Author Archives: Powers

Best Ways to Bring Your Air Conditioner Out of Hibernation

Best Ways to Bring Your Air Conditioner Out of HibernationFollowing these steps before turning on your air conditioner for the summer will prepare it for the long summer ahead. It will run more efficiently, cost less to cool your home and experience fewer breakdowns. An A/C works hard in this climate, and starting the season out with a clean and fully maintained system gets it off to a good start.

Inspect the air filter.

If it’s dirty, change it. Nothing is harder on your cooling system than a dirty air filter. It increases the amount of time it takes to cool your home by reducing the amount of air going through the air handler. The extra running time increase the wear and tear on all the parts and drives up energy bills.

Clean the outdoor condenser.

Remove any dead vegetation from the condenser area before turning on your air conditioner, leaving at least a three foot clearance on all sides. Hose off the coils gently to loosen the dirt. If you find caked-on grass clippings or soil, use coil cleaner available from home improvement stores to loosen them.

Change the thermostat settings.

Switch the thermostat from “heat” to “cool” and set the temperature to your preferred degree for cooling. Install a new battery if your thermostat needs it. Thermostats control when your A/C turns on and off. If the battery goes dead, you won’t have any cooling until you replace it.

Schedule a tune-up.

A licensed HVAC technician will go through your cooling system carefully, cleaning and adjust all the parts to increase efficiency and extend their lifetimes. He’ll inspect the condition of the electrical components, removing any corrosion and applying nonconductive lubricants if necessary.

The technician will measure the amount of refrigerant in the system. If it’s lacking, she’ll add more after looking for and sealing any leaks. The technician will lubricate the blower and tighten the belt inside the air handler.

Following these steps before turning on your air conditioner will help you keep cooling bills low and avoid unexpected problems. For more information, contact Powers Heating & Air, serving homeowners in the Peachtree City area.

 

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.

Reap the Benefits of a Portable A/C

Reap the Benefits of a Portable A/CNearly all the homes in Peachtree City have central air conditioning systems, but that doesn’t rule out having a portable A/C on hand. These units are easy to roll around, set up and vent to the outdoors. They give you a way to increase spot cooling when necessary for a variety of reasons.

Live by the rules.

Many neighborhoods have restrictions regarding the exterior appearance of homes and they don’t allow window air conditioners. Portable air conditioners are a good option because their exhaust vents are unobtrusive and easy to remove when the unit is not in use.

Accommodate a guest.

People who live in southern climates have a higher tolerance for heat and warm indoor temperatures. If you have someone coming to visit who hasn’t made the adjustments to hot summer temperatures, consider putting a supplemental A/C in their room. They will sleep better in cool temperatures and find it easier to relax when temperatures are a few degrees cooler.

Enhance cooling in a room that’s normally too warm.

If there’s a room in your home you avoid in the summer because it’s always too hot, a portable A/C will make it usable. Running such an A/C as an auxiliary cooler will use far less electricity than cooling down your whole house, which could also make the other rooms uncomfortably cool.

Spot cool the garage.

Chances are, your garage isn’t air conditioned, but that doesn’t mean you can’t use it during the summer, thanks to the cool air that portable A/Cs deliver. You can work on projects or use the garage as your own private space when the air is comfortably cool.

Dehumidify your home.

Choose a portable air conditioner that has a “dehumidify” only setting and use it to lower the indoor humidity level. Dropping the humidity makes your home more comfortable and healthier. Central A/C units also remove humidity, but only as part of the cooling process.

If you’d like more information about using a portable A/C for spot or intermittent cooling, 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.

4 HVAC Parts Every Homeowner Should Be Aware Of

4 HVAC Parts Every Homeowner Should Be Aware OfWhile HVAC parts are individual components, they’re also integral elements engineered to function together in a system that generates reliable, efficient cooling and heating. A shortfall or defect in a single part may affect operation and performance of the whole system. While a working knowledge of the complete HVAC parts inventory definitely isn’t necessary for the average homeowner, here are four major components to be aware of:

Air Conditioner Compressor

Located in the outside half of the system, the compressor incorporates a powerful high-voltage motor and compresses refrigerant flow to efficiently disperse heat. Compressors are typically designed to last the life of the system. Due to the high cost, replacing a damaged or defective compressor may not be financially viable in an older unit. Upgrading to a new air conditioner may be the better option.

Furnace Heat Exchanger

The heat exchanger component separates the furnace burner combustion chamber from the system airflow. In addition to transferring heat to warm the airflow, the heat exchanger prevents dangerous combustion byproducts including carbon monoxide from infiltrating into the airflow. For safety reasons, a furnace with a cracked or corroded heat exchanger must be shut down until the unit is properly repaired or replaced.

