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6 Reasons to have a Spring Tune-Up

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If you follow our social media, you probably notice we like to talk about tune-ups (i.e. preventative maintenance) a lot. It’s not only because they’re very important but also because they’re a very easy, inexpensive way to take care of your unit. If you’re part of the large part of people who didn’t even know you needed to do preventative maintenance to your HVAC units, that’s ok. We’re here to help you!

The average lifespan of a new HVAC unit is 10-15yrs.

 

As stated previously, tune-ups are very important to help extend the life of your unit.If you’re going to spend all that money putting in a new system, don’t you want it to last as long as it can before having to replace it? It also helps catch small parts from breaking rather than waiting until the entire unit doesn’t work. Those small parts can be replaced with a fraction of the cost that a new unit would cost.

If that doesn’t make you want to schedule a tune-up, let us show you 6 more reasons why you should schedule one in the Spring!

1) AVOID THE RUSH- Summer and Winter are the busiest seasons in the HVAC business. With the heat rising and cold dropping quickly, units have a hard time keeping up. Scheduling in the off seasons, Spring and Fall, means you probably wont’ have to wait long for an appointment.

2) EXTENDED HVAC LIFESPAN- We briefly discussed this before, but it’s so important, we’re going to say it again! Annual maintenance is a must to keep your system running at peak efficiency. After long winter months, you want to make sure your unit is properly lubricated and clean. This also helps prevent breakdowns and costly replacements.

3) REPLACES ANY WORN PARTS- Speaking of HVAC breakdowns…raise your hand if you want to deal with one in the middle of the summer heat?…Anyone? No?…Exactly! No matter how durable machines are designed to be, parts do eventually wear out. Making an appointment in Spring can allow your HVAC technician to identify worn parts before you are left to deal with the summer heat.

4) IMPROVED AIR QUALITY- Think of how it feels the first time you get to open your window in the Spring to let fresh air in. *sigh* In the winter, our homes tend to get pretty stuffy. HVAC systems, when properly maintained can help with that. Spring Tune-Ups can help take care of clogged air filters, dust buildup and other issues.

5) KEEPS HOME OWNERS UP TO DATE WITH HVAC NEWS- Extra! Extra! Read All About It! The free-on R-22 is not being made anymore and going to be obsolete in 2020! If your unit uses R-22 or your unit is 12+yrs old, it’s time to think about a replacement! Especially since the imposed stiff tariffs on imports of steel and aluminum. Now may be the time to consider a replacement before cost of equipment and/or the interest rates jump. This means it will cost more to purchase and finance units.  (You can read more about that here: https://www.nytimes.com/2018/03/01/business/trump-tariffs.html)

6) PEACE OF MIND- By the time school gets out, summer comes, vacations are planned, fun is scheduled, one thing you won’t have to worry about is your HVAC system. Why? Because you already got it over with! You can enjoy the hottest days without worry!

If you’re still reading, then we know that you’re thinking a Spring Tune-Up just might be a good idea! We couldn’t agree more! We have a GREAT deal for you!

HVAC Tune-Up Coupon | AAA-1 Heating & Cooling Kingsport, TN

If you think you need to skip the tune-up all together and head straight to replacement, we have a GREAT deal for you too!!

  • We Give *FREE* On-Site Estimates On System Replacements
  • We Have Great Financing Options That Can Get Homeowners A New System For $75-$100 A Month.

Why And When Should I Replace My Heating And Cooling System?

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Soon it’ll be 90 degrees outside. While we may enjoy being outside in the warmer weather, we don’t want that to be the time our heating & cooling system goes out. While we have you covered any time of the year your unit quits running, we also want to help you recognize the signs of when it’s breaking or may need replacing. Right now, before it gets too hot, is the perfect time to make sure your unit is running properly. According to Energy Star, there are 9 reasons to replace your heating and cooling equipment. We would like to cover a few of the more obvious reasons.

  1. Your Heat Pump/Air Conditioner Is More Than 10 Years Old– If you’re already having to invest in expensive repairs and your unit is more than 10yrs old, it may be time for you to consider replacing it. Replacing it with a newer, more efficient unit will save you money in the long run.
  2. Your Energy Bill Keeps Going Up- Your bill will naturally rise during the seasons change from fall to winter and spring to summer. However, if it keeps rising and you cannot figure out why, it’s time to call in the professionals!
  3. Your Unit Uses R-22 Refrigerant or Freon- As explained in our previous blog, “R-22 Refrigerant & What HOMEOWNERS Need to Know,” we talk about how R-22 has been banned and will be 99.5% phased out by 2020 and banned from further production. As of right now, R-22 costs over $100 per pound! This can quickly add up to very costly simple repairs.
  4. Some Rooms In Your House Are Too Hot, Too Cold Or Your Home Has Too Much Humidity- Poor equipment operation, improper equipment, duct problems or inadequate insulation could be the cause. Any of these could cause the air to be too dry in the winter or too humid in the summer.
  5. You Have Frequent Repairs- If your unit can’t keep up, if parts keep breaking, if your unit is making too much noise and you have to keep calling the repair company, it may be time for a replacement.
  6. Your Score on Home Energy Yardstick is below 5- This means your energy use at home is above average. You are probably paying more than you need to on your energy bill.

