Items filtered by date: July 2020

Monday, 31 August 2020 10:52

Carbon Monoxide Safety

wallmounted carbon monoxide alarm picture id536878083

 

With the cooler weather right around the corner, it's important to review carbon monoxide (CO) safety tips so you are prepared this fall and winter. The CDC reports that this "silent killer" sends 20,000 people to the emergency room, hospitalizes 4,000 and kills 400 every year. CO is a colorless and odorless gas that replaces oxygen in your bloodstream leading to poisoning and a variety of symptoms, including death. CO is produced by fuel burning engines, fireplaces, gas ranges, furnaces and generators. When the gas builds up in closed spaces, it can lead to poisoning of animals and people. 

 
What to Know About CO
 
  • Anyone is at risk. However, infants, the elderly, those with breathing issues and those with anemia are at the greatest risk for severe reactions to CO.
  • Fall and winter are the prime time for CO poisonings due to use of fireplaces and furnaces.
  • Prevent poisonings with a CO detector. Test it regularly and always keep batteries fresh.
  • Have the furnace, hot water heater, fireplace and any coal or gas-burning appliances inspected before use each fall.
  • Have the chimney checked and cleaned yearly and the fireplace damper checked.
  • Never use a gas oven to heat your home.
  • Never run a car in the garage, even with the garage door open.
  • Never use a generator indoors or within 20 feet of your home. Doing so could allow dangerous CO to build up in your home. 
 
Symptoms of CO Poisoning 
 
Symptoms of CO poisoning include headache, dizziness, nausea, vomiting, fatigue, shortness of breath, mental confusion, loss of consciousness, loss of muscle coordination and death. If your family begins to experience these symptoms, whether or not your CO alarm goes off, go outside for fresh air. If the symptoms begin to subside, call 911 for help. If your CO alarm goes off, never ever ignore it. Immediately go outside with all people and pets and call 911 for help. Do not enter the home again until emergency personnel say it's safe to do so. CO poisoning is a serious and dangerous situation for people and animals. Always make sure everyone in your home is accounted for when evacuating the home. 
 
Keep these safety tips in mind throughout the fall and winter to keep you and your family and pets safe from CO. Always test and refresh your CO detector batteries. Go outside and call 911 if your alarm goes off or several people in your home develop symptoms. Never take a risk when CO is involved as that risk can be deadly. 
Published in Blog
Monday, 31 August 2020 10:41

Prep Your HVAC for Fall

repair refrigerator job with pressure gauge technician vacuum system picture id1174364782
 
1. Change air filter - Air filters should be changed bi-monthly or monthly if you have someone with allergies or asthma in your home. Use this opportunity to make sure you have a fresh air filter in your HVAC unit. Dirty filters hinder airflow and make your HVAC work harder, which uses more energy and costs you more money, plus adds wear and tear to your system.
 
2. Change thermostat settings - As the weather turns colder, you'll want to adjust your thermostat settings to be cooler when you are not home and to warm up when you normally arrive home. This way you save money and energy without sacrificing comfort. 
 
3. Clean the coils - Clean the condenser and evaporator coil on the outdoor unit. Brush away dirt, grime, leaves, lawn clippings and other debris from the coils. 
 
4. Clean away debris from the exterior unit - Clean the exterior and around coils to remove gunk and debris that can hinder airflow. Also make sure trees and shrubs are trimmed back away from the unit to avoid impeding airflow from growing foliage. 
 
5. Insulate pipes - Use foam pipe covers to cover pipes and electrical wiring from the unit to your home. Secure it in place with duct tape. This will help prevent freezing and cracking pipes during the colder months. 
 
6. Test the heat - Test the heat to ensure it's working before you actually need it. It might have a slight burning smell for the first hour or two as the unit burns off any dust that has collected inside. If the heat doesn't work, you can call a pro to look at it before you actually need it on a cold day or night. 
 
7. Have your system professionally cleaned and inspected - Having a professional out to service your system includes lubricating motors, checking belts for tightness and wear and tear, inspecting and tightening electrical connections, testing for and sealing duct leaks, verifying proper operation of the system, testing airflow, calibrating the thermostat and checking the refrigerant levels. It's ideal to have this professional service in the fall before you turn on the heat and in the spring before you fire up the A/C. 
 

