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How Does HVAC Technology Help the Consumer?

Thursday, June 15th, 2017

Now days most products are either wifi capable, provide alerts, or are capable of giving you recommendations to better your budget and lifestyle. The HVAC industry was not overlooked in the technological movement. With a strong emphasis on energy efficiency and environmental friendliness, knowing which HVAC products and upgrades are most beneficial to your lifestyle are key to living easy, comfortable and well.

Technology in HVAC : What’s Out There?

  • Products that Help Reduce Your Utility Bills
    • Programmable Thermostat– Electronics such as the Nest learning thermostat, are great at helping you reduce your utility costs but minimizing system usage when it is not needed and maximize your comfort. By recognizing your location, the system learns your schedule. It can also turn off the HVAC system when you are not home just by tracking your cell phone. You can turn your system on when you’ re heading back home via the Nest app and your thermostat will turn your HVAC to your desired temp remotely. When your system is not running, you’re saving money! The best part is that you don’t even have to think about turning your system on or off. With wifi capability, programmable thermostats recognize you and your phone and know when you are home!
  • Products that Help Increase Your Comfort
    • Ductless Mini Split Systems– These HVAC systems provide the homeowner with flexible options to heating and cooling spaces. Not only are they efficient but they can be zoned to provide catered comfort! Mini Split systems offer room by room temperature control giving you flexibility to have different temps in various rooms. Not only will you be pleased with the customization, the installation process is also flexible. The lack of traditional “in wall” ducts allows for a much easier installation process.
    • Electronic Air Filtration– Each year, the pollen becomes unbearable in Atlanta. Homeowners close the windows and minimized outside air time to help prevent itchy eyes, sneezing fits and runny noses. Electronic Air Filters are the best option to remove all pollutants and particles from the air. With some being even as advanced as some you would find in hospital settings, installing electronic air filtration as a HVAC system enhancer will make sure your air is clean and free of contaminants! Not only will your allergy systems be reduced, but your risk of illnesses will be as well!
  • Products that Help Maintain the Life of Your HVAC
    • Self Diagnosing HVAC System Technology – It never fails. It is the hottest or coldest day in Atlanta and your HVAC system breaks down. With self diagnosing system technology such as the ComfortGuard, your system can alert you to possible needed repairs. Whether it be regular preventative maintenance alerts or problem alerts, monitoring technology provides you with the edge to keep comfortable during each system. Not only do these advanced technologies alert you to potential problems, but also your trusted HVAC company. Preventative maintenance and increasing system longevity has never been easier for a homeowner. Simple phone apps will give you the needed analytics to understand the functioning of your system.

We as consumers research cell phone features, car safety features and even appliance technology, but often the HVAC system is overlooked. With so many new and advanced features, you will  have the chance to increase your energy efficiency, save money, extend the life of your system and customize your comfort. Don’t be left in the stone age with your HVAC system. Consider adding some of these features to your existing HVAC system or adding them on to your system replacement. The advances in technology are worth the small spend. Contact Casteel’s HVAC team today to discover how small advances can make you more comfortable. Schedule Now!

Is My AC Ready for Summer?

Thursday, May 18th, 2017

We sure hope your A/C is ready for summer since the temps are now soaring to typical Hotlanta numbers! If you are like many, and haven’t put much thought into maintaining your A/C just yet, here are a number of tips that will help you prevent unnecessary breakdowns. When Atlanta temperatures rise, we see a drastic influx of A/C repair and replacement calls come into the office – if you are hot, so is everyone else! As the phones ring off the hook, we find that many homeowners take an “out of sight, out of mind” approach to their home maintenance. With a little preplanning and preparedness, you too can avoid that mad rush to stop the hot air coming from your AC vents and get back to ice cold summer comfort.

Did You Set Your Preventative A/C Maintenance Appointment?

Don’t delay. Do it now. As soon as the temperature rises, HVAC company schedules start to fill up with tune up’s and preventative maintenance visits. You may not get yours performed next day due to demand, but get yours scheduled anyway. Preventative Maintenance extends the life of your system and may even catch a potential cause of breakdown. A good rule of thumb:  at the first sign of spring, call your trusted HVAC company to get on the schedule for a cooling tune up. In the meantime, follow the next steps to make sure that you are not causing any additional wear on your system.

  • Change your Air Filter if it is dirty.

