Archive for: #hvac

“Preventive Maintenance” … What’s in it for me? Part 3

Happy Friday EVERYONE! …. It is definitely 5 o’clock somewhere!

Severely clogged coils!

Severely clogged coils!

As we continue through this series, I hope that you will begin to see how important it is to properly maintain your air conditioning and heating system.  When I am out helping customers with replacing their old, broken ac equipment, I am often asked, “How often should I have my system serviced?”.  Each situation is different depending on levels of dust, pet dander, and other factors.  But, generally speaking, we recommend having your system tuned up every 6 months. A good rule of thumb is before summer and before winter.

Another great question about preventive maintenance is, “What is done?” I am not going to lay out in detail each item, but I will give you a general overview.  This way, you will know what to expect.



• Inspect the condenser coil

• Test and adjust operating pressures

• Test starting capabilities

• Inspect the blower assembly

• Test and check safety controls

• Clean the condensate drain

• Test the voltage of the motors

• Test the amp draws on the motors

• Lubricate necessary moving parts

• Check thermostat for proper operation

• Check for proper air flow

• Measure the temperature difference at the return vs. the supply

• Check the expansion valve

• Inspect and spray evaporator with cleaner (when accessible)

• Test in a/c and/or heat mode

• Check all electrical connections

• Check all capacitors

• Clean the air handler coil

• Check mechanical components for vibration or rubbing

• Winter – check heat exchangers or electric heat strips and amps – (depending on equipment)

In addition to these items, our service technicians may recommend additional services to keep your unit running at its maximum efficiency. This can include cleaning the blower wheel, cleaning the condenser coil with a chemical, and adding condensate treatments to reduce algae growth.

hvac burnt wires

Loose connections were the cause of this electrical fire.

All of these items are important to the overall care of your air conditioning and heating system.  Two of these items really stands out to me.  The reason is because it is a matter of life and death.  The first one is “Check all electrical connections.” If the electrical connections are not tight, it is possible for an electrical fire to occur.  The second one is if you have a furnace, “Check heat exchangers (for those with furnances).  If you have any holes or cracks in the heat exchanger, your family could be in serious danger from carbon monoxide poisoning.

On a side note, carbon monoxide detectors are relatively inexpensive.  In doing a Google search, I found that these can be purchased from $15.49 – $49.99.  If you have one already, be sure that your batteries have not died.

So, what does a “PM” (aka, preventive maintenance, tune-up, winter start-up, summer start-up) cost? Right now, if you want to have us to a winter start-up, it costs $89.00 per unit (residential customers only). If you would like to join our “Discount Club”, you get a winter start-up, and a summer start-up for $159 for the first unit and $129 for each additional unit.  (SPOILER ALERT …. lock in your price now, because there is a rumor going around that this is going to have to be increased next year.)

It looks like we are going to have some great weather this weekend. If you get a chance, go out and enjoy Charleston SC.  We are so blessed to live in such a beautiful area that has so much to do.



Frequently Asked AC and Heating Questions…

Frequently Asked AC and Heating Questions…
464570729I am sure that if you are reading this, and you are sitting in the comfort of your home (or office), you probably don’t have any questions that come to mind about your air conditioner or heater. I mean let’s face it… if it is nice and cool in your home, you really don’t have anything to ask about the ac. It is working, so no worries. As a matter of fact, let’s not even think about it (now is when you look for some wood to knock on…LOL). Sidenote: My adopted “Grandfather”(Sam Counts) would begin to knock on his head.

So, here are some of those questions and the answers…

How much will my ac or heater repair cost? This always the first question that pops up. And, I wish that I could just give a flat amount, however, every system is different. Sometimes, it can be as easy flipping a breaker, other times it could be a bad compressor or leak in an evaporator. BOTTOM LINE – What I do promise is this.. Arctic Air offers competitively priced, QUALITY work. Our goal is to get your equipment running as quick and affordable as possible.

