Archive for: #airconditioning

How to prevent damaging your ac unit?

How to prevent damaging your ac unit?

Ok, let’s face it.  We have all at one time or another abused the ac system in our homes.  We didn’t mean to do that, but we did!  If we continue to do these things, we could cause damage that may cost a significant amount of money in repair fees or it could mean the replacement of the entire ac system.

Keep reading to find out how you can implement changes that will help prolong the life and increase the efficiency of your ac system.

  1. inexpensive air filterReplace the air filters on a regular basis – The air filter is an extremely important part of the entire ac system. These filters help keep contaminants out of your ac system.  Things such as dust, dirt, animal fur and dander are kept from collecting inside the duct work, air conditioner and/or furnace. When the air filter is clogged, it reduces the air flow.  This reduced air flow makes your air conditioner less efficient, work harder, and your unit become more susceptible to breaking down.
  2. Schedule a precision tune-up (aka preventive maintenance, winter/summer start up) – Your a/c should be considered the engine of your home. Just like you would take your car in for an oil change, your a/c system should be tuned up at least once a year (we recommend twice…. once before winter, and once before summer). Our techs will test your system for potential problems, and can replace worn/broken parts. The life of your home’s engine can be dramatically reduced by allowing dirty or damaged parts to cause further problems.
  3. Deal with problems upfront – No one wants to replace their a/c unit. If you are having trouble with your a/c unit, address the problem head-on and as soon as possible. If you ignore the problem, it could cause more widespread damage to your unit. In addition, it could cost more on your electric bill also (ouch!). Certain problems, if not dealt with, could cause permanent damage to your a/c unit. Like I mentioned before, no one want to replace their a/c unit. A new unit can run from $4,000 – $12,000.
  4. honeywell thermostatProper thermostat use – What does the thermostat do?  It controls the temperature inside your home, right?  Yes.  You are correct, but it also does more than that! The thermostat plays an important part in protecting your HVAC system. With a digital thermostat, a 3 minute delay can be set to protect your compressor.  If you a/c doesn’t seem to be cooling, lowering the thermostat will not help. Call Arctic Air (843-821-0937). If you are continually “adjusting” your thermostat while your unit is on, you cause the system to not run properly. Set your thermostat to a comfortable setting, and leave it set there.
  5. Make duct work repairs – The a/c is a two part system.  You have the equipment, then you have the duct work. The duct work is a MAJOR component of the entire system. If there are leaks in the duct work, this can lead to extreme inefficiencies. Not only do you loose the cool air that you just paid to get the right temperature, but it could also cause problems with the equipment. You definitely don’t want to cool unused areas of your home; ie, your attic, the basement, crawl spaces or walls.

Having a tune-up done on your a/c unit is not very expensive.  I would say it is the best deal in the HVAC industry.  Give us a call to schedule yours!  $79/per unit.  Keep your a/c in tip-top shape!

It’s FRIDAYYYYYY!! and it’s “Filter Change Time”!!!

TGIF!!!  It’s Fridayyyyyy!!! and it’s “Filter Change Time” Too!!

Yaabaadabadoo!  It is Friday, and almost quitin’ time! Once again, we have had a very busy week, and we are very thankful for it!  We were able to help a lot of people get their air conditioner running.  When it is this hot and humid, you certainly begin to appreciate that ac.

air filter air conditioning heating charleston scI know that this is a few days early, but next weekend is the 4th of July weekend, and I know that no one is going to want to do this.  So, take care of it this weekend.  Change that filter!  It is so important to the efficiency and life of your ac unit.energy bill rising

 

 

If your ac is not working and your house is getting hotter by the minute, give us a call.  We have a technician on call throughout the entire weekend! 843-821-0937.

Well, I am going to keep this short.  So, we hope that everyone has a great weekend.

A Cheap A/C!

A cheap a/c!

Ok, this is not an original idea by any means or stretch of the imagination.  I saw this idea on either Facebook or Youtube.  It was such an interesting (and easy) project, that I decided to try it.

This is what happened.  I was planning to do a simple 5 gallon bucket with a fan and pvc pipe.  Well I went to Lowe’s to get my supplies.  I picked up the first item on my list… a 5 gallon bucket.  Easy pee-zee.  Then I move on to my next item… a styro-foam bucket to go inside.  This was supposed to provide insulation.  Ugh!  No luck!

