A Tune-Up Will Keep Your Heat Pump Cooling System Humming Through the Heat

Heat pumps are a great way to cool the house down during those hot summer months while saving on energy and money. However, in order to get the most out of your system, you need to make sure you take care of it.

Cleaning and changing the filter on your heat pump cooling system monthly will help ensure smoother, more efficient running time. While that kind of care is essential, it doesn't protect your heat pump from all potential problems. So how do you make sure that your system is always operating at maximum efficiency?

The answer is simple. While giving your system regular, personal care is essential to maintaining your heat pump's effectiveness, it is not enough to keep your system efficiently running. In order to make sure your heat pump cooling system is working properly, you should schedule a heat pump tune-up with a professional HVAC contractor at least once every year.

This is extremely important because of the simple fact that your heat pump never stops working. As a matter of fact, it works all year around pumping cool air into your home or business and pushing out the heat during those hot, sunny days. If properly looked after, your heat pump could save you money and reduce your energy consumption by up to 25 percent.

The last thing you want during these hot summer days is for your cooling system to have some kind of breakdown, or for it not to be working at its full capacity. Because the scorching hot weather isn't going anywhere anytime soon here in the Beaumont, Port Arthur, Orange and Vidor areas, the best time to get on the phone to schedule a heat pump tune-up is today.
 
When scheduling your tune-up, always insist on a NATE-certified technician for the work. To make sure that you always get a NATE-certified technician for all your heat pump and cooling needs, contact us at the Thermacon Service Company. Visit us on our website or call us to get your heat pump looked at and tuned up today.


How to Clean Air Conditioner Evaporator Coils

For homeowners with adequate DIY skills, knowing how to clean air conditioner evaporator coils can save money and increase the comfort level in your home this summer.

Many people mistakenly assume that the frigid refrigerant circulating through the evaporator coil adds coolness to the air in your home. Actually, it extracts heat energy. After the heat energy is removed from the air, coolness is just what’s left behind. Anything that interferes with the transfer of heat from the air to the refrigerant, such as a layer of dust or dirt on the coil surfaces, degrades the efficiency of your A/C and costs you money in increased utility bills. Your system runs longer to achieve thermostat settings and the humidity extraction process — an important function of an A/C system — is much less effective. Dirty coils can also lead to coil icing which, if it goes unchecked, may eventually freeze up the entire coil and trigger an automatic system shutdown.

Since the evaporator coil is installed directly in the airstream of your system, it’s a magnet for accumulation of dust or other contaminants. An annual inspection of the evaporator coil is critical. The external surfaces of the evaporator coil that face the airflow in the duct are accessible and cleaning is generally within the skill level of most do-it-yourselfers. However, if dust or dirt contamination is so extensive that the inside coil surfaces are affected, too, schedule a more extensive, heavy-duty cleaning procedure with your HVAC contractor. Here’s a basic primer on how to clean air conditioner evaporator coils.

  1. Purchase a can of commercially available no-rinse coil cleaner. This is normally a foamy substance in a spray can that is applied directly to the coil surfaces.
  2. Locate the air handler unit, usually installed in a closet or attic. 
  3. Turn off power to the air handler at the main switch or circuit breaker.
  4. Remove the metal reflective tape that seals the seams around the coil access panel.
  5. Remove the screws that secure the coil access panel to the air handler. 
  6. The evaporator coil is configured in an A-frame design with two sides. Examine the external surfaces of the coil for dirt or dust residue. Also be alert to any signs of mold growing on the coil. Mold contamination will need to be treated by your HVAC contractor using biocides approved for use in cooling systems.  
  7. Spray the coil cleaner on all exposed surfaces of the coil. Allow the cleaner adequate time to soak in and  drip down into the condensate drain pan below the air handler. 
  8. While the cleaner is soaking the coil, examine the drain pan. Look for any evidence of mold growth or algae. Minor contamination can be treated with a 50/50 mix of bleach and water. Severe contaminations, however, should be addressed by your HVAC contractor.  
  9. Pour some water down the condensate drain tube that leads away from the drain pan to verify that the tube is open and drains properly. If you see evidence that the condensate drain tube is blocked, such as standing water in the drain pan, discontinue use of the A/C and call your HVAC contractor to clear the blockage.
  10. After the coil cleaner has dripped off the coils, examine the coil surfaces for any areas that may need another application of cleaner and re-apply as necessary.  
  11. Reinstall the coil access cover and tighten the screws. Tape the seams around the access cover with metal tape. Restore power to the air handler and turn on the system to generate condensation on the coils for additional rinsing. 

While knowing how to clean air conditioner evaporator coils comes in handy, remember that the best prevention for dirty coils is purchasing a quality system air filter and changing it regularly. During cooling season, monthly changes are a good idea.

Serving the homeowners of Beaumont, Orange, Port Arthur and surrounding areas, the experienced staff of Thermacon Service Company are the heating and cooling professionals. Contact us for more information on how to clean air conditioner evaporator coils yourself, or to schedule a professional cleaning by one of our trained technicians and let us do the work for you. 


Follow the Energy Star to Better Efficiency in Your Beaumont Area Home

In the current tough economic climate, we are all looking for ways to save on our outgoings, especially inescapables like household bills to heat and cool our homes. But what if you could achieve this, and at the same time help the planet - bit of a no brainer? The Energy Star program means you can take action to reduce these costs and also benefit the environment.

Energy Star is a government backed initiative, running since 1992, designed to help us improve energy efficiency in our homes and workplaces. It is a U.S Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) voluntary program, which since its inception has attracted over 275,000 homeowners.

The program, which is identified through the Energy Star logo, has helped customers, ranging from small school districts to large multinational companies, save nearly $230 billion on utility bills. The benefits for the environment are also clear - Energy Star has prevented more than 1.7 billion tons of greenhouse gas emissions from entering our atmosphere.

The Energy Star brand, represented by the Energy Star logo, is well recognized across the country. A recent survey showed that more than 80 percent of Americans recognize the Energy Star logo - a figure which has more than doubled since 2000.

The process starts with an assessment of your home, which generates a report detailing the most effective changes you could make. Typical changes include sealing air leaks and adding insulation, replacing windows and installing renewable energy systems. This whole house energy improvement approach can help you have a warmer home in winter, a cooler house in summer and reduced energy bills all year round.

The national program connects you with local program sponsors, who then put you in touch with participating contractors. These contractors are specially trained to understand how your home operates, identify health and safety issues, and make recommendations  tailored to your circumstances on how to increase your home’s energy efficiency.

Our technicians at Thermacon Service Company provide air conditioning and heating services to the Golden Triangle and Southwest Louisiana. We can help you get involved with the Energy Star program  and start saving money today.