Blog - PECO Heating & Cooling

Stinky Furnace? What Should You Do?

A funky furnace aroma is unpleasant. It is also unnerving. Where is it coming from? More importantly, how to get rid of it? Here are four uncomfortable scents your heater might spew and what you can do about it:

Don’t Get All Musty on Me

You might notice a musty smell in autumn the first time you fire up your furnace for the season. This usually means you have some mold growing in your ductwork or on the air conditioner coil mounted above your furnace. You’re probably going to have to call a pro for this one. It’s time to get your equipment and ducts inspected!

When Something is Rotten in Denmark (SC)

Shakespeare was talking about a Norwegian kingdom, but he could have been talking about a rotten egg or sewer smell coming from your furnace right here in South Carolina. If it smells sour or like rotten eggs when your furnace kicks on, it can indicate a failed heat exchanger. This is especially true for a high-efficiency heater. This issue requires a reputable HVAC company because a bad heat exchanger can fill your home with carbon monoxide gas.

Just a Dust-Up

The first time you crank up your heater after summer, you might smell the scent of dust. This one is usually no problem. Dust accumulates during the year when you don’t turn your furnace on. When components get hot, the dust burns and creates that smell. It should burn off soon enough!

Plastic Smell? Shut It Down!

A plastic smell spells trouble. It means electrical components and/or wires are getting heated up. This is probably because of a short or other breakdown in the electrical system. This could be anything from a malfunctioning fan to needing a new furnace. Ignoring this is a safety hazard! Turn off your heater and call a professional immediately.If you live in Oconee, Pickens, and North Anderson counties, contact the experts at PECO. We’re a family-owned business and take great pride in offering high-quality home repair with even higher quality attention to our customer’s needs. As well as being licensed plumbing contractors, we also install, maintain and fix heating and cooling systems. We can fix or build anything that moves gas or water through your house and even do minor drywall repair and painting when needed. Want to get the funk out of your furnace? Call the experts at PECO today at 864-639-2424 or request an appointment online

Furnace Costs—Can We Talk?

Furnaces are more complex than ever. They have more new features, higher efficiencies, and, of course, higher costs. How do you know what is best for you instead of what is best for the company trying to sell it to you?

Here are some thoughts, warnings, advice, and lessons learned about furnace pricing and how to get the most warmth for your dollar!

Mid- or High-Efficiency? 

Mid-efficiency furnaces are rated at 80-89% and vents into masonry or a metal chimney. A high efficiency furnace, rated at 90-97%, costs roughly twice as much and requires more sophisticated venting. Higher efficiency models can be good choices if you live in a cold climate or will be staying in your house for 10 years or more. Local energy costs are also important. If you live in an area with higher energy costs, high-efficiency furnaces may be more attractive. There are also some possible rebates for high-efficiency units. 

Single-Stage or Two-Stage?

Think of it like a car. A single-stage furnace only has one burner rate, pedal to the metal. A two-stage furnace has two settings and burns at a lower rate unless more gas is needed. This gives your house more consistent temperatures and can increase the life of the unit. The unit is also quieter and more efficient.  

Standard, Two-Speed or a Variable-Speed Blower?

The new DOE standards for furnaces now include more efficient blower motors for basic furnaces (80% or 90%).  A standard two-speed blower has one blower speed for heating and one for cooling. It’s much cheaper than a variable-speed blower. It is also less complex, which can mean lower future repair costs. It is also noisier than a variable-speed blower and uses more energy. A variable-speed continually adjusts its speed to your home’s needs. It uses a fraction of the electricity of most standard motors, is quiet, and makes your home more comfortable. As stated above, higher initial cost and more expensive future repairs are factors when purchasing a more complex system.

Going with the lowest price isn’t always the best idea. This may mean that the contractor cuts corners or that the unit is of lesser quality. Reputable brands also come with better warranties—so be sure to research how long the equipment is under warranty. Does this warranty include labor?

