Archive for March, 2013

Hendersonville, NC HVAC Tip: Why Maintenance Matters

Monday, March 25th, 2013

When it comes to getting the best, most efficient and consistent performance possible from your home heating and air conditioning system, there is really no better alternative to regular, professional maintenance. There are a lot of benefits that routine maintenance service inarguably offers to your home comfort systems, and any Hendersonville, NC HVAC professional will tell you that maintenance is integral to the safe, effective operation of your heater or air conditioner. Many homeowners in Hendersonville, NC still seem to think that they can get by without regular maintenance, though. Here are some reasons you may want to think again, from the professionals at Comfort Central.

The more efficiently that your home heating and air conditioning system operates, the less money it will cost to keep your home comfortable. As your heater and air conditioner work, though, they inevitably accrue some basic wear and tear. As time goes on this wear and tear will compound and, eventually, lead to decreased efficiency levels. Regular maintenance and system tune ups will resolve these wear and tear issues before they can affect the efficiency with which your home comfort systems work, resulting in lower energy costs.

This is not the only way in which regular, professional maintenance can save you money, though. By scheduling routine maintenance you are also helping to reduce the risk that your heater or air conditioner will incur damages, resulting in a need for costly repair services. Routine maintenance not only keeps your system operating efficiently but also provides your professional service technician with the opportunity to discover and resolve any minor, developing problems before they can get to serious. The longer that such problems are left unaddressed the more likely it is that they can cause real system damages requiring more complex, expensive repairs.

Contact Comfort Central today and ask about enrollment in our Comfort Club maintenance program. This makes great maintenance service as simple as possible for the homeowner. Let us help ensure your year round comfort in Hendersonville, NC by providing your heating and cooling system with all the necessary maintenance services. Our team of experts wants to make your home a more comfortable, efficient place to live. Regular maintenance makes that possible.

For Health And Wealth, A Tune Up Is A Worthwhile Investment

Wednesday, March 20th, 2013

( North Carolina, Pisgah Forest), March 20, 2013–Air, whether indoor or outdoor, contains pollutants such as dust, dirt, pollen, grease, mold, bacteria or moisture.  As the air moves through your cooling equipment the pollutants adhere to surfaces, greatly impacting your comfort system.  A priority of your Spring To Do List, should be cleaning or replacing your air filters.    However, it is also strongly recommended that you consider having your cooling system professionally tuned up.

According to a study conducted by Pacific Gas and Electric (PG&E,) a dirty outside unit can increase your monthly electric bill as much as 30%. The unit’s cooling performance is also decreased because it limits the coils ability to transfer heat.  This causes your compressor to work harder, and that generates heat.  On the hottest days, the PG&E study revealed you can lose up to 30% of your cooling capacity as well—leaving you feeling clammy and uncomfortable.

This extra work that the compressor is doing can actually create conditions that reduce the life expectancy of your unit.  Running hot continually affects internal lubrication, leading to acid formation that will eventually compromise the compressor.  And that is a very expensive repair that can be avoided with a little maintenance.

Another significant benefit of maintenance on your cooling system is ensuring your indoor coil and fan are clean and refrigerant levels are optimal.  All three can restrict air flow, causing similar concerns as stated with dirty condenser coils.  Since your indoor coil is a perfect breeding ground for mold and bacteria, there’s a health impact too.

Studies by both a Vermont Utility and the California Energy Commission stated that incorrect or improper refrigerant levels were found in 66-75% of systems surveyed.  Refrigerant levels should not be adjusted unless the indoor/outdoor coils and the fan are clean.

Your savings from proper maintenance through lower utility costs, peak equipment efficiency, enhanced reliability, longer system life and improved indoor air quality will exceed the cost of a professional tune up in as little as two months according to a US Department of Energy Study.

When you do your part for yourself, society benefits too.  Summer air conditioning accounts for 60% of peak electricity load.  Power from peak generation typically costs a multiple of base load generation.  When more people keep their cooling equipment in good condition, peak power needs are slashed.  This benefits the environment as well as our wallets.

Comfort Central, Inc. provides Heating, Cooling, Indoor Environmental and Energy Services as well as installations and maintenance for the Western North Carolina Region.  To find out more, or to receive cited sources, please visit www.comfort-central.com.

