All Posts By

Candace Bennett

Ordering HVAC Units Online

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We are in a digital age with almost everything available at our fingertips.

 

We are able to purchase items, groceries, automobiles and just about any kind of service from our own mobile devices and computers. All we have to do is tap a button and it will show up at our front door. This even includes purchasing HVAC units from certain sites.

In a world that encourages DIY and instant gratification, that may seem like a good idea; however, there are quite a few issues to consider. When purchasing a new unit, there is more to look at than just price. The customer gets a better deal online, but if they call around to find someone to install it, they will soon find out that the companies with good reputations, insurance and certified technicians will say no. Isn’t that what we all want when dealing with a big purchase? Don’t we want someone who has a good reputation, is insured and certified?

It’s very hard to properly size the HVAC unit you need. Even if it’s the right “size number,” that doesn’t mean it will fit. Trained technicians can adequately size and address the structure by looking at the site where the unit is supposed to go. If a unit is improperly sized, it can cause a number of problems. It can have poor system performance causing higher utility bills. It can also cause faulty connections between the existing duct work and new equipment. It’s safe to say improper sizing can cost you more money in the long run, and sometimes immediately.

HVAC Systems are designed to be installed by certified technicians. Installing a unit includes electrical, gas and refrigerant connections. There are laws, codes and guidelines regulated by federal, state and local levels to make sure this is done correctly and safely. For these reasons, not only can improperly installing the system cause low performance, but can also risk personal safety.

When ordering units directly, it takes away what a qualified contractor provides. To provide proper installation, a contractor must visit the site, sometimes perform load calculations and duct sizing. Not to mention you lose out on certain labor & service warranties that HVAC companies may be promoting. In fact, most manufacturers do not give any warranty coverage to equipment bought over the Internet.  It is attractive that online providers give customers a price that is cheaper than certified HVAC companies. But remember that’s all they are offering. They can’t offer customers the company/consumer relationship, service, support or anything that a certified HVAC contractor can give you.

Our best advice is to give us a call. Let us help you directly. When you call, you will see that you’re not just an account number or credit card. Your household’s comfort is very important to us! Let us hear your needs and personally show you what we can do to provide them. Our technicians are licensed, insured and trained to do the job correctly. We will be with you from the beginning to the end, all while answering every question you have and overseeing that every step is completed correctly. 423-416-AAA1(2221)

 

 

For More Information, Click This Link To Check Out What Amana Has To Say About Purchasing Online Units

Healthy Humidity In Your Home This Winter

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Humidity: The amount of water vapor in the air around you.

There are a couple of reasons why you want to keep the humidity level in your home at a certain level.  Improper humidity levels can not only make you uncomfortable but can also cause problems for your health and for your home.

ASHRAE (American Society of Heating, Refrigeration and Air Conditioning Engineers)  suggests a range of 45% – 55% humidity to manage health effects and illnesses.

Comfortable: 30% – 60%

Recommended: 45% – 55%

High: 55% – 80%

In the winter, cold air contains less water so the humidity is lower. When your heater turns on, because the humidity is low, it will pull in dry air inside your home. This can cause:

  • Dry & Itchy skin
  • Susceptibility to Colds & Infections
  • Damage to Wood Furniture & Floors
  • Static Electricity
  • Paint Can Chip
  • Damage to Electronics
  • A Thriving Place for Germs & Viruses to Live

Thankfully, you don’t have to suffer. There are a few options you can do to help your situation. Did you know a humidifier will do wonders improving your home air quality?

Benefits from Humidifiers With The Right Levels

  • Clears sinuses to help improve breathing
  • Softer Glowing Skin by helping keep your skin moist
  • Reduces Risk of Infections & Increases Healing Time from Infections
  • Improves Sleep- humidity in the bedroom with help with snoring & dry throats. This in turn can help alleviate sore throats.
  • Reduces Heating Bill
  • Fewer Electric Shocks
  • Helps Keep Wood Furnishings from warping

Click for more information on a Honeywell Advanced Elctrode Humidifier

Another Way to Keep Healthy

On top of making sure your air is not too dry, another way to keep your household healthy is to add an Ultraviolet Air Purifier. This is installed right on your heating & cooling system where bacteria tries to grow. Once these are installed, you don’t have to worry about adjusting it.

These systems are great for homes & families with:

  • Allergies
  • Humid & Dry Climates
  • Pets
  • Odors caused by cooking or the resources
  • Ductwork that needs frequent cleaning
  • Concern for maintaining or improving energy efficiency

You can find more information about the Ultraviolet Air Purifier here: Honeywell – Ultraviolet Air Purifier with AirBRIGHTTM Odor Absorption

As always, please feel free to contact us with any questions or concerns. We’d love to help you out any way we can!

