What Corrosion on a Heat Pump’s Coils Means

Monday, February 24th, 2014

Heat pumps make a logical and economical solution for both heating and air conditioning here in Atlanta. They function well in conjunction with our mild winters. Heat pump problems are infrequent, but then they do occur, they can often be serious. Take the issue of rust or corrosion on the internal components, especially the coils. Here’s a brief discussion of what corrosion on a heat pump’s coils means.

Corrosion comes in many forms; it is usually caused by exposure to cleaning products with a high acidic content, fluoride in the water, or similar elements.  High quality heat pumps will apply a protective coating to their coils, but that can wear out over time.

Regardless, the corrosion itself is a serious problem. Over time, it with create a breach in the coil, releasing refrigerant gas and effectively halting the heat pump’s ability to function. When that happens, the coil will need to be replaced if you want the heat pump to function again.

You can help prevent this first by having a professional coat the coil in a corrosive retardant that will help protect it. A qualified professional can assess the state of your coil, then make a recommendation for a reliable coating based on the particular needs of your heat pump. You can also schedule regular maintenance sessions to watch for signs of corrosion and perhaps alter the existing conditions to reduce the risks involve (such as removing problematic insulation from the wall around the heat pump).

In these cases, the experts at Cool Air Mechanical are ready to help you. We know what corrosion on a heat pump’s coils means and we would much rather help you prevent the problem before it becomes too big to handle. Here in Atlanta, heat pump repair services like ours are ready and able to set up a maintenance session or a flat-out repair session to keep your coil rust-free. Give us a call today to set up an appointment. You’ll be glad that you did!

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3 Signs That Heating Repair Can’t Wait

Friday, February 21st, 2014

Winter still isn’t finished with us here in Atlanta, so you shouldn’t think that you’ll be finished with your heater until the fall. If your home’s heating system shows signs that it needs repairs, don’t hesitate to schedule them: ignoring a repair need can result in an expensive—and chilly—breakdown at the worst time.

For rapid and skilled assistance for your needs for heating repair in Atlanta, GA, give the professionals at Cool Air Mechanical a call—any time of the day or night.

Watch for these 3 warning signs that you need heating repair

  1. The heater is making loud, unusual noises – Heaters do have something of an “early warning system” as part of their manufacture: changes in the sounds they make. You should be accustomed to the noise that your heating system makes during normal operation. If this changes and you begin to hear grinding, groaning, clicking, or banging sounds, you should call for heating repair technicians right away to investigate and find out the source. It’s almost certainly something that shouldn’t be happening, and the sooner you call for help fixing it, the sooner you’ll prevent the damage from spreading to other components.
  2. You notice cold spots in your home – Modern heating systems are designed to distribute heat through your home as evenly as possible. If you find that some rooms in your home are not getting as warm as they normally do, it could indicate a serious problem afflicting the heating system, from breaks in the ductwork to damage to the air handler.
  3. Heating bills rise dramatically– When a heater is running without defects and repair needs, its energy use will remain consistent, and your energy bills should remain consistent as well as long as you maintain the same pattern of heating your home. However, if your bills start to rise suddenly and you can’t account for it because of increased use, then it may mean that something is amiss in the heater that is causing it to work inefficiently. Don’t shrug this off as the system getting older; call for repairs to see if anything is seriously wrong.

Please keep in mind that heater repair is about more than protecting your heating and your bills: it’s also about safety. If you have a gas-powered heating system in your home, it’s important that you have repairs done as soon as possible to prevent any health risks. Electric systems can become hazards as well due to faulty wiring. Don’t take any chances; call for professional heating repair in Atlanta, GA right away.

Cool Air Mechanical offers 24/7 emergency service for whenever you think your heating system needs immediate attention. Our trained technicians will get to the bottom of the problem and offer the solutions you need.

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3 Things to Consider Before Your Heat Pump Installation

Monday, February 17th, 2014

Heat pumps are an innovative and versatile means of conditioning the air in your house. They utilize the same basic system as an air conditioner, which cycles refrigerant gas through a series of valves and coils to change the temperature in the surrounding air. But while air conditioners are set up to simply cool your home, heat pumps can use the same system to reverse the process and heat it as well. They work best in areas with mild winters, which is why Atlanta heat pump installation makes a lot of sense. If you’re thinking about placing a heat pump system in your home, you want to prepare for the operation properly.

