Atlanta HVAC Archives

Troubleshooting Tips for Furnace Repair

furnaceIf your furnace isn’t working properly, the experts offer some tips for troubleshooting before calling for furnace repair.


Atlanta, Georgia – During this winter, it’s possible that your furnace may stop working properly. Fortunately, there are many things homeowners can do to troubleshoot their furnaces before calling for their heating and cooling technician. Phil Montgomery, owner of Alpharetta HVAC company Mr. Cool Mr. Heat, offers some tips.

“If your furnace won’t run, there are several things homeowners can do to repair it on their own,” says Montgomery, whose Atlanta heating company has more than 40 years.

First, check the power. Look for blown fuses or tripped circuit breakers. A simple blown fuse or tripped breaker may be to blame.

Second, check if the switch has accidentally been turned off. Simply turn on the power switch to see if that solves the problem.

Your motor could simply be overloaded, but this as well may be a simple fix. Wait thirty minutes, then press the reset button. This step may need to be repeated.

Two other issues that will cause the furnace not to run include a pilot light that needs to be lit and a gas valve that needs to be fully opened.

“Another problem homeowners can help fix is if not enough heat is reaching the home,” says Montgomery. “Again, there are some pretty easy steps homeowners can take before calling for furnace repair.

The first step is always to check the thermostat. It simply may be set too low, so Montgomery recommends raising the setting by five degrees.

The next step is to check the filter. If it becomes too clogged, not as much air will be able to get through. Replace the filter regularly. Montgomery recommends checking the filter once a month.

If your home isn’t getting warm enough, check the blower assembly. It’s possible that it has become clogged and needs to be cleaned. In the same vein, registers could be blocked or closed. Be sure the registers in each room that need to be heated are open and that they are not being blocked by curtains, furniture or anything else.

If the pilot light won’t light, check two things. First, check to see if the pilot opening is blocked. If that is the case, clean the opening. The other issue could be no gas is reaching the pilot light. To correct this, be sure the pilot button is fully depressed, then open the gas valve completely. If the pilot light won’t stay lit, the light may be set too low. Adjust the pilot to ensure the flame is  two inches.

“If your unit turns off and on over and over again, first check your filter,” says Montgomery. “A dirty filter can cause your unit to cycle off and on, failing to keep the home warm for long periods of time. Additionally, the motor could need lubrication.”

If your furnace is noisy, there are some ways homeowners can troubleshoot the problems before calling for a repair technician.

Access panels could be loose, so homeowners should tighten and be sure the panels are fastened correctly. Belts could be stuck, worn or damaged. In this case, replace worn or damaged belts, or spray squeaking drive belt with a belt dressing. The motor could be in need of lubrication.

“These are all pretty simple things homeowners can do on their own to fix furnace issues,” says Montgomery. “If at any point, you are unable to fix these issues on your own, or if your furnace issue doesn’t fall into one of these categories, immediately call a professional. A licensed technician can repair your furnace issue quickly and safely, ensuring your family’s comfort all winter long.”







Programmable Thermostats are Better Than Ever


Now is the time to invest in a programmable thermostat – their functions are better than ever.

 Atlanta, Georgia – We’ve talked about programmable thermostats before, but their benefits are so great, it’s worth mentioning again – and again and again.

 “Programmable thermostats have so many amazing advantages for homeowners,” says Phil Montgomery, owner of Atlanta heating and cooling company Mr. Cool Mr. Heat. “They offer convenience and energy savings, all at the same time.”

 Energy saving is becoming more and more popular as homeowner are trying to save money. A programmable thermostat is a great way to save money on your Alpharetta heating bill this winter. Advantages include:


  • The ability to set the home to its optimal comfort level.
  • Being able to program the temperature of your home based on your specific needs, based on when you are home and when you are away.
  • Adjust the settings to accommodate for a warm day with a cool evening.
  • Utilize vacation settings to save extra energy while away from home for a few days.

 “One big advantage is that programmable thermostats regular the amount of air entering your home much better,” says Montgomery, whose company has provided HVAC service for more than 40 years. “”That means your home will be comfortable while using less energy, so you’ll save money.”

 But that’s not the only advantage to programmable thermostats. In today’s world, we like control of things at the tips of our fingers, and programmable thermostats allow for just that.

