Displaying items by tag: hvac maintenance myrtle beach

Friday, 02 October 2020 09:51

Should I Repair or Replace My HVAC System?

old reusted air conditioner compresor sitting next to blue house picture id1152752411

The average lifespan of an HVAC system is about 15 to 20 years. The key to having a long lifespan for your HVAC is regular professional maintenance. You'll also need a few tune-ups and repairs along the way. But how can you tell when your HVAC's time is done? Here are the factors to consider when you're deciding whether to repair or replace your HVAC system. 

 
1. Age of system - If your HVAC system is within the normal lifespan or just even 10 years old or more, you might benefit from a newer, more efficient system. 
 
2. Cost of repairs - If the repair cost is 30% or more of the cost of a new system, it's worth considering if a new system is right for you. 
 
3. Inefficient heating and cooling - If your system is struggling to heat and cool your home efficiently and maintain the set temperature, you might be better off investing in a new HVAC system. HVAC systems lose efficiency with age and wear and tear. 
 
4. Dust is accumulating in your home - If you've noticed more dust accumulating than usual, the ventilation and humidity control of your HVAC system could be breaking down. 
 
5. Energy bills increasing - Aside from a rate hike, your utility bills should follow a consistent pattern throughout the year. If you notice your bill is steadily increasing, especially when it normally goes down, it could be a sign that you need to replace your HVAC system. As mentioned, HVAC systems lose efficiency over time. A system with declining efficiency uses more energy and costs you more on your utility bill. 
 
6. Frequency of repairs - If your HVAC system is breaking down and needing repairs frequently, you might be better off replacing the system rather than spending more money on more repairs. 
 
7. Carbon monoxide leak - If your HVAC system is leaking carbon monoxide, you and your family are not safe using the unit. If the leak can't be found and repaired, it's time to put safety first and get a new system. 
 
There are a number of factors to consider when deciding whether to repair or replace your HVAC system. If your system is young and you've kept up with regular maintenance, you would do well to repair. If your system is older and breaking down frequently, you would do well to invest in a new system instead of more repairs. Still not sure? Call Carolina Comfort Systems! We can help you evaluate your current system's health and make recommendations that give you the best bang for your buck. 
Published in Blog
Monday, 31 August 2020 10:41

Prep Your HVAC for Fall

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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
Tuesday, 30 June 2020 12:10

Keeping Your Home Cooler This Summer

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When the temperatures rise, you need every tip and trick in the book to help keep your home cool and comfortable. Here are 8 tips to keep your home cooler this summer. 

 
1. Heat reducing window film - Install heat reducing window film on windows to help block between 70-90% of the infrared heat and UV rays from the sun. This helps prevent your house from getting warmed up by the sun while still allowing you to enjoy plenty of natural light. 
 
2. Close the blinds - Closing the blinds reflects the sun's rays back out of the window and prevents those rays from warming up your home. If you can't afford window films (tip #1), this is a good alternative, though it does restrict natural light. 
 
3. Use your ceiling fans - First, it's important to remember that fans cool people, not rooms. It's the airflow moving across your skin that cools you down when sitting under or in front of a fan. Using your ceiling fan can help you feel as if the room is four degrees cooler. 
 
4. Use a programmable thermostat - If you are gone most of the day, use a programmable thermostat to conserve energy and operate at a higher temperature when you are not home, then gradually cool down to your desired temperature by the time you normally arrive home. This keeps you comfortable and cool when you are home while saving you money during the day. 
 
5. Install a ductless unit - If you have a particularly warm room or rooms that the ductwork doesn't reach, a ductless system is a great option. It mounts on the wall and cools the room down with a low carbon footprint. It can save you money while keeping the desired room cool and comfortable. 
 
6. Plant trees - Trees and shrubs create shade and shade helps block some of the sunlight reaching your home. Less sunlight reaching your home is less sunlight to warm up your home by the sun's rays. A shaded home is a cooler home. 
 
7. Cook outside more - Use your grill or outdoor kitchen to cook more of your meals. This keeps the residual heat from cooking outside. You won't be artificially heating up your home with the stove or oven with indoor cooking. 
 
8. Keep inside doors open - To allow for the best airflow through your home and an overall cooler home, keep your interior doors open. 
 
Summers in South Carolina can get really hot. We hope these 8 tips to keep your home cooler this summer help you ride out the heat in comfort. 
Published in Blog
Tuesday, 30 June 2020 11:50

Prepping Your Bryant System for Summertime

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Summertime is here and so is the heat and humidity. If you haven't already done so, now is a good time to prep your Bryant system for the sweltering summer. 

 
1. Clean or replace air filters - Dirty air filters restrict airflow and cause your system to work harder. Also, dirty indoor air circulating through your home can trigger asthma and allergy symptoms. 
 
