Thursday, March 22, 2018
Wednesday, 07 March 2018 18:58

Most Common HVAC Problems

Your HVAC unit plays an important role in the overall comfort of your home. It can be easy to forget just how important it’s job is until something seems broken and the temperature is sweltering hot or bitter cold. If you are experiencing issues with your HVAC unit, you might be able to troubleshoot them yourself, or in some cases you may need a licensed expert from A. J. Danboise to come take a look.

Here are some of the most common HVAC problems, and suggestions on how you or your local HVAC expert might be able to solve them.

1.      Dirty Filters

Even if you have the best HVAC unit on the market, it will not operate at maximum efficiency with a dirty filter. Filters should be changed at least once every 90 days, or sometimes even as regularly as once per month. If your filter becomes too caked with dust and pollutants, your HVAC will have to work harder to maintain the air flow and cool your home. This issue has the easiest fix on the list: just make sure to check on your filter and replace it as it gets dirty.

2.      Refrigerant Leaks

Most HVAC units use a liquid refrigerant to cool air as it flows into your home. However, if this substance finds an escape route and leaks out of your unit, there will not be enough to chill the air adequately. Warmer air blowing into your home can be a inconvenient or even extremely uncomfortable depending on the season. If your refrigerant levels seem low, call an HVAC technician to have them assess the problem. They can compare the levels your unit is using and compare them to the manufacturer’s specifications for that HVAC.

3.      Thermostat Sensor Issues

The sensor inside your thermostat is used to detect the air temperature inside your home. Based on the temperature it reads, it will signal your HVAC to turn on or off. This process is designed to ensure your HVAC maintains a comfortable temperature in your home. If your air conditioner or heater does not seem to turn on when it needs to, or it turns your HVAC on and off too many times per day, your sensor might not be operating properly. A licensed HVAC professional can help you determine if the problem is with your thermostat rather than your unit.

4.      Ignition Problems

Sometimes elements like pilot lights, igniters, or other electrical components within your HVAC are due for a replacement. If your HVAC has issues starting, you might be able to take a look inside and diagnose the problem yourself. However, it is best to have a professional do any replacements within your unit.

5.      Uneven Heating or Cooling

If some parts of your home are receiving more cool air in the summer or warm air in the winter than others, the problem might not be with your HVAC. Sometimes if certain rooms don’t seem to have climate consistent with the rest of the house, it has to do with gaps in their sealing. If you can seal up these problem areas, it might improve the air flow and temperature control.

If you experience problems with your HVAC unit, A. J. Danboise is here to help. Contact us at 1-248-236-5999.

Published in News

Now that September is here, winter is right around the corner. Although we have been trying to hold on to that warm summer weather, boots and coats are in our near future whether we like it or not. Here in Michigan, winter begins well before the Thanksgiving holidays all the way. This means it is important to prepare your furnace well before the freezing temperatures hit. Whether you have small children to your home, or own a commercial space, you can’t afford to procrastinate. A furnace that has not had a tune-up in over a year will not run efficiently – and runs the risk of breaking down. So, get your furnace checked today!


Before Disaster Strikes, Make Sure your Furnace Runs at Peak Efficiency!


A furnace is the essential component to keeping your home or business warm all winter long. If your furnace is installed properly, it can last anywhere from 15-20 years. But this window will change depending on how often the furnace is maintained. Through general usage, parts can deteriorate and need replacing. In between seasons, a furnace can also collect dust and debris, requiring cleaning. A regular tune-up can deal with these issues and ensure your furnace performs at peak efficiency. Ask yourself this question: “how long has it been since I have had a furnace tune-up?” If it has been longer than a year, then it’s time to call a professional HVAC company.


