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What would cause a heater to stop working?

hvac system outside of house

Causes of a broken heater

Well, here in the Northeast, winter has already made its appearance. Was your heater ready or did you find yourself searching the internet for ‘heater repair company near me’ for last minute heater repair service?  If so, you weren’t the only one, most homeowners don’t have a maintenance program for their furnace or HVAC system.  

The purpose of the maintenance program is for possible issues and problems to be caught and repaired before winter hits. By having a professional heater repair technician handling your maintenance, they will have the heater repair parts immediately available and can usually make the heat repairs needed on the spot. 

In this piece, we are going to discuss heater repair and service calls for the heater repairman by answering a few questions that are results of having to make that heater repair phone call. Like the most common question,” Why is cold air blowing when the heat is on?”, to which there are several possible reasons. 

If you have turned on the heater and there is cold air blowing out of it, check the following things: 

  • The Thermostat:  Check the thermostat and make sure the fan is on the “auto” setting so that the fan turns on when the heater starts up and it is set on “heat”. This is what keeps warm air moving through the air ducts and heats the house.  
  • The Pilot Light: If your heat is gas powered, the pilot light may have blown out. Following the instructions in the owner’s manual, this is typically easy to light, but you’re not comfortable or confident, then call a professional heater repair service. 
  • The Flame Sensor: If the flame sensor is dirty, it cannot sense if the burner is producing warmth that signals the fan to start blowing the air through the air ducts. You can do your own heater repair by turning the heating unit off then back on to reset it. If the air blows warm for a few minutes then goes back to cold air, the flame sensor probably needs cleaning. This is not a DIY heater repair, so you’ll need to make a service call. 
  • The Filter: A common problem that technicians find when called for heater repair is a clogged filter.  This is one thing you can do is to keep the filter changed or cleaned every 30 days. When the filter is clogged, the warm air the flame sensor tells the fan to blow can’t get through to the air ducts. So if you’re getting cold air, check the filter and change it or clean it and see if that helps before making a heater repair service call. 

How do I fix my heater?

When it comes to furnaces and heaters, there possibilities of problems are many with these complex systems. Maintenance and upkeep are a must because of the many different parts and pieces. Here are a few things you can try for heater repair before calling a professional: 

  • Thermostat: Move it up a degree or two and see if that gets warm air blowing again. If not, make sure the fan is set at auto and heat. 
  • Air filter: Dirty air filters are the number one cause of heater repair calls and that service call could be avoided by changing the filter every 30 days. So, if you haven’t changed it in the last 30 days, do it now and see if that heats up the air coming from your furnace or heater. 
  • Leaking ductwork: Leaking ductwork is another common problem on heater repair calls, but because ductwork is  virtually invisible, it can be hard for a homeowner to realize there is a problem. This is one area that a maintenance program would take care, keeping it repaired or replaced as needed.  
  • Pilot light: A furnace or heater is gas powered, the pilot light may be out. If it is getting gas, relight it and allow it to heat up the system then try the heat again.  If that didn’t fix it, you’ll need professional heater repair service. 

How do I know if my heater core is clogged?

Because of the complexity of the internal working of a furnace or heater, it is recommended to have a professional heater repair service unclog any part of the system.  A boiler system can be filled with scalding hot water and should only be cleaned and unclogged by an experienced contractor. 

How do I reset my heater?

A furnace that is 30 years old or less  can be reset easily by pressing the reset button on the motor. The following steps can guide you through the process: 

  1. Turn the furnace power off at the circuit breaker.
  2. Remove the cover from the blower compartment (this may need a screwdriver) 
  3. On the blower motor there is a small red or yellow button – press it down.
  4. Replace the cover and turn the power back on at the breaker. 
HVAC heater repair parts

How many times can I hit the reset button on my furnace?

Twice should be the maximum number of times you press the reset button. If that has not restarted the heater, then there is an issue internally and technically that requires a professional heater repair service.

The heater is a complex system, but with a little patience and making time, you can maintain your heater without a professional heater repair call every time. However, when you have made the efforts we’ve described here, calling a professional service is the safest decision that will get your home warm. Call (240) 640-6578 today for heater repair in Lanham, MD.

Heater Maintenance Checklist

HVAC system outside

Getting your heater ready

Winter is knocking on the door, literally. Are you ready with pipes are wrapped, canned goods stocked up, and heater maintenance completed? If you’re asking yourself right now, “What is heater maintenance?”, then you’ve come to the right place! Cause that is what we’re going to talk about here today – heater maintenance – something that every homeowner should know about and follow through to completion. 

Heater maintenance is a preventive process that includes a professional cleaning, inspection, and tune-up of your heater system. It saves you from having to make that phone call in the middle of an ice-cold winter night and pay a higher rate for after hour service calls. 

