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Is it time to replace my Air Conditioner?

Wednesday, April 22nd, 2015

How Do You Know If It’s Time to Replace Your Air Conditioner?

Sometimes it seems like our homes are a moving target. Just as soon as you get one part of the house just like you want it, something needs tending to in another area. So, for most of us, we’re always on the lookout for the next big thing that’s going to show up – invited or not – on our “home maintenance” to-do list.

Now, when “air conditioning system replacement” comes up on that list, that’s quite a significant situation. Home comfort systems are a sizeable part of your home investment, so it’s never something to take lightly. But when it’s time, three things should be on your evaluation list:

System Age – If your heat pump or air conditioner is more than 10 years old, you could save up to 20 percent on cooling and heating costs if you replaced it with a unit that has earned the Energy Star label.

Repair/Energy Costs – A home comfort system has what’s called “operational” costs. If your system is racking up repair bills and guzzling up your energy dollars, you may be overdue for an efficiency upgrade.

Uncomfortable Environment – A home comfort system is supposed to create a comfortable home environment, right? Well, if you’re not comfortable, take note. Are some rooms too hot or too cold? Does your home have humidity problems? This could be a sign of poor or improper equipment operation.

All of these issues when compounded can result in you spending more than you should on your power bill. For as little as $55 DOLLARS PER MONTH you could be saving the 20% which may even cover the system. Call or email us today for your free in home evaluation!

Dont pay more because its Hot!

Friday, April 10th, 2015

 

What Everyone Should Know About Contractor Scams

We’ve all heard these stories and seen the images. When a natural disaster hits a community, friends, neighbors and charities rush in to help. It always warms the heart to see the outreach in services and donations. And yet … there’s that other side of the response. There are selfish people who try to take advantage of a bad situation and use the natural disaster as an opportunity to scam.

Often during these times, law enforcement agencies make announcements about what you should and should not look for when hiring someone to work on your home. People become aware, alert. And yet … scam artists come into communities and neighborhoods even when our fellow citizens are warned to be hyper-vigilant, even when the skies are blue, and the wind is calm, and the weather is perfect.

In other words, contractor scams get more attention during natural disasters, but they can occur at anytime, anyplace. And that means right here in the great city of Atlanta. Oh, I don’t mean to scare you about any particular situation. I’m not reporting news, just tendencies. I’m talking about possibilities that call for wise practices. For example, here are some of the tips the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) recommends for hiring someone to work on your home:

  • Get recommendations from friends, relatives, neighbors, co-workers, insurance agents or claims adjusters.
  • Deal only with licensed and insured contractors. Check with the local Better Business Bureau to see if complaints have been lodged against any contractor you’re considering.
  • Get a written estimate that includes any oral promises the contractor made. Remember to ask if there’s a charge for an estimate before allowing anyone into your home.
  • Take your time about signing a contract. Ask for explanations for price variations, and don’t automatically choose the lowest bidder.

Please know, we’ll be glad to help you with whatever home comfort problem you may be experiencing. At Henson Mechanical, we’re proud to have grown a business through referrals and recommendations from satisfied customers, and we hope our list of satisfied customers includes you too. So, if you need us, just email or call.

Do I need to replace my furnace when I replace my air conditioner?

Tuesday, April 7th, 2015

Do I need to replace my furnace when I replace my air conditioner?     Our homes comfort system that provides heating in the winter and cooling in the summer have certain functions and equipment they share (and not just the thermostat). Energy Star is a program of the federal government that promotes efficiency in appliances and makes a point about this connectedness when discussing its recommendations for cooling: ENERGY STAR qualified central air conditioners: have higher seasonal energy efficiency ratio (SEER) and energy efficiency ratio (EER) ratings, making them over 15% more efficient than conventional models. The central air conditioner also needs a blower motor – which is usually part of the furnace – to blow the cool air through the duct system. The only way to ensure that your new air conditioner performs at its rated efficiency is to replace your heating system at the same time. It’s especially recommended if your furnace is over 15 years old. If you purchase a new energy-efficient air conditioner but connect it to an older furnace and blower motor, your system will not perform to its rated efficiency. So, heating and cooling are connected – at least within your home comfort system. But you’ll also find that your heating and cooling efficiency is connected to the whole-house environment. As Energy Star adds: No matter what kind of heating and cooling system you have in your house, you can save money and increase your comfort by properly maintaining and upgrading your equipment. But remember, energy-efficient equipment alone will not have as great an impact on your energy bills as using the whole-house approach. By combining proper equipment maintenance and upgrades with recommended insulation, air sealing, and thermostat settings, you can cut your energy use for heating and cooling — and reduce environmental emissions — from 20%-50%. When we install your new system it will with an AHRI certificate that will have your specific model numbers listed which will produce a SEER rating. So that’s why you have to replace your furnace to achieve the SEER ratings on your air conditioner. If you’d like to learn more about how the energy efficiency of your home is impacting your energy bills, let us conduct an energy analysis and show you ways you could be saving. To schedule your free energy analysis, just call or email Henson Mechanical today!

