6 Easy Ways to Weatherize Your Home

Is the climate-controlled air you spend so much money to create in your home leaking outside? Heating and cooling your home are the biggest expenses you pay for each month. One way to cut utility costs is to ensure the air inside your home is not escaping and that air from outside is not leaking in. Weatherizing your home with a few easy and inexpensive options can reduce your energy bills and keep your home comfortable year-round. Here are six tips for weatherizing your home:

  1. Shrink wrap windows. Give your windows extra insulation by investing in clear shrink wrap. These kits are inexpensive and easy to install, giving your better insulation for your windows without replacement.
  2. Seal windows and doors. Adding a quick caulking around windows and doors can reduce leaks.
  3. Stop drafts. Invest in draft stoppers for the bottom of exterior doors. This includes your door to your garage, unless your garage is climate controlled.
  4. Close fireplace dampers. Unless the fireplace is in use, make sure the damper is kept closed to reduce leaks in and out.
  5. Insulate the door to your attic. Often the door to attics is not insulated, even if the rest of the attic has insulation. Adding a strip of insulation to the door can cut down on leaks.
  6. Duct work leaks. Many homes built over 20 years ago have ductwork that leaks. Have your HVAC ductwork inspected by a professional to ensure that it is sealed and not leaking out the expensive air you are heating or cooling.

A few small steps to winterize your home can have big savings on your energy bills. Use these tips to ensure your home is better insulation for higher efficiency.

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

Fall Tune Ups for Your Heating System

Even when the days are still warm in the fall, winter is never that far away. Don’t wait for the nights to get cold to get your heating system ready for winter. Every heating system needs annual service to ensure it is ready to take on the role of warming your home. Whether you have a heat pump or a furnace, fall is the time for your tune-up.

Heat Pump Tune Ups

Heat pumps require similar tune ups as air conditioning units. Since they do not use fuel, there is no pilot lights or other heating elements to check. However, they still need to have the moving parts lubricated and other elements inspected. The filter needs to be cleaned or changed, belts adjusted, connections inspected, and the thermostat checked for efficiency.

Furnace Tune Ups

Like a heat pump, a furnace will need the filter cleaned or changed, and the various moving parts lubricated. A full inspection of the system should be completed, from the thermostat and wiring to the duct work and blowers. Furnaces will also need the heat exchanger, vent pipe, pilot light and flues inspected. Any soot or corrosion should be removed and a check for carbon monoxide should be performed.

While some maintenance for heat pumps and furnaces like filter changes can be performed by the homeowner, a full tune up by a professional is recommended. When completed in the fall before the temperatures drop, a tune up can ensure the system is ready to perform at the highest efficiency and catch any repairs that need to be done before winter arrives. Schedule your tune up for your heat pump or furnace with your local HVAC pro this fall and be ready for winter when it arrives.

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

Solving the Mystery of Temperature Fluctuations Throughout Your Home

Does it seem like some rooms in your home are always a little warmer or cooler than the rest? It can be frustrating to have uneven temperatures throughout your home and it could be costing you more on your energy bills. Temperature fluctuations between zones or rooms in your home can be caused by many different issues, making it a mystery for some homeowners. Here are some common contributors to this issue to help you solve the climate-control mystery.

Location of the Thermostat

Every room has different impacts on the temperature. Rooms on one side of the home may get morning sunshine, while the other side warms up in the afternoon. Where the thermostat is located in relation to these factors can impact the different temperatures felt in each room.

A zoning system with sensors in each room can alleviate this issue. This can be accomplished with dampers in ductwork that cut off rooms that are too warm or too cold due to their location. Mini-splits can also be used to create single zones.

Ductwork Difficulties

One of the main reasons for fluctuations in temperature in different rooms is ductwork issues. Before the early 2000’s, many ductwork systems were installed without the right framework and support, leading to leaks down the road. This can account for many differences in temperature from room to room and also means air is coming in or leaking out, creating less efficiency.

To determine the reason for your temperature fluctuations, contact your local HVAC service and have an energy evaluation and inspection completed on your system. Not only can fixing these issues create improved comfort in your home, it can lower your energy bills for substantial savings.

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

Are Pests Causing Problems with Your HVAC System?

Most people do not want pests in their home. Rodents, insects, snakes and other critters are not welcome in most homes and with good reason. However, there are parts of your home that extend to the outside and can invite pests to live on the outskirts without coming inside. Your HVAC system may be a haven for unwelcome pests and they could be causing problems without your knowledge.

