ductless mini split "does your system have mold?"

Mold in Your Ductless Mini Split

HVAC: Maintenance How to Clean a Mini Split Unit

Does your ductless system have mold?

Ductless mini splits are becoming much more popular options in America for providing comfort for living and work spaces. They are modern HVAC systems that provide heating and cooling for homes, offices, and other places. As the name suggests, they require no ductwork. So these ductless mini split systems are an excellent option for spaces where it is not possible or feasible to install ductwork. But they can face their own unique problems, including finding mold in the mini split.

 

Standard Heating & AIr is Mitsubishi Diamond Contractor in Manhattan area for ductless mini splits

Standard Plumbing, Heating & Air Conditioning are professional installers of ductless mini split systems here in Manhattan and surrounding Kansas communities. We are the area’s Diamond Contractor for Mitsubishi ductless systems.

We provide full service for ductless units including repair and maintenance work on any brand or type of ductless system. Our techs are experienced at handling whatever problem is happening. They have often been called out to handle a repair on a mini split unit that was completely preventable.

Just as traditional heating and cooling devices need regular maintenance, so does a mini-split unit. One of the most common problems we run into here at Standard is servicing a mini split unit that is dirty and moldy.

A dirty mini split can lead to several problems. Having mold inside a unit that is dispersing air throughout your living space can greatly decrease the quality of the air you breathe.

Mold in mini split system

Finding Mold in Your Mini Split

Finding out that you have mold in your ductless mini split can be quite alarming, not to mention disgusting. But unfortunately, this happens more often than you might think.

When not properly maintained, the inside of your ductless mini split could become a home for mold and mildew. A ductless unit with mold inside emits mold spores into the air you breathe. This damages your indoor air quality and can make create problems for your home and also be detrimental to you and your family’s health.

Whenever mold is found or suspected, a homeowner should not ignore it. Mold can cause a variety of problems, especially to the health of the people and pets living in the home. The Environmental Protection Agency lists the Ten Things You Should Know About Mold.

5 signs you have mold in your mini split

5 signs of a Mold Problem

While opening your mini split unit will likely reveal whether you have a mold problem, there are some other tell-tale signs that you may notice, including:

  1. A bad odor that may smell like a dirty sock or something cheesy
  2. Black or odd-colored splotches on the wall unit, visible when lifting the cover on the air handler
  3. Finding a lot of moisture or standing water beneath your ductless unit
  4. Having increased difficulty with respiratory problems
  5. Experiencing more allergy-like symptoms inside your home

 

How to Clean Mold from Mini Split

So what can you do when you find disgusting black mold in your mini split? One option you have is to call for cleaning and maintenance from Standard Plumbing, Heating, & Air Conditioning. Our mini split cleaning and tune-up services start at $79.99. We can quickly come out to get your system completely cleaned so you can quickly go back to having clean, fresh air again.

You could also try to clean the mold out of your ductless unit yourself. Opening and cleaning a mini split is typically not too difficult and does not require great technical skill. Cleaning mold from your mini split is something just about any homeowner can handle themselves.

Process to Clean Mold out of a Mini Split

  1. Start by turning off your system.
  2. Flip up the top cover in order to remove the filters.
  3. Find the two filters right at the top and pull them up and out.
  4. Take those filters to a sink and rinse them off.
  5. Allow the filters to completely dry (wait at least 20 minutes)
  6. Put the filters back in the mini split unit.
  7. Put the cover back on. It should click in place.

It is important to note that some mini-split systems have an additional antimicrobial, anti-allergy filter. If your has that, remove it from the larger filter before washing as this special filter should not be cleaned. Reattach it back to the other filters once they are completely dry.

Mold in ductless mini split

Following those steps you should be able to successfully remove any dust, debris, and mold. But if the mold in your ductless unit is a bigger problem or if mold is apparent on parts of your mini split system other than the filters, you may need professional service. Call us at Standard for a thorough mini split cleaning and tune-up by contacting us online or by calling (785) 776-5012.

Click here for more information on our professional mini split mold cleaning service.

