HVAC Preparation for Spring

February 5th, 2016

If you are looking for an HVAC company in Atlanta to assist you in preparing your cooling system for the spring, Cool Air Mechanical is certainly one to add to your research list. Even though you’re going to need the help of experts to perform some of the tasks required in this preparation, you still need to do some thinking about when to schedule the tasks and which ones you think are necessary for your home.

Here are some of the things that can be done to prepare your HVAC for spring.

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How to Know When to Replace Your Water Heater

January 11th, 2016

Your water heater ensures that you have hot water whenever you turn on the faucet or start filling up your bathtub. Could you imagine what would happen to your daily shower if your water heater unexpectedly stopped working? Instead of suffering through a freezing cold shower, consider the following 4 signs that can alert you to the need of a water heater replacement:

Age

How old is your water heater? The average water heater has a life expectancy of 8-12 years. Of course, the actual amount of time that your water heater will last depends on the weather, the design, the quality of installation, and the amount of maintenance. If your water heater is getting older, it might be time to replace it for a new and improved model.

Leaks

Check the base of your water heater. If there are leaks coming out of the water heater, there may be problems that require serious attention. More likely than not, you’ll need to replace your water heater to ensure that it won’t leak and cause further problems for your home and possessions.

Malfunctioning Problems

Have you had a lot of problems with your water heater? Does it only work every now and again? If your water heater is acting erratically, it’s telling you that it’s on its way out. It would be a good idea to have it checked to make sure that it can’t be repaired first, though. If you’ve been repairing it on a regular basis, you should probably just replace it.

Equipment Failure

One of the biggest signs that it’s time for a new water heater is that it doesn’t work. First, make sure that it’s not caused by something that could be an easy fix, such as a blown fuse, tripped breaker, a faulty thermostat, or even a defective heating element. If you walk through each one of these things and the water heater still isn’t working, it probably gave up the ghost and it’s time to move on to a new one.

If you’ve decided that it’s time for a heating replacement, there are a few things that you should take into consideration: the gallon capacity, recovery rate, space that it occupies, and the energy efficiency ratings. When you hire Cool Air Mechanical, one of our technicians can come to your home to measure the space, evaluate your old water heater, and help you determine what the right replacement would be for your home. We can even order it for you and help you install it so you can continue to enjoy your hot water whenever you need it.

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Winter is Near: Safety Tips on Heating Your Home

January 7th, 2016

With winter on its way, you should be preparing your heating system so that it can deliver comfort and warmth while keeping your family safe. At Cool Air Mechanical in Decatur, we know that many people do not think about heating repair services until they really need them. However, calling a company out to check your heating system could help prevent having to heat your home unconventionally while waiting for a technician during a high demand time.

Head in the Oven

If your heating system does fail, you may be tempted to use the oven to heat your home. This can be very dangerous. If you have pets or children, they could get burned. Your home could catch fire, or worse, the oven may produce carbon monoxide, which is an odorless, colorless, and deadly gas. Gretel wouldn’t stick her head in the oven, you shouldn’t either.

Frozen Pipes

If your home is heated through a radiator and something goes wrong so that the pipes freeze, it is important to not try to thaw the pipes with heating tape or open flame. House fires happen every winter when people try a home remedy to thaw their pipes. Call out a professional.

Wood Stoves and Fireplaces

These systems are great for providing a cozy feeling. However, depending on what kind of fireplace you have, you may be losing more heat than you are producing. Fires draw the air from inside the home and send it up the flue. Even if you have the right fireplace or wood stove, you will want to make sure that you get it serviced at least once a year. Flue fires can be deadly, and a blocked flue can be hazardous. You should also never burn anything other than the materials recommended by the manufacturer. Plastics and garbage should never be put in your fireplace.

Your Heating System

Like any system, your heating system needs to be serviced at set intervals. Typically, you should have it looked at every 6 months, so that the filters can be replaced. By bringing out a professional before winter strikes, you will be doing everything you can to make sure that the system performs as it was meant to during the coldest weather. At Cool Air Mechanical, we know that heating repair services are often best performed before you know that there is a problem. Even if your system is functioning, calling in a service team will ensure that it is running at peak efficiency, which saves you money that you can use for nights of hot cocoa and marshmallows.

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Get Ready for Winter – Heating Maintenance Checklist

December 2nd, 2015

Taking care of your furnace each winter can be as easy as following a checklist, so read on for recommendations for this winter’s heating maintenance.

