Heating & Cooling FAQ
How often do I need to have my air ducts cleaned?
It depends on the environment in your home or business. If you live in a dustier area, if you have evaporative cooling (which utilizes 100% outside air), if you have children or pets, you may need it more frequently. If your home is newer and tightly constructed, if you have refrigerated air, or if you maintain a tidy household, you may need it less frequently. Generally speaking, 3 years is recommended.
Why does my evaporative cooler feel like it isn’t working?
There could be a number of reasons: there is something mechanically wrong with the cooler, there is not enough open windows or doors to allow the cool air to circulate, the ambient conditions outside are either too hot, or too humid, are the most common problems.
How much should I keep my windows open to allow sufficient airflow for my evaporative cooler to operate efficiently?
You should open windows in rooms that are warmer than others. To determine how much your windows should be open, perform the tissue test: open your windows, take a 2″x2″ square of tissue and lay it up against the screen in your window. If the tissue is plastered against the screen, your windows aren’t open enough. If the tissue falls off on its own, your windows are open too much. If the tissue stays against the screen, by is loose, it is probably just right. Sometimes it takes trial and error to dial it in just right.
How often should I have my heating and cooling equipment serviced?
Most industry experts recommend at least once per year for both heating and cooling. Studies have shown that lack of proper maintenance can reduce equipment efficiency by 5-10%.
How often should I change my air filter?
It depends on the style of filter, the environment being heated and cooled, and how often the equipment is running. Generally speaking, you should check them once per month.
Why do I need to have my brand new equipment permitted and inspected by a public official?
There are several reasons; It is required by New Mexico State law, it protects the consumer against shoddy workmanship, it ensures safety and code conformance, and it ensures only a licensed contractor performs the work.
When does an inspector perform an inspection of the new comfort system?
The inspection is performed after the new system has been installed. It is OK to operate your new comfort system prior to inspection. It is your responsibility to allow access for the inspector to view the work, but we will coordinate a day that works with your schedule to have your inspection performed. Unfortunately- we don’t have any control over the inspector’s schedule. If your inspector does not show up as promised or is late- please give our office a call.
Do I need to drain the water from my boiler as part of the maintenance?
No- the water can stay in your boiler indefinitely. Sometimes the water must be drained for repairs, though.
Is refrigerated air more expensive to operate than evaporative cooling?
Generally speaking- yes, but it depends on many factors.
- The efficiency of the refrigerated air unit. Air Conditioners come in MANY efficiency levels. The higher the efficiency, the less of a difference there is. We have had some customers tell us their bills have gone DOWN after installing refrigerated air.
- What temperature is the thermostat set to?
- How long is the evaporative cooler running?
- Is a set-back thermostat being used? 5) In addition to these questions, water consumption of an evaporative cooler should be considered. Evaporative coolers consume 3 to 15 gallons of water per day.
Is refrigerated Air Expensive to have installed?
This depends on many factors. The construction of the home or building has a lot to do with it. Some are easier than others. Another factor that sometimes enters the picture is if there is adequate space for the 220V circuit required by refrigerated air conditioning units. Sometimes the electrical panel needs to be upgraded.
How often should I add refrigerant to my air conditioning system?
If all is well- never. If you occasionally have to have refrigerant added to your system, you probably have a leak that needs to be repaired.
I have hot and cold spots in my house. Is there anything I can do to help even out the temperatures?
Sometimes registers and grilles have dampers which can be opened or closed to assist with balancing. If your thermostat has a “fan” switch or setting, running your system with the fan on will help keep the temperatures even. If neither of these solve your problems, some duct modifications may be in order.
I have ductwork under the concrete slab of my house. Is it ok?
Most times yes, but sometimes no. If your ductwork is made from “sono tube” (a type of cardboard duct that was used in the 1970s and 80s) there my be a problem. If you find foil piecescoming through your registers, if your ducts smell musty, or if you noticed low or no airflow in parts of your home, we recommend having your air ducts inspected with a video camera.
My wife and son suffer from bad allergies. Is there anything I can do to help keep their allergy suffering to a minimum?
The answer is yes. The EPA says your indoor air is often times as much as 70% more polluted than outdoor air. We have solutions, from high efficiency air filters, duct cleaning and humidifiers. Give us a call, and we will make some recommendations. This service is free of charge.
What could contribute to a high water bill besides leaking faucets and/or pipes?
Ninety percent of all leaks in residential plumbing systems are found in the toilet tank. Toilet tank leaks typically result from worn parts or improper alignment of some part of the flushing mechanism. It is very important to stop the leak. Stop the leak and stop the expensive water bill from hitting you every month.
What makes my plumbing & drain pipes rattle all the time?
This problem is usually caused by the water lines not being properly isolated. It can be easily fixed but only if your water lines are easily accessible.
It means that either in one or many places your water lines come into contact with the wood of your floor joists. All you need to do is get plastic pipe hangers that go between your water lines and your joists. For Help installing them please give us a call.
What causes my hot water to smell like rotten eggs? My cold water doesn’t smell, what is the solution for this problem?
The most common cause of “smelly water” is a non-toxic sulfate reducing bacteria, scientifically termed Divibrio Sulfurcans. This bacteria often enters the water system through construction or a break in ground piping. The bacteria creates the energy it needs to survive by converting sulfate (SO4) to hydrogen sulfide (H2S) gas you smell in the water. Hydrogen sulfide gas is distinctive because of its rotten egg-like stench. Its presence can severely affect the taste as well as the odor of the water.
The simplest treatment available is the shock-chlorination of the system. This is a surface treatment, and often requires repeated trials in heavily infected systems. The chlorination of a system requires that you follow each step explicitly to avoid an un-treated portion of the piping system from reinfecting another part. Longer lasting solutions include chlorination or aeration of the water supply.
How do you get water in the toilet tank to stop over flowing?
The fill valve in the tank has a leak in it. Also, if the fill valve has been replaced recently it is possible that it has been set too high. If the fill valve is old, it could do you no harm to replace it. Sometimes the shaft or wire that is used to set the level, corrodes off. By replacing it your problem should be fixed.
Why does my water heater not work as well as it used to?
This is usually due to a sediment buildup in your tank. As water heaters grow older, they accumulate sediment and lime deposits. If these deposits are not removed periodically, the sediment will create a barrier between the burner and the water, greatly reducing the water heater’s performance level. The result is an increase in the amount of fuel required to deliver hot water.
Why would a water heater run out of hot water faster than normal?
If your water heater is running cold easily or frequently then several things could be happening. First check the shower head volume if shower’s are too quick. A new shower head puts out about 2.5 gallons a minute. Some older heads put out 5 gallons a minute. Working with the shower head would double shower length in this case. In some cases, the dip tube on the cold water inlet has broken or worn. When this happens, it creates a short loop for the water, water at the bottom half of the tank will not be used, which makes half of your tank useless. Get it fixed as soon as possible.
On electric water heaters, they commonly have two heating elements that work in turns. First the top element heats up the top of the tank, then power goes to the lower element. If the lower element is out, only the top of the tank gets heated. If the top element isn’t working, there will be no hot water. Sometimes the Reset button needs to be pushed or reset. If this doesn’t get the element working, use a continuity tester to determine if the element has shorted out. Replacement of the element may be needed.