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Fighting Back-to-School Germs & Fall Allergies

The back to school sales are in full swing. Moms and dads may complain about the cost, but there’s a pretty good chance they’re also excited. Summers are great, but parents appreciate a little peace and quiet when the house empties out for another school year.

What parents aren’t excited about is what the kids will bring home with them besides homework. Germs and bugs. Builder’s Heating & Air Conditioning is ready to help you deal with that, along with any other seasonal indoor air quality (IAQ) issues in Denver.

Five Things You Might Not Know About Fall Allergies:

  • Ragweed is the biggest allergy trigger in the fall. Most people who are allergic to spring plants also react to ragweed.
  • Hay fever has nothing to do with hay, but is a sign you may be allergic to ragweed, mold, or pollens in the fall air.
  • Children back in school are exposed to various allergens from other students.
  • Raking leaves can stir up mold and pollen which get on your skin and clothes.
  • Some foods trigger allergies because they have proteins similar to what’s found in ragweed. Bananas, tomatoes, melons, and chamomile tea can aggravate allergies.

We recommend three steps to assure you and your family are breathing healthy air:

  1. Whole house filtration:
    1. 1-Inch fiberglass filter (not recommended)
      1. Minimum filtration of just the largest particles
      2. Needs to be changed every month
    2. Pleated high efficiency
      1. Larger surface area
      2. Captures microscopic particles
      3. Replaced less often (6-12 months)
    3. Electronic air cleaners
      1. Most effective
      2. Metal filter can be washed & reused
      3. Best investment for anyone with severe allergies or asthma

Builder’s has various products available depending upon a customer’s specific allergies and requirements.

  1. Humidifiers:
    1. Dry air causes several problems
      1. Dry noses
      2. Scratchy throats & itchy skin
      3. Static shock

In our dry Colorado climate, achieving proper humidity levels requires a humidifier. There are three types of humidifiers. Which one we install is dependent on your home, and how the humidifier will be used. Builder’s carries the Honeywell and Aprilaire brands, each with a 5-year warranty.

  1. Ultraviolet treatment systems:
    1. Purify the air
      1. Used in hospitals, nursing homes, and restaurants
      2. Disinfects & prevents spread of germs
      3. Kills 87% of bacteria

There can be different opinions about the best way to attack the problem, but the experts all agree; indoor air pollution is a very real health concern. Call Builder’s Heating & Air Conditioning to talk about a plan to keep your family healthy during this back to school and fall allergy season.

Chiller Maintenance Can Keep Your Business Running Smoothly

If you see workers in your office sweating at their desks, then we need to talk. Builder’s Heating & Air Conditioning wants to remind you that uncomfortable workers aren’t productive workers. It’s the time of year when the cooling systems in your business are being stressed to the max. The temperature has been hot for several weeks and we are now in the dog days of summer.

Denver’s Hottest Temperature Ever Recorded

  • 105℉
  • August 8, 1878
  • July 20, 2005

It’s important that you realize the difference between residential heating and cooling and commercial hvac units in Denver.  Home systems are typically getting small, but regular breaks. Thermostats are turned up while people are at work. Many homes in Denver and the suburbs are able to shut the AC off and open the windows while sleeping because of our cool nights.

Generally speaking, those are not viable options when it comes to cooling and heating in most commercial applications. When you are dealing with thousands of square feet rather than hundreds, you can’t let the heat in the building rise, even if it is empty overnight. It takes too long to cool it down again the next day. Commercial buildings simply aren’t designed for opening windows to let in the cool night air.

The chillers that many businesses use to cool their building can be running practically nonstop this time of year. The best way to make sure they are up to the challenge is with routine maintenance. Sure, it’s an investment, but think of the consequences. Downtime and loss of productivity are your enemy. If you add up the costs from a cooling system breakdown, it will make the cost of a maintenance call look pretty reasonable. Here are just a few of the items requiring regular maintenance on commercial chillers:

  • Tubes cleaned and maintained
  • Controls inspected & calibrated
  • Optimize refrigerant charge
  • Regularly change oil

Call Builder’s Heating & Cooling now to schedule your chiller maintenance or any other HVAC need. Our only goal is to keep you comfortable as we roll through the dog days of summer. It’ what we’ve been doing for homes and businesses in Denver and the suburbs since 1950.

