Tips & Info

How-To’s, FAQ’s & More

scholarship2

Giving Back

05.28.19

At Stuart Pro, we believe in giving back to our community. That’s why we offer scholarships every year to graduating seniors from Gwinnett, Hall, and Forsyth County. We also provide up to three scholarships for technical college students currently pursuing an HVAC career.

It means the world to us when we hear back from recipients about how the scholarships have helped them achieve their academic and career goals. Here is what three of our scholarship recipients had to say about their college experiences so far:

Ashley Alverson

I learned about the Stuart Pro Scholarship and its benefits through my guidance counselor. After I was chosen for the scholarship, I realized how much it was going to help me throughout the school year. This was my first official year at the University of North Georgia, although I had completed one year of dual enrollment. I am currently working on finishing my core classes and leaning toward a bachelor’s degree in healthcare services and informatics administration. The Stuart Pro Scholarship allowed me to cover additional fees that the Zell Miller Scholarship didn’t cover. Thanks again for investing in my academic journey!

Joseph Olmsted

With the help of the Stuart Pro Scholarship, my first year at the University of Georgia has been amazing! I’m extremely grateful for all the experiences I’ve enjoyed and the diverse and fun opportunities presented to me. Athens is such a lively city, and the people at UGA are amazing. Everyone is so talented and passionate. It’s impossible not to get involved. I volunteer weekly at the Thomas Lay After School Program, became an employee for the incredible UGA Dining Services, and received an internship to teach a biology laboratory course my second semester. Also, the friends I’ve made and the memories we share are irreplaceable. I always seem to be doing something, but I couldn’t ask for a better way to enjoy my first year of college.

Emily Wallace

The Stuart Pro Scholarship has been a blessing and has helped me succeed throughout my first year of college at Truett McConnell University. I learned how to manage my time better and enhance my leadership skills as I transitioned into a new phase in my life. I have made new friends and seen growth in many areas during my college experience. I’m so thankful for Stuart Pro Heating & Air assisting me in this journey!

We are so proud of these students and excited for their bright futures!

101activites

101 Summer Activities to Keep Kids Happy

05.28.19

Summer is here, and you haven’t made plans for things to do with your kids. Don’t panic! We have 101 fun activities to keep the kiddos happy and to create amazing memories this summer.

