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31 Mar 2022
Air Conditioner

This Summer, Protect Your Health from Fire Smoke with the Right Air Filter

We love to help our clients prepare for summertime with a good, thorough inspection of their HVAC systems. While most people might worry about whether their air conditioning system is functioning properly so they can stay cool, one thing most people don’t consider is the air filter. The right air filter can not only improve and optimize the quality of your air conditioning, but also protect you against overlooked but potentially serious contaminants, such as fire smoke.

Summer is grilling and bonfire season, and those activities can produce air pollutants that you should filter out with your HVAC filter. But more importantly, for many communities, summer also means wildfire season. Wildfires have been ratcheting up in size, frequency, and intensity over the last several years, and smoke from West Coast fires has made it all the way across the continent. Pollutants stay with the smoke no matter how far it travels, so even if you don’t live in a wildfire-prone state or region, you could still be receiving pollutants from thousands of miles away.

No matter where you live, ensuring proper air filtration should definitely be at the top of your summer to-do list. But there are tons of air filters out there for HVAC systems, each claiming to do a better job than the others, so choosing the right one can seem overwhelming. That’s where Fred’s Heating & Air comes in.

The best rule of thumb is to pay attention to your air filter’s MERV, or Minimum Efficiency Reporting Values, rating. Industry professionals developed this rating system, which is backed by the Environmental Protection Agency, to delineate a filter’s capacity for capturing different sized particles. The higher the MERV rating, the smaller the particles the filter can catch. A MERV rating between five and eight is what the average household will have, but for fire smoke specifically, a rating of over ten is advised.

Our HVAC professionals here at Fred’s Heating and Air in Omaha are always happy to consult with you at your home or business to discuss your specific filtration needs. Our family of experts has the knowledge and experience to determine which air filter will best protect you from fire smoke and other likely pollutants that are present in your area. Call today to get your HVAC system ready for summer!

24 Mar 2022
Install Before and After

Risks of Not Changing Your Air Filter

We here at Fred’s have always felt that air filters are truly the unsung heroes of HVAC components. A good, clean air filter is your first line of defense against breathing in all kinds of irritants. That being said, it’s certainly easy to forget about maintaining your air filters–that is, until something goes awry.

Strange smells or malfunctioning HVAC systems will usually bring you straight to the first and most simple of troubleshooting steps: checking the overall condition of the filter. Even still, a lot of people don’t realize how important it really is to change the air filters in their home or place of business on a regular basis, or what some of the long and short term risks are when you’re not doing so. We’re here to help!

One of the most commonly cited reasons to routinely replace your air filters is for your health. If your filter is clogged, the filtration system can’t catch and trap harmful allergens or dander the way it’s intended to. This usually leads to headaches, respiratory discomfort, and allergy flares in folks that frequent the space. As your cooling and heating systems continue to cycle the unfiltered air, contaminants will also continue to accumulate in your environment which can unfortunately lead to devastating health complications and even disease over time.

While these dangers being posed to your wellness are more than enough of a reason to have an HVAC professional stay on top of your maintenance, the consequences don’t stop there. In essence, a clogged filter can literally freeze your air conditioner! The evaporator coil in your system needs free and open airflow to prevent moisture from accumulating there. As you’ll be forced to defrost the unit to allow for inspection and potential repair, the melting overflow of ice water could result in lasting damage to your home.

Last but certainly not least: dirty, old air filters simply make your HVAC system work harder. The lack of filtration debilitates your compressor over time. You won’t experience accurate indoor temperatures despite what you set your thermostat to. Not only does your quality of air suffer, but your utility bills end up going through the roof as a result of your unit struggling to work overtime.

The general consensus among manufacturers of the filters themselves is that we should be changing them out every couple of months at the latest. However, depending on different factors, replacing your filters more frequently could better benefit your personal health and lifestyle. There are quite a few assessments that should be made by a professional to determine the right replacement cadence for you.

Whether you’re part of a big household with multiple pets or you’re in a smaller occupancy living situation sans furry friends, you can always trust the filtration experts at Fred’s Heating and Air to keep your air filters pristine time after time.


04 Aug 2017
Furnace Repair

4 reasons you may need furnace repair

Theoretically, there is an infinite number of reasons you might need furnace repair. We’re going to rule out the idea that your furnace stopped working because it was trampled in a spontaneous unicorn stampede, and instead offer up four of the most common causes of furnace failure:

1. Your air filters are dirty

If your air filters are dirty or clogged, your furnace will have to work harder to compensate for the reduced airflow. In which case, not only can unclean air filters increase your energy consumption and power costs, but a clogged filter can also damage your furnace’s limit switch, which controls the fan.

Furthermore, if your furnace continuously cycles between on and off, it may be indicative of a clogged air filter.

2. The thermostat is faulty

If your thermostat isn’t working properly, you’ll probably experience some discomfort at home. Your furnace won’t heat the house as intended, and your fan might operate at inappropriate times.

A faulty thermostat is another reason your furnace might cycle between on and off, which can require professional furnace repair services.

3. Your pilot light is malfunctioning

If your pilot light isn’t working — or if your ignition is faulty — it will usually prevent your furnace from starting in the first place. Your pilot light might fail if there are drafts or clogs in your furnace, or it could be the result of thermocouple problems.

4. Your furnace is just old

We don’t know how else to explain this one. Sometimes your furnace has simply reached the end of its life cycle, and normal, everyday use has worn down its old mechanical bones. Rest easy, old friend. You did a great job.

