Extend the Life of your HVAC Equipment

Posted on by WestAIR Heating & Cooling

Extend the Life of your Heating & Cooling Equipment

Having a working furnace and air conditioner is crucial during the winter and steamy summer days. Don’t run it and forget about it, as wear and tear is inevitable. You can save on costly replacements or repairs through proper maintenance. Extend the life of your HVAC equipment by following these steps.

Heating & Cooling Tips

1. Follow manufacturer instructions.

2. Have your systems checked every year by a qualified service technician. It’s best to schedule maintenance in the spring and fall. Technicians are busy in the hot and cold months, and you don’t want to wait until there’s something wrong.

3. Check your filters. Replace your filters every 30 to 60 days. If you have a permanent filter, clean it with mild detergent every 30 to 60 days. This is the most important step to increase the life of your equipment. Dirty filters make heating and cooling units work harder, which will shorten the life with use.

4. Keep your doors and windows closed. Your air conditioner and heater will work harder when there is more air to circulate. Make each space with ventilation smaller by closing your doors. This is the also the case for houses with boilers or window air conditioners. Rather than labor to regulate air temperature in the whole house, your a/c only needs to cool the individual room. With a boiler system, it’s efficient to close off rooms without a radiator.

5. Caulk and weather-strip air gaps on windows. This step is good for your wallet and your HVAC equipment. Old houses are especially drafty, so locate the air leaks by finding damaged glazing or old caulking. Another trick is to turn off all appliances and light an incense stick in each room. Turn on your exhaust vent if you have one. Then hold your incense stick close to windows, doors, and walls for a noticeable change in the smoke. If you have drafty doors, invest in some door draft blockers.

6. Use your thermostat. It’s a myth that you should keep your thermostat at a steady temperature. Most of the time, your furnace will be working harder to maintain the heat at a steady rate. Instead, program your thermostat for a comfortable temperature while you are home and ten degrees less while you are away. However, fidgeting with the thermostat will be less efficient, even if it seems harmless to put it up or down a degree or two. Keep it on a consistent schedule.

Energy Efficiency

Winter

1. Open window shades when windows are facing the sun. Let the sun warm your house naturally, putting less work on your furnace. The vitamin D is good for you this time of year!

2. Take advantage of using your oven. Slow cook your chicken and oven roast your veggies. The extra warmth will give your furnace a break. Your oven will be working two jobs at once without the added cost.

Summer

1. Close window shades facing the sun. Opposite of wintertime, you want to block the sun from adding extra heat to your house. Make sure to put your plants outside so they don’t suffer from the lack of sun!

2. Be smart with your other appliances. When you are doing laundry, hang up your clothes on a line to save energy or strain on your a/c. Why work an appliance that uses heat when it’s already hot outdoors? Washing clothing shouldn’t be an issue, though, if you stick to cold water. If it’s humid out, dry your clothes during the coolest part of the day: around dawn. Same goes for dishwashers.

3. Use your exhaust fans when cooking. Whether you plan on using the oven or stovetop for dinner, turn on the exhaust fan to let out the excess moisture and heat. Or maybe fix a cold sandwich or salad. In return, your air conditioner won’t have to work as hard! Same goes for your bathroom, but not everyone likes cold showers!

Annual Service Maintenance

Spring is around the corner, so it’s time to schedule your maintenance visit with WestAir Heating & Cooling.
Our technician’s maintenance list will take care of most things you cannot do yourself to ensure your equipment is running smoothly for summer and winter:

Annual Service Maintenance list:

• Clean furnace and check operation/filter
• Clean air conditioner and check operation
• Clean outdoor condenser and check refrigerant level
• Clean air exchanger filters and core
• Check radiant in-floor pressures and go over system
• Check humidifier filter and drain line
• Check unit heater operation
• Clean fireplace and check operation

Contact us for more information on heating, cooling, or our service maintenance!

