Frequently Asked Questions About HVAC & Plumbing
Will Fix It plumbers and HVAC technicians have proudly served homeowners and businesses in San Antonio since 1994. We have heard questions from thousands of customers. Here are a few FAQs that you may find helpful. If you still have questions, give us a call at 210-333-3303. We’re here for you!
Air Conditioning FAQs
I Recently Noticed That There Is Mold on My Vents. What Is Causing That? and How Do I Fix It?
Microbial growth on vents most often occurs when the temperature of the vent drops below the temperature of the surrounding air, causing condensation. This condition can be caused by:
Low evaporator air flow from poor duct design, high-resistance filters, dirty filters or lack of maintenance. If the airflow is reduced, the supply air is colder than per system design and metal vents can easily get below the dewpoint of the room air.
Excess indoor water vapor in the indoor air can also contribute to excessive condensation on vents. Be sure and run bath and kitchen exhaust fans intermittently, and try limiting use of the clothes dryer to the morning and evening hours to keep induced infiltration of water vapor to a minimum.
We recommend having the HVAC system professionally cleaned and performance-tested to be sure the correct quantity of air is in circulation by the fan and that the system is draining condensate properly.
What Does Seer Mean?
SEER stands for Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio. Simply put, it is a standardized measurement for the overall operating efficiency of an air conditioning system. The higher the system’s SEER rating, the more efficient it is at converting energy into air cooling.
Why Does My A/C Smell the First Day I Turn It on in the Spring?
During the winter, the evaporator coil is inactive and can accumulate dust/dirt. When the AC is turned on for the first time and condensation starts to run down the coil, a musty smell will occur until the dust and dirt has been rinsed off through normal operation. To prevent this, we recommend evaluating the filtration on the system and regular tune-ups.
How Do I Run out of Freon?
You should never have to add refrigerant (Freon) to your A/C system. The refrigerant runs through copper lines which are all soldered together. If the system does become low or runs out, this means you have a leak in your system. We use a special leak detector to locate the leak. Usually, the leak can be repaired by soldering it closed, but sometimes it requires replacement of the part that has the leak.
What Does Afue Mean?
AFUE stands for Annual Fuel Utilization Efficiency. Simply put, AFUE represents a thermal efficiency ratio between the amount of heat produced for the amount of fuel used by a piece of heating equipment such as a boiler, furnace or water heater. A higher AFUE percentage means higher efficiency.
Why Does It Seem like the Temperature on My Thermostat Isn’t Consistent?
There could be several reasons. Some thermostats can lose calibration, which can cause a big swing in the temperature reading. The thermostat may be improperly located in the house. Or, if air from a supply outlet is blowing on the thermostat, this will cause the temperature on the thermostat to change quickly giving a false reading of the actual room temperature.
What Is the Benefit of a Programmable Thermostat?
During the heating (or cooling) season, you can program a higher or lower temperature when no one is home. By running your heater (or air conditioner) only when needed, you can use less energy and also prolong the lifespan of your HVAC system.
Indoor Air Quality FAQs
What Is an Electrostatic Filter?
As air passes through the filter in your HVAC system, it initiates an electrostatic charge causing dirt and dust to cling to the filter. Some manufacturers do not recommend electrostatic filters due to possible risk of restriction of airflow.
Do UV Lights Actually Work? What Is a UV Light?
UV or ultra-violet lights work to purify the air in the home and help fight microbial growth from things like mold, bacteria or fungi. When placed before the evaporator coil, it will change the molecular structure of the microbes to neutralize them and allow the coil to remain clean. Essentially, a UV light is an air purifying system that greatly improves indoor air quality in your home or business.
I Have Allergies. What Filtration System Do You Recommend?
In general, Will Fix It recommends a combination of an electronic air cleaner, with UV lights in the return air and in the supply air right before the evaporator coil. However, indoor air quality technology is improving all the time, so give us a call for an estimate on the combination of air cleaners and duct sanitizers that will help neutralize and remove the potential allergens in your home’s air.
What’s Included in a Plumbing Home Service Plan by Will Fix It?
At Will Fix It, we recommend a Plumbing Home Service Plan for regular preventative maintenance on all your home’s important plumbing systems. Click here for details.
When Is a Plumbing Permit Required?
A plumbing permit is required prior to beginning any plumbing work with the exception of the following:
- Repairs that only involve the working parts of a faucet or valve
- Clearance of stoppages
The repair or replacement of defective faucets or valves, provided that alterations are not made in the existing piping or fixtures.
Chilled water piping for refrigeration process and comfort cooling, hot water piping for space heating, and water piping for fire suppression systems are not considered plumbing. However, an approved backflow preventer, installed and certified by a licensed plumber, is required at the connection to the potable water supply.
How Can I Be Sure the Plumber I Hire Is Licensed?
Ask the plumber to see his/her license or for his/her license number. Any reputable plumber will be glad to give you this information. You can then check the license by calling the Texas Dept Of Licensing & Regulation 1-800-803-9202 and/or the Texas State Board of Plumbing Examiners 512-458-2145. You may inquire if the license is current and if any complaints are pending. Click here for Will Fix It’s license info.
How Often Should I Flush My Water Heater?
Some manufacturers suggest every month, while others say every 6 months. Will Fix It suggests two times a year.
Attic Insulation FAQs
How Can I Reduce My Electric Bill Without Changing out My A/C System?
At Will Fix It, we pride ourselves on performing tune-ups and preventative maintenance that can improve the operating efficiency of your existing HVAC system.
However, we also know that by installing proper levels of attic insulation, especially combined with the EAS radiant barrier and ventilation techniques, that you can still reduce the heating and cooling portion of your utility bill without installing a new system. Click here to watch our Efficient Attic Systems video which explains the benefits.