Flu season is one of the worst times of the year. No one likes colds, but at least you can function. But the flu is a different animal. It’s miserable. And so are you, when you get it. However, you can actually fight the flu with your heating system. It’s true! You can prep your heating system to help keep you healthy.
But how can simple heating help? It’s all about indoor air quality. When you allow mold, dust, and bacteria to flourish, your flu can feel worse and take longer to run its course. The better your air is indoors, the less contagion will spread. And, the faster you’ll be able to recover.
Keep reading to find out how to fight the flu with your heating system.
How to Fight the Flu With Your Heating System: 3 Strategic Steps
After the first step, the rest are in no particular order. Some are upgrades that you may need help with, and some are easy tasks. They can all make a difference.
1. Replace Your Air Filters Monthly
Mark your calendar for this one. Dirty air filters equal dirty air in your lungs.
But do you really need to change it? Won’t vacuuming do the trick? Nope. A clean, new filter is essential. Your filter isn’t just expensive floor origami. It’s a barrier that keeps contaminants out of your indoor air. And, swapping out your air filters every month can make your heating and cooling system last much longer.
But there’s more. If you keep an old, dirty air filter in the vent, it starts to let all those germs and contaminants back into your air – and all around your home. That’s the last thing you want if you’re trying to keep the flu at bay.
To Do: buy an air filter with a high MERV rating. Viruses and bacteria have a harder time spreading when trapped in one of these excellent filters. Give us a call for info about what filter is best for your HVAC system.
2. Raise Your Air Humidity
If you feel like your air is dry, it probably is. You may have cracked skin, bleeding nose, all those lovely cold weather symptoms. But higher humidity isn’t just good for your skin. It also makes for a less hospitable environment for germs and viruses. They thrive in low humidity. But watch out! Crank it too high, and mold will make itself at home.
Any heating system in good condition will help regulate humidity. All you need to do is put it into the air.
To Do: install a system-wide humidifier or use cool air humidifiers to avoid burns and the too-damp feel of hot, humid air.
3. Get a Good Air Purifier
Know how to fight the flu with your heating system? Install a system-based air purifier. Your filter carries some weight – but your air purifier is an Olympic powerlifter. With both, your indoor air quality will be amazing.
Remember – you’re not looking for a room air purifier. If you get one of those, you’ll have a bubble of clean air, while the rest of the house is neglected.
However, a system-based air purifier knocks contaminants out of your whole home’s air fast. In fact, all your air cycles fresh an average of once every 11.5 minutes. Don’t give airborne bacteria, mold, and pollen a chance to worsen your flu symptoms.
To Do: choose a photocatalytic oxidation air purifier. You probably won’t need to replace filters, and this type of purifier works wonders.
To make your heating system help fight the flu, Neal’s Heating and Air can help. Our licensed, professional techs in North Georgia can come out to install an air purifier or humidifier to keep your air healthy. Just call us at (706) 764-7185 or request a free consultation today!
If your heater is blowing cold air, you’re probably not a happy homeowner. After all, the comfort of your home should be consistent. And, you rely on your heater to keep you warm all winter. Having to wear a blanket or warm layers indoors isn’t your idea of comfort. What to do?
This is where experience and knowledge can help. Even in North Georgia heat pump service is super important. Because comfort systems have a range of normal operation, you need to know what’s normal – and what should lead you to call for repairs. At Neal’s Heating and Air, we want to help. So, here are 4 questions you should ask if your heater is blowing cold air.
4 Questions to Ask If Your Heater Is Blowing Cold Air
Hold the phone! These questions are essential to ask before you get a heating service company to check your system. Once you know the answers, you’ll know if you need a tech.
1. Is Your Heat Pump Defrosting Like Normal?
If your heat pump is doing what it should, it’ll run on a schedule. Once per hour or so, it should activate to melt ice off the unit. While it’s warming up, you will feel cold air through your vents. This is normal during defrosting. After the defrosting cycle ends, you’ll feel warm air again.
Call for heating system service if the heater keeps pushing cold air out. Make sure to ask for a licensed and insured tech. We’ll be able to diagnose the problem quickly and bring back your comfort.
