Energy Saving HVAC Summer Maintenance Tips

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!

15 Summer Plumbing Tips

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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.

5 Easy HVAC Maintenance Tips for Summer

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.

AC Features Keep You Cool

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.

Two-Speed Compressor

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.

Fan-Only Switch

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.

How to Know If Your Thermostat is Reading Properly

If your home often feels too hold or cold even when the temperature setting on the thermostat says it should be comfortable, it may not be reading accurately. Thermostat malfunctions like this can interfere with HVAC system cycling, make it harder maintain a comfortable temperature and increase your energy bills. Here are some common causes and solutions to help you get the problem under control.

Dirty Components

If you can't remember the last time you cleaned the thermostat's internal components, dirt buildup may be interfering with its ability to read an accurate room temperature. To get rid of dust and debris, pop off the cover, gently dust the interior with a soft brush, then use electrical contact cleaner on a cotton swab to remove any corrosion from the metal contacts.

Faulty Sensor

If the sensor is out of whack, it won't read the correct temperature. You may be able to re-calibrate the thermostat to fix this, but if not, you'll need to replace it.

Off Level

Older, mercury thermostats may not work properly if they get bumped and knocked off level. Try placing a level just above the unit and making any needed adjustments to see if there's any improvement in accuracy. If this doesn't solve the problem, it may be time to upgrade.

Poor Location

The location of your thermostat plays a large role in how well it functions. To accurately monitor the temperature in your home, it needs to be placed in a central location that's out of direct sunlight, away from drafts, HVAC air vents and heat sources.

Old Age

Just like other types of equipment, a thermostat can show its age by malfunctioning. Replacing it gives you an opportunity to upgrade to a programmable or Wi-Fi model with the latest convenient features designed to optimize HVAC efficiency and help you save energy.

Why 2nd Opinions Are So Important

Have you been told that your HVAC system needs to be replaced? Has a HVAC repair technician told you that your HVAC system requires extensive repairs? Either way, you may be looking at the prospect of shelling out hundreds, even thousands of dollars on your HVAC system this spring. If this is the case, before you spend a great deal of money on HVAC repairs or replacement services, you should seek a second opinion from McCoy’s Heating & Air.

Far too often, we don’t even have a clear idea of the reasons for these repairs or why our HVAC needs to be replaced. Many repair services provide explanations in such technical terms that you need to be a certified HVAC repair person to understand them. When you seek a second opinion on your repair estimate from McCoy’s Heating & Air, you will receive a new estimate completely in terms that you can understand.

YOUR HVAC SYSTEM IS IMPORTANT

Of course, a properly functioning HVAC system is not a luxury in West Tennessee — it’s a necessity. As summer draws near and the weather gets hotter and more humid, you are going to need your HVAC system to be in peak working condition, not merely for your family’s comfort but for the sake of their health as well. A properly functioning HVAC system not only keeps a home cool and comfortable, it can help to purify the air in your home, keeping out the humidity and allergens that have been known to cause so many health and breathing problems.

Because your HVAC unit is so vitally important to the health and happiness of your family, when a technician tells you that they have to perform extensive repairs, you will tend to believe that there are no other options. But the truth is that many repair services will always recommend replacement when there are actually several less expensive options. This is why seeking a second opinion on your HVAC repair services is so important.

HOW A SECOND OPINION CAN HELP

When you seek a second opinion from McCoy’s Heating & Air, you will benefit in a variety of ways:

  • First our expert technicians will perform an extensive inspection of your HVAC system. In many cases, we find that the work your repair service wants to do will not even solve your problem.

  • We will give you the real facts about the status of your HVAC system, including our no hype solution to your system’s problem. Our technicians are trained to deliver this information in layman’s terms because you deserve to understand what you are paying for.

  • Our HVAC repair experts 2nd opinion services are risk free. Our technician will perform a detailed inspection, assess your HVAC system’s problem and provide you with a new estimate at no cost to you.

  • Most importantly of all, McCoy’s Heating & Air will provide you with up-front information about the repair and replacement of your unit. This means that there will be no surprises later on that add to your repair bill.

