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How-To’s, FAQ’s & More

7.7.20

Signs and Treatment of Heat Exhaustion

06.24.20

Summer is here, and temperatures are high! It’s important to be aware of the increased risk of heat exhaustion.

Heat exhaustion happens when your body overheats. It often starts with heat cramps, progresses to heat exhaustion, and concludes with heatstroke. Although heat exhaustion is not as dangerous as heatstroke, it is not to be taken lightly. Without intervention, heat exhaustion can advance to heatstroke, which is a life-threatening condition. Thankfully, the symptoms of heat exhaustion are easy to recognize.

Signs and Symptoms of Heat Exhaustion

Signs and symptoms of heat exhaustion can develop suddenly or over time, especially when exercising.

• Cold, pale, clammy skin – sometimes accompanied by goosebumps

• Profuse sweating

• Headache

• Dizziness

• Fatigue

• Weak, rapid pulse

• Low blood pressure upon standing

• Abdominal or muscle cramps

• Nausea, diarrhea, or vomiting

• Confusion

• Fainting

• Dark-colored urine

 

Causes of Heat Exhaustion 

Causes of heat exhaustion include:

• Dehydration

• Exposure to high temperatures, especially when combined with high humidity

• Strenuous physical activity

• Hot weather

• Alcohol use

• Overdressing

 

Risk Factors for Heat Exhaustion 

Anyone can develop heat exhaustion, but certain factors increase your sensitivity to heat. They include:

• A high heat index: When the heat index is 91 degrees Fahrenheit or higher, you should take precautions to keep cool.

• Age: Children younger than 4 and adults 65+ are at a higher risk of heat exhaustion because they adjust to heat more slowly than people in other age groups.

• Sudden temperature changes.

• Certain drugs: Medications that affect your body’s ability to respond appropriately to heat and/or stay hydrated include: beta-blockers, stimulants, diuretics, antihistamines, sedatives, tranquilizers, antipsychotics, heart and blood pressure medications.

• Certain health conditions: Diabetes, alcoholism, obesity or underweight, high blood pressure, mental illness, sickle cell disease, sunburn, and heart, lung, or kidney disease. Also, any conditions that cause fever.

 

Treatment for Heat Exhaustion

If you think you’re experiencing heat exhaustion:

• Stop all activity and rest.

• If possible, take a cool shower or bath. A cool towel placed on the forehead and neck can also be effective.

• Move to a cooler place – find a shady spot or preferably an air-conditioned area.

• Drink cool water or a sports drink that contains electrolytes – NO caffeine or alcohol.

• Remove restrictive and/or unnecessary clothing.

 

Seek immediate medical attention if your symptoms do not improve or worsen. Untreated heat exhaustion can become heat stroke.

 

GettyImages 1202238034 705x283 - Spring Cleaning to Protect Your Family

Spring Cleaning to Protect Your Family

05.20.20

As we venture out into the world more, it is important that we clean and disinfect critical areas of our homes to protect against COVID-19. High-traffic areas need to be given special attention to protect against the spread of the virus in your home. We’ve created a cleaning checklist for you.

Things to Clean Throughout Your Home

  • Light switches
  • Doorknobs
  • Surfaces and countertops
  • Any electronics, such as a laptop or phone

 

Entryway of Your Home

  • Wipe down your front door
  • Shake out your doormat and wash it weekly, if possible
  • Wipe down light fixtures and railings
  • Leave your shoes outdoors
  • Disinfect your doorknob several times a day

 

Kitchen

  • Clean counters, island, and other surfaces daily – especially anywhere your family eats
  • Wipe down the exterior of your refrigerator and dishwasher daily
  • Scrub your sink
  • Regularly clean your utensil drawer
  • Avoid placing bags – such as grocery bags or handbags – on surfaces. In fact, leave bags outdoors, if possible. If you must bring a bag indoors, thoroughly wipe it down with a disinfectant.

