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.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

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 Cooling Expert Offers Tips To Lower Energy Bills

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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

Avoid Needing Heating Service by Winterizing Your Furnace

furnaceWinter is fast approaching, and it’s important to inspect your heating unit before using it. Avoid needing heating service by being sure your unit is ready for the dropping temperatures.

 Atlanta, Georgia – Before we know it, the dog days of summer will be gone and we’ll be ushering in the cold days of winter. Is heating unit ready to keep your home toasty and comfortable all winter long?

“Before turning on your heating unit this winter, it’s important to be sure it is ready to keep your family warm and safe,” says Phil Montgomery, owner of Mr. Cool Mr. Heat, an Atlanta furnace repair company. “Not only can a furnace that doesn’t work properly result in an uncomfortable home, it can also leak dangerous carbon monoxide into a home, making homeowners sick.”

The first thing to do is inspect your HVAC unit. Check to be sure it is still able to function properly, especially if it is several years old. If you are unsure what you are looking for, call your heating service technician to inspect it for you. If your heating unit is more than 20 years old, it may be time to consider replacing. It’s better to spend the money before the cold sets in to have your unit serviced or replaced if need be. Otherwise, your family could be uncomfortable for a few days until a service technician can make the needed repairs or replace the unit.

Be sure you replace your air filters regularly. Dirty air filters cause a unit to work harder, and over time, this overwork can cause the unit to break down.

“Regularly changing your air filter is such an easy way to keep your unit working well,” says Montgomery, whose company provides heating and cooling service throughout the Atlanta area. “Another way to ensure your unit doesn’t get overworked is to install an updated thermostat. Older thermostats don’t properly regulate temperatures, meaning you may be unintentionally overworking your system. Consider installing a programmable thermostat that lets you set the temperature for your home.

A home’s ductwork should be cleaned to ensure heat and efficiently flow through to warm the home. Inspect your ducts regularly to ensure there are no dents, disconnections or punctures that could harm the flow of air. Damaged ducts blow wasted warm air, meaning your unit is working but your home isn’t feeling the effects. Ducts should also be properly insulated, as should your entire home, to ensure the air stays in and doesn’t leak out to the outside. If you are unsure if your ductwork is working effectively, call the technicians at Mr. Cool Mr. Heat to inspect and clean your ductwork.

The most important thing to do before running your heating unit during the winter is to perform a safety check. A furnace that malfunctions can release deadly carbon monoxide into the air, resulting in serious illness if family members breathe it in. Electrical connections that are damaged can result in electrical fires. If it has been a while since your heating unit was properly serviced, schedule an appointment with Mr. Cool Mr. Heat as soon as possible to be sure your furnace is ready to run properly. Not only will it keep your family comfortable all winter long, it might just keep your family safe, as well.

 

Money Saving Tip – Install a Programmable Thermostat

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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.