Monthly Archives: October 2017

Before Replacing your furnace…

1. Bigger is Not Better

A unit too large for your home can lead to the following problems.

  • Dramatic High and Low Temperature swings.
  • Hot Air moving in short, strong bursts can feel like a warm front blowing through your room.
  • Leads to a shorter life of your furnace, and parts may break or crack leading to additional problems such as carbon monoxide leakage.
  • Waste of energy, and it will show up on your utility bills.

 

 

2. A New Furnace Will Not Automatically Solve Your Problems

  • Your Ductwork may need to be sealed or insulated, or you may have connectivity issues.
  • Your Attic insulation levels may not be adequate. The biggest air leakage occurs in the attic through electrical and plumbing penetrations, light fixtures, gaps in corners, and recessed lighting.

 

 

3. Heat Pumps Really Do Work

  • Just like a furnace and AC, – it heats and cools your home.
  • Summer: It pulls heat and humidity from inside your home to the outside. Winter: It pulls heat from the outside air into your home.
  • Heat Pumps require a back up furnace to heat when temperature drops below 20 Degrees.

4. Humidifiers Aren’t Always the Answer

  • Adding a Humidifier to your furnace to solve dry air problems is a band aid.
  • The home is not air tight, letting cold dry air into the home.
  • A whole-home survey by an Anthony PHC Comfort Advisor will help indicate any leaking air.

5. Electric Furnaces are Not a Better Deal

  • Contractors may recommend an electric furnace because installing a new flu to meet code will take extra work.
  • Downside is your utility bill. Electric furnaces will cost 1 to 2 times the money to operate because the cost of electricity is much higher than natural gas.
  • Gas furnaces can maintain a higher comfort level and heat your home much faster than an electric furnace.
  • Natural Gas is a cleaner fuel than coal powered electricity with lower level emissions.

6. WarrantiesASAP Logo

  • In order for you manufacturers warranty on your new furnace to stay valid, annual maintenance is required.
  • An Easy Way to maintain annual maintenance is with the Anthony Service Agreement Program (A.S.A.P.) which comes standard with your Anthony PHC furnace installation.

7. Don’t Replace it with a Replica

  • Do Not replace with exact same model. Dated units, even if it is brand new, might not meet new efficiency standards or code.
  • Replacing the unit with a new high efficiency model will save you money over the long run and allow you to enjoy better comfort and lower utility bills now.

8. Ask for Load Calculations

  • Undersized units – Cannot keep up with the comfort needs of the home.
  • Oversized Units – Create bigger problems: Short Cycling, dehumidification, shorten life cycle.
  • The Correct Size – is based on square footage of your living space, but each home has unique factors such as insulation levels, number of windows and doors, how many people live there.

 

Whether you live in Lenexa or Liberty or somewhere in between understanding as much as you can about replacing your furnace before you buy will help prevent any type of buyers remorse in the long run.

If you are interested in receiving a FREE ESTIMATE from a Comfort Advisor call (913) 353-8444 or Click Here.

Cleaner Air in Your Home

If you’ve noticed dust, pollen, pet dander, dust mites, mold spores and bacteria invading your home, an electronic air cleaner is the perfect solution. Pollution isn’t a curse exclusive to the outdoors. In fact, trapped indoor air can be more polluted than outdoor air. Even though you may have filters in your furnace and air conditioner, these filters only stop about 15% of harmful airborne particles. We’ll go over the different types of contaminants that can enter your home, how these contaminants affect your health, how electronic air cleaners work to combat these contaminants, types of air cleaners, and other ways you can improve the air quality of you home aside from electronic air cleaners.