 

Living Room

  • Wipe down remote controls and anything else that is frequently touched or held
  • Vacuum rugs
  • Wash pillow covers and blankets
  • Clean TV trays before and after you use them

 

Dining Room, Breakfast Bar

  • Clean your tabletop and breakfast bar
  • Wipe down chair backs, armrests, and chair seats
  • Wash chair cushions, placemats, and napkins

 

Bathrooms

  • Clean and disinfect the toilet, bathtub, showerhead, light switches, doorknobs, countertops, and sink(s)
  • Wash shower curtain and bathmats

 

Bedroom

  • Wash all bedding and pillowcases
  • Vacuum rugs, carpet, the mattress, under the bed, etc.
  • Wipe down bedside tables

Finally, this kind of cleaning can reduce anxiety and improve your mental health during these uncertain times. Doing something to actively protect yourself and your family can be encouraging and empowering.

Young woman lying buried her face in sofa feels tired

Ideas for Things to do During Quarantine 

04.27.20

Social distancing is tough. The days are long, and the hours can seem to drag by. During this tough time, it’s important to listen to your needs. Some days you’ll be motivated to completely reorganize your closets, and, other days, getting out of bed will seem like a victory. Both are ok! If you do need ideas on how to fill your time during quarantine, we have some suggestions. 

Be a Gamer


Playing online games with friends has become very popular. And if you pair it with a Zoom ‘meeting,’ then you can see your friends as well. 

The great thing about puzzles—crossword, jigsaw, Sudoku—is that they both take up time and stimulate your brain.   

Rediscover the Great Outdoors

Thank goodness we are social distancing in the spring when the weather is warming up and flowers are blooming. Going outside for even a few minutes every day can cheer you up while also giving you a break from looking at the same old ‘scenery’ in your house. Here are some ideas on how to spend your time outdoors. 

Hammock – Have a hammock? Spend some time in it. Don’t have a hammock? Order one! They are great for rest, relaxation, and naps. 

Garden – Pull weeds. Dig holes. Nurture something beautiful. 

Sprinkler – Turn on the sprinkler and run through it with your kids and/or dogs. 

Go camping – Set up your tent in your backyard and camp out under the stars. S’ mores are a must!

Reading, Writing, and Drawing  

Read – Yes! Read a book you’ve meant to start. Don’t have a new book in your library? If you have an electronic reader like a Kindle or a Nook, you can check out books from your local library using the Libby app.  

Journal – This is a strange and unique time. If you put your thoughts and feelings down on paper, chances are you’ll want to reread what you had to say in a few years. Don’t express yourself well with words? Draw instead.

Mother’s Day is coming up – Write your mom a letter or poem. 

Websites that you’ve bookmarked – How many times have you bookmarked a site or article thinking that you’ll come back to it and read it later? Now’s the time to catch up on your bookmarked reading. 

Pick a kids’ series to read and watch – There are lots of children’s book series that have been made into movies. Alternate reading the book series with your kids and then watch the movie or television series. 

Lists – Do you like to make lists? Make a gratitude list. Make a list of all the places you want to visit. Make a list of your dreams for your life. Just make sure that all of your lists have a positive intention. 

Coloring books – They’re not just for kids! 

YouTube Lessons – YouTube has a wealth of free instruction videos. Want to learn to knit, dance, play an instrument, draw calligraphy, etc.? Chances are, YouTube has videos to help you get on the right track. 

Learn a new language, or at least a few useful phrases – Download Duolingo, or a similar app, and practice your pronunciation. This will be a great skill to have once we’re out of quarantine and traveling again! 

Self-care 

Meditation and Breathing Exercises – Stress and anxiety can get to us all right now. Download a meditation or breathing app and listen once a day. 

Take a bath – Remember baths? Hot water is perfect for tight, tense muscles. Add Epsom salts for an extra-relaxing soak. Light a few candles, add soothing music, and a glass of wine, and you’ve got a complete spa experience! 

