It’s early morning, you’re standing by the sink getting ready for the day ahead, and then you notice: the water isn’t draining. We’ve all had that moment; the one where we come to the dreaded realization that the drain is clogged. Is the world going to come to an end? No, it won’t. However, drains aren’t meant to be clogged and when they are, it is a nuisance that can lead to more serious problems down the road. Here at McCoy’s HVAC, we want to help you understand the reasons your drains are clogging.
Some of the popular fall activities include apple and pumpkin picking, looking at foliage, and going on hayrides. Unfortunately, fall doesn’t only mean fun. Making sure your home is ready for winter and dealing with dropping temperatures is another common fall event. Here are some common fall HVAC problems you should be aware of.
Oh, fall. The changing colors, the falling leaves, the scarves and mittens, the pumpkin carvings and the pumpkin lattes. It’s a glorious season to breathe the crisp air, bundle up and enjoy the beautiful outdoors.
Despite the extra cost, time, and care that go into keeping a pet in our homes, for pet owners that love their animals, having a pet or two is a large part of what makes a home a home. Even so, knowing how to properly care for your home when living with pets is part and parcel of being a responsible pet and homeowner—and that includes our HVAC systems, which can often be overlooked when it comes to pet care and maintenance.
At McCoy’s Heating and Air Conditioning, we’re experts in HVAC system repair, maintenance, and installation. We’ve helped countless homeowners with animals extend the life of their units while keeping their pets safe at home, and can help you learn what you can do to take better care of your HVAC system. To get started, take a look at these tips and tricks for keeping your climate control system running at peak efficiency throughout the year from our team of experts at McCoy’s Heating and Air Conditioning.
Keeping Fur, Dander, and Dirt Out of Your System
Living with dogs, cats, rabbits, and other animals inside your house can also mean living with fur, dander, and dirt, as well. This is bad news for your air ducts, which can become clogged and contaminated with the extra debris.
Whether your pet sheds a lot or hardly at all, make sure to bathe and brush your pet often to minimize the dirt, dander, and other allergens that can infiltrate your home. You should also take care to vacuum carpets, sweep and mop floors, and dust your furniture on a very regular basis to keep the stray hairs, dirt, and other substances from making their way into your HVAC system’s air ducts.
Your pet can only stay as clean as the surrounding environment it lives in. Finally, your system does not need to work as hard when you’re not around. Your pets can handle a larger temperature range more effectively, which allows for your HVAC to not work as hard.
Replace Your Filters Regularly
Part of the maintenance you’ll need to do to keep your HVAC system free of pet hair and dander is to replace your HVAC filter on a regular basis. Debris, dander, fur, and other small particles get caught in the filters, which blocks the airflow through the vents. Replacing your HVAC filter every so often will ensure that your air conditioning unit is functioning at high performance all year round while enhancing the energy efficiency of your home.
Have Your Air Ducts Cleaned
The last thing to touch on is getting your ducts cleaned. Air duct cleaning is a complicated process and is best handled by professional repair and maintenance companies. McCoy’s Heating and Air don’t clean air ducts, but we can set you up with a company we completely trust. Proper maintenance, including air duct cleaning, repairs, and other services are essential for the health of your HVAC system and can keep your unit functioning at top capacity now and well into the future, whether you have pets on the property, or not.
Getting Clean with McCoy’s Heating and Air Conditioning
Making sure your HVAC system is performing at optimum levels while keeping your pet safe is important. That’s why we make sure that our highly trained technicians stay up-to-date on the most effective techniques for repairing, cleaning, and maintaining air conditioning units of all kinds, in homes with pets and without.
Since 1981, McCoy’s Heating and Air Conditioning has served our customers with a comprehensive range of quality services for HVAC systems in Jackson and surround communities. We specialize in providing superior solutions to solve a variety of problems homeowners may have with their systems, including the problems that homeowners face when living with pets inside their homes.
If you’d like to learn more tips on keeping your HVAC system clean with pets at home, let us know. Give us a call now at 731-668-7492 to speak with a CSR about our HVAC services, or schedule all your HVAC services and FREE estimate on our app.
Today’s blog post is from Allergy & Air, and it is all about a dehumidifier. If you commonly get allergies, you know that they can get rather miserable at times. When you live in a humid climate, there are many triggers for these things—dust mites, mold, mildew, and seasonal allergies. If you find that you are suffering a lot, a good dehumidifier can help–in more ways than one. Here are some benefits of a dehumidifier and how to choose the right one for you.
Allergy Triggers thrive in Humidity:
Many of the most common allergy triggers, especially dust mites, mold, and mildew, thrive in humid environments. Whether you live in a humid climate, or you just have a living space that tends to be more humid, you may be suffering from these things. Small living spaces with limited ventilation, such as bathrooms or kitchens in a small apartment or basement apartments, are common areas where moisture can build up, even in dry climates.
Some of the most common reactions to allergy triggers include:
Itchy, watery eyes
Sneezing, wheezing, or difficulty breathing
Skin rashes and other irritation
Mold allergies are also a significant contributor to childhood asthma, which can be a debilitating and costly disease for children who develop it at a young age.
Benefits of a Dehumidifier:
There are several benefits to getting a dehumidifier in your home, basement, apartment, or office space.
Dehumidifiers reduce humidity levels, making your home less hospitable to allergens such as dust mites, mold, and mildew.
They are not disruptive to your daily life and run quietly and efficiently in the background without most people even noticing.
Dehumidifiers help reduce odors that can accompany mold and mildew in your home—getting rid of that “musty” or “rotting” smell.
