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Three Common Myths of HVAC Maintenance

Every homeowner needs to be armed with basic knowledge about how to take care of their HVAC system. Unfortunately, bad information about HVAC maintenance circulates as much as the air itself. 

Below are three common myths about HVAC care and the truth behind them. 

Myth #1: You only need to change your air filter once a year.

The truth: The air filters in your home HVAC unit should be changed about once every 90 days, or roughly four times per year. 

Clean air filters boost the performance and efficiency of your HVAC, extend the lifespan of the system, reduce your energy bills, and cut down on maintenance and repair costs. 

Myth #2: You should cover up outdoor units during the winter.

The truth: Covering up a unit seals in moisture and can speed up corrosion and mold damage. A covered unit can also encourage rodents to use the space as a home for winter, and animals are known to chew wires and damage systems with feces and nests. 

In reality, outdoor units are built to withstand harsh conditions so there is no need to cover the system. 

Myth #3: A larger system is sturdier and therefore less likely to need maintenance.

The truth: Bigger is not always better when it comes to HVAC units, and a system that is too big for the space can often require increased maintenance. 

A unit that is larger than needed will run for a shorter duration, which means the water does not have ample time to condense on the coil and is instead carried back into the room. This leaves the room more humid and can result in higher energy bills and a shortened lifespan for the system.   

Schedule Your Maintenance Checkup

One of the last and most common myths about HVAC systems is that you only need to have them serviced when they are not working properly. This couldn’t be further from the truth.

Regular maintenance and tune-ups are key to identifying small problems before they turn into larger and more expensive ones. Our maintenance and repair services include spring and fall service check-ups with multi-point inspections to clean critical parts, top off fluid levels, and test the overall efficiency of your unit to make sure it’s working as expected. 
Don’t wait until it’s too late. Schedule your preventive HVAC repair in Southport with Mansfield Sales & Service. Remember, with proper maintenance, uncomfortable temperatures are just a myth. 

Five HVAC Maintenance Tips for Fall

Summer and winter are the peak seasons for HVAC use, but fall is arguably the most important time of the year for your system. This transitional period is when it’s time for your HVAC unit to start switching gears from air conditioning to heating. It’s also a time when systems can use a little routine maintenance to help prepare for the changing seasons. 

Below are five things you can do this fall to ready your HVAC system for the winter ahead. 

1. Run the heat 

You likely haven’t turned on the heat for several months, and you don’t want to wait until it’s already cold to make sure it still works properly. Go ahead and turn the heat on for a test run or two to make sure it’s working the way it should. If not, you’ll have time to call in a professional before you actually need to use it. 

2. Change your filters

It’s recommended that you change your air filters at least every 90 days, and especially so during the change of season. A fresh filter in the fall will rid your system of pollen and other summertime allergens and give you a clean slate heading into the new season.

3. Remove debris

Your outside condenser unit tends to attract a lot of debris in the summer like grass clippings, pine needles and twigs. The fall season will bring leaves, so it’s wise to clear out any debris now to reduce the chances of a clog. 

4. Check your thermostat settings

If you have a smart or programmable thermostat, fall is a good time to review your settings to make sure they are appropriate for the upcoming change in temperatures. 

5. Schedule a professional tuneup

While there are some things you can do yourself, other maintenance tasks are best left to the experts. Having a professional perform a routine inspection and tuneup can help identify and address potential issues that may have otherwise gone unnoticed and turned into something more serious in the colder months ahead. 

Schedule Your Fall HVAC Maintenance

The team at Mansfield Sales & Service provides a fall service check that inspects key parts of your HVAC system, checks integral levels, cleans various components and more. If you’re in need of HVAC maintenance in Southport or within its surrounding communities, schedule your appointment with Mansfield Sales & Service today to stay warm this winter. 

Why You Should Change Your Air Filters

It’s recommended to change the air filter in your home at least every 90 days. But what exactly is the reason for installing a new filter multiple times every year?

Improved air quality

Air filters help capture bits of pollen, dust, pet dander, and other particles that circulate through the air in your home. Trapping these in a filter improves the quality of the air you and your family are breathing. 