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Why You Should Change Your Furnace Filter Often

Posted on by WestAIR Heating & Cooling

Why You Should Change Your Furnace Filter

Changing your furnace filter seems to be an easily forgotten task. HVAC companies try their hardest to remind you to do these things, but do you know why you should change it more often than you think?

Maintenance

Getting an oil change for your car is as important as changing the furnace filter for your house. It simply extends the life of your equipment. A dirty filter means that less air is circulating, which then means that your furnace is working harder to keep your house warm. Over time, having a furnace go into overdrive for too long can overheat the system or break down the entire unit. This is not something you do want to deal with in subzero temperatures.

A little dirt can do a lot of damage. If your furnace filter is dirty, not only will it make your HVAC unit work harder, but it will also make your heating bills go up over time. All the extra effort that this heater is putting out digs a deeper hole into your wallet. While a new furnace filter might cost money, ignoring it will cost more in your gas bill, except you’re doing more damage than good by trying to be frugal.

Air Filter Quality

Skip the fancy furnace filters. A furnace filter is designed to protect your furnace, not improve indoor air quality. Some people swear by these special filters, but you’ll most likely have to run your furnace fan year-round to get the benefit of a high-efficiency filter. Extra work and extra care (replacing them often) will cost you more in the end.

There is a happy balance that you could achieve between cost and efficiency. For homeowners, we recommend purchasing a MERV 7 or 8 pleated filter, which traps 80 to 95 percent of air particles. If you are looking to get rid of pollutants and breathe cleaner air, consider getting an air cleaner instead.

When to call your HVAC technician

– Unit fails to turn back on
– Noisy or slow fan
– Bent fins
– Coils are extra dusty

Remember to change your furnace filter every month when fan is in use for heating and cooling seasons.
Got more furnace questions? Call us at (763) 498-8071.

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Happy New Year!

Posted on by WestAIR Heating & Cooling

Here’s to a year filled with warmth, comfort, and good cheer! Happy New Year!

Happy New Year from WestAIR

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Happy Holidays

Posted on by WestAIR Heating & Cooling

Happy Holidays from WestAIR. Wishing you a festive holiday season.

Happy Holidays

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Why You Need a Whole-Home Humidifier

Posted on by WestAIR Heating & Cooling

whole-home humidifier
Did you know that the most comfortable indoor air humidity level is 40 to 60 percent? Cold air does not hold water vapor well, making it drier as it gets colder. Dry air could be the reason you get nose, throat, and skin discomfort in the winter.

What makes it worse?
Turning on your heat.

Heated air with low humidity also dries out the wood in your home, shrinking the wood framing around doors and windows. The shrinking causes gaps to occur and allows cold air in. Any moisture will drain outdoors, leaving you with cracked and dry skin.

Unfortunately, you can over-humidify your house as well. Too much humidity in the winter can damage windows as ice forms. If this happens, moisture will most likely be present in walls and attics, causing sheathing and woodwork to rot over time. This not only damages your house, but the mold can make you sick.
What do you do then?

The solution needs to keep your home’s humidity at a happy medium. The percentage of optimum humidity changes as it gets colder.

Outside Temperature
Max Humidity
20 – 40 40%
10 – 20 35%
0 – 10 30%
-10 – 0 25%
-20 – -10 20%
Below -20 15%

*Based on an indoor temperature of 70 degrees F

You can improve your humidity levels and your heating bills by caulking and sealing your windows and doors. Next, you can maintain indoor humidity levels with a home humidifier. When your home’s humidity falls below the optimum level, a whole-home humidifier from Aprilaire goes to work, adding moisture to your dry air. This dry air is forced through the water panel evaporator and is distributed throughout your home, eliminating that parched, dry air lurking in your home. Aiprilaire offers humidifiers that are energy efficient, reduce airborne viruses, and protect wood floors or furniture.

