Tuckers Air Conditioning, Heating & Plumbing Blog: Posts Tagged ‘Aspen Hill’

Air Conditioning Tip: Cutting Down on Cooling Costs

Monday, April 29th, 2013

As we approach the heat and humidity of the Bethesda, MD summer months, you need to make sure that your home is ready. Among the various spring projects you envisioned for your spare time around the house, make sure you take a good look at your air conditioning system. You not only need to make sure that it’s working well, but also that it’s energy efficient so that you can cut down on cooling costs whenever possible. We’d like to share with you some ways you can keep you AC energy efficient this summer. For superior Bethesda, MD air conditioning services, call Tuckers Air Conditioning & Heating today!

  • Clean and replace your air filter: Your air filter is there to ensure that your AC system components do not become filled with dust and debris. However, it must be cleaned and replaced regularly during the cooling season not only in order to protect your mechanical components, but, perhaps just as importantly, to keep the air flowing through your ductwork. If your air filter becomes dirty or clogged, it can reduce energy efficiency and cause your system to burn more electrical energy for the same amount of cooling output.
  • Keep it clean and clear: Make sure that all aspects of your system, especially the outdoor unit, are clean and clear of any possible obstruction. Your outdoor compressor/condenser may become overgrown with vegetation or other debris during the off-season.
  • Install a programmable thermostat; If you’re still messing around with a manual conventional thermostat, consider upgrading to a digital programmable thermostat. Not only will it be easier to read and sense the temperature more accurately, it will also give you the ability to program your home temperature adjustments automatically. This is not only more convenient, but can actually save you money in the long term.

We hope you found these energy saving tips useful. For comprehensive Bethesda, MD air conditioning services, call Tuckers Air Conditioning & Heating today!  

Continue Reading

How Do Ductless Mini Split Systems Work? A Heating Question

Monday, February 11th, 2013

Ductless mini split systems are a great option for homeowners comfortable and efficient heating for their home. While some homeowners have already started to take advantage of them, some people may not know how they provide heating. At Tuckers Air Conditioning & Heating, we offer complete ductless mini split system repairs and maintenance in Bethesda, MD. We wanted to clarify exactly how these amazing systems provide heating for your home.

Traditional Heating Systems

Furnaces and boilers are two of the most common heating systems in the country. They offer comfortable heat for homeowners and are also fairly cheap to repair. However, they produce heat by burning fuel. Burning fuel in your home can be dangerous: not only is there risk of fire but there is also the risk of carbon monoxide poisoning.

Ductless Mini Split Systems

Unlike other traditional heating systems, ductless mini split systems don’t burn fuel to create heat. Instead, they just move heat from one place to another. Ductless mini split systems have individual units mounted on the wall in each room. These units circulate the air in the rooms and heat or cool it. It does this by pulling air into the unit and passing it over a series of evaporator coils that are filled with refrigerant.

The “split” part of their name comes from them being connected to an outdoor condensing unit. This condensing unit is responsible for collecting the heat that will go into your home. In heating mode, heat from the outside air is absorbed by a series of coils in the outside unit. The newly heated refrigerant circles back into your home where the evaporator coils in the room units allow the heat to be distributed into your home.

If you’re interested learning more about ductless mini split systems in Bethesda, MD, call Tuckers Air Conditioning & Heating. We provide complete ductless mini split installation and repairs throughout the Bethesda, MD area.

Continue Reading

Common Geothermal Heat Pump Repairs

Monday, October 8th, 2012

With a professional installation and routine maintenance geothermal heat pump systems are a great, efficient way to heat and cool your home. Like any other home comfort system, though, maintenance does not eliminate the need for the occasional repair. While maintenance can help to keep the need for repair service infrequent, minimally invasive and affordable, the fact of the matter is that your geothermal system will probably require some level of repair service during its lifespan. If you operate a geothermal heat pump system in Gaithersburg, it’s best to understand some of the more common repairs that geothermal heat pumps need.

