How Rust Can Develop on a Furnace

Monday, February 16th, 2015

Rust on your furnace is akin to a jet engine on a car: it just shouldn’t be there. In fact, it’s not good to have rust on a boiler, and that’s a system that uses water to heat. Rust on your Atlanta furnace means that there is a moisture problem somewhere, and once rust starts, it’s very hard to stop it. If you see rust on your furnace, even a small spot, it’s time to call your technician from Cool Air Mechanical and schedule an appointment.

How It Starts

There are a few ways in which rust can start to develop on your furnace. The first way is from the improper ventilation of the water vapor created during combustion. The way it happens is this: the toxic byproducts created during the combustion process enter the inside of the heat exchanger from the bottom and make their way to the top of the exchanger where they exit via the flue. As the vapors travel, they cool, and condensation is created. If your furnace isn’t vented properly, this condensation can linger on the metal of your heat exchanger and flue, and rust develops.

A second way rust can develop is if you have a combination furnace and air conditioner HVAC. With these kinds of units, the air conditioner evaporator sits on top of the furnace; sometimes condensation that develops while the air conditioner cycles drips down and lands on the furnace components, and rust develops.

The last way rust can develop on your furnace is via faulty ductwork. Faulty ductwork can allows excess moisture to enter, and this excess water can run down the ductwork to your furnace. Improperly installed ductwork can also allow rain water in, which will also run down to your furnace.

Sometimes if the rust is located in a specific area and the amount of rust is small, there is a chance that particular spot can be remediated. Unfortunately, if you have excessive rust on your furnace, you may need to consider replacement. Get ahead of even the smallest amount of rust by scheduling a repair appointment for your furnace in Atlanta.

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Are Gas Furnaces Safe for Installation?

Wednesday, December 31st, 2014

A very long time ago, furnaces used outdated technology that made them a somewhat scary addition to a home. While whole-home heating was once considered a luxury, it came along with another price: the risk of fire and health concerns over gas leaks. This is because there were no safety devices in place to shut the gas valve should the pilot light suddenly stop burning, which could sometimes lead to potentially hazardous effects.

Luckily, this technology was improved, and standing pilot furnaces manufactured in recent decades contain a safety mechanism that prevents this from happening, the thermocouple. If your home has a standing gas pilot furnace, it’s likely that it also contains a thermocouple, a small safety device that simply detects whether or not there is a flame. If there is not, it sends a signal out to shut off the gas valve.

Even though the safety of standing pilots is now much more secure, standing gas pilots are largely inefficient. The pilot light has to remain on throughout the day, burning gas even though you’ll only need it whenever the furnace must cycle on to raise the temperature in the house. That’s part of the reason for the development of new ignition systems, which also include several additional safety features.

Intermittent pilot ignition system furnaces and hot surface ignition system furnaces, two of the most common modern ignition systems, only use the gas when it is needed for the heating cycle. A flame sensor continues to monitor the presence of a flame and shut off the gas in its absence. But it also contains a limit switch which keeps the furnace plenum chamber from overheating. If this switch senses that the temperature in the chamber is too high, it also stops the flow of gas. One of the other key safety switches is the air pressure switch, which turns off the gas when there is not enough air pressure in the flue pipe to properly vent combustion gases.

While today’s gas furnaces are now seen as very safe, efficient, and effective, this may not be true if you don’t choose an experienced professional for installation. Amateurs may not know the safest modes and tools to use to install a modern furnace and ventilation system. Call Cool Air Mechanical to make sure your heating installation in Atlanta, GA goes as smoothly as possible and that your system runs safely throughout its lifespan.

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Signs It’s Time to Schedule Duct Cleaning

Thursday, November 6th, 2014

One often-overlooked, but important, part of your heating system is the ductwork. Ductwork gets just as dusty and dirty as the components in your furnace, and, with time, the buildup of dust and dirt can become significant. While your ductwork doesn’t need to be cleaned annually, it is strongly suggested that it is cleaned every 3-5 years. If your last duct cleaning in Atlanta was more than 5 years ago, you may see the signs that your ductwork has significant dirt and dust build-up. Remember that, for all of your ductwork needs, the trained and certified technicians at Cool Air Mechanical are ready to assist, so call us today.

