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HVAC Winter Preparation: 10 Tips for Homeowners in Fairhope, AL

Making sure our homes are prepared for winter is crucial as the temperatures drop and we begin to spend more time indoors. That means getting our HVAC unit and systems prepared for winter. 

10 Tips for Homeowners in Fairhope, AL

If you live in or near Fairhope, AL, here are ten tips to help you get your HVAC system ready to face the elements this winter:

1. Make sure your furnace is in working condition

A broken furnace can lead to an uncomfortable winter in Alabama. It might be time for a replacement if your furnace is older than 15 years. It can cost you around $2,000 to $6,000. But the energy efficiency of a modern furnace will enable you to reduce your energy costs. You should also have a professional service for your furnace to ensure it is in good operating order.

2. Check your home's Insulation Levels

Low levels of insulation mean that your HVAC system will have to work harder to keep your home at a moderate temperature. This can lead to higher energy bills and wear and tear on your system. To avoid this, check your insulation levels and make sure they are up to par. You have the option of doing this yourself or hiring an expert.

3. Make Sure Your HVAC System is in Good Condition

Your home's heating and cooling system is one of its most important components - ensure it's in good condition this winter! A malfunctioning HVAC system can cause discomfort and even frostbite, so it's important to check your system regularly. Here are a few tips to keep your HVAC system running smoothly: 

Unclog Filters

A clogged filter can reduce airflow and lead to overheating. Many homeowners in Alabama take for granted the importance of checking their HVAC filters regularly, but doing so can help avoid costly repairs or system downtime in winter.

Check For Leaks 

If water is seeping from any part of your HVAC system, fix it immediately! Leaks can lead to serious damage and costly repairs.

Schedule a Tune-up 

Giving your equipment annual or bi-annual tune-ups is essential if you want to save money on more costly maintenance and repairs in the future.

Replace The Air Filter

Your system will function more effectively if your air filter is clean and may also enhance the air quality inside your home. Replace air filters when the manufacturers' recommendations are met.

Check The Thermostat

Ensure that the temperature on your thermostat is set to a level that is comfortable for you.

Following these simple tips can help ensure that your HVAC system is ready for winter.

4. Inspect Ductwork

Your HVAC system works best when the venting and ductwork are clean and debris-free. To prepare your system for winter, start by cleaning out the vents and ducts. If your ductwork leaks, it can cause your system to work harder than it needs to. This can lead to higher energy bills and premature wear and tear on your system. You can use a vacuum cleaner with a brush attachment to remove dust and dirt. You may also want to remove pet hair from the vents and ducts if you have pets. Once you've cleaned the vents and ducts, check for any blockages or leaks. If you find any, repair them before winter arrives.

5. Check Heating and Cooling Systems 

Ensure your system is working properly by regularly checking the temperature and pressure gauges. Call a qualified HVAC technician for inspection and repair if you notice any unusual readings or if the system appears to be not functioning correctly. 

6. Recognize Heating or Cooling Emergency Signs

If your furnace or air conditioner suddenly stops working, it could be a sign of a serious problem. If your HVAC system is making odd noises or if it starts blowing un-scheduled hot or cold air, you should call a professional right away. These could be signs of a system failure that could lead to a costly repair or replacement. 

7. Check Windows and Doors for Drafts 

If your windows and doors are drafty, your furnace will have to work more to keep the house warm. It's important to ensure your home is well insulated against the elements via weatherstripping, tightly sealed windows, etc. If you feel a draft coming from any of your doors or windows, you can use weather stripping or caulking to seal up the gaps and keep the cold air out.

8. Inspect Your Chimney and Flue for Blockages

It's important to inspect your chimney and flue for blockages before the winter season. Blockages can cause your HVAC system to work harder, leading to higher energy bills. To avoid this, look at your chimney and flue before the cold weather hits.

9. Add Insulation to Your Home

Adding insulation to your home is one of the best ways to add comfort and winter-proof it. Not only will it help keep the heat in, but it will also reduce your energy bills. There are several ways to insulate your home, so be sure to talk to a professional to find the best option.

10. Have Your Furnace Serviced by a Professional

Having your furnace serviced by a professional before the winter season is important. This will ensure that your furnace is running efficiently and safely. A professional can also spot any potential problems and make repairs as needed.

Should You Do It On Your Own or Hire Professionals?

If you're unsure whether you should tackle winterizing your HVAC system or hire professionals, here are a few things to consider. Suppose you're comfortable working with tools and are confident in your ability to follow instructions. In that case, you may be able to do it yourself. However, it's always best to hire professionals if you're unsure what to do. They have the experience and expertise to finish the job quickly, correctly, and efficiently.

How To Find A HVAC Service Provider in Fairhope, Alabama

If you decide to hire an HVAC company, there are many service providers in this area. But, you should never compromise quality. Ingersoll AC holds customer satisfaction and integrity as our main priorities. For a long time, we have been doing business, right here in your neighborhood, paying attention to the details when it comes to air quality solutions. 

