Skip to main content

HVAC Tips For Winter

A reliable heating system is a necessity in the cold winters of Rockville. Without proper care, you may experience frequent heating repairs or breakdowns leaving your home chilly and uncomfortable. Homeowners can take preventative maintenance steps to ensure your heating unit is dependable all season long. In this blog, we will discuss helpful HVAC tips to keep your home warm and cozy.

Preventative Heating Steps

Taking proper steps to ensure your heating unit is working efficiently and effectively will help keep you comfortable this winter. Below are six simple HVAC tips to prepare your heating unit for the cold temperatures.

  • Regularly Change Air Filter
  • Clean Air Vents
  • Seal Air Leaks
  • Clear Heating Unit
  • Schedule Heating Maintenance
  • Winterize AC Unit

Regularly Change Air Filter

Each air filter in your home should be changed at least every 90 days. A dirty air filter can harm many factors about your home, such as airflow, indoor air quality, and efficiency. If your filters are clogged, warm air struggles to be pushed through the filter pores. This results in your heating unit using more energy and can lead to a breakdown. Not only will your utility bills rise, but your air quality will decrease due to extra pollutants passing through. With illnesses being more common in the winter, it is important to regularly change your air filter to stay healthy.

Clean Air Vents

Similar to air filters, dirty air vents can cause your heating unit to become overworked. Dirty air vents can spread dust and other allergens around your home, which harms air quality and cleanliness of your home. Built up dust and other debris causes your heating unit to struggle to push air through the vents and can create future problems for your unit. To clean your air vents, remove the vent covers and wipe them down with a rag. Next, take your vacuum and remove excess dust and debris inside your vents.

Seal Air Leaks

Windows, walls, doors, and other openings can result in air leaks inside your home. Your heating unit works hard to meet the thermostat setting inside your home, but struggles to do so if air is escaping. Air leaks can raise energy bills due to the increased workload for your heating system. An easy and cost effective way to seal air leaks in your home is by caulking and weather stripping around openings in your home where you suspect an air leak may be.

Clean Heating Unit

Obstructed heating units can harm efficiency and energy usage. For indoor heating systems, be sure to remove personal items from on and around the unit. Additionally, remove excess dust and other debris. For outdoor units, remove leaves, grass clippings, branches, and other debris from the outside of the unit. Cleaning your heating unit will ensure your unit can operate effectively and maintain proper airflow.

Schedule Heating Maintenance

The most effective way to ensure your heating unit is ready to keep you comfortable this winter is by having maintenance performed by a Glenmont technician. Heating maintenance allows a professional to inspect your heating unit for any malfunctions, obstructions, or needed repairs. We can repair and replace any components while performing preventative tasks. You will experience less repairs and uncomfortable breakdowns by scheduling heating maintenance in Rockville with a Glemont technician!

Winterize AC Unit

Be sure to not forget about your air conditioning unit in the winter even though they are not used! Air conditioners are one of the most important appliances in your home, which is why proper care must be given year-round. To properly winterize your AC unit, turn off power and clean visible debris. Next, purchase a protective cover to keep out pests, dirt, and moisture. After each snow and frost, remove snow and ice from the top of the unit even if there is a cover. These steps will ensure your air conditioner is ready the moment you need it in the spring and can help avoid costly repairs!

Benefits Of Preparing Your HVAC System For Winter

While these six HVAC tips can seem tedious, they will pay off in the long run. Properly preparing your heating system for the winter temperatures and the heating demand can provide many benefits for your home, such as:

  • Lower Utility Bills
  • Increased Unit Efficiency
  • Improved Air Quality
  • Better Home Comfort
  • Fewer Repairs

We are here to help keep your home warm and cozy this winter, so consider these six simple tips! Each one of them will help your heating unit perform efficiently and avoid problems down the road. For heating repair and maintenance in Rockville and surrounding areas, give us a call! Our trained technicians can repair all types of heating units in a timely and professional manner.

How To Clean The Air Vents In Your Home

If you struggle with allergies each season, we recommend evaluating your indoor air quality.
Indoor air can be more harmful than outdoor air and affect your home in more ways than one. Many factors contribute to indoor air quality in Rockville, such as air vents. Air vents can collect allergens and spread them around your home, which increases health symptoms. In this blog, we will discuss the importance of cleaning your air vents and good air quality.

What’s In My Air Vents?

Air vents collect just about everything, especially if they are located on your floor. Common particles that collect inside your vents are dust, hair, pollen, pet dander, and spider webs. Yes – you heard us right! You could be breathing in all or some of these particles in your home if your air vents are dirty.

