Why It’s Important to Replace Your HVAC Air Filter

February 27th, 2015 by John Ortman

As we come closer to another change of season, it’s important to remember that your air filter needs changing. A clogged and dirty air filter may seem somewhat harmless, but the truth is that an air filter full of dirt and dust can wreak havoc on your HVAC system. This is why air filter replacement in Savannah is so important. If you have trouble remembering to change your air filter, the experts at AAction Air can offer you some tips and tricks to help you remember. Are you experiencing problems that could be the result of a clogged air filter? Then call us today!

Problems Caused by a Dirty Air Filter

Your HVAC system was made to operate with a certain amount of air flow; if the system doesn’t have the needed air flow, multiple issues can develop:

Air Flow Problems

The job of your HVAC system’s air filter is to stop large amounts of dirt and dust from entering your system; it also helps stops debris from entering the system. But air still has to pass successfully through the filter for your HVAC to work. When the filter is too clogged and dirty, it acts as a stop-gag for the air rather than as a filter. One of the most immediate problems that develops from this is low air flow.

Icing

If you have an air conditioner, or use a heating and cooling system that uses refrigerant, such as a heat pump, you have an air filter for the system. One problem that can develop from low air flow caused by a dirty air filter is icing on some of the parts, particularly the evaporator coils. This is because the lack of proper air flow causes an imbalance between the warm parts and the cool parts of the system, and condensation develops that then quickly freezes.

High Energy Bills

Low air flow from a dirty air filter forces your HVAC system to work harder because the system doesn’t have the amount of air it needs to heat or cool your home. The result of any HVAC having to work harder is more energy usage, and you’ll see this reflected in your home’s monthly energy bills.

With regular air filter replacement for your HVAC in Savannah, you can stave off a number of potential problems. If you need any kind of assistance with your HVAC’s air filter, call AAction Air today!

Can I Use a Residential HVAC Technician for Commercial Repair?

February 21st, 2015 by John Ortman

Having a comfortable commercial space is critical to your business’s success; as such, when repairs are needed for your commercial HVAC system in Savannah, you don’t want to trust repairs to a technician who doesn’t have commercial experience. Why? While there are basic mechanical commonalities between residential and commercial HVAC systems, they are not the same. This is one of the reasons why it’s important to call a company that has trained and knowledgeable commercial specialists available 24/7 for any kind of commercial HVAC repair. AAction Air has the commercial HVAC specialists you need, so call us today!

Commercial vs. Residential

So what are some of the differences between commercial and residential HVAC systems? For one, complexity: commercial HVAC systems are bigger, have many more parts, and have long, complex drainage lines and ductwork. A technician who doesn’t have the knowledge and expertise that comes with working on commercial systems has a likely chance of being at a loss when knowing how to proceed with repairs. A second issue is size. Commercial HVAC systems can be over 20 tons in size; if your technician doesn’t have experience working on a unit this large, your commercial space may not have the heating or cooling it needs to be functional and operable. Another reason it’s important to use a commercial expert is that a number of commercial HVAC systems are modular. Modular systems can be more complex so they require expertise and skill to be repaired Lastly, commercial HVAC units are typically placed on rooftops to help prevent damage occurring from weather or vandals. Understanding that you’ll spend much of your day on a roof, rain or shine, is part of doing the job of commercial HVAC repair.

When it comes to repairing your commercial HVAC system, it isn’t worth trying to save a few dollars by hiring a professional who isn’t fully qualified to repair your system. Hiring a commercial expert helps ensure that your HVAC system works as it should for your business, your customers/clients and your employees.

If you are experiencing any problems with your commercial HVAC in Savannah and are in need of repair, contact AAction Air today!

Some of the Unusual Movies Released for Valentine’s Day

February 14th, 2015 by John Ortman

Hollywood has always tried to match movies up to the seasons to draw droves of viewers to the theaters: October is packed with fright-offerings, while the winter holidays skew toward warm and pleasing family films (as well as Oscar hopefuls). Valentine’s Day falls in an odd spot when it comes to the movie release calendar, however, since February tends to be a slower time for the film industry. The studios are as likely to slot strange movies that don’t fit anywhere else in their annual schedules into the Valentine’s Day weekend as they are films with powerful romantic appeal.

