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HVAC Maintenance for Spring Allergies Richmond, VA

Posted on: May 7th, 2018 by fosterpandh No Comments

Spring Allergies

Spring may be in the air in Richmond, VA, but so is pollen and other pollutants. If you suffer from seasonal allergies, you likely have a love-hate relationship with springtime. You can’t escape exterior allergens by staying inside. Research shows your home HVAC system may be blowing 3-5 times more contaminants into your home than outside air contains.

Let’s explore how you and your HVAC technician, working together, can decrease those allergy irritants in your inside air.

Reasons to Schedule HVAC Preventative Maintenance

Annual preventative maintenance, performed by a certified technician, is the most important thing you can do to avoid potential problems and extend the lifespan of your HVAC system. To reduce the risk of indoor allergens, many homeowners prefer scheduling HVAC preventative maintenance at the beginning of spring.

During spring maintenance, your HVAC technician will inspect the entire system, lubricate moving parts, clean coils and blades. If necessary, he will calibrate your thermostat. When repairs or replacement components are necessary, the work can be completed before the sticky summer arrives in Richmond, VA.

Preventative Maintenance Benefits

HVAC maintenance is a savvy investment for Richmond, VA homeowners, which pays off in increased dependability and peak performance of your AC unit.

Of course, one of your major goals is improved air quality when spring allergies are an issue. Dirty AC filters are the main culprit of contaminated air circulation throughout your home. Clean filters trigger healthier indoor airflow. Your HVAC technician will do a routine inspection of the AC filter and clean or replace it when appropriate. He will also clean dirty blowers and/or coils, which considerably decreases pollutants in the indoor air.

On average, the lifespan of your HVAC system is 10-15-years. Adding regular preventative maintenance can extend its life another five years. Since replacing your entire HVAC system is expensive, maintaining the one you have will save you money.

In the Meantime…

Between professional check-ups of your AC unit, you can take measures to maintain it and help decrease the risks of allergens in your Richmond, VA home.

Let’s revisit the subject of dirty air filters. The HVAC filter is your single most line of defense against airborne contaminants. It is a homeowner responsibility to examine the air filter about every six weeks and if dirty, replace the old one with a new AC filter.

Dirty filters are a health hazard for family members who have spring allergies. Other health concerns that can be exacerbated by clogged AC filters are: flu-like bugs, asthma, sore throat, congestion and more.

You do not want mold. To guard against serious build-ups of mold, regularly inspect any visible ductwork and air vents in each room. Be alert for signs of mold.

If you see ductwork that is disconnected or cracked, repair with foil-backed tape, which is designed to stop allergens from getting in and keep conditioned air from getting out and cooling your attic. Condensation creates moisture and mold thrives on moistness. Ensure ductwork in your attic is well insulated, to prevent condensation.

Clean in the vicinity of your indoor unit to keep dust from getting into your HVAC system. Dust and debris in the AC system can block up the condensate drain and cause mold growth.

Dirt, dust and mold can collect inside your ductwork. If your conditioned air smells musty, or you see visible signs of mold around the rim of your air vents, call your HVAC Company for a professional ductwork cleaning.

Scope out the space surrounding your outdoor AC unit. Clear any debris within a two-foot radius of the exterior unit. Pull weeds and trim any shrubbery taller than five feet.

Final Words

In Richmond, VA, spring is the ideal time for professional HVAC preventative maintenance. Certified technicians can significantly reduce symptoms of allergies, by getting rid of allergens, such as pollen, dust mites and dust mites in your HVAC system.

4 Tips to Prevent Damage to Your HVAC System during a Midlothian Rainstorm

Posted on: April 9th, 2017 by fosterpandh No Comments

View from a Rain Streak Window in a Rainstorm

Residents of Midlothian, Virginia know the torrential downpours that hit the East Coast can do a significant amount of damage to one’s home. And,  unfortunately, your HVAC unit may take the brunt of wind and rain during inclement weather, particularly if left uncovered. Here are a few helpful tips to keep your HVAC system safe and operational the next time a storm rolls through Midlothian.

1. Invest in Protective Covers

Protective Covers are one of the simplest and most inexpensive solution for your storm worries. These covers are available at most home improvement retailers for around $30, and can help to keep your system free of the water and debris that tends to collect during a storm. The options can range from a zip-on cover to a trellis cover; whatever goes best with the aesthetic and level of protection you need.

2. Keep Your Yard Free of Debris

Other than preserving the cleanliness of your yard, regular debris collection is an important part of home maintenance, especially when it comes to protecting the long-term functionality of your outdoor HVAC system. Materials that infiltrate your unit, such as leaves or branches, can become lodged and cause your system to shut down. Even those who regularly maintain their yard forget to check the areas around their HVAC, but it is a simple and essential step that can make a world of difference.

