Homeowners Guide to Heating and Cooling

AccuTemp's Heating and Cooling Tips for HVAC

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p kitchen

Everyone wants the typical pinterest board kitchen, bathroom, or other space in their home.

These projects have gained popularity in this day and age. Some of these projects require paint, others a good amount of sanding, possibly some wood cutting. While these have their own set of dangers, there's also one major one for your HVAC system. Hint: it doesn't matter if you are doing it yourself, or if you hire someone.

The good news is, this issue quite preventable. It doesn't even take much work. Just simply turn the system off. If you have a home renovation taking place that creates an excessive amount of dust, turn the system completely off. Don't run the fan. Don't just change the setting to not kick on at all. 

That's literally it. While this may sound like a no brainer while you're reading this, that's typically not the first thing people think of during a giant project. In fact, most people probably prefer the AC to stay on so they don't sweat to death during the project. Unfortunately, you'll need to take being hot over possibly ruining your system.

cloggedfilter

Construction debris is typically pretty messy. That debris needs to stay out of all HVAC components as much as humanly possible. Since there are so many moving parts within the system, you don't want that gunk making it harder for all those parts to move properly. If there's enough of it, it could ruin parts of your system.

The filter to the left is is a filter we took out of one of our customers homes. They called us out since the system wasn't working.

Recently they had home renovations that included aerosol paint and sheetrock.

Unfortunately, their system was running through the entire project. That means the system pulled in all the sheetrock dust and airborn paint.

That led to this completely clogged air filter. The absense of proper airflow due to the obstructed filter caused the system to freeze over. Had this issue not been addressed in a timely manner, further issues could have resulted, such as damamge to equiptment and possible water damage due to ice blocking drain lines.

Luckily, their filter was able to protect the inside of the actual system enough to where it wasn't ruined, but that's not always how this goes!

We've changed out their filter and informed the contractor to shut the system off during the rest of the renovation project. When the renovations are complete, they will be having a whole house duct cleaning performed. This will help to get any sheetrock dust out of the ductwork that the filter wasn't able to capture.

Next time you tackle a home renovation project, remeber to turn your system off! You could be saving yourself hundreds of dollars by handling this simple task.

If you found this information helpful, feel free to check out our blog and share with your friends! 

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Your HVAC system has a lot of components. With so many components, there's potential for safety hazards. Luckily, most of these hazards are preventable. The precautions are easy to take.

The Simple Things

  • Install a carbon monoxide detector. We cannot stress the importance of this enough. Make sure to change the batteries regularly. Carbon monoxide is known as the "silent killer" because you can't see or smell the gas.
  • Block children and animals from accessing areas where you HVAC system components are. There are many sharp parts all over the system. You may find that there are certain safety switches in place, but every once in a while those can fail too.
  • Have your system maintained by a licensed HVAC technician. Part of a yearly check is to make sure those safety switches are working properly. They check gas lines, electrical connections and anything else that could potentially be a hazard.
  • Change your filter monthly. This is important for many reasons. One of the most important is it creates and easy path for the air to flow through. The less resistance, the better.

The Less Known Things

Aside from the obvious, having a carbon monoxide detector is so important. Furnaces contain a "heat exchanger." Over time, sometimes these can get microscopic cracks (and sometimes larger cracks!) These cracks allow carbon monoxide to seep out. This isn't necessarily something you can see. Due to the fact that you may not be able to see your heat exchanger, your carbon monoxide is literally your only way of knowing if there's a problem.

If your carbon monoxide detector does go off, turn your HVAC system off and vacate the house immediately. If you have pets, take them with you. If you aren't feeling drowsy, feverish or have a headache, you can open windows to vent your home. From there, give us a call and let us know what's going on. We'll get a technician out to your home promptly to assess the situation. Do not sleep in your home until you've informed by a professional that the issue has been rectified.

Frayed wires are a problem. If you notice frayed wires that are connected to your HVAC system, turn the system off and call us. These pose a fire hazard.

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July 18, 2018
 
By: Summer McAnally
 
When a home has an air flow issue, people tend to immediately think it has to do with the duct work. In effort to try and fix this issue themselves, they'll close off various vents. In some cases, two floors will operate on one system and the upstairs won't get as much air flow. People then tend to think if they close all the vents downstairs, they'll move the air upstairs. While this may be possible, it can wreck havoc on your HVAC system.
 
frozen coil
When you begin messing with the air flow of the system, you are messing with static pressure.
 

Without getting overly confusing and technical, static pressure to a technician is what your blood pressure is to your doctor. They both give a good indication of overall health. You never want this number to be too high or too low.
 
While you mess with your static pressure, your system begins to think there's an air flow restriction. Your system will then begin to act like it's low on refrigerant. From there, your coil will likely freeze up. At this point, your system won't be able to cool your home properly anymore due to the frozen coil. The issues only continue from there. Now you may also be dealing with water issues when the coil begins to thaw.
 
What else can cause these issues?
dirty filter
 
This is also the reason in which we recommend you change your filter out every month. When your air filter gets clogged enough, those same type of issues can occur. It's best to prevent these issues so that you don't put any unnecessary strain on the components of your system.
 
