Tips to Keep Cool During the Summer

Air conditioning is a luxury, but it can feel like a necessity when the temperatures soar through the summer months. Luxury or not, you want to use your air conditioning to stay cool, but you also do not want to pay enormous energy bills. The best way to reduce your AC bill and keep cool is to set your temperature higher in your home and find other ways to cool yourself and your house. Here are some tips to stay cool and minimize the cost of AC this summer.

  • Use your windows. Windows can either cool or heat the home, depending on how you use them. Make sure you use drapes or blinds over closed windows during the day to keep sunshine out of the home that can heat it up and open the windows to let in cool air in the evening and early mornings.
  • Use a cooling pad in your bed. You can turn your AC off or down during the night if you use a cooling pad on your bed. You will stay cool and use much less energy during those eight hours a night.
  • Use cold or wet shirts. A t-shirt stored in the freezer or wetting your shirt and putting it back on can cool you down quickly.
  • Use your thermostat wisely. Try to reduce the use of AC when you are not home. A smart thermostat is a wise investment to help you control when to use your AC. Set it at higher temps when you are typically not home, then lower the temperature shortly before you will be going back home. Smart thermostats give you the ability to adjust these times as needed from wherever you are to save on energy.

Also be sure that your HVAC system is properly maintained and checked for its efficiency. An efficient system saves money. Stay cool without breaking the bank by keeping yourself and your home cool with these tips.

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. 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

Is It Time to Update Your Commercial HVAC Controls?

Energy efficiency is a vital part of managing your company’s budget. If you own a large commercial property, your heating and cooling costs can have a significant impact on your bottom line. The control system you use for your buildings HVAC is important in managing energy efficiency. If you have an older HVAC control system, it may be time to update to a newer, more efficient option.

Pneumatic controls have been used in heating and cooling for decades. While they are simple to maintain and repair, they do not have the capacity for efficiency of new control options. Everything is manually controlled, without the reporting, data and processing capacities of advanced control systems.

DDC and BAS

Direct digital controls or DDC is the next level of advanced efficiency in HVAC controls. DDC offers a connected system that manages energy efficiency instead of only controlling it. DDC has advantages in calibration, maintenance and energy efficiency, saving large facilities thousands of dollars in maintenance and energy costs.

The highest level of HVAC control technology is complete automation. This takes the DDC model and offers more control. Building automation systems (BAS) allow property managers to oversee energy, maintenance and calibration data from any computer or connected devices. Property managers can oversee HVAC controls for several properties from a remote location, improving efficiency and saving time.

If your commercial building is still using an outdated pneumatic control system, it may be time to retrofit your HVAC with new controls. Both DDC and BAS offer increased energy savings, often up to 15%, plus cost savings in maintenance. Talk with your local commercial HVAC service company to explore the options in upgrading your system.

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

Thermostat Control: Tips on Keeping It Cool

When the temperatures rise, so does your electric bill. It can be costly to keep your home comfortable when the temperature hit the 90’s and triple digits. You want your home to be climate controlled, but at what cost? Having a programmable thermostat and using it properly can help you stay cool while managing the cost of your comfort. Here are some tips to manage your thermostat to stay cool without breaking the bank on energy bills.

  • Program your thermostat. The best efficiency tip is to program your thermostat to only be at the lowest cooling setting when you are home during the warmest hours. Thermostats should be set to automatically switch a higher temperature when the house is empty and at night.
  • Use moderate settings. Keep your settings moderate for temperatures. Good energy settings include 78 degrees when you are home during peak hours, 82 degrees when you are sleeping and 85 when you are away from home.
  • Don’t forget to change your programming for trips. If you are going to be away for a few days, make sure to change your thermostat settings to away temperatures for the entire time.
  • Get a smartphone app. Many advanced thermostats can be controlled through an app on your phone. This gives you control to change the setting if you will be coming home early or not coming home at all. Why cool your home if no one is there to enjoy it?

Just making a few changes on how your use your thermostat can save you hundreds of dollars each summer on your cooling bills. Talk to your local HVAC provider about updating to a hi-tech, efficient thermostat if you still are using an older, manual model.

