How Professionals Repair Your Ducts

July 21st, 2014 by David Roussel

It’s unfortunate that the very concept of “duct repair” will almost immediately cause most people to think of “duct tape.” However, standard duct tape—a gray-backed cloth tape—was never designed for use on ductwork (it was originally for sealing ammo boxes in World War I and was appreciated for its water-resistance). Laboratory tests have shown that it duct tape is almost useless when applied to working ventilation systems because the changes in temperature quickly strip away their adhesive.

So what do duct repair professionals use when it’s time to seal up leaks in ductwork? They use some specialized tools, along with their own extensive knowledge of repairing ventilation systems.

For your duct repair needs in Sandy Springs, GA, rely on the skilled ductwork service team at South Air Inc to effectively handle your situation. 

The tools of duct repair

  • Mastic sealant: One of the most common ways to seal up smaller leaks and holes in ductwork is mastic sealant, a resin-based sealant that adheres to most surfaces, including plastic, metal, and ductboard (the basic materials of ventilation systems). Mastic dries quickly and forms a smooth surface so it won’t interfere with airflow. But it maintains flexibility even when dry, so it will not break apart when ductwork expands as it heats. It also has high heat resistance. Ductwork technicians apply mastic using a caulking gun.
  • Metallic tape: This is true “duct tape,” not a cloth-backed adhesive tape. Metallic tapes permit a duct repair specialists to create an actual metal joint on ductwork, which is a reason that some technicians prefer tape over mastic. Metallic tape is better for joints that will see increased stress. Tape lasts longer than mastic, and has a higher heat tolerance. In many cases, whether a technician uses mastic or metallic tape comes down to personal preference or the type of damage that needs repairs, since both are very effective and have similar strengths.

It is important to have your ducts kept in good shape, since any leaking along their surface will ruin the airtight seal they need to prevent a loss of air pressure. When you have damaged ducts, you will experience a loss of heating and cooling from your HVAC system as well as an influx of dirt and dust contamination into the ventilation system that will lead to a drop in your air quality.

At the first sign of a struggling HVAC system or a reduction in your indoor air quality, call for the NATE-certified specialists at South Air Inc. to see if you need duct repair in Sandy Springs, GA. If you do, you can trust our team to bring the best tools to get the job done.

3 Reasons to Schedule New Thermostat Installation

July 14th, 2014 by David Roussel

Your air conditioning system is made up of multiple complex components, The thermostat allows you to set the temperature to your preferences based on both comfort and your monthly budget. But did you know that many thermostats can provide greater comfort while saving you even more every month?

You may not realize that your outdated manual thermostat may account for a lot of extraneous cooling and heating costs. If your home can benefit from a new digital, programmable, or smart thermostat, read on to discover why you should schedule new thermostat installation today!

1. Clear Display

If you are still using a manual thermostat with dials and sliders to set the temperature, a digital thermostat may be a beneficial upgrade for your home. Digital thermostats have clear displays, which eliminate errors often associated with unclear manual settings. Sometimes, manual thermostats make it difficult to determine whether you’ve set the temperature to 75 or 76, for example. This small difference can actually become costly over time.

2. Programmable Settings

Digital, programmable thermostats allow you to choose when your air conditioner will turn on or change the temperature well in advance. For example, you may choose to set the AC to come on thirty minutes before you arrive so that your home is already cool when you get there. You can also set your AC to adjust the temperature throughout the day, so that you can save on cooling costs. Because of this, you won’t have to worry about a system that continues to cool all day long, even when the house is unoccupied.

3. More Options

One option that is often available with new thermostat installation is a smart thermostat. Smart thermostats have many features, including remote access and pattern recognition. You can set the temperature from any computer with internet access or from your smart phone. Smart thermostats can even recognize cooling and heating patterns, so they can adjust for you automatically throughout the day.

At South Air Inc., we offer professional installation on programmable thermostats and smart thermostats. For thermostat installation in Atlanta, call today!

How Do Water Source Heat Pumps Work?