Ways to Stay Warm this Fall and Winter

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Looking for different ways to save energy, save money on your heating costs and stay warm? You’ve come to the right place! Here are a few of our favorites ways.

1) Dress for cold weather- It may sound silly, but it’s one of the easiest ways to save. Dress in layers, wear house shoes, or even add a hat.

2) Decorate for Warmth- This is one of our favorite ways to make your home feel to feel warm and cozy! We’re talking insulated curtains, rugs on your floors, flannel sheets, warm blankets on your couches!

3) FREE Solar Heating- Open those curtains and let the sun warm your home! Close those insulated curtains at night to keep the heat in.

4) Kitchen & Bathroom Fans-They might suck out bad smell, but they also suck out a lot of your warm air. Use these sparingly.

5) Reverse Your Fans- Since we’re talking about fans, let’s talk about flipping those ceiling fans in reverse. Since heat rises, this is an easy way to push that heat back down and circulate it through the area.

6) Change Your Filter- I know, I know, we mention this a lot. But here’s why, It’s SO important. A dirty filter leads to your heat pump working harder, which will raise your energy bill. Also, if not changed regularly, it gets really dirty and circulates that dirt in your home.

7) Turn the Thermostat Down- A couple of degrees can make a big difference! An easy way to do this is to have a programable thermostat that is set to adjust the temperature when you’re gone or when you’re asleep. If you’re cold, refer to number #1 & #2 (flannel sheets y’all!)

8) Keep Your Vents Clear- Make sure nothing is covering your vents. That way you can get the full heating experience.

9) Close the Fireplace Damper- When you’re not using your fireplace, close the damper. That way all that warm air doesn’t escape.

10) Get a Tune-Up (Preventative Maintenance)- Another subject we’re fond of. Why? Because this is the easiest way to keep your furnace and heat pump running to the best of it’s ability. When things run smooth, you don’t have to worry. It’s also a great way to see if anything is failing. I don’t know about you, but we would rather pay for a part instead of a whole new unit. Did you know that some manufacturers will not uphold their warranties on their units if you don’t get tune-ups? You get an oil change in your car to help keep it going. So why not make sure your unit is running properly for around the same price as some oil changes?

Looking for other ways to save? Does your unit need to be replaced? Call us & let us give you a FREE estimate on a new Amana system that includes financing and 10yr labor. 423-416-2221

Furnace & Fall…What Can You Do?

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Doctors recommend having a physical once a year. This helps you maintain any health concerns you might have. Auto mechanics suggest you bring your car in after so many miles for an oil change and tire rotation. This is to help prolong the life the vehicle. The same thing goes for your home’s or business’s heating & cooling system. It is recommended that you have a Preventative Maintenance (a tune-up) twice a year; once in Spring and once in Fall.

It’s easy when you’re in good health to neglect your yearly physical. However, you should not do the same with your furnace.

 

Why Schedule a Fall Preventative Maintenance:

  • You Can Lower Utility Bills- our technicians can ensure everything is operating to the best of it’s ability. Which in the long run saves you $ on your bills.
  • Prolongs Lifespan of Furnace-Just like a doctor can help you be in the best health, having a preventative maintenance can help your furnace be in it’s best health as well.
  • You Can Save $ On Repairs- This is a great way to catch problems as they are developing. If a repair is needed, it’s more affordable to fix something minor than to have to fully replace later.
  • Improves Air Quality & Comfort- When you clean the unit, it can help increase cleaner air indoors.
  • You’re Securing Your Manufacturer Warranty- If your unit is still within manufacturer warranty years, this secures your replacement of anything covered in that warranty. If you read the fine print, you’ll find most manufactueres will not uphold their part of the contract if you do not have preventative maintenance at least once a year. That way it will be clear if anything goes wrong, it was not your fault because you have done everything required.
  • You Can Rest Easy- You can sit back and relax all winter long knowing you’re less than likely going to experience a problem.

How to Schedule Your Furnace Preventative Maintenance:

It’s a simple as 1,2,3!

  1. You can either call us at 423-416-2221 or contact us here by website & we can get back in touch with you during regular business hours.
  2. Schedule a time when is most convenient for YOU
  3. For more details on what we do during the service & how you can be put in our system to come out once or twice a year,  click this link to check out our  AAA-1 H&C Preventative-Maintenance-Agreement.

Make Sure that you check out our Specials for Coupons on Preventative Maintenances and more!

 

Keep AAA-1 in mind for all your Heating & Cooling Needs!

 

Capacitor Went Out Again? It could be your Air Flow!

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Along with the heat and humidity, comes summer’s most common AC repair: a broken capacitor.

