Now that winter is here, your heating system is working extra hard to keep your home warm and cozy. A properly working furnace or heating pump is an absolute must once the temperatures start dropping. For that reason, don’t ignore your heating system during winter!
You need to have a reliable system to get you through the harshest weather in North Georgia. Achieve the level of comfort that you and your loved ones deserve by making sure your equipment is up to speed with these tips:
1. Schedule a Maintenance Appointment
To make your heating system work more efficiently, you need to have it serviced by a professional heating company like Neal’s Heating & Air.
Make sure to have it looked at least once a year, preferably before the start of the cooling season. Aside from cleaning up the system, we can detect leaks and other signs of damage early on and fix them right away.
2. Keep your System Clean
You can also do some form of maintenance on your own. Wipe the equipment down and make sure it is free from dirt and debris. You also need to replace filters and clean vents. Make sure that nothing is obstructing the air vents, and that they are opened all the way.
If you are using a traditional HVAC unit, you can winterize your condenser with a waterproof cover. But if you’re using a heat pump, you don’t need to do this because you’ll be using it throughout the year. It is also important to remove leaves and branches from the outside unit. After a heavy storm, remove any snow buildup that may have accumulated.
3. Test your Thermostat
Make sure that the temperature you set your thermostat to is the correct one for the home. If not, consider investing in a smart thermostat that picks up your habits and automates your temperature in an energy-efficient way. It will increase the heat when you’re at home and awake, and dial it down when you’re away or asleep.
4. Insulate the Home
Check the insulation of your home to see if warm air is able to escape. Weatherstrip the doors and windows to ensure insulation is still effective. Doing so will reduce the amount of energy required to heat the home and will lower your utility bill.
No one wants to be left out in the cold. During this time of the year, a malfunction on your heating system can cause serious discomfort and health problems for the entire family. Contact Neal’s Heating & Air so we can check your system immediately!
Most homes have been designed to become energy-efficient and well-insulated. While these are all well and good, this efficient environment does not really do much in terms of your home’s indoor air quality. The good news is that there are things you can do to achieve a safer and more pleasant breathing space indoors. In addition, it’s easy to follow the best ways to improve indoor air circulation.
Top 6 Ways to Improve Indoor Air Circulation
1. Install Fans
You can install exhaust fans in the kitchen and bathroom to keep the moisture out and prevent the growth of mold and mildew. You can also install ceiling fans in the living area and bedrooms to help the air move around the house and to lessen the load on your air conditioner. Use ceiling fans when the weather is moderate and humidity is low, then use the air conditioner for warmer weather.
2. Install an Attic Vent
Don’t forget the attic when you’re working on the ventilation for the entire home. You can have a ridge vent or gable vent installed in the attic to prevent stagnant air and excess heat from being trapped.
3. Replace Filters
Make it a habit to regularly change or clean your air conditioner’s filters every three months. The filters serve as your system’s first line of defense, which is why they attract a lot of dust and dirt. Clogged filters prevent your air conditioner or furnace from performing their best and can cause an increase in your utility bills.
4. Use Humidifiers & Dehumidifiers
A humidifier increases the moisture levels and is used during the winter months when the air is dry indoors, while a dehumidifier decreases the humidity level and is used during summer when the air is warm and humid.
5. Go Natural
Open your doors and windows and let the fresh air flow throughout the home. You can also add plants not just for decoration, but to also help improve the air quality. There are plenty of plants that thrive indoors and require little maintenance such as snake plants, philodendrons, and bamboo palms.
6. Seek Professional Help
Improving your home’s indoor air circulation is important to create a healthier breathing environment for you and your loved ones. If you need professional help when it comes your home’s indoor air quality, please contact Neal’s Heating & Air for assistance. Call us at (706) 764-7185 or fill out our contact form, and we promise to get back to you within the next 8 business hours.
The days are getting shorter and temperatures are starting to drop. Now that fall is in full swing, winter is just around the corner. And we know what that means! It’s time to prepare your home for the cold weather. In addition, make sure your heat pump can handle the additional workload. Just follow these steps to get your heat pump ready for fall.