(By the way, if you want to do the 5 gallon bucket cheap a/c, go to HomeDepot.com.  You can order most everything there…including the styrofoam bucket.)

Then, I decided that I would try to improvise. I looked at all kinds of foam insulation to fit inside my 5 gallon buck.  Nothing seemed to be flexible enough.  Plus, I had to remember that I needed to cut holes in the side of the bucket and whatever insulation that I chose. As I pondered and wandered the aisles, nothing was going to work.

I thought to myself… Wally-world will have it!  They have everything!  So, I put back my bucket and headed to Wal-mart.  When I got to Wal-mart, I started walking the aisles.  And, to no avail, they didn’t have what I needed. What am I going to do.  I thought to myself, I am going to make this thing tonight.

I then picked up my phone and started watching Youtube.  After I watched the video on how to make my home made a/c unit, other variations started popping up.  OK, change in plans.  I am going to just by a cheap plastic cooler, a fan and a 3″ 90° pvc elbow.

Staci text (or texted, I guess) me, and asked what I was doing.  I let her know that I was on my way home.  I was out of the house and looking for parts for about 2 hours. But, now, I have everything I need.

Troy, my co-worker, let me borrow a really cool tool for cutting holes.  In addition to that, I had my Dremel.

As soon as I got home, I started my project.  I put the pvc pipe on the top of the cooler and traced around it.  Then, I did the same thing with my fan. I grabbed the tool that Troy let me borrow, and I attached it to my drill and started cutting.  I cut as much as I could with this handy hole cutter, and then I broke out my Dremel tool for the final cuts.

I put the pvc pipe in the smaller hole… perfect fit! I put the fan in the second hole… perfect (or, at least, close enough).  I went to the freezer and broke out some ice packs and threw them into the cooler. I plugged in the fan, and turned it on.

homemade acHoly cow!  It worked! So, for about $50, I now have a portable, a/c unit.

I am going to freeze gallon jugs of water to put inside my cooler.  Instant a/c, and a fun little project.

UPDATE

A couple of days ago, I brought this in and showed everyone what I made.  Troy, decided to take it with him and make some improvements.  (That being said, this will work fine in a home environment with a regular fan.  We are planning to use it in an attic with temperatures around 120°-140°F.)

So, Troy added this mac-daddy fan to it that he had at his house.  He also reinforced the top with a little sheet metal.  This cooler (1/3 full of ice) is putting out 55°F air!  It is sooooo cool! Here is what the Island Breeze looks like now.

super homemade ac

 

If you have any a/c problems, feel free to give us a call at 843-821-0937.

 

Time to Check those AC Filters!

Well, another month is about to pass and April is staring us in the face. In South Carolina, we can definitely say that we have had a winter season!

With all of that yellow stuff floating around, we can also say that Spring is in the air.  I can honestly say that I am looking forward to warmer weather!

[stextbox id=”warning”]Time to check your AC filters.  This simple task is vitally important to the well-being of your unit.  Don’t put it off another day.  If it is dirty, replace it![/stextbox]air filter air conditioning heating charleston sc

One of the tell tale signs of Spring is the Summerville YMCA’s Azalea Festival. It is so nice to get out and enjoy the day.  Tons of people, artisans all over, that carnival style food, and the many activities, make for a great day with family and friends. If you haven’t been to the Azalea Festival, you should come out this year.

 

Here is the schedule:azalea park

Friday, April 4 – 9 am-6 pm
Saturday, April 5 – 9 am-6 pm
Sunday, April 6 – 9 am-4 pm
Hope everyone has a great week!

Is it time for an AC Replacement?

Is it time for an AC replacement?

money

Overpaying the Electric and Gas Company is like burning your money.

Has your air conditioning and heating unit been struggling to keep up?  Have you noticed that your electric bill keeps getting higher and higher, but you are still uncomfortably hot or cold?  Were you told that you have small leaks in your coil? If so, it may be time to consider replacing your a/c.

Here are some things to think about before calling a air conditioning / heating contractor to your home.  The answers to the following questions will help your contractor give you recommendations about the right comfort products for your home.

  1. What air conditioning and heating products do you currently use in your home? An air conditioner? A Heat Pump? A Gas Furnace? A Dehumidifier?
  2. Are you experiencing any issues with air quality? For example, do you have any issues with dust, asthma, allergies, etc?
  3. Are you satisfied with the comfort level in your home during the winter and summer months?
  4. How long do you plan to live in your home?
  5. Do you spend a lot of time away from your home?
  6. Is finding an air conditioning and heating unit that maximizes your energy savings important to you?