At PECO Heating and Cooling, we will give you straight answers about the furnaces we offer. We are available 24/7 to make sure your furnace or HVAC system is running right. With our Planned Maintenance Agreement you can make sure that your system is in excellent working order every day. Twice each year, we’ll come to your house and perform maintenance that will give you the reliability you can count on. We also provide a wide range of home maintenance and repairs, including home inspection repairs, plumbing, and electrical services. To stay warm all winter long, visit us online or call 864-639-2424 to schedule your appointment!

How to Conduct a DIY Home Electrical Safety Check

Electrical issues are more than an inconvenience – they can be a serious hazard. According to the U.S. Fire Administration, approximately 24,000 home fires are caused by electrical problems annually. Sadly, many electrical fires can be prevented by conducting occasional safety checks. Electrical safety checks are quick, easy, and can potentially save you from property damage or injury. In some cases, they may even save a life! Understanding the common causes of house fires, as well as warning signs of electrical trouble, can help prevent an electrical fire in your home.

Here’s a list of nine things homeowners should make a point to check each year:

The Breaker Panel

Inspect your breaker panel and the surrounding area. You should make sure that there are at least 3 feet of clear space around it. Open the panel and examine the breakers. Do you see any signs of rust, corrosion, or rodents? Flip each of the circuit breakers on and off, noting any that are sticking or not working properly. If you often experience tripped breakers, this could be an indication that your system is being overloaded.

GFCI Testing

All outlets that are at risk of being exposed to water (near a sink, for example) should be ground fault circuit interrupt (GFCI) protected. These outlets can wear out after a while, so it’s essential to test them to make sure they’re still functioning properly. If you look at the face of a GFCI outlet, you’ll notice two rectangular buttons that say “Test” and “Reset.” To test your GFCI outlet, press the test button with your finger. You should hear a snapping sound that trips the outlet and cuts off power to the plug connections.

To confirm that the power is off, you can plug in a lamp or radio into the outlet. If the outlet is working as it should, the device you plugged in shouldn’t turn on. You can also check to see if the outlet is supplying voltage by using a voltage tester or multimeter. There are also GFCI outlet testers, which can alert you whether the outlet is wired correctly. Once you’ve confirmed that the safety function is working, you can press the reset button to restore power to the outlet.  

Test Your Outlets

Like your GFCI outlets, regular outlets should also be tested. One of the best ways to check them is by using a receptacle tester, which is also called a “cube” or “block” tester. This device plugs directly into the outlet and indicates whether it detects common wiring issues. These tools are handy and affordable, so we recommend them for any home toolkit!

Exposed Wiring

Many attics and basements have exposed wiring, which can become worn and cracked over time. You should inspect all visible wiring to make sure it’s free of cracks or splits. Rodents love to chew on wires, so you should also keep an eye out for areas of rodent damage. While you’re there, it’s also a good idea to check for other signs of rodents, such as nests or scat. Any damaged wiring should be replaced. If you’ve found evidence of rodents, this should also be dealt with as soon as possible.

Extension Cords

All extension cords should be checked for cuts, cracks, exposed wiring, or other types of damage that can occur during home projects. You should also check that any cords used for power tools are within their amperage rating.

Exterior Outlets

Exterior outlets are subject to the elements, so it’s important to make sure that they’re sealed and free from animal intrusion. All exterior outlets should be GFCI protected, so you’ll want to test them to make sure they’re working correctly. If something has been plugged into one of your exterior outlets for an extended period of time, check to make sure it’s not keeping the weather cover propped open. If you do use your outlet for an extended period, you should have an outlet with a cover that has access holes. This will allow the cover to completely close while you’re using it.

Test Your Outlets for Tightness

Outlets, like most things, can wear out over time. If you notice plugs sitting loosely in an outlet, or they slip out enough to expose the plug pin, the outlet should be replaced. If the outlet itself is loose in the electrical box, it can be quickly fixed using plastic outlet shims.

Voltage Testing

If you’ve noticed that your electrical devices seem to be working irregularly when plugged into a particular outlet, it’s a good idea to test the voltage. The issue could be caused by a loose wire, but a voltage test will help you determine if it’s a more extensive problem. Check the power to that outlet using a voltmeter or multimeter. Standard residential outlets should read between 110 and 130 volts. If you see readings outside of that range, it may be time to call in the professionals!

