5 Reasons to Upgrade Your Thermostat

The climate control for your home is easily managed through your thermostat. However, if you have an older thermostat, you may not be getting all the benefits available. New technology has improved the design and functions of thermostats to give you more control over your heating, cooling and energy costs. Here are five reasons to consider upgrading your old thermostat to a new, smart model.

  1. Easy controls. New thermostat designs are innovative and simpler to use. Many have touchscreen options that give you many functions at your fingertips without buttons.
  2. Smartphone apps. You can link smart thermostats to your smartphone with an app. This gives you the option to change temperatures or settings from wherever you are to better manage your energy costs.
  3. More program options. Programming your thermostat to manage your heating and cooling is easier and more efficient with a smart thermostat. You can change the settings for different times and days to match your schedule and needs.
  4. HVAC maintenance. Advanced thermostats do more than just control the temperature of your home. They can also let you know when your HVAC filter needs to be changed or if there are other issues with your HVAC system.
  5. Eco-friendly. Newer thermostats are eco-friendly in many ways. They do not contain mercury and they can help your home be more efficient, helping reduce waste of natural resources.

Investing in a new thermostat can reap many benefits that can make life easier and save you money on HVAC repairs and energy costs. Contact your local HVAC service to learn more about all the advanced options in smart thermostats and other accessories for your HVAC system.

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

Save Money with an HVAC Efficiency Analysis

Is your HVAC system working efficiently or could it perform better? Even if you are not unhappy with your HVAC system, it may not be performing as well as it could. An efficiency analysis can check several factors to determine how well your HVAC system is functioning overall and give options on ways it can be improved. Here are some of the factors that can be checked during an efficiency analysis on your HVAC system.

Air Quality

One area of concern with your HVAC system is how well it is managing your air quality. Are the filters you are using removing enough contaminants from the air? What is the humidity level in your home? Testing your air quality can help determine whether a different type of filter or moisture control unit could be beneficial.

Energy Audit

During an HVAC efficiency analysis, an energy audit is performed to determine whether your HVAC system is maximizing its energy use. This includes evaluating the equipment function and your actual energy use, looking for options to improve the amount of energy used to provide adequate climate control.

Comfortable Climate Control

An efficiency analysis can help identify issues that may affect comfort and energy use. Air duct leaks, outdated therostats or other issues can impact the comfort levels in different areas in your home as well as how much energy you use for heating and cooling.

Having an HVAC efficiency analysis performed every few years can help you keep your energy costs low and improve the comfort and air quality in your home. Contact your local HVAC company that offers an efficiency analysis service to find out if you could save money with some changes to your heating or cooling system.

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

3 Main Types of Furnaces

Furnaces are one of the best ways to keep your home warm and cozy during the colder months. While heat pumps can offer efficient heating and cooling, if the temperature drops low, furnaces offer the best heating capabilities. Furnaces work by using energy to create heat, then distribute the heat through your home by blowing warmed air through vents and ducts. While all furnaces basically work the same, there are differences in energy types. Here are the three main types of furnaces and the differences in costs and efficiency.

Natural Gas

If natural gas is available, most people prefer natural gas furnaces for heating. Gas offers even, comfortable heat and is less expensive than most other types of energy. The main drawback of gas furnaces is the minute possibility of a leak, which can be very dangerous. It is important to have a C02 detector in the home as a safety precaution.

Oil

While the least common furnace, oil is used for furnaces and can offer effective heating. Oil furnaces are most common in colder regions, especially where natural gas is not easily available for all homes. Oil is more expensive than natural gas, resulting in higher energy costs.

Electric

Smaller and less expensive to purchase, electric furnaces can be a good option in some circumstances. They are less efficient and tend to cost more to heat a home than natural gas, but their lower initial cost and smaller size is desirable for some homeowners.

Looking to buy a new furnace? Go over all the options available to find the right type for your home and budget. Keep in mind the long-term costs and consider efficiency to determine the best furnace type for your home and climate region.

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

Why Are SEER Ratings Important for HVAC Equipment?

Do you know the SEER ratings for your furnace or AC equipment? If you recently bought a new furnace or AC unit, this number was one of the specifications listed and should have been a consideration on which unit you purchased. Seasonal energy efficiency ratio or SEER is a rating on how well heating or cooling equipment can perform under optimal conditions. Here are some reasons why this rating is important and how it can impact your heating and cooling costs.

What is SEER?

Basically, the SEER number listed for your HVAC equipment is a calculation of the output of the unit versus the energy used during a set period. The higher the number, the more efficient the equipment. The newer units have SEER ratings of 13/14 or above, while units made decades ago started life at much lower efficiency.

