What Is Included in a Heating System Maintenance Program?

November 10th, 2014 by John Ortman

Heating system maintenance programs vary from company to company, but there are a number of basic tasks that should be performed with every maintenance appointment, no matter who services the system. At AAction Air, we have a 34-point maintenance checklist that we use for every appointment. Working with a company that has a heating system maintenance program in Savannah is important, because maintenance for your system helps improve energy efficiency and comfort, and can extend the life of your equipment. It’s recommended that homeowners schedule maintenance annually, so if it’s been more than 12 months since your last maintenance appointment, call AAction Air today.

What Happens During a Heating Maintenance Appointment?

Here is a general overview of what to expect from a heating maintenance appointment:

  • Thorough inspection of entire system
  • Cleaning of components
  • Adjusting of components where needed
  • Lubrication of all moving parts
  • Safety checks and testing
  • Small repairs (worn fan belts, frayed wiring)
  • Performance testing
  • Check of all electrical components
  • Check and testing of burner assembly (combustion systems)
  • Check of refrigerant levels (heat pumps)

Can I Perform Maintenance Myself?

It isn’t recommended that you conduct your own heating maintenance for a few reasons:

  • Expertise and knowledge – unless you have expert knowledge about your heating system, you could potentially do more harm than good by performing your own maintenance.
  • Correct tools – there are a number of specialized tools technicians have available to help them perform the necessary tasks; unless you have these types of tools, you may come up short on your ability to perform all of the tasks required.
  • Safety – your heating system carries a large electrical load and if you have a combustion system, you are dealing with highly flammable fuels; unless you know exactly what you are doing, it’s best to leave maintenance to the experts.

Maintenance is the key to preventing future repair needs and ensuring that your heater runs smoothly; this is why it’s important to schedule maintenance with a professional.

AAction Air offers a comprehensive heating system maintenance program in Savannah, so contact us today and schedule an appointment with one of our NATE-certified experts.

How Is the Efficiency of Air Filters Measured?

November 3rd, 2014 by John Ortman

Your forced-air air conditioning and heating system contains a filter which keeps you from breathing in harmful particles that may otherwise move through your ducts, including dust, pollen, animal dander, and some molds. You should replace the filter every month or so, or clean out washable filters just as often for maximum efficiency and performance. However, if you continue to replace your filter with the same type of standard filter that came included with your HVAC system, you may not be getting the quality you need. AAction Air has created this guide to help you choose the most effective mechanical filter for your AC.

MERV

The minimum efficiency reporting value, or MERV rating, is a measurement scale created to rank the effectiveness of mechanical filters. The scale goes from 1 to 16, and the numbers correspond to the percentage of particles that particular filter is able to trap. At the highest end of the scale are filters that can remove up to 95% of all particles that pass, including bacteria and smoke. If you currently use a filter with a MERV of 1-4, you may consider upgrading, as you may be missing out on a filter that also targets allergens like mold spores and animal dander.

HEPA filters

A HEPA or high efficiency particle air filter is certified by the U.S. government to remove over 99% of particles that pass through, as small as 0.3 micrometers in size. HEPA filters are actually not often used in residential application because they can hinder the efficiency of your HVAC system. If your HVAC system cannot suck in enough air through the filter, the evaporator coil may freeze or the blower motor may work too hard, eventually breaking down.

Other Considerations

You should take into account that a mechanical filter cannot remove all types of contaminants, especially since most particles in your home will settle before they make it to the vents. You may choose an electronic air cleaner to help keep even more particles out of the air.

Learn more about air filtration in Savannah by calling the experts at AAction Air, and ask to hear about all of the air purification systems that may be available to you.

