Author Archives: Powers

Best Ways to Find an HVAC Leak

Best Ways to Find an HVAC Leak

The refrigerant level in your HVAC system shouldn’t drop under normal conditions. This is because refrigerant isn’t used up or consumed – it simply moves through a sealed loop of copper tubing, absorbing heat as it goes through the evaporator coil, and releasing it outdoors via the condenser coil. If the refrigerant is escaping through an HVAC leak, a range of problems will develop, including:

Higher Utility Bills

As refrigerant leaks out, the HVAC system will have to cycle longer and burn more energy to reach your chosen temperature setting on the thermostat.

Decrease in Cooling Capabilities

A drop in the refrigerant level causes a corresponding decrease in your HVAC’s cooling capabilities. This means your home will stay feeling uncomfortably hot and humid, even after you lower the thermostat setting.

Warmer Air at the Registers

If you test the temperature of the airflow coming from your home’s A/C vents, you’ll find it doesn’t feel as cool as usual.

Odd Noises From the Coils

An HVAC leak in either the evaporator or condenser coil often causes a distinctive gurgling or hissing noise. Not hearing these sounds doesn’t mean the refrigerant level is fine, because leaks can also occur in the lines running between the two coils.

Frozen Cooling Coil

When refrigerant is lost through a leak, the evaporator won’t absorb heat as it should. Then, liquid condensation will freeze, and ice will build up on the coil.

If you’re seeing these signs, it’s important to have the refrigerant level checked and leaks found to prevent damage to your HVAC components. An experienced technician may use these methods to find leaks:

  • Apply soapy water on suspected leaks to see where bubbles form.
  • Put fluorescent dye in the refrigerant lines, then identify leak sources with an ultraviolet (UV) light.
  • Employ an electronic detector that uses infrared light, ultrasonic sound, corona discharge, or heated diode/electrolyte technology.

After the HVAC leak is found, a technician can complete needed repairs, then recharge the system to the proper refrigerant level.

Contact us today at Powers Heating & Air for expert help finding an HVAC leak in your Peachtree City home.

Why Sealed Combustion Closet is Essential for Safe Home Air

Why Sealed Combustion Closet is Essential for Safe Home Air

If your Peachtree City home has a gas furnace or water heater inside, you may not realize that the equipment can pose a hazard to your family’s health and safety. To ensure you have a healthy, safe home air supply, it’s vital to learn about this potential risk and why a sealed combustion closet is the solution.

Why Combustion Equipment May Pose a Safety Risk

Furnaces and water heaters are commonly installed within the conditioned envelope of a home, so they get the air needed for combustion from the surrounding room. They’re also vented outdoors to allow exhaust fumes to exit. An installation setup like this can pose two serious threats to your family’s safety:

  • Water heater exhaust backdrafting. When combustion air is being drawn from inside the home and expelled outdoors, negative pressure can pull hazardous fumes back down the exhaust pipe. This can lead to incomplete fuel combustion in the appliance’s burner, and send life-threatening carbon monoxide into your home’s air supply.
  • Loss of a critical furnace safety feature. If your water heater’s vent pipe is connected to your furnace flue and it becomes blocked, the sensor in the furnace may not accurately detect the resulting increase in pressure and shut off the unit for safety. This can let hazardous trapped exhaust fumes backdraft down the water heater’s vent pipe.

A Sealed Combustion Closet Solves the Problem

Enclosing the furnace and water heater in a sealed combustion closet can prevent potential backdrafting. To be effective, such a closet must:

  • Be completed sealed and self-contained so air can’t enter the surrounding room.
  • Have a weatherstripped access door with a tight threshold to stop any air leakage.
  • Have any wall or ceiling penetrations properly air sealed.
  • Be equipped with two combustion air inlets – one that terminates a foot from the floor, and the other a foot from the ceiling.
  • Have air inlets sized according to the equipment capacity – with a square inch of inlet size per 4,000 Btu of equipment input capacity.

For expert help creating a safe home air supply, contact us today at Powers Heating & Air.

The Various HVAC Types and Their Benefits

The Various HVAC Types and Their Benefits

When it comes time to replace your HVAC system, choose carefully. While most homeowners tend to get the same type of system that they are replacing, this is an opportunity to assess new technology and decide if you would be better served with a new HVAC type. Read on for a brief summary of the most popular types.

