Posted by & filed under Equipment Tips, General Tips, preventative maintenance .

Today’s central heating and air conditioning systems are often equipped with sophisticated, digital thermostats. These devices do much more than analog, dial-type thermostats or those that depend on mercury for operation.

However, the one drawback to digital thermostats is that they often use batteries to function. Without internal batteries, digital thermostats won’t work and could leave you without heat or cool air. Fortunately, battery replacement is usually a simple and fast process, and homeowners can perform it without fear once they know how to safely handle the replacement.

How to Replace Batteries

Battery replacement should be performed as needed, but you should also replace them on an annual basis, at the very least. That will prevent any unexpected thermostat failures, especially during the coldest or hottest times of the year.

If you have your thermostat’s instructions handy, then you should review them prior to attempting a battery change. If not, you may be able to locate an electronic copy online at the manufacturer’s website for download and viewing.

Begin by shutting down the power to the thermostat and central heating and air conditioning system. The voltage levels inside the thermostat are fairly low and incapable of shocking you; however, you should always flip off the appropriate circuit breaker switch at the panel to prevent accidental surges which could damage the system.

Next, consult the thermostat instructions to determine how to access the battery compartment. Many times, the compartment can be accessed by simply pulling the front panel away from the base, or you may have to lift-and-slide the panel to remove it. There may also be occasions when screws need to be removed to permit access.

After the panel has been removed, take out the old batteries and replace them with fresh, alkaline batteries. Be sure the batteries are properly aligned for polarity, with the positive and negative terminals facing the correct directions.

Replace the panel as instructed and then restore power to the thermostat at the circuit breaker panel. You may need to reprogram the thermostat to recover previous settings.

Please contact us with any questions or service needs that you may have.

Posted by & filed under Air Conditioning, M&M Mechanical .

As warmer weather arrives, many homeowners start to think about spring cleaning. One important part of spring cleaning that is often overlooked is your HVAC system. A properly-functioning air conditioner is a critical part of keeping your home comfortable and should therefore be part of your spring cleaning schedule. The following maintenance tasks will help your air conditioner to keep your home cool throughout the spring and summer.

Replace your air filters. Replacing the air filters on a regular basis is one of the most important HVAC maintenance tasks. Dirty air filters increase energy costs and lead to poor indoor air quality in your home, which can become a health hazard. You should replace your air filters once a month.

Clean the unit’s condenser coils and evaporator coils. Dirty coils will lower the system’s ability to keep your home cool. This will cause your unit to run longer and lead to higher cooling costs.  Therefore, it is important to clean your coils to keep your unit performing its best.

Check your air conditioner’s refrigerant level. If you don’t have the correct amount of refrigerant, your system will run less efficiently. This will increase your energy costs and shorten the life of your unit.

Clean the ductwork. Your ductwork should be cleaned and tested for leaks. Leaks in your ductwork reduce the efficiency of your HVAC unit. If you do not keep up with this task, your air conditioner will run longer in order to keep up with the air that has leaked out out.

Schedule an air conditioning tune-up. A preventive check now can save you a lot of trouble down the road. Don’t wait until the heat of summer to find out that your air conditioner isn’t working properly. Make an appointment for an HVAC inspection. Your technician will check your HVAC system and ensure that it’s running at optimal levels.

Do you have any questions? We would love to help you out and therefore encourage you to contact us at M&M Mechanical, Inc.

Posted by & filed under Heating .

Cold winter weather is a part of life in Virginia. Unfortunately, temperatures forecast to be cold enough to warrant firing up the furnace are an opportunity for scammers to go door-to-door in search of a quick and easy payday. Anyone who has lived through a Virginia winter knows exactly what we’re talking about.

Heating contractor scams are pretty common in cold weather states. We strongly dislike them for a couple of reasons. First, scammers harm our customers by taking their money without providing the promised repairs. Second, those same scammers give a black eye to an entire industry that otherwise looks out for people.

In order to help you prepare yourself for the next round of cold weather, we have put together a list of five signs that suggest you might be the victim of a heating repair scam. If you recognize any of them during your negotiations with a heating contractor, don’t proceed any further. Stop and report the scammer to the authorities.

1. A Lack of Documentation

You can never go wrong by asking a contractor to show proof of licensing and insurance. Licensing is one way to weed out bad actors, and scammers that typically don’t spend money on insurance policies. Any contractor who refuses to show you proper documentation is one you should stay away from.

