Posts Tagged ‘HVAC tips’

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.

  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!

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.

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!

If you own an AC window unit, you already know they are not the most reliable! If you think your unit is broken, there are a few tell tail signs to look out for from DoItYourself.

Strange Noises

While noise is common with an AC unit, strange ones should not be. If you happen to notice a loud wailing noises coming from your AC unit, it is most likely that your AC unit’s fan belt is not working. It probably has fallen out of place, simply put it back on track and your problem should be solved. However, if it is severely damaged you may need a new belt.

Low Refrigerant

If you have a leaky AC, then you probably have low refrigerant levels. If this is the case you may need to consult an HVAC professional to assist you further.

Pungent Odors

What’s that smell…? Unfortunately, bad odors are a common problem with AC window units. It is usually from a build up of moisture. You can avoid this problem by frequently cleaning your air conditioner’s filters.

Blockage

If the grills on your air conditioner are blocked, then you will need to clean the units motor, fins and fan. Wipe down all of the parts with a clean cloth, but be sure not to get any of the parts wet!

So…any of these problems sound familiar? Yeah, we thought they might! Remember, it is important to take care of your AC window unit and always change your filters! At Casteel Heating and Cooling, we are always here to help!

The cold weather is upon us! As the temperatures continue to drop, your house will require maintenance to keep it in prime condition for the winter. Below are a few things you can check around your home to make sure you are ready!

  • Furnace Inspection: Make sure you have your furnace inspected by an HVAC professional and also have them clean your air ducts. We also recommend stocking up on furnace filters so you can change them monthly to keep your furnace running efficiently.
  • Fireplace Check: Put a screen or cap on the chimney top to keep out rodents and birds and make sure the fire place is clean inside. Also, inspect the fireplace damper for proper opening and closing.
  • Check the Exterior: Take a look at the exterior of your home for cracks and exposed entry points and pipes and have them sealed. Take a look at your windows as well and make sure they are properly caulked so no cold air creeps in. Lastly, make sure your home is properly insulated so you can stay warm all winter!
  • These are easy tips that you can do around your home to make sure you are fully prepared for the cold months ahead! To get a furnace tune-up for the winter call your HVAC professional, they’ll be happy to help!

    It’s getting colder and colder and that old furnace of yours isn’t doing it’s job. Before you give it a good swift kick, read this. The problems you are experiencing with your furnace may be a simple issue that can be resolved quickly.

  • Check Your Settings– Before you run to call your HVAC professional make sure your dial is set on its proper settings. Simple enough, right? You’d be surprised how often this quick check is overlooked!
  • Check Breakers and Service Switch– Make sure all your switches are turned on! If your service switch isn’t on or any of the other for that matter, your furnace won’t work. you can find the service switch either on or near your furnace. Make sure to check the main breaker box in your house too! Sometimes all you need is to replace the switch.
  • The Outside Disconnect Switch– If you go outside and look around your unit there should be a switch that you can flip to turn the outside fan on. Also, make sure the main breaker switch for this is turned on as well. If it needs to be replaced, it is just a quick fix by your HVAC technician.
  • If these simple fixes did not solve your problem, then go ahead and call your HVAC professional to further assist you. These three simple check-ups can save you money, time and a phone call to a professional. So relax, you can most likely fix the problem yourself before your toes go numb this winter!

    Cost

  • Of course when buying anything the first question you ask is, how much is this going to cost me? A new HVAC system can be a big investment, but cheaper isn’t always better. If you invest in a high quality system you will see the benefits overtime. The more advanced features that come along with the pricier HVAC systems include energy saving technology. Consider the value over time rather than the initial investment.
  • Size

  • When buying a system you need to take into consideration the size of your home. You want to buy a a HVAC system that is appropriate for the size of your home so you do not waste energy. A unit that is too big will not cool your house properly an a unit that is too small will constantly be running to keep your house cool. Thus, costing you more on your energy bill.
  • Efficiency

  • You want to get the best bang for your buck, so make sure you read the efficiency reviews. An efficient HVAC system will save you money on your bills. For air conditioners, look for high Seasonal Energy Efficiency Rating (SEER).
  • Installation

  • Most HVAC systems will require a licensed technician to install it into your home. You may want to think twice before you take on a do-it-yourself project. You want to make sure it is installed properly to avoid problems in the future. Make sure you get several price estimates before forking over your money!
  • When making a large investment such as this you want to make sure you consider all of the above factors. We know you want to get the most out of your money, but make sure you take everything into consideration before you opt for the cheaper system!

    During the winter we obviously use our heaters more often but there are ways to keep our heating costs down. We found a great article from DIYlife.com to help you with this.

    Mistake #1: Ignoring Drafts
    That cool air you feel seeping in is a blatant sign that your home is losing heat. Stop ignoring drafts! Check for cracks around doors, windows, foundations, fireplaces, and other areas. Use caulk, weather stripping, door sweeps, or plastic to close off leaks and keep the warm air inside your home.

    Mistake #2: Leaving a Ventilation Fan Running
    During the winter, don’t let the bathroom fan or kitchen hood fan run for longer than necessary. Ventilation fans can suck all the heated air right out of your home. But, don’t avoid using ventilation fans. Mold and mildew are always looking for a warm moist place to hide.

