Category Archives: HVAC Inspection

Air conditioning system outside a house, sitting on a soil-covered ground.

How to Find Certified HVAC Technicians Nearby for Peace of Mind

When it comes to keeping homes comfortable, few things are as important as a well-functioning HVAC system. When it’s the sweltering heat of summer, having a reliable ventilation and air conditioning system is essential for your comfort and well-being. However, when problems arise with the HVAC systems, finding a trustworthy technician can be a daunting task. With the abundance of options available, how can you ensure that you’re choosing the right one? In this blog post, we’ll share some tips on how to find a certified HVAC repairman nearby.

Tips for Finding a Certified HVAC Repairman Nearby

  1. Look for Certifications: When researching for HVAC technicians, be sure to check for certifications. Certifications such as NATE (North American Technician Excellence) indicate that the technician has undergone rigorous training and has the skills necessary to effectively diagnose and repair HVAC systems.
  2. Inquire About Insurance and Licensing: Before hiring an HVAC repairman, it’s important to verify that they are properly licensed and insured. This not only ensures they are qualified to perform the work but also protects you in the event of any accidents or damage during the service.
  3. Get Multiple Quotes: Don’t hesitate to shop around and get quotes from multiple HVAC repairman before making a decision. While cost shouldn’t be the only factor in your decision, comparing quotes can help ensure that you’re getting a fair price for the services you need.
  4. Ask for Recommendations: One of the best ways to find a reliable HVAC repairman is by asking for recommendations from friends, family, or neighbors. Chances are, someone in your circle has had experience with a reputable technician and can point you in the right direction.
  5. Check Online Reviews: In today’s digital age, online reviews can be a valuable resource for finding reputable service providers. Take the time to read through reviews on websites like Yelp or Google to get an idea of the experience’s others have had with different HVAC companies in your area.

How R.A. Dobson Can Help You

When it comes to ensuring the comfort and efficiency of your home’s HVAC system, we stand out as a reliable partner. Here’s how we can assist you:

  1. Expertise and Experience: With decades of experience in the HVAC industry, we bring a wealth of expertise to every job. Our technicians undergo extensive training and stay updated on the latest technologies and techniques, ensuring that we can tackle any HVAC issue with confidence and precision.
  2. Comprehensive Services: Whether you need a routine maintenance check, emergency repairs, or a complete system installation, we offer a wide range of services to meet your needs. From diagnosing complex issues to recommending energy-efficient solutions, our team is equipped to handle it all.
  3. Personalized Solutions: We understand that every home and HVAC system is unique. That’s why we take the time to assess your specific needs and customize our services accordingly. Whether you’re looking to improve performance, increase energy efficiency, or upgrade to a smart thermostat, we work with you to find the best solution for your home.
  4. Prompt and Reliable Service: When you’re dealing with HVAC issues, you need a technician you can count on to respond quickly and get the job done right the first time. We prioritize prompt and reliable service, ensuring that your HVAC problems are addressed in a timely manner so you can get back to enjoying a comfortable home.
  5. Commitment to Customer Satisfaction: Customer satisfaction is at the heart of everything we do. From our friendly and professional technicians to our transparent pricing and honest communication, we strive to exceed your expectations at every turn. You can trust us to provide honest recommendations and reliable service that puts your needs first.
  6. Emergency Services Available: HVAC emergencies can happen at any time, which is why we offer emergency services for those urgent situations. Whether it’s a sudden breakdown in the middle of the night or a malfunction during extreme weather, our team is on standby to provide the assistance you need, when you need it most.
Close-up of the technician wearing a glove in their hand and holding an air pressure gauge.
R.A. Dobson offers 24/7 emergency HVAC services for sudden breakdowns and extreme weather malfunctions.

Ready to keep your HVAC system running smoothly? 

Finding a certified HVAC repairman nearby doesn’t have to be a daunting task. By following these above tips and doing your research, you can find a reliable technician who will keep your HVAC system running smoothly for years to come. And if you’re in need of HVAC services in your area, don’t hesitate to reach out to us for expert assistance. With our team of certified technicians and commitment to customer satisfaction, you can trust us to handle all of your HVAC needs with professionalism and care.

Heat pump technician holding a pressure gauge meter in front of operating heat pump.

Why Your HVAC System Warranty is a Valuable Investment

HVAC systems, or Heating, Ventilating, and Air Conditioning systems, are integral components of modern homes and buildings. They are designed to provide thermal comfort and acceptable indoor air quality, reducing temperature fluctuations and controlling humidity levels. Despite their critical role in maintaining a comfortable indoor environment, HVAC systems are often overlooked by homeowners and building managers until they malfunction or fail. An HVAC system is much more than just a luxury; it is a vital part of a home. It is responsible for the circulation and filtration of air, which directly impacts the health and comfort of the inhabitants. 