Signs It’s Time for Duct Cleaning

Here are some of the common signs that your ductwork needs cleaning:

  • Increase in energy bills – when excessive dust and dirt line the inside of your ductwork, they can restrict the air flow in your system. This restriction forces your heating system to work harder; as a result, it uses more energy.
  • Noticeable amounts of dust in your home – is your home getting dustier even though you regularly clean it? The excessive dust from your ductwork has a direct route into your living spaces and can accumulate on furnishings.
  • Increased allergies/cold symptoms – are you seeing a lot of extra sneezing and coughing in your home? The dust and contaminants from your dirty ductwork may be causing irritation for those in your home, particularly the allergy sufferers.
  • Strange odors – do you notice unpleasant smells coming through your vents when the heat comes on? There may be pollutants in your ducts, and unless it is removed and your ductwork cleaned, it will continue to flourish.

Fall is the perfect time for maintenance on your heating system, so why not include duct cleaning? Professional duct cleaning in Atlanta can help improve your energy efficiency and comfort, and keep your indoor air quality high. Call Cool Air Mechanical today and schedule an appointment with one of our experts.

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3 Reasons to Consider Heat Pump Installation for the fall

Wednesday, October 8th, 2014

Heat pumps are effective and efficient heating systems. What makes them a better choice than all the other heating options out there, though? If you’re considering installing a new heating system this fall, read on to discover the 3 reasons why a heat pump may be right for you.

Energy Efficiency

A heat pump consists of an indoor unit and an outdoor unit. When the heat pump is in heating mode, the outdoor unit draws thermal energy from the air around it. This energy is transferred to the refrigerant line, which runs from the outdoor unit to the indoor unit. The indoor unit then uses this thermal energy to heat and distribute air throughout the house. By moving thermal energy in this way, the heat pump expends less energy on heating than other systems. It does not require the use of a gas-burning furnace to heat the air.

Versatility

A heat pump is actually capable of both heating and cooling. It does this through the use of a part called a “reversing valve.” This valve reverses the flow of refrigerant between the indoor and outdoor unit, depending on which mode the heat pump is in. By combining both heating and cooling into one unit, the heat pump saves you the time and space of installing a separate air conditioning system for the summer months.

Savings

The combination of both energy efficiency and versatility results in sizeable savings on your heating bill, compared to other heating systems. Over time, the unit will eventually pay for itself with these savings. The installation procedure and investment is comparable to more traditional systems, so there isn’t a drastic increase in initial cost. These savings tend to be the number 1 reason that people switch to heat pumps from other systems.

If you want to gain all of these advantages by installing a new heat pump, call Cool Air Mechanical today. Our HVAC technicians are all professionals when it comes to heat pump installation in the Atlanta area.

 

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Why Your Water Heater No Longer Produces Hot Water

Friday, June 6th, 2014

Your water heater is the unsung hero of the household, dutifully providing hot water for cooking or bathing year in and year out. When it can’t do that job anymore, you need to summon a qualified technician to treat the problem quickly. If you’re in the Atlanta, GA area and you have a troublesome water heater, you won’t have a problem finding reliable water heater repair services that can take care of it. Here’s a quick breakdown of possible reasons why your water heater no longer produces hot water.

  • Malfunctioning thermostat. A thermostat that can’t correctly read the temperature in the water heater won’t be able to activate the burners. You need to get the faulty component in the thermostat repaired, or else replace the entire thermostat.
  • Broken dip tube. The dip tube brings fresh water into your water heater, running the length of the tank to deposit the new water at the bottom. Burners under the tank heat it up, allowing it to rise to the top of the tank and be carried into your home. When the dip tube is broken or malfunctioning, it will release water into the top of the tank, intermingling with the hot water and cooling it off. You need a trained plumber to replace the faulty tube with a new one.
  • Clogged fuel line. If you have a gas-fed water heater, the problem may be that the gas isn’t reaching the heater itself. Clogged lines are not uncommon, and can be cleared up fairly quickly by a professional.
  • Safety shut-offs. In some cases, the water heater has a safety feature that automatically shuts off the burners in the event of trouble. This can take place if the pilot light goes out, if there’s a leak in the gas lines, if the burners are malfunctioning, or any of a dozen other issues. It’s beneficial because it can prevent an explosion or further damage to your unit, but the underlying problem must be corrected if you want the water heater to work again.

If you’re wondering why your water heater no longer produces hot water, then call on Cool Air Mechanical for the answers. We handle all kinds of issues related to water heaters and offer quality HVAC services in Atlanta, GA. We pride ourselves on fixing the problem the first time, every time. Give us a call today and let us show you what we can do!

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Why Should I Consider a Tankless Water Heater?

