Polar Bear Air Conditioning & Heating Inc Blog : Posts Tagged ‘Mclean’

Is Your Furnace Showing Signs of Distress?

Monday, March 12th, 2018

furnace-wiringWe could all use some warm, sunny weather right about now, but chances are that you’re going to be running your heater for a while longer. It may be late in the season, but don’t let that convince you that you can afford to ignore any signs of trouble your home heating system may be exhibiting. Trust us when we tell you that your heater can break down just as easily at the end of the season as during any other time.

So how do you deal with heating problems before facing as serious a situation as a complete breakdown? Well, you can learn to recognize the signs that you need furnace repairs in McLean, VA, for starters. No furnace is ever going to be 100% reliable, though scheduling routine heating maintenance will certainly help it to get as close to that ideal as possible. We’re happy to tune-up your furnace for you, of course. But eventually, we’ll need to repair your system. Call us when you see these warning signs.

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Choosing an Energy Efficient Unit for Furnace Installation in McLean, VA

Monday, October 20th, 2014

Furnaces are one of the most popular heating systems for homeowners. There are two main types of furnaces, but before choosing any kind of furnace for your home, it’s important to understand how energy efficiency is rated for furnace systems. Knowing ahead of time how a new system is supposed to perform is an important part of your furnace installation in McLean, VA. Equally important is hiring experts to perform the installation. For over 10 years, Polar Bear Air Conditioning & Heating Inc., has installed, repaired and replace multiple heating systems, and we bring this experience to every job we do.

What Is AFUE?

AFUE stands for annual fuel utilization efficiency. AFUE is the measure of a furnace’s efficiency in converting fuel to energy. As such, the higher an AFUE rating, the more efficient a particular system will be. One thing to understand about efficiency ratings is that they do not indicate that a system will heat better than another; what the efficiency rating tells you is that a particular system will heat the same as another, but will use less energy to do so. Currently, the minimum AFUE ratings for non-condensing, fossil-fueled furnaces is 78%, but this will change as of January 1, 2015 to 80%, so it’s important to note this upcoming change.

Energy Star

Another way to ensure that you install an energy efficient heating system is to look for the Energy Star sticker on the product. Whole-home appliances earn the ENERGY STAR rating by being at least 15% more energy efficient than the standard. If you have questions about using an Energy Star-labeled product, consult with your technician.

Types of Furnaces

There are two types of furnaces that Polar Bear Air Conditioning & Heating Inc., carries:

  • Gas
  • Electric

Both can efficiently heat your home, but the heating is slightly different as gas furnaces are combustion systems and electric furnaces are not. As far as efficiency is concerned, they are almost equal: a gas furnace can have an efficiency rating as high as 98% while an electric furnace can have one as high as 100%.

Which Furnace Should I Choose?

Choosing a furnace is based largely on your needs, and working with a trained professional can help you address what’s most important, including the system that will fit best in your home.

If you are ready for a new furnace installation in McLean, VA, contact Polar Bear Air Conditioning & Heating Inc., today and schedule an appointment with one of our installation experts.

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Rust on Your Furnace: What It Means

Thursday, February 6th, 2014

At first glance, it seems like it couldn’t happen. Your furnace generates heat and it doesn’t use water to do it. So how can rust show up on an operating furnace? In point of fact, rusty furnaces are not entirely uncommon. If you have rust on your furnace, it helps to know what it means before you contact your local  McLean, VA furnace repair service.

Rust is caused by the intermingling of water, oxygen and metal in a process called oxidation. In order for that to happen, all three elements need to be involved. Furnaces use oxygen for the burning process and their metal components are self-evident. So the question becomes, how does water enter the system?

If your furnace is in a damp part of the house such as a basement, then water can creep in from an outside source: dripping from a leaking pipe, for example, or gathering from a breach in the wall. But that’s not the only place it can happen. The natural gases used to fuel the furnace can contain trace amounts of water vapor. When the gases burn, the toxic components separate from the rest of the gases in the heat exchanger and are vented safely out of your home.  This includes water vapor, but if the vapor cools before it exits the flue, it can condense and cause rust damage.