  • Poor Installation – It is important that your heat pump is installed by qualified, professional technicians. If you have a new heat pump that is underperforming and cannot provide adequate heat the problem is not necessarily with the pump itself. The buried loop system may have been poorly designed and/or installed, causing the heat pump to function less effectively and efficiently than it should. A slinky installation, for instance, where the pipes are coiled to save space, can potentially absorb too much heat from too small an area. This makes it hard for the ground temperature to recover and forces your heating system to rely more heavily on an electrical backup, reducing efficiency. Make sure your installation is done right the first time.
  • Poor Air Flow – Like any forced air system, a geothermal heat pump using ductwork can suffer from poor air flow or distribution. There are a few potential causes for this problem ranging in seriousness. If you notice decreased airflow from your geothermal system check your air filters before taking any further action. If dirt and debris has collected on the filter to the point that air is encountering too much resistance to pass through simply replacing the filters may be all that is necessary to resolve the problem. If your filters are fine or if the problem remains after replacing the filters, call a professional technician. You may have faulty or damaged ductwork. Air leaks are a big problem with ductwork, and a professional duct repair technician can fix the issue and improve the efficiency and airflow of your system.
  • Breaker Trips During Operation – Tripping a circuit breaker here and there does not necessarily mean there is a problem with your heat pump or electrical system, but if it happens with any regularity you should consult a professional technician. There are a number of possible causes for this problem, from bad wiring to faulty connectors or even a compromised capacitor. Whatever the issue it is important that any maintenance and repairs on the geothermal system itself or your home electrical system are handled by professionals.

These are just a few examples of potential problems you may experience with your geothermal heat pump system. If you have a problem that we have not addressed or have any further questions about the geothermal system in your Gaithersburg home feel free to contact the professionals at Tuckers Air Conditioning & Heating at 301-670-0034. We’re always happy to help.

Continue Reading

Geothermal Question: How Often Should I Have My Geothermal System Checked?

Tuesday, September 4th, 2012

One of the primary reasons behind the popularity of geothermal systems in Bethesda is that they require very little maintenance. They have few mechanical components and heating mechanisms, and most of these components are underground. That means the components are guarded from the type of wear and tear that can be caused by external elements, and so they can be expected to last for 20 years or more.

However, though these elements are long lasting and durable, they may require a check and some maintenance work every now and then. This is essential to keep the geothermal system working at its best efficiency level. Once these systems begin to lose efficiency, the cost of running them goes up, and it can get quite high over time if not addressed. This is not what you want to happen, especially considering the fact that these systems are quite costly to install.

When speaking of geothermal system maintenance, the ground loop system and polythene tubing are the components that benefit the most from this type of service. This system carries out the task of circulating the refrigerant from below ground level to the compressor that is located above ground. If installed well, this system can last for decades together. However, leaks can develop due to lack of maintenance, and that can lead to a drop in efficiency. If this happens, you need a professional to dig up the system and seal the leak. The tubing in question is usually found around ten feet below ground level, making this type of repair both invasive and costly.

The handling unit, the pump and the compressor are the other important components of a geothermal system. Just like the loop system, these components must be checked on a regular basis to ensure that everything is running smoothly. These checks must be carried out by trained professionals because there are certain problems that are too subtle for the layman to spot. In this case, having a professional geothermal company help is the way to go.

The process of maintaining these components may require component lubrication as well as tube changes. These tasks can be carried out by building owners as well but it is advisable that a professional handles it during an bi-annual or annual check of the geothermal system. To schedule an appointment today, call Tuckers Air Conditioning & Heating!


Continue Reading

Why Get an Extended Warranty on Your AC?

Monday, August 6th, 2012

Air conditioning manufacturers tend to offer general warranties on all parts of an air conditioner which they manufacture for one year.  Beyond that and the warranty must be purchased through the air conditioning company that installed the air conditioning system.  Extended warranties normally cover somewhere in the neighborhood of ten years, and often include labor for work performed during that time.  At Tuckers Air Conditioning & Heating, we have taken that idea one step further with our industry leading 15 year parts and labor warranty.

Having an extended warranty on an AC system is a form of insurance against something happening which could cost you way more in repairs or replacements than the initial warranty cost was.  Some important things to keep in mind are: understanding how the specific warranty works, learning what your part of the deal is, and knowing the terms of coverage.  At Tuckers we want you to understand exactly what you are getting with our extended warranty.

Tuckers 15 Year Part and Labor Extended Warranty

Tuckers Air Conditioning has done something ground-breaking.  We are the only contractor to offer not only ten years, but a full fifteen year part and labor warranty on air conditioning systems that we install which utilize our annual maintenance plan.  Considering that most air conditioning systems last anywhere from 12-15 years this is quite rare in the air conditioning industry.  This includes a lifetime unit replacement should a compressor or heat exchanger fail.

Tuckers 5 Year Part and Labor Warranty on Service Repairs

Additionally we offer a 5 year part and labor warranty on service repairs which we perform, which compares to other contractors one year part warranty.  We are this confident in our air conditioning technicians and their quality work performing all sorts of air conditioning services such as annual AC maintenance.

In addition to this we offer competitive prices on all of our high quality AC services, and this in conjunction with our two warranty options for clients mean that your new air conditioner is in good hands from day one, and you are set up to have an efficiently operating air conditioning system through its whole life.

