Fort Collins Heating & Air Conditioning Blog

Tag: Windsor

Fresh Furnace Filter

We really value our customers. If there was a way in which we could guarantee a 100% reliable performance from your home heating system, trust us—we’d do it. That is just not possible, unfortunately. Even the best heaters made by the top manufacturers in the industry are prone to occasional repair needs. That does not mean that you have to invite problems with your home heating system, however. And there is one specific way in which homeowners do this that we want to address today.

We’re talking about leaving a very dirty air filter in your furnace. If you don’t keep that filter fresh, then you are absolutely increasing the risk of needing furnace repair in Windsor, CO. As we’ll touch upon below, there is really no excuse for letting things get to this point. So read on, and please don’t hesitate to reach out if you have any questions about procuring the right filter for your furnace, how to change it, etc. We’ll help you succeed!

What This Filter Does—and Doesn’t—Do

A lot of people think their furnace filter is just fine because they don’t really understand the purpose of this filter. Well, it doesn’t seem like the indoor air quality in my home is all that bad, so the filter must still be fine, right? Wrong. We’re glad that you’re thinking about your IAQ, of course, but that’s not as directly linked to this air filter as you may think. Sure, a very filthy furnace filter may exacerbate air quality issues. However, its primary function is not really to clean the air in your home. It’s to protect the furnace itself from problems caused by pollutants.

Basically, this filter is keeping dust, dirt, and other pollutants from building up within your heating system and on sensitive components in your heater. That could definitely lead to operational problems. And if this filter gets too dirty, it is going to make things worse by really driving up airflow resistance in the system. The harder that your furnace has to work in order to force air through the filter and throughout your home, the greater the wear and tear on the system.

That is going to increase the risk of overheating and damages to the system. Again, not changing the air filter will put your system in peril! Aside from the routine, professional maintenance that we provide, simply changing your air filter regularly is the best thing that you can do for your system.

And It Is Simple!

These filters are quite cheap. You’ll want to be changing yours every 1-3 months, depending on various factors in your home, but it’s not going to break the bank to do so. And, if you’re worried about getting your hands dirty with a complex job, don’t worry about that. We wouldn’t ever advise DIY jobs that the average homeowner couldn’t handle. You should never attempt to service your furnace on your own, but pulling out an old filter and sliding a new one in is, well—as simple as it sounds!

Schedule your heating services with Fort Collins Heating & Air Conditioning.

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Plumbing Problems Plaguing

Your bathroom is the apex of the plumbing system in your home. Yes, you have a water heater tucked away somewhere in your house. And sure, you have plumbing fixtures in your kitchen. But when you hear the word “plumbing,” we’re willing to bet that it’s the bathroom that springs to mind. And that makes sense. It’s where most of your direct interaction with your plumbing system takes place. Unfortunately, due to this concentration, it’s also where many plumbing problems will surface.

When you encounter bathroom plumbing issues, and encounter them you will, you’ll need to get in touch with a professional plumber in Windsor, CO, immediately. The longer that you wait to do so, the worse off your plumbing system is going to be. Trust us, we’ve dealt with many extensive, complex, and costly bathroom plumbing repairs that could have been a lot more minor had the homeowner acted faster.

Clogged Drains and Toilets

If there is one plumbing problem that we can all but guarantee that every homeowner will run into eventually, it’s the dreaded clog. Clogs aren’t always that serious, but failure to take clogs seriously can definitely lead to much more serious problems than you may realize. Let’s put it this way—if you can effectively clear a clog with a few pumps of the plunger, great. Problem solved. If you can’t resolve the clog that simply, do not turn to online tips or tutorials for what to try next. You need the help of a professional.

Remember, there is a world of difference between removing enough of a clog to allow water to pass through, and effectively clearing that clog to resolve the current and also to help prevent the problem from developing again before long. When it comes to lasting results, professional drain cleaning is the way to go.

Leaks of All Kinds

That dripping faucet may just seem like a bit of an annoyance, but consider this—you are paying for every drop of water that comes out of that faucet and goes down that drain, regardless of whether or not you are actually using that water. This can be a major waste of water and your hard-earned money over time, not to mention the environmental impact of consistent water waste.

Then there are those leaks that seem a lot more pressing because they are either disrupting your life or putting the condition of your home at risk. We’re talking a leaking toilet tank that renders your toilet inoperable, leaks that are occurring behind walls or beneath floors, etc. Remember, by the time you actually notice a leak, there is a good chance that this leak has been in action for a while already. That means that some damage may have already occurred, and is only going to get worse. This is not a time to delay in scheduling professional plumbing services. We’ll find the source of the leak accurately, and we’ll resolve it completely.

