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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, 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

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In a standard system, there is generally only one speed so your system is either cycled off or cycled on full speed. When the temperature drops or rises and triggers the HVAC system to turn on, the system must ramp up to the one full speed and run until the temperature reaches the desired level before cycling off. Bryant has variable speed technology. What this means is that the speed your HVAC needs to ramp up to for a cycle can vary. Your system's speed only ramps up as far as is necessary to keep the comfort level steady to heat or cool your home. Let's take a look at some other benefits. 

 
1. Your system doesn't work as hard or as long - Because variable speed allows for speeds below the "full speed" of most other systems, your system doesn't have to work as hard to get to a lower speed. Lower speeds don't require as long to cycle fully on and then fully off so your system also doesn't run for as long when you have variable speed options. 
 
2. Maximizes comfort - Creates more interior temperature sensitivity and also better humidity control when your system can react more precisely to fluctuations in temperature. This means your temperature stays more steady and constant and you stay more comfortable. 
 
3. Energy efficient - By only ramping up to the speed necessary to maintain comfort, Bryant's variable speed technology is energy efficient. A slower speed, faster cycle with a Bryant system uses less energy than a full speed, complete cycle with a standard system. Any time you are saving energy, you're also saving money on your utility bill. 
 
4. Quieter operation - Because the system can use slower speeds, it operates at a quieter level than a standard system at full speed. Slower speeds aren't as loud and noisy as traditional systems with only one speed. You can enjoy maximum comfort with the quietest operation necessary to keep your home at the right temperature. 
 
Bryant's variable speed technology can be found on many of the Evolution line of comfort systems and the Preferred Geothermal Heat Pump as well. To explore the different variable speed technology can make for your home and comfort, call Carolina Comfort Systems to learn more. 
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, 08 November 2019 10:34

Common Cold Weather HVAC Problems

79019711 1301597456697739 7990553119656247296 oWhen the cold weather hits, often so do HVAC problems. This is especially true if you're firing up your furnace for the first time this season. When your HVAC goes down, there are a number of problems that could be to blame. Let's explore the most common cold weather HVAC problems. 
 
 
  • Malfunctioning Heat Pump - There are a few different issues that can cause the heat pump to malfunction. First, the coils could fail to defrost. In order for the coils to work properly, they must be free of frost and ice build-up. Heat pump systems have an automatic setting for defrosting the coils so this problem could be a failure in that automatic system. Other issues that can cause the heat pump to malfunction include a broken fan motor or a blocked coil.
  • Dirty Air Filter - While a dirty air filter is an easy to fix issue that should be taken care of year round, it becomes particularly noticeable during cold weather. The particles and debris in the air filter restrict airflow and cause the HVAC system to work harder. This also results in reduced airflow throughout the home causing cold spots and uneven heating in the home.
  • Frozen Pipes or Coils - As temperatures drop, pipes and coils can freeze over and stop functioning properly. This is true not just for the HVAC system but also hot water heaters and steam radiators. Even worse, frozen pipes and coils can build up pressure that causes them to burst.
  • Broken Thermostat - While this issue might not be directly related to cold weather, it seems that broken or malfunctioning thermostats happen most when it's cold out. Many times, thermostat issues are due to faulty or damaged wiring. Simply having the wiring fixed can restore proper power and function in these cases. Other times, it is the thermostat itself that has a defect or problem. In this case, a new thermostat should be installed and calibrated to the HVAC system to solve the problem.
  • Pilot Light Problems - The pilot light is the small blue flame that usually stays lit at all times (except for ignition furnaces). If the pilot light doesn't burn strongly enough or won't stay lit, the problem is often a dirty or damaged flame sensor. The flame sensor helps detect the presence and strength of the pilot light flame to ensure proper operation of the furnace. When the sensor is dirty or damaged, it cannot sense the flame properly and thus the furnace doesn't cycle on.
  • Carbon Monoxide Leak - Carbon Monoxide (CO) is a colorless, odorless gas that can poison people and animals, resulting in serious illness or death. CO is particularly dangerous because it is so difficult to detect. When a system has a CO leak, the most common culprit is a cracked heat exchanger inside the heater. Blocked or inadequate ventilation can also cause CO to build up in a home as well. 
 
Cold weather is hard on your HVAC system, even though it is designed to help keep you warm. There are a number of common problems that can crop up with your HVAC when the colder weather hits. This list isn't exhaustive but includes the most common cold weather HVAC problems you could be facing if your heater isn't working as it should. Give Carolina Comfort Systems a call if your heater just isn't keeping up or isn't working and we'll get you fixed up and warmed up fast.
Published in Blog
Saturday, 15 July 2017 15:42

Bryant's Pre-Service Checklist

Bryant Service Checklist | HVAC service Myrtle BeachWhen you have a scheduled maintenance service visit with Carolina Comfort Systems or need one of our expert Bryant technicians to come out for emergency service, it's helpful to be prepared. Here are a few things you can do to prep before our service technician arrives.

