Carolina Climate Control Blog: Archive for the ‘Air Conditioning’ Category

Protecting Your HVAC System During Hurricane Season

Thursday, August 25th, 2022

Hurricane season 2022 is well underway. The Carolinas are often impacted by tropical storms, and this year looks to be no different with Colin already bringing the rain. Unless you’re new to Charleston and the Lowcountry, you know now is the time to start preparing for the next big storm, and we’re here to help with some advice on a subject that’s near and dear to us… protecting your HVAC system! Here are 3 quick tips that should help your HVAC unit make it through this year’s storms and hurricanes in great shape.

Hurricane Season 2022

So let’s say the NOAA and local authorities have made the call and it’s time to evacuate. Here are 3 things you should do before you head out:

Cut the Juice

Before you leave, head over to your breaker box. You’ll want to shut off the breaker that powers your HVAC-  and really any other appliances that you won’t need while you’re gone. Cutting the live current to your appliances greatly reduces the risk of them being fried by power surges, shorts, and lightning strikes. This will also protect them from damage when the electrical company is tinkering with downed power lines.

When you return home, be sure that your house isn’t flooded or damaged before flipping your breakers back on.

Clean Up Loose Objects

Be sure to clean up the area around your HVAC unit before heading out. The hurricane winds generated by tropical storms can turn any object bigger than a few pounds into something that can greatly damage your HVAC unit – and the rest of your home. A quick cleanup of things like yard chairs, planters, toys, firewood for the firepit, and tools for the yard can save you a ton of money.

Cover Your Unit

One of the best things you can do for your HVAC unit is cover it with a tight fitting protective cover. Almost every HVAC company out there sells purpose-built weather covers for their HVAC units, and there are generic options as well. We think it’s well worth the investment!

If you already have a tight cover for your unit, be sure to use it, and secure it tightly. If you’re lucky enough to have your system elevated off the ground, that’s even better and should help it avoid any potential flooding. You can also board up your system after you turn it off for even more protection.

Stay Safe During Hurricane Season!

Following each of these simple steps each time there’s a big storm can save you a ton of money… but what’s most important is your safety. If your system is broken after a storm, don’t try to fix it yourself – instead, give the pros at Carolina Climate Control a ring.

Stay safe out there, Charleston!

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Stay Cool in Charleston

Thursday, June 23rd, 2022

There’s just no doubt about it – the folks down here in the Lowcountry have another H O T summer underway so far in 2022. And it’s not just the heat – the humidity’s off the charts as well. You need a plan to stay cool in Charleston this year – and we’ve got some great tips!

How to Stay Cool in Charleston

Change Your Air Filters

Your HVAC unit requires an efficient, clean, well maintained duct system in order to distribute the cooling air you need to stay cool in Charleston this summer. If you haven’t changed your filters since winter… it’s time.

A clean filter will help ensure your whole home stays cool… and will also save you some money in the process.

Run Your Fans

Ceiling fans and box fans don’t actually reduce the temperature of a room – in fact, if they’re dirty or old, they can actually increase the temperature. However, their ability to keep the air continuously moving can:

  • Help your body’s natural cooling mechanisms function
  • Equalize the temperature of the air in the room

Since hot air rises and cold air falls, the air will be warmer on the second floor or around the ceiling. A ceiling fan pushes this warm air back down, displacing the cool air on the ground and creating an all-around more comfortable temperature in the room. And don’t worry – running your ceiling fans constantly won’t cost you much more money. In fact, it might even help you to save money since you’ll be more comfortable (which means less AC adjustments) and you won’t be stressing your HVAC system as much.

Draw the Curtains

A simple, easy, and effective trick to beat the heat is to draw the curtains in your home. Doing so keeps the heating rays from the sun from entering your home, lowering the temperature.

Check Your Appliances

Old and high energy appliances can run hot – very hot. TVs, computers, refrigerators, and heavy-duty indoor lights can raise the temperature of your home. Consider keeping them off when they’re not in use – and be sure to clean their fans as well.

Get Your HVAC System Checked

If your AC system is running well, you might not pay it any mind. However, it’s important to get it checked periodically to make sure you are staying ahead of any issues. Prevention is the best cure – so let Carolina Climate Control do what we do best, and check out your system.

We Hope You Stay Cool in Charleston This Year!

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5 Important HVAC Questions To Consider When Living In Charleston

Thursday, May 12th, 2022

Charleston is one of the best places to live here in America and according to some sources, it’s the actually the best.

Considering all of the beautiful sites, great restaurants and other attractions in the area, it’s not hard to see why we’re one of the fastest growing areas in the US, in terms of people moving into the Lowcountry.

If you happen to be one of those people moving into the greatness that is the Charleston area, most likely HVAC and air conditioning aren’t high on your priority list. However, with our hottest months upon us (as they do every year), you’re going to want to at least put HVAC on your radar for your to-do list.

Even if you’ve been living in Charleston for some time and haven’t really thought about your home comfort and air conditioning, odds are good that the time will come that you’ll definitely need to; often major breakdowns occur during the worst times in the summer.