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

How Routine HVAC Maintenance Can Save You Money

One of the highest costs of maintaining your home is climate control. Whether it is warming your house on a cold, winter day or trying to beat the heat with cool air in the summer, keeping a comfy home temperature can become expensive. Not only do you need to pay for the energy costs, you must consider the cost of your HVAC unit. To reduce the overall cost of climate control, consider the benefits of routine HVAC maintenance. Here are some of the ways investing in regular maintenance can reduce your climate control expenses.

  • Efficiency. When your HVAC unit is regularly maintained, it can perform more efficiently. Simple maintenance like changing the air filter and cleaning the coils can improve energy efficiency by 30% of more.
  • Performance. You will get more bang for your buck when your HVAC is well-maintained. It will take less time to heat or cool your home when it is kept at peak performance.
  • Fewer repairs. Preventive maintenance can reduce expensive HVAC emergencies and repairs. It is far less expensive to maintain your unit than constantly pay for repair service.
  • Extend the life of your HVAC system. The long-term savings of HVAC maintenance is the longevity of your unit. If maintenance can extend the life of your unit by one, two or more years, you can save hundreds of dollars off replacement costs.

Regular tune-ups on your HVAC system and other maintenance do cost money, but the return on the investment is worth it. You can realize monthly savings on your energy costs and year-round savings on repairs and replacement expenses. Talk to your local HVAC service company about scheduling your next HVAC service.

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

Does Your AC Have Dirty Coils?

There are a few things that can make your air conditioner run poorly and less efficiently. One of them is dirty condenser or evaporator coils. One maintenance item that you need to stay abreast of with your air conditioner is keeping coils free of dirt and debris. This can make a big difference in the performance and efficiency, saving your money off energy bills and repair costs.

The condenser coil of your A/C unit is one of the most important components. The coils are what cool the hot air. The hot air travels through the coils and is cooled by refrigerant, but it is necessary for the hot air to be released. The cleaner the coils, the more efficiently the unit can cool the air. If the coils are dirty, the fan and rest of the unit must work harder to cool the air. This uses more energy and puts more wear on your A/C unit. Dirty coils can reduce efficiency by up to 30% and detract from the life span of your unit, costing you more money monthly and premature replacement.

Air quality plays a big part in how quickly your coils will become dirty. In desert areas, dust storms cause big issues with air conditioning units. In metropolitan areas, pollution and other factors can create dirt and residue on coils. You can clean some dust and debris off your vents and coils yourself. Use low-pressure canned air to remove dust from condenser and evaporator coils, as well as the vents.

However, to ensure your coils are completely cleaned inside and out, get them cleaned by a professional. This is usually included with most A/C tune-ups, which is another good reason to have a tune-up at least once a year.

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

How Often Should You Change HVAC Filters?

One of the most important DIY maintenance you can do for your HVAC system is ensure the air filter is kept clean. A dirty or clogged air filter can put extra stress on your HVAC system, causing it to work harder and be more likely to have system issues. Plus, air filters help improve the quality of the air in your home for the health of your family. So, how often should you change your HVAC air filters?

First, there is not a set rule on changing your HVAC air filter as each home and filter is different. An air filter manufacturer may say to change the filter every two months, which is a good rule of thumb, but not always accurate for all filters. Most 1-3-inch filters are suggested to change in two month intervals, but you should check the manufacturer recommendations for your filter.

Secondly, consider the environment. If you use your HVAC every day and have kids, pets and a full house, your air filter is working overtime. It may need to be changed more often than recommended. On the other hand, if you only have 1 person living in a big home and only use the HVAC system when you are home, the filter may not need to be changed for 3-4 months. The best advice? Check it regularly – if it looks dirty before it is scheduled to be replaced, switch it for a new one.

Changing the air filter is just part of maintaining your HVAC system. You should also schedule regular tune-ups and service 1-2 a year. Your HVAC service tech will also check your filter and change it out if needed.

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

Does Your HVAC Need a Tune-Up?

