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How do you fix a leaking air duct?

Dirty vent covered in dust.

Finding Problems With Your Air Ducs

After a super cold winter, a really wet spring, and then a humid summer, have you noticed your home isn’t evenly cool or warm? Is one room cooler than the others, or perhaps not as cool? It may be time to have your home air duct sealing checked. 

Why is getting home air duct sealing checked so important? Well, when air ducts aren’t properly sealed, the air isn’t distributed evenly. So what happens is this – one person is cold and adjusts the thermostat, but in another room, it is stuffy and warm, so the thermostat is adjusted again. This back and forth with the thermostat is causing two issues: 

1). Wear and tear on the HVAC system

2). Increases in your energy bill

You don’t have to pay a service to check your home air duct sealing though; you can do it yourself if you don’t mind climbing up into the attic. Put on gloves and goggles, wear long sleeves and pants, and with a roll of air duct sealer, you can do your own air duct repair and sealing while you’re checking the air ducts. 

How do I find a leak in my air duct?

There are holes, tears, and poor connections in an average home’s air duct system. You would be hard-pressed to find a home, other than a brand new build or one with a brand new HVAC system, that didn’t have one or all of these issues. That is because up to 30% of the air circulating in your home is wasted. If you’re thinking, “not in my home”, then pause and tell us if you have noticed any of the following:

  • Cooling and heating are uneven 
  • Energy usage is the same, but bills are higher
  • Rooms are dustier than normal and stuffy 
  • Some of the air ductwork is in an enclosed area 
  • Some of the air ductwork is kinked or twisted
  • You can hear air escaping from the ductwork

If you think your home air duct sealing is in need of attention, here is how you identify the problem:

  • Inspect the entire air duct system for connection gaps, holes, kinks, tears, or twists. Don’t forget the attic and crawl spaces.
  • If you know for sure you have heard air leaking or that there is a kink somewhere, make note of it and then check the rest of the system. 
  • Take stock of what you find; taking cell phone pictures is always a good backup. 

Another thing you could do is hire a professional service that will provide home air duct cleaning service. This will include air duct cleaning and sealing and come with a warranty. 

What do you use to seal ductwork?

Now that you have found some gaps, holes, or tears, how do you fix them? Well, there are a couple of different methods for home air duct sealing: 

  • Duct Sealing Tape

What kind of tape do you use for ductwork? Yes, there is HVAC duct sealing tape – you may have heard it referred to as aluminum foil tape. It comes in a large roll and is found in most hardware stores and home improvement stores. This is the easiest and neatest way to get your home air duct sealing done. However, it isn’t known for longevity or performance. If your air ducts are dirty or oily, this tape won’t stick well. Try a butyl tape instead, but never use everyday duct tape because of fire ratings. 

  • Mastic Duct Sealant

Mastic air duct sealant tape is a gooey substance that hardens after it is applied to the air ducts. Because this is a water-based sealant, it will clean up easier and hold up longer. It can be applied with a paintbrush or caulking gun. Note that it is intended for outdoor use, and not the air ducts inside your attic. 

  • Aeroseal Duct Sealant

Mastic air duct sealant is not the easiest to use when the leak is behind a wall. For those hard to reach areas, there is aerosol duct sealant. This uses patented technology for pressurizing, identifying, and home air duct sealing every single leak within the air duct system. 

How long does duct sealant take to dry?

Read and follow the instructions that come with the sealant for the best results. Mastic will need to be allowed to dry and cure for 48 to 72 hours before turning the air back on. 

How do I stop condensation in my air ducts?

Purchasing a dehumidifier will minimize the condensation. Make sure all air ducts are unblocked and nothing is restricting airflow. Keep the air filter changed every 30 days and the air returns cleaned once a month. 

Metallic air ducts

Time to Go Professional

A professional home air duct cleaning service will do your air duct sealing from the inside using special equipment and technology. This will get you the best results for a longer period of time. If you’re looking for help with your air ducts, contact the Mission Critical Comfort Solutions team today at 478-960-5825.

How can I make my house more energy efficient?

turning down thermostat

Energy efficiency for house

Another hot summer has started up here in Georgia, and like anywhere else in this country, homeowners are looking for ways to be more energy efficient. Air conditioners are the bigger energy user in a house during the summer. 

Not only is it hot, but the kids are home more, with friends, running in and out, leaving lights on, lowering the thermostat, and don’t forget the television is on all day and night! How do you reduce energy consumption when you have kids home all day and night? Or can you?  We offer the following energy efficient tips that can help in addition to having an energy efficient air conditioner system installed: 

Shutdown the Computers

Today, everyone in the family may have a computer, and those are the biggest energy users, especially if you still have desktop style computers. You know those cool looking screen savers? They aren’t help your energy costs, so turn off computer monitors when not in use and especially at night. If you have laptops, turn them off when not in use.  

The Right Lighting

As you replace burned out lightbulbs, replace them with LED bulbs. Because they use one-fourth the energy of the standard lightbulb, they are more  energy efficient, and they last longer. 

Eliminate the Power Vampires

There are devices that even when they are turned off, they are still drawing energy. Those devices include the microwave, printers, scanners, and televisions. Even cell phone chargers are pulling energy when they aren’t plugged into a phone. You can tell what is using electricity by touch – if it’s warm, it’s using electricity. 

Go With Power Strips

One way to kill the power vampires is plug things into a power strip. Then you can turn off those vampires with one switch. 

Turn The Lights Off

Yes, this can be the summer energy vampire because kids don’t seem to grasp what leaving lights on can do to the energy bills. You can find videos online that explain it in simple terms. Sneak a video in the next family movie night. Set an example too!  Make sure you’re turning off lights when you leave a room. Actions speak louder than words. 

Lock Box the Thermostat

Yes, we’re talking about like they have in restaurants and probably at your office. To have an energy efficient air conditioner system, purchase a clear acrylic lock box and place it over the thermostat. Nobody but mom and dad can adjust the thermostat. If you have a smart thermostat, make sure you have a password on the system that your kids don’t have so they can’t use their smart phone to lower the thermostat. 

What are 7 ways that you can reduce your own personal consumption of energy?