THE BOTTOM LINE

Whenever a HVAC repair company tells you that your HVAC system requires more than $500 in repairs, and especially if they tell you that you need a complete system replacement, it is a great idea to seek a second opinion. Sometimes our assessment will match the initial estimate. However, in many cases, 2nd opinion service can offer you a significant savings. The bottom line is that you should not be expected to pay for unnecessary repairs.

WHAT IF YOU DO NEED TO REPLACE YOUR HVAC?

If it turns out that you actually do need to replace your HVAC system, we will review your situation and make a recommendation based both on your needs and budget. A McCoy’s Heating & Air technician will base their recommendation on a short list of considerations and never on what they want to sell you, including:

  • The present condition of your current HVAC unit.

  • The energy efficiency needs of your home.

  • The specific area that you want to keep cool.

  • The age and condition of your home.

  • How long you plan to live in your current home.

Have you received a quote recently on a system replacement? You may be able to walk away with a new system for cheaper than your quote, but you won’t know until you get a second opinion. Contact us today at 731-668-7492  to have one of our HVAC repair experts come out and discuss options for your HVAC system!

4 Ways to Make Your AC Last Longer in West Tennessee

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If you live in West Tennessee, you want to make sure your air conditioning system lasts as long as possible.

The typical lifespan of an AC is 10-15 years.

However, if you neglect your AC over the years, it may need to be replaced much earlier than its 10th birthday.

The good news? There are a few ways that you can ensure your AC lasts as long as possible, including:

  1. Scheduling annual maintenance with a professional

  2. Cleaning and replacing air filters regularly

  3. Opening all supply and return vents

  4. Keeping temperatures consistent (with a smart thermostat)

We’ll discuss these 4 easy tips below and explain why these tips can help lengthen the lifespan of your air conditioning system.

Want to speak with a professional about your AC system? Our experienced pros are ready and available to answer any questions. Contact us or schedule an appointment today!

Tip #1: Schedule annual maintenance with a professional

There's a reason this is the first suggestion on our list. Scheduling annual maintenance with a licensed professional is the best way to extend the life of your AC system.

Why?

The more efficiently your system is running, the longer it will last. If part of your AC system isn’t working the way it should be, the whole system has to work harder to compensate, resulting in more wear and tear and a shortened lifespan.

The best way to prevent a premature AC death is with professional maintenance.

During a tune-up, a professional will clean and inspect your system for any issues. If there are issues, they'll recommend repairs to keep your AC healthy and running strong.

This way, when it comes time to turn your AC on for the summer, all parts are working correctly and efficiently, extending the lifespan of your system as a whole.

Tip #2: Clean and replace air filters regularly

For your AC system to run efficiently, it needs to have a consistent supply of air.

When your air filters are dirty, the airflow to the AC is reduced, making it more difficult for your AC system to run efficiently.

The harder your AC has to work to do its job, the more wear and tear you’ll see on your system.

A good rule of thumb is to replace your air filters every month or when you notice they are dirty.

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Not sure what a dirty air filter looks like? The filter to the right is a dirty filter that needs to be replaced.

Tip #3: Open all supply and return vents

Many people think closing vents in unused rooms will decrease energy costs, but this is not true. Closing supply or return vents can actually damage your AC system, increase energy bills and decrease your AC’s lifespan.

Why?

When you close a vent, pressure can build in the duct system. This can cause air leaks and your blower motor to work harder.

If there are air leaks in your system, your AC has to produce more conditioned air to account for the air that is lost through those leaks.

The solution? Open all supply and return vents before turning your AC system on for the season. You should also ensure vents aren’t being blocked by anything, like furniture.

Tip #4: Avoid significant temperature swings (Smart Thermostat)

One way to give your AC a break and extend its lifespan is by avoiding significant temperature swings.

We all want to save money on utility bills, and many people attempt to save on their summer energy bills by turning up their thermostat when they’re not at home.

BUT, turning your AC up while you’re gone and then cranking it down when you get home is actually very hard on your AC and can result in faster wear and tear on your system.

To keep your AC running for longer, our suggestion would be to invest in a smart thermostat.