How long will it take? I know that we are in Charleston, SC. It is hot and it is humid. Without an air conditioner running, I know that you are beginning to get cranky and miserable. We don’t want that… neither do the people who are there with you. BOTTOM LINE – Our goal is to get to your home or business on the same day that you call. During peak season, we will work to get to you as soon as possible (usually within 48 hours).

york-LX-Series-YCJD-air-conditioner-LCan you come charge up my unit? I cannot tell you how many times that I have been asked this question. The answer is YES, but …. Why the “but”? Because, in most cases, there is some other problem. Refrigerant (Freon) does not evaporate. When we get requests like this, this is what we will do… We will come out and do a diagnosis on your system. Once we have found the problem, we will inform you of the exact problem, and we will give you the cost of making the repairs. In addition, if there are options, we will give you those too. Some of our competitors have quotas that each service tech is required to make on each service call they go. We do NOT give our technicians any quotas to reach. They are only to make legitimate recommendations and repairs. We have been blessed with a great customer base and work. We never have to “make” work for ourselves.

Could this have been prevented? Yes, it is possible that this could have been prevented. Your air conditioner and heater should be given some TLC throughout the year. It is recommended that you have preventive maintenance done on your air conditioner and heater at least twice a year (once in the spring, once in the fall). Many emergency calls could have been prevented by simple maintenance.

I hope this helps answer some of your questions. If not, please feel free to contact us at 843-821-0937.

Why is Indoor Air Quality Important? 5 Steps to Improve it! Part 1

Why is indoor air quality important?

You would think that the air inside of our homes is cleaner than the air outside. Unfortunately,  you and I would be wrong. When we think of the outside air pollution, most tend think of the pollution from planes, trains, automobiles, motorcycles, and factories, etc. The sad truth is, the air inside our homes, buildings and offices can be more polluted than the outside.

The air inside our homes can be contaminated by a number of different things. Items such as a new mattress or furniture, a newly painted room, or carpet cleaners can bring in pollutants. In addition, lead (in house dust), radon, fire-retardants, dust mites, mold, pet dander and chemicals from fragrances can pollute the air inside our homes.

People with COPD (Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease), children, people with asthma, and the elderly may be affected by these indoor air pollutants. Some of the effects on their health may appear much later after repeated exposure.

Because we are spending more time indoors, it is important to address these air quality issues. Poor indoor air quality can lead to poor health.

In the next few blogs, I will share 5 Steps to improve your indoor air quality.

This first step is not going to be very popular, but please don’t shoot the messenger.

Step 1 – Keep Floors Clean and Fresh!  

vacuumSuck it up  Yep, that is right! The good ole vacuum. Or, I should say, the good ole vacuum with a HEPA filter. Using a vacuum with a HEPA filter can help reduce allergens and reduce levels of lead dust (homes built before 1978 are more inclined to have lead paint and lead dust) found inside also. Toxins like pollen, pet dander, fire retardant chemicals and dust mites can be reduced.

Be sure to use a vacuum that has a HEPA filter, strong suction and rotating brushes.  Using a vacuum with a HEPA filter will help ensure that these pollutants won’t be blown back into your home. In those areas, where the traffic is high, run the vacuum over them several times.

Some other areas to remember – the walls, carpet edges, and furniture.  These are all areas where dust will accumulate.

Finally, it is recommended that you vacuum two or more times per week and wash out (or replace) the HEPA filter on a regular basis.

mopMop it… Mopping will help pick up the dirt and dust that the vacuum leaves behind. Here is the great news… you don’t have to use any cleaners.  Plain water is sufficient enough to pick up any dust or allergens that have been left behind.

door matKeep it outside… How you ask? Great question!  A large floor mat will do the trick!  The dirt on our shoes track in all sorts of allergens and chemicals. The reason a large floor mat is recommended is for those people who do not wipe their shoes.  When they walk over a large mat, the allergens are left there, rather than in your home.


Indoor air quality is very important for all of us.  There are also solutions that can be implemented in your central HVAC (air conditioning and heating) system.  I will go over this information in a future blog.  If you cannot wait, please feel free to give us a call at 843-821-0937.

