Archive for the ‘AC Preventative Maintenance’ Category

Indoor Air Quality – Battling Allergens Indoors

Most of us think of Spring’s arrival as a breath of fresh air.  That is, until we realize that we live in one of the allergy capitals of the US.  That’s right – the Dallas area was ranked by the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America in the top 30 Spring Allergy Capitals for the last five years.   While there’s little that can be done to improve the air outdoors, there are ways to make the air we breathe indoors healthier for our families.  In honor of Asthma and Allergy Awareness Month, Southern Comfort Mechanical is bringing you indoor air quality tips for your Flower Mound air conditioning system.

 

Indoor Air Quality

Indoor Air Quality, or IAQ, refers to the condition of the air inside your home and how it contributes to your comfort and wellness.  The EPA reports that people are spending up to 90% of their time indoors.  Spending more time indoors exposes your family to higher levels of airborne pollutants like viruses, bacteria and other organic compounds in the air.

Without proper ventilation in the home, indoor air pollutants become trapped and contribute to unhealthy indoor air quality levels.  To mitigate poor indoor air quality in Corinth homes, Southern Comfort Mechanical recommends:

Air Duct Cleaning

Over time, air ducts become contaminated with dust particles, pollen and other debris that aggravate allergies and cause other health issues.  High humidity levels increase the potential for mold and spores dispersal into your home via the air conditioning system.  Schedule your professional air duct cleaning in Flower Mound with Southern Comfort Mechanical to eliminate the risk for microbiological growth and other airborne contaminants.

Air Duct Sealing

Duct systems are supposed to distribute conditioned air from your central HVAC system to your living spaces.  Duct systems with leaks, holes or poor connections can result in a loss of efficiency of up to 20% according to EnergyStar.  Further, those leaky ducts allow insulation particles, dust and fumes to enter the system, aggravating asthma and allergies.  Sealing ducts save you money while reducing the risk of pollutants entering ducts and circulating through your home.

Air Filtration

Most modern homes are designed to be self-contained for energy efficiency.  This means very little outside air enters the home via your Lantana air conditioning system, making air filtration a key component of maintaining indoor air quality.  Your HVAC filter collects contaminants and particles before the air gets distributed into your living spaces. Air filters will inevitably get dirty, but should not be allowed to become clogged. A clogged filter is not only bad for your indoor air quality, it can also create serious airflow problems and may cause a system shutdown.  Your Corinth HVAC filter should be replaced every 30 to 90 days, depending on variables in your home environment, such as high-traffic, pet shedding or home repair projects. Check your filter monthly to determine if a change is needed.

If you want to improve your Flower Mound indoor air quality, contact the skilled technicians at Southern Comfort Mechanical. We’re here to help you improve the efficiency and air filtration of your system.  972-420-1700.

The Nose Knows – Dirty Sock Syndrome

 

Earlier this month, a school in Arlington with a number of indoor air quality issues received back an environmental analysis that had a peculiar-sounding HVAC ailment you may not have heard about before now – Dirty Sock Syndrome.  It may sound like a very made up name, but it’s actually a very real and common problem.  In the last few weeks alone, Southern Comfort Mechanical’s staff has fielded calls for HVAC service in Corinth, The Colony, Lantana, Flower Mound, Coppell, Lewisville and more, all reporting an unusual odor emanating from their heating and air conditioning systems.  They used colorful language to describe the smell – it’s like a “locker room,” or “dirty gym clothes,” or “stinky feet” – so it’s no wonder where Dirty Sock Syndrome got its name.