    This is the #1 cause of AC breakdowns and is an easy task for the homeowner to take on. Set a reminder in your phone to replace your filter regularly, and buy them in bulk so you don’t have to think about purchasing them at the last minute. Even better, label each filter for the month it is to go into the system. All of these little preparedness steps will help keep your airflow unlabored due to excessing dirt.

  • Go outside and get a visual of your outdoor unit.

    Is it overgrown with weeds, bushes or grass? Is it dirty and dusty? Is there anything blocking air flow? Trim away all unnecessary landscaping and take the water hose to the unit to rinse it off. Do not use harsh chemicals. Leave the deep cleaning to the professionals and just give it a nice rinse to make sure that again, there is nothing blocking air flow.

  • Double check your thermostat settings.

    If you don’t have a programmable or smart thermostat just yet, you may want to consider having one installed. Some thermostats even learn your schedule, such as the Nest thermostat, and can save you up 20-30% on your energy bills. Make sure your thermostat is at a schedule that suits yours and is not keeping your system running endlessly when no one is home. Those extra hours do put wear on your system. Set the thermostat to turn back on 30 minutes-1 hour before your arrival. Remember many scheduled change come summer breaks from school, adjust accordingly.

  • If you have blinds or ceiling fans, use them.

    The hot summer sun can increase the temperature of your home. When no one is home, keep those blinds closed. You will run your system less and keep the inside cooler without the additional stress on your HVAC unit. While a ceiling fan does not actually cool the air, it does work hand in hand with your HVAC system to distribute the cool air throughout the home. Make sure the blades are set to the appropriate direction for the season. By running the fan, you feel cooler due to the air movement – take advantage of that!

The last thing every homeowner wants is to have an HVAC system breakdown on the hottest day of the year. We hear it all of the time, “I have company coming this weekend and my A/C went out!” Don’t let that be you, and take these few easy steps in preparing your home for cooling season. While you may not see the rewards as easily if your system stays running, you will definitely feel the heat when it breaks down. Casteel can help you maintain your system and prevent breakdowns with a scheduled A/C tune up. Contact Casteel today at (770) 565-5884 and have one of our expert HVAC technicians out to your home!

Get Your Home Ready for Summer with Help from an Electrician

Monday, May 8th, 2017

It is HOT in Atlanta and while y0ur mind may be solely on making sure your AC is up to par and ready for those high 90’s, an electrician can help you prepare for the heat and humidity you will be feeling in Marietta, Alpharetta, down to Atlanta, as well as other metro areas. Your thinking is correct, performing your HVAC regular maintenance is incredibly important to keeping you cool, but these few tips and tricks can assist you in getting your home ready for the upcoming summer heat:

  1. Install Ceiling Fans- If you don’t have ceiling fans in all of your indoor and outdoor living spaces, get some installed right away! Ceiling fans help move the air around your room not only making it more comfortable for you, but also distributing the cool air throughout the home. They are generally easy to install into most rooms and inexpensive to run. The comfort that comes from ceiling fans greatly outweighs the minimal costs of installation and operation.
  2. What is an Attic Fan and why do I need on? The whole point of the attic fan is to remove the hot air from the attic and bring in cooler air from the outside. While we may think that the air outside is not cool, in comparison to the attic space which is heated by the sun beating on the dark roof shingles, the air the attic fan pulls in from the exterior is much cooler than the existing attic air. The attic fan can also increase your home’s efficiency by reducing the temperature in the attic which can in turn cause your HVAC system to work less.  Lowering the heat can also help extend the life of your shingles.
  3. Set all heat producing electronics such as lamps or tv’s away from your thermostat. If need be, have your electrician install new electrical outlets away from your thermostat so that you can save on energy. The thermostat reads the rooms temperature and if it is reading higher, your AC will run longer- costing you money.

While these 3 tips  may not be the only tasks that your electrician can handle for you, they will get you on your way to having a cooler and more efficient summer. If you have any electrical needs or just want a professional electrician provide you with a whole home electrical inspection, contact Casteel today.

The DO NOT’s of Bathroom Remodels

Wednesday, April 12th, 2017

As new homes are built in metro Atlanta, much emphasis is put on the master suite to include a wonderfully planned bathroom and walk in closet space. For those looking to remodel their existing master baths, knowing where to begin is important.  The master bathroom can be a comfortable and beautiful sanctuary if planned out correctly and will add value to your home. Knowing which bathroom upgrades will provide you the most use and best return is important. When creating a master bath makeover, make sure to follow these Bathroom Don’ts to save you money and hassle.