Sleep. Nap. Repeat. 

Deep condition your hair and hands – We’ve all been washing our hands a lot, but quite a few of us are avoiding washing our hair. Take time to rub a moisturizing lotion or oil into your hands to combat dryness. Wash your hair and allow the conditioner to soak into your hair for at least 10 minutes. Enjoy your soft, manageable hair after the conditioner is washed out. 

Food 

Food during quarantine can be complicated. Sometimes you want something simple and quick, while other days you want to cook elaborate meals and spoil your family with homemade baked goods. 

Five-ingredient dinners – Search for ‘5 ingredient dinners’ online, and you will be amazed at the number of recipe options that come up, making mealtime both easy and delicious. 

Charcuterie board – Fancy charcuterie boards at restaurants can be the perfect appetizer or even meal. Create your own delicious board at home just from the things in your pantry and fridge. Cheese, olives, pickles, pickled vegetables, bread, crackers, chutney – the list goes on and on.

Bake – Nothing says comfort like homemade baked goods. Whether you try something new or bake an old favorite, baking is good for the soul – and the stomach!

Recreate favorite restaurant meals – Try to cook something from scratch that you would typically get at a restaurant – pizza, burgers, nachos! 

Easy Recipes – You can even look at some of our favorite recipes.

Move your body 

Find out what you like. Maybe you think you hate exercise, but what you really hate is the gym or lifting weights or traditional fitness classes. Try bike riding or dancing or Tai Chi! There are endless ways to move your body that make you feel great. Figure out how you like to move. 

Go for a walk or a bike ride

Take a free YouTube fitness class or download a fitness app

Dance around the house to your favorite upbeat music – a guaranteed mood lifter. You could even learn a TikTok dance! 

Stretch. Feeling tight? Work on your flexibility. What’s great about stretching is that you can put on your favorite TV or radio program and be entertained while you stretch. 

Connect

Zoom. Skype. FaceTime. Google Hangouts. Use technology to connect and chat with your friends and family members. It’s so important to laugh and connect with other people. 

Play! With your dogs, kids, partner, cats – just play!  

Organize closets and drawers. Clean up your computer bookmarks and files. 

Make a keep, donate, and throw away pile

Call an expert. There are some chores and home fixes that can only be done by a professional. Just be sure that anyone you hire is taking necessary precautions to protect you and their staff during the coronavirus pandemic. For instance, at Stuart Pro, we are wearing shoe covers, masks, and latex gloves, sanitizing hands and tools before each job, and maintaining a social distance – no signature required. Payment by phone is also an option if needed.

Doing chores doesn’t have to be a drag. Subscribe to a podcast or two (almost all podcasts are free) and be entertained while you cross things off of your to-do list. 

Give Back

Sometimes the quickest way to feel better is to help someone else. 

Donate to a food bank.

Shop for an older person

Buy gift cards from your favorite local businesses to help keep them through difficult times. 

Don’t pressure yourself. There are many hours in the day and an infinite number of ways to fill them. Some days will be busy, and others will not. Find what works for you and your family, and remember to be kind to yourself. 

blogductcleaning

Is Duct Cleaning Worth it?

03.30.20

Having your ducts professionally cleaned by Stuart Pro results in better indoor air quality and an HVAC system that has better airflow and runs more efficiently. It could also mean a decrease in your energy bills and fewer colds and respiratory problems for your family, which is a great concern at this time.

How do I know if my air ducts need cleaning?

  1. There is visible dust on vent covers and registers.
  2. You haven’t changed your air filter in months (or even longer!)
  3. Airflow is inconsistent throughout your home.
  4. Mold is evident in or around your HVAC system.
  5. There are noises in the ductwork.

If indoor air quality is important to you, then having your ducts cleaned is a good idea.

A shocking statistic by the EPA: Indoor air hazardous pollutant levels can be up to 70 times greater than in the outdoor air.

