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Fall is creeping into Haverhill and with every change of the season come changes in your heating and cooling system, too. There are hundreds of reasons why your home’s furnace or heating system might need repairs, but there are a few reasons we’ve identified as the most common. Before reaching out to Andrew DiPietro’s Climate Zone for heating and cooling service, here are some of the reasons why you might be experiencing an uncomfortable fall so far:

  1. Thermostat malfunctions – With wear and tear, your thermostat might become faulty and could cause problems with your fan and your comfort.
  2. Months without use – Especially as the fall season begins, one of the most common furnace or heating problems we see at Climate Zone is inactivity. It may take a few days for your furnace to kick back into gear and fully heat your home.
  3. Dirty filters – Clogged air filters greatly reduce airflow through your heating and cooling system, forcing your furnace to work harder than it should. This lack of airflow can also damage the lifespan of your system over time.
  4. System pilot or ignition control problems – A faulty ignition or pilot makes it extra difficult to heat a home. Unlit pilot lights are usually caused by drafts or clogs in a heating and cooling system.
  5. Lack of maintenance – We say it over and over again, but the top reason we see unnecessary heating and cooling service is because a homeowner has failed to schedule annual maintenance that could prevent unexpected breakdowns and issues. These routine inspections help your furnace and entire system run smoothly and reliably so you can live in ease.

Now that you have a better idea of the top five problems we see at Climate Zone, how can you ensure that these won’t happen to you this fall? Here are some tips on ways that you can avoid these problems and get back to enjoying the cool fall weather:

  • Change your air filter – It’s standard to clean or replace your filter once a month, according to most manufacturers. Get this done early and set a reminder each month to check your filter. If you are unsure of how to check your filter, check out our latest blog on simplifying air filters.
  • Reduce drafts – Close windows and doors when they are not in use during this change of seasons to avoid fall drafts and future problems with your pilot light.
  • Check your thermostat – If it’s been a week or so since you’ve turned on your furnace and you’re still not noticing any heat, check the batteries in your thermostat and see if they need replacing.
  • Call in the Climate Zone experts – Schedule your annual maintenance and have a professionally qualified, NATE-certified technician come in and inspect your furnace and whole heating and cooling system to make sure there are no problems looming on the horizon. Our Haverhill experts will prepare your system for the upcoming winter and handle any major repairs that are necessary to your comfort. Important items like carbon monoxide checks, equipment safety checks and adequate combustion air checks are all standard during this tune-up process.

If you have any questions about your heating and cooling system and its most common problems, don’t hesitate to contact the experts at Andrew DiPietro’s Climate Zone in Haverhill at (978) 872-1190.

Most homeowners understand what air filters are and what their purpose is for indoor air quality, but when it comes to deciding which air filter you and your home needs, the options can be dizzying. Which is the best quality? Does price mater? What size do you need? Air filters don’t need to be as mystifying as rocket science, so we’ve laid out some important details to simplify the air filter decision process.

How do I know if I need a new air filter?
There’s a simple test that you can do right outside your home to determine how efficient your current filter is and see if you need to buy a new one or not. You can either complete this test outdoors or with something below your filter so you won’t have a mess afterward: Hold the filter horizontally and pour standard table salt through the filter. If some or all the salt falls through the filter, then you can bet that the filter will let salt-sized dust through, as well. The more salt that falls through your filter, the sooner you should upgrade your filter to something more efficient.