So, while the second weekend of February has featured hugely successful romantic comedies like Hitch, The Wedding Singer, and (of course) Valentine’s Day, some truly weird choices have debuted in this weekend as well. And a few have even gone on to tremendous success despite the bizarre match with the holiday. Here are a couple of the odder Valentine’s Day movie releases:

  • Dracula (1931): Yes, this Halloween perennial and the start of Universal Studio’s Classic Monsters actually came out on Valentine’s Day! But perhaps this makes some sense, as the Dracula legend has often received a “doomed lover” approach in the many years since Bela Lugosi made the aristocratic vampire a screen icon.
  • The Silence of the Lambs (1991): Does any film seem less appropriate for Valentine’s Day than this unnerving and sometimes very violent psychological thriller? What’s even more astonishing than the film’s release date is that The Silence of the Lambs eventually nabbed the Oscar for Best Picture, an almost unheard of occurrence for a movie released so early in the year.
  • Daredevil (2003): This Marvel comic adaptation featuring Ben Affleck as a blind superhero does contain a romantic subplot, but the stronger connection to Valentine’s Day may just be that Daredevil wears a bright red costume.
  • A Good Day to Die Hard (2013): The least successful of the Die Hard film franchise, this is an excellent example of a studio dropping a film into a weekend where it doesn’t fit in the hopes that it works as counter-programming. (It didn’t.)
  • Wayne’s World (1992): Now here is an example of counter-programming that clicked with audiences. This comedy based on a Saturday Night Live sketch turned into one of that year’s biggest hits and spawned a sequel.

Whether you celebrate Valentine’s Day with a trip to the movie theater, or you have your own special plans, everyone here at AAction Air hopes you and your loved ones have a wonderful weekend.

How Does an Energy Recovery Ventilator Work?

February 5th, 2015 by John Ortman

In effort to keep houses energy efficient, some households have run into a new kind of problem: having proper ventilation during the cold winter months and hot summer months. Good ventilation is important to having healthy indoor air quality, but opening a window isn’t really an option. So how can you improve your home ventilation without compromising, and even improving, your energy efficiency? Consider the installation of an energy recovery ventilator (ERV) in your Hilton Head home.

What Is an Energy Recovery Ventilator?

An ERV is a ventilation device that installs directly onto your HVAC system – but it doesn’t just blow out old air and bring in new air: it uses the latent energy of your outgoing air to pre-treat the incoming air.

How Does It Work?

An ERV is a medium-sized, rectangular-shaped device that has two openings on each side; these openings allow the outgoing stale air to exit your home while a small fan draws fresh, outdoor air inside. It’s what happens inside the ERV that makes it so worthwhile: inside the ERV is a heat exchanger. When the two air streams meet in the heat exchanger, the energy from the outgoing stale air is used to treat the incoming fresh air. What does this mean? During the winter, latent heat energy and moisture from your warm, outgoing air is applied to the cool, fresh incoming air; this makes it warmer and moister, taking some of the load off your heating system. In the summer, the outgoing cool, dry air cools and dehumidifies the incoming warm fresh air for your air conditioning system. The result in either season is fresh, pre-treated air for your home.

Benefits

The first major benefit to gain from the installation of an ERV is energy efficiency. This is because the pre-treatment of the air can take a significant load of work off your HVAC system, which allows it to run more efficiently. A second benefit comfort: not only does your indoor air quality improve, but it’s easier for your system to reach the set temperature with the pre-treated air. Lastly, the reduction in stress on your system can help extend the life of your equipment.

If you’ve been looking for a way to improve your indoor air quality, it may be time to take a look at an energy recovery ventilator for your Hilton Head home.

How a Dehumidifier Can Improve the Indoor Air Quality

January 29th, 2015 by John Ortman

While air conditioners contain components that actually help to control humidity levels in the air, most experts recommend a separate whole-house dehumidifier for adequate moisture control instead. When you run your air conditioner, a blower fan blows the warm indoor air over the inside evaporator coil. As refrigerant evaporates in the coil, the coil becomes cool, and any water droplets in the warm air collect on the coil as condensation, much like when you leave a cool glass of water outside on a hot day. But you would have to run your air conditioner for a very long time in order to control moisture in a home where humidity levels are high, which is an inefficient way to manage the problem.

Whole-home humidifiers help to improve the indoor air quality in Savannah homes and offer many other benefits as well. The friendly technicians at AAction Air detail these benefits here.

How Mold Affects Indoor Air Quality

High levels of moisture in the air are common in our climate, which is why you’ll often hear people complaining about feeling hot and sticky even when the weather outside seems otherwise temperate. But beyond this, excess moisture in the air leads to mold and can even increase the amount of dust mites and pests in the home. This means that anyone in the home who suffers from allergies or asthma can suffer, but a whole-house dehumidifier can improve this problem throughout the house by eliminating ideal conditions for mold and pests to thrive.

Additional Benefits

Apart from the health benefits that go along with purchasing a dehumidifier, the following reasons may also lead you to purchasing a whole-house unit.

  • Make everyone in the home feel more comfortable. When you choose a whole-house dehumidifier over a small portable unit, everyone in the home feels more comfortable, not just the people in a particular room or area.
  • Reduce potential damage to the structure of the home. The home may suffer structural damage if too much moisture warps the wood or makes the walls deteriorate.
  • Keep appliances from rusting. Appliances rust when iron, oxygen, and water meet, and the only factor you can really control to keep this from occurring is the moisture in the air.

