What You Need to Know about Duct Cleaning

Wednesday, January 14th, 2015

Though you may not know it, your home’s air ducts are some of the most important pieces of infrastructure in the entire house. They make central heating and air possible in the first place, and keep the rooms in your home from getting stale by circulating fresh air. They also happen to be among the most commonly neglected parts of your forced air system when it comes to maintenance. Let’s take a look at why it’s so important to have your ducts professionally cleaned.

Airborne Pollutants

Believe it or not, the air in the average home is infested with microscopic pollutants and contaminants. Most of these are only minor inconveniences. Pollen, dust, and insect dander often provoke allergy attacks and the like. However, there are nastier things like bacteria, viruses, and mold that are regularly found in a home’s air supply.

These airborne pollutants are most often found in the ductwork of a home, for a number of reasons. The ducts are often out of the way, beyond the reach of a homeowner’s normal cleaning efforts. They are also dark and more susceptible to moisture; an ideal environment for mold growth. The biggest problem is that every time a forced air system is turned on, the ducts serve as a transportation network for these pollutants. They are spread around the house in this fashion, making it more likely that they will have a negative effect on the occupants of the home.

Duct Cleaning

Duct cleaning attempts to address these pollutants by clearing out their ideal environment. A professional will either vacuum out the entire ductwork, or use a set of specially designed brushes to carefully clean out any dust and other debris. After the initial cleaning, any leaks that can let moisture in can be found and sealed. In some cases, a chemical treatment can be applied to kill off any bacteria. Duct cleaning improves your air quality by ensuring that the “lungs” of your home are healthy. The healthier your ducts are, the healthier you will be.

If you haven’t had your ducts cleaned in a while, call Cool Air Mechanical. We provide professional duct cleaning services in the Roswell area.

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AFUE and Selecting a Furnace for Installation

Wednesday, December 10th, 2014

There are a few choices to make when it comes to selecting a furnace:

  • Type of furnace – combustion or electric
  • Type of fuel – oil, gas, propane or electricity

And: efficiency level.

The best way to assess how efficient a particular furnace will be is to review its AFUE rating. AFUE stands for annual fuel utilization efficiency, and it measures a gas furnace’s efficiency in converting fuel to energy. As an example, a furnace with an AFUE of 90% means that that particular furnace will generate 90 BTUs of heat for every unit of fuel that it burns. In other words, when this particular furnace operates, 10% of your fuel is lost to exhaust. Comparatively speaking, this is a pretty good AFUE rating. AFUE can range from the low 50s to the high 90s, so this is why it’s important to understand how AFUE works.

What AFUE Doesn’t Mean

Sometimes energy efficiency ratings like AFUE can be misinterpreted as being an indication that a certain type of furnace with a certain AFUE rating will heat your home better; this isn’t true. What AFUE tells you is that a furnace with an AFUE of 95% will heat your home the same as a furnace with an AFUE of 90% – the difference is that the furnace with the higher AFUE rating will heat your home for less money because it uses less fuel to accomplish the job.

So why not just purchase the furnace with the higher AFUE? With improved energy efficiency can come higher purchase cost: typically, the higher a furnace’s energy efficiency, the higher the cost of the unit. Working with a trained expert can help you determine how long it will take to recover the installation costs of a unit, based on its energy efficiency level. He/she does this by calculating how much you can save in energy costs based on the AFUE rating and comparing that to your installation costs. Taking the time to work on this calculation with your technician can help you save money in energy costs for the long-term.

If you need a new furnace installation in Roswell, don’t go it alone: call Cool Air Mechanical today and schedule an appointment with one of our installation experts!

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How Long Does Furnace Installation Take?

Wednesday, December 3rd, 2014

Replacing your furnace is a great opportunity to increase your energy efficiency and comfort levels. Many times our technicians will ask how long it will take to install a new furnace. As long as your existing ductwork is intact and works correctly, it normally takes less than a day to replace an outdated furnace. However, there are decisions to be made before installation that can and should take some time.

Factors to Consider Before Installation

Combustion furnaces have an average lifespan of 15 to 20 years, so it’s important to make sure that you install a furnace that fits your needs and your home perfectly:

Size

Your home has specific heating needs, and these needs won’t be met if you install a system that is either too big or too small for your home. So how do properly size your furnace? By working with a trained professional on a heat load calculation. This calculation is comprised of things like:

  • Your home’s orientation
  • Levels of insulation
  • Floor plan
  • Number of occupants
  • Number and type of windows and doors
  • Square footage

Once the heat load calculation is done, you’ll know exactly what size furnace you’ll need to comfortable heat your home.

Type of Furnace

There are 2 main types of furnaces: electric and combustion. Combustion furnaces commonly use natural gas, but they can also use propane and oil. Electric furnaces can be good choices for homes that do not have immediate access to fossil fuels, or that don’t want to use a combustion system.

