Professional Heating & Air Blog : Archive for March, 2014

Air Conditioning Issues to Treat Before Summer

Monday, March 31st, 2014

We are starting to emerge into full spring weather now, with the temperatures climbing up from the 50s and into the 70s. Summer is around the corner, and before you know it you’ll have your air conditioner humming away and keeping you cool.

Or will you…? What if your air conditioning isn’t fortified for the big summer heat? If your air conditioning was struggling or showing signs of malfunctions the last time it was running, then now is the time to attend to any repair needs to make sure that your AC won’t break down in summer and leave you sweating on a hot day, waiting for emergency repairs. Do a test run on your system now and see if anything seems wrong. If something feels amiss, get a jump on repairs right away.

For fast and effective air conditioning repair service in Metairie, LA, call A–Professional Heating and Air Conditioning.

Here are some issues you should contact us about:

  • Strange clicking sounds from the cabinet: Clicking noises usually indicate trouble with the start capacitor, the device that sends an electric charge to the motors to catalyze them. This clicking sound means the AC is “hard starting” and draining more power as it comes on. Have a technician replace the failing capacitor before it fizzles completely.
  • Water leaking: During the time the air conditioner was on vacation, the condensate drain could have become plugged with mold or other obstructions. When the condensate drain is blocked, it will quickly cause the condensate pan to overflow as water drips from the condenser coils. Call for repairs to clear and then reconnect the drain line.
  • Icing on the indoor coils: If you notice any frost developing along the indoor coils, it isn’t just an effect of cool air. It can mean that the air conditioner has lost refrigerant or the coils are excessively dirty. Repair technicians can track down and seal the leak, then recharge the refrigerant, or remove the coil to clean it. (Do not scrape off the ice; this will do no good.)

Have maintenance done as well

Spring is when you should schedule your yearly maintenance visit from an HVAC professional to make sure your air conditioner is running in top condition. This is the best way to catch repair issues before they grow more serious. Your technician will identify what needs to be done and can sometimes perform the repairs on the spot.

A–Professional Heating and Air Conditioning has 24-hour emergency service available when you need air conditioning repair in Metairie, LA. Look into our maintenance program as well to help armor your AC for the summer.

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How to Prepare Your Heater for Summer

Monday, March 24th, 2014

We haven’t reached the full bloom of warm weather yet in Kenner, but we’ll arrive there soon. Air conditioners will switch on, and heaters switch off, and we can expect the situation to stay the same until the fall. But that doesn’t mean you can ignore your heater entirely as the cooler season winds down. You have a prime opportunity now to prepare your heater for its summer vacation so it will roar back to life when you need it in the fall and winter.

Here are some tips for what you can do during this time of the year to prep your heating system for summer. Our technicians at A–Professional Heating and Air Conditioning can assist you with your heating in Kenner, LA whenever you need us… we’re on call with 24-hour emergency service.

Some heating preparations for summer

  • Catch up on maintenance: Did you have regular maintenance done on your heater last fall before the winter weather started? Don’t fret if you forgot or put it off; at least your heater made it through the winter. But you can’t trust it to keep going without a check-up, so schedule maintenance now if you haven’t done it in over a year. It’s never too late for an inspection and tune-up.
  • Get to any repair issues now: It’s a big mistake to let a repair need in a heater slide because the weather is about to get warmer. That current small malfunction, like a clicking from the furnace cabinet or low airflow from the vents, might have turned into a huge malfunction—or even a breakdown—when you switch the heater back on in late fall. Have repairs taken care of now, while HVAC technicians still have easy appointment openings.
  • Schedule duct cleaning: If your forced-air heating system chugged away all winter, it has probably drawn a large amount of dust into its ductwork. Because your air conditioner will use these same vents, you don’t want to give it any difficulty. Schedule duct cleaning to make sure your heater and air conditioner are ready to handle the airflow, and so you’ll receive superior indoor air quality.

Keep in mind that you might need to turn your heater on at some point during the summer, such as on rainy nights. It’s always a good idea to have your heating system ready to help you. Keep it in the best shape possible with spring preparations. Call A–Professional Heating and Air Conditioning for further help with your Kenner, LA heating system service needs.

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How Practical Are Heat Pumps for Heating in Metairie?

