Author Archive

Winterizing Your Home

Written by A1 Heating and Air on . Posted in Helpful Information

Young couple enjoying falling autumn leaves in park

 

 

As the cooler months approach, there is fundamental action that needs to be taken to prepare yourself, your home, and your family, for winter. Every home should be thoroughly prepared for winter. Here are the Top 5 things we find to be the most important for your home and family.

 

 

  1. Maintain your furnace: Take precaution, check your filters, get your ducts cleaned,  and call a technician to inspect your fans, pilot and cleanliness of the furnace, before the temperature drops and you are stuck in a cold house. Give us a call to assist you with this step, and ask us about significant discounts for signing up on our RPM (Routine Preventative Maintenance) program.
  2. Cover your Air Conditioning Unit: As it cools down, the leaves get wet, sticks and cones blow around, and they can get into your unit. Debris can damage the fins of the air conditioner and affect performance when you turn it back on in the Spring. Avoid the hassle later, by getting a cover and saving you time and money, now.
  3. Weather-strip your windows: By placing a small strip of weather tape in the sills of the windows, you can save money, keep your furnace from working so hard, and keep your family warmer. The cool air won’t come through the windows, forcing you to “crank up the heat”. No extra breeze or draft in those small cracks.
  4. Clean your gutters: Get those leaves, sticks, and cones, out of here! A simple task such as cleaning your gutters will prevent damage to the exterior of your home and possibly the interior as well. It will help to prevent freezing gutters and even possible leaks into the home from an over loaded gutter.
  5. Remove outdoor hoses: Water can stay in the hose and freeze. If that hose is connected to the house, it can freeze those pipes. This will make a huge issue for leaking and bursting pipes. So take a second, unscrew the hose, drain it and roll it up. That way it’s in good condition for Spring!

This fall, as it cools off, prepare yourself, your home, and your family with these 5 simple steps. It comes quickly, so start prepping now to winterize your home.

Benefits of Choosing a Locally Owned Business

Written by A1 Heating and Air on . Posted in Helpful Information

Thblog-3-photoere are distinct differences doing business with large national brand businesses and choosing to support locally owned businesses. It seems easier to call the national brand companies because they are more recognizable. That doesn’t necessarily guarantee you great service or even the integrity that you expect when purchasing products or hiring services. In this blog, I’m going to share with you a few benefits of choosing a local business rather than a large national brand.

  1. Scare Tactics: Based on previous experience, it seems large businesses go into the customer’s homes and “inspect” the customer’s systems. While doing so, they “find” a crack in the heat exchanger or a fault in the unit. This usually results in the customer being advised to purchase a new system. They are advised of the risks and dangers of having a crack in the heat exchanger, Carbon Monoxide Poisoning, and furnace fire. Lately customers have been contacting A-1 Heating and Air Conditioning to come and do an inspection for a second opinion. Many times, we inspect the unit and find that there are no issues and that the system just needs a routine cleaning. Get a second opinion.
  2. Customer Service: With small local companies, we provide exemplary customer service. We stand behind our work and technicians. If there is ever an issue, we are sure to correct it. Our name, legacy and business integrity rely on our customers and customer satisfaction. This is why we have a lifetime labor warranty on all parts that we replace. If we install a part and it ever fails, we will replace the part with no labor cost to you.
  3. Personalized Interaction: With local business, you are going to see the same people in the office. We are going to recognize you when you come into the office and when we go to your home. You are going to recognize us, as we have 3 technicians, not a random hired contractor, who may or may not be associated directly with the company. Our technicians live in your community, and the money you spend is going back into other small businesses and companies where we all live and work.
  4. Community: A-1 Heating and Air Conditioning firmly believes in supporting the community and showing that we are a part of this awesome town. We are often at Community Events, Local Events and some events that aren’t in Greeley, but in different parts of Northern Colorado. A-1 likes to participate in local events like Eaton Days, Home and Garden show and OctoBREWfest. A-1 sponsors several adult and youth sports teams throughout the year.  If you see some of us in our A-1 jerseys or hats, stop us and say hello!

Next time you find yourself considering a national, large business for HVAC services, or a company not based in the city you live in, reconsider. Go local and call A-1 Heating and Air Conditioning Services! We would be more than happy to be of service to you, your family and your home!

