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Noises You Should Never Hear from Your Air Conditioner

Woman Bothered by Noise

Although air conditioners do make some “normal” noises during their operation caused by electronic and mechanical components, there are some noises you should never hear coming from your air conditioning system. As a southeast Michigan homeowner, you are probably used to certain ticks and sounds that aren’t problematic. However, there are certain sounds you should pay close attention to. Here is a list that may help you determine the possible problem before you call our skilled HVAC technicians.

Squealing Noise

A blower belt that is worn-out can cause a squealing noise at the indoor air handler or outdoor cabinet. If you schedule regular preventive maintenance, this problem can usually be avoided.

Screaming or Hissing

The compressor, located in the outdoor cabinet, is essentially the “heart” of your A/C system. When you notice a loud screaming or hissing noise coming from the compressor, it could potentially be a dangerous situation and may indicate a faulty high-pressure sensor. The compressor is responsible for extracting and releasing heat by pumping refrigerant between the evaporator and condenser coils. If you hear a screaming or hissing noise, call Haley Mechanical immediately.

Humming or Buzzing

A failed blower motor or capacitor can result in a humming or buzzing noise. If you hear this humming while your A/C system is running, it is likely a motor problem. If the system will not turn on, it is probably due to a failed capacitor. In either situation, give us a call.

Ticking

A ticking or clicking noise may be noticed if there is an object lodged inside the fan assembly located in the outdoor cabinet. The blades of the fan may strike the object, causing the clicking noise. Make certain the air conditioner is turned off before you attempt to remove the object yourself. Pull out the disconnect plug, and shut the unit off at the thermostat.

Clamoring or Rattling of Vents

The air ducts deliver conditioned air into your home, and although the ducts are not an actual component of your air conditioning system, loose ducts can result in loss of conditioned air and increased energy costs. Rattling or clamoring noises coming from the vents typically indicate loose ducts; this can be remedied using metal tape.

Hearing other noises that don’t sound normal, or that you are not used to hearing? At Haley Mechanical, our job is to ensure SE Michigan homeowners enjoy a comfortable home and that your air conditioner is properly maintained so you can enjoy years of comfort and energy efficiency. Give us a call today!

Advantages of a Mitsubishi Mini Split Ductless Systems

Mini-Split installation in Ann Arbor, Michigan

Michigan homeowners in the Ann Arbor, Dexter, Ypsilanti and surrounding areas now have another option when it comes to cooling/heating your home – the Mitsubishi mini-split ductless systems. There are lots of advantages in choosing this type of system, including energy efficiency and flexibility. Even homeowners who have special cooling or heating needs but don’t want to get involved in a major renovation will find the system suitable. Imagine being able to enjoy a comfortable home year-round without the need for windows or ductwork – now you can!

Two Types of Ductless Systems

The Mitsubishi mini-split ductless systems are available in two options: single-zone systems, and multi-zone systems. The primary difference is the single-zone system regulates temperatures in a single room, while the multi-zone system is capable of regulating the temperatures in multiple rooms. The flexibility of the multi-zone system makes it possible to keep the rooms your family doesn’t use often on minimal settings while keeping those you spend time in more comfortable. Ultimately, you save money on energy costs.

The Advantages of Choosing a Mitsubishi Mini Split System

Energy efficiency. Compared to traditional heat pumps, ductless systems are far more superior in terms of heating performance. If you have a standard window unit in your southeast Michigan home, you may be surprised to learn the Mitsubishi mini-split system is 40% more energy efficient! It’s also more energy efficient than traditional HVAC systems, saving you money on utility costs through advanced technology.

Suitable for all climates. Regardless of climate, these systems maintain your comfort using the precise amount of energy required. Super-easy to maintain, the ductless mini-split automatically adjusts to changing conditions.

Controlling comfort in multiple rooms is simple. Whether you want to cool a single room or as many as eight, your family will enjoy comfort without the need for windows or ducts. If you have areas in your home that require additional cooling or heating, this is the ideal system. Also capable of using your tablet, smartphone, or PC to control the thermostat due to its wireless capability.

