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Tuesday, October 31st, 2017

With the coming of summer, we’re going to experience hot temperatures and muggy atmosphere, which can make your home feel like a sauna if you let it. A good air conditioner can be your best friend when the mercury rises, and it’s a fact of life that you usually have to pay more in month energy bills during the summer, since you’ll likely be running your air conditioner on a daily basis. But just because you have to pay more doesn’t mean you should pay more than is necessary. By taking concrete steps now, before the summer heat hits, you can improve your air conditioning efficiency: not only lowering those monthly bills, but reducing the risks of a more serious breakdown in the future. Here’s three possible ways you can do that.

But just because you have to pay more doesn’t mean you should pay more than is necessary. By taking concrete steps now, before the summer heat hits, you can improve your air conditioning efficiency: not only lowering those monthly bills, but reducing the risks of a more serious breakdown in the future. Here’s three possible ways you can do that.


A simple maintenance session is the easier way to improve your air conditioner’s efficiency during the summer months. The technician will give the system a thorough going-over and correct all of those little issues that don’t merit a repair call on their own, but which can add up if they aren’t dealt with. Loose bolts can increase the strain on individual components, for example, while dusty moving parts experience more friction than they should. By correcting these issues, the technician allows the system to function at maximum efficiency. It also helps reduce the risk of repairs, and when applied on a regular basis, can even help extend the life of your system.


Summer means high levels of humidity as well as high levels of heat, which can make your house feel like a sauna. When there’s too much ambient moisture in the air, the sweat won’t evaporate off of your skin, which is your body’s primary way of keeping cool. That makes the air feel hotter and forces your air conditioner to work harder to do its job. Air conditioners can also run into efficiency issues when the air is excessively humid, and in the worst cases the excess moisture can even . A dehumidifier can remove that burden from your system, as well as helping your house feel healthier and more comfortable!


Most of us think of insulation as solely a winter purveyance, since it helps keep warm air inside your home more readily and eases the strain on your heating system. But most people don’t realize that it works just as well in the summertime to keep hot air outside of your home as it does to keep warm air in. That helps your air conditioner immeasurably, often without the homeowner even being aware of it. And because our winters tend to be fairly mild, many home don’t have as much insulation as they might otherwise, since they don’t feel they need it. See if your home could use more insulation and arrange to have it installed before summer hits. You’ll be surprised at home much of a difference it can make.

For quality air conditioner service in Charlotte, NC, call the pros at FSM Heat & Air today!

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Tuesday, October 31st, 2017

We tend to see a lot of air conditioner installation and replacement calls this time of year, which only makes sense. A homeowner may feel that their existing air conditioner is too old to make it through another hot summer season without a serious breakdown. If you’ve decided to replace your old air conditioner with a new one, congratulations.

Doing so will allow you to save a lot of money in monthly bills on improved efficiency and ensure that your summer passes much more smoothly. And with a few weeks to go until summer, you have the time you need to make an informed choice before scheduling as timely installation.

The first and most important decision you should make regarding your new air conditioning system is its power levels: the amount of cooling power it puts out into your home. This is a far trickier equation than you might expect, and requires careful planning to get right. Why are power levels so important to a new air conditioner? Read on for the answers.


You can probably guess that an underpowered air conditioner won’t do the job you need it to. Imagine using a single window-box AC to cool an eight-room house. It will run all day and raise your monthly costs accordingly, all without approaching the ability to adequately cool the space.

Most people respond by looking for the most powerful air conditioner they can find to off-set this, which makes a certain amount of sense. After all, don’t you want your air conditioner to cool the whole home as quickly as possible? It’s an easy argument to accept and it feels logical. Unfortunately, going with an overpowered air conditioner can be almost as bad as going with an underpowered air conditioner.

Air conditioners use a great deal of power to start up and shut down, far more than they do simply running. For that reason, you want your air conditioner to run for at least 15 minutes at a clip is order to gain the maximum benefits. And oversized unit will engage in a process known as short cycling: running for a short amount of time and turning off, only to turn on again a brief time later as the heat of the day warms your home up. That increases the strain on the system and hastens the need for repair calls, as well as costing you a great deal in unnecessarily high cooling bills.


The best air conditioner for your home obeys what we like to call the Goldilocks Rule: neither too large nor too small, but just right. Getting the power levels right means addressing the specifics of your home. A good technician will perform a close inspection of your house before installing the new system. That includes obvious factors like square footage, but also things like sunlight exposure, double-sided windows and the presence of insulation. With those facts in mind, the technician can find the best power levels for your new system.

If you want to install a new air conditioner in your Charlotte, NC home, call FSM Heat & Air today!

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Tuesday, October 31st, 2017

Spring is usually the time when warmer temperatures begin to crowd out the cooler ones, and you find yourself running your home air conditioner more and more often. Soon enough, summer will be upon us, and when we experience one of our patent heat waves, you’re going to need your air conditioner to function all day, every day if necessary. Spotting the signs of trouble now allows you to get in front of any serious problems that may be brewing.


