Premier Indoor Comfort Systems LLC Blog : Archive for February, 2012

What Is Electronic Ignition?

Wednesday, February 29th, 2012

Gas furnaces are very complex pieces of equipment to have in your Mableton home. Modern ones in particular are designed to use as little gas as possible, and to recapture as much of the heat generated from burning that gas as can be done safely. One of the many safety and energy-efficient advances in furnace technology in the least twenty years is the electronic ignition.

The Purpose of Electronic Ignition

In older furnaces and boilers, a pilot light would stay lit continuously whenever the heating system needed to be available. That meant continuously burning gas throughout the fall, winter and spring months for those times when heat was needed. It was inefficient and unsafe, especially in older devices that didn’t have safety valves.

Today, furnaces are built with electronic ignitions – small devices that only ignite the gas supply when the thermostat is on. there are two types of electronic ignition used in boilers and furnaces today.

  • Intermittent Pilot – An intermittent pilot is unique in that it releases a spark through an electronic component to the gas pilot, lighting the gas burners.
  • Hot Surface Ignition – Hot surface ignition uses an electronic filament (like a lightbulb) to heat up and ignite the burners when the thermostat calls for heat.

Both devices are designed to use a very small amount of electricity and reduce the amount of gas needed for continuous operation of your furnace.

 Safety Benefits of an Electronic Ignition

While gas efficiency was a big part of the transition from pilot lights to electronic ignition, safety was an equally big component. Whereas before, the pilot light was continuously lit, meaning gas was continuously flowing into the furnace, today’s furnaces are essentially off when not in use. This means less of a chance that gas will flow unburned or that the pilot will get dirty or burn too soft, releasing carbon monoxide.

If your furnace still uses a traditional pilot light, consider having it upgraded to electronic ignition, not just to save gas but to keep your home and family safer. If you have any questions about your heating system, give Premier Indoor Comfort Systems a call today!

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Myths About Solar Energy

Friday, February 24th, 2012

Have you ever heard…

  • Solar panels don’t work in cold places
  • They are ugly and bulky and drive down property values
  • Solar panels break when it snows or hails

There are countless myths like the ones above about solar energy and how effective it can be for your Cartersville home depending on where you live or what type of climate you have. However, most of these myths are just that – falsehoods and rumors spread from the days when solar power wasn’t a very effective energy source.

These days, solar energy is increasingly efficient and works in almost any climate if properly installed. Here are some other common myths you might hear about this popular alternative energy source.

  1. Too Expensive – While it is true that solar power is expensive, it is dropping in price rapidly. The cost of manufacturing has dropped to such that the cost per watt is between $5 and $8 – an all-time low. On top of that, most state governments and the federal government offer general rebates and tax incentives for having solar power installed.
  2. Constant Maintenance – If you want constant maintenance, stick with your fossil fuel based heating and energy sources. Solar panels and heating systems require less frequent maintenance than most other systems and last for up to 25 years.
  3. Inconsistency – Older solar panels were less efficient, only capturing 1-5% of the energy emitted by the sun. These days, solar panels are much better at capturing solar energy – ranging from 11% to a whopping 20% capture rate, which means they are incredibly effective, even in bad weather. For the record, that’s the same energy capture rate as your gasoline fueled car, but with none of the emissions.
  4. Making Back the Investment – Solar investment recuperation used to be a long process. These days, however, solar panels increase the value of your home, decrease your annual costs and give you peace of mind. The usual payback time is down to less than 20 years and even less if you sell your home.

Solar energy is one of the most efficient and effective ways to power your home today, despite the myths. Contact Premier Indoor Comfort Systems if you have any questions about using solar power for your home!

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What to Know Before Going Solar

Wednesday, February 22nd, 2012

If you’re preparing to make the leap to solar power for your Peachtree City home, there are a few things you need to know. From the cost of installation to the maintenance needs of that solar system and the amount of energy you can expect to pull out of the sun’s rays on a cold, wintery day, you’ll want to be prepared for whatever you’ll be up against.

Cost and Maintenance

The cost of solar panels has dropped quite a bit in recent years. In fact, the cost per watt is down to less than $8 and in some cases, can be as low as $5 due to state and federal rebates for using solar power. Maintenance costs are also low if you consider the fact that solar systems are self-sustaining and only need to be checked as often as your electrical system. The lifespan of these systems is also very long, up to 25 years in most cases.

