Premier Indoor Comfort Systems Blog

Types of Exhaust Fans

February 27th, 2015

Having good ventilation inside homes is becoming more and more of an issue for many homeowners. This is because in an effort to be energy efficient, many homes have become too air tight, and the natural ventilation provided by drafts, etc., is no longer available. One way you can create better ventilation is with the installation of an exhaust fan in your Peachtree, GA, home. Exhaust fans can be used in kitchens, bathrooms and garages, and with expert installation from your Premier Indoor Comfort Systems professional, you can start to enjoy better ventilation quickly!

Exhaust Fan Options

There are a few choices homeowners have when it comes to choosing an exhaust fan for your home:

  • Wall-mounted exhaust fans – these fans mount into an exterior wall, and because of this, they do not need extra venting to expel air as the fan can expel the stale indoor air directly to the outside.
  • Ceiling-mounted exhaust fans – these types of exhaust fans install directly into a ceiling, and they are most commonly used in bathrooms. The unit expels your indoor air through ducting that is attached to a component, such as a roof cap, that sends the indoor air directly to the outside.
  • Kitchen range exhaust fans – the fan that comes inside your hood range isn’t designed to last forever, so if you need a replacement, one of our experts can help get your replacement range fan installed and working.
  • Inline exhaust fans – inline fans are great for areas that do not have the clearance or the room for a ceiling exhaust fan. Inline exhaust fans are mounted in between ductwork (hence their name), and the expelled air travels through your ductwork and out of your home.
  • Fan/light combination exhaust fans – commonly used in bathrooms and kitchens, you can get both ventilation and a light fixture in a single unit.

Many exhaust fans need proper venting in order to work correctly and all exhaust fans need excellent electrical work to operate safely. As such, it’s important to hire an expert who can ensure that your exhaust fan is properly installed and will last for years to come.

If you need an exhaust fan, or need to replace an exhaust fan in your Peachtree City, GA, home, call the specialists at Premier Indoor Comfort today!

What Happens During a Water Heater Maintenance Appointment?

February 20th, 2015

What if there was a way for your home’s water heater to work optimally year after year – would you try to make that happen? Of course you would! And the good news is, there is a way: by scheduling water heater maintenance in Atlanta. Maintenance for any kind of mechanical device or system is always a good thing, and your water heater is no exception. So what can you expect to happen during a water heater maintenance appointment? Let’s take a look.

Maintenance Overview

This is a general overview of what to expect during a water heater maintenance visit:

  • Thorough inspection of entire unit
  • Checking and testing of all valves
  • Check for leaks
  • Water heater flush
  • Sediment removal
  • Check of anode rod and dip tube
  • Check of the burner (if applicable)
  • Check of the electric heating element (if applicable)
  • Check for any corrosion

A maintenance appointment for your water heater is a full tune-up for the unit; this can provide a number of benefits, including:

  • Helps prevent future repair – the thorough inspection and checking of items like the anode rod help get you ahead of potential repairs because if an issue has developed, your technician will catch it before it can become a bigger problem.
  • Better energy efficiency – a water heater that operates with a lot of sediment at the bottom and/or dirty heating components will have a hard time running at the efficiency level it is supposed to.
  • Extend life of equipment – water heaters have an average lifespan of 12 years, but with regular maintenance, they can last as long as 15.

Are You Seeing the Signs of Poor Performance?

Water heaters can become sluggish when they haven’t been maintained, and some evidence of this can be long waits for hot water, sediment in the water and higher-than-normal water bills.

Your water heater needs maintenance just as your heating or cooling system does. If it’s been more than a year since your last water heater maintenance appointment in Atlanta, call Premier Indoor Comfort Systems.

