Tag Archives: tips

Buying an Air Conditioner: Should Reviews Sway You?

Buying an Air Conditioner: Should Reviews Sway You?Today, there are scads of online reviews for every kind of product imaginable, so the internet seems like the logical place to do research when you’re buying a new air conditioner. While it’s helpful to learn what other homeowners think about different brands and models by reading air conditioner reviews online, you’ll get the greatest benefit from a new A/C purchase by taking these key factors into consideration:

Contractor Reputation

The quality of the installation plays a huge part in how well your new equipment performs and how long it lasts. This makes it vital to thoroughly vet HVAC contractors before you make a hiring decision. You’ll want to verify that a contractor is properly licensed and fully insured, and that they work with well-established equipment brands such as Lennox. Additionally, check their rating and track record with the Better Business Bureau, and ask for the names of previous customers who you can call for unbiased references.

Warranty Coverage

A manufacturer’s warranty protects your investment in a new A/C against factory defects, so it’s important to compare the coverage that’s provided before choosing a specific model. If you want more comprehensive protection, look for brands that offer optional extended warranties that include parts and labor coverage. Be sure to check on what can void the manufacturer’s warranty too, such as buying the equipment online, having it installed by anyone other than a qualified HVAC professional, or neglecting ongoing preventive maintenance.

Accurate Sizing

When buying a new air conditioner, it’s not wise to just match the cooling capacity of your current equipment, because older units were often sized using a rule of thumb and have too much capacity. For equipment that gives you greater comfort, long-term reliability and energy savings, your HVAC contractor should perform a detailed Manual J load calculation to determine the capacity needed, and assess the design/condition of the existing duct system, too.

 

For personalized guidance with your A/C purchase that offers you more peace of mind than all the air conditioner reviews you’ll find online, contact us at Powers Heating & Air, your Peachtree City home comfort experts.

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 Does the Arrow on a Furnace Filter Indicate

What Does the Arrow on a Furnace Filter IndicateChanging the furnace filter can be confusing for those not familiar with how an HVAC system works. Sometimes these filters (which are the same ones for the air conditioner) are in hard-to-access places; sometimes they are easy to reach. What’s more, the many types of filters available can be confusing, as can the directions on the package: just what do those arrows mean, anyway? And what happens if you insert the filter the wrong way? Read on, and find the answers.

 

Changing the Air Filter

 

The filter in your HVAC system may go in the furnace cabinet, the ductwork or in the blower. If you don’t know where your filter is, ask your HVAC tech to show you during your annual HVAC maintenance visit. You can also get a demonstration on how to change the filter if you don’t know how. But if your filter is easy to access and you have no physical challenges that might prevent you from changing it, you may want to change the filter yourself.

 

But first, let’s talk about what kind of filter to buy. Make sure the filter is the right size. Never try to cram the wrong size filter into the slot; never try to trim it down. And when you insert it, make sure the arrows are pointed toward the furnace. and away from the return duct. It won’t destroy your HVAC system if you insert the filter the wrong way one time or so, but it could damage your system if you continuously put a filter in the the wrong direction.

 

How Often Should You Change a Filter?

 

Follow directions on the packaging for changing the filter. If you use a cheap fiberglass filter, change it every month. If you use a better quality pleated filter, change it every two to three months. If you have pets that shed or high traffic in your home, you should change it every two months.

 

If the filter ever gets wet for any reason, change to a dry one.

 

For more about the furnace filter, contact Powers Heating and Air of Peachtree City.

 

Are You Prepared for Winter Power Outages?

Are You Prepared for Winter Power Outages?Winter power outages can be dangerous if you’re not prepared. It certainly won’t be pleasant, whether a few hours or a few days. Read through these tips to prepare for a winter power outage to make your time “off grid” as comfortable and safe as possible.

Emergency Checklist

It’s important to make an emergency preparedness checklist specific to your home. Following are some of the items you may include:

  • Account for the whereabouts of everyone in your household.
  • Everyone should have a flashlight or glow stick.
  • Turn off the HVAC system at the thermostat and gas valve if applicable.
  • Locate your emergency preparedness kit.
  • Make sure your home is secure.

Emergency Kit

Keep your emergency kit in a place where everyone can gain access. Your emergency kit should include a first-aid kit, flashlights, batteries, glow sticks, a fire extinguisher and a battery-operated radio.

Purchase a Backup Generator

A backup generator can make an extraordinary difference in your emergency preparedness. You’ll be able to use lighting, portable heaters, a portable refrigerator and more. Generators can also run your sump system to help prevent your basement from flooding during a storm.