2. Have your system cleaned and inspected twice per year - Once per year is the minimum but twice per year is the recommendation. You should have your system cleaned and inspected in the fall for your furnace and again in the spring for your air conditioner. This will keep your system running as optimally as possible and help you reap all the benefits of a well-maintained system. 
 
3. Remove debris from around the outdoor unit - Regularly inspect and clean away debris from your outdoor unit such as leaves, twigs and grass clippings. It's also important that your outdoor unit have a good amount of space for airflow around it. Make sure any shrubs or bushes are trimmed away from the unit to allow a two-foot clearance between the plant and the unit for proper airflow. 
 
4. Install a smart thermostat - Bryant's Homewise smart thermostat helps your system run more efficiently. It can sense when no one is home and automatically adjust itself to an away temperature or you can use your smartphone to adjust your home's temperature while you are on the go. When all of the great features are used, this smart thermostat can save as much as 20% on your utility bills. 
 
5. Keep vents open - Check and make sure at least 80% of the vents in your home are fully open. When more than 20% of the vents are closed, it creates strain on your Bryant system that can cause a breakdown or lead to additional wear and tear on your system. This can shorten the lifespan of your Bryant system. 
 
6. Set ceiling fans in the right direction - While not directly related to your system but a tip that will help your system keep your home cooler, make sure your ceiling fans are going in the right direction. During the summer, you want the downdraft to help circulate cool air so fans should run counterclockwise. During the winter, you want an updraft to pull cooler air up and force warmer air down so fans should run clockwise. 
 
Summer has begun here in South Carolina with much warmer and more humid days yet to come. If you haven't already prepped your Bryant system for summer, now is the time to do so. Keeping your Bryant system prepped and maintained will keep it working hard all summer long to keep you cool and comfortable. 
Published in Blog
Friday, 24 April 2020 13:06

Prep Your A/C for Summer

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The summer heat is right around the corner so now is the time to prep your A/C unit for summer. Here is your checklist to get your system ready to keep you cool when the hot and humid gets going. 

 
1. Remove condenser cover - If you have a cover on your outdoor condenser unit, remove it before you fire up the A/C. Also remove any coil blankets or lids that you installed to protect your unit during the winter. Running your A/C with these items in place can cause serious damage. 
 
2. Check outdoor unit panels - Check the panels on your outdoor unit to make sure they are properly in place and not missing or misaligned. Windy winter weather can cause panels to shift out of place. If you find a missing or misaligned panel, call in a pro to reinstall it properly. 
 
3. Remove debris from the outdoor coil - Make sure to remove any debris, leaves, twigs and so on from around and in your outdoor coil. If there is debris you can see but cannot get to, have a pro out to remove it to prevent damage to your unit. 
 
4. Look for damaged pipe insulation - Damaged pipe insulation can cause your system to lose energy and cooling capacity. If you find damaged pipe insulation, your best bet is to call in a professional to replace and repair the damaged insulation properly. 
 
5. Change the air filter(s) - Changing your air filters should be done on a regular basis - every other month at minimum or every month if you have pets. 
 
6. Clean air supply registers - Check and clean all of the vents, intakes and registers that feed air into your system from inside the home. You don't want dust and dirt to get into your unit, which will make it work harder and that gunk could end up cycling back out into the home.
 
7. Check the drainage - Check your drainage to make sure the drainage line is clear with no blockages and is firmly set to drain out the condensate properly. The drainage line is also often called the condensate line or pipe. 
 
8. Test it - Test the unit to make sure it is working properly. If you notice anything abnormal such as loud noises or weak airflow, have a professional out to inspect it. 
 
Ideally, you should have a regular maintenance appointment for your A/C before the first time you use it. With the unpredictable weather in South Carolina, we realize that isn't always possible. In the event you have to use your A/C before your yearly servicing, this checklist will help you prep your A/C for summer. When you are ready to make your A/C service appointment, call Carolina Comfort Systems. 
Published in Blog
Friday, 27 December 2019 15:04

Saving Money on Winter Heating Costs

22450175 1403235796391610 1199438231270966915 nThe coldest part of the year is close at hand in Myrtle Beach. Did you know there are simple things you can do to help save money on your winter heating costs? Here are our tips to help you save on your utility bills this winter.
 
1. Lower the thermostat. You save about 3% on your bill for every degree lowered for at least 24 hours. That adds up to a big savings by dropping just a couple of degrees in your home. Better yet, invest in a programmable thermostat to help you save automatically. 
 
2. Seal the chimney flue. When you aren't using your fireplace, make sure your chimney flue is closed and seals properly to keep cold air out. An open chimney flue causes as much heat loss as a window left open a few inches. 
 
3. Don't heat rooms you don't use. Have rooms you rarely or never use during the winter? Close the vents, close the door and save money by not heating rooms you aren't using. 
 
