Solving the Mystery of Temperature Fluctuations Throughout Your Home

Does it seem like some rooms in your home are always a little warmer or cooler than the rest? It can be frustrating to have uneven temperatures throughout your home and it could be costing you more on your energy bills. Temperature fluctuations between zones or rooms in your home can be caused by many different issues, making it a mystery for some homeowners. Here are some common contributors to this issue to help you solve the climate-control mystery.

Location of the Thermostat

Every room has different impacts on the temperature. Rooms on one side of the home may get morning sunshine, while the other side warms up in the afternoon. Where the thermostat is located in relation to these factors can impact the different temperatures felt in each room.

A zoning system with sensors in each room can alleviate this issue. This can be accomplished with dampers in ductwork that cut off rooms that are too warm or too cold due to their location. Mini-splits can also be used to create single zones.

Ductwork Difficulties

One of the main reasons for fluctuations in temperature in different rooms is ductwork issues. Before the early 2000’s, many ductwork systems were installed without the right framework and support, leading to leaks down the road. This can account for many differences in temperature from room to room and also means air is coming in or leaking out, creating less efficiency.

To determine the reason for your temperature fluctuations, contact your local HVAC service and have an energy evaluation and inspection completed on your system. Not only can fixing these issues create improved comfort in your home, it can lower your energy bills for substantial savings.

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

Are Pests Causing Problems with Your HVAC System?

Most people do not want pests in their home. Rodents, insects, snakes and other critters are not welcome in most homes and with good reason. However, there are parts of your home that extend to the outside and can invite pests to live on the outskirts without coming inside. Your HVAC system may be a haven for unwelcome pests and they could be causing problems without your knowledge.

Pests Living in Your Ductwork

The ductwork for your HVAC system could be harboring pests like rodents, reptiles and insects. Rodents are known for their ability to chew through almost anything, including metal. If they create a hole in the ductwork, they may find their way in and allow other pests to follow.

Holes in the ductwork can cause lost energy efficiency and impact climate control. Plus, those pests may be living, and dying, in your ducts. This can create air quality issues as their remains contaminate the air that flows through your ducts.

Pests Living In Outdoor AC Units

Another place an unwanted pest may want to visit is your outdoor AC unit. They even decide to make it their home, especially during the winter. Birds, rodents and snakes can create nests in your outdoor unit that can cause major damage once the unit begins working again in the spring. Rodents can also chew wiring, hoses and other components, causing significant damage.

Unfortunately, you may not know there are pests causing HVAC issues until you have your system inspected or it breaks down from damage. This is a good reason to have an annual HVAC inspection and tune-up performed to ensure your ducts and outdoor AC units are sealed properly to keep out those destructive pests.

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

Keeping Your Condensate Drain Clog-Free

One of the key elements of an air conditioner is the evaporator coil, which cools the air as it passes over or through the coils. As this occurs, condensation accumulates and needs to be drained. The condensate drain is essential for removing the moisture created in the cooling process, but it is possible for it to become clogged. If this happens, water can overflow and leak into your home, causing expensive water damage. Keeping the condensate drain clear is an important maintenance issue to protect your home and the efficiency of your AC unit.

Condensate Drain Maintenance

What clogs condensate drains in AC units? Usually clogs are due to dust, pet hair or mold that get inside the drain lines. A quality AC filter can help reduce the amount of dust and debris that can make it inside the unit, but mold is always a possibility. If you have a tune-up or annual service performed on your AC unit at least once a year, the drain should be cleaned during this service. However, you can clean the drain periodically during the cooling season to prevent clogs.

To clean the drain, using boiling water to clear the PVC or drain tubing is usually all that is needed. You can check with your HVAC service or your AC manual to see if a cleaning solution or bleach water option is recommended.

If a drain clog does occur, you want to ensure that your AC shuts off and does not overflow water into your home. Make sure to ask your HVAC service professional about installing an emergency shut-off feature, that will turn off the AC unit if the condensate drain becomes clogged to protect your home from damage.