We know that HVAC might be a bit of a buzz-kill for you as there are so many wonderful things you should be thinking about, so to help you make this process quick, we’ve compiled 5 of the most important questions (and answers) for you to review that will help you get back to the more fun things in life.

1. Should You Try Ductless Air Conditioning In Your Home?

What is ductless air conditioning? It’s slowly becoming one of the more popular HVAC options for homeowners here in Charleston, especially those with older homes or those that are adding additions onto their home that are hard to tap into their current ductwork.

Essentially ductless air conditioning is exactly how it sounds — it’s air conditioning/heating areas of your home without the need to use your air ducts. A ductless unit is placed in a room or other living area on the wall that is attached to an outdoor unit (with conduit). This ductless unit then can be set at your desired temperature using a remote control. Since your system isn’t trying to “push” air through your air duct network, they generally run much more efficiently than traditional central air conditioners and give you more granular control over comfort for each area in your home.

As mentioned above, these are incredibly handy for cooling/heating areas of your home that don’t currently have access to your ductwork or if you plan on adding onto your home and your current ductwork is hard to tap into. Also these are excellent for pool houses, garages and in rooms where you need added control over heating/cooling (you might have a particular “warm” room or “cold” room, for example).

They are engineered with a sleek design that come in a few different colors so that you can match it to your current interior design motif. Also they operate quietly, often quieter than older, traditional units (you probably can hear when your older unit “kicks on” when operating.

So is ductless air conditioning right for your home? If you think you can take advantage or would benefit from the features listed above, then we think that ductless is a great match for your Charleston home.

2. Should You Go With A Traditional Central Air Conditioning System Or A Heat Pump?

For many people moving from colder climates, coming to South Carolina might be the first time you hear the term “heat pump” used when referring to a home’s HVAC system. So what is a heat pump and how does it differ from a traditional central air conditioner?

One the surface, heat pumps function exactly how traditional air conditioners work: they take the air in your home, condition/cool it, and return it into your home.

Heat pumps however add the extra function of being able to warm your home during the colder months here in the Lowcountry. They’re able to draw the warmth from the air outside and use it to warm your interior. Heat pumps don’t generally work very well when temperatures hit extreme lows, however here in South Carolina since the temperatures don’t dip very far (except for those odd winters that happen once every 30 years), a heat pump is more that suffice to keep you warm in the winter time.

Because of the duality of its operation, a heat pump can save you from needing extra heating components & operation (they simply transfer the heat instead of creating it saving you money also), so they’re one of the most common types of units you’ll see around in Charleston.

If you prefer the traditional setup of an air conditioner/furnace HVAC arrangement, then a heat pump might not be right for you.

Otherwise, if you want to save some money and have a heat pump at your disposal for year-round operation, then getting a heat pump would be perfect for your Lowcountry home.

3. Is Getting A High-Efficiency HVAC System Worth It Here?

We’ll be quick with the answer to this question. If you’re looking to save money on your monthly power bills, then a high-efficiency model is the best way to do this.

With the hot, extended summers here in Charleston, operating expenses that your HVAC system will tally will make up a large part of your electricity bills. Thus if you have a high-efficiency system, you’ll generally expect to pay less each month for those bills.

We’ve seen energy bills drop by as much as nearly one-third to one-half after installing high-efficiency systems. They are generally more expensive, however if you’re cutting your monthly power bills down by that much each month, recouping that initial investment goes pretty quickly, especially in the heat of the Lowcountry.

4. Is An HVAC Maintenance Plan Important For My System In Charleston?

Every HVAC system you’ll encounter has a particular lifespan — just like any mechanical device. And just like any other piece of machinery you own (like your car, for example), regular maintenance is needed to not only extend the lifespan of your system, but also keep it running with the highest efficiency.

Plain and simple, signing up for an HVAC maintenance plan is a smart move, no matter where your HVAC system lies in it’s lifespan. Since maintenance plans generally include bi-annual inspections (winter and summer), finding and resolving problems before they become large problems becomes much easier.

Maintenance plans can also include reduced cost repairs, priority scheduling and more features that will benefit you in case of an emergency breakdown.

As mentioned earlier, the summer months can be brutal here in Charleston, not just on yourself but also on your system. Having a maintenance plan in place is best way to keep your system running in tip-top shape when the temperatures start rising.

5. What Is The Best HVAC Company In Charleston?

There are several things to consider when determining the best HVAC company for your home in the Lowcountry. Here are a few of those factors:

  • 1. Licensing and Insurance: make sure your company has both in place and current.
  • 2. N.A.T.E. Certification: North American Technician Excellence certification; this ensures you get top-notch, well trained techs working on your system.
  • 3. Good Reviews: check Facebook, Google, Yelp, et. al. and see how other people’s experience with the company went.
  • 4. Answering Your Questions & Concerns: does the company patiently and thoroughly review all of your options and give you honest advice about your HVAC system?

If the company can fulfill all of these requirements, you’ll be on your way to finding the best HVAC company in Charleston.

