Why Won’t the Backup Heat Turn on in My Dual Fuel System?

Wednesday, February 25th, 2015

A dual fuel hybrid system offers you the ultimate in heating power and energy savings. These systems combine the energy efficiency of a heat pump with the power and reliability of a gas furnace. For most of the days that you need heat, your heat pump will be the primary form of heating. This system also doubles as an air conditioner, moving heat out of the home in the summer and into the home in the winter. This is an efficient heating system because moving heat around uses less energy than generating it. But when outside temperatures dip too low, your furnace should kick in.

Not feeling any heat in your home? Check out our guide to find out why the backup heat is failing, and call the friendly technicians at Cool Air Mechanical for heating repair in Alpharetta.

Thermostat Programming

When the technician installs your dual fuel system, a thermostat must be set to recognize when the furnace is needed. If the programming is faulty, or if the thermostat has encountered some wiring issues, the backup heat may never turn on. Be sure to call on experts for installation and maintenance to prevent this from happening.

Furnace Trouble

Of course, it may just be that your furnace is not functioning properly at all. If your furnace won’t turn on or if it won’t stay on, it could be due to a safety switch that keeps it from operating if there is a potential for leaks. Or it may be a broken blower fan, burner trouble, or ignition failure. For your safety, be sure to leave any of these repairs in the hands of professionals.

No Need

Perhaps the reason your backup heat has not kicked in is because there is no need for it to switch over. If your outdoor unit is still running in very cool weather, don’t be alarmed. The balance point for a dual fuel system is relatively low. If you still don’t feel any heat, you may have a problem with your heat pump. Try switching over to cooling mode. If this doesn’t work, the heat pump is likely the culprit.

Call the experts at Cool Air Mechanical for quality heating services in Alpharetta.

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How Long Can I Delay Heating Repair?

Wednesday, February 4th, 2015

To be honest, if you think that your heating system needs repair, you shouldn’t delay it at all. The longer you delay heating repair for a malfunctioning system, the more damage you’re likely to cause. In some cases, waiting to address a heating system’s problem can lead to a complete breakdown. Instead of delaying heating repair because you don’t want to deal with it, you should adopt practices that lessen the frequency of heating issues. Let’s take a look at some of the things you can do to keep your system healthy, and reduce the frequency of heating repairs.

Schedule Annual Maintenance

The most important thing you can do to preserve the health of your heating system is to schedule annual preventive maintenance. Having your heating system checked out at least once a year, regardless of whether or not it is having issues, will help ensure that your system is in top physical condition. Any parts that are starting to malfunction can be identified and replaced before they start causing major issues. This kind of maintenance is so helpful, in fact, that many warranties on heating systems require it in order to stay valid. So, if you really want to keep your heating system healthy, don’t wait for it to start showing signs of distress. Schedule preventive maintenance at least once a year.

Don’t Ignore Problems

Not all issues with heating systems will provide any sort of warning sign, but many of them do. If you have reason to believe that your heating system isn’t working properly, schedule a maintenance call immediately. Strange noises coming from the heating system are very common indicators of a problem, as well as uneven heating across the house and higher heating bills. Though having to deal with a maintenance call may be annoying, ignoring the problem for any length of time only increases the likelihood of the problem developing into something much more damaging and expensive. Don’t delay, call a professional as soon as you notice unusual behavior from your system.

If you need heating repair, schedule an appointment with Cool Air Mechanical today. We provide professional heating repair services in the Marietta area.

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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 a Faulty Air Handler Will Affect Your Heating

Wednesday, December 17th, 2014

If you have a furnace, you also have an air handler to push the warm air through your ductwork and into your living spaces. The air handler, also known as the blower, has multiple components and its own motor that allow the fan to help warm your home. When problems arise with the blower or any of its parts, it can have a direct affect your home’s heating. Blower assemblies can be complicated, so it’s important to hire a professional for any kind of repair your blower and heating system need. The trained experts at Cool Air Mechanical are available day or night, so if you are experiencing issues, call us today.

Common Air Handler Problems

Here are some of the more common problems that can develop with air handlers:

  • Bent/loose fan blades – the fan in your heating system is large, and with use, the fan blades and loosen; they can also become bent. Bent or loose fan blades can cause additional damage to other parts by coming into contact with other parts while the fan rotates. Typically, this will be evident by a banging sound each time the fan runs. It’s best to have fan blades repaired as soon as possible in order to avoid supplemental problems.
  • Bad capacitor – the motor on your blower has a component attached to it called a split capacitor. This component provides the boost of energy the motor needs to start and also keeps the electrical flow steady and even once the motor is running. Capacitors can age, wear and malfunction just as any other component, and when the split capacitor does so, it can affect the operation of your blower’s motor, which in turn can affect your heating.
  • Worn fan belts – fan belts can stretch, which can cause your blower to turn too slowly. This can result in decreased air flow and a decrease in heating. Replacing a worn fan belt can alleviate this issue.