3. Install Your System in an Elevated Location

Depending on where you live in the Midlothian area, and specifically if your home is situated near water, you may be susceptible to flooding that can cause irreparable harm to your HVAC. To assess the average height of floodwaters in your area, contact your city’s building commission or check the county records online. Your Foster Plumbing & Heating technician can also provide more insight into the tools necessary to move your system to higher ground.

4. Install a Sump Pump in Your Basement

In many older homes, the HVAC system resides in the basement – the first place a house begins to flood during heavy rains. If your home’s system is located below, a sump pump is your best bet. A sump pump does exactly as its name suggests: pumps water out of the house and prevents it from pooling in your basement. They activate automatically and can be easily installed with the help of a licensed technician.

If you’re concerned about damage to your HVAC system, it never hurts to contact a professional for an evaluation. If you’re looking to request HVAC service, Foster Plumbing & Heating is here to help. For more information on HVAC repair and maintenance in Midlothian, Virginia, visit our Home Heating & AC Services Page.

 

This post originally appeared on Gladd HVAC.

Learning To Recognize Furnace Noises

Posted on: January 20th, 2016 by fosterpandh No Comments

Your furnace does the important job of keeping your home warm and comfortable during the cold parts of the year. Since you rely on this appliance so heavily, it is a good idea to monitor its operations, especially during the months when it is used the most, and to have a certified HVAC (Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning) technician perform routine maintenance on your furnace and carry out repairs when necessary.

Like any other appliance, a furnace will occasionally suffer from functional problems, and as its life goes on its age will start to show. One sign of this that you may notice is unusual noises your furnace may make as it operates. Though this can be alarming, it’s not always something to worry about. Recognizing what causes different noises will help you know when your furnace is behaving normally and when it is in need of heating service in Richmond, Virginia.

Furnace Noises To Listen For

Screeching

A screeching noise can be indicative of a problem with your furnace’s motor or one of the motor’s bearings. Repairs may be necessary.

Chirping

A high-pitched metallic sound may simply be a minor misalignment of the furnace’s fan motor or blower wheel, or a warped mounting plate. It may be possible to adjust these components yourself, but if you aren’t sure, contact a trained professional.

Rattling

A rattling noise when the furnace starts up might be caused by a problem with a motor bearing. A rattling noise as the unit shuts down, however, is normal as the metal cools off and probably does not require attention.

Various Metallic Noises

Small, occasional pings or pops are generally just your home’s ducts expanding and contracting as the temperature changes. Louder, booming sounds coming through the ducts more frequently might indicate dirty furnace burners or a faulty gas valve—both issues that should be dealt with by a technician.

Vibrating or Whining

These noises are very irregular and you should contact a professional immediately upon hearing them.

Getting to know the sounds made by your furnace a little better lets you determine when heating service in Richmond, Virginia may be necessary.

A heating system is sometimes part of a larger HVAC system. This equipment is usually incorporated into a home when it is first constructed, or installed and should be maintained by a Richmond-area heating service company employing professional HVAC experts.

A Heating System Helps You Feel Safe and Warm

Posted on: December 20th, 2015 by fosterpandh No Comments

The need to stay warm when the weather is cold is a very basic, very important human need, and people have been developing technology to keep buildings heated since the days of Ancient Greece. Heating a room or other small area can be accomplished through the use of a space heater such as a wood or gas fireplace or a small electric coil heater. However, in order to heat Richmond-area homes, a heating system is the most effective option.

All About Central Heat

Central heating is the most common and most efficient way this is achieved in homes. Central heating involves generating heat in one location somewhere inside of a building and then distributing that heat throughout the home using pipes or ducts. There are a number of different ways this heat can be produced and dispersed.

How Does Central Heat Work?

The source of heat for a home’s central heating might be a furnace that heats air electrically or by consuming a resource such as natural gas or propane. It may even be a boiler that uses steam or hot water to create heat. Some home heating systems can even draw heat from deep within the Virginia earth using a geothermal heat pump.

Distributing Heat Evenly

The manner in which the generated heat is then carried to different parts of the home tends to vary based on the type of heat source. The heated air from a furnace travels through a network of ducts that each terminate in registers that warm up individual areas. The hot water from a boiler heats a home by flowing through tubing underneath floors. If the boiler generates steam, the steam moves through pipes and circulates through radiators in various rooms throughout the home that gradually fill the area with warmth. Geothermal heating technology carries heat into the home through pipes that run into the ground.

A heating system is sometimes part of a larger HVAC system. This equipment is usually incorporated into a home when it is first constructed, or installed and should be maintained by a Richmond-area heating service company employing professional HVAC experts.