The Advantages of Dual Fuel Hybrid Systems

October 27th, 2014 by John Ortman

Heat pumps offer both heating and cooling for your home, but there can be some concern as to whether or not a heat pump can adequately heat your home during very cold days. The reason for this is that, during the winter, heat pumps absorb the heat around them to provide heating for your home, and the lower the outside temperature, the less heat is available. As such, when the temperature drops below 32 degrees, heat pumps have to work harder, and may struggle a bit to heat your home as needed. But there is a simple solution for this, particularly if you are considering a new system: the installation of a dual-fuel hybrid system in Bluffton. A dual fuel system uses a heat pump as the main source for heating, but has a gas furnace back-up to provide heat for very cold days. Our NATE-certified technicians have all the expertise needed for any heating installation, so call AAction Air today.

How Does a Hybrid System Work?

As mentioned above, the main source for heating (and cooling) is the heat pump. The heat pump is equipped with an outdoor temperature sensor that works in conjunction with a dual-fuel thermostat. As the homeowner, you set a temperature for the outside sensor that tells the system when to switch to the gas furnace for heating. This set-point temperature should be a few degrees above freezing. There is a second temperature set that tells the system when to switch back to the heat pump for heating.

Benefits of Hybrid Systems

  • Heating and cooling – with a hybrid system, you can still gain the benefit of having both heating and cooling in your home using one device (heat pump)
  • Energy efficiency – heat pumps are very energy efficient, and your use of gas will most likely be minimal, given our semi-moderate winter temperatures
  • No worries about heat – with the gas furnace, you won’t have to worry about not having enough heat, no matter how cold it gets outside

Our winters don’t get as cold as they do further north, which is why a heat pump is a good choice for homeowners in our area. But for those days that do get especially cold, the installation of a dual-fuel hybrid system in Bluffton ensures you’ll have plenty of heat.

For more information on dual fuel hybrid systems, call AAction Air today and schedule an appointment with one of our installation specialists.

Are Ductless Mini Splits Efficient Heating Systems?

October 20th, 2014 by John Ortman

When there are no ducts in your home, your options for heating and cooling are fairly limited. However, you can still get an extremely efficient and effective heating system without the use of ducts. Ductless mini splits are one of the most efficient systems on the market today, more so than many other types of heating and cooling systems. This is because they do not generate heat; they only move it from place to place.

Considering a ductless heating installation for your home in Hilton Head? Call the installation pros at AAction Air today. We’ll take a look at how these high-performance units work in the following guide.

How It Works

Ductless mini splits are great for those looking to install both a heating and air conditioning system. These units work much like a traditional central air conditioner, with both an indoor and outdoor component. One of the biggest differences is the air handler. Instead of an indoor component that connects directly to the ducts, the indoor air handlers of a ductless unit are mounted on the wall or up high on the ceilings. It contains the inside coil and a blower that distributes air to your home.

The other big difference is that ductless systems are also heat pumps. A heat pump is an air conditioning system that contains a component known as a reversing valve. Usually, refrigerant flows in only one direction, moving from the compressor unit to the indoor components and back again, removing heat from the inside and releasing it outdoors. The reversing valve of a heat pump allows refrigerant to reverse when you switch it into heating mode so that it can pull heat from the outside air and move it into the house.

Other Benefits

Ductless systems do not generate heat, which makes them extremely efficient systems as is. You can also find a unit with a more efficient heating rating by looking for a high HSPF (Heating Seasonal Performance Factor). Besides, the lack of ductwork adds some efficiency to this heating system as there is no risk of air leaks and energy loss through the ducts.

Furthermore, ductless heating systems come with standard zone control. Generally, you need multiple indoor units in order to heat the entire home. Each indoor air handler has its own thermostat, so you can control each room or zone individually to make your whole family more comfortable.

For professional ductless heating installation services in Hilton Head and the surrounding areas, call  the heating experts at AAction Air today!

When Is the Right Time to Schedule a Heating System Tune-Up?