A Thermostat that Adapts to YOU? Check this out!

A thermostat that adapts to you? Check this out!

round honeywell thermostatI am sure that we can all remember the old style thermostat.   These thermostats are iconic.  It seemed like everyone had either the circular or the rectangular  model.  These are the thermostats that used good ole fashioned mercury (you know, the stuff that isn’t very “green” today).  rectangular honeywell thermostat Would you believe that these thermostats are still being sold by designers?  They are using them to give the “vintage feel” to homes.

After these models, came the digital models, and after that the digital programmable models.  The programmable models were so hard to program, that most people just kept them in “permanent hold” mode.  Basically, using them as a non-programmable thermostat.

Now, we have something that is quite technologically advanced, yet SUPER easy to set up and use.  Honeywell has come out with a thermostat that not only controls the temperature, but will do so much more.  It even can sense whether someone is in the home through its geo-fencing technology (it will sense how close you are to your home based on your cell phones gps system).  Of course, with something this fancy, you have to give it a name.  That name is the LYRIC.

The Lyric is a round design in a glossy white with chrome trim. The design is one of simplicity.  The chome ring around the Lyric turns to set the temperature. Everything else is controlled by touch. If you tap the upper display, it switches between heating and cooling modes. Another interesting feature is the weather forecast button.  This will give you the current forecast plus the forecast for the next 6 and 12 hours. The home button allows the Lyric to switch between occupied and away modes, unless you have activated geofencing.

What is geofencing? Basically, this is a allows the thermostat to know when you cross a certain distance threshold.  You can set it for either 7 miles or 500 feet. If you work close to your home (like I do) then you would select the 500 feet.  For those that travel a good distance from home, a selection on 7 miles is more appropriate. When you cross the threshold that has been set, the thermostat will begin to cool or heat your home while you are on the way home.  When you leave your home, the thermostat will go into away mode, and start saving you money.  It is all about comfort and savings!

honeywell lyricSince the LYRIC’s app is on your cell phone, adjustments to the temperature can be made remotely.  This is a feature that Honeywell does have on its other wifi thermostats.

For example, Staci and I were on vacation for a couple of days in Myrtle Beach. Myrtle BeachWe set the temperature at 82°F when we left. On our way home, I pulled up the app on my phone, and set the temperature to a cool 74°F. When we got home, the house was nice and cool.  While away, we were able to save money by not having the a/c running as much.

This thermostat not only gives basic temperature settings, but has some comfort programs running in the background.  These programs take into account the outdoor temperature, the indoor temperature, as well as humidity and weather conditions. Then, based on the results, the thermostat will regulate the a/c or heat accordingly.  For example, here in SC the humidity is usually very high. Combine the humidity and the heat of the day, the thermostat might run a little longer to help pull humidity out of the home, thereby making you feel more comfortable.

There are more features to this thermostat, so give us a call if you would like to know more, or if you have any questions.

Are you ready to upgrade your thermostat or purchase a LYRIC?  Give me a call at 843-821-0937, so that we can discuss which thermostat will best suit you and your family.




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 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.


Thank you for the positive feedback!

raisinWe would like to say “Thank You” for all of the positive feedback that we have received recently! is a great way to post positive (and negative) comments for companies that you have dealt (with). This is a FREE place to leave those comments, and it is a great way to check out a company that you are planning to do business.

Here are some of those comments:

  • This has been the most honest company we have dealt with.  Always on time, they go out of the way to help us out.  Very nice dealing with all of them.  Nice and honest a great combination. –Rhonda M., Hanahan SC
  • Our church (which has many HVAC needs) has used Arctic Air for several years.Compared to other companies we have used in the past this company has given us above average customer service without fail and their prices are very competitive. We’re keeping them! –Frank C., Charleston SC
  • Always courteous, always follows through when they’re supposed to be there. Very quick to respond when there’s an emergency. Stacy is awesome at keeping everybody on track, including myself in getting my routine AC checks scheduled. I highly recommend them! Carolyn B., Charleston SC
  • I noticed that Arctic Air receives all 5 stars in it’s ratings here.  There’s a reason for that…..they do an excellent job and they actually CARE about the people they help.  In today’s society you can’t pay someone enough money to truly care about customers.  Their professionalism and integrity make Arctic Air the only HVAC company I ever use or recommend and one of THE BEST companies in the tri-county area.  Family owned business for 20 years!  Thank you for always taking care of me and my real estate clients!! Dianne R., Summerville SC
  • **** see more on the website!****