If you’re new to the area, we hope you find it is as special as we here in the Lowcountry do, and should you need any assistance with your HVAC concerns, review the questions above and you’ll be well on your way to having a comfortable stay in Charleston for years to come.

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3 Signs That You May Have A Mold Problem In Your Home In Charleston (And What To Do About It)

Friday, April 29th, 2022

In case you missed it Charleston was just named the best city in North America and second best city in the entire world by Travel+Leisure magazine.

So what’s not to love about Charleston and the Lowcountry? Well, due to the temperature and humidity it’s also a hotbed for mold creation in homes. Here are 3 signs of mold you should watch out for and what could happen if you don’t get it remedied.

1. Something Smells… Strange

One of the first signs of mold is if you can occasionally smell a foul odor in parts of your home. Several forms of mold may not be visible because it can live inside walls, under carpet and behind wallpaper. This can cause you to believe that the smell originates elsewhere, but mold may be the cause in many circumstances.

2. Visible Mold Signs

Mold can grow in a variety of different colors, but most mold you’ll find in homes will be black, dark-grey, dark-green or even grey-green. Often mistaken for dirt, if you see small black/dark spots of appearing on walls, sometimes ceilings and air vents, this is very likely mold growth. Visible signs of mold growth can also mean you have a larger mold growth somewhere else in your home.

An indirect visible sign of mold that happens often in Charleston is if you notice your wood floors buckling or bowing. They may be subtle bends and gradual bowing, but this could be the start of a larger mold issue.

3. Unknown Sources of Health Issues

Do you find yourself feeling better if you are away from your home? When you are home, do you find yourself strangely fatigued with a headache and loss of concentration, muscle/joint pain, sinus pains or itchy rashes? If yes, then you may have a mold problem you don’t know about yet that is causing you to be ill.

Mold Solution: Keep The Moisture Out

Indoor air quality can have major affects on your health with one of the leading causes being mold in your home. Symptoms may start small, but over time can lead to long term and more severe health issues.

So what’s to be done about this mold issue? Mold can grow almost anywhere given the proper conditions of having oxygen and moisture. For obvious reasons we can’t do much about oxygen, but we can stifle mold growth by preventing moisture in your home. Moisture can come from past flooding, water leaks from plumbing or your roof and especially high humidity areas of your home.

Keeping your air conditioning working properly is one way to keep the humidity down in your home. It’s not a cure-all, but it definitely goes a long way to keeping moisture at a minimum. Also, air conditioning drain lines should be kept clean and unclogged as well to prevent moisture from collecting in those unseen areas of your home.

Think you may have a mold problem in your home? Feel free to contact us and we’ll be happy to review where your mold issues may be coming from and help you get rid of that mold once and for all.

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Top Rated Air Conditioning Units In 2021

Tuesday, August 31st, 2021

Summertime temperatures in the Lowcountry can reach startlingly-high highs. And because Charleston is a coastal city, the humid air can make it feel that much hotter.

 

As such, it’s crucial to take excellent care of your home’s air conditioning system. However, even the most well-maintained unit will eventually break down. But choosing a replacement AC unit can be challenging.

 

Fortunately, we’ve got the scoop on the newest top rated air conditioning systems for your home. So which one is right for you? Read on to find out!

 

 

Types of Air Conditioners

 

There are quite a few different types of air conditioners. Some are designed to fit inside your window sill, while others are mounted to the floor.

 

Still, Lowcountry residents typically use one of three air conditioner types. These types are:

 

  1. Portable
  2. Ductless Mini-Split
  3. Traditional Central Air Conditioning
  4. Geothermal Heating & Cooling

 

Let’s explore each type in greater detail to explain how they work and discover which one might be right for you. That way, you’ll feel confident when browsing for a new AC unit.

 

1. Portable

 

Portable air conditioners are exactly what they sound like–they’re transportable devices that suck in warm air and produce cold air.

 

Still, most portable air conditioners are relatively small and inefficient. As such, they’re not the best possible choice for Lowcountry residents.

 

2. Ductless Mini-Split

 

One of the more prevalent types of air conditioning systems in Charleston is the ductless mini-split. As you may have guessed, this type of air conditioning doesn’t require a ductwork system.

 

Consequently, it could be a smart choice for older homes that lack HVAC ducts. These air conditioners cool room-by-room, which offers a more granular way of controlling your home’s comfort levels.

 

3. Traditional Central Air

 

Perhaps the most common type of air conditioner in Charleston is a central air conditioning unit. You’ll recognize these in most in Lowcountry homes when you see the outdoor unit.

 

Unlike portable or ductless mini-split AC units, a central unit consists of both indoor and outdoor parts. The most noticeable part of a central air system is the AC compressor, a large box-like structure containing fans.

 

While the average central AC unit costs upwards of $3,500, they tend to last for at least a decade, if not longer. These types of cooling systems are also fantastically efficient, as they cool the entire home at once.

 

If your home has a central heating and cooling system, this is the right type of AC unit for you. Of course, choosing the best model to replace your old unit can be tricky. But selecting from the top brands may be a good idea.