These devices help to reduce the possibility that you will develop mold on your clothing, furniture, and other linens (such as curtains or bedsheets).
Dehumidifiers reduce irritation to your skin and your respiratory system, allowing you to breathe easier and feel comfortable in your home.
A less humid environment in your home means clothing will dry faster, bread and cereals will remain fresh longer without getting stale, and you won’t find signs of rust or corrosion on things like computer equipment, electronics, and tools.
Running a dehumidifier helps reduce dust in your home, so you won’t have to clean as often.
A dehumidifier also lowers energy costs because it helps your air conditioner run more efficiently. When the air in your home is more humid, the A/C must do the function of cooling the air and removing moisture, which means it has to work harder. This also causes your A/C to wear out sooner, which means you will need to replace and repair it more often.
Signs You Need a Dehumidifier:
In addition to suffering from constant symptoms of allergies, you may want to consider a dehumidifier if you have some obvious signs of high humidity in certain rooms or areas of your home, including:
Water stains on the walls or ceilings of your home
High humidity rooms with poor ventilation or no ventilation (especially in areas like bathrooms that have no windows)
Frequent condensation on the windows in certain areas of your home
Small black spots (mold spores) growing on the walls or in areas with high humidity, such as the bathtub or shower
Must or mildew smells
You may also want to consider a dehumidifier if you live in an apartment building, since mold and mildew spores can travel through ventilation systems, and can build up in the walls between apartments. Even if you keep your living area clean, these allergens from other areas of the building can be harmful to yours and your family’s health.
Choosing a Dehumidifier
There are several different options when it comes to dehumidifiers, and the one you choose depends on the space in which you plan to use it, as well as the humidity levels. There are small capacity models for a single small room, large capacity models for larger areas such as a large room, basement, or an apartment, and there are whole-house models available as well if you live in a very humid climate, you suffer from significant allergies, or you have a large home. For more specific and unique needs, consider purchasing a dehumidifier with special features.
Getting a dehumidifier can help you live a healthier, happier life, so if you are suffering from allergies and other symptoms, the answer to the question of whether you should own a dehumidifier is probably yes. Find out more about the different models and options available, and see which one will fit your budget and help you get clean, healthy air in your home.
The calendar says fall is here, but in typical Tennessee fashion, summer doesn’t want to leave. While we may be stuck sweating it out for a while longer, now is the best time for a HVAC (Heating, Ventilation & Air Conditioning) system inspection and cleaning.
Preventative maintenance and seasonal cleaning can really benefit the longevity and efficiency of your HVAC system. Even if you haven’t had trouble with your HVAC system, routine maintenance can reduce energy costs, extend equipment life, and prevent costly repairs.
For residential properties, experts recommend doing system maintenance & inspections at least twice a year – in the fall and spring to prepare equipment for the upcoming heating or cooling season.
Commercial properties, on the other hand, need to factor in the size of the property, the needs of the facility, and the age/type of system/equipment to determine HVAC maintenance schedules.
HVAC Maintenance Checklist:
Clean Your System
– Check for any damage or dirt buildup- Dirty equipment, as well as clogged filters, affects efficiency.
– Clean 2 feet of space around any outdoor units.
– Keep AC & Heating Units free of leaves, grass & other debris.
Inspect Your System’s Equipment
– Check refrigerant lines – inspect these monthly when possible.
– Replace system filters – it’s recommenced to replace filters every 90 days.
– Check the building envelope for any air leaks where heat might escape.
– Check that system parts are tight, sealed, and there are no water or gas leaks.
– Inspect or install piping insulation to prevent freezing.
– Ensure any outdoor Units are on firm, level ground.
– Clean AC Condensate drain with a bleach/water mixture.
Review & Adjust System Settings
– Consider installing a programmable thermostat to control when heat comes on.
– If a programmable thermostat isn’t in the cards for you, look into setting a schedule for turning the thermostat down when you leave. For every 1 degree your thermostat is adjusted, you can save 1% on energy bills.
Test It Out
– Once equipment is inspected, cleaned and settings are adjusted – test the system to make sure it’s working properly.
– Ensure the system starts and operates as expected.
– Make sure it powers down when it’s supposed to – including the air handler and exhaust fans as well.
Hire a Professional
It’s a good idea to hire an HVAC company to inspect and do maintenance on your system every fall and spring. They’ll do things like inspect and clean the wiring and mechanisms of the unit, which is bit more challenging for the average homeowner.
Performing service only when a problem occurs isn’t recommended because it does not keep systems running efficiently through heating season. The cost and downtime associated with emergency repairs and service calls often cost way more than a bi-annual maintenance plan.
Sometimes, as a consumer, it’s difficult to determine whether or not you are in need of a plumber. It may be challenging to see the warning signs. However, waiting for emergencies to occur before contacting a plumber could result in higher plumbing costs and unnecessary damage to your property. Those who are more aware of what the warning signs are and when to bring in a plumber can save themselves thousands of dollars, time and inconvenience. If you’d like to stay a step ahead of the game by bringing in a plumber during the early stages of a plumbing problem, then continue reading to find out more. We’ve put together 11 signs to let you know when you need a plumber in the Jackson area.
1. PIPE KNOCKING
If you notice that your pipes are knocking, while you’re taking a shower, while the sink is running or even while you’re filling the bathtub with water, then you know that you’ve got a plumbing problem. This could be due to several issues, which could create an even larger problem if the root cause is not addressed immediately.
