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.

Posted by & filed under Air Conditioning, maintenance.

Air conditioning problems are a headache whether its summer or winter, and it can be tempting to accept the bill from the first person who can fix it. Then again, making sure you’re getting a fair price and good service is important, even in the middle of an emergency. Follow these three steps:

1. Write down all the problems you’ve noticed.

Air conditioners usually go bad over time instead of in a sudden breakdown. If you’ve been looking for a contractor to fix rumbles and heating cycles that have been increasing in frequency, start to keep notes about everything wrong. Even if you’re not sure the problems are connected, more information can help the technician find the complete answer the first time. You should also go from room to room and make sure temperature-controlled air flow is reaching the whole house.

2. Get an estimate in writing.

Getting your air conditioning fixed is just like getting your car fixed. A reputable company will inspect the whole contraption and let you know about all of the problems they find before starting on repairs since the information helps you decide your budget before you’re trapped into paying. Get an itemized list of each repair, replacement, and expected hours of work. Then ask the technician which repairs need to happen immediately and what the consequences are of putting it off.

3. Make sure the proposal matches the estimate and that it’s binding on their side.

Contractors or technicians are generally more than reliable. But one bad experience can be a costly lesson, so make sure everything is agreed to — on paper, not just verbally — before services start and before you pay.

Last but not least, we encourage you to contact us at Barrett & Sons with any questions or service needs you may have.

Posted by & filed under heating.

Sometimes, you may not realize that the problems you’re having with your heating can be fixed with heating repair. This is because the problems may not seem very serious. Your heating might be working overall. It may just not be working perfectly. However, you can greatly increase your degree of comfort in your home by taking care of your heating problems, no matter how slight they might seem. Read on to see if you have any of the following problems.

  1. Uneven Heating: Does one of your rooms get really hot while another is a little chilly? This is a common problem in many houses. The rooms which get more sun might get warmer while the ones which don’t are cooler. As a result, you might have to keep your heating at full blast so that you’ll get a decent amount of heat in certain rooms. However, you’ll end up sweltering in the warmer rooms.
  2. Fluctuations Throughout the Day: Are your days really cold and your nights really warm? Or vice versa? This often happens when the heat is set to come on when the temperature drops outside. However, it’s not convenient for the people who live there, who have to keep changing what they wear or using energy-sucking space heaters in addition to the heating system they already have in the house.
  3. Loud Radiators: Do your radiators make funny high-pitched sounds when they come on? Is there a rattling sound that continues when they’re emitting heat? This can be really disturbing, especially in the night when you’re trying to get some rest. But even throughout the day, you can do without squealing and rattling noises that interrupt your flow of thought, if you’re trying to get work done.

If you have any of the following problems with your heating system, give Barret & Sons a call and they’ll let you know if there’s any way they can help.

Posted by & filed under gas leak, Heating Installation.

Electrical appliances always have some small degree of danger, whether it’s primarily through electrocution or fire. But devices are becoming safer and safer, and turning to professional repair technicians rather than trying a DIY fix helps keep them in good condition. Heaters still top the list as one of the appliances most likely to cause danger, and here’s why:

All heaters can cause a fire, especially space heaters.

Because the appliances are putting out heat and aren’t very visible, they can start a serious fire faster than visible appliances like an oven. But electric central heating systems in Bulverde TX are safe, especially if you keep a good margin of empty space around them. Furnaces are slightly more dangerous because they run on combustible gas and always have a flame while in use. But it’s space heaters that are the most problematic at all. Sometimes their heat output can be greater than their materials can protect against, and, because they’re portable, it’s much easier to accidentally place it too close to something flammable or combustible.

Furnaces can have carbon monoxide leaks.

Carbon monoxide is a tasteless, odorless gas that’s very hard to see. It fills part of your furnace to heat the air blown over it, and, if there’s a crack or worn patch in your furnace, the carbon monoxide can start to leak out. There are only two ways to catch a leak, and you need to use both methods: one, make sure your smoke detector can also detect carbon monoxide or buy a separate device that constantly monitors your home’s air; two, regularly get your furnace inspected by a technician, who can check for cracks, leaks, and other general damage. If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to contact Barrett & Sons today.

Posted by & filed under heating, Heating Installation.

Many people will eventually get their heating systems replaced. There are many different factors that will make heating installation and replacement more complicated. People typically decide to get a new heating system that is identical to the old one.

It makes sense that people would want this, because they already had a great deal of experience with the old one and they will prefer something that is more familiar. However, there are many reasons why a household will need a heating system that is very different from the old one.

1. The household might have additional doors or windows at this point in time.

The doors and windows in a household can have a huge effect on the indoor air flow and whether or not certain parts of the house are getting enough heat. Even slight changes with the windows and doors of a house can make a difference.

2. There might be changes associated with the insulation of a house.

Getting additional household insulation is popular these days, especially among people who are trying to save energy around the house. This will have an effect on the type of heating system that the household needs.

3. A new addition might have been created.

If people have added new additions to their homes, they might need a very different new furnace. However, it should be noted that the new addition could have been constructed before they moved into the house, and the old furnace might still be older than that new addition. The number of rooms in a house will certainly make a huge difference when it comes to its heating needs.

When people replace their furnaces, their contractors should know as much about the history of the house as possible, including information about the changes that might have occurred. This will help the contractors decide on the exact heating system that a household will need in the present day. If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to contact Barrett & Sons today.

