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HVAC Repair: Common Problems and Solutions

Your trusty HVAC unit works hard to maintain comfortable indoor air year after year, no matter how brutal the weather is outside.  At some point, maintenance or repair will be necessary. At McCall’s, our professionals have experience with all types of systems and have seen all kinds of problems. Here is a guide to help you troubleshoot the most common issues and HVAC repair options.

Why is my air conditioner not working?

The system will not turn on. Check your electrical breakers to make sure the power is on. Depending on how old your thermostat is, it might need new batteries. Thermostats six years or older may need replacing. Our technicians can easily inspect your thermostat and help you replace batteries if needed.

The compressor isn’t turning on. Here in the Savannah GA area, ants are often attracted to the humming of the electromagnetic field near the relay switch of the compressor. This can cause interference with the electrical contacts or clog the line of power. Covering the contacts with a plate can help, if regular insecticide can’t.  If you are having other electrical connection problems, you should contact our experts to help you identify them safely and quickly.

Airflow is weak. If your HVAC isn’t kicking out air the way it used to, there could be a problem in the ductwork. Leaking or clogged ducts should be cleaned, repaired, and sealed. If you haven’t replaced your filters regularly, they can get very dirty and restrict the airflow. We recommend scheduled precision tune ups to change filters and check ductwork, as well as fans and coils.

Air temperature is not as cool. When refrigerants get low or leak, the air temperature will rise. Your air conditioner’s performance and efficiency is at its best when the refrigerant charge matches manufacturer specifications exactly. A McCall’s technician will be able to fix any leak and charge your HVAC system with the right amount of refrigerant, as well as test the system to ensure success.

Water leaks from the HVAC unit. Most often, water leaks are a result of a broken or clogged drainage line. If PVC pipe fittings are not properly cemented, they can come apart and cause leaks. The drainage line should also include a p-trap and air vent. Our professionals can easily check your drainage to make sure it’s running properly, and clean it if necessary.

Can someone show me how to fix my HVAC? As presented here, there are some ways to check your HVAC unit to easily identify problems. But a licensed, insured, NATE-certified technician from McCall’s guarantees every part of their workmanship, along with your satisfaction.

Where do I find HVAC repair near me? For quality HVAC repair in Savannah, contact McCall’s for a free consultation at 912-898-1888.

It’s the Best Time for a New AC Installation

It may not feel like it now, but the summer heat is coming. Before you know it, temperatures will rise, and an oasis of cool air in your home will be a great relief every time you walk in the door.

How did your system perform last year? Does your energy bill seem to get higher every summer? Is the operation smooth and quiet, or do you have an old and noisy compressor on its last legs? Now is truly the best time to think about the efficiency of your air conditioning, before problems arise.

The professionals at McCall’s are ready to help you with a special offer on a new air conditioner installation. Save $500 when you get a new AC installation and pay up front, or receive free Trane financing for 72 months. Trane financing to install an air conditioner offers competitive interest rates, affordable monthly payments, and no prepayment penalty.

McCall’s is proud to be an independent Trane Comfort Specialist™ dealer. Our technicians are skilled in the installation and service of the world’s most efficient, longest-lasting home comfort equipment.

One very important factor to think about when you install an air conditioner is the speed of the compressor unit. We highly recommend using a variable-speed motor, which runs at a lower setting and uses less energy, with fewer on/off cycles.

A new air conditioner installation that includes a variable-speed motor will also give you the benefit of longer run times that will reduce indoor humidity, as well as provide more even temperatures throughout your home.

It’s easy to understand how homeowners can run their AC year after year without ever thinking about its performance or efficiency. The average lifespan of an air conditioning system is 10-15 years. If you have an older air conditioning system that uses the refrigerant R22 Freon, you should know that the EPA’s Clean Air Act requires a phase out of the coolant by the year 2020.

Planning for a new air conditioner installation doesn’t have to be confusing or painful. Read more about our air conditioning options, products, and our 100% Satisfaction Guarantee. Be sure to take advantage of McCall’s special offer from February 20 – April 15 that can save you $500, or help you get free and affordable Trane financing, check out the promotion here.