Why Installation is the most important step in HVAC system replacements

Congratulations, you have made the decision to replace your inefficient old heating and air conditioning systems. Builder’s Heating & Air Conditioning wants to make sure you know the installation is a critical part of your decision.

Take a moment and think of it like you would a football game. Your brand-new air conditioner or heating system is just like the star quarterback or running back. Without blockers, the star’s talent is wasted. The team can’t realize its full potential.

In this case, the installers are the blockers. A poor AC installation means a new system won’t reach its full potential of cooling efficiency. The results are your home won’t be as comfortable and you won’t save as much money as you should on monthly utility bills.

A successful replacement or new home installation starts long before the workers show up at your house. Our knowledgeable project managers and comfort specialists will help you choose the right equipment. Only proper system sizing of your new AC unit can assure the cool air will reach the various parts of your home quietly and at the temperature you expect.

All of your homework and preparation will be wasted if your system is not properly installed. Our trained Builder’s technicians routinely find improper installations. Four common problems are:

  • Inadequate air flow – This can cause your rooms to be uncomfortable as well as require your system to work harder, reducing equipment life, and driving up energy use.
  • Refrigerant system not properly charged – Clearly this affects the cooling efficiency of your air conditioner, and it can also cause long-term damage to your system.
  • Leaky ducts – Central systems can lose up to 30% of their efficiency as the conditioned air moves through the ductwork if the ducts have leaks or weren’t properly installed.
  • Installing shortcuts – Critical components such as filter dryers and thermal expansion valves are omitted from the installation, increasing your new systems susceptibility for premature failure.

Builder’s will make sure your home doesn’t have those problems. Our technicians have been installing heating & cooling systems in homes, townhomes, and condos for more than 60 years. Call us so you can benefit from that experience.

Builder’s Heating & Air Conditioning is your partner in home comfort and experts in air conditioning service and repair. Our team makes sure your new HVAC systems perform like the all-stars they were designed to be.

Beat the Heat Without Breaking the Bank

The Old Farmer’s Almanac is predicting a warm summer for much of the Rocky Mountain region, which means your cooling systems are going to be working overtime. One result could be a severe case of the shakes; shaking your head that is, when you open your monthly electrical bill.

Let Builder’s Heating & Air Conditioning, your partner in home comfort for more than 60 years, help you keep your home cool without destroying your household budget. Here are some common-sense tips to cut those utility bills during the summer months:

Have a Builder’s certified technician install one or more programmable thermostats and show you how to use it properly, including:

  • Set the temperature higher when no one is home
  • Program it to cool the house about 30 minutes before getting home
  • Turn the thermostat to a higher temperature when you’re going on vacation
  • Avoid large temperature swings because the AC will have to work harder

Pay attention to doors & empty rooms:

  • Be extra careful to keep exterior doors tightly closed
  • If you have children going in & out impress on them how important it is
  • Close doors to rooms not being used

Use ceiling fans or consider installing them:

  • Fans make you feel cooler
  • Improves air circulation
  • Forces hot air down from ceiling so it can be cooled

Maintenance & Tune-ups:

  • Have a Builder’s certified technician complete an AC tune-up
  • Regular maintenance can lower cooling costs & prevent air conditioner repairs
  • Small problems can be found before they become big problems

Builder’s knows another great way to deal with the summer heat is to escape to the Colorado mountains. After all, what’s better than sitting in a chair by a rushing creek with a cool breeze blowing? If this isn’t a full-time option for you, give us a call and we can get you as close to that fresh mountain air feeling as possible.

Designer Comfort Is A Must

Uneven cooling can be cured when you “get out of the box” and look to alternative solutions to keep your home and business comfortable.

Poor air circulation is the leading cause of discomfort due to hot and cold spots in many Denver homes and businesses that Builder’s Heating & Air Conditioning work with. Ductwork issues often being the culprit. In some cases, it goes back to an improper installation. Unfortunately, there are HVAC companies doing business that are not professionally trained in important aspects of the industry, such as air balancing and duct design, leaving them unable to create custom solutions for 100% Guarantee Satisfaction in comfort.

