Archive for the ‘Protection’ Category

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:

  1. Turn off your air conditioning system before the storm arrives.
  2. Remove any window units or duct systems that exhaust through windows, and seal up windows tight.
  3. Put a tarp over your outside unit to protect from rain and debris.
  4. 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.

In light of the tornado warnings this week, we thought we’d take this opportunity to talk about water damage. Be advised homeowners, when it comes to water damage, it’s better to be safe then sorry! Take a look at the list below from HVACR Business about the heating and cooling equipment that is recommended you replace if affected by water damage.

  • Gas Furnaces and Boilers
    1. Gas valves and controls are susceptible to water damage but they are not always visible. Make sure you have your HVAC professional take a closer look at the damage.
  • Electric Furnaces
    1. Your electric furnace is susceptible to corrosion which can be hazardous and cause reliability problems.
  • Propane Heating
    1. If there is potential for a propane leak after water damage, your propane tank should be replaced immeideitly!
  • Radiant Floor Heat
    1. Floor heaters have electrically-heated cables or tubing circulating a fluid that are embedded below the floor boards. If your floor is exposed to water damage, chances are, so is you floor heater. The damage can weaken or even crack the tubes, so make sure you have them checked!
  • Heat Pumps and Air Conditioning Systems
    1. If even the littlest amount of water seeps in, there is potential for refrigerant leaks. This will require a major repair or full replacement.
  • Ductwork
    1. Make sure you check your ductwork after any major storm.
  • Water Heating Systems
    1. No matter what type of heating system it is, (gas, oil or electricity) if it is exposed to water it should be replaced.

    So remember, if any of your heating or air conditioning equipment is exposed to water damage make sure you have it checked by a HVAC professional! If it is not fixed or replaced, it can end up coasting you more down the road and it can even become hazardous. So don’t let water damage slide.

    On our blog we have written fairly often about indoor air quality and all of the factors that can affect you and your family. This time, we would like to expand on one factor in particular — VOC emissions. What is a VOC? VOC’s (Volatile Organic Compound) come from synthetic materials used to make your carpet, and are a major contributor to indoor air pollution. Formaldehyde, Xylene, Methylene chloride and Vinyl Chloride are just a few of the VOC’s found in carpets.

    Have you ever noticed that “new carpet” smell? That smell is actually VOC emissions — that’s right, emissions! The compounds actually release gaseous emissions into the air, which are then sucked into your A/C system and circulated throughout your home. VOC emissions can cause a variety of health effects which include difficulty breathing, confusion, dizziness, sinus and throat irritation, skin irritation, vomiting and nausea, and can also exacerbate asthma and allergies. Although these emissions decrease with time as well as lose their odor, they are still present.

    You can easily limit exposure to yourself and your family by doing a few things. First you can replace some or all carpet in your home with hardwood or tile flooring. If you find that you need to replace the carpet, make sure to ask if it is a low VOC emitting carpet. Also keep in mind that the less synthetic material in the carpet, the lower the VOC. If either of those options are not a viable solution, or if you would like to further reduce your exposure to indoor air pollutants, we offer superb air filtration solutions. For more information on how we can help reduce your indoor air pollution, visit us at www.casteelair.com, or call us at 770-565-5884.

    Last week we wrote about copper theft and its effect on your wallet, and we also gave some preventative options to consider. If you’re serious about protecting your A/C investments and yourself against copper theft, refrigerant alarm systems are the way to go.

    While other systems are only triggered after the damage has been done which can mean extra money in repair costs, there are various types of refrigerant alarm systems to consider:

    • Pressure Sensors
    • Voltage Sensors
    • Self Contained Alarm Systems
    • Monitored Alarm Systems

    According to Robert W. Frederick and Associates, monitored alarm systems are generally the best way to go in terms of early detection and additional cost prevention. These systems are connected to a home alarm system, and when a theft is detected the alarm is immediately sounded. Once the alarm has been triggered, the monitoring company is contacted and the police dispatched. Monitored alarm systems are highly sensitive. If the wiring is being tampered with or even if the power is shut off, the alarm will still sound if theft is detected.

    Since everyone has different needs, there isn’t a “one size fits all” refrigerant alarm system. Because we care about our customers, we recommend you research the systems we have mentioned above. Researching will give you a better understanding of which system would be the best fit for your specific needs. It is always better to spend $400-$600 in prevention than spend anywhere from $3,000-$14,000 in repairs or replacement.

    The theft of A/C units is increasing as the summer continues. The copper from a single unit can put between $50 and $150 in a criminals pocket, but take thousands out of yours. With many more dog days to come, you don’t want to be left in the heat without A/C.

    So how can you avoid the theft of your unit? Because we care, we have come up with a list of preventative options for you to consider:

    • Organize a neighborhood watch
    • Put anti-theft alarm stickers on your unit or install some motion lights around your unit
    • Bolt your unit to the cement block it sits on
    • Install a refrigerant alarm that monitors your units pressure and sounds when lines are tampered with
    • Build a fence/cage around your unit that’s equipped with a heavy duty padlock

    Hopefully you will never become a victim of A/C theft, but always remember that an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure!