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4 Reasons to Open Interior Doors When Using Your HVAC System

When using your HVAC system effectively, some seemingly innocuous things can have a significant impact on its performance.

One example of this is closing interior doors.

You may think that closing doors can help to concentrate heated and cooled air where it is needed, but, in fact, there are several downsides to
this approach.

Discover four reasons to leave interior doors open when using your HVAC system.

 

1. Increase Energy Efficiency

The energy efficiency of your furnace and air conditioner is extremely sensitive to changes in the air pressure balance in your home. When you close one of
your doors, that room becomes pressurized as your HVAC system continues to pump air into it. This pressure can force conditioned air out of any small gaps it
can find.

Conditioned air forced out of a room this way typically finds its way outside or into areas of your home where it isn’t useful, such as crawlspaces. All of
the energy that went to heating or cooling this air goes to waste, and your system will have to work harder to replace it. Furthermore, working against higher
air pressure in rooms with closed doors puts extra strain on your blower motor and causes it to use more energy.

2. Preserve Indoor Air Quality

Closing an interior door when you use your furnace or air conditioner doesn’t just create high pressure in that room. The pressure differential results in
slightly negative pressure throughout the rest of your home. This negative pressure can draw air in through any available points of entry in your home just as
high pressure forces air out.

Air that enters your home from unintended sources doesn’t pass through the furnace filter or other filtration devices in your HVAC system until it cycles
back through the return duct. This means that air that enters your home constantly due to negative pressure often contains contaminants like dust or pet dander.
Leaving doors open to maintain the correct air balance prevents reduced indoor air quality.

3. Reduce Risk of Mold Growth

Moisture from virtually any source can fuel mold infestations, including moisture in the air. Most often, mold from humid air occurs in places where this
humidity has condensed on windows, walls, and other surfaces in your home. This effect is especially pronounced in the winter as a result of the temperature
differential between your home’s interior and the outside air.

Ventilation is essential to prevent condensation from causing mold. Condensation proves more difficult to form if humid air is moving. Closing the door to a
room essentially causes all the air in the room to remain stagnant, and mold growth is more likely to occur.

4. Prevent Furnace Back Drafting

The most concerning problem that can happen due to negative air pressure is a furnace back draft. Your furnace flue plays an essential role in removing
carbon monoxide and other harmful combustion byproducts from your home. Because the furnace flue is essentially a straight path to the outdoors, negative
pressure can draw outdoor air down through it and cause fumes to back draft in your home.

Fortunately, it usually requires significant negative air pressure in your home for a backdraft to occur. It often requires several points of blocked air in
your home, such as would be present with several closed doors, blocked vents, and potential other problems such as duct blockages. Furthermore, if your furnace
flue has a flue cap, it isn’t susceptible to back drafting.

Maintaining adequate airflow throughout your home is essential for efficient furnace operation, and leaving your doors open will help. For more HVAC tips and
professional service, Chrismon Heating & Cooling is here to help!

Call us today.

Heat Exchanger Problems

Detect and Repair Heat Exchanger Problems in Your Furnace

The heat exchanger is one of the most vital parts of any oil or gas-powered furnace. Your furnace uses this key component to transfer heat from the combustion chamber to your home’s central heating ducts. So keeping your furnace’s heat exchanger in good working condition is always important.

 

Regular, professional furnace inspections and maintenance is the best way to prevent heat exchanger problems.

Unfortunately, while heat exchangers are built to last, they do suffer wear and tear over time.

Heat exchanger failure in an aging furnace can occur very suddenly and unexpectedly, and this can cause serious problems with your home’s central heating system. With that in mind, it’s never a bad idea to familiarize yourself with the most common signs of heat exchanger failure.

 

Does Your Furnace Have a Faulty Heat Exchanger?

If your furnace’s heat exchanger is damaged or doesn’t function correctly, you may notice the following problems.

 

Flickering Yellow Flames

If you look through the inspection window of a properly functioning oil or gas furnace, the flames you see will almost always be blue or white in color. However, some high-efficiency furnaces may produce a slightly yellow flame. But, in any case, the flames produced by your furnace should be steady and even, with very little visible flickering.

