iAir Services Blog: Archive for February, 2015

Common Problems with Commercial HVAC Systems

Friday, February 27th, 2015

Building owners and facility managers alike know that one of the keys to a successful property is maintaining the amenities that the people on their property depend on for daily life. When a light goes out in a hallway of your building, you know that you must replace it ASAP to keep people happy and safe. Similarly, when there is a problem with an HVAC system, it necessitates immediate attention.

Any heating and air conditioning system can run into trouble eventually, and the faulty component may create a domino effect in which multiple components begin to suffer. Be sure to call a technician for commercial HVAC repair in Austin, TX at the first sign of problems, including any of the following.

  • No Cooling or Heating: When there is no heating or cooling at all on your commercial property, repairs are definitely urgent. Be sure to switch off your thermostat to prevent any problems from worsening. Unfortunately, sometimes a component of your HVAC system is so damaged that a large portion requires replacement. In other cases, it may just be that a single part is failing. A furnace may shut down because the flame sensor, a small part that detects the presence of a flame, is dirty, while an AC may only shut down due to a small electrical blowout.
  • Strange Noises: The commercial HVAC unit is probably located far away from where people work and shop, so if you hear strange noises in the ducts of your building, you should be alarmed. A unit that is operating noisily is likely also consuming a lot of energy, and may run a higher risk of failing suddenly.
  • Short Cycling: A short cycling system will turn on, only to turn off shortly afterwards, repeating this process frequently and never quite finishing its cycle. Starting up a large commercial HVAC unit uses up a lot of energy, so it’s important to repair a short cycling system quickly in order to keep operating costs low.

Only trust your commercial HVAC needs in Austin, TX to commercial specialists, like our team at Intelligent Air Services. We have plenty of experience repairing large commercial systems so you can count on us to restore your unit accurately and as quickly as possible.

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What is Short-Cycling?

Friday, February 20th, 2015

Short-cycling is one of the most damaging behaviors that a furnace can experience, causing all sorts of problems in other parts of the system and increasing the chance of a complete breakdown. It is characterized by the system rapidly turning itself on and off over and over again for a long period of time. Let’s take a look at what the causes of short-cycling are, and how you can prevent it from happening.

The Process of Short-Cycling

Short-cycling is caused by the furnace overheating, which activates a safety device called the “limit switch.” The limit switch shuts down the entire system to prevent it from damaging itself by overheating, but it doesn’t actually address the cause of the overheating. The limit switch is simply a stopgap measure, designed to preserve the health of the furnace as much as possible until the source of the overheating can be fixed. Once the furnace has cooled down sufficiently, it will reactivate in response to the thermostat. It will then overheat again, provoking the limit switch and starting the whole cycle over again. If the source of the overheating isn’t found and fixed right away, this prolonged cycle of turning on and off can cause extreme damage to parts of the furnace. The heat exchanger can develop cracks from the strain, causing a fire risk and releasing combustion gases into the ducts.

What Causes Short-Cycling?

The most common cause of short-cycling is actually one of the easiest furnace problems to fix. All furnaces include an air filter in their air return ducts, designed to protect the system from dust and debris that might otherwise damage it. If not cleaned or replaced every couple of months, however, the air filter will become so clogged with dust that it will prevent the flow of air into the furnace. This causes the internal temperature of the furnace to steadily rise, kicking off the whole short-cycling problem. The easiest way to prevent short-cycling, therefore, is to have your furnace air filter changed at least once every other month.

If you think your furnace may be in need of repair, call Intelligent Air Services. We provide heating repair services throughout Lakeway.

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Valentine’s Day: Pagan Revelry, Clandestine Marriage, and 14th Century Poetry

Saturday, February 14th, 2015

What do you think of when you think of Valentine’s Day? Perhaps rushing off to the stationary store after work to choose the perfect card with which to express your feelings towards a loved one? Dinner reservations at a fancy restaurant? Roses, dark chocolates, and other gifts and confections? Whatever Valentine’s Day may look like to you, chances are that it is a far cry from the history surrounding this holiday – or at least we hope so. Here are a few interesting facts about this most romantic of holidays, from your friends here at Intelligent Air Services.

The fact of the matter is that there is no definitive history as to how Valentine’s Day came to be. There are a few different saints with variations of the name Valentine, for example. One of the most prevalent legends, and one certainly in keeping with the romantic nature of the holiday as we know it today, pertains to a priest serving during the 3rd century in Rome. Under the rule of Emperor Claudius II, who believed that young men made for better soldiers if unfettered by marriage, it was illegal for young men to marry. A true believer in love, Valentine would marry young couples in secret. Until, at least, he was found out, and met a very unpleasant end for his crimes.

