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

Outdoor Air Conditioning Components

Monday, April 30th, 2012

As long as all the parts are working well, your Canton air conditioning is a modern convenience we can easily take for granted and overlook. Cool air makes our lives simply better, but is a complicated process based on an old theory and modern technology.

No matter the size, in every unit, the basic purpose is one of extracting heat from the conditioned space and moving it to the outside, leaving cool air in its place. This process easily divides into indoor and outdoor components.

Air Conditioning 101

Utilizing the basic principal of thermal energy that heat gravitates toward cooler temperatures, compounds known as refrigerants travel through a closed looped system, repeatedly transforming between liquid and gas forms. Chosen for their ability to rapidly change at low temperatures, they alternately absorb and release heat along the way.

Having expanded to a vacuous state with plenty of room between molecules to absorb heat, the refrigerant is compressed tightly, condenses back into liquid form and releases the heat to the outdoors.

In the Box Outside

Placed on a small slab on the ground alongside many homes or on the roof of large buildings, air conditioning units contain the compressor and condensing coils that enable the main (and noisiest) function of the process.

The refrigerant is contained within a closed loop, entering the compressor as an expanded gas full of heat.  Under pressure, that heat is released when the molecules are squeezed so tightly together the refrigerant returns to its liquid state.

Then passing into the condensing coils, a series of delicate fins, the released heat is allowed to dissipate through the fins into the air where a small fan blows it away.  Water is also a by-product of the condensation and drains into a pan and eventually into the ground.

The condensing coil ends at the exchange valve where it is held to create just the right pressure for the evaporating coil indoors to operate at its maximum efficiency.

AC Maintenance

When maintained on a regular basis, the your Canton air conditioning system requires little attention and over sight beyond scheduled appointments with a company like Premier Indoor Comfort Systems.

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What Is Electronic Ignition?

Wednesday, February 29th, 2012

Gas furnaces are very complex pieces of equipment to have in your Mableton home. Modern ones in particular are designed to use as little gas as possible, and to recapture as much of the heat generated from burning that gas as can be done safely. One of the many safety and energy-efficient advances in furnace technology in the least twenty years is the electronic ignition.

The Purpose of Electronic Ignition

In older furnaces and boilers, a pilot light would stay lit continuously whenever the heating system needed to be available. That meant continuously burning gas throughout the fall, winter and spring months for those times when heat was needed. It was inefficient and unsafe, especially in older devices that didn’t have safety valves.

Today, furnaces are built with electronic ignitions – small devices that only ignite the gas supply when the thermostat is on. there are two types of electronic ignition used in boilers and furnaces today.

  • Intermittent Pilot – An intermittent pilot is unique in that it releases a spark through an electronic component to the gas pilot, lighting the gas burners.
  • Hot Surface Ignition – Hot surface ignition uses an electronic filament (like a lightbulb) to heat up and ignite the burners when the thermostat calls for heat.

Both devices are designed to use a very small amount of electricity and reduce the amount of gas needed for continuous operation of your furnace.

 Safety Benefits of an Electronic Ignition

While gas efficiency was a big part of the transition from pilot lights to electronic ignition, safety was an equally big component. Whereas before, the pilot light was continuously lit, meaning gas was continuously flowing into the furnace, today’s furnaces are essentially off when not in use. This means less of a chance that gas will flow unburned or that the pilot will get dirty or burn too soft, releasing carbon monoxide.

If your furnace still uses a traditional pilot light, consider having it upgraded to electronic ignition, not just to save gas but to keep your home and family safer. If you have any questions about your heating system, give Premier Indoor Comfort Systems a call today!

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Myths About Solar Energy

Friday, February 24th, 2012

Have you ever heard…

  • Solar panels don’t work in cold places
  • They are ugly and bulky and drive down property values
  • Solar panels break when it snows or hails

There are countless myths like the ones above about solar energy and how effective it can be for your Cartersville home depending on where you live or what type of climate you have. However, most of these myths are just that – falsehoods and rumors spread from the days when solar power wasn’t a very effective energy source.

These days, solar energy is increasingly efficient and works in almost any climate if properly installed. Here are some other common myths you might hear about this popular alternative energy source.

