Atlanta AC Question: What is Dual Fuel Air Conditioning

Monday, July 30th, 2012

Dual fuel air conditioning is a hybrid air conditioning technology that provides a great amount of energy-efficiency along with a high degree of comfort all year round.  As a dual fuel air conditioning company in Atlanta, Cool Air Mechanical understands and works with dual fuel air conditioning systems and can help you understand just what they are and how they work.  Our certified AC technicians can also provide quality dual fuel air conditioning installation and repair services.

Dual Fuel Air Conditioning Systems

Dual fuel heat pump systems (which also work for AC) have two main energy sources contained in a single cabinet which each use a different type of energy-source to create heat based which will be the most energy-efficient at any given time.  This is mostly determined by the temperature outside because some energy sources work better in certain climates.  The main energy sources tend to be heat pumps while the back-up heat sources tend to be either gas or oil furnaces.

Because of the design of heat pumps, they tend to drop in efficiency when temperatures get below 35° F.  So for the most energy-efficiency, when temperatures are above 35° F the heat pumps is utilized, and when temperatures outside get below freezing or lower than 35° F the secondary or backup heat source kicks in for use, and takes over the heating job at a higher efficiency rate than the heat pump could.

With a dual fuel AC system, you get the benefit of high efficiency no matter what the temperature is outside.  And since a heat pump also air conditions, you get the added benefit of an air conditioning system within the single unit as well, which means one unit for use all year round, no matter how hot or cold the temperatures outside gets.

While dual fuel systems tend to cost a little more than other heating systems, you have to note that you are getting two systems in one unit, and the amount of energy usage savings you will have over even just the first few years of use will quickly offset that difference in initial cost.  With less expensive monthly utility bills to run your air conditioning and heating system come higher monetary savings in the long run.

Dual Fuel AC System Specialists

As an air conditioning company in Atlanta that has been in the business for many years, Cool Air Mechanical can provide a large selection of air conditioning services such as dual fuel AC system installation and replacement, as well as dual fuel air conditioning repair and maintenance.  Our air conditioner technicians in Atlanta will ensure that you understand all there is to know about dual fuel systems and will help you determine whether they are the best option for your unique needs.

 

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Marietta Air Conditioning Question: Repair or Replace My Central AC?

Monday, July 23rd, 2012

It’s the big question with all major possessions: at what point does it make more sense to replace it than repair it yet again? Every day, consumers face this dilemma with their automobiles, computers and yes, their Marietta central air conditioners.

Unfortunately, there is no hard and fast answer to the question. It all depends on the situation at hand. But in this brief guide, we will outline some general guidelines for replacing an air conditioner, rather than repairing it again. Hopefully that will help you make a decision when the time comes.

When to Replace

Generally speaking, you should seriously consider replacing your central AC when one of these conditions arises:

  • Repair bills are too frequent

If you are having to call a repairman out once a month to fix some issue with the AC, that’s too much and it is time to get a new one. Gather all your past repair invoices together. Look at how frequent they are and how much they cost. That will help you analyze whether a new system is worth it.

  • Energy bills are too high

A struggling AC will be less energy efficient, resulting in rising energy costs. Again, gather up your past electric bills. Are they steadily going up? Are you paying more on average per month than you were a year ago? May be time for a new AC.

  • AC is not performing well, even with maintenance and repair

If you notice that even after being fixed, and with usual maintenance, that your central AC is just not working as well as it used to, then it may be on its way out.

  • House is too humid

Air conditioners are supposed to remove humidity, so if yours is not, that is a problem. It could be a sign that the system was the wrong size to begin with, and the only real way to fix that is to replace it with one of the correct capacity.

  • Some rooms are too hot, while others are too cool

Uneven cooling usually means an air conditioner is on its last legs.

Other than these situations, you are generally better off making the necessary repairs. Each situation is different, though, so consult with a Marietta  air conditioning professional like Cool Air Mechanical on the particulars of your system before making a decision.

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Atlanta Air Conditioning Pointer: Different AC Fan Modes

Monday, July 16th, 2012

Have you ever looked at your thermostat and wondered just what all those fan modes on the selector switch really mean? Is high better than low? What does “smart fan” mean? Can you use your Atlanta AC system as just a fan?

Yes, AC systems and thermostats these days have several fan modes, some of which are straightforward, and some of which are confusing. To see what each of these settings means and figure out which one you should be using, read this brief guide.

  • Low/Medium/High

These are the standard settings for air conditioner fan speed, and they pretty much speak for themselves. The “low” setting represents the slowest fan speed, which also uses less energy than the faster speeds. The “high” setting is obviously the fastest. Some models may not have the “medium” setting, but should still have the other two. Keep this at the lowest comfortable setting to save energy.

  • Auto

Sometimes labeled “Energy Saver” or “Smart Fan,” this mode is designed to automate your home’s cooling. An automatic mode does pretty much exactly what the name implies – it automatically turns the fan on and off depending on the temperature of the house. Some newer, “smarter” systems can also adjust the fan speed automatically in order to cool the house quicker. Automatic fan modes are the most energy efficient and represent the least hassle for the user, especially in combination with a programmable thermostat.

