Oasis Heating, A/C & Refrigeration Blog : Archive for September, 2013

Prepare Your Home for the Arlington, VA Heating Season

Monday, September 30th, 2013

The winter months in Virginia offer a lot of great things, but if you find yourself in a home without a functioning heater, you won’t find much to feel  happy about. It’s important that you start preparing for the upcoming heating season before you need to depend on your heater to keep you comfortable. Unpleasant surprises and sudden emergencies are the last things you want to experience during the coldest days of the year.

OASIS Heating, Air Conditioning & Refrigeration, Inc. has a few tips for how to get your home ready for the Arlington, VA heating season. If you want quality professional assistance, you can always contact one of our trained technicians.

Winterize your home

If you haven’t installed storm windows, get that done as soon as you can: they can stop significant heat loss. Check to see that the insulation in the attic is in good shape, since heat rises and the attic is a perfect place for it to escape. Get weather stripping placed around outside doors. Do everything you can so that your home retains the heat that your system will put into it!

Test run your heating system

This is a good technique to avoid a shock when you first need your heater to keep you warm. During a warmer day, switch on your heater and see if anything seems amiss: unusual smells from vents, bizarre rattling or grinding noises, or weakened heating. If anything needs repair, you can get it done before the cold arrives. If the heater doesn’t turn on at all… won’t you be glad you didn’t wait until winter to find that out?

Schedule a maintenance check

The best defense against winter breakdowns is to have your heater receive an inspection and tune-up before it has to take on the heavy work. You should have maintenance done annually, usually in the fall, so your heater will perform at its best and with lower risk of malfunction. A technician will come to your house and check connections, wiring, piping, and the power source, and then make necessary adjustments. The technician will also discover anything that may require repair. After a maintenance visit, you’ll have peace of mind about your heater’s operation for the winter.

Complete your winter preparations in early fall: don’t procrastinate until the first unexpected cold snap. Take advantage of OASIS Heating, Air Conditioning & Refrigeration, Inc.’s maintenance contract and find out what we can do for you.

 

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What Noises Signify a Need for Heating Repair?

Monday, September 23rd, 2013

Many people don’t schedule heating repair until the furnace conks out entirely. Most heaters are placed in an out-of-the-way location, and we don’t think about them as long as they turn on when we want them to. But problems in a heater rarely arrive unannounced. They build up quietly over time, but there are some warning signs. Alexandria, VA has cold winters, which means that homeowners may not be aware that there’s a problem until just before the first cold front arrives. In those circumstances, it pays to spot the warning signs – or warning sounds – early. What noises signify a need for heating repair? A few of the more common sounds are listed below.

  • Grating or screeching noise. A screeching or grating noise may suggest metal grinding against metal, which happens when the blower becomes bent or misaligned. It may also come from a faulty bearing in the motor or similar motorized malfunction.
  • Rattling sound. Sometimes, older furnaces will make a rattling sound when they start up or die down. If the rattling continues when the furnace is running, however, it may indicate a loose component, or problem with the heat exchanger. If you ever suspect a problem with the heat exchanger, call for repair right away.
  • A clanging or a creaking noise. Sometimes, in cold weather, your pipes or ducts will expand and contract when hot air is introduced to them after a while. As with the rattling, it may be all right if you start your heater in the cold after a lengthy time lying idle. If it continues for a significant length of time, however, it may indicate a bigger problem and you should call a professional before a leak or a rupture develops.
  • A bumping or a thumping noise. The likely culprit is a fan belt which has become cracked or broken. Loss of a fan belt will likely stop the furnace from functioning, so it needs to be replaced as quickly as possible.

If you hear noises that signify a need for heating repair, don’t hesitate to call a service that can help. Call OASIS Heating, Air Conditioning & Refrigeration Inc.  if you need heating repair in Alexandria, VA or the surrounding area.

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Arlington, VA Heating Tip: What to Look For in a New Heating System

Monday, September 16th, 2013

When you are in the market for a new heating system in Arlington, VA, there are many factors to consider. Fuel costs in the area, efficiency ratings, and the size of your home are just to name a few. Whether you are considering a new furnace or heat pump, we’ve put together a few guidelines to get you started in this process.

Feel free to call the Arlington, VA heating experts at OASIS Heating, Air Conditioning & Refrigeration, Inc. if you have further questions or would like to go over the different types of heating systems that we offer.

Understanding Efficiency Ratings

As you compare all the different models, you’ll notice that each one has what’s called the AFUE rating. This stands for “Annual Fuel Utilization Efficiency,” and it’s a percentage based on what amount of fuel is converted into usable heat. Furnaces and heat pumps with higher ratings are more efficient. You should look for ones with efficiency ratings above 90% if you want more savings.

Fuel Type

If you own an electric furnace and are thinking of switching to a gas model, it may be a more cost-effective choice depending on the local fuel costs. Call the electric company and ask to see your bill history from the past year if you don’t already have it.

You’ll want to consider the benefit of installing other gas appliances if you are looking at the cost of installing a gas hookup. But you’ll also want to compare natural gas costs to the cost of electricity in your area. Should you decide to go with gas rather than electric, call us. We can install a variety of high-efficiency gas furnaces to provide better energy savings.

Advanced Features and Thermostats

When you are comparing the different models, don’t forget to look for advanced features, such as multi-stage settings and automatic defrost on heat pumps. Also look at the difference in a regular heat pump and dual fuel systems that will automatically switch to the backup heat when the heat pump is not running as efficiently in colder temperatures. You can also find programmable thermostats to work with gas and electric furnaces, heat pumps, and ductless mini split systems.

Call the Arlington, VA heating professionals at OASIS Heating, Air Conditioning & Refrigeration, Inc. if you would like to know more about what to look for in a new heating system.

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Tripped Breakers and Air Conditioning Repair in Arlington, VA

Monday, September 9th, 2013

You expect your air conditioning to work hard for you in Virginia, where the warm and muggy weather can make it extremely uncomfortable inside your home without cooled air circulating through it. When your air conditioner stops working, it can be as serious a problem as having your electricity go out. Indeed, electrical issues and air conditioning problems are closely linked: a malfunctioning AC can cause blown fuses. If turning on your air conditioner causes a tripped circuit breaker, your unit probably needs immediate professional check-up and repair.

One possible cause of a tripped circuit breaker is the compressor in your AC. The compressor requires the most energy to run of any part of your air conditioning system. If your compressor is a “hard starter,” it may overload circuits and trip a breaker. To fix the problem requires fixing the wiring in the compressor or even getting a replacement. An expert can come to your home to diagnose the electrical trouble with the compressor and provide the necessary repairs to get your air conditioning working again without causing a blown fuse.

Another reason for your AC tripping a circuit breaker is problems in the capacitor. This cylindrical device does the job of transmitting voltage to the condenser to keep it operating. Broken wiring can cause the capacitor to malfunction and send a power surge that causes the tripper breaker. A professional can perform electrical tests on the capacitor to determine what steps to take to get it running properly again.

Don’t delay calling in an expert when problems like tripped circuit breakers start occurring each time you switch on your AC. Simply trying to “wait out” the trouble won’t fix anything—an air conditioner is not a self-repairing device, and it needs attention from a highly-trained HVAC professional. For Arlington, VA air conditioning repair, OASIS Heating, Air Conditioning & Refrigeration, Inc. is an excellent and dependable resource. Our NATE-certified technicians can determine the repairs you require and provide the necessary work. With 24-hour emergency service in Arlington, we can help you fight the Virginia heat without breaking a sweat. Contact us today!

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