Use Your Other Senses

Beyond visual inspections, it’s also essential to take note of other things you notice using your sense of smell, sound, and touch. Place your hand on outlets and light switches. Do you notice excessive heat? It’s normal for dimmer switches to get warm when the lights are on, but they shouldn’t be uncomfortable to touch. Do you notice any acrid smells when you plug in a device or flip a switch? Do you hear popping or cracking noises near an outlet or switch? These are all signs that there’s something wrong with the switch or outlet. It could be that it’s defective or worn, or it could be a sign that there’s a problem with the wiring. In any case, it’s best to address the issue as soon as possible

I Found a Problem – Now What?

So, you’ve gone through your home and found some issues that need to be addressed. Now what? In some cases, you may need to replace a switch in the wall. In other cases, you may need to have areas of your home re-wired. At best, electrical work can be complicated. At worst, it can cause damage to your home or put you at risk for injury. Many times, electrical work is best left to the professionals. We offer a variety of electrical repair services, from minor outlet and switch replacements to major repairs and remodels. We hold both mechanical and electrical licensees and offer a 1-year parts and labor warranty on all repairs. If you’ve discovered an electrical issue or don’t feel comfortable conducting an electrical safety check on your own, contact us today at (864) 639-2424 to schedule a service call!

Generators: The Answer to Your Power Woes

You’re settled in at home during a stormy night, and suddenly, the power goes out. As you slowly make your way to where you’ve stashed a flashlight, you stub your toe on the corner of a chair. Then, as you finally drag your flashlight out of the drawer, you discover the batteries are dead…

At this point, you might be wishing you had a generator!

Power outages can last hours, days, and even weeks. An outage can force you to go into emergency mode, making it necessary to navigate your home in the dark and figure out creative ways to keep your home warm and your food from spoiling. If you rely on well water, your ability to have fresh, filtered water for drinking, bathing, or heating your house will also be affected. Beyond being inconvenient, power outages can be costly, as anyone who’s lost an entire refrigerator of food can tell you! It’s even worse when it affects your business. For those who rely on electricity to power critical medical equipment, like dialysis machines or oxygen, a power outage can be dangerous.

Having a generator will ensure that you’ll stay comfortable and safe when the power goes out. There are two popular types of generators, and each one has its benefits. When deciding between a portable or whole-home generator, it’s important to consider your power needs. Do you want to keep your entire house up and running? Or are you more concerned with keeping only a few vital electrical devices are powered?

Whole-Home Generators

A whole-home generator (also called a standby generator) is permanently installed on the outside of your home, like a central air conditioning unit. They’re powered by your existing gas or liquid propane fuel supply, so there’s never a need to refuel them manually. A whole-home generator acts like your own personal electrical power source, delivering power directly to your home’s electrical system 24/7. Within just a few seconds of a power outage, the generator will automatically start up and restore your power. This is especially convenient because you don’t have to be home to restore power to your house. Once the power returns, the generator will automatically shut itself off.

Whole-home generators can back up your entire home or only essential equipment. They can be operated safely during any weather conditions and protect your home from dangerous voltage fluctuations when the power is restored. Since this type of generator ties into your electrical system, it must be professionally installed. However, unlike a portable generator, you don’t have to worry about dragging a unit outside or running extension cords through your home. As a bonus, installing a whole-home generator adds value to your home.

We’ve installed many whole-home generators and have found Generac to be reliable, high-quality, and affordable generators that fully meet our customers’ energy needs. They offer generators starting at 7.5kW up to 150kW. All models come with Mobile Link Remote Monitoring, which allows you to monitor your generator from anywhere in the world through your mobile device. Generac engines were developed specifically for generators and are designed to provide approximately 3,000 hours of use. With typical use and maintenance, they can last over 15 years, so they’re a great investment. Once the generator is installed, there’s nothing for you to do except schedule yearly maintenance.

