Is Geothermal Cooling the Right Choice for My Home?

September 15th, 2014 by David Roussel

Our customers are occasionally surprised to discover that geothermal power can be used to keep a house cool. Because the term geothermal connects with heat in people’s minds, it seems strange for them to think that geothermal power could provide cooling. However, a geothermal heat pump is just as effective at cooling a home as heating it.

Geothermal systems work similar to other heat pumps: they move heat from one place and put it in another. In heating mode, they take heat from outside and put it inside. In cooling mode, the process reverses, and they remove heat from inside a home and put it outside. The difference with a geothermal system is that the “outside” is underground. Loops carrying refrigerant deposit the heat taken from indoors and place it in the ground approximately 6–10 feet below the frost line, where the temperature remains stable.

Not every home has the right conditions for a geothermal heat pump to work. To find out if geothermal cooling in Sandy Springs, FL will keep your home comfortable and energy efficient, contact our specialists at South Air Inc. today and schedule an appointment.

When geothermal is the right choice

The technology of geothermal energy continues to advance, making it more widely available for homes. To work effectively, a geothermal heat pump must have sufficient ground space for the loops that carry the refrigerant (a solution of water and antifreeze) and the right soil conditions to allow the refrigerant in the loops to deposit heat from inside the home.

Loops can be laid in either a horizontal or vertical configuration. The horizontal configuration is more efficient and only needs to be placed about 6 feet down into the ground. However, this layout takes up more space than vertical loops, which go down into deep drilled holes. Vertical loops are helpful for smaller properties, or in situations where the loops must reach deeper to access the stable temperatures that make geothermal cooling so efficient.

If you live near a body of water such as a lake or river, you have the option for a water-source heat pump, which operates the same as a geothermal cooling system except that the coils go through the water. An air conditioning technician will determine which system will deliver you the best comfort while fitting in with your budget plans.

You may believe that your home isn’t ideal for geothermal cooling, but you might be surprised to find out the truth. Contact South Air Inc., and we will send out a geothermal technician to look over your property and determine the best way to air condition your home.

Trust our expert installers to handle the work so you can start enjoying this dependable and energy-efficient way to achieve year-round comfort.

How Professionals Perform Duct Cleaning in Towne Lake

September 8th, 2014 by David Roussel

Your ductwork is the delivery system for the cool air that makes your home comfortable. If the ductwork isn’t clean, neither is your indoor air. One of the best ways to keep your ducts clean is with a professional duct cleaning in Towne Lake. South Air, Inc., has been improving the comfort of customer living spaces since 2003, and we can help you make your ducts clean and healthy.

Who Should Schedule Duct Cleaning?

The short answer is: everyone should schedule duct cleaning every 3-5 years. But there are factors that may make it important to schedule a cleaning sooner, or with more frequency:

  • Smokers in your home
  • Pets that shed high amounts of hair and dander
  • Prior water damage to the home or HVAC system
  • Pest infestation (animal or insect)
  • Home occupants with allergies or asthma
  • Recent home renovations or remodeling
  • If you’ve just moved into a new home

What Happens During a Duct Cleaning?

Here is a general overview of what to expect during a routine duct cleaning appointment:

  • The technician covers all nearby furniture and carpets with protective coverings
  • The technician opens your ductwork at access points and portals and thoroughly inspects your entire system
  • He/she uses professional-grade, HEPA vacuums to remove the dirt, dust and debris from your ductwork; he/she may also use truck-mounted vacuums
  • If needed, he/she may use a mechanical brush and vacuum to scrape off and remove any sticking debris in your ducts
  • Visual equipment, such as cameras and periscopes, may be used to inspect for any missed areas or lingering debris
  • Once the technician confirms all debris has been removed from the vents, he/she closes the system

What Are the Benefits of Scheduling Duct Cleaning?

  • Better energy efficiency – when dust and dirt build-up in your ductwork, airflow can become strained. Whenever your system is strained, it uses more power to operate, decreasing its energy efficiency.
  • Improved air quality – contaminants lingering in your ductwork can be easily deposited into your home each time your AC cycles, particularly if the build-up is significant. This can reduce the quality of air in your home and cause potential health issues.
  • Less stress on your system – the strain caused by excessive dust and dirt build-up in your ductwork forces your air conditioner to work harder. This can prematurely age the system, and lead to potential malfunction and breakdown.

