Archive for November, 2013

Does the Size of My Heat Pump Matter?

Saturday, November 23rd, 2013

Does the size of my heat pump matter?” the short answer is “yes.” The size of your heater or air conditioning unit is one of the most important things about it, and you need to consider it very carefully before you install a new unit. Here in Alamo Heights TX, a heat pump installation is a fairly normal procedure, but you should have a good idea of exactly what you need before installing one. That includes knowing what size pump you need.

Heating and cooling capacity is measured in British Thermal Units or BTUs. As a general rule, you need about 30 BTUs of power to heat one square foot of living space. That should make it fairly easy to perform a rough estimate of what size heating pump you need. A trained heating technician can make a more accurate inspection and factor in such elements as sunlight exposure and insulation in your attic to perform a more accurate measurement.

General Air Conditioning can take care of your Alamo Heights, TX heat pump installation.

The reasons why are very important. We like to call it the Goldilocks rule: your heater should be neither too large nor too small but just right. If your heat pump is too small, you can see the problem. It will struggle to heat the area adequately, increasing the strain and the energy consumed without offering you a comfortable home in the bargain. But if the heat pump is too large, it’s going to experience similar problems. It will cycle on and off too often, increasing strain on the unit and expending unnecessary amounts of energy. Neither is an acceptable option. Only a unit sized just right for your space will do the job as intended.

In Alamo Heights, TX, heat pump installation services like General Air Conditioning can provide sound advice on the kind of heat pump that’s right for your home. We know that the size of your heat pump matters and we’re dedicated to making sure you have the perfect fit. When the time comes to install it, we perform the operation with skill and care. Pick up the phone today and call us to schedule an appointment, or check out our other services offered!

Why You Should Replace Your Heater Even If It’s Still Working Well

Monday, November 18th, 2013

It seems like a waste of money to consider a heating replacement when your current heater appears to be doing an effective job of keeping you warm. In a climate like that of San Antonio, TX though, a replacing your heater won’t often seem like much of a priority because heaters only receive a short season of work.

However, there are some good reasons to consider getting a new heater, even if there doesn’t seem to be anything wrong with your current one. We’ll go over a few of those reasons here. If you need technicians to come to your house and look over your current heater and then offer recommendations, turn to General Air Conditioning. Since 1997, we’ve served San Antonio with quality home comfort.

Reasons to consider having your working heater replaced

  • Take advantage of recent advances in heating: Although your current heater may work well, you might be missing out on a higher level of comfort and energy efficiency that a more advanced heater can provide. For example, the newer heat pumps are effective at both heating and air conditioning, solving two problems at once. Zone control systems give you greater control over different regions in your home. Ask an HVAC contractor what new systems can provide that your current one cannot.
  • Your heater is very old: No heating system will last forever, and if you have a heater in your home that has reached or exceeded its expected service life time, then you may want to send it out to pasture before it begins developing malfunctions or breaks down abruptly. If it reaches a ripe old age, then you’ve already gotten more than your money’s worth from it.
  • Your heating bills are higher than before: Your heater “working well” may partially be an illusion. The heating system might can deliver you the level of warmth you want, but at the cost of working harder. If your heating bills have risen sharply and remained at this new elevated level month after month, then your heater could be signaling that it needs replacement.
  • Switch to a different fuel source: If you are thinking of changing over from using oil, propane, or even natural gas in your home, then you will have to consider getting a new heating system to match with your new fuel source.

Don’t make a move yet without the help of professionals!

It is wise to consult with HVAC technicians regarding replacing your heater in San Antonio, TX. The professionals at General Air Conditioning can tell if you will benefit from a new heater, or if your older one will continue to hold up with regular preventive maintenance. You can trust us to give you an honest answer that will benefit you and your home.

Signs Your Furnace Needs to be Replaced

Saturday, November 16th, 2013

Your furnace is a key part of your household, and if properly maintained can give you years of reliable service.  Sooner or later, however, every appliance needs to be replaced, and you will eventually face the prospect of removing your old furnace and putting in a new one.  In Helotes TX, heating replacement services can go over your options with you, taking into account our local Texas conditions as well as the particulars of your house. Before you can call a technician, however, you need to make the tough decision to retire your old furnace, and it helps to know when that might be.

Here are a few signs your furnace needs to be replaced.

