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Stay Cool & Efficient This Summer With these Green AC Tips

August 30th, 2013 by Smiley

Green Air Conditioner
During the summer it can be particularly difficult to stay environmentally friendly. When the summer heat roles in, the air conditioning units start turning on, and with Atlanta’s climate, they likely stay on until September or even October.

Air conditioning units in the U.S. release about 100 million tons of carbon dioxide every year. Using air conditioning units as sparingly as possible can help reduce those carbon dioxide emissions, and it can also save you a lot of money. Running an air conditioning unit constantly can cost a household hundreds of dollars a month depending on the size of the unit and where you live.

Here are a few tips to keep cool before flipping on the A/C.

1. Keep out the sunlight. Keep the shades drawn during the day. When sunlight streams through the windows, it causes the temperature to rise immensely.

2. Reflect the heat. If you do want to open the shades during the day, consider investing in some reflective window film to help keep the heat outside.

3. Let the cool evening air in. If temperatures are on the chilly side after the sun goes down, crack a few windows open to let a breeze come through and cool the house. Just be sure to close them before the temperature starts to rise again.

4. Insulate! You want to keep cool air inside, so grab that caulk gun and seal off anywhere that air might be escaping. A handy draft dodger can help seal up those tricky leaks at the bottoms of doors and windows.

5. Change your light bulbs. Get rid of incandescent lights. Not only do those suckers use more energy, they generate a lot more heat than CFL or LED light bulbs.

6. Make sure your ceiling fans are running counter clockwise. Most modern fans will have a little switch on the side to reverse their direction. You want the fan to go clockwise in winter to push warm air down and reverse it in the summer to circulate cool air.

7. Drink icy beverages. This one seems like a no-brainer, but it still bears mentioning. What better way to beat the heat than to cool your body from the inside out?

8. Dress appropriately. Loose-fitting, light clothing goes a long way toward keeping you cool. It’s time to bust out those organic cotton shorts and tank tops!

9. Grab a towel. A towel soaked in cold water is a great way to cool down. Apply it to your neck, wrists, and forehead for some relief during the hottest part of the day.

10. Avoid the stove and oven. Both of these will add unnecessary heat to the house. Instead, fire up that outdoor grill or whip up a salad or sandwich. Your rice cooker, slow cooker, and pressure cooker are other alternatives to heating up the house with the stove or oven.

11. Try a buckwheat pillow. If the heat is preventing you from sleeping, switching to a buckwheat pillow can make a big difference, since buckwheat doesn’t hold on to your body heat like conventional pillows do.

12. Learn from your pets. How does your cat cope with the hottest part of the day? She snoozes! If you can squeeze in an afternoon nap, go for it.

13. Chill out. Turn on your table fan and stick a frozen bottle of water in front of it to get some cold air circulating.

14. Plant a tree. If you can, plant trees on the side of your house that gets the most sun. The extra shade will protect your home from the sun’s rays.

You can find more information on saving energy, and learn how to generate your own energy usage report here. If you’d like personalized advice on saving energy while keeping your Atlanta home cool, just give RS Andrews a call today!

Technorati Tags: air conditioning, energy efficiency, save money, technology

Identifying the Most Common Air Conditioner Problems

August 23rd, 2013 by Smiley


Air Conditioning Tune-ups from the HVAC Experts at RS AndrewsWith weather looking like it’s going to steadfastly remain warm for the foreseeable future, the majority of us are dependent on our
air conditioning
systems more than ever. This dependence means that we need our AC units to be in top running condition so we aren’t faced with the uncomfortable prospect of a breakdown – which can be a life-threatening occurrence if it’s hot enough outside. Here at RS Andrews we want our customers to be educated when it comes to their HVAC units, so we’re going to break down what the top air conditioner problems are this time of year and how to identify and treat them.

Power Outages: If you had someone besides a certified technician or RS Andrews certified technician install your air conditioning unit and you’re experiencing power issues with it, there is a big chance that faulty wiring is to blame. If a non-professional installed your unit, you may experience power outages and trip your circuit breaker – and it’s also a potential fire hazard which needs to be fixed by a certified professional as soon as possible.

Low Refrigerant Levels: If your system is notifying you of having low refrigerant levels it could be that your system was undercharged when it was installed or it could signal a much bigger problem. The most common cause of low refrigerant levels is a leak. Adding refrigerant before getting your system inspected by a certified technician is not a good idea, as you’re simply putting a bandage on a much bigger problem. Having an RS Andrews technician come and inspect your system will ensure that if there is a leak it will be located and repaired in the quickest fashion possible.

