IERNA's Heating & Cooling Blog : Archive for January, 2014

Noises That Indicate a Need for Heat Pump Repair

Monday, January 27th, 2014

When a heat pump operates normally, it produces a soothing white noise. As the compressor comes on to begin heat exchange, it adds to the whirring sound of the fan. You should not hear any other noises aside from these when you have your heat pump running. If an unusual noise interrupts the peaceful humming of your home’s heat pump, it usually means something is wrong and the unit requires attention.

Here is a list of noises that point to a need for professional repair for your heat pump. Don’t delay, because the longer the problem persists, the more likely your heat pump will break down entirely. Contact Ierna’s Heating & Cooling for help with your heat pump in Tampa, FL. We can answer your call 24 hours a day.

Listen for these warning noises:

Clicks at start-up: The first time you turn on your heat pump after a long period of inactivity, you will probably hear a clicking noise; this is normal and should vanish soon. But if it persists, or you hear it at other times, it may mean a problem with the start capacitor. The capacitor sends electric voltage to the motors to catalyze them into starting. If this capacitor breaks, your heat pump will not run. A professional must look into this problem.

Clanking: This noise often indicates that a piece of equipment inside the indoor or outdoor cabinet of the heat pump has come loose and started to strike other components. Usually it is the fan belt, which can fray and loosen because of wear. This needs to be fixed immediately before it causes damage to other parts of the heat pump.

Grinding/shrieking: Both of these sounds point toward problems with the motors. Motors run the compressors and the fans, and if they begin to develop dirt along their bearings, it will lead to the shrieking noise. A motor with dirty bearings will soon burn out and require replacement. Grinding sounds usually mean too much stress on the mechanical parts of a motor because of lack of lubrication or a dirty components. A motor making this noise usually needs to be replaced.

Enroll in preventive maintenance

You can prevent most of these problems from occurring with a regular maintenance program from a trusted contractor that provides an annual check-up for your heat pump. Technicians will look for places where components are wearing down, and clean the unit so grime will not threaten the moving parts. You’ll not only have a heat pump out of danger of needing repairs, you’ll have a heat pump working at prime energy efficiency.

Call Ierna’s Heating & Cooling today for repairs and maintenance for your heat pump in Tampa, FL.

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How Does Duct Testing Work?

Monday, January 20th, 2014

The integrity of the ductwork in your home is an important part of heating and cooling efficiency, and for maintaining high quality indoor air. The ducts that run from your HVAC system to your vents are designed to hold a seal that prevents loss of air pressure and the infiltration of outside air and contaminants. If leaks occur because of breaks or loose connections along the ductwork, you will start to waste money because of the strain on your HVAC system and possibly suffer a decrease in air quality.

However, it’s often hard to know when ducts have developed leaks. For help, you will need experts in professional duct cleaning in Trinity, FL. Ierna’s Heating & Cooling has EPA and NATE-certified specialists in testing ducts to locate places where you may be losing energy—and they have methods of repairing these problems as well.

What Happens During Duct Testing

The purpose of duct testing is to determine the “tightness” of a ductwork system; i.e. how much air pressure it is losing. Once technicians find out how much air pressure is escaping from the ducts, they can investigate the integrity of the system and locate the leaks, then determine the necessary steps to take.

The process requires calibrated mechanical devices to measure the amount of airflow that seeps out of the system at normal pressure. The technicians close all registers and vents and then pressurize the ductwork system. A duct leakage tester, a device made of a calibrated fan and an air-pressure sensor to measure the pressure the fan creates, is used to perform this task. The more air needed to create a change in the ductwork pressure, the more leaks there are in the ductwork.

This test determines total leakage. The technicians will then locate the points where air is found escaping and perform measurements to see what must be done to fix the leak. Some of the leaks will be small, located at joints or seams. In other places, duct sections can have become disconnected entirely.

Depending on the results of the testing, a technician will recommend whether the ducts need sealing, extensive repairs, or perhaps a full replacement.

Proper Duct Sealing and Repair is Important

If you are encountering higher bills for your HVAC system or suffering from a drop in comfort level, you may need to schedule duct testing to see if you require sealing or repairs. Because ductwork already loses around 10%-30% of heating energy under normal operation, leaks can cause a huge drain on your bills.

