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3 Reasons You Could Be Looking at Home A/C Repair this Summer

1. You Need to Clean the Coils

In the middle of the summer, the last thing you want to worry about is home A/C repair. There’s nothing worse than sweating both outside and inside your home. Homeowners run into the same HVAC problems each summer. Knowing the most common air conditioner issues before it gets hot may help prevent you from calling for emergency service.

If your air conditioner runs and runs but your home never cools down, it may have dirty coils. When the coils get dirty, it creates a layer of grime between the air and refrigerant. So, instead of the A/C pushing out cold air, you get room temperature air, at best. You’ll also find yourself with a hefty energy bill since the unit will run continuously to try to cool your house.

What should you do about this? Luckily for you, this is an easy repair. Call out an HVAC repair specialist to clean the coils. You should schedule this service before the hottest month of the year to ensure you don’t get stuck in the heat.

2. The Filter Is Dirty

You probably know that your air conditioner has an air filter. Hopefully, you’ve replaced it a few times by now. However, what you may not realize is how the filter helps to keep you cool during the summer. If the air filter gets too dirty, you’ll find yourself stuck in a hot, muggy house.

The filter is one of the first things you should check if your air conditioner becomes inefficient. Make sure you replace it every 3-6 months. If you’re prone to forgetting, try setting a reminder on your phone or computer. Clean filters not only help your A/C run better, but they also keep your air cleaner.

3. You Have an Older Unit

All good things come to an end. Even if your reliable air conditioner has stood by your side for the past decade, it’s probably time to replace it. Most units only last for 10-15 years before they start to break down. Schedule preventative service each year to have your system inspected by a professional. If they notice your air conditioner is on its last leg, they can warn you before it completely fails. It’s usually smarter to replace an older unit than to spend money on a repair that may not last.

Have Your A/C Inspected by a Professional

If you suspect your air conditioner won’t make it through the summer, then be sure to call a professional to take a look at it. Billy Butler Heating & Air Conditioning has been in the HVAC business for over 36 years. No matter if you need us for preventative maintenance or an emergency repair, we’re here for you. Our team has the hands-on experience required to handle any HVAC repair, no matter how big or small.

With summertime finally here, now is the time to make sure your air conditioner is in great shape. Contact Billy Butler Heating & Air Conditioning to schedule home A/C repair before temperatures rise by calling 770-861-7114.

Are Furnace Maintenance Plans Worth It?

A Technician Changes a Filter

What Do You Get with a Furnace Maintenance Plan?

Have you considered furnace maintenance plans for your HVAC system? Many homeowners think about them and then dismiss the idea. The common misconception is that they’re too expensive and you don’t get much for your money. Let’s take a look at how the opposite is true, the benefits a good plan provides, and the value you’ll gain by investing in one.

It’s important to have your HVAC system serviced in the spring before the weather gets hot and you turn on the AC, and in the fall before it’s time to turn on the heat. With a comprehensive maintenance plan, you don’t have to worry about whether or not your furnace is clean and running right.

Here’s what an HVAC tech will check during a typical planned maintenance visit:

  • Inspect the heat exchanger for cracks or damage from deterioration
  • Inspect and clean the burners – dirty burners can result in poor combustion and wasted energy
  • Check and adjust the fan switch to make sure the fan cycles properly
  • Check the safety controls for proper function
  • Inspect the gas line to ensure there are no leaks
  • Test and calibrate the thermostat to ensure proper heating and temperature readings
  • Lubricate all moving parts and bearings to prevent friction and wear and tear
  • Replace the air filter
  • Adjust and inspect belts and pulleys to ensure proper airflow and prevent damage to the compressor
  • Clean the system, so dirt and debris don’t impact the function and efficiency of your furnace

What Are the Benefits of a Maintenance Plan?

The benefits of a maintenance plan for your furnace go above and beyond having a clean HVAC system. There are many benefits to annual planned service, including:

  • Reduced chance of breakdown: Once inspected, cleaned, tested, lubricated, and calibrated, your furnace will run more smoothly, and is less likely to have issues
  • Safety: When an HVAC technician inspects your furnace annually you can rest easy knowing they have checked for gas leaks, carbon monoxide leaks, and overall proper function
  • Increased energy efficiency: A dirty and neglected HVAC system is not going to run as effectively or as efficiently as one that gets regular TLC. Yearly maintenance means your furnace will be more efficient and will save you money on your energy bills.
  • Longer life: Neglected equipment has a shorter lifespan. Regular service will keep it running stronger, longer.

