You’ve Got to Tune It Up: Heating System To-Do List

Now that the Iowa Hawkeyes are in full swing, the leaves are changing colors, and temperatures are slowly dropping, you need to start thinking about your heating system. We know this is one of the busiest times of the year for many families with back-to-school and all, but scheduling annual maintenance for your heater should be a top priority. 

 

image

 

Here are the benefits of getting your heating system checked out by a professional:
  • Reduce Repairs. Up to 63% of heating repairs can be prevented with proper annual maintenance. Neglecting to perform regular maintenance can lead to costly repairs, breakdowns, and other unexpected malfunctions.
  • Always warm. With regular maintenance, technicians are able to catch small problems before they become serious and costly. Being without heat during the winter can be a miserable experience, especially when you have to wait for service because everyone else in town is having the same problem. Early, regular maintenance provides dependable comfort and warmth to families.
  • Improved Efficiency. Would you go five years without changing the oil in your car? No. Much like your car, your heating system needs annual maintenance to run efficiently. A technician will thoroughly inspect your system, cleaning and testing various parts to make sure it’s at optimal level.
  • Longer Life. Annual maintenance can prolong the life of your heating system up to 7 years!
When you do schedule a tune-up appointment, because we know you will, here is a list of things your Service Legends HVAC technician will assess:

 

Age - Although the age of your heating system can provide a basic starting point for our evaluation of your system, it is only a starting point. Heating systems generally function for fifteen years or more, but just because your system is old does not mean you have to replace it. We will evaluate your whole system before giving you suggestions or advice for what to do next.

 

Performance - We will check to see if your heating system is performing properly. If your heating system is making strange noises, giving inconsistent temperatures, breaking down under stress, changing colors in the burner flame, producing impurities in your indoor air, or anything else we might find, it could mean that you must have your furnace repaired or replaced immediately. You and your family’s safety could be at stake!

 

Efficiency - If your heating system is struggling to stay alive, it could be causing you a bigger expense and bigger nuisance than it is worth. Inefficient heating systems use up much more fuel or electricity, driving up costs and creating unnecessary energy inefficiencies.

 

Reliability - We will help you decide if you are wasting money on an unreliable system. Just as you wouldn’t buy a new transmission for a $1500 car, you don’t want to make the same mistake with your heating system. If your repair costs for your current system have added up to half or more the cost of buying a new furnace, we definitely recommend replacing your current system. It is probably in its final years anyway and the longer you keep it, the more money you will lose.

 

This fall, make sure you take the steps necessary to keep you heating system working properly this winter. Regular maintenance is absolutely necessary and sometimes a requirement for any warranties you may have on your equipment. 

 

Call Service Legends (515-COMFORT) to schedule your pre-season heating maintenance appointment! Don’t forget to ask us about our other services, including Heating, Air, Geothermal, and Indoor Air Quality. Our goal is always comfort, reliability and peace of mind in your home. Visit us on our website or Facebook for more info.

Breathe Cleaner Air at Home: 8 Ways to Improve Air Quality

The Environmental Protection Agency estimates a person spends on average 90% of their time indoors, and since indoor air quality is two to five times more polluted than outdoor air, it’s important to be proactive. And with a new school year unfolding it’s necessary to keep our children strong and healthy. 

image

1.) Keep your floors clean by using a vacuum with HEPA (High-Efficiency Particulate Air) filters to suck up all the surface dust. 

2.) Reduce the amount of harsh chemicals, solvent-based cleaners or cleaners with pungent fragrances. 

3.) Place mats at every entrance, and consider leaving shoes at the door to eliminate spreading dirt and other allergens. 

4.) Never allowing smoking indoors. While this is one of the more obvious ones, it’s the most important to follow. Nearly 54,000 people die each year from second-hand smoke. Tobacco smoke contains thousands of indoor air pollutants.

5.) As the weather gets cooler, you’ll want to bring your pets in; however, be mindful of the fur and dander they bring with them. Bathe and groom your pets regularly, and if possible, keep them from entering bedrooms. 

6.) All of your appliances that use fuel need air for their combustion process. If they don’t have enough air, dangerous gases like carbon monoxide can build up and create a toxic environment, eventually reaching deadly levels. Hundreds of Americans die each year from carbon monoxide. Almost every home has a smoke detector, but not everyone has a carbon monoxide detector. It is very important that every bedroom have a carbon monoxide detector. Call us if you need smoke detectors or carbon monoxide detectors installed.

