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As A New Homeowner, What Should You Know About HVAC Preventive Maintenance?  

If you've just purchased your first home, you're likely excited to begin unpacking, decorating, and taking the other steps needed to make your house into a home. Many new homeowners may not give much thought to HVAC maintenance until an issue arises.

Unfortunately, HVAC problems often tend to develop during the hottest (or coldest) times of year, leaving you uncomfortable until you're able to schedule repairs. Read on to learn more about some of the maintenance you'll want to perform on your HVAC unit to keep it in good working condition for years to come.

Keep Your Unit Clean

Your exterior air conditioner unit performs best in shade; unfortunately, shade that's provided by trees can often mean leaves, twigs, and other debris will make their way inside the unit over the summer. By using a water hose to (gently) wash away debris while sweeping leaves and twigs out the side vents, you'll ensure that your air conditioner is operating at peak efficiency without debris clogging its intake.

It's also a good idea to keep your air conditioner unit covered during the winter months when it's not in use. Doing so should seriously cut down on the amount of cleaning you'll need to do before you turn on the air conditioner for the first time each spring.

Perform Regular Inspections

Often, problems with your HVAC system can manifest themselves visually before you begin to notice performance issues. By periodically having a professional inspect the cords and wires that travel to and from your outdoor air conditioning unit to ensure they aren't becoming frayed, looking at the unit itself for signs of rust or corrosion, and making sure the batteries in your thermostat are fresh, you'll be able to stop a lot of performance problems in their tracks.

If you're facing performance issues with your HVAC unit, want some more information on how your HVAC system functions, or just have some maintenance questions, contact the experts at Westberry Heating and today. Whether you need to inspect your ducts, clean your dryer vent, or troubleshoot some performance issues, Westberry can answer your questions and perform a wide variety of services and repairs for your HVAC system. Contact us today!

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Is Central Air the Best Choice for My Office Space?

As a business owner, it can be challenging to determine which option is right for your business HVAC. This is where professional commercial services can help you make an informed choice.

When it comes to your business building, you want to keep things cool, but you also care about indoor air quality. You may be wondering if the old standby central air conditioner is really the best you can do.

The Downfalls of Central Air

While a well-maintained central air conditioning system can typically do a fine job of keeping your business cool, the weakness of this method tends to be in the resulting indoor air quality.

Central air conditioning works by pushing cool air through ductwork within a home or business. The problem is that mold and debris can build up within the ducts.

As the air blows through the ductwork, it spreads this mold and debris through the air. When you, your employees and customers breathe in this contaminated air, you may develop respiratory problems or increased chances of illness. It also just gives the air a stale, unhealthy feeling. Not the environment you want for your growing business!

Let Our Commercial Services Team Find the Best A/C Options for You

Perhaps you want to take a look at ductless/mini-split HVACs or geothermal heat pumps for your business’s climate control. Or maybe you prefer to keep your current air conditioner and want to consider air purification methods to improve your indoor air quality. Whatever your commercial services needs, our team of experts at Westberry Heating and Air Conditioning is here to help. Contact us today to learn more today or to schedule an appointment.

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Beginner’s Guide to Geothermal Heat Pumps

Geothermal heat pumps are becoming a number one choice for homeowners seeking affordable and effective heating and air conditioning. Unless you are an HVAC pro or have someone in your family who is, you likely have many questions about geothermal heat pumps and the benefits they offer. Consider this your quick beginner’s guide to geothermal heat pumps, so you can make an informed decision as to whether this option is right for your home and budget.

Geothermal Heat Pumps: More than Just Heat

While you may think of heating when you consider geothermal heat pumps, the truth is they can provide both heating and cooling. Here's how they work to heat and cool by using heat transference from one space to another:

  • When you need cooling, the geothermal heat pump extracts the heat from your home and transfers it to the ground, where it cools.
  • When you need heating, the pump transfers the natural heat within the ground and brings it into your home.
  • You use a thermostat to regulate temperature in your home just like you would with a traditional HVAC.
  • A geothermal heat pump can even serve as a water heater.