 

4. Geothermal Heating & Cooling

 

Becoming more popular due to tax incentives and other special green financing offers, geothermal heating and cooling offers a way for homeowners to tap into their natural energy reserves below their home.  Utilizing the Earth’s naturally steady temperature, geothermal heating & cooling pumps warm air into the much cooler ground in the summer and pumps up much warmer air from the ground in the winter.

 

Geothermal indoor units can last upwards of 25 years and the underground “loops” can last up to 100 years, easily making them the longest lasting option as well.

 

 

What Are the Best Air Conditioning Brands?

 

To find top rated air conditioning units, you’ll want to look at the most reputable HVAC brands. For example, some of the best air conditioning brands to purchase from include:

 

  • Trane (Traditional Central Air)
  • Mitsubishi (Ductless Mini-Splits)
  • WaterFurnace (Geothermal HVAC)

 

To help you make the right choice for your home, let’s take a few minutes to review these beloved AC brands.

 

Trane

 

Without a doubt, Trane consistently ranks as one of — if not the best – top AC brands. This comes as no surprise, as Trane central AC units tend to be some of the most efficient, effective, and advanced options available to homeowners.

 

Trane units sport an almost unmatched level of durability, ensuring that you get a solid return on your investment. When properly maintained, a Trane central air conditioner can last up to 15 years.

 

Mitsubishi

 

Homeowners looking to invest in a ductless mini-split unit may want to choose a Mitsubishi air conditioner. That’s because this brand is well-known for producing some of the highest-quality wall AC units in the world.

 

WaterFurnace

 

Headquartered in Fort Wayne, Indiana, the WaterFurnace brand has been innovating geothermal technology since 1983. Working with only their trusted distributors & dealers, they ensure that their industry leading products are installed properly so you get the best possible results from your geothermal installation.

 

 

What Is the Most Affordable Air Conditioning Unit?

 

Generally, portable air conditioners tend to be the most affordable option. However, they’re not the most effective appliances, especially when cooling large homes or spacious rooms.

 

The most powerful AC units are often central air conditioners. These attach to the pre-existing ductwork in your home to keep all rooms cool and comfortable. But central units tend to be the priciest option.

 

That said, you can still find budget-friendly central air conditioners. Each of the top-rated AC brands has a laundry list of available models, and many may be within your price range.

 

To find an affordable air conditioning unit near you, you may want to contact a local HVAC service provider. After all, HVAC technicians typically work closely with providers and may offer unique deals on new units.

 

 

How To Install an Air Conditioning Unit

 

After you choose a new AC unit, you’ll need to consider how you’re going to install it. If you’re ordering a portable or ductless air conditioner, you may be able to install your new device without professional assistance.

 

That said, installing a new central AC unit is not a do-it-yourself kind of task. To ensure a proper installation and efficient hookup, you’ll want to entrust your new unit to a team of professional technicians.

 

Fortunately, Lowcountry residents don’t need to look far to find top-notch HVAC service agents. Carolina Climate Control is centrally located in the heart of West Ashley, making them an easy choice for Charlestonians.

 

 

Choose The Top Rated Air Conditioning Units Today

 

Summertime in the Lowcountry could be miserable without a working air conditioner. But if your AC is on the fritz, you might soon find yourself looking for a replacement unit.

 

Many of the best, top rated air conditioning units belong to a select group of brands. Trane air conditioners are often the most popular, reliable, and long-lasting units. Still, your budget and preferences can help you choose.

 

Carolina Climate Control is dedicated to providing Lowcountry residents with fast, efficient HVAC services. If you have any questions or concerns about your current cooling and heating system, please contact us today!

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3 Things You Should Do In Case Of An AC Emergency In Charleston

Tuesday, June 22nd, 2021

With the summer days marching in, you need an air conditioner that can help power through the hot months. It becomes an absolute necessity in the Lowcountry.

As those temperatures climb, the last thing you want is for your air conditioner to break down.

If an AC emergency pops up, you need to take action. Today, we look at the actions to take when you encounter an AC emergency during the summer months.

 

 

What Counts as an AC Emergency?

 

Think about what would count as an air conditioner emergency. In this case, check the problems within the air conditioning unit if it warrants assistance and repair right away. In some cases, the repair might also be something that would need more than a simple DIY fix.

The following instances are the ones that qualify as an air conditioner emergency. Check your air conditioner unit if you encounter these situations.

 

 

Your AC Ceases to Work

 

For this situation, your AC would not work even with every attempt possible. It should blow cooled air but it doesn’t. In such cases, there might be a component inside the unit that’s not working as intended.

In this case, there might be a damaged or malfunctioning part. In such cases, you might want to see what’s going wrong with the AC unit itself. It might be as simple as a broken fan or something more sinister, like a total unit breakdown.

 

 

Your AC Has Electrical Issues

 

If you tried using your AC and it causes your circuit breaker to trip every time, it’s a problem you must fix right away. The same goes for moments when you catch a whiff of something burning when you use the AC. Even more when the lights go dim after turning the AC on.