  1. Too Expensive – While it is true that solar power is expensive, it is dropping in price rapidly. The cost of manufacturing has dropped to such that the cost per watt is between $5 and $8 – an all-time low. On top of that, most state governments and the federal government offer general rebates and tax incentives for having solar power installed.
  2. Constant Maintenance – If you want constant maintenance, stick with your fossil fuel based heating and energy sources. Solar panels and heating systems require less frequent maintenance than most other systems and last for up to 25 years.
  3. Inconsistency – Older solar panels were less efficient, only capturing 1-5% of the energy emitted by the sun. These days, solar panels are much better at capturing solar energy – ranging from 11% to a whopping 20% capture rate, which means they are incredibly effective, even in bad weather. For the record, that’s the same energy capture rate as your gasoline fueled car, but with none of the emissions.
  4. Making Back the Investment – Solar investment recuperation used to be a long process. These days, however, solar panels increase the value of your home, decrease your annual costs and give you peace of mind. The usual payback time is down to less than 20 years and even less if you sell your home.

Solar energy is one of the most efficient and effective ways to power your home today, despite the myths. Contact Premier Indoor Comfort Systems if you have any questions about using solar power for your home!

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Can Your Heating System Warn You of a CO Leak?

Friday, February 17th, 2012

As everyone in Mableton knows, carbon monoxide is a serious health risk. It is an odorless gas that is produced as a natural byproduct of combustion. So, any time something burns, carbon monoxide (CO) is released into the air.

As long as the area is properly ventilated, the carbon monoxide cannot build up in the air to a dangerous level of concentration. For example, if you are around a campfire or charcoal that is burning outside, you are generally safe.

In the home, the danger arises when combustion is not properly ventilated and this toxic gas is allowed to seep into our living spaces. If you use any gas, fuel or wood burning appliances in your home, you are at risk for exposure to carbon monoxide. To help mitigate that risk, it is important to know some warning signs. Your heating system gives off some warnings that can tip you off to danger, so be on the lookout for these three signals:

  1. Carbon monoxide detector goes off. Some heating systems these days have built-in carbon monoxide detectors, which can provide an extra measure of safety. Whether you have one of these systems or not, your home should still be equipped with a CO detector. If it begins sounding the alarm, get everyone out of the house immediately.
  1. A fume vent is leaking. Fuel-burning furnaces have vents to move combustion gases out of the house safely. If you notice this vent is leaking on your heating system, CO may be seeping into your house. Shut down the furnace, open windows for ventilation and have the fume vent repaired immediately.
  1. Smoke backing up from the fireplace. If you have a fireplace and you notice smoke in the room while using it, stop using it immediately. Your chimney may be blocked or leaking, preventing the smoke from rising and venting properly, which means CO can e getting into your house. Do not use the fireplace again until you have had the chimney inspected.

Please take care and note this is just a simple guide. There are other risks and warnings of carbon monoxide. If you have any suspicion that there is CO in your Mableton home, immediately call a Premier Indoor Comfort Systems to look into the situation.

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Heating Replacement Checklist: What You Should Consider Before Upgrading

Monday, January 9th, 2012

Many Mableton homeowners who heat their homes with an older heating system—whether it’s a furnace or heat pump—may want to consider upgrading to a more efficient system. Older furnaces with an AFUE rating of less than 80%, for instance, could be costing you a lot more than you realize in heating bills.

While it is a significant initial investment, upgrading to a more efficient furnace or heat pump will pay for itself in energy savings. Before you decide on whether or not an upgrade is right for your home, here are some things to keep in mind.

Fuel Costs

Some types of fuel, such as electricity, are more expensive in certain areas. Depending on where you live, you may want to compare the cost of fuel before choosing a heating upgrade. In fact, natural gas may or may not be available to your home. Check with your utility company to find out what types of fuel are available and which ones would be more cost-efficient for heating your home. You can always call a qualified HVAC technician at Premier Indoor Comfort if you have any questions about a heating system upgrade or the products we offer.

Insulation

Whenever you are thinking about upgrading your heating system, you’ll want to make sure your home is properly insulated and sealed. If you purchase and install a highly efficient furnace, it won’t save as much in energy bills if your house is poorly insulated. Get a home energy audit with a local energy resource organization if you aren’t sure. You might want to also consider upgrading your old windows and doors, or installing storm doors and windows to improve air tightness.

Property Value

A lot of homeowners forget that any upgrade or remodeling project will increase the value of their home. Not only will a heating system upgrade lower your heating bills; it will also add value to your home and property. Always make sure you choose the right system for your home so that it lasts as long as possible.

If you are considering upgrading the heating system in your Mableton home, call us to speak with one of our HVAC experts to ask about our quality products and installation services.

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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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How Much Ventilation Do I Need for My House? A Question from Union City

Friday, November 18th, 2011

By now you’ve probably heard how important it is to have good ventilation in your Union City home. Especially if your home was built in the 1980s or early 1990s when ventilation issues were prevalent, you may not have enough clean air moving through your home. But, how much ventilation do you need? What is enough and if you don’t have it, how do you ensure your home is retrofitted properly?

How Much Ventilation?

