So, you’ve made the investment and gotten your brand-new HVAC system installed. But how do you know whether it’s truly running perfectly? Though our experts are happy to help you solve any of your HVAC needs, here are some key things you can look out for independently, to ensure your new system is in top shape for the long-run.

Temperature (and Humidity) Check

One of the main reasons you may have gotten a new system is to improve your energy efficiency. But how do you know if this new HVAC is working properly? Monitoring temperature consistency and humidity fluctuations will be one of the best ways to find out.

​​First and foremost, use a thermometer not connected to your system to compare the temperature readout on your new thermostat with the current inside temperature of your home. If these two differ, it may mean your new thermostat could have difficulty sensing the temperature of your house. This is vital, because when the thermostat is unable to tell when it needs to turn on and off, even the newest and otherwise perfectly-running system will be challenged.

If the temperature readings are correct, but your new system is still struggling to keep up, make sure your thermostat is set to either heating or cooling (depending on what you desire), and the battery, if it has one, is fresh. Also check your circuit breaker, as the problem could simply be a tripped fuse. Otherwise, you may need an expert to help diagnose the issue.

Follow the Money

“This may seem like a no-brainer,” says home expert Bob Vila, “but unless your utility company has increased your gas or electric rates, or you’ve recently installed another energy-intensive appliance, monthly costs should be fairly consistent year to year.” Though you may experience a slight increase or decrease in costs with a new system, a big fluctuation could be a warning sign.

Make sure to monitor your billing history in the two months prior to and following your installation. “If charges have skyrocketed,” Vila advises, “that’s an obvious indicator that your HVAC system is wasting energy.” And unfortunately, if that’s the case, you may need assistance in diagnosing the problem.

Listen for Noises

Your new HVAC may come accompanied with some new noises, but some sounds are more normal than others. While rattling parts or loose screws aren’t always an immediate problem, any severe “screaming” sounds need to be looked at immediately by a professional. New “whistling” sounds may be caused by gaps between your ductwork and your new HVAC. If you’re comfortable, there are a few simple checks you can do to investigate these sounds, but analysis from a system expert can ensure nothing has been overlooked.

Whether you’re staying on top of a new system, or caretaking an older one, the experts at Mitchell Cooling and Heating are here to provide support. Call us at 770-995-7585 or connect with us online for appointments and advice.

You may have seen his face all over our website, social media, email newsletters and advertisements… but have you ever wondered what his name is? Meet Matt Ruark, one of our service technicians here at Mitchell Cooling + Heating!

Matt came to the HVAC field through a mutual friend of Chris and Kathy Mitchell. As fate would have it, when he found out that the Mitchells were hiring for technicians, Matt made the leap and decided to train with them to learn a new trade. He’s been with Mitchell Cooling+Heating  since April 2017 and is a vital member of the team.

One thing that makes Matt particularly special is his talent communicating with customers, helping them understand the situation and how to work towards a solution. Knowing that he is able to help people continues to fuel his motivation to this day.

When Matt arrives at the office, he reviews the day’s schedule and yesterday’s work with Bill Lord, Mitchell’s service manager, before gathering supplies and hitting the road.

Over the past four years, he’s had the opportunity to build a meaningful relationship with some of our clients. They often like to share life stories with Matt about their families and hobbies.

Outside of work, Matt spends time together with his wife and their small children, playing and exploring. His favorite hobbies include fishing and hunting.

If you would like one of our service technicians to pay you a visit for a service, please call 770-995-7585. You can also schedule service online.

We are hiring! If you would like to be a part of our team, please submit an application online.

Now that the Halloween season is firmly over, any bumps, bangs, or boos you hear in your home aren’t likely caused by ghosts. But if the culprit of these uncharacteristic noises is your A/C or heating unit, what’s making them happen, and how can you respond? 

