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You expect your HVAC system in Birmingham, Alabama, to effectively filter dust and debris from the air, giving you good indoor air quality for daily living. No matter how much you clean your home, your air ducts can still accumulate dirt, causing some potential problems.

Increased Respiratory Problems

Normally, you would change your air filters every 60 to 90 days to keep the house free of dust, debris, and pet fur. But what if you’re putting a clean filter on a dirty duct system? The particles of dirt that collect in the duct system are on the other side of the filter, and much harder to see. But as they float around your house with the circulating air, they can cause eye irritation, a sore throat, sinus irritation, coughing, potentially leading to serious or chronic pulmonary problems.

Musty and Unpleasant Odors

If you come home and notice a musty or unpleasant smell, you may have dirt buildup in your ducts. Accumulated dust, dirt, pet fur, fibers, and skin cells can settle into a dirty coating inside your ductwork that traps moisture and possibly even insects such as dust mites. The combination of all these pollutants leads to unpleasant smells circulating through the air in the house that no amount of vacuuming, mopping, or air freshener can get rid of.

Lessens Efficiency of Your HVAC System

Any kind of buildup on any part of the system is cause for concern. Dirty air filters stop air flow. Accumulated debris on the condenser unit restricts the proper flow of the refrigerant, causing decreased cooling capacity. If the insides of your ducts are coated with dirt and debris, it’s a sign your whole system is being neglected and working below its capacity.

Our professional technicians can clean your ducts with a heavy-duty vacuum that has attachments to access your ductwork. Call us today at 205-209-4246 to add a duct cleaning as part of your regular HVAC maintenance.

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The post Dangers of Dirty Air Ducts appeared first on One Source Heating and Cooling.

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At One Source Heating and Cooling, we know how special it is to find a pet that’s the perfect fit for your household. Preparing your Birmingham, Alabama, home and HVAC system for a new pet’s arrival can make the transition much easier and healthier for you and your furry friend. Check out our top tips below to help you get ready for your newest adventure.

Change Your HVAC Filters

A pet can negatively affect the indoor air quality of your home. Cats and dogs shed hair all of the time and more than usual during hot weather. Pet fur and dander can easily spread throughout your home, including inside your air ducts and filters. Change your HVAC filters every one to three months to avoid a buildup. Regular filter changes and good pet grooming habits can keep your HVAC system clean, prevent clogs, and improve the quality of the air circulating around your home.

Protect Your Pet

Animals can be curious just like people, and they may go sticking their noses where they don’t belong. Wrap any wires your pet could access and chew, and create a strong barrier around your outside HVAC unit to keep them out. Taking these preventive steps can protect your pet from harm and your HVAC system from damage.

Clean and Seal Ducts

Ducts are used to move air throughout your home. Over time, they can become coated with dust, dander, and debris — things you definitely don’t want to breathe in! Schedule professional duct cleaning on a regular basis. We suggest duct cleaning about every five years depending on the activity level in your home. It’s also important to make sure any gaps or cracks in your air ducts are sealed, as this helps to prevent unwanted debris from entering your HVAC system.

At One Source Heating and Cooling, we believe everyone should be able to enjoy clean, fresh air in their home. Contact us at 205-209-4246 to schedule an appointment for quality duct cleaning services today.

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The post Prepare Your Home and HVAC for a New Pet appeared first on One Source Heating and Cooling.

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Spring is here, and summer is just around the corner. That means it’s time to fire up your air conditioner. For too many people in Birmingham, Alabama, running an AC system also means higher electric bills every year, but there are ways to mitigate that problem. Learn some handy tips for reducing your spring and summer cooling costs so you can stay comfortable all season long without putting a dent in your budget and wallet.

Reducing Cooling Costs

Nobody likes a high electric bill, but too many of us consider it a fact of life when it comes to spring and summer cooling. In truth, there are things you can do that will help with reducing cooling costs, and still stay comfortable. Watch your thermostat, use fans, keep the shades drawn during the day, and you’ll see your costs go down.

Watch Your Thermostat

When you set the thermostat too low, it makes your system work harder, which uses considerable energy. In general, you don’t want your inside temperature to be more than 10 degrees cooler than outside. Even better, set it a few degrees warmer than what you think you need. You probably won’t notice one or two degrees, but your electric bill will show the difference.