2. Is Your Outside Heater Unit Frozen?
If your heat pump is frozen, it could look and sound like it’s operating normally – while failing to warm your home. If your heater is blowing cold air, make sure your heat pump isn’t frozen. When the temperature drops below 20° F, ice may form on top of your heat pump. Remove it, then wait a bit. If your heater starts putting out warm air again, you’re good to go.
Give Neal’s a call if nothing changes once the ice is removed. We’ll come out to restore heat to your home. No need to live in Antarctica!
3. Is It Really Warm Air?
What temperature is your thermostat set at? Somewhere between 65 and 80, right? Well, your normal temperature is around 98° F. Heated air will always feel cool when it’s blowing on you. The best gauge of whether your heater is blowing cold air is your thermostat. Check it first – then call for service if the indoor temperature is more than a few degrees colder than the setting.
4. Could the Compressor Be at Fault?
Let’s say your heater is blowing cold air. And, it isn’t defrosting, frozen, or blowing warm air. If that’s the case, your compressor may be broken. To make it simple, your heater never really heats air in the winter. Rather than making air hotter, it draws heat from air outside your home and forces it through your ductwork to heat your home. That’s why heat pumps are less effective when it gets extremely cold outside.
Heat is removed from air by refrigerant. To keep the refrigerant moving and more effective, the compressor circulates it. And the compressor circulates the refrigerant. It’s a crucial part. And, if it breaks, your heat pump is immediately useless. Call a heating and air specialist if your heat pump stops operating. If you hear it making screeching sounds, that’s a clue that your compressor is breaking but not quite broken yet.
If your North Georgia heater is blowing cold air and you want your home to be warm, call Neal’s Heating and Air at (706) 764-7185 or fill out our contact form today. We’ll fix your heat pump and restore comfort to your home.
Do you know how to keep pests out of your heating and air system? Your home’s comfort may depend on it. And, it doesn’t matter what season it is. Summer, winter, spring or fall – pests can invade your heating and air system year-round. Now, this doesn’t necessarily mean they’ll make their way indoors. However, they can cause damage and disrupt your system’s normal function. So, now’s the time to make certain to keep them out!
How to Keep Pests Out of Your Heating and Air System
Keep reading to learn more about how to keep pests out of your heating and air system. We’ll break it down into 5 simple steps.
1. Clear the Area Around Your System
Your heating and air unit attracts pests for a couple of reasons: shelter and food. Of the two, shelter is far more common. But you’d be surprised how many homeowners keep their trash cans near the HVAC unit. Simply make sure to:
- Keep your trash cans away from the unit to avoid the allure of food
- Clear weeds, bushes, and tall grass away from your system to eliminate shelter
2. Seal Your Ducts
Cracks or loose joints can be an invitation for pests to make their way into your ductwork. From there, they have easy access to the whole system. Seal leaky ducts. By doing so, you’ll keep pests (and allergens) out.
3. Secure Your Vents
The warm air coming from vents like your dryer vent and exhaust fans can attract pests. It’s not uncommon to find different kinds of nests built in vents. From there, they can make their way into your home. Install strong, secure vent covers to stop the problem before it starts.
4. Invest in Pest Control
You know one of the best ways to keep pests out of your heating and air system? Invest in pest control. At the first sign of trouble, call a pest control expert. You may cut short an infestation. And, they won’t be attracted to your heating and air system if they’re repelled from your property in general.
5. Maintain Your System Regularly
This is the most often-overlooked aspect of keeping pests out of your system. If your maintenance technician notices a pest problem, you’ll be aware. And you’ll probably be able to take care of the problem before it becomes expensive. Schedule regular maintenance and cleaning. If your heating and air unit is clean and whole, it will discourage pests from trying to get in.
Pests are a nuisance in all kinds of ways. And, they can wreak havoc if left to themselves. Take steps to keep pests out of your heating and air system before they damage it. If you do end up with a problem, be sure to give Neal’s Heating and Air a call at (706) 764-7185 right away. We’ll help you set your system right again.
