Archive for the ‘HVAC tips’ Category
Hurricane season may be over, but that doesn’t mean that you won’t have some rain and moisture in the air during the winter season! It is important to keep your home dry. Mold spores only grow when there is moisture in the air. Control the moisture levels and you will have control over the mold. It is also important to fix any water damaged areas in your home right away, if you do not fix the water damage problem and only take care of the mold, it is likely that the mold will return. Listed below is what you should know about mold according to the EPA.
- Mold can effect your health associated with allergic reactions, asthma, and other respiratory issues.
- There is no way to completely eliminate all traces of mold, only ways to control it, by controlling the moisture level. You can control the moisture level by using a dehumidifier.
- If there is water damage, fix the source of the water problem.
- Reduce indoor humidity to 30-60%.
- Dry and clean off all water damaged objects withing a 48 hour period.
- Prevent condensation. You can do this by making sure your home is properly insulated.
You can also install into your home a UV Germicidal Lights, to help you breath in the best quality air. So don’t let mold get the best of you! Make sure the air you are breathing in is clean and mold free. Keep the moisture under control to keep that mold out!
Fall is already here and before we know it, the winter months will be making their presence known as well. If you have been someone who has experienced an increased energy bill during the winter months, we are here to provide you with some energy and money-saving tips for the upcoming season.
- Seal your windows and doors. If you have any gaps in your windows and doors leading to the outside, not only will your air conditioning be working overtime to compensate for the cool air coming in, but that same produced heat will escape through the gap, resulting in a cycle of increased energy cost.
- Lower your water heater temperature. We all need to be able to heat our water, right? You can still do so and lower the temperature on your water heater, all at the same time. Adjust the temperature just a tad and notice a change in your energy bill, without compromising your comfort.
- Invest in a programmable thermostat. There are those times that you’ll forget to set your thermostat before you leave the house, leaving it running and wasting energy. With a programmable thermostat, the temperature can be set for a specific time and take that worry off of your hands.
For more energy and money-saving tips, reach out to us on Facebook or Twitter, or contact us to discuss!
Duct Sealing – “air duct testing and repairs to leaky duct work could be the most important energy improvement homeowners can make.” (source: Department of energy)
In houses with forced-air heating and cooling systems, ducts are used to distribute conditioned air throughout the house. In a typical house, however, about 25-40 percent of the air that moves through the duct system is lost due to leaks, holes, and poorly connected ducts. The result is higher utility bills and difficulty keeping the house comfortable, no matter how the thermostat is set.
How do you know that your home has poorly performing ducts?
- you have high summer and winter utility bills;
- you have rooms that are difficult to heat and cool;
- you have stuffy rooms that never seem to feel comfortable;
- your ducts are located in an attic, crawlspace, or the garage;
- you find tangled or kinked flexible ducts in your system.
Benefits of Duct Sealing
A duct system that is well-designed and properly sealed can make your home more comfortable, energy efficient, and safer.
Call today or go online to schedule a free evaluation and quote!
Last month we told you some things to look for that would indicate that your HVAC system needs attention from a specialist. However, a quick fix isn’t always the answer – sometimes the best action is to replace your system entirely. Replacing your system can seem like a large cost upfront, but a new, more efficient system will save you more money over time by reducing your energy bill and minimizing the need for maintenance and repair. Energy Star offers a check-list of signs that indicate that a system needs to be replaced.
The age of your system is a solid indicator of when it will need to be replaced. Talk to a professional about replacing your system if
- Your furnace or boiler is more than 15 years old.
- Your air conditioner or heat pump is more than 10 years old.
Some signs that you system needs to be replaced are obvious and easy to spot, and occur from daily use, such as:
- Uneven temperature throughout the home; some rooms are too hot while others are too cold.
- Your cooling or heating system is excessively noisy.
- Your energy bills start to increase suddenly.
- Your equipment needs frequent repairs.
You can also spot a system that’s on its way out by some factors that may seem less obvious:
- Your home is exceptionally dusty, which could be caused by leaky ducts.
- Your home has problems with keeping a consistent humidity; faulty equipment and leaky duct work can cause air to be too humid in the summer or too dry in the winter.
Proper maintenance is one of the most important things you can do in order to keep your AC system in proper working condition, and a major part of that is keeping your air filters clean. Air filters should be cleaned or replaced once a month during peak season to ensure proper performance.
Follow these steps to clean or replace your air filters:
1. Figure out whether your system is a forced air system or a furnace system. In forced air systems, the filter will be located over the vent where the air comes from. In furnace systems, the filter is attached to HVAC unit directly.
2. Sweep or vacuum the floor to remove and dust or dirt surrounding the filter.
3. Turn the system off before you touch the filter.
4. If your system is concealed, you will need to pop or slide open the panel door.
5. On an AC unit, you will be able to slide the filter our. On a regular forced air system, the filter can be easily removed.
