Like our HVAC and electrical systems, our plumbing systems are rarely given a second thought - that is until there is a problem. Just like your heating and air conditioning units, your plumbing system should have regular inspections at least once a year.
As we’re nearing the winter months and our first frost, it’s time to disconnect your garden hose(s) and turn off the water to your hose bibb (also commonly known as an outdoor faucet). It’s best to disconnect the hose early — one night of freezing weather can cause a break in the pipes.
In order to prevent damages to your home and belongings this winter, we’ve provided you with step-by-step instructions to properly winterize your hose bibb:
Regardless of what kind of hose bibb you have, frost proof or not, it’s important to remove your garden hoses from the spigot first.- After you remove the hose, untie any kinks or knots, and then drain all of the water out completely.- When the water is drained and the kinks are out, wind the hose in a circular shape and store it in a warmer location like your basement or heated garage. Sometimes garages and outdoor sheds reach freezing temperatures, which can ruin the hose.
The next step is to inspect your outdoor faucet for leaks. It’s important to repair any leaks or drips you find. It doesn’t matter how much water is leaking or the speed of the drip, the water can build up and freeze in the pipe or the fixture causing a major mess.
Once you’ve removed the hose and inspected the area for leaks and drips, it’s time to turn off your inside supply line. Once you’ve shut that off, make sure you turn on your outdoor faucet to drain the existing water — this is very important. If you have a hose bibb that is not frost-proof, the best way to do this is to shut off that line, if possible, and drain it down. If you can’t isolate the water supply to the hose bibb to shut it off be sure to use extra insulation.
For extra protection, consider installing a hose bib cover or a frost-proof hose bibb. The covers are typically made of thick foam so it’s effective keeping most of the cold away from the valve.
Once you’ve completed the steps above, your garden hose and hose bibb should be ready for the cold weather.
We know the last thing you need to worry about this winter is a plumbing issue, so if you’re interested in installing a frost-proof hose bibb, give us a call today!
Chilly fall temperatures serve as a polite reminder that when winter arrives it can be sudden, often leaving homeowners unprepared for the troubles associated with extreme cold. A few simple plumbing preparations now will help prevent headaches and costly repairs throughout the winter months.
Disconnect outside water hoses. If left connected, water in the hoses can freeze and expand causing faucets and connecting pipes inside your home to freeze and break.
Make sure outside faucets aren't dripping or leaking. Make the necessary repairs or call a plumber before freezing temperatures arrive. Be aware that when pipes freeze, water pressure builds causing cracks - no matter if the pipe is made of plastic, copper or steel. Even a tiny crack can unleash enough water to cause serious damage or flooding.
If your home is equipped with interior shut-off valves leading to outside faucets, close them and drain water from outside lines.
Cover outside faucets using a Styrofoam faucet insulation kit available at home centers.
Insulate pipes in unheated areas, such as garages or crawl spaces. Apply heat tape or thermostat-controlled heat cables around pipes that are exposed and prone to freezing.
Seal leaks around doors and windows to reduce cold air penetration.
Your water heater works harder during winter months. Flush it out and remove sediment buildup, which causes corrosion, shortens life span and reduces heating efficiency. Drain several gallons from the faucet near the bottom of the tank. Connect a hose to the faucet and direct water into a nearby drain. Check your water heater manufacturer 's website for specific instructions concerning your make and model.
Carefully test the water heater's pressure relief valve (Danger: water is very hot) by lifting up on the lever and letting it snap back. The valve should allow a burst of hot water into the drainpipe. If not, call a professional to have a new valve installed. Caution: if your water heater is more than five years old and the pressure relief valve has never been tested, you can actually cause a leak by testing older valves that have corroded or stuck seals. A plumber should be consulted.
Check the temperature setting on your water heater's thermostat. Set at 120°F for optimum performance.
Clear leaves and debris from outside gutters and downspouts to ensure easy drainage when water freezes and thaws throughout the winter season.
Inspect and clean sump pump and pit. Pumps exposed to extreme cold can freeze, preventing the pump from operating.
When leaving home for extended periods, shut off the main water valve and drain the system by opening faucets at the highest and lowest points of the house. Make sure the heat is left on and set no lower than 55°F.
Caution! These plumbing tips are intended for homes that will be inhabited throughout the winter months. Many additional steps should be taken to winterize vacation properties that will be left unattended for weeks or months at a time. Seek professional help for winterizing such properties.
Most homeowners have a strict maintenance schedule they follow to keep their home clean and their landscape maintained, but despite their diligence, they may be forgetting to care for one important thing.
If you have a furnace, it should be a part of your regular maintenance routine. Furnace cleaning is important throughout the year, but it becomes especially important before the winter.
Indoor air quality has become a pretty important topic in recent years. Homeowners tire of dealing with the dust, the dander, mold, and other common allergens and contaminants that are rampant in our homes. Luckily, there have been some great solutions that have surfaced, not the least of which are UV light air purifiers, which is what our services professionals are going to talk about today.
Why is your furnace filter black? What size furnace filter do you need when it comes time to change the filter? Many homeowners have questions about their furnace air filters and aren’t sure where to look to find that information.
First and foremost, a dirty furnace filter overworks your HVAC unit and hampers its ability to be energy efficient. For that reason, you should replace your furnace filter regularly.
How do you choose the filter that’s right for your furnace?, Understanding that there are different types and sizes of furnace filters is the first step in finding the right one. Plus, having knowledge of a filter’s MERV (Minimum Efficiency Reporting Value), will help a homeowner understand how effective that filter is.
