Did you know a clogged up, old air filter in your HVAC system could cause massive problems for your unit over time? Imagine yourself trying to draw in a deep breath of air but having a dirty old rag stuck in your throat. Yuck, that probably isn’t going to work out too good for you. Just like you need a clear open airway to breath properly, your HVAC system needs proper air flow via a clean air filter for optimal performance. Here are 4 HVAC air filter tips you need to know to keep your HVAC system in tip top shape.
Get the right air filter for your HVAC system.
The right air filter for your HVAC system is dependent on your budget, how clean you want your indoor air quality to be, and the requirements of your particular HVAC system.
Change air filters every 90 days.
Around every 90 days you should replace your air filter to help maintain good air flow and keep particles and allergens out of the air you breathe. If you have multiple pets in the home or your air conditioning unit is working harder, like in the summer, you may want to replace your filter sooner than 90 days.
TIP: Grab a sharpie and write the date on your air filter so you know the last time it was changed. Then add a recurring reminder in your phone’s calendar every 90 days to change the air filter.
Dispose air filters in a plastic bag.
When it comes time to change your old, dirty air filter make sure you bring a plastic garbage bag large enough for the filter to fit inside. You’ll want to immediately place the air filter into the plastic bag and tie it shut to avoid any dust or debris escaping back into your home.
Never leave your system without a filter.
Your air filter not only helps improve the indoor air quality in your home, but it also protects your HVAC system from debris getting into your system’s vital equipment. For example, if your cooling coil becomes coated in dust, it will prevent heat transfer which results in your HVAC system working harder than it needs to. Over time this can lead to a shortened life of your system.
Don’t ever leave your system vulnerable. Always replace an old filter with a new one to keep your air intake vent protected for optimal performance.
If you need professional HVAC help or have indoor air quality questions, feel free to give the experts at Country Air a call at 281-356-8564. We can help recommend specific filters for your system and even replace them if you don’t want to do it yourself.
It's summer. The heat index is 105 degrees. Your 15-year-old HVAC unit isn't working and your wife is pregnant. Uh, oh. You know you are likely going to need a complete HVAC replacement (and fast), but you want to conduct research first to make sure you are hiring an HVAC company that does honest and quality driven work. If you find yourself in a similar situation, here are 12 questions you can ask potential HVAC contractors when trying to find the best one.
12 Questions to Ask Potential HVAC Contractors:
Next Step: Research Digital Prescence
Once you've asked your questions and narrowed down your potential HVAC contractors to a few choices, it is always a good idea to do a quick Google search on each one and see what other people have experienced using them in the past.
Check the following places for their review rating and read some of the 5-star as well as 1-star reviews:
For the 5-star reviews, consider what people were satisfied with. For the 1-star reviews, look to see if the company responded and attempted to fix the situation. It's always nice to know that the HVAC company you choose has your back should something go wrong.
Consider Country Air in Your Search
We at Country Air invite you to ask us your HVAC questions and research our digital presence. We strive to go above and beyond for our customers and have been dedicated to earning customer trust since 1978. Get started by calling us at 281-356-8564.
Are you sweating yet? The Climate Prediction Center projects a warmer than normal summer for Texas, yikes! Luckily, we’ve put together a list of the top 10 places you can go with your family to get cooled off.
Located in New Caney, TX, Big Rivers Waterpark features a lazy river, waterslides, a wave pool and even an inflatable water obstacle park plus much more!
If you are a Millennial or older, Sk8town located in Spring, TX is sure to bring back fun memories! Cool off indoors and skate old school style with the family. They have skating games and activities as well as a full arcade packed with prizes!
This indoor inflatable bounce park located in Spring, TX is fun for all ages. They have everything from the blob, to giant slides, to obstacle courses designed to burn off that extra summer energy.
Let’s get ready to tumble! Cypress Academy located in Magnolia, TX offers camps, classes, open gym, parents’ night out, parties and more all focused around gymnastics fun!
Stroll on down to the heart of downtown Tomball, TX and spend the day with the family at The Craft Chicks. They offer anything custom on wood! Not sure what to make? Ask about their seasonal door hangers and to-go kits!
Get your inner mad scientist ready for fun and exciting hands-on experiments in a science lab designed exclusively for kids. Little Beakers in The Woodlands, TX offers camps, classes, open labs and more.
New to Tomball, TX, Main Event has cool family fun including a state-of-the-art arcade with prizes, bowling, laser tag and even a restaurant. Be sure to check out the laser lights that follow your bowling ball as it rolls down the lane!
3. K1 Speed
If you have the need for speed, consider hitting the track at K1 Speed in Houston, TX. They offer indoor electric kart racing for the whole family!
If you want to test your green thumb, reserve a time to make your own terrarium at Terrarium in downtown Tomball, TX. You can pick your glass container as well as the plants and accessories that go inside of it. During your session you will learn how to put it together and care for it at home.
