The Fashion of Wearing White and Labor Day

September 1st, 2014

You may have heard about the fashion faux pas of wearing white after Labor Day. In the present, this tradition is usually treated as old fashioned and a joke. Few people will criticize you for wearing white articles of clothing after the first Monday in September, or even take notice of it except to wonder why it was ever a major concern at all.

Where did this tradition of white clothing going out of fashion after Labor Day come from, and why did it fade away like colorful fabric washed in a hot load in the washing machine?

In general, white makes sense for the heat of summer. Light-colored clothing reflects away the radiant heat of the sun, instead of absorbing it the way dark colors do, so for thousands of years of human history people have preferred to wear white clothing during the hotter months.

However, the idea of white as strictly fashionable during the summer season only emerged in the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries—the time when the very concept of “fashion” began to spread across the Western Hemisphere.

It was only the highest level of post-Civil War society in the U.S. that strict and often bizarre rules for fashion controlled whether someone was in with the “in” crowd. Compared to our ideas of what’s fashionable today, the Czars of Style in the 1880s were true despots. Things as trivial as sleeve length could determine whether a woman in high society—no matter her level of wealth—was fashionable or a pariah.

Wearing white during the only summer, when it was common for weddings and outdoor parties, was only of these restrictive society rules. When the U.S. government made Labor Day a federal holiday in 1894, the Fashion Czars gained a definite cut-off point for when wearing white was no longer “acceptable” in the upper echelons of wealthy society.

For many decades, this rule only applied to a small number of millionaire socialites in a few big cities, but in the 1950s it reached general fashion magazines that were read around the country and started to affect more people.

But time eventually broke apart this odd rule, and during the 1970s fashion became more individual. Some fashion legends, like Coco Chanel, also purposely rejected the restriction and wore white throughout the year. Today, the “no white after Labor Day rule” is little more than an amusing gag to tease friends, and almost nobody takes it seriously.

Whatever you choose to wear after Labor Day (and if it’s white, we won’t tease!), everyone here at Comfort Zone Heating & Air hopes you have a happy end of the summer and great plans for the fall!

How Do I Know if My New Air Conditioner Is Energy Efficient?

August 20th, 2014

Homeowners today are always on the hunt for way to save money with energy conservation. High-efficiency washers and dryers and LED light bulbs are among the most popular ways to reduce daily energy consumption in a home.

But what about air conditioners? An AC uses more energy during the summer than many other appliances will during the entire year—especially in a warm and humid place like Georgia. Reducing power consumption through the installation of a high-efficiency AC is one of the best ways to reduce utility bills.

We’ll show you how you can determine if the air conditioning in your house is energy-efficient…and what you can do if it isn’t. If you need new air conditioning installation in Canton, GA to upgrade to superior energy efficiency, contact the professionals at Comfort Zone Heating & Air today.

SEER and Energy Efficiency

First, find out the SEER (seasonal energy efficiency ratio) of your air conditioning system: you’ll either find this specification on the AC’s cabinet or in its manual. SEER measures how well an AC converts electricity into cooling power, and the higher the number the better. In order to meet the U.S. Department of Energy’s ENERGY STAR requirements, an AC must maintain a minimum of 14.5 SEER. If you have an air conditioner with lower SEER, you should consider replacing it for an ENERGY STAR qualifying unit.

However, just because a unit has higher than 14.5 SEER doesn’t mean it’s working at its most efficient, especially if it is more than a decade old. Age, lack of maintenance, and the need for repairs will reduce the system’s effective SEER. Check on your utility bills over the past few years (we hope you’ve kept a record of them). Do you notice a steady rise in summer electrical costs over the years, discounting any rise in costs for electricity? That’s a sign the AC is losing efficiency from aging. If you are keeping up with regular maintenance, this decline is usually a strong sign that it’s time to replace the system. Call for a technician to see first if there are any repairs that may help. The technician can also perform airflow tests and check on the motor draw to see if the AC is losing its energy-efficient performance. The technician can then recommend whether you should have a replacement system put it.

Even if you have an air conditioner with around 15 SEER that doesn’t seem to be declining, if it is over 10 years old you should consider upgrading to a high-efficiency unit (some ACs can score 20 SEER or greater) to save energy in the long run.

Your local professionals in air conditioning installation in Canton, GA can assist with your options for a replacement that will make your home more energy-efficient. Comfort Zone Heating & Air can take care of keeping your home cool and your bills low.

Is Ductless Split Air Conditioning Right for My Home?

