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

Easy Tips to Improve Efficiency This Winter in Bryson City

Monday, October 29th, 2012

Premier Indoor Comfort Systems has put together some simple ideas that are fast and affordable to make your home more efficient this winter. By keeping more of your heat indoors you can use your heater less and potentially save yourself some money.

Insulation

The first thing you should do is climb up into your attic and check the insulation there. Heat naturally rises and will collect in your attic. If your insulation is old or if you have holes in it, you could be leaking all of that heat energy to the outside. Insulation is given an “R” value that determines its efficiency. Replacing your old insulation with newer, higher rated insulation could help keep more that heat indoors. You can also check the insulation in your floors and in your walls. These are other areas where heat can escape.

Window and Door Frames

Another place where heat can escape is through the frames in your doors and windows. Having your windows and doors sealed is a great way to keep more of that energy inside. There are weather stripping products and indoor sealants that are specifically designed for this application. Particularly important is the door to your attic and the door to your basement. These can be places where heat easily escapes to the outside. There are also thin, transparent seals that can be applied to your windows to keep heat from seeping through the spaces between the glass and the frame.

 Insulate your Water Heater and Pipes

Another way to improve the efficiency of your home is to look at your hot water system. If you have a tank water heater in your basement you might be losing a lot of heat energy there. Your basement can get freezing cold and if your water heater is there, the cold air could be sucking heat out of it. Insulating your heater is a great way to trap more heat inside of it so that it doesn’t have to keep reheating the water. You may also want to think about insulating the water pipes in your house. Not only can this keep more heat in the water as it is en route to your faucet, but it can also potentially prevent damage to your home from frozen pipes.

If you have any questions about increasing the efficiency in your home, contact the Bryson City heating professionals at Premier Indoor Comfort Systems today. We offer comprehensive heating services in Bryson City and would be more than happy to talk with you about your home heating situation.

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First Time Homeowners Checklist

Monday, October 22nd, 2012

Below is a checklist of tasks for the first time Atlanta homeowner to use as a reference. It is not fully comprehensive, but it is a good start and a solid guideline of responsibilities to keep your home in tip-top shape. It is broken down by frequency of tasks to make it easy to refer to later.

Annually

Make sure you do each of the following every year. For tasks that should be done in the same season, try to combine in the same week or day so that you are on a consistent schedule that is easy to remember.

  • At the start of winter, check the caulking, weather stripping and other sealants around the house. Also check and clear your gutters and downspouts.
  • In spring, check the basement and attic for signs of water leakage or damage.
  • In the summer time, have your home and property checked for termites and other pest infestations.
  • When fall starts, get ready for the heating season by having your heating and ventilation system inspected. Have any repairs or routine maintenance done as needed.

Monthly

To keep your home comfortable and pleasant, there are some tasks that should be performed every month. These are generally simple, but still important.

  • Inspect AC and furnace filters. Clean or replace dirty filters.
  • Test smoke detectors and replace any drained batteries.
  • Vacuum carpets and make sure there is no debris in your furnace room.
  • Pour boiling water or white vinegar in drains to dislodge buildup.

In General

Lastly, there are some things you will want to do as a matter of good practice. Ask around to find good contractors – plumbers, electricians, etc. When you use one you like, keep track of his information in a dedicated file. Be organized. Keeping this checklist handy is a good first step on that front.

For any AC or heating service you need in Atlanta, give Premier Indoor Comfort Systems a call!

 

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Condensate Drain Line Freezing Problems

Monday, October 15th, 2012

As you know, the condensate produced as byproduct during normal operation of your furnace has to be drained away. It’s toxic, very acidic and has been contaminated by the normal combustion that takes place in your furnace, so you certainly don’t want it hanging around.

The typical solution is to have it drain out through a drain pipe, usually beneath the floor of your basement foundation, or down the side of your home and out through a downspout. But have you ever had your condensate line freeze up on you? That is no fun chore to deal with.

A frozen condensate line is usually caused by poor insulation. What happens is that when the temperature drops, the rate of drainage begins to slow down and the droplets begin to freeze one by one, like icicles, until the whole pipe is frozen. This creates obvious problems and can interfere with the proper heating of your home.

