How Often Does a Dual Fuel Hybrid System Need Repairs?

January 22nd, 2015 by John Ortman

When combining two systems to heat your home, there can be some concern that this may create bigger, more frequent repair problems. The truth is, you’ll deal with the same kind of problems with a hybrid heating system as you would with any other system. Why? Because each system works independently, so the problems that can develop are the same for you as other homeowners with separate systems. Any kind of heating repair for any system in Savannah should always be handled by experts, so if you are experiencing any problem with your heating, contact AAction Air today!

Repairs

Frequency of repairs for any whole-home system tends to run in accordance with the number of moving parts a system has and its average lifespan. Heat pumps have very few moving parts and an average lifespan of 20-25 years. Furnaces have a number of moving parts, particularly in the blower assembly, and an average lifespan of 15-20 years. However, the gas furnace doesn’t operate as much as a single gas furnace, so this takes some wear and tear off the system. The same can be said of the system’s heat pump: because the heat pump can switch to the back-up furnace in very cold weather, it, too, doesn’t have to work under highly stressful conditions. The bottom line is that while no one can predict how many repairs your heating system will need, a hybrid heating system should have no more, and could have less, than more traditional systems.

Types of Repairs

Here are some of the kinds of repairs you may see with a hybrid heating system:

  • Issues with the heat pump – heat pumps can develop refrigerant leaks, motor issues with the compressor and/or issues with the condenser.
  • Issues with the furnace blower – the fan, or blower, of a furnace can develop problems with the motor, the fan blades and the fan belt.
  • Issues with lighting – if the pilot isn’t lighting, there may be an issue with the electronic ignition, the gas valve or a problem with the nozzle.

A hybrid heating system is an effective, dual-action system that shouldn’t require any extra heating repair in Savannah. If you have concerns about your hybrid heating system, call us today!

Parts that May Need Replacement in a Heat Pump

January 15th, 2015 by John Ortman

Any heating and air conditioning system contains a significant number of components which all must be in nearly top working order so that the system can run effectively and efficiently. When a smaller part of your heating system breaks, it’s often easier and more cost effective for a technician to replace it, rather than to tinker with the mechanism for hours before finding the exact source of the trouble. While repairs are often enough to keep a system up and running, sometimes replacing a part is the way to go. Read about some of the most commonly replaced parts during heat pump repair.

  • Blower Motor: The blower motor is responsible for operating the fan that moves air into the system and delivers it into the living space. In some cases, a faulty blower motor merely needs to be lubricated to keep the fan turning. But sometimes the motor windings short out, and it will need replacement. Professionals have the tools needed to measure the amp draw and decide whether replacement is necessary.
  • Reversing Valve: The reversing valve is the unit that allows refrigerant to reverse when switching from heating to cooling mode or vice versa. So when you experience trouble going from one mode to another, it may be due to this piece. The reversing valve may run into trouble either because of electrical issues or mechanical issues. In any case, it’s important to have a professional choose the right part for replacement and line it up and replace it correctly.
  • Check Valve: The check valve helps refrigerant to redirect when it changes direction so that it doesn’t flow through the valves that help with the cooling cycle when it’s in heating mode. Refrigerant should not, for example, flow through the expansion valve when it’s in heating mode. Therefore, a failing check valve may also be the reason that only one mode does not work, and it will require replacement.
  • Refrigerant: Finally, you may need to “replace” refrigerant if any leaks out from the system. Only certain technicians are certified to handle refrigerant, so charging the system is always a job for professionals.

The experts at AAction Air have the skills and expertise for all levels of heat pump repair in Hilton Head. Give out team of technicians a call today.

Selecting a Heating System for New Construction

January 8th, 2015 by John Ortman

Building a brand new home can be an exciting undertaking, but some of the decisions you have to make in the process can seem daunting. Choosing a new heating system for installation is one of those difficult decisions, but it can be made much easier if you choose professionals to assist you along the way. For now, you may simply be wondering what type of unit is best for your new construction, so we’ve made a guide to a few of the most common systems used for heating in Rincon, GA.

Furnaces

Furnaces are some of the most common heating systems installed in homes today. Furnaces are reliable and effective, and today’s models are safer and more efficient than ever. Modern furnaces have many kinds of added safety features to prevent any potential gas leaks and protect the furnace from faulty operation. Today’s systems are also extremely efficient; all have an AFUE (annual fuel utilization efficiency) of 80% or greater, an improvement over those built decades ago that had an AFUE of about 50%.

Heat Pumps

Heat pumps use the same technology used for heat removal in air conditioners to bring heat into a home. Refrigerant moves through the system, removing heat from the outside air (even when it is very chilly outside) and transferring it to the air handler indoors. In the summer, refrigerant reverses to move heat outside. This is an efficient heat source, as it moves heat around instead of generating it, and it can be used in place of a separate AC and heating system.