Here are 3 things to consider before your heat pump installation:

  • Ducted or Ductless: Some heat pump are forced air systems, designed to work in conjunction with a duct system. Others work as part of a ductless system, deploying multiple indoor units throughout your house to heat or cool each space individually. Which one works best depends on the specifics of you house. If you have an existing duct system, a centralized heat pump might work best. If you don’t, then you might want to look into a ductless heat pump system.
  • Sizing is key: Like other HVAC systems, heat pumps need to generate just the right amount of power to work best. If it’s too small, it won’t heat or cool your home adequately. If it’s too large, it will cycle on and off rapidly, wasting considerable energy in the process. A technician can inspect your home and provide a precise estimate of the right sized heat pump for your space.
  • Select locations carefully: Heat pumps depend on both indoor and outdoor components to do their job. You’ll need to find spots in the right location (or locations) in your house and make sure they have the right dimension for the unit. Heat pumps do make some noise, so that might affect the placement of your unit as well.

The experts at Cool Air Mechanical can help with Atlanta heat pump installation, as well as giving you more things to consider before your heat pump installation begins. Careful planning is the key to installing a new heating system, and we have the expertise to do the job right. Call us today to set up an appointment!

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Who Wrote the First Valentine’s Day Poem?

Friday, February 14th, 2014

The celebration of Valentine’s Day is often seen as a modern institution, even if the roots of the holiday go back to Late Antiquity and the figures of St. Valentine of Rome and St. Valentine of Terni. It’s difficult to separate our view of February 14th from the more recent phenomenon of greeting cards, comical cupids, and specialty treats from candy companies.

However, not only are some of these traditions older than we might think (mass-produced Valentine’s Day cards were an enormous success in early 19th-century England), but the earliest Valentine’s Day love poem comes from none other than the first great English author, Geoffrey Chaucer, who wrote in the second half of the 14th-century.

Chaucer’s most famous work is The Canterbury Tales, an enormous collection of linked stories in poetry and prose. But his 700-line poem “Parlement of Foules” has the special distinction of being the first surviving record of a connection between Valentine’s Day and romantic love. Chaucer probably composed the poem in 1381–82. At the time, he was a member of the court of King Richard II, holding an important bureaucratic position in London. The date suggests that Chaucer wrote “Parelment of Foules” to honor the first anniversary of the engagement of the English king to Princess Anne of Bohemia.

The poem follows the dream of the narrator, where he walks through Venus’s temple and discovers a meeting of birds where they all choose their mates. This is where the mention of St. Valentine’s Day appears (English modernized):

For this was on St. Valentine’s Day,

When every bird cometh there to choose his mate.                                                                  

The poem also contains a familiar Valentine’s image, Cupid with his arrows:

Under a tree, beside a well, I saw

Cupid our lord his arrows forge and file;                                                             

And at his feet his bow already lay.

When Chaucer mentions St. Valentine’s Day, is he referring specifically to February 14th? Late winter isn’t a time when birds in England would mate. However, the date for the start of spring—when some birds would have started nesting in England—was on February 23rd in the calendars of the time, certainly close enough for Chaucer to take poetic license and nudge it a bit to match with Valentine’s Day.

Love birds remain a popular symbol of Valentine’s Day even now, and for this we can thank Chaucer. In fact, he may very well have invented the link between love and Valentine’s Day, although we will probably never know for certain.

Whoever started these traditions, all of us here at Cool Air Mechanical hope you have a wonderful February 14th!

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3 Common Water Heater Repairs

Friday, February 7th, 2014

Similar to boilers, hot water heaters can function for many years without needing major repair work. As long as you schedule regular maintenance on your water heater (we recommend an annual visit from a technician), you should get many years of trouble-free performance from it.

