Author Archives: Powers

Energy Savings to Yield by Adjusting to Optimal Temperatures

saving energyWhen it comes to comfort on a hot summer’s day, nothing does more for your comfort than air conditioning. If you’re looking for energy savings without sacrificing that comfort, consider these energy and money saving tips.

Manage the humidity. Lower humidity always feels more comfortable when the weather is warm because the moisture on your skin evaporates quickly, which cools you off immediately. The ideal humidity during the summer should range from 30 to 50 percent.

If you’re unsure about the humidity, invest in a hygrometer, an inexpensive device that measures humidity. If it’s high, instead of turning on the air conditioner to lower it, start using the bathroom and kitchen fans to lower it. Once you’re finished bathing or cooking, turn the fans off. Despite their small size, they pull out a lot of air you’ve paid to cool off.

A dehumidifier attached to your HVAC system will keep the humidity level healthy automatically and help save energy. High humidity fosters bacterial and mold growth, along with dust mite proliferation.

Turn the temperature up gradually. Instead of going from the low 70s to 78 all at once, do it degree by degree. Once you’re comfortable at a warmer temperature, bump it up another degree until you reach your energy savings goal.

Increase your comfort by using ceiling fans. The fans move a good deal of air in the rooms where they hang and use little electricity. Moving air helps you cool off by drying the moisture on your skin quickly. When you leave the room, be sure to turn the fan off, since fans don’t actually cool the air.

Use a programmable thermostat. If you’re away during the day on a routine schedule, install a smart or programmable thermostat and set it for warmer temperatures when you’re gone. Program it to start cooling your home down just before you normally return.

If you’d like more ways that will help you with energy savings, contact Powers Heating & Air, providing trusted HVAC services for Peachtree City homeowners.

Understanding the Signs of Low Refrigerant

low refrigerantLow refrigerant in your central air conditioner may begin with an assortment of initially insignificant symptoms.

As the refrigerant charge drops, however, these minor issues can turn into major dysfunction, eventually shutting down the system completely. Refrigerant absorbs heat from the airflow inside your house at the system evaporator coil, then conveys it to the outside condenser coil where it’s released into the air. The level of circulating refrigerant is a very precise specification.

If it declines below that amount, you may note any of the following signs:

  • Cooling shortfalls. When the refrigerant charge drops, the air conditioner can’t extract enough heat to keep the house cool. The unit will run increasingly longer cycles to meet thermostat settings, eventually running non-stop.
  • Higher costs. Extended A/C cycles mean increased electricity consumption, which typically shows up in higher monthly bills. If other causes are ruled out, an air conditioner running too many hours per day due to low refrigerant may be the reason.
  • Increasing humidity. Humidity extraction is an important part of the A/C cooling process. As the refrigerant charge drops, the evaporator coil doesn’t condense water vapor effectively and indoor humidity rises. The comfort level in the house, meanwhile, declines as moist air doesn’t cool as efficiently.
  • Coil ice. When refrigerant is low, it can’t absorb sufficient heat to keep the evaporator coil temperature above freezing. Ice begins to form as condensation freezes, eventually completely blocking system airflow through the coil passageway. This may cause severe compressor damage and/or trigger an automatic safety switch that shuts down the air conditioner.

What To Do

Contact a qualified HVAC contractor to check the refrigerant charge. If it’s low, the culprit is usually a small leak somewhere. The service technician has the special tools to locate the leak and the expertise to make a permanent repair. After the leak is resolved, the refrigerant level can be restored to manufacturer’s specs and full cooling performance and efficiency returned to normal.

Are you seeing any suspicious signs of low refrigerant? Contact the professionals at Powers Heating & Air for prompt diagnosis and repair.

IAQ Tips for Painting Indoors

iaq concernsA fresh coat of paint can quickly breathe new life into your home’s interior. Make sure you aren’t compromising your health in the process, however. Indoor air quality suffers if you don’t take the right safety steps. Here are ways to diminish IAQ concerns when painting interior surfaces.

Use the Safest Paints

Many types of paint include harmful chemicals, called volatile organic chemicals or VOCs. These can have a direct impact on health.  When painting the interior, only choose paints that are intended for indoor use and, whenever possible, use paints that are labeled no or low VOCs.

Keep in mind, however, that even the safest paints can emit some harmful chemicals during their application and afterward. You can diminish the impact by ventilating your home.