A smart thermostat allows you to set the temperature higher when you’re away but gradually changes the temperature so that by the time you arrive back home, the temperature is where you want it. This allows you to:

  • Save some money on your energy bill

  • Alleviate the strain of significant temperature changes on your AC

  • Give your AC a break when you don’t need your home cooled

Waived Diagnostic Fee

For the month of May and June, McCoy’s Heating and Air is waiving their diagnostic fee for all residential HVAC or plumbing repairs.

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Many times, we have customers who call and say “my air conditioning is out… what will it cost to fix it?” This is where the diagnostic fee comes into play. When we come out to your house and run tests on your system to determine the problem, that is the diagnostic test. We are “diagnosing” the problem. It covers a full inspection of your heating and cooling system to find any issues.

Fortunately for you, this fee is being waived for the months of May and June. So give us a call today to come check out your HVAC.

7 Spring/Summer Maintenance Tips for Your HVAC System

Your home’s heating and cooling unit may be a silent support system, but when it comes to your energy bill, its presence is as loud as can be. How loud? According to the Alliance to Save Energy, the average household energy expense is about $2,200 per year, and nearly half that amount can be tied directly to costs associated with heating and/or cooling your home. That’s pretty loud.

The costs associated with controlling the temperature in your home are significant, and if your HVAC system isn't running efficiency, then your costs only go up. Fortunately, ensuring your HVAC system is running at peak performance doesn’t always require an expensive repair bill. There are plenty of things you can do to make sure your HVAC system is up to the task with a little preventative maintenance.

Make a habit of doing these seven things, and your silent energy partner won’t shout so loud when the monthly bill arrives.

  1.  Change the furnace filter. Why is this tip number one? Simple: It’s easy to do and can have a big impact on the health of your HVAC system. A clean filter can reduce your energy usage by 15 percent according to the Alliance to Save Energy. If your filter is temporary, replace it every month on a day you’ll remember — like the first of the month. And if it’s a permanent filter, take it out and rinse it off monthly.

  2.  Clear the drainage hole. Air conditioners commonly have a drainage hole located at their cabinet’s base. The hole is usually located beneath the evaporator fins. In order for your air conditioner to work effectively, this hole must be kept clear. While the hole may be too small for you to clean out manually, a paper clip or small piece of wire works wonderfully.

  3.  Drying out your dehumidifier. Depending on the time of year, a dehumidifier can be invaluable. To be sure it’s working at maximum capacity, remove the outer casing and allow your system to dry. Once the system is dry, vacuum the entire unit to remove excess dirt and debris before putting it back together.

  4.  Remove obstructions around your exterior system. Though the AC is located outside your home, you cannot afford to sacrifice your air conditioner to the elements. Inspect the unit at least twice a month and remove loose vegetation or debris. Standing vegetation surrounding your air conditioner should not be allowed to grow within two feet of the unit. This clear zone allows your air conditioner to pull in the air it needs to control the temperature in your home.

  5.  Clean the bathroom fans. Your bathroom fans work hard all year and this is the perfect time to ensure the work they do is as efficient as possible. Remove the covers from your fans before washing them with soap and water. Once the covers are off, use a toothbrush to clean the fan blades before reapplying the cover. Just make sure the power is off before starting this task.

  6.  Add a smart thermostat. Smart thermostats allow you to program the temperature settings in your home so you can set your home to be warmer during periods when you’re away and more comfortable when you're home. The system will also communicate with you and provide ways of saving even more energy and lowering your monthly bill. Follow its recommendations and you'll get new tips that can help you save even more. 

  7.  Schedule a tuneup. Once you’ve accomplished all the tasks above, it’s time to bring in the experts. The professional at McCoy’s Heating & Air will be able to take a more detailed look at your system and identify problems you may have otherwise missed. Follow them around during their inspection and ask questions. You may just learn some insights that will be invaluable in your ongoing efforts to reduce your energy usage and total bill.

Tips to Make Your HVAC System More Efficient for Earth Day

Earth Day is an annual event celebrated on April 22. It has grown into a global event recognized by countries all over the world. This special day is devoted to the planet’s environment and raises awareness about pollution.

Participating in Earth Day is simple. If you are looking for opportunities to shrink your carbon footprint and reduce greenhouse gas emissions, consider some improvements you can make to your HVAC system. Not only are these small changes great for the environment—they can also make a big difference in your monthly heating and cooling bills.