Issues such as loose valves in the pipe system, loose support straps, water pressure that is over 16 PSI or other issues can result in your pipes shifting. Pipes that are not properly mounted could bend and create knocking sounds as well. In addition, the water hammer effect, which is the rise in pressure that occurs after a water service has been used and shut off quickly can cause a knocking sound. Whatever the issue, it’s a serious problem that requires the assistance of a qualified and well-trained plumber such as Heritage Plumbing.
2. LOW WATER PRESSURE
If you are experiencing low water pressure, which means the flow of water out of the tap is weak, it could be due to a few different things. For example, there could be a clogged aerator, which can occur when the aerator has not been cleaned and there is residue that could be affecting the water pressure.
However, if this issue occurs in more than one sink, then you could have more serious problems, such as broken or cracked pipes that could be located under the foundation of your home or in the walls of your home. If this is the case, you should notice a leak each time water is used. Cracked or broken pipes that result in leaks can create a huge problem for your home and can be very costly.
3. CONTINUAL DRIPPING
If you experience continual dripping in your sink or shower, it could be due to the water pressure that could be too high, or it could be due to the spare water that remains after your tap has been turned off. If the spare water does not drain properly, it could create ongoing dripping as well.
Another common problem associated with continual dripping is the valve that is controlling the on and off tap settings. This should be checked by a professional plumber. Unfortunately, continued dripping can cause major permanent damage if not addressed immediately.
4. DRIPPING FAUCETS
If your faucet will not stop dripping and drips several times a minute, it could be due to a very minor issue such as loose faucets or shower heads that can sometimes be repaired by tightening the area or by using some plumbers tape or adding a new bracket to the area. However, if that’s not the problem and you’re experiencing more of a steady drip, it could be due to a crack in the pipe. Once pressure builds up in the pipes, that could also cause constant dripping as well.
5. BLOCKAGE IN PIPES
A blockage in your pipe is usually due to debris that has formed and worsened over time. If the drainage is outside of the home, it could become blocked due to debris that has been lodged inside your pipes after a rainstorm (such as dirt, leaves, rubbish, etc.). If the debris form in an older pipe, based on the type of pressure, it could create a puncture and create additional problems. If you suspect your pipe is blocked due to drainage problems or other issues, contact your plumber immediately.
6. COLORED OR RUST WATER
If you notice that you have rust colored water, or any other color other than clear, you have a plumbing issue that requires attention. Even if the water is white or cloudy, that means there is air inside your pipes. Using this water is not healthy.
If the water is yellow, brown or red, you likely have rust inside your pipes, which is a sign that your pipes have aged significantly and need to be replaced. In any case, if your water has a color tint to it, it’s time to call a plumber and fix your pipes.
7. BACK FLOW ISSUE
If you are experiencing back flow issues, it could lend itself to other issues, like a bad odor throughout your house. This could be a sign of larger plumbing problems associated with the sewage system, which would require a specialist to come and clear the sewage area. However, it could also be due to minor problems such as drain pipes that are not ventilated properly or clogging over a sustained period of time. Heavy rainstorms could also cause a backup of water, which could have an impact on your overall sewage system and your pumps.
Plumbing problems that are associated with back up sewage problems are typically major and require the immediate attention of a qualified plumbing specialist.
8. NO WATER IN THE TAPS
If you wake up and discover that you do not have any running water at all, other than just a drip, then you should call a plumber right away. Especially if you discover that your neighbors also have similar problems, it could be due to a major problem that’s difficult to identify without the assistance of a professional plumber.
Depending on what geographical location you live in, you could have a major leak, frozen pipes, back up problems associated with the water main or other issues. What’s important is that you contact a plumber to evaluate the issue right away.
9. WATER COMES OUT BUT DOESN’T GET HOT
If you have running water but it does not get hot, that could be associated with a variety of issues. From something as simple as the hot water being used by another family member after taking a long bath or something more serious such as an issue with your water heater.
Another tell-tale sign that there is a major issue is if the problem persists and happens on a regular basis. A qualified plumber can analyse the problem and determine why there is an issue with the temperature. He will also be able to determine what the issue is associated with and make recommendations accordingly.
10. YOUR PIPE HAVE A BURST
If you have a burst pipe, this could be the result of a major problem that requires your immediate attention. It could be due to frozen pipes that tend to expand by roughly 9% from its original size. In doing so, it expands with a great deal of force, causing additional pressure inside the pipes.
The pressure can take place when ice forms or if there is a weak spot in the pipe. In any case, you may be required to turn off your water at the valve and your electricity so a plumber from Heritage Plumbing can assist you immediately.
11. DRAINAGE PROBLEMS
If you are having drainage issues, there could be a clog in your bathtub or in your sink. This issue will typically worsen over time which will result in even slower drainage problems.
Sometimes it’s difficult to determine what the obstruction could be and in cases where your pipes are older, they could burst due to debris that could be clogging up your drainage. It’s important to address drainage problems as early on as possible before it develops into a more serious issue.
Now that you are more familiar with the warning signs that indicate when you need to bring in a plumber, you should feel a lot more confident and equipped about how to minimize plumbing related problems. In addition, you can also hire a plumber for minor repair work and maintenance services on an ongoing basis to reduce the likelihood of major plumbing problems occurring in the future. Contact McCoy’s Heating & Air Conditioning today for all of your plumbing needs and we’d be more than happy to assist. We can be reached at 731-668-7492.
Here at McCoy’s Heating & Air, we take plumbing seriously. As luxurious as it is to live in the day and age we are in, the amenities in our home can be dangerous if they aren’t maintained. One of the added bonuses we often include in our preventative maintenance are whole home inspections. Not only do we seek to anticipate disasters before they strike, we want to make sure our clients are safe. One of the worst things that can happen in your home, and that we have unfortunately encountered, are carbon monoxide leaks. Today our plumbers are explaining the dangers of carbon monoxide, and how you can avoid serious problems with this life-threatening gas.