Contact Tuckers Air Conditioning & Heating and work with a Gaithersburg air conditioning company that really knows how to provide quality air conditioner service to its valued customers through competitive prices, top-notch warranties and skilled work.

Continue Reading

Heating Repair Service Guide: Causes of Delayed Furnace Ignition

Friday, January 20th, 2012

Delayed ignition is usually accompanied by a loud banging or booming sound that resembles a small explosion in your gas appliance. In your home’s furnace, this can be terrifying and should never be ignored.

What Causes Delayed Ignition

Delayed ignition usually happens when you first turn on your furnace, often after a long delay between use, so usually early in the fall or late in the spring when you don’t necessarily have it on every day of the week.

What happens is moisture builds up over the course of a period of inactivity and begins to corrode the firebox in your furnace. That corrosion builds up to the point that it starts to block the ports that feed gas into the burners. When these ports get blocked, the burners down the line cannot light and when you flip the switch, they won’t light immediately.

Of course, while rust and corrosion are a risk, lint and dust can be equally problematic (and are more common if you don’t have your furnace cleaned properly each fall). Sulfur build up is also a possibility, as it is left behind by burning natural gas. It will appear as a layer of white on the surface of the burners or the pilot light.

When all of this happens and the ports are not cleaned properly, gas will build up in the chamber after it is turned on and, when it finally ignites, create the small boom sound. It doesn’t just sound like an explosion – it is one – and if ignored, it can become incredibly dangerous.

Solving the Problem

Delayed furnace ignition is an easy problem to avoid. All you need to do is have your furnace cleaned properly before turning it on each fall. A technician will clean the burners and ports and remove any dust, lint, rust or sulfur buildup that might block ignition and cause a delay.

When replacing your furnace, look for a device with corrosion resistant materials. You can learn more about these when it comes time to replace your furnace from an Aspen Hill HVAC contractor. Most importantly, be careful. It may be a small problem now, but if left to build up over time, that small boom can become a much larger one.

Continue Reading

Common Heat Pump Problems

Wednesday, December 28th, 2011

Heat pumps are great pieces of machinery to have in your Aspen Hill home, but they are not perfect. They come with their own problems and issues. Usually these can be fixed pretty easily, but it’s good to know what you are looking for.

Below are some common problems encountered by heat pump owners, along with some brief troubleshooting and repair advice. However, for any serious repair job, it is recommended that you call in a professional to fix the problem. This is to ensure the best performance of your heat pump, as well as for your own safety.

  1. No Heat – Obviously, this is a problem. A heat pump should do two things—heat and cool. If it’s not heating at all, something is wrong. Sometimes, this is just a matter of the power supply being interrupted. Press the “Reset” button on the power supply. If that does not fix it, it could be that the power supply has failed or the motor is overloaded.
  2. Incorrect Temperature – For example, you set the thermostat at 72 degrees, but even after several hours, the temperature won’t get over 70 degrees. This can be a problem with the sensor in the thermostat or with the heat pump itself. However, it could also just be the result of very cold temperatures outside. Heat pumps have trouble keeping up when the weather is consistently below 30 degrees Fahrenheit or so, so it may just need help in the form of a supplemental heat supply.
  3. It’s Noisy – Heat pumps are generally designed to run very quietly, so if you notice a lot of noise, there is probably something going on. Common culprits for this type of issue include loose connections, like screws, nuts and bolts. Check for any loose fittings on the heat pump. Also, make sure the contractor who does your annual heat pump inspection tightens these fittings as part of his maintenance routine.
  4. Frozen – This can be indicative of a few underlying problems, but the most common is dirt in the air filter. When filters get clogged, the heat pump can get frosted, ultimately leading to freezing. Check the air filter and make sure to change all air filters regularly.

Heat pumps can experience other issues, but these are some of the more common ones. Generally, though, heat pumps are pretty headache-free machines. Be sure to call a professional repair person if you experience any issues with your heat pump.

Continue Reading

Home Maintenance You Can Do Yourself

Friday, December 2nd, 2011

If you own a home in Ijamsville, there are a lot of fun ways you can stay on top of regular maintenance without spending money on a contractor. Sure, there are some tasks only a contractor should perform, but there are plenty of others you can take care of with a little spare time on the weekend.

