6 Health Benefits of Electronic Air Cleaners

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Are electronic air cleaners really worth the hype? To help you decide, we’ve prepared a guide that explains many of the health benefits of electronic air cleaners.

What is a whole house electronic air cleaner?

An electronic air cleaner takes the place of your standard air filter. Your HVAC system electrically powers the air cleaner, which traps up to 99% of airborne particles and pollutants passing through the overall system. This ensures that the polluted air is disposed of, while fresh air is recirculated through your home.

What are the health benefits of electronic air cleaners?

Whole house electronic air cleaners do the following:

1. Remove allergens from air circulation.

Good indoor air quality is important to the health and comfort of your home. Allergens such as dust and mold can get inside your ductwork, polluting the air being circulated. Electronic air cleaners remove these pollutants, making it easier to breathe and live.

2. Trap smoke, fumes, and chemicals.

Harsh cleaning fumes and gases contribute to poor indoor air quality. An electronic air cleaner will trap and filter those fumes, protecting you from ingesting them.

3. Provide gentle, soothing white noise.

Air cleaners are not loud and obnoxious. They offer peaceful background noise, which can aid in sleep and relaxation.

4. Increase air circulation.

Not only do air cleaners keep dirty air away, they recirculate fresh air. Increased air circulation keeps the inside of your home from becoming stagnant, musty, and a breeding ground for allergens.

5. Lower the risk of long-term health problems.

Even if you don’t notice the indoor air quality affecting your immediate health, it is often causing long-term problems that can’t be seen right away. Breathing in fresh, clean air can keep you from future health problems.

6. Lower the occurrence of asthma triggers.

Dry skin cells, dust, dirt, and other particles can trigger lung problems, including asthma. Since an air purifier removes these pollutants, it lowers the risk of resulting in an asthma attack.

Don’t forget the bonus benefits!

In addition to the impressive health benefits, whole house electronic air cleaners also offer the following:

Improved HVAC system performance.

Exterior pollutants can lead to a number of HVAC problems such as clogged and leaky ductwork. Cycling clean air through your HVAC system will increase its lifespan and help it function more efficiently.

Low maintenance.

Electronic air cleaners only need to be cleaned every 3-6 months, while standard air filters need to be changed every 1-2 months.

Your family’s comfort is our priority. Contact the Rheem Pro Partner today for all of your heating and air conditioning repairs and emergencies. We serve homeowners in Colorado and Wyoming and want to see your needs met with the skill, experience, and care of licensed professionals.

8 Top HVAC Maintenance Tips for Pet Owners

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8 Top HVAC Maintenance Tips for Pet Owners

Did you know that your pets can decrease the performance of your HVAC system? Fur, dander, and other tracked-in particles can get inside the system, lowering indoor air quality. Minimize your household’s allergens by applying the following HVAC maintenance tips.

Maintenance Tips for Pet Owners

1. Bathe your pets often.

Dirt and debris cling to your pets’ coats when they come in from outside. This dirt then transfers itself from their fur to your furniture, the air, and eventually the ductwork. Bathing your pets regularly cuts down on the pollutants being brought into the house.

2. Clean your home regularly.

While bathing your pets helps, it won’t eliminate dirt entirely. Dust and mop often to keep floors and furniture from gathering too much dirt.

3. Change your air filter.

Airborne hair and dander tend to accumulate very quickly in standard air filters. A clogged air filter can result in air quality problems. Change your filter regularly to ensure maximum HVAC system efficiency.

4. Deep-clean your carpet.

No matter how often you vacuum or spot-clean your carpet, allergens get trapped deep inside the pile. Eventually, these allergens can be stirred up and become airborne, cycling through your home. Deep-cleaning your carpet every six months eliminates “nesting” and cuts down on airborne particles.

5. Clean your air ducts.

Your air ducts provide the passageway for the air being circulated through your home. Having them professionally cleaned ensures that no hidden dirt is contributing to poor indoor air quality.

6. Seal your air ducts.

Sealing/insulating your air ducts not only prevents bad air from getting in, it encourages good air circulation and distribution.

