How Heat Pump Repair Differs from Air Conditioning Repair

August 15th, 2014

There’s a lot of confusion about how heat pumps differ from air conditioning systems. The truth is that a heat pump in cooling mode is an air conditioner. The main difference is that a heat pump can also heat, due to its reversing valve. So, when it comes to heat pump repair versus air conditioning repair in Avon, there are only a couple of key differences between the two. For over 25 years, Westland Heating and Air Conditioning has helped customers with both heat pump and air conditioner repair, and we can help you, too.

Differences Between Heat Pumps and ACs

The best way to answer the question about repair differences is to first look at the comparative components of a heat pump and an air conditioning system. Both have a compressor, a condenser and an evaporator. Both use fans and refrigerant. The main difference, as mentioned above, is that a heat pump has a component called a reversing valve that allows the heat pump to both cool and heat by reversing the flow of refrigerant; a second difference is that a heat pump’s mode of operation is reverse refrigeration, whereas an air conditioner’s is a vapor compression cycle.

Heat Pump Reversing Valve

The reversing valve resides inside the heat pump. The valve is attached to a small solenoid that supplies low-voltage electricity to it that is necessary for making the switch between heating and cooling. Common problems that can occur with the valve are:

  • The valve gets stuck
  • The solenoid goes bad
  • A refrigerant leak develops in the valve

Sometimes a stuck valve can be repaired, but sometimes it needs to be replaced. A solenoid can be repaired, rather than replacement, unless the solenoid is no longer available. Refrigerant leaks can be repaired, and should be repaired by a trained professional.

Year-Round Operation of Heat Pump

Air conditioners run only during the warm months of the year, whereas a heat pump will run year-round. As such, normal wear-and-tear for heat pumps is higher, so there is more likely to be a need for repairs on a heat pump versus an air conditioner. Additionally, it is important to keep up with bi-annual maintenance on heat pumps due to the year-round operation.

Use a Professional for Both

Whether you need heat pump or air conditioning repair in Avon, it’s important to always use a trained professional. Call Westland Heating and Air Conditioning today and schedule an appointment with one of our trained technicians.

What Size Pool Heater Do I Need?

August 8th, 2014

A quality pool heater, properly sized, is essential if you want to receive the most use from your home’s pool. You can enjoy your pool during more months of the year outside of summer thanks to an effective pool heater keeping the water warm and pleasurable. If you have a pool, or are planning to construct one, you should arrange for installation of a pool heater.

However, a heater that’s the wrong size for a pool will cause problems. How can you know the correct size of heater? The easiest way is to contact professional installers, like those at Westland Heating and Air Conditioning. We’ve had extensive experience with sizing and installing pool heaters in Westlake, OH during the more the 25 years we have been in business. Call us today to set up an appointment for finding the right pool heater for your comfort. We will handle installation and the necessary maintenance as well.

Determining Pool Heater Size

Although you should leave the actual job of sizing a pool heater to trained professionals, we can give you a quick tour through the factors used in finding out the right size of heater.

One of the first things to know about sizing a pool heater is that water volume isn’t the essential aspect of determining how powerful the heater should be. A pool heater takes on the job of replacing the heat that the pool loses across its surface, so surface area is the most important specification to know about a pool.

The installers first take the average pool temperature you wish for comfort. They then determine the average temperature of the coldest month when you plan to use the pool, and subtract this temperature from the target temperature. This number is the temperature increase at its greatest that the pool needs.

Next, the installers calculate the surface area of the water in the pool in square feet, and use this formula to find out how many BTUs (British Thermal Units) per hour a pool heater must generate to reach the temperature increase: pool area X temperature increase X 12. The last multiplier is based on average heat loss considering wind speed and the rate of outdoor temperature increase, and the installers will adjust the multiplier according to your local conditions.

With the right installers with experience sizing pool heaters in Westlake, OH on the job, you will receive a system with the right BTUs per hour to keep your pool comfortable late into the season. Westland Heating and Air Conditioning has a team to handle this job, one familiar with local weather conditions that will factor into the calculations. Make us your first call for all your home heating needs.

