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 maintenance inspections 1-2 times 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
Marietta, GA 30066
(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:
ClimateSmith, LLC
1925 Lena Carter Road
Buford, GA 30519
(770) 475-9528

Is it Time to Upgrade your Office HVAC?

Do your employees complain that your office building is too hot or too cold, maybe even on the same day? Controlling temperature and air quality in an office environment can be difficult, and expensive. Unfortunately, if you have the wrong HVAC system or if it is out-of-date, it can be costing you in more ways than one. Consider these negative impacts a poorly running HVAC system can have on your business.

  • Higher energy costs. If different parts of your building are cold, warm and hot, you are wasting energy. Plus, older systems tend to be less efficient. Upgrading to a system that has better climate control and efficiency can save you thousands each year in energy costs.
  • Decreased productivity. Did you know that air quality and temperature can have a major impact on how productive your employees are? Just the time they spend complaining about the temperature fluctuations is enough to have an impact.
  • More repair costs. If you have an older HVAC system, you probably know your HVAC repairman on a first-name basis. While opting for a new system or retrofit is a big expense, it may be worth the investment and save you money in the long run off ongoing repair costs. Maintenance is cheap compared to calling for emergency repairs every month; plus, the HVAC downtime has a bigger impact on your employees and clients.

There is a point where the benefits of replacement outweigh the cost of continuing to use an old HVAC system in your office building. Talk to your local commercial HVAC service company about installing a new, efficient system or consider a retrofit for your building.

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

Tips on How to Keep AC Mold at Bay

Your air conditioning system is full of moisture, making it a perfect haven for mold. The condensation that occurs during the cooling process allows moisture to get trapped in your air conditioner or HVAC system, which creates an ideal place for mold to grow. It is not uncommon to find mildew or black mold growth in your A/C vents; however, you should be aware that mold growth can be dangerous to your family’s health, especially black mold. Here are some tips to keep AC mold at bay.

Clean Your Vents

Take off your vents and wash them thoroughly every few months. If there is any sign of mold, make sure you wear gloves and an air mask to protect yourself. Simply cleaning the vents with warm water and soap and drying them completely can remove spores.

Keep Filters Clean

Your HVAC filters help control mold spores in your air. Make sure you are keeping up with your air filter changes to maintain clean, healthy air in your home.

Duct Cleaning

Mold can hide in your air ducts if you have central air. This means every time the air passes through, it is also picking up mold spores to spread throughout the home. You should have your air ducts cleaned every few years as needed to keep mold spores out of your duct system.

Routine Maintenance

Schedule your annual maintenance on your HVAC system to keep your system clean and free of mold. Part of routine maintenance should include cleaning the inside of your system, including the coils which can also grow mold. This is a good time to have your air ducts, vents and filters checked to stay on top of mold issues.

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

Signals Your AC Needs Repair

No one wants to find out on a hot day that their home air conditioning is not working. Emergency repairs are expensive and inconvenient – the better solution is to get AC issues fixed before they lead to a breakdown. Here are a few signals that your AC needs repair so you can avoid emergency repair calls and living without your AC when you need it the most.

  • Strange noises. If your AC is louder than normal or making whining, grinding or other strange noises, it is a sign something is wrong. The motor made need service or a component could be wearing out…don’t want for the noise to go away on its own. When it does, most likely your cold air will go with it.
  • Temperature fluctuations. Is your AC struggling to keep your home cool? It may just need a new filter or some routine maintenance. However, if you wait too long, it may become more than just maintenance. Schedule a routine service to get the temperature issue resolved.
  • Moisture problems. If your AC unit is leaking or ice crystals are forming, there is an issue with the drainage or other components. If not fixed, it can cause more problems than a puddle on your floor.
  • Air flow. If the air is not blowing like it should, you could have a blocked vent, air leak or other issue. This can cause efficiency issues and cost you plenty in both energy bills and repairs.

Preventive maintenance is the best way to stay on top of AC issues before they become emergency repair problems. Make sure to keep up with routine tune-ups on your HVAC system and call a repair tech right away if you have any of these signs of AC distress.

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

How Often Should You Clean Your Air Ducts?

Do you know what is inside your air ducts? You should. The air you breathe is affected by the ducts that transport the air throughout your home. If there is mold, dust or other harmful debris in your ducts, it can affect the air quality in your home. Cleaning out your ducts helps protect the air quality and the health of your family. The question is, how often should you have your air ducts cleaned?

The answer is not as simple as it may seem. Depending on your HVAC system and where you live, this can vary. A well-sealed duct system in a mild climate may stay clean easily. A wet climate can be more likely to grow mold in the duct system, while a dusty area may be more difficult to keep ducts clean. However, all ducts should be cleaned and maintained.

The National Air Duct Cleaners Association recommends homeowners get their air ducts cleaned every three to five years. This is an average; your home may need it more often, like once every year or two. Or, you may not need them cleaned for six or seven years. The best way to know for sure is to have your air ducts inspected. Many HVAC service companies can inspect the interior of your air ducts using digital video cameras. This can be done as part of your annual service, giving you an inside view of what is hiding in your air ducts.

Out of sight should not mean out-of-mind when it comes to your air ducts. Make sure your ducts are kept clean with regularly professional cleanings by your local HVAC service.

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

How Long Do Furnaces Last?

