Premier Indoor Comfort Systems LLC Blog : Posts Tagged ‘Dunwoody’

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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Most Energy Efficient Upgrades for Your Home

Monday, August 20th, 2012

Before you decide which upgrades will make your Atlanta home more efficient, it would be best to get a home energy audit. You can do this yourself with a few simple tests. When your home is properly insulated and sealed, here are some upgrades you’ll want to think about to make your home more efficient.

High-Efficiency Furnaces & Heat Pumps

If you have an old single-stage furnace in your Atlanta home, it is time to upgrade. These furnaces were designed to run on two settings—either off or on, and when they are on, they run at full speed. Not only do they lose heat this way, but they also take longer to warm up your home. The new two-speed and multispeed models run at lower speeds to maintain a constant temperature. You can also buy ones with variable-speed blowers that operate on various speeds, which are the most efficient. Heat pumps are a good option if you need both heat and A/C in your home. While most heat pumps are manufactured to be efficient by design, the newer models are the most efficient way to heat and cool your home. If you have a heat pump older than 15 years, talk to an HVAC technician about a heat pump replacement.

Tankless Water Heaters

When you’ve upgraded your heating system, it may be time to install a more efficient water heater.  Tankless water heaters heat your water with individual units located near hot water applications. You also have the option of installing a single, whole-home tankless water heater, or for appliances that use more hot water, such as dishwashers and washing machines, you can install tankless models just for their use.

Water-Saving Toilets & Low-flow Plumbing Fixtures

Duel flush, or water-saving toilets are an excellent choice for an upgrade if you want to save water. These toilets use less water overall, and you have the option of using more or less water each time you flush. Installing low flow faucets and fixtures can also provide up to 60% in utility savings. Low flow plumbing fixtures reduce the flow rate for each fixture or application, which reduces the overall amount water used in the home. These are a good option if you’ve installed a tankless water heating system. Your tankless water heaters will be more efficient if the sum of the flow rate total for every fixture in the home is lower.

Don’t hesitate to call Premier Indoor Comfort Systems if you have any questions about upgrading your Atlanta home.

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Will My Air Cleaners Reduce Health Risks?

Monday, July 30th, 2012

There is a lot of talk these days about how important it is to have a good air cleaner in your Atlanta home. Do air cleaners really reduce health risks, and if so, by how much?

 What Air Cleaners Do

Before we can say whether an air cleaner has any positive health effects, we must first look at what they do. Air cleaners are designed to remove certain particles from the air inside your home. Different air cleaners are designed for different levels of removal.

Ratings like the MERV of an air cleaner measure how small of particles the device can remove. Additionally, the type of cleaner will determine what it is best at removing. Mechanical filters are the most efficient at removing dust, pollen, and dander while electronic filters are best for smoke, bacteria and mold spores.

 So, What Impact Does this Have on Health?

The big question then is what kind of health benefits you will gain from a high end air cleaning system in Atlanta. If your home isn’t prone to a large number of contaminants and you have good ventilation, the difference may not be that big, but for those with a well-sealed home, pets, humidity problems or any number of other indoor air contaminant sources, an air cleaner has a tremendous impact on your health.

The problem is that when the house gets sealed up so tightly, we put our bodies at risk of contamination from gasses and pollutants that would otherwise dissipate into the air. Those with asthma are put at an increased risk as they breathe in a variety of different triggers like dust, mold and dander.

An air cleaner removes these threats and while they don’t have a proactive effect on your health – you won’t suddenly lose weight or never again get the flu – they can remove many of the negative effects that poor air quality has on your body.

So, should you get an air cleaner for your Atlanta home? In most cases, the answer is yes, but if you’re still not sure, call Premier Indoor Comfort Systems today!

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Landscaping, Your Atlanta AC, and Saving Money!

Monday, May 14th, 2012

Who knew that proper landscaping of your home could save you money?  It’s true!  Soon enough those hot, summer months will blaze through making us sweat in the heat of the midday sun.  All we want is respite from that heat, and maybe a cool drink to sip.  But our Atlanta air conditioners will work harder and more frequently than we would ever want to in such direct heat and blinding light.  Since those hot summer days are still on the horizon and the beauty of spring is in full-swing, this is the time to prepare for the inevitable by giving the AC a break while at the same time saving money on utility bills.