Thursday, May 15th, 2014

Most people are accustomed to traditional tanked water heaters, which sit in the basement or garage and carry water in a standing tank. But that’s not the only type of water heater you can use for your home. Tankless water heaters, which heat the water instantly as they travel to your faucet or outlet, offer a number of advantages over the more traditional models. Many services that offer water heater installation in Atlanta also handle tankless water heaters as well. “Why should I consider a tankless water heater?” you ask. We’ve provided a few compelling reasons below.

The main benefit is that it costs less to run than a traditional tanked water heater. A regular water heater needs to expend a lot more energy in order to maintain that amount of water. Tankless systems heat the water more or less as it flows, which saves a great deal of energy and costs much less in terms of monthly bills. (That also translates to increased speed as well. Because tankless water systems heat the water instantly, you don’t have to wait and run the water while it slowly warms up to the temperature you want.)

Tankless water heaters also benefit because they don’t require natural gas to run. This makes them extremely beneficial in houses that don’t have access to natural gas, such as cabins or vacation homes. No natural gas also means no toxic byproducts, making tankless systems a greener alternative to traditional models.

Finally, there’s the convenience of a smaller unit, which allows it to fit comfortably under the sink and in other easy-to-reach spots. That makes repairs much easier, which can be a godsend in moments when the unit doesn’t function the way it should.

Tankless water heaters tend to cost more to install than tanked models, and they function best when the demand placed on them is small (making them good for small families or vacation homes where they won’t see a lot of excessive use). But the benefits are tangible and make it much easier to consider a tankless water heater for your home. The experts at Cool Air Mechanical handle water heater installation in Atlanta all the time, and we can put in a tankless system with courtesy and care. Give us a call today and let us show you what we can do!

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Check the Power Levels on Your New Air Conditioner

Friday, May 9th, 2014

Air conditioning installation in Atlanta involves more than just picking a model out of a catalog and letting the technician put it into place. You need to make sure it’s the right unit for your household, a process that may be trickier than it seems. An air conditioner is an expensive investment, and without proper preparation, you may get a unit that just isn’t right for your home. Consider the need to check the power levels on your new air conditioner, for instance. Getting those power levels right is extremely important.

You probably know that if an air conditioner isn’t powerful enough, it won’t be able to cool your home properly. What you probably didn’t know is that if the air conditioner is too powerful, it suffers from a similar problem. A/C units use much more power starting up and shutting down than they do simply running. If your unit is to powerful, it will “cycle” on and off rapidly, increasing strain on the system and wasting a great deal of energy.

Accordingly, you want your new air conditioner to adhere to what we call the Goldilocks Rule: neither too small nor too large but just right. Part of that involves calculating the square footage in your home (as a general rule, an air conditioner needs to generate about 25 British Thermal Units of power for every square foot), but variables can complicate the equation. For instance, if your home has a lot of insulation, it won’t need as much power to cool, while a house that gets a great deal of sunlight might need a more powerful unit to do the job.

A good technician will carefully check the power levels on your new air conditioner in relation to all those factors, in order to ensure that the unit is the most effective it can be. For air conditioning installation in Atlanta, the experts at Cool Air Mechanical can help. We pride ourselves on your total satisfaction and we won’t rest until you are completely happy with our work. Give us a call to set up an appointment today!

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Signs of Compressor Problems in Your Air Conditioning

Friday, May 2nd, 2014

Just as you have symptoms when you are sick – a runny nose, cough, fever – so, too, does your air conditioning system. Pinpointing the source of the problem is the key to getting repairs done quickly and efficiently. You should always use a Cool Air Mechanical professional for your air conditioning repair in Atlanta, GA. Here is a short list to help you determine if it may be your compressor that isn’t working.

What Is the Compressor?

There are 3 major parts to every air conditioning system: the evaporator, condenser and the compressor. The compressor’s role in the cooling process is compressing the liquid refrigerant into gas. As such, if the compressor begins to malfunction, the heat exchange process is greatly inhibited.

Signs of Problems

  • No Cool Air
    A lack or total loss of cool air can be the first sign your compressor isn’t working well. When the compressor can’t compress and move the refrigerant along, the rest of the cooling/heat removal process breaks down.
  • It Gets Noisy
    Are you hearing a lot of noise coming from your outside unit? This may be a sign your compressor is experiencing problems. The normal sound of an air conditioning unit is a hum. If the compressor is not working properly, you may notice a hissing, clunking or rattling sound. The hissing comes from a loss of pressure in your compressor; the “noisy” sounds – rattling and clunking – could be coming from the compressor’s motor.
  • Hard Starts and Stops
    A third sign that your compressor may have a problem is when your air conditioning system struggles to turn on and off; it can also emit sputtering and jerking sounds. This happens because a system with a broken compressor cannot start or shut down properly. These are known as “hard starts.”
  • Breaker Trips
    Does the electricity to your AC keep turning off? If the compressor is working too hard, or if there is an electrical malfunction in the compressor’s motor, it can cause the breaker controlling it to turn off.

