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5 Tips for Better Indoor Air Quality

The indoor air quality affects the health and comfort of your space. Poor indoor air quality cause symptoms such as headache, fatigue, nausea, and eye and throat irritation. Also, it has long-term side effects, such as producing inflammation in the lining of your lungs that lead to respiratory ailments. You can maintain good indoor air quality by identifying and addressing the sources that lead to poor air quality. Furthermore, you should inspect heating systems, vents, or ductwork to identify sources of pollutants or allergens. If you live in an area with high outdoor pollution levels, you should consider taking additional steps that include filter replacement and sealing windows and doors to prevent outside air from entering the home. Indoor air quality is an essential factor for your general health and well-being. Keep reading to learn five tips for achieving better indoor air quality.

1. Proper Maintenance of HVAC System

Utilizing an air cleaner is a smart way to improve the quality of the air in your home or office. Air cleaners work by capturing airborne particles, like dust, pet dander, and other allergens that can cause poor air quality. Additionally, many air cleaners are equipped with HEPA filtration which traps tiny particles that may be harmful to your health. Air cleaners also have activated carbon filters which reduce odors by trapping volatile organic compounds found in smoke or paint fumes. By investing in an air cleaner, you will breathe easier and feel less fatigued due to improved air quality. Consider combining an air cleaning device with other methods of improving indoor air quality.

The type of filter you use and its location within the house are factors that contribute to proper airflow. Maintain good indoor air quality by regularly checking and changing your filters according to the manufacturer’s instructions. You can change them if they appear noticeably dirty or clogged with debris.

Having effective air duct cleaning is essential for the efficiency and health of your HVAC system. It helps improve air quality, reduce allergens, and keep your monthly utility bills lower. Regular maintenance of your ductwork means that less dirt, dust, and other contaminants are sent through the ventilation system which keeps it running longer. The EPA recommends getting your ducts professionally cleaned every three to five years, but this depends on certain factors such as lifestyle, degree of contamination in the home or place of business, age of the system, and recent remodeling projects. Cleaning your ductwork helps make your living environment safer and healthier for all who live there.

2. Ventilate Your House and Vacuum rugs

Fresh air removes stale air particles such as pet and cooking odors, two leading causes of poor air quality. Opening windows at certain times of the day and running fans increases fresh air circulation throughout your home or office. Keep any HVAC system up to date with regular maintenance from a professional technician. By ventilating your home and updating HVAC systems, you create an environment with better quality air for everyone to enjoy.

Limiting the number of volatile organic compounds (VOCs) in your space improves air quality too. VOCs are known airborne toxins that cause various health issues. When purchasing materials for your home such as cleaning supplies, paints, cosmetics, and furniture products, ensure they are low-VOC or non-toxic and opt for natural versions whenever possible.

Vacuuming carpets and rugs often reduce the home’s dust, dirt, and allergens. You should vacuum the house to remove particles from high traffic areas and avoid leaving dust behind. Cleaning hard surfaces with a damp cloth also reduces airborne dust and eliminates odors from pets or cooking.

3. Use Houseplants and Test for Radon

Houseplants are natural air purifiers that improve the air quality in your home and workspace. Each plant has its unique air-cleansing ability. Some capture formaldehyde, carbon monoxide, benzene, xylene, and even ammonia from various surfaces. According to a study, plants from the genus Dracaena impact indoor air quality due to their remarkable absorption abilities. Houseplants also come with other benefits such as offering natural decoration, soothing sounds when their leaves rustle in the wind and improving focus when you work.

Radon is a colorless, odorless gas found in small concentrations in the atmosphere. It seeps into buildings through cracks and other openings and causes serious health issues if left unaddressed. Professional radon tests by a certified technician can help determine whether this hazardous gas is elevated in a home. The test uses radon detectors around the area, measuring air patterns over time and providing precise results. An immediate reaction should be taken if levels of radon exceed safety thresholds. Preventive steps such as sealing up entrances and using ventilation systems are necessary for mitigating potential risks. Running a radon test safeguards individuals from the detrimental effects of excessive exposure.

4. Get Rid of Pests

Investing in healthy practices such as getting rid of pests is essential to ensuring the air quality around you remains optimal. Invest in proper waste management and cleaning practices, and only select pets suitable for indoor living spaces. Place physical barriers like screens on the windows and doors to prevent pests from entering. Ensure that rented or purchased houses are checked for signs of pest infestations. Pests reduce air quality and add potential allergens to your habitat. You must remain vigilant and proactive when protecting your air quality from pests so that you continue to enjoy a healthy lifestyle at home.

5. Regulate Humidity and adopt a No-Smoking Policy

Humidity is more than feeling uncomfortable on hot days; it affects air quality and can be an issue in many households. Too much humidity creates a conducive environment for the growth of mold and dust mites, both of which cause respiratory problems. Furthermore, high humidity levels affect furniture, causing the wood to warp or shrink over time as moisture seeps into each piece. Take some steps to get rid of humidity and improve air quality in your home. These steps include using dehumidifiers to reduce overall moisture content in the air. Having proper ventilation and ensuring the temperature remains consistent throughout your building. Another step is regular cleaning to eliminate sources of mold.

Adopting a no-smoking policy is essential for improving air quality. Harmful pollutants released from cigarettes and other tobacco products such as particulate matter, nitrogen oxides, and carbon monoxide, affect people’s health in indoor spaces. Restricting indoor smoking on public premises, enclosed workplaces, and other public areas helps ensure the air is free from these toxins. Smoke-free areas also play a crucial role in combating second-hand smoke and reducing its adverse effects on humans. By fostering an environment that encourages healthy habits such as avoiding tobacco use, people get motivated to switch to safer alternatives.

Contact the Professionals

As a resident of Gainesville, GA, it is vital to ensure that the air quality in your home is healthy. Unfortunately, indoor air pollution leads to various health issues such as allergies, asthma, and headaches. Thankfully, [company_name] can help you improve the indoor air quality in your home. We offer various services including air purification, duct cleaning, and HVAC maintenance. Our experienced technicians will identify sources of indoor air pollution, recommend solutions, and help you make the necessary changes. Contact us today to learn how we can help you create a healthier living space.

How Expensive Is an Air Conditioner for a 2,000-Square-Foot Home?

If you’re looking for a new air conditioner, knowing how much it costs can help you prepare your budget a little better. However, figuring out estimated AC prices for a 2,000-square-foot home can be tricky. On average, a new AC unit for a house will cost around $5,000, but prices can vary quite a bit. Costs for air conditioning in a home that is 2,000 square feet can range from as little as $2,000 to as much as $15,000. Why is there so much variation in costs? Several different factors affect AC pricing.

AC Unit Size

The biggest thing that will affect AC costs is the size of the unit you select. Not all homes that are 2,000 square feet need the same exact size of AC unit. The typical 2,000-square-foot home will need a central AC unit that is around 3 tons or 36,000 BTU. The larger an AC system is, the more it will cost.