4. Keep blinds and curtains closed when the sun isn't out. Anywhere from 10-25% of the heat loss in an average home is lost through the windows. Closing your blinds and drapes helps insulate the space around your window and helps prevent heat loss. 
 
5. Check the weatherstripping on your doors. Weatherstripping can get damaged or become loose over time, allowing drafts and cold air into your home. If needed, remove and replace the weatherstripping on your door to ensure your door isn't sucking heat right out of your home. 
 
6. Install plastic window treatments. Insulate windows (especially single-pane windows) with plastic window treatments to reduce heat loss around windows. 
 
7. Use space heaters (safely). Space heaters help you save money by only heating the space you're in, instead of the whole house. Use space heaters to help you rely less on your main HVAC so you can keep the thermostat lower. 
 
8. Keep up with preventative maintenance. You should have preventative maintenance performed on your system at least once per year to ensure everything is working properly and efficiently. Preventative maintenance can also help spot small problems before they lead to a major breakdown. 
 

While our winters might be short here in the Grand Strand, they can get mighty cold. These 8 tips can help you save money on your heating costs this winter.

Published in Blog
Sunday, 04 August 2019 12:51

The Benefits of HVAC Zoning

iStock 972782260You've likely heard of zoning or zoned systems before but perhaps you weren't quite sure what it meant or why anyone would choose a zoned system. We're here to solve the mystery of what is zoning and how it can be beneficial for your home.

What is HVAC Zoning?

HVAC zoning or a zoned system is a professionally installed control system comprised of a damper unit and a thermostat for each zone or room in the house. The control systems from each zone are then wired into a central control panel. This central control panel receives information from the thermostat in each zone and uses that information to control the dampers (and thus the temperature) for each zone.

As a comparison, many home HVAC systems are controlled by one thermostat that determines the temperature through the entire house. A zoned system has a separate thermostat for each zone that controls the temperature of just that zone. An easy analogy is to think of the lighting in your home. Instead of having one light switch that controls the lighting for your entire house, each room has its own light switch that controls the light in that room. This is similar to the difference between a non-zoned system and a zoned system.

The Benefits of HVAC Zoning

HVAC zoning offers several benefits over non-zoned systems.

 

  • More precise comfort control - Zoning allows you to control the temperature in different areas of your home independent of the rest of the home. This means you have more precise control of the temperature in every zone of your home for optimal personal comfort.
  • Save money on utility bills - By only heating or cooling rooms that you actually use and setting each to the precise needs for each room, you don't waste energy or money on cooling or heating unused or rarely used rooms. Using heating and cooling only where you need it saves you money.
  • Environmentally-friendly home comfort - By individually controlling the heating and cooling needs of each zone, you conserve energy. Energy conservation helps the environment and you won't be sacrificing comfort in your home to be eco-friendly.

Could HVAC zoning be a good fit for your home? Call Carolina Comfort Systems today to learn more about how zoning can work for you.

 

Published in Blog

iStock 1040941164It has been a hot and brutal summer so far here in the Grand Strand. Many people are seeing large increases in their utility bill as their cooling system kicks on more frequently to combat the high temperatures. We've got some tips to help you keep your cooling costs under control this summer.

1. Use fans - Box fans, pedestal fans, ceiling fans... just about any kind of fan will help keep you cooler. In fact, running a ceiling fan is shown to help it feel as much as 4 degrees cooler. Fans cool you down by creating air current that flows over the surface of your skin and helps cool your body. So, keep in mind that fans cool people, not rooms and be sure to turn off fans in rooms you aren't using.

2. Avoid generating cooking heat - Avoid using your oven, stove or any indoor small appliances that generate heat. These appliances will increase the heat inside your home and make your AC work harder to keep things cool. Instead, opt for grilling outside.

3. Upgrade your AC/cooling system - If your cooling system is more than 10 years old, it's possible that newer models with a higher SEER rating will work more efficiently at keeping your home cool while using less energy to do it. This is especially true of EnergyStar systems. At the very least, keeping your current system well-maintained with professional cleaning and inspection at least once per year (preferably twice) will help the system you have work as efficiently as it can.

4. Get a programmable thermostat - A programmable thermostat lets you set it and forget it in terms of your home's temperature. You can set it to a warmer temperature for the hours you'll be away at work and set it to come to your desired temperature when you normally arrive home. You'll stay cool and comfortable when you're home and save energy when you aren't.

5. Change your air filter - During the summer months, it's ideal to change your air filter at least monthly. Your cooling unit is running overtime and a gunked up air filter will make it work harder and for a longer period of time to reach the desired temperature. Keep the air filter fresh and clean and your system won't have to work as hard and won't consume extra energy.