The benefits of annual heating maintenance are many: 


  • Improved Efficiency of the Unit
  • Extended Life
  • Ensures the Brand Warranty Remains Valid
  • Minimal Repairs
  • Lower Utility Bills
  • Less Noise
  • Avoidance of an Expensive Breakdown
  • More Even Distribution of Heat


When you join the annual home safety and maintenance plan at AJ Danboise, you’ll never have to worry about scheduling a tune-up again. You’ll also receive great discounts om repairs and enjoy priority service. Become a HomeCare member and receive:


  • Spring HVAC System Inspection
  • Fall HVAC System Inspection
  • Plumbing System Inspection
  • Electrical System Inspection
  • Priority Service
  • 10% Off Savings
  • Yearly $50 Service Card
  • No Trip Fee
  • Much More!

If you don’t currently have plan to maintain your furnace, contact the professionals at AJ Danboise today. We can send over a technician who can give your furnace a thorough assessment – and share more information on becoming a HomeCare member. Another Michigan winter is fast upon us! Don’t be left in the cold! Call us at 214-236-5999 to schedule an appointment with a technician today!



For all your plumbing, heating, cooling and electrical needs, you can count on AJ Danboise! Schedule service online or by giving us a call at 1-248-236-5999.

Follow us on FacebookTwitter and Google+ for more tips and tricks on keeping your home safe and comfortable year-round.


Published in Heating

Never go without warmth during a Michigan winter. With the chilly weather upon us, its time to bundle up in your favorite sweaters, socks, and blankets. One of the more popular warming methods, and more antiquated, is the electric blanket. While older designs were problematic, often shorting out and sometimes leading to more hazardous situations, more sophisticated blankets offer much safer use. The basic design hasn’t changed: a blanket equipped with wiring that warms heating pockets places throughout the design. Even though new heating blankets are much safer, there are still several safety procedures that are important to follow. Before you cover yourself with one and turn up the heat, it is important to know the dangers and how to avoid them.


The experts at AJ Danboise have provided the do’s and don’ts of using an electric blanket.



  • Do examine your blanket thoroughly every time before use. Be mindful of any areas that look burnt or worn by wiring.
  • Do read the manufacturer’s manual completely.
  • Do keep heat levels within manufacturer specifications.
  • Do turn off the blanket when not in use.
  • Do use new and up-to-date electric blankets. If you own a blanket that is more than ten years old, discard and buy a new one.
  • Do keep the blanket on top of you and never under or squeezed in the side. Heating blankets should always be placed over a blanket.
  • Do allow the blanket to cool off after use before putting it away.
  • Do wrap around the cords properly when not in use.
  • Do dispose of the blanket when you notice that it has stopped working efficiently.



  • Don’t let water touch or splash on the electric blanket, as this can ruin the wiring and cause shock.
  • Don’t bundle up the blanket when not in use, as this can compromise the wiring and lead to short circuiting.
  • Don’t use electric blankets on those who can’t use the controls such as infants, elderly, or people with disabilities. There is the danger of overheating.
  • Don’t tinker with the wiring in the blanket, as you can destroy and fray the wires.
  • Don’t use an electric blanket in a foldable bed, as the wiring can easily get torn or frayed.
  • Don’t wash your electric blanket, as this will destroy it.
  • Don’t use a blanket with cuts and tears, or has exposed wiring.
  • Don’t use the electric blanket if it is overheating or not responding to the controls properly.
  • Don’t use a blanket that is old and barely works.


Electric blankets are meant to supplement other warming/heating elements, so keep this in mind when in use. And remember, if you are experiencing any electrical problems in your home, AJ Danboise is ready help! For over nine decades we have been the premier electrical services company for Michigan homeowners, and provide affordable quality only found in Farmington Hills. Give us a call at 248-236-5999 to schedule an appointment to meet your trusted electrical experts.


For all your plumbing, heating, cooling and electrical needs, you can count on AJ Danboise! Schedule service online or by giving us a call at 1-248-236-5999.

Follow us on FacebookTwitter and Google+ for more tips and tricks on keeping your home safe and comfortable year-round.

