What the SEER Means for Your Air Conditioner

Thursday, July 31st, 2014

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!

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Why Add Duct Sanitizing to Your Duct Cleaning in Duluth?

Wednesday, July 30th, 2014

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.

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Steps Involved in Commercial HVAC Installation

Monday, July 21st, 2014

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.

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Tools Used for Duct Cleaning

Tuesday, July 15th, 2014

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.

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Causes of Inefficiency in Your Air Conditioner

Tuesday, July 15th, 2014

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!

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3 Common Air Conditioning Repairs

Thursday, July 10th, 2014

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.

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The Famous Painting of the Declaration of Independence Isn’t What You Think It Is

Friday, July 4th, 2014

If you grew up in the United States, you probably first saw John Trumbull’s painting of the Signing of the Declaration of Independence in an elementary schoolbook. This oil-on-canvas 12’ x 18’ painting hangs in the rotunda of the United States Capitol in Washington, D.C. It is one of the most famous symbols of freedom in the country and almost every citizen can conjure it from memory.

Except… the painting isn’t of the singing of the Declaration of Independence. The actual title of the work is Declaration of Independence, and although it does portray an important moment in the history of the document that announced the Thirteen Colonies’ decision to break away from British rule, the event in the painting occurred on June 28, 1776, not July 4, 1776.

John Trumbull, a Connecticut native who fought in the Revolutionary War and whose father was the state governor, was commissioned to create the painting in 1817. He did painstaking research on the figures in the picture and also visited Independence Hall to see the actual chamber where the Second Continental Congress met. Trumbull only included 42 of the original 56 signers, because he could not find adequate likenesses for 14 or them, and added a few figures who were not present (most of whom declined to sign the actual document). In fact, the men depicted in the painting had never been present in the same room at one time.

So if the painting does not portray the signing of the Declaration of Independence, what is happening in the image? The Trumbull’s scene depicts the presentation of the draft of the declaration to the Continental Congress for editing and approval. The five-man drafting committee (John Adams, Roger Sherman, Robert R. Livingston, Thomas Jefferson, and Benjamin Franklin) is handing over their finished work, which congress would then edit carefully over the next few days before voting on it and signing it on the day that we now celebrate as the start of the United States of America.

One last, odd, fact: two of the five-man drafting committee, John Adams and Thomas Jefferson, both died on July 4th—although many years later.

Our family at Cool Air Mechanical hopes that your Fourth of July (or Twenty-Eighth of June if you decided to start celebrating early) is a memorable and happy one.

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