From the Blog

Early Bird Refund Special Equipment

EARLY BIRD REFUND SPECIAL 15 SEER Equipment

The boss said let the equipment go for the Spring, so we have to let it go. So the Early Bird Refund Special is in effect to offer some serious discount on a new air conditioning system for your home.

Now is the time to take advantage of some huge savings with 50% OFF equipment during the month of March.

Plus, you can increase the energy efficiency of your home’s HVAC unit with a 15 SEER Bryant Preferred Series complete system installed.

This applies to any type of system: Heat Pump, Dual-Fuel or Conventional.

The install must be scheduled by March 31, 2017, but the system can be installed after March 31.

Hassle-Free Monthly Payment options with No Credit Required through Microf!

BOOK YOUR NEW SYSTEM INSTALL NOW!

CALL 205-664-3501

 

How to sleep like a baby

Good news for those who always toss and turn at night: your thermostat is the key to a good night’s sleep.

According to the National Sleep Foundation a cool room, around 65 degrees, makes for the best sleep..

Here’s why.

Why you sleep best in a cool room

Your body’s core temperature naturally decreases and increases as part of its normal sleep-wake rhythm, according to a study by BioMed Central.

“Sleep is most likely to occur when (core body temperature) decreases, while it hardly occurs during the increasing phases,” the study says.

So, lowering the core body temperature gets you closer to “sleep mode.”

And lowering your room’s air temperature is one way to do that.

Basically, think of your bedroom like a cave: It should be cool, quiet and dark.

4 simple ways to help you sleep cooler

Here are a few ways to help lower your core body temperature so that you can sleep soundly.

Set a programmable thermostat. Program a programmable thermostat to lower to around 65 every night so you never have to worry about it. If you’re uncomfortable at 65 degrees, feel free to move it up to 68 or 70.

Turn on your ceiling fan. The air circulation from the fan will help evaporate sweat off your skin, taking heat away from your body (that’s called evaporative cooling).

Drink ice-cold water. Drinking a few sips of ice-cold water at night will cool your core temperature, leaving you more comfortable.

Shower before you go to bed. While the shower will initially heat you up, you’ll experience rapid evaporative cooling when you get out, lowering your core body temperature as a result.

For info on programmable thermostats  call 3D Air Services at 664-3501 or email us service@3dairserve.com

  1. 3D Air Services proudly serves Birmingham, Hoover, Pelham, Alabaster, Helena, Calera and everywhere in between.

How to avoid scams with HVAC Repairs

WATCH OUT FOR Birmingham HVAC SCAMS THIS SUMMER!

Talking about scams and dishonest business isn’t really a fun topic; and the fact that these kinds of things exist at all is pretty disheartening. But the truth of the matter is that it does happen. And you need to know how to spot Birmingham HVAC scammers!

At 3D Air Services there is absolutely nothing we take more seriously than protecting our patrons. When you need Birmingham HVAC services, you need a reliable and effective solution. Part of finding this is knowing exactly what to look for, and what to avoid.

HOW TO SPOT AN HVAC SCAM

The summer season unfortunately brings a lot of unsavory characters out of the woodwork. Be wary of any of the following situations:

Unsolicited visits. Professionals do not run around town looking for HVAC problems. When you need our help, you know who to call! If a stranger shows up at your door citing some oddball and sudden HVAC “emergency” that requires immediate attention, don’t be fooled. On the off chance that you’re just dealing with a good samaritan, go ahead and schedule a visit from HVAC professionals. But some off-the-street handyman that wants to come into your home should never be trusted.
“Cash up front” services. If your chosen HVAC technician wants full payment up front, you probably want to drop them. This is a common scam, and most of the time, you’ll never see this person (or your money) ever again. And be doubly wary of cash only services. We live in a modern world, and folks that only accept cash for contracted work probably aren’t pros.
Unprofessional behavior. Your HVAC expert doesn’t need to show up in a suit and tie speaking oxford english or anything, sure. But if you call in for service and the person that shows up is rude, uncouth, or given to withholding information, don’t work with them! Scammers aren’t often all that friendly, and if they are, it usually feels decidedly fake.