Types of Pollutants

Before we look at electronic air cleaners, we’ll go over the different types of pollutants that they fight off. Particulate matter might include dust, smoke, pollen, animal dander, tobaccos, or smoke. Dust mites, mold, bacteria and viruses can also fester in your home. Gaseous pollutants come from combustions processes, and can be caused by cooking stoves, vehicle exhaust and tobacco smoke. Building materials, cleaning products, pesticides, paints, and adhesives may also be the culprit. Sometimes lead in house dust, formaldehyde, fire-retardants, radon or cleaner chemicals might be the issue. Pollutants can be introduced to the home via a new mattress, furniture, carper cleaners or paint. You’ll need to watch out for all these pollutants in your home and react if you notice signs of their presence. pollutant

How Contaminants Affect Your Health

According to the EPA, many health issues can arise immediately after being exposed to bad indoor air quality. You may experience irritated eyes/nose/throat, headaches, dizziness and fatigue. If you have asthma, your symptoms may be aggravated by pollutant exposure. We often recommend humidifiers for those with asthma, but an electronic air cleaner can do the trick as well. Your age and pre-existing medical conditions play a part in how strongly you’ll react to pollutants in the air. You may become sensitized to biological or chemical pollutants due to repeated exposure. Symptoms appear similar to a cold or viral disease, so it may take a while for you to pick up on the fact that your air is the problem. You’ll be able to distinguish the two by checking when and where symptoms occur. If you notice your ailments fading when you’re away from your home for an extended period of time, air quality is most likely the issue. You may experience side effects years after exposure or only notice a health difference after long or repeated periods of exposure.  These effects can include such serious health problems as respiratory disease, heart disease and cancer. Everyone reacts differently, but you should be sure to remedy the problem with an electronic air cleaner if indoor air quality is harming your health.

Types of Air Cleaners

Investing in an air cleaner will increase the efficiency of your comfort system, reduce odors, lower operating costs and destroy harmful airborne contaminants. The two types of air conditioners are (1) arrestors and (2) non-arrestors. Arrestors physically trap pollutants while non-arrestors alter the pollutant characteristics without capturing them.

Mechanical Air Filters (Arrestor)

Otherwise known as media filters, these air cleaner systems utilize a mesh material, such as fiberglass fibers, to trap particles. They remove dust by capturing it in the filter medium, which is the material that makes up the filter elements. The HEPA (high efficiency particle arrestor) is one of the most efficient on the market. It can trap 99.97% of particles larger than 0.3 microns in size. The effectiveness of a mechanical air filter is measured by MERV ratings (minimum efficiency reporting value). If your filter has a lower MERV rating, chances are it will need more maintenance. Many of these filters are also washable.

merv ratings for air cleaner

Electronic Air Cleaner (Arrestor)

Electronic air cleaners aren’t filters, but rather an electric field that ionizes particles that pass through. These ionized particles are then drawn down to two, oppositely-charged collector plates on the cleaner and are caught there. You’ll need to provide an external power source to get these babies running. Electronic air cleaners are often necessary because they can remove contamination that is too small for a mechanical filter to catch. These types of cleaners require maintenance, since the plates accumulate particles. You should wash the air cleaner’s metal cells every 8 days unless you have an electronically-charged media air cleaner. These specialized units last one year, but require no cleaning at all.

electronic air cleaner

Ionic Air Cleaners and Ozone Air Cleaners (Non-Arrestors)

An Ionic air cleaner generates an electrical charge (negative ions) that makes the pollutants in the air become ‘sticky’. The ions attach to airborne molecules, making them negatively charged and attractive to the positively charged particles nearby. They cling to the ceiling and walls in the room, preventing them from drifting around your home. This may cause dirty surfaces in the area surrounding the air purifier. One downside is that they may produce ozone as a byproduct. Ozone air cleaners create a type of oxygen that combines with pollutants and alters their chemical make-up. They’re used primarily for smoke and odor removal. Large amounts of ozone are not healthy for your body. What makes an ionic air cleaner so tempting aside from that is that they are quiet, energy efficient and don’t require replacement filters.

Ultra-Violet Air Cleaners (Non-Arrestors)

If you choose to go with an ultra-violet lamp, you’ll have it installed in your heating and cooling system to destroy bacteria, mold, and viruses. Performance is dependent on the speed of the air and light intensity. UV air filters can destroy particles without any filtration. The UV rays incinerate particles as they pass through, making it easier for those with asthma, lung complications and allergies. Since UV air filters don’t use actual filters, you don’t have to worry about dirty filters further contaminating your home. UV air purifiers will need new bulbs at least once every couple of years.ultraviolet cleaners

How to Keep Your Air Clean

There are several ways you can keep your air clean aside from an air cleaner, but we recommend air cleaners when pollutants are negatively affecting your health. Aside from air cleaners, you can maintain the cleanliness of your floors, keep a healthy level of humidity, keep smoke out of your home, test for radon and regulating fragrances.

