Back To School: Air Conditioning 101

Learn The Basics About Air Conditioning

Regardless of a home's HVAC system, the mechanical components that do the job are usually similar. They can be separate, half inside and half outside, or combined in one cabinet. The air conditioning cycle has no beginning or end. Devices that help it all work provide demand and supply functions in a way that homeowners take for granted all the time.

Keep reading for information about the different types of AC systems available, signs the AC system may need repair, and the maintenance AC systems require.

Two Common Types of Air Conditioning Systems

ductless mini splitTwo standard air conditioning systems are central air conditioning and ductless mini-split systems. The main distinctions between a ductless mini-split system and a central air conditioning system are cost, maintenance needs, and the overall aesthetic. Ductless mini-split systems are more expensive but require little to no maintenance. Central air conditioners are less costly and nearly invisible but need annual maintenance.

Another distinction between central air and ductless mini-splits is how they distribute heated or cooled air within the house. Central AC systems use a single, big fan-powered ventilation unit, whereas mini-splits employ several smaller ones. Ductless mini-split systems are more energy efficient than traditional systems, and installation expenses are lower with no requirement for an outdoor compressor. Ductless systems provide quieter operation owing to direct indoor coil cooling rather than external recirculation of cold air that has been pre-cooled.

How to Know When The AC System Needs Repair

AC problem signsIf homeowners hear strange sounds from the air conditioner, such as squealing or grinding, it may need repair. The air conditioner could require cleaning, or something may have come loose and is producing an unusual sound. This may also be a symptom of impending air conditioning failure and, if recognized early, can save a lot of money by preventing major repairs.

Increased energy costs are another warning sign that the air conditioner needs to be repaired. The increased cost usually means the air conditioner isn't working correctly and is attempting to compensate when it should be cooling the home. The increased energy use is generally caused by inefficiency from mechanical components worn out over time.

Air Conditioning Maintenance

Scheduling a professional for air conditioner maintenance is vital to assess the appliance's performance. This is also an excellent opportunity to voice any worries or queries regarding the air system. Part calibration, corrosion detection, thorough cleaning, and a complete system check are all typical features of professional maintenance.

There are several significant advantages of having a home's cooling system maintained regularly. One of the most important is that the system will deteriorate faster and cost more money if it isn't taken care of. Homeowners can perform one of the most important steps in air conditioner maintenance, replacing the air filter. Homeowners should replace their air conditioner's filter every three months.

About Bedell Home Services

Bedell Home Services has covered everything from simple AC maintenance or filter replacement to the most complex plumbing installations. Call them today for HVAC service in Carmel, IN.

Head Back To School with Water Heaters 101

Educate Yourself on Water Heater Basics!

With school back in session and the kids out of the house all day, many homeowners find they have a little more time on their hands. And what better way to use some of that time than to learn more about their home’s essential systems and appliances? 

Being aware of the basics of these systems means homeowners are better equipped to maintain them, spot signs of trouble, and make more informed choices about replacing or upgrading them. And since it’s so essential to everyday life, the water heater is the perfect place to begin. This article will go over the key points every homeowner needs to know about their water heater - but don’t worry, there won’t be a test at the end!

The Various Types of Water Heaterswater heater

It’s good to be aware of what kinds of water heaters are out there, particularly when it comes time to replace that clunky old unit. Many homes use gas water heaters, which burn natural gas to provide heat, while other homes feature electric water heaters, which supply heat via electric heating elements. Gas is typically cheaper, so these units tend to cost less to operate, but electric units are generally more energy-efficient and require less upkeep.
Both gas and electric water heaters come in conventional or tankless models. In conventional units, water is stored in a large tank and kept hot around the clock, while tankless units rapidly heat water only as needed as it flows through the unit, making them much more energy-efficient.

Other water heater types are a bit more creative about saving energy. Heat pump water heaters draw thermal energy from the surrounding air and use it to heat the water. Solar water heaters convert energy from the sun’s rays into heating power. Condensing water heaters work like a regular gas-powered unit but utilize the gas exhaust to augment the unit’s heating power.

Water Heater Maintenance Basics

Every water heater needs routine maintenance to continue functioning properly. This is particularly important in regions with very hard water - the minerals in hard water will build up inside the unit and cause a variety of problems, such as clogged pipes and valves, corrosion, and overheating. But normal wear and tear can cause plenty of problems as well.

Annual water heater maintenance should include: 

  • Draining and flushing the unit (whether conventional or tankless) to remove mineral deposits
  • Testing the temperature & pressure relief valve
  • Removing and inspecting the anode rod (which helps prevent tank corrosion)
  • Cleaning all filters

Most basic tasks can be performed by the homeowner per the manufacturer’s instructions. Still, a professional should perform more advanced (and equally necessary) tasks to avoid injury or damage to the unit.

water heater Telltale Signs a Water Heater Needs Repairs

Keeping up on maintenance is the best way to prevent problems, but it’s still important to know how to spot problems when they arise - the earlier, the better. If the unit is leaking, it may just be a loose pipe fitting or a partially open valve, but it could be the T&P release valve or even a cracked tank, both of which should be addressed promptly.

Strange noises coming from the unit (popping, hissing, screeching, clanging) could indicate sediment buildup or even more dangerous issues like a gas leak. Low hot water pressure, no hot water, or frequent temperature fluctuations point to a clog, thermostat issue, faulty limit switch, or a malfunctioning burner or heating element. No matter the issue, homeowners should never delay in calling a professional for water heater repair - some issues can be extremely dangerous or cause irreparable damage to the unit.

About Bedell Home Services

Bedell Home Services has served Carmel, IN with pride for years. Their courteous licensed technicians are available 24/7 for emergencies. They offer competitive up-front pricing, financing, and a highly beneficial membership plan. Call now for water heater services!