Homeowners Guide to Heating and Cooling

AccuTemp's Heating and Cooling Tips for HVAC

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October 20, 2017

By: Summer McAnally

For Georgia residents, you know fall is usually when you’ll start using heating devices again. Unfortunately, a lot of these devices do carry fire hazards. The more you know and prepare, the less likely you are to deal with something as tragic as a fire.

Most importantly, your furnace or heat pump needs to have yearly maintenance. Many believe these yearly tuneups are only to maintain the efficiency of your system. While that’s part of it, that’s definitely not the full picture. While our technicians are doing a thorough check of the functions in your system, they are looking for potential fire hazards. Your certified HVAC technician is trained to spot fire hazards and correct them, per your approval.

The technician also searches for carbon monoxide related hazards. This includes but is not limited to inspecting your heat exchanger for hairline cracks. While a hair line crack may not sound like a big deal, it is when carbon monoxide is present. This type of crack can cause carbon monoxide to trickle into the air within your home. The symptoms a person would experience while breathing carbon monoxide includes but is not limited to headaches, nausea and vomiting. It can even lead to the loss of ones life.

Unfortunately carbon monoxide is unable to be detected without a specialized detector. We highly recommend having carbon monoxide detectors in your home. Test the batteries once every few weeks for the entirety of the heating season. This will help to ensure you and your family are safe from the deadly gas.

Many homes within Atlanta and surrounding cities have poor duct design. This causes hot and cold spots through the home. We find that most people solve this issue with space heaters. It’s important to inspect the cords on these devices often. A frayed wire can lead to a catastrophic fire. Also be careful with the placement of personal heating devices. Synthetic materials burn a lot faster and easier than all natural materials. Keep that in mind when deciding where to set up the heating device.

If you plan to use a gas fireplace this season, be sure to have it inspected. You’ll need verification that there are no issues with your gas piping. You may also need the services of a chimney sweep.

fireplace

We understand a lot of people are on a budget. This list includes things that absolutely need to be taken care of, regardless of budget. If these things are neglected you could literally lose everything. We wouldn’t want to see that happen to anyone, which is why we share this information with you.

Feel free to pass these lifesaving tips along. Information sharing is important when it comes to safety.

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October 16, 2017

By: Summer McAnally

If you’re unsure of whether it’s time to replace your gas heating system or not, you’ve come to the right place. While we wish it was a one size fits all, it simply isn’t. If you haven’t maintained your system, you’ll probably need to replace it a lot sooner than a furnace that has yearly maintenance and regular filter changes. If the system was over or under sized from the get go, you may also need to replace prematurely.

First, look at age. If your system is 16 years of age or older, it’s time for an upgrade. With technology advancing so quickly these days, a 16 year old system is WAY behind the times. While having the latest version of the iPhone might not be important to you, upgrading your old system should be. The efficiency of an old system is burning a hole in your wallet. With a newer system, you’ll experience lower operating costs.

Your 16-20 year old system might still be running, but you want to upgrade before your system dies on you. When your home is completely out of heat, you’re more likely to make a rushed decision on your system upgrade. With so many options out there, you want to do your research before making the investment in a new system. This thing is going to be in your house for at least 10 years, it’s best to know what it’s going to cost you to operate and what the consumer reports have to say about it. Certain brands are more prone to breakdowns and bad parts than others.

Second, look at the history of your system. Have you had to replace parts regularly for the last few years? If so, you may want to look into an upgrade. If you have had to replace expensive parts repetitively, you’ll probably have to replace more this season. It’s hard to justify sinking money into a failing system.

Third, think about every room in your house. Do you find that some rooms are colder than others? While this may have to do with your duct work, it could be the way the your blower motor runs. Older systems only ran on one speed. Newer variable speed systems are designed to run on two speeds. The system calculates what it needs to do to reach the temperature your thermostat is calling for. It can choose to run on the lower speed for longer, which helps to distribute the air more evenly and to remove more humidity from your air.

Fourth, think about your safety. If your heat exchanger gets even a hairline crack, it could be leaking carbon monoxide out into your home. In case you are unaware, carbon monoxide is known as the silent killer. It can’t be seen or smelled. It causes symptoms like nausea, vomiting and drowsiness. In high enough concentrations, it can even cause death. While we don’t enjoy being so blunt about it, it’s important that you understand the risks involved.

The perks to a brand new gas heating system starts with lower operating costs. You will enjoy the convince of having a reliable system, safe system. If you’d like to upgrade your system, call us at 770-672-6963. We’ll be happy to get you scheduled for a FREE estimate.

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At times, you may notice your furnace runs for a lot longer than it use to. This could be completely normal or a cause for a system diagnosis. If the temperatures are extremely low out, your furnace may just be running constantly in order to maintain the temperature set at the thermostat. If that doesn’t seem to be the case, follow the troubleshooting guide below.

First, go to your thermostat. Make sure it’s in heating mode with the fan set to “auto”, not “on”.

Next, determine the temperature in your house by a means other than the reading on your thermostat. Now compare that reading with what your thermostat is set to. If you find that the indoor temperature is higher, there may be a communication issue causing your thermostat to not realize it has met the set temperature. This could have to do with wiring, a bad thermostat and many other issues. At this point it’s best to have a certified HVAC technician take a look at it to determine the issue.