1. Clean Floors

One thing you can do to fight pollutants is keep your floors fresh by using a vacuum with a HEPA filter, strong suction, and rotating brushes. This will suck up any lead, pollen, pet dander, dust mites and brominated fire-retardant chemicals that may be festering there. Be sure to get the walls, carpet edges and upholstered furniture. And keep in mind that your vacuum filter needs to be cleaned out regularly. Other options for floor cleanliness are mopping with microfiber mops and placing floor mats at your front door to keep dirt from entering your home. You can also ask guests to remove their shoes at the door.microfiber mop

2. Healthy Humidity Level

Since dust mites and mold flourish in humid climates, you should keep your humidity levels between 30% and 50% to snuff them out. Combine a dehumidifier and run your air conditioner in the summer to reduce indoor air pollen. Other tactics for dehumidifying include (1) using an exhaust fan while cooking, (2) fixing leaky plumbing and (3) venting the clothes dryer to the outside.

3. Remove Smoke

Not only does smoking in your home yellow the walls, but it also creates second-hand smoke. This smoke contains more than 4,000 chemicals which can increase a child’s risk of ear and respiratory infections, cancer, asthma and infant death.

4. Conduct a Radon Test

Radon is a key contributor to lung cancer (second leading cause in U.S.). Since radon is colorless and odorless, you never know when it has invaded your home. This radioactive gas is formed from the natural decay of uranium found in soil, and it enters your home through cracks in the foundation. There’s also a correlation between granite countertops and increased radon levels. You can check out this guide on purchasing a radon test kit if you suspect radon may be the culprit.

radon test

5. Make Your Home Smell Good

It may surprise you to hear that synthetic fragrances in bleaches/detergent and air fresheners can pollute your home air with chemicals. One plug-in air freshener on the market was found to release 20 volatile organic compounds, seven of which were considered ‘toxic’ or ‘hazardous’ under U.S. federal laws. Companies are able to trick consumers into purchasing these products by simply listing ‘fragrance’ on the label. Many don’t realize that fragrances are made from petroleum products which haven’t been tested for negative effects on human health. To minimize the chemicals being released into your home, you can stick with fragrance-free/naturally-scented products, use mild cleaners, cut out aerosol sprays, open windows to let in fresh air, bring plants into your home and use lemons/baking soda to create a fresh scent.

Contact Us

If you’re considering an air cleaner for you home, contact us. We would love to answer any questions you may have and get you set up with the system that fits your budget and needs.

Best Plumbing in Johnson County and Best Heating & Cooling company in Johnson County.

The results are in! Anthony Plumbing, Heating & Cooling has been voted by the readers of Johnson County Lifestyle Magazine as the BEST service provider in two categories! After a record number of votes Anthony PHC was selected as the BEST Plumbing and BEST Heating & Cooling company in the area!

Additionally, Anthony PHC was voted by the readers of Leawood Lifestyle Magazine as the BEST Heating & Cooling company in the city.

Since 1951, Anthony Plumbing, Heating Cooling is Kansas City’s most trusted plumbing, heating and cooling provider with “The Technicians You Can Trust With Your House Keys!®”.

Anthony PHC has the largest customer referral network in the Kansas City area. All Anthony PHC technicians are drug tested and background checked, and, holding to a strong heritage of expertise and customer satisfaction, AnthonyPHC technicians participate in weekly classroom and hands-on training.

The Anthony Service Agreement Program (A.S.A.P.), extends the life of customer’s heating, cooling and plumbing system with annual preventative maintenance including semi-annual tune-ups and is widely supported by manufacturers and customers. Anthony PHC provides service seven days a week and is always open to attend to our customer’s needs.

