Tag Archives: changing filters

Cleaning the Blower Assembly of a Furnace

Spring cleaning should include your central heat and air system. The air conditioning system, which includes the furnace and blower assembly, evaporator coil, ductwork and outdoor unit (either AC or heat pump) cannot run effectively and efficiently if it is dirty. A dirty evaporator coil can become the cause for unhealthy air. Air must pass through this at a specific rate, called CFM (cubic feet per minute). This is important when it comes to comfort and efficiency. The blower assembly moves air through the furnace and evaporator coil and then through your ductwork and into your conditioned space.

Regular maintenance and cleaning is very important and can help to lower the cost of your utility bills and keep your unit running efficiently. Dirt effects the 3 main components of your furnace so cleaning it is the most important part of regular maintenance. The three parts of the furnace that should be cleaned includes the filter system, the blower and the motor.

Your furnace fan, typically called the blower motor assembly or the squirrel cage fan can become extremely dirty over time. If there is dust, dirt, pet hair or construction material in your ductwork, guaranteed it has accumulated in the furnace fan as well. It is critical to clean the blower assembly, belts and pulleys to the blower and motor housing especially if the furnace has a squirrel-cage fan, because openings in this type of blower often become clogged with dirt. You can check this by removing the panel that covers the filter to gain access to the blower or panel on the front of the furnace. We recommend you call a trained HVAC professional to clean this part of the unit.

BLOWER MOTOR CLEAN

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Helpful Tips For Using Your Air Conditioner- Ace Hi Plumbing, Heating and Air Inc.

HELPFUL TIPS FOR USING YOUR AIR CONDITIONER:

  • Always keep all windows and doors, to the outside, closed.
  • Don’t cool unoccupied rooms. If you have registers, don’t close more than half of them. Restricting air flow too much can cause your unit to malfunction.
  • Do you have a ceiling fan? Set the thermostat higher – you will still be comfortable. Keep a fan on low speed when humid.
  • When you are not at home, set your thermostat at 78F, or higher. Setting the thermostat lower, cools a warm room colder, not faster, and it uses more energy.
  • Consider getting a programmable thermostat for central units, especially if you are away from home at the same times during the week. Some programmable thermostats can be controlled from your computer or smart phone.
  • Keep lamps, televisions and other electronics away from a room unit’s thermostat. The thermostat can sense their heat, which may cause the air conditioner to run longer than necessary.
  • Consider calling in a professional air conditioning maintenance contractor to tune up your air conditioner before the cooling season. A tune up will maximize your comfort in the summer, help your air conditioner last longer and run better, and save on monthly energy bills.

Fort Collins, Colorado AC Repair Services at Ace Hi Plumbing, Heating & Air

There are a few important things you should do to extend the life of your air conditioner.  One of the most important things you can do is changing your AC filter. Having clean filters is extremely important. Experts recommend changing your filters once a month during the summer. If you require more efficient air filtration, you may want an electrostatic, electronic or even a HEPA filter. The more efficient the filter is the more often it will have to be cleaned or replaced. Make sure to get a supply of filters that fit your unit.

A dirty AC filter decreases the effectiveness of the air conditioner by blocking airflow and carrying dirt and other materials through the AC system. The United States Department of energy estimated that replacing a dirty AC filter with a clean one will improve the efficiency of the AC system by 5% to 15%.

If you suspect problems with your air conditioning system, contact Ace Hi Plumbing, Heating & Air, a company who cares about their customers and the quality of their work. We have NATE-Trained technicians and we offer top quality service at an affordable price. The warranties and guarantees are industry leading because of our experienced technicians and the high quality parts we use. All our technicians are friendly, smoke-free, drug-free and background checked.

If you need air conditioning repair services in Fort Collins, Colorado, call Ace Hi Plumbing, Heating & Air today at 970-667-0300.

How to Change Your Furnace or AC Filter – ACE HI PLUMBING, HEATING, & AIR

Maintaining a clean furnace filter not only helps to keep your furnace’s interior components clean and in good operating order, but also contributes to improved air quality by reducing the amount of allergens and harmful particles in the air. All furnaces are equipped with an air filtration system designed to trap pollutants, dirt, and dust. Service technicians may replace your furnace filter during an annual inspection, but these filters are constantly working to keep the airborne pollutants out of the air you breathe and away from the operating parts of your furnace. With all of these debris piling on each and every day, frequently changing or cleaning your filter is essential to maintaining the unit’s optimal operating efficiency. This is also essential to keeping your monthly bill low. It is important to understand how to replace your filter and how often is often enough.

UNDERSTANDING THE NEED FOR A FURNACE FILTER

First, it is important to understand how filters operate and why it is so important to your HVAC system. The furnace operates through a cold and hot air return process. The process starts in the cold air vents and cold air travels through the furnace filter to start the heating process. As cold air moves through the system, hot air return begins at the furnace, travels through the heat exchanger, and then out through the vents into the home. The warm air, replaces the cooler air and the cold air is pushed back through the return vent to begin the process all over again. As the air continues to pass through the system, dust and dirt particles in the air are trapped by the filter preventing it from building up on the interior components of the unit and slowing down the operation. When the filter doesn’t get changed regularly, it becomes more difficult for the air to pass through the returns, meaning your furnace is performing overtime to keep air moving.

TIMING YOUR REPLACEMENT

Air filters should be changed or cleaned every few months, before they get full. It depends on the manufacturer’s directions whether that should take place every month or every three months. Be sure to read all directions supplied with your new filter carefully. Also, you should frequently check to see if your filter should need a replacement as necessary. For example, if you have pets or if you smoke, you may find your filter turning black with pollutants sooner that you may have expected.

