How Does a Ceiling Fan Help My AC System?

July 27th, 2023

During summer months, Alabama homeowners turn to their HVAC systems for cool relief. However, many homeowners also use ceiling fans to help keep them cool in the summer, but do ceiling fans help AC systems work better? When used correctly, your ceiling fans keep air moving and help your HVAC system keep your home feel cooler and use less energy. The team at Douglas Cooling & Heating explains the many benefits of using your ceiling fan in tandem with your HVAC system throughout the year.

The Function of Ceiling Fans

Ceiling fans do not create cool air but can help with the movement of air. Think about it this way: a hot summer day always feels worse when there is no breeze. The same is true for your home. Stagnant air can make you feel hotter than you actually are. Ceiling fans help with the circulation of air in your home and depending on which way the fans are spinning, can be used to help with the comfort of the air in your home in different seasons.

Do Ceiling Fans Help AC System Performance?

In the summer months, ceiling fans help your air conditioning system by reducing the cooling load in your home. As the blades of the fan rotate counterclockwise, they move air downward toward the spaces where we sit, sleep, and live.

This creates a wind chill effect and moves air across your skin. The breeze evaporates moisture from your skin which makes you feel warmer. When a ceiling fan is used, you can raise the thermostat setting by up to 4 degrees Fahrenheit without any reduction in comfort. Therefore, your AC unit gets a break and lessens the odds of requiring air conditioning repair service. This is a great way to help save on energy bills in your Birmingham area home.

Adding to this, ceiling fans also improve the overall circulation of air within a room. By doing so, they ensure a more uniform distribution of cool air, reducing hot spots and cold zones. This means your central air conditioning system doesn’t have to work as hard to maintain a comfortable temperature throughout the space.

It’s also worth noting that ceiling fans are incredibly energy-efficient in their own right. They use significantly less electricity compared to an air conditioner, making them a cost-effective way to stay cool in the summer.

Lastly, by reducing the workload on your air conditioning system, a ceiling fan can extend the lifespan of the unit. Less strain on the AC means fewer breakdowns and repairs, saving you money and hassle in the long run.

So, not only do ceiling fans help the AC system, but they also contribute to energy conservation, cost savings, and the longevity of your HVAC equipment.

Do Ceiling Fans Help Heating, Too?

In the winter, you can use a ceiling fan in combination with your heating system to keep your home more comfortable. Ceiling fans work to evenly distribute the air in the room. In the fall, grab a ladder and look for a switch on the base of the motor on your ceiling fan. Flip the switch to make the blades of your ceiling fan rotate in the opposite direction. When your fan spins clockwise, the fan’s blades draw warm air up toward your ceiling, and the rotating motion pushes this air out toward the edges of the room before circulating back to the ground. With air warmer pooling naturally at the top of a room, this air distribution helps the whole space feel warmer by pushing it back down to reach your body.

You benefit from more of the warmth produced by your heating system. This can reduce the amount of heat needed by helping you benefit from the warm air already produced by your heating system and can reduce the stress on your system. A less stressed system means a lower chance of needing heating system repairs.

Clockwise or Counterclockwise – Which Way Should My Ceiling Fan Turn?

Adjust the ceiling fan blade direction for each season to create the desired warming or cooling effect. Fans have a switch, typically located on the base, to adjust the direction of blade rotation. It is important you select the correct direction for each season to achieve the desired effect. Changing the rotation of your ceiling fan blades is simple, as most models are equipped with a switch on the unit to switch the direction.

In the summer, your ceiling fan blades are set to rotate counterclockwise; in the winter, the blades should be set to rotate clockwise. Ceiling fans shouldn’t be used in the same direction in the winter as they work in the summer. Otherwise, you’ll get the undesirable windchill effect indoors when you’re trying to stay warm.

Don’t Use Ceiling Fans with Your HVAC If…

Whenever a room is unoccupied, you should turn the ceiling fan off. The warming benefits the ceiling fan produces are realized by those in the room. When there’s no one in the room, there’s no need to waste electricity operating the fan. Ceiling fans don’t save energy if they operate in unoccupied rooms.

