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Are you looking for a HVAC repair contractor you can count on? Do you need professional HVAC services? At DJC Heating & Cooling, we believe that a comfortable environment and quality air are things that all people should be able to enjoy. We have been catering to the needs of Aurora, Illinois residents as well as the surrounding areas for years, delivering nothing less than flawless service.
Sometimes our clients tend to ask us, “Is an AC tune up really necessary?” Your cooling and heating system is a major investment for your home and your comfort. After years of experience, we strongly recommend having your air conditioning system inspected and preventative maintenance performed each season to keep your system running right all year round.
Shopping for a new HVAC system can be confusing and frustrating. Comparing system sizes, efficiency ratings, models and manufacturers can overwhelm even the most determined researcher. We’re here to help. Our staff will offer solutions based on years and years of industry experience in Aurora, IL. All of our work is fully guaranteed and we’re available anytime you have any problems or questions.
Our services are delivered by our team with over 15 years of experience and are passionate about all of your Heating & Cooling needs.
There are an estimated 87 percent of residential homes in our country using some type of air conditioning. That’s according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration. Now although these wall-mounted A/C units and central air conditioners still remain the most popular of choices, rooftop air conditioning units are steadily gaining popularity.
For many years now, only commercial buildings were using rooftop units, and although not every home is a prime candidate for this kind of cooling, residential roof-mount air conditioners are starting to gain ground. But to understand the benefits, you need to know the basics first.
Window air conditioning units will function outside a total home system, providing a small amount of cooling for a single room or floor, all because they don’t run proficiently through your ductwork and are movable as necessary.
Central air units, meanwhile, are either mounted on the side of your home using metal brackets or placed on a concrete pad in your yard. Typically these units are connected to a forced-air furnace and are supposed to push cold air throughout your entire home.
Every central systems is split, meaning that some of their components are commonly found in the air conditioner that is attached to your home and some are located inside your furnace itself. Typically, your furnace will hold a fan evaporative and heat exchanger, whereas the outside unit houses the compressor fan, compressor and a second heat exchanger.
A central system, hence, cannot operate without the required companion parts in your furnace.
What are the benefits of rooftop air conditioning?
Roof-mounted air conditioners, meanwhile, do not suffer from this split-component complication. Alternatively, everything the A/C unit requires to not only create, but distribute cold air, is contained in the rooftop air conditioning unit, which is then attached to the top of your home and routed throughout the ductwork.
Apart from bypassing the furnace, there are various advantages to a roof-mounted unit. Number one is regulating the amount of work that is required from the unit — in turn reducing your energy cost. Always remember cold air sinks, a rooftop install is advantageous of air’s natural tendency. Forced air furnaces, meanwhile, need to push this cooled air up throughout the ductwork in your home, which demands more power and greater fan speeds.
Installing a rooftop air conditioner also has the benefit of keeping all moving parts together. If a part breaks down in a central air conditioner, a repair technician will be required to check your A/C unit the furnace, and all the connections that run in-between them. As a result, troubleshooting A/C issues or even routine maintenance may be costly and time-consuming. If a rooftop unit experiences a problem, a professional HVAC technician needs only to search in one place.
How much does a rooftop A/C unit cost?
Roof-mount air conditioners are favored with commercial properties, mostly in part because the units can proficiently cool large spaces and in part because they don’t demand any alterations to the existing HVAC work.
Professional A/C installers are now beginning to offer these same roof units to residential customers, but do your due diligence before beginning on an above-ground installation. First, you need to consider weight. While the addition of a second heat exchanger and fan doesn’t considerably increase the overall weight of a unit, you need to ascertain how much your roof can support. Commercial properties are perfect for these types of air conditioners because their roofs are often flat. Now if you have a roof that has damage due to weather or a sharply peaked, a rooftop unit may be a risk to steer clear of.
Furthermore, expect to pay more for a rooftop A/C unit itself as well as the installation. Comparable roof air conditioners can range anywhere from $200 to $1,000. More expensive to purchase and can sometimes cost up to double for the installation. What is the reason you ask? Rooftop units will first need to be hauled up the side of your house, and you’ll require at least a number of properly trained and OSHA required harnessed technicians working on your roof for the better part of a day to finish the task. Keep in mind installing anything two or three stories up comes with a greater safety and property risk obviously, meaning some contractors will charge more for installation.
