Shared living (especially with someone you really love) can have several health and lifestyle benefits. But an ongoing Thermostat War isn’t one of them.

While some shiver at even the thought of letting temperatures drop below 72 degrees inside, others may feel claustrophobic and dragged down without a bit of briskness in the air. One of you may be wary of the heating or cooling bill, while the other may choose to spend more on that line item than groceries and streaming services.

You wouldn’t be alone in this conundrum. In fact, a 2020 study revealed that 75 percent of participating couples argue over where to set the thermostat.

So how do you solve the problem without letting things get too heated — or freezing each other out?

Meet in the Middle

Good, old-fashioned compromise may be part of the solution. A fun suggestion could be to flip a coin together, setting the thermostat to the preferred temperature of whomever wins the toss. Then each day afterward, increase or decrease the setting by two degrees until you find a comfortable level you can both live with.

Extra blankets, housecoats or slippers, portable heaters or fans, and spray bottles filled with ice water are other tools you may use to help you stay cooler or warmer without continually messing with the thermostat dial.

Program Temperature Zones

Temperature zoning divides a home up into two or more separate areas for heating and cooling. This involves professional installation of motorized dampers in your existing duct system, which are connected to independent programmable thermostats. Each thermostat is wired to a centrally-placed control panel, which allows you to conveniently program each zone from a single location.

Programming with a timer may also help. “To make things fair, we’ve decided to put our heating on a timer from 7 am until 9 am so it’s not too icy when we get out of bed,” one interviewee told Stylist, “and then again from 5 pm until 9 pm as it gets colder at night.”

Make Your Equipment Smarter

One of the best ways to resolve temperature battles is to upgrade to a smart thermostat or by installing smart air vents. “Both solutions have their advantages and disadvantages,” Consumer Reports acknowledges. “Smart thermostats with remote sensors are more affordable than smart vents,” they explain, “but they’re best for averaging the temperature across multiple rooms. Smart vent covers allow you to actually redirect airflow and heat or cool individual rooms to precise temperatures. But they cost more.”

Beyond being conveniently programmable from your phone and other devices, smart thermostats are able to “learn” your heating and cooling habits, and eventually adjust accordingly. Which will ultimately save you money. Though a smart thermostat won’t allow you to adjust temperatures in individual rooms the way smart vents will, they may allow you to find the right patterns for your compromises.

Keep Your Systems Well Maintained

A smoothly-running HVAC system will keep everyone happier. Test your AC unit now while temperatures are still cool. Make sure vents, drains, and condensers are all clean. And schedule a preventative maintenance appointment well before you think you need it.

Though we may not be able to fix every temperature spat in your home, our knowledgeable staff will make sure your equipment isn’t part of the problem. Connect with us online or call us at 770-995-7585 for an appointment or advice.

Now that holiday spending season is over and tax deadlines are rapidly approaching, you may be examining your household budget with a little more scrutiny. Did you know your HVAC system could possibly be a source for saving some money? Here are a few things to keep in mind to maximize your savings and remain in comfort.

Check In on Insulation & Windows

The Great Outdoors are great, but not when they intrude indoors uninvited. As we’ve asserted in the past, “Good insulation can save you a lot on your energy bills, and make your home more comfortable too.”

Spend a little time in the first quarter of the year to ensure your home’s insulation has been upgraded to current energy standards, including attic insulation, door and window sealings, and any other possible upgrades, including getting your fireplace examined for draughts if you have one. Spending that time and effort now can reduce your energy bills throughout the year.

Make Sure Your Thermostat is Working Well — If Not Smartly

Because smart thermostats learn your daily patterns, and adjust temperatures accordingly, they can save you substantially on your monthly utility bills. But if you’re not ready for in-home technology that knows you better than you know yourself, a well-functioning standard thermostat can still make a big difference. Here’s how to ensure yours is operating effectively.

  • Make sure your thermostat is located in an area of your home with a fresh flow of air, preferably an interior room where it won’t receive too much direct sun and can accurately sense the temperature of your living areas.
  • If your thermostat is programmable, you can save substantially on heating and cooling costs by programming it based on when you and your family are typically out of the house or asleep. In cold weather, set the thermostat to adjust 7°-10°F lower when you’re away or sleeping. In warm weather, set it to adjust 7°-10°F higher. (You can achieve the same results with a manual thermostat, but it may be harder to remember to adjust it every time you leave for work or head to bed.)

Mind the Landscaping

When your outdoor unit is too exposed to sun or cold, too crowded by shrubbery or other landscaping, or doesn’t get enough drainage from rain and runoff, its longevity and efficiency may decrease. Consult with a landscaping professional — or better yet, your HVAC maintenance team — to see if your outdoor space is possibly conflicting with your indoor climate.

Keep It Well Maintained

As we’ve advised in the past, “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.” Keeping filters, drain pans, and condensers clean are a few of the things you can do. For a walk-through on these do-it-yourself tips, our specialists are here to help, as well.

If you have other questions or concerns about how to help your HVAC system do the most for you and your wallet (and to discuss options if it isn’t), connect with us online or call us at 770-995-7585 for an appointment or advice.

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.