One exception to this rule exists a ceiling fan located at the top of a two-story stairwell or foyer. As heat rises to the second floor, the ceiling fan moves the stairwell’s heat down to the first floor to add warmth. If you have a two-story foyer or great room which feels cool while upstairs feels warm or stuffy, try a fan. An existing lighting fixture can easily be swapped out with a fan or a fan with lighting.

Using ceiling fans wisely throughout the summer can be a great complement to your HVAC system. Ceiling fans can help you feel cooler indoors and allow your HVAC system to operate less for great energy savings. Be sure your ceiling fan blades are rotating counterclockwise in the summer and you turn off your ceiling fans when a room is unoccupied!

How to Choose a Ceiling Fan

  • Ceiling fans work best in rooms with ceilings at least eight feet high. Optimal ceiling fan installation places blades seven to nine feet higher than the floor and 10 to 12 inches away from the ceiling.
  • Blades should not be closer than eight inches from the ceiling and 18 inches away from the surrounding walls.
  • Choose a ceiling fan appropriately sized for your room. Larger fans are capable of moving more air than smaller models. For rooms of 225 square feet, ceiling fans with a diameter between 36 and 44 inches are sufficient.
  • Larger rooms need a fan with a diameter of 52 inches or more. In rooms longer than 18 feet, multiple fans should be used for the best results.

When It Comes to HVAC Systems – We’re Huge Fans!

These ceiling fan best practices give your HVAC system a needed break this winter and help it operate more efficiently. For more energy-saving tips, schedule service from Douglas Cooling & Heating today.

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Why Does My AC Freeze Up?

July 27th, 2023

We may have hot weather, but even in Birmingham, you should know what to do when your AC unit freezes up. It’s so hot outside, how is it possible that my AC has ice on it? Before you call us crazy, it happens frequently.

In this blog, the team at Douglas Cooling & Heating will review why an AC freezes even on the hottest days of the year, and what you should do when you notice this happening. We’ll also include tips to prevent frozen HVAC coils. With our tips, you may avoid an AC repair visit but if you need us, a friendly Douglas Cooling & Heating HVAC tech is ready to help!

What to Do When Your AC Unit Freezes Up in the Summer

Luckily, it only takes 2 steps to restore your air conditioning system back to normal after it freezes. Follow along to help your system.

Step One: Thaw It Out

Turn off your AC unit at the electrical breaker and let the ice thaw. Be advised, it could take a whole day for a frozen air conditioner to completely thaw. Pick a day when you plan to spend time elsewhere, just be mindful of any pets in the house and the forecast. If a day’s rest is impractical, turn the AC off but leave the blower running which will continue to move warm air over the coils and help them thaw.

Make every effort to avoid using the AC while the evaporator coils are frozen. Running the AC with frozen coils strains the AC compressor. The air conditioning system compressor is the most expensive component in your air conditioning unit. The strain may damage this valuable part and set you up for an unplanned expense.

Finally, don’t listen to advice that you should break up the ice with a heavy object or sharp tool. This easily damages components and creates new problems. Instead, you can try to use a hair dryer to help with the melting process.

Step Two: Dry the Coils

Once the ice is gone, dry the evaporator coils. If off, restore the power to your system and turn the blower on. Set the thermostat to only run the blower or fan. This circulates air around and through the coils to dry them quickly.

Once the coils are dry, your system should operate normally. It’s important, however, to prevent it from happening again, even if you now know what to do when your AC unit freezes up.

Why Does My AC Freeze Up?

Air conditioners freeze all the time, but it can be a major inconvenience, not to mention expensive to fix. Many homeowners may not know what causes this issue to arise and how to prevent it. Here are some of the common causes of air conditioner freezes.

Dirty Air Filter

The first common cause of frozen air conditioners is due to restricted airflow. This happens when the air filter is clogged or dirty, and the air conditioner cannot efficiently remove heat from your home. When restricted airflow occurs, the evaporator coils become too cold, leading to the formation of ice on the coils. This problem could be resolved by simply replacing the air filter. Air filters should be changed on a regular basis, usually between every 30-90 days.

