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Spring HVAC Tips & Tricks

Posted by Empire HVAC Blog at 8:24 am on March 17, 2016

Preparing Your Home For Air Conditioning Season

Save Money This Season With These Energy-Saving Guidelines

 

Winter has passed and now it’s time to start cranking up the air conditioning. Usually, our Atlanta weather is fairly mild in the spring, but a few humid days remind us that warm weather is only a few weeks away. Your A/C system works harder than ever between the months of May and August, and those expensive energy bills are just around the corner.

 

Before you’re hit with your first big bill from your energy provider, follow these 12 steps to ensure that your home or business is getting the most out of our central air conditioning system.

  1. Make sure your outdoor air conditioning unit can breathe! Your unit should always have clear access to open air, so cut back any shrubs or branches or that might be in the way. We recommend at least 18” of clear space in all directions of the unit.
  2. Never let vines grow into your A/C unit. Not only can these pesky plants block airflow, but they can cause interior damage to the unit and cost you big money.
  3. Do not allow grass clipping to blow into the unit while it is running. We also suggest never dumping grass clippings in close proximity to the air conditioning unit. These clippings can increase energy costs, reduce the life cycle of your appliance, and even cause a system breakdown.
  4. Keep the filters clean. If you are unable to clean your A/C filters, always call a professional.
  5. Check for any indoor water leakage. For indoor air conditioning units, pooling water can be a sign of damage, so you should call a local HVAC company to check it out. On the other hand, it is normal for outdoor units to leak small amounts of water.
  6. Do not close indoor or outdoor vents unless you have specifically discussed doing so with a service professional. Proper airflow is critical to thermostat control and efficient HVAC use.
  7. Have you noticed a trail of ants moving into or around your air conditioning unit? If so, you need to call an exterminator or take care of the problem yourself. As ants begin to reappear in the springtime, they might begin to call your HVAC unit home, which can cause major damage to the air conditioner.
  8. Most air conditioning systems use drainage pipes or pumps to transport water outside. During your next tune-up, ask your service professional to locate that area and make sure it remains clear at all times.
  9. Should you cover the outdoor unit? No! Air conditioner covers from the winter trap moisture inside the unit – failing to remove the cover before use can cause serious A/C problems, which might include full unit failure.
  10. How cold should the air be coming out of the vents in my home? This answer varies depending on the type of HVAC system you’re using, but we generally recommend that blowing air should be about 20 degrees cooler than the interior space to meet your thermostat setting.
  11. Is it bad to open windows during cool evenings or nights? Everyone loves fresh air and a nice breeze, but from an energy-efficiency standpoint, open windows force moisture-rich air into your home. The following day, your HVAC unit will have to work exceptionally hard to balance temperatures and moisture levels.
  12. On a 95-degree afternoon, how cool should the interior of my house be? While most people will want a cool temperature in the low 70’s, it is usually best for your residential thermostat to be set somewhere around 78 degrees. For most residential HVAC units, your system will be able to hold this temperature reliably without breaking the bank or taking on too much humidity. For two-stage A/C units or larger commercial sizes, this same rule may not apply, but in any case, it’s always best to speak with an indoor air comfort specialist.

 

Follow these 12 tips and tricks to stay cool this summer and spring, ensure a long-lasting HVAC system, and save money on monthly energy bills. Have other questions about cost-saving features in your air conditioner? Contact Empire Heating & Air Conditioning today to learn how you can save big.

 

 

Empire Heating & Air Conditioning Earns 2015 Angie’s List Super Service Award for 11th Consecutive Year

Posted by Empire HVAC Blog at 1:51 pm on January 25, 2016

Angies List 2015Each year, Angie’s List selects top industry performers across the country for the coveted “Super Service Award.”  This recognition is given only to businesses that provide exemplary service, with punctuality and professionalism serving as the cornerstone of every customer experience.

Empire Heating and Air Conditioning is proud to announce its recognition for Angie’s List Super Service Award for 2015.  For 11 years in a row, our company has been selected for this accolade – a tradition that we hope to continue for years to come.  We thank the Atlanta community for their continued support of our business and we continually strive to improve our service for you and your family.

Considering only about 5% of businesses in the Atlanta HVAC market actually meet these standards, this award sets us apart from dozens of competitors in the local market.  Because we are dedicated to prompt service and total customer satisfaction, our business has maintained a solid “A” rating in our overall Angie’s List grade, dozens of positive reviews, and satisfactory standing with the review site’s operational guidelines.