July 7th, 2014 by David Roussel

Heat pumps are remarkable comfort solutions that permit you to heat and cool a home using a single system. Heat pumps are essentially air conditioners that can switch the direction they move heat. In cooling mode, they work the same as an air conditioner, absorbing heat from indoors and moving it to the outdoors. In heating mode, they reverse the movement of refrigerant and bring heat from the outdoors to the indoors.

Most heat pumps are either “air source” or “ground source.” Air-source pumps are the standard models that use an outdoor cabinet, while ground source pumps are geothermal systems that use loops buried in the ground. But there is a third option: water source. In some places in Atlanta, GA, water source heat pumps are the best option for installation.

We offer installation of a variety of systems, including the HydroTech R-410A Water Source Heat Pump.

To find out which of the different heat pump will deliver your home the optimal heating and cooling, talk to the specialists at South Air Inc. today.

The operation of water source heat pumps

Water source heat pumps (WSHPs) are similar to ground source heat pumps in most ways. The inside unit is the same as a standard heat pump, which extracts or releases heat from the air using a coil; the conditioned air then enters a ventilation system and moves out into the rooms. The external part of the heat pump is a set of loops that carries refrigerant to extract or release heat. In the case of a ground source heat pump, the loops run through the earth about 10 feet below the surface. For a WSHP, the loops travel through a body of water, usually a nearby lake or reservoir. The loops are placed at the bottom of the body of water, where the temperature is less affected by weather conditions.

WSHPs achieve high efficiency because water maintains a more steady and reliable temperature as a source for heat exchange. WSHPs are more efficient when it comes to cooling rather than heating, but even during the winter, the deep water is usually warmer than the air and a better source for heat exchange. This makes WSHPs more dependable than air-source heat pumps when in heating mode.

As you might imagine, water source heat pumps will only work if you have access to a body of water deep enough to make the system efficient. If you do have water access, a WSHP makes a great alternative to a geothermal system.

If you think you live in an area suitable for a water source heat pump in Atlanta, GA, contact South Air Inc. We will see if you will benefit from a WSHP, and also look into your other options for year-round comfort.

The Famous Painting of the Declaration of Independence Isn’t What You Think It Is

July 4th, 2014 by David Roussel

If you grew up in the United States, you probably first saw John Trumbull’s painting of the Signing of the Declaration of Independence in an elementary schoolbook. This oil-on-canvas 12’ x 18’ painting hangs in the rotunda of the United States Capitol in Washington, D.C. It is one of the most famous symbols of freedom in the country and almost every citizen can conjure it from memory.

Except… the painting isn’t of the singing of the Declaration of Independence. The actual title of the work is Declaration of Independence, and although it does portray an important moment in the history of the document that announced the Thirteen Colonies’ decision to break away from British rule, the event in the painting occurred on June 28, 1776, not July 4, 1776.

John Trumbull, a Connecticut native who fought in the Revolutionary War and whose father was the state governor, was commissioned to create the painting in 1817. He did painstaking research on the figures in the picture and also visited Independence Hall to see the actual chamber where the Second Continental Congress met. Trumbull only included 42 of the original 56 signers, because he could not find adequate likenesses for 14 or them, and added a few figures who were not present (most of whom declined to sign the actual document). In fact, the men depicted in the painting had never been present in the same room at one time.

So if the painting does not portray the singing of the Declaration of Independence, what is happening in the image? The Trumbull’s scene depicts the presentation of the draft of the declaration to the Continental Congress for editing and approval. The five-man drafting committee (John Adams, Roger Sherman, Robert R. Livingston, Thomas Jefferson, and Benjamin Franklin) is handing over their finished work, which congress would then edit carefully over the next few days before voting on it and signing it on the day that we now celebrate as the start of the United States of America.

One last, odd, fact: two of the five-man drafting committee, John Adams and Thomas Jefferson, both died on the July 4—although many years later.

Our family at South Air Inc. hopes that your Fourth of July (or Twenty-Eighth of June if you decided to start celebrating early) is a memorable and happy one.

Is Maintenance Necessary for Geothermal Systems?