A system with a long history of regular maintenance and filters changes will live much longer than a system that's neglected. You can get 15 years of out a system if you treat it right.
 
If the system lives longer than that, that's great, but consider technological advancement. By the time 15 years passes, a new system will save you in money and get you more efficiency. The systems today are great, but by the time 15 more years passes, it will be out dated technology. Hopefully by that time someone will have created a system that runs on water. Ha!
 
So what do I do if I have air flow issues?
 
Unfortunately when it comes to air flow issues, there's not much you can do yourself. You can check and change your air filter and you can inspect any exposed duct work. If you notice anything disconnected, you can attempt to repair yourself if you feel confident in your skills. You will need HVAC tape, not duct tape! They are actually different. If this is your first time using HVAC tape, be very careful. The cuts you can get from this stuff is like a paper cut, but way worse. We highly recommend you just give us a call and let us safely handle it for you.
 
Give us a call at 770-672-6963 if you'd like to get scheduled or have any further questions
.
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In theory, leasing your air conditioner sounds great. The system isn't actually yours so in a way, the system isn't your problem. You don't have to fork over a bunch of money at once. Oh how glorious it sounds! Until you look at the fine print...and add up the numbers. 

So let's say you've found a deal where you lease your air conditioner by the month for $100. Consider that this system may be in your possession for 10-15 years. That's a whopping $12,000-$18,000 before fees. You could have purchased that same air conditioner for $5,000 or less.  

What happens if I sell my home?

money

That's a great question. In most situations, they'll require you to either buy the system from them so it can stay with the home or you can pay their HVAC installation crew to come remove the system. In either case, if you're leasing your system, you're probably not going to want to go with either of those options.

So, what else can I do?

Thankfully, most companies offer all sorts of financing options. Watch for specials on financing. You could end up with 12 month no interest deal! 

What if that's my only option?

Continue to search for a solution other than leasing your system. It may take some time, but the right financing situation is out there for you. You just have to find it. (Yes, I know it's hot. Go to your local coffee shop, order a frappuccino, enjoy their air conditioner and free wifi while you search for this unicorn financing deal.)

I'm stuck on making a bad decision. What should I look for?

If you're just absolutely stuck on the idea of getting ripped off on your new air conditioner, be sure to look closely at the terms.

What's included?

Is maintenance covered?

Are parts covered?

How about the labor?

How quickly will someone fix the system if it breaks down during peak season? (You know, when HVAC companies are booked a week out.)

A company above the rest.

AccuTemp has been in business for 30 years. We're family owned and operated as well as licensed and insured. We maintain an A+ rating with BBB®. Every job is permitted and inspected by the city or county you're located within.

If you'd like to get pre-approved for financing a system installation with us, feel free to do so here. Once you're approved, give us a call and we'll be happy to get a comfort consultant to your home. In no time, you'll have a new, high efficient system! 

If you happen to be denied, give us a call. We have an alternate financing option as well.

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May 25, 2018
 
By: Summer McAnally
 

The first symptom you’ll likely notice of a clogged drain line is a pan with water in it. Hopefully, you have a newer system with a float safety switch. If not, we highly recommend you have one installed as soon as possible. This holds true even more so in homes with furnaces in the attic. Without the safety switch, your drain could become clogged, your drain pan would fill up and eventually spill over, onto the attic floor. condensateline

In order to avoid such occurrences, your drain line should be flushed regularly. You can do this yourself if you feel comfortable. You’ll need to open up the drain line access. Most of the time, it’ll be a PVC pipe in the shape of a T. It should have a cap on it. You can pull that cap off, and that where you’ll flush the line.

Before you get started, make sure to turn your system off. I like to shut the system off at both the thermostat and at the “light switch” at the furnace. That “light switch” is actually the power to your furnace. If you are still worried about the system getting power, you can remove the furnace door. This should trip a different safety switch, which will also cut power to the system.

Next, mix half white vinegar and half hot water. The amount depends on the location of the drain. If it’s all the way up in the attic, do a half gallon of water and a half gallon of white vinegar. If it’s a short drain in a basement, use 1/4 gallon of each.

Through the summer, doing this once per month will help to keep that line clear. The reason it should be done so often is due to algae build up. Your system is constantly creating condensation. The drain line’s job is to move that water out of your house. If some of the water ends up sitting in your drain line, it can create algae build up. This is where you end up with “clogged drain lines”.

By flushing the drain line regularly, you’re preventing such occurrences from happening. The last thing you want to deal with on the hottest day of the year is a system that won’t run because of a clogged drain line.

Hopefully, this helps to prevent this issue for you, but in extreme cases, it may not. If your system ends up being one of the extremes, be sure to give us a call. One of our technicians can blow the line out with nitrogen. Whatever you do, never stick anything down in the drain. If the drain line ends up punctured, you could be looking at a costly repair. In some cases, these run down walls, which are incredibly difficult to access without removing drywall.

In the event that your drain line is already clogged, you can still attempt to try the method above. If it won’t budge, you’ll need nitrogen pumped through the line. Unfortunately, this isn’t something you can do yourself. You’ll need to call us (or your preferred, licensed HVAC contractor).

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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, lp, 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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