Cool Moves

With heating and cooling accounting for 50% of a home’s typical energy usage, it makes sense to take a look at how your home is being cooled during one of our steamiest months.  As the temperature hovers around 89, Georgia Power recommends we set our thermostat at 78 degrees during the summer and leave it alone. Have your heating and cooling systems professionally serviced annually to keep them running at top efficiency, too.  We asked our friends at Milton Mechanical Services to chime in. For more than 10 years, Milton Mechanical Services has served the North Metro Atlanta area from their Alpharetta location. Owner Dr. Kenneth Hughes brings a broad range of experiences to the company. He received a Ph.D. in chemistry from Purdue University and has worked in both academics and commercial venture groups on new clean energy, water, soil and air technologies.  Just in time for summer, Dr. Hughes shares tips on how to keep your home cool throughout the summer.

  • Have a professional HVAC company perform regular maintenance on your heating and cooling system. Optimized refrigerant levels, clean heat exchange coils and air filters allow your system to work at optimum efficiency, saving energy, and providing better cooling.
  • Increase the amount of insulation in your attic and use attic access door covers.  Many people complain that their upstairs bedrooms do not stay cool even with the air conditioner running. Insulating your attic to a minimum of R38 will improve upstairs cooling and help maintain the desired temperature.
  • Install a programmable thermostat and learn how to use it. The most cost-effective thermostat settings minimize the difference between inside and outside temperatures when you are not home.  Also, recognize that the location of your thermostat makes a significant difference in controlling cooling and that moving thermostat location can improve comfort in many rooms.
  • Look at the age of your air conditioning system.  If your cooling system is more than 8 years old, it may be struggling to maintain cooling during the summer months.  New cooling systems use digitally controlled variable speed blowers and compressors.  This technology allows systems to run at slower speeds for longer time periods, improving air filtration, as well as temperature, and humidity control.   This improved air quality helps protect your family’s respiratory health and your home’s furnishings.  Additionally, refrigerant commonly found in older cooling systems is not environmentally friendly and is in phase-out by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). Refrigerant phase-out increases the cost of repairs and maintenance.

Milton Mechanical Services is staffed with a terrific team of technical specialists, license holders, duct work experts and customer service professionals.  You can find company reps at the Alpharetta Farmers Market every Saturday morning, when they happily answer air conditioning, heating and home comfort questions. Ask them about new thermostats that provide for control of many home automation products including Wi-Fi controlled cameras, door locks and lighting sensors, as well as sophisticated indoor air quality control technologies.  Milton has completed many high profile projects, including several fire stations, the new Dekalb County IT building, and numerous community recreational and conference centers.