Prolong Your Air Conditioner’s Life with These Steps

April 11th, 2014 by Stephen Andrews

Part of saving money with your home’s central air conditioning is ensuring that you receive the longest life possible from it. Nothing wastes money faster than investing in an air conditioner, only to have it fail a few years later… a decade before it should.

Although we cannot control all the factors that can lead to the premature demise of an AC, we can still control most of them. The following tips will help you prolong your air conditioner’s service life so that it reaches it manufacturer’s estimated lifespan—and possibly beyond.

You will need the assistance of professionals, like those at Cool Air Mechanical, to help your air conditioning in Atlanta, GA operate for many years keeping you cool.

Tips to extend your AC’s life

  • Regularly change the air filter: This is an essential step to ensure that your air conditioner 1) doesn’t overwork because of restricted airflow, and 2) doesn’t receive damage from debris getting inside. You should change the filter regularly during the summer.
  • Use fans in your house: The less you need to run your air conditioner, the slower it will age and the longer it will last. If you can, install ceiling fans in the rooms, which increase air circulation and break up pockets of hot air. However, standing fans can work almost as well at keeping you comfortable during moderately warm temperatures so you won’t need to run the AC.
  • Install an upgraded thermostat: A programmable thermostat will help you have better comfort from your air conditioner without requiring it to run as often. Even updating to a basic digital model from a manual model means greater precision cooling and less time spent running the AC unnecessarily.
  • Schedule regular maintenance: If you air conditioner goes for a year without a maintenance visit from an HVAC technician, it will run on average 20% less efficiently. This puts enormous strain on the system and prematurely ages it. Maintenance will also catch repair issues early, so you can arrange to fix them before they become more serious and impair the AC.

When in doubt, turn to HVAC professionals

Although you can take many steps to cool down your home without putting extra pressure on your AC, you’ll need skilled assistance to keep an air conditioning system running at its best throughout its lifetime. Call Cool Air Mechanical and sign up for our Preventive Service Plan to give your air conditioning in Atlanta, GA the longevity you need to receive the most value from it.

Why Is the Water from My Water Heater Not Warm Enough?

April 7th, 2014 by Stephen Andrews

You depend on your hot water heater in Atlanta, GA every day: for cooking, washing, and cleaning. If something goes wrong with your heater and you find that the water flowing from the tap is only lukewarm, you’ll need to contact professionals to inspect the unit, discover the problem, and find how to fix it.

Cool Air Mechanical has skilled technicians who can solve your water heater malfunctions fast and right the first time. They’re standing by 24/7, so don’t hesitate to call whenever you start losing your hot water.

Reasons for a loss of heat in your hot water supply

  • Thermostat malfunction: Your water heater has its own thermostat to maintain the temperature inside the tank. If the thermostat develops a flaw, it can permit the temperature in the water to begin to drop. (Conversely, a malfunctioning thermostat can cause the hot water heater to overheat, which is also a serious situation.)
  • Broken dip tube: The dip tube brings in cold, fresh water from the water supply and carries it down through the tank of the water heater to the heat source at the bottom. When the water heats up, it rises toward the top of the tank. If the dip tube breaks, cold water will gather at the top of the tank and mix with the hot water, lowering the temperature of the water the pump draws from the tank and then sends to your faucets. A repair technician will need to replace a broken dip tube.
  • Burnt-out heating element: This applies to electric water heaters, which use two heating elements inside the tank to warm up the water. If one of these heating elements fails, it will halve the water’s temperature. This is an easy fix for technicians: they will drain the tank and replace the broken heating element.
  • Gas flow failure: This applies to natural gas-powered heaters, the most common type. If the burner below the tank fails to light because of insufficient gas flow, or if only a few gas jets on the burner ignite, it will adversely affect the water temperature. It’s vital that you never attempt to fix gas line trouble on your own; let professionals safely handle this issue.

Rely on a trusted name in repairs

Please don’t “tolerate” lukewarm water coming from your faucets and showerheads, hoping that the problem will go away. It most likely won’t. Get on the phone instead and call Cool Air Mechanical for skilled repair technicians. We can repair your water heater in Atlanta, GA.

The Importance of Spring Duct Cleaning

April 4th, 2014 by Stephen Andrews

With spring arriving in Georgia, we’ve reached the conclusion of the heating season. Our furnaces and heat pumps will go into hibernation (with maybe a few days return to work) and the air conditioners will start their regular hum keeping homes cool.

