Does Cleaning Air Ducts Really Make a Difference?

ceiling aluminum circular air ducts

Breath-In Fresher Air

While the air conditioning or heating is what you see at the thermostat, the air filter, and the component outside your home, there is another important part. The air ducts, located in the attic, are the unseen component.  Just as the air filter needs to be changed or cleaned is important, so is air duct cleaning

The intended purpose of the air duct system is to guide the cooled or heated air to the air vents throughout the home in each room. While they are located in the attic, they still collect debris, dust, insects, and rodents’ nest. Which is what makes air duct cleaning services so important.

What is duct cleaning?

With the world at large being concerned with the environment, but still comfortable in our homes, it has pushed home builders and door and window manufacturers to improve their techniques in providing products that conserve energy.  These processes and techniques have minimized cold and hot air from leaking, it also causes the air to be trapped inside our homes. 

This also traps contaminants, dust, and pollutants that are pulled into the HVAC system where they are re-circulated several times a day with the cooled and heated air. This re-circulated air causes a build-up inside the air ducts and this is where air duct cleaning can help. 

Air duct cleaning involves specialized equipment and tools that dislodge debris, dirt, dust, and other contaminants that are blowing through the air duct system into your home. The equipment includes a high-powered vacuum that safely removes those particles from the air duct system and doesn’t allow them to release into the air. 

Why should ducts be cleaned, are there benefits to air duct cleaning? 

Your family and home will have the following benefits from professional air duct cleaning services: 


The air that circulates through the air ducts is the air that your family is breathing, including the contaminants like carbon monoxide, dust, pesticides, pet dander, and volatile chemicals that are pulled into the HVAC system and accumulate. 

Each time the air conditioning or heat turns on, these things that have accumulated inside the ductwork are blown throughout your home, resulting in your family members suffering from bronchial congestion and respiratory issues, resulting in coughs, scratchy eyes, sinuses, sneezing, etc. A professional air duct cleaning will remove those irritants and make the air inside your home healthier.


The accumulation of contaminants and dust particles can impede airflow through the air cuts, making the HVAC system work harder to keep your home cool or warm. The harder the system works, the more energy it is using. With routine air duct cleaning, you’ll keep that from happening and lower your energy bills. 


Anything you do inside your home is sucked up in the HVAC system and the air ducts. This includes cleaning products, cooking, painting, tobacco smoke, and mildew.  They become trapped and create stale odors that begin blowing through the air ducts and out the vents, creating unpleasant odors in your home. 

You can open windows, employ air fresheners, and light scented candles, but those odors won’t go away, they are just masked. Professional air duct cleaning can remove those contaminants, including any dead critters and insects that have found their way into the duct system. 


Dirty air ducts can cause a fire with dirt, lint, and other contaminants that have accumulated. This accumulation can become heated up, and ignite, causing a fire. Professional air duct cleaning eliminates this from happening. 


Because clogged and dirty air ducts cause the HVAC system to work harder, it shortens the lifespan of the system. With professional air duct cleaning done periodically, it will help the system not work as hard, extending its lifespan. 


With professional air duct cleaning, the air filters will have fewer contaminants and dirt collected, allowing them to work better and longer.

HVAC ceiling vent with plant to signify fresh air

How often should ducts be cleaned? 

The NADCA’s (National Air Duct Cleaners Association) general recommendation is to have professional air duct cleaning every three to five years. A newer HVAC system can be every six to eight years.

What are the potential hazards if air duct cleaning isn’t done?

There are several problems when you avoid having professional air duct cleaning performed: 

  • Energy efficiency is decreased 
  • Energy bills increased     
  • Airflow is restricted causing uneven cooling and heating
  • Restricted airflow causes the system to work harder
  • Heat exchanger rusts becoming a fire risk
  • Family members with allergies or asthma have an increase in illnesses
  • Home stays dusty and has unpleasant air

How much does duct cleaning typically cost? 

This can vary between cities and states, and from contractor to contractor. Call for professional air duct cleaning quotes and ask about their guarantee. Whatever the cost, compare this to the matters we’ve mentioned in this article, and you’ll find that it can eliminate other expenses, and lower your utilities, providing you with an ROI. 

In The End: Homeowner Insurance

A question many professional air duct cleaning services will ask is if homeowners’ insurance will pay for this service. The answer is typically no unless it was done due to a fire in the home. Every policy is different and you should review your policy for this possibility. 

Total Comfort Cooling & Heating, LLC provides thorough air duct cleaning in Macon, GA. Call our team at 478-781-9107 to get started.

Are Air Filtration Systems Worth It?

Person installing new air filter

Why Are Air Filtration Systems Important?

Maybe it’s a family member or an employee, or maybe it is you, with constant stuffy nasal and constant throat tickling cough. Regardless of who has the problems, it has been recommended to have an air filtration system installed. 

What Exactly is an Air Filtration System and How Does it Improve Indoor Air Quality?

An air filtration system is a device that removes contaminants and pollutants from the air, by capturing the harmful particles and trapping them in the filter. What types of contaminants and pollutants are removed by an air filtration system? There is some debate that an air filtration system isn’t as beneficial as they are advertised, but again, there has been proof that using 2 stand-alone systems removed up to 60% of simulated SARS-CoV-2 aerosols in an enclosed environment. 

While that may not be 100%, that is 60% fewer contaminants in the air that you, your family, customers, and employees are breathing. An air filtration system target contaminants and pollutants such as: 

  • Bacteria
  • Dust and Pet dander
  • Mold, Pollen, and Viruses
  • Smoke
  • VOCs (Volatile Organic Compounds)

By grading an air filtration system with activated carbon filters, the odors caused by pets and VOCs are removed, giving your home a clean, fresh, smell. 

