What to Do When Your HVAC Unit is Making Loud Noises

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What to Do When Your HVAC Unit is Making Loud Noises

Smoothly operating furnaces and air conditioners are fairly quiet, and the noise they do emit is usually consistent and unobtrusive. Consequently, when you hear noises that are loud, grating or out of the ordinary, it could be a sign that something has gone wrong.

Here are six common sounds that could indicate trouble with your HVAC equipment …

  1. A squealing blower motor

A bad belt may be the culprit, and if it is that’s something you can replace yourself (and for a low cost). If fraying or stretching is evident replace the belt quickly, since it could break at any moment.

Another possible source of the noise could be a lack of lubricant, and your blower motor should have ports if you need to apply more oil. Make sure you purchase a motor oil that is appropriate for use with HVAC equipment, and if you aren’t sure what that might be ask your HVAC contractor for advice.

  1. Loud banging, thumping or rattling

These sounds may indicate that something is coming loose in the blower assembly or motor. If so this is not something you can fix yourself, and even if you spot the unattached component you should still have a technician come and take a look.

Sometimes, rattling sounds can come from loose fasteners or screws somewhere in your HVAC system. You can check for this by inspecting and testing everything, and if you find anything loose you can tighten or re-fasten it yourself.

  1. Clicking sounds from the compressor or control panel

If these sounds originate from the outdoor compressor or indoor control panel, it could mean a relay is shot, or that an electric control is malfunctioning and causing the relay to work improperly. Either way, an HVAC technician can provide definitive answers.

If the clicking is confined to the outdoor unit of an air conditioner, it could be that the capacitor is about to fail. This could ultimately lead to compressor breakdown, and you need to summon a trained technician to inspect your HVAC system if you have reason to believe this could be the problem.

  1. Humming noises from the outdoor unit

If an outdoor unit is emitting humming sounds, it means the capacitor has failed but the compressor is still trying to do its work. This will burn out the compressor in short order, and you must shut the unit down completely if a clicking sound has turned to humming.

Fortunately, the capacitor for the compressor is a relatively inexpensive part, and your HVAC contractor can send an expert out to perform the installation after selling you the new capacitor.

  1. High-pitched whistling sounds

Whistling or screaming sounds emerging from a condenser (the outdoor section of your air conditioner) could be a sign of impending doom. It could mean that refrigerant is leaking, or that some other mechanical failure is causing a hazardous buildup of pressure inside the unit.

Needless to say, if you hear such noises you should shut the air conditioner off immediately, and contact your HVAC contractor right away since this could be a dangerous situation.

  1. The screeching of metal against metal

Metal-on-metal screeching sounds could indicate a bent, broken, or obstructed fan blade, if the noise is coming from the outdoor half of the air conditioner. After you’ve shut the HVAC system off, check the fan to see if there are obstructions, such as a branch or stick or other wind-blown item that may have fallen in through the fan’s grill, and if you find anything remove it.

Should metal-on-metal sounds come from a furnace or the indoor half of the air conditioner, it could mean that something is loose or broken, in which case you’ll need to summon a trained technician to handle the inspection and repairs.

Troubleshooting is Fine, but Proceed with Caution

In general, troubleshooting is perfectly fine if the source of the trouble is visible, simple to repair, and doesn’t involve any type of electrical or gas work. If you have any doubts, though, or lack the confidence necessary for troubleshooting, don’t be afraid to call your HVAC contractor to ask for professional assistance.

It never hurts to check things first on your own, but once you identify the reason for the unwanted noise you must take action quickly, before your furnace or air conditioner suffers permanent and irreplaceable damage.

Whether your HVAC noise problems are large or small, or come from an obvious source or are completely mysterious, Rheem Pro Partner in Colorado and Wyoming can diagnose the problem and come up with a solution. Contact us today and tell us what you’re hearing, and if there’s anything you can do about it we’ll let you know—and if there isn’t, well be happy to handle it for you.

7 Ways to Extend the Life of Your Air Conditioner

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7 Ways to Extend the Life of Your Air Conditioner

How many years your air conditioner will last depends a lot on how well you take care of it. With a little attention and maintenance, such as regularly changing the air filter and utilizing a programmable thermostat, you can maximize the life of your air conditioning unit. The simple steps listed below will save you money by lowering your energy costs and minimizing repairs as well as by delaying the need for a replacement.