Do professional heater and furnace maintenance service plans cost? Yes, but not near what an after-hours service call would! So, why get a heater maintenance agreement if it is going to cost? There are benefits to having a heater maintenance agreement that includes regular cleaning, inspection, and tune-ups: 

  • Money Saver: Heater maintenance agreement will keep your heat system running efficiently which will save you money on the monthly energy bills. Over a year’s time, that monthly savings will cover the cost of the heater maintenance agreement. 
  • Warranty Maintained: A heat system warranty will typical state that regular maintenance, including cleaning and tune up, is required for the warranty to be honored. With a heater maintenance agreement, if anything breaks on the heater system, either the maintenance agreement will cover it, or your warranty will be honored by the manufacturer. 
  • Minimize Unexpected Breakdowns: A heater maintenance agreement will catch minor issues before they become bigger problems and leave you in the cold one night. Regular heater maintenance means less chance of system failures or need to call for emergency service at an afterhours rate.  
  • Extended Service Life: A heater system that is well-maintained with a heater maintenance service plan will give you a longer lifespan from your heater. 

What is maintenance checklist?

A maintenance check list for heater maintenance appointment is an itemized list of tasks that the heater maintenance company and the furnace or heater manufacturer have created. This checklist is the important things that these experts know needs to be addressed each winter, and throughout the year to keep the furnace or heater in prime, safe operating condition. 

 What does furnace maintenance include?

You don’t want to wait much longer to establish a heater maintenance appointment – better now than after that first Northern hits, any day now!  Heater maintenance schedules are filling up for furnace and HVAC companies across the country, not just here in Maryland. 

What is included in furnace or heater maintenance visit? Every company is different, but we have a general furnace and Heater maintenance checklist that will give you a general idea what is included. 

  • Heat anticipator settings are checked
  • The blower, burners, and limits are tested
  • Burners are pulled, cleaned, and inspected
  • Hot surface igniter is tested
  • Pilot assembly, pilot orifice, and sensor are cleaned
  • Thermocouple checked and replaced if needed
  • Combustion chamber vacuumed
  • Heat exchangers are inspected
  • Combustion motor checked
  • Filter cleaned or changed 
  • Blower motor and blower wheel checked, and excessive dust build up cleaned
  • Applicable parts lubed
  • Gas pressure, pressure switch checked
  • Flame signal checked
  • Thermostat tested for 15 minutes minimum
  • Condensate piping and pump checked and cleaned
  • Exterior wiped down

How long does furnace maintenance take? 

Depending on the make, model, and location of the unit, a furnace heater maintenance appointment for cleaning, inspection, and tune-up can take between one and two hours. It isn’t necessary to plan an entire day around your heater maintenance appointment, but what time it does require for you to be home will be worthwhile when winter arrives full force and your heater is working! 

How often should you do furnace maintenance?

A gas furnace or heater maintenance should be scheduled once a year minimum, twice a year after the fifth anniversary of your furnace or heater being installed. During the fall and again late spring, especially if you have a combined HVAC system with air conditioning and heating. 

HVAC systems outside an apartment building

How do I maintain my heating system? 

In addition to having a professional heater maintenance program, it is important to do your own maintenance in between those appointments.  The things you can do yourself include: 

  1. Clean or change the filter:  The filter has a crucial job for the warm air to be delivered efficiently throughout your home. 
  2. Check that the blower motor is functioning as it should.  The furnace blower motor is what drives the fan to move the air from the heating element. If you hear any loud, strange noises, call your heating professional. With a heating maintenance agreement, that service call will be included. Any parts may be extra, but the service call will be included.
  3. Minimize heating loss from your home with adequate insulation in the attic and doors and windows sealed. The less cold air getting in the better your heating system will work. 
  4. Keep the vents clean, opened, and unblocked. Dirty, closed, or blocked vents isn’t going to let the warmed air out into each roof, the heater will work harder, and that costs on your monthly energy bill.
  5. Make sure the exterior exhaust flue is clear if you have a gas furnace or heater.
  6. Keep any flammable objects away from the furnace or heater. 

The initial cost of a heater maintenance agreement may seem like a waste, but as we mentioned in number 2 above, you’ll find times when you’re glad you have that agreement in place. Get started don your heating maintenance today. Give RiteTemp A/C & Heating, LLC a call at (240) 640-6578.

How can I improve indoor air quality?

sneezing due to bad air quality

What is considered good indoor air quality?

Over the years, over the decades, the outdoor air quality has changed, and not necessarily for the good. More cars on the road, manufacturing plants, and more has made the outdoor air quality questionable. In our homes and office, places of business, the indoor air quality isn’t good either. 

Outdoor and indoor air quality is bad today, but the indoor air quality is worse according to experts. The indoor air quality is affected by fabrics, the glue that holds our furniture together, the colognes and deodorants we wear, foods that are cooking, chemicals used for cleaning and production.

