Fall Plumbing Maintenance Tips

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As the weather begins to cool off, now is the time to establish some good plumbing habits to protect your home.  A few simple plumbing preparations now will prevent headaches and costly repairs throughout the winter months.  Here are some Plumbing Maintenance Tips to help you be prepared!

Fall and Winter Plumbing Tips for Outside your House

  • Keep gutters free from leaves and debris: If your gutters get clogged it can create drainage problems.  Rainwater can overflow over the gutters and land on the ground around your house.  It’s then more likely to seep into your foundation, basement or crawlspace and cause issues for you.
  • Unhook outdoor hoses: Drain and store hoses in an area that does not go below freezing temperatures.  If left connected, water in hoses can freeze and expand causing faucets and connecting pipes inside your home to freeze and break.
  • Get your sewer line cleaned and snaked: This is an item not often thought about but it’s best to be proactive and keep the system running the way it was designed to do.  Get those pesky roots out of there as they won’t be growing much in the winter.

Some tasks, repairs, and maintenance may end up being harder to complete than originally thought.  If anything happens that makes you feel like you are in over your head – call McCoy's Heating & Air Conditioning at 731-668-7492!  Our licensed technicians have the knowledge, confidence and tools to remedy any plumbing issue.  We are here to make sure your plumbing system is prepared for the temperatures ahead! We can’t wait to hear from you!

Fall HVAC Maintenance Tips

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Have you serviced your heating, ventilating and air conditioning (HVAC) system for the winter period? Whether you are a homeowner or a property manager, you will need to find a reliable HVAC professional to help you service your HVAC system. A well maintained and serviced HVAC system is highly efficient in both its functionality and energy consumption.

Most heating demands in many homes and commercial buildings account for about 33% of the total energy consumption. Therefore, you should ensure that your HVAC system is working efficiently to significantly reduce your HVAC system energy consumption. Below are some insightful tips on HVAC preventive maintenance.

Fall HVAC Preventive Maintenance Tips

1. Replacement of Your HVAC System

You should consider the age of your heating system before you do anything. Heating systems that are more than 10years old are only 50-60 % efficient. Therefore, you should consider replacing the whole HVAC system. Today, gas furnaces available in the market boast of efficiency ratings that are as high as 97%.

2. Clean or Replace Air Filters

Dirty HVAC filters restrict airflow and reduce the entire efficiency of the HVAC system. If you have not cleaned or changed the air filters of your system for a while, now is the perfect time to do it. This should be done on a monthly basis.

3. Adjust the Supply Register

Remember, cold air falls and hot air rises. So when the weather cools, you should open a few of the supply register on the first floor and close a few on the second floor. This will facilitate the heating of your commercial building in a more efficient way.

4. Calibrate the Thermostat

Correct calibration greatly enhances the efficiency of your heating.

5. Investing in a Programmable Thermostat

A programmable thermostat enables you to manipulate the cooling and heating of your office building. So you can easily set the thermostat at different temperatures for different times of the day. Use of this type of thermostat reduces the heating cost by 20-75%.

6. Professional HVAC Inspection

A professional contractor should inspect your HVAC system at least twice a year. The inspection is meant to detect any potential problems and ensure that the HVAC system is working as efficiently as possible. The HVAC inspection involves checking filters, inspecting electrical switches, belts, contacts, motors, safety switches, gas pressure, and refrigerant levels.

7. HVAC Maintenance Agreement

Fall HVAC maintenance agreement is a great way to keep your system at peak performance. Having an HVAC maintenance agreement not only gives you the advantage of priority service in the event of system failure but also ensures that your checkups are done on schedule. This agreement will help you save money in the long run.

Why You Should Schedule a Fall HVAC Cleaning

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Performing regular preventative maintenance is an important step with almost everything you own or use regularly, especially something you depend on as much as your home comfort system. Getting a cleaning once or twice a year on your heating and air conditioning system is smart to protect your investment and to ensure it is operating efficiently. And there is no better time to schedule a system inspection than the fall.

Why fall?

Because fall is between the heating and cooling seasons, HVAC professionals generally have greater availability and flexibility in scheduling. Scheduling a cleaning in the fall ensures that your system is prepared to keep you comfortable all winter long and allows you to make any necessary repairs before the heating season begins.

Fall is also a great time to schedule a cleaning because of the season’s moderate temperatures. In most instances, you’ll want to have the cleaning done on a day that your system has not been used to either heat or cool your home. If your system is responsible for both heating and cooling, such as with a heat pump, it’s important to schedule your cleaning at a time when both functions of the system can be tested. In order to test the heating function of your system, the temperature outside cannot be greater than 70 degrees. If you have a furnace but want your air conditioning system inspected also, your air conditioning cannot be tested if the furnace has been used that day.

Why is a tune-up necessary?

An annual cleaning and inspection ensure your system is running smoothly, which keeps your home comfortable and, more importantly, will diagnose small problems before they become larger, costlier issues. HVAC professionals will check electrical connections, clear out accumulated dust, inspect drainage lines, look for leaks and test airflow, among other things.

Regular preventative maintenance on your system can extend its lifespan by several years and help you save on your energy bills. Systems that aren’t maintained regularly can lose up to 5 percent of their efficiency each year.

Though there are steps you should take to perform some of your system’s regular maintenance on your own, such as changing your air filter, these tasks are no substitute for having an expert inspect your system. Most homeowners do not have the knowledge, tools or equipment necessary to perform all the points of a system cleaning and inspection.

The cost of an annual service agreement is a small investment when an expert inspection can identify potential problems or repairs that can spare you the cost of a bigger problem down the road. In many cases, the agreement also includes additional discounts, such as no overtime rates for late-night or weekend repairs.