If you’re wondering if investing in an HVAC service plan is worth it, the answer is a resounding yes. Contact the team at Billy Butler Heating & Air Conditioning today for more information on furnace maintenance plans by calling 770-861-7114.

How Do I Hire a Professional HVAC Technician?

An HVAC Technician Works on an AC.

How Long Has the Technician Been in Business?

Do you know how to hire a professional HVAC technician for your home? If you have a heating and air conditioning system, the odds are good that you’ll need service at some point. However, not all HVAC companies are the same. A great repair technician is like finding a needle in a haystack. Here’s what you can do to simplify your search.

The more experience a technician has, the more likely they will be able to diagnose and repair your system correctly. You wouldn’t schedule brain surgery with a first-year doctor, so why should you trust your HVAC system with a novice? Look for a company that has plenty of years under their belt. It’s also a good idea to make sure they have experience in your neighborhood.

What About Licensing and Insurance?

Imagine getting hit by a driver who has neither a license nor insurance. Not only will you have to deal with the consequences of their poor choices all by yourself, but you will also lose a lot of money. Before you hire a local HVAC company, ask to see proof of insurance, and verify their state license. Otherwise, you may find yourself paying out of pocket for a faulty repair. Even worse, without valid insurance, you are legally liable if the technician sustains an injury on your property.

What Do Former Customers Think?

When you receive great service, you probably want to tell everyone about it. The same holds true whenever you deal with a problematic company. Don’t hire an HVAC professional until you read what others have to say about them. The internet is full of review sites. Go to several websites to research the good, the bad, and the ugly. Use this valuable information to help you select the one company that seems to do no wrong.

Do They Create Lifelong Relationships?

While you can’t always plan for the future, you only want to search for a great HVAC repair technician once. Look for a company that not only offers emergency services but also provides preventative maintenance. Signing up for a service agreement is the best way to increase the lifespan of your HVAC system. Be sure to schedule an annual inspection to keep all the small components of your system running smoothly.

Always Putting Customers First at Billy Butler

When it comes to providing top-notch service, no company beats what we do at Billy Butler Heating & Air Conditioning. With more than 36 years of installation and repair experience, there’s no problem we can’t handle. No matter if you need service during your lunch break or in the middle of the night, we’ll be there for you. Our 24/7 hotline means you can speak to a knowledgeable technician around the clock.

Billy Butler Heating & Air Conditioning is a family-owned and operated business. It’s time to become an honorary member of our HVAC family. Connect with us online to schedule service with a professional HVAC technician who can handle anything or call us at 770-861-7114.

Top 4 Things to Check If Your A/C Unit Stops Working

A Man Tries Cool Off With Fan

1. How Old is the Filter?

There’s nothing more uncomfortable than when the A/C unit stops working in the middle of the summer. Homeowners often assume the worst when their system ceases to cool down the house. Sure, you may need to buy a new unit, but in most cases, a few simple tweaks may be all it takes to get your home to the right temperature again.

Do you remember the last time you changed your air filter? It’s essential to replace your filter according to the manufacturer guidelines—which in most cases is every 30 to 90 days. The filter catches dirt, dust, debris, and even Fido’s hair. A dirty filter, however, can no longer do its job, and it will also put unnecessary stress on your entire system.

If your unit fails to turn on or struggles to cool, try replacing the filter. It may surprise you to find out how much your air conditioner relies on this small and affordable part. Set an alert on your phone or computer to remind you the next time your filter’s due for a change.

2. Do You Have Power?

Make sure your HVAC system has power. As obvious as it sounds, many homeowners call for help only to discover that the system doesn’t have electricity. Check your home’s circuit breaker to make sure your A/C didn’t trip a breaker. If you notice one is out of place, try resetting it to see if the problem resolves. Never ignore a tripped breaker, however. If you find yourself dealing with the same issue over and over again, it’s time to seek professional help to reduce the load on the circuit.

3. Is Your Thermostat Working?

Your A/C system won’t turn on if the thermostat is on the fritz. Try adjusting the temperature to see if the AC turns on or not. If your model requires batteries, try replacing them. Although a seemingly simple fix, your air conditioner will stop working if the thermostat doesn’t have enough power to operate. In the worst-case scenario, you may need to invest in a new thermostat.