Changing leaves, college sports, warm fires, and delicious food add up perfectly to make the fall season an enjoyable time of year. But winter next up on the horizon! That means it’s important for us to prepare our homes for the dropping temperatures. In order to stay warm and combat energy costs, make sure to prepare these 3 areas of your home for winter.
Prepare These 3 Areas of Your Home For Winter
Check the following 3 areas of your home to ensure you’re prepared for the coming winter.
1. Doors, Windows, Fireplace, Gutters.
Seal any leaks in your home. It’s an important first step to keep cold air outside and warm air inside. Installing caulk around leaky windows, or weather stripping around doorways is inexpensive, and it makes a big impact on your energy bill.
When you’re not using your fireplace, the flue should close well enough to prevent airflow. However, if it can’t, consider investing in a flue sealer.
Cleaning your gutters prevents water from building up in them, freezing, and then making its way under the roof and down the walls of your home.
2. Heating And Ventilation System.
Prepare your heating system to handle the increased workload. In other words, clean the filter, seal any duct leaks, and make any needed repairs or adjustments. A trusted HVAC technician from Neal’s can inspect, clean, and repair your system to ensure that it’s prepared well to run at peak efficiency.
By joining Neal’s Comfort Club, you’ll earn even more savings on services and labor while you enjoy your properly working heating system.
When pipes freeze, they burst, and the damage is costly to fix. Thoroughly insulate any pipes that are vulnerable to freezing. Pay close attention to pipes in the basement, attic, or that lead outdoors. Even when you’re away from home, it’s worth it to keep your home warm enough to prevent pipes from bursting.
To help your heating system run more efficiently this winter, and to figure out how you can maximize your energy and cost savings, call Neal’s Heating and Air at (706) 764-7185 or schedule your free inspection online today. We’ll be happy to help you prepare your home for winter.
It’s important to maintain and repair the HVAC unit in your home to keep it going. But eventually, it’ll need to be replaced, even with the proper care and attention. Although replacing your HVAC unit is expensive, it can save you from pouring money into a unit that should really be replaced. Let’s go over some of the signs that tell you it’s time to replace your HVAC unit.
The 6 Main Reasons to Replace Your HVAC Unit
Here are 6 of the most common reasons why you might have to replace your HVAC system.
Regular maintenance will extend the lifespan of your current unit. But, eventually, maintenance won’t be enough to keep your unit working as efficiently as it should be. If your system is between 10 and 15 years old, its poor performance is likely due to its age. This will cost you in rising energy bills and more frequent repair visits. A certified HVAC technician from Neal’s Heating and Air will help you determine if replacing your HVAC system would be more cost effective than making more adjustments on the old one.
As the world of technology advances, it helps make HVAC systems even more energy-efficient. That means your HVAC system could be outdated even if you think it still works well. To lower your energy bills, a skilled HVAC inspector might suggest that you replace your HVAC unit. You could save up to 30% more energy just by updating to a newer and more energy-efficient unit.
Another common cause of HVAC inefficiency is low quality or leaky ductwork. Neal’s Heating and Air always makes sure to check ductwork when they conduct free HVAC inspections. With ductwork that works, you could save another 30% of energy from escaping from your system.
3. R-22 Freon Leak
There’s a closed circuit in many HVAC units that cycles R-22 Freon through the system. So, if you find that your unit needs a refill of Freon, that means it has a leak and needs a repair. However, Freon is getting more expensive, so that repair will cost you more than it used to. Add the high price of the Freon refill to the price of the repair, and you may find that it’s more cost-effective to replace your HVAC unit for a newer, more energy-efficient model.
It can be tempting to try to refill the Freon by yourself without fixing the real issue. But, without a proper system repair or replacement, you’ll just have to do the same thing again and again. You will find major savings by either repairing the leak or replacing the unit.
However, HVAC units that use R-22 Freon aren’t made anymore. And, by 2020, HVAC manufacturers won’t be producing R-22 Freon either. If you find that you’re having problems with your R-22 Freon unit, now would be a great time for you to replace your HVAC system.
