Avoid Conditioning Repairs This Summer With This One Trick!

April 12th, 2021
air-conditioner-condenser-3D-render

Dealing with a broken or malfunctioning air conditioning system is a pain, especially when you should be able to enjoy summer weather and relax. That’s what summer should be all about—but a faulty AC can drain away everything relaxing about a summer day.

We have a simple trick to keep away repairs. Maybe not every single one, but the majority of them. It’s so simple, we almost feel a bit silly saying it, but here it is… 

Schedule professional spring air conditioning maintenance.

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How Can I Tell How Big a Furnace I Need?

March 29th, 2021
Gas-Furnace

If you’re asking this question, it’s because you’re looking to replace an older furnace (or you’re putting in the first furnace in a new house) and you understand that if you end up with one that’s not powerful enough—“undersized”—the house won’t be comfortable. You might not know that going too far the other direction, an “oversized” furnace, is also a huge problem. You need to know a specific size to get the best performance.

So … how do you do that?

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Can’t Get Warm Enough? Don’t Keep Raising The Thermostat!

March 15th, 2021
thermostat

The thermostat for a house seems like a simple enough device. When you want the house to be warmer, you raise it. When you want it cooler, you lower it. And, in many ways, the thermostat is that basic: even with the complex “smart” thermostats available today, a thermostat still operates as a switch that turns the heater, AC, and air handler on and off as needed.

But people often mistake the thermostat as a tool to overcome a deficiency in their HVAC system. For example: let’s say you’re finding it hard to keep your house warm during the winter, so you keep pushing up the thermostat higher until you get the comfort you want. 

This isn’t how either the thermostat or the heater should work. Both are designed so you can set the thermostat to a single, steady temperature and receive the comfort you desire. If you need to push the thermostat higher than normal, it means you have a problem with your heating in Dover, DE.

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What Is an Air Handler and Is It Important for My Furnace?

March 1st, 2021
hands-opening-cabinet

It’s easy for people like us who work in HVAC and are immersed in it every day to forget that most homeowners aren’t familiar with the terms of heating and air conditioning systems in the same way we are. 

One example is the air handler. It can trigger confusion for people who hear “air,” then immediately guess the air handler means the air conditioning system. An air handler is important for an AC, but it does more. We often have to make repairs to air handlers to help with customers’ heating in Delaware. If you have a central furnace heating your house, whether electric or natural gas-powered, an air handler may be a part of how the furnace works.

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How Long Can I Expect My Boiler to Last?

February 15th, 2021
condensing-gas-boiler

A big benefit homes get from having a boiler as their heating system is boiler longevity. Compared to furnaces (both gas and electric) and heat pumps, boilers will go for years longer delivering energy-efficient heating. The reason for their longer service lives is that boilers do not use as many mechanical parts that will wear down from use. Boilers still have to deal with the stress of circulating water, but the protections against corrosion designed into boilers helps them keep functioning as long as they receive regular care.

You want to know some specifics about your boiler. If it can enjoy a longer life than a furnace, how much longer is that? We’ll get into some details below.

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There’s Smoke Coming From My Heat Pump! What’s Wrong?

February 1st, 2021
steam-rising-from-ground

Yes, this sounds alarming. You don’t want to see smoke coming off of any mechanical appliance for your home (well, except for a barbecue). It usually indicates a fire has started in the machine, and that’s a serious emergency.

So if you looked out the window on a cold day while your heat pump was running and saw big clouds of smoke billowing off it, we wouldn’t blame you for getting panicked and wondering who you need to call to get something done about it. You may be even thinking about calling the fire department.

Well, we’re glad we caught you in time. Although we can’t 100% guarantee that your heat pump hasn’t caught fire and is belching out smoke, we think we can say with about 99% certainty that what’s happening is normal and not harmful.

