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

How to Stay Cool When Your AC is Out

It is not a coincidence that AC units tend to breakdown when temperatures are in the triple digits. The constant strain to keep your home cool can be too much, especially if your unit has not been maintained. Unfortunately, when your AC unit stops working at 9 pm at night, you are probably not alone. There may be dozens of other homeowners in your area experiencing the same problem, putting you at the back of a long line for AC repair.

If your AC unit fails and you need a get through one or more hot days and nights, here are a few tips to keep you cool until you can have your unit repaired:

  • Fans and ice. An old standby method for those with AC to stay cool is fans paired with ice. Grab a few blocks or bags of ice and put a pan of ice in front of the fan to blow cool air your way.
  • Keep the shades closed. During the day, keep your drapes and blinds closed, as well as doors and windows. At night, allow in cooler air from outside to circulate with fans in windows.
  • Cool your bed. One of the worst problems is trying to sleep when it is still 90+ degrees in your home. Put your sheets in the freezer, stick an ice pad in your pillow or slip on damp PJs – whatever you need to do to stay cool, so you can get a little rest.

Of course, the best scenario is not losing your AC at all during the hottest days of summer. Make sure to schedule preventive maintenance before the heat waves hit to ensure your AC unit is ready for hard work ahead.

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

Are Commercial ERV and HRV Interchangeable?

If you are considering your options for ventilation in your industrial or commercial building, both energy recovery ventilators (ERV) and heat recovery ventilators (HRV) are options. The question is, are they interchangeable? The simple answer is that they can be, but often one is better than the other for certain applications and efficiency. Understanding the difference can help you determine which will work best with your commercial HVAC system.

Energy Recovery Ventilators

For most commercial buildings, ERV systems are the recommended option. This is because the design of the ERV allows for latent (moisture) air recovery, not just sensible (dry) air recovery. For regions that experience high humidity during the summers, this makes it more energy efficient for cooling the air. ERV will remove humidity from incoming outdoor air during the summer and add moisture to the drier indoor air during the winter.

Heat Recovery Ventilators

While ERV is usually the best solution for commercial buildings since it can handle humid air better, HRV can be beneficial in some circumstances. Dry climates where humidity is not an issue can use either system, since HRV only uses sensible air recovery. Also, industrial applications that create high humidity inside the building may be better served with an HRV, when the inside air is always higher in moisture content than the air outside.

If you are not sure which ventilation system will best suit your needs, contact your local commercial HVAC service provider to get recommendations. They can inspect your building and perform an efficiency analysis to determine which is the best option for controlling the air quality of your building while providing the best efficiency for your HVAC system.

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

Is Your Industrial HVAC Technician Legit?

When it comes to commercial or industrial HVAC installation, maintenance and repair, you want to ensure the company and technicians you hire are up for the task. Many HVAC companies offer commercial service, but not all have the experience and expertise needed for large, industrial operations. Before hiring a HVAC contractor, take the time to vet and choose the best one for the job. Here are some tips to ensure your HVAC technician is legit for industrial projects.

  • Does the HVAC company do both residential and commercial work? While there is nothing wrong with doing both, this means they are spread thin. There are many more residential customers than industrial, which means they may not have the resources available when you need them for your business.
  • Experience in industrial HVAC systems. There is a big difference between servicing a commercial HVAC system for a small restaurant and one for a large manufacturing outfit or hospital. Make sure they have experience and references from industrial projects, not just smaller commercial jobs.
  • Years of expertise. Choose a HVAC contractor that has been specializing in industrial systems for decades. You want technicians that can work on older HVAC systems as well as newer ones.
  • Services offered. While you may just need a repair or maintenance service now, consider the needs you may have in the future. Choose a company that offers retrofits, HVAC automation and complete installation of new systems to meet all your current and future HVAC needs.

Your industrial HVAC system can have a large impact on your business. Make sure you find the best contractor to service your system to get the best value for your investment.

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

How to Choose the Right Thermostat

Do you have an older thermostat for your HVAC system? If your thermostat does not have programming or remote access, you are missing out of some phenomenal features that offer convenience and energy savings for your home. If you are ready to upgrade your thermostat, here are some features to consider that will help you choose the right model for your needs.

Programmable

First and foremost, you want a thermostat that is programmable. This one feature can save you hundreds of dollars on your energy bills if you use it correctly. You can program your thermostat to use less energy during hours you are sleeping or away from home, while keeping your home comfortable.

Remote Access

Many thermostats now offer Wi-Fi access. This allows you to control your thermostat from a computer or even your smartphone. You can turn your thermostat up or down when you are away from home, helping save you even more money on energy costs.

Auto Changeover

When the days are warm and the nights are cool, you want your thermostat to know when to send heat and when to turn on the A/C. An auto changeover switch allows your thermostat to use both heat and air conditioning to maintain the preferred temperature in your home.

Keyboard Lock

Don’t want your kids turning up the A/C to high when you are not at home? Choose a thermostat with a keyboard lock to leave changing the temperature to the people who pay the bills.

The new features available on today’s thermostats make it easier to keep your home climate controlled while using less energy. Talk to your local HVAC service company to learn more about the models available and for professional installation.

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

How to Inspect Your Furnace or Air Conditioning Ducts

Do you have uneven heating or cooling in your home? If you have central air and heat with a duct system, you may have a blockage in your duct system. Many items can find their way into the ducts and cause a blockage. This can cut off air to one or more rooms in your home, causing uneven temperatures. It can also cost you more on your energy bill and put extra stress on your HVAC system. Here are some tips on how to inspect your ducts to find blockages.

  • Check air flow. Turn on your heat or air and check all the vents in your home for air flow. If any do not have air coming out, there may be a blockage in that duct. If low air is coming from all ducts, check your air filter – it could be clogged and need replacement.
  • Remove vents. If there are vents with low to no air, remove the vent cover. This is often where debris gets caught, pushed up against the vent cover. Clean away any debris and check the duct for any blockages as far as you can see using a flashlight.
  • Make sure valves are open. If the vent and filter are clean, but there still is no air going to certain rooms, make sure the valves for the duct are open. Most systems have valves in the ducts to close air flow to certain rooms.

If after your inspection, you are still having air flow issues, call your local HVAC service team for a system efficiency analysis. There is possibly a blockage in your ducts that may need to be cleared by a professional.

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

Adding Heat and Air to Home Additions

Are you expanding your home? Whether you are adding on another bedroom, bathroom or even expanding your garage, you want to ensure these new spaces have adequate climate control. However, depending on where you are at in your remodel, it may be tricky or expensive to connect new additions to your existing HVAC system. Here are some HVAC solutions to consider at different stages of remodeling.

Planning Stage

If you have not begun building your addition, you still have options. It is easier to connect your new space to your existing HVAC if the construction has not started. Consult with your HVAC provider to determine how much it would cost to add more duct work to connect the new room.

Mid-Construction

If you have already begun to build, it may not be too late to add in duct work. Talk to your contractor and local HVAC installer about the difficulty of connecting your new room. If you are adding on to your garage, this can be a great opportunity to add climate control to this area.

Post-Construction

For additions that are already in place, you can still add air and heat with a mini-split. This is also an option in the planning and mid-construction phases. These isolated HVAC units do not require duct work and are efficient for climate control in rooms that may not need heat or air all the time, like a garage.

It is easier to connect a new space to your HVAC system before construction is completed, but it can always be added later. Mini-splits can be an economical option when adding new duct work can be labor intensive. Talk to your local HVAC installer for options to get the air and heat you need for your new addition.

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