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Disadvantages to buying an undersized HVAC unit

HVAC units can get expensive. Some people, thinking they are saving some money, buy a smaller unit than needed. Companies like ours understand the driving force behind this idea but we also know its going to cost you more in the long run.

Your Energy Bill will Rise

Although buying a smaller unit will initially save you money on cost of the unit, monthly the electricity use will increase, eventually using the money saved plus more. An undersized unit will lack what it takes to reach a set temperature in an appropriate cycle time. Basically, the unit will be running at all times trying to cool the desired area to the desired temperature. The town of Wellesley, Mass., has estimated the average cost of running central air conditioning in a typical home for six hours a day will use 900 kilowatt/hours (kWh) per month. At a cost of $0.134 per kWh, this amounts to $120.60 per month. If that was being run on an undersized unit, the cost could be up to 4 times that! The constant running of the unit also arises our next concern for undersized units.

Repair Needs will Increase

Running the HVAC unit non stop will add a lot of wear and tear on the unit quickly. An undersized unit does not produce enough velocity to push all the cool air out of the duct work. The air comes out, but not at the speed it needs to properly cool the area. When adding up the cost of repairs and regular maintenance, the undersized unit is costing you more than what you would have initially paid for the right sized unit.

Do not let prices scare you into more problems and out of pocket money. Call today (731) 300-1030 and let us set up an appointment to give you an estimate for the proper sized unit for your area. Remember we also have financing options to make this easier and more affordable! (https://cagleservice.com/financing-options-2/)


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How to prevent frozen pipes

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Freezing can create leaks as the frozen water expands and cracks the copper tubing. When this happens, not only will you have little to no water supply, but when the pipes do thaw out, you can have some serious leaks to repair—or worse.

HOW TO PREVENT PIPES FROM FREEZING

Keep all water-supply piping away from outside walls, where it could be exposed to cold winter weather.
If it is imperative to have pipes located on an outside wall, they must be well-insulated. Piping insulation is sold in both rubber and fiberglass.
Insulate pipes in all other unheated areas as well, such as crawl spaces, basement, attic, and garage. Fix the source of any drafts (such as near cables, dryer vents, bathroom fan vents, windows) and insulate pipes at risk.
Before winter, close the water shut-off valve inside your home that provides water to outside spigots, and then drain each line by opening its spigot until it no longer drips. Close the spigot.

HOW TO KEEP PIPES FROM FREEZING IN SUBFREEZING TEMPERATURES

Keep garage doors and outside doors closed, and plug up drafts.
Open all faucets, both hot and cold water, to just a trickle, to keep water moving in the pipes to help to prevent icing.
Set the thermostat to at least 55ºF both day and night—no lower. Higher is even better, especially if your home is not well-insulated.
Keep doors to all rooms open to allow heat to flow to all areas, which helps to warm the pipes in the walls.
Open the cabinets under the kitchen and bathroom sinks so that the warmer air temperature of each room can flow around the plumbing. (Be sure to keep cleaners and other hazardous chemicals away from children and pets.)
Check your forecast to see if you’ll be having subfreezing temperatures sometime soon.

WHEN PIPES FREEZE: HOW TO THAW FROZEN PIPES

If no water comes out of a faucet, or it comes out slowly, suspect a frozen pipe. Check all faucets in the house to determine if the situation is widespread. If it is, open all faucets, turn off the main water to the house, and call us at (731)300-1030.
If only one pipe is frozen, turn on the appropriate faucet to help get the water moving in the pipe once it thaws. Locate your nearest water shut-off valve to the break. Don’t turn the water off at this point, unless you find that the pipe has actually burst.

WHAT TO LOOK FOR ONCE UNFROZEN

Hopefully this helps for future cold temps, but as always, if you have any questions or concerns, Call Us (731)300-1030.


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Why is My Furnace Blowing Cold Air?

December through February tend to be our colder months. Once you leave your house, between traveling, working in cold spaces, heat not on enough at work, etc most of us freeze through the day. When you get home for the day, you expect to walk in and the house be warm. The last thing you want to find is that the furnace is not working. Even worse, it’s actually blowing cold air!