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5 Signs Your Furnace Is Dying

January 18th, 2021
furnace-old

You don’t want to have a dead furnace in a Maryland winter—that’s something you’ll know if you’ve spent even one cold day here. If you’ve had your current furnaces for over ten years, it is beginning to move into the territory where it could fail on you. Keeping up with routine maintenance each spring will make this less likely, but as the furnace continues to age, it will eventually reach a point where it won’t go on any further and repairs will be too costly to keep it running. 

Fortunately, furnaces rarely burn their last without giving out several warnings of their imminent demise. If you pay attention to the furnace’s operation, you can catch some of these omens of a dying furnace and call for HVAC technicians in time. Our team of experts can tell if the furnace can be rescued with repairs or if a replacement is better. Below are five of the major signs to call us for assistance:

1. Loud operation

Furnaces make some noise when they run, but the sound of the burners and the fans isn’t distracting and you’re used to it as part of the sound of winter. But if your furnace starts to make more of a racket, one that has you occasionally looking up and thinking, “What was that?”, then something is probably wrong. These noises can include rattling, clicking, booming, and grinding. If it sounds off, have it looked into.

2. Uneven heating

The furnace is running, hot air is flowing out of the room vents, and it would seem as if everything is okay. Except some rooms are not as warm as they usually are. If you can’t find a reason for this in the rooms themselves (such as cracks around windows or other drafts), then the furnace is probably losing its heating capacity—and it will continue to get worse until the furnace runs itself down.

3. Short-cycling

This is when the furnace gets caught in a start-stop pattern that repeats multiple times over an hour. A furnace should run in heating cycles of at least 15 minutes before cycling down. Short-cycling can indicate several different problems, or possible multiple ones coming together if you have an older furnace. 

4. High heating bills

A furnace, if maintained annually, should keep around 95% of its original energy efficiency up to the last two years of its service life. When you see that you are paying much more to run the furnace than you ever have before, it probably means the furnace is now in those final years. Repairs may only stall this: a technician can help determine if repairs are worthwhile.

5. You can’t seem to get warm enough

Have you found yourself pushing your thermostat settings up higher and higher in order to warm up the house? You shouldn’t need to do this—the same steady temperature you normally set the furnace to should be fine, unless the furnace is starting to fail.  

At Atlantic Refrigeration & Air Conditioning, Inc., “We Take Pride in Your Comfort.” Schedule service for your furnace—repair or replacement—with our team today. 

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How Big a New Water Heater Should I Get?

January 4th, 2021
water-heater-tank

The answer to this might sound simple: why not get the biggest water heater that you can afford and which fits in your house? 

However, when it comes to water heater installation, a water heater that is too large and powerful for a home will turn into a problem because it drains energy. If you have a water heater that heats up more water than your household uses, that’s energy going to waste. You’ll have a water heater you paid too much to purchase and which consumes enormous amounts of power nobody is putting to use. 

The best way to determine the right size of water heater to install is to work with professionals. You’ll need professionals for any service for a water heater in your house, so involve them from the start when you’re getting a new one. Our technicians work with many types and sizes of water heaters in Maryland, and we can see you have the ideal new system for your home.

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The “Stack Effect” and How Your Home Is Heated

December 21st, 2020
airflow-diagram

You may have never heard of the “stack effect” before (no, it has nothing to do with Robert Stack from The Untouchables), but it has a huge effect on your home heating in Maryland. Although you don’t have to be an expert on how your home enjoys warmth during the winter—that’s why you have HVAC professionals like us around—a bit of knowledge can go a long way toward helping you to understand how your house may be losing heat, how to prevent it, and when to call for assistance.

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What You Need to Know About a Leaking Boiler

December 7th, 2020
boiler

Do you think that the boiler you use to heat your home should leak? Your answer to that is almost certainly no. Leaks of any kind in water-carrying systems in a house are bad news. Your boiler isn’t part of the standard plumbing, but part of the heating system. However, it relies on the circulation of water to provide warmth to your house, traveling from the tank through pipes to the various terminal points (radiators, baseboard heaters, in-floor piping). If you notice water leaking from the boiler system (with one exception) there’s something wrong that will require heater repair in Delaware.

Need to know more about what’s going on? We’ll get into that below.

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