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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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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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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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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Are Air Conditioners Easier to Repair Than Heat Pumps?

Wednesday, September 17th, 2014

Air conditioners and heat pumps are often placed together in the same category. The reason for this is that an air conditioner is a type of heat pump, and a heat pump can do the same job as an air conditioner. Essentially, a heat pump is an air conditioner that can reverse the direction it moves heat and so work at both cooling and heating a home. The two systems work through an identical process of heat exchange using the cycling of refrigerant.

There are some differences mechanically between the two—heat pumps have more components to allow them to operate in different modes—but they are much more similar than they are dissimilar. Repairs for heat pumps and air conditioners are also similar.

Which one is tougher to repair? It depends on the kind of repair, although generally the repair types are the same. However, both are difficult if not impossible to repair without the proper training and tools. Unless you are a licensed HVAC specialist, you should never attempt to open up the cabinets of an AC or heat pump and try to manage repairs on your own. Always contact professionals: you can reach Cool Air Mechanical for heat pump and air conditioning repair in Kennesaw, GA any time of the day or night.

What Are the Differences Between Heat Pump and AC Repairs?

The major way that the two systems are different from each other is the presence of a component called the reversing valve. In a heat pump, the reversing valve sits on the refrigerant line where it exits from the compressor. Depending on whether the valve is “excited” (electrically charged) or not, it will direct the refrigerant either toward the indoor coil or the outdoor coil, thus determining whether the heat pump is in heating or cooling mode. Because an air conditioner is always in cooling mode, it does not have a reversing valve. If the valve in a heat pump malfunctions, it will need replacement.

Heat pumps also have a dual set of condensate pans that drain excess moisture, one each for the inside and the outside cabinets. Air conditioners only have one condensate drain, located on the indoors. This makes heat pumps a bit more complicated to maintain and to locate repair issues, but not significantly so.

Any skilled technician who can repair a heat pump can provide repairs for an air conditioner, so make sure that you turn to the professionals whatever system you have and whatever repairs you need. Contact Cool Air Mechanical when you need heat pump or air conditioning service in Kennesaw, GA.

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What the SEER Means for Your Air Conditioner

Thursday, July 31st, 2014

In the summer, your energy bills just seem to keep rising. But new air conditioning installation gives you the opportunity to select a system that may actually bring cooling costs down. Since cooling costs take up a large portion of most energy bills in the summer, finding a high-efficiency unit should be a top priority for most homeowners when selecting a new AC. But how do you decide which system is right for you? Easily—look at the SEER!

The SEER (Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio) is written on the EnergyGuide label of every air conditioning system. This number is a measurement of the cooling capacity of an air conditioner, measured in BTUs (British thermal units) per hour divided by the total energy output of any system. A higher SEER will usually save you more money on your cooling costs.

According to the U.S. government, all air conditioning systems sold in the country must have a SEER of 13 or higher. However, to receive the ENERGY STAR logo, a distinguished mark for many home appliances, an AC unit must have a SEER of 14 or greater. ENERGY STAR systems meet criteria set forth by the Environmental Protection Agency to reduce the amount of pollutants released in the air without sacrificing the performance homeowners want.

The SEER isn’t the only thing you should look at when selecting a new system. Systems with higher SEERs are usually more expensive than those with lower ones, so some homeowners may try to save money by choosing a smaller cooling capacity. This is problematic; smaller air conditioners may never get your home to the correct temperature, and the extra wear on your system will cause it to fail sooner.

A system with a high SEER does not guarantee unlimited efficiency. All air conditioners should be professionally maintained and cleaned, and you should replace air filters about once a month.

A professional technician can help you find a system with a high SEER, and can tell you about many other money-saving upgrades for your new system. For air conditioning services in Kennesaw, call Cool Air Mechanical today!

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Why Are Most Commercial HVAC Systems on the Roof?

Thursday, June 26th, 2014

Even people who have never run a business know that the HVAC systems of a commercial building are usually located up on the roof: they’ve seen enough action movies with shoot-outs on top of office buildings where the heroes dodge bullets by hiding behind fans and air conditioning cabinets. But not many people—including business owners—know the reason for this top-of-the-world positioning.

Rooftop units exist for a number of reasons. When you are looking for commercial HVAC installation in Kennesaw, GA, you probably will also want a packaged rooftop system. Contact Cool Air Mechanical to arrange for the installation of the right system for your company. We have years of experience providing comfort for businesses in the Greater Atlanta Area.

Rooftop Package Units

The original reason that air conditioning and heating systems moved to the roof of commercial buildings was simple expediency combined with the nature of U.S. cities and businesses in the early 20th century, when electro-mechanical air conditioning was first introduced. At the time, the only companies large and wealthy enough to need these systems were located in the downtown areas of cities, where buildings clustered close to each other. Air conditioning systems had nowhere to fit, and they couldn’t draw sufficient outdoor air for venting in tight spots down in street alleys. The roof was the most logical place to put them. Even today, when HVAC systems are affordable for most companies and businesses have headed to more spacious locales, the technology that developed to help keep them comfortable has remained adapted to rooftops.

The roof location proved advantageous in other ways. Packaged units that could house all the components in a single cabinet could remain removed from indoor spaces, which reduced noise pollution and permitted more work room. The systems were also less susceptible to damage from vandalism and other human causes. Repairs and maintenance could be done without any disruption to workflow. The extra space on the roof made it easy for new modular HVAC systems to expand.