We know that “Word of Mouth” advertising is extremely important to the success of any business.  We work hard everyday to treat everyone fairly and with respect. In addition, we understand that social media (ie, Facebook, Google+ Twitter, Insta-gram, etc) is today’s “Word of Mouth”.

If you have had a great experience with Arctic Air, please share that experience on one of those platforms.  If you have had a “not so great experience”, share that with us.  Call us at 843-821-0937. We need to know where we have failed, so that we can become better!

Please note: it is easy to get upset with a company and in the heat of the moment leave very negative feedback.  Try to give yourself time to cool down. Secondly, I would recommend that you call the company and let them know what is going on.  There are a lot of times when problems can be resolved with a quick call.  Sometimes, the owner, manager or even, the employee does not know that there is a problem. Give the company a chance to make it right.

We are constantly looking for opportunities to become better at what we do.  This includes our work, our personal lives, and our dealings with our customers.

We appreciate you! Thank you for your support! Thank you for your positive feedback! Thank you for your business!

Check out to add your positive feedback, or to check out companies in the local area.



AC Financing Available!

We can help get low monthly payments that fit into your budget!

Air Conditioner Financing, Heater Financing, Arctic Air Inc, Charleston SC, Summerville SC

Click to Apply Online!

We know that the news of having to replace your current AC / Heating system is a tough pill to swallow.  So often, we forget about the green or beige box that sits outside all year long. Then, the extremes of the season begin to hit and that faithful box just gives up.  It cannot go any longer.  It has sprung leaks in the evaporator coil, or somewhere else.

The good news is that the new units on the market today are so energy efficient that you wind up paying less to the electric company.  Most units that are about 10 years old may have started at around 8 SEER.  After time, the efficiency of that unit might be a 5 or 6 SEER at best.  Today, the minimum SEER rating is a 13! You will definitely be able to see a difference in the kilowatt usage in your electric bill.  This, of course, translates into lower electric bills throughout the year. Here is a chart that was developed to show the potential savings.



Today is a great day to look into replacing your unit.  We have a PRESEASON SALE going on right now.  You can save up to $1250 on new units.  You don’t even have to get the highest efficiency unit to get a discount either!  We want to find the right unit for your home and budget.

Speaking of budgets, Arctic Air has a number of different low monthly payment options available for our clients.  One plan is 0% interest for 12 months (the balance must be paid before the end of the 12 months). I have another plan that is available with VERY LOW monthly payments also.  Please feel free to contact me if you would like more information.

Arctic Air even has plans available for clients that have less than perfect credit. Bad things happen to good people and we want to be sure you know that we are here to help.

Please give us a call if you have any questions about getting a new unit installed in your home.  Once we determine the right unit for your home, Mike will help guide you through getting the right financing set up for you.

residential air conditioning and heating units

York air conditioning and heating system

This week has been a really good week for us.  We were able to help 3 families that needed air conditioning desperately.  We were able to get the financing in place and get their ac units installed. Each family was greatly appreciative of the respect and service that they received.

Things are heating up in Charleston SC!

Things are heating up!

Wow!  I cannot believe how busy that we have been.  I try to touch base with everyone via Facebook, Twitter and Google+ at least once a week.  We have definitely been busy, busy!

(I started writing this on Monday 4/14/14, and I am just now getting it finished on 4/18/14. I apologize for the delay.)

replace-this-unitIf your unit looks like this, it may be time to consider a replacement.  Currently, we have a PRESEASON SALE on replacement air conditioning and heating systems.  We have 4 unit installs set up for this coming week! We have definitely been blessed with work!