6. The size of the filter should be printed on the frame – if the filter is disposable, write down the measurements and purchase a new filter from a hardware store. Go to step 9.
7. If the filter is replaceable, take the filter out and move it to a solid, clean surface outside. Spray it down thoroughly with water, but doo not use detergents, as this can cause dirt stick to the filters.
8. Leave the filter outside to dry.
9. Use arrows and guidelines to put the filter back in properly.
There are certain signs that indicate that it’s time to call an HVAC specialist. If you begin to have any of the following problems, call Casteel Air right away to make an appointment:
- Your HVAC is making strange noises.
- Ice is forming on the HVAC unit or lines.
- There is water puddling around your exterior unit.
- Your HVAC is not cooling or heating all areas of your home sufficiently.
- The system runs for hours at a time.
- Your home is taking longer to cool down or heat up.
- Your utility bills have been rising for no obvious reason.
- Your system is more than a decade old.
Ignoring these problems, or “waiting for them to go away,” can cause serious damage to your HVAC system. Let us know if you have been experiencing any of these symptoms or if any questions about your system. You can also reach out to us on Facebook or Twitter.
Odors increase with temperature, and with the temperature in Georgia rising, you may start noticing some unpleasant smells around your home. It doesn’t happen that often, but when it does happen, it’s something that you can’t ignore. Follow these steps if you notice unpleasant odors in your home:
- Look for the source of the smell. The cause may be a dead animal or a mess that was left uncleaned. In this type of situation, if you get rid of the source, the smell should also quickly disparate.
- Check your air filter. If your filter is dirty, it may be the cause of the odor. Replace your filter, or wash it if it is reusable.
- Check the condensation drain line and rain pan for stagnant water and mold. If the pan or drain line needs to be cleaned, you can do so with bleach and hot water. Remember to make sure that they are fully dry before putting them back in place.
- If none of the steps above remove the odor, consider having your entire unit cleaned. There may be an issue in a spot that you cannot access.
Marietta lucked out last night when Tropical Storm Debby decided to change her path and head farther east; however, hurricane season is long from over and it’s important to storm-proof your air conditioning system before any major storm in order to keep it in its best condition.
Tropical storms and hurricanes often cause power outages and substantial property damage such as flooding, fallen trees, or breaking outdoor furniture. There are, however, a few simple steps you can take to protect your AC system from harm before a hurricane or tropical storm arrives:
- Turn off your air conditioning system before the storm arrives.
- Remove any window units or duct systems that exhaust through windows, and seal up windows tight.
- Put a tarp over your outside unit to protect from rain and debris.
- Secure the unit in place with hurricane straps, if necessary, to keep it stable in high winds.
After the storm, do not immediately turn your AC system back on. You should inspect the outdoor unit to make sure that the surrounding area is clear of debris and that the unit is fully, properly functional.
If your unit does experience some damage, make an appointment with a professional to inspect and repair the unit before you turn it back on.
Improving the efficiency of your air condition isn’t limited to inside the home – keep your outdoor unit in good shape as well to improve the effectiveness and overall functionality. Add these simple steps into your normal lawn care routine to cover basic maintenance of your outside air conditioning unit:
1. Remove or trim shrubs and bushes that surround the outdoor air conditioning unit. Your unit requires a minimum of 18 inches of clear space for proper performance.
2. Clear away fallen leaves, foliage, grass clippings, and other debris from your outdoor unit. Built up debris can obstruct airflow.
3. Double check the concrete pad on which the unit rests to make sure it is level (you can find a cheap carpenter’s level at a local hardware store).
Always make sure your air conditioning system is not running before you attempt to clean anything on the actual unit. If you have any other questions about the maintenance of your outdoor unit, reach out to us on Facebook or Twitter, or give us a call at 770-565-5884.
Seasonal tune ups for your HVAC system are important, especially in preparation for the summer and winter months. With the summer heat here (whether we like it or not!) we all know that our HVAC systems will be working a little bit harder than normal to keep us cool. Here is a quick checklist of the tasks your contractor should do to prevent any problems or unwanted costs this summer:
1. Clean! Your contractor should clean your evaporator and condenser air conditioning coils to enhance your system’s ability to cool your home. Dirty coils cause the system to run longer, resulting in a higher electric bill and lower life expectancy for your system.
2. Check Refrigerant Levels. He/she should check to make sure that there is just the right amount of refrigerant and adjust if needed. Too little or too much refrigerant could again, increase your energy bill and reduce the life of your system.
3. Check, Clean Again and Adjust It’s important to check, clean and adjust the blower components for your system. If your blowers go unchecked, it could create airflow problems which could reduce the efficiency of your system.