Electrical energy costs, and yet every month, we’re still in shock when we open that electricity bill. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics has found that Americans are spending more than $4,000 a year on our electricity and other utilities every year. Here, we have 8 energy efficient tips for your home that are easy and painless, and along with our earlier mentioned tips, can save you money: 

  • The Thermostat: The Department of Energy recommends turning the thermostat down in the winter and up in the summer. Their suggested setting is 68 in the winter and 78 in the summer. Then again, you could install a programmable thermostat that will adjust that temperature up or down in time for you to get home and be comfortable,  making energy efficient air conditioner and heater.  
  • Ceiling Fans: For some reason, all these home remodeling shows are getting rid of ceiling fans, and that is a huge mistake when it comes to having energy efficient air conditioners. The DOE and their Energy Star program have found that by having a ceiling fan blowing counter-clockwise during the summer, it pulls the hot air up and away from you. Reverse that spin in the winter and push the warm air down where you need it. 
  • Your Appliances: As you replace your appliances, go with an Energy Star certified replacement. From washers & dryers to refrigerators & freezers, the dishwashers and more, that Energy Star label is your friend when it comes to energy efficiency, including energy efficient air conditioners. 
  • Conserve Water: As you replace faucets and other water using fixtures in your home, replace them with low-flow style. This includes all the faucets, the shower, and the tub. When you’re washing dishes or brushing your teeth, don’t leave water running.   Every drop and stream  of water you can save not only saves you money but contributes conserving a valuable resource.
  • Seal and Insulate: A home that is well-insulated will give you the best energy efficient air conditioner and heating system. Check the attic and if you see the floor of the attic, you need more insulation. 
  • The Filters: Keep a routine of changing or cleaning the filter of your HVAC or window units. An energy efficient air conditioner can’t do its job with a dirty filter. Don’t forget to empty the clothes dryer filter after each laundry load too. Small things add up and make a big difference.
  • Keep Doors Closed: Don’t stand in front of the frig with the door open for more than 30 seconds and teach the kids the same. When you’re not using your fireplace, keep the damper closed and during the hot part of the day, close the blinds and curtains. 
  • The Surroundings: By strategically placing trees around your home, you’ll help that energy efficient air conditioner and heating system. A large deciduous tree planted in the right place will reduce your cooling expense by one-fourth. During the winter, trees on the north side of your home will give you a windbreak from those northerners. 

At what temperature AC consumes less power?

During the winter, if you have your thermostat set at 72 degrees normally, gradually lower it to 68 degrees. Just those 5 degrees difference can save you as much as 3% on your energy bill. The same is true with making an energy efficient air conditioner but go up gradually 5 degrees to a warmer setting.

Is it cheaper to run your AC all day?

In general, yes, it is cheaper to leave your air conditioner on all day during the hottest part of the summer. What is not cheaper or efficient is leave it on full blast. This will not only use more electricity but wear your air conditioner out faster too. 

energy efficient hvac

Which air conditioner is most energy efficient?

If you’re on the market for a new energy efficient air conditioner, a list of the best energy efficient air conditioner are as follows: 

  • Lennox XC25
  • Pioneer Mini-Split Heatpump 
  • Homelabs Window Mounted 
  • Senville Energy Star Mini-Split 
  • Amana AMAP050BW
  • Friedrich Chill CP06G10B
  • LG LW8016ER
  • Frigidaire FFRE0533S1

These are each an energy efficient air conditioner unit, some using the heat pump method. Each of these will have their usage cost expectations that you should take into consideration. Call 478-960-5825 today for your energy efficient hvac installation in Bonaire and Warner Robins, GA.

How can I improve indoor air quality?

dusty ac vent

How can I check the air quality in my home?

All around the world, we’re all doing what we can personally, and the government is setting laws and regulations to control the outdoor air quality. Whether is in our home or our business, the indoor air quality is our own concern. 

It isn’t anything new to us now that our indoor air quality and health go hand-in-hand, and the government has set up some laws & regulations to that end by setting standards for aerosol products and the materials on things we bring into our home and business, like formaldehyde and lead paint. But then, overall, it is up to us to make sure we keep the indoor quality air in good, healthy condition. 

You’ve have probably heard that indoor air quality of your home is 5x more polluted than the outdoor air quality. If you’re concerned about your home’s indoor air quality, there are ways you can test it, allowing you to make changes where possible. 

Indoor Air Quality Monitor

This device monitors the indoor door air quality of your home or office. This is the easiest way to do this, and you’ll have consistent monitoring to keep tabs on the improvements you make. 

Mold Air Test 

Mold is a common pollutant in homes, and we don’t always realize we have any. With this device, you’ll find out is you do have any then you can set out to find where its coming from and take care of the problem causing it.

Carbon Monoxide Alarm

Carbon monoxide is colorless, odorless, and tasteless, yet it will kill you quickly if you’re exposed to any large amount for any period of time. This device will tell you if you have any and then you can find where its coming from and take care of the problem. If you have any gas powered appliances like cook stove, clothes dryer, or heating, your home is at a high risk for carbon monoxide poisoning. 

Radon Tester

Radon is also colorless, odorless, and tasteless, making it completely undetectable like carbon monoxide. This built detection device alert you to any radon exposure in your home so you can get it sealed off. It is usually coming from the foundation through cracks in the floor and hoovers there. 

How can I test the air quality in my house for mold?

In addition to the mold air test device we listed above, another method you can with household products. Because mold spores can be everywhere, and if your home has a musty odor, there is probably damp organic surfaces that are growing colonies of mold. 

Use your HVAC air filter or ductwork for mold growth testing with the following steps: 

  • With a rinse solution, dampen a sterile sponge and wipe a one area of the air filter or the supply duct vent.
  • Put the sponge in a clean container and pour the rinse solution over it.
  • Shake that rinse container then pour the contents in a cup.
  • The test kit you purchased with the rinse solution will have a chart that you can compare the solution color you poured out. The chart will tell you if there is mold inside the air filter or duct work, which means there is mold in the air of your home. 

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

If you’re concerned about the health and well-being of your family, checking the indoor air quality is a great place to start. Indoor air quality problems can result from building materials and furnishing reacting to each other, activities taking place inside, and the climate. Some symptoms that are commonly reported by anyone bothered by the indoor air quality are:  

  • Dryness and irritation: eyes, nose, skin, and throat
  • Fatigue and Headaches
  • Shortness of breath
  • Allergies and hypersensitivity
  • Sinus congestion issues
  • Coughs, sneezing
  • Dizziness, nausea

Poor air indoor quality doesn’t affect people right away. They be at work or home for a few hours before they notice these issues. Then when they leave, those symptoms improved. These same symptoms are also associated with the common cold, the flu, and COVID which makes indoor air quality testing even more important. 