4. Are the Coils in Good Shape?

Your air conditioner has two coils—the condenser coil and the evaporator coil. Both of these coils need to be in good condition for them to work correctly. Inspect the condenser coil for packed on dirt or leaves. If the coil appears to be dirty, try cleaning it to see if this resolves your problem.

A frozen condenser coil indicates reduced airflow. Try changing the air filter and open all air registers. If the coil refreezes, you may need to call a professional to repair the system for you.

Don’t Get Stuck in the Heat This Summer

Not only is a hot, humid house uncomfortable, it can also be dangerous. If your air conditioner stops cooling your home, Billy Butler Heating & Air Conditioning can help. Get in touch with us to schedule immediate service if your A/C unit stops working by calling 770-861-7114.

What’s the Best Air Filter for Your Air Conditioner?

A Woman Changes an Air Filter

Top Air Filters for Normal Use

The best air filter for your HVAC equipment depends on the system you have, your property, and your lifestyle. Follow along as we cover the top filter types and the benefits they offer. We’ll even give you a tip for purchasing high-quality filters on the cheap!

HVAC air filters aren’t typically used to clean the air in your home. They’re made to protect your heating and cooling system from the dirt, dust and other particles pulled in through air exchanges. The filter prevents these particles from entering your equipment where they can:

  • Cause blockages
  • Clog moving parts
  • Be redistributed throughout your home

If you buy filters at the local big box store, you might have found a very basic, very inexpensive model. It seems like a great bargain, but it’s one that will cost you in the long run. These filters don’t keep out enough debris to keep your system at top performance. In fact, you’ll spend more on repairs and maintenance than if you increased your quality standards by just a few MERV ratings.

MERV What?

MERV ratings — Minimum Efficiency Reporting Value — tell you which particles a filter can remove from the air. For instance:

1 to 4 – pollen, dust, carpet fibers
5 to 8 – mold spores, hairspray
9 to 12 – auto emissions, flour, lead dust
13 to 16 – cigarette smoke, bacteria, human sneezes

The higher the MERV rating, the thicker the filter. So, if you want to upgrade your filter past MERV 13, know that it might require adjustments to your existing HVAC system. Higher-rated filters also cost more, sometimes by quite a lot. A technician can help you determine whether it would be best to upgrade your system filter or invest in a separate air cleaning device.

Clean Air Filters Make All the Difference

So many HVAC problems are solved immediately by changing the air filter. A dirty filter puts your system under strain, leading to:

  • Higher bills
  • Lower efficiency
  • Lukewarm air
  • Tripped fuses
  • Even a unit that won’t turn on

Restricted airflow from a dirty filter also causes greater wear-and-tear on your HVAC system. If you want higher bills and more repairs, be sure to ignore basic maintenance. If you’d like an HVAC system you can rely on, purchase high-quality filters and change them once a month (or once every three months, depending on the instructions for your product).

Where is the best place to find the top filters at the best price? Billy Butler Heating & Air Conditioning. We have access to products you won’t find on the store shelf. We trust them to help keep your system up and running, even when Mother Nature is doing her worst.

Talk to Billy Butler Heating & Air Conditioning technicians today about the best air filter for your heating and cooling systems by calling 770-861-7114.

6 Reasons You Might Need Air Conditioning Repair

HVAC Technician Repairs Air Conditioner.

Reasons for A/C Repair

Many homeowners will at some point have an issue with an HVAC system that requires air conditioning repair. By addressing minor repair issues and having a professional maintenance agreement in place, you may be able to avoid major services altogether. Still, it’s a good idea to understand the red flags indicating you need to call for professional help immediately.

Here are six reasons you may need services for your A/C:

#1: It’s Blowing Hot Air Instead of Cool

If the system is blowing hot air when it’s supposed to be cold air, it’s time for assistance right away. Unfortunately, there isn’t an easy way to determine what kind of issue is causing this. There could be several different possible causes, including a blockage in the ductwork. With a professional assessment, you can know for sure. If you try to fix the problem on your own, you could cause a system failure.

#2: Weak Airflow

If the system starts blowing a weaker airflow than normal, there could be a few possible causes. Since this problem can be difficult for a non-HVAC-expert to diagnose, it’s time to call a professional.

#3: The System Is Non-Responsive

While uncommon, there are times with the A/C doesn’t respond at all when you turn it on from the thermostat. If this happens, it’s important to contact your local technician right away, because it can be a sign of a serious issue that will require a pro to diagnose and fix.

