HVAC Video Roundup: The Best HVAC Videos of 2016

2016 has brought with it countless videos that have been created to demystify the ins-and-outs of home HVAC systems. It’s important to be cautious of amateur videos when trying to expand your knowledge on home HVAC systems; unfortunately, there are many videos online that are less than credible. That’s where this helpful article comes in! From changing your home furnace’s air filter to understanding solar power, we’ve selected some of the best HVAC videos of 2016.

Best HVAC Videos of 2016

Here are just a few of our favorite HVAC videos of 2016:

3 Ways to Save on Heating Costs

When the outdoor temperature drops, heating your home indoors becomes a priority. And, the need to increase your home’s temperature can cause your home’s energy bills to increase as well. This video outlines several ways to help cut down on your heating costs during the winter months. These simple fixes could go a long way in saving you money while keeping your home warm and toasty throughout the winter season.

 How to change or replace your furnace filter

Changing your home furnace’s air filter is essential to maintaining a fully functional and efficient system. This video demonstrates how you can take on this simple HVAC maintenance task yourself. It is recommended that you check your furnace’s air filter regularly and change it whenever you see that it is dirty. Air filters can be purchased at practically any home improvement or hardware store.

How to Clean Air Vents

Cleaning your home’s air vents can help improve the air quality in your home, as it’s a quick and easy fix to rid your home of accumulating dust, dirt, and debris. Cleaning will improve your home’s air quality by keeping the air that circulates throughout these vents dust-free. Check out this video to learn an effective way to quickly clean out your home’s air vents.

Understanding Solar Power

Many people are curious about solar power and whether it not it’s a good option for their home. This video goes into great detail about the different types of solar power, how much the various options cost, and the benefits of each compared to a traditional heating system. If you’ve ever been curious about solar power, this is the video for you.

Which of these videos is your favorite? Is there one we forgot? We would love to hear from you in the comments below.

What should you expect from an HVAC routine maintenance visit?

Routine maintenance is vital to keeping your heating and cooling systems working efficiently, avoiding costly repairs, and prolonging the life of your equipment. If you are a new homeowner or have just started caring for your own HVAC system, you may be wondering, what exactly does routine maintenance entail?

Some homeowners mistakenly think that changing their air filter is enough to keep their system running efficiently and preventing breakdowns and malfunctions. But the truth is, checking and replacing your air filter is just a small part of heating and cooling system maintenance. Below, we will delve a little deeper into what homeowners can expect from an HVAC routine maintenance visit and how it helps them keep their system running optimally year-round.

What is Involved in Planned Seasonal Maintenance?

If you have not scheduled a seasonal air conditioner or heater tune-up then you may not know exactly what this service entails. Though all HVAC companies may be a little different, McLay offers the following services as part of their routine HVAC maintenance visits:

Performance Furnace Tune-Up

During a Performance Furnace Tune-Up, an experienced HVAC technician will clean the burner assembly, ignition assembly, and blower motor while lubricating any moving parts as necessary. He or she will then inspect the filtration system, flue draft, combustion, vent piping, and humidification system. This tune-up also involves adjusting of the blower components, tightening of the electrical connections, and calibration of the thermostat.

Performance Air Conditioner Tune-Up

During a Performance Air Conditioner Tune-Up, your McLay HVAC tech will clean the condenser coil, condensate drain, and blower motor while adjusting any blower components necessary. The technician will also inspect the evaporator coil, filtration system, and refrigerant leaks. In addition, the tune-up involves testing the condensate pump and starting capabilities, tightening electrical connections, monitoring refrigerant pressure, lubricating moving parts, and measuring air temperature differential, amperage, and voltage.

What to Expect During Your Service Visit

During your service visit, you can expect your McLay HVAC technician to arrive on time and greet you in a warm and friendly manner. As a family owned business, we like to treat our customers like family. Our technicians always serve customers in a courteous and friendly manner as they would their own friends and family.

