Reasons to Consider a Whole House Dehumidifier

March 27th, 2015 by David Roussel

Most homeowners know that excess moisture indoors can cause a lot of discomfort, but what may be less known is how much damage it can cause over time. It’s no secret that we live in a humid region, and our excess humidity can affect your home, your air conditioner and your indoor air quality. One of the best ways to combat the effects of excessive humidity in Woodstock is to install a whole house dehumidifier. Unlike small, independent room dehumidifiers that address only a small area of your living space, a whole house dehumidifier is integrated with your HVAC system and removes all the excess moisture in your home seamlessly. Of course, to gain the benefits of a whole house dehumidifier, it’s important to hire only a trained expert for installation. The indoor air quality specialists at South Air, Inc., can help you with installation, maintenance, repair and replacement of your whole house dehumidifier in Woodstock, so call us today!

Why Consider a Dehumidifier?

Here are some of the more common reasons why you may want to consider the installation of a whole home dehumidifier:

Avoid Mold and Mildew Development

Mold and mildew thrive in moist atmospheres, and they grow on a whole lot of things, including linens, photos, paper products, clothes, furniture and ductwork. Once mold and mildew start to grow they can be very difficult to get rid of, and if you have allergy sufferers in your home, they may start to have a very difficult time in your home.

Take the Extra Stress off Your AC

Humidity holds heat, which is why humidity makes the temperature feel hotter than it may be. Your air conditioner cools your home by removing both the heat and the humidity, but when there’s excess moisture in the air, your AC has to work twice as hard. Removing the excess moisture helps take the stress off your AC, allowing it to operate at normal levels.

Improve Indoor Comfort

Excess moisture in your indoor air can make the atmosphere feel cold and clammy instead of cool and dry. The whole reason you have an air conditioner is to be comfortable, so don’t let excess humidity compromise that.

If you’ve had enough of excess humidity in your Woodstock home, call the experts at South Air, Inc., today and schedule an appointment for whole house dehumidifier installation.

What Are My Choices for Home Cooling?

March 20th, 2015 by David Roussel

It won’t be long before homeowners in Atlanta will be turning on the AC instead of the heat. Are you in need of a new air conditioner this spring? Choosing an air conditioner takes some time and consideration, and an understanding of what your options are. Here at South Air Inc., we offer several kinds of home cooling systems as part of our overall cooling services in Cartersville. Working with a trained expert from the very beginning of the installation process helps ensure that you choose and install an air conditioner that fits your needs and the needs of your home. Get ahead of the spring heat by scheduling an appointment with a South Air, Inc., professional today.

Cooling Choices

Traditional Split System AC

The traditional split system air conditioner is one of the most common types of whole-home cooling around. This type of system has an outdoor unit that contains the compressors and condenser and an indoor unit that contains the blower (air handler) and the evaporator. Ductwork is necessary to use a split system AC.

Heat Pump

Heat pumps cool by transferring heat from one location to another; as such, they can both heat and cool. Heat pump systems don’t use any fossil fuels to operate; they only use a small amount of electricity. Heat pumps can be used in either a ducted or ductless system.

Ductless Mini Split System

Ductless mini split systems can be only air conditioners, or work with a heat pump, and will offer your home both heating and cooling. Ductless systems have an outdoor unit just like a traditional split system AC, but use individual indoor blowers to deliver the air. The blowers are about 3 feet long and can be mounted flush to walls or hung from ceilings. The blowers connect to the outdoor unit via a conduit; a single outdoor unit can support up to 4 indoor blowers.

Geothermal System

A geothermal systems are another type of system that uses a heat pump to both heat and cool your home. During the summer, the heat pump absorbs the heat in your home and transfers it to the environmentally-friendly antifreeze in the geothermal ground loop; the heat is released into the ground. In the winter, the environmentally-friendly antifreeze absorbs the latent heat in the surrounding ground, transfers it to the heat pump where it is concentrated, then disperses it to your home.

