Keeping Heating Costs Low During the Winter

The pendulum swings from summer to winter, especially when it comes to climate control costs. Summertime is all about lowering cooling costs by keeping out heat from outside; winter is just the opposite. Just like shading your home from the hot sun can lower your cooling costs, there are ways to manage heating costs during the winter. Here are a few tips to lower your heating bill this winter.

Use Your Thermostat Wisely

Programmable thermostats can be one of the most valuable tools for managing energy costs. Turn down the heat during times when no one is home and when you are asleep. This can make a significant difference in your heating costs.

Use Ceiling Fans

Ceiling fans are not just for cooling; they also can push warm air down to help with heating costs. Make sure your ceilings fans are on “winter mode” to keep air flowing downward when the heat is on. You can notice an almost immediate difference in the temperature of the room when ceiling fans are used correctly.

Add Blankets and Layers

You do not need to run around your home in shorts and bare feet. You can dress in more layers and add blankets to beds and couches for warmth instead of turning up the heat.

Let the Sun In

If you have shades to keep sun out in the summer, open them up and let that sunshine warm your home in the winter. Rooms with afternoon sun can be easier to heat if the sun is allowed in.

Just following these few tips can make a difference in your heating costs. Make sure your furnace is maintained and working efficiently – schedule a tune-up and keep air filters clean to help lower heating costs this winter.

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

Managing an Effective HVAC Retrofit on Your Facility

If you manage a large commercial facility, the thought of retrofitting your HVAC system can be an overwhelming prospect. There are many different elements that must coincide to limit downtime and ensure a quick restoration of your HVAC system and facility. A new HVAC system can be necessary, but you need to know the process will go quickly and smoothly. What you need is a retrofit HVAC contractor to handle the process for your building.

Efficient Management of Chiller/HVAC Retrofits

Experienced industrial HVAC contractors can be your best option for managing your HVAC or chiller retrofit. If you find the right contractor, you can allow them to schedule and manage the process to ensure the retrofit is performed quickly. Some of the best commercial HVAC contractors can perform a complete retrofit over a weekend, limiting downtime of your facility. As part of the process, they can manage:

  • Coordinating schedules of different contractors
  • Obtaining any necessary permits
  • Scheduling electrical, roofing, welding and other construction work
  • Complete design and installation
  • Shutdown process

When you have a qualified HVAC contractor managing the retrofit process, the downtime and startup can go smoothly. If the right contractor handles the details, everything can be completed on-time and with as little disruption to your business as possible. After a weekend of an overhaul on your facility, you can enjoy the benefits of a new, efficient HVAC or chiller that will save on energy costs.

Make getting a new HVAC system easier with a qualified commercial contractor that offers retrofit installations and project management. Take the time to find the best industrial contractor to save you the time and frustration of managing this complicated process yourself.

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

Is Your Outdoor AC Unit in Danger of Theft?

Your outdoor AC unit is not just a valuable component to your home, it can be valuable as scrap metal and for other materials. Thieves are often on the lookout for unsecured air conditioning units that can be easily dismantled and sold for materials. There are a few ways to reduce the chance of theft of your outdoor AC unit with a few preventive steps.

Improve Visibility

If your AC unit is surrounding by trees, bushes or other landscaping items that block it from view, this can be enticing to thieves. Having a place that is shrouded from view while they dismantle the equipment can reduce their chance of getting caught. Clear visibility and add outdoor lighting at night near your AC unit to reduce temptation for thieves.

Connect Your AC to Your Home Security System

If you have a home security system, check into connecting your HVAC system. Many newer home security and home automation systems can communicate with your HVAC system, which can alert you if your AC unit becomes disconnected during a theft attempt.

Lock Up Your Unit

One of the best deterrents to keep your AC unit safe is to lock it inside a condenser cage. These sturdy cages protect your AC unit and make it less likely that a thief will attempt to dissemble the cage to steal your unit. It is important to make sure that the cage does not interfere with airflow, so contact your local HVAC service to have one installed.

These few steps can help minimize the chance of a thief stealing your AC unit. This can save you the cost of replacement and the inconvenience of living without your AC if it is stolen.

