Signs It’s Time to Schedule Duct Cleaning

November 6th, 2014 by Stephen Andrews

One often-overlooked, but important, part of your heating system is the ductwork. Ductwork gets just as dusty and dirty as the components in your furnace, and, with time, the buildup of dust and dirt can become significant. While your ductwork doesn’t need to be cleaned annually, it is strongly suggested that it is cleaned every 3-5 years. If your last duct cleaning in Atlanta was more than 5 years ago, you may see the signs that your ductwork has significant dirt and dust build-up. Remember that, for all of your ductwork needs, the trained and certified technicians at Cool Air Mechanical are ready to assist, so call us today.

Signs It’s Time for Duct Cleaning

Here are some of the common signs that your ductwork needs cleaning:

  • Increase in energy bills – when excessive dust and dirt line the inside of your ductwork, they can restrict the air flow in your system. This restriction forces your heating system to work harder; as a result, it uses more energy.
  • Noticeable amounts of dust in your home – is your home getting dustier even though you regularly clean it? The excessive dust from your ductwork has a direct route into your living spaces and can accumulate on furnishings.
  • Increased allergies/cold symptoms – are you seeing a lot of extra sneezing and coughing in your home? The dust and contaminants from your dirty ductwork may be causing irritation for those in your home, particularly the allergy sufferers.
  • Strange odors – do you notice unpleasant smells coming through your vents when the heat comes on? There may be pollutants in your ducts, and unless it is removed and your ductwork cleaned, it will continue to flourish.

Fall is the perfect time for maintenance on your heating system, so why not include duct cleaning? Professional duct cleaning in Atlanta can help improve your energy efficiency and comfort, and keep your indoor air quality high. Call Cool Air Mechanical today and schedule an appointment with one of our experts.

Heat Pump Repair Needs: Broken Reversing Valve

November 5th, 2014 by Stephen Andrews

A heat pump is a fantastic choice for your home heating system. It’s energy-efficient, cost-efficient, and safer than combustion-based systems. Just like any other system, however, a heat pump will develop issues from time to time. One of the most common problems is a broken reversing valve.

What is a Reversing Valve?

A heat pump, as you probably already know, is capable of both heating and air conditioning functions. It accomplishes this by altering the flow of refrigerant between the indoor and outdoor units. This switches which unit is the compressor and which is the condenser. In heating mode, the outdoor unit draws in heat and the indoor unit expels it into the house. In cooling mode the opposite happens, with the indoor unit siphoning heat out of the house so the outdoor unit can expel it. Without the reversing valve, the refrigerant would only be able to flow one way. This would limit the heat pump to either heating or cooling, just like other forced air systems.

The reversing valve itself is a 4-way junction, with lines to the central unit intake and output lines as well as the indoor and outdoor unit lines. Inside is a slide, which by moving to one side of the valve or the other controls the direction of the refrigerant flow. This slide is attached to a solenoid, essentially an electromagnetic coil. When a current is run through the solenoid, it pulls the slide to one side. When the current is cut off, the slide moves back to its default position.

What Causes a Broken Reversing Valve?

There are a couple of possible causes for a broken reversing valve. The slide could simply be stuck, in which case the solenoid is unable to force it to switch positions. The second possibility is that the solenoid is broken, which likely means it will need to be replaced. This is often caused by the solenoid losing its magnetism, which usually just happens with age.

So, how can you tell if your reversing valve is broken? It’s not something you can tell just by looking at it. Usually the best way to tell is if your heat pump becomes stuck in one mode or another. That is a good indication that the refrigerant is only flowing one way, which means a problem with the valve.

If you’re having heat pump problems, give Cool Air Mechanical a call and schedule an appointment with one of our highly trained technicians. Our professional heating repair service covers all of Kennesaw, GA.

What Are the Advantages of a Furnace Installation in Decatur?

October 29th, 2014 by Stephen Andrews

A new furnace installation in Decatur can help you increase energy efficiency and comfort, all while offering a level of reliability that can last for years. But there are additional benefits to installing a new furnace, as we’ll outline below. Fall offers a great window of time in which to install a new furnace, and hiring experience professionals ensures that your installation will be done quickly, efficiently and correctly. If you are ready for a new furnace, call the people you can count on: Cool Air Mechanical.