THINGS TO LOOK FOR IN A Birmingham HVAC CONTRACTOR

Most of the time, a professional HVAC contractor is pretty easy to spot. When you’re looking for a trustworthy and dependable service, be sure they have:

Credentials. Licensing and insurance are clear hallmarks of a real, professional business. If you’re planning on getting some Birmingham HVAC service, make sure your chosen service experts are actually experts!
Marks and branding. When a 3D Air service vehicle rolls up, you know it’s us. It’s the same for most proper businesses. Uniforms, verifiable business cards, branded vehicles; all of these things are signs that you’re dealing with a real business and not a fly-by-night scammer.
Good reviews. It’s the technological age, and computers are a common part of most United States homes. Use this to your advantage! Seek out testimonials and reviews from actual customers online (they’re pretty easy to find) to see whether or not previous experiences with the company have been positive.

3D Air Services Proud History and Reputation

3D Air Services is mid-sized, locally owned company with a combined 115 years experience in our leadership staff. We strive to be the leader in the delivery of quality, efficiency, and service to our customers in the heating, air conditioning, and indoor air quality systems.  3D Air Services proudly serves Birmingham, Hoover, Pelham, Alabaster, Helena, Calera and everywhere in between. You can leave us a review on our Google Review Page or Facebook Page.

How You Are Killing Your Air Conditioner

How You Are Killing Your Air Conditioner

Every summer we get calls from Birmingham homeowners who have accidentally killed their air conditioners.  Yes, it is true on How You Are Killing Your Air Conditioner.

The cause of death? Suffocation.

Air conditioners, like people, can suffocate when you restrict the airflow in or out of them. So how do homeowners suffocate their air conditioners? Well, there are 3 common ways.

Covering your air conditioner’s outdoor unit

Decorative AC Cover

Photo Credit Menards.com

Why this is bad: The outside unit’s job is to dump heat from your home to the outside air. And to do this efficiently, it needs a lot of air. A decorative cover (like the one below) restricts airflow to the air conditioner and can kill your AC’s compressor.

The compressor is the heart of your air conditioning system. If it dies and isn’t covered by warranty, the repair will be very expensive. In many cases, you’ll be better off replacing the whole outdoor unit.

A decorative AC cover that will kill your compressor. Do NOT buy!

How to fix it: Remove anything blocking airflow to your outdoor air conditioner unit, including bushes, overhanging tree branches or decorative covers.

Not changing the air filter

dirty_air_filters

Photo Credit unitedfilter.com

Why this is bad: When your air filter gets too dirty, the dirt blocks airflow into the air conditioner. This makes your air conditioner work harder to distribute air. And that can cause problems like:

  • Overheated indoor fan motor overheating
  • Frozen air conditioner (literally)
  • Dead compressor
  • How to fix it: Change your air filter regularly. We recommend checking it every month and changing it whenever it looks dirty.

Notice how the filter on the right is looking dirty? Replace it now.

Closing air vents

Why this is bad: Closing vents in your home is bad for the same reason that a dirty filter is bad: it makes your air conditioner work much harder than it should. And it leads to the same problems:

  • Overheated indoor fan motor overheating
  • Frozen air conditioner (literally)
  • Dead compressor
  • Find out more about Why You Shouldn’t Close Your Air Conditioning Vents to Save Energy

How to fix it: Keep your air vents open. And make sure none of them are blocked by furniture or drapes.

Prevent summer AC deaths with a tune-up

So that’s how you can prevent accidentally killing your air conditioner. But there’s more you can do to prevent a breakdown. Have a professional take a look at your air conditioner and get it ready for summer. Schedule an AC tune-up with 3D Air Services.

3D Air Services proudly serves Birmingham, Hoover, Pelham, Alabaster, Helena, Calera and everywhere in between. Give us a call to schedule your appointment 664-3501

How a air cleaner works.

If you’re one of the tens of millions of Americans that suffer from frustrating, sneezy allergy issues, you likely know a bit about air cleaners. Or if you don’t you probably should! Which is why the experts at 3D Air Services thought it would be a good idea to put one of our favorite air quality improvement devices on the menu for today!

At 3D Air, we prize our ability to improve the air quality in your home. Our experts can bring you cleaner, more comfortable air when you need it most. Air quality is at a premium these days, and we’re ready to deliver! But what exactly is an air cleaner. And better yet, how does it work?
What are air cleaners?

Those in the business of air quality have made it known that the air in your home is basically the same is it is outdoors. With the exception that the air in your home is up to one hundred times more concentrated. That means more dust, debris and pollen than outdoors by orders of magnitude.