We have very skilled technicians on our team who will provide you with quality service, in a timely manner, on an affordable budget. If you have any issues with your HVAC system, want a regular checkup, or need assistance with installation, make the right call and contact Ingersoll today. We will be at your door before winter comes!

We have been helping homeowners and businesses in Baldwin County and the surrounding areas for over 50 years. This experience has given us plenty of insight into knowing when to replace range hoods.

Keep reading to learn more about when it is time to replace your vent hood.

Signs You Should Replace Your Vent Hood

The following sections will explain scenarios and will provide advice as to when you should replace your kitchen's range hood.

1: Exterior and Interior Hood Damage

Exterior damage on a vent hood, such as dents, cracks, or rust, means it is time for a replacement. Not only is a damaged range hood unsightly, but it can also prove as a safety hazard.

If the interior of your range hood is damaged, it can be a severe safety hazard. The interior of the range hood is where the heat and smoke from the stove top are vented. If the interior is damaged, it can cause heat and smoke to escape into the kitchen.

And if you do not manage your kitchen air, it could leak into areas with customers.

Interior damages to your vent hood can come from too much grease in your hood. The grease accumulation in your vent hood can be a fire hazard. If you don't have a good ventilation system, it can also be a health hazard.

2: Worn Hood Surface Color

If the color of your range hood has changed over time. Not due to the natural patina of copper, but due to the exposure to smoke and grease buildup.

Upgrading to a high-quality range hood will not only fix the issue, but will also improve your hood's durability.

3: Your Range Hood Is No Longer Functioning Properly

Signs that your range hood is no longer functioning right include:

Another way to tell if your range hood is not working correctly is if it is not sucking up all the smoke and grease from your cooking.

If you notice that your range hood is not performing as well as it used to, or if it seems like it is not working at all, then it is time to hire a professional to inspect your hood.

4: You Cook for More People

If your restaurant has more customers to cook for, you will need to replace your vent hood. This is because your current vent hood will not be able to handle the increased volume of cooking that will be taking place.

An out-of-date system may have to work more to move the same amount of air, resulting in higher expenditures. You may need to replace your system to get your energy costs back to acceptable levels.

5: The Range Hood Blower or Circuitry Is Damaged

The circuit board is a thin plate that contains a pattern of interconnected electrical components and conductors. If you have circuitry damage in your vent hood exhaust, it can cause a fire.

The best way to avoid this is to have a professional inspect your vent hood regularly. If they notice any issues, they can replace them and prevent your business from having to endure downtime.

6: Your Hood Is Too Noisy

A vent hood with a lot of loud sounds often indicates that the fan blades need a good cleaning. If you do not clean your blades, they will eventually become unbalanced and cause the motor to overheat and shut down.

It can also signify that your fan motor is having issues.

It is usual for your appliances to make a lot of noise when used on the highest fan settings. But if it makes noises on lower settings, you will likely have problems.

In some scenarios, you could have a commercial hood repair specialist fix it. But in some instances, repairs are not enough. And you will need to get a new vent hood.

FAQ: Vent Hood Replacements

These sections will cover frequently asked questions about kitchen ventilation hoods.

How Do I Test My Exhaust Hood?

You can test your exhaust hood by turning it on and holding a piece of paper up to the vent. If the paper flutters, then the hood works properly. If the paper does not flutter, the hood is not working correctly.

How Long Does a Commercial Hood Fan Last?

A kitchen hood fan lasts an average of 10 years.

Hire a Range Hood Specialist in Alabama Today

We offer commercial refrigeration, HVAC, and hood installation and maintenance services throughout the following areas:

Call (251) 928-9392 to learn more today. Or you can enter your details into our contact form to find more information about our services.

A few signs that it’s time for A/C replacements include aged units, higher energy costs, and strange sounds. Keep reading to learn more.

We have been helping homes and businesses in Baldwin County and the surrounding areas for over 50 years. That has led us to assemble this list of common signs hinting that it’s time to replace your air conditioner.

The following points will explain each sign, how it could impact your business and home, and whether it means you’ll need an A/C replacement.

Let’s begin.

1: Increased Energy Bills

Higher energy bills from air conditioners could indicate your system requires a repair, cleaning, or is nearing the end of its use.

Unless your energy usage habits have significantly changed, or if there are price hikes, you should not see a spike in your energy bill.

First, have a technician inspect and clean your A/C. From there, you can determine whether a replacement is necessary.

2: Your A/C Is Over 10 Years Old

Energy.gov suggests replacing a 10-year-old air conditioner with a more efficient model can save you 20-40% on your energy bills [1]. That is because older systems use single-speed ventilation systems.

Two-speed and variable-speed air conditioning systems offer much more efficiency than their older counterparts.

