Cracked furnace heat exchangers

Annual heating and furnace tuneups are key to maintaining  your system in peak operation conditions. They also find potential safety issues.

Furnace Heat Exchanger with Crimp Rings

Have you ever noticed flames rolling backwards from the center burner. If so, you need to call a service man for inspection.

If the crimp rings are inserted into the eyelets and used to hold the heat exchanger together. You can see the eyelets in the heat exchanger in this picture. When the crimp rings fail, you typically see cracks surrounding the eyelets. You can see the cracks on either side of the upper ring here.

These cracks are caused by expansion and contraction of the metal over the years of operation. These failures are accelerated by lack of maintenance and improper airflow.

Heat exchangers with cracks should never by operated. They are a fire and carbon monoxide danger. Simple stated, cracks don’t get smaller. They only grow in size.

If your system has been diagnosed with a heat exchanger failure or crack, give us a call 812-280-0510 today. We’ll be more than happy to provide you with a proposal for a new furnace or replacement heat exchanger.

HVAC Fall Maintenance

Temperatures are falling in Southern Indiana/Louisville area. It’s time to wake the furnace in the basement. When was the last time you looked at the filter? What’s the chance it looks like this?

neglected hvac air filter

Dirty filters and neglected equipment leads to early failures. All furnace manufacturers recommend an annual tuneup and inspection. Even Energy Star recommends it! We’re scheduling furnace and heat pump tuneups now.

Call VanKleef Heating and Air Conditioning at  812-280-0510 today to schedule your professional furnace tuneup.

Furnace Tune-Up, But It’s Still Hot Out?

Louisville furnace repairIt is the perfect time to get your furnace tune-up now before we hit the cooler fall months, or have a cold snap that takes you by surprise. Manufacturers recommend annual maintenance on your heating and cooling products because it will extend the overall life of your system. We have had some beautiful days this week and hopefully the 90 and 100 degree days will be a memory for us. So as the cool down of fall is inching closer, here are a few reasons you should get your system tuned-up now.

  • Extended system life
  • Avoid health risks
  • Save money
  • Avoid potential larger system problems

Annual maintenance will extend the life of your furnace. A huge benefit you get from annual tune-ups is helping your system run at the highest level of efficiency possible. Higher efficiency will always lead to less energy use. Less energy use always leads to lower energy bills and that is usually reason enough. When you have a professional tune-up to your furnace, you are also getting the added benefit of making sure there are no carbon monoxide leaks or fire risks. Another benefit is having small repairs done that could turn into larger and more costly repairs or replacements. Annual tune-ups give us the opportunity to diagnose those and in essence perform much-needed preventative measures so you do not have larger problems down the road.

Be sure to contact us by phone to schedule your furnace tune-up. A little prevention and regular attention to your furnace now will give you many benefits going forward. We look forward to serving you soon.



Why Air Flow is Critical to HVAC Life

One of the many things we check on our service calls is system air flow. Air flow is critical to a long lasting air conditioner and furnace.

Inside your gas furnace is a heat exchanger. The flame shoots inside the heat exchanger and the fan blows air across the outside. If the air flow is insufficient, the heat exchanger becomes too hot. This excess heat stresses the metal. Over time, this stress leads to cracks in the heat exchanger. That is a fire and carbon monoxide hazard. By law, we are required to disable and tag a furnace with a cracked heat exchanger until the furnace is repaired or replaced.

What about the cooling side? Above your furnace is an air conditioning coil. Refrigerant (you may call it freon) flows inside the coil. The furnace fan blows air across the coil to cool the air and your home. When the air is cooled, heat is being transferred to the refrigerant. We need enough heat added to the refrigerant to boil all of it because the compressor in the air conditioner is designed to only pump gas (completely boiled refrigerant). If there is any liquid, compressor damage will occur.

In summary, proper air flow is important to both the heating and cooling sides of your HVAC system. There’s nothing more important during the design and installation of your system. Proper air flow ensures a long lasting system.

VanKleef Heating and Air Conditioning 812-280-0510

Frost on the heat pump

If your heat pump looks like this, don’t be alarmed. It will clear itself in within the hour as it performs a defrost cycle. Why does frost form on your heat pump? How does this all work?

Frost on your heat pump is okay.

A heat pump is nothing but an air conditioner with an extra couple of components – a reversing valve and a defrost control board. The typical air conditioner rejects heat into the outside air and extracts heat (cools the air) from inside your home. While it’s removing heat from your home, it is also removing moisture because the coil temperature is less than dew point of your home. The same thing is happening in the winter except it is extracting heat from the outdoor air. The surface temperature of your outdoor coil is cold enough that frost forms on the coil.

Have you ever heard the loud ‘swoosh’ from your heat pump? That’s the sound of the reversing valve being energized for a defrost cycle. The outdoor coil is warmed and the frost melts from the coil. This happens every 30-120 minutes depending on your particular brand of heat pump. It’s always best to have the defrost cycle set to the longest interval possible. Some areas of the country have so much moisture in the air that they must defrost every thirty minutes.  This heat pump was running and maintaining a nice 70°F with no auxiliary heat.

If the frost continues to build and you notice the AUX heat is energized continuously on your thermostat, then it’s best to call for service. No need for a surprise $400 utility bill!

Call today 812-280-0510 VanKleef Heating and Air Conditioning, Inc. (Jeffersonville Indiana – Serving the Kentuckiana Area)

Why Pre-season AC Check-up & Maintenance is Important

It’s that time of year, and dirty and clogged coils are the number one reason for compressor failures which can cost homeowners up to $1,500 to repair. They also are the main reason home energy cooling costs climb in the summer. With rising utility rates, cleaning AC coils guarantees your system will operate as efficiently as it is designed for. Hidden problems like clogged condensate drains can cause cause basement flooding or unnecessary system shut downs.