Pests Living in Your Ductwork

The ductwork for your HVAC system could be harboring pests like rodents, reptiles and insects. Rodents are known for their ability to chew through almost anything, including metal. If they create a hole in the ductwork, they may find their way in and allow other pests to follow.

Holes in the ductwork can cause lost energy efficiency and impact climate control. Plus, those pests may be living, and dying, in your ducts. This can create air quality issues as their remains contaminate the air that flows through your ducts.

Pests Living In Outdoor AC Units

Another place an unwanted pest may want to visit is your outdoor AC unit. They even decide to make it their home, especially during the winter. Birds, rodents and snakes can create nests in your outdoor unit that can cause major damage once the unit begins working again in the spring. Rodents can also chew wiring, hoses and other components, causing significant damage.

Unfortunately, you may not know there are pests causing HVAC issues until you have your system inspected or it breaks down from damage. This is a good reason to have an annual HVAC inspection and tune-up performed to ensure your ducts and outdoor AC units are sealed properly to keep out those destructive pests.

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

Tips to Troubleshoot Your Heat Pump

Is your heat pump giving you trouble? The first step in fixing the problem is identifying the issue. Sometimes it is something simple you can fix yourself; other times it may take a professional to complete a repair. Here are some easy ways to troubleshoot and identify the problem to determine what steps are needed to restore complete function.

Airflow Isn’t Consistent

Does it seem like the airflow is low or are different rooms getting less or more air? If only a few rooms get less air, it may be a ductwork issue to those rooms or the vents could be dirty. Clean the vents; if this doesn’t improve airflow in those rooms, you may need the ducts inspected.

If airflow is low to all rooms, check your filter. It may be dirty or clogged and need changing. Low airflow can also be caused by dirty evaporator coils, which may need professional assistance to remedy.

Temperature Is Wrong

If your heat pump isn’t heating or cooling to the correct temperature, it may be on the wrong setting. Make sure the thermostat is set correctly. If the settings are correct, it is possible there is a problem with the thermostat or there is a refrigerant leak.

Heat Pump Will Not Turn On

If your heat pump is not working at all, make sure there is not an electrical issue. Check your fuse box and ensure the unit is getting electricity. If this does not resolve the issue, call your local HVAC service to have them inspect your unit.

The best way to keep your heat pump working year-round is with routine tune-ups from a professional and DIY maintenance like filter changes. Stay on top of maintenance to avoid complete shutdowns and unexpected repairs.

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

Looking to Upgrade to Automation for Your Commercial HVAC System?

If you have not already automated your commercial HVAC system, what are you waiting for? Manually controls for managing your building’s heating and cooling system is outdated and most likely costing you in efficiency. Automation can reduce energy costs and give your building managers more precise control over your system.

There are many different options available for retrofitting your existing system to automated controls. However, two stand out as leaders in the industry and should be on the top of your list to consider when moving to building automation.

Distech Controls

Distech controls offer improved efficiency, a cost-effective option for any company looking to upgrade to automation for their HVAC system. Users can realize up to a 30% saving with Distech Controls, making it a wise investment. Their innovative mobile application allows users to access all controls from any mobile devices, offering 24/7 control of your systems from anywhere.

Niagara Framework

Another option to transform an older HVAC system to automation is Niagara Framework. This software system can automate all the building systems under one platform, from the HVAC and lighting to security systems and elevators. All the controls are accessible from mobile devices and computers, giving your building managers the ability to see alerts, alarms and functional reporting from any location.

While investing in an automation system for your building or complex is a major investment, it is one that has a high return. Most companies can pay for their automation start up costs in the first few years with energy and efficiency savings. Make sure to have a HVAC service contractor that is certified to install and work on these devices to get the most from your investment.

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

Improving the Air Quality in Your Home

There are many factors that can impact the quality of air in your home, from mold spores to dust and airborne contaminants. While you may not be able to see what you are breathing in, it can become apparent when you or family members begin to have health issues. Protecting the air you breathe in your home is a vital part of wellness, helping improve your family’s health. Maintaining your HVAC system can help improve your air quality and ensure you have clean air for your family to breathe.

Removing Contaminants from the Air

The air in your home is circulated through your HVAC system, making it the easiest place to filter out contaminants. All HVAC systems have filters that remove some particles from the air, but the level of purification depends on the filter you use and how often it is changed. To improve this process, choose a filter with a high minimum efficiency reporting value or MERV, which will filter out smaller particles. For homes with members with extreme sensitivities, auto immune deficiencies or allergies, a HEPA filter may be best for cleaning the air.

