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Grilling Safety: Propane BBQ Edition

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Grilled food can really hit the spot on nice Arizona days. Before you use your BBQ, make sure that you keep these grilling safety tips in mind. This helps ensure that you and your family can enjoy grilled dinners without any trouble.

Store Propane Tanks Properly

Grilling safety involves storing propane tanks properly. Tanks for gas grills can easily become a hazard. Store these tanks in a vertical and upright position. Also make sure they are kept far away from any heat or ignition sources, such as lighters or matches. If you have a gas line for your grill, you don’t have to deal with propane tanks at all.

Turn the Grill on Safely

Another important grilling safety tip is to make sure that you turn the grill on correctly. This involves opening the lid and turning the propane on. After this is done, turn the knobs for the burners, then push the ignition. Doing this the right way lowers the risk of fires and other accidents.

Never Use Lighter Fluid

Never use lighter fluid to ignite a gas grill. Lighter fluid is a major fire hazard when it isn’t used properly. You will avoid having to worry about this if you have a gas grill with its own natural gas line installed.

Check for Leaks

Gas leaks can occur when you use propane tanks for your grill. You should check for leaks by putting a solution of water and light soap on the gas tank hose. If you see bubbles, this means you have a gas leak that needs to be fixed by a professional right away. Grills with a gas line have a lower risk of ending up with these leaks.

Don’t Reignite Right Away

If your grill doesn’t ignite, don’t light it again right away. You could have gas in the air that needs time to clear out. Lighting it again immediately could result in a fire and serious injuries. Wait for 5 minutes before you try to ignite your gas grill again.

Keep Your Grill Clean

Grilling safety includes making sure that your gas grill stays in good condition. Grease and other debris can build up over time, which can increase the risk of a fire. Clean debris off your grill and from the tray under it. You should wait for your grill to cool before cleaning it. Getting into the habit of doing this after using your grill each time means you won’t have to scrape a lot of debris off later on.

Turn Your Grill Off Properly

When it comes to grilling safety, it’s important to ensure that you turn your grill off the right way. This reduces the risk of injuries and accidents. You’ll need to turn the gas tank off before shutting off the gas burners. Make sure that your propane cylinder valve is fully closed to prevent gas from leaking. With a gas line grill, all you have to do is shut it off without having to deal with any tanks.

If you’re ready to install a gas line for your grilling area, contact Forrest Anderson. We can ensure that this is done properly for your safety.

5 important parts of your HVAC system

Many homeowners aren’t familiar with the different parts of an HVAC system. Although you should let HVAC professionals handle problems with your system, it’s helpful to know some of the most important parts. This can help you understand what’s going on if you have issues with your heating and cooling system.

Blower Motor

The blower motor in your HVAC system is the part that blows heated or cooled air into your home. When this motor kicks in, it pushes this air through your ductwork, which allows it to reach all parts of your home. Blower motors are available in conventional and variable speed models.

Blower motors can run into problems that affect how well your HVAC system heats or cools your home. Problems with the blower motor include having it run too often or having it not start at all. HVAC technicians should check this part of your HVAC system to make repairs or replace it if needed.

Compressor

A compressor, or condenser coil, is an HVAC component that helps keep your home cool. Heat pumps and central air conditioning systems have these outdoor units. Compressors send heat into the air outside and cool homes by condensing refrigerant.

Compressors are prone to having problems when airflow through these units is obstructed. This can happen when you have leaves or other vegetation around the unit. Shrubs or bushes can also obstruct compressors. Have HVAC technicians do maintenance on your compressor to keep it in good condition.

Evaporator Coil

Evaporator coils are important components inside heat pumps and central air conditioning systems. This coil contains refrigerant that absorbs heat and sends it back into your home as cooled air. This component also helps lower the humidity in your home.

Evaporator coils can have too much moisture on them, resulting in mold growth. These coils can also become frozen if you have any refrigerant leaks. Mold and ice can lower your air quality and even cause your HVAC system to break down. Have these coils cleaned and maintained to prevent this.