Schedule your plumbing services with Fort Collins Heating & Air Conditioning. Big enough to serve, small enough to care.

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Dirty Filter

There are certain air conditioning services in Windsor, CO, that you’re probably not going to overlook. If your AC breaks down completely, you’ll replace it. If it starts blowing hot air, you’ll repair it. Hopefully, you’ll remember to schedule routine, annual air conditioning maintenance, as well. However, even annual maintenance just isn’t enough, not in every regard. There is one step that you need to take on your own, and it’s as important as it is simple: changing your filter.

Now, you may not think that using a dirty air filter in your air conditioner is really that big of a deal. You may think that, because your air quality seems fine, there’s nothing to worry about. In both cases, you’re wrong. Keeping a fresh air filter in your AC is one of the best ways in which you can help it to function at peak performance levels. Keep the following information in mind, and let us know if you have any questions. 

Dirty Filters Drag Down Efficiency

If your air filter is too dirty, then it is going to force your air conditioning system to work harder than it should have to in order to cool your home. That is going to result in higher energy costs.  It’s a straightforward problem with a simple solution. You need to replace your air filter as needed, typically every 1-3 months, in order to maintain proper airflow throughout your system.

When a filter clogs up, it’s harder to get air through that filter. That strains the fan, and the added strain will result in added cost. If you want to cool your home as efficiently as possible, then make the very small investment in a fresh air filter on a regular basis.

They Also Reduce Overall Performance Quality

What’s worse than paying too much to cool your home? Paying too much to cool your home, and still not living comfortably! That’s a very likely outcome if you run your air conditioner with a dirty air filter in place, though.

From uneven cooling to short cycling caused by overheating, your AC just won’t be as effective as it would be with a fresh filter in place. It’s a very minor job to replace a filter,  even if you’re doing it every month, and it’s one that will help you to live more comfortably in your home.

And They Increase Repair Needs

Paying too much for too little from your AC system is bad enough. But what about the added cost of frequent repair service needs? Are you ready to take that financial hit? Or would you rather prevent problems by spending a few bucks on a filter every now and then?

The greater the strain on your air conditioning system, particularly when it gets to the point where short cycling or the icing of coils develops, the greater the risk of problems developing. Even a “minor” problem requiring professional repair is going to set you back a lot further than a basic air filter for your system would.

Schedule your AC services with Fort Collins Heating & Air Conditioning. Big enough to serve, small enough to care.

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Great Water Heater

We know that water heaters may not be the most exciting investment in the world. A new family vehicle, for instance, might be something you’d anticipate more than a new water heater. That being said, the fact remains that your water heater is not going to last forever. You’ll need to replace it at some point—but with what? Another system capable of heating water for use throughout your home, yes, but what kind of system?

If you’re looking into your water heater options, then chances are that you’ve seen the two major one out there: tank and tankless systems. Today we’ll be turning to our expert plumbers in Windsor, CO, to help you determine which water heater is right for your needs. First, we’ll give you some background information on how these systems work, what sets them apart, and the pros and cons of each. Then, you simply need to contact us with any questions that you may have!

Eliminating Standby Energy Loss

This is really what it all comes down to. If your major interest in heating water is doing so as efficiently as possible, then it really is difficult to argue with a tankless water heater. Why? Because when you take the tank out of the equation, you also take the standby energy loss out of the equation.

Standby energy loss occurs when heat in the water heater by your water heater and stored in its tank transfers through that tank and into the air surrounding it. Heat is always going to move from hotter environments to cooler ones, remember.

When that happens, your water heater essentially winds up reheating water that it’s already heated. It may not be starting from scratch with cold water brought in through the main water line, as it would if you drained your tank, but it really adds up over time.

So Tankless Is Better?

Sure, in some cases—just as tank water heaters are better in others. One thing that you’ll notice is that tankless water heaters cost much more than tank models do. In the long run, they’re worth it. They last substantially longer than tank models do, and the improved energy efficiency plus the long lifespan can spell long-term savings.

However, some people just don’t want to spend the money up front, particularly if they’re not going to be in their home for many years to reap the benefits. There is also the factor of just how much hot water you use, and how much you use all at once.

A tankless water heater doesn’t heat water instantaneously, but it does do so on-demand. However, if you’re trying to take a hot shower while also running the dishwasher and the washing machine, the tankless system may be overwhelmed in scenarios that a properly sized tank water heater could handle. You can use more than one tankless system if you have a very high capacity household, but again: cost.

It’s a lot to think about, but we’re here to answer any questions you may have.