If you are ready for a new AC in Cartersville, schedule an appointment with one of our residential cooling services experts today!

How Does an Aquatherm© Combination Heating System Work?

March 13th, 2015 by David Roussel

It can be difficult to find energy efficient heating solutions for small properties, especially if you have a property like a condominium. But there is a product on the market that can heat your condo by making dual use of your hot water heater: the First Co. Aquatherm© combination heating system. We have a number of multi-family dwellings in Woodstock, and our South Air Inc., experts have seen some great benefits that this system offers these types of properties. First, let’s take a look at how the system works.

How It Operates

A First Co. Aquatherm© Combination heating system can use any size or kind of tank water heater as a base for the system. It doesn’t matter if they water heater is powered by gas, oil or electricity, it just needs to have a tank. The heater can also make use of a split-system type condensing unit.

The components in an Aquatherm® air handler include:

  • A fan and fan motor
  • A hot water circulating pump
  • A hot water heating coil
  • An air purge valve
  • A check valve
  • Components for low voltage control

Additionally, many models include a cooling coil for air conditioning.

When heat is called for by your wall thermostat, the cue from the thermostat starts a small pump that takes water from the hot water tank to the hot water coil in the Aquatherm© air handler. The fan draws cool air in from your living space and as this air passes over the hot water, the air absorbs the heat; this air is then circulated throughout your living space. When your home reaches the temperature you’ve set, the water is circulated back to the hot water heater for re-heating.

The Benefits

Here are some of the benefits an Aquatherm© Combination heating system can offer you:

  • Better energy efficiency
  • Low maintenance
  • Up to 16 SEER for air conditioning
  • Comfortable heat

The heating and cooling experts at South Air, Inc., are factory-trained to install, maintain, repair and replace Aquatherm© Combination heating systems.

If you are interested to see if an Aquatherm© Combination Heating system will work for your home in Woodstock, call us today!

Why Schedule an Energy Assessment?

March 6th, 2015 by David Roussel

As we head toward the end of another winter, you may be looking at your winter heating bills and wondering if there are some issues with your home that make it less energy efficient than it should be. The experts at South Air Inc., have a way to help you find out some of these answers, and it’s free – all you have to do is schedule an energy assessment for your home in Cartersville! A free energy assessment isn’t as thorough as a full energy audit, but the assessment will shed light on areas that may be causing you problems with energy efficiency. And the fact that our energy assessments are free make scheduling the appointment a no-brainer. What happens during one of our energy assessment appointments? Here is a general overview:

  • Your attic bypasses, insulation levels, ducts are given a full visual inspection
  • Full visual inspection of crawl space or basement bypasses and insulation levels, as well as any ductwork in these areas
  • Identification of any issues within your primary living spaces, including problems like uneven temperatures and draftiness.

How Energy Assessments Help

Why schedule a free energy assessment? First, you’ll get a clear idea of how well your insulation is working and if you have enough of it to stay energy efficient year-round; if you don’t, you’ll be given recommendations on how to improve it. The visual inspection of your ductwork will help reveal if areas of your ductwork are faulty (although this will be based on what the technician can see). Lastly, you’ll be able to identify and discuss heating and cooling problems you may be experiencing, which can help you pinpoint some specific problem areas.

Energy Audits

If what you find from your free energy assessment leads to more questions, you may want to move forward with an in-depth energy audit. An energy audit as conducted by your South Air Inc., expert will pinpoint exact areas of air loss and moisture, and tests like the blower door test will be conducted.

Poor energy efficiency can cost you money and compromise your comfort. Take advantage of our free energy assessment for your Cartersville home by scheduling an appointment today!

How Often Should Your Ducts Be Cleaned?