Pollutants That Air Filtration Will Remove

July 31st, 2014

An unfortunate side-effect of the modern energy-efficient home is that the heat sealing on the home prevents the circulation of fresh outdoor air. This results in a buildup of pollutants inside the home that cannot escape but instead continue to move about the house. Because of this, low indoor air quality has become a significant health issue in the U.S.

One of the best ways to counteract the trouble of low indoor air quality is the installation of an air filtration system into your home’s ventilation. Whether mechanical or electronic, and air filtration system will clean out the air passing through the ducts before it reaches your indoor air.

You will need air quality specialists, like those at Westland Heating and Air Conditioning, to help you choose and install the right system for your home. Air filtration in Rocky River, OH can remove many types of particles, and the installers need to know which type to target so they can install the filtration system that will do the best job. Below are some of the pollutants that pass through a ventilation system that filtration will eliminate:

  • Dust and dirt: The most common contamination is old-fashioned dirt, dust, and lint. These are the easiest to stop using filtration; standard mechanical air filters can trap particles down to 0.3 microns in size, and sometimes smaller.
  • Dander: Hair dander, especially from pets, is a major trigger for allergies. Mechanical filters easily catch these nuisances.
  • Dust mites: These tiny insects are responsible for symptoms in humans similar to asthma and allergies: red, irritated eyes; stuffy nose; sneezing and coughing. High efficiency filters like HEPA filters can stop dust mites.
  • Gaseous pollutants: Numerous kinds of gases and odor molecules can circulate through your home and cause health issues. Among the more common are carbon monoxide, formaldehyde, smoke, pesticides, and residue from cleaning products, paints, and adhesives. Mechanical filters usually will not stop gaseous pollutants, and electronic air purifiers that use ionization are a better solution.

The best way to start with cleaner air for your home is to schedule indoor air testing services. Professionals will perform a series of tests that will identify exactly what is lowering your air quality and how best to treat it. They can then install an air filtration system that will eliminate the problem.

Our indoor air quality team at Westland Heating and Air Conditioning perform air testing services and the installation of a variety of systems for air filtration in Rocky River, OH. We have NATE-certified technicians on staff who are familiar with ventilation systems and will make sure that you receive the best air filtration installation possible. Contact us for other indoor air quality services such as installing humidifiers, dehumidifiers, and UV germicidal lights.

Signs of Trouble with Rooftop Units in Bay Village

July 25th, 2014

The workhorses of the commercial HVAC world are packaged rooftop heating and cooling units. Since the earliest days of electromechanical air conditioning for businesses, these rooftop units have been the standard way to deliver comfort for a workplace. The modular nature of these systems allows for easy expansion, and because they are designed as packaged units with all the components located in one cabinet, they are convenient to repair and maintain.

If the rooftop units in your Bay Village, OH business start to show signs of malfunctions, then it’s time to call on the work of commercial repair specialists. Westland Heating and Air Conditioning handles many commercial HVAC services and has for over a quarter of a century. Place your company’s comfort in our skilled hands.

Watch for these signs of rooftop unit troubles

  • Uneven heating or cooling: It’s likely that you have more than one rooftop unit working to condition your business. If one stops working, you may at first not notice it because the others will continue to supply conditioned air from the vents. However, not all the rooms or zones of the workplace will receive the same level of heating/cooling, and you will start hearing complaints from customers and employees regarding hot and cold spots. These are early warnings that one or more of the rooftop units is encountering trouble.
  • Odd noises from the vents: One of the advantages of rooftop units is that they remove noise from the workplace. However, a malfunctioning rooftop unit can often begin to make large amounts of mechanical noise, and this can echo down through the vents. If odd noises start to disrupt your business, then you should bring in HVAC repair specialists to look into the issue.
  • Spike in utility bills: Rooftop units are durable and will often continue to produce their standard levels of heating and cooling despite having operational problems. However, they will drain far more energy to achieve their normal heating and cooling levels, and you will see this reflected on your bills. Since you keep a close watch on your company’s finances, you should quickly notice these leaps in costs. Don’t ignore them, since they will not improve over time. Instead, contact reliable repair professionals to see what work needs to be done.

