Leave HVAC Repairs to the Pros

There are a lot of things homeowners can fix by themselves around the house, but repairing the HVAC system should not be one of them. Repairing HVAC systems can be dangerous for those who have not gone through proper training, and if something goes wrong it could have an expensive consequence.

Here are five reasons homeowners should Call Diamond Heating and Cooling for HVAC repairs:

  1. High Voltage Electricity

HVAC systems use high voltage electricity, which can be very dangerous and even fatal. Technicians go through training to learn how to deal with electricity to avoid injuries. Any amount of money a homeowner might save on a DIY repair is not worth the potential risks.

  1. Chemicals

Mishandled refrigerant chemicals can affect everyone in the home, not just the person doing the repair. By law, HVAC technicians need an EPA 608 certification to work on air conditioning systems. During this training they learn how to handle refrigerant and how to properly dispose of it.

  1. Wrong Tools

Technicians have special tools related to HVAC problems such as a refrigerant leak. For a homeowner to buy all of the necessary HVAC tools, it would cost much more than a service call for an HVAC professional.

  1. Complex Interworking

Each brand of HVAC system is unique. Homeowners who watch a video on repairing a system might not realize that their system is completely different than the one in the video. Diamond Heating and Cooling’s technicians are familiar with many different HVAC brands and their complex parts.

  1. Expensive Mistakes

If the system or any of its fragile parts become damage in a DIY repair attempt, it will cost the homeowner even more to get the problem fixed after calling in a professional. Save money by calling Diamond Heating and Cooling the first time.

If something goes wrong with the HVAC system, Diamond Heating and Cooling is just a call away. Save time, money and stay safe by letting our technicians take care of the problem.

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Protecting the HVAC Unit from the Elements

With the Treasure Valley finally experiencing snow, it’s time to talk about protecting the outdoor HVAC unit from the elements. These units are built to withstand snow and ice, but they do have a limit. The outdoor unit requires air flow to work properly. If that is compromised by snow or ice, it could have a huge impact on its efficiency.

When snow accumulates on the HVAC system, it could melt and refreeze, leaving it a solid block of ice. Most furnaces have a built-in safety mechanism that shuts the furnace off when the vents are blocked. This prevents carbon monoxide from leaking into the house.

When the temperature outside is below freezing for a few days in a row, it’s a good idea to inspect the furnace vent pipe outside of the house. If there is frost on the pipe, scrape it off. If there’s a larger buildup of frost that isn’t easily scrapable, try using a hairdryer to melt it off.

Snow can accumulate quickly. During heavy snowfalls clear snow away from the vent’s opening. When clearing snow away do not use a shovel because it could damage the vent pipe.

Another HVAC item that can be damage by frost, ice or snow is the electric meter. If it is covered in snow, ice or frost, it could start to malfunction. This could cause the furnace to run less efficiently or shut down.

This winter, keep an eye on the frost, as well as snow and ice buildup around the outside HVAC unit. It could prevent the system from shutting off, carbon monoxide poisoning, and corrosion or rusting of the unit.

If the furnace does shut off unexpectedly, call the experts at Diamond Heating and Cooling. They are available 24/7 for heating emergencies to keep everyone in Boise and throughout the Treasure Valley warm this winter.

5 HVAC Sounds That Mean Trouble

When the HVAC system is working correctly, it’s generally pretty quiet. If homeowners are hearing sounds that aren’t normal, or the HVAC system is sounding louder than usual, it could be signaling a problem that needs to be fixed. Keep an ear open for these sounds:

  1. Squealing

If the blower motor is producing a squealing or screeching noise, it could be the result of a bad belt or motor bearing issues. The blower won’t turn if the belt is broken, so belts should be checked and replaced as needed.

  1. Clanking

Loud, banging noises generally point to an issue with the blower assembly or motor. A loose component in the system will create a rattling noise. If this happens, call Diamond Heating and Cooling to fix the loose or broken component.

  1. Thumping

If there’s a noise similar to a playing card hitting the spokes on a bicycle, something is impacting the blower blades. It could either be stuck or contacting something when the blower turns. This can cause the motor to wear out faster and need replaced sooner.

  1. Clicking

While clicking is usually a normal sound when the system turns on and off, if it is repetitive, there could be an issue. Repetitive clicking from the control panel or outside compressor could mean a relay is defective.

  1.  Rattling

If there’s a rattling sound when the fan turns on, there could be loose hardware or a failing motor. The seriousness of the issue can generally be measured by how loud the sound is. If the noise is more like a scream, the compressor could be failing.

Homeowners who hear any of the above sounds should contact Diamond Heating and Cooling. They will inspect the HVAC system and fix the problem. To prevent issues like this in the future, have the experts at Diamond Heating and Cooling regularly service the HVAC system. Regular service can help cut down on repair and energy costs.