Dirty Evaporator Coil

Your AC’s evaporator coil is really just a cluster of refrigerant coils. As the refrigerant passes through, the chemical reaches temperatures as low as 10 – 20 degrees Fahrenheit. During normal operation, warm, unconditioned air passes over the coils. The existing warmth in your household’s air prevents ice or frost formation. If, however, there’s a lack of warm air moving across the evaporator coils, they ice over. The ice even travels along the refrigerant lines. As humid air, which we have a lot of here in Birmingham, meets the coils and condenses, it freezes even faster.

Mechanical Issues

Another reason for air conditioner freezing could be related to mechanical issues, such as a malfunctioning blower fan, which causes the air conditioner to work incorrectly, leading to ice buildup. When these components do not work properly, airflow is restricted and the coils become too cold.

Refrigerant Leak

Air conditioner refrigerant leaks are another common cause of freezing. Refrigerant is the substance that cools the air in your AC. When there is not enough refrigerant in the air conditioning system, it will cycle too often, causing a rapid decrease in temperature and increasing the chances of the evaporator coils freezing. When your refrigerant levels are low, your system has to work harder to cool your home, which can cause the coils to become too cold and freeze up. If your system continues to run with low refrigerant levels, it can cause permanent damage to the compressor, resulting in a costly repair. This problem can only be fixed by a professional AC repair technician.

Using Your AC When It’s Too Cold Outside

Lastly, if the temperature outside is below 60 degrees, and your AC’s temperature is set below 68 degrees, this can cause the evaporator coils to freeze as there is not enough warm air in the house for the AC to sufficiently cool. In this case, it is best to just turn off the air conditioner and wait for the temperature to improve before turning it back on.

Get Help for Frozen AC Issues

If you are asking why my AC freeze up, you might be tempted to try and fix the issue yourself. Beyond changing your air filter and making sure your system is only used when it’s warm enough outside, you should leave the repairs to the professionals. Freezing coils are often a symptom of a larger problem that requires the expertise of a licensed HVAC technician. Calling a professional is not only the safest option; it’s also more cost-effective in the long run.

It’s important to note that while frozen coils are a visible symptom of an issue, the underlying cause may not always be as apparent. A licensed technician has the training and expertise to inspect all of your system components including your blower fan, condensate pan, refrigerant coils, and more to identify the root cause. They will be able to provide an effective solution that will prevent the problem from happening in the future. Working with a professional HVAC company will ultimately save you time and money in the long run. Don’t let your AC continue to freeze up; call Douglas Cooling & Heating for air conditioning system repairs today.

How to Prevent a Frozen AC Unit

Now you know what to do when your AC unit freezes up and the common causes. How can you stop it from happening in the first place? We have some preventative tips to stop ac freezing from happening again.

1. Change Your Air Filter

A dirty air filter is a top cause of a frozen HVAC system. The air filter cleans the air circulated into your home. Over time, it clogs with dirt, pollen, dust, and other allergens. This restricts the airflow and the HVAC coils freeze.

Typically, we recommend you check your filter monthly. Change it as needed. For most folks, this is one to every three months. Filter changes vary based on factors, such as:

  • The type of filter you have
  • Presence of children or pets in the home
  • The season and if you live in a high-pollen count area
  • Whether a household member smokes
  • A household member lives with asthma, allergies, COPD, or congestive heart conditions
  • If you frequently run your system

During regular HVAC maintenance, Douglas Cooling & Heating professionals inspect your filter and will change it for you if a new one is available.

2. Schedule Regular Maintenance to Check Coolant Levels

As part of a seasonal tune-up, a professional HVAC contractor performs a comprehensive inspection. This includes checking coolant levels and charging if necessary.

Think you might have a coolant leak? There are a couple of signs. For example, does your AC blow hot air? Do you hear a hissing? Douglas HVAC techs use measuring instruments to check levels as well. Avoid handling coolant chemicals, because they can be toxic. Leave it to the professionals if possible.

