Heat Pumps vs. Air Conditioners – What’s the Difference?

05/11/2015

Have you ever wondered what the difference between a heat pump and an air conditioner is? Well wonder no more! We’ve outlined some of the key differences between these two common systems below:

While both devices can be involved in cooling your home (as an air conditioner is essentially a type of heat pump), the main difference between a heat pump and an air conditioner is that some heat pumps can actually have a dual function – they can cool your house during warmer months and help heat it when it’s cold outside. This is more accurately known as a reversible heat pump.

An air conditioning system makes use of refrigerant fluid to remove the heat that is inside your house and expel it outside, thus cooling the house overall. It can only move this heat one way (outside), cooling the interior of your home.

A reversible heat pump, on the other hand, makes use of a device called a reversing valve, which gives it its dual function. This allows the unit to reverse the refrigerant’s flow, which in turn allows it to act as a heater when needed as well as a cooling system, so while there is no particular difference in function during the summer, having a heat pump does eliminate the need for further heating equipment during the winter, depending on your needs. Heat pumps can’t normally replace the job of traditional furnaces when the temperature gets very cold, but they can provide and efficient complement to them or act as a backup heating system.

For more information, contact the experts at DC Cheeks today. 770-888-8788.

What to Look For in Emergency AC Repair

04/28/2015

With the warmer weather now moving in, more homeowners are beginning to turn down the thermostat and think about their AC. In order to keep your home at a comfortable temperature this spring and summer, you will need to give your air conditioner a workout. Of course, the more the AC unit is used in your home, the higher the risk will become for repair issues. Unfortunately, situations will arise where you have emergency AC repair that needs to done in a hurry.

Here’s what you need to do when your air conditioning system starts malfunctioning:

As soon as you start to notice you are having issues with your unit, you will need to turn it off immediately. The longer you leave it running, the more damage it will ultimately cause. Once you have turned off the unit, you can give us a call and we’ll be right over to take a look at it and repair any issues.

There are number of different AC repair services to choose from in the Cumming area, but DC Cheek stands out from the rest. We are a professional air conditioning repair company that has been in the business for a while, is bonded, insured, and our good customer reviews speak for themselves. You can depend on us for all your emergency air conditioning service needs, and rest assured that we will get the job done quickly and efficiently. Give us a call at 770-888-8788.

The Importance of Commercial Air Conditioning Maintenance

04/14/2015

Whether we’re talking about a commercial air conditioning system in a large or small office, restaurant, grocery store, gas station, repair shop, or any other type of business, it is crucial that it is properly maintained.

While there are a number of reasons why you should schedule routine maintenance for your commercial air conditioner, the comfort of your employees and customers is of particular importance.

With the stifling heat of summer on its way, you can’t run the risk of your system not being able to keep your building comfortably cool. Let’s look at several additional reasons why preventative AC maintenance is something you can’t put off.

Reduce Inefficiency

​Dust quickly builds up on the inside of air conditioners, as well as the filters, which can prevent the various components from efficiently cooling the air. Not only does this leave indoor temperature warmer than you’d prefer, but it can lead to it running for extended periods of time or potentially not cutting off at all. In addition to causing your monthly energy bill to skyrocket, this is bad for the environment.

Avoid Potential Problems

​Regularly scheduled maintenance has been shown to decrease the chances of a breakdown by as much as 95%. Everything from cleaning the coils to checking the levels of refrigerant gives a technician the opportunity to identify a potential issue and fix it before it turns into a major problem. This dramatically reduces your chances of having to pay for costly AC repairs or even having to replace the entire system early.

Improve Air Quality

Ensuring that everything is routinely cleaned and inspected will prevent the buildup of fungal, microbial, and bacterial growth that not only becomes increasingly more difficult to remove with time, but can also cause serious health concerns.

If you don’t take the necessary steps to maintain your commercial air conditioning system, it can wreak havoc on your business and profits. Be sure you schedule routine maintenance to keep your system working at an optimum level.

Contact DC Cheek to schedule an appointment today. 770-888-8788.

The Importance of Spring AC Tune-Ups

03/27/2015

With warmer weather fast approaching, keeping your air conditioner tuned up and running properly is essential to keeping your home cool reliably and efficiently. Very much like your automobile, once something breaks on your air conditioner, if left unattended, other things will break soon after. Basically, without a proper tune-up before the warmer season, it’s easy for problems to accumulate in your AC system when it’s not maintained properly.