Of course, sometimes revitalizing your furnace is as simple as calling for routine furnace maintenance or quick furnace repair services. For expert 24/7 heating and air conditioning repair, call Fred’s Heating and Air in the Omaha area at 402-779-7065, or contact us online.

04 Aug 2017
Condenser Unit

Why is my air conditioner broken? 5 common reasons for AC failure

Isn’t it ironic that otherwise reliable appliances and electronics only seem to malfunction when you need them most?

Actually, it’s not ironic at all, considering many people subject their appliances and electronics to rigorous use when they’re needed most. Cars are more likely to break down during highway driving at speeds above fifty miles per hour, computers become more susceptible to malware during frequent downloading and browsing, and your air conditioning is at a greater risk of failure during those hot summer months when you crank it up to eleven.

We can’t exactly provide any insight for why your car or computer isn’t working properly, but we can offer a few common explanations for air conditioning and HVAC failure (as well as our condolences for your car and computer).

1. Your thermostat isn’t working properly

If your air conditioner can’t detect the right temperature, it will most likely shut off prematurely — before reaching the desired comfort level. Installing a new thermostat can prevent your AC from cycling on and off.

2. Your circuit breaker or fuse is broken

If your air conditioner suddenly stops working, you should probably check your circuit breaker before impulsively replacing it with an expensive new unit. Many people don’t realize, however, that it’s usually necessary to give your AC system 15 minutes to cool down after resetting your power.

If your cooling unit doesn’t work after resetting the power and waiting 15 minutes, you may have triggered a limit switch, in which case, you should call a technician. Like Fred’s Heating and Air, for example.

3. Your evaporator coil is frozen

Built up dust and dirt in your ductwork and in your air filter can lead to airflow backup in your cooling unit, resulting in a frozen evaporator coil. Ice and frost around your evaporator coil is what causes your air conditioning unit to drip water onto your floor. Just make sure to keep your ducts clean and your air filter fresh. Also, you can inspect the inside of your cooling unit for frost or ice.

4. Your AC has damaged components

We realize this is a pretty vague tip, but your air conditioner could be damaged in one of many places. It could be the compressor, the electrical connections, or simply damaged fan blades.

5. You’re low on refrigerant

Refrigerant is basically the “conditioner” part of your air conditioner. It cools the air inside your AC unit. If your AC is low on refrigerant, you probably have a leak somewhere in your system. If this is the case, call Fred’s Heating and Air for immediate repairs.

For expert 24/7 heating and air conditioning repair, call Fred’s Heating and Air in the Omaha area at 402-779-7065, or contact us online.

09 Feb 2017

Your Home Energy Evaluation: Here’s Where The Blower Door Test Comes In

Winter is here again, and so are those heating bills. You want to take charge of your heating costs, don’t you? It makes sense to have a home energy evaluation to identify the areas that need to be tightened. A key part of the evaluation is the blower door test. It will help your energy auditor locate problem areas. This is how your energy evaluation and your blower door test works:

When your energy auditor comes to your home, he will fit the frame of one of your entrance doors with a special assembly, which contains a heavy-duty fan. He will slowly ramp up the fan to full speed to draw air out of your house. This will depressurize your home, and air from the outside will come rushing in, via all the vulnerable spots. Your auditor will identify those spots, which are typically areas where wires, cables and plumbing lines come in from the outside, door and window frames, around baseboards and kitchen soffits.

Your auditor will help you draw up an action plan, which will include not only the air leaks, but also areas that need extra attention, such as your attic. Small air leaks can easily be caulked and weatherstripped in a weekend or two. You might want to work with your HVAC contractor to handle additional projects, such as insulating your ductwork. Your auditor might even recommend a new heating and cooling system.

Whatever you’re doing to boost your home’s energy efficiency, contact Fred’s Heating and Air. We can help you make your home as weathertight as possible. We serve homeowners in the Omaha-Council Bluffs area. Like you, we live here, so we know just how cold it can get in the winter, and how hot it can get in the summer. Give us a call.

09 Feb 2017

Don’t Waste Time – Have an Energy Evaluation Critique Your Omaha Home

As cold as it gets in Omaha and Council Bluffs, winter can actually be a very pleasant season. Yes, there’s snow to shovel from time to time, but there’s no grass to mow, no weeding or planting to be done, no outdoor projects to be completed.

But there’s one project that you should seriously consider doing this winter. Now’s an opportune time to call your trusted HVAC contractor and have a thorough home energy evaluation done. The sooner you do that, the sooner you can start saving.

A home energy evaluation gives you a clear picture of just how efficient — or inefficient — your home is. Your energy auditor will use highly sophisticated equipment, such as a blower door test, to locate sources of air leaks in your home. These spots include places where lines and cables enter your home, as well as drafty doors and windows. The tests will also identify places such as your attic that could use more insulation. Your auditor will inspect your home-comfort system and your ductwork, finding spots that are leaking and need repair.

At the end of the evaluation, your auditor will draw up a list of recommendations and help you prioritize the improvements your home needs, which may range from replacing your old doors and windows with energy-efficient units to getting a new heating system. You are under no obligation to buy equipment from your auditor, and you can complete the projects as quickly or as slowly as you like.

If you’re interested in having an energy evaluation performed on your home, contact Fred’s Heating and Air Conditioning in Omaha and Council Bluffs to schedule an appointment with a professional energy auditor. With a few more months of winter ahead, it’s a good way to start saving money now.