Clockwork Heating & Air Conditioning Athens, GA

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Google Reviews
  • 5 star review  This was the most professional group I’ve worked with in a long time. Very efficient and on time. Job was completed on time and as promised. All team members were very professional and courteous. Would highly recommend this company.

    thumb Shirley Baker
    10/26/2018
  • 5 star review  Mack came out to look at my A/C system. I had a No AC power message displayed. He did a great job of getting down to the root cause and got us running. I have known that a new AC is needed and Mack just emphasized that for us. He also gave us more options to get the problem taken care of, for more long term (a year or so). But also suggested that if I was going to replace the unit anyways, then I should consider about The repairs more closely, to see what will be more cost effective. He did take care of the problem-For now, to buy me some time to consider what I wanted to do. I really appreciate the honesty and the professionalism from Clockwork. I will definitely go back to them for any of the A/C issues and highly recommend them as well!! Great job!!

    thumb Sonal Dass
    7/17/2019
  • 5 star review  Jesse D. is the best. The office called to let me know when he would get to my house, and even though it was close to 5:00 on a Monday, he took his time, was relaxed, congenial, and joking---great attitude. The a/c and furnace unit are under the house and he took several pictures and alerted me to a severe plumbing problem that I wouldn't have known about till the shower floor caved in underneath me. I'm super grateful to him for taking the time to look around at the entire crawlspace to check for other issues besides just checking on the a/c. A friend recommended Clockwork Heating & Air to me, and I recommend them to everybody now.

    thumb David Rutland
    5/14/2019
  • 5 star review  I currently have an annual membership with Clockwork Heating and Air for a rental property in Athens, GA and my experiences with them have been FANTASTIC. The service technicians are professional and pleasant--and even more importantly--thorough; when I recently called about an A/C-related leak, my tech made a point to document everything with photos and then followed up with a phone call to walk me through each photo in order to outline the issue(s). The folks at Clockwork are incredibly responsive and I couldn't be happier with my experience!

    thumb Elizabeth Sassler
    9/14/2019
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Signs of Poor Indoor Air Quality

Poor indoor quality emanates from typical activities at home, such as cooking, bathing, and washing dishes. If you don’t have adequate ventilation, then your space becomes humid, attracting biological contaminants. Dust, pet dander, dirt, and gases accumulate in your residence, ruining air quality. Using aerosols and toxic cleaning detergents also cause bad air quality. Here are telltale signs that your home has poor air quality.

Cold Symptoms

For starters, you and your loved ones will have flu-like or cold symptoms such as coughing, sneezing, and red eyes. In some cases, you will have nausea, dizziness, irritated nose and throat. If you have allergies, you will notice that they will get worse. Poor indoor air quality aggravates the symptoms, making you sicker. If you don’t get better in a week, there is an issue with the air you breathe. You can rely on Clockwork Heating and Air Conditioning for indoor air quality services. We can change or replace your air filters to boost air quality.

Difficulty Sleeping

Air pollution is one of the reasons why you might have difficulty sleeping. Humidity levels and temperature have a ripple effect on your sleep. For instance, if the air is too dry or moist, you won’t have a good night’s sleep. When it’s too cold or hot in your room, you will have trouble drifting into slumber. Typically, contaminants cause airway irritation such that you can’t breathe well as you sleep. You will lose sleep since your system isn’t in excellent condition.

Dust Accumulation and Buildup

Dust buildup on surfaces is a physical sign that you have poor indoor air quality. It means that your HVAC system isn’t working correctly to remove the dust. You can easily spot dust in the air vents, a clear sign of bad air quality. Pollen, dust mites, and pet dander are the root causes of excessive dust in your indoor space. You will find yourself wiping off surfaces every time. The air filter could be damaged or old; therefore, it needs an upgrade.

Humidity Problems

You need relative humidity of about 35% to 50% for comfort. Excess moisture in the air leads to biological growth. Dry air leads to itchy skin, respiratory issues, and furniture warping. In that case, fluctuating humidity levels create problems within your home, whether they are health or structural issues. To experience indoor quality, you need a dehumidifier to remove excess moisture. A humidifier adds some water vapor to the air making it comfortable for you and your family.

Cold and Hot Spots

Uneven air distribution results in hot and cold spots within your home. Pollutants and irritants thrive in cold and hot spots since air isn’t circulating well. Plus, you won’t even get infiltration, leading to bad air quality. Clogged ducts, a small HVAC, and a malfunctioning unit struggle to distribute air. On that account, some zones won’t give you the desired temperatures. Some rooms will be hotter or colder than the others causing discomfort. Improper temperatures are one of the red flags of poor indoor air quality.

Unpleasant Smells

Pest infestation, spores growth, chemicals, and dust decomposition cause unpleasant smells. Musty odors are a sign that mold has grown and spread to other parts of your house. Basically, the air is stagnant, and no ventilation is taking place at the moment. Take, for instance; you are cooking in the evening and burn something in the process. If the smell still lingers in the atmosphere the next day, your air purifiers aren’t working. Therefore, the air quality in your home has a massive problem that needs intervention. It means that the air is full of contaminants.

