How a Dirty Coil Affects Your Air Conditioner

August 20th, 2014 by Stephen Andrews

Central air conditioners in homes are usually “split systems”: they consist of an outside cabinet (the condenser) and an inside unit (the evaporator) which connect to each other through refrigerant and power lines. Both the evaporator and the condenser contain refrigerant coils that are essential for the process of heat exchange that makes the air conditioner work: moving heat from the inside of your home and then releasing it to the outside.

Both coils need to remain clean to effectively do their job. If either starts to develop a layer of grime or dust, it will impair the AC’s performance. For this reason, you should always have air conditioning maintenance done once a year; the technician will always check the coils to make sure they are clean, and detach and clean them if necessary.

If your AC is not cooling as well as it should, or if it’s time to schedule annual maintenance, contact Cool Air Mechanical. We offer 24-hour air conditioning repair in Duluth, GA and throughout the Greater Atlanta Area.

What Goes Wrong When a Coil Grows Dirty

The reason that the evaporator and condenser coils must remain clean is that any layer of dirt, dust, or grime will restrict the coil’s ability to either release or absorb heat, and this will unbalance the heat exchange process in the air conditioner. If the outdoor condensing coil cannot release sufficient heat from the hot refrigerant moving through it, the refrigerant will not be cool enough when it returns indoors to absorb heat.

The situation can get even worse with a dirty indoor coil. If the coil cannot absorb enough heat to warm up the refrigerant, the cold refrigerant will freeze the moisture forming along the coil. This ice will further restrict heat absorption, causing more ice to develop, eventually freezing over the entire coil and stopping heat exchange altogether. If you see ice developing along the indoor coil, call for repairs immediately: aside from a dirty coil, icing could also indicate leaking refrigerant.

To help prevent dust and dirt from reaching the coils, make sure to change the air filter indoors once a month during times when you regularly use the AC and keep the area around the outdoor cabinet clear of debris for a few feet.

Please note: you should not try to open up your air conditioner’s cabinets to access the coil yourself and clean it. To properly clean off a dirty coil requires removing the coil first, and this task you should leave to professionals. Call Cool Air Mechanical for the necessary air conditioning service in Duluth, GA you need to keep your AC running at its best: call at the first sign of trouble, any time of the day or night.

Does Rust on My Water Heater Mean It Needs to Be Replaced?

August 13th, 2014 by Stephen Andrews

A water heater puts metal in contact with water, and that’s a recipe for rust (as long as there is also oxygen). Rust is one of the principle enemies of water heaters, a conditioning you want to avoid at all costs. Fortunately, water heaters have precautions that will keep rust away for most of their lifespans.

But if rust does start to form on your water heater, or it appears in the hot water coming from your taps, is it an automatic farewell to the system? Do you need to immediately schedule a replacement?

Not necessarily. But you do need to schedule service immediately from a Duluth, GA water heater specialist to find out what’s wrong, if it can be repaired, and what your installation options are if it can’t. Call Cool Air Mechanical and talk to our water heating technicians as soon as you detect rust anywhere on your home’s water heater. We have technicians standing by, 24/7, for your convenience.

Rust and Your Water Heater

The component that keeps a water heater from rusting is the anode rod, sometimes called the sacrificial anode rod because it draws corrosion to itself so that it won’t enter the water heater tank, effectively “sacrificing” itself to prevent rust. But once the anode rod completely rusts through, it will no longer protect the water tank. This is why it’s crucial to schedule regular maintenance for the water heater; the technician will know when the anode rod needs to be replaced.

If your heater is relatively young (less than halfway to its expected lifespan), then the first appearance of rust is probably because of an anode rod that needs replacement. If you act quickly enough, a repair technician can often save the system from further damage.

Rust and corrosion can also start because of excess sediment inside the tank, so make sure that you have the tanked flushed on a regular basis (usually during maintenance) to avoid this from occurring.

If you have an older water heater that is at, near, or beyond its manufacturer’s estimated lifespan, then the appearance of rust, especially along the bottom of the water heater, is a good indication that it is time for a replacement. Call a specialist for an informed opinion, and then let the specialist help you select a new unit and arrange for skilled installation.