#4: The System Has a Strange Sound or Smell

You will usually hear some sort of sound when you turn on your HVAC system. However, if you hear an abnormal clunking or clicking, this could mean there is a problem. Ignore the sound and the issue can worsen, leading to expensive repairs or even a need for premature replacement.

If you notice an odd smell, especially a hot or burning smell, it’s time to call for emergency assistance. Whether plastic is melting, wires are burning, or there is a problem with overheating, smells are a sign you need an expert on the scene right away.

#5: Ice in the System

Ice can form on the evaporator coil of a system. You may not be able to see the ice, but you can diagnose this by seeing a puddle of water under the system. This could be a sign that the system is leaking refrigerant.

#6: Weird Electrical Behavior

A system that isn’t working the right way electrically is often extremely energy inefficient—meaning it’s costing you money and causing a lot of wear and tear on the system itself. You may be able to detect an electrical problem if you notice breakers tripping when the system starts running. You shouldn’t ignore an electrical problem. Shut down the system and call an emergency technician.

Reach Out to the Pros at Billy Butler for 24/7 Emergency HVAC Services

If you need emergency air conditioning repair, our expert technicians at Billy Butler Heating & Air Conditioning are here to help. Connect with us online or call 770-861-7114 to reach us 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

When Is the Best Time to Schedule HVAC Maintenance?

Air Conditioning Units

Why Spring Is the Best Time for A/C Maintenance

It’s easy to overlook an HVAC maintenance agreement, but there are several benefits of scheduling regular service. The specific time you choose to schedule service is also important. The ideal time for heating and air conditioning system maintenance is immediately before you need the system the most. For example, schedule service for your heating system in the fall and line-up service for your A/C in the spring or as early in the summertime as possible.

Winter is not the best time for A/C repairs. Why? Because you aren’t using the air conditioning when it’s cold outside! There’s no reason to service a system that isn’t really going to be in use for another few months. Furthermore, the hottest months of the summer aren’t ideal times for service either. HVAC technicians can be busy this time of year, which means you may have to wait for service.

It’s a good idea to beat the rush and fix A/C problems early in spring, so you can stay cool once the warm weather comes around. No one wants to have his or her A/C break down during the hottest heat wave of the year. If your system does break down because you didn’t have proper maintenance, you could be waiting a while on a repair or a replacement.

Why Fall Is the Best Time for Heater Maintenance

Testing out your heater when it’s warm outside is not ideal, which is why it makes more sense to schedule heater maintenance in the fall. Just like trying to get A/C maintenance in the middle of the summer, you may also have a long wait if you wait until the winter to deal with your heating system.

If you have a combination cooler and heater, having a maintenance plan will enable your entire system to receive service twice a year—in the fall and in the spring. There’s nothing quite like knowing your system is ready for the next big weather event. Instead of worrying if you will come home to miserable conditions, you can have peace of mind knowing you have the right climate control when you need it most.

Let Billy Butler Handle Your HVAC Maintenance

Now that you understand the benefits of a maintenance agreement, it’s time to go straight to the trusted, local experts at Billy Butler Heating & Air Conditioning to schedule an appointment. Connect with us online now to get started or call 770-861-7114.

How Often Should You Service an Air Conditioner?

A Technician Services an Air Conditioner.

Schedule Maintenance Regularly

No matter what type of HVAC equipment you have, a licensed technician should inspect, clean, and service it at least twice per year. Ideally, the tech will provide service for the heating system in the fall prior to when you will need it to run its best during the winter months. Likewise, the air conditioner will need a check-up in the spring before the hottest months of the year hit.

As you prepare for the Georgia summertime, it’s important to give your air conditioning unit the attention it deserves. You want your system to keep you cool and operate optimally. You do not want it to break down on the hottest day of the year!

Even if you don’t think there are existing problems with your unit, it’s still a good idea to schedule professional service. As the system runs, it accumulates dirt, dust, and debris that can minimize its efficiency. Without proper service, an A/C system can lose 5% of its operating efficiency each year due to build-up. This means it won’t cool your home as efficiently as it would if it were clean. Plus, you are essentially throwing money out the window on cooling costs, because your system has to run much harder to keep your home cool.

What Happens during Air Conditioning Service?

When you schedule professional service for your air conditioner, here’s what you can expect:

  • Thorough cleaning or replacement of the air filter. This is important for energy efficiency and also to keep clean air running throughout your home.
  • Cleaning of the indoor coils to allow proper drainage and airflow. Only a trained professional should perform coil cleaning to prevent damage.
  • Cleaning of the outdoor coils for efficiency and to increase the lifespan of the equipment.
  • Cleaning of the condensate pump—one of the often overlooked components of the A/C unit. The pump can get full of slime and sludge, which leads to decreased efficiency and even system failure.

