Friday, November 17, 2017

Common Winter Heat Pump Problems

First things first, let’s start off with what exactly a heat pump is. A heat pump works like an air conditioner in reverse, it absorbs heat from the air outdoors and it transfers it into your home. A furnace on the other hand, typically uses natural gas to create heat for your home. While a furnace and heat pump both make the house warm and cozy, these two are very different. The air outside is cold so you may be wondering how a heat pump extracts heat energy from such cold air. This is where the 2nd Law of Thermodynamics comes into play. That 2nd law states that heat flows from hotter to colder bodies. When the temperature of the refrigerant that flows through the outdoor condenser coils is lower than the temperature of the outside air, it is able to pick up heat and then bring that heat into your home. Royal Heating & Air knows that a heat pump is one system that functions as two. It works as both a heater and an air conditioner. The best HVAC company at the Lake of the Ozarks has solutions for some common winter heat pump problems.

Winter Heat Pump Problems and Their Solutions


Not Enough Heat
Some may be surprised to learn that the heat generated by heat pumps is not nearly as strong as the heat that is generated by furnaces. For heat pumps, this is normal. The heat may not be as strong, but heat pumps generally distribute heat more evenly throughout your home. They also run longer at a more sustained level, which means you don’t have to turn them off and on as much.

Heat pumps do have a harder time extracting heat from extremely cold environments. This means that most heat pump owners need a supplemental heating system to stay warm. Most people will install a furnace to supplement their heat pump.

Outdoor Unit is Iced Over
If your outdoor condensing unit is iced up, airflow will be severely restricted. This will result in a struggling unit that could cause severe damage. If the ice is light, it will more than likely go away in a short period of time. However, if the ice remains for a significant period of time, it’s a problem you will want to address quickly.

The most common solution to a frozen heat pump is running the defrost cycle. The defrost cycle normally turns on automatically at timed intervals or when the unit detects frost, however, some units have a defrost option. The defrost cycle essentially reverses the heat pump into air conditioning mode so that it can pump heat to the outdoor unit until it unfreezes. The defrost cycle usually only runs for 10-15 minutes.

Most people don’t want cold air blowing on cold days, so many will opt for a supplemental heat system. This usually means electric resistance heat strips, which keep the air warm. After about 15 minutes, the heat strips will turn off and the heat pump will come back on. If the defrost cycle isn’t thawing your iced over heat pump, try these steps:
  • Check the air filter and replace if needed. Clean air filters improve airflow and the quality of your indoor air.
  • Make sure that there is no large debris near the unit that may be blocking the airflow. It’s a good idea to always maintain a 3-foot clearance around the unit.
  • If you notice that there is no air flowing from your vents, you may have a malfunctioning blower motor. You can try setting the thermostat to “fan” to see if the blower motor or a related component is at fault.

Buildup of any ice on your condenser unit is never a good sign. If the solutions above do not work, prevent any further damage to your unit by contacting the best HVAC company at the Lake of the Ozarks.

Constantly Running Heat Pump
It is possible that too much cold air is getting into your home and the heat pump just can’t keep up. If you haven’t winterized your home, it’s not too late to do so. Here are some helpful tips:
  • Make sure your doors and windows are closed and well-insulated. If you notice air leaks around any doors or windows, replace the weatherstripping.
  • Inspect insulation levels.
  • Double-paned storm windows help retain heat. For a more inexpensive option, you can use energy-efficient thermal curtains to improve your windows insulation.

No Air or Cold Air
It’s important to make sure all of your vents are open to allow proper air movement. It’s never a good idea to close vents to try to keep the heat in one area of the home. By closing vents, it can create unwanted pressure within the system and cause duct leaks, system failure, and other problems.

If cold air is blowing from the vents, the heat pump is more than likely in defrost mode. This is normal if you don’t have a supplemental heating system. Defrost cycles normally last around 10-15 minutes and then the heat will kick back on.

When to Call Royal Heating & Air


You should give us a call when:
  • The outdoor unit isn’t running at all.
  • The thermostat isn’t working properly.
  • Ice or frost is still on the unit after a day.
  • You haven’t scheduled your annual heat pump maintenance.