Use Fans

Try using good old-fashioned fans or ceiling fan to help the effectiveness of your AC. As the fan circulates air, you’ll feel a cooling effect on your skin.

Keep the Shades Drawn During the Day

Many people balk at the idea of drawing their shades — they like the light in the spring and summer. There’s something to that, but there’s also something to the idea that shade is cooler than direct light. Drawing the shades can lower the temperature in your house. Keep them closed and the AC system won’t work as hard.

Finally, get your HVAC system serviced twice a year. If you’re in need of regular maintenance, call One Source Heating and Cooling at 334-203-3466 and let us help reduce your spring cleaning costs today.

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The post 3 Tips for Reducing Your Spring Cooling Costs appeared first on One Source Heating and Cooling.

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Ductless heating and cooling systems are more popular than ever for homeowners in Hoover, AL. Many people are curious as to whether these systems are right for their home. They work similarly to ducted systems but don’t require the installation of ducts in your home. This makes them ideal for homes that don’t have existing ducts. Learn whether a ductless mini-split system is right for your Hoover, Alabama, home and where you can go for more information or installation.

Benefits of a Ductless Mini-Split System

Ductless multi-split systems offer many benefits over traditional ducted systems. They are highly flexible and able to deliver air into targeted zones of the home rather than the whole home at once, so they save money. They don’t require quite as much maintenance and cleaning as traditional systems, which leads to cleaner air in the home as well.

Fast, Easy, and Green

Green living is a big deal these days, and if you’re looking to reduce your carbon footprint, ductless air conditioning is a great way to go. Because it is flexible and targeted, it allows for much greater efficiency — it takes less energy to heat and cool one room than a whole home. This means it’s an eco-friendly alternative to traditional HVAC.

Ductless systems are relatively fast and easy to install. If you need to put a ducted system in, it will disrupt your life and can take more than a day to install. A ductless system, on the other hand, can take as little as a few hours to a day, depending on how many indoor/outdoor units are needed.

Learn More About Ductless Mini Systems

If you’re interested in a ductless mini-split system, One Source Heating and Cooling is your one-stop solution. We’ve serviced the Hoover, Alabama, area for years and we’re ready to help you as well. Give us a call today at (205) 209-4246 for answers to all of your questions and more information about whether a ductless system is ideal for your home heating and cooling needs.

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The post Is a Ductless Mini-Split System Right for Your Hoover Home? appeared first on One Source Heating and Cooling.

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You come home to escape the encroaching heat of Fultondale, Alabama, to find your home’s interior almost as muggy as it is outside despite your air conditioner running. This inefficiency may be a symptom of your HVAC system needing to be replaced. If your HVAC system is exhibiting these three signs, it’s likely time to take back your energy efficiency and comfort by upgrading your unit.

Falling Efficiency

If it’s time for you to upgrade your HVAC system, your energy efficiency will drop. This drop may manifest itself in a number of ways. You may see your utility bills skyrocket as the system uses more energy to compensate for its wear. Those utility bills could be influenced by your system running longer than it should as it struggles to maintain comfort. And despite all that effort, if your system needs to be upgraded, your unit may not be able to keep your home comfortable anymore.

Strange Sounds and Smells

Abnormal sounds and smells are never good, especially when they’re coming from your HVAC system. These sounds, though, may not always be sudden; they may come on steadily, like a hum that gets louder over time or occasional bangs that become more constant. Unusual sounds may indicate a loose or broken component and without repair, those pieces could further damage your unit. On the other hand, abnormal odors could point to a fuel leak. Such sounds and smells become more consistent in a system that needs an upgrade.

Old Age

You may like to stretch your tech to make it last as long as possible, but once an HVAC has been around long enough, it’s time to retire it. Most air conditioners will run efficiently for about 10 years. A well-maintained furnace could last for 15 years. After they’ve lived out their time, your HVAC system will just sap energy and struggle to maintain comfort.

Upgrading your HVAC system can be stressful, but fortunately, today’s HVAC systems are far more efficient and powerful than your 10-year-old unit. To upgrade your HVAC system, call One Source Heating and Cooling at 205-209-4246.

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The post 3 Signs You Need an HVAC Upgrade appeared first on One Source Heating and Cooling.