June 27th, 2014 by David Roussel

One of the huge advantages of installing a geothermal heat pump for your home’s comfort is that it can last for many decades. Few home appliances have the longevity of a geothermal heat pump: the indoor heat pump sections can last 25+ years, while the ground loops, the most expensive part of the system to install in the first place, can endure for more than 50 years.

However, this endurance feat can create the illusion that geothermal systems do not require the same level of maintenance that other comfort systems, like furnaces and air conditioners, need to keep running. Geothermal systems do not need complex maintenance, but they ­do need regular maintenance if they are to reach their maximum potential and high efficiency.

We are now into our second decade of helping keep homes cooled down through the renewable energy of the earth.

To keep up with any necessary geothermal maintenance in Macon County, GA, call the geothermal systems specialists at South Air Inc. today.

What sort of maintenance do geothermal heat pumps need?

An important thing to remember when it comes to geothermal heat pumps is that, despite their use of the earth as their heat exchange medium, they are still heat pumps… they need much of the same maintenance that air-source heat pumps require.

During a maintenance visit, the technician will spent most of his or her time looking over the heat pump components to see that they are all working correctly, and then take care of necessary adjustments. The technician will check on the indoor coil and clean it, unclog the condensate drain, clean the motors, tighten electrical connections, and calibrate the thermostat.

There are some special requirements for geothermal pumps: for an open loop system that uses water from the municipal supply, the technician must check to see that there is no build-up from minerals in the water, using an acid flush if necessary to clean it. If the technician detects a loss of water in the system, he or she will hunt for leaks using a colored dye placed into the loops, the searching for where it is leaking onto the ground above. If there are leaks, the technician will arrange for repair work to take care of it.

How often should I have geothermal maintenance in Macon County, GA?

Although maintenance for geothermal systems is usually minimal, you still must schedule it with the same frequency you would for any heat pump: every year. Geothermal repairs can become very expensive if they are not caught soon enough, so it is worth your time to have regular inspections and tune-ups.

Call South Air Inc. today to schedule your regular maintenance visit—especially If you’ve let a number of years go without it. It’s never too late to start with maintenance… as long as you remember to keep it up annually from now on.

How an Air Purifier Works

June 20th, 2014 by David Roussel

With the growing concern today about the drop in indoor air quality in houses and businesses, people are increasingly looking for methods to clean the air that circulates through their homes. There are a number of excellent services that air quality professionals can supply for a home, such as air filters, humidifiers, dehumidifiers, and UV light sterilization. One of the best ways to have improved indoor air is through the installation of electronic air purifiers.

Air purifiers work in a method much different than the traditional mechanical air filters, like HEPA filters, and because of special requirements, they need the work of specialists to choose and install them. For quality work on installing an air purifier in Sandy Springs, GA, contact our team at South Air Inc. today. We take the comfort and health of you and your family seriously.

The operation of the air purifier

Air purifiers are sometimes referred to as electronic air purifiers because they require an electrical connection to do their job and use the power or ionization to remove contaminants from the air circulating through an HVAC system. This makes them different from air cleaners, which use mechanical filters to trap particles.

A purifier uses corona discharge to stop the passage of pollutants through the air. The purifier creates an intense electrical field that ionizes the air moving past it; this discharge changes the molecules’ charge from positive to negative or vice versa. Larger contaminating particles are more likely to ionize because they attract the electrons easier. The ionized particles are then pulled toward two metal plates inside the purifier, one with a negative charge to attract the positively charged ions, and one with a positive charge to attract the negatively charged ions. The contaminants congeal together and drop out of the air.

Electronic purification can more finely clean the air than mechanical filters. Where mechanical filters can remove particles down to 0.3 microns in size, air purifiers will affects particles down to 0.1 microns—which means that they will remove many gases such as smoke and pesticides from a home’s air that would otherwise slip through mechanical filters.

An electronic air purifier can only work at its most effective if it is sized correctly for a home’s HVAC system, and this means having professional installation from an air quality specialist. You will also need professional assistance to see if an electronic purifier is indeed your best choice to combat the contamination issues in your home’s air.

South Air Inc. is now in our second decade helping people achieve better quality air in their homes. Contact us today to find out about how we can fit your home in Sandy Springs, GA with an air purifier.

