The Basics of Winter Heat Pump Use

A heat pump can spare homeowners a significant amount of expense on their winter heating costs. You may already be aware that a gas or electric furnace warms your home by passing air over heated coils. However, a heat pump performs much differently.

Heat pumps work by absorbing heat from the air through refrigeration coolant, which is then compressed to significantly increase its temperature. Now, as air passes over the hot coolant, it becomes heated. So how does a heat pump work in the winter when the air outside is so cold?

How does a heat pump work in the winter?

If a heat pump extracts heat from the air, how does it work when the air outside is very cold. Well, even in colder temperatures, outside air contains a specific measure of heat. Most heat pumps can productively assimilate heat from the outside air down to as cold as 20 degrees or even lower!

And, while we’re at it, heat pumps also work to cool your home in the warmer months. In those warmer parts of the year, such as late spring, a heat pump utilizes refrigerant to retain heat from inside your home and transports it outside. You could say a heat pump simply works by transporting heat from one space to another.

Since heat pumps work on less energy, they can reduce those higher electric bills that you would commonly experience while with a furnace.

What about those frigid times of the year?

Although heat pumps are quite efficient in cold temperatures, there comes a point where gas or electric furnaces are more productive. That’s what makes dual fuel systems such a popular choice for heating homes in regions where temperatures drop drastically in parts of the winter. With these units, heat pumps are used throughout most of the winter, helping to keep costs lower. A gas or electric furnace is used as needed when the extreme cold is too much for the heat pump to handle productively and efficiently.

If you have any questions regarding how a heat pump performs in the winter, or maybe you need to schedule your system for maintenance to prepare for the coming winter season, contact Carney and Son today.


5 Reasons to Change HVAC Filters More Often

As you may be aware, your home’s cooling and heating system comes equipped with air filters that require regular changing. These air filters protect your system’s hardware from dirt and debris, filter allergens, and ensure air quality. Here, we’ve provided five reasons to change your heating and cooling system’s air filters consistently.

5 Reasons to Change Your HVAC Filters More Often

1. Prevent costly harm to your HVAC equipment

If dirt and debris make their way into your cooling and heating system, a layer of grime can build, contributing to further strain on your system and its parts. The added stress and strain wear out parts faster and lead to damage and inefficiency.

2. Save money on electricity

A clean and efficient system does help save on electricity costs, as the system simply doesn’t require the additional energy to cool or heat your home.  If a system struggles to perform, it runs longer until it reaches the set temperature on your thermostat. This demands an increase in electricity consumption as prolonged use is required.

3. Extend the life of your system

The life-span and efficiency of your home’s heating and cooling systems depend on the condition in which it has been operating. Routinely changing your air filters will ensure optimum working conditions and prolonged efficiency.

4. Decrease dust in your home

Here’s an incidental advantage of changing your systems air filters all the more frequently: less cleaning!  That’s simply because the air circulating in your home is cleaner. Without regularly changing air filters, dirt and dust particles may be allowed to pass through the system, only to circulate back into your home or space.

With clean filters doing the trick, you have less residue gathering on the surfaces around your home.

5. Reduce allergens

It’s important to know that commonplace paper HVAC filters do not trap pet dander, dust, or microscopic organisms. However, switching your heating and cooling system to HEPA filters can significantly improve your home’s indoor air quality. These filters can trap and filter these particles from your home’s air, providing you and your family with cleaner, healthier air.

How Frequently Should You Change Your Air Filters?

We recommend monthly. However, that varies based on your home’s HVAC system and your health condition. Some may need to change filters more frequently because of noticeable levels of contaminants in their home.

Your smartest choice is to check with an HVAC expert, who can also change your filters, as well as perform regular tuneups and maintenance throughout the year. Call Carney and Son today if you have any questions about your home’s HVAC system, or need to schedule maintenance.


Why Your AC May Not Be Cooling

Is your home’s air conditioning system not cooling your home? Maybe it’s blowing lukewarm or even hot air. Many things could cause your AC not to cool your home appropriately. To help you troubleshoot your cooling system, we’ll order these issues into ones you can tackle yourself and others that require an expert cooling professional. Here’s why your AC may not be cooling.

Thermostat Set to “ON” Rather Than “AUTO”

Does your AC produce cool air sometimes and tepid air at other times? It could be that the fan setting is set to “ON,” which runs the fan every minute of every day — but doesn’t actually cool the air. Fix the issue by setting the indoor thermostat to AUTO.