Anthony PHC specializes in plumbing, heating and cooling service, maintenance and installation. Furthermore, Anthony PHC is an industry leader in home automation with its Anthony MyHome line of products.

Owner & Home Comfort Expert, Steve Burbridge proclaims, “We are honored to have been voted as the best plumbing, heating and cooling company in the area as we strive every day to provide solutions for our customers to be safe, healthy, and comfortable with the least amount of energy use. We welcome anyone who is not a current customer to see why we truly are “The Technicians You Can TRUST With Your House Keys!®”.

Is your AC blowing hot air?

There are several reasons why your home AC may be blowing hot air. We’ll go over the different causes, reasons for malfunctions, and troubleshooting for the problem. We’ll also go over causes for your car AC blowing hot air and some quick fixes outside visiting a mechanic.

Home AC Blowing Hot Air

1. Thermostat Setting

If you’ve noticed that your AC is blowing hot air, the first step is to make sure that your thermostat system is set to ‘cool’ and your fan is on ‘auto’ (if you don’t have a whole-home air cleaner). When your fan is on, it’s constantly blowing air through your vents. It can be active even when your system isn’t cooling the air that’s leaving the vents. It’s a good way to improve air quality for those with a whole-home air cleaner, but it doesn’t do much to cool your home if the system isn’t set to ‘cool’. This is a common reason warm/neutral air might be blowing through your vents. You should also lower your temperature setting to be at least 5 degrees below what the room temperature says on the thermostat. Make sure your unit’s temperature isn’t set too high on auto either. Remember to change the setting from ‘heat’ to ‘cool’ in the summertime.ac blowing hot air thermostat

2. Dirty Condenser Unit

Otherwise known as the outside unit, the condenser unit may be the culprit for an AC blowing hot air. The inside and outside unit work together to remove heat from within the home. If there’s anything interfering with the system’s moving parts (dirt, leaves, tall grass, etc.), you’ll need to remove this blockage to get your AC working the way it should. If there’s restricted airflow, the condenser coil won’t be able to do its job. Use a broom to get rid of visible debris and trim brushes, weeds and tall grass that may be interfering with airflow.

dirty condenser unit

3. Dirty Air Filter

Since the air filter protects the inside of your AC unit from dust and dirt, it can prevent proper airflow if not properly maintained. Those who live in warmer climates needs to check their air filter once a month. The filter alone won’t be the cause of your AC blowing hot air. However, it can add to the problem and reduce cooling efficiency. To fix this issue, turn off the unit, order a new filter or clean the dirty filter, then reinstall the filter.

dirty clean air filter

4. Low Refrigerant

When your AC unit is losing refrigerant, the air blowing throughout your home will not be cool. It’s an issue that requires a professional to come take a look at it, because you can’t see a leak with the naked eye. Since refrigerant isn’t ‘used up’ over time, low refrigerant indicates a leak. If you don’t fix the leak, the refrigerant you add will just continue to escape. These leaks could be caused by a loose joint due to frequent use or perhaps the unit was assembled poorly by the manufacturer. Another common culprit is a worn service valve. This is typically caused by turning on the AC after inactivity all winter. You can prevent leakage by having the unit serviced before turning it on for the summer or right after turning it on.

5. Leaky Air Ducts

Other leaks can be responsible for AC blowing hot air. Leaks in air ducts can mess up the system’s cooling process, so contact a professional to locate the ducts within your walls, attic or basement and seal the leaks. When cooled or heated air leaves through the duct leaks, your AC has to run longer to match the thermostat setting. This means you have a higher energy bill on top of warm air. You’ll also have to deal with more AC repairs, hot/cold spots in your home and more frequent filter changing. In most houses, 20-30% of the air moving through the duct system is wasted due to holes, poorly connected ducts and leaks.

