Contaminants Sometimes Found in Air Ducts

Wednesday, February 18th, 2015

The first home HVAC system air filters were actually designed to keep particles out of the air handler of the heating and air conditioning equipment. If large particles were to move from the air in your home into the blower fan, it could hinder performance, causing the fan to slow down and potentially jamming the motor. Dust can also clog the burners of a furnace or keep the air conditioning coils from absorbing heat effectively.

Just like the air filter in your car, the air filter in your air conditioning and heating system protects the parts of your unit from damage. But today’s filters serve a second purpose, eliminating unsafe particles from the air that you breathe. Because air cycles frequently through the ducts, it’s important to have some form of defense against pollutants that could aggravate allergies and irritate the lungs.

But a standard air filter doesn’t guarantee that all of the contaminants that could enter the ducts are deterred. In fact, most home air filters are ineffective at removing even the most common home contaminants, such as mold spores, which could then move into the ducts. Many of these contaminants stay dormant in the ducts for a while, infiltrating the home from time to time and irritating household members’ allergies and other respiratory conditions.

The following contaminants may be contained within your duct system. Experts recommend scheduling duct cleaning once a year in some cases, or as often as your technician recommends it.

  • Dust mites: Dust mites thrive in warm, humid areas, and the ductwork may be a perfect location. As one of the most common allergens found in homes, dust mites can irritate those with allergies and may even trigger asthma in children.
  • Pet Dander: You may not have a pet in your home due to your allergies, but what about the homeowners who came before you? Duct cleaning is especially important for people with severe allergies, especially if they seem to act up often.
  • Bacteria: There could be some harmful bacteria present in the ducts that could make family members ill, particularly those with immune disorders.
  • Mold: Finally, mold survives on wet surfaces, like the indoor air handler of your air conditioning system, and could spread to the ducts.

Get in touch with the team at Cool Air Mechanical and find out how you can benefit from duct cleaning with a trained professional in Duluth. Call us today to schedule an appointment.

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3 Common Signs That You Need Your Heating Repaired

Tuesday, January 20th, 2015

Though there are many different kinds of heating systems, each with their own unique construction and operation, there are still common problems that affect all of them. These common problems each give out signs and indications when they happen, helping the homeowner identify and react to them. In an effort to expand peoples’ knowledge of these common issues, we’re going to examine 3 of the most common signs that you need your heating repaired. If you notice any of these signs with your heating system, it’s a good idea to call a professional as soon as possible.

Strange Noises

When you first install a new heating system, every noise is going to seem strange. Once you get used to it, however, you’d be surprised how accurately you can pick out sounds that aren’t part of your heater’s normal operation. These sounds vary from system to system, and the severity of the problems they represent vary, as well. However, it’s always better to be safe and call a professional when you hear squealing, grinding, rumbling, or any other kind of unusual noise coming from your heater.

Failure to Start

This one is pretty obvious, but still worth mentioning. If your heater fails to start, there could be any number of things wrong with it. If you have a standing pilot light, you should definitely check to see if it’s still lit. If it isn’t, you may simply need to re-light it to fix the problem. If you don’t have a pilot light, it’s worth checking to see if you notice any other odd behaviors that might accompany your heater’s failure to start. Regardless, a sign like this usually indicates an issue that can only be solved by a professional.

Low Heating Capacity

This one is a bit harder to detect, depending on the situation. Still, once you notice, it can be quite annoying. Low heating capacity is usually a sign that your system is either having a fuel issue or that there is a break in the delivery system. If you notice that your heater suddenly doesn’t seem to be able to heat as well, call a professional to have a look at it. Don’t ignore it! If you do, it will only get worse.

If you are having problems with your heating system, call Cool Air Mechanical to schedule an appointment with us. We provide professional heating repair service throughout the Duluth area.

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How Furnace Repair Maintains Safety

Thursday, December 4th, 2014

Furnaces are manufactured with a number of safety controls that make them very safe to operate. However, allowing a malfunctioning furnace to continue operating can create dangerous situations that can’t be remedied by safety switches alone. Depending on the type of furnace you have, different scenarios can develop that may potentially compromise the safety of your family and your home. Making needed repairs to your furnace as soon as possible allows your furnace to run not just optimally, but safely. Following are some reasons why waiting to make repairs to your furnace can be a potentially dangerous situation.