Skin Rashes

Skin rashes and redness indicate the presence of indoor pollutants. Dry and cracked skin also means that you have bad air quality at home. Your skin is reacting to the contaminated air. If you have acne, eczema, or any other skin ailment, the symptoms will worsen. Our experts can remedy the situation by cleaning ducts and replacing your air filters.

Persistent Headaches

Chemicals, standing garbage, and household cleaners can cause a splitting headache. Poor air quality also leads to sinus headaches due to congestion and difficulty breathing. If you notice that you only have headaches while at home, it could be bad air quality. Strong odors are the root cause of persistent headaches.

You can count on Clockwork Heating and Air Conditioning to boost your indoor air quality. Our experts will test the air quality and recommend the best way forward. We also offer heating and cooling repairs, installation, and maintenance in the Athens, GA, area.

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How to Humidify Your House in the Winter

Your body consists of roughly 75% water. Although in much lower proportions, the air around you also holds water in the form of water vapor. Considering it has a direct impact on human health, many people don’t give humidity as much thought as they should.

Humidity During Wintertime

What comes to mind when you think of humidity? Common responses include frizzy hair and brutally hot summer days. Few people blame humidity as a culprit for dry skin or chapped lips.

Wintertime’s lack of humidity is, in fact, to blame for these annoying conditions. Low-humidity environments can also cause dry eyes, worse vision, and cracked skin. High-humidity environments, on the other hand, are known to make coughs more productive. In simple terms, persistent coughs don’t last as long with high humidity. As such, low-humidity environments can make lagging coughs lag around even longer than usual.

While out and about, you have no choice but to face winter and its low humidity levels head-on. However, you’re in full control of the humidity inside your home.

The Relationship Between Heaters and Humidity

Like much of the Southeast, Northern Georgia has cold winters. It’s safe to assume that every Athens-area home with a central heating system uses it all winter long. Unless you enjoy freezing, you’re used to leaving your heater on throughout winter.

Although they keep you warm, heaters remove humidity from indoor air. Just like during summer, humidity makes you feel warmer during winter. Using humidity to your advantage can make you feel warmer, in turn reducing your utility bills.

Now that you understand the importance of humidity, it’s time to cover several ways to promote in-home humidity during wintertime.

Don’t Be Silly — Use a Humidifier!

Believe it or not, the domestic humidifier market is a multi-hundred-million-dollar industry. Millions of American households rely on humidifiers to regulate indoor humidity.

If you can afford it, buy a whole-home humidifier. You should also use a hygrometer to monitor your home’s relative humidity levels. You can find entry-level humidifiers for less than $20 and hygrometers for well under $10.

Like all things, humidifiers have limitations. Whether you’re hoping to save money, limit electricity consumption, or simply don’t want to buy a humidifier, try out these tips to humidify your home this winter.

Turn to Houseplants

It’s common for people to avoid gardening because they think they aren’t botanically gifted. Even if you’ve had bad experiences with plant care in the past, it’s time to get a few houseplants.

The Athens area has dozens of places to buy potted plants. As a beginner botanist, look for low-maintenance varieties that respond well to most environments.

For optimal humidity benefits, water your plants every day. Place your houseplants in high-sunlight areas such as southern-facing windows. This combination of moist soil and sunlight will release water vapor into your home, in turn raising the humidity.

Don’t Use Those Exhaust Fans

When used properly, exhaust fans can prevent mold growth and water damage. These fans pull air out of your home, which gets replaced with air from outside. Since winter typically has low humidity levels, exhaust fans usually lower indoor humidity.

After showering, leave your bathroom door wide open. Also, don’t use your bathroom’s exhaust fan. If you’re worried about mold, hang up bath mats or floor towels immediately after showering.

After Bathing, Try This Trick

If you take baths, you’ll notice that your bathwater is still somewhat warm after bathing. Rather than draining this water immediately after bathing, let it cool down first. This will release water vapor into your home and raise the humidity.

Have a Spray Bottle?

Fill a basic spray bottle with water and spray your curtains. Although you shouldn’t get them too wet, damp curtains will slowly release water vapor into your home.

You can also spray intermittently throughout your home. This will also boost your home’s relative humidity levels.

Let Us Help You

Maintaining an ideal indoor humidity level can be difficult. With so many humidifiers to choose from, finding a model that’s worth your money often seems impossible. If these feelings resonate with you, we’re here to help. Clockwork Heating and Air Conditioning is one of Athens’ most well-regarded HVAC companies. In addition to our full lineup of humidifiers and dehumidifiers, we offer numerous indoor air quality products and services. We can assist you with all your heating and cooling installations, repairs, and tune-ups. To get help with your home’s humidity, reach out to us today!

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5 Benefits of Energy-Efficient Heating System

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, 99% of new American homes feature at least one type of heating system. Of the nine Census Bureau Divisions, Georgia is part of the South Atlantic states alongside Delaware, Virginia, West Virginia, Maryland, North Carolina, South Carolina, Florida, and Washington, D.C. In this region, all homes surveyed had heating systems.