 There are new web-enabled thermostats that allow a homeowners to control it via computer, tablet or smartphone through a WiFi connection. And not only that, homeowners can also see how much energy they are using, allowing them to cut costs if needed.

 This also means you can program your HVAC unit from anywhere – meaning you don’t even have to get up to adjust your thermostat anymore! Are you laying in bed, feeling a bit too chilly? Simply pull out your smartphone and adjust the thermostat without even leaving the comfort of your bed. Did you forget to adjust the thermostat before you left for the day? Now you don’t have to worry about that energy going to waste because you can simply adjust the temperature from your computer.

 “These thermostats offer great conveniences for homeowners,” says Montgomery. “However, they aren’t always super easy for the average homeowner to install. Once you’ve found the thermostat that works best for you, call Mr. Cool Mr. Heat and our technicians can install it, and help you learn how to properly use it. Now is the time to regulate energy consumption, and take advantage of the ease of programmable thermostats.”



Atlanta HVAC Expert Offers Gas Leak Tips


If you have any appliances in your home that run on natural gas, follow these safety tips from an Atlanta HVAC expert.

  Atlanta, Georgia – Do you have appliances that run on natural gas? Do you know what to do if there is a natural gas leak at your home? If not, be sure to follow these tips from an Atlanta air conditioning expert.

 “Appliances that run on natural gas are very cost effective,” says Phil Montgomery, who owns Atlanta HVAC company Mr. Cool Mr. Heat. “It efficiently operates your appliances, and keeps your energy bills down. But, if there is ever a leak, it can be extremely dangerous.”

 It is important to have any appliances that run on natural gas inspected each year. This will prevent leaks from happening in the first place. A heating and cooling expert can inspect your furnace or other gas-run appliances to be sure there are no leaks. Scheduling routine maintenance checks will give you peace of mind that your appliances are working properly. If you’ve had to call for furnace repair frequently, make sure the technician is always checking for any places gas could be leaking out.

 There are several signs that you may have a gas leak. The first is a strange odor, similar to the smell of rotten eggs. A blowing or hissing sound, dead or discolored vegetation in and otherwise green area, and bubbling in wet or flooded areas are other signs of a gas leak. Additionally, homeowners should look for dirt or dust blowing from a hole in the ground, and be on the lookout for flames in case the leak should spark.

 If at any time, you smell something strange or see any of these signs, it’s best to leave the area and call your gas company. The company will send out a technician who will inspect the area and find the source of the leak.

 Do not use any electrical devices, including light switches or phones as these could spark and ignite the gas. Do not use any open flames or try to locate the source of the gas leak yourself. Do not start vehicles, attempt to shut-off gas valves or appliances, or re-enter the area until you have been told it is safe. If at any point the natural gas ignites, do not attempt to put out the flame. Let it burn until a properly trained technician can handle the situation. Burning gas will not explode.

 If you fear your natural gas pipeline may have been damaged in any way, leave the area right away. Do not use motorized equipment, including cars, near the area. Stay away from the area until you are cleared to re-enter.

 Natural gas appliances are energy efficient and overall, very safe. However, in the event of a gas leak, it’s important for homeowners to understand what to do. Following these tips can keep you and your family safe.




What To Know Before Using Your Atlanta Furnace


Before you use your Atlanta furnace for the first time this winter, there are a few things you should know first.

 Atlanta, Georgia – Fall has officially arrived, and before we know it, winter will be here and we’ll be reaching for our thermo stats to turn on our Atlanta furnace and heating units. But before you do, there are a few things you should know. Phil Montgomery, owner of Mr. Cool Mr. Heat offers some tips for homeowners.

“Safety is the most important thing to remember before using your furnace,” says Montgomery. “Be sure you have a working smoke alarm installed near the home’s bedrooms and living areas. This will be sure to alert residents in case of a fire. Also, if your home has a gas furnace, a carbon monoxide detector is also a necessity. An improperly working furnace can release the odorless and colorless gas, and breathing in the fumes can be extremely harmful, even fatal.”

The next step is to be sure you have a new, clean filter in your furnace. A clean filter will be sure your furnace runs as efficiently as possible. Failure to change the filter often can result in the unit overworking and eventually breaking down, leading to furnace repair.