Electrical issues are among the problems that warrant urgent attention. For that, you need help from an AC repair service as soon as possible.

 

 

Your AC Causing Water Damage

 

Your AC unit may also cause water damage due to certain factors. It involves excess moisture and water condensate leaking from the system. It attracts various forms of problems that may prove catastrophic if left alone.

For instance, you may end up promoting mold growth within the span of 24 hours. It can also attract pests due to the excess moisture. The damage extends not only to your HVAC system but also to other parts of your home.

 

 

What to Do During an Air Conditioner Emergency

 

Noting these AC emergencies, you might end up reaching for the phone to call an AC repair service. Before you do that, do these steps and see whether you can address the issue right away or you can find out the cause. The latter helps make the professionals’ jobs easier and more accurate.

 

 

1. Check the Air Filter and Air Passages

Your first target is the air filter. It’s the part that accumulates the most dust and debris over time. Having blockage on the filter or the air passages prevents the cold air from traveling to the various areas in your home.

It’s one of the easier areas that you can fix. You can do so by cleaning up or replacing the air filter. The good thing is that it can also improve your indoor air quality.

Once you replace the filter, try to run the AC once again. If you can feel the cold air circulating in the room, it means you fixed the problem.

Check the air passageways as well. If you notice anything blocking them, clean them out first.

 

 

2. Check the Circuit Breakers

The usual reason for these circuit breakers to cause issues is due to power surges. When that happens, check the breaker box and check the levers if they point in the correct direction.

Do this breaker reset once. If it trips again when you run your AC unit, it’s the cause of the electrical problem. For this, you need a professional AC repair team to help rectify the issue.

 

 

3. Scout for Signs of Refrigerant Leaks

When looking for leaks, take note of these signs. One of these is the ice buildup on the exterior pipes. Another sign is the minimal amount of cool air flowing through the vents.

If you notice these signs, your unit has a refrigerant leak problem. Refrigerant leaks require expert attention.

Handymen aren’t enough if you want to fix this specific issue. Instead, call an HVAC specialist in Charleston.

 

 

When to Call the Professionals for Help?

Taking these actions may help in repairing the unit. Some may fix the problem straight away. Others might need an HVAC professional to repair them.

The good thing is that some professional HVAC services can help outside of regular business hours. It’s what makes them the best choice for AC emergencies.

While you wait for the AC to come back in working condition, make sure to use other contingencies. You can use fans to cool down or visit a friend or relative with air conditioning.

If necessary, step out of the house and spend time outside. Explore and try other ways to cool down while professionals fix your AC unit.

 

 

Know What to Do in an AC Emergency

When an AC emergency occurs, take these actions to prevent any other issues from happening.

For that, we have the services you need. We can help with AC service and repair, as well as other services concerning your HVAC system. Contact us today and we’ll help you get started with your HVAC needs.

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Everything You Need To Know About Installing An Air Conditioning In Your Lowcountry Home

Monday, July 27th, 2020

Now that we’ve made our way into the Lowcountry’s hottest month of the year, area homeowners — now more than ever — are wondering if their air conditioners will make it through the summer.

While knowing if your air conditioner will make it through to the fall can be dependent on a variety of factors, including your HVAC system’s expected lifespan, the potential for a major breakdown greatly increases this time of year.

That breakdown potential is exactly the reason you should always have a gameplan ready in case the worst occurs, so to help you out with that we’ve pulled together a comprehensive buying guide that can be applied for just about every Lowcountry homeowner’s unique HVAC needs.

Here’s what we’ll cover in this AC buying guide:

1. HVAC System Types
2. HVAC Accessories & Other Essentials
3. HVAC Brands To Know About
4. Current System Information
5. Choosing An AC Installation Company
6. What To Do After Installing A New A/C

 

HVAC System Types

Heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) systems can come in a variety of shapes and sizes in order to accommodate the unique needs of Lowcountry homes. Without getting into too many technical details below are the system types you should know about and the differences between them.

Traditional Central Air Conditioning & Heat Pumps

These are the most common types of heating & air conditioning system types found around the Lowcountry. You’ll find the familiar, metal-cabineted traditional central air unit outside most homes around the area, which is paired with an indoor air handler that moves the air around the homes’ ductwork.

Some air handlers are also setup with an electrical heating element to provide support for any other primary heating source, most likely a standalone furnace or heat pump.

Heat pumps, while they may look almost exactly the same as a traditional central air conditioner setups, allow you to get two-way operation: cooling in the summer and heating in the winter.

The biggest advantage to this two-way operation is that in most cases, installing a heat pump can replace the need for a standalone furnace. Many homeowners here in Charleston take advantage of that two-way operation.

While this may not work for every home situation, our relatively moderate winters we get in the Lowcountry means that heat pumps are a completely viable choice for a primary heating source.

Ductless Mini-Split Air Conditioning

Ductless mini-split AC systems are on the rise here in the Lowcountry (and around the US actually), due to the fact that they eliminate the need for any existing ductwork in order to condition the air in the spaces around your home.