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Energy efficiency in your Bessemer, Alabama, home is about so much more than the novelty of your HVAC system or the types of light bulbs you use. Perhaps the most significant contributor to high or low energy efficiency is your habits. You may unknowingly be perpetuating these three bad habits and increasing your utility costs, cutting your comfort, and harming your HVAC unit.

Neglecting HVAC Maintenance

Nothing contributes to low energy efficiency like neglecting to schedule professional HVAC maintenance. Since your HVAC system is one of the most significant factors in your home’s energy efficiency, its care should be one of your top priorities. Over time, using your HVAC system will cause wear that strains the unit, reducing its lifespan and causing your utility costs to rise. Schedule professional HVAC maintenance at least twice a year and you’ll improve your unit’s energy efficiency.

Pushing Your Unit

Anything that pushes your HVAC unit will cause its energy efficiency to fall. Many homeowners unknowingly push their unit further than they should with inefficient heating and cooling habits. We understand that on hot summer days you want your home to be nice and cool, but the further the temperature in your home is from the temperature outside, the harder you push your system to maintain that comfort. In fact, in the summer, you can be much more energy efficient by setting your thermostat around 75 degrees Fahrenheit and finding other ways to stay cool.

Not Programming Your Thermostat

If you’re not programming your thermostat (or if you don’t have a programmable thermostat), you’re missing out on one of the best ways to improve energy efficiency. If your HVAC system is working to keep your home at the same cool temperature day and night, whether you’re home or not, you’re wasting energy. Instead of pushing your system like this, program your thermostat to reflect your lifestyle — let your home stay warm while you’re away or at night.

Kick these bad habits and you’ll build the energy-efficient home you’ve been working toward. We can help to increase your energy efficiency with professional HVAC maintenance. Call One Source Heating and Cooling at 334-203-3466.

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The post Bad Habits That Reduce Energy Efficiency appeared first on One Source Heating and Cooling.

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Having effective insulation in your Birmingham, Alabama, attic is crucial for your comfort. Good insulation also helps make a home more energy-efficient. Unfortunately, through pest infestation, water damage, and age, insulation can deteriorate and stop working well.

Insulation is often a neglected aspect of home maintenance simply because it’s so hard to know when it needs to be replaced. If you notice any of the symptoms listed below, it could be a sign that your house needs more attic insulation.

Inconsistency in Temperature

Do you feel hot and cold areas in your house? Are some rooms consistently warmer or cooler than others, even taking into account the amount of sun the rooms receive? One of the most common causes for unbalanced temperatures inside the home is uneven insulation. It’s possible that your attic is not insulated well enough in those particular areas.

Abnormally High Utility Bills

Throughout the year, you can expect your utility bills to fluctuate as the seasons change. But if your energy bills are especially high during any season, it could be a sign that you’re losing air through poorly insulated places in your attic. With air escaping, your HVAC system will have to work harder than it should to maintain the temperature in your home, leading to higher energy use.

Pests

Pests such as mice, snakes, squirrels, and birds enjoy the warmth and security that insulation can provide them. When they get into your home, they often make living spaces in the insulation, chewing and damaging it. If you hear pests in your attic or see any signs of them, there’s a good chance that they have caused some damage to your insulation.

If you notice any of these signs, it might be time to upgrade your attic insulation. Contact One Source Heating & Cooling at 205-209-4246 today to find the best insulation option for your home or for any of your home HVAC needs.

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The post 3 Tell-Tale Signs That You Need More Attic Insulation appeared first on One Source Heating and Cooling.

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Keeping your Birmingham, Alabama, home a comfortable temperature while saving energy is a top priority. Your heating and cooling system accounts for a large portion of your energy bills and can be difficult to manage when you spend much of your day in and out of the house. The good news is that you can easily tackle both problems by installing a smart thermostat in your home. Check out why a smart thermostat is perfect for those with an on-the-go lifestyle.

Programmability

With a smart thermostat, the temperature in your house can be adjusted according to settings that you program to take effect at certain times of the day and on certain days. You can program a smart thermostat with different temperatures for when you’re asleep, awake, at work, or on vacation, for example. Programming a regular heating and cooling schedule for the week on your smart thermostat can save a lot off energy bills.

Remote Control

If your schedule is not consistent or if you plan to be home earlier than expected, you can still make sure your home will be comfortable when you arrive because your smart thermostat can be adjusted from any smart device. This is also useful if you forget to change the temperature when you leave home.