To help avoid trouble from the rooftop units that keep your workplace comfortable for employees, customers, clients, and/or tenants, make sure to schedule twice-yearly maintenance visits.

Westland Heating and Air Conditioning provides comprehensive maintenance in Bay Village, OH for rooftop units, and we are available whenever you need repairs.

Which Air Filtration System Is Right for Me?

July 17th, 2014

Indoor air quality is an important part of your overall comfort. While your air conditioning system comes with a standard air filter, this filter isn’t made to improve air quality; rather, it is used to keep dust and dirt from clogging your system. The best way to improve indoor air quality is with a whole-home air filtration system that can remove problem particles from the air in your Avon Lake home. As air quality specialists for over 25 years, Westland Heating and Air Conditioning has the air filtration products you need and the expertise to install them.

Types of Air Filtration Systems

Mechanical Air Filters

Mechanical filters come in a frame and insert directly into your air conditioning system, just as the standard air filter does. However, mechanical filters are made to remove different particles in the air to improve air quality while the standard air filter is not. The two most common types of mechanical air filters are:

  • Pleated
  • Extended surface (this includes HEPA filters)

Each of these filters strain out particles in the air stream before they can reach your indoors.

Electronic Air Cleaners

Electronic air cleaners trap particles using electrostatic charges. There are two types of electronic air cleaners:

  • Electrostatic precipitators
  • Ion generators

Electrostatic precipitators use an external power source to draw your system’s air through an ionized area, then trap and collect the newly-charged particles onto oppositely-charged plates. These plates need to be cleaned approximately every 3 months to maximize performance.

An ion generator, also known as an ionizer, charges the air the same way as a precipitator, but does not have collection capability. Instead, the charged particles attached to oppositely-charged particles, and land on walls and other surfaces, where you can clean and remove them.

Which Air Filter Is Best For Me?

Choosing an air filtration system depends on your needs. Allergy sufferers will need an air filter strong enough to remove particles like pollen and some mold and mildew spores; asthma sufferers may need help with both allergens and certain types of indoor air pollution. The best way to determine which air filtration system is best for your Avon Lake home is to work with a trained specialist.

For over 25 years, Westland Heating and Air Conditioning has helped Avon Lake customers with better indoor air quality. Interested in improving yours? Call us today.

Advantages to Installing a Chiller

July 10th, 2014

If you have a business that needs cooling for a large space—especially one with industrial machinery that generates large outputs of heat—a commercial chiller is an excellent option. A chiller is a type of refrigeration equipment that uses water for cooling instead of the standard system of using chemical refrigerant to carry out heat exchange (this is how regular air conditioners work). A chiller removes heat from water that circulates through its coils, and this chilled water is what cools down the air—a process called evaporative cooling.

Whether you need to replace your current chiller or wish to install one for the first time, the people to call for the job are at Westland Heating and Air Conditioning. We offer numerous services for commercial HVAC needs, and when it comes to chillers in Westlake, OH, we have you covered for installation, maintenance, and repairs.

Reasons to Install a Chiller at Your Business

  • Protection for your equipment: The best reason to have chillers working in your business is that they protect your equipment. Losing one of your industrial machines to overheating can result in expensive replacements that can account for a huge chunk of your annual budget—one that you might not be able to afford. But with a chiller, you have a cost-effective way to cool down the vital machinery for your business.
  • Reduced costs: Chillers circulate water; they do not constantly draw outside water from a municipal source and then send it out into the sewer system. This means you will save money on utility bills for water and sewer. Water chillers are also more effective than water towers when it comes to summer operation, and will cost much less to run. And even though chillers produce heat exhaust during operation, there are special efficient units that recovery this energy to use as part of its cycle.
  • Enormous cooling output: A chiller can provide powerful cooling levels considering its reduced costs to run: depending on size, a chiller can provide between 180,000 to 18,000,000 BTUs of cooling per hour, making them ideal for large industrial spaces that standard air conditioners simply cannot handle.

