Premier Indoor Comfort Systems Blog

Are Solar Panels Hard to Repair?

July 21st, 2014

These thoughts might have occurred to you when you looked at a large array of solar panels pointing toward the sky from the roof of a house or from a large industrial enclosure: “Wouldn’t it be very easy for those things to break if something fell on them? And how difficult would it be to have the damage repaired?”

We understand the concern; the workings of solar power are not yet common knowledge (although with the increase of solar installation, they may become so soon), and the photovoltaic (PV) panels look like they might be fragile.

We’ll get to the bottom of solar panel repair and its difficulty to show you the sort of investment you can expect when you decide to hook up your home for solar energy.

For installation, maintenance, and solar repair in Marietta, GA, look to the trained and certified specialists at Premier Indoor Comfort Systems. Call us today!

Solar panels and repair needs

Solar power systems are incredibly durable, and because they contain few moving parts, they rarely need repairs of any kind. A solar power array can last for many years, enduring far longer than standard electrical and fuel-powered systems.

The principle concern with solar power is damage inflicted on the PV panels. However, the covers over the panels are flexible and highly damage-resistant. A simple hard rain will do no major injury to them. It requires more extreme weather conditions, falling branches, and tossed stones to inflict damage that can crack the casing over the PV cells and stop them from working. In some cases, the mounting frame for the panels and the cables holding the frame can come loose; although this will need repair, it is highly unlikely that the entire frame will break away from the top of the roof.

When breaks on the covers occur, the repair work is not difficult for a professional. The solar expert will go onto to roof and inspect which of the panels have broken covers, and then check to see if the PV cells are still working. If they are, the repair technician only needs to replace the cover or patch the cracks. The technician will also check for loose connections and repair them.

In cases of non-working PV cells, the cell will need replacement. Again, this is not a difficult procedure and should only take a short time.

In general, you can expect to have fewer repair calls for your solar power system than you ever did for your furnace, boiler, heat pump, or air conditioner. With proper solar installation in Marietta, GA, solar repair will be a rare occurrence. Make sure to have the skilled solar experts at Premier Indoor Comfort Systems take care of your solar installation, maintenance, and repair work.

3 Things You Need in a Wine Cellar

July 14th, 2014

If you are a connoisseur of fine wines, there is only so long that you can get by with a basic wine rack to serve as storage for your collection of vintages. At some point, you will either need to have a special wine cabinet or a full wine cellar to make sure that your wine is stored at the proper temperature and humidity to protect it and so that it ages correctly. You will have greater assurances of wine that tastes its best with a properly designed wine cellar.

Along with providing services for home comfort, the team at Premier Indoor Comfort Systems also installs, maintains, and repairs wine storage areas, such as wine cellars, in Atlanta, GA. When you are interested in going to the next level with wine storage, contact us for the help you will need.

Here are 3 things you need for a wine cellar (aside from wine)

  1. A cooling system: One of the basic guidelines for storing wine is to “keep it cool.” Your wine cellar should never rise higher than 70°F, which will cause the wine to age rapidly, and in the short term it will “cook” the wine and remove flavor. This is also a poor serving temperature, regardless of the grape. You want to target a cooler temperature range of 45°F to 65°F; many connoisseurs think that 55°F is the ideal temperature. The proper wine cooling system will maintain the best temperature inside your cellar so that your wine ages well and is always at the best temperature for serving.
  2. Insulation and vapor barrier: Insulation is an important part of maintaining the temperature inside the cellar from outside weather conditions. This insulation is different from that in the rest of a house, since it is concerned not with keeping people comfortable, but shielding wine. Controlling humidity is also extremely important to protecting the wine in a cellar. A vapor barrier in the insulation will prevent the entry of excess moisture that can result in poor aging. The barrier will also prevent a loss of too much vapor, since dry air will lead to cork cracking.
  3. Proper lighting: Wine cellars are not merely utilitarian spots in your home, and they are rarely literally dark underground cellars. They should be designed to look beautiful and enticing, and for this they will require the right lighting. The lights must serve two purposes: pleasing illumination, and maintaining the proper temperature. Your installer will help you pick out the right bulbs that will not add excess heat and spoil the well-maintained temperature balance.

