Homeowners Guide to Heating and Cooling

AccuTemp's Heating and Cooling Tips for HVAC

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Air conditioning repairs range from only a few hundred dollars up to a thousand or so. When it gets into the thousands, it's usually better to replace the system. Sometimes people get lucky and it's something simple like a contactor, while others end up with larger more expensive repairs such as a blower motor replacement. The best thing you can do to prevent such issues is to change your air filter every month and to schedule a maintenance service twice yearly with a certified HVAC technician.

Various things can stop your unit from operating properly. If yours goes out, the first thing you should check is your thermostat. Is it suppose to be running? If it's set too high during the summer, it won't run very often. If that checks out, consult your breaker boxes. Are any of the breakers tripped? Flip any that are off, on. If that works briefly but keeps tripping the breaker, you will need a certified HVAC technician.

Low refrigerant levels can freeze the unit up. If you see ice on your air conditioner or the lines leading to the air conditioner, go ahead and turn it off. This will allow the unit to thaw before a technician arrives. If your drain line gets clogged, water will fill up in the pan below the indoor portion of your HVAC system. There should be a safety switch that will shut the unit off once the water has reached a certain level. If you plan to attempt unclogging the drain line yourself, just make sure to be gentle as you don't want to puncture the line itself.

When landscaping around your unit, you may want to consider investing in some cypress mulch, a natural bug deterrent. This is important to you because if insects get into your unit, they could ultimately burn your contactor up. This is a pretty easy repair but you could be saving yourself money and frustration by taking the simple step to add cypress mulch around your system.

If you're in the Metro Atlanta area, we are here to serve you! Our certified HVAC technicians are standing by to repair your system 770-672-6963 - #Marietta #Roswell #JohnsCreek #Alpharetta #Acworth #Woodstock #Marietta #Kennesaw #acrepair #airconditioningrepair #hvacrepair #hvactechnician

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Now that we have all become more aware of our energy consumption and the waste thereof, we need to train ourselves to monitor and manage our use of it. There are multiple benefits to doing so including, saving money and natural resources. A little planning goes a long way.

The first thing you’ll want to is a little research. Luckily, your power company makes this pretty easy. This step is even easier if you manage your account online. Either gather your bills from the past 12 months or sign in online. From there you can view the patterns in your energy consumption. It’s likely that you use more energy in the summer than the winter but every household varies. This data will help you create your “base line”. Take the median of the high season and the low season and mark those as your base. This is where you want to try and keep your energy consumption at or below.

Your next step is to figure out what is using the most energy and if it’s possible to use less. If so, go ahead and set your plan in motion. It may be that your air conditioner uses the most energy. This would lead to a programmable thermostat set to run as efficiently as possible. Continue down the list and reduce or eliminate what you can.

Don’t forget the small things, they add up too. Make sure to unplug items that you aren’t using. While a device may be off, if it’s plugged in, it’s still pulling power. Obviously this is a waste of perfectly good energy.

Make sure your home is completely sealed. This will greatly reduce energy waste. The more air that escapes, the more your HVAC system has to run to replace that air. Once this is fixed, you will absolutely see a savings on your energy bill. You’ll need to check all around your doors and windows. Replace weather stripping and caulk where necessary. The larger the holes or gaps, the bigger the energy waste is. You may want to look into adding insulation in your attic and or basement as well.

After you have completed all the steps above, sit back and wait to see the savings. If you’ve done everything correctly, you should see savings in the first month. If not, something is off and needs to be further investigated. Maintain all of your work so it doesn’t have to be completely redone each season. By the end of the first year, you can compare it with the previous year and you’ll see that your efforts have paid off. In the event that your usage is still about the same after completing all these energy saving steps, you may want to contact your electrical company as there may be something wrong with your meter.

Happy savings! Feel free to pass this great information on to friends and family. They’ll appreciate the savings too. Together, we can create a greener world for us all.

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As the temperatures rise, we find ourselves outdoors more and more. One can turn a boring patio into a peaceful living space with just a few small changes. Between splashes of color and strategic seating, you can transform a small space into a memorable area in no time.

Outdoor Puerta 5-piece Wicker L-shaped Sectional Sofa Set with Cushions by Christopher Knight HomeFirst things first. Get the proper amount of seating for your space. It may be just a few chairs or it could be an entire outdoor sectional, whatever your yard can comfortably accommodate. It’s always nice to a have table to set drinks or the occasional outdoor meal on as well.Signature Design by Ashley Peachstone Brown Square Fire Pit Table

Again, go with a size that your space will comfortably accommodate. It doesn’t necessarily have to be the table that comes with the set of chairs you have for outside. You could even get super fancy and get a fire pit table!

Mohawk Home Printed Indoor/ Outdoor Alexa Medallion Multi Area Rug (7'6" x 10')What’s the flooring like in the space where your seating will be? Is it comfortable and inviting? If not, an affordable option would be an outdoor rug. The flooring can change a space drastically and you won’t have to break the bank to add it! This is a great place to start adding color. The rug pictured to the left would be great paired with purple flowers and dusty millers. The purple against the red and orange would be a perfect amount of contrast and the dusty millers would help to bring that light grayish blue out perfectly.Medium Square Sail Sun Shade

Do you plan on being outside during the day? Shade structures are so important as we get further into the summer months. If you are bored with the typical umbrellas, https://www.overstock.com has some great deals on sun shadse. The one pictured to the right is listed at $60.99. Not bad at all for the amount of shade and UV protection it provides. The have different shapes, sizes and colors. Since they are made from breathable fabric, they create a significant temperature reduction underneath.