Two Types of Furnaces

We carry two types of furnaces at Cool Air Mechanical: electric and gas. Each has its own way of operating and benefits:

Electric Furnaces

Electric furnaces use heating elements to heat air directly. A large intake fan at the bottom of the cabinet draws air into the cabinet and blows it over the hot coils. The newly-warmed air is then blown into the ductwork to your living spaces. Some of the benefits of an electric furnace are:

  • Very good energy efficiency – because electric furnaces do not burn fossil fuels, they can have an energy efficiency rating as high as 100%.
  • You do not need a gas line – some homes do not have access to a natural gas line, whereas electricity is widely available.
  • Safety – while no heating system is guaranteed to be 100% safe, there is no need to worry about toxic fumes with an electric furnace.
  • Clean – because an electric furnace doesn’t burn fuel to operate, the system stays clean, which is helpful when it comes to annual maintenance.

Gas Furnaces

Gas furnaces tap into the natural gas line near your home. The gas is fed into the combustion chamber where it meets with air and a flame erupts. This flame heats the heat exchanger, where the warm air is then blown into your home. Some of the benefits of a gas furnace are:

  • Fast, hot heat – gas heat is about 130 degrees. As such, it heats your home quickly.
  • Good energy efficiency – gas furnaces can have an energy efficiency rating as high as 98%.
  • Burns cleanly – gas burns the cleanest of any fossil fuels.

If you need help deciding what kind of furnace is best for your heating installation in Decatur, call Cool Air Mechanical today and schedule an appointment with one of our experts.

Repairs for Electric Water Heaters

October 23rd, 2014 by Stephen Andrews

It’s never a good feeling to turn on your shower in the morning and be greeted with freezing, brown, or horrible smelling water. If it happens, though, it’s a good sign that the water heater is having problems. So, what can be done to fix it? Read on to find out.

No Hot Water

The most common cause for this issue is a lack of power to the heating elements in the unit. Often, this is caused by a circuit breaker being tripped. Other causes can include a bad thermostat or broken heating element. If you aren’t getting any hot water, check the circuit breaker to make sure it hasn’t tripped. If the breaker appears to be fine, call an HVAC technician for a more thorough analysis.

Not Enough Hot Water

If your water heater appears to be working, but isn’t supplying enough hot water, you may have a problem with your heating element. A heating element that is defective or failing may not cut out completely at first, supplying lukewarm water instead of just cold water. It is also possible that your water heater is too small for the amount of hot water you are demanding. You’ll need a professional to confirm the problem in either case.

Rust in Your Water

This is caused by oxidation taking place in the tank of your water heater, causing rust to enter the water supply to be circulated throughout the house. By far the most common reason for this is that the anode rod, also called the sacrificial rod, is failing. This is an aluminum or magnesium rod that is inserted into the tank to prevent the tank from rusting. It’s called a sacrificial anode because it slowly degrades over time and eventually has to be replaced. If you don’t know how to replace the anode rod, any HVAC technician can do it for you.

If you are experiencing problems of any kind with your water heater, call Cool Air Mechanical. We offer quality water heater repair in the Duluth area.

3 Myths About Heating in Roswell, GA

October 22nd, 2014 by Stephen Andrews

There are quite a few heating myths floating around, both on the internet and by word of mouth. The reason so many of these myths have survived is mostly linked to homeowners’ desires to save energy and money. When you’re trying to cut heating costs, you’ll probably be willing to try all sorts of things that may or may not make a difference. Here are our top 3 heating myths in Roswell, GA.

Myth: If You Set Your Thermostat Higher, Your House Will Heat Faster

Nope. This is 100% untrue. In actuality, the thermostat only has two settings for heat: on or off. When you set a target temperature for your thermostat, it compares that temperature to the current temperature in the room. If the current temperature is lower, it starts the heating system. Once the current temperature and target temperature match, the thermostat turns the heat off again. Setting a higher temperature will only make the heater work longer to get there, it won’t blow any hotter air than usual.

Myth: Closing Vents in Rooms You’re Not in Will Save Money on Heating

This is a very common one. People think that by closing the heating vent in rooms they aren’t using, the system only has to heat one or two rooms in the house. That means it doesn’t have to work as hard and will use less energy, right? Wrong. Just like above, heating systems like furnaces are actually quite simple in the way they operate. A heating unit is designed to provide the proper amount of heat for a certain sized space. Restricting that space can actually damage the heating unit.

Myth: You Don’t Need to Schedule System Maintenance Until There’s a Problem

This is possibly the most damaging of all. All heating systems, no matter what kind you have, require maintenance at least once a year to ensure that they are in top operating condition. Ignoring annual maintenance shortens the lifespan of your heating system and, in some extreme cases, can even be hazardous to your health by causing things like cracked heat exchangers.

