Should You Replace Your Furnace with a Heat Pump?

If your furnace is coming to the end of its lifespan, you may be looking at your heating options. Should you stick with a furnace for heat, or would a heat pump be a better option? Which is better depends on where you live and your preferences. Here are some of the basics about heat pumps and when they can be a better choice than furnaces for heat.

Efficient Source of Heat

Heat pumps are usually more energy efficient than most furnaces. They use electricity for energy, while many furnaces use oil or gas. Your monthly heating bills can be less.

Great for Mild Climates

Heat pumps are great for heating in mild climates but are not a good choice for areas that have cold winters. Since they rely on pulling heat from the air, they may not be able to maintain a comfortable temperature when the outside air drops below freezing consistently. Furnaces are a better choice for cold climates.

Cooling During the Summer

Heat pumps work as a heating and cooling system in one. You can replace a furnace and air conditioning unit with a heat pump for year-round climate control.

Quiet, Safe Heating

Heat pumps tend to run quieter and can be safer than a gas furnace. You do not need to worry about gas leaks that can cause carbon monoxide poisoning or explosions in your home.

If you live in a region that has mild winters, a heat pump may be a good choice for replacing your old furnace. Discuss the benefits with your local HVAC service company to determine whether a heat pump is right for your home.

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

Protecting Your Indoor Air Quality During the Winter

The colder months of winter can keep you and your family indoors and limit the amount of fresh air in your home. Dust, dander and mold can become trapped inside, impacting the health of the air you breathe. When the doors and windows stay shut, you want to ensure that you are reaping the benefits of a good air filtration system and controlling the humidity. Here are some tips to help protect your air quality and the health of your family during the cooler winter months.

Change Your HVAC Air Filter

All the air in your home is circulated through your HVAC system. For many homes, the HVAC filter is the main source of air purification, making it a vital component to maintain. Not only can a dirty air filter lead to poor air quality, it effects the efficiency of your HVAC system. Make sure to change it as needed to maintain healthy air and limit stress on your HVAC system.

Clean Vents and Ducts

In addition to your air filter, your HVAC vents and ducts can collect dirt, mold and dust. Make sure to regularly clean the vents throughout the winter. Ducts should be cleaned every few years to remove any debris, mold or pest residue that may collect inside, impacting your air quality.

Monitor Humidity

If mold is a common problem in your home during the winter, you may need to monitor and control humidity levels. Have your humidity levels checked and if they are above 50-60%, discuss adding a dehumidifier with your local HVAC professional.

A few maintenance items can help protect your indoor air quality throughout the winter. Make sure to keep up with HVAC maintenance to ensure good air quality and a healthy home for your family.

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

Does Your Home Smell Musty?

When you walk into certain rooms, do they smell musty? It is hard to describe a musty smell, but you know it what it is when it enters your nose. Damp basements, bathrooms and closed rooms can harbor mildew and mold, creating that unique, musty smell. But more concerning than the odor is what is causing it and the other damage it can do to your home and health.

Dangers of Mold and Mildew

Mold and mildew are fungal growths that usually require moisture to thrive. There are thousands of different types of mold spores that grow on a variety of surfaces. The mold on your old bread is different than the pink mold in your shower. Some are fairly harmless, while others can be dangerous to your health.

Some of the aggressive black molds can have the highest risk if they take hold in your home. Not only can they destroy the surfaces where they grow, they can have spores that become air borne. Many types of mold spores can irritate the tissues in the respiratory system, especially in those with allergies or weakened immune systems. In some cases, they can be deadly or cause serious health problems.

Clearing Your Home of Mold

If you smell musty odors, you should consider monitoring your home’s humidity levels. Even if you do not see black mold or mildew, it can be growing in areas that are not visible. In most cases, you want to keep humidity levels below 60% to prevent mold growth and protect your home and health.

If you have high humidity levels in your home causing a musty odor and mold problems, contact your local HVAC service. They can go over dehumidifying options to stop mold and mildew growth in your home.

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

Troubleshooting Common Furnace Problems

Is your furnace not heating correctly or not working at all? Not all furnace issues require major repairs – sometimes it is just a small issue that you can fix yourself. Here are some troubleshooting tips to determine what is causing the problem and whether you need to call a professional.

Check the Air Filter

A clogged air filter can cause all types of problems. Air filters should be changed about every 30 days. Make sure your filter is not clogged and change if needed. Turn off furnace first, then check or change the filter. Also, make sure the furnace panel is completely closed – some models will not turn on if the panel is not tightly closed.

