Is Solar Heating a Possibility in My Home?

Thursday, March 5th, 2015

If you need a new heating system for your home, there are many energy efficient units you can choose from. You might choose a new heat pump if you’re looking to replace both your air conditioner and heater. A dual fuel system combines the efficiency of a heat pump with the reliability of a furnace. And today’s furnaces are more efficient than ever.

By far, one of the best ways to save money and protect some of the earth’s most valuable resources is if you decide to switch to solar heating. Many homeowners are not sure whether solar energy is a possibility for their homes. If you’re not ready to go 100% solar, why not test it out by first installing solar for a single portion of your home?

Your home heating and air conditioning system occupies a good percentage of your monthly bills. Solar heating and cooling systems may cut your bills dramatically. And, solar energy is long-lasting and require few repairs. Installing a new solar heating and cooling system is a wise decision for any homeowner, but will it fit into your home?

Solar heating is a possibility in nearly any home, especially when you choose the Lennox SunSource home energy unit. Installation works in much the same way that a standard HVAC installation does. You must have the technician install both an inside and outside unit. Your new heat pump works like a standard air conditioning unit, moving heat from inside of your home to the outside. In the winter, the heat pump runs in reverse, pumping heat from the outside air back into your home.

The technician must also install solar panels outside, usually on the rooftop. These will absorb solar energy and convert it into electricity to power your HVAC unit. Sometimes, these panels will absorb enough energy to power other parts of your home as well. And you can always upgrade to more panels if you want to cut your bills even more. With a Lennox SunSource system, you can even monitor your home energy use from the internet.

As long as you have space for an indoor and outdoor unit, a set of ducts, and room on the rooftop, solar is most likely a possibility. Call Cool Air Mechanical today to upgrade your home and find out about your other options for heating installation in Kennesaw.

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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A very long time ago, furnaces used outdated technology that made them a somewhat scary addition to a home.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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Your Options for New Heating Installation during the fall

Thursday, October 9th, 2014

There is a myriad of heating options available for your home. From heat pumps, to solar, to ductless heating, there is bound to be an option that perfectly fits your heating needs. Let’s take a look at some of your best options for heating installation this fall.

Heat Pumps

Forced air heat pumps are very similar to traditional heating systems, with a few unique qualities that give them an edge. A heat pump is comprised of both an indoor unit and an outdoor unit. The outdoor unit uses coils to draw in thermal energy from the surrounding air. This energy is added to the air in the indoor unit, which is warmed further and then circulated throughout the house. It is this absorption of thermal energy that makes the heat pump so efficient. Heat pumps don’t operate quite as well in extremely cold environments. If you aren’t constantly buried in snow, however, a heat pump could be a great option for you.

Solar Heating

Solar heating is rarely used to completely replace a more traditional heating system. However, it can be a great way to lower your heating bills by supplementing the system you already have. Solar heating begins by installing a panel on the roof. This panel collects thermal energy from sunlight and directs it down to a solar storage unit. This unit then adds the extra thermal energy to the air being circulated by your other heating system. Solar heating requires a bit more of an upfront investment, but it is about the most energy efficient system available. Since it doesn’t absorb thermal energy from the air, it operates better in freezing environments than heat pumps do.

Ductless Heating

Ductless heating systems use an individual indoor unit for each room you want heated. The outdoor part of the unit works much the same way as a heat pump, absorbing and directing thermal energy to the indoor unit to be circulated. The advantage of the ductless system is that you only need to spend energy heating the room you are currently occupying. This can save you a lot of money on heating bills.

If you are thinking about installing a new heating system this fall, call Cool Air Mechanical. Our experts in heating installation cover the entire Kennesaw, GA area.

 

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Does Size Matter for a Heating Installation in Atlanta?

Monday, November 18th, 2013

In matters of heating installation, Atlanta GA homeowners want to get it right the first time, every time. The size of your heater – measured in BTUs or British Thermal Units – is a big part of that. Yes, it matters. A great deal as it turns out. It’s helpful to understand the reasons why: allowing you to make an informed choice with all the facts at hand.

Generally speaking, your heater needs 50 BTUs for every square foot of space you’d like to heat. That number may go up or down depending on such factors as insulation in your home and the amount of sunlight your interior is exposed to. A qualified service technician can make the formal calculations for you.