Understanding MERV Ratings
To understand the efficiency and effectiveness of a filter, one must first understand MERV ratings. MERV, which stands for Minimum Efficiency Reporting Value, rates air filter effectiveness. A higher value MERV means that the air filter has a finer filtration, meaning less dust particles and airborne contaminants can pass through. The MERV scale ranges from one to twenty, with twenty having the finest filtration.
Types of Furnace Filters
Furnace filters come in many different types. Here are a few options for you to choose from:
Disposable Fiberglass Filter
This is the cheapest type of furnace filter. It's made of 1-inch spun fiberglass. It screens out large particles such as dust, debris, textile fibers, sanding dust and lint that could clog your HVAC system. It often has a MERV rating of 2 to 3. This filter is good for you if you're a renter and don't have asthma or allergies. This type filter typically costs between $1-$2 and can be found at a local hardware store.
Disposable Pleated Filter
This popular filter is made from cotton paper or polyester. It removes smaller particles like mites and spores. It's relatively inexpensive and has a MERV rating of 6. You need to replace it frequently to prevent clogging and restriction of airflow that makes your furnace less efficient. This filter can be used in commercial buildings, residences or industrial workplaces.
High-Efficiency Pleated Filters
These are usually made from synthetic polyester or pleated filter paper and are four to five inches thick. They can screen out very small particles. The filter is attached to a metal grid to prevent links or fulttering. Their MERV rating ranges from 14 to 16. They are beneficial to people with autoimmune disorders or respiratory problems. They are expensive to run, costing around $100 and can only be used in special housing because of their thick size.
How do I Install a Furnace Filter?
Once choosing a filter, it comes time to install it. Installing your filter can be done in three easy steps.
If you are unsure where the filter box is, look at the ductwork. The heating duct is located near or at the top of the furnace, and the cold air return is located near the bottom, which is where the filter box will likely be located.
There’s a chance that your filter box will have a door, or possibly that the filter will be visible inside a notch that the filter slides into. From here, remove the old filter and discard. Your new filter will have air flow arrows along the sides. The arrows indicate the correct orientation of of the filter. A fun little tip to remember which way to put your filter in is that the arrows always point towards the furnace!
With the arrows pointing towards the furnace, slide the furnace filter in the air box. And you’re done!
Quick Furnace Filter Tips
Furnace filters need to be replaced every month, or when you can no longer see them in the filter box. If you’re unsure of the size of filter you need, correct filter measurements for your furnace will be located on the filter box.
Always turn the furnace off before replacing the filter! Not turning the furnace off could result in injuries such as burns.
Let McCoy’s Help you
Buying the right furnace filter will save you money and improve your home's air quality. For more information on selecting a furnace filter, contact us at McCoy’s Heating & Air. We aim to provide our customers with most accurate information and the highest quality service.
Have you ever had a unit installed, serviced or repaired from McCoy’s Heating & Air and want to share your experience with the Jackson community. Please leave us a review! We want to ensure that we are providing our customers with the best service possible.
After a long, hot summer you are probably happy to be turning off your air conditioner for the last time until next spring when you hope it starts up again, right? Well, you might want to rethink that. Before you put your AC system away for the winter, you might want to consider having it checked out by a certified contractor. If it is older or has been giving you problems, you might want to have it replaced. AC replacements done in the fall often have much better outcomes for consumers than those done in the heat of the summer or when you first start your system up in the spring.
Here are five good reasons to replace your old AC in the fall.
1. Saves you $$$ – By replacing your system in the fall, you put time on your side. Time to research the type of equipment that would be best for your situation instead of just replicating whatever you had before. Fall replacements also give you time to search for the best contractor in the area to do the installation and chances are, since contractors are in between the cooling and heating seasons, they will be much more available and willing to spend time with you to help you figure out the best ways to solve your cooling problems. Since investments in new HVAC systems can be significant, this time also allows you to plan. You might even consider covering it under a home equity loan, thus saving on financing costs.
2. You Can Get What You Want – Since you and the contractor both have more time to figure out what system to buy, you can also take time to see some of the latest technology available in HVAC systems. A lot has changed since your old system was installed. You will probably realize some significant improvements in comfort and reductions in energy costs, and there are many more options available today than 15 or 20 years ago. Today you can decide on systems that provide superior nighttime comfort and humidity reductions, as well as being less noisy both inside and outside of your home. Controls, communications and programmable thermostats are some other features you might consider if you have the time to research them.
3. Beware of the Zombie Heat Pump – If you have an air conditioner that doubles as a heat pump in the winter you should definitely have your system checked out in the fall. If it was not keeping up during the hottest days in the summer, it will not keep up on the coldest days of the winter and you might end up paying extra on your power bills since you will be using auxiliary resistance heaters to stay warm. We call these “zombie” heat pumps because they appear to be alive and running but in reality, they are not keeping up or might not be cooling at all. Because most heat pumps come with backup heaters, you might not even know this until you get your first heating bill. If you have a conventional furnace instead of a heat pump, fall is also a good time to have that checked out by a contractor. If it is older like the AC, you might be better off having them both replaced at the same time.