If you look through your inspection window and see flickering yellow or orange flames, your furnace may be suffering from a damaged heat exchanger. This occurs when a cracked heat exchanger allows air to escape from the combustion chamber, which deprives the flames of oxygen and prevents them from burning evenly.

 

Excess Soot

If a damaged heat exchanger is preventing oxygen from reaching the combustion chamber, your furnace may also start to produce large amounts of soot. These solid deposits collect on the interior surfaces of the furnace, which creates a feedback loop; as more soot accumulates, it blocks off more of the furnace’s air supply, causing even more soot to be produced.

If your furnace’s flue belches out black, sooty flames, this can be a sign of heat exchanger failure. You may also be able to see soot deposits through the combustion chamber inspection window.

 

Visible Rust and Corrosion

Soot deposits in your furnace’s flue can also prevent smoke and other byproducts from exiting the combustion chamber quickly. Once the furnace is deactivated and the chamber cools down, these byproducts can mix with liquid water from condensation, which creates an extremely acidic and highly corrosive liquid that can severely damage metal components.

The heat exchanger’s proximity to the combustion chamber makes it particularly vulnerable to corrosion. If you see any visible rust on the interior or exterior surfaces of your furnace, you can safely assume that the heat exchanger has been damaged, even if your furnace does not seem to have any other problems.

 

What Should You Do If the Heat Exchanger Is Faulty?

If you suspect that your furnace has a damaged heat exchanger, deactivate the furnace immediately. If your heat exchanger is cracked or its seals have perished, carbon monoxide and other poisonous gases can be released into your home — a problem with potentially lethal consequences.

Once you have fully deactivated your furnace, call in a professional for a full furnace inspection.

These services can detect any signs of damage to your heat exchanger, and they can even detect microscopic cracks through infrared sensing equipment.

If your furnace’s heat exchanger does turn out to be faulty, you have two options: replace the heat exchanger, or replace the furnace.

If your furnace is relatively new, a heat exchanger replacement may be your best bet, especially if your furnace is still covered under warranty. Make sure that your replacement exchanger also comes with a replacement guarantee.

However, if your furnace is older, replacing the heat exchanger may be impractical and expensive.

Many HVAC specialists might advise you to replace your furnace that is more than a decade old, even if it is functioning well.

If you have any more questions about furnace repair or the importance of regular furnace inspections, contact the HVAC experts at Chrismon Heating & Cooling.

How to Protect Your Outdoor AC Condenser

Since your outdoor condenser has constant exposure to the elements, it is — in a sense — the most vulnerable part of your air conditioner.

Understanding the potential causes of damage to your condenser is essential to prevent unexpected breakdowns and prolong the life of the unit.

 

 

Here are four tips that will help you protect your AC condenser.

 

1. Trim Foliage Around the Condenser

Airflow is a fundamental need for any air conditioning system to function efficiently. Airflow blockages in any part of the system, including the condenser, will lead to increased strain and potentially shorten its life.

Keeping a few feet of space clear around the condenser will allow it to breathe.

This includes cutting trees and trimming foliage that may grow too close to the condenser.

You have several options for landscaping around your condenser that will not block airflow.

Hedges are a popular choice, as they can easily be trimmed to the desired shape and size.

You may also choose to build a trellis or lattice around the condenser to support climbing plants.

However, keep plants that drop their leaves in the fall far from your condenser so that it does not clog with debris.

 

2. Use Shade to Prevent Overheating

The specific role of the condenser is condensing refrigerant to release heat into the outdoor air.

The cooler the air is around your condenser, the easier it can dissipate heat.

Conversely, high temperatures around the condenser force it to work harder and may lead to overheating.

Keeping your condenser out of direct sunlight will improve heat transfer and may even reduce your cooling costs.

The most proactive approach to shading your condenser is installing it in a shady area in the first place.

If this is not the case, you can add shade in other ways.

Planting trees or tall hedges on the west side of the condenser will provide it with shade during the hottest parts of the day.