This sounds like a great deal of work, but if you hire expert wine cellar installers, you will have few worries.

Our specialists in wine storage at Premier Indoor Comfort Systems have installed many excellent wine cellars in Atlanta, GA over the years, and you can trust your collection of valuable vintages to us.

Measuring Space for Solar Installation

July 7th, 2014

The number one concern that most homeowners have when it comes to solar panel installation is: “Do I have enough space for it?”

The image in the popular imagination connected to solar energy is of huge arrays of solar panels, sometimes lengthy rows and rows of them, tilted up toward the sun. But this image isn’t realistic, at least not when it comes to the more modest power needs of a home. You may think that you have insufficient roof space for a solar power system, but when you call up experts in solar installation in Atlanta, GA, you might be surprised to learn about the possibilities.

Premier Indoor Comfort Systems specializes in finding solar energy solutions for homes. We offer a number of products that use solar power, including the SunSource Home Energy System, which is a complete heating and air conditioning system.

Our experts will help you measure the space needed for the photovoltaic panels to see how best to supply you with the efficient power of the Sun. Contact us today to learn more.

Solar installation and roof space

The number and size of photovoltaic panels necessary for a home depends on electrical needs. If you only plan to install a solar water heater—which is a very good “gateway” product for solar power—you will require a much smaller amount of roof-real estate. However, you may have room on the roof to power your whole home.

First, you and the installer will determine how much energy your home uses, or how much of that energy you want to power through the solar panels. Second, you must determine the amount of Sun exposure your home receives, which depends on average weather but also upon a home’s position. Third, the efficiency of the PV panels themselves is factored in. The most efficient panels on the market today use approximately 21% of the Sun’s energy, although less expensive ones use around 15%.

For example: if you want to power about half of your home’s electrical needs using solar energy, and you use 48 kilowatt-hours of energy per day and have average sun exposure, you would need about…

See, here’s the thing… we still don’t know exactly. There are too many factors to consider. System can have from 1 to 15 solar panels, depending on efficiency and solar exposure. However, although we don’t know now, we can find out. When you hire solar experts for your installation, they will take all the factors available to determine the exact measurement of the solar panels necessary to get the job done.

Don’t let solar installation in Atlanta, GA frighten you off: with a call to Premier Indoor Comfort Systems, we will take over the hard number-crunching to discover out how much roof space you need to have the solar energy solution you want—and we’ll take care of the installation job so your PV panels will work their best.

The Famous Painting of the Declaration of Independence Isn’t What You Think It Is

July 4th, 2014

If you grew up in the United States, you probably first saw John Trumbull’s painting of the Signing of the Declaration of Independence in an elementary schoolbook. This oil-on-canvas 12’ x 18’ painting hangs in the rotunda of the United States Capitol in Washington, D.C. It is one of the most famous symbols of freedom in the country and almost every citizen can conjure it from memory.

Except… the painting isn’t of the singing of the Declaration of Independence. The actual title of the work is Declaration of Independence, and although it does portray an important moment in the history of the document that announced the Thirteen Colonies’ decision to break away from British rule, the event in the painting occurred on June 28, 1776, not July 4, 1776.

John Trumbull, a Connecticut native who fought in the Revolutionary War and whose father was the state governor, was commissioned to create the painting in 1817. He did painstaking research on the figures in the picture and also visited Independence Hall to see the actual chamber where the Second Continental Congress met. Trumbull only included 42 of the original 56 signers, because he could not find adequate likenesses for 14 or them, and added a few figures who were not present (most of whom declined to sign the actual document). In fact, the men depicted in the painting had never been present in the same room at one time.

So if the painting does not portray the singing of the Declaration of Independence, what is happening in the image? The Trumbull’s scene depicts the presentation of the draft of the declaration to the Continental Congress for editing and approval. The five-man drafting committee (John Adams, Roger Sherman, Robert R. Livingston, Thomas Jefferson, and Benjamin Franklin) is handing over their finished work, which congress would then edit carefully over the next few days before voting on it and signing it on the day that we now celebrate as the start of the United States of America.

