Wednesday, September 19, 2018

Indoor Climate Control: What to Consider When Moving to Charlotte, NC

Making a move to Charlotte, NC is an exciting time, as the city is rapidly growing and becoming one of the most popular moving destinations in the country. Before making the move, it is important to consider the natural elements so that you will be prepared with proper heating and cooling to keep you comfortable all year round in Charlotte.

The city of Charlotte, as known as “The Queen City”, is home to a comfortable climate that is not going to subject its residents to harsh winters… But, you will still need heater service. The average high temperature in January is 51 degrees and that is the lowest high of any month in Charlotte. Meanwhile, the average low is the lowest of any month at 30 degrees. The city only averages 4 inches of snowfall per year as temperatures do not dip below freezing too often. There is the occasional cold spell that makes for a stretch of frigid days, although that is not the norm. All in all, Charlotte’s fall/winter seasons are not bad especially when compared to temperatures and conditions from across the rest of the country.

The summer months can get a little warm. The average high temperature for July is 89 degrees and August features an average high of 87 degrees. These high temperatures are usually accompanied by a fair amount of humidity. The end of May through late September are when you are most likely to experience muggy days. Even though the summer days are certainly warm, you will still be able to enjoy cooler evenings with an average low of 67-68 degrees. And while the threat of hurricanes is always a worry to coastal cities in North Carolina, Charlotte is far enough inland to be free from most of those threats. However, heavy rains and winds can still prove to be problematic.

As a result of these weather conditions, residents of Charlotte are going to rely on their cooling units much more than their heating units. Over the course of a year, homes are going to need to be cooled far more frequently than they need to be heated. That leads many homeowners to the decision of purchasing a variable speed HVAC unit. The benefit of this purchase is that it gives the homeowner the ability to adjust the output. This means you will not always have to use your unit at full capacity. This decreases energy costs while still keeping things nice and cool inside the home. Beating the heat in Charlotte is something that is done on a regular basis in the warmer months. This is something that warrants attention when planning a permanent move to the city.

The variable-speed concept also applies to heating a home in Charlotte. Simply because Charlotte is home to warmer temperatures does not mean that cold fronts won’t make their way through the city. In January of 2018, a temperature low of 29 degrees was recorded for 27 straight days. That kind of consistency makes for routine winters, but those are also times that call for reliable heating units that enable homeowners to control the indoor climate without having to pay high energy bills.

No matter what time of the year, Neighborhood Home Services will attend to all your heating and cooling services in Charlotte, NC. We can perform repairs on an existing unit, or install a brand-new unit of your choice, while answering any questions you may have about heating and cooling your new home or office. We hope you will enjoy moving to Charlotte -welcome to our neighborhood!

Wednesday, August 15, 2018

The Best Times to Hire an Electrician

There is no advanced algorithm or evasive mystery that denotes the proper time to hire an electrician. The general rule is that anytime there is electrical work involved, it presents an opportune time to hire an electrician. There is just too much at stake to go with any other solution and here’s a look at some situations that call for the hiring of a professional electrician.

Ceiling fan installation

Hooking up a ceiling fan may not seem overly complex, although there is a lot involved with the process. Hiring a professional electrician will ensure safety and efficiency, but it will also allow homeowners to cash in on any warranties. Improperly installing a ceiling fan could void a warranty altogether.

Electrical work near water

Great danger presents itself when electrical work is done near water. That’s why it’s best to put this type of work in the hands of the professionals. Adding bathroom outlets, a kitchen sink disposal, or doing electrical work near a pool presents additional hazards. Making a mistake in these areas could be serious, and even fatal. 

Home construction/remodeling

Many home construction projects and remodels require permits. Not all townships will issue permits to homeowners who have no experience with electrical work. Hiring an electrician will allow homeowners to fast track through that process and not have to worry about codes, permits or licenses.

Lighting additions

The addition of lighting consists of more than just purchasing a new lamp. Overhead and recessed lighting can make a home look chic and trendy. However, the installation of that lighting is very involved. Hiring an electrician will make sure that your ceiling and walls stay intact while the wiring is completed. 

Selling a home

Anyone looking to sell a home needs to have the property pass all the necessary inspections. Part of those inspections focus on the electrical system. An entire sale could fall through if the necessary electrical repairs are not made by a qualified and insured electrician service.