4. Changes to Your Home
HVAC units are installed in homes based on the size of the cooling load of that home. The cooling load is the amount of energy needed to cool your home. If your home has been updated or adjusted to be more energy-efficient, then it shouldn’t take as much energy to cool it. This can have negative effects on the HVAC system that was installed to cool a less energy-efficient environment. Since the system is now too powerful for the home, it will continue to experience unnecessary wear and tear, which may be a sign that it’s time to replace your HVAC unit.
5. Lower Air Quality
Your HVAC system does more than heat and air condition your home. It is responsible for most of the air circulation in your home. That’s why it’s important to pay attention to the quality of the air it circulates. If there’s too much humidity in the air, that may be a sign that your HVAC unit isn’t quite doing its job. If it’s circulating low-quality air, that can be worse than not circulating any air at all.
Low-quality air does more harm than good. It has been connected to asthma and other respiratory issues and can contribute to allergies. If low air quality in your home has been causing any issues for you or a loved one, an HVAC unit replacement could help a great deal.
6. Broken HVAC Unit
If your HVAC unit is constantly breaking down, or you’re having few but much bigger issues with it, it may be telling you to save time and money by replacing your broken HVAC unit.
If you have questions about a replacement HVAC system or need a free HVAC inspection, call Neal’s Heating and Air right away at (706) 764-7185.
Here in Southeast Tennessee, we have a very unpredictable climate. It’s common for the weather to change very quickly. There can be wide ranges of temperatures from day to day. And even from hour to hour on some days, no matter which season we’re in. This can make regulating the temperature in your home quite a chore. And constantly having to reach for the thermostat can be a headache. But did you know that it can hurt your wallet as well? Thankfully, there’s a simple solution. Smart thermostats bring convenience and savings into your home – and help you combat waste as a bonus.
How Does a Smart Thermostat Save You Money?
Check out these 3 main ways that a smart thermostat saves you money by helping you control the temperature of your home.
1. Accessing It From Anywhere
Using your smart device, you can control your smart thermostat from wherever you can get a signal. Easily adjust your home’s heating and cooling when you’re on the go. Simply open the thermostat app on your phone, and the temperature control is at your fingertips. This is an especially helpful feature to use if you forgot to adjust the thermostat before you left home, or if you’ve had a change of plans.
2. Reducing Wasted Energy
It’s hard to avoid wasting energy in your home, no matter how much you try. But small adjustments in how you handle your heating and cooling can make a big difference. We tend to reach for the thermostat when the outside temperature suddenly gets warmer or colder. And then we reach for it again the next time the weather changes. While this may seem reasonable to us, it actually makes the heating and air conditioning system work overtime to keep up.
Smart thermostats are easy to program so that you don’t fall into a costly heating and cooling cycle. Whether you need the heat to turn on just before you get home, or for it to turn off when you head to bed. Your smart thermostat will follow whatever schedule you set on the app.
3. Getting Clear Reports
Besides just following a schedule to heat and cool your home, smart thermostats can send detailed energy reports. These reports range from how much energy you have used over a period of time, to how you can optimize your heating and cooling system. This helps eliminate a lot of guesswork and trial and error, leaving you with easy savings.
Make the Switch to Smart
A smart thermostat saves you money. It gives you better access and greater efficiency, all while keeping you comfortable. As soon as you’re ready to switch to a smart thermostat, call Neal’s Heating & Air at (706) 764-7185. We’ll help you figure out which smart thermostat is best for your home.
It’s happened to all of us, mid-summer heat in Georgia can be unbearable so you crank up the AC and the next thing you know, it’s stopped working. When you take a look, the unit is frozen. Then it’s time to call the professionals for air conditioning repairs in Ringgold, GA in mid-july.
Waiting for the unit to thaw out while you sweat is never fun. So, why does it freeze and what can you do to stop it?
Possible Cause 1 – Air Flow
There may be restricted air-flow in your home. When there’s no air moving through the air conditioning system, there is nothing to keep the condensation on the coil from freezing. The culprit is usually dirty filters.
