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Archive for Air Conditioning

Ready to Turn on the Heat? A Few Tips.

Posted by Empire Blog at 2:04 pm on October 16, 2017

turn on the heat

Fall weather in Georgia is notoriously unpredictable. For most people, it’s also the time of year when the heat gets switched back on. It’s one of our busiest seasons at Empire Heating & Air Conditioning!

Are you getting ready to turn on the heat? Here are a few things to know.

Fall is Inspection Season

When did you last have your furnace or heating system inspected? If it’s been over a year, give Empire Heating & Air Conditioning a call to schedule your appointment before it gets too cold. Fall is an ideal season for an HVAC professional to inspect, service, and generally maintain your heating system so it can work efficiently throughout the winter.

Change Your Filter

During Fall, you probably want to change your HVAC filters around once a month. Particularly if you suffer from Fall allergies, changing your filter more often can help you keep fine particulates out of the air. A cleaner filter will also mean your heat works smarter, not harder.

There May be a Smell

You may notice a slight “burning” smell when you turn on your heater for the first time. This is usually caused by dust burning off within the system and is nothing to worry about! If the smell doesn’t dissipate and eventually stop completely after a few hours, turn off the heat and call a professional.

Listen for Noises

One of the easiest ways to tell whether your furnace needs servicing is to listen for unexplained noises. Clanging, creaking, squeaking, and other loud sounds could indicate some of the components of your unit are out of alignment or need to be replaced.

You Need a CO Monitor

If you haven’t already, be sure to install at least one carbon monoxide monitor on every floor of your home! As CO builds up in the bloodstream that can be significant to the health and safety of your loved ones.  Empire Heating & Air Conditioning offers low level co detectors. CO is lighter than air except below freezing and CO detectors are typically mounted at typical thermostat height at or around five feet.

Ready for a full heating system tune-up?
Contact your friends at Empire Heating & Air Conditioning today for a comprehensive evaluation of your entire heating system. Our technicians will talk you through your options and give you more tips for maintaining your system for years to come.

What to do About High Humidity in Your Home

Posted by Empire Blog at 12:35 pm on August 16, 2017

high humidity in your home

Here in Georgia, humidity is as certain as summer! Summertime may be over but the warm, wet weather hasn’t left us just yet. That persistent humidity can be a huge challenge for your home over time. Do you have issues with humidity at home?

Why High Humidity in Your Home is Bad

When humidity levels rise above around 40%, you’ll start to feel it. Your HVAC system will have a tougher time cooling your home and even when it does, the air will still feel relatively warm. High humidity isn’t just uncomfortable, it’s hard on your house. Humidity allows for mold and other pathogens to breed and even make your home more likely to house mosquitoes! Not to mention what it does to your hair…

How to Tell How High the Humidity Is

Many of today’s modern thermostats also have humidity readers. These are an excellent tool for gauging the air humidity levels near the thermostat itself. In order to determine exactly how high humidity is all over your home, including common problem areas like the garage and attic, you’ll want to call in an HVAC professional like Empire HVAC for a comprehensive air quality assessment.

What to do About High Home Humidity

What should you do if your house is too humid? Whole-home dehumidifiers are a viable solution for some people, particularly if they’re already investing in a new HVAC system. A central dehumidifier can be expensive and too far-reaching for some people, though, so a one-room dehumidifier is a smart alternative. Mobile dehumidifiers are an ideal solution if you only have humidity problems in one room, one season a year.

Are you wrestling with persistent humidity problems inside your home? You don’t have to!
The experts at Empire HVAC are right around the corner. Give us a call today to evaluate your home’s humidity issues and suggest a cost-effective fix. Don’t spend one more humid day inside a wet, muggy house.

Reach out to Empire HVAC today
to schedule your FREE consultation!


Is Using Fans Energy Efficient or a Waste of Energy?

Posted by Empire Blog at 12:58 pm on July 26, 2017

ceiling fans

Maybe you’re trying to cut back on the energy usage at your house…smart idea! Turning the thermostat up just one degree during warmer months can save up to 3% on energy costs. Imagine how much more you could save if you implemented alternative cooling methods!

Ceiling fans are – by and large – very energy efficient. Most fans outweigh their own energy usage by offsetting some HVAC use, depending on the operation. As a general rule, the newer the fan, the more energy efficient.

Remember, fans don’t cool down a room, they cool down people. They’re actually designed to blow air onto the skin, creating a wind-chill effect that gives people a feeling of lower temperature. Fans work best in rooms where the ceiling is at least eight feet high.

Larger fan blades do a more energy efficient job of cooling than smaller blades. They require lower velocity (i.e. can run on slower settings) and still provide the same cooling effect as smaller, faster fans. This requires less energy. It provides the added benefit of keeping papers and other materials from blowing around!

The Department of Energy says that a functional ceiling fan can make up for 4 degrees in temperature change. That means that an energy efficient fan set on high allows you to feel the same way in a 76 degree room that you otherwise would if the room were set at 72 degrees.

How can you be sure your fan is energy efficient? Step one is, of course, choosing the right fan. Look for an Energy Star rated model; these tend to be up to 20% more energy efficient than comparable fans. Next, be sure the blades of your fan are rotating in the right direction. (In summer, blades should rotate counterclockwise to push air towards the ground!) Lastly, don’t leave fans on if the room is empty! They’re not cooling the air, so if no one is in the room to feel the cooling effect you’re simply wasting energy.

Ceiling fans are a great compliment to a highly-rated AC system. Is your air conditioner having trouble keeping up? Give your friends at Empire HVAC a call today for immediate service.

AC Mold: Should You Be Concerned?

