Do You Need a Carbon Monoxide Detector?

Every year, usually during the winter months, you hear of tragic deaths due to carbon monoxide (CO) poisoning. This deadly, yet odorless and colorless gas, can quickly cause bodily harm and death when people are exposed to it in enclosed areas. Since you cannot see, taste or smell it, a carbon monoxide detector is the best way to alert you if it is present in your home. If you don’t have a detector, you may want to get one installed.

Common Sources of Carbon Monoxide

Carbon monoxide does not just appear; it must be from a source. This gas is a bi-product of incomplete burning carbon-based fuels, such as coal, natural gas, wood, propane and oil. Combustion engines in vehicles produce CO, as can appliances and furnaces that use carbon-based fuel for heat or energy. When the proper ventilation is not present, the gas can fill your car or home, putting your health at risk.

CO does not take long to endanger your health. High doses of CO in an enclosed area can cause you to become unconscious within minutes and suffocate you as it deprives your brain of oxygen. Even those that survive CO poisoning can have serious brain damage and other health effects.

Homes that use gas heat or appliances should always have a CO detector, as well as homes that use propane, oil or wood. Homes that only use electricity for power or heat are less prone to CO poisoning, but if a propane or oil heater is used when the electricity is out, there are risks for poisoning. To be safe, all homes should have a CO detector installed. The next time you schedule your annual HVAC service, ask if they can provide CO testing for your home and install a detector to keep you and your family safe.

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

What are the Benefits of HVAC Air Duct Cleaning?

When was the last time you had your HVAC air ducts cleaned? If it has been years or even worse, never, it is time to consider scheduling a duct cleaning. Those air ducts that transport the warm and cool air to the various rooms in your home can stockpile dirt, dust, mold and other debris inside, causing many types of problems. Here are some of the benefits of investing in an air duct cleaning for your HVAC system.

Reduce Energy Costs

Everyone wants lower utility bills, and this is one of the big reasons to clean your air ducts. Dust and debris in your air duct can clog filters and impact your HVAC system, making it run inefficiently. Clean air ducts can help lower your utility costs, a big reason to add this service to your to-do list.

Better Air Quality

What is inside your air ducts is also circulated through your home. Dust, dirt, mold and even pest waste can be coating the inside of your air ducts. When the air is forced through your ducts, it picks up some of these contaminants and releases them into the air you breathe. This can be harmful to your health, especially for anyone with allergies, asthma, lower immune response or any type of respiratory problem.

Air ducts should be cleaned every few years at minimum to help improve the performance of your HVAC system’s efficiency and to help maintain good air quality in your home. Your local HVAC service company can perform this service and ensure your air ducts are well-maintained for a healthier and more efficient home and HVAC system.

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

Making the Most of Your BAS for HVAC

Investing in a building automation system (BAS) can have a dramatic impact on your bottom line – if you make the most of it. A BAS in and of itself will not save money, but if used correctly, it can pay for itself in a matter of a few years or less. It is crucial that your facility managers and employees are familiar with the system and know how to use the controls to reduce energy costs and improve efficiency.

Setting Temperature Controls

One of the best ways to save money with your BAS on energy bills is by controlling the temperature. If certain zones in buildings are not used during certain hours, setting the temperature lower or higher during these hours can save thousands on energy costs.

Occupancy Sensors

If your BAS system has occupancy sensors, you can go a step further than just timers for control. The sensors can detect when certain rooms or zones are occupied, and change the temperature setting accordingly, reducing the need for cooling or heating when not occupied.

Web Management

Newer BASs have options to monitor and manage the system from anywhere on web or cloud-based software. Using the data provided through the software can help you identify areas that are using too much energy for heating or cooling and give you an opportunity to correct the settings for more efficiency.

A new BAS can save 20-40 cents per square foot in utility costs per year. In large facilities, this can be an astronomical savings. If you have an older system that is difficult to use or are not using a BAS at all to control your HVAC system, contact a commercial HVAC service that offers automation upgrades to improve your efficiency for lower overhead costs.

