Tips on Home Cooling

Buying a bigger room air conditioner won’t necessarily make you feel more comfortable during the hot summer months. In fact, a room air conditioner that’s too big for the area it is supposed to cool will perform less efficiently and less effectively than a smaller, properly sized unit. The reason: an oversized unit will cool the room(s) to the thermostat set-point before proper dehumidification occurs, making the area feel “clammy” and uncomfortable. Central air-conditioning systems need to be sized by professionals. Explore our Energy Saver 101 infographic on home cooling to learn how an air conditioner works.

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If you have a central air system in your home, set the fan to shut off at the same time as the compressor, which is usually done by setting the “auto” mode on the fan setting. In other words, don’t use the system’s central fan to provide air circulation — use circulating fans in individual rooms.

Instead of air-conditioning, consider installing a whole-house fan. Whole-house fans work in many climates and help cool your home by pulling cool air through the house and exhausting warm air through the attic. Use the fan most effectively to cool down your house during cooler times of the day: your home will stay cooler through the hotter times of the day without using the fan.

Cooling Tips

  • Set your thermostat at as high a temperature as comfortably possible in the summer, and ensure humidity control if needed. The smaller the difference between the indoor and outdoor temperatures, the lower your overall cooling bill will be.
  • Avoid setting your thermostat at a colder setting than normal when you turn on your air conditioner. It will not cool your home any faster and could result in excessive cooling and, therefore, unnecessary expense.
  • Consider using an interior fan along with your window air conditioner to spread the cooled air through your home without greatly increasing your power use.
  • Avoid placing appliances that give off heat such as lamps or TVs near a thermostat.

Information courtesy of the US Dept of Energy

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Mother Nature CAN Work for You

You may have noticed that some rooms will occasionally be hotter or cooler than others. Your upstairs bedroom may take longer to cool in the summer, or the kitchen may be chillier in the winter.

Don’t worry! There may not be anything wrong with your system. If your home is multi-level, you will naturally experience the effect of warm air rising to the upper level and cooler air falling to the lower. In addition, solar gain can cause temperatures to rise in certain rooms. This is definitely the case in rooms with west-facing windows during the late afternoon. Forces of nature are not the only factors that will raise your home’s indoor temperature. Cooking and showering will cause the humidity of your home to increase. Even without a raise in temperature, higher levels of humidity can cause you to feel warmer and uncomfortable.

While the laws of nature (and the law of teenagers taking long showers) may be out of your control, you can use your home’s ventilation system to improve the situation. By adjusting or closing registers that are too cool in summer or too warm in the winter, you can divert conditioned air to rooms where you need it the most. By making the laws of nature work for you, you should be able to achieve even, comfortable temperatures in every room of your home. If that does not do the trick, there may be some ventilation issues at play that deserve a closer look.

To schedule an appointment for our NATE certified service technician to come out, click here and get 10% off!

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Preventative Maintenance Is Important!

 

Preventative maintenance for your air conditioner is important. Inspecting the system to check for problems before they grow into major air conditioner malfunctions can save hundreds of dollars and periodic preventative maintenance for your air conditioner is a great way to accomplish that. Semi-annual preventative maintenance, or annual preventative maintenance, for your air conditioner by Progressive Heating & Air can go a long way in ensuring the effective operation of your air conditioner.
Progressive Heating & Air’s Preventative Maintenance Program will keep your air conditioner running at its peak performance and efficiency.

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Inadequate preventative maintenance for your air conditioner is one of the chief causes of air conditioner malfunctions, poor performance and inefficiency. Like an automobile needs inexpensive periodic preventative maintenance to keep it running and to avoid costly repairs, your air conditioner requires periodic preventative maintenance. Neglecting preventative maintenance for your air conditioner may lead to a steady decline in the air conditioner’s performance as well as increased energy consumption and costs.  It is also important to point out that maintenance is required to keep your equipments warranties in good standing.

For more information about our service and what it covers, go here.

Give us a call, or schedule an appointment for maintenance here.


Help the Elderly Prepare for Summer Months

When you think of taking care of an aging parent or friend, the first thing that may come to mind is helping with meals, errands, doctors visits, etc. Those that have stepped into the shoes of being a caretaker understand that there is a lot more to it – you take on the responsibility of home maintenance and repairs – and specifically, the air conditioning system.

According to the Center for Disease Control, about 400 Americans die each year to heat related conditions, and nearly half f them are elderly. They are at greater risk for heat stress or stroke risk due to several factors.

  • Their bodies do not adjust as easily to sudden changes in temperature.
  • They are more likely to have medical conditions such as heart, lung and kidney disease. Other medical issues that increase their risk are high blood pressure and diabetes.
  • They may take medications that render them more susceptible to the heat. Some medications are known to inhibit perspiration which leaves them even more vulnerable in hot weather.
  • Age related dementia – they may simply forget to turn on the air conditioning, or may not realize if it is not functioning properly.
  • Isolation – some may not have friends or family members who check in on them regularly.
  • Cost – being on fixed incomes, some seniors may be reluctant to use the air conditioning, believing that the use of electric fans will be sufficient – and they are not. While possibly providing a breeze, they do nothing to eliminate the extreme humidity we face in Georgia.

