Premier Indoor Comfort Systems Blog

What Are the Advantages to Standard Tank Water Heaters?

August 18th, 2014

If you are currently looking to replace your home’s water heater, then you are probably already of the option of installing a tankless system. Tankless water heaters have numerous advantages which have made them an increasingly popular options for U.S. homes. Since they only apply heat to the water when a tap comes on requesting hot water, they won’t run out of hot water and use far less energy than standard tank models. In addition, they have longer lifespans (5–10 years) and take up less space.

However, tankless water heaters are not the ideal option for every home. There are some cases when you will want to stick with the familiar option of storage tank water heaters in Smyrna, GA. Although they are older technology, storage water heaters have some advantages over the newer models.

For detailed information on Tank vs. Tankless that will help you decide on the right system for you, call the professionals at Premier Indoor Comfort Systems.

Some of the benefits of storage tank water heaters

  • Lower installation cost: Tankless systems are more expensive upfront to have installed, sometimes as much as three times the cost of storage water heater. Although tankless systems will earn back the extra expense with energy savings, your immediate budget plans may make a standard water heater a better option.
  • No natural gas line changes: Natural gas is the best option for a tankless system, but the current natural gas piping in your home may be insufficient for the needs of the new tankless water heater. This can mean higher costs for installation. But a storage tank water heater can simply hook up to the current gas supply with no alterations.
  • No circuitry changes: What about an electric-powered system? The situation is much the same: tankless systems may require installation of a new circuit to handle the amount of power they need, but storage tank heaters will be ready to go with you current electrical power load.
  • They don’t need high flow rate: “Flow rate” is how much water you need heated at one time. If you do not have a household that places a large demand at one time on the water heater, the flow rate may be too low to activate a tankless water heater. Storage water heaters have no minimum flow rate, however.
  • Immediate hot water: Because storage water heaters have a supply of heated water standing by for use, you won’t have to wait long for the water to reach the taps. With tankless water heaters there can be significant lag time, which is both inconvenient and wasteful of water.

An expert in tankless and tank water heaters in Smyrna, GA can help you determine the best choice for your household. Premier Indoor Comfort Systems aims to provide you with 100% satisfaction when you call us for water heater service.

Should I Have an Air Cleaner for My Home?

August 11th, 2014

Indoor air quality is a major concern in the U.S. today. Most people in the country spend 85% of their time indoors, and the lack of sufficient air circulation in most buildings leads to stale air filled with various pollutants being cycled through the ventilation system.

You can increase the amount of fresh air in your house by opening up doors and windows. However, this is often impractical during hot and cold days, and your home will end up gaining or losing heat, putting extra pressure on your HVAC system. There are other solutions to the problem of low indoor air quality, however, such as having an air cleaner installed.

To find out if your home will benefit from an air cleaner, contact our indoor air quality specialists at Premier Indoor Comfort Systems. We handle many types of air cleaners for Kennesaw, GA homes, and can offer other suggestions for improving your air quality.

What does an air cleaner do?

There is some confusion about the terms air cleaner and air purifier, and they are sometimes used interchangeably. For our purposes here, an air cleaner is a filter that uses mechanical means to remove contaminants from the air that passes through it.

The most common type of air cleaner, the HEPA filter, uses a mesh of fibers to catch particles down to 0.3 microns in size. A HEPA filter can remove 99.97% of these contaminants. It can also affect smaller particles, although not as effectively.

When is a mechanical air cleaner a good idea for a home?

An air cleaner is useful if you have people in your home who suffer from asthma or allergies, since the fibers will stop almost all the particles that can trigger attacks, such as dander, dust, pollen, dust mites, and mold spores. If your home does not have problems with gaseous contamination (smoke, exhaust, pesticides, other chemicals), then a mechanical air filter should be sufficient for your needs.

However, since mechanical air cleaners will not affect gaseous or odor molecules, you may consider having an electronic air cleaner installed instead. You may also choose to have both types of air cleaning systems put in. Consult with an indoor air quality specialists to find out what type of air quality control will benefit your home the most.

A professional will help you pick the right air cleaner for your home and install it so that it does its job. You should also rely on professionals for regular maintenance as well as replacement filters.

