Learn everything you need to know about heat pumps from an Atlanta heating expert.
Atlanta, Georgia – There are many things to understand when selecting a heat pump for your home. Phil Montgomery, an Atlanta heating expert, offers an explanation to help homeowners better understand what to look for.
“It’s essential to first understand what exactly a heat pump is and what it can do,” says Montgomery, whose company Atlanta Heating and Air Conditioning has served the area for more than 40 years. “A heat pump is a reverse cycle air conditioner that extracts heat and transfers it. They can be used to heat in the winter, warm in the summer, dehumidify your home and circulate and filter the air?
Heat pumps do not generate heat themselves, but instead extract the heat from one body of air and transfer it to another. It works the same as a refrigerator does, compressing gas, expanding it and then extracting the heat.
The unique thing about heat pumps is that even if the air outside is freezing, heat pumps can still find heat to extract. Then, that heat will get transferred back inside your home to keep your family warm. In summer, it simply works in reverse – extracting the heat from inside your home and pushing it outside.
“People frequently ask if heat pumps are better at heating than a furnace,” says Montgomery, who only employs licensed Alpharetta HVAC contractors. “There are several benefits to using a heat pump. Cost is one – employing a heat pump can be quite a bit cheaper than paying to generate heat from a furnace. They can also be used all year round since they cool and dehumidify, too. And, they are totally safe and very easy for a homeowner to use.”
Unlike fire and electric heaters, heat pumps produce a low intensity heat that is safe for the whole family. They can be remote controlled, so they are incredibly easy to use. Lying in bed and you’re too cold, but don’t want to get up to adjust the thermostat? That’s no problem with a heat pump!
Another common question asked of Montgomery is what size heat pump homeowners will need. The answer to that is that every home is unique – there isn’t a one size fits all answer. An assessment of the amount of heat that needs to be transferred to keep your home warm in winter and cool in summer. This should be done by a licensed professional who can best evaluate your needs and the size of your home.
There are several factors that will affect the size of the heat pump you will need. Heat can be lost through your roof, walls, windows and other areas of your home such as outside doors that aren’t properly sealed. The amount of insulation you have to protect against heat loss will play a factor, as will the size of your home and what direction it faces.
Homeowners may also worry that heat pumps will take up a lot of room. But Montgomery assures that this isn’t so. “They are designed to be as unobtrusive as possible. They can be fit into fireplaces that already exist but aren’t used and a skilled technician can even recess them into a wall of your home, mount them on the walls or even hide them in the ceiling. And they are quiet, so the noise won’t be a factor.”
Heat pumps are a great way to heat and cool your home. To learn more, call Atlanta Heating and Air Conditioning today.
Atlanta, Georgia – October is almost over, and we’re seeing temperatures drop around the country. Hopefully, by this time, homeowners have had their heat pumps inspected and are ready to turn them on in preparation for dropping temperatures.
“In the winter, a heat pump basically works similar to an air conditioner, only in reverse,” says Phil Montgomery, owner of Atlanta Heating and Air Conditioning. “The pump works to pull heat from the outside air and more it through your home. Heat pumps tend to work more efficiently that furnaces.”
Heat pumps are gaining in popularity, so homeowners may have questions about how they work.
“One of the most common questions we get from homeowners is how they can save money on their energy bills,” says Montgomery, who provides heater repair throughout the Atlanta area. “Heat pumps can be effective at saving money, provided the homeowner knows how to properly work it. And that means understanding how the heat pump actually works.”
A heat pump works by refrigerant passing through a circuit, drawing heat from one area and moving it to another area. Refrigerators and air conditioners both operate on heat pumps. The process is reversible, so a heat pump can be just as efficient at moving hot air into your home as it is at moving it away. In the summer, the pump works to extract the warm air from inside your home, pushing it to the outside. In the winter time, the process is simply reversed.
The outdoor unit is called the compressor unit. It compressed the refrigerant to send it through a coil to the indoor unit. The high pressured gas holds heat that gets released and blown into the house by a fan. The cooled gas then gets sent to an expansion valve and out to the outdoor coils. This low-pressure and cool gas then can draw the heat from the outdoor air beginning the cycle again.
“Many people think it’s not effective to try to draw warm air from cold, even freezing, temperatures,” says Montgomery, whose Marietta HVAC technicians are all fully licensed. “However, it’s completely effective at keeping a house warm in the winter. Even the coldest air contains some heat that can be extracted using the heat pump. Heat pumps work best in temperatures that do not regularly fall below freezing, however.”