Here are just a few ways you can make your home HVAC strategy more eco-friendly:

Change your air filters. This is something you should already be doing on a regular basis. Earth Day is a great time to swap them out and establish a habit of changing them as recommended by the manufacturer.

Schedule an HVAC tune-up. A simple tune-up can help boost the energy efficiency of your system. It can also help you catch problems before they progress into something catastrophic.

Inspect your Duct-work. Seal off any leaky areas. Leaky ducts are the most wasteful (and most common) problems in HVAC efficiency.

Replace your Insulation. If you haven’t replaced your attic insulation for many years, it is a great time to evaluate if a replacement would help with efficiency.

Invest in a Programmable Thermostat. With a programmable thermostat, you can “set it and forget it.” You set the temperature based on the times you are normally home, and your habits. Why waste energy heating or cooling a home when you aren’t there? Plus, programmable thermostats can save you around 15% on your energy bills. 

Keep your thermostat a degree or two higher this summer. A small adjustment can have a big impact in the amount of energy saved.

If your HVAC system is 11 years old or older, replacing it may be the best way to boost your household energy efficiency. Many utility providers like TVA are offering great rebates for customers who upgrade to energy efficient systems.

Some of these Earth Day solutions are simple DIY tasks, but others require a professional touch. If you need help getting more out of your HVAC system for your energy dollar, contact us. Show your love for the planet we call home!

8 Plumbing Tips to Save You Money

If you have ever experienced a leaky toilet or broken pipes, you know that plumbing repairs can be extremely expensive. Knowing a handful of preventative tips can help you save money and hassle in the future. It’s better to take care of plumbing problems from the start in order to avoid big repairs that can cost thousands of dollars.

 McCoy’s Heating & Air has gathered a handful of helpful tips to save you money on common plumbing problems. Take a look!

  1. Utilize strainers to prevent hair and debris from clogging drain lines.

  2. Clear your shower and sink drains by using a solution and drain stick regularly.

  3. Do not flush feminine products down the toilet as they can build up and prevent other items from flushing down the pipes.

  4. If your toilet is clogged because of an accumulation of waste, try using a plumbing snake or a closet auger.

  5. If you have a garbage disposal, avoid pouring fats, oils or harsh food items that will clog the drain.

  6. Watch out for leaks and drips. If you do have a broken pipe or leaking toilet, turn off your main water valve to save water/money. The faster you fix a leaky pipe the less you will have to spend in maintenance costs.

  7. Some plumbing problems are do-it-yourself. Before you call a professional, take to the internet to research what the problem is and if you can achieve the solution yourself.

  8. Preventative maintenance costs money but will pay for itself in the long run by catching minor problems and providing the necessary care to keep your plumbing system in good shape.

 If you are experiencing a major plumbing malfunction or a simple leak, McCoy’s Heating & Air can help! We offer a wide variety of residential, commercial and industrial plumbing services to protect your home and business. If you have a puzzling plumbing problem and need assistance, don’t hesitate to call the friendly team at McCoy’s Heating & Air at 731-668-7492.

How to Landscape Around Your A/C Unit

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We get it…outdoor air conditioning condensers are, well, not the most attractive things in the world (although I’m sure many of our techs would beg to differ). They’re big and bulky, taking up valuable space in your yard, and can sometimes bring down the curb appeal of your home. So when homeowners want to hide these unsightly but necessary pieces of equipment, we totally understand. However, when you are landscaping around your condenser unit, there are a few things you should keep in mind.

Give the A/C unit some breathing room. When using fencing or other construction materials to cover your condenser, make sure there is at least 2’ of space surrounding the unit. The 2’ rule should apply to plants as well – any type of plant you opt to use to hide the condenser should leave plenty of space for air to flow freely around the unit, as well as allow a technician easy access in the event that a repair or a replacement is necessary.

Cover the ground around the unit. Wind and rain can cause sand and dirt to get into your condenser, leaving it dirty and creating the potential for clogs. Before you start your landscaping project, cover the space around the unit with mulch, gravel, or rocks. This will help to prevent debris from getting into the unit during bad weather.

