

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