Not needing ductwork means that ductless mini-splits are great for new home additions and retrofitting into older Lowcountry homes that don’t have any existing ductwork to run through.

Eliminating ductwork from your HVAC equation also means less time maintaining and cleaning that ductwork — something many area homeowners that experience frequent flooding know all too much about.

Finally, ductless systems also can provide more granular, unique comfort settings to separate areas around your home. Each area or room in your home can have a ductless system installed and combined to make a complete-home multi-zoned system — each with individual temperature controls. That means your family and guests can achieve personalized comfort anywhere they go in your home.

Geothermal Air Conditioning

The last system type you should know about the Lowcountry is geothermal heating and cooling.

Becoming more and more common here in Charleston, geothermal HVAC systems use the naturally steady temperatures beneath the ground in your home in order to heat or cool your home — throughout any season.

While the outside temperature and humidity rises and falls rapidly, the temperature of the ground underneath your home stays about the same throughout the year, which makes it the perfect place to transfer heat into — and out of. In the summer, a geothermal heat pump will move warm, humid air from inside your home into the much cooler ground under your property and in the winter moves warmth from the ground into your home.

This ground source heat transfer is much more efficient than other systems types, which usually transfer heat from (or to) the air outside your home. That constant underground temperature means that it’s much more readily able to accept that heat (or withdraw from in the winter).

That efficiency leads to dramatically lower energy bills — sometimes cutting bills up to 70%(!).

Combine that with the tax incentives on both the state & local level, helps offset the increased installation costs and helps you recoup your investment within just a few years time, when that operating efficiency actually starts paying you back.

 

 

HVAC Accessories, Warranties & Maintenance Plans

Now that you’ve got a good understanding of the different system types, let’s jump into some of the different controls and other essentials you can choose to add-on to your new HVAC system.

Smart Thermostats & Real-time Diagnostics

Traditional digital thermostats are solid & dependable, but in today’s connected world smart thermostats are what most people are opting for these days.

Putting the “smart” in smart thermostats, you can stay connected to your home’s temperature & humidity controls via the internet allowing you to keep a closer eye on your system.

Smart control systems like the Trane + Nexia pairing can keep an even closer eye on your system with real-time diagnostics that can send alerts to your HVAC company to catch small problems — before they become large issues.

Other Wireless HVAC Control Apps

For ductless air conditioning systems, Mitsubishi’s kumo cloud service allows you to control & schedule comfort settings in multiple zones in your home — or groups of zones (“downstairs zones”, for example).

WaterFurnace – a leading geothermal HVAC manufacturer — also has a cloud-based control & monitoring system with its Symphony Home Comfort platform. This system also includes energy use monitoring and geothermal equipment notifications that can alert your local HVAC company about any faults and system condition.

To ensure you’re able to take advantage of these various cloud-based systems, be sure to ask your heating and air conditioning contractor if your system components will be compatible.

HVAC Warranties

For most HVAC systems there are 3 types of warranties: base, registered & extended.

Base warranties, in general, are included automatically with any new HVAC system. These are very limited in nature in both coverage — only covering defective parts — and warranty length, usually only lasting a short time after installation. It also doesn’t cover any labor costs related to any warranty repair or replacements.

Registered warranties extend the base warranty’s coverage a bit further, but again only cover defective parts — not any issues resulting from a poor installation — and does not cover any related labor costs for service/replacement.

Extended warranties are generally only available from manufacturer-trained HVAC companies (to ensure quality, professional installations), include coverage for parts and in most cases, labor.

Speak with your HVAC company about different options they offer, and be sure to get the best HVAC warranty possible to avoid any additional costs involved with any installation defects.

HVAC Maintenance Plans

Like the warranties mentioned above, HVAC maintenance plans add an extra layer of protection for your new HVAC equipment.

Very affordable, maintenance plans typically include two yearly appointments to review your system (one in the spring and one in the fall) to stay ahead of any potential issues and keep your system operating at a high level.

These plans can also include discounted labor & parts should any issues come up during your maintenance plan agreement length of time, giving you yet another way to lessen the blow of any unexpected issues.

 

 

Heating & Air Conditioning System Brands To Know About

There are literally dozens of HVAC brands on the market today, so sorting through the differences and finer manufacturer details can be quite the challenge. To help you out, below is a shortlist of brands that we love working with and Lowcountry residents have been getting great performance from.

Trane Air Conditioners For Traditional AC’s, Heat Pumps & Furnaces

Trane might be one of the most recognizable brands in the entire HVAC industry — even worldwide — and it goes without saying they produce excellent products.

They’ve been voted America’s Most Trusted HVAC brand for the past 6 years and unlike other manufacturers, they design, build and test their own parts. Among those parts are its Spine Fin All-Aluminum Coils, which is highly resistant to corrosion and higher efficiency — things you definitely want here in the Lowcountry.

Mitsubishi Electric Air Conditioners For Ductless Mini-Split AC’s & Heat Pumps

Mitsubishi is another worldwide brand, but not a lot of people know they’ve been making ductless HVAC systems in the US for over 30 years now and produce some of the easiest to use products on the market.