Tips to Help Troubleshoot Problems With Your Furnace

Posted on: October 20th, 2015 by fosterpandh No Comments

The days are becoming shorter, the temperature is starting to decrease and the first frost is only a couple of months away. If you ended last winter with a furnace that was on the fritz, then it might be time to have the problem rectified before you’re left watching TV while wearing your winter coat. One of the first things you can do is some basic troubleshooting, but if these steps do not work, you should contact a heating contractor for your furnace repair in Richmond, VA.

One problem could be that the furnace runs and provides some heat, but the heat flow is not adequate for keeping your home comfortable. Check the furnace to make sure nothing is blocking the vents. Also, you can check the filer. If it is dirty, you should replace it. Also, make sure the thermostat is set properly. If none of these tasks can fix the problem, the blower might not be working properly or the system could be out of balance. A furnace repair technician should be able to correct these problems and help you with your furnace repair in Richmond, VA.

If your furnace does not work at all, the problem could be a malfunctioning thermostat, a tripped circuit breaker or blown fuse. Make sure the unit is set to heat, if you have a combination heating and cooling system. You can replace a blown fuse or reset the circuit breaker. Also, the motor may need to be reset because of an overload. There should be a reset button near the blower motor’s housing. Press the reset button. If this does not work, wait 30 minutes and press the reset button again. The 30-minute break will allow for the motor to cool. If none of these steps can correct the problem, a repair technician should be able to fix the problem, which could be a faulty thermostat.

Before the snow and subzero temperatures arrive, make sure you have a working furnace that is free of any problems. If a few basic troubleshooting steps fail to correct the problem, a technician should be able to help you with yourfurnace repair in Richmond, VA.

Maintain Your Heating System to Prevent Headaches in the Winter

Posted on: October 10th, 2015 by fosterpandh No Comments

In a couple of short months the winter will arrive, and with it will come subzero temperatures, ice and snow. For many people, this is one of the most unpleasant times of the year, but it will be even worse if your heating system fails. Before the cold weather is here, it might be a good idea to hire a heating contractor in Midlothian, VA, to assess your current system. A heating technician can do routine maintenance, fix problems or install a new system in your home.

Annual maintenance for a heating system is a good idea for many reasons. Heating equipment that is maintained annually uses about 13 percent less fuel than systems that do not receive any maintenance. A tune-up by a heating contractor in Midlothian, VA, can improve a unit’s efficiency byas much as 20 percent. Also, an annual tune-up can extend the life of a heating system by about 20 to 30 percent. About 75 percent of emergency repairs can be avoided by having annual maintenance. It would be much more desirable to have maintenance in autumn and avoid a break down when there is a couple of feet of snow on the ground.

The average life of a home heating system is about 12 to 15 years. If your system is in that age range, it might be time to think about having it replaced. If your systems keeps breaking down or it is not keeping you as comfortable as it did in the past, replacing it might be your best option. A heating technician will size your current furnace and determine what type of replacement would be best for your house. Most heating systems can be replaced in a day.

Before you know it, Old Man Winter will be knocking at your door. It is best to be proactive and have your heating system evaluated. A heating contractor in Midlothian, VA, can help you decide what is best for your heating system.

Upgrading To Central Air Is Worth The Investment

Posted on: September 20th, 2015 by fosterpandh No Comments

Most homes in the United States have some form of cooling system in place for dealing with warmer weather. If your home is cooled by window air conditioning (AC) units, upgrading to central air can provide many benefits. An AC contractor in Midlothian, VA like Foster Plumbing& Heatingcan help you select the right size and type of unit for your home.

Window units can do a great job of cooling down one room at a time. However, if your home is large you may need multiple units to cool down your whole home. Otherwise, you may have to pick and choose which areas of your house are cool and which remain hot. Central AC is superior in that it can cool your entire house simultaneously. This is much more efficient and may actually consume less energy.Window units are also very noisy. Not having to speak loudly or turn up the volume on the television are great benefits to getting rid of your window AC units. Upgrading to central air means the machinery and the noise are all moved outside. Foster Plumbing & Heating can evaluate your home’s exterior to determine the ideal place to install the new system.

One of the largest yet least obvious benefits to upgrading to central air is how it can vastly enhance the air quality of your home. The filters within the system can block airborne particles like lint, as well as allergens such as dust, pollen, and pet dander. If anyone in your home suffers from allergies or asthma, upgrading to central AC can largely improve their caliber of life.Plus, the system may utilize a programmable thermostat to keep the temperature and indoor conditions consistent throughout the day.

While the upfront costs of installing central air can seem intimidating, the investment will be worth it in the long run. In addition to the enjoyment you will get from it, it will increase your home’s overall value as well. A specialized AC contractor in Midlothian, VA can help you evaluate your options and guide you through the installation process.