Save Energy and Money with Geothermal Heat Pumps

Understanding how a geothermal heat pump works can help you get a better feel for whether it’s right for your HVAC needs. But, let’s face it, what you really want to know is how it will help you save money while keeping your home comfortable. Here’s what you need to know:

  • Geothermal means low operating costs. Because it is incredibly energy efficient, you will lower your energy costs—some studies show you can drop them as much as 70% by switching to a geothermal heat pump from a traditional HVAC.
  • A geothermal heat pump is nice and quiet. No outdoor unit means you can run your cooling system without having to listen to the loud noise of HVAC ruining your summertime ambiance.
  • With a geothermal heat pump, you are making a greener choice. It doesn’t require the burning of fuel to operate, which means it does not emit greenhouse gasses. It also reduces your electricity usage.

If you have more questions about geothermal heat pumps, our team at Westberry Heating and Air Conditioning is here to help. Get in touch with our team of experts today.

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Benefits of Using an Office Dehumidifier This Summer

As your business heating and air conditioning system begins to face the hottest days of the year, you may find the air inside your building continues to get stuffier and stuffier. It’s difficult to get comfortable in an office that has humid air, and it is also more difficult for your HVAC to do its job. This is where an office dehumidifier can be a beneficial addition to your climate control plan for your business.

What Are the Benefits of an Office Dehumidifier?

The number one benefit, you and your staff will notice immediately when you use a dehumidifier is more comfortable air quality. The stuffiness will be gone and instead you will have cool air that doesn’t feel damp and sticky. But that’s not all you will notice! Here are some other benefits you can expect when you incorporate an office dehumidifier this summer:

  • Fresher air: Humid office air can allow mold and mildew to accumulate. Not only can this stink up the environment, it can also become a health hazard. The last thing you want is your employees breathing in unhealthy air. A dehumidifier will keep the indoor humidity where it belongs—between 35% and 45%. This will ensure nothing is growing and potentially making people in the office sick.
  • Higher energy efficiency: When the air inside your office is too humid, your HVAC has a hard time keeping up. It may end up running continuously in attempt to keep the environment comfortable. This will means you will be using far more energy—and that costs your business money. It also increases the wear and tear on your HVAC system. Adding a dehumidifier as a comfort accessory will enable your system to work more efficiently.

Let Westberry Help You Find the Right Office Dehumidifier

Our expert HVAC team at Westberry Heating and Air Conditioning is here to help you assess your heating and air conditioning system to find the perfect office dehumidifier. We want to help you achieve a higher level of office comfort and healthier indoor air quality this summer, so get in touch with us today.

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What Is that Sound My HVAC System Is Making?

Get some answers to help you if your heating and air conditioning system is making strange sounds.

Your heating and air conditioning system is one aspect of your home that you likely tend to ignore unless it isn’t working correctly or is making a ruckus. It’s kind of an out of “sound” out of mind situation. But when it starts making strange noises, you may find yourself getting nervous if not down-right anxious.

Noisy HVAC: What’s Normal and What’s Not?

When the seasons change, you may experience more noises coming from your HVAC because of the system switching back and forth between heating and cooling. The valves may make a noise as it switches from one to the other. This is perfectly normal.

Still there are other sounds that may mean you need professional HVAC service. Here are some common sounds you might hear coming from your heating and air conditioning system along with some reasons for those sounds:

  • Buzzing: If your system has a buzzing sound, even when it is not turned on, it may just be coming from the coils in your HVAC. This moderate buzzing sound is typically nothing to cause concern unless it tends to get louder, or accompanies other sounds like metal on metal screeching.
  • Whirring: Some describe this sound as being like a washing machine; this sound typically does not mean there is a problem. HVACs, like any other appliance in your home, have a lot of moving parts, so it is normal to hear sounds; this just means it is working!
  • Clanking: If you suddenly hear loud clanking or banging sounds, it could mean there is an obstruction in your system. In this case, it is wise to shut it off immediate and get in touch with a technician you trust.
  • Banging or Slapping: This sound could be a piece of the ductwork that has come loose and is flapping in the system. Although this isn’t typically an urgent problem, it can be annoying. It’s a good idea to contact an HVAC tech for a service call as soon as possible.

