Your heating and cooling system is a major part of your home and a big investment. Every day you count on it to run smoothly, and when it doesn’t, the concern over the cost and inconvenience of someone coming out to fix it is real. The HVAC contractor you hire should be an ally, not an adversary, but that means knowing how to choose the right person and company for the job. Rheem Pro Partner assists homeowners in Colorado and Wyoming and we pride ourselves on providing exceptional service. Regardless of who you hire, however, it’s important to know what to look for when choosing someone to work on your system.
Here’s what you should ask every HVAC technician before hiring them:
1. Are you licensed and insured?
Most states require that HVAC technicians are licensed. Ask for the license number and look it up with through the state licensing board. Be sure to also see proof of insurance and make sure it is current. The contractor should have both liability and worker’s compensation insurance. This protects you in case something goes wrong on the job.
2. How much experience do you have in the industry?
Hiring someone who has been in the business for a long time can give you added peace of mind. As with most trades, an experienced HVAC technician has likely encountered a number of problem situations and learned how to prevent them or handle them efficiently if they happen again. In addition to asking how much experience they have, ask how they gained their experience. Have they worked on your specific brand or type of system? What kind of ongoing training have they had? Are they NATE (North American Technician Excellence) certified?
3. Can you provide references from past customers?
Ask for references and then follow up with them to find out how the technician works. Was the technician courteous, respectful and professional? Was the work was done in a timely manner? Did he leave a mess? Were the details of the job, including all costs, explained well up front and given in writing? Would the reference hire this person/company again?
4. How do refunds, warranties and guarantees work?
If your current system is still under warranty, the technician should follow that warranty. If there is no longer a warranty, find out what guarantee the technician provides for the work. Ask about the refund policy, and what will be done if the equipment doesn’t work after the repair or installation.
5. Can you provide a written quote (and is it free)?
As a best practice, most HVAC technicians will provide a written quote that outlines the responsibilities of both the contractor and the customer. This should be done after the technician has inspected your equipment. Ask in advance if the initial inspection and quote is free.
Reputable contractors will gladly show you their credentials, provide references and answer your questions. Don’t be afraid to ask.
Rheem Pro Partner has experienced, professional, NATE-certified technicians serving Colorado and Wyoming. Contact us for all your HVAC needs today!
The best thing about air conditioning is how it keeps you cool and comfortable even on the hottest days. The worst thing is how much it can cost to operate. According to Energy Star, the average American household spends $2,000 a year on energy bills. Here are some simple steps you can take that will save money by making your air conditioner more efficient. Here in Colorado and Wyoming, air conditioning is more than a luxury in the heat of summer. Rheem Pro Partner is pleased to share these tips to help you keep your cool!
1. Close the blinds and curtains
2. Clean or replace the air filter regularly
3. Get an annual check-up
4. Use a programmable or smart thermostat
5. Use fans to promote better air flow
6. Increase the temperature
An air conditioner will run at optimal performance at 78 degrees — cool enough for you to feel comfortable, but not so low that your air conditioner has to work overtime.
7. Make sure your home is sealed and insulated well
8. Keep your vents clean
9. Check your ductwork for leaks
Make sure your air conditioner is operating most efficiently. For more information, contact a Rheem Pro Partner today!
If your air conditioner or furnace isn’t working properly, the issue could be with the thermostat. Before scheduling a service call, there are several ways you can troubleshoot the problem to determine if this is the case, and even resolve it on your own. Of course, if you need assistance in Colorado or Wyoming, Rheem Pro Partner is always available to answer your questions and provide help.
1. Check the batteries
Electronic thermostats are generally very reliable, so the issue could be as simple as old batteries. Replace the batteries when the low-power light comes on and this may well get your system functioning properly again.
2. Check for loose wires
Wires can come loose or not have a proper connection. Turn off the power and carefully remove the thermostat cover to check the connections. Tighten any loose screw terminals. If a wire is loose, place it back on the terminal clamp and tighten the screw.
3. Check for dirty components
Dust and dirt can get inside the thermostat and cause it to malfunction. With the power off, remove the thermostat cover and gently clean the components, especially the bimetallic coil and the switch contact surfaces. Dust inside with a soft brush. Clean the contacts by rubbing a slip of paper between them.
4. Check the anticipator
In mechanical thermostats, the anticipator controls how often the furnace or air conditioner cycles on and off. If yours is cycling too frequently or not frequently enough, the anticipator — a flat metal pointer on a disc — could be in need of a slight adjustment. Remove the cover and move the pointer one calibration mark closer to the word “longer” on the disc if the cycle is too frequent, or one calibration mark away from the word “longer” if it isn’t cycling often enough. In a few hours, you will know if the problem has been resolved.