DO Spend the time & money to properly plan and remodel the space. DON’T settle for poor planning

If you have wasted wall space, a toilet that is not enclosed, a small shower, or no counter space and plenty of room to expand; take the time to design and plan your master bath floor plan to include these features. Gone are the days of the toilet sitting in between the sink and bathtub. Plenty of counter room is important. Separating the toilet from the bathroom space allows for privacy. Expanding your shower can increase your comfort and give you the spa like feel. Make sure you allow for current bathroom floor plan trends – even if that means getting creative. If you are struggling with space, make sure to add as many of the new trends possible.

DO Create a Budget. DON’T wing a remodel without pricing out costs

When was the last time you shopped for a new toilet, tile, plumbing fixtures, or counters? Take a trip to your local hardware store and price out the types of items you’ll need. Plumbing fixtures can run from $100 – $500+. Depending on the toilet, you can spend hundreds. Light Fixtures, tile and bathroom sinks and counter vanities can be costly as well. Are you doing a full overhaul that includes actual vanities, new plumbing, moving of walls etc… Make sure you make an itemized list of your wants before hiring a contractor or starting the project yourself.  You’ll be surprised at how little things can add up.

Speaking of Contractors… If you are not a Plumber, DON’T make attempts to rework your plumbing

Yes, you can find most anything on the internet however there is a reason why plumbers have years of schooling and an apprenticeship prior to hitting the field. Depending on your skill level, you may be able to tackle some projects on your own. However, most projects are well suited for a licensed contractor who is familiar with local codes and restrictions. The damage that water can do to your pocket book, in the event of a leak, can be just as costly as a remodel. At the least, hire a plumber for a whole home plumbing inspection, after you complete your own work, to verify it is per code and will not create plumbing disasters in the future. While on the topic, make sure to interview your plumber. Do they really stand behind their work? What kind of reviews do they have from previous customers? Are they a well known long standing company? Who and what type of plumber can you expect to be in your home? Are they background checked, licensed and properly trained? These things matter.

 

Getting Back to Bathroom Design – DO spend extra on shower space, and fixtures. DON’T stick with the 3×3  square shower space that you can barely move around in

Most people can count on their two hands the number of times that they have used the tub in 1 year. The trend is moving to luxurious tile showers with full body sprayers, rain shower fixtures, seats and drying areas with warming lamps. Now you may not have the space to accommodate all of these upgrades, but if your tub is only used as a dust collector, consider eliminating it and creating a shower fit for a King. Keep in mind, it is not recommended to have a home without any tubs at all. Don’t remove the master bathtub unless you have a secondary one elsewhere in the home. Remember, sometimes you get what you paid for. This often is the case with shower fixtures. You can buy most anything online and often times cheaper plastic knock offs can be found of the fixture design that you like. These fixtures may scrimp on durability, water pressure and longevity of use by using materials that are more fragile than metal. While the design may be the same, you may find yourself looking for a replacement sooner than you think.

DON’T Remodel the Bathroom and scrimp on the counter surface

You have a beautiful design fit for any luxury spa. The tile is impeccable, your light fixtures and plumbing fixtures are current and on point with design. Don’t forget to budget for the vanity counters and sinks. There is nothing worse than seeing an elegant and high end bathroom design with a cheap low end counter. Generally the vanity counter and sinks are one of the last things to go in prior to plumbing fixtures. Often times, the budget has been stretched due to unforseen issues and costs. If you’ve capped out on your budget, it is much more beneficial to you to hold your project for a few weeks or months, than to install the lowest end counter into your newly remodeled bathroom. It happens all of the time! Budget for the granite or quartz counter tops you’ve been pining over. They’ll look perfect with your new fixtures. Reasonably priced counters are of course acceptable,  but if you have a high end remodel design,  make sure to do your best to follow suit with all of the upgrades.

While on the topic of vanities…DO Consider transitioning to a double vanity or “His and Hers” vanities if you have the room. DON’T keep the single sink with 2 feet of total counter space if you don’t have to

If you have a small single vanity sink and have not gotten into an elbow war while brushing your teeth next to your spouse or children, then you are very lucky! “His and Her’s” is a trend that allows for personal space. Whether it be closets or bathroom vanities, try to see if you can make space for the extra vanity. Once you enjoy the comfort of having your own elbow room, you will never go back to a smaller, cramped single space again! This too is a feature that will add appeal to your home come sale time.

