Archive for the ‘Air Conditioning’ 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.

Earth Day 2017 – Doing Our Part

On Saturday, April 22nd, over a billion people in 193 countries will be observing Earth Day 2017 with Science Marches, educational conferences and local initiatives.  For Southern Comfort Mechanical, your AC company servicing Flower Mound, we carry forward the mission of Earth Day year round.

 

 

Our industry is very closely aligned to environmental protection in a number of ways.  We strive to ensure that the byproducts of our industry make as little imprint on the environment as possible and that we educate our clients on the environmental changes in the industry that impact them.

It’s important to Southern Comfort Mechanical that we are being good stewards of the earth in our community.  In that spirit, our company recycles thousands of pounds of cardboard packaging and scrap metal each year to ensure that those components find new life again and again in the process.  Southern Comfort Mechanical Air Conditioning sends hundreds of pallets annually to a reuse and refurbishing center to extend the lifetime of use and keep those items from contributing to Corinth air conditioning service waste.  Perhaps most importantly, we responsibly handle and recycle refrigerant waste to keep it from entering the atmosphere and contributing to the rise in global temperatures.

 

Co-Owner Jason Fraser is fully committed to Southern Comfort Mechanical’s recycling program

 

Southern Comfort Mechanical is doing our part to promote environmental awareness not just with indoor air quality in the Flower Mound homes and businesses that we service, but in all of our daily business practices.  After all, as UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon famously said, “There is no Plan B, because there is no planet B.”

 

Interested in participating in Earth Day 2017?  The world’s largest Earth Day event just so happens to be held in north Texas this weekend!  Click below for event details.

 

Southern Comfort Mechanical Air Conditioning services Flower Mound, Corinth, Lewisville and surrounding areas.  

Contact our offices at 972-420-1700 to schedule air conditioning service and repair today.

The Best Time to Purchase an A/C System

One of the best and most frequent questions our technicians receive in the field is “When is the best time to purchase an air conditioning system?”  If you’re in the market to replace your Flower Mound air conditioning system, you might be tempted to hold off on investing in new HVAC equipment until your A/C is on its last legs or for the change of seasons and extreme temperatures.  However, waiting for either of those things to come to pass will likely work against you. The key to receiving the best price for a new A/C system in Lantana and beyond is to understand the cyclical nature of the industry.

It would be easy to think that, because Lantana HVAC companies are busy as bees installing new systems in the Summer, it’s the best time for competitive prices, but that often isn’t the case. In our last Blog entry, we introduced you to the so-called “Shoulder Seasons” – those times of the year edging into the more demanding Summer and Winter months for HVAC companies such as Southern Comfort Mechanical.  In Texas, those seasons are late Autumn and early Spring.

 

 

Why, you may ask?  These times of the year are beautiful – perfect for getting out of doors, opening up your home for fresh breezes and saving on your energy bills.  Simply put, it’s not a time of the year you’re completely reliant upon air conditioning to regulate the temperature of your home.  It’s also when your Southern Comfort Mechanical Technician has the most time to spend with you to examine your options when buying a new A/C system.  During peak seasons, that time is at a premium and ultimately you end up competing not for a better price but for the first available system installation date for your Corinth area home.

 

 

In early Spring and late Fall, the industry itself experiences lower volume.  The various manufacturers offer promotional sales and preseason discounts during those times to engage consumers year round.  This means Southern Comfort Mechanical can work with you to select a quality system that is optimized specifically for your Flower Mound home at a price that can’t be matched during the peak Summer and Winter months.  In other words, the best time to purchase is when you can take your time and make an educated purchasing decision with the help of qualified professionals.  Call our office today to discuss these great deals and to schedule your free air conditioning estimate.  Our office staff is standing by at (972) 420-1700.

Why Your Address Matters

In our last blog post, we discussed the evolving HVAC industry on a more global level, but there are local initiatives that continue to change and to affect Southern Comfort Mechanical clients in Corinth, Flower Mound, Lewisville and beyond.  The changing regulatory environment is not just some broad-reaching future issue — there are immediate down-home implications for your new equipment purchases that you should be aware of.  So, how does your location, or more specifically, your home address and city come into play?

Almost every city in the Dallas/Ft. Worth Metroplex and some smaller enclaves have established municipal codes that exceed what is required at the state level.   Typically, you learn more about your cities unique code requirements during the installation of new equipment, which is a two-part process:  obtaining the Permit, which is required before any major HVAC installation is completed, and completing the Inspection, which is performed after installation and ensures that your system is configured up to code.  Most commonly, inspectors are examining your system for proper installation of your HVAC components and that system safety measures have been taken:

  • Duct work is free-hanging, accessible, not compressed, sealed and with appropriate clearance.  The B vent is the the correct size and direction.
  • P-traps are insulated, primary and auxiliary drain lines properly leveled, and float switches (if applicable) installed to prevent drain pan overflow.
  • Gas line is made of appropriate material (flex or hard pipe) and has the proper amount of clearance,  and a sediment trap installed to capture debris that could potentially cause the gas valve to stick open or cause system issues.
  • The condenser is installed on a concrete base and is level, has the correct breaker size and electrical wiring throughout.
  • Freon locking caps are installed.  (Note: This a newer requirement you may not be familiar with – this prevents refrigerant theft, the accidental release of Freon, and discourages the dangerous practice of “huffing” this toxic and potentially lethal gas.)
Freon locking caps prevent theft, protect the environment, and prevent the abuse of Freon as an inhalant.

Freon locking caps prevent theft, protect the environment, and prevent the abuse of Freon as an inhalant.

