Troubleshooting Common AC Problems

It seems like when you need your AC the most, that is when problems arise. This is not a coincidence; the hotter it is outside, the harder your unit must work to keep your home cool. If your AC seems to be struggling, it is often due to a few common problems. Before your unit stops working altogether, troubleshoot the problem and see if it is a quick fix.

Check the Thermostat

This may seem obvious, but if you have your thermostat programmed, you may not look at it that often. If your AC is not cooling effectively, it may because it is not set at the right temperature. This is the first place to look.

Is Your Filter Dirty?

During the hottest months you may need to change your AC filter every 30 days to keep it working efficiently. If your unit doesn’t seem to be performing up to par, check the filter and change it if needed.

Is There Hot Air Coming in to Your Home?

Make sure there are no windows open that are letting in hot air. Close the curtains or shades on sunny, hot days to make it easier on your unit to cool the air.

Is There Something Blocking Air on the Outside Unit?

Make sure no plants or other items are blocking the air flow on the outside compressor – there should be at least two feet of clearance around the outside unit.

If you troubleshoot these common issues and your AC unit still is not cooling effectively, call your local HVAC service. You made need a tune-up or a repair to get your unit working efficiently again.

Posted on behalf of:
Western Aire Heating & Cooling
264 Buchanan Highway
Dallas, GA 30157
(770) 505-7426

4 Ways to Save Money on Your AC Bill

Staying cool in your home during the summer comes at a price, and it is usually on your electric bill. Air conditioning can make the hot days and nights bearable, but it can be expensive. There are a few ways to minimize the costs to help make the price of a climate-controlled home more affordable. Here are four ways to save money this summer on your AC bill.

  1. Use your thermostat wisely. A good thermostat is worth the investment and can easily pay for itself in lower AC bills. Get a programmable thermostat that will automatically reset the temperature during times when the home is empty, or you are sleeping.
  2. Close your blinds/curtains. Get in the habit of closing your blinds and curtains in the mornings to keep out the sun. This can help keep your home cooler during the day when the temperature outside is at its highest, reducing strain on your AC.
  3. Replace your AC filters. Most AC filters need to be changed every month during the summer. This can help improve efficiency.
  4. Get your AC unit serviced at least once a year. Annual service on your AC unit is a wise investment. This can help your AC unit perform more efficiently and reduce the chance of breakdowns or repairs during the summer. Regular maintenance also will make your unit last longer, saving you money on replacement.

Air conditioning does not need to cost you a fortune. Make sure you are not wasting energy and money by adjusting your AC for times when you are not home and keep your AC unit maintained – these two things alone can save you hundreds of dollars each summer on AC bills.

Posted on behalf of:
Western Aire Heating & Cooling
Marietta, GA 30066
(770) 505-7426

Why You Should Upgrade to a Smart Thermostat

It seems like everything is getting “smarter” nowadays. Cell phones, TVs and even irrigation systems come in “smart” varieties, as do HVAC thermostats. The idea of smart devices is to make it easier to access the information you need and get better or more efficient performance. That is certainly true of smart thermostats. Not only can it make it easier to control the climate inside your home by connecting to your smartphone, it can save you money. Here are a few reasons to upgrade to a smart thermostat for your HVAC system.

Change Your Settings Remotely

Older thermostats can often be programmed, but you need to be home to control the settings. With a smart thermostat you can access your settings from anywhere. This means if you find out you need to stay late at work, you can change the programmed time that the temperature should go up or down at your home. Going home early? Get your home cooled down or warmed up before you arrive, all from your smartphone app.

Reduce Energy Costs

The ability to change the settings on your HVAC system from anywhere helps you manage your heating and cooling costs. Plus, many smart thermostats have efficiency functions to help you improve your energy use. Some will let you know when the filter needs to be changed or other maintenance needs to be performed.

Besides the convenience and energy savings, smart thermostats can last longer and require less maintenance than older versions. If you want to save money and reduce energy waste on heating or cooling in your home, contact your local HVAC service company and talk to them about the options available in smart thermostats.

Posted on behalf of:
ClimateSmith, LLC
1925 Lena Carter Road
Buford, GA 30519
(770) 475-9528

4 Ways to Improve the Air Quality in Your Home

Have you noticed your nose gets stuffy when you are at home, but not at other places? Or maybe you have mold that seems to grow quicker than you can clean on walls, windows or in the bathroom? If so, you may have an issue with your air quality in your home, stemming from your HVAC system. Here are four ways to improve your air quality to keep you and your home healthy.

