Get a Headstart on AC Maintenance This Autumn

Why Homeowners Should Schedule HVAC Maintenance Visits Before Fall and Winter 

The HVAC system may have run perfectly all summer long. Yet, once autumn and winter hit, matters could change. The HVAC system could have a hard time heating the entire home. The home’s indoor air quality could take a turn for the worse––leaving homeowners sneezing and coughing around the clock. 

This is why homeowners need to schedule end-of-year maintenance visits before it’s too late. The longer one waits, the busier local businesses become with appointments and other obligations. One doesn’t want to wait weeks for an HVAC company to diagnose a problem. They want to ensure a functioning HVAC system before winter comes. 

The Many Benefits of Maintaining the Heater 

benefitsEnergyStar lists the many benefits of arranging yearly maintenance visits. Some of these benefits include: 
  • A longer lifespan. The U.S. Department of Energy notes that HVAC systems generally last for 15 years. With maintenance, one can make their system last even longer. They can also reduce the likelihood of problems that come with inevitable wear and tear. 
  • Catching small problems. Some small problems may not seem like a big deal right now. However, these problems can worsen when the HVAC system “kicks into high gear” during the latter half of the year. A professional can keep these problems from arising and keep everything in working order. 
  • Lower energy bills. When the HVAC system works harder than it has to, this can lead to higher-than-normal energy bills. This can quickly strain one’s wallet––the last thing anyone wants during the holiday season. 

What Does a Heating Maintenance Professional Do? 

filterWhen one schedules a heating maintenance visit, a professional will: 
  • Lubricate the system. An HVAC system has a lot of moving parts. When not properly lubricated, parts can wear down and need constant replacement. The system may also struggle to maintain the ideal in-home temperature. 
  • Change the air filter. EnergyStar notes that homeowners should change their HVAC system’s air filter once every three months. The system’s air filters maintain the home’s temperature. A maintenance professional can check the system’s air filter and determine whether it needs replacing. 
  • Check the system’s connections. Any loose connection in a gas, electrical, or water-powered system can have disastrous results. It can lead to fires, health problems, and other complications––all of which can be avoidable if caught in time. 

As noted, HVAC systems generally last 15 years. If one’s system is older, a professional may suggest getting a new unit. 

It’s Never Too Early to Consider an HVAC Maintenance Visit 

Right now, the HVAC system may work perfectly. However, when temperatures dip below 50 degrees, matters may change. With this in mind, it’s never too early to consider scheduling an annual HVAC maintenance visit. By ensuring the HVAC system is working properly, one can avoid discomfort when the first cold front of the year blows in. They can also avoid burst pipes, high energy bills, and frustration. 

About Altas Home Service 

Atlas Home Service knows that HVAC maintenance is a year-long endeavor. That’s why, for pennies a day, homeowners can sign up for their membership plan. This gives members access to exclusive offers not afforded to first-time customers. For more information on HVAC services in Alexandria, LA, one can call today to learn more .

Guide to Electrical System Basics

Electrical System Basic Knowledge

Home electrical systems consist of a complicated network of wires, circuits, and appliances. Professional electricians undergo extensive training in school and in the field as apprentices to learn how to safely repair, install, and maintain electrical systems. Homeowners should know the basics of electrical systems to take better care of their systems and prevent electrical emergencies.

Practicing electrical safety is extremely important for preventing electrical fires and accidental electrocutions. Basic electrical system knowledge helps homeowners identify potential warning signs of a system malfunction and take steps to resolve the issue. Knowing how electrical systems work can also save homeowners money on energy bills by optimizing the performance of their home’s electrical system.

Components of Electrical Systems

electric meterElectricity is generated in power plants and distributed to the community through power lines. Energy enters the home’s electrical system via a connection monitored by an electric meter. The electric meter measures how much energy the house uses to bill for utilities. Electricians also use the meter to troubleshoot problems with the electrical system.

A disconnect switch is usually located either on the electric meter or in the breaker box that allows electricians to shut off the home’s power completely. This is important for safely working on the electrical system without the risk of electrocution. Homeowners may want to use the disconnect switch to shut off their electricity until professional help arrives if they suspect that there is the risk of an electrical fire due to a system malfunction.

The breaker box is a series of switches that control the home’s circuits. Each switch in the breaker box correlates with an area of the house or a hardwired appliance. When the circuits become overloaded, the breaker box will flip the switches to cut off power and prevent electrical hazards from occurring. This is why having a working breaker box is essential for preventing electrical fires.

Electrical circuits are passageways engineered to transfer electricity from one place to another. For example, a home’s electrical circuits carry electricity from the powerlines to the home’s appliances, lights, and outlets. Electrical outlets are what homeowners use to plug in their electric-powered devices.

Warning Signs of Electrical Problems

burning smellsThe following are signs of issues with the electrical system:

  • Sparking outlets
  • Sparking breaker box
  • Flickering lights
  • Burning smell
  • High energy bills

Homeowners should be on the lookout for signs of an electrical system malfunction. An electrical fire could affect the homeowner and the community at large if the fire spreads. The entire neighborhood, as well as local ecosystems, could be impacted by an electrical fire.

In addition to the risk of electrocution and fire, a malfunctioning electrical system can also cause a spike in utility bills. A sudden increase in the light bill could mean that the electrical system is not performing efficiently due to disrepair. Flickering lights could be caused by a lightbulb, but if the issue is consistent throughout the home’s lighting, it could mean the breaker box is malfunctioning.

Electrical Safety Is a Number One Priority

The most important thing that homeowners need to know about their electrical system is that leaving it in a state of disrepair or doing amateur electrical work is extremely dangerous. Electrocution and fires can be life-threatening. There is also the financial risk of property damage to consider. Rewiring the entire electrical system because amateurs have installed it is expensive and time-consuming.

Professional electricians are trained to service electrical systems safely and are protected by insurance in case of an accident. Homeowners should always ensure that they hire a professional electrician who is both fully licensed and insured to repair and install their home’s electrical system.

In addition to being aware of the signs of a malfunction and hiring an experienced electrician, homeowners should also be careful not to overload their circuits. When installing new appliances and lightbulbs, homeowners should check the recommended voltage/wattage. Another safety measure homeowners can take is installing a whole home surge protector to protect the home from power surges.

About Atlas Home Service

Atlas Home Service is a family owned business with over a decade of experience serving its neighbors in Alexandria, LA, and the surrounding areas. They provide flat-rate pricing and free in-home quotes and are also fully licensed and insured. Call them today for electrical services in Alexandria, LA.