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

How to Avoid Mold Problems and Rust Issues in HVAC Blower Compartments & Ductwork

Monday, June 25th, 2012

Mold and rust are not just unsightly, they can be corrosive to the structure of your home and possibly hazardous to your health. One of the last places you want those two things to take root is within your Atlanta AC system, where they could be hidden from view for months.

So, follow this brief guide to prevent mold and rust problems from developing.

Use high quality filters

A poor air filter lets through all kinds of contaminants, including organic matter. If mold spores get into your blower compartment or ductwork, it can bloom undetected for quite some time. Use a high quality filter that keeps out mold spores and other biological contaminants.

Keep filters clean

The best filter in the world is no good if it is too dirty to function, so keep yours clean. Replace and/or clean them regularly in accordance with manufacturer recommendations.

Pay attention to and fix leaks right away

The big problem with both rust and mold is moisture. Excess moisture that gets inside your AC system can wreak havoc. The water can corrode the metallic parts inside, giving rust free reign of your blower compartment or ductwork. Even worse, if water is added to some of those mold spores from the poor filter (see #1), the environment is perfect for mold to grow.

So, be aware of things like wall and ceiling leaks, wet insulation or moisture accumulating around the blower compartment. These are not uncommon problems with AC systems because of coil icing, poor condensate drainage and other issues, and they can easily turn into mold and rust problems if left unchecked.

Be aware of humidity

If your home is too humid, even while the AC is running, get it looked at. This could be a symptom of an extra moisture source somewhere.

Have AC problems fixed professionally

Finally, when you do run into problems with your Atlanta AC system, have them professionally repaired. Many AC issues are related or the symptom of a larger problem, so fixing one thing may not solve the real issue. De-icing the condenser coil, for example, but not fixing the associated leak, could mean that the problem will come back, and in the mean time there’s plenty of water to cause rust and mold problems. For any AC repair in the Atlanta area, give Premier Indoor Comfort Systems a call!

 

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How to Tell the Age of a Water Heater

Monday, June 18th, 2012

There are many reasons to replace your Atlanta water heater. It may be working poorly or not at all, it may be making noises, it may have some pervasive problem that makes it unsafe or it may just be too old. The problem with that last criterion is that it can sometimes be difficult to determine the age of a water heater.

If you bought a home with a water heater already in it, for example, or if you bought your water heater used or just forgot when you purchased a new water heater, you may have no idea how old the unit is. Fortunately, there are ways to determine how long a water heater has been in operation, so you can have some idea whether it is time to replace it. It’s not necessarily as straightforward as cutting down a tree and counting the rings, but it’s still pretty easy.

Almost all manufacturers of modern water heaters attach a tag or sticker to the water heater that includes data about that unit, including the month and date of manufacture. Locate that tag or sticker on your water heater, and you can learn its age. Check your owner’s manual for help locating the data tag.

While some manufacturers make this tag simple and straightforward to read, sometimes the data is encoded in such a way that it takes a bit of translation to accurately decipher the manufacture date. For example, some manufacturers encode it in a four-digit MMYY format, so “0692” means the water heater was made in June of 1992. The exact code may vary, so refer to how your particular model’s info is encoded.

One important thing to note is that this won’t tell you when the water heater was installed or how long it has been in operation, or how many hours it’s been in use, but it still gives you an accurate picture of its age.

It is also possible that your water heater won’t have one of these tags on it. If that is the case, you should probably go ahead and replace it, because that probably means that it is too old to still be in operation. To have a professional examine your Atlanta water heater, give Premier Indoor Comfort Systems a call today!

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How Do I Determine the Cooling Capacity of My Central AC or Heat Pump System?

Monday, June 11th, 2012

For any type of air conditioning system in Atlanta, the cooling capacity is measured in BTU’s. This is important to know if the system doesn’t seem to be adequately cooking your home, and there are many different ways to check the cooling capacity of your AC system.

1. Air Conditioning System’s Age and Serial Numbers

An air conditioner’s age will usually give you a general idea for its cooling capacity, and if you aren’t sure, you can always check the serial number. Because serial number formats vary by the year the equipment was made, you can check to see how old an air conditioner is from looking at the serial number.

The first four digits of every serial number is the week and year the unit was manufactured.  For example, the serial# 1188E53294 on a compressor unit tells us that it was made between 1980 and 1990, and to be more exact, week 11 in 1988.