What is the Most Effective Type of Air Filtration System? 

Today, there are more bacteria and more viruses floating around for us to breathe in, thus the increased interest in air filtration systems. So, do you get the most expensive one you can afford? Not necessarily! The Proton Pure isn’t the most expensive but had the highest approval rating and offers these features: 

  • Kill over 99% Of Bacteria and Viruses
  • Removes Bad Odors
  • Eliminate Dust and Captures Pet Dander & Pollen
  • True HEPA Filter and has an Ultra-Quiet Operation
  • Ultra-Compact and Portable

How Often Should Air Filters Be Changed? 

Manufacturers generally recommend changing an air filtration system filter every three months. This schedule may need to be more frequent if you live in a dry and dusty environment or if you have several pets. Upping this schedule every two months may be better for you. If you’re out of town for an extended time, changing the filter every 9 to 12 months is sufficient. 

What Happens if the Air Filter Isn’t Changed? 

 An air filtration system isn’t designed to filter the air endlessly. Like your HVAC system, you need to set up a schedule to routinely changed the filter. What happens if you don’t? 

  • It won’t filter the air as intended.
  • Contaminants and dust get into the HVAC system and jam the moving parts.
  • The airflow is restricted, further straining the air filtration system.
  • The air filtration system and HVAC system use more power, i.e., more electricity
  • The contaminants collected in the system will remain and work back into the air.

What Size Air Filters Should Be Used? 

Each air filtration system will come with an owner’s manual that will provide the size and type of air filter replacements to use. There isn’t any one-size-fits-all.

Are Air Filtration Systems Noisy? 

The brand and quality will have an impact on the level of noise emitted from an air filtration system. However, they must remain within the decibel threshold set by the CDC. For most homeowners, it becomes ‘white noise’ that blends in with the rest of the household. For others, it becomes an annoying sound, but that annoying sound mitigates the good it is doing for the indoor air quality of your home or business. 

What Types of Maintenance are Required for an Air Filtration System? 

Yes, there is required maintenance that will keep your air purifier working at it fullest capacity. A portable air purifier will need the filter changed more frequently than a whole-house air filtration system.  The maintenance typically is changing the filter, cleaning the media if applicable, or replacing the UV lightbulb if applicable. 

Are There Any Health Risks Associated with Using an Air Filtration System? 

Research and studies by certain government agencies have found that ozone air filtration systems can actually add formaldehyde, ultrafine particles, and other additional toxic pollutants to the air.  

Are There Any Energy Efficiency Ratings Associated with Air Filtration Systems?

Like all electronic appliances on the market today, an air filtration system that is Energy Star Certified is over 25% more energy efficient than models that aren’t. 

In Conclusion 

While you may see an air filtration system as another expense that ‘isn’t necessary’, think about the family members that suffer from allergies and breathing issues. Consider the number of doctor visits you’re currently paying for will be minimized, maybe even eliminated, which will actually pay for the cost of an air filtration system over time. And the best thing of all, your family, customers, or employees will feel better! 

We are ready to help when it comes to an air filtration system installation in Macon, GA! Give us a call at __PHONE__ today!

What Kind of Thermostat Should I Buy?

close-up of a hand turning a thermostat knob

Replacing Your Thermostat

This is not the time of year in Macon, Georgia, for the air conditioning to quit! Summer is in full swing, after all. If your HVAC system is already not cooling as it should, and you’ve checked the air filter, you’ve had the HVAC professional out to inspect, and they do you that it needs a thermostat replacement.

Seriously? If that is all it will take to cool off again, how do you test a thermostat so that you don’t have to pay for that service again? Here are the steps you need to test your thermostat next time you’re having an issue with either cooling or heating your home: 

  • Step One: Turn the power off and remove the thermostat cover so the wires are exposed. Typically, the wires are screwed to terminals marked R for red, W for white, G for green, Y for yellow, and C for common. Your thermostat may only have a Red/White or Red/Green setup. You can find videos online to help identify the wires. We recommend taking a picture with your phone for reference. 
  • Step Two: Remove the wires by unscrewing them from their terminals, making sure they don’t fall into the hole. Professionals often wrap them around a pencil to keep that from happening. The red and white wires are standard for power and heat.
  • Step Three: Twist the wire’s bare ends together and keep them from touching any of the other wires or each other. That could short-circuit the entire system, and you’ll need more than a thermostat replacement.
  • Step Four: Turn the power back on, and if the blower comes on and the heater furnace ignites, then the problem was an improperly connected thermostat.  Or the thermostat is defective, and you need a thermostat replacement.
  • Step Five: If the furnace burner didn’t ignite, it may be the wire continuity from the thermostat to the furnace may have a broken wire. Look for an online video on how to check this with a multimeter. 

Can thermostat wires shock you?

If they do, the thermostat is wired up wrong!  No, thermostat wiring will not shock you; the voltage is too low to cause any shocks or other serious injuries.

Will a thermostat work with dead batteries?

No, and that should be the first thing you check before calling for a professional HVAC visit. The problem can be that simple – replace the thermostat batteries and change the air filter, and your AC could be working just the way it should be.

How do thermostats break?

A thermostat is like anything else in your home, they age, and over time, they quit working. A typical issue that causes a thermostat to break is the wiring inside the thermostat or in the wall between the thermostat and HVAC system has come loose or has gotten old. If you have critters getting into your house, like mice, rats, squirrels, opossums, etc., they may have chewed the wiring. 

Take the cover off the thermostat, and if the wire appears to be in place and in good condition, try installing a thermostat replacement. If that didn’t fix the issue, and you’ve changed the air filter, you’ll need to call an HVAC professional to inspect the system. 

