Cowboys Air Conditioning & Heating Blog:
Archive for February, 2014

Signs You Need to Repair Your Heat Pump

Friday, February 28th, 2014

Heat pumps are a great way to take care of two comfort problems at once: heating and air conditioning. They are particularly good options in Texas because they produce high levels of cooling to match a standalone air conditioner, and they won’t struggle with our mild winter weather.

Because heat pumps are complex devices that rely on mechanical parts, they can malfunction and wear down to the point that they need repairs. Even if you’ve kept your heat pump well-maintained, you may still expect an occasional need for heating repair in San Antonio, TX. When that happens, trust to the work of the staff at Cowboys Air Conditioning & Heating to help you repair your heat pump to full capacity.

Here are a few signs that your heat pump needs our help:

Icing Along The Coils

If you notice ice developing along either the indoor or outdoor coils, you heat pump is in danger of losing its ability to do heat exchange, which will leave you without heating and cooling. You can’t just scrape the ice off—it will come right back. You’ll have to call up heating technicians to investigate and see if the problem comes from a leak in the refrigerant, dirt along the coil, or some other problem that is restricting the coil from absorbing a sufficient amount of heat.

Clicking and Grinding Noises

Loud, strange sounds from any mechanical device is rarely a good sign. If you heat a clicking noise—usually during start-up—it usually indicates that one of the capacitors is failing. The capacitors are responsible for transmitting the electrical charge to the motors to start them running and keep them running. The capacitor will need replacement. Grinding points to failing motors, either worn down by age or dust, and they will also need to be replaced.

Heat Pump Stays in One Mode

If your heat pump will only blow cool air when you want heat, or only blow hot air when you need cooling, then it’s likely the crucial reversing valve that allows the unit to switch functions has broken. There are other possible reasons, such as a broken or miscalibrated thermostat, for this trouble, so call for professionals to diagnose and solve the problem.

To help avoid these problems, make sure that you have signed up for a maintenance program to keep your heat pump tuned-up, adjusted, and cleaned. A yearly visit from an expert in heating repair in San Antonio, TX will help your heat pump have a longer life with few malfunctions.

Cowboys Air Conditioning & Heating offers speedy repairs, 24 hours a day, when your heat pump has trouble. Give us a call today and schedule an appointment. Make sure you sign up for our preventive maintenance agreement to get the most value from your heat pump.

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How Dust and Dirt Can Affect Your Furnace

Thursday, February 27th, 2014

Dust is a major enemy of many appliances in your home, not to mention your house’s general appearance. One appliance in your home that can suffer serious consequences from a dust infiltration is your furnace, whether it’s gas-powered or electrical. Dust in the ductwork, clogging, the air filter, or infiltrating the cabinet will lead to issues that can even result in the furnace breaking down. We’ll go over ways dust can trouble your furnace so you’ll known when to call for the necessary repairs.

Whenever you need furnace repair and maintenance in San Antonio, TX, trust to the 25 years of experience at Cowboys Air Conditioning & Heating. Our technicians are available 24 hours a day to help get your furnace back in shape. Give us a call today to schedule your next appointment.

Dust and Your Furnace—The Major Problems

  • Clogged air filter: The filter of your furnace is its main defense against dust getting through to contaminate the interior. In order for it to do its job, you need to change it ever month during heating season. If too must dust clogs it, it will reduce airflow to the furnace and end up cutting into its heating power.
  • Motor damage: If dust enters the furnace cabinet, the components it will affect the fastest are the motors. Dusty motor bearings and pistons will cause a motor to burn out, and it will need replacement. Listen for screeching and shrieking noises from the cabinet, or acrid smells from the vents, to warn you of this.
  • The burner won’t ignite: For a gas furnace, a dust contamination along the burner unit will prevent the gas jets from igniting because of lack of oxygen. Professionals will need to remove the burner unit and clean it.
  • Reduced efficiency from contaminated ductwork: As dust and dirt begins to build up inside ductwork, it creates resistance against the airflow from the furnace’s air handler. This will make the furnace work harder, and in turn cause its components to begin to wear down faster. Regular duct cleaning will help prevent this—and will also lead to cleaner indoor air for your home.

Repairs, Maintenance, and Duct Cleaning

To keep the best care of your furnace, you need to call for repairs whenever you sense there’s a problem. With regular maintenance (once a year, usually in the fall) and regular duct cleaning, you can help keep away many repair needs and give your furnace a long and energy-efficient life.