Check the Thermostat

Make sure your thermostat has good batteries and try setting the temperature higher to turn the furnace on. You can also open the cover and carefully dust the components to ensure the connections are clean.

Check the Vents

Are all your vents clear and open? Make sure rugs, furniture or other items are not blocking vents and stopping the air flow in the home.

Check the Pilot Light

If you have a gas furnace, your pilot light should be a blue flame. If is red, purple or orange, call your HVAC professional right away. If the pilot light is out, it will need to be relit. Turn off the gas for 10-15 minutes before you re-light the pilot using the manufacturer instructions.

Check the Electric Panel

If you have an electric furnace or your furnace requires electricity, check the electric panel for blown or flipped fuses.

If you check all these issues and your furnace still is having problems, it is time to call the HVAC professionals for a furnace repair or replacement.

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

Safety Tips for Using Your Gas Furnace

Furnaces are the best way to warm your home when the temperatures drop below or around freezing. However, gas furnaces can have safety risks when not used or maintained properly. To keep your furnace working efficiently and your family safe, you need to be aware of furnace safety. Here are some tips to reduce chances of fires or health issues caused by your furnace.

Keep Vents Clear

Air flow is important to your HVAC system. Make sure vents are not blocked by furniture or other items to keep air flowing through your duct system.

Keep Flammables Away from the Furnace

You want to keep the area around your furnace clean and clear to prevent fires. You should not store flammables like gasoline, paint thinners, rags, paper or cardboard near your furnace. Plus, you want to clean around your furnace to remove dust and lint that can ignite fires – vacuum at least once a month around the furnace and the vents.

Use a Smoke and CO Detector

One of big risks of a gas furnace is a gas leak. Natural gas can be deadly, but it is invisible and odorless. Make sure you have a working CO detector that can alert you if you have a gas leak and a smoke detector for fire warning.

Maintain Your Furnace

You should have an inspection and service performed on your furnace every year. This can identify any safety concerns and prevent breakdowns in the middle of winter. On top of annual maintenance, make sure to change air filters throughout the winter.

With a few safety precautions and maintenance, your furnace can safely keep your home and family warm all winter long.

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

Remote Energy Control for Property Management

One of the keys to success commercial property management is maintaining efficient facilities. However, this can be difficult when managing multiple locations at one time. Advanced technology for automated controls can be the difference maker when it comes to reducing energy costs. To maximize energy efficiencies, remote control and HVAC automation can be a wise investment for effective property management.

Utilizing Remote HVAC Controls

Climate control is one of the biggest expenses in facility maintenance. On top of maintaining efficient HVAC systems, utilizing the latest technology available for controls can help reduce energy waste. Automated systems with remote control options allow property managers to view, monitor and access HVAC systems from a variety of mobile devices. This offers the following advantages:

  • Manage multiple facilities from any location
  • Immediate alerts for system problems
  • Quicker response for repairs
  • Easier access to energy management data

Monitoring and managing climate control systems in multiple buildings and locations can be difficult. With remote access to automation information and controls, property managers can quickly evaluate energy efficiency and make the needed alterations to control temperatures and zones. This can result in lower energy costs and better climate control for tenants at all facilities, which can lead to thousands of dollars in savings throughout the year.

Commercial property owners and managers can realize a large return on investment by upgrading manual control HVAC systems to automated controls with remote access. These advanced systems can pay for themselves in energy savings in just a few years, while making industrial and commercial facilities easier to manage. To research the latest options in remote energy and HVAC controls, talk to a commercial HVAC specialist.

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

Why Your HVAC Filter Keeps Clogging

Does it seem like every time you check your HVAC filter, it needs to be replaced? While many filters need to be swapped out every 1-2 months, if you find your HVAC filter is clogged after just a few weeks, you may have a problem. A dirty filter impacts your energy efficiency, but you should not need to replace your filters more than once per month. Here are some reasons your filters may be clogging prematurely and how to fix the problem.

Pets, Dust and People

How much debris is floating in your air can impact your air filters. Pet hair and dander contribute to filter clogging, as does the amount of people and dust in your home. Vacuum and dust your home regularly to cut down on filter changes.

Is Your Fan On?

The fan on your HVAC system has an “on” and “auto” setting. If you leave it “on” the fan will be going 24/7, pulling air through the filter. Set it to “auto” to turn the fan on only when heating or cooling, which will extend the life of your filters.