Call AAction Air for professional installation of dehumidifiers or any of several other systems to control your home’s indoor air quality in Savannah today!

How Often Does a Dual Fuel Hybrid System Need Repairs?

January 22nd, 2015 by John Ortman

When combining two systems to heat your home, there can be some concern that this may create bigger, more frequent repair problems. The truth is, you’ll deal with the same kind of problems with a hybrid heating system as you would with any other system. Why? Because each system works independently, so the problems that can develop are the same for you as other homeowners with separate systems. Any kind of heating repair for any system in Savannah should always be handled by experts, so if you are experiencing any problem with your heating, contact AAction Air today!

Repairs

Frequency of repairs for any whole-home system tends to run in accordance with the number of moving parts a system has and its average lifespan. Heat pumps have very few moving parts and an average lifespan of 20-25 years. Furnaces have a number of moving parts, particularly in the blower assembly, and an average lifespan of 15-20 years. However, the gas furnace doesn’t operate as much as a single gas furnace, so this takes some wear and tear off the system. The same can be said of the system’s heat pump: because the heat pump can switch to the back-up furnace in very cold weather, it, too, doesn’t have to work under highly stressful conditions. The bottom line is that while no one can predict how many repairs your heating system will need, a hybrid heating system should have no more, and could have less, than more traditional systems.

Types of Repairs

Here are some of the kinds of repairs you may see with a hybrid heating system:

  • Issues with the heat pump – heat pumps can develop refrigerant leaks, motor issues with the compressor and/or issues with the condenser.
  • Issues with the furnace blower – the fan, or blower, of a furnace can develop problems with the motor, the fan blades and the fan belt.
  • Issues with lighting – if the pilot isn’t lighting, there may be an issue with the electronic ignition, the gas valve or a problem with the nozzle.

A hybrid heating system is an effective, dual-action system that shouldn’t require any extra heating repair in Savannah. If you have concerns about your hybrid heating system, call us today!

Parts that May Need Replacement in a Heat Pump

January 15th, 2015 by John Ortman

Any heating and air conditioning system contains a significant number of components which all must be in nearly top working order so that the system can run effectively and efficiently. When a smaller part of your heating system breaks, it’s often easier and more cost effective for a technician to replace it, rather than to tinker with the mechanism for hours before finding the exact source of the trouble. While repairs are often enough to keep a system up and running, sometimes replacing a part is the way to go. Read about some of the most commonly replaced parts during heat pump repair.

  • Blower Motor: The blower motor is responsible for operating the fan that moves air into the system and delivers it into the living space. In some cases, a faulty blower motor merely needs to be lubricated to keep the fan turning. But sometimes the motor windings short out, and it will need replacement. Professionals have the tools needed to measure the amp draw and decide whether replacement is necessary.
  • Reversing Valve: The reversing valve is the unit that allows refrigerant to reverse when switching from heating to cooling mode or vice versa. So when you experience trouble going from one mode to another, it may be due to this piece. The reversing valve may run into trouble either because of electrical issues or mechanical issues. In any case, it’s important to have a professional choose the right part for replacement and line it up and replace it correctly.
  • Check Valve: The check valve helps refrigerant to redirect when it changes direction so that it doesn’t flow through the valves that help with the cooling cycle when it’s in heating mode. Refrigerant should not, for example, flow through the expansion valve when it’s in heating mode. Therefore, a failing check valve may also be the reason that only one mode does not work, and it will require replacement.
  • Refrigerant: Finally, you may need to “replace” refrigerant if any leaks out from the system. Only certain technicians are certified to handle refrigerant, so charging the system is always a job for professionals.

The experts at AAction Air have the skills and expertise for all levels of heat pump repair in Hilton Head. Give out team of technicians a call today.

Selecting a Heating System for New Construction

January 8th, 2015 by John Ortman

Building a brand new home can be an exciting undertaking, but some of the decisions you have to make in the process can seem daunting. Choosing a new heating system for installation is one of those difficult decisions, but it can be made much easier if you choose professionals to assist you along the way. For now, you may simply be wondering what type of unit is best for your new construction, so we’ve made a guide to a few of the most common systems used for heating in Rincon, GA.

Furnaces

Furnaces are some of the most common heating systems installed in homes today. Furnaces are reliable and effective, and today’s models are safer and more efficient than ever. Modern furnaces have many kinds of added safety features to prevent any potential gas leaks and protect the furnace from faulty operation. Today’s systems are also extremely efficient; all have an AFUE (annual fuel utilization efficiency) of 80% or greater, an improvement over those built decades ago that had an AFUE of about 50%.

