Atlanta HVAC Expert Offers Gas Leak Tips

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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.

 

 

 

Atlanta Air Conditioning Expert Discusses Indoor Air Quality

polluntants

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.

Money Saving Tip – Install a Programmable Thermostat

thermostat

Did you know installing a programmable thermostat in your home just might save you money each month on your utility bill? An Atlanta heating and air conditioning expert explains.

 Atlanta, Georgia – Did you know saving money on your utility bill each month can be as easy as installing a programmable thermostat? It’s true – for every degree a thermostat is lowered over an eight to twelve hour period, you can save between one and three percent on your heating and cooling bill. And saving money is always a good thing!

 

Programmable thermostats allow homeowners to create different settings throughout the day, and even for different seasons. That means you no longer have to run your heating and cooling unit all the time, wasting energy when it isn’t needed and therefore increasing your utility bill. Energy Star, which is the government’s energy efficiency program, estimates that homeowners can save as much as $180 on their yearly utility bills.

 

Your home has times where it doesn’t require the home to be as cool, or as warm, to be comfortable. When residents are at work or school all day, there is no need to be running the air conditioning unit. A programmable thermostat allows you to tell the thermostat the times of day when you are home and when you’re away so the temperature can be adjusted accordingly. Running your unit only when needed will not only save money each month, but will prevent the unit from overworking and sending you to call for an air conditioner repair technician.

 

But how do you know you’ve found the correct programmable thermostat for your use?

“There are as many different models on the market as there are needs,” says Phil Montgomery, owner of Mr. Cool Mr. Heat, an Atlanta air conditioning company. “The models vary in price and features, so it is important to determine both your budget and what your needs are before shopping. Basic models can be purchased for around $40, but more sophisticated units boasting touchpads, voice activation and the ability to control remotely might set you back several hundred dollars.”

Is your family particularly busy? Consider a seven-day model. This allows you the ability to set a different schedule every day of the week. That way, not matter how busy you are, you can be sure your AC or heating unit is running effectively.

There are also thermostats that allow you to set schedules for the weekday and then a different one for the weekend. Or if your weekends are particularly busy, consider one that allows you to program the weekend days separately, known as a 5+1+1 model.

Do you want the ability to control your thermostat remotely? There are some models that allow you to program it from your mobile phone or computer. That means if you’re at work, or even on vacation, and you worry you forgot to set the thermostat, you can check to be sure it’s set properly. That means you can be relaxing on the beach and saving money at the same time.

 

Setting the correct schedule for your family may take some trial and error in the beginning to get it just right. Thermostats typically come with pre-programmed settings based on the average household. To adjust it to fit your family’s schedule, simply adjust the times to fit your family’s hours.

Once the schedule has been set, you’ll then need to adjust the temperatures. The setting you place the thermostat on when you aren’t at home may change depending on the time of year, and it may take a bit of time to get it to the proper level to ensure your family’s comfort.

And don’t forget that the location of your thermostat directly impacts its performance. Read the installation instruction from the manufacturer, and always keep the thermostat away from drafty or sunny areas of the home, doorways, windows and skylights. Call your Atlanta HVAC experts at Mr. Cool Mr. Heat if you have any questions about how to properly install your new thermostat.

Let the programmable thermostat do the thinking for you, and let you enjoy racking up the savings. You’ll be able to save money in energy costs each year, but you can also enjoy knowing your unit is running only when needed, avoiding putting unnecessary stress on your unit.