The qualities that make Indoor Air Quality good three things: 

  • Comfortable Temperature and Humidity
  • Sufficient fresh outdoor air
  • Pollutant Control from inside and outside 

The factors that most commonly cause Indoor Air Quality problems inside structures are: 

  • Lack of fresh outdoor air, lack of ventilation, and contaminated outdoor air coming indoor 
  • Poor upkeep of HVAC system and ventilation
  • Dampness and moisture creating high humidity inside building
  • Activities like construction or remodeling
  • Contaminated air

How does indoor air quality affect our health?

 The correlation between our indoor air quality and health has come forefront in many areas of the world. As more employers are paying out more and more sick days, they have realized that many times, it is the building they house their business and employees in that is creating the health issues. Sometimes the effect on an employee’s health may not show up until years later. 

Possible Immediate Effects

There are some effects that appear with an employee being exposed one or continuously during employment. The symptoms could be any of the following or additional symptoms not listed: 

  • Irritated eyes, nose, and throat
  • Headaches
  • Dizziness
  • Fatigue

Some employees find immediate relief by being reassigned to an area where they are not exposed to the pollution source if it is identified. Other immediate  effects on an employee’s health could result in asthma or other breathing issues. 

There are factors to be considered when determining these health issue and exposure to certain pollutants like age and preexisting medical conditions. Pollutants can effect everyone differently too, for example, one person may not be able to breathe while another person isn’t affected in an obvious manner. 

It can be hard to ascertain if the indoor air quality is the cause of come effects with certain health conditions have the same symptoms, like head colds and viral diseases. Doctor advise patients to keep a journal of the day/time and what they were doing when the symptoms hit them. This can confirm or eliminate the workplace. 

If the symptoms come on at work and dissipate after leaving, it is obvious that it is the workplace. If the symptoms started while working and have never eased or gone away, it is worthwhile checking the indoor air quality of the workplace. Especially if there have been several with the same symptoms. 

Possible Long-Term Effects

Some effects on a person’s health may not come to surface for years after their exposure has happened, whether it was one time or repeated exposure. These effects can include: 

  • Respiratory diseases
  • Heart disease
  • Cancer

All three can be debilitating or fatal, making it more prudent than ever to improve the indoor air quality in places of business and homes. The pollutants found in indoor air can cause several harmful effects and the uncertainty is  considerable when we factor in the possible concentration and time that the exposure happened that created these specific health issues. 

Again, no two people react the same to the same exposure of indoor or outdoor air pollutants. Research must continue so that there is better understanding which of the many things that are possible could affect our health after exposure pollutant concentrations of average amounts and types that are found in businesses and homes. 

What are the 4 major indoor air pollutants?

We all want to blame cars and manufacturing plants for our polluted outdoor air. We just know that is what is going to kill us all off, right? WRONG!  The indoor air quality of your home and place of employment could be what’s going to kill you. Here are four of the worst indoor air pollutants: 

  • Carbon Monoxide: An invisible and odorless gas. The human body stops using oxygen when exposed to carbon monoxide. You begin to feel confused, dizzy, nausea, tired, and your heart rate races. Things that can fix this is an inspection and any needed repair s to the heating system. If you’re using combustible appliances, make sure the is fresh air coming too. 
  • Radon: A colorless, odorless gas that is in low levels, coming from uranium inside the Earth. Increase the risk of lung cancer.  Have your home and workplace professional tested for radon or purchase a radon kit online. If radon is found present, it will require a professional to remove the substance. 
  • Nitrogen Dioxide: A corrosive and toxic gas that irritates the eyes, nose, respiratory tract, and throat. Make sure all combustion appliances are professionally installed and used only as directed. Make sure there is a source of fresh air coming in too. 
  • Secondhand Smoke: Yes, that nasty cigar or cigarette habit is going to kill your loved ones before anything outside your home. What can you do about it? Quit smoking. 
clean air filter

What sources of indoor air pollution are the biggest issues?

Yes, we have these things in our homes, our workplace, anywhere we go today, and they are making the indoor air quality poor. 

  • Formaldehyde or Pressed Wood Products.
  • Lead 
  • Nitrogen Dioxide 
  • Radon 
  • Particulate Matter
  • Secondhand Smoke
  • Fireplaces, Heaters, Stoves, and Chimneys.
  • Volatile Organic Compounds 

One last question: Are plants better than air purifiers?  If you are considering improving your indoor air quality with plants, you’re on the right track. There have been several studies on the air cleaning abilities using indoor plants and the results were impressive!  

Not only do plants take less horsepower than an air purifier, but they are an all-natural way that is cost-effective and adds beauty to inside your home or office. A bonus using plants to improve indoor air quality – they are considered therapeutic and can improve moods while increasing productivity. Call (240) 640-6578 today to get started on improving your indoor air quality.

Do I Need a Mini Split for Every Room?

mini split

What is a mini split AC?