Across the Metro Atlanta area, Empire Heating and Air Conditioning has won praise from thousands of customers, many that keep returning because of the great prices and outstanding service that we’ve offered for over 30 years.  In DeKalb, Cobb, Gwinnett, Fulton, and Forsyth counties, both commercial and residential customers trust our certified technicians for all HVAC repairs, installations, and inspections.

While we are certainly proud to once again be named an Angie’s List Super Service Award Winner, our focus is still to provide the best possible service on every call.  We look forward to calling you our next satisfied customer!

For more information about Atlanta HVAC service, we encourage you to visit AngiesList.com or to call the experts at (404) 596-6161.

Angies List Certificate

 

White Sale

Posted by Empire HVAC Blog at 2:00 pm on January 15, 2016

Atlanta HVAC Sale

Empire Heating and Air Conditioning is pleased to announce its 2015 WHITE SALE!

 

Atlanta HVAC Sale! Welcome to the Empire Heating & Air – we are currently offering the biggest sale for Atlanta homeowners and businesses on Indoor Air Quality products and Air Ventilation Systems. Our 2016 White Sale is offering savings up to $1,800. That’s more than 30% off some of our best-selling products and services. Our professional and certified team has more than 30 years of experience working with residential and commercial customers throughout Georgia – and we want you to be our next satisfied client.

Indoor Air Quality is an important factor in keeping your family healthy and the air in your home smelling fresh and free of particulate pollutants. During our 2016 White Sale, we are offering FREE indoor air quality assessments on our state-of-the-art equipment as long as you schedule a new product estimate. Also check out some of our great savings on humidifiers, air conditioners, gas furnaces, and water heaters. Don’t miss out on these great deals – sale ends February 28, 2016.

For more information about our special offers, click here.

Click Here for Coupons!


What is Your Emergency Plan When the Power Goes Out?

Posted by Empire HVAC Blog at 5:07 pm on January 11, 2016

After several weeks of warmer-than-usual weather, a cold front has finally arrived here in Atlanta. With the temperature below freezing, the only thing we’re missing is a little bit of precipitation before it’s time to start thinking about the chances that an ice storm might strike your area.  Our city does have an effective early warning system and regional utility companies usually do a great job of preparing for the worst. In spite of these local preparation measures, there are many things that individual homeowners can do to prepare for the chances of a power outage. Now is a good time to reconsider your emergency plan for staying safe, warm and comfortable when the lights go out.

The Benefits of Installing A Backup Generator

One of the best courses of action is to install a backup generator on your home. These high-energy devices will automatically keep the power running when a home’s usual power source goes out. These generators are usually installed in late autumn, in preparation of cold weather, but it is never too late to recognize the risk that cold weather could pose. Product guides also recommend that homeowners schedule service checks at least once a year to ensure that the machine is properly functioning. While a backup generator is certainly not a device that you use on a daily basis, it is well worth the investment when your home’s heating system stops working in the middle of January!

The Risks of Other Heating Methods

Contrary to safety standards, many homeowners use a portable generator with extension cords running throughout the house to power the refrigerator, television, and other electronic units.  Some homeowners even use a portable generator to power their heating furnace. While this might seem like a short-term fix, there are many homeowner risks that apply:

  • You have to make sure that there is no back feed to the generator when the power comes on.
  • Cords must be secure so you don’t trip over them, which can pull televisions from the shelf or break metal plugs inside the socket.
  • Extension cords must be the proper gauge and thickness (as measured by AWG). If not, they may not provide sufficient power to the appliances or can cause electrical damage.
  • Generators can never come inside! Carbon monoxide is dangerous so keep them outside and well away from doors and windows. Having a low-level carbon monoxide detector is a good idea whenever using a generator.

Fireplaces are also a good idea for many homeowners, as long as you have a steady supply of firewood to stoke the flames. Huddling around the fireplace can be a great family experience – just remember to follow good safety practices and to keep an eye on the fireplace whenever there are hot coals.

Using a gas oven for supplemental heating can also be risky. Gas ovens are designed to perform only when they are exposed to proper ventilation. Combustible materials near a gas oven can result in indoor fires – a risk that every homeowner should try to avoid. These gas ovens can also release harmful airborne chemicals like carbon monoxide, nitrogen dioxide, and even formaldehyde. Fire departments across the country have issued homeowner advisories against using a gas oven for heat (which often leads to carbon monoxide injuries).