Portable Generators

Portable generators are intended as a backup power supply for power outages. They’re a self-contained unit that can be moved, which makes them a convenient option, particularly for people who are renting rather than owning a house. Portable generators cost less than whole-house generators, but they come with limitations. Unlike whole-home generators, they provide limited power and are best used to keep crucial electrical equipment powered, such as lights, refrigerators, or medical equipment.

Portable generators typically operate on gasoline or propane; some models operate on solar power. They must be manually refilled periodically to run and require you to have separate fuel storage. Since gas-powered generators produce carbon monoxide, they shouldn’t be operated in an enclosed area or near windows or doors. A rule of thumb is to keep your portable generator at least 15 feet away from your house. Some models are designed to provide power for up to eight hours, while others are designed to provide days of power. Despite this, it’s not a good idea to keep portable generators running continuously for an extended period of time.

Another consideration with portable generators is that you must be home to use it. So, if you leave for vacation and an extended power outage occurs, you may come home to some surprises – like a fridge full of spoiled food or a flooded basement from a failed sump pump. Portable generators can also be noisy, so depending on where you live, there may be limited hours you’ll be able to use it. They also should not be used in the rain, which could limit use.

Which to Choose?

As we mentioned, the type of generator you choose mainly comes down to use. If you’d like a no-hassle system that automatically turns on and off and can power your entire house, a whole-home generator is the best choice. If you only want to power a few things in your home for a period of time, then a portable generator would probably be sufficient.

At PECO Heating and Cooling, we know generators! With years of experience installing, repairing, and servicing generators, we can help you select one that will fully meet your energy needs. We can also keep it maintained so that it’s always in perfect working order. Contact your Home Service Heroes at PECO today by calling 864-639-2424 or fill out our online form.

Debunking Common Home Maintenance Myths

As any homeowner knows, keeping your house well-maintained is a lot of work! There’s always something that needs to be done around a home, but how do you know if you’re doing the task correctly or as often as you should? To make matters more confusing, home maintenance misconceptions abound through word of mouth. We’ve compiled – and debunked – some of the most common home maintenance myths you may have come across.

Myth: Cutting Your Grass Shorter Will Allow You to Mow Less Frequently

Mowing the lawn is many people’s least favorite chore. While it may be tempting to cut your grass short so that you don’t need to do it as often, this can have consequences on your lawn. Grass that’s cut too short is more susceptible to weeds, disease, heat damage, and drought. Each species of grass has an ideal mowing height that will keep it lush and strengthen the root system. Once you’ve identified your lawn’s perfect height, it’s best to follow the one-third rule. Set your mower blade to your grass species’ recommended height and mow it often enough that you cut off no more than the top third of the grass.

Myth: Turn Off Your AC When You’re Not Home to Save Energy

It seems like you would save energy by turning off your air conditioner when you’re away from home, right? Unfortunately, that’s not the case. An AC unit that has been turned off for hours has to work much harder to cool down your home. Any money or energy you may have saved during the day is negated by the extra energy it uses once it’s restarted. Also, your AC doesn’t just cool the air – it also dehumidifies it. Turning it off completely allows the humidity in your home to climb, which can lead to mold growth or insect infestations. Instead of turning your AC off entirely, it’s best to turn your thermostat down by 5 – 10 degrees.

Myth: Gutters Only Need to be Cleaned in the Fall

Gutters are incredibly important for directing the flow of rainwater away from your roof, walls, foundation, and landscape. While the fall season certainly brings an increase of leaves and tree branches, debris can accumulate in your gutters throughout the year. Your gutters can’t do their job when they’re clogged, which puts your home at risk for interior or exterior water damage. Clogged gutters can also attract uninvited guests, like rodents, insects, and mold. To keep your gutters clear and working properly, it’s best to clean them in the spring and fall.

Myth: More Insulation = a Better Insulated Home

At some point, many homeowners will need to add more insulation to their homes. While you may think more insulation will result in a better insulated home, you don’t want to go overboard with it. Too much insulation can cause more problems than it solves. For example, putting too many layers of insulation in your attic can cause it to compress, making it less effective. Excessive attic insulation can also block your home’s eaves or soffit vents, which can lead to heat and moisture buildup.