In extreme weather conditions, an HVAC system can be a lifesaver, providing heat in freezing winters and cooling in scorching summers. Furthermore, it assists in preventing the growth of mold and mildew by controlling the humidity level within the home. However, like any other home appliance or system, HVAC units are not immune to wear and tear, mechanical issues, or unforeseen failures. 

This is where the concept of an HVAC system warranty comes into play. A warranty is essentially a manufacturer’s promise to repair or replace parts of the HVAC system if it fails or breaks down within a certain time frame. It acts as a safety net, protecting homeowners from unexpected repair costs and ensuring the longevity of their HVAC system. The following sections will delve deeper into the importance of an HVAC system warranty and why it is indeed a valuable investment. Contact R A Dobson Inc in Sterling VA for more.

Understanding HVAC System Warranties

Let’s begin by defining what HVAC system warranties are. HVAC system warranties are agreements between the manufacturer and the customer, assuring that the HVAC system will perform as stated for a specified period. This warranty protects homeowners from potential mechanical failures and defects, providing a sense of security against unforeseen costs related to repairs or replacements. There are several types of HVAC warranties. The most common is the manufacturer’s warranty, which typically covers the cost of replacing defective parts. Extended warranties, which cover labor and other costs associated with repairs, are also available. Some companies offer a full replacement warranty, promising to replace the entire system if certain parts fail. Each type of warranty comes with its own set of terms and conditions, so it’s essential to understand what is and isn’t covered before committing. 

Standard HVAC warranties typically cover the main components of the system, such as the compressor, condenser, and evaporator coils. Some warranties also cover parts like thermostats and heat exchangers. However, standard warranties usually do not cover labor costs, routine maintenance, or damage caused by improper usage or installation. Understanding how HVAC warranties work is crucial for homeowners. When an HVAC system breaks down within the warranty period, the homeowner contacts the manufacturer or service provider. Upon confirming that the issue falls within the warranty’s coverage, the company then arranges for the necessary repair or replacement. This process is generally straightforward, but the homeowner may need to provide proof of regular maintenance and proper use of the system to validate the warranty claim. Contact R A Dobson Inc. for more information.

Benefits of HVAC System Warranties

Protection Against Unexpected Repair Costs

In the section on the ‘Benefits of HVAC System Warranties’, we delve into why investing in an HVAC system warranty can be a wise decision for homeowners. One of the primary advantages of an HVAC system warranty is the protection against unexpected repair costs. HVAC systems are complex and can be expensive to repair or replace. A warranty can help cover these costs, saving homeowners from the financial stress of unexpected expenses. It’s a protective shield that keeps the unpredictability of mechanical failures at bay. 

Provide a Sense of Security

The peace of mind it offers homeowners is another significant benefit. Knowing that your HVAC system is covered by a warranty can provide a sense of security. You can rest easy knowing that if anything goes wrong, you won’t be left in the cold or sweltering heat. The warranty takes the worry out of ownership, allowing you to enjoy the comfort of your home without the constant concern of potential HVAC system failures.

Increase Home’s Value

An HVAC system warranty may also potentially increase your home’s value. For potential buyers, a warranty is a sign that the HVAC system has been well-maintained and is expected to function reliably, which can make your property more attractive and potentially increase its market value. 

Encourage Regular Maintenance

Lastly, warranties encourage regular maintenance and system longevity. Many warranty terms require routine maintenance to remain valid, promoting regular check-ups that can extend the life of your HVAC system. This responsibility results in a well-maintained system that operates efficiently for a longer period, thereby saving you money in the long run. For professional maintenance control contact  R A Dobson Inc in Sterling VA.

Cost vs. Benefit Analysis

The Cost 

In the section ‘Cost vs. Benefit Analysis’, we further delve into the financial aspect of HVAC system warranties. When comparing the cost of the warranty and potential repair costs, the value of an HVAC system warranty becomes apparent. The upfront cost of a warranty can seem a bit daunting; however, when weighed against the potential expenses of major system repairs or even full replacement, the warranty quickly pays for itself. Even a single significant repair job could cost more than the price of a warranty. 

The Lifespan

Moreover, considering the lifespan of an HVAC system, a warranty becomes an even more appealing investment. The average lifespan of a well-maintained HVAC system is between 15 to 20 years, and within this duration, it’s almost assured that various components will need repairs or replacement. A warranty will cover these costs, ensuring your system runs optimally throughout its lifespan without breaking the bank. 

