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 Save Money on HVAC Service and Repairs

Heating and cooling your home is expensive enough without needing to spend hundreds of extra dollars through the year on service and repairs. You want to avoid unexpected costs that can send your household budget into turmoil. If you want to reduce the amount of money you spend on HVAC services, consider these tips to lower costs.

DIY Maintenance

While you may not be able to do all the maintenance for your HVAC system yourself, there are things that anyone can do. Keeping the vents clean and debris from around your outdoor unit can help improve efficiency and reduce wear on your unit. Check the manufacturer recommendations for maintenance and do as much as you can yourself, reducing the amount of maintenance you will need from a professional.

Flat Fees

When you have a problem with your HVAC system and need a diagnostic performed, look for companies with flat fees. This way you know upfront what it will cost for the service call without any surprises. You can find out what is wrong and get a quote. If the repair cost seems high, you can always call around to see if you can find a better price. But often the company you call will be willing to give you a fair price to get the job.

Keep Up with Service

While annual HVAC service does cost money, it can save you more in the long run. Do what maintenance you can yourself, but still schedule annual maintenance in the spring or fall when rates are the best for service by a professional. This can help reduce the needs for repairs, extend the life of your unit and keep it running efficiently.

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

Why Hire HVAC Professionals?

Your heating and air conditioning professionals are trained to keep you cool in summer and warm in winter. HVAC professionals have the expertise to deliver prompt and effective temperature and humidity control all year round.

Summer days can be long and humid, no time to be worried about your home’s air conditioning system. Let your local licensed and insured HVAC technicians inspect your home system and make any necessary repairs for you.

Tired of watching your heating air go out the window? Professional repair technicians will provide blown-in insulation to keep that warm air inside through the winter months. They can also provide full analysis of your home to determine its energy efficiency and ways that you can save on your energy bills.

A reliable HVAC service will be dedicated to delivering fast heating and cooling solutions, and available for repairs and service 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year. When you call with an HVAC emergency, you should count on reaching a live person who will deliver the help you need quickly.

Professional maintenance is a key component of reliable heating and air conditioning. Heating and air service technicians will inspect your home system thoroughly and perform any necessary repairs to keep your home comfortable throughout the year.

Want to protect your home from damaging mold and mildew? Install a dehumidifier in your home to help reduce the health and structural risks they present. Protect your family as well with our professionally installed carbon monoxide detectors. They will alert you to the presence of these odorless, colorless and toxic fumes in your home.

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

It’s Time for an HVAC Tune-Up

To prevent HVAC failure and expensive repairs, your system should receive at least an annual tune-up, with many systems requiring bi-annual service. Spring is the perfect time to have your system inspected and regular maintenance performed, right after the colder months of winter and before the hot summer weather starts.  Regular tune-ups on your HVAC offers many benefits, including:

  • Prolonging the life of your HVAC system. A new HVAC system can cost tens of thousands of dollars. Make your system last as long as possible with a small investment into regular tune-ups and maintenance.
  • Prevent inconvenient and expensive breakdowns. According to Murphy’s Law, your air conditioning unit will wait until the hottest week of summer to go on the fritz. Many common repair problems can be prevented with regular maintenance.
  • Reduce energy costs. Tune-ups include filter changes and other maintenance services that help your HVAC system perform more efficiently. This can help lower your energy use, saving you money all year long off your utility bills.
  • Keep your warranty valid. If you have a newer HVAC system, you may be required to have tune-ups to protect your warranty. Don’t miss a scheduled service that could cost you thousands of dollars on repairs or replacement that could have been covered under the manufacturer warranty.

To make it easier to remember when your HVAC needs the annual tune-up, plan to have service every spring, or every spring and fall for bi-annual maintenance requirements. Your local HVAC service provider can perform all the needed maintenance, ensuring your HVAC system is ready for the hot summer weather ahead.

Posted on behalf of:
ClimateSmith, LLC
Buford, GA
(770) 475-9528

HVAC Tips for New Home Buyers

If you are looking to buy a new home this year, there are many factors that will affect your buying decision. While you may be more concerned with the size, location and curb appeal of the home, you also need to consider future maintenance. One of the largest expenditures for homeowners is the heating and cooling of the home. Before buying a new home, follow these tips to uncover any possible HVAC issues before you sign on the dotted line.

