HVAC 101: What are heat pumps and how do they work?

There’s a lot of jargon and industry terminology that gets tossed around in the HVAC business. There’s furnaces and heating systems, and then air conditioning and cooling units. Then, there’s a whole separate deal: heat pumps. But, just what are they, and how do they work?

In this blog post, we’ll review what heat pumps are, and what makes them different from traditional furnaces and air conditioners that people associate with the HVAC industry.

If you’re interested in learning more about putting a heat pump in your home, give Ray & Son a call at (229) 686-5531 or contact us online.

Heat PumpsWhat are heat pumps?

Heat pumps are a category of HVAC units that offer both cooling and heating. In short, heat pumps offer all the cooling of an air conditioner, with decent heating ability in the winter. This makes heat pumps a good fit for homes located in the southern half of the United States, where winters can be cold, but are rarely freezing.

How do heat pumps work?

These systems work by moving warmed or cooled air from one place to another, depending on the season.

When it’s hot outside, the heat pump removes warm air from the inside of the house and places it outside, like an air conditioner. In this “cooling mode,” the outdoor coil serves as an evaporator and the indoor cool works as a condenser.

In contrast, when it’s cold outside, the heat pump extracts any heat from the outside air and circulates it inside the home. While in “heating mode,” the outdoor coil serves as a condenser and the indoor coil serves as an evaporator—a flip from where things stood in the summer.

What advantages do heat pumps have over traditional HVAC systems?

One of the most significant benefits of heat pumps as compared to standard HVAC systems is obviously the reduced cost of only needing to purchase one system. There is no need to install a separate furnace or a separate air conditioner for your home: just one, unified system.

Heat pumps are also much more energy-efficient systems than traditional HVAC units. So, apart from saving money on upfront costs, you will also benefit in terms of reduced energy bills.

So, what’s the catch? Heat pumps are ideal for moderate climates. They are not effective in regions that face extreme temperatures.

This, however, makes them a good fit for southern Georgia, where we have hot summers but relatively mild winters.

Call Ray & Son to learn more about heat pumps

Not sure if a heat pump is the right fit for your home? Contact the experts at Ray & Son for more advice and tips regarding residential systems and their pros and cons. We offer free in-home estimates on new cooling and heating systems.

To contact us, give us a call at (229) 686-5531 or contact us online.

Here are 3 signs that you need summer AC repair from Ray & Son

 

Summer brings sunshine and high temperatures to Georgia, and there are few things worse than your air conditioner breaking down on a hot summer day. What you might not know is that there are a few ways to determine if your air conditioner is one the verge of a breakdown. Here are three signs that you need summer AC repair from Ray & Son.

AC Repair Recommendations Nashville GATo save you the money and the trouble of buying and installing a new air conditioner, here are some signs that you should consider which indicate that you need air conditioner repair:

1. There are leaks and moisture

Leaks and excessive moisture near your air conditioner are sure signs that there is something wrong with the system. If you notice water pooling near your air conditioning unit, there is a very high chance that the drainage tubes or pipes are blocked or broken.

This can cause a number of problems. The condensed vapors have no way to escape from the system, causing water to start accumulating on the ground or in the walls around the air conditioning unit. Water pools around the air conditioning unit also pose electrical hazards and can be extremely dangerous.

2. There’s been a change in air temperature

If you feel like the air conditioner is not cooling your home or office like it once used to, it’s recommended that you get it checked by professionals. Changes in temperature generally indicate that the air conditioner is straining to cool the air like it used to when it was new. You should not put off repairs in this situation.

Summer AC repair is essential if the airflow is barely cold or if your air conditioning unit refuses to circulate any air at all.

3. There are unusual sounds and odors coming from the AC

It’s important to get your air conditioning unit repaired as soon as you notice any unusual sounds or odors coming from your air conditioner. There can be several different underlying causes of abnormal sounds and odors.

In the case of strange sounds, it’s a possibility that parts of your air conditioning unit have become loose due to improper installation or wear-and-tear. Loose parts can break off completely and cause significant system damage. With strange smells, you should be concerned that mold is growing inside your air conditioner.