While people in many areas of the country can get away with keeping older heating system, we Northerners know that if your central heat doesn’t perform up to par, it’s an extremely serious matter. You having a system that is both in good functioning order and also able to produce an adequate amount of heat to battle the all too common below freezing temperatures is essential if you want your home to be anywhere near comfortable during the heating season. In Aurora, gas furnaces are the top choice for heating your home during the colder months of the year. They are reliable, efficient, and produce the kind of heat that you’ll definitely want and need to keep your family warm during a Windy City winter.
Aurora Gas Furnace Maintenance
Keep in mind if your gas furnace was installed only a year or two ago, you probably needn’t worry about maintenance or repairs. However, for the majority of folks in Aurora, gas furnace repair is just simply a fact of life. There’s one thing that you can do to keep a less than brand new unit in tip top shape for as long as possible is to get annual furnace inspections. While this won’t necessarily guarantee that there will be no problems, however routine annual inspections will give you an early diagnosis of potential issues while they are still minimal (and while your furnace is still in working condition). Furnace repairs can be expensive sometimes, and a unit clunking out when winter is already in full swing can be an extremely inconvenient hassle; getting a routine inspection well before you actually need to run your furnace is a wise decision to ensure proper operation all winter long, and could save you some money in the long run, too.
Replacing a Gas Furnace in Aurora
Though annual inspections and other small precautionary measures (like changing the furnace filter regularly) can greatly prolong the life of your Aurora gas furnace, because units in the area obviously, are certain to get utilized often, they will more than likely require replacement after a while. Furnace replacement can sometimes be a costly project, and it’s one that few homeowners adore. However, when they see the efficiency of the newer gas furnaces first-hand, many homeowners are actually much happier with their purchase than they thought they would be originally.
Owning a higher efficiency furnace in a colder climate can really make a difference when it comes to your family’s monthly energy bills. Keep in mind that not only will you be saving money on very expensive fuel costs (and, in some scenarios, a new furnace may even increase the comfort of your living areas, as well as the value of your home), but you’ll also be worry free of costly repairs for at least a few years.
Aurora Gas Furnace Costs for Repair and Installation
Inspection, again, is one of the key things you can do to prolong the life (and maintain sustainable operating costs) of your gas furnace; Aurora residents can predict an inspection to run anywhere in the ballpark of $50 to $150, depending upon who you hire and how involved the work is. Aurora furnace repair sometimes tend to cost between the range of $100 and $300 for minimal jobs, but can easily reach $1,000 or even more for a more involved project.
Keep in mind as far as furnace replacement goes, you’ll be looking at the damage ranging anywhere from $2,000 to $13,000 depending upon the unit you choose to purchase or any modifications that may be a requirement. Replacing a furnace in an area as frigid as Aurora is a paramount operation, and opting for the lowest price on the least expensive model will more than likely end up being a terrible mistake. This doesn’t necessarily mean that you will have to go for the Ferrari of furnaces on the market, but it is always a good idea to do a little research on your own or have a significant talk with someone knowledgeable about what would work best in your family’s home. Don’t worry, after a few winters of worry free and more than efficient heating, you’ll be ecstatic that you did!
Boilers and radiators are not usually installed in newer homes, but quite a few older residences still feature this type of heating system. Additionally, because this style of heating works rather well in multi-residence situations and in larger buildings, hot-water heating and steam heating are still very common in many multi-family dwellings, apartment buildings, and older business buildings.
Boiler Systems Operation
Now, in steam heating systems, a boiler heats the water by means of a oil-fired burner or gas and turns it into steam. The steam will then travel through pipes to convectors or radiators, which will then give off the heat and warm the room. As the steam will eventually cool, it will then condense back into water, and returns to the boiler to once again be heated. Hot water heating systems function on the same principle, using the hot water as opposed to steam to heat the radiators.