Having a DC Cheek professional technician come to your home for an AC tune up will not only help to keep you cool in the warm summer months, it will save you money in the long run!

How AC Tune-Ups Save You Money

A properly maintained air conditioning system will require less energy when it is properly cooling in the way that it was designed for. The better it runs, the less it has to work in order to keep you comfortable in your own home. On top of that, it will require less costly and less frequent repairs.

As summer will be here before you know it – don’t waste any more time, and stop putting off a call that can bring great benefits to you and your family’s comfort. Get ahead of the game and be ready for the warm weather that is just around the corner. Give us a call today at 770-888-8788.

The Three Types of Air Filters That Keep Our Homes Clean

03/11/2015

When it comes to air filters, we’re looking at three basic types: mechanical, ion generators and electronic air cleaners. In addition to these, there are hybrid systems that combine mechanical, ion and/or electronic features. All of them work to keep the air in your home clean, and achieve this goal in different ways.

Mechanical Filters

Mechanical filters are the models found in most homes with central heating and/or air conditioning. The standard mechanical filter is a flat pane that contains coarse fibers (typically fiberglass, aluminum or synthetic material) held in place with a cardboard or plastic frame. Generally, mechanical filters are efficient at collecting large particles, but only remove a small percentage of smaller particles. When it comes to mechanical filters, the more dense the filter material or the greater the filter surface area, the better it will remove pollutants. These types of filters may be affordable but they are also the least effective, stopping only 10% to 40% of pollutants.

Ion Generators (or Air Ionizers)

Ion generators are portable devices that use electrostatic charges to remove particles such as allergens, pollen, mold spores, dust and animal dander from indoor air. All of the previously mentioned particles are neutral, meaning they have no charge and can float freely in the air. The ion generator charges the neutral particles and causes them to stick to each other to form clumps. These clumps of particles then become heavy enough so that gravity can pull them down to the floor, where they can be vacuumed up, rather than staying in suspension where they can be breathed in and cause allergic reactions. Most ion systems require either filter replacement or periodic cleaning. They are also highly efficient and can remove 25% to 94% of the pollutants.

Electronic Air Cleaners

Electronic air cleaners use an electrical field like a powerful magnet to trap charged particles. Whole-house air cleaners are most often installed in house ducts between the cold air return and the fan, but they can also be in portable units with fans. Electronic air cleaners are the most efficient cleaners of indoor air, removing up to 95% of dirt, dust and smoke.

DC Cheeks Heating and Cooling specialists help you maintain a comfortable home in all seasons, including good air quality. Contact us today to schedule a duct cleaning appointment and ensure your family’s health. 770-888-8788.

 

 

Troubleshooting Air Heat Pumps

02/19/2015

Heat pumps require regular maintenance to ensure proper operation and extend the life of the unit. The most common cause of problems occurring in a heat pump is due to a lack of water flow. The inhibition of water flow can be the result of various things going wrong, here are a few possible reasons:

  • There is a blocked filter in the heating circuit.
  • There is a water valve in the fluid circuit which has been shut off.
  • A pump failure has occurred.
  • The strainer of the heat pump is blocked. This can often happen if the installer has not properly cleaned the system. Rest assured that our technicians are well trained in the installation and maintenance of heat pumps. If your strainer is clogged, our technician will undo the strainer and take out the filter element. They will then proceed to wash it in clean water and replace it.
  • Blockage in the brine (or antifreeze) circuit. If this is the case, our professionals will check your heat pumps filters, the status of the antifreeze to determine whether it has aged or if there is a failed pump.

Most problems involving heat pump system performance require specialist intervention. A qualified service provider should annually inspect your home heat pump in order to ensure proper operation. Contact DC Cheek Heating & Cooling today to schedule an evaluation visit. Our technicians will examine and determine the status of your home’s heat pump system. 770-888-8788.

 

Time to Have Your Home Air Ducts Cleaned?

02/04/2015

Having your home’s air ducts cleaned will increase furnace efficiency, reduce dust in the air and help allergy sufferers. To help you decide whether this service is for you – here are key questions to ask yourself.

  • How old is your furnace? Have you ever had the ducts cleaned before? You get the most benefit from air duct cleaning the first time it is done because that’s when years of dust (which could decrease fuel efficiency by as much as 10 per cent) and any large objects blocking the air ducts are removed.
  • Do you have cold spots in your house? This could be caused by large objects blocking the ducts and preventing heat from reaching individual rooms.
  • Do you notice an abnormal amount of dust in the house? The dust could be coming from the blocked air ducts.
  • Are you bothered by allergies and dust in the air? Cleaning air ducts automatically relieves allergies and reduces the amount of dust and allergens circulating in the home.
  • Do you have central air conditioning? The coil on air conditioners becomes inefficient when choked with dust and having your ducts cleaned helps keep it clean.

