Posted by & filed under furnace repair, maintenance.

Summer is officially over and it’s time to turn those heaters back on. Before firing up your furnace for the season, be sure you take the proper preventative measures to ensure all is safe and in top working condition. Ideally, you should schedule an annual preventative maintenance for your furnace before the cold weather sets in, however it’s never too late!

Some Common Problems

Once winter arrives, and you start to experience problems, how do you know if your furnace needs repairs or just a tune-up? Here are some signs to look for and how to know when to call a professional.

  • If the unit smells like something is when you first turn it on, or the blower is running but not delivering any heat, turn it off and check the filter. If it appears dusty or clogged, replace and restart the unit. The burning smell should dissipate quickly. If the smell is still strong after 15-20 minutes, shut the unit off and contact a professional to discuss your problem and schedule a technician.
  • Strange noises: You know the normal “noises” your house makes best. If your furnace is making strange sounds, such as a low hiss or loud banging noise, it’s time to get a professional to check it out.
  • Low temperatures: If your furnace is not heating up to your thermostat setting or blowing cold air, your thermostat may need to be replaced.
  • Trouble at start-up: If your experience a problem starting your furnace, do not attempt to force it. Instead, contact us and we will schedule one of our trained technicians to come out and take a look.
  • Short-cycling: If your furnace is starting up, running briefly, and then coming to an abrupt stop, you should have it looked at immediately to avoid major repairs. Again, the problem may be that the thermostat or a thermocouple is not functioning correctly. One of our trained technicians can determine the cause and get your furnace up and running again.

Carbon Monoxide

One final thought to keep in mind is that repairing your furnace is imperative to reducing your risk of carbon monoxide exposure. Increased exposure can cause illness and even fatalities if not detected in time.

If for any reason you don’t feel safe starting your furnace, call Barret & Sons Inc. for help.

Posted by & filed under heating, maintenance.

Now that winter is right around the corner, it’s time to start thinking of ways to save money on heating. Keep reading to find out six ways to keep your home warm this winter and in turn, keep your heating costs down.

Turn Down the Thermostat

By lowering your thermostat down 7 – 10 degrees F for eight hours per day, you can save up to ten percent per year on heating and cooling costs. Wear warm clothing (especially socks!) instead of cranking up the heat and your bank account will thank you.

Plug Potential Air Leaks

Heat escapes most often through doors and windows. Caulk windows and weather strip to keep warm air inside your home and keep cold air out. Warm air can also escape through your chimney. If your home has a fireplace, make sure to keep the damper closed when it’s not being used.

Use Ceiling Fans

Ceiling fans aren’t just for cooling. In the winter, set your ceiling fan to spin clockwise. This will create an updraft and push the warmer air near the ceiling downward, making the room feel warmer. This way, you can feel more comfortable while keeping that thermostat turned down.

Replace Your Air Filters

Dirt particles in your air filters block airflow and force your furnace to work harder to warm up your home. Dirty filters also lower your indoor air quality. Always replace your air filters according to the manufacturer’s recommendation.

Invest in a Programmable Thermostat

A programmable thermostat lets you “set it and forget it.” Schedule your furnace to cool down when you’re away and warm up when you return. The convenience and energy savings make the cost of a programmable thermostat well worth the investment.

Schedule a Check-Up

Like any appliance in your home, your furnace needs routine maintenance to perform at its best. Contact us today to schedule a heating system inspection so you can be sure your furnace stays in optimal condition throughout the season.

Posted by & filed under heating, Heating System.

If your heating system is making odd noises or your energy bills are skyrocketing, it may be time to consider upgrading. With these tips, we can help you determine if it’s time that you contact us to look into the heating service in your home for a replacement.

Humidity Problems

If your equipment is outdated or functioning poorly, it can lead to a humidity imbalance in the home. Leaky ducts can cause overly dry air in the winter and too much humidity in the summer. A new system will balance these two issues to make you and your family comfortable in extreme climates. When air is too dry in the winter, it can cause a myriad of health issues that range from dry skin to irritated sinuses. Too much humidity can cause issues with the materials in the home and at worst can cause mold growth in the walls.