5 Steps to Get Your Heat Pump Ready for Fall
1. Replace Your Air Filters
A dirty filter will block the airflow. In doing so, it’ll increase the load on your system. It will also increase your energy consumption as well.
For that reason, the easiest – and most important – way to maintain your heat pump is by regularly changing its air filters once a month. If you are suffering from allergies or asthma or have a pet at home, then you may need to change it more frequently.
2. Check Outdoor Unit’s Environment
Pay a visit to your outdoor unit from time to time. You’ll need to remove any branches, leaves, or debris that may have accumulated on the top and area around it. In addition, remove ice or snow from the top.
3. Inspect Your Doors and Windows
Seal gaps between doors and windows and their frames to lessen the air that escapes. As you seal those gaps, you’ll help to minimize the amount of energy it takes to warm your home. Caulking and weather stripping will make sure your home is airtight.
4. Adjust Your Thermostat
If you haven’t already done so, make the switch to a smart thermostat. A smart thermostat can learn your heating and cooling requirements. It will also automatically adjust the system.
If you are using a conventional thermostat, you can keep it at the lowest possible comfortable temperature to save on your energy bill.
5. Schedule a Tune-up
Your heat pump technically works all year round. However, during the winter season when the colder weather hits, your system works harder than ever.
For that reason, sign up for a maintenance contract with Neal’s Heating & Air. It’s best to get started before the frigid temperatures start. Joining our Comfort Club will help ensure that your heat pump will perform at its best once winter comes.
A technician will come over to assess the performance of your heat pump. If there is a need for repair, they will also take care of it on the spot.
Get Ready for Winter Season
Of course, we all know one of the first steps to get your heat pump ready for fall. Make sure to have it checked by a professional.
As one of the leading HVAC service companies in North Georgia, Neal’s Heating & Air can ensure your equipment is up to the task of warming your home. Please give us a call at (706) 764-7185 or fill out our contact form to schedule an appointment.
Many advancements have been made in the field of heating and cooling technology. As features become more advanced and HVAC systems become more complex, their lifespans are constantly evolving, too. So, how long do HVAC systems last in our modern era? When might you need to replace yours? (Hint: if it looks anything like the image above, replacement will be sooner than later!)
If properly maintained, many modern air conditioners and heat pumps generally last between 15 to 20 years. Furnaces generally last within 20 to 30 years, depending on a number of things. Boilers typically last longer than furnaces.
How Long Do HVAC Systems Last? As Long as Circumstances Allow!
There are many factors that can affect the longevity of your system. Consider that the climate conditions when you first purchased your system have significantly changed due to global warming and climate change.
In addition, incorrect sizing, improper installation procedures, and lack of maintenance are also factors that can severely affect the performance of your HVAC unit. These tend to accelerate its wear and tear.
Maintaining Your Heating and Cooling Equipment
To prevent wear and tear from happening, you can do some of the basic maintenance work by yourself. There are simple tasks such as changing the filters or landscaping the outdoors to protect the outdoor unit.
But having a thorough maintenance check is something that’s best left to the professionals. This is best done twice every year on a year-round system like a heat pump package unit, or once per system if you’re using two systems such an air conditioner and a furnace.
The best time to do this is before the start of the heating season (spring) and cooling season (fall). That will allow you to have any problems fixed before the weather changes for the worse.
But really, how long do HVAC systems last? Only as long as they’re well maintained. For this reason, join Neal’s Comfort Club to get quality maintenance services that will make your HVAC equipment last. Our team will inspect your system for signs of damage and fix it right away.
HVAC System Replacement
An aging HVAC system won’t be able to keep your home at a comfortable temperature. As a result, you’ll see increased energy bills.
If you have been using your air conditioner or heat pump for more than 15 years, or your furnace has been purchased more than 25 years ago, now is the best time to consult with a heating and cooling company to help you with the upgrade.
Neal’s Heating & Air can get the job done. We provide professional installation and replacement services at an affordable price. If you’re not sure it’s time to replace your current heating and cooling system, feel free to give us a call at (706) 764-7185. Or, just fill out our contact form for a quick consultation with an HVAC expert.