7.) It’s tempting to seal off windows and other openings as the weather gets cooler; however, you should open a window when cooking, painting or cleaning. Also, make sure your ventilation fans in your kitchen and bathroom are functioning correctly.
8.) Minimize moisture, as mold and mildew thrive in humidity. Keep your humidity level at less than 60 percent. If necessary, you may use dehumidifiers, but clean them frequently. 
Although it is important to tighten up your home with weather-stripping and other insulation, a too-tight home can be bad for your home’s air quality. If you have a chimney, check to see if the gases are safely escaping your home. Fresh air is important for your health and the health of your fuel-burning appliances. Without fresh air circulation, molds and other bacteria can develop and grow in your home, causing a horrible health risk to your health.
            
Our HVAC technicians have the equipment to measure your home’s air quality and can tell you whether it is in the safe range or not. If there is an air quality issue, we can resolve it. Make sure to have your home tested after every insulation project.

 

If you have any other concerns about your home’s indoor air quality, contact your Service Legends professional at 515-COMFORT or visit us on our website or Facebook.

COOLER THAN YOU: HOW TO BEAT THE HEAT

image

 

When it comes to keeping cool during the summer without having to break the bank , strategy is key. Despite the general consensus, it is possible to live without your air conditioner being on all the time - people did it hundreds of years ago! By following these guidelines, you’ll be able to keep cool and comfortable without having to worry about a high energy bill.

 

1.) Close Your Windows.
Contrary to popular belief, opening windows on a hot summer day will actually make your home warmer, not cooler. Keeping your curtains and blinds closed will also prevent excessive heat from entering into your home. Consider installing awnings on your windows as well.

 

2.) Use Energy Efficient Fans.
As we mentioned earlier, strategy is the most important aspect of keeping cool without having to use your air conditioner. Be strategic with fan placement and what type of fan you use. Make sure your fan is blowing counter-clockwise: In the summer, you should feel a breeze from the air blowing down. When directly in front of you, a stand-alone fan will also keep you cool. It’s important remember that, while fans cool people, they don’t cool rooms. Turn the fan off when you leave the room.

 

3.) Turn the Lights Off.
It’s something we often forget to do, but it’s especially important during the summer to turn the lights off when you aren’t using them. Electronics generate excess heat, so turn them off when they’re not being used.

 

4.) Plant Trees & Shrubs 
Planting deciduous trees on the east and west sides of your home will provide extra shade. Consider planting shrubs near high-heat areas such as air conditioning units, driveways and walkways. 

 

5.) Ditch the Oven
It’s pretty obvious, but using your oven or stove during the summer actually makes your house hotter. Trade your casserole dishes for some burgers, and start grilling! 

 

6.) Maintain Your A/C 
Change your air filters frequently and schedule regular tune-ups. With proper A/C maintenance, you can avoid costly repairs.  
 

 

Make Service Legends your most trusted company for all A/C repairs or installations. For more information, visit our website at http://servicelegends.net or call us at 515-266-3678

3 Signs Your A/C Needs Replacing

Replacing your air conditioner is a costly endeavor and should be taken seriously. But before you replace your current system, speak with a service technician about all of your options.
1.) Your air conditioner is more than 10 years old.
An air conditioner, if properly maintained, can last up to 15 years, but replacing it at 10 years can be more cost effective. Though your current system may last another 5 years, replacing it now can lower your energy costs, essentially allowing the system to pay for itself.  
2.) Frequent repairs.
If your air conditioner requires frequent repairs, it is highly recommended you replace it, as it is very costly to continue paying for repairs. While it might cost more money upfront, installing a new system will save you money long-term.
3.) Inconsistency. 
If you notice certain rooms getting too much air and others not enough, it is probably time to replace your current system. The older your system gets, the less efficient it is at cooling properly. 
For more information on air conditioner replacement, call now or visit us at http://servicelegends.net

5 Home Cooling Myths


                       

      

As the summer temperatures continue to rise, and you’re willing to try just about anything to keep cool, it’s important to not believe everything you hear. We’ve provided a list of popular myths and even debunked them for you! 
 
1.) Ceiling fans cool rooms.
Fans cool people, not rooms. So if you’re leaving fans on in the room when it’s empty, you’re just wasting energy.
 
2.) Drastically lowering the thermostat will cool your home faster.  
 Because central air conditioners work at a constant pace, cranking the AC down won’t cool your home any faster. Forgetting to adjust the thermostat back to normal could cost you extra money too. 
 