In most climates that regularly have close to freezing temperatures, the homes will also have an electric back up heater to keep homeowners warm, especially at night. To properly save money during the winter by using a heat pump, it’s important for homeowners to only use these back up heaters as they are intended – to provide additional warmth to the home when temperatures really drop.
If you’re looking for a more energy efficient and cost saving way to stay warm this winter, ask your heating and cooling expert, like those at Atlanta Heating and Air Conditioning, to explain the advantages of using a heat pump.
Many homeowners may not actually know how often they should change the filters on their Atlanta heating units. An expert explains.
Atlanta, Georgia – Fall is here, which means one thing – temperatures will soon be dropping and homeowners will begin spending more time inside their homes. As homeowners begin using their furnaces, it’s important to know how often to change their filters to avoid unneeded furnace repair. An Atlanta heating expert explains more.
“I recommend that my clients check their filters at least once a month,” says Phil Montgomery, a Marietta furnace installation expert whose company has more than 40 years of experience. “Changing your filter so often may seem silly to some, but failing to properly change it can affect both your indoor air quality and the way your furnace operates.”
Filters collect all of the things you don’t want in your air – dust, pet dander, pollen and other debris. As it works, it becomes clogged. If it isn’t changed out often enough, it will become difficult for clean air to pass through. That will mean the unit’s blower will work harder, increasing your energy bill. Eventually, homeowners will be calling their heating and cooling technician because their motor will eventually burn out.
A clogged filter will also mean it will take longer to heat a home. Homeowners may constantly be running to adjust their thermostats when the problem actually lies with a dirty filter. If the filters become too clogged, air may not get through at all, resulting in some areas of a home not getting any heat at all.
“Homes that have pets, are prone to dust or that have homeowners who smoke should be sure to regularly monitor their filters,” says Montgomery.
Multiple pets should have homeowners changing their filters more often that homeowners with one or no pets. Depending on the size of the filter, it could need to be changed as often as monthly or can last up to three months. Montgomery advises that a one inch filter be changed every month while a five inch filter may be able to be changed every three months.
If your home is prone to dust, the filter will also need to be changed more often. The same is true if the home has anyone who smokes inside. And multiple smokers will require changing even more often, potentially monthly.
“Changing air filters often is essential to ensure that homeowners stay healthy, their air stays clean and their furnace continues to work properly,” says Montgomery. “If at any point this winter homeowners question the efficiency of their heater, they should immediately call their local technician to inspect the unit.”
An Atlanta heating expert offers tips to safely and properly lighting a furnace pilot light.
Atlanta, Georgia – In homes with older furnaces, homeowners still need to pay attention to their pilot light to ensure their home stays warm and comfortable throughout the cold months. Most furnaces will have instructions for lighting the pilot light printed directly on them. But in case homeowners cannot find them, or their unit doesn’t have written instructions, Phil Montgomery, an Atlanta heating expert, offers the following explanation.
“Pilot lights can go out when a draft goes through,” says Montgomery, owner of Atlanta Heating and Air Conditioning, providing furnace repair in Marietta for more than 40 years. “Homeowners should be sure they follow the instructions for lighting a pilot light exactly. Lighting any pilot light follows a general procedure.”
First, find the pilot light assembly. There is typically a gas valve with on, off and pilot settings. Turn the valve to off and wait several minutes.
Then, switch the valve to the pilot setting. Hold a lighted match to the pilot opening while you push the reset button located on the pilot control panel. This button should stay pushed until you see the pilot flame burning. Then, turn the valve to the on position.
In some cases, the opening can be clogged, resulting in the pilot light not staying lit. If this happens, turn the gas valve off. Clean the opening. A piece of fine wire is typically best for this. If it still won’t stay lit, call your heating and cooling technician from Atlanta Heating and Air Conditioning. They will be able to inspect the unit to correct the issue.
The issue could be a malfunctioning thermocouple, which homeowners may be able to fix on their own. The thermocouple is located near the pilot light burner and is a safety device that shits off should the pilot light go out. Sometimes if the pilot light won’t stay lit, the thermocouple needs to be adjusted or replaced.
To adjust the thermocouple, simply tighten the nut with a wrench Do not apply too much pressure. Then, attempt to light the pilot light again. If it still won’t stay lit, the thermocouple ay need to be replaced.
If the thermocouple needs to be replaced, it is best to contact a professional to do this. Your trusted HVAC technician can replace it in no time and have your pilot light relit, meaning your furnace will be ready to keep your family warm.