1. Run through sprinklers
2. Bake cookies or make no-bake cookies if it’s too hot outside to turn on the oven
3. Learn how to do origami
4. Have a sleepover
5. Plant a tree
6. Make fireside S’mores
7. Make bird feeders: cover pine cones with peanut butter and roll them in birdseed
8. Volunteer at a pet shelter
9. Build a sandcastle
10. Go to a nature center
11. Enjoy a free kid’s workshop at stores like Lowe’s or Home Depot
12. Pick your own berries
13. Make jam
14. Go for a hike
15. Pick wildflowers and make an arrangement
16. Learn a new dance
17. Attend an outdoor concert
18. Have a picnic
19. Play bocce
20. Make a fort out of cardboard boxes and sheets
21. Feed the ducks at the park if it’s allowed. If it’s not, take pictures of the ducks.
22. Go to a museum
23. Play baseball
24. Build a treehouse
25. Use binoculars to birdwatch
26. Have a water balloon fight
27. Go on a scavenger hunt
28. Learn about local produce at a farmer’s market
29. Visit the library once a week
30. Play croquet on your lawn
31. Set up a badminton net. You could use it for volleyball too.
32. Go to an air show
33. Play tennis
34. Visit a fire station
35. Learn how to skateboard
36. Go to a garage sale or flea market
37. Stage a neighborhood summer Olympics
38. Learn to ride a horse
39. Make homemade ice cream
40. Visit an amusement park or water park
41. Create a flower crown or bracelet
42. Collect seashells at the beach
43. Set up an ice cream sundae buffet
44. Race paper airplanes or paper boats
45. Go roller skating
46. Camp in on a rainy night. Put sleeping bags on the living room floor and tell ghost stories.
47. Collect and paint rocks to use as paperweights or pet rocks
48. Make a fairy garden
49. Stargaze and learn about constellations
50. Make a birdhouse
51. Make fresh lemonade from lemons and sugar
52. Skip stones on a lake
53. Create a family cookbook
54. Make a giant hopscotch with sidewalk chalk
55. Climb trees
56. Go for a bike ride
57. Make tissue paper flowers
58. Plant a butterfly garden
59. Go to a parade
60. Camp out in your backyard
61. Make your own pizza
62. Visit a water park
63. Paddle a canoe
64. Bake cupcakes
65. Go for a bike ride
66. Paint canvas sneakers with fabric paint pens
67. Go ziplining
68. Have a game night
69. Catch fireflies in a jar (and let them go at the end of the night)
70. Have an outdoor painting party using cardboard as canvases
71. Play mini-golf
72. Clean up trash at a park
73. Grill dinner outside
74. Go whitewater rafting
78. Have a movie night
76. Raise money for a local charity
78. Create three-dimensional buildings using toothpicks and mini marshmallows
79. Visit a zoo or aquarium to learn about animals
80. Search for minnows or tadpoles in a stream
81. Go to a play or other live performance
82. Go on a road trip to a nearby city or attraction
83. Learn how to make shadow puppets
84. Make your own jewelry
85. Join a summer reading club
86. Let the kids cook dinner
87. Jump rope
88. Blow bubbles
89. Fly a kite
90. Play in the rain
91. Hold a fancy tea party
92. Make a giant slip-n-slide with a painter’s tarp
93. Go fishing
94. Do a big puzzle together
95. Make smoothies
96. Learn a new card game
97. Go to a drive-in movie
98. Build a Lego castle
99. Walk the dogs
100. Write your own comic book and illustrate it
101. Skype/video call with family members who live far away

Have fun!

 

 

 

ACComplications

Common Air Conditioner Problems

05.28.19

The weather is heating up! Now is not the time to have an air conditioning issue. Here are some common AC problems and what to do about them.

Your Outdoor Unit Won’t Turn On

When an outdoor unit isn’t responding, it’s usually because the circuit breaker has been tripped. Locate your circuit breaker panel and reset the switch.

Still not working? Check your thermostat. If your thermostat isn’t communicating with the rest of your central air system, it’s time to give Stuart Pro a call.

The Air Conditioner Isn’t Cooling Evenly

Are some rooms in your home freezing while others feel like a sauna? There could be multiple issues affecting the temperature in each room. A duct could be blocked, or it could be something as simple as how much sun is coming through windows. If you have tried closing your curtains and blinds with no change, then chances are something else is impacting your HVAC system. We are happy to assess your home environment and customize the air conditioning to each room so that you are pleased with the temperature.

The AC Doesn’t Cool At All

When the air coming through your vents isn’t cold, the problem is either with the control board or the refrigerant. You should call Stuart Pro in both cases. Please be careful around refrigerants, which can be very hazardous to your safety and health.

The Condenser Unit Turns On and Off Constantly

The outside condenser unit contains safety controls that automatically shut down the system when the pressure drops below a certain level. When pressure rises again, the system turns on. If your condenser continues to turn on and off, Stuart Pro will need to assess the safety controls to ensure optimal performance.

The Condenser Unit Won’t Turn On

If your condenser unit won’t turn on, it’s time to recheck your circuit breaker. If after resetting the switch it remains off, there is likely a more significant problem related to your wiring or thermostat.

Common Causes of AC Problems

Wiring: When wires erode, break, or are damaged, your air conditioner suffers.

Refrigerant Shortages: Refrigerant does not need to be refilled, but some central air systems accumulate leaks. When this happens, refrigerant drips out and contaminates your air supply.

Ice Buildup: When a dirty air filter has been in place for too long, ice can build up around pipes, evaporator coils, or outside of the unit.