During your maintenance visit, your HVAC technician will be checking for any issues with your heating and cooling system that may need to be addressed. Our NATE certified HVAC technicians are knowledgeable and trained to recognize any areas of concern during your routine maintenance visit. If they happen to find any issues during your tune-up, they will explain the issue to you and clearly explain what needs to be done. At this time, you can plan your next steps to ensuring that your HVAC system is in working condition. If the HVAC technician finds no issues, you are good to go until your next service visit.

Are you ready to schedule your next routine maintenance visit? Call us today to set up an appointment time: (909) 326-6106.

Advantages of Extended Warranties on New HVAC Systems

When it comes to home comfort, most homeowners want the peace of mind in knowing that their air conditioning and heating systems will continue to keep them comfortable year-round without added expense. That is exactly what the extended HVAC warranty offers by safeguarding against unexpected repair costs after the manufacturer’s warranty has expired.

As with any other home expense, some homeowners may be skeptical as to whether the extended HVAC warranty is worth the investment. By the end of this post, you will have a better understanding of what the extended HVAC warranty provides and how it can benefit you as a homeowner.

Do I need an extended HVAC warranty?

Most HVAC manufacturers will provide a warranty when you first purchase your HVAC system.  However, this warranty is often limited and does not cover the cost of labor. An extended warranty from an HVAC contractor covers labor as well as other parts coverage that is not provided by the manufacturer.

No matter how well you take care of your HVAC system, the equipment is bound to experience wear and tear, which can cause malfunction and breakdowns that require repairs. Without an extended warranty, homeowners may find themselves struggling to cover unexpected repair expenses when their system breaks down. Individuals who want to save money on repairs and maintenance may want to consider an extended HVAC warranty to safeguard against costly repairs that may occur after the manufacturer’s warranty has expired.

Benefits of Extended HVAC Warranty from McLay

Though we can’t speak for every HVAC company out there, the extended warranty program from McLay offers some excellent benefits for homeowners who are purchasing a new HVAC system. Here are just a few of the ways that an extended HVAC warranty from McLay can provide La Verne residents with a peace of mind:

  • There are no deductibles or hidden fees with our Premium Protection Plan extended warranty agreement. You know upfront what your warranty provides, and you get exactly what you are paying for. Be sure to have annual maintenance on your system so as to not void your warranty (see your documents for details).
  • There is also no limit on repairs under the extended warranty agreement. This means that homeowners can rest easy knowing that any unexpected repairs to their system will be taken care of by our expert HVAC technicians.
  • Our Premium Protection Plan is affordable, allowing homeowners to benefit from expert maintenance and repairs without breaking the bank.
  • McLay’s extended warranty is also free to transfer to the new owner when you sell your home. Many homebuyers will view the extended warranty as a major asset when looking at your property.

Now that you better understand how an extended warranty on your HVAC system can be beneficial, you can make a more informed decision when it comes time to purchase a new HVAC system. If you still have questions or want to learn more about the extended HVAC warranty, our team would be happy to help. Call us today at (909) 326-6106 to discuss your options with an HVAC expert.

How Extreme Weather Can Affect the Air in Your Home

In threatening weather your home undoubtedly seems like a safe haven. But rain, sleet, snow, fog, wind and excessive heat or cold can have a negative impact on your home’s air quality, putting your health and the health of your family at risk.

Bad Weather Means More Indoor Pollution

Extreme weather can impact the air you breathe in a number of ways. Here are a few examples of the trouble it can cause:

  • Heat waves correlate with elevated pollen counts. When it runs amok pollen is a true misery-index leader that will leave you coughing, sneezing and wheezing, stricken with sinus headaches, chronic itchiness and a sore throat.
  • Droughts cause dust storms, which are often carried far beyond their point of origin by the prevailing winds. Naturally the dust from these storms can enter your home through open windows during the summer.
  • Rainstorms, floods and high humidity can cause moisture penetration in basements, crawl spaces, wall cavities and attics, and wherever there is moisture mold, fungus and mildew can be expected to follow. All are allergens and all can have a negative effect on your family’s health.
  • Prolonged waves of subzero temperatures can leave your home’s air as dry as the Sahara Desert. This can cause chronic soreness and itchiness of the nose, throat and eyes, along with cracked, dry skin that can produce painful open wounds.

