This Is a Great Time to Replace Your AC

It is hard to believe that it is already February. The year has gotten off to a fast start, and before you know it, another month will have past. By the time March arrives, you’re probably going to be reaching for the thermostat to cool your home from time to time. While temperatures are still pretty mild during the days so far, warmer weather is definitely not far off.

Before you start thinking about putting your air conditioner into regular rotation, you may want to start thinking about whether or not you can really rely on that air conditioner to give you the type of cooling performance that you need and deserve. If you had some trouble with it last season, or if you are sick of how much it costs to run, the time for an air conditioning replacement in Georgetown, TX is now! Give us a call, and be sure to consider all of your options.

When to Consider Replacing Your Air Conditioner

We understand that homeowners want to get the best possible return on the equipment that they invest in, and that for most homeowners this means using a system as long as is possible. We also understand that pushing a system too far can result in the need for an emergency replacement on one of the hottest days of the year, though. Remember, your air conditioner does not need to completely break down before replacing it. In fact, allowing that to happen is not ideal.

So when might you want to start thinking about replacing your air conditioner? We recommend doing so in the following situations.

  • Your air conditioner is beyond its expected lifespan. All air conditioners have finite lifespans. Determine what the expected lifespan of your air conditioning system is. If you are already beyond that point, you may want to let the system go out on a high note before it fails on you.
  • Your air conditioner costs too much to operate. Maybe your system has lost some of its efficiency capability over the years. Maybe you bought an inefficient system because it was all that you could afford at the time of purchase. Whatever the case may be, upgrading to a more efficient system can save you money in the long run.
  • Your air conditioner doesn’t really suit your needs and preferences. Do you have a decent size house with numerous inhabitants? Are people often arguing over the temperature settings. You could zone your existing system, but you could also consider upgrading your system to something like a ductless mini split, which offers great control and the added benefit of efficient heating in the winter.
  • Your air conditioner is not reliable. Remember, just because it is possible to repair a mechanical system does not always mean that this is the best step to take. If your air conditioner requires frequent repairs, spending that money toward a new, more reliable system may make more sense than continuing to repair your existing one.

Express HVAC Services can handle your AC replacement. Call our friendly technicians 24/7 for exceptional customer service.

Heat Pump Problems: Why Is There Ice on My System?

There are a number of reasons to consider the use of a heat pump on one’s property. First of all, a heat pump functions as both a heating and air conditioning system, eliminating the need for the use of both a designated heater and AC. Secondly, the heat pump heats incredibly efficiently, thanks to its utilization of the heat transfer process. Plus, modern heat pumps are more effective and reliable than ever, even when temperatures really drop. Because you use the system all year long, though, any problems with it can be incredibly alarming.

Scheduling routine heat pump maintenance twice a year — yes, twice, as heat pumps are pulling double duty for your comfort — will help to minimize the risk of problems developing with the system. No mechanical system is perfect, however, and you will eventually run into trouble with your heat pump. One issue that homeowners sometimes encounter is ice developing on the system. It is not uncommon, and it is actually not even unplanned for.

It May Not Be That Big of a Deal

When in heating mode, a heat pump draws heat out of the air outside by evaporating refrigerant. During this process, some humidity from the air outside can condense on the outdoor coils. That condensation can freeze up, causing ice to develop on the system. Now, we obviously don’t deal with a lot of freezing temperatures around here on winter days. Nights can get substantially colder, however, and this type of freezing is certainly not unheard of.

Heat pumps actually have a defrost cycle that will automatically come on in order to deal with this issue. Essentially, the system will just reverse its operation to vent heat outdoors, melting the ice. The heat pump won’t start cooling your home, but will have to use an auxiliary method to make up the difference until the defrost cycle is completed.

Problems That Can Lead to More Serious Icing

There are certainly instances in which ice on your heat pump is indicative of a more serious issue, of course. After all, heat pumps have been known to ice up in the summer, as well. That is why any excessive icing should always be evaluated by trained professionals.

