Tips & Info

How-To’s, FAQ’s & More

The when, where, and why of thermostat battery changing.

12.11.17

How to change the batteries in your thermostat is often times preceded by another question: how do I know when to change my thermostat’s batteries? Well, we can answer both of these questions. Let’s start with when to change your batteries. If you are a procrastinator, you could wait until your home becomes excessively hot or cold. This is an indicator that the batteries have died and your home is currently at the mercy of  Mother Nature. If you’re not inclined to allow your thermostat to die before you change the batteries, you could look for your thermostat to flash a battery symbol. Once this flashing starts, you have from 1 – 2 months of battery life left. Those who are proactive will probably want to change the batteries once a year, or once a heating/cooling season.

Now that you know when to change your batteries, it’s time to learn how to replace your thermostat’s batteries. The first step is to read the instruction manual for your model. After all, thermostats are not universal. Thus, what you need to do for one model may not be the same for another. For most, however, you’ll start by pulling the housing from the wall mount. If it doesn’t remove easily, try pushing the housing straight up to disconnect from the housing. Turn the housing over to find the battery slot. Remove the batteries with a flathead screwdriver. Replace the old batteries with the flat end going into the negative position, and the raised side into the positive position. Finally, you will put the cover back on the battery slot and put the housing back on the wall mount. Congratulations, the only thing you’ll need to do now is sit back, relax, and enjoy the comfort of perfect temperatures in your home.

 

 

Our thanks to you – special Thanksgiving offer!

11.10.17

As we prepare to gather with family and friends this Thanksgiving, we wanted to say a big THANK YOU to all of you. We appreciate your trust and business over the years and count you among our blessings!

If you’re like many of us, you’re probably anticipating house guests during the holidays. While you’re thinking about turkeys and hams and making sure you have enough seats for dinner or beds for those overnight guests, don’t forget about keeping everyone warm.

This time of year is the perfect time for a Stuart Pro safety inspection. For only $49, our comfort techs will inspect your home’s heat pump or furnace.

If you have a heat pump, they will:

Check defrost contacts

Check air flow for maximum efficiency

Check for oil and refrigerant leaks

Clean and/or replace filters

And much more!

For those with electric or gas furnaces, our techs will:

Check for gas leaks at furnace and do a carbon monoxide test

Clean and/or replace filters

Check & adjust all safety controls

Check all wiring for loose connections and condition of insulation

And much more!

Ready to ensure your house is prepped for holiday guests? Contact us today and schedule your safety inspection for only $49*!

*Per unit. Offer expires 11/30/2017.

The 411 on campfire safety (so you don’t have to call 911)

11.10.17

Chilly weather means fuzzy sweaters, hot chocolate, and fires. Whether you’re sitting around a fire pit roasting marshmallows or enjoying a blazing bonfire, here are a few tips to keep everyone safe and enjoying the fire.

First of all – what’s the difference between a campfire and a bonfire? Size, mainly. Campfires are small fires while bonfires are much larger (think huge pile of branches, sticks, etc.) and harder to control.

Campfire safety tips:

Always contain the fire in a fire ring, fire pit, etc.

Check the National Weather Service for any red flag fire warnings.

Be aware of the wind and humidity. Dry air and higher winds are prime conditions for starting forest fires from blowing embers.

If using a fire pit, make sure it’s a safe distance from your home.

Once done, extinguish the fire with water and ensure it’s out. If it’s too hot to touch, it’s too hot to leave.

1. Don’t Let Winter Catch You by Surprise!

09.27.17

We know those freezing winter days (and possible snow!) seem far off, but they’ll be here before you know it. And the last thing you want is an unwelcome surprise from your heating system. No one enjoys a cold house in the middle of winter, especially during the holidays!

So, before the temps turn freezing, while we’re all enjoying the beginning of fall, make it a priority to schedule an HVAC tune-up.

If you have a heat pump, those same coils, compressors, fans, etc. that worked hard to keep you cool all summer will have to work just as hard to keep you warm this winter. Don’t buy into the myth that your system only needs a tune-up once a year.