Lowcountry homeowners have loved the ease of use of their kumo cloud app as mentioned above, and their unique room occupancy adjustments. On select models they use a 3D i-see infrared sensor to adjust the temperature in a particular room based on the heat signature of the area. So as more people come in the room (and overall temperature increases from the body heat), it will adjust its settings to make sure it maintains the comfort level automatically.

WaterFurnace For Geothermal Heating & Cooling

Known for their long track record of high quality products (since 1983), the WaterFurnace brand of geothermal heating and cooling systems work only with trusted installation dealers to ensure homeowners get their systems in place and running correctly.

 

 

Review Your Current System’s General Info

Now that you’re properly briefed on system types, accessories and brands, you can now take a look at the current state of your HVAC system. The 5 items below are important for your HVAC company to know ahead of time so they can help you determine the most cost-effective system for your particular Lowcountry home.

1. System Type

2. Manufacturer & Make/Model

3. System Age

Your heating and air contractor can help you determine this if you can’t track down the original installation date.

4. Maintenance/Service History

This one may also be harder to track down, but it’s a good thing to start tracking after your new installation (see more about this below).

5. Additional Components/Accessories

There may be more than one thermostat control in your home so jot down those placements so your HVAC company can include those with your new installation bundle.

 

 

Choosing A Local HVAC Company Near You For Installation

With your current system information all collected, now is the time to start researching HVAC companies in Charleston. Below are some items you should cover and know about your contractor before hiring them for your installation.

Look For Recent, Frequent Online Reviews

Track record is an important indicator long-term quality work, but recent reviews can give you the clearest look into what to expect when you hire an A/C installation company so keep both of those in mind.

Ask Friends, Neighbors & Colleagues

When online reviews aren’t enough, try asking your friends and colleagues who they use. First-hand feedback from people you know and trust helps ensure you’ll be happy with the A/C installation results.

Check Licensing & Insurance Info

This is a critical step as hiring a company without proper licensing and insurance can leave you footing a large bill in case something goes wrong on your property during the installation.

Local & Professional Organization Status

Local organizations like Lowcountry Local First allow you to see which companies are 100% locally owned & operated so you know you’re supporting the local economy by choosing a membership contractor.

Another important membership to look at — especially for HVAC companies — is the NATE (North American Technician Excellence) organization. Technicians must pass real-world tests in order to get certified, so be sure ask your HVAC company if they have their technicians certified by NATE.

 

 

Things To Do After Your HVAC Installation

Sign Up For A Maintenance Plan

Mentioned above, maintenance plans give you an added layer of protection for your new unit and makes sure you always get the most out of your air conditioning for years to come.

Offer Your HVAC Company A Review

HVAC companies, like many other industries, rely heavily on a consistent stream of online reviews to help other homeowners find them online, so be sure to offer your feedback on the platforms they suggest.

Keep Good Service & Maintenance Records

If you stick with one HVAC company over time, they’ll help you with this, but it’s always important to keep your own details in case you might want to share with another company or want to pass this information to another homeowner should you decide to sell your home down the line.

Enjoy Your Cool, Comfortable Summer

Now that you’re cool & comfortable, kick your feet up, relax and enjoy some good old fashion Lowcountry Livin’. 🙂

Charleston Air Conditioning Buying Guide Summary

If you’ve made it this far, well done!

To help you review everything above, here’s a summary of what we covered:

1. The Differences Between HVAC System Types
2. HVAC Accessories & Other Essentials
3. Important HVAC Brands To Know About
4. Collecting Your Current System’s Important Information
5. Choosing The Right AC Installation Company
6. What To Do After Installing A New A/C

You’re now well on your way to making a smart, informed decision on buying your next heating and air conditioning system for your Lowcountry home.

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Do This One Thing To Get The Best Warranty On Your Air Conditioner Replacement

Monday, June 22nd, 2020

It’s once again that time of year where replacing your air conditioner in Charleston becomes more and more a reality for many Lowcountry homeowners.

 

Temperatures become unbearable and the humidity levels go beyond balmy.

 

That means your HVAC system is going to be working overtime to help you and your family escape that outdoor heat and humidity. The extra load on your HVAC system could cause it to develop issues and you could be in for a slightly warmer summer than you’d probably prefer in Charleston.

 

When you do end up replacing your air conditioning, whether that be from a total breakdown or poor performance due to age (learn more about how long HVAC systems last in the Lowcountry here), the last thing you want to worry about is something immediately breaking down.

 

A brand new system shouldn’t give you much cause for concern, but in case something does happen you’ll want to make sure you get the best warranty possible to cover any more expenses that may come with repairs and/or replacements.

 

Typical HVAC Warranty Types

 

Like any new equipment right off of the assembly line, heating and air conditioning products will almost always come with some sort of base warranty. These basic warranties are very limited (in fact most are called “base limited warranties”), in that they will only cover a short time period and are limited only to manufacturer’s parts defect (more on this below).

 

The next level of warranty typically comes in the form of a registered warranty. These, too, are “limited” and your product has to be registered with the manufacturer within a certain time period to qualify for any extended warranty coverage.