Dirty Air Filters: Homeowners can easily change air filters themselves. It’s a simple way to keep your home’s air quality clean while protecting the efficiency of your HVAC system.

Faulty Compressors: When a compressor breaks, amperage increases to keep up with the demands signaled from the thermostat.

Faulty Thermostats: Faulty thermostats are usually older analog thermostats, which cannot keep up with high-efficiency models. Today’s modern thermostats are digital, touch screen, and less likely to have problems communicating with the rest of the system.

Please contact us anytime if you are having trouble with your air conditioner. We are happy to help day or night.

SummerCheckList

Summer Checklist for Families

04.23.19

Summer is just around the corner, and with a little preparation, your family can have fun and get a lot done. How? Check out our handy Summer Checklist for Families.

Summer Checklist for Families

• Start planning your summer vacation now! It’s easier to get deals on flights and hotels when you book months ahead of time.

• Make activity boxes for rainy days and quiet time. Get a large bin and have your child fill it up with favorite ‘quiet time’ activities like puzzles, art projects, Legos, etc. As a reward for independent play, your child can choose new activities/toys from a store throughout the summer.

• Empty your child’s backpack, and file important information like report cards.

• Make a Goodwill run and donate clothes and uniforms that no longer fit your child.

• Want to save all of your child’s artwork but don’t have room? Take photos so you have an electronic file. You can even print a photo book of your favorites!

• Check to be sure that last year’s life jackets, bathing suits, baseball uniforms, and cleats, etc., still fit your children.

• Make a grab-n-go box. There are some things we use a lot more during hot months: sunscreen, bug spray, water bottles, pool towels to name a few. Fill up a container with these things and keep them in an area where you can grab what you need and go! You can create a similar container for your car.

• Restock your home and car first aid kit.

ResearchDuct

Tips on Avoiding a Duct Cleaning Scam

04.23.19

Avoid ‘cheap’ and ‘fast’ gimmicks

Companies advertising drastically reduced prices and quick duct cleaning should be avoided at all costs. Why? Even though you will be spending less, it will be money completely wasted. Authentic air duct cleaning services who do a thorough job are not cheap or fast. For instance, an $80 whole-house ‘special’ is definitely a scam. Cost is dependent on home size and scope of the project. With a cheap/fast ‘fix’ some of your vents will get a cursory vacuum, and it’s highly likely that there will be hidden costs, or you will be subjected to hard upsell efforts.

Things that affect the price of duct cleaning:

• Square feet of your home
• Number of systems
• Costs associated with the system, vents, and return

Get references

Talk to family and friends and ask if they have had a good experience with duct cleaning. Read online reviews and see how the company interacts with its customers.

Get multiple estimates

Credible duct cleaning companies will offer a free inspection and estimate. Remember that you aren’t looking for the cheapest service, you are looking for the most qualified and trustworthy technicians. Inspections should not come with extra or hidden costs – scam alert!

Scare tactics = scam!

Don’t be frightened into cleaning your duct system. If a company tries to use scare tactics to sell you on a cleaning, run the other way! You should have a healthy relationship with anyone you allow into your home. Your decision should never be based on fear.

Before and After Photos of Results

Don’t take anyone’s word that your ducts are clean, get proof! Before paying, get a full visual inspection of the ductwork and HVAC system. You want to be sure that every duct and the inside of the HVAC unit is clean. Make sure you are shown both intake and supply ducts. If possible, get before and after photos of past work the company has performed.

Avoid Steam Cleaning and Sealants/Sprays

The NADCA recommends against the use of sprayed sealants and potentially harmful chemicals inside air ducts. They also are against duct cleaning that involves moisture or steam.

Are you considering having your air ducts cleaned? Give us a call or schedule an appointment anytime. We’re here to answer your questions and address any concerns. We’re happy to walk you through every step in the process and talk to you about our qualifications.

cleanhack

15 Spring Cleaning Hacks

03.19.19

Don’t have time to devote an entire weekend to spring cleaning? These hacks will make it look like you did!

