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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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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Are Heat Pumps Cost Effective?

Friday, January 10th, 2014

Heat pumps combine the functions of an air conditioning system and a heater into one unit. Heat pumps are an excellent heating system for Marietta, since they do best in places with mild winters. But are heat pumps cost effective? According to the U.S. Department of Energy they are: saving you up to 40% in monthly costs depending on your old heating system. A closer look at how it works can explain the reasons why.

In simple terms, heat pumps don’t strictly create heat. They simply move heat around, which uses a lot less energy than an electric or gas furnace. The refrigerant in the heat pump transfers heat from the inside to the outside or visa versa, instead of creating heat by burning a fuel. The process involves a little electricity, but not nearly as much as you’d need with an electric heater.

The technology works best when heating in Marietta and similar communities, where the temperature rarely drops below a certain level. Heat pump efficiency tends to drop when the temperature falls to 40 degrees or below. It struggles below that, though you can augment its heating ability with an electrical or gas furnace.  Thankfully, that’s less of a problem here in the Atlanta area, which helps make heat pumps cost effective as well as convenient.

Contact Cool Air Mechanical to see if a heat pump is right for your home; we can explain the detail to you and help you find a model that suits your needs. We can explain the details to you and conduct installation while keeping you in the loop every step of the way. Give us a call today to set up an appointment!

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Benefits of Dual Fuel Systems

Wednesday, December 18th, 2013

Heat pumps are popular options for home comfort in Georgia; we often recommend them to our clients because of their energy-efficiency and double function as both a heater and an air conditioner.

However, heat pumps do have one drawback that sometimes makes homeowners hesitate about installing them: they begin to lose their heating efficiency in when the outdoor temperature drops below freezing. This is where dual fuel systems come in so handy. We’ll explain what a dual fuel system does and how it can benefit your heating in Marietta, GA.

For installation of a dual fuel system, or repairs and maintenance on an existing one, contact the experts at Cool Air Mechanical—24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

What a dual fuel system can do for you

A dual fuel system is a hybrid of a heat pump and a second heater that uses a different fuel source. Usually, the second heater is a gas furnace. The back-up heater will activate when the outdoor temperature drops below the “economic balance point,” i.e. the point at which the heat pump will start struggling to reach its target temperature.

The first benefit of a dual fuel system is that you will have all the advantages of a heat pump—its use as both a heater and an air conditioner, its energy efficiency—without the main disadvantage.

The second benefit is that you will not experience high heating bills because of the back-up system. The back-up heater will need to run only a few times during the winter (especially a mild Georgia winter), so the increase in your energy bills over the heat pump working alone will not be significant. You’ll have the warmth of a furnace without the full price of running a furnace.

The third benefit is that the system is automated. You don’t have to think about the back-up heater at all, because it will come on when it needs to and then shut off when the heat pump no longer needs it.

Dual fuel system repairs and maintenance

Because dual fuel systems add a layer of complexity to a heat pump, they require professional repairs when anything goes awry with them. Sometimes a heat pump can lose its connection to the back-up system, and trained technicians can easily repair this and restore the full heating power of the system. You’ll also need expert technicians to maintain both your heat pump and the second system so they will work up to their full potential each winter.

For heating in Marietta, GA, a dual fuel system is a great option if you have concerns about low temperatures. Contact home heating professionals like those at Cool Air Mechanical and schedule an appointment to see if installing a dual fuel system will work for you this coming winter.

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Heat Pump Repair Guide: My Heat Pump Only Cools

Friday, November 1st, 2013

For enjoying year-round comfort inside your home in Atlanta, a heat pump is a fantastic device. It can provide you great cooling during our humid summers, and the right amount of heat during our mild winters.

However, heat pumps are complex devices—more complex than a standard air conditioner that only provides cool air. A heat pump can suffer from malfunctions that you might not encounter in simpler HVAC systems with fewer options. If you need your heat pump to provide you with warm air during a cold spell, you’ll be dismayed to discover it only blowing cool air. Often, this signals a problem that requires the attention of professionals. For excellent heat pump repair in Atlanta, GA, give Cool Air Mechanical a call today.

Why your heat pump might only give you cool air:

Let’s start with the simplest explanation: you set the heat pump incorrectly. Make sure that you have the heat pump turned to its “heat” setting on the thermostat. Also check your thermostat’s programming if you have a digital model; it’s possible you accidentally programmed a temperature target that will result in your heat pump operating in cooling mode. The thermostat may have developed malfunctions, so that it no longer senses the correct temperatures in your home and believes it should provide cool air when it needs to provide heat. Thermostat problems will require expert repairs.