Will any thermostat work with my HVAC system?

Most residential HVAC systems are low-voltage, and any type of thermostat replacement will work. With a high-voltage HVAC system, you need to refer to the manufacturer’s manual or website for recommendations to get the right thermostat replacement for your system.

What should I do when a thermostat stops working? 

There could be several reasons why a thermostat is not working. When a thermostat quits working, it could be the batteries are dead or it could be there isn’t any power getting to the unit. This could be from broken wires as we discussed earlier, causing a poor connection to the HVAC system. Or it may be a tripped circuit breaker or a blown fuse. 

First, change the batteries. If that doesn’t get the thermostat working again, check the fuse box or circuit breaker. If those are all in good order, remove the cover again and with a small paint brush or canned air, blow or brush off any dust. If you still get the unit to work, get a thermostat replacement, and if that doesn’t do it, you’ll need to call for professional HVAC help.

How does a thermostat work?

Do you know how a thermostat works? There are two different types of thermostats: Electronic and Electromechanical. Electromechanical is the old school thermostat and is more detailed in how it works. The basics of this thermostat contain a bi-metal coil or a metal strip that moves when there is a change in the temperature. This causes a small mercury-filled vial to tip in one direction or the other, depending on cold or hot. As the mercury moves in the vial, it signals the HVAC to cool or heat. 

If this is the type of thermostat that you have now, you need a thermostat replacement! These are old school and with an upgrade to the electronic thermostat. It will with your energy bills and keep your home more consistently comfortable! 

The electronic thermostat is easier to understand how they work. They are basically small computers that use sensors to determine the right temperature. They have features that are beneficial by lowering your energy bill with programmable settings. You can program them to turn the AC up high when you’re not home and have it turn the temperature setting down an hour before you get home. Then you can walk into a nice cool home! 

woman setting her home thermostat

It’s Getting Hot in Here…

So, you’ve got your thermostat replacement installed, and went with the electronic programmable style. Now, what temperature should the thermostat be? The EPA (environmental protection agency) recommends setting the thermostat at 78 degrees or higher in the summer and 68 or lower in the winter. And that is where the programmable style comes in handy! You can set it at those recommended settings. 

Is duct cleaning a waste of money?

dusty and dirty air vent

Understanding Duct Cleaning

Changing the air filter on your HVAC system isn’t the only thing that keeps the air clean in your home. While it is important, something that is recommended every 30 days, air duct cleaning is a big part of having clean air inside your home. 

How do I know if my air ducts need to be cleaned?

There is a lot of debate about whether air duct cleaning is beneficial or not, but if you ask anyone that has had theirs cleaned, they’ll probably recommend having it done. The comfort level and easier breathing in a home that has air duct cleaning have significantly improved indoor air quality. 

When you learn what is inside your air ducts and realize the air you’re breathing is blowing across this stuff, you’ll realize why everyone in your home has breathing issues or catches colds. Here, are 8 reasons how to know if your home can benefit from an air duct cleaning service: 

1. Clogged ducts and vents: There couldn’t be a better indicator of needing duct cleaning than when small puffs of dust blow out the vents when the HVAC system kicks on. This is dust that is sitting inside the ducts and you’re breathing it each time your HVAC system runs. 

2. Air filters clog frequently: If the air filters in your HVAC system have to be changed or cleaned more than once a month, your home could benefit from an air duct cleaning service. 

3. Unpleasant odor: Another sign that an air duct cleaning service is needed is when there is constant stale air or odors in your home. If all the candles and room spray aren’t helping, schedule an air duct cleaning. 

4. Mildew and mold: As soon as you see any signs of mildew or mold around your HVAC system or any of the vents, get an air duct cleaning service done as soon as possible.  Your family is breathing in that mildew and mold, leading to allergies and respiratory conditions. 

5. Poor or unstable airflow: If there is inconsistent airflow coming through any of the vents, an air duct cleaning and inspection are needed. They could be clogged and dirty, or they could need repairs. 

6. Infestation: Inside air ducts, it is dark and warm, and that attracts insects and vermin. With annual air duct cleaning, the nest that these creatures have built is cleaned out, making the air blowing through them clean for healthier breathing. 

7. Dusty house: If you are continuously having to dust your home, it is probably coming from the air vents.  An air duct cleaning will minimize, maybe even end the need for constant dusting. 

8. Higher cooling & heating bills: Everything gets a little higher every year, but if the cooling and heating bills seem to be higher than usual, have an air duct cleaning and see if that helps.  If the air ducts are clogged, they’re clogging the filter and the system is having to work harder, which costs more money. 

What happens if you don’t clean your air ducts?

We just listed signs that your home needs air duct cleaning. To recap, the following are 4 of the biggest reasons you want to have air duct cleaning service no further apart than every 2 years: 

  • Mildew & Mold Build Up and Spreads Through the Air Duct System
  • Air Ducts Get Clogged and Can’t Do Their Job
  • Attracts Insects, Pests, Vermin
  • Higher Energy Bills, More Doctor Appointments

How is duct cleaning done?

If you have had an air duct cleaning service before and it was done within an hour, or less, then your air ducts were not cleaned! In fact, they probably just stirred up the dust and left more. 

An air duct cleaning done correctly uses a negative pressure technology.  This methodical and straightforward process will give you the best duct cleaning possible. There are a few steps in this process including a duct inspection, the creation of negative pressure, and agitating the remaining dust.

Duct Inspection is a visual inspection of the air ducts, including the return and supply registers is done to assess the level of dirt and dust buildup.