Posted by Empire Blog at 12:44 pm on July 2, 2017

AC Mold

In a word…yes!

Although most air conditioner mold isn’t anything to panic about, it’s not something you want to ignore. Mold growth can occur almost anywhere in your system, from the blower to the vents to the unit itself. Here at Empire HVAC, we get calls all the time from customers concerned about mold.

Why is Mold a Problem?

Your AC system is designed to blow air all throughout your house; if it’s moldy, you could be inadvertently blowing mold throughout your home! Green mold spores have been shown to cause respiratory issues, particularly in children, seniors, and people with allergies. Black mold can be extremely toxic and should be dealt with right away. Health concerns aside, mold is an eyesore!

Where to Look for Mold

Where does mold most often appear within air conditioning systems? Anywhere moisture can condense. Customers usually see mold on intake vents, built-up on filters, or growing on the outdoor AC unit itself. A professional HVAC inspection could reveal hidden mold in ductwork or on the underside of vents. Unfortunately, the humid environment here in the southeast makes AC mold in Atlanta all the more common.

What to do About Mold

First and foremost, if you suspect you might have mold, contact a professional HVAC technician. They’ll use special tools and techniques to test for mold and then remediate it. Different parts of your AC system call for different mold-removal techniques. Mold in the ducts might call for a rotating cleaning brush; mold on the filter calls for total replacement. Wherever mold was growing, an anti-mold spray or mold-killing UV light should be applied to prevent future growth.

Do you have mold in your air conditioner?
If you’ve noticed recent breathing problems or suddenly have allergies, there might be mold in your AC. Contact your friends at Empire HVAC today for a complete AC inspection or to find out more.

Coil Cleaning Conundrum

Posted by Empire Blog at 12:48 pm on June 26, 2017

AC coil cleaningDuring the hottest part of the year, it is easy to forget just how much strain is put on your air conditioning unit while it works as hard as it can to keep up with the demand requested from it. While most of the time your system is working well, things like dust, grime, dirt, leaves, and even animals can get into the outdoor coil and inhibit its ability to transfer heat. While some companies might simply spray the system down with water and call it clean, we here at Empire Heating and Air Conditioning follow the best practices model simply to do it right every time.

If you have a dirty outdoor coil it reduces the capacity and efficiency of the whole air conditioning system. One example is that the higher operating pressures will put additional strain on your compressor. Without the proper airflow, the head pressure inside the unit skyrockets, causing high readings for the technician checking the system and increasing the risk of your unit having problems in the future. This simple problem can cause many kinds of emergency repairs, from blown capacitors all the way up to a failing compressor.

We first clean out any sizable amount of debris that has collected inside the bottom of the unit, ensuring better airflow in the future. We then spray the unit down with water, to knock the most sizeable pieces of debris off. Then we add our coil cleaning chemical agent, which foams like hydrogen peroxide and emits heat and steam as it eats away at all the dirt and grime caught up between the metal fins on your coil. After thoroughly spraying down the inside and outside of the coil, and allowing the chemical reaction to fully clean every crack and crevice, we thoroughly rinse it off again and ensure no harsh chemicals are left behind. Finally, we add a Teflon spray to the inlet side of the coil to help reduce any more grime from accumulating for the foreseeable future!

All these steps, performed by Empire’s NATE certified technicians, help to ensure the efficiency of your unit, as well as potentially extending your systems dependable life cycle. With all these benefits, and little to no downside, it is easy to see why Empire recommends coil cleanings when needed during all times of the year. By eliminating a potential problem before it becomes one, everyone wins, and you get to rest easy knowing that your dirty coil is no longer a concern thanks to Empire.

The Supply and Demand of the HVAC Service Industry

Posted by Empire Blog at 9:31 am on June 7, 2017

Air conditioner | summer heatIn the heating and air conditioning service industry, it is oftentimes difficult to predict the level of demand from day to day. This, coupled with the seasonal nature of the industry, makes for an interesting scheduling department to say the least. On-demand service is another term for this type of ‘not next week, not tomorrow, not this afternoon, get here NOW. While some of the calls that come in aren’t as urgent as others, no one wants to wait in a hot house in the meantime. After arriving at the house, the technicians then need to diagnose whatever the cause of your problems are, and then offer the solutions to get your air conditioning system cooling to its optimal performance again.

Empire does everything it can to ensure we can get to your home as quickly as possible to fix any issue you may be having. Empire employs NATE technicians to ensure quality service and expert knowledge of your home’s comfort unit. On top of that, we typically offer same day services to our Maintenance Agreement Customers, as well as some work-ins and emergency calls. This helps to promote an active and flexible workforce, allowing us to respond faster than most other companies in the area while still maintaining our excellent ratings and very few call-backs.

When it’s time to consider a replacement or upgrade to your equipment Empire also offers free estimates for new units if your old unit has already outlived its effective life, or if you just want a newer, more efficient unit to run your household. These new units can save you money, energy, and most importantly, time. By reducing the chances of system problems that occur as your unit ages, you won’t have to come home to an extremely hot house in the heat of the summer only to realize you are stuck with it until a professional can come look in the morning. It is not only a hassle, but can cut into your work schedule to meet with a technician and discuss your possible options and solutions.

Whether you are looking for a new unit, are having an emergency no-cool, or just want to check how your unit is holding up, you can always call us. Our comfort specialist is available at most times to discuss questions you have over the phone or in person at your home, whichever is most convenient for you. No matter your reason for needing a quality HVAC Technician to check your home during this busy demand season, Empire Heating and Air Conditioning is more than capable of fixing your unit or checking to ensure its peak performance during the most demanding season of the year. Our office phone number is (404) 596-6161, and we look forward to hearing from you!

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