How can I naturally purify the air in my home?

Here, we offer six ways you can purify the air in your home naturally: 

  1. Salt Crystal Lamp – A Himalayan pink salt lamp will purify the air in your home naturally by pulling toxins out of the environment and neutralizing them. 
  2. Beeswax Candles – Beeswax candles ionize the air and neutralize toxic compounds and contaminants, improving the indoor air quality with a slow burn.  
  3. Houseplants – the relation between indoor air quality and plants has been known for decades! 
  4. Activated Charcoal – Activated charcoal can help purify the indoor air quality with its absorptive and odorless properties while eliminating toxins too. 
  5. Proper ventilation – Opening the windows will likely let pollution in along with “fresh” air, so have trickle vents installed instead. They improve the indoor air quality by purifying and recycling the indoor air. Turn on the bath and kitchen exhaust fans periodically to pull indoor pollutants out. 
  6.  Essential Oils – Cinnamon, clove, lemon, oregano, rosemary, thyme, and tea tree essential oil flavors kill bacteria, fungi, mold and viruses, all which can lower the indoor air quality of your home. 
plants in good indoor air quality

How do you air out a house?

Allowing fresh air from outside into your home will reduce condensation accumulation, avoiding wood rot in the home. Some of the best ways to do this are: 

  • Set ceiling fans to rotate counter-clockwise. This will push air down and improve  the circulation that keeps everyone cool.  
  • Use the outdoor colder air by placing a portable fan inside the window that will pull cool air in. 
  • Turn the exhaust fans on in the bathroom and kitchen to pull hot air out. 
  • Install whole house fans to improve ventilation. 
  • Have an attic fan installed.
  • Open windows strategically just a crack to bring in natural air in cross ventilation process.
  • Add an attic fan to further indoor air quality benefits

Following the recommendations and steps we covered, you will gain several indoor air quality benefits like: 

  • Reduce allergens and pollutants.
  • Breathe and sleep easier.
  • Odors eliminated. 
  • Improve HVAC efficiency.

Need help with your indoor air quality in Bonaire and Warner Robins, GA? Call 478-960-5825 today for expert service.

What is a commercial HVAC?

commercial system on a roof

Keeping your business comfortable

Your home has an HVAC system for cooling and heating your home, and so does the business where you shop, work, even your children’s school has an HVAC system. Not all HVAC systems are the same though, like a residential and commercial HVAC system is different. What is the difference between commercial and residential HVAC? 

Both HVAC commercial or residential systems are designed to provide cooling, heating, and ventilation. However, there are seven differences between the two types of systems: 

The Size – Because a residential HVAC system doesn’t need to cool, heat, or ventilate as big of an area, it is smaller than a commercial HVAC system. The components of commercial HVAC systems are different in regard to the blower motor, compressor, condenser fan, damper, evaporator, and thermostat. This is because typically, the size of areas between residential and commercial are dramatically different, a commercial HVAC system has to service larger areas. 

The Placement – Your residential HVAC system has a component placed just outside of your home. A commercial HVAC system is situated on the rooftop or in swamp coolers. Why? 

  • A commercial HVAC system is installed on the roof for space-saving. 
  • A commercial HVAC system on the roof minimizes noise pollution inside the building.
  • Repairs or replacement of commercial HVAC on the roof doesn’t interrupt activities and business proceedings inside the building.   

The Complexity – A residential structure and commercial structure vary in shapes and sizes, so a commercial HVAC system needs to adapt to the structure it is servicing. For a commercial HVAC system, it needs to be adaptable to how the structure is used and the activities inside and may take more electrical power to ease exhaust.

The Drainage – A residential HVAC system is servicing a smaller area, thus has less drainage than a commercial HVAC system. A residential HVAC unit will have one drain pan, whereas a commercial HVAC system has multiple pans and pipes. 

The Mechanism –  A commercial HVAC system is modular and a residential HVAC system is standalone. Because the commercial HVAC system is modular, the parts are installed together for ease of maintenance and upgrade. A residential HVAC system is installed both inside and outside, eliminating the ability to expand or modify the system. 

The Equipment – Commercial HVAC systems are very intensive, requiring them to be customized for effective cooling and heating.  In a residential setting, the variance of the humidity and temperature is minimal compared to a commercial structure and the commercial HVAC system is designed to meet the varying needs of the structure shape and size. Additionally, commercial HVAC filters are different than residential filters and require trained technicians to clean or replace the filters in a commercial HVAC system. 

The Maintenance Cost  – As you can imagine, there is more maintenance for a commercial  HVAC system compared to the residential system. They are more complex, larger, and the mechanism is different. The technicians for a commercial HVAC go through different training than a residential HVAC technician. HVAC technicians can be trained for both residential and commercial HVAC equipment, but most are specialized and focused on one or the other. 

How does a commercial HVAC system work?

HVAC (heating, ventilation, and air conditioning) all work together to create the comfort for the occupants of a commercial structure. For the heating, as the system is engaged, the system’s burners  create combustion gases, and they travel to a heat exchanger. Then the air blows over the heat exchanger, and warm air is dispersed through the ductwork throughout the building.

The ventilation of the commercial HVAC system allows fresh air to enter the building and pulls out any contaminated air. When there isn’t adequate ventilation, the indoor air becomes stale and odors accumulate and linger, allowing a high growth rate of mildew, mold, and other harmful byproducts that are created during the combustion process. 

 The air conditioning part of a commercial HVAC unit utilizes the refrigeration process to cool the air and removes the heat.  This process lowers the air temperature and maintains and appropriate humidity level with an air-cooled or water-cooled system.

What are the different types of commercial HVAC systems?