DON’T forget to think about efficiency

Your newly designed bathroom provides you the opportunity to both save and increase your water usage. You may want to upgrade your shower to have dual shower heads or body sprayers. These, when all in use simultaneously, can dramatically increase your water usage and cause you to run out of hot water pretty quickly. Consider upgrading your water heater to a large and more efficient model or even a tankless version that may provide you more time under the sprays. On the other hand, you can save money with Water Sense fixtures and low flow toilets that will flush your unmentionables using far less water than older models. Talk with your plumber about efficiency options and how your upgrades will impact your water usage.

DON’T forget about small upgrades that can change the looks of any bathroom

Even if a whole bathroom overhaul is not in the budget, a little fresh paint, new pictures, mirrors and rugs can make all the difference.  Take it one step further and change out old outdated plumbing fixtures and you have a whole new look. Consider repainting your cabinets if they are an eye sore. There are numbers of small finishing touches that can freshen up the likes of any bathroom without the time and money spend on a full remodel.

As you venture down the path of creating a sanctuary and new space in your master bathroom, make sure to take note of all the fine details. A little pre-planning on the forefront can help you have years of enjoyment and increase your home value. Contact Casteel today to have an experienced plumber in Atlanta provide you with an estimate of your bathroom remodel. Schedule Today!

Casteel and Cobb EMC in Partnership in 2017 Home Energy Efficiency Makeover

Sunday, March 12th, 2017

Each year we partner with Cobb EMC, Cobb Heating and Air Association and Gas South to make a difference to one nominated Cobb EMC member in a Home Energy Efficiency Makeover. This is a great way to show homeowners how making small changes and improvements in your home, can make drastic changes to your energy usage. Community members nominate deserving members who would benefit greatly from these types of improvements. One member is chosen and we get to work in making a difference.

Water Heater Replacement

This year Casteel was excited to have the opportunity to help in a number of projects in the 2017 Home Energy Efficiency Makeover. We volunteered our services to change a number of toilets to low flow options as well as exchange the existing old model water heater to a new 40 gallon Bradford White, which was donated by a local supplier.

The outcome of this year’s makeover left this well deserving family with a higher efficiency home and peace of mind. Our teams enjoyed making a difference in the community and partnering with local organizations. Casteel has been volunteering in these efforts for the past 2 years since Cobb EMC initiated the program and we look forward to many years of servicing our community in partnership with this fantastic program.

If you are need of an Energy Efficiency audit or are looking for ways to lower your energy costs, contact Casteel today and speak with one of our team members to discuss your options. Go to the Casteel website today!

Things You Should Think About When Replacing Your HVAC

Tuesday, January 24th, 2017

Have you noticed changes in your Heating and Cooling quality. Maybe your bills seem a little high in comparison to others. Frequent breakdowns with your HVAC system becoming an inconvenience? There comes a point in time when you know you have to make the change. If that is the case, preparation is key to making the right decision for your metro Atlanta household. Remember the following points:

What is driving your replacement?

  • Frequent Breakdowns- The cost of repairs, time and inconvenience can absolutely warrant a replacement. Consider the age of your system and in many cases this is a ‘no brainer.’ Remember that when you get a new HVAC system, you also get a new warranty and often times an added value in a free preventative maintenance to help maintain your system for you.
  • High Utility Bills- You can absolutely cut your utility costs by up to 40% or more with the upgrade to a new higher efficient system. The best person to provide you with a more accurate idea is one of our System Design Managers. They can factor in your home sizing, systems needed, current system and much more and provide you with an estimate of savings. If you are sitting on an old system, the utility savings alone will pay for the unit.
  • Do you want the new features coming out with the new systems- Is your unit loud? Maybe you like the idea of a dual fuel system. You like the new learning thermostats but you can’t get the full benefit out of them because of your aging system. If you like to be in the now and get all of the benefits of new technology, this is a good enough reason to consider a new HVAV system.

What is it that You Want from Your New System?

With new and innovative technology, there are so many more things that you can expect from a new HVAC system.What is most important to you?