4. Can I Rethink This? – If you have contractors out to check your AC system in the fall, you might have time to have them run some new calculations on both the actual cooling requirements for your home as well as the ductwork and airflow calculations. A lot might have changed with your home since that old AC system was installed and these changes can affect both the size and type of system you now need to adequately cool and heat your home. For example, if you added insulation, added or upgraded to windows that are more efficient, knocked out some walls or added a room, you might need a different system size. If you get the wrong size system, you could have multiple problems.
If your system is too small, it will not keep up on the hottest days.
If your system is too large, it will cycle too much and cause wide swings in your indoor temperature.
If you live in an area where humidity levels can be high, a wrong-sized system will not remove all the humidity from your home and you will have problems – especially at night, when you are trying to sleep.
If, for example, you have kids going away to college and you want to shut off the AC vents in their rooms while they are gone, you might be better off with a system that has at least two steps of capacity modulation or you will run into the same problems as having the wrong size system. Closing room vents and doors effectively makes your house appear smaller to your HVAC system and in addition to comfort problems, you could even do significant damage to the system or cause it to fail prematurely.
5. Last but not least, consider the energy savings you might get from high efficiency systems – Based on the results of our recent homeowner survey, the consumers who had the time to consider higher efficiency systems were more satisfied. Consider this: 88 percent of the respondents who said they were “satisfied” had discussions with their contractor about high-efficiency system alternatives, versus just 67 percent with the “dissatisfied” group – even if they did not end up buying the high-efficiency models. The satisfied group also showed a higher incidence (35 percent) of contractor inspections of ductwork, insulation and square footage than the dissatisfied group (27 percent) – and these inspections often take time.
The survey also indicates that, on average, HVAC systems get replaced when they are about 14-16 years old (or more, depending on the length of the cooling or heating seasons and accumulated run time). So, if your system is getting older or you have had some problems recently it might be worth taking some time in the fall to do your research and find a few good contractors who can talk with you about the best options for your home HVAC investments.
We are currently offering FREE 10 Years Parts & Labor Warranty and FREE U-V Purifier Light with any new York equipment install. Call today at 668-7492 to schedule your FREE estimate.
Fall is here and it is time to start thinking about taking care of your plumbing before heading into the winter months. It is never too early to prepare your plumbing for the changing seasons.
It’s officially time to retire the garden hoses and prepare your home for the cooler air with these fall plumbing tips.
1. Remove, Drain and Store Garden Hoses
We want your garden hose to last another year, so it’s important that you properly stow it away. When the hose has been disconnected, drain the water and place it in an area of your home that will not reach freezing temperatures. Water that’s left over inside the hose can freeze and expand causing the hose to break!
2. Turn Off Your Hose Bibb
One of the most important tasks that you’ll need to do this season is to properly turn off your hose bibb and inside water supply line. Follow these step-by-step instructions to complete this. If you noticed that your hose bibb was leaking this summer, we advise that you invest in a frost-proof hose bibb before the first frost occurs. If a hose bibb isn’t properly turned off, water can freeze in the supply line, which can cause pipes to burst. To avoid any issues, give us a call today to complete any hose bibb installation or repair!
3. Check Your Sewer System
Believe it or not, the fall, winter and spring months can overwork your sewer system. If you have had any issues in the past or would like to have preventative maintenance completed, give us a call to schedule a sewer line inspection.
4. Complete Water Heater Maintenance
Annual maintenance is crucial to extend the life of your water heater. While most water heaters will last anywhere from 8 to 12 years, water heater flushes tend to increase water efficiency and saves money on your future utility bills. If you want to increase water efficiency and save some money on your utility bill this season, schedule a water heater maintenance service with us!
We’re here to make sure your plumbing system is prepared for the temperatures ahead! No job is too big or too small for our expert technicians. Give us a call today or schedule an appointment online to take care of those pesky plumbing issues.
Okay, to be fair, we are not in true “fall weather” yet. The good news about that, though, is that if you do things right during our fall season, you could end up with crazy low utility bills.
To keep your fall bills super low, follow these “tricks”:
Drop the temperature at night
Open your windows (for people who are still running the AC)
Open your drapes during the day
Schedule heating maintenance now (before the cold weather)
We’ll explain the logic behind each of these tips below.
Trick #1: Drop the temperature at night
Why this works: The lower you set your thermostat, the less often your heat/ac will run at night (which saves you money).
The average low temperatures in Jackson during the fall season are:
September- low of 61
October- low of 49
November- low of 39
December - low of 31
That said, it might be tempting to keep your thermostat set somewhere in the mid to low 70s. But that means your system will likely run a lot during the night to keep your home warm. Or if you like to keep your home cooler that night then you are missing a great chance to have lower temps without the high electric bill.
Instead, we suggest dropping the thermostat to 65° about thirty minutes to a hour before bed. Of course, if you’re willing to drop it lower, go for it.
Just remember, the less your system runs through the night, the less energy it’s consuming (and the less electricity you’re being charge for).
Trick #2: Open your windows (for people who are still using their AC)
Why this works: when the weather is cooler than the set temperature on your thermostat your home will be warmer than it is outside. If you like a cool house then open your windows to bring in the chilly fall weather inside. Plus you will save money and energy since your system will not be running. Of course do not leave your windows open if you are not going to be home or if the temperature is to rise above your normal setting.
Trick #3: Open the drapes during the day
Why this works: Opening the drapes during the day (while you’re out) allows heat into your home. This keeps your home warmer at night, which means you won’t have to run the heat as much. Of course if you still want to keep your home cool then keep them close.