If you found that the indoor temperature was cooler than the temperature on the thermostat, your system is simply trying to reach the set temperature. It could be having difficulty due to a clogged air filter. Be sure to check and change the filter if necessary. Another common issue is that many people don’t have their systems maintained yearly. Unfortunately this causes a decrease in efficiency. The next option is that it’s just too cold outside to be able to maintain your desired temperature. Try setting your thermostat back 2 degrees.

In the event that the above steps didn’t solve your issue, give us a call at 770-672-6963. We provide service to Atlanta, Woodstock, Acworth, Kennesaw, Roswell, Alpharetta, John’s Creek, Sandy Springs, Cumming, Duluth, Suwanee, Dawsonville, Cartersville, Gainesville, Norcross, Canton, Marietta, Douglasville, Holly Springs, Powder Springs, Buckhead, Vinings, Dunwoody, Smyrna and Decatur. We’re family owned and operated and ready to get to you quickly.

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After running your furnace every cold season for its entire life, at some point you're probably going to experience one that stops working. It's up to you what happens next. It's important to know what to do in the event that this happens to you. In some cases, the solution is simple and doesn't actually require a technician.

The first thing you'll want to do is check your thermostat. Make sure it is set to "Heat" and that the fan is set to "Auto". If you find a blank screen, you either have dead batteries, an issue with wiring or no power getting to your furnace. Next, bump the temperature up 3 degrees. Wait near a register for 10 minutes. If the system still never kicked on, go to the furnace. Is it making any noise whatsoever? If you hear the motor running but there's no air coming out of the registers, go ahead a shut the furnace down. You can do this by turning off the "light switch" [power] next to your furnace. If you noticed that switch already off, you just found your problem! A lot of the time, people think that the switch goes to a light and they turn it off.  The other option is to remove the furnace door. When you remove the door, a safety switch trips and cuts power to your system.

Next, check your electrical panel. Are any breakers tripped or fuses blown? Flip any breakers that were tripped, back on. Replace any necessary fuses. Be sure you're replacing any fuses with the exact same fuse as what's already there. Not only does it need to be the same size, but it needs to be the same brand too. If this step helped you, know that the system may trip the breaker again or blown another fuse. If this happens, go ahead and give us a call at 770-672-6963. It's extremely important that you don't continually flip the breaker after it continually trips. This may cause more damage to the system.

Aside from those simple steps, we don't recommend any further troubleshooting on your part. A furnace is a very complex machine and there are plenty of fire hazards that they pose. Trying to repair the system yourself is dangerous and absolutely not worth it if you aren't properly trained to work on the unit.

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October 2, 2017

By: Summer McAnally

It seems like every time I open my Facebook there is another video passing through my newsfeed about a new lifehack. Considering that life hacks are so popular right now, not all million tricks are actually useful. We've compiled a list of our favorite, most used life hacks that may make your life easier too!

1. Peeling Garlic:

This one is so simple. All you do is place your separated cloves into a jar. Put the lid on tight and shake that jar like its a maraca for about a minute. Remove the lid and pour the cloves on to a plate. From there, the shells will be basically just hanging on to the garlic barely or already off depending on how hard you shook the container.

2. Kitchen Organization:

Utilize the door of your pantry. Open the triangle flap from your plastic bag box. Do not tear off. Stick the box to your pantry door with a tack. Viola! A new way to keep the pesky bag boxes off the shelf, freeing up more space for food.

tack

Under your sink, you usually gather lots of cleaning spray bottles. We all know what a disorganized mess that can become.  Instead, get a tension rod as wide as your cabinet. Hook on the spray bottles to the tension rod. Now your cleaning products are nice and organized. There are a ton of other things you can do with tension rods to organize your kitchen better. You can put them vertically in cabinets with baking dishes to create slots for them to sit sideways. You can put them in drawers to create a spice organizer. Who knew tension rods could be so useful?!clean

3. DIY No Slip Hangers:

Take a normal plastic hanger and dot hot glue on both ends of the top, where your shirt shoulders would sit. Then wrap pipe cleaner at the glued ends. You now have an inexpensive solution for your shirts sliding right off the hanger.

no slip hanger 6

4. Label Your Cords

bread tag

I find it incredibly annoying when I accidentally unplug the wrong thing from my power strip. You can end that easily with bread tags. Just label the tag and place around the cord. This is so simple yet SO useful. This would be super helpful for cord happy work stations too.

5. Organize Your Freezer

frozen

The freezer seems to be our "dark" closet where we just toss things in and they stay how they land. After a while, you just have a ton of random things in your freeze. Who knows whats in there? Luckily there's a trick for this! Just get some binder clips and start organizing away. Now you won't have to deal with frozen vegetable mountains ever again.

What life hacks do you use on a regular basis? We'd love to see your pictures and hear your stories. Leave those details in the comments.

If you found these tips useful, feel free to share with your friends!

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About AccuTemp

We provide air conditioning and heat pump repairs, maintenance and replacement to the Metro Atlanta Area and are centrally located in Marietta, Georgia.

Our service area includes: Adairsville, Acworth, Alpharetta, Austell, Ball Ground, Buckhead, Buford, Canton, Cartersville, Cumming, Dallas, Dawsonville, Decatur, Doraville, Douglasville, Duluth, Dunwoody, Gainesville, Holly Springs, Hiram, Jasper, John’s Creek, Kennesaw, Marietta, Norcross, Powder Springs, Roswell, Sandy Springs, Smyrna, Stone Mountain, Sugar Hill, Suwanee, Villa Rica, Vinings Waleska, White and Woodstock.

logowhite805 Jamerson Rd
Marietta, GA 30066
770-672-6963
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