Air Conditioning Experts Blog : Archive for March, 2014

How Professional Clean Your Ducts

Monday, March 31st, 2014

You should schedule household duct cleaning from professionals every one or two years, depending on how much dust, dirt, and other contaminants the vents draw inside. While you can do your own spring cleaning throughout your home, the ventilation shafts are one location where you need to call on skilled technicians to do the work. You’ll see why after we explain what goes into a typical professional ductwork cleaning job.

Air Conditioning Experts, Inc. has helped families in the greater Atlanta area with improving their quality of life in their homes since 1995. We have the experience necessary to bring you quality duct cleaning in Atlanta, GA that will make your home cleaner, healthier, and your HVAC system more efficient.

Professional Duct Cleaning

Duct cleaning isn’t as simple as spraying cleaners into a vent or snaking in a vacuum hose. The process requires high power suction and agitation equipment to release the contamination from the walls of the ducts to make it easier to remove.

It starts with the technicians bringing in an immense power vacuum, which does more than use suction. It actually alters the pressure inside your ducts so it becomes “negative” pressure, which dislodges dirt and other pollutants from the walls. The technician shut off the blower motor of the HVAC and then cut a hole into the main duct that comes off the HVAC system. (Don’t worry, they’ll seal up the hole afterwards.) The wide end of the vacuum hose attaches to this hole into the duct, and when the vacuum turns on, it affects the entire ventilation system. Once the ductwork is under negative pressure, the suction comes on and the dirt agitated from the ductwork’s walls gets drawn into the vacuum.

The technicians also use targeted agitation equipment to attack certain dirty areas of the ductwork. The most common tools are rotary brushes mounted on long hoses that can snake inside vents and down the ducts to scrub off ground-in dirt without damaging the duct material. Smaller duct vacuums then remove the dislodged particles.

Depending on the condition of your ducts, the cleaners may also use special sanitizers and deodorizes, which will leave behind no damaging chemical residue afterwards.

When Do You Need Duct Cleaning?

  • If more than two years has passed since your last cleaning
  • If your heating/cooling bills have climbed for no visible reason
  • If you and your family are experiencing increased allergy-like symptoms
  • If you look into a vent and see a tangle of clotted dust

Call Air Conditioning Experts, Inc. when you know it’s time for duct cleaning in Atlanta, GA. We’ll send out top-quality technicians to give you the service you need.

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Insulation FAQ: What Is Blown-In Insulation?

Monday, March 24th, 2014

Insulating your home makes for more comfortable winters and summers and increases efficiency for your HVAC system. An effective heat barrier from insulation means that the warm air from your heater won’t escape during the chilly weather, and the excess heat from the summer won’t seep inside to strain your air conditioner.

Insulation comes in different types. One of the most common, and one that we install at Air Conditioning Experts, Inc., is called blown-in insulation. We’ll explain what it is and how it can benefit your home’s insulation in Atlanta, GA. Call us if you have other questions or if your wish to bolster your home’s insulation for the summer.

Blown-in insulation

When people think of insulation, they usually have in mind fiberglass batts, the sort of insulation that is layered in large rolls in open spaces like an attic. These batts are effective at stopping the movement of heat, but they are not effective in all spaces, especially between pre-existing walls where installing them requires extensive disruption of construction material.

Blown-in insulation is made of cellulose—principally recycled newsprint and corrugated cardboard—and is sprayed into a space, which makes it easier to adapt to oddly-shape regions where batt insulation is impractical. Blown-in insulation is ideal for insulating walls, since it only requires technicians to bore a small hole to reach into the space between the walls and blow the insulation inside.

The cellulose material in blown-in insulation is treated with a fire-retardant (usually borate) that increases the safety of your home. Because blown-in insulation is made from recycled material, it is environmentally friendly.

Blown-in insulation requires a professional to handle; it isn’t just a device you can buy, aim, and hope for the best. Professional insulation installers can help you find the places that need additional insulation, locate all the odd spots and cracks where heat is escaping/entering, and strategically drill holes through drywall to add the insulation between the walls.

Full insulation services for your home

At Air Conditioning Experts, Inc. we have more than 100 combined years of experience with insulation. Call us today to schedule an appointment to see how we can better insulate your home for comfort and energy savings. Whether it’s blown-in insulation or some other form, we’ll strive to give you the best insulation in Atlanta, GA possible.