Even if nothing is found to be wrong with your system, an annual cleaning will most often pay for itself in terms of your system’s extended lifespan, reduced energy use, fewer repairs and maintained efficiency over time.

For more information about the McCoy's Heating & Air Conditioning Preventative Maintenance Plan, or to schedule a fall cleaning, contact McCoy's Heating & Air at 731-668-7492.

Late August Air Conditioning Tips for Homeowners

We are in the last week of August, and while the heat and humidity are still here with us, it’s a great time to take stock of your current air conditioner. Many homeowners concerned about energy efficiency and performance will have had their systems evaluated, cleaned and tuned-up long before the cooling season began, but that doesn’t mean your system is invincible. Indeed, you’ll want to take note of any operational issues that may arise with your central air unit, heat pump or ductless mini split. Let’s take a look at a few tips that you may want to keep in mind when it comes to cooling here in Jackson, Tennessee area.

Take stock of your system’s energy efficiency. It can be useful to compare how much you spent on cooling this year compared to last year. If the cost of electricity is more or less the same, then you can then assess whether your system’s efficiency is no longer what it once was. At this point, you may want to consider some minor upgrades that will keep your system operating at peak efficiency, such as a programmable or smart thermostat, extending your zone system or even considering a system upgrade.

Keep your home dark and cool during the day. It goes without saying that leaving a window open all day will affect your AC’s ability to perform, but are you taking the steps to keep out light? Investing in shades and curtains can save you a significant amount of money during the cooling season, and it’s never too late to do so, even as September approaches!

Know when to retire your AC. It’s tempting to want to run your AC into the ground. These systems are expensive and you don’t want to replace it unnecessarily. That said, you also want to avoid a breakdown at an inopportune time. Speak with a pro technician about the longevity of your system. The best way to keep tabs on how your AC is doing is with a preventive maintenance plan.

Don’t wait until next cooling season to have your system looked at if it’s giving you trouble now. Let the professionals at McCoy's Heating & Air have a look. Call us today!

6 Must-Know Heating and Cooling Tips for Pet Owners

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If you have pets in your home, you probably consider them part of your family and know that it’s important to keep them comfortable. After all, they live in your home, too, and there’s a good chance they spend more time there than you.

But, as much as we love our furry friends, most pet owners also know the frustration of hair and dander spreading throughout the house, creating unpleasant odors, decreasing your home’s air quality, and even putting a strain on your heating and air conditioning system. That’s why you’ll want to take a few precautions to prevent any damage to your system. Here are some heating and cooling tips for pet owners:

BATHE AND GROOM YOUR PETS

Regularly bathing and grooming your pets has several benefits for you and your home. Making a habit of cleaning and grooming works as a great preventative measure, as it’s the first step to improving your home’s air quality before contaminants become a problem.

By periodically spending a few minutes brushing your pet and disposing of the extra hair, you’ll notice a world of difference around your home. It will also mean you’ll have to sweep less frequently, and it even has benefits for your pets, keeping them lighter and more comfortable.

UPGRADE TO A HEPA OR HIGH-EFFICIENCY FILTER

A high-efficiency particulate air (HEPA) filter is denser than regular air filters and removes significantly more pollutants and particles from the air in your home. This includes pet hair and pet dander, as well as other dust and debris. Top HEPA filters will remove 99.97 percent of particles down to 0.3 microns (1/25,000 of an inch) in diameter, according to the Environmental Protection Agency.

Many residential heating and air conditioning systems may not be compatible with HEPA filters, as the filters are too dense for the system’s fans. This could have an adverse effect on your system. However, high efficiency (non-HEPA) filters with a MERV rating of 13 or higher are almost as effective as HEPA filters at removing particles from the air in your home.

CHANGE YOUR AIR FILTER EVERY MONTH

An air filter’s efficiency rating means very little if you don’t routinely change your filter. The frequency at which you should change your air filter depends on your lifestyle, but pet owners should change the air filter every one or two months. If you don’t change your filter routinely, it becomes clogged with dust, hair, and dander, allowing very little air through.

Failing to change your air filter regularly, especially if you’re a pet owner, could lead to lingering odors throughout your ducts and your home. It could also decrease the efficiency of your heating and cooling system, and even potentially cause major damage if it becomes too clogged.

KEEP TEMPERATURES COMFORTABLE FOR YOUR PETS

Our pets can’t communicate their preference for the temperature, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t consider their comfort when setting the thermostat. While it’s not uncommon, and actually encouraged, to set your AC a few degrees higher when you’re not at home, keep in mind that the temperature plays a big role for your pets’ health and comfort.

If you’re a pet owner, the Alliance to Save Energy suggests keeping the thermostat around 78 degrees Fahrenheit in the summer, and 68 degrees Fahrenheit in the winter, while the house is empty (of humans). If your pet needs special accommodations due to their health, breed or lifestyle, you should speak with your veterinarian about where to set your thermostat while you’re away.

SCHEDULE REGULAR DUCT CLEANINGS AND INSPECTIONS

Even with the use of high-efficiency air filters, a lot of pet hair and dander can accumulate in a home’s ductwork over time. That’s why it’s recommended that pet owners schedule regular duct inspections and have their home’s ducts cleaned as needed.

Ducts should be checked by a professional for the buildup of contaminants such as pet hair and dander, pollen, mold spores, dust and other debris. Ducts should also be inspected for holes, tears, and leaks, especially at seams or other vulnerable areas.

