Archive for May, 2014

How Does a Geothermal System Cool Down a House?

Friday, May 30th, 2014

Here in Arden, NC geothermal systems make an attractive alternative to more traditional forms of air conditioning, drawing upon the constant temperature of the earth itself to cool your home. (The same principle holds when heating your home too, making geothermal systems versatile as well as environmentally friendly.) Though they can cost a quite a bit to install, they often make up for it with lowered energy costs, as well as increasing the resale value of your home. If you’re looking for a viable option for cooling your home that doesn’t involve a centralized system, a geothermal system may be just what you need. But how does a geothermal system cool down a house? Read on for the answers.

The physical constant behind geothermal systems is fairly simple. Once you get more than five or six feet beneath the surface, the temperature of the ground doesn’t change no matter what the weather is like outside. That allows the system to facilitate a heat exchange with the earth. A series of coils is run through the ground, and a mixture of water and antifreeze is pumped through it. As the water moves through the earth, the ground cools it: releasing heat into the ground safely and lowering the temperature in the process. The cold liquid mixture then moves back into your home via a pump, where it can cool the air inside the system itself. That cool air is then blown into your home via a fan, and the water – now warmed after releasing the cold temperatures – can return to the tubes in the earth to start the process all over again.

That cycle uses very little electricity, and because the temperature of the earth is constant, it means that geothermal systems are infinitely renewable. That keeps costs down and helps you maintain a greener relationship with the planet to boot. For more on how a geothermal system cools down a house, pick up the phone and contact the experts at Comfort Central, Inc. We provide HVAC services in Arden, NC and geothermal systems are one of our specialties, and we’re dedicated to your complete satisfaction. Give us a call today. You’ll be glad you did!

How Does Air Sealing Lower My Cooling Bills?

Friday, May 23rd, 2014

People often think of insulation as a way to keep warm, whether with a winter coat or fiberglass bats lining an attic. But insulation is also a key part of keeping a home cool during hot summer. If your home has numerous leaks in its insulation, you will end up paying far more to keep it comfortable during hot weather than you should.

Air sealing can help make your home more energy-efficient. You can handle a few insulation tasks yourself by caulking windows and making sure to keep the damper of the fireplace shut when it’s not in use. But effective air sealing in Brevard, NC requires trained professionals to handle. Comfort Central, Inc. can do the necessary work to find out where your home is letting in excess heat. Afterwards, they’ll apply the insulation updates to seal the leaks and help your comfort and your cooling budget.

Why Effective Air Sealing Will Lower Your AC Bills

Insulation traps heat inside a home during the winter so that a heating system will not need to run continuously to replace the escaping warmth. The process works in reverse during the summer: heat will enter a home through leaks in the insulation, infiltrating window cracks, seeping down through the attic (which is exposed to intense radiant heat from the sun through the roof), and moving through walls with thin insulation layers.

Enough heat can regularly enter a home through these leaks to raise the temperature 10°F. This temperature range is enough to determine whether you need to turn on your AC. If you can stop that 10° rise through strategic air sealing, you will dramatically cut down on how much you use your air conditioning. Effective insulation can mean using the AC 30% to even 50% less than normal—and that translates to a huge cooling bill reduction.

The best way to find out where you need air sealing and improvements in your insulation is through an energy audit. Trained auditors analyze how your home traps and resists heat, and afterwards they will supply you with a full report that will pinpoint where your home can benefit from insulation and sealing. (This will also help you with heating costs in the winter.)

Comfort Central, Inc. offers full services for helping you lower your cooling bills. We offer air sealing and other indoor air quality services in Brevard, NC as well as energy audits, insulation, and air conditioning repair. Call us today and find out what we can do to make this a more energy-efficient summer for you.

Condenser Problems with Your Air Conditioner

Friday, May 16th, 2014

Central air conditioners are called “split systems” because they consist of two separate units, one housed indoors and the other outdoors. The outdoor unit of an AC is called the condenser because it is where the condensation stage of heat exchange happens: condensation occurs along the refrigerant coil and heat is released. The condenser also contains the compressor—the core of an air conditioner’s operation—where refrigerant is heated and put under pressure so it will move through the system.

When your AC’s condenser begins to experience trouble, you need to call for professional repairs as soon as you can. Don’t open up the cabinet and try to figure out the problem on your own: condensers are too intricate for amateur work. Instead, call our air conditioning repair technicians at Comfort Central, Inc. in Hendersonville, NC and let us put our experience to work for you.

Some common condenser problems you may encounter

Because the condenser is located outside, it can sometimes suffer from contamination due to debris that enters the cabinet. Gravel, leaves, even small branches from trees can become lodged in the condenser and damage the fan or other components. To help prevent this, make sure you keep the area around the condenser’s cabinet clear for at least a foot in all directions.