7. Cover your condenser unit.

Keeping your condenser closed protects it from curious outdoor pets who might damage it.

8. Invest in an air purifier.

Whole house electronic air purifiers can remove up to 99% of airborne particles, reducing health risks and increasing HVAC system efficiency. Air cleaners are a great investment for pet owners in particular.

Don’t forget to schedule your professional tune-up!

As important as it is to clean and maintain things yourself, it’s also important that you hire a licensed technician to check your HVAC system once or twice a year. A professional can catch problems in the system early, saving you larger expenses later.

Your family’s comfort is our priority. Contact the Rheem Pro Partner today for all of your heating and air conditioning repairs and emergencies. We serve homeowners in Colorado and Wyoming and want to see your needs met with the skill, experience, and care of licensed professionals.

6 Common HVAC Installation Mistakes and How They Can Cost You Money

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6 Common HVAC Installation Mistakes and How They Can Cost You Money

To avoid future issues and expenses, it is important that your HVAC system is installed correctly. We have prepared a helpful guide of things to watch out for, including a careless contractor.

What are some common HVAC installation mistakes?

1. Don’t choose the wrong contractor.

The most important thing you can do when installing an HVAC system is to find a great contractor. An inexperienced or lazy contractor can make a great deal of mistakes, costing you both time and money. Take the time to find an honest, reputable technician to successfully install your HVAC system.

2. Avoid installing an incorrectly sized system.

An inexperienced contractor will often install an HVAC system that is either too small or too large for the house in question. A small furnace will result in poor air distribution and an overworked system, while a large furnace will constantly turn on and off. Both will increase your utility bill.

3. Make sure you have properly designed air distribution.

One of the HVAC system’s functions is to distribute heating and cooling evenly throughout the home. If there is a flaw in the distribution design, then the air being circulated is uneven. This results in some rooms being too hot and some being too cold.

4. Don’t waste energy due to faulty ductwork.

Cheap ductwork and poor workmanship leads to future leaks, drafts, and expenses. Your contractor should install ductwork with care.

5. Watch out for an ill-functioning exhaust system.

A proper exhaust system is important for your safety and health. Furnaces produce carbon monoxide, which needs to be vented away from the building. An exhaust that is sized incorrectly or installed poorly can cause a backup.

6. Ensure you have a fully functional drainage system.

Air conditioners produce waste water that must be drained safely. Improper installation leads to water leaks and frozen pipes.

How do these mistakes cost you money?

HVAC installation mistakes can cause you several problems.

  • Shortened HVAC lifespan:
    A system that functions incorrectly is one that functions poorly. Careless mistakes will decrease the lifespan of your HVAC system, resulting in expensive replacement costs.
  • Lower efficiency:
    Installation mistakes can cause your HVAC system to waste energy, lowering efficiency.
  • Decrease in home comfort:
    HVAC installation errors result in uneven heating and cooling, allergens, and poor indoor air quality. All of these things lower the level of comfort in your home.

Your family’s comfort is our priority. Contact the Rheem Pro Partner today for all of your heating and air conditioning repairs and emergencies. We serve homeowners in Colorado and Wyoming and want to see your needs met with the skill, experience, and care of licensed professionals.

5 Symptoms of a Bad or Failing Thermostat

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5 Symptoms of a Bad or Failing Thermostat

Today’s smart thermostats are a critical component of a home’s HVAC system. Sophisticated programmable features allow users to be more energy efficient by controlling when and how much they heat and cool their homes. Some systems even allow for independent control of specific areas within a home. As with any technology, however, thermostats can malfunction. When an air conditioner or furnace does not work properly, the problem may actually be with the thermostat.

The first thing to check is the settings. Settings can inadvertently get changed, or perhaps go unadjusted for the new season. If correcting the settings doesn’t fix the problem, it’s time to look for other causes. Here are five indications that your thermostat is bad or failing.

1. The Thermostat Has No Power.

One of the simplest ways to check the thermostat is to change the temperature setting to see if the air conditioner or furnace turns on. If adjusting the temperature doesn’t result in a change in the air temperature in your home, the problem could be that the thermostat isn’t getting any power. Try changing the batteries or check the circuit breaker that powers the thermostat.