Let’s face it, “fall” daytime temperatures are still pretty warm. For example:
October daytime temperatures: average high of 74°
November daytime temperatures: average high of 62°
You might be in the habit of keeping your shades drawn to keep the summer heat out of the home, but we suggest keeping them open if you want to warm up your home.
Over the course of the day, your home will accumulate heat. Which means, when the temperatures drop in the evening, your home will still maintain that heat and you won’t have to run the heat nearly as much.
If you want to keep that heat in your home even longer, just draw the shades/curtains at night. This will help prevent heat loss through the night.
Trick #4: Get your heating system maintained before winter
Why this works: Getting heating maintenance keeps your system efficient—which means lower energy bills.
Getting maintenance before the cold season hits means your system will already be prepared to run smoothly and efficiently. Which means you’ll start saving money on energy bills right away (instead of halfway through the cold season).
Plus, when you schedule maintenance ahead of time, you’ll beat the rush. Most homeowners wait until the first pass of cold weather to call us for maintenance. Which means, if you wait until the cold weather arrives to schedule maintenance, you likely won’t get the appointment day and time that you want. But when you schedule ahead of time, you get priority scheduling.
So, schedule your heating maintenance now to save time and money.
Fall is a great time of year. The hot days of summer are winding down and the leaves are beginning to fall. Fall brings some of our favorite holidays but it is also the time to begin thinking about ensuring that our homes are ready for colder temperatures. Here are some top tips that will keep your home cozy when the winter winds start to blow.
1. Clean the gutters: This is important all year and particularly in the fall because of falling leaves which can clog drains and downspouts. Rain or melting snow, depending on where you live, can cause the leaves to clump together. When the gutters cannot drain the water has to go somewhere. Eventually it will end up running down the side of your home. This can cause the ground around the foundation to erode and moisture can seep inside. One solution many people are choosing to eliminate the need to clean gutters several times a year is the installation of leaf guards. They are made of a plastic mesh and they simply snap into the gutters to keep leaves from piling up and causing problems.
2. Have your HVAC system checked: Your heating and air conditioning system should be checked twice a year in the spring and fall. Preventative maintenance can save you expensive repair costs later. Filters should be changed on a regular basis. When they are dirty and dusty your system works harder to maintain the set temperature. Making certain that there are no leaks or loose joints around the ducts is essential to keep the warm air from escaping. A programmable thermostat can help as well. The temperature can be set a few degrees cooler when no one is home and programmed to come on and raise the temperature so it is warm and cozy when everyone gets home. This can result in a savings on your energy costs.
3. Turn the Water Heater Down: Most water heaters are set at 140 degrees when installed. Water heaters account for about 18% of your energy costs and setting them to 120 degrees can result in a big savings. It won't have to work as hard to maintain 120 degrees compared to 140 degrees which means it will last longer before it needs replaced. This can also help to reduce the risk of accidental burns for young children and the elderly.
4. Reverse the Direction of your Ceiling Fans: Most ceiling fans have a switch to reverse the direction of the blades. Instead of blowing down or counterclockwise set them to run on low clockwise during the winter. This will pull the cool air up and push the warm air that rises to the ceiling down to keep the room warm. This can help to reduce your heating costs as well.
5. Curtains and Blinds can Insulate: If you use heavy curtains or drapes that are insulated they can offer the added protection of stopping heat loss. The will reduce drafts that are often noticed around windows in the winter. Blinds can help as well. Both can be opened during the day to let sunlight in which helps to warm rooms. Lower them at dusk and the room will be warmer and it will help to save on heating costs.
6. Insulate Pipes: This is one of the most important things you can do to keep from paying thousands for repairs. There are various ways to do this including foam that is made especially for pipes. Insulating tape is another method. Don't forget inside pipes that are not in heated areas of the home such as the garage or a crawl space. Frozen pipes can burst and flood your home causing a lot of damage and costing a lot of money.
7. Drain Outdoor Hoses and Water Lines: Frozen garden hoses can cause an interior pipe to burst. The water that freezes in the hose will expand and this increases the pressure on the entire plumbing system. They need to be drained and disconnected. The faucets they are attached to should be drained as well. Faucet insulators can be installed to help protect them. Don't forget sprinkler lines. They should be blown out to prevent bursting and the need to replace them when summer arrives.
8. Check for Drafts: Under doors and around windows are the number one places you will feel cold air seep in when the weather turns chilly. In addition to making you feel cold, they can add to your heating costs. Caulking and weatherstripping can be used for cracks around windows and door frames to stop the cold air. Placing a rolled up towel in front of your door is one solution if you feel cold air coming from underneath. Since the door is used quite a bit, just tuck it firmly into place when you are in for the night.
9. Sweaters for Winter: A heavy sweater can actually make you feel 4 degrees warmer. Even a light sweater with long sleeves will result in added warmth of 2 degrees. Put on your sweater, turn the thermostat down a couple of degrees and you will still be cozy. A couple of throws on the sofa to snuggle under while watching television can help and save money on heating costs as well.
10. Heating System Upgrade: If your heating system is 10 years old or older you could be spending a lot more than you realize on heating. An old furnace can cost 50% more to keep your home warm than a new more energy-efficiency model. It will at least save you from 15% to 20% which is quite a bit when you consider how high heating costs can be in the winter. Additionally you reduce the risk of it breaking down in the middle of winter. If this happens your home is going to be at risk from the cold temperatures and since this is a busy time of year for repairmen you may have trouble finding someone to install a new one.
