Put HVAC Technicians on This Year’s Gratitude List

Heating and Cooling Services To Be Thankful For

HVAC technicians fix both air conditioning and heating systems to keep temperatures safe. Extreme heat, especially for the elderly, can cause dehydration and physical weakness if the home isn’t reasonably cool. Likewise, chilly winters are dangerous and can cause respiratory issues and even hypothermia. HVAC professionals are trained to handle complex problems from multiple components in both ventilation systems. 

A Cozy Home for the Holidays

winterA warm indoor climate while it’s chilly or snowing is one way to create a cozy atmosphere for the holidays. Although many homeowners depend on their heating system, they come to expect its ability to function year after year. Preventing HVAC issues during the cold months should be completed a few months in advance. 

A broken heater can still produce warm air. This is often misleading for people that think HVAC systems are a zero-sum game. If the warm air is not sufficient enough to heat the whole house, however, this will cause electric bills to spike. It also means the unit must work twice as hard to provide power.

Homeowners are advised to check their heater before December. Trained HVAC contractors will inspect the thermostat, air vents, inducer motor, blower, and furnace before running necessary tests. This can help prevent expensive repairs in the future.

A Cool Summer Breeze

summerBoth temperature and humidity matter during the summer. The indoor climate can seem damp without central air conditioning, even with natural wind or fans. 

Annual HVAC inspections can improve air quality throughout the entire house. Pollen, dust, and pet dander will likely accumulate if the air ducts are not working and the filters still need to be changed. Without proper ventilation, the air conditioner essentially circulates dirty air through the vents.

Heating and cooling companies help with a variety of problems. Refrigerant leaks, circuit malfunction, lack of cool air, and odd cooling cycles are some of the most common A/C complaints. If an air conditioner is always running, this also causes bills to rise. Although summer preparation costs money up-front, it ultimately saves cash and time by avoiding costly A/C and heater repair services. HVAC maintenance is important for sustaining the unit and preventing immediate problems. 

Keeping Air Quality Safe

Indoor Air Quality, or IAQ, refers to the air inside a home or office. Even commercial buildings that do not house animals can still produce dirty air without air conditioner repair services. Working HVAC units are advised for both work and home environments.

Poor air quality leads to physical discomfort and, in some cases, illness. Viruses are one of the most obvious winter air quality problems. Colds and other air-borne illnesses spread through contaminants floating in the air. A working air conditioning system will filter out indoor air pollution. 

Pollen allergies are more likely to occur in the spring and summer. When circulated, these particles can irritate the eyes, difficulty breathing, and rashes. By hiring an HVAC professional during the early spring and fall, tenants can avoid a major headache. 

About Atlas Home Service

Atlas Home Service is a woman-operated business that provides 5-star HVAC service. Call Atlas Home Service today for HVAC service in Alexandria, LA. 

Halloween Decorations Can Cause Serious Electrical Issues

Common Halloween Decorations Create Electrical Overloads

Halloween decorations are not as taxing on the electrical systems as some other holidays, such as Christmas, but they come close behind. These types of decorations are so dangerous because they are designed to be outside, all hooked into one or two outdoor outlets that are not designed to hold that much at one time. 

Overloading outlets creates a volatile situation with electrical fires that can get out of hand very quickly. Overloading is not the only way that this can occur, either. The Halloween decorations are often hooked to the power through damaged cords without any surge protectors installed. 

Inspect That Classic Halloween Decor

halloweenBefore putting any of the Halloween yard decorations out, inspect the wires and connectors for any damage. Look for frayed wires, broken plugs, exposed wires, or any other damage that may indicate a problem.

The most common Halloween decorations that can be seen throughout the nation are Halloween inflatables. The cool lighted decorations use electric-powered motors to inflate and stay inflated as long as they are hooked up to the electrical outlets. 

These can draw a substantial amount of power, and since they are outdoors in the rain and snow, they create a problem waiting to happen. Thankfully, there are a few ways to prevent issues and still have inflatables in the front yard. 