Regardless of the causes of odors and sounds, it is important to get your air conditioner repaired by the trusted professionals at Ray & Son as soon as you notice these problems.

Call Ray & Son for your summer AC repair needs

If you notice any of the signs mentioned above, it’s important for you to contact the air conditioning professionals at Ray & Son for air conditioner repair. We’re your local source for summer AC repair, and we can help you and your family keep cool during the remaining hot months of the year.

Here are 4 things you should know about summer AC service

Regular air conditioner maintenance is important. It helps you keep your cooling device from malfunctioning during the most hot and uncomfortable times of the year. By not scheduling summer AC service, you could be putting yourself at risk of up to a 5% decrease in cooling efficiency. That adds up to some serious money over the course of the entire summer.

Schedule your summer AC service

In this blog post, we’ll review the four most important things you should know about summer AC service and the difference it can make for your home’s comfort.

1. Regular AC tune-ups can increase the lifespan of your system

Just as regular exercise and medical checkups help you live a longer life, a routine air conditioner tune-up helps prolong the lifespan of the unit.

Just a fact: new air conditioners are not cheap. They tend to pack a punch on the wallet. If you want to maximize the lifespan of the air conditioner, you should consider scheduling summer AC service with the professional team at Ray & Son.

2. Results in reduced energy bills

Another important thing to know about air conditioner tune-ups is that they help keep your cooling system’s energy-efficiency intact. Regular air conditioner maintenance and repairs will ensure that the air conditioner doesn’t strain while functioning. As a result, the system will use less power to cool the room.

This will significantly reduce your summer energy bills. Just another reason to schedule summer AC service with the pros here at Ray & Son.

3. Reduce your annual repair costs

Another benefit of regular air conditioner tune-ups is that you’re reducing the risk of needing major repairs during the summer.

That’s because our professional and trained technicians use the inspection that comes with summer AC service to look for signs of wear-and-tear. This will ensure that minor issues don’t turn into major problems.

Also, the efficient operation of the air conditioner will result in less wear-and-tear inside the unit, leading to less frequent repairs.

4. Your tune-up from Ray & Son is comprehensive AC maintenance

A number of people have the wrong notion that air conditioner tune-ups merely involve checking the filter and then getting out of your yard as soon as possible. That’s not the way that Ray & Son does things.

Our professional and licensed technicians perform a comprehensive inspection of the unit. They’ll check the coolant level and ductwork to ensure optimal cooling in your home. Our technician will lubricate any moving parts to reduce friction that causes increased energy bills.

Also, the tune-up involves full calibration of the thermostat to ensure proper operation. The air conditioner technician will inspect and tighten the electrical connection to ensure safe operation.

Finally, the technician inspects and repairs the blower motor and blower belt.

Schedule your summer AC service with Ray & Son

If you reside in southern Georgia, you should give us call for your AC maintenance. We have a team of experienced and licensed air conditioner technician who offer affordable and highly professional tune-up and repair services.

Here’s how to keep your home cool during a heat wave

Unfortunately, heat waves are often a reality of summers in the United States. Strongly associated with weather patterns, a heat wave can cause a prolonged spike in daily high temperatures and humidity, leading to sweltering conditions here in Georgia and elsewhere.

How to Keep the Rooms Cool During a Heat Wave

If you want to avoid having your home turn into an oven during a heatwave, it’s important that you keep your air conditioning tuned up.  There is nothing worse than having to spend the day sweating out a heat wave due to an unexpected breakdown of the system.

Here are some other tips that will allow you to remain perfectly cool inside the house during the scorching heat this summer.

Close your windows and blinds

When you go out to work, you should avoid keeping the windows open in the mistaken belief that it will make the room cool. Keeping the windows and blinds closed will prevent sunlight from entering the rooms. This will also reduce the home cooling requirements, resulting in lower energy bills and less strain on your air conditioner.

Seal any air leaks in your home

Air leaks will prevent your air conditioner from efficiently and effectively cooling the room. If your home is not properly sealed, hot air will enter the room, while cool air will escape outside due to convection.

This will make your air conditioner strain to sufficiently cool the room. Increased wear-and-tear will result, due to the system straining to generate cool air. Over time, this will most likely result in a system breakdown.