Contact our duct specialists at Ierna’s Heating & Cooling. We can take care of duct testing, duct repair, and duct cleaning in Trinity, FL to make sure your HVAC system is giving you the best that it can.

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The Benefits of Zoned Heating

Monday, January 13th, 2014

Zone control systems are a way of providing comfort for your whole house… without having to warm up the whole house. With a zone control system, you can shut off the heated air blown to different sections (or “zones”) of your home so that heating it is no longer the “all or nothing” that you get with standard central heating systems.

Zoned heating brings many benefits, which we’ll discuss here. And it isn’t a difficult upgrade to add to your existing forced-air system. Installers place dampers in your ductwork, which are then wired to individual thermostat controls and a central control panel. The dampers shut off air to the particular zones you establish (sometimes rooms, sometimes the whole upstairs and downstairs) when you don’t want them to receive heating.

If you are interest in zoned heating in Lutz, FL, contact Ierna’s Heating & Cooling and our zone control experts today.

Benefits of Installing a Zone Control System

  • Individual comfort for the people in your home: “This house is always too hot!” “This house is always too cold!” You’ve probably heard conflicting complaints about the indoor temperature from the people who live with you. Different members of your household will have individual needs for warmth, and zoned control lets you give each of them the temperature they want. The local thermostats will allow them to make the adjustments themselves.
  • Temperatures suited to particular rooms: Not every room requires the same amount of heat—depending on what it is used for. Kitchens create a great amount of warmth from appliances, and can be a few degrees cooler than places such as the living room or the dining room. Bedrooms can be warmer, while rooms with physical activity (game rooms, home gyms) can be cooler.
  • Energy savings: You don’t have to waste extra energy to heat rooms that aren’t receiving use. For example, guest rooms can be cooled down when no one in staying in them. The U.S. Department of Energy estimates families will save 30% off their energy bills with zoned heating.
  • Even heating: If you install a zoned system for the upstairs and the downstairs, you can control the temperature to provide a more even spread of heating. As the upstairs approaches its target, the dampers close and send air to the downstairs, where its heat will rise as the upstairs cools down. This helps to eliminate the usual colds spots you get from central heating.

Have a Zone Control System Installed Today

If you’re curious about having a zone control system installed, contact Ierna’s Heating & Cooling. We’ll see if you will benefit from zoned control, and offer options for improved heating in Lutz, FL.

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The Refrigerant in Your Heat Pump: What You Need to Know

Monday, January 6th, 2014

Heat pumps are impressive heating and cooling systems, and ones which are gaining popularity across many parts of the US. Heat pumps work just like your central air conditioner, yet can provide heat to keep your home comfortable all winter long.

The way a heat pump does both of its jobs is through a chemical compound called refrigerant. In this post, we’ll explain a bit more about what refrigerant is, how it allows the heat pump to do its job, and a few things to watch out for. Taking care of trouble with refrigerant requires the work of skilled technicians, so rely on a company like Ierna’s Heating & Cooling for help with your heat pump in Tampa, FL.

Refrigerant basics

Refrigerant is a chemical compound—the different types are called “blends”—that requires only a small amount of energy to change from a liquid to a gas and back again. The earliest systems used chemicals that were either toxic or flammable, but modern heat pumps use safe blends referred to by the general name “Freon” (a trademark of DuPont). The main blend used today is R410A and is replacing an earlier blend, R22.

Refrigerant is responsible for the movement of heat from one set of coils in the heat pump to another; this is the process called heat exchange that allows a heat pump to warm your house during the winter (the refrigerant absorbs heat from the outdoor coils, releases it to the indoor coils) and cool it during the summer (the refrigerant absorbs heat from the inside coils, and releases it to the outdoor coils).

Refrigerant does not dissipate during normal operation of the heat pump. The refrigerant remains at the same level—its “charge”—as it changes between liquid and gas states. However, leaks can sometimes develop in heat pumps from corrosion, loose connections, or damage, resulting in a loss of refrigerant. When this occurs, a heat pump will start to develop icing over its coils and lose its ability to provide conditioned air.

It requires the work of a trained technician to find and seal refrigerant leaks, and then recharge the refrigerant to its regular level.

Don’t let refrigerant problems take away the great advantages of a heat pump in Tampa, FL! Call Ierna’s Heating & Cooling day or night for heat pump and AC repair service.

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