Contractors Trust United to Install HVAC Systems

Written by United on . Posted in Commercial HVAC, HVAC

Residential Heating & Cooling Installation for New Construction

Some of the most well-known and respected new homebuilders in Kansas City call on United for residential heating and cooling installation. After all, they know the integrity and quality of the new home’s systems reflect on them, not the subcontractor. As a homebuilder you’ve got to have a company you can count on to do the entire job right.

Our professional and downright courteous residential heating and cooling technicians are more than happy to meet with other contractors or the homeowner to answer any questions and resolve any challenges during construction. United has an impressive showroom where your customer can view upgrade options and learn more about high-efficiency and accessory options that are available.

Subcontracting residential heating and cooling requires trust. Trust that our HVAC experts know what they’re doing. Trust that we’re using high quality systems and parts that last. Trust that we’ll stand behind our heating and cooling systems and workmanship. We’ve been earning builders’ trust since we opened our doors and we’ve never disappointed a builder or homeowner because we take heating and cooling installation up a notch, or two…

  • United designs heat loads for an inside temperature of 75° F and an outside temperature of 100° F. These temperature parameters are based at the location of the thermostat
  • All of our thermostats are programmable and installed with all heat pump applications and air conditioners
  • We run our own low voltage wire (10) to both the thermostats and outdoor units to ensure proper thermostat placement. The extra wires make is easier for homeowners to upgrade in the future.
  • While the industry standard for the difference between the indoor temperature and the outdoor temperature is 20º, we calculate a 25º difference
  • In an electric heat pump system all rectangular duct in basement (supply and return) is internally lined to maintain duct temperature per industry standards.
  • Every installation goes through a rigorous quality control check after rough in and finish work are complete

COMMERCIAL AIR CONDITIONING CHOICES MADE EASY

Written by United on . Posted in Commercial HVAC, HVAC

COSTLY MISTAKES MADE WHEN SELECTING A COMMERCIAL AIR CONDITIONING UNIT

Customers find themselves in the market for a new commercial air conditioning system for many reasons. Maybe your commercial air conditioning unit has failed or on its last leg. Maybe your AC unit has some years on it and it’s costing you a fortune in maintenance and utilities. Maybe you’re making changes in your location or your business that require a different commercial air conditioning solution.

Commercial heating and cooling companies will present air conditioning systems across the price spectrum with features to match. Here’s what you should be aware of when narrowing down your commercial air conditioning options to avoid costly mistakes.

First, if you’re still on the fence between repairing and replacing your commercial AC unit, refrigerant 22 is a factor. This refrigerant is being phased out and commercial air conditioning units that require it will become more expensive to maintain and repair. Refrigerants that replace R22 are being introduced and there is some cost involved with switching to the newer formulations. Retrofitting a commercial air conditioning unit to accept R22 alternatives is less expensive than buying a new unit. If budget is a primary concern, this may be your best option until you’re ready to invest in a higher efficiency commercial air conditioning unit.

Ready to get some commercial air conditioning unit bids? Don’t go with the lowest bidder. The price is attractive, but there are risks and trade offs that could be costly in the end. HVAC companies that make unbelievably low bids also scrimp on materials and labor to keep their costs low. Inexperienced techs perform the commercial air conditioning installation. No money has been spent on training or keeping them current on technology. Low-grade units are used that don’t have excellent performance records. Choose a commercial heating and air conditioning contractor that bids a fair price for experienced labor and quality products—one that’ll be around for a long, long time.

A new commercial air conditioning unit is a sizable investment, and accessories will help you get the most out of it. A variety of controllers, smart thermostats and other devices can help reduce operating costs on top of the better energy efficiency these units deliver. These devices are for new as well as older equipment.

United Heating Cooling & Plumbing technicians based in Grandview MO are continually training on all of the above areas—not just the newest technology, but also on how to keep what you have properly maintained to prolong your unit’s life. Your business’s air conditioning solution is unique so to keep it running in peak condition our commercial maintenance agreements are tailored to your equipment’s age, manufacturer and demands. Choosing the right commercial air conditioning unit along with regular and proper maintenance are the best ways to avoid paying high costs down the road.