The Analysis of the Probability and Impact

Lastly, the analysis of the probability and impact of potential system failures further emphasizes the worthiness of an HVAC warranty. HVAC system failures aren’t a matter of ‘if’ but ‘when’. The impact of such failures can range from inconvenient and uncomfortable to downright hazardous, depending on the severity and the season. The probability of these failures occurring, especially as the system ages, is quite high. With a warranty in place, you can mitigate these risks, ensuring not only financial protection but also the safety and comfort of your home. For further information contact R A Dobson Inc. 

Choosing the Right HVAC Warranty

Moving on from the ‘Cost vs. Benefit Analysis’, we delve into ‘Choosing the Right HVAC Warranty.’ A critical aspect of making a valuable investment in an HVAC system warranty is selecting the right one. While the financial benefits are clear, the process of choosing a warranty can be daunting given the myriad options available. Factors to consider when selecting a warranty include the coverage it offers, its cost, the reputation of the warranty provider, and the specific terms and conditions. Understanding the terms and conditions of a warranty is paramount. These dictate what is covered under the warranty, the duration of coverage, and under what circumstances the warranty may be voided. For instance, some warranties may not cover damages resulting from improper installation, neglect, or natural disasters. 

Therefore, homeowners need to be very thorough in their evaluation to ensure they choose a warranty that offers comprehensive coverage and aligns with their specific needs. Lastly, the role of HVAC warranty providers cannot be overstated. Their reputation, history of honoring warranty claims, customer service, and the ease of processing claims are all factors to consider. Some providers offer additional benefits such as routine maintenance service, which not only extends the life of the HVAC system but also ensures that it operates at peak efficiency. Therefore, choosing a reputable warranty provider assures peace of mind, knowing that in case of any failures, the repairs will be handled professionally and promptly. Contact  R A Dobson Inc in Sterling VA for more.


In conclusion, the importance of an HVAC system warranty cannot be overstated. This is more than just a piece of paper; it is a valuable safeguard for your investment that ensures your system’s longevity and optimal performance. It can save you from unexpected expenses and stressful situations that arise from system malfunctions or breakdowns. More so, it provides you with peace of mind, knowing that your HVAC system, which significantly contributes to your home’s comfort and quality of life, is well-protected. 

The process of choosing the right HVAC system warranty might seem daunting, but it is a crucial step that pays off in the long run. Remember, a thorough understanding of the terms and conditions is key to ensuring comprehensive coverage. Also, consider the cost of the warranty and the reputation of the provider. A reputable provider not only guarantees efficient and professional services but also stands by their commitment to their customers. 

Final thoughts for homeowners considering HVAC warranties: treat it as an investment rather than an expense. The initial cost of the warranty may seem high, but when weighed against potential repair or replacement costs, the value becomes clear. The right HVAC warranty is your best defense against unforeseen issues, ensuring that your HVAC system continues to operate efficiently for years to come. So, take your time, do your research, and make the decision that best suits your needs and budget. For professional help contact  R A Dobson Inc in Sterling VA.

Name, Address, and Phone

R A Dobson Inc

22875 Bryant Ct #200, Sterling, Virginia, 20166, US

(571) 570-9941

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Humidifier Repair Ashburn VA

Signs Your Home’s Air Is Too Dry

Households that rely on a heating system during the winter tend to struggle with the effects of dry air. Not only is it uncomfortable to breathe, but it also dehydrates residents’ skin, produces static electricity, and even damages wood furniture and floors. If you’ve noticed these signs in your home, it may be time to invest in a humidifier to add moisture back into the air and improve the overall air quality. Call a humidifier repair technician to install, maintain, or repair your system.

R.A. Dobson offers such services to Ashburn, VA, homeowners. With over 45 years of experience, R.A. Dobson has the knowledge and skills to diagnose and repair your humidifier and other interior climate systems. Our team of skilled technicians seeks to deliver outstanding customer service on every job. For a free estimate on your humidifier repair, visit our website or call (703) 481-3700.

Below, we discuss some common signs of dry air in a home:

Dehydrated Skin, Throat, and Lips

Dry air can leech moisture from human skin and mucous membranes, leaving your skin feeling itchy and your throat scratchy. Affected skin appears most often on the face, hands, and lips (which take on a parched and chapped appearance). Moreover, dried mucous membranes in the nose and sinuses become inflamed, which results in a stuffy nose and sinus congestion.

Respiratory Problems

Humidifier Repair Ashburn VA

Dry air can irritate the respiratory system and make breathing difficult, especially for anyone with asthma or allergies. Inflamed mucous membranes lead to coughing, sneezing, and difficulty breathing. Even worse, dry air promotes the spread of viruses and can simultaneously weaken the body’s immune system, making you more susceptible to colds and the flu.