2. Inconsistent Temperatures.

A faulty thermostat could result in hot or cold spots in your home. The thermostat may be causing your system to cycle on and off too frequently leading to poor temperature distribution, particularly in the rooms farthest from the central unit. The thermostat may need to be cleaned, adjusted or replaced.

3. Changing the Batteries Didn’t Help.

Fresh batteries can often resolve the issue. If that doesn’t work, however, have your HVAC technician troubleshoot the problem.

4. The Air Conditioner or Furnace Runs Constantly and Won’t Turn Off.

This may be a sign that the thermostat is not calibrated correctly and, as a result, is not sending the proper signals to the HVAC system. Another issue could be a break in the wiring preventing a signal from being generated.

5. The Air Conditioner or Furnace Won’t Start.

Similar to No. 4 above, the calibration or wiring could be the culprit. Another cause may be the location of the thermostat. If it is in a place that is in direct sun, or is subject to breezes, the thermostat may not be getting an accurate reading of the ambient temperature.

Do you have questions about your thermostat or are you looking to upgrade? Contact a Rheem Pro Partner today. We proudly serve homes in Colorado and Wyoming.

Why is My Air Conditioner Freezing Up?

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Why is My Air Conditioner Freezing Up?

It may sound strange that in the heat of summer your air conditioner can actually develop frost but it is possible – and it isn’t good. Understanding the causes, however, can help you prevent your A/C from freezing up. Common culprits include inadequate maintenance, a faulty thermostat and clogged air filters.

What Causes an Air Conditioner to Freeze?

  • Low Refrigerant Levels
    The air conditioner cools the air in your home by drawing the hot air over evaporator coils filled with refrigerant. The coils absorb the heat and transfer it outside. A refrigerant leak results in an insufficient amount of refrigerant to remove the heat from the air. Condensation builds up on the coils and eventually freezes.
  • Poor Airflow / Dirty Air Filters
    While the refrigerant is one part of the equation, the airflow is the other part. Without enough air being drawn over the evaporator coils, there is not enough heat being absorbed, so the coils freeze. Low airflow can result from dirty air filters, blocked air ducts, closed or blocked vents or closed dampers.
  • Dirty Coils
    Dirt on the coils can prevent them from functioning properly. During normal operation, condensation develops and drips off the coils. Dirt prevents the proper heat transfer between the coils and the air. The coils get too cold and freeze.
  • Thermostat Issues
    A poorly functioning thermostat can cause the air conditioner to run all night when it doesn’t need to. In addition to wasting energy and money, this can also cause the air conditioner to freeze.
  • Closed Supply Registers
    People often close the supply registers in unoccupied rooms to save money and energy, but this can actually make your air conditioner less efficient. Having too many closed could even cause the air conditioner to freeze.
  • Insufficient Fan Speed
    The correct balance of airflow and air pressure is necessary for the proper operation of your air conditioner. A  damaged blower fan may not be running at the right speed. The resulting lack of airflow and sufficient heat causes condensation to build up on the coils and freeze.

How to Prevent an Air Conditioner from Freezing Up

  • Schedule an AC tune-up
    Annual maintenance by an HVAC technician is the first and best line of defense for protecting your system.
  • Have the refrigerant level checked
    If you suspect a problem, make sure the refrigerant level is adequate and there are no leaks.
  • Change the filter monthly
    Regularly change the air filter to maintain proper airflow.
  • Keep the supply vents open
    Make sure no more than a quarter of your home’s supply registers are closed in order to prevent freezing.
  • Have the fan speed increased
    Make sure the fan is not worn or damaged.
  • Have the thermostat checked
    Be sure the thermostat is on the correct setting and functioning properly.

If you have any concerns about freezing or other issues with your air conditioner, don’t wait. Contact a Rheem Pro Partner in today! We proudly serve homes throughout Colorado and Wyoming.