  • Restricted airflow. If your heat pump is surrounded by debris, or airflow is otherwise restricted, icing will be more of an issue.
  • Defrost cycle malfunction. If your heat pump doesn’t sense that it is time for a defrost cycle, it will not thaw itself out.
  • Damaged reversing valve. Even if the heat pump recognizes the need for defrosting, it won’t be able to defrost if the reversing valve is stuck in one mode of operation.
  • Refrigerant leaks. Just like low refrigerant levels in a standard air conditioner can lead to icing of the evaporator coil, so too can low refrigerant levels in a heat pump lead to issues with icing over.

If you notice some frost or a thin layer of ice on your heat pump, keep an eye out to ensure that it thaws out. Should the problem persist and worsen, contact Express HVAC Services to schedule heat pump services in Cedar Park, TX.

Call our friendly technicians 24/7 for exceptional customer service.

3 Ways to Improve Your Home Comfort in 2016

With the new year upon us, you may be wondering how you can improve your home. Whether it’s large or small, and whatever budget you have to work with, chances are that you can make a difference in your quality of life. Considering how much time we spend indoors during our lives, your HVAC system will play a major role in your day-to-day comfort and convenience. Let’s take a look at 3 ways you can take control of your home in 2016.

  1. Make sure that your HVAC system is professionally maintained: While many homeowners under the impression that their heating and cooling system does not require routine maintenance, that’s simply untrue. Whether it’s topping your refrigerant levels, inspecting all major components to check for damage, or cleaning out debris that is getting between you and your comfort, routine maintenance is key to your home comfort.
  2. Get serious about indoor air quality: The EPA lists poor indoor air quality as one of the most prevalent problems throughout the country. It’s not hard to see why when you consider how airtight our homes are built. While that’s good for controlling the flow of heat, it’s not so good for air quality. With a whole-house air purifier, UV light, or an air filtration system, you can make sure that everyone in the home breathes clean air and that allergies are reduced.
  3. Consider a new HVAC system: The next time you have a professional technician take a look at your HVAC system, get their honest opinion about how your AC or heating system is doing. If it’s not performing just as it should, and it’s well over a decade old, then it may be time to consider a replacement. We can make sure that your system is carefully removed and a new one is integrated properly into your home. It will be well-sized and it will have all of the latest features to improve your comfort as well as the overall energy efficiency of your household.

Call Express HVAC Service today for all of your HVAC and indoor air quality needs in the greater Killeen, TX area.

3 Great Benefits of Ductless Heating

When most people think of Texas, they imagine hot and arid weather. While this is certainly the case for much of the year, residents in the area also realize that there is occasional uncomfortably cool weather to contend with during the winter season. Our winter weather may not be as intense as that in other parts of the country, but that doesn’t mean that we can afford to gamble with our heating systems. If you’re considering the installation of a new heater in your home, we advise you to give ductless heating some attention. 

Efficiency

Ductless heating systems utilize heat pump technology, which means that they don’t actually generate new heat. Instead, refrigerant in the system absorbs heat from the air outside. This warmed refrigerant is further compressed, and its thermal energy is then used to heat air that it distributes throughout the house. This is remarkably efficient, and the lack of ductwork to leak and waste energy helps further improve efficiency.

Air Quality

Traditional forced-air heaters, such as furnaces, use ductwork to distribute heated air throughout a home. While this can be effective, it also creates the potential for air leaks in the ductwork. This can waste energy, but it can also allow pollutants to enter the system, and they can then be blown throughout the home. This can drag down the quality of the air throughout. By eliminating the need for air ducts, ductless heating systems eliminate this problem.

Year-Round Comfort

Heat pumps, including ductless mini splits, are capable of reversing their refrigerant cycles, meaning that they can act as both heating and cooling systems. That means that using a ductless heating system allows you to cool your home during the summer with the same equipment. Contact a member of our staff today if you’d like to take advantage of a ductless system in your home.

If you decided that ductless heating in Georgetown, TX is right for you, give the heating professionals on the Express HVAC Service team a call today.

Why Is My Furnace So Noisy?

Now that the winter weather is really bringing the chilly temperatures around, most homeowners are running their heating systems with some regularity. If you have been running your furnace and have found that it seems to be operating at a louder noise level than ever before, you are right to be concerned. Your furnace should not be making enough noise during its operation to cause alarm, though it also will not function silently. Before you jump to worst case scenarios, though, be sure to contact the Georgetown, TX furnace repair professionals on our staff. 

