Frymire Home Services Blog: Archive for March, 2021

The Ultimate Air Conditioning Guide

March 29th, 2021

Everything You Need to Know About AC

Stepping into a cool home on a hot summer day and feeling your air conditioner hard at work is one of the absolute best feelings, especially when you are tired and sweaty. After a long day of working or playing outdoors, you deserve to be pampered. Likewise, having a nice, cool home plays an integral role in getting an ideal night’s sleep, which is imperative for a productive day.

That’s why choosing the right AC system for your home is so important. Fortunately, home air conditioning systems are more energy-efficient than ever before. If you’re looking to upgrade or replace your cooling system, the current AC options available can help keep you cool and save you money in the long term, but knowing where to start can feel overwhelming. This guide is designed to help you navigate through the complex decision-making process and equip you with helpful information that will allow you to select the ideal AC system for your home’s size, comfort needs, and budget.

8 Things Every Homeowner Should Know About AC Systems

1. What Is Central Air Conditioning?

Central air conditioning is one of the more common methods of home cooling. Essentially, air is cooled at a central location (hence the name “central AC”) and is then pushed throughout your home via ductwork and fans. Your air conditioner’s compressor plays an integral role in the AC process; it circulates the necessary refrigerant for heat exchange through the coils of the indoor and outdoor unit. It also applies energy to the refrigerant. Here’s how it all works:

  1. Your thermostat sends a signal to the circuit board in your furnace calling for cold air.
  2. The circuit board turns on the furnace/blower motor inside your home, along with the fan and compressor outside of your home.
  3. The blower motor draws in warm air through your home’s ductwork.
  4. Air from the ductwork is then blown through the evaporator coil, which turns warm air into cold.
  5. Cool air is dispersed throughout your home through your air vents.
  6. Refrigerant in your AC absorbs the heat from the indoor air as it flows through the evaporator coil and transitions from a low-pressure gas to a high-pressure liquid.
  7. The heated refrigerant is pumped to the condenser. This condenser blows outside air across a different set of coils, which removes the heat from your home that was absorbed by the refrigerant.
  8. The refrigerant is then cooled down, turned back into a low-pressure gas, and returned into the home.

This process continues until the desired set temperature on your thermostat is achieved.

2. What Components Make Up an AC System?

The way your AC functions depends on the type of system you have, but most are made up of these three components:

  • Refrigerant: This is a chemical blend found in either a fluid or gaseous state. It absorbs heat from the environment and can provide refrigeration when combined with compressors and evaporators.
  • Outdoor Condensing unit: This is a temperature-controlled device that lives outside your home. This includes the fan, compressor, condenser coil, and refrigerant.
  • Indoor unit: The indoor unit carries the evaporator coil, which sits on top of the furnace inside your home. The coil absorbs the heat from your living space, creating cool, dehumidified air.

The outdoor and indoor units work together to send the refrigerant back and forth from the outside condenser coil to the inside evaporator coil.

3. What Are My Cooling Options?

There are two prominent types of AC systems commonly used across the country:

  1. Central air conditioning: Uses ductwork and vents to disperse cool air throughout your home in order to achieve the desired setting on your thermostat.
  2. Ductless mini-split: A ductless, or mini-split, air conditioning system, works very similarly to a regular central AC system, but without the ductwork. It is mounted on the wall in a single room and is used to cool smaller spaces without wasting energy cooling other rooms.

Which System Is Best for My Home?

It depends on your desired energy efficiency, the size of your home, and how sensitive you are to noise. Ductless mini-split systems offer increased energy efficiency, but they don’t run quite as quietly as a central air conditioning system. The experts at Frymire Home Services can help you decide which option would fit your home and your comfort needs most adequately.

4. Is AC Maintenance Really All That Important?

Yes, this is a very important step to ensure your system is running efficiently. Not only will annual AC maintenance ensure your systems lasts for the entire duration of its expected service life (and possibly even longer), it will also alert you to small issues before they escalate into larger, more expensive problems.

