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Four Reasons to Replace Your AC in the Fall

09.22.21

This summer was a scorcher! It’s a relief to be able to welcome the cooler air of fall and forget about your air conditioner until next spring. Except, that’s a really bad idea. 

Before you turn off your AC for the winter, consider having it checked out by Stuart Pro. If your system is older or has been acting up, you might want to have it replaced. 

Why?

When you replace your air conditioner in the fall, you are more likely to have a positive outcome for many reasons. Here are the four that have the most impact. 

 

Time and cooler temperatures are on your side. If your AC fails in the summer, then you will be in a mad rush to get it fixed as quickly as possible. No one wants to suffer through multiple days and nights of sweltering heat. But if you replace your air conditioner in the fall, you have time to consider things like: 

  • Cooling requirements for your home
  • Ductwork and airflow calculations
  • Home improvements made since your old system was installed – such as improved insulation, upgraded windows, or an addition that adds to your square footage

Getting the right system for your home is crucial to efficient and optimum cooling. 

More time means money saved. When you have time to research the best options for your home, it can mean significant savings. An air conditioner that is the perfect size for your home that cools efficiently means that you save on your monthly electric bill.

Things have changed in the last 5, 10, or even 15 years. When was the last time you had your AC switched out? Chances are, it was a long time ago. And things have changed – for the better! 

Modern systems:

  • Are more efficient 
  • Are quieter 
  • Provide superior nighttime comfort
  • Can reduce humidity 
  • Have special techy options like programmable thermostats 

You will be amazed at all the options available to you! 

Your heat pump could be under strain. Does your air conditioner act as a heat pump in the winter? If your answer is yes, then you need to have your system checked in the fall. If your AC wasn’t cooling effectively on the hottest summer days, it would also fail on the coldest days in winter, resulting in higher electric bills. 

We do our best at Stuart Pro to take the stress out of your heating and cooling needs. Just give us a call, and we’ll check your air conditioner out. If it’s good to go for a few more seasons, we’ll let you know. And, if you need to make a change, we’ll walk you through all of your options. Call on us anytime: 770-813-1316

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Better Ventilation in Your Home: Duct Cleaning to Improve Indoor Air Quality

08.25.21
Good air ventilation in your home can mean the difference between breathing clean, fresh air or musty, stale air. Better ventilation can also mean an improvement in asthma symptoms and other respiratory issues. But do you really have control over your indoor air quality? Surprisingly, you do.

Duct Cleaning in Georgia

Having your ducts professionally cleaned by Stuart Pro is one of the most effective things you can do to improve your indoor air quality and support your HVAC system. It could also mean fewer colds and respiratory problems for your family and a decrease in your energy bills.

Dirty ducts breed bacteria, fungus, mold, mildew, and other microbes. Yuck. When you turn on the air or heat in your home, these contaminants are expelled into your home.

How do I know if my air ducts need cleaning?

  • Vent covers and registers show visible dust.
  • You can’t remember the last time you changed your air filter.
  • Airflow is inconsistent throughout your home.
  • You can see mold in or around your HVAC system.
  • There are sounds in the ductwork not present in the past.

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 duct systems faster and more efficiently.

Are you curious about duct cleaning? Call us anytime at 770.813.1316.

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10 Tips to Lower Air Conditioning Costs

07.21.21

Beat the heat while keeping your budget in check with 10 tips to lower your cooling costs.

1. Adjust the Temperature up by a Few Degrees

Experiment to find the highest possible temperature that still allows you to be comfortable in your home. If you typically keep your home at 70°F, for example, try bumping the temperature up to 73° and see how you feel. You may not even notice a difference.

By setting your thermostat at a temperature a few degrees higher than usual, you take the strain off your air conditioner. It doesn’t have to work as hard to maintain the indoor temperature making it much more efficient and cost-effective. In fact, according to Energy.gov, adjusting the thermostat temperature 7-10°F for 8 hours a day from its typical setting can cut your energy costs by 10% a year.

2. Limit Appliance Use

Appliances in the kitchen and laundry room produce a great deal of heat, which can raise the temperature in your home and cause the air conditioner to turn on more often. To save energy, try to use heat-producing appliances in the early morning and evening. Summer is also a great time to cook on an outdoor grill or warm things up in your microwave.

3. Install a Smart Thermostat

Thermostats have come a long way in the past decade. Smart thermostats, also called programmable thermostats, allow you to plan temperature changes throughout your day and night based on your family’s unique schedule. Some thermostats even include geofencing technology, which detects when your home is empty and adjusts the thermostat accordingly. Most programmable thermostats connect to Wi-Fi and are controlled via an app or voice assistant devices.

