A member of the Mitchell Cooling and Heating team since 1994, Lindy Strickland wears many hats: human resources, office manager, customer service, and dispatch. In her first year with the company, she was also our lead childcare provider.

Back then, owners Chris and Kathy Mitchell ran the two-year-old company out of their home. While Chris was out installing heating and cooling systems in new construction, Kathy and Strickland took turns answering the phones, scheduling calls, and taking care of the Mitchells’ young daughter.

As the company grew, they soon moved into a proper office space, and Strickland focused entirely on company operations. She was later promoted to office manager and now oversees the office team. She still answers the phones and schedules service calls as needed. (If you’re already a Mitchell customer, you’ve undoubtedly spoken with her from time to time.) But as the business and team have grown, Strickland has taken on accounts receivable, paying bills, human resources, and office management.

“When I first started, everything was done on paper,” says Lindy, “paper service tickets, and each customer had an actual paper file. When calls came in we had to pull the files and give past customer information to the techs.”

Technology has since greatly streamlined that process. “Over the years, the computers and iPads have made things much simpler,” she says. “The techs now have the ability to see all the past information, the history, for each of the calls they have. That frees us up to help more customers.”

Good People Who Work Well Together

Strickland is not alone in her long tenure with the company. Assistant Service Manager April Johnston has been with the company 24 years. New Construction Manager Gus Loaiza has been with us for 25 years. General Manager Bill Lord is the new kid with only 20 years at the company (though he has 30 years experience in the HVAC industry).

“That gives people confidence in our staff,” says Strickland. “They know who we are when we pick up the phone. They’ll get to know a particular tech and always request them by name. They’ve had them in their homes and know them on a personal level.”

For Strickland, the people of Mitchell are like a second family.

“We have a good, honest, dependable group who are here to do their best at what they do,” says Strickland, “whether it’s in the office or working out in the field. We all pitch in wherever we’re needed to take care of our customers to the best of our ability.”

Family, Faith, and Mountain Hikes

Outside of work, Strickland is very active in her church, although the present COVID-19 restrictions have limited that somewhat. “We can’t be as involved as usual,” she says.

“Our family spends a lot of time together,” Strickland says. She and her husband have adult children now living in Savannah and Athens, so they frequently road-trip on the weekends to visit one or the other. Her son, currently in school to become a physical therapist, is getting married soon, so they’ve been helping to prepare for that important day.

Strickland and her husband also like to go hiking in the mountains. “We’ve taken a couple of trips out to Colorado,” she says, “and this year we went to Montana and Wyoming. We go up to the Smokies often and hike all over North Georgia.”

These hikes are all day hikes, she says. “At night, I want to take a shower and sleep in a hotel.”

Sleeping in a tent, with no heating or air conditioning? It’s just not for her.


Is it time for your regular HVAC maintenance? Give Lindy a call to schedule it or talk with anyone else in the office by calling 770-995-7585. You can also schedule service online.

November weather can keep you guessing in Atlanta and North Georgia. You might be going to the park in shorts one weekend, then shoveling an inch of snow the next. (OK, it’ll probably be more like a quarter inch, but we’ll tell anyone we know up North it was a foot.)

Still, even though the temperatures may keep you guessing day to day, you’ll probably fire up the furnace more than once this month. That can drive your energy usage up and deliver some eye-popping utility bills right around the holidays.

Fortunately, there’s a lot you can do to save energy this fall, and none of it requires shivering in your own home. You and your family can conserve energy while staying comfortable and preparing for fall and all year round.

Reverse the Spin of Your Ceiling Fans

Ceiling fans aren’t just for summer, but you do have to change the direction they spin in the cooler months. The blades should spin clockwise, from your perspective looking up at them. This will draw cooler air up toward the ceiling and force some of the warmer air down without blowing a cooling draft on you.

Many ceiling fans have a switch on their base to do this. Turn the fan off first and let the blades come to a stop. Adjust the switch, then turn the fan back on. Fans that have a remote control may instead have a “Reverse” button you can push on the remote.

Make the Most of Your Fireplace

Wood stove or gas insert fireplaces are an effective way to help heat your home, and they bring a cozy warmth to any room. Open fireplaces are less efficient, though you can retrofit them with box inserts, tempered glass doors, and special grates or a blower to return heated air to the room instead of sending it up the chimney.

Whenever your fireplace is not in use, remember to close the damper so that warm air doesn’t escape out the chimney. (And always open the damper when you start a fire, so the smoke and other fumes can escape.)

Use Windows Wisely

In cooler months, windows can bring warmth into your home along with light. During the day, open blinds and curtains, especially those that face to the south where the most sunlight will shine in. Close them again at sunset to keep the warmth inside.

If your home doesn’t have modern energy-efficient windows and you aren’t ready to make the investment in replacing them, consider installing cellular (honeycomb) shades or insulating films to inhibit the radiation of heat out through your windows.

Install a Smart Thermostat, or Be Smart With Your Thermostat

This is really a year-round conservation tip, but the newer smart thermostats can save you substantially on your monthly utility bills while keeping you comfortable at home. (The manufacturers’ claims range from 15% to 23% savings, but your results may vary.) Smart thermostats learn your daily patterns, then adjust heating and cooling to save you energy and money.

(We’ll be happy to install one for you.)

Even if you have an older mechanical or programmable thermostat, you can save energy by making smart cool weather choices. Consider turning your thermostat down to 68° when you’re at home and awake, and 7-10° lower when you’re away or asleep. (Cooler temperatures are better for sleeping anyway.) According to the Department of Energy, this can save you as much as 10% on your heating and cooling costs.

Check Your Insulation and Sealing

We have a lot of beautiful old homes here in Georgia. (Plenty of nice new ones too.) Most of them were built long before we all got serious about energy conservation. Has your home’s insulation been upgraded to modern standards? Good insulation can save you a lot on your energy bills and make your home more comfortable too.

While preparing for fall, it’s also a good time to check around the edges of exterior doors, windows, and fireplaces for any gaps letting hot air out and cold air in. Look for light shining through and feel for drafts. Seal any gaps with weather stripping, caulk, or, if the gaps are large, expandable insulation foam. It can save you up to 10% on your energy bills.

Inspect and Maintain Your HVAC System

HVAC maintenance is one of Energy Star’s top fall tips for saving on your utility bills while keeping your home comfortable. You should inspect your furnace’s air filter at least once a month and change it no less than every three months or whenever it is visibly dirty. Dirty filters force your heating system to work harder to blow warm air throughout your home, and this drives up your energy costs.

Energy Star also advises an annual professional inspection and tune-up. A well tuned HVAC system will run more efficiently and keep your home reliably comfortable. Regular maintenance may also extend the life of your system.

(So consider scheduling that tune-up today.)

A qualified heating and cooling expert will inspect your ductwork, furnace or heat pump, blower, and all other components of your system. They’ll clean dirty components, replace worn parts before they break, and may recommend additional measures such as better insulating and sealing your ductwork.

Enjoy the Season by Preparing For Fall

Autumn in Atlanta and North Georgia is a wonderful time of year. Whether you’re outside enjoying the crisp days or staying cozy at home, enjoy the season in comfort while saving money too. Give us a call to schedule your HVAC maintenance or have us install a smart thermostat today or if you have any more questions about preparing for fall. We look forward to hearing from you.

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.

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.

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.