Despite how necessary they are for surviving the Georgia winter, you shouldn’t settle for any less-than-perfect heating system. In case you didn’t know, energy-efficient heaters offer several big-time benefits. Clockwork Heating and Air Conditioning of Athens has created this list of five of the best benefits of using an energy-efficient heating system.

1. Lower Utility Costs

The U.S. Department of Energy indicates that heaters are responsible for roughly 42% of home utility expenditures. Energy-efficient heaters can substantially lower your heating system’s energy consumption, saving your household money.

Don’t forget these late-model heaters need to be installed correctly. Without performing heat load calculations or planning out other important details, you might not reap any of these benefits. Hiring Clockwork Heating and Air Conditioning will make sure you’ll reap all of these benefits.

2. You Might Not Need as Much Maintenance

In general, your heating system’s manufacturer and your geographic location’s climate are the two most important factors in determining your heater’s maintenance needs. Athens, Georgia, like all of the Southeast, is home to muggy, red-hot summers. Although you obviously don’t run your heater during the summer months, high humidity levels can cause your heating system’s components to rust and otherwise not perform well.

Energy-efficient heaters are less dangerous than their outdated, less-efficient counterparts. With increased safety, as well as decreased energy consumption, situating your heating system inside is a very real possibility. Most homeowners place them in basements, utility rooms, laundry rooms, attics, or garages.

By no longer exposing your furnace, boiler, or heat pump to the ultra-humid Georgia summers day after day, you subject your heater to less strain. As you can imagine, safeguarding your heater will lead to needing less maintenance.

Lastly, in order to reliably achieve greater energy efficiency, manufacturers employ the latest designs, technologies, and concepts. They also use undeniably high-quality components to construct energy-efficient heaters.

On its own, any single factor mentioned above decreases these heaters’ maintenance needs. With these benefits piggybacking on top of one another, it’s no secret why modern energy-efficient heating systems are considered so durable.

3. Energy-Efficient Heating Systems Work Great With Smart Thermostats

For years, homes, commercial buildings, and government facilities have been equipped with programmable thermostats. Although programmable thermostats are generally superior to their manual counterparts, smart thermostats can be connected to your computers, smartphones, tablets, and wireless internet network.

This connection gives you real-time updates as well as the ability to change temperatures while away from home and peruse automated energy efficiency reports.

4. Greater Indoor Air Quality

Homes with poor indoor air quality have high concentrations of particulate matter that is known to negatively impact inhabitants’ health and well-being. Worldwide, common air pollution culprits include persistent free radicals, sulfur oxides, chlorofluorocarbons, and toxic metals.

Although these can also affect indoor air quality (IAQ), your home’s IAQ is more often affected by dust mites, fungi, mold, volatile organic compounds, building material dust, and carbon dioxide.

No home can be completely free of these pollutants. However, highly rated HVAC companies like us, Clockwork Heating and Air Conditioning of Athens, Georgia, can reduce the prevalence of these particulates in your home.

Many modern energy-efficient heating systems include airside economizers or energy recovery ventilators. Airside economizers automatically determine whether welcoming more air from the outdoors will cool your home’s air as well as the air conditioner. If the outdoor air will accomplish this cooling goal, the airside economizer will pull in the air from outside.

In order to work, economizers need indoor air quality readers. These automatically test the concentration of airborne debris, dust, and other particulates. If indoor air quality is suboptimal, bringing air in from outside pushes indoor pollutants outdoors while saving on utility costs.

Energy recovery ventilators swap heat and humidity between the indoors and outdoors. The efficiency of these devices depends directly on the climate they’re used in. With Athens’ relatively high indoor air quality and its high humidity levels during summer, energy recovery ventilators and airside economizers both tend to work well.

5. They’re Environmentally Friendly

Of course, energy-efficient heating systems are good for the environment. Since they use less energy, they don’t place as much strain on power grids, thereby reducing natural gas and coal consumption.

Interested in an energy-efficient heating system? Reach out to us, Clockwork Heating and Air Conditioning of Athens, Georgia, to learn more about our energy-efficient heater installation services. We also deal with indoor air quality, humidifiers, and commercial tasks. We look forward to serving your indoor climate comfort needs.

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Why Duct Sealing Is Important

Why Duct Sealing Is Important
Homeowners who stay on top of duct maintenance tend to avoid a variety of problems. Ducts allow heated or cooled air to circulate into a home. The material used to make air ducts is commonly sheet metal. A combination of galvanized steel and insulation allows ducts to do their job. So do seals, which prevent air from escaping. The air traveling through the ducts must efficiently reach its destination or else costs rise along with the waste. Duct sealing helps prevent energy losses, and that benefits a homeowner’s budget.

Properly Sealing Ducts Promotes Efficiency

Without effective sealing in place, ducts tend to suffer a tremendous loss of energy. Heated or cooled air ends up escaping through small holes and gaps or loose fittings between the ductwork’s components. Not all of the heated air intended for the living room, bedroom or elsewhere reaches its target. Consequently, the furnace has to work harder to compensate for the loss. Since the air is heated by expensive fuel of some sort, additional energy is wasted. Heating bills spiral upwards when the problems in the ductwork contribute to waste. Duct sealing cuts down on these issues by eliminating gaps, holes and imperfections.