Dirty Return Air Ducts

A dirty return air duct restricts the flow of air pulling into your AC, causing a host of issues. Dirty air ducts can cause your air conditioning system to struggle to circulate the cool air needed to efficiently get your home to the ideal temperature. For example, if your thermostat is set to 72, but your temperature never drops below 78.

Another issue typically is the evaporator coil freezes. Since the coils are no longer in contact with the air, they cannot absorb heat. This results in warm air coming from the supply vents.

Dirty Condenser (Outside) Unit

Your home’s HVAC system’s inside unit (called an evaporator) retains heat from your air and then moves that warmth to the outside unit (called the condenser).

This process can be hindered if your condenser unit is cluttered with dirt or debris, causing your cooling system to struggle while attempting to cool your home.

Fix the issue by spraying the outside unit with a hose on a delicate setting. Try not to shoot it on a high setting or you’ll twist the blades that permit airflow to chill the condenser. Additionally, remove any weeds developing around the AC unit. Give it some space to breathe!

AC Issues You Can’t Fix Yourself

Here are a couple of issues that a cooling expert will need to address:

Issue 1: A defective or broken condenser fan

In the event your home’s HVAC system’s condenser fan isn’t operating correctly, the unit will not effectively remove heat, therefore hindering the system’s ability to cool the home.

Issue 2: Low refrigerant charge/refrigerant leak

Refrigerant is the fluid that absorbs the warmth from your home’s air. When refrigerant levels are low, your AC can’t ingest enough warmth to cool the air. It could mean you have a refrigerant leak.

Signs you have a refrigerant leak include ice development on the refrigerant line and the outside unit, or simply air conditioning that can’t seem to cool your home on particularly hot days, yet cools fine on cooler days or evenings.

Call the HVAC Experts

If you see these signs, turn off your AC and call an HVAC expert ASAP. Running the AC in this state can cause slugging in the blower and harm it further.

Did you take a stab at tackling the issues yourself? Is your AC not cooling your home as you know it should? Call Carney and Son today!


How Often Should Air Ducts Be Cleaned?

Many homeowners who’ve hired a professional air duct cleaning contractor are satisfied with the outcome. Specialists agree there are advantages to having air duct cleaning performed, especially by an expert with the proper skill and equipment. According to the experts at Carney and Son, here’s how often you should clean your air ducts:

When Should You Clean Your Air Ducts?

The Environmental Protection Agency suggests cleaning air ducts when:

  1. You recognize mold on registers and around air ducts.
  2. You notice a vermin invasion someplace in the home, or you see creepy crawlers or rodents entering or leaving ventilation work.
  3. You see obvious evidence of residue discharged when air is leaving the vents.

Advantages of Air Duct Cleaning

Most specialists, including the EPA, have not supported air duct cleaning as a solution for medical problems. Yet, experts maintain that there are advantages to air duct cleaning.

Further, NADCA states that a more thorough air duct cleaning requires cleaning all HVAC system components, not just air ducts alone.

How Often Should Air Ducts Be Cleaned?

NADCA says homeowners should clean air ducts under these conditions every three to five years:

  1. When you move into a new home, except if the previous homeowner overhauled the air ducts within the past 3 years.
  2. After remodeling a home. Air ducts and registers have likely accumulated drywall dust and different materials stirred up during the demolition or construction. Additionally, sawdust can spread all through the home and find its way into the air duct system.
  3. If you have pets in the home that shed fur and dander. Duct cleaning and regular house cleaning practices can assist with keeping it from spreading all through the home.

Hiring the Right HVAC Company

Experts caution homeowners not to employ any air duct cleaning tricks or attempts to go at it alone as a DIY project. Remember these tips while hiring an air duct cleaning specialist:

Decent air duct cleaning costs can range somewhere from a few hundred dollars, up to even $1,000, depending on the contractor you chose and the size of your home. Great cleaners will utilize negative air machines with HEPA filters.

The job should take a couple of hours. An air duct cleaner who’s done in under an hour likely didn’t work thoroughly. Many quality duct cleaners use truck-mounted, outside vacuum systems that collect the residue and debris outside the house, ensuring no mess or damage in the home.

When did you last have your air ducts cleaned? Call Carney and Son today to schedule an appointment!