What is an AC Capacitor?

Capacitors are electronic devices in your air conditioning systems that give a boost of power at the start of each system cycle. This helps bring the fan up to full speed. Just like any other mechanical or electrical device, they are prone to breakdown, especially when they are under a heavy workload.

Signs of a Problem…

Capacitors do not always give signs before they breakdown. However, you might notice some of these signs that indicate there may be a problem.

  1. Smoke- The capacitor might smoke as it begins to fail. It also may have a smell due to the chemicals inside.
  2. Leaks- The chemicals inside might leak as it’s failing
  3. Startup Failures- The capacitor may start to fail ever so often. This will lead to the ac to be unable to do its job.

Reason For AC Capacitor Problems

There are different reasons a capacitor can fail. While only a certified heating and cooling specialist can determine the exact cause, there are a few common reasons it can stop working as well.

  1. Physical damage (such as debris hitting the unit, etc.)
  2. Improper voltage/current
  3. Unit Overheating
  4. Age
  5. Reduced Air Flow (check & change your filters.)

Speaking of AIR FLOW…

Clean Air Flow is so important!  Not only can it cause a broken capacitor, but it can also cause other parts to breakdown as well. You will end up spending more money fixing your unit than if you just bought and replaced your filters.

It’s not just about saving money on parts though. For your heart to be healthy, you need to be able to breathe easily. If your HVAC system isn’t in good shape, then your quality of air isn’t in good shape either. When air is stifled in homes, it can result in an increased risk for illness. When air isn’t moving, you are left to breathe in and out the same air over and over again. You’re breathing germs, particles, mold and other toxins. When you don’t change your filters, you end up pushing all that your filters have caught back through your vents and in your home again. So please, please change your filters!

If you suspect your capacitor is going out or just needs to be looked at, please give us a call.

423-416-AAA1 (2221)

Radon & Mildew & Mold Oh My! Basement & Crawl Space Owners Please Read!

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All homes require maintenance and upkeep. When it comes to a basements & crawl spaces, one of the main concerns is seepage or rising water. When there’s a water problem within the foundation, homeowners usually act quickly to fix the problem and prevent further damage. But what about other problems in your basement or crawl space? What about problems that are invisible and could potentially be more dangerous?

Invisible Issues

When it comes to basements and crawl spaces, radon gas infiltration, mold spores and mildew are common problems. All of these problems have a MAJOR influence on the air you breathe inside your home. They can easily enter your house through the foundation, slab & cove (where the wall meets the floor). This harmful air eventually makes it’s way in up to 50% of your living space air.

According to the Environmental Protection Agency, the 2nd leading cause of lung cancer is from radon gas poisoning. If undetected, over the years, it can potentially pose a life threatening problem. However, this does not have to happen.

 

So How Do I Fix It?

There are actually a couple of different ways to help.

  • You can waterproof your basement. You can contact your local basement waterproofing contractor.
  • Seal & Insulate the Crawl Space (this is going to provide immediate & long term benefits)
  • Invest in a Radon Detector from your hardware stores, home improvement stores or online. (If your home has a radon level of 4 or higher, you need to take action) Click here for more information on testing your home. 

 

As always feel free to call us to find out more information!

423-416-2221

Should I Turn My AC Off When I’m on Summer Vacation?

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Most of us have vacations and get aways planned for the upcoming summer months. Maybe it’s the beach, or the mountains, or even a far away destination. We can be gone anywhere from a day to months! With our minds focused on the destination, the last thing we tend to think about is our air conditioning units.

Turning Your Unit Completely Off Can Actually Cause Issues to Your Home!

Your air conditioner not only cools the air, but also dehumidifies it. If you leave your AC off too long, humidity levels rise. Here’s a few things that can happen where there is too much humidity in your home:

  • Corrode or cause short circuits in electrical equipment
  • Cause wallpaper to peel
  • Warp your wood flooring, doors and cabinets
  • PROMOTES MOLD GROWTH (YUCK! The key to preventing mold growth is keeping moisture low preferably between 40% to 60%).

According to the U.S Department of Energy, “If you live in a hot climate, it is best not to set your thermostat higher than 85 to 90 degrees F to protect any temperature-sensitive building components or appliances, like your refrigerator.”

We recommend setting your thermostat between 76-80 degrees F in Northeast Tennessee.

Want to come home to a cool home after Vacation?

 
Now you know how to set the thermostat when you go on vacation. But you don’t want to come home to an oven, right?

That’s why you should get a programable thermostat that comes with a vacation mode. Or even better, a blue tooth/wi-fi capable thermostat (i.e. Nest).  That way by the time you get home, your family can come home to comfort, not an oven.