3. Get an Airflow Inspection

Obstructed airflow is a major reason heating and cooling systems malfunction or function inefficiently. Similar to a clogged filter, blocked vent returns and registers prevent adequate airflow.

This causes your system to work harder without a way to release the cooled or heated air. Are vents and registers clear from any obstructions? Your problem may be poorly designed or installed ductwork. In some cases, the ductwork is installed well but the wrong size for your house or the capacity.

Call Douglas Cooling & Heating for HVAC maintenance. Our trained professionals inspect your ductwork and offer redesign solutions, if necessary. If there is a clog, like nesting material or other signs of pests, we clear obstructions blocking proper airflow.

4. Clean Evaporator Coils

The condensate lines drain excess moisture from your HVAC system. If there’s a clog in the line, the water becomes stuck and the excess water freezes. With frozen water in your lines, you could be left with frozen HVAC coils as well.

Over time, evaporator coils attract dust, hair, and grime can form a clog. If there is moisture trapped inside the clog, the moisture freezes and the coils freeze as well. Frozen coils restrict airflow. This causes your system to struggle or not work at all.

The best prevention for frozen HVAC coils is to schedule preventive maintenance. Douglas Cooling & Heating checks the evaporator coils and the rest of your unit’s lines during an AC tune-up.

Save money, avoid AC repairs, breakdowns, and a frozen HVAC system in the future with routine air conditioning service.

Call Douglas For Air Conditioner Repairs in Birmingham, AL

A proactive and preventive mindset saves you money throughout the year on your energy bill and keeps your air conditioning running well. If you ever notice your AC unit freezing up, follow our tips to thaw your system yourself, and then call Douglas Cooling & Heating for an AC inspection or repairs.

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Energy Efficiency Upgrades: The Benefits of Upgrading Your HVAC System

July 17th, 2023

Is your HVAC system functioning poorly, in need of frequent repairs or one big expensive repair, or starting to use more energy as time goes by? Is it getting to an age that you know indicates the end of its life is near? Or perhaps you’re just curious about how much better things could be with a brand-new, top-of-the-line system?

There are many reasons to upgrade your HVAC system, and when you’re considering a big household decision, the first thing you should do is research. We’d like to give you some information about exactly what’s available these days.

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Is a Central AC or Heat Pump Better?

July 3rd, 2023

If it’s time to think about replacing your old air conditioner, it might be easy to just choose the same type you’ve had in the past, simply out of familiarity. But you should definitely take the time to consider your options.

You want to do what will work best for you, and the only way to know is to do a little research. One thing to consider is whether you want a central air conditioner or a heat pump. They both offer benefits, so it’s a matter of which meets your needs. Let’s look at some details.

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Take Advantage of Our Free Estimates

June 26th, 2023

As homeowners, taking care of your comfort systems is a big responsibility. It can feel overwhelming when you suspect that your AC, heater, or electrical system isn’t working as it should. It’s natural to worry about the potential expense of a repair job or a system replacement, and that’s why we offer free estimates. 

Not only that, we always aim to provide multiple options for a single repair or replacement. That way, you can choose the option that makes the most sense for your budget and for your long-term plans for your home. 

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What Are the Different Types of Air Conditioning?

June 22nd, 2023

Air conditioning systems come in various types, each with its unique features and benefits. With different cooling systems available on the market, choosing the right type of air conditioning system for your home can be overwhelming. There are many factors that come into play when choosing a cooling system for your home, and Douglas Cooling & Heating breaks down each type so you can figure out which is the best for you. Continue reading to learn more about the different types of air conditioning systems and what makes them stand out from the rest.

Window Air Conditioners

The most economical cooling system, window air conditioner units can only cool a space of a certain size. You may need multiple window units to cool your home effectively. However, these systems are very expensive to run, and if you need more than 2 you probably should have a central air conditioning system installed or a heat pump. Window air conditioning units are also an eye sore and can make a vulnerable entry point into your home if not installed securely.