Check the Connections

Using numerous extension cords is one of the biggest causes of blown fuses. Any faulty wires within the circuit will burn out before kicking the breakers off, which will cause a house fire that could destroy everything. When using extension cords outside, ensure they are designed to be outdoors, and never use more than one in line at a time.

Anywhere that there is a connection between electrical cords must be covered to prevent fluid from entering into either plug. Use a container to cover them, waterproof tape or anything else that is lying around that can cover the ends.

One of the best ways to prevent electrical issues is to think about safety first. If something does not look safe, it probably isn’t. Never use any frayed or damaged wiring, even if it is the best inflatable in town. The family’s safety should always come before the Halloween scene in the yard.

Protect The Circuit Breaker

outletEach circuit in the house is rated for a specific amount of outgoing electricity. Never plug in more than the circuit can hold. In the least, this will prevent the circuits from tripping off. However, if those fun decorations have to go out, a surge protector is a must.  

Use surge protectors in all the areas where outdoor Halloween decorations are plugged in. The ones designed for outdoor lights with timers and surge protection built in are one of the best investments a homeowner can make. They connect all the inflatables into one outdoor-rated surge protector that can be set to turn on and off according to the schedule wanted.

Making a plan before creating the outdoor Halloween scene is a good idea because it can map out where everything will be plugged in, giving a chance to gather all the necessary items to make the design safe.

About Atlas Home Service

The professionals at Atlas Home Service in Alexandria, Louisiana lead the charge in the area for creating a company that puts the needs of the customer first. Their main objectives are to offer fast, on-time service for all electrical, heating, and air conditioning problems. Contact them today for reliable electrical service in time for the Halloween season. 

Get a Headstart on AC Maintenance This Autumn

Why Homeowners Should Schedule HVAC Maintenance Visits Before Fall and Winter 

The HVAC system may have run perfectly all summer long. Yet, once autumn and winter hit, matters could change. The HVAC system could have a hard time heating the entire home. The home’s indoor air quality could take a turn for the worse––leaving homeowners sneezing and coughing around the clock. 

This is why homeowners need to schedule end-of-year maintenance visits before it’s too late. The longer one waits, the busier local businesses become with appointments and other obligations. One doesn’t want to wait weeks for an HVAC company to diagnose a problem. They want to ensure a functioning HVAC system before winter comes. 

The Many Benefits of Maintaining the Heater 

benefitsEnergyStar lists the many benefits of arranging yearly maintenance visits. Some of these benefits include: 
  • A longer lifespan. The U.S. Department of Energy notes that HVAC systems generally last for 15 years. With maintenance, one can make their system last even longer. They can also reduce the likelihood of problems that come with inevitable wear and tear. 
  • Catching small problems. Some small problems may not seem like a big deal right now. However, these problems can worsen when the HVAC system “kicks into high gear” during the latter half of the year. A professional can keep these problems from arising and keep everything in working order. 
  • Lower energy bills. When the HVAC system works harder than it has to, this can lead to higher-than-normal energy bills. This can quickly strain one’s wallet––the last thing anyone wants during the holiday season. 

What Does a Heating Maintenance Professional Do? 

filterWhen one schedules a heating maintenance visit, a professional will: 
  • Lubricate the system. An HVAC system has a lot of moving parts. When not properly lubricated, parts can wear down and need constant replacement. The system may also struggle to maintain the ideal in-home temperature. 
  • Change the air filter. EnergyStar notes that homeowners should change their HVAC system’s air filter once every three months. The system’s air filters maintain the home’s temperature. A maintenance professional can check the system’s air filter and determine whether it needs replacing. 
  • Check the system’s connections. Any loose connection in a gas, electrical, or water-powered system can have disastrous results. It can lead to fires, health problems, and other complications––all of which can be avoidable if caught in time. 

As noted, HVAC systems generally last 15 years. If one’s system is older, a professional may suggest getting a new unit. 

It’s Never Too Early to Consider an HVAC Maintenance Visit 

Right now, the HVAC system may work perfectly. However, when temperatures dip below 50 degrees, matters may change. With this in mind, it’s never too early to consider scheduling an annual HVAC maintenance visit. By ensuring the HVAC system is working properly, one can avoid discomfort when the first cold front of the year blows in. They can also avoid burst pipes, high energy bills, and frustration. 

