Warning Signs You Need Furnace Repair

December 19, 2018

If you’ve put off your routine maintenance or missed an annual inspection, furnace problems can be dangerous if not fatal. Serving south central Texas, our goals at GVEC Air & Heating are to identify the potential hazards and keep your family and home safe. It’s not easy to spot furnace issues, but if you notice changes in its performance, it may be a warning sign. Two common problems that even a novice can detect are higher energy bills and noise. If your monthly bills are running higher now than it did in past seasons, your furnace may have internal malfunctions or need some maintenance. Dirty ducts can block the airflow and cause unusual sounds like banging or knocking. In either case, you need a professional for this job. Hazardous Warnings Odors from the furnace are severe warning signs. Dusty smells mean dust or other particles have gotten into the furnace’s combustion chamber. If the furnace is relatively new, it may be easy to repair. If you smell rotten eggs, shut off the furnace immediately and call a qualified technician. You have a gas leak. Overheating Most furnaces have automatic default settings that turn it off to prevent overheating. The industry...

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How to Save Money on Heating Bills this Winter

December 10, 2018

You need to stay warm during the cold winter months but doing so can be a strain on any budget. By taking action and making a few minor adjustments, you can stay comfortable and save money on your heating bills this year. Insulate One of the best ways to prevent the cold air from entering is to make sure your insulation, especially in the attic and basement, is working well. Replace any old insulation for a greater seal. Fill Cracks Window frames, around doors, and around light fixtures are areas where the cold air can find its way into your home without being easily noticed. Make sure to go through your home and seal all these areas to keep the warm air in and the cold air outside where it belongs. Adjust Thermostat Your home doesn’t have to be livable warm at all times. Close off heating vents in rooms that don’t get regular use, such as guest bedrooms and turn the thermostat down to 60 or 65 degrees at times when nobody is at home or at night when blankets keep you warmer. If you invest in a programmable thermostat, you can time it so that the house warms...

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Should I Turn My Furnace Off When on Vacation?

November 8, 2018

A furnace is a very important appliance that will help to make sure that your home is safe and warm during the cold winter months. If you own a furnace, one important decision you will have to make is whether or not to turn it off when you leave for vacation. Many people consider turning their furnaces off during the winter months because they would like to save money on utilities and out of safety concerns. However, there are a variety of reasons why you should keep your furnace on during the winter. Prevents Frozen Pipes During the cold winter months, one of the worst things that could happen to your home would be if the pipes in your property freeze. To prevent your pipes from freezing, you should make sure that your home is warm at all times. Ideally, this will mean making sure that your home is at least 66 degrees even when you are not at your property. Pet Safety Concerns Have any pets in your home, you also want to make sure that they are comfortable while you are away. If you are going to have any pets in your home at any time, you will...

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What to Look for in a Heating Repair Company

October 12, 2018

When something goes wrong with the heating and cooling unit in the home, many people are wondering what to do next. Most people take their home HVAC units for granted and do not think about where they can go for help when something breaks. There are many different HVAC companies to choose from and people could have trouble figuring out where to turn to for help. What are some of the characteristics that people should look for in their heating repair company? There are a few different factors that everyone should keep in mind. Timeliness of Customer Service When something goes wrong in the home, it is an emergency. People depend on their HVAC units to keep them comfortable during the blistering summer months and the freezing winter months. Therefore, they should look for a company that will respond quickly to customer concerns and repairs any issues with the machines as quickly as possible. How quickly does the company respond to concerns? The Latest Units Available Next, everyone needs to find a furnace repair company that takes the time and energy to invest in the latest technology available on the open market. There are new units coming out all the...

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3 Energy Efficiency Tips

October 2, 2018

Money doesn’t grow on trees, but there’s no getting around the fact that it costs money to heat and cool your home. The good news that you have more control over that equation than you might realize. Here are three tips that can help you enjoy greater levels of energy efficiency — and therefore lower energy bills — courtesy of our team at GVEC Air Conditioning & Heating in Southern Texas. 1. Assess Your HVAC System HVAC systems lose efficiency over time, especially if they’re not properly maintained. This forces you to run the system hotter or cooler than you normally would just to get the desired effects. The best way to make sure your HVAC system can do its job efficiently is by scheduling regular assessments from our team. We can check the condenser coil, burners, heat exchanger, valves, thermostat, refrigerant, and other variables that affect your system’s overall power and energy efficiency. 2. Look for the Energy Star Today’s generation of air conditioners can produce all the cool air you need while drawing less energy than an older system probably would. The gold standard for energy-efficient heating and cooling components is the Energy Star label. This “seal of...

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What Does it Mean to be NATE Certified?

