August HVAC Maintenance Tips

Though Reading, PA, is still hot in August, the end of summer is approaching quickly. There are several HVAC maintenance tasks that you should think about doing now. Providing your HVAC system with the maintenance it needs is the key to making sure your temperature-control equipment continues to function optimally.

Maintenance for Your Cooling System

Your AC system’s air filter will get very dirty during the summer months, particularly if your air conditioner has been on throughout most of the day. Airborne dust, allergens, and other particles get trapped in the air filter, and this can contribute to poor air quality throughout your home. August is an excellent time to change your air filter.

It’s also likely that all sorts of debris have collected on the coils of your outside condenser unit throughout the warmer months. When dirt and grime build up on your condenser coils, your AC system may not work properly. The dirt impedes the exchange of heat between the refrigerant that flows through the coils and the air that’s blown over the coils. Cleaning your condenser coils will help your air conditioning system work more efficiently.

Take a moment to inspect the wiring components of your AC system, too. If you hear any kind of buzzing or crackling sound, it’s wise to make a service appointment with an experienced HVAC technician. The same is true if you smell an unfamiliar odor coming from any of the motors that power your system’s fans.

Maintenance for Your Heating System


When temperatures are warm and muggy, it’s hard to imagine that colder days are right around the corner. Nevertheless, August is the ideal time to do some furnace maintenance. Gas furnaces also rely on air filters, and your furnace will function most efficiently when these filters are clean. You’ll also want to make sure that your thermostat is functioning properly. In fact, if you’ve been thinking of upgrading your thermostat, August may be the perfect time to do it.

Comfort Pro Heating & Air Conditioning has been providing high-quality HVAC maintenance services to residential and commercial customers since 2001. We also provide repairs, installations, and duct cleaning. Contact us today for more information and to schedule a service appointment.

Air Conditioners – Old vs. New

Most air conditioning systems are engineered to last approximately 20 years. When AC systems are nearing the end of their functional lifespan, breakdowns begin to grow more common. At that point, every homeowner wonders, “Should I repair my old system, or should I replace it?”

There’s no easy answer to that question. AC repairs are far less expensive than replacements. This is true. However, the costs associated with two or three major repairs may be nearly equivalent to a new system. Keep in mind, too, that aging AC units are very inefficient. A new air conditioner may help you save a lot of money in monthly energy bills. This way, you’ll be able to recoup the full cost of your investment in just a few years.

Benefits of New Air Conditioners

New makes and models of air conditioners also offer a range of new features that your antiquated system isn’t likely to offer. These advanced features include the following:

  • Smart Thermostats
  • Modulating Compressor Technologies
  • Environmentally Friendly Refrigerants
  • Air Quality Enhancements

Smart Thermostats

Smart thermostats allow you to adjust the temperatures in your home or place of business from any internet-connected device. At the end of your workday, you can tell your thermostat to power on, and you’ll be greeted by a cool, comfortable environment when you get home. You won’t have wasted energy cooling down an empty house either.

Modulating Compressor Technologies

Older AC units typically had two settings: on and off. Modern AC units have variable-speed compressors that can operate at an assortment of different settings. That enables you to choose the AC setting that will let you stay the most comfortable.

Environmentally Friendly Refrigerants

Newer AC models use R-410A refrigerants, which are far less destructive to the environment than the R-22 refrigerants older AC models use.

Air Quality Enhancements

Dust and other airborne contaminants travel through the ducts associated with older air conditioning systems. Modern ductless AC systems enable you to breathe cleaner air.

Comfort Pro Heating & Air Conditioning is the leading HVAC contractor in Reading, PA, and the surrounding areas. If you’re thinking of replacing your current AC system, contact us for assistance with choosing and installing a new system. We’re happy to also help with your indoor air quality and duct cleaning.

Maggie’s Coloring Contest

Enter Maggie’s Coloring Contest

 

 

 

 

 

How to enter for a chance to WIN a  $50 Gift Certificate to Chuck E Cheese’s in Wyomissing, PA

1. Print out the PDF above of Maggie and have your child 10 or under color the page. (any medium – crayon, marker, watercolor, etc.)