Heat Pumps

Heat pumps use the same technology used for heat removal in air conditioners to bring heat into a home. Refrigerant moves through the system, removing heat from the outside air (even when it is very chilly outside) and transferring it to the air handler indoors. In the summer, refrigerant reverses to move heat outside. This is an efficient heat source, as it moves heat around instead of generating it, and it can be used in place of a separate AC and heating system.

Geothermal and Water Source Heat Pumps

A geothermal heat pump is partially buried underground, so building a new home presents a great opportunity for installation. Because the temperature underneath the earth stays relatively stable, heat is always available, and it’s one of the most efficient ways to move heat from one area to another. Water source heat pumps instead use water as a starting point for the heating process, and either unit can save you a lot of money over time.

Let experts help you choose the right system for your home. Call Aaction Air today to schedule an appointment to discuss your heating needs in Rincon, GA.

A Few Common Furnace Repairs

January 2nd, 2015 by John Ortman

Furnaces are the most common type of home heating system in the country. This means that furnace problems also happen to be the most common type of home heating problem. Since it is likely that you either own or will own a furnace at some point during your life, it pays to know a bit about the kind of repair needs furnaces can run into. Let’s examine some of them.

Broken Fan Belt

The fan belt is a rubber loop that connects the air handler motor to the fan. When the motor turns on, it uses the fan belt to actually turn the fan and circulate the air. Over time, the fan belt stretches and cracks from the stress of regular usage. Eventually, it can snap and render the fan unable to turn. You can tell that the fan belt is failing by the squealing sound that happens when the furnace turns on. If your furnace is on, but air doesn’t seem to be circulating, it is possible that the fan belt has already broken.

Faulty Pilot Light

The pilot light is a small, continuous flame responsible for lighting the burners and starting the furnace. Every once in a while, the pilot light may blow out and have to be relit. If the pilot light is refusing to stay lit, however, you may have a more serious problem. In older furnaces, the likely culprit is the thermocouple. The thermocouple is the part that senses when the pilot light is lit, and allows fuel to be supplied to it to keep it burning. A faulty thermocouple is one that has lost the ability to sense the pilot light, and so never opens the gas line to supply fuel to it.

Overheating

Furnaces can overheat for any number of reasons, but the most common cause is actually the one most homeowners never expect. When the furnace’s air filter is not replaced often enough, it can become clogged with dust and debris, blocking air flow into the furnace. This traps heat inside the furnace itself, causing it to overheat and shut down as a safety measure. You can tell that your furnace is overheating when it starts turning itself on and off rapidly throughout the day, which is called “short-cycling.”

If you are experiencing furnace problems, contact AAction Air. We provide heating repair throughout Bluffton.

12 Grapes for 12 Months: An Unusual New Year’s Tradition

January 1st, 2015 by John Ortman

Across the world, many cultures have specific traditions to celebrate the transition from the old year to the new. In the U.S. and Canada, we associate New Year’s with the ball in Times Square, kissing at the stroke of midnight, resolutions, and singing “Old Lang Syne.” But for many Spanish-speaking countries, one of the key traditions has to do with eating grapes as fast as possible.

The “twelve grapes” tradition comes from Spain, where it is called las doce uvas de la suerte (“The Twelve Lucky Grapes”). To ensure good luck for the next year, people eat one green grape for each of the upcoming twelve months. However, you cannot just eat the grapes during the first day of the new year any time you feel like it. You must eat the twelve grapes starting at the first stroke of midnight on Nochevieja (“Old Night,” New Year’s Eve) as one year changes to another. And you have to keep eating: with each toll of midnight, you must eat another grape, giving you about twelve seconds to consume all of them. If you can finish all dozen grapes—you can’t still be chewing on them!—before the last bell toll fades, you will have a luck-filled new year.

Where did this tradition come from? No one is certain, although it appears to be more than a century old. One story about the Twelve Lucky Grapes is that a large crop of grapes in 1909 in Alicante, Spain led to the growers seeking out a creative way to eliminate their surplus. But recent research through old newspapers shows that perhaps the tradition goes back almost thirty years earlier to the 1880s, where eating grapes was meant to mock the upper classes who were imitating the French tradition of dining on grapes and drinking champagne on New Year’s Eve.

It can be difficult to consume grapes this fast, and the lucky grapes of New Year’s Eve have seeds in them, making the job even trickier. (Seedless grapes are not common in Spain the way they are over here.) For people to manage eating all the grapes before the last stroke of midnight requires swallowing the seeds as well and only taking a single bite of each grape.

Oh, there is one more twist to the tradition: you have to be wearing red undergarments, and they have to be given to you as a gift. The origins of this part of the tradition are even more mysterious, and it’s anybody’s guess why this started.

Whether you go for the grape challenge or find another way to ring in New Year’s, all of us at AAction Air hope you have a great start to the year and a fruitful 2015.