However, many factors affect unit sizing. If your home is in a shady area, you might be able to go a little lower, but a house in a very sunny area will require a larger AC size. Poorly insulated homes or homes with a lot of windows will need a big AC unit. Things like the layout of your home, the number of people in your home, or the type of roof you have can all impact AC size. Here are the average prices you would pay for common sizes of AC units in 2,000-square-foot homes.

  • 2 tons: $2,600
  • 3 tons: $2,900
  • 4 tons: $3,650
  • 5 tons: $3,690

SEER Rating

SEER ratings are another factor that has a huge impact on cost. SEER stands for seasonal energy efficiency ratio, and it’s a measure of how effectively an AC unit works. SEER ratings aren’t really related to the size of your home itself. Instead, they will mostly be a matter of personal preference. If you want a lower utility bill each month, you’ll need a higher SEER rating. A higher SEER rating also makes your home more eco-friendly.

However, high SEER ratings can come with a high cost. Usually, there isn’t a huge jump in prices between one to two SEER levels. Instead, pricing will depend on which category of efficiency an AC unit falls into. A SEER rating of around 14 to 15 is the lowest level of efficiency allowed by Department of Energy regulations. Units with a SEER of 16 to 18 are a high-efficiency model, so they can cost around $500 to $1,000 extra. SEER ratings of 19 or higher are ultra-efficient AC units, and they can be around $3,000 pricier than low-SEER models.

Air Conditioner Type

Most discussions of air conditioner costs focus on the price of a standard central air conditioner. This is definitely the most common type of AC unit, and it is usually the most affordable. However, it’s important to remember that you do have several other excellent options to consider. Choosing a less conventional type of air conditioner for your 2,000-square-foot home will greatly impact the price.

One potential option to think about is a heat pump. Heat pumps are a newer type of HVAC system. Unlike standard electrical AC and heater units, heat pumps don’t actively generate heat. Instead, they work by moving heat around. In order to cool your home, a heat pump will move heat outside of the house. The typical 3-ton heat pump usually costs somewhere between $4,000 to $6,000. However, they can save you money in the long run because they use far less energy to warm your home in the winter.

Another increasingly popular air conditioner style is a ductless mini split. Ductless mini splits use several small air handlers spread throughout the home instead of a single large air handler attached to a ductwork system. Much like heat pumps, ductless mini splits are pricier to purchase. A mini-split system is about 30% more expensive than traditional central air. However, they’re fairly efficient to run, and they can be easier to install. Since you don’t have to add ducts, labor costs for adding a mini-split system to a home without existing ductwork can be lower.

AC Unit Brand

Don’t forget that air conditioners are consumer products, just like everything else. Certain manufacturers charge less, while others are more expensive. Some higher-end brands tend to be options like American Standard, Carrier, and Trane. Meanwhile, budget brands include options like Goodman, Rheem, and York. Whether or not you need a pricier brand is a matter of preference. Some people are willing to pay extra for a more reliable brand, while other homeowners prefer a lower upfront cost.

Though certain brands tend to be cheaper than others, individual prices can vary quite a bit. For example, if a pricier brand releases a new upgrade, it might discount its older models significantly. It can pay to shop around because you can often find deals that let you get an expensive brand for a lower cost.

Installation Costs

Keep in mind that most AC cost estimates will include both the price of materials and the price of labor. The typical new air conditioner can cost a few thousand dollars, but then you can end up paying that much or more to install it. Installation prices are so high because it takes a lot of labor and specialized tools to install these hefty pieces of machinery.

Most HVAC companies will price their installation based on the estimated hours of work they think it will take to install a new machine. So, if you live in a newer home with an easily accessible AC system, prices might be lower. However, if your air handler is situated in a tight attic or if you have a very unusual and outdated ductwork system, prices might be higher.

There can also be some unexpected costs associated with installation. AC installation is a very complex construction project with a lot of potential tasks involved. For example, if your home has any asbestos or lead paint, it will take more time and effort to safely handle these materials. It will also be pricier to install your system if you need to install it in a new location that doesn’t have existing plumbing and electrical connections. When working with older properties, you might have to modify your home’s framework to provide proper support for a system.

Ultimately, AC prices will depend on your cooling needs and personal preferences. Two homes that are both 2,000 square feet can have very different air conditioning costs. To get a more accurate idea of how much it will cost to install an air conditioner in your Gainesville home, turn to Gee! Heating & Air. Our team is happy to assess your situation and give a detailed estimate of how much a new air conditioner would cost. To schedule your free consultation, give Gee! Heating & Air a call today.

Exploring the Wonders of Gainesville, Georgia

Gainesville, Georgia is a picturesque city located in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains. It’s the seat of Hall County and one of the fastest-growing cities in the state. In addition to its beautiful scenery, Gainesville is well-known for its proximity to Lake Lanier, its great weather and the abundance of outdoor activities that it offers.

Lake Lanier is the most popular attraction in the area. The lake covers over 38,000 acres and is the largest lake in Georgia. It’s a great place for swimming, boating, fishing and water sports. In addition to the lake, the area also offers plenty of trails for hiking, biking and horseback riding.

In Gainesville, temperatures rarely dip below freezing in the winter, and average highs in the summer rarely exceed the mid-80s. This makes it a great place to enjoy outdoor activities throughout the year. The city has many parks, playgrounds, and recreation areas to help residents and visitors enjoy the great outdoors.

The Poultry Capital of the World

In the early 1900s, Jesse Jewell purchased land in Gainesville and began raising chickens. He started with a small operation and eventually built it into a large, successful business. This early success led Jewell to establish the Gainesville Poultry Company, which became the largest poultry producer in the world.

As Gainesville’s poultry industry flourished, so did other related businesses. Feed mills, hatcheries, and processing plants began to pop up in the area. This influx of businesses not only helped to create jobs and support the local economy but also helped to make Gainesville a famous tourist attraction.

Today, Gainesville is home to numerous poultry-related companies, including Pilgrim’s Pride, Fieldale Farms, and Perdue Farms. These companies produce nearly 6 billion pounds of poultry each year, making Gainesville the largest poultry producer in the United States. The poultry industry has also helped to boost the local economy, creating thousands of jobs and bringing in millions of dollars in revenue.

The 1996 Summer Olympics

The 1996 Summer Olympics rowing and kayaking races made a lasting impact in the area. Gainesville welcomed thousands of Olympic athletes and spectators to their city, earning the nickname “The Hospitality Capital of the World.” Gainesville, Hall County and the University of North Georgia partnered to make the 1996 Summer Olympics a success. In preparation for the event, Lake Lanier was fully dredged and several new buildings were constructed on the shore. This included a new Olympic rowing venue, Olympic kayaking venue and Olympic whitewater slalom course.

The local communities in and around Gainesville embraced the 1996 Summer Olympics with open arms. Local businesses and organizations provided hospitality, lodging and meals for athletes and spectators. Gainesville also hosted a series of events before and during the Olympics to help athletes become familiar with the area. Many parades and cultural events in the city helped promote the Olympics.