Cool Air Mechanical offers full services for your water heater in Duluth, GA. We handle installations, maintenance, and any type of repair you may need so that you don’t lose your steady supply of hot water.

How to Tell You Need Commercial HVAC Repair

August 12th, 2014 by siteadmin

If you manage a commercial property, you may be too busy to notice when your HVAC system needs repair. Of course, the easiest way to know whether repairs are necessary is if you hear complaints from your tenants, customers, or employees. But it’s important to catch repair needs before your system stops working in order to prevent further damage to your system or a costly replacement.

When you need commercial HVAC repair, the first step is calling a professional technician. But how do you know when it’s time to call? While any problem should be taken seriously, here are 3 signs that you need commercial HVAC repair in Decatur today.

Reduced Cooling and Heating

Commercial HVAC systems are designed and sized to cool or heat large spaces with many occupants. Reduced heating or cooling may mean that your system is the improper size, the compressor is damaged, there is not enough refrigerant, or any number of problems that may be somewhat serious. Alternatively, you may need thermostat replacement, so it’s best to have a technician locate the problem.

Uneven Temperatures

If some areas of the building are warm while others are cool, you’re bound to hear about it from the people in your building. Uneven temperatures may indicate problems with the ducts, zone control system, fans, or the thermostat.

High Bills

A good indicator that you have a hidden commercial HVAC repair need is unusually high bills. Heating and cooling a commercial property can be costly, so high bills are often expected. But when your bills spike without warning, there’s probably a part that needs repair. Calling for repair may help lower your bills, while calling for maintenance once a year can prevent such problems from occurring in the future.

When you need commercial HVAC repair, you should make sure you contact an experienced commercial HVAC technician. Commercial systems are much larger than conventional ones, and an inexperienced technician may be unable to locate repair needs, or the technician may take longer to assess and fix problems. Qualified technicians are trained on commercial HVAC systems for all repair and maintenance needs. Call Cool Air Mechanical today for commercial HVAC repair in Decatur.

How Air Conditioning Repair Can Improve Efficiency

August 6th, 2014 by siteadmin

For most homeowners, it’s important to save money wherever possible. When your AC runs into problems, you may be tempted to put off calling for air conditioning repair to save some money until the problem seems more serious. But delaying repair can cause your system to break down sooner than you’d expect. Furthermore, your damaged system will most likely add to your energy bills. Calling for air conditioning repair at the first sign of trouble can actually improve efficiency.

If your system has trouble starting up, or if you hear unusual noises from your indoor or outdoor unit, notice limited cooling, or see ice along the evaporator coil of your unit, you may be tempted to wait to schedule repairs. Sometimes, problems don’t seem urgent enough to interrupt your daily life with a service call. However, you may spend a lot more money in cooling costs than is necessary if your air conditioner needs repair.

Often, when one component of your AC system doesn’t work quite the way it should, the other components must work harder to compensate. Your system must run for a longer time period to get your home to the correct temperature. Because of this, you end up paying more for problems such as these.

  • Frozen Coil: The indoor coil is responsible for helping refrigerant to absorb heat from your home. It may become frozen if there is not enough airflow across the coil for evaporation to occur. When the coil is blocked, it cannot efficiently remove heat, which means it takes much longer to cool your home.
  • Faulty Fan Motor: The indoor and outdoor fan help to distribute air throughout the home and release heat outdoors. A faulty fan motor can prevent your home from ever reaching the correct temperature, reducing efficiency significantly.
  • Low Refrigerant: Refrigerant is vital to your air conditioner and, without the proper charge, your system is unable to efficiently remove heat from your home, which means your air conditioner runs for longer time periods.

When you call Cool Air Mechanical for air conditioning service in Dunwoody, GA, you may see lower cooling costs in the upcoming months. Call us today!