Tripping breakers

If your breakers keep on tripping, it is a sign that your electrical system needs an upgrade. Some older systems are just not built to handle all the power that is used by present day homeowners and their families. Bringing in a professional electrician will stop breakers from tripping at inconvenient times and also bring peace of mind.

All these situations can be handled with one quick phone call to Neighborhood Home Services. Electrical service in Charlotte, NC has never been better. 

Wednesday, July 25, 2018

Selecting the Right HVAC System for a New Home

There is a multitude of decisions to make when purchasing or building a new home. During that process, it is important not to overlook any of the details. Selecting an HVAC system for your home is something that should take careful consideration because not all options are the same. Here is a look at some helpful hints when selecting the right HVAC system for your new home.

To Duct or Not to Duct?

Central air is the most popular style of HVAC system. The design of this system consists of ducts connected to a furnace. The air is carried through these ducts and blown through vents in each room to get the desired temperature. Meanwhile, ductless systems are more conspicuous, as these kinds of units are installed in various rooms. The use of ductless systems is usually a way of replacing window units in a home and is seen less often in new construction.

Backing Up a Heat Pump

Installing a heat pump is an efficient way to heat your home in the winter and cool it off in the summer. However, this is often a better option for those in warmer climates. Heat pumps have been known to falter when the temperature dips below freezing. A backup furnace would be able to take over when a heat pump falters and it is something to consider depending upon the climate. This setup is also known as a hybrid unit, which typically consists of a gas furnace and a heat pump. It also gives homeowners the option of using the gas furnace over the heat pump if they choose to do so.

Consider the Size

The biggest HVAC unit is not always the best unit. A system that has an overabundance of heating and cooling capacity will actually lower your energy efficiency. Another potential issue lies in the constant cycling of a system. Turning on and off too much will not only use excess energy, but it will also cause your system to wear out at a quicker pace.

Climate Considerations

As previously mentioned, it is important to consider your local climate when selecting an HVAC system. Cooling systems are more of a focal point in new homes built in the southern part of the country while heating systems take on a higher priority in the north. However, homes with a fluctuating climate need the best of both worlds when it comes to a HVAC unit.

When you are in the market for Charlotte HVAC service, contact the professionals at Neighborhood Home Services.

Wednesday, June 20, 2018

A Rundown of Conventional AC Units Found in US Homes

There are lots of options to choose from when it comes to conventional AC units inside of American homes. These different options are made to fit all types of situations and budgets while each option has its pros and cons. Here we take a closer look at each of them. After reading this article if you are still unsure which unit types is best for you, we recommend contact a trusted AC service provider.

Whole House (Central) Air Conditioners

Central air makes use of ductwork by emitting air through vents in each room. These units are more modern, take up less space and make very little noise. The overall indoor air quality is also improved with these units, which are installed in most new construction.

Window Air Conditioners

A window AC unit is not permanent and can be removed at any time in a matter of seconds. These are energy efficient in the sense that they can be turned on and off while also cooling rooms relatively quickly. They are also very affordable, although they are not nearly as visually appealing as other options. Window units are commonly used in older homes.

Through-the-Wall Air Conditioners

This model is inserted into a wall inside the home. It is permanent and will be a fixture in the chosen room. This requires an electrical hook up and it fits into a sleeve that is designed to keep out any drafts. It is important to buy a unit with the appropriate BTU to ensure it cools the entire room.

Portable Air Conditioners

A portable AC unit is freestanding and is often used on a year-round basis. Some units also have a heat function, which make them even more practical for year-round use. These units are easy to move and are not permanent fixtures. However, they may not be strong enough to cool larger rooms and are often used in smaller spaces.

Ductless Mini-Split Air Conditioners

The design of this system allows you to set up zones throughout your home. This system is powered by an outside unit and delivers air through an inside unit, or units. Homeowners can set up the inside units wherever they choose. The benefits of this model include more energy efficiency and it also costs less than a central air unit. There is also less maintenance involved, although it may not be as practical for larger homes.

When you are in need of Charlotte, NC air conditioning service, repair or installation, be sure to contact the team at Neighborhood Home Services as we rely on years of experience to provide top-quality workmanship.

Monday, May 21, 2018

Common AC Problems and Solutions

Air conditioning systems are a source of great relief in the warmer months, although they are not without fault. Over the course of time, wear and tear is bound to lead to a problem or two that requires air conditioning repair. Here is a look at some common AC problems, along with some solutions.