2. Submit a photo or scan of the colored sheet to marketing@comfort-pro.com

It’s that easy! Once a month we will choose the winner and notify them. If you are not able to print out Maggie’s page, stop by our office 109 Dries Rd., Reading, PA 19605 and pick up a copy.

Note* Your entry may be posted on social media during or following the contest. Have Fun!!

 

What Does it Mean to be a Premier Lennox Dealer?

Lennox system Comfort Pro, Inc. is a Lennox Premier Dealer serving the residents of Reading, PA. To be selected for this prestigious level of service, we have gone above and beyond the call of duty. Our technicians are certified and trained to be a part of our team. Along with providing comprehensive HVAC maintenance and repair, our services are affordable. Learn more about what it takes to be a Premier Lennox Dealer serving customers in Reading, PA.

Premium Service Provider

To be selected to represent the industry as a Lennox Premium Dealer demands that we provide premium service. We are trained to provide the utmost in service to exceed the level of comfort our customers expect. This involves being able to provide first-rate customer service by understanding the needs and issues of our clientele.

Trained Experts

In order to be a Lennox Premier Dealer, our certified technicians receive continual training. This training extends to designing, installing, servicing, and maintaining HVAC systems. We provide ongoing training for our technicians as needed to ensure we maintain our level of service.

Everything we do here at Comfort Pro, Inc. is handled by our trained experts. In addition, to be able to remain a Lennox Premier Dealer, we continually provide training to our team of technicians.

Satisfaction Guaranteed

One of the premises of being a Lennox Premier Dealer is having the capacity to offer 100 percent satisfaction. We provide the best products and services to ensure you receive the Lennox experience you are looking for.

Whether you need to get an HVAC system installed or a Lennox unit serviced, we have you covered. As a full-service heating and air conditioning company in Reading, PA we provide comprehensive services. We work with residential customers, as well as commercial vendors in need of HVAC installation and repairs.

Go With a Lennox Premier Dealer

Stay warm in Reading, PA come winter time, with our Lennox Premier Dealer services. We offer high-quality industry brands in a variety of areas backed by the work of our certified technicians. Contact Comfort Pro, Inc. today for more information about affordable HVAC services.

How Candles Affect Indoor Air Quality

Candles in home A few candles can change the entire atmosphere of a room. Unfortunately, they can change the indoor air quality for the worse as well.

Candle Health Risk Studies

In an EPA report from 2001, the agency cited studies which suggest that some candles, especially ones with added scents, can produce chemical reactions which release formaldehyde, acrolein, nitrogen dioxide, and acetaldehyde in concentration levels which exceed the EPA’s indoor air threshold levels for safety.

A study at the South Carolina State University found that paraffin candles may emit toluene and benzene which are toxic. These chemicals can cause a wide range of health issues including asthma, respiratory ailments, and help to contribute to certain forms of cancer.

Why Candles can be Harmful

Burning candles not only releases harmful invisible chemicals but may cause the formation of soot, that black smoke which may stain your walls, ceiling, and fabrics. Soot is formed when candles do not completely burn. While soot may occur with all types of candles, cheaper candles and those with scents tend to produce the greatest amount. A study from the Technical University of Denmark found soot from burning candles is the leading causes of indoor ultrafine particles (UFPs). These particles are so small that they can enter into your lung tissue and cause health problems.

How Can You Protect Yourself From the Dangers of Burning Candles?

Do all the health risks associated with burning candles indoors mean that you should never again light a one inside your home? While that may be the best option, it is probably unrealistic. Here are some steps you can take to lessen the biggest health concerns.

  • Avoid Burning Candles in Unventilated Room: open the door and crack open the window to allow the harmful chemicals to dissipate
  • Choose the Correct Candles: Unscented, natural candles made from beeswax do not contain as many chemicals as those made from paraffin. Never purchase candles with a metal insert.
  • Maintain Candle Wick: Buy candles with a thin wick and trim the wick to a 1/4 inch before burning. This can help limit the amount of soot the candle produces.
  • Limit Amount of Time You Burn Candles: Don’t burn candles for longer than one or two hours per day.
  • Invest in an Air Purifier: Whole home air purifiers can remove the majority of indoor pollutants including those produced by burning candles.

