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Do I need to service my air conditioner every year?

Technician working on an air conditioning unit.

Taking Care of Your Air Conditioning

Summers in North Carolina can be beautiful and brutal all at the same time. With over 300 miles of beach coastline, the beauty is endless looking out over The Atlantic Ocean. With that beauty comes salty moist air, making it humid and a must to have good air conditioning. Inspection of your air conditioning is important in this part of the country, or you may find yourself moist from sweat too! 

So what is the difference between an air conditioner or air conditioning? You’ve heard it referred to both ways, and probably have used both yourself. The difference is that the phrase ‘air conditioner’ is a reference to the machine that cools a room. Air conditioning is a reference to what the air conditioner does. But when it comes to repairs and air conditioning inspection in Charlotte, NC, these little details may not matter so much when you’re hot. 

Is an AC tune-up necessary?

The air conditioning systems of today are highly sophisticated compared to those of yesteryears. While they can provide years of reliable service, routine maintenance and upkeep are necessary, like annual air conditioning inspection and checkup by a professional. Many manufacturers will require this to keep your warranty valid, as somewhat of an incentive. 

How often should AC be serviced?

As we just mentioned, in general, you should schedule your air conditioning inspection twice a year with a professional air conditioner or HVAC technician. With two annual air conditioning inspections, a technician can catch any possible issues that may become a non-working air conditioning problem. 

Some companies will offer a free air conditioner inspection for the first call. You’ll pay for any parts and repairs it may need then, and this will get your system up to spec and ready for a maintenance program. With a maintenance program, the twice a year air conditioning inspection should include the following items with an air conditioner inspection checklist something of this nature: 

  • Test the thermostat
  • Check wiring 
  • Inspect all components and connections
  • Inspect supply registers and return vents
  • Clean any blockages 
  • Check and replace air filter
  • Clean and flush drain line and drain pan
  • Test all safety controls
  • Clean and inspect condensate pump where applicable
  • Inspect and test capacitors and contactors, replace as needed
  • Clean condenser coil
  • Inspect all lines and coils
  • Test and inspect compressor, condenser fan motor, and blower motor 
  • Inspect and check refrigerant, recharge if needed after check if air conditioner is leaking and other issues
  • Clean and inspect evaporator coil
  • Test airflow
  • Inspect ductwork for air leaks and kinks, repair or replace as necessary

How long does an AC unit last?

A quality air conditioning system that is professionally installed and well maintained can have a lifespan up to 15 years or longer. There are various factors that can affect the lifespan of an air conditioning, inspections being one of the key factors. Other factors include: 

  • Air Filter: The air filter should be changed, or cleaned if yours are reusable, every 30 days at a minimum. This is the key factor that every homeowner can maintain that helps extend the life of your air conditioning. Inspections often find clogged, dirty filters and simply replacing it with a new one, the system is blowing better and colder. 
  • Location: Where the air conditioning system is located is another important factor in the lifespan of the system. The coils and filter will get dirty faster in dry arid climates, thus needing cleaning and replacing more frequently. A humid climate will often create the need to change the thermostat more frequently. This can be eased with a programmable thermostat and an upgrade with the addition of a humidifier to the air conditioning system or even stand-alone humidifiers in each room. 
  • Operation: An air conditioning unit that operates 24/7/365 will have a shorter lifespan as this increases the wear and tear of the unit. If you need to keep your system running all day/night, every day/night you should schedule your air conditioning inspection twice yearly and change your air filter twice a month. 
  • Exterior Component: The component outside your home is just as important as the interior component. Don’t wait for your annual air conditioning inspection to have it checked. A visual check by you once a week to pull away any grass and weeds growing up around it and remove any debris and trash that has blown up against it. If the unit is exposed to sun all day, check out having a cover built over it that will protect it from the sun and other elements can help it run less, easing the strain on your energy bill. 

How much does it cost to replace an AC unit?

There is no argument that replacing an air conditioning system is a costly investment. The key word to that statement is “investment” and with that in mind, you want to get the best equipment you can afford. 

A replacement central air conditioning system can range from $5,000 up to $12,000. How large of a unit you purchase is the biggest factor as well as the brand. Another part of the cost is the installation. 

Young woman turning on air conditioning system.

At The End Of The Day … Is An Air Conditioning Inspection Worthwhile? 

When you call around asking different companies, “How much does AC tune up cost?”, you’ll probably have a little sticker shock. If your system is an existing older unit, the air conditioning inspection can cost upward of $200 or more. Pricing will vary based on the type and size of the system, the size of your home, the age of your system, and various other factors.

What you need to keep in mind is that replacing the unit will cost you much more than the basic air conditioning inspection and it will minimize the possibility of emergency breakdowns. For more information on air conditioning inspection in Charlotte, NC, reach out to the All Climate Heating and Cooling team by calling 704-964-8375.

How Do I Know If My Air Conditioner Needs Recharging?

two air conditioner systems

Keep your system cooling

We can all thank Willis Carter for the air conditioning we enjoy here in North Carolina during these hot and humid summers!  While Mr. Carter is the man behind our comfort, it is the technology of today that keeps us cool with the refrigerant recharge system. 

What is refrigerant recharge?  Before we go into that, let’s discuss what refrigerant is, because there are many that do not know or understand. Refrigerant is low-pressure fluid or gas compound that absorbs the heat from the environment. As it absorbs that heat, it switches into a high-pressure liquid. The components of your air conditioner then send that refrigerant outside where the hot air is blown over the coils and drains it outside.

The refrigerant cools down then, becoming a low-pressure gas again while another fan inside your home blows air over the cooling coils. That cooled air is then distributed throughout your house and this cycle keeps repeating as needed to meet the thermostat setting. 

Refrigerant charging is when the gases that are used in this process are replenished. Refrigerant charging also is done when repairs are made to the system or there has been a leak in a line.

Can you recharge a home air conditioner?

