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

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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Air Conditioners and Humidity

Monday, July 9th, 2012

Ever wonder why all of those air conditioners hanging out of people’s windows in Atlanta are constantly dripping water on hot summer days? All they’re actually doing is disposing of the moisture they’ve removed from the indoor air. That’s right – air conditioners are dehumidifiers too.

When you think about it, it makes a lot of sense. After all, you know how much more uncomfortable 90° is when the humidity’s up around 90% than when it’s closer to 60%. Of course, some air conditioners are better at removing moisture from the air than others, so you should definitely consider how well an air conditioner dehumidifies when evaluating your air conditioning options.

Why Humidity Matters

High humidity, even at lower temperatures is uncomfortable. But there are more reasons than simple comfort to want an air conditioner that reduces indoor humidity levels. For instance, high levels of humidity promote the growth and spread of several allergens like dust mites and mold spores. High indoor humidity can also cause problems for the wood fixtures and furnishings in your home.

The Importance of Proper Sizing

Most Atlanta air conditioners do a decent job of controlling humidity indoors. But depending on the severity of your problem and the typical levels of humidity in your area during the summer months, you may want to pay special attention to each unit’s capabilities when evaluating your options.

An air conditioner’s ability to maintain proper humidity levels indoors has a lot to do with how well it’s matched to the size of your room as well. An air conditioner that’s too small likely won’t get the humidity or the temperature down to a comfortable level. On the other hand, that doesn’t necessarily mean that bigger is better.

In fact, an air conditioner that’s too large for the space you’re using it to cool will have a hard time bringing down the humidity level. Sure, you’ll wind up with a cold room, but that room will remain damp, making it no more comfortable than it was before the air conditioner was turned on.

For all of these reasons, it’s important to carefully evaluate your options when buying an air conditioner in Atlanta and make sure that the unit you buy is the right kind and size for the area you’re cooling. A little extra time spent researching your options will make your home infinitely more comfortable this summer. If you have any questions about choosing an AC unit for your home, give Premier Indoor Comfort Systems a call today!

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Keep Your Home Cool and Save Energy

Monday, June 4th, 2012

As the season of hot days and long evenings draws near, it is normal for questions to arise on how to keep your home cool and save energy.  Normally, using your Atlanta air conditioner frequently would mean higher utility bills.  However, there are some things which are easy to do and can help keep any house cool without overuse of an air conditioner.

Easy Fixes Which Cool the House from the Heat of the Sun

  • Provide effective shade for east and west facing windows, including planting shade trees around the exterior of the house
  • Delay heat-generating activities until evening
  • Keep the house closed tight during the day so that unwanted heat and humidity do not enter the home
  • Ventilate at night with open windows and fans
  • Use ceiling fans or room fans to increase comfort levels with higher air conditioning thermostat settings
  • Seal and insulate all air conditioning ducts, and seal leaky windows with caulk or weather stripping
  • Install window shades, blinds, awnings, sunscreens, or apply low-e films to windows to block most solar rays which cause heat gain
  • Close south and west-facing curtains during the day on windows which get direct sunlight, and invest in reflective solar curtains
  • Upgrade the insulation in the attic
  • Service the air conditioning unit annually, and place it in the shade with proper air flow to ensure it runs efficiently
  • Install a house fan to cool the entire home at once as well as cool the attic above

Eliminate Internal Heat Sources

  • Lessen stove and oven use during hot days and enjoy a backyard barbeque or cookout, keeping the heat out of the kitchen and in the great outdoors.  When cooking inside do so in the evening and employ use of the microwave, toaster-oven or counter-top grill which produces far less heat than the stove or oven.
  • Switch to newer, compact fluorescent lights which use less energy and produce far less heat than incandescent lights
  • Pass on the hot-drying cycle of the dishwasher and let dishes air dry, or dry them by hand
  • Line-dry clothes rather than using the dryer, or use the lowest heat setting on the dryer
  • Take shorter showers that are cooler, and turn on exhaust fans and open windows to properly ventilate the area, allowing excess heat to escape
  • Turn computers and other electronics off when not in use, and use electronic devices such as TV’s less often throughout the day

Combining the various home fixes while eliminating internal heat sources can turn out to be the best ways to keep your home cool and save energy during hot summer months.  Just try some and see how that energy bill decreases! For more information about how to use your Atlanta air conditioning system effectively, give Premier Indoor Comfort Systems a call today!

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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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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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Five Ways to Save Heat That You Might Not Have Considered

Friday, January 20th, 2012

Finding new ways to lower the heating bills for your Riverdale home is always a challenge. Maybe you’ve already insulated and sealed every crawlspace and crack, or you might have recently upgraded that old furnace, but there are always other ways to reduce heat loss in the winter.

Here are five ways to conserve heat that you might not have considered.

1. Insulate Recessed Light Fixtures

While recessed light fixtures save space and give you more control over lighting and design, such as task lighting in kitchens, they can be a hidden source of heat loss. Feel around your recessed lighting fixtures to see if there’s cool air or a draft. If you do, they could need more insulation. However, you have to be extremely cautious about what type of insulation you use around electrical wiring and fixtures. Check with the manufacturer, or call an electrician if you aren’t sure what  type of insulation to use.

2. Insulate Water Heater Tanks

Part of your heating bill each month goes to heating the water in your home. Whether you have a gas, electric, solar, or hybrid hot water heater, every water heater tank has an R-value that determines how much heat it loses. If you have a low R-value, your tank may need more insulation. Check your owner’s manual for the R-value of the model you own, but the general rule is that if the tank is warm when you touch it, you may need to buy a “jacket” for your water heater. These are fairly inexpensive, easy to install, and can be found relatively anywhere you buy insulation.