Central Air Conditioners

The traditional air conditioning system is the most common type of cooling system in homes and commercial spaces. The split AC system comprises two parts: an indoor unit that circulates cool air through air ducts, and an outdoor unit that expels heat from your house.

Central Air conditioning units work by absorbing heat from warm air and expelling it outside, using a refrigerant. These units are great for maintaining a comfortable temperature in your home during hot seasons. However, air conditioning systems tend to use more energy and can be more expensive to install and maintain. A central air conditioning system can cool your home faster than other types of cooling systems and is the most common, so it’s often easier to find an HVAC company that can fix your system for you when it breaks down.

Heat Pumps

Heat pumps are a two-in-one cooling and heating system that uses electricity to regulate temperatures in homes. Unlike a traditional air conditioning unit that only cool the air, heat pumps can both cool down air during summer and warm up air during winter. They work by extracting heat from the outside and transferring it indoors during the winter season. During the summer months, they work in reverse, extracting heat from inside the house and expelling it outside.

A big advantage to heat pumps over air conditioners is that they often provide better indoor air quality and are much more energy efficient to run throughout the summer.

Ductless Mini Splits

Ductless mini splits, also known as ductless heating and cooling systems, are great alternatives to traditional ducted air conditioning systems. These units do not require ductwork; hence they’re perfect for cooling spaces without a central duct system.

Ductless mini-split systems include a compressor that is installed outside the house and one or multiple air handling units installed inside the house. The outdoor compressor can be a heat pump or an air conditioner. If your mini-split is connected to your air conditioner, it can only cool a space, making it ideal for sunrooms or finished attics, rooms that are particularly hot in the summer. If your mini-split is connected to a heat pump, it can provide both heated and cooled air to a room. This makes them ideal for rooms used year-round that are separate from your HVAC system like a new addition or a workshop.

The air handling unit is mounted on a wall or within the ceiling and cools the air in the space that surrounds it. These units are energy-efficient and are perfect for homeowners who want a more targeted cooling solution.

Choosing the Best Option for Your Air Conditioning Installation

Homeowners can choose between air conditioners, heat pumps, and ductless mini splits for air conditioning installation by considering the following factors:

  • Heating Requirements: If your home requires both heating and cooling, a heat pump or ductless mini split heat pump may be a cost-effective solution as it can reverse its operation to provide heating during colder months. If heating is not needed, an air conditioner might be more suitable.
  • Existing System: Consider the compatibility of the new system with your existing HVAC setup. If you have a functional duct system, an air conditioner or heat pump might be more appropriate. For homes without ductwork or with limited space, ductless mini splits are a great option.
  • Energy Efficiency: Compare the energy efficiency ratings of various systems (SEER, HSPF, and EER) to determine which option will provide long-term savings on energy bills.
  • Installation Cost: Assess the installation costs for each system, including labor and materials. Ductless mini splits generally have lower installation costs compared to heat pumps and air conditioners if your duct system needs to be replaced.
  • Zoning Capabilities: If you desire individual temperature control for different rooms, ductless mini splits offer an advantage as they allow for multiple indoor units connected to a single outdoor unit, facilitating independent temperature regulation. To create zoned cooling with heat pumps or air conditioners, additional equipment is required.
  • Aesthetics and Space: Consider the visual impact and space requirements of each system. Ductless mini splits have a sleeker design but are visible in living spaces, whereas central air conditioners and heat pumps may require more space for installation but are usually installed out of sight indoors.

Ultimately, consulting with an HVAC professional can help you make an informed decision based on their specific needs, budget, and home layout.

Schedule a Quote for Air Conditioning Installation in Birmingham

With this information in mind, it’s essential to consider which type of air conditioning installation best suits your needs. At Douglas Cooling & Heating, we are committed to providing the best installation services for homeowners in Birmingham, AL, and surrounding areas. Whether you need a traditional AC system, a heat pump, or a ductless mini split, our team of experienced technicians are here to guide and advise you on the best options for air conditioning installation that meet your needs and preferences. Contact us today!