The Filter

Clean it, change it, and generally make sure it is ready to go for a long winter of heating your home. Filters should be cleaned regularly throughout the winter, and if your filter is older, you should consider upgrading it since more efficient parts make for a more efficient system.

The Chimney

Have your chimney inspected before the winter months hit, or check for obstructions like nests, leaves, or debris. Check for ash and soot buildup (don’t skip this step—it can be a fire hazard!) and have your chimney cleaned when necessary. This keeps your home warm and safe.

The Windows

By changing screens for storm windows, replacing your older windows with newer, more energy-efficient options, or even lining your windows with plastic film, you keep your heated air in so your home remains warm and toasty while saving you money on energy costs.

The Cleaning

During months of disuse, components of your heating system gather dust bunnies, which can be dangerous as well as costly. Working harder to compensate for buildup, your machines have to strain to do their jobs. Dust and debris can also catch fire, presenting a major hazard. Clean your burners, blowers, air vents, ducts, and other areas to keep things running smoothly and safely. A vacuum can be a great tool for this cleaning.

The Blower Belt

The largest belt on your furnace is the blower belt, and it should be inspected for cracks. If you do notice any cracks, replace it immediately.

The Obvious (Yet Easy to Forget)

Change your thermostat from “cool” to “heat.” While it seems obvious, it’s easy to forget, and you’ll be left wondering why your heating isn’t working. If you don’t have a programmable thermostat, consider getting one, since this is a great way to save on heating costs throughout the winter.

The Professional Inspections

Having a professional inspection done occasionally is a great way to catch any problems that the untrained eye might miss. Some problems, big or small, can be costly down the road if not identified, so having a professional inspect your entire system annually can actually save you money in the long run.

Whenever you buy a new home or have a new heating system installed, it is a good idea to learn about the system, create a heating maintenance plan, and lay out a schedule or list that you follow at the start of each winter. This will keep you on track and prevent you from forgetting an important step that might come back and haunt you down the road.

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5 Considerations for Choosing a New Heater

November 25th, 2015

It’s important to watch for signs that your furnace is on its way out, so you can get a new one before you’re left cold in the middle of winter. Some of the signs that you should pay attention to include an increase in your utility bills, ineffective heating, and the age of your heater. If it’s over 10 years old, it’s probably time for a new heating installation. So what should you look for in the new equipment that you choose? Consider the following 5 things.

Energy Ratings

Look at the ENERGY STAR rating of each heater that you’re considering. You want one with a great rating, because then you’ll know that the equipment will have better efficiency. This will save you money in the long run and ensure that your equipment will have optimal performance.

Space Size

You need to make sure that the heater can handle the size of your home. Consider the square footage of your home as you determine how large the heater needs to be in order to keep your home warm. If you get one that can’t handle the size of your home, it will have to work overtime to keep your home warm. You should make sure that you have the space in your furnace room for the heater that you want, too.

Location

Think about where you live and the weather that you have. Are you permitted to burn firewood in your home? Can you dig up your yard to add a geothermal system? Make sure the heater that you use will work for the location of your home.

Budget

What is your budget? What can you afford for your furnace? You’re going to want to purchase a quality furnace. You may need to shell out a little more money than you were expecting to spend in order to get the best heater for your home.

Tax Credits

There are heaters available that can offer you tax credits. A professional can help you know the ones that are eligible for the tax credit. This can also help you save money with the heater that you purchase.

If you’re still wondering about how to choose the right heater and which one is right for you, the experts Cool Air Mechanical can talk to you about your home and your heating installation needs to help you choose the right one. We can also answer your questions about finding one with high ENERGY STAR ratings and tax credits to help save you money in the long run.

 

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Top 4 Heating System Tips for Your Home!

November 12th, 2015

Cool Air Mechanical_September_Top 3 Heating System Tips for Your Home!_Image 1(1)Are you ready for the cold months that are rapidly approaching? Paying attention to your heating systems can help you have a smoother, warmer winter free from any heating problems. Read about 4 top tips for caring for your home’s heating system, and enjoy the peace of mind that comes with knowing things are all taken care of with help from Cool Air Mechanical.

Glass

The first thing to check out in your home is any glass, like windows and glass doors, on an exterior wall. Add plastic film to glass doors and windows to serve as an insulator. Keep curtains drawn when it is dark to keep more of your heated air in, and open your curtains and blinds during the sunniest parts of the day to let light in and generate some heat. Even small steps like these can help with that energy bill at the end of the month.