The district said it has already removed allergenic mold that was on the coils of heating and cooling units… http://bit.ly/2kPyxDy

Posted by FOX 4 News on Wednesday, February 8, 2017

But, just what is Dirty Sock Syndrome?  Dirty Sock Syndrome is caused by a buildup of mold and bacteria within your unit.  The indoor evaporator coils and heat pump of your Corinth air conditioning system are a perfect environment for bacteria and fungi, especially as you quickly transition from warm to cold and back frequently.  In the so-called “shoulder seasons” of the year, when the daytime and nighttime temperatures fluctuate significantly, your system is doing exactly that.  As your unit cycles out of cooling in the afternoons, the coils begin to defrost, the ice evaporates and the warmer, moister dark and dusty environment inside your unit allows these microbes to flourish.  Eventually this breeding ground produces enough waste product and decay that it becomes noticeable to the human nose as the warm air of the system pushes the odor out into your home.

Is Dirty Sock Syndrome a health hazard?  Generally, no.  While mold and mildew and bacteria are all pretty scary words on their own, typically, unless you or someone in your family is immuno-compromised or incredibly sensitive to mold and allergens, Dirty Sock Syndrome is unlikely to cause any ill effects unless left untreated.  Delaying treatment will only increase the number of bacteria and mold spores that contribute to the smell and further deteriorate the indoor air quality produced by your Highland Village air conditioner system.

How can I prevent Dirty Sock Syndrome?  Like most illnesses, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure for Dirty Sock Syndrome.   Mildew, bacteria and mold need dust and other debris to truly thrive, so preventing foreign particles from entering your system is of primary importance.  Choose a high-quality air conditioning filter that can stop Dirty Sock Syndrome before it starts.  Change filters regularly for both your family’s health and the health of your air conditioning system.   Periodically cleaning your evaporator coils with a non-acidic solution is also recommended as part of your routine heating and air conditioning maintenance.  Having your Lantana AC system regularly serviced, such as with Southern Comfort Mechanical’s Comfort Club Service Plan, is a further measure that helps ensure your heating and air conditioning system’s overall health.

How to get rid of Dirty Sock Syndrome?  If your Flower Mound air conditioning system is emitting a certain gym locker smell, you may already have Dirty Sock Syndrome.  If you have performed preventive maintenance and changed your filters as scheduled, and you still have a pervasive odor, it’s time to call Southern Comfort Mechanical and request a professional coil cleaning for your affected Corinth AC system.  Our skilled technicians can help identify if there are any contributing factors to the odor you may not have considered and can clean and treat your coils with expert care.

 

 

 

Proper Care for your HVAC System as it Ages

In many of the communities we serve, the average age of homes exceeds ten years. While new construction continues in many areas such as Lantana, Argyle, Flower Mound and Highland Village, several homes in those areas are now at the point where they no longer are under a new home warranty, so maintenance becomes more and more about prevention and efficiency. This is particularly true for your HVAC system. Here are some tips and pointers for caring for your system as that time approaches for your home:

Perform basic maintenance. Periodically check and change your filters and dust your vents and registers. Keep your intakes clear of furniture or other blockages. Clear grass, leaves and debris away from exterior condensers and rinse the condensing unit with water from your garden hose as part of routine preventative maintenance.

Service your system professionally. Commit to having your air conditioning systems professionally serviced prior to the seasons that are most taxing to your A/C and heating equipment – summer and winter. Biannual service, whether as part of our Comfort Club membership or your regular home preventative maintenance plan, helps ensure that the HVAC components that keep your system operating at peak performance are properly tested, cared for and monitored for wear and tear.

Review your electrical consumption from year to year. If you check your gas and electrical bills and find your usage steadily increasing over a period of years, it is a good indicator that your that your A/C system is having to work harder to meet the demand placed on its components. This increase in energy consumption is a sign that the overall A/C system is aging and that standard maintenance may no longer be enough to keep your A/C system performing.

Make timely repairs. Short-cycling, uneven cooling, loud operation, unusual noises, etc., are all indicators that your A/C system is in need of repair. Delaying repair only prolongs the potential for additional damage to the compressor which will only shorten the lifespan of your HVAC system.