 

How to Prevent Mold Problems

6. Mini split mold control preventionThe best way to prevent mold from developing in your mini split is by keeping the unit always turned on.

You can prevent future mold problems by simply not turning off your system, even when you don’t need it on. Unlike a furnace and AC system, mini splits do not cycle on and off again repeatedly. These units will instead continue operating in low-power mode.

When a mini split is on, the device is doing more than just working to provide the desired temperature. It is also draining moisture. When you turn the mini split off, it cannot work to remove the moisture. And so that moisture stays inside the unit causing mold to form.

For ductless mini split system installment, repair or maintenance in Manhattan, Wamego, Junction City or the surrounding communities, call the Standard Plumbing, Heating & Air Conditioning mini split experts at (785) 776-5012.

 

Furnace Blowing Cold Air: 4 Troubleshooting Steps

Why Are My Vents Not Blowing Hot Air?

 

Troubleshooting steps for furnace blowing cold air

 

The middle of a cold Manhattan winter is a bad time for a furnace to break down. The coldest days of the season are the busiest for our repair technicians at Standard Plumbing, Heating & Air Conditioning.

Top furnace problems during cold weatherWaiting in a cold home until a technician can arrive is something you want to avoid. With this article on one of the biggest furnace issues that can happen in cold weather, you will have some troubleshooting steps to get the heater back on yourself.

 

One of the most distressing problems a homeowner can experience is when your vents are not blowing hot air. It may seem like your air conditioner is running.

While you may be worried your furnace has died, that probably isn’t the case. When a furnace appears to be blowing cold air, it’s a problem that can usually be fixed.

What to do first when your furnace is blowing cold air

Do not immediately call for a repair. While you may need a professional to fix your problem, you can eliminate some minor issues that may be causing the cool air first.

Standard Plumbing, Heating & Air Conditioning in Manhattan is here whenever you need a professional heating technician to service your furnace. Just call us at (785) 776-5012, or you can schedule service online. But before you do, we want to arm you with troubleshooting steps that could save you time and money by avoiding paying for a service repair.

Furnace Blows Cold: 4 Troubleshooting Steps

Here are the four basic steps a homeowner can try before calling a professional HVAC repair technician. You don’t need a lot of experience in home repair to tackle some of the most common reasons why a furnace can stop working. Most of these steps can be done easily and with little or no money.

Run through these questions. If the answer is yes to any of them (or even several of them), then you have the opportunity to fix the root of the problem quickly yourself.

 

The 4 steps to fixing vents not blowing hot air


#1: IS THE THERMOSTAT SET TOO LOW?

Thermostat set incorrectly to OFF causes furnace blowing cold airMake sure that your thermostat is set for a temperature higher than the current temperature in your home. It is possible someone else in the home lowered the setting without you being aware.

You also want to make sure it is set to HEAT and not COOL or OFF.

While that may put a kid in timeout or a spouse in hot water, this is the easiest problem to fix, at least technically.

If this is the problem, simply setting the temperature up several degrees than it is now should pretty quickly cause your furnace to blow warm air again.

 

#2: IS THE THERMOSTAT FAN ON?

While you’re checking the thermostat, make sure you see what the FAN setting is. If it is set to ON, that could make it feel like cold air is coming up through your vents.

If the air in your home is already at the set temperature, the furnace will not be heating. Yet air will still be pushed out of your vents. Compared to the existing temperature, that air will probably feel cold, even air-conditioned.

Make sure your fan is set to AUTO. That will cause the blower fan to run only when the furnace is working to heat your home.

 

#3: IS YOUR AIR FILTER DIRTY?

Dirty air filter can cause my vents not blowing hot airHaving a clean air filter is vital for your home’s entire HVAC system. It can even make a furnace start to blow cold air.

A dirty furnace filter can block a sufficient amount of air from flowing through the ductwork. This can cause the heat exchanger to overheat, possibly creating dangerous problems like a cracked heat exchanger with a carbon monoxide leak. A furnace may shut off its burners as a safety precaution if this happens.

Change a dirty filter, even if it’s ahead of schedule for your regular changing. It may need to be changed more frequently than you realize.