1. Your Home!
If you’re like us, you’ll be hanging out in your home more often this summer, which means a working AC is imperative to keeping everyone in a good mood! If you need AC help this summer, keep our number handy for fast and reliable AC repair and replacement. 281-356-8564
Have you been to any of these places on our list? What other places did we miss? Let us know in the comments! Stay cool!
We would say summer is right around the corner, but this year in Houston, we are already seeing highs in the upper 90’s. Summer is HERE and we have been busy fixing broken ACs around the area.
One of the most common reasons we get called out in the summer months comes down to a small piece of faulty equipment: the AC capacitor.
What is an AC capacitor and how do you tell if that’s what’s causing Aunt Myrtle to sweat bullets during the baby shower you are hosting on the day your AC goes out?
What is an AC Capacitor?
Before we jump into it, as always, never attempt to work on your HVAC unit unless you have turned it off and shut down the breakers. Don’t be that person that gets electrocuted by their HVAC unit. Not cool, dude.
An AC capacitor can be found on anything that is a motor. It is the equipment that starts and charges the motor. It basically looks like a large, cylindrical battery. Your AC's capacitor is located outside in your condenser unit. It can be accessed by using a screwdriver to remove the side panel.
To power on your AC, the capacitor will send a surge of power to your AC’s motor, which kicks it on and sends cool air rushing to dear Aunt Myrtle who at this point has sweat so much she regrets wearing a white blouse.
The 4 Signs of a Bad AC Capacitor
1. No cold air coming out of the AC. Aunt Myrtle is starting to get uncomfortable at the party and she asks you to turn the AC down, you do, but no cold air comes out. This is a telltale sign that something is wrong. You can try turning your unit off and back on. If the problem persists, it is probably time to call a professional to come help.
2. You hear a humming noise. Turn your AC system on and have a good listen, is it humming or hesitant to start? This could be a sign of your capacitor failing.
3. Problems turning on. Any of the following can be signs of a capacitor issue:
4. Aging HVAC system. Unfortunately, capacitors in general are not made with high quality, so they are often one of the first things to go if your AC unit is several years old. Here in Houston, we see capacitors fail even on relatively new units due to how much we use our AC.
How to Test Your AC Capacitor
You know how grumpy Aunt Myrtle gets when she is hot and sweaty, so you need to diagnose your AC problem quickly. Here is what you can look for to tell if your capacitor is to blame:
Thankfully, there is a way to test the power charge coming from your capacitor, but it does require a tool called a multimeter that can be purchased at your local hardware store. We highly recommend having an HVAC professional come run the test unless you know how to properly remove the capacitor from the circuit and discharge the capacitor before testing. Not doing this properly could result in electrocution. Once you run your test and determine that the capacitor is not producing any charge, you’ll need to replace it with a new one which can be purchased at your local hardware store or an HVAC accessory retailer.
Call Country Air for Air Conditioning Repair
If you aren't sure the AC failure is due to a bad capacitor or maybe you tested it but aren’t sure how to replace it on your own, give Country Air a call for 24/7 HVAC help. We’ll have Aunt Myrtle smiling and happy again before the baby shower games break out. Call us to schedule your appointment today at 281-356-8564.
Your AC works hard to keep you comfortable during hot summer days. These tips will make your AC more efficient and keep your home feeling good all summer long (and here in Texas, you know we are talking through December).
1. Have a professional come out to do a spring maintenance check before it gets hot. This will ensure your AC system is tuned up and ready to perform wonders all summer long. Regular maintenance also helps to:
2. Program your thermostat. The less your air conditioner is in use, the less wear and tear it endures and the longer it can last! If you have a programmable thermostat, setting the temperature by day and time is a great way to reduce the unit’s overall usage. Some people think turning their unit off completely while away will result in more energy savings, but this is not true.
We recommend setting the temperature higher during the time you are away and lower during the time you are home. A few degrees higher than your desired indoor temperature is a good general temperature to set for most homes when you are away.
Don’t have a programmable thermostat? We highly recommend getting one! You’ll save money in the long run.
4. Change your air filters. Changing out your HVAC unit’s air filter is a simple process that many of us don’t do as often as we should. Around every 90 days you should replace your filter to help maintain good air flow and help keep particles and allergens out of the air you breathe.
If you have multiple pets in the home or your air conditioning unit is working harder, like in the summer, you may want to replace your filter sooner than 90 days.
5. Turn off exhaust fans. After cooking or bathing, turn off your exhaust fans once they have been running about 20 minutes. If you ever need to replace your exhaust fans consider installing high-efficiency, low-noise options. Never leave exhaust fans running for long periods of time as it can become a fire hazard.
5. Draw the curtains. During the hottest part of the day or times when the sun is shining in your home’s windows, keep your blinds closed and shades drawn. This will help keep your home’s interior temperature from rising and keep your AC from running harder than it needs to. Additionally, planting large shade trees or installing awnings on your home with also help to diffuse the sun’s intense heat.
