Spring is upon us and, while Coweta County’s beauty is flourishing as nature blooms, many of us are beginning to suffer our dreaded spring allergies. The pollen count is getting higher with grass, ragweed, trees, and various other plants in bloom; damp and humid temperatures will soon give way to mold; and those cool spring and summer breezes blowing through the windows we all enjoy will circulate dust and other allergens around our homes. But spring doesn’t need to be bleak for allergy sufferers; just follow these HVAC maintenance tips to ease your allergies.
- Purchase high quality filters. Filters are your HVAC system’s way of defending you against allergens; filters keep allergens out so they won’t circulate through your home. You want to purchase high quality filters so they do their job properly.
- Change filters regularly. Filters trap dirt, pollen, dust, and other allergens. At some point, those filters must be changed so they can continue to trap allergens while still allowing air to circulate effectively. Filters should be changed every couple of months, with the exact amount of time dependent on your specific filter and HVAC system. If you see the filters are getting dirty before the regularly scheduled change, you may want to change them early.
- Your ducts may need cleaning. If your home hasn’t had regular HVAC maintenance or if you suspect there is mold or debris inside of your ducts, then you should have your ducts cleaned to remove allergens. This is a good tip to keep in mind before cranking up the heat again in the fall. Your ducts accumulate dust and other allergens all summer, so when you first turn your heating unit on those allergens will circulate throughout the house.
- Get rid of debris around units. Keep the area around your indoor and outdoor units clean and free of debris. Outdoor units pull air, and while the filter is there to catch the debris you don’t want to make the filter work harder if it doesn’t need to. Excessive debris will cause your filters to get dirtier faster, which means you will need to change your filters more frequently. Indoor units will circulate the air that is already inside of the house and any other allergens that are already inside of the house. If there is dust, dirt, or pet dander in front of your unit, those allergens will get circulated around the house when the unit blows the air.
- Don’t forget to dust. It’s common for people to forget to dust registers and return vents, but they can’t be overlooked because they circulate all of the air from the HVAC system. You don’t want registers and vents circulating allergens with the air.
Need help with your indoor air quality? Call us at 770-253-2665 or set an appointment up here.
The summer weather has gotten here will be here before you know it, and the air conditioning system that serves your home will be busy sending cooled air around the rooms. We have some suggestions for ways to see that you get both the best performance and the highest energy efficiency for your AC this coming summer.
Three air conditioning tips for the summer
- Practical thermostat settings: Many homeowners put the settings on their thermostats far too low without realizing that it wastes energy without helping comfort. In general, you should aim to have the thermostat set around 68°F. This is a comfortable temperature for most people, although some may need it lower or have no problem with it a bit higher. Turning the AC down farther, however, does not mean it will cool down the house any faster. It will simply leave the compressor running longer. This will waste energy and also shorten the system’s life—and you won’t feel any more comfortable.
- Change the air filter once a month: We hope that you’ve already had professional maintenance for your air conditioner. (If not, call to schedule it now.) During maintenance, the technician will change out the air filter so the system has a fresh start. Make sure you know how to do this as well, since you should change (or clean) the filter yourself once a month for the rest of the season. Letting the filter clog up will mean choked off airflow and an inefficient system.
- Call for repairs at the first sign of trouble: When an AC shows the slightest indication that it is having problems cooling down the home, you shouldn’t hesitate but immediately call for repairs from professionals. Waiting and hoping the AC will “ride out” the issue won’t work, and it will end up raising your bills and putting the system at risk of a full breakdown.
Progressive Heating and Air is here to help you with repairs, maintenance, and even a full system replacement so that you will have great comfort all through the summer.
As the weather turns chilly, improve your home’s comfort, and save energy and money all while doing a good thing for the environment. By using energy efficiently at home, you not only lower your energy bills, but prevent air pollution too. Here are ways to save, offered by the ENERGY STAR program at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.
1. Know the Facts – The average family spends $1,500 a year on energy bills, with nearly half of that spent on heating and cooling. Energy-efficient heating and cooling equipment, installed alongside a well-sealed duct system, can save as much as 20 percent on annual energy costs.
2. Keep it Clean – A dirty air filter can increase your energy costs and lead to early equipment failure. Clean or change the air filter in your heating and cooling system regularly. Also, have your equipment checked seasonally to make sure it’s operating efficiently and safely – check-ups can identify problems early. Dirt and neglect are the #1 causes of system failure.
3. Bundle Up – Hidden gaps and cracks in a home can add up to as much airflow as an open window. When heat escapes, your system must work harder and you use more energy. Home Sealing can improve your home “envelope” – the outer walls, ceiling, windows and floors — and
can save up to 10 percent in energy costs. Start by sealing air leaks and adding insulation, while paying special attention to your attic and basement, where the biggest gaps and cracks are often found. If replacing windows, choose ENERGY STAR qualified ones.
4. Tighten Your Ducts – If you have a forced air furnace or heat pump, then a duct system is responsible for circulating warm air throughout your home. Leaky ducts can reduce your system’s overall efficiency by 20 percent, causing your equipment to work harder than necessary to keep you comfortable. Ask your HVAC contractor about improving your ducts.
5. Don’t Oversize – When replacing old equipment, make sure your new equipment is properly sized for your home. An oversized system will cost more to buy and operate and will cycle on and off too frequently, reducing your comfort and leading to early system failures and repair costs. Correct sizing will ensure that your equipment works efficiently. Make sure your HVAC contractor uses Manual J or an equivalent sizing tool to determine what’s right for your home.