Humidity in your home can make you very uncomfortable—especially hot summer weather. What’s more, persistent damp can cause health hazards in some cases. A high level of moisture in the air can promote mold growth. To stay comfortable and healthy, you need to know how to lower indoor humidity for cool comfort during summer. How do you reach that ideal indoor humidity range of 30–50 percent?
How to Lower Indoor Humidity During Summer: 5 Simple Methods
1. Ventilate Everywhere
Proper ventilation can help lower humidity. Turn off the air conditioner and open your windows during the cool hours of the day. This will let fresh air circulate through the house. A nice breeze can help bring down latent humidity.
Also, long, hot showers are luxurious—but they produce a huge amount of humidity. Always use the ventilation fan in the bathroom. In addition, open the bathroom window (if practical) to lower the temperature.
In the kitchen, you can also use a fan over the stove. It can help bring down the amount of heat produced during cooking.
Finally, keep your ceiling fans running. Any way you can increase air circulation in the house is one of the best ways how to lower indoor humidity.
2. Use a Dehumidifier
Running a dehumidifier is an excellent way to lower humidity. And, because it’s easier to cool less humid air, this excellent indoor climate control machine can also reduce your AC costs in the long run. A system-wide dehumidifier fits in your air furnace handler. There, it removes moisture as the air passes through. By the time you feel the air, it’s cold and dry—an excellent feeling for summer comfort. And that’s not the only benefit. By using a dehumidifier, you may even reduce the amount of time your AC unit needs to run. And that will save wear and tear, causing you to need fewer air conditioner repairs.
3. Keep All Surfaces Dry
One of the simplest ways to reduce humidity (that few people think of) is to keep all surfaces dry. Wipe down your sink and counter area after washing your dishes. Use a squeegee to take water off your shower walls when you’re done. Also, dry out your sink after you finish brushing your teeth. If the water is left to evaporate, it goes straight into your home’s air. And, as we discussed, moist air can lead to mold formation.
4. Turn the Air Conditioner On
Remember #1 and how we recommended that you open the windows? Well, anyone who knows how to lower indoor humidity knows this: once the air warms up, turn on the AC right away. You should also run it overnight. By doing so, you’ll let the system start removing humidity. As warm air exits and is replaced by cooler air, your home’s humidity will naturally drop. Make sure you change the filter regularly for the best air flow!
Now you know how to lower indoor humidity for comfort this summer. It’s time to put those tips into action! At Neal’s Heating & Air, we want you stay cool—and we’re ready to help. If you notice a drop off in performance, don’t hesitate. Simply give us a call at (706) 764-7185 and we’ll help restore you to cool comfort.
Have you ever found yourself wondering, “why is my air conditioner blowing warm air?” After all, a fully functional air conditioner is a must-have for every home in and around Chattanooga. Generally, air conditioners play a significant role in circulating and filtering the air we breathe in. Just a few other benefits of good air conditioning systems include preventing heat-related illness, filtering allergens out of the air, and preventing electronic devices from overheating.
On the other hand, having a faulty AC unit can be quite frustrating. Especially with summer just around the corner. Temperatures are usually unbearable during this season and you need comfortable, cool air more than ever. An air conditioner that blows warm air can give you sleepless nights unless you take immediate action.
Why Is My Air Conditioner Blowing Warm Air?
Well, your air conditioner can start blowing warm air due to various reasons. Let’s look at a few of them.
1. Clogged Filter
When your air conditioner has a good filter, contaminants such as dust and pet hair are filtered out of the air. When the filter becomes clogged by foreign substances, it prevents air from flowing through the system effectively. Your air conditioner may start blowing warm air if not enough air is passing over the condenser coils.
2. Thermostat Problems
The first thing that you should consider doing when your AC system starts blowing warm air is to check the thermostat. From time to time, thermostat components may break. Or, you may have changed the temperature accidentally. Is the thermostat set at the correct temperature and the air is still warm? Just call a professional to diagnose and repair the problem for you.
3. Disconnected or Damaged Wiring
If the wiring isn’t connected properly, your air conditioner will have a hard time functioning as it should. Whether the wires are damaged or simply disconnected, they need repair. Check for exposed or damaged wires. If you spot any, call a professional.