6. Turn on a fan. If you feel the afternoon heat creeping in, don’t turn down the thermostat just yet. Try turning a ceiling fan on first. This will help to circulate the air and instantly cool you down without making your AC unit run harder.
7. Check your attic insulation. If you have an older home that is not energy efficient you may want to get your attic inspected to see if you need additional blown in attic insulation. The smaller particles of blown insulation fit tightly in all the nooks and crannies of your attic which provides a superior seal, preventing hot or cold air from entering your home.
8. Upgrade your AC unit. If you are looking to replace your AC unit, consider energy-efficient equipment for the best cost savings long term. Ask your HVAC professional about 2-stage or variable speed options.
If your AC unit still can’t keep up it might be time to get it professionally inspected. A Certified HVAC Technician can easily identify and often fix cooling problems on the spot.
Country Air provides 24/7 AC service. Give us a call at 281-356-8564 and let us earn your trust.
You probably don’t think about your trusty HVAC system often. It’s kind of like breathing, your lungs are always working to pull new air into your body but it’s not something you think about. Just like your HVAC system runs behind the scenes to keep you comfortable in your home. As long as you’re comfortable, it’s just not on your mind. But the minute dull, hot air wraps around you like a blanket while watching TV – you instantly think, “Uh oh, what’s wrong with the AC?”.
What to look for when your HVAC system starts to fail.
Luckily, you don’t have to wait until your HVAC system stops working on a 95-degree day when your friends and family are coming over in an hour to celebrate your Son’s Birthday (that’s always when it happens, right?)
Be on the lookout for signs that your HVAC system might be reaching the end of its life:
1. No cool air. Period.
If you keep turning down your thermostat lower and lower and no cool air comes out at all, it’s pretty much a dead giveaway something is wrong. It could be that you need a Freon refill or something more troublesome like a blown compressor.
2. Wacky thermostat.
One second your thermometer reads 72-degrees, the next it reads 80-degrees. If your thermostat is set to one temperature but you keep noticing a fluctuation throughout the day, it could mean your thermostat needs replacing or it could be signs of a larger problem to come.
3. Run Forest Run.
If your AC is running all day long and never stops it could mean a multitude of things – anything from a dirty air filter, to your unit being undersized, to your ducts being clogged, to your unit simply being old. Usually, it is a combination of any of these. Like a beloved dog, HVAC units have a life span of around 15 years. If your AC is running all day, it’s a good idea to have it checked to see what’s up.
4. This room’s hot – this room’s cold.
If you feel like Goldilocks going from room to room trying to find the temperature that is just right for you – your AC might be ready to call it quits. An AC that isn’t working efficiently might not be able to pump cool air to the parts of the home that are further away, resulting in rooms that are cold and rooms that are hot.
5. Something doesn’t smell right.
Did that pesky squirrel hit the dust in the attic or What. Is. That. Smell?! If you’re picking up something stinky it could mean your unit’s wiring has burned out or there could be a build up of mold and/or mildew in the duct work, AC unit or both. This growth can have negative health implications for your family so if something smells bad, it’s time to have a professional come inspect your HVAC system.
6. A decline in the quality of air.
Last summer the house felt crisp, brisk and comfortable all summer long, like taking in a breath of fresh mountain air. This summer, the air feels heavier, almost like taking a deep breath on an ozone warning day in downtown Houston. Somewhere along the way, you feel like the air quality in your home has declined. This could be due to your ducts needing a good cleaning or it could mean your compressor or capacitor is failing. Either way, it’s time to get your unit checked out.
7. That doesn’t sound right!
If you start hearing bangs, clanks, screeches, whistles, grinding or grating from your HVAC unit, something’s up – usually broken motor bearings, slipped belts, or the system just needs a good tune-up with lubrication.
8. Is that a damp spot?
Woah – that area is supposed to be dry! Maybe your refrigerant is leaking or your conduit that disposes of condensation is broken or blocked. Don’t let obvious signs of dampness go unchecked – it can lead to mildew and mold growth that will cause even more complications down the road.
9. Higher energy bill.
Ouch – that energy bill hurt to pay! If you notice your energy bills climbing at a rate that is not normal for the time of the year, it could be that your HVAC unit is not running as efficiently and needs to be inspected.
10. Multiple Breakdowns.
If your HVAC system is being maintained as it should twice a year by a professional – it shouldn’t be randomly breaking down as most common AC issues are caused by a lack of maintenance. If you notice multiple instances where you’ve had to get repairs on your unit, it’s probably a sign that your system will need replacing soon. Talking with your HVAC professional will help you determine if it’s better to replace your unit now or continue risking costly repairs in the future.
When it comes to replacing your unit – nothing goes in the same way it came out. There are always newer, more efficient units on the market and better options for your home. Our specialists at County Air will help fit a system to your home and budget’s needs so you can stay comfortable year round.
Give us a call at 281-356-8564 for any questions you may have. We are happy to provide free quotes and second opinions on HVAC system replacements.