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R-22 vs. R-410A: Heat Pump Refrigerant Types

Saturday, March 22nd, 2014

Refrigerants are the life blood of heat pumps (as well as air conditioners). They are chemical mixtures, referred to as blends, than change easily from liquid to gas and back again. Refrigerant travels through a heat pump—absorbing and releasing heat as it changes between states—to carry out the process of heat exchange that allows a heat pump to warm your house during winter (heat brought from the outside) and cool it during summer (heat taken away from the inside).

Heat pump and ACs have used many different refrigerant blends during the last hundred years. We’ll look at the two most common, one of which is probably in your heat pump right now: R-22 and R-410A. When you need experienced technicians who can perform effective repairs on heat pumps in Atlanta, GA, no matter the refrigerant blend, contact Air Conditioning Experts, Inc. today.

R-22 (chlorodifluoromethane)

The earliest refrigerant types were chemicals that were either toxic or combustible, like sulfur dioxide, methyl chloride, and ammonia. It was only when chemists developed blends made of non-toxic and non-flammable chlorofluorocarbons, trademarked under the name Freon, that air conditioners became safe enough for use in the home. DuPont developed a notation system for their blends which used the letter “R” followed by a number to describe the blend’s molecular structure.

R-22 was, for many decades, the dominant Freon blend used in heat pumps and ACs. However, as a chlorofluorocarbon, it has an ozone-depleting effect. Although R-22 is still manufactured and used in developing countries, the U.S. has initiated a phase-out program to eliminate R-22 from use by 2020. As of 2010, U.S. manufacturers may no longer produce equipment that uses R-22.

R-410A (difluoromethane and pentafluoroethane)

Sometimes trademarked as “Puron,” R-410A is the principal refrigerant blend used to replace R-22 during the phaseout. If you purchased an AC or heat pump within the last five years, it almost certainly uses R-410A. The blend solves the problem of ozone-depleting gases and also increases heat pump efficiency. Although R-410A does have global warming potential, its reduced power consumption makes it create far less global warming gases than R-22. Currently, all window unit ACs and central air conditioners and heat pumps in the U.S. use R-410A.

Recharging your refrigerant

It’s important that you only hire skilled technicians to help you with heat pump repairs due to leaking refrigerant because they must know how to replace the lost charge with the correct blend. Putting the wrong blend into a heat pump can ruin the system. Air Conditioning Experts, Inc. provides the care for heat pumps in Atlanta, GA that will keep them running, no matter their refrigerant blend.

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Heating Repair Question: Heat Pump Won’t Switch Modes

Monday, March 17th, 2014

Although heat pumps provide a number of excellent advantages as home comfort systems, such as energy-efficient performance and low emissions, the #1 benefit they offer is that they operate as both air conditioners and heaters. Two indoor comfort problems solved with one unit!

However, a heat pump can malfunction and become stuck in one mode, either blowing out heat when you want a cooled-down home, or blowing out chilled air when you want to warm up. When this happens, you lose one of the reasons you opted for heat pump installation in the first place. However, professionals can easily solve this problem and restore your heat pump to full power.

For help with cooling and heating repair in Atlanta, GA, call up the specialists who have delivered excellent comfort service since 1995: Air Conditioning Experts, Inc.

Why a heat pump won’t switch modes

The most common reason for a heat pump staying either in cooling or heating mode is a malfunction with the reversing valve. This valve is a crucial component that makes a heat pump different from a standard air conditioner: it sits on the refrigerant line and controls the direction the refrigerant flows through the unit. When the refrigerant changes direction, the heat pump switches from heating to cooling or vice versa. If the reversing valve breaks, the heat pump will remain in one mode (which one depends on the manufacturer’s settings). This is a simple repair for a professional: it only requires exchanging the broken reversing valve for a new one.

Another possibility for a heat pump that will only do half of its job is not a problem inside the heat pump, but in the thermostat. The electrical connections in the thermostat are responsible for signaling the heat pump to move from one mode to the other and to turn its blower on or off. If the thermostat loses that connection, the heat pump could remain fixed in one mode. Heating technician can trace down the source and repair the thermostat.