When dealing with either an old home that boasts a lackluster HVAC system or a new one that requires a new one, a mini split AC system may be just the thing you are looking for. As a heating and cooling system, a mini split is a much smaller system compared to the regular whole home models. Renowned for its energy efficiency while functioning, the ductless system has an 18 to 30 SEER rating whereas regular systems only get a 13 to 20 SEER rating. SEER, or seasonal energy efficiency ratio, is the standard for measuring air conditioning and heating systems. As such, year round a homeowner can expect:

  • Heating
  • Cooling 
  • General interior climate control 

From their mini split system which can work by itself, with another of its kind, or with a whole home unit. In a larger sense, you absolutely do not need a mini split for every roof of your household to keep it cool or warm at any time of the year. With a much larger home, you may need a few or use one along with a larger unit, but there is no good reason for a home or business owner to install this unit for each room. When you want an installation, call (240) 640-6578 today to schedule your appointment for RiteTemp A/C & Heating, LLC in Lanham, MD.

Are mini splits worth it?

With the knowledge that they are a very efficient system, mini splits can be worth the installation and use depending on your home. As all HVAC systems go, it depends on how you set up your system and how it operates. When it comes to the mini split, one system will not entirely cover a larger home, but when used in tandem with a larger unit or with other of the same kind can absolutely cool as well as heat the home to the homeowner’s preference. In either case, the system works best when using the zoning technique as it can cover around four rooms at most. The system also beats out the traditional window unit by both putting out more and lasting much longer. The mini split at the same time is similar to any other system, combined with: 

  • Fans
  • Window coverings
  • Responsible entrance use
  • Solid insulation 
  • Well kept interior

The system itself can easily cool the home by way of working in unison with the homeowner’s general responsible attempts to both save energy and keep their home maintained. While the system itself is smaller in comparison,  it can actually give the benefit of also making individual rooms cooler or warmer than the rest of the house when considering the zoning technique. It can definitely be said that the name and appearance can be deceiving as the mini split itself can be extremely useful to homeowners.

Do mini splits save money?

It should be noted that the efficiency of the mini split and how it can benefit the home has been mentioned, but whether if it saves the homeowner money or not. Take note of the SEER scoring and understand that this is a highly efficient system, if used with that mindset then it can indeed save a homeowner on the monthly electricity bill. As mentioned, how that is done is through more than one way, the first is that the homeowner will account for how large their home is and will plan accordingly when considering the mini split. While the system in question can cover four rooms, max, it should more so be used in conjunction with what compliments it. Whereas an area of 150 to 250 square feet is no problem for the model, an area of 1500 and more square feet will be more expensive to manage with just one mini split. However, when used with the proper habits that make a home naturally cooler like fans, insulation, and curtains then the system can more easily maintain your home without it being overworked.

mini split with a compressor

Can I install a mini split myself?

This is absolutely possible, but it is a difficult process due to it both being attached to the electrical system and most likely through your wall. Being a system that lasts around 20 years, you should consider trusting a professional HVAC provider like RiteTemp A/C & Heating, LLC to advantage you with a flawless installation process. Nonetheless, if you decide to endeavor on your own you will need to prepare an area on the interior for mounting and the exterior for the connection. While there are several models that can simply be installed via the inside and be mounted, the mini split with it’s outdoor half is superior due to it legitimately ridding your home of the heat it takes in when cooling. Understanding this, you will also probably need to prepare a breaker that could handle the energy output going through your home. Our best advice, we would recommend contacting RiteTemp A/C & Heating, LLC in Lanham, MD directly for the safest bet. Simply put, our experts can fill you in on exactly what you need in order to make the installation yourself. Call (240) 640-6578 today to schedule your appointment for a consultation or for mini split installation and repair.

Should I repair or replace my boiler?

boiler repair

Can a boiler be repaired?

Boilers are common for heating homes and can be used in a variety of ways like heating water as well as the home among other uses as well. For some, the heating application can be enigmatic and confusing to understand. However, when it comes to boiler repair and related services there tend to be necessary qualifiers that define whether a professional can work on the system at all. An example is that while one may assume a plumber would be called for such problems pertaining to a boiler, that is actually not the case. HVAC technicians are generally certified and licensed to take care of boiler repair because they are meant to heat the home in tandem with the rest of the HVAC system. Some common problems that effect boilers that HVAC technicians are called out to take care of can include:

  • Pilot light: The pilot light is a crucial part that starts the heating process in boilers, it is also a common occurrence for it to go out. 
  • Leaks: Another common problem in boilers is a leak, which can be caused by a wide array of reasons from a faulty pipe or bad sealing to corrosion on the interior of the boiler.
  • Does not produce heat: This tends to be a minor issue on most occasions, being a fuse or circuit breaker. It can also have to do with the water in the boiler. 
  • Kettling: A problem defined by obvious noises like whistling, bubbling, and popping. This can be easily fixed by an HVAC technician. 

While visible damage may warrant further results than repairs, each of these issues can be fixed by technicians. When you need boiler repair, why not trust a company specialized in the service. Reach out to RiteTemp A/C & Heating, LLC in Lanham, MD by calling (240) 640-6578 today to schedule your appointment.