Geothermal and Water Source Heat Pumps

A geothermal heat pump is partially buried underground, so building a new home presents a great opportunity for installation. Because the temperature underneath the earth stays relatively stable, heat is always available, and it’s one of the most efficient ways to move heat from one area to another. Water source heat pumps instead use water as a starting point for the heating process, and either unit can save you a lot of money over time.

Let experts help you choose the right system for your home. Call Aaction Air today to schedule an appointment to discuss your heating needs in Rincon, GA.

A Few Common Furnace Repairs

January 2nd, 2015 by John Ortman

Furnaces are the most common type of home heating system in the country. This means that furnace problems also happen to be the most common type of home heating problem. Since it is likely that you either own or will own a furnace at some point during your life, it pays to know a bit about the kind of repair needs furnaces can run into. Let’s examine some of them.

Broken Fan Belt

The fan belt is a rubber loop that connects the air handler motor to the fan. When the motor turns on, it uses the fan belt to actually turn the fan and circulate the air. Over time, the fan belt stretches and cracks from the stress of regular usage. Eventually, it can snap and render the fan unable to turn. You can tell that the fan belt is failing by the squealing sound that happens when the furnace turns on. If your furnace is on, but air doesn’t seem to be circulating, it is possible that the fan belt has already broken.

Faulty Pilot Light

The pilot light is a small, continuous flame responsible for lighting the burners and starting the furnace. Every once in a while, the pilot light may blow out and have to be relit. If the pilot light is refusing to stay lit, however, you may have a more serious problem. In older furnaces, the likely culprit is the thermocouple. The thermocouple is the part that senses when the pilot light is lit, and allows fuel to be supplied to it to keep it burning. A faulty thermocouple is one that has lost the ability to sense the pilot light, and so never opens the gas line to supply fuel to it.

Overheating

Furnaces can overheat for any number of reasons, but the most common cause is actually the one most homeowners never expect. When the furnace’s air filter is not replaced often enough, it can become clogged with dust and debris, blocking air flow into the furnace. This traps heat inside the furnace itself, causing it to overheat and shut down as a safety measure. You can tell that your furnace is overheating when it starts turning itself on and off rapidly throughout the day, which is called “short-cycling.”

If you are experiencing furnace problems, contact AAction Air. We provide heating repair throughout Bluffton.

12 Grapes for 12 Months: An Unusual New Year’s Tradition

January 1st, 2015 by John Ortman

Across the world, many cultures have specific traditions to celebrate the transition from the old year to the new. In the U.S. and Canada, we associate New Year’s with the ball in Times Square, kissing at the stroke of midnight, resolutions, and singing “Old Lang Syne.” But for many Spanish-speaking countries, one of the key traditions has to do with eating grapes as fast as possible.

The “twelve grapes” tradition comes from Spain, where it is called las doce uvas de la suerte (“The Twelve Lucky Grapes”). To ensure good luck for the next year, people eat one green grape for each of the upcoming twelve months. However, you cannot just eat the grapes during the first day of the new year any time you feel like it. You must eat the twelve grapes starting at the first stroke of midnight on Nochevieja (“Old Night,” New Year’s Eve) as one year changes to another. And you have to keep eating: with each toll of midnight, you must eat another grape, giving you about twelve seconds to consume all of them. If you can finish all dozen grapes—you can’t still be chewing on them!—before the last bell toll fades, you will have a luck-filled new year.

Where did this tradition come from? No one is certain, although it appears to be more than a century old. One story about the Twelve Lucky Grapes is that a large crop of grapes in 1909 in Alicante, Spain led to the growers seeking out a creative way to eliminate their surplus. But recent research through old newspapers shows that perhaps the tradition goes back almost thirty years earlier to the 1880s, where eating grapes was meant to mock the upper classes who were imitating the French tradition of dining on grapes and drinking champagne on New Year’s Eve.

It can be difficult to consume grapes this fast, and the lucky grapes of New Year’s Eve have seeds in them, making the job even trickier. (Seedless grapes are not common in Spain the way they are over here.) For people to manage eating all the grapes before the last stroke of midnight requires swallowing the seeds as well and only taking a single bite of each grape.

Oh, there is one more twist to the tradition: you have to be wearing red undergarments, and they have to be given to you as a gift. The origins of this part of the tradition are even more mysterious, and it’s anybody’s guess why this started.

Whether you go for the grape challenge or find another way to ring in New Year’s, all of us at AAction Air hope you have a great start to the year and a fruitful 2015.

The Composition of Snowflakes: Are No Two Alike?

December 25th, 2014 by John Ortman

“No two snowflakes are alike.”

