Preventative Maintenance Tips

It’s that time of year again in the South when the climate cannot make up its mind. One day we’ll be in a heat advisory, and the next it could be a cool, fall day. With the season changes, it may also be hard to check on your appliances and program your HVAC system.

When it comes to your heating and cooling system, there are some guidelines to assist you ease into the fall and winter seasons. First, by placing a programmable thermostat in your home, you can reduce the energy bills and raise the comfort level year round. A programmable thermostat will allow you to alter the temperature based on the time of day, according to your needs.

Another efficient method to save cash and maintain your heating and cooling system to operate effectively year round is with regular checkups on the appliances. Through servicing your HVAC on a regular basis, your local specialist can repair any minor problems with the system before they become larger, costly issues. At Progressive Heating and Air, we recommend having your system serviced at the end of each season.

 

Preventative Maintenance Tips for your HVAC System

Taking care of your home’s HVAC system does not have to be hard or expensive. Follow these preventive maintenance tips to help improve comfort and reduce energy costs:

  • Always keep the furnace filter clean. A filter that is clogged creates the heating system to perform harder, reducing its lifespan. Replacing the filter once a month in the winter is highly recommended.

  • Keep the exterior condenser clean. Ensure that no snow, leaves, shrubs or other debris is cleared away at all times.

  • If your furnace is vented at the side of the house, make sure to keep ice from storing in the vent and shovel the areas surrounding the vent.

 

A call to your local expert can keep your appliances operating efficiently for years to come. A professional will be able to inspect any possible issues and have the ability to solve them before they get worse. For more information, contact Progressive Heating and Air today at 770-253-2665, or schedule online!

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Carbon Monoxide Detectors: A Must-Have for Home Safety

Carbon monoxide detectors are always on guard against the presence of the dangerous gas, and it’s important to check your detectors regularly to make sure they’re operating properly. Carbon monoxide (CO) is the most common cause of poisoning deaths in the developed world, so don’t take chances when it comes to CO safety in your home.

Carbon monoxide gas is produced by fuel combustion. Malfunctioning or improperly-vented gas-fired stoves, furnaces and water heaters are all potential indoor sources of this invisible, odorless gas. Carbon monoxide detectors measure not only the level of carbon monoxide in the air, but also duration of exposure. When both factors exceed safe limits, the unit sounds a piercing alarm to alert residents.

To function reliably, carbon monoxide detectors require two critical maintenance procedures:

Test the Detector

This monthly testing procedure is standard for most models, but check your owner’s manual to make sure.

  • Press the “test” button on the front of the detector and hold it down for several seconds until you hear the alarm. Release the button when the alarm sounds.
  • If the alarm fails to sound, verify that the unit is plugged into a wall outlet if it is an AC-powered detector. Replace the batteries if it’s a DC unit.
  • Test again. Still no alarm? Replace the detector.

Replace the Batteries

Twice a year, install new batteries in a DC-powered detector. A detector that emits an intermittent chirp alarm may also require new backup batteries, which are utilized in the event of a household power failure.

Need to get in touch with us or schedule an appointment? Schedule online or call us at 770-253-2665 today!

Information courtesy of Detmer and Sons


Tips to Save $$ On Your Power Bill

1. Don’t just set it and forget it.
If you have central air controlled by a thermostat, use a programmable thermostat to save energy by turning the desired temperature up during the day when the house is empty. You can give up a couple degrees at night, too — especially on the hottest days. You may be surprised to find that the contrast between outdoor and indoor temperatures matters as much as the absolute temperature inside your home. When home, aim to set the temperature at 78 degrees to balance comfort with energy and cost savings. Together with winter energy savings, a programmable thermostat used properly can save the average home up to $150 a year.

2. Clean the air filter.
Whether you have central air or a window unit, a dirty filter will reduce your AC’s efficiency, making it use more energy. Check your HVAC system’s air filter monthly and expect to change the filter every three months.

3. Get an annual checkup.
If you have central air, bring in a pro to check it out — once per year should cover both the heating and the cooling season. A professional should be able to diagnose any inefficiencies before you’ve wasted money on monthly heating and cooling bills.

4. Think small.
Cooling one room with a window air conditioning unit requires much less energy (and investment) than a whole central air system for your house. Ask yourself how you’ll use your new air conditioner, and choose the smallest option that works. Use our calculator to help choose the right air conditioner for your space.

5. Buy Energy Star.
Whether you’re buying a central air conditioner or a room unit, efficiency matters. An Energy Star central air system will use about 14% less energy than minimum government standards.

Save money on air conditioning

Tips courtesy of Good Housekeeping.

Need to set your annual maintenance appointment? Schedule online or give us a call at 770-253-2665


Tips for Better AC This Summer

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.