Call Cowboys Air Conditioning & Heating: we offer duct cleaning, furnace repair, and other heating repair services in San Antonio, TX that will satisfy all your needs.

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3 Ways Your Furnace Can Perform More Efficiently

Wednesday, February 19th, 2014

If you’ve had the same furnace working to keep you warm for a few years, it might start to work less efficiently, resulting in a climb in your heating bills. This doesn’t necessarily mean that you need to have it replaced (unless it is over 20 years old). But it does means you should takes some steps to restore its operation. We’ll look at 3 ways that can help get your furnace returned to its efficient operation once more.

If you need repair work on your furnace in San Antonio, TX, then look no further than Cowboys Air Conditioning & Heating. We’ve helped people in this city for over 25 years keep their furnaces running and their homes warm. Call us any time of the day or night when you need service.

3 ways to Return Your Furnace’s Efficiency

  1. Change the air filter: No matter what kind of fuel your furnace uses, it requires an air filter to keep its interior protected from contamination. That air filter needs to be changed regularly, or else it will become too clogged; during heating season, changing it once a month is ideal. If you’ve forgotten to do this, the clogged filter will cut down on airflow and force the furnace to work harder. It may also be allowing dirt inside, harming in components.
  2. Schedule regular maintenance: The filter needs to changed once a month. The furnace needs to be checked once a year, usually before heating season begins. If you’ve neglected to do this, a drop in efficiency is almost guaranteed. Maintenance visits take care of all your furnace’s regular cleanings, adjustments, and tune-ups to make sure it’s working at its best and doesn’t have any impending repair needs.
  3. Take care of possible repairs now: Along with an increase in your bills, have you noticed any other peculiarities about your furnace’s performance? For example, strange noises like rattling or grinding; odd smells coming from the vents; cold spots you haven’t noticed before; and the furnace turning on and off more than usual. If you notice these signs, it means your furnace needs to have repairs done. Schedule them right away, before the problem grows worse and instead of an inefficient furnace, you have a broken furnace.

Take Care of Repairs and Maintenance With Cowboys Air Conditioning & Heating

If you have not yet enrolled in a regular maintenance program for your home heating and air conditioning in San Antonio, TX, do that right now: call Cowboys Air Conditioning & Heating and sign our Preventive Maintenance Agreement. You’ll receive 15% discount on parts and labor and priority scheduling along with a tune-up per year for your heater and you air conditioner. And we have 24-hour emergency service to deal with any of those repair problems.

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Other Anniversaries of Valentine’s Day

Friday, February 14th, 2014

For more than a hundred years, people in countries around the world have marked the 14th day of February as a time for lovers to give each other gifts and for children to write cards to each other and eat heart-shaped candy. But Valentine’s Day isn’t the only important event to occur on February 14th. There are many other anniversaries to mark on this day. Here are a few:

1400 – The death of King Richard II: The same English king whose engagement resulted in the first love poem mentioning Valentine’s Day (from court poet Geoffrey Chaucer) dies in prison in Pontefract Castle after his cousin Henry overthrows him. He probably starved to death, although another famous author, William Shakespeare, would portray his death as murder.

1859 – Hello, Oregon: The Oregon Country is admitted to the United States of America as the 33rd state.

1876 – Who invented the telephone? Alexander Graham Bell applies for a patent for his new invention, the telephone. Another inventor, Elisha Gray, applies the same day for a similar device, sparking a long controversy over who invented what first.

1912 – Hello, Arizona: Continuing the statehood tradition that Oregon established, the Territory of Arizona is admitted to the U.S. as the 48th state. Women are granted the right to vote in Arizona the same year, eight years before the rest of the nation.

1929 – The world’s most infamous mob hit: Unknown assailants shoot down seven people in Chicago, IL. Six of the dead are gangsters in the mob of Bugs Moran, an enemy of Al Capone in the business of selling Prohibition bootleg liquor. No one is ever arrested or charged for the crime—but there isn’t much doubt who masterminded it.

1931 – “I am… Dracula”: The most influential vampire movie ever made, and the start of Universal Studio’s famous monsters series, Dracula starring Bela Lugosi, premieres in theaters. Universal cannily uses Valentine’s Day to promote the film as “The Story of the Strangest Passion the World Has Ever Known!”