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Common Plumbing Problems

June 22nd, 2023

As a homeowner, it’s crucial you keep your property’s plumbing system in top shape. While most of us tend to overlook it, plumbing is an integral part of our homes, and it’s only a matter of time before things go wrong. Common plumbing problems may range from minor leaks to major water damage, which is why it’s essential to have prompt plumbing repair and maintenance services. Douglas Cooling & Heating explains what is a plumbing emergency and what you can do to stop the damage. Remember, you can always count on Douglas Cooling & Heating for plumbing help around your Birmingham, AL home. Schedule service with us today.

Clogged Drains

Everyone gets a clog now and again. Homeowners often tackle the issue themselves first, but these efforts do not always restore proper drainage. If all your at-home methods—plungers or drain snakes—don’t fix the clog, call a professional. Additionally, if you experience clogs on a regular basis, the problem most likely stems from a complete clog far down in your drain. At-home methods can’t fix these clogs.

A plumber uses professional methods to safely remove blockages and restore proper drainage in your home. A drain auger or drain snake may be used to bust up tough clogs and remove them. Hydro jetting is a process that uses high-pressure water sent through your drainpipes to not only break up blockages but to clear the interior of your pipes from debris buildup.

Sewer Line Clogs

The sewer line that allows waste to flow out of your home to the municipal sewer or your septic tank can experience problems. Clogs in sewer lines are more severe in terms of common plumbing problems. Unlike a clog in a drain line, they cause problems all over the home, not just in one room or fixture. The signs of a sewer line clog include slow or clogged drains, gurgling noises from drains, water backup in showers or bathtubs when toilets are flushed, and bubbling from toilet water or faucets.

Sewer line clogs can be caused by a number of reasons:

  • Flushing improper items
  • Tree root penetrations
  • Debris entering the line through a busted pipe

To determine if you have a sewer line clog, call a plumber to inspect your sewer line. During their inspection, the plumber will also determine if your pipes have broken due to age and allowed outside materials to settle in the line and stop drainage – in this case, your sewer line needs to be replaced.

Frozen Pipes

Frozen pipes are one of the common plumbing problems that require emergency plumbing services due to the potential damage and hazards they present. When the water inside the pipes freezes, it expands, exerting immense pressure on the pipe walls. This pressure can cause the pipes to crack or burst, leading to severe water damage, flooding, and costly repairs.

Emergency plumbing services are crucial in addressing frozen pipes promptly, preventing further damage, and restoring normal water flow. Professional plumbers have the expertise and equipment to safely thaw the pipes, identify any cracks or leaks, and perform necessary repairs, ensuring the integrity of your plumbing system is maintained.

Leaky Pipes

Your leaky pipe seems like an easy fix, but it often points to larger issues. The cause may be old pipes and connections that have started to wear out, or an issue such as improper water pressure is potentially damaging your pipes.

Use leak tape before your plumber visits to keep leakage contained. Then, call a professional. They fix the underlying problem instead of the surface-level issue. Be sure to call a plumber at the first sign of plumbing leaks. Water damage can be incredibly expensive to fix, so the sooner you address the issue, the better.

Water Heater Leaks

Water heater leaks require emergency plumbing services due to the potential risks and damage they pose. Some reasons why prompt professional intervention is necessary include:

  • Property Damage: A leaking water heater can cause extensive water damage to floors, walls, and nearby belongings. If not addressed quickly, the leak may worsen over time, leading to more significant issues such as structural damage, mold growth, and costly repairs.
  • Electrical Hazards: If the leak reaches any electrical components or outlets, it can create a dangerous situation with the risk of electrocution or even an electrical fire.
  • Reduced Efficiency: A leaking water heater may not operate at its peak efficiency, resulting in higher energy consumption and increased utility bills.
  • Gas Leaks: In the case of gas water heaters, a leak might indicate a more severe problem, such as a faulty pressure relief valve or a corroded tank. Gas leaks can be hazardous and lead to fires or explosions if not addressed immediately.
  • Loss of Hot Water: A water heater leak can disrupt your hot water supply, causing inconvenience for daily activities like bathing, washing, and cleaning.