We hope you have scheduled maintenance for your AC—it should be done every spring. However, have you also considered having a thorough cleaning of the ductwork your air conditioning system uses to distribute cool air? Right now is an ideal time to schedule duct cleaning in Atlanta, GA. It’s a more important service than many people realize.

At Cool Air Mechanical, we not only keep the air in homes cool with repairs and maintenance on air conditioners, we also keep ductwork free from dust and debris with our specialists in duct cleaning. Call us today to schedule an appointment.

The Importance of Clean Ducts

During the winter, ducts can accumulate debris from the inside of your home. (If you haven’t regularly changed the air filter, the accumulation can be thick indeed.) When your AC comes on for the season to stay, you want the cleanest ducts possible to welcome it. Here are the reasons why:

  • Healthier air: One of the reasons that low indoor air quality plagues many homes today is because they are sealed up tight to help save energy – which prevents fresh air from coming in. Instead, the air circulates through the ducts—and if they’re filled with contamination, it will spread through the air you breathe. Duct cleaning reduces health problems caused by low indoor air quality: you’ll experience fewer colds and flus, as well as a reduction in eye and nose irritation, headaches, nausea, and breathing trouble. If people with allergies live in your home, it’s especially important to maintain a clean ventilation system.
  • AC efficiency: Ductwork is designed to provide as little resistance as possible to the flow of air from a heating or cooling system. Even a thin layer of dust inside ducts creates friction on the airflow and makes the air conditioner work harder than it should. Over a one or two year period, this will severely affect performance and lead to higher utility bills. Duct cleaning will save you money with an AC that has few obstacles to its airflow.
  • Prevent AC repairs: Dust and debris clogging ventilation does more than restrict the airflow. It can damage the system as well. When particles get through to the cabinet of an air conditioning system, it can cause motors to burn out, fan blades to bend, and compressors to malfunction. A good cleaning of the ducts means an air conditioner that will run during the spring with fewer chances of developing malfunctions.

Don’t try to clean ducts on your own. It takes special equipment and training. For duct cleaning in Atlanta, GA, rely on Cool Air Mechanical and our experienced team.

How Indoor Air Quality Assessment Works with Mold Testing

March 28th, 2014 by Stephen Andrews

Nobody wants to hear that they have mold or other forms of biological growth developing in their home’s ductwork. However, it’s important that you find out about any mold growth in your house so you can have professionals remediate it. Mold can cause a sharp decline in a home’s indoor air quality, and exposure to mold can lead to breathing trouble, skin irritation, numerous cold- and flu-like symptoms, and dangerous respiratory problems. Studies by the EPA have shown that mold can have a large negative impact on a family’s health.

Because mold usually develops in moist, dark places out of your sight—such as your ventilation system—it’s difficult to locate. This is why you need to call Cool Air Mechanical to schedule mold testing in Atlanta, GA to discover if and where you have mold problems. Through an environmental inspection and an indoor air quality assessment, our experts will pinpoint biological growths and identify the best methods to eliminate them.

Indoor Air Quality Assessment

This is a crucial step in mold testing: the assessment looks for mold growth and volatile organic compounds (VOCs, chemicals that come from household products like paint, cleaning supplies, and pesticides).

The skilled technicians who perform indoor air quality assessment take samples of the air from various parts of a home to analyze it. Approximately 80% of the time, this turns up air quality issues that can have an unhealthy impact on the home’s residents—even pets! The air quality assessment will also find the spots where the contamination is the worst, such as inside ducts and crawl spaces.

The positive side of the assessment is that it provides the technicians with ideas for how to remediate the mold growth. This may involve installing a dehumidifier to lower the levels of moisture that encourage the development of the contaminants. Sometimes the ideal solution is placing UV germicidal lights along the ducts to destroy the cellular structure of mold and other bacteria. The testers can recommend the best way to tackle your specific troubles.

Contact Cool Air Mechanical Today

You may not know you have a mold problem, but if you’ve noticed a recent increase in illness in your household, or headaches, nausea, and trouble sleeping that you can’t account for, you may have indoor air quality issues. Contact Cool Air Mechanical to arrange for mold testing that begins with an indoor air quality assessment. Don’t worry about the final results of the test: no matter what our mold testing in Atlanta, GA reveals about your home, we can find a solution to eliminate the problems.