Special Maintenance Considerations for Heat Pumps

June 13th, 2014 by David Roussel

If you have done some research on heat pumps, or if you already have one installed in your house, then you probably know that in almost all regards heat pumps are identical to air conditioning systems. Like an AC, a heat pump uses a compressor, fans, refrigerant, and two sets of coils in an indoor and outdoor unit to move heat from one place to another. The major difference between the two is that a heat pump can switch the direction it moves heat, so instead of bringing heat from inside a home to the outside, it can move heat from the outside to the inside.

Regular maintenance for the two systems, which should occur every year, is almost identical: cleaning the coils, checking the refrigerant level, replacing the air filter, searching for damage to the fan and motors, monitoring airflow. However, there are a few differences, as our specialists at South Air Inc. can explain to you. Here are three unique needs for heat pump maintenance in Kingston, FL:

1. Check the reversing valve

The component that makes the biggest difference between a heat pump and an air conditioner is the reverse valve. This valve sits near the compressor; the line out from the compressor runs first into the valve, which then directs the refrigerant either to the outdoor coil first (cooling mode) or to the indoor coil (heating mode). If the reversing valve fails, the heat pump will become stuck in one mode or another. Maintenance technicians will always check the reversing valve to see that it is working properly and doesn’t need a replacement.

2. Clean both condensate pans

Cleaning the condensate pan, which catches the moisture that forms along the evaporator coil and removes it to the wastewater system, is a part of regular maintenance on an AC. However, a heat pump has two condensate pans and drains, because its two coils both work as the evaporator coil at different times.

3. Thermostat check

A thermostat for a heat pump is necessarily more complex than that for a standard air conditioner. The technician will look carefully over the thermostat to see if it has calibration problems or wiring losses to the unit. Even a small fault in a thermostat can mean a heat pump that becomes trapped cooling you when it should be heating you, or vice-versa.

Heat pumps need regular maintenance as much as any air conditioner, so do not forget to make the appointment for the check-up and tune-up every year.

For detailed and thorough heat pump maintenance in Kingston, FL, call up South Air Inc. today. We have NATE-certified technicians to give you the best service possible.

Why Does Indoor Air Quality Matter to Me?

June 6th, 2014 by David Roussel

Indoor air quality is a catch-all term designed to gauge the amount of contaminants and dust in the air of your home. The higher the air quality, the cleaner and more breathable the air, which is a benefit everyone can agree on. But few people realize how closely indoor air quality is tied into their air conditioning system. Dust can get pushed through a dirty system and into the ducts, which lowers the indoor air quality by default. Here in Cartersville, indoor air quality can be improved by regular maintenance sessions for your air conditioner, and by periodic duct cleaning services to pull the dust and dirt out of the ducts. But why is this such a huge deal? “Why does indoor air quality matter to me?”

The answer comes down to two things: health and comfort. While your duct system is very useful in distributing air, the speed with which it can circulate dust is problematic. As the dust content rises in the air, you’ll find yourself less able to breathe comfortably. No, you probably won’t choke and hack, but your nose and throat may become more irritated and scratchy. Cold and flu bouts will increase as a result, and your overall health may experience a slight but measurable decline.

This gets even worse if you have family members with allergies, elderly family members, or babies in the household. Occupants who are more vulnerable to allergic reactions won’t respond well to lowered air quality, and you may find yourself shifting from a simple comfort problem to a bona fide health concern if you aren’t careful.

The solution is to look into a whole-house air filter for your home, or simply find a reliable service to clean and maintain your ducts. In Cartersville, indoor air quality falls under the purveyance of South Air Inc. We have the skills you need to ascertain the particulars of your household, and improve the indoor air quality through timely intervention.

If you know why indoor air quality matters to you, the next step is to call upon an expert. We’re standing by to help you, so pick up the phone today!

3 Benefits to Installing Air Cleaners in Your Home

May 30th, 2014 by David Roussel

Do you know what’s floating through the air in your home right now? You might be surprised, and not in a positive way. The air that your HVAC systems sends through your home is probably filled with dust, dirt, chemicals like formaldehyde, hair and skin dander, dust mites, and a few other pollutants that you definitely don’t want in your lungs.