Schedule your plumbing services with Fort Collins Heating & Air Conditioning.Big enough to serve, small enough to care.

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The short answer to this question is really that you want to schedule air conditioning repairs the moment you notice there are problems with your air conditioner.

There are a few problems with this answer, though. You may not have the background knowledge to notice problems right away, and you may not realize that certain problems are actually that serious even when you do notice them. Today, we want to help you better understand these situations so you can take prompt action.

Air conditioning problems are only going to get worse the longer that you choose to ignore them or the longer that it takes you to realize that these problems demand your attention. Early intervention is key, so be sure to schedule air conditioning repair in Windsor, CO, with our team at the first sign of trouble. We excel in AC repairs of all kinds, and we also have the training and expertise necessary to diagnose problems accurately the first time.

Track Cooling Costs

A fairly simple way to spot potential air conditioning problems is keeping track of how much you’re paying to cool your home. If you do this throughout the cooling season, year to year, then you can have data available to compare against even early in the current season.

The cost of cooling your home is a hugely helpful performance indicator because not all problems will cause your system to break down entirely. Not all problems will cause the AC to blow warm air. However, pretty much any problem with your air conditioner will reduce its overall energy efficiency.

Compare Different Areas in Your Home

When you invest in a whole-house cooling system, you’re investing in an air conditioner that you can use to cool your entire house. That’s kind of the entire point. So it only makes sense that certain rooms being warmer than others is a sign of trouble.

If you’re perfectly comfortable in your living room, but find yourself sweating throughout the night in your bedroom, then there is definitely a problem that needs to be dealt with. It could be something as serious as a refrigerant leak impeding the cooling process and output to a relatively minor duct leak in the single section of the system that needs sealing. Whatever the case, you’ll need professional technicians to do the job right.

Listen for Sounds of Trouble

You might think that everything is relatively fine with your air conditioner so long as it is pumping out cool air. However, this is not really the case. If you hear anything unusual, or if you hear normal operating sounds that seem to be at a much louder volume than usual, you should definitely be reaching for the phone.

Loud noises might mean grinding, screeching, or clanging sounds. It may be the result of a worn belt or a loose component. There are numerous reasons why your system may suffer like this. Whatever the case, our technicians will get to the bottom of it.

Schedule your AC services with Fort Collins Heating & Air Conditioning. Big enough to serve, small enough to care.

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Get That AC Ready Ahead

There are certain facts in life that are completely inarguable. We’ve got one in the HVAC world. Routine maintenance is the best way in which to keep your air conditioner working as successfully as possible. There’s just no getting around it. It doesn’t matter where you live. It doesn’t matter at what heights temperatures in your area max out at. If you want to make it through the summer season comfortably, you need to schedule the maintenance that your AC demands.

If you think that this is one air conditioning service in Windsor, CO, that you can handle on your own, think again. Routine maintenance may be just that—routine—but that does not mean that it is simple. A thorough and successful tune-up is something that only a skilled professional can ensure, and you don’t want to run the risk of damaging your system or putting yourself in danger by doing the job on your own.

 

You’ll Be Saving Yourself Money

“I don’t want to spend the money on a tune-up.”

Well, that’s your decision. We want to point out how flawed the thinking with such reasoning is, however. You see, a tune-up is not free—that’s true. But a tune-up is going to save you money in the long run—and you can take that right to the bank!

When you schedule annual air conditioning maintenance, you are going to get the most efficient performance possible from your home cooling system. Over time, a poorly maintained AC is just going to cost more and more to run. So spend the money up front, and enjoy better efficiency throughout the years.

You’ll Be More Comfortable

Say, for whatever reason, you’re fine with paying more to cool your home. Are you still fine with paying more to cool your home with lesser results? Because this is going to be the reality of the situation. Simply put, there is no way that you can hope to cool your home as effectively as possible if you  do not have your air conditioner tuned up annually.

Think about it this way. Last year, you ran a marathon. Sure, it was tough, but you prepared for it and you succeeded. Does that mean that you’ll be able to go and do it again this year, without reconditioning your body for that type of feat? Of course not! You need to keep yourself in marathon shape, and the same is true of your air conditioner.

Your System Will Be More Reliable

If there’s anything worse than an under-performing air conditioner on a hot summer day, it’s got to be a broken down air conditioner on a hot summer day! If you don’t let a professional tune up your system annually, then it is not going to be reliable.

And the most likely time that a system will break down is when you need it most—because that’s when you use it most! Don’t put your comfort and your budget at risk by failing to have your AC tuned up this year.