While those items are fairly standard, you should be aware that your local jurisdiction may have additional requirements.  Here’s the list of some local, notable additional requirements.

Flower Mound heating and air conditioning code requirements include completion of a heat load calculation prior to installation.  The heat load, known as a Manual S, is an in depth measurement of the heat loss or heat gain that is unique to your home.  A measurement of your walls, windows, roof and other factors are taken and a calculation within proprietary software is then made to determine the amount of heating or cooling needed to maintain the desired temperature and humidity in your home.  The heat load calculation ensures that we are installing appropriately sized equipment for your home.  Additionally, all breakers to your Flower Mound HVAC system must be labeled in permanent marker.

Lewisville, Flower Mound, Highland Village and Frisco heating and air conditioning codes require Carbon Dioxide detectors be present in the home when new HVAC equipment is installed.  Southern Comfort Mechanical feels strongly about the safety of our customers so we apply this potentially life saving precaution to all installations, even if not explicitly required under local code.

Holding ourselves to the strictest level of codes across the board helps ensure that as additional jurisdictions add to their city code requirements, we have already met that need for your installation.

 

A Remarkable Year in Heating and Air Conditioning

The beginning of each new year inspires us all to be retrospective – we look back in review and then cast our eyes forward to what the year may bring. When we, as a heating and air conditioning company serving Flower Mound, Corinth and the surrounding areas, look back at 2016 we can’t help but feel that the impacts of this year will reach into 2017 and beyond. Some highlights:

Carrier to Stay in the USA
President-elect Trump made many headlines this year, but one in particular stood out for the HVAC industry: In a reversal of their early 2016 announcement to move several hundred Indianapolis-based manufacturing jobs to Mexico, Carrier revealed that they had brokered an agreement with Mr. Trump’s incoming administration to keep over 1,000 of the jobs in Indiana. While any far-reaching effects of this action have yet to be seen, the action taken has been an encouragement to the market overall.


EPA R-22 Stepdown, Phase I
2016 saw the continuation of the EPA’s step-down of R-22 production and the uptick of R-410a system replacements. This planned cessation of production and usage of the refrigerant will continue well beyond 2017, with a planned end date and complete ban effective in 2030. In recent history, this step-down has meant that system repairs and parts replacements have been more prevalent. What complicates the issue is that the alternative refrigerant, R-410A is not a drop-in refrigerant. It operates at a different pressure level than R-22, so you cannot simply make a refrigerant switch in your existing system – the equipment just isn’t designed to operate at that level of pressure. In a few short years, there will be no replacement parts produced for R-22 based systems, as all new equipment is being developed for R-410A. Over time, standard fixes – like replacing a condenser or compressor – will no longer be available. Full equipment replacements will become the norm.

The Kigali Agreement
Negotiators from nearly 200 countries met in Kigali, Rwanda in October this year to reach a global agreement to greatly reduce the use of hydrofluorocarbon (HFC) chemical coolants with a long-term goal of significantly slowing the rise in atmospheric temperatures. HFCs are known to be a type of greenhouse gas that has high global warming potential with over 1,000 times the heat-trapping potency of carbon dioxide. The agreement, which includes specific timelines for the reduction of HFC use and manufacturing, still faces ratification by the United States – a process which is likely to take place in the next two years. The benefit to such an agreement, in addition to staving off climbing global temperatures, is that it is a long-term view with specific goals that allows the industry to plan appropriately and us to advise our Southern Comfort Mechanical customers to be informed heating and air conditioning consumers. As this new regulation takes a more definitive shape, we’ll be sure to share that information.

The Proliferation of Smart Controls
The latest must-have gadgets for your Corinth area home and day to day life come as part of the explosive growth in the smart controls market. While smart controls have existed for a few years now, the technological advances and adoption of these devices has reached an all-time high and there is every indication that this technology’s maximum potential has yet to be realized. Southern Comfort Mechanical already offers the latest in smart controls for your Corinth heating and air conditioning systems and we look forward to watching that technology evolve to better meet your needs.

As always, we look to provide our customers with the latest industry knowledge and expertise to keep them well-informed about the factors that impact the quality and comfort of their home environment. We look forward to being your go-to HVAC partner in 2017 and beyond. It is our great honor to be your trusted heating and air conditioning company serving Flower Mound and the surrounding areas. We thank you for making 2016 a year to remember.

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.

coupon-repair

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.

HVAC_maintenance

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!

february

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.

johnnie-yellock-890x395_c

“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!

 

Dryer Vents

Did you know?IMG_3520

A customer called recently and asked if we cleaned dryer vents, which we do! Her dryer was intermittently shutting off. We collected almost 2 pounds of lint buildup from a dryer vent. So if your dryer isn’t running efficiently, it could be a lint issue in your vent! Call us today to get yours cleared.

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**The Wells Fargo Home Projects credit card is issued by Wells Fargo Financial National Bank, an Equal Housing Lender. Special terms apply to qualifying purchases charged with approved credit. The special terms APR will continue to apply until all qualifying purchases are paid in full. The monthly payment for this purchase will be the amount that will pay for the purchase in full in equal payments during the promotional (special terms) period. The APR for Purchases will apply to certain fees such as a late payment fee or if you use the card for other transactions. For new accounts, the APR for Purchases is 28.99%. If you are charged interest in any billing cycle, the minimum interest charge will be $1.00. This information is accurate as of 01/06/2016 and is subject to change. For current information, call us at 1-800-431-5921. Offer expires 12/31/2017.