Back to Basics: General Information About Cooling Your Space Part 2

Written by A1 Heating and Air on . Posted in Air Conditioners

Different Types of Air Conditioning Units

  • Central air conditioning
  • Ductless mini splits
  • Geothermal
  • Window units
  • Portable air conditioners
  • Evaporative (swamp) coolers
  • Packaged terminal air conditioners (PTAC)

There are many different types of air conditioners that will work for many types of homes. Which air conditioner you choose for your family is dependent on the area or space to cool, budget, eco-friendly options as well as energy efficiency. Things to consider when choosing which unit to cool your home:

  • Space in Home to cool
  • Climate Outside, i.e. hot and humid, hot and dry, etc
  • Home structure

In this series, we are going to go over each type of air conditioning/cooling unit, to better assist you in making an educated decision.

First, we are going to go over the most popular cooling unit; the central air conditioning option. Two thirds of homes in the United States have central air conditioning. When selecting a Central Air Conditioning option, you want to consider the space to cool in the home. Central air conditioning is going to cool the home or business through ducts.  Central air conditioning systems use ducts to distribute cooled air throughout your home or business.  It will cool the entire space, not isolated to one room, like other types of air conditioners.

A great advantage to choosing a central air conditioning option is the unit is good in any climate. Whether you live in hot and humid climate or hot and dry terrain, your home will be cool and comfortable with a central air unit. Typically, central air conditioners will remove the humidity and heat from the air to keep the area cool. In a “split system,” the typical design, refrigerant circulates between an indoor coil and a matching outdoor condenser with compressor. The refrigerant, as we mentioned in the previous blog, cools the air, dehumidifying it in the process.

Another main component, the blower circulates air through ducts throughout the house. A variation is the “heat pump,” a type of system that functions as heater and cooler. When used as an air conditioner, a heat pump discharges heat from the house either into the air or deep into the ground.

Considering your home, if you do not have central air conditioning, you may want to consider contacting A-1 Heating and Air Conditioning Services LLC to help choose the type of air conditioner you would like in your home. We can also help you determine whether your house is a good fit for central air and what would need to be done to accommodate your plans for cooling your space.

Back to School? Back to Basics: General Information About Cooling Your Space

Written by A1 Heating and Air on . Posted in Air Conditioners

no fan

Here at A-1 Heating and Air Conditioning, we love to educate our customers. Since kids are getting ready to go back to school, we figured we would get “Back to Basics.” We want to best inform our clients of what we do and how we can help. In this series, we will address different parts of the air conditioning unit.

There are four main components to an air conditioning unit. Each plays a significant role in cooling and maintaining the temperature in your home or office.

The first part is the Evaporator. The evaporator receives the liquid refrigerant. The evaporator is also known as the cooling coils.

First, what is refrigerant? Refrigerant is a fluid solution typically used for cooling a unit.

Additionally, there is also a fan that is associated with the evaporator. The fan blows the cool air from the evaporator into the room.

The next important portion of the air conditioning process is the condenser. The condenser is also referred to as the hot coils. The condenser is in charge of facilitating the heat transfer, from inside the home to the outside. There is a fan associated with this part also, similar to the evaporator’s job.

In between the evaporator and the condenser, is an expansion valve. The expansion valve has a crucial but simple job. It simply regulates the flow of the compressed refrigerant to the evaporator, for the cooling process to begin.

Once the refrigerant is in the evaporator, the liquid changes states of matter. It changes into a gas. That’s where the next part of the cycle comes into play. The compressor is a pump that does just that. It compresses the refrigerant back into a liquid to start the process all over again.

[Did you know: Air Conditioning not only cools your home or office but if working correctly, can condition your home, with the appropriate filters and fans.]

There are many different small components, attachments and valves in an air conditioner, but these are the main four. These main parts are in most air conditioners, no matter what type or brand. Stay tuned for next weeks post about different types of air conditioning units.

Furnace Issues and Maintenance

Written by A1 Heating and Air on . Posted in Furnaces

Unfortunately, one of the most common issues with furnaces is a cracked heat exchanger. If left undetected, it can cause unsafe levels of carbon monoxide in your home. Even if your carbon monoxide detector has not alarmed you, not all carbon monoxide detectors are created equally and some can be slow to alarm.

