Ways to Reduce Strain on Your Air Conditioner

How long your air conditioner will last and how often it will need repairs can be largely controlled by you. The harder your AC needs to work the quicker components will wear out and need replacement. To extend the life of your AC unit and reduce visits from your HVAC service for repairs, lower the strain on your AC with these few tips and tricks.

  • Use your programmable thermostat. Reducing use of your AC when no one is home or during off-peak hours is important for efficiency. Set your temperature higher for when you are not at home.
  • Don’t overdo it. 78-degrees is an efficient setting for your AC when you are at home. Going lower puts excess strain on your unit.
  • Use zones or close off areas. If you have a zone system, shut down zones or rooms you do not use. Or, shut doors where AC is not needed to help keep the main part of your home cooler.
  • Utilize other cooling methods. Just because you have AC doesn’t mean you need to use it all the time. Open the windows at night, use fans and cool down your home without using the AC when possible.
  • Keep up with maintenance. Simply having your AC cleaned, inspected and serviced once or twice a year by a professional can add many years to its lifespan and reduce the need for emergency repairs.

Not only will these tricks and tips extend the life of your AC unit, they can also reduce your monthly energy bills. With a little AC maintenance and planning, you can get a long life from your air conditioner and save money at the same time.

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

Reduce Cooling Energy Costs This Summer

Nothing beats a cool, air conditioned home on a hot summer day. Still, no one likes the shock of a high energy bill after an especially hot summer month. While it can be expected for energy use to be higher when using an air conditioner during the hottest months of the year, there are ways to save energy and money. This summer, enjoy your cool home and reduced energy costs by using these money-saving air conditioning tips: 

  • Perform scheduled maintenance. Your air conditioner will perform better and more efficiently if it is maintained. Before the hottest months of summer hit, have your air conditioner serviced, including having the filter changed.
  • Programmable thermostat. If your unit has a programmable thermostat, use this device to save energy. Program your unit to only cool your home during times when your family is home and awake, usually during the late afternoon and early evening. If you do not have a programmable thermostat, you may want to invest in one of these energy-saving devices.
  • Insulate your cooled air. Keep drapes or blinds closed during the hot daytime hours, keeping cooled air in and the hot sun out. This can reduce how hard you air conditioner must work to cool the air in your home.
  • Energy efficient unit. If your air conditioner is 10 or more years old, it will likely be less efficient than almost any unit sold today. Many older units have less than half of the efficiency of new models, so investing in a new HVAC unit can save you money for years to come. 

Whether it is time to invest in a new thermostat or air conditioner, or just time to have your unit serviced, your local HVAC service company can help you save money off your energy bills this summer.

Posted on behalf of James Smith, ClimateSmith LLC


What Is SEER?

If you have been shopping for a new air conditioning unit, you most likely have come across SEER ratings on different models. The SEER stands for the seasonal energy efficiency rating, which is a gauge of how much cooling output is given against the input of energy. SEER ratios are established by the  Air Conditioning, Heating, and Refrigeration Institute (AHRI), which define what these ratings mean when buying an air conditioning unit. 

Analyzing SEER Ratios

When researching what air conditioning units will best fit your needs, the SEER ratio can have an important impact on your final purchasing decision. In a nutshell, the higher the rating, the better efficiency of the air conditioner. The rating is created by calculating BTUs, watts per hour and total hours used. To compute the rating, the BTUs and watts are multiplied by the hours used. These two numbers are used to create the ratio or rating. 

The SEER ratio is generally listed on a sticker attached to the air conditioning unit, or will be listed within the product specifications if you’re shopping online. You may also see units that list EER, which is the energy efficiency rating. The big difference between these two is that SEER is gauging the efficiency of the unit during an entire warm season, where EER is rating efficiency for certain temperature periods.

Not all air conditioning unit may display SEER; however, your local HVAC service professional can easily calculate this rating for you. SEER is not the only consideration when buying a new unit for efficiency, but is also important for choosing the right size and model for your specific home, which is why it is always best to consult with your air conditioning professional when purchasing a new unit.