If you would like to know more, call Cool Air Mechanical today. We specialize in heating repair service in the Roswell, GA area.

There Are Odd Smells from the Vents: Does the Furnace Need Repair?

October 15th, 2014 by Stephen Andrews

There are few things worse than turning on your heating system on a cold day and being greeted with an offensive smell. You want to keep your home at a comfortable temperature, but doing so means dealing with a potentially awful smell. Does your furnace need to be repaired? Read on to find out. Let’s look at the possible causes of strange smells.

Dust

Your furnace may need repairs, but not necessarily. What exactly is the smell like? If it smells like something is burning, wait and see how long the smell lasts. Dust can settle in the heating system if it has been a while since you have turned on your heat. When you first turn on your heater after a long period of disuse, you may experience a burning smell as the system burns off the dust. This is nothing to worry about, and the smell should subside shortly after you first start the heater. If the burning smell persists, you may have a more serious problem.

Dirty Air Filter

A dirty air filter is also a possibility. If you experience a musty smell when you turn on your heater, check your air filter. If it is dirty, clean or replace it and see if the smell goes away. If you don’t know how to check your air filter, an HVAC professional can do it for you.

Mold

If moisture somehow finds its way into your heating system, usually through leaks in the ducts, it can cause mold to grow. Some types of mold can give off a very unpleasant smell, which will be distributed throughout the house when the heater is turned on. Usually, a duct cleaning and sealing is enough to fix this problem.

Dead Animals

If the smell coming from the vents is that of decay, you may unfortunately have a dead animal in your vents. This can happen sometimes when a squirrel or raccoon finds its way into your duct system and can’t find a way out. This is often the most offensive smell to come out of your heating vents. An HVAC technician can safely remove the animal for you, which should get rid of the smell.

If strange smells are coming out of your vents, call Cool Air Mechanical. We can diagnose the cause and conduct any necessary repairs. We provide furnace repair services throughout the Alpharetta area.

Your Options for New Heating Installation during the fall

October 9th, 2014 by Stephen Andrews

There is a myriad of heating options available for your home. From heat pumps, to solar, to ductless heating, there is bound to be an option that perfectly fits your heating needs. Let’s take a look at some of your best options for heating installation this fall.

Heat Pumps

Forced air heat pumps are very similar to traditional heating systems, with a few unique qualities that give them an edge. A heat pump is comprised of both an indoor unit and an outdoor unit. The outdoor unit uses coils to draw in thermal energy from the surrounding air. This energy is added to the air in the indoor unit, which is warmed further and then circulated throughout the house. It is this absorption of thermal energy that makes the heat pump so efficient. Heat pumps don’t operate quite as well in extremely cold environments. If you aren’t constantly buried in snow, however, a heat pump could be a great option for you.

Solar Heating

Solar heating is rarely used to completely replace a more traditional heating system. However, it can be a great way to lower your heating bills by supplementing the system you already have. Solar heating begins by installing a panel on the roof. This panel collects thermal energy from sunlight and directs it down to a solar storage unit. This unit then adds the extra thermal energy to the air being circulated by your other heating system. Solar heating requires a bit more of an upfront investment, but it is about the most energy efficient system available. Since it doesn’t absorb thermal energy from the air, it operates better in freezing environments than heat pumps do.

Ductless Heating

Ductless heating systems use an individual indoor unit for each room you want heated. The outdoor part of the unit works much the same way as a heat pump, absorbing and directing thermal energy to the indoor unit to be circulated. The advantage of the ductless system is that you only need to spend energy heating the room you are currently occupying. This can save you a lot of money on heating bills.

If you are thinking about installing a new heating system this fall, call Cool Air Mechanical. Our experts in heating installation cover the entire Kennesaw, GA area.

 

3 Reasons to Consider Heat Pump Installation for the fall

October 8th, 2014 by Stephen Andrews

Heat pumps are effective and efficient heating systems. What makes them a better choice than all the other heating options out there, though? If you’re considering installing a new heating system this fall, read on to discover the 3 reasons why a heat pump may be right for you.

Energy Efficiency

A heat pump consists of an indoor unit and an outdoor unit. When the heat pump is in heating mode, the outdoor unit draws thermal energy from the air around it. This energy is transferred to the refrigerant line, which runs from the outdoor unit to the indoor unit. The indoor unit then uses this thermal energy to heat and distribute air throughout the house. By moving thermal energy in this way, the heat pump expends less energy on heating than other systems. It does not require the use of a gas-burning furnace to heat the air.