I would like to mention that selecting the right company to install your hvac system is very important!  Consumer Reports says, “Finding a trustworthy contractor to install and service an air-conditioning system matters the most.”Did you know that if a system is not properly installed that the life of the unit could be cut in half?

This is what happened to one of our customers.York air conditioner  She just bought her home a few months ago.  She had a home inspector come out and he gave the home a thumbs up.  Then, she started having issues with her system and called Arctic Air to come out and fix the problem. The hvac system in her home was 5 years old. Why would a big name a/c have holes in the evaporator coil? I would bet money on a bad installation.  Instead of fighting a losing battle, she decided to replace her old unit with a new YORK unit.  The YORK unit has been properly installed.

What do I mean by properly installed?  Glad you asked.  Here is what we do to properly install a unit… we will disconnect your current system and remove it from the premise.  We will provide a new system based on your needs (rated at a minimum of 13 SEER) to replace the old system. The new system will be set and soldiered into the line sets.  We will install drain pans, float switches, line driers and pressure test all connections with nitrogen. We will then remove the nitrogen and evacuate the system (by vacuum) to 350 microns. This removes any moisture, and non-condensables. Finally, we charge the system, and check for proper operation.

There are a lot of “the other guys” that will install a unit fast and cheap. I would recommend caution in using these “other guys” for a couple of reasons. You have to wonder how they are doing these jobs so cheap… which is easy to figure out.  They are either using inferior equipment, or they are cutting corners. If they are cutting corners, they must be leaving out steps and parts that are essential to a quality installation.

goodman installYou can have a job done GOOD, FAST or CHEAP … pick ANY two.  Bottom line is, if you settle for a cheap option, make sure that installation is done correctly.  The up front cost may be cheaper, but the long term cost could be devastating! Don’t fall victim to this ploy.

I am proud to say that Arctic Air does not cut corners.  Since 1993, we have had a A+ rating with the BBB (Better Business Bureau).  We also carry all of the proper insurances.  (ie, Commercial Liability Insurance and Workers’ Compensation.)

Today, is Good Friday. I hope everyone is able to spend this Easter time with family and friends. “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.” John 3:16

Tips to Help Save Money on AC / Electric Bill

I wanted to give everyone some tips on how to save money on ac / electric bills for this summer.

This is the new Goodman we installed yesterday at a Summerville Customers home.

This is the new Goodman we installed yesterday at a Summerville Customer’s home.

  1.  Have your air conditioning system tuned up for the summer months ahead. This will  allow your ac system to run at its peak efficiency. When your system is running at its peak efficiency, it doesn’t have to work as hard to do its job.
  2. Replace your filters on a regular basis. Did you know that the #1 cause of air conditioner failures are from lack of filter changes and maintenance.
  3. Try to keep your thermostat settings constant.  Changing the thermostat setting continuously will make your system very inefficient.  If you are not home during the day, it is wise to set it 2-3 degrees warmer than when you are at home. It is reported that you can save between 3-5% for every degree that you raise the setting.
  4. Put your fan in “fan on” mode on the thermostat when your are trying to cool your home.  This will allow the air to circulate and even out the temperature.  This is especially effective when you have hot or cold spots in your home.
  5. Reduce the radiant heat of the sun by closing your shades and keeping your curtain drawn. This will keep the hottest rays of the sun from directly entering your home.
  6. Go Green by planting trees (or installing awnings) that will shade windows facing the south.
  7. Replace old windows with low-E glass.
  8. Check your insulation in the attic.  If it has lost most of its “fluff”, it may be time to consider replacing it.
  9. Be sure your air conditioner has 12-18 inches of clearance from all sides. Cut back trees or shrubs that are within this range.
  10. Severely clogged coils!

    Severely clogged coils!

    Keep the coils clean (those are aluminum fins that surround the outside unit). Do this by keeping grass clippings, leaves, dirt or other debris away from the outdoor unit.