What the SEER Means for Your Air Conditioner

July 31st, 2014 by siteadmin

In the summer, your energy bills just seem to keep rising. But new air conditioning installation gives you the opportunity to select a system that may actually bring cooling costs down. Since cooling costs take up a large portion of most energy bills in the summer, finding a high-efficiency unit should be a top priority for most homeowners when selecting a new AC. But how do you decide which system is right for you? Easily—look at the SEER!

The SEER (Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio) is written on the EnergyGuide label of every air conditioning system. This number is a measurement of the cooling capacity of an air conditioner, measured in BTUs (British thermal units) per hour divided by the total energy output of any system. A higher SEER will usually save you more money on your cooling costs.

According to the U.S. government, all air conditioning systems sold in the country must have a SEER of 13 or higher. However, to receive the ENERGY STAR logo, a distinguished mark for many home appliances, an AC unit must have a SEER of 14 or greater. ENERGY STAR systems meet criteria set forth by the Environmental Protection Agency to reduce the amount of pollutants released in the air without sacrificing the performance homeowners want.

The SEER isn’t the only thing you should look at when selecting a new system. Systems with higher SEERs are usually more expensive than those with lower ones, so some homeowners may try to save money by choosing a smaller cooling capacity. This is problematic; smaller air conditioners may never get your home to the correct temperature, and the extra wear on your system will cause it to fail sooner.

A system with a high SEER does not guarantee unlimited efficiency. All air conditioners should be professionally maintained and cleaned, and you should replace air filters about once a month.

A professional technician can help you find a system with a high SEER, and can tell you about many other money-saving upgrades for your new system. For air conditioning services in Kennesaw, call Cool Air Mechanical today!

Why Add Duct Sanitizing to Your Duct Cleaning in Duluth?

July 30th, 2014 by Stephen Andrews

Up to 40 pounds of dust is created annually by those living in your home. That’s a lot of dust. And because your air conditioner circulates the indoor air, this dust gets sent through your system and will eventually settle in parts of it. The air filter that comes with your air conditioner will capture part of this dust and dirt, but it won’t get all of it, which is why it’s recommended your ductwork is cleaned every 3-5 years. Sometimes, though, ductwork can provide wonderful environments for biological pollutants like mold, fungus and dust mites to grow and thrive, and cleaning may not be enough to remove them. This is when you may want to consider having your ducts sanitized with your next duct cleaning in Duluth, GA.

What Is the Difference Between Cleaning and Sanitizing?

During a duct cleaning, high-powered vacuums and agitation devices remove dust buildup and attached debris from your system. This kind of cleaning is very thorough, and while it can remove things like mold growth, it does not kill the spores that produce them. With sanitizing, your ductwork is treated with safe chemical sanitizers that can destroy microbial growths and prevent them re-occurring.

What Kind of Chemicals Are Used to Sanitize?

Each company will have a preference for the chemicals they use for sanitizing ductwork, but here are 2 common ones that are EPA approved and used frequently in the industry:

  • EnviroCon – this sanitizer has low toxicity and has a positive safety rating from the EPA. The main purpose of this chemical is to destroy and eliminate problematic organisms such as mold, mildew and bacteria, and it does so by using a chlorine dioxide release process that destroys these kinds of organisms at their origins. It also eliminates any odors caused by growths of these biological pollutants.
  • Microban – this chemical is used to destroy and eliminate most fungi, bacteria, viruses and allergens, and also destroys any odors associated with these pollutants. Microban cannot be purchased in stores and should only be used by trained professionals.

Who Should Consider Duct Sanitizing?

Duct sanitizing is a service to consider when you’ve experienced the following in your ductwork:

  • Mold and/or mildew growth
  • Fungi growth
  • Pests (both insect and animal)

You may also want to consider duct sanitizing if you have general concerns about biological pollutants in your vent work.

Duct Sanitization Is Not a DIY Job

Proper duct sanitization requires professional knowledge of ductwork and duct cleaning, as well as the training to handle professional-grade sanitizing chemicals; as such, it’s best to leave a job like this to a trained expert. Call Cool Air Mechanical today and see if duct sanitizing in Duluth is something to consider with your next duct cleaning.