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Consider replacement. An air conditioning system in regular need of repair or rebalance will eventually become more cost prohibitive than installing a new system. Cost considerations include the rapidly rising costs of R-22* refrigerant used in older units, parts and labor, time, energy consumption, and a sacrifice in comfort and indoor air quality, just to name a few. Air conditioners have a manufacturers estimated lifespan; if your unit has reached that age or is showing signs of failure or inefficiency, it is time to have your A/C system evaluated for recommended repair or component replacement. Current models that make use of improved refrigerants and utilize the latest technology will deliver more efficiency and will be backed by a warranty that better protects your investment.

As always, we hope you will choose Southern Comfort Mechanical as your Lewisville area partner in the care of your HVAC system. We are here to keep your system functional and healthy for the full extent of its lifespan. Please contact us today if you are in need of preventive maintenance, repair or replacement or if you have questions about how to get the most efficiency out of your unit.

*A note on R-22: Many systems manufactured before 2010 still use a coolant known as R-22. The EPA began phasing out this refrigerant at that time and continues to step down the amount available for sale each year. This decrease in supply will mean that the cost of R-22 that is used in these older units continues to steadily rise in price. In the next three years, the supply available will fall to only .5% of what was available in 2010. That scarcity will make the cost of maintaining older units incredibly pricey.

Earth Day 2016

More than a billion people worldwide will participate in observance of Earth Day today, April 22. In our little pocket of the world, as A/C and Heating Specialists in Lewisville, Flower Mound, Lantana, Argyle and all our surrounding communities, Southern Comfort Mechanical is doing our part to promote environmental awareness not just with indoor air quality in the homes and businesses that we service, but in all of our business practices day in and day out.

In addition to the general paper, plastic and glass recycling services we engage for our office, we are always looking for ways to reduce our waste and preserve resources at our shop wherever possible.

We remove refrigerants from all HVAC units we replace and recycle those through a reputable vendor to ensure those chemicals are not released into the environment. With our responsible Refrigerant Management Protocol, you can rest assured that any equipment you replace is handled according to EPA standards.

Southern Comfort Mechanical also scraps metal from all machinery that cannot be repaired so that raw materials find new life over and over again.

And we break down and recycle the cardboard packaging for the equipment that we install in area homes and businesses. There is an enormous amount of resources used to package and protect the products we bring to you, and recycling that packaging keeps it out of our landfills.

SCM Recycling Program

Almost 1,000 Pounds of Packaging

In addition, all our pallets are sent to a reuse and refurbishing center so that they get a maximum lifetime of use.

SCM Recycling Program

Pallets by the Pile!

As you’d expect from your preferred A/C repair specialists, we also look to maximize efficiency through state-of-the-art customizable and programmable heating and air-conditioning systems.

Smart Thermostat

Smart thermostats remind us when maintenance is due.

By choosing Southern Comfort Mechanical, you’re choosing a local A/C specialist that cares about the environment you live in, inside and out. Happy Earth Day!

“Comfort is our middle name.”

What is Preventative Maintenance and Why do I Need It?

 

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We know that as a homeowner in the Flower Mound, Corinth, Lantana, or Lake Dallas area, you’ve invested a great deal in your HVAC system. Even if you’re not homeowner, there’s probably been some time or another when your air conditioning system has failed you. In the Texas heat, this is no joke and it’s definitely no fun. So what’s the vital key to keeping your home’s heating and air conditioning system healthy? It’s simple, really. Regular preventative maintenance. But what does preventative maintenance actually entail?

When you schedule a maintenance call, we’ll send one of our licensed and certified HVAC technicians to your home to do an overall comprehensive cleaning and analysis of your system which includes the air conditioner or heat pump, the furnace, the evaporator coil, etc. While they’re doing this, they’ll make sure that everything is operating and running properly while also making sure that nothing needs to be replaced or repaired. In most cases if something like an air filter needs to be replaced, this is the time to do it and your A/C service tech will take care of replacing items such as these.