Gainesville History

Founded in 1821 as Mule Camp Springs, Gainesville has a long and storied history. The city was renamed by local citizens in honor of General Edmund P. Gaines, who served in the War of 1812. In its early days, Mule Camp Springs was a small agricultural community with a thriving mule trade. In the mid-1800s, the city started to become a commercial center, and the first banks were established. By the mid-20th century, the city had become a major regional hub with a thriving economy.

Today, Gainesville is known for its vibrant culture and resilient economy. The University of North Georgia, founded in 1873, is the sixth-oldest public university in the state. Gainesville is also famous for the historic Downtown Gainesville Square, which is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. The Gainesville Train Depot, built in 1878, is another popular tourist attraction. Each year, many visitors come to Gainesville to see the Longwood Plantation, which dates back to the 1700s.

Gold Mining

In the 1820s, a gold rush began when miners flocked to Gainesville in search of gold in the nearby streams and rivers. They found large deposits in the area, and soon the city became a boomtown. New businesses opened up and grew, and the city’s population increased dramatically. In 1821, the city of Gainesville was incorporated, and it quickly became a major center of commerce and industry.

The gold rush brought money to the city, which helped build up the infrastructure. Soon, a railroad connected Gainesville to locations across the country, enabling the city to become a major distribution center for goods and services. The gold rush had a significant cultural impact as people from all over the country moved to Gainesville and brought their customs and traditions with them.

Things to Do in Gainesville

With a small-town feel and big-city attractions, Gainesville is a bustling destination with enough activities to keep locals and visitors occupied all year long. For those looking for a cultural experience, the city is home to many festivals and events throughout the year. The annual Mule Camp Market is a local favorite, offering a variety of arts and crafts, food and entertainment. Other popular events include the Georgia Mountain Fall Festival, the Lanier Beer Festival and the Gainesville Farmers Market.

For sports fans, Gainesville offers plenty of opportunities to cheer on the home team. The city is home to the Atlanta Braves’ minor league team, the Rome Braves, as well as the Lake Lanier Soccer Club. Local high schools and colleges host a variety of sporting events from football and basketball to tennis and softball.

When the weather is nice, there’s no shortage of outdoor activities in Gainesville. The city is home to several parks and trails, including the Chicopee Woods Nature Preserve and the Elachee Nature Science Center. There are also plenty of lakes and rivers to explore, such as Lake Lanier and the Chestatee River. Visitors can take advantage of the many golf courses located in and around the city, including the Chattahoochee Golf Course and the Gainesville Golf and Country Club.

The Perfect HVAC System for Residents of Gainesville

If you want a great HVAC system for your home in Gainesville, you should look for one that provides reliable performance and long-term comfort. Your HVAC system should be able to maintain a consistent temperature even when the weather outside is unpredictable. It should also have advanced features such as zone control so that different areas of the home can have different temperatures. Appliances with the Energy Star label can also help reduce heating and cooling costs.

An HVAC system should also be easy to maintain. Regular Air Conditioner maintenance and service will help ensure that the system is always running efficiently and effectively. You may also want to look for a system with a robust warranty so that any repairs or replacements will be covered.

It’s imperative to have a professional install and service your HVAC system. A technician from [company_name] will ensure that your system remains properly tuned up throughout its service cycle.

At [company_name], we offer all types of HVAC services, from residential cooling and heating repairs to commercial installations and maintenance.

Whether you’re looking for a ductless mini-split system or a tankless water heater, you can count on us to install and service it correctly the first time. Our team also offers indoor air quality services. Call us at [company_name] today for more information.

2023 HVAC Regulations: What You Need to Know

As a homeowner or business owner, it’s important to stay up to date on the latest regulations and standards for heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) systems. These systems play a crucial role in maintaining indoor air quality and comfort. As technology evolves, so does the industry, leading to new regulations being put in place to ensure improved safety, efficiency, and sustainability. In 2023, several new HVAC regulations have been introduced to improve the industry’s environmental impact and enhance energy efficiency.

Overview of HVAC regulations

HVAC systems are responsible for heating, cooling, and ventilating buildings. They are essential in maintaining indoor air quality and preventing health hazards. Technological advancements have made HVAC systems more complex and energy-efficient, but they pose potential health and environmental risks if not properly maintained. HVAC regulations have been established to mitigate these risks to ensure that HVAC systems are safe, efficient, and environmentally friendly.

Before diving into the 2023 regulations, it is essential to understand the purpose of HVAC regulations and the organizations responsible for setting them. HVAC regulations are set to ensure the health and safety of building occupants by promoting proper design, installation, and maintenance of heating, ventilation, and air conditioning systems. The central regulatory bodies involved in setting HVAC regulations include the American Society of Heating, Refrigerating, and Air-Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE), the International Energy Conservation Code (IECC), and the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE).

New 2023 HVAC regulations

The efficiency and performance of appliances are regularly evaluated by the Department of Energy (DOE) every six years. In 2023, the standards for central air conditioners and heat pumps will be updated to reflect changes in minimum efficiency requirements and testing procedures.

We will explore the new 2023 HVAC regulations, discussing the changes and their impact on the industry. We will take a closer look at the requirements set forth by the regulatory bodies and what they mean for building owners, contractors, and service providers.

1. Changes in Energy Efficiency Standards

One of the most significant changes in the 2023 HVAC regulations is a push for increased energy efficiency. The goal is to reduce energy consumption and greenhouse gas emissions, which can positively impact the environment and your pocketbook. New HVAC systems must meet specific efficiency standards, and older systems may need to be updated to comply.

The HVAC efficiency standards set to take effect in 2023 will differ based on your location. If you reside in the North, the efficiency requirements for central air conditioners will increase from 13.0 SEER to 14.0 SEER. Homeowners in the South and Southwest can expect their standards to increase from 14.0 SEER to 15.0 SEER. With the 14 SEER mark being the new minimum requirement for HVAC units in most areas, the 13 SEER units will no longer be available for installation.

Heat pumps, which are a popular choice for heating and cooling homes, will also be impacted by these changes in efficiency regulations. The minimum rating for heat pumps will increase from 14.0 SEER to 15.0 SEER and have an HSPF rating of 8.8.

2. Changes to Refrigerant Requirements

The 2023 HVAC regulations also bring changes to refrigerant requirements. This means that HVAC systems must use refrigerants that are more environmentally friendly and have a lower impact on the ozone layer.

In 2023, the HVAC industry will undergo a major change with new refrigerants in all new air conditioners and heat pumps. In recent years, residential cooling systems have utilized R-410a, a hydrofluorocarbon (HFC) refrigerant, but this refrigerant has high global warming potential and could harm the environment if leaked.

To address this issue, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has implemented a plan to phase down the manufacture and importation of HFCs by 85 percent over the next 15 years. Starting in 2023, new cooling systems will utilize a refrigerant with a lower global warming potential. Manufacturers are developing heat pumps and air conditioners compatible with R-454b, a more environmentally friendly alternative.

Please note that R-410a will still be available for equipment repairs in the coming decades, but no new air conditioners or heat pumps will contain this refrigerant starting in 2023. If you’re interested in learning more about these new refrigerants and how they may impact your HVAC system, we encourage you to speak to our professionals at Gee! Heating & Air.

