Advice From the Pros

5 Ways to Keep Your HVAC Running Strong

HVAC Air Filter

People spend thousands of dollars every year replacing their HVAC systems, and more often than not, the damage to their current system was preventable. By taking steps to ensure the health of your current HVAC system, you could potentially save you and your family a great deal of money. Most of these tips are simple, and don’t take very much time, so if you can implement them into your monthly routine, you’ll certainly have a strong HVAC system for a while longer.

 

Replace Your Dirty Filters Regularly

Everyone has replaced their air filters before, but most people don’t do it until they notice a dip in the effectiveness of their HVAC system. That mindset towards filter replacement can be extremely detrimental to your system. All air filters are labeled with their window of effectiveness, with industry standard being about 90 days, and if you continue to use them past that point you could be forcing your system to work around 20% harder, which costs you money and causes parts to wear quickly.

Clean Air Vents & Air Ducts

Much like air filters, when air vents and ducts become clogged with dust particles or other obstructions, they force your HVAC system to work exponentially harder. A simple periodic cleaning, from either yourself or a professional, will ensure that your system is clean and clear, and running efficiently. Also, make sure you don’t have any curtains or furniture blocking an internal vent or duct. This dramatically reduces their effectiveness. As we mentioned, the harder a system has to work, the fast parts will break down. This isn’t a standard service for most HVAC service companies, and we’d be happy to make you a recommendation to a trusted company who specializes in this sort of cleaning.

HVAC Air Duct

Clean & Shade Outdoor Units

The outdoor unit of your HVAC system has the appearance of a hearty piece of machinery, but in reality, it must be treated delicately in order to make sure your system maintains peak performance. In general, this unit is the costliest element of the system. First things first, make sure that there isn’t a lot of debris or trash around your unit. Outdoor units tend to be a magnet for garbage blowing in the wind. Once you’ve cleared the area surrounding the unit, it’s a good idea to purchase or build a shade for it. There are a lot of moving parts inside an outdoor unit, and temperatures can get very high, so steps must be taken to make sure the unit doesn’t overheat, especially during the summer. There are some commercially-available HVAC shades, or you could assemble one yourself without much difficulty. This is a one-time purchase that can save you tremendous wear & tear.

 

Use a Programmable Thermostat

Now more common than they’ve ever been, programmable thermostats are purpose-built to keep your home as energy efficient as possible. In terms of HVAC health, it means that your system will not be overtaxed by continuing to run when it doesn’t need to. That reduction in the wear & tear of your HVAC system will help it to last far longer than with an old school thermostat system.

 

Schedule Annual Tune-Ups

Most people don’t call us at Gentry AC until their system has stopped working. HVAC replacement is a huge cost for most consumers, and one key recommendation to prevent an all-out replacement is to invest in annual check-ups. By checking in on your system, and making necessary small fixes, we can work to avoid an all-out replacement, which comes with a much larger price tag.

 

We hope that these cost-saving tips save you the pain of a full-on HVAC replacement. However, if you do absolutely need a replacement, or you’re not sure, don’t hesitate to give us a call at Gentry AC. We take the comfort of North Texas seriously, and look forward to serving you!

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Why Proactive HVAC Maintenance Saves You Money

HVAC Maintenance

We’ve said it before, most people don’t call us at Gentry AC until it’s too late to save their current HVAC system. Instead, we end up doing near complete replacements that cost quite a bit more than simple maintenance would. However, a lot of people don’t really understand how investing in preventative HVAC maintenance can save you money in the long run. In response to that, we’re going to run through three key areas where a proactive approach can show tremendous value in the long run.

 

Repairs are smaller and least expensive.

HVAC systems generate a lot of heat due to friction, so small parts will undoubtedly fail over time. The difference is that by being proactive with HVAC maintenance, the small inexpensive parts can be replaced at a lower cost before their failure leads to a larger, more expensive part failing as well. Part failure, and general wear & tear tend to snowball if not addressed quickly, so by replacing small parts as they fail, you save money by not having to replace expensive parts or an entire system.

 

Your energy bills can be significantly reduced.

Your monthly energy costs are extremely dependent on the efficiency of your HVAC system. In turn, the efficiency of your system is dependent on the quality of the parts within it. By not routinely cleaning vents & ducts, replacing filters, and repairing broken parts, you’re seriously hampering the effectiveness of the system. Conversely, by keeping an eye on vents, ducts, and filters, and by hiring a professional to perform routine maintenance, you can keep your system as efficient as the day it was installed, which has a strong effect on your energy bills.

 

Your HVAC system will simply last longer.

Like any other part of your home or business, your HVAC system will wear down over time. No amount of preventative maintenance can prevent the inevitable. While expensive, the more preventative maintenance you do, the less often you’ll have to replace your system. The life of your system will be significantly longer if you’re proactive, which means you’re replacing it far less often.

So, does preventative, proactive HVAC maintenance cost money? Yes, of course. But, does it save you a lot of money over time? Absolutely. At Gentry AC, we strongly encourage you to engage in preventative maintenance. Reach out to us today, either online or over the phone, and schedule your routine HVAC check as soon as possible, especially as Summer is upon us!

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Getting The Most Out of Your Furnace

As the weather outside continues to get colder, you can be sure that your furnace, along with the rest of your heating system, will have to work harder to ensure you’re comfortable in your home. To be certain that your home will be kept warm, it’s a good idea to do some basic maintenance on your furnace. If any adjustments need to be made to your furnace, or any major work, we recommend you go with a pro. Before you get started, be sure to disable the fuel supply and electrical power. Be sure you know how to do so before tackling this project. After you have completed the following steps, turn the fuel line and electricity back on. Always check user guides for further instruction.

    1. Examine fiberglass filters once a month regardless if the weather is hot or cold.
      • Pleated filters can last up to three months.
      • Permanent filters should be washed monthly.
      • Electronic air-cleaner filters should be cleaned every other month.
    2. Make sure the pilot light is burning. Some units will have to be lit by hand, if it does go out. Always follow guidelines for relighting a pilot light. These can often be found on the access door.
    3. Inspect the blower and vacuum for any dust or debris. Check the filter every 30 days or so, and replace as needed. A dirty air filter can restrict airflow, and cause the unit to work harder than it needs to.
    4. Lubricate the blower motor.
    5. Check the burner for corrosion.
    6. Ensure flue is venting properly, and inspect for any dents or gaps.
    7. Clean the air registers around your house by vacuuming all the dust up.

Take a little extra time to go through these steps, and you should be a able to get a little more life out of your furnace. If you are have any issues beyond basic maintenance, or if you would rather a pro take care of the steps above, you can always call us at 817-488-6733. We take your comfort personal.

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