5 Common HVAC Questions

HVAC Repair

Over the years, Diamond Heating and Cooling has answered many questions from homeowners regarding HVAC systems. Helping them learn more about their HVAC system and how to keep it running well is something Diamond’s technicians strive to do. Here are five of the most common questions homeowners have and the answers to them:

  1. What size of system do I need?

The answer to this question depends on factors like the size of the home. A system that’s too big or too small can increase energy bills, and decrease the lifetime of the system. Having Diamond Heating and Cooling measure the home to determine the proper HVAC system will ensure the perfect fit.

  1. How can I increase efficiency?

To keep an HVAC system running at peak efficiency, homeowners should replace the filter regularly and schedule annual maintenance with Diamond Heating and Cooling. The filter can have a huge impact on how well the HVAC system runs and maintenance catches any potential problems.

  1. How often should an HVAC system be serviced?

At Diamond Heating and Cooling, we recommended having the system serviced twice a year. The furnace should be serviced in the fall before cold weather hits and the air conditioner should be serviced in the spring. Seasons can be harsh in Boise and throughout the Treasure Valley, which can put a strain on the system, so twice a year maintenance is encouraged.

  1. How often should the filter be changed?

At the very least, the filter needs to be changed every three months. During the months when it works harder, like the middle of summer or winter, changing it every month might be needed.

  1. How much does HVAC replacement cost?

Again, no two houses are the same, which means system replacement costs will differ. Diamond Heating and Cooling offers many brands of HVAC systems at a straightforward price.

For further questions, contact Diamond Heating and Cooling.

Dealing with Fluctuating Temperatures

Idaho experiences a significant amount of fluctuating weather and temperatures around this time of year. This can be hard for the HVAC system to keep up with. Keep your home comfortable during temperature fluctuations and save energy by following these tips:

  1. Smart Thermostat

These thermostats are one of the best ways homeowners can save energy and money. They help to gain control over comfort, and have many benefits. Smart thermostats allow for automation of heating and cooling, optimizing efficiency. Often they come with a phone app too so homeowners can adjust the temperature from anywhere. Use it to analyze energy usage to figure out how to decrease it and more.

  1. Window Treatments

Having the right window treatments can help minimize warm or cold air loss during times of fluctuation. They keep the home more comfortable without using any energy in the process.

  1. Fans

Not everyone is ready to turn on the air conditioner yet, but with 80 degree days, the house can get a little unbearable. Delay turning on the AC with the help of fans. They might not actually cool the room down, but they can make it feel cooler in whichever room they are used.

  1. Check the Weather Reports

It can be useful each morning to check what the weather is expected to be that day. This gives homeowners a heads up on how to program the thermostat and if they need to adjust it later on. Remember to turn the temperature up while away so the AC doesn’t run unnecessarily.

  1. Open the Windows

Open the windows for a few hours at night or in the morning during cooler hours instead of using the AC. Then shut them before leaving for the day and turning the AC on. The naturally cool air means the air conditioner won’t have to run as often until later when the day heats up.

Talk to Diamond Heating and Cooling about getting the air conditioner serviced or a new one installed before summer hits Boise and the Treasure Valley.

Installing a High Efficiency System

Homes with HVAC systems that are more than 10 years old should consider an upgrade. This is especially true for those that have experienced frequent repairs and uneven heating or cooling throughout the house. Replacing the current system with an Energy Star-rated model before it fails can bring a lot of benefits.

  1. Lowered Utility Bills

Replacing an old system that is inefficient, with a new high efficiency model could save homeowners at least $115-$200 annually according to Energy Star. Homeowners could also qualify for tax credits for investing in energy efficiency.

  1. Less Maintenance

Older HVAC systems tend to have more problems that can lead to costly repairs even with regular maintenance. Investing in a newer model will cut down on repairs and maintenance costs.

  1. Comfort

Higher efficiency systems heat and cool a home and with less effort. Homeowners will experience evenly distributed heating, more consistent temperatures, and steady air flow throughout the entire house. Comfort is important, especially during the winter and summer months.

  1. Environmentally Better

Models with high efficiency have a minimal impact on the environment compared to their older counterparts. They use less fuel to operate, which helps to conserve energy.

  1. Increased Value

Buyers are starting to take more notice of the HVAC systems in houses they are considering for purchase. They tend to be willing to pay more for a home with a high efficiency system, correctly programmed thermostat, proper insulation, and sealed ductwork. When homeowners are thinking about selling, a high efficiency heating and cooling system will help bring a better price for the home.

Diamond Heating and Cooling wants everyone to be warm this winter and not have to deal with a system that’s breaking down. Talk to them today about finding and installing a high efficiency system to start experiencing the benefits above.