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

3 Reasons Your Furnace Is Short-Cycling

Does your furnace turn on, run for a few minutes, then shut off again, just to restart again a short while later? This is called short-cycling and it is a sign that something is not working correctly in your furnace. This constant starting and stopping causes more wear and tear on your furnace and will drive up your heating costs each month. There are a three common reasons for short-cycling – some easy to fix, others that are larger problems.

Thermostat Malfunction

One of the simplest reasons your furnace is short-cycling is a communication issue in your thermostat. If your thermostat is older, or just malfunctioning, replacing it could stop the short-cycling problem, lowering your energy bills and reducing wear on your furnace.

Overheating Issues

If the heat exchanger in your furnace is overheating, this can be the reason that the furnace turns off after just a short period, then restarts when it cools down. This can be a serious problem; it can cause cracks in the heat exchanger that can lead to carbon monoxide leaks in your home. However, it is usually caused by restricted air flow or a dirty filter, which can be easily fixed.

Your Furnace is Too Large

If you have a new furnace and short-cycling is occurring, your furnace may be too large for your home. Bigger is not always better – when purchasing a furnace, it should be right sized for your home or it can cause problems. A furnace that is too large will heat too quickly and often the air is not distributed properly, causing the unit to turn on and off more often.

If you are not sure what is causing your short-cycling problem, the best solution is to have your furnace inspected by a local HVAC service.

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

4 Ways to Cut Down Commercial Heating Costs

Utility costs directly impact a business’ bottom line. Climate control in commercial buildings can be expensive, especially in large facilities. Finding ways to lower heating and cooling costs can decrease overhead and increase profits – yet many facilities are still poorly equipped when it comes to the efficiency of their HVAC systems. Here are four ways to help minimize building heating costs:

  1. Improve Insulation. While all commercial buildings are insulated to some extent, many are not insulated to the extent they should be for energy efficiency. Adding insulation to exterior walls and roofs, as well as insulated windows can help manage temperature fluctuations.
  2. Invest in an energy recovery ventilator. Reduce the load on the HVAC system with an energy recovery ventilator. This ventilation system recycles energy from released air from the building and preconditions air coming into the building, helping improve the efficiency of the HVAC system.
  3. Building automation system. Automated controls with remote access can help building managers improve their HVAC efficiency. With access to all controls from any computer or mobile device, multiple buildings and zones can be managed from anywhere, cutting down on heating and cooling costs.
  4. Keep up with HVAC maintenance. Scheduled, routine maintenance is one of the best ways to improve HVAC efficiency and prevent breakdowns. Find a quality commercial HVAC service that offers cost-efficient maintenance plans to ensure the existing equipment is kept well-maintained to reduce energy use.

Investments into efficiency can greatly impact energy costs for heating and cooling, often paying for themselves within a few years with lower utility bills. Contact a local commercial HVAC service to schedule an energy analysis for your commercial building to explore options to cut your energy bills and overhead.

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

Fall Checklist for Your Furnace

When the trees begin to lose their leaves and the air becomes a little cooler, you know what time it is – time to tune-up your furnace. There is a good chance your furnace has not been on since March or April, and it needs a little maintenance before it begins heating your home this winter. Here is a quick fall checklist of furnace maintenance items to do before the winter months arrive.

  • Change the filter. It is always good to start the season with a fresh filter. Most furnace filters need to be changes once a month or every other month, depending on the amount of use and the type of filter.
  • Burn off the dust. The first time your furnace turns on, it is usually a little unpleasant. Dust in the vents and inside the furnace can create an odor. Fire up your furnace for a test run and open the windows and doors to air out the house while you burn off the dust of summer.
  • Clear vent areas. Blowing cold air is different than hot air. For safety, make sure nothing flammable is near vents or the furnace, and that the areas in front of vents are clear.
  • Schedule your tune-up. It can behoove you to schedule your annual furnace tune-up every fall to make sure everything is still in good working order. Routine HVAC maintenance can help efficiency and inspection of the equipment can identify issues that need repair before winter arrives.