Some of the Unusual Movies Released for Valentine’s Day

February 14th, 2015

Hollywood has always tried to match movies up to the seasons to draw droves of viewers to the theaters: October is packed with fright-offerings, while the winter holidays skew toward warm and pleasing family films (as well as Oscar hopefuls). Valentine’s Day falls in an odd spot when it comes to the movie release calendar, however, since February tends to be a slower time for the film industry. The studios are as likely to slot strange movies that don’t fit anywhere else in their annual schedules into the Valentine’s Day weekend as they are films with powerful romantic appeal.

So, while the second weekend of February has featured hugely successful romantic comedies like Hitch, The Wedding Singer, and (of course) Valentine’s Day, some truly weird choices have debuted in this weekend as well. And a few have even gone on to tremendous success despite the bizarre match with the holiday. Here are a couple of the odder Valentine’s Day movie releases:

  • Dracula (1931): Yes, this Halloween perennial and the start of Universal Studio’s Classic Monsters actually came out on Valentine’s Day! But perhaps this makes some sense, as the Dracula legend has often received a “doomed lover” approach in the many years since Bela Lugosi made the aristocratic vampire a screen icon.
  • The Silence of the Lambs (1991): Does any film seem less appropriate for Valentine’s Day than this unnerving and sometimes very violent psychological thriller? What’s even more astonishing than the film’s release date is that The Silence of the Lambs eventually nabbed the Oscar for Best Picture, an almost unheard of occurrence for a movie released so early in the year.
  • Daredevil (2003): This Marvel comic adaptation featuring Ben Affleck as a blind superhero does contain a romantic subplot, but the stronger connection to Valentine’s Day may just be that Daredevil wears a bright red costume.
  • A Good Day to Die Hard (2013): The least successful of the Die Hard film franchise, this is an excellent example of a studio dropping a film into a weekend where it doesn’t fit in the hopes that it works as counter-programming. (It didn’t.)
  • Wayne’s World (1992): Now here is an example of counter-programming that clicked with audiences. This comedy based on a Saturday Night Live sketch turned into one of that year’s biggest hits and spawned a sequel.

Whether you celebrate Valentine’s Day with a trip to the movie theater, or you have your own special plans, everyone here at Premier Indoor Comfort Systems hopes you and your loved ones have a wonderful weekend.

What Is a 2-Stage Furnace?

February 5th, 2015

Have you ever wished that your furnace could operate on a variable level instead of putting out the same amount of heat whether it’s 40 degrees or minus 10 degrees? You can with a 2-stage furnace. Having two stages allows the furnace to operate at two different levels, depending on your heating needs. If you’ve been looking for a way to heat your home in accordance with the outside temperature, you may want to consider the installation of a 2-stage heating system for your Waynesville, NC home.

How Does It Work?

Every furnace has a maximum output of heat, given in BTUs (British thermal units). With a single-stage furnace, whenever the thermostat calls for heat, you get the maximum amount of heat from your furnace every time. This means that your furnace works at full capacity no matter what the temperature. With a 2-stage furnace, there are two settings at which the furnace operates, low and high, which allows your furnace to heat well but without being at full capacity if it isn’t needed.

Low and High Settings

The low setting is what a 2-stage furnace will operate at 75-80% of the time; the furnace will run at high capacity for the very cold days. When operating on low capacity, the heat cycles are longer but run at the lower capacity; this allows for more continuous heating and warmth for your home. When it is very cold outside, the furnace operates at the high setting, ensuring you have the heat and comfort you want.

Benefits

  • More even, consistent heating – because the system operates at the low setting most of the time, you won’t have the spikes of heat and cooling off period that can happen with a single-stage furnace. This creates more comfortable heating for your home.
  • Better energy efficiency – a 2-stage furnace consumes less fuel at the lower setting, making it more energy efficient.
  • Less wear – a 2-stage furnace has longer run cycles, so there is less turning and off, which helps reduce the wear on the system.

A 2-stage furnace can help you increase your energy efficiency while allowing you to tailor your heating capacity right from the furnace.