4. Low Refrigerant
Refrigerant is the substance that turns warm air into comfortable cool air. If it’s low, whether from a leak or otherwise, you’ll experience warm air coming from your vents. Your AC repairman will let you know if this is the problem.
Other Common Causes of AC Blowing Warm Air Include:
- Tripped condenser breakers
- Blocked return vent opening
- Blocked/dirty condenser coils
- Power loss to the system’s outdoor unit
Is your air conditioner blowing warm air? Call Neal’s Heating and Air for professional diagnosis and repair.
An often-overlooked component of HVAC systems, the air filter is crucial to the operation of your heating and cooling system. If you want the system to remain in excellent working order, you should check and change the filter regularly. So, why do you need to change your air filter? Well, one reason is health. If your air filter isn’t working properly, your lungs are probably serving as the air filters. And we all know the potential outcome of that – your family may suffer from respiratory complications.
Including respiratory health, here are 4 reasons you need to change your HVAC air filters.
Why Do You Need to Change Your Air Filter?
1. Create Clean Air
Replacing the air filter of your home’s HVAC system ensures the air remains clean, fresh, and healthy. This is good for all the people in the home, and particularly kids and the elderly or those suffering from asthma and allergies. Changing the air filters means the HVAC system doesn’t constantly circulate pollen, dust, and other tiny particles in the air. As a bonus, cleaner air means less dusty surfaces.
2. Save Money
Changing air filters saves on operational costs. A dirty filter clogged with debris makes your system expend more energy compared to a new, clean one. You’ll need to pay a higher electricity bill if you continue using a clogged air filter. You can also save money if you …
3. Prevent Damage to the HVAC System
Having a clogged air filter could lead to extensive, preventable damage to your heating and cooling system. If you check the condition of the air filter and replace it when needed, it helps the system function more efficiently for a longer lifespan. The harder it has to work to pull air through the filter, the more wear and tear builds up.
4. Protect the Environment
If you fail to check and change the air filter regularly, it can lead to environmental problems. A dirty air filter means a straining HVAC system, something that uses more energy. That can lead to increased emission of carbon monoxide or greenhouse gases. A simple thing like changing an air filter when it’s necessary can go a long way toward reducing your carbon footprint.
Basically, you should change the air filter every 1 to 3 months depending on how heavily you are using the HVAC system and how quickly the filters are being clogged. This way, the filter – and the entire HVAC system – functions properly and efficiently.
As a homeowner, you need to find the best heating and cooling system for your home to make it more comfortable. You may be wondering, “what is a ductless mini-split system?” It’s one of the most popular HVAC system types on the market today, but many homeowners have yet to leverage the benefits it offers.
If you’re in the market for a new HVAC system, keep reading. You’ll get more insight into the incredible ductless mini-split systems. And then you can make an informed choice. This guide explores this type of heating and cooling system.
What is a Ductless Mini-Split System? Overview
Each mini split features two main components: an outdoor compressor/condenser, and an indoor air-handling unit. To connect the two main sections, there is a conduit containing a power cable, refrigerant tubing, suction tubing, and condensation drainage.
How It Works
To cool your home, the unit in each room blows your home’s warm air over cold evaporator coils. The coils contain refrigerant, which draws heat from the air. Then, the outside unit expels the heat into the surrounding air. It is a simple and effective way of cooling and heating your home.
These systems work perfectly in a situation where a window AC unit or baseboard heater can work. But the mini-split has an advantage: it requires minimal drilling in the wall.
You can have multiple indoor air-handling units connected to the outdoor unit to heat and cool the entire house. These systems not only work well for new homes, but are perfect for retrofits and remodels.
Pros of Ductless Mini-Split Systems
- Easy installation compared to traditional HVAC systems with minimal drilling
- Multi-purpose function of cooling and heating
- Built-in zoning allowing you to control the temperature of each room in your home
- Energy efficiency due to zero leakage through ductwork, unlike central HVAC systems
- Ideal for home remodels due to easy installation
- Remote control and customization options
- Longer lifespan in general
- Cost savings and other financial benefits, including tax credits, rebates, and other incentives for heat pump upgrades
Cons of Ductless Mini-Split Systems
Ductless mini-split systems carry higher upfront cost than ducted HVAC systems. In addition, you need professional installation services. They can also affect the aesthetic appeal of your indoor space, since you have units in every room. However, you have the option to upgrade the units to the version that is recessed in the ceiling.
