How Cottonwood Damages AC Units

treeThe cottonwood trees are starting to release their fluffy cotton-like seeds, which can wreak havoc on not only allergy sufferers, but air conditioning units as well. As they begin to float and drift everywhere, they can become lodged in the outdoor AC unit, often creating a problem.

When too many of these fluffy seeds get sucked into the air conditioner, it can become clogged and begin to malfunction. The airflow needed to sufficiently cool the house is drastically reduced, making the system work harder. This uses more energy and wears down the air conditioner, damaging the equipment inside.

Eventually the system can even shut down from overheating, leaving homeowners with no AC, and the air conditioning unit likely damaged and in need of repairs. The condenser is usually the piece of equipment that gets damaged in this case, and might need to be replaced.

To prevent this, the outdoor AC unit will need to be professionally cleaned if there are cottonwood trees nearby. Even if there is minimal cottonwood fuzz that can be seen on the outside, it could have been sucked inside, already beginning to clog and damage the system.

If homeowners notice cottonwood flying around the yard and getting stuck on the AC unit, call Diamond Heating and Cooling as soon as possible. They can assess the situation and get the seeds cleaned out so no more damage is done. Also remember to clear away grass clippings and other debris from the outdoor air conditioning unit. Bushes and other foliage need to be at least three feet away to give the air conditioner sufficient room to work properly.

If the AC unit has already sustained damage from cottonwood seeds or other debris, Diamond Heating and Cooling will get the parts repaired or replaced to get everything back in working order so everyone stays cool in the summer heat.

5 Ways HVAC Maintenance Reduces Allergies

The sun is shining, flowers are blooming, and people are starting to sneeze. Allergies are already on the rise, and it is time to get rid of allergens inside the house. The house should be the one place where allergens can’t affect those who are allergy-prone, and HVAC maintenance can help.

  1. High Quality Filters

Remember to change the furnace filter out consistently, and also look for higher quality filters that are capable of filtering out more allergens. If a filter isn’t enough, talk to Diamond Heating and Cooling about the Micro Power Guard Air Cleaner.

  1. Clean Both Units

Clean off the outside AC unit to prevent as much debris from coming into the home as possible. Keep dirt, grass, leaves and other debris away from it. Also clean around the indoor unit to reduce allergens from circulating inside the house.

  1. Check for Mold

During furnace and AC maintenance Diamond Heating and Cooling can check the system for mold. Mold loves humid, moist places such as the furnace ducts, condensate drip pan, and evaporator coils. Also keep an eye out for mold around the house in places like the attic or basement where water damage may occur. Some types of mold not only cause allergies, but serious illness as well.

  1. Dust Regularly

When dusting, most people hit visible surfaces like the mantle above the fireplace, side tables, etc. However, the heating and cooling registers and return vents should be dusted just as frequently. These vents circulate air and when dusty, could circulate dust around the house.

  1. Call Diamond Heating and Cooling

It’s time for AC maintenance! Make an appointment with the folks at Diamond Heating and Cooling. Yearly service gets the system ready for warmer weather and helps to reduce indoor allergens by getting rid of dust and other possible debris.

Diamond Heating and Cooling wants everyone to have an allergy-free spring and summer inside their home. Talk to us about our allergy solutions or scheduling spring AC maintenance.

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.

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.

Winter Tips to Stay Warm in Boise

With Boise and the Treasure Valley forecast to get snow this weekend, it’s definitely time for some winter HVAC tips. After getting the HVAC system serviced by Diamond Heating and Cooling, the work isn’t completely over. Here are some additional things homeowners can do to help keep their heating system running efficiently this winter:

  1. Change Air Filters

Air filters need to be changed at least every three months. Remember to do this by writing it on the calendar, putting an event in a cell phone, writing the date on the filter, etc.

  1. Thermostat Check

The thermostat should be tested to make sure it’s still working correctly. On a cold morning, turn the heat on and set the thermostat to the preferred temperature used in the winter. If the furnace doesn’t reach the desired temperature, it could indicate an issue.

  1. Install a New Thermostat

One way to lower bills and keep the house more comfortable during the winter is to install a programmable thermostat. If high energy bills were a problem last winter, this could help. The experts at Diamond Heating can help with the installation too.