Myth: Test Your Smoke Alarm Using the Test Button

Ask most people how to test their smoke alarm, and their answer will probably be to push the test button. This is a potentially dangerous misconception. When you push the test button, you’re only testing whether the batteries and sound are working. While these are both important, it doesn’t let you know if your smoke detector is actually able to detect smoke. To test that, you can hole a freshly burned out match under it. If the smoke detector is working the way it should, the alarm should sound. As a safety precaution, you should check your smoke detectors twice a year. Since dead batteries account for most smoke alarm failures, it’s also a good idea to replace the batteries once or twice a year as well.

Myth: Your Carpet is Dry if it Feels Dry

Cleaning up water from leaks or flooding is never pleasant, but it becomes particularly troublesome when it involves carpeting. Wet carpet doesn’t always appear wet, and to make matters worse, water can seep down into the lower layers of your carpet and into the subfloor. Even if your carpet feels dry, your floor could be at risk for mold, rot, or other serious issues.

Myth: You Bathroom Exhaust Fan Doesn’t Need Maintenance

Cleaning out your bathroom’s exhaust fan may not sound like a thrilling chore, but it’s one that should be on everyone’s to-do list. All the heat and humidity that accumulates in bathrooms make them the perfect breeding ground for mildew and mold. Your bathroom fan prevents mold and mildew growth – but it can only do that when it’s working properly. Over time, your fan collects dust and grime, which can gunk up the motor. It’s best to clean the grille and vacuum out the mechanical parts every 6 – 12 months to keep it well-maintained.

Myth: Furnace Filters Only Need to Be Replaced Once a Season

Your furnace filter plays a vital role in preventing contaminants from reaching the living areas in your home. Indoor air contains a lot of pollutants – as many as five times as much as what you’d find outdoors. Some homeowners try to save money by only replacing their filters once a season, but in most cases, they should be replaced more often. If you live in an area that’s dry and dusty, have allergies, or own pets, it’s recommended that you replace them once a month. For homes that are in more humid, lush locations, you can generally get by with replacing them every three months. Wondering how you can tell it’s time to replace your filter? Hold it up to the light. If you can’t see light shining through, it’s time for a replacement!

Myth: You Can Add Chemicals to Your Pool Any Time of Day

If you have a pool, you may have heard that it doesn’t matter what time of day you add chemicals. Many pool chemicals, like chlorine, are sensitive to the sun’s UV rays. Adding chemicals during the day can reduce their effectiveness and even cause them to dissipate. For this reason, it’s best to add pool chemicals in the evening.

Myth: You Should Always Remove Asbestos from Your Home

If you live in a house that was built before 1980, there’s a good chance you have asbestos somewhere in your home. Asbestos was once a widely used building material because of its insulating and fire-resistant properties. It was banned in 1978 because the fibers were found to cause several health conditions. However, if you have asbestos in your home, there’s no need to panic or have it removed. According to the EPA, asbestos is only a health concern if it becomes “friable.” Friable means easily crumbled by hand, which releases the fibers into the air. If the asbestos in your home isn’t damaged and you don’t plan on disturbing it, there’s no need to worry about having it removed. The EPA recommends that any asbestos in good condition should be left alone.

Myth: Your Dishwasher is Self-cleaning

It may seem like your dishwasher gets a deep cleaning with every use, but that’s unfortunately not the case. Periodic cleanings are recommended to keep it running well and prevent odors from accumulating. Begin by removing any debris or the tub and filter, so that it can drain properly. Place a couple of cups of vinegar in a clean bowl near the center of the bottom rack and run your dishwasher on its normal cycle without detergent. This will clean and deodorize your washer. If there are leftover mineral deposits, you can use a dishwasher cleaner like Affresh to remove them.

Myth: I Have to Do My Home Maintenance Myself

Home maintenance often gets pushed on the wayside, but it’s essential to protecting your investment and preventing more expensive repairs down the road. If you don’t have the time, tools, or skill set to do your own home maintenance, never fear – call your Home Service Heroes at PECO! We’re a licensed home contractor offering high-quality home repair and maintenance. We’re fully insured and have decades of experience in everything from minor repairs to remodeling. Give us a call today at (864) 639-2424 or contact us online!

