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507-282-4328

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952-697-4328

Serving the Greater Rochester Area and the Twin Cities since 1988

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The Importance of Preventative Maintenance

Preventative maintenance

 

Preventative maintenance is always needed to help ensure the efficiency of the HVAC system. The air conditioner’s filters, coils, and fins require regular maintenance for the unit to function effectively and efficiently throughout its years of service. Neglecting necessary maintenance will result in a decline for the air conditioning performance.

The Filter

The most important maintenance task that will ensure the efficiency of your air conditioner is to routinely replace or clean its filters. Clogged, dirty filters block normal airflow and reduce a system’s efficiency significantly. With normal airflow obstructed, air that bypasses the filter may carry dirt directly into the evaporator coil and impair the coil’s heat-absorbing capacity. Replacing a dirty, clogged filter with a clean one can lower your air conditioner’s energy consumption up to 15%. Some types of filters are reusable, but others must be replaced. Filters may need more frequent attention if the air conditioner is in constant use. Also if the filter is subjected to dusty conditions or you have fur-bearing pets in the house.

The Coils

The air conditioner’s evaporator coil and condenser coil collect dirt over their months and years of service. A clean filter prevents the evaporator coil from soiling quickly. In time, however, the evaporator coil will still collect dirt. This dirt reduces airflow and insulates the coil, reducing its ability to absorb heat. To avoid this problem, check your evaporator coil every year and clean it as necessary. Outdoor condenser coils can also become very dirty if the outdoor environment is dusty or if there is foliage nearby. You can easily see the condenser coil and notice if dirt is collecting on its fins. The aluminum fins on evaporator and condenser coils are easily bent and can block airflow through the coil. Air conditioning wholesalers sell a tool called a fin comb that will comb these fins back into nearly original condition.

At the start of each cooling season, inspect the seal between the air conditioner and the window frame to ensure it makes contact with the unit’s metal case. Moisture can damage this seal, allowing cool air to escape from your house. In the winter, either cover your room air conditioner or remove and store it. Covering the outdoor unit of a central air conditioner will protect the unit from winter weather and debris. If you ever notice an issue, make sure to contact us so we can inspect the system for you.

Furnace issues to be Aware of

furnace issues

 

Furnace issues can vary in seriousness. No matter what issue you notice, make sure to schedule an appointment. We can come and look at the furnace. This way we can repair it before a larger issue develops. Even if you might think it is nothing, it is always best to have it looked at.

Change the filter

Dirty filters may not seem like a big concern, but they are extremely significant for the efficiency and performance of your furnace. Since the air in your home is constantly flowing through your air filter, dirt and dust is picked up every time the system is running. These airborne particulates can quickly clog the filter, affecting both airflow and air quality. When that happens, your furnace will find it more difficult to work efficiently. In fact, clogged filters may even cause the system to shut down. This is a safety mechanism on newer systems to prevent further damage to the system due to dirty air and lack of airflow. If your furnace won’t start, the first thing you want to check is the air filter. Often, just by cleaning or replacing your air filter, you can get the system running again.

Check the pilot light

When the pilot light electric ignition goes out, it can be an issue. When these parts get damaged, it will be difficult to keep your home or business warm. So be aware and seek the help of professionals once you encounter problems. Remember, a malfunctioning pilot light may be caused by thermocouple issues, drafts, or clogs in the heating system. In order to maintain an efficient furnace, you will want to make sure your pilot light is healthy. If you smell gas, turn off your HVAC system, evacuate the home, and call your local gas company.

Properly working thermostat

A faulty thermostat may lead to problems with the furnace’s fan or may also affect your home’s comfort levels. The furnace may not be able to warm up your home when the thermostat is not working. You may need to change the batteries. To avoid false reading, make sure your thermostat is located away from all heat sources. This includes direct sunlight, heating vents, cooking equipment, space heaters, and lamps. If you need to relocate your thermostat, contact us.

If your furnace turns on and off quite too frequently, it may indicate a clogged filter. It may also mean a wrong thermostat setting or improper airflow. After checking things like dirty air filter and thermostat settings, have us check the appliance for you. If your furnace’s blower continuously runs, there may be a problem with the limit switch. If the problem is confirmed, that part should be replaced immediately. Furnace issues should always be taken seriously, so make sure to contact us.

Why a Humidifier is Important

In the winter you may suffer from dry sinuses, bloody noses and cracked lips, or static. Humidifiers can help soothe these familiar problems caused by dry indoor air. Humidifiers can also help ease symptoms of a cold or another respiratory condition. If you use humidifiers, be sure to monitor humidity levels and keep your humidifier clean. Dirty humidifiers can breed mold or bacteria. If you have allergies or asthma, talk to your doctor before using a humidifier. Also make sure to contact us so we can advise you on the correct humidifier you may need for your home.

 

 

Humidifiers are devices that emit water vapor or steam to increase moisture levels in the air, producing humidity. Central humidifiers are built into home heating and air conditioning systems and are designed to humidify the whole house. Ultrasonic humidifiers produce a cool mist with ultrasonic vibration. Evaporators use a fan to blow air through a wet wick, filter or belt. Steam vaporizers use electricity to create steam that cools before leaving the machine. Avoid this type of humidifier if you have children; hot water inside this type of humidifier may cause burns if spilled.

Humidity is the amount of water vapor in the air. The amount of humidity varies depending on the season. Generally, humidity levels are higher in the summer and lower during winter months. Ideally, humidity in your home should be between 30 and 50 percent. Humidity that’s too low or too high can cause problems. Low humidity can cause dry skin, irritate your nasal passages and throat, and make your eyes itchy. High humidity can make your home feel stuffy and can cause condensation on walls, floors and other surfaces that triggers the growth of harmful bacteria, dust mites and molds. These allergens can cause respiratory problems and trigger allergy and asthma flare-ups.

The best way to test humidity levels in your house is with a hygrometer. This device, which looks like a thermometer, measures the amount of moisture in the air. Hygrometers can be purchased at hardware stores and department stores. When buying a humidifier, consider purchasing one with a built-in hygrometer (humidistat) that maintains humidity within a healthy range. You can also contact us and we can inspect your home, air quality, and furnace for you. We can also recommend a humidifier that would be beneficial for you and your home.

 

Why Winter Decreases the Quality of Air in your Home

 

Having your home with the best air quality possible is important. This also helps your family to be healthy. Homes are built to be energy efficient by holding heat in during the winter and keeping heat out during the summer. Winter weather prompts homeowners to tightly seal any cracks in insulation that could allow cold drafts into the home. This also seals off the home from any fresh air and raises the concentrations of both allergens and pollutants in the home.

Pollutants in the home come from a variety of sources. The first step in making sure that your family has the cleanest possible air is knowing where the pollutants come from. Combustion sources such as oil, gas, kerosene, coal, wood. Any household appliances that use any of these fuels can lead to indoor air pollution. It is important to make sure that these appliances are well-maintained and properly adjusted so that they don’t release dangerous levels of pollution into the home.

The air might also be low quality because of animals. Pet dander and other particles from pets with fur or feathers are a major aggravation of allergies and asthma to sensitive individuals. As people stay indoors more, so do pets that go outside during less inclement weather. If you have pets, you will have to change the filter more often. Make sure to check it on a regular basis, and replace the filter when you need to. If you are not sure how often this should be, make sure to contact us.

Immediate effects of poor indoor air quality can show up after just a single exposure and include headaches, dizziness, fatigue, and itchy eyes, nose, and throat. Asthma and chemical sensitivities can also be aggravated by exposure to indoor pollution. Chronic sensitivity may also build up after repeated exposures.

Improving indoor air quality through source control involves removing the sources of pollution. Gas emissions, like those from a poorly maintained stove, for instance, can be adjusted in order to lower their emissions; asbestos can be sealed or enclosed. Often, source control is a more cost-conscious way to remedy poor air quality than ventilation because increased ventilation can significantly increase energy costs. Make sure to contact us if you have any questions about your air quality or HVAC system.