  1. Change your air filter. Check the filter on your HVAC and change it if needed. Most HVAC filters need to be changed monthly to be effective.
  2. Check the humidity in your home. If mold is a problem, have your local HVAC service test the humidity in your home. If it is too high, adding a dehumidifier to your HVAC system can help improve the moisture level and decrease mold problems.
  3. Upgrade to a better air filter. The MERV rating on your air filter is important for reducing contaminants. Consider upgrading if you are using an air filter with a MERV rating of 8 or less – the higher, the better.
  4. Have your air ducts cleaned. If there is dirt, mold and other debris in your air ducts, it could be spread throughout your home. Consider having your air ducts cleaned if it has been 2-3 years or more since your last duct cleaning.

Doing a few service items on your HVAC system can make a big difference in your air quality. Make sure to keep up with air filter changes and routine service on your HVAC system to maintain the best quality of air in your home.

Posted on behalf of:
ClimateSmith, LLC
3870 Peachtree Industrial Blvd. Suite 340-129
Duluth, GA 30096
(770) 475-9555

How to Clean Your AC Unit

Dirt, dust and other debris can cause performance issues in your AC unit. This is not just in your air filter which should be changed regularly, but on the coils and vents of your indoor and outdoor units also need cleaning. Cleaning your AC unit should be part of your routine maintenance; it can reduce strain on the unit and improve efficiency, as well as extending the life of your unit. Here are some simple tips to clean your AC unit to keep it in tip-top shape.

Cleaning Your Indoor AC Unit

For indoor units, or split units, clean the indoor air conditioning by focusing on the vents and coils. First dust and clean the vents to make sure they are free from blockages. Next, the evaporator coils can be cleaned. Check your manual for the location of your coils on your unit; usually you will need to remove an access panel. The evaporator coil can be cleaned using compressed air, brush or coil cleaner, removing the dust and dirt that accumulate on the coil.

Cleaning Your Outdoor Unit

It is important to keep your outdoor unit free from any obstructions on the outside and clean the coils on the inside. Brush or rake away any debris, creating a 2-foot clearance around the unit. To clean the coil inside, first turn off the power to the unit. Then, remove the cover and clean the coils using compressed air, brush or cleaner; usually the coils can be hosed clean with water to wash away any debris that is loosened. Make sure to also clean all vents to ensure air flow and turn the unit back on when you are done.

Cleaning your AC unit is just part of the maintenance that should be performed. Save yourself time and schedule a service and cleaning through your local HVAC service to keep your AC unit maintained.

Posted on behalf of:
ClimateSmith, LLC
5950 Shiloh Road East
Alpharetta, GA 30005
(770) 475-9555

Choosing the Right Commercial HVAC Service

Service for a commercial or industrial HVAC system is much different than residential. While many HVAC companies advertise that they offer both residential and commercial HVAC services, few can perform the service needed for large, industrial HVAC systems. When choosing an HVAC service company to maintain, service and repair your system, you want the right experts to do the job. Here are a few factors to consider.

Do They Only Do Commercial HVAC?

If you have a large HVAC system, you want a company that specializes in these types of systems. Choose an HVAC company that only services industrial and commercial systems. This will weed out the other companies that may not have the time or experience needed for your type of system.

Do They Offer Maintenance Packages?

One of the best ways to avoid shutdowns and lower your HVAC costs is through ongoing maintenance. Find a HVAC company that offers comprehensive maintenance and service packages for commercial and industrial systems.

New Installation, Retrofits and Automation Options

You want an HVAC company that will be able to make the needed upgrades to your system in the future. Choose a company that can replace, retrofit or improve your automation HVAC needs when the time comes.

Will They Be There in an Emergency?

If your HVAC system is down, your business may also be unable to function. Make sure the company you choose guarantees quick repair service in an emergency, 24/7.

Finding the right HVAC service for your commercial system can help minimize costs and ensure you have an expert on your side when you need them. Take the time to find the best commercial HVAC service to maintain your system.

Posted on behalf of:
JS Thomas Service, Inc
4085 Nine McFarland Dr
Alpharetta, GA 30004
(770) 475-2600

Why Spring is the Best Time for AC Service

Budding trees and blooming flowers are signs of spring; they are also signs that it is time for annual service on your air conditioning system. You should have service performed on your AC unit at least once a year, but there are good reasons to plan service every year in the spring. Here are a few reasons why spring is the best time of year to get a tune-up, inspection and service on your air conditioning system.

  • Beat the rush. Once the temperatures start rising, the phones at HVAC service companies start ringing. Beat the rush and get your system checked and serviced before you need to wait longer to get an appointment.
  • Avoid breakdowns in the summer. Sure, you can get your AC serviced any time of year, but it is best to have it done right before the hottest season. If parts need to be replaced or there are other issues, get them fixed in the spring to avoid breakdowns during the summer when you need your AC the most.
  • Special deals. Often HVAC services will have a springtime deal on tune-ups and services to encourage their customers to get maintenance done early. You may be able to save money by not procrastinating until the warmer weather hits and your HVAC contractor is too busy to give a discount.