Inspect, prune, and pay attention!  Get out in that garden and have a look at that AC unit!

  • Cut back any overgrown bushes or plants nearby, and remove any weeds growing near or over the AC unit, in order to ensure proper air circulation is maintained in the space immediately surrounding the AC unit. It might even be prudent to place stepping stones or cement in the foot of space immediately surrounding the AC unit, to keep a good barrier between the unit and surrounding foliage.
  • Pull out that green thumb and plant some flowers or greenery surrounding but not too close to the AC unit, making it a part of the yard’s landscaping, rather than an eye-sore which stands out.
  • Get your air conditioner under the shade.  This can be done simply by adding trees or tall bushes near the AC unit, protecting it from the blazing sun.  AC units can also be moved to the North side of a house or other building, making sure they are under the shade during the heat of the day.  Ensuring an AC unit is in the shade can mean not only saving approximately 5% on cooling bills, but can also increase the energy efficiency of the air conditioning unit by upwards of 10%.
  • Add trees or tall foliage all around a property to provide shade directly on the home or building, which can additionally contribute to overall cooling of the yard and buildings being cooled.

Proper landscape maintenance near, upkeep of, and airflow to an air conditioning unit ensures that there is reduced wear and tear on the AC unit, helping it to run more efficiently for a much longer period of time.  Pay attention to your Atlanta AC unit and it will provide a great service for many years. Call Premier Indoor Comfort Systems today to schedule a maintenance visit!

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What Are the Different Types of Furnace Maintenance? A Question from Newnan

Friday, December 2nd, 2011

If you haven’t done so already, take your automobile owner’s manual out of your glove box and check out the section where it lists regularly scheduled maintenance. You will probably see that the most frequent maintenance tasks are changing the oil, checking fan belts, changing windshield wipers blades, checking all fluids, and checking tire pressure. These are regular, routine tasks. You will also see other tasks like changing fuel filters, flushing radiators, and changing transmission fluid.

Depending on its frequency, there are different types of maintenance tasks associated with keeping your automobile in tip top shape. Did you also know there are tasks that can be performed at various intervals to keep your Newnan home’s furnace in peak running condition? Well, there are.

For example, the most frequent maintenance task is checking the filters in your air handling unit. These are often called furnace filters but in reality, they serve the same function to filter air to and from your air conditioner, too. It might be easiest to just call them air filters. The frequency of replacing or cleaning air filters usually depends on the type of indoor environment you live in – like humidity levels, number of household pets or occupants, etc. In general, filter maintenance should occur every one to three months.

A less frequent maintenance task is cleaning the moving parts of the internal mechanism. You may only need to have your furnace cleaned every six months to a year, depending on its use. In some cases you can perform the cleaning yourself or it is included in an annual cleaning as part of a service agreement with a qualified heating and cooling contractor. A furnace can typically run at peak efficiency when it is cleaned on an annual basis.

You can also make it a regular habit of checking the motor bearings and fan belt, too. You can lubricate the bearings and tighten or replace the fan belt on a same schedule as cleaning the moving parts.

Other maintenance tasks related to your furnace, which may require longer interval times include ventilation system cleaning, or more commonly known as duct cleaning. Some homes don’t require this type of maintenance more than every five to ten years – perhaps longer. Unless there are unusually high levels of dust, allergens, or contaminants in the air, most ventilation systems can remain clean for several years.

Of course, you can turn all of your maintenance tasks over to a heating and cooling contractor – and have the most peace of mind.

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Plants & Indoor Air Quality: A Tip from a Kennesaw Contractor

Monday, November 21st, 2011

In our Kennesaw elementary school, we were taught about how useful plants can be. They remove carbon dioxide from the air and release oxygen, which is great because it is the exact opposite of our respiratory process. They also clean the air in the process, like natural air pollution scrubbers, improving the quality of the air around them.

Given this, it’s not surprising that people have sought to harness the respiratory power of plants to improve air quality in their homes. One study by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) in the 1980s even identified the best plants for improving indoor air quality.