First off, let’s explain what the heat exchanger is and what it does. A heat exchanger on a furnace is a piece of metal designed to carry the hot flue gases from the burner to the vent. It keeps the flue gases from entering the air being distributed over the heat exchanger by the blower. As the blower pushes the air from the return air compartment to the supply distribution plenum, it passes over the heat exchanger. As the air passes over the heat exchanger, it picks up heat from the heat exchanger (HE), and the air gets pushed into the conditioned space. As the air passes over the HE, it cools down the HE and keeps the metal from getting too hot. If we don’t move enough air over the HE, over time it will crack or become defective because of excessive expansion and contraction. They can also fail with the age of the system.

A heat exchanger can crack many different ways. In the older types of furnaces (pre-1980) that have a cold rolled steel heat exchanger, the cracks usually develop in the back, close to the location that the factory welded the seam together. They can also crack toward the front by the factory welded seam, or they can develop in the middle of the heat exchanger going up a side usually near a ripple or wave in the metal. Some of these types of cracks can become very large. They can get big enough that you could stick part of your hand through them. These are very dangerous and can cause very high levels of carbon monoxide to escape into the conditioned space. Because these furnaces depend on the natural draft of the vent to pull the fumes up and out of the house, when they crack, they will usually leak some carbon monoxide into the air.

In the newer types of furnaces with an induced draft blower (small blower that blows air into the vent that carries the fumes out of the house), the cracks can develop in many different locations. Depending on the brand of furnace, some have particular problem areas. When these heat exchangers crack, the distribution blower will create a disturbance on the burners. This disturbance is easy to see if you know what you are looking for. The disturbance alone will usually cause the furnace to start producing carbon monoxide.

The good thing about these types of furnaces is the draft inducer motor assembly usually creates a negative pressure inside the heat exchanger and pulls air into the crack then vents it to the outside. They are also usually equipped with some safety switches that can sense this and will shut off the furnace.

When a furnace is burning clean and the vent is drawing correctly, it will produce a very little amount of carbon monoxide. When they start burning dirty, the carbon monoxide level being produced will go up very quickly. As long as there is not a crack in the heat exchanger or a problem with the venting, the high levels of carbon monoxide will be carried out of the house through the vent.

That being said, if there is any question about how a furnace is operating, it should be checked by a professional that has the proper equipment. They should check the draw on the vent, observe the heat exchanger visually, and test for carbon monoxide levels around the furnace and in the flue. There are many other things they should check, but these are some of the most important safety items.

HEAT EXCHANGER

Fun Facts — Did You Know?

Written by A1 Heating and Air on . Posted in Uncategorized

question mark

  • Movie theaters were some of the earliest adopters of air conditioning. In the summer months, everyone would flock into the cool buildings to escape the heat. Studios started releasing their best movies during the summer to meet the demand.
  • In 1903, the New York Stock Exchange building in New York City was one of the first structures to use an air conditioning system.
  • The Romans were the first civilization to use any type of warm-air heating system.
  • The first concept of air conditioning occurred around 500 years ago. People in Persia built wind towers to try to get the same effect as air conditioning. These towers were rigged with wind scoops to catch prevailing breezes. Internal vanes circulated that air throughout the buildings while forcing hot air out. This was especially handy considering the 100+ degree temperatures they encountered on a regular basis during summer.
  • Love radiant heating in your bathroom? It’s not a new concept. The Romans had something very similar where the floors were laid out as a series of stone slabs with a heat source located below the floor.
  • Technically air conditioners do not “cool.” They remove the heat from air, transfer it to a refrigerant, and pump the heat outside.
  • The Department of Defense spends more on air conditioning in Iraq than the entire yearly budget of NASA
  • The United States Census Bureau and the American Housing Survey revealed that 72 million, or 65% of, homes has central air conditioning and the other 22% have room or window units.
  • The amount of energy the United States uses each year to power air conditioning units is about the same amount of energy consumed by the entire continent of Africa.
  • Water lines in a home without heat will typically take three days to freeze when they’re sealed during freezing temperatures.
  • 75% of the electricity used to power home electronics is consumed while the products are actually turned off.
  • In the movie Juno, Juno’s father is an HVAC technician.
  • Some scientific studies say that the longer we spend in cool, air-conditioned environments, the less tolerant we become to heat! So turn it down a couple of degrees and save some money!

A1 Heating & Air Conditioning Services, Inc.

107 N 23rd Ave
Greeley, Colorado 80631
(970) 573-7003