Combustion Chamber

The combustion chamber in a furnace is also known as a burner. Gas and air enter this part of your furnace, which causes a pilot or electronic ignition to start. In some furnaces, there is also another combustion chamber. This chamber catches and compresses unburned fuel and carbon monoxide. The result is a furnace with better efficiency.

Problems with the combustion chamber usually involve the way it ignites. Electronic ignition systems can be damaged or may malfunction. Pilot lights can go out or end up letting carbon monoxide into your home. It’s important to have an HVAC technician check and repair any problems you have with the combustion chamber in your HVAC system.

Heat Exchanger

Furnaces, including electric and gas models, have a heat exchanger that is used for warming up cooler air. This part of your HVAC system is what generates heated air to keep your home warm in winter.

Heat exchangers are made to be durable. However, they can develop cracks that could cause a carbon monoxide leak inside your home. Regular HVAC exchanger inspections can help prevent cracks and leaks.

Whether your HVAC system is louder than usual or just won’t start, contact Forrest Anderson today for service.

How to deal with HVAC service issues in Phoenix

Living in the Valley of the Sun means you’re used to temperatures rising toward the triple digits. You rely on your HVAC system to keep you comfortable during most of the year. The HVAC industry is competitive, and customers have high standards for service. Unfortunately, sometimes people encounter HVAC service issues in Phoenix.

HVAC Service Issues in Phoenix

Being on the lookout for HVAC service issues in Phoenix means knowing some of the tricks companies may use to try to fool you out of your money. A lack of professionalism or a poor business reputation are two red flags.

Some other common issues to watch for include:

  • Frequent maintenance visits
  • Inability to describe the work they’re recommending
  • Misrepresenting their company’s experience
  • Overpriced parts or labor
  • Quotes that aren’t itemized
  • Recommending an oversized AC unit
  • Replacing unnecessary parts

Needless to say, that’s a long list of potential money-making tricks. The best way to avoid HVAC service issues in Phoenix is to find a company you can trust. Forrest Anderson has followed four rules since the company was started:

  • Treat your employees right
  • Treat the customer right
  • Do your best work
  • Do the right thing

With values like that, you know you can rely on Forrest Anderson to keep your HVAC system up and running without overcharging you or doing unnecessary work.

Ongoing Maintenance

Mechanical systems break down without regular care and attention. Your car needs routine oil changes, battery replacements, and tire rotations. If it fails to start, it’s probably because you didn’t properly maintain it. The same applies to your HVAC system.

Establishing a service and maintenance agreement with a company you trust is the key to staying ahead of mechanical failures and unscrupulous contractors. Ongoing maintenance extends the life of your HVAC system. The Forrest Anderson Comfort Club includes two inspections per year to ensure your HVAC system is ready to run. After all, the best way to deal with a problem is to prevent it from becoming one in the first place.

Call the Family Owned and Operated HVAC Team You Trust

Forrest Anderson Plumbing, Heating, and Air Conditioning, Inc. is a family-run, third-generation company. We’re here to help you deal with HVAC service issues in Phoenix and the surrounding cities. From troubleshooting problems to installing HVAC or plumbing systems for your home or office, we’re the trusted partners on which you can rely.

If you have an HVAC or plumbing issue or would like to set up a maintenance agreement, contact Forrest Anderson today.

5 tips before calling an air conditioner repair expert

Living in the Phoenix area, you know that when the thermostat starts climbing, it’s time to consider turning on the air conditioner before the paint begins melting off your living room walls. However, if your unit requires maintenance, the instant gratification of cool flowing air may be denied.

Not all air conditioner problems require professional assistance to keep your home comfortable. Here are five issues that may be going wrong, as well as tricks to try before calling an air conditioner repair expert.

Five Air Conditioner Issues and Tips

1. Blowing Hot Air

This is the last thing you want to have happen in the face of triple-digit Phoenix weather. The good news is that there’s a chance you have simply tripped a breaker. To fix that issue, all you need to do is reset it.

If resetting the breaker doesn’t fix the problem, you may need to bring in a professional air conditioner repair technician to find the root of the problem. You should never open up your air conditioning unit to see if you can fix the problem as this could cause serious injury.