Commercial HVAC systems come in three main categories with countless ways they can be configured. Which category and why configuration all depend on the individual building requirements and any unique circumstances. The three categories are: 

  • A Commercial HVAC Single-Split System: For small commercial properties, this is an affordable and  popular option. It allows individualized cooling and heating per room and large areas. They all work together for a complete environment comfort control. 
  • A Commercial HVAC Multi-Split System: The same principles as the single-split system, but the multi-split system can have up to nine indoor units all connected to a single unit located outdoors. Ideal for a larger office space, a healthcare facility, and retail stores. The compressor has variable speeds that rely on inverter technology.  Built-in sensors help conserve energy by detecting small fluctuation in temperatures so that adjustments can be made when needed. 
  • A Commercial HVAC VRF or VRV System: A VRF (variable refrigerant flow) or VRV (variable refrigerant volume) system utilizes a heat pump that provides either cooling or heating, a great system for a large open area. Or a Heat recovery system that simultaneously provides cooling and heating, great for a commercial structure with multiple rooms. 

How do you size a commercial HVAC system?

First things first, when determining the size of commercial HVAC system, remember a BTU is the amount of energy required to adjust one pound of water temperature by 1 degree Fahrenheit. Thus, 12,000 BTUs equals one ton. There are four main factors to determine the right commercial HVAC equipment:

  • The Application: Grocery store, office space, restaurant, retail, etc.  
  • The Building Type: A multi-story structure or a warehouse. 
  • The Square Footage: How much space will need to be cooled and heated.  
  • The Type of HVAC Equipment: Electric or gas equipment, air cooled, water cooled, etc. 

In addition to those factors, add these into your equation in determining the size of commercial HVAC system too: 

  • What are the interior and exterior walls are made of?
  • What type of insulation is between the walls, what is the R-Value? 
  • What type of flooring is in the structure?
  • What type of windows are in place?
  • What type of roofing material is on the structure?
  • What is the occupancy level of the building?
  • What types of electronics, lights, and what kind of lighting is in place?
  • Are there plants in the building? 

The actual calculation is an involved process and is labor intensive that has always been done by hand. Today, there are programs designed specifically for the HVAC industry to determine the load calculation. 

mission critical trailer

How long do commercial HVAC systems last?

Like with a residential HVAC system, there are factors that can affect the lifespan of a commercial HVAC system too. Usually, commercial HVAC systems have a lifespan up to 15 years when the best practices of maintenance and inspections have been performed.  

When it comes down to choosing a commercial HVAC system for your commercial building, what’s better residential or commercial HVAC?  While there are similarities and they serve the same purpose, they are different.  A residential HVAC system is not going to service a commercial size building as well as a commercial HVAC system. If budget is an issue, go with a single-split system and add to it as needed. A reputable commercial HVAC contractor can advise you on what type of system would serve you better and where to have it installed. Need help with commercial HVAC in Bonaire and Warner Robins, GA? Call 478-960-5825 today!

Is an Energy Efficient HVAC System Worth It?

energy efficiency installation

Are HVAC systems energy efficient?

Here in Georgia, the deeps South, summers get blistering hot and miserable. If you never had air conditioning before moving here, it will be the first thing you’ll get after getting your electricity turned on. Speaking of electricity, that HVAC system will use a lot of energy, so you may want to look into getting an energy efficient HVAC system

Can HVAC systems be energy efficient? Yes, and it will be to your advantage over time to get the best energy efficient HVAC system that you can afford.  An HVAC system can be expensive, but the electric bill can be expensive too, and it will keep increasing the older your HVAC system. By taking the financial hit and upgrading your current system to a more energy efficient HVAC system, your electric bill will lower, and overtime, that will help pay for your new energy efficient HVAC system.

Maybe house you move into has an HVAC system already, aren’t they all energy efficient? Absolutely not!  Any HVAC system more than 10 years old is not going to be as energy efficient as an HVAC system today. So, what is HVAC efficiency? 

The energy use of an HVAC system is measured by SEER (Seasonal HVAC Energy Efficiency Rating) which computes the cooling equipment of the HVAC system energy efficiency on an average. An energy efficient HVAC system should get you no less that a SEER rating of 10 to 13 units. There are HVAC units on the market today with a Seer rating of 20 to 28 units. 

What is the most energy efficient HVAC system?

The most energy efficient HVAC system for cooling and heating your home that you can purchase today is a Geothermal heat pump. You want an HVAC system that will keep your home and family comfortable but keep the energy expenses low.  A geo-thermal heat pump can do that for cooling and heating needs. 

A Geothermal heat pump has a EER (Energy Efficiency Rating) between 12 and 45, the higher he number, the more efficient. Little maintenance is required, a plus for homeowners, and have a life expectancy of fifty years. A Geothermal heat pump uses the ground around your home to cool and heat your home, making it one of the most enviro-friendly methods of cooling and heating. 

If a geothermal heat pump pulls heat from the ground to heat your home, how does it cool your home?  The heat pump will remove the heat from the air around your home, transfers it a fluid that circulates into the ground.  The temperature of the ground is 55F, and the heat will dissipate from the fluid to the ground, the results is cold air coming into your home as the result of the heat being removed from the air that is circulating, sending the heat back into the ground. 

Is high efficiency HVAC worth it?

The older your HVAC system is, the less efficient it is, so with a new energy efficient HVAC system, the more you’ll save each month in energy cost and the longer the HVAC system will last.   The other factor in getting an energy efficient HVAC system installed, and this may be as important as the energy savings, is your home’s overall comfort.  

How can I improve my HVAC efficiency?

Yes!  Here, we’re going to offer you six tips on how to make an HVAC system efficient and keep your home comfortable.

  • Annual professional maintenance.
    Your HVAC system will be more efficient and perform better with regular professional maintenance. In the spring, schedule an air conditioning tune-up and in the fall, schedule a tune- up for the heating. This will minimize the chance of having any performance problems on the hottest day of summer or the coldest night of the winter, and anywhere in between! 
  • Regularly change the filter.
    This is your responsibility as a homeowner! To have the best energy efficient HVAC system possible, change the HVAC filter regularly, a recommendation is every 30 days. This is a simple maintenance task, but the most important to keeping your HVAC system running efficiently and minimize any breakdowns. Every 30 days change the filter, even if it doesn’t look dirty. 
  • Install a programmable thermostat.
    A programmable thermostat, can lessen the cooling and heating demands on your HVAC system, and in exchange, you get an energy efficient HVAC system that will save you as much as 15% on your cooling and heating costs. 
  • Ductwork inspection.
    You may be surprised what is living in your air duct system. Dander, dust, and more, including critters and insects. These air pollutants in the duct system are pulled through your HVAC system and blow out into your home. Every five years have your air duct inspected by a professional. They will any debris, make repairs if needed so that the air blowing into your home’s air is cleaner and healthier. 
  • Energy audit.
    Getting a home energy audit isn’t as scary as an IRS audit, and in fact, it will help you save money by finding where your home is losing energy. A professional home audit will include an evaluation of your HVAC equipment, attic insulation and ventilation, and the doors and windows. 
  • Time to Upgrade.
    After the energy audit, you may want to consider getting your HVAC system upgraded with an energy efficient HVAC system. Yes, this will be a costly investment, but it will also improve your energy cost, while it improves the air quality and comfort in your home.     

