Are Your Air Filters Clean and How to Tell

Are Your Air Filters Clean and How to Tell

If the motor of your HVAC system is its heart, the air filter is its lungs. Our HVAC systems need clean air to perform correctly, just as we do. What happens if a dirty air filter is blocking that air from going where it needs to? It can lead to expensive problems down the road. Below, we will show you are your air filters clean and how to tell. The True Cost of Dirty Air Filters According to the Indian Michigan Power, a dirty air filter can lead to an increase in your energy bill of anywhere from 5% to 15%, depending on your unit usage, etc. This means that the cost of an air filter can easily pay for itself just within the first month. But there are other costs associated with a dirty HVAC filter including: Increased maintenance costs – All units from residential to industrial must be maintained on a regular basis in order to ensure a long life, but a clogged air filter can increase the frequency. For example, the accumulation dust and dirt can lead to a clogged filter that allows contaminants to pass and come into contact with vital system components. It will ultimately cost more to have the unit cleaned than to replace the filter. Decreased comfort – Fans push cooled or heated air through the filter. The blower has to work harder to move this air when the filters are clogged. This reduced airflow can lead to random hot or cold spots in your home and cause you to adjust the temperature accordingly and unnecessarily. Poor quality air – Clogged air...
Are You Using a Programmable Thermostat?

Are You Using a Programmable Thermostat?

Most homes and businesses continue to use manual thermostats instead of upgrading to programmable thermostats. There are many reasons to do so, including the most important: to save money. But how much can these devices save your home and business? We’ll discuss below. The Benefits of a Programmable Thermostat According to the U.S. Department of Energy, your electricity bills can be cut back by 10% simply by turning your thermostat back seven to ten degrees Fahrenheit from your normal setting for only eight hours a day. You save even more in a business that is only occupied approximately 40 hours a week or for properties located in extreme climates, as we are in Spokane and the surrounding areas. Other benefits to these devices include but are not limited to: Increased savings in properties with more than one HVAC unit or thermostat. Better appearance and performance of the thermostat. Optional reminders to replace filters. Increase in value for the home or business. How to Select a Thermostat You may be ready to buy, but choosing a programmable thermostat can be a daunting task. You will find several types of thermostats to choose from. One week programming – Allows you to schedule one program for week that repeats throughout the year. A good choice for mild climates. 5 to 2 programming – You may program one setting for Monday through Friday and another for Saturday and Sunday. 5 to 1 to 1 programming – You may program one setting for Monday through Friday and another for Saturday and another for Sunday. 7 day programming – You have a certain setting for...
4 Heating System Tips for More Efficient Performance

4 Heating System Tips for More Efficient Performance

According to the Department of Energy, your heating system uses more energy than any other system in your home. In fact, it typically makes up approximately 42% of your electricity bill. Your heating systems can include furnaces, boilers, heat pumps, and more. They need just a little attention on a regular basis to keep them running efficiently and safely. Below, we will show you a few heating system tips for more efficient performance that are quick and can save you big. 1. Clean, Clean, and Clean It’s no secret that your system runs better when it’s clean. A dirty heating system needs more energy to work, which can lead to premature failure. One of the first steps in keeping your heating system efficient is to replace or clean your filters as recommended by the manufacturer. You can do a simple visual inspection of your filters to ensure they have not become clogged. You may also clean baseboard heaters, registers/air ducts, and radiators as needed. Be sure none of your equipment or outputs are blocked by lighting, furniture, drapes, or flooring. 2. Feel Free to Open Doors Closing the doors to unused rooms in order to save energy is a common misconception in heating system tips. Due to heat’s tendency to flow from warmer to cooler areas, your colder rooms will actually draw the heater’s warmth from the rest of the house. This results in your property needing as much or more energy to heat the entire area. We at the Barton Boys even design our heating systems for the whole home, and shutting doors interrupts the unit’s intended on...
Staying Cool By Checking Your AC

Staying Cool By Checking Your AC

With the first hot days of summer coming up, it is important to make sure your air conditioner is working optimally. Spending a little time checking on your AC will not only help you stay cool, but also save you money on electric bills. Follow these few tips to help you stay cool this summer. Remove Any Cover Is your AC unit outside? Many households own AC units that reside outside, meaning they cover them in the winter months to keep snow off and forget to remove the cover in the spring. This cover needs to come off when the machine is in use, as extra weight on the machine will cause strain and a loss in efficiency. In fact, any obstruction should be cleared away from the AC. With outside units, this means sticks, bushes or dirt getting in the way of the ventilation. Simply clearing the way will help the unit operate more efficiently. Replace the Filter Every AC unit, whether outdoors or indoors, has a filter. Each day these filters pick up more debris than you would imagine. Extra debris in the filter will eventually cause the filter to tear, releasing debris into the system causing the machine to work less efficiently. Experts recommend that a filter should be changed monthly in peak seasons. Contact The Barton Boys with any questions on how to replace your AC filter. Clean the Inside The inside of the AC unit should not be neglected. Simply using a soft brush or vacuum on the inside of the unit will help the unit stay in good shape. The water pan is...
To Cover Your Air Conditioner, Or Not to Cover Your Air Conditioner?

To Cover Your Air Conditioner, Or Not to Cover Your Air Conditioner?

It’s Spring and here at the Barton Boys we get a lot of accidental air conditioning turn ons while the unit is still covered. Every spring we get a call or two from customers who turned their unit on for a test run on a warm spring day forgetting to uncover it first. This unfortunately blocks the airflow to the outdoor unit causing pressure to rise quickly and burn out the compressor in a very short period of time. Over the years we have seen many, brand new $3000.00 + air conditioners having to be replaced because of this. With that said, one of the most common questions we receive is whether or not you should cover your air conditioner during the winter. Although there is no concrete answer, there are many pros and cons to think about when considering covering your air conditioner. Cons While you may think covering your AC may help it look better in the long run, there’s a major trade off to think about here. As mentioned, by covering your air conditioner in the winter, we see many homeowners ruin their brand new units by accidentally turning the a/c on without remembering to uncover it first. By doing this, the cover is blocking the airflow to the outdoor unit causing pressure to rise quickly and burn out the compressor quickly. Another con is that covering your air conditioner can also create a perfect home for small animals, such as mice. As spring rolls around maintenance calls come in, and more often than not we find that a family of mice has taken up residence...