Since condensers are almost always installed next to a home’s exterior, you can also consider installing an awning on the side of your home.

 

3. Learn to Identify and Repel Pests

Your condenser is not only at risk from environmental factors.

Pests can be drawn to the moisture that the condenser naturally produces and may even attempt to take shelter inside it to hide from extreme heat or cold.

Learn to spot the signs of pest activity around the condenser, such as droppings, gaps in the coils near the bottom of the unit, and chewed wires or refrigerant lines.

You can do a lot to discourage pests from attempting to house themselves inside your condenser.

Clean the unit regularly to remove droppings and traces of urine that may attract other pests, and consider using pest repellent if you find significant signs of pest activity.

Consider using decorative stones or masonry as ground cover around the condenser to deter ants and other insects.

 

4. Be Careful When Doing Yardwork

Mowing your lawn or using a leaf blower poses a risk of physical damage to your condenser.

These activities can sling small rocks and other debris that may damage the coils or break refrigerant lines if they hit the unit.

They can also throw dirt and small particles that can clog the condenser coils and block airflow.

Point leaf blowers and mower discharge chutes away from the condenser when possible.

Taking a few steps to protect your condenser can help it last just as long as the rest of your air conditioner.

For more AC maintenance tips and quality service and repairs, contact Chrismon Heating & Cooling today.

We look forward to helping you.

AC’s Impact on the Environment

How does your home’s AC system impact the environment?

Take a look at what you need to know about residential air conditioning, its impact on the environment, and ways to minimize eco-effects.

 

 

The Refrigerant

What type of refrigerant does your central air conditioner use? Every air conditioner uses refrigerant to cool. This liquid chemical absorbs the heat from the air and converts it into a gas. The AC system’s condenser compresses the gas, turns it back into a liquid, and sends it into your home again for another cycle.

If your system is older, chances are it uses HCFC-22 (also known as Freon or R-22). This hydrochlorofluorocarbon is no longer manufactured in the United States, due to the serious environmental impact it can have.

Known as an ozone-depleting substance, HCFC-22 degrades the protective layer around the planet. This allows harmful UV light in and can lead to problems ranging from skin cancer in humans to marine ecosystem damage. If you want to reduce these types of environmental effects, you may need to replace your older AC system.

Newer air conditioners use refrigerants such as R-410A. This option doesn’t have the same ozone-depleting effects as HCFC-22. To minimize the ecological impact of your home cooling system, discuss R-410A options with a qualified HVAC contractor. The professional can help you to upgrade your air conditioner to a more environmentally friendly model.

 

The Energy Usage

Even though your newer air conditioner may use R-410A, the refrigerant alone isn’t enough to make your system eco-friendly. While reducing ozone-depleting emissions is a major factor, you also need to understand how much energy your AC system uses.

The more energy your AC system uses, the more of an environmental impact it can have. According to the U.S. Department of Energy, air conditioners account for six percent of total electricity use in the United States. Not only is high energy usage costly for you as the homeowner (and electric bill payer), but it can damage the environment.

Air conditioner-related energy usage releases nearly 117 million metric tons of carbon dioxide into the Earth’s air annually, according to the U.S. Department of Energy. This greenhouse gas also contributes to ozone depletion. Couple this with issues older refrigerants (such as HCFC-22) cause and air conditioners can have a major negative impact on the environment – such as increasing climate change.

A new high-efficiency AC unit uses less energy than an older model. But this doesn’t mean your high-efficiency air conditioner will always function at its peak performance level. Clogged filters, dirty air ducts, drafty windows, poor home insulation, and other interior air leaks can force the unit to work harder.

The harder your air conditioner works, the more energy it uses – even if it’s labeled as high-efficiency.

 

The Solutions

Along with refrigerant choice, you can take other steps to reduce your AC system’s environmental impact. These include limiting energy usage and decreasing greenhouse gas emissions. Whether you have an older or new AC unit, a qualified HVAC professional can help you to overhaul the environmental effects of your system.

