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Category: Safety

The more prepared you are for an emergency, the more likely you are to come through with minimal loss or damage. Consider these safety tips from Fred’s Heating and Air, your locally owned Omaha heating and air conditioning company. Contact us today for more information!

09 Feb 2017
Fred's Stands Behind Trane

Fall Maintenance: Time to Get Busy

Fall is a transitional time of year, when the cooling season is over and heating season is on the horizon. Now is the time to prepare your home for the winter weather ahead and start ticking the items off your fall maintenance checklist. Here are some great ideas to get you started.

Exterior

  • Inspect the foundation. Cracks or gaps in your foundation walls can let in moisture, resulting in ice damage or mold. Walk the perimeter of your home and fill in any affected areas with caulking.
  • Clean your gutters. Once all the leaves have fallen, remove the debris from your gutters and flush them with water to help clean the downspouts. Check all the joints and repair or tighten brackets.
  • Seal your garage door. Weatherstrip the sides and bottom of your garage door, to prevent drafts and help keep small animals out.

Interior

  • Perform annual preventive maintenance. Your contractor will clean, inspect, lubricate and service your heating equipment, helping to increase its efficiency and life span, and prevent costly repairs down the road.
  • Change your batteries. As part of annual fall maintenance, change the batteries on your smoke and carbon monoxide detectors to help ensure your family’s safety.
  • Beef up your insulation. Check attic insulation levels to prevent heat loss through your ceiling. Aim for an R-value of R-38 or between 10 and 14 inches.
  • Check for air leaks. On a windy day, take a strip of tissue paper from room to room checking for movement around doors, windows or wall outlets. Seal the affected areas with caulking or weatherstripping where applicable.
  • Change your filters. Regular filter changes help keep your heating system and whole-house humidifier running efficiently and may help cut down on repairs. Once a filter is dirty it can no longer trap particles such as dust and mold, which may continue to circulate through your indoor air and damage your equipment.

For more tips on fall maintenance, furnace tune-ups, or to schedule annual maintenance, contact the experts at Fred’s Heating & Air. For more than 25 years we have been providing quality service to the residents of Omaha and the surrounding areas.

09 Feb 2017
Freds Trane - AC install

The R-22 Refrigerant Phaseout Can Be Confusing — What You Need to Know

If you’ve heard about the R-22 refrigerant phaseout, you’re probably concerned with how it affects your current cooling system. Don’t be alarmed – in spite of the phaseout, you’ll be able to keep your current system running for some time to come.

Despite R-22’s popularity as an effective refrigerant, it also contains ozone-depleting chlorine. R-410A is a chlorine-free refrigerant that’s set to replace R-22 as the standard for A/C and heat pump manufacturers.

Here are a few important points to note about the ongoing R-22 refrigerant phaseout:

  • As part of the phaseout, the Environmental Protection Agency is steadily restricting the production of new R-22. Manufacturers are allowed to produce 39 million pounds of R-22 for 2013, compared to 55 million pounds in 2012.
  • Although production of new R-22 will end by 2020, stockpiled and recycled supplies will still be available for use on R-22 cooling systems. However, the costs of recharging these systems will increase as R-22 supplies dwindle.
  • Some manufacturers offer alternative refrigerants that can be used in existing R-22 cooling systems, at a significant cost in performance and longevity of equipment.
  • Investing in a new R-410A-based cooling system can save you money on maintenance and cooling costs over time. Cooling systems manufactured after 2010 use R-410A.
  • You can’t use R-410A refrigerant in R-22 systems, nor can you use R-22 in a system designed for R-410A.

If you’re thinking of replacing your current A/C or heat pump, a new R-410A-based system offers plenty of excellent benefits. Not only do you get quieter operation and efficient cooling performance with a new R-410A-based system, you’ll also save money on energy and maintenance costs.

If you choose to stick with your current R-22-based system, for the time being, you have plenty of options at your fingertips. R-22 will still be around for your cooling needs, although the expense of having your cooling system recharged will grow in the coming years.

To learn more about the R-22 refrigerant phaseout and the benefits of R-410A, contact us at Fred’s Heating and Air. We help Omaha residents get the most out of their heating and cooling systems.

09 Feb 2017
CO2 Detection

CO Detection — Where the Pros Look for Dangerous Leaks

Carbon monoxide (CO) is a potentially deadly gas which is produced as a by-product of fuel combustion. CO is colorless, odorless and the leading source for poisoning deaths in the country. If you use combustion appliances in your home or park an automobile in an attached garage, the implementation of a good CO detection system is key for protecting your home.

CO detection is a good defense

Carbon monoxide is harmful, particularly if a person is exposed to high levels in a short period of time or lower levels of CO over a longer period of time. Since CO is impossible to detect by sight and smell, a good defensive strategy must be in place for early CO detection.

  • CO detectors should be installed high on walls in each bedroom and less than 10 feet from the access door of an attached garage.
  • Do not leave an automobile running for more than a couple of minutes in an attached garage, even if the garage door is open.
  • Do not use a gas stove or burners for heating a home. Keep the stove door closed.
  • Designate a meeting place outside the home in the event of CO detection or any other emergency.