Atlanta, Georgia – You may already be dreading your Atlanta heating bills this winter. But Phil Montgomery, owner of an Atlanta heating and cooling company with more than 40 years of experience, offers some tips to save homeowners money this winter.
“There are several ways you can save on your utility bills each month this winter,” says Montgomery, owner of Atlanta Heating and Air Conditioning. “The first begins at your thermostat. You can typically save about three percent for every degree your thermostat is lowered. This is a simple way to save. Always adjust the thermostat when no one is home and at night when you can settle under warm blankets.”
If you have a fireplace, be sure to keep your fire damper closed. Heat rises, and a damper works just like a hole in your roof would – the heat will simply escape. And because fires actually suck warm air from a room, use your fireplace sparingly.
Close off rooms that aren’t in use to prevent heating spaces that no one occupies. Shut the vents inside them, as well.
Be sure all of your vents are clear of rugs, furniture, etc. Anything blocking them will keep the air from efficiently circulating and warming the room.
Before the cold hits, call your Marietta furnace expert and schedule an appointment for them to check out your furnace and duct work. Being sure your furnace is in proper working order and not overworking will save you dollars. And being sure there are no leaks or holes in your ductwork will, as well.
To look for leaks yourself, first go to the most common culprits – doors, windows and any openings to the outside. Use door sweeps or caulk to seal up any leaks you may find. Be sure you have proper weatherstripping at doors and windows.
Also, be sure your ducts are properly connected. You may not realize it, but a large portion of your heated air might be escaping before it even reaches your vents if your ducts are not properly connected or well-insulated. Be sure duct work that goes through unheated spaces, such as attics or crawlspaces, is properly insulated to keep the arm air from escaping.
If you aren’t sure where to look, call your furnace installation technician in Atlanta. A licensed technician can be sure your ductwork is properly insulated and connected to keep air flowing efficiently through the home.
Perhaps the most important step of all, though, is ensuring your furnace is ready.
“Many homeowners fail to properly maintain their furnaces,” says Montgomery. “Because of that, they could be losing efficiency. Your furnace should be serviced by a licensed professional once a year to be sure it is in proper working order and ready to cold.”
By following these tips, homeowners can not only stay warm all winter long, but save money while doing it.
Be sure to winterize your AC unit to ensure it works properly when you need it next summer.
Atlanta, Georgia – The warm summer months may be over, but before you settle completely into fall and winter mode, be sure you winterize your AC unit. While doing this is fairly simple, it’s also incredibly important to ensure you aren’t calling for Atlanta AC repair when the temperatures rise next spring and summer.
Before beginning your winterization, make sure the air conditioning unit is completely turned off by going to the disconnect switch.
“It’s pretty easy to find the switch,” says Phil Montgomery, owner of Atlanta Heating and Air Conditioning. “Go to your circuit outside, locate the switch and close it. Following this important step will do a few things for your home. The most important are that it prevents damage to your unit and protects your from electrocution.”
Another important reason to completely turn off your AC unit is to prevent it from accidentally coming on during the winter. Doing so can cause water to enter the unit, potentially making it freeze.
The next important step is to thoroughly clean your outside unit. Using a garden hose, remove any dirt, leaves or other debris that are in the unit. If you have plants growing near the unit, cut them back to keep them from growing into the unit.
Once the unit is completely dry, get a broom and brush off any remaining dirt or leaves on the unit. Be sure you allow plenty of time for your unit to dry. Then, take a heavy and waterproof tarp or piece of plastic and cover the unit to prevent snow from entering the unit. Snow that sits in the unit could cause rust, which could lead to the unit breaking down and homeowners calling for new HVAC installation. Secure the cover with bungee cords to be sure wind during the winter doesn’t blow it off. Then, during the winter months, be sure to check on the unit to be sure the cover has remained in place.
“Following these simple steps will be sure your air conditioner is ready to face another spring,” says Montgomery. “But better yet, it can save you money in unneeded repairs – winterizing your AC unit will prevent damage and ensure it’s ready to keep you cool when you need it.”
Atlanta, Georgia – The cold, winter months means we’re spending more time indoors, and because the temperature is dropping, it means we’re closed up with no fresh air entering our home through open windows. But, our indoor air quality doesn’t have to suffer just because we’re using our Alpharetta heating system more.
“There are several ways we can improve our indoor air quality this winter,” says Phil Montgomery, owner of Atlanta heating repair company, Atlanta Heating and Air Conditioning. “Breathing in dry or dirty air while you’re stuck inside can make you feel sick. But I have a few tips I tell my clients to keep them comfortable.”