Like many of our modern holidays, Valentine’s Day can also be traced back to pagan ritual. Lupercalia, as the pagan festival is known, was a fertility festival dedicated to Faunus, a god of agriculture. As is often the case with Roman celebrations, the details of this celebration are unfit to detail here. Suffice to say that, while there is certainly a touch of the amorous in the proceedings, the festival was a far cry from what we associate with Valentine’s Day today.

How, then, did our modern version of Valentine’s Day come to be? The answer may lie in, of all places, 14th century poetry; particularly, in the writings of Geoffrey Chaucer. Famed for his Canterbury Tales, Chaucer may well be the very first writer to associate Valentine’s Day with romantic love, in the manner of which we are familiar with it today. His The Parliament of Fowls details the dream-vision of a narrator consumed with the idea of romantic love and the natural order of finding a mate. Valentine’s Day is mentioned by name a number of times, as the narrator witnesses a parliament of eagles vying for the hand – or, perhaps more aptly, the wing – of a mate.

Whatever you may think of the holiday’s sordid and convoluted history, we here at Intelligent Air Services hope you have a wonderful Valentine’s Day with the special someone in your life.

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Are There Any Furnace Repairs I Can Do Myself?

Monday, February 9th, 2015

With so many DIY classes, shows and kits available to homeowners, it can seem like just about any home repair can be handled by doing it yourself.

Unfortunately, this isn’t really true, especially when it comes to whole-home systems like your heating. This is because whole-home systems are complex, electro-mechanical devices that require training, expertise and knowledge for successful repair. The trained and certified professionals at Intelligent Air Services bring years of experience to each and every job, so if you are in need of heating repair for your Cedar Park home, call us today!

Items Homeowners Can Do for Their Heating

There are a couple of things homeowners can do to help keep a furnace healthy. The first is change the air filter every three months. When air filters become clogged, they can cause all kinds of problems for your heating system, so do yourself and your system a favor and change it regularly. Another thing homeowners can do for their furnaces is schedule regular maintenance. Maintenance keeps your system running optimally and efficiently, so it’s important to schedule maintenance every 12 months. Lastly, just stay aware: strange sounds, strange noises, poor performance and sudden spikes in energy usage typically mean a problem has develop with your system. If you see these signs, don’t ignore them; instead, call an expert for help.

So Why Shouldn’t I Repair My Furnace?

If you are still thinking you want to try and repair your own furnace, bear these factors in mind:

  • Mistakes cost money – the whole point of doing things yourself is to save money; however, if you don’t have the expertise needed, you may actually incur more costs by making mistakes as you endeavor to repair your furnace.
  • Safety concerns – your furnace is a powerful appliance, and if you have a combustion furnace, you will be handling highly flammable fuels. Translation: you could get really hurt, so unless you know what you are doing, call an expert.
  • Specialized tools – heating technicians use specialized tools to make repairs; it is likely that you won’t have these tools and won’t have the training necessary to use them.

DIY is great for small jobs around your home, but heating repairs for your Cedar Park home should always be handled by your Intelligent Air Services expert.

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Signs It’s Time for Commercial Heating Repair

Monday, February 2nd, 2015

Commercial heating isn’t actually that different from home heating in terms of construction and operation. The basic mechanisms are the same, it’s just the scale that is different. As such, many of the signs that indicate a need for repair in a home heating system can be found in commercial heating systems as well.

Let’s take a look at some of the common signs that it’s time for commercial heating repair, so that you know when to call a professional.

Strange Noises

Commercial heating systems will often make a lot of noise during operation. They’re large machines, after all, tasked with moving a lot of air over a large area. However, there are a few noises that indicate a problem with your commercial heating system. A grinding noise is a common signal that your air handler motor is in trouble. The motor is equipped with bearings to decrease the strain and stress that it is put under every time the heater turns on. As the bearings wear down, the strain on the motor increases. Eventually, the motor will overheat and burn itself out if the bearings aren’t replaced.

A booming sound is also problematic, as it is often a sign of a misfiring burner. This is usually caused by carbon buildup from the combustion process. If not addressed, the buildup could eventually prevent the burner from igniting at all.

Rising Heating Bills

Heating bills are always going to be slightly different from month to month. However, if your heating bill starts consistently rising from month to month then you may have a problem. This could be caused by any number of factors, but the most common is simply accumulation of wear and tear. As parts start to wear down, they will gradually start to lose efficiency. This will lead the system to work longer and longer to accomplish the same heat output, contributing to higher heating bills. Replacing the worn down parts should fix the issue.

If your commercial heating system is having issues, call Intelligent Air Services. We provide commercial heating repair throughout Austin, TX.

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