what is a heat pump

What Is a Heat Pump and Why Is It Ideal for Warmer Areas?

Heating and cooling services have come a long way since palm fronds and bonfires, but the modern options can be confusing. With so many options available, making the best decision for your home has gotten difficult.

One option that you've probably not heard a lot about is the heat pump. What is a heat pump? It is a combination heater/cooler system that moves heat from one location to another. 

That's the super simple definition, read on for more specifics to learn if a heat pump is the right choice for your needs. 

What is a Heat Pump?

A heat pump uses a motor and compression to move air like many HVAC systems. Instead of heating or cooling the air before it is moved, the heat pump draws in warmer air and then pushes it.

In the summer, this sucks air from inside the house and pushes it outside. In the winter, the system draws excess heat from the outdoors and pushes that indoors. 

Because a heat pump moves air inside to outside, it can be a terrific option for those sensitive to allergies and air quality. 

Hot and Cold?

Not all heat pumps work with open environments. A geothermal heat pump draws heat from under the ground and moves this inside. 

The temperature underground is more stable than atmospheric temps.

When the temperature outside drops below zero, it's difficult for a heat pump to find anything to move into the house. Geothermal pumps don't run into this problem, but for an atmospheric pump, you will occasionally need backup heating. 

Ductwork

If you replaced a previously existing HVAC or central heating/air system, the ducts in place don't need to be modified for a heat pump. That said, the better your insulation and air seals, the more efficiently a heat pump will run.

For a new home, or if you want to be rid of vents, ductless heat pump systems exist.

What is a ductless heat pump? Also known as a mini-split heat pump, these units exchange heat through smaller conduits to the a larger external system. The benefit of a mini-split is the precise temps that can be achieved on a room by room basis rather than average temperatures throughout the floor of a house.

Energy Efficiency

Heat pumps offer savings on energy bills by efficiently moving air around and not treating that air. 

That said, they are more efficient cooling than heating. They offer up to 10 HSPF when cooling. When heating they number is cut down by about five points.

With a well-insulated home and good seals on windows and doors, heat pumps offer a lot of effect for a low monthly energy cost. They last an average of 15 years and most of the cost is in the installation.

Keep it Moving

That's the longer answer for "What is a heat pump?" concluded. As for if it's the right choice for your home, if you live in the Oklahoma City or Edmond area, you likely spend more on your cooling than your heating. That makes a heat pump an ideal choice.

The upfront cost is hefty but also manageable. Contact Above & Beyond Heating & Cooling for information on available units and pricing plans. 


broken heater

The 4 Major Signs of a Broken Heater

Things are about to get cold in the Oklahoma City area, with average January lows hovering around 25 degrees.

To keep your family warm and your pipes protected, it's crucial that your heater is in working condition. The problem is that sometimes you don't realize you're dealing with a broken heater until it's too late.

How can you tell if you're in need of heater repair?

Read on for the four biggest signs that you've got a broken heater so that you can get professional heater repair before those freezing temperatures set in.

1. Poor Air Quality

If your heater hasn't been well-maintained, there may be a build-up of dirt, bacteria, and dust in the system. All of this debris can have a negative impact on your heater, causing it to work overtime in order to keep the air in your home at a steady temperature. It can also lower the quality of your indoor air as it circulates that dirt and bacteria throughout your home.

When your indoor air quality is compromised, you may start to notice unpleasant symptoms. According to the EPA, poor indoor air quality can cause respiratory problems, dizziness, fatigue, and more. 

2. Unusual Noises

A functional heating system isn't going to make a ton of noise. If you notice tons of squeaks, clangs, and bangs every time your heater kicks on, you may have a problem.

For example, high-pitched sounds can indicate that the bearings are loose or that the blower motor belt has deteriorated. Clanging or banging sounds can indicate a loose motor or loose ductwork. Because these noises are symptomatic of a number of issues, it's best to have them inspected by a professional. 

3. Fluctuating Temperatures from Room to Room

Standard heating systems are designed to keep the entire house at a steady temperature. On occasion, you may notice slight differences due to older windows or poor insulation. However, drastic changes from room to room, especially those that aren't accompanied by a noticeable draft, may indicate an issue with the heater.