October 13th, 2014 by John Ortman

Your heating system has been reliable in the past, so you may not be concerned about sudden breakdowns this year. But if you have gone a long time without calling a technician to look at your system, you risk unexpected repairs and high costs during the cooler winter months. For the low cost of maintenance, however, you can prevent problems from occurring and make sure your unit is working properly, so that it doesn’t fail without warning on a very cold day.

Most heating experts recommend scheduling maintenance once a year to keep your system in top shape. But here in Savannah, temperatures are still relatively mild, so you may be unsure of when you need to call a technician.

So when’s the right time for a professional heating system tune-up? Right now! If you wait until the heating season begins to schedule service, it may be too late. As the season goes on, your heater works harder to get your home to the desired temperature. And more usage means more wear and tear on your unit. The longer you wait, the greater the risk of problems developing. If your unit is too worn down, it’s most likely to fail on a cold night when you need it most.

More Benefits of Maintenance

In fact, maintenance does more than prevent repairs. Here are a few more benefits of a professional tune-up.

  • Better Performance: During maintenance, a technician inspects, cleans, and adjusts some of the components of your system. A heater performs best when it is in optimal shape, so you may even notice improved heating performance immediately after a tune up.
  • Increased Efficiency: Components of your system that are out of shape have to work harder to run properly, which may consume a lot of energy. A tune-up could actually decrease your bills.
  • Longer Lifespan: Additionally, heating systems may actually last longer with a regular tune up. Although you may know the expected lifespan of your particular system, it may only reach this point with the proper maintenance.

Don’t wait to schedule your heating system tune up in Savannah. Call the team of heating experts at AAction Air today!

Why Should I Consider an Energy Audit in Savannah, GA?

October 6th, 2014 by John Ortman

Your home is more than a shelter and living place for your family. It is also a complete energy system that contains numerous heat-producing and power-consuming appliances. Just as a single appliance, such as a heater, can perform inefficiently and lose energy while it runs, so can your house lose energy efficiency and cost you more money each year than it should.

Home performance testing, also known as an energy audit, is a method to find out the energy efficiency of an entire home. This is a complex, multi-stage process that requires special equipment such as infrared cameras, surface thermometers, smoke pencils, and blower doors; you must rely on experienced professional auditors to handle it. But it is a much easier to schedule than you might think: for an excellent energy audit in Savannah, GA, contact AAction Air and we will arrange to provide you with this service.

The benefits of an energy audit

The principle reason you should consider having home performance testing is to locate spots in your house where you are losing and gaining more heat than you should, such as cracks in the insulation and gaps in the ventilation shafts. Energy audits pinpoint air leaks in a home that allow hot air to escape during cold weather and enter during warm weather, placing extra strain on the HVAC system. A leaky home will cost more to heat and cool each year, wasting money and also reducing the lifespan of heating systems and air conditioners. According to the U.S. Department of Energy, 46% of the energy used to run a home goes toward heating or cooling it—the largest percentage of any home system—so keeping your home as air-leak free as possible is crucial for keeping utility bill under control.

Comfort is another benefit of an energy audit. Those same air leaks will result in rises and drops in temperature. They also allow excess humidity indoors, which is a major problem for a humid city like Savannah.

Energy auditors do more than tell you where you have energy loss issues; your auditors will provide you with a detailed breakdown of the house’s performance and offer you advice on how to best deal with these issues, such as furnace repairs or increased insulation. You will know all the home improvements necessary to make your home efficient and energy-saving.

Call us to arrange for an energy audit today

Energy audits are extensive tasks, but professionals can usually perform them during a few hours with only small disruptions to your daily routines.

Call AAction Air today and speak to our Savannah, GA energy audit experts to arrange for this vital service for your home budget and comfort.

Is a Heat Pump a Good Choice for Air Conditioning Replacement?

September 29th, 2014 by John Ortman

An air conditioning replacement offers you a great opportunity to find a system that really fits your needs. Your new system may be a different type from your old system, and this can be a good thing. One system you may want to look at for your air conditioning replacement in Hilton Head is a heat pump. The name can be confusing, especially when it comes to air conditioning, but a heat pump can be a great choice when needing a new air conditioner. The best way to know if a heat pump is for you is to work with one of the trained professionals from AAction Air, who can help you with your AC replacement from start to finish.