While this factor doesn’t demand a replacement, it could help you save money on your energy bill.

An air conditioner over 10 years old will likely use Freon, a refrigerant. In 2020, the federal government banned the manufacturing and importing of this chemical due to environmental concerns [2].

So if your A/C runs out of Freon, you will have a difficult (likely impossible) time finding it.

3: You See Pools of Water Around Your Air Conditioner

A clogged drain pipe, dirty air filters, or low refrigerant levels can all lead to water pooling around your air conditioning system.

Have a contractor inspect your unit to see whether any of the above is the culprit for your issue. From there, you can weigh the costs of repairing your unit versus replacing it.

4: Strange Sounds Come From the Unit

Humming and rattling sounds from your air conditioner could mean that your A/C has a blown compressor. And with a blown compressor, that means your air conditioning hardware could fail.

Or it could mean there’s an electrical problem in your A/C. Don’t procrastinate on this issue. You’ll want to contact someone immediately to find the culprit.

Otherwise, you may yourself without AC and waiting on a technician during a scorching Alabama summer.

5: You Deal With Constant Repairs

You should not have to deal with frequent air conditioner repairs throughout the year. If this is the case, you may not have had regular A/C tune-ups. And it could signify that your A/C’s time has come.

These continual repairs may add up and cost more than replacing the unit with something more efficient.

6: Bad Smells Throughout Your Home

Common abnormal smells a malfunctioning air conditioner can let out include:

These scents may only mean you need a repair. But like the abnormal sounds, you should consider contacting an A/C specialist ASAP. Even if these issues are minor, you could put your household or business in danger.

If you have a damaged electrical component or a refrigerant leak, you will want to consider a replacement A/C unit.

Whether you need an A/C replacement or repair, Ingersoll Refrigeration can help. We help businesses and residents in Fairhope, AL, and the surrounding areas with heating and air conditioning maintenance, repair, and installation.

Learn more about one of the top names in Fairhope. And once you’re ready for a free estimate, call us at (251) 928-9392.

Or you can use our contact form.

Issues with commercial refrigeration (or outages) can cost companies millions of dollars per hour because of downtime. That is why you should troubleshoot immediately once you notice something off with your fridge.

Common commercial fridge repair issues that you may encounter include:

  1. The commercial refrigerator is not cold enough
  2. Power issues
  3. Ice buildup
  4. Strange noises
  5. LED lights do not work

Keep reading to understand troubleshooting commercial refrigeration systems.

1. It Cannot Keep Food Cold

Sometimes, your bottle fridge or food refrigerator may not cool your perishables. First, check whether your appliance is at least a couple inches away from the wall. Or whether it has adequate airflow behind it.

Because without proper airflow, you will rapidly wear down your device’s gaskets.

You will also want to check your temperature gauge. It may have malfunctioned. Grab a thermometer and double-check your commercial fridge’s temperature.

If the above areas are not the issue, check your fridge vents. You may have a blockage that is causing problems with cooling your perishables.

2. Issues With the Refrigerator’s Power

Your commercial refrigerator may not power on despite you switching the power switch on. Unplug the fridge, find a voltage detector, and test the wall outlet’s voltage. You will also want to check the ground wires.

Doing so will help rule out potential issues with the wiring.

Whether your voltage detector notices any issues, you will not want to tackle refrigeration power issues yourself. You will need to hire a local commercial refrigeration repair specialist. Otherwise, you risk employee hazards or permanent damage to your appliance.

3. Frost and Ice Buildup

Dirty or malfunctioning evaporator fan coils can lead to ice buildup within your commercial fridge. Follow these steps to clean your refrigerator coils:

  1. Unplug your refrigerator
  2. Locate the condenser coils: usually behind a grate behind, on top, or below the unit
  3. Remove the grate
  4. Use a stiff brush to dust the unit: after brushing, use a vacuum to collect the fallen dust
  5. Reattach the grate
  6. Plug in your fridge once more

Do not leave your fridge unplugged for too long. Food exposed to temperatures 40 to 140 F and above can breed bacteria within 20 minutes. Whereas, food exposed to 90 F will breed bacteria within an hour.

Ensure you use a sense of urgency when cleaning your coils. However, cleaning your coils should not take long. At least less than 30 minutes.

If cleaning your coils does not improve your fridge’s state, clean your evaporator’s drains. Your user manual should tell you how to do this. Because each model’s evaporator coils may require a different cleaning method.

4. Strange Noises

Pay attention to the sound your refrigerator makes. Loud buzzing or humming noises could result from compressor failures. 

Meanwhile, gurgling, rattling, and clicking likely mean you have issues with the following:

There is not much you can do yourself in this scenario.

If you hear these noises, call a commercial fridge technician immediately. Otherwise, you may have to shut down your fridges temporarily. And if that happens, you will likely lose a lot of money because of downtime.