Static Electricity

Dry air can also create more static electricity in a room, which jolts anyone under your roof when they touch metal objects or walk across a carpet. When a room’s air lacks electron-dissipating water molecules, the surfaces therein have a greater chance of producing static electricity. This effect is irritating and can create problems with computer keyboards, touchscreens, and other electronics.

Issues with Home Systems and Structures

Finally, your heating system can be affected by dry air. The less moisture in a climate, the more a heating system must run to maintain a comfortable temperature. This process, of course, creates high energy costs every month

Moreover, dry air can dehydrate wood. Although it usually absorbs moisture from the air, wood becomes parched if the air lacks humidity and loses its structural integrity. It becomes brittle and cracks, which appears as damage to wooden furniture and hardwood floors.

Professional Humidifier Repair Service in Ashburn, VA

To optimize your home’s air quality and alleviate allergy or respiratory symptoms, use a humidifier to add moisture to the indoor climate. Humidifiers make the air in your home comfortable and healthy but must be used correctly, cleaned frequently, and maintained regularly to ensure they function safely. For expert humidifier repair and installation in Ashburn, VA, look to the technicians at R.A. Dobson. Fill out our free estimate request form online or call (703) 481-3700.

Middleburg, VA, HVAC maintenance

5 Tips for Extending Your HVAC’s Lifespan

As we approach another scorching summer, take a minute to schedule an HVAC maintenance and inspection service from R.A. Dobson. Doing so can extend your system’s lifespan and keep it functioning throughout the year’s hottest months. A few further practices—such as installing a high-quality filter, giving your unit clearance space, and keeping your home’s registers open—will ensure you get the best performance from your HVAC system.

R.A. Dobson is a 2nd-generation, family-run organization and a stalwart service provider for folks in Ashburn, VA. Our technicians are enthusiastic about their work because they know it supports everyday homeowners and families. Moreover, all our employees carry licenses and insurance to guarantee we deliver on our promises. Call (703) 481-3700 or visit our website to schedule a service appointment today!

Here, we outline some tips on how to protect your HVAC’s functioning:

1. Install a High-Performance Filter and Check it Monthly

Should it start operating less effectively than it once did, or do so at a higher cost, your HVAC may require repair or replacement. That said, a simple filter replacement may be the solution. Consult a professional and ask about a high-performance air filter.

The market’s new and improved filters outperform those made decades ago. Recent models have allergen reduction capabilities, enhanced materials, and high-efficiency ratings. Both you and your HVAC system can benefit from installing one.

No matter what quality filter you have, check it every month. If its surface appears dirty or stained, it requires replacement. Additionally, homeowners with pets that shed often may need to change their filter monthly. If you are unsure whether to replace your system’s filter, contact R.A. Dobson for a professional HVAC inspection.

2. Provide Ample Clearance and Clear Debris

HVAC maintenance Middleburg, VA

While you need not know every aspect and component of your HVAC system, you should recognize whether it has indoor and outdoor elements (as opposed to a window unit). Central HVAC system parts include air ducts, an indoor evaporator unit, and an outdoor condenser unit. These constituents require simple care.

To start, evaporators and condensers require ample open space. Thus, leave no objects or belongings leaning on these units. Likewise, avoid planting trees or shrubs around the condenser. In general, two feet of clearance is sufficient.

Furthermore, remove any detritus that land on these units. Condensers, in particular, tend to collect leaves, sticks, and other debris from their surrounding environment. Some quick cleaning will keep them clear and functioning.

3. Keep an Eye on Refrigerant Lines’ Insulation

Refrigerant lines are another crucial element of central HVAC systems’ functioning. They carry refrigerant fluid into evaporators, where the liquid pulls heat from interior air. That said, these lines should be insulated and intact to preserve their cooling capabilities. Missing insulation—or a broken line—will hamper your HVAC system’s efficacy.

If you notice a problem with your lines, contact R.A. Dobson for maintenance services. We can correct the problem and ensure your system continues to run without a hitch.

4. Make Sure Your Condenser Unit Remains Level

Although it may sound a bit silly considering the bulkiness of condensers, ensure your unit remains balanced. While evaporators sit inside a stable environment with little risk of tilting, condensers may lean due to outdoor conditions.

A technician can help you check that your unit sits on level ground (without any breaching tree roots) and may offer pads to solidify its stance.

5. Keep Your Home’s Registers Open as Much as Possible

Central HVAC systems have registers at the end of air ducts to give a building’s occupants control over the air that enters a room. Closing one register prevents cool air from penetrating a given space. However, closing the majority of a home’s registers can strain the system. Rather than doing so, consider adjusting your interior temperature.