4. Put Your Thermostat in the Right Place

Place your thermostat in a hallway or any other well-shaded place. Thermostats near warm appliances or sunny windows will register that your home is much hotter than it actually is, which will trigger the air conditioning to turn on too often. Ensure that your AC isn’t turning on more than necessary by thoughtful thermostat placement.

5. Pay Attention to Your Windows and Doors

Sealing doors and windows from the heat in the summer and the winter cold is central to keeping your home comfortable. Close and lock your windows to create an airtight seal. Close your curtains and other window treatments at the hottest times of the day.

To prevent cool air from escaping, check around all your doors and windows for gaps. A little caulk can go a long way to decreasing your energy bill and increasing your overall comfort. Another culprit in high energy bills is insufficient insulation. A quick check of your attic will tell you if you need to install more insulation.

6. Shade is Your Air Conditioner’s Friend

Reduce the load on your air conditioner by using shade to your advantage. Pull curtains closed in rooms where the sunlight is harsh. You may even consider adding tinted window film to windows that get sun all day long. Planting trees and large hedges to shade your home can also be beneficial once they reach their mature height.

Finally, shade your outside AC unit. According to the U.S. Department of Energy, planting shade trees around your outdoor unit can make it 10% more efficient, reducing your annual cooling costs and the wear and tear on the unit.

7. Adjust the Temperature at Night

We’ve been discussing how you can save on energy bills, but one time you might consider lowering the temperature by a few degrees is at night. According to the National Sleep Foundation, 65 degrees is the optimal setting for peaceful sleep. Other sources say between 60 and 68 degrees will help ensure your body cools down properly. Thankfully, outside temperatures drop as the sun goes down, so setting your thermostat back a few degrees at night generally won’t affect your energy bill.

8. Install a Ceiling Fan

The difference a ceiling fan makes in a room is truly remarkable. You can raise the thermostat setting by 4 degrees with no reduction in comfort by turning on a fan. Just be sure to turn fans off when leaving a room. Fans cool people by creating a wind-chill effect. They do not cool rooms.

9. Remember, There’s No Such Thing As ‘Quick Cooling’ Your Home

When you come in from a super hot day and want to cool off quickly, it’s natural to want to set your thermostat to a low temperature. But don’t be tempted! It won’t cool your home any faster and could result in increased expenses. To cool off quickly, lay near a fan and apply a cold washcloth to your neck and forehead.

10. Keep Your AC in Prime Working Condition

Your air conditioner requires regular maintenance to function at its best. The Stuart Pro Comfort Plan is designed to give homeowners peace of mind regarding maintenance, repair, or replacement of their home’s heating and cooling system. For less than $15 a month, our Comfort Plan provides you with two HVAC system checkups a year, priority scheduling of appointments, and discounts on parts, labor, service fees, and equipment.

Take the worry out of HVAC maintenance, and let us keep everything running smoothly for you. Give us a call anytime to talk about your options: 770-813-1316.

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DIY Doesn’t Always Equal Savings

06.30.21

Growing up, you may have been taught that doing it yourself meant you could save a lot of money. Well, when it comes to HVAC, there are situations when you can take steps on your own to avoid service calls and unnecessary expenses, such as regularly changing your air filters. However, here are a few things to keep in mind when you’re deciding whether to hire a pro.

Warranties – Trying to repair your HVAC on your own could invalidate your system’s warranty. Plus, it can be dangerous if you don’t know what you’re doing. By hiring certified, trained technicians (like we have at Stuart Pro), you protect yourself and your HVAC’s warranty.

Accurate Diagnosis – The NATE-certified technicians at Stuart Pro have access to specialized technology and tools that the average homeowner doesn’t have on hand. Having the right tools and training makes a huge difference in quickly identifying the source of the problem.

Expert Repair and Guidance – When it comes to correcting an issue with your HVAC system, your family’s comfort doesn’t have time for “I think I fixed it.” Also, there comes the point when it’s better to replace an inefficient, outdated HVAC system rather than continuing to make costly repairs, just to squeeze a little more life out of it.

Whether it’s keeping your current system running at peak performance or installing a new HVAC that’s perfect for your house size and needs, Stuart Pro is ready to help. 770.813.1316

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Hiring Your First HVAC Contractor

06.30.21

There’s a first time for everything, even hiring an HVAC contractor. With so many choices in the marketplace, how do you know which one to hire? Who’s honest and reputable? Well, we’re a little biased, but we can offer some general tips about what to look for when you need professional HVAC service. Following these suggestions will make your search for contractors much easier.

