The past year has amplified how disease spreads in contained indoors. We all learned profoundly serious lessons in the importance of sanitizing commonly used surfaces, wearing masks, and the very air we breathe.
For years PECO has recommended quality HVAC systems and regularly changing air filters to reduce contaminants in the air such as pollen, dust, mold spores, and pet dander. A high-functioning heating and cooling unit keeps your air cleaner and healthier, helping to reduce the impact of allergies and cut down the dust in your home.
With the spread of COVID-19, the need to remove contaminants from the air has only intensified. That’s why we are so excited about the latest news from Lennox, a top-quality HVAC manufacturer, releasing the PureAir™ and PureAir™ S Air Purification Systems. When used with the Lennox Healthy Climate™ Carbon Clean 16® air filter, these heating and cooling units remove over 99% of the virus that causes COVID-19 from the air!
We have all missed spending time with family and friends. Make this summer fun and safe by investing in technology that scrubs the air. These PureAir™ systems are created for residential use, yet they have medical-grade filtration that removes 99% of virus particles such as the common cold, influenza, and the virus that causes COVID-19.
Learn more about these new systems from Lennox >>> here. Want to discuss air filtration for your home or business? Let’s talk!
We recommend changing the filter in your HVAC system on a monthly basis. It’s good for your health, your wallet, and your system. Here are our top 3 reasons you need to change your filter:
Pollen We have heard reports from many people that their allergies seem worse this year. Pollen season is getting longer and worse. If you suffer from itchy eyes, runny noses, hay fever, or other allergy symptoms, then you might want to look in an unlikely place for comfort: your HVAC system.
The filter in your air conditioner collects dust and environmental debris as it runs. This pushes clean, cool air out into your home. However, the filter needs to be changed on a regular basis. Otherwise, it gets clogged full of what it has collected. This means it becomes less likely to strain out pollen, and old allergens stay in the system – which can bother you for months. We recommend changing your filter monthly to ensure you have a fresh filter to clear out pollen and keep your allergies at bay.
Energy Bills You’ve probably heard tips to lower your energy bill that include raising the temp on the thermostat during summertime. However, did you know that a dirty filter causes your HVAC system to work harder? The fan has to blow harder to get air through the clogged filter, which increases your energy use and your bill. Replacing your filter regularly allows your system to work at optimal levels, which is better for the machine and for your bottom line.
Short Cycling So what happens if you don’t change your filter regularly? As your filter becomes clogged, it becomes harder and harder for air to pass through it. The lack of airflow can cause the system to overheat. The limit switch will activate, and the HVAC system will shut down to protect the machinery. Without a new air filter, the HVAC system can continually shut down due to overheating when you turn it on. This is called short-cycling, which limits the performance of the system, puts wear and tear on the equipment, and can lead to costly repairs. If you notice your HVAC system turning on and off every few minutes, immediately switch the thermostat to off and call PECO. The faster you get your system seen by a professional, the better.
Welcome Spring! Now is the time to enjoy the blooming flowers, bask in the not-to-hot sunshine, and…prepare for summer! The first hot day of summer means turning on the AC. But will your air conditioner be ready? You haven’t been using the AC while the days have been chilly, but as it warms up, you’ll need to know to prep your unit for summer.
We recommend scheduling a maintenance visit with PECO, your local air conditioning professional, before the weather gets too hot. The last thing you want is to turn on the AC on the first hot day of summer and realize your unit isn’t working properly!
The Importance of Scheduled Maintenance
Why is it important to schedule maintenance with a professional? First and foremost, cleaning and maintaining your HVAC unit can be dangerous. We make sure to turn off the circuit breaker to the unit as well as check for 240-volt boxes near the unit outside. Making sure everything is powered down is a crucial step for safety.
Our experienced crew also is well trained in HVAC parts and mechanics. We ensure all safety protocols are observed to keep our employees and your unit safe. Unfortunately, an inexperienced person can hurt themselves and/or damage the unit. But with PECO, you never have to worry about HVAC maintenance!
Preparing your AC System
To prepare your AC system for summer, we can change the filter, clear the outdoor condenser of debris, clean the coils inside the unit, clear the drain at the base of the condenser, wipe the fan blades, and make sure there is no standing water inside the system. We also inspect the refrigerant tubes that run from your AC’s evaporator on the air handler to the condenser outside. These tubes are generally covered with a foam coolant line insulation. We check out the lines, and if the insulation has deteriorated in any spot, replace it with new foam insulation sleeves or wrap with foam insulation tape.
Finally, we test out the unit! We make sure the unit is dry, clean, and powered on. We switch the thermostat to cool and make sure the unit is doing its job properly before leaving, ensuring you have a working AC. You can count on PECO for regular maintenance visits as well as repairs and new unit installations. When it comes to HVAC, call PECO.
