Summer Vacation Tips

July is the most popular month for summer vacations. If you are planning on traveling this summer, don’t forget the important things, such as putting your lights on a timer, locking doors, and preparing your HVAC system for your absence.

Change the Thermostat Temperature

It may sound obvious, but you’d be surprised how many people forget to raise the temperature on the thermostat when they are leaving on vacation. For those with programmable or smart thermostats, you will need to manually override the schedule in order to keep the temperature set while you are away.
It’s important to set the temperature correctly to prevent heat and moisture problems while also saving money and energy. You don’t want to turn the system completely off.

According to the U.S. Department of Energy, you should set your thermostat to 85-90F degrees when leaving on vacation. But that can be too high a temperature for many homes. We recommend setting your thermostat no higher than 85F degrees to protect furniture, electronics, and other sensitive equipment. If you have wine, expensive art, and other temperature sensitive objects, it’s best to set the temperature to 80F degrees.

Change the Air Filter

Although nobody will be home to experience the air filtration benefits of a new air filter, it’s a good idea to change the air filter anyway. A clean air filter will increase the airflow and efficiency of your HVAC system while also helping to clean the indoor air for your arrival.

Close Doors, Windows, and Shades

Prevent air leaks and energy inefficiencies by remembering to close all of your doors and windows. If you notice any severe air leaks, get them fixed and sealed before you leave. Go around the home and close all, or most, of your interior and exterior window shades. This includes awnings, shutters, blinds, curtains, and window overhangs. By closing your interior and exterior shades you can reduce solar heat gain by around 50% (U.S.Department of Energy).

Now sit back, relax, and have a great vacation!

Today’s high tech air conditioning units will save you money

Today’s high-efficiency systems can cut your HVAC costs up to 107 percent and pay for themselves in lower AC and heating bills within several years. You’ll enjoy greater comfort at home while using less energy. You can also rely on your JMD Corporation/Jackson Heating and Air technician to recommend the right-size air conditioning system for your home and install it correctly.We back our work with a 100% satisfaction guarantee. No wonder so many customers in the Morgantown area have recommended us for AC repairs and service for 30 plus years! Don’t lose your cool! Call 1-888-365-1171 today.

Air Conditioning Tips for Lower Bills

  • Raise the thermostat about five degrees, because each degree you raise the thermostat will save you a percentage off your cooling energy bill.

  • Don’t obstruct airflow around the air conditioner unit – keep it clear of plants and debris.

  • Clean your air filters. Check them every couple of weeks and change them at least twice in the season, or as directed by the manufacturer.

  • For optimum comfort have your cooling system checked early in the year by a NATE-certified technician.

HVAC Troubleshooting: How to Identify, Eliminate & Control HVAC Odors

The HVAC unit in your home is one of the most-used appliances and it’s uncomfortable when it isn’t working. Fortunately, it’s pretty good about giving signs when it needs servicing. One of the key things that many homeowners notice is bad aromas coming from the unit. An odor problem doesn’t necessarily mean that the repair will be expensive. It could be a dirty air filter or condensation which has created mold in the unit.

When troubleshooting the smell, use your other senses as well. Listen for banging or knocking. Look for excess water on the ground or other liquids which don’t belong. Many times the smells are not dangerous, just indicative that your system needs service. However, some smells like rotten eggs or gas are more serious. If you are experiencing an electrical, burning odor, or gas smell, turn off the unit and call your HVAC technician right away.

Here are 4 common HVAC odors and what they indicate.

  1. Electrical Odors

If your HVAC unit smells like it might be overheating, it very well could be. Turn your unit off before attempting to diagnose the problem. First, check the air filter to see if it is very dirty as this can restrict the air flow and overheat the electric resistance heaters. If it’s not an air filter issue, make sure the electricity is turned off at the master switch. A professional HVAC technician will need to check out the problem and make repairs. An electrical odor typically is a problem within the motor or the wiring. Attempting to fix either of these items can result in severe injuries.

  1. Rotten Egg Smell

Provided there aren’t any rotten eggs in your home, the smell of rotten eggs or sulfur most likely indicates a natural gas leak. Although on its own natural gas is odorless, most utility providers add the aroma to alert people of a leak. Don’t take this lightly. Open the windows to your home, get out of the house immediately, then call the gas company.

  1. Musty or Moldy Smell

A smell like mildew or mold is probably the most common ailment of HVAC systems. When the AC is running, there is a lot of condensation within the unit. When the moisture doesn’t drain properly, it can escape into the ducts and cause mold. Finding where the mold buildup is and getting it cleaned up will solve the problem. An HVAC technician has the knowledge to handle the problem and ensure that it doesn’t recur.