Dirty ducts breed bacteria, fungus, mold, mildew, and other microbes that are unhealthy for you and your family. And then, when the air or heat is turned on, those contaminants are spewed into your home. This can be particularly detrimental to asthma and allergy sufferers, children and the elderly, and those prone to respiratory illnesses.

But how do you choose a legitimate company to do your duct cleaning? Our article on how to spot and avoid a duct-cleaning scam gives you all the information you need.

Stuart Pro uses Abatement Technologies high-performance air duct cleaning equipment and specialty tools to remove dirt, debris, and other contaminants from ductwork systems. These HVAC air duct cleaning vacuums are designed to clean HVAC duct systems faster and more efficiently. Would you like to learn more? Call us anytime at 770.813.1316.

homeowner-818×350

Tips on Buying a HVAC System

02.24.20

Are you buying a new home or thinking of replacing or updating your old HVAC system? This article will help you to shop smart and get exactly what you need to keep your home comfortable all year long.

The EER (Energy Efficiency Ratio) is used to evaluate how effectively a unit operates. It’s considered an easy objective measurement to decide between two units. The EER is calculated by dividing the BTU (British Thermal Units) rating by the wattage. If the EER is 12 or above, it is considered energy efficient. When comparing two HVAC systems, the one with the higher EER will be more energy efficient.

The SEER number (Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio) calculates the cooling capacity during a typical cooling season (rather than all-time). This number is most often shown on Energy Star labels. It measures a unit’s efficiency while cooling, but be forewarned; this universal measurement can be misleading if you live in an area with hot, humid summers as we do. Even a minor increase in the SEER rating of your HVAC system can help reduce power consumption significantly.

It’s also important to understand how many systems are needed to heat and cool your home properly. Larger homes need bigger systems. For the most accurate estimate of how many systems a house needs, call Stuart Pro! Our Comfort Consultants are available as your go-to HVAC inspectors during the buying or upgrade process.

Want even more helpful information? Check out our buying guide.

overworkingheaters

7 Ways You Are Making Your Heater Work Too Hard

01.30.20

Few homeowners think about how well their heating is working while it’s functioning correctly. It’s when things go wrong, and your feet are blocks of ice, that questions begin to arise! Can you help your system to run more efficiently? Absolutely. Are the steps to stop overworking your system difficult? No! In fact, you’ll be surprised at how easy it is to avoid making your heater work too hard.

 

Problem 1: You block your vents with furniture

Keep vents clear of any obstruction. You want an even distribution of warm air throughout your home. Don’t want to rearrange your furniture? You may want to explore other heating options such as hydronic heating, which heats your house with hot water pipes that are underneath your floorboards. Do you want to close some vents in your home? Be sure to consult with us first. Sometimes closing vents can make your furnace less efficient and your electric bill more expensive.

 

Problem 2: You forget to change your filter

Say it with us again – change your air filters! This issue comes up repeatedly in almost all of our articles, but you can solve so many problems by regularly changing your filters. From helping with respiratory issues to saving you money, it’s just a smart move to change out your filters.

 

Problem 3: You don’t turn down your thermostat when you leave your house

The #1 way to cut down on energy costs and wear and tear on your system during the winter is to have it run less while you’re away or asleep. Programmable thermostats make this easy, but not everyone has one. Put a reminder somewhere in your home where you will see it every day to turn down your thermostat before leaving for work.

 

Problem 4: Cranking the thermostat when you’re cold

You come in from a frigid walk out in the cold, and you’re desperate to get warm. You crank the thermostat up to 75 degrees, thinking that will warm up your home—and your fingers—more quickly. It won’t. Setting your thermostat to 75 won’t get your house to 70 degrees any quicker.