INDOOR AIR QUALITY FOR COMMERCIAL CONSTRUCTION

Written by United on . Posted in Commercial HVAC, HVAC

Commercial Indoor Air Quality System Installation

Air Purifiers: Ultraviolet Lights

In the 1930s, it was discovered that ultraviolet (UV) lighting could alter the DNA of microorganisms, rendering them harmless. Since then, this technology has been refined to produce the ultimate air disinfectant. United places at strategic points in the heating and cooling system to minimize the impact of live, harmful microorganisms circulating through the facility’s air.

High Efficiency Air Cleaners

An air cleaner not only keeps the building’s air healthier, it helps protect computers and equipment too by reducing the amount of dust in the air. United installs electronic and media (filter-based) air cleaners, and HEPA air filtration systems.

United offers a great selection of air cleaners including:

  • Trane CleanEffects
  • Dynamic
  • Honeywell
  • Aprilaire
  • Honeywell (HEPA)

 Humidifiers

In the winter months the commercial furnace heats the building, but it also dries out the air. In fact, indoor air can easily be less that 20% relative humidity – this is drier than most deserts. Whole building humidifiers are much more effective than stand-alone humidifiers which only work in the room where they are placed. Stand-alone humidifiers also use more energy. United installs Aprilaire humidifiers.

Energy Recovery Ventilation System

An energy recovery ventilation (ERV) system serves two purposes: it provides a steady stream of fresh air into the building and it pre-treats incoming air so that the heating and cooling units do not work as hard.

 As the ERV drafts stale air from the building, it uses the temperature of the outgoing air to treat the incoming air so that it is cooler (in the summer) or warmer (in the winter) before it enters the system. ERVs also help keep the building’s humidity level stable. An ERV can be added to any existing heating and cooling system. United installs Honeywell energy recovery ventilators.

 Zone Control

A facility has natural “zones” that have different heating and cooling needs. The work area, for instance, may need to be warmer at night, but cooler during the day, whereas the storage area can be kept cooler all the time. A zone control system, coupled with a programmable thermostat gives full control the building’s zones for maximum comfort and efficiency. United installs Aprilaire zone control systems.

Programmable Thermostats

Having a sophisticated, yet affordable programmable thermostat makes all the difference in the world in how well a system operates according to the tenant’s work and operation schedule. Plus programmable thermostats can help saves money on energy costs.

 

KEEPING YOUR AIR CONDITIONER RUNNING PROPERLY

Written by United on . Posted in HVAC, Residential HVAC

WHAT KEEPS YOUR HVAC SYSTEM IN RUNNING ORDER

 When it comes to being comfortable in your own home —toasty warm or cool as a cucumber— you’re at the mercy of your HVAC system. You can do more to keep your HVAC system running smoothly than you think.

 One of the most important things just so happens to be the easiest one for customers to do. Change your air filter. Change it more often than you think is really necessary, especially if you have pets or someone in your family suffers from health problems or allergies. New air filters aren’t expensive and keeping them clean goes a long way toward keeping your HVAC system in running order.

 Your humidifier, air conditioner coil and 90% or higher efficiency furnaces all use the same drain hose to drain water away from the HVAC unit. Drain hoses must be kept clear or water can’t go down the floor drain. Without anywhere to drain, water runs down the furnace and can ruin the control board or blower motor and do carpet or structural damage.

 How to drain hoses become blocked? Dirty air filters. Dirty air filters have lots of extra dust to release and it makes it way through the filter, eventually ending up rinsing down the drain hose. All kinds of things can end up in your drain hose like algae, hard water deposits, little insects, spiders, bird feathers, squirrels’ acorn crumbs and wasp nests to name a few. Warranties don’t cover damage caused by lack of maintenance. Changing your air filters regularly helps keeps drain hoses clear too.

 Going to the extreme temperature-wise will do more harm than good. Keeping your home too cool in summer or too warm in winter could damage your HVAC system and void some manufacturers’ warranties. During summer don’t keep your air conditioner set below 65 degrees. Water can turn to ice on the coil rather than drain down the tube. When it does thaw, it can run down the interior and cause damage to other components.

 In winter, keep your furnace set to at least 62. When your furnace starts up, exhaust gas is moist. Under normal conditions the gas goes through the vent pipe. Anything 58 or below keeps the gas too cold and it’ll stay in the furnace instead of venting. That trapped moisture causes rust and creates the potential for a host of other HVAC problems.

