What Is a Thermocouple?

October 31st, 2014

Your heating system uses a number of safety devices and switches to ensure that the system is working properly and safely. In heaters using a standing pilot light (a pilot that is on continuously), one of these safety devices is a thermocouple. Malfunctioning safety devices can cause ignition and operational problems. Operating your heating system with a malfunctioning or failing safety device can be dangerous, so it’s best to call a technician for repair. The trained and certified technicians at Shaw’s Air Conditioning have the knowledge and expertise to handle every kind of heating repair, so if you are experiencing issues with your heating system, call us today.

Why a Thermocouple Is Important

A thermocouple is a device used to measure temperature. Thermocouples are composed of two metals that are soldered. When heat is applied at the point of contact, it creates a voltage; this is known as the Seebeck effect. As heat increases on the point of contact, the voltage becomes stronger. This is how the thermocouple measures temperature.

With a standing pilot light, a small stream of gas is always flowing in order to keep the pilot lit. It is necessary for your system to know that the pilot is lit so that your furnace can turn on and ignite when needed. The thermocouple is placed directly into the pilot flame and lets the system know that the pilot is lit and ready to work when needed. Should the pilot go out, the thermocouple will no longer have a voltage, and it will close the valve of the main gas line so that ignition can’t occur.

Common Problems with a Thermocouple

One of the most common problems with a thermocouple is that it gets dirty. A dirty thermocouple may not measure the heat accurately, which can cause the thermocouple to turn off the gas; in turn, the pilot light will go out. A second problem common to thermocouples is corrosion. The metal strips used in a thermocouple are quite thin, and with regular usage, they can corrode and breakdown. The average lifespan for a thermocouple is about 2 years, so if you experience issues with your pilot light, one of the first things your technician will inspect is the thermocouple.

Safety devices are installed on your heating system in Lemoore for a reason, so it’s important to keep them operating properly. If you experience problems with your standing pilot light, make a heating service appointment in Lemoore with your Shaw’s Air Conditioning technician today.

What Is a High-efficiency Heating System?

October 24th, 2014

Energy efficiency is always important when it comes to your heating system in Lemoore. One way to achieve better energy efficiency is to use a high-efficiency heating system, also known as a condensing system. The two types of condensing systems available are boilers and furnaces, and Shaw’s Air Conditioning carries both. In addition, our technicians are trained in how to install, repair and maintain high-efficiency heating systems, so if you are considering one, call us today.

How Do High-efficiency Systems Work?

In non-condensing furnaces and boilers, there is one heat exchanger that heats the air or water, depending on the system. During the heating process, noxious gases are created inside the heat exchanger, which are vented out the flue. This exhaust contains heat energy, which is lost in a non-condensing system. In a condensing furnace or boiler, the exhaust is funneled to a second heat exchanger that extracts the heat energy from the vapor that is created during the heating process, capturing this extra heat; this heat is then used in your system, minus the harmful gases. By condensing the exhaust vapor, your high-efficiency heater captures extra energy that can be used to heat your home.

What Are the Benefits of a High-efficiency System?

Here are some of the benefits of a high-efficiency heating system:

  • Better energy efficiency – whether you have a boiler or furnace, or use oil or gas, the AFUE for high-efficiency heaters is 90% and above, with some rating as high as 98%.
  • Increased comfort – the efficiency and heating ability of a condensing boiler or heater is higher than non-condensing units, which helps increase your comfort.
  • Saves space – condensing heaters are compact, particularly condensing boilers, because they do not need a water vessel as they are connected directly to your water source.
  • Smaller carbon footprint – condensing units can use up to 40% less fuel than non-condensing heaters, which can reduce your carbon footprint.

If you are in need of a new heating system in Lemoore, and high-efficiency is one of your priorities, a high-efficiency furnace or boiler may be just what you need. Call Shaw’s Air Conditioning today and schedule your heating service in Lemoore with one of our installation experts.

Signs Your Heater Needs Service

October 17th, 2014

Without expert knowledge, it’s difficult to tell if your heater requires repairs or is simply developing some harmless quirks. There are some signs, however, that indicate an immediate need for professional service. Below are some of those signs.

Uneven Heating

Cold spots, temperature swings, and other signs of uneven heating could indicate a need for professional heating repair. Before you make that call, however, check the vents in the room where you are experiencing uneven heating. If the vents are clear and unobstructed, make sure that warm air is flowing through them. If it isn’t, you may have a blockage in your ducts. You should call a professional to take a look at that point.