  • Higher bills. Slowly creeping bills mean that the wear and tear on your system is increasing and that parts are wearing out. This includes not only repair bills – which might become too frequent for you to want to deal with – but also monthly energy bills, which go up as the system has to work harder and harder. If you find yourself facing large monthly bills, even though you’re not using the furnace any more than normal, you may be facing the prospect of a replacement.
  • Inadequate functioning. Going hand-in-hand with higher costs is the fact that your furnace just isn’t doing the job. It may be breaking down quite often, it may be struggling to move air sufficiently, or it may not be generating the level of warmth that you need. In some cases, the issue can be fixed by replacing a single part, but if it persists, the replacement may be in order.
  • The furnace is old. This isn’t a make-or-break proposition all on its own, and some furnaces can last for quite a while before needing replacing.  But if an older furnace starts to suffer from some of the symptoms listed above – particularly one that is ten years old or more – it may be a sign that your furnace needs to be replaced.

Helotes, TX heating replacement services are provided by the trained experts at General Air Conditioning. If you spot signs your furnace needs to be replaced, pick up the phone and call us for a consultation immediately.

Common Winter Heating Problems to Watch For

Thursday, November 7th, 2013

When dealing with winter heating problems in San Antonio, you don’t need to worry about snow or extremely cold temperatures. But just because we enjoy a warm climate throughout much of the year and experience mild, short winters (dropping into the 40s at night is the average “worst” temperature we’ll probably experience), we still need to have reliable heaters in our home for comfort during those cooler stretches. And because we aren’t as used to dealing with trouble from heating as we are from air conditioning, it’s easy to let problems slip past us… until they turn into emergencies.

We’ve put together a short list of common problems you may encounter this winter with your heater. If you require heating repair in San Antonio, TX, contact General Air Conditioning and trust our 15 years of experience providing high quality home comfort.

Insufficient insulation

The insulation in the walls and ceilings of our home form a thermal barrier: it keeps heat outdoors during the summer, and traps heat indoors during the winter. If your home has poor insulation, heat will escape almost as fast as your heater can produce it, and you’ll discover cold rooms throughout your home. Your heater will start to overwork and soon require repairs. Make sure that you have good insulation in your walls and especially in the attic (the place where heat finds the easiest place to get out) before winter arrives.

Struggling heat pump

Heat pumps can provide both heating and cooling, but in extremely cold weather they can experience trouble with heating, since they must move ambient heat from outdoors. However, this problem usually only occurs at temperatures below freezing, and San Antonio rarely experiences this. So if you find your heat pump struggling to get you warm, it probably indicates a refrigerant leak, or troubles in the compressor that takes care of the heating process. Call in a professional to find out what is ailing your heat pump.

Poor air flow

Furnaces and heat pumps use forced air to send heat around your home. During the winter, you might start to experience a decrease in the air flow coming from the vents. The usual culprit for this is a clogged air filter. If you didn’t change the air filter after the summer cooling season, it will probably have too much dirt and dust trapped in it to allow for a steady air flow. Change the filter (and remember to change it every month for the rest of the season) and have a technician inspect your heater to see if it has sustained any damage from the excess debris.

When you need repairs, don’t leave the work to inexperienced technicians or amateurs. Hire professionals, like those at General Air Conditioning. We can take care of your San heating repairs so you’ll have a warm, pleasant winter ahead.

Why Get Heating Maintenance this Fall

Sunday, November 3rd, 2013

Heating in San Antonio TX is a seasonal thing. We don’t use our heaters much in the summertime, when temperatures are warm, but winter nights can get pretty chilly. A good heater can make the difference between a warm, cozy night at home and an uncomfortable evening wrapped up in blankets. That’s why it pays to keep your heater properly serviced and maintained. A maintenance session entails a thorough cleaning, tightening any loose parts and generally sprucing up the unit so that it functions at maximum efficiency. That helps reduce the risk of a more serious breakdown later on.  The fall makes an excellent time to plan for maintenance. Why get heating maintenance in the fall? The answers are elementary.

We don’t see much call for heating here in the summer time, which means your heating system likely sits idle for months at a time. When you’re ready to use it again, it’s probably accrued a great deal of dust and dirt, which creates friction in the system and increases overall strain. Similarly, bolts and other small components may have come loose last winter, but haven’t been dealt with since the heater hasn’t been used. Unless you address those issues, you’ll increase the chances of a more serious repair in the near future.

The fall makes a good time to deal with that not only because it reduces the risk of a breakdown just when you need the heater the most, but it gives the technician time and flexibility to do what he needs to do. It also leaves the heater in tip-top shape before it’s needed on a daily basis, which lowers your monthly bills in addition to adding a little insurance against a larger repair bill.

Why get heating maintenance this fall? Basically because it’s close enough to winter to matter, but not so close as to inconvenience you when you need it. The good people at General Air Conditioning are standing by to help you out. We handle all matters related to heating service in San Antonio TX and can schedule a fall maintenance session to keep your furnace running the way it should. Pick up the phone and call us today.