Think about severe weather. If your home is new construction, you likely had a conversation about where to put the condenser in the first place – hopefully that conversation took into account severe weather conditions. If so, the condenser is likely shielded from the worst of the winds during a storm. If your home is older, it’s possible that this conversation didn’t happen, and that the unit is open to strong winds and flying debris. If this is the case, take into consideration what weather conditions might be like before deciding on a landscaping plan. You may benefit more from a fence or a portable solution than from trees that could potentially fall and cause damage.

Shading your A/C unit is a good idea. Keeping the condenser itself cooler means that it won’t have to work as hard to cool the air in your home. If your condenser is located in a shady spot already, perfect! If not, you may want to think about adding plants that are tall enough to shade your system.

Watch for foliage fallout. Shade is great, but you may want to be selective with your plant choices. Plants that do a lot of shedding, either of leaves, berries, or fruit may pose some problems, as all of the stuff falling from the plants could cause a clogging issue with the condenser. Does that mean you can use plants that shed leaves, berries or fruit? No, but you’ll definitely need to remember to clear off and around the condenser unit on a regular basis. We recommend evergreen shrubs and trees for the purpose of hiding an unsightly air conditioner year-round.

Think big. Large pots or planters may be your friend when hiding an unsightly air conditioner. Because they are portable, large pots or planters make a great option for hiding a condenser unit. They can be moved when work needs to be done, and you aren’t necessarily stuck with the same plants year after year in this scenario. We loved the idea of planting ornamental grass in large pots to create a screen – it’s perfect.

5 Houseplants for Improving the Air Quality in Your Home

Many posts on this blog focus on improving the air quality in your home. We do all we can to ensure total home comfort with regular cleaning, upgrades and repairs to your system, but, along with this regular maintenance, you might also consider reaching out to mother nature for a helping hand when it comes to improving the air quality in your home.

We would like to believe it’s not true, but the air in our home can contain mold, dust mites, radon (from rocks below the foundation or even granite countertops) and volatile organic compounds such as benzene and formaldehyde. Ongoing exposure to these pollutants can negatively impact our health. However, many plant varieties have been proven to naturally purify the air and compliment a good home comfort system.

Should you decide to tackle your home’s air quality from the ground up, here’s a list of five air-quality conscious plants:

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Garden Mum

The garden mum is a relatively inexpensive plant, and it’s an air-purifying champion. Specifically, the garden mum is one of the best house plants for removing benzene, a solvent commonly used in inks, oils, paints, plastics and rubber. Benzene is also used for manufacturing detergents, pharmaceuticals and dyes.

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Dracaena:

This purifying plant is effective for removing xylene, a solvent found in many common household products such as paints, lacquers, adhesives, rust preventers and thinners. Xylene is even found in permanent magic markers. However, if you have pets, you may want to consider an alternative houseplant, as Dracaena is toxic to cats and dogs.

 

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Bamboo Palm:

A great pet-friendly plant is bamboo palm. This palm variety can grow up to 12 feet tall and is a superstar when it comes to filtering formaldehyde, a pollutant found in virtually all indoor environments. If your home was built prior to the 1970s, you may find foam insulation containing formaldehyde in your basement, crawl spaces or unfinished attic spaces. Formaldehyde is also found in particle board or pressed-wood products, and household basics such as grocery bags, waxed papers, facial tissues and paper towels.

 

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Spider Plant:
Spider plants are also very effective for removing formaldehyde, and as one of the easiest plants to care for, they are a great choice for homeowners who don’t possess a green thumb. Spider plants can help remove the formaldehyde resins found in common household cleaning agents as well as floor covering, carpet backing and permanent-press clothes.

 

Peace Lily
Peace lilies are easy to grow, and they are one of the best house plants for removing trichloroethylene, making them extremely beneficial for your home. Trichloroethylene is a commercial product with a variety of industrial uses, specifically in the metal degreasing and dry-cleaning industries. Trichloroethylene is also used in printing inks, paints, lacquers, varnishes and adhesives.

Many of these houseplants are easy to care for, but make sure you take into account your plant’s specific needs when placing a plant in your home.

