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

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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Problems Caused by Poor Water Quality in Open Loop Systems

Monday, May 7th, 2012

As geothermal heating and cooling systems go, an open loop configuration can be an excellent choice, provided the environment supports it. Open loop systems work very effectively and efficiently because the deep water is held at an almost constant temperature year round. This property makes it a very good source of heat for the geothermal system.

However, an important factor to consider before choosing an open loop system is the quality of the water coming from the source. Although you won’t drink the water, the quality still matters a great deal, as poor water quality can cause serious problems in your geothermal system.

Let’s take a look at some common water quality problems and the damage they can potentially do to an open loop geothermal system in Atlanta.

 Mineral Deposits

If the water is filled with minerals — frequently called “hard water” — those minerals can be deposited within the geothermal coils. As they build up on the walls over time, they can slow the flow of the water or even clog it completely.

Hard water does not necessarily preclude the use of an open loop system. It just may call for extra maintenance, such as periodically flushing the system with a mild acid solution to remove mineral build-up.

 Impurities

Impurities in water, especially metals like iron, can also cause clogs. Most frequently this occurs in the return well of the geothermal system. Again, these impurities do not necessarily mean an open loop system can’t work for you, but you should consult with the contractor prior to installation for solutions to this problem.

 Particulate and Organic Matter

If you plan to use surface water such as a pond or spring as the source for your open loop system, make sure to test the water composition thoroughly. An excess of sediment or organic matter can clog up your geothermal system very quickly.

Ideally, these are all situations that your Atlanta HVAC contractor will anticipate and discuss with you ahead of time, so that your open loop system can be installed in such a way as to preempt any problems with water quality.

If you are interested in having a geothermal system installed in your home, call Premier Indoor Comfort Systems today!

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Major Components of an Air Conditioner

Monday, March 26th, 2012

Ever wondered how your Marietta air conditioner that keeps you cool all summer actually works? How exactly does it use electricity to create cool air and dehumidify your home? It’s actually an ingenious bit of technology developed over a century ago using four major components and a thermostat.

How these parts are implemented may change depending on the type of air conditioner you have and how much space it’s tasked with cooling, but the following components are standard in all AC units:

  • Evaporator – There are two sides to an air conditioner – the warm side and the cool side. The Evaporator is on the cool side and is paired with a fan that blows air over the coils. The air then chills and blows into your home to keep you cool.
  • Condenser – The condenser is the device responsible with transferring heat within the air conditioner. An air conditioner doesn’t actually make anything cool – it just removes heat from one environment and places it into another. By removing heat from one set of coils and transferring it to another, it creates the cooling effect that the evaporator then uses to cool your home
  • Expansion Valve – The expansion valve is responsible for regulating how much refrigerant passes into the evaporator coils. This refrigerant immediately expands when it reaches the evaporator coil due to the pressure drop.
  • Compressor – Once the refrigerant has depressurized and turned back into a gas, it is passed to the compressor which is then tasked with converting it back into a liquid and passing it into the warm part of your air conditioner.

And of course, this entire mechanism is monitored and regulated by a thermostat which tells the air conditioner when to turn on and what level of cooling is needed by your home. The system can also be setup in one of a couple different ways. Self-contained units, like window units, house the entire mechanism in a single box, while a central air conditioner separates the two units – the hot side with the compressor and condenser are placed outside the house.

Because there are so many parts and they work in harmony to create the cool environment you want, your Marietta air conditioning system needs to be carefully maintained. Regular maintenance is a must for every component. To schedule regular maintenance or for any questions about your home’s air conditioning system, give Premier Indoor Comfort Systems a call today!

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Geothermal Installation Steps

Wednesday, March 14th, 2012

Are you interested in geothermal heating for your Conyers home? Are you considering using the natural heating and cooling energy of the Earth as a way to keep your home at a comfortable temperature?

If you are, you probably have a lot of questions, not the least of which have to do with the installation process. You may assume that it is complicated, but in most cases it is quite simple. Here is a simple summary of the steps involved in installing a geothermal system:

  1. The very first step, before any kind of installation can even be planned, is to evaluate the ground on which your home sits to be sure it can support a geothermal system. The area must be evaluated for soil and rock composition, availability of ground and surface water and availability of land.
  2. Once you have determined that your yard can handle a geothermal system, it is time to choose the type of system you need. This depends a lot on the evaluation from step 1, as well as some other factors. For one example, if you have very little land available, you may need to opt for a vertical loop configuration. For another, if you are fortunate enough to have a small body of water on your property, you can take advantage of a pond loop installation.
  3. Your contractor will dig and/or drill trenches for placement of the geothermal pipes. Try not to be nervous. They will disrupt your yard as little as possible.
  4. With the trenches prepared, pipes can be placed in accordance with the configuration you chose.
  5. Your contractor will fill the trenches back in to cover the pipes loosely. You may want to work with a landscaper to fully “re-assemble” your yard where the pipes were installed.
  6. Finally, the installation team will hook up the geothermal system to your home, make any necessary final adjustments, and you are good to go!

If you’re interested in geothermal heating in Conyers, contact Premier Indoor Comfort Systems today to discuss the installation process for your home.

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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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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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Heat Pump Question: When Do You Need a Backup Heating System?

