Can I Take Care of My Server Room Cooling on My Own?

November 28th, 2022
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Many businesses have a server room or computer room to manage all your network server resources. The size of the server room depends on the type of business you operate: it might be the size of a small closet, or it could take up several rooms worth of space. If you’re reading this, you probably have a small server room, but this doesn’t make it any less important to the success of your business on a day-to-day basis. Damage to the servers can mean a devastating loss of data as well as downtime for your computers. Even if heat doesn’t cause permanent damage to the equipment, it will limit its working capacity and lower response times.

Server rooms generate immense amounts of heat, so they must have cooling to protect the equipment in them. How can you cool your server room? You might think this is something easily managed: maybe leave the door open or place a fan in there. Or a portable AC/swamp cooler unit.  And doesn’t the normal HVAC system take care of keeping the room cool?

No, a standard HVAC system isn’t sufficient—and you definitely need professionals to help you set up proper server room cooling.

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Important Safety Tips for Gas Furnaces

November 14th, 2022
Gas-Energy-Flames

Most of our customers use gas furnaces in Columbus, OH to heat their homes in winter. There are good reasons gas furnaces are so widely used: they provide powerful heating that many other systems can’t match, work quickly at getting heat to rooms, and cost less to run than an electric furnace. However, gas furnaces have a slight drawback, which is that any use of natural gas comes with some risk.

We don’t want to scare you away from using a gas furnace because, with the right precautions, you probably won’t run into any dangers. We want to help you have the safest winter possible, so below are our best furnace safety tips…

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Is an Electric Furnace a Good Option for Winter Heating?

October 17th, 2022
heating-element

Winter is not that far off, and you may have a dilemma in your home: you don’t have a central heating system but you definitely want one. Using space heaters just isn’t a useful option for a home your size, and you want the convenience of having warmth sent to all the rooms.

Good news: it’s easy to add central heating to your home if you already have existing ductwork for your air conditioner. If this is the situation you’re in, then an electric furnace is one of your options for heating.

But is it a good option?

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Is It Time to Replace Your Old Gas Furnace?

October 3rd, 2022
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You may have heard tales of gas furnaces that managed to run for 30, 40, or even 50 years before going to the scrapyards. This has happened, but it’s incredibly rare and only occurred with old cast-iron furnaces that had poor energy efficiency and hazardous materials such as asbestos insulation in their pipes that canceled out the benefits of their longevity. 

Today, a well-cared for gas furnace can last from 15 to 20 years. If you have a furnace that is in this age range, this fall is a good time to consider having it replaced. But how can you know if this is really the year you need to have this done? We’ll walk you through some ways to tell that you need to replace your gas furnace.

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Now Is a Good Time to Schedule Your Heating Maintenance

September 19th, 2022
Service-Blue-Marker

You might not want to think about the idea of “heat” at this time of year when we’re still experiencing warm days and the summer temperatures will linger into the fall. But fall is always the season when you want to give serious consideration to the heating system that will keep your family safe and comfortable through the approaching winter. 

What can you do for your heating system to prepare it for the cold season? It’s easy: call Riley for heating maintenance in Columbus, GA!

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Will You Get a New AC After This Summer?

September 5th, 2022
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This isn’t a question you’ll ask yourself at the end of every summer. After all, air conditioning systems can last more than a decade in most cases. However, if you are wondering if it’s time to replace your current air conditioning system once the summer is done and the heat has subsided, you probably have some solid reasons for thinking this. 

Deciding on a new air conditioning installation in Columbus, GA is a large decision. You don’t want to make it casually. You might have an AC that only requires repairs to keep it working effectively and efficiently for several more years. Finding out if it’s the right time to retire your air conditioner will require asking yourself some questions and working with professional HVAC technicians like ours.

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How You Can Save Money and Save Your AC During Heat Waves

August 22nd, 2022
air-conditioner-money-saver

We’ve had some extremely hot stretches this summer, and we can expect several more before the fall cooling finally arrives. Your home’s air conditioning system will run often to keep your home comfortable during heat waves, and that can lead to high electricity bills and possibly a worn-down air conditioner that needs repairs or even an early replacement.

You can depend on us for any help you need with your air conditioning in Columbus, GA, but we’d like to provide some preventive advice today—ways you can lower the cost to run your AC in the heat and also remove strain from it so it has a better chance of making it to fall without serious problems.

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The Importance of Regularly Changing the AC Filter

August 15th, 2022
air-filter-change

We’ve mentioned the air filter for your HVAC system in previous blogs. If you have a standard combination of air conditioner and furnace inside a cabinet, then there’s a single air filter for both of them. We sometimes call it the “AC filter” or “furnace filter,” but it’s the same type of filter whether you’re using your HVAC system for heating or cooling. 

Now that it’s the late summer, we want to make sure you know the importance of keeping this filter clean with regular changes. If you’ve been using your AC throughout the season—and we’re sure you have, considering how hot it’s been!—but have left the same air filter in place, you’ll start to encounter serious problems with your home cooling. This filter needs to be changed every 1 to 3 months (depending on its strength), so if you’ve had the same filter in since spring, it’s overdue to be changed!