Electric Furnaces

Electric furnaces do not generate combustion byproducts, but this doesn’t mean that certain risks can’t develop when issues with your electric furnace aren’t remedied. One of the more common problems that can develop with an electric furnace is an issue with the system’s circuit breaker. Electric furnaces draw enough power to warrant having their own circuit breaker in your home’s electrical box. If the breaker trips, this usually indicates that the furnace is drawing too much power and as a safety precaution, the breaker turns off. You can try to turn the breaker back on, but should you encounter resistance or the breaker trips again, don’t keep resetting it; instead, call for repair.

Combustion Furnaces

Combustion furnaces generate toxic fumes and gases, the most noteworthy being carbon monoxide. The heat exchanger is responsible for separating these toxic byproducts and venting them safely to the outside via the flue. However, should the heat exchanger or the flue develop cracks or serious corrosion, these fumes and gases can escape and circulate into your living spaces.

There are also a number of safety switches that cut off the fuel supply should unsafe conditions develop. Limit switches, flame sensors and thermocouples are all examples of safety mechanisms that are installed into your furnace to ensure that fuel supply is both monitored and managed. Operating your furnace knowing that certain safety switches and mechanisms aren’t working properly can put you, your home and your system at risk.

Your furnace helps keep you comfortable all winter. If you know that furnace in Duluth is in need of repair don’t wait. Call Cool Air Mechanical today and schedule an appointment with one of our experts.

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Repairs for Electric Water Heaters

Thursday, October 23rd, 2014

It’s never a good feeling to turn on your shower in the morning and be greeted with freezing, brown, or horrible smelling water. If it happens, though, it’s a good sign that the water heater is having problems. So, what can be done to fix it? Read on to find out.

No Hot Water

The most common cause for this issue is a lack of power to the heating elements in the unit. Often, this is caused by a circuit breaker being tripped. Other causes can include a bad thermostat or broken heating element. If you aren’t getting any hot water, check the circuit breaker to make sure it hasn’t tripped. If the breaker appears to be fine, call an HVAC technician for a more thorough analysis.

Not Enough Hot Water

If your water heater appears to be working, but isn’t supplying enough hot water, you may have a problem with your heating element. A heating element that is defective or failing may not cut out completely at first, supplying lukewarm water instead of just cold water. It is also possible that your water heater is too small for the amount of hot water you are demanding. You’ll need a professional to confirm the problem in either case.

Rust in Your Water

This is caused by oxidation taking place in the tank of your water heater, causing rust to enter the water supply to be circulated throughout the house. By far the most common reason for this is that the anode rod, also called the sacrificial rod, is failing. This is an aluminum or magnesium rod that is inserted into the tank to prevent the tank from rusting. It’s called a sacrificial anode because it slowly degrades over time and eventually has to be replaced. If you don’t know how to replace the anode rod, any HVAC technician can do it for you.

If you are experiencing problems of any kind with your water heater, call Cool Air Mechanical. We offer quality water heater repair in the Duluth area.

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Watch for These Signs That Your Heat Pump Need Repairs

Wednesday, October 1st, 2014

Your heat pump kept you cool all summer long, and now it’s almost time for the heating season. Since your heat pump runs throughout the year, there is always a chance that parts of your heat pump may begin to decline. Heat pumps get a lot of usage, which means the parts go through a lot of strain over the course of a year. And this means that components can become worn to the point that they need replacement, which is why it’s important to pay attention to some of the following signs that you need to call for heating repair.

  • Reduced Heating/Cooling: While reduced heating and cooling is not usually ideal, some homeowners find it bearable. At the end of the summer, you may believe that your family can put up with some reduced cooling and you can wait for repairs. However, limited air conditioning can mean that you have a refrigerant leak that must be sealed, a faulty motor, or even compressor trouble. These problems must be addressed before the heating season.
  • Higher Bills: Did you notice your bills increasing throughout the cooling season? This may be a sign that you need to schedule heating repair. A heat pump that cools inefficiently will not run properly for heating either, and it usually signals a major repair need.
  • Loud Noises: Unusual sounds from your heat pump should always be a cause for alarm. A banging sound could indicate anything from a loose fan blade to a faulty compressor, while a hissing noise could indicate a leak in the refrigerant line.