August 13th, 2014

Ductless mini-split air conditioners are a popular choice for homeowners, but to determine whether or not it’s the right option for you depends on a few factors. Comfort Zone Heating & Air has been installing ductless mini-split air conditioning in North Atlanta for a long time, and our technicians have seen the benefits our customers have gained from ductless systems. If you are thinking about choosing a ductless mini-split, following are some factors to consider.

What Is a Ductless System?

A ductless air conditioning system is similar to a traditional split-system AC in that it has an outdoor unit that houses a compressor and condenser, but instead of using ductwork to deliver the cool air, it uses individual blowers. Blowers can be mounted in many places, including above doors and windows, or flush against ceilings; they just need to be connected to the outside unit through a conduit. A single outdoor unit can support up to 4 blowers.

What Are the Benefits of a Ductless System?

There are several benefits to installing a ductless air conditioner:

  • Energy efficiency – the blowers of a ductless system are each individually operated, allowing you to cool only what you need to. Less cooling means less operation for your air conditioner, which can save you both energy and money.
  • No need for expensive ductwork – a ductless system eliminates the need for the installation of expensive ductwork, or the repair of old ductwork.
  • Customized comfort – each blower works independently, allowing for different temperature settings per room or area.
  • Easy expansion – if you wish to expand your cooling to any part of your home, all you need is another blower.
  • Quiet – the indoor blowers on a ductless system are made to be quiet, eliminating the noise a window unit or traditional split-system may make.

Ductless air conditioning in North Atlanta may provide you with the cooling solution you’ve been looking for. If you still have questions, or want to discuss further how a ductless AC might be a good choice for you, call Comfort Zone Heating & Air today and schedule an appointment with one of our experts.

Signs You Need New Water Heater Installation in North Atlanta

August 7th, 2014

A quality water heater, properly installed and given regular maintenance and necessary repairs, should last 15 years or more (varying on the model). An aging water heater will eventually reach a point where it will begin to lose efficiency and heating power, and no amount of repairs will be able to restore it to its best working condition. When this time comes for your hot water system, you will need to schedule new water heater installation in North Atlanta, GA.

Below are some of the emerging warning signs that will tell you the time for replacing the water heater is approaching. Take action sooner rather than later: you don’t want to find out that you need a new water heater only when the old one fails completely! Pay attention to these warnings and schedule the new installation at your earliest convenience.

You can always receive a professional opinion about water heater replacement from the technicians at Comfort Zone Heating & Air. We can help determine if a new water heater is a good idea; if it is, rely on our expertise to locate the ideal new system for you and set it up so it will perform its best for your home for many years.

Watch for These Warning Signs of Water Heater Failure

  • Reduced hot water volume: If you’ve had your current water heater long enough, you will know how much hot water to expect from it—especially during the morning when people in your household are taking showers. When the warm water starts to run out earlier than it should (and people complain about lukewarm or cold showers) then you should look into the possibility that the heater is no longer up to its job.
  • Reduced water temperature: As a water heater ages, it will begin to struggle to transfer sufficient heat levels from its energy source (usually natural gas) to the water in the tank. If the water from the taps no longer gets as hot as it used to, it may be the fault of an ailing water heater that should be retired.
  • Corrosion: Corrosion across a water heater is usually a sign that it needs to be replaced. If you see rust developing along the bottom of the tank, or if reddish-brown discoloration appears in the water coming from the hot water taps, call for a technician immediately to look into it.

A new water heat will give you superior performance and lower energy use. You can also opt for a tankless water heater, which has additional advantages like never running out of hot water. Call Comfort Zone Heating & Air for the advice and service you need for water heater installation in North Atlanta, GA.

Don’t Miss Our End of Season Sale

August 6th, 2014

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Don’t miss out on these end of season savings! You can receive $1,000 off the purchase and installation of a new heating and cooling system. We know how hot and humid summers are in the Atlanta area, and your air conditioner has been working overtime keeping your family and your home comfortable and cool. Why wait until next year to replace your system once the weather is already hot? Our air conditioning experts will help you find the perfect system to meet your family’s needs, and you can trust our highly trained technicians to do a quality job installing your system and answering any questions. Give us a call or schedule an estimate online today!

 

 

How to Tell You Need Commercial HVAC Repair

July 30th, 2014

Your company depends on controlled temperatures inside the work place to keep your employees, customers, and/or clients content. Especially during a humid late summer in Georgia, you must have an HVAC system operating at peak performance so that nobody in your commercial building ever needs to give a second thought to their personal comfort.

That’s why you need to move quickly when you suspect your commercial HVAC system requires repair work. And you should contact a contractor in Ball Ground, GA for commercial work who can get to you fast, any time of the day or night, to take care of the job.

