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Why Do I Need HVAC Maintenance?

September 15th, 2014

hvac maintenanceThe cooler weather may have already prompted you to turn your AC unit off. The temperatures have been ideal for it in the past week or so and you’ll love reaping all of the energy savings that come with it. While it’s nice to have it off for now, many people will be turning their HVAC units back on within the next month or so to start pumping the heat. It’s critical that you don’t shirk HVAC maintenance just because your unit isn’t running right now. Wondering why you need regular HVAC maintenance? Listed below are a few reasons why an HVAC maintenance plan will help you survive the cold season ahead.

Benefits of HVAC Maintenance

  1. Avoid emergency repairs. These can severely set you back on a few different accounts. Our busiest times of year are early summer and early winter. Know why? Because that’s when people realize that their units have broken down. Unfortunately, we aren’t able to get to everyone at once when HVAC units start to go bad. If you have unit maintenance in the fall this year, though, you can relax knowing that you won’t have to call us on that first freezing day of November to tell us that your heat isn’t working.
  2. Enjoy healthier air. Did you know that something as simple as making sure that you change your filters regularly can help keep the air in your home cleaner? Having clean air can help you avoid uncomfortable allergies, bacteria, and even mold. Regular HVAC maintenance can actually keep your family safe and healthy!
  3. Extend the life of your HVAC unit. Replacement is much more expensive than maintenance or even repair. Units that receive regular maintenance can last 10 years or more, while a unit that isn’t well taken care of can die out within the first 10 years. Replacing your unit less often coupled with the energy efficiency of a well maintained can save you hundreds over time.
  4. Get faster service. If you have a maintenance plan with us and something does go wrong, you’re a preferred customer. We’ll move you up the list and be out to help you as soon as possible. We value our customers and are happy to help keep you nice and warm all winter long!

HVAC Maintenance Plans in Baltimore County

Farnen & Dermer’s energy saving maintenance plan is designed to help our clients get the most out of their heating and air conditioning systems, while remaining comfortable. As a family owned business, we know how important your comfort is, along with being able to save on electric bills and avoid having to pay for costly repairs or total system replacements. If you have any questions about HVAC maintenance, programmable thermostats or wish to schedule an appointment, call us at (410)-902-0020. You can also use our online contact form. You will be contacted by a member of our support staff within 24 business hours.

Start following Farnen & Dermer today on Facebook, Google+, Twitter, and Pinterest.

Source: HVAC Maintenance

 

Optimizing Your Programmable Thermostat for Energy Savings

August 29th, 2014

thermostat optimizationHas your energy bill been higher than you’d like it this summer? Many people find that hot summer days lead to extremely high electric bills at the end of the month. It can get pretty rough, especially if you live on the second or third floor of a building. Optimizing your thermostat can help you save money and energy. Since most homes are equipped with programmable thermostats these days (and some even have smart thermostats), it’s not too difficult to save a few extra bucks on air this fall, especially with cooler days headed our way. Even if you aren’t the type of person to turn your air off right after Labor Day, you’ll appreciate these tips for optimizing your programmable thermostat!

Optimization Tips

  • Take advantage of all the different settings. Many different thermostats will allow you to set the temperatures differently for weekdays and weekends. For example, you could set your air to be on between the hours of 4:30 PM and 10 PM – the times that you’re home and awake during the week. If you’re the kind of person that’s out all weekend, you can program your air to be off altogether for just those 2 days. Some models even allow you to program set temperatures day by day.
  • Try to set temperatures in 8-hour increments. You save the most money during the day if your thermostat is set higher or off for at least 8 hours. It’s also a good idea to find out what your energy company considers peak times for air. Some companies will charge more during those hours. BGE peak times for summer is 10 AM to 8 PM. If you aren’t home during those hours, it’s best to have your air off altogether.
  • Use the hold feature when you go out of town. You’ll end up costing yourself more money than necessary if you leave your schedule up while you’re on vacation or out of town. Using the hold feature will allow you to hold the temperature at whatever you set it to before you leave. For example, 78 to 80 degrees is optimal for your air conditioning unit. If you know you’ll be gone for a few days, program your thermostat to 80 degrees and hit hold. Just remember to turn off the hold when you return home to get your normal settings back.

HVAC Energy Savings

Another way to ensure that you’re saving money on air conditioning and the use of your HVAC unit is to schedule regular maintenance. Regular maintenance will keep your HVAC unit running efficiently and well. Coupled with your programmable thermostat, you could save hundreds of dollars in the span of a year. If you have any questions about HVAC maintenance, programmable thermostats or wish to schedule an appointment, call us at (410)-902-0020. You can also use our online contact form. You will be contacted by a member of our support staff within 24 business hours.