Negative Pressure is created next. The contractor will use a large, portable vacuum device that sucks the debris and dust from the ductwork after they have completed these preliminary steps: 

  • The large hose on the vacuum device is connected to an air handler and then an access hole is cut into the duct system. The vacuum hose is inserted into that hole and sealed. 
  • Next, each register is sealed with an adhesive covering to prevent dust from blowing out during the process. 
  • The vacuum is turned on and creates negative pressure that will suck the particles out of the ductwork. 

Finally, you agitate the dust. Each register is uncovered, and the ducts are cleaned as instructed by the NADCA.  Rotating brushes are used with compressed air tools, and a simple vacuum cleaner to ensure all the dust is dislodged and sucked into the device.

Can duct cleaning help allergies?

With all the debate on this topic, it certainly doesn’t hurt!  When the air duct system has dirt, dust, and pet dander, it is blowing all through your home and everyone is breathing all that in. This includes airborne dust mites, bacteria, mold spores, viruses, and other allergens and contaminants. So yes, having all that removed with air duct cleaning will help your allergies!

Will cleaning my air ducts make my house smell better?

Absolutely, when the insects, pests, vermin, along with the bacteria, dirt, and dust are filling the air ducts, they are creating odors that are spreading through your home.  Getting a duct cleaning removes all that and gives your home a fresher smell. 

Will duct cleaning help with dust?

Yes, as we have mentioned, the duct cleaning will remove the dirt and dust that is blowing out of the ducts and through the vents, coating your furniture.

How do I prepare my home for duct cleaning?

Now that you have decided to get a professional air duct cleaning, here are a few things you can do that will help the technician give you the best service possible: 


How much does it cost to clean your air ducts?

The range for professional air duct cleaning will depend on the size of your home and if any repair or replacement of ductwork is needed.  Anywhere between $275 to $500 with an average of around $374. This is money well spent every five to seven years. 

air duct filled with dust and dirt

In Closing – Can I clean air ducts myself?

A DIY homeowner can do a decent job of duct cleaning, but not as thoroughly as a professional. They have the equipment, which includes brushes and rakes, and a powerful vacuum cleaner. They have experience in sealing the ductwork when they insert the vacuum and other tricks of the trade.

Can I Do My Own Duct Cleaning?

close-up of a dirty vent

Taking Care of Your Ducts

You don’t see them, but they are there, all over your home. We’re talking about the air ducts that keep the cool or warm air blowing into each room. And because you don’t see them, you probably don’t think about duct cleaning

Most homeowners don’t, but they do get dirty and with proper professional air duct cleaning, your home will be cleaner, and healthier, and your HVAC system will have a longer lifespan. So, to get started – do you really need to clean your ducts? The EPA tells us that air duct cleaning isn’t necessary and that the dust and other pollutants that can come from air ducts aren’t enough to be harmful to your health. They recommend air duct cleaning only as needed, and not on any specific routine schedule. 

So, when is duct cleaning necessary?

  • Air duct cleaning should be done when you notice there is a substantial amount of mold inside the hard surfaces of the ducts or the other components of the cooling and heating system. 
  • Air duct cleaning should be done professionally when you find an infestation of insects, rodents, or other vermin.
  • Air duct cleaning should be done when the air ducts are clogged with excessive debris, dirt, dust, or other particles that are released from the supply registers.

What is included in duct cleaning?  

If you’re considering professional air duct cleaning, make sure you ask questions about how air duct cleaning is done by the company. There are some companies that will just basically vacuum inside the ducts yet charge you for what should be a more thorough cleaning. A professional air cut cleaning service should include: 

  • The technicians assess the duct layout.
  • A HEPA vacuum is connected at a central location of the supply air duct that will have a high intense suction to all supply ducts, registers, and vents throughout your home.
  • The technicians will work at each vent or register to open with specialized equipment, tools, and high-pressure air that will loosen any compacted debris and move it to the main trunk line of the air duct system.
  • The technicians will clean the main trunk line with the HEPA vacuum system.
  • After verifying the supply duct is clear, the same process is done to the return ducts.

A comprehensive air duct cleaning service will include cleaning parts of the cooling and heating system that commonly get dirty. This will improve the efficiency of the HVAC system. The parts that are included in the cleaning with sanitizing agents and specialized equipment are: 

  • The indoor coil and evaporator coil.
  • The air handler blower assembly.
  • the condensation system, including the drain line/pipe and drain pan.

How long does duct cleaning take?

Air duct cleaning for a single-story home can usually be completed within four hours or less. However, a larger or older home – one with a larger number of ducts – can take longer. 

Can duct cleaning damage your ducts?

If an inexperienced technician performs an air duct cleaning process, they can damage flexible, insulated ducts with the equipment and not realize the damage has happened.

Will duct cleaning get rid of dust?

No, air duct cleaning will not rid your home dust, but it will minimize what comes from the ducts, along with dirt and other debris that gets trapped in the ductwork. This all helps the air filter do a better job. 

Can duct cleaning make you sick?

Well, it may be a surprise as we’re amid our current vaccine debate. The government is telling us to get vaccinated and most of the medical industry agrees with them. When it comes to air duct cleaning making homes healthier, the EPA branch of the government disagrees with medical research and studies that have different findings. 

The medical field is telling us that anyone that suffers from pulmonary and respiratory health conditions lives more comfortably and is healthier when air duct cleaning is performed. Air duct cleaning gets rid of the stuff that has been found to cause the “sick building syndrome”. This includes debris, dirt, dust, pet dander, pollen, and more. 

Not sure who to believe? Then schedule an air duct cleaning and decide for yourself if it helps your family. If a year later your family is beginning to suffer from respiratory issues, get another duct cleaning service. 

technician performing a duct cleaning

It’s a Wrap – and One Final Question

Can you rent duct cleaning equipment? What homeowner doesn’t want to try to save money these days, especially if you’re a DIY kind of person? So yes, you can rent duct cleaning equipment now and get the job done yourself, but do you want to be the one that damages the ducts in your home? Having a professional do this job will give you a warranty for anything damaged and they have been using that equipment and tools much longer than you have on a Saturday morning. Besides, isn’t there a golf course calling your name?