How does a replacement ac / heating unit pay you back?

Because of the technological advancements that are made every year, manufacturers are improving energy efficiencies as much as 7% per year.  If your heat pump, air conditioner or furnace is more than 10 years old, it might be a wise decision to replace your unit.

York air conditioner

Our highest efficiency YORK units can cut your heating and cooling bills in half, depending on the efficiency of your old unit.

In summary, if you are experiencing high electric bills, you have a unit that is needing constant repairs, or your air conditioning and heating unit is over 10 years old, it may be time to consider a new unit.

Call today at 843-821-0937 to have a consultant help you decide which unit is the right fit for you and your family.

How I saved almost $50 on my electric bill!

Hello Everyone,

This is the true story of how I saved $50 on my last electric bill!

programmable 7 day thermostatThis weekend Staci and I received the dreaded electric bill from SCE&G. With all of the super cold weather that we have had in the month of February, we were bracing ourselves for the bad news.  I have spoken to several people, and they have reported $400 – $500 electric bills.  Uggh!

Staci and I have lived in our home for about 5 years.  In a previous blog on thermostats (click here to ==> see that blog), I mentioned that we were installing a new digital thermostat made by Honeywell.  The thermostat that we installed is the Honeywell Prestige IAQ 2.0 Comfort System.

remote control thermostatThis thermostat is definitely technologically advanced, yet super easy to use.  With the touch screen, adjustments and programming are super easy.  In addition, we added the portable thermostat.  Now, when we go to bed or are upstairs, we allow the portable thermostat to control our air conditioner.

We had this thermostat install on January 31, 2014.  Troy, one of our technicians, installed it for us.

honeywell mobile siteI must say that I am a bit of a geek when it comes to technology!  I love being able to use my phone or ipad to control the thermostat.  The ultimate in convenience (and laziness).  Yes, I can be sitting in my recliner with my ipad, and adjust the thermostat!  Totally Awesome (in my opinion)!

Just after Troy installing the thermostat, I programmed our “schedule” in myself.  Again, it was super easy!

Now all of that is great, but I only expected to have a “cool” thermostat, and the ability to adjust it from my cell phone or ipad.

I have my electric bill in hand, and this is what I saw…. (account information cropped).

 

sce&g comparison

The savings is about $50!  Just by putting a schedule in place and letting the thermostat control it.  I will also admit, there were times in February (remember the two ice storms) that the thermostat was actually adjusted to warm our home a little more!

I am not sure that everyone will experience the same savings, but this is a great place to start. And to think, this is just the first month!

Give me a call (843-821-0937), if you would like to see about getting your new thermostat installed and programmed.

Time Change and Our Spring Preseason Sale!

[stextbox id=”warning”] TIME CHANGE REMINDER… don’t forget to set your clocks ahead 1 hour on Sunday, March 9, 2014 @ 2am.[/stextbox]

Hello Everyone,
Time to Spring forward! Arctic Air, Charleston SCWell, Spring is almost here and I cannot wait.  In the past, I have not minded the cold… I must be getting old. I am ready for the warmer days of spring. I can’t wait to be able to wear shorts, flip flops, and a t-shirt outside again.  Oh, and I am ready for there to be sunlight outside when I get home.

I am about to catch a case of spring fever.

As spring begins to move into the lowcountry, don’t forget to show that box that sits outside some TLC (tender loving care). Give us a call, and let us get your air conditioner in tip-top-shape for the hot months ahead.  It is recommended that your HVAC system be checked out at least 2 times per year. (Just think of how hard your heater has worked this winter.)

These “tune-ups” will insure that your system is working at its peak performance.  When a ac system is not working properly, it costs more to run the unit. How, you ask? In your electric bill.

In addition, these inspections can help prevent untimely major repairs, such as a compressor replacement. Call to schedule your appointment today. Mention this post and get your tune-up for $79!

HVAC Financing AvailableIf you have been putting off purchasing a new air conditioning and heating system, NOW is the time!  We have a PRESEASON SALE going on right now.  Call us before the heat of Summer hits.  We are offering up to $1500 off our regular retail prices. All air conditioners and heaters are on sale!

Air conditioner and Heater specials, low monthly payments

Pre-Season Sale – Low Monthly Payments – Tune up special!

