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

Why Your AC Might Cost More to Run This Summer

Friday, April 11th, 2014

Summer is coming and that means your air conditioning unit will soon be called into service once again. We’re all accustomed to paying more for air conditioning in the summer, when our need is highest and we use the A/C the most often. It doesn’t have to be that way. Air conditioning maintenance conducted in the spring, before the temperatures get too high, can make a big difference in your monthly cooling bills. Otherwise your A/C might cost more to run this summer than necessary.

Among other benefits (like spotting big problems when they’re still small), a maintenance session helps improve the efficiency of your air conditioner. The technician will clean off dust and dust on the interior components, which might otherwise increase friction among moving parts and clog important filters. He’ll also check the refrigerant levels, which need to match the specifications of your air conditioner. Otherwise frost will form on the coils, reducing the A/C’s ability to cool the surrounding air. Other steps include tightening loose fittings and sealing minor leaks, as well as looking for more serious issues in need of repair.

All of that helps improve the efficiency of your air conditioner. Without a maintenance visit, your unit won’t necessarily break down. But it will work harder to do the same job, as moving parts endure more friction, loose components rattle in their housings and a many tiny imperfections pull energy away from the unit’s primary job of cooling your house. You’ll see the cost of that every month when your bills comes: higher than it should be and often disguised by the fact that it’s summer, and you expect to pay more for using your air conditioning system.

For more on why your A/C might cost more to run this summer, or to schedule a maintenance tune-up, the experts at Tuckers Air Conditioning, Heating & Plumbing are here to help. We operate in Germantown, MD, air conditioning maintenance is one of our core services, and we’re dedicated to your complete satisfaction every step of the way. Pick up the phone and give us a call today!

Continue Reading

The Pros and Cons of Tankless Water Heaters

Friday, March 28th, 2014

Tankless water heaters, as their name implies, are systems that heat up your water without using a standing tank like most people are accustomed to. The water passes through heated coils that instantly warms it and continues to provide hot water as long as the water is turned on. But is that the right choice for your Germantown, MD home? Here is a brief rundown of the pros and cons of tankless water heaters.

The biggest benefit lies in its efficiency. Because the tankless model doesn’t have to maintain the heat for an entire tank, they use much less energy than their tanked cousins. That can save you a great deal of money in monthly heating costs, as well as making your home more environmentally friendly. You also don’t need to wait for tankless water heaters to warm up, which means you get hot water much faster than you usually do with tanked models. In addition, tankless heaters tend to last longer than the alternative, and their small size means they take up a lot less space to boot.

On the downside, tankless models tend to cost more up-front than a more traditional water heater, which means you need to be prepared to “invest” in future savings. They can’t always handle high loads the way more traditional models can, which means you may need to install multiple units (especially if you have a large family or use a lot of water as a general rule).

All of which is a roundabout way of saying that the specifics vary based on your individual circumstances. The pros and cons of tankless water heaters should not be lightly dismissed, and the more you know going in, the more easily you can make an informed decision. In Germantown, MD, plumbing companies like Tuckers Air Conditioning, Heating & Plumbing can discuss the matter with you, then perform an installation with professionalism and pride. Call us today to schedule a consultation and let us help you make the best decision for your household!

Continue Reading

Heating Tip: Components of a Gas Furnace

Monday, March 3rd, 2014

Gas furnaces remain the go-to option for many household heating systems, providing cheap reliable heat to keep your home cozy and comfortable. Because it’s such a vital part of the home, and because it periodically requires repair just like any other mechanical system, it pays to know how it all works. Here’s a quick explanation of the components gas furnaces that will help you better understand how they work and when you need to call for repairs.

The heating process starts with an ignition system, which used to be the pilot light in older models, but now usually electronic ignition. The ignition is connected to a thermocouple which regulates the flow of gas into the furnace. When the thermocouple detects that the ignition is activated, it releases the gas. (This is an important safety feature that keeps your home from being flooded with unlit gas.)