Check Licenses and Certifications – Only hire HVAC contractors that have the proper licenses and certifications. Companies will often post them on their websites to validate their qualifications. For example, you’ll see that we are accredited by the Better Business Bureau and have NATE-certified technicians on our site.

Verify Insurance – HVAC repairs and installation can be dangerous. Any contractor you hire should be fully covered by general liability insurance and workers’ compensation. Again, not an issue with Stuart Pro. We excel at taking care of our team.

Get Written Estimates – The more complex the job, the more essential it is to get an itemized list of repairs and associated costs before work begins. That will also help you compare “apples to apples” if you get multiple estimates. We encourage you to ask questions so you can confidently decide what’s best for you. At Stuart Pro, we explain any recommendations we make with your complete satisfaction as the goal.

For honest, professional, certified HVAC service and installation, there’s Stuart Pro. Contact us today! 770.813.1316

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Beating The Heat When You’re Outdoors

06.30.21

Summer can be anything but fun when you’re stuck in the heat without any relief. However, with a little effort and creativity, you and your family can enjoy more time outdoors and have fun doing it.

No Waterpark, No Problem –  Here in North Georgia, we are fortunate to have access to quite a few waterparks, but you may be hesitant to splash around with the masses with the recent pandemic. Or, perhaps you just want to save money. We get it. This could be the perfect situation for a slip ‘n slide! They are really inexpensive and kids (and even some grownups) love them. You can even make one easily with a large tarp and a water hose. A water sprinkler is great for smaller kids who want a quick cool down and plenty of laughs. Hey, a water hose is also great for filling up balloons. Water balloon battle, anyone?

Homemade Popsicles Fruit juice and a freezer are all you need. However, for extra flavor and nutrition, mix in some frozen fruit like blueberries or strawberry bits. You can buy plastic popsicle molds or, if you have an extra ice tray, pour in the ingredients, cover it with plastic wrap, and stick in toothpicks. The plastic wrap will hold them in place until the cubes are frozen. For the adults – feel free to add a splash of your favorite adult beverage to the mix for extra “refreshment.”

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What to do When Your AC Isn’t Getting Cold

05.25.21

Is your air conditioner not cooling your home down to your desired temperature, or is it taking a very long time to get cool? Before calling Stuart Pro, try these troubleshooting tips.

Check Your Circuit Breaker 

Most air conditioners have two circuit breakers: one connected to the inside unit and one to the outside unit. If your outdoor unit’s circuit breaker has tripped, the indoor unit will still blow air into your home, but it will be warm air.

Solution: Check to see if the outdoor unit’s breaker has tripped and if it has, switch it on. If the breaker trips multiple times, don’t reset it. There is likely a more significant electrical issue that needs to be addressed by a trained professional.

Check That Your Thermostat is Switched to ‘Auto’

If your thermostat switch is set to ON, the blower will constantly run, even when your system isn’t cooling your home, which means warm air blowing from your vents.

Solution: Switch your thermostat to AUTO so that only cool air blows from your vents.

Check Your Air Filter

A dirty, clogged air filter can seriously impact your AC’s ability to cool your home because it restricts airflow in your system.

Solution: Replace your air filter monthly. If you have asthma, seasonal allergies, or other breathing ailments, change the filter even more frequently.

Check Your Outdoor Unit

If your outdoor unit is dirty and/or covered in plant debris, it cannot cool your home correctly.

Solution: Remove all debris from the outdoor unit and rake away any debris in the vicinity. Then, spray the condenser fins with a garden hose using a gentle setting.

Checked all of the above, and your AC still isn’t cooling? Give Stuart Pro a call! We’ll have you cool and comfortable again in no time.

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Using a Programmable Thermostat for your Air Conditioner

05.25.21

Want to enjoy optimum comfort while also improving your energy efficiency? A programmable thermostat can provide both.

Schedule Times and Set Temperatures

Typically, programmable thermostats regulate your home’s temperature four times a day:

  • When you wake up
  • When you leave for work/school
  • When you return home
  • When you go to sleep

Knowing this, determine the approximate times these occurrences happen in your daily schedule and set the times on your thermostat.

Note: If you like your bedroom cooler when you’re falling asleep, then set your thermostat to cool your home 45 minutes to an hour before getting into bed. That way, your bedroom will be at the perfect temperature to lull you to sleep.

If your thermostat has different options for weekends or allows you to adjust the settings for each day of the week, take advantage of this flexibility. Many households have variable schedules. Programmable thermostats with more scheduling options are ideal for these homes.

