Frymire Home Services Blog: Archive for April, 2021

Air Balancing for Homeowners: What Is It and Why Is It Important?

April 30th, 2021

Indulge me with your imagination for just one minute… You are in your home, and you go from the living room, where you’ve been lounging comfortably, to your bedroom. Just as you walk in, you feel a very noticeable temperature difference. You try everything to make your bedroom a comfortable temperature—from adjusting the thermostat to closing the vents in various rooms. And why shouldn’t you? Is it too much to ask to be comfortable in your own home? Why can’t you get airflow in one end of your house, but get too much in the other end? Most of us will not even have to use our imaginations for this one as we have experienced this at one time or another.

Air Balancing & How It Works

What is the answer you ask? Air Balance. When done properly, air balancing can ensure an even home temperature from end to end. It makes sure that each of your rooms is receiving the perfect amount of airflow. However, there are some variables that can inevitably cause this “perfect airflow” to be derailed. When looking to do an air balance, ductwork and HVAC unit specifications must be all considered. Inadequate ductwork will always result in airflow restrictions. Likewise, the wrong HVAC unit for the home or a poorly performing one will result in deficient airflow.

When Should I Schedule Air Balancing?

Air balancing must be performed for summer or winter. Here in Texas, we have about nine months of warmer temperatures and three months of colder ones. Naturally, it makes sense to do a “summer” air balance. You might ask, how can we accurately measure for a proper air balance without using our gut feeling of temperature from room to room? As always, there is a right tool for the job. A specialized flow hood can be placed over each of the grilles to get an accurate reading of the airflow. This can be compared to what the airflow was designed to be based on the measurements of the home itself. If it’s a newer home, an engineer’s report should be available from the company that completed the installation of the equipment with specific CFM (cubic feet per minute) specs for the grilles.

While closing the grilles with your trusty broom sounds like a great idea, it will only result in noise at the grilles and noise throughout your home. Grilles should always be 100% open. Never close the louvers to adjust the pressure. The best way to back off air to a room is at the supply plenum itself with dampers.

Too Hot? Too Cold? Schedule Air Balancing Today!

If you’re lucky or smart (or both) you might already have a great multi-stage, high-efficiency system with electronic dampers that are already controlled by zoning to guarantee perfect airflow throughout your home. But let’s be honest, if you have this type of system, you’re probably not reading this article since you’re too busy being comfortable in your home. All joking aside, if you and your family find yourselves complaining that parts of your home are too hot or too cold in the spring and summer, an air balance is right for you.

Rick Overall

Frymire Home Services

Frymire Home Services understands the importance of quality air conditioning and heating. We believe in educating and informing our customers, which will help them become experts in their home’s AC system. To learn more about HVAC 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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The Ultimate AC Tune-Up Checklist

April 24th, 2021

It’s almost here. That time of year when you check the weather on your phone and think you’re reading an oven temperature instead. Summer days in the triple digits are becoming more and more common in the area, but that’s where your air conditioner comes in!

During the long hot weather season, your poor AC has to work harder than two marathon runners in training to keep up with your cooling needs. If you don’t properly maintain your system with at least an annual tune-up, the chances that your AC will experience a critical failure skyrocket. That means high repair or replacement bills, and wandering around in the inescapable sauna that is your home while you wait for the technician to fit you in.

That’s why we put together the ultimate AC Tune-Up Checklist. Below is a list of things that need to be maintained in your AC. We hope this helps you as you shop around for a good AC maintenance service, or when you attempt to do a little DIY.

What Every AC Tune-Up Should Involve

  • Check the air filter – replace if needed
  • Assess how well the unit is installed and adjust when appropriate
  • Make sure the AC has enough open space around it to circulate air well
  • Check the thermostat for accuracy and recalibrate
  • Turn on the AC and observe how well it works
  • Determine the amperage and voltage the AC is using while in operation
  • Check that all safety controls are in working order
  • Check and clean the components of the blower
  • Check and fine-tune the blower motor and belts
  • Cycle the AC to ensure proper startup, heating, and cooling
  • Measure the temperature when the unit is on and off
  • Evaluate system airflow
  • Examine electrical connections and tighten any loose wiring
  • Make sure all moving parts move properly
  • Check and clean the evaporator coils and the condenser
  • Measure and recalibrate the refrigerant charge
  • Examine the condensate drain and apply treatments if needed

It’s a lot to think about when we lay it all out like that, isn’t it?

