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3 Common HVAC Noises and What They Mean

HVAC Noises

Sometimes, you don’t even know there’s a problem with your HVAC until it’s too late. This often stems from the fact that we just don’t know the signs and are therefore blind to indicators of trouble. One of the most obvious signs that your HVAC is malfunctioning is the uncharacteristic sounds coming from the appliance itself.

Normally, you don’t even notice the sounds your HVAC makes because it’s just not very noisy, aside from usual hums or the whooshing of air through vents. Plus, let’s face it: if we’re not confronted with the consequences head-on, we assume all is right and dandy in the world. Ignorance is bliss, right? Wrong. If you hear anything disruptive, chances are it’s time for a serious inspection by a certified contractor in your area.

Here’s a list of the most common HVAC noises and what they mean so you can resolve the problem sooner!

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Clanking

Do you hear something coming from your system that sounds like the clamor of banging pots and pans? This “clanking” is abnormal and could mean parts are loose, like the blower motor fan or blades/pipes that are colliding. Clanking sounds are up there with more severe issues because of the costs associated with replacing broken or loose parts. If you hear these kinds of noises, shut off your system and call a technician immediately.

Hissing

Hissing is typical when air leaks from your system. If you hear it in your walls, your ducts could be leaking, too. This isn’t only a nuisance, but it’s also costly because the air that should be circulating throughout your home is now retreating into your walls.

First, use your best judgment to measure the volume of the hissing. Loud hissing noises from your ducts generally signal duct repair beyond the scope of even the most seasoned DIYer. Minimal hissing could mean an issue starting in your air vents. Sometimes these hissing sounds happen when air filters are loose or not the right size, thus causing an opening in the seal. The air is then bypassing the filter by going around it instead of being pulled through the filter. This, on the other hand, is a relatively simple fix that a technician could walk you through so you know what to do if it occurs again.

Rattling

If rattling noises are coming from your outdoor unit, it could mean debris (twigs, rocks, etc.) is caught inside. HVAC grates are made thin enough to block large obstructions, but occasionally things slip through. In this case, the best thing to do is turn off your system, cut the power to the unit, and remove the debris. Any visible damage to the condenser coils, compressor, or fan should be repaired by an HVAC technician. Internal rattling in your furnace or other components is treated similarly: turn it all off and call your HVAC technician, as these stoppages are harder to remove.

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5 Nonnegotiable Factors When Finding An HVAC Technician

The verdict is in: you’re purchasing a new air conditioner or HVAC system. Now you face a slew of questions: Do you know the brand and kind of appliance you’re buying? How about the installation team? What are the costs of installation and initial setup? How do you know if you’re getting the best deal or if you’re being overcharged?

HVAC Technician

Because there’s a lot more to consider than meets the eye, we’ve arranged the most important, non-negotiable details to nail down when you’re choosing an HVAC contractor or installation company. No matter what stage of the purchase process you’re in, these tips will surely be helpful in moving you forward. If nothing else, remember this: ask as many questions as you need to be answered BEFORE your air conditioner is paid for and installed!

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#1: Certified Technicians

There’s no excuse for shoddy work. When going about selecting an HVAC contractor, make sure they’re qualified to do the job correctly and within your timeline. Check out their website, browse online reviews (from credible sources), and read how they plan to add value to your experience. “Added value” can mean different things to different people, but the company’s commitment to quality should be clear across the board.

#2: Easily Accessible

You should be able to quickly get in touch with the contractor you select. Especially in emergencies, you don’t want to be stuck with hazardous materials. Regardless of the circumstances, make sure you can call a number that reaches an actual person or that you can leave messages on their website if this is more convenient for you.

General food for thought: these days, an updated website goes a long way. It’s a hub for information, communication, and organization. “Updated” doesn’t have to mean expensive. To us, it means implementing tools and mechanisms that make it easier for customers to reach contractors. These aspects will be evident the second you arrive at the company’s website.

#3: Reasonably Priced

Each company claims to have the best service and prices. But does it? If a deal sounds “too good to be true,” it usually is, so buyer beware. It’s great if a company shows an appreciation and understanding of its customers with specials and rebates, but when those aren’t available, the work must justify the price.

At I Want Smart, transparency is vital. We believe genuinely good labor and exceptional service shouldn’t be cheap. This is why we go to great lengths to qualify contractors: to make highly valued, pre-approved work readily available to customers through our website.

#4: Great Customer Service

When everything is going wrong, it’s easy to appreciate someone swooping in to save the day right when you need it. However, when everything is going right, it’s the details that matter in making you, the customer, feel like you’re of value to a business. If they’re keeping you in the loop about specials, events, or relevant news, it’s a good sign that they’ve invested time in thinking about what is valuable in serving you.