  • lowered utility bills
  • quiet system
  • Wifi thermostat
  • Monitoring Technology
  • New Warranty
  • Better Indoor Air Quality

Learn the various features from Casteel’s System Design Managers and prioritize what is best for you.

With the ever changing advancements in the HVAC space, you can look forward to a number of upgrades in comparison to your aging system. The System Design Managers at Casteel can help you discover the numbers of ways that a new system can positively impact your life and save you on  your monthly expenses. Contact Casteel today at 770-565-5884 and schedule your FREE IN HOME ESTIMATE for a new HVAC System in Atlanta.

 

 

How to Compare Contractor Quotes- Apples to Apples

Friday, January 20th, 2017

Let’s face it, smart consumers plan prior to spending thousands of dollars with a contractor. However, it can be very intimidating obtaining a number of quotes from various companies that are putting their best foot forward to obtain your hard earned money. With that being said, knowing the steps you should take prior to contacting a number of contractors will make the process much easier and will leave you confident in your final purchase.

How to Prepare for a Contractor Visit-

1)Know What Your Needs Are- Are you replacing your HVAC system? Do you have an emergency such as a water leak or power outage? Are you interested in upgrading your home and/or systems or just replace what is existing?  It’s important to know what your expectations are prior to the contractor visit so you can effectively communicate them to the salesman.

2)Know Your Budget- You know what you can comfortably spend to not put you into a pinch. Better yet, a good salesman will show you the value between options and your current situation. Even with an increased job spend, you may make up for that from a monthly utility savings.

3) Do Your Research on Each Company- There is no excuse for not reading about a company and their business practices before they come to your home. What do their reviews say? What are their guarantees? Do they screen their employees? Know who will be in your home. It’s important.

4) List What is Most Important to You – Customer Service? Pre-Screened, Trained and Clean Cut Employees? Price? Quality of Equipment? Quality of Craftsmanship? Warranties? Keep this List handy when comparing your quotes. You can NOT categorize all trade companies as offering the same product dictated only by price. It just is not the case.

So You Have a Handful of Quotes- Now What? 

1)Make Sure you are Comparing Apples to Apples-  The prices may be different but do you know why? Compare all aspects of the scope of work such as the customer service you will receive, the training of the contractors, the equipment, and lastly, warranties. Generally, all contractors purchase their equipment and supplies from the same wholesalers. The costs to the company may vary slightly from one company to the next but they are relatively close.  If you are seeing quotes that are significantly higher or lower than what you expected, you may want look closely at what you are really getting. What kind of quality are  are you getting with a low quote? Can the salesman justify the reasoning for a higher quote?

2)Know What You Are Being Charged For– A respectable company will provide you with a proposal that is itemized and detailed. You can’t compare the value had from one company to the next if you don’t know exactly what you are paying for. While 1 company may provide you with a lower quote, the higher quote may have an entirely different strategy to complete your scope of work that changes the price. Remember, apples to apples.

3)Customer Service, Technical Knowledge, and Warranties Are Not Free– This is not a bad thing. To have the most skilled contractors that provide you with great service does cost the company something. Whether it be training programs, certifications, higher paid skilled employees, or better warranties to protect you the homeowner, you can’t expect to get the best and not be charged. It does not happen in any industry. This does not mean that a company that has a lower or mediocre quote does not provide good service or that the higher priced is the best.

4) Awards and Accolades- What are They Worth– A lot. Period. Companies that strive for excellence are recognized by peers and consumers. All companies will have negative reviews or remarks but overall a company that has won awards for service, skills and reviews, is one that is legitimately in the industry and one to consider. If you are looking for a handyman or popup company, don’t expect them to back their work and follow through.

4) Your Gut Feeling Stands for Something – If you feel good about a particular company and are confident in their price, skill, service and warranties… then you have a winner. Essentially a good value is perceived by the buyer and not a formula.

To be a smart consumer, make sure to take the time to educate yourself. Get to know your contractors. Do your research. Even in an emergency situation don’t make hasty decisions. When you need someone to take a second look and you want Atlanta’s best, Contact Casteel Heating, Cooling, Plumbing & Elecrical for your Home Service needs.

Why You Should Never Agree to a Phone Quote

Friday, January 6th, 2017

Now days you can buy almost anything via the internet or the phone. Convenience, instant gratification, and service speed has taken a top place in customer satisfaction. While these criteria are very important, when it comes to home services make sure to do your research.  There is something to be said for having a technician into your home. While you may want the convenience of getting a quick quote over the phone or via email, buyer beware.