HVAC Maintenance Services Available to Homeowners in Middleburg, VA

Keep your home safe and comfortable by investing in professional HVAC maintenance and repair services from R.A. Dobson. We supply these and further indoor climate services to homeowners throughout the Middleburg, VA, region. Our technicians aim to provide high-quality services and top-performing products to everyday families. Call us at (703) 481-3700 or visit our website for more HVAC information!

HVAC inspection Leesburg VA

5 Ways to Make Your HVAC System More Efficient

Heating and cooling bills are among the largest expenses in most homes, so everyone wants to minimize these costs. But how can you increase your HVAC system’s efficiency? Some proven methods include adjusting your thermostat to the season, closing curtains and blinds, and keeping vents unobstructed. Most importantly, hire a professional for a thorough HVAC inspection annually to ensure your system continues functioning at high capacity.

R.A. Dobson is a heating, air conditioning, and plumbing company that operates in Ashburn, VA. As a 2nd-generation family business, we understand the ins and outs of owning and managing a home. This knowledge helps us provide the outstanding support, guidance, and customer service that our satisfied customers report. For more information on how we can help you, contact us at (703) 481-3700.

Below, we outline 5 ways to make your HVAC system more efficient:

Adjust Your Thermostat to the Season

As the outdoor climate warms and cools throughout the year, make a note to adjust your thermostat accordingly. During the summer, reset the indoor temperature to between 5-8 degrees higher than your “normal” level. In the winter, reset the temperature in the opposite direction.

You might find a programmable thermostat helpful in this effort. You can use its capabilities to automatically adjust the temperature for different seasons, times of day (like when you’re away from home), and even rooms in your home.

2. Maintain Accurate Thermostat Readings

Consider installing separate thermostats on different levels of your home so that each can provide as accurate a reading as possible. Doing so not only increases your HVAC system’s efficiency but also allows you to administer different temperatures at different levels of your home. Programmable thermostats can automatically accomplish this zoning effect for optimal energy efficiency.

Also, refrain from placing heat-producing appliances close to your thermostat. Doing so could compel your HVAC system to cool your home further than you wish. During the winter, a proximate heat-producing appliance to your thermostat would make your HVAC system use less energy but also make your thermostat inaccurate.

3. Close Your Curtains & Blinds

During the summer, close your curtains and blinds to prevent sunlight from heating your home’s interior. This effect occurs in the same way that the sun heats a car. By closing your curtains and blinds on hot summer days, you block the sun’s rays. Doing so can help you save on air conditioning costs.

Additionally, closing your curtains and blinds during the winter prevents cold air from seeping inside through the windows. Only open your curtains in the winter when sunlight is coming through and angle your blinds up towards the ceiling.

4. Use Heat-Producing Appliances Sparingly & Keep Vents Unblocked

Heat-producing appliances, like the oven and dryer, generate warm air. So, using them during the hottest time of the day forces your HVAC system to work harder to cool your house. Try to plan out how you use heat-producing appliances accordingly.

Also, keep your air vents unobstructed so that your HVAC system can do its job. This requires moving various items, like furniture and toys, away from all indoor supply vents. Doing so will promote steady airflow and prevent your system from overworking.

5. Hire a Professional HVAC Company

Finally, employ a service company to provide maintenance as well as parts repair and replacement for your HVAC system. A capable HVAC professional can handle all your system’s complex needs, including cleaning your outdoor condenser unit, vacuuming indoor vents, clearing your drain line, and insulating exposed ductwork.

HVAC inspection Leesburg VA

R.A. Dobson: Expert HVAC Inspections Available in Leesburg, VA

R.A. Dobson provides professional HVAC inspections to homeowners in the Leesburg, VA, area. From HVAC systems to air cleaners, we provide our customers with systems that keep their homes comfortable. We also offer a 1-year service warranty and respect all manufacturer warranties. For an HVAC service provider that you can trust, contact R.A. Dobson at (703) 481-3700 today.

Ashburn VA Building Ductwork and Ventilation That May Need top HVAC Repair Services

HVAC Awareness: Parts & Their Lifespans

Homeowners who have a malfunctioning HVAC system should research it and determine whether a professional HVAC repair or replacement offers better value. While the lifespan of any given part depends on its system’s type, daily usage, and maintenance, the industry has some general guidelines. For instance, compressors typically last between 10-15 years, furnaces 16-20 years, and window units 8-10 years (most models last 2-5 more years if maintained).

For all your HVAC questions, repairs, and installations, reach out to RA Dobson. We are the Ashburn, VA, region’s provider of heating, cooling, and plumbing services. A second-generation family business with over 45 years of industry experience, we have a deep connection to our community and customers. Our team offers a wide range of services that includes heat pump installation, duct cleaning, thermostat repair, and more. To learn more or get a free estimate, contact us today.