Advanced technology eliminates wasted energy. Mitsubishi’s inverter-driven compressor automatically changes speed depending on the heating/cooling needs of a room, maximizing efficiency. Unlike traditional HVAC systems, this system does not start and stop repeatedly, so temperatures remain constant and wasted energy is virtually eliminated.

Mitsubishi mini-split ductless systems are extremely flexible, capable of meeting all of your cooling and heating requirements. They’re not only efficient but run quietly and even increase the value of your Michigan home.

Interested in learning more about the advantages of installing a Mitsubishi mini-split ductless system in your home? Contact the experts at Haley Mechanical today. A proud recipient of Angie’s List’s 2012 Super Service Award, we’ve been helping southeast Michigan homeowners with their heating and cooling needs for 15 years.

Visit our Mitsubishi Mini Split product page for more information!

Time for a Fall Furnace Tune-up – What to Expect

Fall Leaves in Dexter, Michigan

The crisp, cool temperatures are here, and now that it’s fall it will only get colder!  Before temperatures plummet to bone-chilling levels, it’s important to schedule your fall furnace tune-up with your HVAC contractor to ensure everything functions properly so your home will stay warm and toasty this winter.

It’s important that your furnace provides not only warmth but safe heating for your family.  Having your furnace maintained on a regular basis will also extend the life of your equipment, and keep it operating at top efficiency!

Whether you live in Dexter, Ann Arbor, Ypsilanti, or any nearby southeast Michigan communities, you may be curious as to what you should expect when your HVAC technician arrives to perform your furnace tune-up.

First, your technician will perform an overall inspection to detect any potential signs of trouble.  He will test to ensure all components are operating properly; any parts that are not functioning properly will be repaired or replaced.  When the technician leaves your home, you will be able to enjoy peace of mind knowing your furnace is clean and ready to operate.

While performing your furnace tune-up, your technician will:

  • Check airflow and fan control, making any necessary adjustments
  • Clean, adjust, and test burners
  • Clean fan and blower motor, making any necessary adjustments
  • Lubricate motors, fans, and other moving parts
  • Inspect the heat exchanger for corrosion, rust, or other signs of damage
  • Inspect electrical power systems
  • Check to ensure ignition system is working properly, making repairs when needed
  • Tighten belts, electrical connections, or other components which may have become loose
  • Test and calibrate the thermostat
  • Check to ensure connections at furnace and utility sources are tight
  • Inspect fuel lines
  • Test to ensure carbon monoxide is venting properly via the flue and ventilation system

As you can see, a furnace tune-up involves a thorough inspection of all of the components of your furnace. Of course, there are a few tasks you can take care of yourself, including cleaning the unit occasionally and changing the air filter on a regular basis.

Have questions regarding a furnace tune-up or need a furnace repair technician?  At Haley Mechanical, we are the go-to experts in home comfort, keeping southeast Michigan homes comfortable and safe for 15 years.  Give us a call today!

Enjoy Consistent Comfort in Ann Arbor, Even While Seasons Change

Fall Leaves in Dexter, Michigan

Fall is here, and winter is rapidly approaching – which means super cold temperatures for folks in Ypsilanti, Ann Arbor, and other areas of southeast Michigan. The holidays are coming up, which means family gatherings, celebrations, and enjoying the season. You want your home to be cozy and comfortable and the seasons transform gradually from fall to winter, so how can you be ready? By having your system checked by the trusted Lennox® dealers at Haley Mechanical.

A system check ensures your comfort is not interrupted

By having your system checked out by a professional, you can rest assured each component is functioning at its best. Your system will not only keep you warm and comfortable but run more efficiently – saving you money.

Sunset During Fall Season

What can you expect from your Lennox® dealer during a system check?