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Another important part of a maintenance check-up is a safety check. Your technician will check your system to look for any safety concerns such as cracks in your heat exchanger or gas leaks. This is an extremely crucial checkpoint as carbon monoxide leaks could be severely harmful to you and your family and in some cases, even fatal. If you have a CO detector, the tech will also check that to make sure that it works accordingly and that there aren’t hazardous levels of gasses in your home.

filters-before-and-after

Once all that has been checked, your technician will clean any parts or components of your HVAC system that you can’t do on your own. If any air conditioning repairs need to be made, your technician will either complete them during this visit or schedule a time at your convenience to come and fix any issues found during the maintenance check.
If you have any questions at all about your HVAC system or anything related to it, don’t hesitate to ask your technician. They are trained to help you and answer any question you might have in great detail and with helpful suggestions. You can also always call our office at 972-420-1700 if you have any questions about your heating and cooling system.
At the end of your maintenance check-up, you will receive a report written up that will review and summarize what the visit entailed and what the technician did if any repairs or replacements were made at that time.

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Through our Comfort Club maintenance program, you can get regular inspections on your air conditioning and heating units. And At Southern Comfort Mechanical, if you’re a Comfort Club member, we’ll always remind you of your bi-annual check-ups–one in the spring (before it gets too hot) and one in the fall (before it gets too cold). We save our customers money in the long run by doing maintenance work on your units and keeping your systems working efficiently. When you use our service plan, you also get discounted prices if you should require an air conditioning or heating repair anytime throughout the year. If you’re not a Comfort Club member, please call us before you get stuck in the heat this summer! Use this coupon if you’re a first time customer with us to receive $16 off of your precision tune up!

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Valentines Day and Early Spring Prediction

We all wanted to wish you a happy Valentine’s Day and a happy Groundhog Day from your friends at Southern Comfort Mechanical. Punxsutawney Phil the Groundhog predicts an early spring this year, so get your warm clothes out and keep your eyes open for spring cleaning tips from us.

Here’s what you’ve missed in the last few months! We’ve been awarded Angie’s List Super Service Award for the second year in a row as well as the Best of Denton County’s Heating and Air Service Company for the second year in a row. Thank you to all of our amazing customers for your continuous support and fantastic reviews!ALBODC_Winner2015 (2)

 

In other news, our lovely co-owner, Laurie, made an appearance at SSgt. Johnnie Yellock’s special homecoming after the tight knit community of Lantana came together to help him after he suffered life-threatening injuries to both of his legs from an IED blast during a deployment to Afghanistan in 2011.

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“The event was a lovely showmanship of all active sponsors, law enforcement and neighbors.  I walked away loving the community of Lantana even more than before!” said Laurie.  He received a Bronze star, Purple Heart and a Combat Action Medal for his service to our country. Being a part of the community is essential to Southern Comfort Mechanical’s core values and being a part of this ceremony was truly touching. The full article on SSgt. Johnnie Yellock’s story can be read here on Lantana Living’s website.

That being said, we’d like to wrap up by offering you a quick tip. Preventative maintenance is key to keeping your HVAC system running well all year long. That means, changing your filters, having your wires inspected, and cleaning out your condenser coils to name a few preventative measures. This month, take advantage of our 13 point checkout precision tune up! See the coupon below and use the discounted price while it still lasts!

February 2016 Coupon

Last but not least, here is the link to our Valentines Day contest. Simply like the photo linked on our Facebook page and you will be entered to win $100 to go towards a lovely dinner for two <3 Encourage your friends and family to like our Facebook page to get in on this fun contest!

 

Best of Denton County

BODC
Southern Comfort Mechanical is proud to announce we are the 2014 winners of Best Heat & Air Repair Company in Denton County! With over 300,000 casted votes, we are much honored to be titled “The Best!” We could not have done it without all of our loyal customers support. We are a small, family owned and operated company with little overhead, passing our savings down to you. With 45+ years of combined experience, our staff is dedicated to making you our priority for all of your air conditioning and heating needs. Based in Lewisville, we service, sell, and install all makes and models including Trane, Lennox and Carrier. We also have preventative maintenance agreements available. We work on both residential and commercial properties, no job is too small.