Professional plumbers can accurately diagnose the issue, determine the appropriate course of action, and perform necessary repairs or replacements to restore the functionality and safety of your water heater, preventing further damage and potential hazards.

Low Water Pressure

Though it’s one of the most general plumbing problems, many believe this issue doesn’t need attention. Too often, homeowners pass it off as a comfort issue and skip further investigation. Your comfort matters and these issues need to be looked into by a professional not only to improve your satisfaction with your plumbing system but to address the cause to avoid future issues.

Most of the time, low pressure stems from the buildup of minerals on faucets and shower heads. In homes supplied by wells, pressure tank malfunctions often result in low water pressure. If you notice low water pressure, try first cleaning showerheads and faucets. If that doesn’t remedy your water pressure, get in touch with a plumber. A deeper issue, like a water line leak or breach, could be the culprit. In that case, call a plumber to assess the problem.

Broken Shutoff Valve

Broken shutoff valves necessitate emergency plumbing services due to the potential risks and damage they can cause. Shutoff valves are essential components of a plumbing system, responsible for controlling the water flow to various appliances and fixtures. When a shutoff valve fails, it can lead to several problems:

  • Uncontrolled Water Flow: A broken shutoff valve may not be able to stop the water flow, causing flooding or continuous leakage. Uncontrolled water flow can lead to water damage, mold growth, and higher water bills.
  • Difficulty in Isolating Issues: In case of a plumbing emergency, such as a burst pipe or leaking appliance, a non-functioning shutoff valve makes it difficult to isolate the problem area, exacerbating the issue and increasing the risk of damage.
  • Inconvenience: A broken shutoff valve can disrupt daily activities like bathing, washing, and cleaning, as it may affect the water supply to specific fixtures or appliances.
  • Potential Damage to Other Components: A malfunctioning shutoff valve can cause pressure imbalances within the plumbing system, potentially damaging other components like pipes, fittings, and fixtures.

Professional plumbers can assess the issue, repair or replace the faulty valve, and restore the functionality of your plumbing system, preventing further damage and potential hazards. By acting quickly, you can minimize the impact of a broken shutoff valve on your property and daily life.

Keep Up On Regular Maintenance

There are many things you can do to prevent common plumbing problems. When you notice a small issue, address it immediately. There are many home remedies you can try to clear your drains to prevent clogs. However, if you try multiple remedies and find no relief, that’s your sign it’s time to make an appointment with Douglas Cooling & Heating to address your plumbing issues.

  • Hot Water: Simply flushing your drains with hot water can be an effective way to keep them clean. Hot water can help break down and remove the buildup of oils and other materials that can cause clogs.
  • Baking Soda and Vinegar: This combination can be quite effective in cleaning drains. Pour half a cup of baking soda down the drain, followed by half a cup of vinegar. Wait 15-20 minutes and then rinse with hot water. The chemical reaction between baking soda and vinegar can help break down grease, food particles, and other debris in your drains.
  • Boiling Water: Pouring a pot of boiling water down the drain can also help to dislodge and dissolve some types of clogs. This is particularly effective with grease or soap build-up.
  • Salt, Borax, and Vinegar: Mix 1/4 cup of salt, 1/4 cup of borax, and 1/2 cup of vinegar, pour the mixture down the drain, followed by a pot of boiling water. This combination can be quite potent and effective at cleaning your drains.
  • Dish Detergent and Hot Water: For tougher clogs, especially in the kitchen sink, you can try using dish detergent as a de-greaser. Pour a half cup of dish detergent down the drain, followed by boiling water.

For stubborn or unexpected issues, turn to the plumbing professionals at Douglas Cooling & Heating for quality plumbing repairs and services.

Call Douglas Cooling & Heating to Solve Your General Plumbing Problems

At the end of the day, professional help from plumbers guarantees your water flows as it should. While at-home fixes temporarily fix your difficult plumbing problems, they do not treat underlying issues.

