How often should I change my Air Filters?

When they are dirty or every 3 months which ever comes first.

I see so many homes with clogged air filters when I arrive. This can wreck havoc on your air conditioner and heater as well as your indoor air quality. Dirty filters can lead to frozen pipes, dirty blower fans, and burned out blower fan motors. Dirty Filters

Risking a $700 fan motor replacement bill over a $6 filter is ridiculous. Buy a box of filters from your local supply store and keep them in your closet. Then change those filters when they look gray or every 3 months. save yourself some agony and money.

Pets and kids will clog your filter faster than a home without pets and kids? Think about it, pets have twice as many legs and move them twice as fast as an adult human. Therefore they will kick up more dust and other airborne particles much easier than otherwise. The airborne particles collect on your filters and halt the air flow to your air conditioner or furnace. This causes the fan motor to work harder and possibly shorten the life of the fan motor.

Do not pay attention to the filter life displayed on the filter packaging. Unless the filter is thicker, such as a 2″ thick filter, most filters only last around a month in the average household. Even if the filter says a 3 month filter, it just means it is a more dense filter that collects more airborne particles. And as was just pointed out, the more airborne particles collected, the more frequent you will need to replace the filter to prevent the loss of air flow.

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Thermostat Location Problem

Is the location of your thermostat causing your heating or air conditioning problem? Did you know that the thermostat should be located on a wall away from windows, doors, and direct sunlight? That’s right, away from all those areas that can directly affect the operation and true reading of the average room temperature.

image of digital thermostat

The proper location of the thermostat is on an inner wall, about 5′ off the floor, away from heat sources, and close to the return grill. This will put the thermostat in an area unaffected by spot heat sources and around the correct height for most standing people’s comfort.

Don’t forget to visit our website. We service Raleigh North Carolina, Durham North Carolina, Cary North Carolina, Apex North Carolina, Holly Springs North Carolina, Morrisville North Carolina, Fuquay-Varina North Carolina, and Research Triangle Park.

http://www.alexhvac.com

 

Zone cooling in place of whole home cooling

The problem with the typical central home AC is you have to cool the entire home it’s like having just one switch that turns on all the lights.

This was ok 20 years ago when we were paying like $0.004 per Kilowatthr…But now in Fresno Ca Pacific Gas And Electric is charging over $1 per peak KWH!!

Mini split AC systems and so called Ductless units are being promoted but they cost 3 to 4 times as much as a cenrtal system per ton.

It is way better to use smaller packaged air conditioners AKA window ACs but to mount them outside of a window so you do not see or hear them.

Using soud damping material in flexable ducts or ridgid ducting will allow these not to be heard from inside a room…this is perfect to cool a bedroom on hot summer nights to a cool 75F for about $1 a night

When so mounted there is a clear advatage as you just turn on the zone you are in. Window ACs can be bought from discount Ebay seller for a low as $200 per ton of cooling…or 12,000 BTU

The best part of using this approach is:

1- You never have to replace your old central AC for over $10,000 as is a typical high SEER AC system upgrade

2- If a single smaller zone AC unit fails it can be replaced for about $200 and you do not to hire a HVAC contractor to put the new on in.

3- On those rare super hot day ( like we just had at 112F in Tucson) you can turn on the old central AC until the smaller zone units can take on the cooling load.

4- If you have a typical solar power system it should be able to power 3 to 4 smaller zone ACs . The typical home solar power system is not able to run a 4 ton central AC unit

ANSWER:

You can solve that problem with zone damper system by Honeywell. installing dampers at the air handler for each zone then running a thermostat to each zone will improve the dynamic cooling requirements of each zone and is a lot less expensive than buying and retrofitting all those window units. Visit us at www.raleighheatingandairservice.com/articles to learn more.

Shopping for zone systems?

Interesting DIY Air Conditioners

Is the new 2012 Nest Thermostat or the ecobee Smart Si a better choice for a new HVAC system?

