If you whistle while you work, you may just enjoy the work you do, but if your air conditioner is whistling, it’s a sign that something is wrong. At the least, your air conditioner is probably working too hard, possibly running up your power bills and shortening the life of your unit. It’s possible that something more serious is going on. So if your air conditioner is whistling, it’s signaling for attention and help. Please don’t ignore its call.

Most Common Reason: Low Return Airflow

In most cases, a high-pitched whistling sound means that your air conditioner isn’t getting enough airflow through the return vents and ductwork: the ones that pull air from your home to the air conditioning evaporator coils to cool it. Your air conditioner has to work harder to pull enough air through the system. This leads to high-pressure, high-speed air moving through the return ductwork, and that causes the whistling you’re hearing.

The same thing can happen when you have insufficient airflow through the supply vents and ductwork: the ones that push cooled air out to your home. This is a little less likely to cause a high-pitched whistling noise and more likely to cause a deeper hum or roar.

Several issues can lead to poor airflow, and some of them you can diagnose and fix yourself.

Is it time to replace your air filter?

A dirty air filter can slow the flow of air through your central air system. If it has been more than three months since you last replaced it or if it looks visibly dirty, go ahead and replace it and see if that helps.

Are your vents blocked by furniture or other obstructions?

Keeping the areas immediately around your vents cleared allows air to flow with less effort. If furniture, drapes, boxes, or other objects are in the way, move them out or over to let the air flow freely through the vent.

Are vent dampers closed?

Some vents have dampers to reduce the flow of air into unused rooms. You may even have closed them accidentally while doing other housework. Air conditioning systems are generally designed to work best with all the dampers open. Closing one in an unused guest room might not have a big impact, but if you have several dampers closed, open them up and see if the whistling goes away.

Are all the doors closed?

If you have a home with many separate rooms and doors, consider leaving at least some of the doors open for easier whole-house airflow. Even though your interior doors aren’t airtight, forcing all the airflow through small gaps around doors can put added strain on your air conditioner.

Was the ductwork correctly configured?

There’s quite a bit of science and engineering that goes into planning a central air system, including the necessary ductwork. Installation technicians have to carefully balance return and supply airflow with the overall capacity of the blower. If your system either wasn’t designed correctly or has been altered over time as new equipment is installed, your system may not have the right balance. This isn’t something you’ll be able to diagnose or fix yourself, but our service technicians will be happy to investigate it for you if the whistling continues.

But It Could Be: Duct Leaks

Your home’s ductwork has many joints along it, where sections of duct come together. When installed correctly, these joints should be well sealed by the installer. This allows the system work efficiently and helps prevent those whistles. Over time, the seals around duct joints can develop leaks, allowing air to flow through.

You probably won’t be able to diagnose or fix this yourself, but you can schedule a service call to get your ductwork joints checked out.

Or Is It: Bearings and Belts

Are you sure it’s a whistle and not a screech? (Sorry to get so technical, but we’re experts in strange house noises.) A squealing, screeching sound could be the drive belt on your blower (for older models) or bearings in your condenser fan motor. You can do an initial diagnosis by standing near the outdoor condenser unit and then by the indoor blower. Does it seem like the sound is coming from one of these units? If so, your blower or condenser may be at risk of failure soon. Reach out to us promptly to get it checked out before something breaks down.

Quiet Comfort

A properly installed and maintained air conditioner should be felt and not heard. If yours is making noises — whether whistles, screeches, rattles, or hums — give us a call. We’ll figure out what your system is complaining about, then do what it takes to return it to quiet contentment.

With so many of us spending more time at home, it’s more important than ever to keep your home safe and comfortable for you and your family. I want to personally reassure you that we’re taking every precaution to protect you, our service technicians, our entire team, and our community while keeping your home cool in the summer, warm in the winter, and comfortable all year round.

The people who work with me at Mitchell Cooling and Heating tend to stick around. Many have been with me 20 years or more. We really are like family. Our customers tend to stick around too. If you’re already one of our longtime customers, then you understand why.

I’ve always believed that the best way to build a business isn’t through high-pressure sales tactics and cutting corners on work. (You might have noticed we don’t even have salespeople.) It’s better, I think, to give honest advice, stay true to your word, do quality work, and take good care of people when it’s easy and when it’s not. It’s maybe not the fastest way to grow, but, in the long run, I think it’s the best.

So things are a little harder right now, but we’ve made it through hard times together before. What’s most important to me is that we’re all still healthy and together when the crisis has passed.

As soon as the pandemic hit, we sent all our office staff home, and they’ve been working from home ever since. If you’ve had a chance to talk with Lindy or April, you know they’re still taking good care of you while keeping themselves and their families safe. They’ve both been with us more than 20 years, and we couldn’t do this without them.