    Mistake #3: Taking the Furnace for Granted
    Maintain your heating equipment throughout the year. Regularly check and clean the filters in your furnace every 3 months. Dirty air filters can reduce the air flow in your system and make your furnace work harder.

    Mistake #4: Raising the Thermostat Too High
    If your furnace is struggling to reach a desired temperature, don’t turn the thermostat higher than the desired temperature. You’ll just make your furnace work even harder. Instead, look for the problem and try to fix it. Or if you’re heater is just not strong enough, take note, and adjust accordingly.

    Mistake #5: Heating an Empty House
    Take advantage of a programmable thermostat to regulate the temperature of your home while you’re away. It’s important to program the thermostat to reflect your family’s schedule to get the most out of it And it can save you up to $180 a year in energy costs, according to Energy Star.

    Mistake #6: Going to Extremes
    Turning down the temperature at night seems like a good idea to save money on the heating bill. But if you turn the air back too far at night, it can cost you when you raise the temperature on the thermostat in the morning. Avoid extremes as the contents of your home will need to be heated as well as the air and that can take time.

    Mistake #7: Washing Everything in Hot Water
    Whenever your fabrics can tolerate it, turn the dial on your washer to cold. Washing clothes in cold water saves the cost of heating that water.

    Mistake #8: Keeping the Curtains Drawn (or Keeping Them Not Drawn)
    Opening window treatments when the sun is shining and close the curtains when the sun isn’t. This will give your home a heating boost from the sun and keep the heat in during the dark night. Also, pay attention to opening the curtains and shades on the side of your home where the sun strikes the windows.

    Mistake #9: Keeping Windows Unlocked
    It might sound too simple to believe, but locking your windows creates an airtight seal that keeps out air leaks and drafts.

    Mistake #10: Going It Alone
    Energy audits by a professional are the best way to know about your home’s energy use. You can take advantage of Energy Star’s free online tools by entering information about how you heat your home. The Home Energy Advisor provides energy-saving home improvement recommendations for homes where you live. The Home Energy Yardstick compares your home’s energy use to similar homes in your area.

    Does it look like you need a “Wintervention?” Let Casteel Heating and Cooling be YOUR professional. We can perform a Home Energy Audit for you and make recommendations for any issues we may find. Start saving today and give us a call at 770-565-5884.

    Article cited: http://www.diylife.com/2011/01/03/heating-mistakes-solved-10-energy-saving-tips/

    We have posted regarding safety and Carbon Monoxide before but we can NOT stress enough how important it is for you to be extremely careful during the cold season.

    Here are some potential Carbon Monoxide dangers in your home:

    • CO is a produced anytime a fuel is burned. Potential sources include gas or oil furnaces, water heaters, space heaters, clothes dryers, barbecue grills, fireplaces, wood-burning stoves, gas ovens, generators, and car exhaust fumes.
    • CO poisoning is the leading cause of accidental poisoning deaths in America. (Centers for Disease Control)
    • Every year more than 10,000 people die or seek medical attention due to CO poisoning from home-related products. (Consumer Product Safety Commission)
    • More than two-thirds of Americans use gas, wood, kerosene or another fuel as their home”s major heat source.
    • 65% of CO poisoning deaths from consumer products are due to heating systems.
    • Only 27% of homes in America have carbon monoxide alarms, according to the Hardware/Homecenter Research Industry.
    • An idling vehicle in an attached garage, even with the garage door opened, can produce concentrated amounts of CO that can enter your home through the garage door or nearby windows.
    • CO poisoning deaths from portable generators have doubled for the past two years, and many of these deaths occurred in the winter months and during power outages.
    • A poorly maintained gas stove can give off twice the amount of CO than one in good working order.

    What you can do to prevent Carbon Monoxide from leaking into your home.

    • Install at least one battery-powered CO alarm or AC-powered unit with battery backup on each level of your home and near sleeping areas.
    • Do not use charcoal or gas grills inside or operate outdoors near a window where CO fumes could seep in through a window.
    • Check all carbon monoxide alarms in your home. Do they use the most accurate sensing technology? Do they need new batteries?
    • Replace CO alarms every five to seven years in order to benefit from the latest technology upgrades.
    • Have a licensed professional inspect heating systems and other fuel-burning appliances annually.
    • Install fuel-burning appliances properly and operate according to the manufacturer’s instructions.
    • Keep chimneys clear of animal nests, leaves and residue to ensure proper venting. Have all fireplaces cleaned and inspected annually.
    • Do not block or seal shut the exhaust flues or ducts used by water heaters, ranges and clothes dryers.
    • Do not leave your car running in an attached garage or carport.
    • Do not use ovens or stoves to heat your home.

    How we can help:

    • Let us perform a Home Energy Audit. It includes testing your home for Carbon Monoxide and will give you peace of mind knowing you and your family are safe.
    • Here is a link to Choosing a Carbon Monoxide Alarm from Consumer Reports. This should get you started!

    As always, Casteel Heating and Cooling cares about your safety and will help in any way we can to ensure that you and your loved ones are healthy, happy and safe.

    Source cited: www.kidde.com