How Does a Heat Pump Work?

A heat pump works by transferring heat from one place to another. It does this with the help of refrigerant. In the winter, the heat pump absorbs heat from the surrounding area and transfers it inside; in the summer, it removes the heat and transfers it outside.

Benefits of Heat Pumps

Here are some benefits of heat pumps worth considering:

  • Offers both heating and cooling – a heat pump can offer your home both heating and cooling thanks to a component called a reversing valve. This valve allows the heat pump to change the flow of the refrigerant so that the system can easily change from heating to cooling.
  • Very energy efficient – a heat pump uses a small amount of electricity to run and does not use fossil fuels.
  • Versatile – heat pumps can work with several kinds of systems, including geothermal and ductless.
  • Long lifespan – heat pumps last an average of 20 years, while an air conditioner lasts an average of 10-12.
  • Provides even cooling – a heat pump cools at a low, consistent air flow, allowing for consistent cooling.
  • Better moisture removal – heat pumps can remove up to 30% more of humidity than other systems.

Heat pumps can be a great option for your home, especially if you are looking for a system that can offer you both heating and cooling.

If you are interested to see if a heat pump is a good option for air conditioning replacement in Hilton Head, call AAction Air today and schedule an appointment with one of our experts.

Some Common Reasons to Call for Commercial HVAC Repair

September 22nd, 2014 by John Ortman

A failure in the HVAC system that heats and cools your company’s workspace can lead to severe discomfort, especially with the frequently humid weather in Savannah. You will want to act fast to bring in experienced technicians familiar with the necessary repairs to restore the system before poor heating or cooling has a negative impact on your business.

For high-quality commercial HVAC repairs in Savannah, GA and the surrounding areas, call the seasoned professionals at AAction Air today.

Some HVAC problems that require calling for repairs

  • Thermostat malfunctions: Most businesses will have more than one thermostat to control the temperature in the workplace. This network of thermostats can cause a decline in comfort and a rise in energy waste if it begins to malfunction. Common troubles that thermostats can encounter include losing their connection to the heater or air conditioner (which can cause the system not to run or to run continuously) and developing a miscalibration that makes them to read temperatures incorrectly and subsequently turn the HVAC system on and off at inappropriate times. Professionals will assist with tracking down thermostat troubles and repairing them.
  • Cold or hot spots in the workplace: When the HVAC system in a business starts to malfunction, one of the first signs that will show up are rooms that are either too hot or too cold. Check on the vents in the room first to make sure that they aren’t closed or blocked, and then see that the local thermostat is set correctly. If neither of these solves the problem, you probably have a more serious issue with the HVAC system losing its heating/cooling ability, and this will require commercial technicians to solve.
  • Unusually high utility bills: Because you keep a close watch on your company’s finances, any sudden increase in costs will leap out at you. A spike in the costs to heat or cool a building is often a warning sign that the HVAC system is losing efficiency due to a repair need. When you call for heating and cooling specialists to look into the issue, they will trace the source of the overwork from the system and fix it.

Only rely on commercial HVAC experts

You cannot rely on either amateurs or technicians who lack experience with commercial HVAC to handle repair work. Instead, look to AAction Air and our trained team: we have many years of work in Savannah, GA on commercial HVAC systems. You can also look to us to schedule regular maintenance for your heating and cooling systems that will help them run with minimal repair problems throughout the year.

How an Energy Recovery Ventilator Improves Indoor Air Quality

September 15th, 2014 by John Ortman

Having an energy-efficient home is good for your family and your wallet, but sometimes air quality can suffer from making your home as air-tight as possible. The main problem that occurs in making a home air-tight is reduced ventilation. Throwing open a window or a door isn’t really an option, so what can you do to maintain energy efficiency and have healthy ventilation? You might want to consider installing an energy recovery ventilator (ERV). An ERV not only improves indoor air quality in Bluffton, it also improves energy efficiency.