How do I choose a filter with the best material and rating for my HVAC system?
All air filters are rated in efficiency based on the MERV rating, which stands for Minimum Efficiency Reporting Value. MERV ratings range from 1–16 and the number rating tells homeowners how well the filter is designed to trap dust and dirt under the least efficient conditions. Here are some of the typical materials of air filters, their MERV ratings and how they correspond to efficiencies (these are only a guide and any further questions can be answered by our Climate Zone professionals to help you determine the best air filter for your home):

Fiberglass, Disposable Panel, Washable Metal/Synthetic, Self-Charging (Passive)
MERV 1–4: 60–80% average filtration efficiency

Pleated, Media Panel, Cube
MERV 5–8: 80–95% average filtration efficiency

Extended Pleated
MERV 9–12: >95% average filtration efficiency

Electronic
MERV 13–16: >98% average filtration efficiency

While a higher MERV rating may seem like it provides the best filtration efficiency, it’s important to be careful with high MERV ratings. The higher the MERV ratings, the more expensive it usually is to operate your HVAC system and the harder your system will have to work because there is not as much air that can flow through. Think about it this way; the most efficient “filter” would actually be a piece of plywood that would just trap ALL contaminants (and all the air) from entering your home. That’s maximum air filtration, but would also be the least comfortable way to go.

We usually recommend a MERV 6–8, but there may be reasons this isn’t the best type of filter for your home. For instance, if a member of your family suffers from allergies or respiratory problems, you may want to consider a higher MERV rated air filter or a whole-home air filtration system. Our Climate Zone experts in Haverhill are happy to talk through this filtration efficiency business with you to make sure that your home is comfortable, energy efficient, clean and not costing you a fortune to heat and cool.

What filter size should I get?
We’ve saved the easiest for last—the best way to determine which size filter you need is to simply look at the label of your existing filter or measure it you can’t find the labeled size. The standard home air filter is 1” thick.

Air filters are supposed to protect our homes and loved ones from harmful pollutants, dust and dirt, so it’s important that we understand all the facts about getting the best air filter for our personal needs. We hope this information has simplified the air filter phenomenon. But, if you have any further questions, feel free to contact the professionals at Andrew DiPietro’s Climate Zone in Haverhill at (978) 872-1190.

Everyone is always looking to save a few bucks no matter what the season is in Haverhill. One of the best ways can be through your HVAC system, which homeowners can often overlook as a viable saving option. Of course you never want to compromise your comfort levels inside your home, but Andrew DiPietro’s Climate Zone has a few tips on small and large changes you can make to save money on your heating and cooling costs:

  • Schedule annual maintenance – We know we sound like a broken record, but the best way to keep your HVAC system running smoothly and without extra costs is through regularly scheduled maintenance from a professional. An efficiently running system is less likely to give you trouble, therefore saving you money by not having unwanted repair and replacement costs. When your technician comes each year to check your heating and cooling system, make sure to ask how much life they think your unit has left – systems that are more than 10 years old may be costing you more than just buying a newer, more efficient system.
  • Check your registers – a small and easy thing that you can do at any time is checking your air registers, where your warm or cool air is pushed through to enter your home. Make sure that your air registers are clear of any obstructions, including furniture, toys, carpeting, drapes, etc. When your air vents are clear, your system doesn’t have to work as hard to push the air into your home, thus saving energy and some money. Another helpful hint is to partially close the registers in rooms that aren’t occupied as often as others, including guest rooms, bathrooms and closets. Don’t close too many air registers, however, because closing more than about 35% of your registers might cause your system to work harder than it normally would.
  • Invest in a programmable thermostat – A programmable thermostat can adjust to your exact heating and cooling needs, instead of just letting your system run all the time, even when no one is home. Most programmable thermostats are digital or WiFi-enabled so you don’t have to worry about continually adjusting the temperature throughout the day. You can set your system to heat or cool your home at certain times when you would like the air colder or warmer. As an added tip for additional money saving, turn down the temperature in your house a few degrees at night during the winter and just add an extra blanket to your bed to make up that additional warmth.

Taking steps to reduce your energy costs will not only benefit your wallet but also the life of your HVAC system. What’s better than lowering your monthly bills while also making a positive change in energy efficiency? If you are interested in learning more about how to save a few bucks with your heating and cooling system or if you would like to learn more about programmable thermostats and how they might benefit your home, give the experts at Climate Zone in Haverhill a call at (978) 872-1190.