leaky air duct

6. Loss of Power to Outside Unit

When the outside unit loses power but the inside unit doesn’t, you might notice your AC blowing hot air. Power can be lost in the circuit breaker (check to see if it got tripped) or an emergency shutoff switch. You’ll find this switch on your home’s exterior wall next to the outside AC unit. If the breaker switch (pictured below) is your problem, flip it all the way off and then back on. Normally, breakers flip on or off due to power overload. With too much current, it switches off as a safety precaution. If flipping the breaker back on doesn’t do the trick, contact an Anthony PHC technician. In the even that your breaker is dead, an electrician will need to be called in.ac breaker valve

7. Air Conditioner Freezing

Air conditioners can freeze solid into a block of ice, a common reason for your AC blowing hot air.  The part of your AC that’s frozen is the evaporator coil. It blocks cool air from entering your home. The motor is what’s providing the heat if the fan isn’t frozen as well. This freezing occurs when condensation builds up within the unit. If the temperature at which the AC Is blowing falls below 32 degrees, the freezing process begins. Where we see this most often is on hot days when homeowners crank up their AC to the highest setting. To prevent this, keep your thermostat between 70 and 72 degrees Fahrenheit on auto. To combat a frozen air conditioner, turn it off and let it thaw over the span of a couple hours. Then, turn the unit back on again. If the problem continues, you may need to contact a professional.frozen ac

8. Bad Compressor

Your compressor collects cool, low-pressure refrigerant gas from inside, then squeezes the refrigerant and raises its temperature/pressure.  When this happens, the transformed refrigerant exits the compressor as a hot, high-pressure gas. If the compressor isn’t working properly, the whole system collapses. Normally these compressors go out due to electrical failures, overheating and refrigerant coming back to the compressor. Compressors are sturdy parts, typically lasting at least 10 years and into 20. This part can be replaced, though it may be more cost-efficient to just purchase a new AC unit.

compressor

9. Electrical Problems

If a wire is frayed or damaged, it can cause your AC to underperform or break entirely. Wires can undergo damage from overheating or family pets, so it’s important to keep your wires unexposed. An AC repair company can take care of your broken wires.

Car AC Blowing Hot Air

1. Blocked/Broken Condenser

The condenser, which looks similar to the radiator, is located at the front of your vehicle. It turns the hot, compressed refrigerant into an ambient temperature as it comes from your compressor. It also uses the air your car is traveling through. Without a working condenser, the warm refrigerant travels through the expansion valve. This results in the AC blowing hot air. Condensers are susceptible to blockage because they’re located at the front of the vehicle. You can remove any debris that may be causing the blockage, or remove the condenser yourself if you feel confident in your mechanical skills. The condenser is mounted in with a few bolts and there are 2 refrigerant lines which you will need to remove. If the puncture isn’t visible to the naked eye, you can use UV dye in your AC system to find the puncture point.

car ac unit

2. Low Refrigerant

Refrigerant turns hot air into cold air by taking in and releasing heat, leaving the cool air behind. Low refrigerant can be caused by a loose connection, the escape of refrigerant as time goes on, or an old hose. Even a minuscule leak can be the cause of your car AC blowing hot air. A common refrigerant is Freon, a liquid which is similar to motor oil and radiant coolant. To identify a refrigerant leak, you can check for oily residue around the AC hose units or connections. Leaks can occur in the compressor, condenser and/or evaporator.

3. Broken Cooling Fans

Another possibility is that the vehicle has a broken cooling fan. Condensers need air moving over them to cool the refrigerant. This fan can wear out and eventually die. Another issue may be that the cooling fans blew a fuse or was clogged. Other electrical system failures might include issues with the relays or pressure switches.

4. Worn Out Compressor

The compressor circulates refrigerant through several stages to remove the heat from your car, but it can wear out over time due to contamination or other failed parts. To prevent your compressor from going out, you should run it for 10 minutes once a month in the off season. This can be done by turning on the defroster. You can also visit a mechanical for an AC checkup.

compressor

Contact Us

While these are some troubleshooting tactics that you can try when your AC is blowing hot air , we recommend contacting a professional if these tips don’t fix the problem. Our certified technicians receive 100 hours of training each year, and we pride ourselves on being the ‘technicians you can trust with your house keys’. Check out our blog post on air conditioning repair to learn more about how the system works and what you can do to maintain a healthy system.