To help extend the life of your air conditioning unit, here are a few things you can do:

1. Schedule regular maintenance

A trained HVAC technician is your first line of defense when it comes to protecting and maintaining your air conditioner. During a service visit before the start of each cooling season, the technician will thoroughly clean the unit and make repairs or adjustments as needed. Doing so will prevent costly repairs down the road, and keep your system running as efficiently as possible for as long as possible.

2. Change the air filter on a regular basis

The air filter keeps your air conditioner (and your home) clean by preventing dust and debris from building up inside and ensuring sufficient airflow. This prevents breakdowns and extends the life of your system. Filters also help your unit operate at maximum efficiency, so your energy bills stay as low as possible. Air filters do get dirty, however, and once that happens they can no longer do their job. Check the filter periodically to make sure it isn’t clogged and change it every 30-60 days as needed to keep your air conditioner running smoothly.

3. Keep the outdoor unit clean and clear of debris

While the air filter keeps the indoor unit clean, keeping the outdoor unit clean is equally important to prevent mechanical problems. The area directly around the unit should be free of any debris, such as leaves, that can get inside. Maintain sufficient clear space around the unit so it can intake and exhaust air properly.  Don’t plant shrubs too close, or stack things on or against the unit.

4. Invest in a programmable thermostat

A programmable thermostat makes it easy to adjust the temperature when you’re away or at night so that your air conditioner is not running when you don’t need it. With preprogrammed or custom settings, you can set it once to match your schedule to save energy, money and wear-and-tear on your air conditioner.

5. Insulate doors and windows

Air leaks that allow warm air in and let cool air escape make your air conditioner work harder than necessary to maintain a comfortable temperature in your home. This wastes energy, raises your energy bills and shortens the life of your system. Check the caulking and weatherstripping around doors and windows every year and repair or replace it as needed.

6. Install blinds and curtains

The sun coming through uncovered windows can quickly heat up your home and keep your air conditioner running. Insulated or even non-insulated blinds and curtains, particularly on windows that get direct sunlight, will help keep your home cool and give your air conditioner a break.

7. Allow air to circulate

Proper airflow is necessary for your air conditioner to work efficiently. Make sure air vents are clear and unobstructed to allow air to circulate freely throughout your home.

For help with all your air conditioning needs, contact Rheem Pro Partner in Colorado and Wyoming today!

3 Signs Your Air Conditioner May Be on it’s Way Out

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3 Signs Your Air Conditioner May Be on it's Way Out

On a hot summer day, an air conditioner can be a true lifesaver, as long as it’s working properly. The main way to ensure that your system will keep you cool all summer long, and save money in the long run, is to schedule a professional tune-up at the start of the season. In addition, however, you can avoid an unpleasant surprise by taking a moment to understand the warning signs that your air conditioner may be failing and the steps you can take to prevent a breakdown before it happens.

Here are five signs of a potential problem with your air conditioner:

1. Increased energy bills

An air conditioner that works harder to achieve the proper temperature uses more energy. If your energy bills are increasing and your home takes longer to cool, this could indicate that your system is failing.

2. The air coming from the vents isn’t cold

The air blowing through the vents should be consistently cool. If you notice that it is no longer as cold as when your system was new, or, of course, if it’s not cold at all, have your system checked out by a professional. The problem could be a simple fix, or something more serious.

3. Weak airflow from your vents

Limited airflow could indicate an issue with the compressor. It may also mean that your air ducts are dirty. Dust and debris can build up in the ducts and prevent air from flowing properly. Leaks in the ducts also prevent the conditioned air from reaching your home’s living spaces. (Ask us about Aeroseal, a patented process that thoroughly and economically seals holes and cracks in air ducts.)

4. Strange noises coming from the AC unit

Air conditioners are designed to run quietly. Squealing, grinding or grating sounds are a clear indication of a malfunction. Have a technician check out any unusual noises as soon as possible. Correcting the problem early can prevent a costly breakdown later on.

5. Leakage around the air conditioning unit

Any leaks should be addressed immediately. Water pooling around the unit may be caused by a clogged or broken drain tube. The presence of water or moisture can lead to mold growth. Water dripping inside the unit may come from ice melting. If the drip pan is full, or you hear chunks of ice falling, call your HVAC technician right away. Either of these can cause significant damage to your air conditioner. A refrigerant leak also requires immediate attention. Refrigerant leaks pose serious health risks and can also indicate a major problem with your system.