Start following Farnen & Dermer today on Facebook, Google+, Twitter, and Pinterest.

Source: Conditioned Air TX, Team Bobs

Why is My Baltimore Air Conditioner Blowing Hot Air?

August 22nd, 2014

air conditioner problemsIt’s 80 degrees outside and you decide that you can’t get away with leaving the air off any longer. You slowly get off the couch to go over to the thermostat to turn the air on and cool your home down. You set it to 75 and wait for that wonderful cold air to hit you in the face – instead, it starts to get warmer in your home. Frustrated, you turn the air off and decide to go seek air conditioning elsewhere. So, why could air conditioner be blowing hot air? Well, there are a few common reasons that your AC might be malfunctioning.

Common Air Conditioner Problems

  • Your thermostat might be in heat mode rather than air – We know this sounds like a stupid reason, but people make mistakes all the time. It’s better if you can discover a human error on your own and make sure that there’s nothing wrong rather than call someone in and discover that you’re having problems simply because your HVAC unit was set on the wrong mode.
  • The Freon/refrigerant may be low – This is a common problem when AC stops blowing cold air. If you don’t have a regular HVAC maintenance company, you may find that there isn’t enough Freon in the unit. It is also possible that your AC unit could be leaking Freon. If that’s the case, it’s advisable to contact a professional immediately, since Freon can be dangerous.
  • Clogged air filter – Usually this won’t be a reason all on its own, but it can certainly contribute to warmer air blowing through your home (as well as increased energy bills). It’s important to make sure that you’re keeping the filter as well as the condensing coils free of too much dust and debris. Filters are fairly easy to change and inexpensive.
  • The condenser or compressor could need cleaned – First, check the power supply to the part of the unit that sits outdoors and make sure that it’s switched on and functioning properly. Second, see if there are any air flow restrictions to the condenser coils. Keeping them clean is important for good, cold air flow.

What to Do if You Can’t Fix the Problem

Sometimes the problem isn’t simple or you can’t identify that. If this is the case, it’s time to call in a professional to help you clean and maintenance your air conditioner. When you purchase a maintenance plan with Farnen & Dermer, you will receive preferred service whenever a problem does occur with your system. We’ll cool you down or warm you up promptly and efficiently, while helping you improve the air quality of your home!

If you have any questions about HVAC maintenance or wish to schedule an appointment, call us at (410)-902-0020. You can also use our online contact form. You will be contacted by a member of our support staff within 24 business hours.

Start following Farnen & Dermer today on Facebook, Google+, Twitter, and Pinterest.

Source: Red Beacon, D&D Service

Improving the Air Quality of Your Baltimore Home

August 13th, 2014

air filter qualityDid you know that poor air quality can have some serious negative side effects? It can actually cause infections and even diseases if it gets bad enough. Asthma can also be a negative side effect of poor indoor air quality. Some of the lesser side effects include congestion, nausea, and headaches. Though these side effects aren’t as bad as full blow diseases and infects, it’s still preferable to never have to deal with them. Knowing how to improve your air quality and suppress allergens in your home can help improve your quality of life.

Tips for Improving Air Quality

  1. Change your air filter regularly – The more often you change your air filter, the less pollutants are coming through it. There are many options for air filters that are actually designed to catch allergens and improve the air quality in your home. You should change or clean your air filter at least once every 6 months to ensure that its working properly
  2. Use a dehumidifier – Allergens don’t have much of a place to live without humidity. A dehumidifier will help keep your home dry. Coupled with a clean air conditioner, your home should be allergen free all summer long. You should remember to clean both of them regularly to avoid any contaminants making their way into the air.
  3. Keep your animals clean – It doesn’t matter whether you get a pet that promises no allergies or not, pets will still produce their fair amount of allergens. It’s best to make sure that you bathe them often and clean any surface that attracts allergens (i.e. upholstery). It’s also advisable to avoid letting your pet sleep in your room or on couches.
  4. Reduce use of carpets – Owning your own home gives you the luxury of choosing what type of flooring you want. Hardwoods, tile, and linoleum attract less allergens than carpet does. If you don’t regularly have your carpets cleaned, they will trap allergens that can make you and your family sick.
  5. Have your HVAC unit checked – Over time, you’re HVAC unit can end up holding dangerous allergens and gasses. Having your HVAC unit regularly checked, maintenance, and clean will help you to keep these allergens and gasses outdoors. Professionals will know exactly how to keep your HVAC unit clean and allergen free.