Most air conditioning units will last at least 15 years as long as they receive regular maintenance. While it’s essential to schedule A/C service once a year, it’s also a good idea to perform some minor housekeeping on it regularly.

One of the easiest and most important tasks you can do on your own is changing the air filter. A technician will handle this during the HVAC maintenance visits, but you should also plan to change the filter at least every 90 days—more often if you have pets or family members with allergies or respiratory issues like asthma.

Turn to the Trusted Heating and Cooling Experts at Billy Butler

If you need reliable and professional HVAC service for your air conditioner this season, call on our friendly experts at Billy Butler Heating & Air Conditioning. Connect with us online now or call 770-861-7114 to schedule an appointment before the Georgia summer is in full swing.

HVAC Efficiency Tips

A Dirty Air Conditioner Filter

1. Change Filters Regularly

In Georgia, air conditioning units work overtime during the summer months.  If you want to maximize the life and quality of your unit, follow these HVAC efficiency tips from our HVAC professionals. Every three months is often enough unless you smoke or have indoor pets, then you should change filters each month.

2. Regularly clean debris from outdoor units

This includes leaves and dirt. Be sure to keep bushes and shrubs cut back from the unit as well. Ants tend to build hills inside units, so keep ant killer sprinkled around your unit.

3. Don’t allow dryer vents to blow on outdoor units

All that heat makes the unit work twice as hard! Billy Butler Heating & Air Conditioning can re-direct your vent.

4. Keep unit serviced and outdoor coils cleaned

A spring and fall service is enough. Dirty coils hinder the unit’s ability to absorb heat. Units low on coolant cost more to run.

5. Maintain a consistent indoor temperature

Keep your home cooler or warmer, whichever you prefer, but pick a temperature and leave it there! Constantly raising and lowering indoor temperature makes your unit work harder, using more energy and costing you more money.

If you have questions about how to keep your air conditioner running well, contact Billy Butler Heating & Air Conditioning with all your AC questions and needs. Give us a call at 770-861-7114 to schedule an appointment.

Saving Money with Air Conditioner Maintenance

An Air Conditioning Unit.

Costs of Running Your Air Conditioning

Each year, it’s recommended to schedule an HVAC contractor come out to your Lawrenceville, GA home and provide air conditioner maintenance. This tune up visit will make sure your equipment is prepared for the rigorous, intensive use it will get throughout the most demanding months of the year. So, how much money can an AC tune-up save you?  Let’s have a closer look.

On average, running the air conditioning will cost a homeowner between $450 and $1,600 per year based on the length of the cooling season and the overall system efficiency. Those aforementioned numbers represent costs for systems that are operating at top efficiency.  If your system has dirty filters, is in need of desperate cleaning, or has a thermostat that is not calibrated accurately, the costs can significantly increase.

Wondering how much more you could be shelling out for cooling month after month when this occurs? The EPA’s Energy Star website estimates a 10% to 30% cost increase that can originate from improperly maintained systems, and it may be even higher if your HVAC system is old and lacking energy efficiency features found in newer models.

Annual Tune Up Essentials

Now, what needs to be at the top of your list for a tune up? When you call an air conditioner maintenance and repair company, they will likely carry out a number of tasks including:

  • Coolant and Pressure System Inspection
  • Thermostat Calibration
  • Cleaning the Evaporator Coil(s)
  • Tighten Wiring, Capacitors, Relays and Contacts
  • Cleaning and Clearing the Condenser and Condensate Drain
  • Compressor Efficiency Check
  • Condenser Fan and Motor Inspection

This is only a basic list for a typical tune-up of a standard central air conditioning system. You can certainly complement this tune-up by examining your filters once a month and removing any debris from around the outdoor compressor units. You’ll want to also look at your thermostat monthly to confirm that it is functioning properly. Otherwise, call Billy Butler Heating & Air Conditioning to schedule an inspection to prevent substantial increases in monthly energy expenses. Larger air conditioning system repairs typically take less than a day, plus when you are on an annual maintenance plan, repairs can cost considerably less when compared to emergency repair situations. Schedule your air conditioner tune-up in Lawrenceville, GA today and save money on your summer energy bills by calling 770-861-7114.