Common Air Conditioner Problems May Need Repair, Not Replacement

Posted on: September 10th, 2015 by fosterpandh No Comments

Imagine it’s the hottest day of the year and your air conditioner is on the fritz. You may be tempted to panic as you break into a sweat from the heat and from the thought of the cost of replacing your unit. Your fears may be unfounded, as not every problem or malfunction means that your air conditioner needs to be replaced. Calling Foster Plumbing&Heating for an air conditioning repair in Richmond, VA can get you on your way to evaluating the problem.

There are a few common reasons for cooling systems to malfunction, none of which require replacing the entire system. If the unit is completely dead and will not turn on, this may be due to a broken thermostat or an electrical issue. It could also be that the vegetation surrounding your unit has become overgrown and clogged the vents, causing the capacitor to fail. Another common problem is that the system seems to be working but is making an unexpected noise. Any rattling, vibrating or squeaking should definitely be checked out by a professional in air conditioning repair in Richmond, VA.

If air is coming through the ducts but doesn’t feel cold, it could mean the power to the condenser coil has been interrupted. Another possible reason for this problem is that it is running low on refrigerant. If that is the issue, it can easily be recharged. It is also possible that this is not a problem with the unit at all, but a problem with a leak in your ducts. An HVAC expert will be able to diagnose and fix any leaks.

If at all possible, you should try to test out your cooling system before the weather gets too hot. And if you do identify any problems, don’t wait until the peak of the summer season to find a quality company to repair your air conditioning unit. Call Foster Plumbing & Heating for you air conditioning repair in Richmond, VA and to get your system back up and running as soon as possible.

Stay Cool This Summer With Air Conditioning Repair in Midlothian VA

Posted on: August 15th, 2015 by fosterpandh No Comments

Summertime is the greatest time of year for many Virginians. Kids are out of school, vacations are coming due, and the warm weather makes it a great opportunity to get outdoors and fire up the grill. While these are awesome things to look forward to this summer, don’t forget that at some point you’ll want to head back indoors and cool off. If your AC has been on the fritz, it’s probably best to find out more about air conditioning repair in Midlothian, VA before things get a little too hot to handle.

Even if your air conditioner is functioning properly at this time, you might want to have it looked at by an AC maintenance expert to prevent any sudden issues down the line, particularly if it’s an older model. Not only is this a great way to make a quality connection for your present and future repair needs, but it could save you a significant amount of money by catching any potential problems with your AC before they spiral out of control.

A great provider of air conditioning repair in Midlothian, VA will give you a no-hassle, no-obligation assessment of your AC repair needs. This means that your maintenance expert will take a comprehensive look at your air conditioning equipment and provide you with a clear look at any issues you may need to address. You’ll also be quoted a price that is fair and will fit your budget.

If you and your family find yourselves dealing with a sudden air conditioning crisis in your home, don’t fret! Quality AC repair companies will make it a point to quickly and efficiently respond to your problem so that you don’t have to go a significant amount of time without proper cooling for your home. Moreover, they’ll quote you a flat-rate up front so you don’t have to worry about paying by the hour.

When it comes to staying cool this summer, don’t risk an unexpected AC crisis that could leave you and your family without a place to cool off. There are friendly and prompt companies providing air conditioning repair in Midlothian, VA that are standing by to help you nip your AC issues in the bud before they even crop up.

AC Contractor In Richmond, VA

Posted on: August 10th, 2015 by fosterpandh No Comments

Due to frequent rainstorms, summers in the mid-Atlantic region are hot and the humidity is often high. In order to manage the sizzling temperatures successfully, you’ll want to spend a good deal of time indoors, which means you need to keep your home comfortable. To that end, your AC contractor in Richmond, VA, is ready to ensure that your air-conditioning system hums along in prime condition.

Airconditioning experts offer tips that you can follow to help keep your cooling system in good repair.First, change your air filters. Dirty air filters can cause health problems because they recirculate dust and dirt particles throughout the air in your home. They also cause your unit to work harder than necessary, which can lead to the need for repair or even replacement.

Another tip is to examine your condensation drain line, the pipe through which humidity is removed from your air-conditioner. It can become clogged—as from the growth of algae, for example—and need to be cleared in order to operate efficiently.Along with cleaning your drain line, you should remove any debris from the area around your AC unit. This will prevent leaves, weeds or similar clutter from contaminating your cooling system by being sucked into the vents. Need help with these chores? You can always turn to your AC contractor in Richmond, VA.

If you are considering upgrading your current air conditioner, or thinking about the kind of system you want for the new home you’re building, AC professionals can provide you with the pertinent details about leading brands and details that include system capacity and price comparisons. You’ll need information about the accessories, too, such as air cleaners and thermostats.

With a little proactive maintenance and professional help from your AC contractor in Richmond, VA, you can be assured that your air conditioner will run perfectly in the months ahead so that you and your family can keep cool and comfortable, even on the hottest days of the year.

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