Benefits Of Clean Air Vents

If you notice an increase of dust in your home, it may be time to clean your air vents! Allergens can accumulate on your vents and spread around your home, which decreases air quality and heightens allergies. Clean air vents present many benefits for you and your home, such as:

  • Increased Energy Efficiency
  • Cleaner Home
  • Improved Air Quality

Increased Energy Efficiency

If air vents are dirty or clogged, your heating and cooling unit struggles to push air through. Maintaining clean air vents can prevent an overworked unit and extra energy usage, which helps keep utility bills low.

Cleaner Home

Dirty air vents can result in a dirty home, which no homeowner wants. Clean vents can decrease dust accumulation around your home, which not only makes for a cleaner environment but a healthier one too!

Improved Air Quality

Indoor air quality is important for all residents, but especially those with respiratory conditions such as asthma. Cleaning air vents is one of the many tasks to improve air quality and keep your home an escape from the outdoor pollutants.

Air vents are the lungs of your home, and taking care of them will benefit your health and home in more ways than the three listed!

How To Clean Air Vents

Air vents can often be overlooked when making a home cleaning checklist. However, it is an important step to not skip out on. Cleaning your air vents is a simple and easy task to improve air quality in your home. If your air vents are noticeably collecting dust, it is time to clean them!

Step 1: Turn off power to your heating and cooling unit.

Step 2: Unscrew and remove vent covers.

Step 3: Use a rag or brush to clean vent covers. For a deeper clean, scrub with soap and water.

Step 4: Vacuum inside of ducts. Household vacuums will do the job, but heavy duty vacuums will clean small crevices.

Indoor Air Quality In Rockville

Cleaning your air vents can help improve indoor air quality by removing pollutants such as dust. However, the air inside your home may contain much more than that. According to the Department of Environmental Protection for Montgomery County, top indoor air pollutants in Rockville include radon, mold, and VOCs. To determine if your home contains these pollutants, give one of our expert technicians a call! Glenmont offers indoor air quality testing in Rockville, along with a variety of other services such as:

  • Electronic Air Cleaners
  • Air Filters
  • Humidifiers
  • UV Lights

Stuffy noses and scratchy throats are usually blamed on seasonal allergies, but the culprit could just be pollutants within your indoor air. We are here to keep you and other residents in your home breathing easy every season. With clean air vents, your air filters will have to be changed less frequently, daily dust will be less noticeable, and everyone in your home will feel healthier. For air quality evaluation services in Montgomery County and surrounding areas, give us a call!

Should I Repair or Replace My HVAC System?

Does My AC System Need To Be Replaced or Can It Be Fixed?

When contemplating whether to repair or replace your HVAC system, there are a few factors to consider. Although repair may seem like the cheaper fix, it isn’t always the best option for your home. There are pros and cons to both repair and replacement, and we hope to help make your decision easier with these things to evaluate!


Depending on your situation, repairing your AC system can be the best solution. Typically, repair is the cheaper option when compared to replacement. Who doesn’t love to save money? One thing to understand in your decision to repair or replace is if repair is actually cheaper in the long run. Will this repair be a temporary fix? Does your system have frequent breakdowns? Your heating and cooling unit is much like your car. When your car breaks down, you take it to the body shop and have it fixed. If the car repair is unfixable or costly, buying a new car is a possible solution.


Unfortunately, even heating and cooling units have an expiration date. Replacing your HVAC system is an investment, but it does have benefits. If you are in the market to replace, your current system is likely causing you stress from breakdowns. Replacing as a whole can give homeowners peace of mind knowing they have a reliable unit in the summer and winter months. New HVAC units have higher efficiency which increases your overall comfort.

Things to Consider

We encourage you to consider these factors when deciding to repair or replace your HVAC system.

The Age of Your Unit.

HVAC systems typically last 10-15 years with proper maintenance. The chance of breakdowns and frequent repairs increase after your unit hits the 10 year mark. Considering this, if your unit is 10 years or older it is likely to continue needing repairs until it eventually gives out. Frequent repairs and technician calls can be expensive, which makes replacement a good option.

The Cost of the Repair.

Many HVAC technicians use the “$5,000 rule.” This rule of thumb multiplies the age of the unit by the repair cost, and if the total exceeds $5,000 it may be best to replace the unit. If the repair is inexpensive and your technician recommends this as the best option, repair could be your best choice.

The Efficiency of Your Unit.

Ask your Glenmont Air Conditioning & Heating technician to evaluate your unit’s Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ration (SEER) rating. The higher the SEER rating, the more efficient your unit is. This rating can help determine your possible savings by replacing your unit.

How Long Will You Live in Your House?

Evaluate how long you plan on living in your home before buying a new unit. If you plan on living there for many years to come, replacement could be beneficial. If you are selling your home, a new HVAC unit can increase your resale value and many buyers ask for replacement.

The Cost of Your Energy Bills.

