At Your Service Plumbing, Heating & Air Blog: Archive for July, 2014

How Air Cleaners Improve Your Indoor Air Quality

Monday, July 21st, 2014

Construction and design on homes today emphasizes heat sealing to help maintain energy efficiency by preventing heat loss in cold weather and heat gain in hot weather. There is a downside to this sealing, however, and that is the lack of fresh air that enters homes. Unless you throw open your windows and doors for a few hours during the day—rarely an option in Salt Lake City—the air in your home will became stale and filled with dust and dirt.

You can help improve your indoor air quality with professional installation of air cleaners. Call up the Salt Lake City HVAC experts at At Your Service Plumbing, Heating & Air, and they will assist you with finding an air cleaner that will keep your home’s air healthy and your system free from damaging dust and dirt.

How Air Cleaners Work To Improve Air Quality

There are two basic types of air cleaners that can installers can place in your AC and heater’s ventilation system: filters and purifiers.

  • Air filters: Also known as mechanical air filters, these products are designed to trap particles that try to pass through them in a weave of fibers. The filters don’t simply use the physical mesh of fibers to trap particles, but actually attract the particles to the surface of the fibers. This makes them very efficient, and they can filter all particles down to 0.3 microns in size, and even some smaller. However, mechanical air filters are not effective against gases and odor molecules, so if your indoor air suffers from problems with smoke, formaldehyde, pesticides, etc., you should consider installing an air purifier as well.
  • Air purifiers: Also known as electronic air filters, purifiers do not actually “filter” the air at all. They clean it using an electric charge that ionizes the air. Ionized particles are drawn down to collector plates in the purifier and trapped there. Purifiers can affect particles down to 0.1 microns and are effective against the gas and odor molecules that mechanical filters miss. They require power to run, but their energy use is minimal compared to the money you will save from a clean, efficient HVAC system.

You will need to have proper installation from professionals for any air filter in your home. The experts will determine what type of air cleaners will do the job, and the strength (such as MERV rating for mechanical filters) necessary. They will then install it so it can perform its function effectively without restricting ventilation.

At Your Service Plumbing, Heating & Air has an indoor air quality team that will take care of setting up an air cleaner for your HVAC system in Salt Lake City, UT. We have NATE-certified technicians who will make sure the job is done right.

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What Kinds of Problems Does Air Conditioning Maintenance Address?

Wednesday, July 16th, 2014

You may have contacted an air conditioning service a couple of times for professional installation or repairs. But if you’ve never called an AC technician for air conditioning maintenance in Salt Lake City, your system may be suffering.

Air conditioning maintenance is a service you can schedule every year to help prevent future problems and help your system run smoothly and efficiently all summer long. A professional cleans and adjusts components of your system and inspects the entire AC unit for any problems that could affect performance or efficiency. Maintenance is not the same as repair; if you notice any issues with your air conditioner, you should call a technician immediately to schedule repairs. So what does air conditioning maintenance address?

  • Leaks: A leaky refrigerant line can cause a lot of problems for your air conditioner. If refrigerant leaks, you may only experience some reduced cooling in your home, but eventually low refrigerant levels can cause the compressor to fail. During maintenance, a technician will always check refrigerant levels and test for any leaks.
  • Dirt and Debris: If any part of your system is dirty or clogged, it could cause major problems for your system in the future. You can help prevent build-up by cleaning or changing air filters every month, but the evaporator coil, condenser unit, and condensate drain line all require maintenance as well. Dirt on the evaporator coil, for example, can cause it to freeze, decreasing the performance of your entire system. The maintenance technician will check this part and others and clean these parts whenever necessary.
  • Lubrication: The motors of your AC unit need lubrication to function properly. Often, adding a little oil to a motor can greatly improve the performance of your system.
  • Further Repairs: If your air conditioner needs further repairs, your AC technician will let you know and recommend repair services. While an AC service may be unable to repair problems at the time, the technician will perform a full inspection and make recommendations, reducing the likelihood of unexpected breakdowns in the future.

Call At Your Service Plumbing, Heating & Air for air conditioning maintenance in Salt Lake City today!