To deal with air leaks, you should consider having Ray & Son conduct a professional energy audit of your house. We’ll make sure that there are no leaks around the doors and windows. In case any leak is detected, the area can be sealed by using a sealant. Also, we can insulate the area by putting foam gaskets in to prevent unwanted air leaks.

Cook smarter

During summers—and especially during a heat wave—you should consider using microwaves to cook food. This will minimize the heat generated indoors. In case you have to cook indoors, you should use range hood to vent hot air outside. Also, you should cover the pots to reduce humidity levels inside the house.

You should check food in the oven by looking through the glass instead of opening the oven door. These simple measures can ensure that the room does not get too hot during a heat wave.

Unplug unused appliances

You should consider switching off unused appliances. You should keep computers, television, and laptops switched off when not in use.

Anything that can generate heat inside the house should be turned off. This can help reduce the room temperature by about one degree—and when it’s sweltering outside, every degree counts.

Have Ray & Son put your air conditioner in the shade

Placing the air conditioner in the shade will allow the unit to perform efficiently. It won’t heat up quickly due to sweltering heat outside. Consider placing the unit under the trees. This will not only reduce the likelihood of overheating problem, but will also reduce the energy bill by more than ten percent.

Call Ray & Son for an AC tune-up and beat the heat wave!

In case you want to get in touch with licensed technicians in southern Georgia for air conditioner tune-up, you can contact Ray & Son Heating and Air Conditioning.

4 signs that your air conditioner ducts require cleaning

4 Signs that Air Conditioner Ducts Require Cleaning

What’s wrong with having dirty air conditioner ducts?

Fine dust particles collect on the surfaces of the air ducts. The dust catches flakes of dead skin and pet dander. Before long, the ducts harbor an environment conducive for the development of mold, bacteria, and allergens.

The obvious signs your air conditioner ducts need cleaning

Do you see little wisps of dust coming out of the air duct? Do you notice dust puffing out of the air vents whenever you open the air conditioner? Does anyone in the household experience an allergic reaction whenever the air conditioner is turned on?

If the answer to these questions is yes, you may need to call Ray & Son for air duct cleaning or ductwork.

Here are four signs that indicate that you should hire a professional for air duct cleaning.

1. Blockage inside the air vents

You should regularly check the return air inlets. In case you notice a dirty air vent, the duct will need to be cleaned. Dust and other debris that accumulate in the return air vents can prevent proper flow of air to the motor of the air conditioner blower. This can result in major problem for your air conditioner.

2. A reduced airflow

If you notice less airflow coming from one of the ducts, it indicates that you should get it cleaned. You should regularly check the airflow of the ducts in every room. The vents should be opened for checking the airflow.

3. Noise inside the air ducts

If you notice a whistling or other noise coming out of the vent, there might be a blockage in the ducts. A blockage can happen if a piece of the insulation or a broken piece of filter gets sucked in the ducts.

The blockage can also occur in case the damper is caked with dust. In all such circumstances, you should hire a professional technician for duct cleaning.

4. A blast of dust when the AC is started

Watch the vent after turning on the air conditioner. If you see a blast of dust when you turn on the air conditioner, it indicates that your air ducts require cleaning.

The above are some of the telltale signs that indicate you should hire an air conditioning technician for ductwork cleanup. It’s important that you hire an experienced technician, such as those at Ray & Son.

Call Ray & Son for air conditioner ducts services

In case you reside in the southern regions of Georgia, you can contact Ray & Son Heating and Air Conditioning.

We have a team of experienced technicians who have years of experience in performing repairs and cleaning air conditioners. You can count on our licensed and NATE-certified technicians to perform professional work for you.

Here are 5 benefits of scheduling a routine AC checkup

Routine AC CheckupAir conditioners need to be maintained regularly to ensure optimal cooling. The summer months are right around the corner, and it will be wise if you schedule a routine AC checkup with the trusted, local team at Ray & Son.

A regular air conditioner tune-up provides many benefits. It can ensure that the home remains comfortable and livable during the summer months.