Energy Efficiency

Furnaces have become very energy efficient. The best way to check a furnace’s efficiency is to review its AFUE rating. The AFUE rating stands for annual fuel utilization efficiency, and it measures a furnace’s efficiency in converting fuel to energy. The higher AFUE rating, the greater energy efficiency of the furnace.

The installation of your furnace in Roswell should be the last step of a process conducted with a trained expert. Taking these steps helps ensure that you’ll install a new furnace that will heat your home as you need it to for years to come. Call Cool Air Mechanical today and schedule an appointment with one of our installation experts!

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3 Myths About Heating in Roswell, GA

Wednesday, October 22nd, 2014

There are quite a few heating myths floating around, both on the internet and by word of mouth. The reason so many of these myths have survived is mostly linked to homeowners’ desires to save energy and money. When you’re trying to cut heating costs, you’ll probably be willing to try all sorts of things that may or may not make a difference. Here are our top 3 heating myths in Roswell, GA.

Myth: If You Set Your Thermostat Higher, Your House Will Heat Faster

Nope. This is 100% untrue. In actuality, the thermostat only has two settings for heat: on or off. When you set a target temperature for your thermostat, it compares that temperature to the current temperature in the room. If the current temperature is lower, it starts the heating system. Once the current temperature and target temperature match, the thermostat turns the heat off again. Setting a higher temperature will only make the heater work longer to get there, it won’t blow any hotter air than usual.

Myth: Closing Vents in Rooms You’re Not in Will Save Money on Heating

This is a very common one. People think that by closing the heating vent in rooms they aren’t using, the system only has to heat one or two rooms in the house. That means it doesn’t have to work as hard and will use less energy, right? Wrong. Just like above, heating systems like furnaces are actually quite simple in the way they operate. A heating unit is designed to provide the proper amount of heat for a certain sized space. Restricting that space can actually damage the heating unit.

Myth: You Don’t Need to Schedule System Maintenance Until There’s a Problem

This is possibly the most damaging of all. All heating systems, no matter what kind you have, require maintenance at least once a year to ensure that they are in top operating condition. Ignoring annual maintenance shortens the lifespan of your heating system and, in some extreme cases, can even be hazardous to your health by causing things like cracked heat exchangers.

If you would like to know more, call Cool Air Mechanical today. We specialize in heating repair service in the Roswell, GA area.

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Can I Do Water Heater Repairs on My Own?

Wednesday, September 10th, 2014

Do-it-yourself projects are a great way to save a little money and learn a new life skill—in some situations. But when it comes to your home’s water heater, professional technicians simply have more experience dealing with water heater repair, and can better ensure everything gets back to normal as soon as possible. This is a large piece of equipment, so a poor repair job may lead to costly replacement. If you want to make a sweater, test out a chili recipe, or try your hand at flower arrangements, by all means, do it yourself. But here are the reasons you should not attempt to make any water heater repairs on your own.

The Problem May Not Be What You Think

Sometimes, a problem with your water heater may seem to be another problem entirely. A quick internet search can bring up dozens of sources for any repair need and you may choose the one that seems most logical. Noises from your tank? Simply flush out the tank to drain sediment rattling inside of the tank, right? Not necessarily. Noises from your tank may require a technician to check the pressure valve, or look for other problems within the pipes.

If you turn on your hot water and notice that the water is rust-colored, an internet search may inform you that you should replace the rusty anode rod. Or an ill-informed guide may tell you to drain your unit. However, rust colored water may indicate a more serious problem. You’ll want a professional to rule out storage tank corrosion before making any quick repairs.

Professionals Are Experienced and Are Equipped with the Right Tools for the Job

A professional simply has the right tools and know-how to take care of a water heater repair quickly and professionally. Without a trained eye to look at the problem, you simply cannot be certain you are taking the right course of action. For water heater repair in Roswell, trust one of the experts at Cool Air Mechanical. We’re open 24/7 for emergency repairs and have the right equipment to get your water heater running smoothly today! Call us today to schedule an appointment.

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Steps Involved in Commercial HVAC Installation

Monday, July 21st, 2014

Keeping your business cool during Georgia springs and summers, and heated during winters (and a combination of both for autumns) requires a reliable HVAC system. But, to have a reliable comfort system, you need to have professional installation. A shoddy job putting in a commercial heater or air conditioner will result in large amounts of energy waste and an uncomfortable work space. Make sure you contact experienced professionals in commercial HVAC installation in Roswell, GA when you need a new comfort system to heat and cool your business.