Premier Indoor Comfort Systems installs a variety of air cleaners in Kennesaw, GA. Contact us today and schedule an appointment to help gain healthier indoor air quality.

What is Refrigerant and Why Is It Important?

August 4th, 2014

Some people believe air conditioners create cool air. It’s a reasonable assumption; when you put your hand near the vents, you feel cool air enter your home. However, this assumption is not entirely accurate. Instead, refrigerant, a chemical blend that changes easily from liquid to gas, removes heat from your home so that cool air can return through the ducts.

Refrigerant is a generic name for one of a number of chemical blends that continuously evaporates and condenses as it moves throughout your system. Originally, refrigerant was far more toxic than it is today, and it was once a major source of ozone depletion. However, these blends have been phased out in favor of refrigerant that is less toxic and better for the environment.

The ideal refrigerant blend uses very little energy to change from gas to liquid form. It begins its cycle at the compressor, where the chemical is compressed into a very hot, high-pressure gas so that it can move through the rest of the system. Then, it moves to the condenser coil. Here, a fan blows the outdoor air over the coil. As the air passes over the coil, condensation occurs and heat releases from the refrigerant into the air.

The cooled refrigerant, now a high-pressure liquid, moves indoors toward the evaporator coil after passing through an expansion valve which lowers both the temperature and pressure of the liquid. A fan blows warm indoor air over the evaporator coil starting the process of evaporation; refrigerant changes into a gas, absorbing the heat from your home in the process. Then, refrigerant moves outdoors to the compressor to begin its cycle again.

When your system is installed, refrigerant is given a certain “charge,” or level, at which it is to remain. If you run low on refrigerant, then either refrigerant was not charged correctly in the first place or you have a leak somewhere along the refrigerant line that needs repairs.

If you have a problem with your refrigerant, our technicians can recharge the refrigerant and seal any leaks for continued performance and efficiency.

When you need air conditioning repair or maintenance, call Premier Indoor Comfort Systems for expert air conditioning services in Marietta.

Why Geothermal Drilling Is Sometimes Necessary

July 28th, 2014

The core of how a geothermal system for a home works is the set of loops in the ground that carries the refrigerant (water or a water and anti-freeze solution). The refrigerant absorbs the heat from the ground and carries it indoors to be released through a condenser coil into the ventilation system of a home. During warmer weather, the process reverses, and the indoor coil functions as an evaporator coil to absorb heat, which the refrigerant than deposits into the ground.

Although geothermal installation is an intensive process and can sometimes take up to six days to complete, the longevity of these systems and their energy efficiency makes them worth this upfront investment in time. In many cases, little drilling is necessary for installing a new geothermal system. However, there are cases where geothermal drilling in Atlanta is necessary for proper installation, as we’ll explain

To learn more about how Premier Indoor Comfort Systems can install a geothermal heating and cooling system for your home, contact our geothermal specialists.

Geothermal drilling

In order for a geothermal system to work efficiently, its coils must be placed at least 6 feet below the frost line. At this depth, the earth’s temperature remains stable at around 54°F regardless of the topside weather. The geothermal heat pump will always has a ready supply of heat for operation.

However, the depth necessary to place the coils changes from location to location depending on the average temperatures. For warmer spots, the pipes are placed in a horizontal configuration close to the surface; this requires no drilling, but instead digging out shallow trenches so that loops can be laid down into a 6–10’ groove, then covered over. If you require the loops placed at a much lower depth, then a vertical configuration works better. In this case, it’s necessary to use drilling to go down to the required depth. Although drilling is a large operation, it creates less disruption to your property, and when the system is installed will work more efficiently at the greater depth.

The other time when it is advisable to have drilling to place a vertical loop configuration is when you lack the property space to fit a horizontal set of loops. Vertical loops can fit on most properties without problem.

You don’t need to know right now the type of geothermal loops you should have. When you contact Premier Indoor Comfort Systems for geothermal installation, we will send out a technician to survey your land and determine how best to set it up with refrigerant loops. We will then take care of all the necessary excavation and geothermal drilling in Atlanta, GA to provide you with the best possible heating and cooling system.

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.