How an Air Conditioner Works

Air conditioners are complex pieces of equipment designed to keep your home cool. They contain a closed system of refrigeration lines that run between an indoor unit and an outdoor unit. The system pulls in warm air using a motorized fan, where the refrigerant in the interior evaporator coil absorbs the heat. The cooled air then gets sent into the ducts to cool the home. The hot refrigerant flows to the outdoor unit, where it releases the heat and cools back down, only to flow back into the house again and repeat the cycle.

Get expert help to keep this cycle working as it should by calling Frymire at 972-620-3600.

Common Air Conditioning Problems

Because of the complex way your air conditioner works, several things can go wrong. Some common air conditioning system problems include:

  • Leaking refrigerant – Without refrigerant, your AC can’t cool your home.
  • Sensor malfunction – The thermostat sensor near the evaporator coil can malfunction, and this means the unit won’t know if it’s time to cool the air it’s pulling in.
  • Drainage issues – Condensation is a natural part of the AC cycle, but you can have problems with your system if it does not drain properly through the drain line.
  • Dirty air filter – Make sure you replace your air filter regularly because a dirty filter can prevent your AC from operating well.

If you’re experiencing any of these problems, contact our AC repair professionals to get professional help to address them.

Air Conditioner Maintenance

To avoid problems like these, make sure you keep your air conditioner well maintained. A preventive maintenance appointment at the start of the cooling season can tune up your system and get everything working efficiently. This will maximize your comfort and lower your energy bills as the cooling season progresses. You may also extend the life of your unit by investing in maintenance.

Schedule preventive maintenance by contacting Frymire and ensuring your AC is ready to deliver reliable cooling all season long.

Choose Frymire Home Services for All Your AC Maintenance & Tune-Up Needs

At Frymire Home Services, our motto is “A Higher Degree of Comfort,” and we strive each day to live and work by this standard. That’s why we created the Victory Comfort Club, a VIP HVAC maintenance plan that offers incredible value, protection, and peace of mind year-round. In the Victory Comfort Club, you’ll save hundreds on your AC tune-ups and receive exclusive deals and discounts not available anywhere else.

Call us at 972–620–3600 or contact us online today to learn more about our affordable and thorough AC maintenance plans.

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Air Cleaners vs. Air Purifiers: What’s the Difference?

April 15th, 2021

There’s no slicing it sideways – this pandemic has been a grade A pain-in-the…air. But one thing we here at Frymire Home Services are thankful for is that it’s gotten people to take their indoor air quality more seriously. According to the Environmental Protection Agency, indoor air can be five times more polluted than outdoor air. What’s more, children, the elderly, and people with chronic respiratory or pulmonary illnesses are most susceptible to bad indoor air quality hazards.

For these reasons, many homeowners turn to residential air treatment solutions to help combat the dust, pollen, pet dander, mold, volatile organic compounds (VOCs), and other everyday airborne dangers floating around in their homes.

Unfortunately, what starts as an innocent Google search often turns into a frustrating rabbit hole. There are dozens of different air treatment solutions out there, and the most frequent question we get is: What’s the difference between an “air cleaner” and an “air purifier”? Isn’t “clean” a synonym of “purify?” Why all the quibbling?

We understand that this isn’t exactly intuitive, so we’ve broken down the differences between air cleaners and air purifiers for you and have given some basic benefits and drawbacks of each.

Sift, Strain, and Filter – the Air Cleaner’s M.O.

Air cleaners filter your home’s air using specialized, carbon-based filters.

Air Cleaner Benefits

Air cleaners are great at trapping large pollutants like dust and pet dander. Folks with asthma, chronic upper-respiratory issues, or seasonal allergies will thank you profusely for installing one. Air cleaners also improve air circulation in the home, which is correlated with better indoor air quality.

Air Cleaner Drawbacks

Because of the fan needed to circulate and filter the air effectively, air cleaners are often noisy. Further, while they take care of larger particulates, air cleaners are not designed or tested to combat viruses, bacteria, chemicals, cigarette smoke, and other smaller health hazards. Air cleaner filters can also be expensive and must be periodically replaced.

Zap, Pulse, Sanitize – The Power of the Air Purifier

Air purifiers sanitize the air by emitting a cleansing agent, such as heat, ozone, negative ions, or UV light.

Air Purifier Benefits

Rather than just focusing on respiratory irritants, air purifiers zero in on the pathogens that make us sick and cause allergies. Air purifiers are often silent or nearly silent to operate and are overall less expensive than an air cleaner.