The problems of installing a heater that is too small are obvious. It won’t be able to keep up with the demand and overtax itself: increasing wear and tear without adequately heating your home. It may surprise you to learn, however, that a heater which is too large will be just as inefficient and troublesome. Why? Because it will heat the house too quickly, turning off after just a few minutes and then turning on again as soon as the heat level drops. Heaters use more energy turning on and off than they do running, and such rapid cycling takes its toll on the internal components as well. An excessively large furnace will use more energy than it needs to, as well as running a higher risk of repairs sooner than you’d like.

With that in mind, we recommend sticking to what we call the Goldilocks rule: a heater that is neither too large nor too small but just right. Size does matter for a heating installation in Atlanta, GA, and if you’re in the market for a new heater, then the experts at Cool Air Mechanical can help pick out the right size for you. If you need heating installation in Atlanta, pick up the phone and give us a call today!

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Atlanta Heating Tips: Benefits of Solar Heating

Monday, January 28th, 2013

While there are many benefits of installing a solar heating system in your Atlanta area home, it’s best to speak with a professional to ensure that you get the most cost-effective system for your specific needs. Before installing any type of renewable energy or high-efficiency heating system, it’s also a good idea to make sure that your home is properly insulated and sealed to get the most out of your new heating system.

Depending on the location and size of your home, installing an active solar energy heating system can save you a lot of money in the long run. The energy savings with a solar heating system can be significant, even if your home is not exposed to sunlight every day during the heating season. You may need to install a backup heater, but again, speak with a professional who can assess your home and your current heating system to determine what’s best for your situation.

While they are cost-effective to run, solar energy systems do need regular tune-ups, just like any type of heating system. Make sure you are aware of the routine maintenance tasks that are required of the homeowner before you make your decision. It may not be worth it to you if the maintenance outweighs the other benefits. It’s also important to make sure you know how to operate them and when to call for a repair should something go wrong.

Are you ready to start saving energy? Call the Atlanta  solar heating specialists at Cool Air Mechanical today to get started!

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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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Marietta Heating Tip: How To Check If Your HVAC System Is the Right Size

Monday, September 17th, 2012

Your Marietta heating and air conditioning system should be properly sized to match the specific needs of your home. This is vital for a number of reasons. To start, there is the most obvious reason – a system that is too small will not produce enough heating or cooling to keep your family comfortable throughout the year.

But that is where many people get confused. Thinking that small is bad, so bigger must be better, they pour a large volume of money into the biggest air conditioner or heating system they can find and subsequently end up with an even worse situation.

An oversized HVAC system won’t work properly for a number of reasons. To start, it is too powerful. A system that big will quickly produce more heat or cooling than your home needs and turn off as soon as the thermostat reaches the right point. But because it turns off so quickly, it must turn back on soon after. This is called short cycling and is bad for your system because it can result in a decrease in efficiency or cause your air conditioner to freeze over, and it never quite dehumidifies the air. Your entire system can also break down much sooner because of it.

So, if you are having frequent problems with your HVAC system such as it being too warm or too cold in your home, lines freezing over, or your system simply breaking down much more often than it should, you should check the sizing of your system.

The key here is to have a load calculation done to determine how much heating or cooling your home ideally needs and then compare that number to what your system currently offers. If your air conditioning system is 3 tons and you only need a 36,000 BTU/h system, then you have an oversized air conditioner and need to have it replaced.

The best way to determine how to proceed in this situation is to have a Marietta heating professional inspect your home and help you choose the best solution for a replacement. Call Cool Air Mechanical today if you have any questions about your home’s heating system!

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Tucker HVAC Installation -Another Happy Customer!

Friday, February 3rd, 2012

A good heating and air conditioning contractor will explain to you exactly what your options are before they begin work in your home. They won’t try to pressure you into buying new equipment or making an upgrade to your system that you do not completely understand. HVAC equipment can be complicated, but you should always be able to understand the work that is going on in your home.

We pride ourselves on our excellent service; all of our technicians are highly trained and ready to help answer any questions you might have. We will provide an honest assessment of your home and our suggestions on how to improve your energy usage. The final decision rests in your hands. Here is what Sam T. Tucker wrote to us about his HVAC evaluation:

I’ve recently completed three in-home HVAC evaluations. I chose Healthy Air. Their price was competitive. They gave me multiple options and explained them all in great detail. Their rep, Joe, spent well over an hour evaluating my existing systems. He found and pointed out issues that others didn’t notice. One of the other reputable bidders was only in my attic for 2 minutes. I guess it was too hot for him. On the first day they treated my house with great care. The installers wore shoe covers while in my home. Very professional company!

– Sam T. in Tucker

Thanks Sam! Remember that if you have any heating or indoor air quality problems with winter to give us a call! We offer 24/7 emergency service so we are always ready to help!

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