You should never try to formally diagnose your air conditioner. Only trained and licensed technicians can perform a proper analysis of the problem. That doesn’t mean you can spot the common sings of something out of the ordinary. Running the air conditioner on a regular basis will instill in you a subconscious familiarity with the sounds it makes and other features (like the speed of blowing air) that indicate it’s running as it should. If those signs change for any reason, you’ll likely notice them. They can include (but are not limited to) the following:

  • Higher Bills. Higher bills are a very subtle indicator that something is wrong. But a malfunctioning component may not show any overt signs of a problem, even as it consumes increasing amounts of energy to do its job. A sudden, unexpected spike in your monthly energy bills could be signs of a problem.
  • Warmer Air. If your air conditioner blows warm or lukewarm air from your ducts, you likely know there’s a problem. But it’s no less true if the air is cold, just not as cold as you’d expect. Leaky refrigerant and dirty components can reduce the system’s cooling power, while overheating components might be warming the very air they’re supposed to help cool. Even breaches in the ducts could be a culprit: pulling warm, unconditioned air in from outside the system
  • Lower Air Flow. Similarly, a clog in the filter or a problem with the fan motor can slow the air from your vents, which causes the same trouble as warmer air does: it will force the air conditioner to spend more energy than it should to cool your home. That will raise your monthly bills accordingly, as well as putting further strain on the system and elevating the chances of a more serious breakdown.
  • Strange Noises. Most air conditioners make distinctive noises when they run, but those noises can contain unexpected elements when there’s a problem. For instance, a bent fan might make a buzzing sounds as it scrapes against the sides of another component, while breaches in the ducts might create hums or whistles. In many cases, these noises will start and stop with the starting and stopping of the air conditioner.

If you spot these symptoms, or signs of any other trouble, shut the system off and call for repairs immediately. Doing so can help mitigate the damage and ensure that the repairs cost less than they otherwise might.

For quality air conditioning repair in Belmont, NC, call on FSM Heat & Air today!

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Tuesday, October 31st, 2017

If you own a home, you’re probably bracing for higher monthly energy bills this summer as temperatures rise and your air conditioner is put to greater and greater use. But just because you pay more during the summer doesn’t mean that you should pay more than is necessary. Some of that can be mitigated with common-sense tips such as setting the temperature a little higher than you might otherwise. But you can do much more with the timely installation of an upgrade to your existing air conditioning system. Now is the ideal time to install such a system since the summer has not yet begun in earnest.

Among the types of updates you can consider is an energy recovery ventilator, or ERV. It’s installed in your attic, and can contribute hugely to the energy efficiency of your home. We’ve provided a breakdown on how it all works below.


An ERV and its cousin the heating recovery ventilator, essentially consists of two lengths of duct, each including a fan. One fan blows air out of your home, while the other pulls outside air into your home. the ducts never touch, but a heat exchange connected to both of them ensures that the temperature of the incoming air is the same as the temperature as the outgoing air.


That may feel like a lot of effort for very little effect but in fact, an ERV does a number of beneficial things for your home. First and most importantly, it helps keep the air fresh in your home when you don’t open the doors or windows very much. We tend to button up our homes in the summertime, when the high temperatures and higher humidity mean you need to keep your doors and windows closed. That can lead to a stagnant, stale feeling in the air, as well as encouraging the circulation of germs and bacteria. With nowhere to go, they can easily spread in your home, passing illnesses on to various family members and ever worse.

An ERV can help curtail all of that, removing older stale air in your home and replacing it with fresh air from outside. Your home will feel fresher and cleaner as a result, and don’t be surprised to find instances of colds and other illness dropping down.

In the process, it provides another huge benefit to your home. As it swaps the air out with fresh air, it helps ease the strain on your air conditioner by helping your home better retain its cool temperature. The same thing occurs in the winter when your home has to retain heat. In both summer and winter, that helps reduce the cost of your monthly energy bills, as well as reducing the wear and tear on the system itself and lowering the chances of a more serious breakdown.

If an energy recovery ventilator sounds like a good fit for your Charlotte, NC home, call on FSM Heat & Air today for high quality installation and repair.

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Tuesday, October 31st, 2017

Most homes in the Gastonia, NC area possess some manner of insulation. Winters are cold enough to merit insulation as a means of keeping warm. But not everyone realizes that insulation can play just as much of a role in keeping your house cool in the summer. If your home could have more insulation installed, now is a good time to consider it. You’d be surprised at the benefits if can provide once the summer begins in earnest.


Insulation comes in many forms, though most of us are accustomed to fiberglass insulation, which is quite common. Insulating materials work to slow conductive heat flow (heat flow through materials) and convective heat flow (heat flow through liquids and gasses such as air). Convective heat flow is why you place insulation in your attic, since warm air rises.

It’s not hard to see how copious insulation can help your home in the winter. By slowing the flow of heat out of your home (both upward and outward), it allows your home to retain warm temperatures more readily. As a result, your heater doesn’t have to work as hard to keep your home warm in the winter. Your monthly bills go down, and the chances of a breakdown are reduced since the heater undergoes less stress and strain.


What most people don’t realize is that heat can flow in both directions: into your home as well as out. A well-insulated home, therefore, will keep hot temperatures outside in the summer as readily as it keeps warm temperatures inside in the winter. As a result, your air conditioner benefits from insulation the same way your heater does.

Adding insulation in the spring can help cut down on cooling bills in the summer. Here in Gastonia, NC, count on the pros at FSM Heat & Air to provide quality insulation.

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