February 27th, 2015 by David Roussel

Your ductwork is the highway for your home’s air delivery and like a highway, it can suffer from wear. The most common way this is evident is from dirt and dust build-up inside the ductwork. You may not be able to see this build-up immediately, but it does happen, and if left long enough, the build-up can negatively affect the operation of your home HVAC system. So how often should you schedule your ducts in Woodstock, GA, for cleaning? The industry recommendation is every 3-5 years, but there are a few factors that can affect this time period:

Smokers

If you have a family member or members in your home who smoke, you’ll want to schedule your ducts for cleaning more often. The second-hand smoke and odor from smoked cigarettes and cigars can linger for years, so to get ahead of this, it’s important to have your ducts cleaned more frequently.

Pets

Pet dander, and even more importantly, pet fur and hair, gets caught easily inside ductwork, and it doesn’t take long for it to build into a sizeable layer. When you combine this layer with the dirt and dust inside the ductwork, you can have a serious problem on your hands. As with smokers, it’s important to have your ductwork cleaned every two years when you have pets.

Infestations

No one likes to think about critters of any kind taking up residence in their ductwork, but it does happen. The problem with this is that critters like to come back to good homes once they’ve found one, and they are able to find their previous homes by marking them. The result for you is a smelly mess that needs to be thoroughly cleaned and removed so that the markers are no longer there.

Mold or Mildew

Mold and mildew can thrive in ductwork if there is enough moisture, and once they begin to grow, they very hard to get rid of. If you’ve had a problem with mold and mildew, the best way to make sure they don’t return is to have your ductwork cleaned regularly every two years.

Hiring a pro is the best way to guarantee that your ducts are truly cleaned, so puts yourself at ease and call the ductwork experts at South Air Inc., to schedule a duct cleaning appointment for your home in Woodstock, GA.

Electric vs. Gas Furnace: What Are the Differences?

February 20th, 2015 by David Roussel

Furnaces are used in approximately 60% of home across the United States, making them the most installed and utilized systems around. But what homeowners may not realize is that not all furnaces use combustion to generate heat; in other words, there is another choice for fuel: electricity. Electric furnaces have come a long way over the years and have become a popular alternative to gas furnaces, making them a potential option for your Cartersville home. So what are the differences between these two systems? Let’s take a look.

Electric Furnace

An electric furnace generates heat by running electricity through tightly-wound coils; these coils are part of a component known as the heating element. The coils heat until they are red-hot, and once the air around them reaches the correct temperature, the system’s fan turns on and blows the warmed air into your home’s living spaces. Some of the benefits of an electric furnace are:

  • Energy efficiency – electric furnaces don’t lose any energy to combustion, so many electric furnaces have AFUE ratings of 100%.
  • Long lifespan – the average lifespan of an electric furnace is 20-30 years as compared to a combustion furnace, which is 15-20.

Gas (Combustion) Furnace

Gas furnaces (or propane) generate heat by igniting an element called the burner and using the burner to heat another element, known as the heat exchanger. The heat exchanger does two things at once: it removes the toxic combustion byproducts by venting them directly to the flue of your system while generating heat for your home. The heat for your home is actually the heat on the outside of the heat exchanger, and this warm is blown into your home by the system’s fan. Some benefits of gas furnaces include:

  • Fast heating – natural gas heats very quickly, so your home will heat very fast with a gas furnace.
  • Clean-burning – natural gas is the cleanest-burning of all the fossil fuels.

Which Is Best for You?

This is a question that should be answered with the help of a trained professional. If you are ready for a new furnace in Cartersville, call the company you can trust: South Air Inc.

Some of the Unusual Movies Released for Valentine’s Day

February 14th, 2015 by David Roussel

Hollywood has always tried to match movies up to the seasons to draw droves of viewers to the theaters: October is packed with fright-offerings, while the winter holidays skew toward warm and pleasing family films (as well as Oscar hopefuls). Valentine’s Day falls in an odd spot when it comes to the movie release calendar, however, since February tends to be a slower time for the film industry. The studios are as likely to slot strange movies that don’t fit anywhere else in their annual schedules into the Valentine’s Day weekend as they are films with powerful romantic appeal.