  • Check filtration system (collection of cells or filters). When a filter gets clogged with dust, dander, pet hair, or other debris, the air handler or furnace is forced to work harder to circulate the air around.
  • This results in a reduced lifespan for your system and wasted electricity.
  • Check refrigerant level. When an air conditioner or heat pump contains too much or too little refrigerant, it can potentially result in damage to the compressor and inhibit the efficiency of your system.
  • Clean the indoor and outdoor coils. A dirty indoor coil can inhibit your system’s performance, and make it harder to transfer heat; likewise, an outdoor coil that’s dirty can’t transfer heat efficiently, which makes the system work harder meaning more energy is used to keep you comfortable. More energy means higher energy costs.
  • Clean the fan blades and blower motor. When the fan and blower of your furnace or air handler are clean, your system will not only run more efficiently, it will be quieter as well.
  • Check how your system is performing. HVAC experts compare ambient air temperatures with how effective a system heats and/or cools a home in determining how well a system works; this also helps your Lennox r dealer know whether any potential problems may be developing.

Fall is the perfect time for a system check – and a smart investment

Fall temperatures are relatively mild, which means it is the perfect time to have your system checked – before temperatures drop to brutal levels. If repairs are in order, you will not suffer during the process of repairs. Waiting until winter arrives is not recommended, as contractors are busier dealing with breakdowns and emergency situations. Having your system checked is a smart investment, as the relatively low cost can help reduce energy costs throughout the winter season, which translates to savings when it comes time to pay the energy bill.

A check of your heating system is an investment in the life of your system as it will last longer due to fewer future repairs. To extend the life of your equipment, stay comfortable and enjoy energy savings then it is important to address any small problems before they become bigger, more expensive problems. A system check can potentially help you avoid having to replace your equipment because of a breakdown that occurs right in the middle of winter.

Preserve your system by contacting your dealer today

Scheduling a system check is as simple as giving us a call or sending an email on our contact page! Even if your heating system is not a Lennox® brand, our technicians have the expertise and skill to perform a system check on the equipment you do have, ensuring your family stays warm and comfortable regardless of how temperamental the weather may be. Give Haley Mechanical a call today!

Tips to Keep Your Cooling System Running this Summer

Hands Holding Popsicles in the Summer Heat

Tips for Southeast Michigan Homeowners to Keep Your Cooling System Running this Summer

Even in Ann Arbor and other areas of Southeast Michigan, summer temperatures can be anything but comfortable – that has been proven by the temperatures we have experienced recently! How can you make sure your air conditioner will run efficiently, and keep your family cool while keeping costs as low as possible? We have a few tips.

First, be sure to change the filter. We have said this repeatedly, but it is super important. Changing or cleaning the filter (depending on what type you have) every one or two months is critical to prevent the build-up of dirt, dust, allergens, and other contaminants that can not only shorten the lifespan of your cooling system and make it less efficient, but contribute to allergies, asthma, and other conditions. Enjoy healthier air AND improved comfort.

Have your A/C inspected every year. It is easy to forget about your HVAC system when everything seems to be running fine and dandy, but having your cooling/heating checked on at least an annual basis is critical to keep it running efficiently. When your SE Michigan HVAC technician can detect any small issues early on, it can prevent bigger, more costly issues down the road. You will also enjoy peace of mind knowing that no matter how high temperatures rise, your family will enjoy a comfortable home without the worry of a breakdown or malfunction.

Weatherize your home. Whether sealing leaks around windows or doors with weather stripping or caulk, adding extra insulation, or utilizing fans and closing windows/doors, do everything possible to keep the cooled air inside! The “conditioned” air you pay for will remain inside, while the hot summer air stays out.

Consider a programmable thermostat. A programmable thermostat makes it possible for you to program it for those times your family is sleeping or away from home, and forget about turning the temperature up or down. Set the schedule your family typically adheres to and put it out of your mind. Why cool an empty home when your family is away at work or school – or when you are away on vacation for a week or two? A programmable thermostat can save you a bundle on energy costs, but keep in mind it should be installed away from heat sources such as lamps or direct sunlight.

At Haley Mechanical, our goal is to help you enjoy a cool, comfortable home regardless of how high temperatures rise without spending a small fortune on energy costs. Keep these tips in mind, and contact our Southeast Michigan HVAC technicians should you need service, repair, or a new system installed.