Fall is just a few short weeks away. Take some time now to prep your HVAC system for the cooler fall weather so you don't end up with no heat on a cold day or night. A little preparation now can save you money from an emergency service call later.

Published in Blog

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When a big storm is coming, a little bit of prep work can save your HVAC system from significant damage. Let's take a look at how you can prep your HVAC system for the next big storm.

1. Turn it off - Turn off the breakers to your HVAC system, heat pump, air handler and gas furnace. (Note: If you have a gas furnace, be sure to turn off the gas supply line also.) Turning the system off will protect it from the damaging surges that happen when the power fluctuates on and off or when it is powering back on. Power surges can cause serious damage to your HVAC system and is one of the biggest causes of major repairs following a tropical storm or hurricane.

2. Secure your outdoor unit - Make sure all the bolts are tight. Use hurricane straps, if possible, to prevent heavy winds from moving your outdoor unit.

3. Protect it from flood water - Even a tiny bit of flooding can cause major damage to your HVAC system. If flooding could be an issue, raise the unit up on concrete blocks to help avoid flood water from reaching your unit.

4. Protect it from flying debris - If your HVAC unit has a cover, use it. You might also be able to purchase one that fits securely on your specific unit. This will prevent your HVAC unit from being damaged by flying debris and heavy winds.

 

After the Storm

After the storm, do a thorough inspection of your HVAC unit. Check for any damage, flooding or issues that could lead to damage of your system. If you are uncertain if your unit has been damaged or if you find damage or the unit has been flooded, be sure to have a professional out to inspect and check the unit before turning it back on. If you inspect your unit and don't find any potential damage, make sure you wait until the power is securely restored and not fluctuating before you turn the breakers back on and restore power to the unit. You don't want to weather a storm and then have damage occur afterward due to fluctuating power outages.

We're entering into the peak of hurricane season here in South Carolina. If you need more advice on protecting your HVAC system, we are here for you. When the storm has passed, we'll be there to inspect your system and fix any damage your system might have sustained because of the storm. Carolina Comfort Systems is here when you need us both before and after a major storm or hurricane.

Published in Blog
Tuesday, 04 August 2020 11:09

Benefits of Ductless Air Conditioning

home air conditioning room with cooling man on sofa with laptop and vector id950003908

 

If you have areas of your home that just don't get cool or rooms that your ductwork doesn't reach, ductless air conditioning might be a great solution for you. Let's explore the many benefits of ductless air conditioning for your home.

1. Customized comfort - Allows for zoned temperature control that can be customized room by room. So, everyone enjoys their personal best level of comfort.

2. Improves indoor air quality - Because there is no ductwork, there is no place for dust, dirt, pollen and other allergens to collect and blow through your home. Ductless systems also have a multi-layer filtration system that helps clean the air as it cools it.

3. Better dehumidification - Ductless systems are great dehumidifiers, pulling excess moisture from the air as it cools it.

4. Energy efficient - Variable speed compressors provide only as much power as is needed to cool your home. Most HVAC units have only one or two speed compressors and often use way more electricity than is needed to bring your space down to the correct temperature. By having variable speeds, ductless saves electricity and money.

5. Use only what you need - You can switch off the units in unused rooms to save electricity and money, instead of cooling the whole house.

6. Avoid ductwork leaks - Ductwork can have leaks that allow cool air to escape and reduce the efficiency of your HVAC cooling system. With no ductwork, there are no leaks so your ductless system works at optimal efficiency.

7. Saves space - A ductless unit mounts on the wall inside with a compressor unit outside. This takes up far less space in your home than a full HVAC system with it's ductwork and full-sized units.

8. Easy maintenance - Maintaining a ductless system is easy. Keep filters clean, clean unit vents and keep the area around the outdoor unit clean and tidy. With a professional annual inspection and cleaning, your ductless system could last as long as 20 years or more.

There are lots of benefits to installing a ductless system, whether you need to cool down one room or every room, ductless systems are convenient and energy efficient. When you are considering whether a ductless system is right for your home, call Carolina Comfort Systems. We can give you all the details you need to make an informed decision.

Published in Blog