Older units may be the cause of high utility bills due the amount of energy they use. New units are more energy efficient, which can reduce your monthly energy bill.

We are committed to your comfort at Glenmont, which starts with a reliable heating and cooling system. Give us a call for one of our trained technicians to help determine if repair or replacement is best for you and your home!

Ductless Mini-Splits vs Central Air Conditioner – Which is Best?

When it comes to ductless mini-split air conditioners vs central air conditioning, there are a lot of factors to consider. Both have their pros and cons, and the best option for your home will depend on your specific needs. In this article, we will take a look at both ducted and ductless AC systems and help you decide which is the best option for you.

Genmont Air Conditioning & Heating has worked in numerous homes that do not have a traditional furnace. During the harsh winters, homeowners used baseboard heat or a boiler to get by.

When it’s hot outside with no air conditioning, there aren’t many options. You open windows at night, close shades on the east and west sides of the property on sunny days, turn up the fans to maximum speed, and gather around room or window air conditioners.

If the Rockville area summers are making you yearn for air conditioning, and you don’t currently have a duct system, there are two viable alternatives.

Install a forced-air cooling system – an air conditioner or heat pump – or invest in a ductless mini-split system.

Don’t know which option is cheaper? Are you curious about the installation process? Or how each one will change the appearance of your house? We’ll answer these and other questions at the conclusion of this essay, and we hope to assist you in selecting how to keep your home cool.

If You Already Have Ductwork

The first course of action is simple if you already have ductwork. The external device will require power, and a line set will be required to bring conditioned air down to the basement or lower level. After that, an air conditioner must be installed to push the cooled air throughout the house.

Because the ducts will most likely reach all of the rooms, chilly air will be available in every location. All you have to do now is purchase an air conditioner or a heat pump, and you’ll be well on your way to a more pleasant summer. In addition, both of these devices help to remove humidity from the internal air, resolving:

  • An overly warm top floor or finished attic
  • Musty and disgusting smells
  • Mold showing in damp areas
  • Family having breathing issues
  • A general decrease in comfort
  • Permanent window fog
  • Different floors are often completely different in temperature
  • Spiders, bug infestations, and cobwebs
  • Wooden furniture experiencing moisture damage
  • Water stains

Ductless mini-splits can be used in conjunction with central ductwork if it is already in place. However, they would be utilized room by room rather than as a whole-house remedy.

If You Don’t Have Ductwork

Ductwork installation is time-consuming and expensive. And that doesn’t include the price of a new air conditioner or heat pump.

An HVAC technician will need to design a ductwork system to cover the entire house. To all of the rooms, the ductwork will need to be retrofitted.

Then you have to factor in the cost of installing an air handler, air conditioner, heat pump, or gas furnace and air conditioner.

It’s not difficult to install whole-home ductwork in a ranch house with a full, unfinished basement. You may run the ductwork wherever you want.

If you have multi-levels, a basement, or a finished basement, it’ll be extremely invasive. The ductwork will need to pass through finished rooms. There will be cutting and moving and refinishing. It becomes filthy and expensive.

You cut out a space for the supply and return ducts in a closet or the nook of a room. Then it’s time to bring it up to the attic. It’s going to set you back some cash. After all that work, you’ll need to finish the job afterwards.

How long would it take to install ducts for an unfinished basement in a ranch home?

It might take two to four days to complete the whole system. The process of running ductwork is time-consuming. Installing the AC and air handler would take another six to eight hours.

We may always add a zoned system as we go. Electronically controlled dampers are an option for a zoned system. These can be partially closed to aid in the restriction of air movement into a specific room. The air pressure throughout the rest of the home would rise as a result of this.

Why Is Ductwork So Expensive to Install?

A basement run takes only a few minutes. However, you must cut the floor holes for supply and return registers. You must cut the holes for the return registers. Flex-duct is used by some businesses. You just pull it out and tie off each end, and you’re ready to go.

Sheet metal ductwork is used at Glenmont since it promotes airflow more than ribbed, flexible ductwork. It also takes a bit longer to install.

We can’t give a price since we’d have to run a lot of duct and make a lot of holes. The final work would need to be completed by another contractor.

The cost of a whole-house duct system can range from $6000 to $15,000. That’s starting at the low end for a baby ranch house with a small main trunk system.

Advantages of Installing Central Air Conditioning

Central air conditioning is your quickest, simplest, and most affordable way to cool your house if you already have existing ductwork.

The disadvantage is that you’ll have to run ductwork throughout the house. The advantage is that you’ll be able to reach each room if you must install ductwork in the whole home.

By using central air, you may quickly add equipment to improve the air quality. Humidifiers can make the dry winter months more enjoyable. Air purification systems can get rid of germs, odors, allergens, pet dander, and other pollutants. Your entire home will be healthier and cleaner as a result of this renovation project.