The effects can’t be seen right away and may take years to manifest, but when they arise, they are devastating. Rust will corrode and destroy the metal in your furnace, forcing you to replace the affected components at great cost. In the case of the heat exchangers, rust can create actively dangerous circumstances, since a broken heat exchanger could result in toxic gases being released into your home. If you spot rust on your furnace, call Polar Bear Air Conditioning & Heating Inc. to get it fixed. We can replace the rusty component as well as correcting the problems that created the rust n the first place. Give us a call today to set up your McLean, VA furnace repair service.

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3 Reasons to Consider a Furnace in McLean, VA

Tuesday, October 15th, 2013

Nothing can fight back a snowy day like a warm, cozy household, with heating provided by a reliable furnace. Furnaces aren’t the only form of reliable heating in this neck of the woods, however. You can also find boilers, heat pumps, and many others. So what are the benefits of a furnace? What makes them a better option for heating that other technologies?

Here are 3 reasons to consider a furnace in McLean, VA:

  1. Energy efficiency. Gas furnaces tend to operate at high levels of efficiency, costing less to install and run than other forms of heating. You can easily customize them to add energy-saving upgrades like zone control and programmable thermostats.
  2. Few breakdowns. Gas furnaces suffer from wear and tear like any other mechanical system. But they are known to be both reliable and durable. That means fewer repairs and fewer complete breakdowns.
  3. Versatility. Alternate forms of heating aren’t always practical for every home, and you may need to make big changes in your home in order to accommodate them. Gas furnaces, on the other hand, are extremely flexible, and modern models have a lot of installation options.  You do need ducts for a furnace to heat your home, but they can be the same ones that are used by your central air conditioning system.

If you need more reasons to consider a furnace in McLean, VA, contact Polar Bear for sound advice and expertise. We can install a new furnace in McLean, VA, as well as setting up a reliable maintenance schedule to keep it running smoothly. Our trained technicians are dedicated to your complete satisfaction and we will discuss your options with you so that you’re completely clear on what will happen. Contact us to schedule an appointment today.

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Getting Your AC Ready for Fall

Thursday, August 29th, 2013

McLean, VA experiences a lot of heat and humidity in the summertime, and residents learn to appreciate the value of a good air conditioning system. As summer turns to fall and the temperatures drop, however, you probably find yourself using your air conditioning less and less. A little fall maintenance is a good idea, both to keep your air conditioning unit functioning at its best and to prevent any nasty surprises when you fire it up again next spring.

For starters, perform a visual inspection of your outdoor air conditioning unit. Clear any leaves, twigs and other debris, and trim back any shrubs or tree branches that may be too close to its vents. If you’re certain that warm weather won’t return, shut off the breaker switch connected to your air conditioning unit. It saves on electricity and can protect the unit from any unexpected surge or electrical malfunction.

The fall is also a good time to schedule a maintenance check from a qualified professional. A service technician can come to you home, check the system for any potential problems, clean the coils, replace the air filters and perform similar operations to keep your air conditioner functioning at top capacity. The fall is an especially good time to do this because there will be plenty of time to conduct any larger repairs without worrying about the next heat wave barreling down on you.

A qualified McLean, VA air conditioning service technician can be a great partner when getting your AC ready for the fall. Not only can he or she perform quality maintenance on your unit, but also schedule any larger servicing issues and recommend any changes to your system that might reduce your monthly energy costs. The professionals at Polar Bear have years of experience at their disposal and conduct operations with the utmost concern for your satisfaction. Call us today if you need air conditioning service in McLean, VA. 