Professional preventive maintenance

Carbon monoxide may be produced or introduced to the living spaces by fuel-burning HVAC systems and appliances. It’s important to schedule professional preventive maintenance and a safety inspection for these systems with your HVAC professional at the start of the heating and cooling seasons.

These are some of the CO safety checks your HVAC technician performs:

Furnaces

  • Measures CO concentrations in chimney gases
  • Checks all flue connections for gaps, cracks, rust and debris
  • Inspects combustion chamber for cracks, corrosion and metal fatigue
  • Checks furnace flame, burners and ignition

Appliances

  • Inspects venting systems and applicable pilot lights for fuel-burning stoves, dryers, water heaters, wood-burning stoves and space heaters
  • Checks for debris, cracks, holes, cave-ins and animal nests in venting systems

If you’d like to learn more about CO detection and prevention, contact the HVAC professionals at Fred’s Heating and Air. We’re proud to service homes in Omaha and Council Bluffs areas.

09 Feb 2017
Vacation Program - Freds

A Home Safety Checklist to Keep Your Omaha Family Protected

The more prepared you are for an emergency, the more likely you are to come through with minimal loss or damage. Creating a home safety checklist is an efficient way to highlight safety hazards and limit their presence on your property.

This home safety list is divided into three categories: electrical, chemical and fire hazards. Ideally, you and your family should run through the list twice each year for optimal safety precautions.

Electrical hazards

  • Replace any cords or extension cords that are cracked, frayed or have exposed wires, bent prongs or loose connections.
  • Never overload outlets. Ideally, you should only have one plug per outlet. Avoid using multiple-outlet plugs.
  • Keep electrical cords from running along pipes, over nails, across/over heaters or under rugs.
  • Exposed outlets and wiring should be covered.
  • Replace or repair any appliances that overheat, spark or smoke.

Chemical hazards

  • Any flammable liquids should be stored in approved safety containers. If possible, avoid storing them in an attached garage, as this can compromise indoor air quality. They should be covered tightly and stored in a well-ventilated area.
  • Install carbon monoxide detectors.
  • Flammable liquids stored in the home should be placed in well-labeled safety containers. Keep them away from heat sources, flames, children and gas appliances.
  • Combustible liquids should always be stored away from heat sources.
  • Store polishing rags and/or oily waste in metal containers.
  • Never use fire-starting chemicals indoors.

Home safety fire hazards

  • Clear your home, garage and storage areas of broken furniture, old mattresses, rags, papers and other flammable items.
  • Keep clothing, fabric and material away from electrical equipment, gas appliances or other flammable materials.
  • Maintain a fire barrier around your home by keeping the landscape free of dry brush and debris.
  • Clean and maintain chimneys, vent connectors, gas vents and flue pipes.
  • Call 9-1-1 immediately if you suspect a gas leak.
  • Never light lanterns or candles near curtains or other flammable items.
  • Ensure portable heaters have automatic-off switches and use them on firm, level surfaces. Avoid using extension cords with portable heaters.

By reviewing this checklist twice a year, your home will be less susceptible to unnecessary safety hazards. Fred’s Heating and Air has been dedicated to ensuring the safety and comfort of our Omaha clients for over 25 years.

09 Feb 2017

Choosing A Heating Contractor In Omaha? Go With Fred’s Heating & Air

Choosing a heating contractor is hardly ever easy — especially if your furnace has broken down in the middle of a cold snap, and you’ve got to find someone quickly.

Every contractor claims to be the best in the business, and for sure, there are many reliable service providers in the Omaha area. But you want the heating contractor who’s the best fit for your particular home and your particular needs. You want a contractor who has been in business for a long time, a contractor with highly skilled technicians, one who will respond to an emergency quickly and treat you professionally.

In choosing Fred’s Heating & Air, you can rest assured that you will be getting top-notch service, as well as top-notch products. That service begins with our core commitments to you, our customer. Those commitments are integrity, honesty, fairness, hard work and dependability.

Of course, you also want a heating contractor with a staff of expertly trained technicians. As Trane comfort specialists, our technicians are extensively trained in service and installation. The Comfort Specialist designation is reserved for the top 10 percent of Trane dealers. In addition, we have the Honeywell Perfect Climate dealer designation.

In addition, most of our technicians have earned certification in the North American Technician Excellence program, which requires them to demonstrate proficiency and knowledge in all types of repairs and installation. To maintain that certification, NATE technicians must continue to learn and undergo testing.

This is what you can expect whenever you call for service. And what about that emergency — like the furnace breaking down in the middle of a cold snap? We provide 24-hour emergency service seven days a week. That means your furnace will be tended to quickly and efficiently.

With a 25-year history of providing Omaha-area homeowners with dependable service, Fred’s Heating & Air is the choice to make when you’re looking for a heating contractor. Go with us, and you can feel confident that you’ve made the best choice.