Steps Involved in Commercial HVAC Installation

July 21st, 2014 by Stephen Andrews

Keeping your business cool during Georgia springs and summers, and heated during winters (and a combination of both for autumns) requires a reliable HVAC system. But, to have a reliable comfort system, you need to have professional installation. A shoddy job putting in a commercial heater or air conditioner will result in large amounts of energy waste and an uncomfortable work space. Make sure you contact experienced professionals in commercial HVAC installation in Roswell, GA when you need a new comfort system to heat and cool your business.

At Cool Air Mechanical, we take pride in the work we provide for homes and businesses. Put us at the top of your list for commercial HVAC services. We’re here to help you 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

The Stages of Commercial HVAC Installation

The first part of installation is to have a meeting with the professional installers to discuss your needs and to give them a general sense of your business, the building size, the hours, and the numbers of employees and average number of customers/clients (if applicable). This will give the installers an idea of how extensive a system you will need.

The installers will then come to the worksite and look over your current HVAC system (if you are replacing one), the ventilation, and the layout. They will have an idea of the type of comfort system that will work for the area, such as a packaged rooftop unit or a ductless mini split.

The next step is crucial: the commercial technicians measure your buildings heated square footage and check on insulation and air leaks to determine how many tons of heating/cooling are necessary to provide you with the comfort you need without wasting energy.

The final step is the actual installation. If you are having rooftop units put in, the job will go quickly and provide minimal interference with your regular work. The longest part of installation usually involves removing the older system. The installers take care of necessary upgrades to accommodate the new system, such as new thermostat and building controls and alterations to ductwork. The whole process, from start to finish, can take 1 to 3 days, depending on the size of the installation.

When you’re in need of HVAC experts in Roswell, GA for your commercial HVAC installation, you will receive the fastest installation our team at Cool Air Mechanical can delivery. But out technicians will never sacrifice quality to speed, because they want you to enjoy many years of repair-free service from your new system. Should you need repairs, however, you can trust to our 24-hour emergency service.

Tools Used for Duct Cleaning

July 15th, 2014 by Stephen Andrews

Here’s a suggestion for cleaning your home’s air ducts: go pull out the vacuum cleaner from the closet that has the long hose. Unscrew the grate from over one of the room vents. Turn on the vacuum cleaner and push the hose down into the duct beyond the vent and move it around for a few minutes while it sucks up the thick clogs of dust, carpet and furniture fibers, pollen, and dander. Put the grate back over the vent, and move onto the next vent and start the process again.

It sounds so simple, doesn’t it? Yes… because it’s too simple, and it doesn’t work. In fact, there’s no “do-it-yourself” solution for cleaning your home’s ductwork. The extent of your ventilation system and the level of contamination that can develop inside it require professionals equipped with specialized tools to handle the job. Fortunately, it’s easy to schedule the work: just call Cool Air Mechanical and talk to our team of experts in duct cleaning in Decatur, GA. We will handle the work with the best tools available and the training to use them.

Professional Duct Cleaning Tools

  • Power vacuums: The vacuums used for duct cleaning are large, industrial strength machines that attach to your forced-air HVAC system to access the network of air ducts. These vacuums are capable of placing an entire ventilation system under “negative pressure” that causes contamination to lift away from the interior surfaces of the ducts. Once the vacuums have altered the pressure inside a ventilation system, they then use powerful suction to remove the majority of particles.
  • Agitation devices: This term covers a large number of rotary brushes and vacuum hose attachments. They are designed to snake deep inside vents on long cables to loosen debris from the walls of ducts (without damaging the duct material) and allow for easier removal. Agitation devices are used to target specific areas of trouble that a power vacuum might not be capable of affecting.
  • Video inspection systems: How can duct cleaners know they need to target certain areas? They use video inspection equipment that can enter the ducts to examine contamination levels and the sources of blockages that are causing airflow troubles. Technicians often use this high-resolution camera equipment to provide “before and after” views to show how effective other cleaning methods have been.