Thursday, March 13th, 2014

For the warm summers and mild winters of Metairie, LA, a heat pump offers a number of attractive features. Heat pumps combine the power of an air conditioner and heater in one unit, which makes them automatically beneficial as two-in-one systems. However, heat pumps are not always the best choice for a particular region (unless installed as a hybrid with a back-up heater), and even in regions where they are practical, they aren’t always the best choice for an individual home.

We’ll take a more detailed look at heat pump operation to see how practical they are for Metairie, LA heating and if your home specifically will benefit from their advantages. For more information, as well as to schedule an appointment to discuss heat pump installation, contact A–Professional Heating and Air Conditioning today.

Heat pumps: How they work, what they can do for you

A heat pump uses the same operating principle as an air conditioner: refrigerant circulates through the unit, going through a cycle of evaporation and condensation to move heat from one location and puts it in another. The heat pump adds the ability to switch the direction the refrigerant flows, using a reversing valve. This means that the heat pump can both remove heat from the indoors and put it outdoors (air conditioning) and remove heat from the outdoors and put it indoors (heating).

If you’re immediate thought is, “How does a heat pump extract heat from the cold outdoors to warm up a home during the winter?”, then you’ve latched onto one of the potential drawbacks of a heat pump. In general, a heat pump works less effectively in heating mode than in cooling mode. However, heat pumps only experience difficulties with efficiency when the outdoor temperature drops below freezing. Otherwise, there is a sufficient amount of heat even in cool weather to provide enough warmth for the indoors. In a place like Metairie, which rarely experiences extreme cold, the warmth from a heat pump is enough to keep most homes warm.

Heat pumps will save you money on heating compared to a furnace. Heat pumps only use a small amount of electricity to run their mechanical components to move heat from outdoors to indoors. Furnaces, on the other hand, must expend a large amount of fuel to create heat. Switching from a furnace to a heat pump in an area without extreme colds can result in savings of up to 30% off heating bills each year.

Is a heat pump right for your home?

You will need to have heat pump installers to help you answer this question. The insulation of your home, its size, access to power, and other factors will determine how efficiently a heat pump will work for your cooling and heating in Metairie, LA. Call up A–Professional Heating and Air Conditioning to get started: we’ll help you decide if you’ll benefit from a heat pump, and provide you a quality installation.

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Signs That You Need to Replace Your Furnace This Off-Season

Monday, March 3rd, 2014

Question: When is the optimal time to replace a furnace?

Answer: Whenever you least need to use your furnace.

If you want to plan ahead for installing a new furnace (instead of waiting for your current one to break down—never a beneficial strategy), then the best time to take care of it during the coming spring and summer, when heating in Hammond, LA is not a priority. However, proper planning also requires knowing that you need to plan. Here are some of the warning signs you may encounter during the closing days of winter that you should schedule pre-emptive furnace replacement.

Turn to A–Professional Heating and Air Conditioning when you want to set up installation for your new furnace. We can help you pick and size the new unit, and bring the professional skill necessary to install it right.

Signs the time has arrived to retire your furnace

  • Steady rise in heating bills: As a furnace wears down with age, it will drain more power to perform its regular work load. If you have noticed a steady rise in your heating bills that you can’t trace to a specific malfunction, then you may have a furnace too old to do its job efficiently. Check on the manufacturer’s expected lifespan: if you furnace is approaching it, or even gone over it, than you should schedule a replacement.
  • Constant loud operation: Strange noises from a furnace cabinet usually signal repair needs. But if these noises become the rule rather than the exception, the furnace has deteriorated too far for any targeted repairs to restore it to its former working condition. Take special caution with gas furnaces, since this noisy operation could indicate problems that can lead to carbon monoxide leaks.
  • Large repair bills: If you have regular annual maintenance for your furnace (and you should) you can expect minimal repair needs. However, an old furnace will begin encountering operating problems no matter how well it has been maintained. Furnaces have the most repair needs during the last two years of their lives, and if you find yourself spend around $500 a year on repairs to keep the furnace running, then it’s no longer worth it.
  • Comfort just isn’t what it used to be: A more subjective sign, but combined with the others it can make all the difference. If you simply no longer feel warm and comfortable in a home with an older furnace, then it’s time for the furnace to go.

Make sure you hire experienced professionals for installing your new heating system in Hammond, LA. Call A–Professional Heating and Air Conditioning and schedule an appointment with our technicians today to get started.

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