System is Over Ten Years Old

Heating system manufacturers are constantly researching and developing new products to make systems work efficiently on less energy. Having that said, a very old system can be as little as 50% efficient whereas a new system can be as much as 99% efficient. This means energy bills will be much lower.

Outdated Duct Work

If you feel a temperature imbalance in your home throughout the year as you move from room to room, it is time to have your air ducts examined. Modern ducts are designed to force air through the home efficiently without leaking air to keep the rooms at the same consistent temperature regardless of where you are in the home. Additionally, if your ducts have leaks in them, it can cause dust to get into the system which can cause irritation to those with sensitivities to dust allergens.

If you find that your system is experiencing any of these issues, give us a call here at Barrett & Sons to set up an appointment to schedule a heating service system upgrade.

Posted by & filed under heating.

Since we are just getting into the cooler months it’s time to think about your heating system. The team here at Barrett & Sons Inc. will come to your home and get your system ready for the hard work ahead. When you call for service before the heating season goes into full force, it will be much easier to resolve any outstanding issues you may have in a timely manner.

Prevent Big Repair Costs with Maintenance

While you can’t stop every repair, you can cut down on the number of emergency repairs your heating system needs when you get routine maintenance done. One of our highly-trained technicians will come to your home and look for mechanical problems with your system. Air filters will be changed, and your system will be ready to work hard in your home to keep you warm. With a well-maintained system, you will have less of a chance of a system breakdown when you need your heat the most.

Keep Your System More Efficient

Yearly heating service allows your heating system to run more efficiently. If your filters are clogged or your ductwork is leaking, you can end up spending extra money on trying to keep your house warm. Over time, a system that isn’t maintained is going to cost you way more than system maintenance routinely. Keep your heating system running well all year long with a tune up each heating season.

Get the Most from Your Heating System

Your heating system is an expensive component in your home. Poorly maintained heating systems break down faster, and need to be replaced sooner. If you get your heating system serviced of each year, you are going to prolong the life of your entire system.

As the weather gets cooler, it’s time to call for heating service. Keep your system in good working order with yearly maintenance before the heating season begins. Give us a call today to schedule an HVAC maintenance appointment!

Posted by & filed under Air Conditioning.

You don’t want to wait to replace your air conditioning unit until you have no choice but to do so. It’s easy to leave well enough alone but it’s best to be proactive if you know your unit is getting old. Once you’ve decided to make the call to a professional HVAC company, you should also take the time in which you call into consideration.

Timing is Key

For instance, the start of summer is unquestionably the most hectic time of the year for air conditioning repairs and installation. For that reason anything related to your HVAC needs may be delayed, plus the majority of deals in pricing or promotion specials have most likely expired. If possible, we suggest you plan for your air conditioning installation either early on or late in the year.

Thinking that Price is Everything

Air conditioning will be a lifelong “necessity”, so thinking about short-term thriftiness over long term reliability isn’t exactly in your long-term’s best interest.

Also speaking of long term reliability, usually a company that’s been in business longer is a better choice. Getting into business does not always mean staying in business, so knowing that a company has several years of local service speaks volumes when it comes to building confidence before you request service.

Not Having a Maintenance Agreement

Not to be confused with a warranty, a maintenance agreement for HVAC is similar to checkups for vehicles scheduled at regular mileage intervals (30,000 miles, etc.). This type of program not only extends the life of your air conditioning system, it can lower your energy costs and offer savings on necessary parts and labor. It’s an investment, not a cost.

Presence of Due Diligence

It’s important to do your research so that you know you’re making the choice that’s best for you and your unit. Trying your luck by choosing a random company will most often prove unlucky in the long run. Therefore, considering the influence air conditioning installation has on our lives for years to come is a decision that should not be taken lightly.

In addition, while you can’t trust everything you read on the internet, online reviews can serve as a good reference while trying to gain a better understanding of how a particular company truly operates. However, the constant and tradition way of hearing about a company, if not by your own experience, is by “word of mouth”. A straight forward testament from someone who we know and have trust in is sure to speak volumes.