Here are some other great benefits of regular air conditioner maintenance:

1. Increased lifespan

The foremost benefit of regular maintenance of the air conditioning unit is that it will help address issues that could lead to serious damage to the unit.

A routine inspection of the cooling device will ensure that the unit undergoes less wear-and-tear during the hot summer months. This will probably contribute to extending the lifespan of the unit by a couple of years.

2. Improved indoor air quality

An air conditioner that is not maintained regularly contributes to the formation of mold and mildew. These environmental irritants pose a health risk to the household. The presence of the airborne pollutants in the air can lead to a serious allergic reaction.

Routine inspection of the air conditioner will ensure that your family doesn’t breathe in the nasty airborne pollutants.

3. Reduced need for future repairs

A routine AC checkup also reduced the frequency of repairs. Preventive maintenance can help resolve critical issues that if not addressed could lead to major damage to the unit.

Scheduling a regular service of the cooling unit will help you to save hundreds of dollars required for major repairs. In short, routine inspection can prevent small problems to turn into large ones that will create financial difficulties for you.

4. Get better energy-efficiency out of your system

A well-maintained air conditioner will not draw abnormal amounts of energy. In contrast, an air conditioner that is not maintained properly will strain to cool the room.

This will result in increased energy usage that will jack up the energy bills. Also, it will result in increased wear-and-tear of the system, resulting in the need for frequent repairs.

5. Prevent emergency breakdowns

Having the system break down right in the middle of a particularly hot summer day can be extremely frustrating. You will have no other option but to spend the day sweating until the problem is resolved by the technician. The inconvenience caused due to emergency breakdowns can be avoided by carrying out a routine inspection of the unit.

A routine inspection of the air conditioner will help you maintain the comfort level you are accustomed to at home and keep more money in your wallet. If you want to avoid risking a costly air conditioner repairs, you should consider scheduling your routine AC checkup with the team at Ray & Son.

Schedule your routine AC checkup with the experts at Ray & Son

To get in touch with experienced technicians in southern Georgia, you can contact Ray & Son Heating and Air Conditioning.

5 Tips To Prep Your HVAC Systems Before Leaving For Vacation This Winter

HVAC Systems before Leaving for a Vacation

Headed to the tropics? If so, don’t forget a great shady hat—and to prepare your furnace before you leave.

Are you thinking about taking off for a vacation? If the answer is yes, you should not forget to take care of your most trusted friend—in a mechanical manner of speaking.

What else can you rely on to keep warm during the summers and cozy during the winters? Your furnace or heating system is a necessity these days without which our life on this earth would be somewhat miserable, particularly for those residing in the southeastern parts of the US.

Whether you are preparing for a tropical getaway during the winters or a cabin during the summers, it’s important that you prep your HVAC before leaving.

Here are 5 tips that can help ensure that the heating and cooling device remains in great shape when you come back to your home after the vacation.

1. Set the right temperature

Before reading on, please take a moment of your time to answer this quick quiz: When heading for a vacation it is better to turn off the HVAC system. Is this statement true or false?

If you answered true to the above question, then you are wrong.

While turning off the HVAC system when heading off for a vacation may help in conserving the energy, we would not recommend you this.

The reason is that the heating and cooling system is designed to run continuously. Keeping the system running will prevent frozen pipes during the winters and development of moisture and mold during the summers. So, you should turn the knob of the thermostat about five degrees higher than your comfortable temperature before going on a summer vacation, and five degrees lower than the comfortable temperature before going on a winter vacation.

2. Install a surge protector

Another important thing that you should do before taking a vacation is to install a surge protector for the system. This is an effective and inexpensive way to protect your costly HVAC system from being toasted due to a power spike or outage. You can contact the local HVAC repair company to know about the best surge protector for the system.

3. Install fresh air filters

Installing a new air filter is always a good idea. But it’s especially so when going out of town for a vacation. This will ensure that your unit does not take extra energy when operating. A clean air filter will make sure that the HVAC system works efficiently and does not break down when you are away.

4. Clear debris from the exterior unit

Make sure that you clear leaves, sticks, tree limbs, and grass clippings near the exterior unit that may hinder the flow of air. Clogged air vents can strain the HVAC unit performance leading to a mechanical failure. That’s why it’s important that you clear the nearby debris and ensure about two spaces around the unit.