Versatility

A heat pump is actually capable of both heating and cooling. It does this through the use of a part called a “reversing valve.” This valve reverses the flow of refrigerant between the indoor and outdoor unit, depending on which mode the heat pump is in. By combining both heating and cooling into one unit, the heat pump saves you the time and space of installing a separate air conditioning system for the summer months.

Savings

The combination of both energy efficiency and versatility results in sizeable savings on your heating bill, compared to other heating systems. Over time, the unit will eventually pay for itself with these savings. The installation procedure and investment is comparable to more traditional systems, so there isn’t a drastic increase in initial cost. These savings tend to be the number 1 reason that people switch to heat pumps from other systems.

If you want to gain all of these advantages by installing a new heat pump, call Cool Air Mechanical today. Our HVAC technicians are all professionals when it comes to heat pump installation in the Atlanta area.

 

Watch for These Signs That Your Heat Pump Need Repairs

October 1st, 2014 by siteadmin

Your heat pump kept you cool all summer long, and now it’s almost time for the heating season. Since your heat pump runs throughout the year, there is always a chance that parts of your heat pump may begin to decline. Heat pumps get a lot of usage, which means the parts go through a lot of strain over the course of a year. And this means that components can become worn to the point that they need replacement, which is why it’s important to pay attention to some of the following signs that you need to call for heating repair.

  • Reduced Heating/Cooling: While reduced heating and cooling is not usually ideal, some homeowners find it bearable. At the end of the summer, you may believe that your family can put up with some reduced cooling and you can wait for repairs. However, limited air conditioning can mean that you have a refrigerant leak that must be sealed, a faulty motor, or even compressor trouble. These problems must be addressed before the heating season.
  • Higher Bills: Did you notice your bills increasing throughout the cooling season? This may be a sign that you need to schedule heating repair. A heat pump that cools inefficiently will not run properly for heating either, and it usually signals a major repair need.
  • Loud Noises: Unusual sounds from your heat pump should always be a cause for alarm. A banging sound could indicate anything from a loose fan blade to a faulty compressor, while a hissing noise could indicate a leak in the refrigerant line.

Because your heat pump runs all year long, it’s vital that you schedule heat pump maintenance two times per year. Maintenance is a valuable service in which a technician checks every portion of your system for potential problems. Various parts of your unit are also cleaned or adjusted, which not only wards off repairs but may also decrease your energy bills. The folks at Cool Air Mechanical can check your unit for repair needs, locate the problem, and decide on the right way to correct the problem. For professional heating repair service in Duluth, call our team of experts today to schedule your next service with us.

Signs That It’s Time for New Commercial HVAC Installation in Dunwoody, GA

September 25th, 2014 by siteadmin

Your commercial HVAC system is important to your business, keeping clients, customers, tenants, and/or employees as comfortable as possible. These large systems are built to last a long time, but any unit will fail eventually and require new commercial HVAC installation. So how do you decide whether you need a new system or if you only need repairs?

Often, problems with your commercial unit simply indicate the need for repair. With commercial units, every component of both your heating and air conditioning system is combined in a single outdoor cabinet. As this cabinet is usually placed on the rooftop and is often fairly exposed to the outdoor elements, repairs are to be expected from time to time. Usually, a technician is the best person to decide whether it’s best to repair or replace your system. But the following signs may indicate a need for replacement.

  • Frequent Repairs: Because your commercial heating and air conditioning unit is so large and complex, you should expect to call for repairs from time to time. But if you have had to call for repairs many times in recent years, it likely means that parts of your AC are failing beyond repair. Simply put, replacing your entire unit will be less expensive than replacing failing parts one by one.
  • High Energy Bills: High energy bills may indicate a number of problems with your HVAC unit, many of which can be fixed with repairs. But if you’ve scheduled maintenance and made any necessary repairs, high bills could actually indicate that many components of your HVAC unit are too worn to efficiently cool or heat your business. This is particularly true of units that are over ten years of age.
  • Old Age: Older systems are more likely to break down right in the middle of a busy work day. Check the expected lifespan of your unit and be sure to replace it before this time runs out, particularly if you’ve noticed problems with your unit in recent years.

If you need help deciding whether repairs will keep your unit running for a few more good years or if it’s time for commercial HVAC installation in Dunwoody, call the experts at Cool Air Mechanical today!