Every time South Carolina goes through a cold snap, you probably wonder what the heating bill will look like. You may worry about the bill going up and try to retain as much heat as possible in the house by sealing up drafty windows and doors and using rugs on hardwood floors. Sometimes, even with your best efforts, the bill still seems high. What can you do?
If your heating bill is high, one of the first places to look is your HVAC system. The easiest step is to check the filter. PECO recommends changing your filter every thirty days. If your filter is clogged with dust and debris, your system will be working hard to push air through it – and be pushing that dirt right back into your home!
Another factor to consider is your ductwork. Deteriorated ductwork can actually be leaking warm air, costing money and forcing your HVAC system to work harder than necessary, which can decrease the life of your system.
The Age of Your Ductwork
Do you know how old your ductwork is? Ductwork can start to deteriorate in as little as ten years if the original job wasn’t done correctly; the seams and seals can start to break down, letting air seep out. You may be able to see exposed duct work in the house and see signs of aging. Are the ducts cracking, sagging, or coming apart at the seams? Do you see any streaks of dust near seams?
Feel the airflow in different rooms of your house. When you turn on the air, can you feel it easily flowing through the vents in the living room, but feel just a trickle of air in the bedroom? Is there a distinct temperature difference between rooms? These could be signs that your ducts have deteriorated or there are heavy air leaks.
Duct systems today have an R8 insulation value and require all seams to be sealed with specialized tapes and adhesives. Our PECO team tapes, bands, and screws all the duct components together. This keeps seams sealed, as overtime, the tape can loosen as adhesives age.
Detriments of an Old System
Older duct systems had to meet lower energy standards than today’s duct systems. Some homes will have a grey plastic/fiberglass covering but are not sealed at the insulation seams. A few very old homes with original duct systems will not have any insulation at all!
If you have concerns about your ducts, the best thing to do is contact your local HVAC contractor. Existing duct systems where the insulation has come unwrapped in a few places can be repaired, however, if the entire system has become unwrapped it is best to replace everything. Tapes don’t stick to old, dusty insulation and seal properly. PECO can fix or replace old ducts, which can have a big impact on your comfort level in your home by allowing air to freely flow and can help decrease the bill! Contact PECO today to make an appointment to inspect your ductwork.
Are you trying to
program a thermostat? Sometimes it seems like you need a college
degree just to work one! Don’t freeze or boil in your own home –
make sure it is comfortable by properly programming the thermostat.
Old school thermostats can be a little confusing, but once you understand how they work, you can easily set a thermostat to make sure you have a consistently comfortable temperature in your home. This is a great resource to learn how to set some thermostats, though it is best to go to the manufacturer’s website for a specific manual for your thermostat.
While newer thermostats are programmable so that you can efficiently manage your energy usage while keeping the house pleasantly heated/cooled – for example, setting the thermostat to drop to 67° overnight in the winter and warm to 70° during the day – not all older thermostats have this feature. If you are interested in upgrading to a newer thermostat, or even a smart thermostat like Lennox M30 Smart Thermostat, Ecobee Smart Thermostat, or Google Nest, PECO can quickly and easily complete the task.
The best way to program a thermostat that is a new model is by following the manufacturer’s instructions. Instructions came with the thermostat in the packaging and can be found directly on the manufacturer’s website. Smart thermostats can also be linked to your phone and accessed via an app, allowing you to control your HVAC system even when you’re not home. You can turn off the system to conserve energy when no one is home or turn on the system before arriving home to ensure the house is comfortable when you get there. If you have a smart thermostat, visit the manufacturer’s website directly for information on programming and tips.
Leave it to the Professionals
It is important to have a professional initially install these thermostats as they are designed for different types of equipment and it is easy to damage expensive electrical components in your system or choose the incorrect equipment on the initial set up. Any of these issues will cause the thermostat to work incorrectly.
Of course, whatever type of thermostat you have, PECO can help! We are experienced in the installation, repair, and maintenance of various types of heating and cooling systems. If you want to program a thermostat, upgrade to a smart thermostat, or have any questions about your HVAC, call us at (864)639-2424. We are a family-owned business based in Central, South Carolina, and serving the surrounding areas including Sunset, Six Mile, Clemson, Seneca, Salem, and beyond.
Maybe you purchased your home recently and aren’t sure the age of your heating and cooling systems. Maybe your furnace has some issues and you are wondering whether to repair or replace it. Or maybe you know your furnace is several years old and are planning for the future. Fortunately, your local expert is here to help!