4. Higher Heating Bills

Most homeowners become wary of their heating system when they notice a drastic increase in their gas or electric bills. If you're paying a lot more for central heating this year than you have in the past, your heating system may be losing steam. Older or broken heaters have to work harder to keep your house warm, which wastes a lot of electricity or gas.

The best way to verify an increase in your heating bill is to compare this winter's bills with bills from the past four winters. Chances are that you'll notice a steady increase over time--a sure sign that it's time for heater repair or replacement.

Fix Your Broken Heater Before Winter

Don't try to get through the Oklahoma winter with a broken heater. For the sake of your comfort, your pipes, and your wallet, look for signs that your heater is broken and address the issue as soon as possible.

Schedule a heating repair appointment online or call our Edmond or Oklahoma City locations and we'll come out and address your heating needs.


autumn heating and cooling

5 Autumn Heating and Cooling Tips to Transition From Summer to Autumn

Are you excited for the beginning of autumn?

You couldn't be in better company. With the beautiful, falling leaves to the crisper weather, many people love this reprieve from the summer heat.

But have you noticed your house getting colder? Is it sometimes a little less cozy than you would like?

As the weather drifts toward winter, it's important that you're equipped with autumn heating and cooling techniques to keep you comfortable. Read on to make your home the warmest and coziest on the block!

1. Check Your Air Filter

Before you can have a warm house, you need the air to be able to flow freely!

You should be cleaning your air filters about once a month. If you haven't been, there's no time like the present to start! Consider it your first investment in a comfortable home during the colder months.

2. Check Your Outdoor HVAC Machine

HVAC machines are usually located outside your home, but they're an important part of your autumn heating and cooling system.

Because they're installed outdoors, leaves and other debris can get into them, causing a fire hazard. Make sure to clean them out to ensure you can stay warm without setting something alight.

If you have an older unit, make sure you talk to a professional about how much longer they think the unit will last. Usually, these conversations should start taking place when a unit is more than 10 years old.

3. Let the Sun Heat Your House

If you're reading this in the latter parts of autumn, you're probably looking at us like we're crazy.

And you'd be right. At that point, the autumn weather has progressed too far towards winter for the sun to be much help.

However, if you're at the beginning of autumn and live in a sunny place in the world, you can save energy by opening your blinds. This allows sunlight to stream through the windows and heat the home.

4. Adjust Your Thermostat

Many people don't think about their thermostats and just assume that the house will regulate the temperature on its own.

In-home temperatures are not one-size-fits-all. Some people like cooler homes, while others like more heated ones.

As the weather gets colder, don't be afraid to turn the heat up and make yourself comfortable.

Wanting to save energy? Try piling on the blankets and turning the thermostat down when you sleep.

5. Seal Windows and Doors to Optimize Your Autumn Heating and Cooling

Cold air can enter through your windows and doors, so it's important that you seal or insulate their edges.

You can do this by using insulation tape or film.

Need More Heating and Cooling Help?

Is your home still too cold after following this autumn heating and cooling advice?

It's normal for homes to get colder as the temperatures drop. However, people should be able to regulate their indoor temperature, creating a cozy atmosphere.

If you can't regulate your temperature, there might be something wrong with your system.

Here at Above + Beyond, we are ready to fix any heating or air conditioning problems you may have. Give us a call today and get your house comfortable again!


how to clean your air conditioning unit

How to Clean Your Air Conditioning Unit: A Complete Guide

Around 90% of American households have air conditioning. Knowing how to clean your air conditioning unit will improve its efficiency immediately.

As income levels rise around the world, more people are getting air conditioners. Staying cool is an important aspect of physical and mental health, so having access to AC matters.

Being hot and stuffy is the worst. You deserve to enjoy the cooling power of a clean air conditioner.

Here's what you should know about how to clean an air conditioner:

Prepare

First, make sure the air conditioner is unplugged before cleaning it. Otherwise, you'll have to turn off the electricity with your breaker box to ensure it can't run.

Then gather your supplies. You'll need AC coil cleaner, a vacuum with a soft brush attachment, gloves, protective eye gear, and more. You may also need a screwdriver to open your unit.

This task requires about half a day to complete.

Clean the Filters

Air conditioning maintenance means cleaning your filters regularly. Most air conditioners have reuseable or replaceable filters located near the inlet side's end.

Use your soft brush attachment to vacuum up the debris. Simply removing the hair, dirt, and dust that gathers in the filters will improve poor indoor air quality.

