Displaying items by tag: HVAC service Conway

Sunday, 31 January 2021 17:21

Signs Your Heat Pump Needs a Tune Up

Signs Your Heat Pump Needs a Tune Up

There are several signs you might notice that let you know it's time for a heat pump tune up, repair or replacement. Let's take a look. 

 
1. Strange smells - Strange smells are a sign of a problem. Different smells can indicate different problems. For example, a burning oil smell often indicates a worn out belt in your heat pump. A damp or musty odor can indicate that mold growth is happening inside the unit. You definitely don't want to breathe that in! If you notice unusual smells when your heat pump is running, it's time for a tune-up. 
 
2. Strange sounds - When working correctly, your heat pump should have a consistent but very soft humming sound when it runs. If you're hearing rattling, groaning or banging noises, that is not normal. Strange sounds are often a warning sign that a serious breakdown is imminent. If you hear strange sounds when your heat pump is operating, it's time for a tune up. 
 
3. It's old - If your heat pump is old, in the 10-15 years old range, you definitely need to keep up with regular tune-ups. Older systems are not as energy efficient as newer systems. A tune up gets your heat pump into the most optimal running conditions possible so it works as efficiently as possible. Heat pumps in that age range should also be considered for possible replacement. You'll definitely save on your utility bills with a new system and not have to worry about a breakdown. 
 
4. Increasing electric bill - If you notice your electric bill going up and up, pay attention to how frequently or quickly your system is cycling on. Systems that need a tune up tend to cycle on and off more quickly, meaning the system runs more frequently and thus uses more energy than a tuned up heat pump. This increased use of energy shows up as rising costs on your electric bill. 
 
5. Running but not heating/cooling - If your heat pump is running and you feel the air flow but it is not able to heat or cool your home to the temperature setting, it's time for a tune up. Not being able to keep up to temperature is a sure sign that something is either not working properly or has become gunked up. 
 
Does your heat pump need a tune up? If it is showing any of these common warning signs, it's time for a tune up. Ideally, it's best to have a tune-up at least once per year before the winter chill comes. Manufacturers often recommend having a tune up or regular maintenance twice yearly, in the spring and the fall. Despite this recommendation, many people go several years without having any kind of regular maintenance or tune up on their heat pump or HVAC system. We get it! Life gets busy and time flies. However, if you haven't had a tune up in a few years (or ever), it's time to give Carolina Comfort Systems a call. We'll tune up your heat pump and look for any small problems before they become a major breakdown. 
Published in Blog
Thursday, 05 November 2020 10:12

Prep Your Home for Cooler Weather

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Cooler weather is coming to the Myrtle Beach area very soon. Now is the time to prep your home for cooler weather. Here are some things you can do to get ready for the chill. 

 
1. Reverse ceiling fans - If your ceiling fan has a reverse switch, changing it to run counter-clockwise will push warm air down (since warm air rises). This is especially important if you have high ceilings in your home. 
 
2. Check the roof - Use your binoculars to check out your roof. Look for missing, damaged or loose shingles that should be repaired. You can also choose to have a professional roof inspection. 
 
3. Clean the gutters - To protect your roof and underlying structures, clean the gutters. Leaves and other debris block water from draining properly, causing it to back up and cause damage to your gutters, siding and roof. It can also cause leaks and ice dams. 
 
4. Prevent ice dams - While it doesn't happen often, we do sometimes get ice storms or icy weather here in South Carolina. Ice dams form over areas where you have missing or inadequate insulation in your home. If you've never had your insulation inspected, now is a great time to do so. 
 
5. Check for drafts - Check around windows and doors for drafts. Caulk and replace weatherstripping as needed to get rid of drafts and re-seal windows and doors. 
 
6. Prep external plumbing - Turn off exterior faucets and water lines, drain and store hoses and install insulation around exposed water lines outside and in the garage or other cold areas to prevent frozen pipes. 
 
7. Clean the fireplace - If you have a fireplace, have it professionally cleaned and inspected to ensure there is no harmful build-up to prevent chimney fires and CO poisoning. This will also give you peace of mind that your fireplace is in good working order before you use it for the season. 
 
8. Test your CO detector - Check and test your carbon monoxide (CO) detector and change the batteries. Check it monthly during the winter months to ensure it is working properly all winter long. 
 
9. Get a tune-up on your HVAC - Prep your furnace or heat pump for the colder weather by having a professional servicing and maintenance appointment. Regular maintenance not only reduces wear and tear to extend the lifetime of your HVAC but also helps find small problems before they can lead to a major breakdown on a cold winter night. 
 
Prepping your home for the colder months does take some time and effort but the results are well worth it. You'll have peace of mind that your home is prepped and ready to handle those cool temperatures while keeping your family warm and cozy. 
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.

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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

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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

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Does your home have hot or cold spots? Are there rooms in your home that just don't seem to ever be the same temperature as the rest of your home? Have you adjusted your vents to no avail? Then a Bryant Ductless System might be right for you. Let's take a closer look at the benefits of a ductless system. 

 
1. Great for unheated/uncooled spaces - Ductless systems are great for spaces that are unheated or uncooled by your home's primary HVAC system. This might include the attic, basement, enclosed patio or sunroom, garage or shed. Because a ductless system doesn't rely on existing ductwork, you can install one just about anywhere you need more comfort. 
 
2. Can be used for one area/zone or part of a multi-zone system - A Bryant ductless system can be used as a single unit or coordinated to work in concert with your home's multi-zone system. So, it can address that hot or cold room in your house as part of your home's comfort system. 
 
3. Saves energy - Bryant ductless systems are energy efficient and Energy Star certified. They can achieve up to a 42 SEER rating. Being Energy Star certified, there might be additional rebates and savings you might qualify for when you buy a ductless system. 
 
4. Can go anywhere - Because a ductless system doesn't require any ductwork, it can literally be installed in almost any space or room where you need better comfort. Extra ductwork to connect a room with your existing duct system is costly and can add wear and tear on your HVAC system to accommodate cooling or heating the extra space. 
 
5. Quiet operation - With Bryant's Inverter Technology, your ductless unit will run whisper quiet indoors and the outdoor part of the unit is similar in volume to a refrigerator hum or a dishwasher running. 
 
6. Comes with a 10 year warranty - Your Bryant ductless system comes with a 10-year limited warranty on the overall unit and a 10-year limited warranty on the compressor. 
 
For an energy efficient solution to the hot or cold spots in your house, consider a Bryant ductless system. Carolina Comfort Systems is your authorized Bryant dealer on the Grand Strand. Give us a call to discuss how we can make every space in your life more 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, 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
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.

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