Loose & Dirty Parts

Banging, buzzing, clanking, or clicking from inside your unit could be due to a variety of problems, including something as simple as a loose screw or dirt-clogged part. Any loose piston pin, crankshaft, connecting rod, or smaller internal component could also be contributing — or even a poorly balanced internal blower or fan. Clogged copper lines and filters that need to be cleaned could also be in play. In short, there’s a wide range of issues that may be causing unusual noises in your unit. Most of them are likely simple fixes, but all deserve careful investigation.

If you feel comfortable, and know your way around your HVAC unit, give it a general check for these basic issues. Make sure screws are tightened effectively, filters have been replaced, and vent dampers are open. If the culprit feels at all beyond your handy abilities, or the problem persists, call in Mitchell Cooling + Heating for a thorough assessment and safe solution. 

Failing Thermostat

Clicking sounds are normal when a system stops and starts, but if they become frequent and persistent, you may be facing a failing thermostat or defective control. Typically, these problems are caused by electrical issues which may be dangerous to your home and costly to repair, so we advise you to involve an expert sooner than later. 

Degrading Belts, Fans, and Motors

Brief screeching or squealing that occurs when the unit turns on could mean you’re simply facing a belt that needs replacement.  

But squealing sounds through your duct system become more common when indoor blower and outdoor fan motors begin to degrade. Malfunctioning or damaged blower wheels may also be the cause. In general, these are problems best left for an expert’s attention. Call Mitchell Cooling + Heating right away if squealing persists. 

Duct Leak

Even the most carefully installed, well-sealed ductwork has the potential for leaks along its joints. When air flows through these gaps, it can result in a whistling sound. If you’re unable to patch these leaks yourself, Mitchell Cooling + Heating can quickly identify where and how to reduce the leakage — and the noise. 

Refrigerant Leak

If you begin to hear a consistent “screaming” or loud, high-pitched whistling noise, a refrigerant leak may be the cause. In some cases, your unit may be equipped with a failsafe sensor mechanism that will automatically shut the unit off when this happens. But when it comes to “screaming” issues, a professional is needed immediately. These problems can be highly detrimental to your AC unit, and may also harm your health, if dangerous chemicals are indeed being released. Schedule an appointment now.

To stay on top of any clicks, knocks, screams, or groans in your system, give the experts at Mitchell Cooling and Heating a call at 770-995-7585. When you’ve investigated a noise and haven’t found a simple answer you can take care of yourself, we’re also available online for appointments and advice.

Your heating and cooling expenses may have taken a dip this month as early fall temperatures allow for wide-open windows, decreased humidity, and therefore the need for less air conditioning. However, as the thermometer continues to drop, the demand for a dependable heating system may be on your horizon. 

There are a few key factors to consider when calculating the price of a new heating system, and our experts are here to help break it down. 

Type of Furnace

“The average cost of replacing a furnace runs between $2,000 and $7,000 based on the model that best meets your needs,” home expert Bob Vila advises. “There are gas, electric, and oil versions, each using varying amounts of fuel that can affect the quality of home heating.” 

Make sure you know the energy source you’ll be depending on, and explore available varieties accordingly. In some areas, gas heaters may be less expensive than electric ones, but not if your home isn’t already connected to gas utilities. Your Mitchell Cooling + Heating specialist knows about the most efficient models and can make recommendations based on your fuel source. 

Desired Climate Control

Even if you know what type of furnace you want, understanding what size to get depends on your outdoor climate and how much you want to control it. Factors to take into consideration include:

  • External humidity, temperature, and wind chill
  • Desired internal temperature
  • Quality of internal insulation

Though software can help calculate the complex solution, “the final determination is still up to the professional who installs the furnace,” SFGate asserts

Internal Real Estate

Ultimately, the size of your home matters when it comes to determining your best heating system. If your furnace is too large for your space, you’ll waste valuable money and energy. If it’s too small, you’ll never get quite warm enough. 

A Manual J calculation may be one of the best ways to determine the most ideal system for your home. Published by the Air Conditioning Contractors of America (ACCA) to help HVAC contractors design heating and air conditioning systems, this calculation allows HVAC engineers to analyze the thermal characteristics of every wall, floor, ceiling, door, and window — as well as ductwork and the number of occupants — to advise on the heating system that is right for you.