Well, I hope everyone has a wonderful weekend!  

ML

 

 

Time to check your ac air filters! March is here!

Hello Everyone! Well February blew right by, and March 1 is here.  This is just your friendly reminder: It is time to check your ac air filters! If they are dirty, it is very important to change them.

Here are 6 reasons why you should change your air conditioner’s filter.

 

air filter air conditioning heating charleston sc1.  A dirty air filter is the #1 reason for HVAC system failure.  A dirty filter restricts the air flow into your HVAC systems air handler.  This restricted air flow places additional strain on the air handler fan motor and could, over time, burn out the motor and cause your system to overheat and ultimately fail.  Filter replacement is a small price to pay to extend to life of one of the biggest financial investments in your home.

2.  A dirty air filter makes your fan motor work harder and consume more energy.  One of the easiest and quickest ways to reduce your energy bill is to replace your air filter.

3.  A dirty air filter reduces the air quality in your home. Poor home air quality can aggravate allergies and asthma, particularly children’s allergies.  Change your filter for your family’s health.

4.  A dirty air filter makes your heating and air-conditioning systems and your ducts get dirty faster.  This can lead to costly cleaning expenses or to a need to replace your units sooner than you expected.

5. A dirty air filter increases your energy bills. You can see an immediate, short-term cost saving s when you replace your air filter.

6. A dirty air filter increases your carbon footprint.  Changing your filter reduces the amount of energy your home consumes. It’s an easy and inexpensive way to be environmentally responsible.

As always, if you are having trouble with your air conditioner, heater, heat pump or furnace, please give Arctic Air a call at 843-821-0937.

Enjoy the weekend!

 

Arctic Air, a York CCE Dealer… But what does that mean?

Arctic Air, a York CCE Dealer … But what does that mean?

Arctic Air has always had a reputation in the Charleston / Summerville SC market as being a premier air conditioning, heating, and commercial refrigeration contractor. We all strive for 100% customer satisfaction.  This satisfaction goal has been in place since the inception of Arctic Air. John and Valarie would not have it any other way!

York air conditionerWhen we partnered with York (a Johnson Controls Company), we found that the values of our small, family owned and operated company were also shared with York.  York and the Arctic Air family believe in 100% Customer Satisfaction.  Because of our partnership with York as a CCE (Comfort Control Expert), we can now offer the 100% Satisfaction Guarantee! 

In a nut shell, a Certified Comfort Expert: York® Certified Comfort Expert™ (CCE) Dealers offer customers a 100% Satisfaction Money Back Guarantee. That means if you’re not happy for any reason, we’ll make things right. 

HVAC Financing AvailableThat means that you get hometown value combined with a large, industry leading corporation that believe in the same things…. basically, we take care of our customers.

Here is our 100% Satisfaction Guarantee.

When you work with a York® CCE Dealer (Arctic Air – hint, hint), your installation is backed with a 100% Satisfaction Money Back Guarantee. That means:

  • If you are not totally satisfied with the performed service work, York will make things right—or we will refund your service call fee. (Of course, this applies to York equipment that is under warranty.)
  • On installation work, York will satisfy any material or workmanship issues, or we will remove the installed equipment and refund your money.
With this partnership with York, our service technicians receive local service training, specialized technical training and support, and we are able to offer 10 year labor warranties for new air conditioning, furnaces, and heat pumps.
With most York Residential units, there is a 10 year parts and 10 year compressor warranty that is included at no additional charge.  By adding a 10 year labor warranty, you will have peace of mind in knowing that your unit is covered!  This labor warranty is very affordable and adds the protection that you need!
HVAC FinancingIf you are in need of a new air conditioning and heating system, please give Mike a call at 843-821-0937.
There are several payment options available on all new units, including 12 months at 0%, when paid in full by the 12th month.

Hot Upstairs, Cold Downstairs? Cold Upstairs Hot Downstairs?

Are you Hot Upstairs, Cold Downstairs? or Cold Upstairs, Hot Downstairs?

Hello Everyone,

Do you have a problem with your upstairs being too hot and your downstairs being too cold?  Or, maybe that is vice-versa?  Well, I have that problem at my house!  (Another scenario could be that you have a room that is too hot or too cold.)