You should schedule regular professional duct cleaning in Decatur, GA (we recommend that most homes have cleaning done every other year) to protect your HVAC system and your indoor air quality. Call our duct cleaning experts at Cool Air Mechanical today for top-level professional services that make use of the finest equipment available.

Causes of Inefficiency in Your Air Conditioner

July 15th, 2014 by Stephen Andrews

It’s not unusual to see a small rise in your energy bills at this time of year, but if you’ve noticed a sharp increase in your bills, and you haven’t changed how you typically operate your air conditioner, you may be dealing with inefficiency issues. There are a number of factors that can cause your air conditioner to run less efficiently, even if your system appears to be fine. Unfortunately, inefficiency can point to developing or existing problems with your air conditioning in Alpharetta, and the sooner these issues are attended to, the better.

Culprits of Inefficiency

There are a number of things that can reduce the efficiency of your air conditioning system, but here are three that our Cool Air Mechanical technicians see frequently:

  • Dirty Air Filters

The air filter in your air conditioner helps stop dust and dirt from entering your system. It’s a big job, which is why the filter should be changed every 1-3 months. When your air filter isn’t changed, it becomes clogged, creating a layer of dirt, dust and debris that can restrict the air flow in your system. Restricted air flow forces your AC to work harder, so it uses more energy – energy that will show up in your monthly utility bill.

  • Fan Issues

Your air conditioner has two fans, one near the condenser and the other near the evaporator. Fans have multiple parts, including blades, motors, fan belts and ball bearings, all of which can experience problems. Once a fan turns slower than usual, or stops completely, the air flow in your system decreases, creating strain on your system.

  • Low Refrigerant

The refrigerant in your system has to be at a specific level in order to work properly; this amount is in the manufacturer’s handbook. There are only two reasons your refrigerant level changes: the wrong amount was administered during initial installation, or you have a leak. Low refrigerant can cause system-wide problems, but most of all, it causes your air conditioner to compensate for the loss by working harder.

Maintenance Is the Key

Any time your air conditioner operates inefficiently, it will use more energy. A great way to keep your air conditioner running optimally is by scheduling bi-annual maintenance. During routine maintenance, your system is thoroughly inspected and cleaned, and repairs are made as needed. Regular maintenance allows you to get ahead of small problems and prevent bigger ones from occurring.

If you think you may be dealing with inefficiency, or you are ready to schedule a routine maintenance visit, call Cool Air Mechanical today!

3 Common Air Conditioning Repairs

July 10th, 2014 by siteadmin

Here at Cool Air Mechanical, we know it’s summer when the phones start to ring. Air conditioners work extra hard in the Georgia heat, and, as a result, some may run into problems. If you need air conditioning repair this summer, you’re not alone. Here are 3 of the most common air conditioning repairs our technicians encounter here in Lawrenceville.

1. Refrigerant Leak

One of the most common air conditioning repairs is a refrigerant leak. Refrigerant continuously moves through your AC system to remove heat from your home and release it outdoors. There’s a set level at which the refrigerant is meant to remain at all times. If this level ever changes, the exchange of heat may be unable to take place, and your unit won’t be able to properly cool your home. Refrigerant sometimes escapes from your AC system through a small leak, which a professional technician can locate and correct.

2. Frozen Evaporator Coil

An air conditioning unit is designed to accommodate a certain amount of airflow. If the airflow changes for any reason, such as a blocked duct or a dirty air filter, the evaporator coil may freeze. The evaporator coil, located inside your home, helps to evaporate the refrigerant so it can take in heat. When freezing occurs, a technician will not only take care of the frozen coil but will also look for the source of the problem, so the unit is less likely to run into airflow issues in the future.

3. Faulty Thermostat

A faulty thermostat is often the root of your AC problems. If your air conditioner won’t run, or if it does not turn on and off at the proper times, it may just mean that your thermostat is not functioning properly, so that your system cannot sense when to turn on and off. A technician can check for problems with the sensor or other wiring issues during a service call.

When your AC needs repair, don’t stress. At Cool Air Mechanical, we’ve seen it all. Call us any time of the day for AC service in Lawrenceville.