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Alexandria, VA Air Conditioning Tip: Cutting Cooling Costs

Tuesday, July 9th, 2013

Energy prices seem to always be on the rise, which is why more and more homeowners are looking for ways to cut cooling costs. At Polar Bear, we understand that our customers want to stay cool in their homes but they don’t want to pay an arm and a leg to do it. That’s why we decided to put together a quick list of some of the things that you can do in order to reduce the amount of energy that you use to cool your home. Give us a call today if you need air conditioning repair, maintenance or installation in Alexandria, VA,  and we’ll be able to help.

  • Run the fan – Whenever it’s possible, run the fans in your home in addition to your air conditioning system. By plugging in an area fan or turning on your ceiling fans, you can make your rooms feel cooler without needing to turn down the thermostat. Fans can also help circulate the air conditioned air throughout your rooms.
  • Use curtains – During the day, keep the curtains on south face windows closed. This can help prevent solar heat gain. Installing ENERGY STAR rated windows can also make a big difference in how much the sun heats up your home during the day.
  • Use water – Our bodies produce sweat when we’re hot because as the sweat evaporates, it actually cools our body. You can use the same principle in other ways around your house. Consider soaking some towels or rags in cool water and placing them on your neck or wrists. As the water evaporates it will cool your body.
  • Install a programmable thermostat – Programmable thermostats allow you to automatically adjust the temperature in your home based on time of day. If there is a time during the day that your home is usually empty, such as when everyone is at work or school, you can program your AC to turn off. It can turn back on before you come home, which keeps you comfortable and helps you save energy.

Saving energy is good for the environment and for your wallet. Follow these simple tips to cut down on your cooling costs this summer. If you have any questions about our Alexandria, VA air conditioning services, make sure that you call Polar Bear.

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Arlington, VA AC Tip: Reasons for Inefficient Air Conditioning

Wednesday, June 19th, 2013

When the summer starts to heat up, most homeowners will start to run their air conditioners in Arlington, VA more often. This will usually cause a corresponding increase in energy usage as well. However, if you notice that your energy bills are increasing without an increase in usage, it could mean that your AC isn’t working efficiently. If you need any kind of air conditioning services in Arlington, VA, just call the experts at Polar Bear. We can fix any issue that you might be having and help you get your AC working more efficiently again quickly. Check out a few of the most common reasons why your AC might be running inefficiently.

  • Lack of maintenance – One of the best things that you can do for the efficiency of your air conditioner is to get it regularly inspected and maintained by a professional. During regular maintenance visits, your AC technicians will look for any small problems and issues that could be causing your AC unit to have to work harder than it should.  They will clean all of the parts and fix any problems which could help return some of the efficiency to your system.
  • Clogged air filter – Probably the most common cause of air conditioning inefficiency is a clogged air filter. Your AC has an air filter that is usually located near the return air vent that protects the inside from dust, dirt, insects and other pollutants. If the air filter doesn’t get changed regularly, it could get clogged and restrict the flow of air through the system. This will cause your AC to have to work harder to pull air through it and, thus, reduce the efficiency of the system. By regularly changing your air filter you could be able to make sure that your air conditioner continues to operate at peak efficiency.

For all your air conditioning installation, repair or maintenance in Arlington, VA, just call Polar Bear today. 

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How AC Maintenance Can Minimize Repairs

Wednesday, June 12th, 2013

As the temperature starts to rise here in Virginia, more homeowners are starting to turn on their air conditioning systems. But all this sudden usage can cause a number of undesirable issues for your air conditioning system. Getting regular maintenance for your air conditioning system is a great way to potentially reduce the need for air conditioning repair. As your air conditioning system operates, it will develop small problems. These issues will likely grow and develop into larger, more costly repairs. Maintenance will not only save you money by reducing these repairs, but it can also help your AC run more efficiently.

  • Find problems early – Probably the most obvious way that regular maintenance might be able to reduce the need for repair is by allowing you to find problems early. During regular maintenance visits, our technicians thoroughly inspect and clean all of the he components of your air conditioning system. They will specifically look for any worn out, loose or dirty parts.
  • Find problems before they start – By getting regular air conditioning maintenance you could be able to find problems even before they start. During regular maintenance visits from Polar Bear, our experts will change and replace parts that often break. We’ll replace your air filter, your fan belt and any other parts that need to be changed. This could be able to keep them from ever developing problems.