If your furnace has a pilot light, light it. Many newer furnaces will not have a pilot light, but older ones will, and homeowners may choose to extinguish it during the spring and summer months. Direction for properly lighting it will typically be printed directly on the furnace. Be sure to follow the direction exactly as printed.

Before turning on your unit, be sure there are no flammable objects near it. Next, turn the furnace to on and set your thermostat to your desired temperature to keep your home comfortable. As the furnace runs, listen to it. If you hear strange noises, such as squealing or knocking, turn it off and immediately call your Atlanta Heating and Air conditioning technician. You should do the same if you see smoke coming from the furnace.

“The first time you use your furnace this winter, there may be a burning smell,” says Montgomery. “As long as the smell if faint, it is completely normal. This is due to dust that has accumulated burning off. It should go away quickly, but if it doesn’t turn off your HVAC unit immediately and call one of our technicians.”

By taking a few precautions before using your furnace this winter, you can ensure your family will stay comfortable even when the temperatures begin to drop.



Save Money by Converting Your Furnace from Oil to Gas


Homeowners looking to save money should consider converting their oil furnace to a gas one.

Atlanta, Georgia – Homeowners are always looking for ways to save money. One way to save money, and ensure your home is safer and more environmentally friendly is by switching from an oil burning furnace to natural gas heat.

“The biggest reason homeowners like to make the switch is that it is more economical,” says Phil Montgomery, owner of Mr. Heat Mr. Cool, an Alpharetta heating company with more than 40 years of experience. “Gas is cheaper than oil, but it’s also more efficient. That means a home’s furnace will run more efficiently, thereby lowering monthly energy bills.”

 Many homeowners may shy away from making the conversion because it can seem too expensive to make the switch. However, Montgomery assures that there are economical ways to convert, and the amount homeowners will save in the long run on their energy costs will more than pay for the conversion.

“In some cases, we don’t have to do a completely new furnace installation,” says Montgomery. “Sometimes our HVAC repair technicians are able to convert only the unit’s burner, which saves homeowners a great deal of money.”

Another advantage to switching is that gas furnaces do not produce ash and dust inside your home. That means the air inside your home is cleaner.

Gas is typically stored remotely, as opposed to oil being stored in a tank inside your home. That means it is safer. The gas is delivered directly to your home, on demand, through underground pipes. With an oil furnace, homeowners have to wait for delivery of their oil, which can be uncomfortable if you run out on a cold night. With gas, homeowners never need to worry about that.

Another advantage is that les time and money is required for maintenance and cleaning of a gas furnace. That means fewer calls for repairs and a more efficiently running system.

 To learn more about converting from an oil running furnace to a gas one, call the experts at Mr. Heat Mr. Cool today. They can get you on the road to a more efficiently running furnace in no time.

Better Air Quality and Efficient AC Service with UV Germicidal Lamp


UV germicidal can offer homeowners many benefits, including increased AC service efficiency and better air quality.

Atlanta, Georgia – The term UV germicidal lamp might sound like something from the future. But it’s being used in the here and now to help homeowners get much needed relief by purifying the air in their homes. These special lamps effectively remove airborne pollutants to provide increased AC service and cleaner air, allowing homeowners who suffer from allergies to breathe easier. “For many homeowners with severe allergies, the standard air purifiers just might not cut it,” says owner of  Atlanta heating and air conditioning company Mr. Cool Mr. Heat, Phil Montgomery. “Mold, mildew, fungus, dead skin cells, tobacco smoke and pet dander are common culprits of allergies. But a standard air purifier might not be efficient enough to completely clean the air and keep homeowners from calling for HVAC repair  when their unit becomes clogged.” Ultraviolet light has been used for decades to kill airborne pollutants and provide much needed sterilization. Very quickly, it can rid an air system of contaminants that are harmful to the health of a home’s residents. Mold and bacteria are a part of life. And because a home’s AC unit provides a dark and moist environment, it can often be found growing inside the unit or on its coils. That’s where the UV lamp comes in to play. It will work to kill the very DNA of the contaminant that is growing, effectively killing it and preventing it from further growth and build up on the air conditioner. The AC unit will run more efficiently because the coils will be free of mold and bacteria, allowing the air to pass through easier. When contaminants grow on the coils, they prevent air from flowing through properly. So not only are dangerous pollutants entering a home’s air supply, but the AC unit is forced to work much harder because not enough air is getting through. That means higher energy bills for homeowners, and more frequent calls for repair. “The beauty of using these UV germicidal lamps is that they work immediately,” says Montgomery, whose company also provides heating repair. “Other air purifiers may take time to kill the pollutants in the air, but a UV lamp can allow homeowners to get the fresh air they need within the first hour it is installed.” Breathing the air inside your home may actually be more harmful than the outside air; it is estimated that almost one in six residents suffers from allergies solely because of the air they breathe in their home every day. And for the more than 40 million Americans who suffer from asthma and its symptoms, spending so much time in an environment rampant with pollutants only irritates their condition. Taking a simple step such as installing a UV germicidal lamp is a quick and relatively easy way to provide relief to the occupants of a home, rather than sending them to the doctor’s office frequently. It is inexpensive to use, costing only the same as it would to run a 75-watt lightbulb. The UV rays are safe, and the benefits are hard to deny. Almost immediately, homeowners will be able to breathe easier, and will see their air conditioning units run more efficiently. To learn more about the benefits of UV germicidal lamps, and how to have one installed, call Mr. Cool Mr. Heat.