But there is no way to prevent every potential problem that can cause a water heater to start losing its effectiveness. At some point, you may have to call for water heater repair in Atlanta, GA, and when that time comes, make sure that your phone call goes to Cool Air Mechanical. You don’t have to worry about when your water heater breaks down, because we have 24-hour emergency service to help you get your precious hot water supply back.

Water heater repairs we often perform

  1. Replacing the anode rod – Attached to the top of you water heater’s tank and running down into it is a metal rod known as the anode rod or the “sacrificial rod.” The purpose of this component is to draw away the oxidation that will cause corrosion and rust inside the water tank. The anode rod corrodes first, before the corrosion reaches the tank, essentially sacrificing itself for the tank. Since the anode rod will eventually rust all the way through, it needs regular replacement. If rust begins to appear on the tank, repair technicians will replace the anode rod along with removing the rust.
  2. Leak sealing – With any hydronic system—one that uses water circulation—leaks pose the major threat. Leaks in water heaters usually occur because of a spike in the water pressure. Leaks will spread rapidly if the pressure isn’t relieved, springing up at connectors and eventually along the tank itself. Repair technicians must both seal the leaks and locate the cause of the high pressure within the tank.
  3. Replacing broken heating elements – For electric water heaters, this is the most common reason for the loss of hot water. Two electrical heating elements within the tank are responsible for raising the water temperature. If one of these malfunctions and stops working, it will cause a drop in the level of hot water throughout the house. A specialist must replace the broken element.

Don’t jeopardize your hot water supply

Take a moment to think about how often you use hot water during the course of a day. It’s more important to you than your probably realize. Don’t let a cold water surprise make your life difficult: schedule routine maintenance for your hot water heater. When you notice anything amiss, such as rusty water or a drop in water temperature, call for repairs right away.

Cool Air Mechanical is ready to help with the water heater repair in Atlanta, GA that you need—any time of the day or night.

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The Tools Professionals Use for Duct Cleaning

Thursday, February 6th, 2014

You should schedule duct cleaning in Atlanta, GA once or twice a year to make certain your heater and air conditioner have as little resistance to smooth airflow as possible and to ensure that you have high indoor air quality. Because your ducts are sealed along their length to prevent losing air pressure, they can develop a buildup of dust, dirt, pollen, and dander that has no escape except through your vents. In addition to standard pollutants, ducts can harbor bacterial contaminants that can damage the duct material and negatively affect your health. Duct cleaning is vital for taking care of these problems.

Duct cleaning requires trained professionals with advanced tools. Without the equipment listed below, it’s impossible to access all the spaces inside ductwork or to remove the majority of the contaminants. Put this job in the hands of the experts: call Cool Air Mechanical today and schedule the duct cleaning you need.

Common tools for professional duct cleaning

  • High power vacuums – These specialized vacuums have a stronger level of suction than even most commercial vacuum cleaners. They have long hoses capable of reaching far inside ductwork. But most important, they dislodge contaminants from the walls of ducts by placing the ductwork under negative pressure. This makes it much easier for the vacuum to remove contamination.
  • Rotary brushes – To scrub away the most ground-in dirt and loosen then for vacuuming, duct cleaning technicians use motorized rotary brushes on extended lines. The fast-spinning action of the brushes can dislodge most contaminants without causing damage to the interior of the ductwork.
  • Sanitizers – Using vacuums and brushes does the work of removing dust and dirt, but for the job of cleansing out bacteria, viruses, or mold spores that lurk inside your ducts—which are common in the humid climate of Georgia—the duct cleaning technicians will use special sanitizers, which will not reduce the quality of your indoor air. These sanitizers not only eliminate most bacterial contaminants, but they prevent them from recurring. We recommend this service to our customers who have experienced recurring flu-like symptoms or asthma.

Some of these devices are available for purchase on-line (it seems nearly anything is available on-line now), but not only are they prohibitively expensive, they require training to use. It’s must easier for you to contact a specialist in duct cleaning in Atlanta, GA to handle the job.

Cool Air Mechanical has a staff of technicians we selected based on their extensive training. They will arrive at your home with the tools and the knowledge necessary to give you the cleanest ductwork possible.

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