5. What Is Included in AC Maintenance?

When you schedule AC maintenance for your system, you can expect the technician to do the following:

  • Check your filter, replacing or cleaning it as needed
  • Inspect and tighten electrical connections
  • Inspect fuses and wiring
  • Test and inspect relays and pressure controls
  • Check to ensure that your thermostat is working properly
  • Check for refrigerant leaks
  • Check your ductwork for energy loss
  • Check the drain pan
  • Flush and treat condensate drain with anti-algae
  • Clean your system’s evaporator coil
  • Check the outside unit for damage
  • Inspect base pan and remove any obstructions
  • Remove any leaves, dirt, and debris from your outside unit

6. What Should I Do If My AC Stops Working?

If your home’s air conditioner stops working, there could be a variety of possible explanations. Here are some common culprits to troubleshoot before calling on a professional:

  • Check Your Thermostat. Make sure your thermostat program settings are correct, that it’s set to cool and not heat. Also, check the batteries to make sure they’re in good shape. If your thermostat isn’t working, it could be an electrical issue, which means you’ll need the help of pro.
  • Check Your Vents. Make sure all of your vents are open, ensuring that they are not blocked or obstructed by anything around them. If there still isn’t airflow, this may signal an issue.
  • Check Your Circuit Breaker. Your problem might be solved with a simple switch. It’s very common for circuit breakers to trip, so make sure the right circuit is switched on.
  • Check Your Filter. If your filter is dirty and clogged, you won’t get any airflow. The buildup can also cause dirt to accumulate in your ducts and your evaporator coils to freeze, which can clog the air even more. A dirty filter is often the cause of system short-cycling (which is when your AC comes off and on for short periods of time without cooling your home).
  • Check Your Air Ducts. If you have access to your ducts, look for any visible tears and make sure that the joints are sealed well. You can close up any leaks with foil-faced tape, or contact your local HVAC company to provide professional solutions.

7. Are There Any Special Programs or Offers to Save Money?

Yes! Enjoy value, peace of mind, and protection with Frymire’s Victory Comfort Club VIP maintenance plan, which offers valuable discounts to customers, including heating and cooling maintenance, VIP priority installation services, free diagnostic visits, repair discounts, and A LOT more!

8. What Should I Know Before Having a New AC System Installed?

Here are a few important things you should consider before your new system installation:

  • Get Your Old System Thoroughly Inspected. You should have your old AC system evaluated to see if it needs repair rather than replacing. This can also help you compare prices to determine which route would be more cost-effective long-term. Be sure to get detailed estimates before making any decisions.
  • Understand Your Filter and Thermostat Options. While speaking with our technicians, ask them to explain your options and be sure to ask questions about anything you don’t understand. This is your chance to learn more from the experts (and our team is happy to share our extensive knowledge with you!).
  • Understand the Time Frames. The time it takes to install an air conditioner varies across makes and models, so ask for a breakdown of how long your AC installation will take to complete, especially if your installation is taking place during the hottest days of summer.

For a higher degree of comfort call 972-620-3600 or contact us today to schedule a consultation — we take just as much pride in your home as you do!

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Which Way Should the Ceiling Fan Rotate?

March 23rd, 2021

Ceiling fans are a common fixture in Texas homes, so common in fact that homeowners often don’t give them a second thought – and that’s a mistake. Fans can go a long way in cooling your home and reducing energy costs, but only if they’re used correctly. Keep reading to learn more benefits of ceiling fans and how to get the most from them.