What is the most efficient heating system for a home?

Just as with the cooling of your home, a Geothermal Heat pump is one of the most energy efficient ways to heat your home too. A geo pump will pull the heat from the ground and circulate it into your home. You’re using a source of heat that is constantly recreating itself and not putting anything into the environment. 

happy installer

Why are energy efficient HVAC system expensive?

As great as upgrading to an energy efficient HVAC system sound, the cost of a new system is scary. Not every household has thousands of dollars to buy an energy efficient HVAC system, but some HVAC installers, they offer payment plans with low-interest rates. Keep in mind, what you’re spending in upgrading to an energy efficient HVAC system, you’ll be saving a large portion of that on your energy cost.  It is also an upgrade to your home, so that should you decide to sell later, having an upgraded energy efficient HVAC system, home buyers look for these things and are willing to pay a higher price for a home. Need energy efficient HVAC installation? Call 478-960-5825 today!

HVAC Maintenance Checklist

Checking an HVAC system

Upkeep for your heating system

As a homeowner, do you have a heating maintenance checklist? If you’re like too many other homeowners, probably not, but you should. What is a maintenance checklist? A heating maintenance checklist is preventive maintenance you’re your heating system. When performed by you, or having it done professionally, it will ensure that your heater won’t leave you in the cold. So, what is heating system maintenance task on this check list? 

There are several things your heating system needs done to prepare for the cold weather and to keep working throughout the winter: 

  • Schedule professional heater maintenance and repair service to prevent any possible downtime this winter. Their heating maintenance checklist will include checking for broken or damaged parts, perform repairs needed, and clean the system. These areas and parts include the electrical connections, heat exchanger, and moving parts like belts and fans.
  • Before winter arrives, check the furnace filter, and change it or clean it. A clogged and dirty air filter will minimize the heat distribution through your home, and it makes the furnace work harder. 
  • Check the thermostat setting and position it so that it is working at the top efficiency possible. You want to be comfortable, but keep in mind the monthly bills! A smart thermostat can be programmed to help you with the proper settings when you’re not home.
  • A heating maintenance checklist should include inspecting the area around the furnace to make sure all the vents are clear for airflow. 
  • Have the air ducts cleaned before winter arrives so that you have clean air blowing through the house.

How often should you have your furnace serviced?

Professionally, a gas furnace need to have annual service at the very minimum.  Recommendation is for twice a year, once before winter and again the end of winter. A quarterly maintenance program will follow a heating maintenance checklist designed by the manufacturer of your furnace. This is a good idea when the furnace is 12 to 15 years old. 

The purpose of professional maintenance is for any issues to be discovered before they become a problem and leave you without heat. The benefits of a professional with a heating maintenance checklist are: 

  • Prevent Unexpected Costs: Whenever a professional follows their heating maintenance checklist, they often find little issues that can aren’t causing a problem now but will in time.  This is proactive and keeps your home warm in the winter, protects your budget and wallet, and is safer for your home. 
  • Energy Efficiency:  When a professional has performed their heating maintenance checklist, they will do the cleaning and oiling that keeps your furnace working efficiently so that it is giving you the best service without costing a fortune each month. 
  • Extended Life:  If you have a combined HVAC system, keeping up with the heating maintenance checklist and the air conditioning checklist will assure that your HVAC system will have a long healthy lifespan, giving you years of comfort. 

How often should you clean your central heating system?

The system itself, for your homeowner heating maintenance checklist, as we have mentioned already, should be professional serviced no less than once a year, twice a year is recommended.  As the homeowner, you should change or clean the filter every 30 days and if your home as several animals or live in a dusty area, you may need to do that every 2 weeks. 

For the air ducts, when you start seeing dust collecting as soon as you’ve dusted, it is time to get the air ducts cleaned.  If you don’t have problem with dust accumulating quickly, you should schedule a professional duct leaning every three years. 

How do you service a heating system?

As a homeowner, it is important that you know how do you maintain a central heating system in order for it to work efficiently without costing you a fortune. A professional heating maintenance checklist should include the following: 

  • Replace the Air Filter
  • Check the Thermostat
  • Switch High and Low Wall Returns according to the weather
  • Inspect Blower Motor and Wheel
  • Lubricate Motor and All Moving Parts 
  • Inspect Electrical Wiring
  • Inspect Heat Exchanger
  • Clean Burners and Check for Drafts
  • Check Air Flow and Capacitors
  • Check Temperature Difference
hvac system installation

How do I test my heating system?

Before you start using your heating system here is a heating maintenance checklist to follow and make sure it is good to go.  If you find any issues you can’t address, call a professional service as soon as possible: 

Change or Clean the Filter: This has the biggest impact on the cost of heating a home and is often overlooked. 

Inspect the Blower Belt and Motor: Just like a car, the belt on your heater’s blower motor will dry and fray. This can keep your home from heating up and will can freeze the motor up. Keeping the motor lubricated is as important. 

Carbon Monoxide Poisoning:  Furnace produce carbon monoxide and while it is safe up to a certain amount, it can be deadly. It is best to eliminate or keep minimized. The means keeping the doors sealed around the blower, keeping your system clean and running correctly, and install carbon monoxide detectors in your home.

Call 478-960-5825 today for your HVAC system maintenance in Bonaire and Warner Robins, GA.

Are Ductless AC Units More Efficient?

A Man Changes Filter on a Ductless Air Conditioner.

Are ductless AC units more efficient?

If you are looking to install a new air conditioning system, you have many options available to you. Among the options available is a ductless air conditioner, also known as a mini-split air conditioner. Why would you choose this type of system over a traditional central air system? For some people, it might be a necessity, especially if no ductwork is installed in the home. With ductless systems, no ductwork needs to be installed. 