Carbon monoxide is an odorless, colorless, and tasteless gas that can lead to poisoning overtime if inhaled. Symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning can happen suddenly, and include: headaches, dizziness, weakness, nausea, vomiting, chest pain, and confusion. If caught in time, these symptoms can be reversed. If not, the effects can be fatal.
Carbon monoxide is a result of the combustion process when fuel is burned. Dangerous leaks can come from your home’s:
Gas Clothes Dryer
Gas Water Heaters
Fireplaces, Wood and Pellet Burning Stoves
So how do you prevent carbon monoxide leaks? The two best ways are to install a carbon monoxide detector, and have your appliances regularly checked and serviced. Carbon monoxide detectors can be individually set up, or linked to one another to create a warning network inside your home. Check batteries regularly for these devices, as they do require changing. Having your appliances regularly inspected is also a great way to protect yourself and your home. With our preventative maintenance plan, you can avoid costly and inconvenient emergency service calls.
Give us a call at (731) 668-7492, and we will be happy to have one of our professional plumbers meet with you to go over the details, and ensure your home is safe.
Want to know some simple things to do to keep your gas furnace running at peak performance levels during the winter? It starts in the fall.
Here are some things you should be doing regularly to ensure that your gas furnace performs at peak operating levels.
Filter. Whether it is winter, spring, summer or fall – regular filter changes are the best way to keep your equipment running properly and keep your air as clean as possible. At the very least, you should change your filter once before the summer cooling season (during the spring) and the winter heating season (during the fall).
Leaves. If you have a heat pump or air conditioner, make sure you keep leaves and debris away from the outdoor component to maintain proper airflow. Improper airflow can result in decreased performance and potential system breakdowns.
Thermostat. Fall can be a roller coaster of a season (in terms of temperature). To decrease utility bills, either stick to your programmed comfort schedule, or (if you don’t have a programmable thermostat) set the temperature and forget about it. Constantly fidgeting with the thermostat can result in higher utility bills.
Cleaning indoors. Fall is another allergy season. It can be tempting to open windows and let in some cooler air. Clean indoors to make sure that dust and allergens from outdoors aren’t settling on your surfaces and lowering indoor air quality.
Maintenance. Make sure you schedule maintenance with your local heating and cooling contractor. This is the best way to ensure proper performance levels throughout the winter.
Here are things a McCoy’s technician will do during a fall preventative maintenance appointment:
Clean. Our technician will clean the burner, heat exchanger and any other component if necessary.
Inspect. They will make sure that your venting system is operating properly.
Check. They will look over your furnace to make sure there aren’t any problems, aren’t any rusty spots or leaks, and make sure that the electric system is in tip-top shape.
Remember, HVAC systems (particularly gas furnaces) require the skills of a professional for proper maintenance, installation and repairs. ALWAYS contact a heating and air conditioning specialist for any furnace problems.
So, what do you do to make sure your gas furnace stays in proper working order?
Old buildings are beautiful, but they are often riddled with infrastructure problems, such as aging pipes. By keeping an eye on signs of plumbing problems, you can fix the issue before it leads to expensive water damage.
There are miles of piping inside of our walls, floors, and ceilings, giving us access to clean water while taking away waste we don’t want. And they are working 24/7, even when we’re sleeping.
Unfortunately, we tend to forget about all the pipes inside and underneath our homes. But if they don’t receive adequate attention, you’ll soon be forced to take notice. Think wet spots, mold, low water pressure, and cracked and busted pipes.
Plumbing maintenance from a team of professionals can routinely assess your plumbing systems for any signs of premature failure, but it’s important to know how to recognize the signs of an aging or failing plumbing system yourself.
One small failure, such as a pipe leak, can permanently damage the foundation and original structure as well as valued possessions, such as art, musical instruments, and furniture. Six signs of an aging plumbing system in need of repair or replacement include:
1. Age and Type of Your Pipes
Different pipe materials have different lifespans. You can expect PVC and brass pipes to last 40 to 70 years, while copper pipes have an average lifespan of around 50 years. Galvanized steel pipes, on the other hand, have a life of about 20 to 50 years. Keep in mind that these are general estimates and depend on a variety of factors, such as the hardness of your water.
2. Discolored Water
The water that comes out of your pipes should be clear. If you notice any discoloration in your water, such as brown, yellow, green, or any other color, it could be coming from the city’s pipes or your home’s pipes. Speak with a professional plumber to learn the cause of your discolored water.
When pipes age, whether on the city side or the homeowner side, water can leech rust, sediment, and minerals from the pipes. Cloudy water can indicate excess air within the pipes. Yellow and brown water usually indicates rust, while green tints are caused by extension corrosion in copper pipes. If you notice green-colored water, contact a professional plumber right away — your pipes are in a serious state of degradation.
If you have a lot of scaling and mineral stains around your plumbing fixtures, you may have hard water that can be rectified with a water softener. If the discolored water turns out to be a problem on the city side, you can install a whole-house water filtration system to remove excess rust, sediment, and other contaminants.
If the problem turns out to be homegrown, you may need to replace your aging pipes with copper pipes, which don’t rust. Not only will this clear up your water, it will also prevent things like burst pipes before they cause extensive water damage to the home.
3. Discolored Pipes
Every once in a while, take a look at your exposed pipes to see if there are any signs of corrosion, rust, or flaking metal. If you see any signs of discoloration around your pipes, there could be a leak or something more serious.