Short-Cycling

Short-cycling occurs when your heater keeps rapidly turning on and off throughout the day. There are a number of possible causes for this, but the most common is an oversized heating unit. When an oversized heating unit starts, the excessive heat output causes the system to think that the unit is overheating. Safety measures trigger as a result, shutting down the heater to prevent a fire. The unit then restarts because the thermostat is still set to “heat,” and the cycle continues indefinitely. There are other things, like a dirty air filter, that can also cause short-cycling. You’ll need an HVAC technician to diagnose the root of the problem, however.

Pilot Light Won’t Stay Lit

In gas powered systems, the pilot light is the small flame that lights the burner for the furnace or boiler. Without this pilot light, your heater will be unable to turn on. Pilot lights going out is a fairly common occurrence, and not a major concern. When the pilot light refuses to stay lit, however, it is a sign of a more serious issue. A bad thermocouple is often to blame for this kind of problem. This sensor is what is responsible for controlling the gas flow to the pilot light. When it is malfunctioning, the thermocouple can shut off the gas flow to the pilot light, suffocating it.

If you are having issues with your heater, call Shaw’s Air Conditioning. Our HVAC technicians provide heating service throughout the Lemoore area.

Signs It’s Time to Replace Your Furnace

October 10th, 2014

Fall is a great time to assess the efficacy of your furnace, particularly if you are getting close to needing a replacement. However, you may have already noticed some signs that your furnace’s days are numbered. To help you decipher some of the signals a furnace can display when it’s giving out, our Shaw’s Air Conditioning technicians have compiled a list of signs and factors that may indicate it’s time for replacement. Shaw’s Air Conditioning offers heater installation as part of its heater service in Lemoore, so call us today.

Signs It May Be Time to Replace

Here are some common signs that it may be time to replace your furnace:

  • Decreased comfort – an aging system may no longer keep up with your heating needs. Typical symptoms of this are cold spots and an inability to reach the set temperature. Pushing your system will not help, and may actually hasten breakdown.
  • Constant repairs – if you needed a lot of repairs last year, and are facing even more this year, you may have to ask yourself if it’s worthwhile to continue repairing your current system or better to invest in a new one.
  • Significant rust/visible corrosion – your furnace shouldn’t have any rust, and if you see significant rust on your heater, you may be looking at corrosion. This can be very dangerous, as cracks and holes can leak harmful fumes, including carbon monoxide.
  • High monthly energy bills – high energy bills are one of the earmarks of an aging system. Many times this is because the system has to work harder to achieve the set temperature. Whenever your furnace has to work harder, it uses more energy.
  • Age – the average lifespan for a well-maintained furnace is 15-20 years. If your furnace has reached this age, or is older, it may time to consider replacing it before age-related problems emerge.

Staying warm and comfortable during the winter requires having a heating system upon which you can rely. Additionally, you have to consider where your money is best spent. If it’s time for you to replace your furnace, work with the professionals who offer expert heater service in Lemoore: Shaw’s Air Conditioning.

How Can Heater Maintenance Lower Heating Bills?

October 3rd, 2014

Heater maintenance is not something one does simply to keep the system from breaking down, although that is a good benefit. The lesser known, but equally important, benefit of regular heater maintenance is that it actually increases the efficiency of your furnace. Regular maintenance is so important to the health and efficiency of a heating system that many warranties require it in order to remain valid.

Read on to discover how heater maintenance can measurably lower your heating bill.

Halting the Decline

As parts continue to experience wear and tear from regular use, their ability to perform their jobs will naturally decline. This is an unavoidable fact. When this occurs in heating systems, it manifests as a slow decrease in heating efficiency. The heating unit will have to work harder and harder to achieve the same results. In order to work harder, your heater will have to consume more and more energy. This is what causes the increase in your heating bills. Eventually, the culmination of this wear and tear will cause your heater to stop working altogether.

The primary way that heater maintenance lowers your heating bills is by halting this decline. Parts that are beginning to show signs of wear can be found and replaced before they show a serious loss in efficiency. This prevents your heating system from working as hard, and thus consuming more energy. This will become especially noticeable if you compare bills from before and after your heater receives long-delayed maintenance.

Preventing Replacement

Though not a monthly bill, the highest cost you can incur for your heating system is if you have to replace it completely. This is not something that happens often. When it does happen, however, it can cost you thousands of dollars. Regular maintenance ensures that your unit will not die because of something preventable or easily fixed. The longer you put off scheduling preventative maintenance on your heater, the more money you are losing to needlessly high heating bills.

If you need to schedule preventative or reparative heater maintenance in Lemoore, call Shaw’s Air Conditioning. Our professional HVAC technicians can resolve all your heating problems.