The Best Heating and Cooling Company since 2001

Comfort Pro, Inc. in Reading, PA can help you reduce your indoor pollutants by installing an air purification system in your home. Call us today to learn more!

How to Test Indoor Air Quality

indoor air quality in homes Homeowners in Reading, PA may wonder exactly what is indoor air quality and why does it matter? The air you breathe inside your home will always have some level of pollution. Indoor air quality or IAG is the measure of the level of common indoor air pollutants and its relationship to the comfort and health of occupants. Your family is exposed to unavoidable environmental air quality issues such as excessive humidity, vehicle traffic, and manufacturer products off-gassing when your HVAC filters or air ducts are clogged and dirty.

There are steps you can take to test indoor air quality and decrease the number of pollutants that circulate through the home’s HVAC system. According to The American Lung Association, the air in your home can be 5 to 70 times more polluted than the air you breathe outside. This is due to the accumulations of contaminants such as dust mites, animal dander, and pet hair – along with biological contaminants such as mold spores, pollen, viruses, and bacteria.

Testing for Mold

The best way to test your indoor air for mold is to seek the help of a professional mold tester that also specializes in air quality issues. One way to detect mold is by smell and any obvious health symptoms. If you notice a persistent musty odor in the home or observe signs of mold growth on window frames or in the basement, then you can purchase a mold test kit. These kits contain a prepared petri dish that is left on a flat surface within the home. Afterward, the sample is incubated for a few days and observed for signs of mold or it is sent to a lab for testing.

Testing for Radon

Radon gases within the home are the result of decaying radioactive materials that leach into the home through cracks in walls, floors, the foundation, basement walls, or attached to dust that enters the home from outside. A short-term radon test (between 2-90 days) that meets EPA requirements can be completed with a number of radon test kit options, such as a charcoal canister kit. The sample you collect is then sent to a lab for analysis. If you have high levels of this toxic gas within the home, then a radon remediation service is the best way to find the source and have it safely removed.

Testing for Other Indoor Air Pollutants

VOCs are the gases emitted from certain materials and liquids. There are actually thousands of household and consumer products that emit VOCs, and the long-term health effects of these pollutants include headaches, dizziness, fatigue, and much more. An indoor air quality monitor can pick up a wide range of harmful air pollutants such as smoke, carbon monoxide, dust, and the VOC fumes emitted from inks, paint, glue, perfume, household cleaning products, and alcohol-based liquids.

Your Air Conditioning Experts

Contact Comfort Pro Heating and Air Conditioning for air duct cleaning to reduce the number of air pollutants that are entering your home. We can also discuss your concerns with residential indoor air quality!

5-reasons-geothermal

5 Reasons You Should Use a Geothermal Cooling System

Looking to upgrade your home’s HVAC system? You might want to consider a geothermal heating and cooling unit. As one of the most energy-efficient cooling systems on the market – roughly 400% more efficient than a standard A/C – geothermal air conditioners and heaters result in massive energy savings for homeowners.

Even with such excellent energy savings potential, most homeowners don’t know much about geothermal heating and cooling.

These systems work by utilizing heat transfer. In a geothermal installation, a series of coils are buried underneath your lawn. In the ground, the temperature stays a constant 55 degrees. A water-refrigerate solution is pumped through the coils of the geothermal heating and cooling systems. In the summer, the heat from your home is pumped through the coils, and the heat transfers to the ground and the cooled solution is what cools your home. In the winter, it’s the exact opposite.

In other words, geothermal energy systems are wholly sustainable and utilize 100% renewable energy. OK, now you’re paying attention. Here are five reasons why you should consider a geothermal heating and cooling system.