5. Lights Are Not Working

Ensure you replace LED lights in your fridges with manufacturer-approved bulbs. Otherwise, you may run into future lighting issues with your fridge.

If you are unsure what type of lights your manufacturer recommends, check the fridge’s manual. And if the manual does not help, contact the manufacturer’s customer service and ask whether they can provide the information you need.

Do the lights still not work? You may have wiring issues. You will need to contact a commercial fridge repair specialist.

If this commercial refrigeration troubleshooting guide did not help, you might need to consider hiring help. Ingersoll offers commercial refrigeration repair in Fairhope, Alabama, and Baldwin County. Contact us now to learn more about how we can help.

Or call us at (251) 928-9392.

Generators can save your life, but only when they are used properly.

As recent tragedies in Louisiana and Texas have shown, improper use and inexperience with generators can make them extremely dangerous. If you don't understand what you are doing, electrocution and carbon monoxide can be life-threatening dangers.

Never operate a generator too close to your home.

Generator manufacturers will warn you repeatedly about the dangers associated with carbon monoxide poisoning. Unfortunately, every year, there are reports of deaths of people who use their generators too close to their homes or garage. Manufacturers aren't joking. Your generator cannot be run in your garage even when you keep your doors open. Even so, you can't run it inside your home. Yes, it's not easy to move the unit from your house or use longer extension cords. Yes, it will be difficult to refill the unit. However, it's better than the possible disastrous alternative.

Never 'Backfeed' Power Into Your Home

There are many articles on the Internet explaining how to "backfeed power into your home using a dual male-ended extension cord. This is terrible advice, and you should not follow it. Backfeeding is illegal, and with good reason. Every year, it can and does cause the death of family members, neighbors, and power company workers. A transfer switch is a cost-effective way to get rid all your extension cords. Then hire an expert to install it. This is the safest alternative to multiple extension cables. Period.

Allow the generator to cool down before refilling

The generator fuel tanks are placed on top of the engine to "gravity-feed gas" to the carburetor. If you spill gas while refueling your hot generator, this setup can quickly become a disaster. Imagine this: If you pour fresh gas on a hot engine, and it ignites it, there are eight additional gallons of gas above the fire. Talk about an inferno! Injuries caused by this mistake have been common over the years. It's easy to spill if you don't have a flashlight and refill at night. You can survive without power for only 15 minutes. So, cool down while you wait.

Securely Store and Pour

Local residential fire codes restrict the amount of gasoline that you can store in your house or attached garage. Usually, this is 10 gallons. To cut down on refills, you might be tempted to purchase a large gas can. Don't. You can't safely store 60 pounds of gas at 6 pounds per gallon. You also have a higher chance of filling your generator tanks with too much gas. Buy two high-quality 5-gallon cans. You might also consider purchasing a steel gas can with a trigger valve, which is more expensive.

Run Your Generator on a Level Surface

Many small generators come with "splash" oil lubrication systems that have crankshaft "dippers" which scoop up oil and spray it onto the moving parts. This system works best if the unit is placed on flat ground. If the generator is parked on a slope, the dippers won't reach enough oil, and the engine parts will dry out. This is a recipe for disaster. Pay attention to the warnings of your manufacturer and ensure that your generator is placed on a level surface. Make sure you have a level place. This advice is valid even if your system has a pressurized lubrication system.

Make Sure You Have Enough Motor Oil and Filters for an Extended Outage

After 25 hours, most generators require their first oil change. You'll need to empty the old oil and refill it every 50-60 hours. Extended outages can cause your generator to run for too long without needing an oil change. After a major storm, don't expect to find the right oil filter for your generator. Buy extra oil and filters before the storm comes.

To Prevent Appliance Damage, Limit the Length of the Cord

Generators can be loud so it is best to keep them away from your home. This is fine as long as the extension cord you use is 12-gauge and outdoor-rated. Even a 12-gauge cord can have its limitations. The maximum length from the generator to your appliance should not exceed 100 feet. An appliance motor or compressor that is subject to voltage drops can fail prematurely if it is run for longer periods.

Prevent Theft

The only worse thing than hearing the engine roar outside your bedroom window is the silence that follows the theft of your generator. Digging a hole, securing a grounding rod, and attaching an eye hook in cement will provide security. The whole thing should be enclosed in 4-in. Attach a 4-in ABS or PVC drainpipe with a screw-on cleaning fitting. Next, chain your generator to the anchor and lock it. To secure your chain, you can use ground anchors if you don't wish to put a concrete pier. Ground anchors can be purchased at your local hardware store.

Avoid Running Out of Gas

Some low-cost generators that have economy voltage regulators can continue to produce power until the generator runs out of fuel. However, this can cause the generator's residual magnetic field to be drained by the house's electrical load. Of course, it will start up if you fill it with fuel, but it won’t produce power. It will need to be taken to a shop to have it repaired by a professional at a cost. To avoid the hustle, switch off the electrical load and turn off the generator before it runs out of fuel. Allow it to cool. Refill it, then turn it on again and reconnect the load.