Get in Touch with the Team at Westberry for Peace of Mind

If you find the noise your heating and air conditioning system is bothering you, or it seems like there could be a problem, it’s better to be on the safe side and call in the pros for an assessment. Our team at Westberry Heating and Air Conditioning is always ready to help you get to the bottom of any strange noises and keep your system running optimally. Visit us online today to schedule an appointment.

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How Often Should I Change My Air Filters?  

Occasionally, the filters in your HVAC system will need to be replaced. Not only does regularly changing the filter improve the air quality in your home, but it also increases the lifespan of your HVAC system. More importantly, a dirty filter can even pose a safety risk in your home. But how do you know when it's time to change out your filters?

On average, it is recommended that you replace your filters every other month. However, your home's HVAC system may need more frequent changes. Read on for more information about the right time to change your air filters.

Factors Affecting Your Air Filters

There are several factors that can affect how often you should change your air filters, including:

  • Size of your home - Smaller homes with more people in them might need more frequent changes.
  • Time of year - If you are not using your HVAC system during milder months, you may not need to change the filters as often.
  • Number of pets in the home - Pet hair and particles will significantly affect the air quality in your home.
  • Air quality outside the home - If you live in an area with heavy pollution, it can affect your indoor air quality as well.

Every home is different, but over time, you will be able to tell how often you need to change the filters in your home.

Signs it's Time to Change Your Filters

Sometimes, you may need to change your filters ahead of your regular schedule. Some of the tell-tale signs to check your filters include:

  • Increase in energy bills
  • Presence of dust
  • Sneezing or allergy symptoms
  • Overheating in your HVAC system
  • Changing your air filters is an important part of HVAC system maintenance, and the experts at Westberry are here to help. Our services are available 24 hours a day, so if you have questions or need assistance with changing your air filters, contact us today!

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    How Many Times a Year Should HVAC Maintenance Be Performed?  

    After people have decided on a quality HVAC company to provide their building with the heating and cooling it deserves, many people are surprised to hear that maintaining an HVAC unit is an ongoing process. While some people might frown at the idea of getting their unit serviced regularly, it is important to remember that a heating and cooling unit is just like any other machine and will require preventative maintenance on a regular basis. The question is how often does HVAC maintenance need to be performed?

    Most technicians will mention that performing key maintenance once per year is acceptable, but twice a year is more beneficial. It is also important to pick the time of year that the service is performed. For example, it is important to schedule the service right before the unit is needed most to ensure that it is functioning at top capacity during times of high usage. The air conditioner should probably be serviced in the spring to ensure that it is ready for the warmer months when it will be required. The heater should be serviced just before the winter months so it can keep you warm and cozy as the temperature drops.

    What Benefits Does Preventative Maintenance Provide?

    Preventative maintenance will provide a number of key benefits for the HVAC unit. The system will be cleaned, the fluids will be changed and any damaged parts will be replaced. This will help to improve the efficiency of the equipment to lower utility bills as well as extend the life of an HVAC system to prevent unneeded expenses. It is always cheaper to prevent a problem from developing than to fix one that has already happened. Contact Westberry Heating and Air Conditioning today for more information or to schedule your spring preventative maintenance visit.

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    5 Most Common Causes for Air Conditioning Failure

    Even as residents seek to prevent complete air conditioning failure, they also wonder what steps in preventative planning best eliminate ineffective AC performance. The following

    5 HVAC tech tips straight from the pros will point out the most common reasons that A/C systems fail.

    1. Improper System Operation
    2. Improper system operation is the most common cause for air conditioning failure. Why? Because homeowners often overlook the importance of a controlled A/C environment.

    3. Poor System Drainage
    4. Poor system drainage can be linked to excessive outside humidity, clogged drain lines, and even poor system installation wherein the drain line is incorrectly leveled.

    5. Inadequate System Maintenance
    6. Failure to follow routine HVAC maintenance assures that your home will eventually experience an unnecessary air conditioning failure. Routine HVAC maintenance helps prevent system breakdowns and reduces unnecessary repair cost.