4. Soggy or Green Patches in the Yard
One sign of a sewer line leak is if you have a patch of yard that’s a lot greener than the surrounding areas. Leaking sewer lines can cause permanent soggy spots in the yard as well. Sometimes invasive tree roots cause these leaks, but often it’s the result of corrosion and degrading materials from old age.
If you suspect a leaking sewer line, contact a professional plumber right away to avoid any further damage.
5. Bubbling, Peeling Paint
If you start to notice the paint on your wall or ceiling bubbling and peeling, it’s almost always the result of moisture. This can come from a leaking roof or plumbing system. You may also notice brown spots, blistering, and discoloration. Contact a professional plumber right away to investigate the cause.
6. Rising Water Bills
One way you can tell if you have a plumbing leak is if your water bill starts to rise without any obvious reason. Even small leaks can cause extensive damage. If you suspect a leak in your plumbing system, contact a professional to find the leak and fix it.
Aging plumbing systems should be replaced before problems develop. If you have any questions about the status of your plumbing system, contact McCoy’s Heating & Air for inspection, repairs, or replacement. We can use non-invasive technology, such as pipe bursting and epoxy coating to replace your pipes with hardly any disruption to your home or routine.
Don’t wait for a plumbing emergency — contact us today to schedule an appointment with one of our expert plumbers in the Jackson Tennessee area.
When it comes to maintaining your home’s plumbing system, you don’t have to feel like you’re looking for a needle in a haystack. There are ten areas you should check when you are maintaining your home’s plumbing system.
1. WATER LEAKS
Check for signs of water leaks around all exposed pipes, including under sinks, the water heater, central A/C unit and underneath your refrigerator.
2. WATER STAINS
Check for water stains on floors and walls where pipes run inside. Even small patches of water could indicate a bigger leak inside the wall. Also check for water stains on tub and shower gypsum, where the pipes are behind the tile.
3. LAUNDRY FLOOR
Check your laundry area floor. Water collected under your washer and dryer could indicate the appliance itself is leaking or overflowing, but it could indicate a bigger problem, such as a septic system blockage.
4. WATER QUALITY
Test your water. You’ll be able to find out if microbes are infiltrating your water supply, if your water is too hard, or if sediment is getting into your water.
Look for corrosion. Corrosion presents itself as pinholes in copper lines caused by acidic water, or green, yellow or orange stains on copper and brass pipes and fittings at connection joints and shutoff valves.
6. WATER PRESSURE
Check water pressure. Use a tool to make sure you’re getting the water pressure recommended for your system.
7. FAUCET HEADS
Unscrew faucet heads. Look for sediment in the filters and remove as necessary to ensure proper flow.
Monitor drainage. Slow drainage could indicate an obstructed pipe. Gurgling noises can either be a vent problem or a temporary clog.
Check flushes. Toilets should flush smoothly. If not, consider when the last time you had your septic cleaned.
Look for cracks. Cracks in tile around sinks, tubs and showers allow water to slowly seep through. Fill with waterproof caulking or replace tile.
Maintaining your home’s plumbing system in Jackson, Tennessee areas isn’t too difficult, but repairs can be. If you discover a potential problem, don’t hesitate to call in the professionals at McCoy’s Heating & Air for more information or to schedule an appointment.
It sure is a relief to arrive to a cool and comfortable home when it's hot and sticky outside. Though, if you find yourself hot under the collar when you see high cooling bills, use these 10 ways to increase air conditioner efficiency and give your pocketbook some relief this summer.
The wind-chill effect produced by ceiling fans can help you feel four to six degrees cooler. Set your fans so that airflow blows toward the floor, and turn up your thermostat a few degrees to reduce cooling costs.
Mechanical ventilation helps remove heat and moisture from your attic space. Attic ventilation will substantially lower the temperature in upstairs bedrooms, reduce the cooling load and also help prevent ice dams on your roof during the heating months.
The federal Energy Star program states that the average home may increase air conditioner efficiency by up to 20 percent, and sometimes more, by sealing and insulating air ducts. Wrap metal tape around loose and leaky duct connections, and wrap fiberglass insulation around uninsulated ductwork.
Sealing and Insulation
Do you feel drafts near windows and doors? Silicone caulk and weatherstripping work wonders for blocking drafts, increasing air conditioner efficiency and your comfort. Use foam weatherstripping to seal your attic hatch. Check the insulation levels in your attic. If you can see the tops of the joists, add more fiberglass insulation rolls.
A dirty air filter makes your air conditioner work harder to circulate airflow. Filter obstructions can also cause ice accumulation on the evaporator. Check your filter each month during peak usage, and consider using a high-efficiency filter to increase air conditioner efficiency.
Schedule professional maintenance each spring season with your HVAC pro. Running system diagnostics and deep cleaning will help your air conditioner last longer and run more efficiently.
At McCoy’s Heating & Air, our goal is to help our customers in the West Tennessee area learn more about energy and home comfort issues — especially HVAC and plumbing issues — so that they can save money and live in healthier, more comfortable homes.
Having a central air conditioning system or window unit helps keep your home cool in summer, but the cost of running these can be high, especially during heat waves. You can lower your energy use and utility bills by putting your ceiling fans to use. These fans can provide you with improved cooling efficiency, even on the hottest summer days.
Use fans in occupied rooms only. Ceilings fans will keep you and your family cool, but they don’t actually lower the temperature in a room. Save energy by only running these fans in rooms that are occupied. Shut them off when you leave the room.
Run fans in a counterclockwise direction in summer. When it’s hot out, make sure your ceiling fans are running in this direction, which will produce a draft that helps you stay cool. When it’s cold out, you can run your fans in a clockwise direction to help push warm air down into the room.
