Five Tips to Stay Safe With Space Heaters

January 18, 2022

Winters are often not too cold for too long in Texas, but you still may need heat. Sometimes, space heaters are useful for small rooms, but you should know some safety tips. 1. Place the Heater Correctly The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission reports that space heaters cause 25,000 injuries and house fires yearly. A general rule is to place the heater at least three feet from furniture and combustibles such as curtains and rugs. Keep the heater on a flat surface, and never lay anything on top of it to dry items. 2. Consider Safety Features The tip-over features prevent the heater from coming on if it’s not on a flat surface or cause them to switch off if they’re knocked over. New models come equipped with a thermostat that turns the heater on and off at a preset temperature. The overheat function detects when the components inside the heater are overheating and shuts it off. Look for heaters that have been tested and certified by nationally recognized testing laboratories, such as UL. 3. Only Plug It Into a Wall Outlet Plug space heaters directly into a wall outlet designed to handle higher wattages, and it should be the...

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Four Signs Your Heating System Needs Repairs

January 4, 2022

Your heater can make your home cozy and comfortable year after year, especially if you provide it with regular maintenance. Otherwise, you may end up having a dreadful time during the winter. Repairing your heating system when the weather is already very cold isn’t something to look forward to. Watch out for the telltale signs your heater may be in trouble. It will help you avoid dealing with emergencies that are usually more costly than ordinary maintenance or repairs. Here are some of the potential indications your home heating system needs professional attention. 1. Higher-Than-Normal Utility Bills When your electricity bills are inexplicably high, one possible cause is an AC/heating system that is inefficient or malfunctioning. These systems can lose efficiency over time; therefore, scheduling regular maintenance and timely repairs and upgrades can help curb the potential for rising power costs. 2. Strange Noises From the System Strange rattling noises coming from your HVAC unit can be irritating, and they’re embarrassing when hosting guests. You need to have them checked out. Different sounds may indicate a problem that require the services of a professional technician. If you’re a resident of South Central Texas, get in touch with to sort out...

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Maximize Your Heating Efficiency With These 5 Tips

December 17, 2021

The colder weather can bring along with it some higher energy bills. As a homeowner, you’re likely concerned with lowering those energy bills. You can do so by employing the following five heating efficiency tips. 1. Use a Smart Thermostat One of the best methods for having a more energy-efficient heating system is using a smart thermostat. This type of thermostat will pay attention to your thermostat habits and make recommendations of the best temperature settings to provide the most efficiency for your heating system. 2. Change Air Filters Often Even though it’s one of the simplest actions you can take, changing your air filter can have a big impact on the efficiency of your heating system. GVEC recommends checking your air filter monthly and changing it every three months or sooner if it’s dirty. When it becomes clogged, it can drastically impact the ability of air to flow through your heating system, your unit to have to work harder and use more energy. Running your system with a dirty air filter can also shorten its lifespan and contribute to unexpected breakdowns. 3. Get an Energy Audit Every home has its own heat loss areas. While your doors and windows...

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Should You Ask Santa for a New HVAC Unit?

December 2, 2021

When your HVAC system breaks, one of the questions you might have is whether it’s time for a replacement. Here are a few things to consider when making the decision. Age of Your Unit and Repair Frequency The first sign it might be time to replace your AC/heating system is if the repair cost estimate is at least 50% of the cost of a new one. If your unit is older than ten years or you’ve had to repair your unit three or more times within a year, this can signal it may be time for a new unit as well. Another reason to replace your system is if your AC still uses R-22 refrigerant, otherwise known as Freon, as this has been discontinued by the EPA. Rise in Energy Bills If your energy bills have inexplicably gone up over the years, it can be a sign your system is not working as efficiently as it once did. If you are experiencing poor air quality or inconsistent temperatures throughout your home, this is another sign your HVAC unit may need replacing. Strange noises or odors are also warnings signaling it may be time to consider a new ac/heating system. Boost...

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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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