5. Check the circuit breaker/fuse
The thermostat may have lost power due to a flipped circuit breaker or blown fuse. Test the circuit breaker or replace the fuse to resolve the problem. If this happens repeatedly, call your HVAC professional to see if there is a bigger problem causing the overload.
In Colorado and Wyoming, contact a Rheem Pro Partner for all your air conditioner and furnace needs! We’re happy to answer your questions.
Regular maintenance keeps your air conditioner functioning properly, protects your investment and ensures that your home will be cool and comfortable throughout the warmest months of the year. Colorado and Wyoming homeowners can rely on Rheem Pro Partner for professional maintenance, but here are five simple ways you can extend the life of your air conditioner.
1. Regularly replace the air conditioner filter
Making sure your air conditioner has a clean filter is, perhaps, the simplest and most cost effective way to keep your system working efficiently and effectively. The filter prevents dust, dirt and debris from clogging the condenser and damaging the equipment. When the filter is dirty, the air conditioner has to work harder to cool your home, using more energy for the same or worse result. Your energy costs go up and your air conditioner wears out faster, not only increasing operating costs, but incurring costs for repairs and possibly for a replacement sooner than necessary. Check your filter once a month. Replace it when necessary to save 5-10% on your energy costs and for your peace of mind.
2. Clean and inspect your home’s ductwork
Over time, through normal operation, the ducts and registers in your home become dusty and dirty — and maybe even clogged. This impedes the performance of your air conditioner, causing it to work harder to cool your home. If they are very dirty, have your ducts professionally cleaned.
3. Make sure your home is properly sealed and insulated
Cracks, leaks and insufficient insulation waste energy and increase your energy costs. Check around doors and windows for leaks. Seal any cracks or gaps with caulk or weatherstripping.
4. Don’t overwork your system
Overuse will shorten the lifespan of your air conditioner. Install a programmable thermostat to easily control when the air conditioner turns on and off, so it is not running when no one is home or at night when the outside air is cooler. Opening windows to take advantage of natural breezes during these times allows your air conditioner to rest.
5. Have your air conditioner inspected and maintained each year.
Even with the other steps that you can do yourself, annual professional maintenance is necessary to keep your air conditioner performing efficiently and effectively. Your HVAC professional can prevent problems and address any issues before they become costly. Keeping your air conditioner in good shape each year will keep it working well year after year, extending the life of your system and saving you money in the process.
Contact a Rheem Pro Partner to schedule your maintenance appointment today!
Are you ready to install a cooling system in your home? A mini-split air conditioning system may be just what you need. Also known as a ductless air conditioning system, this type of cooling offers many advantages over traditional central air conditioners. We particularly like Samsung for its high energy efficiency and strong performance. Homes in Colorado and Wyoming can benefit from a Samsung Pearl or Whisper mini-split system. Here’s what you need to know.
How Mini-Split Systems Work
The mini-split system has an outdoor condensing/compression unit which applies pressure to the refrigerant and disperses it to the units strategically placed inside the home for more efficient energy usage. Having the condenser outside means quieter operation inside.
Each indoor unit has an air handler, a blower and an evaporator coil. The indoor units are typically placed where they are most needed. This adds to the efficiency of this type of system because no energy is being wasted to cool areas of your home that don’t need air conditioning. Another advantage is the ability to place the units out of the way, even in walls or ceilings.
Mini-Split System Options
Mini-splits offer several ways to customize the system for your home.
Single-zone / multi-zone condenser unit
A single-zone unit cools one room or zone, while a multi-zone unit can work in a number of rooms or zones. Your HVAC professional can help you determine the right configuration for your home.
In situations where space is an issue, a ceiling cassette is an excellent option. Fan coils are mounted in the ceiling and disperse air without taking up space in the room.
Control your system from an easily accessible central location.
Mini-splits work as both cooling and heating systems. A heat pump transfers heat from one place to another.
Common Applications of Mini-Splits
Mini-splits are well-suited to areas where ductwork is not available or would be too costly to install. Room additions are a perfect example of this. Similarly, basement or garage that have been converted to living space can benefit from mini-splits. In larger homes with smaller central air conditioning systems, mini-splits are a smart way to supplement the ducted system. And, of course, mini-splits can easily be incorporated into new construction.
Benefits of Ductless Cooling
Variety of features
Mini-splits offer flexibility that makes them ideal for many homes and applications, as well as convenient features for simple, efficient operation, such as remote controls for easy access, programmable timers save energy, adjustable airflow to optimize room temperature, washable filters for easy maintenance, and heat pumps for heating in winter months.
Multiple operating modes
Efficiency can be further enhanced with sleep mode and fan-only mode.
Increased energy efficiency
Traditional air duct systems can lose up to 30% of energy due to faulty construction and leaks. Mini-splits avoid that problem and also allow you greater control over which areas of your home are being cooled and when. All this means lower energy bills and less wasted energy.