As we mentioned before, a responsive website is critical: it’s a member of the customer service team. You’ll notice how a company handles leads by how quickly, politely, and efficiently they follow up with you, either via phone call or email.

#5: Fair and Honest Treatment of Customers

All of our previous points work together to hammer this one home. Excellent customer service, reasonable and transparent pricing, accessibility, and qualified workers all exist to create trust between customer and contractor. If just one of these categories goes by the wayside, the rest are inevitably weak. If the company adheres to a strict code of conduct, integrity, and indeed goes the extra mile for its customers, it’ll show.

Wish to work with good people who work to do good for others? Contact I Want Smart!

Spring Cleaning Checklist for Your AC Unit

Spring Cleaning Checklist for Your AC Unit

When the weather starts to warm up and the snow is melting, it’s time to jump into spring cleaning. Dusting, organizing, washing the couch covers, cleaning the floors, and cleaning out the garage are normally some the first items on the list. While you are outside washing your windows, you may realize you never thought about other warm weather preparations on the outside of your house. Ah yes, that good old AC cover is still wrapped around your unit waiting for you. Before summer starts rolling in, there are a few things that need to be done to keep your AC blowing in the cool breeze all season long.

Your AC Spring Cleaning Checklist

Uncover your condenser

If you placed a cover on your condenser over the winter, it’s now time to remove it and do a general inspection on the condenser. Do you see any major weather damages? Nesting animals? If you didn’t cover your condenser over the winter, there might be some snow and ice removal that needs to be done.

Grab the clippers

After all those long winter months, some of the shrubs and other plants in your yard may have overtaken their boundaries. Go through with a pair of hedge trimmers and make sure that all of your landscape is at least 18 inches away from your AC unit. This will help avoid things from getting caught in the fan or blocking air intake to the condenser.

Hose it down

If you see a lot of debris on and in-between the fins of your unit, it might benefit you to take a hose with a spray nozzle attachment and clear some of the grime off your condenser. Remember to keep your hose at a 45-degree angle when you are spraying your unit so that it can properly clean out the crevices.

Air filters

Before you turn the AC on, you need to change the air filters out. We recommend using a pleated HVAC filter to ensure the best air filtration throughout your home. If you are frequently using your AC in the summer, you should be replacing the filters once a month to maintain a healthy air quality in your home.

Detective work

Once your air filter is replaced, there are still a few things you need to keep in mind before you click on the AC. When you are putting the air filters in, check to make sure there are no gaps that unfiltered air can pass through. If you are unsure that your filtering system is working properly, don’t hesitate to have an HVAC professional take a look at it.

“I have more questions on AC maintenance!”

At I Want SMART, we are here to connect you with qualified contractors to resolve your heating, ventilation and cooling needs. Visit our SMART locations page to find a location near you or contact us to speak with a representative today.

HVAC pet owners

HVAC Maintenance Tips for Pet Owners

 

A pet can be an amazing thing, and you may not think your dog or cat can impact your HVAC system, but that’s not the case. You also want to make sure that your pet is safe from your HVAC system as well.

We all want to keep our pets safe, and exposed wires could be dangerous for puppies and kittens that like to chew on things. Make sure to tuck away all exposed wires.

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A little extra effort is needed to keep your HVAC system running smoothly if you have a dog or cat in the house. Like any dust or dirt in the home, pet hair can collect in air filters and clog the system. Clogged air filters means a less efficient HVAC system. You may need to step up your housekeeping skills to ensure your home is clean, and check on air filters frequently to make sure they are clear of pet hair.

If your home feels drafty, make sure that your doggie door and all your outside doors are properly weather sealed. Otherwise, you are letting in a lot of cold air, even when you and your pet aren’t using the door.

You will also want to get regular maintenance checks on your HVAC system to make sure it’s giving you and your pets the best service possible. You can talk to our contractors today about any of your HVAC needs.

If you follow these tips, your pet and HVAC system will be safe and things will run more smoothly and efficiently.

Of course, any specialized work should be left to a professional. We recommend getting a SMART technician to help you.

heating system

How to Get the Most Out of Your Heating System

The last thing you want to happen in the winter time is to have your furnace go out. Keeping your furnace clean and operating properly can improve its longevity and ensure that you won’t have any worries this winter.

According to Forbes, there are a few things you can do to improve your heating system. Unless your system is brand new, you should have trained professionals clean and inspect it annually. A well-trained technician will make sure that your system is clean and running efficiently.