Because your heat pump runs all year long, it’s vital that you schedule heat pump maintenance two times per year. Maintenance is a valuable service in which a technician checks every portion of your system for potential problems. Various parts of your unit are also cleaned or adjusted, which not only wards off repairs but may also decrease your energy bills. The folks at Cool Air Mechanical can check your unit for repair needs, locate the problem, and decide on the right way to correct the problem. For professional heating repair service in Duluth, call our team of experts today to schedule your next service with us.

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3 Most Common Commercial HVAC Repairs

Thursday, September 11th, 2014

If you own or manage a commercial property, your clients, customers, and employees need a calm and comfortable place to conduct business. Your HVAC system helps do a lot of this work for you, so it’s important to call for repairs at the first sign of trouble. However, many people are too busy to notice right away when their commercial unit has run into problems. Instead, you may rely on your employees, customers, or even your bills, to let you know about the following problems that lead to commercial HVAC repair.

  • Insufficient heating or cooling: One of the most common reasons business owners call for HVAC repairs is if the people on the property notice limited heating or cooling in one or several areas of the building. This may be due to any number of issues within the HVAC system, including a frozen coil or thermostat troubles. When someone complains, it’s a sure sign that immediate repairs are needed to keep your business running smoothly.
  • Noises: Loud noises will also disrupt the normal flow of business, and these are a pretty good indicator that something is wrong. A damaged fan blade, for example, which may make a loud clanking sound, disrupts airflow and may eventually keep you from feeling any cool or warm air whatsoever. However, commercial units are often located on the roof, so you may not always hear indicators of problems. In this case, you may have to rely on other warning signs.
  • High Bills: One of these indicators is a particularly high energy bill. The bills for your commercial property are already fairly large, but a broken or dirty part can cause these to be even higher. Broken parts cause your air conditioning and heating system to run for longer periods of time, meaning it may consume a lot of energy even for a simple repair need.

When you need commercial HVAC repair in Duluth, no ordinary residential air conditioning service company will do. You need professional technicians with experience repairing large packaged units. Call the experts at Cool Air Mechanical at the first sign of trouble for all of your commercial HVAC repair needs.

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How a Dirty Coil Affects Your Air Conditioner

Wednesday, August 20th, 2014

Central air conditioners in homes are usually “split systems”: they consist of an outside cabinet (the condenser) and an inside unit (the evaporator) which connect to each other through refrigerant and power lines. Both the evaporator and the condenser contain refrigerant coils that are essential for the process of heat exchange that makes the air conditioner work: moving heat from the inside of your home and then releasing it to the outside.

Both coils need to remain clean to effectively do their job. If either starts to develop a layer of grime or dust, it will impair the AC’s performance. For this reason, you should always have air conditioning maintenance done once a year; the technician will always check the coils to make sure they are clean, and detach and clean them if necessary.

If your AC is not cooling as well as it should, or if it’s time to schedule annual maintenance, contact Cool Air Mechanical. We offer 24-hour air conditioning repair in Duluth, GA and throughout the Greater Atlanta Area.

What Goes Wrong When a Coil Grows Dirty

The reason that the evaporator and condenser coils must remain clean is that any layer of dirt, dust, or grime will restrict the coil’s ability to either release or absorb heat, and this will unbalance the heat exchange process in the air conditioner. If the outdoor condensing coil cannot release sufficient heat from the hot refrigerant moving through it, the refrigerant will not be cool enough when it returns indoors to absorb heat.

The situation can get even worse with a dirty indoor coil. If the coil cannot absorb enough heat to warm up the refrigerant, the cold refrigerant will freeze the moisture forming along the coil. This ice will further restrict heat absorption, causing more ice to develop, eventually freezing over the entire coil and stopping heat exchange altogether. If you see ice developing along the indoor coil, call for repairs immediately: aside from a dirty coil, icing could also indicate leaking refrigerant.

To help prevent dust and dirt from reaching the coils, make sure to change the air filter indoors once a month during times when you regularly use the AC and keep the area around the outdoor cabinet clear of debris for a few feet.