Usually, this just means the pipe is poorly insulated, which is a solution that can be remedied. If you have a condensate drain line that freezes anywhere other than under the foundation – for example, one the runs down the side of your home – you can try wrapping it in heat tape.

Sometimes, the best way to rectify the situation once and for all is to reroute the pipe. This can be a somewhat involved process, depending on where the drain line is. For example, if the pipe is poorly insulated because it is buried to shallow beneath the foundation, it will have to be dug up to be rerouted along a warmer path.

If you have already tried insulating the pipe with heat tape or some other solution, but the freezing problem continues to occur, then rerouting is probably your best option. For that kind of job, the average homeowner should consult with an Atlanta heating professional, as the job can get challenging and a little dangerous.

For more tips on how to keep your heating system running this winter, give Premier Indoor Comfort Systems a call today!

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What Is a Downflow vs. an Upflow Furnace?

Monday, October 8th, 2012

When you go looking to buy a furnace in Lawrenceville, you may well be surprised by how many different elements go into making a good purchasing decision. There are simply so many different kinds of furnaces available now and they each are more appropriate for certain situations. That means that finding the one that’s right for you is less about finding the one best unit than it is about finding the one that is the best match for your particular circumstances.

This applies to the type of fuel the furnace uses, its energy efficiency, and whether it’s an upflow furnace or a downflow furnace. Energy efficiency and fuel types are probably things that you’re more or less familiar with. But what are we talking about when we classify a furnace as an upflow or downflow model?

Well, it’s pretty much what it sounds like. These terms refer to the direction the air flows as it is taken in and heated by the furnace. So in an upflow furnace, the cool air is taken in at the bottom, warmed, and then expelled at the top. A downflow furnace, on the other hand, takes in cool air at the top and expels heated air at the bottom.

It may still not be obvious what impact this will have on your decision about what type of furnace to buy. The main thing you’ll have to think about when you’re deciding between an upflow and a downflow furnace is where the furnace will be placed in your house.

An upflow furnace is generally installed in the basement so that the heated air is directed towards the parts of the house you want cooled and so that the furnace can be appropriately vented outside of the house. On the other hand, a downflow furnace would be installed in your attic for the same reasons.

So where you want to have the furnace installed is probably the biggest thing to take into account as you’re comparing these two types of equipment. Of course, whether you pick an upflow or a downflow furnace, you’ll still have to select the appropriate AFUE, size and fuel source to best meet your needs. But making the choice between upflow and downflow can at least make it easier to narrow down your options.

For any help you need with installing a new furnace in Lawrenceville GA and the surrounding area, give Premier Indoor Comfort Systems a call today!

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How Much Electricity Does a Gas Furnace Use?

Monday, October 1st, 2012

Did you know that electricity is necessary for several important tasks as part of the more efficient gas furnaces? Gas is the fuel that heats the air that warms your Bryson City home, but electricity is the spark that lights the gas.  The flame is not roaring all the time or just ignites spontaneously.

A low voltage electric signal from the thermostat opens the valve that controls the amount of gas flow and therefore the flame.  A solenoid coil in the valve senses gas and ensures flame to prevent an explosion or leakage, then opens wide to let the heating begin and shuts down when the desired temperature is reached.

All that heated air must be moved through the ductwork and distributed room to room to create the comfort and this is done by a motor-driven fan which is the largest use of electricity in a gas furnace.  The motor turns on and shuts down according to the relationships between flame, heated air and the thermostat setting.

Known as a draft inducer, a second fan is employed to remove the toxic fumes that are the residue of the burned gas.  These fumes which can be deadly are usually pushed through a PVC pipe to the exterior and released safely into the atmosphere.

The amount of electricity used to ignite the flame is very small, phased through a low-voltage impulse wire, nearly too small to even show on your meter.  Most of the electrical energy contributing the critical role of powering the two fans in gas furnaces adds up typically to less than 600 watts at any given time or about the same as a few light bulbs.

While gas furnaces are much more efficient and less costly than any kind of electric heat, they are not very useful without that little bit of electrical help.

Call Premier Indoor Comfort Systems today if you need furnace repair in the Bryson City, NC area!

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