Most People are not even sure what a furnace is besides the generic “The thing that heats your house.” So, here is a basic understanding of just how your gas furnace works:
You change your thermostat settings to indicate your desired home temperature. This sends a signal to your furnace.
Your gas furnace control board will then ensure that all of your system’s safeties are operational. Safeties are continually monitored throughout the heating process. Natural gas ignites in the furnace and then air is delivered throughout your home via the ductwork (after a 30-second delay). If at any point during the heating process a safety is triggered, the natural gas furnace is cut off and the furnace will enter its shut-down sequence. This is so you and your family stay safe. When your thermostat measures a reading at your set temperature your natural gas furnace will shut down. Whenever your thermostat measures a reads a temperature reading below your set temperature, it will send a signal to start the process all over again. Of course, this is just one type of system (a single-stage system with a non-programmable thermostat). There are many other variations of gas furnaces and thermostats that can alter this process slightly, but this is the basic gist.

Here Are 3 Common Issues

1) Thermostat is set to ON
Is your furnace blowing cold air only sometimes? Is the furnace’s blower constantly running?

Check your thermostat. (That’s where a tech will start first, so you should as well.) If your thermostat’s fan setting is set to ON, the furnace blower will constantly run even when your furnace isn’t heating the air.

What can you do?
Turn your thermostat’s fan setting to AUTO. Now your furnace will only blow warm air.

2) Furnace overheated
Let’s say your furnace blows hot air, then cold air, but then stops blowing any air at all after a while. What’s the problem?

It’s possible your furnace overheated. If so, the limit switch, a furnace safety device, turned the furnace burners off. The blower keeps blowing to cool the furnace down to a safe level.

So what causes the furnace to overheat? Most commonly, a dirty furnace air filter.

The dirty air filter will block airflow, causing the furnace to run longer to heat your home until it overheats.

What can you do?
Change the air filter and see if your furnace starts only blowing warm air.

DON’T ignore this problem. Repeated overheating will hurt the furnace’s heat exchanger, which is expensive to fix.

3) Pilot light is out
If your gas furnace is only blowing cold air, then the pilot light may be out. Check to see if it is and try these solutions:

What can you do?
Relight the furnace pilot light. If the flame stays on, great!
If the pilot refuses to light, ensure that gas is flowing into the furnace. Make sure the furnace’s gas valve switch is in the “on” position (parallel/in line with the gas supply pipe. if the switch is on, then check to see if the pilot light is dirty.

Are you still having problems or didn’t find your problem listed? Call Cagle Service today, 731-300-1030, and give us more details about your problem, and we’ll get back to you ASAP!


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Energy Star: What is it and why is it important for your HVAC system?

What Is Energy Star?

ENERGY STAR is a global symbol for energy efficiency. Energy efficiency is one of the easiest and most cost effective ways to combat climate change, clean the air we breathe, improve the competitiveness of our businesses and reduce energy costs for consumers. With fewer pollutants in the air due to ENERGY STAR products in use, energy resources are better utilized and greenhouse gas emissions are lowered. The EPA recognizes ENERGY STAR products in more than 60 categories. More than 80 percent of U.S. consumers recognize and understand the label, collectively buying an estimated 300 million ENERGY STAR qualified products every year.

Energy Star and Your HVAC System

Is the HVAC system more than 10 years old? Does the HVAC unit need frequent repairs? Are there hot and cold spells in certain rooms? An HVAC system has three functions – heating, ventilation, and air conditioning. The HVAC system uses a series of ducts networked throughout the home to disperse heating and cooling. The system is relatively quiet and through the years, has improved its level of energy efficiency, if maintained, but still makes up the biggest portion of the utility bill. Take a proactive approach and have its performance evaluated by one of our professionals. Replacing an old, inefficient system with one of the Energy Star-rated Bryant or Carrier models can save you about $200 per year on your utility bill, as well as make the home far more comfortable.

HVAC systems are rated with what’s known as a SEER rate – Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio. The typical rating ranges anywhere from 13 to 23. The products with the highest SEER ratings are considered to be the most energy efficient. When purchasing an HVAC system, the product must carry a SEER rating of no less than 14.5 along with an EER – Energy Efficiency Ratio – of 11.0 for single models, and 12.0 for split systems, in order to qualify as an ENERGY STAR certified product.

What Other Benefits Are There?

In addition to saving dollars on monthly utility bills and helping to keep the environment clean with fewer gas emissions, ENERGY STAR products may be eligible for tax credits and rebates which includes HVAC systems. The products may also qualify for local city or state incentives such as energy audits that may be discounted or free of charge and available from the utility company. You can check the ENERGY STAR website to see which, if any, HVAC systems are currently eligible for a tax credit. Promotional rebate offers are also something to look for when buying a HVAC system. Although the timeframe for receiving a rebate for a HVAC purchase may be limited, it is to your advantage to check on rebates that may be available from the government, utility companies, and manufacturers.