To reduce electricity usage and help the planet, maintain your air conditioner. Regularly clean or replace the filter, fill air leaks (around windows or doors), replace old drafty windows, and insulate your home. Along with these simple steps, schedule annual professional maintenance.

A clean, damage-free system will use less energy than one with significant wear and tear.

Other options, such as a programmable thermostat or high-quality filter, can also reduce the environmental impact of your air conditioner.

Do you need a new air conditioner or routine maintenance? Contact Chrismon Heating & Cooling for more
information.

4 Factors to Consider When Buying a New HVAC System

If your HVAC system is no longer as effective as it once was, it may be time to replace it.

Of course, finding the right HVAC system for you can seem complicated.

 

4 Factors to Consider When Buying a New HVAC System

Luckily, there are many features that you can use to help identify the perfect system for you.

If you would like to know more about HVAC systems, check out these four factors to consider when buying a new one.

 

1. The Size of the System

This is incredibly important because incorrectly sized systems pose several problems.

First, if the system is too big, it will wear down faster.

This is because the system is too effective at heating and cooling the home, so the system cycles on and off more often.

As a result, you may need more frequent repairs, and the system may need to be replaced early.

Naturally, if the system is too small, it will not be effective enough to properly cool and heat your home.

In some cases, you can fix the problem by changing the temperature (which wastes more energy and money), but some systems may
be too small to ever reach your desired temperature.

 

2. The Humidifier and Dehumidifier Features

Air naturally contains some moisture, and this moisture keeps the air comfortable without causing complications,
such as wood damage, mold growth, and overheating.

For this reason, many people choose an HVAC system with a humidifier or dehumidifier.

If your home has too much humidity, you may notice moisture on walls, mold growth, damaged wood, and unpleasant
odors. If your home’s air is too dry, most of the symptoms will affect you directly, causing dry skin, dry eyes, and
coughing.

 

3. The Energy Efficiency Ratings         

Thanks to advancements in technology, energy-efficient HVAC systems are becoming more and more common. When you are
looking for an energy-efficient system, you should consider the SEER, EER, and HSPF ratings.

The SEER (seasonal energy efficiency ratio) rating measures how efficient the system is at cooling by comparing how
much energy the system uses to how much cooling power the system generates. Ideally, you will need a SEER rating of at
least 16.

The EER (energy efficiency ratio) is similar to SEER, but it only measures efficiency when it is particularly hot outside. Last, the HSPF (heating seasonal performance factor) is the opposite of the SEER rating because it compares
how much energy the system uses to heat the home to how much heating power the system generates.

 

4. The Zoned Heating and Cooling Features

Zoned heating and cooling is an amazing feature that gives you better control over heating and cooling your home.
Dampers are used to block the heated or cooled air to certain parts of the house, such as unused bedrooms or an unused
finished basement.

As a result, you use less energy by only heating or cooling the rooms being used. Unlike when you
close vents with a regular HVAC system to try and create zoned heating, these dampers do not put extra strain on the
system.

With the right HVAC system, you can heat and cool your home more efficiently, which allows you to recoup some of
your investment each month.

If you would like to know more about HVAC systems and their features, or if you are ready for a quote, contact our experienced team at Chrismon Heating & Cooling today.

We are ready to help fulfill all your HVAC needs, so do not be afraid to ask any questions or address any concerns you
have. We look forward to hearing from you and speaking to you soon.

Let us know how we can help you!

Uneven Air Temperatures?

What Causes Them and How to Fix Them.

Person adjusting the AC thermostat temperature

Have you noticed that one room seems to be hotter or cooler than the other, even if the AC’s on? You might wonder what’s happened. If so, discover more about uneven air temperatures, including the causes of this problem and the best ways are to fix the issue.

Causes of Uneven Air Temperatures

Uneven air temperatures can be from various reasons. Discover some common ones below.

Blocked Vents

If vents that release air into the rooms are blocked by something, like furniture, this can hinder the airflow. Your rooms will feel hotter or cooler than the room next door or the floor above or below.

Dirty or Clogged Air Filters

How often do you change your air filters? Heavily used or old air filters can become dirty and clogged. After some time, this air filter can’t let as much air through, which can cause impeded airflow and uneven temperatures.