1. Easily clean your microwave

Fill a bowl with water and squeeze the juice of one lemon into it. Microwave the dish for three minutes, which will create steam. Wipe the inside of the microwave with a dry cloth and enjoy the fresh lemony scent!

2. Clean sneakers with toothpaste

Smudged your white shoes? Grab some non-gel white toothpaste and scrub. Once the smudges start to disappear, rinse with water.

3. Clean baseboards and repel dust at the same time

Just wipe your baseboards down with dryer sheets! This will help them repel dust and pet hair.

4. Clean your toilet bowl with powdered Kool-Aid

Yes, this is a strange hack, but it works! Pour a packet of lemon Kool-Aid into your toilet bowl, swish it around with a toilet brush, and allow it to sit overnight. The citric acid works wonders on mineral deposits, and it also kills harmful bacteria.

5. Put your ceiling and floor vents in the dishwasher

It’s incredible how much dirt and dust can build up over time on ceiling and floor vents. Put your vents in the dishwasher and run the ‘rinse’ cycle.

Important note: Don’t use detergent and skip the heat/dry cycle, especially if your vents are plastic.

6. Clean glass surfaces naturally

Love the results Windex gets, but hate the chemical smell? Using black tea can work just as well! Steep 3 bags of black tea in a mug of boiling water and allow it to cool. Pour the tea into a spray bottle and use just as you would any glass or mirror cleaner.

7. Clean fan blades without getting dust everywhere

Place an old pillowcase around the fan blade and then drag it over the surface. The pillowcase will catch and contain all the dust.

8. Easily remove pet hair from your carpet

Use a squeegee! Just drag a dry squeegee across your rugs, and you’ll be amazed at how much hair it picks up.

9. Cut down on laundry dry time

Along with wet laundry, place a clean, dry towel into your dryer. The dry towel speeds up dry time by absorbing some of the excess moisture in your dryer.

10. A shampoo for your showerhead!

Place a plastic bag filled with vinegar and a dash of baking soda around your showerhead and secure it with a rubber band. Leave it overnight, and you’ll wake up to a clean, de-scaled showerhead.

11. Combat garbage can odors

Don’t throw out old newspapers! Instead, put a layer of newspaper at the bottom of your trash can – that way, if your trash bag tears or leaks, the newspaper will absorb the yuck. Best of all, there won’t be a lingering smell. Just throw the soiled paper away and replace it with a fresh layer.

12. Sanitize your garbage disposal.

Freeze vinegar and lemon chunks in an ice cube tray. Once frozen drop them into your garbage disposal and turn it on to clean and sanitize it. It will smell and work better!

13. Change your direction

Vacuum all rooms both horizontally and vertically to get all dirt and debris.

14. Make your own blind cleaning tool

Place two clean socks over kitchen tongs and voila! You’ve got a tool that makes it quick and easy to clean your blinds. A multipurpose cleaner can be sprayed onto the socks or directly onto the blinds before using the tongs to clean the dust and grime away.

15. Glitter be gone!

Glitter is fun, but it can stick around for way too long. Play-Doh or a thick homemade paste of flour and water can be used to remove spilled glitter.

BONUS – Lint Roller

There are so many uses for a lint roller!

  • • De-fuzz window screens, speakers, and screen doors
  • • Remove dust from lampshades
  • • Pick up tiny pieces of broken glass
  • • Dead bugs gross you out? Pick them up with a lint roller.
springHvac

Heating & Cooling Tips for Spring

03.19.19

Spring is finally here! It’s time to open windows, air out our homes, and maybe even do a little spring cleaning. It’s also a great time to give your HVAC system a break and improve your heating and cooling system’s performance and efficiency. With very little time and effort, you can simultaneously save money and enjoy cool temperatures. How? By following our heating and cooling tips for spring.

Spring Clean Your AC

It’s quick and easy! Just vacuum the coils to remove accumulated dust and change your air filters. Doing these two small things improves efficiency and increases the overall life of your HVAC system.