A/C Coils

An air conditioner is primarily a heat-mover. Household heat is absorbed by refrigerant circulating through the evaporator coil located in the indoor air handler. Warm refrigerant then flows to the outside unit where it is compressed and absorbed heat is dispersed into outdoor air by the condenser coil. For maximum heat transfer efficiency, both A/C coils should be kept clean with regular annual preventive maintenance by a qualified HVAC service technician.

Ductwork

The network of ducts distributes cooling and heating throughout the house. Most if it is installed out of sight inside walls or up in the attic. Leakage in residential ductwork is common and may severely reduce system performance and efficiency. With an inspection and leakage test, your HVAC contractor can quantify the extent of leakage and suggest sealing options.

For preventive maintenance or professional repair of HVAC parts, contact the experts at 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.

Ways Weather Affects Energy Bill

Ways Weather Affects Energy BillA lot of factors affect your energy bill. While the amount of energy you use in response to soaring or plummeting local temperatures is one of them, sometimes weather far away from us can also affect our costs. And, speaking of weather, it’s not just extreme temperatures that can nudge our energy costs upward.

High Humidity and Your Energy Bill

We Georgians know how miserable high humidity makes us feel, whether we’re outdoors for a power walk or indoors on the stationary bike. When humidity rises in our homes (higher than 50-55 percent, the perspiration on our skin can’t evaporate), the urge is to turn the thermostat down so we can cool off. Turning your A/C way down to compensate for too much humidity will raise your bills unnecessarily.

If you’re running your air conditioner continuously and keeping your windows closed, then your home’s relative humidity should not be that high.

A hygrometer can reveal if your humidity is over 50-55 percent. If it is, then do the following:

  • Change the air filter to promote better air flow.
  • Have the evaporator coils cleaned or repaired if they’re not functioning.
  • Have the A/C refrigerant checked and recharged.
  • Fix plumbing leaks.
  • Install a whole-home dehumidifier.

Other Weather Events, Near and Far

The price of energy is determined by supply, demand and how much gas or oil is stored. When catastrophic weather affects any of these factors, prices can go up.

For instance, whenever there is a heat wave, extreme pressure may be put on the energy infrastructure as energy is channeled toward the region experiencing the hot temperatures. Because demand is high in this one place, stores of gas to produce electricity are diminished, and costs go up.

When a power plant, refinery or part of the grid is knocked out by storms, costs may also rise. High water and air temperatures also affect how efficiently power plants can convert fuel to electricity.

If you’d like to know more about how weather affects your energy bill, contact Powers Heating and Air. We serve Peachtree City and the surrounding area.

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 You Should Know About Refrigerant

What You Should Know About RefrigerantMost of us know that refrigerant is the substance that is key to the cooling process, but few of us have ever seen it. It flows mysteriously through our HVAC systems, absorbing heat from our homes’ interiors as a cool, low pressure liquid, and then is pumped outdoors as a hot, high pressure gas, where the heat is exhausted by a fan, then does it all over again.

That’s more than most homeowners know about refrigerant. But because laws governing refrigerant have changed in recent years, it’s important to understand them due to the impact they will have on your budget. Here are a few things to keep in mind concerning the maintenance and eventually, the replacement of your air conditioner.

R22 vs. R410A         

If you have an older air conditioner, it probably uses R22, the refrigerant that is being phased out due to the harm it causes our planet’s ozone layer. Most newer air conditioners are designed to use R410A, a refrigerant that is not as harmful to the environment.

If your A/C develops a refrigerant leak, you will need to fix the leak and recharge the refrigerant. Allowing refrigerant to go below the recommended level will prevent your A/C from cooling properly and can even lead to a damaged compressor. If your A/C uses R22, you can have it charged, but because supplies of R22 are dwindling fast it will cost you considerably. If the leak occurs after 2020 comes around, R22 will no longer be sold, so your R22-using A/C will either need to be retrofitted for R410A — which is not always possible — or you will be facing an A/C replacement.

Laws Governing Refrigerant

Because refrigerant, even R410A, is hazardous to the environment, there are some laws governing the use of any refrigerant. A few to keep in mind:

  • Only licensed HVAC companies can purchase refrigerant.
  • Technicians should recapture and properly dispose of refrigerant.
  • Refrigerant leaks should be repaired within 30 days.
  • It’s illegal to intentionally vent refrigerant.

For more about refrigerant, contact Powers Heating and Air. We serve Peachtree City and the surrounding area.

 

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.