Any of these signs warrant a service call. For increased peace of mind, however, be sure to schedule an annual tune-up by a licensed HVAC technician. Doing so will greatly diminish the likelihood of emergency repairs and will also extend the life of your air conditioner and save money on energy costs.

Contact Rheem Pro Partner today for all your air conditioning needs. We proudly serve homes throughout Colorado and Wyoming.

5 Reasons to Invest in Regular HVAC Maintenance

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5 Reasons to Invest in Regular HVAC Maintenance

When your HVAC system is running smoothly, scheduling maintenance appointments may be way down at the bottom of your to-do list. However, annual HVAC maintenance is the easiest and most economical way to ensure that your air conditioner and furnace work properly and safely all season long. Taking care of your equipment improves energy efficiency and prevents the inconvenience of breakdowns and costly emergency repairs. It also keeps your system from needing a replacement prematurely. Preventive maintenance is the best way to protect this significant investment in your home.

Here are the top five reasons you should invest in regular HVAC preventive maintenance:

1. Increases energy efficiency

An HVAC system that has to work harder to maintain the proper temperature uses more energy. Regular maintenance keeps your system running as efficiently as possible and that can translate into substantial energy cost savings over time.

2. Minimizes air conditioner and furnace repairs

A trained HVAC technician can catch small problems while they are easy and inexpensive to fix, and even prevent problems from arising in the first place. Maintenance appointments at the start of the season can be easily scheduled at your convenience. Regular maintenance prevents the need for emergency repairs, which are costly and inconvenient. During peak periods in winter and summer, any service call can be challenging to schedule as demand increases dramatically.

3. Lengthens the lifespan of your air conditioner and furnace

Normal wear-and-tear occurs over time as your furnace and air conditioner are used normally and can get worse as the equipment ages without proper care. Regular maintenance decreases that wear-and-tear, effectively prolonging the life of your system. This means more years of service before you need a replacement.

4. Improves indoor air quality

Indoor air pollution has become an increasing problem as our homes are sealed more tightly against the elements, trapping harmful or irritating substances such as dust, cigarette smoke and pet dander, inside. This is particularly troubling for people with allergies or respiratory illnesses. Regular HVAC maintenance keeps your system clean and ensures that the air circulating throughout your home is clean and well-filtered.

5. Ensures the safety of your home

A poorly maintained HVAC system can result in a carbon monoxide leak.  Preventive maintenance typically includes a carbon monoxide test which can detect a potential hazard before it becomes deadly.

Contact Rheem Pro Partner to schedule your summer maintenance today! Rheem Pro Partner serves homes throughout Colorado and Wyoming.

Air Conditioner Turns On and Off Frequently? Here are Some Things You Can Do

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Air Conditioner Turns On and Off Frequently? Here are Some Things You Can Do

If you notice your air conditioner turning on and off every few minutes, you should address it right away. This is known as short cycling. It wears out the compressor, one of the main components of the outside unit that is very expensive to repair or replace.

Short cycling can lead to other problems as well.

  • The repeated system start-ups use more energy and unnecessarily Increase energy costs.
  • The excessive wear-and-tear shortens the life-span of your air conditioner.
  • Over-worked equipment results in costly repairs.
  • High humidity or temperature swings mean decreased comfort.

What can cause an air conditioner to short cycle?

Dirty air filter

One common cause is a dirty air filter, which can inhibit airflow and cause a host of problems. Change the air filter every 30 to 60 days to keep your air conditioner equipment clean and running smoothly.

Dirty condenser coils

When the condenser unit and coils get dirty, they don’t work efficiently, making the whole system work harder and possibly overheat. This triggers the unit to shut off and restart repeatedly. Make sure the area around the unit is clear of debris such as leaves.

Improperly located thermostat

Locating a thermostat improperly can cause the thermostat to misread the actual temperature and turn on and off more than necessary. Make sure your thermostat is installed on an interior wall away from windows, doors to the outside, air vents and direct sunlight.

Frozen evaporator coil

Restricted airflow and low pressure throughout the system can result in ice or frost forming on the evaporator coil.

Oversized air conditioner

If short cycling has always been an issue, it is likely that your air conditioner is too big for your home. An oversized air conditioner will cool your home quickly but without properly dehumidifying the air. In addition to short cycling, this can lead to hot and cold spots, and the lack of efficiency will mean higher energy bills.