The lit gas then moves to the burners, located beneath a heat exchanger which is essentially a long metal tube with openings on either end. The gas burns very hot, and it passes through the heat exchanger, which is warmed by the heat and subsequently passes that heat onto the surrounding air. The toxic byproduct passes safely through the heat exchanger and into a venting pipe, where it safely exists your home.  The heated air around the exchanger is now ready for distribution into your home. A fan or blower then movies it into a series of ducts, which safely distribute it.

Other heating tips on the components of a gas furnace can be provided by the experts at Tuckers Air Conditioning, Heating & Plumbing. If you need heating service in Germantown, MD, call us today to schedule a consultation. You’ll be glad you did!

Continue Reading

Should I Schedule a Heating Repair Appointment if My Ductwork Is Clanging?

Tuesday, December 10th, 2013

The ductwork in your home does its job mostly invisibly: it lies out of your sight in walls, floors, ceilings, and basements. It should also do its job inaudibly: the only sound you should hear from your ducts is the humming from your forced-air heating system that sends warmth through the ducts to your vents.

When you hear a clanging or banging noise inside your ducts, it’s usually a warning that you need to schedule heating repair in Germantown, PA. At Tuckers Air Conditioning & Heating, we take pride in our state-of-the-art technology to clean and repair ducts. If you need to schedule repairs because of metal clanging inside your ductwork, call us first: our NATE-certified technicians will use their expertise to help you.

The Causes of Clanging in Your Ducts

The main reason for this clanging sound is that your ducts are expanding because of air pressure. If you notice the clanging sound happening soon after your heater’s blower comes on, then this is almost certainly the reason for the noise. The gauge of the metal of the ducts isn’t thick enough to handle the pressure increase, and the metal “bulges,” making that clanging sound. This will occur most frequently in places where there is a long unsupported stretch of duct.

Does this mean you have to completely replace your ductwork with thicker gauge material? Not necessarily—although sometimes that is the case, especially if your ductwork is very old. Duct specialists can brace up the unsupported stretches to keep them from expanding and creating the clanking noise. You may also have some of the metal ductwork taken out and replaced with flexible ducts or duct board, neither of which will make clanking sounds when they expand.

Contact duct repair and cleaning experts to look over your ducts and see what can be done about this problem; you won’t have easy access to the ducts yourself, so make sure that you leave this in the hands of the professionals. It’s also a good idea to have your ducts cleaned, since sometimes clanging noises can come from objects that have become trapped inside the ducts.

At Tuckers Air Conditioning & Heating, we have many years of experience working with ducts for heating and cooling systems. Because we also specialize in indoor air quality, we have extensive knowledge about cleaning and repairing ducts. Make us your first call when you discover you have noisy ductwork, or if you need any kind of heating repair in Germantown, PA.

Continue Reading

How to Minimize Air Conditioning Repair Services?

Monday, May 13th, 2013

If your air conditioning system seems to need repair or professional service often, then you may be looking for ways to minimize repair needs as we enter the cooling season. The more you use your AC, the more subject it is to general wear and tear, and any festering issues may come to light when you need your AC most. In this post, we’d like to run through some ways you can minimize air conditioning repair in North Potomac, MD.

Call Tucker’s Air Conditioning & Heating today for comprehensive services.

  • Homeowner maintenance: Your AC is a complex machine with overlapping electrical, and mechanical systems, as well as various components that need to be kept clean. One of the primary ways your system stays clean is the air filter. The air filter is designed to prevent the accumulation of dust and debris on sensitive mechanical components as well as the coils. But when it becomes dirty or clogged, it can actually begin to disrupt the refrigerant cycle by causing the evaporator coil to freeze over and other related airflow issues. 
  • Professional maintenance: The majority of maintenance tasks should be handled by an AC professional. When you schedule routine maintenance, you allow your system to be inspected, cleaned, and tuned-up by trained technicians who can spot problems that are developing, and prevent the need for repairs with thorough cleaning and adjustments. It will also help to upkeep your energy efficiency and cooling performance.
  • Too many repairs? Consider replacement if you seem to need repairs almost constantly to keep your AC running. This is especially important if your AC is old. After all, you don’t want to keep propping an obsolete system when you could save money on repairs and invest in the future of your comfort with a new one.