This is a statement nearly every schoolchild has heard at least once, either while crafting unique snowflakes with a sheet of folded paper and some scissors or while learning a lesson on the science of snow. While even most scientists don’t quite understand what causes a snowflake to form such complex and beautiful columns and points and branches, one thing is for certain, the composition of snowflakes guarantees that no two will ever be identical.  However, it is possible for two snowflakes to appear to be nearly exactly alike.

A snowflake begins to form when a piece of dust catches water vapor out of the air. Water is created when two hydrogen molecules attach to an oxygen molecule. The two hydrogen molecules are angled from one another in such a way that they form a hexagonal shape when they come together during the freezing process; thus, a snowflake begins as a simple hexagonal shape or as layers of hexagons called diamond dust. The emergent properties that follow from the original hexagon are what differentiate one snowflake from another, as the humidity, the temperature in the air, and many other factors (some of which remain unclear to scientists) allow each snowflake to form in an entirely unique way with a seemingly endless variety of shapes.

However, in 1988, a scientist named Nancy Knight claimed to have located two that were the same while studying snowflakes as part of an atmospheric research project. And it appeared to be so; when put under a microscope, the emergent properties looked nearly identical. But while it is feasible that two snowflakes can appear to be exactly alike on the outside, they are never identical on an atomic level. Deuterium is an atom that appears attached to about one in every 3000 hydrogen molecules in the air. Because there are millions of atoms that make up a snowflake, the random assortment of deuterium in any two snowflakes—even in two that so very closely resemble one another—simply cannot be the same.

Here at A Action Air, we’d like to remind you to grab a cup of cocoa and relax with your family this holiday, perhaps by crafting some unique snowflake creations of your own. We wish you a very happy holiday season, from our family to yours!

Always Choose Professionals for Furnace Installation

December 18th, 2014 by John Ortman

No two ways about it, furnace installation can get expensive. It’s a complicated procedure, it requires a lot of expert knowledge, and there can be some nasty consequences if everything isn’t done just right. Because of this, there are always some homeowners who are tempted to do it themselves. Maybe they or a friend or relative have a bit of experience dealing with furnaces. Maybe they just have complete confidence in their ability to learn from the internet or a book. Whatever the reason, every year people attempt to install furnaces without professionals. It never ends well. The following are some of the reasons that you should always choose professionals for furnace installation.

Sizing

The first problem that a lot of homeowners run into when shopping for a new system is choosing a properly sized furnace. Each furnace is sized to fit a specific range of homes, and choosing one that is too big or too small can each lead to a host of problems. Furnaces that are too big for your home can provoke a behavior called short-cycling, where the furnace malfunctions because the limit switch thinks it’s overheating due to the increased heat output. Furnaces that are too small tend to run for longer and longer periods of time, in an attempt to heat a home that they just don’t have the power to heat properly. Both issues waste money, and contribute to the early death of your furnace.

Health Issues

Furnaces, like all combustion systems, produce a number of combustion byproducts that are toxic to humans. These include carbon monoxide, which can be fatal if one is exposed to large concentrations of it. These combustion byproducts are normally vented out of the house by the exhaust flue, which is part of the furnace. When you’re dealing with the safe disposal of these toxic pollutants, you really want to have a professional installing the system. If you want to look at it from a cost/benefit analysis standpoint, your safety and that of your family is worth far more than the money you’d save having an amateur install your furnace.

If you’re looking to install a new furnace, call AAction Air. We provide furnace installation throughout the Hilton Head area.

 

Which Kind of Heating Systems Require the Most Repairs?

December 11th, 2014 by John Ortman

Today’s heating systems are some of the most durable ever available, but that doesn’t mean that they’ll be repair-free. Every system will need repair at some point, but level of use and system type often dictates what kind of repairs you may have to deal with. One of the most important aspects of any kind of heating system repair is knowing you have a reliable heating services company in Hilton Head to call any time, any day. The trained experts at AAction Air are available 365 days a year, so if you are experiencing any kind of heating issue, call us today.

Moving Parts

As a general rule, heating systems with more moving parts can be somewhat more prone to repair than those with less parts. Furnaces tend to have more moving parts than other systems because they have a blower assembly (heat pumps can, too); systems like boilers using piping to deliver heat, so they have less moving parts. The more moving parts you have, the greater the chance something can break down.

Level of Use

If you have a boiler or furnace, you’ll use your system for 4-6 months during the year, and then your system gets a rest. However, if you have any kind of system that uses a heat pump, including ductless and geothermal systems, your heat pump will run year-round. More use can mean more repairs simply because your system runs more frequently.

Lifespan

Lifespan plays a role in repairs because as systems age, their ability to perform decreases. The average lifespan of a combustion system is 15-20 years; heat pumps average 20-25 years, and electric furnaces average 20-30 years. While these lifespans can vary a bit, they give you an ability to measure when your system may be more prone to developing problems.

