Posts Tagged ‘Heating and Cooling’

Fall just started, but before we know it, winter will be here. Heaters will be run, comfortable blankets and fires will be used, and hot chocolate will become a nightly treat.

With the cooler weather, there is usually a decline in the amount of time spent outdoors and the amount of time that windows are left open to let in a breeze. All of this will contribute to an increase in indoor air pollutants, especially if you choose not to run your air because the weather feels “just right”.

Chemicals and pollutants are present in your home year-round, but in the summer, spring and fall, we are either outdoors more or we make sure to leave the windows open so we can take advantage of the great breezes that come through.  In the winter, however, given that we keep the windows closed and spend more time indoors, we create an environment for these pollutants to grow and make a negative impact in our home.

Fortunately, there are a number of things you can do to keep that indoor air at a good quality and we’d love to share that with you!

1. Check your filters.  Make sure you filters are clean and fresh.  In the winter, your filters will fill up faster with these indoor air pollutants and once the filter is at capacity, those pollutants will them escape into the air in your home.

2. Consider an air filtration system.  An air filtration system can remove up to 99.98% of indoor allergens.

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.

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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!

When you call your HVAC professional for a maintenance check up, what exactly are you asking them to do? In order to get the most out of your check-up you should be sure your HVAC professional is checking everything that needs to be done. Do not let them leave without having them preform the following tasks recommended by Kudzu.

Make sure you have the correct amount of refrigerant.

Make sure there are no refrigerant leaks by using a leak detector.

Check for and seal duct leakage in your central systems.

Measure air flow through the evaporator coil.

Make sure the control systems are working properly so that the heating system and cooling system can’t operate at the same time.

Make sure your electric terminals are inspected.

Check your oil motors and your belts to make sure they are running smoothly.

Check the thermostat, and that it is working properly.

Lubricate all the moving parts of your system.

Inspect the condensate drain in your HVAC system.

Check that your system is running properly, that it is turning on and off properly.

Whatever you do, don not let your HVAC professional leave without checking everything on the list above! You want to make sure you are getting what you paid for so you don’t run into more costly issues in the future!

It is a good idea to know how your heating system actually works, seeing how you pay those bills every month! To understand them better, first, you need to determine what type of system you are using in your home. Here is the basic breakdown from Kudzu.

Natural Gas: It is carried into your appliances such as your furnace or gas stove. Propane gas is usually found in a tank somewhere outside your home and it carriers the gas through pipes underneath your home.

Electric Furnace: The best way to describe it is like a toaster. It heats the house like a toaster heats up bread.

Heat Pumps: This is an energy efficient alternative to a furnace. A heat pump will move air from one place to another, trying to evenly distribute the heat or cool air, depending on the season. Since they move heat, instead of generating heat, they are able to provide up to four times the energy they consume, pretty cool huh?

Hot Water & Steam Heaters: They are basically the same thing. They both have a boiler which heats up the water and then gets sent through the pies as steam.

Forced Air: This is the most common heating system. You set your thermostat and wheels begin to turn, well not really. The furnace heats up the air in the chamber and then blows it through duct work and registers throughout your home. Thermostats are a great investment, and an easy way to save money.

Hopefully, now that you have a better understanding of how heating systems work, you can choose one that fits your lifestyle or budget! Remember thermostats and heat pumps are huge money savers and a great investment! Always consult an HVAC professional to get the best heating system to fit your home!

At Casteel Heating and Cooling we are all about going green and helping the environment! Clean air and energy efficient products are important to us. That is why we offer Energy Star products! If you’re like us, then you want your home to to achieve a high level of energy-efficiency. In order to achieve an Energy Star efficient home standard you must improve the following:

There are also four steps you should take when building a new home to ensure your home will meet the Energy Star guidelines. These steps are recommended by ENERGY STAR.

Step One: Find a Builder Who Partners with Energy Star
This way you know the builder is meeting the requirements of Energy Star guidelines.

Step Two: Builder Works with the Rater to Select Appropriate Energy–Efficient Home Features
This builder will help you choose the best combination of energy-efficient features so you know that when you are constructing your home you are meeting the Energy Star requirements.

Step Three: Verifying Performance
Make sure your contractor is testing the products as they are installing them. This will ensure that everything is working properly and efficiently.

Step Four: Energy Star Label
After completion, make sure you receive an Energy Star label. It will be placed on the circit box breaker of the home. This will provide you with documentation stating that your home is in fact Energy Star qualified.

If you are a homeowner who wants to go green consider following these guidelines. Remember, the less energy we use in our home, the less air pollution we generate. So go green and help save the environment!

Buying a heating and air conditioning system is a hefty investment. We know you want the best quality products as well as the highest quality service. Letting a contractor into your home isn’t a decision to be taken lightly for you and your wallet. We want to make selecting an HVAC professional easy for you. We recommend you fist check the company’s reviews online at Kudzu, then consider the points below recommended by Energy Star.