I’m trying to decide what smart thermostat to get for a new system, and the Nest and the ecobee are the most appealing products I’ve found so far.  Most of the problems I’ve read about with Nest systems are in cases where there’s no C wire providing power and so the battery runs down; however, in a new system I can just make sure I do run a C wire so I shouldn’t have any of that type of problem.

So what other considerations should lead me one way or the other?

View Question on Quora

WHOA! Just because you run a C wire doesn’t mean the thermostat is capable of using that C wire. Note that the batteries (if only two) are only about 3 volts. The R/C combo is 24 volts and may fry your thermostat. The function of the thermostat is just to turn on and off a switch at the appropriate temperature. So all the bells and whistles are the sales tools to get you to buy their brand. My recommendation is a good quality programmable thermostat so you can adjust temperature while at work or at night and save a few bucks each month. If you’re a tech gadget kinda guy, like me, then the Nest is pretty cool from a gadget perspective. The main function is no different than the old mercury switches of long ago; It opens and closes a circuit. – Frank Alexander

Dirty Flame Sensor Problem

It really is typical this seasonal time of year to note that your furnace is switching on and off two or three times for very brief runs. Then subsequent to the three attempts, the furnace shuts down for about an hour or two. After this wait period, the furnace attempts to start-up again. So why is my furnace not staying on? Maybe or maybe not your flame sensor may perhaps be the problem. Do I have an unsatisfactory flame sensor? Maybe you have a dirty flame sensor. This is very common for furnaces which may have not had a optimization or regular maintenance in the previous Two to five years.

What exactly ought I do regarding a dirty flame sensor?

Get a service technician clean and check your flame sensor. It might require replacing or only a cleaning, depending upon the problem. Typically either one of these solutions will likely be a relatively cost effective repair. Cleaning and checking the flame sensor should really be a regular element of a yearly maintenance tune up. Call Alexander Heating and Air for a tune up or acquire an annual service contract and feel confident of how your furnace is in great shape.

Warning: most furnace repairs involve high voltage and flammable gas. It is strongly advised you don’t perform this yourself. Have a skilled HVAC technician check and clean your flame sensor.

Just what is a flame Sensor and are they all necessary in my furnace?

The flame sensor is one among the many safety features inside of a gas furnace. There are some being checked right before the gas is allowed to burn and some right after the gas is burning. Those that are checked right after the gas is burning are available to safeguard you and your home from dangerous conditions while your gas is burning. The flame sensor is just one of those safety measures. The flame sensor is constructed out of metals that will create an electrical current if in the presence of a flame. It is usually meant to shut the product down when not enough burning fuel is detected from the last burner in the gang of burners inside the furnace. A constant flame from the last burner would indicate a reliable burning environment and also that the whole set of burners are getting approximately the very same amount of fuel and air. If no flame is there, then any one of the burners inside the group could possibly be burning fuel in an unsafe way. Therefore the system checks for the flame and closes the fuel valve when no flame is detected. Any system can have a false reading, so the control board usually tries to light the burners two more times. If these three times the system delivers the same message that the flame sensor isn’t detecting a flame, the whole furnace is shut down via the control board either for a couple of hours or completely until reset by a service technician. This is called a lockout condition.

What triggers flame sensors to malfunction?

You can find two possible challenges with flame sensors. A dirty flame sensor could be the most likely problem. At this point it is essential to understand that burning fuels do produce trace amounts of water when burning. And whenever water contacts most metals, the metals usually rust. This is also true with flame sensors. The metal end of a flame sensor can rust after a while. The rust accumulates and prevents the flame sensor from producing the current that tells the control board which it detects the flame. The other possible concern is that the flame sensor is now bad. This is usually a cracked insulator or perhaps short in the electrical components. Replacement is suggested for a bad flame sensor.

If you think you may have a problem with your furnace,

call The HVAC Guy at Alexander Heating and Air Conditioning.

For Quick,  Honest and Affordable  heating system services.

1-919-886-HVAC (4822)