There was a time we were able to purchase a refrigerant recharge kit at your local hardware, home improvement center, or a heating/air service center. Unfortunately, or luckily, depends on how you look at it, the EPA ( U.S. Environmental Protection Agency) has a law in place that prohibits everyday people from purchasing refrigerant. Recharge process can only be done by a technician that has been certified and license by the EPA. These technicians are trained how to recharge refrigerant safely for your, your family, themselves, and the environment. 

How do I check my AC refrigerant?

When your air conditioning doesn’t seem to be cooling as well as it was, it could need refrigerant recharge. Or it could a number of other things that are keeping it from working as well. Since the process of refrigerant recharge has to be done by a certified and licensed professional now, here are some thing you can do yourself before making that phone call: 

  • The Fan – With the air conditioning turned on, do a visual check of the fan. If it does not move when you turn the system on, you could have a faulty fan switch or a faulty fan. Either way, you’ll need a professional to repair or replace this. 
  • The Filter – change or clean the air filter. The filter gets clogged up with debris, dirt, and dust. When this happens, it can’t cool your home as it should. By keeping it cleaned or changed on a regular basis, you’ll help your air conditioner work more efficiently, keeping your home comfortable. 
  • The Frost – if there is frost on the lines, motor, or any part of your air conditioner, it is probably leaking the refrigerant. A refrigerant recharge may help, so call your technician. They will inspect the unit and determine if a refrigerant recharge will fix it or if there is something more serious. 
  • A Hissing Sound – another indication that a system is low on refrigerant is a hissing sound. That hissing sound is usually coming from a leak. Again, this will need to be serviced by a certified, licensed technician. 
  • The Soap Test – a soap solution is an old school standby test that is cheap and easy. Simply spray a mixture of soap and water on the area where you expect the refrigerant could be leaking. If bubbles appear, then your system needs to be checked by a technician for refrigerant recharge or other issues. 
  • Electronic Detectors – this is device in the form of an electronic detector that makes sounds and will show on an indicator that your air conditioning has a leak. These can be found at a home improvement store or a heat/air supply store. 

How long does refrigerant last in AC?

The compressor and the refrigerant inside your air conditioner should last between 12 years and 15 years. When a system is low on refrigerant, it usually is from a leaking line or the compressor. Both of these need to be inspected and serviced by a certified and licensed technician. 

line of ac systems

How do I know if my air conditioner needs recharging? 

If you have been diligent with the changing or cleaning of the air filter but still feel warmer air from the vents, then your system likely needs a refrigerant recharge.  Have you noticed frost building up on the lines or anywhere inside the system? If so, then you have a refrigerant recharge leak and need the services of a professional. 

A professional technician may come to you tell you that the refrigerant will not recharge. When this is the case, it is likely the compressor needs to be replaced.  Depending on the make, model, and age of your system, a completely new system may be the better choice financially. 

Before 2020, we were concerned about the changes the EPA was making to refrigerant recharge materials and what it was going to do to our way of living. Well, that question of “What will replace refrigerant in 2020?” has been answered with a refrigerant R410A.  

The R-22 refrigerant that have been used for years, even decades, is no longer available. The concern of the old school refrigerant was because of the depleting ozone. The new R410A is said not to be harmful to the ozone, making our air quality better. Need refrigerant recharge in Charlotte, NC? Call 704-964-8375 today.

Are ducts and vents the same?

vents along ceiling

What do air ducts do?

A lot of people don’t consider North Carolina as a southern state, but it is one of the originals when it comes down to North vs South. As a southern state, it is also one of those that gets hot and humid in the summer, yet far enough north, the air duct system gets used during the winter too. 

How do air ducts have so much influence over the air quality and dust in your home? Air ducts are conduits that air conditioning, heating, and ventilation move through from the main of your HVAC system. The airflow that air ducts provide is to supply the air, return refreshed air, and pull out and exhaust used air. The air duct system ensures acceptable indoor air quality and establishes the thermal comfort we all enjoy and take for granted. 

Just like states further south or out west, the air duct for ac and heat need routine cleaning to keep homes healthy. Yet, it is sometimes amazing how many do not relate their allergies and sinus issues to a dirty air duct system in their home or workplace. 

Yet, they still ask, “Why does my house get so dusty?”, which we can give them several reasons why it is the air duct system to blame for much of that dust. 

  • Dirty, Leaky Air Ducts – The air ducts from your HVAC system run through attic, ceilings, crawlspaces, and walls. If at any spot along this run there is a small hole or an area that becomes unsealed, it is sucking in dirt and dust from that area and blowing it through the vents all over your house. If you are noticing excessive amounts of dust settling after the HVAC system has ran, you could have dirty air ducts or a leaking air duct system. Either way, a professional service can clean your air ducts, perform a pressure test and if there is a leak, make repairs or replace them as needed. 
  • Cheap, Dirty Air Filters – The first line of defense your HVAC system has is the air filter you change or clean every 30 days. If you use the cheaper brands, they won’t filter the dust like they should. The cheaper the filter, the larger the holes, allowing more dust to get through the air duct system and into your home. If you aren’t changing or cleaning the filters every 30 days, the filter gets clogged and forces dirty, dusty air into the air duct system. Then it passed on through the rest of your house. It is also making your HVAC system work harder! 
  • Invest in an Air Purifier – You may live in an area that is naturally dusty, like the desert, on a busy road or a road under construction. These are areas that put out more dust than normal and your HVAC system is sucking in that dust and blowing it into the air ducts through your home.  Other factors that can be causing a dusty house is your dusting method. Always start at the highest area and work down, then vacuum. A microfiber cloth is the best material to dust with because it traps dust better. While dusting, wipe down the walls too, and change or empty your vacuum cleaner filter frequently. Replace it with a HEPA filter if that option is available. 

Keep your indoor pets cleaned and combed to minimize the amount of pet dander and hair floats through you home. Keep cloth furniture cleaned and check for cracks and gaps around the doors and windows, correcting them as needed to keep dirt and dust from coming inside. 

What happens if you don’t clean your air ducts?

It becomes routine having your HVAC system checked by a professional along with the few homeowner duties you’re advised to perform. However, just because the forced air is coming through the vents doesn’t mean your air duct system is okay. 