Below, we outline HVAC system types, parts, and their expected lifespans:

Air Conditioner Components

All home HVAC systems operate by exchanging interior and exterior air. The air conditioning function, in particular, is designed to pull warm air from inside and release it outside. It does so using the following parts: 

  • Evaporator – housed within the interior-facing portion of the unit, the evaporator cools indoor air using a copper tubing coil and aluminum fins.
  • Condenser – also made of a copper tubing coil, the exterior-facing condenser releases the unit’s collected heat outside.
  • Compressor – a pump that moves refrigerant fluid between the evaporator and condenser as well as their copper tubing.
  • Refrigerant fluid – a liquid pumped into the evaporator, where it pulls heat from the interior air by evaporating, to the condenser, where it releases heat and reverts back to a liquid.

Heating Components

In addition to their cooling capacities, many HVAC systems include heating functionality. Heating applies the air transfer principle, outlined above, in reverse: warm air is pulled from outside and released inside. However, when outdoor air becomes colder than the indoors, the HVAC system warms incoming air using one of two devices: 

  • Furnace – using natural gas, oil, or electricity, furnaces heat the air from outside then release it into ductwork that distributes it throughout a structure.
  • Boiler – instead of heating air, boilers heat water into steam that then warms the interior.

Heat pumps and geothermal heating systems are also used in homes, but they are far less common than furnaces and boilers.

HVAC repair in Ashburn VA

The Lifespan of HVAC Systems & Parts

So, how long do all these systems (and their components) last? As mentioned above, the lifespan of each depends on its system’s daily usage and design. However, the following guidelines can give you a sense of their endurance: 

  • Central HVAC – the “traditional” form of heating and cooling, central HVAC systems combine heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) functionalities. Each element of these systems has a different lifespan: furnaces tend to last 16-20 years while central air conditioners last 12-15. On the other hand, boilers last 10-15 years.
  • Air conditioning window units – estimates for window unit lifespans vary widely. Some sources place it at an average of 10 years while others 8 years. However, all agree that you can extend your unit’s life with regular maintenance.
  • Air conditioner parts – on top of unit lifespans, individual parts in air conditioners can fail. Compressors, for instance, last between 10-15 years. However, this means that you can replace a part without replacing the whole unit.

HVAC Repair and Maintenance Services Available in Ashburn, VA

While HVAC systems come in many types that contain myriad components, learning about them pays off. You’ll know when to call for HVAC repair services and when you need a full HVAC system replacement. No matter the situation, turn to RA Dobson for all your home services needs. We specialize in heating, air conditioning, and plumbing services but also offer support with generators, humidifiers, and more. We’ve served the Ashburn, VA, area for 45 years, and we look forward to continuing our relationship with this community. For more information or to schedule a service, call us today at (703) 481-3700 or fill out our online form.

HVAC air filter

How Often Do You Need to Change Your HVAC Filters?

Air filters are a significant but often overlooked aspect of your HVAC system. They affect the quality of the air flowing through your home, as well as the long-term integrity of the system itself. Thus, you should know when to have them changed and why it’s necessary. However, if you notice that your HVAC system isn’t functioning at its best, even if you change the filters regularly, consider scheduling a professional HVAC inspection to diagnose the issue.

R.A. Dobson has performed regular HVAC maintenance, inspection, and repair services to customers throughout Sterling, VA, for over 45 years. Our team of experienced and certified experts work hard to provide the solutions you need with the best service possible. If you are experiencing a problem with your system, reach out to our team of seasoned HVAC technicians. 

Below, we discuss when you should change your HVAC filters and why it benefits you and your home: 

When You Need To Change Your HVAC Filters

Your HVAC system’s air filters are vital to maintaining its lifespan, as well as your home’s indoor air quality. How frequently you change your filters varies on several different factors. These include: 

  • Home size – Larger homes circulate larger amounts of air, which means the filters may need to be changed more frequently.
  • Number of pets – Indoor pets shed and track dirt into your house, so you’ll need to change your air filters more frequently to keep them clear of hair and dander. 

In the end, the more variables that create or bring in pollutants into your home, the faster your HVAC’s air filters will trap them and clog up, requiring you to replace them sooner than later.

Generally, an HVAC filter should be replaced every 90 days or less in order to ensure adequate indoor air quality. This of course depends on the factors mentioned above, as well as the quality of air filter you install. 

Cheaper fiberglass filters may need frequent replacements within a single month, while more expensive pleated filters can last well within 90 days. Consider the factors and your budget in purchasing the right filter and you’ll receive the best value and benefits from it.    

