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Should I Close My Unused Vents?

Posted by Empire Blog at 2:26 pm on December 30, 2017

air ductEveryone’s always looking for tips and tricks to save money on heating and cooling their home. At Empire, we hear this question all the time:

“Does it save money to close the air vents in rooms I don’t use?”

It makes sense, in theory. Closing vents should just lessen the amount of heated air your furnace has to pump into your home, right? It’s like cutting square footage off your house! Well, not exactly.

How Your HVAC System Works

Professional HVAC installers put in new systems so that they’re balanced. Your ductwork should be sized so that the air in equals the air out. When you shut vents in your home, you’re throwing off that balance.

Why You Shouldn’t Close Your Vents

Why is it a bad idea to close your vents? Closed vents can cause pressure to build in your ducts. This pressure can cause small leaks to build, leaking heated air into parts of your home you don’t want to pay to heat (like your attic!) This pressure buildup means you have to work harder to distribute heated air throughout your home. Your furnace has to work harder to heat the same amount of space.

What’s the Lesson?

Leave your vents open! Ultimately, your whole system will work more efficiently (and save you more money) if all your vents are free and flowing. And if you still think your energy bills are too high? Contact Empire Heating & Air Conditioning! We’re happy to perform a comprehensive evaluation of your entire heating system…it might be time for a tune-up.

An efficient HVAC saves you money, saves you energy, and gives you peace of mind.
Call now for a free consultation with a friendly Empire technician.



5 Ways to Winterize Your Home

Posted by Empire Blog at 2:13 pm on November 15, 2017

winterize your home


Winter’s in full-swing! Do you really need to “winterize” your home here in the South? You do! Before the cold really sets in, do these five things to ensure your house is fully prepared for the elements.

1. Find Your Drafts

Take a spin around your home to look for drafts coming in through windows, doors, or even corners. Do what you can to properly seal your home, from installing weather stripping to using a thin bead of indoor/outdoor caulk.

2. Check Your Insulation

Insulation in your crawlspace and attic are bound to degrade or come loose over time. Check to make sure all the spaces around your home are insulated….replace or repair the insulation and don’t forget your pipes!

3. Service Your Heating System

You should have your heating system evaluated once a year to ensure it’s functioning properly. A professional heating technician can check for loose parts, test its components, and even change your filters for you! Contact Empire HVAC today to schedule your appointment in Atlanta.

4. Clean Your Gutters

It’s important to clean your gutters after fall’s mass leaf exodus; winter rains (and even snow!) need full egress through your gutter system to ensure your roof stays leak-tight. Have a professional do the cleaning to get the job done quickly and safely.

5. Reverse Your Fans

Don’t forget that you can use your fans in winter, too! Reversing your fans in wintertime actually pushes hot air back down, allowing you to feel warmer in rooms with the fan on while using a little less heat. Just remember to turn the fan off when you leave the room.

Empire HVAC is ready to help you winterize your Atlanta home. Give our team a call today to schedule a comprehensive HVAC checkup or to ask about our special offers.

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.

Why You Need a Preseason Heating Tune-Up

Posted by Empire Blog at 1:20 pm on September 18, 2017

Heating tune-up

It’s almost heating season! We know because this is when our phones start ringing off the hook. People turn on their heat for the first time in months and find it’s not working the way they remembered!

At Empire Heating & Air Conditioning, we offer preseason heating tune-ups in metro Atlanta. Here’s why you need one.

Perform Routine Maintenance

There’s a lot of value in performing preventative maintenance! Empire Heating & Air Conditioning specializes in thorough, comprehensive evaluations of your entire heating system, from the coils to the ductwork to your vents. Heating systems are appliances and they’re bound to need servicing over time. A preseason heating tune up can help identify issues (leaky pipes, slipped ducts) and remedy them before you spend half the winter wasting heat.

Check for Problems

A fall preseason tune up is when we often identify issues that can take homeowners by surprise. In many cases, it’s only when inspected by a professional that homeowners realize their heating systems need replacement, or that they’ve been working less efficiently than they should have been for ages. If your heating system is ageing (especially if it’s over 10 years old), prone to breakage, or you know you’ll be using it constantly in the winter, now is the time to have it inspected.

Save on Heating Costs

The better your heating system works, the less money you’ll waste. Energy efficiency is critical in summer and winter: prime time for HVAC usage. In fact, nearly half of all the energy usage in the average American home goes into heating and/or cooling it! Any inefficiencies in the system can cause your heater to run constantly or to cycle on-and-off repeatedly. They can also make it difficult for the internal temperature inside your house to reach the desired level.

Call Empire Heating & Air Conditioning or book an appoint online today to schedule your preseason tune-up. Our technicians are standing by to help you have the warmest, most energy-efficient winter on record!

Reach out to us today
to schedule your fall HVAC appointment:


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 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.

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