Andrew DiPietro’s Climate Zone in Haverhill continuously stresses the importance of servicing your heating and cooling equipment regularly. It’s similar to a car’s engine–if you don’t check on it and tune it up every so often, it will certainly break down. This summer, the heat has been brutal so it is more important than ever to ensure that you air conditioning will last you the whole season and keep you comfortable.

One thing that may be stopping some people from scheduling these service appointments is the fact that mechanical trades often get a bad rap as untrustworthy, leaving a bad taste in a consumer’s mouth for the whole repair and service industry. Heating and cooling repair and sales companies have sometimes been lumped into this category; however, there is good news for the HVAC industry and consumers alike: there are a great deal of new ways to check the reliability and dependability of HVAC repair companies.

Internet research in the form of company history, customer testimonials, company ratings and BBB reports are just the start toward keeping customers well-informed about the HVAC company they choose to use for repairs and maintenance. These online descriptions allow the dependable, reliable and trustworthy HVAC companies to stand out, like Climate Zone.

So, what does a proper heating and air conditioning service actually do for your unit? There are standard maintenance steps for properly cleaning, lubricating and correcting the temperature control system. The main focus of a tune-up is to clean and balance your system, making sure all parts are running as efficiently and smoothly as possible. An air conditioning service should consist of:

  • Safety component and thermostat calibration check
  • A complete visual system inspection
  • An operational assessment
  • Gas or oil pressure and pilot light adjustments (for heating equipment)
  • Measurement and correction of temperature difference between the source and return air
  • A system cleaning and standard air filter replacement

Generally, a service appointment should happen right before the start of major season changes, before the hottest and coldest parts of the year in Haverhill. The best way to remember this is to add a note in your calendar or add an item to your Spring Cleaning list or Fall Activities list. It’s easier to clean and fix your air conditioning or heating systems in these milder seasons because of the nice weather, but also because heating and cooling companies will not have jam-packed schedules fixing broken systems yet for those who didn’t receive maintenance on their systems. This may mean discounted-rates on your servicing, too!

Finally, the most important thing to consider when choosing a company for an air conditioning or heating tune-up is their certifications. Are the professionals trained, experienced and certified technicians? Never let someone who is not properly equipped to fix your HVAC system, if for no other reason than for your family’s personal safety. The most national recognized technical certification is the NATE (North American Technician Excellence), an independent, third party certification body for HVAC/R technicians. You can find out more about NATE at their website, www.natex.org. Be sure to ask any company you speak to if their technicians are NATE-certified.

Feeling more convinced about the importance of a comprehensive air conditioning? If you haven’t received maintenance on your air conditioner yet this summer, give Andrew DiPietro’s Climate Zone in Haverhill a call at 978-912-7677 and learn about our service process, raving customer reviews and technician certifications. You can also request an appointment with us online if that’s easier.

You’ve made it through the majority of summer and have settled in to the thought of cooler fall nights. With everyone using their air conditioner right now we’re getting a lot of questions in the height of AC repair season. We’ve compiled a few of the more common ones in hopes that one of these might be a question you have as well:

What temperature should my thermostat be set at during hot summer nights?
If you are interested in saving money and energy by decreasing your air conditioner temperature at night, the first thing to do would be to invest in a programmable thermostat. The technology available in thermostats nowadays allows you to stay comfortable throughout your evening and while you sleep without having to lift a finger or get out of bed to change the thermostat. That being said, you can actually achieve better sleep with a room set around the 67 degree mark.

How do I know if I have the right size air conditioner?
The proper size of a home air conditioner is fully dependent on the load calculation of your home – this can be determined by a Climate Zone professional and takes into account the regional humidity, designed efficiency levels and the size of the home.

Why does my air conditioner keep running?
If you hear your air conditioner continuously running during these hot summer months, it is likely because it is being overworked. Unexpected hot days will come up, while your air conditioner is still working to maintain your temperature indoors. So, more often than not, your air conditioner is not undersized, it is just working harder due to the unforeseen and uncontrollable Haverhill weather.