Blocked Ducts

Your ductwork allows the air to flow through your entire home. However, if something in the ducts is in the way, this can cause air to slow or stop altogether, which causes the air temperatures in a specific room to rise or fall.

Specific things that can block your ducts include:

  • Dirt
  • Dust
  • Insulation
  • Rodents or insects
  • Construction debris

Additionally, closed vents can cause a blockage as well.

Leaky Ducts

Your ducts may also suffer from leaks. Leaks develop when ducts are damaged or when ducts disconnect from each other. These leaks cause the airflow to diminish, which leads to less airflow and irregular temperatures to your rooms.

Thermostats

Thermostats control the temperature the airflow is at to cool your rooms. If you have a low battery or a malfunctioning thermostat, then the airflow can be faulty.

Wrong AC Unit Size

An AC unit not properly outfitted for your specific home’s cooling needs can lead to patchy temperatures. If you have an AC that’s too small, this can lead to insufficient cooling. If you have an AC that’s too large, this can lead to frequent cycles and not enough time for sufficient cooling.

Fixes for Uneven Air Temperatures

A fix for any of the above causes is possible. Discover some repair options for uneven air temperatures.

Move the Item That Blocks the Vent

If a blocked vent is the cause, then a simple fix is to simply move the item that blocks it. Make sure to double check that airflow is consistent after you’ve moved the item. That way, you’ll know that blockage was the actual cause.

Replace Your Air Filter

An air filter replacement can fix any number of AC issues, including uneven temperatures. If you’re unsure what type of air filter to get, an AC repair company can help. They can replace the filter for you routinely on a scheduled basis, depending on your specific home’s needs.

Inspect and Repair Your Ductwork

If an AC tech determines that your ductwork is the cause, they can inspect your ductwork for damage or leaks. Once they find where these issues are, they can repair the holes, cracks, or disconnected joints to ensure proper airflow and even temperatures.

Replace Your Battery

If your thermostat’s battery is low, simply replace it to get your thermostat back on track.

Recalibrate the Thermostat

The thermostat might need recalibration. Turn to an AC repair company, as they will know how to exactly recalibrate your specific thermostat. Different thermostats have different recalibration means, so don’t attempt to do this yourself if you’re unsure at all.

Move the Thermostat

If your thermostat is in a less-than-optimum spot, then it could pick up the wrong temperature readings, which can leave parts of your homes hot when you need it to be cool. Therefore, simply moving the thermostat might be the key to success.

Replace Your AC Unit

Replace your current AC with a unit that meets your home’s exact diameters and the number of people in your home. A professional AC tech can help with that.

Call Us Today

At Chrisom Heating & Cooling, we know the frustration you might feel with unevenly cooled rooms. That’s why we’re here to help. We offer competitive pricing and member discounts with our Priority Club Program. Call to schedule your appointment.

3 Reasons Why HVAC Maintenance is Important

HVAC Greensboro NCAt Chrismon Heating & Cooling, we strive to educate our customers on the importance of maintaining your HVAC in Greensboro, NC. Below we have three important reasons why you should be receiving regular maintenance checks.

  1. More Efficient

Routine maintenance checks ensure your air conditioner is cooling your space efficiently while helping to lower your monthly utility bills. Maintenance appointments thoroughly examine items such as the ductwork for leaks and your air filter for proper airflow, to ensure your machine is functioning properly.

  1. Less Problems

Like with any machine, parts eventually will give out and need to be replaced, which is why we recommend HVAC maintenance. Our experienced specialists can help you discover problems that need to be repaired before they become a major defect, possibly resulting in a new HVAC unit. Paying for regular maintenance checks could help you save money in the future on your investment.

  1. Increased Air Quality

Regular HVAC maintenance improves the quality of the air in your home or business. Preventative maintenance appointments discover a mold growth in the coils and ductwork that could cause potential sickness and musty smells.

Contact our company at 336-656-3888 if you are interested in learning more about our Priority Club Program or needing to schedule a maintenance appointment.