 

What Most Warranties Don’t Cover

 

While opting for either the base or registered warranty types help keep you covered within a certain time range, as mentioned above these will only cover the cost of manufacturer’s defected parts. You will still need a professional HVAC company to come and replace those parts, so you’ll have to pay for their labor involved with performing the replacement.

 

On top of this, if the issue happens to be caused from a poor installation (or by an unlicensed company in some cases), you’ll be out luck on both parts and labor — which may mean the worst case scenario: replacing your replacement air conditioning.

 

Choose A Licensed, Manufacturer-Trained HVAC Company To Get The Best Warranty

 

Most manufacturers want to offer the best warranty possible for their products, so to help ensure this they offer product-specific installation and service training to their local HVAC companies.

 

This training helps eliminate any issues resulting from poor installation practices and keeps your warranty for defective parts fully intact.

 

On top of keeping yourself covered from installation issues, manufacturer-trained HVAC companies have the ability to offer you extended warranties that can include not only more coverage on parts, but can also include labor as well.

 

We hope you never need to worry about using your warranty, but in case you do be sure to get the best one possible — it will help you save time & money and help avoid any long, hot summer days this year.

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Here’s Why Your Charleston Home Is Humid Even With Your AC Running

Friday, June 15th, 2018

If you’re living in Charleston — whether you’ve just moved here or if you’ve been here your whole life — you know that Charleston, the Lowcountry and the entire southeastern side of the US is hot & humid this time of year.

That’s no surprise and hopefully you’ve reviewed our last post reviewing important questions to ask about HVAC for your home in Charleston that will help keep you cool & dry this warm season (at least indoors).

If you feel like you’ve got a good or new air conditioning system but are still experiencing too much humidity in your home, there could be many culprits to consider. Here are a few of them.

Poor or Leaky Air Vents

In many cases here in the Lowcountry, fluctuating humidity is due to poor ventilation and/or leaky air vents. When ductwork goes through a crawlspace or attic, moisture that exists there (because you’re not air conditioning those places) can be pulled in and elevate your home’s humidity levels.

Improperly Vented Bathrooms

There is quite a bit of moisture that exists in your bathroom, so if the vent in there isn’t doing its job or is non-exisitent, that extra moisture can seep into your home, especially after shower use.

If you’re outside a lot more during the summer or have frequent guests, that shower is going to be used more often this time of year leading to excess humidity that you might otherwise not have at other times of year.

Improperly Vented Dryer

This may seem too obvious to be an issue, but make sure your dryer is properly ventilated to an exterior port. If it isn’t that moist air coming from your wet clothes will be dispersed throughout your home.

Also make sure that if your dryer is, in fact, being ventilated outside, that nothing is blocking its airflow (dirt, debris, furniture, etc.).

Oversized Air Conditioning

This might be the biggest humidity culprit around Charleston. If your air conditioning is over-sized for your home, it may cool your home too quickly, leaving behind humidity after it turns off. That’s why you’ll feel like it’s cool in your home, but you still feel sticky/sweaty.

Ask An Charleston HVAC Expert

If you’re unsure how to check the above humidity culprits, or have other humidity related questions, it can be much quicker to give a local HVAC company a call and walk them through your particular situation.

They’ll be able to help you pinpoint your humidity woes and recommend the best possible solution.

As mentioned above, there’s not really getting around dealing with the humidity outdoors, however if you’re able to cover the items listed above, you’ll be well on your way to have a cool, dry and relaxing summer here in Charleston.

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How To Know When It’s Time To Replace Your Air Conditioner Unit In Charleston

Monday, May 1st, 2017

As with most types of mechanical systems you use on a daily basis, knowing when to replace your air conditioner unit can be obvious, but sometimes it’s not.

While your A/C may still be functioning, outdated or older systems break down frequently and use significantly more energy to maintain your home’s preferred comfort levels.

So when is the right time to replace your A/C unit in your home in Charleston? Here are a few things to examine about your HVAC system before making the decision.

Age of Your Air Conditioner

The typical standard in the HVAC industry for A/C unit lifespan is about 12 years, and even if your unit is still operational after 12 years, odds are that breakdowns will occur more frequently and energy consumption will be greater — leading to higher energy bills.

Frequent HVAC Issues

As mentioned above, if your A/C unit issues rise in frequency, this is probably a good sign for you to move forward with a new unit, rather than absorbing the costs of A/C repairs.

Also, if the issues are frequent, your hand may be forced to get a new A/C system anyway as there’s a good chance your system will give up completely — leaving you without A/C until a new unit gets into place.

Repair History

Has your system had any major repairs in the last 7-10 years? Major repairs include compressor, condenser coil or blower motor replacements. If you’ve had 2 or more of these major repairs in that timeframe you may want to start the process of contacting an HVAC company in Charleston to scout out a new system for your home.

While replacing your A/C unit may seem challenging, if you take a look at the three items listed above you can be sure that moving forward with a new system is the best solution to keep you cool during the upcoming warm months in Charleston.

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