According to Esposito Garden Center, when picking the right plant for your home, take note of the plant’s individual light, temperature, humidity and water requirements; this information can usually be found on the plant’s label. A well-rounded fertilizer will also help keep your living “air-purifiers” happy, healthy and looking fresh.

In today’s world, it’s impossible to completely eliminate exposure to these common pollutants. But, a quick trip to your local garden center, combined with regular maintenance on your home comfort system, could prove to be a breath of fresh air. If you have any questions about your home’s air quality, contact McCoy’s Heating & Air Conditioning at 731-668-7492.

Diagnostic Fee Waived

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AC or Heating System Not Working Properly?

McCoy’s Heating & Air will waive your diagnostic charge with the authorization of any repair!

When your AC or heating system stops working, you need to get to the root of the problem to make sure you find a solution that will last. McCoy’s Heating & Air will waive the fees for your HVAC system diagnostic with the authorization of a major repair.

Trained Technicians

McCoy’s Heating & Air has NATE certified technicians, which is the highest level of certification in the HVAC industry. They’re knowledgeable about factory standards for all major HVAC brands. They will diagnose every aspect of your heating and cooling system.

Reasons to Get Your HVAC System Diagnosed

An HVAC system diagnostic check can be a beneficial part of preventative maintenance, but it’s especially important if you’re noticing a change in your unit’s performance. Here are some of the warning signs that you’re overdue for a diagnostic check:

  • Abnormally high energy bills

  • Failure to reach desired temperature on thermostat

  • System makes unusual or especially loud noises

  • Unit won’t start or stop when it should

  • Blower or fan problems in your outdoor unit

  • Rubbing noises from moving parts in outdoor unit

  • Longer running time than before to reach desired temperature

  • Unusual readings or lights on thermostat interface

Trustworthy HVAC System Diagnostic

As a family-owned business since 1981 our vision has been to provide the best client experience and deliver the highest quality products and services available. McCoy’s Heating & Air aims to embody unrivaled craftsmanship and knowledge in the HVAC industry. Fast forward four decades, we are the Jackson Sun Readers’ Choice awards winner for over 10 years in a row and have over 500 5-Stars reviews!

To get your heating and air conditioning system diagnosed by the most reliable company in West Tennessee, reach out to McCoy’s Heating & Air. We even offer special financing for major repairs with approved credit.

Restoring Your HVAC After Flooding

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Flood recovery is on everyone’s minds after flood watch in West Tennessee. Whenever a home is flooded, there’s a lot of work that has to be done to make it safely habitable again, in part due to the infectious microorganisms like bacteria and fungus that floodwaters carry. The HVAC system, in particular, generally requires major remediation or total replacement in order to make sure that the home’s air will be safe and healthy to breathe.

AFTER THE FLOOD

After the floodwaters have subsided, the first step in flood recovery for HVAC is determining how much damage has occurred and whether the system needs to be completely replaced or can be cleaned and repaired. The Air Conditioning, Heating, & Refrigeration Institute (AHRI) recommends that flood damaged HVAC systems should always be replaced, but depending on the amount of damage and the cost of repairs, some homeowners choose to remediate their system instead.

Sometimes it can be difficult to determine just how much damage has been done. For instance, while a gas furnace may look fine after floodwaters recede, AHRI points out that if any moisture has gotten inside of the valves or controls, it can lead to corrosion over time. Corrosion due to moisture can be a problem for electric furnaces too.

AHRI does provide the reassuring note that heat pumps and air conditioners are generally sealed systems, so as long as that seal hasn’t been broken, the refrigerant system may be fine after flooding. However, it goes on to say that if the flood water managed to shift either unit of a split system, even if only a small amount, then that sealed system may have broken open, allowing refrigerant out and flood waters in. That will require major repairs or replacement.

SHOULD I CLEAN THE UNIT OR REPLACE IT?

If homeowners decide to clean and repair their HVAC system rather than replacing it, then the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) provide detailed instructions for the restoration of HVAC systems after flooding.

The CDC and AHRI both strongly recommend that all work be performed by licensed and trained HVAC professionals because of the serious health hazards involved. To begin that restoration, even if the air ducts and HVAC unit themselves don’t have to be replaced, all flooded insulation that’s around any part of the HVAC system must be removed and disposed of, along with any HVAC filters. Insulation and filters simply cannot be cleaned sufficiently to make them safe again.