Schedule your air conditioning maintenance with Fort Collins Heating & Air Conditioning. Big enough to serve, small enough to care.

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Toilet Leaking

For many people, the very mention of the word “plumbing” immediately brings to mind the toilet. We’re guessing that you don’t need us to remind you of just how important the toilet in your home really is. What you may need a reminder about, however, is just how serious any problems with your toilet can be. There are a lot of different issues that may develop with your toilet, and the result for your plumbing system is quite serious.

That is why you should schedule immediate plumbing services in Windsor, CO, if you suspect that there is a problem with your commode. One of the most common is a leak. However, not all toilet leaks are created equal. In some instances, you may actually be able to resolve the problem yourself. In others, the only real resolution may actually be the complete replacement of your toilet. Whatever the case may be, you can count on our professional plumbers to help you determine the right course of action. 

The Location of the Leak Means a Lot

Leaks can develop in different parts of your toilet and its plumbing. The location of the leak is going to affect the way in which symptoms of the leak surface. It will also affect the prognosis for your toilet in general. Let’s take a look at a few potential leaks that you may encounter.

  • A leak in the tank into the toilet bowl is among the most common leaks homeowners encounter. Such leaks will result in the constant running of the toilet, even if you haven’t flushed it in a while. The most likely cause of such a leak is just a misaligned flapper at the bottom of the tank, which you can adjust yourself, or a degraded flapper that will really just cost a few dollars to replace.
  • A leak in the toilet tank or the toilet bowl itself due to a crack in the porcelain is much more serious. It’s kind of like putting toothpaste back into a tube. Once that can of worms is open, you’ll need to replace the toilet. You are not going to successfully seal such leaks in any lasting manner.
  • A leak in the water supply line may lead you to panic right off the bat, as it can result in a lot of water all over the floor pretty quickly. If shutting off the water seems to stop the problem and you can actually tell that the leak is in the pipe, then relax. This is a fix that our professional plumbers can definitely handle for you.
  • A leak beneath the floor isn’t necessarily as serious as a leak in the toilet itself, in that it can be repaired. However, accessing that leak for repairs is tough and will require the removal of the toilet, replacement of the wax ring, and then the re-installation of the toilet. This is definitely not a DIY project.

Don’t ignore signs of trouble with your toilet. Schedule your plumbing repairs with the team that is big enough to serve, small enough to care.

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Yes, we would love to tell you how you can Trouble with your Furnacecompletely avoid problems with your heating system. No, we cannot tell you how you can completely avoid problems with your heating system. Nobody can. Well, nobody honestly can. Why not? Because there is no such thing as a 100% reliable heater! If you find someone telling you otherwise, then you need to talk to somebody else. Don’t give such dishonest individuals your attention, let alone your money! We can, however, tell you how to spot signs of heating system trouble early on.

It may seem like a weak consolation prize, but catching problems early is definitely in your best interest. There are plenty of warning signs that you may notice, provided that you know what it is that you are looking for. If and when you notice any of these signs of trouble with your furnace, contact a member of our team right away. You can always count on our staff for exceptional HVAC services in Windsor.

How’s the Heating Output?

Okay, so this is an obvious one, but trust us—a lot of homeowners ignore obvious signs of trouble so long as their furnaces are working “well enough.” If you ask us, though, well enough is never good enough for our clients. So don’t put up with subpar heating output!

Does it seem like the air coming from your vents just isn’t warm enough, despite the fact that the thermostat is set appropriately? Are there cold spots in your home, while other areas are perfectly comfortable? Anything from combustion issues to leaky ductwork and problems with fans could be to blame. Our technicians diagnose problems accurately before resolving them.

Keep an Eye on Heating Costs

Homeowners can ignore a lot, but they tend to take notice when it’s their wallets that are taking the hit! If the heater is costing an arm and a leg to heat your home, but it used to do so quite affordably, then it is likely that you have a problem setting back your energy efficiency.

Unless you are happy to overpay to heat your home, you’ll want to have the issue resolved as soon as possible. And don’t tell yourself that it’s not that expensive, that repairs aren’t that necessary. The longer you avoid the issue, the more costly those repairs are going to be down the road.

Listen for Signs of Trouble, Too

It’s not all about keeping your eyes open and looking for signs of trouble. You may hear signs of trouble before you see anything is wrong. This is the case with heaters making strange new sounds, or even those making the same old sounds but at much louder levels than usual.

When you hear your heater banging or clanging, grinding or screeching, it is time to give us a call. Your heater is trying to tell you something, and that something is that it is struggling in some way! Ignoring its cries of duress will come back to haunt you when you finally decide it’s worth calling a technician.

