Fall Tune Ups for Your Heating System

Even when the days are still warm in the fall, winter is never that far away. Don’t wait for the nights to get cold to get your heating system ready for winter. Every heating system needs annual service to ensure it is ready to take on the role of warming your home. Whether you have a heat pump or a furnace, fall is the time for your tune-up.

Heat Pump Tune Ups

Heat pumps require similar tune ups as air conditioning units. Since they do not use fuel, there is no pilot lights or other heating elements to check. However, they still need to have the moving parts lubricated and other elements inspected. The filter needs to be cleaned or changed, belts adjusted, connections inspected, and the thermostat checked for efficiency.

Furnace Tune Ups

Like a heat pump, a furnace will need the filter cleaned or changed, and the various moving parts lubricated. A full inspection of the system should be completed, from the thermostat and wiring to the duct work and blowers. Furnaces will also need the heat exchanger, vent pipe, pilot light and flues inspected. Any soot or corrosion should be removed and a check for carbon monoxide should be performed.

While some maintenance for heat pumps and furnaces like filter changes can be performed by the homeowner, a full tune up by a professional is recommended. When completed in the fall before the temperatures drop, a tune up can ensure the system is ready to perform at the highest efficiency and catch any repairs that need to be done before winter arrives. Schedule your tune up for your heat pump or furnace with your local HVAC pro this fall and be ready for winter when it arrives.

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

How to Clean Your AC Unit

Dirt, dust and other debris can cause performance issues in your AC unit. This is not just in your air filter which should be changed regularly, but on the coils and vents of your indoor and outdoor units also need cleaning. Cleaning your AC unit should be part of your routine maintenance; it can reduce strain on the unit and improve efficiency, as well as extending the life of your unit. Here are some simple tips to clean your AC unit to keep it in tip-top shape.

Cleaning Your Indoor AC Unit

For indoor units, or split units, clean the indoor air conditioning by focusing on the vents and coils. First dust and clean the vents to make sure they are free from blockages. Next, the evaporator coils can be cleaned. Check your manual for the location of your coils on your unit; usually you will need to remove an access panel. The evaporator coil can be cleaned using compressed air, brush or coil cleaner, removing the dust and dirt that accumulate on the coil.

Cleaning Your Outdoor Unit

It is important to keep your outdoor unit free from any obstructions on the outside and clean the coils on the inside. Brush or rake away any debris, creating a 2-foot clearance around the unit. To clean the coil inside, first turn off the power to the unit. Then, remove the cover and clean the coils using compressed air, brush or cleaner; usually the coils can be hosed clean with water to wash away any debris that is loosened. Make sure to also clean all vents to ensure air flow and turn the unit back on when you are done.

Cleaning your AC unit is just part of the maintenance that should be performed. Save yourself time and schedule a service and cleaning through your local HVAC service to keep your AC unit maintained.

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

Why Spring is the Best Time for AC Service

Budding trees and blooming flowers are signs of spring; they are also signs that it is time for annual service on your air conditioning system. You should have service performed on your AC unit at least once a year, but there are good reasons to plan service every year in the spring. Here are a few reasons why spring is the best time of year to get a tune-up, inspection and service on your air conditioning system.

  • Beat the rush. Once the temperatures start rising, the phones at HVAC service companies start ringing. Beat the rush and get your system checked and serviced before you need to wait longer to get an appointment.
  • Avoid breakdowns in the summer. Sure, you can get your AC serviced any time of year, but it is best to have it done right before the hottest season. If parts need to be replaced or there are other issues, get them fixed in the spring to avoid breakdowns during the summer when you need your AC the most.
  • Special deals. Often HVAC services will have a springtime deal on tune-ups and services to encourage their customers to get maintenance done early. You may be able to save money by not procrastinating until the warmer weather hits and your HVAC contractor is too busy to give a discount.

Let the blooming flowers and trees in spring be a reminder each year that it is time for an AC service. Contact your local HVAC contractor to schedule your annual service to get your air conditioning system ready to perform its best for the hot summer months ahead.

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

How to Stay Cool When Your AC is Out

It is not a coincidence that AC units tend to breakdown when temperatures are in the triple digits. The constant strain to keep your home cool can be too much, especially if your unit has not been maintained. Unfortunately, when your AC unit stops working at 9 pm at night, you are probably not alone. There may be dozens of other homeowners in your area experiencing the same problem, putting you at the back of a long line for AC repair.

If your AC unit fails and you need a get through one or more hot days and nights, here are a few tips to keep you cool until you can have your unit repaired:

  • Fans and ice. An old standby method for those with AC to stay cool is fans paired with ice. Grab a few blocks or bags of ice and put a pan of ice in front of the fan to blow cool air your way.
  • Keep the shades closed. During the day, keep your drapes and blinds closed, as well as doors and windows. At night, allow in cooler air from outside to circulate with fans in windows.
  • Cool your bed. One of the worst problems is trying to sleep when it is still 90+ degrees in your home. Put your sheets in the freezer, stick an ice pad in your pillow or slip on damp PJs – whatever you need to do to stay cool, so you can get a little rest.

Of course, the best scenario is not losing your AC at all during the hottest days of summer. Make sure to schedule preventive maintenance before the heat waves hit to ensure your AC unit is ready for hard work ahead.

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

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 for a system efficiency analysis. 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

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

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

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