Having a Programmable Thermostat for Your Home

 

Designed to automatically adjust the temperature in your home based on a series of pre-programmed settings for various times of the day, programmable thermostats set you up for comfort and energy savings year-round. Energy savings quickly offset the minimal cost of upgrading to a programmable thermostat. You can save 1% of your energy bill for every degree the thermostat is set back or up, depending on the season, over an eight-hour period. Also, programmable thermostats come in many different styles from simple to complex, allowing you the most control over energy use and comfort levels. Some even offer remote operation by phone or Internet. In addition, programmable thermostats can be manually overridden without affecting programming. There are a few different options you can choose from.

 

The 7-day thermostat is a type of programmable thermostat is best for households with a different schedule every day of the week. The 5-2 thermostat is best for those with the typical five-day work week and two-day weekend schedule. The WiFi thermostat is a programmable thermostat that is Wi-Fi enabled with the ability to be programmed remotely from your computer or smartphone. Smart thermostats work well for those with irregular schedules or those who may forget to pre-set the thermostat before leaving home. Many come with interactive smartphone apps to help you focus on energy savings by tracking energy use in real-time.

 

If you have a somewhat regular schedule, forget to adjust settings, or just aren’t the type to sit down and figure out how to operate devices in their home, some thermostats will learn and are a great option. These thermostats learn the daily habits in your home and use this gathered information to self-program a schedule. As with “smart” thermostats, these thermostats are Wi-Fi enabled with the ability to be programmed remotely from a computer or smartphone. Some thermostats may also have features like backlighting and digital display, voice or phone programming, hold and vacation features, or an air filter change indicator light. If you are looking to purchase a new thermostat, make sure to contact us and we can advise you on what your best option might be.

 

Improve the Air Quality

During the winter, if the indoor air quality is not ideal, you may notice increased symptoms of allergies and asthma. There are many factors that can reduce your air quality, including mold spores and dust mites. The most important thing you can do to help improve the air quality is to change the filter. A new air filter will be more effective at trapping allergens like mold spores and dust mites as they flow through your home’s air ducts. Plus, changing your air filter keeps your heater from having to work so hard, so changing the filter may increase your system’s lifespan. If you are not sure how often to check the filter, make sure to contact us and we can advise you on the correct schedule.

 

Air filters catch bigger particles like dust, but they are not great at catching smaller particles like bacteria and viruses. During cold and flu season, you need all the protection you can get from these airborne pathogens. One way to eliminate them from your air, thus improving your air quality, is with a UV light air purifier. UV light air purifiers suck in air from your home and treat it with powerful UV rays. The UV radiation kills 99% of foreign contaminants in the air and also keeps your HVAC system from becoming a breeding ground for these pathogens.

 

Also check for mold around your home. Mold is one of the biggest threats to air quality. Even if you are not overtly allergic to mold, some species of mold release toxins that can cause respiratory symptoms like sneezing and wheezing. Mold only grows in moist environments, and one possible source of unchecked moisture in the home is leaky appliances. Check around your refrigerator for puddles, which may indicate that the ice maker, condensate hose, or water dispenser are leaking. Also, open your sink cabinet and watch for leaks and drips as you run the garbage disposal. If these or any of your other appliances are leaking, have them repaired or replaced to eliminate moisture, mold, and the poor air quality it causes. You can also contact us and we can inspect your HVAC system to ensure it is operating properly this winter.

Maintaining the HVAC System in your Home

 

The HVAC system in your home is essential during the cold months of winter, so make sure that it is working efficiently. You will want to make sure the filter is checked on a regular basis, and is replaced when necessary. The filter is very important and clogged filters can disrupt the flow of air to your home. Not only that, dirty filters can trip safety switches inside the furnace. If this continues to happen, the system will have to work hard and it could cause the system to wear our quickly. If you have pets, you will want to change the filter more often. Remember to never operate the furnace without a filter. This is because the dirt and dust can get into the system, and cause further wear with it.

If you are able to open up the inside of the furnace, you are likely to see some debris or dust buildup. You do not need anything special to clean this out, just grab a regular vacuum and clean it. This will not only allow for cleaner air to travel through your home, but it will help the machine function at its maximum efficiency.