A Seasonal Guide To HVAC Maintenance

One of the sad facts of life is that all works of Man, including our beloved HVAC systems, eventually start to fall apart. One of the primary responsibilities of a homeowner or landlord is to ensure that their family or tenants are able to dwell comfortably in the building all year long, and that means keeping them cool in the summer and warm all winter long.

Another unfortunate truth is that HVAC repair and maintenance requires special expertise and equipment that most people just don’t have. That is why we have HVAC repair specialists.

The real trick to saving yourself some money and getting a prompt appointment with HVAC services is to know when to make the call. If you wait until your system has already broken down, at the height of the warm or cold seasons, it could take days or weeks to get an appointment and cost you an arm and a leg once they get there. This seasonal guide will give you some tips on when to call the repairmen to keep your HVAC system running smooth and tight all year long.

Spring

The middle of spring is a good time to call an HVAC repair specialist to have them take a look at and perform some preventative maintenance on your air conditioning system. You won’t have to wait forever for them to come by. Wait times during the height of summer, on the other hand, can be ridiculous, since everyone who didn’t do their yearly maintenance is sweating and panicking, and a maintenance check will be cheaper than having a broken unit repaired. They will likely replace or clean filters, lube your motor, and check balance your refrigerant levels. These simple actions can prevent most of the major causes of AC failure.

Summer

Summer is to HVAC repair as December is to retail stores. Hopefully you performed your preventative maintenance in the springtime to head off the most common causes of air conditioner break down. If you find that your AC still stops working to your satisfaction, try some DIY tricks before calling for help, you will be waiting a while anyway. If you AC is running but not quite up to snuff, check your thermostat, change your filters, and remove any dust and debris from in and around the unit. Air conditioning units also have a tendency to “freeze up” on especially hot days when they are running their hardest. Sometimes just turning off the AC for a few hours allows them to return to a functioning operational temperature.

Fall

As summer comes to a close and the temperature starts to drop, now is the time have an HVAC specialist come out and inspect your furnace and heating system. The same principle applies here to heating as it did to cooling: beat the rush and try to prevent problems before they start. Furnaces, like any machine, require regular tune-ups. It is also a good time to make sure you have a stock of furnace filters, they usually go on sale at DIY stores around this time of year making it all the easier.

Winter

There are few things more uncomfortable, or more dangerous, than a home with no source of heat in the wintertime. Even after you have had your preventative maintenance, problems can still arise.

Luckily, many of the most common causes of heating loss are easily remedied without calling in the repairman. Check to make sure the thermostat is working correctly. You may also want to go check to make sure the pilot light is still on. If the heat is working but not adequately, make sure you change your filter and that all your floor registers are open to ensure circulation. If all else fails, call in a pro!

Article Courtesy of HVAC Tips


Why Is Timing Important When Scheduling A/C Maintenance And Repairs?

Ask a dozen HVAC industry experts what the key to fewer expensive repairs and longer A/C system life is and they will all answer that, without a doubt, it is regularly scheduled cleaning and preventative maintenance. HVAC contractors and technicians have the experience, expertise, and knowledge of the many aspects and elements of heating, ventilation, and air conditioning operations. This is the primary reason for hiring an HVAC contractor or repair technician to care for your system throughout the year.

The Need For Regularly Scheduled Preventative Maintenance

During the summertime, the temperature inside a home can become unbearable if your A/C system is not operating efficiently and properly. Hence the importance of timing when you schedule your A/C system maintenance and repair work. Having regularly scheduled service will ensure that your system does not falter or break down prematurely and cost you a fortune in repairs or replacement. Additionally, with the cost of energy increasing all the time, a properly operating system will save you money on your monthly utility expenses.

When Should A/C Service Be Scheduled?

During the winter time, your HVAC system works tirelessly to keep you and your family warm and with summertime just around the corner, it will be working just as hard to keep them comfortable and cool. For all intents and purposes, you should have your A/C system serviced between winter and well before summer hits. It’s best to have it done when outside temperatures are nicer than they are in winter but much cooler than what they will be during the summer. So schedule the service call in the springtime before temps really warm up.

The HVAC company that you contact will make an appointment to come out to your home to inspect your entire system. In most cases, this will include:

  • Cleaning or replacing the air filters
  • Clearing any debris from inside the compressor housing
  • Removing any blockages in the ductwork or grills
  • Tightening any screws that may be loose

Most HVAC technicians will have some type of maintenance checklist with them when they come out to perform the service. However, no matter what type of maintenance service they perform and the type of repairs they do, all of this will ensure that your A/C system will work throughout the summer without encountering any problems.

When you consider the fact that your HVAC system has a lot to do with your health as well as your comfort, the money you spend on preventative maintenance goes a long way to ensuring that you live comfortably. It also ensures that you are breathing cleaner air which is a plus for individuals with allergies and asthma.

Article courtesy of HVAC Tips


Save $$

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.

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Source: ENERGY STAR