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What You Need to Know about Humidity in Your Home

June 17th, 2021

You’ve heard the term “humidity” used in describing the weather.

Someone may say “there’s a lot of humidity in the air today” or “it’s a humid day.” However, humidity doesn’t just affect the weather. It can also impact your home.

Humidity drops on window glass

Humidity Inside the Home

Humidity is the amount of moisture in the air, and it can vary inside the house just like it can outdoors. It changes when you turn on or off a heater or air conditioner because they can dry out the air. It may increase if you open a window or take a steamy shower.

Your level of humidity also varies by room. The kitchen and bathrooms are likely to be more humid than your bedroom and living area. Water from baths and showers as well as that used in cooking can change the level of humidity in the area.

How Humidity Affects the Home

The level of humidity can have positive and negative effects on your home. Since much of your house is made of wood, humidity can impact how it functions. A dry room with little humidity can cause wood to contract whereas a room with high humidity may have boards expanding. You’ll notice this if you have a wood floor.

High humidity causes bacteria to grow. You may see tiny areas where black spots are forming. This can be an indication of mold caused by high humidity. The mold will continue to grow once it’s formed, and it can spread throughout the room.

You do need some humidity to keep your home from being too dry. When there’s no moisture in the air, it can cause wood to dry out and crack. However, you need to monitor the level of humidity and make sure it stays at the right level.

Recognizing Humidity Issues

If you see condensation forming, it’s an indication that you may have issues with humidity. For instance, you may see it on windows. It just means the outside air is hitting the warmer inside air. You can install double-paned windows and caulk around them to reduce this problem.

Good ventilation will reduce humidity in the air. For instance, you can open the bathroom door when you’re done with your shower to get rid of excess humidity.

Dealing with Major Humidity Problems

Sometimes high levels of humidity are caused by an underlying issue. For instance, a leak in the roof or foundation can allow water in. The humidity from the water can allow mold to grow. Moisture from the ground under a crawl space can get inside while a sealed fireplace can also provide entry for extra humidity.

You may not always be able to identify the source of your moisture problem. Often the issue is under the ground, in the attic or elsewhere that you can’t see. You may notice the effects through mold and mildew as well as wood that cracks or beads of water forming in certain areas.

You can test the humidity levels throughout your home. If you discover the level is too low, run a humidifier. If they are too high, you may need a dehumidifier. However, you might still want to contact a professional if you don’t know what’s causing the change. They can do an inspection of your home and tell you where the problem lies and how to fix it.

Your furnace or air conditioning system may also be the culprit of excessive levels of humidity in your home if they aren’t working correctly or have leaks around where they enter the house. You can improve the air quality of your home with a new system. Chat with us online or call us at 334-298-1278 to find out more about how our products can modulate the humidity in your home and provide a comfortable, healthy living space.

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Thermostats – The Newest Energy Saving Tools

June 14th, 2021

Are Smart Thermostats a Smart Choice?

The newest breed of thermostat is more than just a high tech energy saving gadget. Many are actually fun to use. Connected appliances that send text messages when the refrigerator door is left ajar or the wash cycle is finished are smart and trendy home updates, but the smartest new device is a programmable thermostat that uses a suite of remote sensors to learn a family’s occupancy habits and sleep schedule.

The U.S. Department of Energy says that homeowners who lower thermostat settings when asleep or away from home can shave as much as 1% from winter heating bills for each degree lowered. In Phenix City, where July and August temperatures routinely top 90 degrees, similar savings would result from raising the thermostat setting while out of the home in the summer months.

Because waking up to a cold house in the winter or returning to a hot home in the summer isn’t a comfortable experience, many homeowners fail to take advantage of these potential savings. A programmable thermostat, however, eliminates any periods of discomfort by making temperature adjustments prior to the homeowner waking or arriving home from work. According to Consumer Reports, the proper use of a programmable thermostat can save the average homeowner about $180 each year.

Are Smart Thermostats Easy to Program?

Programmable thermostats have been available for many years, but the process of programming one was often a chore. Small screens, poor screen illumination and non-intuitive programming sometimes added to the difficulty. In 2009, the EPA’s ENERGY STAR program, which certifies energy-saving consumer products as a non–regulatory way to reduce air pollution, stopped providing the ENERGY STAR label to these devices for exactly this reason.

New thermostats are very easy to program. They are Wi-Fi connected and can be accessed through any home computer or smartphone. The bright, clear screen of the smartphone or computer monitor becomes the programming screen for the thermostat, and the programming steps are easier to understand than ever before.

Will Smart Thermostats Work With Every System?

A smart thermostat is suitable for use with almost any heating or cooling system. Although off-brand systems may require some tinkering, well-known HVAC systems like Carrier can be connected to the new devices by homeowners in as little as 20 minutes.

How Can I Learn More About a Smart Programmable Thermostat?

Our technicians at Riley Heating and Air have been providing HVAC solutions to Phenix City, AL and surrounding communities in eastern Alabama and western Georgia for more than 40 years. Call today to learn how the newest smart thermostats are easy to operate. The money you save on your heating and cooling bills could be enough to pay for several months of your smartphone contract each year!

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