Wanna Save some Money?

Monday, April 6th, 2015

 

Here Is a Method that Is Helping Homeowners Save More Energy with Better Comfort

 

Most of the time we think that life has us running in circles. But the truer view is that life runs in cycles. For example, each season brings certain opportunities and obligations, and spring has a definite “caretaking” flair.

So, in a sense, it’s the same thing year after year: you take care of important home maintenance projects in order to preserve your investments. But the good news is that this “same old, same old” can make your home comfort equipment seem just like new.

Here’s how.

One of the best benefits of regular tune-ups is that your systems get cleaned, inspected, filter gets changed, and reset to factory specs – almost like we turned back the hand of time. The result for homeowners is improved energy efficiency (saves on energy bills), better operating equipment (not as likely to break down at an inconvenient time) and better overall comfort.

But how can you make this happen? Actually, there’s one method that makes routine maintenance very routine: enroll in a maintenance agreement program that brings a Henson  Mechanical Professional to your home to provide routine maintenance on your air conditioner and heating system – during twice-a-year intervals when the weather is mild.

You get the benefit of extended equipment life, savings on tune-ups and repairs, priority service – and overall peace of mind.

Ready to make this method a part of your routine cycle? To learn more about the energy-saving, comfort-improving, equipment-prolonging benefits of maintenance agreements, just call or email and ask us about our Ultimate Service Agreement today!

Atlanta Geothermal Guide: Geothermal Loop Systems Explained

Monday, February 4th, 2013

When you schedule a professional geothermal heating and cooling system installation with Henson Mechanical Heating & Air Conditioning, you are taking the first step towards making your home more efficient and eco-friendly. There is still a lot of work left to do, though, and that is why it is so important that you work with a qualified Atlanta professional. Your geothermal installation is a multi-faceted project, requiring the skill and expertise that only an experienced technician can provide. Our team of experts will help determine if geothermal heating and cooling is right for you and if your property can accommodate the necessary geothermal loop system.

The geothermal loop system is what allows your geothermal heat pump to absorb heat from beneath the ground or a water source on your property for use in your home. A number of different factors affect the installation of your geothermal loop system and the type of loop system that is most appropriate for your home. Geological factors including soil properties and the presence of any underground water sources will affect these decisions. The amount of land available is also an important factor that must be considered prior to the installation of any geothermal loop system.

There are a few different geothermal loop system options available for installation in Atlanta. The most common is a closed loop system. In this type of system an antifreeze solution is pumped through an underground pipe system repeatedly, absorbing heat, delivering it and repeating the process. This system is generally installed horizontally. When property size will not allow for this a closed loop system may be installed vertically, though the geothermal drilling necessary to do so makes it more expensive for installation.

In some cases, if the conditions are right, homeowners may opt for an open loop geothermal system. With this type of loop system water itself is used as the heat transfer liquid. Once it has been used it is simply emptied back into the water source. A lot of factors will decide if your water source is appropriate for this type of loop system.

For more information about the installation of a geothermal system or types of geothermal loop systems in Atlanta , just call Henson Mechanical Heating & Air Conditioning. We have the answers to all your questions. Call today to schedule service. 

Atlanta Heating Installation Tip: Geothermal Evaluation Procedures

Monday, December 10th, 2012

Geothermal heating and air conditioning systems have been installed in many Atlanta area homes because of their cost-effectiveness and energy-saving properties. However, they are not for every home or situation. If you are thinking about a geothermal system as an upgrade or a new heating and cooling system, call Henson Mechanical Heating & Air Conditioning to find out if it is a good solution for your home.