3. New Efficiency Metrics

Starting on January 1, 2023, the HVAC efficiency standards will change, with new testing procedures being used by manufacturers. The DOE will use a new testing procedure, known as appendix M1, to rate all products. This will result in a change in the labeling of seasonal efficiency. The old metrics of SEER, EER, and HSPF will be updated to SEER2, EER2, and HSPF2, respectively, and will apply to residential air conditioners and heat pumps.

This change is because the new testing procedure considers higher default external static pressure, which better represents field conditions. This increased static pressure requires higher watts, leading to a lower numeric efficiency rating.

It’s important to note that the new SEER2 ratings will be lower than before, and the minimum efficiencies will be adjusted to match the more challenging test procedures. The new testing procedure will also affect the airflow set point on indoor blowers, such as fan coils and furnaces. While the transition may take some getting used to, it’s important to be aware of the key metrics. For instance, 15 SEER will now equate to 14.3 SEER2, and 14 SEER will be equivalent to 13.4 SEER2.

What You Can Do to Prepare

As you can see, several changes and updates are in store for the HVAC industry in 2023. Whether you’re a homeowner or business owner, it’s crucial to stay informed and take advantage of the new opportunities and requirements to improve your HVAC system’s energy efficiency and indoor air quality.

So, what can you do to prepare for the 2023 HVAC regulations? The first step is to check your current HVAC system to see if it meets the new standards. If not, consider upgrading to a new system.

If you need to upgrade, it’s essential to work with a reputable HVAC contractor who is certified and knowledgeable about the 2023 regulations. Gee! Heating & Air provides HVAC services in Gainesville, GA, and our technicians are fully trained and certified to ensure that your HVAC system meets the new standards.

Other Services Offered by Gee! Heating & Air

In addition to heating and cooling services, Gee! Heating & Air also offers various other services to help keep your home or business comfortable and efficient. These services include air duct cleaning, indoor air quality solutions, and energy-saving tips. At Gee! Heating & Air, we’re committed to providing our customers with the best possible service, and we’re here to help you with all of your HVAC needs.

If you have any doubts or questions about these updates, Gee! Heating & Air is here to help. Our HVAC experts can provide the guidance and support you need to fully understand these new efficiency standards and how they may affect your home or business. We’ll be glad to help you make the most of these new HVAC efficiency standards and ensure that your HVAC system runs smoothly and efficiently. Don’t hesitate to reach out to Gee! Heating & Air for more information.

Why Is My Thermostat Showing Recovery Mode?

If you have a newer programmable thermostat or a smart thermostat, you may notice that the display shows recovery mode fairly often. If so, you may be wondering exactly what recovery mode means and if it indicates that there is some issue with your HVAC system. In most cases, recovery mode is nothing to worry about and actually indicates that your system is working correctly. Nonetheless, there are times when recovery mode can be a sign of a problem—especially if your thermostat is in this mode constantly. Today, we’re going to look at what recovery mode is and how it works as well as how to know when it is a sign of a problem.

New vs. Older Programmable Thermostats

Recovery mode is something that you will only find on newer programmable thermostats as these function slightly differently than older models. On most older thermostats, the time that you program it for is the time that it will signal your heating or air conditioning to turn on.

Let’s say that you turn your heat down to 60 degrees during the day when no one is home and then have the thermostat programmed to turn up to 70 degrees at 5 p.m. when you get off work. If you were to get home at 5:30, your house will likely still be cold as the furnace won’t turn on until 5. Depending on the difference between the thermostat setting and the actual indoor temperature, it can often take up to an hour or two for the system to bring the temperature all the way back up.

With an older thermostat, the only solution to ensure your house is warm when you get home is to program the system to turn on earlier so it has time to fully warm up. On newer programmable thermostats, recovery mode works to ensure that your home is fully heated or cooled by whatever time you have the thermostat programmed to.

How Recovery Mode Works

If you notice that your thermostat shows it is in recovery mode, it simply means that your heating or cooling system has started running and is beginning the process of raising or lowering your home’s temperature. If you have the thermostat programmed to turn your heating up from 60 to 70 degrees at 5, the system will turn on and enter recovery mode an hour or two earlier.

It does this to ensure that the temperature reaches 70 degrees by 5 so that your house is already fully warm when you get home. If you also have the thermostat programmed lower at night and higher in the morning, the system will enter recovery mode while you’re still asleep to ensure the house is warm when you get up. As soon as the temperature reaches what you have the thermostat set to, the system will exit recovery mode and begin running normally.

Your system will almost always enter recovery mode earlier on extremely hot and cold days since it will need to raise or lower the temperature much more. On much milder days when the temperature is only two or three degrees above or below the thermostat setting, the system may not ever enter recovery mode. Instead, it will simply turn on and start heating or cooling normally at the set time.

Is Recovery Mode Necessary?

The main purpose of recovery mode is to improve home comfort by ensuring that the temperature is what you have the thermostat set for at the time you have it set at. The only issue with recovery mode is that your system will use a bit more energy since it will start heating or cooling earlier.

If you’re not all that concerned with coming home or waking up to a hot or cold house and are more concerned in saving money, you can usually disable recovery mode by going into the thermostat settings so that the system only turns on at the time it is programmed to. The other option is to simply program the thermostat for a later time so that it doesn’t enter recovery mode and start your heating or AC until you normally get home or wake up.

How to Know When Recovery Mode Is a Sign of a Problem

Your thermostat should only ever show recovery mode if you have it programmed to a higher or lower temperature at certain times. If your thermostat isn’t programmed and you always turn it up and down manually, then it shouldn’t ever enter recovery mode. If your thermostat isn’t programmed and does enter recovery mode, it usually indicates that the settings have been reset.

Another sign of a potential issue is if the thermostat shows recovery mode at any time that it isn’t programmed for. For instance, if your heat isn’t set to turn up until 5 and the thermostat shows recovery mode in the middle of the day. In this situation, you will want to first check the settings as it is likely that they have been changed or reset.

If you have a smart thermostat, it is normal to see that it is in recovery mode at different times other than what it is programmed for. This is because smart thermostats will automatically adjust their programming based on your behavior and also the current weather conditions in order to improve the effectiveness and energy efficiency of your HVAC system.

The way that recovery mode works means that your HVAC system should exit this mode by the time it is programmed to. If you have the thermostat programmed to turn the heat or AC up at 5 and the system is still in recovery mode after 5, it is an obvious sign that there is some issue preventing your heating or cooling system from working properly. In this case, it means that your system isn’t producing enough heat or AC for some reason and thus remaining in recovery mode for longer than it should.

Another obvious sign of an issue is if your thermostat shows it is in recovery mode at any time when your heating or air conditioning isn’t currently running. This indicates that there is an electrical issue or some other problem that is preventing your HVAC system from turning on. It could also be that the batteries in your thermostat are low and don’t have sufficient charge to signal the system to start so this is always the first thing to check in this situation.