Erratic, Irregular Cooling Cycles: If your one room air conditioning unit is having odd cycles, running more or less than it should, turning on and off at odd times, or simply acting irregularly, your sensor may not be working. The smaller, room sized air conditioners often have a thermostat sensor located in the back of it which measures the air temperature coming out of the evaporator coil. If the sensor is damaged or moved, it won’t be able to do its job, causing your system to run erratically. If the sensor is just moved you can simply move it back, making sure it is close to, but not touching, the evaporator coil.

System Randomly Turns On and Off: If you find your system will turn on and off irregularly despite your home not being cooled to the temperature you’ve programmed it to, your electrical and fan controls may be worn out. Frequent causes of this are corrosion of internal wiring, having an over-sized system for your house, or poor maintenance. When your system is regularly checked by a RS Andrews certified technician we check this internal wiring to establish if there are any signs of damage that could lead to future problems and address them accordingly. Replacing these wires can be costly so the smartest move you can make is to schedule regular maintenance checks with RS Andrews to catch any potential corroding before it’s too late.

If you’re having problems with your air conditioning system and don’t know what the cause is at all, just give RS Andrews a call today – our staff is always available to answer your questions, provide emergency HVAC and plumbing service, and guide you to the best solutions for your home. Get in touch today, and don’t forget to check out our great, money-saving specials!
 

Technorati Tags: air conditioning, hvac, maintenance, repair, technology

How Nature is Influencing the Future of Heating and Cooling

July 16th, 2013 by Smiley


New Technology for heating and plumbingAt RS Andrews we are always on the lookout for the latest and greatest happenings in our field. As luck would have it, we live in a very revolutionary time for the HVAC industry right now, with new ideas and products constantly being churned out. While many of these technologies are still years from being available in the average home, we like to keep an eye on the innovations that are making heating, cooling, and plumbing technology more efficient, cheaper, and better for the environment.

Recently, many companies and researchers are looking towards nature’s engineering solutions as inspirations for how or what to create for our own systems. This process is called “biomimicry” and it means exactly what it sounds like; it mimics biology, copying the structures that animals use to solve problems and incorporating them into our own technology.

Today we figured it would be fun to offer our readers a look into some of the ways that nature’s influence is molding the future of heating, cooling, and plumbing.

Termite Mounds

Termite mounts have long been studied due to their efficiency at keeping a stable temperature inside despite soaring temperatures outside. These massive mounds are often found in some of the hottest parts of Africa, yet they are able to remain cool on their interiors. While scientists are still studying how the termites have managed to do this with their constructions, it is generally believed that termites use a method called “passive cooling”. Scientists believe this involves air pockets and pores in the walls of the mud mound that allow for a constant movement of air, which regulates the temperature. This technique has been applied by human engineers at the Eastgate Complex in Zimbabwe with great success.

Whale’s Flippers

The Humpback whale has long been a somewhat unique animal in nature due to the fact that the bumps on its large flippers are on what was generally regarded as the “wrong side” (aerodynamically speaking). Many believed the bumps were simply barnacles or other insignificant growths until biologist Dr. Frank Fish questioned this idea. What he found out during his research was that these bumps (called tubercles) actually created a vortex in the water flow that prevents it from  from separating and stalling.

The research has since been applied to wind turbines with fantastic results. The fan blades made with the tubercles, mimicking the humpback’s fins, managed to generate 25% more air while using 20% less energy than their traditional counterparts. Needless to say, the technology is quickly expanding and being using in many different types of commercial and private structures.

Tornadoes

Some companies, such as PAX Scientific, have managed to create fans and water purification products based on logarithmic geometrical patterns they found in tornadoes, whirlpools, and moving liquid. The process is called the “Streamlining Principle”, and was devised by scientists to give the natural flow of things (such as air and water) a geometric pattern which can then be applied to a number of different products. The scientists at PAX say that they have been able to create fans with these patterns that produce lower turbulence and have much higher efficiency than normal fans do.

These are just a few of the fascinating advances being made that will eventually impact how HVAC systems are designed and implemented in the future – there are sure to be more and more innovations like these popping up over the coming years. But if you have questions about your air conditioning system right now, just call RS Andrews today – our expert techs have been serving the Atlanta area for over 40 years, and we still plan to be your go-to service company 40 years from now (when your house just might be getting cooled by termite-based technology)!

 

Technorati Tags: air conditioning, energy efficiency, heating, innovation, technology