Comfort Zone Heating & Air has a trained staff ready to handle any issues with your business’ heating and cooling. We offer fast and reliable work, the sort you expect as a professional business owner.

Watch for these warnings signs you need HVAC repairs

  • Uneven temperatures: Most commercial HVAC systems are modular, run from a series of packaged rooftop units. If one of these units malfunctions, the others will still continue to run, but parts of the building may begin to receive reduced heating or cooling. If people in the building begin to notice rooms or spots that are uncommonly cold or warm, it could mean one of the rooftop units is failing or has already failed. Uneven temperatures could also originate from faults in the thermostat controls.
  • Odd smells from the vents: To keep down noise levels from the air conditioners and heaters, they are usually removed from the work areas, so people are unlikely to hear warning sounds of mechanical failures. However, these mechanical problems such as overheating motors can produce acrid odors that will drift through the vents. At the first detection of burning or unpleasant smells coming from the ventilation system, call for repairs.
  • Skyrocketing utility bills: Because you keep a close eye on the finances for your company, you will have a solid idea how much it costs during each season to keep the building comfortable. Should those costs take a sudden upswing for which you cannot account, it probably means there is a repair issue in the HVAC system that is putting excess strain on it. Repair technicians will get to the bottom of the problem and fix it.

You shouldn’t allow a poorly-performing air conditioner or heater to jeopardize the smooth operation of your business. Make the call immediately for professional repairs when you suspect that the HVAC system requires the attention of commercial repair specialists.

Our technicians at Comfort Zone Heating & Air have the necessary skill and experience with Ball Ground, GA commercial HVAC repairs to make certain that your building’s comfort is restored fast. Give us a call whenever you need us, 24/7.

The Advantages of Commercial Packaged Air Conditioning Units

July 21st, 2014

Making it through a summer in Atlanta requires the steady services of an air conditioner—and that goes double for businesses, which have to look after the comfort needs of staff, customers, and clients in areas much larger than most homes.

You have a number of different options for commercial HVAC installation in North Atlanta, GA, so make sure that you make the best choice possible with the assistance of specialists. Since you will need to have professional installers involved eventually, call up Comfort Zone Heating & Air and speak to our commercial experts for guidance as soon as you know you need new installation. Our technicians will help you pick out the right air conditioning unit for your company that will keep you and all your employees and customers comfortable.

Packaged AC Units and How They Can Benefit You

One of the most popular types of commercial air conditioning units is the packaged AC. What makes these different from the standard “split” ACs you often see in homes is that the packaged AC doesn’t have a separate outdoor and indoor cabinet with different components contained in each. All the components are housed in a single outdoor cabinet, which is usually installed on the roof of a business.

Here are some of the major benefits of a packaged air conditioner:

  • Powerful cooling loads: Packaged air conditioners have some of the largest cooling capacities available in single units. Even if there isn’t a solo unit that can handle the full cooling needs of your business, you can easily add on additional units since these systems are designed to be modular.
  • Easy access for repairs and maintenance: Packaged units are among the easiest of systems to repair and maintain because technicians only need to access the single cabinet to perform most of the work. This also reduces the amount of disruption to your business that repair visits can cause—almost all of the repairs will occur on the roof.
  • Space saving: Without the need for an indoor unit, and with the units placed up on the roof, you’ll have valuable space freed up for your business. This arrangement is also much more visually appealing, and it removes clutter from the outdoor areas at ground level.

Keep in mind that a packaged air conditioning system is only as good as its installation. Make sure that you only hire experienced contractors with a history of working on commercial HVAC installation in North Atlanta, GA. Call Comfort Zone Heating & Air and find out more about our commercial services and the possibilities for packaged air conditioning units for your business.

Qualities of Ductless Split Air Conditioning

July 15th, 2014

If you are adding air conditioning to your home, but you do not have any ductwork installed, you may think your options are limited. Window air conditioners lack the performance and efficiency of central air conditioners, but what choice do you have? Ductless mini split air conditioning systems are a unique, powerful, energy-saving solution that can be retrofitted or added to a new home or single room without any ducts at all!

Ductwork installation is can be impractical in older homes, multi-family housing, or homes with difficult layouts. Furthermore, if installed incorrectly, your faulty ducts can account for a lot of energy losses during the cooling season. Air can easily escape through the ducts, using energy to cool your attic or crawlspace, and costing you extra money every month.