How often should I replace my AC air filter?
The standard for one-inch fiberglass filters is determined by each manufacturer. Take a few moments to read over the packaging on your filters and follow the recommendation for your specific manufacturer. While replacement every 3 months or so is common for one-inch filters, and even longer for 4 inch filters, your specific filters will have it spelled out for you.

If you still have any other questions regarding your HVAC, come ask the experts at Andrew DiPietro’s Climate Zone. Give us a call at (978) 872-1190 or schedule an appointment with us online.

At Andrew DiPietro’s Climate Zone, we know that there’s no better day than the one when you switch your thermostat from heat to cool – it’s the official signal that winter is gone and summer is upon us! Finally using your air conditioner after months without use can bring up a few questions; when was the last time I had my AC serviced? Does it need repair? How can I get the most out of my system this summer without spending a fortune? Here are some cost-saving tips to keep your home comfortable and ensure that your Haverhill home air conditioner will last you a long time:

  1. Consider the humidity – no one should ever have to consider completely turning off their air conditioner in the summer in order to save a few bucks. Air conditioners dehumidify your home automatically while cooling it, so you will notice a drastic difference in the mugginess of your home if you utilize your AC.
  2. Utilize fans – doubling up your air conditioner with fans can enhance the air circulation in your home and even allow you to raise your thermostat a few degrees to keep costs down. With fans blowing air down, your air conditioner doesn’t need to work as hard or produce as much cold air, keeping your air conditioner running longer and more efficiently through the summer.
  3. Find the perfect degree – in the first few days that you have your air conditioner running this season, use this time to test out what temperatures you are comfortable at. Make small changes by adding or subtracting a degree here and there until you find the perfect air level – you may find that you are comfortable at a higher temperature than you originally anticipated, which can save you money over time. Remember: the longer your air conditioner is running, the more energy and money you are spending, so every degree counts when it comes to your monthly energy bill.
  4. Don’t forget your annual service – keeping your AC unit up-to-date and annually serviced will ensure that every piece of equipment in your system is working at top efficiency. Reduce your risk of an expensive AC repair in the middle of the summer heat with a check-up now. A healthy and happy AC unit means a healthy and happy home this summer, as well as a healthy and happy wallet!

We know it can get hot in the Haverhill area, but just because the heat is rising doesn’t meant that your energy bills should do the same. Utilize these tips to help you save some money while also maintaining your comfort this summer. If you have any questions about AC repair or servicing or you want to know more about making your home as energy efficient as possible this summer, give your local Climate Zone experts a call at 978-872-1190.

Making the decision to upgrade your current air conditioning system is not something to take lightly – once you’ve decided to take the leap to a better, more energy efficient system, you are making a great long-term investment in your home. So, good for you; you deserve this increase in comfort and decrease in energy expenses! Not to mention the fact that your energy consumption will look much less scary from here on out. All of these things are quite exciting for your home, but there are also a few more things to consider before you begin the air conditioning installation process, especially when it comes to prepping your Haverhill home:

  1. Clear a path
    Before the installation, you will want to make sure that the area around your equipment or where your equipment will be placed is easy to access. A lot of things can get in the way of the installation process, such as stairs, decks and porches, so clearing around these areas can be very helpful for your AC contractors. Clear your yard of waste, big sticks, leaf piles, garden hoses, rakes or tools, children’s toys or other obstructions. Don’t forget to contain your pets during the installation process, as well, for the safety of the system and for your furry friends.
  2. Review your load calculation
    Every AC contractor completes a complex calculation of the home’s structure, windows, roof, location and direction to help them determine the size and type of AC equipment you will need for your home. This is called a heating and cooling load calculation and you should absolutely ask to see it and have it explained to you before any installation begins. If your contractor did a Block Assessment or didn’t to a load calculation at all, we strongly recommend that you find another contractor and ensure that your equipment is the right system for your home. Give Andrew DiPietro’s Climate Zone in Haverhill a call at 978-912-7677 if this is the case and we will get you a Haverhill HVAC professional to give you a full assessment.
  3. Clean and seal your ducts
    Ask your AC company to clean your ductwork as they are installing your unit. You don’t want your new AC system to be greeted with dirt and dust immediately from your old duct system, so your HVAC contractor should be more than willing to clean and properly seal these ducts. This cleaning will extend the life of your new system and increase the quality of air in your home, and therefore the health of you and your family.