Posted by & filed under Heating Installation.

In many old houses, the heating system comes on too hot or too cold. There are even certain houses where it might be cold during the day and extremely hot in the night. Plus those old radiators always have a problem with noise. They’re likely to wake you up several times in the middle of the night as the heating goes on and off.

If you live in an old home like this, you might be thinking about updating your heating system so that it works smoothly. In this case, you will need heating installation. Also, if you’re moving into a new home, you’re likely to need heating installation.

Avoiding Future Problems

It is important to find a good company to set up your heating system from the get-go. If your heating installation is set up correctly right from the beginning, you can avoid the need to spend excessive sums of money on problems down the road, such as one room being hotter than another, the thermostat breaking down, etc.

Finding the Right Company

In terms of finding a good company for heating installation, you might have to do some research. Look online and see which companies have good reviews; or if you know someone who got heating installed lately, you can ask them for a referral.

We encourage you to give Barrett & Sons a call so that your HVAC needs can be fulfilled from the start.

Posted by & filed under furnace.

Combustion analysis is one of the most important diagnostic tools in a furnace technician’s skill set. It allows them to accurately measure the amounts of various chemicals in the exhaust stream. With this information, they can then make subtle adjustments to improve your overall home heating experience. This blog post will explain three ways a combustion analysis can benefit you.

Improved Fuel Efficiency

The most important thing an HVAC technician can learn from your furnace’s exhaust is how efficiently combustion is occurring. An elevated level of certain exhaust substances–carbon monoxide, for one–is indicative of incomplete combustion. By making adjustments to the gas valve and other components, a technician can ensure that the maximum amount of gas is being combusted, thus providing more heat while lowering your overall gas consumption.

Less Toxic Exhaust 

The sorts of substances present in incompletely combusted exhaust are highly toxic. In addition to carbon monoxide, such substances may include the highly corrosive sulfur dioxide, which has been shown to have grave environmental impacts. Combustion analysis will ensure that the levels of such substances are as low as possible, thus reducing your home’s carbon footprint and helping contribute to a healthier earth.

Safer Home 

As you surely already know, exhaust fumes aren’t just a threat to the environment. They also pose a much more immediate threat to the safety of your family. Should your heat exchanger develop a crack, those gases could begin entering your home, with potentially deadly results. Combustion analysis will ensure that, should that scenario develop, the amounts of deadly gases present will be as low as possible.

We encourage you to call Barrett & Sons today with any questions or needs you may have.

Posted by & filed under Air Conditioning Installation.

Just as air conditioning systems are complex, the process of choosing a new AC unit should be viewed as more than just a simple decision. There is more that goes into AC installation than just picking out a new unit, and it’s important to consider all aspects of replacing your current system. Here are three important things you need to know about air conditioning installation.

There are many types of air conditioners

There are many types of air conditioners to choose from, depending on the needs you have. It’s important to note that the type of air conditioner you choose could influence price and installation costs, depending on the complexity of the system.

The size of your house matters

The last thing you want is to have a new air conditioner installed, only for it to not be the right fit for your home. It’s important to remember that there isn’t a ‘one size fits all’ solution for air conditioning. If your air conditioner isn’t strong enough, your home may never reach a comfortable temperature. Likewise, if your air conditioner is larger than your home needs, you may spend more on utilities than you need to. When choosing a new air conditioning system, it’s important to take into consideration the size of your home.

Get a good contractor

Before you make the final decision, you should ensure the contractor you hire has a solid reputation. Look for reviews online and ask for a list of past clients you can contact as references. The effects of a new air conditioner can quickly be diminished if the contractor does not install the system properly.

We’re air conditioning professionals in Schertz, TX – we encourage you to give us a call!

Posted by & filed under Air Conditioning.

Air Conditioning 101 – 3 Signs Your Unit Requires Servicing

Your air conditioner often displays warning signs before breaking down. Unfortunately, if you don’t know what to look for, the symptoms will likely go unnoticed until your system stops working. Being aware of some of the less obvious signs can alert you to a problem and save your air conditioner from a complete break down on a hot summer day.

Warm Air Blowing From Your Vents

When your A/C is running, but your house isn’t getting cool, hold your hand over one of the supply registers. If the air coming out is warm, your unit is most likely malfunctioning. However, before you grab the phone to call a HVAC technician, check your thermostat to ensure it’s set to cool and not heat. Once you’ve determined that isn’t the problem, there may be a number of other issues affecting your system, such as a clogged outside unit or dirty evaporator coils. Having your system serviced by a professional will get your air conditioner the care it needs to avoid a more significant malfunction.

Your System Short Cycles

If your air conditioner repeatedly turns on and off quickly, it’s short cycling. Running in such short bursts puts a lot of wear and tear on your unit, meaning parts will give out prematurely if the problem is not taken care of. Short cycling is due to a variety of issues. Luckily, recognizing the pattern early on and having your system inspected can stop your A/C from short cycling and save the components in your unit from wearing down.

Puddles Around Your Outside Unit

Finding moisture around your outside unit suggests your air conditioner is leaking. Oftentimes, the malfunction is with a blocked or cracked drain line. Fortunately, this issue isn’t too serious, however, allowing the leak to continue can lead to mold growth and other more serious problems.

If your air conditioner is showing any of the above warning signs, please contact Barrett and Sons, we’re an hvac repair company in University City TX – we’ll be happy to help diagnose and fix the problem.