Professional duct cleaning in Towne Lake can offer you better comfort in your home, better health, and a better operation from your air conditioner.

Call South Air, Inc., today and schedule a duct cleaning appointment with one of our trained and certified professionals.

The Fashion of Wearing White and Labor Day

September 1st, 2014 by David Roussel

You may have heard about the fashion faux pas of wearing white after Labor Day. In the present, this tradition is usually treated as old fashioned and a joke. Few people will criticize you for wearing white articles of clothing after the first Monday in September, or even take notice of it except to wonder why it was ever a major concern at all.

Where did this tradition of white clothing going out of fashion after Labor Day come from, and why did it fade away like colorful fabric washed in a hot load in the washing machine?

In general, white makes sense for the heat of summer. Light-colored clothing reflects away the radiant heat of the sun, instead of absorbing it the way dark colors do, so for thousands of years of human history people have preferred to wear white clothing during the hotter months.

However, the idea of white as strictly fashionable during the summer season only emerged in the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries—the time when the very concept of “fashion” began to spread across the Western Hemisphere.

It was only the highest level of post-Civil War society in the U.S. that strict and often bizarre rules for fashion controlled whether someone was in with the “in” crowd. Compared to our ideas of what’s fashionable today, the Czars of Style in the 1880s were true despots. Things as trivial as sleeve length could determine whether a woman in high society—no matter her level of wealth—was fashionable or a pariah.

Wearing white during the only summer, when it was common for weddings and outdoor parties, was only of these restrictive society rules. When the U.S. government made Labor Day a federal holiday in 1894, the Fashion Czars gained a definite cut-off point for when wearing white was no longer “acceptable” in the upper echelons of wealthy society.

For many decades, this rule only applied to a small number of millionaire socialites in a few big cities, but in the 1950s it reached general fashion magazines that were read around the country and started to affect more people.

But time eventually broke apart this odd rule, and during the 1970s fashion became more individual. Some fashion legends, like Coco Chanel, also purposely rejected the restriction and wore white throughout the year. Today, the “no white after Labor Day rule” is little more than an amusing gag to tease friends, and almost nobody takes it seriously.

Whatever you choose to wear after Labor Day (and if it’s white, we won’t tease!), everyone here at South Air Inc. hopes you have a happy end of the summer and great plans for the fall!

Benefits of a Home Energy Management System

August 25th, 2014 by David Roussel

If you have made efforts to conserve energy use in your home, and yet still find the results frustrating, then perhaps you should consider moving to the next level of technology: a complete home energy management system. These advanced computerized systems allow you to integrate the different energy-using appliances in your home, such as the electrical system and the HVAC system, and track and control their use of power to find superior ways to save energy. This doesn’t involve installing a large, cumbersome new device in your house: an energy management system works through your computers, tablets, and smart phones—which means you can help your house save energy from halfway across the world, anywhere you have satellite reception or access to Wi-Fi!

At South Air Inc., we are proud to offer one of the leading management systems: The Nexia™ Home Intelligence System from Trane.

Call us today to learn more details about specific home comfort energy management products that we have to offer in Atlanta, GA.

What is the Nexia™ Home Intelligence System?

With Trane’s Nexia™ Home Intelligence System, you can take the next leap in managing home energy use and maximizing comfort through automation.

The Nexia™ System uses Z-Wave, the next generation in wireless technology. Z-Wave allows virtually any electronic device in a home to connect to the central control of the Nexia™ System through low-power radio waves. This means that you can have control over almost any component in your house… through something as small as a cell phone!

Here are some of the ways that the Nexia™ Home Intelligence System can benefit you:

  • Complete control over your home’s thermostat so that it never needs to run unnecessarily.
  • Schedule when lights turn on and off—any of the lights in your home.
  • Alerts for when the temperature rises too high or drops too low.
  • Reminders to change your furnace filters and to schedule maintenance for your HVAC system.
  • Create a “vacation mode” that will automatically adjust your home’s temperature and lighting while you are away for maximum energy conservation. (It will also lock the doors and arm sensors.)

And remember, you can do all this from your smart phone, laptop, or tablet. Managing your home’s energy use is as basic as pulling up the easy-to-use apps for the Nexia™ that monitor all parts of your home.