TURN OFF YOUR FANS WHEN YOU’RE NOT HOME

Ceiling fans may be great for you on a hot day, but they don’t benefit your pet. Because most dogs and cats are covered in fur, they don’t feel the effects of the ceiling fan the same way we do. By constantly running your ceiling fan when you’re not home, you’re wasting energy. You could also be circulating pet hair and dander throughout the air in your home

If you have pets and it has been a while since you’ve had a tune-up on your heating and air conditioning system, you should consider scheduling maintenance as soon as possible. McCoy's Heating & Air Conditioning Preventative Maintenance Plans offer a twice-yearly 28-point inspections, discounts on parts and other great perks to ensure you – and your pets – are always comfortable.

The A, B, C’s of Back-to-School Plumbing Tips

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As the kids get ready to go back to school, don’t forget to take care of your home’s plumbing! You may not realize it, but your plumbing undergoes a lot of stress as the school year starts up again. By following these back-to-school plumbing tips, you can ensure that a plumbing emergency won’t be on your school shopping list.

A) Shower Safety

Hot showers are nice, but a scalding shower can mean a serious burn for you or someone in your family. To avoid potential burns, and to control the temperature of your shower or sink, keep your water heater set at no higher than 120° Fahrenheit.

B) Hot Water Guarantee

No matter how many people are vying for shower time in the morning or at night, if you want your hot water to last, make sure to leave 15 minutes between showers. This allows your water heater enough time to refill its hot water supply, so everyone gets to enjoy a nice, warm shower.

Another solution to your hot water problem is a tankless water heater. Tankless water heaters provide you with hot water when you need it, and run more efficiently than gas or electric water heaters. If you’re interested in a tankless water heater, request a quote today!

C) Laundry Galore

Once school’s back in full swing, the amount of laundry you do will go up, up and up! With school and gym clothes and sports uniforms, the laundry can really pile up. The best thing you can do is wait to do a full load every time. This will save you money and give your washer a break from time to time!

Can your plumbing handle the Back-to-School stress? For any plumbing issues call McCoy's Heating & Air

Home Plumbing Maintenance Checklist

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Your home plumbing system can amount to around 15% of the total value of your home. Keeping that investment operating smoothly will benefit you both in the near term, and down the road.

But where should you start? Below is a checklist of maintenance tips for making sure your plumbing stays healthy. It will also help to raise awareness of potential problems early so that you can avoid the costly result of waiting too long to repair plumbing issues.

Daily tips are meant to prevent clogs. As readers of this blog know, clogs are one of the most common plumbing issues - and can cause any number of problems. A few simple tips and daily care can keep your home free of clogs.

In the kitchen:

  • Never put grease or oil down your sink, including cooking oils and fats such as butter. They can congeal and block pipes.
  • When running your garbage disposal, always turn on the water before adding any food.
  • Allow cold water to run for several seconds after turning off the disposal to flush any remaining food down the mainline.
  • Running your dishwasher overnight can help to maintain good water pressure in other areas of the house throughout the day.

In the bathroom:

  • Install screens to protect drains from hair and other objects from causing clogs.
  • Avoid corrosive chemical clog removal products that can damage your pipes.
  • Do not flush anything other than human waste and toilet paper down your toilet.
  • Wait between 10 and 15 minutes between showers to avoid unwanted stress on plumbing by maintaining proper water pressure.

Throughout the home:

  • Look for evidence of pipe leaks and moisture- such a water stains, mold or musty smells.
  • Check for even drainage, bubbles or other signs of problems with the main line of the house.
  • Make sure water faucets are not leaking out the handles or under the sink.
  • Regularly empty lint traps on washing machines.

If you have any questions regarding plumbing in your home, call McCoy's Heating & Air at 731-668-7492 to have one of our professionals out to take a look.

Important Factors When Choosing the Best Air Conditioning Systems Today

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According to Energy Star, the average household family spends 13 percent of their annual utility bill on cooling… so, it’s important to choose the right unit. But installing an HVAC is not just about finding the best brand at the best deal. Whether you’re looking to replace your AC or installing a new unit in a new home, there are factors you need to consider when comparing all the best air conditioning systems out there.

If you want to survive the dog days of summer, you must look at size, efficiency, and controls.

Considerations for the Best Air Conditioning Systems

Size Matters

Two-thirds of all homes in the US have air conditioners but not all of them are sized correctly. And we’re not talking about the physical size of the unit, but rather the amount of air the unit is able to cool. AC units are measured in BTU/hr (British Thermal Units), also referred to in “tons.” One ton of cooling equals 12,000 Btu/hr and this is the measure of the air conditioner’s cooling capacity. For more sizing guidance, use the calculator on the Energy Star website.

Energy Efficiency

Switching to high-efficiency air conditioners and taking other actions to keep your home cool could reduce energy use for air conditioning by 20% to 50%. Energy efficiency describes how much cooling the unit delivers for each watt of electricity and is expressed as SEER (Seasonal Energy Efficiency Rating).

The minimum SEER for a split system central air conditioner allowed today is 13, so be on the lookout for units with SEER ratings of 13 or more. The higher the SEER, the more you’ll see a decrease in energy costs.

Controls Such as Programmable Thermostats

Over the years, new technologies have improved the way HVAC systems function. For example, simply by utilizing a programmable thermostat, residents can reduce cooling costs by up to 20 percent. Built-in digital timers, touchpad control, home comfort zoning, and smart home automation features can all help you save on energy bills, improve efficiencies and conveniently control the temperature of your home. Look for features that will affect performance and efficiency.

Upgrading Existing Systems

If you’re upgrading your central air unit, don’t assume you should purchase the same-sized system. New systems are 20 to 40 percent more efficient than minimum-efficiency models made even 10 years ago. Plus, any updates you’ve made to improve your home’s energy efficiency, such as upgrading your windows or adding insulation, can reduce your cooling needs. Alternatively, if you’ve added rooms, you might require additional cooling.