Steam Heating Systems Maintenance
One of the clear advantages of boiler systems is their long life, however they should still be serviced annually to guarantee worry-free operation. You can very easily educate yourself to check the pressure level gauge, safety valve, and water level gauge yourself, but for your safety more significant heating system maintenance should always be done by qualified heating service professional. Routine annual service should always include checking the gauges and controls and inspecting and adjusting the burner. In addition, the flues and chimney from the boiler should always be inspected for leaks or blockages, as well. If you happen to have steam heating, always keep in mind the air valves on the radiators should also be inspected and adjusted to regulate the heat.
Steam Heating Systems: The Pros
Hot-water heating and steam systems have numerous benefits that aren’t necessarily discussed. They have a few actual moving parts, making them far more durable and reliable if maintained than newer, more complicated heating systems. They will also provide clean and dust-free heat, a extra added plus for homeowners who sometimes react negatively to the dust and other allergens that can be brought about by forced air and other modern day heating systems. In conclusion, they will be the ultimate choice when it comes to staying true to historic homes and older structures, making it clear to see why some Aurora homeowners choose to sometimes overlook, and tolerate, some of the peculiarities that have made steam heating systems lose popularity as a residential heating alternative over the years.
Steam Heating Systems: Cons
There’s obviously a reason steam heating isn’t on the map for most homeowners when it comes to restoring their home’s heating system. All the way around steam heating isn’t as efficient, it provides even less heating, and presents a far greater safety risk than other heating options. In addition to that the fact that steam heating demands thorough routine maintenance if you expect your system to last, and it’s clear to see why many homeowners choose to upgrade steam heating systems with more conventional heating alternatives. In fact, if you have a system that is struggling or just not fitting the bill, it’s always wise to invest in a forced air furnace instead. The energy savings you’ll experience, along with the convenience of a maintenance free operation, make replacing steam heating systems a intelligent decision for any homeowner.
Always Talk to an HVAC Professional
Now whether you elect to replace your home’s boiler systems with forced air or other heating systems, or choose to keep things running and maintain them, it’s always a wise move to call in a licensed and experienced technician to perform the required work. Either way you’ll be able to rest easy knowing your home’s heating system has been installed and maintained correctly, and will keep you, your family and friends warm when the cold Aurora winter sets in.
The HVAC industry is immensely extensive, comprised of professionals with ongoing training, specializing in heat, air and/or refrigeration. Many who will pursue this line of work will focus on definite areas; however their training also requires aspects of the industry as a whole. A well-rounded foundation in all facets of air conditioning, heating, and ventilation enables any HVAC professional, no matter their specialty, to always better carry out their significant duties. Now with all of this discussion of specialization in the HVAC industry, you might possibly be curious about at least one of the areas of focus, so let’s dive into refrigeration this time around. I’ll cover what the refrigeration specialty is, necessary skills and common duties associated with it for success.
What Exactly are Refrigeration Mechanics and Technicians?
Refrigeration technicians and mechanics in the HVAC industry are the professionals who will create and maintain a climate-controlled environment in terms of temperature, air quality and humidity, in a variety of buildings, including homes, high-rise offices, factories, hospitals and shops. These professionals may sometimes be required to put together and install HVAC and refrigeration equipment as well as repair and maintain it in domestic, commercial or industrial settings. In addition to large air conditioning units, the everyday machinery that a refrigeration specialist will deal with may also include evaporators, condensing units, and compressors.
Proper construction and maintenance of refrigeration systems is paramount, as these are required for our safety regarding the storage of perishables, such as medicine and food. In their day-to-day endeavors, refrigeration technicians and mechanics not only maintain systems but also strictly adhere to government standards in performing all that they do. That’s because the EPA has very stringent requirements for the refrigeration industry as a whole, as refrigerants that are often used are dangerous and toxic chemicals. Therefore, refrigeration specialists follow rules regarding and are officially certified in handling, disposal, conservation, recycling and recovery of refrigerant fluids.
Some Duties of a Refrigeration Specialist
Refrigeration technicians and mechanics alike have a wide array of responsibilities that have a necessary hand to the overall functioning of refrigeration systems. Such professionals will oversee systems from start to finish, beginning with building various components with tools and welding equipment. Through the entire process, these technicians will connect electrical components and refrigeration lines throughout the system.