Why a Faulty Thermostat Calls for Heating Repair in Atlanta

March 21st, 2014 by Stephen Andrews

One of the more common problems that can affect a home heating system is trouble in the thermostat. Because a thermostat fault affects the general performance of a heater, it’s often hard to tell from the start that the thermostat is what’s causing the trouble. But with the assistance of professionals in heating repair in Atlanta, GA, you’ll get to the root of the problem quickly.

Here are some of the issues that a faulty thermostat can cause your heating. For all of these repair needs, you can contact Cool Air Mechanical for fast, professional service.

Heating problems from a faulty thermostat

  • Miscalibration: One of the most basic problems that can afflict a thermostat is a miscalibration that causes the thermostat to read the temperature either a few degrees too high or too low. When this occurs, the thermostat with begin to turn your heating on and off at the incorrect times, either overheating your home or leaving cold spots. You will need professionals to repair the thermostat so it records the correct temperature. It’s also possible for the thermostat to record “ghost readings” because of poor placement where the thermostat is near drafts or in the path of direct sunlight, in which case you’ll need technicians to relocate the thermostat.
  • The heater will not come on: If the heater doesn’t come on at all, the issue might be that the thermostat has lost its communication to the heating system. A set of wires inside a thermostat controls the functions of the heating system, and if the wires that control the fans or the heating elements lose their connection, the heater will not turn on at all. You will need to have a repair technician fix the wiring problem.
  • The heater will not turn off: Another thermostat wiring problem that can afflict a thermostat is a loss of the connection responsible for turning the heater or its fan off. If the heater runs continuously, it’s likely that the thermostat is at fault.

Repair or upgrade your thermostat

Thermostats have increased immensely in complexity over the last twenty years, so they require trained technicians to repair them when they develop faults. If your thermostat starts to malfunction, you may consider replacing it with a newer model instead of going with a standard repair; recent advances in thermostat technology can help you receive even more efficient and comfortable performance from your heating system.

Call Cool Air Mechanical to talk to us about thermostat heating repair in Atlanta, GA or to inquire about making an upgrade to your current thermostat. If you need repairs right away, we have 24/7 service available.

Pros and Cons of Furnace Systems

March 19th, 2014 by Stephen Andrews

Furnaces come in an immense variety of sizes and types, which makes them very flexible when you are picking a unit to install in a home. But this variety can cause some consternation when it’s time to make the actual choice for the heater you want to keep your home warm.

We’d like to help you cut through some of the different furnace systems to give you some idea of what fuel source you want for your new furnace installation in Atlanta, GA. But the best advice you can get is in person: talk to our technicians at Cool Air Mechanical about your heating options, and they can determine which one will fit your budget and the needs of your home.

Natural gas furnace

  • Pros: This is the most common type of gas furnace found in homes because of their high efficiency and effectiveness. Furnaces can combat almost any cold weather, and they work well for old homes with poor insulation. Because gas is a less expensive fuel to burn than electricity, gas furnaces will save you on your heating bills.
  • Cons: You must have a gas line to your house to use a gas furnace. They usually don’t last as long on average as electrical furnaces and can require more repair work. There are also concerns about safety, although regular maintenance should reduce any risks to a minimum.

Electric furnace

  • Pros: Electric furnaces can work anywhere—all you need is electricity. They are generally smaller than gas furnaces, last longer because they don’t have exposure to carbon monoxide that will damage their components, and generally require fewer repairs and less stringent maintenance. They pose little health hazard.
  • Cons: If you need to use you heater a great deal, an electric furnace can turn costly to run. They also do not provide as effective and fast heating as a gas furnace.

Propane furnace

  • Pros: Using stored heating fuel like propane is often a less expensive option for installation than a gas furnace, and propane furnaces also have a longer lifespan and less maintenance. The propane used for the furnace can also be used for other appliances.
  • Cons: Propane doesn’t come directly into your house; you must purchase it or have it delivered, and this means you may run out of it at a crucial time. Propane furnaces in general are better as back-up furnaces for dual fuel heat pumps than as a main heating system.

You’ll need a heating contractor to give you the best advice for the right furnace for you, or perhaps draw your attention to a different system. Heating technicians will assist you with balancing all the factors in your home that will point you to the right heater.