Investing in a new HVAC system is not a cheap project but the best equipment will save you money on your energy bills. Cagle Service understands and offers financing (https://cagleservice.com/financing-options-2/) to help that financial strain. Call us today for more information or a free quote (731)300-1030.


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Furnace Trouble? Let Us Help!

Furnaces, just like any machine, will need more repairs or replacing the older it gets. Replacing a furnace that is 15 years old or more is usually your cheapest option instead of pilling on repair bills if the cost of the repairs are 15% or more of the cost of a new furnace. A good rule of thumb is that no matter what the age of the furnace, if the cost of repairs is 50% or more of what it would cost for a new furnace, replace it. As a furnace ages, the harder it works, which also means a higher utility cost. Both are to be expected with aging of a furnace, but when the repairs become routine, its time to replace it. The amount of money you will save between repair cost and higher utility cost would be worth the the investment of a new unit.

If there is ever soot or rust around the furnace or registers that shows there is too much CO2. It will also cause excessive dryness that would/could affect walls, wood flooring, furniture, and plants. Once considered a benign indoor air pollutant, CO2 can, as it turns out, significantly impair peoples’ cognitive functioning. Symptoms of CO2 intoxication or poisoning are deeper breathing, twitching of muscles, increased blood pressure, headache, increased pulse rate, loss of judgment, labored breathing, unconsciousness (occurs in under a minute when CO2 concentration rises about 10%) and death. If you notice any of this it is time to call Cagle Service to check your unit.

When people live in older houses the age is usually the tenants “go to blame” when having issues such as drafty houses and noises. If rooms in the home are at different temperatures, more than likely it is an older furnace with an outdated duct system losing its ability to distribute heat evenly. Cagle Service would be more than happy to come out and tell you what your next steps should be, if you start noticing this problem.

Furnaces tend to make a little noise when turning on or off, but some noises will get progressively get louder and those are the ones to be aware of because it is usually a sign to replace the furnace. Here are some examples of noises and possible causes:
1. Rattling: Unsecured duct work, loose screws/sheet metal, or lower motor not properly balanced
2. Humming: The fan motor may make electrical humming sounds but the fan should never be loud or disruptive. If the fan is making those kinds of noises, the inducer motor or blower fan motor could be starting to fail.
3. Popping: This sound can happen when parts in your furnace are heating or cooling in response to temperature change.
4. Screeching or Squealing: There is an overall issue with the inducer motor or blower fan motor. Possibly loose bearings, delivering belt, or pulley that holds belt.

So if your furnace is doing any of the above give Cagle Service a call today (731.300.1030) and we will walk you through whatever the next steps should be. Also remember if a new furnace is needed, Cagle Service provides financing options for a new unit. (https://cagleservice.com/financing-options-2/)


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All You Need To Know About Our Financing Options

Cagle Service wants to make purchasing your emergency, immediate need or planned upgrade equipment hassle free. We accept all major credit cards plus can arrange for zero money down, short and long term, financing through our partner lenders. Some of our financing options offer “same as cash,” for your added convenience.
It seems to be Murphy’s Law, when the time comes for a new heating or cooling system (HVAC), a water heater, or any other significant home comfort purchase, there’s never enough extra cash lying around. According to a 2017 report from the Federal Reserve, 44% of Americans are unable to afford an emergency expense costing more than $400, meaning customers with an immediate home improvement need may not have the cash to afford that new equipment. Consumer financing is an easy way to relieve that stress and purchase the equipment you are needing or wanting. At Cagle Service, we can apply for your credit account on site. Allow us to assist you, after all, that’s what we’re here for. We have two lenders we have partnered with, Synchrony Financial, who have been in business since 1932 and are one of the largest providers of private label credit in the United States and Fortiva Financial, with over 90 years of lending experience and the ability to handle challenged credit, as well as, offering a “second look” option.
We want to make purchasing your new equipment as simple and painless as possible! Call us today for your specifically tailored proposal and no obligation consultation. (731) 300-1030


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What is your Heat Exchanger? Associated Problems & Safety Concerns

What is a Heat Exchanger?

The heat exchanger in a furnace separates the combustion process from your breathing air.  Air is heated as it is blown across the hot metal surface of the heat exchanger. The heated air is then distributed through the house to warm the house.

The heat exchanger must have an air (and gas) tight seal to separate the gasses inside the heat exchanger from the breathing air passing over the outside surface. This is because the flue gasses can be poisonous.  Carbon Monoxide Gas and contamination of the breathing air by these gasses pose a health risk and can be fatal.