 

#4: IS THE PILOT LIGHT OUT?

If you have a gas furnace with a pilot light, you may find that it is not lit. Check where your burners are to make sure a flame is still burning.

If you need help, check this article for how to relight your furnace’s pilot light.

 

HOMEOWNER DIY vs HVAC Professional Repair

Standard Plumbing Heating & Air Conditioning has 24/7 emergency AC repair service in Manhattan, KSWhile those are the easy steps for homeowners to try to fix the problem themselves, none may end up solving your problem. There are various other (and more complicated) issues that can cause a furnace to stop blowing hot air.

If you need a professional to fix the problem, call Standard Plumbing, Heating & Air Conditioning at (785) 776-5012. We are available for 24/7 emergency furnace repair Manhattan, Wamego, Junction City and surrounding Kansas towns.

We can repair and service any type or model of furnace or heating system. We have hundreds of positive customer reviews and are the HVAC team trusted across the Manhattan, KS area.

 

Standard Plumbing Heating & Air AC repair van in front of Manhattan shop

 

Is Your Furnace Ready for Winter?

Now is the Time to Check Your Heating System

Even though it feels summer just ended, now is the perfect time to think about your heating system. The snow and ice seems like an eternity away, but the reality of a furnace breaking down in the middle of a cold Kansas winter is a real concern. It’s a threat our trained HVAC technicians at Standard Plumbing, Heating & Air Conditioning deal with every winter.

Without fail, some problem or system breakdown is bound to happen to some Manhattan area homeowners at the worst possible time. While you can always call our Standard team for emergency furnace repair 24/7, we want to help you prevent this problem from happening at all.

In this article, we explain how proper furnace maintenance can save you from potential heating disaster. And we will also show you the easiest thing you can do NOW that will go a long way in preventing a problem.

Can You Turn Your Heater On?

Blue flames of an electric ignition in a furnaceYou have not needed your heat for many months. Will it be ready to work when the first cold snap happens in Manhattan?

Waiting until temperatures drop low enough to need your heat is too late. Finding out that your furnace is not working when it’s very cold out means you don’t have time to wait for a repair.

If that happens, you will probably be left waiting in the cold.

You can expect to wait quite some time for a qualified HVAC repair technician to get your heating system back up and working. Just as you may be finding out that your furnace isn’t working, so might hundreds of other families. We have seen this happen every year for the near century Standard Plumbing, Heating & Air Conditioning has been serving the greater Manhattan community.

As we head into another cold Kansas winter, we are here to help homeowners avoid this sort of emergency. The truth is that many of these furnace breakdowns can be avoided. By doing one thing, you could prevent finding yourself without a heating system in the coldest days of the winter.

Prevent a Heater Emergency: What to do RIGHT NOW

Doing a test run of your furnace by simply turning your heater on should be done every year before the cold season starts. When precisely? Our weather is not the same every year so there’s no perfect date to always test out your heating system. You will want to do it well before you need heat.

Do you recall when you first turned your heat on last year? Taking 2019 for example in Manhattan, our first night of freezing temperatures happened on October 11th.

Graph from timeanddate.com showing the freezing temperatures in Manhattan in October 2019
Manhattan, KS temperatures October 2019 as posted by timeanddate.com

Remember, it’s not just about you and your home. When does everyone else turn their heat on? While you may be an energy saver who holds out until it gets quite cold before turning on your furnace, that is not common.

Turning your heater on before you need it may sound dumb, but it is the smartest thing you can do.

Sure, it’s probably still quite warm out, but turning on your heater before you actually need it is important. If you don’t feel the heat or detect some problem such as hearing odd, persistent sounds, at least now you know you may have a problem. You will be giving yourself plenty of time to get any problem fixed before you need to use it this winter.

When hundreds of families across the Manhattan area are all in need of a furnace repair at about the same time, there aren’t suddenly hundreds of more skilled HVAC technicians available to do the job. Our skilled furnace repair team will be working night and day getting broken heating systems up and running.

The Heat Comes On: Are You in the Clear?