Maintenance

Performing yearly maintenance can help extend the life and prevent repairs of any heating system. This is because maintenance is a full tune-up for your heater in which it is cleaned, adjusted and lubricated as needed. Maintenance allows your system to work optimally and maintain good working order, which can help extend its life and prevent repairs.

Every heating system in Hilton Head will need heating services at some point; choosing a heating system for your home depends more on the needs of your home and family than planning for repair work.

If you are having trouble deciding on which heating system to install in your home, contact AAction Air today and schedule an appointment with one of our experts.

Signs that You Should Call for Commercial Heating Repair

December 4th, 2014 by John Ortman

Making sure your business space is comfortable is critical to the successful operation of your business. This is one of the reasons why it’s important to be aware of signs that can indicate problems have developed with your commercial heating system. It is also just as important to hire commercial heating repair experts to conduct the repairs. AAction Air has the trained and certified commercial repair experts who can service any commercial heating system, so if you are experiencing problems, call us today!

Signs of Potential Problems

Here are some of the more common signs you may see when your commercial heating system has developed a problem:

  • No heat – clearly when you have no heat at all, something has happened with your heating system. Commercial heating systems are complex and there are many reasons that can cause the heating to breakdown; as such, it’s best to leave the investigating and repair to a technician who will know what to look for.
  • Strange sounds – are you hearing noises coming from your system that don’t seem to be of the normal operational kind? Examples of strange noises would be banging, thumping, squeaking, etc. Strange sounds are one of the ways in which your heating system communicates a problem is at hand, so don’t ignore them; instead, call for an expert.
  • Sudden spike in energy bills – have you seen your energy bills jump but haven’t changed the way the system operates? High energy draws can be indicative of an electrical problem or a sign that a component is failing and as a result, is drawing more energy.
  • Hot and cold spots – are you experiencing distinct hot and cold spots throughout your commercial space? This can be indicative of issues with the ductwork. The ductwork in a commercial system is extensive, so it’s best to allow a trained technician to detect the issue.

Commercial heating repair in Savannah is not like residential repair. The systems are much larger and complex, and sometimes require a level of knowledge that only a trained commercial technician will have.

Don’t put your business at risk by entrusting your commercial heating repair to the wrong company. Instead, call the people you can count on: AAction Air.

10 Facts You Should Know about Thanksgiving

November 27th, 2014 by John Ortman

Thanksgiving has been celebrated as an official holiday in the United States for over 150 years, so you may think you understand all there is to know about this family feast. Most of us have heard the story of the pilgrims’ first Thanksgiving in 1621 after arriving in North America on the Mayflower. But did you know that only about half of the people on this ship were actually pilgrims? This fact is one of ten things that may actually surprise you about the Thanksgiving tradition!

  1. Although we often consider Thanksgiving a holiday unique to the United States, many other countries and cultures celebrate their own set of harvest-time and thanksgiving traditions. In Korea, Chu-Sok (or “fall evening”) is put on in remembrance of forefathers on August 15th of every year. Brazil celebrates a contemporary version of the U.S. holiday. Chinese, Roman, and Jewish cultures all have a history of harvest celebrations as well.
  2. President Harry S. Truman began the tradition of a ceremony held before Thanksgiving during which the president receives a turkey. George H.W. Bush was the first to pardon the turkey instead of eating it.
  3. In Minnesota alone, farmers raise over 40 million turkeys a year. In fact, U.S. farmers produce about one turkey for every one person in the country.
  4. According to the New England Journal of Medicine, the average American will gain about one to two pounds every year during the holiday season.
  5. On the other hand, turkey is naturally high in protein and has been known to support and boost immune systems to protect against illness and speed up healing. So feast on!
  6. Abraham Lincoln issued a “Thanksgiving Proclamation” in 1863, but a woman named Sarah Josepha Hale can be credited with the idea. While Thanksgiving had been celebrated at different times of year in many areas of the U.S. for years, it was Hale, prominent magazine editor and author of the rhyme “Mary Had a Little Lamb,” who urged Lincoln to finally establish the national event.
  7. President Franklin D Roosevelt once tried to change the date of Thanksgiving to the second-to-last Thursday of the month in order to extend the holiday shopping season and boost the economy.
  8. Only about half of the people on the Mayflower were what we would consider today as “Pilgrims.” The other (approximately) 50 people were simply trying to find a way over to the New World.
  9. Gobble, gobble! Click, click? While male turkeys make a gobbling noise, females (hens) do not; it’s often described as a clicking.
  10. Even though we celebrate Thanksgiving on the last Thursday of November, the month of June has been declared National Turkey Lovers’ Month by the National Turkey Federation so you can continue the celebration in the summer as well!

From our family here at AAction Air, we’d like to wish you and yours a very Happy Thanksgiving!