Tag Archives: hvac system

What You Should Know about Air Exchange Rate

What You Should Know about Air Exchange RateIf you’re like many homeowners, you may not be familiar with the term “air exchange rate.” However, the rate of air exchange in your HVAC system is one of the key factors in how well it heats and cools, and its ability to maintain a healthy, comfortable indoor environment.

Air Exchange Rate Defined

An “air exchange rate” refers the number of times per hour that air is replaced in each room of your home. The American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE) recommended air changes per hour vary according to a room’s use: a bedroom requires five to six exchanges, while a kitchen should have seven or eight.

 

To determine the necessary cubic feet per minute (CFM) of airflow to provide adequate air exchange in specific rooms, an HVAC pro multiplies the room’s volume (height × width × length) by the recommended number of changes, then divides that figure by 60.

The Importance of Sufficient Air Exchange

Today’s homes are constructed and weatherized to limit energy losses and boost efficiency. With our extended cooling seasons, homes here are also closed up for long periods to keep conditioned air inside. When a home lacks adequate air exchange, allergens and pollutants will build up inside too, resulting in air quality issues that can impact the health and well-being of the occupants.

 

If you have an older home that isn’t as tightly constructed or sealed, leaks in the exterior envelope may allow some fresh air to enter. If the amount isn’t sufficient, or you have a tightly-built, well-sealed home, your HVAC contractor may recommend taking extra measures to maintain good indoor air quality, like:

  • Integrating an air cleaner into the HVAC system to remove pollutants and allergens from the air supply.
  • Adding a ventilation unit to expel stale air and introduce fresher outdoor air.
  • Keeping your HVAC, air cleaning and ventilation equipment well maintained, and replacing the filters regularly to ensure they’re working effectively.

To schedule an HVAC system assessment to determine if the air exchange rate is sufficient in your Peachtree City home, contact us today 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. 

Understand What a Humming Air Conditioner Means

Understand What a Humming Air Conditioner MeansYou’re probably used to hearing a steady, low humming sound when your air conditioner is operating, and this is perfectly normal. However, if your humming air conditioner is producing more of a loud buzzing noise, it can be a sign of a problem in the system that needs further investigation.

What Causes Concerning A/C Humming Sounds?

There are a number of potentially-serious issues that can produce a buzzing or humming noise in a central A/C. The underlying cause can pose a danger of equipment damage that requires a costly repair or equipment replacement, or it may put your family’s safety and well being in jeopardy. If you hear a loud humming/buzzing noise coming from any of the following areas, shut down your cooling system right away and call a reputable HVAC pro for help:

  • Indoor evaporator coil. If you hear unusual humming from inside the air handler, the evaporator coil may have iced up. Once the A/C is shut down, place a container under the coil to catch the liquid as it defrosts. Afterwards, you can try restarting the system, but if the coil freezes again, you’ll need an expert diagnosis.
  • Blower unit. If the blower fan motor seizes up but is still receiving power, it can produce a distinctive buzzing noise.
  • Outdoor compressor/condenser. A loud humming originating in your outdoor unit might be caused by a failed contactor relay switch, in which case the unit won’t start up. Or, a technician might discover that the fan motor has failed and needs replacement.
  • Electrical components. Loose electrical connections or wiring anywhere within the system that produces a buzzing sound is a sign of arcing. When this occurs, there’s a risk of fire, so the situation needs prompt investigation.
  • Breaker panel A loud buzzing coming from inside your home’s main electrical panel might be due to a faulty A/C breaker that’s being overloaded but won’t trip. This is a hazardous situation that needs immediate attention from a licensed pro.

If you have concerns about a humming air conditioner in your Peachtree City home, contact us right away 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. 

Spring HVAC Problems: Normal or Not?

Spring HVAC Problems: Normal or Not?If you have a basic understanding of how your HVAC system functions like most homeowners, it can be difficult to know if certain situations are normal, or if your equipment needs the attention of an experienced HVAC pro. To help you decide when to call for help, here are some common spring HVAC problems along with guidance on what’s normal, and what’s not.

Unusual Sounds

You expect to hear normal noises from your HVAC equipment, like the whir of a fan, the hum of the outdoor unit or the sound of air moving through the ductwork. If you hear new/unusual noises like rattling, clanking, hissing or high-pitched shrieking, though, call in an expert to find out why.

Water Leaks

A/Cs and heat pumps condense water during the cooling process, but if there’s a pool of liquid on the floor near your air handler unit, it’s not normal. A technician may need to correct an insufficient slope on the drain line, or simply flush the condensate drainage system to clear an algae blockage.