 

Problem 5: Letting cold air into your home

Shut the door! Of course, leaving a door or window open will result in cold drafts into your home, but the real concerns are things that cause constant air leaks into your home. Things like gaps in doors, floors, and windows and insufficient insulation add up to high energy costs and a cold home. Add weather stripping and address poor insulation. You’ll be amazed at how much warmer your home is in winter, and how much cooler it is in the summer.

 

Problem 6: Skipping annual maintenance

The heater is running fine. No need for a yearly maintenance visit, right? Wrong! Annual maintenance must be done on your system to ensure maximum efficiency. You also want to get ahead of potential issues before they become a serious problem.

 

Problem 7: Choosing a cheap replacement

It’s finally time for a new HVAC system, and you choose the cheapest one without taking the time to do your research. Before you make a hasty decision, consider that ‘cheap’ doesn’t always mean the best value. You want your new system to last as long as possible, do an excellent job heating and cooling your home, and be so efficient that it lowers your energy bills. Take the time to do your research and give us a call at Stuart Pro. We’re happy to answer your questions and give you our recommendations.

air conditioning dirty filters impact

6 Ways Dirty Air Filters Impact Your HVAC System

12.18.19

Did you know? Dirty air filters are the #1 reason for HVAC system failures. It’s true! By restricting airflow into the air handler, a dirty filter places a lot of strain on your system. Over time, the fan motor may burn out, which can cause your HVAC system to overheat and fail. Here are some ways a filthy air filter affects your heating and cooling system:

  1. A dirty air filter is the #1 reason for HVAC system failure. Why? A dirty filter limits airflow into your HVAC system’s air handler. This restricted airflow places additional pressure on the air handler fan motor and could, over time, burn out the motor, which can cause your system to overheat and ultimately fail.
  2. Your HVAC system relies on air being recirculated continuously throughout your home. The harder your blower fan has to work, the higher your energy costs will be. Don’t think something as simple as an air filter will make much of a difference in how hard your fan has to work? According to the Department of Energy, a clogged and dirty filter can use 15% more energy than a clean one. Think of the difference 15% can make on your energy bill! If you want to reduce your energy bill, change your air filter regularly.
  3. Dirty, clogged air filters also lead to poor indoor air quality, which can worsen symptoms of asthma, cold and flu, and other respiratory conditions.
  4. A dirty air filter equals a dirty HVAC system. A dirty HVAC system means ducts that need to be cleaned more often and system components breaking down sooner than they should. It can even mean that you may need to replace your HVAC system sooner than expected.
  5. A clean air filter traps dirt and particles keeping your system running smoothly. If, however, the filter is dirty, then those same particles can begin to coat the heating and cooling coils. Over time, your system will have to work harder, and it will become more prone to burning out or freezing up.
  6. Dust, dander, and other particles clogging up your air filter will result in reduced airflow and an increase in energy usage. It may even become impossible for your system to reach your preferred indoor temperature levels.

Regular filter replacement is a small price to pay to extend the life of your HVAC system. If you have trouble remembering to buy and replace filters, try buying 6–12 months of filters ahead of time so that they are always on hand. Then, set a reminder on your phone to change out your filter. Problem solved!

furnace repair or replace

Is it time to replace your furnace?

11.26.19

Can your furnace be fixed, or is it time for a replacement? What is the most cost-effective solution that will also keep your home warm? Before you make a costly decision, read our article to quickly educate yourself on your options.

Should you fix or replace your furnace?

Do the math! Furnace age and cost of repairs should factor into your decision.

It’s time to replace your furnace if:

  • Your furnace is beyond three-quarters of its life expectancy – but how do you know? Ask your contractor or check the label of your furnace for the manufacturer’s date. Most furnaces last 15 – 20 years. They can last 5 – 6 years longer if they are regularly maintained
  • Repairs would cost more than a third of the replacement cost

Efficiency Saves You Money

Today, the average furnace is 80% efficient, which means that 20% of the fuel energy is wasted. But that’s the average furnace. Some furnaces are up to 98.5% efficient. Check the product information when you’re considering buying a furnace and look for the AFUE (Annual Fuel Utilization Efficiency) rating.