Air cleaners, or air purifiers, address the issue by reducing or outright removing common allergens in the home; particularly those that your HVAC system can’t handle. For reference, common heating and cooling systems can only filter out particles around 10 microns. That means they handle lots of particulate matter, but by no means all of it. For all of the rest, there are air cleaners!

How does an air cleaner work?

When it comes to how they operate, there are two “big” forms of air purification: Those that work by way of filters, and ones that use electrical attraction. There are actually tons of purifier technologies, but today we’ll stick with the big guns. Both systems work fine, but they work in very different ways:

Air Filters

These are the most commonly used, and generally considered to be the most dependable purification system. They essentially work much the same as a sieve. Air is cycled into the system by way of fans, or working in tandem with your HVAC system. The air is then passed through a filter, or series of filters to “scrub” out particles that your heating and cooling system won’t catch (as in, most of the allergy-causing and exacerbating stuff).

Electrical Attraction

This type of cleaner breaks down into multiple further types: electrostatic precipitating cleaners, electret filters, and negative ion generators. But they all basic on basically the same principle. Without getting too bogged down in a science lesson, the basic gist is that air is drawn into the system by way of fans. The taken in air is then electrically charged in a way that produces opposite charges; one for clean air, and one for nasty dust, debris and dander particles. The undesirable bits are then attracted to metal plates in the system, and trapped there while the clean air returns to your home.

Which air cleaner is best?

Well, that’s up for a bit of a debate. The best answer is the one that works best for you, and works best in tandem with your heating and cooling system. Not really sure what that means? No worries, the experts at 3D Air can help! Our specialists can help you figure out which system meets your goals best!

Give us a call at 664-3501 or email us at service@3dairserve.com

We proudly serve Birmingham, Hoover, Pelham, Alabaster, Helena, Calera and everywhere in between.

Unbalanced room temperatures?

With the heat fast approaching here in Birmingham,  it maybe time to start dealing with the unbalanced room temperatures again.  Here are some things to look at to help you’re air conditioner not over work.

If you’ve got a room or two that’s colder or hotter than others in your home, then you have one (or both) of these two problems:

  • Air balancing/airflow issues
  • Losing/gaining too much heat in that room

Air balancing is the process of adjusting the amount of cooled and heated air being delivered to each room in your home. Due to improper installation, your system may be unbalanced. Or you may have accidentally done something that’s impeding airflow to certain rooms in your home.

Heat gain/loss is inevitable for every room in your home. But some rooms gain/lose too much heat due to a variety of issues.

In this article, we’ll explain problems that fall into one of these two categories, and then explain how to fix them.

 

Problems you can solve

Dirty filter
A dirty filter blocks return airflow into your heating and cooling system, preventing enough air from being delivered to other rooms. Change the filter if it looks like this one on the right:


Clean filter (left) next to a dirty filter (right)

 

Closed/blocked supply air vents 
You know all those metal grates with levers? Those are supply air vents. Find them and ensure that they’re open. Also, make sure they’re not being blocked by dust, drapes or furniture.


A supply vent that’s open—as it should be.

 

Windows are open or cracked open
Open windows allow your conditioned air to leave and unconditioned air to get inside. Make sure the window is fully shut.

Leaving shades open 
While open shades gives you a nice view and plenty of sunlight, it also allows heat to come and go as it pleases in your home. This causes the room where the window is located to be hotter or cooler than others. By shutting the shades, you’ll keep out more heat in the summer and keep more of it inside during the winter.

Problems an HVAC professional needs to fix

Air duct leaks 
The room may be too hot or cold because too much air is being lost through the duct system due to air leaks.

This problem is pretty common. According to ENERGY STAR, the typical house loses 20-30% of the air that’s moving through the duct system due to leaks, holes, and poorly connected ducts. The result? Higher utility bills and difficulty keeping the house comfortable, no matter how the thermostat is set.


Leaks in the supply ducts.

 

Kinks in flexduct
Flexduct is soft ductwork that can bend. If that ductwork gets smushed or kinked, it’ll struggle to deliver air to whatever room it’s connected to. Think of moving air through kinked flexduct like trying to breath through a straw where someone has pinched the straw in the middle.


Some flex duct in a ceiling.

 

Duct damper issues
Duct dampers are valves that control where air can and cannot go in your home. Issues with these dampers can cause your home to be unbalanced, causing some rooms to be hotter or colder than others.