How do I know if my boiler needs replacing?

Like many other things in your home, your boiler will need an eventual replacement. Fortunately, there are obvious signs for when this is needed and when discussed with a technician, can be an extremely simple process. While some of the signs may simply call for boiler repair, several of the problems together tend to lead to an obvious need for replacement. These signs include:

  • Energy efficiency falls below an A rating
  • Yellow flame from the pilot light
  • Constant leaks
  • Lack of heating
  • Corrosion 
  • The time it takes to heat is long

When it comes to the signs, the biggest outside of them is when your boiler hits the end of it’s working lifespan. The life expectancy for a boiler can possibly go up to 30 years depending on the level of care and use. However, it is normal for the general lifespan to be 10 to 15 years on average. The for the latter life expectancies is because it is not uncommon for boilers to be replaced because they go out of style and their parts are not on the market as a result. Either way, you can trust RiteTemp A/C & Heating, LLC to take care of the replacements.

Can I repair my own gas boiler?

It is possible for a homeowner or business owner to commit to their own boiler repair in a DIY fashion, but is highly recommended against. The reason being is that an HVAC technician has to be trained and certified to deal with boilers, especially when it comes to gas boilers. It should be noted on that point that working on gas boilers for payment without certification is illegal. While problems like leaks can be fixed, it is a sign of corrosion that should be checked out by a technician for a complete summary and reassurance of what is required. Whereas when it comes to an issue like a pilot light or lack of produced heat, a person can easily fix that with some instruction. We firmly recommend when it comes to leaks and kettling to call a technician to take care of the problem, like those found at RiteTemp A/C & Heating, LLC. 

boiler repair

Can I replace my own boiler?

While a person can commit to boiler repair by themselves, regardless of if we recommend against it, the same cannot be said for boiler replacement. Boilers are connected directly to the natural gas and water systems of your home, needing specific attention to the installation process that cannot be found in a person not trained in the process. Furthermore, if installed at all incorrectly, the system can end up causing several problems to the homeowner that will result in several expensive solutions. Technicians for that matter are called in for emergency repairs when it comes to boilers. This is due to that the leaking that comes from a boiler can cause damages to the property while the gas can be both dangerous to the home and to the homeowner. That is why when living in Lanham, MD you need a team of technicians that can easily deal with your boiler repair. Call RiteTemp A/C & Heating, LLC at (240) 640-6578 today to schedule your appointment.

What is a heat pump heating system?

What is a heat pump and how does it work?

Homeowners and business operators alike are always on the lookout for then next upgrade that will save them money without sacrificing comfort. A heat pump in that regard is the perfect addition to a home or business looking for efficient heating, ventilation, and air conditioning system. With its adaptable dual heating and cooling ability, recipients of a freshly installed heat pump enjoy a wealth of benefits that cannot be found in the traditional separated two systems. This process is acquired with parts such as:

  • Two thermostats
  • Compressor
  • Temperature and pressure release 

While the system works similarly to a normal air conditioner system in the sense that it evaporates the coolant and fans it through the ventilation system, a heat pump system has a similar process, but with an improvement. Instead of moving an air steam one way, the heat pump can move it both ways due to its capability to heat and cool a structure. That is where the two thermostats come in, to more accurately monitor the heating and cooling sections that are applied. When used in a similar method to your heating and cooling system, a heat pump is by and large a far more cost saving system for those looking to enhance their state of living. When needing heat pump services in Lanham, MD, trust HVAC experts that will get the job done right. RiteTemp A/C & Heating, LLC can help with all of your heat pump services with one call to (240) 640-6578 today to set up an appointment.

Do you really save money with a heat pump?

A heat pump system saves person money in a variety of ways, bringing the yearly charges electric bills down thanks to less energy going to one system instead of two. Not only that, but the amount of money you can save with a heat pump can be between thirty to forty percent more in electric costs per year. This is also due to that in many areas across the United States, electricity is cheaper than gas as a method of heating a home. There are disadvantages to the system as well in the form of a high upfront cost and lower efficiency at frigid temperatures of twenty degrees or negative seven celsius. However, the advantages of the system outweigh the negatives by:

  • Lower running cost than either traditional heating or cooling systems
  • Fewer occasions of maintenance
  • Lifespan of fifteen years
  • Less carbon emissions

As one can see, the heat pump system more than makes up for the upfront cost by saving a person on electric bills and general upkeep costs. In the long run, a heat pump system can effectively be maintained with a low amount of care that offers the owner a wide variety of ways to prolong its life span without taking too strenuous action.

How big of a heat pump do I need?

