Heat Pump Settings and Your Comfort Level: A Tip from Atlanta

Wednesday, November 30th, 2011

Your heat pump has a number of settings that can affect your Atlanta home’s overall comfort level. One of those settings is the fan – which can be set to run automatically when heating is needed or left on continuously so that the device never turns off. Which is better for your home, though? Let’s take a look.

Comfort vs. Economy

The reason there are two settings on your heat pump is that one is more economical. The auto setting allows the device to minimize how often it is on. So, it only turns on when the house needs warm air to maintain the thermostat setting.

On the other hand, the always on setting is designed to provide better comfort. When you leave your heat pump’s fan on continuously, it provides steady heat over time. This means that the temperature remains consistent and mixes the air to ensure there are no uncomfortable pockets of poorly conditioned air in your home somewhere.

Which Is Better?

In terms of comfort level, it depends on your needs. If you’re not too picky about the exact temperature of your home, the auto setting is best because you will save money and it tends to be fairly accurate. However, if you want to ensure you and your family are perfectly comfortable, regardless of the weather outside, the always on setting is the best way to achieve this level of comfort.

Of course, if you’re concerned about the added cost of leaving the heat pump fan on all the time, you can adjust the thermostat to even out the cost. By raising the thermostat 2 degrees in the summer and lowering it 2 degrees in the winter, the added cost of running it constantly should be offset. If it isn’t, you should have your device inspected to ensure both of the settings are properly calibrated.

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How to Clean Up and Repair Damage from Mold: A Guide from Tucker

Monday, November 28th, 2011

So, you had your air quality tested and a mold inspector visited your Tucker home and gave you the bad news – there is mold in your house. What’s the next step? For millions of homeowners every year, mold becomes a reality and the cleanup and repair seem daunting. But depending on the severity of the problem, there may be a relatively simple solution.

Step 1- Fix the Problem

Before any cleanup occurs, the first step is to fix whatever problem caused the mold initially. In most cases, this is a source of excess water or humidity getting into your home. It could be a leak in your attic or standing water in your basement. Whatever the source, it needs to be repaired before any removal can occur.

Step 2 – Removing Damaged Items

Mold has a habit of destroying that which it grows on. This includes window frames, floor boards and furniture. For the most part, it’s recommended that you throw away anything affected by mold. Old carpet, upholstery, books, and clothing can be replaced – and rarely can mold be effectively removed from those items without a heavy cost. If something has sentimental valuable, make sure to consult an expert as to whether it can be cleaned.

Step 3 – Remove the Mold

With the water source fixed and damaged items removed, it’s time to clean up the mold damage. Any water or remaining dampness is removed first, usually with some form of vacuum cleaner or wet vac system. If a professional visits, they may wear protective masks or clothing to avoid inhaling potentially toxic mold spores – remember that while most mold is only an allergen, some mold can be dangerous even to healthy, non-allergic people.

If you choose to clean up the mold yourself, make sure you have it tested prior to cleanup to ensure it won’t be a health risk to you or your family.

Step 4 – Sterilization

Hopefully your mold problem is only on surfaces and removable fibers. Some mold can get into walls and ductwork, a problem which requires a much more in-depth cleaning process to correct. For this type of mold infestation, make sure you call a professional so you can be sure it is completely removed. To ensure mold being cleaned doesn’t enter the air and make anyone sick, it is usually contained with a wood frame or protective plastic sheeting. Careful removal with HEPA vacuums and sterilizing wipes is also recommended to ensure all mold spores are gone.

Mold is a problem for millions but if properly removed it doesn’t need to be a problem in your home. Make sure you call someone you can trust for testing, cleanup and prevention and your home will be safe and clean for years to come.

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Happy Thanksgiving!

Thursday, November 24th, 2011

Happy Thanksgiving!  We have a lot to be thankful for this year, especially all of our great customers! Have a very happy holiday with your family, friends, and loved ones. And don’t forget that Thanksgiving is also about amazing food; here is a recipe from allrecipes.com for some Sugar Coated Pecans that will add a little something extra to your meal:

Sugar Coated Pecans

“These slow-roasted whole pecans coated in an egg white and sugar glaze spiced with cinnamon make a wonderful snack for any occasion.”

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 egg white
  • 1 tablespoon water
  • 1 pound pecan halves
  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

DIRECTIONS:

  1. Preheat oven to 250 degrees F (120 degrees C). Grease one baking sheet.
  2. In a mixing bowl, whip together the egg white and water until frothy. In a separate bowl, mix together sugar, salt, and cinnamon.
  3. Add pecans to egg whites, stir to coat the nuts evenly. Remove the nuts, and toss them in the sugar mixture until coated. Spread the nuts out on the prepared baking sheet.
  4. Bake at 250 degrees F (120 degrees C) for 1 hour. Stir every 15 minutes.

For more details, click here.

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How to Maintain High Efficiency Filters to Reduce Stress on Your Heat Pump: A Tip from Stone Mountain

Wednesday, November 23rd, 2011

The filter on your heat pump is an integral part of your Stone Mountain home’s comfort system. Without that filter, the device will quickly be subjected to an influx of debris and contaminants that can get into the machinery and the air being filtered into your home. As a result, you need to make sure you properly maintain the filters to reduce stress on your heat pump.

Change Your Filters

High efficiency filters are designed to remove as much of the airborne contaminants in the air as possible. This is fantastic for keeping your indoor air clean. But if you don’t properly maintain the filter, air quality can worsen and your heat pump is put under unnecessary stress. Specifically, the extremely tight knit filter, designed to stop nearly anything from getting through, gets clogged.

Now your heat pump is forced to work much harder to draw the air it needs from outside and heat or cool your home. On top of that, the filter is filled with contaminants that can start to leak back into the air supply, actually making your indoor air quality worse than it would be otherwise. That’s why it is so important to clean your filters on a regular basis (for permanent filters) and replace them if they are one time use.

Recommended Filters

You have options as to which types of filters you use for your heat pump. Filters come in multiple options, from super high MERV rated filters that trap up to 99% of all contaminants as small as 0.3 microns.

Electrostatic filters are especially efficient because they extract contaminants of all types – from dust and mold to smoke and gas fumes. A good filtration system should effectively remove anything from the air without needing replacement too often.

Permanent filters tend to offer the best protection against airborne contaminants and generally need to be cleaned once a month. HEPA filters are often permanent and while each filter is different, these are often extremely effective at minimizing contaminants in the air without putting stress on your heat pump.

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