When the ice finally hits, your family needs an emergency heating plan and the safest, most effective method is backup generator installation. Let the professionals handle the warmth and comfort of your family. Call Empire HVAC today for a product estimate and to learn more about our backup generators!

The Importance of Getting Your Furnace Inspected Before Winter Arrives

Posted by Empire HVAC Blog at 12:28 pm on November 11, 2015

Winter is almost here. Even in Atlanta, HVAC systems need to be tuned up before they are going to see some winter use. It is very important to have your system inspected before you start heavy winter usage. Getting an inspection done can reveal a lot of issues and even tune your system up to make sure it is working at peak efficiency through the winter.

Wasting Energy

Your HVAC system is a complex system. There are a lot of things that can go wrong that won’t necessarily cause the system to break. Instead, these issues cause the system to work harder than it is designed to. Two things can happen because of this.

First, the system is going to use more energy to get the same amount of work done. A clogged filter or dirty motor means that your system has to work harder to get the same amount of heat to the areas that need it. More energy means higher energy bills through the winter.

Second, a system that works harder is getting more wear and tear than it should. When you project the life of your HVAC system, that’s under the assumption that your system is working at its peak efficiency. If you have leaking or clogged ducts, dirty motors or clogged filters, the system works harder. That creates more wear and tear, which shortens the life of your system.

Gas Leaks

If you have an electric furnace, then you can just skip on down to the next topic, this one is for the heating fuel and natural gas owners.

A furnace that runs on any form of combustion based heat can form a leak. Kerosene, natural gas or heating oil furnaces all run on the same principal. Heat generated by the burning of that fuel. If there is a fuel line leak, it can be hard to detect. Unfortunately, a serious leak could lead to a fire, explosion or other damage to your home. At inspection  we will check for leaks at the unit so we can  have them taken care of before anything serious happens.

Fix It Before You Need It

Getting an inspection done now will help to reveal issues with your furnace. This allows you time to get them fixed before you actually need your furnace in the winter time. Nobody wants to wake up to a nice brisk 40 degree home. This can happen if your furnace stops working in the middle of winter. Any issues that you find now can be repaired so that your system will work throughout the entire winter, without causing you any issues.

Quick Service From Your Atlanta HVAC Specialists

As more people use their heating systems, more systems fail. Don’t take the chance of having to wait to have your HVAC system fixed when you need it most. Contact us today for an inspection.

Should I Be Worried About My Old HVAC System?

Posted by Empire HVAC Blog at 4:19 pm on November 9, 2015

How old is the heating and cooling system in your home? Did you know that if it is older than 10 years it could actually be costing you money? This is only one of the reasons why you should consider replacing your old HVAC system. Even if you think your system is running well, here are some of the main reasons why running an old HVAC system could be a cause for worry.

Reliability

One of the major issues with an old HVAC system is reliability. You depend on it to keep your home warm in the winter and cool in the summer. That means that it sees a lot of heavy duty work in some of the most difficult conditions of the year. This kind of duty puts a lot of wear and tear on an HVAC system. Replacing an old HVAC system means peace of mind when it comes to reliability. No more worrying about it breaking down on a cold winter night. You know that it will run when you need it. New HVAC systems come with a ten year parts warranty in the box. Optional ten year labor warranties are also available.

Efficiency

One of the major advances in heating and cooling in the past 10 years has been its efficiency. Energy costs are on the rise. Since your HVAC system is one of the major energy-using devices in your home, it only stands to reason that you want one that can use that energy efficiently. Systems that have been made in the last 5-10 years are much more efficient than previous models. They are able to handle more heating and cooling while using less energy to do so. Replacing your HVAC system in this case can save you a lot of money in your energy bills.

Safety

The older your HVAC system gets, the more chances that there might be a serious problem with it. A gas furnace can develop cracks in the heat exchanger. This can lead to carbon dioxide, carbon monoxide or even natural gas escaping into your home. Newer furnaces have much better safety and flame proving controls that offer a higher level of confidence.

Air Quality

A newer system has integrated control for indoor air quality devises like humidifiers, ultraviolet germicidal lights, ventilation dampers and HEPA filters that improve overall air quality inside your home.

Comfort

Newer systems have variable speed blowers that greatly enhance the overall comfort of the conditioned space. This would include a special circulation low speed operation to enhance the performance of indoor air quality components and a slow ramp up of airflow to maximize dehumidification in the cooling mode.

Replace Your Old HVAC System in Atlanta

If you are looking for an expert to install your new system, contact Empire Heating and Air Conditioning today. We can install a new system in your home in no time.

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