You can also estimate the ideal number of BTUs for your home (and therefore the best size for your heating system) by estimating house square footage and using a simple online calculator. Though these simple mathematics can’t take every nuance into consideration, they can help you estimate an appropriate furnace size. 

While there’s plenty you can do to conserve warmth in cooler weather, give the experts at Mitchell Cooling and Heating a call before investing in an entirely new system. We’re available online, and you can also call for advice at 770-995-7585.

Back in 1994, job postings were listed in newspapers. That’s where Gustavo Loaiza, New Construction Manager, first heard about Mitchell Cooling + Heating 27 years ago.

“I saw an ad for a helper in heating and air,” Gus said. “Chris (Mitchell) provided training so I gave it a chance.”

With lots of energy and a can-do attitude to do whatever it takes to get things done, Gus remains happy at how long he’s continued to enjoy the job. After nearly 30 years on the Mitchell Cooling + Heating team, he hasn’t looked back. 

For him, every day is something new. Each construction project is a different challenge, requiring expertise to work with the unique demands of each commercial or residential builder and their specific construction timeline.

While each project is different, Gus’s workday has a consistency he enjoys. In the mornings, he helps his teammates load up their trucks by helping stock their equipment and material. After loading, he meets team members at the worksites to help during installations and ensure there are no installation hiccups. Afterward, Gus meets builders and contractors that need his HVAC expertise. In the afternoons, he starts preparing for the next day.

The most rewarding part of Gus’s job is the work, great coworkers, and customers he has the chance to help.

What does Gus attribute as the key for a successful 27 years in HVAC? 

“Be prepared to work hard, and find a good boss so it makes the work easier,” he says.

Gus has been married to his wife, Martha, for 40 years. They have two grown children and two grandchildren. 

The couple enjoys spending lots of time together, watching the grandkids play soccer, and having family dinners. The entire family is Atlanta United FC fans.

Warming up to fall? Give us a call to schedule a heater and furnace repair by calling 770-995-7585. You can also schedule a service online.

Georgians are no strangers to heat and humidity during the summer months, but increased rain showers (like the ones we’ve had this summer) can add to the humidity. This damp air creeps into your home, making things both wetter and warmer. 

We’ve discussed how dry air can have an impact, but too much humidity can also cause mildew or mold, peeling paint, and increase the population of dust mites.

Wondering what to do about the extra stickiness? Cranking up the AC and simply recirculating the air inside won’t necessarily solve your problem. 

Ensure Proper Ventilation

Opening a window for natural ventilation obviously won’t help now (as it might in the fall or spring), but spot ventilation can. Examples of common spot ventilators include “range hoods over stoves and bathroom exhaust fans,” the U.S. Department of Energy explains. Be sure these vents lead outdoors, and never into the attic, where moisture and other toxins can collect. 

This AC Unit is Too Big

As Bob Vila advises, “Bigger isn’t always better: An oversize window or central AC unit may be the reason for excessive moisture in a home.” The unit’s evaporator coil pulls humidity from the air as the system runs, but if it’s too big it may actually cool your space too quickly. “A longer runtime is needed to dehumidify a home correctly,” Vila explains, which means a runtime longer than 15 minutes. 

If you’re unsure whether your unit is the right size for your space, Mitchell Cooling and Heating experts can quickly make an assessment. 

Employ Dehumidifiers

Not only can a dehumidifier reduce stress on your air conditioning system, but it may help your health and allergy symptoms, as well. 

Allergy triggers include mold and dust mites, which can thrive in moist conditions. According to Healthline, “Drying out the air in your home keeps triggers to a minimum.” They also suggest it may make the air less heavy and more breathable for those with asthma. 

If you have a basement, your dehumidifier may pull the most moisture away there. But portable units can also work at the top of a staircase, in a bathroom, or any other room with high humidity. 

“Since dehumidifiers continuously draw air in and then expel it during operation, most models should be placed away from anything that would block air flow, such as walls and furniture,” Hunker recommends. It’s important to follow the manufacturer’s instructions, and keep your dehumidifier drained and cleaned, as well.