Even when extreme weather doesn’t contribute directly to indoor air pollution it can still put you in harm’s way by forcing you to spend longer periods of time inside. If your air was previously contaminated you’ll be stuck breathing that bad air for hours, with little ventilation and no possibility of escape.

Call McLay and We’ll Make the Bad Air Go Away

To protect yourself and your family from the danger of contaminated indoor air, you may want to consider investing in superior air quality improvement equipment. Ventilators, air cleaners, humidifiers and UV lamps can all dramatically enhance the breathability of your home’s air in any weather conditions, as long as you purchase them from a reliable manufacturer.

At McLay Services we understand the importance of only doing business with the best, which is why we carry a full line of air quality improvement products from Carrier, the world’s most respected manufacturer of HVAC equipment. If you live in San Bernardino County, Riverside County, North Orange County or Los Angeles County, please contact us today for solutions that meet your air quality needs.

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HVAC Safety Tips: Carbon Monoxide Leaks At Work

Carbon monoxide is an odorless and invisible gas that can cause health complications and even death for anyone who inhales it. Knowing the signs of carbon monoxide leaks can help keep you and your occupants safe and help prevent liabilities from negligence.

How to Detect and Protect Against Carbon Monoxide Leaks

Most businesses have carbon monoxide detectors installed inside the building, which is a good and important first safety step. However, detectors generally only go off if the carbon monoxide has reached a deadly level. There are other measures you’ll want to take to reduce the possibility of low levels of carbon monoxide as well.

Signs and Symptoms of Carbon Monoxide Poisoning

Since the initial effects of carbon monoxide poisoning are so mild, a leak can go undetected for quite awhile. In order to take action as quickly as possible, it’s important to know the physical symptoms associated with a small leak. These symptoms include:

  • Headaches
  • Nausea
  • Fatigue
  • Chest pain for those with heart conditions

If you have a handful of people in your building who are all experiencing the same symptoms, there’s a good chance that something inside your building is causing the health problems. The sooner you’re aware of a gas leak, the sooner you can stop the symptoms from becoming more severe.

What to Do if Your Detectors Go Off

If your carbon monoxide detectors go off, it means that the gas has already reached a potentially fatal level. It’s important to take immediate action in this scenario, in order to protect those inside the building.

  • Evacuate the building—Make sure everyone leaves the building immediately. If your building holds a large number of people, expect some panic from the occupants.
  • Call the fire department—The fire department may be called automatically if you have a facility management system.
  • Do a head count—Try your best to account for everyone who was inside the building, which may be difficult if people come and go frequently.
  • Turn the heating system off, as well as appliances—Getting out of the building is most important, but turning off heating systems and appliances may help prevent further damage.
  • Open windows and doors—Again, make evacuation a priority, but if you see windows and doors that can easily be opened, doing so can help the carbon monoxide evaporate more quickly.
  • Hire a qualified expert—Once the fire department has performed an inspection, bring in a qualified expert to find and fix the leak.

Of course, the best way to keep everyone safe from carbon monoxide leaks is to prevent them from occurring. The best prevention is to have your HVAC system maintained annually. Yearly maintenance can keep your system working properly, and the technicians can check areas that are likely to experience a leak.

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What Are the Real Benefits of Duct Cleaning?

A large number companies have popped up recently than claim to be duct cleaning experts. These companies often use scare tactics to garner sales, by declaring homeowners’ air “unhealthy.” But is duct cleaning really necessary, or is it a scam?

Duct Cleaning Services

Professional duct cleaning involves using specialized blowers, brushes and vacuums to clean the ducts throughout your home, including the intake, return and supply ducts. This process also involves thoroughly cleaning the registers, grilles, air handler, fans, housings, motors and coils of your HVAC system.

Dirty HVAC components can make your system work less efficiently; however, as of yet there is no proof that routine duct cleaning has a positive effect on the quality of indoor air or that it reduces dust inside the home.

Despite this lack of proof, there are specific instances where getting a professional duct cleaning can be useful.

When to Get Your Ducts Cleaned

The following factors may signal the need for duct cleaning.