If a 2-stage furnace sounds like a good option for your home, call the experts at Premier Indoor Comfort Systems today and schedule an appointment.

Maintaining Temperature and Humidity in a Wine Cellar

January 29th, 2015

If, as Benjamin Franklin is quoted as saying, beer is living proof that God loves us and wants us to be happy, so, too, is wine. There isn’t a bad time of year to have wine, and these days sitting in front of a warm fire with a glass of your favorite wine is a wonderful way to end a work week or toast a loved one. But if the wine has turned, your moment of bliss can quickly turn to irritation. How can you avoid this and savor your favorite wines for years to come? With the installation of a wine cellar in your Atlanta home.

Why Install a Wine Cellar?

Wine is a living, breathing entity. Wine has constant chemical reactions happening all the time, which literally change its composition as it ages. Under the right temperature and humidity conditions, wine gradually climbs to a peak, but once it passes this peak, it quickly disintegrates and at some point, becomes undrinkable. It can take many years for a wine to reach its peak, and during that ascent to the peak, the taste of the wine can become better and better. However, light, temperature and humidity can accelerate the speed of the aging, which is not what you want to have happen to your wine. With a wine cellar, you can maintain the right humidity and temperature levels, and keep your wine away from damaging natural and artificial light.

Temperature and Humidity

The best temperature range in which to store wine is between 50 to 59 degrees Fahrenheit. Maintaining a steady temperature is just as important as the temperature itself as constant fluctuations in temperature can cause the chemicals in the wine to behave adversely and eventually spoil the wine. As far as temperature is concerned, any temperature over 77 degrees can cause the wine to heat up to a point where it “cooks” and becomes sour; if wine freezes, the crystallization allows excess oxygen into the bottle and the wine will oxidize when it defrosts.

Humidity is important to the wine, but it just a little more important for the cork. Corks dry out fairly easily, and when they do, they shrink; this shrinking can allow oxygen into the wine bottle, which will cause oxidation. The best humidity range to maintain for a wine cellar is between 60-75%.

Whether you are an avid collector or just like a good bottle of wine once in a while, a wine cellar for your Atlanta home can help you keep the wine you love for a good, long time.

Call Premier Indoor Comfort Systems and speak to one of our experts about the possibilities of installing a wine cellar in your home.

Problems That May Occur with a Radiant Floor Heating System

January 22nd, 2015

No one likes to think about the repairs they may encounter with their heating system, but it’s likely that at some point you will need to call for heating repair in Macon City. If you have a radiant heating system, the repairs you may have to manage will depend at least somewhat on the kind of radiant heating system you have. There are two main types of radiant heating systems – hydronic and electric – and different repairs can develop with each type. As such, it’s best to address this question by breaking down the two types of systems first.

Hydronic

Hydronic radiant heating systems heat via hot water or steam. A boiler is needed to generate the hot water, so a boiler is an important part of a hydronic heating system. The types of repair problems that you may see with a hydronic radiant heating system are:

  • Issues with the boiler – boilers are durable and have fewer moving parts than a furnace, but age can wear a unit down. If the boiler isn’t working the way it’s supposed to, your radiant heating won’t, either.
  • Air lock – just as bubbles can get into the piping and cause an issue with a radiator, they can do the same with the PEX tubing used for your radiant heating. Air lock can cause a blockage in the flow of the steam or water, creating a cold spot where there should be heat.

Electric

Electric radiant heating uses cable that heats when electrified. The cable can be installed directly to subflooring, be installed as part of an electrically-conductive mat or set in cement. Repair problems that can develop with an electric radiant heating system are:

  • Tripping circuit breakers – depending on the size of your radiant flooring space, you may need to upgrade your electric box in order to accommodate the extra electrical load the flooring requires; if you don’t, you could end up with tripping circuit breakers that cut off the electricity and your heat.
  • Uneven heating – should the electric cables suffer any kind of damage or be defective, you could have sections of your flooring that aren’t getting any heat, resulting in uneven heating.