At Cool Air Mechanical, we take pride in the work we provide for homes and businesses. Put us at the top of your list for commercial HVAC services. We’re here to help you 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

The Stages of Commercial HVAC Installation

The first part of installation is to have a meeting with the professional installers to discuss your needs and to give them a general sense of your business, the building size, the hours, and the numbers of employees and average number of customers/clients (if applicable). This will give the installers an idea of how extensive a system you will need.

The installers will then come to the worksite and look over your current HVAC system (if you are replacing one), the ventilation, and the layout. They will have an idea of the type of comfort system that will work for the area, such as a packaged rooftop unit or a ductless mini split.

The next step is crucial: the commercial technicians measure your buildings heated square footage and check on insulation and air leaks to determine how many tons of heating/cooling are necessary to provide you with the comfort you need without wasting energy.

The final step is the actual installation. If you are having rooftop units put in, the job will go quickly and provide minimal interference with your regular work. The longest part of installation usually involves removing the older system. The installers take care of necessary upgrades to accommodate the new system, such as new thermostat and building controls and alterations to ductwork. The whole process, from start to finish, can take 1 to 3 days, depending on the size of the installation.

When you’re in need of HVAC experts in Roswell, GA for your commercial HVAC installation, you will receive the fastest installation our team at Cool Air Mechanical can delivery. But out technicians will never sacrifice quality to speed, because they want you to enjoy many years of repair-free service from your new system. Should you need repairs, however, you can trust to our 24-hour emergency service.

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Common Noises That Indicate a Need for Air Conditioning Repair

Friday, June 20th, 2014

Part of the soundtrack of summer is the gentle hum and whir of the fans and the compressor in a central air conditioning system. Modern manufacturers design ACs to operate with as little noise as possible, and most of the time you will pay little attention to the white noise that comes from your cooling system.

But then suddenly… clank! clang! hiss! ch-chunk! Your air conditioner starts making an odd sound you haven’t heard before. You know this can’t be right, and you make the right move: you call a professional for air conditioning repair in Roswell, GA. You can reach skilled technicians to handle this service 24/7 at Cool Air Mechanical, where we proudly serve the Greater Atlanta Area.

Here are some of the more common warning noises and what they may mean for repairs:

  • Hissing: This sound like escaping gas or liquid is probably exactly that: refrigerant, in either its liquid or gaseous state, escaping from a breach in the air conditioner. This is a serious situation, since loss of refrigerant will cause the AC to begin to lose its cooling ability. Low refrigerant will also threaten to damage the compressor and cause ice to form over the indoor coils, both situations which can lead to expensive repair needs—or even a completely broken air conditioner.
  • Clicking: This is commonly heard when an AC begins to “hard start,” struggle as it tries to turn the compressor on. The clicking sound indicates a failing capacitor, the device that transmits voltage to the motors to start and/or keep them running. The capacitor needs to be replaced before it fails or creates more stress from hard starting in the AC.
  • Shrieking, grinding: These mechanical noises often mean something is wrong with the motors: loss of lubricant, layers of dust and grime, or overheating. Without attention, this will lead to a motor burning out, in which case it will need a complete replacement.
  • Striking, slapping: Should the outdoor fan suffer from damage, its bent blades will begin to strike against the casing, causing these loud noises. If not fixed soon, the dislodged blades will cause damage throughout the cabinet.

Do not open up either cabinet of your air conditioner and attempt to diagnose the source of the sounds and fix it. ACs are complex pieces of equipment that need professionals to handle their repair work. When one of these warning sounds starts to bother the peace in your home, call Cool Air Mechanical for air conditioning service in Roswell, GA. We have many years of experience and can take care of all your AC-related needs (and your heating needs in the winter as well). Give us a call today to schedule your next service appointment.

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Tips on Staying Open During Commercial HVAC Repair

Thursday, May 29th, 2014

As a business owner, you want as few distractions and interruptions to the regular work schedule as possible. This applies whether you run a restaurant or an accounting firm, or whether you have customers or clients. The idea of having technicians come to your business to perform vital repairs on your buildings heating or cooling systems sounds like a significant hassle that could even threaten to close down operations for a period. For this reason, some business owners are hesitant about scheduling repairs even when they desperately need them, but this is a far worse situation, as it means discomfort for everyone.

At Cool Air Mechanical, we offer services for commercial HVAC repair in Roswell, GA that will get the job done fast and right. We know how important your business is to you, so we will make every effort possible to reduce disruptions to a minimum and restore your cooling or heating as soon as possible.