Air Purifier Drawbacks

Air purifiers do little or no dust removal, so an air purifier won’t help much if that’s your main pollutant. Furthermore, an air purifier’s effectiveness depends on how good your air circulation in your home is – and if it’s not very good, your air purifier will only purify the part of your home that’s nearest to the installation site.

Not Sure Which is Best for Your Home? Contact Frymire Home Services

Our service professionals are trained and certified in the latest indoor air quality solutions, and we leave our customers better than we found them. We’ll walk you through your options and match you with the solution that’s right for your home’s particular needs and pollutants.

Give us a call at 972 – 620 – 3600, or contact us online today.

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Frozen Pipes? We Have Solutions

April 13th, 2021

Frozen pipes are a serious problem and potentially a costly issue for Dallas homeowners. This was especially evident in the recent “snowpocalypse,” which wreaked havoc in North Texas. An estimated 1.4 million Texans faced water disruptions even a week later. Many homeowners experienced burst pipes which left them with flooded homes and no running water for days.

As a homeowner, you are already faced with a myriad of decisions and expenditures for your property. So how exactly do you mitigate this risk during freezing temperatures? How do you ensure you don’t fall victim to costly pipe repairs? The answers to these questions may seem simple, but they aren’t and could very well be the difference between having running water in your home or dealing with a costly pipe repair.

Common Types of Pipes

Let us begin by understanding the two most common types of pipes in your home–copper and PEX. PEX pipes are a durable, plastic material and cost less than copper. PEX generally tends to have a longer life span than copper; it can also expand, contract, and then return to its original size. Due to its ability to shrink and expand, PEX resists freezing more effectively than rigid pipes, but it can still burst if water freezes in a line. While also durable, copper expands and contracts when heating and cooling, so the chance of breaking when frozen is not mitigated. Copper pipes are also more susceptible to corrosion & pinhole leaks.

What Causes Pipes to Freeze?

When pipes freeze, they tend to crack and break, causing faucet fixtures to run air instead of water, which is a telltale sign that your pipes may be frozen.

Exposed pipes are at the greatest risk during freezing weather. Pipes can be found exposed in the attics of some homes or underneath the home in pier and beam homes. Pier & beam homes are aptly named since they are usually concrete, brick, or stone slabs supported by wooden piers or beams. The exposed pipes are subjected to the harsh elements outside during freezing and have a greater chance of cracking.

Burst plumbing lines underneath homes or under foundations can also be especially pricey. Due to the placement of the pipes, slab leaks or tunneling under foundations to repair piping can fetch a hefty price tag. Pipe leaks within the walls of your home can also cause mold over time if they are not repaired immediately, which is why proper leak detection by an expert HVAC contractor in your area is pertinent.

How to Prevent Freezing & Burst Pipes

So how do you prevent all the doom and gloom of broken pipes? Most of the time, it can be as simple as leaving your faucets on a steady drip in the home during potential freezes. While the kitchen and bathroom faucets are the most common, dripping all the fixtures in your home can help mitigate the threat of frozen pipes. Make sure to mix hot and cold water to keep those pipes from freezing.

Hose Bibs

Homeowners usually tend to forget about exposed pipes. Out of sight, out of mind, right? Let us touch on the most common one, hose bibs. A hose bib is the connector for your lawn equipment, such as hoses and other lawn essentials. A frost guard should cover them. Frost guards can be found at your local hardware store and essentially covers the hose bib and protects it from freezing temperatures. Several newer homes have been built with frostproof bibs, which are made to endure extreme cold temps.

Insulating Pipes

Insulating exposed pipes are a great way to prevent pipes from freezing. As mentioned before, you can find these exposed pipes in your attic or under your home. Foam guards can be placed around the exposed pipes to add a layer of protection from outdoor conditions. If you are worried about your pipes in the attic, try wrapping some newspaper around them before the freezing weather. Even one-fourth of an inch of paper can provide some protection for your non-insulated pipes for a short period.

Indoor Temperature

Finally, keeping your home warm during the winter months can also prevent pipes from freezing. Make sure to keep your thermostat set at the same temperature during both day and night during potential freezing weather.

— Thomas Evans

Frymire Home Services understands the importance of quality plumbing. We believe in educating and informing our customers to help them become experts in their homes’ plumbing. To learn more about plumbing, 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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