Call Cool Air Mechanical today to talk to one of our Atlanta, GA furnace installation experts regarding your top choices for heating.

Lennox SunSource® Home Energy Systems

March 12th, 2014 by Stephen Andrews

If you’ve ever wanted to convert to solar energy, but thought it was too expensive or too large a project, then we’d like to introduce you to the SunSource® Home Energy System from Lennox. This advanced solar energy system can power a heat pump or air conditioner in your home using only a small number of solar panels on the roof.

For excellent energy-efficient options for cooling and heating in Atlanta, GA, contact Cool Air Mechanical. Our installation technicians will explain how they can fit your home for a Lennox SunSource® Home Energy System.

What is the Lennox SunSource® Home Energy System?

The Lennox SunSource® Home Energy System is a solar-based way of receiving heating and cooling for your home that can provide you other benefits as well. Solar modules on the roof of a home harness the energy of the sun, and then transfer that energy to power the condensing unit in a heat pump or air conditioner. When the heat pump/air conditioner isn’t operating, the solar modules can direct the power to help run the lighting in a home.

You can run the system from a convenient communication module located inside your home. The module lets you see how the system is operating to distribute energy. It also displays the efficiency levels of the solar panel, and data on your total savings and carbon offsets. A broadband Internet connection allows for remote control of the system.

Installing a Lennox SunSource® System is not much different from the standard installation of a heat pump or air conditioner, only with the addition of roof panels, which can range from one to fifteen, making it easy to adapt to your space needs.

What are the benefits of the Lennox SunSource® System?

Solar energy offers clean, renewable, and free energy straight from the Sun. There is no more energy-efficient and cost-saving way to power your home’s heating and cooling. Considering that 54% of your energy budget goes to powering your HVAC system, installing a Lennox SunSource® System can create significant savings for your annual energy bill—and the savings will spill over to other electrical systems in your home as well. And Lennox SunSource® Systems are more affordable and space-friendly than other solar energy systems.

Going solar also benefits the environment, lowering the amount of greenhouse gases in the air and reducing dependency on fossil fuels. To encourage homeowners to switch to solar energy, the U.S. government offers special tax incentives if you install a Lennox SunSource® System: 30% of the cost of solar modules (including installation) may be offset by tax credits, and you may also be eligible for other energy efficiency tax credits.

Schedule Lennox SunSource® installation today

Start saving money on your cooling and heating in Atlanta, GA with the power of the Sun. Schedule an appointment with a Lennox SunSource® installation technician at Cool Air Mechanical.

Gas vs. Electric: Different Water Heater Models

March 7th, 2014 by Stephen Andrews

A water heater is an essential part of your daily routine, from showering to cooking to cleaning. Since no water heater can last forever, you’ll eventually need to have a replacement model installed in your home. Or perhaps you have a new home and need to install its first water heater. You have a number of different models from which to pick, but the first choice you’ll encounter is whether you should install a gas or electric heater.

There is no single answer to the question, “Which is better, gas power or electric power?” Each has advantages and disadvantages, and your home’s individual needs and your budget will affect the decision. If you want advice as well as excellent installation for a water heater in Atlanta, GA, contact Cool Air Mechanical and schedule an appointment with our water heater specialists.

Natural gas water heaters: pros and cons

Water heaters that use the power of the natural gas piped into your house work similar to boilers. A burner beneath the water tank ignites to heat the water. Natural gas is a less expensive fuel than electricity, so gas heaters can save you up to 30% in operating costs over electric. They also heat the water faster, sometimes more than twice as fast as an electric heater.

However, you must have a gas line into your home in order to use a gas water heater. A gas heater must have proper ventilation through a flue, and if your basement or utility room does not already use a gas appliance, adding in ventilation will increase installation expense.

Electric water heaters: the pros and the cons

Electric water heaters generally cost less to purchase and install than gas heaters, although they will cost more to operate. They also take up less space and have longer lifetime expectancies, and they pose no risk from carbon monoxide leaks. If you don’t have a gas line, electric-power is really your only option.

But electrical power is much less efficient, so it will cost you more to run an electric water heater and it takes much longer for one to heat up sufficient water.

Which one is right for you?