Whatever you decide to do with your patio, remember, creativity goes a long way. Think of what is going to make you feel the most comfortable when you’re in that space. What do you want it to make you feel? You can create any type of space. It can be more zen and calm, fun and relaxing or even contemporary. While most of us can’t afford to redo our patios completely like the pictures below, they can offer plenty of inspiration. Take what you’d like from each photo. Adding small things has a big impact. Plants are especially helpful in transforming a space into one that feels good and full of life.

Also, remember that there are ways to do everything on a budget. Your patio furniture doesn’t necessarily have to be brand new. I found mine on craigslist for FREE. Check your facebook garage sale groups, yard sales and estate sales. There are plenty of great deals just waiting for you to find them!

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If you follow our blog, you know that the most important things you can do to maintain HVAC efficiency is to have twice yearly maintenance services and to change your filter out every month. While these are indeed the most important things you can do, they aren't the only things you can do to save yourself some money.

Your condenser is wrapped in coils. These coils move the refrigerant from the indoor portion of your system to the outdoor portion. The refrigerant cools off the air being distributed through your home. All too often we see weeds grow up in and around the condenser. This causes the system to become stressed. This stress on the system can lead to issues within other components of the system. All this extra work means quicker wear and tear on your system. To avoid this, simply keep weeds and grass around your system trimmed well. An even better solution is to use a weed killer and preventative and apply cypress mulch at least 1 foot all the way around the condenser. When mowing your lawn and removing leaves, be sure that the yard debris doesn't build up on the condenser coils. If you notice a build up, you can gently spray off the condenser coil.

Keeping bugs away from your condenser is a great idea as well. Luckily for you, the cypress mulch helps to naturally keep bugs away from your unit as well. The reason you want to do this is because bugs can end up on a component called a contactor. Once enough of them get zapped on the contactor, they build up and cause the contactor to stop working. This causes your entire unit to stop working. Obviously this isn't very efficient during the hot summer months.

If your furnace is accessible to you, bring a small hand held vacuum with you when you go to change out the filter every month. Once you take off the furnace door you'll notice many components in the system. If you notice dust in that area, simply gently vacuum that area. When you do this be careful to not bump any of the components of your system as this could cause larger issues. By keeping the dust out of this area, you decrease the build up of gunk on the moving parts of your system. The more dust, dirt and debris that gets in the blower, the more poorly the fan will run. A lot of the time, this is why blower motors fail prematurely.

Make sure your home is completely sealed. This means doors, windows and other random holes that form due to carpenter bees, termites, woodpeckers and aging. A well insulated and sealed home will hold the conditioned air in your space better than a home that is not. You can never add too much insulation. If you have an older home and are doing remodeling, change out the insulation in your outside walls. The cost to do this will only benefit you financially if you're already opening up the walls. Otherwise the only way this will pay off is if you're going to be in your home for 10 or more years.  

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Urban gardening can produce plenty of fresh fruit and vegetables for you and your family. Whether you're a seasoned gardener or just getting started, you're probably aware that the more nutrient filled your soil, the better. Composting helps to ensure that your plants get the very best nutrients.

The first thing you need is a bin. It doesn't have to be anything fancy but it can be! A plastic storage tub works just fine. You'll need to cover the bottom portion with plenty of soil, dry leaves, dried grass clippings and/or tissue paper. The best practice is to layer your greens and your browns. Your greens are things like leftover fruit and vegetables, coffee grounds and filters, tea leaves and tea bags, garden waste, fresh weeds with no seeds and fresh grass clippings. Your browns are dry leaves, straw, dry hay, sawdust, wood chips from untreated wood, twigs, dried grass clippings, dried weeds without seeds, shredded paper napkins and tissue paper. These are really the only things you'll want to compost. Use two to three times more browns than greens. The reason for this is to contain smells and keep unwanted pests from coming to your compost party. It's important to avoid adding meat, fish, dairy products, eggs, bones, pet waste, weeds with seeds, oily or greasy foods, diseased plants, plastic or petroleum products, metals or synthetic materials of any kind. Smaller material breaks down faster than larger material.

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You may or may not need to add moisture to your compost pile. There are micro-organisms in your compost and they need moisture to survive. The green material will add moisture to your pile but it may not be enough. You should be able to grab a handful of browns and get a drop or two of fluid out of it. If there's none, your micro-organisms may not survive very well and the more they thrive, the better your compost. If there is a lot of rain or a storm coming  through your area, it's best to place a lid over your compost. Adding that much water may ruin your compost pile all together.

Your compost pile also needs air. Stirring it once every 2-3 weeks will speed the process up. Your compost could be ready in about 6 months by doing this. You'll know your compost is ready when it dark brown, smells like earth and crumbles in your hand. Depending on how you tend to your pile, this could take between 6 months and a few years.

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About AccuTemp

Serving the Metro Atlanta Area and Centrally located in Marietta, Georgia

including...Acworth, Atlanta Austell Canton Kennesaw Marietta Roswell Smyrna Vinings Woodstock  and all of Cobb and Cherokee Counties.

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Marietta, GA 30066
770-672-6963

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