About Altas Home Service 

Atlas Home Service knows that HVAC maintenance is a year-long endeavor. That’s why, for pennies a day, homeowners can sign up for their membership plan. This gives members access to exclusive offers not afforded to first-time customers. For more information on HVAC services in Alexandria, LA, one can call today to learn more .

Guide to Electrical System Basics

Electrical System Basic Knowledge

Home electrical systems consist of a complicated network of wires, circuits, and appliances. Professional electricians undergo extensive training in school and in the field as apprentices to learn how to safely repair, install, and maintain electrical systems. Homeowners should know the basics of electrical systems to take better care of their systems and prevent electrical emergencies.

Practicing electrical safety is extremely important for preventing electrical fires and accidental electrocutions. Basic electrical system knowledge helps homeowners identify potential warning signs of a system malfunction and take steps to resolve the issue. Knowing how electrical systems work can also save homeowners money on energy bills by optimizing the performance of their home’s electrical system.

Components of Electrical Systems

electric meterElectricity is generated in power plants and distributed to the community through power lines. Energy enters the home’s electrical system via a connection monitored by an electric meter. The electric meter measures how much energy the house uses to bill for utilities. Electricians also use the meter to troubleshoot problems with the electrical system.

A disconnect switch is usually located either on the electric meter or in the breaker box that allows electricians to shut off the home’s power completely. This is important for safely working on the electrical system without the risk of electrocution. Homeowners may want to use the disconnect switch to shut off their electricity until professional help arrives if they suspect that there is the risk of an electrical fire due to a system malfunction.

The breaker box is a series of switches that control the home’s circuits. Each switch in the breaker box correlates with an area of the house or a hardwired appliance. When the circuits become overloaded, the breaker box will flip the switches to cut off power and prevent electrical hazards from occurring. This is why having a working breaker box is essential for preventing electrical fires.

Electrical circuits are passageways engineered to transfer electricity from one place to another. For example, a home’s electrical circuits carry electricity from the powerlines to the home’s appliances, lights, and outlets. Electrical outlets are what homeowners use to plug in their electric-powered devices.

Warning Signs of Electrical Problems

burning smellsThe following are signs of issues with the electrical system:

  • Sparking outlets
  • Sparking breaker box
  • Flickering lights
  • Burning smell
  • High energy bills

Homeowners should be on the lookout for signs of an electrical system malfunction. An electrical fire could affect the homeowner and the community at large if the fire spreads. The entire neighborhood, as well as local ecosystems, could be impacted by an electrical fire.

In addition to the risk of electrocution and fire, a malfunctioning electrical system can also cause a spike in utility bills. A sudden increase in the light bill could mean that the electrical system is not performing efficiently due to disrepair. Flickering lights could be caused by a lightbulb, but if the issue is consistent throughout the home’s lighting, it could mean the breaker box is malfunctioning.

Electrical Safety Is a Number One Priority

The most important thing that homeowners need to know about their electrical system is that leaving it in a state of disrepair or doing amateur electrical work is extremely dangerous. Electrocution and fires can be life-threatening. There is also the financial risk of property damage to consider. Rewiring the entire electrical system because amateurs have installed it is expensive and time-consuming.

Professional electricians are trained to service electrical systems safely and are protected by insurance in case of an accident. Homeowners should always ensure that they hire a professional electrician who is both fully licensed and insured to repair and install their home’s electrical system.

In addition to being aware of the signs of a malfunction and hiring an experienced electrician, homeowners should also be careful not to overload their circuits. When installing new appliances and lightbulbs, homeowners should check the recommended voltage/wattage. Another safety measure homeowners can take is installing a whole home surge protector to protect the home from power surges.

About Atlas Home Service

Atlas Home Service is a family owned business with over a decade of experience serving its neighbors in Alexandria, LA, and the surrounding areas. They provide flat-rate pricing and free in-home quotes and are also fully licensed and insured. Call them today for electrical services in Alexandria, LA.