Buy a Year’s Worth of Air Filters

Air filters should be changed every month, but people often go for months without doing so because it’s a pain to go to the store to purchase a filter. This problem is easily solved by buying a year’s worth of filters. Then, when the first of the month rolls around, you have an entire stash to pull from.

Schedule a Maintenance

Mild spring weather means that this time of year is ideal for an HVAC tune-up. During maintenance, our pros will fix issues and get your system in peak condition. Then when the temperatures start to rise, your AC can easily handle the scorching heat.

Benefits of a Preventative Maintenance Include:

  • Lower energy bills
  • Improved performance and energy efficiency
  • Fewer repairs
  • Improved air quality

Replace Batteries in Alarms

It’s a good idea to replace batteries in carbon monoxide detectors and smoke alarms twice a year: spring and fall. If your HVAC system begins to function in an unsafe manner, you want to be sure that the alarm is triggered.

Reprogram Your Thermostat

Do you have a programmable thermostat? If so, resetting your schedule could save you a lot of money. Find a comfortable temperature your family agrees on and set it for when the family is home. When everyone is away all day at work and school, program your thermostat to a warmer temperature.

Spring Energy Savings

Give your HVAC system a break and stay cool at the same time!

  • • Cooler temperatures at night mean that you can turn off your air conditioner, open windows, and let in the fresh air.
  • • Ceiling fans help air to circulate and keep a room from feeling stagnant. Make sure that your fans are set to spin counter-clockwise during warmer months.
  • • Cook outside on the grill! Your family will love it, and you won’t have to heat up the kitchen and then cool it down again with the air conditioner.
  • • Ease the strain on your air conditioner by closing the curtains or blinds against the glare of the sun. Pay special attention to empty rooms, like a guest room, and be sure that curtains are closed in those areas.
  • • Seal any air leaks in your home. Keep cool air in and hot air out!
  • • Use exhaust fans in bathrooms and kitchens to pull heat out of the home when you’re showering and cooking.

Make these minor adjustments in your home to keep it cool and comfortable – and save money at the same time! And don’t forget to call us to schedule your spring preventative maintenance appointment.

 

HvacHistory

What does ‘HVAC’ mean: The History of HVAC

02.22.19

‘HVAC’ stands for Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning. When you think of air conditioning and heating, you probably think of very modern technology. But people have been using different methods to keep their homes comfortable for hundreds, perhaps even thousands, of years.

HVAC History Highlights

In ancient Rome, a system of central heating called a hypocaust was developed. A hypocaust pushed heated air through a network of air ducts, pipes, and under raised floors to heat a room, and sometimes the walls. The hypocaust was a very early forerunner of modern radiant floors.

People used manpower and ropes in ancient China, Egypt, and India to manually animate fans and cool rooms.

In 14th century Europe, the dangerous problem of toxic gasses in mines was diminished by the development of efficient fans. The same principles used for these fans were later adapted to ventilate homes. Chimneys were also added to stoves and fireplaces during this time which made indoor air quality much cleaner and heating the home safer.

In 1744, Benjamin Franklin created a more efficient version of the cast iron stove. Around the same time, latent heat was discovered, (which helped with the development of water heating systems), and the steam engine was created.

In the 1830s, Dr. John Gorrie produced buckets of ice by designing a machine that used compression. Air was then blown over the ice, cooling the surrounding area.

William Siemens used a similar concept in 1861 to heat surroundings. He is responsible for the development of the ‘open hearth furnace.’

In 1902, Willis Carrier, who is known as the inventor of modern air conditioning, needed to solve the problem of paper being ruined by humidity in printing plants. He invented a machine that combined a system of coils that circulated refrigerant with large fans that “conditioned” the air. His intention was to extract humidity from the air, but his invention also cooled the air.

Later in the 1900s, the air conditioning process was reversed, and homes were able to be heated as well as cooled.

Community

Holding a Community Event

02.22.19

It may be hard to believe, but warmer weather is just around the corner! Chances are, there are lots of friends you haven’t seen over the cold winter months. Here are some ideas to bring your community together.