09 Feb 2017
NATE (North American Technician Excellence)

What Stands Behind That NATE Logo

When you hire a professional for your HVAC needs, you don’t want just anyone. So how do you separate the experts and highly skilled firms and technicians from their run-of-the-mill counterparts? For starters, look for the NATE logo, as it can assure you of quality service.

What the NATE logo stands for

North American Technical Excellence is a national nonprofit entity that works to ensure industry standards. When an HVAC technician sets out to earn NATE certification, he doesn’t just fill out a form and wait for it to arrive in the mail. Earning NATE certification is an involved process that involves going through rigorous testing. To remain certified a technician must continue his education and undergo testing every five years. In addition, that same technician may choose to be certified in other areas of HVAC service and take an additional set of tests.

The NATE logo adds value to the service

When you have your HVAC system serviced, you want the best technician for the job. Letting just anyone have at it can be disastrous. Homeowners often report problems resulting from incorrect installation or inept service. If you choose a NATE-certified technician you won’t have these worries.

In fact, surveys have shown that homeowners who use HVAC professionals are more satisfied with their service than those who use uncertified technicians.  When you use a NATE-certified professional, you’ll be sure that his skills are in tip-top shape.

At Fred’s Heating & Air, we’re proud of our NATE-certified technicians, who stand behind their work. We can promise you expert, courteous service, whatever your home-comfort needs are. We have been providing expert heating and cooling solutions in Omaha and Council Bluffs for 25 years. Have questions? Don’t hesitate to give us a call in Omaha at (402) 895-3030 or Council Bluffs at (712) 322-3030!

09 Feb 2017
Fred's Heating and Air - Technician

Why NATE Certification Should Matter to You

If you’re looking for a trusted partner that can help you maintain and care for your HVAC system, there are a few common steps that people take in the Omaha-Council Bluffs area. You can ask a friend or neighbor, of course.  You can search aimlessly through the yellow pages. But there’s one surefire way to find the best expert for the job: Use an HVAC contractor who employs NATE-certified technicians.

What’s NATE? The acronym stands for North American Technician Excellence, the nation’s leading nonprofit HVAC certification program. It was founded in 1997 with the aim of raising industry standards. Today, NATE is affiliated with related organizations including the Air Conditioning Contractors of American and the Refrigeration Service Engineers Society.

Technicians who are NATE-certified must pass rigorous tests in their individual areas of expertise every five — or three — years. Those areas of expertise range from furnaces and air conditioners to oil hydronic and senior-level efficiency analysis.

If at least half of a contractor’s technicians are NATE-certified, the contractor can earn a NATE C3 designation. The contractor can become a Quality Circle Contractor if 80 percent of his techs are NATE-certified.

NATE does far more than offer testing and certification. The organization has its own magazine keeping techs abreast of what’s going on in the HVAC industry. It also supports various industry-related events that advance knowledge of the industry.

NATE technicians are widely respected, and certification is recognized by the entire HVAC industry. If you’re looking for an HVAC contractor with whom to entrust your HVAC-system investment, a good place to start is checking on NATE certification. When you call for service, ask for a tech who’s certified to work on your specific equipment.

At Fred’s Heating and Air in Omaha and Council Bluffs, we’re committed to giving you a level of service that will officially end your search for a lifelong energy savings partner. Call us today or visit us online at FredsHeatingandAir.com.

09 Feb 2017
Fred's Heating and Air - Trusted

Those Ice Dams Are Undermining Your Roof

Ice dam buildup is a common problem in the Nebraska area. One of the biggest problems with ice dams is that they cause snow to back up behind them, putting significant strain on roofing. This could cause leakages, crack formations, damage to walls and ceilings and even a possible roof collapse. For this reason, it’s important to prepare for the winter season and understand how to prevent an ice dam on your roof.

What causes an ice dam?

Ice dams occur when snow melts and flows down your roof. When it reaches the lower section of the roof, it freezes. Over time, this can cause a buildup of ice, which prevents water from properly draining. This water buildup eventually finds its way into cracks and drains into the attic and eventually into your house. This can not only be hazardous, but could result in very costly damages.

There are also health problems that could occur. The moisture that manages to enter your home could cause mold growth and mildew and incite respiratory problems among you and your family. If you ever have a problem with moisture due to ice dams, you should consult a professional immediately. They will be able to properly dry out your home and prevent this from happening.

Preventing ice dams

There are various preventative measures that you can take to prevent ice dams from forming in the first place. Such techniques include:

  • Removing snow from your roof with a roof rake.
  • Forming a drainage pathway for the water to flow down, which is a short-term solution to use if you’re already having problems.
  • Increasing ceiling insulation to prevent warm air from escaping and melting the snow.

If you’re having any issues with ice dams, you should contact a qualified technician. A professional will have the tools and knowledge required to remove both the ice dam and excess snow without damaging your roof.

For more expert advice about how to avoid problems associated with an ice dam on your roof, contact the pros at Fred’s Heating and Air. We’ve been serving the Omaha and Council Bluffs areas for over 25 years.