 Any HVAC maintenance other than changing your air filter needs to be handled by a professional technician. HVAC work is a specialized field that takes training, experience and special instruments.

BUYING THE RIGHT HVAC SYSTEM

Written by United on . Posted in HVAC, Residential HVAC

KEY TIPS FOR ENSURING YOU BUY THE RIGHT HVAC SYSTEM

Trusted HVAC contractors worth their salt will tell that the installation of an HVAC system is more important than the brand you choose. On the AC side, most HVAC systems use the same compressor from one manufacturer. The compressor is the most critical part of an HVAC system. There was once a bigger differentiation between brands, but that’s not so much the case anymore.

 HVAC contractors can help you select the right HVAC system for your home. To do so, they’ll carefully review your existing duct work, drain pipes, future plans, budget and your home’s layout. It’s a lot to consider, but it’s key to installing an HVAC system that fits your needs.

 Let’s start with the duct work. HVAC contractors must verify the ducts are adequate to handle a new HVAC system. In some homes, the ducts were designed to handle the last generation of HVAC systems. But today’s systems have different requirements in order to perform at their peak.

 Next comes inspecting your drain pipes. HVAC contractors are looking for any blockages to ensure your new system has adequate drainage so that water doesn’t back up into the HVAC system and cause damage.

 Selecting the right HVAC system requires choosing a level of efficiency. Higher efficiency HVAC systems have a higher initial cost than lower efficiency versions, with the savings coming from lower utilities going forth. Consider how long you’ll live in your home. If you’re staying long enough to recoup any extra cost via energy savings, it’s worth it to invest in a higher efficiency. If not, spend less on the lower efficiency system. And if you’re planning to stay in your home for a long time, consider a geothermal system for the ultimate in energy cost savings.

 With HVAC system efficiency decided, choosing a size is the next step. The size of the HVAC system has to match the size of your home. Too small and the HVAC system can’t take manage the load of heating or cooling on extremely hot and cold days. Too large, and the system cools the home too quickly, shuts off, not running long enough to remove the humidity.

 Look for sales and rebates on the HVAC system that meets your needs based on the above. United Heating, Cooling & Plumbing has sales throughout the year, as well as manufacturers’ and the occasional rebate or tax break from the government on certain efficiencies.

 Once your HVAC system is installed, consider investing in a 10-year warranty. It’s an affordable insurance policy on a new generation of HVAC systems. Today’s systems have more working parts and components. Maintaining higher efficiency equipment requires a higher level of knowledge than older systems so choose an HVAC contractor with experience with this new technology.

WHAT KEEPS YOUR HVAC SYSTEM IN RUNNING ORDER

Written by United on . Posted in HVAC, Residential HVAC

When it comes to being comfortable in your own home —toasty warm or cool as a cucumber— you’re at the mercy of your HVAC system. You can do more to keep your HVAC system running smoothly than you think.

 One of the most important things just so happens to be the easiest one for customers to do. Change your air filter. Change it more often than you think is really necessary, especially if you have pets or someone in your family suffers from health problems or allergies. New air filters aren’t expensive and keeping them clean goes a long way toward keeping your HVAC system in running order.

 Your humidifier, air conditioner coil and 90% or higher efficiency furnaces all use the same drain hose to drain water away from the HVAC unit. Drain hoses must be kept clear or water can’t go down the floor drain. Without anywhere to drain, water runs down the furnace and can ruin the control board or blower motor and do carpet or structural damage.

Dirty air filters have lots of extra dust to release and it makes it way through the filter, eventually ending up rinsing down the drain hose. All kinds of things can end up in your drain hose like algae, hard water deposits, little insects, spiders, bird feathers, squirrels’ acorn crumbs and wasp nests to name a few. Warranties don’t cover damage caused by lack of maintenance. Changing your air filters regularly helps keeps drain hoses clear too.

 Going to the extreme temperature-wise will do more harm than good. Keeping your home too cool in summer or too warm in winter could damage your HVAC system and void some manufacturers’ warranties. During summer don’t keep your air conditioner set below 65 degrees. Water can turn to ice on the coil rather than drain down the tube. When it does thaw, it can run down the interior and cause damage to other components.