We’ve also suspended our traditional morning meetings with our service technicians and are dispatching everyone from home so they don’t come in contact with one another. If they need parts resupplied for their trucks, we set them outside our building for contact-free pickup.

On service calls, all our technicians are wearing masks, gloves, and foot covers. They’re washing their hands frequently and using lots of hand sanitizer. At your home, they’ll stay outside if the work allows and keep their distance if they must come in. We’re also no longer asking for signatures on service tickets. You can handle everything online.

Whether you’ve relied on Mitchell Cooling and Heating for many years or are considering us for the very first time, I want you to know that we’re doing everything we can to keep your family safe and comfortable. If your air conditioner needs repair, if your furnace needs servicing, or if you’re looking to install a whole house air purifier for added peace of mind, you can call us with confidence. As always, we’ll do what we say we’ll do when we say we’ll do it, always with your family’s health and happiness top of mind.

I thank you for your business. Stay healthy and well, everyone. You mean a lot to us.

Chris Mitchell, Founder

Chris Mitchell, founder of Mitchell Cooling + Heating in 1992, was interviewed Saturday on WSB 95.5FM during the Lenz on Business show about how he started his own heating and air conditioning business. The interview touched on his core philosophies such as focused customer service, honesty, and avoiding upselling.

Listen to the recording to learn behind-the-scenes core beliefs ingrained at Mitchell Cooling + Heating.

All machines eventually wear out and become less efficient or inoperative. Your place of business should not be an uncomfortable environment for your employees to work in. And you surely don’t want it to be the wrong temperature for your clients (or potential clients). Knowing that there is a need to maintain and regularly service your HVAC system is not enough to ensure comfort. You need a company that you can rely on to get the job done right, the first time.

Mitchell Cooling + Heating has been working with commercial clients in the metro Atlanta and North Georgia area since 1992. We are dedicated to quality, service and reliability. We have made our business your comfort. We take great pride in the work we perform, which is why our service technicians receive the highest level of training available.

If you own or manage a business and are searching for someone to provide commercial HVAC service in Atlanta GA, turn to the team of experts at Mitchell Cooling + Heating. Contact us to schedule an appointment to have us take a look at your systems. Repair, maintenance, service and installation of HVAC systems is our specialty. Let us show you the difference Mitchell Cooling + Heating can make for your business.

As you are feeling the cold temperatures of winter outside, you likely are ready to turn your heating unit to a permanent “on” position. There are a few things that you need to do to make sure that your unit is in tip-top shape, and that your AC is ready to go when warmer weather returns. In fact, the Department of Energy estimates that proper HVAC maintenance can really impact your fuel or electricity expenses by 15-25%.

Make sure air filters are clean and replaced regularly

You should change your air filters at least every 90 days and you may consider replacing every 30-45 days if you have children, pets or allergies. You’ll dramatically lower your energy bill simply by keeping filters free from dust, dirt, and other obstructions.

Maintain your outside unit

Fallen leaves, twigs and dirt can clog your system lessening its efficiency and causing mulching effects on the unit. Clear all debris and be sure to keep an eye out for any large chunks of ice or snow that can damage your HVAC system.

Schedule HVAC maintenance twice a year

This ensures your furnace or heat pump and air ducts are in good shape and heating your home efficiently. It will also save you money by identifying problems before you develop a costly breakdown. It is especially critical to have your gas furnace checked annually to look for wear on the heat exchanger and flue. A blocked flue or cracked heat exchanger means carbon monoxide may be leaking into your home and can result in sickness and even death.

Winterizing your HVAC system increases the lifespan, protects you from dangerous hazards and improves overall efficiency to save you money and keep you comfortable and safe all winter.

As valuable members of the family, your pet deserves his or her own place in the home. Yet, it’s only natural for your furry family members to shed their hair, lose dander, and leave behind a bit of dust and dirt (just like a regular member of the family). Here are a few ways you can keep your HVAC efficient even if you are a pet owner.

Maximize the efficiency of your HVAC even if your house is also home to a few pets and four-legged family members.

Change Your Filters
As a pet owner, you might need to change your filters more often than the average user because of fur. Reduce the strain on your system by changing your filters. It is also advisable to bathe and groom your pets regularly because this decreases the amount of fur in the system.

Schedule Routine Maintenance
More than anything, routine maintenance keeps the system clear and guarantees all parts are functioning at maximum capacity. Routine maintenance also improves your air quality (which is valuable to people allergic to dander).

Clean Your Air Return
The air return circulates air back into your home so a dirty air return leaves you with air that isn’t as clean. You can use a handheld vacuum to remove any pet hair and debris. It also recommended that you vacuum your home regularly to reduce the amount of hair and dander that may collect your vents.

