Atlanta Air Conditioning Repair Tip: Things to Check on Your Broken AC Before Calling a Professional

Monday, April 2nd, 2012

Atlanta Air Conditioning RepairA broken air conditioner is a stressful situation, especially since you’re considering whether you need an Atlanta air conditioning professional to come out. No one likes spending hundreds of dollars to have a professional take a look at their system, so before you call anyone, make sure to check these problems. You may be able to fix the problem on your own without spending a dime.

 Thermostat

The thermostat is one of the most common problems you’ll have with an air conditioner.  Make sure the thermostat wasn’t knocked out of position and the sensors near your coils are in the right place. Often times, a bumped sensor or a slightly off thermostat can cause this kind of problem and as a result, you’ll be left without steady cooling.

 Check Your Filters

A clogged air filter is a common problem that many homeowners run into. In many cases, your air conditioner will not stop running, but its performance and energy efficiency will suffer. Signs of a clogged filter include a bad smell around your unit and icing on your outside line. Remember to replace your air filters on a monthly basis, and it definitely on of the first things you should check before calling a professional.

 Blower Belts

Your system’s blower belt can be damaged and develop cracks or excess slack. This can reduce air flow which will make it harder for your system to maintain a steady temperature and might cause ice build up. While very difficult for the average homeowner to replace themselves, this is a pretty simple repair for an H VAC technician.

 Check the Outdoor Unit

Check to make sure nothing is blocking the outdoor unit. Clean the condenser coils and remove any debris that might have built up around the outdoor unit. Often, slowed air flow is caused by nothing more than leaves piled in front of your condenser.

If none of these problems is the culprit or if you fix them all and your system continues to struggle, it is time to call an Atlanta air conditioning contractor.

If you have any problems with your air conditioning system this season, give Cool Air Mechanical a call!

Photo by +++CoolValley+++http://www.flickr.com/photos/philmo/5958977820/in/set-72157627242263352/

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Stone Mountain Water Heater Guide: How a Storage Water Heater Works

Wednesday, March 7th, 2012

For decades, millions of Americans have used storage water heaters to heat and store hot water for future use, including many people in Stone Mountain. These tanks are very simple and in many cases have become much more energy efficient, but you probably are wondering how they actually work.

The Basics

A storage water heater is exactly as it sounds. A large volume of water is funneled into a storage tank of between 20 and 80 gallons and heated for future use. When you turn on a hot water tap, water from the top of the tank is removed through the hot water outlet and cold water enters the tank through the cold water inlet – replacing the displaced volume and heated by the gas burner beneath the tank.

Water heaters can be electric, gas, propane or oil depending on what is available in your area. When the water temperature falls (as hot water is pulled from the tank), the thermostat opens and the gas burner ignites, heating the water until it reaches the preset temperature of the thermostat and it closes.

The Tank

When a tank is turned on, it is constantly heating the water supply. As a result, standby heat loss occurs. However, modern tanks are being built with exceptionally high insulation ratings (up to R-25) to minimize the loss of such heat. Additional heat loss occurs in gas and oil water heaters that must vent fumes and gasses through an internal flue. Fan assisted gas tanks and sealed combustion tanks reduce this type of energy loss in gas water heaters.

 Determining the Best Water Heater for You

If you want a new water heater for your home, make sure you do your research and learn what types of water heaters will minimize heat and energy loss without reducing your comfort level. Modern tank water heaters are surprisingly efficient, but only certain ones. Cool Air Mechanical can help you determine which option is best for you.

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Whitesburg Home Energy Audits

Monday, February 13th, 2012

Considering an upgrade to your Whitesburg home’s heating system? It’s usually a sound investment that generates savings both in heating costs and repair bills, plus it keeps your family happy and comfortable.

Before you take the plunge on new equipment, though, you may want to get a home energy audit. What you find may help you choose the right system.

A home energy audit is essentially an inspection by a professional of the materials used to insulate your home. This includes not just the insulation in the walls, but also the walls themselves, along with windows, doors and so on. The idea is to figure out how much heat is escaping your home to the outside, so an audit may also include looking at ducts, vents or anywhere else where air could flow through.

So what does an energy audit have to do with a heating upgrade?

Think about it like this. There are two ways to make your home warmer: increase heat gain (e.g., get a more efficient heating system) or decrease heat loss. If you are able to do the latter, you may find that the former is unnecessary.

For example, you may get an energy audit and discover that by installing new windows and resealing your doors, you can increase heating efficiency by 10%. This could have big implications for your decision to get a new heating system, as you may decide that you can save money by getting a smaller capacity furnace. Getting the right size furnace is very important; one that is too small will not be able to heat your home to the desired temperature and one that is too large will short-cycle, which leads to uneven heating and wears down your system quickly.

A home energy audit is the first step to getting a new heating system, and one that is sure to save you money. Give Cool Air Mechanical a call to set up an energy audit today!