Does SEER Change with Time?

The older your HVAC equipment gets, the less efficient it can become. The SEER rating is the optimal efficiency level. As components wear out, your HVAC system can perform less efficiently. You may notice your energy bills rising and believe it is just a change in energy costs. That may or may not be true; it could be that your HVAC system is no longer performing as efficiently.

Energy Savings with High SEER Equipment

Upgrading from a 10-14 SEER AC unit to a 16+ SEER can make a big difference in both energy efficiency and comfort. Your AC unit will have to work less to achieve the same level of climate control. While a SEER of 13 is the minimum, anything above 16 is considered high-efficiency.

If it is time to replace any of your HVAC equipment, make sure you talk to your HVAC pros about SEER ratings and what level is best for your home. It can help reduce energy costs and improve the overall performance of your HVAC system.

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

5 Ways to Lower Your Heating Bill

Climate control in your home is one of the biggest factors on your energy costs. Staying cool in the summer is expensive, but so is staying warm during the winter. If you are tired of paying big utility bills during the colder months of the year, there are ways to reduce your heating costs. Here are five tips to stay warm without paying a fortune on your heating bills each month.

  1. Use your programmable thermostat. Maximize when you heat your home and when you can lower the temperature with a programmable thermostat. Utilize the program features to set a lower temperature during hours no one is at home to reduce heating costs.
  2. Minimize heat loss. Insulating your home and reducing heat loss can save money. Shut doors to rooms not in use; close vents or shut off these zones to stop heating unused rooms. Using window treatments or updating to insulated windows can also help reduce heat loss.
  3. Keep your temperatures moderate. Set your thermostat for 68 degrees when you are home to manage your heating costs. Add couch blankets and warm slippers to stay cozy instead of raising the indoor temperature.
  4. Keep up with furnace maintenance. Servicing your furnace or heat pump can ensure it is working properly and efficiently. Make sure to have annual tune-ups for your system.
  5. Get an efficiency analysis. Not sure if your furnace or heat pump is working efficiently? Have your HVAC pro complete an efficiency analysis on your system. There may be ways to improve your efficiency and lower your heating bills.

Stay warm without paying big heating bills. Maintain your HVAC system and use smart methods to manage your heating to keep your energy costs low during the winter.

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

Keep Your Commercial Tenants Happy with HVAC Maintenance

Heating or cooling problems in your commercial rental building can cause riffs between you and your tenants. It is guaranteed that HVAC issues will result in phone calls to your property manager from your tenants. When the AC is dysfunctional in the middle of summer or the heat is not working correctly in January, it can affect your commercial tenants’ business. Keep your tenants happy with an ongoing HVAC maintenance plan to prevent heating and cooling problems.

Finding reliable tenants for a commercial building is difficult. Once you fill your spaces, you want to keep those tenants in place to make the most of your investment. When HVAC problems occur, landlords can put relationships with their tenants at risk. If heating or cooling issues are making their employees unhappy or driving away customers, they may begin looking for a new space when their lease expires.

Invest in a Commercial HVAC Maintenance Plan

To ensure your commercial tenants do not need to continuously make calls complaining about heating or cooling issues, invest in a HVAC maintenance plan for your building. Not only does routine maintenance help reduce the chance of breakdowns, it can help extend the life of your HVAC equipment. In the long run, it will cost less than emergency repairs and possibly lost revenue if dissatisfied tenants decide to leave due to HVAC problems.

There are many factors involved with managing a successful commercial rental property, including maintaining your HVAC system. Make it simple by hiring an experienced industrial HVAC service to maintain your system to ensure heating and cooling is not a problem. It is a worthwhile investment to keep your tenants happy and retain longer leases for your building.

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

How Often Should You Clean Your HVAC Ducts?

Do you know what is hiding in the HVAC ducts in your home? If it has been a few years since your last duct cleaning, it could be a collection of dirt and other debris. Dirty ducts can affect your air quality and the health of your family. Here’s what you need to know about cleaning your air ducts, from frequency to signs it is time to schedule a cleaning now.

What is in Your Air Ducts?

If your air ducts are properly sealed and your humidity is low, your air ducts most likely stay clean longer with just a little dust collecting inside. However, most ducts are located in areas where they may be infiltrated by pests, which can lead to problems. Not only can pests like rodents create cracks or leaks in your duct work, they may be defecating and urinating in your ducts; holes they create can allow in other pests that may live and die in your ductwork. And if your home has high humidity, mold could be growing inside your ducts.

When Should You Clean Your Ducts?

