Tag Archives: Raleigh

Many homeowners around the Raleigh, Cary, Durham, and Chapel Hill areas waste a lot of energy without even realizing it. You may notice an increase in your utility bills during certain times of the year. Avoid energy waste by stopping habits that cause your household to use excess energy.

Keeping Appliances Plugged In – Leaving a cell phone charger plugged in when it’s not currently in use won’t waste a lot of energy on its own. However, when you multiply that small amount of waste times the various appliances in your home, you’ll quickly see why this is a bad habit. Unplugging appliances can help improve the overall energy efficiency in your home by 10 percent. Simplify this task by keeping only appliances plugged into a power strip. Then, you can just switch the strip off.

Taking Long, Hot Showers – It’s hard to beat the warmth and comfort from a hot shower. This habit, however, wastes a lot of energy and water. Adjust the water heater temperature setting so that it can’t go too high, helping to eliminate the temptation, for everyone in your home.

Washing Clothes In Hot Water – The majority of a washing machine’s energy is spent heating water. You can cut energy use in half by switching from hot to warm water, and reduce it even further by using cold water. Unless you are trying to remove oil or grease, cold water sufficiently cleans clothing, towels and sheets.

Using Outdated Light Bulbs – Incandescent light bulbs are very inefficient, so if you have these outdated bulbs in your home, now is the time to upgrade. While compact fluorescent bulbs s are better than incandescent bulbs, the best option is to replace them all with LED bulbs. They’re more expensive up front, but they use substantially less energy.

Keeping The Refrigerator Door Open – We’ve all been there – you can’t decide what to eat! Standing in front of an open refrigerator door wastes a lot of energy.

Falling Asleep With The TV On – Try using the sleep timer on your television so that it cuts off after you’ve fallen asleep and no longer need the noise.

Leaving Fans On In Empty Rooms –  Remember, fans cool people, not rooms.

Not Using A Programmable Thermostat – With a manual thermostat, you have to remember to adjust the temperature up and down depending on the time of day and whether people will be home or not. Programmable thermostats take the need to remember out of the equation and help save energy when the air doesn’t need to be running.

Running the HVAC with Dirty Ducts – Over time, the ducts that move cool and warm air from the HVAC system to your vents get clogged with dust, pet hair, pollen, dander, and other debris. Dirty ducts require the system to work a lot harder to heat or cool and move the air, and you’ll also suffer from poor indoor air quality. Get your ducts cleaned by an HVAC professional about once a year to combat this problem.

Learn more about duct cleaning and improved energy efficiency by calling 6 & Fix Heating & Cooling professionals.

 

 

 

The summer and winters in the Triangle can put a strain on any HVAC system. If it’s receiving proper maintenance, your HVAC equipment should last you approximately 10 years, but even the best equipment eventually wears out.

The following are common signs that your HVAC system isn’t running well anymore and may need to be replaced:

Inefficient Cooling or Heating of Your Home – If you feel like you’re running the AC or heat on high yet still not quite feeling comfortable, there’s probably something wrong with your HVAC equipment. If it’s a struggle to get your home’s temperature under control, it’s probably time to consider a new system.

Burning Smells – If you smell something burning when you turn on your AC or heat, that’s a dangerous sign. It means the insulation has come off of the wires. This problem needs to be addressed immediately because it poses a potential hazard, or could mean that other parts of your HVAC system have been compromised. While it is possible to replace burnt out wires, the fact that it’s happening indicates your system is wearing out.

Constant Maintenance Needed – You should rarely need to call someone between scheduled maintenance visits. If you’re constantly calling for another repair or requesting additional freon, your HVAC system is worn out. In that case, you’d save more money in the long run if you got a new system instead of paying to keep fixing yours.

High Electricity Bills – Many homeowners spend hundreds of dollars on energy costs every month. If you’re one of these homeowners, you may be willing to do everything to increase your home’s energy efficiency.  An inadequate sized HVAC system for your home could reduce efficiency by as much as 30 percent. A professional will be able to determine the correct size needed by using industry standard calculations. If your HVAC system is installed incorrectly, it may have a shortened life span, along with multiple breakdowns along the way.

As with all things, HVAC systems do not last forever. As important as maintaining a vehicle you drive every day, your HVAC system needs to be properly maintained as well with regularly scheduled seasonal maintenance. Even still, no matter what you do to keep your HVAC system in good condition, it will become outdated and inefficient in time. It may not be enough to repair or maintain your HVAC system to improve efficiency. Typically, if a repair will cost more than 50% of a new system, it’s best to just install a new system.