6. Consult a Professional – Find an experienced, licensed contractor before embarking on any heating and cooling overhaul. Visit http://www.natex.orq to find a contractor whose technicians are certified by NATE (North American Technician Excellence), the leading industry-supported testing and certification program.
7. Shop Smart – If your heating equipment has not been regularly maintained and is 15 years or older, it’s probably time for a more efficient replacement. Ask for an ENERGY STAR when buying the following equipment:
- Furnaces – Old furnaces cost more to operate per year than new, ENERGY STAR qualified models that are 15 percent more efficient than standard models.
- Boilers – An ENERGY STAR qualified boiler uses features like electric ignition and new combustion technologies that extract more heat from the same amount of fuel, to be seven percent more energy-efficient.
- Heat Pumps – When installed in a home with a well-sealed envelope, heat pumps provide great value and comfort for your energy dollar. An ENERGY STAR qualified geothermal heat pump is 30 percent more efficient than comparable new equipment and can save you as much as $400 annually. A qualified electric heat pump is 20 percent more efficient.
- Programmable Thermostats – Regulate your home’s temperature with four programmable settings and you can save about $100 annually on your energy bills.
Source: ENERGY STAR
Our bodies need moisture in the air to feel comfortable, help prevent illness and avoid those annoying static-electricity shocks. If dry household air is a discomfort you would like to live without, it may be time for a humidifier in your home.
Dry indoor air makes it super difficult to feel comfortable, and too easy to feel irritable, especially when you are suffering physical symptoms caused by dry air – like sore throat, cracked skin and a dry nose. Ways a whole house humidifier can help you:
- They maintain 30-55% humidity throughout your entire home, which is optimal
- May find relief from the above symptoms
- Protects objects in your home from drying out, cracking, peeling, shrinking and splitting
- Increases humidity in your home by providing a layer of moisture which protects against static electricity
- The flu and other viruses thrive in low humidity.
Operating a whole house humidifier is much like operating the central cooling and heating systems. Humidifiers and central cooling/heating use the same air ducts. Where a thermostat is used to control the temperature, a humidistat is adjusted to control humidity levels. Some thermostats are capable of controlling both. Humidifiers are attached to the ductwork, and may use airflow from the heating/AC system to add moisture.
For questions or more information – visit us online or call us at 770-253-2665. We are happy to help!
One major problem we face in the South – is dry air during the winter time. An easy way to see if this affects you is static electricity. Adding moisture to your home helps to raise your indoor humidity level, which can fall dramatically in the wintertime as a result of constant heating. By restoring an idea humidity to 45-50% [the level recommended by the US Environmental Protection Agency], your indoor environment may feel warmer, lessening the need to crank up the heat, and any moisture-senstive furnishings in your home will be better protected from damage.
Think about how much HOTTER it feels in the summer when humidity is high. Sounds logical, right?
Some of the physical effects of dry air includes dry skin, sore throat, bloody nose, cracked lips, respiratory irritation – even colds, flus and sinus infections. According to the National Institute of Health, increasing the humidity in your home will help moisturize your nasal and throat passages so you can breathe better and clearer.
Give us a call at 770-253-2665 or visit us online for more answers to the above, and many other questions!
Lastly, and CERTAINLY not least – Rheem Cashback – rebates just for you.
Rheem is offering an instant and effortless rebate that makes it easier than ever to keep your home comfortable all year long. From March 15th to June 15th, you can save up to $1,200 on select Rheem heating and cooling systems or individual unit components.
- Up to $1,200 on straight cool/gas systems
- Up to $1,000 on Heat Pump systems
- Up to $1,000 on Package systems
- Up to $200 on air handlers
- $25 on select accessories
Make your home comfortable in every season with a top-rated Rheem heating or cooling solution. And with new comfort comes big savings! This spring you can take advantage of immediate cash back with a Rheem Instant Rebate.
When you purchase an eligible Rheem system or any individual unit component, you save on the spot!
There’s no paperwork for you to fill out and nothing to put in the mail. And with this rebate, there’s no waiting and wondering about when you will receive a check. Your savings are immediate – and your contractor takes care of everything. Easy!
For more information, CALL US at 770-253-2665, or visit Rheem.com
The following applies to single family residential homes….contact your local utility company for more information, or just call us at 770-253-2665 and we’ll do our best to get the answer for you!
Coweta-Fayette EMC – 770.502.0226
– Units need to have a 14.5 SEER or higher energy rating, on equipments replaced since January 1, 2013
- $275 gas to electric heat pumps
- $150 gas to dual fuel heat pumps
- $75 for heat pump replacements
- $500 geothermal
- $250 – heat pump water heaters
- $250 – gas to electric water heaters
- $150 – R11 to R38 attic insulation, $90 for R19 to R38
- $150 for R13 floor insulation
- $75 for AC replacement [15 SEER minimum]
- $25 per window for double-pane or storm windows [up to 8 windows]
Georgia Power – 800.524.2421 x950
– Equipment installed between January 14, 2013 and August 31, 2013 with notification to Georgia Power by August 31, 2013
- $400 rebate for 15 SEER heat pump
- $200 rebate for 13-14.9 SEER heat pump
Would you like to talk to someone about replacing your system? Call us at 770-253-2665 for your FREE in home evaluation.