Dependability in Bad Climates

While it is true that you will get a better return from solar panels in southern states like Arizona or in higher elevations where exposure is greater, most solar systems are very dependable. Because you can wire your system into the power grid, you can offset the low times with peak performance in the summer. Most people won’t even use all of the electricity they generate during long summer hours (especially when on vacation!) so they can make it up in the winter.

Hot Water and Heating

Most people picture photovoltaic panels when they think of solar power, but you can get an equal number of benefits from solar panels for your hot water or heating system. These passive solar systems are even less expensive than PV electrical systems and recuperate their costs in under 10 years in most cases.

Solar power is highly efficient, clean and increasingly affordable for any homeowners. If you are getting ready to make a major upgrade to your electrical or heating system, consider the benefits that are to be had with solar panels.  For more information about getting solar for your home, give Premier Indoor Comfort Systems a call!

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Happy President’s Day

Monday, February 20th, 2012

Happy President’s Day from everyone at Premier Indoor Comfort Systems! Today we celebrate all of the great leaders that helped make our county what it is today. It is also a great time to think about ways you can help improve your community. Whatever town you live in, there are always ways you can help make it even better.  If everyone takes a little time to volunteer or help a neighbor, it can make a big difference! Remember that upgrading your HVAC system will make it more energy efficient, and making your house more green is good for everyone!

It’s an old tradition to celebrate Washington’s Birthday with cherries, in honor of the cherry tree story, so here is a recipe for some delicious cherry pie!

“You ‘ll be able to tell that this is a prize-winning recipe. The crust is flaky and buttery, the cherry filling is thick and perfectly sweetened, and there’s a lovely hint of almond extract.”

INGREDIENTS:

2 cups all-purpose flour

1 cup shortening

1/2 cup cold water

1 pinch salt

2 cups pitted sour cherries

1 1/4 cups white sugar

10 teaspoons cornstarch

1 tablespoon butter

1/4 teaspoon almond extract

DIRECTIONS:

  1. Cut the shortening into the flour and salt with the whisking blades of a stand mixer until the crumbs are pea sized. Mix in cold water. Refrigerate until chilled through. Roll out dough for a two crust pie. Line a 9 inch pie pan with pastry.
  2. Place the cherries, sugar, and cornstarch in a medium size non-aluminum saucepan. Allow the mixture to stand for 10 minutes, or until the cherries are moistened with the sugar. Bring to a boil over medium heat, stirring constantly. Lower the heat; simmer for 1 minute, or until the juices thicken and become translucent. Remove pan from heat, and stir in butter and almond extract. Pour the filling into the pie shell. Cover with top crust.
  3. Bake in a preheated 375 degree F (190 degree C) oven for 45 to 55 minutes, or until the crust is golden brown.

This recipe is from allrecipes.com, visit their site for more details!

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Can Your Heating System Warn You of a CO Leak?

Friday, February 17th, 2012

As everyone in Mableton knows, carbon monoxide is a serious health risk. It is an odorless gas that is produced as a natural byproduct of combustion. So, any time something burns, carbon monoxide (CO) is released into the air.

As long as the area is properly ventilated, the carbon monoxide cannot build up in the air to a dangerous level of concentration. For example, if you are around a campfire or charcoal that is burning outside, you are generally safe.

In the home, the danger arises when combustion is not properly ventilated and this toxic gas is allowed to seep into our living spaces. If you use any gas, fuel or wood burning appliances in your home, you are at risk for exposure to carbon monoxide. To help mitigate that risk, it is important to know some warning signs. Your heating system gives off some warnings that can tip you off to danger, so be on the lookout for these three signals:

  1. Carbon monoxide detector goes off. Some heating systems these days have built-in carbon monoxide detectors, which can provide an extra measure of safety. Whether you have one of these systems or not, your home should still be equipped with a CO detector. If it begins sounding the alarm, get everyone out of the house immediately.
  1. A fume vent is leaking. Fuel-burning furnaces have vents to move combustion gases out of the house safely. If you notice this vent is leaking on your heating system, CO may be seeping into your house. Shut down the furnace, open windows for ventilation and have the fume vent repaired immediately.
  1. Smoke backing up from the fireplace. If you have a fireplace and you notice smoke in the room while using it, stop using it immediately. Your chimney may be blocked or leaking, preventing the smoke from rising and venting properly, which means CO can e getting into your house. Do not use the fireplace again until you have had the chimney inspected.