 

Geothermal Heating and Cooling in Savannah – How it Works

Geothermal Heating and Cooling System

Geothermal heating and cooling systems are state of the art to say the least. If you want to know how they work, then all you need to do is take a look below. We have a full explanation for you and it’s fully designed to show you how geothermal works as well as showing you how you could benefit.

Geothermal Heating and Cooling: Great in Winter

During winter, geothermal heating absorbs the heat that is stored in the ground. The heat is then carried through the home and it is a great way for you to get the heating you need without breaking the bank. Of course, when you need heat, the air outside is probably very cold and for this reason, a heat pump isn’t as efficient when compared. A geothermal pump however will use far less energy and it can give your home an endless supply of heat when you need it the most. When you compare geothermal heating next to a gas furnace, you will find that a gas furnace operates on a 98% level of efficiency. A geothermal heater however can operate on a 400-600% level of efficiency so it is a great way for you to save for the future.

Geothermal Heating and Cooling Systems: Great in summer

When you have a geothermal system installed in the summer, the system will absorb heat from inside your home and it will take it to the loop underground. It is then absorbed by the earth and it will return the colder air back into your home. It does all of this through water, so you can already start to see how this could significantly change the value of your home and the way you heat it. Of course, when you compare a geothermal system to an air conditioning system, the system needs to force the hot air out of the home, as well as working hard to make sure that the air that is put back is cold enough. A geothermal system will consume less energy in general, because it brings the heat through the earth and it doesn’t need to work hard to do this either.

Once a geothermal system is installed it practically pays for itself. It is very environmentally friendly and you would be amazed at how effective it is. Of course, this system can also drastically increase the value of your home as well.

Contact McCalls Heating and Air Savannah whenever you are ready to know more. There is no charge for a consultation. We will able to help you with just about anything and they can also show you how it works on a higher level and give you a free quote for the installation.

For a short video on Geothermal Heat Pumps by the US Department of Energy, check out this:

Can Carpet Save You Money on Your Heating, Savannah?

Dog and Fireplace Savannah Heating and AC

Carpet is a natural insulator. That means it provides extra warmth in a winter.   To understand this better, we need to introduce you to an industry term called “R-Value”. The R-Value is a measure of how much a material resists the movement of heat in a building. The higher the R-Value, the more effective the insulation.

What Do You Need to Know About an R-Value to Make Your Home in Savannah More Energy Efficient?

Wall to Wall v Area Rugs

Not surprisingly, wall to wall carpet has a significantly higher r-value than area rugs. That means the money you save by buying a rug instead of carpeting a room may cost you in the long term when you compare heating bills. The heat in your wall-to-wall room will stick around longer. That means that for Tybee Beach houses, where you spend more time in the summer, hardwood and area rugs may be the way to go. But for a more economic cozy feeling at home in Savannah, wall to wall may be the way to go.

Expert Testing

The Johns Manville Technical Center Thermal Labs‚ one of the most sophisticated laboratories of its kind in the world‚ recently did tests confirming that carpet and pad significantly increase R–value compared to other flooring materials. Of course the type of carpet has an impact on the overall results (i.e. heavier products provide higher R-Value). Carpet makes for a warmer, more heat efficient home compared to ceramic tile‚ laminate‚ and engineered hardwood – and the differences were dramatic:

  • Carpet vs. engineered hardwood: (From 3 to 7 times the R–value.)
  • Carpet vs. laminate: (From 4 to 8 times the R–value.)
  • Carpet vs. ceramic tile: (From 8 to 17 times the R–value.)

Local Experts: Eckard’s Flooring Savannah , GA

Dane Eckard, owner of Eckard’s Flooring Savannah had this to say: “We do a lot of business in both hardwood and carpet in Savannah and people seem really happy with what they buy. A lot has to do with taste. But it doesn’t surprise me that for Savannah heating  if woven carpets with a high pile density like Karastan would be better at keeping heat in.”