Call Tucker’s Air Conditioning & Heating today for comprehensive air conditioning repair services in North Potomac, MD.

Continue Reading

Air Conditioning Repair: Causes of Strange Sounds

Monday, April 1st, 2013

Modern air conditioning systems have come a long way in recent years. With a new, high-quality air conditioning system, paired with a professional installation, you can expect a very dependable and efficient cooling performance. Of course, no mechanical system is perfect, and even the best air conditioners on the market are susceptible to occasional problems. The sooner any issues with your air conditioner are resolved, the less severe any damages are likely to be.

One indicator that you may need the services of an air conditioning repair technician is the development of strange sounds during operation of your system. Not all strange sounds will necessarily be the result of a serious problem, but any irregularities with your air conditioner should be inspected by a qualified professional. Here are some possible causes of strange air conditioning sounds from the experts at Tuckers Air Conditioning & Heating.

A chirping noise coming from your air conditioner during operation may be the result of dry bearings or a worn out belt. These are very minor problems, but ignoring even the smallest issues with your air conditioning system will only allow problems to worsen. If this chirping noise continues throughout operation, contact you local Gaithersburg air conditioning repair technician to have the problem resolved.

If you hear a rattling noise coming from your AC, it is very possible that some component of the system has come loose. A panel on the system may not be secured properly, or a belt or fan within the system may have loosened up during operation. This rattling may also be the result of a bent fan blade. Again, the longer you force these components to operate in a compromised condition, the more likely it becomes that they will be seriously damaged.

If you hear a knocking coming from your air conditioner you may have a more immediate problem, such as a sticking valve or a worn out compressor. Contact your AC repair technician immediately.

For more information about air conditioning noises, call the Gaithersburg air conditioning repair technicians at Tuckers Air Conditioning & Heating. We have the answers to all your questions.

Continue Reading

Air Conditioning Tip: Why You Shouldn’t Put Off AC Repair

Monday, March 25th, 2013

It’s starting to get hot in Gaithersburg, MD and that means homeowners throughout the area are beginning to inspect, clean and turn on their air conditioners. After all, it’s important to sort out any issues now before they become major repairs. Prevention is always the best medicine, but occasionally your AC will need repair, no matter how diligent you are about keeping it clean. Spring is a great time to take care of any such AC repairs, and doing so now may help prevent a breakdown in August. For AC repair in Gaithersburg, MD, call Tuckers Air Conditioning & Heating today!

Let’s take a look at some of the benefits of AC repair:

  • System preservation. Repairing even small faults now can go a long way towards maintaining the life of your cooling system. Whether your system is 3 or 13 years old, it will eventually develop issues. While preventive maintenance can help you avoid some of the most common problems, your AC is a mechanical system, like any other. Make sure it lasts.
  • Energy-efficiency. Unless the problem completely shuts your AC down, some homeowners are content to let a few small issues handle themselves. The logic is that so long as your AC runs, what’s the problem? Unfortunately, sometimes that means you may be paying for more energy than you’re actually using. If there is an airflow, mechanical fault, or leak, then you may be paying too much to run your AC. During the peak heat of the summer, when our energy expenditures are also at their peak, that repair may have paid for itself.
  • Comfort. Maybe this is the most convincing reason for AC repair. With the sun high in the sky during late July, the last thing you want your AC to do is quit. But if you delay that lurking AC repair another few months, then you may be facing a major breakdown when you need cool air the most.

Making sure your AC is performing efficiently and effectively improves system life, cuts down on energy costs and secures your home comfort. For comprehensive AC repair in Gaithersburg, MD, 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

Why Consider Geothermal Heating?