    7. Improper HVAC Installation
    8. How well do you know your service HVAC tech? Incorrect system sizing, system installation and electrical configurations affect the efficiency and performance of your installed heating and cooling equipment. Don’t live with leaky ducts, insufficient airflow or even some worse HVAC installation air conditioning failure.

    9. Faulty Sensors
    10. HVAC techs report defective sensors among the top five reasons behind poor AC performance. Faulty sensors result in erratic system behavior, including excessive system cycling.

    Protecting Your Home HVAC Investment

    Annual maintenance has been and will likely always be the best way to prevent unexpected air conditioning failure. It’s about keeping your AC at peak performance efficiency. Reduce the possibility of HVAC breakdowns. Check out the cumulative benefits of our Westberry Heating and Air Conditioning Maintenance Program. Contact us today!

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    How to Clean Your Air Vents  

    Cleaning your home air vents may not be the first thing on your mind when it comes to spring cleaning, but it is very important to maintain the quality of air in your home.

    Without regular cleaning, air vents can become clogged, limiting the air flow and increasing your energy cost.

    Cleaning Your Air Vents

    The first step in cleaning your air vents is gathering up the necessary tools for the project. To clean your air vents, you will need:

    • a screwdriver
    • paper towels
    • a tub full of soapy water
    • a vacuum with hose attachments

    After gathering your materials, follow the steps below to get your air vents looking like new.

    Clear the Area

    The first step is to clear the area in the vicinity of the air vents. Remove or cover anything that you don't want to get covered in dust or debris.

    Shut off the Furnace

    While you don't have to turn the furnace off at the breaker, you will want to turn it off at the thermostat so it doesn't begin blowing while you are working.

    Vacuum the Vent

    Using your vacuum, you will want to clear as much debris as possible from the surface of the vent. Don't worry if you do not get it all, this is simply to remove as much loose debris as possible.

    Remove the Vent

    Next, use the screwdriver to remove the vent, being careful to place the screws somewhere you will be able to easily find them again. You may want to wear goggles if dealing with an overhead vent as a lot of debris may come out at this point.

    Vacuum inside the Vent

    Give a quick vacuum around the inside of the vent to clear the debris that had been stopped by the vent. You can also use some paper towels to wipe some of the debris that may be sticky.

    Wash the Vent

    Using warm soapy water, scrub the vent until all of the sticky debris is removed and then dry off the vent with a towel. Replace your vent and you are done.

    To help maximize your airflow, a professional air duct and vent cleaning may be your answer. Blogs Contact the professionals at Westberry Heating and Air for more information on how to keep your ducts and vents in tip-top shape.

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    Why is My Furnace Blowing Cold Air?  

    It is more than an inconvenience to experience a furnace that is running but blowing out cold air in the winter. We understand you will want to find answers quickly when this happens, so here are some common causes to this problem:

    Your Thermostat is the Culprit

    If you check your thermostat and find that your fan setting has been set to 'on', you've found your answer. This is because the fan is going to come on at all times, even when the furnace is not generating warm air. To fix this is simple, just turn your fan option off, and that way, it will only run when the heat is on. You'll be toastier in no time.

    Your Air Filter Needs to be Changed

    When your filter is dirty, it can cause the air flowing out from the furnace to become blocked, and this can lead to your furnace overheating. When this happens, the furnace's limit switch will turn off the heat as a protective measure. The fan will cut on to cool off the furnace, and the result will be that cold air will blow out. The fix here is to switch out the filter. If this doesn't resolve the problem, contact your friendly HVAC specialists, as it could be something more serious that will lead to your furnace burning out completely.

    Duct Problems

    If there is a hole in the ducting system, the heat will escape, and cold air will blow out. Fixing the holes will keep this from happening.

    Whatever the problem, we are here to help. You can call us anytime, 24 hours a day to get service, as we understand that heating emergencies can happen at any time. We will be happy to talk with you and to answer whatever questions you may have. Contact us today!

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