People Find Carpet Feels Warmer (No Surprise There)

Dr. Alan Hedge‚ professor of Department of Design and Environmental Analysis at Cornell University‚ had this to say: “Carpet feels warmer to the touch than other floor coverings because the air at room temperature is trapped by the carpet fibers which acts as an insulator‚ and carpet has a low thermal diffusivity compared to other floor materials that have higher thermal diffusivities and that conduct heat away from the body more rapidly‚ resulting in a lower skin temperature‚ cooler sensation‚ and greater thermal discomfort‚” Hedge reports.

Is a Nest Thermostat Right for Your Home?

Have you ever imagined controlling the temperature in your home from a completely different place? What about saving money on your energy bill? Is that something that appeals to you? If so, then the Nest Thermostat might be right for your home. This innovative thermostat system can help you save on your energy costs while also providing convenience on an entirely new level.  For most people in Savannah, NEST thermostats are a great fit.

NEST Thermostat

What is the Nest Thermostat?

Nest Thermostat is an innovative programmable thermostat that helps you manage the temperature in your home with precision. Traditional thermostats are complicated and nearly ancient in their design, making it close to impossible to use them. In fact, most US consumers don’t, simply because they aren’t familiar with how to program them. This fact inspired the Nest team to come up with something that was both convenient and excellent for managing energy usage. They successfully created a product that allows people to use it from virtually anywhere all with built-in Wi-Fi technology.  Read more about the NEST thermostat from the NEST website.

How it Works

Based on smart technology, the Nest doesn’t require you to program it at all. Instead, simply install the thermostat onto your current control panel, and then set it for the temperature you prefer. Adjust it accordingly throughout the day, and overtime it learns your patterns and habits. Once it does, it will adjust the temperature accordingly. You still have complete control over your settings, but if you run off to work without setting your unit, it will automatically do it for you.

Another cool feature with the Nest is its leaf feature. This allows you to adjust the temperature for a certain time period. The automatic timer is easy to manipulate for whatever time you prefer, and once the timer rolls out the unit will shut off. Pretty cool, right?

It also moves with the season changes adjusting when necessary. You can easily turn it off or on via your mobile device, which makes for even greater convenience say should you leave in a huge rush in the morning. This thing never stops learning and is built to learn from you, ensuring you are always comfortable in your home without ever looking at your thermostat.

Is it Right for Your Home?

If you like convenience, want to save money on your energy bills, and are ready for a change then the Nest Thermostat might be right for you. If you’re worried it won’t fit your home, then you can easily use the company’s compatibility app to see if your wiring and system will work with the Nest’s technology. Once you decide to use the Nest Thermostat, the app will continue to work for you by telling you which wires to connect. In other words, you get support along with an advanced piece of technology.

Why program your thermostat when you don’t have to? The Nest does that and so much more for you. If you want to keep cool (or warm) and save money, then yes this advanced thermostat is right for your home.

5 Warning Signs that Your Air Conditioner May Be on the Fritz

Broken Air Conditioner
Photo by Maegan Tintari
https://www.flickr.com/photos/lovemaegan/6239955580

In Savannah, air conditioners are as important as, well, they’re REALLY important. Nothing is more soothing then hearing the hum of your home air conditioner on a hot summer day. But should that soothing sound no longer come from your air conditioner you cannot help but feel an overwhelming sense of dread. Not only will you dread the few days you’ll have to wait for a repair man to make it to your home, but you’ll also dread the repair bill.

If your AC is giving you grief, it is a telltale sign that it’s about to give up altogether. To prevent that from happening you have to know what signs to look for. Consider the following five expert warning signs your AC is about to give up down below.

  1. Your fan doesn’t work.

The auto switch and central air system are connected on your control panel, and if your air conditioner doesn’t seem to be blowing cold air or if you’re worried it isn’t working then switch your power to ‘fan’. If the fan begins to blow then you know your AC is getting the power it needs to keep your home cool. If the fan doesn’t blow then you could have a blower problem.

  1. There is no power going to your unit.

When the AC doesn’t turn on your initial reaction is to think the worst—that it is completely broken. However, that might not be true. Before you call a repair specialist, check your electrical panel. If any of the switches on your panel are moved to the center position then you could have simply tripped a switch. Turn them on and off to see if that helps.