What Is an Energy Recovery Ventilator?

An energy recover ventilator, or ERV, is a ventilation system for your home in which the stale indoor air is exchanged for the fresh outdoor air. However, an ERV does more than just exchange air – it also pre-treats the incoming air with the energy of the outgoing air to help with energy efficiency.

How Does an ERV Work?

During the winter, an ERV expels your stale, warm indoor air and brings in cold, fresh air. The ERV also adds warmth and moisture to the incoming cold air, pre-treating it before it enters your system. In the summer, the ERV expels the cool, stale air from your home and exchanges it with the fresh, warm, humid air from the outside; as the warm air enters the ERV, the air is cooled and dehumidified by the energy of the outgoing air.

What Are the Benefits of an ERV?

There are several important benefits to installing an ERV:

  • Better indoor air quality – one of the main purposes of installing an ERV into your home is to increase the quality of your indoor air. An ERV accomplishes this by bringing a steady stream of fresh, conditioned air into your home.
  • Better energy efficiency – pre-treating the air helps reduce the amount of work your HVAC system has to do in order to heat or cool your home. Less work means your system uses less energy.
  • Increased moisture control – during the summer, an ERV helps remove excess humidity, and during the winter, it adds needed moisture to the cold, dry air.

Energy recovery ventilators do much more than improve the indoor air quality of your Bluffton home. If you think an ERV would be a good choice for your home, call AAction Air today and speak to one of our specialists.

AAction Air has helped many customers improve their indoor air quality, and our NATE-certified technicians can help you, too. Call us today!

Can I Have Modern HVAC Systems Installed in an Historic House?

September 8th, 2014 by John Ortman

Savannah is renowned for its history and its beautiful historical homes. It can be a challenge to add modern heating and cooling to an older home while conducting an historic renovation in Savannah, but he good news is that there are HVAC options available that can provide your older home with whole-home heating and cooling, and AAction Air has the expertise and knowledge to help you design and install an HVAC system that will provide the comfort you need while retaining the beauty and charm of your historical property.

HVAC Design for Historical Buildings

The first important step for any new HVAC system installation in an historical building is to create and design a plan for the system. Knowing the lay out and operation of the HVAC system ahead of time goes a long way toward ensuring the installation process runs smoothly, and that no part of the building’s structure or design is compromised in any way. AAction Air has installed HVAC systems into many historical properties, and we can design and install a system that will keep you comfortable while preserving the historical integrity of your building.

Goals of Historical HVAC Design for an Historical Property:

There are four goals to keep in mind when designing an HVAC system for an historical property:

  • Minimize the visual disruption – part of the draw of historical buildings is how they look. No one wants to mar a beautiful parlor room with an oversized heating or cooling device, so it’s important to keep this in mind while designing the system.
  • Keep it quiet – a loud heating or cooling device can be just as distracting from the atmosphere of an historic home as a visually disruptive one. There are several HVAC system choices available for owners of historical properties that can alleviate both of these potential problems.
  • Energy efficiency – older homes can be challenging to keep comfortable, so energy efficiency should be a priority when designing an HVAC system in order to achieve comfort without having exorbitantly high monthly energy bills.
  • Easily accessible system – making the system as simple as possible makes it easier to maintain and repair. No one wants to send their technician crawling through tight spaces if he/she can help it, and potential issues like this can be addressed during the design stage.

Historic renovation in Savannah calls for expertise, knowledge and experience, and this is especially true when installing an HVAC system into an historical property. Don’t trust this installation to just anyone: hire professionals who are known for their work with historical buildings, including design, planning and installation.

AAction Air specializes in HVAC installation for historical properties, and we bring all of our experience and knowledge to every job. Call us today!