One last, odd, fact: two of the five-man drafting committee, John Adams and Thomas Jefferson, both died on the July 4—although many years later.

Our family at Premier Indoor Comfort Systems hopes that your Fourth of July (or Twenty-Eighth of June if you decided to start celebrating early) is a memorable and happy one.

What Are HEPA Filters?

June 27th, 2014

Air filtration in homes is no longer a luxury; it’s becoming a necessity to allow for fresh and safe indoor air for homes that have heavy air sealing to preserve their energy efficiency. Although you can open up doors and windows to allow in fresh air, there are very few times during the year when this is feasible for any length of time, and it causes a home to lose energy. With filters installed in your house’s HVAC system, you can enjoy increased indoor air quality without needing to overwork your heater or air conditioner and incur higher bills.

There is a variety of ways to have air filtration in Atlanta, GA. One of the most popular and inexpensive is through the installation of HEPA filters. You may have heard of these filters but didn’t know exactly what they are or how they work. We’ll go into details about these powerful filters. If you are interested in having HEPA filters put into your home, or some other method of air filtration, call the indoor air quality specialists at Premier Indoor Comfort Systems today.

HEPA filters

The acronym HEPA stands for “high-efficiency particulate air.” It is a standard for air filters the U.S. Department of Energy sets. To qualify as a HEPA filter, an individual filter must remove 99.97% of particles down to 0.3 microns in size (also known as Most Penetrating Particle size, or MPPS).

A HEPA filter consists of a mat of fibers in a random arrangement, usually made of fiberglass strands between 0.5 and 2.0 micrometers. The space between the fibers is actually larger than 0.3 microns, but the filters do not work strictly through stopping particles like a strainer. Instead, the fibers attract particle to them through interception and diffusion. Through these processes, they also affect many particles smaller than 0.3 microns, making them effective for filtering out almost all physical particles from the air that pass through the filters.

However, HEPA filters are ineffective against gases and odor molecules, which are not affected by either interception or diffusion. For homes that need to combat gases such as cigarette smoke, household chemicals, and odors, an electronic air purifier is often needed as an adjunct to a HEPA filter.

The best air filtration choice for your home

We will find the best combination of HEPA filters and other systems to tackle whatever specific indoor air quality problems lurk inside your home. Call us today to get started with excellent air filtration in Atlanta, GA.

To find out how best to clean the air circulating through your home, contact the air quality professionals at Premier Indoor Comfort Systems today. 

Why Excessive Humidity Is a Problem

June 20th, 2014

High humidity levels are a severe comfort issue in Georgia during the summers. We experience a humid subtropical climate, and that means humidity levels far above 50% for most of the season. The area around Atlanta has an average humidity high of 85%, and even at the lowest is still 52%.

Excess moisture in the air is a problem for a number of reasons, and installing a dehumidifier in your Smyrna, GA home is an excellent solution for the difficulties of our moist climate.

Call Premier Indoor Comfort Systems today and talk to our indoor air quality specialists; they will help you find the right dehumidifier for your house and install it. 

The reasons that high humidity is trouble in a home

  • Discomfort (and higher AC bills): You know that the higher the humidity, the hotter a summer day will feel. The reason for this is that increased moisture in the air slows down how fast sweat evaporates from your body. Since sweating is done to release heat, humidity traps extra heat in your body and makes the surrounding air feel higher than it is. You will need to run your AC almost continually in order to cool off. A dehumidifier will make the summer weather more pleasant, and you won’ have to keep the air conditioner churning all day.
  • Health problems: High humidity won’t just make you feel hotter; it can cause you to become sick. High humidity is linked to congestion, coughing, and irritated skin. Worse, it promotes the growth of mold and mildew, which are often responsible for creating toxic spores in the air that can lead to a variety of health complications, and are especially dangerous for people with allergies and/or asthma. Dust mites also thrive in a humid environment.
  • Damage to surfaces and furnishings: All that extra moisture in the air means water damage in your home. The main danger is wood rot, which can start out of your sight within walls and cause immense amounts of damage to your home. Here in Georgia, water in a home also attracts insects that will burrow into wood and other material and cause extensive destruction. Mold also attacks and ruins wood and other surfaces in homes.