Improved air quality
Mini-splits are cleaner to operate, and easier to clean and maintain than traditional ducted systems.
Find out if mini-splits are right for your home. Contact a Rheem Pro Partner today to learn more about Samsung mini-splits.
The summer is about to heat up and you may already be switching from heat to air conditioning. However, if your air conditioner was not working as well as you would have liked last year, you may be considering buying a new one. Before you panic at having to make a large investment, let us relieve you of some of the sticker shock. Today’s technology has vastly improved both the function and efficiency, so owning and operating a new air conditioner may be more affordable than you think.
Check out these 5 ways to save money on a new air conditioner.
1. Look for financing options.
Many companies offer financing options that allow you to break up the purchase price into monthly payments. This may help you afford more efficient equipment that will save you even more money on energy costs over the life of the unit.
2. Choose high efficiency equipment.
A general rule of thumb is to purchase the most efficient air conditioner you can afford, because that efficiency will pay off over the life of the system. Look for Energy Star ratings that often come with rebates and other incentives. Depending on the age and efficiency of your old unit, you may find that when you combine the cost of the new air conditioner with monthly savings, you are actually spending less.
3. Get the right size.
A reputable contractor will accurately measure the size of the unit your home needs for optimal performance based on multiple measurements and factors — not just square footage. This is key to ensuring that your air conditioner will perform properly and without excessive wear and tear. Improperly sized air conditioners will work harder, use more energy and break down sooner.
4. Place the outside unit on the north or east side of the house.
Locating the unit out of direct sunlight, but with plenty of room for air to flow freely (about 2 feet on each side and 4 feet of clearance on the top). This will prevent debris from creating clogs and causing mechanical failures, and also ensures that a sufficient supply of fresh air is reaching the unit. Keep plants and shrubs neatly trimmed and make sure the area remains free of leaves and other debris.
5. Maintain the AC on a regular basis.
Protect your investment with regular maintenance every year and call your HVAC professional when issues arise. This will go a long way toward keeping your new air conditioner in great shape for many years to come, so you won’t have to replace it any time soon.
Rheem Pro Partner is ready to help you find the perfect air conditioner for your home and budget. Contact us today!
Turning on the faucet and having clean, safe hot and cold water is something most of us take for granted. If you are experiencing any of these issues, it might be time to consider a replacement for your water heater before there is a real problem.
1. Age of the water heater
2. Rusty water
Rusty water from the hot water faucet is an indication that the water heater is rusting on the inside and may soon develop a leak. It is possible that the rust is coming from galvanized pipes. A simple test is to drain water from the tank into a bucket. Do this a few times. If by the third bucketful the water is still rusty, it is the water heater and not the pipes.
3. Rumbling and noises
Over time, sediment builds up in the bottom of the tank and with repeated heating that sediment begins to harden. The two outcomes of this are: 1) the water heater becomes less efficient, requiring more energy to produce the same amount of hot water, and 2) the extra effort causes greater wear and tear on the system, including tiny holes. If you notice even small leaks around your water heater, it is probably time to replace it.
4. Metallic smell
A metallic smell or taste is another sign that the water heater is breaking down and should be replaced.
5. Leakage around the water heater
As the water heats, the metal in the tank expands and after many years tiny holes or fractures can develop allowing water to leak. Even just the detection of moisture or a small amount of water can indicate a leak. It is important, however, to check for other sources, such as the fittings or connections to the tank.
Don’t wait for your water heater to quit completely or cause a major leak. If you have any concerns, contact a Rheem Pro Partner today to assess the condition of your water heater.
Air conditioning has become a necessity more than a luxury. It keeps you comfortable in extreme temperatures and also keeps you healthy by maintaining your indoor air quality. If you are finding that your air conditioner no longer cools as well or as consistently as it used to, however, it may be time for an inspection to determine if repairs are needed or the unit is ready to be replaced.
Here are 5 common problems that occur with an older air conditioning system.
1. Slow performance
The first sign you may notice that your old air conditioner is feeling its age will likely be that it just doesn’t cool your home as quickly as it once did. As with all mechanical systems, over time wear and tear take a toll on your air conditioner’s performance. Even with regular maintenance, eventually it will break down beyond what is economically feasible to repair. When you first experience this, you may not need to replace your system right away, but you should begin looking into a replacement so you have time to consider your options, and budget for a new one.
2. Poor efficiency
Older air conditioners can begin to show damage to components that directly impact performance and efficiency such as the coil, the compressor and even the fan. This damage results in the air conditioner having to work harder to keep you comfortable and use much more energy to do so. Even without the deterioration of major components, however, an older air conditioning system (15 years old or more) will not work as efficiently as it once did, or as efficiently as a new, recently designed model. Advances in technology have greatly improved efficiency over the past decade.