Right now we are offering 60 months 0% interest on new qualifying equipment. Call McCoy's Heating & Air Conditioning at 731-668-7492 to schedule your free estimate or to schedule your fall cleaning. Fall cleaning starts at $149 for one unit.
A common question we have been asked is whether we recommend a customer replace or repair their current HVAC unit this season. While this is a difficult question to answer without taking a look at each individual unit, there are several elements to consider prior to calling our office that will help ensure you are asking the right questions and are put in contact with the correct department- service or installation.
Check out this excellent infographic outlining what factors typically require a repair or a replacement that we feel will be beneficial to our customers.
Now that you check out the infographic outlining what factors typically require a repair or a replacement. We want to make sure you know what specials we have going on for replacement. We are currently offering FREE 10 Years Parts and Labor Warranty with all York equipment purchases. We are also offering FREE U-V Purifier Light with any unit purchase. You can combine these together. If you are looking at 16 Seers or above units ask about our 60 Months 0% Financing. Remember Estimate are always FREE at McCoy’s Heating & Air.
Contact us today for more information or to schedule your FREE Estimate or Service call.
“Closing vents in rooms we don’t use will save me money.”
Many homeowners think this, but it’s 100% wrong. It’s even worse than wrong; closing vents can actually cause your AC or heat pump to run inefficiently and eventually break.
We’ll explain why:
Closing vents does not save you money
Closing vents can actually damage your heating and AC system
Why closing air vents does not save you money
If you close air vents, your air conditioning and heating system will not run less and therefore you won’t save money as hoped.
Imagine that you’re walking at a brisk pace, and you’re breathing by inhaling through your mouth and exhaling through your nose. Moving air like this is how your HVAC (heating, ventilation and air conditioning) system works; the blower pulls air from the house through the return ducts and then pushes it back into the house through the supply ducts.
Now, imagine you decided to close one of your nostrils, but you continue to walk at the same pace. By doing this, you’re trying to move the same amount of air but have less pathways to do so. So, you either move less air (making you oxygen deprived), or you put in more effort to breathe comfortably.
Similarly, when you close a supply vent, you’re not causing your air conditioner to work less. All you do is increase pressure in your air ducts. Which is bad news for the blower because it’s designed to deliver a certain amount of air against a certain amount of pressure.
Closing vents will cause different problems depending on the type of blower:
Permanent split capacitor (PSC) blower— Closing vents causes this blower to slow down because it can’t overcome the extra pressure. Thus your system becomes “oxygen deprived.”
Electronically commutated motor (ECM) blower— This blower can adjust its speed to varying conditions. When you close air vents it will ramp up to overcome the extra pressure. Meaning bigger energy bills for you.
How closing air vents can hurt your HVAC system
OK, so now you know what happens when you close air vents. But how does that actually hurt the system?
Well, since a PSC blower (the most common type) slows down when you close vents, less air is delivered over your:
Air conditioner’s evaporator coil (the part that cools the air). Low airflow causes the coil to get too cold, and sometimes turn into a block of ice. Eventually liquid refrigerant flows back to the outdoor unit’s compressor, destroying it.
Furnace’s heat exchanger (the part that heats the air). Low airflow will cause heat exchanger to overheat, possibly crack.
And if you don’t have a warranty that covers these parts? You might as well replace the entire outside unit or furnace respectively because it would be more cost efficient than replacing those pricey parts.
Other issues with closing vents
So, we’ve covered the most important problem with closing vents: a damaged system. But there are a few other important problems closing vents can cause, including:
Remember, a PSC blower delivers less air, the more vents you close. That means your home will take longer to cool down or heat up.
Increased duct leakage
The average home loses 20-30% of the air blowing through it thanks to air duct leaks, according to ENERGY STAR. That means you’re paying 20% to 30% more than you should on your utility bills.
Closing vents worsens that leakage problem because the extra pressure forces MORE air out of those leaks. Think of it like jumping on top of a leaky air mattress. The mattress was already losing air, jumping on it just forces more air out of the leaks—and possibly making the leaks open even more.
Of course keeping vents open does not make the duct leakage problem go away. You would need a professional to seal the ductwork.
For the love of your budget, don’t close air vents!
Now, we don’t mean to be fear mongers here. Closing one vent isn’t going to instantly just ruin your system. But, we are saying that with every air vent you close, the above problems are more likely to happen. That’s all.
Have any other questions about the do’s and don’ts of cooling and heating your home?
If you live in the Jackson, Tennessee area, contact us with your questions. We would love to help!
As the weather begins to cool off, now is the time to establish some good plumbing habits to protect your home. A few simple plumbing preparations now will prevent headaches and costly repairs throughout the winter months. Here are some Plumbing Maintenance Tips to help you be prepared!
Fall and Winter Plumbing Tips for Outside your House
- Keep gutters free from leaves and debris: If your gutters get clogged it can create drainage problems. Rainwater can overflow over the gutters and land on the ground around your house. It’s then more likely to seep into your foundation, basement or crawlspace and cause issues for you.
- Unhook outdoor hoses: Drain and store hoses in an area that does not go below freezing temperatures. If left connected, water in hoses can freeze and expand causing faucets and connecting pipes inside your home to freeze and break.
- Get your sewer line cleaned and snaked: This is an item not often thought about but it’s best to be proactive and keep the system running the way it was designed to do. Get those pesky roots out of there as they won’t be growing much in the winter.