Hold a Trivia Night

A trivia/quiz night is fun for both large and small groups. All you have to do is find a place to hold the event, get some questions together, find an entertaining master of ceremonies, and invite your friends to participate. Once you have a core group of people attending, the numbers begin to expand as your friends form teams.

Don’t forget to encourage friendly competition!

Gather a Gardening Gang

Trivia is fun, but if you’re longing for fresh air and time spent outdoors then gather some like-minded friends and beautify your community together. Find a green space overwhelmed by weeds, a small park that needs some TLC, or even a school whose playground could use some freshening up. Break out your shovel and spades and get to work. Pulling weeds, picking up litter, and planting some flowers can do wonders to a once neglected space. And, best of all, you and your ‘gardening gang’ can take real pleasure in the work you have done.

Swap it up!

Do you have a bike that’s just sitting in your garage? What about shoes and clothes that are still in excellent condition, but your kids have outgrown them? Instead of throwing your stuff out, swap with someone in your community! Exchanges work well in school cafeterias or gyms. Designate a day for everyone to bring in their unwanted items, and let the swapping begin! If you have leftover pieces at the end of the day, bring them to your local Goodwill or other charity shops.

Garage Sale

A garage sale is similar to a swap day except that you collect money instead of swapping. A giant garage sale can be a great way to raise funds for community projects like planting trees, painting public areas, etc.

Holding a community event is a great way to bring people together, get to know your neighbors better, and even make your area a more beautiful place to live.

superbowlparty

Throw an Unforgettable Super Bowl Party

01.28.19

You’ve planned your menu, invited your guests, and made sure there is plenty of comfortable seating for everyone around the television. So far, so good. But how do you make a Super Bowl party genuinely unforgettable? We suggest adding fun and memorable party games that people can play at half time, during timeouts, or anytime the game is a little slow. You can award prizes to the winners, or you can play just for fun and bragging rights! Here are some ideas to get you started:

Super Bowl Bingo

Go online and search for ‘Super Bowl Bingo’ or ‘Super Bowl Commercial Bingo’ and there are lots of options to print out. Super Bowl Bingo makes watching football more interactive for everyone as participants try to fill in their cards.

Football Coloring Pages

Coloring isn’t just for kids anymore! Many adults love coloring and consider it a stress-reducing activity. There are lots of printable football coloring sheets online. Print them out, set out the colors, and watch your guests furiously scribble when the game gets tense!

Hula Hoop Football Throw

Hang a few hula hoops at differing heights outdoors. Then designate how far participants must be from the hoops to throw. Whoever gets the most balls through the circle is the winning quarterback. As an extra challenge, participants can also be required to run/jog as they throw the ball.

Football LEGOs

If children are attending your party, a LEGO Football Building Set is sure to be a hit. Children will become immersed in building what they see on the television screen, and we wouldn’t be surprised if quite a few adults ended up playing with the LEGOs as well!

Score the Commercials

For some people, the Super Bowl’s creative commercials are just as entertaining as the game. Make scorecards out of heavy paper or poster boards, and popsicle sticks. You can create your own scoring system, or number the cards 1 – 5 with 1 being ‘Awesome!’ and 5 being ‘Borrrring!’

‘Kick’ the Football through the Goalpost

This game is an update on Pin the Tail on the Donkey. Cut out footballs from construction paper. The balls can be any color, or you can stick to traditional brown. Get some painter’s tape – available at any hardware store – and make a goal post on the wall. Blindfold players, spin them around, and let go! Anyone who manages to stick a football between the upright posts wins!

Halftime Boogie

Not a fan of the band chosen to perform at the Super Bowl halftime show? Turn down the volume on your television and turn up your favorite playlist. Invite everyone to dance around the house. After sitting for so long, it will be a relief to stand up and move around, and dancing will also release some stress if your team is losing.

If you try any of our suggested activities, please tag us on Facebook when you share your photos.

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