6 & Fix Heating and Cooling installation specialists provide quick, convenient, expert advice and written estimates for new HVAC systems. They offer installation specials and convenient financing optionsContact a 6 & Fix Heating and Cooling specialist today.

 

The HVAC industry is changing in order to provide a cleaner environment. Currently over half of central air conditioning units in the U.S. still use R22 refrigerant. R22, often called by its brand name Freon, is a type of gas that has been widely used in air conditioning and refrigeration systems. In recent years it has been added to the list of substances that are known for causing ozone depletion. Because of this, R22 is now being phased out of service and new air conditioning equipment is no longer allowed to use this type of gas.

R22 will stop being produced in 2020. However, air conditioning systems using R22 have stopped being produced since 2010. Today, the preferred cooling agent in AC units is R410A. This new type of refrigerant does not contribute to the depletion of the ozone and works faster and more efficiently than R22.

As remaining supplies of R22 start to run out, prices continue to rise drastically. Right now, R22 is around 800% more expensive than it ever was before.

Therefore, request that your HVAC service technicians locate and repair leaks instead of “topping off” leaking systems. This protects the ozone layer and saves you money by optimizing performance of your existing equipment.  If your warranty is up on your R22 unit, consider investing in a newer R410A unit to save money and prepare for the future of air conditioning. The expense of replacing existing R22 equipment with new environmentally approved equipment may soon be less than the expense of purchasing more R22 to maintain current equipment.

For more information or to schedule an evaluation of your current air conditioning system, call 6 & Fix Heating and Cooling today.

 

It is essential that your HVAC is working during the hot, humid months, especially in Raleigh Durham and surrounding areas. During the seasons where it is in constant use, your system might experience a few technical issues, mainly related to either human error or electrical failure. Problems with the thermostat, the air filter or condenser can usually be fixed without calling a technician, so it’s a good idea to become familiar with the most common issues you can repair yourself. If you have a whole-home forced air unit, check out our list of DIY solutions for the most common problems.

 

Stuffiness/Poor Air Flow

The easiest problem to deal with (and remedy) is poor air flow due to a clogged filter. During the summer and winter, when your unit is constantly running, it is important to change the air filter at least once a month. This is especially important if you own pets as summer shedding will lead to an increased amount of hair in your home, which can get inside the duct system and clog the filter. If changing out the air filter doesn’t help with the air flow, check the outside condenser unit. If it is obstructed by grass or other plant life, your air could be affected. You need at least 24 inches of clearance on each side of your outside condenser unit. ). Also, make sure that the coil is clear of detritus and is clean. Remove any obstructions and take a hose to the coils if they appear dirty.

The HVAC Won’t Turn On

Most modern HVACs are used in tandem with a digital thermostat, which is sometimes the problem if your system doesn’t turn on. Make sure that it is set to the AC mode and programmed properly. If you are manually adjusting the temperature it is easy to hit a wrong key – especially with a touch screen design. If these fixes don’t help with your issue, check the thermostat to see if it needs a new battery. Last, check for a blown fuse or a tripped circuit breaker. Make sure that the electrical system wasn’t compromised by a storm or local power outage.

Noises at Start-Up or Throughout Cycle

There are a few reasons you might be hearing odd noises when the unit is running. One of the most common issues is a loose screw – either on the unit itself or one of the registers or grilles. If the noise is loud and seems to be coming from a specific room, it could be a register or grille that simply needs to be tightened. You can also try tightening the unit where you find obvious loose areas if the sound emanates from the system. A consistent noise during a cycle might also allude to a bigger problem – including a bent fan blade – in which an HVAC professional will need to assess the unit.

HVAC Cycles On/Off Frequently

This is another common problem with modern units and is often the result of incorrect thermostat placement. If the thermostat is placed somewhere that is warm, either in direct sunlight or close to an appliance, the temperature readings can be compromised. If the location needs to be changed, a professional should be consulted to ensure proper placement and installation. You might also have a unit that is the wrong size for the square footage of your home. If you have recently renovated your home or rearranged the layout extensively, you will want to contact an HVAC professional to do a load calculation.

 

It’s important that your HVAC is in proper working condition throughout another hot summer in the Raleigh Durham area. If you are experiencing any of the highlighted problems and our quick fixes aren’t working, contact 6 & Fix Heating and Cooling and let one of our HVAC professionals get your unit working again in no time!

 

 

It may seem difficult to keep cool during a hot Raleigh Durham  summer without racking up expensive electricity bills. Fortunately, it’s easier than you think to reduce the need for home air conditioning and save money all summer long.