Please take care and note this is just a simple guide. There are other risks and warnings of carbon monoxide. If you have any suspicion that there is CO in your Mableton home, immediately call a Premier Indoor Comfort Systems to look into the situation.

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Happy Valentine’s Day!

Tuesday, February 14th, 2012

Everyone at Premier Indoor Comfort Systems wishes you a very happy Valentine’s Day! We hope you have a day filled with lots of candy, flowers, and Valentines! Today is all about showing your appreciation for those you love, including your friends, your family, or your significant other. Take a moment today to think about everyone who makes a difference in your life and how you can let them know how special they are to you.

While traditional gifts like candy and flowers are wonderful idea, why not think a little out of the box this year? Upgrading your HVAC system can make your whole house more comfortable, which is something that your entire family will appreciate! A new air filtration system can help you breathe easier, and a new heating and cooling system can significantly lower your energy bills. While not the most romantic of gifts, it certainly will let your family know that you care.

For more information about how a few HVAC upgrades can make your house more comfortable, give Premier Indoor Comfort Systems a call. In addition to making your home cozier, you can also make your friends and family happy by making this delicious recipe for Fudge Truffle Cheesecake:

“When the chocolate addict in you begs for a sweet fix, bake this fluffy chocolate cheesecake over a chocolate cookie crust. Decorate it with even more cocoa delights, such as chocolate-dipped fruit or chocolate whipped cream.”

INGREDIENTS:

1 1/2 cups vanilla wafer crumbs

1/2 cup confectioners’ sugar

1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder

1/3 cup butter, softened

2 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips

3 (8 ounce) packages cream cheese

1 (14 ounce) can sweetened condensed

milk

4 eggs

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

DIRECTIONS:

  1. Preheat oven to 300 degrees F (150 degrees C).
  2. In a large mixing bowl, mix together crushed vanilla wafers, confectioners’ sugar, cocoa, and butter or margarine by hand. Press ingredients into a 9 inch springform pan.
  3. In the top of a double boiler, melt the chocolate chips, making sure that they are very smooth.
  4. In a large bowl, beat cream cheese until fluffy with an electric mixer. Gradually beat in condensed milk until smooth. Mix in melted chocolate, eggs, and vanilla. Beat with electric mixer on low speed until the ingredients are thoroughly blended. Pour the filling into the prepared crust.
  5. Bake at 300 degrees F (150 degrees C) for 55 minutes. The cake will seem underbaked in the center, but will continue to cook after you remove it from the oven.

For more details, visit allrecipes.com.

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The Most Effective Environmentally Friendly Heating Methods

Monday, February 13th, 2012

Protecting the environment is a priority for many Jonesboro homeowners these days. The problem is that it can’t be as a high a priority as heating your home. Sure, you want your home to be environmentally friendly, but you also need it to be warm.

So, it seems you are forced to run your electric or fuel-powered furnace as much as is necessary and hope that it’s not too much for the environment — or your wallet — to take.

Beyond the traditional heating methods of electricity, gas, oil and what have you, there are some alternatives out on the market these days that can keep your home warm while also being green.

 Geothermal

One solution is geothermal heat, which harnesses the natural heat of the Earth to warm your home. Pipes filled with coolant run through the ground outside your home, absorbing the warmth of the Earth. Then, the warm coolant is pumped into your home through a network of pipes that radiate heat.

This method is effective and requires no additional fuel or energy.

 Solar

Then, of course, there is the most obvious and readily available source of heat to the whole planet: the sun. Solar heating systems can be either active or passive, which essentially just depends on whether additional specialized equipment is to be installed.

Obviously, solar heating systems are a better choice for areas that get a lot of sunlight year round.

Whichever environmentally friendly heating solution you choose, they have the added benefit of lowering your heating bill, which is always welcome. If you have any questions about having one of these systems installed in your home, give Premier Indoor Comfort Systems a call today!

 

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Considering a Wine Cellar Installation?