2. Air Conditioner’s Model Number

You should also look at the model number for your specific model because some manufacturers also vary how they assign each number in the serial number; however, they usually stand for tonnage or MBTUH. You can always call us if you aren’t sure how to read the serial number or model number.

3. AC Equipment’s RLA Numbers

RLA stands for “Rated Load Amps,” which means that it’s the manufacturer’s rate of the cooling capacity (also known as the draw) or load while it’s operating (minus the draw when you start the system). Most air conditioning compressor or condenser units will draw 5 to 6 RLA per ton of cooling capacity. You can check the data tag on the compressor for the RLA rating; however, this will need to be translated into BTUH for the total cooling capacity.

Feel free to call one of the Atlanta air conditioning experts at Premier Indoor Comfort Systems if you have any questions how to calculate your AC system’s cooling capacity.

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Keep Your Home Cool and Save Energy

Monday, June 4th, 2012

As the season of hot days and long evenings draws near, it is normal for questions to arise on how to keep your home cool and save energy.  Normally, using your Atlanta air conditioner frequently would mean higher utility bills.  However, there are some things which are easy to do and can help keep any house cool without overuse of an air conditioner.

Easy Fixes Which Cool the House from the Heat of the Sun

  • Provide effective shade for east and west facing windows, including planting shade trees around the exterior of the house
  • Delay heat-generating activities until evening
  • Keep the house closed tight during the day so that unwanted heat and humidity do not enter the home
  • Ventilate at night with open windows and fans
  • Use ceiling fans or room fans to increase comfort levels with higher air conditioning thermostat settings
  • Seal and insulate all air conditioning ducts, and seal leaky windows with caulk or weather stripping
  • Install window shades, blinds, awnings, sunscreens, or apply low-e films to windows to block most solar rays which cause heat gain
  • Close south and west-facing curtains during the day on windows which get direct sunlight, and invest in reflective solar curtains
  • Upgrade the insulation in the attic
  • Service the air conditioning unit annually, and place it in the shade with proper air flow to ensure it runs efficiently
  • Install a house fan to cool the entire home at once as well as cool the attic above

Eliminate Internal Heat Sources

  • Lessen stove and oven use during hot days and enjoy a backyard barbeque or cookout, keeping the heat out of the kitchen and in the great outdoors.  When cooking inside do so in the evening and employ use of the microwave, toaster-oven or counter-top grill which produces far less heat than the stove or oven.
  • Switch to newer, compact fluorescent lights which use less energy and produce far less heat than incandescent lights
  • Pass on the hot-drying cycle of the dishwasher and let dishes air dry, or dry them by hand
  • Line-dry clothes rather than using the dryer, or use the lowest heat setting on the dryer
  • Take shorter showers that are cooler, and turn on exhaust fans and open windows to properly ventilate the area, allowing excess heat to escape
  • Turn computers and other electronics off when not in use, and use electronic devices such as TV’s less often throughout the day

Combining the various home fixes while eliminating internal heat sources can turn out to be the best ways to keep your home cool and save energy during hot summer months.  Just try some and see how that energy bill decreases! For more information about how to use your Atlanta air conditioning system effectively, give Premier Indoor Comfort Systems a call today!

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Premier Indoor Comfort System’s AC Maintenance Program

Friday, June 1st, 2012

AC Tune-Up | Atlanta | Premier Indoor Comfort

Why is AC Maintenance so important? Scheduling an annual AC tune-up is imperative to keeping your AC in tip top condition. A professional HVAC technician will perform many tasks during your annual maintenance visit, including making sure you heating and cooling system can’t operate simultaneously, examining the electrical system, and checking the calibration of the thermostat. To learn more about professional AC maintenance and how it can keep your unit functioning efficiently, give your Atlanta HVAC contractor a call today!

How much does AC Maintenance cost? We currently have a $79 34 point AC tune-up special. Our technician will check the functionality of every part of your system. For ongoing maintenance we offer a air conditioning maintenance program. To find out more visit the AC Maintenance Program page!

Premier Indoor Comfort Systems is a top quality provider of HVAC and home comfort needs for the residents of Atlanta, GA and the Metro Atlanta area.

We have you covered – North, South, East, and West Georgia, and Western North Carolina

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