Wednesday, January 18th, 2012

A backup heating system is sometimes necessary for Jonesboro homeowners who heat their homes with an air-source heat pump. This style of heat pump transfers the heat from the outside air to your home in the winter, and it pushes the warm air outside the home in the summer. Although some systems are efficient enough to work in colder climates, most heat pump systems require a backup heater when temperatures drop below 20° F.

Furnaces are commonly used as a backup heater for air-source heat pumps, especially since the furnace fan blower can help distribute the hot air throughout the home. Although they are more expensive to buy and install, geothermal heat pumps typically do not require a backup heating system. These are also called ground-source or water-source heat pumps since they draw in heat from the ground below the house or from a nearby water source. Because they take advantage of the ground or water temperatures, they are also easier to maintain and have lower operating costs.

Getting the most cost-efficiency from a geothermal heat pump will depend on several factors, such as the size of your property, the temps of the subsoil, and access to local water sources. You will most likely not have to install a backup heating system with a ground-source or water-source heat pump; however, it is important to think about the installation costs and the variables that need to be in place before deciding on this type of heat pump.

Absorption heat pumps use a heat source, such as natural gas or solar-heated water, instead of electricity. Natural gas is typically used for absorption heat pumps, so they are also called gas-fired heat pumps. Depending on the source of the heat, you may or may not need a backup heating system. It’s always best to speak to a professional heating and cooling contractor if you are not sure when it’s necessary for a backup heating system.

Call Premier Indoor Comfort Systems if you have any questions about a backup heater for your Jonesboro home.

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A Question from Mableton: What Is a Gravity Furnace?

Friday, December 9th, 2011

A long time ago, gravity furnaces were a very popular means of heating a home. Instead of pressurizing and blowing air through vents to each room of your Mableton home, a gravity furnace used gravity to move warm air between rooms.

The operation of these furnaces is pretty simple. When turned on, the furnace, which is located in your basement, burns fuel like gas or oil and produces heat. That heat is vented through ductwork to the top level of your home using the natural properties of gravity (hot air rises). The hot air exits vents as it travels up in the home and releases heat into the room.

Why to Replace a Gravity Furnace

While gravity furnaces can work nearly forever and have very few mechanical problems, they are incredibly expensive to operate and take up a lot of space. Due to the sheer volume of ducts needed to distribute air throughout your home and the cost of heating enough air to ensure it rises properly, you’re dealing with a heating efficiency of 50% or lower.

In fact, about half the energy you consume to heat air in a gravity furnace gets pumped straight out through the chimney. It’s a complete waste of money and a replacement will start saving you money almost immediately.

Newer furnaces have efficiency ratings of up to 95% which makes them nearly twice as efficient as gravity furnaces. Additionally, they take up less space and with modern components, you can install newer devices like zone controls, electronic readout and display and more. It’s a fantastic way to enjoy steady, reliable heat in your home without having to invest a fortune in the fuel needed to operate it.

Comfort Matters

Another thing to consider is the comfort level of your home. Because gravity furnaces release warm air through the middle of the house and cold air comes back down along the walls, homes that have them are rarely comfortable except in the middle of the house. Forced air furnaces with blower fans are much more efficient at distributing heated air and matching the thermostat settings you select.

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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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Is Your Furnace Making too Much Noise? Some Tips from Jonesboro

Friday, November 11th, 2011

The old saying that “It is better to be seen than heard” certainly applies to the mechanical equipment in your Jonesboro home. If you hear a squeaky noise or loud clattering you automatically suspect that something is wrong. And if that noise is coming from your furnace, you better pay attention to it. A noise is an obvious sign of a problem – minor or major – and it could result in mechanical failure that could leave your home cold and uncomfortable – and affect your home’s indoor air quality.

Today’s newer variable-speed furnaces keep a constant airflow through the ventilation system utilizing a low speed fan that consumes small amounts of electricity. Constant airflow brings in fresh air and keeps the room air from becoming stale or stagnant. Because of this constant operation, it is important to ensure the furnace is running at peak efficiency, which also means that it is running quietly.

Here are some common noises, possible reasons, and suggested repairs. As always, if you are in doubt about how to repair your furnace, call a local qualified heating contractor and schedule a service call.

  • Squealing noise – could be a worn out or slipping blower belt. Check for proper tension of the belt or replace the belt if it is worn out or cracked.
  • Squealing noise – could be worn out motor shaft bearings. Lubricate the blower motor at the proper points.
  • Rumbling noise – often caused by a poorly adjusted pilot light when the burners are turned off. Adjust the pilot as necessary.
  • Rumbling noise – often caused by dirty gas burners when the burners are switched on. This problem requires service from a qualified heating technician.
  • Buzzing noise – often caused when a blower motor mounting come loose. Tighten the mounting screws or use shims to fill gaps.
  • Hissing noise – indicates a possible air leak. This problem requires service from a qualified heating technician.
  • Ticking noise – possibly a leaky gas valve. This problem requires service from a qualified heating technician.
  • Rattling noise – could be a dirty fan blade. Wipe the fan blade or clean with degreaser.
  • Rattling, grinding, or whining – could be resistance to airflow that causes the motor to work harder. Check the vents in each room for dirt, debris, or obstructions and clear them.
  • Vibrating noise – may not be the furnace but loose or cracked seams in the ventilation system. Check the ductwork seams and hangers to ensure everything is tight. You may need duct tape or bracket hardware.

The best way to keep your furnace and ventilation system from making noises is to practice preventative maintenance. Have your furnace checked annually by a qualified heating contractor – and enjoy the peace and quiet.

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