Why do Heat Exchangers fail?

All heat exchangers fail eventually. This is because of metal fatigue. Metal when it is heated up expands, and when it is cooled off contracts. This expansion/contraction cycle is part of the normal furnace heating process. Over time this constant expansion and contraction has the same effect on a heat exchanger that bending a paperclip back and forth, it breaks.  Upon this failure, contamination occurs and it is no longer safe.

While heat exchangers are typically manufactured to last between 10 – 20 years, many factors can accelerate the process of heat exchanger failure. These factors usually fall under the categories of poor maintenance, poor initial system design and installation, or poor equipment design by the manufacturer. Any one or a combination of these factors can result in a heat exchanger failing in a few short years.

How can you know when a Heat Exchanger has failed?

A heat exchanger must be visually inspected on a regular basis. Visual observation of light or water passing through the breach is positive confirmation of a crack or hole in a heat exchanger.

 

What are the Safety Concerns of a faulty Heat Exchanger?

When it comes to gas appliance and furnace safety, homeowners may assume that the flammability of gas is the main hazard to guard against. However, Bob Underwood, technical training manager at Estes Services in Atlanta, says that the more important safety concern with regard to gas furnaces is actually the accidental venting of carbon monoxide into the home.

“There are high-temperature limiting devices on furnaces to protect against fire,” he points out, “so the primary problem is that carbon monoxide could leak into the home.”

In a properly functioning gas furnace system, the flue transfers carbon monoxide (and other gases produced by combustion) safely out of the house; a damaged or blocked flue can send them into the home instead.

A gas furnace’s heat exchanger is another potential source of leaked carbon monoxide. The heat exchanger contains the gas combustion chamber. As air is circulated through the HVAC system, it passes over the heat exchanger and absorbs thermal energy before it’s circulated throughout the house.

Over time, the heat exchanger can crack or separate, allowing carbon monoxide to enter the house. Bob not only knows why cracks in heat exchangers sometimes develop, but he also knows what homeowners should do when this problem occurs as well as how regular maintenance can help prevent it in the first place

What are the options if a Heat Exchanger is bad?

There are only two options if a Heat Exchanger is bad:

  1. Replace the heat exchanger or replace the furnace. If the heat exchanger is under warranty, this option is a good way to go unless it is unavailable in the time frame needed, which can be immediate in cold weather.
  2. The other factors are energy efficiency and cost of service which can make replacing the furnace a preferable option even if the furnace is under warranty and available. If a furnace is out of warranty the preferable option is to replace the furnace.

How does Cagle Service, LLC provide the highest level of confidence possible?

There are two areas where a high level of confidence is vital for you:

  1. To have the assurance that if there is a breach in the heat exchanger that it is discovered.To give you this assurance Cagle Service, LLC has made a substantial investment in inspection systems for all of their service technicians to eliminate any uncertainty about the integrity of your furnace and to give you maximum peace of mind about your safety.
  2. To have the assurance that if the heat exchanger is diagnosed as bad that it really is bad.

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Improve Your HVAC System’s Energy Efficiency

When it comes to energy efficiency, I would say that most people would desire to improve in this area. One of the most energy-consuming items to evaluate is our heating and air conditioning system. There are ways to make your system more efficient, and in this post I’m going to share some tips with you that can reduce your energy bills and make your home or business more energy efficient!

energy efficiency

Newer Heating and Air Units Are More Efficient

As we advance in learning and technology, our products and systems continue to advance as well. Just take our cell phones and automobiles for example (ok, some might not agree with the automobile statement!). But you get my point!

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Is Your AC Low on Freon, Continuously?

One of the most common service calls HVAC Service companies get is a complaint that the customer’s AC is low on Freon. Or they “need to have their unit recharged”. While this might seem normal and expected to the average person, it isn’t how it’s supposed to be!

ac low on freon

How Freon Works

Freon in itself is simply a refrigerant, or coolant. It’s a gas. This gas refrigerant is cycled through your air conditioner, starting with the ac compressor.

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Should I Replace My Air Conditioner?

Oh to have a brand new, high-efficient air conditioner! Wouldn’t that be great?

should I replace my air conditioner

But do you really need to replace your current air conditioner? Let’s go over some of the signs that indicate it might be time to replace your air conditioner, and also some of the benefits of replacement. We will also share some signs that indicate that you do not need a new air conditioner.

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