A high-efficiency rating means that you will spend more money initially when purchasing your furnace, but you will also accrue savings during the cold months. For ease, let’s say that a highly efficient furnace (95%) will cost you $1,800 more than a less efficient furnace (80%). A 15% increase in AFUE (from 80% to 95%) would save you around $300 per year. If the added initial cost is $1,800, that’s a six-year payback, which is worth the higher upfront cost if you will be in your home for longer than six years.

Are your ducts sealed?

In some cases, the problem may not be with the furnace; it could be the ducts. Ducts transport warm air to all the rooms in your house. If your ducts are no longer adequately sealed, warm air could be escaping into spaces you don’t want to be heated, such as crawl spaces, your attic, or the basement. Have a specialist look at your ducts to access if they need to be repaired. Simple fixes such as taping up gaps, reinsulating, or even removing insulation can improve duct efficiency. To ensure that all gaps are closed, you can hire someone to seal your ducts with a substance that makes a rubber-like seal over every single hole in your ducts. This generally costs anywhere from $500 – $1,500 and can lower your heating bill by 20%! So, before you buy a new furnace, be sure to have your ducts checked out.

Schedule an Energy Audit

In a similar vein as ducts, sometimes your furnace isn’t the problem, your home is. Check with your electricity company about having an energy audit done:

Georgia Power
1.888.660.5890
www.georgiapower.com

Jackson EMC
770.963.6166
www.jacksonemc.com

Sawnee EMC
770.887.2363
www.sawnee.com

Walton EMC
770.972.2917
www.waltonemc.com

The auditor will look at your home and make recommendations to make your home more energy efficient. Attic-floor insulation, sealing windows, blowing insulation into walls and along the top of foundation walls can measurably improve your home’s energy efficiency. Depending on the current state of your home, you could save between 5 – 25%, which equals smaller bills and could even mean you can purchase a smaller furnace.

If you’re still perplexed about what you should do, just give us a call at Stuart Pro! We’re always happy to listen and to make recommendations that will save you money and keep your family comfortable year-round.

fireplace ac bill

Your Fireplace and Expensive Energy Bills

10.25.19

As temperatures begin to drop, it’s natural to start thinking about keeping your home as warm and cozy as possible. But did you know that your fireplace could be making your energy bill more expensive?

If you choose to use your fireplace, you need to make some easy and quick adjustments to your home.

Don’t Let Your Damper be a Downer. 

Did you know? Gas and wood fireplaces are the most inefficient heat sources you can use in your home (U.S. Department of Energy). The reason? Your fireplace damper. If your damper is open or unsealed, heated air goes up the chimney, and cold outside air is being sucked in to replace it. The result? Your overall energy consumption could go up by as much as 30%, or around $200 a year. And, to make matters worse, between 80–90% of the heat produced in an open fireplace using wood is lost up the chimney, which means that for every $100 you spend on firewood, you get around $10-$20 worth of heat.

If you are going to use your fireplace, be sure to do the following:

  • • Close your dampers when not in use.
  • • Check that your damper seal is in good condition, and if it isn’t, have it fixed.
  • • Install and use glass fireplace doors.

Indoor Air Quality

The importance of indoor air quality cannot be overstated.

  • • Dirty indoor air breeds bacteria, fungus, mold, mildew, and other microbes that are unhealthy for you and your family.
  • • Asthma and allergy sufferers, children and the elderly, and those prone to respiratory illnesses are particularly sensitive to indoor air pollutants.
  • • A shocking statistic by the EPA: Indoor air hazardous pollutant levels can be up to 70 times greater than in the outdoor air.

Add a fireplace to the mix, and suddenly you’re introducing dangerous pollutants into the air including nitrogen dioxide, carbon monoxide, and particles.