The location of the filter varies depending on the furnace’s make, model, and manufacturer. They generally are found near the fan motor, which is kept in the blower chamber. Filters also may be kept near the systems ductwork. Some could be exposed and easily located from the exterior of the unit, or other furnaces are manufactured with the filter inside the fan enclosure. These units require removal of an access panel to uncover the filter. Homeowners should consult their owners manual for factory instructions on how to change their individual unit’s filter.

CHOOSING A REPLACEMENT FILTER

Filters come in a variety of types, including fiberglass, HEPA, polyester, pleated, and electrostatic filters. Each has different capabilities and performance based on the size, density of the material and amount and size of particles it’s designed to filter. Filters are available in reusable or disposable options. Reusable filters require replacement every few years, but depending on the level of pollutants captured, they should be cleaned with water or a vacuum on a monthly basis. Disposable filters require a homeowner to purchase a new filter every few months, but eliminate the potential for exposure to contaminants during the cleaning process. This type of filter is regarded as more efficient at trapping smaller debris. Although reusable filters may seem more environmentally friendly, they are generally less effective at trapping small dust particles and this may reduce the overall efficiency of the unit. Regardless, all air filters are most effective when new and clean.

Once you determine the type of filter you want, it’s important to ensure you purchase the correct size. Looking at the old filter being replaced is the simplest way to determine the size of the new filter. Typically, the size is printed on the filter frame and is presented with the dimensions measuring width by height by depth. If the size is not on the frame of the filter, it can be found be measuring the dimensions with a tape measure or reading your furnace’s owner’s manual.

WHAT’S IN A BRAND NAME

Both brand name and generic filters can be used in heating and cooling units. Generic filters may cost less, but often have the same specifications as brand name filters. Buying a filter in the right size will have a greater impact on performance than the brand. Installing the wrong size could allow air to bypass the filter and leak through to the blower fan, causing slow air flow, excessive dirt build-up, and a soiled blower fan. More costly repairs, cleaning, and service depends on the severity of the build-up. If you are concerned about purchasing the wrong furnace filter, don’t hesitate to talk to your maintenance technician about their recommendations for keeping your unit running in top shape year round.

ACE HI PLUMBING, HEATING, & AIR – KEEPING YOUR FURNACE SYSTEM SAFE

Combustion creates Carbon Monoxide (CO), a colorless, odorless gas that can be deadly. CO produced by the combustion in your furnace is exhausted up to the chimney and out of your home. However, a furnace that is out of adjustment can leave CO in your home. You should install a Carbon Monoxide detector in your furnace room to help protect yourself and others from CO poisoning. It is also recommended to install detectors on every level of your home, especially in sleeping areas. If the detector indicates any build up of Carbon Monoxide at any time, immediately have your furnace professionally inspected.

A professional tune up every few years is a good investment and will help to keep your furnace running efficiently. Consider having annual tune ups and maintenance done on any oil-fired furnace, since they can quickly generate dangerous soot deposits and CO if not properly cleaned and adjusted. The professionals are the people who have the skills and equipment to ensure that any parts that may degrade over time are still functioning properly in your furnace.

ACE HI PLUMBING, HEATING, & AIR – HOW TO TUNE UP YOUR FURNACE SYSTEM

HVAC systems are mechanical, so they need to be maintained like all mechanical systems. A thorough professional tune up will cost you $100 or more and is definitely something you should do every few years. However, you can do an annual tune up and maintenance process yourself, and save yourself some money.

INSPECT

First, take a look at your furnace. There should not be any combustion residue or black soot on or around the furnace. Next, turn up the thermostat so that your furnace turns on. Check to make sure the flames in the burner are blue and steady, not yellow or orange and flickering. Soot build-up or yellow flames are an indication of poor combustion, and if you are seeing any signs of either, call a professional technician to fix the problem.

CLEAN

Turn your thermostat back down and let your furnace cool. For extra safety, turn off the circuit breaker that powers your furnace. When the furnace is cool, remove the sides of your furnace. Use a vacuum with a long nozzle to get rid of any dust that may have accumulated. Then, use a damp rag to clean the blades of the blower fan and any other areas the vacuum could not reach. While you have the sides off, check to make sure your blower fan has oil cups at the ends of the central shaft (some are sealed shafts and don’t need oiling). If there are cups there, give them a few drops of oil.

REPAIR

If your blower has a fan belt, check its condition and tension. An electric motor and a fan belt drive many blower fans, while some are direct drive and don’t use a fan belt. Over time, fan belts age and heat will dry out the rubber belt causing cracks. Check to make sure the underside of the belt is free of cracks. If there are cracks, make sure to replace it with one of the same size. Checking the tension of the belt is as simple as pushing down on it. There should be at least a 1/2 inch of play in a properly adjusted belt. If there is more or less movement, adjust the tension by loosening the electric motor mounts and moving the motor to create the proper tension.

REASEMBLE

Reattach the furnace panels, and turn the circuit breaker back on.

REPLACE

Finally, make sure to change your furnace filter once a month during heating season. This is good maintenance practice. So when you do your furnace tune up, get ready for the season by installing a fresh filter.

Preparing Your Home For Winter

Preparing your home for winter can be a challenge.  Make sure you check your windows and doors for air leaks.

Apply caulk around leaks to help seal out the cold.  Remove your hose from the outside faucet when temperatures drop down around freezing.

Furnace should be inspected by a licensed contractor.  A carbon monoxide check should be completed at the time of inspection.

Boilers should be inspected yearly.  They should be cleaned and serviced.

If you have an evaporative cooler it should be covered for the winter season.

Ace Hi Plumbing,Heating and Air can help you with all of these services.  We have trained technicians who are ready to serve you.