Cost savings are always an important issue when it comes to installing an air conditioning system. One distinct advantage ductless systems have over central air conditioning is increased energy efficiency. These units have a SEER rating of 14 or more, and many older central units have a rating of six or less. SEER measures a system’s ability to cool efficiently during a typical cooling season, and the higher the rating, the greater the energy efficiency. What this means for consumers is that ductless systems use less energy to operate, so they will save you money on utility expenses in the long term.

If you are interested in installing energy-efficient ductless air conditioners in Bonaire and Warner Robins, GA, you can always rely on the professionals at Mission Critical Comfort Solutions. We offer a wide range of heating and cooling solutions for both residential and commercial customers. Find out how we can help keep you comfortable by calling 478-960-5825.

How many ductless units do I need?

Duct air conditioners cool in zones. This means you only cool the rooms that you want to cool. Depending on the size of your home, however, this also means you’ll have to install more than one air handler—the inside unit—in your home, which often means added upfront costs, one of the main disadvantages of this type of system. Most outside condenser units in a ductless system, however, can fit up to eight air handlers. As a rule of thumb, depending on the size of your home, you’ll probably need one air handler per room. Also, the larger the rooms, the larger the air handler needs to be.  

How many square feet can a ductless air conditioner cool?

When you’re installing a ductless air conditioner, the square footage of your property is the key to what size air handler you’ll need to cool each zone. At a minimum, to cool a 150-200 square foot home, you’ll need a 6,000 BTU unit. The larger the space, the larger the unit you’ll need to cool it. For a 400-450 square foot space, for instance, you would need a unit with 10,000 BTU output, while spaces of up to 1,500 square feet require 24,000 BTU.

Can I install ductless AC myself?

Ductless air conditioners require an outside condenser unit and one or more air handlers inside, depending on whether they are single-zone, double-zone, or multizone units. The more air handlers needed, the more complex the installation. While you can install the units themselves with little trouble, professionals are required to install the refrigerant line. The line has to be cut and charged to complete the installation. Some DIY units, however, already have the refrigerant charged and no professional is required for installation.

Does ductless AC add value to home?

While having any cooling system in your home is valuable, many homebuyers view central cooling systems to have the most value because these systems cool the whole home from one centralized unit. However, ductless air conditioners are also highly valued because they are more energy-efficient than central cooling. Either system, though, adds more value to homes than a wall unit does.

Do ductless air conditioners also heat?

Installed on their own, ductless air conditioners are unable to simultaneously serve as heaters. But, if you install a mini-split with a heat pump, then you’ll be able to heat your home. The reversing valve is the key component in this case because it redirects refrigerant flow depending on the season.

Are ductless air conditioners noisy?

Along with being energy efficient, people like ductless air conditioners because they produce almost no noise. The decibel rating is about 25, equivalent to the sound of rustling leaves.

How to clean ductless air conditioner

Like all air conditioners, ductless systems need to be cleaned and maintained regularly so they continue to run efficiently. When cleaning a ductless system, you’ll need to clean both the outdoor and indoor units.

Cleaning the outdoor unit

  • Clear twigs, grass, and other debris away from the unit.
  • Use a damp cloth and soap and water to clean the outdoor cabinet. Use a dry cloth to dry it.
  • Scrub and wash the fan cage or grill by first spraying it with water and using a brush to scrub away excess dirt and grime.
  • Use a damp soapy cloth to clean the fan blades, then rinse and dry with a dry cloth.
  • Remove dirt from the interior unit with a dry cloth or vacuum.
  • Wash off any mold growing on the condensate pan with soap or bleach solution and then rinse it.
  • Remove debris or objects that might block water from the drain hose and wash the hose with soap and water.

Cleaning the indoor unit

  • Wipe the outside of the air handler with a damp cloth and dry it immediately with a dry cloth.
  • Remove the air filters and clean them either with a dry cloth or soap and water.
  • Wipe dirt away from the evaporator coils with a dry cloth or use a coil cleaner.
Outdoor Unit of Ductless Air Conditioner.

Who installs ductless air conditioners?

Whenever you want a ductless air conditioner installed in Bonaire and Warner Robins, GA, turn to the experienced professionals at Mission Critical Comfort Solutions. We’ll make sure it is installed properly and cooling efficiently. Schedule a service appointment or get an estimate by calling 478-960-5825.

How do you maintain an HVAC system?

exterior HVAC system

Why HVAC Maintenance Is Important

Most of the country is in the midst of a sweltering summer, and the air conditioners are blasting away. Before we know it, fall will be in the air and winter around the corner.  That short time between sweltering summer and frigid winter is one of the best times to get your HVAC maintenance and check-up done. 

Your home is an investment, and the HVAC system is an investment for your home. Failure to maintain and upkeep your HVAC system is like not checking the oil in your car’s engine. After a while, it is just going to quit working. The following are other benefits you get from having a routine HVAC maintenance plan: 

  • Energy Efficient, Lower Energy Bills: Keeping your HVAC maintenance up will keep it running at the highest level of efficiency. When it is running at its best, it uses less energy, which means you’re paying for less energy.
  • Healthier Air: With proper HVAC maintenance, your home will be cooler in the summer, warmer in the winter, and the air quality will be cleaner, making the air you breathe healthier. 
  • Long Lifespan: Routine HVAC maintenance will keep your HVAC unit healthier and give it a longer lifespan. Today, they are given a lifespan of 10 years or more with proper maintenance. 
  • Fewer Emergency Repairs: By keeping your HVAC maintenance up-to-date, you’ll have fewer, maybe no, emergency repair bills. 
  • Manufacturer Warranty: A manufacturer warranty will be honored when you have proof that you have kept the maintenance up-to-date. After the HVAC system warranty has expired, the practice of HVAC maintenance will also be beneficial for any replacement parts your system may need, and the service warranty will be intact as well. 

What is HVAC maintenance?

As a homeowner, your part of HVAC maintenance is preventive and proactive. You’re doing things like changing the filter every 30 days, cleaning the coils. As long as you create an HVAC maintenance checklist and follow it monthly, bi-annually, and annually, you’ll be doing all you can to keep your HVAC system in good condition. These steps include having the system inspected professionally and tuned up twice a year.

What is included in HVAC tune up?

Most common HVAC inspection and tune-up will include: 

  • Condenser Coil Cleaning
  • Calibrating the Thermostat
  • Checking Refrigerant Levels
  • Checking Refrigerant Leaks
  • Examine and Tighten Electrical Parts
  • Analyze Blower Belt and Motor Operation 

How long does HVAC maintenance take?

