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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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