Atlanta Cooling Expert Offers Tips To Lower Energy Bills


This summer, your energy bills can be high from continuously running your AC. Atlanta expert Phil Montgomery offers tips to lower your AC usage and still stay comfortable.

 Atlanta, Georgia – Energy costs continue to rise, and hoomeowners struggle with keeping their homes comfortable while keeping their utility bills in check. But there are some things you can do this summer to ensure your home stay cool and your wallet stays full.

 The first thing to do is cover any holes in your home through which air could be escaping. Check windows and doors to be sure they are properly sealed. Have an Atlanta cooling expert inspect your home’s ductwork for leaks. Be sure there is plenty of insulation in your attic, and consider adding more if necessary.

 “An easy way to keep energy costs in check is to keep curtains and blinds closed,” says Phil Montgomery, who owns Mr. Cool Mr. Heat, a heating and cooling company. “This will ensure the heat from the sun isn’t entering your home and thereby increasing the temperature. You can also consider planting leafy trees or bushy near windows to keep the hot sun out.”

 Air filters should be changed regularly. Dirty air filters force a unit to overwork, and it may not result in a cooler home, just an increased utility bill. During the summer, change your filter every month.

 Consider installing a programmable thermostat. This can help keep a home’s temperature regulated. There’s no reason to cool a home when no one is at home. There are many types of programmable thermostats on the market, so do your research and purchase the one that will work best for your family and your usage of AC  Atlanta technicians, such as those at Mr. Cool Mr. Heat, can assist with helping install the thermostat.

 Avoid using heat producing appliances such as ovens, during the warmest parts of the day. This will only increase the temperature in your home, forcing your AC to work even harder.

 Consider closing off parts of your home that aren’t used regularly. If you have rooms in your home that people don’t use, consider closing the vents and doors to them to keep your HVAC system from working overtime to cool them, too.

 Rather than continuing to lower the thermostat, use fans to spot cool. Fans can be used efficiently to keep family members cool.

 “The most important thing to remember, however, is to have your HVAC system regularly maintenanced,” says Montgomery. “AC units are like cars and need regular tune-ups to continue to work properly. Having a licensed technicians inspect your unit, including ductwork, attic insulation and vents, can ensure your unit is ready to keep your family cool all summer long

Atlanta Air Conditioning Expert Discusses Indoor Air Quality


Atlanta, Georgia – Do you or a member of your family seem to constantly battle allergies? Stop blaming the pollen and look to another source. The air you are breathing in your home just might be the culprit.

 The Environmental Protection Agency reports that the average American spends ninety percent of their time indoors. That’s a lot of time to be breathing in air that could be making you sick.

 Types of Air Pollutants Commonly Found in Homes

“Every home has some degree of indoor air pollutant,” says Phil Montgomery, owner of Mr. Cool Mr. Heat, Inc., an Atlanta air conditioning service and repair company. “Running central air conditioning and heating units doesn’t always help the situation, but it’s important for homeowners to understand the types of pollutants commonly found in homes.”