Published in Electrical
Thursday, 19 January 2017 21:36

Tips to Stay Warm and Save Energy

Improve your home’s comfort and save energy and money while doing the right thing for the environment. Follow these simple recommendations from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency:

  1. Know the Facts – The average family spends $1,400 a year on energy bills, with nearly half of that spent on heating and cooling. Energy-efficient heating and cooling equipment, sized and installed correctly, with properly sealed ducts, can save homeowners as much as 20 percent on their annual energy costs.
  2. Keep it Clean – A dirty air filter can increase your energy costs and lead to early equipment failure. Clean or change the air filter in your heating and cooling system monthly. Some filters only need to be changed every 3 months. Also, have your equipment checked seasonally to make sure it’s operating efficiently and safely – check-ups can identify problems early. Dirt and neglect are the #1 causes of system failure.
  3. Bundle Up Your Home – Hidden gaps and cracks in a home can add up to as much airflow as an open window. The more heat that escapes, the more cold air enters, causing your system to work harder and use more energy. Home Sealing can improve your home “envelope” – the outer walls, ceiling, windows and floors -- and can save up to 10 percent in energy costs. Start by sealing air leaks and adding insulation—pay special attention to your attic and basement, where the biggest gaps and cracks are often found. If replacing windows, choose ENERGY STAR qualified ones.
  4. Tighten Your Ducts – If you have a forced air furnace or heat pump, then a duct system is responsible for circulating warm air throughout your home. Leaky ducts can reduce your system’s overall efficiency by 20 percent. Sealing your ducts can save up to $140 annually on energy bills and help you consistently heat every room.
  5. Don’t Oversize – If you’re replacing old equipment, make sure your new equipment is properly sized for your home -- bigger isn’t always better. An over-sized system will cost more to buy and operate and will cycle on and off too frequently, reducing your comfort and leading to early system failures and repair costs. Correct size and proper airflow will ensure that your equipment works efficiently, saves you money, and helps protect our environment.
  6. Put Your Home to the Test – Doing a home improvement project this fall or winter? ENERGY STAR has online tools to evaluate your home’s energy performance and offer solutions to increase comfort and energy efficiency. Visit Have your utility bills handy for savings calculations.
  7. Consult a Professional – Find an experienced, licensed contractor before embarking on any heating and cooling overhaul. Your contractor should properly size your equipment, test airflow, and perform a quality installation.
  8. Cash in on Special Offers – Concerned about the cost of new heating equipment? Check with your local utility or visit the rebate finder at to see if there are any special deals on high efficiency heating equipment. Manufacturer rebates are usually offered in fall and early spring. Ask for ENERGY STAR qualified equipment – it might cost more up front, but will offer you greater savings and comfort for years to come.
  9. Shop Smart – If your heating equipment has been poorly maintained and is 15 years or older, it’s probably time for a more efficient replacement. Ask for an ENERGY STAR when buying the following equipment:
  • Furnaces – One in four furnaces in U.S. homes is more than 20 years old. Old furnaces cost more to operate per year than new, ENERGY STAR qualified models that are 15 percent more efficient than standard models.
  • Heat Pumps – Today’s electric and geothermal heat pumps are much more efficient than those installed just 10 years ago. When installed in a home with a well-sealed home envelope, heat pumps will provide great value and comfort for your energy dollar. An ENERGY STAR qualified geothermal heat pump is 30 percent more efficient than comparable new equipment and can save you as much as $200 annually. A qualified electric heat pump is 20 percent more efficient and can save you about $130 annually.
  • Boilers – An ENERGY STAR qualified boiler uses features like electric ignition and new combustion technologies that extract more heat from the same amount of fuel, to be 7 percent more energy-efficient.
  • Programmable Thermostats – Regulate your home’s temperature with four programmable settings and you can save about $100 annually on your energy bills.

Source: Environmental Protection Agency

Published in Heating
Monday, 23 January 2017 21:33

Thermostat Tips & Savings

This article is compliments of the U.S. Department of Energy. Did you know that you can save around 10% a year on your heating and cooling bills by simply turning your thermostat back 10–15 for eight hours? You can do this automatically without sacrificing comfort by installing an automatic setback or programmable thermostat.

A programmable thermostat offers a lot of flexibility in its temperature settings.

Using a programmable thermostat, you can adjust the times you turn on the heating or air-conditioning according to a pre-set schedule. As a result, you don't operate the equipment as much when you are asleep or when the house is not occupied.