Call for more information today! 423-416-221

 

Need a New Unit? We’ve Got Great News For You!

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Is Your Unit Just Not Cutting It?

 

At AAA-1, we understand what it means to work hard, earn your money and spend it wisely. We understand that you want your family to be comfortable. Not just in the home, but financially as well. That’s why we work with our distributors to bring you the best deals we can.

AAA-1 Heating & Cooling  and Amana are teaming up to do just that!!

From now until the end of June 2017, we are offering

10 YEARS OF FREE LABOR

to customers who purchase an Amana system with a 16 seer or higher.

We’re not stopping there either!

We provide YEAR ROUND Financing on Amana products!

We’re not crazy! We just want to make sure you have the coolest summer possible!

Call us today at 423-416-AAA1 (2221) to schedule your FREE ESTIMATE!

For More Information Check out the Amana Website: http://www.amana-hac.com/support/extended-service-plans

(Disclaimer: In the deal made with AMANA and AAA-1, the plan does not transfer from original homeowner to new homeowner if original homeowner were to move.)

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R-22 Refrigerant & What HOMEOWNERS Need to Know

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Freon, Refrigerant, R22 — Ever heard those words before?

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It feels like only yesterday that you dropped several thousand – or tens of thousands – of dollars on a brand new central air conditioning system, you may not want to hear about the Environmental Protection Agency’s ban on R22, a refrigerant that you may be more familiar with under the brand name of Freon. But it’s a reality, and its effects are growing quickly more acute, especially for homeowners who have air conditioning units manufactured before 2010.

That’s the year that HVAC manufacturers were required to stop producing R22- consuming units, so if yours was built pre-cutoff, it could be using R22.But not for much longer.

By the year 2020, 99.5% of R22 will be phased out and banned from production.

R22, has been a target of the international community since 1987 when the Montreal Protocol was developed to phase out all ozone depleting substances.

Nearly 90% of R22 has already been phased out. To put this in perspective, 110 million pounds of R22 were available in the United States in 2010. By 2013, the supply was only around 39 million. The plan calls for supply to drop to 13 million pounds this year.

You don’t need a degree in economics to understand how supply and demand are going to affect the cost of running your HVAC system if it still uses the banned gas.

 

Why The Ban Happened

As far back as the 1970s, the EPA determined that R22 was partly responsible for the depletion of the ozone layer, a part of the earth’s atmosphere that is vital in protecting us from harmful UV radiation. A damaged ozone layer is tied to increasing temperatures, which can be harmful to people and crops, and to sun damage that can lead to cataracts and skin cancer.

In fact, data from satellites, weather balloons and other instruments have shown that the ozone layer has begun to repair itself, which is good news for supporters of the ban.

 

What It Means To You As A Homeowner

It’s impact on the ozone aside, the ban may have a significant impact on your wallet. If your air conditioner was installed prior to 2010, and more relevantly, if it was manufactured prior to 2010, chances are it uses R22.

When you invest in something as significant as a new HVAC system, you hope to enjoy many trouble-free years. You probably don’t plan to replace the system less than a decade later. But the reality is that it may become costlier to run your current system than to replace it with a new one.

This is especially true if you have an older system that is already prone to leaks and breakdowns. While it is still acceptable for R22 to be added to older units, the cost is becoming prohibitive. In the past year alone, the cost per pound for R22 has more than quadrupled, and with average systems requiring seven to ten pounds of the refrigerant, you may be looking at upwards of $1,000 to repair and refill your unit.

So if your system is older and already showing signs of its age, it’s time to seriously consider replacing it. Given the cost to replace R22, it may be financially wiser to invest now and take advantage of available rebates to help offset the cost.

Even if your unit is on the newer side of old, time isn’t on your side. The system may be humming along now, but in a few years when R22 is all but archaic, it will be that much more expensive to obtain.

You may be confident that you won’t run into any issues for some time, but right now may still be the right time to think about a replacement. Better to plan, research and know your options before you end up behind the eight ball on the hottest day of the year.

 

New HVAC Systems

Air conditioning units manufactured after 2010 use the coolant R-410A, which lacks the damaging chlorine found in R22. As of today, April 24, 2017, the cost of R22 is around $90 PER POUND and only going up! As the cost of R22 increases exponentially, the cost of R-410A has been dropping. Also on the plus side, the technology used to manufacture the newer HVAC units results in fewer equipment failures and a reduction in noise level.

So whether you’re already feeling the sting of keeping up with R22 costs, or if you’re a planner and want to stay ahead of the curve, give us a call at AAA-1 Heating & Cooling 423-416-2221. We will gladly give you an honest assessment while discussing your options and a FREE estimate to replace your air conditioner.

 

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FOR MORE INFORMATION

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