Return to the Blog Home Page

Heat Pumps

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!

Government Attack on your Air Conditioner

Wednesday, April 1st, 2015

 

U.S. Government Breaks Your A/C System

Most of us probably don’t think about the ozone day in, day out. But some folks do. And the groups and agencies who keep a close eye on environmental concerns have prompted some actions in recent years that will ultimately affect the operation of central air conditioners across this country.

The issue is the refrigerant, R-22, also known as Freon, which has been the predominant refrigerant used in air conditioners for the last 40 years. The federal government has begun a phase-out of equipment that uses this refrigerant because of concerns about ozone depletion. So, as of 2010, no new R-22-based equipment has been manufactured. Sure, the pre-2010 systems can still be operated and repaired, but you’ll still be looking at some logical limits.

The R-22 refrigerant can’t be produced or imported after 2020 (only recycled), and the reality is that will affect the cost and availability of this replacement refrigerant as well as the availability of replacement parts for equipment that is no longer being manufactured. Visit hensonmechanical.com to learn more about how we can assist you with these changes.

 

Why do I need to perform maintenance on my air conditioner?

Tuesday, March 24th, 2015

Every spring you will see advertisements on maintenance agreements or tune ups. You may be wondering why do I need that? Every time the weather changes we have a rash of calls with breakdowns. Some are major and some aren’t. Most all of them could have been prevented. Its usually something very small that caused something so big. Regular cleaning and maintenance will normally prevent major breakdowns. You could be told about problems a year before it really becomes a problem. Its like going to the doctor and them telling you to start exercising and eating right now before they have to put you on medication. Its easier to plan your repairs than to have it become an emergency. So if you haven’t had your HVAC system serviced lately, get it done this spring!

What should my thermostat be set at in the winter?

Thursday, December 11th, 2014

One of the most argued topics every winter is back! One family member wants it up and one wants it down. Who is right and who is wrong? So instead of “Honey your right”, here you go! The recommended setting for your thermostat when you are at home is 68 degrees. Now, for everyone that says no way, its fine! Here is the difference. One percent saved on your power bill for every degree that you can stand. When you are away you should reduce it 10-15 degrees more. A common misconception is that you use more energy to catch up to your comfortable “at home” setting. The closer to the actual outdoor temperature it is inside the less heat loss you will have. So the longer your home’s temperature is closer to the outdoor temperature the more money you will save. If you can have the temperature down for eight hours or more then it will overcome whatever energy it takes to raise the temperature back up. At higher indoor temperatures you lose heat faster to the outdoor conditions causing your system to work harder all day long and you are not there to enjoy it. So drop the temp inside to around 58 degrees or as low as you can stand and start saving today!

Can Dirty Ductwork Cause Problems for My Heat Pump?

Monday, January 6th, 2014

The ductwork in your home is designed as a sealed system: air should only escape from the vents. This is so the heated or cooled air that moves along the ducts won’t lose pressure and you will be able to heat or cool all the room in your house equally.

However, there’s a negative side-effect to having a sealed system: dust and dirt will start to settle inside the ducts over time, and they will only escape out through the vents. Without necessary cleaning, ducts will eventually become contaminated with dirt. Aside from having a negative impact on your indoor air quality, this can cause problems for your heat pump that with require repairs. We’ll explain in a bit more detail.

For repairs on your heating in Atlanta, GA, contact Henson Mechanical Inc. We are ready around the clock, 365 days a year, to serve you. We also perform duct cleaning, so if your heat pump is suffering because of dirty ductwork, we can tackle both problems at once.

Heat pump issues from dirty ductwork

The main threat to your heat pump from a heavy contamination of dirt and dust is clogging in the air filter. The filter keeps out debris that can damage the internal components of the heat pump. As dust builds up in your ducts, it will also start to build up in the filter. Eventually, the clogged filter will begin permitting contaminants to get through. This can lead to variety of problems, such as burnt out motors, dusty and ice-over coils, and damaged fans and fan belts. You might need to change the air filter as often as once a month during winter, but if it seems to clog rapidly, then you should probably schedule professional duct cleaning.

The presence of dust and dirt inside ducts creates air resistance that will force a heat pump to work harder to heat or cool your home. The harder the heat pump works, the faster it will wear down and start needing repairs. Keeping your ducts cleaned regularly will reduce the stress on the heat pump and help it last longer.