When problems first arise in a building’s refrigeration or AC systems, or routine maintenance is simply required, refrigeration specialists are entrusted with providing the essential solutions. HVAC refrigeration technicians quickly assess system functioning, working on the problems as they emerge, such as mechanical issues. General maintenance may sometimes include looking for and fixing equipment leaks, or maintaining compressors in cooling machines and refrigerant reclaiming (processing used refrigerant gas so that it may be recycled). In performing these and comparable tasks, refrigeration specialists must also completely understand the components and materials that they’re working with, so they will often rely on blueprints to determine the type, physical size and capacity of a new construction or repair of your home’s refrigeration system parts.
Which HVAC Certifications Do Technicians Need?
As a homeowner, when hiring a technician to work on your heating, ventilation and cooling system is a job you will most likely have to take part in at some point. There’s a great deal of inherent danger involved with HVAC equipment and a great deal can go wrong, so it’s critical to only hire a licensed HVAC technician for work around the home.
A license will provide verification that the technician has been professionally trained. Each state will have different licensing requirements, so always check with your state’s professional licensing department to confirm the status of a license.
The North American Technician Excellence (NATE) certification is a nationally recognized and esteemed certification for HVAC and refrigeration technicians. The HVAC certification is not legally required to become a technician, however it is widely recognized in the field and will validate a technician’s knowledge. In order to gain this certification, technicians must pass a knowledge-based test. This certification can be earned in one or more specialty areas, including air distribution, air conditioning, and gas furnaces.
The HVAC Excellence certification is another notable HVAC industry certification. HVAC technician certifications will include the professional and master specialist levels. To earn the professional-level credential, a contractor must first have two years of field experience and pass a comprehensive examination in specialty areas, such as heat pump service and residential air conditioning.
Contractors who successfully pass their exams will receive a chevron for a certain certification area, HVAC Excellence patch and wall certificate. The master specialist credential requires the contractor to have at least 3 years of verifiable field experience as well as a passing score on the HVAC Excellence professional-level exam.
EPA 608 Certification
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) now requires all technicians with access to a container or system that stores refrigerant, including A/C coolant such as R-410A or R-22, to have the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) 608 certification. HVAC technicians cannot legally buy refrigerants without this qualification. There are three types of certifications available, and contractors must pass a written examin to obtain this credential.
First level of this HVAC certification will allow the technician to handle small appliances containing less than 5 pounds of refrigerant. Window air conditioning units are an example of these. The second certification allows technicians to handle products containing high pressure refrigerants. Finally the type-three certification allows a technician to handle products containing low-pressure refrigerants.
All the labor that goes into producing tighter houses results in remarkable energy savings and greater comfort. But cooking odors, moisture, and chemical toxins can’t disperse as easily in a house with a tight envelope as in a leaky house. Opening a few windows may yield too much or too little ventilation, with unfortunate effects on comfort in either case. Even in houses where furnishings and building materials have been carefully selected to reduce indoor air pollutants, some arrangement of mechanical ventilation is a prerequisite for healthy inhabitants and a healthy building.
There are two fundamental strategies to produce mechanical ventilation: spot ventilation, which eliminates pollutants and moisture at their source, and whole-house ventilation.
Classic spot ventilation strategies incorporate the use of bathroom exhaust fans and an exhaust fan over the kitchen range. Exhaust fans are available in a assortment of styles, sizes, and price ranges. Control options range from simple wall switches to advanced timers, humidistats, or occupancy sensors.
Whole-house mechanical ventilation systems are created to remove stale air from or provide fresh air to the building as a whole. These systems are more complex and more pricey than spot ventilation systems, but also more efficient.
Use a Variable Speed Furnace Fan
Some ventilation systems utilize the furnace fan to distribute air throughout the house. In these systems, the fan speed used for heating and cooling is more than likely too high in a ventilation-only mode. A variable-speed or two-speed fan is more effective, using less energy for ventilation than for heating and cooling.