The cost of an air conditioner unit is less than that of a ductless. The cost of a new AC for a house ranges from $4,500 to $13,000. This covers labor and regulatory costs. Variable-speed AC systems are among the different system sizes and levels of sophistication covered by this range.

If you’re leaning towards a heat pump, the cost is comparable. The price of a new heat pump ranges from $4,900 to $12,500. This time period covers the equipment expense, labor costs, and any other expenses. This range includes variable-capacity heat pump systems in a variety of system sizes and degrees of sophistication.

A typical air conditioner costs between $2900 and $5800. This fee includes installation. The price variation is due to the unit’s capacity and type of blower it has. Heat strips are another $300 to $600 in addition to the unit’s price.

Disadvantages of Installing Central Air Conditioning Without Ducts

A duct may have to run through your living room. Installers will cut two holes in the floor and run ducts throughout in order for it to function. It will be intrusive.

Let’s pretend we’re examining a fully completed basement in a three-story home. What would happen?

We have to either run the ductwork beneath the existing finished ceiling in the basement to install supply registers on the first floor. Alternatively, we’ll have to run the ducts above the completed ceiling or rip out the ceiling to place them up in the joist space. Another contractor will need to clean up any holes we make.

If we want to get to the second floor, we’ll either have to climb up the walls and across the ceilings of the first floor. Then there’s another set of holes. We’ll also need to create holes for both supply and return air.

Unless you’ve got the system zoned, you’ll have to choose where to put a thermostat. The thermostat does not know what temperature is in every room. Air conditioning can be used with zoning, but it isn’t as efficient as ductless mini-splits for zoning.

Advantages of Ductless Mini-Splits

  • They are less invasive. They may enter areas where there are no existing ducts. This can’t be overstated. Ductless mini-splits have a flexibility central air conditioning doesn’t come close to matching..
  • Each head is picked to whatever temperature you choose. (One note of caution: They all must be set to cool or warm. You can’t have one that’s cooling and another that’s heating.)
  • In most cases, they are. The head is installed on the wall, and a small hole is cut in it for the refrigerant line. We conceal that refrigerant line because it is hidden behind a line hide.
  • The process of connecting ductwork to the system is far faster than that of installing ducts. You’ll have immediate heating and cooling just as you wish, and you may manage the units using your phone with the mobile app. (You can do this with a high-end AC/heat pump and thermostat, too.)
  • They heat and cool. Yes, A heat pump can do the same, though they will struggle during extreme cold.
  • Ductless technology is one of the most energy-efficient technologies available. The lower end of ductless systems has a SEER rating of 16 – 18. Some of the more expensive devices reach into the 30s. There is no way that an air conditioner or heat pump can compete with these products when it comes to efficiency. A higher SEER rating is preferable, and it consumes less power.
  • Ductless heating/cooling systems are simpler to regulate since they don’t need a main supply line. You can set the temperature on each head individually.
  • Variable-speed compressors are common in small-capacity mini-splits, allowing them to run as much or little as necessary. In contrast to most (but not all) central air units, which have only one or two speeds and must be switched on and off more frequently.

Disadvantages of Ductless Mini-Splits

  • You won’t be able to perform complete-house humidification, air purification, or dehumidification with ductless. The ductless system includes some humidity and cleaning abilities. (The ductless does include some dehumidification and filtering capabilities.)
  • Some people can’t get over that thing on their wall. No question that it will be obvious in every room in which it’s mounted, whereas vents can be more unobtrusive.
  • You need a ductless air conditioner with heat strips if you have no ducts or don’t want to use them. They’re efficient when it comes to heating, but there’s no backup heat. When it gets really cold, you’ll wish you had an air handler with electric heat strips and some emergency heat. A long period of intense cold will significantly increase your electricity bill.
  • Central airflow is not created by ductless. It does not move air throughout the property, resulting in unventilated rooms that will not receive conditioned air. Only specific areas will be cooled/heated to precise comfort levels.

The Next Step Is Up to You

It’s a difficult choice between running ductwork and installing centralized air conditioning in a retrofitted home without ducts. You must compare both alternatives and choose the one that is best suited to you. In general, a ducted system in the basement is generally more appealing than a ductless mini-split system in a house with a full basement and just one floor.

If you have multiple levels and no locations where ductwork may be run, ductless technology may be a more appealing option.

You should now have a much better notion of which option is right for you. For others, the answer may be a combination of both, with a central air system servicing the majority of the property while a mini-split unit serves a specific area or room that is difficult to heat and cool.

If you’d like to speak with an HVAC professional in person about your choices even more, and if you live in the Rockville, MD area, contact us to book a free in-home consultation. Glenmont will answer any questions you have and assist you in selecting a solution that meets your demands.