Once you have your times established, it’s time to choose the temperatures you are most comfortable with throughout your night and day. If you are away from your home for 8–10 hours per day, then it’s wise to use less heating and cooling while you’re gone. This will save energy and money. Finding your perfect comfort levels can take a little time and experimentation, but once everything is set, you will be amazed at how rarely you must adjust your programmable thermostat.

Adjust Settings Seasonally

Your pre-programmed settings will have to be adjusted for the season. Your indoor summer temperature settings will not be the same as your indoor winter settings. Curious about the ideal indoor temperature? Check out our article about Recommended Thermostat Settings.

Thermostat Alerts

Besides adjusting your thermostat when you switch from heating to cooling, you shouldn’t have to change your thermostat once you are happy with your settings. But, you should occasionally check your thermostat for alerts. Some smart thermostats will even let you know when it’s time for a tune-up or filter change, and some may even provide tips on improving your energy consumption.

At Stuart Pro, we are here to help you with all your programmable thermostat needs. We can provide advice based on your scheduling needs and the complexity of technology you require. Some households want all the bells and whistles, while others want to keep it as simple as possible. Whatever your needs, we are here to help!

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Should you shade your outside AC unit?

05.25.21

According to the U.S. Department of Energy, planting shade trees around your outdoor air conditioner unit can make it 10% more efficient. This can reduce your annual cooling costs by $100-250 depending on the size of your AC unit, not to mention reduce wear and tear on the unit.

How does this work?

Shade trees reduce outdoor temperatures around your AC unit by:

  • cooling the air around them
  • blocking sunlight from heating the ground around the unit

Planting trees and shrubs around the unit and installing an awning over the compressor goes a surprisingly long way toward helping your outdoor air conditioner unit perform with ease.

Dos and Don’ts of Shading your AC Unit 

DO pay attention to where your outdoor unit is and plant accordingly. Study where the sun falls onto your AC unit and calculate how tall the trees and shrubs you plant need to grow.

DO consider trees and shrubs that grow quickly and are evergreen. Trees that flower and shed their leaves will mean more work for you as debris needs to be cleared from around the outdoor unit.

DON’T restrict the airflow around your unit. Trees and shrubs should not impede airflow. Be sure they are planted to allow plenty of clearance around the unit when they are fully grown.

DON’T allow debris from what you’ve planted to collect around your unit. Leaves, sticks, moss, etc., must be cleared regularly.

DON’T forget to schedule regular maintenance. Shading your outdoor unit is a great step toward reducing your costs and increasing its longevity, but it isn’t a replacement for regular maintenance.

Contact Stuart Pro 

Questions about choosing the right plants to shade your outdoor AC unit and the best places to plant them? Contact Stuart Pro! We can help you select the best trees and shrubs and advise you on where to plant them for optimum cooling. 770.813.1316

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Get Your Air Conditioner Ready for Summer

04.22.21

Now is the perfect time to prepare your HVAC system for the upcoming summer heat. Although there are some tasks that only a professional should undertake, you can do quite a bit to improve your HVAC’s performance, which can lower your monthly electric bills.

Be safe!
Before working on your HVAC unit, turn off the circuit breaker and the power to the condenser at the service panel.

Clean around your outside unit
Sticks, plants, high grass, leaves, and other debris can collect around your outside unit and impair your air conditioner’s performance. Clear away all debris that collected over the winter and check for debris once a month during the summer months. If your unit has a drain, make sure it is clear.

Is your concrete slab level?
After the area around your outside unit is clean, use a level to ensure the concrete slab is level. If it isn’t, the unit will not run efficiently. To make your slab level, pry it up with a board and slowly add gravel underneath until it is.

Clean the condensation lines
The pipe that carries water away from your air conditioner can get clogged and back up into the air conditioner or even into your house. When this happens, there is usually a large repair bill. Avoid costly repairs by simply locating the pipe and making sure it is draining correctly.

Check the coolant lines
The refrigerant pipes or tubes that run from the evaporator on the air handler to the condenser outside are usually covered with foam coolant line insulation to prevent them from losing energy. Check to see that this insulation is intact and undamaged. If you notice areas where it is missing or damaged, replace them with new foam insulation sleeves, or wrap the lines with foam insulation tape.

Change your air filter
Yes, we say this a lot, but it bears repeating: change your air filters once a month!

Purchase a programmable thermostat
A programmable thermostat can significantly reduce your energy bill. They are easy to install and can make a big difference in the amount of energy your family uses.

If any of the above steps seem too complicated or overwhelming for you to handle on your own, just give Stuart Pro a call. We are happy to answer your questions on the phone, or you can make an appointment for us to do the work.

 

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









    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









      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