The Cooling Benefits of a Heat Pump

September 26th, 2014

When you need a new air conditioning system, you may assume that your options for installation are limited. Many homeowners choose to replace their central AC system with a similar unit instead of taking the time to consider other types of systems. But there are many new units available on the market today, so it’s always best to ask a technician about the most suitable choice for you. In this guide, we’ll go over an efficient, multi-purpose cooling solution: the heat pump.

How a Heat Pump Cools Your Home

Heat pumps actually use the same refrigeration process as any other air conditioning system with the exception of one part, the reversing valve. In general, however, the key components for cooling are the same. Refrigerant first reaches the compressor, where it becomes a pressurized gas at very high heat before it moves through the rest of the system. Next, it moves to the condenser coil, where it changes into a liquid, a process which enables it to give off heat. It continues to the expansion valve, where it becomes a low-pressure liquid and then to the evaporator where it turns into a gas and absorbs heat. A fan blows cool air through the ducts, and refrigerant returns to the compressor to continue the process until your home is cooled.

The Benefits of a Heat Pump

The main advantage of the heat pump has to do with the reversing valve, which allows refrigerant to change direction. When you set your system to heating mode, refrigerant can take in heat from the outdoors and send it through the ducts, a feat that is not possible with standard air conditioners. Heat pumps offer a great alternative to furnaces for heating in areas with somewhat mild winters, which makes them perfect for both heating and air conditioning here in Lemoore. In fact, they are extremely efficient heating systems because they do not generate heat; they merely move it around. You can also find a heat pump with a high Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio (SEER) for efficient cooling as well.

To learn more about your options for air conditioning in Lemoore, call Shaw’s Air Conditioning today!

3 Reasons to Consider Heat Pumps for Air Conditioning

September 19th, 2014

There are a lot of choices when it comes to choosing an air conditioner in Lemoore, CA. One option available to homeowners is the heat pump. Heat pumps can offer benefits that some other systems may not, but the best way to determine if a heat pump is a good choice for your home is to work with a trained professional. Shaw’s Air Conditioning has offered professional heat pump services for 10 years, and we can help you choose and install a heat pump that fits your cooling needs.

How Does a Heat Pump Work?

With the help of refrigerant, a heat pump transfers heat from one place to another. During the summer, the heat pump removes the heat and humidity and transfers it to the outside; during the winter, the heat pump absorbs the heat surrounding it and transfers it indoors.

Types of Heat Pumps

There are several types of heat pumps available:

  • Central heat pump – this type of heat pump is part of a traditional central air conditioning system
  • Ductless heat pump – this type of heat pump is part of a ductless heating and cooling system
  • Ground source heat pump – this type of heat pump is part of a geothermal system
  • Air-source heat pump – the most common type of heat pump, this heat pump can be used in several types of systems
  • Hybrid heat pump – this heat pump is used in climates in which a heat pump may need a back-up system due to consistent freezing temperatures

3 Reasons to Consider a Heat Pump

There are several reasons to consider installing a heat pump:

  • Heats and cools – a heat pump offers your home both heating and cooling. This is possible because of the reversing valve, a valve on the heat pump that allows it to reverse the flow of the refrigerant.
  • Good energy efficiency – heat pumps do not use fossil fuels; instead, they use a small amount of electricity to operate. This makes them very energy efficient.
  • Very versatile – heat pumps can work with several different kinds of air conditioning systems, including ductless and geothermal.

Heat pumps can be a great air conditioning option, but they are not for everyone. If you have questions about whether or not a heat pump is a good choice for an air conditioner, call Shaw’s Air Conditioning today and schedule your AC installation in Lemoore, CA with one of our cooling experts.

Recommended Air Conditioning Services for the End of the Cooling Season

September 12th, 2014

Our cooling season is longer than in some other parts of the country, which means that our air conditioners operate for a long time. We have a while to go before our temperatures cool, but when they do, you have a window of opportunity to schedule maintenance or repair for your air conditioning system. The summer season can put a lot of wear and tear on your AC, and Shaw’s Air Conditioning is here to help you keep your AC in good working order. Schedule air conditioning maintenance in Corcoran today!

Services to Consider for End of Season

There are a few services to consider scheduling for your air conditioner at the end of the cooling season:

Maintenance

It is recommended that bi-annual maintenance be scheduled for air conditioners each spring and fall. Maintenance helps detect existing or developing problems, increases energy efficiency and can elongate the life of your system. Shaw’s Air Conditioning conducts a 23-point inspection with every maintenance appointment, ensuring that your AC is thoroughly inspected, cleaned and adjusted as needed.

