Premier Indoor Comfort Systems LLC Blog : Archive for the ‘Services’ Category

Why Does an AC Unit Even Produce Water?

Thursday, March 10th, 2016

Water, Water Everywhere…

With Spring just a few weeks away from this very mild winter, the temperatures will begin to warm up. In Georgia that means you might need that AC running a bit early this year. Hopefully you have been maintaining your system.

If you haven’t, just hope you don’t find water leaking from your unit. When water leaks from an AC unit, it can be a sign of a serious problem that could potentially damage your home.

Why Does an AC Unit Even Produce Water?

An AC unit cools and dehumidifies air at the same time. A blower blows air across the coils, which then take liquid refrigerant and convert it to gas while removing heat and moisture from the air. When it is working properly this system produces liquid waste that drips off the coils and into a collection pan under the unit. It then flows outdoors in PVC piping .If any part of the process is stifled, you may begin to have problems and your unit will begin to malfunction and leak water.

Why Does an AC Unit Leak?

There are several reasons why an AC unit might leak, and often the causes are preventable with regularly scheduled maintenance. A good technician visit can make the difference between catching a problem early and spending about two hundred dollars, and spending thousands of dollars on an AC Repair. Because the drainage system is always full of moisture, there is a high chance for algae or other growth to clog the drain. This can cause the waste water to back-up and flood. This is again, where routine maintenance comes into play.

Another common reason for AC leakage is poor installation. If a unit is not installed correctly and the drainage hookups are only loosely connected, this can cause a major issue. Additionally, if the unit isn’t leveled at installation, the water will start to collect in the pan rather than drain correctly.

Schedule An Appointment

When it comes to the best Premier Indoor Comfort Systems is the best choice . We’ve been serving Metro Atlanta and Western North Carolina since 1999. Contact us before your AC starts to leak or for any other cooling , heating or indoor air quality needs.

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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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Why AFUE Ratings Matter When Installing a New Furnace

Monday, September 24th, 2012

When you are in the market for a new furnace for your Alpharetta home, there are several reasons you should pay attention to the annual fuel utilization efficiency (AFUE) rating. All newer model furnaces get an AFUE percentage, which measures how much fuel a particular model converts into heat. Furnaces with higher AFUE ratings are more efficient, but the size and type of furnace will also factor into how much you’ll save on energy costs.

Understanding the AFUE Ratio

The minimum AFUE rating for new furnaces is 78%. This means that seventy-eight percent of the fuel is turned into heat, and the remaining percentage is lost either through poor insulation, air leaks, or the ventilation system in the home. Because there’s no heat loss through a chimney flue, some all-electric furnaces can have an AFUE rating as high as 98%. However, if the cost of electricity used to meet your normal heating needs is higher than the efficiency savings, you may want to consider other options. Talk to a qualified Alpharetta heating contractor for advice about the most cost-efficient heater for your home.

Furnace Efficiency Features

Furnaces manufactured 15-20 years ago have significantly lower AFUE ratings (between 55%-70% for most older models) because they are typically single-stage, or single-speed systems. Single-stage furnaces are less efficient because they are designed to cycle on at full capacity and shut off when the desired temperature is met.  Newer, two-speed models have a second setting that runs consistently at a lower speed, which saves energy by burning less fuel. Multispeed furnaces that have variable-speed blowers are the most efficient because they operate at various levels and automatically adjust to the thermostat to maintain a constant temperature.

If you look at the AFUE ratings for multispeed and variable-speed furnaces, the ratios should be above 80%. Keep in mind that this only determines the efficiency levels for the furnace itself. You’ll need to factor in whether or not your home has proper insulation and other upgrades, such as double-paned windows and doors.

Call Premier Indoor Comfort Systems to speak with one of our qualified HVAC technicians about a furnace upgrade for your Alpharetta home.

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Why Is My Furnace Making Noise?

Monday, September 17th, 2012

It is easy to take our Bryson City furnaces for granted, but without proper maintenance, they can become noisy. There are a few ways you can prevent this. At the beginning of each season, scheduling an annual inspection and filter change with Premier Indoor Comfort Systems ensures a longer life and more comfort.

Rattles and Bumps in the Night

At the first sound of trouble, checking the filter can often be a quick fix.  As air passes through the furnace, a filter picks out much of the dust and some heavier particles that have come along, gotten snagged and accumulated over time to create a solid blockage.

This filter can become clogged and force the furnace to work much harder to push the air through the blocked passage. Located just inside the front panel of the furnace, the filter is very accessible and easily exchanged for a clean one.  This should be the very minimum of regular maintenance and is simple enough to do that it can make anyone feel handy.

Deeper Trouble

Heated air and cold air returning to and from the furnace travel through ductwork which is often metal (those long, silvery boxes tucked up between joists in your basement and covered by a nasty layer of cobwebs).  The vibration of footsteps across the floor overhead or even of just the air movement through the ducts can loosen the fasteners and rattle the metal like a rumble of thunder.

Internally, there are fans and lots of moving parts in the motor.  A noise coming from this area portends a repair of a more complicated nature and should have the inspection of a certified technician, a service easily provided by Premier Indoor Comfort Systems.