A professional HVAC maintenance process takes approximately two hours maximum, depending on the HVAC unit. It isn’t an all-day thing, but it is worth your time as part of the investment to your HVAC system and your home. 

How often should you have HVAC maintenance?

The HVAC system in your home should be checked and inspected no less than once a year, twice a year is recommended with one the spring before the summer heat and again in the fall before winter cold. If your HVAC system is a heat pump, definitely twice a year is needed. 

System in need of maintenance at a brick home

Do You Know How to do HVAC maintenance?

As a homeowner, your responsibility for your HVAC system is simple and only takes a few minutes. These nine steps can prolong your HVAC system life, save you from having emergency HVAC service calls and expenses: 

  1. Buy the best filter possible, high-efficiency pleated filters with electrostatic charge will grab the smallest particles, including bacteria.
  2. Replace the filter every 30 days. Some high-end filters recommend every 90 days, but checking them, every 30 is recommended, change if needed. 
  3. Keep two-foot clearance around the outdoor component, keeping debris away like leaves, pollen, trash, twigs, etc.  When you mow, make sure the grass is shooting out away from the outdoor component of the HVAC system. This step is one preventive HVAC maintenance thing you need to do all year long.
  4. Check the refrigerant lines insulation monthly. If the insulation is missing, replace it. 
  5. Keep outside component level.
  6. Keep condensation drain clear of clogs, pouring one cup bleach water down the drain will kill algae and prevent old. 
  7. Shut furnace humidifier water off during the summer. 
  8. Keep all the registers open throughout the house to minimize unnecessary strain on the system.

When it comes down to it, as a homeowner, comparing the hassles of HVAC maintenance vs HVAC repair cost, the time to perform HVAC maintenance is well worth the savings. This simple checklist of preventive maintenance is doable and manageable. Doing the preventive maintenance steps that we’ve discussed should not be a replacement for hiring a professional HVAC company no less than once a year to inspect and perform professional maintenance on the HVAC system each fall and spring. They will inspect all the mechanisms and wiring for both parts of the HVAC system air conditioner and furnace. Dial 478-960-5825 today for your HVAC maintenance in Bonaire and Warner Robins, GA.

What is an AC emergency?

ac units outside

How do you tell if your AC is broken?

Here in the Southern part of the United States, an AC emergency is when the AC isn’t working, and the temperature is 80 degrees or above. However, there are moments that are more defining when it comes to discerning what they consider an emergency ac repair service call request. 

Most of the time, your HVAC system will send signals that there is a problem brewing, giving you the opportunity to find somebody that knows how to do ac repair before your unit totally breaks down. Catching these things before it happens is much easier, faster, and less expensive to fix than to wait until it has completely quit working and have to call an emergency ac repair service call. Here are five signs that your air conditioning isn’t working properly: 

  1. Hot Air: If your air conditioner system is only blowing sultry air, it could be the compressor has quit working or there is a refrigerant leak. Both can be sometimes be repaired, and the repair is much less expensive than replacing the entire HVAC system. The emergency ac repair technician will conduct tests on the compressor and other parts, check for refrigerant leaks, and advise you what they have diagnosed to be the issue. 
  2. Moisture: If you have noticed moisture or water around your air conditioning system, that is a sign that something is wrong, but it may be a minor issue, like the drain tube is blocked and the condensation is backing up. This does not makes an emergency ac repair, but it constitutes getting tended to immediately before it becomes an emergency ac repair. Check the drain and drain tube, clear any obstruction away and clean up the water. If the drain is working and the moisture appears again, it is possible you have a refrigerant leak, and that is an emergency ac repair. 
  3. Sounds: An air conditioner that is running correctly should run quietly. A quiet, steady noise coming from the motor is a normal sound. The sounds that aren’t normal is a grating, grinding, or squealing sound. When you hear any of those noises, you need to make that emergency ac repair service call immediately after you have turned the system off. These sounds mean something isn’t working properly and leaving the system on could burn up the motor or other components inside your air conditioning system. 
  4. Smells: A strong and powerful smell could be the insulation in and around the air conditioning system is burning. It can also be from mildew and mold. Either way, you need a professional service to inspect your system and make any repairs needed. If the smell is a burning smell, turn the system off and make an emergency ac repair call. If the smell is mildew or mold, clean what you can around and inside the general area, like the drain, and replace the filter. If that doesn’t clear the odor, then call for a basic service call to have your system professionally inspected and cleaned.  
  5. Humidity: Your air conditioner pulls the humidity from inside your home if it is proper working order. If you notice water pooled around windows or the air in your home is sticky feeling, this is a sign that your air conditioning system isn’t working right. It isn’t a need for an emergency ac repair call, and you can change the filter, that may help.  Otherwise, you need to get a professional scheduled to check your system out and make sure all is in working condition.   

Is air conditioning not working an emergency?

If your air conditioner isn’t keeping you cool enough, is that what is an ac emergency is? Failure of an air conditioning system is NOT always considered an emergency – in general. However, we all have a different level of discomfort with heat, so if it is miserable hot to you and your air conditioning system isn’t cooling your house fast enough for you, it is your opinion and your bank account if you want to make that emergency ac repair call. Remember, after hours and off-days are charged a higher rate by HVAC service people. 

What is considered an air conditioning emergency?

The following situations constitutes as an emergency ac repair and you should contact your air conditioning service company immediately: 

  • Strange Noises: A loud screeching sound could be a loose belt or the compressor freezing up. Turn the unit off and make that emergency ac repair service call.  Do not turn the system back on until the technician has a arrived, inspected, repaired, and gives you the all-clear sign. 
  • Air Flow: If there isn’t any air flow coming from your air conditioning unit, this could be sign that your system has a major failure and you need to make that emergency ac repair service call.  This is something that a trained professional needs to inspect and diagnosis. 
  • Unusual Odors: If you smell something burning coming from your air conditioner system, it could likely be something with the electrical components within the system. Turn it off immediately and the make that emergency ac repair service request. 