Ask About the HVAC System

You need to know what kind of HVAC system the home contains, how old it is and what maintenance has been done. Most HVAC equipment is very expensive, with furnaces and air conditioning unit costing up to $10,000 each. If the equipment is 10-15 years old or older, it may need to be replaced in the near future. Ask for all records of purchase and maintenance of the HVAC system.

Get an Inspection

Most likely you are not an HVAC expert and will not know if there is an issue with the HVAC system until you are living in the home. The best way to know the condition of the equipment such as the furnace, air conditioning unit, heat pump or duct work is to have a professional inspection performed. This is a worthwhile investment considering it could add $10,000-$20,000 on to the home’s purchase price if the system needs to be replaced soon.

The cost of a home ownership does not end after closing. Expenditures on monthly heating and cooling, plus HVAC repairs and replacement should all be considered when buying a new home. Talk to your local HVAC service provider to learn more about scheduling an inspection and what HVAC systems would be the most efficient for your new home.

Posted on behalf of:
ClimateSmith, LLC
Marietta, GA
(770) 475-9564

Heat Pumps Versus Air Conditioning

As summer approaches, those of you who are considering different ways to stay cool this summer may be shopping for a new cooling system for your home. There are two main types of cooling systems, either an air conditioning system or a heat pump. While both systems will cool your home during the summer, it is the heating factor that can determine which will be the best option for your home. Here are three factors to consider: 

  • Winter temperatures. For those who live in a mild climate with moderate winters, a heat pump can be the most efficient option. While heat pumps are not designed to heat well in frigid temperatures, they are fine for heating on cool days when temperatures hover around 50 degrees. For colder winters, a furnace will offer more efficient heat, paired with either a heat pump in a dual system, or a central air conditioner for summer.
  • Humidity. For climates with high humidity, heat pumps can offer both heating, cooling and humidity control, while air conditioning does not. For many homeowners in the southeast regions of the U.S., a heat pump system can be the best option.
  • Energy efficiency. Heat pumps can offer substantial energy savings over a furnace and air conditioning unit in mild climates. The energy used to heat on cool days with a heat pump can save up to 40% off your electricity bill. However, in cold temperatures, a furnace is more efficient. 

Both systems can offer refuge from the hot summer days ahead, but it most likely will be the heating aspect that will determine your choice of cooling system. Talk to your local HVAC professional about options for your home to learn more about which system will best meet your needs. 

Posted on behalf of James Smith, ClimateSmith LLC


Three Common AC Condenser Problems

When your air conditioning unit stops working correctly, there is a good chance the problem could be traced to the condenser component. The condenser is comprised of coils that cool the heated refrigerant which the compressor has pressurized into a hot liquid. The hot liquid travels through the condenser coils while air blows on the coils,  giving off heat through the coil fins. Once the fluid reaches the end of the condenser coils it has cooled, leaving the coils through a valve that transforms the fluid into a cool, gaseous mist. This process is essential for your AC unit to work efficiently. 

3 Common Condenser Problems

There are a few problems that can stop your condenser and AC unit from performing optimally. Your condenser must be receiving air to cool the coils; it also must be able to push the hot refrigerant through the coils and radiate the heat from the hot fluid through the fins.  Here are three of the most common issues: 

  • Dirty coils. If the condenser’s coils are dirty, the heat may not be escaping properly. Dust and debris can insulate this heat.  The coils can be cleaned with water, spraying off the coils while the unit is turned off.
  • Blocked air flow. If sufficient air is not allowed into the AC unit from outside, there may not be enough air flow to cool the coils. Make sure that there is nothing blocking the air vent into the AC unit, either on the outside or in the unit.
  • Damaged coils or fins. The coils and fins on the condenser can become damaged over time. If fins are dented or bent, they can restrict the heat release needed to cool the air. If coils are damaged, it can cause refrigerant leaks. 

Regular residential HVAC service can ensure your condenser is clean and in good repair.  Before summer begins, have your AC unit and condenser serviced to make sure it is ready for the hot months again.