Here are some tips you can use to make it easier to keep your business open and running during HVAC repairs:

  • Only hire experienced commercial repair personnel: Amateurs are out of the question; they won’t get the work done correctly and it will take them too long, creating unprofessional delays. But professionals who only have experience with residential systems will also cause problems, since they will not have the knowledge about how to keep themselves out of the way of day-to-day operations. Trained commercial specialists are skilled at the art of remaining as unobtrusive as possible so work can go on as normal.
  • Schedule the work during off (or slow) hours: We realized that when you have an emergency, you can’t control when you need to have the repair work done. But with a bit of planning, any other repair work can be scheduled during a time when you are either closed or only a small staff needs to be present. Many commercial HVAC repair technicians offer 24-hour, 7-days a week service to help companies that cannot afford to shut down their heating and cooling during the day.
  • Install rooftop packaged units: This is planning ahead, but it is an investment that is well worth it. A rooftop package unit is in an ideal position for repairs that will not get in anyone’s way. Although you will still need to worry about a temporary loss of heating or cooling during the work, the compact nature of rooftop units makes them fast repair jobs for skilled technicians.

Hiring the right service company is the key to making it through repairs without losing productivity or business. Cool Air Mechanical has the experience, equipment, and staff to keep your company running while we provide the necessary commercial HVAC service in Roswell, GA that will quickly return comfort to your workspace. Give us a call today to make an appointment.

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Damaged Air Ducts and Air Conditioning Repair in Atlanta

Monday, July 8th, 2013

When you turn on your air conditioning system, all of the cool air circulated in your home has to travel through a series of ducts. While most homeowners don’t give this system of ducts a second thought, it is actually a critical part of your comfort. Any issues with your ducts can have a serious impact on your home’s comfort and on your home’s efficiency. If you need any kind of duct or air conditioning repair in Atlanta, just call Cool Air Mechanical. Check out our quick explanation of how damaged ducts can impact your home’s air conditioning system.

Over the years your ducts can actually experience quite a lot of wear and tear. Here are a few common things that can cause your ducts to be damaged.

  • Poor installation – Probably the most common cause of duct repair is bad installation. If your ducts weren’t properly secured they can rub or chafe against a ceiling joist or brace which can wear holes into the ducts.
  • Insects and rodents – Mice, rats, ants, cockroaches and other pests can be incredibly damaging to your home’s ductwork. After you have an exterminator take care of your pest problem, you should have an HVAC professional clean and examine your ductwork.

How to Tell If You Need Duct Repair

In most homes the ductwork is installed in the ceilings or under the floor which makes it difficult to tell if there are any problems with it. But there are still a few ways that you can tell if you need duct repair:

  • Hot or cold spots – If you notice that only certain parts of your house are getting cool air from your AC it could mean that there are holes and leaks in your ducts and you need them sealed.
  • Noises – Do you hear whistling, rattling, rumbling or any noises coming from your ducts? It could mean that you have cracks in your ductwork.
  • Inefficient operation – Keep an eye on your air conditioning bills. If you notice a sudden spike in your utility bill and your AC unit is functioning normally, you might have have a problem with your air ducts.

When you need air conditioning repair in Atlanta, make sure that you work with the professionals at Cool Air Mechanical.

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Atlanta Air Conditioning Repair Tip: Why Your AC Blows Warm Air

Tuesday, June 4th, 2013

There’s simply no substitute for the crisp, refreshing cool air that flows out of your air conditioning system. During the high temperatures and dense humidity of the summer, you need to make sure that your AC is ready to work well no matter what the outside temperature is. But one of the problems confronting homeowners occurs when their AC begins to blow warm air. This is probably the last thing you want to have happen. After all, you’re paying to stay cool. That’s what makes professional repair so important. Without the technical expertise and knowledge of an HVAC technician, your AC will simply not get the attention it deserves. Call Cool Air Mechanical today if you need Atlanta air conditioning repair services.

Why does your AC blow warm air? Let’s take a look at a few possible options.

  • Low refrigerant: Refrigerant is the chemical designed to produce radical temperature fluctuations under different pressurized conditions. But in order to absorb and dissipate thermal energy so that you can enjoy cool air, you need the correct amount of refrigerant in your system. During installation, your AC was “charged” with refrigerant, and shouldn’t expend it during operation. But if you have low refrigerant levels, then your AC may not function efficiently, and it may be subject to such problems as warm air. Low refrigerant is typically caused by a leak somewhere in the coils, because of either puncture or corrosion. The leak will need to be repaired before the system can be recharged. 
  • Dirty condenser coils: The condenser coils reside in the outdoor unit with the compressor. They have a single purpose: to dissipate the thermal energy from the indoors. The compressor heats up and pressurizes the gaseous refrigerant as it comes from the evaporator, and then sends it to the condenser. By raising the temperature above even the hottest outdoor air, the compressor allows the condenser coils to let the heat flow into the air by means of an exhaust fan. Obviously, this process cannot work well if there is dirt and other debris caked onto the coils. It impairs the dissipation process, and thus reduces the ability of the other components to do their parts.

Call Cool Air Mechanical today for comprehensive Atlanta air conditioning repair services.

 

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