Don’t get left out in the cold this winter, give the best HVAC company at the Lake of the Ozarks a call and schedule your heat pump tune-up today! If you have any questions about your furnace or heat pump, Royal Heating & Air would be glad to help. 


Royal Heating & Air - "The King of Comfort"

Visit our website: www.RoyalHeatandAir.com

CALL TODAY! (573) 480-4313






Friday, November 10, 2017

Furnace 101

Now that the cold weather is here, it’s important to learn a thing or two about the magical machine that will provide our homes with heat and comfort during the long and cold winter days. The more you know about a furnace and how it works, the better you can troubleshoot it if something were to go wrong. Royal Heating & Air knows that understanding how your furnace works will help you troubleshoot your furnace and potentially avoid an expensive HVAC service call. While you may be able to quickly solve the problem on your own, sometimes you need your Lake of the Ozarks HVAC company to come fix the problem for you.


Welcome to Furnace 101


What is a Furnace?
The most common type of furnace is a gas-powered central air system. This means that air is heated in one area and is then distributed throughout the house through ductwork and vents. The main parts of your furnace are the control system (thermostat and electrical controls), gas valve, burners, heat exchanger, and duct and ventilation system.

Thermostat and Gas Valve
Your furnace starts working when it receives a signal from the thermostat that tells it to turn on. Depending on the temperature you choose, when the thermostat detects the air temperature dropping below the selected temperature, it activates the furnace. When the thermostat sends the signal to the furnace, the furnace gas valve opens and ignites the burner component beneath the combustion chamber. The gas valve and the thermostat work together to regulate the amount of gas that flows into your furnace.

If your gas valve is working fine, but the furnace isn’t turning on, check to make sure your pilot light is on. If your pilot light is out, you should refer to your manufacturer instructions or contact the best HVAC company at the Lake of the Ozarks.

Heat Moves to Heat Exchanger
The flames from the burner component heat a metal exchanger. The heat circulates through the looped tubes of the heat exchanger, transferring the heat to air. This is a crucial step. If it’s not working, you won’t have any heat. A heat exchanger can also be dangerous if they develop any cracks or leaks. An efficient and well-maintained heat exchanger is essential for a working furnace. Combustion gases should be venting out of the house safely during the process of heating the heat exchanger.

Blower and Fan
As the heat circulates through the heat exchanger, the blower motor and fan moves the heat through the plenum and then through the rest of the ductwork in your home. That heat then flows through the vents in each room, which provide your home with warm air. Once enough heat has been generated, the thermostat will send a signal to turn off the furnace.

When there is a problem with your furnace, it is more than likely the control system, heat source, or the distribution system. No matter the problem, your Lake of the Ozarks HVAC company will be able to take care of it. 

The best HVAC company at the Lake of the Ozarks understands how important it is to keep your home warm and comfortable during the winter months. Hopefully, with a little understanding of how your furnace system works, you will be able to troubleshoot the problem yourself or know early on that you need to give Royal Heating & Air a call. Don’t forget, annual fall furnace maintenance is important to keep your system running smoothly. If you haven’t yet, schedule yours today! 

Royal Heating & Air - "The King of Comfort"

Visit our website: www.RoyalHeatandAir.com

CALL TODAY! (573) 480-4313





Thursday, November 2, 2017

Get The Most Out Of Your Heating System This Winter

As the weather starts to get colder, we are reminded that winter is right around the corner. Chances are, your heating system gets a lot of use during the winter time. It’s important to keep your home cozy and comfortable as the temperatures continue to drop. Royal Heating & Air knows that a reliable furnace is vital during the winter months and it doesn’t have to cost you an arm and a leg to keep your house warm. The best HVAC company at the Lake of the Ozarks has some steps you can take to maximize your heater’s efficiency. These tips will help drop your costs all while delivering the heat you want.


Schedule Professional Heating Maintenance


It’s important to schedule routine maintenance as soon as the summer comes to an end. During the warmer months when you don’t use your heater, it’s possible that dust and dirt have built up. Worn parts probably haven’t been replaced since the previous winter. A heating tune-up from your Lake of the Ozarks HVAC company can help fix all of the little problems, this helps reduce the strain on your heating system and lowers the amount of energy it uses to warm your home. When you get routine maintenance, your technician will also make sure dangerous combustions gases, such as carbon monoxide, are safely venting outside.