Barrett & Sons is a leading provider of commercial, industrial, and residential HVAC services for San Antonio and the surrounding tri-county area. We hope you decide to give us a call with any questions and/or service needs you may have.

Posted by & filed under Air Conditioning.

There are certain signs that your air conditioner needs to be looked at by an air conditioning contractor. These signs might include a strange noise coming from the air conditioner, a weird smell emanating from the air conditioner, too much cooling or not enough cooling, and even ice formation.

These are things you need to look out for, even if the air conditioner is performing to your expectations. It’s best to call the experts right away, before the situation gets any worse, and your air conditioner breaks down completely. Here is some more information for the signs we previously mentioned:

Strange Noise.

Your air conditioner should emit a low, steady hum which you should be able to ignore completely. If the sound of the air conditioner is bothering you, it could indicate that something is wrong. The loud sound might be continuous or it might come and go; either way, keep an ear out for it and call your contractor as soon as this problem occurs.

Weird Smell.

Sometimes, when there is a gas leak in the air conditioner, there might be a weird smell in the air coming into the room. In such cases, it is best to turn the air conditioner off and call your contractor right away, even if the smell seems bearable. Getting the problem fixed right away will keep your air conditioner working better for longer.

Too Much Cooling.

This might happen if something is wrong with the keypad or remote control of your air conditioner. It might get stuck at a very cold temperature or it might get stuck in “turbo” mode. Make sure to call your contractor right away because it can be very uncomfortable to be in a frigid room.

Not Enough Cooling.

This is usually the thing that prompts most people to call their contractor. If their AC is not giving them enough cooling, they get uncomfortable and want to get it repaired. Obviously, you should call your contractor when this happens and get it fixed but don’t ignore the other problems.

Ice Formation.

Sometimes, you go to clean out the filter of your air conditioner and you notice that ice has formed behind it. This is not normal. Your air conditioner is not supposed to be full of ice, no matter what temperature you set it on. So if you see ice forming, it’s time to call your contractor right away.

We encourage you to contact us with any questions and service needs you may have. We’re here to help, and hope to hear from you!

Posted by & filed under Air Conditioning.

A lot of homeowner’s take pride in being able to fix things around their home. However, if the problem you’re having is with your air conditioner, you’re better off letting a professional handle it. Here are three jobs you should leave to an air conditioning contractor, rather than trying to do it on your own.

An Air Conditioning Contractors Knows Repairs

A lot can go wrong with your system. If you don’t know what to look for, you could find yourself spending hours trying to figure out the problem. Not only is that a waste of your time, but while you’re fooling around in there, you could make the problem worse, or even hurt yourself. An expert air conditioning contractor will know what to look for and will be able to diagnose the problem in no time.

Install a New System

Unfortunately, sometimes an AC unit is beyond repairs, and it makes more sense to replace it. This isn’t a job you’ll want to do on your own. A good air conditioning contractor can help you to pick out a new system, and then install it for you. This is a big job, so you’ll want to leave it to the experts.

Maintain Your AC System

Finally, you can have your air conditioning contractor maintain your system. AC maintenance is the best way to prevent the need for future repairs, and keep your system running efficiently for a long time to come. By working with a contractor, you don’t have to waste your weekends maintaining your AC system; instead, you can rest easy knowing the job will get done right.

As you can see, there are plenty of benefits to working with an air conditioning contractor. Not only can they get your system running again, but they can keep it running well, or even install a new one if it’s needed.

We encourage you to contact us at Barrett & Sons with any questions or service needs you may have.

Posted by & filed under Air Conditioning.

If you notice that there is an issue with your air conditioner, the first thing that you should do is call an air conditioning contractor. There are so many reasons why it is in your best interest to hire an air conditioning contractor to handle these repairs. Here are three of those reasons:

They Are Licensed, Insured, and Certified

When you hire an air conditioning contractor to repair your air conditioner, you have the comfort of knowing that they are licensed, insured, and certified. Their license and certifications indicate that they have the proper training and experience to correctly diagnose what is wrong with your air conditioner and repair it. The fact that they are insured protects both you and them when it comes to the actual repair process.

