Frequently Asked Questions
Learn a little about the world of HVAC with these Frequently Asked Questions. Just click on a question to view the answer!
What is indoor air quality?
Indoor air quality, or IAQ, is the term used to describe the quality of air in buildings and structures as it relates to the health of the persons inside.
Indoor air can be 2 to 5 times more polluted than outside air, and we spend 80-90% of our time indoors. The EPA (Environmental Protection Agency) has indoor air quality ranked as one of the top 5 environmental dangers. Poor indoor air quality is linked to severe asthma, allergy development, heart problems and lung cancer.
How often should I have my AC serviced?
We recommend servicing your air conditioning unit once a year, ideally in the spring. This ensures efficiency and smooth operation during the hottest months of the year.
How often should I have my furnace inspected?
We recommend an annual furnace inspection. Like a car, your furnace requires regular maintenance to ensure that it runs as well as it should. Without regular service your furnace could stop working abruptly and leave you in the cold.
What is a heat pump?
A heat pump is a device that transfers heat from one place to another, from indoors to outdoors or from outdoors to indoors. In the winter a heat pump works like a heater, extracting heat energy from outside and transferring it inside. In the summer the process reverses and it will remove heat from your home and transfer it outside like an air conditioner.
How often should I replace my air filter?
The filters in your home need to be changed either once a month or once every three months, it depends on the kind you are using. You should check the product information on the filters for the manufacturer’s suggested frequency of change. Frequency also depends on where you live, what your climate is and how often you are running your AC or heat. In high heat months when your AC is running constantly you may need to change your filter more frequently.
Why is my air conditioner blowing hot air?
There are few simple reasons that your air conditioner could be blowing hot air and a few more complicated ones.
First check your thermostat and make sure that it is set correctly. If it is, a dirty air filter or other air flow restriction may be the cause. You should also check both your inside and outside units to make sure they are clear of debris and running correctly.
If all of these things check out, it could be that your unit has leaked refrigerant, has a bad compressor or other electrical problem. These are more serious and should be left to professionals.
Why is my air conditioner freezing up?
An air conditioner may freeze up for a few different reasons. You either have insufficient air flow, a nighttime temperature that is too cool, a bad compressor or you are low on freon. Restricted air flow or low refrigerant will cause a drop in pressure which causes the coil to freeze. When the air outside is too cold at night, the pressure drops and causes the coil to freeze.
When should I replace my furnace?
Experts say that the average life of a furnace is 12-18 years. So age would be the first thing to consider when thinking about replacing your furnace. You may also want to look at the size of your furnace and the space that you need to heat. One of our technicians can help look at this and help you decide if you need to upgrade your furnace efficiency. Newer furnaces operate much more efficiently and may cost a bit up front but will save you money in the long run.
How can I maintain my air conditioner?
First and foremost always make sure the power is turned off before beginning any routine maintenance. The most important things to clean are the air filter, coils, fins and drains. For window units you also should check all seals.
Check and clean or replace your air filter. This is the number one thing to remember in AC maintenance. Cleaning the coil and the area around it ensures adequate airflow around the condenser. If the fins on your evaporator are bent they can block airflow; cleaning these and bending them back is part of routine maintenance. Drain channels can also get blocked and can be unblocked by a stiff wire.
How can I maintain my furnace?
Make sure you turn off the power before beginning any maintenance. Remove and clean or replace your furnace filter. Depending on the filter and furnace type you may need to do this monthly or every three months, and some filter types can just be cleaned. Check with your manufacturer if you are unsure about what kind of filter you have.
Vacuum out any dust and dirt that may have accumulated inside the furnace using a brush attachment. Take care not to damage any wiring inside of this compartment.
With locations in Bellingham, WA and Friday Harbor, WA, West Mechanical Inc. proudly serves Blaine, Lynden, Ferndale, Burlington, Mt. Vernon, Everson, Sumas and the surrounding communities. Request service online today or call us at 360-734-7599.