5 Tips to Keep Your AC System Running Right

Staying cool as outside temperatures rise doesn’t have to decrease your bank account! We urge you to consider these tips to increase the efficiency of your AC system. It will lower energy bills and make your system less prone to breaking down when you need it most!

Get the Right Machine

If you are getting a new AC unit, make sure that it is rated for the amount of space you are cooling. If it is not designed to cover the square footage of your home or business, it will have to work out too hard. An overworked system will wear out more quickly trying to meet the demands of the thermostat. On the other hand, if an AC unit is rated for more space than needed, it will constantly turn on and off—another way for it to wear out and become unreliable!

Clean Those Fins and Coils

The AC evaporators in your house and condensers outside require clean fins and coils to release heat. Dust and grime build up over time and cost you money and efficiency. We recommend checking it twice each year—our Planned Maintenance Agreement (PMA) allows you to keep your system running smooth. We will clean filters and burners, check coils, motors, amperage, and all other components of your system. We never charge PMA customers for overtime on emergency work, and they receive priority status and a 10% discount on all repairs!

Your Air Filter is your Friend! Treat your Friend Right!

Do you know what a good friend your air filter is? It removes pollen, dust mites, textile and carpet fibers, mold spores, dust, pet dander, bacteria, and smoke so you don’t have to breathe it into your lungs. You’re welcome! But your BFF does require some attention now and again. Every six months or so, you should replace your filter. You can improve energy use by up to 15 percent by changing it out. This helps out your entire system as well as your wallet!

Turning Down the Thermostat doesn’t Cool You Down Faster

There is a common misunderstanding floating around in the over-air-conditioned air out there! Some folks think that temporarily lowering their thermostat will make the temp drop faster. Wrong! Your AC works just as hard to lower the temperature one degree as it does 20 degrees. It is just running longer than you need it to and eventually gets your rooms to lower temperatures than necessary. If your thermostat is set at the right level, these are whispered words of wisdom: let it be!

Replace your Older System?

Is your current system more than 10 or 12 years old? Has it received regular maintenance? If your AC unit is showing signs of wear, it may be time to consider a replacement. Though it is a significant investment initially, a new unit can save you on monthly bills and possible large repair costs. We can let you know what kind of shape your system is in. You can trust us to give you the straight scoop. You need to know if your “mature” unit is still in good shape or if it might be time to consider upgrading.

We will make sure you stay cool all summer long! As the go-to HVAC experts for upstate South Carolina, we will also keep your furnace running right. In addition, we provide a wide range of other electrical and plumbing and home maintenance and repair services. Call PECO at 864-639-2424 or visit us online to schedule an appointment today!

Save the Day (and Lives!) with an Emergency or Whole House Generator

We all know why it is good to have a generator when the power goes out.  A generator can keep your refrigerator, lighting, and (if you live rurally) water running. It can also be a lifesaver, literally, for those with certain medical conditions where electricity is required for home healthcare. In addition, the young and elderly are more at risk of heatstroke and a generator can help keep indoor temps down during a long-term outage.

Unfortunately, generators can also take lives when used improperly. In the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, generators caused more than 50 cases of carbon monoxide poisoning. We urge you to keep your unit at least ten feet from your house to make sure that carbon monoxide gas doesn’t give you a headache, knock you out, or even kill you!

Gasoline vs. Propane/Natural Gas

We also recommend that you go with propane or natural gas versus gasoline. Though gasoline is a handy fuel, it has a definite shelf-life and must be stabilized when stored for long periods. Old gasoline can gum up the carburetor of a gas-powered generator, requiring attention over time. Propane, on the other hand, is safe and simple—no messy spills as you try to fill it. Just hook up a filled tank or natural gas line and go! Natural gas and LP is stable indefinitely requires less maintenance and you can get whole house service vs enough to run your refrigerator and a few lights. 

Wire it Right!