To achieve balanced humidity in your house (excess dryness is just as bad a situation) you need the work of indoor air quality experts. Contact our team at Premier Indoor Comfort Systems today, and we’ll get started finding the right dehumidifier in Smyrna, GA to solve your home’s excess moisture issues. You will feel more comfortable, have better health, and save money on air conditioning and home repairs in the future.

Can Solar Power Really Be Used to Cool My Home?

June 13th, 2014

The power of the Sun is a power we associate with heat—for obvious reasons. The Sun is a heat source, burning at the center of our solar system at an astonishing 5,778° Kelvin (9,940°F) surface temperature. However, one of the best uses for harnessed solar power is to cool a home. We’ll explain how this works and why using solar air conditioning in Atlanta, GA is an excellent idea.

You will need to consult solar power experts and installers to learn how to best fit your home for a solar AC or any other solar-fueled appliance. You can hardly do better than to contact our solar specialists at Premier Indoor Comfort Systems and ask about how they can fit your home for sun-powered air conditioning this summer.

How solar air conditioning works

Let’s first consider a standard air conditioning system: how does it run? Electricity. An air conditioner uses electrical power to operate its mechanical components that set in motion the process of heat exchange. The motors, fans, and compressor run from electrical power and need no other energy source.

So, to have solar power run an air conditioner, all that’s necessary is to convert the solar energy of the sun into electricity and use that as the fuel source to run the AC just like any standard AC. This is exactly what standard solar power systems with photovoltaic cells do: they capture radiant heat from the sun and change it into electricity. Because the power of the sun is free, this is one of the most cost-efficient ways of powering an air conditioner.

The SunSource® Home Energy System

At Premier Indoor Comfort Systems, we offer Lennox’s powerful SunSource® Home Energy System. The system uses solar modules on the roof of a house to power an outdoor condenser of an air conditioner. But it also sends the power directly to an electrical panel in a house that distributes energy to other parts of the home to help run additional appliances. You can also install a heat pump instead of an air conditioner, and that way you receive both indoor heating and cooling through the free power of the sun. If you need additional power or wish to add on more appliances, you can expand with additional solar modules on the roof.

Premier Indoor Comfort Systems has a staff ready to answer your questions regarding the excellent SunSource® Home Energy System and how it can bring you quality cooling (and heating) during the year at a fraction of the price of a standard air conditioner.

If you are giving serious consideration to going solar in your home in Atlanta, GA, solar air conditioning through Premier Indoor Comfort Systems is a great place to start.

Why Ductless Air Conditioning Systems Make for Easier Repairs

June 6th, 2014

Here in Bryson City, ductless air conditioning systems make a popular alternative to the centralized systems most people associate with air conditioning. The principles remain the same: both ducted and ductless systems use refrigerant cycling through a series of valves and coils to lower the temperature. The differences come in the size and application of the air conditioning unit itself. Centralized systems use a single large unit that distributes the air through a series of ducts.  Ductless air conditioning systems, on the other hand, use multiple small units spaced throughout your home. Each unit is charged with cooling a single room or area. This allows you to tailor the temperature in individual rooms and even turn the air conditioner off in parts of the home you aren’t using. The dynamic also makes repairing damaged units much less of a hassle. Here’s a quick breakdown on why ductless air conditioning systems make for easier repairs.

When a centralized system experiences problems, it usually means you have to shut down the entire system. If that takes place during a heat wave, it can turn your home into a sauna bath, increasing the urgency of repairs and forcing the technician to work more quickly in order to make your home habitable again. With ductless systems, however, you have more options. When breakdowns occur, they usually only affect one unit instead of the entire system. Not only does that mean repairs are likely to cost a little less, but they don’t render your entire house uninhabitable. You simply move to another part of the house cooled by a functioning unit, then let the technician do his work. That reduces the urgency of repairs and ensures that you can still enjoy cool temperatures while you’re waiting for the fault unit to get fixed.