Doors

Next, check out your door situation. Update and replace your weather stripping, adjust the door thresholds making sure no light comes in around the edges, and check for cold air creeping in when your doors are closed. Paying to heat your home, and then letting that air steadily leak out into the elements is not a wise financial decision.

Holes

Finally, look for other leaks and holes, and address them as soon as possible. First, find drafts throughout your home, then seal them to keep the heated air inside your home. One easy way to check for drafts is to light a candle or stick of incense and watch for a flicker as you slowly trace the edges of suspect areas. Cold air is another obvious sign. Air can escape up chimneys, through holes in exterior walls, around the edges of electrical outlets, into your attic, and in other places you might not think of, so take the time to look for all possible costly leaks.

Scheduled Maintenance

Though these tips will help you save on a heating bill, one thing will save you more than anything else: professional maintenance. There are only a few ways to catch a potential costly problem, and the easiest and most cost effective is to schedule maintenance with Cool Air Mechanical. A safety check and tune up is essential to check whether the system is running effectively, and the cost of a tune-up usually will pay for itself in savings on your utilities bill. Though checking your home for leaks is important, nothing is more important for your safety and your pocketbook than booking an appointment for your heating system today.

For more energy-saving tips, check out more of our blog posts, or call a professional from Cool Air Mechanical.

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Heating Unit Not Working. Common Heating Repair Problems!

October 8th, 2015

Your heating system is a complicated machine full of moving parts all put together in a delicate pattern. This means that little things can cause the system to stop working all together. The experts at Cool Air Mechanical want you to know what some of these common heating repair problems are, and what you can do to avoid them. The following is a list of some of these issues:

  • Blocked vents: The hot air from your heating unit can’t really get to where you need it if the heating vents are blocked. When this happens, dangerous pressure can occur in the vents, or the desired hot air will find another room to vent to. You can help avoid issues with your system by making sure all the vents to the rooms you want heated remain clear of furniture, paper, and other blockages.
  • Dirty filters: All modern heating units come equipped with filtration systems. As air is brought into the system to be heated, it passes through some filters which keep dust, dirt, fabric pieces, hair, and other such debris from entering the engine and causing major problems. If these filters are not cleaned or replaced on a regular basis, then you might encounter some unpleasant issues. In many cases, the professionals from Cool Air Mechanical are able to solve issues with slow engines, strange noises, and bad smells by simply addressing the dirty filter problem.
  • Poor insulation: While your heating system is made to work long and hard, it really was not designed to run at all hours of the day and night without any times of respite. Running for too long can wear out the parts and needlessly hasten the need for a replacement system. You can help avoid this problem by ensuring that your house is properly insulated. This will allow the heated air to stay inside, so your system can get the house heated in a shorter amount of time.

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Checklist for Choosing an HVAC Company

June 30th, 2015

Checklist for Choosing an HVAC Company_image1Whether you need someone to come and give your HVAC system a checkup or your furnace or air conditioner has broken down completely, hiring an HVAC company that can diagnose and repair the issue quickly is extremely important. You can help yourself when you are calling to different companies around town if you know in advance what you are looking for. Here are 5 items to check off your checklist as you are looking for a qualified HVAC contractor.

Has a Good Local Reputation

There are many fly-by-night companies. We encourage you to look for a company that has a long-standing reputation in the local area to help you. This way you know that the company stands behind their work and will not do a shoddy job and then skip out on you.

Licensed and Insured

Make sure the company you work with has an up-to-date license and insurance, including workers’ compensation insurance. This will protect you from liability in the event that the contractor or one of his or her staff is injured while working on the job. An up-to-date license shows you that the company is in good standing with the local city and state government.

Checklist for Choosing an HVAC Company_image2Gives Estimates in Person

Be very wary of any service provider who tries to give you an estimate over the phone, sight unseen. You might think you know what the problem is, but your idea of the issue might be just that–an idea. Be sure that when you are collecting estimates and trying to find the right contractor that the company offers to come out and take a look in person.

Provides the Best Value

With HVAC repair and maintenance, as with anything else, you are likely to get just what you pay for. Do not choose your contractor based solely on the price that they offer you for the service. Instead, make sure that you are looking at all of the qualities they have and what they offer compared to other companies you are researching.