Retrieving Items from Ductwork

Accidents happen and sometimes items are dropped into the floor air vent. This is especially common in households with children. Don’t give up hope. The item is not likely to be lost forever. Also, leaving it in there could damage the ductwork. Often retrieving whatever was dropped down the vent can be easy. Just follow these steps:

  1. Unscrew the cover

To gain better access to the vent, the cover needs to be removed. Find the right screwdriver to take out the screws and place them in a safe area so they won’t get lost.

  1. Use a vacuum

If the object is too far out of reach, or the vent is too small to safely stick a hand into, a vacuum can be used. Simply put the hose into the vent and turn it on. Check the vacuum bag to see if the object was successfully sucked up.

  1. Use a spider grabber

If the item is visible, this could be a better way to retrieve it. A spider grabber, is a long pole with a claw-like extension. Insert it into the vent and gently close the claw around the object to bring it to the surface.

  1. String and gum

If the item is hard and will stick to something, the string and gum approach could work. Generally this should be used on items that are visible. If the item isn’t visible, there’s a possibility it could be pushed farther into the ducts. Take a piece of string or fishing line and attached a piece of chewed gum, tape, or anything else sticky to the end. Lower the sticky end into the vent, and try to stick it to the item before gently bringing it upward.

  1. Call in a professional

If the item is out of sight and the above ideas haven’t worked, it’s probably a job for the pros. The ducts the air vents connect to can turn sharply, making it difficult to retrieve items from them without the proper equipment.

Homes with small children or clumsy occupants can try to limit these instances by placing air deflectors on the vent covers. While the vent is still open on one side, anything that falls directly on the vent is likely to hit the air deflector, instead of going directly in the vent.

Don’t let lost objects stay in the vents. They could damage vents and restrict air flow of the A/C and furnace. The harder they have to work, the higher the energy bill will be.

Choosing an HVAC System

When it comes time to replace the HVAC system, choosing a new one can be an overwhelming task. There are different types of systems, a variety of brands, and they all have different price points. Take these steps to choose the right system:

  1. Do some homework

Homeowners should determine their heating and cooling needs before selecting a system. By measuring the space of the home, it will help determine the amount of power required in the system.

  1. Create a budget

Sometimes the HVAC unit can die at the worst possible time financially. So when the budget might be a bit tighter, homeowners should stick to essentials. Extra costs such as a humidification or filtration systems may need to be put aside.

  1. Keep it simple

When looking at systems, remember that bigger doesn’t necessarily mean better. Too large of a system won’t be efficient and will wear down faster. Also, shoot for quality. It might cost a little more to get the system with a good warranty, but often it will be helpful later on.

  1. Stay local

Staying local when buying an HVAC system is great when it needs serviced or repaired. Local HVAC companies also tend to have better prices.

Need help with purchase and installation of an HVAC system? The technicians at Diamond Heating and Cooling are the experts in the Treasure Valley. They also have financing options from 21 months same as cash to a 60 month finance program with payments as low as $100/month per $5,000 financed.

Prevent AC-Related Fires

Malfunctions can cause air conditioners to overheat and start fires. In 2010 alone, there were 7,400 reported home structure fires in association with air conditioning, fans or other related equipment. These were mostly due to mechanical or electrical failures.

What can prevent many of the air conditioning failures is proper AC maintenance. A particular problem that some people come across is the drain line clogging up. In some cases, the water heater is located below the AC unit. When water from the drain line drips, it can short the heater and spark a fire.

Homeowners should have a minimum of two inspections a year, as well as routine HVAC maintenance. By getting the system checked and cleaned, the chances of something malfunctioning will be reduced.

Diamond Heating and Cooling offers maintenance plans for heating and cooling. They can diagnose any issues and have everything running properly in no time.

Is it Time to Replace?

Sometimes a quick fix won’t help an HVAC system that has outlived its time. Pay attention for certain signs that indicate it might be time to replace it instead of trying to repair it.

  • Frequent repairs
  • Increased energy bills
  • Rooms are too hot or cold
  • Humidity is an issue
  • Excessive dust inside
  • HVAC system is louder than usual

These are a few signs that the HVAC system may need replaced with a newer model. Along with these, if the heat pump or AC has been around for 10 years or more, it should probably be replaced. Also, furnaces or boilers more than 15 years old frequently need to be updated as well.

Age doesn’t always mean it’s time to replace the HVAC system. If maintained properly they can last for quite a long time. By having routine maintenance and inspections, homeowners will know how their system is performing and if it’s time to get a new one.

Before going out and buying one, call Diamond Heating and Cooling. They can determine what the issue is and if the system really needs replaced or just repaired.