Your Heating System Maintenance Checklist

technician examining a furnace

The Importance of Heating System Maintenance

While Georgia may be a southern state, it still has a cold winter, which is why a heating maintenance checklist is important for any homeowner. If you’re a new homeowner, you may not be familiar with this process and ask, “What is heating system maintenance?” So, in our piece today, we’re going to talk about heating maintenance, a checklist for that process, and why it is important.

For a homeowner, heater maintenance and repair are important tasks. The heater maintenance will save you money and heater repairs are necessary to keep your home warm in the winter. It can also affect keeping your home cool in the summer when you have an HVAC system. As we answer questions here, you’ll understand how a cooling and HVAC maintenance checklist plays an important role year-round.

How often should you have your furnace serviced?

For a gas furnace, experts recommend an annual service at minimum just prior to winter arriving. As the system ages, perhaps by the fifth or sixth year, it’s also recommended to check your heating maintenance checklist in the springtime, when your heating system has been working for an entire winter season. This heating maintenance checklist should include a thorough examination of all working components and cleaning of all components and parts that are known to malfunction. Those parts include: 

  • The air filter
  • The fan
  • The pilot light
  • The heat exchanger
  • The air ducts and vents
  • The thermostat

Checking these components and cleaning or replacing them as needed once or twice a year can prevent many potential problems that could leave you cold on a winter night. It should also be noted that electric furnaces need to have a minimum annual inspection too. The specific heating maintenance checklist for an electric furnace is slightly different, and should include inspections of the following: 

  • The blower fan 
  • The blower motor 
  • The heating elements or heating strips 
  • Cleaning and lubricating the motor 
  • All electronic components 
  • The filter
  • The thermostat
  • The air ducts and vents

How often should you clean your central heating system?

The heating maintenance checklist we’ve mentioned for electric and gas furnaces is what you should expect to receive when checked by a professional heating service company.

As a homeowner, you need to keep your furnace clean in between those annual or bi-annual inspections, cleaning, and repairs. When cleaning of your heating system is overlooked or skipped, debris and dust accumulate and will spread throughout the house via the air ducts. 

Air duct systems collect debris and dust, attracting insects, rodents, and sometimes small critters like squirrels. It then blows the debris, dust, and germs from those unwanted creatures throughout your entire home. This can become a health problem for the entire family. Anyone in your family with respiratory issues will struggle even more. 

Make sure you change the air filter every 30 days, keep the vents clean and clear, and schedule a professional air duct cleaning service at least once every two years. 

How do you service a heating system?

An electric or gas-powered forced-air heating system should always have clean airways for efficiency and the best air quality and performance. The following heating maintenance checklist is recommended: 

  • Change or clean the air filter once a month. This cannot be repeated enough. For a home with pets or if any residents in the home have respiratory issues, every 14 days is recommended. 
  • Have the ductwork checked every 12 months for any dust and mold build up or open joints. Any open joints can be repaired with metal duct tape. Any corroded ducts should be replaced.
  • Clean ductwork and registers as needed or annually. 
  • Clean dust and soot from the combustion chamber on a monthly basis through the winter months. Have a professional technician check the chamber annually or bi-annually. 
  • Clean the blower gently with the brush attachment on your vacuum cleaner.
  • Inspect the blower belt and if it appears cracked or worn, have it professionally replaced. 

How do you maintain a central heating system?

A central heating system will need cleaning and regular maintenance to keep it working at prime capacity in an energy-efficient manner. Following a set cleaning schedule and keeping a heating maintenance checklist will help you to minimize possible unexpected breakdowns and avoid major problems while getting a longer life expectancy from the unit. That heating maintenance checklist should include the following: 

  • Check, Clean, Change Air Filters Regularly
  • Clean Air Vents and Keep Them Unblocked
  • Clean Pilot Light with Small Wire Brush If Gas System
  • Flushing The Heating System if An Oil System
dusty vent being cleaned

A Final Word: How do I test my heating system?

Prior to winter, you want to make sure your heating system is in working order. After following the recommended heating maintenance checklist we have mentioned in this piece today you’ll need to take the following steps.

Flip the emergency switch on. Turn the thermostat up ten degrees over the existing room temperature. In a few minutes, the heating system should start working. If it doesn’t, press the reset button on the burner relay. If it still doesn’t start working, you’ll need to call for professional service.

Are home air quality monitors accurate?

indoor air quality monitor being used inside a home

Do I need a home air quality monitor?

When you get home from work, you’re probably thankful to be home where you can breathe easier and safer. Unfortunately, these days our homes aren’t as safe to breathe in as they once were, which is making indoor air quality services a growing need. 

Before you deny the air in your home is questionable, ask yourself, “How can I tell if my home air quality is bad? What are the symptoms of bad air quality in your home?” Here are seven indicators your home could use indoor air quality services

1. Breathing Problems, Coughing

A common poor indoor air quality symptom is breathing problems and consistent coughing. Today, we seal our homes up for energy efficiency, but that creates a lack of ventilation which is a cause of respiratory issues. Without indoor ventilation, the concentration of particles we’re breathing is increased and the fresh oxygen is decreased. 

2. Allergies and Sneezing 

Along with breathing difficulties and consistent coughing, sneezing is another symptom that is often misdiagnosed and misjudged. Sneezing is usually accompanied by watery eyes and an irritated nose and throat. While this can be from season hay fever and allergies, it can also be from contaminants inside your home. These contaminants can be removed with indoor air quality services to make your allergy symptoms lessen, or even disappear.