Does your furnace have a built in humidifier? If not, consider adding humidifiers to each of your home’s bedrooms. If you have young children or other residents prone to colds or ear infections, this can be especially important. This will keep the air from getting too dry.
Do you do a lot of cooking or baking? Consider adding some moisture to the kitchen air while you’re working. Boil water in a tea kettle, then open the whistle and lower the heat while letting the water simmer. This can add much needed moisture, keeping your skin and sinuses from drying out.
Consider lowering your thermostat, especially at night while sleeping. Lower temperatures are better for throat and nasal health while sleeping. This is especially true if you live with snorers or sleepers who breathe through their mouths at night.
Ensuring your home is properly insulated is a great way to save money on your energy bills. But it also means no fresh air is entering your home. On milder winter days when it won’t freeze you out, consider opening your windows for just a bit to allow fresh air to circulate through. This can help eliminate any toxins that might be building up in your home.
Do you have a good vacuum cleaner or system that can effectively remove dirt and allergens? Consider purchasing a vacuum that has a HEPA filter that can effectively remove and eliminate toxins from your home.
Consider purchasing and air filtration system. Do your research before purchasing one to determine which will best suit the needs of your home and its residents. They vary in size, cost, effectiveness and function. Some may be designed to remove specific pollutants but won’t be as effective at removing others. Be sure to thoroughly research before making a purchase.
Be sure to change your air filter regularly. Air filters work to trap dust and dirt and keep them from entering your air stream. Failing to regularly change it will keep your filter from effectively trapping them, and force your heating system to work even harder. This can lead to your HVAC system breaking down and needing repair.
In addition, limit the amount of harsh cleaning chemicals you use as they can release harmful chemical residues into the air. Take shoes off before entering your home to prevent dirt and other debris from entering. Never smoke inside your home as smoking releases harmful carcinogens and other dangerous chemicals.
By following a few of these tips, you can keep warm without compromising the indoor quality of your air.
Atlanta, Georgia – Summer is winding down, and before we know it the cold temperatures of winter will be setting in again. An Atlanta furnace repair expert explains common furnace repairs, offers tips on when to call a certified technician and when it might be time to consider installing a new HVAC unit.
“The most important thing to remember is that it is essential to properly maintain your furnace,” says Phil Montgomery, owner of Atlanta Heating and Air Conditioning and a heater repair expert. “Just a like a car, your furnace or HVAC system must be properly maintained to run efficiently. The less often you have it serviced by a certified technician, the more likely it is to break down.”
One of the most common issues affecting furnaces is a thermostat that doesn’t work effectively. The thermostat controls and determines when heat will be produced and how much is produced. If your thermostat isn’t working properly, that can result in your home not heating as it should, making your home much colder than you’d like in the winter.
“I encourage all of my customers to consider installing a programmable, digital thermostat,” says Montgomery, whose company has been providing Atlanta furnace repair for more than 40 years. “Homeowners can easily control a digital thermostat, and with a programmable thermostat, they’re able to set it and forget about it. You can program different settings for different days of the week. They can easily control the comfort level of your home.”
Another common problem that sends many homeowners calling for a technician is pilot or ignition control problems. Your home’s furnace will typically have either a hot surface ignition or an intermittent pilot. The ignition system uses a resistance heating element that is controlled electronically to ignite the burner. The pilot system, also controlled electronically, uses a high voltage electric spark to ignite the pilot and main burners. If either of these fail, when the thermostat kicks on to call for heat, the heat may not come.
“Dirty and clogged filters are another common issue we see when repairing furnaces,” says Montgomery. “It is so important to regularly change your filter. If not, it can’t effectively keep dirt and debris out of your system. If it gets too dirty, airflow will be restricted, forcing your unit to work much harder than it needs to.”
General wear and tear can also lead to furnace break down. It is important to schedule regular maintenance appointments, and call your licensed technician at the first sign of trouble. It’s also important to pay attention to the age of your unit. The typical furnace can last 16-20 years. If yours is approaching 20 years old or is older, it’s probably time to consider a new Atlanta furnace installation.
If you’ve been calling for repairs more often in the last few years, have noticed your electric bills going up, or have an old furnace, it’s probably time to consider a new furnace. Likewise, if your unit has begun making strange noises, such as banging, popping, rattling, or other loud noise, your unit is probably nearing the end of its life.
“If you have any concerns about how your unit is operating, call Atlanta Heating and Air Conditioning today,” says Montgomery. “Have one of our licensed technicians inspect your unit, and repair or replace it now, before your family is left out in the cold.”
