Tips for Getting the Best From Your New AC/Heating System

November 18, 2021

An AC/heating system is a major investment you want to last as long as possible. You also want to keep it operating efficiently so you can save money on energy bills and help reduce your carbon footprint. There are several things you can do to achieve these goals. Change the Air Filters Many people don’t change the air filters in their HVAC systems frequently enough, which is a big mistake. A dirty air filter reduces the performance of your system and can contribute to reduced efficiency, greater wear-and-tear over time, reduced system lifespan and system breakdowns. GVEC recommends checking the filter every month and changing it if it looks dirty. Generally, you don’t want to use one filter longer than three months. Get Annual Tune-Ups To help assure optimum performance, your AC/heating system should be regularly serviced. We recommend two tune-ups a year—once during spring when you switch to AC and then again in fall with the switch to heating. GVEC’s HVAC Spec Check professional AC/heating service plan is designed to help keep your system running smoothly year-round. With Spec Check, you’ll get two full-service system tune-ups a year—one in spring and one in fall. Our team of professional HVAC...

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Why You Need to Keep Fall Foliage Away From Your Outdoor AC/Heating Cabinet

November 4, 2021

For many people, there’s no season better than fall in Gonzales and Seguin. The cool weather, football, bonfires, hayrides, sweet treats and other traditions of fall are enough to put anyone in a good mood. In the midst of all the celebrations, it’s important that you take a few moments to give your AC/heating unit some attention. Specifically, you need to make sure that any fall foliage, such as leaves, sticks, grasses and anything else stay away from your outdoor HVAC cabinet. Here are a few reasons why GVEC recommends giving your AC/heating system this special effort. Prevent Nesting One potential problem with leaving your outdoor AC/heating cabinet surrounded by foliage is that the area becomes an attractive place for animals looking to hunker down for the winter. The protection provided by a leaf-cluttered, plant-choked outdoor cabinet could attract squirrels, mice, rats and other unwanted animals. While they’re nesting, they could take some nibbles of the wiring inside your AC/heating unit, meaning you could be left with an expensive repair. Maintain AC/Heating Airflow The outdoor cabinet’s primary job is maintaining proper air flow; it contains the system compressor, condenser coil and blower fan. This is another reason why GVEC recommends...

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How to Keep Your Heating and Cooling Vents Clean

October 18, 2021

Keeping your vents clean is key to ensuring that your AC/heating system is functioning optimally. Not only that, but dirty vents can also contribute to poor indoor air quality. With this in mind, here are some useful tips you need to know to ensure that your HVAC vents stay clean. Making Sure Your HVAC Vents Are Clean Dirt, dust and pet hair can all clog your HVAC vents. Over time, this buildup can result in reduced airflow coming through the vents and thus decrease the effectiveness of your heating and cooling systems. For this reason, it is vital that you occasionally check your vents to make sure they aren’t clogged. Generally speaking, you should be removing your vent covers every six months or so and vacuuming or brushing off any dirt or other debris that may be stuck on the vents. It is also a good idea to vacuum out the vents themselves. In addition, you may want to consider washing the vent covers with soap and water if they are sticky. Moreover, regularly cleaning your vents can also prevent excess dirt and dust from being blown into your rooms. Vent Cleaning as Opposed to Duct Cleaning Cleaning your vents...

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All You Need to Know About BTU

October 4, 2021

Btu is an abbreviation for British thermal unit. It measures the heat energy required to lower or raise 1 pound of water by 1 degree Fahrenheit. Btu is an important metric for heating and air conditioning. It’s a rating system that indicates how powerful your unit is. BTU: Your Air Conditioner It is important that you understand the Btu of your air conditioner in comparison to the size of your home because you do not want to have an air conditioner that is not serving you well. A 12,000-Btu air conditioner means that it is removing 12,000 tons of heating per hour from your home. If your house is big, you would require an air conditioner with a higher Btu. At GVEC, we’re a leading heating and air conditioner company that’s been in business in South Central Texas for over 50 years. We can help you find the right size air conditioner for your home. BTU: Your Heat Pump Btu is also used to rate energy in heat pumps, furnaces, cooking devices, and other heating appliances. These heating appliances come in different capacities or ratings. For instance, if your heat pump rating is 12,000 Btu, it means that it can...

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HVAC Troubleshooting – 5 Tips for Every Homeowner

September 20, 2021

One of the systems that need regular maintenance in your home is your AC/heating (HVAC) unit. When your HVAC unit stops working, it can be frustrating, especially during the extremely hot or cold seasons. If you experience small problems with your system, you may be able to troubleshoot before contacting our professionals. Here are a few HVAC troubleshooting tips you might try. Check Your Thermostat When your HVAC system fails to turn on completely, first check your thermostat. If it uses batteries, you might need to change them. You might also need to reset the temperatures if your system starts at the wrong time. If you do all that and your HVAC still refuses to work, contact your local GVEC AC/heating experts. Replace Air Filters Clogged, dirty or aged air filters are a common reason for your system to cool or heat your home properly. When you have clogged air filters, the result is your unit working harder than expected and therefore reducing efficiency and possibly increasing energy cost. Be sure you’re checking your filters monthly and changing them at least every three months—sooner if they are dirty. Clean Your Outdoor Unit Your outdoor unit can become dirty, especially if...