Stop Summer Heat at the Front Door

Hands Holding Popsicles in the Summer Heat

Although southeast Michigan experiences extreme cold in winter, summer can have the opposite effect – extreme heat. With the first official day of summer just days away, it’s important to prepare your home so that even on the hottest of days, your family can enjoy a cool, comfortable home. At Haley Mechanical, we have a few tips for homeowners in Ypsilanti, Ann Arbor, Brighton, Howell, and nearby cities.

Keep the cold air in and humidity out by filling the gaps

Caulking, additional insulation, and weather stripping can go a long way toward keeping your conditioned air inside, where it belongs. Any crack, gap, or hole is an opportunity for your cool environment to escape to the outdoors. This can mean not only an uncomfortable home but increased energy costs.

Clean the air filter

We’ve said this a million times, but it bears repeating: Clean or change your air filter often. Air can flow more freely, and your A/C system doesn’t have to work as hard, increasing its life span and again, saving on energy costs.

Shades for your home

Shades (or sunglasses) help keep bright sunlight out of your eyes – but what about the windows of your home? Sunlight streaming through windows heat up the rooms of your home. Consider solar-reflective film for windows receiving direct sunlight, or close blinds, shades, or curtains during daytime hours. This also helps lessen the load on your air conditioner.

Insulation works in both winter and summer seasons

Most people know proper attic insulation helps keep their homes warmer during cold winter months. However, adequate insulation in the attic also helps greatly reduce the amount of heat that can creep into your living spaces from the roof and attic. Improved comfort, energy savings.

Make the switch to LED or CFL light bulbs

Old time incandescent light bulbs emit a tremendous amount of heat, so what good does it do to shade your windows if you’re going to heat up your home with light bulbs? Sure, you need light when all the windows are darkened – but CFL and LED light bulbs are energy efficient and cooler, emitting far less heat than regular light bulbs.

Programmable thermostats and schedule management

Programmable thermostats are amazing and help homeowners save on energy costs by programming their systems to run less often when away from home. However, if your schedule changes constantly – for instance, you’re often traveling for two days at a time and turn your thermostat up by 20 degrees when you’re away – your cooling system will have to work overtime to cool your home upon your return. As Lennox dealers, we are happy to help you determine a schedule that will help you enjoy a comfortable, cool home while saving on energy costs.

Have your system ready to face the heat

An air conditioner that has been ‘tuned up’ by an HVAC professional is your best defense against a hot, humid, uncomfortable home and high energy bills. Our qualified air conditioning professionals will ensure your equipment has the proper refrigerant charge, and inspect your system for any necessary adjustments/repairs. You can enjoy a cool, comfortable home even on days when temperatures soar!

Stay comfortable this summer season by following the above tips, and ensuring your air conditioner operates at peak efficiency. For all of your home comfort needs count on Haley Mechanical, serving SE Michigan homeowners for more than 16 years.

Top Signs You Have a Hidden Plumbing Leak

Traditional Michigan Bathroom

Your home’s plumbing system likely is a complicated network of pipes that run through the foundation of the home as well as in the attic, walls, and even the ground outside the home. Leaks can develop in areas that are easy to identify, such as underneath the kitchen sink where the pipes are exposed. They can also develop anywhere else in the home or yard, including areas that are inaccessible to you. These leaks can be difficult to identify, but you can more easily determine you have a potential leak when you know the signs to look for. These are some of the signs that may indicate that you have a slow leak in your pipes:

Your Water Bill is Higher Than Normal

Even a slow leak can result in a considerable amount of wasted water, and this can cause your water bill to skyrocket. If you have noticed that your water bill is higher than normal for no apparent reason, you should inspect your property more closely to determine if you notice any other signs of a potential leak. Even if you do not, you might consider contacting a plumber for a diagnostic inspection of your plumbing system.

You Notice a Wet Spot

In some cases, you may notice a wet spot in the home or the yard that could indicate a potential leak. This may be an area in the home where you continue to wipe the floor but water returns without explanation. It may be a section of the yard that is always wet even if it has not rained or you have not watered the lawn recently. Even if the area is not wet, it may be more lush and green than other parts for no explained reason.