You can use extension cords to power up individual devices with plugs, but hooking up essentials such as your furnace, air conditioner, well pump and pressure tank requires a transfer switch. A manual transfer switch is essentially a small circuit breaker box that you mount next to your main electrical panel. For most homeowners, it is best to use professionals for these types of installations. We can match the capacity of the transfer switch with the wattage of your generator. This is the only safe way to connect your generator to your house wiring. We ensure you house is disconnected from incoming power lines when you switch on the generator. This prevents back-feeding powerlines which can be a lethal hazard for utility workers attempting to get your electricity up and running. 

Call the Professionals!

At PECO Heating and Cooling, we make professional installation of a manual transfer switch for your generator safe and affordable! We also provide a wide range of other electrical and plumbing and home maintenance and repair services. Did we mention that we’re the go-to HVAC experts for upstate South Carolina? To make sure you are ready for the next power outage, visit us online or call 864-639-2424 today to schedule an appointment.

Unwanted Houseguests? Check your Flow!

Ready to pack your stuff and move into a new place? Before moving in, you might want to see who signed the guest book and never left. Pollen, dust mites, textile and carpet fibers, mold spores, dust, pet dander, bacteria, and smoke are just some of the unwanted house guests that might have been left behind by previous residents. And, without some work, they might not ever leave!

Low residential airflow makes things stuffy, stale, and even unhealthy. It also causes hot and cold spots. You can also suffer from low flow in your wallet because it costs so much more to keep yourself comfortable with an inefficient system.

Don’t go with the flow. Be the flow!

Friction and turbulence slow your flow. It’s the same as being on I-85 at rush hour. Stalled cars and merged lanes cause traffic to crawl. Friction is caused by the buildup of dirt and grime in HVAC components, filters, and ducts. This causes airflow to come to a standstill. Turbulence occurs when air rubs against itself and is caused by poorly installed duct systems with sharp curves.  

What can you do to increase flow? It takes an expert to see trouble spots. We can inspect your duct system to see if it is damaged, badly designed or sloppily constructed. We can also check out your heating and cooling system to make sure that filters and coils are clean and operating right. Once we get things running smooth, we offer a Planned Maintenance Agreement (PMA) to keep it at peak efficiency. For a minimal investment, we can come to your home twice each year. We will clean filters and burners, check coils, motors, amperage, and all other components of your system. You gain peace of mind and lower energy bills. We also give PMA customers a 10% discount on repairs, priority status and never charge them overtime for nights and weekends.

Start Fresh!

At PECO Heating and Cooling, we want you to make a fresh start in your new home! We also provide a wide range of home maintenance and repairs, including home inspection repairs, plumbing, and electrical services. For a housewarming without unwanted guests,  call 864-639-2424 or visit us online to schedule an appointment today.

The History of Being Cool

The history of air conditioning is longer than you might think. Summer has been rough on human beings for tens of thousands of years. Ben Franklin, who invented bifocals, a better wood stove, swim fins, and much, much more, was not the first to fail at inventing a method to “sweat less.” Suffering through an English summer in 1758, Franklin famously ran experiments to test the evaporation of chemicals to freeze surfaces over which, in theory, “the wind would blow briskly.” Though Franklin was mercurial in his search for better ways of doing things, he never got the mercury to go down in any buildings.

We are lucky to be living in a time when most homes have AC. Otherwise, we might all be tempted to use Franklin’s go-to approach which was the “air bath.” The man on the hundred dollar bill was not self-conscious about opening his windows and traipsing about his home without any clothes on. He was utilizing sweat, nature’s original AC system. When your body starts to sweat, it is promoting heat loss through evaporation. You may not like the drip, drip, drip, but sweat is keeping you cool!

Early Forms Of AC

Cave dwellers understood that it’s much cooler underground and inside the earth. Early humans even built burrows to beat the heat! The Egyptians took things to the next level by hanging wet reeds in their windows. This cooled sweltering Nile river valley breezes wafting through homes and public buildings. The richest Romans used the cool water in aqueducts piped under their homes to chill out and bought expensive snow that merchants imported and stored underground.

The Chinese invented handheld fans when they realized that moving air creates a cooling effect on the skin. This was the first portable AC unit! The towers of traditional Middle Eastern buildings utilized towers that were designed to catch and circulate cool breezes. This drew cool air up from underground channels and pushed warm air out. Victorians built homes with high ceilings, giving the heat room to move upward. They also installed large recessed windows and covered porches to increase coolness and airflow.