Every two years, you should have your air duct system cleaned by a professional. This will ensure the integrity is durable and strong and keep them clean of the things that are known to collect in an air duct system. 

There are several different contaminants that collect in air ducts, with dust being at the top of the list. We’ve reviewed several things already that can cause this collection and what you can do about minimizing that collection. 

Then there is dirt collecting in the air ducts too. This is dirt that gets  tracked in from outside, enters around your doors and windows, etc., and all gets sucked up into the air ducts, the forced through your home. 

Dirty air ducts attract insects, pests, and vermin like roaches and mice. They eat, sleep, hatch, and their feces is sitting in your air dusts, blowing throughout your home. The stuff blowing across this in your air duct system are health hazards. 

Can you clean your own air ducts?

If you can learn to clean your home’s air ducts, it will save you money. However, hiring a professional that is trained and experienced on air duct cleaning, how is it done can save you headaches, time, and trouble. If money is tight though and your air ducts need cleaning, here are the 5 steps to get it done

  • Step One: Prepare For The Task – Gather your equipment and supplies, including a small ladder or step-stool, a flathead and Philip head screwdrivers. Turn the thermostat off so the HVAC system doesn’t come on while you’re working. 
  • Step Two: Remove and Clean  the Vent Covers – Vacuum the vent first to remove immediate layer of dust. Then remove the cover and wash in hot soapy water, scrubbing as needed, then rinse and set aside to dry. 
  • Step Three: Clean the Inside of the Duct – As the vent covers dry, insert a dryer vent brush into each duct where you removed the covers and rotate as you gently run it along the walls of the air duct. Now remove the brush and attach the flexible hose and insert into the air duct to suck out any loose debris. 
  • Step Four: Remove Residue – With a clean damp microfiber cloth, reach into the air duct as far as possible and wipe out any residue that you can reach, rinsing the rag and repeat the process several times. You can use an all-purpose cleanser to get stubborn areas. 
  • Step Five: Finishing Up – With a clean, damp rag, wipe around the air duct and return the cover, turn the HVAC system back on, and you’re done! 
inside a used duct system

Is air duct cleaning really worth it?

There isn’t sufficient information and knowledge about air duct cleaning, so the EPA won’t recommend it or against it either.  You pretty much have to make your own decision based on the condition of your home and consider why you think your air vents need cleaning. 

Air duct cleaning is ridding your home of dirt, dust, and the nastiness we’ve mentioned earlier. From one perspective, that can’t be a bad thing, right?  If it helps your family breathe easier and there is less dirt and dust in your home with routine cleaning, that can’t hurt either? 

What do you do when your air duct is leaking water? This could be something more than what an air duct cleaning can fix. It isn’t unusual for condensation to form inside or outside of the air ducts, especially if they aren’t insulated well. 

If you notice condensation on the vents, check the air filter and change it or clean it. If that doesn’t stop the condensation, then call your HVAC professional. There could be something more serious or it may be nothing more than your air duct system needs a thorough cleaning. Call 704-964-8375 today for air duct cleaning in Charlotte, NC.

Is high efficiency HVAC worth it?

energy efficient HVAC

What is the most energy efficient way to run air conditioning?

As summer weather approaches, many homeowners are looking to upgrade their cooling system in their home. Those that currently have central air may be considering going with window units, and vice versa, those with window units are wondering about the energy efficiency of central air vs. window units. Today, the technology of both has improved over the years, even window air conditioning is more energy efficient. Does it beat the Energy efficient hvac system offer though? Read on as we dive into this topic: 

A lot of homeowners believe in leaving the air conditioner set  at the same temperature 24/7 is a money saver “….because the AC isn’t working as hard to cool the house down.” Actually, if you’re looking for a way that is more energy efficient, HVAC thermostat should be turned up a little higher when you’re not at home. 

This is where upgrading to a programmable thermostat will make your life easier and home cooled down by the time you get home. A programmable thermostat can be programmed to raise the temperature when you leave at 7:30am and kick down a few degrees by 5pm so that you home is nice and cool when arrive. Otherwise, you need to use your memory to raise and lower thermostat to get close to that energy efficient HVAC thermostat results.

When you are home, set the thermostat at the highest temperature that is still comfortable for your home. Even the smallest amount can be a big money saver! For example, raising the thermostat by ten to fifteen degrees, over an 8 hour day 5 days a week, your energy bills can reduce by as much as ten percent. 

Is it better to run AC all day?

No, it is not how you get the most energy efficient HVAC results, or window air conditioning either. It has been a theory for many years that you can save money by letting the thermostat stay in one place all day. This is wasting energy and wasting your money. Your energy efficient HVAC system or window unit is burning fossil fuels and other means of energy when you let stay on at one temperature all day. 

The best thing you can do for the most energy efficient HVAC system is to have a programmable thermostat installed. Then set it to run a few degrees warmer while you’re at work and cool back down before you get home. For every degree you raise the thermostat setting you’re saving as much as five percent. 

How many hours should AC run per day?

An air conditioner that cuts on and off frequently or runs constantly could be an indication of something wrong. There are a number of things that can affect how frequent or how long your air conditioner runs: 

  1. The insulated in your home.
  2. The outside temperature.
  3. Air conditioner too small for your home. 
  4. The unit isn’t working properly.

An energy efficient HVAC system is designed to run at its maximum capacity when the outside temperature is at its hottest. So, on a summer day when the temperature reaches 100 or higher, yes, the air conditioner will run almost continuously. This is so it can hold the interior temperature close to the thermostat setting.

An air conditioner that can’t keep the right temperature or never turns off is either not working right or is the wrong size. There could be a mechanical or refrigerant issue with the unit too. On a mild day, an air conditioner should run for 15 minutes and on a hot day, almost non-stop. 

What is a good temperature for AC at night?

It is a fact when the bedroom is too cold or too hot, you won’t sleep well. The general recommended sleeping temperature is no lower than 60⁰ and no higher than 67⁰ F year round. 

Two HVAC systems exterior

How can I lower my AC bill?