3. Dry and Irritated Skin

Does anyone in your home suffer from dry skin, rashes, or redness? If you haven’t been able to pinpoint possible causes, like detergent or bath soap, it could be the indoor air quality. The pollutants in the air become concentrated inside our home then latch onto our skin, blocking nutrients flowing as needed, creating dry skin. 

4. Headaches or Nausea

Lingering headaches that can be diagnosed are not normal, so if you’re thinking there is something in the air, you’re right.  Even in your own home, there are chemicals and other contaminants that are affecting indoor air quality. These are causing issues with your health causing you to feel dizzy, have nausea, and have frequent or even constant headaches. 

5. Sleeping Issues

One thing that indoor air quality services have found with testing is that sleep is severely affected for about 60% of us. That lack of sleep affects other areas of your life too, even impairing your other senses. Setting the thermostat at a cooler temperature helps. It is recommended to keep it between 60 to 68 degrees Fahrenheit, allowing your brain and body to match temperatures. 

6. Dust Buildup

Keeping air filters changed every 30 days and keeping your home dusted on a regular basis is the key to better and easier breathing. Experts in indoor air quality services recommend upgrading your air filter to a hyper-allergenic style, having the air ducts cleaned, and keeping your home dusted, all of which will help with breathing issues.

7. Cold and Hot Spots

Are you noticing cold spots along with hot spots inside your home? The air is probably not getting good flow with your HVAC system. Have the system inspected and make sure you are changing the air filter every 30 days or more frequently. Your HVAC technician can also advise you if your system is too small for your home’s square footage, or simply is reaching its prime and should be replaced.

What is an air quality test and what does an air quality test detect?

An indoor air quality test is the only way to find out what you’re breathing in inside your home. Indoor air quality services will measure the air in your home for three different pollutants:

  • Biological
  • Chemical or VOC (Volatile Organic Compounds)
  • Combustion Pollutants

When the results of your indoor quality air tests follow the EPA (Environmental Protection Agency) and OSHA (Occupational Safety and Health Administration) standards. Indoor air quality services focus on things that are health hazards like carbon monoxide, formaldehyde, and radon. 

Is there a device that measures home air quality?

Would it surprise you to know that the air quality inside your home is five times more polluted than the air quality outside? A shocking statistic for many, but many outdoor and indoor air quality services have been completed and compared, only to produce the same result. Here are some ways you can do your own indoor air quality testing: 

  • Indoor air quality monitors: These are available online and at home improvement stores in various price ranges. This device is left on constantly and will measure the IAQ, providing reports on the pollution level inside your home. Each device will vary in what it is testing, but the main things they all test are chemical pollutants, humidity, and particulate matter.
  • Mold Testing: Mold is common in most households, and the IAQ device we described above doesn’t report on mold levels. There are inexpensive home mold testing devices available online or t home improvement stores, but indoor quality services experts will tell you they are a waste of money. Mold is everywhere, so the readings will be inaccurate. The best way to test for mold is with a professional service. 
  • Carbon monoxide alarms: CO (carbon monoxide) is the silent killer. It is colorless, odorless, and tasteless. Exposure to large amounts for a long period is deadly. If your home has any gas-powered appliances, you should have a CO alarm in your home. 
  • Radon testing: Another colorless, odorless, and tasteless concern. Having a detection device installed in your home is the only way you’ll know your home has radon. 

Can phones detect air quality?

Technology!  What would we do without it, right? Yes, cell phones can download a free app now that will measure the AQI for your country. It will alert you about air issues and pinpoint major cities with issues. All that without any advertising or in-app purchases while using the app. 

What is good indoor air quality?

Approximately 25ppm is recommended by ACGIH (American Conference of Governmental Industrial Hygienists) as a threshold limit for an eight-hour workday. NIOSH (National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health)  recommends a 35ppm exposure limit.

man changing an air filter

In Closing 

After reading this piece, you may be asking “Is an air quality test worth it?” And if it found there were issues in your home, you’ll want to know “How do I fix the air quality in my home?” – right? You probably know that we’re supposed to eat three meals a day and drink eight 8-ounce glasses of water each day. Did you know on average, we take 30,000 breaths each day?  While we can control what we eat and drink, we don’t always have the ability to control what we’re breathing in 30,000 times a day. 

An IAQ test would allow you to know what is in the air you’re breathing. With that information, you can adjust and make changes in your home that will make the IAQ in your home healthier.  Here are seven things you can do that will improve the indoor air quality of your home: 

  1. Change the HVAC filter every 30 days or sooner.
  2. Have the air ducts professionally cleaned every two years or even more frequently.
  3. Use the vent-a-hood when cooking.
  4. Keep the carpet and rugs in your home clean. 
  5. Control the humidity in your home.
  6. Buy indoor plants and place them around in your home for fresh air.

And if you need any other help with indoor air quality services, you can count on our team to be there for you. Just give us a call at 478-781-9107 if you have any questions or if you’re ready to schedule your service.

What is an HVAC thermostat?

Older model of thermostat being taken off the wall.

Understanding the Basics of Your HVAC Thermostat

Welllll… it looks like summer has arrived and is in full blast furnace mode here in Georgia! But already, folks are posting stuff on social media about how close Christmas is too! We’re already over the heat, and maybe your HVAC thermostat is too. You know what though? You’re going to need it working come cold weather too, so let’s talk about that today. 

What does your HVAC thermostat do?

If you’re asking, “What is an HVAC thermostat?” you must not be the one that adjusts the temperature!  A thermostat in general is a device that monitors the temperature of something. Your oven, clothes dryer, water heater – they all have a thermostat. Even your car has a thermostat. A thermostat, in general, works the same way as the thermometer you use to check your child’s temperature when they’re sick. 