Top 3 Benefits of a Ceiling Fan

  1. Energy Efficiency: Let’s start with a popular misconception – fans cool people, not rooms. By improving air circulation, ceiling fans can make you feel like the room is several degrees cooler than it really is as the draft it creates helps evaporate moisture from your skin.As a result, you can raise the thermostat and decrease your air conditioning usage. The U.S. Department of Energy estimates savings of up to 1% for every degree the temperature goes up – that can really add up! Look for ENERGY STAR rated fans for additional savings over conventional units.
  2. Versatile Functionality: Sizes and design options have increased in recent years, meaning more benefits for your space. For example, compact ceiling fans that whisk away humidity are great for bathrooms, while larger industrial styles work well in a home gym to keep you cool during workouts. Ceiling fans with lights also improve lighting conditions, including dimming features that set a relaxed ambiance.
  3. Improved Air Quality: Ceiling fans redistribute hot air as it rises in a room, helping to dilute indoor air pollutants. Some specialized models also ionize the air, which clears the room of airborne contaminants (dust, allergens, pet dander, etc.). The effect can make a huge difference for those with allergies or other respiratory issues – especially in the summer months when going outside can exacerbate them.

Rotate the Right Way

You won’t reap these benefits though if your fan isn’t rotating the right way. Look closely at your fan’s motor – see that small switch on its side? That changes the direction the blades turn in. Running the fan counterclockwise in the heat of a Texas summer creates a cooling breeze by pulling hot air up. Reverse it to clockwise during the winter makes it so warm air is redirected throughout the room without creating a draft.

That means that ceiling fans can improve air circulation year-round to save on both cooling and heating costs. Just make sure you remember to change the direction as the seasons change!

Experience Better Indoor Air Quality with Frymire Home Services

As signs of spring start to appear, now is the time to think about the quality of your home’s air. As allergens increase and winter dust circulates, the quality of the air you’re breathing inside may actually be poorer than the air outside! This can have a big impact on the health of your HVAC system, as well as the health of your family.

Contact Frymire Home Services at (972) 910-2041 for more information about our indoor air quality services. We are happy to tell you more about the ways you can use air filters and other devices to keep your home’s air fresh throughout the year.

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Heating System Safety for Homeowners

March 15th, 2021

Your heating system plays a significant role in keeping you and your family comfortable, but it is important for homeowners to understand how to use and maintain these systems safely. Understanding the heating elements in your home can go a long way in ensuring the safety and comfort level of your family. Here are some tips to keep you safe.

Carbon Monoxide

Carbon monoxide in homes is exceedingly rare, but without proper HVAC system maintenance, it can be deadly. Below are a couple of ways to mitigate our exposure to carbon monoxide:

  • Proper maintenance to ensure that your furnace is not clogged with debris
  • A regular check of system with flue pipes (which regulates removal of gasses) is essential
  • Carbon monoxide monitors are highly recommended in homes with attached garages as even mild exposure to CO can cause headaches, dizziness, nausea & fatigue

Upper & Lower Combustion

This is the process of bringing in fresh air from the outside to the furnace for combustion. With this type of process, proper maintenance is important.

  • Commonly located in closets, the furnace needs to be free of excess storage as the air is flowing regularly
  • Regularly checking ductwork or performing duct cleaning services can also ensure safe and proper airflow in your home
  • Dusty vents must be cleaned since dust buildup can restrict air from circulating throughout your home
  • The heating system needs to be regularly cleaned to ensure proper airflow for the furnace

Electric & Gas Heaters

These are the two types of systems we use heat our homes.

  • Electric heaters are usually made of a series of heat strips. Easier to maintain but costly, these elements will have dust and debris collect on them which give off a burning smell when turned on. This can lead to small fires if not cleaned properly
  • Gas heaters use heat exchangers to heat your home. Regular maintenance is required as gas systems have many limits & safety features
  • Keep your attics clean of boxes and items around your system
  • A regular check of your flame sensor in gas systems is extremely important & highly recommended as this will be an indicator of any problems with your system

Air Filters

Your home’s air filters are probably the most common HVAC maintenance item homeowners are familiar with. When should I change them? What filter do I need? The answers to these questions can be the difference between a properly functioning system or inadequate airflow coupled with costly bills.