With any HVAC system, the measuring out of a home for the purpose of which size system will get the job done is done through measuring in square feet. While the weight of the system is the general way of saying which will be used, a one ton system for example will cover four hundred square feet. While an HVAC professional will measure out the home when tasked with installation, it can be a good idea to understand how the system works. Hight of each room does play a factor in the decision making process as well. It will also depend on how a person’s ventilation system is set up or whether it needs to be installed or not. A well maintained ventilation system will more efficiently cover a home than one that is either falling apart or in disrepair. With that said, any HVAC system is far more efficient when clean and well cared for than one that has a build up of dust or lack of filters and cooling. The owner can legitimately feel the difference in their health and upon walking in a home when one is well maintained versus a poorly cared for system.

Why is my heat pump bill so high?

Just like regular heating, ventilation, and air conditioning systems, heat pump systems can fall victim to some of the same problems that can increase a person’s electric bill. As mentioned, something to keep in mind is that the heat pump is not as effective in frigid temperatures. However, there is a way around that deficiency by regularly regulating your home with the system. When fully shutting off your system and turning it back on, it will take longer than a normal electric or gas heater. Problems that occur similar to other systems do come in the form of filters, coolant, and a dirty coil. Filters and coils that are not well maintained block airflow through the buildup of particles such as dust. A lack of coolant in a system, both air conditioners and heat pump, only circulate the air but do not cool it in any regard. When it comes to maintaining your system, trust an HVAC provider to do the job in Lanham, MD. Call (240) 640-6578 to set up an appointment with RiteTemp A/C & Heating, LLC today.

How Often Should my HVAC System be Serviced?

working on HVAC maintenance

Caring For Your Home and Appliances

Anyone that owns a home knows how expensive HVAC services can get. Whether having someone look at the air conditioner or the heater, the cost to repair those appliances can get very expensive, very quickly. It may sound absurd to say, but the best way to avoid costly services is to actually invest in regular maintenance. It sounds like we’re saying spend money to save money, but that’s not the case. What we at RiteTemp A/C & Heating, LLC are saying is that in order to preserve your HVAC system, you need to invest in yearly maintenance service. Doing so will allow your whole system to operate more efficiently, be safer, and be more reliable in the long run. To learn more about HVAC maintenance for your Lanham, MD appliance, give our team a call at (240) 640-6578.

coolant for HVAC maintenance check

What is HVAC Maintenance?

Taking care of and maintaining your HVAC system can feel like an unnecessary and additional waste of time. It can seem tempting to just change the filters, keep certain areas clear of debris and call it a day. But there is so much more to HVAC maintenance. Believe it or not, maintaining your heating, ventilation, and air conditioning system is extremely important. HVAC maintenance and repairs help to guarantee a system that not only operates efficiently but one that is safe and healthy. These are high-demand appliances that require regular attention. You should schedule maintenance services at least once a year or, if possible, twice a year. All HVAC systems need to be checked at least once a year, but it is recommended to have them serviced twice a year: once in the spring and once again in the fall.

Why twice a year? Because you are likely going to use your HVAC system all year long, having it checked twice a year will allow for enough time to catch potential problems. Choosing to do this during the spring and fall is just a personal preference. It won’t be too hot or too cold for your HVAC technician and if there is something wrong, the temperatures shouldn’t be so drastic that you are uncomfortable. That in mind, how much is HVAC maintenance? The price will vary, but on average, most homeowners will pay somewhere between $150 and $300 for maintenance services. Many HVAC companies do offer maintenance plans that allow you make monthly or annual payments with guaranteed service appointments. These are considered great investments because you are getting that guaranteed service for a set price. 

HVAC Maintenance Checklist

You still may be wondering why HVAC maintenance is important, which is understandable. Taking care of your appliance will ensure that it operates more efficiently. In turn, this will mean your energy bills should be lower because it’s not having to over compensate for dust or debris build up. If you have a gas powered HVAC system, maintenance will guarantee an appliance that operates safely and efficiently. So is HVAC maintenance worth it? Yes, it absolutely is! Making sure your whole system is efficient and operational will allow you to reap a number of benefits. So what do you need to do? As mentioned, it’s ideal to have your HVAC system maintained twice a year. Here is a general breakdown of things your technician will do in the spring and fall. 

Spring Checklist

Spring Checklist

  • Clean/Replace filters
  • Clean evaporator and condenser coils
  • Clear leaves and debris from around unit
  • Check belts and pulleys
  • Check refrigerant levels
  • Test thermostats and controls
  • Check electrical connections
  • Check fan, blower, blades, and motor

Fall Checklist

Fall Checklist

  • Replace filters on heater
  • Check ignition burner
  • Examine heat assembly and heating elements
  • Test gas line for leaks or breaks
  • Check gas pressure
  • Check the pulleys and belts
  • Lubricate belts, motors, bearings, and other moving parts
  • Check fan and blower mechanisms
  • Inspect heat pump
  • Test thermostats and controls
  • Check any electrical connections