Ongoing Maintenance

Once you find the right AC unit for your home, maintain it so it will last. An annual HVAC service plan is one of the best ways to keep your air conditioning unit operating well for years to come (the average lifespan of an HVAC system is 12 to 15 years). 

At McCoy's Heating & Air, we offer a convenient service agreement for your AC system known as Preventative Maintenance plan which includes two visits per year (one in the spring, one in the fall) plus a plumbing inspection. Our Preventative Maintenance plan starts at $199.

Choosing from the Best Air Conditioning Systems: Which Unit is Right for You?

If you need assistance in choosing from the best air conditioning systems for your home, one of the McCoy's Heating & Air technicians would be happy to help. Contact us today at 731-668-7492 and stay cool.

5 HVAC Tips for Homes with Pets

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Cats and dogs are beloved by many, and numerous people in the United States share their homes with pets. If you live with a furry or feathered friend, there are several things you’ll want to keep in mind to ensure that your home’s HVAC system is running smoothly and that your home’s air quality is not compromised.

Control Pet Dander

Pet dander is made up of tiny, oftentimes microscopic, flakes of skin and is found on animals with fur or feathers. Most people who suffer from allergies to cats and dogs are not allergic to the pet’s hair, but instead the pet’s dander. Dander is produced by most pets and can seriously affect your home’s air quality. This can occur as the dander accumulates and is distributed throughout your home by way of your HVAC system.

The most important step in reducing pet dander in the home is prevention. Regular grooming of your pets is essential to their health and well-being, but it can also make a huge difference in the amount of dander they produce. Clean, well hydrated and moisturized skin will create less dander. Bathe your cat or dog regularly using a gentle, moisturizing soap (as recommended by your veterinarian) and brush your pet’s fur regularly. Adding these simple steps to your pet care routine can go a long way in preventing dander.

Change Your Filter

It’s good practice to change your HVAC system’s air filter regularly to ensure better air quality within your home. If you share your space with pets, change it twice as often as recommended.

Upgrade Your Filter

Even better than simply changing your air filter more frequently is to invest in your home’s air quality by upgrading to a HEPA filter. The benefits of switching to a HEPA filter are numerous. HEPA filters are made of densely packed layers of fibers which can capture ultrafine dust and dirt particles. This type of filter is ranked very high for its effectiveness and can remove approximately 99% of particles from your home’s air.

Clean Your Ducts

Having your home’s ducts cleaned can go a long way in dealing with pet dander. Dander, along with other dirt particles, can get trapped within your ductwork, which is a breeding ground for bacteria and mold. Since your home’s air passes through this ductwork, the trapped dirt, bacteria and mold will get discharged throughout your home each time your HVAC system is turned on. Having your ducts cleaned can eliminate this recirculating dirt and dander.

Seal Your Ducts

If your air ducts have cracks or leaks, this will allow pet dander an easy entryway inside the ductwork, which can majorly affect the quality of the air that passes through your home. After you have your ductwork cleaned, consider also having the ducts sealed to prevent further dirt from accumulating in your home’s ductwork.

We at McCoy's can help with all of your indoor air quality needs. Check out our offered services, and give us a call today to learn more about how we can help improve your home’s air quality!

Air Purifiers: What They Are, How They Work & Benefits of Owning One

How Indoor Air Purifiers Work

Air purifiers use a system of internal fans to pull the air in your home through a series of filters that remove harmful airborne particles like dust, pollen and bacteria. The air purifier then circulate the purified air back into the room. This process repeats itself several times an hour, keeping your environment healthy.

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Why Do You Need An Air Purifier?

If you don’t think an air purifier is a right choice for your home; here are 10 reasons to reconsider:

  1. Air purifiers ensure your family is breathing clean air.  The EPA estimates that indoor air is two to five times dirtier than outdoor air — and sometimes up to 100 times dirtier. A good air purifier keeps you healthy.

  2. Air purifiers remove unpleasant odors.  You love to cook, but your weekly fish fry makes the house smell like, well, fish. Air purifiers don’t only clean the air, they also help get rid of unpleasant and burnt food odors (not that you ever burn your food!).

  3. Air purifiers trap airborne allergens released by pets.  You may love your pet, but your furry friend releases pet dander, fur, and other airborne allergens into the air in your home — not to mention the smells! Air purifiers help combat these allergens by trapping them before they settle into your home.

  4. Air purifiers help neutralize smoke.  Smoke stinks. Whether it’s a family member who smokes or your love for a roaring fireplace making your home smell dingy, an air purifier can help trap smoke before it ends up in your upholstery.

  5. Air purifiers trap dust.  There will always be dust. No matter what you do to keep your home clean, dust accumulates. An air purifier helps trap dust before it has the chance to settle, reducing build-up and leaving you with less to clean.

  6. Air purifiers remove up to 99 percent of airborne bacteria.   Small airborne particles like pollen, mold spores and other bacteria floating around in the air, causing your family to get sick. By cycling the air in the room repeatedly through internal filters, an air purifier helps remove up to 99 percent of these airborne pollutants.

  7. Air purifiers combat seasonal allergens.   Seasonal allergies are a problem for many people. Air purifiers help keep the allergens that make breathing uncomfortable out of your home.

  8. Air purifiers stop sickness and germs from spreading.  Worried about catching your children’s flu? Your spouse’s cold? True HEPA air purifiers with UV bulbs capture and neutralize up to 99.97 percent of the airborne germs that you want to avoid.