The fact is, heat related illness and deaths are 100% preventable; and according to the CDC, air conditioning is the number one protective factor against heat related illness and death. So – making sure air conditioning systems are in good working order before the summer sets in order should be a top priority.

 


What Should You Expect?

What should you expect your service technician to do during a PMA visit?

  • Check system functions, safety controls, and adjust the operating sequence where appropriate.
  • Inspect electrical components and connections and repair/replace or tighten as required.
  • Ensure proper airflow and change dirty air filters.
  • Inspect pumps, lubricate, and check flow rates where appropriate.
  • Clean and lubricate motors as required.
  • Examine belts, adjust and align as required.
  • Inspect, clean and balance blowers as required.

Spring Visit (preparation for summer season):

  • Clean inside coil, condensate pans, condensate traps, and condensate lines to prevent obstructions.
  • Clean outside coil and straighten fins for efficient operation.
  • Check refrigerant levels and if low, find the leak. (According to many equipment manufacturers, a 10% refrigerant loss will result in a 20% decrease in system efficiency!)

Fall Visit (preparation for winter season):

  • Clean the burner assembly.
  • Remove soot from fireside of burner.
  • Clean and check operation of humidifier.
  • Visually or with remote camera, inspect heat exchanger for cracks.
  • Adjust air/fuel ratio of burner and perform combustion analysis. (Instrumentation used for combustion analysis is a means of fine-tuning a burner to achieve maximum fuel efficiency and “optimum firing.”)

Note: For heat pump applications, winter season inspections repeat a number of the summer procedures plus several additional checks. Maintaining semi-annual PMAs for heat pumps is also important.

What’s your bottom line?

  • Savings: PMAs typically more than pay for themselves through higher efficiency, less utility overpayment, and contractor discounts. PMA customers typically receive a discount on all parts and services performed during the entire year.
  • Peace of Mind: Predictive maintenance will mean fewer system failures and a longer life for your HVAC equipment.
  • Priority Service: Should a system failure occur during the heat of the summer or the cold of the winter, customers with PMAs generally receive priority service.
  • Continuity: Many ACCA contractors are often able to assign technicians to the specific customers. That way, you get to see and know the same service technician, and he or she becomes more familiar with you and your equipment.

Planned Maintenance for your Business

Progressive Heating and Air offers Preventive Maintenance Service Agreements for all brands of rooftops units, compressors, air-handlers, cooling towers, heat pumps, variable speed drives, controls and accessories.

Each agreement is tailored to meet the budget and operating needs of your facility and can include both preventive maintenance to keep your equipment running in peak condition and predictive maintenance services to identify potential problems before costly breakdowns occur.

It will help you:

  • Maintain the efficiency and reliability of all equipment
  • Minimize downtime, repair bills, and loss of use
  • Ensure continuous care with our after hours call center staffed with trusted employees

Our planned maintenance options include:

  • Inspection and reports
  • Inspection with seasonal adjustments and preventive maintenance
  • Full maintenance, including preventive maintenance plus service calls
  • Predictive maintenance, including eddy current test, combustion analysis, and vibration analysis
  • 24/7 monitoring
  • Maintenance of cooling towers, compressors, air handlers, rooftop units, air-side distribution equipment, and controls.

Are You Doing Your Homework?

In these trying times, is it getting harder to know who to trust? Not if you do your homework!

If you are struggling to find a reliable company – whether it’s for your HVAC needs, or something else – these tips really will pay off:

  • Talk to people – family, friends, co-workers, business associates. They will tell you how it is.
  • Should you trust big ads? The bigger the ad, the more money the company paid for it. This is generally not the way companies should earn your business. It should be given by trust.
  • Surf the web – do they have an internet presence? In today’s time, this is a MUST. Check for them on Facebook, read comments people have made – do they seem to care about what sort of presence they have over the internet?
  • Check out reviews – you don’t need to be a member of Angie’s List for this. Google has it’s own set of reviews, along with Kudzu, Judy’s Book, City Search, Yahoo! The list goes on and on. You want to make sure you get an overall grasp of those reviews. Is there a theme? Don’t let one bad review throw you off, but definitely keep it in mind if you choose to go with that company. This will help you be more observant.
  • Are they legitimate? Do you know if the company should have a license, or specific certification? Do they go above and beyond for ‘extras’? For example, a NATE certification in the HVAC industry is above and beyond the contractors license that is required.

If you have any other suggestions or feedback, we would love to hear from you!

Check us out online: http://www.progressiveac.com or on Facebook – http://www.facebook.com/progressiveac