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What Temperature Should I Set My AC to at Night?

September 6, 2021

When the summer heat settles in and lingers, it can be hard to escape it. Fortunately, many people have air conditioners. Finding the balance between a comfortable and an energy-efficient thermostat setting can be difficult for some. You want to keep your home cool, but you also want to conserve energy and not have to pay a sky-high utility bill. A common question relates to what temperature you should set your AC to at night. One Size Doesn’t Fit All There isn’t one set temperature that can suit everyone. Some people like things very cold at night so they can get cozy under the covers, whereas others just want to make their bedrooms a little more comfortable without covering up too much. The commonly recommended AC setting for summer is 78 degrees. However, some people would have a hard time sleeping at that temperature. They sleep sounder in a cooler bedroom. If you have trouble sleeping at higher temperatures, try setting your temperature to 72 degrees or even a bit lower. At GVEC, we recommend a summer thermostat setting of 78 degrees or as high as you can comfortably stand. Again, it all depends on your comfort level. You may...

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Benefits of Upgrading Your AC Unit

August 16, 2021

When it comes to upgrading your old air conditioning unit, you may be hesitant about doing so. The thought of purchasing a new system can seem very intimidating. Fortunately, understanding the various benefits associated with upgrading your existing system can help make the decision much easier for you. More Efficiency Newer AC/heating systems are more energy-efficient than older models. If you have an aging air conditioning system between 10- to 15-years old, you may be using more energy than you need to. Upgrading to a newer, more energy-efficient model, can help you use less energy, which means lower energy bills for you to pay. Latest Technology One of the biggest benefits you can enjoy from a new HVAC system is having the latest technology at your fingertips. Many newer systems come with smart thermostats that can track your energy usage and make suggestions for lowering your electricity bills. You can even connect to them via your smartphone, so you can control your home’s air conditioning system from anywhere. Even if it’s not time to replace your unit yet, you may still be able to upgrade to a smart thermostat, such as a Nest® Learning Thermostat or the Ecobee smart thermostat...

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3 Tips on How to Reduce the Strain on Your AC During Summer

August 2, 2021

Summer temperatures are still in the air, and your AC system continues playing an important role in keeping you and your family feeling comfortable. Looking at ways to lessen the strain on your AC during the summer can be helpful in avoiding problems with your HVAC unit while also improving energy efficiency. Here are a few tips to remember to help reduce the strain on your air conditioner in the summer heat: 1. Avoid Drastic Changes in Temperature Keeping the same range of temperature in your house during the summer is a good idea to help you improve energy efficiency. Completely turning off your AC system while you are gone can lead to a significant rise in temperature inside, making it work harder to cool your home when you turn it back on. Instead of turning your system off, turn your thermostat up a few degrees when you leave. Better still, consider replacing your existing thermostat with a Wi-Fi enabled “smart” thermostat. Once installed, these devices “learn” your usage habits. Then, they begin self-adjusting, so you don’t have to remember to manually do it. Users still maintain control to adjust the temperature setting at any time, plus they have the...

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The Consequences of Not Changing an Air Filter

July 26, 2021

Your air conditioner relies on the system air filter to keep debris out of the compressor unit and out of other critical parts, as well. However, over time, the filter can become clogged with pollen, dirt and other contaminants. Therefore, it is important that homeowners regularly check and replace this critical part. How Often Should an Air Filter Be Changed? Different air filter brands and models are rated for different lengths of time and may perform differently from one home to another. If you have multiple pets in your home, for instance, or live with a smoker, the air filter will probably accumulate particles more quickly and need changing more often. If your home is in an area with high pollen counts or lots of dust, your filter might also need to be replaced more often. On average, most home homeowners need to replace the filter every 30 to 90 days, but GVEC recommends visually inspecting your air filter every month to check if it needs to be changed and is properly protecting critical system parts. What Happens If the Air Filter Is Not Changed? Eventually, the filter will not be able to prevent fine debris from coating blades, motors...

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3 Reasons Why Your Home Is Too Humid

July 12, 2021

The sweltering heat during the summertime in South Central Texas, may mean you’ll spend a lot of time indoors. If your home is too humid, you might be wondering why. Read on to learn about three common causes of excessive humidity in your home and to get some tips on what you can do about the situation. 1. Inadequate Ventilation When you’re washing laundry, cooking, showering or cleaning, you create a lot of humidity. If this humidity isn’t ventilated to the outdoors, it will persist in your home. Older homes often lack exhaust fans in their kitchens and bathrooms. In these instances, you can have one retrofit. Be sure to run the fans for at least 10 minutes after you finish any activities that create steam. 2. Oversized Air Conditioning System While it might seem like a good idea to get an air conditioner with extra capacity, it won’t make your home more comfortable. The high cooling capacity will cause the unit to run short cycles. These short cycles aren’t long enough to remove excess moisture from your home’s air. It’s better to get a right-sized air conditioner for your home. 3. Inadequate AC Maintenance If you’ve skipped the past...

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