Bad Fuel Can Stop You in Your Tracks

All small gas-powered engines with small displacements are susceptible to starting issues because of a lack of fuel. To minimize fuel breakdown, varnish, and gum buildup, every generator manufacturer recommends that a fuel stabilizer be added to the gas. However, they cautioned that this is not a guarantee against future problems. Many manufacturers and repair shops recommend draining the fuel tank, then running the carburetor dry. Once you have passed the storm season, run the engine until it stops. If the unit has a drain petcock for the carburetor, allow it to cool down before draining it manually. You can either dump the gas in your car or take it to a recycling center. Use fresh stabilized gasoline in your generator at all times.

To make sure that your generator is working efficiently, feel free to call our team of experts at Ingersoll's Air Conditioning and Heating Inc. at 251-928-9392.

Why save energy?

Many homeowners are looking for ways to save money, the environment, or both. One way is to reduce energy consumption. You can improve the efficiency of your home, save the environment and reduce your utility bills by changing how you use appliances.

Home Energy Saving Tips:

These are some ways to conserve energy and keep your cool when you get your next utility bill.

Don't Adjust Your Thermostat

Your thermostat habits can help you save money on your annual energy bill. Avoid turning down your thermostat during the hot summer days as it will cause the house to cool more quickly. Air conditioners can cool your home by removing humidity. This takes some time. Because humidity isn't removed, lowering the thermostat will not make your home cool quicker. This will cause the AC to run longer to reach the lower thermostat setting point.

A smart thermostat will give you more control over the temperature settings. Smart thermostats learn your preferences and adjust your heating/cooling settings based on your behavior. The thermostat communicates with temperature sensors in every room and adjusts your home's heating or cooling settings to your desired levels. Smart home technology can reduce your energy consumption by approximately 10-20 percent per month.

Determine the Right Temperature Setting Point

The difference between indoor and outdoor temperatures will generally result in lower heating and cooling costs. You can experiment with your thermostat to find the ideal temperature for comfort and energy saving. When you are at home, set your thermostat at 25.5 C (the recommended setting point for the summer months), and then adjust the temperature by one to two degrees each time. While managing humidity, you want to set the temperature as high as possible in summer and as low in the winter.

Utilize Your Ceiling Fan

You can also save energy by using your ceiling fan to cool your home. To create cool air, run your fan counterclockwise as the summer draws near. If the temperature is hotter, you can use your ceiling fan to distribute cool air from your HVAC system throughout the home.

Ceiling fans are not only cool but can also save you money on heating. Running your fan clockwise during the cooler months can push warm air from the ceiling into the rest of your home, reducing the need for heat.

A ceiling fan can be used to heat or cool your home. It will help you reduce your monthly energy costs and keep your home comfortable. Make sure the fan is spinning in the correct direction to achieve your desired effect.

 

Check How Long You Shower and Update Your Showerhead  

It is possible to cut down on water consumption by being aware of the time you are using the shower. Set a timer for each of your showers if this is a problem in your household. We recommend low-flow showerheads. Standard showerheads emit 2.5 gallons each minute while low-flow showerheads only use 2 gallons. These small adjustments can make a big difference in how much water you use and how much money you save.

Wash Clothes with Cold Water

Your washer uses more hot water per load than your dishwasher and shower combined. A wash cycle that rinses your clothes in cold water is one of the best ways you can conserve energy. Consider replacing your washer with an energy-efficient model if it isn't a high-efficiency model.

Hang your clothes to dry while you are at it to increase energy savings in the laundry area.

Manage Your Electronics

Small amounts of electricity are used by smartphones, laptops, and game consoles as well as chargers. This can increase electricity costs. Phantom power is the energy that devices use even when they aren't in use. It can make up as much as 10% of a home’s energy consumption. You can save on your energy costs by monitoring and unplugging electronics after they have fully charged.

Insulating Your Home with Shrubs and Plant Hedges

Like how trees shade your home in the summer, shrubs around your home can help protect your exterior walls from heat or cold. By creating an air barrier, shrubs and hedges act as windbreaks and insulate the exterior walls and spigots. Plant hedges that are suitable for your area at 30 cm from exterior walls to get the best results.

Cover and Close Your Windows in the Summer

Humidity can make your rooms uncomfortable and feel sticky. Central air conditioning units cool your home by removing moisture. Keep your windows closed in the summer months when it is more humid outside. If you open your windows, humidity is allowed in which will cause your air conditioner not to work as hard to cool the indoor temperature. For a home, the ideal humidity level is between 35-50 percent. To prevent heat loss in your home, close all windows that face direct sunlight during the summer months.