Screeching or Whining

The phrase “nails on a chalkboard” is enough to make many homeowners wince, so it’s certainly not the type of noise that you want to hear coming from your furnace. If you do hear this screeching sound coming from your furnace, there are a few potential causes. Perhaps the blower wheel or the motor mount is compromised, or a fan blade is bent and is scraping up against another metal part. Whatever the issue, we’ll get your furnace back to working quieter in no time.

Banging or Popping Sounds

While these sounds can be very alarming, they may also be nothing to really worry about. As your furnace begins blowing heated air through your ductwork, the ducts may expand and contract. It’s a normal situation, but one that can result in alarming sounds. You should still have the situation professionally evaluated, as it may be the result of dirty burners in the furnace, which can lead to further problems.

Hissing

Any sounds of hissing should be taken seriously. It could be a gas leak, though this is not the most likely scenario, and the sound would be accompanied by the odor of natural gas. It may, however, be the result of air leaking out of your ductwork, which could seriously drive up heating costs. Call us if you’re concerned about the sounds that your heating system is making.

The experts here at Express HVAC Service will get to the bottom of the situation in order to determine precisely what’s gone wrong with your furnace. 

How Can I Tell if I Need My Ducts Repaired?

Do you heat your home with a heat pump or a furnace? Do you use a central air system in order to cool it down during the summer season? If so, then you depend upon air ducts in order to distribute both heated and cooled air throughout your home. This is all well and good, provided that your ductwork is in fine working condition. If this is not the case, though, you may encounter a number of different problems when trying to regulate temperatures in your home. Read on, and let us know if you suspect the need for duct repair in Georgetown, TX

Is Energy Efficiency Slipping?

One of the most obvious signs that your ductwork is damaged is evident in your heating and cooling costs. If your ductwork is torn or otherwise compromised, it is not going to operate as effectively or efficiently as it ought to. Air will leak out, and wind up in areas of your home in which it is not really needed. This will cause your system to run longer than it should in order to adjust temperatures through the house. Your energy costs will go up as a result.

Are There Hot or Cold Spots in Your Home?

Another sign that your ductwork is likely compromised is the development of hot or cold spots throughout your home. If your ductwork is damaged, then it won’t be able to spread heated or cooled air throughout your home evenly. This can lead to the development of hot or cold spots. You deserve to be comfortable in every area of your home, and professional duct repair may be necessary to ensure that this is the case.

How’s Your Indoor Air Quality?

While conditioned air escaping your ductwork is obviously a problem, you should also remember that damaged ductwork can also allow pollutants into the system. When they get into your air ducts, those very ducts can be responsible for distributing those pollutants through your home. That is why duct repair may be necessary for protecting the quality of the air in your house.

Express HVAC Service is the company to call for duct repair.

The Potential Problems of Space Heaters

We don’t get winters in Killeen, TX like other parts of the country do. This is why it can be very tempting to heat a cold spot or a small room with a space heater. Even though many space heaters come with different safety components, these are still not good choices for a permanent heating solution. Whether you are experiencing uneven heating, having trouble getting heat to a specific area or feel that your home is drafty in certain parts, the experts from Express HVAC Service can help.

Why Space Heaters Are Not a Good Solution

There are a few reasons why space heaters are not great solutions for your home:

  • They can eat up a lot of electricity – space heaters tend to be energy guzzlers, especially those that use electricity. It take a good amount of wattage to generate heat, even with a small component like a space heater. You may see a relatively high jump in your electric bill.
  • They can overheat – both electric and combustion space heaters (think kerosene heaters) can overheat, but the combustion ones can be particularly dangerous. In fact, it is estimated by the Consumer Product Safety Division that over 25,000 residential fires are caused annually by space heaters. You must take extreme care with these components.
  • They can be easily forgotten about – it is one thing to leave a space heater on if you leave a room for a few minutes, but quite another if it is left on all day unattended in an empty home. It can be easy to forget about it because you get used to the warmth, but an unattended space heater is a recipe for disaster.