Monday, January 7th, 2013

As energy costs continue to rise and the green movement continues to pick up momentum, many homeowners are looking for more efficient, affordable and environmentally friendly home heating options. Before you make any decisions about a new heating system for your home, call Tucker’s Air Conditioning & Heating. We have some information about geothermal heating and cooling systems that you may want to consider. There are a lot of benefits that come with this type of heating system, and we can help you decide if a geothermal heating system installation is right for your home and personal heating habits.

A geothermal system, like other heat pumps, does not consume energy in order to heat your home. Rather, it will use just a small amount of electricity in order to transfer existing heat, allowing it to heat your home in a sustainable way as well as cooling it with a simple reversal of the operation. The elimination of the need for fuel consumption greatly reduces the amount of energy your system will use, in turn greatly reducing the amount of money it takes to keep your home comfortable throughout the heating season.

Geothermal heating systems are also very durable and boast long, efficient lifespans. A geothermal loop system is buried beneath the ground surrounding your home or submerged under water on your property. It is from here that heat is gathered as an antifreeze solution or, in some cases, water itself circulates throughout the loop system. The underground loop system will last you decades, and the heat pump itself has fewer moving parts than many other heaters, cutting down on wear and tear.

The fact that geothermal heating and cooling systems rely on heat beneath the ground or under water also makes them more predictable and dependable than other heat pumps, such as those drawing heat from the air. This is because the temperature beneath the ground or water is much less susceptible to fluctuations than the air is. This makes the geothermal heating option more versatile and reliable in harsher climates.

For more information about why you may want to consider a geothermal heating system on your property, contact Tucker’s Air Conditioning & Heating today at 301-670-0034. We have all the information you need. Call us to discover if a geothermal heating system is right for your home.

Continue Reading

What to Consider Before Scheduling a Heater Installation

Monday, December 3rd, 2012

Having a good heating system here in Gaithersburg is absolutely critical during the winters. We all love to go outside and play in the snow, but eventually we all want to go back inside to a warm home. When you decide to get a new heating system installed, there are a lot of things to consider before you move forward. At Tuckers Air Conditioning & Heating, we’ve been helping our customers in the Gaithersburg area with their heating installations for many years. We thought it would be helpful if we put together some of the most important things to consider before having your new system installed.

Size of the System

No matter what kind of heating system you’re getting installed, picking the right sized unit is crucial to the success of your system. We get calls for service all the time to homes where the furnace too big for the home. Here are some of the problems that can result from a heating system being the wrong size for the house.

  • Short cycling – This happens when your heating system turns on, quickly heats up your home and then shuts off. A short time later when your house has cooled down, the system turns back on and then off again. Not only does this greatly reduce the efficiency of your system, it also causes more wear and tear on it.
  • Uneven heating – When you have a heating system that is too big or too small, it can cause certain parts of your home to be too warm while other parts of the house are still cold.
  • Reduced efficiency – While short cycling can cause reduced efficiency, the size of the ducts in your home also play a part in reducing the efficiency. If your home’s ducts don’t match the size of the system, your heater will have to work harder to push the air through them.

Efficiency Rating

This can be a confusing part of the process for many homeowners. There are a lot of different efficiency ratings and it can be hard to figure out what they mean. Here are a couple of the most common ones:

  • Annual Fuel Utilization Efficiency (AFUE) – The AFUE rating measures how much of the fuel consumed is converted into useable heat. Many old furnaces have an AFUE rating of 60% which means that they waste about 40% of the fuel. New furnaces can have an AFUE rating of up to 95% and higher.
  • Heating seasonal performance factor (HSPF) – This is typically used to measure the efficiency of heat pumps in heating mode. It measures the total heat output over a heating season divided by how much energy it used.

If you need professional heating installation services in Gaithersburg, contact Tuckers Air Conditioning & Heating. We have experience working with all types and brands of heating systems. A good installation is one of the best ways to make sure that your heating system works well for many years to come. Call us today!

Continue Reading