You Hear a Dripping Sound

When your house is quiet, take a moment to listen for sounds of a leak. This may be when the neighbor’s dog is not barking or when your HVAC system and TV are turned off. Walk slowly throughout the house, listening in each room for the sound of dripping water. You may also benefit from walking around outside the home to listen for sounds of water in the exterior walls of the home.

Your Water Pressure is Lower Than Normal

Another sign that you may notice when water is leaking from your pipes is lower water pressure. Depending on the size of the leak, this may be highly or only moderately noticeable. It may also be in only one water feature or several, depending on where the leak is located in the plumbing system.

If you have noticed any of these signs of a potential leak on your property, consider the benefit of getting the leak diagnosed and repaired as soon as possible. This can reduce the water waste and expense, and minimize the likelihood of water damage and related mold growth.

Standby Generators Live up to Their Name – Here’s Why

Broken Power Lines

While a portable generator is better than nothing at all when you lose power in your southeast Michigan home, nothing compares to a standby generator.  It’s not easy being in the dark, especially if your home heating or cooling system relies on electricity – and your groceries could ruin as well, depending on how long the power is out.  Before you decide whether to purchase a portable or standby generator, understand the difference!

With a standby generator, you have power – NOW.  Portable generators require set up, fuel, extension cords . . . It can be a real hassle.  Even then, you have to make sure you set it up in a way that fumes will not make their way inside your home.  A portable generator is great as a temporary solution but is not the best choice when you need back-up power for an entire day or even a week.  For critical systems like your cooling/heating system and sump pump, portable generators just aren’t a reliable choice.  Standby generators kick on automatically when the power goes out, powering your entire home.

What happens if you’re not home when the power goes out?  A portable generator certainly cannot set itself up in the event you are away from your home or business when the power goes out.  Depending on the duration of the power outage, you could lose everything in your refrigerator or deep-freeze – and we all know that food isn’t cheap these days.  This can be a particular problem if your business relies on freezers/coolers to keep perishables fresh or ice cream frozen.

Standby generators require zero effort.  A standby generator will restore power in just 10 seconds, without you having to lift a finger.  Because it is permanently installed on your property, there is no heavy lifting or running extension cords through a window/door.

Quiet supply of “super” power.  With a portable generator, you have to decide which appliances/electronics you want to use.  For instance, to use the stove, you may have to turn off the refrigerator.  Standby generators are powerful, capable of handling large electrical loads – and it runs quietly, so you don’t have to listen to a loud motor running all day/night.

With a standby generator installed in your Ann Arbor or Ypsilanti home, it’s always a beautiful day.  Regardless of high winds, heavy rain, or electrical storms, your home will continue running as usual – and you will never have to get up in the middle of the night to set up the portable generator.  What could be easier than that?

At Haley Mechanical, we highly recommend having a standby generator installed in your SE Michigan home.  With winter just around the corner, you never know what mother nature will bring regarding snow, sleet, and ice!  Never be without power again.

Is Your SE Michigan Home More Humid Than You’d Like?

Efficient Windows in a Beautiful Home

Even in southeast Michigan, humidity can be a problem in summer months. Not only does humid or moist air inside your home make it uncomfortable, but it can also have an adverse effect on your health. At Haley Mechanical we want to inform homeowners about what causes humidity to develop, and how to handle it so that you enjoy a cooler, more comfortable home during the summer season.

Development of humidity inside your home

Not every day is extremely humid or uncomfortable, and moisture created by the environment varies by climate/season. Humidity is more of a problem in summer months because of the fact that warm air can hold more humidity, and humidity holds on to more heat than dry air. If you’ve noticed that “sticky” feeling on your skin, you know humidity holds the sweat on your skin, preventing the sweat from evaporating as it would in the less humid air. That being said, there are certain activities families engage in indoors that can increase humidity levels including cooking, running the dishwasher, or even taking a steamy shower.

How can you reduce the humidity indoors?