Did you know the state of Colorado does not require any kind of license to perform HVAC work? That is why it’s really important to do your research and know who you are doing business with when you need help with an AC repair, a heating system installed, or when you are ready to condition a new space.

The first thing our experts will do is a thorough inspection to check for leaks and kinks that may reduce air flow. It’s also critical the ducts are the right size for your system. Ductwork problems can easily cause a central air conditioner to lose as much as 30% of its efficiency as the conditioned air is moved from one end of the house to the other. Especially with some of the older homes built without an AC unit, it is not just as simple as adding a condenser and coil. Detailed calculations have to be done in order to determine the proper sizing. There may be several heating and cooling solutions used to achieve even temperatures throughout the interior.

You know another way of spelling decreased efficiency, right? It’s spelled $$$$$$$$, as in higher monthly bills because your HVAC system is having to work overtime. Builder’s professional technicians can almost always correct any problems found with the original installation to ensure a very efficient system. In fact, no installation is complete without multiple tests and calibrations being done to ensure optimum performance.

Another solution for uneven heating and cooling is zoning. Dampers are installed in the ductwork and controlled by separate thermostats. It’s a way of delivering more or less conditioned air to a specific area in the house.

With the ever-larger homes being built, it’s a real challenge to make sure all of the square footage receives the proper amount of conditioned air. There are cases where the only viable solution is adding a supplemental system.

Builder’s recommends a ductless air conditioner, also called ductless mini split heat pumps. The air handler delivers conditioned air directly to a room or area in the home. The unit is usually mounted on a wall. As many as 4 air handlers, each with its own thermostat, can be connected to one outdoor condenser. Builder’s features mini splits from Mitsubishi, a recognized leader in the industry.

Let the years of experience and quality that Builder’s Heating & Air Conditioning offers take your indoor comfort to the next level with custom designer comfort.

Vacation Preparations Should Include Your Home

Meet Dennis, Sara and their children Mallory and Jessica. After a year of intense planning, they are leaving their home located in Denver for a two-week trip to see Glacier and Yellowstone National Parks.

Dennis can’t wait to try out his new fly rod and do a little trout fishing.

Sara isn’t much for fishing, but loves hiking and seeing the mountain wildflowers.

Mallory can’t wait to splash in the hotel pool with her new pink inner tube.

Jessica loves horses and wants to go on a trail ride in the backcountry.

It all sounds wonderful, doesn’t it! While the family is off enjoying their spectacular vacation, their house is getting a vacation too. With no one around, bad things can happen without some preventative steps. Luckily, they knew a great HVAC company called Builder’s Heating & Air Conditioning that gave them some HVAC tips to ensure peace of mind that the house will be in good shape when they return.

Here are three key recommendations:

  • Buy a programmable thermostat, or use the one you have:
    This is the perfect high-tech device when it comes to leaving your home behind. You do not want to shut the air conditioning off. The house gets too hot. The heat could even damage your wood floors.

    Just set your programmable thermostat to maintain a constant, energy saving temperature while you’re gone. A good range is from 78 to 82 degrees.

    Turn it into a wireless thermostat by connecting to your Wi-Fi. Then you can use your smartphone to start cooling the house to a more comfortable temperature before you get home. Builders features programmable thermostats from some of the leading manufacturers.

  • Air conditioning tune-up:
    The last thing you want to happen is for your air conditioner to simply stop working while you are gone. The temperature in your empty house could quickly climb so high it could affect houseplants or the pet fish.

    The best way to prevent a damaging breakdown is with an AC tune-up before you leave, by an expert Builder’s technician. Study after study shows increased efficiency and a longer life thanks to routine maintenance for heating and cooling systems.

    The worry-free way to make that happen is by joining Builder’s Energy Savings Plan. For just a dollar a day you will receive annual tune-ups on your heating and cooling systems. Talk with our comfort specialists about other benefits the plan includes.

  • Surge protection:
    We don’t have to tell you how dangerous Colorado’s summer thunderstorms can be. One lightning strike can do thousands of dollars in damage.