Are you in fear of that next electric bill this summer? Fortunately, there are several things you can do that will help keep those air conditioning bills at a reasonable level: 

  1. New Upgrade Windows: Your old windows are probably not energy efficient. HVAC and room air conditioners have to work harder when the windows are not doing all they can to keep the cool in and the heat out. Yes, there is an upfront expense, but you’ll get your money back in the long run.
  2. Install Window Seal: If you can’t afford new windows right now, caulk the leaks use weather stripping  to seal the existing windows. 
  3. Install A Programmable Thermostat: A programmable thermostat can cut energy usage by self-adjusting the temperatures. The DOE (Department of Energy) advises you can save as much ten percent each year with a programable thermostat.
  4. Install Ceiling Fans: Installing ceiling fans will circulate the cool air, easing the burden on room air conditioners and make more energy efficient HVAC  system.
  5. Replace The Air Filters: Replacing or cleaning the HVAC air filters is the number one thing many homeowner do not do. It is also the number one thing that will give you a more efficient energy for hvac results. Clogged and dirty air filters make an air conditioner work harder which makes it use more energy. 
  6. Cook Outside More: The stove top or the oven generates heat and makes the air conditioning system work harder. Summertime is for grilling! Or use appliances like a crockpot or electric griddle that won’t heat the house while it cooks. 
  7. Block The Sunlight: When the sun rays are streaming in your windows, closing the shades and curtains will help keep the temperature down.  
  8. Insulation: The attic and exterior walls are where a lot of your cooled air is going if you haven’t updated the insulation. Have your attic and walls professionally insulated and you’ll have a better working energy efficient HVAC system. 
  9. Have Routine Air Conditioning Professional Service: Find a local air conditioning contractor that will provide you a maintenance contract to service your system twice a year. By the time your system is 10 years old, you may need to increase that service to three times a year. 
  10. Go Solar: Solar panels installed on the roof will utilize the sun’s energy to power your home, reducing your energy expense. 

For your own expense savings, getting room or HVAC systems that are energy-efficient heating and cooling for homes will cost you upfront, but the savings will pay over the next few years.  Many homeowners will ask “Is energy-efficient HVAC tax-deductible?”, and the answer is no, there is not a “tax deduction” but there are tax credits. Deductions and credit end up benefiting you, but they are handled differently. Your tax specialist will be able to explain to you the difference and how much you can expect. Call 704-964-8375 today for your HVAC maintenance or energy efficient HVAC system installation in Charlotte, NC.

What is a heat pump and how does it work?

heating system

Do heat pumps use a lot of electricity?

A geothermal heat pump extracts the heat from underground and transfers it into a home. The following scenario is how a heat pump for central heating operates to heat a home, working in the same way that air conditioners and refrigerators work.

 Refrigerant is circulated through a cycle of condensation and evaporation. The compressor then pumps that refrigerant between exchanger coils, one evaporates the refrigerant at a low pressure, absorbing the heat from the earth. Then the refrigerant is compressed as it transfers to the other coil. There a high pressure condenses it and then the heat is released and pushed through the air ducts, sending the warmth from the heat pump to heat house. 

So, you’re considering having a geothermal heat pump installed after reviewing last winter’s electrical and heating bills? Yes, the more efficient an HVAC system is, the more money you’ll save, but is a geothermal heat pump still going to need electricity? 

There is always going to be some energy lost as the HVAC system generates heat. Any combustion-based furnace that consumes some type of fuel source, either heating oil, natural gas, or propane.  The difference in a geothermal heat pump, it doesn’t generate heat! I pulls heat from the earth. Yes, you are standing on the source where a heat pump will get the heat it uses to heat your home. 

For each unit of energy a geothermal heat pump system uses, four units have used that same power to generate the heat they disperse. Approximately one-third to one-fourth of the energy delivered for heating purpose with a geothermal heat pump system uses electricity. The rest of heat is puled from the earth. So, the answer to your question, does a heat pump use a lot of electricity? No! 

Should a heat pump be left on all the time?

Okay, this is where you will find out that you should get a programmable thermostat.  A heat pump is highly efficient in providing comfort for your home, one of the biggest advantages that attracts the attention of homeowners. 

However, there is a common misunderstanding about the efficiency of a heat pump. No, you should not leave your heat pump on all night and if your home is well insulated, you should feel the need to do that anyway.  A heat pump will get a properly insulated house warm in only a few hours and keep it warm with the heat pump turned off.  What if the insulation isn’t in top condition? No problem the heat pump will heat the house faster than the traditional heating methods.  Use your blankets for extra warmth – they’re free! 

What are the advantages of a heat pump?

Americans are learning that heat pump efficiency  isn’t just for keeping homes warm in the winter. They are excellent in the summer for air conditioning too! Where a heat pump pulls heat from the earth to heat your home in the winter. During the summer, it pulls the heat from home, cools it down, and sends it back into your home. Sounds great, but what are the true advantages of a heat pump? 

  • Heat pump uses less electricity, lowering your energy bill.
  • Heat pump doesn’t dry the air out in your home like a furnace.
  • Heat pump doesn’t require a humidifier to keep your comfortable. 
  • Heat pump is quieter operating system than other heating systems because the noisy part, the compressor, is outside your home.
  • Heat pump doesn’t use the fossil fuels, making it eco-friendly.

At what temperature do heat pumps become ineffective?

The first step in clarifying a myth about geothermal heat pump not working when the weather is extremely col is to state there are two different heat pump methods. One is air-to-air and the other is a ground source.  The air-to-air won’t work as well when the weather is at an extremely cold temperature.  That is just logical because of the air is cold the heat pump is only pulling in cold air. 

A geothermal heat pump is pulling heat from the earth, which is a consistent temperature. So, when the air is cold, the geothermal heat pump will still be pulling the same natural heat from the earth. The cold air tells the geothermal heat pump it needs to produce more heat, aka run longer, but it will never run out of heat to warm your home. 

HVAC system on concrete

Do heat pumps work well in hot weather?