  9. Air purifiers keep your lungs healthy.  Consistent exposure to dust, pollen, dander, and other airborne particles can cause long-term breathing and health issues for you and your family. Using an air purifier in your home gives you the confidence that your lungs will be healthy for years to come.

  10. Air purifiers fit everywhere.  They come in a variety of sizes and have a variety of features that will keep the air healthy in any room of the house.

With features like oscillating fans, multiple speeds, and energy saving settings, air purifiers are the perfect low-cost option for keeping your family healthy. Call us today for more information about getting an air purifier for your home.

Summer HVAC Maintenance Tips

Summer is in full swing! Summer cookouts, holiday parties and more are coming soon, and your cooling system needs to be operating smoothly to keep your guests comfortable – not to mention keep your home at safe temperatures when outdoor temperatures skyrocket throughout the summer!

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With these HVAC maintenance tips, you’ll know exactly how to care for your cooling system throughout the Summer. If you need help completing any of these tasks, contact us for expert assistance at 731-668-7492!

HVAC Maintenance Steps

Check your air filter. During periods of heavy cooling system use, the filter should be inspected monthly to make sure it has not become full of contaminants. You may find it necessary to replace it sooner than the 3-month mark during these times, so have a replacement ready just in case.

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Inspect all registers and return air grilles in your home to ensure they have not been blocked or shut. These vents should never be blocked, as doing so will restrict airflow through your HVAC systems, which could create performance issues and system overheating.

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Move all carpets and rugs, furniture, and other items away from vents. Check to see that vent louvers are open; if you wish to shut off cooling to unused areas of your home or building, never close more than 20 percent of the structure’s HVAC vents. If you have many unused areas, consider investing in a zoning system which will allow you to reduce energy waste while facilitating proper HVAC system performance – work with a trusted McCoy's Heating & Air installer to design and install zoning solutions for your home.

Inspect your exterior cooling equipment. Gently brush away any grass clippings and debris which have gathered on the unit. Trim away vegetation that has grown around the unit. Never store outdoor furniture or other items in the area immediately surrounding the unit.

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Inspect your cooling system’s drip pan and condensate drain lines for clogs. If these components become clogged with mold or algae growth, condensation from the cooling process cannot exit your home or building properly. This can cause the cooling system to malfunction, or water to back up indoors, causing water damage.

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If water has backed up, clear clogs within the drip pan or condensate drain lines. Turn off power to the system for safety before doing so. Use a wet/dry vacuum to clear water from the drip pan, or use rags to soak it up. Clean the drip pan using a mild soap. Clear clogs from the condensate drain lines using your wet/dry vacuum.

If you find any problems or need assisting give contact us and one of our trusted and certified technician will come to the rescue. McCoy's Heating & Air serving the West Tennessee area since 1981 and the Jackson Sun's Readers Choice award winner for 10 years in a row

Energy Savings Tips for Your Home Plumbing this Summer

Today blog post is from Crawford Mechanical Services. The change of seasons means longer days, different wardrobe choices, and more Vitamin D for your skin. You also have a lot of things to consider when it comes to getting your home ready for the rising temperatures. To save money, you'll need to seal your windows for insulation, choose energy efficient air conditioners and fans, and watch your water consumption. Here are a few tips to keep in mind when you’re working with your plumbing in the upcoming months. A professional can help you with any or all of these tricks of the trade.

Small Actions, Big Savings

Simple tasks can make a sizable difference in your water bill, but they are often overlooked in the midst of the fun summer activities you’re undoubtedly excited to get into. Check your hoses to make sure they’re tightly closed as they often drip, and ensure your sprinklers are not running at night. Your pipes are all interconnected, so don’t leave any hose on (regardless of what type of nozzle it is) because it can interfere with the hot water in your home.

Water loss adds up quickly over time and McCoy's Heating & Air is here to help you cut your waste down, both for your bill and the environment.

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Thinking Ahead

Call your water company before you start to use your hose to fill your pool. As there’s no drainage, you won’t need to pay sewage costs. Your condensate line for your air conditioner may need a drain cleaning to ensure that it's clear of leaves or other debris, so you won’t overwork your costly appliance.

When you go on vacation, it is recommended that you turn down your water heater on the off-chance you have a leak. You'd still be required to pay the extra cost for the hot water, and it's an easy fix to avoid the risk. Turn your thermostat up as well, so you're not constantly running your air conditioner, but not so much that when you get back the system will have to struggle to cool your house back down.

The Expertise of McCoy's Heating & Air

McCoy's has worked on every type of structure and utility setup, and their techs have certainly picked up the knowledge and experience needed to do the job right along the way. It's easy to think that you already know the state of your energy usage, but these are common pitfalls they have seen happen time and time again. They're here to come to your aid with your plumbing, drain cleaning, and more. Their priority is your trust, and they can advise you on every related topic. With such easy ways to prevent this type of waste, they're here to pass on the best methods for you and your family to save money and avoid hassle before the summer turns out to have more memories than just cookouts and road trips.

5 Summer Plumbing Problems

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Summertime is here and that means temperatures are going to just keep rising. So, make sure you’re fully prepared for possible problems heat can cause to your plumbing. 

AIR CONDITIONING DRAINS

You may know that you should change your air conditioning filter every three months or so, but when was the last time your air conditioning drain was inspected or cleaned? Summer is the perfect time for mold to start growing, and the drain is the perfect spot. Since it is almost always damp throughout the summer months, mold, mildew, and fungus can take up residence in the pan.

Air conditioning issues can also be caused by deposits building up in the drain over time. This can lead to blockages, which are ideal for further mold growth. Leaving growth unchecked can cause mold spores and gasses to enter your home, greatly affecting your indoor air quality and your family’s health.