If you live in Bryson City, ductless air conditioning systems offer all kinds of advantages, and if you understand why ductless air conditioning systems make for easier repairs, then you can see the appeal of the system.

The experts at Premier Indoor Comfort Systems provide advice, installation and repair services for ductless systems. Give us a call today to set up a consultation. You’ll be glad you did!

Why Does Efficiency Matter When Replacing My Air Conditioner?

May 30th, 2014

If you are considering retiring your current air conditioning system and installing a new one for the summer heat, then the AC you now have is probably over 10 years old. (If you’ve taken care to provide it with annual professional maintenance, it might even be more than 15 years old. This is yet one more reason to schedule regular preventive maintenance.) During those years, advances in HVAC technology has created air conditioners with efficiency higher than your current system. When you switch over to a new AC, you’ll do better than return to the efficiency level of a new air conditioner… you’ll have better efficiency than you’ve ever had before!

Efficiency isn’t everything when it comes to air conditioning replacement in Atlanta, GA. You have to make sure that you have the ideal new system for your home that will save you money and keep you effectively cooled.

The best way to find the right air conditioner is with the assistance of professionals in HVAC technology like those at Premier Indoor Comfort Systems. Call for a free estimate.

How efficiency works with a new air conditioning system

There is a basic measure of efficiency that you can use to quickly ascertain the level of savings you may receive from a new system: SEER, which stands for “seasonal energy efficiency rating.” SEER won’t tell you if an AC will keep you sufficiently cool, but it will tell you how well it converts electrical power into cooling power. SEER is a ratio of the amount of cooling produced in BTUs to the amount of energy consumed in watt-hours. The higher the SEER, the less energy a unit needs to run.

So what is a good SEER number to look for? We can go to the U.S. government for that information. In order for an air conditioner to qualify for the EPA’s ENERGY STAR label for efficient and environmentally-friendly performance, it must have a minimum SEER of 14.5. If you’re interested in a particularly efficient system (which will cost more), then there are special ACs with SEER of 18 or higher.

Make sure that whatever system you decide to install that it has SEER at least the same as your last one—although we recommend you look for one that’s higher while also in your budget range. Work with your installer on this, since efficiency is only part of the equation of figuring out what air conditioning system will deliver the best results.

Premier Indoor Comfort Systems specializes in air conditioning replacement in Atlanta, GA that matches homes with their ideal new AC. We’ll see that you have improves efficiency and overall superior performance from the air conditioning that we install for you.

3 Key Aspects of Geothermal Cooling Systems

May 23rd, 2014

Geothermal cooling systems make a safe and efficient alternative to traditional centralized air conditioners. Instead of relying on refrigerant gas to create cool air, the geothermal system uses the ambient temperature of the earth to provide cooling power. Geothermal cooling in Marietta and other nearby communities makes a lot of sense, though the up-front costs need to be carefully considered before you proceed with installation.

3 Key Aspects of Geothermal Systems

  • They rely on the unchanging temperature below the ground. Once you get down below five or six feet, the temperature inside the earth doesn’t change no matter what the weather is like above the ground. With that as a constant, the system can then facilitate a heat exchange: pulling the heat out of the air in your home and dispersing it safely and easily into the ground.
  • They pump a mixture through underground coils to make the heat exchange work. The main expense involve in installing a geothermal cooling system comes from the fact that it must bury a series of coils beneath the ground to work. That requires time and equipment, as well as a stretch of land big enough to hold all of the coils. Once that happens, the system pumps a mixture of water sand antifreeze through the coils, which can retain the heat pulled from your home and release it into the ground.
  • They are extremely energy efficient. The benefits to all of this come in the form of your monthly cooling bills. The heat exchange itself uses almost no energy, as well as being environmentally clean. You need only a bit of electricity to run the pumps and fans.

The key aspects of geothermal systems are what make it such an attractive option, provided your property is large enough to support it and you have the funds to handle the initial installation. Over time, the convenience and savings could easily pay for those initial factors.

For more information on geothermal cooling in Marietta, or to schedule an installation, call on the experts at Premier Indoor Comfort Systems today!