5 Tips to Lower Heating Bills

It’s that time of year again when the temperature drops and the furnace kicks on more frequently. That doesn’t mean that the energy bill has to skyrocket though. After having the furnace serviced by the experts at Diamond Heating and Cooling to ensure everything is running properly, try out these tips to keep energy costs low:

  • Cover Drafty Windows

Use a film to reduce the amount of cold air coming through the windows. Another idea is to install insulating drapes or shades to keep the cold air from entering the room.

  • Find Leaks

There are a lot of places in house that can leak air such as doors, windows, and more. Learn how to detect leaks and then seal them up tight to keep the warm air in and the cold air out.

  • Replace Weather Stripping

Weather stripping is great around doors and windows, but not if it’s old and worn. It’s easy to replace, and can significantly reduce air leaks. Some weather stripping needs to be replaced every few years, so it might be a good time to check.

  • Use the Fireplace

Using the fireplace during colder months can cut down on furnace usage, lowering the energy bill and preserving the life of the furnace. The fireplace should be serviced before use each fall and a carbon monoxide detector should be installed.

  • Keep Heating Vents Clear

For even heating, the warm air blowing out of the heat vents needs a clear path into the room. Furniture set over top of the vents will block air flow and will be less efficient.

Have the furnace serviced before the winter cold really sets in. If the heating bill starts skyrocketing this winter, talk to Diamond Heating and Cooling. There may be a problem with the HVAC system causing the spike in heating costs.

5 Signs the Furnace Filter Needs Changed

The furnace filter needs to be changed regularly to keep everything running smoothly. However, it can be difficult to remember the last time it was replaced. If this happens, keep an eye out for these five telltale signs the furnace filter needs to go:

  1. Overheating Unit

A common sign that the filter is overdue for a change is an overheated unit. If the unit begins to get too hot or is expelling hot air when it shouldn’t, the furnace filter is past it’s prime. If left to overheat for too long, the unit could start experiencing problems and possibly breakdown.

  1. Dust

Another sign is the accumulation of dust on surfaces in the home, especially near the vents. Clogged furnace filters have a harder time removing dust and pollutants from the air.

  1. Allergies

Homes with allergy and asthma sufferers might notice more symptoms if the filter is clogged. It’s important to maintain good indoor air quality in homes that experience allergies and asthma, so they might need to change their filter a little more often than others.

  1. Increased Electricity Bill

Has the energy bill gone up over time for no reason? Compare electricity bills over three months to see if that’s the case. If so, a dirty air filter might be the problem.

  1. White Sheet Test

Hang a white sheet 5 to 8 inches away from a vent for about an hour. The grayer the sheet becomes over this period, the dirtier the filter.

If all else fails, just take a look at the furnace filter. If it looks dirty, it is. Changing it a little early won’t hurt the HVAC system either. One method of remembering when the filter was last changed is to write the date on it when it is put in. This way there’s no guessing.

Cigarette Smoke Traveling through the HVAC System

In some apartment buildings, the HVAC system is linked together. That means what’s in one apartment can leak into the neighbor’s ducts and cause allergies or asthma. One of the things that can leak in is cigarette smoke if the neighbors smoke indoors.

Airborne second-hand smoke can be bothersome and cause health issues, but it isn’t the only thing to cause apartment dwellers concern. The dust that accumulates on surfaces is partially remnants of smoke that was hanging in the air. That means it is full of carcinogens and other dangers that are lingering on the surfaces.

One way to combat this is by dusting regularly. However, dust can linger in vents for a lot longer than it stays on surfaces. When the vents are in use, they can blow all of the dangerous dust around the apartment.

Here are some solutions to get rid of as much of the lingering smoke and dust as possible:

  1. Air Sanitizers

This will help remove the smell of cigarettes, but not the contaminants. There are a few options like chemical sanitizers, or natural ones like baking soda.

  1. Changing Filters

The air filter traps the cigarette smell and contaminants. Because of this, a dirty filter in the HVAC system can spread contaminants into the apartment when it is in use. Change the furnace filter often to combat this issue. It may have to be done more frequently than every three months.

  1. Clean

Like stated above, dusting can help eliminate some of the contaminants. Regular vacuuming will also help eliminate carcinogens and other dangers from the carpet. Lastly, get the ducts cleaned. Dust and contaminants can reside there and spread when the HVAC system is in use.

Keeping the apartment dust-free and changing the filters often can help to reduce the amount of smoke inhalation due to smoking neighbors. Since most apartment dwellers do not have access to the air filters and duct work, mention Diamond Heating and Cooling to your landlord and have them also ask about the Micro Power Guard Air Cleaner to better filter out contaminants.

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.