2. Frozen Air Conditioning Coil

One of the primary problems consumers have with their air conditioning unit is a frozen coil. It’s also one of the easiest problems to fix. There are several reasons why your coil might be freezing, including restricted airflow, low refrigerant level, or broken components.

Turn off your AC and set the fan to auto to help melt the ice around the coil. Check to ensure that the filters are clean and empty of debris. If the problem continues, it’s time to call your air conditioning repair expert to inspect your unit.

3. Refrigerant Leak

If your air doesn’t feel as cold as it should, you may have a refrigerant leak. This is one of the more common service calls HVAC companies receive. In addition to the air not feeling as cold, you may hear a hissing sound or notice an increase in your electric bill when this problem is ignored.

Your air conditioning repair expert will be able to find and repair the leak in your AC unit. However, if there are multiple or major leaks, they may recommend replacing the refrigerant coil. Be aware that simply “topping off” your refrigerant will not solve the problem if you have a leak. Routine maintenance can help prevent minor issues from turning into costly replacements.

4. Short Cycling

Short cycling occurs when your AC unit starts and stops repeatedly every few minutes. The problem could be as simple as a bad thermostat, dirty filter, or a leak. For example, if your AC has always done this, a poorly placed thermostat could be the root of the problem. Be sure to check for clogged filters before calling an air conditioner repair expert.

5. Smelly Air

When your air conditioning unit starts blowing foul smells throughout your house, you need to get to the bottom of the problem right away. Stagnant water accumulating in your attic could cause a bacterial buildup. The resulting odor might be similar to the smell of urine or vinegar. With a regular service plan, your air conditioner repair expert will be able to help you keep your unit maintenance up to date and running as efficiently as possible.

Call the Air Conditioner Repair Experts

Don’t risk melting into a pile a goo when the temperature gets hot. If your air conditioner is giving you problems, contact Forrest Anderson for a free quote today.

5 common HVAC problems in Scottsdale

While many Arizona residents live for the beautiful winter weather in the Valley of the Sun, most people are ready for a long vacation once the temperature starts to climb. Arizona is a beautiful state, but you must admit the desert heat is a challenge. Luckily, air conditioning helps people manage their comfort during the summer. If you have HVAC problems in Scottsdale, it can be an emergency.

HVAC Problems in the Valley of the Sun

There are a few common HVAC problems in Scottsdale. To name a few:

  1. AC “freezes up.” It’s hard to imagine anything being too cold in Arizona in August. However, a dirty evaporator coil can slow down airflow and make the temperature fall too low. This can lead to a thick crust of ice forming over the evaporator coils and cause your AC to freeze up. There are several causes and it should be inspected and repaired by a technician as soon as possible.
  2. Broken fan belts. Air conditioners with blower fan belts are subject to breaking. Over time, the belts can come loose or begin to fray and rip. If your fan belt isn’t spinning, you have a problem. Warning signs might include a clanging or clicking noise. If you hear something unusual coming from your HVAC system, call for an inspection.
  3. Clogged filters. One item on your to-do list that can go a long way toward preventing HVAC problems in Scottsdale is to replace your filters regularly. You should replace disposable filters about once a month during the summer. Replace your filters again, about every other month the rest of the year. In addition to helping your HVAC run smoothly, replacing your filters can improve your indoor air quality.
  4. Damaged AC capacitor. During the summer, your AC probably turns on frequently. The capacitor is the part of your unit that stores energy and sends a jolt to start your AC. When your AC capacitor wears out, replacement is the only option. This will require a trained technician.
  5. Problematic AC condensate drain. This is a busy part of your HVAC system, especially in summer. The drain pan can rust and break, or your condensate drain line can overload. This problem will require professional replacement.

Maintenance, Maintenance, Maintenance

One of the easiest ways to prevent HVAC problems in Scottsdale is by signing up for a maintenance agreement. Forrest Anderson’s Comfort Club gives you the satisfaction of knowing your system is reliably maintained by certified professionals. As a Preferred Customer, your service orders will receive priority status and you’ll also enjoy a 15% discount off of all air conditioning and plumbing repair costs (discounts don’t apply to a new system purchase).