There are advantages and disadvantages between choosing portable dehumidifiers or whole-home dehumidifiers. Cost is certainly one. But the nature and location of your excess humidity may also determine which system is right for you. Consultation with a professional may shed the best light when it comes to making this decision. 

Consider A Zoned System

“Zoning allows home or business owners to save energy and money by not having to heat or cool rooms that don’t need it,” International Energy Conservation Consultants LLC explains. Rather than heating or cooling your space based on feedback from a single thermostat, these take into consideration the temperature and humidity levels in multiple areas.

But to zone an HVAC system requires zone dampers, multiple thermostats, and a zone control panel. It’s best to let the experts advise you about and install this type of system.  

Whether you’re considering a whole-home dehumidifier, zoned system, or regular service on your current AC unit, Mitchell Cooling and Heating experts are here to help. Schedule a consultation online or call us for advice 770-995-7585.

At the peak of summer, you may be well aware of how much your home depends on a well-functioning air conditioner. But do you know where it came from? And where it’s going?

Early Beginnings

The Mitchell Cooling and Heating team has been serving Atlanta and the North Metro area for almost thirty years, but air conditioning (and, consequently, A/C service) has been around for much longer.

Attempts to control indoor temperatures perhaps began in ancient Egypt, where water-soaked mats were hung in doorways to help cool rooms from the dry desert air.  Later, in Rome, elaborate aqueduct systems were implemented in part to circulate cooling water through villa walls. However, internal climate control wasn’t widespread until electricity became more readily available. 

At the turn of the 20th century, Willis Carrier developed a cooling system, upon which modern air conditioning is built. Originally designed to resolve the problems humidity caused in image printing at Brooklyn’s Sackett-Wilhelms Lithographic and Publishing Company, Carrier’s system is largely credited as the origin of modern air conditioning.

The future success of Carrier’s invention stood on the shoulders of others. 

“Long before Carrier was even born,” Smithsonian Magazine explains, “University of Glasgow professor William Cullen evaporated liquids in a vacuum thus creating refrigeration technology as early as 1748.” And in 1841, John Gorrie also invented his own ice-making machine in an attempt to cure Yellow Fever. 

Combined together, each of these technological breakthroughs established the current cooling we enjoy today. 

Modern Progress

The growing popularity of movie theaters and hotels helped spur air conditioning’s progress. Memorial Day weekend of 1925, the Rivoli Theater in New York City debuted its own air conditioning system, offering cooler respites from summer doldrums. The experiment was a success, with Adolph Zukor, president of Paramount Pictures, proclaiming on the day of the reveal, “Yes, the people are going to like it.” 

Ensuing efforts continued to adapt the technology to create smaller, safer, and more affordable cooling methods — ones that could be implemented in homes or schools. Thanks in part to research and development by engineer Henry Galson, “By 1947, 43,000 of these systems were sold — and, for the first time, homeowners could enjoy air conditioning without having to make expensive upgrades.”

Future Forward

These days, air conditioning systems are nearly everywhere. But keeping up with the technology’s maintenance and growth could be as important as creating it in the first place. 

According to an October 2020 Forbes report, “IBISWorld expects 1% average growth in this $47.6 billion (estimated 2020 revenue industry) through 2025.” There will be a great demand for experienced technicians who can keep up. 

However, the impact of climate change is also something to keep track of as well. As the planet gets hotter, more cooling solutions will be needed, but systems that don’t further contribute to climate change will also be crucial.

“With more energy-efficient air conditioners and less super-polluting refrigerants,” Fast Company reported in July 2020, “we could avoid releasing greenhouse gases  . . . in the next four decades—like preventing eight years of total annual greenhouse gas emissions.”

Technicians will need to remain knowledgeable about this changing technology and help anticipate solutions for what’s to come. 

At Mitchell Cooling and Heating, our experts are continually educated to guarantee your system’s efficiency all year round. Give us a call anytime at 770-995-7585 or schedule a service appointment to ensure your system is in prime shape — and ready for the future.