Absolutely!  A GHP (geothermal heat pump), can heat and cool your home. In fact, a GHP can even supply your home with hot water!  This isn’t a new technology; it has been around fifty years and has been known to slash energy cost by over 60% when comparing bills to home with the traditional HVAC system. 

Some rumors have been floating around that a geothermal heat pump is loud, and that couldn’t be further from the truth. Because the main part of the GHP system is outside, the noise is outside, but even then, it isn’t obnoxiously loud. Call 704-964-8375 today for heat pump service in Charlotte, NC.

How Important is Indoor Air Quality?

vent in wall with dust

How bad is indoor air quality?

What may not seem that long ago, there was a time we would open the windows to get some fresh air. Then with the increase in air pollution, the general consensus was that the indoor air quality was better than the “fresh” air outside.  

It is funny how things change, including where better air quality can be found. Fortunately, with technology today, there are Indoor air quality options that we utilize to improve the indoor air quality in our homes and offices. 

The indoor air quality we breathe today in our homes or offices can be hazardous to our health, more than the outdoor air quality in cities. During the winter months, this is even more so because we have the doors and windows closed and sealed up. The indoor air quality today has been associated with the following adverse health effects: 

  • Allergies
  • Asthma 
  • Chronic coughs
  • Dizziness
  • Eye irritation
  • Frequent colds
  • Headaches
  • Heart disease
  • Lethargy
  • Lung disease 
  • Respiratory problems
  • Skin rashes

The long-term effect of breathing in poor indoor air quality can include memory loss and cancer risk. For young children, chronically ill, and the elderly, poor indoor air quality can irritate, even cause chronic ailments. 

How is indoor air quality measured?

It is common for homeowners and commercial structural owners to overlook the significance of the indoor air quality. Simply because poor indoor air quality isn’t visible, doesn’t mean it isn’t there. Poor indoor air quality has an effect on those that live in the home occupy the structure, some of which we listed above.  Look at these facts 

  • Almost 4 million people die each year around the world from poor indoor air quality. 
  • Many respiratory ailments are caused by particulate matter that is found indoors today like asthma, cancer, decreased lung function, and respiratory inflammation.
  • Productivity is reduced by low-quality air.

Indoor air quality is measured by sensors that detect the input in the environment, like light, motion, and temperature, then transmits the information in a signal that measures and transmits electronically particular pollutants.

There are a variety of sensors available today that can measure a variety of things for indoor air quality. Because of advanced technology, they are more affordable than before. With strategic placement around your home or office, the results are reliable, enabling you find How to improve air quality in the best way possible. Following the 10,000 square foot to one sensor set up as suggested by the EPA, basic categories for sensor measurements are:

  • Bioaerosols 
  • Carbon monoxide
  • Formaldehyde
  • Humidity
  • Methane
  • Particulate matter
  • Radon
  • VOCs

What is the standard for indoor air quality?

Carbon dioxide exposure can produce several health effects from dizziness, headaches, restlessness, a pins and  needles feeling, tinging, breathing difficulties and more. Indoor air quality checks are important to maintain a healthy level at home or in the office.  

A normal outdoor air quality level is between 250-350 ppm. Typical level for good indoor air quality is between 350-1,000 ppm.  When levels reach between 1,000 to 2,000 ppm level, complaints of drowsiness and other issues become frequent. 

What are the symptoms of bad air quality in the home? 

In addition to the physical symptoms that we’ve discussed earlier, there are other symptoms around the home or office that are indications that the indoor air quality should be professionally checked: 

  • Significant Increase of Dust on Surfaces and Around Vents
    Excess dust buildup around your home and the air vents are indication of poor indoor air quality. This build up includes dust mites, pet dander, pollen, and more allergenic particulates that can aggravate allergies.
  • Air Distribution Inconsistent
    Inconsistent cold and warm spots are often indicative of issues with the air distribution system and poor indoor air quality. Having your HVAC checked out by your HVAC professional is recommended in addition to changing the filter.  
  • Humidity
    Proper relative humidity is between 35 to 50% for ideal comfort and the prevention of microorganism growth. When the humidity is too little, your skin becomes dry and itchy. When the humidity is too much, the furniture and window frames warp.  
  • Mildew and Mold Growth
    Mildew and mold growth accompany a high relative humidity level and poor indoor air quality. This is recognized by a musty smell, mold issues, and black and green mold spots around the sinks and tubs.
  • Unpleasant Smells
    Unpleasant smells from mildew and mold growth, decomposition of debris, dirt, dust on the surfaces around your home indicate poor indoor air quality issue.
dusty air vent being cleaned

How can I improve indoor air quality?

Eliminating all the possible allergens in your home isn’t possible, but with a few changes around the home or office, you can improve the indoor air quality. 

  • Keep the home and office clean. A clean home or office is healthier because you’re removing the animal dander and dust.  Vacuum once or twice a week, clean the bedding and drapes on a regular basis. Keep clutter minimal.  
  • Keep the plants outdoors. Indoor plants can give a home or office a special look, but they also foster mold growth. Do indoor plants improve air quality? Yes, indoor plants are said to clean the air, but it can be a balancing act. 
  • Change the filters. Replace your current filter with an electrostatic filter or be sure to change the filters every 30 days.

Which Is Better To Improve Indoor Air Quality? 

When it comes to House plants vs air purifier to improve your indoor air quality, which is better? Both offer  something to your home or office. House plants absorb pollutant with phytoremediation while and air purifier filter pollutant with filter or static electricity. 

The air turns more frequent with an air purifier but doesn’t capture the same amount of VOC’s. Whereas a plant absorbs more variety of pollutants like VOC’s, but they don’t move the air. Call 704-964-8375 today for indoor air quality testing in Charlotte, NC.

How often should a heating system be serviced?

HVAc system outside

Keeping your home warm this winter

Winter has arrived for much of the country, including North Carolina. Was your heat ready to go and keeping you warm? As a responsible homeowner, you did the HVAC maintenance after summer, like changing the filter and making sure the condensation drip pan was emptied.  What about HVAC maintenance for winter though? 