2. Lowball Estimates

It is common to see some variation in price when you ask for estimates from several contractors. Remember this: there is a general industry price range for typical heating work. If a contractor offers you an extremely low estimate that seems too good to be true, it very well might be. Remain cautious.

Lowball estimates could mean one of two things. First, you might be dealing with a scammer looking only to put some quick cash in his pocket. Second, you might be dealing with a legitimate contractor who, despite not looking to scam you, may still do very shoddy work.

3. Requests for Cash Deposits

One of the biggest red flags signifying a scam is a request for a significant cash deposit. The scammer may claim to need the money to secure the materials necessary to do the work. Don’t fall for it. Reputable contractors work out their own credit plans with suppliers in order to secure what they need for each job.

4. Unwillingness to Provide References

Trustworthy contractors are not afraid to provide references. The scammer won’t offer references for obvious reasons. Always ask for them, and then be sure to follow up on the names and phone numbers you’re given. References can tell you a lot about the quality of work your contractor will provide. In the event that those references are fake then you will know soon enough.

5. Unwillingness to Provide a Contract

Finally, scammers looking to take advantage of unsuspecting homeowners are relatively light on the details they are willing to divulge. Ask for a written contract and they are likely to hem and haw. No scammer wants to leave a paper trail behind. If you ask for a contract and then sense unwillingness to provide one, walk away from the deal.

It is unfortunate that cold weather has to bring out scammers more than willing to prey on people who need help. We are proud to say that you don’t have to worry about being scammed when you contact us. M&M Mechanical is a reputable heating and air conditioning company approved as an Angie’s List provider and A+ rated by the BBB.

Posted by & filed under furnace .

Your furnace is one of the most dependable appliances in your home. However, improper maintenance can cause your furnace to not only breakdown, but to also run inefficiently, meaning higher energy bills and a big dent in your monthly budget. Luckily, you can save your unit from a major malfunction and keep your budget intact by performing a few easy maintenance steps. The tips provided below will keep your system running smoothly and your family warm all winter long.

Get a yearly furnace inspection

Scheduling a yearly furnace check-up is key to safeguarding your system against major repairs. During a tune-up, an HVAC technician will inspect your unit for operational issues and worn components. They will also thoroughly clean your furnace. Both maintenance tasks are essential to your system running safely and efficiently throughout the winter.

Change the air filter

A dirty air filter can lead to an inefficient and overburdened furnace. Simply put, a filter protects your unit’s internal components from dust and other airborne particles. If you do not change the air filter on a regular basis then a build-up of dirt will occur, which can lead to your furnace malfunctioning, while also causing the air quality in your home to drop. Generally, you should change the furnace’s filter at least every three months. However, if you have a pet or a family member with allergies, you may want to replace the filter more frequently.

Clean the area around your furnace

While every inch of storage space in your home is a coveted commodity, the area around your furnace should not be used to stash holiday decorations or cardboard boxes. Clutter surrounding your furnace is a fire hazard and should be eliminated immediately. Vacuuming or sweeping the area on a regular basis is also a must. An overabundance of dirt and dust in the area can eventually affect your furnace’s performance.

A well maintained furnace means less money spent on repair bills and wasted energy. If you would like to schedule a yearly furnace inspection, please contact us today and we’ll be happy to help you!

Posted by & filed under furnace, preventative maintenance .

Your home furnace is the most important appliance in your home as it is responsible for ensuring that your property stays warm during the cold winter months. Due to the value of your furnace, making sure that it is functional when it is needed most is extremely important. There are several reasons why you should have an annual furnace service and inspection completed…

Ensures Efficiency
One of the most important reasons why you should have an annual furnace service completed is that it will help to ensure efficiency. Part of the process when you have an annual service completed is that the technician will check all aspects of the furnace to make sure everything is clean and working properly. This will help to improve efficiency and lower your utility bills.

Safety
Having your furnace serviced on an annual basis is also much safer. Part of the process of having your furnace serviced is that the technician will check for gas leaks and other potential hazards. If there is something of concern, the technician will be able to fix it immediately to ensure it continues to be safe to use.

Fix Problems Early
While a furnace can last for a long period of time, they do tend to wear down as the years go on. However, if you have your furnace serviced on an annual basis, you will be able to identify areas of concern and wear and tear early in the process. When you do this, you will be able to have these issues addressed earlier on and can then avoid having to make more significant repairs or replacements in the future. Furthermore, it can greatly extend the useful life of your furnace.
We encourage you to give M&M Mechanical, Inc. a call to get your Annual furnace service scheduled. We are always happy to answer any questions you may have so please don’t hesitate to reach out or visit our website.