  1. Check your controls.

Your thermostat directs the air quality in your home. One of the simplest and most straightforward solutions to ‘none-working’ air conditioners is your controls. There could be an off chance that your ‘broken’ ac is actually just a thermostat that is switched to off. Don’t hesitate to check that out first before you call anyone.

  1. Your air conditioner runs more than it should.

If it’s not unnecessarily hot outside, and your AC seems to run constantly, than it could very well be on the Fritz. Your air conditioner should not have to blow constantly to keep your indoor temperatures at comfortable levels. If find yourself constantly listening to your blower than you may have a problem with your unit. It’s one of the most common signs of a breaking down AC.

  1. It’s nosier than it used to be.

Air conditioner’s aren’t built to be noisy and distracting. In fact, one of the biggest selling points for AC is that they are much quieter than window units are. If your unit has gotten increasingly loud, then your unit could be on the fritz. A fan belt that isn’t working could be the problem, but unless your 100% certain, you should give a repair specialist a call.

Everyone wants to keep cool during the hot summer season, but if your AC goes out you’ll be lost in a pool of sweat. Keep on the lookout for these five warning signs to stay cool all year long.

5 Things that Can Break if You Don’t Get Your HVAC serviced Regularly

HVACNo one likes to deal with repairs or even maintenance on their HVAC system, but the reality is if you fail to get check-ups you could very well end up with a bigger bill down the line. In fact, the likelihood of your unit breaking down if you don’t get it serviced is very real indeed.

Down below we take a closer look at which parts will break down if you don’t get your HVAC serviced on a regular basis. Here are the five most common things that will break in your home unit if you opt to not have your HVAC serviced on a regularly recommended schedule.

  1. Poor Ventilation

Your ventilation system relies heavily on constant maintenance of your unit. A dirty filter can quickly turn into a serious air quality problem if left untreated. The longer that air filter stays clogged, the greater likelihood of your entire unit being effected. This could even eventually lead to total unit failure. The only way to manage this is through preventative maintenance.

  1. Belt breakage

As your HVAC unit ages, things such as belts wear down and can eventually break down your motor and leave your unit ineffective. If a belt breaks or a motor component locks up, you’ll end up calling a repair person to come cure your issue. However, if you choose maintenance your costs will be far lower than if and when your parts break. Technicians are much more aware of any issues that your HVAC may have and can help guide you towards the best maintenance care.

  1. Blower Motor

A blower motor that is broken down due to a broken belt or bearings, can lead to a complete breakdown of the unit. The blower motor effects your entire unit and can also reduce your airflow dramatically. Often that is the first symptom of this issue. With a quick check-up, however, a technician can identify the problem and get it back to working in no time.

  1. Condensation drain leakage or breakage

When your condensation drain is broken, backed up, or simply not flowing properly the result can be catastrophic. If the drain is clogged, you can fully expect your unit to run poorly and fail to restart on its own. Humidity extraction is a critical component to any efficient air conditioner system. Maintenance can effectively reduce or prevent any serious issues from arising. Without getting the right assistance, however, the broken down drain can create a more serious problem that eventually leads to a broken unit.

  1. Refrigerant Line

If your refrigerant line is not insulated or poorly insulated it can result in a frozen unit. This line runs from the outside of your unit into your home, and is crucial to ensuring your home stays cool during those hot summer days. Any missing or damaged insulation needs to be repaired quickly to keep your unit in check. Regular maintenance can prevent any damage by ensuring your unit is properly insulated.

The good news is that regular inspections can prevent any of the issues mentioned above, thereby preventing any expensive repair costs.

 

5 Ways the Nest Thermostat Saves You Money on Energy Costs

Nest Thermostat

The Nest Thermostat is one of the most advanced pieces of technology to be released in years. This nifty, yet effective device can help you save money on your energy costs and give you the peace of mind knowing your AC/Heating system is functioning properly.  McCalls has been installing NEST thermostats in Savannah for years.  Call us for any help or information.  In the meantime here’s more information to help you make the right choice in buying a programmable thermostat.

Here are five ways The Nest can help you save some serious cash.