During a storm or other emergency, your HVAC system may be at risk of damage. Learn more about how to protect it.
Atlanta, Georgia – In the event of a severe storm, it is important for homeowners to know and understand how to protect their families and their homes. One area homeowners might not think to focus on is their HVAC system. Phil Montgomery, owner of Atlanta Heating and Air Conditioning, explains what homeowners need to know.
“When a severe storm warning is issued, there are a few things you can do to protect your heating and cooling unit,” says Montgomery. “The first thing to remember it to turn off your unit. If you have window units, or a portable AC unit that uses a window to exhaust, remove it and close the window. Your outdoor condensing unit should be covered with a tarp to protect it from debris.”
After the storm has passed, it is also important to inspect the unit before turning it back on. If the storm was particularly severe, it may be necessary to hire a heating and cooling technician to inspect the unit for damage and to clean it before using it again.
“It is also important to protect your HVAC unit against power surges,” says Montgomery, whose company has provided Marietta heating service for more than 40 years. “While most power surges are out of the control of homeowners, surge protection can give you peace of mind that your unit will be protected in the event of a power surge.”
Lightning strikes close to your home drive the electrical pressure in power lines up. This results in an increase of voltage, sometimes up to millions of watts. Other outside surges can come from electrical wiring or problems with a utility company’s infrastructure. Downed power lines can also cause problems.
Inside your home, appliances can cause smaller power surges. When an appliance cycles on, it draw power, which interrupts the voltage supply to the rest of the home. When it cycles back off, that power is then sent back through the lines, which can cause smaller damage to other appliances that also use electricity.
Any power surge can pose potential harm to your HVAC unit, and other appliances that use electricity. TO properly protect your home, homeowners should utilize whole-house surge protection at the home’s main electricity supply, as well as using power strips plugged in to outlets to avoid point of use power surges.
“With a little extra care, homeowners can properly protect their homes from storm damage and power surges,” says Montgomery. “As always, Atlanta Heating and Air Conditioning is on call 24 hours a day to assist homeowners in case of emergency and our technicians are always available to answer questions.”
Atlanta, Georgia – You’ve noticed that your heating and cooling unit isn’t working as well lately, or maybe it has suddenly stopped working. Do you need to call in a professional to fix the problem, or is it something that you might be able to correct on your own? How do you know the difference? Phil Montgomery, an Atlanta HVAC expert and owner of Atlanta Heating and Air Conditioning, explains when you can fix the problem yourself, and when you should call in the professionals.
“Some problems are very easy for homeowners to correct on their own,” says Montgomery. “Not all AC repair requires a professional. For instance, most adults should be able to fix a blown fuse.”
It may sound simple, but tripped breakers and blown fuses are one of the most common issues that homeowners face when they think their heating or cooling unit has stopped working. If your unit has suddenly stopped, your breaker box is one of the first places you should look. If the breakers have been tripped off, turn them back into the on position while someone inside the house adjusts the thermostat. If the breaker turns off again, it may be an electrical issue with your air conditioning unit that could require calling in a professional to correct.
Be sure to also check your fuse box. Sometimes, fuses can become worn or even burnt. If they make a noise when you shake them or look damaged in any way, it is best to replace them. Once you’ve replaced the fuses, turn the thermostat back on to be sure the problem is corrected.
Another easy place for homeowners to begin is by checking the airflow into their system. Blocked airflow into the unit is another common reason for it to stop working. Clear the outside area of any dirt, leaves or other debris. Once the outside area is clean, turn the unit on again.
Check your filters, especially if your unit doesn’t seem to be heating or cooling your home as well. You may think you need a new furnace installation, and often times it can be as simple as replacing a dirty filter. The dirtier a filter is, the more airflow will be constricted. And the more airflow is constricted the less warm or cooled air can make it into your home.
“These are all simple things homeowners can check on their own before calling in the professionals,” says Montgomery. “But there could be bigger problems that require a licensed technician to inspect the unit.”
Issues involving the electrical components of the air conditioner or furnace will probably require a technician to inspect. This will involve issues with the compressor, condenser fan, motors, etc. When dealing with electrical components, it is always best to have an experienced professional inspect these pieces of the unit.
Another common issue that faces air conditioning units is a lack of refrigerant. Professionals are best trained to discover low refrigerant issues and recharge the unit.
Montgomery advises all of his clients to call Atlanta Heating and Air Conditioning any time they have questions or concerns with their HVAC system. Their licensed technicians can ensure homeowners’ heating and cooling systems are back up and running in no time, so families don’t have to be uncomfortable for long.