Knowledgeable about Equipment

Last but not least, make sure any HVAC contractor doing work at your home is knowledgeable about equipment and can provide solid recommendations as to what equipment you should be using, what you should be doing to keep it running in good condition, and what might not be working with your current system. Having the right size of units such as your furnace, water heater, and air conditioner is essential to prevent damage to the appliance itself and also to your home, so be sure that you use the right contractor to tell you if you are using appropriate equipment.

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Summer’s Here! Time to Check that Air Conditioning!

June 25th, 2015

At Cool Air Mechanical, we know that many people are going to be calling us on that first truly hot day during the summer about their air conditioners not working. One of the biggest benefits of having an air conditioner tune-up done prior to when summer starts is so that you don’t have to deal with unexpected blistering heat inside your home when the weather heats up. With summer upon us it’s time to check that air conditioning. Here are some of the advantages that you will experience this summer when you schedule your summer tune-up.

Avoid Problems with Your Air Conditioner

Getting your air conditioner tuned up now ensures that you don’t deal with bigger problems later. You won’t have to wait for an appointment for us to come out, being uncomfortably hot all the while. Scheduling this in advance ensures that your air conditioner is in perfect working condition prior to when you need it so that you don’t run into issues later on when the situation is more desperate.

Catch Problems before They Are Too Big

Tune-ups often will catch small problems with your air conditioner that might have gone unnoticed until they were too big to fix quickly and inexpensively. Even if the small problems do not cause expensive repairs, they may result in decreased efficiency of your unit and run you extra money on your monthly utility bills. Getting a tune-up will ultimately save you a lot of money.

It should not surprise you that the air inside your home is much dirtier than the air outdoors. An AC tune-up will help clean up your indoor air and make your home a healthier place for you and your family to live. Many respiratory conditions such as allergies and asthma are improved by cleaner air.

Conceptual image - window in sky

Cleaner Indoor Air

It should not surprise you that the air inside your home is much dirtier than the air outdoors. An AC tune-up will help clean up your indoor air and make your home a healthier place for you and your family to live. Many respiratory conditions such as allergies and asthma are improved by cleaner air.

Help Your Unit Last Longer

Getting a regular tune-up on your air conditioning unit ensures that your unit lasts as long as possible without breaking down or decreasing in efficiency, especially during the part of the year that you are not using it. Your air conditioner should last between 10 and 15 years but only as long as it is regularly tuned up by an air conditioning professional.

Increase Energy Efficiency

Your air conditioner is probably not as efficient as you think it is. By cleaning up and tuning up your air conditioner, the energy efficiency of your unit can increase by up to 30% when you hire a professional to come out for a tune-up.

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What Is Duct Sanitizing?

March 20th, 2015

If you worry about the quality of the air in your home, duct cleaning may be a great choice for your family. With duct cleaning, professionals go after the most common contaminants in your ducts which may affect your family’s health. And in some cases, you can get duct sanitizing for further protection against bacteria and viruses. Talk with the experts at Cool Air Mechanical for more information and to schedule complete duct cleaning service in Alpharetta.

What is involved with duct sanitizing?

Duct sanitizing is the very last step in duct cleaning, and it is entirely optional. In some case duct cleaning is already sufficient. Technicians use agitators and high-pressure vacuums to knock debris loose from the lining of the ducts and suck it up. They’ll use professional inspection equipment to make sure the job was completed properly. And finally, some companies ask clients whether they would like duct sanitizing as well.

With duct sanitizing, our technicians use an EPA-approved cleaning agent to further eliminate microbes and other contaminants from the ducts. There are very few products out there approved for this by the Environmental Protection Agency and OSHA–the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, which is why it’s important to choose the right company for this task.

Do I really need duct sanitizing?

The fact is that not every home will require duct sanitizing. We usually recommend this service only to our customers who suffer from asthma, allergies, or severe immune disorders. You may decide to add on duct cleaning at the end of your service for this reason, or you may choose to if the level of dust in your ducts was particularly high. The choice is yours, but keep in mind that this process is safe for your home and for the air you breathe. However, we can only sanitize sheet metal ducts at this point, as there is no approved process for fiber duct board.

When you decide it’s time to schedule duct cleaning in Alpharetta, choose a company who uses the right tools and methods and who gives you the option to add in duct sanitizing. Not every company offers this valuable service, so put your trust in Cool Air Mechanical. Call our highly skilled indoor air quality team today.

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