This seems like great news for people who suffer from asthma or allergies, or who just want a natural way to purify the air in their homes. However, plants are not without their drawbacks. It is not a simple as to just bring a plant into the home. A plant is really an entire ecosystem. There are bacteria in the soil, for one, and there may be bugs or fungi in the soil or on the plant that you can’t even see.

Most of these are harmless, but not always. The fungus can be a problem, for example, if the spores get into the air. This can make allergies and asthma worse, not better.

That doesn’t mean you have to toss out that nice spider plant or Boston fern in the garbage, however. After all, it is probably doing a great job of filtering out some inorganic pollutants, it’s increasing the oxygen concentration of the room and it looks nice. Instead of getting rid of it, just give it a partner.

Adding an air cleaner like a fan with a filter can help purge the organic gunk that may be coming from the plant, while the plant is taking care of the other stuff. The result is cleaner, better air, which can be a relief to asthma and allergy sufferers.

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Things You Should Have Inspected in Mableton

Wednesday, September 7th, 2011

Life would be great if we could just depend on things to work and last without requiring any sort maintenance or upkeep in your Mableton home. Unfortunately, that is not the case. As good as modern manufacturing and engineering are, our devices, appliances and machines still need attention in order to stay in peak condition.

The Body Is a Machine

To illustrate this, think about the human body. We put a lot of wear and tear on ourselves, which can lead to minor illnesses, injuries and the like, especially when combined with the effects of aging. One way we attempt to stay ahead of the game is to get an annual physical. Once a year, we pay a visit to our doctor to make sure everything is in tip top shape. He checks everything out, lets us know what’s going on, helps us treat anything that may be acting up and then off we go, ready to go for another year.

And So Is Your Furnace!

Likewise, your furnace needs annual attention as well. Although newer electrical furnaces can go up to three years without regular maintenance, gas and oil models should be inspected every year, as should older systems. During an annual inspection, an HVAC professional will:

  • Clean out fuel lines, keeping every flowing freely and efficiently.
  • Check for parts that are wearing out or need to be replaced.
  • Clean and inspect the heating ductwork as well as the vents.

These simple and routine maintenance tasks can extend the life of your furnace by years, keeping your home warm and your heating costs low.

The Best Time for Inspection

The best time to get your furnace inspected is in the late summer to fall months. Although you may still be trying to squeeze every bit of enjoyment from those last warm days, the cold weather comes not far behind, and you will want your furnace ready when that happens. A fall inspection ensures that your furnace will be all set when those temperatures start to drop, so your family won’t have to tolerate any chilly nights.

Annual inspections and maintenance are important for health and longevity, both for you and your furnace. You can even schedule your physical and your furnace inspection around the same time so you don’t forget. Make an appointment for your car while you’re at it, too. That makes three things you won’t have to worry about during those cold winter months.

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Basic HVAC Terminology: Some Tips From Smyrna

Monday, September 5th, 2011

Ever try to look up basic information about your heating and air conditioning systems in Smyrna? There are dozens of terms that might as well be Greek for all you know – a mishmash of words and phrases talking about energy efficiency and air flow ratios. To make your next upgrade a little easier and give you a baseline with which to work, here are a few of the most common HVAC terms you’ll hear in the industry:

  • AFUE – Annual Fuel Utilization Efficiency – This is a simple measurement of how much fuel a furnace converts into actual heat in your home. So, if a furnace converts 92% of the fuel it consumes into heat, it has an AFUE rating of 92.
  • Watts – A single watt is a measurement of electricity. Commonly, your electricity use is assured in kilowatts or kilowatt hours (kWh).
  • BTU – British Thermal Unit – A BTU is a common measurement of how much energy is produced or consumed by an appliance. When referring to an air conditioner, one “ton” refers to 12,000 BTUs.
  • SEER/EER – Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio refers to how many BTUs can be produced with a single Watt of electricity per hour. So, an air conditioner with an SEER of 14 can produce 14 BTUs of cooling per watt consumed each hour.
  • HSPF – Heating Seasonal Performance Factor – Refers to the efficiency of the heating elements in your heat pump.
  • COP – Coefficient of Performance – A measurement of how effective your heat pump is at heating a space compared to standard electrical resistance heat. The lower the temperature gets outside, the lower the COP will be. Equipment is usually measured for COP at 47 and 17 degrees to give an idea of seasonal performance of a new heat pump.
  • Refrigerant – Refrigerant is any gas that is used to draw heat from the air in a particular environment through an air conditioner or heat pump. It has a much lower boiling point than water, allowing it to cool despite the temperature outside. Currently, most equipment uses R-22 refrigerant while the new standard will be R-410A (Puron), legally required in all cooling units by 2020.
  • CFM – Cubic Feet per Minute – Used to measure the volume of air passed through an air handler by an air conditioner or furnace.