Are you asking yourself, “Is annual furnace maintenance necessary?”  Absolutely! Yes, a regular hvac maintenance and cleaning is just as important in the winter as it is in the summer. HVAC maintenance is important to keep your HVAC system running efficiently and to help minimize your energy bills. 

What is included in furnace maintenance?

With a professional HVA maintenance appointment by an experienced and qualified technician, your HVAC system will have the following things performed: 

  • Loose connections tightened
  • Moving parts lubricated
  • Air filter changed or cleaned
  • Airflow tested
  • Ductwork inspected
  • Connections checked
  • System controls tested
  • Thermostat checked and calibrated

Each of those tasks by the technician will contribute to keeping your HVAC system running efficiently and use minimal amount energy, which will show on your energy bill.  Here are some hvac maintenance benefits that you may not realize you get by having routine HVAC maintenance year-round: 

Energy Savings = Money Savings

When the heating system dirty and neglected, like the air conditioner part of the HVAC system, it works harder than it should have to in order to meet the thermostat setting you have. So, it doesn’t heat enough, and you turn up the thermostat and it works even harder.  See the pattern?  

Comfort  Increased

When the components of an HVAC system is malfunctioning system, has leaky ductwork, or the airflow is reduced, it can prevent the heating system from reaching the desired thermostat setting. As we mentioned earlier you keep moving the thermostat and the system works harder. 

Air Quality Enhanced

As the air moves through the duct network, any contaminants and loose particulates will clog the air filter, cover the system components, and linger in the air ducts. Those contaminants include any of the following:

  • Bacteria
  • Dust
  • Mildew
  • Mold
  • Pet dander
  • Pollen

This will make your home dustier and the allergens stirred up make those with allergies and breathing issues suffer. 

Equipment Lifespan Extended: 

With an HVAC maintenance system, it is cleaned and lubricated, any repairs are made, it can operate correctly, and any moving parts aren’t binding, removing possible stress on the HVAC equipment, and extending the lifespan.

Safety Improved

A fuel burning appliance or component that is well-maintained, like an HVAC maintenance plan, will carry any carbon monoxide it releases out through the venting system as designed. However, when an HVAC system is neglected and doesn’t have a regular HVAC maintenance plan, it becomes dirty and is more likely to malfunction and produce a higher concentration of this odorless gas, that can pose a threat and can be deadly. 

Less Repairs

With an HVAC maintenance plan, any minor issue is detected and can usually be resolved at that time. This keeps it from becoming a major issue that is costly and could cause downtime. 

A Reliable System

With scheduled preventive HVAC maintenance before winter begins and at least once during the winter, you will know that your HVAC system is operating at peak performance to provide your home an efficient and reliable heating service.

How long does furnace maintenance take?

A professional HVAC maintenance service call is usually completed within an hour. There can be variance based on the size of the house, a larger home will have multiple vents and possible additional HVAC system. Any issues and repairs can add time to an HVAC maintenance service call.

HVAC systems outside

How do you service a heating system?

We’ve covered what a professional HVAC maintenance service covers, but as a homeowner, you have duties for HVAC maintenance as well. To keep your HVAC system in good operating condition all year long, here are some useful tips to perform your own HVAC maintenance: 

  1. Change or Clean Filters every 90 days year round.
  2. Check Vents Cleared of any obstructions that can block the air flow, inside and outside.
  3. Clean the Condensate Line, keeping it unclogged.
  4. Keep Your Condenser and Evaporator Coils Clean.
  5. Check Air Ducts and have professionally cleaned once a year.

If you aren’t still 100% convinced and asking yourself “Do I need furnace maintenance?”, we offer the following HVAC maintenance facts: 

  1. Poor ventilation – when HVAC systems aren’t maintained, it leads to poor air ventilation and poor air quality.
  2. Blocked or closed vents – with a gas HVAC heating system, this will cause a buildup of carbon monoxide. 
  3. Furnace Rooms are not storage – never use the area where your HVAC system is located for storage. Combustionable products could explode.

If a regular HVAC maintenance plan with a professional isn’t affordable, research the internet for videos that can show you how to the most you can safely. Budget for professional HVAC maintenance at least once year. Call 704-964-8375 today.

Is a Gas Fireplace Worth It?

Blazing fire in living room of luxury architect designed Australian house

Learn More About a Gas Fireplace

A gas fireplace is a great way to add comfort during the cold seasons while adding ambiance and a touch of class to space. With the winter months around the corner, it will be best to get familiar with a gas fireplace system in order for proper repairs and maintenance to be conducted in a timely manner. It’s important to service your gas fireplace in order to create a cleaner burn and make sure that toxic fumes aren’t being released into the enclosed space of your home. Get in touch with a professional to see what can be done with your gas fireplace, until then here is some general background information that may prove useful to you with your endeavors.

Do gas fireplaces add value to a home?

According to 70% of realty agents, homes with fireplaces will have a higher value over other homes with a majority of preferences showing for gas fireplaces.

Which is better vented or ventless gas fireplace?

A ventless gas fireplace will be more energy-efficient since heat won’t escape up the flue, therefore, having you save on utility bills. With a vented gas fireplace more gas will be used to create the same level of warmth as some of the heat will escape from the flue.

Is a gas fireplace dangerous?

A gas fireplace can be dangerous if it’s not maintained or ventilated properly. Without maintenance and ventilation with a gas fireplace, you will create carbon monoxide which is a toxic gas that can put you at risk of carbon monoxide poisoning. 

How many hours can you run a gas fireplace?

A vent-free gas fireplace shouldn’t be left running more than 2-3 hours at a time and rooms should be vented themselves. They will work a bit like ovens and won’t exhaust fumes outside of a home.

Is it safe to leave a gas fireplace on all night?

A gas fireplace should never be left on overnight. You can leave the flue open overnight so excess carbon monoxide is vented out of the inside of the home. The main concern with any gas-burning appliance is the exhaust that comes out of it with carbon monoxide so leaving any unit on overnight is a real risk.

What is the difference between a vented and unvented gas fireplace?