  • • Nitrogen dioxide irritates the eyes, throat, and nose and can also cause shortness of breath.
  • • Carbon monoxide causes flu-like symptoms and interferes with the body’s ability to utilize oxygen.
  • • Particles like ash, dust, and wood fragments are released during the incomplete burning of any fuel and can cause damage to the lungs.

So, what can you do to be sure that your fireplace isn’t harming your health and your indoor air quality?

  • • Choose the right fuel: dry, seasoned wood. Never use wet, painted, or treated wood.
  • • Have your fireplace inspected and cleaned once a year.

Talk to Stuart Pro about a whole-house air purifier. An air purifier will help with smoke pollution, and it may also lessen allergy symptoms and improve your indoor air quality.

TraneUnit

A Buying Guide for Central Air Conditioning

09.27.19

Installing or replacing central air is a big commitment and investment in your home, and all the choices available can be overwhelming. We’ve put together a buying guide for central AC to help you make the most informed decision you can.

Types of Central Air Conditioning 

Split System

The split system is the most common design for central air conditioning. If your home has a split system, then ductwork is used to distribute the cooled air around your home.

The steps to cool your home are as follows:

  • • Your home is feeling a little warm (or downright hot!), and you adjust the thermostat. Your system turns on. (The thermostat will maintain your desired temperature once the house cools.)
  • • Refrigerant circulates between the outdoor condenser with compressor (the large box that sits outside of your home) and an indoor coil.
  • • The refrigerant cools and dehumidifies the air as a blower circulates the cooled air throughout your home using ducts.

A variation on the split system is the heat pump system, which functions as both an air conditioner and a heater.

Split Ductless Systems

Some homes cannot accommodate central air because there isn’t room to install ductwork. For those homes, a split ductless system is installed. The cooling effect feels like a central air system.

Like central air, a split ductless system has an outside condenser and compressor, but that is where the similarities end. Air handlers (indoor blower units) distribute the air and are mounted high on the wall. These handlers cool the individual room in which they are installed and are controlled with a remote. The outdoor and indoor elements of the split ductless system are connected by a conduit that encloses the refrigerant tubing, power cable, and condensate drain. The channel is hidden behind each air handler.

Important Factors When Choosing Central AC

Once you’ve confirmed that your home can accommodate central air conditioning, there are other factors to consider.

Size

The larger your home is, the bigger your central air conditioning’s cooling capacity will need to be. AC size is calculated in British Thermal Units (BTUs) per hour or tons.

 

Home Size                                        Air Conditioner Size

600–1,000 square feet                    1.5 tons (18,000 BTUs)

1,000–1,500 square feet                 2 tons (24,000 BTUs)

1,500–2,000 square feet                 3 tons (36,000 BTUs)

2,000–2,500 square feet                 4 tons (48,000 BTUs)

2,500–3,300 square feet                 5 tons (60,000 BTUs)

 

Efficiency

Efficiency in an air conditioner equals how much cooling the unit produces for every watt of electricity. An air conditioner’s Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio (SEER) rating will signal whether a system is efficient or not. The higher the rating, the more efficient the cooling equipment is, and the lower your energy costs will be. You should purchase a unit with a SEER rating of 15 or greater.

Programmable Thermostats

Programmable thermostats are an easy way to reduce your energy costs. Learn more about ideal settings and thermostat use here.

Maintenance

Scheduling a routine HVAC system checkup before each season will keep your heating and cooling system running at peak efficiency and save you money on energy bills. Plus, identifying and fixing minor problems helps you avoid expensive repairs later on. It also validates the manufacturer’s warranty for your units with certified, twice-a-year service. Learn more about our Comfort Plan.

Upgrading an Existing Central Air System

Upgrading your central air? You may need a different size from your old system. Upgrades you’ve made to your home such as new windows, adding insulation, etc., can affect your HVAC size. However, if you have expanded your home, you may need a larger system. The good news is that modern systems are 20–40% more energy-efficient than past models.