When considering replacing your furnace, it is common to want to know how long your new furnace will last. It is a large investment, so it is understandable to consider the longevity of your new heat supply. However, there is not a simple answer to the question as it can depend on many different factors. Here is some basic information on furnace life-spans and what you can expect.

The main component in a furnace that determines when it may need replacement is the heat exchanger. While other components are easily replaced, once the heat exchanger fails, that is usually the time to replace the whole furnace. Decades ago, the heat exchangers in furnaces were built using heavy metals like cast iron that could last 30 or more years. However, these older models were not as efficient. Newer models use stainless or aluminized steel for their heat exchangers, lasting 15-25 years in most cases, but providing improved energy efficiency.

So, how do you get the longest life from your new furnace? The best option is to begin a solid maintenance plan from the beginning to reduce wear and tear on the equipment. Annual tune-ups on your furnace should be planned to keep it maintained. Also, follow the manufacturer recommendations for replacing air filters to reduce stress on the system and keep humidity low to reduce risk of rust. If the A/C unit is on top of the furnace, make sure the coil and drain is kept clean to avoid it overflowing onto your furnace’s heat exchanger, which can also cause rust.

With regular maintenance, you can expect your furnace to last for 15-20 years or more. Make sure to keep up with your annual tune-ups and other maintenance to extend the life of your new furnace.

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

What is An HVAC Energy Efficiency Audit?

Does your energy bill seem to keep growing? The biggest drain on your electric and gas bill comes from your heating and cooling source: your HVAC unit. While higher energy bills are to be expected during the hottest and coldest months of the year, if you flinch every time you see a monthly invoice, it may be time to see if your HVAC system is working as efficiently as possible with an energy efficiency audit.

During an energy efficiency audit or a system efficiency analysis, your HVAC specialist will do a complete evaluation of your system. This comprehensive audit can identify issues in your system that are causing a strain that draws more energy. Some of the components that are often evaluated include:

  • Air quality, including testing and distribution
  • Analysis of energy consumption
  • Thermostat and temperature control
  • Complete system check
  • Safety features

Once the audit is completed, the next step is determining the options for energy use improvements. The audit may reveal services that need to be performed to improve the efficiency of the system. The HVAC technician can also provide tips for better system operation to cut down on energy costs and extend the life of your HVAC system. Following through with the suggestions revealed during the energy efficiency audit can help lower monthly energy costs plus add years of service to your HVAC system. In some cases, it may be suggested that it is time to replace your HVAC system, especially if it is over ten years old and has a poor efficiency rating.

You shouldn’t need to live with enormous energy bills. Call your local HVAC service company to schedule an energy efficiency audit to find out how to lower your monthly heating and cooling costs.

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

Is an Automated Energy Management System Right for Your Business?

Does your commercial building still use a manual control system for your cooling and heating? You could be losing money and wasting time by not updating your commercial HVAC system. Automated energy management systems have many benefits that could improve your climate control abilities, reduce monitoring efforts and impact your bottom line. Here are some of the advantages of upgrading to an automated control management HVAC system.

  • Easier monitoring. Automated systems can be monitored from anywhere through wi-fi connections. Your management team can check on climate control on any building from anywhere, making it simple to manage your building temperatures.
  • Improved data. Energy management systems that are automated give you better data to help improve energy expenditures. This helps you better plan for your energy expenses and find ways to reduce energy costs.
  • Lower energy costs. Automated systems can help you better manage your energy costs for heating and cooling issues, saving you thousands of dollars. Most large businesses recoup the cost for implementing an automated system within the first few years in energy savings alone.
  • Quicker alerts. If there is a problem with your HVAC system, an automated control option alerts you quicker so you can get the issue resolved. Time is money and the faster you can fix an HVAC issue, the quicker you can get your business back up and running.

If you are still using a manual control energy management system, consider investing in automation. It is a wise investment into your business and can help reduce time spent on managing climate control while reducing energy use. Talk to your local industrial HVAC service company that offers automation upgrades to find out more about updating your system.

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

Improve Your HVAC with Optional Accessories

Your HVAC system is designed to keep your home comfortable year-round, cooling the hot summer air and heating it up when the temperatures drop in the winter. While a good HVAC system can easily control temperatures, it may need additional accessories to provide clean, comfortable air. Here are a few optional accessories to consider adding to your system to improve your HVAC efficiency and air quality in your home.

High Capacity Air Filters

The air in your home is circulated constantly and needs good filtration to keep it safe and healthy for your family. The filter you use in your HVAC system can make a big difference on the purity of your home’s air. High capacity air filters provide a higher level of filtration, removing more contaminants from the air, including molds and other allergens.

Humidifiers

The air in your home can become very dry, especially with air conditioning. A humidifier helps improve the comfort level of your home and can help keep respiratory and skin issues from dry air from occurring.

Advanced Thermostats

Upgrading your thermostat can improve the efficiency and comfort of your HVAC system. Advanced options include wi-fi capabilities so you can change the programming from anywhere. Setting it to more mild temps when you are sleeping or away from home can dramatically impact your energy bill; many newer models can even be controlled through your smartphone.

Talk to your local HVAC service company about accessories you can add to your HVAC system when you schedule your next service. Remember, annual service can prevent breakdowns and extend the life and efficiency of your HVAC system, so make sure to keep up with the needed maintenance.

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