Schedule your furnace repairs with Fort Collins Heating & Air Conditioning, the company you can trust.

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Huh, you think, taking in the scene. That’s weird. I didn’t even realize my air conditioner used water. So, should I call a plumber, or an AC technician?

First things first—stop what you’re doing!

You are right to be confused. A central air conditioning system does not use water in its cooling process. It doesn’t have a water supply line. It does not store water in a tank.

So, am I just imagining I’m seeing water around the AC unit? Because I’m definitely seeing water around the AC unit. 

This Water Surrounding My AC From

Well, no—we didn’t say that. What we are saying is that this is not exactly a water leak, at least not in the way you’re thinking of. Feeling more confused? That’s okay. Trust us, we get plenty of calls for HVAC services in Windsor, CO from homeowners in your same situation. The good news is we have answers.

First of All, What’s the Source of the Water?

If your air conditioner is not a plumbed appliance with a designated water line, then where is the water surrounding the indoor unit coming from? There are two potential answers to this question.

The first is that the water surrounding your air conditioner has just wound up there due to the AC unit being at a low point in the home. It could have come from a plumbing leak, or even from a leak in the foundation letting water in when it rains. Whatever the case, water is naturally going to follow gravity’s pull, and that means it will pool around the AC if it’s at the lowest point on the floor it is installed on.

A more likely scenario, however, is just that you’re looking at condensation. Your AC doesn’t generate cool air, remember, but instead evaporates refrigerant in order to draw heat out of the air already inside your home. As it does so, humidity is removed from the air and condensation collects on the evaporator coil. But why is that condensation winding up around the AC unit?

Condensate Drainage Issues

Your AC has a condensate drain pan and drain line, which allows for condensation to be removed from the house. If the drain pan or drain line is damaged, then leaks can develop. By adjusting the drain pan, cleaning the drain line, or replacing either component in the event of damages, you can resolve the problem.

You could also be dealing with ice melting off the evaporator coil. This could be due to a very dirty air filter restricting airflow to the point where condensation freezes on the coil. It could also be the result of a refrigerant leak, though.

If you have a refrigerant leak, failure to schedule prompt repairs could actually result in potentially irrevocable damages to your system. If your filter is not obviously dirty, but you’ve got issues with ice developing, there is no time to spare!

Schedule your AC repairs with Fort Collins Heating & Air Conditioning. Big enough to serve, small enough to care.

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How Dirty Filters Affect

Are you one of those homeowners who is diligent in scheduling routine air conditioning maintenance services each and every year? If so, then we applaud you. This is a responsible trait to possess, and one that is sure to help keep your air conditioning system running as effectively, efficiently, and reliably as possible. However, you must also keep in mind that routine maintenance alone is not necessarily enough to get you the cooling performance you deserve.

There is at least one major step that you should take on your own, and that is changing your air filter. No, you cannot complete a full AC tune-up on your own. However, you can change the air filter yourself, and you should be doing so as needed. This is typically required every 1 to 3 months, though a number of factors will influence how frequently your filter actually needs to be changed. So read on and learn more about how changing your air filter benefits you, including keeping air conditioning repairs in Windsor, CO at bay.

Yes, It Is That Big of a Deal

We know what some homeowners reading this are probably thinking. Really? I need to change my air filter that frequently? Is that really necessary? 

The answer is yes. It is that necessary. A dirty air filter may not seem like that big of a deal, particularly if you have not noticed a marked decline in overall indoor air quality. However, the function of this filter is not to boost indoor air quality throughout your home. Instead, it is there to protect your HVAC system itself from the various problems that may arise when pollutants like dust and dirt build up on its components.

What Kind of Problems Are We Talking About?

For starters, you are going to see a dropoff in system energy efficiency. If you are trying to cool your home in the most efficient manner possible (and why wouldn’t you?) you are definitely not going to want to keep a dirty air filter in place. That is going to make it harder for the system to force air through it, and that is going to cause the system to consume more and more energy as it tries to do its job. You’ll see this reflected in your overall energy costs.

You will also notice that you are paying more for a lesser cooling output. Your system just won’t work as well as it should if it is contending with a dirty air filter. It may even wind up short cycling, meaning that it will start up, run briefly, then cycle back down rapidly. When that happens, you are going to consume more electricity than you should have to because your system uses more energy when starting up than it does when running normally. Plus, you are putting a lot of wear and tear on the system, and the decreased airflow can cause the evaporator coil to ice up, insulating it and making the problem worse.

Schedule your AC services with Fort Collins Heating & Air Conditioning. Big enough to serve, small enough to care.

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