Author Archives: Powers

Money Saving Tips for Colder Months

Money Saving Tips for Colder MonthsKeeping your home warm during the winter season can be a costly endeavor, but it doesn’t have to be that way. Saving money is easy to do once you know where to concentrate your efforts. We suggest that you start with these quick tips:

 

Call an HVAC Technician

 

If you haven’t had your heating system checked in the past year, now’s the perfect time. A qualified technician will ensure optimal performance and efficiency, in addition to prolonging the unit’s lifespan.

 

Take Advantage of Your Programmable Thermostat

 

Most homes are now equipped with programmable thermostats that allow you to set the days and times when your heating system is in operation. This level of control will lower your energy usage, thereby saving you money on your monthly utility bill.

 

Add a Bit of Insulation

 

If you don’t have proper insulation in your home, heat will escape and force your system to work harder to achieve the same results. Adding insulation can usually be done by the homeowner, but if you have any problems, enlist the help of an HVAC technician who can pinpoint where insulation is needed most and add it for you.

Consider the Use of a Zoning System

Zoning systems are more efficient than traditional heating and cooling systems because they allow you to concentrate your home comfort efforts only in the areas of your home that are occupied. This prevents you from wasting energy by running your heat for a long period of time just to heat up one or two rooms.

Find Alternative Heating Methods

Although your first instinct may be to reach for the thermostat when the weather drops, alternative heating methods will often save you money. Space heaters, for instance, are perfect for heating up small areas and use little energy. And if the weather isn’t too cold, the use of sweaters and blankets don’t cost anything at all.

 

If you need more assistance with saving money or any other home comfort concerns, please contact the professionals at Powers Heating & Air. We’ve been serving the needs of Peachtree City and the surrounding areas since 2001.

 

Our goal is to help educate our customers in Peachtree City, Georgia and surrounding areas about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems). For more information about other HVAC topics, download our free Home Comfort Guide or call us at 770-487-2040.

How to Deal with Humidity Under Your House

How to Deal with Humidity Under Your HouseHumidity effects on your house range from structural issues, to health concerns, to just plain old uncomfortable living. But where’s the humidity coming from? The answer may be very close—like right beneath your feet.

 

The crawl space or basement of a house are often zones of high humidity. These enclosed spaces can form a reservoir of water vapor that continuously migrates upwards into living spaces. Infiltrating humidity, in turn, degrades wooden floor structure, triggers indoor mold growth and makes keeping the house comfortable more difficult in all seasons.

To control humidity effects originating beneath the house, check out these potential sources:

  • Pipes leaking. Drips and seepage from aging plumbing may be inconspicuous, but these water sources can keep a crawl space or basement continuously damp. This moisture turns into humidity that penetrates the house.
  • Bathroom issues. Fixtures may leak water from hidden defects, rotting the floor directly beneath and soaking the area under the house. A defective shower stall pan, enclosed beneath the stall, is a frequent suspect for covert bathroom leakage.
  • Overflowing gutters. If your gutters resemble Niagara Falls during heavy rain, they’re probably clogged due to leaves or other debris. The cascade of water saturates soil adjacent to the foundation or basement, causing chronic moisture in these areas that may raise household humidity.
  • Rising ground water. A naturally high water table in the soil beneath the house may continuously send water upwards through the soil and into the crawl space or infiltrate though cracks in the concrete basement floor.

Removing The Source

If leaky pipes are suspected, a professional plumber can pinpoint the problems and suggest options for repair. The same goes for diagnosing hidden leakage originating from a shower stall or bathtub drain. Cleaning gutters three times a year is good insurance against clogs that cause overflows. For ground water issues, a sump pump is recommended to continuously collect and remove infiltrating water. Ultimately, installation of a dehumidifier in the basement or crawl space may be required for long-term humidity control.

 

For more about dealing with humidity effects originating under your house, contact Powers Heating & Air.

 

Our goal is to help educate our customers in Peachtree City, Georgia and surrounding areas about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems). For more information about other HVAC topics, download our free Home Comfort Guide or call us at 770-487-2040.

What’s That Smell? Handling Dead Rodents in the Ductwork

What's That Smell? Handling Dead Rodents in the DuctworkA dead rodent somewhere inside your clean ductwork has a definite effect on indoor air quality. First of all, the odor quickly becomes hard to ignore. Then, there’s the uncomfortable knowledge that you and your family may be breathing air potentially contaminated by bacteria from the decomposing remains.

 

Rodents and other small animals are often attracted to the warm, sheltered environment inside HVAC ductwork. To restore confidence in your indoor air quality as well as return clean ductwork to an uncontaminated condition, professional expertise is usually required to remove the dead rodent, then seal the opening where it got in.

Here are the usual steps.