In honor of our win, we are giving new customers $25 off any repair for your heater or a/c. We want to show you why we earned this title. Be sure to mention “Best of” when scheduling your service call. Our office telephone is 972-420-1700.

The Best of Denton County is put on by Murray Media Group of Flower Mound.

 

 

Commercial Repair & Maintenance

Here at Southern Comfort Mechanical, we take care of businesses from bakeries, to computer shops, to aquariums. All of which require year round specific temperatures. Temperatures matter and in order to keep and maintain that specific degree range, preventative maintenance and fast response time is crucial.

Most commercial properties need maintenance four times a year; spring, summer, winter and fall. Spring/Summer maintenance includes brushing condenser coils, cleaning out drain lines, changing filters, checking all electrical and Freon, and much more. Fall/Winter checkout includes inspection and adjustment of heat exchangers, burners, search for gas leaks and safety switch and again, much more.  Each checkout is very thorough and our technicians are highly trained to go through your system with a fine tooth comb. Should we find anything that needs repaired, we can repair that day as our trucks are fully stocked and we give discounts to those who have a contract with us.

Many times if you are in a lease agreement, there is a stipulation where you have to have a maintenance contract with licensed professionals. Southern Comfort Mechanical, a local Lewisville company, can customize an agreement to fit your businesses HVAC needs and make air conditioning repairs faster and more cost effective than other competitors. Whether you only want filter and belt changes or you need a whole system checkout we are here to help. Call us today at 972-420-1700 to speak with someone about setting up a maintenance plan to help fit your needs.

Lewisville

Flower Mound – Capacitor Troubles?

As many of you know, there are easy ways to maintain your air conditioning system. Changing your filters regularly, keeping your condenser clear of pollen and bugs, and scheduling regular maintenance are ways to get the full life expectancy of your system. However, it’s inevitable that something could possibly go wrong. The consecutive 100 degree days are about to be upon us, the most common air conditioning part that fails is a condenser fan motor capacitor. That brings us to today’s topic, your capacitor. Where is it?  What does it do? What is it?

A capacitor, which is located in your condenser, regulates the voltage running to your motor. In its simplest form it consists of two conducting surfaces separated by a dielectric. There are many reasons your capacitor can go out – High temperatures and pressures, age of part, leaking has occurred, insulator deteriorated, or a power surge. With proper preventative maintenance, a failure may be avoided saving you money and frustration. Typical life expectancy of a capacitor is approximately 5 years.

Southern Comfort Mechanical, serving Flower Mound, Highland Village and surrounding areas, has technicians available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week with no over time charges. With fully stocked trucks and knowledgeable technicians, we can get your system running in no time! Call us today at 972-420-1700.

Left - Blown Capacitor Right - New Capacitor

Left – Blown Capacitor. Right – New Capacitor

Is Your AC System Frozen Up? Helpful DIY Tips

After a long, hard day at work, the last thing you want to come home to is a hot house. If your air conditioner is blowing warm air, check to see if your system is “frozen up.”  Go to your evaporator coil, which is typically located in the attic or hall closet. If you see ice, here are a few tips to help pin point the problem and to know what to financially expect.

First, you need to thaw it out. Turn your air conditioner off and your fan on. Be sure to have a bucket or pan to catch the water from it thawing out.

While the coil is thawing out, check your air filter. If it’s dirty and 100% clogged, you may have identified the problem. Remove the filter and go get a new one. Be sure to get the correct size. Once home, put the filter in. Do not turn on the system until it is completely thawed.  Once it is, turn it back on. If the air conditioner comes on and cool air is coming out, you’ve saved yourself a service call. If starts, but freezes up again it’s in all likelihood that you have low refrigerant. If you never heard the indoor fan motor come on at all, then it is your motor.

In order to avoid any of these common problems, preventative maintenance is key. Give Southern Comfort Mechanical a call at 972-420-1700 and schedule your check up today!

 

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