Turn your thermostat up. Ceiling fans provide enough cooling efficiency to allow you to increase the temperature on your thermostat while still feeling comfortable. In fact, you should be able to turn your thermostat about 4 degrees higher in summer when you have ceiling fans running.
Choose fans with larger blades. If you’re having new ceiling fans installed, consider choosing fans with larger blades. These blades are able to cool you off more when fans are on a slower setting, since they’re big enough to move a larger amount of air around.
Switch to energy-efficient ceiling fans. If you have older ceiling fans, save energy by installing ones that are certified by the federal Energy Star program instead. These fans typically move air about 20 percent more efficiently than regular ceiling fans.
At McCoy’s Heating & Air Conditioning, our goal is to help our customers in the West Tennessee area learn more about energy and home comfort issues — especially HVAC and plumbing issues — so that they can save money and live in healthier, more comfortable homes.
This summer has been hot, muggy weather and high electric bills, and unfortunately it is not going away any time soon. As summer temperatures continue to break records, so do our energy bills. While there are many solutions for cutting cooling costs, most options are quite expensive. Not everyone can invest in solar panels, new energy-efficient appliances, and other fancy equipment. Keep in mind, however, that these energy-saving devices usually pay for themselves over the course of their lifespan. Luckily, you can significantly cut cooling costs by simply changing some habits and becoming more efficient.
According to the U.S. Energy Department, you can raise the thermostat 4 degrees without feeling a difference in comfort if you are in a room with a ceiling fan. In the winter, you can flip the black switch at its base to reverse the blades and push down warm air from the ceiling. Ceiling fans only cost about 2 cents per hour to run, much lower than what it costs to use your air conditioner. You can also use floor fans, table fans, window fans, and fans mounted to walls. The wind-chill effect makes us feel cooler without actually cooling the room, so make sure you turn off fans before leaving the room. Use bathroom exhaust fans when bathing or showering to help remove unwanted heat and humidity.
COOK AND RUN LARGE APPLIANCES DURING COOLER HOURS
Run your ovens, washers, dryers, dishwashers, and other heat-producing appliances during the cooler hours of the day. Consider cooking your meals ahead of time so you aren’t cooking as much in the daytime. Here are 50 cold food recipes for hot weather days. When cooking, use the range hood to clear the kitchen of heat and humidity.
USE A PROGRAMMABLE THERMOSTAT AND SET IT AS HIGH AS IS COMFORTABLE
If you don’t have a programmable thermostat, consider investing in one. There are several different makes and models to choose from, but they all add the advantage of being able to automatically set the temperature for different days and times of the week. Learn how to use your programmable thermostat properly for maximum energy savings. According to the Energy Department, you can save around 10% a year on heating and cooling costs by simply setting your thermostat back 7°–10°F for 8 hours a day from its normal setting. Just make sure that your thermostat isn’t near any heat sources, such as sunlight, lamps, and appliances. You may also be interested in smart thermostats and thermostats with Wi-Fi capabilities. These thermostats allow you to control the temperature of your home using a smartphone or other internet-connected device. Consider upgrading some other things in your home, including light bulbs, locks, and homeowners insurance.
SEAL AIR LEAKS
Learn how to find air leaks around your doors, window, and where utilities enter the home. The three most common ways to find air leaks are: Visual inspection – look for visible holes, gaps, and cracks. Physical inspection – use a lit incense stick/smoke pencil, thin piece of toilet paper, or your hand to feel for drafts and air movement around suspected leaks. Energy audit – A certified technician will conduct a thorough and comprehensive assessment of your home’s energy use, examining each and every room as well as your past utility bills. A blower door test will pressurize the inside of the building in order reveal even the smallest of leaks. Additionally, thermographic scans and infrared photography can show exactly where you are losing the most energy. When you find an air leak, you can most likely seal it with caulk or weatherstripping. The most common air leaks can be found in your attic, basement, garage, and ductwork.
KEEP WINDOWS AND DRAPES CLOSED ON HOT, SUNNY DAYS
Use light colored blinds and drapes to reflect the sun’s rays away from your home. You may also want to buy window solar screens, which block up to 90% of the sun’s heat-producing rays. Another option for blocking solar rays is with operable window coverings, such as shades, blinds, curtains or shutters. Learn more about window treatments for energy savings.
MAINTAIN YOUR AIR CONDITIONING SYSTEM
Make sure you are checking your air conditioning filter every 30 days and waiting no longer than 3 months to replace it. If you have an outdoor heat pump, clear away any dirt or debris that may have gathered around it and make sure there is a minimum 24-inch clearance around the entire unit. Periodically spray the outside unit with a garden hose (make sure the unit is turned off first), being careful not to bend any of the sensitive condenser fins. And don’t forget to schedule annual AC maintenance from a qualified technician. In addition to these 6 easy ways to cut your cooling costs, consider signing up for a home maintenance plan for twice-yearly HVAC cleaning, discounts on repairs, and much more. To learn more about the benefits of an HVAC maintenance plan, contact the experts at McCoy’s Heating & Air. We provide the best HVAC and plumbing services in the West Tennessee area since 1981.
If you have ever wondered which is the better thermostat setting for the fan mode, you are probably not alone. Though, while not affecting indoor temperatures so much like "heat" and "cool" modes, the fan "on" and fan "auto" settings do impact indoor air quality, energy bills and more.
Thermostat Fan Settings
The fan setting controls the blower motor after "heat" and "cool" modes turn off. For example, if you have the fan mode in the "auto" position, the blower will turn off when "heat" and "cool" modes end. Or, if "heat" and "cool" modes are not on at all, the fan mode will be off, too.