So, while the second weekend of February has featured hugely successful romantic comedies like Hitch, The Wedding Singer, and (of course) Valentine’s Day, some truly weird choices have debuted in this weekend as well. And a few have even gone on to tremendous success despite the bizarre match with the holiday. Here are a couple of the odder Valentine’s Day movie releases:

  • Dracula (1931): Yes, this Halloween perennial and the start of Universal Studio’s Classic Monsters actually came out on Valentine’s Day! But perhaps this makes some sense, as the Dracula legend has often received a “doomed lover” approach in the many years since Bela Lugosi made the aristocratic vampire a screen icon.
  • The Silence of the Lambs (1991): Does any film seem less appropriate for Valentine’s Day than this unnerving and sometimes very violent psychological thriller? What’s even more astonishing than the film’s release date is that The Silence of the Lambs eventually nabbed the Oscar for Best Picture, an almost unheard of occurrence for a movie released so early in the year.
  • Daredevil (2003): This Marvel comic adaptation featuring Ben Affleck as a blind superhero does contain a romantic subplot, but the stronger connection to Valentine’s Day may just be that Daredevil wears a bright red costume.
  • A Good Day to Die Hard (2013): The least successful of the Die Hard film franchise, this is an excellent example of a studio dropping a film into a weekend where it doesn’t fit in the hopes that it works as counter-programming. (It didn’t.)
  • Wayne’s World (1992): Now here is an example of counter-programming that clicked with audiences. This comedy based on a Saturday Night Live sketch turned into one of that year’s biggest hits and spawned a sequel.

Whether you celebrate Valentine’s Day with a trip to the movie theater, or you have your own special plans, everyone here at South Air Inc. hopes you and your loved ones have a wonderful weekend.

Reasons to Schedule Winter Air Conditioning Maintenance in Woodstock, GA

February 5th, 2015 by David Roussel

Our temperatures aren’t anywhere near needing air conditioning, which is why scheduling winter maintenance for your air conditioning system in Woodstock, GA, is a great idea. It may seem counter-intuitive, but scheduling an AC maintenance appointment now will help you get ahead of spring rush. There are other reasons to schedule winter maintenance, including:

  • Protecting your air conditioner from winter weather – during a maintenance appointment, your outside unit will be cleared of debris and the condenser coils cleaned of dust, dirt and leaves.
  • Detection and removal of animal nests – the metal cabinet of your outdoor unit makes for a great winter residence for nesting animals. Should you have any winter visitors, they will be detected and removed during the maintenance appointment.
  • Prevent repairs – the thorough cleaning your system goes through, in addition to the inspection, allows the technician to detect problems ahead of your use in the spring.
  • Be ready for warm weather – our heat comes fast in Georgia, and you don’t want to be sweating it out those first hot days in spring because your system hasn’t been maintained.
  • Extend life of the system – maintenance helps extend the life of your air conditioning system by keeping everything in good working order.
  • Better energy efficiency – the cleaning, adjusting and lubrication your air conditioner receives during a maintenance appointment allows it to function optimally, so it maintains its energy efficiency levels.

Other Winter Maintenance Items to Consider

You may also want to consider some other maintenance services when scheduling your AC for winter maintenance:

  • Duct cleaning – your ducts are the delivery system for your cool air; when they aren’t clean, they can restrict air flow and decrease indoor air quality.
  • Upgrade your thermostat – having a thermostat that matches your system can help increase energy efficiency and your comfort.
  • Stock up on air filters – air filters for your AC aren’t in demand during the winter, so it’s likely you’ll be able to purchase them at lower rates.

Winter maintenance for your air conditioning in Woodstock, GA, can help you be fully prepared for spring heat. Call South Air, Inc., today and schedule an appointment with one of our experts.