You should also always make safety a priority. Some furnaces are in the basement, and people have a tendency to have stuff pile up down there. Make sure there is a clear area around your furnace to avoid any fire hazards.

Having HVAC Issues? Find a Contractor Near You Today.

A great way to save money on your heating or AC bills is to install a programmable thermostat. Programmable thermostats let you control the temperature during certain times of the day, so when you aren’t home during the day, you can keep the house cooler in winter or warmer in the summer and save some money.

Changing your filters is also a great way to keep your forced air furnace running smoothly. In most cases you can change your furnace filter yourself, check to see if yours is dirty or dusty, change it as required. Clogged filters can lead to an inefficient system, higher energy consumption, and premature breakdowns.

Our contractors will ensure that your heating system is working correctly, safely and efficiently. If you have any other questions about your HVAC system, we can answer them.

SMART Contractors Provide Our Customers With The Best Possible Service.

Happy family

Superior HVAC Service at an Affordable Price

I Want SMART formed with one linear goal in mind—to connect the residents of Illinois with the best talent in HVAC services.  Our contractors lead the industry in nationally recognized certification, having trained at a state-of-the-art, U.S. Department of Labor accredited facility.

HVAC is one of the most complex systems in your home. The staff at I WANT SMART understands the safety implications associated with HVAC systems that are not installed or serviced correctly. From potential carbon monoxide poisoning to an electric control failure in your AC unit, safety is absolutely critical. Our technicians are true experts in their field, professionally trained to handle the complex nature of heating, cooling and ventilation. Every single contractor is held to the highest industry standards and expected to deliver the best-in-quality service.

SMART understands the importance of having a properly functioning HVAC, especially when dealing with the erratic weather patterns of Chicago climate. We care about the communities in which we live. So to help keep prices down, we offer competitive pricing packages. In addition, several rebates are offered throughout the course of the year. So be sure to keep an eye out.

When you’re ready to hire an HVAC service provider for maintenance, repairs or a new installation, look no further than the professionals at iwantsmart.com

Top Benefits of HVAC preventive maintenance

HVAC Preventive Maintenance: What’s it worth?

Preventive maintenance…is it really worth it in the long run? A question that most home owners, landlords and hoteliers alike contemplate when looking to hire an HVAC contractor. The answer? Peace of mind, long-term savings, trouble-free operation. It is important to note that you can prevent problems and costly emergency service requests by keeping your system well maintained. This is particularly poignant if you are a landlord or hotelier, where your business is offering accommodations to paying customers. You can’t have an unreliable furnace, or a constantly malfunctioning air conditioner. It just wouldn’t look good, or provide good customer relations.

Let’s take a deeper look at some of the potential benefits of preventive maintenance and quantify the importance of partnering yourself with reliable, smart HVAC contractors near you.

Increased Energy Efficiency. The use of high-performance HVAC equipment can result in considerable energy, emissions and cost savings of between 10%-40%—according to Whole Building Design Guide, a program of the National Institute of Building Sciences. So, why not give your equipment the ability to run at peak performance, while benefitting from lowered monthly utility bills and increased annual savings with energy efficient operations?

Extended Equipment Lifespan. Equipment that is clogged with dirt, dust and grime has to work much harder and longer to create the same amount of heating or cooling, which leads to early burnout and failure. Don’t spend more on preventable replacements and frequent component change-outs. Spend smarter on preventive maintenance to extend the shelf life of your existing heating, cooling and ventilation equipment.

Improved Air Quality. Indoor air quality can be affected by dirty coils and blower parts within your air conditioning unit. This raises many health-related concerns, such as pollen, fungi and bacteria buildup, that you could be breathing in on an everyday basis. This sort of buildup can trigger asthma attacks; eye, nose, and throat irritation; and flu-like illnesses. Regular cleaning of these components significantly reduces contamination of your airstream and makes for a healthier household and happier living environment.

Decreased Costly Repairs. Scheduling regular maintenance can greatly reduce the potential for a costly service down the road by as much as 95%. Although it is impossible to avoid all HVAC repair situations, preventive care can save a lot of money on unanticipated heating and cooling emergencies.

Remember, prevention is always better than the cure. The benefits of preventive maintenance are certainly telling, with all leading to big savings in time and money. By scheduling a pre-season maintenance visit, it allows enough time for any repairs to be completed prior to a serious weather change like summer, which is right around the corner.

Contact SMART today and inquire about a maintenance plan. A qualified SMART contractor will get you ready for summer’s heat, guaranteed.