Posted on behalf of James Smith, ClimateSmith LLC


The Bigger Is Better AC Myth

On hot summer days, we want to be able to get away from the heat with refreshing, cold air in our homes. To maintain that cool air, we depend on our air conditioning units to keep the heat at bay. So when it’s time to buy a new air conditioner, many homeowners are convinced that they should buy a unit that’s bigger and more powerful, giving them the cold air they desire. However, bigger is not necessarily better when it comes to AC units. In fact, the only things that will be bigger will be your energy bills, in most cases. 

The Right Size AC Unit Is The Better Unit

AC units come in a variety of sizes and powers, meant to cool different sizes of homes. It makes sense that a 4,000 square foot home will need a larger AC unit than a home that is less than 2,000 square feet. However, some homeowners get caught in the trap of thinking that if they buy the larger unit made for a larger home, they will get increased comfort. Unfortunately, that is not necessarily true. What will happen is that they will pay more to cool their  home to the same temperature that a correct sized AC unit could have done for less money and energy. 

If you have a correctly sized AC unit that is not cooling your home effectively, it is most likely due to problems with the unit, not because the unit is too small. Before spending the money to replace the entire unit, call your local HVAC service company to inspect and service your existing unit. It may just need a tune-up, new filter or some other simple and affordable service. If you do need a new system, they can offer you solutions for AC units which are appropriately sized for your home, and will be efficient as well as effective.

Posted on behalf of James Smith, ClimateSmith LLC


Lower Costs By Reducing Your Need for Air Conditioning

Of course, it should go without saying that if we use less air conditioning then that should reduce our costs. However, most of us just want to run out and buy a new, bigger, better, more energy efficient air conditioning system. That, too, can be a solution to high summer energy costs. But, before you do that, try some of these cheaper ways to reduce your cooling costs by reducing your need for mechanical air conditioning in the first place. 

Improve your insulation and air sealing to prevent heat from entering your home, much the same as you take precautions to prevent cold air from entering your home in the winter. Rid yourself of old appliances that give off a lot of heat. Consider replacing that energy wasting, inefficient refrigerator and remember to unplug anything electronic if you are not using it. Even light bulbs can give off heat, so replace those incandescent bulbs with LEDs. Shade those east and west windows during peak sun exposure times. If you are considering repairs or replacement of your exterior finishes, look for energy products that will help to cut down on heat gain through your roof, paint or siding. Fans can create a lot of comfortable cool air when there isn’t much humidity; they are quite effective, especially ceiling fans, while using much less energy than an air conditioner. 

If you are still looking to upgrade or purchase a new air conditioning system for your home, remember that every home has specific requirements. Your local HVAC professional contractor can ensure that you get the most effective and energy efficient air conditioning system for the your individual needs.

Why You Need to Change Furnace Filters in the Summer

At first glance, the words “furnace” and “summer” just seem incongruent; they don’t go together!  Why worry about changing your furnace filter in the summer? Because, most of today’s HVAC systems consist of ducting through which your furnace’s forced-heated air flows and your central air conditioning flows, in addition to an air exchange system that literally exchanges (in/out) the air of your home. Most of us just naturally tend to be fairly cognizant of changing that filter in the winter, but think of it less often, if at all, during the summer months.

Since all of the air that you breathe in your home flows through the furnace filter, it is extremely important that this filter be changed, at the very least, every three months if not monthly. The same HVAC system that moves air throughout your home during the winter, will be moving the  air throughout your home in the summer. Your air filter has an affect on the quality of  your indoor air, as well as the efficiency of your cooling system. Your filter can become clogged as it collects dust, pet dander, pollen, etc., making it more difficult for air to get through. It can cause the fans to work harder, thereby increasing your energy bill.  Frequent filter changes will help to increase the lifespan of your entire HVAC system.

So, yes, your furnace filter needs to be changed even in the summer. Don’t let dirty filters hinder the work of your HVAC system or harm your indoor air quality, regardless of the season. Anytime you need maintenance or repairs, make sure to call your local HVAC professional who can ensure the proper functioning of your ventilating system all year long.