Benefits of Regularly Changing Your Air Filter

Replacing your filters consistently provides you with several benefits that you will benefit from in the long run. Here’s a few of them to consider:

  • Consistently High Home Air Quality – Air filters block allergens and pollutants that cause breathing problems and irritation to individuals with sensitive sinuses and lungs. Having good home air quality means you and your family are safer and healthier in your home. 
  • Greater Energy Efficiency – HVAC systems take up a lot of power in your home, especially during the winter and summer months. Clogged filters make your system work twice as hard to keep your home at the desired temperature. However, regular replacement keeps your system running smoothly and efficiently. 
  • Longer System Lifespan – Let’s not forget that better efficiency and function means less wear and tear on your HVAC system, ensuring it lasts for years to come.

R.A. Dobson, Inc: Quality HVAC Inspection in Sterling, VA 

Along with changing your  HVAC filters, your HVAC system should also be regularly serviced. Both actions ensure you and your home benefit from it, experiencing years of clean air and efficient power use. R.A. Dobson is dedicated to providing customers throughout Sterling, VA, with professional HVAC inspection services, as well as plumbing, heating, and additional home appliance installation and repair services. We are a seasoned team of professionals ready and prepared to help you improve your home and keep its various appliances running for years to come. Contact us today at (703) 481-3700 to learn more about our services and get a free HVAC service estimate.

Well maintained vents in Ashburn VA building that gets quality HVAC inspection

A Guide To Your HVAC System

“HVAC” stands for heating, ventilation, and air conditioning, and an HVAC system is what heats and cools your home. During cold seasons, you rely on the furnace portion of your HVAC system. And during warmer months, you rely on the AC. But to keep both systems running, invest in a professional HVAC inspection service that checks all their basic parts. 

RA Dobson offers the best repairs, installations, and inspection services for HVAC systems in the area. We can help you save 60% on your energy bills with our highly efficient systems. Residents of Ashburn, VA, and the surrounding area trust our HVAC inspections and other services

Below, we explore the 8 basic parts of a typical HVAC system:

1. Thermostat

You can think of the thermostat as the “brain” of your HVAC system. It contains a thermometer that gauges the system’s running temperature against your home’s interior temperature. To match the two, the system turns on the furnace or air conditioner so that your home reaches the desired temperature.

2. Furnace and Blower Motor

Next is the furnace, a relatively large unit distinct from the AC that demands its own space in the basement, attic, or closet. A fuel source – such as natural gas, oil, or electricity – heats the air that comes into it. Then, an attached blower motor distributes the air through ducts to the rest of the house. The motor also pulls in cool air from the house to start the process over again.

3. Heat Exchanger

A heat exchanger is a device that transfers heat from one medium to another. If your furnace uses oil or gas, burners accomplish the heating. If it runs on electricity, electric coils heat the air. As the heat exchanger warms up the air, heat transfers to the metal walls. The air heats up quickly and then is distributed throughout the home. 

4. Evaporator Coil

An evaporator coil is the internal portion of a split-system air conditioner. It absorbs heat from the air in your house so that only cool air remains.

5. Condensing Unit

The condensing unit is a big metal unit that sits outside your house and expels the heat from the interior to the exterior.

6. Refrigerant Lines

Refrigerant lines make air conditioning possible. Made of copper and aluminum, and run between the condensing unit and evaporator coil. They are responsible for carrying the refrigerant between the condensing unit and the evaporator coil.

7. Ductwork

Ductwork includes all the metal passages that deliver and move the air. They should be sealed and insulated to prevent major temperature shifts. 

8. Return and Supply Registers

These are covers that fit over the ductwork ends. They allow air out of and into the HVAC system. They are typically located on the ceiling, walls, and floors depending on the ductwork layout. 

HVAC Inspection Now Available in Ashburn, VA

HVAC systems are the foundation of your home’s air quality and comfortability, yet they contain a lot of nuances and parts. So, let the RA Dobson team help you manage your HVAC system with an HVAC inspection service. Our employees are well trained and knowledgeable about HVAC systems and can help you to keep them working properly. We offer the latest energy-efficient systems in heating and air conditioning. Contact us today for an inspection and receive a free estimate or call us at (703) 481-3700 for more information on how we can help you feel comfortable in your home.

An home in Northern VA gets a quality HVAC Inspection

Spring Maintenance Checklist

Routine home maintenance is crucial to maintaining your home comfort even as the weather gets warmer. It also allows you to catch any problems before they worsen and result in costly repairs. Get in touch with your local HVAC inspection company in Northern Virginia to help you detect problems before they worsen. 

At RA Dobson, our team adheres to the federal, state, and local government’s COVID-19 guidelines, implementing daily health checks on our technicians, wearing face masks, and providing contactless visits and quotes. If you require any HVAC or plumbing services, contact us to receive a free contactless estimate!