Old, leaky single-pane windows
Single-pane windows (those with only a single layer of glass) often leave your rooms feeling chilly and dry in cold weather and overheated in warm weather. See a window professional about replacing them with energy efficient double-pane glass windows, which have two layers of glass.

Fan speed too slow
A professional may need to speed up your blower’s rpm to match the demand of your home.

3D Air Services proudly serves Birmingham, Hoover, Pelham, Alabaster, Calera and everywhere in between.

For all other questions you can call us at 664-3501 or email us at service@3dairserve.com

Closing Vents

There’s some old, bad advice out there that says you should close off your air conditioning vents in unused rooms. This, they say, will help you lower your energy bills by only cooling the rooms in your home that you actually use.

While this sounds good in theory, it can actually have the opposite effect—and worse.

Closing vents, at best, increases energy consumption and, at worst, leads to premature breakdown of your AC.

Let’s look at 3 reasons why this happens.

Reason #1: Closing vents restricts airflow

When your air conditioner was installed (assuming it was installed correctly) its airflow was “balanced”. That means the installers made sure your air conditioner has enough air flowing in and out of it to properly cool your home.

Closing vents disrupts this balance and creates pressure in your system, which causes your air conditioner to work harder. This can increase your energy bills and even lead to premature breakdown of your AC if you close too many vents.

Reason #2: Your air ducts make it worse

In addition, this increased pressure places strain on your air ducts. And since many homes’ air ducts are already leaking (according to Energystar.gov), the increased pressure causes the ducts to leak even more.

So the air you thought you were saving is actually going into your attic or crawlspace.

Reason #3: Your interior walls aren’t insulated

Another reason to consider not closing your vents is that your interior walls aren’t insulated.

Here’s why that’s a big deal.

Let’s say you close off the vents in 2 rooms. They’ll get warmer since there’s now no AC running to them. That heat will transfer into the nearby rooms through the un-insulated walls and under the door. So now your air conditioner has to run longer and harder to keep the other parts of your home cool.

3D Air Services serves Birmingham, Hoover, Pelham, Alabaster, Calera and everywhere in between.

 

The silent killer, Carbon Monoxide

In typical Birmingham fashion, the temperatures have been pretty mild this winter season. No surprise there. Wearing shorts in January is quite a privilege, and is a tease for those who despise the cold weather. Unfortunately, we still have plenty of winter left to endure before we can put our coats away. That means our furnaces and fireplaces will be fired up to keep our homes warm and comfortable through the cold. Although the thought of a warm fireplace brings back even warmer memories, you must remember that the cost of comfort can come with a price. And we’re not talking about your utility bill.

Fireplace Carbon Monoxide

Carbon Monoxide Danger

Carbon Monoxide (CO) is colorless, odorless, and extremely deadly. And what’s most frightening about this silent killer, is how easy it is to be exposed to it. CO is the incomplete combustion of fuels, and is very prominent in auto exhaust, power tools, water heaters, furnaces, fireplaces, and more. You may be thinking, “If carbon monoxide is nearly undetectable by my senses, how will I know if I’m being exposed to it?” Your body will give you signals of distress when you are experiencing toxic amounts of CO.

Nausea Carbon Monoxide

Symptoms of Carbon Monoxide Poisoning

The symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning typically involve nausea, severe headaches, impaired judgment, and more. The symptoms have been described as “flu-like,” minus some common Flu characteristics, such as fever or swollen lymph nodes. Sadly, many lives are lost when people fail to address these symptoms as exposure to carbon monoxide. More so, exposure to the gas can take lives while people are sleeping. This makes the situation even more frightening, because CO poisoning turns fatal alarmingly fast. So how do we protect ourselves and our loved ones from being poisoned in our own homes?

Carbon Monoxide Detectors

How Do I Prevent Carbon Monoxide Danger In My Home?

Carbon monoxide may be difficult to detect, but not impossible. Carbon monoxide detectors are an absolute must-have item for your home. The life-saving benefits and peace of mind highly outweigh any cost. You never know when an appliance may go bad, and start leaking carbon monoxide into your home. Carbon monoxide detectors will give you the warning you need to find fresh air and seek help. Even if you live in an area that doesn’t require too much heating use throughout the year, CO detectors are still a must, as carbon monoxide is a threat that can occur anytime.

For any questions call 3D Air Services at 664-3501 or email us at service&3dairserve.com

We serve Birmingham, Alabaster, Pelham, Hoover, Helena, Calera, Jemison and everywhere in between.