Programmable thermostats can store and repeat multiple daily settings (six or more temperature settings a day) that you can manually override without affecting the rest of the daily or weekly program. When shopping for a programmable thermostat, be sure to look for the ENERGY STAR® label.

Thermostat Operation

You can easily save energy in the winter by setting the thermostat to 68F while you're awake and setting it lower while you're asleep or away from home. By turning your thermostat back 10–15 for 8 hours, you can save about 5%–15% a year on your heating bill—a savings of as much as 1% for each degree if the setback period is eight hours long. The percentage of savings from setback is greater for buildings in milder climates than for those in more severe climates.

In the summer, you can follow the same strategy with central air conditioning, too, by keeping your house warmer than normal when you are away, and lowering the thermostat setting to 78F (26C) only when you are at home and need cooling. Although thermostats can be adjusted manually, programmable thermostats will avoid any discomfort by returning temperatures to normal as you wake or return home.

A common misconception associated with thermostats is that a furnace works harder than normal to warm the space back to a comfortable temperature after the thermostat has been set back, resulting in little or no savings. This misconception has been dispelled by years of research and numerous studies. The fuel required to reheat a building to a comfortable temperature is roughly equal to the fuel saved as the building drops to the lower temperature. You save fuel between the time that the temperature stabilizes at the lower level and the next time heat is needed. So, the longer your house remains at the lower temperature, the more energy you save.

Limitations For Homes With Heat Pumps, Electric Resistance Heating, Steam Heat, And Radiant Floor Heating

Programmable thermostats are generally not recommended for heat pumps. In its cooling mode, a heat pump operates like an air conditioner, so turning up the thermostat (either manually or with a programmable thermostat) will save energy and money. But when a heat pump is in its heating mode, setting back its thermostat can cause the unit to operate inefficiently, thereby canceling out any savings achieved by lowering the temperature setting. Maintaining a moderate setting is the most cost-effective practice. Recently, however, some companies have begun selling specially designed programmable thermostats for heat pumps, which make setting back the thermostat cost effective. These thermostats typically use special algorithms to minimize the use of backup electric resistance heat systems.

Electric resistance systems, such as electric baseboard heating, require thermostats capable of directly controlling 120-volt or 240-volt circuits. Only a few companies manufacture line-voltage programmable thermostats.

For steam heating and radiant floor heating systems, the problem is their slow response time: both types of systems may have a response time of several hours. This leads some people to suggest that setback is inappropriate for these systems. However, some manufacturers now offer thermostats that track the performance of your heating system to determine when to turn it on in order to achieve comfortable temperatures at your programmed time.

Alternately, a normal programmable thermostat can be set to begin its cool down well before you leave or go to bed and return to its regular temperature two or three hours before you wake up or return home. This may require some guesswork at first, but with a little trial and error you can still save energy while maintaining a comfortable home.

Choosing and Programming a Programmable Thermostat

Most programmable thermostats are either digital, electromechanical, or some mixture of the two. Digital thermostats offer the most features in terms of multiple setback settings, overrides, and adjustments for daylight savings time, but may be difficult for some people to program. Electromechanical systems often involve pegs or sliding bars and are relatively simple to program.

When programming your thermostat, consider when you normally go to sleep and wake up. If you prefer to sleep at a cooler temperature during the winter, you might want to start the temperature setback a bit ahead of the time you actually go to bed; you probably won't notice the house cooling off as you prepare for bed. Also consider the schedules of everyone in the household; is there a time during the day when the house is unoccupied for four hours or more? If so, it makes sense to adjust the temperature during those periods.

Other Considerations

The location of your thermostat can affect its performance and efficiency. Read the manufacturer's installation instructions to prevent "ghost readings" or unnecessary furnace or air conditioner cycling. Place thermostats away from direct sunlight, drafts, doorways, skylights, and windows. Also make sure your thermostat is conveniently located for programming.

References: "Energy Savers: Thermostats and Control Systems." Energy Savers. March 24, 2009. U.S. Department of Energy. January 26, 2010.

Published in Heating

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