1961 – The Periodic Table becomes larger: The 103rd chemical element, Lawrencium, is discovered at the University of California. The name comes from the laboratory where it is synthesized, the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory.

2005 – Now it’s easy to watch funny animal videos: A group of college students launch a video sharing website call YouTube.

Even if Valentine’s Day itself isn’t a major holiday for you, February 14th has many reasons to celebrate—unless you are a member of Bugs Moran’s gang or a supporter of Richard II. All of us at Cowboys Air Conditioning & Heating would like to wish you a happy Valentine’s Day, however you observe it.

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3 Different Types of Insulation You Can Use for Your Selma, TX Home

Thursday, February 13th, 2014

Some people thing of insulation as a luxury rather than a necessity, but in point of fact, good insulation can be the smartest decision you make for your home. With proper insulation, cold air stays inside in the summer time and warm air in the wintertime, lowering your heating and cooling bills in the process. In Selma, TX, insulation can save you a great deal in monthly costs, enough to offset the cost of installing the insulation in some cases. The type of insulation involved can play a big part in that. Here are 3 different types of insulation you can use for your home in Selma.

  • Spray foam insulation
    Spray foam insulation comes in pressurized canisters and can be sprayed into the area like shaving cream before it hardens into a permanent shape. Spray foam insulation works extremely well for cramped crawlspaces and other areas where more traditional types of insulation can’t reach.
  • Blown-in insulation
    Blown-in insulation consists of numerous loose particles, inserted into the area with a blower. It’s less expensive than spray-foam insulation, and still does the same job of covering awkward spaces without a lot of fuss. Blown-in insulation is usually composed of recycled materials, making it an environmentally friendly option.
  • Radiant barriers
    In hot climates like ours, radiant barriers – consisting of reflective material mounted on your roof — make another cost-effective form of insulation. They work best in the summer, when temperatures rise, but now is an excellent time to have them installed, when temperatures are still mild and the heat hasn’t hit us yet.

No matter what different type of insulation you can use in your home, you can count on Cowboys Air Conditioning & Heating to help. Our trained experts provide professional HVAC services in Selma, TX, and we understand how insulation affects your home and can prepare a plan to install the most efficient type and amount for your particular needs. Insulation is an absolute must for any home owner in Selma. You don’t want to leave it in the hands of amateurs. Pick up the phone today and give us a call. Let us show you what we can do for you.

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Why Does More Insulation Mean Lower Heating Bills?

Wednesday, February 5th, 2014

Why does wearing a coat keep you warm during cold days? Because the coat layers serve as a barrier to the movement of heat. The reason you feel cold in low temperatures is because heat escapes from your body to the outside air; a coat traps your body’s heat and keeps it close to you, helping to maintain warmth.

This same principle applies your home: insulation is your home’s “winter coat.” With effective insulation in your home’s walls and floor, you can expect lower heating bills. We’ll explain how this works. If you need improved insulation in Boerne, TX, contact our insulation and air sealing service experts at Cowboys Air Conditioning & Heating today.

Why Better Insulation = Lower Heating Costs

Insulation is a thermal barrier: it restricts the movement of heat through convection and conduction. During the winter, your heating system produces the vital heat you need to keep comfortable. This heat will attempt to move outside to the cooler air, the same way heat leaves your body in cold weather. It’s the job of the insulation to stop this. Basically, insulation serves as a heat seal that traps warmth inside your home.

This lowers your heating costs in two ways. First, you won’t need to run that heater as much in the first place because the natural heat in your home—from bodies, appliances, lights—will remain inside the house. Second, the heater will not need to continually strain to replace the heat lost through insulation leaks. If you have a house with poor insulation, the most powerful heating system available will have trouble overcoming the constant loss of heat to the outside. Your house will still feel drafty, with only a few rooms receiving adequate warmth—and all the while you’ll waste money on running the heater.

Improve Your Home’s Heat Sealing For Optimal Heating Efficiency

If you are currently experiencing high heating bills even though your heater seems to be working well, then the problem may be insulation leaks. You will need to have insulation experts inspect your home and find the trouble spots that will need improved sealing. You don’t want your house completely sealed—fresh air is important for indoor air quality—and the insulation technicians will know how to find the right balance.

We offer different options for new insulation and other heating services in Boerne, TX, at Cowboys Air Conditioning & Heating. Call us today to help you improve your home’s heating with a brand new “coat.”

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