Ductless mini splits, however, never run into this problem, and for a simple reason: no ducts! As with central AC, ductless split air conditioning systems have an outdoor unit and an indoor unit. However, the indoor unit (or rather the multiple indoor units depending on the size of your home) is a powerful air handler that can be mounted on the wall of a room or suspended from the ceiling.

Ductless split air conditioning is powerful enough to cool one or several rooms, but far more efficient than many other systems. They often come with a higher price tag every month, but the energy savings may be worth it. Ductless many splits usually have a much higher SEER (Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio) than central AC units, which means you’ll see significant savings on your energy bill every month.

One benefit of ductless air conditioning is zone control. You can control which rooms receive air conditioning and how much, adjusting the temperature in each separate zone with separate thermostats or a master thermostat that controls all zones. This can increase your family’s comfort and allow you to save energy by deciding whether to cool the entire home or only the rooms that are occupied.

To discuss ductless split air conditioning systems with a professional HVAC service company, call Comfort Zone Heating & Air today to schedule installation in Atlanta.

Air Conditioning Installation Upgrades

July 10th, 2014

If your air conditioning unit is finally ready for retirement, you may be curious about your options. While a technician could simply perform the necessary installation and leave, you may want to include further upgrades that could benefit your home and your AC for the life of the system.

If you need air conditioning installation service in Ball Ground, GA, talk to a professional AC technician about one of the following upgrades.

Upgrading the Entire System

If only one component of your split AC system, such as your outdoor unit, needs replacement, you might want to save money by replacing only that unit, but this might not be the best idea. Recently, standards of efficiency and performance have been raised, and newer components throughout your system will likely save you money by preventing the need for future repairs and lowering your energy bills. Ultimately, you may lose money by keeping an older indoor unit that could run into problems when paired with a newer outdoor unit.

Dehumidifier

During your new air conditioning installation, you may consider asking about whole house dehumidifiers. During the humid Georgia summer, it can be tough to keep cool, even indoors. While your new air conditioner helps to reduce the amount of humidity in your house, it may not have the power to reduce humidity to an ideal level. A dehumidifier will help keep the humidity bearable in your home. Because you feel cooler with lower humidity levels, you’ll most likely be able to raise the thermostat too.

A New Thermostat

If you rely on a manual thermostat to turn on your AC and detect the temperature of your home, you may actually be losing money. These thermostats are not always accurate, and you cannot set them to turn on and off when you are away. When you upgrade your air conditioner, ask the technician to install a new thermostat as well. You can set it to turn on and off automatically when you are not home to avoid cooling an empty house. You can also set the temperature higher during the cooler parts of the day.

Comfort Zone Heating & Air has everything you need for the latest upgrades and for air conditioning installation in Ball Ground, GA. Give us a call today to schedule your next service appointment with us.

The Famous Painting of the Declaration of Independence Isn’t What You Think It Is

July 4th, 2014

If you grew up in the United States, you probably first saw John Trumbull’s painting of the Signing of the Declaration of Independence in an elementary schoolbook. This oil-on-canvas 12’ x 18’ painting hangs in the rotunda of the United States Capitol in Washington, D.C. It is one of the most famous symbols of freedom in the country and almost every citizen can conjure it from memory.

Except… the painting isn’t of the singing of the Declaration of Independence. The actual title of the work is Declaration of Independence, and although it does portray an important moment in the history of the document that announced the Thirteen Colonies’ decision to break away from British rule, the event in the painting occurred on June 28, 1776, not July 4, 1776.

John Trumbull, a Connecticut native who fought in the Revolutionary War and whose father was the state governor, was commissioned to create the painting in 1817. He did painstaking research on the figures in the picture and also visited Independence Hall to see the actual chamber where the Second Continental Congress met. Trumbull only included 42 of the original 56 signers, because he could not find adequate likenesses for 14 or them, and added a few figures who were not present (most of whom declined to sign the actual document). In fact, the men depicted in the painting had never been present in the same room at one time.

So if the painting does not portray the signing of the Declaration of Independence, what is happening in the image? The Trumbull’s scene depicts the presentation of the draft of the declaration to the Continental Congress for editing and approval. The five-man drafting committee (John Adams, Roger Sherman, Robert R. Livingston, Thomas Jefferson, and Benjamin Franklin) is handing over their finished work, which congress would then edit carefully over the next few days before voting on it and signing it on the day that we now celebrate as the start of the United States of America.

One last, odd, fact: two of the five-man drafting committee, John Adams and Thomas Jefferson, both died on July 4th—although many years later.

Our family at Comfort Zone Heating & Air hopes that your Fourth of July (or Twenty-Eighth of June if you decided to start celebrating early) is a memorable and happy one.