The CDC states that the entire system must be cleaned and disinfected. Dirt and debris must be vacuumed out of the unit and air ducts using specially filtered vacuums. Once the debris is cleared, all surfaces must be thoroughly disinfected to kill off any microorganisms that remain. AHRI notes that fully cleaning the ductwork requires taking it apart, cleaning and disinfecting, and then putting back together again. The cleaning must be done carefully and in a specific order to ensure that already-cleaned areas don’t get re-contaminated with microorganisms from parts that haven’t been cleaned yet. Again, that’s why this is work for trained professionals!

Once the entire system has been disinfected, the CDC explains that it must be rinsed out with clean water. As part of the process, the fan should also be removed from the unit to be thoroughly cleaned and disinfected, then dried out and tested before it’s put back in place. After all cleaning and rebuilding of the system, including replacing insulation and filters, has been completed, the system must be checked by a trained professional. Then it should be run on its normal settings for two to three days to see if any bad odors persist. These odors can be a sign of a missed area that still needs to be cleaned.

Finally, after all cleaning and restoration and testing is complete, and the home is considered habitable again, the CDC recommends that the HVAC system be checked frequently to ensure that everything is working properly and that no microorganisms, such as mold, have started to grow due to any lingering moisture.

FLOOD INSURANCE AND FEMA

As you can see, restoring a home’s HVAC system after flooding is not a small job, so whether the system is remediated or completely replaced, it can be very expensive. If you have flood insurance, it may pay for the restoration of your home’s HVAC.

If you don’t have flood protection on your home insurance tat’s where FEMA steps in. Homeowners in a federally declared disaster area can apply to FEMA for grants or loans that may cover the cost of replacing or cleaning and testing HVAC systems damaged by flooding. That’s because part of FEMA’s mission is to make homes in disaster areas habitable again (which doesn’t always mean completely restoring them to their pre-disaster state). FEMA considers working HVAC systems as necessary to making a home habitable—and we certainly agree!

IN CONCLUSION

Hopefully, you and your family will never have to deal with flooding like we’ve seen in West Tennessee in 2010. But less severe floods can still cause damage to homes and HVAC systems. If your HVAC system is ever contaminated by flood water, make sure to call a trusted, licensed HVAC contractor to get your restoration done right. Your family’s health depends on it.

Preparing for Winter Storms

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In West Tennessee, we have come to expect freezing temperatures to start in January and can go until April. Freezing temperatures means ice on the road, close schools, power outage, but more importantly the furnace suddenly going out or a pipe burst. It’s important to keep yourself and your home ready for the unexpected and ensure you’re preparing for seasonal ice in advance.

In the coming weeks, gather emergency kit essentials:

  • Have an ice-melting agent such as rock salt available for your driveway

  • Sturdy shovels that are easily accessible to clear your driveway

  • Flashlights in a few areas of your home

  • Candles and matches

  • Extra firewood if you have a wood burning stove or fireplace and portable space heaters

You should also ensure that you have plenty of clothing for layering. Remember that in the event of power loss and being stuck in the cold, you should avoid sweating and maintain a comfortable body temperature by adding and removing layers as time passes.

  • Keep the water in your home running during severe winter storms. Keeping all taps running at just a trickle will help to prevent your pipes from freezing.

  • Check your carbon monoxide and smoke detectors.

  • Fully stock your First Aid Kit with:

    • Medication

    • Bandages

    • Compresses

    • Ointments

  • You can even add extra batteries and a portable radio near your First Aid Kit so you have everything accessible in the same area of your home.

  • Fully charge portable battery packs for your cellphone in case your phone battery is low when the power goes out.

  • Be sure to have those extra things your family specifically needs, like dog food or baby formula.

  • Store at least 3 days’ worth of non-perishable food and water for each member of your family.

  • Avoid going out when you hear warnings of winter storms, but keep your car’s gas tank full in case you run out of power and need to leave.

McCoy’s Heating & Air hope you keep these tips in mind and stay safe this winter by preparing for the occasional cold temperatures and ice

Stay warm this season!