Radiant heating repairs in Macon City should always be handled by a trained expert, so if you are experiencing problems with your radiant heating, contact Premier Indoor Comfort Systems today.

Solar Products Available for Installation in Atlanta

January 15th, 2015

By now, you’ve probably heard about the many environmental benefits of switching your home’s power source to solar. Standard electricity and natural gas consumption contributes to greenhouse gases that pollute the air. Converting your home’s power source to solar energy panels can help you to protect the environment while cutting down on your monthly bills. In fact, you may notice solar energy savings beyond what you expected. When you produce enough solar energy to feed back into the electrical grid, your utility company credits you for the amount of the contribution, so you can actually get money back on your monthly bill. Any of the following products can help you to save money and use energy wisely with solar energy savings in Atlanta.

  • Solar Panels to Power the Entire Home: A whole-home energy system may be a possibility in your home, especially if you’re concerned about saving money from month to month. While the upfront cost can be quite large, the monthly savings should eventually make up for the cost. You can feel good about your environmental impact as this technology produces no hazardous carbon emissions and does not require any extensive drilling or mining to generate power.
  • Solar Air Conditioning and Heating: If you’re not ready to make the switch and power your entire home with solar energy, why not start with some of the biggest energy hogs in your home? The air conditioning and heating system occupies a large portion of your bills, but when powered with solar panels, you may cut your bills in half (depending on average usage).
  • Solar-Powered Water Heater: Conventional storage tank water heaters keep water heated throughout the day, resulting in quite a bit of standby energy loss—energy that is consumed by the appliance but not used. With a solar powered water heater, you won’t have to worry about the energy used to keep the water heated at all times, as this energy comes directly from the sun’s rays.

Not only do these products allow you to save money and feel good about your environmental impact; they’re also generally hassle-free. Solar panels require very little maintenance, and it’s not often that they’ll need repairs.

Call the solar experts at Premier Indoor Comfort Systems to discuss your home’s energy needs and find out about the potential solar energy savings available in Atlanta.

How Can I Make Sure My New Water Heater Runs Efficiently?

January 8th, 2015

Your new water heater installation in Marietta will provide you with the hot water you need for warm showers and washing your dishes. But it doesn’t operate for free, and you want it to last – so what can you do? There are some simple steps you can take to help your water heater run more efficiently while maintaining its ability to provide you with hot water whenever you need it:

  • Add an insulation blanket – an insulation blanket can help cut heat loss from the outside of the storage tank by up to 40%; this can result in energy savings you’ll see reflected in your monthly bill. NOTE: a combustion water heater should only be wrapped by a trained professional.
  • Insulate your water pipes – wrapping foam your hot water pipes helps the water inside them retain heat; this can help reduce your energy costs.
  • Lower the water temperature – if you cap your water temperature at 140F, you can reduce the amount of energy you use to heat your water. Lower temperatures also help reduce mineral build-up in your water tank.
  • Replace the anode – every water heater has a component called a sacrificial anode. This component purposefully attracts the electrolytes that contribute to oxidation (rust). Once the anode is fully rusted, the electrolytes may attack the tank. By replacing the sacrificial anode, you can keep rust and corrosion at bay.
  • Flush bi-annually – sediment and mineral deposits can build up inside a tank; by doing a bi-annual flush of the tank, you can remove these build-ups and restore the tank to optimal working condition.
  • Schedule annual maintenance – during an annual maintenance, your entire water heater is checked and inspected; it is also flushed and the anode replaced if needed. All the heating elements are inspected and any parts that need lubrication are oiled.

Helping your new water heater run efficiently can help lower your energy usage and your energy bills.

If you need more assistance with making sure your water heater operates efficiently, call Premier Indoor Comfort Systems today.

How Does Radiant Heating Work?