Tighten and insulate your home: Reduce the amount of air infiltration into your home. Seal gaps and cracks in your home’s outer envelope, including around windows, doors and attic floor penetrations. Caulk, weather stripping and expanding spray foam are your best resources for tightening your home. After sealing openings in the attic floor, add insulation there to reduce heat transfer through the ceiling.

Shade the windows: Solar heat gain is another huge concern in the summer. Low-E coatings and other features make new windows more efficient, but you can further reduce the need for home air conditioning by shading the windows. Exterior solutions (tall trees and awnings) and interior fixtures (reflective blinds and curtains) both work well.

Choose “cooler” exterior finishes: Darker colors absorb more sunlight and allow your home to heat up. Choose light roofing and siding materials to reduce your peak cooling demand by 10 to 15 percent.

Replace inefficient appliances: Interior heat gain is a concern as well. Your air conditioner must counter any heat generated within the walls of your home. Consider updating old refrigerators that consume high amounts of electricity and generate a lot of heat. Replace old incandescent bulbs with compact fluorescent lights to reduce heat generation from lighting by 90 percent.

Create airflow: Ceiling fans use a fraction of the electricity consumed by air conditioners yet running one makes the room feel three or four degrees cooler. As long as the indoor humidity level isn’t stifling, this is quite an effective technique. Just remember, fans cool people, not rooms, so turn off the ceiling fan when you leave a room to conserve energy.

For more information about common AC problems and  AC repair solutions, contact your air conditioning experts at 6 & Fix Heating & Cooling.

 

A properly running air conditioner is important for both your overall home comfort and your pocketbook. Unfortunately, your Triangle home cooling system may experience several common AC problems that can put a damper on a summer day. Such problems often arise from poor installation, faulty operation, and/or inadequate maintenance and processes. For example, for most efficient AC operation, it’s important to keep windows and doors closed while the system is running.

Other common AC problems are caused by:

Refrigerant leaks – Your cooling system’s refrigerant charge or level should be inspected annually. A low refrigerant level may be caused by improper charging during installation or last service inspection, or by nasty leaks. Leaking refrigerant is harmful both to the environment and your family’s health. Low refrigerant levels can damage your sensitive equipment and cause whole system malfunctions.

Poor maintenance – You should be regularly cleaning your air conditioner’s coils and replacing air filters as necessary. When either of these components have dirt and dust buildup, they impact the working efficiency of the cooling equipment. This makes equipment work harder, causing increased wear and tear that can lead to premature breakdowns requiring expensive repair and replacement.

Electric control failure – If your air conditioner frequently cycles on and off or is oversized for your North Carolina home, you will likely experience a premature failing compressor and fan controls. During annual service, an HVAC technician should inspect these components and look for any potential corrosion in the system’s electrical contacts and connections.

Drainage issues – If your air conditioner’s condensate pan is overflowing or has a disconnected drain pipe, it can automatically shut the air conditioner off. If yours suddenly turns off for no apparent reason, inspect this condensate drain and clean out any clogs or, if possible, reconnect a loose drain pipe.

For more information about common AC problems and  AC repair solutions, contact your air conditioning experts at 6 & Fix Heating & Cooling.

 

 

Not many homeowners give much thought to which way their ceiling fans turn. However, ceiling fan direction plays an important role in maintaining a comfortable and energy efficient home. Setting your ceiling fan in the correct direction can help you save on energy costs throughout the year.

Why Does Direction Matter?

Ceiling fans help circulate the air, which is important for a number of reasons. During the spring and summer, your ceiling fan helps you benefit from the wind chill effect. As air blows across your skin, the evaporation effect takes away heat, making your skin feel cooler in spite of current temperatures. Thanks to this effect, it’s possible to set your thermostat several degrees higher with no loss in comfort.

During the fall and winter months, you can use your ceiling fan to help disperse and redistribute warm air that eventually becomes trapped in the upper reaches of your home. This can help you save on heating expenses, especially if you rely on natural gas or oil as a heating fuel source.

Which Way Should the Blades Turn?

There should be a switch on the fan itself that allows you to switch the direction of the blades.

During the spring and summer, make sure the ceiling fan spins counterclockwise. This allows the fan to push cold air downward, keeping your home cool throughout the warmer months.

During the fall and winter, reverse the ceiling fan direction so it spins clockwise. This allows the fan to disperse rising warm air so it’s equally distributed throughout the room.

 

 

The Triangle in North Carolina can really heat up, and your HVAC system has to keep up with all of it. You don’t want to risk your air conditioner failing to keep up. Luckily, all it takes is a few DIY tricks to keep your air conditioner running all summer.

 

Air Conditioning Filters

The first thing you need to remember is to clean the filters and change them periodically. When your filters are dirty or clogged, they restrict airflow. The output for your HVAC system is restricted, causing it to either work harder to produce the cool air or stop working altogether. So, make sure to clean or change your filters at least once a month.