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Asheville, NC Indoor Air Quality Guide: Tools of the Trade

Monday, March 18th, 2013

At Comfort Central we do not think that it is enough for you to simply enjoy comfortable temperatures in your home. We believe that you must also have access to the best, highest quality air possible in your home. Breathe easy knowing that our team of indoor air quality experts has the tools and devices you need to improve the air in your Asheville, NC home. Call today to schedule the services you need to experience the true, uninhibited comfort that we believe each and every one of our customers deserves.

One of the most basic ways in which you may improve indoor air quality in your home is to schedule the installation of a good quality air filter. Mechanical air filters’ efficiency is measured with a MERV (minimum efficiency reporting value). While your heating and air conditioning system does have a factory installed air filter already, this filter likely has a low MERV rating, between 1-4, and is designed more to protect your HVAC equipment than to improve air quality.

An electronic air cleaner is a more advanced way of removing pollutants from the air that you breathe. Devices such as an electromagnetic precipitator pull air through an ionization chamber. In this chamber the particles in the air are given an electrical charge. This charge then causes them to become stuck on a collector plate. This plate is then simply removed, cleaned off and reinstalled into the device to continue the cycle.

For more information about the tools at your disposal to help you improve indoor air quality in Asheville, NCcall Comfort Central.

Arden, NC Heat Pump Guide: Benefits of Heat Pumps

Monday, March 11th, 2013

A lot of Arden, NC homeowners are growing more and more concerned about the efficiency levels of their home heating and cooling systems. This comes as no surprise, considering the high costs of energy these days. Many homeowners are looking for ways in which they can reduce their impact on the environment without sacrificing comfort in their Arden, NC home. Here at Comfort Central we think that both of these goals are worthwhile, and we can help you achieve them. Contact us today to learn more about the many benefits of heating and cooling your home with a heat pump.

Heat pumps are able to operate with outstanding levels of efficiency thanks to the fact that they do not need to consume a fuel source in order to heat and cool your home. This is because they instead utilize a heat transfer process, in which ambient heat is transferred into or out of your home in order to warm or cool it. Only small amount of energy is used in this operation, greatly reducing the amount of energy you use to keep your home comfortable. This high level of energy efficiency is not only great for the environment, but can also help you reduce the cost of keeping your home comfortable throughout the year.

Heat pumps are also a great way to supplement a heating system, as in the case of a dual fuel hybrid system. If you like the efficiency with which a heat pump works but you do not want to give up the dependability offered by a gas furnace, simply don’t. Contact Comfort Central and ask us about the installation of a dual fuel hybrid system in your home. Enjoy the great efficiency and environmental friendliness of a heat pump. Then, if the cold gets a little too harsh for your heat pump to handle, the gas furnace can kick on and make up the difference.

To learn more about the benefits that a heat pump can bring to your home, call Comfort Central. Our expert heating and cooling service technicians can help you decide if a heat pump is the right home comfort system choice for your Arden, NC home.

Asheville, NC Heating Guide: Common Furnace Problems

Tuesday, March 5th, 2013

When you schedule your furnace installation in Asheville, NC with a qualified professional, such as those at Comfort Central, you can expect to receive a great performance and the even, consistent heating service that furnaces are known for. Scheduling regular, professional maintenance will help reduce the need for furnace service and repairs by keeping your heating system in prime working condition. No piece of machinery is perfect though, and eventually you will experience some trouble with your furnace. Here are some common furnace problems you may encounter, and some information about the possible causes of such issues.

One issue that many homeowners experience is uneven heating throughout their homes or the development of cold spots. As with most furnace problems, there are a number of possible causes for this issue. It is possible that a piece of your ductwork is damaged, loose fitting or improperly installed. Check your vents and registers as well. It is possible that some furniture may have shifted and is simply restricting airflow in that room.

While the development of strange noises emanating from your furnace may be alarm it is actually a very common occurrence that may also have many causes. A low rumbling noise may indicate a problem with gas distribution or the combustion of that gas. A loud whining may result from a slipped belt in the blower mechanism, ball bearings or a simple lack of lubrication. Only a professional service provider will be able to tell you for sure.