Inviting Dust Into Your Home

Indoor air quality may suffer when duct seals come loose or holes are present in the ductwork. Ducts run throughout the inside walls, and they may be near attics, empty rooms or other neglected areas. These less-traveled locations might accumulate a great deal of dust. The possibility exists that dust could enter into the ducts, get picked up by the circulating air and end up carried throughout the home. When all these dust particles get deposited into a room, those occupying the space might inhale them. Keep a keen eye on your vents, and notice if they are collecting dust.

This illustrates that sealing up the ducts is more than merely a way to keep energy costs down. Correcting imperfections in the ductwork’s integrity also supports better indoor air quality. Even after the ducts receive a proper sealing, it might prove beneficial to have the air quality tested. Mold, carbon monoxide and more could be in a home’s air. Carbon monoxide presents a potentially fatal hazard, and homeowners should not dismiss such threats.

Thanks to Clockwork Heating & Air Conditioning, people in Athens, GA, and the vicinity nearby know there’s a local company available to help. We handle ductwork, indoor air quality and much more.

The Even Distribution of Air

As previously stated, contractors install the air ducts in various strategic locations inside a home. The ducts then carry conditioned air throughout the house and deliver it to multiple rooms. Some of these rooms may benefit from a lack of imperfections in the ducts, while others may contend with holes or gaps. When a homeowner walks through their house, it may seem perplexing that some areas are warmer or colder than others. The uneven distribution could undermine the comfort levels in the home. Perhaps checking the ducts would reveal the answer as to why air isn’t being distributed evenly. Sealing the ducts in areas where leaks exist could contribute to more even airflow and better distribution of conditioned air. At the very least, sealing the ducts would improve heating or cooling efficiency.

Temporary Fixes and Reliability

Temporary fixes and half-measures probably won’t provide a reliable seal. Wrapping duct tape around a breach to secure a leak may seem feasible as a stop-gap, but it doesn’t actually do much good. Other inexpensive fixes exist, but their usefulness is questionable. DIY jobs aren’t always thorough, either. Ultimately, homeowners benefit when skilled and experienced professionals handle these repairs.

HVAC contractors have many tools and methods at their disposal to locate leaks in the duct system. Soon after leaks are found, work can begin to fix the problem. It makes sense to inspect the ducts every year even after the system has been sealed. An ongoing problem could occur from vibrations or the house settling, and the seals might come loose again. Home improvement work can also cause the ductwork to loosen. Even high-quality sealing solutions may degrade over time and suffer from defects. Routine duct cleaning and inspections can reveal these defects at the early stages.

Clockwork Heating & Air Conditioning started in 1985 and continues to serve many customers in and around Athens. You can rely on us for all your ductwork or indoor air quality needs. Our team also provides a complete range of furnace, heat pump, AC, humidifier and dehumidifier installation, repair and maintenance services. Call us today.

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How Big of A Risk Is Carbon Monoxide In My Home?

Your home should be a place of safety and rest. To help ensure that this is true, it’s important to understand potential risks in your Athens home so that you can mitigate those risks as much as possible.

Although there are certainly other pressing risks that are worth addressing, the risk of a carbon monoxide release ranks near the top of the list in terms of seriousness. Fortunately, there are plenty of steps that we at Clockwork Heating and Air Conditioning can recommend to ensure that your family is never put in harm’s way due to carbon monoxide.

How Is Carbon Monoxide Released?

The most common source of carbon monoxide in a home is incomplete combustion in or improper venting of a gas appliance. Furnaces, specifically, are the most common culprit behind carbon monoxide releases that we see at Clockwork Heating and Air Conditioning. Incomplete combustion can occur if the burners on your furnace are dirty or otherwise malfunctioning. Rather than creating a flame only, the burner may create a flame and carbon monoxide.

When it comes to improper venting, a gas appliance, such as a furnace or water heater, may not properly release its exhaust gases into the flue. This can occur if the flue is blocked or develops a crack due to old age. No matter how carbon monoxide is released into your home, it’s important to know that it is undetectable by humans because it is odorless, colorless, and tasteless.

What Are the Risks?

Carbon monoxide exposure carries with it serious risks. Since carbon monoxide can lower the level of oxygen in your lungs, even short-term exposure carries the risk of headaches, dizziness, vomiting, blurred vision, and more. Eventually, exposure to carbon monoxide can cause loss of consciousness and eventually death unless you move to fresh air quickly.

If you don’t die from carbon monoxide poisoning, it can still have lifelong consequences because it can starve your brain of the oxygen it needs to function properly. Therefore, permanent brain damage can occur that can leave you without the use of certain faculties. With that said, we at Clockwork Heating and Air Conditioning want you to know that if you have even the slightest suspicion that there may be carbon dioxide in your home or workplace, it’s important to evacuate immediately.