When upgrading your central AC, you will need a load calculation from your contractor, which includes whether your ducts will need to be resized, insulated, sealed, or even replaced.

Ducts

If you are installing a brand-new AC system, your contractor will need to calculate the size of the system you need. If ductwork for your heating already exists in your home, adding a central system can cost less. However, heating ducts may not be in the right location or the correct size for optimal cooling. To be sure that your old ducts will work in harmony with your new system, your contractor must check that ducts are the correct size and that there are enough supply registers to deliver cooled air. Undersized ductwork can waste energy and be noisy. Other ways to optimize your ducts:

Clean Your Ducts 

Having your ducts professionally cleaned results in better indoor air quality and an HVAC system that runs more efficiently with better airflow. It could also mean fewer colds and respiratory problems for your family and a decrease in your energy bills. If you are unable to have your ducts professional cleaned, then be sure to clean dirt and other debris from the condenser coils, change filters monthly, and check for blockages in the drainpipe. Also, be sure to keep any hedges or bushes that are close to the outside unit trimmed.

Seal and Insulate Ducts

It’s easy to recognize drafts coming in through a door or window, but a drafty door doesn’t have near the effect on your energy bill that an improperly sealed or insulated duct will. A leaky duct can waste 20–30% of the energy used to run your system. Yikes! Be sure to seal and insulate your ducts to save money and to stay cooler in the summer, and toasty in the winter.

Installation: Call on Stuart Pro! 

When looking for a company to install or replace a central AC, we hope that we are the first you call. We’ve worked for years to build and maintain a trustworthy reputation in our community. If you would like to investigate before making your final decision, here are the steps to take.

Ask Around

Talk to your neighbors, friends, and family. Whose work do they recommend? Visit competitor websites and look at online reviews. Then call and speak to the different businesses. Ask questions, get a quote, and get a feel for each company.

Background Checks

It may seem extreme, but people who work on your air conditioning system will be in your home. You want to be sure that they are reliable. Things to look and ask for:

  • • Verification of bonding and insurance
  • • Required contractor’s licenses
  • • Standing with the Better Business Bureau and consumer affairs office
  • • Certification with NATE – North American Technician Excellence
  • • Online reviews and feedback

Get It In Writing. 

When getting a bid, ask for a detailed analysis of cooling needs for each room in your home. Request a printout of all calculations, including ductwork design. It is important to get a document from each contractor so that you can compare what each is offering. If a bid is drastically lower than a competitor’s, it may be because something crucial isn’t included in the less expensive bid.

 

Contact Us

Stuart Pro is a family-owned business that believes in putting our customers first. That’s why we want to hear from you. Fill out the form and we’ll get back to you soon.

Contact Info

770.813.1316
Info@StuartProAir.com

Type Of Inquiry

Contact Us

Stuart Pro is a family-owned business that believes in putting our customers first. That’s why we want to hear from you. Fill out the form and we’ll get back to you soon.

Contact Info

770.813.1316
Info@StuartProAir.com

Type Of Inquiry

Contact Us

Stuart Pro is a family-owned business that believes in putting our customers first. That’s why we want to hear from you. Fill out the form and we’ll get back to you soon.

Contact Info

770.813.1316
Info@StuartProAir.com

Type Of Inquiry

Stuart Pro Heating & Air is OPEN and closely monitoring the status of the COVID-19 coronavirus outbreak.

The Department of Homeland Security’s Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency has issued federal guidance to states and municipalities regarding “essential” work. Based on their definitions, the activities conducted by an HVAC installation and service company are considered essential.

We are taking every precaution to keep our employees and customers safe during these uncertain times, such as wearing shoe covers and latex gloves, sanitizing hands and tools before each job, and maintaining a social distance – no signature required. Payment by phone is also an option if needed. So, if you have any service or maintenance needs, please call us right away. We are here for you!