PECO is a family-owned and operated business that focuses on making your home as comfortable as possible. To ensure that your furnace efficiently and thoroughly heats your home, we recommend replacing when:
The furnace is more than 15 years old. Some furnaces may encounter major issues prior to 15 years, but most modern furnaces will last this long. If it’s been over 15 years since you’ve replaced the unit, it’s time to install a new one.
Your energy bills keep going up. Over time, your furnace may become less efficient. Your old system has to work harder and harder to heat the same space. If you replace the system, you can see decreases in your energy bill – especially if you invest in a high-efficiency unit.
Your system isn’t adequately heating the house. Do you notice that some rooms are too cold and some are too hot? Inconsistent heating is a cause to call a professional for repairs. If you need frequent or major repairs to the system, it may be more cost-effective to replace the system entirely.
Your house is humid. Are you sweltering in the summer in a humid house? Is your home overly dry in the winter? These humidity problems can be a sign of leaky ductwork and inadequate equipment.
You hear clanging or other loud noises when you’re using the heater. A noisy system can be a sign of a bigger problem and is a reason to call a professional.
You notice that you’re dusting more often. Do you have excessive dust? This can be a sign that your HVAC system has leaky ducts that need to be sealed to keep dust from the basement, crawl space, or attic into your home. It could also be a sign that you need a new filter or a more powerful system.
You don’t have a programmable thermostat. In the modern age, you can start a car with your phone and have a family event from your laptop. Your thermostat needs to catch up! A programmable thermostat saves you energy and money by turning off or lowering the heat while you’re at work, away on vacation, or sleeping.
We are lucky in South Carolina to enjoy fairly mild winters. It’s far better to get a little frost than to spend winter in Maine! Even the Southeast doesn’t usually get lots of snow, it’s still smart to prepare for winter to make sure you – and your family – are comfortable inside. Here are some easy steps to follow to prepare your HVAC system for the coming months.
Change Your Air Filter
If it seems like we are always talking about air filters – it’s because changing your air filter is one of the simplest, most cost-effective, and important things you can do to maintain your furnace. When you change the air filter regularly, you are keeping contaminants from re-filtering through your home and you allow the HVAC system to work more efficiently as it doesn’t have to push air through a clogged filter. Operationally, it’s one of the most important parts of your system!
You can order filters online and have them delivered to your door. This way, you always have the right size filter and you never forget to change it!
Clean your HVAC Registers
Make a note to clean your registers (or grills) in the fall as you prepare for winter. You probably have HVAC registers on the floor or walls of your home. Over time, they can get clogged with dust, dirt, allergens, and other contaminants. Take the grate off, wipe it down, and wipe around the area to make sure your indoor air is clean.
Also, see if the registers open/close, and are not blocked by furniture. If you have a heavy couch or other furniture on top of your register, the air will not be able to flow freely through your home. This will lessen the effectiveness of your furnace.
Have you been sitting in your cozy living room and felt a draft from a nearby window? Brrrr. Drafts allow cold air to enter your home, which can be uncomfortable, makes your furnace work harder, and wastes energy! Save energy and money by sealing drafts before winter.
Look at replacing weatherstripping around doors, closing the fireplace flue, and sealing windows. This can have a big effect on your energy bill and the comfort of your home.
Clear Outdoor Units
your HVAC system outside? If so, it’s
smart to check your unit for overgrown plants, damage, and any debris
before winter. There may be plants growing into the system or leaves
stuck to the grills. By clearing around the outdoor unit, you allow
the system to work to optimal capacity.
Have Your Furnace Inspected by a Professional
Regular maintenance of your HVAC system helps ensure that it is running smoothly and efficiently. Call PECO for a maintenance inspection before you encounter issues with your furnace. You don’t want to try to turn on your heater one night and realize that it’s broken!
A trained HVAC professional can help inspect the various components of your system, clean the condenser coil, test the system, and provide tips on how to keep warm this winter. Contact PECO to schedule your appointment today!
It’s autumn! You know what that means: nature changing colors, cozy sweaters, bonfires, candy in all the stores, crunchy leaves. It also means it’s time to do a home maintenance check. There are always maintenance or repairs to do on any property. We recommend keeping to a schedule where you keep a checklist for every season. That way, you know that these tasks are completed at least once yearly when you consult your seasonal checklist. For example, perhaps you make sure the windows are cleaned every spring.
There are optimal times to do different tasks. It makes sense to re-stain the deck in summer when it will dry quickly. Many fall maintenance tasks are getting ready for the winter ahead. Fall is the time you want to make sure your home is ready for winter so you don’t get any unpleasant surprises when it turns cold. Here’s our recommended maintenance list:
Test your outdoor stairs and railings. The last thing you want is to be coming in from the cold, grab the porch railing, and fall.