Geothermal Heat Pumps

Getting the right type of geothermal heat pump system for your home will depend on several factors. When we are evaluating your home, we consider the size of the home and property, location of the home and soil conditions, as well as your current system and how efficiently it heats or cools your home.

We also consider nearby water sources, such as ponds and wells, as a potential source for an open loop fields installation. Open loops use the water to heat or cool the home, and a closed loop system has pipes that contain a mixture of water and refrigerant that absorbs the constant ground temperatures. Open loops are less common either because there is rarely a water source, or there’s not a good way to dispose of the return water.

We consider the condition of the soil because it will determine whether we install vertical or horizontal loop fields. Vertical loops require drilling but are ideal on smaller properties. By the same token, horizontal loops can be installed over a larger area in trenches dug by a backhoe, so they are typically installed on larger properties.

For replacements, it’s always best to speak with a certified contractor if you have questions about the types of geothermal systems that can be installed in place of your current heating or cooling system. Call the Atlanta geothermal experts at Henson Mechanical Heating & Air Conditioning for all your geothermal installation needs.

Atlanta Geothermal Heating Installation Process

Monday, November 19th, 2012

Here in Atlanta, geothermal heating systems are ideal since they can also be used to cool your home in the summer. Geothermal heat pump systems are similar to air source heat pumps in that way. The main difference is that geothermal systems use the constant temperature below the ground to heat and cool the home.

While you still need to compare the costs of installation and other factors, a geothermal system uses a renewable fuel source for year round comfort. Depending on your needs, installing a geothermal heat pump might be the cost-effective home comfort solution you are looking for.

The Atlanta heating experts at Henson Mechanical Heating & Air Conditioning are here to discuss how geothermal systems work and go over the installation process. Call us any time for professional advice. Whether you have an existing home or you’re building a new one, you’ll first need to decide if it is practical to install a geothermal system on your property.

Here’s how the installation process works:

1. Drilling

Geothermal systems are also called ground source heat pumps because they absorb the year-round constant temperature in the ground. To do this, large holes will need to be drilled on your property so that the contracting company can install the loop fields. Loop fields refer to the underground pipes that carry water and refrigerant mixture that is compressed and used to either heat or cool your home. Some systems can be hooked up to your hot water heater and used to heat your water as well. The loop fields can be configured on several ways, and you’ll need to decide what type of loop works best before the excavation begins.

2. Installing the Loop Fields

The majority of residential geothermal systems use vertical loops, since horizontal loops require a large amount of property. The main difference is that the vertical loops require drilling because they are installed between 100 and 400 feet deep. Horizontal loops do not require drilling and can be installed over a larger piece of land using a backhoe.

Once the loop fields are installed, the heat pump will need to be installed, and if requested, hooked up to your water heater. The process can take up to a week, but it can be shorter depending on your situation. There will be some disruption to your property so talk to your Atlanta geothermal contractor about this when you are making your decision. The contractor may be able to use methods that require minimal disruption to your home and property.

Call Henson Mechanical Heating & Air Conditioning for all your Atlanta geothermal needs!

Why Choose Geothermal Heating and Air Conditioning in Decatur

Monday, October 15th, 2012

Geothermal heating and air conditioning technology is an attractive alternative to some Decatur homeowners because of its potential for increased efficiency. We’ve put together a short description of how it works and some of the potential benefits.

How Geothermal Heating and Air Conditioning Works

The temperature of the ground just below the surface stays pretty constant. No matter the temperature of the air above ground, whether it’s 100 degrees or 10 degrees, below the surface it’s always around 55 degrees Fahrenheit. Geothermal systems exploit this renewable energy source using a series of long pipes filled with a refrigerant that are buried in the ground. In the case of heating, the refrigerant absorbs heat from the ground and uses a geothermal heat pump in your home to transfer the heat to the air in your home. The air is then circulated using a traditional air handler. For cooling, the process is reversed: heat from your home is pulled into the heat pump where it is absorbed by the refrigerant and circulated into the pipes in the ground.

Energy Efficiency

One of the obvious benefits to geothermal technology is that it doesn’t require you to burn any fuel in order to create heat. The heat comes from the energy of the sun that is absorbed by the earth which will never run out. This has the potential to save you money on your utility bills. Many geothermal systems achieve an efficiency rating of 400%. Even the most efficient furnaces do not achieve a 100% efficiency rating.