Call a Cool Air Mechanical Professional

Compressor repairs should only be handled by a Cool Air Mechanical professional. If you think you may be experiencing a problem with your air conditioner’s compressor, or are experiencing any other air conditioning problems, call Cool Air Mechanical today. We can handle your air conditioning repair in Atlanta, GA properly.

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Mold Testing Question: What Does “Mold” Encompass?

Thursday, May 1st, 2014

Your home needs protection from mold growth to maintain a high level of indoor air quality. Experts can remediate mold through techniques such as fogging and targeting affected material with cleaning, encapsulation, or removal.

However, for proper mold remediation, your home needs to have mold testing (environmental inspection) to determine the cause of the mold growth and the particular types of mold that must be addressed.

What exactly does “mold” encompass? Although you are familiar with the mold that appears on old bread, you probably don’t know much more about what the inspectors will look for. In this post, we’ll go into detail about what mold testing covers and how some mold threatens human health.

Cool Air Mechanical offers mold remediation and mold testing in Atlanta, GA that will keep your home safe and comfortable. Call us today to schedule an environmental inspection.

Mold Inside Homes

Mold is a type of fungus that grows in multicellular filaments. (By contrast, yeast is a fungus that can grow as a single cell.) Not all mold growth poses dangers to humans, but a few common species do: mold testing targets these, although it will seek to eliminate all mold as a precaution.

According to the Center for Disease Control, the most common molds inside homes are Cladosporium, Penicillium, Aspergillus, and Alternaria. The molds that will affect indoor air quality are the ones that produce mycotoxins, which are responsible for the breathing troubles, irritations, allergic symptoms, and unique health problems that molds can trigger inside a home. These are referred to as “toxic molds,” even though the mold itself isn’t toxic; the spores it produces are.

The most problematic mold when it comes to health concerns is Stachybotrys chartarum, which can grow on fiberboard, paper, and within dust and lint. However, the danger level of Stachybotrys chartarum is irrelevant when it comes to mold testing, since, according to the CDC, “[i]t is not necessary… to determine what type of mold you may have. All molds should be treated the same with respect to potential health risks and removal.”

When you schedule mold testing, you target all the molds that might have developed in your house, regardless of their toxicity level. Expert mold testers will find where mold is growing and identify the methods needed to remediate it. Be assured that with professionals on the job, you will have all dangerous molds eliminated, along with the benign ones as well.

Cool Air Mechanical offers many services to improve your indoor air quality, from installing air filters to conducting mold testing, in Atlanta, GA. Call us today to learn how we can make your home a healthier place for your family.

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Signs You Need to Schedule Air Conditioning Repair

Friday, April 18th, 2014

Spring has officially arrived and with it comes an increased need for air conditioning repair. Lingering issues with your A/C may have gotten worse over the winter, while those you might not be aware of will make themselves known once you put your system to daily use. An reputable AC service in Atlanta can handle most problems that crop up, but you need to be aware of an issue before you can summon a repair technician. Here are 3 signs you need to schedule air conditioning repair.

  • Warm air blowing
    If your air conditioner isn’t producing any cool air, then the problem likely lies with the refrigerant. It needs to be at a set level in order for your system to work as it should. If it’s dropping, there’s likely a leak somewhere in the system, though a lack of cool air can also stem from a faulty valve or coil.
  • Low air flow
    Sometimes, the air can be perfectly cool, but it’s not getting into your home because the flow of air is low. Low air flow can come from a problem with the fan motor, a bent or damaged fan blade, detritus getting into the mechanism, or dirt clogging an air passage somewhere.
  • Higher bills
    Sometimes, the problem doesn’t overtly manifest itself save in increased energy usage. Your air conditioner is working harder than it needs to in order to do its job, and costing you more in monthly cooling bills as a result. If you don’t address the issue, then sooner or later, a larger breakdown will occur.

Frankly, the sooner you spot the signs you need to schedule air conditioning service, the better. Here in the spring, you can schedule repairs more leisurely, without one of our patented heat waves bearing down on you. In addition, the repairs will arrive before you really have need of your air conditioner, ensuring that it won’t break down when you need it the most. Air conditioning repair in Atlanta can be performed by Cool Air Mechanical: trained experts dedicated to doing the job right the first time, every time. Call us today to make an appointment. You’ll be glad you did!

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