Friday, February 10th, 2012

If you are a wine collector, you know how important proper storage is for your wine to maintain its quality. You need to have both the right temperature and the right humidity to preserve your wine and help age properly for years to come. With a wine cellar equipped with the right indoor air quality controls, you will be able to ensure the safe storage of your valuable collection.

At Premier Indoor, we are experienced in installing wine cellars for even the most finicky of collectors. We know that the best way to store wine is between 55 degrees and 58 degrees, and that temperature changes can severely impact the quality of your wine. We will do our best to make sure you have complete and consistent control over the temperature in your wine cellar. We also know that humidity levels should be between 55 and 75 percent to prevent unwanted evaporation. We offer state of their humidity controls that can maintain these levels with great accuracy. Whatever your needs, Premier Indoor has the equipment and the expertise to create you a wine cellar that is perfect for your home.

If you are thinking about installing a wine cellar in your home, give Premier Indoor a call today to learn more. Our experts would advise you on all you options and on which systems will work best for your situation.

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Why You Should Consider an HVAC Upgrade

Wednesday, February 8th, 2012

It’s an eternal question that plagues all Fairburn homeowners — or anyone who owns a valuable piece of machinery — from time to time.

Is it time to get a new one?

From cars to TVs, the most valuable devices we own have finite lives and eventually need to be replaced. Often it can be hard to know when the time has come to get a new one. Do you fix it one more time? Make due with its limitations? Or finally bite the bullet and upgrade?

The same is true of HVAC systems, sometimes on a larger scale because of the expense and importance. So how do you know when that old HVAC system is ready to be retired and replaced by something new? Take a look at some of these indicators:

  • Repairs are becoming very frequent or costly. This can be hard to gauge, as all HVAC systems need service from time to time. But if you are having a repairman out to your house every month, or if you have spent more in the last year on repairs than a new system would have cost, it’s time to stop repairing and replace instead.
  • Some of your rooms are either to hot or too cold. This means your system is having trouble distributing heat evenly, which is a sign that it is on its last legs.
  • Your home is unusually humid or dusty. This can be difficult to detect, as the change is usually gradual. Humidity and dust can aggravate respiratory problems like allergies or asthma, so a new system may be in the best interest of your family’s health.
  • Your current system is over ten years old. This is about the lifespan of a system. Even if it seems to be running fine, trouble may be on the horizon, and the advances in technology mean that newer systems are more efficient and effective.

If any of these sound familiar to you, it is probably time to upgrade your Fairburn home’s HVAC system. If for any reason you are on the fence, a consultation with Premier Indoor and we can help you decide on the best course of action.

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Learn More About Air Filters and Mold

Monday, February 6th, 2012

Among the potential problems that can plague Acworth homeowners, mold is particularly frustrating. It is persistent, the spores are tiny and easily spread and it can be hazardous to your health.

Preventing a mold problem involves properly ventilating moist areas, such as bathrooms, to prevent mold from thriving in the moisture. It also means spotting and eradicating any patches of mold that do manage to take hold. Perhaps most importantly, it also means keeping mold out of the air in your home.

Mold particles and spores can readily break off from a mold colony can get into the air. Eventually, they can be drawn up into your HVAC system and redistributed throughout your house. Once airborne, they can settle elsewhere to start new mold growth or wind up in your lungs, potentially causing respiratory problems.

Simply put, having mold in your home is a health risk, so you want to keep it under control as much as possible. The best way to keep out of the air is with an air filter.

The good news is that most mold spores are rather large (relatively speaking), so a HEPA air filter installed in your air handler can remove them from the air pretty easily. They are often 3 microns in size or smaller, so a filter with a MERV rating of 8 should do fine, although some spores can reportedly be as small as 1.5 microns. If you want to be very vigilant, or if anyone is your home has a particularly sensitive respiratory system, you can get a filter with a higher MERV rating of 12 or so.

Also, UV germicidal lights can be a good addition to your HVAC system. These lights emit UV radiation that is safe for humans to be around, but kills many microorganisms, including mold spores. They also kill bacteria and other pathogens that can cause disease.

In addition to proper ventilation, a quality filtration system can effectively eliminate the health risks to your family caused by mold. If you would like an indoor air quality system installed in your home, give Premier Indoor Comfort Systems a call!

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