  • Renovations—If you’ve recently had your home renovated or remodeled, it can be helpful to get this service. This is especially true if there was any lead paint removal, asbestos abatement or large quantities of dust. If your ducts weren’t sealed off during renovations, it is especially important to get the ducts cleaned, because your ducts could have harmful dust and debris trapped inside.
  • Animals—If you have animal nesting or infestation in your ductwork, make sure the animals are removed, and then get a thorough cleaning of the ducts and the HVAC unit.
  • Mold—Visible mold can cause health issues, especially for anyone with a weakened immune system, children or the elderly. It’s wise to invest in the cleaning in this situation in order to get rid of the mold spores.
  • Contaminants—Noticeable debris, odors and pet hair, including other contaminants can be a problem, if the ducts are releasing them into the room after the cleaning and vacuuming of the register. In this case, getting a professional duct cleaning can clear out these contaminants.
  • Illness—If anyone in the home is suffering from an illness that could be related to allergies, duct cleaning may help improve symptoms.

Who to Call for Duct Cleaning

Make sure you get a full-service cleaning, as just as duct cleaning won’t do much to help the situation. Always get a free estimate before any work is done, and avoid any company that offers service for significantly under $500. These companies are most likely scamming their customers. Ask family, friends and strangers whom they recommend, and make sure whomever you hire has the proper licenses and certifications. When you keep these considerations in mind, you can help ensure you get what you need.

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Do HVAC Systems Emit Greenhouse Gases?

Most scientists and environmental experts believe that greenhouse gases are responsible for depletion of the ozone layers. It’s a well-known fact that all heating and air conditioning systems release the harmful substances into the atmosphere. This applies for all equipment types, from central cooling unites to portable air conditioning units and window-mounted air conditioners.

What is the Ozone Layer?

Located in the upper atmosphere, the ozone layer is responsible for safeguarding the earth from harmful ultra-violet radiation from the sun. As this layer continues to deplete, more radiation seeps through. This consequently leads to a rise in the earth’s atmospheric temperature. The effect is referred to as global warming.

To reduce the detrimental effect of greenhouse gases on the ozone layers, authorities have initiated policies that mandate production of better equipment. Manufacturers are instructed to ensure that their devices are more energy efficient. Newer devices are also required to have a minimal environmental impact.

Do HVAC Systems Emit Greenhouse Gases?

An AC system is comprised of an electrical pump and a network of coils that transfer air between the exterior of a building and the indoors. Warm air is moved outside by the condenser while cool air is released indoors using an evaporator. A refrigerant constantly moves through the system while transforming its state from gas to liquid and vice versa. This refrigerant is what facilitates air movement, and is one source of the harmful greenhouse gases.

Previously, air conditioners used a liquid refrigerant whose components included chlorofluorocarbons, known as CFCs in short. These were found to contribute towards the depletion of the ozone layer. With time, AC manufacturers began to use halogenated chlorofluorocarbons (HCFCs). These have a lesser impact on the ozone layer, though they still cause harm. As a result, HCFC production is scheduled to be phased out by the year 2030.

To contribute towards environmental conservation, all consumers are encouraged to purchase better systems that are certified to be energy efficient. The government runs various programs which set energy efficiency standards and certify all new HVAC models. Such ACs use about 10% less energy, which helps save the environment and also saves homeowners money on energy bills. Other steps to improve efficiency include improving insulation and sealing ductwork to reduce heat losses. Follow us for more articles that will keep your heating and cooling systems running efficiently.

HVAC System Replacement: Some Important Things To Know

man repair air-conditionerHVAC system replacement is a costly investment. So you must be on your guard when making one. First of all, you must ensure that a replacement is really required. There is no cause for freaking out if your HVAC unit registers a couple of problems. If it happens, call a HVAC specialist and let him inspect your unit and give you proper recommendation.

Having said that, units which are too old are often best replaced than repaired. First of all, repeated repairs add up to the expense and even if the unit runs properly after each repair, it will still consume much higher amount of energy than the modern units. So, even if the initial investment looks big, you will be saving up money in the long run, not to mention the improvement in the air quality and comfort of your home that a replacement will provide for.

Normally, if you find that your utility bills are escalating every month even when you have kept the thermostat settings constant; or there are fluids leaking from your system; or if it is making all kinds of irregular noises, you know that it is time to go for a replacement.