We Can Help

The heating pros from Express HVAC Service can help resolve whatever issue is making you consider a space heater. Just give us a call!

Your Old Heating System May Be a Problem

Lots of homeowners take pride in having a heating system that is still working well past the system’s average life expectancy. However, this can be a false sense of pride because old heating systems can be problematic in a number of ways that will directly affect your bottom line. Just because a heating system still works doesn’t mean it is working well, and that’s what we are going to discuss with you today.

Problems with Old Systems

Did you know that your heating system will require 85% of its total repairs in the last two years of its life? There’s a reason for this, and it is that the components break down as the system ages. As such, the closer your heater gets to retirement, the more components are going to break down. The rule of thumb with heating repairs is that if your repairs are costing half as much as a new system, it is time to strongly consider replacement.

Another area where your old system can create a problem is with energy efficiency. There is just no way a heating system with 15+ years on it can be as efficient as today’s systems. On top of that, aging components are likely to cause your system to use more energy. The bottom line: an old heating system is not an efficient heating system.

Lastly, performance is likely to become an issue. Performance can be anything from uneven heating to not providing enough heating. There’s no sense in using a heating system that can’t achieve your heating needs in Pflugerville, is there? Of course not. You have a heating system to keep you warm and comfortable, and if yours isn’t doing this, it is time to see about getting a heating system that does.

If it’s time to look at what a new heating system can do for your home, it’s time to call the pros at Express HVAC Service.

3 Words You Don’t Want to Hear about Your Furnace: “Cracked Heat Exchanger”

Ok, we may be a little overdramatic with our headline, but there are some repairs (thankfully, not many), that are problems that need immediate resolution because they can affect you and your family’s safety. A cracked heat exchanger is one of them. The good news is that should you have a cracked heat exchanger in your furnace, the pros from Express HVAC Service can help resolve the problem with expert furnace repair for your home in Georgetown, TX!

What It Is

The heat exchanger is a critical component of your heating system. It resides at the center of your furnace, and is the element heated by the burner so that your home has heat. But the heat exchanger serves a very important safety function as well: it keeps the toxic combustion byproducts generated by your system from entering your home’s air by funneling them directly to your flue and out of your house. But, a cracked heat exchanger will compromise this process.

Why It Happens

The heat exchanger in your furnace expands and contracts hundreds of times throughout its lifespan. It is made of metal, so at some point, after much usage, it isn’t unusual for a crack or cracks to develop. The problem is that even the smallest crack can give the toxic gases inside the heat exchanger, including carbon monoxide, a direct ride right into your living spaces. This is because the warm air that is blown into your home is the hot air on the outside of the heat exchanger, not the inside of the heat exchanger. But a crack will allow toxic gases to mingle with the air that does get blown into your home, and this is why it is critical to replace a cracked heat exchanger right away.

Common Problems You May Experience with Ductless Indoor Blowers

Ductless blowers are pretty sturdy components, but that doesn’t mean they will work for years without needing some kind of repair. Maintenance can help reduce the incidence of repair, but there are some common issues you may encounter with your ductless blower. The experts from Express HVAC Service can help you with all of your ductless system repair needs in Round Rock, TX – all you have to do is give us call!

Common Issues

Here are some of the more common issues our technicians see with the indoor blower components of your ductless system:

  • Dirty coils – while dirty coils in and of themselves aren’t exactly a repair issue, what they can do will result in a repair call. When a layer of dust and dirt lays on top of the coils inside the blower, it acts as an insulator. This inhibits the proper functioning of the coils and can result in tepid or even cool air blowing into your home when it should be warm. Dirty coils are also coils that are prone to mold growth, which can lead to “dirty sock” syndrome as well as problems for allergy sufferers. Mold growth needs to be properly cleansed from your coils, and sanitization is highly recommended.
  • Issues with the individual components – every indoor blower contains a fan, a set of coils and an air filter. Should something malfunction with any of these parts, the malfunction will affect the good operation of your indoor blower.

Problems with the condensate and refrigerant lines – indoor blowers connect to the outdoor unit via a conduit that contains a power cord, refrigerant line and condensate drainage line. The length of these lines can sometimes be quite long, making the condensate and refrigerant lines prone to clogs or damage.