Take note of these reasons why you should not agree to a phone quote:

You just want to replace your system with the same size and type of equipment– that should be relatively easy to quote.

While theoretically that sounds easy enough; HVAC, Plumbing and Electrical equipment has changed over the years. Codes have changed to assure homeowner safety. Many times there are a variety of options that are available to you that can increase your energy efficiency, lower your bills, OR create a better HVAC, Electrical  or Plumbing experience for you. Have the company out to your home, listen to options, then make an educated decision based off of your needs and the company recommendations.

You just want to compare prices.. that’s all.

There is more to a home service than just the price. What about your safety? Are the technicians knowledgeable, licensed, certified, trained and approachable? Will your job be completed? Is the company licensed, bonded and insured. What if something goes wrong, will the company stand behind their work? What type of equipment is being installed? What is the warranty? How will your home be left once the job is completed? These are just a handful of questions that you should be asking the companies you are interviewing. There are too many horror stories of homeowners hiring the cheapest contractor and being stuck with a problem or incomplete job. Don’t be that homeowner.

You got a phone quote and now that it’s your installation day, you are getting another higher price.

This happens more often than not. While theoretically the phone quote may have most of the components included of a standard installation, most homes are not standard. That means, the company may charge you for 10 feet of one particular wire/pipe, however you need 20 feet. Or you may be quoted for a standard leak repair but there may components that need replacing which are not included in your phone/email quote. Your HVAC email quote may appear to have all of the necessary details included, but when the technicians get to your home they discover your original equipment was not installed according to current code and requires additional components. It is always best for you to have a technician out to your home so that they can see what needs to be done. Any and all phone/email quotes are essentially guesswork as the technicians are assuming blindly what your home will require.

A company provides good customer service if they give you a phone quote because it’s what you asked for.

That is simply not true. There is so much that you can decipher from having a technician out to your home. The technicians are the face of the company. How they treat you, listen to you, their professionalism, their knowledge, their appearance, are all excellent indicators of the way the job will be performed and the integrity of the company. Have you ever met someone that just gave you a bad feeling? Or maybe someone who you immediately felt were genuine and concerned for your well being? There is much to be said for meeting the individuals who will be working for your hard earned dollars. There is also something to be said for being able to walk through the job, options and ask questions first hand.

At Casteel, we believe in providing you with the most accurate information for you to make a decision on your home service provider. It is very important for us to provide you with a price that is relevant to the projects that you have. We don’t believe in “hard selling” you over the phone just to get our foot into your door, only to surprise you with a price increase the day of the job. When our team members come out to your home, know that the up front, flat rate price is specific to your home, your situation and your job specifications. You will have an estimate in hand and have first knowledge of who will be in your home completing your work.  We don’t believe in guessing or bait switching. By providing you with an in home estimate, we can confidently stand behind our work and guarantee that we will take Amazing Care of You®. Contact Casteel today for an accurate quote for your Heating, Cooling, Plumbing or Electrical work. Schedule Today!

New Year’s Resolutions for Your Home that You Don’t Want to Skip

Friday, December 30th, 2016

As the Peach drops in Atlanta on New Year’s Eve, the hope of starting fresh is on many minds. Resolutions are made, lists are written and a the idea of “getting it right,” is the main goal. While many aim to eat healthier, lose weight, get to the gym, take time for hobbies or save extra money, the one thing that is often overlooked is the home. This year, make time for yourself and make a point not to neglect your home. This New Year’s Resolution list for your home is a “must do” to keep up the maintenance on your home and stay organized for the year ahead.