Gainesville’s Heating and Cooling Experts

If your thermostat is constantly showing recovery mode or you’re experiencing any other heating or cooling issues, the expert team at [company_name] is here to help. We specialize in heating and cooling maintenance and repairs, and our technicians have years of experience fixing any type of HVAC issue. We also specialize in designing and installing new HVAC systems and equipment replacement. Our team installs and services air conditioners, furnaces, heat pumps, ductless mini-splits and tankless water heaters, and we also offer a range of indoor air quality services. If you need any residential or commercial HVAC service in the Gainesville area, give the experts at [company_name] a call today.

A Guide to Stopping Ductwork Condensation and Why It’s Important

During the hotter summer months, it is quite common for condensation to begin forming on and/or in your air ducts whenever your AC is running. While this may not sound like a big deal, it is definitely something that you want to prevent. Otherwise, it could lead to poor indoor air quality. With that in mind, let’s take a look at why condensation forms on air ducts and what you can do to prevent this problem.

What Causes Condensation to Form on Air Ducts?

Condensation forming on air ducts is mostly a problem during the summer when your air conditioning is constantly running. The main reason that condensation forms is due to the temperature difference between the air flowing through the ducts and the air that surrounds them. This temperature difference causes much of the moisture in the air to condense on and inside the ducts in the same way that condensation forms on a cold glass of water during hot weather.

The more moisture there is in the air, the more condensation will form. This is why ductwork condensation is an especially common and sometimes serious problem in Georgia and other southern states due to the hot, humid weather.

All central HVAC systems have two separate duct systems. The return duct system is what draws warm air in from the home so that it can be cooled by your AC. Once the air is cooled, it then travels through the supply ducts and out of your vents. Since the supply ducts carry cold air, condensation most commonly forms on the outside of them as the air surrounding them is warmer than the ducts. A much bigger issue is with the return ducts, as condensation will often form inside of them since they carry warm air.

The Importance of Preventing Ductwork Condensation

Any time condensation forms anywhere in the home, it creates the potential for mold and mildew to start growing. The biggest issue is that condensation could allow toxic black mold to grow, and this can potentially lead to serious health issues. While most mold isn’t toxic, it still isn’t something you want inside the home.

Any mold in the home will constantly reproduce and give off spores, and these spores will then be circulated throughout the entire building every time your air conditioning runs. Mold spores are one of the most common allergens, and constantly breathing in mold will also worsen any respiratory issues and breathing problems. This is why it is important that you take steps to prevent condensation from forming on your ductwork and anywhere else in the home.

Why Controlling Indoor Humidity Is Essential

The most important thing you can do to prevent condensation from forming on your ductwork and elsewhere in the home is to ensure that the indoor humidity level never rises too high. Ideally, your home’s humidity level should always remain constant at around 45 to 50%. Anything over 60% relative humidity greatly increases the chances of condensation forming and potentially leading to both water damage and mold growth.

If you’re unsure what your home’s humidity level is, we recommend purchasing a portable hygrometer so that you can measure the moisture concentration in the air. Alternatively, you could upgrade to a Wi-Fi smart thermostat, as most of these units will also measure indoor humidity in addition to temperature.

Running your air conditioner will always help to keep your home less humid. When your AC is on, the blower constantly draws warm air in and forces it over the AC evaporator coil. Cold refrigerant constantly flows through the coil, and this works to absorb much of the heat from the air as it passes over the coil. Since the refrigerant makes the evaporator coil much colder than the surrounding air, much of the moisture in the air condenses into water on the coil.

The only problem is that in humid climates, your air conditioner alone often isn’t sufficient to keep the humidity level from rising too high. This means that you may need to take additional steps if your home frequently has issues with high humidity.

Running your AC when the indoor humidity level is high puts a lot of extra strain on the system and will always force it to run more frequently and for longer periods of time. This is because the more moisture air contains, the harder it is to remove heat from the air. Controlling your indoor humidity level will not only improve your comfort and help to prevent condensation, but it will also reduce the time that your AC needs to run and thus help to lower your cooling costs.

The best and easiest way to manage and prevent high indoor humidity is to install a whole-home dehumidifier. These units are mounted inside your duct system, and they work to remove most of the moisture from the air as it travels through the ducts. A whole-home dehumidifier will typically run whenever your AC is running. However, you can also program the unit so that it only runs whenever the humidity level is above a certain percentage.

We also recommend keeping your windows and doors closed throughout the hotter, more humid parts of the year. If you leave your windows open, all of the humidity from outside will get in. Once inside, the moisture will soak into your floors, walls, and furnishings, which makes it even more difficult to keep the humidity level in check. Making sure that your home’s envelope or exterior structure is well sealed and doesn’t have any cracks or gaps where air can seep in from outside can also go a long way toward making it easier to control your indoor humidity level.

How Insulating Your Ducts Can Prevent Condensation

The other important factor in preventing condensation from forming on your air ducts is to make sure that your ductwork is properly insulated. The ducts located in the main part of a home typically aren’t as big of an issue since the temperature in these areas usually remains much more consistent. However, any ductwork that runs through an unconditioned part of the home, like an attic or crawlspace, should definitely be insulated, as these areas can get extremely hot and humid during the summer.

Insulating your ductwork will help to prevent condensation as it makes it so that the hot air doesn’t come into contact with the ducts, and it can also help to make your AC more effective and thus lower your energy costs. If your ducts aren’t insulated, the hot air that surrounds them will quickly cause the metal to warm up. In turn, this leads to the cold air from your AC beginning to warm up as it travels through the ducts and thus lessening the effectiveness of your cooling system.

If you’re having issues with duct condensation or need any other HVAC service in the Gainesville area, [company_name] is here to help. We install, maintain, and repair air conditioners, heat pumps, furnaces, ductless mini-splits, and ductwork, and we work on both residential and commercial HVAC systems. We also install and service whole-home dehumidifiers, air purifiers, and a range of other indoor air quality equipment. If you have any questions about preventing ductwork condensation or need to schedule a service appointment, give us a call today.

Holiday HVAC Tips

Essential Holiday HVAC Tips To Keep In Mind

During the holidays, your regular to-do list fills up with family get-togethers, shopping trips, and mini-vacations. Often, vital household responsibilities can accidentally fall by the wayside. Don’t let your busy schedule impact your indoor comfort this holiday season. Make sure your loved ones and guests are warm and comfortable in your home, no matter how cold it is outside. Here are a few helpful HVAC tips to get you through the upcoming holidays.

1. Replace Your Air Filter

The primary purpose of your air filters is to protect your HVAC system from dust and debris. When your filters fill up, they allow more particulates to enter your furnace. They can also impede healthy airflow in the system, making it harder to produce warm air. A dirty, overused filter could leave your guests sneezing, coughing, and feeling uncomfortable.

Most experts recommend switching out air filters every one to three months. If you live in a home with pets, your filters will fill up faster. Consider investing in pleated options that last longer and can more easily remove smaller contaminants.