Contact DC Cheek Heating & Cooling today to schedule an evaluation visit. Our technicians will examine and determine the status of your home’s air duct system. Depending on the results we find, we will then recommend the best possible solution to improve the air quality and comfort of your home. 770-888-8788.

 

 

How to Reduce a Home’s Heating Bills

01/16/2015

Are you looking to save money and to reduce your monthly energy bills? There are many ways to slash your energy bills without necessarily having to sacrifice the comfort of your family. You can implement the following energy-saving methods:

  • Install a programmable thermostat. Whenever possible, lower the thermostat. A programmable thermostat is the best option, is the most efficient and can be easily installed. Lowering the temperature by a few degrees when sleeping and by several additional degrees when you are away from home is recommended.
  • Follow a maintenance program. Your HVAC system should be serviced annually by a qualified DC Cheeks professional.
  • De-clutter your home. Ensure air registers, heating ducts, and radiators are clean and not blocked with furniture or clutter.
  • Replace worn out weather stripping. Weatherize exterior windows and doors to prevent cold air from seeping into your home.
  • Pay more attention. Turn off lights, electronic devices, exhaust fans, and appliances when not in use.
  • Upgrade outdated HVAC equipment. Replace outdated furnaces, water heaters, or other appliances. Ensure replacement items you purchase are Energy Star certified.
  • Install or upgrade your home’s insulation system. There should be a good insulation system in the attic, walls, floors, basement, and crawl spaces of your home.

DC Cheek Heating and Cooling specialist will help you maintain a comfortable home in all seasons. Contact us today to schedule an appointment and visit our website for more information. 770-888-8788.

 

How to Choose a Gas Water Heater that Best Suits Your Home

12/24/2014

Except for heating and cooling your house, water heating is typically a home’s greatest consumer of energy. The newer water heater models are significantly more efficient than older models – even ones that are a few years old. Installing a new water heater will cut your utility bills and should provide more hot water for your home.

 

If you’re choosing to go with a gas water heater, your first consideration should be the first-hour rating, or FHR. This rate indicates how much hot water the water heater can produce in one hour. This includes the volume of hot water in the tank after not being used all night and the amount of new hot water the burners can heat in one hour.

 

The efficiency of gas or electric water heaters can be compared by looking at their energy factor, or EF. This energy factor is a number between 0 and 1; it relates to how much of each energy dollar results in heated water from the water heater tank. A higher EF indicates higher efficiency and lower utility bills.

 

Another important feature to consider in a gas water heater is its tank insulation. Two inches of foam insulation are often used in the most efficient models. Most heaters will also have special baffles in the internal flue pipe to improve the heat transfer to the water. For simplicity, the EF already takes these factors into account. Finally, the length of the warranty on the gas heater you choose at the end of the day is also an important factor.

 

A DC Cheek specialist can recommend the appropriate water heater size for your family. DC Cheek Heating and Coolingwill help you maintain and upgrade your heating system to keep you warm throughout the winter. Contact us today to schedule an appointment. 770-888-8788.

 

It’s Time to Tune Up Your Heating System

12/04/2014

Heating systems need to be tuned up periodically to keep them operating smoothly and efficiently. If you haven’t done so already, now is the time to get your heating system inspected, cleaned and tuned-up. Some of this annual maintenance can be done by homeowners, but most of it should be done by a heating system technician.

Here’s list of some common heating tune-ups:

– Replace air filters regularly. If you have a forced-air distribution system with a furnace or heat pump, replace the primary air filter at the start of the heating season and then every month or two throughout the season, depending on how heavily the system operates. Clean filters will prolong the lifetime of your system and help it operate efficiently.
– Check and adjust your thermostats. If you have programmable thermostats in your house, take advantage of their convenience and savings potential by properly setting them.
– Inspect and clean air vents and baseboard radiators. Efficient heating depends on warm air rising into your rooms from hot-air vents or baseboard radiators. Make sure these aren’t blocked by carpets or furniture, and vacuum them at the start of the heating season to improve heat transfer.

DC Cheek Heating and Cooling will help you maintain and upgrade your heating system to keep you warm throughout the winter. Contact us today to schedule an appointment. 770-888-8788.