Malek Heating & Cooling Blog

Why Ice Might Form on Your Air Conditioner’s Evaporator Coil

June 19th, 2017

frozen-glassIf you have some knowledge of how the modern air conditioner works, you may know it’s a refrigerant-based system, working in a similar fashion to a refrigerator. To providing cooling, both systems use chemical refrigerant to absorb heat from inside and move the heat to the outside air. This is why the condenser unit outside your house blows out heated air when the AC is working.

What neither system needs to work is ice. It’s easy to believe ice might be involved somehow—after all, the air conditioner is sending out chilled air—but it isn’t the case. Moving heat from one place to another using refrigerant doesn’t use ice. It shouldn’t create it either. Continue Reading

4 Ways You Might Spend Too Much on Air Conditioning This Summer

June 5th, 2017

air-conditioner-money-saverYou’ll need to have your home’s air conditioning system running during the summer to stay cool. That’s just a basic part of Chicagoland Survival 101—our summers are hot and humid. Of course, keeping a home cool doesn’t come for free, and you can expect to see a rise in your electricity costs over the summer because of the extra use of the air conditioner.

However, air conditioning bills in homes are often higher than they need to be. Below we’ve listed 4 of the ways you may end up wasting energy with your AC over the summer—and how you prevent them. Continue Reading

You Need to Know This about Wireless Thermostats!

May 22nd, 2017

thermostat-being-adjustedWhen we’re looking into ways to help you save money on your air conditioning in Evanston, IL or elsewhere in Chicagoland, a piece of advice we frequently offer is to upgrade the thermostat. The manual slider/dial model of thermostat is out of date, and programmable digital models have taken over. A digital thermostat with the basic two programming slots—an inexpensive option when it comes to thermostats—is a tremendous improvement in precision and convenience for an HVAC system.

Then there’s the current height of climate control technology, wireless and smart thermostats. These are models permitting remote access through smart phones, tablets, and computers. The “smart” technology means the thermostat “learns” from the homeowner’s settings to develop its own programs. These are attractive options, and customers often ask about them.

There’s good news and bad news on the Wi-Fi thermostat front, and we’re here to help you be better informed. Continue Reading

No Cool Air from the AC? 4 Reasons Why!

May 8th, 2017

woman-in-front-of-fan

It’s May, and chances are that you’re already getting some use from your air conditioning system in Wilmette, IL. It may be only a few days during the week for short stretches—we aren’t fully done with the cool weather yet—but it will be enough for you to tell if something major is wrong with the air conditioner. For example, you’ll know when the air coming from room vents isn’t cool when the AC is running.

Obviously, a cooling system that doesn’t actually cool is not much use to you. It’s just acting like a big fan, and that doesn’t help when temperatures climb. There are a number of possibilities for why an air conditioner will lose its cooling power. Some are simple errors that you can correct yourself. Others are more complicated and will require HVAC technicians to diagnose and correct them. And some are serious trouble that place your AC in danger of a major failure, possibly even an early replacement, unless professionally fixed as soon as possible. Continue Reading

Shutting Down the Furnace for the Warm Season

April 24th, 2017

gas-furnace-burnersWe aren’t fully out of the woods yet here in Chicago as far as cool weather goes. We can anticipate days in the 50s and night sometimes in the 30s for a few more weeks. But it’s about that time of year when air conditioners will run more often, and soon the dependable gas furnace in your Winnetka, IL home won’t need to supply its warmth until the fall comes around again.

But when the time comes to leave the furnace be, you shouldn’t simply forget about it. A furnace should shut down for the summer months. Continue Reading

Handling the Allergies of Spring with IAQ Solutions

April 10th, 2017

tulips-in-springAs we move into spring, we’re finally going to start enjoying warmer weather. But along with warmer weather comes a spike in the pollen levels. And you know what that means: allergy season! As the cold and wet weather fades, plant blooming leads to an increased pollen count, which is responsible for numerous allergic reactions that can make this season a miserable one. And pollen is only one source for allergies this time of year: mold starts to grow in the wake of the wet weather, creating dangerous mold spores in the air.

There are medical steps people can take to lessen the problems of allergy season. But many homeowners don’t realize they can improve their health during spring allergy season with the proper professional indoor air quality services in Skokie, IL. Continue Reading

Air Conditioner Shopping Help: SEER vs. EER

March 27th, 2017

spinning-fan-closeupIt’s now officially spring, and no matter what cold spells we may encounter in the coming weeks, the move toward warmer weather has started. This is an excellent time of the year to consider options for replacing an old air conditioning system. If your current AC is over 15 years old or has started to show signs of a decline in efficiency, reliability, and/or cooling output, it’s smart to have it retired and replaced with a new unit before the summer heat arrives. Continue Reading

March The Unpredictable: Handling Its Temperature Swings

March 13th, 2017

sun-and-snowflake-badgeThere are many proverbs about the strange weather that occurs in March. You may have heard that March “comes in like a lion and leaves like a lamb.” Or perhaps you’ve heard it “comes in like a lamb and leaves like a lion.” That’s the nature of the weather during this month that straddles winter and spring: it’s difficult to predict exactly which way the temperature will go—especially in a place like Chicago. (And no, groundhogs are not an effective way of predicting weather patterns in late winter.)

The important lesson to learn about March weather uncertainty is to make sure that your home comfort system is ready for any extreme. A cold snap, an early arrival of spring heat, or both—see that your heating and cooling system are prepped! Continue Reading

Why Do Boilers Tend to Last Longer Than Furnaces?

February 27th, 2017

pipes-of-boiler-systemThe two most common types of heating systems found in homes are gas-fired boilers and furnaces. The furnace is by far the most popular type of home heating system in the U.S., but the boiler has remained competitive for a number of reasons. Boilers require fewer repairs on average, can cut down on energy costs, provide heat without blowing around dust, and operate at quiet levels. They also tend to outlast furnaces. The average furnace life expectancy is 15 to 20 years. Boilers can last up to 30 years, letting a whole generation grow up in a house with the same heating system.

But it isn’t enough to simply know a boiler lasts longer. Why it last longer helps to understand how boilers work and why they have so many other advantages. Let’s take a closer look at boiler longevity. Continue Reading

Can I Save Money on Heating by Shutting Vents in Empty Rooms?

February 13th, 2017

piles-of-large-currency-billsIf you use a furnace or heat pump to warm up your house, the heated air travels to the various rooms through ductwork and then out vents. Most vents have levers on them allowing you to adjust the louvers behind the grill. This way you can direct which way the air flows when it first comes out of the ventilation system. In fact, you can adjust the louvers to lie flat, shutting off the ventilation opening.

Does this mean that you can shut off airflow into an unused room by doing this? And is this a way to effectively reduce energy costs during the summer? Continue Reading