Energy Independence

Because your source of heat comes from a renewable source, you no longer have to rely on a company to provide you with fuel to burn to heat your home.

Environmental Impact

Because it doesn’t burn any kind of fuel, a geothermal system doesn’t release any greenhouse gases into the atmosphere.

Tax Incentives

In many areas, using a geothermal system qualifies you for a tax credit or other reward from the federal government. Check with your local authorities to learn more.

If you have questions about geothermal systems and if they might be right for your Decatur home, contact the experts at Henson Mechanical.

Alpharetta Geothermal Tip: The Growing Popularity of Geothermal

Tuesday, September 4th, 2012

In recent years, geothermal heating has become increasingly popular in Alpharetta. In today’s post, I want to talk a little about why that is and how the addition of one of these systems to your home can affect you and your heating bills.

What is Geothermal Heating?

Geothermal heating is a method by which heat is extracted from the ground beneath your home. Every day the earth absorbs huge volumes of energy from the sun. That energy is stored deep in the ground, so much so that even in the middle of the winter, the temperature 6 feet underground can way above freezing. A geothermal system circulates water or coolant in pipes beneath your property where it can absorb that heat energy.

The heat energy is then returned to a condenser unit located just outside your home that will use a compressor to remove heat from the water and transfer it to the air inside your home. This heat pump can also provide cooling in the summer.

 Why Is This So Popular?

The installation process is extensive, but a geothermal heating system can save you a lot of money on your heating bill each year, especially if you currently have an older system in place that is not very efficient. Consider the difference between a geothermal system and a gas furnace.

A gas furnace must actively burn and convert natural gas into heat. So, for every cubic foot of heated air distributed in your home, a certain amount of gas is permanently consumed. A geothermal system is technically using solar energy stored by the earth to produce heat for your home. That means it is completely renewable, and with the exception of what little electricity is used to run your condenser, your energy bills will nearly disappear.

Geothermal systems also happen to last a long time, require minimal maintenance and are rated for both heating and cooling – quite a few benefits on top of the cost savings of a green energy source. For more information about geothermal heating installation in Alpharetta, give Henson Mechanical Heating & Air Conditioning a call!

Does Geothermal Work for Cooling in Atlanta?

Monday, July 30th, 2012

There are many energy saving AC options out there, but one of the best is with geothermal cooling.  Geothermal does work for cooling purposes in many places across the nation.  As a geothermal company in Atlanta, Henson Mechanical knows all about geothermal heat pumps and geothermal cooling.  Our technicians can help you understand just how they work, and walk you through the process of determining whether a geothermal system is right for you.

How Does Geothermal Work For Cooling?

Geothermal systems are also known as “ground-source heat pumps”, and as such utilize a network of tubes and pipes which are placed underground either vertically or horizontally.  These tubes are filled with liquid (either water or water and refrigerant) that absorbs the ambient colder temperatures from within the ground. An air handler then transfers this cold to the air which is circulated throughout your home. At the same time, higher temperatures from indoor air are transferred into the ground, which keeps the air moving in a loop system.

Geothermal cooling systems are a great replacement for that standard air conditioning system.  They use very little energy each month to run them, and they can be utilized year-round, since the process can also be used to pull heat from the ground during colder seasons.

Because of the ambient temperatures underground which are much lower than summer air temperatures as well as much higher than winter air temperatures, the ground source heat pump can be up to twenty-five times more energy-efficient than an air-source heat pump.  This makes the geothermal cooling option one of the best out there.

Geothermal energy is more sustainable, is renewable, will lessen your purchased energy consumption drastically, and can be used all year round so that there is no need for another heating or air conditioning system.  Additionally, geothermal systems can last for multiple decades and longer because of their geothermal loop systems being underground and not subject to extreme weather conditions.  The benefits are tremendous.

Geothermal Contractors with a Professional Geothermal Company

It is important to note that only professionally licensed geothermal contractors such as those at Henson Mechanical can work on geothermal cooling systems.  As a professional geothermal company in Atlanta, Henson Mechanical can help you consider all the benefits, compare initial installation costs with monthly energy usage costs, and assist you throughout the process of understanding geothermal cooling and all that it does.  Contact Henson Mechanical and receive quality Atlanta geothermal services.