Being a part of the Comfort Club includes two inspections per year, one in the spring and the other in the fall. Your technician will inspect different aspects of your HVAC unit during each of the visits. After all, the best way to deal with HVAC problems in Scottsdale is by not letting them become a problem in the first place.

Your Local Resource for Plumbing and HVAC Problems in Scottsdale

Have you ever wondered why plumbing and HVAC companies are often combined? Clean air and clean water are a priority for good living. Indoor air pollutants can be a cause of allergies and illness. Forrest Anderson cares about your health and quality of life.

If you suspect you have HVAC problems in Scottsdale or other Phoenix-area communities, contact Forrest Anderson. We offer free quotes and flexible payment options when you need plumbing and HVAC repairs or replacements.

How to choose the best air conditioner for Phoenix

Most people imagine Phoenix as an intolerably hot place to live. Residents know the secret to being comfortable in the desert is having a reliable air conditioner during the extreme heat. In addition to keeping us cool, the best air conditioner will also be energy efficient and long-lasting.

Best Air Conditioner Choices for Extreme Heat

Let’s face it, we live in Phoenix for the quality of life, including abundant sunshine. However, that sun can heat it up to be life-threateningly hot. To stay as comfortable as possible during the summer, you want the best air conditioner you can afford. There is an overwhelming number of brands with various options for each.

When your local HVAC professionals conduct a home air conditioning assessment, one of the things they will consider is the HVAC load calculation. It’s based on the building’s square footage, but every property is unique. Sunlight, shade, number of windows, levels in the building, and more can impact the best air conditioner option for you.

Quality, Cost, and ROI

Buying the right cooling system for your home is an investment that can increase the value of your property. You will also want to consider your ROI (return on investment) by energy savings. You can save money on air conditioning and even eliminate many of the indoor air pollutants by understanding what to look for in an air conditioner system.

Central Air Conditioning

Ninety percent of new homes install central air conditioning systems. Since this system is quite costly, you’ll want to buy the best air conditioner for your home at the best price. Consider the following when making your decision:

  • Cooling capacity. During your home assessment, your professional will calculate the square footage to cool and guide you to choose the appropriate BTUs (British Thermal Units).
  • SEER rating. Energy-savings are calculated using the SEER rating. The best air conditioner has a high SEER number. This can help lower your monthly bills and increase your ROI.
  • Thermostat. Programmable thermostats can reduce cooling costs by up to ten percent. Keeping the temperature higher while you’re away is one way to save money. You can even program it to cool your home a few minutes before you return from work.

Mini-Split (Ductless) Air Conditioning

Mini-split systems have one unit inside the home and one unit outside. The indoor units can be mounted on the wall or ceiling. In addition to BTUs, look for:

  • Area coverage. Typically, you’ll need one system per room. A large room may require more than one unit.
  • Installation. Wall units can have front panels that look like picture frames. Ceiling units can be suspended or even hidden behind the ceiling.

During your home assessment, your HVAC professional can help determine if this type of system would be useful in your home. These are typically used in room additions, such as a sunroom, where the HVAC system wasn’t continued. They could also be used upstairs if the air conditioner isn’t cooling effectively enough.

Portable Air Conditioners

Some people react extremely to heat. This can leave them at risk for heat-related illness or even death. Portable air conditioners are one solution. In addition to BTUs and SEER, consider:

  • Plug type. Most rooms have 125V/15A plugs. You may need a professional electrician to determine if you need an upgrade.
  • Water condensation. Some units have a self-evaporating system that recycles water back into the air. Some have a condensate pump, requiring you to manually drain them every two to eight hours. Failure to drain can lead to overflow, water damage, and mold problems.

Window Air Conditioners

The best window air conditioners depend on SEER, BTUs, and noise level. Like all air conditioner systems, test it for sound. You can select from sizes that cool small spaces, large rooms, and entire apartments.

Arizona’s Air Conditioning Pros

The best air conditioner is quiet, efficient, and should serve you for many years with proper maintenance. To avoid coming home to no air conditioning when it’s 110 degrees outside, schedule regular inspections. Contact us for your home assessment, ongoing maintenance, or to upgrade your system.