Note:
Mold and mildew smells are not problems with the unit that are serious, but the poor air quality does increase the risk of respiratory infections in both adults and children. Although you can still use the unit while you’re waiting to make repairs, you shouldn’t put off repairs for the sake of your family’s health.

  1. Smell of Oil

The smell of oil comes from one of two things. First, look for an oil leak. If you see oil, you may just need to tighten a fitting in the tank, oil line, or filter.

While this isn’t a dangerous issue, it does need to be taken care of by a qualified repair technician. It should be noted that a new furnace may emit the burning smell for the first 24 hours of operation, but if the smell continues beyond then you need to call the professionals who installed the unit.

If you do not see oil, then the problem most likely is that the oil burner is not working properly. However, there are many things that could be causing the oil burner to malfunction, for example, a clogged burner or a bad fuel pump. Watch for soot and smoke, and listen for unusual sounds. These indicate a more serious problem that should be repaired by a service technician.

It’s not only odors that indicate a problem. Puddles of water near the unit can be just as problematic. If you see water leaking from the indoor unit, see if you can trace the water to its source. It could be a leak within the unit, excess condensation, or a tear in the insulation foam. If you don’t know what’s causing the water pooling, call your technician.

Dealing With HVAC Odor

A common reason that many HVAC units do create more odors is that homes are built very tightly today, often without the necessary ventilation. This causes the unit to run out of air for combustion. This can be the leading cause for foul HVAC odors for many homeowners which raises concerns about indoor air quality.

Another indicator of an indoor air quality problem is the smell of dirty socks. Although this smell may be coming from the air conditioning unit, it is not actually the unit that is the problem. Most likely, organic material has not been heated to a high enough temperature to prevent its growth.

Make sure to replace the air filter according to the manufacturer’s instructions. Have your system inspected annually by a professional to look for faulty wiring, loose or worn belts, and general wear on the unit. By having a yearly service, you have peace of mind that you’ve done what you can to make sure your HVAC unit is ready for the seasons ahead.

 

Spring Season Means Spring Cleaning

Don’t skip out on your HVAC unit when the time comes for spring cleaning. By removing dust and debris from the interior and exterior of the system, it can run more efficiently. Other things you may look for while spring cleaning are: tighten the electrical connections, clean the different internal components and check the refrigerant levels.

This is clearly quite a bit of work though, so don’t worry! You can always leave that to us with a maintenance check-up. That way, we can make sure all of the parts and pieces are cleaned and restored correctly.

Earth Day Tips for your HVAC system

Happy Earth Day! This year, why not do your part to protect the planet by looking for ways to save energy in your HVAC system? Heating and cooling account for the single largest energy input in the average family’s home, so it’s the area in which cutting back can have the biggest impact. Check out these tips to reduce your reliance on fossil fuels:

Earth Day tips for your HVAC system:

  • Get that AC Tuned up: The summer heat is almost here so it’s time to have your air conditioning unit serviced so you know that it’s working at peak efficiency and not wasting precious energy due to malfunction, obstruction or a dirty filter.

  • Moderate Your Climate Control: Speaking of air conditioning, try to raise the thermostat if you can. No one wants to sweat away the summer, but if you can live with an indoor temperature of 78 degrees or higher, you’ll save money on your bill and reduce your impact on climate change. You can also try to open windows or use a ceiling fan in place of AC.

  • Beef up Your Insulation: There’s no point in heating or cooling your home if all that energy just escapes through the walls and the roof. If your home isn’t properly insulated, spray foam makes an inexpensive and easy way to provide an extra buffer between indoors and out to keep the treated air inside where it belongs.

  • Seal the Leaks: If you have drafts or leaks in your home, you’re paying to heat and cool the great outdoors — which is a money-losing proposition, not to mention a dramatic waste of energy. Use caulk or weather stripping to seal any leaks.

  • Practice Passive Cooling: When the summer sun starts to heat up your home, you can reduce the load on your air conditioner with some strategic shading. Try closing the curtains over sunny windows during the day to reflect the heat away, then opening them at night so the cooler air can help draw down the temperature in your house.

  • Install a Smart Thermostat: If you don’t want to spend time worrying about adjusting the temperature, try a smart thermostat. These clever devices can save you hundreds of dollars per year by automatically identifying efficiencies in your heating and cooling habits.