An HVAC thermostat measures the temperature inside your home and is connected to the HVAC unit. It automatically adjusts the cooling or heating to the temperature you have it pre-set to, telling it to blow out warm or cool air depending on if you have the HVAC system on ‘cool’ or ‘heat’. 

How do you know if a house thermostat is bad?

So, maybe your house hasn’t been as cool as you think it should be. Of course, when the temperature is in the high 90s and the humidity is too, every HVAC in the state is working overtime, right? However, if your HVAC thermostat isn’t working properly, then your HVAC system isn’t going to be running efficiently. Every part of the HVAC system needs to be in the correct working order or you’re spending money on electricity and not getting the full benefit.

So, how to tell if your HVAC thermostat is bad – the following are six ways.

1. The System Turns Off and On 

Remember, the HVAC thermostat has to communicate with the HVAC system, and it does this by sending signals back and forth. If the HVAC thermostat isn’t getting or sending the right signals to the HVAC system it will keep turning the system off and on, repeatedly. This could be a wiring issue or, if your HVAC thermostat is older than five years, you may need a new one. 

2. Faulty HVAC Thermostat Readings

When the HVAC thermostat readings are right, your home should be comfortable and cozy. If the HVAC thermostat is incorrectly registering the indoor temperatures, it is time to replace it. 

3. Questionable Energy Bills

Okay, it is summer and the electric bill is going to go up, but if it seems to have gone up more than expected, you might need to have the HVAC thermostat replaced. 

4. Temperature Shifts Constantly

A faulty HVAC thermostat is able to maintain the settings you have in place and will continuously change settings without you doing anything. Lower the setting and see if the HVAC system turns on and stays on or goes back up then down again and up again. 

5. Thermostat Is Old

As we mentioned earlier, the HVAC system has a lifespan of about 10 years, but if you’re having problems with it at five years, switch it out for a new programmable HVAC thermostat. It’ll work better and actually save you money each month. 

6. Fails to Respond to Changes

If the HVAC thermostat doesn’t respond as soon as you make an adjustment, indicated by clicking sounds, then you need to replace the HVAC thermostat. 

When should I replace my home thermostat?

Well, we just gave you six ways to tell that your HVAC thermostat isn’t working, and if you notice any of these problems it would be time to replace it. Another time would be if it is 10 years old or older, at which point we suggest you upgrade to a programmable unit. You can set a time for it to cut on and off, so your home is cooled off by the time you get home.

How much does it cost to replace an HVAC thermostat?

It can all depend on how fancy an HVAC thermostat you choose and if you install it yourself or have it installed. The thermostat itself can cost as little as $20 and up to $300 or more, with most homeowners spending around $100. If you have it installed by a professional electrician the cost will depend on their hourly rate or if they have a flat rate for this type of job – always ask! The hourly average is around $60, and some go as high as $100 per hour. You can expect them to bill you for a minimum of two hours. 

Programmable thermostat being adjusted.

In Conclusion 

So, you’re thinking that it may be time for a new HVAC thermostat. Other questions to consider include what is the best HVAC thermostat? We recommend getting an HVAC thermostat with humidity control, it will do a lot of good for your home year-round to control that humidity. This is along with keeping your filter changed every 30 days and your air ducts professionally cleaned once a year. If you do that, your home will be comfortable temperature-wise – and healthier too! If you need professional HVAC service in Macon, GA, give Total Comfort Cooling & Heating, LLC a call at 478-781-9107 to set up an appointment.

How does solar air conditioning work?

ac outside

What is solar air conditioning system?

Like everywhere else in the country today, homeowners in Georgia are taking a serious look at going solar power. The idea you’re paid for generating your own electricity and getting paid for it sounds too good to be true, but it is true! However, when it comes to keeping  your home cool in the deep south summers like Macon Georgia, is solar air conditioning going to work? 

We’re going to answer some concerns and questions about solar air conditioners and air conditioning and solar panels. What about those cloudy days, will your solar air conditioner still keep your home comfortable? On those really hot and humid days, when the UV rays are their strongest, will the solar panels melt? 

There are a lot of questions about solar power, understandably so, right? After all, can solar panels support air conditioning? The main issue to powering air conditioning is the amount of electricity it takes. On average, an air conditioner uses over 1kw of power and a solar panel system ranges as little as 2kw and up to 4kw. This means that your air conditioner will use up most of the solar energy your panels create. 

This is a variable-speed heat pump style cooling system that operates directly from current that sun powered photovoltaic panels produce. In straight terms,  it is  using DC power – directly – and doesn’t have any of the associated power loss as you with an AC-DC inverter. 

What is there to know about solar driven air conditioning system? 

The hot summer sun adds to your energy bill, right? It doesn’t have to though with solar air conditioner. Instead of the sun heating up the outside and causing your current air conditioner to work harder, about it make an air conditioner cool better? That would be pretty awesome wouldn’t it? 

Well it is happening in homes more and more every year. Solar energy is a harnessed source of power. This can actually help lower your cooling and heating cost. The sun  has an abundance of sustainable energy that can be converted into energy for your home for free. Why not take advantage of it?  If you’re not sure about solar air conditioner, read these six facts that will probably surprise you: 

  1. You may not have to have a completely new HVAC system installed to use solar air conditioner. You may be able to have your current HVAC system modified with a solar powered air conditioning kit. .
  2. In addition to the savings on your monthly energy bills, solar air conditioner may have federal and state tax credits available to offset the installation costs. 
  3. Your home’s value will increase with updated energy efficient cooling and heating system. 
  4. When the sun’s energy isn’t power the HVAC system,  it is used to power other appliances like the refrigerator.
  5. Some utility companies allow you to sell back extra energy when your system is tied into the grid. Watch your utility meter run in reverse.
  6. Many solar air conditioner systems have monitor performance that shows you each day how much money you’re saving.  