If you read any of these and even think you might need your system to be replaced, don’t worry. At AAA-1 Heating & Cooling,We DO NOT want you to overpay for a new system! Here’s a few reasons why you need to give us a call!

  • We Give *FREE* Estimates On System Replacements
  • We Have A *FREE* 5 Year Labor Contract With Every Full System Married With Amana’s Great Limited Lifetime Warranties.
  • We Have Great Financing Options That Can Get Homeowners A New System For $75-$100 A Month.

So why wait until the middle of the Summer when it’s 90 degrees & all the HVAC service companies are booked 3-4 weeks out? Make the change now and save money every month starting on your next electric bill. 423-416-2221 (AAA1)

4 Reasons Why It’s Important to Change Your Filter

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Energy Star suggests changing your filters monthly. Even if you have a  3 month filter, check it monthly. If it’s dirty, change it.   Why? We’re so glad you asked!

4 Reasons Why It’s Important to Change Your Filter

1) It Will Help Your Unit Last Longer- One of the most common reasons for an HVAC system break down is dirty filters. Air cannot pass through the system or the motor has to work harder it can overheat. This will lead to either repairing or replacing your unit.

2) It Keeps Your System Clean-When dirt clogs up the filter, it can pollute the entire system. That means extra repairs, parts and services you weren’t planning on.

3)It Gives You Healthy Air Quality-If anyone in your house has asthma or allergies, this is very important. Dirty air filters can make the symptoms worse. If you have pets, it’s even more important. Pet dander can spread the allergens throughout the whole household.

4) It Will Keep Energy Cost Down-When clogged air filters work harder, more energy is being used. When more energy is being used, your energy bill will unnecessarily rise. You can save 5-15% a year on utility costs when you consistently change your air filter.

So What’s Next?

Go check your filter! If it’s dirty, change it. If it looks like a grey cat, it’s time for maintenance!

Replacing your filter is easy & inexpensive. It’s a great way to save money, improve indoor air quality, extend the life of your system and decrease the amount of energy you use. If you have any questions about filters, please don’t hesitate to give us a call! We’d love to help!

 

 

Emergency & Auxiliary Heat: What’s the difference?

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Emergency Heat

The Emergency Heat Switch on a Heat Pump confuses a lot of people. What is it? When do I use it? Do I turn it on when it’s really cold? All these are great questions! Heat pumps need a supplemental heating source. Especially when the weather is below 40 degrees. These supplemental heating sources are things such as the electric resistance heating at the indoor unit, gas, oil or even hot-water back-up systems. Supplemental heating sources are known as “second-stage” or “back-up” heating. Your heat pump only is the “first stage” heating. Emergency Heat is when you use your “second-stage” (supplemental heat)  by itself without using your “first stage” (heat pump)

So when should you use your Emergency Heat? Exactly as the name implies, in emergency situations only. It’s used when there’s something wrong with your “first stage” heat. For example, if your house is not warm and it’s because something has happened to your outdoor unit, then it’s time to turn Emergency Heat on and call for service. When you turn on Emergency heat, this will only turn on the indoor unit and back-up heat. Please call to get service when this happens. Having Emergency Heat on can and will be more expensive to run. This is why it is only used in an emergency situation.

**Note that if your Emergency Heat light is on but your thermostat is NOT set to Emergency Heat, this is an indicator there’s a problem with your heat pump and you should call for advice and service.**

 

Auxiliary Heat

Auixiliary Heat will turn on automatically when heat can no longer efficiently transfer heat from the outside air to heat pump. This is when the outside is around 35-40 degrees and the indoor temperature is around three degrees cooler than the thermostat setting. The thermostat will sense this and turn on electric heat strips automatically turning on the “AUX” heat light. This will provide additional heat as needed.

It does need to be noted, if your thermostat stays in “Aux Heat” even when temperatures outside rises, you should call to have it serviced. Auxiliary heat uses electric resistance heating, which is much less efficient than your heat pump. Therefore, a heating system stuck in AUX heat will run up an energy bill. If you have a heat pump, it is best to increase your heat setting by only two degrees at a time to prevent your auxiliary heat from operating.

If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to call us! We are always here to help as much as we can!

 

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