For a heat pump to operate as both an air conditioner and a heater, it requires a reversing valve and a second compressor. If you are only getting cool air, the reversing valve may have broken, making it impossible for the heat pump to switch the direction of the flow of refrigerant. A problem with the second compressor will also leave you with a heat pump only capable of acting as an air conditioner.

Also, watch out for environmental conditions: anything surrounding your outdoor unit can impair the system’s ability to extract any heat from the outdoor air. Leaks in the return ducts that bring in additional cold air could also cause this problem. In general, heat pumps have difficulty combating extremely low temperatures, since they will struggle to draw heat from the outdoors. Although heat pumps can handle most Atlanta cold spells, if you regularly experience temperatures below 30°F, you might consider installing a dual fuel system to support the heat pump during the chilliest days of the year.

If you can’t find a simple solution to why your heat pump has started to only blow only cold air, or if you think you need an update to your system, don’t hesitate to call in experts from Cool Air Mechanical. We handle Atlanta, GA heat pump repair, installation, and maintenance. We’ll find a way to make certain your heat pump performs both its jobs and keep you comfortable all year.

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Why a Heat Pump in Atlanta May be Right for You

Friday, October 18th, 2013

A heat pump is a viable alternative to traditional central air conditioning systems. It makes particular sense here in the South, where our local climate fits in very well with a heat pump’s operating parameters. Read on to see why a heat pump in Atlanta may be right for you.

Heat pumps work according to the same principles as traditional air conditioners. Refrigerant gas enters the compressor, where it is heated up and placed under a great deal of pressure. The heat is then dispersed to the outside air as it goes through the condenser coils, cooling the gas to a liquid while keeping it under high pressure. The liquid then enters an evaporator coil, where it returns to a gaseous form and absorbs heat from the nearby air in the process. The air is pushed into your home with a fan while the refrigerant returns to the compressor to start the cycle again.

That’s how a traditional air conditioner works, and in the summer time, a heat pump works the same way. In the winter, however, it essentially reverses the cycle. Instead of releasing the hot air outside, it releases it inside to warm your home, and absorbs whatever heat there is from the air outside. Heat pumps use less energy than traditional electric heating systems: up to 40% according to the U.S. Department of Energy. That number drops significantly when the temperatures stay below 40 degrees. Fortunately, Atlanta enjoys very mild winters, meaning that a heat pump is an ideal way to keep your home comfortable no matter what the time of year.

If you’re interested in installing a heat pump or you already own one and need maintenance or repairs, contact the experts at Cool Air Mechanical for help. We can explain why a heat pump in Atlanta may be right for you, then set up a schedule to install a new one (or repair an old one) that fits in with your timetable. Contact us today to make an appointment.

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Common Heat Pump Problems in Atlanta

Monday, February 4th, 2013

When you schedule a professional heat pump installation and routine maintenance service  in Atlanta, you are taking the steps necessary to ensure the efficient, effective operation of that system. Even with a great heat pump model and regular maintenance service, though, you have to expect to run into a problem or two here and there. Heat pumps, like any other mechanical system, experience some common problems. Not all of them are terribly serious, but any time your heat pump seems to be experiencing issues you should call your local service technician. If you live in Atlanta, just call the heat pump experts at Cool Air Mechanical.

One of the more obvious problems that you may experience with your heat pump is a lack of heat in your home. There are many different causes of this issue. Before you assume there is a serious problem take a quick look around at the registers and grilles of your ductwork system. There is a possibility that these were blocked off by shifting furniture or other items. This may account for the ineffectiveness of your heat pump.

If your registers are free of obstruction but your heat pump is not performing effectively you may have a faulty thermostat. If your thermostat is not able to accurately read temperatures and relay that information to your heat pump,then you cannot expect the system to respond properly.

It is also possible that there is a problem with your outdoor unit. Have a look at the unit to see if it is covered with debris, visibly damaged or iced over. Never attempt to service the compressor or condenser of your heat pump yourself. Most heat pumps have a defrost cycle to deal with icing on the coils, but a serious icing problem or other issues can compromise the performance of the system.

Regardless of what issues your heat pump is experiencing, contact Cool Air Mechanical for the professional maintenance and repair services you need. Our expert technicians can have the heat pump in your Atlanta home working again in no time. Call us as soon as you notice a heat pump problem.

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Atlanta Heating Installation Tip: Is a Heat Pump Right for Me?

Monday, December 10th, 2012

If you are considering a heat pump installation for your Atlanta area home, call the HVAC experts at Cool Air Mechanical. We can provide you with information about the different types of heat pumps available and help you decide whether or not this is a cost-effective choice for your home.