Upgrade Your Heating and Cooling Systems

Modern HVAC systems are more energy-efficient and less expensive to run, which can help you save money and energy. Renting a high-efficiency furnace, boiler, or air conditioner unit is advisable if your heating system is less than half-efficient or older than 15 to 20 years old. A high-efficiency replacement is recommended for AC units older than 13 SEER.

If you need help with making sure that your HVAC systems are running efficiently, feel free to call the experts at Ingersoll's Refrigeration Air Conditioning & Heating Inc  today at 251-928-9392 or visit us online!

Regular maintenance and cleaning can save you money and prolong your HVAC unit's life. Poorly functioning or dirty air conditioners can lead to mold growth and other health problems such as asthma and allergy. Your Heating, Ventilating, And Air-Conditioning system will either include an AC furnace or heat pump which heats and cools. Both types have an interior unit, which is an evaporator or blower, and an exterior unit which is a condenser coil (or compressor). The instructions that we are sharing with you in this blog can be used for whole-home heat pumps or air conditioning units.

  1. Turn the Power Off

It is important to turn off all power to the unit. This is because of the dangers associated with working with electricity and moving parts. On the exterior condenser/compressor, look for an exterior shut-off box near the unit. You should also turn off the power at the breaker box.

2. Take Out All Debris

On the exterior condenser/compressor, remove the fan cage. Use a wrench or a screwdriver to remove the fasteners and lift the fan grill or cage from the top. Clean the interior of the unit by hand or using a vacuum cleaner.

  1. MakeSure to Clean Fins

To remove any dirt or debris from the outside, take off the outer covers. Next, spray the fins with a gentle stream of water from a garden hose. This will remove any dirt, debris, or buildup between them. The pressure washer can cause damage to the fins, so don't use it.

Use a commercially-available fin cleaning spray if your fins are very dirty. To do so, follow the manufacturer's instructions.

  1. Straighten the Fins and Clean the Area

Any reduction in airflow through the fins could reduce efficiency. Use a butter knife to straighten bent fins or a commercially available fin-straightening device. You should be gentle to ensure that the tubing within the fins does not become damaged.

  1. Clean the Area Around Your Unit

After you have finished cleaning, remove the fan cage. To ensure airflow, remove all leaves and debris from the condenser. To prevent debris from getting inside, cover the condenser's top with plywood or plastic during the winter months. You should not cover the entire unit. Moisture can build up and cause corrosion. A fully covered unit can encourage vermin to create nests within. When the unit is in use, remove any cover.

  1. Level The Unit 

As the soil settles below the pad, it can tip over. A poorly-placed condenser can lead to premature compressor failure. Make sure the condenser unit is level and then use rot-resistant tools to get it back to normal.

  1. Clean the Evaporator Coil

It's now time to go inside. Locate the evaporator coil doors on the inside blower/furnace. In some instances, you may need to remove some foil duct tape and a few bolts. Inside, use a soft brush to dust off the coil, then spray the coil with commercially-available, no-rinse coil cleaner (available at home improvement stores). The spray will foam and then drip into your drain pan. Use hot water, soap, and some bleach to clean the drain pan. Pour a cup of 50/50 bleach/water down the drain. Place a drain pan tablet that is commercially available in the pan to keep it clear for longer. This will prevent future algae growth.

If the bleach solution drains easily skip to the next step. If the bleach solution drains easily, skip to the next step -- Cleaning the Evaporator Drain. If necessary, replace the door to the evaporator coil and seal it with foil duct tape.

  1. Clean the Evaporator Drain

The interior evaporator coil blows warm, humid air through it. The cold coil absorbs heat and cools the air before it is circulated inside your home. The humidity in the air condenses onto the cool surface of an evaporator coil and becomes liquid water. This water drips into a pan below. The water is drained into a drain tube, which is usually buried in a basement floor drain or outside utility sink.

Algae and mold build up over time and can cause a drain to stop flowing or become very slow. If the drain is plugged, it can cause flooding on the floor, or the system will stop cooling to prevent flooding.

Locate the drain line at the end of the evaporator coil enclosure. A 1-inch PVC pipe is used to drain the evaporator coil enclosure. It can be either white, gray, or black. It will drain to the end. The line will drain outside of the condenser unit. However, it may drain into a basement floor drain, utility sink, or down an exterior wall in the case of attic units.

Once you have located the drain, use a dry/wet vacuum to clean it. To avoid damaging the filter, it is best to remove the paper filter from your wet/dry vacuum. The drain line should be held in place by holding the wet/dry vacuum hose to it. Tape a rag to cover the gap. Turn the vacuum on for about 2 minutes, then turn it off. This will remove any biological matter that is growing from the vacuum.

  1. Change the Blower Filter

Your HVAC system's filter should be replaced at least twice per year. One before the heating season starts and one before the cooling season starts. You may need to replace the filter more frequently if you live in an area with high dust content. You should always replace your filter with one that has the same airflow rating.