Change Filters and Bleed Radiator


You should set a reminder to check your air filter every 30 days. You shouldn’t wait more than 90 days to clean or replace it. When you put in a new filter, it’s a good idea to write the date of replacement on the filter itself so you know how long it’s been since you last replaced it. By regularly changing your filter, you will not only improve your home’s indoor air quality, but you will help reduce the strain on your HVAC system. You should also make sure that your vents are open and unobstructed.

If you have a radiator, don’t forget to “bleed” them at the beginning of every heating season. As soon as water starts coming out, close the valve and move on to the next one.

Seal Common Air Leaks


Seal common air leaks around your home to keep your heat inside. You’re not wanting to heat the whole neighborhood after all. The most common air leaks are usually found around windows and doors. The more air leaks you have, the harder and longer your heaters has to work to heat your house. The more your house is sealed, the warmer your house will stay.

Carbon Monoxide and Fire Protection


Besides scheduling your fall furnace maintenance, it’s important to test your smoke and carbon monoxide detectors every 30 days to make sure they are working properly. Home fires and carbon monoxide poisoning increases during the colder months when we are constantly running our heating systems. You should have working smoke and carbon monoxide detectors on every floor of your home and outside every sleeping area.
Also, if you have a fireplace and chimney, don’t forget to get it inspected and cleaned every year. Creosote buildup in a chimney is a common cause of a home fire.

Consider Upgrades


Consider adding upgrades to your system to increase it’s efficiency as well as it’s versatility. If you have an older thermostat, you could replace it with a programmable or smart thermostat. You could also consider a zone control system. A zone control system lets you tailor the temperature to different areas of your home. This allows you to heat the parts of the house that you are in while leaving the rest be, this means the heater uses less energy. Fans can help you feel warmer by pushing the hot air that’s near the ceiling down to the living spaces below.

Royal Heating & Air wants you to know that high energy bills and discomfort don’t have to be part of the winter season. With a little planning, you can help reduce costs without decreasing the level of comfort in your home. If your furnace is needing fall maintenance or a tune-up, give the best HVAC company at the Lake of the Ozarks a call. 


Royal Heating & Air - "The King of Comfort"

Visit our website: www.RoyalHeatandAir.com

CALL TODAY! (573) 480-4313




Thursday, October 26, 2017

Halloween Safety Tips for Homeowners

The temperatures are beginning to drop and the nights are becoming colder. Halloween is just around the corner and that means that kids and families will be out trick-or-treating. While Halloween is a fun night for many, Royal Heating & Air knows that there are also some important safety tips you should keep in mind. From making sure your porch is free and clear from hazards, to safely keeping your house warm and cozy, the best HVAC company at the Lake of the Ozarks has some safety tips for you to keep in mind this Halloween.


Heating and Fireplace Safety Tips


Now that the temperatures are dropping, we will be using our furnace and fireplaces more frequently. Making sure they are in good working condition and ready for the colder months is important. If you haven’t had fall maintenance done on your furnace, give Royal Heating & Air a call. Here are some heating and fireplace safety tips to help keep you and your family safe.

  • Never use the oven to heat your home.
  • Maintain a minimum 3-foot clearance around all heating equipment and open fires, such as space heaters, furnaces, and fireplaces.
  • Have a qualified professional clean and inspect your heating equipment and chimneys every year.
  • Always inspect the fireplace before use. Make sure there is a sturdy screen to prevent sparks and embers from flying into the room. Ashes should be cool before disposing of them in a metal container.
  • Ashes should be placed in a metal container, doused with water, and then sealed with a tight lid. Always keep the container a safe distance from your home.
  • Don’t forget to turn portable space heaters off before leaving the room or going to bed.


Halloween Safety for Homeowners


Halloween night means that neighborhoods will be packed with kids and families as they go from house to house trick-or-treating. It’s important to make sure your home is safe and ready for trick-or-treaters. Here are a few safety tips that can help you prepare.