Schedule duct cleaning

You can’t do duct cleaning on your own: it requires specialized brushes and power vacuum, as well as the training to handle them. If you think your ducts are developing too much dirt and debris, contact duct cleaning specialists like those at Henson Mechanical Inc. We can clean out your ducts so you get the best heating and cooling possible from your heat pump. And we’ll repair the heat pump as well, if it’s necessary. Look to us for all your needs for improved cooling and heating in Atlanta, GA.

3 Great Benefits of Using a Heat Pump

Tuesday, November 12th, 2013

In towns like Athens, GA, heat pumps are viable alternative to traditional HVAC systems. Heat pumps essentially act like a reversible air conditioning system, using the same basic technology to warm your house in the winter and cool the house in the summer. Installation costs for heat pumps tend to be a little higher than they might for gas furnaces and central air conditioning systems, but the advantages far outweigh the initial cost. Here are 3 great benefits of using a heat pump in Athens, GA.

  • Cheaper monthly costs. Heat pumps are much more efficient than heating your home with electricity, using up to 40% less energy according to the U.S. Department of Energy. That cuts down on your monthly heating and cooling bills, saving you money in the long run. Depending on how you use it, the saved costs may eventually pay for the cost of installation.
  • Area-friendly. Heat pumps work best in areas with mild winters, where the temperatures don’t drop down too far. (In cases where it does, most have heat pumps have electrical coils to augment it on particularly cold days.) That makes it an ideal system both for Athens and for other parts of Georgia where winters are mild but summers are scorching.
  • Environmentally friendly. Heat pumps don’t generate combustion waste the way gas furnaces do, and usually run quietly and efficiently to boot. Thus, they don’t cause as much of an impact on the environment, making them a very “green” option for conscientious homeowners.

All of that comes on top of additional benefits such as improved resale value of the home and general convenience of having the heating and the air conditioner in one unit. For tips on other great benefits of using a heat pump in Athens, GA, or to discuss installation and repair options, the experts at Henson Mechanical are standing by. Our operating area includes the whole of Athens, heat pump installation is something we have a great deal of experience in, and our trained experts can explain all of the details to you in clear, concise terms. Pick up the phone and call us today.

Is Your Heat Pump Struggling in the Cold?

Monday, November 4th, 2013

We often recommend heat pumps to our clients in Georgia because they are wonderful ways to combat our hot, damp summers and our mild—yet occasionally surprising—winters. A heat pump pulls the double duty of acting as an air conditioner and heater, depending on what you need. They also work marvelously at reducing humidity in the summer, and during the winter offer high energy savings over using a system like a furnace.

However, no heater works ideally 100% of the time, and not every heating system works for every home. Heat pumps can fall victim to repair needs, and sometimes a heat pump isn’t the right choice for a home. If you need advice about a heat pump, or if you know you need heating repair in Atlanta, GA, contact Henson Mechanical Heating & Air Conditioning. We’ll send out our NATE-certified technicians to get the job done right the first time.

Help! My heat pump is having trouble with the cold weather!

Heat pumps work through “heat exchange”: moving heat from one place to another, rather than generating heat through burning fuel. During the winter, your heat pump extracts heat from the outdoors along an evaporator coil. (Remember, evaporation absorbs heat.) Even in cold weather, there is ambient heat outside, usually enough to get you warm when it’s brought into your house.

However, if your heat pump starts to struggle giving you warmth during a cold snap, it may need repairs. First, make sure you have the thermostat set correctly. If this doesn’t remedy the trouble, the problem might lie in the compressor that handles the heating side of your heat pump’s operation. The reversing valve may have a fault, which will also prevent the heater from doing its job. Get a skilled technician to investigate and offer solutions.

However, since heat pumps often struggle with temperatures below freezing, the problem may be that you have the wrong size heat pump—or a heat pump isn’t the right choice for you. Consult with an HVAC professional about what options might help you. Georgia temperatures tend to fall into the comfort range for a heat pump, so the problems may come from poor insulation in your home. Don’t jump to any decisions about a replacement until you’ve gotten informed advice.

Henson Mechanical Heating & Air Conditioning handles heating repair in Atlanta, GA, as well as installation and maintenance. With our 24-hour emergency services, you don’t need to stay in the cold for long. Contact us today and keep the chill out of your home.