However, you don’t simply have to accept this situation and live with it. Thanks to an array of purifiers and air cleaners in Roswell, GA from South Air Inc., you can tackle the low indoor air quality that plagues your home.

Contact our air quality specialists today to arrange for an appointment. We’ll determine the type of air filtration system that will bring you the biggest benefits and then install it.

Here are three of the major advantages of having professional air cleaner installation:

  1. Reduce asthma and allergies: If there are people in your home who suffer from allergies or asthma, then you should make installation of an air cleaner a priority. An effective MERV or HEPA filter will remove 99% of the contaminants in the air that trigger asthma attacks or lead to allergic reactions. These include pet hair and dander, dust, dust mites, pollen and spores, and sawdust from construction. This is especially important if you have pets in your home.
  2. Better air quality for general health: It isn’t just the people with asthma and allergies who will benefit from cleaner air. Anyone can suffer from flu- or cold-like symptoms because of pollutants in the air that the ventilation system continues to circulate through the rooms. Because of the effective air seal on modern homes to allow for more efficient heating and cooling, little fresh air gets inside to cleanse out these contaminants, and the result is the your indoor air is likely much less healthy than the air outside. A purifier lets you keep the air seal on your house intact while also cleaning out the health-impairing contamination in your indoor air.
  3. Eliminate odors: Air cleaners are not only beneficial for reducing dangerous particles that can get into your lungs. They are also excellent at eliminating odors without simply covering them up the way most standard air fresheners do. Powerful air cleaners that trap gas particles can reduce the smell from smoke, household chemicals, and cooking. If you have a smoker in your home, or one who’s visiting, an air cleaner will help make the house more pleasant for everyone else.

You can’t just purchase an air filter off the shelf and hope it works. It must match your HVAC system and the specific issues in your home’s air; not every home experiences the same troubles with air quality. Call South Air Inc., where we install the top brands of air cleaners in Roswell, GA. Our technicians know how to make your life better through improved indoor air quality.

3 Ways Zone Air Conditioning Systems Can Save You Money

May 23rd, 2014 by David Roussel

The really hot temperatures are just around the corner, and like most people with air conditioning, you probably have a good idea of what your energy bills will look like this summer. But what if there was a way to help reduce those bills without compromising your comfort? One of the best ways South Air, Inc. knows to accomplish this is with a zone control system. With zone air conditioning in Kennesaw this summer, you can enjoy your comfort while saving some money.

What Is a Zone Control System?

A zoned control system is an upgrade to your existing air conditioner that allows you to control the temperature and air flow into specific sections or rooms of your home. Independent dampers are installed directly into your existing ductwork with an accompanying thermostat, allowing you to regulate the temperature and flow of air in that particular space.

What Are the Benefits of Zone Control?

There are multiple benefits to installing a zone control system on your current air conditioner, but here are the top 3 we see at South Air, Inc.:

  • Better energy efficiency –controlling how, when and at what temperature the air conditioning operates in the different spaces of your home enables you to shut down air conditioning to spaces that are not being used while remaining comfortable in the ones that are. Being able to cool as needed helps you to use less energy, which can have a positive impact on your monthly utility bills.
  • No More Compensating for Architecture – if you have vaulted ceilings or large, open spaces in your home, you know it can be difficult to cool them evenly. With a zone control system, specialized architectural features will no longer be an obstacle when trying to cool your home evenly and efficiently.
  • Temperature Control in Multi-Story Properties – as with architectural features, homes with multi-stories, including finished basements and working attic spaces, can be challenging to cool as needed. Zone control is perfect for these types of spaces, allowing for enough cooling when needed or shut off when not being used.

Get in the Zone with Your AC

Zone air conditioning in Kennesaw is a specialty of South Air, Inc., and we’d love to help you make your home more efficient this summer.

If zone control sounds like something that might work well for your Kennesaw home, schedule an appointment with a South Air, Inc., specialist today.