Reasons to Consider Duct Sealing

Traditional forced-air HVAC systems keep your home warm in the winter and cool in the summer. They can also be a source of major energy usage, especially if they’re not properly maintainted. 

While some energy loss can be attributed to improper thermostat placement, failure to maintain a system and inefficient insulation, the EPA estimates that up to twenty percent of heated or cooled air circulating through an HVAC system is lost through leaks in the home’s ductwork. Leaking ductwork dramatically reduces the efficiency with which your system operates, while increasing your energy bills. The problem can become even more pronounced when a duct system runs through attics, crawlspaces and other areas with temperatures that aren’t maintained by the HVAC system. 

When the air ducts within your home are leaking, the rises in your energy bills may be gradual and, as such, difficult to notice. In addition to higher energy bills, one sign of possible leaks within your ductwork is uneven heating and cooling of your home. If some rooms never seem to be the same temperature as the rest of your house, it could be attributed to leaks within the ductwork leading to those rooms. A central unit that seems to run almost constantly in order to maintain a comfortable temperature may also be struggling to keep up the setting you’ve chosen while heated or cooled air is being lost in the attic or crawlspace. 

Discussing your concerns and possible solutions, including the sealing of your ductwork, with a licensed and experience HVAC contractor in your area can help you save big bucks over time, as well as reducing your home’s carbon footprint.

Earth-Conscious and Cost-Effective Air Conditioning

When it comes to cooling your home, there are ways to stay comfortable while saving on energy costs and doing your part to help save the planet. 

If you have an older air conditioning system, replacing it with a more up-to-date and efficient model can actually pay for itself over time in money saved on energy bills. A new air conditioner can make a very real difference in your energy usage on a monthly and annual basis. 

Another great way to save money by using less energy is to install a programmable thermostat that will raise and lower temperature settings automatically when your family is out of the home or sleeping. Looking into having the duct-work within your home sealed can also prevent energy loss through leakage. Keep in mind, while you’re looking for ways to boost your cooling system’s efficiency, that many tasks related an air conditioning will require the attention of a professional. 

A licensed and experienced HVAC contractor in your area can help you find a variety of ways to save money, reduce your impact on the planet and lower your carbon footprint without sacrificing comfort. In some cases, measures as small as the installation of a few ceiling fans for even weather stripping can make a noticeable difference. Making sure that you change your air filters as scheduled and that your HVAC system is serviced on a regular basis is essential to energy efficiency. By reducing breakdowns and keeping your system at peak performance, you can get the most out of it without forcing it to waste energy or work too hard.

Are Some Rooms Warmer Than Others in Your Home?

Are family members always battling over the thermostat in your home? Is someone too hot and someone too cold? Is one person throwing off their blankets while another person is asking for extras? 

These differences can often be just different comfort levels between different individuals, but if you find that certain rooms or areas of your home really do feel cooler or hotter than others, then you may be dealing with improper distribution of heating and cooling air through your HVAC system. 

An HVAC system that has been properly designed and is operating properly should provide evenly distributed heat and cooling and maintain comfort levels throughout the home. If this is not the case, you may want to schedule a complete system efficiency analysis of your HVAC system, including the distribution system. 

For a forced air system this will include ductwork and vents, in addition to the furnace itself. For a boiler system, it will include the entire hot water distribution system. Thermostats will need to be tested to be sure they are operating properly. 

Following the inspection, the HVAC contractor should be able to give you a full report with maintenance and repair issues that have been uncovered, as well as their recommendations for addressing those issues and how they might be affecting the temperature levels in your home. In some cases, it may be determined that heating and distribution system were not properly sized or designed to meet the needs of the home. Again, a reputable HVAC contractor will be able to explain exactly what the flaws are in the system and make recommendations for correction. 

Don’t keep fighting over the thermostat and putting sweaters on and then taking them off again. Schedule a full HVAC system inspection.  Your home will be more comfortable and you will save money on heating and cooling costs.