When you schedule a tune-up with a Stuart Pro technician, they will help ensure your system is operating at its peak. They’ll clean the inside and outside coils, lubricate the motors, locate any leaks and tackle other important tasks.

Have a furnace? It also requires a tune-up. Our experienced technicians will inspect it and check the burners, grills, filters, drainage system and much more. We’ll tell you about any potential issues and help ensure you and your house stay toasty this winter.

Even better? We’re offering a $69 heating maintenance check (first system) and $49 for each additional system throughout October. This offer expires October 31, 2017, so call today and schedule your heating tune-up!

Barbecue Done Right – the Stuart Pro Way!

08.25.17

This Labor Day, take your barbecue sandwiches to the next level with our Stuart Pro Cajun Seasoning! This tasty recipe with a touch of cajun adds just the right amount of kick. Try it out and let us know what you think!

Southern Pulled Pork

  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 2 pounds boneless pork roast
  • 1 tablespoon Stuart Pro Cajun seasoning  (If you don’t have our Stuart Cajun Seasoning, ask one of our friendly technicians for a bottle.)
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 4 cups water
  • 1 tablespoon liquid smoke flavoring

Prep – 30 minutes

Cook – 6 hours

  1. Cut the pork roast into large chunks. Season generously with the Cajun seasoning. Melt butter in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add pork and brown on all sides. Remove from the skillet, and transfer to a slow cooker.
  2. Add the onion and garlic to the skillet and cook for a few minutes until tender. Stir in the water scraping the bottom to include all of the browned pork bits from the bottom of the pan. Then pour the whole mixture into the slow cooker with the pork. Stir in liquid smoke flavoring.
  3. Cover and cook on high for 6 hours, or until meat is falling apart when pierced with a fork. Remove pieces of pork from the slow cooker and shred. Return to the slow cooker to keep warm while serving.

Recipe courtesy of allrecipes.com/recipe/72194/southern-pulled-pork/?internalSource=hub%20recipe&referringId=1128&referringContentType=recipe%20hub&clickId=cardslot%2013

 

Get Smart[er] with a Smart Thermostat!

08.25.17

Hot? Your thermostat’s got you covered. Cold? Yep, your thermostat’s getting ready to heat things up. That is, if you have a smart thermostat. If you still have an old-school thermostat, you’re missing out on increased energy efficiency, cheaper utility bills, and remote access (on vacation and forgot to turn the AC down? All you need is your smartphone and voila, the temp is changed!).

So, what is a smart thermostat? It’s a Wi-Fi enabled device that automatically adjusts heating and cooling temperature settings for optimal performance, according to energystar.gov. You can control it from an app or web site and it learns from your habits and identifies what temperatures you prefer and when. A smart thermostat also provides home energy data you can track and manage.

Want to learn more? Watch our Stuart Pro Air Tech Tip video about smart thermostats and then give us a call to have one installed at your house. Plus, for a limited time only, we’re offering 25% OFF of Honeywell 9000 smart thermostats. This offer expires September 30, 2017, so call now!

Hot Days, Cool House!

07.19.17

During the heat of summer, your house’s HVAC system is already working overtime to keep you cool. So why not give it an extra advantage?

We’ve compiled some tips you can use to help fend off those blazing hot rays of sun.

1. Use ceiling fans to increase airflow.

2. Keep doors and windows tightly shut (your kids may need a constant reminder of this!).

3. Close blinds and drapes during the day.

4. Replace light bulbs with CFL or LED bulbs as regular light bulbs emit more heat (and turn off the lights when you leave the room).

5. Use your oven sparingly. When possible, grill or prepare meals meant to be eaten cold.

6. Replace leaky windows. If that’s not in the budget, then repair gaps or seal them with weather stripping.

7. Change your air conditioner’s filter. During summer, you’ll want to change it more often, say every month.

8. Don’t run the dryer, dishwasher, etc. during the middle of the day; use cold water with clothes; and clean your dryer vent.