Benefits of Air Source Heat Pumps

Air source heat pumps are the most common type of heat pump system, and they provide both heating and air conditioning for your home. They are highly efficient at both in the right conditions because they draw in the air from outside the home and either warm it up or cool it. This means that the only energy used is the electricity to operate the compressor, which uses refrigerant to compress or evaporate the air depending on the time of year.

Typically, ductwork is connected to the indoor unit, and then the air is distributed throughout the home through the supply vents. The main disadvantage is the expense of installing ductwork if your home does not already have a heat pump system or furnace.

Ductless Mini Split Heat Pumps

If your home does not have existing ductwork, you can also choose to install a ductless heat pump system. These are also called mini split systems because they are not “split” into just the indoor and outdoor units. They consist of many smaller units installed throughout the home that are connected to the main compressor through conduits inside the walls. They are efficient mainly because there’s no chance of air loss through leaky ductwork.

The next time you are in the market for a new heater, call the Atlanta heating specialists at Cool Air Mechanical. We take pride in our installation services, and we can help you make an informed decision about which heating system is right for you.

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Atlanta Heating FAQ: How Do Heat Pumps Compare to Furnaces?

Monday, November 19th, 2012

Are you thinking about buying a new heating system but not sure what kind to get? Whether you have a new home or old one, comparing heat pumps and furnaces is a good place to start when you are thinking about a new heater for your Atlanta area home. Call Cool Air Mechanical if you have any questions about the heat pump and furnace models we sell and install.

Here are few notes for comparison to get you started.

Don’t I need a backup furnace for my heat pump anyway?

Not necessarily. Using a backup heating source all depends on where you live and the layout of your home. If you have a large home in a cold climate, then yes, you may need a backup furnace to heat your home when temperatures drop below freezing. An air source heat pump will heat a home more efficiently in milder climates. You can also think about a dual fuel system that automatically switches from the electric heat pump to a gas furnace during colder weather. The gas furnace will cost less to run since gas tends to be more efficient than electricity.

Which type of heater needs more maintenance?

Any type of heating system will need routine maintenance. Annual tune-ups contribute to the efficiency and safe operation of your heating system. Maintenance also helps extend the life of the system since it helps keep repair needs down. The only difference is that your heat pump may need two tune-ups per year—one before the heating season and another before the cooling season.

Which one is more efficient: Heat pump or furnace?

Again, this all depends on several factors. You’ll need to answer some questions first. How big is your home? What are your heating needs? How cold is the climate? Where is your home located? How many rooms do you have? How many doors and windows are there in your home? How much sunlight does your home get in the winter? Is your home properly insulated and sealed? Once you’ve answered these, speak with a professional heating contractor about your options.

At Cool Air Mechanical, we’d be glad to go over all the different factors to help you make an informed decision. Call us if you are interested in a new heat pump or furnace for your Atlanta area home.

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When Should I Turn On The Backup Heat For My Dual Fuel Heating System in Atlanta?

Monday, November 5th, 2012

This is a common question that we get from some of our customers in the Atlanta area. Dual fuel systems can be more complicated than a single fuel system because the secondary heating system is dependent upon several factors in order to work properly. In this blog post, we’ll explore what a dual fuel system is, why it’s necessary and when you should turn it on.

Why Do You Need Dual Fuel Systems?

While heat pumps are a terrific way to increase the efficiency of your home, they do come with draw backs. One of those draw backs is that when the temperature outside becomes too cold, the heat pump will actually become less efficient. A great way to solve this problem is with a dual fuel system. In Atlanta, it can get cold which is why many of our customers who use heat pumps often have a backup system that will provide supplemental heat when the temperature drops too low.

When To Turn On Your Dual Fuel Heating System

In many cases, the actual turning on of your secondary system is done automatically by an outside sensor. The exact temperature at which it happens is normally set by your heating installation contractor. Traditionally, the temperature is between 30° F and 40° F. This temperature is highly subjective and should be adjusted to your liking. However, you should absolutely consult with your local Atlanta heating company to figure out what the best temperature is for your home.

The Price of Fuel

As we mentioned above, the main reason for a dual fuel heating system is efficiency. Your dual fuel system can also be adjusted depending on what happens with fuel prices. For example, if your secondary system is a gas-fired furnace, you can have the furnace turn on sooner if gas becomes cheaper than electricity.

If you have any questions about your dual fuel system in your home in Atlanta, give Cool Air Mechanical a call today. We’ll be happy to talk with you about what temperature it should be set at and how to make your system run more efficiently.

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