Baby, It’s Cold Outside: Learn About Heat Pumps

Surprise cold snaps can be hard to deal with, especially in the South.

Last winter, the weather hit an all-time low, and many homeowners were left completely unprepared, and unsure what to combat the cold with.

When most people consider temperature control in their home, their focus is on central air conditioning or gas heating. While these work, they have their fair share of setbacks (cost of gas in the winter/cost of cool air generators and repair in the summer).

A useful alternative to understand and consider for those cold or warm times, is a heat pump.

Most people don’t know, but a heat pump can be used to both cool down or warm up a home!

How it works
When most people hear ‘heat pump’ they think of a mechanism that generates heat, but in reality, heat pumps transport heat from one area to another.

A little known fact is that even in cold weather, heat is present. A heat pump will extract the heat from the air, and bring it into your home in the winter. The same technique is reversed for the summer, when your heat pump extracts the heat from your home, leaving only cooler air!

Less cost to you and the environment
Perhaps the greatest aspect of a heat pump is the efficiency of the device. Having a two part system for heating and air conditioning can be both costly and harmful for the environment. As a heat pump runs on electricity, and doesn’t burn fuel, they can help save the environment as well as your wallet space!

What to do now
If you are interested, but want to know more about how a heat pump could specifically help control the temperature in your home, call McCalls Heating and Air for a consultation!

HVAC Maintenance: When to Call a Professional

Has your HVAC system stopped working correctly, or shown signs of needing repairs?

Maybe you’re a little tight on cash this week, and can’t afford to call the repairman at the drop of a hat. Can you fix it yourself, or should you pick up the phone?

The good news is there are some steps you can take in repairing/maintaining your HVAC system yourself which will often help significantly. The bad news is that past these steps, repair of your system can become dangerous to untrained people. It’s because of this we want to include this warning:

Do not try to repair or work on your HVAC system beyond these steps! Call a professional. A visit from your local specialist is always cheaper than a personal injury!

    • Examine Your Thermostat: Replace the batteries in your thermostat, and test it by setting it ten degrees colder or warmer than the outdoor temperature. This can be an important small fix, as your thermostat is the brain telling your HVAC when to work.


    • Check The Circuit Breaker: It is possible that power is not getting to your HVAC system because of a tripped circuit. Flip the switch, and check the master switches on the inside and outside units to make sure they’re receiving electricity. (Even if flipping the switch works, we suggest you consult an HVAC specialist. Most will be willing to explain why the circuit is being tripped.)


    • Press The System Reset Button: Resetting the unit can fix some minor mechanical hiccups which could cause the system to act irregularly. It can be surprising how useful this step is!


    • Change Your Filter: Dirt build up in the return vent of the HVAC system can cause issues for the device and waste money while the machine is working harder to regulate the temperature.


    • Clean Up Around The Unit: Clear anything that could be obstructing airflow; grass, ice, as these can have the same difficulties as the step above. You can even buy a commercial grade coil cleaner, but remember, do not open the unit! Working inside the casing could cause damage to both the unit and yourself!


    • Moving The Furniture: It’s important to make sure that vents are also not blocked or obstructed from passing air from one place to another. It’s pretty common to have a vent under your couch that you don’t know about, so investigate!

So you’ve tried all these things, and nothing’s changed! Your unit is still working poorly or not working at all. Well, at this point, it’s time to call a professional.

Remember to take note of all the symptoms of your dysfunctioning unit for the service-man to get the problem solved as quickly as possible, and always remember to perform maintenance in between repairs!