  1. Cut the Fat and Decrease Your Energy Spending- While focus may be on reducing calories to lose weight, don’t neglect cutting the extras on your energy usage!  Change your light bulbs to LED’s. Replace your ancient thermostat to a programmable or high tech wifi version which will cater your HVAC usage right to your schedule. Replace your old or aging water heater and HVAC system to a higher efficiency model. Take advantage of 0% financing and cut your utility costs by up to 40% with the increased energy efficient models.
  2. Get Moving or at the Least, Check the Moving Parts of Your Home’s Systems- Make sure to have a fall and spring maintenance performed on your HVAC system. Help prevent breakdowns, increase your energy efficiency and make sure that your system is in tip top shape. Don’t forget to have your electrical system checked for any hazards and for good measure make sure to flush your water heater to help increase the efficiency.
  3. Clear the Air- Your Indoor Air Quality that is- Spring will be here before you know it and the pollen will be flying again. Last spring you were miserable with the change of season. Itchy eyes, runny nose, and a scratchy throat are not something that you have to deal with every season. This year, make a point to better your indoor air quality.While pollen may be irritating during some seasons, don’t forget the pet dander, microscopic pathogens, bacteria and viruses that can infect your air too. There is not time like the present to clean the closets and clean the air.
  4. Safety First- It’s all too easy to procrastinate on the mundane tasks that we don’t have an immediate need for. The one thing you can never predict is an emergency, but you can prepare for one. Make sure to change the batteries in your smoke detectors and install or test your carbon monoxide detectors. With the new advanced smoke detectors, you can take the guesswork away from testing your monitoring system. The Nest protect does that for you! Consider upgrading your smoke and carbon monoxide detectors to those that provide alerts  to your phone, test themselves and are multi functioning.
  5. Declutter & Organize- While the motivation is fresh, now is the time to go through each room and get rid of all of the unnecessary extras that have piled up over the past year. You know, those magazine articles you wanted to read but never had the time to. The extras that you held on to with good intentions but just couldn’t find the time to follow through with. It happens even to the best of us. If you haven’t used something in the past year, consider donating it. This includes clothes,books, toys, electronics etc… The liberating feeling that comes when you organize and declutter is well worth the time spent going through the excess.
  6. Drink More Water –Clean Water- Water  is something that everyone knows is important to a healthy body. Take the extra steps and install a whole home water filtration system. Take out the impurities and contaminants for the best you! Your plumber can go through the options and install one for you with minimal effort on your part and you’ll be starting out the year healthier.. one glass at a time!

As the focus is on self improvement the first couple of months of the year, don’t forget about the musts involved in home improvement. To help you with your Home Resolutions, contact Casteel today and schedule your in home inspections! Schedule now!

Why You Need a Whole Home Humidifier

Wednesday, December 28th, 2016

Cracked hands and feet, chapped lips, and flaky skin are all signs that winter is here and the heating systems are running. Add on dry morning eyes, an irritating cough and a raspy throat and heating weather is surely in full swing. Whatever your preferred heating method, hot and dry air is not healthy and contributes to dehydration. Do you really need to invest in a whole home humidifier?

Stay Healthy:

From a personal health perspective, a whole home humidifier can increase your comfort level and help prevent various illnesses such as respiratory infections. Dry air can dry out the various membranes in your mouth, nose and eyes. This can increase the risk for respiratory discomfort. You’ve heard the term “winter cold” before but the colds themselves are not caused by the cold temps and more likely from the dry air and increased risk of bronchial infections.  By adding a whole home humidifier and maintaining the moisture in the air, you will prevent the common signs of  dry winter ailments and help increase your immune response to winter infections.  Adequate moisture in the air also helps increase your air quality and reduce pollutant and air born irritants.

Stay Warm and Comfortable:

The humidity in your home absolutely does affect your comfort level. Summer time brings hot temps and high humidity. The humidity level directly affects how you perceive the temperature and often times the temperature feels warmer due to the level of water in the air. When your home is dry and the humidity is low, the air tries to reach it’s saturation point by pulling water from you, your pets, houseplants and even your furniture and flooring. When your humidity level is controlled, your comfort level increases and your home will feel warmer.

Save Money:

We just mentioned that when the humidity level in the air is higher, the temperature feels higher. This means you can comfortably maintain a lower temperature and lower your utility costs. Controlling the relative humidity in your home is a great addition to the number of other ways you can lower your costs while keeping comfortable.

Prevent Damage to Your Home:

Dry air in your home will pull moisture from wherever it can. Hard wood floors will shrink in size and crack. Wooden door and window frames can shrink and create drafts. How about the static shock? Rub your feet across the carpet and if your air is dry you will most definitely shock yourself when you reach for a doorknob or light switch. By maintaining a relative humidity of 30% or higher, you greatly reduce the static shocks.

Whole home humidifiers are a great addition to your home during the winter heating months. The benefits can greatly improve your comfort level, health and help prevent damage to your home. Consider contacting Casteel, your Atlanta HVAC experts, to install a humidifier before the heating season is over. The before and after will surprise you!