At Douglas Cooling & Heating, we provide high-quality plumbing repair and maintenance services to keep your home plumbing system running efficiently. Our experienced plumbers use modern tools and techniques to diagnose and repair any plumbing issues in your home. Don’t wait until the problem becomes catastrophic; contact us today for prompt and reliable plumbing repair services.

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Energy-Efficient Options for Your Next AC Replacement

June 19th, 2023

Perhaps you’ve heard that the requirements for air conditioners have changed, and that all newly manufactured air conditioners installed in the US must meet a higher standard for energy efficiency. But did you know that a lot has changed in how air conditioners are made? New AC models can achieve extraordinary efficiency, which could mean much-lower electric bills once you replace your system. Here’s how they do it.

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3 Benefits of Custom Ductwork Fabrication

June 5th, 2023

A large amount of heated or conditioned air is lost through cracks, holes, and other damage to ductwork. If your home’s ductwork is leaky, 30% or more of your heating and cooling bills could be due to paying for wasted hot or cold air that escapes to unoccupied areas of your home such as your attic or between your walls.

Does having your ductwork replaced seem like an enormous, exhausting endeavor? It’s actually quicker and easier than you might think. The best approach might be to have custom ductwork fabricated specifically for your home. Here are three reasons why.

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Understanding SEER2 and the Benefits of Upgrading Your HVAC System

May 26th, 2023

If you’re in the market for a new HVAC system, you may have heard about SEER2. But what is it, and why should you care? In this post, we’ll explore what SEER2 is, the benefits of upgrading your HVAC system to SEER2, and the new standards being implemented this year.

What is SEER2?

SEER2 stands for Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio 2. It’s a rating system used to measure the energy efficiency of central air conditioning systems and heat pump systems. SEER2 takes into account the total heat removed from the conditioned space during the annual cooling season and is calculated by dividing the total amount of cooling provided over a typical cooling season by the total electrical input during the same season.

What are the Benefits of Upgrading to SEER2?

  • Lower Energy Bills: The higher the SEER2 rating, the more efficient the system is, resulting in lower monthly energy costs. Upgrading to a higher SEER2 system can save you hundreds of dollars in energy costs over the lifetime of the system.
  • Increased Comfort: A higher SEER2 system can also provide increased comfort, as it is better equipped to maintain a consistent temperature throughout your home. This means fewer hot and cold spots and a more comfortable living environment.
  • Environmentally Friendly: Upgrading to a higher SEER2 system can also have a positive impact on the environment. By using less energy, you’ll reduce your carbon footprint and help to conserve natural resources.
  • Improved Indoor Air Quality: A new HVAC system with a higher SEER2 rating can also improve indoor air quality. Newer systems are designed to filter out more pollutants and allergens, resulting in cleaner air and a healthier living environment.

When Should You Upgrade to SEER2?

If your current HVAC system is more than 10 years old, it may be time to consider upgrading to a higher SEER2 system. Older systems are typically less efficient and can be more costly to operate. Additionally, if you’re experiencing frequent breakdowns or repairs, it may be more cost-effective in the long run to upgrade to a newer, more efficient system.

New Standards for SEER2

Starting in 2023, new SEER2 standards will be implemented, requiring all new systems to have a minimum SEER2 rating of 15. This means that if you’re considering upgrading your system, it’s a good idea to choose a system that meets or exceeds this new standard. By doing so, you’ll not only enjoy the benefits of a more efficient system but also ensure that your system is compliant with the latest standards.

Talk to Douglas Cooling & Heating About Upgrading Your Air Conditioner Or Cooling System Today

Upgrading your HVAC system to SEER2 can provide a range of benefits, including lower energy bills, increased comfort, improved indoor air quality, and a positive impact on the environment. With the new SEER2 standards being implemented this year, it’s more important than ever to choose a system that meets or exceeds these standards. By investing in a higher SEER2 system, you’ll enjoy a more comfortable living environment while saving money on your energy bills and contributing to a more sustainable future. Contact Douglas Cooling & Heating if you’re interested in a more energy-efficient way of cooling your Birmingham area home. 

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