A blockage can also result in overflow and leakage. With nowhere to go, water will eventually overflow in the pan and can lead to damage to your home.

Having your air conditioning drain cleaned once a year can prevent blockages, leakage, and flooding. Ignoring the issue can result in damage to your home’s walls, air conditioning unit, and flooring, especially if it goes unnoticed for some time.

EXPANDING PIPES AND LOW WATER PRESSURE

It’s not only cold weather that can affect your pipes and cause them to expand. Hot summer weather can make your pipes burst just like winter can! One sign that your pipes might be on the edge is a change in water pressure.

Sometimes low water pressure is just an annoyance—like when there’s not enough flow to wash the sand off of you after a day at the beach—but it could also point to a larger problem. Pressure changes can be caused by leaks, corrosion build-up, and water supply malfunctions. If you’re experiencing lower-than-usual water pressure, it may be time to call a professional.

NO COLD WATER

With rising temperatures, it’s only normal that water temperatures rise as well. If it’s a blistering hot day, you may not get the cool water you desire. To combat this, let your water run for a bit longer than usual to get the cold results you’re looking for.

SHIFTING FOUNDATIONS

Did you know that hot weather can actually cause the ground to move? Shifting foundations and cracking ground can affect your home and your plumbing by putting a serious strain on your pipes. They may even expand or contract. Heat can also expand the soil that your pipes sit in, in turn shifting the pipes, often causing them to burst. Droughts can have the same effects. Lack of water causes the soil to contract and sink, taking your pipes along for the ride. If your home is experiencing major changes in its foundation, you’ll likely see cracks in the walls, especially in the corners.

You can help the soil by watering or placing plants around the perimeter of the foundation. Plants can help moderate the temperature of the soil while also holding the ground together more effectively with roots.”

CLOGGED TOILETS

June, July, and August mean the kids are home for the summer! It can also mean more friends and family visit for BBQs and the Fourth of July. This leads to an increase in bathroom use and, sadly, can tend to lead to clogged toilets.

Regularly check how your toilet flushes and have a good look at the base. This can reveal signs of water damage, stains, and rolled vinyl, which are all evidence of a leak. Make sure to have a trash can in your bathroom as well to make sure your guests don’t throw paper towels, sanitary items, and more into the toilet.

DISCOVERING LEAKS

It’s very important to report the leak to a professional plumber as soon as it is discovered.

Check your yard and home regularly for any signs of excess water. Soft floors, warped cabinets, and washing machine hose ruptures are all signs of a leak. Also, make sure to monitor your water bill for any inconsistencies.

If you’re unsure whether a leak has occurred, try turning off the water in your home, and record the water meter. After a few hours, check the meter again. If the usage has increased, that may be evidence of a leak.

For major leaks, turn off your water, and contact a professional as soon as possible. Allowing any leak to run free can result in extensive damage to your walls, appliances, flooring, yard, basement, and more.

HVAC Maintenance Tips for Summer

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Your HVAC system works hard all summer to keep your home nice and cool. It could use a helping hand from time to time to function at peak efficiency and to help prevent system malfunctions. While many tasks should be reserved for your HVAC technician, there are plenty of easy summer HVAC maintenance chores you can do that make a big difference.

Outdoor HVAC Unit

The outdoor portion of your HVAC system contains the compressor, condenser, fan and electrical parts. Like your indoor air handler and vents, the outdoor unit needs free airflow. Keep the landscaping around the air conditioner clear of obstructions that restrict airflow.

Evaporator and Drain

On top of or beside your gas furnace sits the evaporator coil. The evaporator is a metal tubing device that circulates very cold refrigerant to extract heat energy from indoor air. The more contact the evaporator has with return airflow, the more efficient it cools your home.

  • Spray the evaporator with a self-rinse foaming coil cleaner.
  • Wait 30 minutes for the cleaner to drip into the condensate pan.
  • Pour a quart of 50/50 bleach and water solution into the pan to wash away the coil cleaner and, more importantly, to wash out and disinfect the pan and drain tube of mold and other micro-organisms.

Air Filter

If you don't use at least a mid-efficiency air filter, do yourself a favor and pick up a box of high-quality filters at your home store. Change the air filter on your HVAC system promptly according to the filter manufacturer suggestion. A dirty filter increases energy usage and puts extra stress on HVAC parts.

Vents and Doors

Clean the air vents and grilles in your home. Make sure they are fully open. If you have rooms that aren't occupied, don't close off the vents nor keep the door closed. This disrupts airflow through your home. Your HVAC system will work more efficiently with all vents and interior doors wide open.

HVAC Service from the Experts

To schedule professional HVAC maintenance or for more DIY tips for your home this summer, please contact McCoy’s Heating & Air today.

How to Landscape the Grounds Around Your A/C Unit

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Many people leave the land around an outdoor air conditioning component bare, with the only greenery being the lawn. This may come from a mistaken idea that this is best for the unit, but that’s not so. If done properly, landscaping around the A/C unit can assist the unit’s performance. Here’s how to landscape the right way.

Provide Shade

Shading the outdoor cooling unit helps it run much more efficiently. The air in and around a shaded A/C is cooler and therefore the system has less work to do than it does when baking under the hot sun. This saves on energy costs and may extend the working life of the air conditioner.

Offer shade via trees or landscape architecture, such as arbors or trellises covered with climbing ivy or similar plants. Just make sure there’s plenty of clearance above to allow for A/C maintenance visits and proper functioning. Plants should be kept three feet away on all sides to allow plenty of room to service the unit when necessary.