January 2nd, 2015

Radiant heating has long been a bit of a secret among homeowners. Though the technique at the core of radiant heating has been used since the Roman Empire was in power, the popularity of forced air heating systems has kept radiant heating somewhat in the background of the heating market. In an effort to dispel some of the mystery around radiant heating systems, let’s take a look at how they work. We’ll also tell you about some of their distinct advantages, and why you may want to consider installing one.

What is Radiant Heating?

The term “radiant heating” refers to a boiler-based system that heats a home by distributing hot water. This may not sound that much different from a water heater, and for the most part it isn’t. The difference is that a radiant system heats an entire room, not just the water coming out of the faucet.

Radiant heating installation involves installing a water pipe network into the subfloor of each room. These pipes are then connected to a central boiler.

How it Works

When the heat is turned on, the boiler heats and distributes water throughout the house. As the hot water flows through the pipes underneath the floor, they transmit thermal energy through the floor and into each room. This is why the system is called “radiant heating,” because the heat radiates up through the floor. The thermal energy is transmitted from object to object, eventually heating the whole room.

Why Install Radiant Heating?

There are any number of reasons to install radiant heating instead of forced air systems. Radiant heating is much more efficient than forced air, both at heating a room and saving energy. Water is a much more efficient thermal conductor than air is, meaning that the radiant system can deliver more heat to a location than a forced air system can.

Radiant systems can also heat a room much more evenly and comfortably than a forced air system. When warm air is blown into a room, it floats to the top. This leaves the bottom half of the room much colder and uncomfortable. Radiant heating moves from the floor upwards, and doesn’t use air as a medium for transmitting heat. This makes the room much more comfortable close to the floor, where people can benefit from it.

If you’d like to know more, call Premier Indoor Comfort Systems. Our heating experts cover all of Canton.

12 Grapes for 12 Months: An Unusual New Year’s Tradition

January 1st, 2015

Across the world, many cultures have specific traditions to celebrate the transition from the old year to the new. In the U.S. and Canada, we associate New Year’s with the ball in Times Square, kissing at the stroke of midnight, resolutions, and singing “Old Lang Syne.” But for many Spanish-speaking countries, one of the key traditions has to do with eating grapes as fast as possible.

The “twelve grapes” tradition comes from Spain, where it is called las doce uvas de la suerte (“The Twelve Lucky Grapes”). To ensure good luck for the next year, people eat one green grape for each of the upcoming twelve months. However, you cannot just eat the grapes during the first day of the new year any time you feel like it. You must eat the twelve grapes starting at the first stroke of midnight on Nochevieja (“Old Night,” New Year’s Eve) as one year changes to another. And you have to keep eating: with each toll of midnight, you must eat another grape, giving you about twelve seconds to consume all of them. If you can finish all dozen grapes—you can’t still be chewing on them!—before the last bell toll fades, you will have a luck-filled new year.

Where did this tradition come from? No one is certain, although it appears to be more than a century old. One story about the Twelve Lucky Grapes is that a large crop of grapes in 1909 in Alicante, Spain led to the growers seeking out a creative way to eliminate their surplus. But recent research through old newspapers shows that perhaps the tradition goes back almost thirty years earlier to the 1880s, where eating grapes was meant to mock the upper classes who were imitating the French tradition of dining on grapes and drinking champagne on New Year’s Eve.

It can be difficult to consume grapes this fast, and the lucky grapes of New Year’s Eve have seeds in them, making the job even trickier. (Seedless grapes are not common in Spain the way they are over here.) For people to manage eating all the grapes before the last stroke of midnight requires swallowing the seeds as well and only taking a single bite of each grape.

Oh, there is one more twist to the tradition: you have to be wearing red undergarments, and they have to be given to you as a gift. The origins of this part of the tradition are even more mysterious, and it’s anybody’s guess why this started.

Whether you go for the grape challenge or find another way to ring in New Year’s, all of us at Premier Indoor Comfort Systems LLC hope you have a great start to the year and a fruitful 2015.