With proper care and maintenance, Bryson City furnaces are built to last for decades, providing heat and comfort to the home or office and improving the quality of life for the people inside.  Consult with Premier Indoor Comfort Systems to ensure the efficient operation.

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What To Do If Your Furnace Keeps Turning On or Off?

Monday, September 10th, 2012

Furnaces are designed to last decades without major problems so long as they are regularly maintained.  However, even the best systems have problems. An indication of trouble can be your Atlanta furnace continually turning off and on in short bursts.

Possible Problems

A furnace constantly turning on and off could often be a direct result of poor airflow through the system.  Heat builds up and the detectors sense the proper temperatures have been reached and automatically shut down.  In the room, the thermostat calls for more heat and starts the cycle over again.

A relay switch or control valve may also be worn and working improperly.  A crack in the heat exchanger might fuel the flame to burn too hotly and cause the sensor to misinterpret the information and shut down.

These problems not only impede the distribution of heat to the living spaces, decreasing comfort, but also create intense wear on the motor and controls, threatening the very life of the appliance.

Simple Solutions

Restricted airflow can be caused most often by a dirty or clogged filter.  At the furnace, there is usually a panel that can be removed to check, clean or replace the filter.  It is typically a single or series of cardboard and screen panels approximately 1′ by 2′, but varies by manufacturer and furnace output.

A vacuum to pull lint free or compressor to blow it clean are the recommended tools to use a few times each year.  It is a good idea to change the filters at the beginning of each heating season. The belts are also easily replaced.

The fan belts for the blower may also be worn loose and not pushing the air hard enough to get through the filters.  It is a good idea to check them regularly as well.

Call an Atlanta Heating Professional

When in doubt, call the experts out.  Scheduling an annual inspection and service with Premier Indoor Comfort Systems takes the worry out of living in a furnace heated home.

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Types of Geothermal Loop Systems

Tuesday, September 4th, 2012

From the Greek word “geo” for “earth”, geothermal energy is generated by the natural process of heat gravitating toward cooler temperatures.  The by-product can be captured and utilized simply as heat or converted to electricity. In small, self-contained residential or large commercial applications in Atlanta, this typically happens in either closed or open looped systems.

Closed Loops

Systems using water or anti-freeze that run from the pump into the ground and back to the pump continuously are closed looped.  Most efficient for smaller residential systems where land is available, two or three horizontal loops are side by side just a few feet underground.  Sometimes the loops are spiraled underground to extend the overall length in a shorter area.

Where the need for length may be prohibitive to run alongside the building, large commercial buildings and schools often use vertical systems.  A series of holes four inches in diameter are drilled about 20 feet apart and 100–400 feet deep and filled with two pipes connected at the bottom to form a loop. Each loop is connected with a horizontal manifold pipe in a trench which connects to the heat pump in the building. Vertical loops are also the choice when the soil is too shallow for trenching.  This system minimizes the disturbance to existing landscaping.

If the site has an adequate water body, a pond/lake loop may be the lowest cost option where a supply line is run underground directly to the water and coiled into circles at least eight feet under the surface to prevent freezing before looping back to the building.

Open Loops

An open loop system takes surface water or a well to use as the heat exchange fluid that circulates directly through the GHP system instead of a piped fluid passing through the surface. Once circulated through the system, the water returns to the ground through the well or a discharge over the surface.

For more information about installing a geothermal system in your Atlanta home, give Premier Indoor Comfort Systems a call today!

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Heat Pump Maintenance

Monday, August 27th, 2012

Heating and cooling your Marietta home is a priority. You need your home and family to be comfortable all year round, so you either got or are considering a heat pump. These machines are great because under the right circumstances, they are essentially all-inclusive and incredibly efficient solutions for all your home heating and cooling needs.

Notice the “under the right circumstances” part. A number of things have to be considered when choosing a heat pump, such as the climate and the size of your home. But these are not the only circumstances that influence how well your heat pump works for you. Proper maintenance is a vital component of heat pump ownership, ensuring that you get the best performance out of your heat pump for the longest time possible.

A major part of properly maintaining any machine is to keep it clean. A heat pump is no exception. Dirt and dust can affect the efficiency of your heat pump, as well as speed up corrosion problems. Keep the compressor and coils clean. Check them monthly or so and remove any accumulated dirt. Also, consistently check and change filters according to the manufacturer’s recommendations.

Simple cleaning is an easy and effective first step to heat pump maintenance, but there are some things that you just won’t be able to do on your own. For more intensive maintenance, it is best to call in a professional for an annual inspection.

During a routine maintenance check of your heat pump, a technician will inspect the whole heat pump system for problems. He will clean the compressor and coils, tighten any connections that may have loosened up and change the filters as needed. In addition, a skilled technician will be able to detect any early signs of trouble and make necessary repairs to prevent break downs. These small repairs can prevent big problems later on, thereby preventing some serious discomfort and a possible big expense.

For more information about heat pump maintenance or to schedule a service, give Premier Indoor Comfort Systems a call!

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