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

Is Your AC Unit Ready to Weather the Storm?

If a hurricane or severe wind storm hits your region, is your home and AC unit ready to weather the storm? Many times, homeowners forget about their AC unit when preparing for a natural disaster situation. On top of securing garage doors, windows and shutters, you need to make sure your AC unit is ready to handle high winds and lightning strikes. Before storm season arrives, here are a few tips to get your outdoor AC unit ready to handle any storms that come your way.

  • Tie downs. Your AC condenser unit needs the right straps and tie downs that will keep it secure if high winds hit. You do not want to be waiting until the last minute to get these precautions in place.
  • AC service. When you have your air conditioning system serviced in the spring and early summer, talk to your service technician about the type of tie downs that will work best for your unit. Your HVAC service may have suggestions to protect your unit for the type of weather you face in your region.
  • Add a surge protector. It is a good idea to have a surge protector in place to protect your AC unit from lightening and voltage surge damage during heavy storms that can occur at any time.

Don’t let your outdoor AC unit become a damage casualty of the next big storm to hit your town. Contact your local HVAC service company to get your air conditioning unit ready for the summer and ask about the best options for securing and protecting your unit from storm, wind and lightening damage.

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

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

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

When Should You Replace Your AC Unit?

If your AC unit needs a repair and the estimate is for $300-$700 or more, you may be wondering if it is time to replace your system versus repair it. As air conditioning systems become older, repair services increase in frequency and often in costs. While many AC units can last 15 years or more, there comes a point when you should consider replacement as a viable option instead of putting more money into a unit that is reaching the end of its lifespan. Here are some ways to determine when you should replace your AC unit.

Is It Ten Years or Older?

New air conditioning units have better options in efficiency. If your unit is over ten years old, you may be better off upgrading to a new system that will save you money on energy costs. Depending on the efficiency of your current unit, you could save hundreds of dollars each year by upgrading sooner rather than later.

$5,000 Rule

One way that HVAC professionals recommend determining repair versus replacement is the $5,000 rule. If you need a repair, take the cost of your repair and multiple it by the age of your unit. If that is more than $5,000, it may be better to replace than repair and vice versa. If the repair will be $500 and your unit is 10+ years old, multiplying them would be $5,000+ and it is worthwhile to consider replacement.

You want to get the most use from your AC unit, but you also want a system that is reliable and efficient. Before you spend money on repairs on an old unit, take the time to consider whether it is time to replace – it may be the best solution for the long run.

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

Did You Have Your Air Conditioning System Serviced this Year?

It happens every summer. Many people put off having their air conditioning serviced in the springtime, thinking they will have time before the hot weather hits. However, with the crazy weather that has happened over the last few years, procrastination is not a good idea. If you are one of the many homeowners that did not get your air conditioning serviced in the spring, don’t wait another moment. Here are a few good reasons to schedule your annual service today: 

  • Energy bills. Air conditioning costs plenty in energy bills so why make it worse with a poorly maintained system? Regular maintenance helps your air conditioning system run efficiently, saving you money off cooling costs over the summer.
  • Reduce replacement costs. A well-maintained A/C unit will last longer and need to be replaced less often, saving you money in the long run. An annual service fee is nominal compared to spending thousands of dollars on a new system.
  • Murphy’s Law. If you don’t have your air conditioning unit serviced, you know that Murphy’s Law means that it will breakdown. Not only will you be without A/C, it will most likely happen on the hottest day or week of the year. You’ll have to wait your turn with the hundreds of other people in your area waiting to get their unit repaired, suffering in the heat while you do so. 

Don’t be another victim to procrastination when it comes to your air conditioning system. Call your local HVAC service company today to schedule your annual maintenance before the dog days of summer arrive. You’ll be glad you did!

Posted on behalf of:
ClimateSmith, LLC
Alpharetta, GA
(770) 475-9555