Update Your System
Get realistic about the lifetime of your HVAC, because if your system is old, you will need to replace it. Remember, an uncomfortably warm environment can get dangerous for a pet with a heavy coat.

Seal Any Pet Doors
Pet doors are convenient but not always energy-efficient! Make sure your pet door is well-sealed when closed so you aren’t letting heat or cool air seep out of it.

Install an Air Purifier
Air purifiers can help eliminate pet dander from your home. If you are an allergy sufferer, they can make a big difference in your air quality.

Make your home more comfortable for pets and people by keeping your HVAC system in top condition with Mitchell Cooling + Heating. Our HVAC company offers services for heating and cooling clients in Metra Atlanta and North Georgia.

Do you have an accurate picture of the price and value of the goods and appliances in your home? One item homeowners often don’t consider until it is too late is their HVAC system, and with the heat of Atlanta summers, you don’t want to be left without air conditioning. A new system is often more expensive than many customers realize, so if you suspect it may be time for replacement, you may need to prepare and save in advance.

The Cost of Different Brands

Just like every other home appliance, there are different price ranges for customers with varying needs. There are top of the line models that take up less space, work more efficiently, or come with digital features. As is the case with most big purchases, we recommend you do your research. You want to select a brand with a trusted product and good track record.

Ways to Avoid Overspending

By our estimation, a new system ranges from $3000 to $5000 and on average, you can expect to spend $4500 for a full replacement. The price ranges due to a number of factors such as the size of your home, the features you want your AC unit to have, and the layout of your home. A few ways you can avoid overspending on your HVAC system include:

Be aware of the size of the unit you need prior to installation. Too many companies try to get you to install an oversized unit. Not only will this cost you more, it won’t be nearly as efficient for your home! As a general rule, you would replace your equipment with the same size you already have in your residence; however, since the updated minimum standard SEER rating is usually much higher than what you have currently, you will be attaining better efficiency and save on energy bills just by upgrading.

Get an estimate from a trustworthy company. If you are concerned about the price, an estimate for your specific home should give you an approximation of cost. Also, make sure the company has testimonials from others who are satisfied with their service.

If this is the first unit that will be put in a new home, basement or addition, it is recommended that you know where they are going to install it. The placement of your system makes a big difference when you are talking about outdoor exposure to sunlight. Think carefully about placement or your system may need to retire in just a few years.

We are blessed in the south, and specifically in the Atlanta area that we have a relatively low cost of living when compared with other cities. Still, part of the cost of living here with our hot summers includes keeping a working air conditioning unit, and this can be a major expense. So, be sure to include regular preventative maintenance and a plan for the replacement in your budget. Without AC in our summers, you’d find yourself overheating in no time.

Contact us today to speak to one of our team members.

While news in the HVAC industry doesn’t often affect the average consumer, a protocol put in place by the Environmental Protection Agency will actually affect your home. Every person that runs an HVAC system with R-22 refrigerant, or Freon®, will need another solution. Instead of using R-22 refrigerants, which are known for hydrofluorocarbons (HCFCs), a more environmentally-friendly coolant R-410a is now being used.

As the supply of R-22 decreases year-by-year, the availability is getting scarcer. Limited production of a necessity will lead to a price increase (think of the Beanie Baby craze) you shouldn’t have to endure.

What Does This Mean for Your Home HVAC?
If your system was installed before 2010, you likely uses R-22. All systems manufactured after 2010 use R-410a. In 2018, only 9 million pounds of Freon® is set to be produced and the number should be down to 4 million by 2019. In the year 2020, no R-22 can be manufactured or imported to the United States.

This means that a product your current HVAC uses for functioning will become unavailable. If your system breaks down as a result of refrigerant, it will require full replacement. In a situation where availability is guaranteed to become an issue, you cannot afford to have equipment that uses this form of coolant.

Consistently Replacing Refrigerant? –Save Now
Have you had to the boost the refrigerant in your system every year or multiple times within one year? If so, it is recommended that you purchase a new one. The R-22 cooling system is closed, which means if you are topping it off, there is a leak or something is malfunctioning. Once the issue arises once, it will come about again.

Consider making the investment now when you have the time to weigh your options and not react with a last-minute purchase. A scheduled HVAC system replacement generally costs less than an emergency replacement. Plus, your family won’t be inconvenienced by a lack of AC because you have had a major breakdown. Most importantly, the newer HVAC units are more environmentally friendly and energy efficient, which means you are helping to save the earth and saving money at the same time.

Choose Your New System Wisely

Your home should be cool, comfortable, and safe. The HVAC system you use, especially during the hot Georgia summers, needs to function for years to come. When you choose your system, make sure you only purchase a new system that uses a non-ozone depleting refrigerant. For an honest assessment of your system, as well as a replacement plan, reach out to the qualified team at Mitchell Cooling + Heating.