Keep the Space Clean and Clear

When choosing plants to add near the outdoor cooling component, don’t use trees or bushes that lose their foliage. The space directly around the A/C needs to be free of debris. Otherwise, this debris can blow into the unit. Planting anything that loses its leaves every fall or drops needles will just cause headaches and extra work.

When doing the actual planting, be careful not to cast dirt toward the air conditioning unit. You don’t want the unit sucking this up. When you’re finished planting, relocate any loose soil or plant debris far away.

Be Mindful of Airflow

Avoid planting thick hedges placed tightly together around the unit. Good airflow to your A/C is essential for optimal operation.

Consider Plants as a Security Feature

Rising copper prices have left A/C units vulnerable to damage and theft from thieves who seek the copper inside. Large hedges that block view of the A/C from the street are one security option.

Easy Summer Plumbing Tips

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The heat is on!  Summer’s rising temperatures often coincide with an increase of water usage, both indoors and outdoors.  It’s estimated that a family’s water usage can increase by 25%-50% during the warmest months of the year.  We are always looking for ways to save some money, so these helpful tips will give your plumbing and water bill a little break:

If you’re vacationing away from your home for several days, turn down your water heater to save energy.  It’s also important to know that the average life of a water heater is anywhere from 8-11 years old.  If you don’t know the age of your system, check the last four digits of the serial number on the tank.  This will show you the month and year it was manufactured.

Another great way to save money and energy while on your vacation is to turn up the temperature of your refrigerator. But if you do turn up your fridge make sure you remove highly perishable foods, like dairy, produce, and meat first.

Make sure to check your ductwork for condensation. This can cause a backup if the drains are not clear. Leaks inseams can also cause condensation. If you notice problems call us today!

Summertime means entertaining family and friends with cookouts and get-togethers, which mean lots of food that could end up in your disposal

  • So be careful what you put down your kitchen disposal after your cookout. Most are not equipped to handle cornhusks, celery, banana peels and other fibrous or “stringy” foods. Some other items to stay away from are fats or cooking oils because they form clogs in the pipes.
  • Make sure you Run cold water at full pressure for 15 seconds before and after you put anything down the disposal to flush it through.
  • And NEVER put instant stuffing, potato mixes or similar “just-add-water” foods down the drain—they’ll create an instant clog when you add water. Pasta, rice, and eggshells should also be avoided.

Does it seem like summer laundry never ends?  Make sure you give your washing machine a break and visually inspect the machine and hoses for bulges, leaks, and cracks. The lifetime of a rubber washing machine hose should be replaced approximately every 3 years. Also, be sure to clean out your dryer lint regularly.

Consider replacing some of your older appliances such as your showerheads, faucets, and toilets with EPA WaterSense products. Click here to see how much you can save annually on your water bill!

Water your lawn at the right time!  It’s suggested that the best time to water lawns and landscapes is in the early morning and evening after the sun goes down.  If you decide to tend to your lawn in the middle of the day, that water can be lost due to evaporation from the heat throughout the day.

Do you have trees planted in your front lawn? Any kind of tree growth can cause roots to make their way to your sewer line in search of water.  If you suspect any damage (ie: sewage backups in your lowest level), give us a call to check your lines.

As it goes every season the best defense to ensuring your plumbing systems are running properly is to schedule annual maintenance inspections and keep on top of your systems before it’s too late, or when you need them most.

Top 10 Reasons You Need to Replace Your HVAC System

There will come a time when you need to replace your HVAC system so we put together a guide to give you an idea when it’s time to contact a professional HVAC company.

If you don't think your HVAC system can make it through another summer call us today at 731-668-7492 to schedule your FREE ESTIMATE and see how you can qualified for 0% financing for 60 months on new unit installations.

5 Steps To Take To Prepare Your HVAC System For Summer

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Summer is less than a month away. It’s heating up outside and pretty soon you’ll be turning on your air conditioner to full blast. In order to be well prepared for high temperatures, here are 5 steps you can take to prepare your HVAC system for summer:

General HVAC Maintenance
Replace the filter. A dusty filter means your system works harder, cools less and costs more. When you do replace it, decide whether an inexpensive one you need to change every month is a better deal than one of those expensive anti-pollen, anti-cat dander, anti-everything filters you only need to change once every three months. Put a note on your refrigerator as a reminder.

Use a hose to wash away the dust, dead weeds, twigs and the general detritus that blew onto the outside condenser unit during those wild winter storms. Those clogged fins will cost you money.

Check that the duct outlets are open in the rooms you spend a lot of time in, and closed in rooms you don’t need to keep as cool. Why cool the guest bedroom, every day, if you only have guests eating you out of house and home at Thanksgiving?

Check the thermostat to make sure it cycles on and off according to the temperature setting.

Now Get Serious
There are some jobs you cannot do, so call in a professional. Let’s go through them, so you are clear about what you want the professionals to do. It is too easy to pick up the phone and call in the cheapest, fastest or nearest AC repair company. When you understand just enough to ask the right questions, you get the right professional.

The Thermostat
If it’s an older model, it may be dusty, or the internal wiring may be poor. Ask how they will clean and test it. Tell them how old it is, and see if they suggest replacing it with a programmable unit.

Test and Deep Clean
Your professional should test temperature differences at different locations, so ask what, where and why. They should check out and clean the air handler, the drain, and the drip tray. They should make sure your condenser is fully functional, and there is enough Freon, or a more modern coolant, to keep everything working efficiently.

Air Duct Cleaning
Older homes collect dust. Older AC ducts store it. Few things reduce efficiency and raise costs more than dirty ducts. Ask how they test for dust build-up, and how they will do the air duct cleaning if it’s needed. We don't do air duct cleaning, but we can put you in contact with our most trustworthy person. 