  1. It works with you to set the temperature

Unlike other conventional thermostats, the Nest Thermostat is unique in that it follows your setting patterns to develop its own. In other words, when you first install the device you will set the temperature first and then the unit will follow your pattern over the course of a week. You don’t need to set it after that point. The device even learns your seasonal patterns, thereby staying accurate all year long.

  1. Automatic Temperature Adjustment

The Nest Learning Thermostat turns itself down automatically when it ‘senses’ you aren’t in your home. When you have an unexpected errand to run, an appointment you thought would be much briefer than it turned out to be, or simply decided to go out for dinner instead of staying in the Nest will automatically adjust your temperature. This saves you money when you would otherwise completely ignore your system. This worry-free no-brainer thermostat makes it easy to save money on your energy bill.

  1. Through Wireless Controls

If you head out for a vacation or have an unexpected trip and want to adjust your temperature the Nest lets you do it! If you own a smart phone, you can adjust your thermostat from it simply by downloading the app. With greater control comes a lower energy bill as well.

  1. With a Helpful ‘Leaf’ Icon

According to experts, changing your temperature by just one degree can reduce your energy usage by 5% overtime. Thanks to the easy to spot ‘Leaf’ Icon and setting from the Nest, you can automatically save energy by following its temperature suggestions. This pre-programmed adjustment gives you the ability to make smarter decisions without ever researching the right way to go about it. Built into this system is this fantastic feature, giving you peace of mind knowing you’re saving money.

  1. Through Awareness

Most of us simply aren’t aware of just how much energy we expend every single day. With the Nest you can sign up to receive email updates notifying you of your energy expenditure. By simply being aware of that expenditure, you can greatly reduce your energy consumption and take proactive steps to reduce it even more. You would be amazed how much damage a degree or two can do to your energy costs, which can leave you wanting to take action.

As you can see, the Nest Thermostat offers a variety of ways to save money on your energy costs. Even if you’re not fully aware of how much you are spending now, the Nest can help you decipher that difference and give you greater awareness of your situation. Who wouldn’t want this device in their home.

Replacing Your Old AC: When and How

What is an AC UnitParticularly in areas like Savannah, GA where our climate can range from months of high temperatures and humidity in summer to weeks of below freezing in winter, having a high quality and properly functioning HVAC system is a must. Like any equipment, especially those with several moving parts that are operating nearly 24/7, HVAC systems will eventually need to be replaced even if properly maintained. While some high quality systems can last 20 years or more, the average life expectancy for newer models is 12-15 years.

Often times HVAC systems can be serviced and some parts such as heat pumps and coil housing can be replaced, extending the life of the overall system. Keeping the units clean, changing air filters and keeping drain lines from being clogged will all help your system to run as efficiently as possible. More maintenance tips can be found here.

The fix or replace debate should factor in both comfort and cost considerations. When you notice your system running loudly like it is struggling to keep up, the air flowing from vents is not as hot or cold as it once was, or the force of the air itself seems diminished, your system is not running properly. Unfortunately, you will continue to pay the full operating costs to run the system with electricity or gas while not enjoying the full comfort benefits. In fact, you’re likely to be paying even more since the system is constantly cycling on and off in an attempt to achieve the desired temperatures.

Energy StarWhile not necessarily cheap, replacing an entire HVAC system is an investment in your home and comfort. Every year technology improves and the newest models are increasingly more efficient. Energy savings can often amount to several hundred dollars per year. For estimates on how much you may be able to save with a new system, visit www.energystar.gov. In addition, some efficiency certified models may qualify you to receive federal tax credits. These savings and credits can help you offset the upfront cost of a new system and installation. Think you may be selling your home in the next 5 years? Often times homeowners who are trying to add value to their house before listing it on the market will make improvements to the HVAC system – why not make that investment now and enjoy the clean, perfectly cooled or heated air and energy savings while you still live in the home?

When HVAC systems fail unexpectedly, we are quickly reminded how much of a difference they make in the comfort of our home lives. Further, they tend to break down when put under the most stress during the seasons they’re working the hardest. If you’re ready to replace your system or would like to have a tech come out to inspect and maintain it, now is the perfect time before the heat really sets in and service providers are extra busy. Please give us a call if we can help you in any way.