For well-sealed ductwork without mold problems, cleaning will only need to be done every 3-5 years. But if you have signs of dirty ducts, you should schedule an inspection and cleaning sooner. These can include:

  • Duct vents are frequently dirty
  • There are bad odors emitted from your air ducts
  • You have a mold problem in your home
  • Those with dust and other air allergies are having more pronounced symptoms when in your home

Cleaning you air ducts as needed can help keep your home healthy. Make sure to have your ducts inspected during your annual HVAC service and professionally cleaned every few years.

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

Protecting Your Family from Carbon Monoxide Poisoning

If you have a natural gas, oil or wood furnace, it is important to understand the risks of carbon monoxide (CO) poisoning. Every year 400-500 people in the U.S. die from CO poisoning and an estimated 15.000 are treated for exposure at emergency rooms. CO is colorless, odorless and tasteless gas that is a by-product of burning fuel. You need to know how to protect your family from accidental CO exposure that can be deadly.

Proper Ventilation

All furnaces need to have the right ventilation and seals in place to prevent CO leaks inside your home. It is critical to have your furnace inspected and services annually to ensure that it is working correctly, including the ventilation system.

Use a CO Detector

All homes should have a CO detector, especially those with fuel-fed furnaces. Make sure to check your detectors periodically to ensure they are working. Detectors should have a battery-backup if they are plugged in; make sure to change the batteries as needed.

Carbon Monoxide Exposure Symptoms

You should know the early signs of CO exposure. Dizziness, headaches, tightness in the chest, fatigue and nausea are common symptoms – children are more likely to show effects first. If there are any signs of CO exposure, exit the home immediately and seek medical care. You should also call your local HVAC service company to have your home tested for CO. If there is CO detected in your home, you may need your furnace serviced or repaired.

Awareness is key in protecting your family from carbon monoxide poisoning. Make sure to keep up with furnace and CO detector maintenance to prevent CO poisoning in your home.

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

Pneumatic vs DDC HVAC Energy Management Systems

Many older industrial buildings use pneumatic HVAC control systems. These manual controls have the benefit of long-lasting use – many buildings have pneumatic controls that have been in place for decades and continue to function. However, direct digital control or DDC are considered more energy efficient with many advantages not offered by pneumatic systems. If you manage or own a commercial building with pneumatic controls, it is important to know the benefits of DDC to determine if it is a better option for your building’s HVAC system.

Why Use DDC for Your HVAC Energy Management System?

If you have pneumatic controls, you may have wondered whether upgrading to DDC is worth the investment. If your energy costs are low and your industry does not require precise control over temperatures, pneumatic may work adequately. However, if you want to lower energy costs and improve your control options over your energy management, DDC can be worth the investment. Some benefits include:

  • Higher accuracy and precision with climate control
  • Improve energy efficiency with easier management
  • Advanced reporting systems
  • Easier adaption to automation systems
  • Wireless and remote control options

The drawbacks to a DDC over pneumatic energy management system are related to maintenance and longevity. In some cases, digital controls may need repairs or replacement more frequently than the more basic manual controls used in pneumatic. However, the savings in energy costs can more than make up for the difference and many DDC systems can still last for decades.

For building managers considering upgrading to a DDC system from pneumatic, talk to a expert. Consult an industrial HVAC installer that offers both systems to determine whether a retrofit to a new system is a wise investment for your building.

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

Protecting Your Commercial Building from Mold Infestation

If you own a business or commercial property, it is an investment that you want to protect. Damage to a building can be costly; not only is it expensive to repair, it can interrupt business activities and stop incoming revenue. Mold is a quiet culprit that can cause serious damage to buildings and can be an expensive problem to solve. The best option is to prevent mold infestation by monitoring and controlling humidity in your commercial building.

Mold growth can be detrimental to any business. Store rooms, basements and closed areas are more likely to be affected by mold due to poor ventilation. Mold growth on surfaces can destroy supplies, especially porous materials like paper, cloth and cardboard. If the mold infestation is severe, it can enter walls and spread throughout the building. Mold removal can require a complete evacuation of the building, with specialized equipment needed to remove all mold spores, costing thousands upon thousands of dollars.

Preventing Mold Growth

Many times, mold growth is caused by poor air quality and ventilation. To protect your business and investment, you should monitor your air humidity and have routine inspections on your HVAC system. Your HVAC service can test the humidity in your building and ensure adequate ventilation is helping limit mold growth. If humidity is high, dehumidification options can help manage moisture levels to reduce mold growth.

If you have noticed musty smells in areas of your commercial building, it is time to schedule a HVAC inspection and air quality analysis. It is much less expensive to prevent mold growth than deal with a full-blown mold infestation in your commercial building.

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