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

6 Symptoms of Sick Building Syndrome

Do you ever notice when you spend time in certain buildings that you start feeling poorly? Often it is not in your mind, it is in the air. Sick building syndrome or SBS is a real problem and a risk to your health. Any building, commercial or residential, can have contaminants in the air that cause symptoms of poor health.

SBS can be caused by a variety of factors that impact air quality. Chemicals, second hand smoke, radon, mold, allergens and other biological elements can be forced through the air through the HVAC system, creating poor air quality. It can be at your workplace, business or home, wherever you have an HVAC system.

For many people, they can begin noticing symptoms caused by SBS within 10-15 minutes of being in the building. For others, it may take longer exposure, depending on their sensitivity to the contaminants. Here are six common symptoms that people can experience with SBS:

  1. Headaches
  2. Skin rashes
  3. Aching muscles
  4. Respiratory issues like coughing or sneezing
  5. Sore throat
  6. Fever

If you have notice that you get any or a combination of these symptoms when in certain buildings, but not in other locations, it could be SBS. It is not just a coincidence that you do not feel well; it could be a very real health concern that involves the air quality in that building.

If you have a home or business that you believe may be causing SBS, contact your local HVAC service. They can perform air quality testing and recommend solutions to combat SBS or improve the filtration in your building for improved health and comfort.

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

5 Reasons to Call an HVAC Service for a Diagnostic

Rarely does an HVAC system stop working without giving some warning signs. Usually your HVAC system will start acting differently before it breaks down. Knowing what to look for can help you avoid a complete loss of climate control on those hot or cold days when you need it most. Here are five signs that should have you reaching for your phone to call an HVAC service for a diagnostic.

  1. Strange sounds. Often an HVAC unit will become louder or make strange noise right before it finally stops. Do not ignore odd sounds from your HVAC system; call for a diagnostic to find out what is wrong.
  2. Unpleasant odors. Do you smell burning or an electrical odor when your HVAC system is running? There may be trouble in the wiring. Not only could this impact your HVAC system, it could be a fire risk.
  3. Thermostat not working right. Does your HVAC turn on or off at the wrong temperature settings? Thermostat problems can cost you on your utility bills and eventually lead to a breakdown.
  4. Moisture. If you notice condensation on or around your unit, there could be a leak or other issue with your air conditioning.
  5. No heat or cold air. If only the fan is blowing, but no heated or cooled air, your HVAC is already in need of service and its time to call in the experts.

Save your less the time and frustration of a HVAC breakdown by proactively watching for signs of trouble. A quick diagnostic can help your HVAC professional find and fix the issue before it causes more damage to your unit and a possible shutdown.

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

Pet Hair and HVAC Systems 101

Furry companions are commonplace in many homes. They become part of the family and can add joy to your life. They can also add extra hair and dander in your home, a problem when you have an HVAC system. If you have furry family members, it is important to know how their hair and dander are affecting your air quality and HVAC system.

Dogs and cats are notorious for shedding. Their hair is everywhere, on furniture, your clothing and your floors. In addition, their skin or dander is constantly flaking off, creating dust around your home. All this hair and dander floats and can be filtered through your HVAC air ducts and filters, causing havoc on your system.

Tips for HVAC and Pet Owners

If you have an HVAC system and pets, you need to be aware of how the hair and dander of your pets can impact your system. Filters can become clogged, and you may have less efficiency. Plus, your system will circulate the dander throughout the home, which can trigger allergies. Here are a few tips to protect your HVAC system from the pet hair and dander:

  • Brush pets regularly to remove excess hair
  • Bath dogs routinely to remove dander and dirt
  • Vacuum and dust your home 1-2 or more per week
  • Change your HVAC filter at least once per month
  • Use an air purifier to help collect hair and dander from the air

You can have your furry friends and an efficient HVAC system, you just need to minimize the amount of hair and dander that is released into the air and keep your filters changed. Talk to your local HVAC service about the best filters to use for homes with pet to get the efficient results.

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

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