Here is a list of the most common types of emergency ac repairs that technicians all around the country experience with emergency ac repair requests:

  1. Unusual Noises and Sounds
  2. Warm Air Blowing from Vents
  3. System Repeatedly Cycling Fast
  4. Ice Inside or Outside the System
  5. Humid Inside House with Air Conditioner Running
  6. Unpleasant Odors
  7. Air Current is Weak
  8. Breakers Keep Tripping
  9. The Fan Not Blowing
  10. Thermostat Not Working
  11. Air Conditioner Not Blowing Cool
many units outside apartment

How much does emergency HVAC cost?

Emergency ac repair cost will vary between cities, states, and regions of the country. The far northern areas of the country, where air conditioning isn’t typically needed, will have different rates than in the southern areas of the country like in Georgia, emergency ac repair rates are lower. The same is true of emergency heat repair is likely more expensive in the northern part of the country.  

The cost for an HVAC emergency service will be more than a basic service call, no matter where you’re located.  Emergency can double or triple the rate for an emergency ac repair service call, starting around $150 and reaching as high as $600. Emergency rates apply to any calls after 5pm Monday – Friday, on holidays and weekends.

So, how long should an air conditioner last? A well-maintained air conditioning system can last 20 years, maybe longer. By well maintained, this means regularly changing or cleaning of the air filter and keeping debris away from the exterior unit. It also means having a professional inspection of your unit twice year to make sure everything is in proper working order.  That service call can save you a lot of money by not having to make that emergency ac repair service call. Dial 478-960-5825 today for your ac needs.

Why is energy efficiency important?

thermostat set way too low

How does energy efficiency affect the environment?

Energy efficiency is defined as using less energy while providing the same level of energy. It is using a more efficient technology or process the energy needed while reducing human greenhouse gas emissions. Energy efficiency is usually obtained through in our homes can come from many sources.  The choice of appliances in our homes, installing insulation, new roofing, new windows, they type of vehicle we drive. Things like the light bulbs we use and buying products made from recycled material and disposing of our waste in a recycling manner.   

We don’t always see the affect because it isn’t blatantly obvious, but the energy we use has a direct connection to the environment. From every light we turn on, every gallon of water we waste, every time we get in our vehicle, we are consuming power that comes from the environment or goes back into the environment.  It is only with energy efficiency products and ways that we can have a positive effect on the environment. 

What are examples of energy efficiency?

We can consume less power to reduce the toxic fumes from the power plants by switching to other power sources like LED light bulbs and solar power. By going solar with as much as possible, we are conserving our natural resources and protecting the ecosystem. We can do our laundry in cold water and hang them to dry instead of using hot or warm water and not using a clothes dryer. We can all practice energy efficiency with examples like these: 

  • Repurpose: Since we’ve already used energy and resources to make things, let’s use those things! Repurpose an old building using recycled materials and products. 
  • Passive Designing: Design structures with more windows so less electricity is needed. Build cool buildings in the south and warm buildings in the north.   
  • Use Free Resources:  Solar energy is free. Using solar panels is capturing that free energy instead of using generated electricity, a great energy efficiency way to live. 
  • Design with Efficiency: Design and build things with engineering that will use less energy. One example is the incandescent light bulb versus the LED light bulb with 5% energy efficiency versus 20% energy efficiency. 
  • Our Way of Living: Making small changes to our lifestyle can make huge impact on energy efficiency like living closer to work and changing dress codes in the office for summertime. 
  • Powering Down: A huge source of energy efficiency is to turn off anything you’re not using, like extra lighting indoor and outdoor, televisions, fans, computers, etc. 
  • Maintenance and Upkeep: By doing the maintenance and upkeep around our homes, this keeps things like the air conditioner and appliances running property is a great source of energy efficiency. 
  • Reduce Waste: Fixing water drips and leaks, adding insulation to the attic, and other energy saving measures is one of the best ways a home can have more energy efficiency. 

How can we increase energy efficiency?

You may feel like you’re practicing energy efficiency all you can at home, there may be a few more things you can do. The following things may cost you money upfront, but in the long run, the money you’ll save will be a bonus.

  1. Upgrade Appliances and More: If your home has appliances, air conditioning, or heating that is more than fifteen years old, you will save a lot money over time with new components that are designed for energy efficiency.  Other home improvements that will help your home with energy efficiency and sustainability is new doors and windows and adding insulation to the attic and improving the ductwork can do wonders for both.
  2. Programmable Thermostat: Purchase a programmable thermostat will enhance the cooling and heating efficiency by being able to set the climate control to achieve optimal temperature at a minimal cost. Once you have the temperature settings to fit your home’s occupancy, it isn’t just a matter of energy efficiency and comfort, but easier too. 
  3. Add Caulking and Reseal Doors and Windows: Not everyone can afford new doors and windows but caulking and weather stripping can improve energy efficiency at a fraction of the cost and still make a difference in the utility bills. 
  4. Add Ceiling Fans: Ceiling fans made a splash in the 1970s and then as home decorating shows took to the airways, they were coming down fast. Now, homeowners are realizing that they created a gentle breeze and circulate the air too. During the summer, they keep the hot air up and during the winter, they keep the warm air down. Both are energy efficiency that save you money on utilities.   
  5. Water Energy Efficiency: Install low-flow faucets, showerheads, and toilets that use the minimum water needed to accomplish the job needed. These are fairly easy to install and within just a few months, you will notice the savings on your water bill. Next time your water heater needs replacing, go with the new tankless style that produces hot water on demand, using less energy than the traditional water heater. 
  6. Light Improvements: Each time you have to replace a lightbulb around the house, use a CFL or LED bulb instead of the traditional light bulbs will be energy efficiency and money saving too.  Replace a light fixture each month and you’ll notice a savings on your electric bill, and if you can’t afford new lights, go natural as much as you can using the light from the windows. 
HVAC system

What are the benefits of energy efficiency? 

Homeowners that improve energy efficiency and practice sustainability in their homes will have benefits for themselves and the earth:

  • Lower utility costs
  • Reduced energy demands
  • Healthier living conditions
  • Reduced greenhouse gas emissions
  • Lower home and health insurance costs

If you’re still wondering “How can I use less energy?”, watch for those energy efficiency vampires around your home. Unplug cords to things that go to things you aren’t using at that moment. Unplugging the coffee maker or toaster each morning can save as much as 20% annually on your energy bills. 

Be smarter with your laundry days by doing only full loads and cold water. Be sure tore change or clean your air conditioner or HVAC filters every 30 days, and where possible, find other ways to cool and heat your room. Dial 478-960-5825 today for your energy efficient AC needs.