Willis Carrier was looking for a way to dry ink during the summer for a publishing house when he built the first air conditioner in the summer of 1902. When he stared at the mist of a Pittsburgh train platform, he saw that if he could manufacture airflow with specific amounts of moisture, he could “condition” the air. He didn’t just allow the ink to dry in books, he wrote his name in the history books. His system was initially employed for industrial use, but theater-owners soon understood they could bring in more patrons if it was icy-cold inside all summer long! Carrier understood he was on to something big and developed a network of international dealers and that is still one of the big names in the industry.

More Than Comfort

At PECO Heating and Cooling, we understand why people have worked so hard for thousands of year to keep themselves cool in the summer. It isn’t all about discomfort either. Heatstroke, heat exhaustion, and heat rash are physiological reactions to stifling temperatures. That’s why we are available 24/7 to make sure your AC system is running right. Our Planned Maintenance Agreement ensures that your heating and cooling systems are in excellent working condition every single day. Twice each year, we’ll come to your house and perform maintenance that will give you the reliability you can count on. We also provide a wide range of home maintenance and repairs, including home inspection repairs, plumbing, and electrical services. To stay cool without resorting to Ben Franklin’s “air bath,” call 864-639-2424 or visit us online to schedule an appointment today.

How to Protect Your Home and AC System from a Lightning Storm

Lightning never strikes twice, they say, but it is more likely to strike in some places than others. Despite a tragic, recent Independence Day incident, it is relatively uncommon for people to be struck by lightning in South Carolina. Our homes and electrical appliances, unfortunately, are at much higher risk. It just takes one power surge caused by a lightning strike to ruin your AC unit, leading to costly repairs or replacement. Did we mention the heat you’ll have to suffer through until your air conditioner is up and running again?

When lightning strikes near a power line, it can cause a power surge that flows through your home’s electrical system. The spike in voltage during a power surge can damage components of household electronics by causing an arc of current. This arc overloads the system and damages components due to the sheer heat generated by a surge.

Your air conditioner may not be top of the list when you think of “electronics” or “appliances” but it’s also at great risk of power surges!

How Do You Reduce Your Risk?

The manual method is to turn off the power at the breaker during a storm but it is a hassle, inconvenient to have the power off, and impossible to do when you are not home. A better long term solution is a high-quality, whole-house surge protector that we wire to your electrical service box.

Though installation of a whole-house surge protector is not inexpensive, consider the prices of all the appliances and electronics in your home. Protecting these devices, worth thousands of dollars, may make the investment worthwhile.

If you are relying on insurance to help you out in the event your air conditioner gets fried by a lightning-fueled surge, you may want to reconsider. Insurance policies aren’t always straight-forward. You will be required to establish that your damage was due to a storm, and some policies don’t even cover air conditioners. Let’s not forget deductibles! Maybe the best insurance is to install a whole-house surge protector.

So, you didn’t get a whole-house surge protector?

If a thunderstorm cooks your unprotected air conditioner, we are happy to help you get the cool air flowing again as soon as possible. We can help you diagnose the damage and help you decide if repairs are possible or if you need to install a new unit. We can also make sure that everything is properly grounded when your system is brought back to life. If you would then like to discuss additional levels of surge protection for your air conditioning system we would be glad to research and recommend products that will make sense for your home. Whether you’re looking to avoid costly air conditioning damages or are dealing with a damaged unit now, contact your Home Service Heroes.

We’re a family-owned business and we take great pride in offering high-quality home repair with even higher quality attention to our customer’s needs. We’re available 24/7 and service Oconee, Pickens, and North Anderson counties. As well as maintaining, installing and fixing heating and cooling systems, we are also licensed plumbing contractors. We can fix or build anything that moves gas or water through your house and we even repair and remodel homes. If you’re thinking of insuring your home against a lightning strike with a whole-house surge protector, call the whole-house experts at PECO today at 864-639-2424 or request an appointment online