2. Seal Window Gaps

Drafty windows and doors can quickly skyrocket your energy costs during the winter. These gaps allow your precious heated air to escape, wasting your money and comfort. If your home isn’t efficiently heating up, your furnace can short cycle or run for an abnormally long time.

Changes in your furnace’s cycles have a huge impact on your system’s efficiency. The more your system strains to produce heat, the more wear and tear it will endure. Protect your temperature control by correcting leaky windows and doors with sealants. You can also utilize draft stoppers, thick rugs, and thermal curtains wherever possible.

3. Program Your Thermostat

Your daily schedule is likely to change dramatically when the holidays roll around. You may be in the home more often than usual, increasing your need for heat. There may also be more people around, making it necessary to heat rooms that you usually don’t. Attempting to keep track of your settings can be complicated and confusing.

Instead of remembering to change your thermostat every day, make full use of its programmable features. Most modern thermostats allow you to set your temperature needs for certain times of the day or week. Some smart devices even give you access to your settings while in bed or out of the home running errands.

4. Switch Ceiling Fan Settings

Don’t underestimate how valuable your ceiling fans could be to your temperature control. Hot air always rises, which often explains why the upstairs is much warmer than the downstairs during the winter. Rather than having all that valuable heat go straight up, you can use your fan to disperse it evenly in your home.

You should see a small switch right on the base of your fan below the blades. Set this switch so that the fan is spinning clockwise. During the summer, you can switch it the other way to force heat up and away from you. Using your fan can lower your energy costs and keep air moving in your home.

5. Cover Your Outdoor Air Conditioning Unit

With the summer in the rearview, you’ve likely turned your full focus to maintaining your furnace. However, your external air conditioning unit still needs preventative care to protect it from the coming weather changes. Take the time to clear away any nearby debris, foliage, underbrush, or twigs. These objects can bang against your unit during harsh winter winds.

Brush off the external cover and rinse it down with your hose. It’s best to call for a quick tune-up to minimize the spread of any new system damage. After cleaning and maintaining your air conditioner, consider grabbing a ventilated AC unit cover to prevent moisture damage or pest issues.

6. Check Smoke Detectors

The holidays often come with long days of cooking, eating, and celebrating. You’re likely to be constantly using your gas furnace and stove. Your home needs at least one fire alarm and carbon monoxide detector on every floor. Consider installing more of these devices near your furnace, in your kitchen, and outside your bedrooms.

These detectors should be checked weekly to ensure they’re still working as intended. If your devices use batteries, be sure to switch them out every six months. Smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors are vital to protecting your family’s well-being and your property throughout the year.

7. Monitor Vents and Registers

The more people in your home, the easier it is for accidents to occur. Suitcases may be accidentally placed over a vital air vent, or a couch might be moved over to make room for an inflatable bed. A misplaced dresser or rug could drop the temperature in the room by several degrees.

Make it a habit at least once daily during your busiest weeks to check that every vent in your home is unobstructed. Watch for any hot or cold spots or strange temperature inconsistencies. Along with making your home uncomfortable, a closed vent could increase harmful static pressure in your HVAC system. This pressure makes it harder for your furnace to distribute warm air evenly.

8. Closely Monitor All Space Heater Use

It’s possible a few of your extended family members may be a little more susceptible to the cold. You may be inclined to use space heaters to add warmth to those distant guest rooms. While these heaters are a great way to complement your furnace, they should be monitored regularly to prevent fire hazards.

Be sure there are at least three feet of clearance around the entire heater at all times. Never leave these devices unattended when operating, including when you’re sleeping. Never use them to warm your blankets or dry your clothes. When you’re not using your space heater, unplug it from the wall and store it away from children and pets.

9. Schedule HVAC Maintenance

Minimize your chances of running into a heating emergency by scheduling HVAC maintenance before the holiday season begins. Heating and cooling systems should be inspected every spring and fall. Doing this helps to minimize damages and regular wear and tear. It also improves the system’s efficiency, keeping your monthly utility costs low.

Older systems are particularly susceptible to short cycling and sudden system shutdowns. Don’t risk leaving your family cold and uncomfortable during the holidays! A professional tune-up gives you assurance that your heating system will last another winter.

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Issues That Can Cause Furnaces to Blow Cold and How to Fix Them

When your furnace is running, you obviously expect hot air to blow out of your vents. If you notice that cold air is blowing out of your vents when your heating is on, this typically indicates that there is a problem with either the furnace, thermostat, ductwork, or gas supply. Here is everything you need to know about the different issues that can cause a furnace to blow cold air and how they can be fixed.

Thermostat Isn’t Set Correctly

If you notice cold air coming from the vents, the first thing to do is make sure that you have the thermostat set to “Heat” and not “Cool.” This one is usually obvious since you should hear your air conditioner running and not your furnace.

You should also make sure that the fan is set to “Auto” and not “On.” If the fan is set to “On,” it will run constantly even when the furnace isn’t on. When the furnace is on, the fan is constantly drawing in cold air through the return vents and blowing hot air out of the supply vents. If the fan continues to run after the furnace shuts off, it will start blowing cold air since the air being drawn into the ductwork is no longer being heated. For this reason, it is recommended that you always leave your fan set to “Auto” whenever your heating or your air conditioning is turned on.

Dirty HVAC Air Filter

HVAC air filters should always be replaced at least every three months or potentially more often. You should make sure to check the filter regularly and replace it whenever it starts to look dark and gray or is covered in a thick layer of dust and debris.

If the filter isn’t replaced regularly, it will get extremely dirty, and very little air can flow through it. A clogged air filter will prevent sufficient air from being able to flow into the furnace. If no cold air can be drawn into the furnace, then there won’t be anything for it to heat. As a result, you will feel very little airflow coming out of the vents, and the air coming from the vents might be cold or not as hot as usual.

Leaking or Poorly Insulated Ductwork

Small duct leaks typically aren’t a major issue. Any leaks in your ductwork will contribute to energy waste and increase your heating costs, but they won’t always affect how much hot air is coming out of your vents. Large air leaks can allow cold air to get inside the ductwork. This will obviously lower the temperature of the air inside the ducts and can result in the air coming out of your vents being colder.

A similar issue can occur if your ductwork runs through the basement or crawl space and is not fully insulated. Basements and crawl spaces typically stay quite a bit colder, which is why ducts in these areas always need to be insulated. If the ducts aren’t insulated, the cold air can cause the ducts to become extremely cold and lower the temperature of the air flowing through them.

Dirty or Clogged Furnace Burners

Furnace burners should always be cleaned at least once a year, and this is one of the many things involved in professional furnace maintenance. If you don’t have your furnace maintained regularly, the burners will soon become coated in dirt and grime. When the burners are dirty, it can prevent the gas flowing through them from fully combusting. If the gas doesn’t fully combust, much less heat will be created and the air that comes out of the furnace may remain cold. The solution to this issue is to have a furnace technician clean the burners. This problem can also easily be prevented by having your furnace professionally maintained every fall.