Monitoring and Notification

The same app that allows you to adjust the temperature can also let you know what’s going on in your home. You can set up notifications to alert you if the temperature in your house changes drastically and suddenly. You’ll also be alerted when there’s a power outage and your thermostat suddenly goes offline. Some models even notify you when the filter is dirty or if there are other maintenance issues.

If a busy lifestyle prevents you from managing your home’s heating and cooling as closely as you would like, consider buying one or more smart thermostats. Contact One Source Heating and Cooling at 205-209-4246 today for more information about smart thermostats or for any of your HVAC needs.

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The post Why a Smart Thermostat Is Perfect If You’re Always On the Go appeared first on One Source Heating and Cooling.

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Temperatures are still quite chilly as we get closer to spring here in Morris, Alabama. Even in March, the average temperature is around 60 degrees during the day and often in the low 40s at night. For many homeowners, the furnace stays in use well into April. Keep reading to learn three neat ways to stay warm this winter while saving money on your heating expenses.

Cook Meals More Frequently

Cook meals more frequently during the cooler months. When you cook a hot meal in the kitchen, the oven or the stove will heat up the kitchen and nearby rooms. This is an excellent way to increase the temperature in the home without skyrocketing your heating expenses.

If you’re baking a meal, leave the oven open after you’re finished. Heat escaping from the oven as it cools down will further increase the indoor temperature. However, only leave the oven open or cracked if you don’t have small children or indoor pets in the home.

Open Curtains and Window Coverings

Open curtains, shades, and window coverings on days when the sun is shining. Even if it’s cold outside, the heat from the sun’s rays coming through the windows increases the indoor temperature. Make sure to close the coverings at night to prevent heat from escaping through the windows. Consider investing in shades and window coverings that are made specifically to trap heat in the home to save further on heating costs.

Use a Humidifier

Lower humidity during the cooler months can cause your indoor air to be too dry. This makes the temperature feel cooler than it actually is. By using a humidifier in the rooms where you spend the most time, you’ll feel warmer. Speak with One Source Heating & Cooling about upgrading your furnace with a built-in humidifier. Ideally, you’ll want to achieve 40 to 50 percent indoor humidity to boost indoor comfort levels.

One Source Heating & Cooling specializes in a variety of furnace installation, repair, and maintenance services. Give us a call at 205-209-4246 today to learn more about tips and tricks for staying warm this winter.

Image provided by Shutterstock

The post 3 Neat Ways to Stay Warm This Winter appeared first on One Source Heating and Cooling.

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There’s cause for concern any time the furnace is making a high-pitched noise. The problem could be the result of a broken blower wheel or something as simple as an air leak. No matter the cause, it’s important to fix it as soon as possible. Keep reading to learn the possible causes of a screeching furnace in your Pinson, Alabama, home and what to do about it.

Broken Blower Wheel

A broken blower wheel will lead to the sound of metal scraping against metal. Turn the heating system off immediately if you hear this sound, and contact One Source Heating & Air Conditioning.

Although replacing a broken blower wheel is fairly simple, it’s important to let a professional do it. A blower wheel that is out of balance, but not broken, can also cause the furnace to produce a screeching noise. The noise is similar to how a washing machine screeches when its agitator is out of balance.

An Air Leak

Does the screeching noise resemble a high-pitched whistling sound? If so, there may be an air leak in your home’s ductwork. Cleaning the ductwork is important because it deteriorates over the years. Air leaks in the duct system will increase heating expenses and put unnecessary wear and tear on the heating system. A professional HVAC contractor can easily repair the leaks.

Dirty Burners

If the noise you’re hearing comes in the form of loud screeching and bangs, the furnace’s burners are likely dirty. Dirty burners result in a delay in ignition, causing gas to build up and ignite immediately once the furnace kicks on; this is what produces the loud bang. Essentially, it’s like a small explosion taking place inside the furnace.

Preventative furnace maintenance can prevent this from happening. An HVAC technician will inspect and clean the burners as needed during preventative maintenance sessions.

One Source Heating & Cooling specializes in a variety of heating system installation, repair, and maintenance services. Contact us today at 205-209-4246 if your furnace is screeching, and our technicians will attend to your needs.

Image provided by Shutterstock

The post Why Is My Furnace Screeching? appeared first on One Source Heating and Cooling.

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