Low refrigerant / freon

Low levels of refrigerant may indicate that there is a leak. Any leak should be identified and repaired right away by your HVAC professional.

Because short cycling can be an indication of a serious problem, the sooner you address it the better in order to prevent or mitigate any potential damage.

Rheem Pro Partner is ready to help with all your air conditioning needs. Contact us today in Colorado and Wyoming with your concerns about short cycling, or any questions regarding your heating and cooling equipment.

What to Do Before Turning on Your Air Conditioner for the First Time this Summer

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What to Do Before Turning on Your Air Conditioner for the First Time this Summer

When summer comes, your air conditioner is a vital asset in your fight to stay cool, calm and collected.

But you should never take the health of your air conditioner for granted. Before the hot weather season officially arrives, here are a few steps you should take to guarantee your air conditioner will be ready to run at full efficiency when you need it …

Outside the Home: Preparing the Condenser

  • If you used a cover on your outdoor condenser unit to protect it from the snow over the winter, remove it before you start the air conditioner.
  • If no cover was used, clean off any and all debris that may have fallen onto the condenser. Next, remove the grill over the fan to check for any debris that may have fallen inside the unit.
  • With a soft brush attachment, vacuum the blades of the fan before reinstalling the grill, and vacuum out the bottom of the condenser box as well. If the blades are covered with grease or grime, you can use a soapy solution and a rag to wipe them off.
  • Remove the side and top panels on the condenser to access the condenser coils. Clean them thoroughly with a soft brush, or wash them off with a hose, or wipe them clean with a special condenser cleaning fluid that can be obtained from any HVAC dealer or home improvement store.
  • Make sure the area around the condenser is clear of all objects or vining plants, within a distance of at least three feet on all sides. When the AC is in operation air should flow freely all around the perimeter of the condenser.
  • If there is a power switch on the condenser, turn it to the ‘on’ position (you should also check the circuit breaker to make sure the power is on there).

Inside the Home: The Filter, Vents and Thermostat

  • Switch the thermostat manually from ‘heat’ to ‘cool.’ If you have a smart thermostat, reprogram it to reflect the coming changes of season. Check the battery on the thermostat to makes sure it is still working, or simply change it if you have not done so within the previous 6-9 months.
  • Clean the dust off the vents in each room throughout the house. If you can see dust has collected inside the vents in the ductwork, vacuum it out with a soft brush attachment.
  • Replace the HVAC air filter. Even if the filter doesn’t look overly dirty, it is always a good idea to get a new filter at the beginning of each heating or cooling season. In general filters should be changed every three months, so that schedule can be coordinated to make sure you install a new one at these important times. While you don’t have to buy the most expensive filters on the market, DO NOT use cheap fiberglass filters. They will rapidly become dirty and will not work particularly well even when they’re new.

Bonus Tip: Schedule a tune-up and maintenance inspection with your HVAC contractor

Home maintenance is important, but there are certain matters you should leave to the professionals.

A trained HVAC professional can inspect your coolant lines for leaks, replenish your supply of coolant if it is low, check your electrical connections and inspect your ductwork to see if it needs to be cleaned or repaired. After these tests are completed, they will turn the system on to make sure everything is top working order.

Seeking the Best HVAC Maintenance Services? Call Rheem Pro Partners Today

At Rheem Pro Partners, our technicians are constantly on-the-go throughout the spring and early summer months, offering expert AC tune-up and maintenance inspection services to our grateful customers in Colorado and Wyoming. To beat the summer rush, please contact us today to schedule your inspection—the health of your air conditioner could depend on it.

3 Reasons Why You Should Avoid Purchasing HVAC Equipment Online

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3 Reasons Why You Should Avoid Purchasing HVAC Equipment Online

You can get everything online these days, including a full range of HVAC equipment. But just because you can do something doesn’t mean you should, and that is certainly true if you need a new furnace or air conditioner.

You may think you’re getting a discount, but in the end all you’ll get out of the deal are headaches and heartache. And in truth you won’t even get the discount: with utility and manufacturer rebates included, the total costs of purchasing from a local dealer will be equivalent to buying online, and without the extra risk.

Purchasing HVAC equipment online is a bad idea, and if you’ve been thinking about it you really need to think again.

Here are three reasons why this option is a recipe for disaster …

1. Manufacturers’ warranties won’t cover online purchases

HVAC manufacturers have the right to void their warranties if their appliances are purchased from questionable sources, and that’s exactly what they’ll do to you if you buy your furnace or air conditioner from an online dealer.