3.) Keeping your AC on all day is more efficient.
If you haven’t invested in a programmable thermostat yet, you’re throwing away money. These thermostats allow the temperature to adjust when you aren’t there, saving you money annually! 
4.) Duct tape is a great way to seal ducts. 
Don’t let their name fool you. Duct tape isn’t what you should be using to seal off leaks in ductwork, as it eventually cracks, breaking any seal. It lacks in durability and doesn’t stick to ill-prepared surfaces.
5.) Closing vents in empty rooms will save money on energy bills. 
Closing registers in a room only creates more problems. Leakage from excess pressure, mold and mildew from a lack of airflow, and increased energy use are several complications that can occur. 
 
 
Now that you have been made aware of these popular myths, you can adjust your home cooling methods to be more cost effective and energy efficient.  For more information on effective cooling methods call us or visit us as http://servicelegends.net.  

Looking Into Buying a New System? Here is What You Can Consider

You have many choices when it comes to selecting an HVAC system. Here are some things to consider:

• An electric split-system heat pump is a common choice for year-round 
heating and cooling. Other options include a heat pump with a backup 
boiler or furnace in colder climates.
• The efficiency of a cooling system is expressed as a SEER (Seasonal 
Energy Efficiency Ratio) number. All cooling systems sold today must 
have at least a SEER 13 rating. 
• Heat pump efficiency is expressed by a Heating Season Performance 
Factor (HSPF), and all heat pumps sold today must have an HSPF of at 
least 7.7. 
• Systems with higher SEERs and HSPFs cost more initially, but have lower 
operating costs. Split-system heat pumps with an ENERGY STAR® label 
have SEERs of 14.5 or higher and HSPFs of 8.2 or higher.

Service Legends cares about your comfort. We’re the world-class provider of residential home services such as: Heating, Air Conditioning, Geothermal, and Indoor Air Quality. Our goal is always comfort, reliability and peace of mind in your home. Give us a call today to find out more A/C replacement! Visit Service Legends at servicelegends.net.

Learn the Lingo: HVAC Tech Talk

Confused by HVAC lingo? Believe it or not, it’s not meant to confuse you. It’s actually meant to make understanding and buying the equipment easier. These terms allows you to compare apples to apples among units in the same fuel category. Knowing what the terms listed here mean will come in handy. Get to know these terms and you’ll be talking like a pro in no time!
1. SEER: The seasonal energy-efficiency ratio (SEER) rates how many Btu an air-conditioning unit will remove for each watt of electricity consumed. The higher the SEER, the less you spend on operating costs. Federal law mandates a minimum SEER of 10 for all new air-conditioning units. 
2. Tonnage: An air-conditioning ton equals 12,000 Btu per hour. That means a three-ton air conditioner can remove about 36,000 Btu of heat per hour from your home. 
3. AFUE: The annual fuel-utilization efficiency estimates how much heat a unit delivers for every dollar spent on fuel. The higher the AFUE, the lower your heating bills.
Service Legends cares about your comfort. We’re the world-class provider of residential home services such as: Heating, Air Conditioning, Geothermal, and Indoor Air Quality. Our goal is always comfort, reliability and peace of mind in your home. Give us a call today to find out more and to schedule your spring tune-up! Visit Service Legends at servicelegends.net.

Frequently Asked A/C Questions

Here are our answers to a few of the most common questions we get on a regular basis:

Q. At what temperature should I set my thermostat?
Temperature settings depend on the time of year and your personal preferences. In the summer, the average temperature setting is 75°-80°. In the winter 68°-72° is the norm. Remember, when leaving your house; try to avoid drastic temperature changes. Do not set your temperature back more than 5°; this will cause your unit to work harder to achieve the desired temperature setting.

Q. Should I try to keep my air conditioning system from running too much?
Generally speaking, a unit that is either on or off is less expensive than one that keeps cycling on and off repeatedly. Every time your system starts up, it will use a lot of electricity and not produce much cooling. That’s why a smaller system is often more economical to operate: even though it runs nonstop and may deliver less comfort, it will usually consume less power than a larger system that cycles on and off.

Q. Should I close the registers and doors to areas of the home that I do not use on a regular basis?
No. Every system is designed to cool a certain number of square feet. By closing registers and doors in certain rooms, you disrupt and decrease the systems’ airflow and efficiency. Your system will have to work harder to cool less space, making it cycle more and become less efficient.

Q. How do I know if my A/C unit is big enough?
Bigger isn’t always better; its performance and efficiency that count. Before purchasing a replacement system you should always make sure your system is sized properly to match your needs and budget. Your Service Legends Specialist will thoroughly assess your home and comfort requirements to determine the proper size and make the appropriate recommendation.