Although the Nexia™ Home Intelligence System is simple to learn and use, it requires skilled technicians to install it. If home comfort energy management in Atlanta, GA sounds like the perfect choice for your house, call up our licensed installers at South Air Inc. We will make sure that you get the most possible out of your new Nexia™ System.

How UV Germicidal Lights Help Your Indoor Air Quality

August 18th, 2014 by David Roussel

There are a number of good whole-home air cleaners, but one challenge they face is truly removing biological contaminants. Air filters can trap some biological particles, but not all due to the small size of the particles. This is where UV germicidal lights in Woodstock can help with the improvement of your indoor air quality: UV germicidal lights are capable of destroying and eradicating biological contaminants, which is one of the reasons South Air, Inc., offers UV lights to its customers.

For over 10 years, South Air, Inc., has been helping Woodstock customers achieve the indoor air quality they’ve wanted, and we can do the same for you.

How Do UV Germicidal Lights Work?

UV germicidal lights have long been used in places like hospitals to eradicate biological contaminants. The way UV germicidal lights work is by employing the use of UV-C rays. UV-C rays create radiation that kills the DNA of biological cells as well as life-sustaining proteins cells need to survive. This not only destroys the cell itself, but also stops a cell from replicating so that further growth cannot occur. UV germicidal lights are over 99% effective in destroying biological contaminants.

How Is UV Lighting Beneficial to Your Air Conditioner?

Biological contaminants like mold, mildew and fungi thrive in places that are cool, wet and moist – which could describe several places within your air conditioning system, like the coils and vents. By placing UV lighting over places like evaporator coils and inside ductwork, you can halt the growth and proliferation of biological contaminants in these areas.

Will UV Lighting Also Filter?

UV lighting does not filter the air, so particles like dust and pollen will not be filtered by UV lighting. Additionally, UV lighting does not attract particles; instead, particles have to pass under the light to be destroyed.

What Is the Best Way To Use UV Lighting?

To maximize on what UV lighting can offer, it’s best to pair it with an air filtration system. This provides a 1-2 punch for particles in your air, allowing you to capture contaminants like pollen, dust and pet dander, as well as to destroy biological particles.

Want to know more about how UV germicidal lights in Woodstock can help you and your home? Call South Air, Inc., today and schedule an appointment with one of our specialists.

3 Myths about Air Conditioning

August 11th, 2014 by David Roussel

If there is any month during the year that makes you think of installing air conditioning in Acworth, it’s August. Unfortunately, there are a lot of misconceptions about whole-home air conditioning that can stop homeowners from installing systems that could keep them cool, dry and comfortable all summer long. Are you one of these homeowners? If so, South Air, Inc., would like to share some information that may make you reconsider those myths.

Myth #1 – Ductwork Is Necessary

Lack of ductwork is no longer a problem when it comes to installing a whole-home AC, thanks to ductless air conditioning. Ductless systems use individual indoor blowers to deliver cool air. Blowers can be mounted to walls and ceilings, are programmable, and offer the same level of cooling as a ducted system. The outdoor unit, which houses the compressor and condenser, connects to the blowers through an exterior wall. A single outdoor unit can support up to 4 blowers.

Myth #2 – It’s Only Useful During Summer

Cooling may only be useful during summer, but when you install a ductless or a geothermal system that uses a heat pump you are getting both cooling and heating with one device. Heat pumps utilize a reversing valve, which makes it very easy to switch between heating and cooling. This versatility may be something to consider, particularly if you have an aging furnace.

Myth #3 – Central AC Isn’t Affordable

Not only are today’s air conditioners up to 60% more efficient than models from just 10 years ago, a whole-home air conditioning system is more efficient than separate window units. If you are concerned about cooling only well-used areas of your home, consider options like ductless air conditioning or zone control. Today’s air conditioners offer a wide range of control and energy efficiency that make them very affordable.

Ready for a New AC?

There’s a lot of misinformation about installing whole-home air conditioners, and a lot of it can be confusing.

If you’ve been thinking about an air conditioning system in Acworth may be for you, but you still have questions, work with a professional. Call South Air, Inc., today.