You may also notice that your pilot light will not stay lit. This can be a very worrisome problem, as any time there is an issue with your natural gas supply there is the possibility of serious safety concerns. There a few different reasons that your pilot light may keep going out. There may be a problem with your thermocouple, a safety device that stems the flow of gas to your burner if sufficient heat is not detected. There may be a problem with the gas supply itself. Make sure that you call a professional service provider right away to ensure the safe operation of your furnace.

When you need any furnace services in Asheville, NC, call Comfort Central. Our technicians will be glad to help you heat your home in a safe, efficient manner. Let us know what furnace problems you are facing.

It was a picture on an industry magazine that summed it up for me.

Friday, March 1st, 2013
IE3 Quality Contractors

IE3 Quality Contractors

Comfort Delivery Problem #4:  The Heating or Cooling Equipment was Installed Incorrectly sounds like a problem you should never experience right?

Well hopefully, as I discuss the Solutions to Comfort Delivery Problem #4 you will feel confident not only in your installation but your choice of contractor.

Usually Heating and Cooling Equipment are part of a system.  It has several components but the two big ones you would normally think about are the Indoor Unit (Furnace, Air Handler or Evaporator Coils) and the outdoor unit, the condenser (straight air conditioning or heat pump.)  Only equipment that were designed to work together should be installed.  This very well could mean you may be facing replacing both the indoor unit and the outdoor unit.  In our industry we have a name for it, it is called Manual S.  We rely upon engineering data from the manufacturer so that we can ensure the performance and longevity of the equipment we select for you.  There are several factors that can cause a system mismatch.  As part of a Solution for Comfort Delivery #4, we need to confirm compatibility with the various components of your comfort system.

Once that wonderfully matched system is installed, there are a couple of other things that go a long way to ensuring you do not experience Comfort Delivery Problem #4.  For air conditioners and heat pumps, we must go through a start up procedure.  It actually starts during installation, but I won’t bore you with those details but if you would like a more comprehensive list, do not hesitate to contact us at mailto:customercare@comfort-central.com or (828) 483-4040.  But the part of the start up procedure that should become part of your permanent record is the Quality Installation Start Up Sheet.  Now many of us contractors work in differing climates, regions, have differing regulations, so ours could very well look very different than one from Buffalo, New York.  Ask to see your completed start up sheet.

However, even with existing systems you should expect to see that the refrigerant charge was measured and adjusted if needed to ensure peak performance.  And sometimes, a note stating we need to come back when weather is more cooperative to ensure it is at peak levels.  Yes, it is very true, when the weather is mild or cold—because of the properties of refrigerant, we will need to return to make minor adjustments.

This is one reason why we include a Comfort Club Membership with every one of our installs—there are actually some great benefits to this approach.  First, you know we coming out as soon as the weather warms up and we will definitely make the adjustments as needed.  Second, it gives us the opportunity to not only talk about proper maintenance of your system, but to show you what to expect.  And third, we simply like to visit our equipment and watch them run, they are almost like children to us.

But, I got off topic.  Another solution included in addressing Comfort Delivery Problem #4, is testing for carbon monoxide and proper operation for all oil and gas appliances.  This is one that your life could depend upon, so do expect it each and every time you have your equipment inspected.

Third:  Fix all chimney venting problems.  I know that checking for carbon monoxide and testing proper operation of your combustion appliances seems to address this one.  There are some exterior forces that could affect chimney venting.  This could be wind forces upon the home, negative pressure in the house creating back drafts.  These should be identified and corrected.

Finally, do a final control check to be sure the equipment is operating at peak efficiency.

Hopefully, you feel comfortable discussing the Solutions to Comfort Delivery Problem#4:  The Heating or Cooling Equipment was Installed Incorrectly with any of your service providers.  If not, do not hesitate to give us a call, we here at Comfort Central are always happy to help.

My next blog (as I now have guest bloggers you may need to search for) I will discuss Comfort Delivery Problem #5:  The House has Large Hidden Air Leaks which Create Hot or Cold Rooms.  This is actually a fun one.  There have been many books written on the subject, but I will try to keep it simple and straight forward.