Also be aware of any strange sounds coming out of your system, or if the system does not seem to be acting right, do not ignore these signs any longer. The worst time for your heater to break down is during a cold stretch of winter. Unusual sounds can be a sign that a part replacement or repair is needed. Having the issue fixed as soon as possible can help you save time, money, and stress in the long run. It can also help the efficiency of your furnace, so your home is warm and comfortable this winter.

Increasing the Furnace Performance

Keeping your furnace operating efficiently is important. The best place to start your furnace maintenance is with the filter. A dirty filter can cause excessive strain on your furnace, increase heating costs and reduce the life of your equipment. Make sure that your furnace filter has a cover over the slot, ensuring an efficient return-air system. Keeping the furnace clean and dirt free is key to it running smoothly and efficiently. An important task you can do regularly is to vacuum all the dust from the air registers around the house.

If you notice any issue with your furnace or HVAC system, make sure to contact us as soon as possible. By noticing an issue at the first sign, you can help to save time, money and stress in the long run. Also it will reduce the chance of further issues from forming and having an unexpected breakdown.

Remember to have the ductwork inspected. This helps to prevent any cracks, leaks, or punctures that it might have. If the ductwork has damage, it can cause heat to be released sooner, and not in the rooms of your home. You can also inspect the thermostat to ensure that it is in the best condition possible and working correctly. If the actual temperature is different than the set temperature, it may indicate that the thermostat is malfunctioning. Make sure to contact us and we can inspect it for you.

Ensuring that your Furnace is Cleaned is Important

Keeping your furnace maintained and in good working condition is important. You will want to have it inspected on a regular basis to ensure that it is still working efficiently and at top performance. If the system is starting to wear down and fail, it should be repaired as soon as possible. Neglecting proper maintenance now can lead to expensive repairs in the future. If a small problem is detected now, the proper parts can be ordered and replaced in a timely manner. If a problem occurs during the winter when you need your furnace most, hourly rates will likely be higher and you will likely be more frustrated with the process.

Like other mechanical items, a furnace has moving parts. We can inspect the moving parts and lubricate, clean, or replace them so your system is running as efficiently as it can. If a furnace is poorly maintained, it can work overtime. The more your furnace runs, the more money you pay your utility company. A properly-tuned furnace will run more efficiently, reducing your heating bills.

The furnace system in your home has several parts to make it run efficiently, so having them inspected will help increase the performance of it. The furnace, ductwork, thermostat, and filter are all things that should be checked. If you start to notice an issue with your furnace system, make sure to contact us so we can inspect them for you. This can help you to save time, money, and stress in the long run.

Remember to change your filter regularly. Clean filters can help your furnace run more efficiently. It is recommend changing your filter monthly. You can also improve the air quality in your home by changing the air filter, especially if you own pets or someone in your family smokes.

Reasons to Check the Filter Regularly

 

There are several reasons why you need to check the filter on your furnace regularly. The most common reason a heating system breaks down is because of a dirty filter. As dirt accumulates, air cannot pass, or worse, the system overheats. The motor then has to work harder. In a best-case scenario, your unit will need to be repaired. In the worst case, if your unit is older, not replacing filters could put it over the edge and require you to buy a new one. Replacing the filter is an easy way to lengthen the life of your heating system.

When that clogged air filter is working harder, more energy is being used. And when it requires more energy to make your heating work, it causes your energy bill to skyrocket. When you consistently change your air filter, you can save from 5 to 15 percent on your utility costs.

Good air quality is important if anyone in your family suffers from allergies or asthma. Dirty air filters worsen the air quality and can exacerbate symptoms. If you have pets, it’s even more important because pet dander will accumulate in the system and then spread allergens throughout the household. If you find the air quality poor in your home, it may be time to change the filter. You can also contact us and we can advise you on a schedule to check the filter. Also, we can inspect the filter for you and recommend when a new one may be needed. Changing the filter helps to improve the air quality, as well as the efficiency for your furnace system.

 

K&S has been your trusted Heating, Air Conditioning, Plumbing and Electrical partner since 1988.

Count on our unmatched Experience and the Quality you know from K&S

4205 Highway 14 West

Rochester, MN 55901

(507) 282-4328


6513 Cecilia Cir.

Edina, MN 55435

(952) 697-4328

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