Heat pumps need trained repairs

Although you may feel tempted to open up the cabinet of your heat pump and tinker with the reversing valve, or unscrew the plate of your thermostat and fiddle with the wires, you are much more likely to cause further damage—unless you are a trained HVAC technician with the right equipment. It’s easy to find people who can do the work: call Air Conditioning Experts, Inc., any time of day or night, and we can take care of your cooling and heating repair in Atlanta, GA.

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Furnace 101: The Exhaust Flue

Monday, March 10th, 2014

Today, we’ll look at one of the important components of a gas furnace that keeps dangerous fumes out of your house, while keeping the heat in: the exhaust flue. When you need repairs to keep your furnace functioning and safe, call Air Conditioning Experts, Inc. Since 1995, we’ve served Atlanta, GA with heating service of the highest caliber.

The Exhaust Flue

The brief basics of how a gas furnace works: A burner creates a high-temperature combustion gas, which then enters into a heat exchanger: a metal, clam-shaped chamber. The blower sends air across the outside of the heat exchanger, absorbing the heat from hot metal walls. The warmed air continues into the ductwork system.

When the combustion gas in the heat exchanger cools down, it changes into a liquid vapor. This is where the exhaust flue plays its part. The exhaust vapor is channeled from the heat exchanger to the exhaust flue, a lined metal pipe the runs from the furnace to the outside, usually to the roof since the heat of the exhaust naturally rises, where it dissipates harmlessly.

The exhaust flue must be kept in excellent shape so it does not leak carbon monoxide from holes, breaks, or corrosion. This is one reason why you must have professionals install your furnace: the flue needs to be carefully fit into position without leaks. It must also be the right size for the furnace, or else it can draw too much air and reduce efficiency.

If you notice any damage or corrosion on your exhaust flue where it exits from the furnace, or if you detect smoky odors from it, call for repairs immediately. A corroded flue usually must be replaced, but technicians can often safely patch up smaller holes with foil tape.

Never try to repair a gas furnace on your own…and never trust these repairs to amateurs, either. You need professionals skilled with maintaining and repairing gas-powered furnaces, which can be dangerous with inexperienced tampering. If you think there’s trouble with your exhaust flue, or any other component of your heating in Atlanta, GA, give us a call at Air Conditioning Experts, Inc. for 24-hour service.

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Heat Pump Only Blows Cold Air

Monday, March 3rd, 2014

When you have a heat pump installed, you expect it to perform two different jobs for you: send out warm air during cold weather, and send out cool air during hot weather. This dual function of heat pumps makes them popular options for home comfort, especially in Georgia where their powerful cooling mode makes them as effective as any standalone air conditioner.

But when a heat pump fails to live up to one part of its job—blowing out only cold air when you need warm air—you must call for repairs as soon as possible. Don’t wait and simply hope the heat pump will “warm up” eventually; they don’t work that way, and if a unit gets stuck in one mode, it likely means a malfunction that requires professional repairs.

When you need your heat pump in Atlanta, GA restored to full function, call Air Conditioning Experts, Inc. We have 24-hour emergency service for your convenience and comfort.

Why a Heat Pump May Blow Only Cold Air

A heat pump stuck in cooling mode probably has a failed reversing valve. This component serves to change the direction of the flow of refrigerant through the unit; when the refrigerant changes direction, the heat pump switches from heating to cooling mode or vice versa. If the reversing valve malfunctions, it will trap the heat pump in one mode or the other. A heat pump repair technician must open the cabinet, remove the broken reversing valve, and replace it with the correct unit.

Thermostat troubles constitute another possibility for the heat pump remaining in cooling mode. You should always check the thermostat’s setting when you encounter trouble regulating the temperature from a heat pump, since incorrect setting or programming can cause the system to switch into the wrong mode. A malfunctioning thermostat that loses its connection to the heat pump will also cause it to become stuck in one mode. Professionals can look over the thermostat to see if a malfunction has caused the problem.

Loss of refrigerant due to leaks can also impair the heat pump’s ability to provide warm air. Check the outdoor cabinet to see if you can spot ice developing over the coil. The presence of ice means a loss of refrigerant, and the outdoor coils will struggle to absorb the heat that the indoor coils will release. Scraping the ice off will do no good; you’ll need a technician to find and seal the leak, then recharge the refrigerant to its proper level.

Whatever the cause of the loss of heat in your heat pump in Atlanta, GA, a repair specialist from Air Conditioning Experts, Inc. will find out the trouble and know how to fix it. Put our combined 100 years of service experience to work for you.

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