September 30, 2018

When you’re looking for a quality HVAC company to help you choose, install, or service your heating and cooling equipment, you are going to bump into the phrase “NATE certified”. If you’re in the midst of your search, you’re probably wondering what this phrase means and if you should hire technicians with this certification. Here’s what you need to know. What Is NATE? Short for North American Technician Excellence, NATE is the nation’s largest non-profit certification organization that works with HVAC and refrigeration professionals. The group is industry supported, but participation is optional. The organization was formed about 20 years ago in response to concerns that standards throughout the industry needed to be higher. Now, in that same spirit, the best most reliable companies require their technicians to be NATE Certified. How Do You Get NATE Certified? To become NATE certified, technicians have to pass a written test. The test goes beyond the information presented on the HVAC certification test, and it’s developed by top HVAC professionals and industry leaders. To pass the test, technicians need a solid understanding of HVAC systems. Many of the questions give the technicians scenarios that they’re likely to encounter in the field, ensuring that...

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Career Opportunities in the HVAC Industry

September 19, 2018

Keeping a home comfortable all year long requires a working HVAC system. Because HVAC systems are mechanical systems, they are prone to breakdowns, creating a nearly constant demand for people who are skilled at replacing and installing these systems. HVAC careers are rewarding and can be lucrative, giving skilled technicians the opportunity to help people stay comfortable while earning a good income. Here is a closer look at some of the careers available within the HVAC industry. HVAC Engineers HVAC engineers are often needed in complex installation situations, such as when installing commercial systems. These professionals know how to coordinate the installation to ensure the system runs as efficiently as possible. Skilled HVAC engineers can also evaluate systems and find areas for improvement to make a system run more efficiently. These are the professionals who design new systems in new construction projects. HVAC Mechanic When an air conditioning system breaks down, an HVAC mechanic is the one who puts it back in good, working order. These professionals are in high demand all across the country, but particularly in areas where extreme heat or extreme cold are common. HVAC mechanics focus on repair and maintenance services, not installation, though they may...

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What is Super Cooling?

August 21, 2018

In the HVAC space, supercooling refers to cooling your home at a time of day known to retain low temperatures for the rest of the day. This helps minimize the workload for your air conditioning system. It cools air the easiest way possible and when it is least expensive to do so. The Super Cooling Advantage Supercooling allows you to manage your power usage and the resulting bills. It helps save money spent on energy bills. Supercooling helps cut your energy usage by 25% to 33% compared to other times. This is a significant percentage especially during summer when air conditioning costs are at their highest. How to Super Cool Your Home First, acquire your time-of-use plan from your utility. Explore the varying rate plans. The plan indicates cheaper rates for electricity during specific hours of the day and higher rates during other times. Once the plan is activated and running, set the temperature of your thermostat to as low as you can stand it between 68 to 74 degrees. This should be done throughout during off-peak hours with regards to your plan. It will get quite chilly so break out the sweaters and blankets. A programmable thermostat will ease...

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Will Air Conditioning Remove Humidity?

July 14, 2018

Anyone who has spent time in a hot and muggy climate knows that being exposed to the hot weather is one thing, but having to endure hot and humid air is altogether worse. Hot and humid air can make it seem difficult to breathe. It also has the awful effect of intensifying the heat we feel. This is because the warm moisture in the air sticks to our skin and enters our lungs, making our sweat evaporate less readily. When hot air is dry, it can just pass over us with less effect on our body temperature. But humidity delivers a “sticky” kind of heat that’s so much more unpleasant. Will Air Conditioning Remove Humidity from the Air? The simple answer to this question is, yes, an air conditioner will remove moisture from the air. This is why we call your AC unit an “air conditioner” and not just an air blower. If your AC did not remove moisture from the air then it would just be a big fan that’s channeled through your home. How It Works Your AC unit removes moisture and heat from the air using a condenser coil or condensate array. This device exploits the tendency...

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How Candles Affect Indoor Air Quality

July 10, 2018

We love our home fragrance. Candles are especially loved for their decorative look, wonderful smell and romantic glow. According to The National Candle Association, more than 80 percent of Americans use fragrance in their homes. Many consumers don’t realize that along with the wonderful fragrance, candles release chemicals into the air, causing a major impact on your indoor air quality. Candles are created using paraffin wax and petroleum products. In addition, the fragrances candle manufacturers use additional chemicals to create the fragrance. What this all adds up to is burning candles, although smell wonderful release hidden pollutants into the indoor air. You may ask, “candles are polluting the air? But they smell so, so good.” The answer is “yes,” they are affecting the air you breathe and could be harming your health! Have Your Candles and Burn Them Too With Healthier Air Quality For most people fragrance is not going to cause any health issues. For others who have asthma, allergies, heart issues or are sensitive to smells may find it uncomfortable to be inside while a candle is burning. They might not even realize it but that constant cough or runny nose or even an irritable mood might be...

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