Without a properly-working fan, your heating system can’t work as it should. If you suspect you are experiencing a problem with your air handler, call Cool Air Mechanical today and schedule an appointment for heating repair for your home in Kennesaw, GA.

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Problems You May Encounter in Your Furnace’s Air Handler

Thursday, November 20th, 2014

One of the more active components of your furnace is the air handler, also known as the blower. Without this component, the warm air generated in your system cannot reach your living spaces. During the winter months, your blower operates a great deal, so it isn’t uncommon for problems to develop. But diagnosing and repairing those problems should be left to a trained professional. The certified technicians at Cool Air Mechanical can assist you with any heating need you may have, so call us today!

Common Problems with Air Handlers

Here are some of the more common problems our Cool Air Mechanical technicians see with furnace blowers:

Electrical Problems

There are a number of wires, relays and switches in the blower assembly and when these components wear down or break, the electrical flow can be interrupted. Wires corrode and fray over time, relays can become stuck and switches can break. Locating a specific electrical problem can be challenging, which is why all electrical repair should be left to an expert.

Motor Issues

The blower has a fan that allows it to rotate and push the warm air into your home. Common problems with the fan motor can be lack of lubrication, which causes friction, problems with the capacitors and overheating. Sometimes the fan motor can be repaired but there are instances when it needs to be replaced.

Belt Problems

Fan belts can wear and stretch, and when this happens with your blower, a worn belt can affect the rotation of your fan. In turn, this will decrease the amount of air flow in your system. Belts can make a screeching noise when they begin to wear down, so if you hear this sound coming from your furnace, call a technician for assistance.

Loose/bent/broken fan blades

Unsecured or bent fan blades can cause significant damage to your system if left unattended. This is because they can come into contact with other parts of your system as the fan turns. Leaving loose or broken fans to knock around your system can lead to damage and be potentially harmful, so if you hear a banging or clunking sound when your furnace operates, make sure to call for a technician.

When your fan doesn’t operate correctly, your entire system can be affected. If you are experiencing issues with your furnace’s blower, call Cool Air Mechanical today and schedule an appointment for heating repair service in Alpharetta.

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Heat Pump Repair Needs: Broken Reversing Valve

Wednesday, November 5th, 2014

A heat pump is a fantastic choice for your home heating system. It’s energy-efficient, cost-efficient, and safer than combustion-based systems. Just like any other system, however, a heat pump will develop issues from time to time. One of the most common problems is a broken reversing valve.

What is a Reversing Valve?

A heat pump, as you probably already know, is capable of both heating and air conditioning functions. It accomplishes this by altering the flow of refrigerant between the indoor and outdoor units. This switches which unit is the compressor and which is the condenser. In heating mode, the outdoor unit draws in heat and the indoor unit expels it into the house. In cooling mode the opposite happens, with the indoor unit siphoning heat out of the house so the outdoor unit can expel it. Without the reversing valve, the refrigerant would only be able to flow one way. This would limit the heat pump to either heating or cooling, just like other forced air systems.

The reversing valve itself is a 4-way junction, with lines to the central unit intake and output lines as well as the indoor and outdoor unit lines. Inside is a slide, which by moving to one side of the valve or the other controls the direction of the refrigerant flow. This slide is attached to a solenoid, essentially an electromagnetic coil. When a current is run through the solenoid, it pulls the slide to one side. When the current is cut off, the slide moves back to its default position.

What Causes a Broken Reversing Valve?

There are a couple of possible causes for a broken reversing valve. The slide could simply be stuck, in which case the solenoid is unable to force it to switch positions. The second possibility is that the solenoid is broken, which likely means it will need to be replaced. This is often caused by the solenoid losing its magnetism, which usually just happens with age.

So, how can you tell if your reversing valve is broken? It’s not something you can tell just by looking at it. Usually the best way to tell is if your heat pump becomes stuck in one mode or another. That is a good indication that the refrigerant is only flowing one way, which means a problem with the valve.

If you’re having heat pump problems, give Cool Air Mechanical a call and schedule an appointment with one of our highly trained technicians. Our professional heating repair service covers all of Kennesaw, GA.

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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 Signs That Heating Repair Can’t Wait

Friday, February 21st, 2014

Winter still isn’t finished with us here in Atlanta, so you shouldn’t think that you’ll be finished with your heater until the fall. If your home’s heating system shows signs that it needs repairs, don’t hesitate to schedule them: ignoring a repair need can result in an expensive—and chilly—breakdown at the worst time.

For rapid and skilled assistance for your needs for heating repair in Atlanta, GA, give the professionals at Cool Air Mechanical a call—any time of the day or night.