HEPA Filters and High MERV Ratings

Filters that are designed to clean minute particles out of the air may purify the air, but they also clog quicker. HEPA filters and those with high MERV ratings can collect more dirt, but they can also put stress on your HVAC system. Changing filters to a lower MERV rating can make your filters last longer and minimize workload on your HVAC system.

If you follow these tips and still have problems with your filters clogging, call your local HVAC service company. You may have leaks in your ductwork or other issues that are causing dirty filters.

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

Restoring Your HVAC System After Flooding

Flooding is almost always unexpected and the damage to your home can be extensive. Hurricanes, heavy rains and other disasters can bring water into your home – even your plumbing can flood the inside of your house. Flood clean up is expensive and tedious, but you want to make sure that all the water damage is fixed. This includes restoring your HVAC system once the water and moisture have been eliminated from your home.

Once your home has been inspected for safety and you can begin flood restoration, make sure your HVAC system is completely turned off at the breaker. Mark the water level on your furnace and HVAC equipment so a technician can inspect those areas.

When the water cleanup is completed, you should have your HVAC system thoroughly inspected by a HVAC professional. They can determine if any or all of the components are damaged, or if the system will need replacement. Unfortunately, severe flooding can lead to a complete failure of many HVAC systems. Even if the system still works, the water damage can lead to rust and early component corrosion and failure. Your HVAC professional can let you know the extent of the damage and whether replacing the entire system is the best option.

Getting your HVAC system up and running again can be a crucial part of recovering from flood damage. A working heating and cooling system will be necessary to keep a dry, climate-controlled environment to prevent mold and other problems. Make sure getting your HVAC system inspected, repaired and/or replaced as soon as possible is on your priority list. Check with your homeowner’s insurance policy to see if repair or replacement of your HVAC system from flood damage is covered by your insurance carrier.

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

Managing Indoor Air Quality in the Winter

When the cold weather of winter keeps doors and windows closed, the air in your home can become stale. The same air circulates through your HVAC system – while it goes through a filter, it is the same air over and over. Winter can mean more time spent indoors, which means air quality is more important than ever. Here are some ways to manage indoor air quality during the long months of winter.

Filter Changes

You need to keep up on changing your filter when it begins to get dirty, usually every one or two months for most filters. You may also want to improve the MERV rating of your filter – this will pull out smaller particles for cleaner air, but it can put a little more stress on your HVAC system.

Clean Vents and Ducts

More time spent indoors means more dust, dirt, dander and other substances. Make sure to clean the air vents and have your ductwork cleaned. Cold air outside can entice pests to find ways into your ducts, so an inspection for damage and a thorough cleaning should be done before winter begins.

Consider an Air Purifier and Humidity System

Beyond the standard air filter, you can go a step further and invest in an air purifier and humidity control. Depending on the part of the country where you live, you may need a dehumidifier or a humidifier during the winter to keep air at the right comfort level.

The air your family breathes is vital to their health. Talk to your local HVAC service professional about the options to protect your air quality in your home.

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

Troubleshooting Why Your Second Floor is Difficult to Cool or Heat

If you own a two-story home, managing temperatures through both levels can be tricky. If you find your upstairs is often warmer or cooler than the main level, it can be frustrating to find the problem. Not only can this impact comfort levels, it is likely affecting your heating and cooling costs. Here a few troubleshooting tips to find the issue and resolve unbalanced climate control on your second floor.

Attic Insulation

Inadequate attic insulation can be a factor for controlling temperatures on your second floor. Poor insulation can allow heated or cooled air to escape; it can also allow too much outside air in. Check your insulation in your attic – you may need to add more or use better quality insulation to manage indoor temps.

Tune-Up Your HVAC System

Dirty filters and other maintenance issues can affect the performance of your furnace and air conditioner. Make sure your HVAC system is up-to-date on all maintenance.

Leaky Duct Work

The ducts that carry air upstairs need to be properly sealed to control temperatures. Have your ductwork inspected to make sure there are no leaks that are impacting the climate control on your second level of your home.

Check Windows

The windows on the upstairs level can impacting temperatures. Quality, insulated windows can help control temperatures – so can using window dressings to limit sunshine adding heat to your upstairs.

Heat does rise, and it can be more difficult to manage air temps in the second level of your home. However, there are ways to manage climate control and keep heating and cooling costs low. Schedule a tune-up and inspection of your HVAC system to determine if there are any problems that are contributing to your second story climate control issues.

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