If you have the fan mode in the "on" position, the blower will continue to run, circulating unconditioned air through your home, after "heat" and "cool" modes come to an end.
Choosing Fan Modes
Consider how the fan mode you choose affects indoor air quality, energy bills and more:
Indoor air quality: The "on" fan mode pulls airflow through the furnace filter when your furnace and A/C are off. This is beneficial if anyone in your home suffers respiratory ailments. Additionally, turn on the fan when you are house cleaning to help remove stirred-up dust from indoor air (i.e. when "heat" and "cool" are not on).
Comfort: During the heating months, the thermostat's "on" mode can help continually circulate indoor air more evenly. Though, this also depends on where your vents are located (i.e. wind-chill effect).
Energy efficiency: Continuous use of the HVAC blower is going to increase your energy bills. The better thermostat setting and alternative to circulating indoor air is to use ceiling fans. Reverse the switch on your ceiling fans so that airflow is pulled up toward the ceiling. Moreover, ceiling fans are quieter and use a fraction of electricity as your HVAC blower.
Have you ever been told to replace both the outdoor heat pump unit and indoor unit, even though only one of them needs replacing. Did you also wonder why the technician suggested to replace both, and question is it really beneficial or just an up-sale?
The short answer is yes. You should replace your indoor air handler at the same time as your outdoor heat pump — or air conditioning unit if it’s that time of year. I know it seems like an extra, unnecessary expense, but let’s look at why:
It is a necessary evil to replace both, here’s why:
1. Matched systems perform better: When outdoor ac units and heat pumps and air conditioning units are designed, they are built to work with a matched indoor unit. This matched system works in tandem to generate optimum efficiency and ideal system performance. Replacing an outdoor air conditioner unit without installing the matching indoor unit will work. However, you are jeopardizing the dependability of both the units and compromising your HVAC system’s efficiency, which may cost more in the long run.
2. Efficiency ratings are based on matched systems: When you purchase a new HVAC unit, the heating and cooling efficiency ratings are based on matched system performance. That means if you bought a heat pump with an 18 SEER rating to help you save money on monthly bills, you won’t realize the full potential of those savings without the matching air handler.
3. Technology has changed: Over the last 20 years, advances in residential HVAC technology have made outdoor and indoor HVAC units better than ever. When it comes to debris filtering, noise levels, and air handling performance, the units today simply outperform those installed in the past. Replacing both your indoor and outdoor units at the same time ensures that your HVAC system is running on the latest technology to make your home comfortable and your family healthy.
4. Replacing both now will save you money long-term: Like I mentioned above, a mixed system will result in poor efficiency, which will cost money on energy bills. But that isn’t the only money replacing just an outdoor unit will cost you. Since most systems are installed as pairs, your indoor unit is probably just as old as your outdoor unit. Additionally, if your heat pump or air conditioner is 10 years old, it’s time to replace it anyway. If you choose to replace only the outdoor ac unit, you’ll probably have to spend the money to replace the indoor unit shortly thereafter, and that means paying installation costs twice. Replacing both ensures you will have an efficient, dependable system for a longer period of time.
5. New units mean new warranties: Purchasing new HVAC equipment means a new manufacturer’s warranty and service guarantee when your equipment is installed. If you only replace your outdoor unit, your indoor unit’s warranty may expire before your outdoor unit’s. Additionally, some manufacturers may not extend full warranty coverage to an outdoor heat pump or air conditioner that is not attached to the matching indoor equipment. Replacing both the outdoor air conditioner unit or heat pump and the indoor unit allows you to breathe easy knowing that your entire HVAC system is covered for the same period of time. Right now we are offering FREE 10 years parts & labor warranty if you purchase a complete York system before August 31, 2019.
I know replacing just the outdoor unit might appear cheaper right now, but long term, it will only cost more money. Replacing both units at the same time may seem like a more costly option, but a matched design system will run more efficiently, perform better, and last longer, delivering cost savings well beyond the extra expense.
The summer season means extra work for your HVAC system because as the temperature rises, homeowners across West Tennessee are turning their air conditioning up to full blast. The best time for HVAC maintenance is before the extreme temperatures hit, so I’ve compiled a few energy-saving tips to keep in mind.
Ensure the outdoor unit has room to breathe: The warmer weather begins many great things, but it also brings weeds and overgrown vegetation if you aren’t careful. Make sure to keep vegetation at least two feet away from your outdoor unit so it can efficiently pull in air.
Clean/change your air filter: Air filters that become clogged with dirt or are overdue for replacement make it harder for your HVAC unit to work well. Keeping your air filter clean can help lower your unit’s energy consumption!
Seal heating/cooling ducts and open spaces: Make sure that your doors and windows are sealed properly so that when they are shut there is no extra space letting the cool air out. The less cool air that escapes your home, the less energy you’ll waste on the air conditioner. Also, keeping drapes and blinds closed to keep out direct sun helps to keep the house cooler longer.
Find the sweet spot with your thermostat: Set your thermostat to your ideal temperature – not any colder. Setting it to a temperature colder than desired doesn’t cool your house down any quicker, but instead keeps the unit working longer than necessary. Also, avoid placing heat producing appliances next to the thermostat – this can cause it to read the room temperature higher than it actually is.
Now that your HVAC system is ready, here’s to a great summer!