Find the location of the filter enclosure on your indoor furnace/AC, where the large fresh-air return duct enters. To open the filter enclosure's door, you may need to use a screwdriver. The old filter should be removed and the new one installed. Close the door and lock it.

  1. Turn the Power On

These steps will keep your AC system in good shape. However, a qualified HVAC technician can perform certain maintenance tasks. A slow refrigerant leak can cause costly compressor failure. However, homeowners don't have the skills or tools to test refrigerant levels. A well-functioning system requires clean ducts as well as proper airflow. However, homeowners don't have the right equipment. 

Although some AC maintenance can easily be performed by the homeowner, an expert technician should still inspect the system regularly. To make sure that your HVAC system is working efficiently, feel free to call our team of experts at Ingersoll's Air Conditioning and Heating Inc. at 251-928-9392 to arrange your routine maintenance.

This is the time of year when homeowners are looking forward to warmer weather and the end of winter. March is the official start of spring. Although it may not feel like summer yet, it is coming soon.

This month is the best time for spring HVAC maintenance. It is important to maintain your HVAC system as you prepare to turn off the furnace and your air conditioner for the summer. Your heating and cooling system's performance and longevity will be improved by regular maintenance. Avoiding costly repairs or inconvenient breakdowns can help reduce the chance of them happening. Warranty coverage can be affected if you fail to take proper care of your new HVAC system.

These are 10 simple spring HVAC maintenance that homeowners can follow to ensure their system is in peak condition for spring.

  1. CLEAR DEBRIS FROM OUTDOOR UNIT

The exterior unit may have been clogged with debris from the winter and fall. Make sure you clean up the area around your HVAC system before you start any spring landscaping projects. Clean up the two-foot area around it. You can also trim any bushes or plants growing around it. To clean the coils of winter grime, you can use a simple vacuum attachment or garden hose. Clearing the coils will allow them to cool down without causing unnecessary stress.

  1. VISUALLY CHECK THE OUTDOOR UNIT

To ensure maximum performance in the summer heat, you will want to make sure the outdoor unit is on a level surface. You can also visually inspect the condenser to see if it has suffered any damage during winter. If you notice anything unusual, call your local HVAC technician. When it's time to turn on your air conditioner, a damaged condenser can be a problem.

  1. GET THE DUCTS CLEANED

A professional duct cleaning is a great way to have quality indoor air. It is a good idea to clean the ducts before you turn on the air conditioner. It will get rid of any dust, mold, and other allergens that have accumulated over winter. It will also help allergy sufferers remove spring pollen from their home's air systems. We recommend homeowners schedule duct cleaning services every five to seven years.

  1. REPLACE YOUR FILTERS

Regularly changing your HVAC system's filter is a must. Filters that are dirty can restrict airflow and encourage mold growth. Old filters can also cause heating and air conditioning systems to work harder and use more energy. Keep things running smoothly by changing the filter every 30 to 90 days.

  1. UPGRADE YOUR HVAC FILTER

Our professional HVAC maintenance advice: you can do much more than replacing the filter. You might also consider upgrading your filter. A pleated filter can be used by homeowners to improve the air quality and system performance. These filters are a step above the standard filter and have an electrostatic charge that attracts bacteria and dust particles and traps them inside.

  1. GET A SMART THERMOSTAT

Make use of technology to ensure your HVAC unit runs at its peak efficiency. A programmable thermostat can not only reduce your energy bills but can also extend the life of your HVAC system. Your system will experience less stress throughout the year by optimizing the temperature throughout the week and day.

  1. AIR THINGS OUT

Take in the freshness of spring. The HVAC system can be turned off for a few weeks to improve the air quality in your home. Open the windows when the temperature is at its sweet spot, which is when neither heat nor cool. Fans inside your home can increase airflow and circulation. Taking in fresh air and sunlight is good for your health.

  1. CHECK FOR AIR LEAKS

It doesn't matter how well your HVAC system is maintained -- if it isn't well sealed, it will struggle to cool your home. When you are doing spring HVAC maintenance around your home, be aware of any areas where air could escape. You should inspect the weather stripping around your windows and door jambs as well as the seals around the doors. You should replace weather stripping and seals that are cracked, damaged, or missing. The home's envelope should be sealed tight to prevent any temperature fluctuations. This will reduce the workload and enable your HVAC unit's efficiency in the winter and summer.

  1. TEST THE COOLING FUNCTION

It's important to prevent unpleasant surprises later in spring when temperatures rise. Before it gets too hot, make sure that your air conditioner is working. Set your thermostat to a temperature a few degrees below the current indoor temperature. Wait for your HVAC unit to turn off. Allow it to turn on. Next, make sure cool air is flowing from the vents throughout the house. Listen out for unusual noises or clicking as the unit runs. You can schedule an appointment with your HVAC technician if the unit isn't working as it should.