There are a number of complicated details to keep track of when choosing a new air conditioner or furnace. To ensure you get the very best out of your system, read up on these details in advance – you’ll feel a heck of a lot smarter when you call.

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How Can You Improve Your Home’s Air Quality?

Monday, June 27th, 2011

One of the easiest ways to protect the health of your family is by maintaining high air quality in your home. Without good air quality, you run the risk of contracting Sick Building Syndrome or making other problems like allergies or asthma worse. Depending on what type of air quality system you already have in place, there are many things you can do to improve your air quality.

Filter Changes

The easiest way to improve air quality is to maintain the equipment you already have. Specifically, change your filters regularly. Filters each have a specified period of time for which they will last. However, if your home has high levels of larger contaminants like pollen and dander, you may need to change your filter more often.

Beyond filter changes, make sure your filtration device uses high quality HEPA filters, capable of stopping debris as small as 0.3 microns.

Cleaning Your Ducts and Equipment

Another easy way to reduce the load on your air quality system without paying for new filters every two months is to clean the equipment and the ducts in your house. Ductwork quickly gets clogged with dirt, dust, and other debris being blown by your furnace and air conditioner. If you have a boiler and radiant heat system this is less of an issue, but you should still check your air vents and any air conditioner units in your house for excess dirt and debris buildup.

Your air quality equipment should have a specified timeline for regular cleanings – usually every six months to one year depending on the size and quality of the equipment. A lot of this cleaning can be done by you, but for advanced cleaning or parts replacement, you may need a professional.

New Equipment

Finally, you can buy new equipment that does a better job of removing contaminants from your indoor air. If you have only a simple air filter, consider getting a purifier as well to remove other contaminants like smoke and gas. If you have a smaller piece of equipment that works well but longer keeps up with the entire house, there are larger purifiers on the market that can handle a bigger space. Additionally, proper ventilation can help with your indoor air quality if you don’t currently have enough fresh air circulating through your home.

No matter what your problem, there is a solution you can work toward to keep the indoor air quality of your home high.

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Passive Ground Source-Based Cooling

Wednesday, June 1st, 2011

Although there are plenty of active ways to cool your home, sometimes a passive system makes the most sense. If you think about it, you know that the ground in the summer is cooler than the air. And the deeper you go, the cooler it gets. So wouldn’t it be great if you could harness that coolness in some way and use it to cool the air in your home?

How Passive Ground Source-Based Cooling Works

Well, the truth is that you can. That’s exactly what ground source-based cooling systems do. While similar to geothermal heat pumps in some basic ways, ground-source based cooling systems use much less energy to achieve their results. Instead of using coolant and a compressor to transfer heat from your home to the ground, passive ground-source based systems simply carry cold water from the ground to your home where it can then cool the air.

Traditional systems are more complicated in many ways. Air conditioners use coolant and electricity and even geothermal heat pumps use a condenser to transfer air into and out of your home. With a passive ground source cooling system, the amount of energy put into the cooling of your home is reduced to practically nothing – there are few systems that offer these results without costing you a lot in monthly bills.

System Requirements

Of course, if you want to put a system like this in place in your home, you need access to a naturally cooled supply of water. Unless you live near a large pond, lake or other ground level water source, this involves digging down to access the groundwater below your home. Depending on how far down you have to go to reach an acceptable water supply, installing this type of system can cost you quite a bit.

But if you do have easy access to naturally cold water, a ground source-based passive cooling system is an excellent option. And even if you have to spend a bit more on installation by drilling or digging, you’ll more than make up for that cost through what you’ll save in monthly energy bills. Air conditioners are great but they suck power, and if you can find a way to cool your home without one, you’ll be much better off in the long run.

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