If your company needs installation of chillers in Westlake, OH, contact our commercial specialists at Westland Heating and Air Conditioning. You need commercial experts for this job who have extensive experience working with chillers. You can also count on our team for quality repair work for your company’s chillers, and we also handle many other commercial HVAC services.

The Famous Painting of the Declaration of Independence Isn’t What You Think It Is

July 4th, 2014

If you grew up in the United States, you probably first saw John Trumbull’s painting of the Signing of the Declaration of Independence in an elementary schoolbook. This oil-on-canvas 12’ x 18’ painting hangs in the rotunda of the United States Capitol in Washington, D.C. It is one of the most famous symbols of freedom in the country and almost every citizen can conjure it from memory.

Except… the painting isn’t of the singing of the Declaration of Independence. The actual title of the work is Declaration of Independence, and although it does portray an important moment in the history of the document that announced the Thirteen Colonies’ decision to break away from British rule, the event in the painting occurred on June 28, 1776, not July 4, 1776.

John Trumbull, a Connecticut native who fought in the Revolutionary War and whose father was the state governor, was commissioned to create the painting in 1817. He did painstaking research on the figures in the picture and also visited Independence Hall to see the actual chamber where the Second Continental Congress met. Trumbull only included 42 of the original 56 signers, because he could not find adequate likenesses for 14 or them, and added a few figures who were not present (most of whom declined to sign the actual document). In fact, the men depicted in the painting had never been present in the same room at one time.

So if the painting does not portray the signing of the Declaration of Independence, what is happening in the image? The Trumbull’s scene depicts the presentation of the draft of the declaration to the Continental Congress for editing and approval. The five-man drafting committee (John Adams, Roger Sherman, Robert R. Livingston, Thomas Jefferson, and Benjamin Franklin) is handing over their finished work, which congress would then edit carefully over the next few days before voting on it and signing it on the day that we now celebrate as the start of the United States of America.

One last, odd, fact: two of the five-man drafting committee, John Adams and Thomas Jefferson, both died on July 4th—although many years later.

Our family at Westland Heating and Air Conditioning hopes that your Fourth of July (or Twenty-Eighth of June if you decided to start celebrating early) is a memorable and happy one.

3 Causes of Reduced Cooling Power in My Air Conditioner

June 27th, 2014

If you’re sitting in your home on a Saturday afternoon, listening to the whir and hum of your air conditioner as it vents air through the rooms, but you keep thinking to yourself that you’re far warmer than you should be… you may have trouble with your AC. Check on the thermostat to make sure that it’s set right. If the house still doesn’t feel as cool as it should, or if the stuffiness seems to increase, then you should call for air conditioning repair from Westlake, OH specialists as soon as possible.

At Westland Heating and Air Conditioning, we have over 25 years of experience handling air conditioning systems that have started to lose their normal cooling power. Below are three of the most common reasons that your AC might start to malfunction and leave you with an unpleasantly warm house during the summer:

1. Loss of refrigerant charge

The lifeblood of an air conditioner is the refrigerant, a chemical blend that moves through the system and shifts heat from the indoors to the outdoors. Refrigerant remains at a set level, known as its “charge,” as long as the air conditioner is running normally: refrigerant does not become “used up” during the cooling cycle. However, leaks can occur that will lower the charge, and should this happen, an AC will begin to lose the ability to absorb heat from the indoor air. This is a serious problem, because if left without repairs lowered refrigerant will cause damage to the compressor, possibly leading to it overheating and burning out.

2. Clogged air filter

The air filter in an AC protects the interior of its evaporator cabinet from debris that comes in through the return vent. After a month, the filter will start to become clogged with the contaminants trapped inside it, and this will cut down on the airflow into the air conditioner. This will cause the AC to struggle to remove sufficient heat from the air, and will result in a drop in cooling ability. Make sure you change the filter once a month during the summer to prevent this from occurring. Should a clogged filter affect cooling ability, you should call for repairs to make sure the system has not suffered serious damage.