Some tasks, repairs, and maintenance may end up being harder to complete than originally thought. If anything happens that makes you feel like you are in over your head – call McCoy's Heating & Air Conditioning at 731-668-7492! Our licensed technicians have the knowledge, confidence and tools to remedy any plumbing issue. We are here to make sure your plumbing system is prepared for the temperatures ahead! We can’t wait to hear from you!
Have you serviced your heating, ventilating and air conditioning (HVAC) system for the winter period? Whether you are a homeowner or a property manager, you will need to find a reliable HVAC professional to help you service your HVAC system. A well maintained and serviced HVAC system is highly efficient in both its functionality and energy consumption.
Most heating demands in many homes and commercial buildings account for about 33% of the total energy consumption. Therefore, you should ensure that your HVAC system is working efficiently to significantly reduce your HVAC system energy consumption. Below are some insightful tips on HVAC preventive maintenance.
Fall HVAC Preventive Maintenance Tips
1. Replacement of Your HVAC System
You should consider the age of your heating system before you do anything. Heating systems that are more than 10years old are only 50-60 % efficient. Therefore, you should consider replacing the whole HVAC system. Today, gas furnaces available in the market boast of efficiency ratings that are as high as 97%.
2. Clean or Replace Air Filters
Dirty HVAC filters restrict airflow and reduce the entire efficiency of the HVAC system. If you have not cleaned or changed the air filters of your system for a while, now is the perfect time to do it. This should be done on a monthly basis.
3. Adjust the Supply Register
Remember, cold air falls and hot air rises. So when the weather cools, you should open a few of the supply register on the first floor and close a few on the second floor. This will facilitate the heating of your commercial building in a more efficient way.
4. Calibrate the Thermostat
Correct calibration greatly enhances the efficiency of your heating.
5. Investing in a Programmable Thermostat
A programmable thermostat enables you to manipulate the cooling and heating of your office building. So you can easily set the thermostat at different temperatures for different times of the day. Use of this type of thermostat reduces the heating cost by 20-75%.
6. Professional HVAC Inspection
A professional contractor should inspect your HVAC system at least twice a year. The inspection is meant to detect any potential problems and ensure that the HVAC system is working as efficiently as possible. The HVAC inspection involves checking filters, inspecting electrical switches, belts, contacts, motors, safety switches, gas pressure, and refrigerant levels.
7. HVAC Maintenance Agreement
Fall HVAC maintenance agreement is a great way to keep your system at peak performance. Having an HVAC maintenance agreement not only gives you the advantage of priority service in the event of system failure but also ensures that your checkups are done on schedule. This agreement will help you save money in the long run.
Performing regular preventative maintenance is an important step with almost everything you own or use regularly, especially something you depend on as much as your home comfort system. Getting a cleaning once or twice a year on your heating and air conditioning system is smart to protect your investment and to ensure it is operating efficiently. And there is no better time to schedule a system inspection than the fall.
Because fall is between the heating and cooling seasons, HVAC professionals generally have greater availability and flexibility in scheduling. Scheduling a cleaning in the fall ensures that your system is prepared to keep you comfortable all winter long and allows you to make any necessary repairs before the heating season begins.
Fall is also a great time to schedule a cleaning because of the season’s moderate temperatures. In most instances, you’ll want to have the cleaning done on a day that your system has not been used to either heat or cool your home. If your system is responsible for both heating and cooling, such as with a heat pump, it’s important to schedule your cleaning at a time when both functions of the system can be tested. In order to test the heating function of your system, the temperature outside cannot be greater than 70 degrees. If you have a furnace but want your air conditioning system inspected also, your air conditioning cannot be tested if the furnace has been used that day.
Why is a tune-up necessary?
An annual cleaning and inspection ensure your system is running smoothly, which keeps your home comfortable and, more importantly, will diagnose small problems before they become larger, costlier issues. HVAC professionals will check electrical connections, clear out accumulated dust, inspect drainage lines, look for leaks and test airflow, among other things.
Regular preventative maintenance on your system can extend its lifespan by several years and help you save on your energy bills. Systems that aren’t maintained regularly can lose up to 5 percent of their efficiency each year.
Though there are steps you should take to perform some of your system’s regular maintenance on your own, such as changing your air filter, these tasks are no substitute for having an expert inspect your system. Most homeowners do not have the knowledge, tools or equipment necessary to perform all the points of a system cleaning and inspection.
The cost of an annual service agreement is a small investment when an expert inspection can identify potential problems or repairs that can spare you the cost of a bigger problem down the road. In many cases, the agreement also includes additional discounts, such as no overtime rates for late-night or weekend repairs.
Even if nothing is found to be wrong with your system, an annual cleaning will most often pay for itself in terms of your system’s extended lifespan, reduced energy use, fewer repairs and maintained efficiency over time.
For more information about the McCoy's Heating & Air Conditioning Preventative Maintenance Plan, or to schedule a fall cleaning, contact McCoy's Heating & Air at 731-668-7492.
We are in the last week of August, and while the heat and humidity are still here with us, it’s a great time to take stock of your current air conditioner. Many homeowners concerned about energy efficiency and performance will have had their systems evaluated, cleaned and tuned-up long before the cooling season began, but that doesn’t mean your system is invincible. Indeed, you’ll want to take note of any operational issues that may arise with your central air unit, heat pump or ductless mini split. Let’s take a look at a few tips that you may want to keep in mind when it comes to cooling here in Jackson, Tennessee area.
