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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What Happens If My AC/Heating System Is Too Big for My House?

June 23, 2021

The weather in La Vernia, TX, and surrounding areas often goes from one extreme to another. You’ll need an efficient and effective air conditioning and heating system to maintain consistent indoor temperatures. If your HVAC system is too big or has too much capacity, this could lead to several issues that affect your comfort and wallet. Poor Humidity Control An air conditioning system that’s too big for your home may perform short cycling. This happens when the air conditioner runs at full power for a minute or two. It reaches the temperature setting on the thermostat quickly, then turns off. However, it won’t remove enough humidity from your house during this short cycle time. As a result, your residence won’t feel as comfortable as it would with a right-sized system. High humidity levels can also worsen allergy and asthma symptoms. High Utility Bills Cooling and heating your home make up roughly 50% of your monthly energy costs. If your system is the wrong size for your home, it could operate less efficiently and cost you even more. When the unit has too much capacity for your home, it may use more power than a correctly sized system. This can result...

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3 Reasons Why Regular Maintenance Is Good for Your AC/Heating System

June 9, 2021

Lack of maintenance can cause major issues for AC/Heating systems. You may have to deal with a variety of problems if you neglect your regular tune-up. Always reaching out to a local HVAC company to service your system twice a year is an excellent way for you to stay proactive and avoid many of these issues. Here are a few of the most likely things that can happen if you fail to keep your system well maintained. 1. Costly Breakdowns Over time, a heating and cooling system may eventually break down due to a lack of maintenance. These repairs can often be expensive and create a lot of stress. The easiest way to reduce the need for repair work is to schedule routine maintenance services. An HVAC technician will inspect your entire system and make any adjustments to ensure everything is working at an optimal level. 2. Reduced Lifespan Another disadvantage of poor maintenance is that it can reduce the useful life of your system. The average lifespan of most HVAC systems is around 15 years, but this expectation can be cut much shorter if you fail to keep the equipment professionally maintained. The investment in maintenance services is well...

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What Is A VRF AC/Heating System?

May 26, 2021

The hot summers in South Central Texas, mean that you need an effective cooling system for optimal indoor comfort. When it’s time to replace an aging air conditioning and heating system, you’ll likely encounter many options in the course of researching various products. One of these you may encounter is the variable refrigerant flow (VRF) AC/heating system. GVEC does sell these systems—mostly to commercial customers—but there is a residential version known as the mini-split. In this entry, we’ll be explaining a little about VRF systems for commercial use. What VRF Means HVAC systems based on VRF technology use a chemical refrigerant to transfer heat from one location to another. These ductless systems are extremely complicated, but amount to a highly enhanced version of the mini-split systems mentioned above. VRF systems include heat pumps and smaller mini-split units. How VRF AC and Heating Systems Work VRF systems use variable motor speeds and varying amounts of refrigerant flow to transfer heat. They do this with an inverter compressor. An inverter compressor doesn’t have to be 100% on or off. It can function at 30%, 60%, or any other power level. This allows it to heat or cool a building with more efficiency...

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What Is an Electronic Air Filter? Do I Need One?

May 19, 2021

Spring is in the air, and, unfortunately, that means pollen and allergens are as well. Keeping these particulates out of your home is a challenge in the subtropical climate of South Central Texas. Electronic air filters offer one possible solution for helping filter allergens from the air. Although we don’t sell these filters, we think it important for readers to understand their options regarding home air filtration. We do, however, offer a number of UV-light based home air filtration systems, which we’ll mention briefly near the conclusion of this blog. What Is an Electronic Air Filter? The most common type of electronic air filter is known as an electrostatic air filter. These complex systems work by creating an electrostatic charge that ionizes the air passing through the system. The ionization process causes the particles in the airflow to become positively charged. While passing through the system, the negatively charged filtration plates trap the positively charged particles. How Effective Are Electronic Air Filters? Electronic air filters can be efficient at trapping larger particles and finer particles that pass through the system. Mid-sized particles may still pass through, however, as these particulates don’t always receive a charge. Also, the filters will not...

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