3. Failed outdoor fan

The fan draws warm outside air across the condenser coil, causing the hot refrigerant inside to release heat. Without a properly working fan, the refrigerant won’t cool down enough; when the refrigerant enters the indoor cabinet through the evaporator coil, it will not be able to draw enough heat from the air to provide the level of cooling you want. Fans can fail for a variety of reasons; technicians can replace the motor, capacitor, broken fan belt, or whatever has caused the fan to stop working.

Don’t attempt to troubleshoot AC repairs on your own; the work requires highly trained specialists. Our technicians at Westland Heating and Air Conditioning have over 100 years of combined experience fixing malfunctioning cooling systems, so when you need air conditioning service in Westlake, OH, pick up your phone and give us a call today.

Problems Solved by a Whole-House Humidifier

June 20th, 2014

Here in Bay Village, humidifier systems serve as an easy means to keep your moisture levels where they need to be. Generally speaking, relative humidity levels need to be between 30% and 50% for us to feel at ease. When they drop below that, trouble can arise. Dry air is a common problem in this part of the country, and while it tends to crop up more in the winter than the summer, it’s still a cause for concern. Now is an excellent time to consider a whole-house humidifier, which can generate moisture enough to make every room in your house feel comfortable. Here’s a quick list of some of the problems solved by a whole house humidifier.

  • Health. Dry air increases irritation in the nose and the throat, leading to coughing and other maladies. If someone in your family suffers from allergies, it can trigger an attack, and infants and elderly family members are often at particular risk. A whole-house humidifier solves that, helping your family live healthier lives as well as more comfortable ones.
  • Furnishings. Dry air can really take it out of your furnishings. Plants will dry up, glue on wallpaper and in wooden furniture can become loose, and paint or finish can peel away under the harsh exposure of dry air. A humidifier cuts that process off at the knees, helping your home furnishings look better and last longer.
  • Energy efficiency. This plays more of a role in the winter than the summer, but again, now is the right time to act: well before the temperatures start to drop. Warmer temperatures don’t feel as warm when the air is excessively dry, forcing you to turn the heater up higher than you might otherwise and increasing strain on the unit in the process. With a humidifier in place, you can help your heater to and save money in monthly energy costs in the process.

If you’re experiencing the sort of problems solved by a whole-house humidifier, then talk to the experts at Westland Heating and Air Conditioning. Utilizing humidifiers or other indoor air quality systems in Bay Village could be the perfect way to optimize your home’s comfort levels. Give us a call today to set up an installation. You’ll be glad you did!

What Happens When Refrigerant Levels Get Low?

June 13th, 2014

Refrigerant constitutes the core of most types of air conditioning system. It cycles through a series of valves and coils that first shift it into a liquid form (heating the nearby air, which is then vented outside with a fan) then revert it to a gaseous form (cooling the air, which can then be blown through the ducts into your home). In order for the system to work, the refrigerant needs to be at a specified level, though the exact amount depends on the make and model of your air conditioner. When it gets low, problems can arise. The good news is that there are plenty of services that offer air conditioning repair in Rocky River, OH. But what happens when refrigerant levels get low? How does that affect your unit?

In the simplest terms, it disrupts the entire process. Without the right amount of refrigerant, the cooling process in the evaporator coils is thrown off-kilter. Instead of cooling down the surrounding air like it should, ice forms on the evaporator coils, while the air itself stays comparatively warm. That forces the air conditioner to work even harder to do its job, increasing strain and creating higher monthly energy bills in the process. Even worse, the ice now forms an insulating barrier between the rest of the refrigerant and the air, exacerbating the problem and increasing the chances of a larger breakdown in the future.  Furthermore, when the ice melts, it could overwhelm the system’s drain pan: the water will overflow and possibly damage nearby components in the bargain.

Unfortunately, simply scraping the ice off won’t solve the problem. The ice will soon reform and your efforts may damage the evaporator coils to boot. Instead, you need a trained technician to deal with the source of the problem: seal the leak and recharge refrigerant levels to their current position. If you’re looking for an HVAC company that offers professional air conditioning services in Rocky River, OH, the experts at Westland Heating and Air Conditioning are standing by. We know what happens when refrigerant levels get low and we have the expertise to fix it properly every time! Give us a call today to schedule your next service appointment with us.