Is Your Heating System Already Giving You Problems?

November 23rd, 2020
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As we start to get into the first true cold weather that makes us shift over to using our heating systems, it’s a good time to pay close attention to how those heaters are working. We hope your heater gets off to a smooth start and that you’ll be able to coast through the winter without problems. If you do need heating repair in West Chester, PA during the season, we’re here to help with fast service in hours, not days!

But right now we want to address what happens if your heating system is already showing signs of trouble as you first start it up. There are some early signs you might see that the heater needs repairs at the beginning of the season.

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Is Your Furnace Ready to Retire Before Winter?

November 9th, 2020
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If it is, now is the time to have it replaced. The winter weather will arrive soon, and you want to have a furnace in West Chester, PA that you can rely on throughout the whole season and for the many seasons to come. 

You probably have suspicions about your current furnace, and that’s why you’re at this blog post. You aren’t certain if you should have a new furnace installed or if maybe you can get a few more years out of the current one if you have it maintained and repaired. The best way to know for certain if it’s time for a new furnace is to call our HVAC technicians and let them look over the heating system and give you advice about the future. 

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Join Our Comfort Club and Schedule Heating Maintenance

October 26th, 2020
furnace-repair-technician

What’s the most important step you can take to ensure you have a comfortable home during another tough winter in West Chester? Arrange for maintenance for your heating system with HVAC professionals! This maintenance service provides your heater (gas furnace, electric furnace, heat pump, geothermal system, etc.) with a thorough inspection, tune-up, and cleaning to help it work in peak condition through the coming cold weather. 

It’s simple to take care of heating maintenance in West Chester, PA: just sign up for the Signature HVAC Comfort Club, our specially designed maintenance program. When you join, you’ll not only receive an annual inspection and tune-up for your heater in the fall, but also the same quality service for your air conditioner in the spring. The program includes special membership benefits such as a 15% discount on repairs and priority service so you can jump to the front of the service queue when you need repair work.

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How UV Air Purifiers Can Make Your Home Healthier

October 13th, 2020
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People are worried about the air quality in their homes, and for good reasons. Concerns over the transmission of viruses are greater than they’ve ever been, and people are looking for ways to improve their household air quality. (Please read more regarding our special safety precautions during this time.)

One option people ask about is the installation of an air purifier in West Chester, PA. There are several types of air purifiers available; we want to focus on one in particular: the UV air purifier. This device can help defend a home against bacteria, mold, viruses, germs, and various microbes—but it must have an expert install it for it to work.

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Summer’s Over—Was It the Last Summer for Your AC?

September 29th, 2020
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The end of summer doesn’t mean you automatically stop using your home’s central air conditioning system. The heat can linger deep into the fall. But the main period of work for the AC is behind it, and it’s a good time to think about whether you need new air conditioning in West Chester, PA before the next summer.

A central AC system can last, on average, between 10 to 15 years if it is regularly maintained. If your air conditioner is in this range, we recommend considering how well it performed during the summer to help you plan your future cooling. You may be able to keep the AC going effectively for a few more years, or it may be time to get ahead of bigger problems and have it replaced during cooler weather.

Below are factors to consider when thinking about whether your AC just had its last summer or not.

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Short-Cycling—A Common and Serious AC Malfunction

September 21st, 2020
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You may never have heard the term ­short-cycling before, but it may be occurring in your house right now. It’s a problem that air conditioning systems as well as heat pumps often encounter. It’s not only a serious malfunction that creates threats to your comfort and wallet, it can indicate a range of underlying causes. To fix short cycling, you will probably need professional AC repair in West Chester, PA.

We’ll examine what short-cycling is, why it’s a problem, and what may cause it.

What Is It?

Short-cycling is when an AC or other refrigerant-based system fails to complete its full cooling cycle and shuts down early. It then turns back on a short time later, only to again shut off the cooling cycle prematurely. The cooling cycle for air conditioners is normally at least 15 minutes, often longer. Running less than 10 minutes is a sign the system is short-cycling.

Why Is It a Problem?

Air conditioners are designed to have longer cycles, and when they begin to start and stop repeatedly over short periods of time, it puts immense wear on their components that they weren’t built for. The start-up cycle for an air conditioner is when the system uses the most power as it overcomes resistance to start the compressor. When an AC is doing this repeatedly over a short time, it both drains huge amounts of power and increases the work strain put on the system. A short-cycling air conditioner is at a higher risk of a malfunction or full breakdown, and it will also lose years off its service life.

Short-cycling also affects comfort in a home. If an AC doesn’t stay on long enough, it won’t provide even cooling around the house, leaving hot spots in some rooms.

What Causes It?

Many different troubles in an air conditioning system may lead to short-cycling. It’s one of the most common warning signs of other repair issues in the AC, including:

  • Leaking refrigerant
  • A clogged air filter
  • Frozen evaporator coils
  • Dirty condenser coils
  • An oversized air conditioner
  • An air conditioner that’s too old

For most of these problems, you’ll need the assistance of an HVAC professional to repair the air conditioner. First check for the clogged filter and put in a new one. This may stop the short-cycling, but we still recommend calling technicians to inspect the system for possible damage from short-cycling.