The Advantages of a Trane Heat Pump in Cartersville

January 29th, 2015 by David Roussel

Are you looking for a heating and air conditioning system that can help to save you money over time? A Trane heat pump may be just the heating system for you. Trane heat pumps are manufactured by leaders in the industry for over 100 years. While a heat pump may initially cost more than a traditional heating or air conditioning system, it will save you money as the months go on and does what no other single system can do: provide enough heating and cooling power for an entire home. Learn about this advantage and more in today’s guide to Trane heat pumps, some of the most efficient units available on the market today.

What Sets Trane Heat Pumps Apart from the Rest

  • Heating and Cooling: Don’t let the term “heat pump” fool you. A heat pump is an efficient heating and air conditioning system. Heat pumps actually work just like air conditioners, using refrigerant to absorb heat from your home in the summer and move it outdoors. But in cooler weather, a heat pump can also run in reverse, absorbing heat from the outside air to move inside, even in very cold weather.
  • Variable Speed Settings: Trane’s variable speed settings can help to control humidity and prevent cold spots around the house when you run it at a low speed setting for a longer time rather than running it at full blast for short periods of time. Trane was a pioneer in the industry for variable speeds, and they set the highest standards for these controls.
  • Efficiency: Trane systems are some of the most efficient for both heating and air conditioning. With an HSPF (heating seasonal performance factor) of up to 10 (the top heating efficiency rating for heat pumps in the U.S.) and a SEER (seasonal energy efficiency ratio) of up to 20 for air conditioning with the top-of-the-line system, Trane heat pumps offer performance and energy savings like no other.
  • Longevity: Trane systems are known to be some of the most reliable, long-lasting heating and AC systems out there, mainly because Trane uses only the best equipment in the industry.

The professional technicians at South Air Inc are proud to be certified dealers and installers of Trane Heat Pumps in Cartersville. Call our team of knowledgeable technicians today!

Types of Air Filtration Systems Available in Vinings

January 22nd, 2015 by David Roussel

Just because it’s cold out and some traditional outdoor allergies are at abeyance for the winter doesn’t mean you won’t have indoor air quality problems. In some ways, winter indoor allergies can be more of a challenge due to swirling dust from forced air systems and an inability to throw open a window and increase ventilation. You also may have concerns about infections, as winter is the purveyor of some very nasty bugs. So what can you do to better manage winter allergies and colds? Consider the installation of an air filtration system in Vinings.

Air Filtration Options

When it comes to adding an air filtration system to your home, you have a couple of choices, namely between an electronic air filter and a mechanical one. Mechanical filters use media to capture contaminants while electronic ones use negative ions. To better understand your choices, it’s good to have some basic knowledge about how the different types work.

Mechanical Filters

When people see the words “air filtration” they are more likely to think of a mechanical filter than an electronic one, simply because we see them more. Mechanical filters use a fibrous media that is stretched across a square frame to capture contaminants like dust, dirt, mold spores (not all), bacteria (some) and viruses (some). Mechanical air filters have a rating system called MERV; the MERV scale runs from 1 to 20 and the higher the MERV rating, the stronger the filter. It is important to note that home air filters shouldn’t exceed a MERV of 13 as filters with a high MERV rating can restrict air flow.

Electronic Filters

There are two types of electronic filter: ion generators and electronic precipitators. Each uses electricity to capture contaminants, but each does it slightly differently. Ion generators create and then disperse negative ions into your home’s air; these negative ions attach to the contaminants in the air and land on the surfaces of your home due to mutual attraction. The contaminants are removed when the surfaces are cleaned. An electronic precipitator draws air into it where contaminants are pushed into an ionization section and charged; as the charged particles move through the precipitator, they are collected on oppositely-charged metal plates.

As you can see, there you have some options when it comes to installing an air filtration system in your Vinings home.

For help with choosing and installation, call the people you can count on: South Air Inc. Contact us today!