Go ahead – redefine your living space with a ductless mini-split system. Call a professional HVAC professional from Neal’s Heating and Air at (706) 764-7185 or contact us online today. We’ll help you make your home more comfortable.
How can you keep carbon monoxide from harming your family? It’s a question you need to answer.
When health professionals talk about carbon monoxide (CO), they often refer to it as “the silent killer.” People go to sleep at night, and never realize that a deadly gas is in the air. However, even small doses of CO can cause sickness. For many people, CO-related symptoms are mistaken for other kinds of sickness because they’re so similar.
Because this toxic gas is odorless, tasteless, colorless, and non-irritating, you need to be intentional about detection.
At this point, most homeowners would be tempted to just get a CO monitor, install it, and pat themselves on the back for a job well done. Don’t make that mistake. You do need one. But you should also take additional steps to safeguard your health.
How to Keep Carbon Monoxide From Harming Your Family
Keep reading. We’re going to discuss 3 steps you can take to keep carbon monoxide from harming your family.
1. Get a High-Sensitivity CO Detector
Carbon monoxide is fast-acting even at low levels. In fact, your heart, lungs, and brain experience permanent harm when you’re exposed to low amounts of CO over an extended time.
However, that’s not the worst part. What many people don’t know is that residential CO monitors wait to sound the alarm until CO has already reached unsafe levels. At that point, who knows how long CO levels have been elevated? Your health may already have been harmed. In story after story of people who survived carbon monoxide poisoning, they were exposed for a long period to “non-deadly” amounts. And some experienced lasting effects.
We’re not writing all this as a scare tactic. If you burn fossil fuels in your home or have an attached garage, CO poisoning is a real health risk.
Here’s a helpful chart of when to expect an off-the-shelf CO alarm to sound:
- 40 PPM – alarm goes off after 10 hours
- 50 PPM – alarm goes off after 8 hours
- 70 PPM – alarm goes off after 1-4 hours
- 150 PPM – alarm goes off after 10-50 minutes
- 400 PPM – alarm goes off after 4-15 minutes
But what if you have long-term exposure at 35 PPM? Your alarm may never sound. And you’ll have to deal with possible symptoms like headache, difficulty thinking, cardiovascular trouble, and others. Over a long period of time, your attention span may shrink, and your health may be permanently compromised.
Install highly-sensitive carbon monoxide monitors. They sound an alarm at levels as low as 12 PPM.
Put them near sleeping areas, in the kitchen, near fireplaces, and in your utility room. They should be located near the ceiling because CO is lighter than air.
2. Get a Professional Installer
Sometimes gas appliances break – and need replacement. When the installers are putting your shiny new appliance in, don’t just trust them! Before they touch a thing, ask to look at their permit. And be prepared to deny installation if they’re not properly certified. Your safety depends on proper combustion and venting.
3. Get Professional Appliance Testing
Efficient gas appliances keep carbon monoxide out of your air. But how do you know if they’re efficient? You have a technician test them with a combustion analyzer.
A good combustion analyzer tests your gas appliance’s performance in these 3 areas:
- Fuel-air mixture
Your heat pump or furnace, water heater, fireplace, stove, and any other gas-fueled appliance should all be tested a minimum of once per year, but ideally twice – right before the temperature change in spring and fall. In addition, have your wood-burning fireplace tested at the same time.
Don’t simply trust that your gas appliances are safe. Find out for sure.
Interested in protecting your family with a professional-grade CO detector?
We’ll be glad to install one for you! Give Neal’s a call today at (706) 764-7185 or fill out our contact form for more information.
When you ask, “what size heating and air system do I need,” you’re asking an important question. And, when replacing an old system, the answer matters. Your choice will make a difference in your quality of life.
We’re here to inform your decision. In this article, we’ll look at 4 key factors that affect what size heating and air system you need for your home.