Like any machinery, your HVAC system has many moving parts that need occasional lubrication, cleaning and even replacement. When regular maintenance or service is not performed, eventually the system will come to a halt. With HVAC systems, Murphy’s Law says it will stop on the hottest or coldest day of the year, when you need it the most. So how you know if your HVAC system needs a tune-up?

For most HVAC systems, a tune-up consists of a full inspection of the system. This includes making sure everything is working correctly, looking for visible issue and listen for any odd sounds. The safety of the unit is also checked, including wiring and plugs. The system is usually lubricated where needed and cleaned. Cleaning includes the condenser coils, vents and filters. Coolant levels are checked, filled if needed, and a check for leaks is performed. The thermostat is checked and all controls.

For most systems, an annual tune-up is sufficient to keep on top of needed maintenance. A good time to schedule your tune-ups is either in the spring or fall, between the two cooler and hotter times of year. With regular tune-ups, many issues can be prevented that may cause a breakdown. Repairs can be made proactively, saving you the hassle of being without heat or air when you really need it.

Make sure you are scheduling your regular tune-ups before the busiest times of the year. If it has been over a year since your last HVAC tune-up, call to schedule yours right away. Maintenance can help improve efficiency and prevent system failures down the road, also extending the life of your unit.

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

3 Spring Checklist Tips for your HVAC

Summer can take its toll on both your HVAC and your business’ energy bills. Commercial HVAC systems are put under heavy strain when the temperatures rise, especially in hot climates. Spring is the best time to perform maintenance on your HVAC system to get it ready for the summer ahead. This can ensure your system will work efficiently for lowered energy costs and can reduce the chance of breakdowns. Here are three spring checklist tips to keep in mind for your commercial HVAC:

  1. Change filters. Keeping your HVAC filters up-to-date can improve air quality and efficiency for your system. Your filters are changed during routine maintenance and tune-ups, but you should check them between service and change them if they look dirty.
  2. Clean indoor components. Keep indoor air vents clean, along with coils, control panels and blower fans. Make sure there are no blockages to prevent air flow.
  3. Inspect outdoor unit. Inspect the outdoor cabinet that contains your condenser – make sure no debris is blocking any air vents or stuck in the coils. Wipe down the cabinet and coils to keep it clean.

Keeping your HVAC maintained can reduce your repair costs by up to 20% and improve efficiency. Spring is the perfect time to get your system tuned up and have routine maintenance performed. You can reduce your energy bills by at least 25% with regular maintenance and cut down the amount of breakdowns and expensive downtime.

Calling your local commercial HVAC service team to schedule your spring tune-up should be moved to the top of your checklist. Improve your energy efficiency and save money on your cooling system this summer by having a professional perform the needed maintenance on your system.

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

Spring Cleaning Basics for your HVAC

Spring is time for cleaning around your home. You pull down the drapes, air out the closets and give your home a good cleaning to put winter in the rearview mirror. Another area to clean is your HVAC system. You want to ensure that your unit is cleaned and ready to tackle the hot months ahead after a long winter. Here are some spring cleaning basics for your HVAC system:

  • First, turn off your unit to protect yourself from shock. To be safe, turning your unit off at the breaker and the unit is best.
  • Start at your outside unit. Clean the exterior cages and around the unit to remove debris that could block the air flow. You can also clean the fins using water to remove dirt and improve air flow. Don’t use a pressure washer – it can damage the fins.
  • Inside, you want to clean the air vents to ensure there is no blockages. If you have duct work, spring is a good time to schedule a duct cleaning from your local HVAC service company. Filters need to be changed – these improve the air quality in your home and can affect the efficiency of your unit.
  • The indoor unit should have the evaporator coils cleaned and ensure that the evaporator drain is unclogged. There is coil cleaner you can buy to remove dirt from the coils – however, if you schedule a spring service for your home heating and cooling system, your service technician will clean the coils and other areas of your HVAC unit.

You should keep the areas around your outdoor unit clean and keep an eye on your air filters throughout the year. If you have an annual tune-up, the interior of your unit will be cleaned and maintained for the best efficiency.

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