Unusual noises

A high-pitched sound that resembles squealing is usually a sign that something is off with the blower motor. This type of sound often precedes the breaking of a belt. A solution to this issue is adding a bit of lubricant, preferably to the oil port. Meanwhile, any kind of constant smacking or clicking may indicate that the blower has something stuck in it. To fix this problem, turn off the blower and then give it a closer look.

Thermostat not working

Believe it or not, a common problem in thermostats is that their batteries die out. When the thermostat fails to light up, simply change out the batteries for a fast and simple solution.

Air is cooling at different rates in different rooms

When an air conditioning unit is functioning properly, it should cool the entire house evenly. This does not happen when the ductwork has leaks or when a vent is blocked. Poor insulation could also be the source of this problem. One solution is to hire a AC service company to fix those problem areas, or to install a zoning system which controls the temperature in different parts of the home.

Air is not coming out cool

It is very frustrating to turn on your AC unit and feel no cool air while listening to it run. There is no use waiting around as this issue can be caused by a number of things. The first possible cause is an old air filter. Fixing this is as simple as changing out the filter for a new one. The next possible cause is the thermostat. To test the thermostat, set it on the coldest setting and let it run. If nothing changes, then there is a problem. You can also tell if you are low on refrigerant by inspecting the larger copper line on your outside unit. If that line is not sweating or cold, then you need to add refrigerant.  

Water dripping from AC unit

Dripping water could mean that there is a clog. This can be attended to by flushing out the condensate line with compressed air. There are manufacturer instructions to follow when attempting this solution.

If you cannot fix your AC unit with a solution at home, then contact Neighborhood Home Services for all of your Charlotte air conditioner service needs. 

Thursday, April 12, 2018

How to Improve Energy Savings by Managing Your HVAC Unit

Energy savings is at the top of every homeowner’s priority list, although not every homeowner knows exactly how to carry out this endeavor. There are many simple ways to cut down on your monthly energy bills. Following these simple steps to better manage your HVAC system will keep a little extra money in your pocket every month. It may also help reduce the need for future HVAC repairs.

Position the Thermostat

Many people check their thermostat for a temperature reading and adjust it accordingly. However, checking your thermostat is very important. The first factor that should be checked is the location. A thermostat that is exposed to direct sunlight or drafts may produce inaccurate readings. It is also a good idea to keep your thermostat away from doorways or windows.

Set Temperature Limits

The Department of Energy recommends temperature limits of 78 degrees in the summer months and 68 in the winter months. This will keep energy costs down, although preferences may vary. Programming your thermostat to operate on a daily schedule will also reduce costs. This will allow homeowners to adjust the temperatures during the hours when no one is home. If your thermostat does not have that programming function, it is wise to invest in a more updated version, as it will save you money in the long run.

Repair, Replace and Upkeep

Poor ductwork can hinder the airflow throughout your home. Inspecting your ductwork will identify whether repair or replacement is needed. Another way to ensure maximum airflow is to replace your air filters on a regular basis. Keeping up your HVAC system also applies to keeping your drain lines clear. A quick inspection every so often can attend to all these matters.

Minimize Space

Not every room in your home needs to be cooled in the summer or heated fully in the winter. If you have a room or two that is not always in use, then there is the option of closing it off. Shutting the door and closing the vents will force your HVAC unit to do less work, which translates into a reduction in energy consumption. There will simply be less space to heat and cool.

Sealed and Secure

A window or door can be the source of a draft, presuming it is not installed or sealed correctly. Conducting a check of all your windows and doors is a way of ensuring there is no air seeping in. If a draft is detected, then there are several ways to fix the issue, which includes professional maintenance.

Neighborhood Home Services Charlotte NC can help you with any of these issues and introduce you to ways of cutting energy costs. For the best HVAC service in Charlotte, NC and the surrounding areas, contact Neighborhood Home Services today. 

Wednesday, March 7, 2018

Problematic Furnace Noises

For most of the year, the residents of Charlotte, NC are not thinking about their furnaces. However, once temperatures begins to drop, furnaces are by default a very important part of any home. We may not experience the harshest winters in America but freezing temperatures make it paramount that you make sure that your heating system is functioning as well as it can. Noises can be one of the first indicators of furnace issue and can help you determine when furnace repairs are needed.