Reasons You Need Media Filter Installation in Atlanta

August 4th, 2014 by David Roussel

It’s an alarming fact that the air inside modern homes is often far less healthy than the air outside. Because contemporary houses have heavy heat-shielding on them, little fresh air circulates through the rooms. Your home can contain numerous particles in the air moving through your HVAC system that affects allergy- and asthma-sufferers, and which can also trigger illnesses in otherwise healthy people.

One way to achieve better quality indoor air is through the installation of an air purification system. At South Air Inc., we recommend you look into media filters in Atlanta, GA. They are one of the best options for healthier indoor air.

What exactly is a “media filter”?

The name may sound a bit confusing (is this something you put on your television?), but the “media” in this case refers to the bed of sand, crushed granite, and other filtering material placed inside the filter to remove contamination. Media filters work in a variety of applications, such as for irrigation and swimming pools, but they can also be used to filter air.

Media filters for homes contain a disposable filtration media to trap particles in the air moving through an HVAC system. Like other mechanical filters, such as HEPA filters, media filters use MERV to rate how effectively they remove contaminants. (For residential use, you don’t want the highest MERV rating possible, since it will interfere with effective airflow. Your installer will help you find the right MERV rating for your needs.)

Why should I have a media filter installed?

Although there are many filters and air purifiers designed to increase indoor air quality, media filters are more effective than others at combating allergens and asthma triggers, and also affect minute contaminants such as viruses that cause the flu and other illnesses. The highest quality model of media filter removes 99% of mold and pollen, 98% of dust, and 94% of viruses. You won’t find that broad a level filtering in many other types of air cleaning systems.

Media filters are also designed as a whole-home solution to indoor air quality problems, so that when you have them put in, you aren’t just curing the problems for one room, but every room in the house. And because media filters do not contain moving parts, they are simple to maintain.

Our professionals will identify the right efficiency and type of media filter to counteract the particulate contamination in your home without disrupting the normal operation of your heating and air conditioning systems. Let our experience help you find the media filters in Atlanta, GA that will cure your indoor air quality woes.

At South Air Inc., we install quality Aprilaire (formerly Space-Gard) media filters for whole-house air cleaning from a trusted name brand.

Reasons to Install a Whole-House Dehumidifier

July 28th, 2014 by David Roussel

Heat and humidity pretty much go hand-in-hand when it comes to Georgia summers. Air conditioning offers relief and comfort from this combination as it removes both from your indoor air and replaces it with cool, dry, conditioned air.

Your AC is built with the capability to remove normal levels of humidity, but when it is excessively humid, or humid for long periods of time, it can be a challenge for your air conditioner to keep up. One solution to help with excessive humidity is a whole-house dehumidifier in Kennesaw.

Not every dehumidifier is the same, which is why it’s important to call professionals like South Air, Inc., when considering the addition of a dehumidifier to your air conditioning system.

How Does a Whole-House Dehumidifier Work?

A whole-house dehumidifier is installed as part of your air conditioning system. It works by drawing the warm, humid air from your indoors over a cold coil, which condenses the moisture (humidity) into liquid; the water is removed via a drain pipe. Dry air then passes over a warm coil and is added back into your system, fully dehumidified.

What Are the Benefits of Installing a Dehumidifier?

  • Improved comfort – when too much humidity is in the air, it holds heat. When you combine cool air with humidity, you get cool and clammy rather than cool and dry. A dehumidifier removes the excess humidity from the air so that you feel cool, dry and comfortable.
  • Better energy efficiency – extra humidity means your air conditioner has to work harder to achieve the cooling you want. Whenever your air conditioner works harder, it needs more energy – energy you have to pay for. A dehumidifier lessens the load of work your air conditioner has to do by removing excess humidity. This can help lower your energy bills, particularly during long periods of high humidity.
  • Deterrent to mold and mildew growth – mold and mildew thrive in cool, moist environments. Not only are mold and mildew bad for the allergy sufferers in your home, they can damage furniture, linens, books and photographs. Removing the excess humidity helps reduce the chance of mold and mildew developing.

For over 10 years, South Air, Inc., has helped multiple customers improve their indoor comfort and health with the installation of a whole-house dehumidifier in Kennesaw. Interested in finding out more? Call South Air, Inc., today and schedule an appointment with one of our specialists.

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!