Prevention of HVAC system failure

Among the most common reasons for an HVAC system failure is a clogged air filter. As air filters do their job, they eventually become clogged with the particles they collect. When a filter gets so obstructed that air has a hard time passing through, your entire system can get backed up and cause mechanical failures that are more expensive to fix than an air filter is to replace. 

Lower electric bills 

A dirty filter that prevents air from efficiently passing through has to work harder, and so does your unit. Forcing your HVAC system to work harder to achieve the same result causes your energy bill to rise. The cost of regularly changing your air filters can be more than offset by the energy savings

More consistent air temperatures

The more air struggles to pass through a filter, the harder time it has in reaching every area of your home. In this situation, it’s common to experience hot and cold spots throughout the house caused by uneven air distribution.

How to Change an Air Filter

  1. Check your old air filter to make sure you buy the correct size. Then, be sure to locate all the air filters in your home, as most homes will have at least one filter per floor. 
  2. Most air filters have an arrow indicating which side faces out. If not, take note of your old one before removing it so you can be sure to correctly install the new one.
  3. Unhook the latches on the metal grille covering in your wall or ceiling where the air filter is stationed, and then open it up.
  4. Pull out the old filter and place the new one in.
  5. Close the grille and hook the latches.   

Schedule Regular Maintenance for Your HVAC

Regular maintenance is key to prolonging the life of an HVAC system, reducing your energy bills, and limiting the need for expensive repairs. Changing the air filters is one way to do your part, but other tasks require the help of a trained professional. 
The team at Mansfield Sales & Service provide a variety of preventive maintenance measures designed to keep your system running as it should. Schedule your appointment today so you can breathe easier tomorrow.  

How Pets Impact Your HVAC and What You Can Do About It

Pets fill our homes with love and affection. But they also fill our houses with hair, dander, and other messes. 

Every pet owner sees the effect their furry friends have on the carpet and furniture, but most don’t realize just how much pets can impact your HVAC system.  

Most pets shed at least a little bit of hair from time to time, and as your HVAC system pulls in air from your house for treatment, that pet hair and dander can go right along with it. Once there, it can clog up your vents and filters and cause the system to work harder and less efficiently. 

The pet hair and dander that collects in your HVAC system can then recirculate into your home and you’ll end up breathing dangerous particles that can irritate allergies, trigger asthma and even be harmful to your respiratory system. According to the American Lung Association, breathing in pet hair and dander can lead to a decline in the functionality of the lungs.

Now only can your electric bill go up because of poor efficiency, but your air quality also goes down at the same time.

Pets who spend time outdoors also bring in dust, dirt, and debris, all of which can end up in your HVAC system as well and cause clogs or damage. And pets have been known to chew on exposed wires or other parts of your HVAC system. 

Protecting Your HVAC from Pets

There’s a few things every pet owner should do to minimize the impact of their furry friends on their HVAC system. 

  • Keep your pets well groomed. Regularly bathing and brushing your pet will help to keep shedding hair and dander at a minimum.
  • Clean the crevices. Pet hair has a way of accumulating under and behind furniture and other nooks and crannies of the house. Go the extra mile to reach these spots when sweeping or vacuuming.  
  • Change air filters. It’s recommended you change out your air filters at least every 90 days, so pet owners may want to change them out a little more frequently. 
  • Enclose wires. If you have an indoor HVAC unit and a pet who likes to chew or scratch, make sure there are no exposed wires or crevices in the system. 

Have Your HVAC Serviced

It’s wise to have routine maintenance performed on your HVAC system twice per year. The team at Mansfield Sales & Service can perform a spring and fall service check on your unit to make sure it’s free of pet hair and other debris and working as it should.

Schedule an appointment today to have your HVAC system cleaned and serviced and keep your home pet friendly.

5 Ways to Save on Air Conditioning This Summer

Air conditioning is a life saver in the summertime, especially in a state like North Carolina. But it can also be a wallet killer. In warm climates, an air conditioner can account for as much as 70% of a home’s entire electric bill. 