Ensure that your home is ready for the air conditioning installation process by calling our experts at Andrew DiPietro’s Climate Zone in Haverhill at 978-912-7677 or by arranging an appointment online for a free system estimate and home comfort analysis. Move forward confidently with this exciting air conditioner upgrade by knowing how to prep for this AC installation!

Think about this scenario: you’re a few weeks into the beautiful summer season and you’re enjoying a relaxing Saturday at home. Around lunchtime, you realize that you are starting to feel uncomfortably warm. You check the thermostat and while all of the settings seem to be correct to what you have preset, the temperature is reading 85 degrees. This is the worst nightmare for any homeowner during the heat of the summer. Dealing with a broken air conditioner compromises your comfort and often requires investing in a new air conditioning system to get yourself back to a relaxing home state.

Homeowners always ask, what did I do to break my air conditioner or why has it stopped working now of all times? Well, there are a variety of different reasons why you might be facing air conditioner replacement, especially when considering the weather in Haverhill. Don’t get stuck in the summer without one of the most important pieces of home comfort equipment in your home. Instead, look out for these warning signs that may help you indicate that there is something wrong with your air conditioner:

  • An inactive outdoor fan: Step outside and inspect your outdoor unit – if you notice that your outdoor fan is not running in the unit, give the experts at Andrew DiPietro’s Climate Zone a call to come take a look. Chances are that something is wrong with your unit and the heat transfer that the fan usually handles is not able to happen. This can cause overheating of the compressor and other internal damage to your system.
  • Dirty filters: You’ve heard it a million times, but dirty filters are still one of the most common issues that Climate Zone sees when customers are debating on air conditioner replacement. Dirty filters reduce airflow, hike up your energy bills, and severely impact your system’s lifetime efficiency. So instead of buying a whole new system, you might just need to exchange your filters and you’ll instantly notice a drastic change in air quality.
  • Insufficient air flow: Check for blocked air grilles in your system if you sense a change in air flow. These blockages could be a wide variety of things, from furniture to even excess dirt or debris.
  • Obstructions to your outdoor unit: Shrubbery, lawn furniture and other outdoor items can inhibit proper air flow to your outdoor unit. Over time, these obstructions can also generate a build-up of dirt that could clog your whole system and stop its cooling abilities. Clean and clear the area around your unit regularly to ensure that your system remains efficient.

Have you checked all of these things and your air conditioner still isn’t working properly? Follow these step-by-step instructions, only proceeding to the next step is the system doesn’t start from the previous step:

  1. Check that the thermostat temperature is set below indoor temperature, and the system switch is in the COOL position.
  2. Is the outdoor unit power supply switch “on”?
  3. Is the furnace/air handler power supply “on”?
  4. Check the house fuse box/breaker box for a blown fuse or tripped circuit breaker.
  5. If the system still does not operate, call Climate Zone at 978-912-7677.

Contemplating an air conditioner replacement can be a big and important decision, but sometimes it can even be unnecessary if you can go through these steps and get to the root of the problem without needing full replacement. The team at Climate Zone in Haverhill is here to help and answer any questions you may have through the process. Give us a call at 978-912-7677 or schedule an appointment with us online – we’ll get your air conditioner system up and running again in no time.

Everyone has heard a million times about how important it is to have your air conditioner and entire HVAC system serviced regularly, whether it’s in an advertisement, in another blog post or just by word-of-mouth from a friend. There are a lot of important advantages to keeping your air conditioner up-to-date on its maintenance, especially as the temperature gets warmer in the Haverhill area. But one of the most important parts about air conditioner service this time of year is that it helps you avoid the chances of needing a full AC repair right in the middle of the heat of summer.