Store outdoor items for the winter. Many of us have deck furniture, umbrellas, BBQs, and other accessories. Clean these and put them away before they get damaged by rain or wind.
Walk around the outside of your home. Look for any cracks in the foundation or blistering in your siding. These problems should be fixed before cooling temps can damage the house further.
Carefully consider your roof. Do you know how old it is? Are there any signs of leaking? Repairing the roof before rain is always preferable to waiting until you have a flood of water in your home.
After leaves have fallen, clean out your gutters. Leaves and debris clog gutters, which can lead to water overflow and gutters falling because they are too heavy.
Weather-strip and/or insulate your garage door. These changes can make a big difference on the temperature inside your garage. The seal on the door also keeps out little critters who are looking for warmth.
Apply weather stripping and caulk to windows and doors. Air leaks around openings cause drafts and can significantly increase your heating bill.
If you have a humidifier, clean it at the beginning of the season before using it and make sure to regularly clean it. Humidifiers can harbor bacteria and spores if left uncleaned.
Change the direction of your ceiling fan. In the winter, you want your fan to create an upward draft, which will send the warm air by the ceiling down into the room.
Have your HVAC system checked by a professional before it gets cold. It’s better to make sure the system works before you get chilly!
If you need assistance with your home maintenance checklist, be sure to contact your local professionals at PECO. We would be happy to help!
Hurricane season runs from June 1 through November 30 and can result in some of the strongest storms on the planet. Hurricanes unleash strong winds, storm surges and a deluge of rain that can ravage homes and communities.
While you know how to prepare your home and family when a hurricane threatens, you should also take precautions to protect your HVAC system. When you understand how to protect your HVAC system before the storm hits and what to do afterwards, you can minimize system damage and help safeguard your family.
Prepare Your HVAC System Before the Hurricane
If your community is in the path of a hurricane (you can sign up for emergency alerts by clicking here), follow these steps to keep your HVAC equipment as safe as possible:
Turn off the gas supply to gas furnaces
Turn off breakers to your AC or heat pump and indoor air handler or gas furnace
Protect outdoor equipment from flying debris
Secure your outdoor unit by ensuring bolts are secure and tight. Use hurricane straps when possible.
Talk to your dealer about elevating your HVAC system
Survive During the Storm
If you are sheltering at home amid high winds, move your family to a small, windowless room or hallway on the lowest floor. In the event of flooding, ascend to your home’s highest level. However, never climb into a closed attic as you could become trapped by rising flood water. You can use a generator or battery-powered lamps and flashlights to have light even if you lose power.
If you’re told to evacuate, don’t delay—evacuate immediately and be certain not to drive around barricades. Also be sure to avoid bridges over fast-moving water.
Stay Safe After the Hurricane
When the hurricane passes, you can safely assess how your home weathered the storm. If you discover water or other storm damage, you may need to replace some of your HVAC equipment. Your home’s insurance provider can help you file a claim.
It’s important that you don’t turn on your HVAC system right after the hurricane passes. Instead, contact your local Lennox® dealer to inspect your system first. An expert can determine which equipment requires repairs or needs to be replaced.
When hurricane season hits, don’t overlook your home’s HVAC systems. Take the necessary steps to prepare before the storm and ensure your family’s safety after the storm.
Have you noticed that your house is excessively dusty? Are your allergies acting up, giving you itchy eyes or a runny nose? Does your air conditioning seem to be less efficient and not cool enough?
If you answered yes to any of the questions above, it’s time to check your air filter! When was the last time you changed the air filter for your heating and cooling system? If you can’t remember, then it’s definitely time. We recommend changing your filter on a monthly basis, which has several benefits. First, it keeps your HVAC system running at optimal efficiency. Instead of having to work harder to push air through a clogged filter, your system can run smoothly through a clean filter. This means your house is cooler when you want it cooler and you don’t have to keep fiddling with the thermostat to get the air conditioning to work harder.
Other Benefits to Changing Your Air Filter
Changing your air filter frequently also maintains the air quality in your home. Indoor air quality is greatly impacted by the air filter; a dirty filter can actually push dust back into your home and is unable to capture new dust. Meanwhile, ensuring that filters are replaced regularly means that the filter can clean the air of your home, helping with allergies and dust buildup.
The best part? You don’t have to remember to buy a filter. All you have to do is enroll through PECO with Filter Fetch, a company that auto delivers filters monthly. In these difficult times, the last thing you want to worry about is remembering to change your filter or having to go to the store to buy a filter. Let Filter Fetch take care of it for you! PECO customers even get free shipping on filters by using code C8SV. Get your filters here!