Fortunately there are some ways to trim your costs without sacrificing your comfort. Below are five ways to save on your air conditioning this summer.

How to Save on A/C This Summer 

Consider the following tips to reduce your air conditioning’s effect on your electricity bill this summer. 

1. Conduct an Audit

A lot of dollars slip right out of your home in the form of cold air. Houses, especially older ones, are prone to having small leaks around windows, doors, and attics where air can escape. 

Turn your air conditioning on and then walk around the outside of your house feeling around door and window seals. If you feel cold air coming out, use some caulk to seal up the crack. 

2. Get Smart

A smart thermostat regulates your air conditioning use by turning your air on and off according to when you’re home or away. And they can be programmed remotely with a mobile app. Even just a programmable thermostat can lead to increased savings over a manual one. 

3. Position it Right

Sometimes a thermostat is placed in a spot where it receives direct sunlight through a window. This tricks the thermostat into thinking it’s hotter than it actually is and triggers it to turn on when it isn’t necessary. 

Place your thermostat in a spot where it will not receive any direct sunlight and away from any heat-absorbing windows to ensure more accurate temperature readings and less unnecessary use.

4. Turn on the Fan 

A ceiling fan can not only boost your comfort level but it’s also a lot cheaper than an air conditioner to run. In fact, the cost to run a ceiling fan is less than 1% than that of a central air unit. Turn your thermostat up a few degrees and then turn your ceiling fans on to keep the air circulating about the house and your energy bill at bay. 

5. Keep Sunlight Out

Sunlight warms your house, which in turn causes you to rely more on your air conditioner. Keep window blinds or curtains closed during the hottest part of the day. And if you can plant any trees or shrubs on the sun-facing side of your house, that will help keep some of the heat off your home. 

Start With a Checkup

Before planting trees or moving your thermostat around, have your air conditioner inspected by a professional. Air conditioners can lose efficiency due to aging or faulty parts, leaks, rust and corrosion, buildups of dirt and debris, and more. And the less efficient your air conditioner is, the harder it will have to work and the more expensive it will be to run. 
We offer a spring service check designed to get your air conditioner ready for the summer months. Schedule your checkup today and save big this summer.

5 Advantages of Regular HVAC Checkups

Maintenance is critical to the health and performance of your HVAC unit. But it’s not enough to simply attend to your system only when it’s experiencing problems. It’s important to be proactive and administer checkups and preventive maintenance to keep your unit running as it should. 

Below are five advantages of regular HVAC checkups. 

Why You Need to Inspect Your HVAC System Regularly

1. You can catch small problems before they turn into big ones.

Big problems with your HVAC unit typically start out as small ones. Regular checkups can help you detect failing parts during the early stages of wear and tear before they turn into bigger and more expensive issues further down the road. 

2. You’ll extend the life of your HVAC unit.

The longevity of an HVAC system depends largely on its exposure to malfunctioning parts, dirt, rust, and other things that slowly chip away at a unit’s lifespan. Outdoor units in coastal environments like Oak Island, NC, are especially prone to more corrosion. But regular HVAC checkups keep the system clean and running as it should, which in turn can extend the life of the unit and delay the expense of a replacement. 

3. It will run more efficiently. 

HVAC systems become less efficient as they age as they are forced to work harder to overcome their leaks, loose screws, dirt buildup and aging parts. By regularly checking up on your HVAC, you can bolster your system’s overall performance and keep it running like new. 

4. You’ll save money.

Regular HVAC checkups allow you to make small repairs now in lieu of expensive replacements in the future. You’ll improve the system’s efficiency which in turn keeps your electric bill in check. And regular tuneups can squeeze some extra years out of your system, giving you more time to save up for a new one at a later day. 

5. You’ll live more comfortably. 

Regular checkups help improve the performance of your HVAC, which means you’ll have an easier time keeping your home at the desired temperature and living more comfortably. 

Have Your HVAC Checked Today

Spring and fall are great times to conduct an HVAC checkup as the weather experiences a transition. We offer spring and fall HVAC checkups to clean and check a variety of key components and prepare your system for the temperatures ahead.