Louisville HVAC providerOur complete AC inspection and tune-up will clean outdoor condenser coils and check condensate lines and overall system operation. Take full advantage of the performance your AC system can offer by having VanKleef Heating and Air perform your spring AC inspection and precision tune-up for our internet-only special of $79. Say internet when you schedule your AC tune-up. We keep the Kentuckiana area, air conditioning running with optimal efficiency.

Give us a call  (812) 280-0510. VanKleef Heating and Air Conditioning, Inc.

HVAC Filters

Air conditioning systems in Southern Indiana and Louisville are under a tremendous strain because of the mold due to the Ohio River Valley. One big thing you can do to help is using the right filter and changing the furnace air filter.

Best thing to do is to set a schedule with your cell phone alert, or change your filter as you pay monthly bills.

If you have house animals, you will definitely want to change your filters once a month.

As always, please feel free to ask any questions in the comment sections. If you need service or a new system, give us a call at 812-280-0510 at VanKleef Heating and Air Conditioning

Why Your HVAC Needs Maintenance

neglected hvac air filter, dirty and cloggedSome people think if they’re changing their filters on a regular basis, they’re properly maintaining their HVAC unit. But maintenance is much more than a filter change, and here’s why:

  • Maintenance prevents breakdowns
    Every year customers spend millions of dollars on unnecessary repairs from breakdowns that could have been prevented. AC systems are one of the major investments we make in our homes but they are also the most neglected. Like a car or truck, an AC system needs preventative maintenance to ensure good performance.
  • Maintenance keeps energy costs down
    A dirty evaporator cooling coil, outdoor condenser coil, or blower fan wheel could increase electrical usage by 50% or more.
  • Maintenance prevents system failures
    Up to 80% of all air conditioning compressor failures could be eliminated if the problem that lead to the failure were corrected in a timely manner.

VanKleef Heating and Air Conditioning, Inc. offers different maintenance plans to customers that can help ensure your system is running as it should year round. Call our office to learn more and schedule a maintenance call today. 812-280-0510

Three Ways to Improve the Performance of Your HVAC System

Louisville furnace That old saying that the chains only as strong as the weakest link holds true for the electrical equipment in your house also. If one system gets neglected or lacks routine maintenance, it will effect the way all your electrical systems work together. In order to keep your Kentuckiana HVAC system running smoothly, we have already learned that as a homeowner there are several things you can do to improve your HVAC’s efficiency, like regular service check-ups and filter changes.

There are also three things you as a homeowner can do behind the scenes to ensure a properly suited environment for running your system.

  • Check Your Ductwork Air -is it literally delivered through your house’s ductwork. It must be properly designed to work properly in your home. Check for areas in the ductwork that might allow for leaking or obvious gaps. A contractor can seal any area that causes your air, cold or hot, to leak out. For maximum efficiency, install ductwork that is better insulated and the load requirement to get the air to you will be significantly reduced. Less effort equals less energy and less cost.
  • Upgrade Insulation – If your ductwork or your home is not properly insulated, you will lose a portion of your conditioned air. Your HVAC generates air to be distributed where it is supposed to go, but poor insulation will disburse air where you don’t need it. To keep your air where you want it, give your insulation an overhaul and transfer your air efficiently into your home.
  • Seal Your Attic – Your venting system is critical to the overall health and performance of your HVAC system. It is critical to seal leaks that occur in the attic space that might allow hot or cool air outside to infiltrate your systems. These kinds of leaks can lead to extreme temperatures placed on the unit followed by spiking energy costs. Seal the attic to protect your system from added invaders taking over your ductwork and breaking down your system.

By monitoring these three simple areas, your HVAC system stands a much improved chance of running like a champ throughout the winter season.

Why’s My Coil Freezing?

Well, it’s about to get hot in the beautiful Kentuckiana area. VanKleef Heating and Air Conditioning can assist.

When it gets hot, some of you will experience a frozen coil. The big line between the indoor and outdoor units is covered with ice. If you remove the coil panel, you would see a big blog of ice there as well. Next step is a big puddle of water under the furnace when you stop the unit from running.

So, what causes a frozen coil? Two things primarily cause it: low load and low refrigerant (R-22, R-410a, Freon, Puron, etc.) charge.

Low load. What is that? Well, it’s usually a dirty filter. That is why it is important to change your filters once a month. You can regulate this by one of your monthly bills. For instance, when you pay your cell phone bill, change your filter in your HVAC system.

The other cause: low refrigerant charge. Now, you may be thinking “when the refrigerant charge is low, the house gets hot. How can this possibly freeze the coil?” Well, here’s the answer.

Low refrigerant charge reduces the pressures of the indoor coil. The lower pressure corresponds to a lower temperature of the refrigerant as it enters the coil. The freezing process starts there. As the system runs and runs and runs, the ice builds and builds. It does take some time to build this ice block.

So, what causes a low charge? Two choices again: a leak or improper charge. All systems come charged from the factory with enough refrigerant for a 15′ lineset (the copper pipes between the units). The installing contractor has to add a certain amount of refrigerant for each foot of copper. If not, you’ll get a frozen coil when the unit runs long and hard in the first heat wave. The second would be if you have a leak. Replacing the Freon without fixing the leak would be like putting gas in your car knowing you have a leak, driving around and wondering why you are using so much gas. We can inspect your system, fix the leak and replace the Freon all in one call.

Well, I hope that you now understand a little better about the causes of a frozen evaporator (indoor) coil. If you have any questions, feel free to ask. Love to help you with questions 812-280-0510 – Werner VanKleef