How Can I Avoid These Risks?

There are several steps you need to take to help reduce your risk of carbon monoxide poisoning. The first step is to keep your gas appliances properly maintained. If you have your furnace, water heater, and other gas appliances annually inspected by a technician from Clockwork Heating and Air Conditioning, it is very unlikely that they will develop problems that could cause a carbon monoxide release.

Another step you should take is to evaluate your daily patterns of living. Since carbon monoxide poisoning can also occur due to a release of the gas from a running vehicle, it’s important to make sure that you get in the habit of turning off your vehicle before you close your home’s garage door.

Without a doubt, though, the most important thing that you can do to help reduce your risk of carbon monoxide poisoning is to install carbon monoxide detectors in your home. These detectors are as essential as smoke detectors when it comes to maintaining a safe home. Carbon monoxide detectors should be placed on every level of your home, making sure that they can be heard from each bedroom, even if it requires installing extra detectors.

You’ll also want to make sure that you don’t place your detectors too close to a gas-fueled appliance, as that could cause false alarms to occur. In addition, it’s important to change the batteries in your carbon monoxide detectors according to the manufacturer’s instructions.

Working Hard to Keep Your Family Safe

At Clockwork Heating and Air Conditioning, our first and foremost concern is your family’s safety. That’s why we offer complete inspection and maintenance services for your furnace and air conditioner so that no dangerous conditions have a chance to develop. We also want to make sure that you and your family are comfortable, which is why we offer dehumidifiers, heating and cooling services, and other home comfort solutions. Our commitment to service has never wavered in our 30-plus years of operation, which is why we consistently receive glowing reviews from our customers. Call us today at Clockwork Heating and Air Conditioning to ensure that your family is safe from carbon monoxide.

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Simple Energy Audit Steps to Improve HVAC Efficiency

Managing expenses for your home can be a time-consuming task. Rising utility costs will tighten a small budget quickly. Addressing energy efficiency is a smart way to meet your financial parameters and keep costs under control. Running your home’s HVAC system is expensive, so it makes sense to keep it operating as efficiently as possible. You may wonder how you can do that and remain comfortable year-round. We’ve got a few suggestions for keeping tabs on your HVAC.

Keep Air Filters Clean

A dirty filter can quickly slow the efficiency of your cooling and heating system. To maintain a constant, comfortable temperature inside your home, replacing your air filter regularly is a must. Add this task to your calendar and make sure you follow through. If you’re unsure about the frequency of replacing air filters, start by checking the filter’s condition every month. Homes without air quality issues may be able to extend filter changes every one to three months. Air quality issues may include pet dander, tobacco smoke, high pollen counts, or dusty climates.

You’ll also want to ensure you’re using the right type of filter for your system. Your manufacturer’s guidelines are the place to go to identify your filter type. Record this information so you can access it when you’re shopping at your local home store. Buying filters in bulk is a good way to reduce expenses. Store them in a dry, easy to reach spot for fast, reliable replacement.

Upgrade Your Thermostat

If you don’t already have a programmable thermostat, it’s time to have one installed. If you have one, learn to use it to your advantage. Programming the operation of your HVAC system can reduce unnecessary energy consumption throughout the day. Installing a thermostat you can operate wirelessly is an even better choice.

Inspect Ductwork and Vents

Ductwork should be annually inspected for leaks, tears, and dirt buildup. Vents should be kept clean and unblocked. Blocked vents can force your equipment to work harder to maintain air temperature. Actually seeing into your ductwork may be difficult to accomplish, and hiring a professional may be necessary. A visual inspection from the outside, such as in your attic or basement, may reveal problem areas. However, it isn’t going to tell you much about internal issues.

The experts at Clockwork Heating and Air Conditioning offer complete services for HVAC systems in Athens. Our equipment and ductwork maintenance services are the perfect way to ensure your equipment is performing at peak levels.

Request Seasonal Maintenance

Skipping seasonal maintenance responsibilities can actually increase your annual expenses in the long run. Ongoing maintenance is one of the most important steps toward equipment efficiency. With regular use, your HVAC system will naturally begin to break down, develop leaks, and become sluggish. Servicing your HVAC unit is really no different than taking care of your car according to the manufacturer’s guidelines.

Hiring a knowledgeable technician to conduct an HVAC tune-up has benefits. A tuned HVAC system can more easily maintain energy efficiency. The maintenance process includes cleaning away dirt and debris on coils and parts and calibrating components for optimal operation. Your technician will also complete a safety test and identify faulty wiring and worn parts. A professional can spot signs of impending leaks and other issues a homeowner will likely overlook.

Schedule a Whole-Home Energy Audit

An HVAC system is just one component of an energy-efficient home. Once you understand how it fits into your overall efficiency plan, you can address its operation in more detail. A home energy audit can reveal whether your equipment is heating and cooling efficiently. An audit can also pinpoint where insulation can be installed to help minimize energy loss.

Upgrade Your HVAC System

When your equipment is more than 10 years old, a replacement system is worth considering. Manufacturers are building levels of efficiency into their HVAC products that were unheard of 10 years ago. If you choose a system identified as Energy Star certified, you’ll be getting an automatic boost in energy efficiency.