HVAC Maintenance Plans

When you purchase a maintenance plan with Farnen & Dermer, you will receive preferred service whenever a problem does occur with your system. We’ll cool you down or warm you up promptly and efficiently, while helping you improve the air quality of your home!

If you have any questions about HAVC maintenance or wish to schedule an appointment, call us at (410)-902-0020. You can also use our online contact form. You will be contacted by a member of our support staff within 24 business hours.

Start following Farnen & Dermer today on Facebook, Google+, Twitter, and Pinterest.

Source: Good Housekeeping

Preparing Your HVAC System for Cooler Weather

August 8th, 2014

fall hvac maintenanceWe still have a few warm weeks ahead of us. After all, it’s only the beginning of August. Make no mistake, though. Fall is coming and it’s right around the corner. There’s a month or so left of good summer weather before we start moving into cooler fall days and nights – and let’s face it, fall nights can get downright chilly sometimes. Curling up in a bunch of blankets and dealing with the cold isn’t so bad through September, but October usually sees us returning to the heating portion of our HVAC units. You don’t have to neglect your AC until then, but now is a good time to start checking on the heating elements of your HVAC unit.

Tips for Preparing for Fall

Check your filters. Yes, we say this for every season. Yes, we still mean it. Keeping up with your heating and air filters will help keep your air clean. If you have a dryer, you also know that not cleaning filters can be a fire hazard. It’s important to remember to either clean or replace your filters every season for energy efficiency, cleaner air, and a safer home.

Have the furnace checked. You could check it yourself, theoretically, but you may miss something important when you’re checking it and you never want to mess with a furnace. What you can do yourself is make sure that the area around it is clear to prevent it from being a fire hazard. You should also make sure that you don’t keep flammable substances in the same room as your furnace. Call a professional HVAC maintenance company to come check your furnace for you.

Check your home insulation. Your HVAC unit will run best if your home is well insulated. Fall is a great time to check your insulation. If you noticed during the summer that your air conditioning seemed to be escaping out the walls, you should check to make sure that your insulation is up to date and properly suited for your home. It’s important to have insulation in the attic and basement as well so your heat doesn’t leak out there, either.

Fall HVAC Maintenance from Farnen & Dermer

The changing of the seasons is the best time of year to have your HVAC serviced. When you have a maintenance plan with Farnen & Dermer, you will receive preferred service whenever a problem does occur with your system. We’ll cool you down or warm you up promptly and efficiently!

If you have any questions about HAVC maintenance or wish to schedule an appointment, call us at (410)-902-0020. You can also use our online contact form. You will be contacted by a member of our support staff within 24 business hours.

Start following Farnen & Dermer today on Facebook, Google+, Twitter, and Pinterest.

Source: Wood Acre HVAC

Benefits of HVAC Maintenance Plans

August 1st, 2014

hvac maintenanceWe’ve finally gotten a bit of a break from the heat this week and have been able to enjoy some cool evenings and mornings. It’s certainly been a welcome change for many people – summer isn’t over yet, though. We’re likely to get another heat surge that will make air conditioning as important as ever. Your air conditioner (and your heater for that matter) is one of the most important assets in your home during a hot Baltimore summer. Leaving it up to chance whether it’ll last all season long is a dangerous gamble that can leave you hot and grouchy in the summer or cold and grouchy in the winter. A Baltimore HVAC maintenance plan can help you avoid problems with your HVAC unit and provide you with extra benefits!

Why Do You Need an HVAC Maintenance Plan?

  • Improve energy efficiency – Having an energy efficient home or business is becoming increasingly important as we continue to burn through massive amounts of electricity. Regular HVAC maintenance can actually help you keep your bills down. The more efficiently your HVAC unit is running, the less work it has to do, and the less money is coming out of your pocket every month for your electric bill.
  • Extend the life of your HVAC unit – It’s a lot cheaper to have regular maintenance done than it is to replace your HVAC unit after a few years because it’s no longer operating like it’s supposed to. You won’t have to worry about as many repairs in between, either. Many repairs are preventable simply by performing regular maintenance and keeping up to date with parts your HVAC unit.
  • Improve air quality in your home – Fall allergens are coming up and we all know how bad pollen can get in the spring in Baltimore. Keeping your home free of allergens is fairly easy to do when you make sure that your HVAC unit is operating like it’s supposed to. You can also talk to your HVAC company about further ways to avoid allergens and improve the air quality of your home. Improving the air quality will improve your quality of life!

HVAC Maintenance Plans from Farnen & Dermer

When you have a maintenance plan with Farnen & Dermer, you will receive preferred service whenever a problem does occur with your system. We’ll cool you down or warm you up promptly and efficiently!