Don’t wait for the cold weather to begin worrying about your heating system; get your furnace ready for winter this fall by crossing these maintenance items off your list.

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

Benefits of Replacing AC and Furnace Together

Your air conditioning unit and furnace work together for climate control in your home, but they are still separate systems. It is likely that one will wear out before the other if they were installed at the same time, most likely the AC unit as AC units tend to have a shorter lifespan than furnaces. However, replacing one without replacing the other can cause issues for efficiency and impact overall costs. Here are some benefits of replacing both at the same time.

Cohesive System for Efficiency

Replacing both AC and furnace at the same time gives you a chance to match the systems for the best efficiency. Your HVAC professional can help you find a AC and furnace that use the same air handler, reducing the equipment needed and costs. Plus, matched systems are designed to work together for efficiency, giving you lower energy bills year-round.

Newer Technology

If one system needs replacement, it is a good time to upgrade to newer technology for lower energy costs and convenience. However, you will not receive the full benefits if you have an older furnace or AC unit impacting the new system.

Save on Installation

It costs more to install two systems separately then together. Even if your furnace may have a few years left in it when it is time to replace your AC, it can save you money to do it at the same time. You can either repair your AC to extend its life a little longer or replace your furnace sooner to a more efficient system.

When one half of your HVAC system needs replacing, it is wise to consider the benefits of replacing both together. Discuss your options with your local HVAC professional.

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

Climate Control for a Better Night’s Sleep

Do you toss and turn every night and wake up in the morning unrested? There are many factors that can impact sleep, including the air in your home. Climate control can make a big difference in how well you sleep at night. Here are some ways you can improve your sleep with some adjustments to your HVAC system and air quality in your home.

Cool Down for a Comfortable Sleep

While you may like to snuggle under warm blankets at night, keeping the air cooler around you can help improve your quality of sleep. Setting your temperature at nights lower can help you sleep better. If you have zone or room controls, change the thermostat setting in your bedroom to 60-65 degrees for the ideal sleeping temperatures.

Another way to cool down is to use fans in windows. This can reduce cooling costs and provides refreshing moving air while you sleep. The white noise of the fan can also help many people block out other noises and sleep better.

Check Your Humidity

High humidity can cause all types of problems in your home, but it can also impact your sleep. Heavy, muggy air can make it difficult to breathe easy when you are trying to sleep. Check the level of humidity – typically the best level for indoor air quality is around 40-50% to keep the air comfortable and reduce mold and mildew problems. If it is too high, talk to your local HVAC professionals to have a dehumidifier installed in your home.

Changing the air quality and climate in your home can be the solution to finding a good night’s rest. Try these tips to improve the comfort of the air in your home and you may begin noticing you feel more refreshed each morning.

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

6 Easy Ways to Weatherize Your Home

Is the climate-controlled air you spend so much money to create in your home leaking outside? Heating and cooling your home are the biggest expenses you pay for each month. One way to cut utility costs is to ensure the air inside your home is not escaping and that air from outside is not leaking in. Weatherizing your home with a few easy and inexpensive options can reduce your energy bills and keep your home comfortable year-round. Here are six tips for weatherizing your home:

  1. Shrink wrap windows. Give your windows extra insulation by investing in clear shrink wrap. These kits are inexpensive and easy to install, giving your better insulation for your windows without replacement.
  2. Seal windows and doors. Adding a quick caulking around windows and doors can reduce leaks.
  3. Stop drafts. Invest in draft stoppers for the bottom of exterior doors. This includes your door to your garage, unless your garage is climate controlled.
  4. Close fireplace dampers. Unless the fireplace is in use, make sure the damper is kept closed to reduce leaks in and out.
  5. Insulate the door to your attic. Often the door to attics is not insulated, even if the rest of the attic has insulation. Adding a strip of insulation to the door can cut down on leaks.
  6. Duct work leaks. Many homes built over 20 years ago have ductwork that leaks. Have your HVAC ductwork inspected by a professional to ensure that it is sealed and not leaking out the expensive air you are heating or cooling.

A few small steps to winterize your home can have big savings on your energy bills. Use these tips to ensure your home is better insulation for higher efficiency.

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

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