6. Keep all vents and intakes clear and unblocked - Similarly, your air vents and intakes help your cooling system run at its most efficient. If vents are blocked by furniture, clogged up with debris or otherwise not able to operate clear and open, it makes your HVAC work even harder to reach and hold the desired temperature.

7. Block sunlight - Use blackout curtains, blinds or even invest in window films that reflect out UV and infrared rays from the sun. Reflecting away the sun's energy keeps your home cooler and prevents sun-related heat-up.

8. Replace leaky windows - If your windows have seen better days, you might want to have them checked for air leaks. Windows with drafts or air leaks let hot air in and cool air out. While new windows can be an expensive upgrade, the money you'll save from new energy-efficient windows will have you wondering why you didn't have them replaced sooner.

As you can see from the top 8 tips here, there are a number of things you can do to help your cooling system work more efficiently this summer. As a bonus, when your HVAC works more efficiently, it uses less energy and keeps your utility bill under control.

Published in Blog
Friday, 22 March 2019 13:17

Spring HVAC Maintenance Reminder

Spring HVAC Maintenance Myrtle BeachIt's officially spring and time to take care of preventative maintenance for your HVAC system. Taking care of your HVAC system in the spring gets you prepped and ready for the hot and humid summer months. A little bit of maintenance now can help ensure your home stays comfortable all summer long. Here are some maintenance items you can take care of any time of year:

1. Check around the outside unit for any debris that could be hindering the smooth operation of the unit. If you find debris, turn the system off (safety first) and clear it away. Turn the system back on and check the outdoor unit during the next cycle to make sure it's running without any obstructions.

2. Clean out the A/C drainage hole. This drain tends to be fairly small so a fine pipe cleaner or even a paper clip can help ensure there is no build up in the drain that could impede the condensation from draining away from the unit.

3. Clean your dehumidifier. Open up the dehumidifier unit and allow to dry thoroughly inside. Once the inside of the unit is dry, use a vacuum or shopvac to remove any dirt and debris inside the unit. Keeping your dehumidifier clean helps it maintain efficient removal of extra moisture from the air in your home.

4. Change your furnace filter. Here in South Carolina, land of pollen, your furnace filter can get gunked up quickly. Most recommendations for this area are to change your air filter at least every other month, however, you might need to change it monthly to keep good air flow and keep your indoor air cleaner.

5. Invest in a smart thermostat. A smart thermostat is a great investment for your home that will easily pay for itself in the money you save with more precise control of your HVAC system when you're at home and when you're on the go. You can change your settings from anywhere through your smartphone and most models give you tips on how to save even more money based on your normal use.

And make sure to schedule your regular maintenance service with Carolina Comfort Systems. Your regular maintenance service includes a thorough cleaning and inspection of your HVAC system to keep everything working in optimal condition. Your Carolina Comfort Systems technician will also look for signs of wear and tear and recommend any belt or part replacements needed to prevent a costly emergency call later on.

Even better, Carolina Comfort Systems offers four different Comfort Star Protection Plans for you to choose from so your regular maintenance is one less thing to remember. Plus being a Comfort Star Protection Plan customer gives you priority customer service when you do have an urgent need and extra discounts depending on which plan you choose. To learn more about our preventative maintenance programs, just give us a call.

Published in Blog

iStock 1003895142National Tune Up Day for your heating and cooling system is coming up this September 25th! This day was founded to remind everyone to have their HVAC systems cleaned and tuned up before the cooler weather sweeps in. The best time to have your HVAC system inspected and tuned up is ahead of the seasonal switch-over from using your system to cool your home to heating your home instead.

 Benefits of HVAC Tune Ups

HVAC tune ups keep your system running efficiently, conserving energy and keeping your costs down. Having a tune up every year can also help catch wear and tear or other issues that could lead to a more costly (and uncomfortable) system failure during the cold part of the year. Here are just a few of the things technicians check and do during your yearly HVAC tune up:

  • Remove dust, dirt and debris from your vents and ductwork
  • Check vents and ducts for leaks or blockages
  • Clean and check fresh air intakes for debris or blockages
  • Ensure the fuel-jets are working correctly
  • Check burners for correct flame height and proper ignition
  • Check drains and traps for blockages or leaks
  • Change filters
  • Clean and check that all electrical connections are secure
  • Ensure the seal for the blower access door is tight and secure
  • Lubricate moving parts and inspect for wear and tearCheck for gas leaks or other gas line issues (on gas units)

The list above is just a short example of the many things your HVAC maintenance technician will test, inspect, clean and check during your yearly tune up appointment. Keeping your system properly maintained keeps you warm and toasty when the cool weather hits. Remind your friends to schedule their heating and cooling system tune ups by using the hashtag #NationalTuneUpDay on social media. They'll thank you for the reminder this January when they're cozy and comfortable no matter how cold it gets outside.

Published in Blog
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