If your heating system successfully turns on, emits heat, and appears to be working normally, you may be in the clear. This is especially likely if you have a newer system that is regularly maintained and has had the air filters changed on a regular basis.

It’s always a good idea to have your heating system maintained on a yearly basis. There are a variety of issues that could affect how well a furnace operates that are not always obvious.

Regular HVAC maintenance is the absolute best way to ensure your heater is working well and efficiently. Standard Plumbing, Heating & Air Conditioning provides a yearly VIP Maintenance Program that allows for us to provide this service to homeowners and give them peace of mind that their system can be expected to run at peak performance year in and year out.

Graphic image of Standard’s VIP Maintenance Program

Standard’s Fall Furnace Tune Up

Contact us to schedule service for a Fall Furnace Check & Tune Up. One of our experienced technicians will come to your home and do all the necessary testing of your HVAC system. We will make sure that your furnace is working properly and efficiently. An inefficient heating system will waste unnecessary amounts of energy, possibly leaving you with a larger than expected energy bill in the middle of winter!

  • Testing to make sure it is working properly and safely
  • Changing the air filter
  • Checking duct work and all other components of your cooling system to make sure any possible problems or issues are detected and resolved
  • Checking that the thermostat is working properly

October: Early Bird Furnace Special

Because a fall tune-up of your heating system is the best way to ensure your house is ready for our next cold Kansas winter, we are offering a special deal for our seasonal maintenance service. Contact us to get our fall furnace special available during the entire month of October 2021. For the special price of $70.00 we will make sure your furnace is ready to keep you warm all winter. Call us today at (785) 776-5012.

furnace fall tune up deal
Different types of air conditioners and electric fans in the room

Furnace Making Weird Noises?

Troubleshooting Loud Sounds from your Heater

New furnace in basement of Manhattan homeDuring cold Kansas winters, your furnace is probably the hardest working thing in your home. You likely are hearing it kick on and off periodically to keep up with making your home reach and maintain your desired temperature. But while those soft hums of a working furnace may be easy to ignore, some sounds are not.

Do you hear odd noises from your furnace? Are loud bangs or booms coming from your ducts? If so, you may be wondering if these sounds are something you should worry about. Well, they might be. Depending on what you’re hearing and where the sound is coming from, these odd noises could indicate problems with your furnace.

At Standard Plumbing, Heating & Air Conditioning, we’ve encountered all sorts of furnace problems and sounds. We break down some of the common loud noises that heaters can make and what potential issues each could mean.

 

Troubleshooting 4 Types of LOUD Furnace Noises

 

Graphic: furnace making loud bangs

The heater turns on with a BANG!

You turn up the heat, and you hear what could be described as a gunshot! That’s definitely a startling sound. If you hear a loud bang or boom, you might have a serious problem. If a loud bang comes from your furnace when it first turns on, that could indicate a gas build-up. However, a bang could also indicate an issue that isn’t all that severe.

If you heard the sound coming more from your ductwork, that could be the loud sound of your ducts expanding or contracting. But if you’re not sure whether this sound came from the ducts, you don’t want to take any chances.

What should you do?

Turn off your heater and call for a fix. This is potentially a dangerous problem that requires professional help. Call us at (785) 776-5012, and we will come out and inspect your heating system. If you do have gas building up inside your furnace, this could cause more serious (and expensive) problems like a cracked heat exchanger. Getting this issue addressed ASAP is essential.

How to keep this problem from happening?

The good news is that a gas build-up is a preventable problem. Dirty burners can cause it, so maintenance on your heating system may stop it from occurring. Cleaning furnace burners is part of the maintenance service we provide at Standard Plumbing, Heating & Air Conditioning. Call us at (785) 776-5012 for maintenance service.

You may also consider joining our VIP Maintenance Program, which puts all your plumbing, heating, and cooling maintenance needs in our hands. You will receive routine maintenance each fall and spring, priority scheduling as well as a discount on repairs.

 

Graphic: rattling sound coming from heater

A rattling sound coming from your furnace

Are you hearing a persistent rattling coming from your HVAC system? This is probably an annoying sound and one that is hard to ignore. It could indicate a few things, including something as seemingly minor as a loose screw or panel that needs to be tightened or secured.