Watch for these 3 warning signs that you need heating repair

  1. The heater is making loud, unusual noises – Heaters do have something of an “early warning system” as part of their manufacture: changes in the sounds they make. You should be accustomed to the noise that your heating system makes during normal operation. If this changes and you begin to hear grinding, groaning, clicking, or banging sounds, you should call for heating repair technicians right away to investigate and find out the source. It’s almost certainly something that shouldn’t be happening, and the sooner you call for help fixing it, the sooner you’ll prevent the damage from spreading to other components.
  2. You notice cold spots in your home – Modern heating systems are designed to distribute heat through your home as evenly as possible. If you find that some rooms in your home are not getting as warm as they normally do, it could indicate a serious problem afflicting the heating system, from breaks in the ductwork to damage to the air handler.
  3. Heating bills rise dramatically– When a heater is running without defects and repair needs, its energy use will remain consistent, and your energy bills should remain consistent as well as long as you maintain the same pattern of heating your home. However, if your bills start to rise suddenly and you can’t account for it because of increased use, then it may mean that something is amiss in the heater that is causing it to work inefficiently. Don’t shrug this off as the system getting older; call for repairs to see if anything is seriously wrong.

Please keep in mind that heater repair is about more than protecting your heating and your bills: it’s also about safety. If you have a gas-powered heating system in your home, it’s important that you have repairs done as soon as possible to prevent any health risks. Electric systems can become hazards as well due to faulty wiring. Don’t take any chances; call for professional heating repair in Atlanta, GA right away.

Cool Air Mechanical offers 24/7 emergency service for whenever you think your heating system needs immediate attention. Our trained technicians will get to the bottom of the problem and offer the solutions you need.

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Atlanta, GA Heating Repair Tip: Why Schedule Prompt Service?

Tuesday, October 15th, 2013

When it comes to heating repair, Atlanta GA residents may be more inclined to wait than move quickly. Mild weather means that you may not need to rely on your heater right away, and may want to wait before calling in a service technician.  Unfortunately, that can often be a mistake. The prompter the service, the less of a chance of larger problems developing and the less of a chance that the unexpected will make mischief for you.

In simplest terms, leaving an existing problem only gives it a chance to get worse. If you’re running your heater with an existing issue, it will increase strain on the whole system, making it more likely that additional components will break down. That means more extensive repairs and additional money out of your pocket. Even if the heater continues to function, the added strain means that it’s using more energy than it should, increasing your monthly heating bills in the bargain. Speedy repair service means that those issues are avoided, restoring your heater to its full effectiveness and reducing the risk of future repairs.

The same principle applies even if you don’t run your heater. Not only are you denying yourself the warm, comfortable household that it can provide in case an unexpected cold front moves in, but dust and grime can build up on an unused system, which can in turn cause further damage to the individual components that can be prevented with a prompt repair service. You never know what the weather is going to do and the longer you leave your heating problem unaddressed, the greater the chance of having to scramble when the temperature takes an unexpected dip.

Regardless of the circumstances, sooner is usually better for most things. The Atlanta, GA heating repair experts at Cool Air Mechanical offer emergency service 24/7, and are standing by to help deal with your heating issue quickly. Call us to set up a service appointment today.

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Should I Schedule Heating Repair in Sandy Springs if a Few Rooms are Cold?

Monday, September 30th, 2013

For centuries, fireplaces and coal stoves kept humans warm enough to survive harsh winters. But they did a poor job of spreading heat throughout a living space. People had to stay near the fire to get the best heat. Modern central heating systems solved this problem: using networks of ducts and pipes, they distribute cozy warmth all through a home.

So if a few rooms in your house start feeling chillier than normal, your heater could be sending up a signal flare that something is wrong. Does your heater need repair? It might—the trouble could range from something you can remedy in a few minutes, all the way to age issues with your system that could require new installation. Let’s look at some of the possibilities.

The simplest reasons for uneven heating are blocked vents, open windows, or an improperly set thermostat. If you use a furnace (likely in older Georgia homes), check room vents to see that they are open and that no furniture has been moved to block them. Make certain all windows are shut tight; even a small draft can drain the heat right from a room. See that the thermostat is set to “heat” and at the right temperature.

A more serious trouble that can turn rooms cold—but doesn’t require repairs on your heating system—is poor insulation. The icy rooms might not have enough insulation to keep heat trapped. Add weather stripping around doors and caulk windows if you haven’t already, and look into getting improved insulation in the walls.

If you exhaust these possibilities, then your heater may indeed need professional repairs. Broken ducts are a primary cause for leaking heat, and will require sealing. If you use zone heating, then one of the multiple thermostats may have a malfunction. If your heater is an older one—perhaps inherited with your home—then the uneven heating might be an early warning that the system is too aged and worn to do its job. Replacing it may be the most cost-effective route.

If you can’t determine the reason for the temperature change, then summon a heating specialist to hunt down the cause. A trained HVAC technician, such as the ones who work for Cool Air Mechanical, will know the best way to restore your home to its top heating ability. Whether you need a new installation or a simple heating repair in Sandy Springs, GA, look to the expertise of Cool Air Mechanical.

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