Clockwork Heating and Air Conditioning offer complete indoor comfort systems for property owners in Athens. We provide around-the-clock emergency repair services. You can count on our skills for repairs, maintenance, and new equipment installations and system replacements. We also have design-build services for homeowners who are remodeling or building new construction. Call us today to learn more about improving your home’s heating and cooling equipment.

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What The EPA Says About Indoor Air Quality

Here’s the simple truth. The quality of the air you breathe can affect your health. Doesn’t it make sense your indoor air should be as clean as possible? The Environmental Protection Agency thinks so. They offer non-biased information about keeping your indoor air quality at a supportive level. You may not be able to control the air quality in an office building or public space. However, you can do something about the air in your home environment. Here’s what the EPA has to say about maintaining air quality for your residence.

Sources of Indoor Air Pollution

The EPA says air pollutants can be as much as two to five times higher inside a home than outdoors. Your air can be polluted by building materials, cleaning products, paint, insecticides and combustible materials. Combustible materials are substances that are burned, including tobacco, wood, coal and heating fuels. Cooking appliances, fireplaces and heating systems can throw pollution into the air.

The sources of indoor pollution can also include outdoor pollution, according to the EPA. These pollutants can enter the home through open windows and doors. Humans can bring substances into the home on clothing, shoes and skin. Your water supply may also have chemicals and pollutants attached that enter the air when a faucet or shower is turned on. The climate and weather where you live can make some air quality issues worse. Damp, humid environments are breeding grounds for molds and moisture inside the home.

Products That Can Pollute Your Home

Volatile organic compounds are harmful to humans and pets. Many off-the-shelf products you purchase in a store emit VOCs. The EPA lists some of these on their website. These can include air fresheners, dry cleaning substances, moth repellents, pesticides, varnishes and waxes.

A Plan for Controlling Indoor Pollution

A simple plan can help you make changes to your air that are beneficial. Start by controlling the sources of air pollution in the home. Proper ventilation is key here. Adding exhaust fans and reading and following the manufacturer’s recommendations for cooking and heating appliances is important. Changing air filters regularly will prevent pollutants from recirculating.

Humidity control can also reduce indoor air pollutants. Humid air can trap nasty substances and lower the quality of the air you’re breathing. A dehumidifier attached to your heating and cooling system can help remove the excess moisture. The indoor air experts at Clockwork Heating and Air Conditioning provide complete air quality audits for Athens. As a family-owned and -operated company, keeping your family safe with clean indoor air is important to us. Let us know you want an audit for your home.

What You Can Do Right Away

The idea that you’ve been breathing harmful air in a place you feel safe can be a bit overwhelming. The EPA recommends certain steps that are easy to implement. First, get your home tested for radon. Radon is a dangerous gas that is released from cracks in the earth’s surface. It has no smell or color and can seep in through a home’s foundation. Many states offer free or discounted radon testing kits for homeowners through their environmental departments.

Second, install a carbon monoxide detector. You can purchase one at your local hardware or home building store. Controlling moisture in the home is your next step. Take note of leaks, and address them right away. Another easy step toward improving your indoor air is to keep your ventilation and ductwork system clean. Keeping your home a smoke-free zone will also eliminate air quality issues.

Air Cleaners and Filtration Systems

Filtration systems and cleaners attached to an HVAC system are only working when the system is in use. Placing one or more portable filtration units in the home can provide added protection. Filtration equipment can’t replace the need to reduce sources of pollution. Combining substance reduction and proper ventilation with the right equipment provides greater control for a property owner. Any equipment you employ as a solution will only work if you keep the filter and equipment clean and maintained.

Clockwork Heating and Air Conditioning has been serving families in Athens since 1985. We’re known for our trained technicians, timely responses and professional results. Homeowners and property managers rely on us for indoor air quality audits and heating and cooling installations, repairs and maintenance. We also install dehumidifiers and air filtration systems. Call us today to request an appointment for your home or investment property.

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Can you do Zoning with Smart Thermostats?

Different areas of your home will normally have varying cooling and heating needs. Your bedroom, kitchen, and living room are distinct zones. Zoning ensures that you have the level of comfort you require at different times of the day. You may want your kitchen warm in the morning, but turn the unit down once you leave the house.

Before you consider buying a smart thermostat, it is important to ensure that the unit is sound. You can consult a technician from Clockwork Heating and Air Conditioning in Athens, GA, on which smart thermostat is best fitted for your premises. An efficient system will save you energy bills, improve equipment longevity, and enhance your comfort.

Smart Thermostat Capabilities

A smart thermostat makes adjusting the temperature more convenient. The capabilities of the device are not limited by occasion or location. You can set the program to heat or cool the room at specific times, several days in advance.

The way you use a smart thermostat will depend on your home’s zoning configurations. There are two types of configurations: system-based and sensor-controlled.

System-Based

A system-based zone has multiple AC units that separately work to regulate temperatures. The different parts of the house can have thermostats to improve temperature control.