Evaporator Coils

Your air conditioner’s filter isn’t the only place air passes. It also passes over the coils. This part of your air conditioner has a refrigerant running through it. As the system draws in the warm air in your home, the air passes through the coil and is cooled. If the coils are dirty, the air conditioner could malfunction or fail altogether.

Condenser Coils

From the evaporator, the refrigerant boils from the heat and turns into a vapor. The vaporized refrigerant flows to the compressor outside, where it is heated and pushed through another coil then into the outside air. However, if the cage covering your outside unit is clogged with leaves, lawn clippings, or other debris, the condenser can’t work as well. Cleaning the outside unit regularly will help keep the condenser in good shape.

 

After the condenser, the refrigerant cools down to the condensation point and turns back into a liquid as it re-enters your home through the compressor system. When filters are clogged or coils are dirty, the compressor has to work harder to keep the temperature cool, risking overheating the motor. Contact the professionals at 6 & Fix Heating and Cooling if you start to notice any issues with your AC system this summer.

 

 

From heating to air conditioning to ventilation, the HVAC system handles a number of different operations in your Raleigh, Durham, Cary, or Chapel Hill home. Get to know each component and its lifespan in this guide to your HVAC system.

 

Furnaces

When the winter season brings chilly temperatures to the Raleigh Durham area, the furnace helps keep your home cozy and warm. Most furnaces last for 10 to 15 years, but some homeowners opt to replace them sooner to take advantage of new energy-efficient technology and related cost savings.

Air Conditioners

Most homeowners in Raleigh, Durham, and surrounding areas rely heavily on air conditioners to keep them cool and comfortable throughout hot and humid summers. Air conditioners tend to last for 10 to 15 years, and homeowners can help these units last longer by providing regular preventive maintenance.

Heat Pumps

Though their name might imply otherwise, heat pumps take care of both heating and cooling. These devices operate by moving heat into your home in the winter or out of your home in the summer, and they can function with significantly less energy than traditional heating and cooling systems require. Standard heat pumps typically last for about 10 years, and geothermal heat pumps last for up to 15 years and sometimes longer.

Ductwork

One of the most important parts of any HVAC system, the ductwork moves conditioned air from the furnace, air conditioner, or heat pump to every room in your home. Well-maintained ductwork can last for 30 years, as long as you take care to address exterior cracks and interior debris over the course of its lifespan.

Thermostats

Manual thermostats can last up to 30 years, and programmable thermostats also last for many years. Since thermostats are some of the least expensive HVAC components and contribute to both home automation and energy savings, many homeowners replace their thermostats often in order to try out new technology, like a WiFi thermostat.

 

Are any of your HVAC components nearing the end of their lifespan? Contact your local HVAC professionals at 6 & Fix Heating & Cooling for experienced advice.

 

 

 

 

6 and Fix
HVAC maintenance should be a priority for every homeowner in Raleigh, Durham and Chapel Hill, North Carolina. Regular tuneups can save you from premature system failure. Consider the following…

Stress – A malfunctioning or inefficient HVAC system can be the source of all kinds of stress. Many of the signs that your system needs attention, from strange noises to uneven heating and cooling, can make it difficult to feel comfortable in your own home. That’s part of why preventive maintenance is so important — it allows your HVAC technician to catch problems early, before they develop into an inconvenience or an emergency. For a truly stress-free experience, set up an annual service agreement to preschedule annual tuneups.

Sick Days – Even beyond your emotional and mental health, consider the physical benefits of regular maintenance. Dirt, dust, allergens, mold — all of these can be lurking in your HVAC system, causing symptoms that range from headaches to fatigue. If you find yourself calling in sick or canceling plans often, poor indoor air quality could be to blame. The solution? Have your indoor air quality tested, schedule regular HVAC tuneups, and follow other professional advice for managing indoor air quality.

Sudden Expenses – It’s tempting, in the name of saving money, to stretch out the time between maintenance visits as long as possible. However, this approach can easily backfire. What starts as a minor annoyance can develop into a full-blown system breakdown faster than you might think, so don’t procrastinate. A tuneup every fall and spring can keep your system running at peak performance and save you from the sudden expense of installing a replacement.

Look at regular HVAC maintenance as an investment. You have to put some money in, but it won’t be as much as you’d pay for or a new AC in the middle of a heat wave. 6 & Fix Heating and Cooling offers a maintenance plan, called the Advantage Plan, since regular maintenance provides your HVAC system the advantage of lasting longer. Find out more about the 6 & Fix Advantage Plan today.