3. High energy bills
As a result of poor efficiency, another sign you may begin to notice is a rise in the amount you pay for your energy bills each month. As your air conditioner has to work harder to cool your home, you will have to pay more to get the same performance (or perhaps even worse performance).
4. Unit requires additional refrigerant
The need to add refrigerant is a signal that there might be a coolant leak. Replacing refrigerant and repairing the leak can be costly, but the larger concern is that this indicates the compressor will soon fail.
5. Frequent repairs.
What You Can Do: To gauge the condition of your existing A/C, schedule an inspection with a Rheem Pro Partner HVAC technician today!
Spring is a welcome reprieve from the long Colorado winters — that is, unless you suffer from spring allergies. You don’t, however, have to suffer inside your home. For starters, you and your HVAC technician can provide relief by making sure the air filter, humidifier and air ducts (all key components that contribute to your indoor air quality) are in great shape.
Here are 8 solutions to alleviate spring allergies:
1. Change air filters every 30 days during peak usage months.
2. Clean hard and carpeted floor surfaces often and shake out or vacuum door mats.
3. Check the seals in all windows and doors, and re-seal where necessary.
4. Use a humidifier to balance humidity levels.
Humidity (the amount of water vapor in the air) varies by location, climate and time of year. High humidity contributes to the growth of mold and bacteria. Low humidity (overly dry air) contributes to dry, itchy skin, throat and nasal passages and can make you more susceptible to colds and flu. The level of humidity in your home is largely a personal preference and can be balanced with the use of a humidifier.
5. Install a whole-house air cleaner.
A whole-house air cleaner works with your HVAC system but goes beyond your HVAC air filters to remove contaminants from your air. Air cleaners trap particles as small as a human hair and work 24/7. They also prevent dust from building up, so you don’t have to clean as often.
6. Have your air ducts cleaned.
Dust and dirt (among other nasty things) can get trapped in your air ducts and contribute to poor indoor air quality. Have your ducts cleaned to prevent those particles from re-entering your living space.
7. Resist the urge to open doors and windows even on the nicest days!
Opening doors and windows lets in fresh air, but also allergens and dust along with it.
8. Have your home checked by an HVAC technician annually.
Your HVAC technician knows what to look for and can recommend the solutions that are right for your home.
Don’t suffer with spring allergies! Contact a Rheem Pro Partner today for indoor air quality assistance.
Spring is officially heading our way which means now is the perfect time to start thinking about your air conditioner. Regular air conditioner maintenance increases your system’s energy efficiency, which saves you money. Still not convinced it’s time for a tune-up? Consider these important reasons.
1. Maximize your air conditioner’s energy efficiency.
Yes, an efficient air conditioner uses less energy which saves money on utility bills. Keeping it running at peak efficiency, however, requires regular maintenance. Without it, your air conditioner could be working harder than it has to — running longer and using more energy to cool your home. Wasted energy is bad for the environment and bad for your wallet. Taking care of your system with annual tune-ups keeps it running smoothly, and the cost will be recouped in lower energy bills and fewer repairs down the road.
2. Extend the life of your air conditioner.
Even newer, high efficiency units can break down if they aren’t properly maintained. Regular maintenance will extend the life of the unit. Enjoy cool, comfortable temperatures in your home all season long, and year after year.
3. Maintain your warranty.
For a large investment, such as an air conditioner, your warranty provides some peace of mind that you won’t face a costly repair. However, many manufacturers today require regular maintenance to keep the warranty in force. Don’t take a chance. Protect your investment by scheduling a maintenance call.
4. Achieve more consistent cooling.
Comfort is the main reason to install a central air conditioner and one of the first signs of trouble is inconsistent cooling. Finding that your home doesn’t stay at the proper temperature as easily as it used to or that certain areas of your home don’t cool at all are problems that you can avoid with regular maintenance.
5. Have fewer repairs.
Your A/C professional is trained to spot and correct small problems long before they advance to costly repairs or even replacement.
6. Better air quality.
These days our homes are more tightly sealed for energy efficiency, but that means we are potentially more susceptible to indoor air pollution. Our HVAC systems are a key factor in ensuring that the air we breathe in our homes is clean and safe. During the maintenance check, your HVAC professional will replace all the air filters and make sure that your system is clean and safe.
7. Save money in the long run.
Let’s recap: Lower cooling costs each summer, fewer repairs, and keeping your warranty in full force should you need it, all add up to significant savings over the life of your air conditioner. In addition, proper maintenance will extend that life so you won’t have to replace it sooner than necessary. Tune-ups are part of the cost of owning and operating an air conditioner, but when you factor in the money you will save over time, they are actually saving you money!
8. Peace of mind.
Chances are, your life is busy enough without having to be concerned that your air conditioner is functioning properly and safely. The simplest, most economical way to have worry-free service from your air conditioner each year is to have your system professionally serviced and inspected before you are ready to use it.