  1.    Energy Savings

The energy savings from geothermal cooling systems is hands-down the No. 1 reason to consider this type of technology. A geothermal heat pump reduces energy costs by 30-70% on average. That’s why homeowners can typically recoup costs of a geothermal installation through energy savings in 5-7 years.

According to the US Environmental Protection Agency, geothermal heating and cooling systems have the lowest cost over their lifetime compared to traditional methods.

  1.    Cooling and Heating

A geothermal system has many uses around the home. Not only does it provide energy-efficient cooling, but a single system can also be used to provide both heating and cooling. Geothermal heat pumps can also be used for hot water heating and pool heating. As a heating and cooling system, geothermal heat pumps can cut maintenance costs, as there are fewer components that can break.

  1.    Stable, Always Producing

Compared to other types of green energy systems, geothermal provides steady production. For example, solar-powered heating and cooling systems only collect energy during peak sunlight hours. Wind-powered systems only operate on windy days. A geothermal system functions at all times, thanks to the stable temperature underground. These systems can always transfer energy, making them ideal for home heating and cooling.

  1.    Energy Efficient

Many homeowners and businesses have made energy efficiency and reducing their carbon footprint goals. And that’s goals a geothermal heat pump can deliver. This is one of the most efficient cooling systems on the market. On average, geothermal systems are 400% more efficient, compared to traditional gas or oil furnaces which max out about 75-98% of efficiency. Overall, about 70% of the energy created by the system comes from the renewable sources.

  1.    Long-Lasting, Little Maintenance

The major components of a geothermal heating and cooling system are buried, and they often have warranties of up to 50 years. Inside the home the heat pump unit has a lifecycle of up to 25 years, making this one of the most long-lasting systems on the market. Another benefit: Geothermal systems generally require less maintenance.

Consider a Geothermal Heat Pump for Your Home

Geothermal installations tend to cost more on average than traditional systems. But the energy savings, reduced costs of maintenance and energy efficient heating and cooling can offset the costs and even pay for itself during its lifecycle. Life of a geothermal system is 25 years.

If you’re considering a geothermal system, contact Comfort Pro. We’d be happy to talk about your options and provide an estimate. We offer all types of geothermal installations and maintenance for existing geothermal systems.

 

 

Why Does My Heater Come on When-System-Is-Set-to-Cool

Why Does My Heater Come on When System Is Set to Cool?

Noticed a sudden spike in your electricity bill? Or maybe your air conditioning runs for extended periods of time without cooling the house?

If so, you might be experiencing a malfunctioning HVAC system. More specifically, your system’s heater is turning on even though the air conditioner is set to “cool.”

What is causing your heater to activate? Electrical issues within your central AC unit are the most likely causes of your heater turning on when it shouldn’t. Shorted wiring, faulty electronics in your furnace, or an electrical problem with your thermostat, for instance, could all explain the issue.

Bottom line, when you suspect your heater is turning on improperly, contact an HVAC specialist. Working with live wires and electrical components can be very dangerous. But the good news: This issue can typically be reversed with a quick repair.

3 Air Conditioner Issues that Can Cause Your Heater to Turn On

One of the quickest fixes for this problem: Check to see if your thermostat is set to “cool.” It sounds overly simple, but you’d be surprised how easy it is to change settings accidentally.

If your air conditioner is, in fact, set to chill, a range of issues could be triggering the heater to turn on. The most common include:

  1.   A Faulty Thermostat

Most solutions for this problem require the expertise of an HVAC technician. But you can examine your system’s thermostat. If the thermostat has lost power, this could be the source of your problem, for example.

If your thermostat is battery powered, try changing the battery. Also, if you see a blank screen, check to see if a breaker has tripped. Worst case scenario, the thermostat is defective, in which case, you’d need to have the thermostat replaced.

  1. Thermostat Connection Is Faulty

The thermostat’s connection to the furnace and AC unit may become disconnected. Or the wiring from the thermostat to the units could short out.

In other words, your thermostat may be in “cool” mode, but their furnace and AC unit have no way of knowing that. This can trigger the heater to turn on. These shorts can be caused for some reasons. For example, water damage and even rodents can both cause a short. Ultimately, a heating and cooling expert can help you restore the connection.