Let the blooming flowers and trees in spring be a reminder each year that it is time for an AC service. Contact your local HVAC contractor to schedule your annual service to get your air conditioning system ready to perform its best for the hot summer months ahead.

Posted on behalf of:
Western Aire Heating & Cooling
264 Buchanan Highway
Dallas, GA 30157
(770) 505-7426

Pets, Pollen, Mold and Other Allergy Issues in Your Home

Do you notice that when you are at home, your allergies are at their worst? Lurking in the air of your home may be the contaminants that are triggering your allergies. If your nose is stuffy when you wake up in the morning, or you use your asthma inhaler more often at home than anywhere else, you may have an air quality problem that is making you sick. Here are some of the contributors to poor air quality in your home.

Pets

Dander and hair from cats, dogs and other pets is a common trigger for allergy symptoms. Keep in mind that even if you were not allergic to animals in the past, that doesn’t mean that is still the case. Allergies change as you get older and you can become sensitive to allergens that were not a problem in the past.

Pollen

Is the pollen from outside getting circulated and trapped in your home? While there is more pollen outside, there is also more air. When it gets trapped in a small space, pollen can have a powerful punch on your allergies.

Mold

Mold can be dangerous for anyone in your home, even if they are not allergic to the spores. Air borne mold is a health risk, but especially tough on those with allergies or respiratory issues.

Dust and Other Contaminants

Besides the common offenders, dust, chemicals and smoke can all impact your home’s air quality if not filtered effectively.

To make your home healthy and reduce your allergy symptoms, talk to your local HVAC service about improving your air filtration in your A/C and heating system. There are HVAC accessories such as HEPA filters that can do a better job filtering your air while helping keep your HVAC system efficient when changed regularly.

Posted on behalf of:
Western Aire Heating & Cooling
Marietta, GA 30066
(770) 505-7426

Keeping Your Condensate Drain Clog-Free

One of the key elements of an air conditioner is the evaporator coil, which cools the air as it passes over or through the coils. As this occurs, condensation accumulates and needs to be drained. The condensate drain is essential for removing the moisture created in the cooling process, but it is possible for it to become clogged. If this happens, water can overflow and leak into your home, causing expensive water damage. Keeping the condensate drain clear is an important maintenance issue to protect your home and the efficiency of your AC unit.

Condensate Drain Maintenance

What clogs condensate drains in AC units? Usually clogs are due to dust, pet hair or mold that get inside the drain lines. A quality AC filter can help reduce the amount of dust and debris that can make it inside the unit, but mold is always a possibility. If you have a tune-up or annual service performed on your AC unit at least once a year, the drain should be cleaned during this service. However, you can clean the drain periodically during the cooling season to prevent clogs.

To clean the drain, using boiling water to clear the PVC or drain tubing is usually all that is needed. You can check with your HVAC service or your AC manual to see if a cleaning solution or bleach water option is recommended.

If a drain clog does occur, you want to ensure that your AC shuts off and does not overflow water into your home. Make sure to ask your HVAC service professional about installing an emergency shut-off feature, that will turn off the AC unit if the condensate drain becomes clogged to protect your home from damage.

Posted on behalf of:
ClimateSmith, LLC
1925 Lena Carter Road
Buford, GA 30519
(770) 475-9528

Is Your AC Unit Ready to Weather the Storm?

If a hurricane or severe wind storm hits your region, is your home and AC unit ready to weather the storm? Many times, homeowners forget about their AC unit when preparing for a natural disaster situation. On top of securing garage doors, windows and shutters, you need to make sure your AC unit is ready to handle high winds and lightning strikes. Before storm season arrives, here are a few tips to get your outdoor AC unit ready to handle any storms that come your way.

  • Tie downs. Your AC condenser unit needs the right straps and tie downs that will keep it secure if high winds hit. You do not want to be waiting until the last minute to get these precautions in place.
  • AC service. When you have your air conditioning system serviced in the spring and early summer, talk to your service technician about the type of tie downs that will work best for your unit. Your HVAC service may have suggestions to protect your unit for the type of weather you face in your region.
  • Add a surge protector. It is a good idea to have a surge protector in place to protect your AC unit from lightening and voltage surge damage during heavy storms that can occur at any time.

Don’t let your outdoor AC unit become a damage casualty of the next big storm to hit your town. Contact your local HVAC service company to get your air conditioning unit ready for the summer and ask about the best options for securing and protecting your unit from storm, wind and lightening damage.

Posted on behalf of:
ClimateSmith, LLC
3870 Peachtree Industrial Blvd. Suite 340-129
Duluth, GA 30096
(770) 475-9555