21 years ago, Service Manager Bill Lord stepped through Mitchell Cooling and Heating’s doors and hasn’t looked back since. With 37 years’ worth of experience in the HVAC industry, the only surprise he’s encountered in his career was staying at one company for over two decades.  

Bill was introduced to the HVAC field by a friend’s dad who had his own repair and installation company. As a teenager, he started out as a helper for that company and quickly grew from there.

The Day to Day

As Service Manager, Bill’s role has him involved in several key parts of Mitchell’s day-to-day operations. In the morning, he helps the team by going over any pending work from the previous day and making sure each technician has what they need for upcoming service requests. 

Additionally, Bill is available to the office staff to make sure parts are ordered and that customers are fully satisfied with their service. On top of this, he makes sure to have the phone nearby in case any technicians out in the field need support.

For Bill, while there’s not enough time in the day to take care of everything, knowing that he gets to help someone every day is reward enough to keep going.

Three Pieces of Advice

With nearly four decades of experience, Bill only has three pieces of advice for people in the field.

“You can make a great career in HVAC, just get as much training as you can, and stay up to date on technology,” he says.

At home, Bill lives with his wife, Valerie, and their dogs. They have three adult children and two grandchildren. Outside of work, you can find him spending time hunting, fishing, and of course relaxing with Valerie and the rest of his family. This summer, they have big plans to hit the pool and grill out.

Do your big summer plans include updating your HVAC? Give us a call to schedule it by calling 770-995-7585. You can also schedule service online.

We’ve already sweated through some hot spring afternoons, but here in Georgia we know the sultry scorchers are still on the way.

When those sweltering days arrive in Atlanta and North Georgia, will your air conditioner be ready to keep you and your family cool? And will your AC keep you comfortable without barbecuing your bank account with searing hot energy bills?

Don’t let the dog days of summer catch you (and your pets) unprepared. Now’s the time to make sure your air conditioner is in tip-top condition. Here’s what you can do… 

A Measure of Maintenance Goes a Long Way

Some basic annual maintenance will go a long way toward helping your air conditioner cool effectively throughout its expected lifespan. And most of it is easy to do yourself.

Vacuum Vents. Run a vacuum over all your home’s vents, registers, and grilles to remove any accumulated dust and debris. While you’re at it, make sure that each vent has about a foot of unobstructed space around it. Relocate any furniture, artwork, and other life debris — we’re looking at you, winter boots dropped by the front door three months ago — to allow for easy air flow.

Clean the Condenser. As we suggested in last month’s post, clean up any branches and leaves on or around your outdoor condenser unit, then use a hose to spray dust and grime off the fan and condenser coils. You can also use a shop vac and soft-bristled brush to vacuum the condenser fins. (They’re delicate, so proceed with care.)

Douse the Drain. Your indoor evaporator unit has a drain pan under it to capture dripping condensation. A drain line then moves the water outside. Once a year, pour a cup of a 50/50 mix of bleach and water down that drain line, wait a few minutes, then flush it with lots of clean water. This will stop the growth of algae and help prevent clogs. If the water you pour in doesn’t drain, give your HVAC service provider a call right away. Pooling water in your drain pan can cause water damage and will keep your air conditioner from cooling as effectively.

More Maintenance for Fewer Problems. Professional preventative maintenance goes beyond the measures you can manage yourself, and it may lengthen the life of your equipment. Give us a call if you’d like to schedule an annual preventative maintenance appointment.

Lower Energy Bills are Cool Too

Some simple energy efficiency measures can help keep your energy bills cool without sacrificing your family’s comfort.

Be a Fan of Fans. Moving air moves heat off your skin, so make the most of fans. Ceiling fans, floor fans, desk fans, heck even hand fans will all keep you cooler, even with the thermostat set a few degrees higher. Just remember that fans don’t do you any good in an empty room, so turn them off when you leave.