What Size Heating and Air System Do I Need? 4 Key Factors
Keep reading! You’ll learn about the factors that determine what size heating and air system your home needs. One thing is certain – your home isn’t just like anyone else’s (spoiler: that’s factor #2).
1. The SEER Rating Reveals More Than Savings
Energy-efficiency: the Holy Grail of home improvement. You can get energy-efficient windows, appliances, and electronics. In fact, you can even get an energy-efficient massage chair. Likewise, the same goes for your heating and air system. And the Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio (SEER) indicates just how energy-efficient a home comfort system is. Here’s how:
Systems are rated according to tons of capacity. 1 ton of heating or cooling per hour comes out to 12,000 BTUs (British thermal units).
For a 2-ton unit, it’s simple multiplication. 12,000 x 2 = 24,000 BTUs.
However, 2 systems that are each 2 tons aren’t necessarily the same efficiency. This is where the SEER rating comes in. For the best efficiency, get the unit with the highest SEER rating your budget has room for. Higher ratings equal greater energy savings.
As an example, say you’re considering 2 units. One is 14 SEER, and the other is 16 SEER. The 16 SEER system is more efficient than the other. In the real world, that should add up to a lower utility bill during peak seasons.
However, the energy savings alone don’t usually justify the price tag. Most times, homeowners’ long-term savings roughly equal the system’s extra cost.* Why do we recommend higher SEER units, then?
Because of the comfort.
That 16 SEER unit likely has multi-stage technology. In layman’s terms, it runs longer at lower speeds. It’s efficient and delivers comfortable air consistently to all areas of your home. And it takes much less energy to do it than the 14 SEER unit did.
Tip: Make sure to look for an Energy Star-qualified heating and air system. You’ll see a SEER ranging from 15 to 23.
2. Your Home Is Unique
Its physical spaces, walls, and even directional positioning each play a part. All these factors help answer the question, “What size heating and air system do I need?”
- Living space cubic air volume
- Surface area of exterior walls that have prolonged, direct sun exposure
- Number of windows and what condition they’re in
- The build quality of your home
- The age of your home
- The quality of your home’s wall and attic insulation
- How leak-free your home’s existing vents and ductwork are
- Whether your ductwork is properly-sized or not
- How much shade your home receives
Evidently, square footage doesn’t tell the whole story. You can’t just calculate that and choose a properly-sized heating and air system.
Tip: Ask a professional HVAC technician, “What size heating and air system do I need?” He should be able to calculate these factors.
3. Wrong-sized Systems Cost More
What happens when your air conditioner turns on? It cools your home to a certain temperature, then shuts off again. However, if the system is too big for your home, it won’t stay on long enough. It’ll cool super quickly, then turn off. While that sounds like a good thing, it’s not.
When you cool the air too quickly, your walls, floor, and furniture don’t have time to get cool as well. They can keep giving off heat into the air, making the system turn on again – sooner than it should. This could continue all day.
That leads to inefficiency and wear and tear. Your power bill may be unaffected. However, every time the system turns on and off, it wears out a bit more. Repairs – and even replacement – may come sooner than they would if the system was the right size to start with.
However, if your system is too small, it may run longer, waste energy, and wear out a bit sooner from constant use.
Tip: Put insulation on your list of fixes – if your home isn’t well insulated, even a right-sized unit may perform inefficiently and experience more wear and tear.
4. Experience Makes a Difference
Much of your utility bill comes from heating and air costs. Because of that, only work with an experienced, professional, licensed HVAC tech.
You need to be able to trust them. Trust them to stick with ACCA-approved techniques as they figure out what the best heating and cooling unit for your home is. Trust them to only sell you what you need.
Once finished, your cooling system should be energy–efficient. And, above all, it should meet your family’s comfort needs.
Tip: You can rely on Neal’s Heating and Air. We’ll make absolutely sure that the unit we’re recommending is the right one. And once you decide, our reliable, licensed staff will install it the way it should be. Call us at (706) 764-7185 or contact us online today!
*If the home is well-insulated, the ductwork is leak-free and sized correctly, and the system is correctly sized for the home.