5. Get it checked by a professional

The fifth and most important advice before leaving for a vacation is to get the HVAC unit checked by a professional technician. An experienced professional can carry out the necessary maintenance and repair works that will ensure it is running smoothly when you come back from the vacation.

Have Ray & Son prepare your HVAC systems for your vacation

If you want to connect with experienced HVAC repair professionals, you can contact Ray & Son Heating & Air Conditioning. We serve Nashville GA, Valdosta, and other communities in south Georgia and north Florida.

Programmable Thermostats Can Save You Money On Heating Bills

Programmable Thermostats Save You MoneyProgrammable thermostats, as the name suggests, allow you to program the room temperature. They provide more control over the home’s climate as compared to manual thermostats.

If you don’t have programmable thermostat installed in your house, it’s time that you consider purchasing one for your home and having Ray & Son install it for you.

Here are some of the ways in which you can benefit from replacing manual thermostat with a programmable one in the house. Contact our team today for more information!

1. Maintain comfortable temperature

A bonus of installing programmable thermostat is that it can help maintain a perfect temperature throughout the house.

Programmable thermostats don’t require cranking up the temperature during a cold spell. They maintain the temperature at a comfortable level by following your programmed schedule. This ensures a perfectly cozy and warm temperature at all times.

2. Have greater convenience

A programmable thermostat can give greater convenience in that you can set the temperature at the start of a season, and then let the device take care of the rest. With programmable thermostat, homeowners won’t have to constantly reach for the thermostat to change the room temperature.

You won’t have to change the temperature during the day and the night. Also, when you depart to or arrive from the office, you won’t have to adjust the temperature. Thus, you can focus on feeling cozy at home instead of constantly changing the temperature.

3. Save money

The biggest gain from replacing manual thermostat with a programmable one is the energy cost savings. The programmable thermostats can ensure maximum efficiency in heating the home. You can schedule to increase and decrease the temperature during the day and night as per the needs.

You can create a schedule according to your family routine—increasing the temperature when everyone is at home and turning down the temperature when away. As a result, you will be able to effectively cut down on your heating bills.

3. Reduce your carbon footprint

Gas and electric heaters ultimately contribute to increase in the harmful gases in the environment. Programmable thermostat allows efficient energy utilization. This in turn allows you to play your part in reducing carbon footprint from the atmosphere.

On a final note, programmable thermostat can offer great benefits over a manual one. Due to improved comfort, cost-effectiveness, and energy saving benefits, programmable thermostat is an obvious choice for the homeowner.

Ray & Son installs programmable thermostats

If you want more professional advice regarding programmable thermostat or want to get in touch with professional HVAC repair technicians, you can contact Ray & Son Heating & Air Conditioning. We have been serving Nashville GA, Valdosta, and other communities in south Georgia and north Florida for more than five decades.

Is it time for you to get a new AC system?

It’s only the start of summer and your air conditioner is already giving you problems. Is it time to get it replaced, or should you stick with a repair? Ray and Son can help with both. Here’s some things to take into consideration when you’re debating between keeping your old system or replacing it with new AC installation.

Ray and Son AC installationWhat are some factors in favor of repair?

  • How long have you owned your current system? On average, most air conditioners last between 10-15 years. With quality maintenance from a reputable HVAC company like Ray and Son, your system may last longer than that. However, after a decade of heavy use, you should be at least be prepared to replace your system. If your aging air conditioner now needs repairs, that may tip the balance in favor of replacement. But, if your system is less than a decade old, it may be better to have it repaired.
  • How much will the repair cost? When you call Ray and Son and we arrive to inspect your system, we’ll provide you with an upfront quote for the cost of the repair prior to getting started on the work. Weigh the cost of the repair against the potential cost of a new air conditioner, taking the age and repair history of the unit into account, as well. If the cost is relatively small, you may want to have us apply the repair. If the cost approaches that of a new system, talk to our technician about your other options.
  • How do you feel about your air conditioner? This is often overlooked, but if you like the cooling your current air conditioner provides, repair may still make more sense than replacement in most cases. Of course, the opposite is also true: if you don’t think your air conditioner is adequately cooling your home, an upgrade may be just what the doctor ordered.