 Biological pollutants commonly include pet dancer, dust mites, mold and bacteria. Tobacco smoke can leave behind formaldehyde and carbon monoxide, and simply running a gas furnace in the winter can result in carbon monoxide being released into the air.

 Most homeowners also employ the use of scented candles or air fresheners to keep their homes smelling clean. Those products, along with other such as degreasers, disinfectants and other consumer products, contain volatile organic compounds. VOCs can significantly contribute to indoor air pollution, and because they are found at much higher rates indoors than out, can be harmful to one’s health.

 But Atlanta residents can fight back to be sure the home in their air stays clean and keeps them healthy. The first, and easiest step, is to be sure air filters are changed regularly.

 “Filters are meant to trap pollutants before they can reach a home’s airstream,” says Montgomery, whose Atlanta HVAC company has served the area for more than 40 years. “Filters should be changed every one to three months to ensure effectiveness.”

 The American Society of Heating, Refrigeration and Air Conditioner Engineers has a rating system for air filters, known as its Minimum Efficiency Reporting Value. Most air filters that can be purchased at local home improvement stores have a MERV of one to four. These filters are effective at trapping dust mites, pollen and other microscopic pollutants and are good for the average homeowner to use. Homes with pets or residents who smoke need to look for a MERV of eight to eleven to trap pet dander and smoke effectively.

“Homeowners should purchase air filters with an appropriate MERV for their home,” says Montgomery, whose licensed technicians provide air conditioner repair throughout the Atlanta area. “But homeowners need to remember that if they do not change the filter regularly, it won’t work effectively, and the air conditioning or heating unit won’t either.”

Eliminating the sources of pollution is the most effective way for a homeowner to improve their air quality. Sources of pollutants, such as those with asbestos, should be sealed or closed to prevent the contaminant from reaching the air. In homes that use gas stoves, they should be properly adjusted to decrease the emissions. Improving a home’s ventilation is also an easy way to reduce contaminants in the air. In nice weather, windows and doors can be opened to allow more outdoor air into a home.

Another way to improve the air quality in a home is by purchasing an air cleaner. There are many on the market, so homeowners should be sure they research the effectiveness of an air cleaner before purchasing. For instance, one that is great at collecting air but has a low circulation rate won’t effectively clean a home’s air.

For homeowners who suffer from allergy-like symptoms, they should eliminate air pollutants from their homes by monitoring the chemical and cleaning supplies used, regularly changing air filters, and airing out the home as much as possible. It may also be necessary to have a home’s heating or air conditioning unit professionally cleaned and serviced.

The experts at Mr. Cool Mr. Heat are available 24 hours a day to help homeowners get their AC units in proper working order, and can even help homeowners choose the right air cleaner for their home. Call today to arrange a maintenance appointment.

Atlanta Heating and Air Conditioning Expert Explains Storm Damage


Storms can damage air conditioning units, too – an Atlanta heating and air conditioning expert explains what homeowners should look for.

Atlanta, Georgia – During summer storms, homeowners may worry about the damage these storms may cause to the structure of their homes, but they also need to be concerned about their air conditioning unit. Storms with lightning, hail and even tornadoes can leave homeowners calling for HVAC service. Phil Montgomery, owner of Mr. Cool Mr. Heat explains what homeowners should do in case of a storm.

 Severe storms can leave homeowners without power, and in the middle of summer, a home with no air conditioning can be unbearable. Atlanta residents should consider having back-up generators on hand in case of power outages, both in the cold winter months and the blistering hot summer months. The experts at Mr. Cool Mr. Heat, an Atlanta heating and air conditioning company with more than 40 years of experience, can help homeowners determine the correct generator for their needs.

 “In the event of a power outage, homeowners should be sure to check their circuit breakers,” says Montgomery, whose business provides cooling and heating repair services. “In some cases, an HVAC system can be turned back on by flipping the circuit switch. In other cases, there may be damage that will need to be checked out by an expert.”

 Hail, wind and debris can damage an outdoor unit during a storm, as well. Homeowners should look for dents in the unit and look for debris that may have entered into the metal cabinet that houses the unit. Homeowners may be able to clean some debris on their own, but should call an HVAC specialist to clean the unit properly.