However, other issues can cause a rattling sound, such as a cracked heat exchanger. Have you recently heard a loud bang before the rattling began? That combination of sounds could happen when a heat exchanger has become, which puts your home at risk for a carbon monoxide leak.

What should you do?

If you feel confident in your repair skills, you could examine your furnace for any loose screws or panels and tighten them as needed. But if you can’t find anything loose or if that doesn’t stop the rattling, contact us. What’s causing your heater to rattle may be hard for a homeowner to diagnose on their own, so let one of our experienced furnace repair technicians inspect your system to uncover the real problem. Call us at (785) 776-5012.

Cracked Heat Exchanger blog article

 

Graphic: furnace sound of metal on metal

You hear grinding metal

If you hear a noise coming from your heating unit that sounds like metal on metal, that is a sound you shouldn’t ignore. It may sound like metal scraping or even clanking. Those metal sounds could mean you have a serious problem. It’s possible that your blower fan has gotten out of place and is banging up against the blower house casing.

What should you do?

Turn off your furnace and get it fixed quickly or at least before needing to use it again. You will want to call a heating and air professional to check it out. There may be problems inside the blower. These could be minor issues requiring little repair or something more problematic like a broken blower fan. In that case, it may need to be replaced.

 

Graphic: squealing sounds from HVAC

A squealing sound is coming from your furnace

It’s quite a shocker to suddenly hear a squealing or screeching coming from some part of your home. Problems with your furnace could be making this sound. While this may be quite an annoying sound to endure, the good news is that it could indicate some pretty minor issues. But it’s still not something you should ignore. Your heater may have a faulty belt, or there could be a problem with your fan motor. Some components in your system need to be lubricated. Regular maintenance could help prevent this problem from happening.

What should you do?
Contact us. While this sound could indicate relatively minor issues, you will want a trained HVAC technician to diagnose and fix accurately. Most likely, you need repairs that our furnace repair technicians can handle quickly and easily. But even minor issues, when left ignored, can turn into significant, expensive issues. While this may not be as urgent of a problem as other furnace sounds would indicate, you will want to get it handled before it turns into something worse.

Normal Furnace Sounds

Did you hear some other noise coming from your furnace? Your system will make sounds from time to time, and many of them aren’t indicative of a problem. You may hear chirping, humming, or even a pinging. These sounds are usually harmless and normal for a furnace to make.

But if you’re ever in doubt, or if the sounds are getting louder, you can always contact us at Standard in Manhattan. It’s always best to check out potential problems that may be fixed quickly and cheaply before becoming big and expensive.

Standard Plumbing Heating & Air Conditioning vans from decades ago and one today.

 

 

Furnace Will Not Stay Lit? Testing the Flame Sensor

Fixing a Common Gas Furnace Problem: Flame Sensor Cleaning

While there are a lot of parts working inside your heating system, one of the most common reasons for a furnace breaking down is because of one particular part – the flame sensor. The main indicator you have a problem is finding out your furnace will not stay lit.

Standard Plumbing, Heating & Air Conditioning has been repairing furnaces in the Manhattan, KS area for nearly 100 years. So you can imagine that we have seen just about every different kind of heating problem there is.  Often a system may seem completely broken, but actually, it can be easily fixed.

Sometimes we respond to a call from a homeowner who tells us that, up until recently, their furnace was working fine but not the furnace will not stay lit. They could hear the burners come on, but pretty quickly the furnace shuts off. This can be very confusing for a homeowner, but it’s often a problem that we can easily solve. Not only that, but it may also be one you can solve yourself!

This common furnace problem is a dirty flame sensor.

Clean furnace flame sensor in hand

What is a Flame Sensor? And How Does a Flame Sensor Work?

A furnace flame sensor is a stainless-steel rod with a ceramic or porcelain cover. You’ll find it behind the burners, most typically on the opposite side of the ignitor. Simply put, its job is to sense when there is a flame. When there is, the flame sensor signals for your furnace to keep sending gas to keep the heat going.