We hope you found these tips helpful. Contact McCoy's Heating & Air at 731-668-7492 if you have any questions.

6 Summer Plumbing Problems (and How to Avoid Them)

Summer is for fun—travel, entertaining, relaxing and recharging for the busy fall ahead. Don't let summer plumbing problems spoil your down time! Here are six common (and preventable) situations to watch out for, so you can avoid seeing us this season.

Outdoor fun = indoor mess.

Whether your summer fun involves sand and surf, hiking trails or ATVs, it’s a good bet that it comes with an extra dose of dirt at the end of the day. When you're washing up after your adventures, make sure you keep the worst of it out of your drains. They weren't designed to handle large amounts of sand, gravel, and mud, and could become clogged or damaged.

Instead, hose yourself—and any kids or pets you took with you—off outside and knock the debris from clothes you plan to place in the washing machine. Your drains will thank you!

Some summer foods don't agree with your garbage disposal.

Your garbage disposal works hard year-round, but summer can pose some additional challenges for this tireless tool.

  • Taking advantage of summer fruits and vegetables? Fibrous parts, like corn husks and cobs, celery strings, banana peels and artichokes can jam up your disposal. Hard seeds and pits, including popcorn kernels, can also be a hazard.
  • Grilling out? Be sure guests know not to put bones or fat down your garbage disposal, if you want to keep it running its best.

Summer is your sprinkler system's busiest season.

If you had your sprinkler system inspected this spring, after winter’s disuse, you’re a step ahead in keeping it in working order throughout the summer. But, there are still a few things to look out for:

  • Watch where you’re mowing. Aboveground sprinkler heads are easily damaged by mower blades (and vice versa).
  • Prevent pet damage. Tubing and other interesting bits of plastic may be tempting chew toys!

Is Spot a summer shedder?

Some dogs (and most cats) shed all year, while others grow a bulky winter coat that sheds in late spring/early summer. Whatever your breed’s schedule, you’ll want to prevent all that hair from clogging your pipes and causing backups.

  • Brush your pet regularly to reduce the amount of hair that hitches a ride on your clothes and linens and into your washing machine—or into your tub drain during the next bath.
  • Avoid bathing a pet in the bathtub if you can. If you can't, make sure to trap fur and debris before it goes down the drain. There are devices on the market that can help with this.
  • Pre-rinse especially dirty pets. A fur coat can pick up a lot of gravel, sand, and mud!

Make sure your travel plans include time for plumbing prep.

If you have summer travel planned, make sure your home is ready for it—especially if you're going to be away for weeks (or, lucky you) months at a time.

  • Arrange to have a trusted friend or neighbor check in on your house and make sure everything is ok. Even an absence of a couple of days could lead to a big and costly mess if a leak goes undetected.
  • Check your water-using appliances for loose or cracked hoses, leaks or other malfunctions.
  • Turn your water heater down to its low, pilot or vacation setting. No need to waste energy heating water that won't be used!
  • If you’ll be away for an extended amount of time, consider turning off your water main and hot water heater and draining your pipes and tank.
  • Empty the dishwasher and washing machine and leave them open to air. While you're at it, make sure your garbage disposal and plumbing traps are clean. That way, you won't be coming home to musty, unpleasant odors.
  • Make sure all indoor and outdoor taps are completely off.
  • If your irrigation system is on a schedule, make sure it will run as desired while you're away.

When it rains, it pours—into your basement.

Heavy summer rainfall can overwhelm your gutters and other drainages. If basement flooding is a problem in your home, there are a couple of things you can do to mitigate the damage.

  • Install a sump pump to collect and dispel any water that collects in your basement. If you already have one, make sure it’s in good condition.
  • Keep your gutters, downspouts and other drainage systems clear of debris.
  • Consider having a professional look at your property's grading. You may need to shift some earth or add more drainage to keep water away from your foundation.

We hope these tips will help you avoid common summer plumbing problems, but if you do need service or repair, we’re just a phone call away: 731-668-7492!

Best Time to Buy a New HVAC System

Your air conditioner is a vital part of your West Tennessee home during the summer, but it's also a big investment. Of course, you want to get the most for your money, which is why you should buy a new air conditioner when you can get the best deal. If you plan well, you can get a good price on a new HVAC system.

Right Before Summer

Although you probably won't find the lowest prices on HVAC systems during the summer, if your system is old, it might be worth the additional cost to install early in the season. If your technician sees a major issue during your preventive maintenance check, you don't want to go through the summer wondering if your system will last. Also, when your system is old or inefficient, you will likely see a spike in your utility bills. While the initial costs of a preseason installation might not be ideal for your budget, it could save you a lot of money over the course of the summer.

End of Summer

While it may seem counterintuitive to buy a new system after you need it, there are significant savings involved if you buy a new system after summer. Just like stores have massive after-Christmas sales, many HVAC companies and manufacturers offer sales and rebates on units and installation after peak season. If you can stand to wait out the summer without upgrading your system, you could see some significant savings on a new unit.

Shoulder Months

During the winter, HVAC companies are busy repairing and replacing furnaces and heat pumps, and during summer, is the peak season for air conditioners. The shoulder months of these seasons when the weather is milder tend to be a slow time for HVAC companies. Consider shopping during these shoulder months when you may find specials on installations.

If it's time to upgrade your HVAC system, we are the experts you need to call. Contact McCoy's Heating & Air at 731-668-7492 to speak with an experienced professional today. We are currently offering 0% FINANCING FOR 60 MONTHS on New Unit Installations. The offer will expire on June 15, 2018.