Today’s energy efficient air conditioners work to remove a small amount of humidity simply because they lower the temperature in your home. To lower the humidity levels, even more, try the following:

  • Consider a portable or whole-house dehumidifier, depending on whether the humidity is high throughout your home, or just in specific areas. Sometimes a small portable dehumidifier placed in a bathroom or kitchen is all that’s necessary.
  • Seal any air leaks in walls or ducts. Leaks in walls (such as around windows/doors, or where a window unit A/C is installed) can let in humid air. Excess humidity can also cause mold and mildew to grow inside the walls, as well as other areas of your home.
  • Ventilate the kitchen, bathrooms, and utility room. Proper ventilation systems are important for preventing excess humidity/moisture, particularly in rooms that may become steamy or hot. Also, make sure your clothes dryer is vented to the outside.
  • Make sure the condensate drain for your A/C system is clean and free of standing water.
    Certain plants absorb some of their hydration from the air and therefore may help reduce humidity levels. These include Boston ferns, peace lilies, and air plants (tillandsia).

Need more tips to help keep your southeast Michigan home more comfortable during hot summer months? At Haley Mechanical, we take care of all of your home comfort needs. Give us a call today!

The Pros and Cons of Popular Water Heater Styles in Ann Arbor

Bathroom in Ann Arbor, Michigan

When you are familiar with the advantages and drawbacks of the various types of water heaters available to Ann Arbor homeowners, choosing is easier. What are the most popular styles on the market, and their pros and cons? It is a good idea to consider energy efficiency, size, and other factors along with whether there may be available rebates on a model that will be suitable for your Southeast Michigan home.

Most Popular Water Heater Styles in Ann Arbor

Traditional stand-up water heaters. This type has been around for decades and is popular among homeowners because of its affordability. Anyone who has this kind of water heater knows it is a large tank that requires substantial space. The tanks store about 30 to 50 gallons of water that is pre-heated, so you have hot water for showering, laundry, dishes, etc. The lifespan of a traditional water heater is about 10 to 15 years.

What are the cons? Constant heating of the tank increases energy costs. Considering the tank holds 30 to 50 gallons, it is inconvenient to run out of hot water when the members of your family shower or you run the washing machine or dishwasher simultaneously leaving everyone to wait for the water to heat up again.

Learn more about traditional water heaters.

Hybrid & heat pump water heaters. Equipped with multiple settings, the newest in water heaters are popular with homeowners due to the considerable energy savings; in fact, you can save as much as 60% on your monthly water bill. Additionally, you may be eligible for rebates or tax incentives by installing this eco-friendly water heater.

What are the cons? To operate correctly, hybrid water heaters must be located in an area that maintains a temperature of 40 to 90 degrees consistently due to the fact they extract hot air from their surroundings. Most Ann Arbor homeowners know that while temperatures in summer months can soar to uncomfortable levels, winter temperatures can get downright frigid. A hybrid or heat pump water heater may not be ideal given the extreme temperature fluctuations in our area.

While hybrid water heaters do offer attractive tax incentives and energy savings, in most cases homeowners choose tankless and traditional models in Southeast Michigan. This energy efficiency calculator can help you decide which model would save you most following installation.

Get in touch with one of our comfort advisors to learn more hybrid water heater options.

Tankless water heaters require far less space and deliver hot water “on demand” so you never worry about running out of hot water. Tankless heaters heat the water when you need it, so you enjoy not only an unlimited supply but lower monthly utility costs as well. This type of water heater can last for 20 or more years depending on the model you choose.

The cons? The only drawback to a tankless heater is the purchase price and cost to install. Because of the installation time required or the necessity to retrofit, upfront costs are higher. If you live in SE Michigan and are considering a tankless water heater, discuss it with an experienced plumbing contractor before purchasing to ensure this type of water heater is compatible with your home’s electrical and plumbing systems.

Learn more about the advantages of a tankless water heater.

Regardless of whether you choose a traditional, tankless, or hybrid water heater, we advise homeowners to discuss the options with one of our expert Ann Arbor plumbing contractors to make certain the model you are considering is compatible with your electrical and plumbing systems.