Take stock of your system’s energy efficiency. It can be useful to compare how much you spent on cooling this year compared to last year. If the cost of electricity is more or less the same, then you can then assess whether your system’s efficiency is no longer what it once was. At this point, you may want to consider some minor upgrades that will keep your system operating at peak efficiency, such as a programmable or smart thermostat, extending your zone system or even considering a system upgrade.
Keep your home dark and cool during the day. It goes without saying that leaving a window open all day will affect your AC’s ability to perform, but are you taking the steps to keep out light? Investing in shades and curtains can save you a significant amount of money during the cooling season, and it’s never too late to do so, even as September approaches!
Know when to retire your AC. It’s tempting to want to run your AC into the ground. These systems are expensive and you don’t want to replace it unnecessarily. That said, you also want to avoid a breakdown at an inopportune time. Speak with a pro technician about the longevity of your system. The best way to keep tabs on how your AC is doing is with a preventive maintenance plan.
Don’t wait until next cooling season to have your system looked at if it’s giving you trouble now. Let the professionals at McCoy's Heating & Air have a look. Call us today!
If you have pets in your home, you probably consider them part of your family and know that it’s important to keep them comfortable. After all, they live in your home, too, and there’s a good chance they spend more time there than you.
But, as much as we love our furry friends, most pet owners also know the frustration of hair and dander spreading throughout the house, creating unpleasant odors, decreasing your home’s air quality, and even putting a strain on your heating and air conditioning system. That’s why you’ll want to take a few precautions to prevent any damage to your system. Here are some heating and cooling tips for pet owners:
BATHE AND GROOM YOUR PETS
Regularly bathing and grooming your pets has several benefits for you and your home. Making a habit of cleaning and grooming works as a great preventative measure, as it’s the first step to improving your home’s air quality before contaminants become a problem.
By periodically spending a few minutes brushing your pet and disposing of the extra hair, you’ll notice a world of difference around your home. It will also mean you’ll have to sweep less frequently, and it even has benefits for your pets, keeping them lighter and more comfortable.
UPGRADE TO A HEPA OR HIGH-EFFICIENCY FILTER
A high-efficiency particulate air (HEPA) filter is denser than regular air filters and removes significantly more pollutants and particles from the air in your home. This includes pet hair and pet dander, as well as other dust and debris. Top HEPA filters will remove 99.97 percent of particles down to 0.3 microns (1/25,000 of an inch) in diameter, according to the Environmental Protection Agency.
Many residential heating and air conditioning systems may not be compatible with HEPA filters, as the filters are too dense for the system’s fans. This could have an adverse effect on your system. However, high efficiency (non-HEPA) filters with a MERV rating of 13 or higher are almost as effective as HEPA filters at removing particles from the air in your home.
CHANGE YOUR AIR FILTER EVERY MONTH
An air filter’s efficiency rating means very little if you don’t routinely change your filter. The frequency at which you should change your air filter depends on your lifestyle, but pet owners should change the air filter every one or two months. If you don’t change your filter routinely, it becomes clogged with dust, hair, and dander, allowing very little air through.
Failing to change your air filter regularly, especially if you’re a pet owner, could lead to lingering odors throughout your ducts and your home. It could also decrease the efficiency of your heating and cooling system, and even potentially cause major damage if it becomes too clogged.
KEEP TEMPERATURES COMFORTABLE FOR YOUR PETS
Our pets can’t communicate their preference for the temperature, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t consider their comfort when setting the thermostat. While it’s not uncommon, and actually encouraged, to set your AC a few degrees higher when you’re not at home, keep in mind that the temperature plays a big role for your pets’ health and comfort.
If you’re a pet owner, the Alliance to Save Energy suggests keeping the thermostat around 78 degrees Fahrenheit in the summer, and 68 degrees Fahrenheit in the winter, while the house is empty (of humans). If your pet needs special accommodations due to their health, breed or lifestyle, you should speak with your veterinarian about where to set your thermostat while you’re away.
SCHEDULE REGULAR DUCT CLEANINGS AND INSPECTIONS
Even with the use of high-efficiency air filters, a lot of pet hair and dander can accumulate in a home’s ductwork over time. That’s why it’s recommended that pet owners schedule regular duct inspections and have their home’s ducts cleaned as needed.
Ducts should be checked by a professional for the buildup of contaminants such as pet hair and dander, pollen, mold spores, dust and other debris. Ducts should also be inspected for holes, tears, and leaks, especially at seams or other vulnerable areas.
TURN OFF YOUR FANS WHEN YOU’RE NOT HOME
Ceiling fans may be great for you on a hot day, but they don’t benefit your pet. Because most dogs and cats are covered in fur, they don’t feel the effects of the ceiling fan the same way we do. By constantly running your ceiling fan when you’re not home, you’re wasting energy. You could also be circulating pet hair and dander throughout the air in your home
If you have pets and it has been a while since you’ve had a tune-up on your heating and air conditioning system, you should consider scheduling maintenance as soon as possible. McCoy's Heating & Air Conditioning Preventative Maintenance Plans offer a twice-yearly 28-point inspections, discounts on parts and other great perks to ensure you – and your pets – are always comfortable.
As the kids get ready to go back to school, don’t forget to take care of your home’s plumbing! You may not realize it, but your plumbing undergoes a lot of stress as the school year starts up again. By following these back-to-school plumbing tips, you can ensure that a plumbing emergency won’t be on your school shopping list.