 In winter, keep your furnace set to at least 62. When your furnace starts up, exhaust gas is moist. Under normal conditions the gas goes through the vent pipe. Anything 58 or below keeps the gas too cold and it’ll stay in the furnace instead of venting. That trapped moisture causes rust and creates the potential for a host of other HVAC problems.

 Any HVAC maintenance other than changing your air filter needs to be handled by a professional technician. HVAC work is a specialized field that takes training, experience and special instruments. United professionals are available in Overland Park, Olathe, Lenexa, Lee’s Summit, Blue Springs and all over the Kansas City area!

Changing Your Furnace Air Filter

Written by United on . Posted in HVAC, Residential HVAC

ITS EASY TO CHANGE YOUR FURNACE FILTERS THAN YOU  THINK!

If our residential heating technicians have seen it once, they’ve seen it a thousand times—dirty furnace filters or super thick filters not only increase furnace wear and tear, but also fail to keep dust and allergens from circulating through your home. Changing filters every three months is the rule. However in winter, filters may need changing more often since the furnace is running more for longer periods of time.

One-inch filters are the norm. But many people are using the thicker, pleated filters like the 3M ultra allergen version. Pleated filters offer the most health benefits. They also have limitations. They require changing more often because they get dirty quicker, causing your furnace to work harder to push air through. BUT…let us repeat that they have the most health benefits!

Another option for trapping dust and allergens is investing in a four-inch filter. Lennox offers a hospital grade four-inch filter that catches bacteria and viruses. They can be pricey, but worth the cost if you have certain health issues that are worsened by dust and allergens. Installing a four-inch filter requires our residential heating technicians to reconfigure your filter slot to accommodate the larger size and add a door to enclose the filter. It’s a pretty quick and simple process.

Want to learn more about four-inch furnace filters? Just contact us to schedule a visit.

Guide to Troubleshooting your Furnace Problem

Written by United on . Posted in HVAC, Residential HVAC

Next time your furnace acts up, there are a few easy things you can check beforehand to save you from a service call. Furnace repair isn’t always this simple, but you’ll breathe a sigh of relief if it’s something minor you can handle yourself. Anything beyond these furnace repair troubleshooting tips should be performed by a professional HVAC technician, not only for your safety, but also to avoid further damaging your furnace.

Check your furnace thermostat.

  • Are there any unusual messages on your display? Refer to your owner’s manual for addressing the message displayed. If you’ve lost your owner’s manual you can probably download one for free online. Just do an online search for your thermostat manufacturer and owner’s manual.
  • Is the room temperature above what the thermostat is set to? If so, the furnace won’t kick on until the room temp falls below that temperature.
  • Does it run on battery power? If so, change the batteries. Thermostat batteries should be changed once a year. Make sure there is power at the furnace. If air is blowing out of your registers then the furnace has power. If not, there are other ways to check for power or restore power.
  • Check the furnace switch. Most furnaces have power switches that are red or look like light switches on the side. Sometimes these switches are irresistible to kids and they flip them off. If your switch is off, it’s an easy fix. Simply turn it back on.
  • The breaker might be tripped. This can happen if the power goes out for a second, especially if the unit was just kicking on. Your furnace is has a dedicated circuit so you have to check the box because nothing else in your home will be without power.
  • Another way to check for power is to look through the sight glass for anything lit on the control panel. The sight glass is a small round hole you can peek through on your furnace. If you see a light, the furnace has power.
  • Check that your furnace filter is clean. Sometimes air filters get so dirty that air cannot flow through them and shuts down the furnace. If the filter is filthy, change it.
  • Look for signs of water on your floor. If you find wetness, call your furnace repair technician because it could mean any number of things like a blocked drain hose, etc.
  • Nothing working and you need heat immediately? Try turning the power switch on the side of the furnace (the light switch looking thing) off and then on again. If there isn’t a furnace switch, you can turn the circuit off then on at the breaker box. The furnace will try to restart itself three to five times. This is only a temporary fix. If you can hold out for your furnace repair technician, it’s best not to do this because it clears the fault or error code from the control board. The fault code helps your HVAC tech diagnose the issue. However, if turning the furnace power off then on doesn’t work, the error code will still be there.