  • Make sure your front yard, steps, and entryway are well-lit. Turn on all outdoor lights and replace any bulbs that may have burned out.
  • Consider adding pathway lights or flashlights if your front yard or walkway needs some extra lighting.
  • Highlight any bulging tree roots or other hazards.
  • Rake and sweep your walkway, steps, and porch. Remove any tripping hazards.

Halloween Fire Safety Tips


Fire is something we use all the time, but it’s used more frequently on Halloween. From candles inside of jack-o-lanterns, to spooky Halloween decorations, here are some fire safety tips.
  • Avoid flammable decorations, such as corn stalks, dried flowers, and crepe paper. If you do decide to use flammable decorations, make sure they are far away from all heat sources, including open flames, light bulbs, and heaters.
  • Use battery-operated candles or glow sticks for jack-o-lanterns and candelabras. If you do use real candles, be extremely careful and make sure it is always under adult supervision.
  • Keep all entries and exits clear of decorations. Make sure all of your escape routes remain unblocked.
  • Use flashlights, battery-operated candles and glow sticks in place of candles or torch lights when decorating walkways and yards.
  • Keep all decorations far away from heaters, light bulbs, candles, stovetops, and other heat sources.
  • Make sure all of your smoke alarms are up-to-date and working properly.
  • Be sure that all extension cords have been rated for “outdoor use”.


Happy Halloween From Royal Heating & Air 


Royal Heating & Air hopes you have a fun and safe Halloween! If you haven’t scheduled your fall furnace maintenance, give the best HVAC company at the Lake of the Ozarks a call! You’ll want to make sure your furnace is ready for the cold months ahead! 


Royal Heating & Air - "The King of Comfort"

Visit our website: www.RoyalHeatandAir.com

CALL TODAY! (573) 480-4313




Thursday, October 19, 2017

Spooky Sounds Coming From Your Furnace

We may be near Halloween, but that doesn’t mean that your furnace should be making scary sounds. Whether the sounds are soft or loud, you’ll want to investigate. Royal Heating & Air knows that those weird and scary furnace sounds can be dangerous and can cause many problems. From bangs in the ductwork to whistling and humming while the blower runs, most furnace noises are pretty harmless. There are some more serious noises you should be aware of. The best HVAC company at the Lake of the Ozarks is here to highlight some scary furnace sounds you should never ignore.



Metal Against Metal


If you heard sounds that resemble scraping or clanking, your furnace’s blower wheel may be having issues. You should turn off your furnace immediately and wait until a professional HVAC technician can inspect your system.
  • The blower fan may be broken and need professional replacement.
  • The blower fan may have come loose and is now hitting the blower house casing. If the blower fan/wheel isn’t too damaged, then the repair should be quick and easy.
  • If the piece holding the motor and blower assembly together has broken, the whole assembly may have dropped and is now hitting the housing.

Loud Bang


If you hear a sound that resembles a gunshot when you turn on your furnace, you may have a gas build-up in the system. This is a sound you should never ignore. It could crack the heat exchanger, which is not only dangerous, but also expensive. If you hear this sound, you should turn your system off immediately and call a professional.
Dirty burners may have delayed the ignition – this causes gas to build up and “explode” when the ignition finally comes on. Annual fall furnace maintenance will take care of this problem since your technician will clean and inspect the burners.
Expanding and contracting ducts could have caused the loud bang – this sound is usually easily distinguished from a gas build-up “explosion”. This is a common problem that homeowners with central HVAC systems have to deal with.

Rumbling


A rumbling sound normally indicates a furnace that hasn’t been maintained in a while. This usually means dirty gas burners or a pilot light that needs to be adjusted. The furnace flame should be blue, which indicates a clean and efficient burn. It’s fine if there is a small yellow tip, but if your flame is any color but blue, contact your HVAC company right away.

Rattling


A rattling sound coming from the furnace can indicate a loose panel or a loose screw. Before you attempt to work on your furnace, make sure you turn off power at the source. Then, you can try tightening your panel with a screwdriver to see if that fixes the rattling sound. If it’s not a loose screw, it could indicate a leak or crack in your heat exchanger, which can be very serious. A faulty heat exchanger can leak dangerous carbon monoxide into the home. You should contact your local HVAC company right away if the rattling sound isn’t fixed by tightening a screw or two.