It can be very frustrating and uncomfortable.  Sometimes, I think that it is so hot upstairs (especially in the winter) that I am going to get a nose bleed.  If my wife and I set the thermostat for 72 downstairs, the upstairs is blazing hot.

Unfortunately, the builders did not put a zoned system or two individual units in our house. A zoned system is simply a single air conditioning/heating unit that uses two thermostats and dampers within the actual ductwork.

In my case, one thermostat could be located on the first floor; the second thermostat could be installed on the second floor.  Then, there are dampers in the ductwork that open and close based on which thermostat is calling for air or heat.

So, here are 3 possible solutions.

Solution #1 – Add an additional unit, thermostat and modify the duct work

two air conditioning unitsThis first solution is to add an additional air conditioner / heater, thermostat and modify the duct work system. This is probably the best solution, however it is not the least expensive.

When you add the additional air conditioning / heating unit to your home, you can now cool or heat each area independently.  In addition, if one of the units ever breaks down, you will have the other unit to keep you comfortable in one of the areas of your house.  This is especially nice in the summer when it is blazing hot!

Another option in this category is adding or changing your entire home over to mini-split / ductless units.  These units are extremely cost effective and will allow you to control the temperature in each room or zone that is set up.  This is a great option, but again, it is not the least expensive route.  Check out this page! It is dedicated to mini-splits / ductless systems.

Solution #2 – Convert to a Zoned System

zoned air conditioning systemIf you have a single air conditioning/heating unit, you can have the ductwork converted and an additional thermostat installed.  Now, this sounds simple, and it is, however, it is labor intensive.

Basically, most of the work is done on the duct system that you currently have in place.  The duct is modified with a bypass, zone dampers, a zone control board are added to the system.  Additionally, another thermostat must be added.  You can have several zones.

Once the zoned system has been set up, the dampers are controlled by the zone board and the thermostats.  When one of the zones need more cooling or heat, the dampers are regulated to send what is needed to the zone that is calling for it. Of course with this set up, you can get cooling or heating, but not at the same time.

This is a very viable solution to this problem, and lots of homes in the Charleston / Summerville / Mt. Pleasant area are already set up with systems like this.  This is not the least expensive solution, however, it is not as expensive as adding an additional unit (**in most cases).

Solution #3 – Upgrade your Thermostat

honeywell thermostatSolution # 3 is one that I am trying now.  I have upgraded my current thermostat to a new color display, programmable thermostat.  The thermostat that I have chosen, is a Honeywell thermostat.

The thermostat that I chose is the Prestige IAQ 2.0 Comfort System.  This thermostat not only reads the temperature, but it also has several add-ons that make it really nice.

The first convenience item that I would like to mention is the outdoor wireless sensor.  This sensor is mounted outside AND it is wireless.  This sensor reads the outside temperature and the humidity.

The second convenience item is the duct sensors.  These sensors monitor the air temperature coming into your system, and the temperature of the air being distributed throughout your home.  If there isn’t enough temperature difference, it will alert you that there is a problem.

remote control thermostatThe third add-on is a remote thermostat.  The thermostat is portable and acts like a remote control.  Now, you have the capability to take it upstairs with you.  You decide which thermostat you want to control the system, and the system responds accordingly.

Here is an example of how I use this… During the day, Staci and I are usually downstairs. Their is a 3 – 5 degree difference between the upstairs and downstairs.  So, during the day, the thermostat that is mounted downstairs is in control.  This is the great part!!  At night, we have the portable thermostat in our bedroom.  Now, the system can cool or heat based on where we are, and based on our comfort!

As you know, humidity is a huge factor in our personal comfort.  This thermostat measures humidity through its internal sensors. The nice part is that there is a setting to help control the humidity by using your existing air conditioning and heating unit.  (Note: For major humidity issues, a dehumidifier may be necessary.)

The forth add-on is one of my favorites!  I cannot help it, I am a techno-geek.  I love most things that are technologically based. This add-on has the ability to go wifi.  Yes, you can control your thermostat from a computer, your smartphone or your ipad!  Awesome!! If you forget to set your air conditioner or heater, no problem.  Just connect through the Honeywell app and your are in business!

Solution #3 is a very cost effective way to be comfortable with your current system.  In addition, this thermostat can control dehumidifiers, humidifiers, air quality products and uv lights. You can even change the color scheme to match the room that you put it in.

If you are too hot or too cold, give us a call at 843-821-0937 to discuss the options that will best suit you, your family and your budget!

ML

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