When should you replace your current AC system, instead?

  • How are your current energy bills? The summer afternoons in south Georgia can, at times, be sweltering. If you dread the day that your electricity bill arrives, it might be a good idea to consider an AC upgrade when your current system needs a major repair. In fact, if the cost between the repair and the new system are close enough, it may be enough to make up the difference in energy savings over a few seasons. The air conditioners manufactured today by companies such as Carrier have an emphasis on energy efficiency and using far less power to cool your home.
  • How do you feel about your system’s current cooling output? No matter how much energy you’re saving, at the end of the day, you just want an air conditioner that works and keeps you and your family comfortable. If your current system isn’t meeting that simple criteria, you may want to consider an upgrade.

Ray and Son can help with new AC installation

Whether you need AC repair or a specialist to help you with AC installation, trust Ray and Son to get the job done. A locally owned and operated company in Valdosta, Georgia since 1965, Ray and Son is a family business that believes in superior, customer-focused service, products that work, and actual advice from HVAC professionals. If you’re ready to learn more about a new AC system or receive assistance with your current one, give Ray and Son a call at (229) 686-5531 or schedule your service with us.

Five signs that you need AC repair

It’s summer, and your AC system is acting strangely when you turn it on. Maybe it’s not cooling, or it’s making sounds it shouldn’t, or there’s a pool of liquid outside of the unit. Or, perhaps, it’s not turning on at all. Don’t panic. Give Ray and Son a call to schedule your appointment for one of our service technicians to come inspect your system and assess whether or not you need AC repair.

#1. It isn’t working

Okay, this is the simple one, right? You know for sure that something isn’t right with your air conditioning system when it just doesn’t work or turn on at all. If your air conditioner has died, it could be a sign of a serious mechanical issue, or it could be something a lot less drastic. Ray and Son can inspect your system and determine exactly what the problem is.

#2. It’s constantly working, but it’s not cooling your home

This is the opposite problem: your air conditioner never stops working, day or night. But, it’s not like your home is getting cooler. In fact, it’s hot. What could be happening is that there’s an air leak somewhere in the system that is preventing the unit from sending cool air into your home. This means that the thermostat isn’t registering to tell the air conditioner to stop. If it isn’t a leak, something may be blocking the vents. The only way to know for sure is to have a technician inspect your system.

#3. It is working, but really inefficiently

Often, if you have the problem above, you’re going to encounter this problem, as well. All that work and expenditure of energy is going to cost you on your monthly electric bill, and you don’t even get the best cooling in exchange. If opening your bill puts you in a state of shock, consider having a professional from Ray and Son look at your air conditioner. The cost of a repair may be less than having another month of terrible cooling at a high price.

#4. It’s making unusual noises

Think back to the first car you owned. That pick-up truck was great, but you knew something was wrong when you heard it start to make sounds that it shouldn’t have been making. Loud rattling. Metal-on-metal scrapping. Grinding. When your car makes those sounds, it’s time to take it into the shop. When your air conditioning system makes those sounds, it’s time to call Ray and Son.

Strange sounds don’t mean it’s the end for your AC system. It could just be that something is loose, or that a gear needs to be replaced. But, without AC repair from a professional, these problems could get worse and cause the entire system to fall apart.

Trust Ray and Son for AC Repair#5. There’s moisture where there shouldn’t be

Your AC system is not a swamp cooler: if there’s moisture around or inside your system or vents, that’s a sign that something’s not right. It could be that a water pipe near the ducts is leaking or creating condensate. The worst case is that it could be the refrigerant leaking. If you see liquid around your AC setup, give Ray and Son a call immediately. Refrigerant is great for cooling systems, but not great for your family and pets to be around when it’s in the open air. We’ll want to address the problem as soon as possible.

Schedule your AC repair with Ray and Son

No matter what the problem with your air conditioner is, Ray and Son can help you figure out what’s gone wrong and fix it. We’re south Georgia’s AC repair experts, and our industry-certified technicians can get your air conditioner back up and running.