The current high-efficiency rooftop packaged units are one of your best options for commercial HVAC installation. However, if another type of system would better suit you, trust to our trained technicians at Cool Air Mechanical to locate it and make sure it is installed right. Contact us today and let us know what you’re looking for. We also offer a variety of HVAC services in Kennesaw, GA. Just get us on the phone and we’ll answer any questions you have about your HVAC system.

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Atlanta, GA Air Conditioning Repair: Signs of a Bad Capacitor

Tuesday, June 18th, 2013

Are you frustrated by unreliable cooling? Does it seem like your AC only starts up when it wants to? If you’re not getting what you want from your AC this summer, then it’s time to take action. With professional installation and routine maintenance, your AC should run well for years after it is first installed, but there will come a time when it develops a problem in need of professional service. One area of your AC that can develop a problem is the capacitor, which functions like a start-up battery for the operation of your air conditioning components. There are some signs of a bad capacitor worth looking out for. In today’s post, we’d like to examine a few briefly. Call Cool Air Mechanical today for exceptional Atlanta, GA air conditioning repair services.

  • AC fails to start up: This is probably the most obvious sign that you should have your capacitor checked, but a failure to start can be caused by various other problems as well. It’s important to have your AC checked by a professional to determine the cause of the issue.
  • Intermittent failure: If your AC fails to consistently start-up when you call for cooling, then it could be a sign that your capacitor is beginning to fail.
  • Tripped circuit breaker: As you well know, your AC operates on electricity. It is wired into your service panel, and if you find that your circuit breaker trips frequently, then your capacitor might be at fault. This results from the motor attempting to draw a higher voltage than normal because your capacitor is not providing the energy boost.
  • Humming sound: If your compressor motor hums during start-up or overheats, then it could be drawing more electrical energy than normal because of a capacitor issue.

Your capacitor is vital component of your air conditioning system, and you simply cannot expect cool air without it. If yours is no longer operating properly, then call the Atlanta, GA air conditioning repair service experts at Cool Air Mechanical today.

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Atlanta, GA Air Conditioning Question: Why Is My Air Conditioning System Not Dehumidifying?

Monday, April 15th, 2013

Air conditioning is necessary in Atlanta, GA, and homeowners throughout the area are making sure that their cooling systems are ready to go for the entire summer. As you start your AC back up after a season of non-use, you may find that it’s in need of repair or it needs a service tune-up. One common problem that we often hear about is when AC systems are not dehumidifying properly. As you probably know already, your air conditioner dehumidifies the air as part of its normal operation. When it’s not, then it probably indicates some kind of operational problem. For more information, or to schedule air conditioning repair in Atlanta, GA, call Cool Air Mechanical today!

Here are some possible causes of an AC system that is not dehumidifying:

  • Inadequate refrigerant charge: The “charge” is the level of refrigerant that circulates through your compressor pump, evaporator, and condenser. It’s imperative that your system have the correct amount of refrigerant at all times. If you have low refrigerant charge, then it’s possible that your AC system will not dehumidify the air.
  • Oversized system: If your AC does not dehumidify the air and also frequently turns on and off, then it is probably too large for your home. What happens is that the high-powered system cools the air at such a fast rate that the air does not spend enough time moving over the evaporator coil to be dehumidified. After your thermostat shuts off the cooling because your home has reached the desired temperature, there is still a lot of humidity in the air.
  • Dirt and debris in the system: One of the best ways to prevent damage to your system is to ensure that all of its components are clean and clear of any dirt and debris. If your coils are covered in dust, then you cannot expect it to work efficiently, and one of the potential outcomes is a lack of dehumidification.

If your AC system is not dehumidifying properly, then it requires professional attention. Make sure your AC performs well and efficiently this cooling season by scheduling Atlanta, GA air conditioning repair and maintenance with Cool Air Mechanical. Call today! 

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Atlanta Duct Cleaning FAQ: What Type of Pollutants Gather in Air Ducts

Monday, January 14th, 2013

Are you wondering whether or not you need a Atlanta duct cleaning service? The air ducts in your home can accumulate any number of indoor air pollutants. Many allergens, such as dust, pet hair, and even pollen, can gather in your air ducts. Not to mention bacteria, fungi, mold, mildew and other harmful microorganisms. A duct cleaning can clean out these contaminants and improve indoor air quality.

If there are any pollutants in your ductwork, they can get distributed to the air inside your home whenever you are running your heating and air conditioning system. This can cause poor indoor air quality, and make allergies and other respiratory problems worse. If anyone in your home has breathing issues related to asthma, allergies, or other lung diseases, you may want to consider a duct cleaning service to remove any biological pollutants from the air ducts in your home.

Here are some common indoor air pollutants:

  • Dust
  • Mold
  • Mildew
  • Bacteria
  • Viruses
  • Pollen
  • Pet Dander

Other sources can be related to the combustion of heating fuel, including the following:

  • Propane
  • Oil
  • Natural Gas
  • Kerosene
  • Coal
  • Wood

Even tobacco products and construction or art materials, such as paint, can affect indoor air quality. These pollutants can be eliminated at the source, or there are other options, such as air cleaners, to help eliminate other common indoor air pollutants. However, carbon monoxide leaks or exposure to radon will need to be fixed at the source.

Call the Atlanta indoor air quality experts at Cool Air Mechanical for all your air quality needs!

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