Insufficient Gas Supply

The cold air coming from your vents could also be a sign that there is an issue with the gas supply coming into the furnace. If not enough gas flows into it, the furnace will obviously produce far less heat. This issue can be caused by gas leaks, a kink in the gas line, or because the gas shut-off valve is not fully open. It could also be that there is an issue with the gas supply coming into your house, and this will affect both your furnace and any other gas-burning appliances.

Gas leaks are easy to detect because you will notice a rotten egg smell near the furnace. If the furnace is fed with a flex gas line, you need to make sure that there is not a bend or kink in the line. You also want to check that the gas valve is fully open. When open, the handle on the valve should be parallel with the gas line. If the handle is at an angle, it means the valve is not fully open.

Cracked Heat Exchanger

This is the most serious of the possible causes and could lead to carbon monoxide seeping out into the rest of your home. The heat exchanger in a furnace serves two main purposes. The first is to transfer heat energy from the combustion chamber into the cold air flowing into the furnace. As the furnace burns gas, it heats the heat exchanger. Cold air is drawn over the heat exchanger and the heat energy naturally flows from the exchanger into the cold air.

The second purpose is to seal off the combustion chamber so that combustion fumes like carbon monoxide can’t escape. If the heat exchanger is cracked, it will allow the hot gases to escape from the combustion chamber. This prevents the heat exchanger from getting hot enough to warm up the air flowing into the furnace, and it can also allow carbon monoxide to escape into the ductwork and be circulated throughout the home.

The most common reason that heat exchangers crack is due to the furnace overheating, but it can also happen simply due to aging and normal wear and tear. If your furnace is still under warranty, you can hire an HVAC technician to replace the heat exchanger. If your furnace is older and no longer covered by a warranty, you are usually advised to have a new furnace installed.

Furnace Isn’t Running

This last problem isn’t all that common and typically means that there are issues with both your furnace and your thermostat. There are numerous issues that can cause a furnace to either not turn on or quickly shut down. This can happen due to issues with the gas supply, the pilot light or electric igniter, the flame sensor, or the furnace burners. If the furnace shuts down soon after turning on, it usually means that there is some issue that is causing it to overheat. All of these are things that you will need to have repaired by a professional HVAC technician. However, they still shouldn’t cause your heating system to blow cold air unless your thermostat isn’t working correctly.

The thermostat is what controls both the furnace and the blower fan and signals them to turn on and off, and it should automatically signal the fan to shut off if the furnace doesn’t light or shuts off for any reason. If the fan continues to run even when the furnace isn’t on, this usually indicates that the thermostat isn’t working correctly for some reason. In some cases, it may simply be that the batteries in the thermostat don’t have sufficient charge for them to work correctly.

At [company_name], we specialize in furnace inspections, maintenance, and repairs. Our team can quickly determine what is causing your furnace to blow cold air. We also work on and install air conditioners, ductless mini-splits, and indoor air quality equipment for customers in Gainesville and the surrounding areas. To schedule a furnace inspection or any other HVAC service, give us a call today.

How to Know If a Heat Pump Is Right for Your Home

Are you looking for ways to improve your home’s energy efficiency and lower your monthly utility bills? If so, upgrading your HVAC system with a heat pump might be the perfect choice. To understand why this is, here is a quick guide on how heat pumps work and how they compare to other HVAC units.

An Introduction to Heat Pumps

Heat pumps are a relatively newer type of HVAC unit that can keep your home cool in the summer and warm during the chillier winter months. At first glance, you would probably think that it is a central AC unit as the two look almost identical. They also function the same way when cooling your home, and the only real difference between the two is that heat pumps have the ability to run in reverse to also heat your home.

The most common type of heat pump is an air-source unit, and this is the type that looks and performs just like a central air conditioner. However, there are also geothermal heat pumps that take advantage of the natural heat in the ground. Air-source heat pumps capture and release heat from the air, whereas geothermal or ground-source heat pumps use the ground for heat transfer.

This type of system works by using refrigerant lines buried deep under the ground. Once you go a few feet under the surface, the temperature remains steady at approximately 55 degrees. Geothermal heat pumps take advantage of this by capturing the heat from the surrounding soil and using it to warm the home. During the summer, the system functions like a central air conditioner. The only difference is that the heat from inside the building is released into the ground instead of the air outside.

How Does a Heat Pump Compare to a Central Air Conditioner?

In terms of cooling effectiveness and energy efficiency, there is virtually zero difference between a heat pump and a central air conditioner. If you were two compare two units of the same size with the same SEER rating side by side, they would use the exact same amount of energy and be equally as effective at ensuring your home stays cool.

All that being said, heat pumps are more expensive to purchase and install. This makes sense considering the fact that a heat pump will provide both heating and cooling. That being said, purchasing a heat pump is far cheaper than having to buy separate air conditioning and heating units. Opting for a heat pump can potentially save you a few thousand dollars compared to buying an AC and a furnace or other heating unit.

The fact that heat pumps are used throughout the year also means that they have a slightly shorter lifespan. While the average life for a central AC unit is around 15 years, heat pumps will typically only last for somewhere between eight and 12 years at the most. Again, this factor is offset by the fact that heat pumps eliminate the need for a separate heating source.

If you’re considering replacing your air conditioner, we highly recommend that you think about opting for a heat pump instead. On the other hand, if your AC is only a few years old, it generally makes more sense to wait a few years before you replace it.

How Heat Pumps Compare to Furnaces and Other Heating Options

Gas furnaces, electric furnaces, baseboard heaters and any other type of heating source can’t even come close to matching the energy efficiency of an electric heat pump. Conventional gas furnaces generally have a maximum AFUE (Annual Fuel Utilization Efficiency) rating of around 90%. High-efficiency condensing furnaces can have an AFUE of up to 98.5%. This percentage refers to how much of the heat energy is created by burning gas that the unit can capture.

For electric furnaces and other electric heat sources, the energy efficiency is measured in terms of how many units of electricity the unit converts into heat energy. Most electric heat sources are one-to-one or 100% efficient, which means that none of the electricity is wasted. Heat pumps, on the other hand, are often two-to-one or even three-to-one. This means that every unit of electric energy the unit uses is turned into two or three units of heat energy.

When comparing heat pumps to other types of electric heating, it is easiest to look at the total BTUs (British Thermal Units) of heating the unit produces and compare it to how many kilowatt-hours of electricity it uses. To sufficiently heat a 2,000-square-foot home in Georgia, you need somewhere around 60,000 to 70,000 BTUs of heating. This equates to approximately a 20,000-watt electric furnace.

Let’s say that you only need to run your heating for two hours a day. In that time span, your furnace would run for around 35 to 40 minutes an hour and use a total of around 26 kilowatt-hours (kWh) of electricity. During the same time, a heat pump would use quite a bit less energy while providing the same or better level of heating.

A 60,000-BTU heat pump with an HSPF (Heating Seasonal Performance Rating) would typically use around 15 kWh or potentially even less in milder weather. If you upgraded to a 13.5-HSPF, you could cut the electricity consumption down to around 9 kWh or less. Even the most basic heat pump can potentially lower your heating costs by nearly 40% while a high-efficiency unit could cut your costs by nearly two-thirds.