Please note: you should not try to open up your air conditioner’s cabinets to access the coil yourself and clean it. To properly clean off a dirty coil requires removing the coil first, and this task you should leave to professionals. Call Cool Air Mechanical for the necessary air conditioning service in Duluth, GA you need to keep your AC running at its best: call at the first sign of trouble, any time of the day or night.

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Does Rust on My Water Heater Mean It Needs to Be Replaced?

Wednesday, August 13th, 2014

A water heater puts metal in contact with water, and that’s a recipe for rust (as long as there is also oxygen). Rust is one of the principle enemies of water heaters, a conditioning you want to avoid at all costs. Fortunately, water heaters have precautions that will keep rust away for most of their lifespans.

But if rust does start to form on your water heater, or it appears in the hot water coming from your taps, is it an automatic farewell to the system? Do you need to immediately schedule a replacement?

Not necessarily. But you do need to schedule service immediately from a Duluth, GA water heater specialist to find out what’s wrong, if it can be repaired, and what your installation options are if it can’t. Call Cool Air Mechanical and talk to our water heating technicians as soon as you detect rust anywhere on your home’s water heater. We have technicians standing by, 24/7, for your convenience.

Rust and Your Water Heater

The component that keeps a water heater from rusting is the anode rod, sometimes called the sacrificial anode rod because it draws corrosion to itself so that it won’t enter the water heater tank, effectively “sacrificing” itself to prevent rust. But once the anode rod completely rusts through, it will no longer protect the water tank. This is why it’s crucial to schedule regular maintenance for the water heater; the technician will know when the anode rod needs to be replaced.

If your heater is relatively young (less than halfway to its expected lifespan), then the first appearance of rust is probably because of an anode rod that needs replacement. If you act quickly enough, a repair technician can often save the system from further damage.

Rust and corrosion can also start because of excess sediment inside the tank, so make sure that you have the tanked flushed on a regular basis (usually during maintenance) to avoid this from occurring.

If you have an older water heater that is at, near, or beyond its manufacturer’s estimated lifespan, then the appearance of rust, especially along the bottom of the water heater, is a good indication that it is time for a replacement. Call a specialist for an informed opinion, and then let the specialist help you select a new unit and arrange for skilled installation.

Cool Air Mechanical offers full services for your water heater in Duluth, GA. We handle installations, maintenance, and any type of repair you may need so that you don’t lose your steady supply of hot water.

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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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What the ENERGY STAR Label Means for Your Air Conditioning

Friday, June 27th, 2014

Summer is here, and that means it’s time to start looking at your options for air conditioning in Duluth, GA. If you’re comparing AC systems, you may have seen the ENERGY STAR label printed on product descriptions and packaging. But what does this mean for your air conditioning? Do you need an ENERGY STAR certified air conditioner in your home?

If you want to save on your energy bills this summer, an AC system backed with the ENERGY STAR label may be the right choice for you. Read on to discover how an ENERGY STAR product can save you money without affecting the performance you expect from your new AC.

Increased Energy Savings

The ENERGY STAR label is a government-regulated symbol that allows you to identify whether your appliances are energy efficient according to guidelines set by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. ENERGY STAR certified AC systems help to decrease pollutants, which not only helps to protect the environment but also allows you to save money on your monthly energy bill.

Products with this symbol must meet certain qualifications to earn the ENERGY STAR label. This label means that energy savings will increase significantly when compared to less efficient systems. While ENERGY STAR air conditioners may cost more than other systems, the savings over time can offset the initial fee.

No Need to Sacrifice Performance

If an air conditioner uses less energy, you may assume that the performance of the system suffers as a result. However, in order to earn ENERGY STAR certification, a product must meet consumer demands for system performance. As a result, your air conditioner will offer the same features and high performance you would expect from any other system while saving you money over time.

Only a technician can help your AC to remain energy efficient throughout the years. In addition to purchasing an ENERGY STAR air conditioner, we recommend professional maintenance once a year to clean and adjust the components of your AC system and to look for any potential problems that could affect energy efficiency.

Cool Air Mechanical offers ENERGY STAR air conditioning in Duluth, GA. Call now!

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