It is possible to add a device to each of the zones to ensure that the unit only runs when the house is in use. At those times, when you expect more guests, you can set the program to heat one or more rooms. It is efficient at computing the required changes, and it, therefore, makes more accurate adjustments.

The main drawback of the system-based approach is that you will need a thermostat for each zone. That will be an additional expenditure that may discourage some homeowners.

However, experts consider it to be the most convenient way to implement zoning. You will still have control, whether you are away from the house temporarily or on an extended vacation. The energy savings will offset the expenditure of acquiring and installing smart devices.

Additionally, smart thermostats have unique features that make it easier to change settings remotely. Many versions can link to Alexa or Google for voice activation. You can also access a wide range of apps that suit your preferences.

Sensor-Controlled

A sensor-controlled system uses a thermal detector in every zone to determine the temperature. The thermostat will take data from the sensors to regulate the temperature in a room.

However, the thermostat only makes adjustments based on the region when it’s installed. If you use a centralized AC system, it is possible to have a smart device to manage temperatures with efficiency. There are smart sensors that can detect changes up to 200 feet. But most sensors cannot go beyond 10 feet.

It is bound to be ineffective if there are significant variations in dimensions of the room or your heating needs. In such instances, using a smart thermostat will force the AC to heat the zones irregularly. In terms of efficiency and cost-savings, a system-based approach is usually the best choice.

Using the Smart Thermostat Effectively

A smart thermostat works like a regular device but with extra capabilities for configuration and remote activation. The wide range of devices on the market today seek to address the unique needs of consumers.

Most smart devices have recognizable features, such as the ability to learn and connect with other mobile platforms. If your main aim is to cut down the energy consumption, there are many decent devices you can use effectively.

Keep in mind increased convenience can help you reduce energy consumption. The easier it is to change the settings, the more likely you’ll adapt accordingly. Reminders based on your patterns will ensure that you will never forget to adjust the settings.

Regardless of the smart device you opt for, you should ensure it will work with your existing platforms. If the systems are incompatible, you will have to change your software and overhaul your home system. Otherwise, some features will be inaccessible or fail to work altogether.

Get Professional Help

A thermostat can cut down energy bills and improve performance. However, the whole system needs a quality installation. A technician from Clockwork Heating and Air Conditioning in Athens, GA, can help you zone your premises using a smart thermostat. We have the expertise and experience necessary to develop an efficient configuration for your thermostat and AC. We can also assess and service your indoor air quality. You can always rely on us for reliable services. We provide everything from AC repair and installation to dehumidifier installation. Visit our website today!

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Does The Outside Temperature Affect My AC?

Outside Temperatures and How it Can Effect Your AC Unit

Even as conditions outside fluctuate drastically, you depend on your air conditioner to maintain a consistent temperature in your home. It’s important to understand, though, that changing outside temperatures can have some dramatic effects on your cooling equipment. Comprehending these effects can benefit both you and your air conditioner. It will allow you to use your AC more efficiently and prolong its life, ensuring cold air even on the hottest days. The team at Clockwork Heating and Air Conditioning in Athens has put together this guide to help you understand how temperature differences affect your air conditioner.

How Your Air Conditioner Functions

To understand how the outside temperature can affect your air conditioner, it’s important to first grasp how your air conditioner cools your home. One of the main ways the air conditioner provides cool air is by utilizing thermodynamics to move heat from one place to another. Your air conditioner sends cold refrigerant into your home and through its coils. A fan sits under these coils and blows uncooled air over them. As the air flows over the coils, the heat in the air moves into the cold refrigerant and is transferred outside.

Once outside, this heat has to be expelled, which means the refrigerant needs to be hotter than the air surrounding it. To accomplish the process, your air conditioner utilizes a compressor. This device compresses the refrigerant, which heats it up immensely. The heat is then expelled as the refrigerant circulates through the outdoor coils before entering your home once more.

A Hot Subject

The key to expelling the heat from the refrigerant into the outside air is that the refrigerant must be hotter than the surrounding atmosphere. If the refrigerant is the same temperature or colder, it will retain the heat, resulting in a lack of cooling capacity. You can begin to see, then, how the outside air temperature can affect the work that your air conditioner has to do. If the air temperature is fairly low, say 70 degrees, your compressor only has to get the refrigerant up to 71 degrees or higher for the its heat to be expelled. However, if the air temperature is significantly warmer, say 95 degrees, the compressor has to heat the refrigerant at least 25 degrees higher to be able to expel heat.

Ultimately, the main component in your air conditioner that has to work harder when it’s hot outside is your compressor. Incidentally, this component is probably the cause of the most service calls during the summer. Especially if a compressor hasn’t been properly inspected and maintained, the extra effort it must exert during hot temperatures can push it to the point of failure. This results in a very uncomfortable home until a technician is able to come and repair your system.

Humidity Is Another Factor

Another characteristic of warm air is that it can hold more moisture than cool air. Typically, the warmer the air is in a particular location, the more humid that air will be. When it comes to your air conditioner, this can have a fairly significant impact on its operation. That’s because your air conditioner doesn’t simply remove heat from the air; it decreases humidity as well. Air with lower humidity feels cooler and more comfortable.