 “It’s important for homeowners to remember that just because they cannot see damage, doesn’t mean nothing is wrong,” says Montgomery. “If a summer storm comes through, it may not cause damage to your AC unit, but it can still damage your heating elements, such as an outdoor heat pump. You won’t realize it until the cool weather sets in and you need your heater to work. Having one of our certified technicians check your unit after a storm can guarantee that if there are any damages to any of your HVAC equipment, it can be fixed before you need it.”

 After a storm rolls through, especially a severe storm, it is important that homeowners turn to certified technicians to repair or replace their equipment. Certified technicians will, like those at Mr. Cool Mr. Heat, offer work that is guaranteed and have all of the knowledge homeowners rely on.

 To be sure your unit is ready to face the summer heat and any storms that may come, call Mr. Cool Mr. Heat today for a maintenance appointment.


Air Conditioning Service Expert Explains Energy Star Ratings


Mr. Cool Mr. Heat, an air conditioning service company, explains how Energy Star rated appliances can help homeowners save money.

Atlanta, Georgia – Most consumers are familiar with the blue star labeling Energy Star appliances. But how many actually know what that means? Phil Montgomery, owner of Mr. Cool Mr. Heat, and Atlanta cooling repair company, explains what that blue label can mean to homeowners.

“Energy Star is the government endorsed efficiency label that helps consumers save money while protecting the environment at the same time,” says Montgomery, who has been servicing Atlanta AC units for more than 40 years. Product must meet strict efficiency guidelines as set by the Environmental Protection Agency to earn the designation. The blue star labeled products ensure than consumers are purchasing products that have optimized performance, conserve energy and help consumers save money.

The Department of Energy and the Department of Environmental Protection created the Energy Star label in 1992 as a voluntary program to promote energy efficient products and reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Computer equipment was the first labeled product. In 1995 the label added additional office equipment and residential HVAC units. Most major appliances now boast the label, as do electronics, lighting, office equipment and many other commonly used products. Categories include:

  • Appliances such as washers and dryers, refrigerators and dishwashers
  • HVAC equipment such as central air, programmable thermostats and furnaces
  • Electronics such as televisions, DVD players and audio systems
  • Office equipment such as computers, photocopiers and printers
  • Commercial products such as vending machines and water coolers

Energy Star products reduce greenhouse gases and prevent harmful carbon pollution. The government introduced the program to make it easy for consumers to choose efficient products that not only protect the environment, but save money while doing it. In 2010 alone, the savings from using Energy Star rated products was close to $18 billion. The greenhouse gas emissions saved equaled the equivalent of those produced by 33 million cars.

“During a slower economy, consumers are always looking for ways to save money,” says Montgomery, whose air conditioning technicians are all fully licensed. “Energy Star products give consumers that opportunity, without having to sacrifice the quality of the products they use every day. Mr. Cool Mr. Heat is proud to use Energy Star rated appliances in our HVAC installations.”

Consumers don’t always have the time to meticulously research each purchase. Energy Star rated products help consumers quickly and accurately identify products that are more efficient and better for the environment. And with more than 60 products labeled, it is easy for homeowners to find a product to suit their needs, and that will perform better than its less efficient counterparts.

To earn the blue star label, products must meet specifications as determined by the EPA. These are set based on the following:

  • Must contribute significant savings nationwide.
  • Must deliver both performance and features consumers demand, while increasing efficiency.
  • If the product is more expensive than its conventional counterpart, consumers must be able to make up the difference in energy savings within a reasonable amount of time.
  • Efficiency must be achieved through non-proprietary technology that is produced and offered by more than one company.
  • Energy consumption can be measured and verified.
  • Labeling is visible and differentiates the product for consumers.

Energy Star products are available nationwide. Different regions of the country have different efficiency requirements for furnaces and are labeled differently.

By switching to energy efficient products, consumers can save nearly one-third on their utility bill and enjoy the added benefit of reducing the greenhouse gases they emit each year. Energy Star gives homeowners the necessary products to make a difference, both in their wallets and the environment.

Homeowners looking to replace existing appliances or heating and cooling units should always look for the Energy Star label. If your home is in need of heating and cooling repair or installation, contact Mr. Cool Mr. Heat for an inspection.





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