    Talk with Builder’s about installing surge protection for your HVAC systems. It will help you rest easy while you’re relaxing along a rushing stream, as well as when you return home.

Don’t take a chance gamble with your home while you’re on vacation. Let Builder’s Heating & Air Conditioning make that hard-earned vacation truly worry-free.

Identifying Common A/C Problems

Common AC Problems

Denver’s warm and dry climate is loved by many, but don’t make the mistake of thinking it doesn’t get hot in and around the Mile-High City. The summers seem to be getting hotter every year.

Builder’s Heating & Air Conditioning knows that if your AC unit stops working and needs emergency service, the house can quickly get so hot it’s unbearable. So hot, the dogs are using their tails to fan each other.

The best way to keep this from happening is regular air conditioning service by Builder’s. We’ve been keeping Denver and the suburbs cool and comfortable since 1950.

Our technicians are always ready to help, but let’s try and save you from having to make that call for emergency AC repair. There are some common reasons why an air conditioner either stops working entirely or starts blowing warm air. Here are a few ideas on troubleshooting your air conditioning.

If there’s no air coming out of the vents at all, your first stop should be the thermostat:

  • Make sure the display on a digital thermostat is working
  • No display could mean a dead battery
  • Make sure the thermostat switch is on cool
  • Confirm it is set for the correct temperature
  • Generally, the fan switch should be set to auto
  • If you’re not sure the settings are correct, read your owner’s manual

For the next AC troubleshooting step, you have to answer this question honestly, “When was the last time you changed your air filter?” A filter can become so clogged it doesn’t allow enough cool air to pass through.

If it turns out to be the problem, promise yourself you WON’T DO THIS AGAIN. Operating your system with clogged filters means you will be calling Builder’s soon and writing a check for an air conditioner replacement and installation.

Other possibilities include tripped electrical breakers; an emergency shut-off switch that was bumped accidentally; or a unit that has frozen up.

If you’ve watched the video and still can’t find the problem, things are likely getting pretty difficult to deal with. By now, the dogs have given up fanning each other. They’re sprawled out and are panting violently. The kids are trying to climb into the refrigerator. In other words, it’s time. Make the call to your favorite HVAC company for Denver and surrounding areas.

Our expert technicians from Builder’s Heating & Air Conditioning will have you cool and comfortable quickly and efficiently. For all your repair, service or replacement needs, call on Denver’s Comfort Specialists Since 1950.

No Air Conditioning? No Problem!

Air Conditioning Replacement

Have you ever had a conversation with a friend or family member in someplace like say, St. Louis or Atlanta, and they’re absolutely shocked to find out you don’t have central air conditioning in your home. They’re even more surprised to learn you’re out on the deck enjoying the summer evenings.

They just don’t realize how comfortable our summers are. The high elevation and low humidity means our nights are cool and the days are comfortable. Builder’s Heating & Air Conditioning wants to assure you the secret is safe with us. Let them swelter in the heat and humidity from June to October.

It doesn’t mean we don’t have hot days and it feels like we are having more of them every summer. Many Colorado homeowners have turned to evaporative coolers, also known as swamp coolers, as an energy efficient way to stay cool for a fraction of the cost of central air conditioning. The coolers are effective because of our low humidity.

On those rare days when we have high humidity or on the hottest days, swamp coolers will have a difficult time keeping your home cool. If you are feeling uncomfortable on too many days, call Builder’s and talk with our comfort specialists. Here are some reasons why installing a mini-split heat pump is a good solution:

  • Excellent choice for supplemental cooling
  • Do not require ductwork
  • Conditioned air is delivered directly to a room
  • As many as four indoor units can be attached to one outdoor condenser
  • Each can be set to a different temperature

Builder’s feature mini splits by Mitsubishi and has Diamond Dealer status. It’s reserved for dealers who have been factory trained on proper installation and service. Builder’s is proud to be one of a select few Mitsubishi Diamond Dealers in the Denver metro area.

Swamp coolers and mini splits are just a couple of examples of what we do. Other HVAC companies install a box and call it a day. Builder’s Heating & Air Conditioning installs solutions. Our technicians will leave no heating or cooling problem unresolved for one of our clients.