Delete the Heat. With all the heat Mother Nature is making outside, don’t add to the problem by running stoves, ovens, dishwashers, and dryers during the hottest parts of the day. That’s just inviting in more heat that your air conditioner will then have to remove. Many modern dishwashers and dryers can be programmed to run at a set time, late at night or when you’re away from home. And outdoor grilling is a smart summertime substitute to running your oven and stove.

Savings Made with Your Shades. Some of your simplest cost-cutting cool tools are old school curtains and shades. Close them during the day, especially for windows that get direct sunlight, and you’ll send a lot of excess heat back outside to play.

More Ways to Beat the Heat

These are only a cool half dozen of the many ways you can keep your family comfortable this summer while saving on your energy bills. Want more? Give us a call anytime at 770-995-7585 or schedule a service appointment. We’ll be happy to help!

With the azaleas in bloom and warmer temperatures inviting us back outside, spring is our favorite season in Atlanta and North Georgia. (Pay no mind to the pollen coating our cars and sinuses.)

But with the winter chills mostly behind us and summer’s heat ahead, it’s a good time for some spring cleaning of your heating and cooling system.

Keep It Cool

You know when’s the worst time to find out your air conditioner isn’t cooling properly? During that first 95-degree day in early summer. Check out your AC now instead, when you can address any needed repairs before the heavy heat sets in.

As an easy test, simply turn on your air conditioner — in most cases, by adjusting your thermostat down below the current temperature. Wait a few minutes, then feel the air blowing out of your HVAC system’s exhaust vents. Is it cool? Good news! If not, then at least you have time to address it.

(Remember to turn your thermostat back up when you’re done with the test.)

To keep things running smoothly and efficiently, take a quick trip to your outdoor unit with a hose and a broom. Clean up any branches, leaves or other debris that are on your condenser unit, and clear a buffer area of a couple feet around its base. Then use the hose to spray excess grime off the condenser coils and fan. (Spraying water on the unit is safe, as long it’s properly installed. It is, after all, designed to run in the rain.)

For a more thorough test and tune-up of your air conditioner or heat pump, consider scheduling an inspection and maintenance call. It’ll give you peace of mind to know you’re all set for the heat.

Avoid the Allergens

But about that pollen… along with winter’s dust and your pet’s endless supply of dander and shed hair.

We say it every season, but that’s because you should do it at minimum once every three months: Change your air filter, replacing it with a high-efficiency filter that’s appropriate for your HVAC system. (We can advise you on that if you’re not sure.)

According to the Department of Energy, “Replacing a dirty, clogged filter with a clean one can lower your air conditioner’s energy consumption by 5% to 15%.”

Spring is also a good time to vacuum or dust off your intake vents. If your allergies are worse than usual, you might also investigate having your ductwork cleaned. (It’s not something we or the EPA recommend for everyone, but in some cases it may help.)

Save on Spring Energy Bills

Spring is also a good time to get ahead on controlling your summer cooling costs while keeping you and your family comfortable at home. The tips we’ve already covered also help your HVAC system’s efficiency, but we’ve got more!

Remember to reverse the direction on your ceiling fans (assuming you did so for winter). In warm weather, you want the fans to push the air down, so the moving air cools your skin. For most fans, that means it’s spinning counterclockwise from your perspective looking up.

According to the Department of Energy, “A ceiling fan will allow you to raise the thermostat setting about 4°F with no reduction in comfort.”

Spring is also a good time to search for any cracks or leaks that are letting the outside air sneak in. Close them up with caulk and weatherstripping.

As is true year-round, a programmable or smart thermostat can help you optimize your cooling, keeping you comfortable at home while conserving energy while you’re away. (We’ll be happy to install one for you.)

And if you’re looking for an excuse to upgrade your outdoor grill, we’re here to help: Cooking outdoors during the warm months saves your air conditioning system from having to remove all that extra heat. Those flame-grilled burgers are saving you money!

Need some help getting ready for warmer weather? We’re here for you and ready to help, any time. Give us a call at 770-995-7585 or schedule a service appointment. (Inviting us to your barbecue is optional.)