We aren’t afraid to admit it – the outdoor AC unit isn’t the most attractive household appliance on the market. Luckily, there are ways to make your outdoor space more pleasing without compromising the integrity of your HVAC system, but don’t make these mistakes when landscaping your yard.

#1: Planting Shrubbery and Trees Too Close to the Unit

Putting a plant or a tree too close to an air conditioner may have long-term effects on the condition of your unit. Even if your plants are currently not large, in a few seasons they could be encroaching on the foundation of the appliance with root systems, dropping leaves into the fan, or disturbing the compressor. Leaves and moisture causes all types of problems with air conditioners in the long term. No matter what you do, make sure you leave a 2 foot clearance all the way around to allow both space for your unit to operate and a clear path for your technician to reach it.

#2 Leaving Your AC Too Exposed

There is a benefit to protecting your air conditioning unit with plant life and fencing. Rather than exposing it to the elements on the side of the house, a trellis or screen and some hedges can extend its lifetime. This serves as a windbreak from high winds and rainfall. In places like Georgia, try adding evergreens like cedar, spruce, or cypress that don’t lose their leaves. Also, shading your equipment can help protect it from the heat so it runs more efficiently and reduces your energy bills.

#3 Not Considering the Irrigation of the Land

The way your land is graded and naturally irrigated matters when it comes to the lifetime of your air conditioner. If you add gravel, boulders, rocks, and stones around the AC, the unit has drought-resistant landscaping protecting it. No plants around the unit means you won’t risk grass, weeds, sand, and dirt clogging your system.

#4 Starting Without a Plan

The right landscaping plan will complement your landscaping while also protecting your foundation, plumbing, decking, and AC unit. Start with a plan to extend the lifetime of your unit while also sprucing up your outdoor space.

Choose Your Outdoor Updates Carefully

As with all outdoor updates, you cannot make changes to landscaping without considering the structure and function of your home AC equipment. Don’t ignore the value of this essential system in the way your home functions! The right plants and landscaping can help you get the most life out of your system AND help you create a beautiful backyard.

100º temperatures will be back early next week. These crazy hot temperatures not only put stress on your family, your pets and anyone working outside, it stresses out your air conditioning system too.

It never fails, every year, as soon as we approach 100º, we are flooded with calls from homeowners that believe their systems are not working because they aren’t cooling like they are accustomed to or they are not cooling down in the heat of the day. This is very common especially for upstairs systems, homes with vaulted ceilings or a lot of windows.

The first thing you should know is that your system is typically not designed for 100º heat. HVAC systems are designed for an average temperature in your area. Your system is also designed to cool to a maximum of 20º below the temperature outside. So when we are having average temperatures, you should have no problem cooling to 70º or 71º if you like. However, when we approach 100º or above, you will likely be doing good to cool to 80º.

While it may seem as if your system is not working, it is probably doing all it can during extreme temperatures. Many people at this point will ask why systems are not designed for higher temperatures. The short answer is, you can’t design a system to operate efficiently in the extremes and also have it work well in the averages. So we have to sacrifice during a few days of extreme temperatures in order to be comfortable the rest of the year.

Some easy ways to tell if you are actually having a problem or if it is just the heat are:

  1. Does the system eventually start keeping up in the middle of the night or early morning when the outside temperatures have cooled down? If the answer is yes, the problem is more than likely just the extreme heat outside.
  2. Is the system cooling some? If it is close to 20º cooler than outside, it is probably doing all it can. If it is closer to the outside temperature, you probably have an issue that needs service.
  3. Are there any signs of a problem such as a water leak at the indoor unit, ice on the indoor or outdoor coils, or it is not catching up over night? If yes, you probably need a service call.

Things you can do to help keep your house cooler when the A/C just can’t keep up:

  1. Use your ceiling fans.
  2. Keep your blinds closed.
  3. Run your dishwasher and laundry at night.
  4. Set your thermostat higher than you normally would to give your system a break. Operating in extreme heat can cause breakdown of motors, capacitors and other parts.
  5. Make sure your filter is clean, this will ensure your system is operating at peak efficiency with no airflow restrictions.
  6. Cut back shrubbery and anything else that is around your outdoor unit, it needs room to “breathe.”
  7. Cook outside on your grill. Avoid heating up the house with the oven if possible.
  8. Keep doors and windows closed and try not to open and close the doors to outside too often.
  9. One of the best things you can do is have your system serviced seasonally to ensure weak parts are detected before they break down in the extreme heat. Check out our maintenance plans.

If at any time, you aren’t sure if it’s a problem or just the heat, give us a call at 770-995-7585. We can help you determine if you need a service call or if you may just have to wait it out.