  1. STAY REGULAR WITH ANNUAL SPRING HVAC MAINTENANCE SERVICE

Schedule an HVAC inspection at least once a year. Certified technicians will test the airflow and output and check the refrigerant levels. They will also tighten all electrical connections and hoses. The tech will also inspect key components such as the compressor, tubing, and fan blades for wear and tear.

Spring HVAC maintenance is essential to keep your system running smoothly for as long as possible. You can save a lot of time and money by replacing or repairing a part right away. Call Ingersoll's Air Conditioning and Heating Inc. at (251) 928-9392 for professional, reliable advice about how to prepare your HVAC unit in time for the season. For HVAC system services, you can request a quote online.

It's great to go outside and get fresh air, however, you can only do so when the weather permits. It's even more enjoyable to be able to get fresh air inside your home. To make this happen, however, you must be conscious of the indoor air quality in your home and make an effort to maintain it.

The EPA estimates that the average American spends 90% time indoors -- where pollutants are two to five times more prevalent than outdoors. The health of an individual's body can be directly affected by air pollutants. These can have long-term or immediate consequences. Poor indoor air quality can have immediate and temporary effects. The symptoms of immediate air pollution effects can look like common viruses such as headaches, congestion, and coughing. Therefore, poor indoor air quality is often ignored. The delayed effects of air pollution can be fatal and severe for those most vulnerable, such as the elderly and children with weak immune systems. Many delayed effects don't show up until it is too late, so it is important to maintain good indoor air quality.

What Causes Indoor Air Pollution?

Many homeowners don't know they have pollutants in their homes. They can be difficult to detect with the naked eye. Poor indoor air quality can be caused by a variety of factors, such as formaldehyde and new furniture, paint on walls, poor insulation, cleaning chemicals, and lead. Clean air is essential because, although we know how dangerous pollutants can be, it's not known how people will react to them or what their consequences will be.

Why should you care so much about indoor air quality?

Simply put, everyone should be concerned about the quality and quantity of the air they inhale. This applies not only to the outside world but also inside their homes. Your indoor air quality may be more important than that of the outside because you spend more time and sleep in your home.

As any doctor will tell you, breathing in clean, fresh air is good for your overall health. Contrary to popular belief, breathing in dirty, dusty air can be detrimental to your overall health. Poor quality air can lead to asthma, allergies, and other health problems.

A cleaner environment with a lower level of impurities can improve mental clarity. Poor air quality in your home could cause difficulty with concentration.

How can you improve your home's air quality?

You now know the dangers of poor indoor air quality. Now you want to know how you can fix it. It is now easier than ever for you to improve the indoor air quality in your home thanks to continuous advancements in HVAC technology.

Tip #1

A great place to start is duct cleaning. If you have centralized air, this service will clean your ventilation ducts. These ducts can become clogged with dust, dirt, and dander over time. All of these contaminants can be removed by duct cleaning. This involves cleaning the ducts and then collecting them with a vacuum.

Tip #2

People with sensitive allergies or concerns about contracting illnesses can have UV lights installed in air ducts. The intense frequency of ultraviolet light waves destroys microscopic bacteria, mold spores, and insects. A Duke University study showed that 97% of the bacteria that are susceptible to UV light could be eliminated in a hospital setting.

Tip #3

Dryer Vent Cleaning is an important task!

While we're on the subject of improving the air quality and safety in your home, we want to pay attention to the dryer's vents. The dryer's lint trap captures lint, which prevents a dryer fire. The majority of laundry lint produced in an average load of laundry avoids the trap and ends up in the air conduit that runs between your dryer and the exterior wall of your house.

Worst-case scenario: The lint from the air duct could block the duct completely, trapping heat every time the dryer turns on. The trapped air can get so hot that it ignites the Lint and causes a house fire. You should have your dryer vent cleaned a minimum of once per year to prevent this dangerous situation from occurring in your home. Two to three dryer vent cleanings might be required for households that do laundry multiple times per week.

To Improve Indoor Air Quality, Contact Ingersoll’s Refrigeration Air Condition & Heating Inc

It is important to evaluate the condition of your home's indoor air quality. You show that you care about your family's safety and health by making efforts to improve indoor air quality. An energy audit can help you feel more confident, even if you don't think your home has poor indoor air quality. A professional HVAC company can help you take control of your indoor air quality and reduce the risk to your health.

You can get additional assistance in improving indoor air quality in Fairhope, Alabama & Baldwin County by contacting Ingersoll’s Refrigeration Air Conditioning & Heating Inc. There are many ways to improve the air quality in your home. We can seal your ducts and remove contaminants from your home.

Contact us today at 251-928-99392 to learn how we can reduce the contaminants in your home's air during spring.

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