Major HVAC manufacturers are happy to offer guarantees on their equipment, on the assumption that it will be professionally installed. But when furnaces and air conditioners are purchased online, quality assurance in installation services is lacking, since the best installers generally won’t get touch equipment that has been shipped in by truck, sight unseen, from some distant warehouse.

2. If you buy a new furnace or air conditioner online, your purchase can’t be customized for size

Professional HVAC installers rely on Manual J protocols to calculate the exact heating and cooling loads HVAC equipment must meet in order to properly function in a particular home. These calculations should be performed onsite before you purchase a furnace, air conditioner, or heat pump, and if you order your equipment from an online dealer you’ll just be guessing about the size and are likely to make a mistake.

But can’t I buy equipment that’s the same size as my old equipment, you ask? No, because your heat and cooling load may have changed significantly since your last furnace or air conditioner was installed. Any remodeling or other structural changes to your home, or alterations in your living patterns, or even changes in the landscaping outside can impact your heating and cooling requirements, and possibly by a substantial degree.

3. Quality contractors avoid HVAC equipment purchased online like the plague

Good contractors have their reputations to worry about, and they won’t be anxious to install HVAC equipment that doesn’t carry a warranty or has not been carefully chosen based on Manual J estimates (which they’ve had the chance to perform). And they won’t be willing to come to your home for repair and maintenance work, either, should your HVAC system start to break down at some point in the future.

If you purchase a furnace or air conditioner online, your only options for installation will be discount, fly-by-night operators who don’t stand behind their work and are only in it to make a fast buck. Is that really what you want?

That last is a rhetorical question, of course it isn’t.

Want Guaranteed Excellence? Choose Rheem Pro Partners

In Colorado and Wyoming, you can’t go wrong if you purchase your HVAC equipment package from Rheem Pro Partners. We’re licensed, insured, experienced, employ highly trained experts, and offer superior and highly affordable installation and maintenance services to support your purchase of a high-quality furnaceair conditioner, or heat pump. Get your equipment from us and we can guarantee you strong, reliable, consistent performance from day one. Please contact us today to speak with one of our representatives, and to find out more about our excellent products and services.

Contact a Rheem Pro Partner Today!

5 Benefits of Having Your Furnace Maintained Before Winter Hits

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5 Benefits of Getting Your Furnace Maintained Before Winter Hits

Rheem Pro Partners recommends furnace service and maintenance be done at least once a year to prevent breakdowns and costly repairs during the cold winter months when a furnace is needed the most. Having a furnace go out in the middle of the night, or on a weekend or holiday, is even more frustrating and expensive if you have to pay overtime rates. Why risk it when there is a simple, cost effective solution that provides peace of mind as well as the tangible benefits outlined below? And keep in mind that by calling early — before the winter rush — you have a better chance of getting the appointment that best fits your schedule.

Here are 5 benefits of getting your furnace maintained before winter hits:

1. Ensure Proper Airflow

Over time, dust and debris in your heating system, as well as other factors such as duct leaks or needed minor repairs, can limit or restrict the amount of airflow. This decreases energy efficiency, compromises your furnace’s performance (and your comfort level), and causes greater wear and tear on your furnace.

2. Reduce Repairs

In addition to thoroughly cleaning your system, your HVAC technician is trained to spot and correct small issues before they become costly repairs. This keeps your furnace running smoothly and prevents those annoying and inconvenient breakdowns.

3. Maintain Your Manufacturer’s Warranty

Many manufacturers require annual maintenance in order for their warranty to remain in effect. In the event of a major defect or problem you don’t want to discover your warranty has been voided because of a lack of proper maintenance.

4. Maintain or Improve Furnace Efficiency

Furnaces have many moving parts and how well those parts operate affects its efficiency, and subsequently, your energy bills. Annual maintenance will save you money throughout the heating season by keeping your energy costs down.

5. Keep You Safe

Any time combustion is involved, there is some risk. A well-maintained furnace will ensure that your home and family are safe by preventing gas and carbon monoxide leaks.

Don’t wait to find out there is a problem with your furnace! Contact a Rheem Pro Partner today to schedule your fall maintenance. We serve homes throughout Colorado and Wyoming.

Is Your Furnace Ready for Winter? 5 Tips for Prepping Your Furnace

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