High Humidity

If your indoor air always feels too sticky, and mold is thriving in moisture-prone areas like the bathrooms, don’t hesitate to have your HVAC system assessed. You may be advised that an equipment upgrade is warranted, or it’s time to have a whole-house dehumidifier installed.

Soaring Energy Bills

An increase in your electric rate or your consumption can cause a rise in your monthly energy bills, but an unexplained increase can point to trouble with your HVAC system. After investigating, a technician may advise that it’s related to a decline in efficiency due to older equipment, ductwork deficiencies, or dirty cooling coils.

Strange Smells

Under normal conditions, the air coming from your registers shouldn’t have any noticeable smell. If you’re getting the scent of acetone, dirty socks or burnt wiring, you need to find out why. An HVAC pro might discover a refrigerant leak, an overgrowth of mold or algae, or a fire hazard due to malfunctioning electrical components.

 

For expert help solving HVAC problems in your Peachtree City home, contact us 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. 

The Importance of Cleaning Your A/C’s Condensate Drain Line

The Importance of Cleaning Your A/C’s Condensate Drain Line

The Importance of Cleaning Your A/C’s Condensate Drain LineYour HVAC system plays an important role in maintaining a comfortable level of relative humidity in your home. That’s crucial in our climate, especially during our humid summers. Too much humidity can make us feel warmer, spurring the need to turn down the thermostat and quickly cool off — thus, wasting energy. To ensure that your air conditioner is able to maintain the right level of humidity, your condensate drain line should be cleaned annually. Here’s why.

Condensation and the HVAC System

As your air conditioner cools the home, return air is drawn into the system, allowing moisture from the home to condense on the evaporator coils. From there, the moisture is channeled into the condensate drain and is expelled from the home.

 

Over time, the evaporator coils may become dirty, particularly if the air filter isn’t regularly changed. When moisture meets that layer of dirt, a kind of sludge can form, accompanied by mold, algae and bacteria. When it enters the condensate line, it can form a barrier to the free flowing of the moisture. The line can get plugged up, and the drain pan, which is shallow, may fill up with water and overflow.

 

When this happens, flooding may occur in your home. Some of the signs of condensate line stoppage are these:

  • dripping sounds in your interior HVAC cabinet
  • puddles on the floor near your interior unit
  • for attic units, water stains on the ceiling or wall near the unit
  • higher levels of humidity in the home

Solution?

The solution for a plugged condensate line is to have it cleaned. Your HVAC technician can perform this task during annual maintenance and may pour a mixture of water and bleach through the line to clean it out. A wet/dry shop vac may also be used with a special attachment to suction out the plug.

To prevent your condensate line from being plugged up, change your air filter regularly, and have the evaporator coils and condensate line cleaned every year.

 

For more on the condensate drain line and your HVAC, contact Powers Heating and Air, serving Peachtree City.

 

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 Add-Ons to Consider

4 HVAC Add-Ons to ConsiderYour HVAC equipment keeps your home comfortably warm or cool, but when your system is equipped with an HVAC add-on, it can provide more than just basic heating or cooling. The array of HVAC add-ons available today are designed with convenience in mind, and they can help you save energy, boost your indoor air quality and provide better temperature and humidity control for greater comfort. Here are four HVAC add-ons that are worth considering:

House-Wide Humidity Control

High humidity during the cooling season can impact your comfort, energy bills and air quality. and even damage your home’s structure and contents. Having a dehumidifier added to your HVAC system can help keep humidity in check, so it’s easier to keep your home comfortably cool without wasting energy.

Air Quality Management

If your home is tightly sealed for efficiency and lacks sufficient air exchange, potentially-harmful pollutants and allergens can stay trapped inside and degrade your air quality. An experienced HVAC pro can integrate an air cleaner unit into your comfort system to rid your home of an array of unhealthy contaminants and allergens like chemical vapors, soot, smoke, pet dander, dust mites and mold spores, along with viruses and bacteria.

HVAC Zoning

If you have one centrally-situated thermostat that controls the HVAC system in your large or multiple-story home, it’s virtually impossible to enjoy consistent comfort. A knowledgeable HVAC contractor can create a zoned system with multiple heating and cooling areas to give you greater comfort and energy consumption control. Setting up zoning accomplished by installing motorized duct dampers and dedicated thermostats in each area, and connecting everything to a central control panel for your convenience.

Smart Thermostats

If you still use a basic programmable thermostat, having a new intelligent model installed can give you energy-saving temperature control capabilities plus the ability to adjust/monitor your HVAC remotely. These advanced thermostats also automatically adapt to your comfort habits, manage other system add-ons, and monitor and alert you to any performance, maintenance or repair issues.

 

To learn how an HVAC add-on can benefit your Peachtree City home, contact us today 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.