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Frequently Asked Questions about Furnaces, Air Conditioners and Repairs

Should I consider replacing my current heating and cooling system?

If you have a heating and cooling system that is over fifteen years old, you may want to consider replacing it with a newer, more efficient system. Today's top of the line, high efficiency furnaces could operate up to 20 percent more energy efficient than those that were manufactured prior to 2007. If you are running an older system, you could be spending hundreds of dollars each year in electricity and heating bills. That's money that you could be putting back in your pocket each month. A newer system may pay for itself in just a couple years.

Are new heating and cooling systems expensive?

Discussing the cost of a new or upgraded heating and cooling system must include the costs of your system's current efficiency. Our specialists can evaluate your current system and tell you if you would benefit financially from installing a new system or keeping your current one for a few more years. We have your best interest in mind and we strive to help you save money even if it means less work for us.

Do you provide after hours and weekend services?

We know that furnace and air conditioners do not just break down during business hours. That's why our staff provides emergency services during evening and weekend hours. If your furnace or air conditioner breaks down, simply call us to schedule an appointment. Many times, we can provide same day service, so you never have to wait too long before getting your furnace or air conditioner back in working order.

How can I keep my heating and cooling system working at its optimal performance?

Just like any other system, preventative maintenance and cleaning is essential to make sure it lasts for years to come. Your heating and cooling system is no different. One thing you can do to make sure your heating and cooling system works efficiently is to clean the filters on a regular basis. Every month or two, check the air filter. If it is covered with dust, it is time to replace it. Also, you should have your furnace checked for leaks, corrosion and other problems each year, with an annual preventative maintenance service. If you schedule an annual preventative maintenance appointment with us, we will safety check your furnace, plus clean and adjust the burners as required to keep it in peak operating condition.

Do you use brand name parts?

Yes. We use the best quality parts and professional grade equipment with each job that we do. Combine that with our expert workmanship and you can expect our work to last for many years to come. We also provide a warranty with each job we do so you can have us do all of your heating and cooling work with complete confidence.

How can you improve my air quality?

Over the years, dust, debris and bacteria can build up in the ductwork of your heating and cooling system. Since this is where the air in your home is circulated from, you could be breathing this stuff in day in and day out. Our technicians can clean all of that stuff out of your ducts with our professional equipment. We will remove it from your home so you can start breathing cleaner air right away. You may even find out that some of your health problems and allergies were being aggravated by the dust and debris that you have been breathing in.

Heating and Cooling: Tips for Do-It-Yourself HVAC Maintenance

Check Air Filter

Checking your air filter for your heating and cooling system is often very easy as long as you know where to find it. With central air systems, the filter is typically located within the main unit to filter the air that the system brings in to your home. Most air filters are disposable and last a month or two, they are easy to replace, which also makes your furnace operate more efficiently.

Permanent air filters are reusable, meaning that you can clean them rather than replace them. If you have a reusable one, take it outside and gently brush away any dust and debris that has become stuck to the filter. Then vacuum off the filter to remove any loose debris that remains on it after the brushing. Next, turn the filter over and spray it off with a spray nozzle attached to a hose. Use a low pressure attachment so you do not break the filter. Allow the filter to dry outside before putting it back in its spot in your home.

Remove Debris from Your AC

Debris and dust building up in your air conditioning unit can cause foul odors and harmful air that you could be breathing. That is why it is important to keep your air conditioning unit debris-free by cleaning it regularly. You can start cleaning it by first turning it off and looking at the inside by lifting off the top of the unit. If you see debris, remove it. For accumulated dust in the cooling fins, use a garden hose and spray the fins from the inside out, to actually wash the dirt out instead of driving it deeper into the fins. Finish by rinsing the outside of the fins from top to bottom.

Cleaning Humidifiers

Humidifiers are ideal for improving the quality of the air you breathe in your home. However, in order to accomplish this, they must be cleaned regularly. Before you do anything, you should always check with the manufacturer's manual. But for general maintenance and cleaning that you can do yourself, here are some tips to get you started.

First, mix some water and about one cup of vinegar in a spray bottle. Remove the water tank from the humidifier and set aside the motor housing for safety. Then fill the humidifier's water tank with cool water. After the water is added, put in about a tablespoon of bleach. Replace the cap on the water tank. Let it sit for 30 to 40 minutes.

Put the humidifier filter in a large container along with some vinegar. Let it set for about 30 minutes.

Clean the base of the humidifier with undiluted white vinegar. Pour a bottle into the base and let it sit. After about 30 minutes, use a soft cloth to wipe down the inside of the base to remove any dust or debris buildup. Rinse the base well once you are done cleaning it.

Pour water into the base of the humidifier. Make sure the water comes up to a good level but remains below the top edge to avoid spills. Add one teaspoon of bleach to the base for every gallon of water used. Let it sit for 30 minutes.

After 30 minutes carefully empty the water and bleach mixture, wipe down the various parts of the humidifier and allow them to dry. Then put the humidifier back together and fill the tank with cool, fresh water for optimal air quality and comfort.

Cleaning Your Air Cleaners

Air cleaners are an important part of a home's air quality. Many people refer to these units as air purifiers, but either term is useful. Before you clean your air cleaner, refer to the owner's manual if you can find it. If not, the process is fairly simple.

The first thing to do is to find the air cleaner's filter. It is usually located in the back and you may have to remove a protective piece to get to it. When you remove the filter, take note of how it is inserted so you can put it back the same way.

If the filter is disposable, replace it. If you do not have any replacement filters, take the old one to your local department store or home improvement store to find one just like it. However, if your air cleaner's filter is reusable, you can clean it with soap and warm water. Rinse it and set it aside to let it dry.

While the filter is drying, disassemble the main components of the air cleaner, making sure you are paying attention so you can put it back together. Then wipe down the inside where you see dust and debris with a damp cloth. Use a soft bristle brush to clean out the grooves, too. Rinse the rag and brush when the dust accumulates to prevent simply moving the dust around.

Set all the parts of the air cleaner on a dry surface so they can dry. Be patient because this could take a few hours. Once dry, reassemble the parts and enjoy the clean air.

Brush Exterior

Keeping the outer coil of your heating and cooling system clean is essential for optimal performance and efficiency. This is one of the simplest procedures to do, too. Simply use a vacuum cleaner with a brush attachment and go around the coil, which is typically on the outer area of the air unit. This will help keep the dust and debris from causing it to overheat or work less efficiently than it should.

Inspect Ventilation

Before you turn your heating unit on at the beginning of the winter season, you should inspect its ventilation system and combustion area. If there is a buildup of dust, debris or soot, your furnace may not work properly or as efficiently as it should. The debris can also cause foul odors and unclean air to be pumped through your home. Use a vacuum cleaner and its brush attachment to remove any loose dust and debris from the heater's ventilation system. Then use a damp cloth to wipe down the inside of the ventilation system as far as you can reach to remove even more dust and debris. This will help ensure your heating system is as clean and efficient as it should be.

Check Level

For optimal performance, the outdoor coil on your heating and cooling system should always be level. If the coil is not in a level position, take steps to safely return it to a level position. Otherwise, the moisture may not drain properly and there could be damage to the entire unit.

Call Professional Mechanical Services, LLC at 612-655-9101 or click Contact Us. If you live in the northwest Twin City metro area, we’ll be there as quick as possible to help you out!

(Remember: We are always available 24/7 if you need emergency service.)