Most recommendations for ventilation come from the Home Ventilation Institute, which provides a series of standards of measurement for builders and contractors retrofitting homes for better ventilation. Here are some of their recommendations and how they might apply for your home:

  • Bathroom – Small bathrooms (less than 100 sq. ft) need 1 CFM per square foot of bathroom. The number goes up for each fixture if you have a large bathroom.
  • Kitchens – Your kitchen range needs at least 100 CFM if against the wall and upwards of 150 CFM if on an island.
  • Ventilators – If you have an HRV for your home, you should have at least 100 CFM for 2,000 square feet and another 50 for every 1,000 square feet of home size being ventilated.
  • Home Ventilators – The actual volume of CFM for ventilators depends on the type of ventilator being used. For example, a whole house ventilator needs upwards of 6,000 CFM for a 2,000 square foot home. Attic ventilators need 1,400 or more.

So, what does this mean for your home? It means in general that you need a lot of ventilation and that the best way to get it is through mechanical ventilation techniques combined with your air handler and ductwork.

Especially if you recently added insulation and weather proofing to your home but have not yet updated your ventilation, you might have a major air quality problem, so have a professional measure your home’s air flow as soon as possible.

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What is an Electric Furnace? A Question from Ball Ground

Monday, October 24th, 2011

There are many types of furnaces that you can get in Ball Ground that use a variety of energy sources to operate. Gas furnaces use natural or propane gas, boilers and radiators use water, heated by electricity. And then there are electric furnaces, which may have an advantage over other energy sources based on energy costs.

Simply put, electric furnaces function through the use of electricity. They do not require the use of any type of fuel – but function through wires and chords. An electric furnace uses heating coils, sometimes referred to as “resistance calrods” to create heat directly in the air flow. Inside the furnace cabinet are controls, a blower, and the circuit breakers for the heating elements. Some furnaces have the breakers accessible from the outside of the cabinet.

Other add-on accessories may include an electronic air cleaner, air filter, humidifier, high performance media filter, and air conditioning evaporator coil.

The heating process begins with the home’s thermostat. A drop in temperature is sensed by the thermostat, which alerts the electric furnace. The coil then warms up, thanks to the electric current that passes through it. The heated coil in turn heats the temperature of the air around it, which is then blown into the house through a blower. The pressure that is exerted by the blower on the heated air, warms it further. The blower is able to overcome the resistance of the duct work and replace unheated, colder air with the heated air. In most homes there are various return air ducts that are used to bring in the colder air to the furnace. This cold air travels through the furnace, through an air filter, the blower, and finally through the heat exchanger. After this it will then be pushed back into the house as warm air.

To maintain a supply of fresh air in the house, some furnaces also suck air from the atmosphere outside. After the air in the house reaches a particular temperature, the thermostat automatically shuts off the electric furnace.

An electric furnace may be less costly to run, depending on the price of electricity versus other sources like natural gas, propane gas, or oil. Gas and oil are fossil fuels and burning them leaves a “carbon footprint” – the release of carbon compounds and gases into the atmosphere. An electric furnace does not burn fuel and thus does not leave a carbon footprint. This electric warming process results in fewer particulates and contaminants in the air, too.

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How to Avoid Mold Spores: A Tip From Big Canoe

Monday, September 12th, 2011

Mold is one of the single worst problems you can face as a homeowner in Big Canoe. So, how do you prevent it from appearing in the first place? Here are a few tips to help reduce the risk of mold growth and infestation in your home.

Moisture

The very first thing you should do is get rid of excess moisture in your home. Mold needs moisture to grow, so by denying it that moisture you severely reduce your mold risk. Dry your bathroom after showers, install a dehumidifier for the basement and check humidity levels in the summer for excess moisture in the air. If there are damp areas of your house that you have trouble controlling, make sure you don’t store anything there. Avoid placing boxes, clothing or anything else that could harbor mold on concrete floors or in crawlspace areas where dampness could occur.

Ventilation and Heat

If you have a finished basement, make sure it is heated properly to avoid excess moisture build up. Cool spaces in the basement can result in high levels of humidity which in turn result in mold growth. Additionally, ventilation is key throughout your house, especially if you have a moisture problem. Get fans and open windows if necessary, but keep air moving to help dry and keep dry those spaces.

Air Filtration

Having a forced air system for air conditioning or heating can result in moisture build up in your ductwork along with allergens that lead to mold growth. To avoid potential mold spores, make sure you install an air cleaner to supplement the forced air system. Get a good air filter will have a MERV rating of at least 8, although 11 is better when you are trying to avoid any potential allergy issues. Whole house air cleaners are an ideal solution here as they will capture all of the particles floating around your house.

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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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