Frequently Asked Questions

  • How often should HVAC be maintenance?
    • Your HVAC system needs to be serviced at least once a year. Ideally, you’ll have two scheduled maintenance sessions: once in the spring and once in the fall. However, that is not always possible, so once a year is usually what is recommended.
  • Does HVAC need maintenance?
    • Yes, your heating, ventilation, and air conditioner need to be serviced. This is an appliance you are using just about every single day, so it needs to be serviced and maintained as often as possible. Ideally, you will have it set up to serviced twice a year. 
  • How much does HVAC maintenance cost?
    • The final cost will depend on a variety of things. Maintenance costs can be as low as $15 a month and range all the way up to $300 per year. It really depends on the type of maintenance package you sign up for or whatever you choose to do. 
  • Are HVAC maintenance contracts worth the money?
    • That is really up to you and what the contract is offering. In most instances, these contracts are worth the money. They offer a wide variety of services that will be beneficial and relevant to your needs. However, the cost is usually what deters homeowners, because it can be hard to justify $150-$500 on maintenance plans.
HVAC maintenance

Schedule an Appointment for HVAC Maintenance Today!

When you are ready for HVAC maintenance in Lanham, MD, connect with the experts at RiteTemp A/C & Heating, LLC. We are here to help you. Call us at (240) 640-6578 to get started. 

What is an Air Conditioning Emergency?

working on emergency ac repair

Maintaining Your Home

There is quite possibly no worse feeling than coming back to a home that isn’t cool. When the weather heats up, we depend on our air conditioners to significantly cool and maintain the temperatures in our homes. Because of this, things can go wrong and serious emergencies can happen. Whether you need an inspection or general maintenance, you can rely on the experts at RiteTemp A/C & Heating, LLC for all your air conditioner needs. Even when you need emergency ac repair in Lanham, MD, contact us. Dial (240) 640-6578 to get started.

unit needing emergency ac repair

Emergency AC Repair Signs to Look For

So, what is an AC emergency? It can be easy to assume that anything and everything is an emergency when it comes to your AC system. Especially when the weather heats up and you aren’t feeling the cool air. That in mind, there are a few things that contractors consider an emergency. We’ve listed a few examples for you here. 

  • Crashing: Nothing seems worse than an AC system that won’t start. If you notice that it is having trouble starting or staying on, there could be a number of things wrong. Check the circuit breakers first, then contact a contractor to inspect your system. 
  • Short Cycling: Short cycling happens when your AC system will turn on for a few minutes, then almost immediately turn off. This happens because there is usually a miscommunication between the thermostat and the AC settings. 
  • Electrical Failures: A major sign that something is wrong is when your AC system is using more electricity than necessary. You’ll notice this if it is tripping circuits, the lights dim, or creating a burning smell. If you start to notice any of these signs, contact a technician immediately to check the problem. 
  • Strange Noises: If your AC system is making loud, grinding sounds as it starts up or stops, something may be wrong with a fan or motor. Most likely there isn’t enough lubrication, which a technician can easily correct for you. 
  • Strange Smells: No matter what, when you are noticing strange or unwanted smells throughout your home, it’s important to have it looked at. If you are noticing smells when your AC system kicks on, contact a technician to get started on an inspection.

If you feel your AC system is behaving in any way similar to the ways mentioned above, don’t attempt to search for emergency AC repair how-to tutorials. Instead, rely on the experts for professional services. Doing so will ensure a safe process as well as a safe home. There are a lot of intricate parts to an air conditioner and even to an HVAC system as a whole. Trusting a professional technician with your AC system is like trusting a professional contractor for a skylight repair.

Advantages of Emergency AC Repairs

Perhaps the number one advantage to investing in emergency repairs is safety. Doing so can ensure that your home, space, or property of any kind is well-kept and safe. Many may not be aware of the fact that air conditioner or furnace problems can be more than just a lack of warm or cool air. These problems can affect the indoor air quality of your property, resulting in asthma and other respiratory problems. To avoid them, regular maintenance is suggested, but sometimes accidents do happen. Rather than waiting for obvious signs, it’s best to contact a technician as soon as possible. They can examine your system to determine if you need repairs or if a complete boiler replacement is the better option. 

We understand that a main reason property owners don’t invest in repair services is the cost. There are no two ways about it, emergency AC repair costs can get expensive fast. Especially since emergencies happen at seemingly inconvenient times. Don’t wait to have emergencies fixed or repaired because of money. You can rely on trusted companies like RiteTemp A/C & Heating, LLC to provide reasonable prices for necessary services.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • How much does emergency AC repair cost?
    • It really depends on who you are working with. Some contractors may charge a labor fee while others may not. Generally, many contractors will have a base fee between $50 and $100. Emergencies may cost more if they are happening after hours. 
  • Why is my air conditioner not working?
    • There are a number of reasons why your air conditioner may not be working. It could be the thermostat, low freon, failed blower fans, or more. In any case, it could be an emergency that requires expert attention.
  • How often should I get my air conditioner serviced?
    • Generally speaking, your HVAC system should be inspected at least once a year. Ideally, your air conditioner should be checked in the spring while your furnace or boiler should be checked in the fall. 
  • What are considered emergency repairs?
    • A lack of air flow, the smell of gas, a faulty thermostat, and more. Any of these could be the result of other problems that require immediate or emergency assistance.
emergency ac repair

Connect With Us Today

For help with emergency AC repair in Lanham, MD, look no further than RiteTemp A/C & Heating, LLC. We are here to help you with all your air conditioner and heater needs. Call us at (240) 640-6578 to set up an appointment. 