6 Easy Ways You Can Improve Indoor Air Quality Health

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6 Easy Ways You Can Improve Indoor Air Quality Health

As we continue to seal our homes against the elements in an effort to make them more energy efficient, we must also protect our indoor air quality by limiting chemicals and irritants inside that can compromise our health. We must also maintain the systems that represent our best line of defense against indoor air pollution. Air filters and air purifiers, when properly maintained, are designed to keep indoor air clean. However, dirt and debris can collect in air filters and also in the air ducts that circulate the air throughout a home.

Sources of Indoor Air Pollution:

  • Dust, pet dander and pollen are common allergens.
  • Excess moisture from bathing and cooking can lead to mold growth.
  • Smoke and fumes from fireplaces, candles, tobacco and gas appliances can trigger respiratory problems.
  • Harmful volatile organic compounds (VOC) released by some cleaners, adhesives, paints and many other common household products can be toxic.
  • Radon gas is emitted naturally by the ground in certain areas and can become trapped inside. It has been linked to lung cancer.

Here are 6 easy things you can do to improve your indoor air quality and health:

1. Keep Your Home Clean

Dust often and use a vacuum with a HEPA filter to remove allergens and other indoor air pollutants. Brush your pets outside frequently to remove loose hair and dander. Avoid using cleaners and air fresheners with chemical scents.

2. Change Your Air Filters (use high-end media filters)

The air filter on your HVAC system keeps dust and debris out of your air conditioner and furnace, and ultimately out of your home, but it needs to be changed every one to three months, before it gets clogged. Consult the owner’s manual or ask your HVAC professional what type of filter is best for your system. The filter should remove as much dirt from the air as possible without compromising airflow. A media filter, which is different from a standard air filter, sits in between the main return duct and the blower cabinet. Made of a deeply pleated, paper-like material, media filters are at least seven times better than a standard filter at removing dust and other particles.

3. Invest in an Air Purifier / Cleaner

An air purifier can remove the tiniest dust particles, allergens and irritants. A whole house purifier protects your entire home and is especially beneficial for family members with allergies or respiratory illnesses such as asthma.

4. Clean Your Air Ducts

Over time, air ducts can collect dirt that is then redistributed throughout your home. Professional air duct cleaning can prevent dirt from accumulating and reduce wear and tear on your HVAC equipment.

5. Let the Fresh Air In

Once in a while, open windows or patio doors to allow fresh air to circulate.

6. Test Your Home for Radon

Radon is a naturally occurring radioactive gas that can build up and become trapped in your basement. If radon is detected at an unsafe level, institute a mitigation plan.

Your Rheem Pro Partner is happy to provide you with clean, healthy and affordable indoor air quality solutions. Contact us today throughout Colorado and Wyoming.

10 Things to Look for When Hiring an HVAC Company

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10 Things to Look for When Hiring an HVAC Company

Whether hiring an HVAC company for repairs, maintenance or installation, choosing the right people to do the work in your home is as important as choosing the right equipment. Even the best HVAC system will not work efficiently or effectively if it is not properly installed or serviced.

Look for these 10 qualities in order to choose a great HVAC company.

1. Brand Experience

Choose an HVAC technician that has experience in the brand you are purchasing. Many equipment manufacturers offer special training and education so the technicians who install and service their equipment are experts and understand all the nuances of the system. That training also qualifies the technician to make sure you are purchasing the equipment that is best for your home.

2. NATE Certification & NCI Training

NATE (North American Technician Excellence) certification is a designation of excellence that HVAC professionals earn through experience and continuing education. Obtaining NATE certification requires passing rigorous exams and it must be updated every two years to reflect up-to-date knowledge of innovation, practices and technology in the industry. National Comfort Institute (NCI) offers cutting-edge training and coaching programs.

3. Licensed & Insured

Checking licenses and insurance for any contractor that comes into your home is a good consumer practice. HVAC technicians are required to be licensed by the state to show that they have the proper training and expertise to work safely and meet industry standards. Reputable contractors carry insurance that protects both the company and the customer, and will not hesitate to show you all necessary documentation. Be sure to check that names and dates are accurate and current.