However, if there is warm air outdoors and that air is unusually humid, your air conditioner will have to take extra time to remove the moisture from it. When air with humidity levels higher than normal enters your home, it causes the AC to work longer as it tries to remove as much of the moisture as possible.

Trustworthy Technicians

In the end, even though your air conditioner has to work harder when it’s hot outside, that’s what it’s designed to do. The important thing is that you properly prepare your AC to succeed when the going gets tough. That means partnering with a trusted teammate like Clockwork Heating and Air Conditioning in Athens, GA, to ensure your cooling equipment is properly repaired and maintained as you head into summer. Similarly, as you head into the cold season, Clockwork Heating and Air Conditioning can help you prepare your furnace so that you stay nice and warm all winter long. In either case, we can install a new system for you if that’s necessary. To help you stay healthy, we also offer indoor air quality testing. We’ve served this community for over 30 years, and we offer 24/7 availability for emergency repairs. If your air conditioner is struggling to keep up with the warm weather, give us a call today.

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What are the Types of Smart Thermostats?

Smart Thermostats and The Different Types Available

Since heating and cooling your Athens home makes up one of the largest portions of your energy use, it makes sense to limit the time your HVAC system spends running. While there are several good methods for improving the efficiency of your HVAC system, one of the most straightforward is to upgrade your thermostat.

While a mechanical thermostat requires manually changing the set temperature, a smart thermostat constantly calibrates the settings to your needs. Thanks to the increasing popularity of smart thermostats, there are now several options available.

The Basics of Smart Thermostats

Before we dive into the different types of smart thermostats, it’s a good idea to take a moment to fully understand what makes them so convenient. The main advantage that smart thermostats offer over other types of thermostats is the ability to sense when you’re home. Thus, even if you forget to change your settings, your smart thermostat can compensate for you, ensuring your HVAC system is always running at optimum efficiency.

Another benefit is the ability to operate the thermostat from anywhere through an app on your phone. Used correctly, these two features can help you save quite a bit of money on utility costs to help make up for the higher initial cost of the thermostat.

Geofencing Thermostats

A geofence is an invisible electronic boundary that’s placed around a certain location. When you pass through this boundary, an app on your phone senses your location, triggering any number of actions.

In the case of a geofencing thermostat, the idea is to turn your HVAC system on or off when you pass through the boundary. Geofencing is an effective method to tell your thermostat that you’re truly away from home and not just taking a long nap in another room. Plus, since it uses your phone to sense your location, it’s one less thing you’ll have to worry about.

The potential downsides to a geofencing thermostat all involve your relative location as you go throughout your day. To provide an adequate amount of time for the HVAC system to respond, most geofencing thermostats use a circle that is a few miles in diameter. This could pose a problem if you’re visiting a neighbor within that circle.

Behavioral Learning

When most people think of a smart thermostat, they’re likely thinking of a behavioral learning thermostat. This is one of the most popular types of smart thermostats that we at Clockwork Heating and Air install.

These thermostats use motion sensors that are built directly into the thermostat to try and determine when your home is occupied. They back up this motion sensing with algorithmic learning that can automatically adjust the temperature of your home based on living patterns that the thermostat notices you follow.

This prevents any missed opportunities for energy savings if you change your daily routine but forget to change your thermostat to match. The one downside of a behavioral learning thermostat is that if you aren’t in the same room as the device for a long period of time, the system may shut down. Of course, if you have the app on your phone, this is an easy fix.

Multiple Sensors

To help overcome the weakness of behavioral learning thermostats, some thermostats use multiple motion sensors in several rooms.

Multiple sensors allow these thermostats to detect fairly accurately if you’re home. You’ll likely never have to correct the thermostat by checking in on the app. Given this different approach to motion detection, some thermostats with multiple motion sensors do not employ algorithmic learning to make changes for you if you change your daily routine.

Trusted Expertise

In most cases, smart thermostats are marketed as a do-it-yourself installation. To ensure proper operation, however, we at Clockwork Heating and Air recommend having a professional install your new thermostat. This is especially crucial if you have an older four-wire thermostat as an incorrect installation could harm your system.

In addition to installing thermostats, we at Clockwork Heating and Air can take care of just about any other home comfort need that you may have. We can maintain, repair, and install all types of air conditioners and furnaces. Our team can also test your indoor air quality to ensure you’re breathing healthy air. If it’s time to upgrade your thermostat, don’t hesitate to give us a call at Clockwork Heating and Air today.

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Living in Georgia means sweltering heat and cool winters. Clockwork Heating and Air provide quality heating, cooling, and indoor air quality services to provide your family with a comfortable home. With 24-hour services available, you can rest assured knowing you are covered any time of the day. We provide you with options for repairs and offer upfront pricing. That’s right — we’ll tell you exactly what your price will be BEFORE one of our expert technicians begins work on your home’s system. You can count on Clockwork to deliver prompt, professional, and personable service.
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