Save Money on Misdiagnosed Repairs 

If you try to figure out what is wrong with your air conditioner on your own, there is a good possibility that you may misdiagnose what is wrong. If this happens, you may spend money on unnecessary repairs. This can add up quickly if you do this more than once. In contrast, when an air conditioning contractor comes to repair your air conditioner, the chances of them misdiagnosing the issue are very low because they have so much experience.

Keep your Air Conditioning Unit Running at its Best

If an air conditioning contractor is the only person that works on your air conditioning unit, you have the comfort of knowing that it is in good hands. They will likely make sure that all issues are fixed and will also inspect your air conditioner to see if there are any other underlying problems or even maintenance issues that you should be made aware of. This ensures that your air conditioning unit is always running as it should and that its life expectancy is also increased.

Hiring an air conditioning contractor to fix your air conditioning unit instead of fixing it yourself is in your best interest. We encourage you to contact us at Barrett & Sons today!

Posted by & filed under Air Conditioning, Air Conditioning Installation, HVAC.

Now that spring is here, it’s time to start thinking about what you can do to keep your air conditioner performing at its best. With a little routine maintenance, you can ensure that your system will keep you cool when you need it the most.

Follow these tips to get your air conditioner into shape for spring and summer.

Replace the air filters. Clean air filters ensure that your air conditioner is running efficiently. Your unit will use more energy if the filters are dirty, leading to higher cooling bills. Dirty filters also create poor indoor air quality, which can have a negative effect on your health. Your air filters should be changed once every month for optimal performance.

Make sure all of your vents are clear and open. Inspect all of the air vents in your home and check that they’re open and not blocked by drapes or furniture. Blocked or closed vents obstruct the airflow of your air conditioner. Poor airflow will cause your air conditioner to run longer, leading to increased energy use and higher bills. It also puts additional pressure on the blower and increases the chance of it breaking down.

Clean the condenser coils on the outside unit. This is an especially important step if you do not cover your outdoor unit in the winter. Buildup on the condenser coils can inhibit airflow and limit your air conditioner’s performance. Make sure all debris, leaves, or plants around your outdoor unit are cleared away. Clean the inside of the unit as well.

Have your air conditioner serviced and inspected each year. Annual maintenance and inspection can help to lower your monthly energy costs by up to 15%. It will also let you address any problems early on, before they lead to expensive repairs.

If you need help getting your air conditioner ready for hot weather, contact us at Barrett & Sons to schedule your air conditioning service.

Posted by & filed under Air Conditioning.

You rely on your air conditioner to keep your home cool and comfortable. Given that, the last thing you want is for your air conditioner to break down. Catching a problem early on can save you a lot of time and money down the road. You need air conditioning service if you notice any of these signs of trouble.

Lack of cooling. Is your air conditioner blowing warm air, or is the air simply not as cold as you expect? Your unit’s condenser might be failing. The refrigerant could also be low. In either case, you need the help of an HVAC professional. If some rooms in your home are cool while other rooms aren’t, it can indicate a problem with your duct work. Leaks in the duct work make your entire home warmer.

The thermostat does not work properly. You might notice that your air conditioner runs for a short time before turning off – or it doesn’t turn on at all. Your thermostat might be malfunctioning so you should have a technician check this as well.

Loud noises. If you hear grinding, scraping or squealing sounds, a belt might be slipping. This can damage other, more costly components as well, and should be fixed by a professional right away.

Increased humidity in your home. One job of your air conditioner is to reduce the amount of humidity in your house. If your house is more humid than usual even with the air conditioning on, the unit may need repair.

Bad odor when A/C is turned on. A musty smell can indicate that mold is present in the A/C unit or the ductwork. A more pungent odor can mean the wire insulation inside has burned out. You should have your unit serviced as soon as possible.

Last, but not least, do not fear; Barrett & Sons is here to help! We encourage you to contact us if you recognize any of these troublesome signs.