  • Don’t Forget About the Furnace: Although winter is a distant memory in most parts of the country, spring is a good time to have your furnace serviced — or even to buy a new, energy efficient model — so you know it will be ready to perform next fall.

For more tips, call us today at JMD Corporation/Jackson Heating and Air and speak with an HVAC professional. Be the best possible steward to Mother Earth.

 

How to Maintain Your Residential HVAC System as a Pet Owner

1. Check Filters Frequently

With a pet in your home, your HVAC filter needs to be replaced at least once a month. Hair, dander, skin cells, and other particles can easily clog filters. Consider investing in a reusable filter you can clean yourself.

2. Clean Your Home & Pet Regularly

To help avoid clogs, vacuum and clean your home every other day. Bathe and brush your pet often to get rid of dander and loose fur that would otherwise end up in the filter.

3. Save Energy While You’re Away

Adjusting the temperature when just your pets are in the house won’t make them uncomfortable. Save energy and money by turning it up a few degrees during the summer or down a bit during the winter. Ask an HVAC specialist what range is safe for your home and pets.

4. Have Ducts Inspected & Cleaned

No matter how much house and pet cleaning you do, some hair and particles are bound to make it into your ducts. During your annual residential HVAC maintenance appointment, ask the technician to inspect the ducts for accumulation.

5. Safeguard Your Outdoor Unit

It’s safe for pets to be around outdoor units, but they can scratch parts, urinate on the equipment, and chew on cables. Have a fence installed around the HVAC unit to protect it from four-legged threats.

Owning pets shouldn’t get in the way of your heating and cooling systems. The professionals at JMD Corporation/Jackson Heating and Air will make sure you and your furry family member are comfortable.

Update Your Thermostat

Outdated dial thermostats prevent you from enjoying a comfortable (and fuss-free) home environment. For easy home upgrades, new tech is where it’s at!

The latest programmable thermostats are an easy upgrade for energy-efficiency. And a smart thermostat will even let you change your home’s temperature remotely. Depending on the model you choose, you can enjoy a few other perks, too.

Most programmable thermostats include different settings based on the day of the week. This is great for homeowners who have a pretty consistent routine Monday through Friday. When your thermostat is set to your schedule, it will automatically adjust your indoor temp when you’re away, then bring it back to a comfortable level when you return.

As a general rule, you want your programmable thermostat to do the thinking for you. You don’t want to be worried about changing the temperature and checking in when you’re getting ready to leave the house.

Programming your settings helps you save on energy costs when you don’t need that “perfect” indoor temp — like when the whole family is out running errands, working, or at sports practice.

When it comes to programmable thermostats, there isn’t always a clear winner. It usually just depends on what features would be most useful to you. Of course, some devices are made better than others. They might come with better warranties or have a more intuitive display. These factors should always be considered, as should price. You don’t want to pay for a model that doesn’t do everything you want.

Call us today at JMD Corporation/Jackson Heating & Air to talk to us about programmable thermostats. If you’re still dealing with a dial thermostat or some other inconsistent system, this would be a sweet upgrade.

Keep Your Home Comfortable This Winter

There are things that you can do to keep your home comfortable and energy efficient this winter:

Do not close off unused rooms in your house unless there is a supply AND return register in the room. Your heating system was designed for the square footage of your home so by closing rooms off, you are changing the air flow of your heating system which can actually increase your monthly bill.

Rearrange the furniture to make sure that couches, beds, and other items are not blocking the vents. Allowing the air to flow freely through the house will improve comfort.

Keep all exhaust vents clear. It is very important to understand how your furnace’s exhaust is vented. For example, 90% efficiency furnaces are mostly vented through PVC pipe where it exits your home outside above ground level. It is very important to check that this area is clear of snow and ice, otherwise the buildup will block the exhaust and cause your furnace to not function properly.

Older homes are prone to leaks due to older windows and doors, or chimneys and fireplaces without working dampers. Check for leaks by lighting a candle and holding it by door and window cracks. If the flame moves, you should seal the windows with caulk or put draft guards under the doors. Well-maintained windows last for about 20 years so if yours are older, it may be time to replace them.

Severe Winter Weather

With the recent severe winter weather and the extremely cold temperatures, don’t forget how hard your heating system is working. Motors, belts, fans and other critical parts have to work extra hard to keep your home comfortable. To make sure that your heating system continues to work at peak efficiency call JMD Corporation/Jackson Heating and Air for a midwinter check up. The forecast indicates that this will continue to be a severe winter so don’t be left out in the cold.