Eliminate the damage and discomfort caused by dry air. We’re currently offering $25 off the installation of an Aprilaire Whole-house Humidifier. Offer ends December 31st. Call us today!

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Six Tips to Reduce Your Heating Bill

Posted on by WestAIR Heating & Cooling

Lower Your Heating Bill

Winter has arrived in full force, but that doesn’t mean you have to blast money from your wallet as you turn up the heat. WestAIR Heating and Cooling offers six easy ways to reduce your heating bill this winter and for years to come.

1. Control your Thermostat

Using a thermostat is an easy way to control your home temperature and maximize your savings. While you are away, set it 10 degrees cooler than your regular setting. So, if you feel comfortable at 69 degrees, you would program it to be 59 degrees while you’re at work or on vacation. Some newer thermostats have capabilities to be controlled by a phone app or website!

2. Insulate Windows and Walls

You can lose half of your heat if your home is not well insulated! Is your attic or basement insulated? If not, fill all the gaps with fiberglass insulation. If your windows are drafty, fill in the leaky spaces with caulk.

3. Look at those Ducts

Heat can leak right through your air ducts too. You can patch them with aluminum foil tape (not duct tape) and mastic sealant. First, clean the surface near any leak you find in your air ducts. The aluminum foil tape works best on flat surfaces. Mastic is for curved surfaces that would be difficult to tape. Use both for leaks bigger than a quarter-inch for extra protection!

4. Keep Up on Filters

Did you know that you should change your furnace filter each month? Not only will it let warm air flow freely, but it will reduce the need for costly repairs. Inexpensive fiber filters work fine, but standard pleated filters are better for airborne dust.

5. Take Care of your Furnace

Many people forget this step, but tune-ups are necessary for furnaces just like an oil change is for your car. Nobody wants to wake up shivering in the middle of the night because the furnace isn’t working properly. Although we do offer same-day and emergency service in case this happens, avoid breakdowns with a scheduled maintenance check. Take advantage of our current promotion and save $10 on any repair or service call.

6. Invest!

Sometimes you must kick your old furnace to the curb. If your repair costs more than 50 percent of the cost of a new furnace, or your monthly heating bills have significantly increased, you should most likely consider a replacement. Upfront costs may seem daunting, but today’s furnaces are more energy efficient and will save money in the long run. If you think it’s time to replace that old furnace of yours, we stand by Rheem heaters for quality. Rheem is a leading provider of top-quality, innovative heating products that offer the latest technology, lasting performance, great warranties, and excellent service and support. As a proud Rheem Pro Partner, our highly trained, licensed technicians can recommend a Rheem furnace or other heating product to best meet your needs.

Contact us to learn more about a furnace tune-up or questions!

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Happy Thanksgiving!

Posted on by WestAIR Heating & Cooling

A big part of Thanksgiving is practicing gratitude. At WestAIR, we are thankful for our HVAC technicians who help keep our homes warm in the wintertime!

Thanksgiving

 

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Find the Right Garage Heater

Posted on by WestAIR Heating & Cooling

find the right garage heater

 

November is finally pushing us to turn on our thermostats. If you have any last-minute home or work projects to finish, you will need a garage heater as well. If this is your first heater, you will need to assess this situation first. Ask yourself, what do you need a heater for?

Heaters for quick projects.

Are you doing some quick fixer-uppers such as fixing or replacing parts from time to time? Do you have a designated workspace in your garage? If so, consider getting a portable electric heater. These garage heaters are lightweight, quiet, and provides direct heat.

Heaters on the go.

Do you need your garage heater for work projects outdoors or for a traveling job? You will want something fast and portable. Portable gas and kerosene heaters are lightweight and need little maintenance. Both use a fan to help circulate air.

Heaters for long-term projects.

Do you spend most of your time in the garage? Fixing up cars or hanging out with your buds, or just finished the great “Man Cave”? You will want a heater that is installed and thermostat controlled. Installed gas heaters are quick, quiet and project more heat. Electric installed heaters are compact and need little maintenance. Both types of heaters require mounting or installation. We recommend this option because you can keep your space warm to avoid letting your car idle in the winter. You can also provide a warm area for your family or pets.