Ventilation

Ventilating the home while painting can be as simple as opening exterior doors and placing a box fan in a window. The goal is to bring in as much fresh air into the home as you can while drawing the harmful elements outside. Make sure you aren’t just recirculating the bad air throughout other rooms in the home. Position the fan to blow air from the work area directly outside.

Keep Children and Pets in a Safer Area

There are many reasons to keep pets and children out of a renovation area, but IAQ concerns are among the biggest. Pets and kids are extra susceptible to health risks from paint fumes. Seal off the work area from the rest of the home by closing interior doors or using plastic sheeting and keep kids and pets out.

Dispose of Paint and Paint-Soaked Materials

Even a little bit of latex paint left in a can or on rags can impact air quality in your home. Contact your local  waste management office to learn how to safely dispose of these items. In most cases, dried latex paint can be disposed of with regular garbage.

For other tips regarding IAQ concerns, please contact us today at Powers Heating & Air. We’ve been serving the Peachtree City area for many years and look forward to helping you.

Why Replacing Insulation is Important

replacing insulationInsulation is an essential but often overlooked component of your heating and cooling system. While many homeowners know that it helps keep warm air out of their homes in the summer and retain indoor heat during the colder months, they have no idea that a time comes when it’s crucial to start replacing insulation.

The Need to Replace Insulation

Several factors make it necessary for you to replace your home insulation:

  • Loss of effectiveness — Insulation deteriorates over time. Consequently, it could allow heat gain in the summer and heat loss in the winter.
  • Maintain structural integrity — Your attic insulation can damage your home’s structure. If you ignore it for long, old insulation can facilitate mold and rotting of beams.
  • Health — Rodents can make old or damaged insulation their home and leave behind harmful contaminants. These contaminants can spread to other areas of your home and put your health at risk.

When to Replace Insulation

So how do you know it’s time to replace insulation? The tips below will help:

  • When replacing your roof — You should replace your attic insulation together with your roof.
  • Your home is too warm or too cold — If your house gets too hot very quickly during the summer months or too cold in the winter, chances are your insulation requires replacement.
  • Odor coming from the attic — Does your attic have an odor? That’s a good sign that your insulation has been a victim of pest infestation. You should have it removed quickly.
  • Don’t know how old your insulation is — If you can’t remember the last time your home was insulated by a professional, the existing insulation is probably too old. Consider replacing it.

Replacing insulation is a critical part of keeping your home healthy, comfortable, and energy efficient. If you need help finding out if your insulation is up-to-date or needs urgent replacement, make sure you only work with a reputable professional.

To learn more about replacing insulation, contact the pros at Powers Heating & Air, proudly serving the Peachtree City area with quality HVAC services.

How to Save Money and Energy in Summer

hvac summer energy billsWhile you’re probably looking forward to the fun days of summer, there’s a good chance that you’re absolutely dreading the uptick in energy usage that plagues many households during these warmer months of the year. To ease your stress a bit, here are a few simple techniques that will help you get your HVAC summer energy bills under control:

Schedule Regular HVAC Maintenance

It is always advisable that you schedule annual maintenance with a qualified HVAC technician once per year to keep your equipment in tip-top shape, but regular check-ups will help provide the best performance. Plus, caring for your system in this way will make it last longer.

Invest in New Air Conditioning Equipment

No matter how fantastic your air conditioner has performed in the past several years, it will eventually get to a point where it’s breaking down or in great need of repairs. Although the expenditure might be something that you would prefer to avoid, newer HVAC equipment is more energy efficient and reliable than many predecessors, which means the added cost will even itself out due to lower energy bills.

Periodically Replace the Air Filter 

Your air conditioner’s filter should be replaced every 1-3 months, depending on equipment usage and the amount of debris that it captures during that time. This will help your system run more efficiently and less often, which means your energy usage will go down in the summer months.

Upgrade to a Wi-Fi Thermostat

Many households still use a manual thermostat to control their cooling needs. If your household fits in this category, it’s time to upgrade to a programmable wi-fi model that will allow you to select the days and times of operation, provide you with energy reports, allow remote access, and several other energy-saving features.

To learn more about saving money on your HVAC summer energy bills, or if you have any other concerns about your home comfort needs, please reach out to the professionals at Powers Heating & Air. We’ve been serving the needs of Peachtree City and the surrounding area since