7 Unique Georgia Spots for Family Fun

07.19.17

Summer vacation is quickly slipping away. Before school starts back, make some extras memories with your kids! Already done the movies, Stone Mountain, the mall, Mayfield Dairy, swimming, Yellow River Game Ranch and other “typical” fun? You’re in luck. Here are some ideas a bit out of the ordinary!

1. Blue Ridge Scenic Railway – This 26-mile round trip winds along the beautiful Toccoa River in vintage, climate-controlled or open-air rail cars and includes layovers in quaint towns.

2. Caving at Cloudland Canyon – Children ages six and up will love this! They’ll get to crawl in the mud, climb on rocks and walk through the river throughout the tour.

3. Snorkel in the basin – The Conasauga has more than 70 different species of fish and is the most biodiverse river basin in the world!

4. Catch a flick at the drive-in – Go back in time at the Starlight Drive-in. Grab the kids, some popcorn, a cooler full of food and have fun.

5. Booth Western Art Museum – It’s art – cowboy style! A variety of permanent and temporary exhibits fill the museum. There’s also Sagebrush Ranch, an indoor playground with a stagecoach, horse, chuckwagon and more.

6. Southeastern Railway Museum – This is your chance to experience trains of all kinds and sizes. And it’s almost all hands-on! Kids can climb, touch and explore a variety of trains.

7. Doll Heads Trail – Yep, it’s a trail with doll heads, and it’s also art. There’s lots of “found art” that kids may find freakishly cool.

Why Your Older HVAC System Needs to Go Before 2020

06.6.17

If we told you your HVAC heating and cooling costs would increase dramatically, but you could prevent those cost increases – would you?

Truth is, if you have an older system that uses R22 (freon) by 2020 you’ll be paying more (potentially a lot more) to refill or service it.

“Starting in 2020, R22 will no longer be manufactured [due to its negative impact on the ozone layer] which means every year it keeps getting more expensive,” said Jesse Galvan, Stuart Pro service manager.

So if your HVAC system is limping along, with a freon refill here and there, it’s time to re-think your strategy.

“If you have a gas furnace, you can replace only the AC and coil. We’ve learned, though, that when homeowners with gas furnaces only replace the AC, a year or two down the road they end up replacing the furnace anyway. Truth is, t’s less expensive to do it all at once,” Jesse said. “But if you have a heat pump (your house is all electric) you’re going to have to replace the entire system.”

Sound too expensive? Consider this.

“Yes, you can just repair your current HVAC system,” Jesse said. “There’s a drop in called R142b, but we don’t recommend it because it’s almost as expensive as replacing the entire system. Plus it’s not as efficient. If we hit the upper 90’s or 100’s, which we typically do, the R22 refrigerant in the drop in doesn’t cool as well. It’s just not worth the investment in a system that’s usually 12-15 years old anyway.”

Still thinking? Consider this: when you have Stuart Pro replace your HVAC system with R410a you automatically get a 10-year parts warranty and increased efficiency.

Ready to make a change and keep your home cool? Contact us!

Conventional HVAC Not an Option? We Have A Solution!

04.6.17

Does your home have an unconventional cooling system? Then you may want to consider a ductless mini-split. Like your typical HVAC system, ductless mini-splits are split into the evaporator – the inside unit – and the condenser – the outside unit. But, as the name suggests, they differ in that they don’t include a duct system.

So what type of home makes a good candidate for a ductless mini-split? We’re glad you asked! Ductless mini-splits are typically found in multi-family housing or in houses with non-ducted heating and cooling systems. Think homes with hot water heat, radiant panels and wood, kerosene or propane heaters. Small apartments and room additions may also benefit from a ductless mini split, in cases where adding or creating ductwork isn’t an option.

According to energy.gov, the benefits of ductless mini splits include:

• Easier to instal

• Small size and flexibility for zoning or heating and cooling individual room

• No energy loss typically associated with ductwork (Duct losses can account for more than 30 percent of energy consumption for space conditioning, especially if the ducts are in an unconditioned space such as an attic.

• More flexibility in interior design options

Ready to install a ductless mini-split system in your home? Contact us today and get 25% OFF of your purchase and install!

This offer is only good until April 30th so don’t delay!

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