Check Humidity Levels

Another aspect of air quality is maintaining 40-60% humidity in your home. Too much humidity can lead to mold problems, and too little can cause respiratory irritation. Have your humidity levels tested by your local HVAC service company – adding a humidifier or dehumidifier may be needed to maintain the right level of moisture in the air.

You can improve your air quality by keeping up on filter changes in your HVAC system – many filters should be changed every month. Also, have annual HVAC service and inspections performed to ensure your system is working correctly and your duct work is kept clean and free from contaminants.

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

How to Reduce Your HVAC Energy Bills

Many people pay thousands of dollars a year to heat and cool their home, money that could be used for something more tangible. If you are tired of high energy bills due to HVAC use, there are ways to reduce your energy use and your monthly bills. While some may require an initial investment, the return on the investment can be substantial. Here are some energy savers when it comes to lowering your heating and cooling bills.

Program Your Thermostat

If you have a programmable thermostat, use it. If you don’t have a newer model thermostat, make the investment. Programming your thermostat to reduce use when you are sleeping, or the home is empty can save you a large percentage of your energy bill each month while still keeping your home comfortable.

Keep Up with HVAC Maintenance

Making sure your HVAC system is maintained ensures it is working efficiently. Heat pumps, AC units and furnaces all need annual maintenance, which is a small price to pay to keep your system running efficiently.

Upgrade to a New HVAC System

If you have an older HVAC system that is 10, 15 or more years old, you may be paying much more than you should for heating and cooling. Newer systems are made for efficiency. Consider upgrading to an Energy Star rated HVAC system that will pay for itself with a reduction in energy bills.

Need more ideas on how to cut down on your heating and cooling bills? Schedule a tune-up for your HVAC system and have an efficiency analysis performed. Your local HVAC pros can help you find ways to reduce energy use and lower your monthly utility bills.

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

5 Ways to Make the Most of Your Programmable Thermostat

A programmable thermostat is an HVAC accessory that can help save money on your energy bills – but only if you know the best ways to use it. Every home and family are different, which is why a programmable thermostat is important. You can customize your settings to your lifestyle, then let the thermostat regulate your climate control for the most efficiency. Here are five ways to get the most from your programmable thermostat.

  1. Write down your family’s schedule. The first thing you need to know is what hours your family is usually in the house and when they are not. Write down your schedule to facilitate programming your thermostat.
  2. Set your timer for work/school days. Using your schedule, if there are usual days when no one is home, set the timer to a lower or higher temperature (depending on the season) during the time the home is empty.
  3. Set the thermostat for sleeping hours. Change the temperature for your home when bedtime arrives for your family. Set it to a more efficient setting an hour before you go to bed and to change right before you wake to your standard temperature.
  4. Keep an eye on the batteries. Most thermostat batteries need changing about once a year, but not all models have a low battery indicator. Make sure to proactively change your batteries to ensure the thermostat works correctly.
  5. Avoid constant changes. Unless your schedule changes, try to avoid overriding your programmed settings. It is easy to forget to reset, which can cost you more in energy.

A programmable thermostat, especially some of the newer smart models, can save you hundreds of dollars a year in energy costs. If you have an older thermostat, consider updating your model to get the most efficiency for your HVAC system.

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

Are You on a Commercial HVAC Maintenance Plan?

Heating and cooling costs are part of your business’ overhead, but when a large HVAC repair is needed out of the blue, it can put a strain on your budget. If you manage or own a large commercial facility, you know HVAC service will be needed, but planning for the expenses can be difficult without a set maintenance plan in place. The best solution to control your HVAC costs is to find a service company that offers a maintenance plan that will eliminate most unexpected repair costs and work with your budget.

Key Components of a Commercial HVAC Maintenance Plan

Regular service and maintenance is always important for commercial HVAC systems, but even with preventive care, repairs will eventually be needed. With a solid commercial HVAC maintenance plan, you can get preventive maintenance and repairs rolled into one set payment. Some key components to look for in a service plan for your commercial HVAC system include:

  • Preventive service and inspections throughout the year
  • Covered repairs
  • A customized plan to meet your needs
  • A set fee to fit your budget
  • Experienced, reliable commercial HVAC technicians
  • 24/7, 365-day availability for emergency HVAC repairs
  • Full coverage plan to cover all your HVAC service expenses

When you get the right HVAC company and maintenance plan in place, it takes the guess work out of how much your heating and cooling maintenance will cost each month or year. Plus, a well-maintained system will work more efficiently and reduce energy costs for increased savings. Choose a HVAC company that specializes only in industrial or commercial HVAC systems with many years of experience to get the best service for your company.

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