Posted on behalf of James Smith, ClimateSmith LLC


Four Common Causes Of HVAC Breakdowns

Although an HVAC system has many different mechanical parts, there are a few common areas that are typically more likely to cause a breakdown in the unit. If the system begins to malfunction or stops working altogether, these are the first areas that should be checked. Some can be easily remedied and may not require a service call to a HVAC professional, while others will most likely need a skilled technician to fix.  

  • Check the thermostat. The first area to check is whether the thermostat is on. It is not uncommon for the thermostat to accidentally get turned off, and a professional is called out just to turn it back on again.
  • Blown fuses. Fuses can blow when the HVAC begins to overheat. Check fuses first, to see if that’s the problem. While this is an easy fix, there may be other problems that should be looked at if the unit is overheating or if the fuse blows again shortly after being replaced.
  • Clogged filters. Filters that become clogged can wreak havoc on your HVAC system. Check the filter to see if you can see through it when held up against a light. If it is clogged or dirty, it needs to be replaced. 
  • Worn out contactors.  Each motor or compressor within an HVAC unit has a contactor, which supplies electrical current to start them. These can wear out over time, and may need to be replaced. 

There are many other problems that can go wrong with an HVAC unit, however these four areas are a good place to start. Scheduling regular residential HVAC maintenance and inspections for your unit can eliminate many of these problems before they occur, so make sure to follow the manufacturer’s maintenance recommendations.

Posted on behalf of James Smith, ClimateSmith LLC



Lower Energy Costs With Solar HVAC

Have you been thinking about converting your building’s HVAC system to solar? Some statistics indicate that a building’s HVAC system accounts for forty to sixty percent of the building’s energy use. While it is a given that HVAC systems are a necessity, nevertheless they are largely responsible for sending utility costs soaring. 

Replacing older units with up-to-date high efficiency rooftop units will immediately save you energy costs. As aging equipment tends to require costly repairs and service, this step alone will eliminate such costs. Furthermore, decreased overall energy consumption will lower operating costs, in addition to requiring less peak electrical demands. 

With the addition of solar energy, an increase in operational cost savings can be realized by harnessing the sun’s power to run a building’s entire HVAC system and more. Through reduced dependence on the utility electric grid and lower carbon emissions, building owners can control their energy costs much more effectively. Solar energy can be integrated without costly changes to the building’s electrical infrastructure and can help the rooftop unit achieve net-zero energy status. Because solar modules can generate more power than the rooftop unit consumes, power is returned to the utility grid when the energy is not being utilized; thus, potentially providing building owners with a utility tax credit. 

As the building industry continues to evolve with more green building requirements, upgrading to a solar HVAC system can help your building achieve such sustainability goals, in addition to substantial energy and cost savings. If it is time for your building to go solar, contact your local HVAC professional to ensure that all of your individual needs are met during that transitional process.

What Does HVAC Stand For and How Are They Related?

Heating, Ventilation, and Air Conditioning is a system design of technology based on the mechanical engineering discipline and principles far beyond the understanding of us typical homeowner consumers. So let’s skip the technical mumbo-jumbo; this is not an engineering or physics classroom.

What is important to know is that it is all about developing an adequate system for your particular space (home, office, car) that will provide the most effective indoor environmental comfort. A product of the industrial revolution, HVAC systems are continuously reviewed and reworked, ever striving for greater effectiveness and energy efficiency.

The design of the HVAC system is critical because building conditions are regulated to provide us with fresh outdoor air that is safe and healthy. Simply put, it is a means of providing and removing air delivery from enclosed spaces.

While the terms “heating” and “air conditioning” appear to be self-explanatory in their definitions, primary health concerns can result from their operation without the coexistence of proper ventilation. It is easy to see that these three functions are interrelated. Ventilation is the process of circulating air within a building and exchanging it with outside air. An acceptable HVAC system should be designed to “maintain” indoor air quality, control temperature and humidity, and limit exposure to the health threats of airborne bacteria or carbon dioxide, while oxygen is replenished. Furthermore, potential air contaminants (such as smoke or dust) should be removed.

With continuous changes in technology, energy efficiency and government regulation, it is always best to contact your local HVAC expert when contemplating changing, replacing or installing a new heating and air conditioning system; your health and comfort may depend on them.