Should these furnace repair troubleshooting tips fail, contact United Heating, Cooling & Plumbing. We’ll dispatched a technician right away.

HCAV Security

Written by United on . Posted in Commercial HVAC, HVAC

HVAC SECURITY: WHAT YOU AND YOUR FACILITIES MANAGERS SHOULD BE AWARE OF

HVAC security is a battle fought on two fronts: criminal threats and biological/chemical dangers. Combatting both makes HVAC security a tricky, but very important, issue to tackle. There are several ways to address both that range from high tech to as simple as hanging up a “This area is monitored by a closed circuit camera” sign.

Let’s start with thwarting criminals looking to cause damage for fun or strip copper and other parts from your HVAC for resale. We can’t recommend a foolproof defense against criminals and copper thieves. Each building and its HVAC vulnerability are different so your approach should match the environment.

Of course no location is immune from crime, but some areas are more prone to it than others. If possible, it’s best to place your HVAC system on the roof with restricted access, but that’s not always an option. In any situation a good deterrent is HVAC location and area lighting. Make the area difficult to access and bright. Criminals are more likely to move on to easier targets. At the least, hang a “This area is monitored by a closed circuit camera” sign. Even if it’s really not, the thief won’t know for sure.

Chemicals and irritants like bacteria, viruses, mold, smoke, asbestos, carbon dioxide and even pest droppings can be transmitted through the air. Your HVAC system circulates air, if that air is contaminated either accidentally or on purpose, those contaminates spread, resulting in poor air quality, sickness or worse.

Facility managers can take measures to prevent contamination. Prevention is key! Having a plan in place lets you act quickly and minimize your building’s occupants’ exposure. Assessing risk is a good place to start, whether you’re installing a new HVAC system or developing a security plan for an existing one.

Start by securing your HVAC area, especially access doors and entryways, with locks at minimum and possibly alarms depending on your building’s use and vulnerability. Certain HEPA filters are designed to catch small airborne particles before they circulate.

United Heating Cooling & Plumbing’s HVAC technicians can help you evaluate your HVAC security, find areas of concern and suggest solutions. It’s better to have your HVAC security plan in place and never have to use it than need it and not have one at all.

Evaluating Commercial Furnace Systems

Written by United on . Posted in Commercial HVAC, HVAC

TIPS FOR MAKING A GOOD DECISION

There are so many factors, specifications and nuances to selecting the best commercial heating system. Square footage, unique environments (such as hospitals, labs, mixed use areas, server rooms), energy efficiency and more must be taken into account when selecting a commercial heating system. And the duct system can ultimately play a big roll in the system’s efficiency. That’s why United Heating Cooling & Plumbing has a custom duct work shop!

In design/spec commercial heating projects, the engineers responsible for the building’s integrity specify the commercial heating system to be installed. Once the commercial heating equipment is chosen, United’s commercial heating technicians take over with the installation process. Since commercial heating is so different than residential systems, the installation requires a level of sophisticated knowledge. Typically, the construction or engineering firm contracts out the commercial heating installation to companies they know can handle the job, like United Heating, Cooling & Plumbing.

In design/build projects, again the engineers control the choice of commercial heating system. However, under a design/build there are several systems on the market that can be considered, like ductless systems. It’s common for engineers to consult commercial heating technicians on new technologies or the feasibility of certain systems in an environment. Specifications are not a proven science. What a commercial heating system is touted to do has only performed in manufactured perfect conditions. Commercial environment conditions aren’t always perfect. Having serviced and maintained commercial heating systems in the real world, commercial HVAC technicians bring the benefit of real-world experience to a project.

Most heating systems are uniquely tailored to their spaces. Therefore, when or if the time comes to replace the system, the same type is used. For example, if a 15-ton system is taken out. A 15-ton commercial heating system is put back in.

Dong this requires specialized knowledge to repair and maintain the overall system. That’s why it’s crucial to only hire qualified commercial technicians for service and maintenance work. Your technician has to have experience in diagnosing commercial heating problems and repairing all the leading manufacturers’ commercial systems.

The goal, once installed, is to extend the life of the commercial heating system for as long as possible. Scheduled routine commercial system maintenance is key to this goal. Contract commercial maintenance plans should be thorough and well documented to avoid any disruption of business or premature system replacement due to failure.