For any McLean, VA air conditioning repair service you need, make sure that you call Polar Bear. We are passionate about our customers’ satisfaction and the level of workmanship that we do. 

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Alexandria, VA Air Conditioning Tip: How Your Air Conditioning Installation Affects its Performance

Thursday, May 16th, 2013

Are you in the market for a new air conditioner? If so, then you have an unprecedented amount of choices to make. Considering all of the different brands and types of systems that are available these days, the selection of equipment can seem like a daunting prospect. Yet, you shouldn’t overlook the importance of professional installation. No matter what type of equipment you get, if it’s not properly installed, then it simply won’t perform well. Since this is such a major investment, you would do well to ensure that your installation is carried out by an AC technician. In this post, we’d like to look at how the quality of your Alexandria, VA air conditioning installation affects performance.

  • Size: Simply put, your air conditioner needs to be appropriately sized if it is to perform well. During professional installation, your technician will perform a load calculation, which measures the potential volume of air in your home that needs to be cooled, as well as other factors. This is then compared with the BTU and tonnage ratings of the air conditioners in your budget and the process of selection begins. Even before the installation gets started, there are important decisions to be made.
  • Quality: A professional AC technician has the equipment, tools, and technical expertise to ensure that all aspects of your installation run smoothly. In order to perform satisfactorily, your AC needs to have the correct “charge,” which is the level of refrigerant that circulates throughout the coils and compressor. Moreover, all of the piping connections need to be correctly joined together so that no refrigerant leaks occur.
  • Reliability: A professionally installed air conditioner followed up with routine maintenance will churn out years of solid cooling, no matter what the outside temperature is. There’s simply no other way to rely on consistent performance from your AC than by hiring a professional.

If you have any further questions about the importance of professional air conditioning installation, then do not hesitate to get in touch with us. For comprehensive Alexandria, VA air conditioning services, call Polar Bear today!

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McLean, VA Air Conditioning FAQ: Is Routine Maintenance Necessary

Monday, May 6th, 2013

Homeowners throughout the McLean, VA area are gearing up their air conditioning systems for the heat and humidity of the summer months. One question that we often get asked is whether routine maintenance is necessary. Well, that probably depends upon your point of view. Necessary to what? To energy efficiency, performance, indoor air quality, and possibly even your manufacturer’s warranty? Yes, it most certainly is. If you have received professional installation for your AC, then you’re well on your way to lasting home comfort, but don’t stop there. Professional routine maintenance is a cost-effective way to ensure that your home stays crisp and cool all summer long. Call the McLean, VA air conditioning pros at Polar Bear Air Conditioning & Heating today!

Professional maintenance visits involves comprehensive inspection, cleaning and tune-ups of all aspects of your system. Inspecting equipment for unsafe conditions, refrigerant leaks, electrical problems, clogged condensate drains, among others, allows your tech a close-up view of the details of your system. Cleaning of coils and filters, and lubrication of motor parts allow your AC to work as it should.

  • Performance: You can’t expect a neglected air conditioning system to perform as it should. Even high-end models that are designed to be powerful will gradually become less effective if they are not routinely maintained. Performance depends upon clean coils, efficient airflow, and the integrity of the electrical systems.
  • Energy efficiency: With good performance comes high energy efficiency. You need your AC not only to bring you cool air, but also to do it efficiently. While we cannot control the cost of energy in our area, we can control how we use it. By keeping your system clean and tuned-up on a routine basis, you can keep your energy bills to a minimum.
  • Manufacturer’s warranty: Depending on how old your AC is and who installed it, professional routine maintenance may actually be necessary in order to make sure your AC is protected. Speak to your installer or refer to your information packet for further details.

If you’re still unconvinced as to the merits of professional McLean, VA air conditioning maintenance, call Polar Bear Air Conditioning & heating today to learn more about our services! 

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