Quality Plumbing Heating & Air Conditioning

Although we can service and install every brand, not every brand is worth installing.  Some brands we try to steer clear of.  These brands produce poor quality products and back it up with even worse quality warranties.  Our company guarantee our labor for up to one year on everything we do whether its a faucet install, or a new air conditioning system.  We have learned our lessons with products that just don’t hold up and we take it to heart when something does not live up to its expected standards.  We will always offer advice based on our long learned experience.  Our advise is based on product longevity, serviceability and availability of parts.  After all customer satisfaction and our reputation is of most importance to us.

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Air conditioning Refrigerant Freon leaks

In the last several posts we have been discussing different consequences of not changing air filters or not having them at all.  Some of the more severe consequences are frozen evaporator coils (inside/ air handler), which we have also discussed.  When ice expands so rapidly sometimes things move and or shift. That can create small cracks in the coil which eventually leads to bigger cracks.  Some systems have high and low pressure switches built into the condencers that would stop its operation if system is running outside of designed refrigerant parameters.  Some do not.  Those condensers tend to have burnt out compressors.  At that point that is a huge expense if wether parts are under warraty or not.  So again, please change your filters and make sure to do a diagnostic/ system check up at begining of each cooling season.  A skilled technician (ours) can spot issues before they occur and recommend best possible solution.

Air conditioning service

Leaking evaporaor coil. Not repairable

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Importance of changing air filters

There seems to be a lot question and misunderstanding as to how often to chance air filters in central air system (hot air furnace heat).  Hopefully reading this will clarify some questions. First, allow us to explain the basics of mechanics of forced air system.  Each system contains a motor (blower), which is designed to spin at a designated rpm, which must generate a certain amount of air movement. Besides the blower there is also an evaporator coil.  The coil  contains refrigerant that boils of at subfreezing temperatures and requires a certain amount of airflow to keep it warm.  A filter is designed to allow air to flow through it while catching dust and dirt that is suspended in air.  This is a benefit to breathing air as it is cleaner and protects the evaporator from dirt.  Filters come in different levels of filtration efficiency and the higher the efficiency the less airflow they allow through them from the start.  Additionally dirt and dust accumulation create a form a layer around the filter creating an airflow restriction.  Sometimes this airflow restriction creates a bottle-necking in airflow and puts significant strain on the motor as well as an insufficient heat for the coil, which may result in motor failure and or coil freezing (picture bellow). This must be avoided at all costs.

So as to original question of how often to change the answer is not so simple as there are many variables including efficiency of filter (the more efficient the more frequently it must be changed) and other dust factors.  Carpeting contains a lot of dust as well as heavy foot traffic and pets generate more dust.  So the more dust in house the more often a filter must be changed.   The solution is quite simple, install new filter and check after two weeks. When the system turns on and the filter gets sucked in and concave (a sure sign of air pressure change), or filter shows a layer of dust or discoloration then its time to change.  If not wait a week and check again. Keep doing so until you notice any signs of a blocked filter. Some houses can be on one filter for 3 months and some houses only 2-3 weeks. Its is up to the homeowner to determine how often. Please do not rely only on the serviceman to change your filters once a season as it is not enough for any household. Picture below shows a frozen coil, one of many we encounter throughout the summer season.

Air conditioning service

Frozen evaporator coil

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When should I get my heating system serviced?

Question:  When should I get my heating system serviced?

Answer:  The best time of year to get your heating system serviced is in the early fall.  This time of year the outside temperature are fairly mild and heating system is at its lightest load.  At this time any potential problems would be found by the HVAC technician.

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Baseboards making noises

Question:  My heating baseboards making noises when the boiler turns on.  Why is that?

Answer:  Typically sounds made by vibrations coming from air traveling within the heating system pipes.  There could be several reasons for this and the most basic one is that the system needs to be purged of all air.  This must be done on a yearly basis.  Have an HVAC technician service your boiler for a trouble free heating season.

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My water bill is too high

Question:  My water bill is much higher than usual.  why?

Answer:  Chances are there may be a leak.  If there is no evident signs of leaks (i.e. wet floors/ceilings)  there may be a leak either underground (i.e. heating pipe).    But before jumping to conclusions please check for leaky faucets, showers, toilets and outside spiggets.  When leaking, these fixtures leak constantly, which may accumulate into substantial amounts.

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I don’t want to shovel my driveway anymore!

Question:  I don’t want to shovel my drivay anymore! What can I do?

Answer:  You have two choices here.  Choice number 1 is you get someone else to do it for you.  Choice number two is you install hydronic heating in your driveway.  The snow will melt as it land on your driveway without you ever needing to shovel or salt it!

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What does a plumber do?

Some of you are not exactly sure about what does a plumber do?  Well I hope we can answer this question for you.  A plumber is responsible for operation of all domestic/residential and commercial:

Water systems – this includes all fixtures that contain, carry or utilize water such as water piping, faucets, showers, water tanks and etc.  Water treatment systems such as purifying, filtration and softening of domestic and commercial water are plumbing are of expertise. However fire sprinkler systems are typically are more specialized services.

Natural Gas systems – gas piping distribution system and appliances.  This includes natural gas barbeque grills, stoves/ranges and gas driers as well as gas piping to heating and hot water appliances and their commercial counterparts.

Drain and sewage systems – any drain that moves or removes unwanted waste water and or other materials in a domestic and commercial setting is plumbing domain.  Bathroom, kitchen, laundry, sump and ground water disposal and other commercial applications are definitely included.

We hope this answers your questions about plumbing and when or if you have a question or concern we hope you will reach out to us.  We’ll be glad to help.

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Phase out of FREON

In 1992 there was an international environmental agreement that required worldwide phase out of HCFCs (hydrochlorofluorocarbons) due to their harmful impact on the ozone layer.  HCFC-22 (also known as R-22, also known as Freon) has been the go to refrigerant for residential air-conditioning systems for over four decades. Unfortunately, releases of R-22, as those from leaks, contribute to ozone depletion. In addition, R-22 is a greenhouse gas and the manufacture of R-22 contributes significantly to global warming. As the manufacture of R-22 is being phased out as per agreement to end production of HCFCs, manufacturers of AC systems are offering equipment that has ozone-friendly refrigerants.  Over the last several years the price of R-22 has increased exponentially while prices of the more popular and ozone friendly R-410a has dropped down.

If you have a system that is leaking you will definitely notice that it is getting increasingly more expensive to fill it up.  It is also very bad for the environment.  There are two choices that we see fit, either fix the leak or replace the equipment.  Do the environment and your wallet a favor and get to the core of the problem.  If your equipment has failed and you are considering replacing it ask for the new R-410 refrigerant.  If you have any questions please call Affordable A-Jay Plumbing Heating and Air Conditioning.  We’ll be happy to hear from you.

disclaimer:  part of this article was copied and paraphrased directly from EPA website www.epa.gov

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