Furnaces, especially those that are old, tend to make noises. While some sounds, such as the furnace humming or small "pops" coming from the ducts are normal, others are not. Furnace noises that are so loud that they keep home occupants awake at night surely require the attention of professionals and should be serviced as soon as possible.

Below, we detail three common types of furnace noises that should never be disregarded by homeowners. Please be sure to read our special message, which discusses animal welfare in relation to furnaces, at the end of this article.

Noise #1: A very loud "pop" or a "bang" sound when you turn the furnace on

Usually, such a sound means one of two things:

The furnace burners are dirty: That loud bang/pop could be a pocket of gas igniting which is essentially being caused by poor furnace maintenance. When a furnace is not serviced enough, dust gradually accumulates on the furnace burners. This dust acts as a barrier between the gas and the ignitor, which not only delays ignition but also allows a gas pocket to build-up. Eventually the gas will ignite resulting in a small explosion accompanied by a loud "pop" or "bang". If this has you alarmed, it should. Even these mini-explosions have a great potential to crack the heat exchanger, which is costly. This can be prevented by conducting regular maintenance on the furnace.

The air ducts' expanding and contracting: This is something that generally occurs with metal ducts, with the ducts expanding and contracting according to blower turning off or on. Closed vents, undersized ducts, low-quality ducts, or a clogged air filter can be contributors to this noise.

Noise #2: A loud scraping sound - like that of metal scratching metal

If your furnace is making an unpleasant sound akin to nails scratching on a chalkboard or metal scratching on metal, it means that the furnace’s blower wheel isn't functioning properly. Whenever you hear such a noise, you must turn off the furnace immediately and call a professional.

Furnace blower wheels that are producing a scraping noise will do so for one of three reason. We have listed the problems in order starting with least severe.

Loose connection to the motor shaft. A poor connection can cause the blower wheel to bang against the casing. This problem can be easily solved provided the shaft or wheel is not too damaged.

The blower wheel is broken. This will require for the blower wheel to be replaced immediately and professionally.

The motor mount has broken-off. When this occurs the whole blower assembly can drop and bang against the housing.

Noise #3: Whining or squealing noise

Such noises are caused by any one or more of the following factors:

Fraying, slipping or a loose blower belt. This needs to be repaired to replaced immediately.

The shaft bearings have run out of proper lubrication and need oil. This requires the technician to apply some lightweight oil to the lubrication port which is present at every end of the shaft

The blower motor is malfunctioning. While this noise isn't as much cause for concern as the others, you must take steps to get it fixed before it causes any more troubles to your furnace. One good way to ensure this is having professionals conduct an annual furnace maintenance visit every fall.

Special Message:

Sometimes, the furnace can make odd noises that are difficult or near impossible to categorize. The furnace may make a single odd noise or may make several different kinds of noises. If such is the case with your furnace, it may be possible that an animal has somehow become trapped. 

This is a very unfortunate situation that can cause a lot of trouble for all involved including an immense amount of pain to the animal that is stuck. Fortunately, there are steps that can be taken when an animal is suspected to be trapped. There are also measures that homeowners can put in place to prevent such tragedies from occurring.

Usually, animals getting stuck in furnaces cause a constant screeching or clattering sound. In the event that you suspect a noise maybe due to a trapped animal: shut off the furnace; immediately contact an HVAC professional that offers same-day services; implement preventive measures and contact animal services if needed. Preventing animals from entering your furnace is relatively simple and involves the installation of vent covers.

If you are not concerned about little critters getting stuck and inevitable dying, then consider problems it can cause for your home and occupants. Air quality can be reduced as the animal spreads allergens throughout your vents and into your home. Additionally, the death of the animal will coincide with an unpleasant odor. Nesting material and the animal itself can easily create dangerous blockages in the in-take or exhaust as well.

Any furnace can develop a variety of problems, with the aforementioned being only the major ones. You must make sure to not ignore any odd noise that comes from it, no matter how small it may be. Getting the problem fixed in time will prevent bigger, more costly repairs down the road.

To prevent a freezing failure during winter, you must have heater service and repair conducted at least once a year by a professional. Carolina residents are lucky to have the reliable and knowledgeable staff at Neighborhood Home Services to turn to year-round. We offer complete furnace services (including repair, maintenance, and replacement), residential HVAC, heating and cooling, furnace, and electrical service and repairs.