High-Pitched Squealing or Screeching


Squealing, whining and whistling noises aren’t as big of a deal as metal-against-metal and booming noises, but it’s still something you want to listen for.
  • If you have a belt-driven motor, loose, or damaged blower belts can cause a squealing or similar sound.
  • Shaft bearings and other moving parts may have become dry. Contact a professional technician to lubricate your moving furnace parts.

Most of these furnace noises are avoidable with regular fall furnace maintenance by Royal Heating & Air. If scary furnace sounds are keeping you awake, schedule a heating service with the best HVAC company at the Lake of the Ozarks

Royal Heating & Air - "The King of Comfort"

Visit our website: www.RoyalHeatandAir.com

CALL TODAY! (573) 480-4313





Thursday, October 12, 2017

What You Need To Know About Your Air Conditioner

We use our air conditioners frequently, but how much do we know about these systems at a mechanical level. There are so many pieces that work together to seamlessly provide our homes with cool air whenever we need it. While homeowners don’t need to know exactly how air conditioners work, there are a few things they should know. Royal Heating & Air wants every homeowner to know how to care for their cooling system and how to ensure high efficiency and a long lifespan. The best HVAC company at the Lake of the Ozarks has the top 4 things you need to know about your air conditioner.


Regular Maintenance is a Must


When is the last time a professional stopped by to clean and inspect your air conditioning unit? Bi-annual maintenance is crucial for the safety and longevity of your HVAC system. Your unit should be looked at once in the spring and once in the fall. The spring check is for air conditioning and the fall check is for heating. Waiting until your system breaks down is inefficient and it can be dangerous. When you get routine maintenance, your technician will be able to identify any lurking issues and you can deal with the repairs before they become out of hand and costly. With regular professional maintenance, your air conditioner should last up to two decades.

Dirty Filter Kills Airflow and Efficiency


Air filters aren’t just for air quality, they help with airflow and efficiency. During months of heavy use, your air conditioner’s filter should be replaced monthly in order to keep your unit functioning properly. When the air filter becomes dirty, the system has to work harder to provide the same results. This overexertion can show in your utility bills. Would you want to pay more for your air conditioner’s poor performance? Check the filter’s minimum efficiency reporting value (MERV rating). The higher the rating, 1 to 12, the better filtration it provides. Once you get to MERV 14 and higher, you might need a professional modification to account for the larger filter size.

Compressor and Condenser Must Stay Clean and Clear


The condenser coil is located in the outdoor unit and is where refrigerant undergoes the process of returning from a gas to a liquid. A compressor raises the pressure of the refrigerant and moves it along. It works with a fan to complete the cycle. This is all happening in the outdoor condenser unit. It’s important to keep the outdoor unit clean and free from debris. You should check your unit monthly to ensure that no debris is stuck in the fins. Each side of the unit should be free of dirt, grass, leaves, branches, or anything else that can get stuck. 36 inches is a safe distance for anything near your outdoor unit. Make sure plants are trimmed back and nothing is stacked on top of the unit.

You Can Help Keep Your AC Unit Cool


While it’s your air conditioner’s job to keep your home cool, you can help the process. If the temperature in your home is super hot before you turn your unit on, it has to go into overdrive to bring down the temperature. By keeping any blinds and shades closed during the day, you help keep the indoor temperature down naturally and it gives your system a break. By keeping your unit from overworking, you can extend the life of your air conditioner. You can also help your air conditioner by sealing up any air leaks, improving insulation, and using ceiling or floor fans.

It’s important to know the basics about your HVAC unit. When we use something so frequently, we want to get the most out of it. Royal Heating & Air is here for all of your HVAC needs. From preventative maintenance to installations, the best HVAC company in Lake of the Ozarks is here to help you. Call 573-480-4313 to schedule an appointment today!

Royal Heating & Air - "The King of Comfort"

Visit our website: www.RoyalHeatandAir.com

CALL TODAY! (573) 480-4313