Coils 101

Air conditioners have coils for two different units: indoor and outdoor. AC unit maintenance involves cleaning the internal and external coils in each unit.

Access them by removing the protective grilles on the top and side. Avoid tugging at wires while you're removing the panels.

Coil Cleaning

Anybody who knows how to clean an AC knows how to clean evaporator coils and condenser coils. Evaporator coils are in the internal/indoor unit. These coils are usually made from copper and contain coolant.

Clean the outside of the evaporator coils first, then the inside with a soft brush very gently to avoid bending the fins or coils themselves. Use a fin comb to straighten the fins out afterward if it's necessary.

Condenser coils are in the exterior/outdoor unit. Use an AC coil cleaner to clean the debris from the condenser coils. Make sure you spray it from the inside and avoid the electrical components.

Refrigerant Line Assessment and Test

Refrigerant lines are tubes covered with foam insulation that travel from evaporator coils. The insulation helps with conserving energy.

If the insulation is damaged or lacking, replace it with a foam insulation sleeve. You could also wrap the lines in insulation tape for a quick fix.

After this, put your AC back together and test it out. If it's still not working right, you probably need a professional air conditioner tune-up.

Learn How to Clean Your Air Conditioner the Convenient Way

Air conditioners use 6% of all energy produced in the United States. Now that you know how to clean your air conditioning unit, you'll be more comfortable than ever.

If cleaning your AC sounds too tough, don't stress about it. At Above and Beyond, Heating and Cooling, we're happy to take care of that for you. We do air conditioner repairs, cleanings, and so much more.

Keep cool and calm—schedule our air conditioner services today. By the time we're done, your air conditioner will run like it's new.


air conditioner tune-up

5 Reasons You Need an Air Conditioner Tune-Up This Summer

Living in Oklahoma City or Edmond, you may take the air conditioner in your home for granted in the summer.

Without an air conditioner, the hot summers can become unbearable. That's why it's so important to keep your air conditioner working its best.

The best way to do this is to get a regular air conditioner tune-up a few times a year.

Not convinced that summer air conditioner maintenance is important? Here are 5 reasons why you need an AC tune-up.

1. It Will Keep It Performing Well

It's important for an air conditioner to consistently output cool and clean air. This is why AC maintenance is crucial.

If you can have the machine looked at every year, you'll know that it's doing its job well. So when summer rolls around the corner, you won't have to worry about getting your unit tuned-up.

One other benefit to this is that your air conditioner will be more efficient. If your technician replaces a filter during the maintenance, then you could be looking at up to 15% less energy consumption.

2. Increase Your Comfort

An air conditioner should keep your home at a comfortable temperature. Unfortunately, this comfort can be jeopardized by issues with your unit.

Lack of maintenance can lead to breakdowns or system failures. This means that you'll not only spend money on repairs, but you'll also be without an air conditioner for a while.

In the hot summer, this is extremely uncomfortable. That's why it's best to catch it before it can happen.

3. Keep Your Warranty

Many air conditioners come with a manufacturers warranty. Often, these warranties call for regular maintenance on the unit or the warranty is void.

In this case, you may consider doing the regular maintenance yourself. This can also cause warranty problems.

These warranties often call for maintenance to be conducted by HVAC professionals. It's never a good idea to maintain your unit yourself. You can risk breaking it, or worse, hurting yourself.

4. Catch Problems Before They Happen

When a technician maintains your unit, they'll look for potential problems. This will save you time and money later.

They'll see issues like leaks or filter problems. It will also give them a chance to fix them before they turn into something bigger. The maintenance serves as a preventative measure to save you the trouble of a break down the road.

Small parts are much easier and less costly to fix than the entire unit.

5. A Longer Lifespan

If you want your air conditioner to last for a long time, regular maintenance is important.

When the technician works on it, they'll check all parts to make sure that they're working their best. By doing this, they'll be able to prolong the life of your unit.

This will again save money as your unit will be in top shape and performing its best. You can expect quite a few more years of use than if you never had any maintenance done.

Need an Air Conditioner Tune-Up?

Air conditioner maintenance is an important thing to keep up with. Many people have it done in spring and fall, but summer is a great time to do it. You'll have a chance to see the results right away.

If you need to get an air conditioner tune-up for your Edmond or Oklahoma City unit this summer, contact us today!