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Indoor Air Quality

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!

Is Professional Duct Cleaning in Athens, GA Worth It?

Monday, September 16th, 2013

Ducts distribute the air from your air conditioning and heating system to the various parts of your home. That makes them a vital component of keeping you comfortable year round.  Duct cleaning services exist to help remove dust and similar build-up in the ducts, as well as spot potential problems like leaks and damaged components. But the question remains: is professional duct cleaning worth it? The answer is usually yes.

In the first place, clean ducts mean healthier air in your household. When dirt and dust build up in your air conditioning system, they don’t just sit there. As the air blows throughout the duct system it takes all that debris with it, circulating it throughout your entire house. This is of particular concern to people suffering from allergies, but everyone can feel the effects if it’s not dealt with promptly.

Perhaps more importantly, professional duct cleaning can also examine the causes of dirty ducts, just as a loose fitting or a breach in the wall of one of the ducts. Those issues not only let dust and other particles into your air conditioning system, but allows cool, conditioned air to escape the system instead of being distributed through your home like it should. That forces you air conditioning system to work harder than it should to keep your house cool – raising your monthly bills in the process – but it means that dirt and dust will continue to accumulate even after you’ve had it cleaned. Only professional duct cleaning can spot those issues, allowing them to be corrected and the effects of the cleaning to last longer.

In Athens, GA, duct cleaning must deal with the pollen and allergens of our Georgia summers as well as more general particle build-up. The experts at Henson Mechanical understand those kind of needs because we’re local ourselves. We can clean your ducts and identify potential trouble spots that may be causing the issue in the first place. Give us a call today and let us show you what a difference our specialists can make.

Duct Cleaning in Atlanta: FAQs

Monday, April 29th, 2013

If you have a forced-air distribution system, then you may already be aware of how much dust and debris can build up inside your ductwork, whether it’s made out of flexible plastic or sheet metal. If not, then you’d surely be surprised at how much stuff can collect on the interior surface of your ducts, which becomes a problem when cool air picks it up and delivers it into your home. Fortunately, professional duct cleaning is available for clients who are concerned with the levels of dust and allergens in their home, or who think that their indoor air should be of much higher quality. Below are some frequently asked questions about duct cleaning so that you can make an informed decision. For comprehensive duct cleaning in Atlanta, call Henson Mechanical today!

  • What does duct cleaning involve? The equipment and techniques of duct cleaning vary according to the type of ductwork, and your particular cleaning needs. The process usually begins with an inspection, in order to assess what the interior surfaces of your ducts look like. The cleaning itself removes a variety of allergenic substances, including dust, dander, and other debris.
  • How do I know if I need duct cleaning? There are numerous signs of dirty ductwork that could benefit from being cleaned. One major reason to take advantage of a professional duct cleaning service is to improve indoor air quality. If you see visible dust anywhere on the duct registers, then there might be much more inside. Also, if you notice a decline in energy efficiency, or uneven cooling in one part of your home, then there might be a significant partial blockage in your ductwork that needs to be taken care of.
  • What are the benefits of duct cleaning? Duct cleaning is not only about improving indoor air quality in the home. It’s also about improving airflow, which is what your comfort and energy efficiency ultimately depends upon. Depending on the condition of your ducts, the results will vary accordingly.

For more information about duct cleaning in Atlanta, contact a professional at Henson Mechanical today! 

Atlanta Duct Repair Tip: How Duct Repair Can Save You Money

Monday, February 25th, 2013

Forced air systems are among the most common type of heating and air conditioning systems in America. When properly installed and serviced, they provide efficient and effective cooling in the summer and heating in the winter. When paired with an indoor air quality system, they can bring excellent climate-controlled air into your home. But they only work if the ductwork that circulates the air is properly maintained and in great working condition. If you think the ducts in your Atlanta  home are damaged, the operation of your heating and cooling systems will suffer. Call Henson Mechanical Heating & Air Conditioning in Atlanta, GA for all your duct repair needs.

There are a variety of ways in which ducts can be damaged. Here are just a few:

  • Mechanical damage: If someone has been walking in the basement or attic, or if the area near your ducts is exposed, your ducts may have been crushed under the weight of some object.
  • Water damage: Excessive condensation in your ducts can lead to water damage and frost in your ductwork. Over time this can be problematic, depending on what type of material your duct is made of.
  • Rust damage: Rust can be caused not only by water but by humid air. If you have a leak elsewhere in your ductwork, the level of humidity may be an issue.
  • Leaks: Leaks can happen anywhere and can be difficult to trace.

The main way in which duct repair can save you money is by improving energy-efficiency. Aside from the fact that your indoor air quality depends in large part on the integrity of your ducts, your heated and cooled air may be circulating improperly. It may be blocked in some area of your ductwork, or it may be exhausting into the outside air. Because energy efficiency and cost efficiency are connected, money is being wasted if your system is not working properly.

Moreover, when left alone, damages to your ductwork typically worsen, and they can only negatively impact the rest of your system. Your air conditioner or heater may now be working at an increased rate because it is trying to move past an obstruction or flowing through a collapsed duct. Remember that the value of your system depends upon the integrity of the ductwork. If you need duct repair in Atlanta , call Henson Mechanical Heating & Air Conditioning today.