A vented gas fireplace with logs will burn with a yellow flame that will produce smoke. A ventless gas log fireplace will burn more cleanly without smoke with a lower flame. You may be able to burn them with the damper closed in order to heat a room.

Do you need to clean a gas fireplace?

A gas fireplace should be cleaned and regularly serviced in order to prevent dangers of carbon monoxide poisoning and ensure a safe clean burn without too much smoke. That being said a gas fireplace will be a cleaner more efficient experience than with wood-burning fireplaces. 

Can you put a gas fireplace on an inside wall?

A gas fireplace can be installed anywhere in your home as long as you have a natural gas connection or propane available. It can be placed inside or outside of a wall, at floor level or wainscot, in the center of the room, or in the corner. It may be shielded by ceramic or tempered glass and can be exposed on three sides or four sides.

How long does it take to install a gas fireplace?

A gas fireplace can be installed completely in one day or over a week as it will depend on the job. Keep in mind that in order to have a long-lasting, safely running fireplace with quality workmanship time should be taken into consideration and not rushed.

flame of fire with dark background

What brand of gas fireplace is the best?

  • Best Overall: Ashley Hearth 34,000 BTU Vent-Free Firebox
  • Best Vented Gas: Empire Comfort Systems Deluxe B-Vent Fireplace
  • Best Direct Vent: Empire Tahoe Deluxe Direct Vent Fireplace
  • Best Ventless: Ashley Hearth Vent-Free Fireplace Insert 
  • Best Budget: ProCom Ventless Dual Fuel Firebox Insert
  • Best Log Set, Vented: Peterson Real Fyre 24-inch Natural Gas Log Set 
  • Best Log Set, Ventless: Duluth Forge Ventless Dual Fuel Gas Log Set 

Get Assistance With a Gas Fireplace From a Trained Professional

A gas fireplace may require gas fireplace repair after a given amount of time has passed. Repairs with your gas fireplace should only be conducted by a trained professional in order to maintain the safety of equipment as well as to protect the occupants of the home from any tampering. A gas fireplace will be a great way to add ambiance to any home while creating a cleaner burn. Speak to an expert today about any questions or concerns you may have with your gas fireplace and get it taken care of today.

Get help with a gas fireplace in Charlotte, NC by calling 704-964-8375 with All Climate Heating and Cooling today! 

Can Ductwork Be Repaired?

air duct repair

Can Ductwork Be Repaired?

If you need air duct sealing and repair, it can be difficult to know where to turn. However, an HVAC company that provides this service will be more than willing to provide streamlined service. Once you have your ductwork professionally repaired, it will increase the airflow in your home and ultimately improve your indoor air quality. It’s also important to note that repairing your ductwork will be less expensive than replacing your air conditioner. Thus, it is an important service and one that can improve your air conditioning system in the long term. A consultation from an approved HVAC technician will be best for determining the current state of your air conditioner ductwork.

How Do You Repair Air Conditioning Ducts?

Are you wondering how it is possible to repair air conditioning ducts? It’s a straightforward process, but it does require finesse, expertise, and hard work. It is also important to understand the kind of system that your home may have. Please review the following list to discover more.

  • Spider system. This system uses a centralized plenum that feeds multiple branch lines. Most branch lines connect to a boot. That boot delivers air to an interior room.
  • Galvanized sheet metal systems. These systems begin with a rectangular trunk line or plenum. The system runs branch lines made with either round sheet metal or smaller rectangular ducts. Some of these applications will need insulation to prevent condensation while using air conditioning.
  • Fiberglass duct board. Compressed fiberglass is used for these ducts with a foil outer layer.
  • Flex duct. These are relatively easy to install and are an inexpensive type of duct. They contain three layers. The inner layer uses a spiral wire rib to hold its shape, a fiberglass center layer that provides thermal protection, and an outer layer.

Should Ductwork Be Replaced After 20 Years?

According to professionals in the HVAC industry, it is prudent to replace the ductwork in your home approximately once every fifteen years. Ductwork has an average life of twenty to twenty-five years. After fifteen years or so, the ductwork begins to deteriorate. If you would like to increase your HVAC system’s efficiency, a replacement of your ductwork is an excellent option to consider.

Can I Replace Ductwork Myself?

If you are an experienced DIY expert, you may wonder whether or not it is prudent for you to replace ductwork on your own. While it may seem like a good idea, and even though research would benefit you, it is ultimately not recommended. That is because a heating and cooling expert will have the correct tools, materials, and experience to handle the labor-intensive endeavor. Ductwork runs through your entire home, which is why it is important for you to consider all of the labor involved before you start replacing your air conditioning ducts.

How Often Does Ductwork Need to be Replaced?

How old is the ductwork in your home? If the ductwork is over fifteen or twenty years old, it will be wise for you to enlist the help of an HVAC expert to ascertain the condition of your current system. He or she will be able to conduct a thorough review of your ducts and suggest a solution. It is also important to remember that routine HVAC maintenance is a great way to lengthen the life of your current HVAC system.

Air Duct Repair

If your air ducts need to be repaired, it will be important for you to review your options regarding the HVAC companies that are in your area. It stands to reason that you will want to choose a company that has good air duct repair specialists. That means that you should look at the reviews for the company online. You can also ask a friend or neighbor for a referral.

Air Duct Repair Near Me

If you type in the search terms: “air duct repair near me.” A list of options should pop up on Google. Please feel free to review these options. Each different listing should also indicate how close the company is to your property or residence.

Air Conditioning Duct Repair Near Me

One of the more important things that you can do is align yourself with an HVAC company that you can trust. In addition to surveying whether or not they specialize in air conditioning duct repair, you can also get a feel for how they repair other HVAC problems.

air duct repair

Air Duct Repair Services

Ductwork can be repaired, but in some cases, it needs to be replaced. There will be corresponding price differences, which is why it is important for you to consider your budget and plan accordingly.

If you need air duct repair in Charlotte, NC, you deserve the best of the best. Please reach out to us with a phone call to 704-964-8375.

What is considered an air conditioning emergency?

vent not producing cool air

Is AC not working an emergency?