  • Fan Only

Some air conditioner models also have a mode that operates only the fan. With this setting activated, the AC will do no actual cooling and the compressor/condenser unit will not run. Instead, the air handler will just circulate air, which helps the home feel cooler. This setting can save energy during those times when it is not necessary to run the whole AC to keep the house comfortable. However, a fan by itself does nothing for actual cooling, so leaving your AC in fan only mode while the house is empty will actually waste energy.

While having so many modes can get confusing, they are designed to give you maximum control over how your home is cooled, as well as how much energy your AC system consumes. With that in mind, you can choose the right configuration of settings that works for you. For more information about your Atlanta air conditioning system, give Cool Air Mechanical a call!

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Atlanta AC Guide: Signs of an Oversized Air Conditioning System

Monday, July 9th, 2012

Generally, the common thought that you “can’t have too much of a good thing” is true in a lot of instances. With air conditioners, however, this logic doesn’t hold. When sizing an air conditioner, it may make sense to get one that is oversized for the job, because that way you can be sure that it will get the job done. An oversized air conditioner can cause problems, though. Below are two big warning signs that you may have just such a problem on your hands.

1.       Short Cycling

There’s one thing about the argument for getting an oversized air conditioner that is true – it will cool the house faster. It has more cooling capacity than the space needs, so it’s able to fill the house with cool air much more quickly, and then shut off as it’s supposed to. When an air conditioner turns on and off so frequently and for such short periods of time, that’s called short cycling and it’s not good for the equipment. It causes excessive wear and tear to the motors and fans, which can result in more repairs and a shorter life for the AC system. If it seems like your AC is turning off very soon after switching on, you may have an oversizing problem.

2.       Excess Humidity

Additionally, short cycling also results in incomplete dehumidification of the air. This is because the short run time doesn’t allow the AC to pull enough ambient air across the coils to remove sufficient moisture from the air. It will still cool just fine, but  the air will feel too humid too have been air conditioned. Aside from being less comfortable, this humid air can cause moisture problems like mold and rust and more readily trigger asthma. Air that is cool but still clammy is an almost sure sign of an oversized AC.

The best way to fix oversizing problems is to have your Atlanta air conditioner properly sized before purchase and installation. If you have purchased a home with an existing AC system and you are noticing signs of oversizing, call an Atlanta AC company such as Cool Air Mechanical to inspect the problem and discuss your options for correcting the situation.

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Atlanta Events and Activities

Friday, July 6th, 2012

Family Fun | Atlanta | Cool Air MechanicalAre you looking for something to do in the Atlanta area? Check out these great events for family fun.

Atlanta Street Food Festival: Saturday, July 14 11:00a to 7:00p at Piedmont Park, Atlanta, GA

Flying Colors Butterfly Festival: Saturday, July 14 10:00a to 3:00p at Chattahoochee Nature Center, Roswell, GA

17th Annual Heritage Arts Festival: Today, Friday, July 6 10:00a to 9:00p at Underground Atlanta, Atlanta, GA

 

Cool Air Mechanical provides reliable, expert service for all of your air conditioning, duct cleaning, water heater, and indoor air quality needs. Call us today for 24/7 emergency repair service, or to schedule an AC tune-up with our $59.95 special! We have excellent maintenance and preventative service plans to keep all of your home comfort systems running smoothly throughout the year. We provide service in Atlanta, Duluth, and the Greater Atlanta Area.

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Atlanta AC Maintenance Tip: Why You Cannot Neglect It

Monday, July 2nd, 2012

Household chores are no fun, including AC maintenance. But, there is a good reason we do some of the maintenance tasks we have to keep up with as homeowners. Next time you need motivation to get started your Atlanta air conditioner’s maintenance, review these five compelling reasons to stay on top of it:

1.       Hinders performance

Air conditioner maintenance keeps the various components of the AC system working optimally. When coils are dirty or filters are clogged, the air conditioner cannot cool the air as efficiently as it is supposed to. As a result, you have to cope with air that is not as cool as it should be, so your home is less comfortable.

2.       Speeds up wear and tear

Having to deal with issues like dirty blower fans makes air conditioners work harder than they would otherwise have to. This puts undue strain and stress on various parts of the overall system, which causes it to wear down more quickly. You probably selected your air conditioner on the assumption that it would last many years, but this won’t be the case if it is neglected.

3.       Causes more frequent repairs

Aside from performance problems and simple wear, neglect also promotes malfunctions and broken parts. This means more breakdowns and repair calls, both of which can be prevented or at least minimized with some routine maintenance.

4.       Can be hazardous to your health

A lot of people don’t think of this, but because your air conditioner circulates air throughout your home, it plays a key role in your overall health. It filters out impurities so that the air you breathe is reasonably free of allergens, bacteria and other nasty stuff. Neglecting routine maintenance can result in dust, dander, mold spores and other potential health hazards winding up in your lungs.

5.       Costs money

The overarching theme of each of the first 4 reasons is money. All of those problems cost money, and that is money that could easily be saved with a little maintenance. To keep that money in your pocket, adhere to a diligent AC maintenance schedule.

As a reminder, in addition to your own regular maintenance as a homeowner, you should also schedule regular annual maintenance by an Atlanta air conditioning professional to keep your AC running like a champ. To set up an appointment, call Cool Air Mechanical today!

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