A) Shower Safety
Hot showers are nice, but a scalding shower can mean a serious burn for you or someone in your family. To avoid potential burns, and to control the temperature of your shower or sink, keep your water heater set at no higher than 120° Fahrenheit.
B) Hot Water Guarantee
No matter how many people are vying for shower time in the morning or at night, if you want your hot water to last, make sure to leave 15 minutes between showers. This allows your water heater enough time to refill its hot water supply, so everyone gets to enjoy a nice, warm shower.
Another solution to your hot water problem is a tankless water heater. Tankless water heaters provide you with hot water when you need it, and run more efficiently than gas or electric water heaters. If you’re interested in a tankless water heater, request a quote today!
C) Laundry Galore
Once school’s back in full swing, the amount of laundry you do will go up, up and up! With school and gym clothes and sports uniforms, the laundry can really pile up. The best thing you can do is wait to do a full load every time. This will save you money and give your washer a break from time to time!
Can your plumbing handle the Back-to-School stress? For any plumbing issues call McCoy's Heating & Air
Your home plumbing system can amount to around 15% of the total value of your home. Keeping that investment operating smoothly will benefit you both in the near term, and down the road.
But where should you start? Below is a checklist of maintenance tips for making sure your plumbing stays healthy. It will also help to raise awareness of potential problems early so that you can avoid the costly result of waiting too long to repair plumbing issues.
Daily tips are meant to prevent clogs. As readers of this blog know, clogs are one of the most common plumbing issues - and can cause any number of problems. A few simple tips and daily care can keep your home free of clogs.
In the kitchen:
- Never put grease or oil down your sink, including cooking oils and fats such as butter. They can congeal and block pipes.
- When running your garbage disposal, always turn on the water before adding any food.
- Allow cold water to run for several seconds after turning off the disposal to flush any remaining food down the mainline.
- Running your dishwasher overnight can help to maintain good water pressure in other areas of the house throughout the day.
In the bathroom:
- Install screens to protect drains from hair and other objects from causing clogs.
- Avoid corrosive chemical clog removal products that can damage your pipes.
- Do not flush anything other than human waste and toilet paper down your toilet.
- Wait between 10 and 15 minutes between showers to avoid unwanted stress on plumbing by maintaining proper water pressure.
Throughout the home:
- Look for evidence of pipe leaks and moisture- such a water stains, mold or musty smells.
- Check for even drainage, bubbles or other signs of problems with the main line of the house.
- Make sure water faucets are not leaking out the handles or under the sink.
- Regularly empty lint traps on washing machines.
If you have any questions regarding plumbing in your home, call McCoy's Heating & Air at 731-668-7492 to have one of our professionals out to take a look.
According to Energy Star, the average household family spends 13 percent of their annual utility bill on cooling… so, it’s important to choose the right unit. But installing an HVAC is not just about finding the best brand at the best deal. Whether you’re looking to replace your AC or installing a new unit in a new home, there are factors you need to consider when comparing all the best air conditioning systems out there.
If you want to survive the dog days of summer, you must look at size, efficiency, and controls.
Considerations for the Best Air Conditioning Systems
Two-thirds of all homes in the US have air conditioners but not all of them are sized correctly. And we’re not talking about the physical size of the unit, but rather the amount of air the unit is able to cool. AC units are measured in BTU/hr (British Thermal Units), also referred to in “tons.” One ton of cooling equals 12,000 Btu/hr and this is the measure of the air conditioner’s cooling capacity. For more sizing guidance, use the calculator on the Energy Star website.
Switching to high-efficiency air conditioners and taking other actions to keep your home cool could reduce energy use for air conditioning by 20% to 50%. Energy efficiency describes how much cooling the unit delivers for each watt of electricity and is expressed as SEER (Seasonal Energy Efficiency Rating).
The minimum SEER for a split system central air conditioner allowed today is 13, so be on the lookout for units with SEER ratings of 13 or more. The higher the SEER, the more you’ll see a decrease in energy costs.
Controls Such as Programmable Thermostats
Over the years, new technologies have improved the way HVAC systems function. For example, simply by utilizing a programmable thermostat, residents can reduce cooling costs by up to 20 percent. Built-in digital timers, touchpad control, home comfort zoning, and smart home automation features can all help you save on energy bills, improve efficiencies and conveniently control the temperature of your home. Look for features that will affect performance and efficiency.
Upgrading Existing Systems
If you’re upgrading your central air unit, don’t assume you should purchase the same-sized system. New systems are 20 to 40 percent more efficient than minimum-efficiency models made even 10 years ago. Plus, any updates you’ve made to improve your home’s energy efficiency, such as upgrading your windows or adding insulation, can reduce your cooling needs. Alternatively, if you’ve added rooms, you might require additional cooling.
Once you find the right AC unit for your home, maintain it so it will last. An annual HVAC service plan is one of the best ways to keep your air conditioning unit operating well for years to come (the average lifespan of an HVAC system is 12 to 15 years).
At McCoy's Heating & Air, we offer a convenient service agreement for your AC system known as Preventative Maintenance plan which includes two visits per year (one in the spring, one in the fall) plus a plumbing inspection. Our Preventative Maintenance plan starts at $199.
Choosing from the Best Air Conditioning Systems: Which Unit is Right for You?
If you need assistance in choosing from the best air conditioning systems for your home, one of the McCoy's Heating & Air technicians would be happy to help. Contact us today at 731-668-7492 and stay cool.