This air conditioner tune-up that everyone is talking about; what makes it so vital this time of the year? And why is scheduling one ahead of a major system problem so important?

Annual check-ups on your air conditioner can reduce the amount of potential problems that could arise throughout the year. During the season change of spring to summer, air conditioners are needed most as our bodies and homes adjust to the new outdoor heat. By thinking ahead and getting AC maintenance scheduled now before summer officially begins, you don’t have to think about getting your service done all summer long and can get back to living in comfort and enjoying the sun. Before you even switch your thermostat to ‘cool,’ make sure your system is running at its full potential.

Andrew DiPietro’s Climate Zone looks for all the small details and potential problems when we check your air conditioner, ensuring that your small problems don’t turn into big ones. There are even more advantages to air conditioner service that can make a hug difference in your home:

  • Tune-ups can increase the lifespan of your system; when you take care of your air conditioner, it will take care of you, and for the long haul.
  • A well-operating air conditioner will improve the comfort of your home, allowing you to breathe easy and possibly even reduce your energy consumption.
  • When your air conditioner is up-to-date and running smoothly, you will save money on your energy bills and keep more money in your pockets for those fun summer adventures.

Instead of keeping your fingers crossed and hoping for the best this summer in Haverhill, get your routine air conditioner service done now and avoid needing AC repair. The experts at Climate Zone are ready to help at 978-912-7677 or you can schedule a service online. Live in comfort and at ease this summer!

This time of year not only brings big changes in the weather, but it also brings dreaded seasonal allergies. No matter the season, allergies can greatly impact your comfort and health. Symptoms always range from mild to severe but no matter how strong your allergies hit this year, allergy sufferers aren’t always aware of an easy way to alleviate their symptoms in their home – investing in a whole-home air filtration system.

Proper household air filtration is essential to cleaning your indoor air and helping alleviate your allergies. You can try allergy medicine and other ‘over-the-counter’ treatments, but why not attack the root of the problem? Here are some in-home tips from Andrew DiPietro’s Climate Zone that will help you breathe easier as the seasons change:

  1. Increase your home’s humidity
    Mold is one of the most common household microbes that contribute to allergies and other respiratory problems. If your home is too humid, it provides the perfect environment for mold to fester and grow and may even cause some structural problems to your home. Too little humidity can also be harmful because it can cause skin, throat and nose dryness and lead to other health issues. Proper humidification is essential to keeping your home at the ideal humidity level and the best way to do that is through a household humidifier. They can be set up with Climate Zone right with your current heating and cooling system, easy to implement and extremely beneficial to filtering air in your home.
  2. Keep pollen out of your home
    No one ever blatantly tries to bring pollen into their homes, but there are some sneaky ways that allergens can enter your home that you may not know about:

    • Make sure to remove your shoes before you come into your home, especially during this time of changing seasons, to ensure that you don’t track pollen into your house.
    • If you’ve been outside for a while, mowing the lawn or doing other outdoor activities, consider changing your clothes when you go back inside and wash your clothes that are likely to have pollen on them.
    • In addition to changing clothes after extended periods of time outdoors, a shower could be another great way to get the pollen off your hair and exposed skin.
  3. Invest in an air filtration system
    Whole-home air filtration systems are really the best way to not only reduce the allergens in your home, but keep your air clean all year-long. HEPA (High Efficiency Particulate Air) Filtration systems are the best solution for the most severe allergy sufferers and residents with already existing respiratory problems, but there are plenty of different systems in a variety of shapes, sizes and technologies. Our experts at Climate Zone can help you find the perfect system for your needs.

Help relieve those seasonal allergy symptoms this spring in the Haverhill area with a quality air filtration system. Our professionals are so committed to keeping your allergy symptoms at a minimum this season that we offer free instillations of new air filtration systems. If you are interested in learning more about keeping allergens out of your home this spring, give our experts at Climate Zone a call at 978-912-7677 or set up an appointment with us online.

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