Schedule an appointment today if you are interested in installing a unit heater for your garage.

 

 

This entry was posted in Fall,Furnace,Garage,Heating,Winter and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Cranberry Turkey Meatballs-Fall Festivities

Posted on by WestAIR Heating & Cooling

Embrace the comforts of season with this healthy and delicious recipe for cranberry turkey meatballs. Easy enough to prepare for a weeknight dinner, and fancy enough to bring to Thanksgiving as an appetizer or side dish. You can even make extra meatballs and freeze them for a future meal!

Cranberry Turkey Meatballs

For the meatballs:

  • 1 pound 93% lean ground turkey
  • 1/2 cup plain breadcrumbs
  • 1 Tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 large egg, lightly beaten
  • 1 cup shredded tart apple, such as Granny Smith, washed with peel on
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh sage
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • Chopped fresh parsley, optional for garnish

For the cranberry sauce:

  • 1 cup whole berry cranberry sauce
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened applesauce
  • 2 tablespoons Pure Maple Syrup
  • Zest of 1 orange
  • 1 tablespoon freshly squeezed orange juice

Directions:

1. Place a rack in the center of your oven and preheat the oven to 425 degrees F. Place an ovenproof baking rack on top of a large, rimmed baking sheet, then lightly coat with cooking spray. Set aside.
2. In a large mixing bowl, combine the turkey, breadcrumbs, olive oil, egg, apple, sage, garlic powder, onion powder, salt, and pepper. With your hands or two forks, lightly mix to combine, being careful not to compact the meat.
3. Roll the mixture into 1 1/2 to 2-inch balls, usiACGIVESTHANKSMAIN-2ng a small scoop to help portion as desired. Arrange the meatballs on top of the prepared baking rack. Bake in the oven for 12-14 minutes, just until cooked through.
4. Meanwhile, prepare the sauce: In a saucepan large enough to hold the meatballs, combine the cranberries, applesauce, maple syrup, orange zest, and orange juice. Heat over medium to warm through. Add the cooked meatballs to the sauce, then spoon the sauce over gently to coat.
5. Transfer to a serving platter to enjoy immediately or place in a slow cooker set to the lowest heat to keep warm.

Garnish with fresh parsley as desired and serve!

Recipe source

This entry was posted in Recipes,Uncategorized and tagged

Pumpkin Lovers-Pumpkin Pie Energy Bites

Posted on by WestAIR Heating & Cooling

There are two kinds of people in this world: people who obsess over all things pumpkin this time of year, and those who don’t. If you’re a pumpkin fan, this recipe is for you! Make a batch, stash them in your refrigerator or freezer, and pull one out whenever you’re in the mood for a healthy and satisfying sweet treat.

Here’s the recipe:

Pumpkin Pie Energy Bites  

Ingredients:
1 cup pitted dates
warm water
1/2 cup raw pecan halves (or pecan pieces)
1/3 cup canned pumpkin puree
1/4 cup unsweetened coconut flakes, reserve small amount for garnish
2 tsp. pure maple syrup
2 tsp. pumpkin pie spice
1 pinch sea salt

Directions:
1. Place dates in a medium bowl; cover with water. Let soak for 10 minutes. Drain. Set aside.
2. Place pecans in food processor; pulse until finely ground.
3. Add dates, pumpkin, coconut, maple syrup, pumpkin pie spice and salt; pulse until well mixed. Place in a medium bowl.
Refrigerate, covered, for 30 minutes.
4. Using clean hands, roll into Tbsp. size balls; roll in reserved coconut, if desired.
5. Store, refrigerated, in an airtight container.

1 serving = 2 energy bites

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This entry was posted in Recipes,Uncategorized and tagged

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