  1. Write down the model numbers of your heating and cooling system as well as any components that have model numbers visible.
  2. Make a list of all problems you have noticed and when the problems began.
  3. Make sure you know where to access all components inside and outside the home, and make sure the area is clear so the technician can get to the unit(s).
  4. Have your previous service records handy.
  5. If your heat pump is frozen, turn it off before you call for service to give it time to thaw before the technician arrives.
  6. Make sure you have done your "common sense" checks to rule out simple fixes that may not need a technician:
  7. Check that your air filter. A dirty air filter can cause a surprising number of problems.
  8. Check the batteries in your thermostat. Thermostats that run solely on battery power stop signaling to the HVAC system when batteries burn out.
  9. Check your circuit breaker to ensure the circuit for your HVAC system hasn't flipped.
  10. Check to make sure none of the vents or intake registers are closed or blocked by furniture. Improper air flow can trigger emergency shut-off on some systems.
  11. Check outdoor unit to ensure there isn't debris obstructing any moving parts. Also check the disconnect switch to make sure the outdoor unit isn't switched off.
  12. Check shut off switches on the interior unit, such as the SSU switch - which should be in the "on" position.
  13. Adjust thermostat to a higher (or lower, depending on season) temperature and listen for the blower to turn on. If it doesn't turn on after a few adjustments of temperature, make a note of it and turn off system to avoid damage.
  14. Secure pets in another room before the technician arrives for their safety and the technician's,
  15. Answer your phone. Our technician may call to let you know he's on his way, or to get additional directions to your home.

Using the above checklist to prepare for your service with Carolina Comfort Systems will help you have everything you need at your fingertips. Making sure pets are secure and units are accessable helps our Carolina Comfort Systems technician perform your service as efficiently as possible.

Published in Blog

Your HVAC System and Flooding Part III: Preventing Flood Damage

slide3In many cases, flood events are unexpected, making prevention of flood damage unlikely or impossible. However, there are times when weather events are approaching that are likely to result in flooding where you can take some preventative measures to avoid damage to your HVAC system.

Prevention Solution #1 - Shut off power to your HVAC system, remove sensitive electrical components and move them to a safer location on higher ground or in a high place in your home. Many homeowners will not have the necessary knowledge to do this if your provider has not specifically demonstrated how to do this safely with you. Therefore, this solution may require that you have your HVAC service provider come to your home to perform this task for you.

Prevention Solution #2 - If your HVAC system is one that is not ideal for solution #1, there is another solution you can try. Securely stack several layers of sandbags completely around your HVAC system, the way you would around areas of your home or along creeks and streams. While this solution may not prevent all damage, it can help reduce the extent of the damage sustained and thus reduce repair costs.

Prevention Solution #3 - While not exactly a physical action, make sure you understand fully what your homeowner's insurance covers with regard to flood damage and your HVAC system and what it doesn't. Many homeowner's insurance policies don't include any flood coverage at all and require you to purchase flood coverage separately. Don't wait until a major weather event or flood happens to discover that you don't have the level of coverage you assumed you did. Be proactive and make sure you have the homeowner's insurance coverage you need in the event of a flood.

The old saying is that an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. When it comes to your HVAC system, a relatively small amount of time invested in prevention can save you hundreds or thousands of dollars that can really make a difference should a flood - or any natural disaster - impact your home.  Let Carolina Comfort Systems show you how.  

Published in Blog
Saturday, 17 January 2015 22:24

Santee Cooper's Winter Conservation Tips

Along the Grand Strand we’re used to moderate temperatures most of the year. This winter we’ve been dealing with unusually cold temperatures for a sustained time period. This, of course, will impact your heating costs. Santee Cooper has published Winter Conservation Tips to help it’s customers save energy and money without sacrificing comfort.

heat pump repair conway1. Keep the thermostat set to 68 degrees or as low as is comfortable for you. Wearing an extra

layer of clothes such as a sweatshirt, sweater or warm socks/slippers can help your comfort level

with a lower temperature.

2. In the summertime many of us close blinds and curtains to combat the heat from the sun. In the

winter do the opposite! Take advantage of the sun’s heat during the day and close them at night

to keep the chill out.

3. If you have ceiling fans remember to change the direction of the rotation. In the summer they

should rotate counter clockwise to pull heat up. In the winter change the blade rotation to

clockwise – we all know heat rises; this will push down the heat near your ceilings and better

circulate it throughout your home.

4. Inspect your home, especially around windows and doors for any air leaks. Adding caulk or

weather stripping should alleviate this.

5. Remember to replace your air filter regularly! Many need to be changed out monthly.

6. Make sure your water heater is set to 120 degrees and take shorter showers.

7. Check furniture placement to insure no vents are being blocked. This can interfere with the

efficient running of your HVAC system.

Try employing these simple and easy tips in your home to conserve energy and lower monthly heating bills.  

Published in Blog
Friday, 01 August 2014 15:46

A Comfort System That Communicates?

Can you remember back in the ‘old’ days, when we had to actually go over to a heater or cooling unit and push a button to turn it on and turn a dial to control the temperatures? Okay so it wasn’t really that long ago – but then came a technology breakthrough – the remote control! What was better then sitting on the couch and raising or lowering the system output? Then energy saving technology came into the mix and we could set a thermostat and the system monitored itself to cycle down when that indoor temperature was reached, and to turn on when it read it was over the desired temperature. Could it ever get better than this? 

connexI bet you didn’t think so, but now, thanks to the Bryant Evolution® system your life can get even more comfortable. The brain behind it all is the Evolution Connex ™ control. When installed as part of the Evolution system it can monitor temperature, humidity, air quality, fan speeds, ventilation and zoning! You can program a schedule to fit your lifestyle and once you’ve programmed the settings the Connex system actively manages your home’s temperatures. The control monitors the outdoor temperatures, so instead of ramping up to meet your settings, it can adjust the time of levels to save you the most money. One of the options with this system is the ability to adjust your settings whether you are home or away by installing a Wi-Fi enabled Connex control. There is even a Touch – n – Go feature which allows you to change from ‘sleep’ or ‘away’ settings to ‘wake’ or home with ease. Carolina Comfort Systems is an authorized dealer for Bryant, and this is just another product in our impressive line that is designed to simplify your life, conserve energy and save you money on monthly bills. Call us to discuss this or our line of Bryant products.

Source https://www.myevolutionconnex.bryant.com/Evolution

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