If you have any questions about HAVC maintenance or wish to schedule an appointment, call us at (410)-902-0020. You can also use our online contact form. You will be contacted by a member of our support staff within 24 business hours.

Start following Farnen & Dermer today on Facebook, Google+, Twitter, and Pinterest.

HVAC Summer Maintenance Tips

July 25th, 2014

home hvac maintenanceAs we move into the dog days of another Owings Mills summer, having a working air conditioner becomes increasingly important. The need to have your AC turned on is increasing right along with the heat index. Stressing about having your air conditioner suddenly quit on you is probably the last thing that you want on your “to-do” list right now. Performing maintenance on your HVAC unit is necessary all year long to make sure that it doesn’t fail at the worst possible time. There are some easy things that you can do at home to make sure that everything is in proper working order – plus, it’ll help keep your electric bill down when your HVAC unit isn’t having to work as hard.

What At-Home HVAC Maintenance Can I Do This Summer?

  • Don’t neglect your filter. Your filter’s job is two-fold. It’s there to help keep allergens out of your HVAC system as well as to help circulate the air. You shouldn’t let your filter get too clogged up. It’s a good practice to either clean it or replace it every month to help your HVAC unit work at optimum efficiency.
  • Check your outdoor unit. You don’t have to do anything fancy. Just make sure that you haven’t had a lot of debris collect on top of the fan. You don’t want leaves, sticks, or other debris restricting your HVAC unit’s ability to work. It could eventually cause a bigger problem than just hindering efficiency.
  • Vacuum around vents. This may sound like an odd request, but it’ll help the air get through easier to clean your home. It’s a good practice to vacuum around your vents, filters, and any other spots that can collect a lot of dust. Your ventilation system needs a little bit of help to ensure that it will work well.
  • Hire an HVAC maintenance company – Having a professional come out to make sure that your HVAC unit is operating like it’s supposed to will help you save money and stay cool. Preventative maintenance will help you avoid needing to entirely replace your HVAC system if something small goes wrong. Don’t let it escalate; call someone who can take care of it!

HVAC Maintenance Plans from Farnen & Dermer

When you have a maintenance plan with Farnen & Dermer, you will receive preferred service whenever a problem does occur with your system. We’ll cool you down promptly and efficiently!

If you have any questions about HAVC maintenance or wish to schedule an appointment, call us at (410)-902-0020. You can also use our online contact form. You will be contacted by a member of our support staff within 24 business hours.

Start following Farnen & Dermer today on Facebook, Google+, Twitter, and Pinterest.

Source: Service Experts, Trane

Ways to Save on Your Water Bill from Baltimore Plumbing Experts

July 16th, 2014

baltimore plumberYou might notice something a little different on  your water bill this month: like a higher price than you’re used to. The Board of Estimates in Baltimore approved a 15% increase on water prices to encourage people to be more conscious about the amount of water that they’re using and to help allocate the extra funds to our “crumbling infrastructures,” according to Baltimore mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake. Water prices will rise a full 42% over the next 3 years with gradual increases occurring each July 1st. If you’re not careful about your water consumption as well as your plumbing maintenance, you may find yourself paying $100 to $250 more per year for your water use once the hike is completely finished in 2016. Conserving water is good for the environment anyway, so it’s not a bad idea to figure out how to save some fresh water and keep a little extra money in your wallet at the same time.

Tips for Conserving Water

Check your appliances for leaks – We mean check ALL your appliances. Make sure that your sink, bathtub, water meter, and washer aren’t leaking water. You’d be surprised at how quickly a bill like that could add up over time. You can check your toilet for leaks by adding water color to the tank and waiting to see if the color ends up in the toilet; if you have a colorful toilet within 30 minutes, you should immediately have it checked.

Have energy efficient appliances installed – You can buy just about any appliance that uses water in an energy and water efficient model. Just make sure that you’re having a professional install it. Plumbing isn’t a good idea to try to DIY for a host of different reasons – not least of which is flooding problems. You don’t want to end up with a lot of water filling your house when what you were trying to do originally was save water.

Keep track of your water consumption – How often do you leave the sink on while you brush your teeth? Do you frequently take long showers or baths? Figure out how much water you’re using per day and see if you can cut back on it. Check out this awesome website that helps you calculate exactly how much water you’re using for that 15 minute shower.

Knowing how much water you use and how you can cut back on your water bill and consumption is important. You can help save some of Earth’s precious fresh water and avoid paying hundreds over what you need to for your water bill each month. Found out that some of your issues are with your plumbing? call Farnen & Dermer at 410-902-0020, visit the website, or stop by our Owings Mills, MD location. Don’t forget to follow us on Facebook and Twitter as well!