  • Filters typically last for up to 45 days (about one and a half months). Most homeowner forget the timeline and change filters months later.
  • A common practice is to change filters every time you receive your energy bill as this ensures filters are being changed in a timely manner and provides the home with proper air quality and airflow.
  • Another key tip is to confirm the correct size of filter needed for you system. Using filters that are too small or too thick will cause debris to collect, resulting in poor airflow and inhibiting your system from functioning properly.

So what does all this mean for you? As a homeowner it is extremely important to have a licensed and certified technician perform maintenance on your unit. Without proper maintenance, units can lose up to 10% efficiency per year. Make it a point to schedule a fall and spring maintenance for your systems since this will likely spot issues before they turn into very costly repairs. A properly maintained unit will have a longer life span and keep you and your family safe and comfortable in your home.

Frymire Home Services understands the importance of quality HVAC work. We believe in educating and informing our customers, which will help them become experts in their home’s HVAC.

To learn more about air conditioning and heating, visit our website at www.frymire.com or call us at 972-620-3600 to schedule an appointment with one of our licensed technicians. 

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Addressing Air Quality in Our Homes During the COVID-19 Pandemic

March 01st, 2021

With the emergence of the SARS-CoV-2 virus, indoor air quality for homeowners has become more important than ever. Without proper filtration and treatment of our air conditioning units, health risks increase exponentially. With the whole world being affected by the SARS-CoV-2 virus (resulting in the COVID-19 disease), it is more important than ever to take control and improve the quality of the air we are breathing inside of our homes.

What Causes Poor Air Quality?

The most common causes are mold, volatile organic compounds (VOCs), and the transmission of biological contaminants such as viruses and bacteria. VOCs are the chemical odors and gases transmitted into the air every day via manufactured products. The trapping of these contaminants in your home causes a high concentration buildup, which leads to poor air quality. Modern homes are built more efficiently and “tighter” than older homes, which helps reduce energy bills by eliminating cooling and heating air leakage. This does, however, create an environment where any potential unwanted chemicals, allergens, or pollutants can become trapped in your home if not addressed. To combat this, we need to do all we can to dilute the concentration of these harmful contaminants.

Senior Woman Opening Bedroom Curtains And Looking Out Of Window

First, we can embrace the great outdoors. Opening our doors and windows provides our homes with a steady flow of fresh air when temperatures allow. Many newer homes are built with fresh air intakes that help to “mix in” fresh air from the outside of our homes. Another way is to make sure that we are maintaining clean filters in our air conditioning units. Proper filtration is extremely important because it protects the efficiency of your air conditioning unit, but this alone is not enough. This only addresses one-third of the issue; the other two-thirds (viruses, mold, and bacteria) pass through your filters like sand through a tennis racket.

Indoor Air Quality Treatment

The good news is that there are products that address these issues. The APCO-X is an air treatment product that can be added in conjunction with your air conditioning unit to help address viruses such as the SARS-CoV-2 VIRUS. The APCO-X is designed to treat the airborne contaminants that end up passing through your filters within your air conditioning unit.

The APCO-X was tested for its ability to neutralize the SARS-CoV-2 virus and was found to be extremely effective. In the third-party study titled “SARS-CoV-2 Neutralization by APCO-X From Fresh-Aire-UV,” according to the study abstract, the APCO-X is designed to deactivate viral pathogens in the air inside an environment likened to typical HVAC systems and ductwork. APCO-X achieved greater than a 99.99% neutralization in testing and performed as designed in the test.

More information about APCO-X research and testing can be found here: Coronavirus Update – Fresh-Aire UV.

— Alex Jordan

Frymire Home Services

Frymire Home Services understands the importance of quality air conditioning. We believe in educating and informing our customers to help them become experts in indoor air quality. To learn more about indoor air quality, visit our website at www.frymire.com or call us at 972-620-3600 to schedule an appointment with one of our licensed technicians.

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