Mechanical Repair

If you’ve noticed that your AC isn’t performing quite as well as it should, is making strange noises or even emitting strange odors, these things shouldn’t be ignored. Repairing your system as soon as possible helps keep energy efficiency intact as well as decreasing the likelihood of breakdown. Problems with your air conditioner rarely get better on their own, and are more likely to become worse over time.

Ductwork Repair

Your ductwork is the delivery system for your air conditioning. If it’s faulty – has cracks, holes or disconnections – you could be losing a lot of conditioned air. When you schedule duct repair, you can restore and/or replace faulty ductwork, and regain the energy efficiency you want and need.

When the temperature cools down outside it gives you a chance to do some air conditioning repairs. Whether you need annual maintenance, a repair or have any other air conditioning needs, call the people you can trust: Shaw’s Air Conditioning.

Shaw’s Support for Drought Relief in Food Giveaway

September 9th, 2014

This month, Shaw’s Air Conditioning & Heating help out with “California Water Feeds our Communities” and  the California Community Food Bank in a food drive to help impacted communities throughout the state who are suffeCCF03102011_00000ring from a lack of food as a result of our drought.
“As responsible citizens of our community, we need to help out the less fortunate. Especially in the state that we’re in with no water. This is just our way of giving back and helping out some families” commented Annette Shaw.

Trucks loaded with fresh, local produce will be sent to food banks in Merced, Bakersfield, Los Angeles, Watsonville, Salinas, Santa Maria, Oxnard, Riverside and San Diego. 2“We are seeing an increased number of people in line at our food banks at the same time that drought conditions have driven up the cost of food, making it difficult to provide for everyone.” said Andy Souza, President and CEO of the Community Food Bank.

The drought ‘s e ffect is now apparent with farmers and it is contributing to high rates of unemployment. The result is higher costs of living has rippled throughout California effecting both city and rural communities.  No area is exempt.

As food banks take a big hit in current conditions, efforts made by entities such as Fresno Downtown Business Hub, El Agua Es Asunto De Todos, 1Westlands Water District, and CalWA are making a difference in ensuring that people are fed.

California Water Feeds Our Communities will be sending trucks of locally donated food, departing from Fresno, CA, starting on September 3rd to at-risk food banks across California. If you’d like to make a donation to the drive, contact Diana Enriquez at 559-513-8561 or  Diana@aguaasuntodetodos.com.3

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California Water Feeds Our Communities, a grassroots effort of business, farming, and service organizations partnering to support drought stricken communities throughout California, raising awareness of the important role that water plays in California agriculture and everyday life. The drought has directly impacted our communities, farm workers and farmers. Many are devastated by the lack of water.

 Source credit: Lemoore Chamber of Commerce 

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When Is It Time to Install a New 16 SEER Package Unit?

September 5th, 2014

If you own a business in Fresno, CA, air conditioning is crucial for maintaining a comfortable environment for your employees and/or customers and clients. A rooftop package unit, which combines all the components of the air conditioning into a single cabinet, is one of the best ways to condition your workplace.

However, no air conditioning system, packaged or otherwise, will last forever. At a certain point, you may discover that your current packaged AC can no longer do the work it is supposed to, or it has started to drain money due to an inefficient performance. When you think you need a replacement, call on the team at Shaw’s Air Conditioning. We’ll look over your current system and determine if repairs will do any good. If the system is too aged and worn down, we will tell you when it’s a better idea to have installation of a new unit with a higher efficiency rating.

installed a 4 ton, 16 SEER American Standard Package unit Central Valley Culligan

We installed a 4 ton, 16 SEER American Standard Package unit Central Valley Culligan.

We recently installed a new 16 SEER package unit for a Central Valley business. They called us to look at their current air conditioning system, which was very old and suffering from one of the major problems that occurs with age in an AC: Freon leaks. When refrigerant begins to leak from an air conditioner, it not only impairs the AC’s cooling power, but it will eventually damage other components, such as the compressor, leading to a complete breakdown.

In this case, we detected numerous leaks in the system. Although it was possible to fix them, the business owners opted instead to replace the decaying system with a new 16 SEER American Standard Package unit. This was definitely a wise choice, since the older system probably only had a few more years of service remaining to it, and it was already operating at lower efficiency and costing more to run than it should. With the new 16 SEER unit, the business would start saving money immediately thanks to the higher efficiency.

You should always seek the opinion of professionals when it comes to repairing or replacing air conditioning in Fresno, CA. The experienced technicians at Shaw’s Air Conditioning can help steer you to the choice that will do the most long-term good for your business or for your home.