Does every furnace have one?

No. If yours has a spark ignitor instead of a sensor rod, then the furnace ignitor is also doing the job of a sensor.

How does a flame sensor work?

Your furnace has a control board that sends electricity to the flame sensor, which then carries the flame to the burner face. The sensor lets the control board know that the current is flowing. That tells the control board to continue allowing gas to flow, too.

If the sensor doesn’t tell the control board that the current is going where it should, then the gas valve closes, and the heat stops coming through your vents.

Flame sensor near burners inside a furnace

Furnace Will  Not Stay Lit? DIY Steps for a Testing for a Dirty Flame Sensor

It is natural for a furnace sensor rod to become dirty over time. But if it gets too dirty, it could stop doing its job. The control board will not be able to sense the current is flowing if the sensor is covered in too much build up.

Fortunately, is it quite easy to clean a flame sensor. Most sensors are easily accessible and so a homeowner may want to clean it themselves.

Scotch-Brite™ pad to be used to clean a dirty flame sensorHOW TO CLEAN A FLAME SENSOR

    1. Turn off the furnace power switch.
    2. Remove the sensor rod. It should be easy to remove with a screwdriver. Do not use a wrench, as that could cause the sensor’s cover to crack.
    3. Using a Scotch-Brite™ pad, rub the sensor rod to clean it of all dirt and gunk. Do not use anything harsh like sandpaper.

ADDITIONAL CLEANING NOTES

    • You can use a dollar bill to clean it. Just fold the bill over the rod and, while tightly gripping it, rub it back and forth until the rod becomes somewhat shiny.
    • Do not touch the flame sensor with your fingers. The oils on your hands can get on the sensor and make it more prone to get dirty later.

Furnace Shutdown

Having a dirty flame sensor causing your furnace to stop working can mean you are facing an additional issue. A dirty sensor that is causing the ignition to go out over and over again may eventually cause the furnace to stop working. This is likely just a temporary shutdown, but one that will need to be dealt with in order to get it up and running again soon.

This shut down happens with furnaces that have particular safety function. If a furnace control board senses ignition attempts have failed 5 times in a row, it may shut down the furnace automatically and stay off for a few hours.

There is a work-around to waiting several hours. If there is no safety risk (like a gas leak), a furnace can be reset to bypass this wait. To do this, turn off the furnace’s power switch and wait about 10 seconds before turning it back on.

When to Replace the Sensor

It is not likely a flame sensor needs to be replaced. You should be able to sufficiently clean a sensor no matter how dirty it is. But they are not expensive parts, and you can choose to replace it instead of cleaning it. There are different shapes of flame sensors so be sure you are purchasing the proper kind.

Baxter straight flame sensor rod Rheem curved flame sensor

What if Cleaning the Flame Sensor Doesn’t Fix the Problem?

If after cleaning the dirty sensor the furnace still won’t stay lit, you may find that the burner face is dirty.

To clean the burner face, remove the front plate of the burners with a screwdriver. You will want to be careful to not bump the ignitor. Ignitors are fragile and can be damaged from the oils on your hands.

Individual burners typically pop out easily. You’ll likely find the burner closest to the flame sensor is the dirtiest. If the burner’s base is dirty or corroded, clean it with sandpaper, steel wool or Scotch-Brite pad.

Potential Electronic Issues

Cleaning a flame sensor or burners will not get the furnace running again if the problem is an electronic one. A wire may simply be loose or broken, keeping the electric current from getting to the sensor. A trained and experienced HVAC technician will be able to detect whatever the problem is and fix it.

Standard provides emergency furnace repair serviceContact Standard Plumbing Heating & Air Conditioning to handle whatever furnace repair or service you need.

With a team full of qualified heating repair technicians, we can repair and service any heating system or unit. We provide service to homeowners and businesses in Manhattan, Junction City, Wamego and surrounding Kansas towns.

You can rely on our team of highly trained and experienced technicians to get the job done quickly, professionally, and safely. Call us at (785) 776-5012. We are available for emergency furnace repairs 24/7.