In the case of an oversized air conditioner, this is a problem from the initial installation—a common mistake that amateur installers make. The only repair for this is to call on certified professionals to replace the air conditioner with one that is accurately sized for your home’s cooling requirements.

If you have an air conditioner that is more than 15 years old, short-cycling is a warning sign the compressor is coming to the end of its service life, as is the air conditioner. Since 15 years is usually the upper limit for estimated AC lifespans, we recommend replacing any system that’s older than this. And short-cycling means it is definitely time to call for a new installation.

Call the Signature Service You Can Trust! Signature HVAC offers service in hours, not days—we’re here for your AC repairs.

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5 Reasons to Consider a Ductless AC Installation

September 1st, 2020
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The options for an AC installation in West Chester, PA are not limited to the standard split system air conditioner. This is the type of air conditioner most people think of when considering ways to cool a home: an outdoor cabinet connected to an indoor unit that blows cooled air into a network of ducts. These central ACs are effective and efficient, but today a homeowner can also opt for a ductless mini split.

A ductless mini split is a type of heat pump (it both cools and heats) that uses a single outdoor unit connected to multiple smaller units attached to the walls in rooms. These miniature air handlers blow cooled air straight into the living spaces, so there is no need for ductwork.

Is a ductless mini split system a good choice for your home? There are some reasons you may wish to put one high on your comfort shopping list:

#1 – They’re excellent for older homes

If you live in a vintage house that was built before central air conditioning became standard, it probably has no ducts. You may have had to use window air conditioning units for cooling, and these are inconvenient, block windows, and lack power. But you can throw out those window units with the installation of a ductless system. You don’t need to add any ductwork to enjoy cooling in multiple rooms from powerful air handlers—and you have heating for the winter as well.

#2 – They offer zone control

Unlike standard ducted HVAC systems, ductless systems don’t need to cool down the whole house at once when they come on. Each room unit can operate separate from the other units, so only the one in occupied rooms need to turn on. This is helpful in cutting down energy expenses: there’s no need to send cooling (or heating) to every room when you only need it in one or two.

#3 – They have high energy efficiency

ACs and heaters with ducts lose energy through the duct walls. Heat gain during the summer and heat loss during the winter lowers the efficiency of the system. This is not a problem with ductless systems because there are no ducts where they can lose or gain heat. The small room units also have less powerful motors in them that consume less electricity than the big blower fans of central air conditioners and heaters.

#4 – They are flexible for new construction, remodeling, and add-on rooms

You don’t need to convert your entire house to ductless cooling and heating if you already have ductwork. Ductless mini splits can work as an addition to your current HVAC system. If you create an add-on room, remodel parts of the house, or convert a garage or attic to a living space, you can have a ductless system installed for the new areas rather than make expensive changes to extend the existing HVAC system.

#5 – They can improve air quality

Ductwork collects dust, lint, and dander that circulates through the house each time the blower fan comes on. Ductless mini splits don’t have a reservoir of air pollutants they spread around the house, and this makes them a good choice for households with people who have asthma and allergies.

Signature HVAC serves Chester County and the Surrounding Areas. Call us for service in hours, not days!

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Understanding What Refrigerant Does in Your Air Conditioner

August 18th, 2020
air-conditioner-evaporator-coil

There are several misunderstandings about air conditioning systems that have spread since the earliest days of residential AC, and which have only spread faster because of the internet. For example, people often think it’s okay to see ice on an air conditioner. (It’s not!) Or they believe turning the thermostat down lower provides more cooling faster. (It only makes the AC run longer.) One of the biggest misconceptions that can cause plenty of trouble for an AC is about refrigerant: what it does and how to deal with it.

This is your Refrigerant 101 class, where we cut through the fog and give you straight answers that can help you with your air conditioning service in West Chester, PA.

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What’s That Noise From the AC Mean?

August 4th, 2020

One day, we will have advanced air conditioners with complex AI technology that allows them to rapidly diagnose any malfunction (or even predict it) and notify homeowners they need to call for technicians. They’ll probably be able to automatically contact the technicians themselves. Since we’re not at that level of air conditioning technology (yet), we need to rely on interpreting other warning signs that an AC is on the fritz. One of the most common warnings are strange noises.

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Troubleshooting an AC That Won’t Work

July 21st, 2020
ac-fan-grill

If you have an air conditioning system that won’t cool down your house or won’t turn on at all, it’s important that you leave any repair work to licensed professionals. If you feel tempted to grab some tools and open up either cabinet of the air conditioner, please resist! You’ll likely make the situation worse, and you’ll probably void the warranty. Don’t let any fast-talking amateur who makes big promises for super-cheap prices convince you to let them do the work either. Let our West Chester, PA air conditioning repair experts see that the job gets done right the first time.

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