Q. How often should I have maintenance done on my air conditioner?
You should have maintenance done on your air conditioning system at least once a year – spring to early summer being the best times. This not only ensures maximum efficiency, it enables us to foresee any possible problems that may occur in the near future.

Q. How do I know whether my heating and cooling equipment needs replacement or just repair?
Not an easy question to answer, but here are some factors to consider:

  1. The age of the current system. Today, any system that is more than ten years old is probably behind the times in terms of efficiency.
  2. Does the current system provide the level of comfort that you want? There is a growing difference between “builder grade” and consumer choice in what a system can offer in terms of comfort and convenience.
  3. How much will the repairs cost…and how many more repairs will you need in the future? Is keeping an older system operational worth the time, the money and the inconvenience? Sometimes you need to know when to cut bait and say goodbye to your old heater or air conditioner.

Service Legends cares about your comfort. We’re the world-class provider of residential home services such as: Heating, Air Conditioning, Geothermal, and Indoor Air Quality. Our goal is always comfort, reliability and peace of mind in your home. Give us a call today to find out more and to schedule your spring tune-up! Visit Service Legends at http://servicelegends.net/.

The 6 Things That Air Conditioner Repairmen Do That Drives Everyone Crazy And How Service Legends Solves Them

When your air conditioner fails in the middle of the night, on the hottest day of the year, it can be scary to open up the phone book and select a contractor that you don’t know. Are they going to answer the phone? Will they send a highly trained, certified HVAC technician to your home? Will they have the parts in stock to fix your system?

  1. Voicemail. Or even worse, some contractors use an answering machine. Then you have to wait and hope they will call you back. At Service Legends, our phones are staffed 24 hours a day, 7 days a week so you can always talk to a live person at.

  2. Wasted Time. Many servicemen won’t give you a real appointment time. They say, “We’ll be there between 10 and 4” so you have to waste a whole day waiting. Not any more! You get a precise 2 hour “Appointment Window” by calling us or choose your appointment time by using our easy online scheduling feature.

  3. Too Many Trips. Other servicemen can make 2 or 3 trips before they have the right parts to repair your air conditioner. This costs you extra money and frustration. We stock over $65,000 in parts so we can fix the real problem right the first time, saving you money.

  4. Invoice Shock. This is what happens when you are charged “time and material” and the servicemen gets paid more the longer he takes. Only at Service Legends do you get straight forward pricing. We give you an exact “to the penny” price to repair your cooling system before moving forward with any repairs.

  5. Call Backs. Other servicemen have a “Concrete Guarantee”…. When their trucks leave your concrete driveway, their guarantee expires! With us you have a 100% Satisfaction Guarantee. If you are unhappy with our service for any reason, we will redo the repair for FREE.

  6. Only 1 Brand. Many companies carry 1 brand which makes them hard pressed to service older brands, when there are over 50 different brands of equipment. We belong to nationwide organization of contractors that allows us access to all brands, which saves you even more time and money. We stock parts for 39 different brands and are able to repair all brands.

When your air conditioner is on the fritz, rest assured our highly trained HVAC repair technicians are standing by to get your system up and running. We will do a thorough evaluation on your air conditioner and give you an exact “to the penny” price to repairing your system. Whether it takes 1 hour or 3 hours to diagnose your broken air conditioner, the evaluation fee is the same. Give us a call today or visit out website at: http://servicelegends.net/index.cfm

Summer Air Conditioning Maintenance

Your air conditioning unit requires regular maintenance for the system to function correctly. Here’s what you need to do to keep your A/C working through the summer. 

Filters

Dirty filters block normal airflow and reduce a system’s efficiency significantly. With normal airflow obstructed, air that bypasses the filter may carry dirt directly into the evaporator coil and impair the coil’s heat-absorbing capacity. Replacing a filter can lower your air conditioner’s energy consumption by close to 20 percent.

Coils

Outdoor condenser coils can also become very dirty if the outdoor environment is dusty or if there is foliage nearby. You can easily see the condenser coil and notice if dirt is collecting on its fins.

The best way to minimize dirt and debris near the condenser unit is by cleaning the area around the coil, removing any debris and trimming foliage back at least 2 feet allows for adequate airflow around the condenser.

Professionals

When your air conditioner needs more than regular maintenance, hire a professional service technician. Our technicians will find and fix problems in your air conditioning system.

Service Legends cares about your comfort. We’re the world-class provider of residential home services such as: Heating, Air Conditioning, Geothermal, and Indoor Air Quality. Our goal is always comfort, reliability and peace of mind in your home. Give us a call today to find out more and to schedule your a tune-up! Visit Service Legends at http://servicelegends.net/