Types of HVAC Systems

  1. The most common type of HVAC system is the forced air furnace and air conditioner. Most homeowners have a split system forced air HVAC, consisting of an outdoor condenser/compressor, and an indoor air handler and evaporator coils with air delivered through ductwork. Newer central air  models can be extremely efficient, with such features as a condensing furnace, electronically commutated motor, scroll compressor, and with a smart thermostat, the ability to control temperature remotely. 
  2. Heat pumps have come a long way in the U.S. market, and have won over many homeowners because they are clean (no fossil fuels are burned), quiet and efficient. Heat pumps move warm air out to cool a home, and move refrigerant warmed by outside air inside to heat a house. They also are available with scroll compressors for greater efficiency.
  3. Geothermal heat pumps won’t work on everyone’s property, but if yours offers a viable location and you’re prepared for a pretty hefty installation cost, you will enjoy the benefits of clean operation and efficient heating. Like a regular heat pump, this HVAC type moves warm refrigerant in and out of the home to heat and cool, but the warmth is derived from the earth, or a body of water, rather than from the air like a standard heat pump. 
  4. Ductless mini splits have considerable appeal for those homeowners who don’t have a ductwork system in their home. These are heat pumps, but instead of ductwork, they distribute conditioned air through an air handler. Up to four air handlers can be installed. They are also clean operating and efficient.

Want to learn more about new HVAC types and their benefits? Contact Powers Heating and Air. We serve Peachtree City and the surrounding area. 

New HVAC Unit on the Way? Our HVAC Disposal and Recycling Guide

New HVAC Unit on the Way? Our HVAC Disposal and Recycling Guide

While routine care and professional maintenance can help prolong the life of your HVAC unit, a time comes when you have to invest in a new one. So can you just throw your old unit in the trash? No, you can’t. It contains chemical refrigerant that’s harmful to the environment. Fortunately, you can use one of the following HVAC disposal options to get rid of your old unit responsibly.

Dedicated Recycling Facility

Some specialized recycling facilities recycle large pieces of equipment and appliances like HVAC units, generators, and cooling towers. Some of these companies can arrange pickups for the recyclables while others will want you to deliver the items to their location. Policies regarding fees also differ from one facility to the next. You can call nearby recycling facilities to find out their policies.

Utility Company

Occasionally, utility companies offer bounty programs to ensure safe HVAC disposal. They buy back old appliances that meet specific qualifications, such as size and working condition. If your unit meets the stipulations of the bounty program, you can go ahead and discuss drop-off or pick-up options with a company representative. Contact your local utility provider and ask about the available bounty or rebate programs.

Landfill Recycling

You can dispose of your old HVAC unit in a landfill. You’ll need to find out the available recycling options and requirements with the local hazardous waste disposal service or public works branch of the local government. These organizations usually remove the environmentally harmful chemical refrigerants and then recover the recyclable materials. The non-recyclable items are then disposed of in the landfill.

Resell or Donate

If your unit is safe and functional, you can resell or donate it to a friend, thrift store, or charitable organization.

With all the options you have, there’s no reason for you not to dispose of your HVAC unit responsibly and avoid harming the environment. For more information on HVAC disposal, installation, or maintenance, please contact us at Powers Heating & Air. Homeowners in Peachtree City and the surrounding area have counted on us to satisfy all their HVAC needs since 2001.

A Toast to Air Quality: Raising Awareness and Why It’s Important

A Toast to Air Quality: Raising Awareness and Why It's ImportantThe fact that Earth Day closely precedes Air Quality Awareness Week is no surprise. Both are linked by how important air quality is to a healthy planet and home environment. Bad air harms both. In nature, all life pays a price when air quality suffers.

Outdoor Air

Outdoors, the Peachtree City area is plagued with high humidity that makes the hot weather in the summer uncomfortable. As the weather heats up, ozone pollution builds and harms the very young and old. It’s a respiratory irritant and anyone with COPD should avoid exposure to it.

Particulate matter is another pollutant in our air that can have health consequences. Tiny particles can lodge deep into the lungs and over time, cause irritations or trigger more serious diseases.

Indoor Air

Exposure to contaminants inside your home may have a more serious consequence than those outdoors. Besides all these contaminants in the outside air that make their way indoors, you might have a mix of other pollutants like volatile organic compounds (VOCs), mold spores, dust mite waste and pollen.

While you can avoid driving during certain hours when there are pollution advisories, there are things you can do indoors to improve your air quality far beyond Air Quality Awareness Week, like:

  • Change the air filter for your HVAC system and have Powers Heating & Air service it for the summer.
  • Don’t idle your car or gas-powered yard equipment inside if you have an attached garage.
  • Avoid products with VOCS when you can by choosing products low in VOCs or alternatives without any. You can also use them as long as you have enough fresh air ventilation. VOCs come from home improvement and cleaning supplies, anything with perfume like candles, air fresheners and soaps,

When you practice these habits, the health risks they pose diminish. Over time, the amount of pollutants inside your home will fall and your air quality will improve.

Let Air Quality Awareness Week be your springboard to better air quality inside your home. If you’d like more information, contact Powers Heating & Air, providing trusted HVAC services for Peachtree City homeowners.