  • 1. Do Your Research- Research what the license and insurance requirements for HVAC contractors in your state are. You don’t want someone who doesnt meet the requirements! Also, it would be good for you to know what model your current HVAC system is and it’s maintenance history. This way your contactor will be able to better understand your needs.
  • 2. References- Ask the contractor for customer references and simply call and ask them! Make sure you ask the previous customer about the the service or instillation performance and if the contractor stayed on budget and within a timely manner. Customers don’t lie!
  • 3. Referrals- See who your neighbors are using, ask around for some referrals.
  • 4. Special Offers- Like we said, a heating and cooling system is a hefty investment for any homeowner. Ask the contractors if they have any specials or rebates on products.
  • 5. Home Evaluation- Expect a home evaluation. Your HVAC contractor should spend a good deal of time inspecting your home and current system to get a better idea of your needs. If they don’t take the time to inspect your level of insulation, windows and even duct systems they are not doing their job. A good contractor will size the heating and cooling system based on the size of your house and other factors.
  • 6. Get a Signature- Make sure you sign a written proposal with a contractor before they get started. This will protect you by specifying project costs, model numbers, job schedule and warranty information.
  • When you decide to select and HVAC contractor make sure you review the points listed above. You deserve the highest quality in service and products. At Casteel Heating and Cooling we pride ourselves on providing world class service, offering high quality products at affordable prices and backing our work up with exceptional warranties. Good luck on your search!

    At Casteel Heating and Cooling, we pride ourselves in providing world class service, high quality products, affordable prices and exceptional warranties. But instead of hearing it from us, take a look at what some our customers are saying on Kudzu this month!

      “I purchased a new hvac. I was totally pleased with the expertise and professionalism of my sales rep. He took the time to answer my questions about the hvac sold by Casteel and by its competitors. He was credible and won the sale while not speaking disrespectfully about other offerings. On installation day, the crew (Larry and Kevin) did an excellent job installing the unit and working as efficiently as possible. This was my first experience working with Casteel – I trust that they will have a valued customer for life.”
      “I’ve used Casteel for 6 mths now and have been very pleased. They did maintenance in summer and winter. Brian was our technician and took the time to explain what he was doing and why. He answered my questions and was not rushed to simply check the box and move on. I will continue to ask for him! Good work!”
      “We have been using the services of Casteel for a couple of years now and we have always had great service with them. Their technicians are always professional, especially Brian Williams. We will continue to use them for all of our heating and cooling needs.”
      “Great service and customer support. I have used Casteel Heating and Cooling now for about 3 years..Can’t say enough about the service and support. They are number 1 as far as I am concerned!!!”
      “Prompt and professional service. I like that they came when they said they are going to come — respectful of my time. Brian Williams was a great technician!”

    We want to thank all of our customers for your support! Casteel Heating and Cooling would not be a success without all of you. Thanks for choosing us when it comes to your heating and air conditioning needs.

    So you may be asking yourself, what is a packaged heating and cooling system and why do I need one?  A packaged system contains the same components as a split-system namely the compressor, condenser, evaporator, and the expansion valve – all located in a single unit utilizing less space as opposed to a split-system.  Packaged units are usually installed on the ground or on the roof outside, allowing for both horizontal or down-flow designs.

    Packaged heating and cooling systems have been designed to contain all of your heating and cooling equipment in an all-in-one system.  Depending on the weather and your energy needs, there are four types of packaged systems to choose from, each with different functions:

    • Packaged heat pumps that both heat and cool your home
    • Packaged air conditioners that offer cooling for warmer climates
    • Packaged gas-electric units that can switch from electric air conditioning to gas heating
    • Hybrid fuel packaged systems that work as a heat pump, but can also provide gas heating

    Some benefits of a packaged heating and cooling system include:

    • Packaged units include all of the components of a heating and cooling system in a single location, saving more space.
    • Energy-efficient performance.

    For more information, call Casteel Heating and Cooling at 770-565-5884 or visit us online!

    Choosing an air filter isn’t really as easy as going to your local hardware store and picking up the right size. You want to take a few things into consideration. Where is the filter? are you worried about keeping your equipment clean? OR…are you trying to keep the air quality in your home as healthy and clean as possible?

    Air filter by AJC1, on FlickrLow to middle rated air filters will keep your equipment clean but have low dust removal ratings as well. These are the typical panel filters (pleated or not) and they usually have a Minimum Efficiency Reporting Value (MERV) of less than 12. MERV ranges from 1-16 and obviously the higher the rating, the better the performance.

    High efficiency filters do cost more but they also perform better and are generally higher on the MERV scale. Keep in mind that LEED builders use filters with a minimum MERV rating of 13.

    Whichever filter you choose, remember to replace it once a month. Some of the higher efficiency filters can be cleaned with warm water and soap and reused. Make sure to factor that into your cost.

    I know, I know…it’s still cold outside and we’re talking about Spring cleaning. Believe it or not the official first day if Spring is March 20th and that’s only 38 days away! No need to panic…we have time to get ready and that’s why we’re talking about it now. Just like everything else that gets cleaned out in Spring cleaning so should your HVAC system.Spring cleaning, by Chiot's Run, on Flickr

    “But I haven’t used my AC all Winter long.” In a central air system the heating and cooling shares the same ductwork so your ducts have been busy all season long and require cleaning. At Casteel Heating and Cooling we recommend you schedule a tune up for your system when the season changes form Winter to Spring. one of our experienced and professional technicians can come  perform a very comprehensive 25 point inspection. That’s one thing you can check off your Spring cleaning list!