4. Years of Experience

Experience includes both organized training as well as on-the-job training. The longer a technician has worked in the industry, the more likely he or she has encountered a wide variety of problems that needed to be resolved and can apply that knowledge to getting your job done right the first time. While longevity is not a guarantee, it is an indication that the company is doing good work.

5. Good References & Online Reviews

Check both references supplied by the company as well as unsolicited online reviews. Ask people you know and trust for referrals. When checking references, ask about how the company works. Were they professional and courteous? Did they communicate well? Were there any surprises? Was the work completed on time and within budget? Are you satisfied with the work? Would you hire them again?  Also, confirm that the company has a physical location.

6. Provides an In-home Evaluation

An in-home evaluation is necessary to properly choose heating and cooling equipment. A knowledgeable, trained contractor will calculate many factors to properly size the system including square footage; R-value of the insulation; the number, size and orientation of windows; the condition of the duct system; and the customer’s preferences. This can only be done with an on-site inspection.

7. Offers Estimates in Writing

The contractor should provide a detailed, written estimate of all work and/or what is being installed. Be sure to have any questions addressed before signing a contract.

8. Rebates & Special Offers

Many manufacturers and municipalities offer discounts and rebates for the purchase and installation of energy-efficient equipment. Be sure to ask what is available.

9. Efficiency

Ask your HVAC technician about efficiency when choosing equipment or deciding on repairs. Factor in energy cost-savings over the life of the equipment as well as the initial cost. Choose the most efficient system you can afford.

10. Warranties

Understand the warranties and how to keep them in force, and ask about maintenance agreements.

Rheem Pro Partners are HVAC experts. Contact us today in Colorado and Wyoming for all your HVAC needs.

7 Ways to Maintain Your Mini-Split Air Conditioner

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7 Ways to Maintain Your Samsung Mini-Split Air Conditioner

If your mini-split air conditioner is not cooling properly there are some steps you can take to troubleshoot the problem before calling for maintenance or repairs.

1. Check Your Settings.

Your AC unit may allow for a variety of settings, so check to make sure something wasn’t inadvertently turned off or changed. The unit works best with the “fresh air” vent setting turned off. This setting is designed to allow your system to pull air from outside, but cooling the hot outdoor air requires your condenser to work harder. When this feature is turned off, the system uses the cooler indoor air, which takes less effort to cool to the desired temperature. Your room will cool faster and with less wear and tear when the fresh air vent is off. Also, check that the unit is set on cool mode and the temperature is set as “low.”

2. Make Sure Your Fan is Turning in the Right Direction.

A ceiling fan can make your HVAC system more efficient all year round, as long as it is turning in the correct direction. In the winter, the blades should rotate clockwise (reverse) as you are looking up. In the summer, they should turn counterclockwise (forward).

3. Make Sure Each Room’s Size is Compatible with Your Mini-Split AC.

The room size must be appropriate for the unit. If the mini-split is too small for a large room, it will not be able to cool the space sufficiently.

4. Check for Leaks.

Every AC is a closed system that draws air over coils filled with refrigerant in order to cool the air. A refrigerant leak is a serious problem that requires an HVAC professional. Running the air conditioner without fixing the leak can permanently damage the equipment.

5. Remove Obstacles and Other Electronics.

Anything that blocks the airflow from the mini-split can prevent the room from cooling properly. If necessary, relocate large objects, such as furniture. Electronics can heat up and make it more difficult to cool the room. Don’t overload the space with heat-generating items such as televisions and computers.

6. Clean the Air Filter.

The air filter protects the evaporator core and prevents the accumulation and buildup of dirt and dust. For best results and to keep your system operating efficiently over its lifetime, clean out the air filters once a month.

7. Make Sure the Voltage is Correct.

The voltage stabilizer output must be above 180V in order for the air conditioner to work normally.

For more information on mini-splits installation, or for any HVAC questions, contact a Rheem Pro Partner today. You can find us throughout Colorado and Wyoming.

Introducing The New Rheem Prestige Series High Efficiency Combination Boilers

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Introducing The New Rheem Prestige Series High Efficiency Combination Boilers

The new Rheem Prestige Series High-Efficiency Combination Boilers provide an elegant solution for your home’s heat and hot water needs by conveniently putting both vital systems in one efficient package. Each Rheem Combination Boiler is a single unit that heats both the air in your home and the water you use every day.

The Combi offers several important features and benefits:

  • High Efficiency
    An impressive 95% AFUE rating (the measure of how efficiently a furnace utilizes fuel) means very little fuel is wasted. The rating means that the unit delivers 95 BTUs of heat for every 100 BTUs of gas used and may qualify for local and/or utility rebates. This is good for your budget, your comfort, and the environment.
  • Two in One
    One unit for both functions means only one unit to service and maintain for both space heating and hot water.
  • Saves Energy
    Domestic hot water is generated on demand so there is no need to continuously heat and store water in a tank. This saves on energy use and the associated energy costs.
  • Saves Space
    With one unit for heating both the air and the water in your home, instead of a separate furnace and hot water heater, less space needs to be dedicated to your HVAC equipment.
  • Lower Installation Costs
    The unit installs with 2″ and 3″ Schedule 40 PVC venting, which is easier to work with and lower cost than stainless steel. This means significant savings of both money and time.
  • Improved Venting
    The Combi offers greater flexibility for venting, which gives homeowners more flexible and versatile options for locating the equipment. The maximum vent length is 100 feet for 3″ and 50 feet for 2″. In addition, the unit is vented with room air which further saves money and time.

How it Works:

Rheem Prestige Series High-Efficiency Combination Boilers work with

  • Hydronic Baseboard Heating
  • Radiant Flooring
  • Radiators
  • Hydronic Air Handlers

Contact a Rheem Pro Partner today for more information and to see if a combination boiler is right for your home. Rheem Pro Partners serve customers in Colorado and Wyoming.

The 6 Most Common Air Conditioning Problems in Denver

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The 6 Most Common Air Conditioning Problems in Denver

Now, before the summer heat hits, is a good time to schedule a maintenance appointment and make sure your cooling system is ready for the season. There are many reasons your Denver home’s central air conditioner may need to be looked at by a certified contractor. Knowing the most common air conditioner problems can help you diagnose them, or even better, avoid them. Common problems are faulty wiring, low refrigerant, non-functioning outside fan, a frozen coil and air flow issues.

1. Faulty wiring.

Bad wiring can trip the circuit breaker or keep the unit from getting power. Wiring that is not up to code, or is damaged or poorly installed can not only affect your air conditioner’s performance, it is also a serious safety/fire hazard.

2. Low refrigerant.

Refrigerant is the chemical in your air conditioning system that cools the air. Low refrigerant most often means there is a leak, although it could indicate other problems. Any hint of a leak should be checked by a professional and addressed immediately.

3. Outside fan is not working.

The outside fan moves the heat out of your home. If the fan is not working properly, the heat transfer won’t be successful and could result in the compressor overheating and tripping the safety overload. Even more serious, a fan problem could cause internal damage to the compressor.

4. Outside unit is not working.

If the entire outside unit is not working, the problem could be a lack of power, improper installation or a faulty thermostat.

5. Frozen coil.

This is most commonly a problem with air flow and the culprit is often a dirty air filter. Buildup on the coils or debris blocking the air flow to the system can also cause this. Frost on the inside coil could indicate low refrigerant.

6. Poor air flow.

Change the air filter regularly, every 30-90 days. Keep the coils free of dirt and make sure to maintain a clear area around the outdoor unit that is free from leaves, branches and other debris. Annual maintenance by a professional HVAC technician will keep your system clean and functioning properly.

Preventive maintenance at the start of the season is the best way to avoid serious problems and expensive repairs. Problems like the ones outlined here are easily discovered with a professional inspection and can often be addressed while they are still minor. Look for a NATE-certified technician to promptly diagnose and make any necessary repairs.

The NATE-certified technicians at Rheem Pro Partners can handle all your air conditioning needs. Contact us today in Colorado and Wyoming.