Why Heat Pumps Are Perfect for Georgia

Since the heat pump unit sits outside the house and absorbs heat energy from the surrounding air, its energy efficiency varies depending on the outdoor air temperature. Heat pumps can continue to function at their peak efficiency as long as the air temperature remains in the upper 30s to low 40s. As the temperature continues to drop, so does the unit’s efficiency.

Heat pumps can still be effective and fairly efficient even in temperatures well below freezing. This is why they are still so common in many colder European climates like Norway and Sweden. However, in colder climates, it is often necessary to supplement the heat pump with an additional heating source whenever the weather gets too cold.

This obviously isn’t an issue in places like Georgia since we very rarely experience extremely cold winter weather. As a result, heat pumps are by far the best heating choice since they use very little energy, provide extremely effective heating and don’t produce any combustion fumes or carbon emissions.

As an added bonus, if you have a new heat pump installed any time after January 1, 2023, you will automatically qualify for a 30% tax credit up to a maximum of $2,000. This tax credit is set to last until at least 2033 so you can still claim it even if you don’t upgrade to a heat pump until sometime in the future.

Gainesville’s Heating and Cooling Experts

At [company_name], we install all types of heating and cooling equipment including heat pumps, furnaces, central air conditioners and ductless mini-splits. We carry a wide range of energy-efficient heat pumps and other HVAC units, and our team can help you determine what is the best choice for your home. Our certified HVAC technicians also repair and maintain all models of HVAC equipment from all manufacturers. We also install a range of IAQ equipment to help improve your home’s air quality. We happily provide free estimates on all of our services as well as financing for new equipment on approved credit. To learn more about the benefits of upgrading to a heat pump or if you need any HVAC service, give us a call today.

How to Prepare Your HVAC System Before a Vacation

If you’re planning on taking a vacation, there are a few steps you should take before leaving to ensure your home will be fine while you’re away. This is true whether you’ll be gone for a few days or a few weeks. Setting your water heater to vacation mode is definitely something you should do if you’ll be gone for more than a day or two, as it prevents energy waste by ensuring the unit isn’t constantly heating while you’re away. You should also take all of the following steps to prepare your HVAC system before you leave.

Leave Your HVAC System On and Adjust Your Thermostat

No matter what time of the year your vacation is, you should always leave your HVAC system turned on when you’re away. You’ll obviously want to have your heating turned on during the colder parts of the year and leave your AC running during the hotter summer months.

If you don’t leave your heating on during the winter, the temperature inside your home could quickly get cold enough for your pipes to freeze. The temperature inside your home doesn’t even need to drop below freezing for ice to form in your pipes. Pipes can often freeze when the temperature inside drops below 55 degrees since the water temperature in your pipes is often only a few degrees above freezing in the winter.

In the summer, the bigger issue is indoor humidity. If you don’t leave your AC on, the temperature will quickly rise, and this will also result in much higher indoor humidity. Even if you’re only gone for a few days, the humidity level could easily get high enough to create major issues with mold, mildew, and water damage. To prevent this, you should make sure that the temperature never rises above 85 degrees.

While you should always leave your HVAC on when you’re away, you should still adjust the temperature so that the system isn’t constantly running. If no people or pets will be at the house when you’re away, there is really no point in keeping your home as hot or cool as you would normally. All this will do is waste energy.

Turning your thermostat up or down will help save money on energy costs while you’re gone while still ensuring that the temperature remains warm or cool enough to prevent issues with frozen plumbing and high humidity. During the summer months, it is recommended that you set your thermostat to 80 degrees any time you will be away for more than a day or two.

In the winter, you should leave your thermostat set to 60 degrees. You should also make sure to open up the cabinets underneath your sinks as this will help to circulate warm air and prevent pipes from freezing. Frozen pipes aren’t usually a major issue in Georgia. Still, there is always the chance of an extreme cold snap occurring while you’re away, which is why you should always be prepared by leaving the heat on.

Make Sure All of Your Vents Are Open and Unobstructed

You should also make sure that all of your supply and return vents are open and not clogged or obstructed. If any of the vents are closed, it will reduce the effectiveness and energy efficiency of your cooling or heating system. This will result in higher energy bills and your HVAC system running much more frequently.

If the vents in any room are closed, it will prevent the hot or cold air from flowing into that room. In the summer, this can lead to condensation forming on the walls and create the potential for water damage and mold growth. In the winter, it can result in the room becoming cold enough for any pipes in the wall to freeze.

Close Your Curtains and Window Coverings

It is always a good idea to make sure that you keep all curtains, blinds, and other window coverings closed whenever you’re away. This is not only for security purposes but also because it can reduce the strain on your HVAC system. Keeping your windows covered in the summer prevents sunlight and heat from streaming into the home and raising the temperature. If your windows aren’t covered, this heat gain will cause your air conditioning to need to run more often.

Keeping your curtains and drapes closed during the winter has the opposite effect and will help to keep the cold air out. Window coverings can essentially act as a layer of insulation that helps to trap any cold air leaking in around your windows from penetrating into the room. It also helps to keep all of the hot air from leaking outside. As a result, your furnace won’t need to run as often since the temperature will remain more consistent.

Have Your HVAC System Professionally Maintained

If you want to make sure your HVAC system won’t break down while you’re away, you should schedule a tune-up before you leave. You should have your heating system maintained every fall, and your AC maintained every spring to make sure they are ready once the heat or cold really sets in.

A tune-up includes a full inspection of your entire system and all of its components. This is important as it allows you to know if there are any issues that may need to be repaired. If you neglect to have your HVAC system professionally maintained, it greatly increases the chances of your heating or AC suddenly failing when you’re away. Should this happen, you could be in for an unpleasant surprise when you get back home.

Consider Investing in a Smart Thermostat

Smart thermostats are great for a number of reasons. For starters, they can greatly improve the efficiency of your HVAC system and lower your energy costs. They also offer the convenience of being able to monitor and adjust your HVAC system remotely using the connected app on your phone or tablet. This is always useful, but especially so when you’re going to be gone for an extended period.

With a smart thermostat, you can have the peace of mind that your home’s temperature isn’t too high or low since you can easily check it whenever you want. What’s better, you can remotely return your thermostat to its regular temperature when you’re on your way home, so it’s comfortable the minute you return.

While you’re away, if any issues cause your HVAC system to stop working, a smart thermostat ensures that you will know long before you get home. This way, you can have a friend or family member go check on your house to see why your heating or AC isn’t running. You can then take steps to prevent the temperature from getting too high or too low.

At [company_name], we specialize in air conditioning and heating maintenance. Our technicians work on all furnace and AC models and can help ensure your HVAC system is working as it should before you leave for your vacation. If there are any issues, we can also repair your system before you leave. We have more than 30 years of experience in HVAC installation, maintenance, and repair, and we proudly serve customers in Gainesville, GA and other nearby communities. To schedule an HVAC tune-up or any other service, give the experts at [company_name] a call today.