Store Food and Water

Store plenty of non-perishable food and water. Canned foods practically last forever. You can use containers to store water and ice in your refrigerator. The cool water and ice will also help perishables in your refrigerator last longer. Make sure you have plenty of disposable plates, cups and utensils.

Food Preparation

How will you cook your food? A gas grill will work great and so will a camper’s stove. If you have plenty of wood stored away, you may build a campfire outside. However, don’t use any fuel-burning heating or cooking appliances inside your home.

Medications

If you or someone in your home needs medication that must be refrigerated, have an alternative means to keep your medications cool. This could be a small portable refrigerator connected to your generator, or simply packed in ice until you find another location to stay.

 

If you have questions about power outage preparedness, contact the experts at Powers Heating & Air today.

 

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.

 

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Is a New Air Conditioner in Your Future? Use These Tips

Is a New Air Conditioner in Your Future? Use These TipsIf you’re planning to invest in a new air conditioner, keep in mind that your choice of equipment will have a direct impact on your household energy bills and home comfort for at least 10 to 15 years. Here are some tips to help you choose an A/C that brings you the greatest benefit.

  • Consider seasonal energy efficiency ratios (SEER) — The minimum efficiency available is 13 SEER, and more efficient units have higher ratings. They cost more as well, but depending on the model you select, the energy savings you can gain may be significant.
  • Look for advanced features — Today’s A/Cs offer energy-saving options like variable-speed air handlers and two-stage compressors. Others features worth investigating are fan-only switches that allow you use just the blower fan for air circulation, and automatic delay switches that keep the blower running for a brief period after the compressor shuts down, which lets you benefit from all the cool air remaining in the ductwork.
  • Compare prices — Get a minimum of three written estimates from reputable installers. Each estimate should include the capacity and features of the specific equipment the contractor recommends, and a cost breakdown for equipment and installation so you can do an accurate price comparison.
  • Insist on correct sizing — An experienced contractor should size the equipment properly using Manuals J and S, and check the ductwork design using Manual D. Improper sizing or poor ductwork design can leave you with humidity and temperature control issues, unnecessarily high energy bills and equipment that’s prone to breakdowns or a premature component failures.
  • Ask about rebates and tax credits — Your HVAC contractor can advise you about any available rebates and credits, such as a rebate for purchasing equipment with a higher SEER rating, or a federal tax credit for buying an Energy Star-compliant air conditioner.

For expert help choosing the best new air conditioner for 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 a new air conditioner and other HVAC topics, download our free Home Comfort Guide or call us at 770-487-2040.

Credit/Copyright Attribution: “GSPhotography/Shutterstock”

Remember to Change Your Air Filter with These Ideas

Remember to Change Your Air Filter with These IdeasThe air filters in your home HVAC system are an important component of indoor air quality. They help clean your indoor air by removing particles such as dust, dirt, pollen, hair, and fibers from the air moving through your HVAC system. Air filters should be checked monthly and changed when they get dirty. Here are a few suggestions you can use to help you remember to change your air filters.

  • Install a filter change indicator — These devices react to pressure differences in the airflow of your HVAC system. As air filters get dirty, the pressure will decrease and move a needle on the indicator. When the needle reaches the “red zone” on the indicator, it’s time to change the filters.
  • Make filter changes part of your routine — Most people have a monthly routine involving activities that are repeated every month. Include air filter checks and changes as part of that routine. For example, use paying your rent or electric bill as a reminder to check your HVAC system air filters.
  • Set a monthly alarm — If you have a smartphone, tablet, or other type of smart device or computer, set a monthly alarm on the device that will go off when it’s time to check the filters.
  • Mark filters as a reminder — When you buy a new box of filters, open the box immediately and mark each filter with the month when the filter should be changed. This will not only help you remember filter changes but will let you know if a filter has been in your HVAC system too long.
  • Store filters conspicuously — Don’t put your supply of filters in a closet or somewhere they won’t be seen. Don’t make them an obstacle, but keep them out where you will notice them regularly and, when you see them, be reminded that you should check the filters.

Powers Heating and Air serves the heating and cooling needs of Peachtree City and the surrounding communities. Contact us today for more information on the importance of air filter changes and for a selection of air filters that will meet your needs.

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 remembering to change your air filter and other HVAC topics, download our free Home Comfort Guide or call us at 770-487-2040.

Credit/Copyright Attribution: “M.-Dykstra/Shutterstock”