Does solar air conditioning work?

If you, like so many other homeowners are wondering “Are solar air conditioners any good?”, the answer is yes! Solar air conditioners work just as good as conventional ones, but better when you consider the amount of money you’re saving on your monthly energy bill. In fact, many homeowners say their energy bills are cut in half with solar air conditioners.  

On the average Americans spend over $15 billion annual to cool their homes. That much cooling releases as much as 140 million tons of carbon dioxide into the environment. That makes our climate warmer, then we run the air conditioner more. 

Additionally, carbon dioxide, a greenhouse gas, is a contribution to our climate change, which has been increasing 100 parts per million since 1950. Solar air conditioner can curb the use of those systems and processes.

If you had to choose one, solar powered air conditioner or a refrigerator, which would be the better choice? Being that refrigerated food can spoil, and if you have a solar power system that doesn’t have a battery backup, go with solar power air conditioner.  

ac unit

Is solar air conditioning worth it?

Solar air conditioners work just like traditional split air conditioning systems, but they don’t use power from the grid. You’ll want to get the right number of solar panels to match the size of the solar air conditioner system, which is typically between 2 to 6 solar panels. Call 478-781-9107 today for your solar air conditioner in Macon, GA.

AC maintenance checklist

ac in need of maintenance

What is AC maintenance?

Spring has just arrived here in the south, but before you know it, you’ll be cranking on that air conditioning! Maintenance before you turn it on and throughout the summer is important, and that is what our focus will be about today. Here in Georgia, we use the air conditioning as much as they do the heat in Connecticut, so ac maintenance for summer is essential if you want it to last the summer. 

Air conditioning maintenance is how you keep the equipment in good condition so that it doesn’t break down on you on the hottest day of the year. Air conditioning maintenance also helps your utility bill every month by keeping the unit in perfect running condition, it uses less power to work. 

An air conditioning maintenance examination will include the following:

  • Thermostat assessment –  The technician will check the settings making sure they are keeping your home comfortable. 
  • Electrical connections – The technician will check all the electrical connections to make sure they are snuggly connected, and the voltage is reading correctly. 
  • Lubricate –  The technician will lubricate all moving parts to assure there isn’t any resistance. Resistance in air conditioning means the system is working harder and that is costing you in utilities. 
  • Condensation Drain – The technician will check the condensation drain to make sure it is clear of any clogs or other obstruction.
  • General operation – The technician will make sure the system is starting, running, and cutting off as it should. 
  • Outdoor unit – The technician will check the outdoor unit to make sure there isn’t any debris or dirt sucked up on the coils. They will check for any leaks of coolant or oil at the connections.  
  • The Fan – The technician will check the fan blades and motor for any damage. 
  • Air filter  –  The technician will change or clean the air filter if needed to keep a good air flow quality. 
  • Clean coils – The technician will clean the condenser and evaporator coils. This step in air condition maintenance ensures your unit to work as efficient as possible.
  • Check refrigerant – The technician will check to make sure the proper level of refrigerant is in the unit, adding if needed. This step of air condition maintenance is a safeguard in proper operation of your unit. 

Is it necessary to service AC every year?

inspection and annual heating maintenance and inspection. Is it really necessary? Probably not until your system reaches its 10th anniversary. By that point, you may need to consider the twice a year appointment to make sure your system is in top condition. 

How often should you have your air conditioner serviced?

As we just mentioned, when it comes to your ac maintenance, how often is really up to you, but experts and manufacturers recommend at least one a year for air conditioning maintenance and inspection in the spring and heater maintenance and inspection in the fall.  

How much does AC maintenance cost?

Our immediate answer could be, “Cheaper than replacing the unit.”, but we’ll advise you that typically, a regular air conditioning maintenance service will cost as little as $75 and up to $200. This would give you a basic inspection and tune up. 

What if you skip getting the annual inspection and your system quits working one hot summer night? You can expect to pay as much as $150 per hour for the technician service all plus the expense of what they do and any parts needed. 

maintained AC system

How much is a new AC system?

Maybe that doesn’t sound awfully expensive to you, so what would a new air conditioning system cost?  The cost of a new air conditioning unit will start around $1,200 and can go as high as $2,000.  The cost varies based on the size of unit you purchase, any new ductwork to be installed, and the labor costs. 

Still not convinced why ac maintenance is important?  Let’s review the ac maintenance benefits you will gain by having an air conditioning maintenance and inspection once a year: :

1. Improved Air Quality
With the skills of a trained technician, they will remove any debris and dirt particles that have collected within the unit. If left untouched, that accumulated particle gets into the duct system and spreads through your home, cutting the air quality of your home down. 

2. Energy Efficiency
Part of the air conditioning maintenance process includes inspecting the entire system and cleaning the blades, cooling coils, and other key components. When these areas are clean, the system works easier and pulls less electricity.

3. Better Comfort
With a preventative air conditioning maintenance visit, the skilled technicians inspects all components carefully and advises the customer of any issues or problems that need repair or replacing. When all the components are in proper working order, the home is more comfortable all around.

4. Fewer Service Calls, Fewer Repairs
Regular air conditioning maintenance allow a technician the opportunity to find small issues and repair them before they become expense problems. 

5. Longer Lifespan
Preventative air conditioning maintenance will keep your system in top working order correctly so that it can last longer.

Need help with AC maintenance in Macon, GA? Call 478-781-9107 today.