Contact Mansfield Sales & Service today to schedule your HVAC checkup and reap the many benefits of regular maintenance.

Springtime AC Maintenance Tips

Spring marks the beginning of all types of seasons: cookouts, camping, baseball, and the beach to name just a few. 

But spring also signals the start of AC season. And it’s important for homeowners to make sure their unit is in good working order before the high temperatures begin to set in. Below are five springtime AC maintenance and repair tips you can do to prepare your system to beat the heat.

Clear away debris

Leaves, twigs, pine straw, and other debris have a way of cluttering up outdoor HVAC units, especially during the fall and winter months. Clear yours off and prune back any trees or bushes that are invading its space to reduce the stress put on your system .

Replace the filter

Filters should be replaced every couple of months anyway, so go ahead and start spring with a fresh one. Dirty filters restrict airflow, and that leads to lower efficiency and increased bills. Plus, dirty filters are a breeding ground for mold and bacteria. 

Clear the drainage hole

AC units typically have a drainage hole that must be kept clear in order for the system to work effectively. Locate your drainage hole, and make sure it’s clear of any buildup or debris. 

Inspect the ductwork

Around 20 to 30% of the air that moves about in a typical home is lost because of leaks, holes, and poorly connected ducts. You may need professional help to seal up ducts that are located within the walls, but any exposed ducts in garages, unfinished basements, attics, and crawl spaces can be sealed up with tape and insulation.  

Check for leaks around the house 

The performance of your AC is partly dependent on how well the air can remain trapped in your home. Conduct a walk through and inspect the weather stripping around the windows, door jambs, and other areas of the house where air can escape. 

Schedule a Spring Tuneup in Southport, NC

Perhaps the best springtime AC maintenance tip is to schedule a tuneup with a professional. Our spring service check includes checking and cleaning a number of key parts of your HVAC system to make sure you’re ready for the heat. Learn more about our service and repair, including our seasonal checkups and schedule your appointment today.

Troubleshooting Your HVAC Repair in Southport

The inner workings of an HVAC system are complex and typically require the help of a skilled professional when things go awry. But some of the most common HVAC issues don’t always require special training to troubleshoot. 

Below are five common HVAC issues and the troubleshooting ideas to go with them. 

Weakened Airflow

If it seems that your house is always too hot or too cold, you may have a problem with airflow. Sometimes a blocked or closed vent is to blame, but often it’s just a dirty air filter. Filters should be changed every 90 days, so start by swapping in a clean filter, and see if your airflow improves before calling a professional. 

Randomized Heating and Cooling

Sometimes an HVAC unit heats and cools in an inconsistent manner, and often the thermostat is to blame. Check to see that there is no build up of dust or corrosion on the thermostat battery and try changing the battery itself. Also, make sure that the circuit breaker connected to the unit hasn’t been tripped.

Water Buildup

HVAC systems have drain lines that carry condensation away from the unit. But sometimes  water can accumulate at the base of the unit due to cracks or clogs in the condensation line or an overflowing drain pan. Find your HVAC’s drain line, and inspect it for any damage or mold.

Increased Electricity Bills

If you’ve noticed your HVAC system has been working harder and your electricity bill has been higher as a result, you may have an inefficient unit. In addition to dirty or clogged air filters, the cause of inefficiency can also be an accumulation of dirt on the evaporator (inside) or condenser (outside) coils. Try cleaning your coils (in addition to changing the air filters) to see if efficiency improves. 

Failure to Power On

An HVAC that fails to turn on at all may feel like the worst case scenario. But often the culprit is as simple as a power cord that has been unplugged or damaged, a circuit breaker that has been tripped or a faulty wall outlet. Try checking these things before calling on a professional.  

Get Professional Help for Your HVAC in Southport, NC

If none of the above troubleshooting ideas solve the problem with your HVAC system, it’s probably time to call on an expert. At Mansfield Sales & Service, we offer a variety of service and repair options for any make or model of HVAC unit that even includes after hours emergency service. 

Schedule your appointment with Mansfield Sales & Service today for a more comfortable home tomorrow.