Now, once you have decided on a replacement, make sure to check on a few things before you make the buy. Contact a reputed HVAC company and ask for proper recommendation and a full estimate that will cover everything including labor and installation costs, warranty specifications, parts prices, etc.

If you have a large home or use your premises for commercial purposes, having a zoning system can be a great idea. Multiple zoning with different heating and cooling accommodations can be a great energy saver. Initial costs may be heavy, but they will pay you handsomely in the long run. So, make sure to check with your HVAC company if a zoning system is viable for your property.

Check other things as well such as the energy efficiency of the unit, what type of filters it uses, whether you will be eligible for a tax credit for the unit you are buying, also if you will need a home humidifier or dehumidifier.

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What Is Thermal Comfort?

153002331Thermal comfort refers to the reasons a person feels hot, cold, or comfortable in an environment. The six factors contributing to thermal comfort create a very personal sense of what it means to be comfortable and why air temperature alone is inadequate for evaluation purposes.

The Six Contributing Factors

Each person’s body runs at a particular metabolic rate which is also affected by how active he is at any time. How much and what type of clothing the individual wears also plays a part in establish temperature. Air current (draft, breeze, etc.), high or low humidity, and/or an object giving off radiant heat affect a body’s interpretation of the sixth factor: air temperature.

Dressing in Layers

Parents tell their children to dress in layers on cold mornings when they walk to school. By lunchtime, kids are bound to become too warm for a heavy coat and mittens, but these can be removed as the day warms up or activity levels surge. Protective clothing at work, however, cannot be removed and can cause individuals to feel uncomfortably warm inside their clothing during the day.

Radiant Heat and Air Velocity

Sources such as a fireplace or oven generally create heat for those who are situated close by. The ability to retreat from radiant heat reduces the chance of overheating. Some might take this opportunity to seek a cooling breeze but that breeze can take too much heat away if one is sweaty or the air current is too powerful.

Humidity

It’s surprising to people from damp, moderate climates when a very hot, dry place feels more comfortable. This is because people cannot sweat if humidity is high; they can’t cool off. Moreover, humidity often turns into rain and the necessity of wearing more clothing which adds to a feeling of stuffiness.

Heat and Metabolism

Some people feel the cold more than others, especially frail or elderly individuals. Their inner thermostat is set differently from that of other people. Although air temperature is the same for everyone, perspectives on the relative comfort of a value differ.

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2 FAQs For Home Heating, Ventilation And Water Heaters

1. Why does my heater keep shutting off?
Appliances in basementModern heaters keep cycling on and off automatically when they sense that the inside air is too cold for your comfort, or conversely, the atmosphere is comfortable enough without any need of the unit running on. However, one or other kind of malfunction in the unit may make it follow this routine randomly. So yes, if you find that your heating unit is shutting on or off on a quite random basis, that may very well indicate a problem. However, before you contact a HVAC service to fix the issue, there are a few things you can do yourself to diagnose and possibly solve the issue.

This problem is often caused by dirty air filters. The dirt in the filter blocks the warm air to release in the atmosphere and instead, makes it return to the system and this makes the unit wrongly interpret the situation as being warm enough. When this happens, the unit may shut off on its own. So, being in the habit of regularly changing your air filters is one of the surest ways to prevent this problem.

A faulty reading by the thermostat may also be a cause of short cycling. If the thermostat is not set to accurate settings or if it is placed too close to a heat source such as another heat register, sunlight, etc., the unit may get a false impression and shut off. Other common causes to short cycling include corroded flame sensor, foreign objects lodged in air vents or chimney, etc. If you find that you cannot diagnose or fix the issue by yourself, you may need to contact a HVAC service.

2. How are heaters rated?
Most heaters and air conditioning systems these days will come with AFUE or annual fuel utilization efficiency ratings. Higher AFUE ratings mean higher efficiency. In contrast to thermal efficiency which is useful to know the peak instantaneous efficiency of a unit, AFUE gives you the seasonal efficiency measures. It is calculated as a percentage which is the ratio of total energy output annually to total energy input at the same time.
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