The answer to this question depends on your energy source and your long-term savings plans. On the surface, gas power seems like the better option because of its efficient performance. But fast heating and an economical fuel source aren’t the only factors for making this decision, and sometimes an electric model may end up at the top of your list.

Call Cool Air Mechanical and let our specialists help you decide on your Atlanta, GA water heater. We’ll assist you with making the choice, and we’ll handle the installation.

Can I Clean My Air Ducts Myself?

March 3rd, 2014 by Stephen Andrews

Regular cleaning for your home’s network of air ducts is an important part of maintaining the efficiency of your HVAC system, shielding the ductwork from damage, and protecting your indoor air quality. Depending on how much dust, dirt, and other contaminants enter your ducts, you will require cleaning every one or two years. Sometimes you’ll need cleaning done earlier if the ductwork has become heavily congested.

To have duct cleaning in Atlanta, GA done properly, you must hire professionals. We understand that many people have DIY hobbies and enjoy the idea of independence. But when it comes to duct cleaning, you cannot handle the task on your own. The job requires more than a long-handled broom, a few rags, and a bottle of commercial cleaner. Call up duct cleaning specialists, like those at Cool Air Mechanical, to schedule the work.

The reason that duct cleaning requires trained professionals is because of the extent of the ductwork in your home and the nature of the contaminants that can get inside it. Most of your ductwork is hidden behind walls and ceilings, making it difficult to access. You can reach parts of it by unscrewing vent covers, but this is hardly enough to provide a thorough cleaning. Professionals use high-powered vacuums with long hoses to reach inside your ducts to places that you can’t on your own.

Professional duct cleaning also requires agitation equipment to remove particles embedded deep into the walls of your ducts. Standard cleaning methods, even powerful vacuums, cannot get out many of these contaminants. Duct cleaners use agitators to first loosen these pollutants. This equipment includes rotary brushes on long cables and special vacuums hooked onto the blower of your HVAC system that puts the entire ductwork under negative pressure. After using the agitation equipment, the duct cleaners can more easily remove the dirt particles and other debris.

Finally, duct cleaners often use special sanitizers on the ducts to remove allergens and pollutants that can cause cold and flu-like symptoms. These sanitizers are designed to avoid leaving lingering chemicals in your air or cause damage to your ducts.

Although you can’t perform a thorough cleaning for your ducts on your own, it’s easy to discover if you need to call for duct cleaners. Unscrew the cover to one of the vents in your house, and then reach inside and use a digital camera with a flash to take a snapshot of the interior. If the image shows heavy clots of dust, it’s time to call for experts in duct cleaning in Atlanta, GA.

Cool Air Mechanical can handle cleaning out your home’s ventilation system. Our duct cleaners use the best equipment available to leave you with ductwork that will keep your air clean and your heater and air conditioner happy.

What Corrosion on a Heat Pump’s Coils Means

February 24th, 2014 by Stephen Andrews

Heat pumps make a logical and economical solution for both heating and air conditioning here in Atlanta. They function well in conjunction with our mild winters. Heat pump problems are infrequent, but then they do occur, they can often be serious. Take the issue of rust or corrosion on the internal components, especially the coils. Here’s a brief discussion of what corrosion on a heat pump’s coils means.

Corrosion comes in many forms; it is usually caused by exposure to cleaning products with a high acidic content, fluoride in the water, or similar elements.  High quality heat pumps will apply a protective coating to their coils, but that can wear out over time.

Regardless, the corrosion itself is a serious problem. Over time, it with create a breach in the coil, releasing refrigerant gas and effectively halting the heat pump’s ability to function. When that happens, the coil will need to be replaced if you want the heat pump to function again.

You can help prevent this first by having a professional coat the coil in a corrosive retardant that will help protect it. A qualified professional can assess the state of your coil, then make a recommendation for a reliable coating based on the particular needs of your heat pump. You can also schedule regular maintenance sessions to watch for signs of corrosion and perhaps alter the existing conditions to reduce the risks involve (such as removing problematic insulation from the wall around the heat pump).

In these cases, the experts at Cool Air Mechanical are ready to help you. We know what corrosion on a heat pump’s coils means and we would much rather help you prevent the problem before it becomes too big to handle. Here in Atlanta, heat pump repair services like ours are ready and able to set up a maintenance session or a flat-out repair session to keep your coil rust-free. Give us a call today to set up an appointment. You’ll be glad that you did!