Oasis Heating, A/C & Refrigeration Blog : Archive for March, 2014

Smart Thermostats and Your Heating and Cooling Systems

Monday, March 31st, 2014

Our summers in Fairfax, VA are hot and muggy, and our winters can get quite cold, which means you need a heating and cooling system that can handle all kind of extremes. Most of the time, people focus such efforts on their HVAC system: adding upgrades and improving efficiency through routine maintenance visits. But you might want to examine other aspects of the system as well: particularly thermostats. If you have an older thermostat, consider an upgrade, which is easy with the right technician and can improve your options considerably. Smart thermostats and your heating and cooling systems go hand in hand.

Like programmable thermostats, a smart thermostat system allows you to program the times when you turn your heating or cooling system off and on. That lets you automatically turn it down when you leave for work each day, then turn it back up ten minutes before you arrive home. That’s very common these days, however, and smart systems can do so much more than that. For example, many systems work with your Wi-Fi system and/or allow you to program it remotely using an app on your phone. They also monitor your heating and cooling trends over time, helping anticipate your needs and respond to them accordingly. Even more importantly, they can provide key information to help you with your heating and cooling, such as informing you how long it takes to reach your ideal temperature and letting you know how much costs you are incurring as your month moves on.

All of that means that smart thermostats and your heating and cooling systems can make for a great combination at comparatively little cost. The experts at OASIS Heating, A/C & Refrigeration Inc. can handle all aspects of cooling and heating in your Fairfax, VA home, and we can install a new smart thermostat for you with speed and efficiency. Pick up the phone and give us a call today. You’ll be glad you did!

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The Basics of Ductless Mini Split Heat Pumps

Thursday, March 20th, 2014

Heat pumps stand as viable alternatives to traditional forced-air systems, combining the features of a heater and an air conditioner in one. Here in Arlington VA, heating with them makes a lot of sense since they do well in climates with comparatively mild temperatures. Heat pumps are available as centralized units, but you can also get ductless mini split heat pump systems. Why a ductless mini split might work for you, it’s important to understand the basics.

Ductless mini split systems entail a series of individual air handling units placed around your home, each connected to the outside unit. Each one is tasked with heating or cooling a specific section: an individual room or similar area. This section arrangement allows you to tailor the temperature to whatever you want in each room, or even turn the heat or air conditioner off in parts of the home you aren’t using. The indoor units of the ductless mini split systems need to be installed on an outside wall, but otherwise their installation parameters are very flexible, allowing them to be placed wherever you decide they can do the most good.

Ductless heat pumps work just like central heat pumps, they both use a closed loop system that circulates refrigerant gas just like an air conditioner. The gas passes through a compressor which subjects it to a great deal of pressure, then into condenser coils, which bleed the heat off to turn the gas into liquid. (The generated heat can be used to warm your home during the heating cycle.) The liquid then moves through an expansion valve, which releases a set amount into the evaporator coils. As the refrigerant evaporates, it pulls heat from the surrounding air, which can then be used in the system’s cooling cycle. The refrigerant then returns to the compressor valve to start the system anew.

These are just the basics of ductless mini split heat pumps. For specifics, OASIS Heating, A/C & Refrigeration, Inc. is standing by to help. We operate in Arlington, VA, heating and cooling are both a part of our service, and we can discuss the installation of a ductless mini split heat pump system with you. Call us today to make an appointment!

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End of Winter Thoughts on Replacing Your Heating System

Wednesday, March 12th, 2014

With winter coming to a close, you may be considering a major step in your household comfort: replacing a heating system that is no longer functioning the way it should. The end of winter makes an ideal time for such a move, since you likely won’t need to use your heating system and can set a flexible schedule that works with your life (as opposed to scrambling around at the last minute in cases where you need a heating system asap).  Beyond that, you simply need to determine if a new system is right for this point in time, or whether you should continue to use your older system for another season or two.

Here are a few end of winter thoughts on replacing your heating system.

Start by gauging the overall efficiency of your heater. Take a look at your monthly heating bills this winter, then compare them to bills from the previous two or three winters. Are they going up? More specifically, are they going up despite the fact that you didn’t run your heater any more than normal? If so, it may mean that your heater’s efficiency is faltering and replacement may be in order.

You can continue that by consulting with a trained professional about your existing heater’s AFUE (Annual Fuel Utilization Efficiency) rating, so see where it stands. The rating measures your heater’s efficiency, measured as a percentage. If it’s dropped off, you may want to replace it for a more efficient one before next heating season rolls around. And of course the age of your existing heater plays into all of this. If it’s running fine, there’s no need to fret, but if you’re seeing some of the symptoms mentioned above and your furnace is more than 10 years old, it may be time to install a new system.

End of winter thoughts on replacing you heating system are smart because you have the luxury of time to think about your options. In Alexandria,VA heating repair and installation advice can be provided by the experts at OASIS Heating, A/C & Refrigeration, Inc. Call us today to set up a consultation!

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Your Furnace Burner Won’t Stay Lit: Some Reasons Why

Tuesday, March 4th, 2014

The burners are an important part of your furnace system: igniting the gas that then passes through the heat exchanger to heat the air going into your ducts. When the burners don’t work, the air doesn’t get heated and your furnace won’t function. If your furnace burner won’t sty lit, there are a number of reasons why. Some of the more common are listed below. If you need heating repair in Fairfax, VA, don’t hesitate to call OASIS Heating, A/C & Refrigeration Inc.  today.

  • The burner is clogged with dirt. This often happens when the furnace hasn’t been maintained for some time. Dirt and grime clog the burner head, cutting off the flow of gas and snuffing out the flame. A trained technician can clean the burner as part of a regular maintenance session.
  • The burner is damaged. Sometimes, damage of some other sort will prevent the burner from working as it should. In such cases, the burner will need to be replaced.
  • Faulty ignition system. Burners are fed from the ignition system, which ignites the flow of gas and started the heating process. If the ignition system is faulty, the thermocouple won’t release the gas and the burners won’t light. This is good because it won’t flood your home with gas, but you’ll need to get it fixed before the furnace will work. (The same thing will happen if the thermocouple itself is damaged.)
  • There’s a clog in the gas line. A reduced flow of gas can sometimes mean that your burners won’t stay lit or will be lit only fitfully. A technician can clear the clog and restore the flow of gas.

If you’re furnace burner won’t stay lit, the next step is to call the experts at OASIS Heating, A/C & Refrigeration Inc. We handle all kinds of Fairfax, VA heating repair services, and we can get your faulty burner up and running again quickly. Don’t waste time; give us a call today and let us take care of your problem!

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