  • Fixing Leaks – Unless it’s in a main line or in your sewer, you can usually fix a leak or clog in your pipes by yourself. Replacing a faucet, snaking a line, or taking apart a fixture should still be done with the help of manufacturer’s guidelines, but as long as you turn the water supply off correctly, you should be okay taking things apart and making quick repairs.
  • Yard Installations – Short of digging it up (always have it checked for gas and electricity lines), you can do pretty much anything on your own in the yard. This includes composting, landscaping, adding a barbeque pit or upgrading your back porch.
  • Painting – Feel free to paint anything in or around your home without the help of a pro. Just make sure to use proper ventilation and to ensure that you remove any old paint carefully. If you’re not sure about the age of your paint, it should be tested for lead before you chip it clean, especially if you have children.
  • Replace Appliances – Old appliances can be removed and replaced relatively easily as long as you have someone to help you get rid of the old ones. Also, if you have a gas stove or other appliances that run on gas, always have them checked by a professional. Never unplug gas lines without someone there to ensure the gas supply to your home is off.
  • Tiling – Tiling is something anyone can do, but make sure you’re ready for the time commitment. Especially if you plan on putting tiles on a wall, it’s easy to make a mistake and ruin good tiles or good walls. Also, proper sealing around water fixtures like a bathtub or sink is vital. If you’re not sure, call a plumber to help.

There are a lot of ways you can have fun and fix up your house without paying for a professional’s help. But, remember not to take on jobs that are too much for you. If you aren’t sure how to complete a task or you want a second opinion, never be afraid to call a pro in for some help. Even if they just check your work, it will save you money and you get the satisfaction of having done the work yourself.

Continue Reading

Space Heating vs. an Upgrade to Your Heating System

Friday, November 18th, 2011

If your Spencerville home’s heating system isn’t really cutting it anymore, it may be time to take a step back and consider what your options are. After all, upgrading to an entirely new heating system is a big investment and a large project that will likely disrupt your life at least for a short period of time. However, under certain circumstances it’s the best alternative out there.

One option to consider when you’re unhappy with your home heating situation is supplementing your central heating system with space heaters. These are generally inexpensive and can be placed virtually anywhere in your house or taken with you from one room to another.

Especially if there is a small part of your home that your heating system just doesn’t seem to reach or that you want to keep a bit warmer than the rest of the house, space heaters can be an excellent option. They’re small, safe and portable and can easily keep a smaller portion of your home or room cozy and warm.

However, you’ll have to take into account the operating costs of a space heater as well as the initial investment when you’re trying to evaluate the overall cost effectiveness of this option. Most space heaters run on electricity, which often costs considerably more than oil or natural gas. If your home heating system runs on electricity anyway, this might not be so much of a factor. But if you have an oil or gas furnace, you could wind up paying significantly more to run space heaters as supplemental heat over time.

Also, it’s worth considering that new home heating systems are likely much more energy efficient than the system you currently have in place. Although the initial installation cost can be pretty substantial, you’ll wind up saving a very large amount on your monthly heating bills by upgrading to a newer model.

Plus, you’ll be getting a system that should be able to satisfactorily heat your home without the need for space heaters or other supplemental heat sources. This translates into a pretty hefty savings over time and that’s something you’ll certainly have to take into consideration when you’re evaluating your options.

Continue Reading

What Is SEER? A Question From Mount Airy

Monday, August 15th, 2011

If you’ve been looking at air conditioners in Mount Airy, you’ve probably noticed that they all seem to have a SEER rating. But what does this actually mean?

The SEER, which stands for Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio, is a measure of how energy efficient a particular air conditioning model is. So when you’re shopping around for the best deal on an air conditioner for your home, this is something you’ll absolutely want to pay attention to.

Interpreting SEER Ratings

The SEER rating system is relatively simple – the higher the SEER, the more energy efficient the product. But because a higher price tag typically comes with a higher SEER rating, it’s important to know just how much more efficient a higher rated unit will be. It helps you decide whether paying significantly more for a higher rated unit is worth it in long term savings. Will it actually save you enough each month to make up for the difference in price?

Evaluating Your Energy Usage

A big factor here is how much you will use your air conditioner. If you live in a place with very hot and humid summers where the air conditioning runs constantly, you’re probably best off with the highest SEER you can find. When you consume that much energy to keep your home cool, you want to get as much as possible out of it, and that’s what a high SEER model can do for you.

On the other hand, if you live in an area that doesn’t have the harshest summers, you may be better off with a slightly less efficient (and therefore cheaper) model. Keep in mind, too, that the actual percentage increase in energy efficiency goes up by smaller and smaller increments the higher in SEER ratings you get. For instance, while a 10 SEER unit may be almost 20% more efficient than an 8 SEER model, a 12 SEER is only about 10% more efficient than that 10 SEER.

Finding the Right Balance

The best way to decide what SEER rating is best for you is to determine the annual cooling costs with your current unit and then calculate your savings in dollars based on the percentage each model would improve your efficiency. If you don’t currently have an air conditioner, this can be a bit tricky, but a professional contractor or air conditioning salesman can help you estimate your total monthly cooling costs with the various units.

Continue Reading