It’s the way Builder’s has done business in Denver and the suburbs since 1950 and will continue to do business in the future.

R22 – a.k.a Freon(R) Phaseout Good Time for Replacement

Danger - Freon Phaseout

As one of the most environmentally aware major cities in the country, many in Denver know about the danger posed by Freon-based refrigerants. What you may not have heard about is how crazy the stories are getting regarding the phase-out of the R-22 refrigerant.

Builder’s Heating & Air Conditioning wants to be sure everyone knows what’s going on. Scientists developed a group of products using Freon in the late 1920’s. They fueled the explosion of refrigeration and air conditioners. But since the 1970’s, there have been warnings about the damage Freon is doing to the environment.

Starting in 2020, we will no longer be able to use R-22 Freon to repair existing equipment. Already there is a shortage, and the R-22 price is skyrocketing and is expected to keep going up. Even thieves are taking note of what’s going on. Recently, more than $20,000 worth of the refrigerant was stolen from a supply company.

The situation makes for a tough decision for homeowners. Is it wise to continue repairing and maintaining your old AC unit that uses R-22? Adding the refrigerant is going to continue to get more expensive. Just as importantly, leaking Freon damages the ozone layer in the atmosphere.

Builder’s believes now is a good time to talk with our comfort specialists about whether it makes more sense to invest in R-22 replacement with a new AC system.

These are some factors pointing toward air conditioner replacement:

  • Frequent repairs on current unit (especially costly ones)
  • Monthly utility bills going up for no apparent reason
  • House not cooling properly

We know 2020 sounds like it’s a long time from now. It’s not. The issue is not going away. Trust Builder’s Heating & Air Conditioning to give you the information you need to deal with the R-22 phase-out.

If you choose replacement our comfort specialists will help find the best AC for your needs and budget. An efficient new air conditioner without ozone damaging R-22 can be a win-win situation.

If the decision is to continue using your old AC for a while longer, know you can depend on your Builder’s Heating & Air Conditioning technicians. They are always here for your service, repair, and maintenance needs.

Protect your air conditioner against cottonwood attack

Protect your AC

Builder’s Heating & Air Conditioning wants to share a story of yearly air conditioning attacks. These are homegrown invaders. In fact, they may be in your backyard.

These criminals have no regard for innocent AC condensers. They do not discriminate, attacking EverRest, Amana & Mitsubishi anytime and anywhere.

Oh, their weapons look innocent enough, white and fluffy, but they can deal a fatal blow costing you thousands of dollars.

The attacks usually happen in June, but the timing can vary. Builder’s wants you to be prepared and know how to fight back.

You know this perpetrator as the cottonwood tree, and the weapon of choice is the cottony seeds floating through the air. Do not be deceived. They have killed many air conditioning systems by ruthlessly clogging the cooling fins. If you wait too long, the lack of air circulation can mean death by strangulation.

You can call in Builder’s for a post-mortem, but by that time it’s too late. The assailants have won.

You have the power and the means to stop the attack, but you must act quickly:

  • When you see the assault on your condenser has started get your garden hose
  • Gently spray the outside of your unit
  • Do not use a high-pressure nozzle or a pressure washer
  • A high-power stream of water could damage the condenser

Remember, they are relentless. You must be vigilant for an all-out counter-attack a day or two later. Do not let your guard down. Cottonwood trees have been around for centuries. They are survivors with a relentless mission to spread their seed everywhere.

Whatever you do, do not allow the attackers into your home. They could target you causing an allergic reaction. If you, or someone else in the family, is allergic to cottonwood, call Builder’s to talk about how we can add filtration to keep the infidels at bay.

The attack on your innocent air conditioner may inspire a severe dislike for the cottonwood tree. Fight the urge to launch an all-out assault with your chain saw. Despite the seasonal attacks, cottonwoods serve a purpose as a fast-growing shade tree. They also played an important role in the history of the plains and western states.

The defense of your air conditioner against these trees may be something you have to do on your own, but Builder’s Heating & Air Conditioning wants you to know you are never alone. We’ve been solving HVAC problems for the people of Denver and the suburbs since 1950.

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