Generator Season is Here – Are You Prepared?

Bloomfield Cooling Generac GeneratorWhether it’s a hurricane or tropical storm, blizzard or ice storm, major weather events wreak havoc due to flooding, downed trees and power lines. For homeowners with a reliable standby generator, power outages present less of a problem. That said, it’s critical that you perform regular generator maintenance and have your fall maintenance done on your HVAC system so the equipment works as expected during the coming months.

Last month, we reminded readers to run the generator’s self-test. There are also minor maintenance operations you should do, such as keeping the area around the unit free of debris and checking the oil level (when the unit is not running); keep it as close to full as possible (but don’t overfill it).

Beyond that, full preventive maintenance should be done yearly or twice a year, depending on the environmental conditions and how often the generator runs. This routine maintenance should be performed by a certified technician, to ensure everything is properly checked and corrected, and to maintain your unit’s warranty.

Preventive generator maintenance
Your HVAC/generator contractor will check the air system, engine starting system, and transfer switch operation and controls. It is crucial that the tech checks the starter (battery and charger) and transfer switch, since these two items help power the unit. Obviously, if they are not working, neither will the generator. In addition, the technician should replace, clean and/or visually inspect the:

  • Air filters
  • Oil & oil filter
  • Spark plugs & spark wires
  • Battery terminals & cables
  • Air intake & exhaust system
  • Fuel lines & hoses
  • Voltage input & electrical connections
  • Vibration & insulation conditions
  • Control board operation

Depending on the make and model of your standby generator, there may be other preventive maintenance actions required.

To make it easy for you to get your standby generator checked, Bloomfield Cooling, Heating & Electric is running a special of just $225 for your generator maintenance. We are an authorized Generac dealer but service multiple makes of standby generators. If you have not yet installed a new generator, Bloomfield Cooling, Heating & Electric also offers 12-month interest-free financing for those who qualify, on installations of new generators as well as HVAC systems.

Fall HVAC system maintenance
Before you know it, it will be time to turn on (and keep on) the heat. Is your central HVAC system ready for winter?

Homeowners are advised to perform some simple routine maintenance checks every month to help keep their HVAC system running properly. These include checking and changing out the air filters if they are dirty or clogged, keeping vents clean and free of dust, and making sure the outdoor compressors are free of debris (leaves, sticks, dirt, etc.)

The technician should go through a comprehensive checklist of your heating system to check filters and inspect electrical switches, belts, contacts, motors, safety switches, gas pressure, and refrigerant levels. At Bloomfield Cooling, Heating & Electric, our certified technicians will take care of any components that need replacing, alert you to any potential issues, and make recommendations for remedial steps to take. Our team services forced hot air systems as well as steam boilers and hot water boilers. You can read more about our various maintenance plans and services for your heating and air conditioning systems here.

Don’t wait for the leaves to fall to get your HVAC system or standby generator checked out and properly maintained—when the storm hits or the temperatures drop, you’ll want to know with confidence that your equipment will run as expected. Contact Bloomfield Cooling, Heating & Electric at (973) 237-0505 or info@bloomfieldcooling.com to set up your maintenance appointment.

Time for Your Air Conditioning Maintenance

BloomfieldSpring_2015PostCard-1The temperatures are heating up.  It is time to get your Air Conditioning System in shape so it doesn’t fail during the hottest months of the year. Remember, equipment is only as  good as the service performed on it.

 

When you neglect necessary maintenance you ensure a decline in performance and an increase in your energy consumption.

 

Checkups are necessary.  We know this from our own health.  Just because you are feeling fine, doesn’t mean you skip your check up at the doctor.  Most physicals, like most maintenances, are not going to reveal a catastrophic event.  However, by doing routine maintenance we can stave off these events and ensure a healthy system.

 

What is done during a maintenance?

Change the filter – Clogged, dirty filters block normal airflow.  By blocking air flow, you reduce the system’s efficiency.   The air that is supposed to be filtered and clean, will bypass the filter and move through the system to the coil.  The dirty air will travel to the evaporator coil and will impair the coil’s heat-absorbing capacity.  According to the Department of energy, replacing a dirty, clogged filter with a clean one can lower your air conditioner’s energy consumption by 5% to 15%.

Clean the coil – The outdoor condenser coil can become very dirty.  When maintenance is performed, the coil is cleaned with a special chemical and water to ensure that it has the best ability to remove heat from you home.  You should also take steps to keep the area around the condenser clear.  Minimize dirt and debris near the condenser unit.  When landscaping, make sure mulch, lawn clippings and leaves are kept clear of the condenser.

Condensate Line Flush – An air conditioning system is removing humidity from your home, but this moisture needs to escape somewhere.  As part of maintenance you should have your condensate line flushed to ensure the water can leave your house without a problem. These lines can become blocked with algae or debris preventing water from escaping.  This can result in two disasters.  First, the water can stay in the coil and mold will start to grow.  Second, the water can back up enough that it starts to overflow into your home.

Tighten all electrical connections – All electrical connections are tightened and checked for frayed wires and corroded terminals.

Check electrical components – Electrical contractors are checked for worn and pitted contact points.  Check all electrical relays for worn points.

Check refrigerant charge – Every air conditioning system has an ideal amount of refrigerant.  When an air conditioning system is not charged correctly it has an adverse effect on the system.  It reduces the system’s efficiency, impairs its ability to cool effectively and shortens the life of your condenser.  Note – a person that handles refrigerant must be certified.

Have You Heard the Dark and Dirty Secret…About Your Home Comfort System?

A lot of folks in my industry don’t really want to talk about the Number 1 Reason for system failure.  But let me give you a hint: when I say it’s a “dark and dirty” secret, I do mean dirty!

That’s right…  It’s not age,  or brand,  or weather hazards, or constant adjustments of the thermostat.  Nope!  The #1 Reason for system failure is dirt.

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