  • Finding the body. Finding and removing a dead rat somewhere deep inside the recesses of ductwork is problematic for the average homeowner. Most of the interconnected spans of household ducts are not easily accessible. Since ductwork intrusion by rodents and other pests isn’t an unusual event in our business, however, a qualified HVAC service tech has the expertise to access ductwork and identify the most likely areas where a rodent might be located.
  • Cleaning up the scene. Bacteria and other pathogens are typically associated with decomposing rodents. Safety measures such as rubber gloves and a breathing mask are basic equipment to do the job. After the remains are removed, the immediate area inside the ducts needs to be sanitized with disinfectant to eliminate residual contamination.
  • Preventing recurrence. If one rat successfully gained access to your ducts, there’s a good chance another will, too. The next step is finding and fixing the point of entry. It might be a disconnected duct joint, holes due to rust or corrosion or some area where a rodent has gnawed through sealing tape or other material. Once a professional technician has located and closed that air leak, not only will you enjoy rodent-free heating and cooling, your system will actually perform better and more efficiently.

For professional service to remove a dead rodent and restore clean ductwork and healthy indoor air quality, contact Powers Heating & Air.

 

Our goal is to help educate our customers in Peachtree City, Georgia and surrounding areas about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems). For more information about other HVAC topics, download our free Home Comfort Guide or call us at 770-487-2040.

New Air Conditioner? Sizing Guide

New Air Conditioner? Sizing GuideWhen you’re in the market for a new cooling system, nothing is quite as important as the air conditioner sizing process you’ll go through with your HVAC contractor. Cooling systems aren’t a one-size-fits all appliance. Much of how they’re sized depends on the energy efficiency of your home first, and its actual size second.

The Process

Reputable HVAC contractors use Manual J software to run the sizing calculation, also called a load calculation Manual J requires the following elements of your home in order to calculate the optimal A/C capacity:

  • Insulation levels in the attic and walls.
  • Number of windows, their sizes, placement and orientation to the sun.
  • Air infiltration rates.
  • Cubic footage to cool.
  • Floor plan design.
  • Number of heat-producing appliances indoors.
  • Landscaping factors.
  • Temperature preferences, family size and ages.

The process will take time and it has to be done at your home. The HVAC pro will measure your windows, calculate the cubic footage and inspect the insulation levels. He’ll ask you questions about your family’s preferences and lifestyles for cooling.

Once all the data are input, the software returns a sizing recommendation. The next step is to use

Manual J’s sister software, Manual D, to properly size the ductwork to match the new air conditioner.

The Value of Sizing HVAC Equipment

Air conditioner sizing is so important because equipment that’s not the ideal size won’t run as efficiently. In our climate, a system that’s too large will increase energy costs and leave excessive humidity behind. One that’s too small won’t keep your home comfortable during periods of extreme heat.

 

Ductwork that doesn’t match the air conditioner will be noisy if it’s too small and ineffective if it’s too large. When air goes through a space that’s tight, it whistles. When there’s too much capacity in the duct, it won’t blow through forcefully enough.

 

When you’re replacing your cooling system, taking the time to go through the air conditioner sizing exercise will pay you back in greater comfort and lower energy bills. To learn more, contact Powers Heating & Air, providing HVAC services for Peachtree City homeowners.

 

Our goal is to help educate our customers in Peachtree City, Georgia and surrounding areas about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems). For more information about other HVAC topics, download our free Home Comfort Guide or call us at 770-487-2040.

Considerations for Getting a Condensing Furnace

Considerations for Getting a Condensing FurnaceReplacing your own heating system with a condensing furnace will cut your energy bills considerably. These furnaces have the highest energy efficiency rating of any furnace available and over time, the fuel you save will offset the equipment and installation costs associated with these top-of-the line heaters.

What Makes Them Different

When gas burns, water vapor is a byproduct. It contains a lot of heat that goes up the chimney with an ordinary furnace. Condensing furnaces capture that hot water vapor and send it through a secondary heat exchanger that extracts and uses it to warm your home.

Energy Efficiency Ratings

All heating systems have efficiency ratings. AFUE (annual fuel utilization efficiency) ratings apply to combustion furnaces and boilers. The least efficient available have 80 AFUE ratings, which means that 80 percent of the fuel they use goes toward home heating. The other 20 percent goes up the chimney.

Condensing furnaces have AFUE ratings that range from 90 to 98+. They are more efficient because they use the waste heat that would otherwise go up the chimney for home heating.

Home Heating Considerations

A condensing furnace costs more than a standard system and it has specific installation requirements. It makes sense to install one if:

  • You like your home warm in the winter. Peachtree City winters can be cold, but overall, they’re considered mild. Unless you keep your home exceptionally warm, it will take you longer to recoup the extra investment.
  • You have an exterior wall where you can run the fresh air intake vent and the exhaust vent. There has to be enough of a separation between the flue vent and the intake vent so that the exhaust gases won’t enter through the intake vent. These systems are challenging to install in condos and town homes where there isn’t a suitable exterior wall.
  • You want cleaner air in the winter. These furnaces use fresh air for combustion, which improves indoor air quality.

A condensing furnace definitely has its advantages. For more professional advice, contact Powers Heating & Air, providing HVAC services for Peachtree City homeowners.

 

Our goal is to help educate our customers in Peachtree City, Georgia and surrounding areas about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems). For more information about other HVAC topics, download our free Home Comfort Guide or call us at 770-487-2040.