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Strange Noises and Air Conditioning Repair

Thursday, July 10th, 2014

What’s that bump in the night? If it’s been a hot summer day and you’ve been running your air conditioner full-time, it may be something in your air conditioning system. Strange noises in your air conditioner usually indicate a problem, even if your air conditioning system is still running normally. At Your Service Plumbing, Heating & Air technicians have seen many times how ignoring certain sounds can lead to bigger problems. Think your air conditioner may be making a strange or odd sound? It may be time to call an expert.

What’s That Noise?

The best way to truly know what is wrong with your air conditioner is to have it inspected by a trained technician, but there are some common sounds that can indicate problems in specific parts of your system:

Hissing

The most common problems associated with hissing noises are refrigerant leaks or compressor issues. Refrigerant leaks hiss because the chemical itself is pressurized, particularly after it leaves the compressor. Refrigerant leaks can also be accompanied by bubbling noises as the refrigerant bubbles out of the system.

Hissing from a compressor can indicate that the pressure in within the compressor has gotten too high – a potentially dangerous situation. If you suspect that the hissing sound you hear is coming from the compressor, turn your system off immediately and call for a technician.

Banging/Bumping/Clunking

Are you hearing something bang or bump around your air conditioning system when it starts to cycle? During normal use, screws, small components, mountings and fan blades can become loose, causing banging/bumping/clunking noises in your system as they move around or hit other parts of your air conditioner. While the initial problem may not be serious, allowing a loose component to stay loose and/or continue to make contact with other parts of your air conditioner can become a serious problem.

Snapping/Popping

Snapping or popping sounds coming from your air conditioner can often indicate an electrical issue. There are many wires working within your system, and with normal use, these wires can become frayed, corroded or disconnected. Because the electricity in your air conditioner is powered by your property’s electricity, it is always better to have a trained professional work on any electrical issues that may be happening with your air conditioning system.

Don’t Ignore Strange Noises

Just as sneezing can be an indication of a possible cold, strange noises coming from your air conditioner can indicate developing problems. Most problems do not go away on their own; in fact, they tend to get worse as time goes on. If you have heard something in your air conditioning that sounds off, call At Your Service Plumbing, Heating & Air today and schedule air conditioning service in Salt Lake City with one of our technicians.

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Leading the Way with Independence Days!

Thursday, July 3rd, 2014

The term “Fourth of July” is the popular name for the U.S. federal holiday officially known as Independence Day. It isn’t surprising that we would come up with a different name from the official one, since “Independence Day” is one of the most common holiday names across the globe. Most of the nations in existence today won their independence from another power, whether through wars, treaties, or long transitions.

What might surprise many people is how old U.S. Independence Day actually is compared to the similar holidays of other nations. Although the U.S. is still considered a young nation, it was one of the first to make a full break for its colonial master with a new constitution. Most countries that celebrate a national Independence Day are commemorating events that occurred in the second half of the 20th century, when many older empires at last relinquished control over their colonies.

How substantial is the difference in time for the U.S.A. and the rest of the world? U.S. Independence Day celebrates the signing of the Declaration of Independence from the Kingdom of Great Britain in 1776, making our country unusual in that almost no existing nations celebrate an independence event from the eighteenth century.

In terms of age, there is only a tiny handful current countries that celebrate an independence day that occurred earlier than the United States. Switzerland celebrates its independence from the Holy Roman Empire of the Germans in 1291 with “Swiss National Day,” held every August 1—although this only gained status as a national holiday in 1994. Sweden Celebrates “National Day of Sweden” to commemorate events in 1523 and the election of King Gustav I during the War of Liberation against Christian II of Denmark and Norway. Romania comes almost a hundred years after U.S. Independence, with its 1877 freedom from Turkish rule.

The most recent Independence Days to come into existence are for Montenegro, which gained independence from Serbia in 2006 and celebrates the day on May 21, and South Sudan, which gained independence from Sudan in 2011 and celebrates the day only a day after the U.S., on July 5.

Does anyone else celebrate a literal “Fourth of July,” an Independence Day that also falls on the fourth day of the seventh month? Yes: Abkhazia, a small Central Asian country that declared its independence from the Republic of Georgia in 1999 (although not all countries recognize it). Coming a day (like South Sudan) on July 5 is the independence of the small Atlantic island nation of Cape Verde, which became free from Portugal through signed agreement in 1975.

Everyone at At Your Service Plumbing, Heating & Air hopes you and your family enjoy a vibrant Independence Day/Fourth of July this year!

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