Sunny summer days are almost here! Rising temperatures often lead to increased water usage both indoors and out. During summer months, an average family’s water bill can go up anywhere from 25-50%. If big utility costs and pesky plumbing problems aren’t part of your summer plans, take action with these preventative maintenance tips from McCoy’s Heating & Air plumbing pros:
1. Going on vacation? Turn DOWN your water heater to about 120 F to save energy. It’s one easy way to lower your utility bills while you’re relaxing away from home. On the flip side…
2. Turn UP the temperature of your refrigerator. Of course, first be sure to remove perishable foods like produce, meat, and dairy.
3. When hosting backyard BBQs, be mindful of what goes down the kitchen disposal. Most disposals have a tough time processing fibrous food like celery or banana peels, and can lead to disastrous plumbing problems. Also avoid fats and cooking oils because they can cause stubborn clogs in your pipes. Same goes for eggshells and cornhusks – don’t let them go down the drain! If a troublesome item does get by, go ahead flush it by running cold water at full pressure for 10-15 seconds.
4. Say goodbye to annoying bug bites by eliminating ANY standing water in your yard – even puddles have the power to attract disease-bearing insects (and mold!).
5. Go green. Ask McCoy’s how to capture grey water or rainwater for your garden during the hottest months out of the year. Many of these systems quickly pay for themselves.
6. Store your garden hose properly with the nozzle pointed down and disconnect them when not in use.
7. Tend to your trees. Any kind of tree growth can cause roots to make their way up to your sewer line in search of water, causing plumbing problems. If you’re experiencing sewage backups, give us a call! We’ll help you determine what’s causing the damage. All too often, trees are the root cause.
8. Know how old your water heater is to prevent surprise repair or replacement costs. The average water heater typically last 10 years. You can determine the age of your water heater by simply checking the last four digits of the serial number on the tank. This will show you the month and year it was manufactured.
9. Adventures in the great outdoors can mean loads more laundry. Get in the habit of removing dryer lint with every cycle – and never leave home while the washer or dryer are running.
10. Know what’s up with your washing machine hose. On average, a rubber washing machine hose needs to be replaced every three years. If you can see cracks or bulges – call McCoy’s!
11. Move your washer and dryer at least 4-5 inches from the wall to prevent damage.
12. Show your lawn some love! When you water your lawn at the right time, you save money. McCoy’s plumbers recommend watering in the early morning and after the sun goes down.
13. Think ahead. For preventative maintenance, schedule a sewer line inspection at the start of summer, especially if there have been recent rains. Tree roots naturally grow toward a leaking sewer line in search of water, and can be a common culprit for cracks in your home plumbing system.
14. Summer is a smart time to save. Consider replacing a few of you older appliances such as faucets, shower heads, and toilets with more energy efficient products. You’ll notice significant savings on your water bill.
15. Scheduling regular plumbing maintenance inspections is the best way to proactively protect your home. The McCoy’s team is happy to stay on top of your system. We’ll check all your appliances and fixtures for leaks, monitor your gutters, and safeguard your drains.
The last thing you want as the temperatures rise across the country is to be caught without a working HVAC system. To help you out, we've compiled five of our favorite HVAC maintenance tips to get you through the summer:
Replace the Air Filter
Depending on how often your cooling system gets used, your air filter must be replaced every 1-3 months. But it's a good bet that you never thought about changing the filter at the end of the prior summer, so now's the perfect time to check it and replace it, if needed.
Check the Wiring
It's important to check the wiring of your HVAC system on a regular basis to make sure it continues to work properly and remains safe. Turn off the system and open the access panel. If you notice any wires that look burned or blackened, it's time to call a professional and get them replaced.
Upgrade the Thermostat
We're guessing that your home already has a programmable thermostat, which enables you to schedule when your cooling equipment comes on and helps control energy costs. But now you can pick up a Wi-Fi model and gain access to the thermostat remotely through any internet connection.
Check the Condenser Unit Fan
Since the outside condenser unit is exposed to the elements, the fan can get damaged due to debris that slips through the slits. A damaged fan can cause more severe problems and a lack of proper operation, so if you notice any issues, replace the fan right away.
Clean the Condenser Unit
It doesn't take long before dirt, leaves, grass, and other debris gets into or on top of the outside condenser unit. This will reduce air flow, forcing your system to work harder and costing you more money. Remove whatever debris you can by hand, then switch off the unit and wash it out with a garden hose.
Are you planning to upgrade your air conditioner? If so, now's the ideal time to investigate equipment features that not only keep your home comfortably cool, but provide greater efficiency so you can save money on your energy bills. Here are some A/C features worth considering.
High Efficiency Rating
The seasonal energy efficiency ratio (SEER) on central A/Cs tells you how much energy they consume to produce a specific amount of cool air output. Models on the market today range from SEER 14 through 26, and the higher the A/C rating, the greater the efficiency. For maximum energy savings, pick a model with the highest possible rating within your budget.
A two-speed compressor can switch its speed between low and high depending on how much cooling is needed. This can provide significant savings on cooling costs, because the A/C can operate on low about 80 percent of the time and still can keep your home comfortably cool.
Variable-Speed Air Handler
A variable-speed air handler can modulate its speed automatically to precisely match your cooling needs. It operates on the lowest speed approximately 75 percent of the time and runs almost continuously too. This saves energy and results in better air filtration, greater humidity control and more consistent temperatures in your home.
Automatic Fan Delay
Usually, the blower fan stops running in sync with the A/C compressor, so conditioned air remains the ductwork at the end of each cooling cycle. When the system has a built-in fan delay, the blower stays on briefly after the compressor cycles off so all the cool air is pushed out of the ducts and not wasted.
A fan-only switch on the HVAC system lets you use the blower for air circulation without running the A/C compressor, and it's especially beneficial if you have a whole-home ventilation system.