Sources: Baltimore Sun, Earth Easy

Geothermal Energy HVAC Facts

July 11th, 2014

geothermal heatYou probably aren’t giving a whole lot of thought to the heating side of your HVAC unit right now. Can’t blame you, since we are in the middle of July. But if you’re planning on making any changes to your heating unit, the best time to do it is during the summer. It’s easier to get the work done without frigid temperatures and you won’t have to worry about your heat going out in the middle of December. You may have been considering geothermal heating for a while now; after all, it is part of the green movement.  You should always weigh the pros and cons of any type of new system that you want to install before you make the decision to change it up, and geothermal heating has some definite pros and cons.

Pros

  • Renewable – As you’ve probably heard about a million times, fossil fuels are not renewable resources. Geothermal energy is naturally replenished by the Earth on a constant basis since it’s simply heat from the Earth’s core. The fact that it’s so easy to get and replenishes so quickly means that it’s not going to regularly fluctuate in price because of difficulty extracting it or problems in the area where it’s being harvested.
  • Cheaper – When we say it’s cheaper, we mean that it’s cheaper over time. Since the prices won’t regularly fluctuate over the lifetime of your geothermal HVAC, it’s a cheaper source to use. You’re also guaranteed to always have the energy. It’s not going anywhere, it’s high efficiency, and the US government offers tax credits for those who use a geothermal source.
  • Environmentally Friendly – Not only is geothermal heat environmentally friendly because it naturally replenishes, but it also doesn’t require chemicals and it’s unlikely to combust in an energy plant. There will never be an issue like Chernobyl with a geothermal heating source, so if keeping the environment safe is important to you, geothermal heat is a great route for you to go.

 

Cons

  • Upfront Costs –Because of the cost to maintain facilities and drill, the upfront costs of a geothermal heating system can be pretty high. Plus, geothermal heat sources can’t be transported to plants. Plants have to be built over the best places to access the Earth’s energy and heat.
  • Space requirements – Unfortunately, geothermal heat isn’t a good option for people who live in urban areas. You need space near the building that you’re using the geothermal heat for to bore into in order to bring the heat up. The process can be expensive and is problematic for people that live near others – you’re best off to use geothermal heat in a rural area.

Weighing the pros and cons of any situation is important. If you decide that geothermal heat is the right option for you, call Farnen & Dermer at 410-902-0020, visit the website, or stop by our Owings Mills, MD location. Don’t forget to follow us on Facebook and Twitter as well!

Source: Geothermal Pros and Cons

HVAC Fun Facts

July 3rd, 2014

HVAC fun factsRegular HVAC maintenance will help you save money down the line. Turning your AC up when you leave your house will keep your electric bill down. These are some facts that you probably already know from reading our blog. They’re pretty basic, though we do like to give you reminders once in a while to help you keep your costs down. This week we’d like to share some more HVAC facts with you, but we decided we’d try some facts that you probably didn’t already know. Did you know that there were fun facts for your HVAC? Check some of them out!

  1. The first “primitive” version of the air conditioner was first developed in China in 80 AD by an artisan named Ding Huan. It was a 10 foot wide rotary fan that could be hand cranked to cool a group of people.
  2. Air conditioning units actually help clean the air in your home on top of cooling it. Your HVAC brings the hot air in the room in and blows it back out cooler, but it has to pass through a filter first. That filter helps get rid of dirt and allergens in the air.
  3. Commercial energy use can get very expensive, but the list of things that commercial buildings use the most electricity on should come as no surprise: lighting, heating, and air conditioning. It’s necessary to keep commercial spaces comfortable for employees, clients, and customers.
  4. The medical field isn’t the only field to benefit from air conditioning, but it may be the one that has benefitted the most. Certain types of medical procedures and medications need lower temperatures to work. That would never have been possible without the invention of the HVAC unit.
  5. We know heat isn’t high on the list of things that you’re thinking about (except maybe the heat outside), but geothermal heat is becoming more popular as our technology advances. To get geothermal heat, we have to dig deep and extract the natural heat that comes from the core.

HVAC unit’s history and usages are actually pretty interesting. Plus, how miserable would it be to work without air conditioning in the summer? Don’t let your grandparents fool you about how awful it was –most companies went on two month hiatus’ during the summer, especially in the south. Enjoy the fact that we now have AC and can keep the world moving all year long! Call Farnen & Dermer at 410-902-0020, visit the website, or stop by our Owings Mills, MD location to find out more about HVAC maintenance. Don’t forget to follow us on Facebook and Twitter as well!

Source: Austin’s Green Air, Examiner