Air Sealing Makes a House Healthier
In designing any ventilation system, a few rules of thumb are applicable:
The domicile should be air-sealed carefully, especially when it comes to crawl spaces, basements, garages and other areas where toxins and pollutants are familiar.
Building furnishings and materials that emit the least amounts of pollutants should be a first alternative.
The most effective ducts are straight, smooth, sized correctly, and sealed tightly. Corrugated ducts have considerable resistance to airflow, and elbows and long runs of duct also diminish effectiveness. Duct joints should be sealed with mastic. Ventilation ducts that pass through out unconditioned spaces should be insulated.
Exhaust ducts should always be ventilated to the outside every time, not into attics, basements, or crawl spaces.
Don’t Forget About Radon
Radon, a naturally occurring radioactive gas, is the second leading cause of lung cancer in the U.S., accounting for between 15,000 and 22,000 deaths a year, according to the National Cancer Institute. Radon can migrate through the soil and into basements, or access a building via well water. Some sections of the country are at a far more considerable risk than others, but all families should have their houses tested for it.
Especially in high-risk areas, a vent system created to pick up radon from beneath the basement slab should be installed during the construction of your home. If tests later indicate radon levels are too high, it’s actually quite easy to install a fan and get rid of the the gas before it can do any harm. Installing a radon mitigation system after construction is finished is that much more of a painstaking process.
Have you ever rushed inside from the winter cold and felt that first immense feeling of warm air as you open your door, then only to find yourself losing focus and tired an hour later? You sit down on your recliner or couch and grab a blanket because your feet are cold. You go to lean back and your sweater shifts between the back of the chair and your shoulder. Your dried skin starts to itch and you start counting the days until spring will once again let you turn your heat off. You’re not alone. You’re part of the near 70 percent of Americans who are dissatisfied with their current heating system, and you can bet that you’re almost certainly part of the 90 percent of Americans who have forced air heating installed in their home.
How Hydronic Heating Works
Hydronic heating operates by using the efficient delivery of heat through water. Since water conducts heat much more easily than air, far less energy is used to distribute heat throughout your family’s home. A sufficient heat source must be available. (Most of the time, a boiler is used for hydronic heating but, for smaller homes, cheaper, alternative sources may be adequate.) The heat is then transferred throughout the house by pipes that are located in the walls, ceiling, baseboards, or ideally, underneath your floor. These pipes circulate heat to the walls of a room, which then radiant heat waves everywhere in the house, creating a subtle, uniform warmth that provides the most efficient comfort.
This is How Your Thermostat Lies
Your home’s thermostat can sometimes be misleading in two significant ways. First, a thermostat can only calculate temperatures at designated points in your house. In a forced air heating system, the temperature variance in the distance from just your feet to your eye level can be as much as 15 degrees. That’s amazing, huh? If you have a two-story home or, worse, high vaulted ceilings this difference may be accentuated. Secondly, a thermostat can only gauge air temperature and not resultant temperature. Resultant temperature is the result of a combination of the humidity, air temperature, and the mean radiant temperature of the surrounding space. Resultant temperature is the best benchmark for indicating the actual comfort level inside your family’s home. You may go to a neighbor’s home and feel more comfortable and, warmer only to discover the thermostat is set to the same temperature (or possibly even lower) than your thermostat. That means your neighbor’s home has a better resultant temperature.
Most hydronic systems produce both cooling and heating options. Hydronic cooling works basically the same way as the heating system. Cold water is used in the pipes to cool the walls of your family’s home. This cooling process is still more methodical than traditional air conditioning systems. Hydronic heating usually gets the focus only because the quality variation is most evident in the winter, and the heat quality is why most homeowners chose to install the system.
The Cost of Installation
The most common reason homeowners haven’t installed hydronic cooling and heating in their homes is the installation costs. Installation costs can differ significantly depending on whether your home needs a new boiler to create a ample heat source and how accommodating the structure of your home is for installing the necessary pipes. More often than not, unfortunately, too many homeowners hear that hydronic heating is too costly to install and don’t even bother to get a free estimate or to learn just how much a hydronic system can reduce their monthly utility bills.
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