  1. Electrical Problems at the Furnace

Your AC and heater work in close cooperation together. In fact, even during summer, the blower within your furnace is responsible for circulating cold air throughout the home.

Inside the furnace though, there’s a complex network of wires and circuit boards. Over time, or due to water damage, these boards can malfunction and short out. And that’s a common cause of the heater issue.

In a nutshell, the furnace’s motherboard tells it exactly what to do. When it’s not properly working, the “cooling signals” the furnace receives from the AC unit and thermostat can’t be properly understood – which can trigger the heater on.

Contacting a Heating and Cooling Company to Restore Your AC System

There’s nothing quite as frustrating as a malfunctioning HVAC system. But the good news is that most HVAC problems tend to have relatively quick and low-cost solutions.

In the case of a heater that’s turning on, the simplest fix might be changing batteries in your thermostat or resetting a tripped breaker. Even more complex solutions like a circuit board replacement or wiring restoration can be finished quickly and easily.

Bottom line, if you’re experiencing this problem, contact a heating and cooling specialist. A technician will be able to diagnose the cause quickly, and get your AC system up and running in no time.

 

ac-and-dehumindifier

Why Doesn’t My AC Unit Come with a Dehumidifier?

Your air conditioner is cracking, but the air in your home still feels clammy. This shouldn’t be happening right? Well, this all-too-common problem tends to be the result of high levels of humidity in the air in your home.  

Here’s why this happens: Your AC acts as a natural dehumidifier. During the air cooling process, moisture is collected from the air, condensed on coils, and then drained away.

But in areas with high levels of relative humidity, the air conditioner doesn’t dehumidify the air fast enough, and the result is that wet, cold air. Fortunately, there are a variety of routes homeowners can take to dehumidify interior spaces.

Solutions for Dehumidifying the Home

You can remedy the problem by running your AC for longer periods of time, but this solution is costly. Your home’s heating and cooling costs will quickly increase.

A better option: Standalone dehumidifiers. Independent units are designed to focus only on dehumidification – and they’re much less costly to operate and much more efficient than air conditioners.

In particular, you have two options:

  • Whole-Home Dehumidifiers: Whole home dehumidifiers tie into your existing HVAC system. These units are designed to dehumidify every room in the home. Mostly, they collect air from vents within each room, and this air is sent to the dehumidifier. They’re very versatile, as you can dehumidify the home even if you’re not running the AC. Also, just like AC units, whole house dehumidifiers are available in a wide range of sizes.
  • Portable Dehumidifiers: Portable units, on the other hand, work similar to whole-home dehumidifiers. These are small, single room units that plug into the wall. Unlike whole home dehumidifiers, though, portable units collect the excess moisture in a pan in the bottom of the unit (whereas whole house units tie into drains). There are portable dehumidifiers for large rooms and spaces, as well as small units available for studio apartments and bathrooms.

A Key Benefit of Dehumidifiers. In addition to dehumidification, standalone units also act as air purifiers. As they remove moisture from the air, they filter out allergens, dust, and mites from the air. This is one reason many people install them in addition to a central air unit.

Does Your Home Need a Dehumidifier?

If you’re unsure if your home needs a dehumidifier, it’s best to contact an HVAC specialist. HVAC companies can help you determine the relative humidity of your home, and if it’s in the range of 50-60 percent, a dehumidifier might be necessary.

Plus, HVAC companies can also help you correctly size your AC unit. An oversized AC unit is a No. 1 cause of high humidity in the home. Because the unit is too large, it cools the home too quickly, before the AC can dehumidify the space. If this is the problem, right-sizing your unit might be the best option for your moisture problem.

Ultimately, a dehumidifier can save you from costly damage caused by high levels of humidity in the home. When the home’s relative humidity reaches about 55-60 percent, you might experience issues like:

  • Mold and mildew
  • Conditions for dust mites
  • Allergies, asthma and other respiratory conditions can be exacerbated
  • Ruined furniture
  • Clammy and stuffy indoor air

 

Don’t settle for swamp-like air in the home. Install a whole house dehumidifier and zap the problem. Comfort Pro offers a range of solutions for home dehumidification. Contact us today to learn more about your options.