What to do: If you think air flow is the culprit and you don’t yet want to start calling all of the heating and air conditioning companies in Ringgold, GA, the first thing to do is switch off your unit to start the defrosting. Turn on the fan. Let it run for 60 to 90 minutes. Change your air filter during this time and check for any blocked vents. After it’s finished defrosting, turn your air conditioner back on and it should start working again.
Prevention: Check your filters monthly and change them when they appear dirty. In the summer, when your unit is working hard, go ahead and change them monthly no matter what. Ensure no air vents are blocked with furniture.
Possible Cause 2 – Freon
Your HVAC system may be low on Freon which is used as a refrigerant. This is usually a sign of a leak, which is bad. Your home’s cooling system should never leak, it’s a sealed system.
What to do: When you have a leak, it’s time to call heating and air conditioning companies in Ringgold, GA. You will either have to repair or replace your unit, depending on its age and condition.
Prevention: Inspect your HVAC unit regularly, if you ever see signs of a leak, call Neal’s Heating and Air for air conditioning repairs in Ringgold, GA immediately.
Possible Cause 3 – Mechanical Problems
It is possible mechanical problems with your unit or a kinked line or clogged filter drier could be the cause of your freezing unit.
What to do: If any of these are responsible you will need to immediately call for help, as a HVAC technician will be necessary for these air conditioning repairs in Ringgold, GA.
Prevention: Schedule twice a year maintenance to make sure your unit is in working order. All heating and air conditioning companies in the Ringgold, GA area such as Neal’s Heating and Air can work with you to schedule an appointment at your convenience.
Knowing why you should hire a licensed HVAC contractor could save you an expensive headache. Because not all contractors provide equally good service. Because the cheapest quote often leads to the lowest quality work.
Because licensing is in place to protect homeowners.
Your HVAC system is too important to trust an unlicensed tech with. Just like you’d choose a licensed home builder, you should hire a licensed HVAC contractor to inspect your comfort system. The last thing you want is someone who doesn’t care about building codes and machine requirements messing with your expensive heating and cooling system. If something goes wrong, you risk a lot.
Here are the top 3 reasons you should hire a licensed HVAC contractor.
1. To Stay Safe
Every year, building codes prevent dangerous problems from poor work. Yes, the standards can seem to get in your way. But they also help keep your heating and cooling system installation and repair from going wrong. The bad news is that some HVAC contractors don’t bother with code. Because standards are so important, some unlicensed HVAC contractors will claim to be licensed.
Two things can happen if heating and air work is done badly. First, cool and warm air will escape before it gets to your vents. This takes the efficiency right out of your system. But that’s nothing compared to bad installation of electrical components. Fire risk, electrical shorts, or quick system failure are all possible with unlicensed installation.
You should hire a licensed HVAC contractor so you have guaranteed quality work – for your own safety.
2. To Save Money
Heat transfer needs to be efficient. Your energy use depends on whether your system is installed properly. In addition, with poor HVAC installation and repair, components can fail sooner. That unlicensed HVAC contractor probably has a lower quote. He might be a great guy. But his work will likely cost you more money in the long run.
3. To Protect Yourself
Insurance? What’s insurance? Unlicensed heating and air contractors can’t guarantee their work. Without a license, no insurer will cover them for liability or worker’s comp. So, what happens if an unlicensed HVAC tech gets hurt at your home? As the homeowner, your insurance will probably have to pay.
Best-case scenario: your homeowner’s insurance rate will rise. If the worst happens, you could be sued by the contractor. Because licensed HVAC contractors in our area always carry worker’s comp, choose one and protect your financial security.
How Do I Know if My Contractor is Licensed?
When you hire a licensed HVAC contractor, they’ll be able to show you a copy of their license. Only accept a legitimate copy – one that bears the state seal and is properly signed. Never simply accept their word. You need proof. Your licensed contractor is held to a legal and ethical standard that’s backed up by real consequences.
Need to hire a licensed HVAC contractor? Neal’s Heating and Air is fully licensed and insured. And our techs undergo continuing education to stay current with local codes and industry standards. Give Neal’s a call for quality heating and air system installation.