The blower fan in the condenser performs the important function of drawing outside air across the condenser coil and then exhausting the released heat out the top of the cabinet. The fan can encounter repair needs because of mechanical malfunctions, trouble with its motor, or electrical faults, leading to poor air circulation and a drop in the AC’s cooling power. Technicians will find what has caused the fan to lose power and repair it.

The compressor is the most vital component inside the condenser: if it stops working, the air conditioner cannot provide any cooling. A common problem that compressors encounter is stressful operation because of lack of lubrication or an excessive amount of dust.

If you start to notice a reduction in cooling power in your home, hear loud sounds from the condenser, or spot ice developing along the unit, don’t hesitate to call for repairs. Contact Comfort Central, Inc. and we will send one of our repair technicians out to you to solve the trouble with your air conditioning in Hendersonville, NC.

How Moisture Causes Problems in Your Air Conditioner

Friday, May 9th, 2014

Air conditioning repair in Asheville and other North Carolina cities must often handle issues stemming from excessive moisture and humidity. We get our share of humid days in the summer, which affects your household comfort levels severely. That in turn puts added strain on your air conditioner, and while most units can help dehumidify the air, excessive moisture and humidity can turn around and bite you if you aren’t careful. Here’s how moisture causes problems with your air conditioner.

Humidity refers to the comparative amount of moisture in the air, which can affect our bodies’ ability to regulate our internal temperature. When we get too hot, we sweat, which cools our body down as it evaporates off of our skin. But if there’s too much moisture in the air already, it won’t evaporate the way it should. Our bodies stay hot, and we’re left with excessive amounts of sweat on our skin to boot.

Air conditioners can deal with that problem to a certain extent. When temperature drops, the moisture in the air condenses into beads of liquid. (You can see this most readily with the formation of dew early in the morning, when outdoor temperatures are at their lowest.) The same things happen on the coils to the air conditioner as it cools the air: pulling humidity out of your home in the process.

That’s actually a good thing. However, the energy spent in reducing the humidity isn’t spent in actually lowering the temperature. In order to help you feel comfortable, the A/C unit needs to work harder to do its job, which means increased strain and a greater risk of repairs.

In the worst cases, the increased moisture can cause direct problems in your air conditioner, ice forms on the coils and/or your condensate pan takes on too much condensation for it to manage. In those situations, and for other issues that require air conditioning service in Asheville, you can call on the experts at Comfort Central, Inc. We can advise you on the best methods of dealing with humidity and moisture in your home, then implement the solution with professionalism and pride! Call us today to schedule your next service appointment.

Hissing from My Air Conditioner: Is This Normal?

Friday, May 2nd, 2014

Anything with a motor is going to make noise, but we all know when we hear something that sounds “off.” When it comes to your air conditioning in Asheville, there are certain sounds that could mean something is going on; one of these is a hissing sound. We’ll discuss the possible origins of a hissing sound, but it’s always best to call a professional from Comfort Central, Inc. whenever you encounter a problem with your air conditioner.

Potential Cause #1: The Expansion Valve

One source of a hissing noise could be the expansion valve. During normal operation of your unit, the refrigerant circulates throughout the system, expanding into a high-pressure, hot gas, then cooling off and turning back into a low-pressure liquid. It completes this process through the expansion valve. In some outdoor units, this process produces a hissing sound at regular intervals that lasts several seconds. Typically, these noises are not cause for concern, but it’s always best to check with a specialist from Comfort Central, Inc.

Potential Cause #2: Internal Valve Leak

A second potential source of hissing may be from a leak in the internal valve. Typically you’ll hear a noise from the internal valve when your unit is shutting down. An internal valve leak hiss is a bit louder than that of an expansion valve, and if it continues without repair, it can start to sound like a trumpet. Valve repair and/or replacement is complex and should only be performed by a professional.

Potential Cause #3: The Compressor

The compressor is one of the key parts of your entire air conditioning system; as such, dealing with a compressor problem is a serious service. Different noises can indicate different problems within the compressor, but a hissing or screaming noise typically means that there is too much internal pressure inside the compressor. This can be a potentially dangerous situation and requires that you shut your system off immediately and contact a Comfort Central, Inc. professional to take a look at it.

Potential Cause #4: Vent Registers

If the hissing noise is coming from your vents or registers, there is probably not a mechanical issue with your system. An inspection by your Comfort Central, Inc. specialist can clarify any problems.

When in Doubt, Shut It Down and Call a Professional

If you suspect your AC system isn’t working properly, either based on a strange noise or issues with operation, shut it down and schedule an appointment with your Comfort Central, Inc. professional today. We will help you to enjoy outstanding air conditioning in Asheville. Give us a call today!