 

air-conditioner-leaking

Why Is My Air Conditioner Leaking Water?

You’ve reached the hottest days of summer, and your home AC unit is cranking. But when you go outside, you notice a cause for alarm. Water is pooling around your AC unit.

Is that normal, you think? My air conditioning shouldn’t be leaking water, right?

The truth is: An HVAC leak is a common issue. In fact, according to Popular Mechanics, about 90 percent of HVAC service calls are due to leaks. Fortunately, the majority of leaks can be remedied quickly and at a low cost.

But it’s important that the problem is fixed as soon as you notice it. Leaking water can seep into your home AC unit, causing extensive damage that may require the unit to be replaced. In other words, if you notice a leak, call an HVAC company.

What’s Creating the Water in My AC Unit?

Residential air conditioners all feature the same components. Outside, you have a condenser unit, which looks like a large boxed-in fan. Inside, there’s another unit that contains evaporator coils.

Refrigerant flows through the coil, and when warm air passes over these chilled coils, the air temperature drops significantly. This ultimately is the air that flows through your ductwork and cools your home.

But the evaporator coils also accumulates condensation, just like a glass of ice water on a hot day. It’s completely natural for the coils to “sweat,” and there’s a system in place to ensure this condensation drains from the system.

From the coils, the condensation drops into an overflow pan, and then flows into a condensate drain line. This either connects into your plumbing or drains out of the house. Some homes also require a pump to send water away from the system.

Most commonly, the cause of the leak has to do with this condensation not properly draining, or too much of it being produced.

Common Causes of Leaking AC Units

 

  1.   A Cracked or Clogged Drain Pan

Over time, your AC’s drain pan can become damaged.  For example, if your AC is reaching its limit of its service life, the drain pan may have become corroded and rusted through. As such, water drains freely through the pan, and begins to pool underneath. Replacing the drain pan can remedy the issue.

Additionally, algae, dust, and debris can also collect in the pan, effectively clogging the drain hole. In this case, cleaning the pan may resolve the issue.

  1.   A Damaged or Clogged Condensate Line

If the pan is clear, the condensate line itself may be clogged. Typically, condensate lines are built with PVC pipe, and when clogged, they can back up water. Water begins to collect within the pipe and drain pan, and ultimately the system can properly drain. Flushing the condensate pipe can resolve the clog. Additionally, a cracked pipe can also leak water, which may be the source of the issue.

  1.   A Faulty Condensate Drain Pump

Finally, if your home uses a drain pump, there’s a chance that it’s not working properly. This ultimately backs up the entire condensate draining system. In this case, the pump would need to be replaced.

  1.   A Dirty AC Filter

Dirty AC filters can cause a range of issues. That’s why it’s important to schedule yearly and seasonal maintenance for your home AC. Why does a dirty filter cause leaks? A dirty filter can freeze up the evaporator coils. When the coils thaw, they produce too much water for the drain pan to handle.

  1.   Low Refrigerant

An AC without enough refrigerant can cause a number of issues. Most noticeably, the system won’t cool as effectively. But like the dirty filter, the low refrigerant can also cause the coils to freeze, which will overflow the pan after it thaws.

  1.   Low Outside Temperatures

Late in the summer, and in early fall, temperatures tend to fluctuate more dramatically. Running your AC in cool weather –  low 60s and cooler – the coil block can freeze. Again, after it thaws, your drain may overflow.

Solving a Home AC Leak

As you can see, the cause of your leaking air conditioning might not be as serious as you think. Replacing a drain pan, line or pump, or the AC’s air filter doesn’t require a significant investment, and it can ensure your AC keeps running in tip-top shape.

The key though is catching these issues early. During cooling season, regularly inspect your home’s AC unit. A small amount of water is normal, but if you notice a lot of water pooling up underneath, you might have a problem. In this case, it’s best to call an HVAC company to have a look.