Summer on the east coast can be hot and hum, and it is no time for the air conditioner to quit working! To make things worse, it always seems to happen on the hottest day, or night. So, when that happens, is that considered the need to call for emergency ac service? When it comes to defining emergency and hot can vary from person to person, so when is an emergency ac repair considered an emergency?

 When is an emergency ac unit going out really an emergency? With each person, the emergency can vary, but on a day when the temperatures reach 100 degrees, that would classify as an emergency. Or an evening when the temperature is 80 degrees or above. Other factors that would be considered a legitimate emergency ac repair call is if there anyone with health issues in house. 

For instance, an elderly person 70 years or older, a person with breathing issues, a newborn child in the house are a few examples of what makes up an emergency ac repair.  If this happens during the summer, you could find it challenging to find an air conditioning repair contractor available, and when you do, you can expect to pay a premium amount for that service. 

To avoid this situation, you should find an air conditioning service contractor beforehand to do perform an annual inspection of your HVAC system. With regular visits by the contractor and your monthly maintenance tasks, the possibility of any emergency ac repair be discovered and addressed.

How long does emergency maintenance take?

There is no blanket time frame to set for an emergency ac repair service. There are many factors that play into this, and many variations.  What time of the day or night is the emergency ac repair call being made? What time of the year is the emergency ac repair call being made? Is it a holiday or weekend? 

In the middle of the night, the answering service may answer the call right away, but it may take time to find an available technician. Most companies have a rotating schedule for the technicians, but if they are already on another emergency ac repair call, it may be after they are done before they arrive.

Once the technician has arrived, it will take maybe 30 minutes or less to determine the problem. Depending on the problem, it could take an hour for the repair. This will depend if they need any parts and if they can get them during the time of day or night you’ve called them. It is possible, it may be the next day before your air conditioning is cooling again.

How do you deal with a broken AC?

If your air conditioner just quits or isn’t blowing as cold of air as you expect, don’t panic yet, it could be a simple issue. Start by checking the thermostat. If it is programmable, check the battery to make sure it doesn’t need replacing. If it isn’t programmable, make sure it is on COOL and the fan is set at AUTO or ON. Next, check the power to the air conditioner, make sure the system has blown a fuse. If all this seems in working order, then you need to make that call for an emergency ac repair. 

An HVAC company that offers quality service will have 24/7 service, this means off-hours, holidays, and weekends. Make sure you have checked everything you know before making that call, and not because you’ll be “bothering” them, but because it is going to cost you at least double. 

Next, you need to find natural ways to cool your home, and that doesn’t mean opening all the windows in the middle of a scorching summer day. That will only let the humidity in! Close all your blinds and curtains to keep the sun out. 

Keep everyone in the house hydrated and turn on every ceiling fan in the house. If anyone is getting overheated, have them take a cool shower, this will lower their body temperature. If somebody is becoming distressed by being too hot, or you know that it may take some time to get the emergency ac repair completed, stay with family, friends, or get a hotel room. 

If your HVAC system is new, the technician will probably be able to get it working again quickly. If your system is older or has broken down a lot recently, you may need to consider replacing the unit instead of frequent emergency ac repair calls. 

Yes, a replacement will be more expensive, but over time, all the service calls may have paid probably one-fourth the cost of a new unit. Consider this to be an investment for your home and it will probably start saving you money on your electric bill too.

How do you cool a house when the AC is broken?

When the air conditioner breaks out of the blue, the first thing you do is call for an emergency ac repair service. If it is in the middle of summer, you may not see that technician for a few hours. In the meantime, what can you do to keep the house cool until the tech arrives? We offer the following tips:

  • Use Fans: Fans are convenient and effective in keeping cool on a hot summer day or night when the air conditioner isn’t working, at least 4 to 5 degrees cooler. Set all the ceiling fans to blow downward to create a breeze and if nobody is in a room, turn the fans off.  If your emergency ac repair is in the middle of the night, place the fans in open windows to pull the cooler night air. If your home has a working attic fan, turn it on too. Once you’re up the next morning, turn all the fans off and shut the windows so you can keep what cool air the nighttime has brought inside.
  • Keep Yourself Cooled Down: Keep wet towels around everyone’s neck and, if possible, wear damp clothing. At night, if you can wash your sheets and put on the bed wet, this will keep your body cool. Drink plenty of water and keep hydrated.  
  • Use Ice To Cool the Room: Fill bowls and large dishes with ice and set around the rooms you’re in, if possible, in front of a fan.
  • Reduce Outside Heat Coming In: Rooms that face the south or west are the hardest rooms to keep cool. Keep blinds and curtains closes during the day.
  • Minimize Heat Inside: Keep your home cooler by not using appliances that generate heat. The clothes dryer, dishwasher, oven, stove, etc. The microwave is your new best friend next to the pizza delivery person, at least until you get your emergency ac repair completed.
working ac system

Is a leak an emergency?               

Yes, your air conditioner could leak water from condensation buildup. So, if you’re finding water around your air conditioner, it could be:

  • Condensation isn’t draining because the drain is stopped up, and the drip tray is full.
  • The drip tray is broken, cracked, incorrectly positioned.
  • Humidity has been extreme, and the unit can’t keep up
  • Ice has formed on the evaporator coil and is thawing too fast 

If you are experiencing water around your air conditioner, turn the unit off immediately. It may not be that big of an issue, but if you allow the unit to keep running, it could become a big issue and burn up the unit. Next, if you don’t have an air conditioning company you use already, you can use Google to search for “emergency ac near me” and make that call for an emergency ac fix. Excellent chance they will address and repair it right there.

Once your emergency ac repair is complete, ask the technician to show you things you can do for prevention of this happening again. Make sure you’re changing or cleaning the filter regularly and do all the homeowner maintenance you can.  Schedule the air condition technician twice a year for a thorough inspection. This can often find a potential problem and fix it, so you don’t have to make those emergency ac repair calls on a scorching summer day. For your air conditioner repair needs in Charlotte, NC, call All Climate Heating and Cooling at 704-964-8375 today.