  1. Air Vents

Air needs to have a clear path out of the vents to circulate throughout the house and maintain the optimal temperature. Walk through the house and make sure none of the vents are being obscured by furniture.

  1. Keep an Ear Open

Winter can take its toll on HVAC systems, which is why many breakdown during the colder months. Be aware of how the HVAC system is supposed to sound and act. If it begins to behave differently, like short-cycling, or making odd noises, contact Diamond Heating and Cooling right away to diagnose the problem.

Along with keeping the furnace health and happy, here are some other tips homeowners can enact to stay warm this winter:

  • Cover doors or windows that aren’t in use during winter with plastic to help keep the heat in.
  • After using the oven, leave the door slightly ajar so the heat can escape into the kitchen, keeping the house warmer.
  • Weather-strip doors and windows if air is leaking out or in.
  • Bundle up! Layering clothing and using blankets instead of cranking the heat up really high can keep everyone warm, while keeping the heating bills a little lower.
  • Use space heaters if everyone is gathered in one room. Be sure to keep the area around space heaters clear to avoid fires.

Diamond Heating and Cooling wants everyone to stay warm this winter. Talk to them about furnace maintenance, or installing a new one if necessary. Their team is available for emergency HVAC issues 24/7.

Failing Heat Exchanger

With Boise and the Treasure Valley in the fall season, and winter right around the corner, homeowners need to be aware of how their HVAC system is performing so that it doesn’t break down and leave them in the cold this winter. A common failure experienced with these systems in the fall and winter is the breakdown of the heat exchanger due to thermal fatigue.

When metals are heated and cooled repeatedly in a heater exchanger, it can weaken the metal over time and create a crack. This will create failure in the HVAC system over time no matter what, but the degree to which the metal in the heat exchanger is subjected to thermal fatigue can be dependent on a few factors, such as:

  • How often the metal is heated and cooled
  • How quickly the temperature changes
  • The composition of the metal

If a crack in the heat exchanger is not discovered in a timely manner, toxic fumes like carbon monoxide can leak out into the air and can lead to illness and even death. To protect your home and family it’s a good idea to install carbon monoxide detectors.

All HVAC heat exchangers will eventually endure thermal fatigue and need to be replaced. However, with proper maintenance they can last quite a long time.

When Diamond Heating and Cooling completes the annual furnace maintenance for their customers, one of the first components they examine is the heat exchanger. Since it is something that can commonly fail and bring harm to the household if undetected, they want to check it and ensure household safety. Diamond Heating and Cooling also provides free second opinions for those who have been told they have a crack in their heat exchanger.

Now’s the time to get the furnace inspected and serviced. Talk to Diamond Heating and Cooling about their Silver Club Membership too. It’s a cost-effective way to ensure the HVAC system gets serviced twice a year. Visit the Diamond Heating and Cooling website to learn more.

5 Benefits of Regular Air Filter Changes

It’s time to start prepping the HVAC system for fall and winter, which means scheduling maintenance and changing out the filter. At the very least the filter needs to be changed every three months, but when the system is being used more often, it might be worth it to switch out the filter every month. There are five major benefits of changing out the air filter:

  1. Longer HVAC Lifespan

Dirty filters can cause a lot of damage in HVAC systems. This damage can shorten the lifespan of the system drastically. By regularly changing the air filter, everything works more efficiently, keeping the system working properly for a long time.

  1. Lower Energy Costs

A clean filter helps the HVAC system run smoothly. If the system doesn’t have to work harder, like it does with a dirty filter, it doesn’t use as much energy. This brings down household energy bills, helping homeowners to save money.

  1. Healthy Air Quality

When the air filter is clogged with dirt and dust, it can make allergies and asthma conditions flare up. A clean air filter can help reduce allergies and asthma attacks in the home. Also consider investing in the Micro Power Guard, which is an electronic polarized media air cleaner that gets rid of sub-micronic allergens.

  1. A Clean HVAC

Once the air filter gets clogged up, it can pollute the entire HVAC system. This can lead to more frequent and expensive repairs.

  1. Peace of Mind

Having a clean filter, efficiently-running system, and good indoor air quality gives homeowners peace of mind. It’s a quick step that has numerous benefits.

Annual fall HVAC maintenance with Diamond Heating and Cooling can help keep the system running smoothly and fix any minor issues. However, homeowners can do their part by regularly changing out the furnace filter to limit problems.