  11. To assure proper air flow in your home, don’t block vents or ducts. In addition, keep doors open, even those rooms that are not being used.
  12. Be sure to caulk and install weather stripping around doors (especially attic doors) and windows.
  13. Consider purchasing a programmable thermostat. By adding this at my home, I was able to save $50 on my last electric bill.

I have two other tips that don’t deal with the air conditioner.

The first is to try not to use the oven during the day.  Additionally, run your dishwasher, dryer and washing machine at night when the ac doesn’t have to work as hard.

The second tip is to turn off tv’s, video games, lamps and other appliances when they are not in use.

I hope this helps tame your electric bill over the next few months.  One thing is for sure, I am ready for some warmer weather!


Time to Change your Air Filters!

Time to Change your Air Filters – Charleston SC!air filter air conditioning heating charleston sc

Hello Everyone,

Well, February is now here.  Time definitely flies! I just wanted to send out a friendly reminder….

Time to Change Your Air Filters.

I am hoping that you read this before you head out today.  If you don’t have filters on hand, be sure to pick some up at your local home improvements store.

While you are there, take a look at the different options that you have, and the different price ranges.  I tend to be cheap when it comes to disposable items, but I have now learned that “cheaper isn’t always better!” The same is true with air filters.

The air filter on your a/c-heater is a very important part of the system.  These filters help limit dust and debris from entering your duct work, and eventually, coming in contact with the internal parts of your unit.  These particles can potentially rob your unit of efficiency and cause an expensive breakdown.  This breakdown could result in a repair so expensive that it is cheaper to replace your system, resulting in an expense of thousands of dollars.

Let’s get back to the filters.  There are a few different types of filters on the market.  Here are basically 2 types of filters that I am going to talk about ( there are more but let’s keep this simple).

These filters are rated in the industry by MERV levels.  The higher the MERV rating, the better the filter is at trapping dirt, dust, allergens and debris.  I will do a post on MERV ratings in the future.

inexpensive air filterThe first is your basic “Inexpensive” Filter.  They usually are in a cardboard frame, blue or white in color.  These filters are make of something that looks like a heavy concentration of spider webs… and, you can see through them.  This is not one of my favorite filters because it let’s too many of the particles through… and hence, a very low MERV rating. Change these EVERY month without fail!

The second is a pleated filter. These filters are usually made out of a thicker white material.  These filters usually have a higher MERV rating that the basic “Inexpensive” filter. Staci and I have been using these in our home for as long as I can remember.  These filters are a little more expensive, but provide better trapping of those contaminants. Pleated filters can usually last a little longer than the “Inexpensive” filter, so I would recommend checking these at 45 days.  If they don’t look terrible, keep them in for a little longer.

In the pleated category, I have found what I call a “MacDaddy” filter.  There are two filters that I found at the local home improvement store that I shop at that I really like.  The first is made by 3M, the second is made by Purolator.

filtrete air filter3M makes the Filtrete line of air filters.  Basically, the higher the number the more allergens are trapped. The Filtrete 1900 is a 3 month filter. They also have two higher levels which are the Filtrete 2200 and 2400.

purolatorPurolator makes the Purofied line of air filters. The Purofied filter is a 6 month filter.

Please note with both of these filters, I recommend checking them each month just to be sure they are not clogged.  If they are getting dirty and clogged, change them more frequently.  If the air flow is not good, it can make your energy efficiency go way down, and potentially harm your system (ie, the compressor).

The reason I like this type of filter is because I suffer from allergies.  So, any extra contaminants that I can check at the filter, helps me.  How?  I don’t have to breath in as much of the irritants that cause me issues.  These filters are NOT cheap.  However, these filters do last longer, and the reduction of dust is amazing.

The second reason that I like these filters is because, I don’t like to dust! I am all for less frequent dusting.  How about you? Our glass tables used to get a good coat of dust on them in days.  Now, it takes a couple of weeks to get the same accumulation.  (Note: this was a scientific test, just a personal test and observation.)

So, whatever filter you choose to use, check them today.  If they are dirty, change them. This little bit of maintenance is far less expensive than potentially having to replace your entire system.

Have a GREAT weekend!