 

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Buford Heat Pump Repair Question: Why Won’t My Heat Pump Start?

Friday, February 10th, 2012

If you are having trouble with your Buford home’s heat pump, you may be surprised to learn that it is probably not the heat pump that is to blame, especially if the trouble is that it simply won’t start up. That seems counterintuitive, but it’s true: the heat pump can be in perfect working order but still not turn on.

The good news, then, is that your heat pump is fine and you won’t have to pay an arm and a leg to fix or replace it. Still though, these types of problems can very frustrating to diagnose and correct. Here are four common culprits when a heat pump won’t start:

  1. No power to the heat pump. Check your breaker box to see if the circuit breaker was tripped. If so, reset it and see if that fixes the problem. Another possibility is that your heat pump is wired to a wall switch, or that there is a switch on the unit itself. Make sure the switch is turned on.
  2. Make sure the thermostat is set to the proper mode, such as “heat” mode if you desire more heat. It seems overly simple, but sometimes the trouble is as simple as that.
  3. A recently replaced thermostat. If you recently upgraded or replaced the thermostat in your home, it’s possible that something went wrong that is preventing your heat pump from starting. It may be the wrong kind of thermostat – heat pumps require a specific type – or it may have been improperly wired.
  4. Finally, the heat pump may have its own circuit breaker on the air handler cabinet. This is often the case with heat pumps that have supplemental electric elements. If that breaker is tripped, that could cause the problems you are experiencing.

If you exhaust these problems and the problem persists or recurs – for example, if the circuit breaker trips again – call Cool Air Mechanical to work on your heat pump. There may be something larger at work that is causing problems in the electrical system that controls your Buford home’s heat pump, and that requires some expertise to properly address.

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Hiram HVAC Contractor Guide: The Goal of Indoor Air Quality Testing

Wednesday, January 18th, 2012

If you are concerned about the air quality in your Hiram home, the first step is thorough testing for allergens, pollutants and other potentially harmful irritants in your air. But, what type of testing do you need and how should you order it? Here is a breakdown of what you can test for and why those tests are so important.

Mold Testing

If you suspect mold or recently moved into a new home that had water damage in the past, seriously consider mold testing. While the process is relatively extensive, the benefits are numerous. Most testing involves checking every potential surface and inlet for water sources and mold spores in your home. Dozens of samples are taken and tested in a lab for traces of mold and specific write ups are made of any areas affected by mold so treatment can be done.

Asbestos

Asbestos is most common in old insulation in walls, attics, basements or around pipes. Testing can be done to check if asbestos is present and if it is, the old insulation can be wrapped to ensure it doesn’t cause any damage to your family’s health.

Duct Work

One of the most common problems you will find in a home that hasn’t been tested for indoor air quality problems is the ductwork. Dirty ducts can be filled with debris, dust, mold, droppings and dozens of other things that you continuously breathe day after day. Testing involves video inspection and measurement for common allergens and pollutants.

General Pollutants

There are a number of other pollutants that can build up in your home. From lead paint flakes in the air to common allergens like dust, pollen and dander floating freely in your ductwork, pollutants build up over time and need not only to be tested for but removed. Smoke from cigarettes or outdoor pollutants can also be removed from your Hiram home after successful testing with the right air cleaning technology.

A good indoor air quality test will measure the levels of each of these contaminants and provide a clear breakdown of how to go about removing them.

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Heat Pump Settings and Your Comfort Level: A Tip from Atlanta

Wednesday, November 30th, 2011

Your heat pump has a number of settings that can affect your Atlanta home’s overall comfort level. One of those settings is the fan – which can be set to run automatically when heating is needed or left on continuously so that the device never turns off. Which is better for your home, though? Let’s take a look.

Comfort vs. Economy

The reason there are two settings on your heat pump is that one is more economical. The auto setting allows the device to minimize how often it is on. So, it only turns on when the house needs warm air to maintain the thermostat setting.

On the other hand, the always on setting is designed to provide better comfort. When you leave your heat pump’s fan on continuously, it provides steady heat over time. This means that the temperature remains consistent and mixes the air to ensure there are no uncomfortable pockets of poorly conditioned air in your home somewhere.

Which Is Better?

In terms of comfort level, it depends on your needs. If you’re not too picky about the exact temperature of your home, the auto setting is best because you will save money and it tends to be fairly accurate. However, if you want to ensure you and your family are perfectly comfortable, regardless of the weather outside, the always on setting is the best way to achieve this level of comfort.

Of course, if you’re concerned about the added cost of leaving the heat pump fan on all the time, you can adjust the thermostat to even out the cost. By raising the thermostat 2 degrees in the summer and lowering it 2 degrees in the winter, the added cost of running it constantly should be offset. If it isn’t, you should have your device inspected to ensure both of the settings are properly calibrated.

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