3. Open Curtains on South End

The southern end of your home will get the most sunlight in the winter. If you have curtains or blinds on your windows or doors, leave them open during the day, and make sure you close them at night. Opening them will help warm up the home naturally during the day, and closing them will help keep the cold air out and warm air in at night.

4. Storm Windows and Doors

Many homeowners know they have the option of upgrading old doors and windows that leak air, but not everyone can afford to upgrade all the doors and windows at once. You can also install storm windows and doors to help reserve heat. Before you start comparing prices, remember to measure, since measurements will affect the cost.

5. Close Fireplace Flue

Whenever your flue is open, you are losing large amounts of heat. Close the damper if the fireplace or chimney is not being used. You can also consider upgrading to a more air tight damper.

You can always call Premier Indoor Comfort Systems whenever you have questions about lowering your heating costs for your Riverdale home.

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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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Furnace Maintenance in Union City

Monday, December 19th, 2011

There’s not much you can do to control higher utility bills from fuel price increases in Union City, they are like death and taxes. But there are some things you can do to make sure that your furnace runs efficiently all winter long.

You can’t go back in time but you may want to consider “summerizing” your furnace after you shut it down in preparation for the cooling season – or during the cooling season. Have a qualified heating and cooling technician give your furnace an inspection and cleaning.

A preseason inspection and cleaning will prevent some problems that may affect some of your senses later on. For example, a smell coming from your furnace may indicate a burning or smoldering electrical component. A noise may indicate a noisy fan or a loose belt, causing poor or no airflow. Touching your ventilation system and feeling for any vibration can indicate poor airflow. Visually checking your instruments like thermostats for verifying proper temperatures or a digital readout on our carbon monoxide alarm for any traces of harmful gas are also important to furnace start-up.

If something goes wrong, don’t blame it on your thermostat or the cold weather; blame it on a lack of preventive maintenance. Your best bet is to have a qualified service technician do a clean and inspection – to minimize any surprises and to keep you and the occupants of your home comfortable and safe while your furnace continues another season of hard work.

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Why Should I Clean My Air Ducts? A Question from Hampton

Wednesday, November 23rd, 2011

You know it’s important to keep your Hampton home’s air ducts clean, but why?

Actually, there is no one reason why your air ducts need to be kept clean—there are several, all of which are connected to one another. Here are five of them for you to consider:

  • Efficiency – Clean air ducts allow the air to flow through much easier and more readily, so your furnace, air conditioner or heat pump won’t have to work as hard to ventilate the house. This makes for more efficient operation and lower energy consumption.
  • Performance – When your HVAC system does not have to work as hard to push air through the ductwork, it will perform better. Your home will be more comfortable and better ventilated.
  • Longevity – Because your HVAC system is operating more efficiently, it will be able to perform at a high level for a longer period of time. Well-maintained systems last longer than those that are not taken care of, and cleaning the ducts is part of good HVAC maintenance.
  • Savings – Clean ducts can save you a lot of money over time. Your energy bills will be lower because of how efficiently the whole system is running. And, as an added bonus, your ducts will last longer because of the decreased risk of corrosion and damage from being dirty.
  • Health – Last, but certainly not least, clean air ducts mean clean air, which is important for your health and your family’s health. Especially if you have pets, if you smoke or live with a smoker, or if anyone in the house has allergies or asthma, cleaning your air ducts is a must.

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HVAC Repairs that Will Save You Money in Atlanta

Wednesday, November 9th, 2011

The best way to save money on operating your Atlanta home heating and cooling (HVAC) equipment – now and in the future – is to ensure that the equipment is operating at peak efficiency. The reasons are two-fold: an (HVAC) system will save you money on your utility bills and will save on the wear and tear of the equipment. That means extending the life of your equipment and putting off the need to replace it before its “shelf life” runs out.

Let’s look at some ways your routine maintenance and common repairs impact the investment you have made in your HVAC equipment. Keep in mind that you can perform some maintenance but to get the best results, call your local licensed, qualified HVAC contractor. Better yet, call your contractor and ask about service agreements, which ensure annual or bi-annual cleaning and inspection of your furnace, air conditioner, or other components of your HVAC system.

Routine maintenance includes inspecting and cleaning/replacing filters in your HVAC system’s air handling unit. This unit contains the fan that blows heated or cooled air through your home’s ductwork. The filter can come in a variety of makes and sizes. Some electronic filters require regular cleaning with a hose or vaccum and others contain disposable filters which should be replaced on a regular basis, sometimes as often as every month. It is best for you to look at the recommended maintenance schedule which comes with the equipment owner’s manual or by talking to your HVAC contractor.

You can also do a visual inspection of your ductwork to check for any leaks or cracks along seams or joints. You may also be able to hear any air leakage in the ductwork. Repairing the leak can be as easy as using a sealing compound or applying duct tape or a suitable substitute over the leak.

Filter and ductwork maintenance guarantee a consistent air flow, which means that your furnace and air conditioner don’t have to work any harder than normal – which equates to more efficiency and fewer possible repairs down the road.

Here are some other suggested maintenance tips:

  • Remove obstructions from vents.
  • Check for loose wires in electrical components.
  • Ensure that thermostat is in good working condition.

Most qualified HVAC contractors use a multiple-point checklist when installing or servicing HVAC equipment. The list ensures that service work or installation was carried out completely. These same lists are available online from manufacturers and contractors and are a useful tool for performing routine maintenance or repairs.

And when in doubt, keep an HVAC contractor’s phone number in your phone in case you may need any emergency repairs or to begin a regular maintenance schedule.

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