 

Humidifier Pros & Cons

The fall and winter months bring more than just colder temperatures to the Birmingham area; they are also accompanied by lower humidity levels. Low humidity can have all kinds of effects on your health and your home, but it can easily be controlled with the help of a humidifier. If you’re interested in installing a humidifier and can’t decide between a whole house and a portable model, the whole house humidifier pros and cons listed below should make your decision a breeze!

Whole house humidifier pros
Control the humidity of your entire house with one unit. Whole house humidifiers are installed as a part of your existing heating system. As a result, one unit will control the humidity levels of your entire home. Portable humidifiers, on the other hand, can only control the humidity of one room at a time. In order to match the effectiveness of a whole house humidifier, you’d either have to buy multiple portable units (which wastes energy and money) or drag a portable unit with you from room to room (which is not practical).
Require very little maintenance. The maintenance involved with a whole house humidifier is very minimal. Since it’s attached to your existing plumbing system, there is no need to add water every day like you have to with a portable unit. Portable units also require regular cleaning, which only needs to be done with a whole house unit about once a year.
Quiet and out of sight. Because they are installed with your heating system, whole house humidifiers are hidden away and virtually unnoticeable. Portable humidifiers can be noisy and are always on display, which is an eyesore for many homeowners.
Whole house humidifier cons
More expensive than portable units. Whole house humidifiers come with a higher sticker price than portable units. However, as you saw above, whole house models are more effective at controlling indoor humidity levels. Whole house humidifiers can also lower your energy bills because you feel warmer in a home with higher humidity, which allows you to lower your thermostat temperature.
Requires professional installation. Portable humidifiers can be used out-of-the-box, whereas whole house models must be installed by a professional like 3D Air Services. Once the unit is installed, however, it will require much less attention and maintenance than a portable model.

For any other questions call us at    664-3501 or email us at service@3dairserve.com

We serve Birmingham, Hoover, Pelham, Alabaster, Helena, Calera and everywhere in between.

Furnace Safety Features

Burning gas comes with some inherent safety concerns. If it is not done in a controlled environment, there is always the possibility of a fire, an explosion or the release of carbon monoxide into the air. That’s why gas furnaces come with a number of safety devices that protect your home and your family in the event that something goes wrong with your system. Today we’re going to help familiarize you with these devices by talking about five safety features that are included inside a furnace!

5 furnace safety features that protect your home from a malfunctioning system

Limit switch. A limit switch is located just above a furnace’s heat exchanger and just below the supply plenum. Its job is to measure the temperature outside of your furnace’s combustion chamber. If the limit switch detects flames or temperatures that are too high, that means that flames are reaching outside of the combustion chamber, which is a fire hazard. When the limit switch is activated, it immediately shuts off the gas supply to your furnace in order to prevent flames from spreading or carbon monoxide from getting into your home’s air. Your furnace will have to be reset by a professional before it is turned back on.
Thermocouple. In older furnaces with traditional pilot lights, the thermocouple is a safety device that checks whether or not the pilot light is burning properly. The thermocouple is connected to the gas valve that leads to the pilot light and has a sensor that detects heat from the burning flame. If the flame goes out or is burning weakly, the thermocouple shuts off the gas supply to the pilot light in order to prevent gas from leaking into other parts of your furnace.
Mercury flame sensor. Newer furnaces have intermittent pilot lights or electronic ignitions instead of traditional pilot lights. In these systems, a mercury flame sensor is used to perform the same job as the thermocouple.
Air pressure switch. Modern day furnaces have a small fan called a draft inducer that runs after each heating cycle. This fan blows leftover gas out of the combustion chamber in order to clear it out before the next heating cycle. The draft inducer has a safety device called an air pressure switch that measures how much air is being blown by the inducer. If it detects that the pressure is too low, it shuts off the gas supply to the system in order to prevent gas from building up inside of the combustion chamber.
Carbon monoxide detectors. Although carbon monoxide detectors are not part of your furnace, they are closely linked to your furnace’s safety because they will warn you if your system has a carbon monoxide leak. 3D Air Services offers low level carbon monoxide detectors that can detect much lower levels of carbon monoxide than store-bought detectors, and they will warn you as CO is building up in your air instead of waiting until it’s already at a dangerous level.

For any other questions call 3D Air Services at 664-3501 or email us at service@3dairserve.com

3D Air serves Birmingham, Hoover, Pelham, Alabaster, Helena, Calera and everywhere in between.