How Does Indoor Air Quality Effect Our Health?

Air Conditioner Blowing Air Against Background of Clear Blue Sky

Learn More About Indoor Air Quality

Indoor air quality is known to have direct effects on a person’s mental and physical health. It can also greatly affect how comfortable people inside the building are. When people take the time to educate themselves about indoor air quality, and the effects that it can have, they are taking the time to ensure that everyone in the building is happy and healthy. Indoor air quality is known to have direct effects on a person’s mental and physical health. It can also greatly affect how comfortable people inside the building are. When people take the time to educate themselves about indoor air quality, and the effects that it can have, they are taking the time to ensure that everyone in the building is happy and healthy.

What Are the Four Major Indoor Air Pollutants?

There are many indoor air pollutants, but there are four that occur more often than any other indoor air pollutants. Carbon monoxide is one of the most common indoor pollutants. Often, this gas is not detected until it is too late because it does not have an odor. Radon is another gas that does not have a smell, and it is ranked number two on the list. It can be found everywhere, but when the levels of radon get too high, it can be very dangerous. Nitrogen dioxide is a gas that can be detected by odor and is dangerous. In small doses, it can only cause mild irritation, but the higher the dose a person inhales the more damage it can do. Secondhand smoke is the fourth most common indoor air pollutant. When individuals are exposed to too much second-hand smoke, it can cause the same consequences as smoking.

How Can I Improve Indoor Air Quality?

There are several things that homeowners can do that are both budget-friendly and are known to improve indoor air quality. They include:

  • Clean and dust frequently to reduce dust and pet dander
  • Open windows and doors to circulate fresh air
  • Invest in an air purifier to help eliminate pollutants from the home
  • Do not smoke indoors
  • Have professionals test the indoor air quality, and make improvements in areas of concern
  • Eliminate pollutants when possible
  • Increase natural light to prevent mold 

Can You Test Air Quality in Your Home?

There are tools on the market that can help homeowners check for certain things in the air. For example, an air quality monitor will determine levels of dust and other pollutants in the air. Carbon monoxide detectors can be used to notify homeowners if there is too much carbon monoxide in the home, too. For a thorough evaluation, a professional should be called.

What Are the Symptoms of Bad Air Quality In Your Home?

If the air quality inside the home is bad, it can cause several symptoms. It is important to keep in mind that the symptoms are often different depending on the cause of poor air quality. For example, second-hand smoke will cause different symptoms than carbon monoxide. For the most part, homeowners should watch out for these symptoms:

  • Unable to breath
  • More congestion than usual
  • Dizziness
  • Headache
  • Sudden fatigue
  • Flu-like symptoms that are not related to illness
  • Dry throat and eyes
  • Dry, itchy skin
  • Severe allergies

While these symptoms may seem normal for some people, it does not hurt to check the air quality if they are present. It is important to have a professional test for air quality if these symptoms are suddenly present.

Can Bad Air Quality Cause Dizziness?

Yes, bad air quality can cause dizziness. Often, this is from too many pollutants in the air, or from specific pollutants, such as carbon monoxide. Too much carbon monoxide in the air is known for causing dizziness.

Indoor Air Quality in Buildings

Indoor air quality in buildings refers to the number of pollutants in the air of the building. This has a direct effect on the people that are in the building, even if they are only inside the building for part of a day. For example, people that work in a building for eight hours will still be impacted by poor air quality.

Indoor Air Quality and Health

Good air quality remains vital for maintaining a person’s health. If the air quality is poor, children are more like to become ill from various conditions, such as strep throat and ear infections. Individuals of all ages can suffer from dry skin, headaches, dizziness and other conditions that can make them feel ill.

Indoor Air Quality and Productivity

Because a person does not feel well when they are in an environment with poor air quality, they are not as productive. This can greatly affect any business, meaning that it would be cost-effective to treat problems that are causing poor air quality. Often, when air quality improves, improved productivity follows.

Hand Checking List of Common Dangerous Domestic Pollutants

Indoor Air Quality Benefits

When a building has spectacular indoor air quality, people will enjoy the following benefits:

  • Improved health
  • Fewer symptoms from asthma and other health conditions
  • Improved mood
  • Improved productivity
  • Sleeping better
  • Less congestion
  • Allergy sufferers can finally find relief

These are just a few of the specific benefits that go hand in hand with improved indoor air quality. Overall, people will enjoy an improved state of being thanks to their improved physical and mental health.

If you’re interested in indoor air quality in Lanham, MD call (240) 640-6578 with RiteTemp A/C & Heating, LLC.