Here are a few items that should be on your spring maintenance checklist this year: 

Clean Your Ducts

Keeping your ducts clean on a regular basis, especially before spring, helps reduce allergens and allows you to breathe easier. With dirty air ducts, you could be breathing in fungi and bacteria. Prevent your allergies from getting out of hand with professional duct cleaning.

Maybe even consider installing an air cleaner to prevent pollutants from circulating throughout your home. At RA Dobson, our team receives high-level training and can help you determine which air purifier is right for you.

Check Your Heating and Cooling Unit

If your heating and cooling system experiences frequent breakdowns, then it will likely break down again, which could lead to emergency repairs and damages to your heating and cooling systems. Even if your system is a few years old, it still requires routine maintenance to function properly.

Clean Your Drains

Dirty drains are a common problem in many households. If your drains are clogged, drain slowly, or produce a pungent odor, then have a professional plumber take a look. Have your drains professionally cleaned to keep your home comfortable throughout the warmer months.

Generator Check Up

Before Northern Virginia’s hottest temperatures arrive, ensure your generator is functioning properly. An efficiently functioning generator will be able to handle any outages that take place during inclement weather and conditions.

Receive an HVAC Inspection, Routine Maintenance, & More in Northern Virginia

At RA Dobson, we are committed to helping you maintain your home comfort and safety with comprehensive spring maintenance and adhering to our COVID-19 safety protocols. By providing professionally trained HVAC inspection technicians that are dedicated to maintaining your home comfort, we ensure that you will experience ultimate comfort right away. 
We have served the Sterling, Virginia area for over 45 years, and you can trust us to provide efficient and affordable spring maintenance. Contact our team at (703) 481-3700 to receive a contactless quote today.

HVAC inspection Northern Virginia

3 Fall & Winter HVAC Maintenance Tips

We’ve come to summer’s end, and the yearly rituals of fall have begun (though limited by COVID). Football season has restarted, everyone has pumpkin spiced coffee, and the evening cicadas have given way to crickets. Best of all, we can shut off our AC units and their costs. 

The cooler weather calls for another kind of indoor climate control: heating. So, while switching from one system to the other, all homeowners should check the performance of both. But inspecting an HVAC system is time-consuming and tricky; instead, why not schedule a professional HVAC inspection with R.A. Dobson? Every fall and winter, our expert technicians conduct HVAC inspections across Northern VA. Our clients call for our annual service and, in the long run, save money through routine care. 

Below, we outline how our HVAC inspections work and describe the basic upkeep that your system might receive: 

Scheduled Routine Inspections

The Department of Energy writes that professional checkups and repairs can improve your home’s energy efficiency. But some homeowners like to inspect their HVAC and heating systems themselves. In doing so, they may miss signs that our trained technicians know to look for. 

We’ve described what to expect during an HVAC inspection. In brief, our technician will start by spot-checking your system for obstructions (including dust, debris, and mold). They’ll also look for signs of deeper problems such as leaks, corrosion, rust, or loose wires. 

The technician will then check air filters, electrical switches, safety switches, motors, and gas pressure. This step-by-step process catches any potential problems and ensures that your system works smoothly. 

Vital Preventative Care

After the inspection, our technician will go about basic repairs. He or she may clean and/or replace parts, especially in systems that have not been serviced for several years. 

Some cleaning, such as changing an air filter, will be carried out easily. Our technician may also use a lubricant to ensure that parts function smoothly. However, if specific parts of the HVAC system need to be replaced, he or she may have to order it and return later for installation. 

Finally, to ensure your system functions as best as it can, the technician will test and adjust your HVAC’s electricity. They will also calibrate and adjust your home’s thermostat to establish an ideal indoor temperature. You can read more about thermostat options in our guide. 

Let The Pros Handle Major Repairs

Eventually, you will need a new HVAC (or heating) system. Even if your current system has no specific issues, its efficiency will decrease with age. Plus, modern air systems’ efficiency can be 20%-40% greater than systems produced ten years ago. 

If inspecting an HVAC system feels like a chore, installing one is an outright challenge. Contact your local experts at R.A. Dobson and let us take care of the installation for you. We’ve worked in HVAC for over 45 years, and we’ll ensure that your new system suits your needs. 

R.A. Dobson: Reliable, Reasonable HVAC Inspection Service Professionals 

As the leaves begin changing colors and we move into the fall, don’t forget to have your air systems looked at. Doing so can improve your home’s energy efficiency and catch potential problems before they turn into major ones. Many residents throughout Northern VA call R.A. Dobson for professional HVAC inspection and installation. We’re happy to offer you our expertise too. Call us today at (703) 481-3700 or fill out our online form to request a free estimate.