Thursday, May 14, 2015


Posted on behalf of J.H.:

I want to share a story. Sure, you may think I'm biased. This is a home improvement company's blog. The company is All Phase to be exact. While I don't work for the company, I'm a graphic artist and recently did some contract work.


It starts with the recent heat. Like last summer and the years before, it always seemed our air conditioner couldn't keep up. Cooling the entire house below 80° on hot days was impossible.

We live in the Atlanta suburbs in the typical 90s subdivision. You know… each house 1 of 4 different floor plans, all two-story, master bedroom above the garage and 15ft between houses. Each year, the house seems hotter and hotter.

Over the past few years, we've noticed more and more neighbors replacing their air conditioners. All we could afford at the time was an AC repairman checking the existing unit. It was in working order and the coolant was fine, but he wanted to replace it with a larger unit. Again, we couldn't afford this.

We were stuck. Ceiling fans and additional fans did little. Not to mention, they're only blowing hot air. Tight on money and unable to put window units facing the street, we tried adding a portable air conditioner.

This was a disaster. After going through 3 units, they all leaked, we're loud and you still had an ugly dryer looking vent going out the window. We ended up with water damage and a lot of money down the drain. However, this is another story I won't get into here.

Turning Point

Fast forward to May. It was time for a fix. I now had a connection with a home improvement company. What did it hurt to see what could be done? I knew the existing unit worked and had coolant, but I was ready to replace or add a 2nd unit -- whatever it took.

With temperatures already close to 90 degrees this Spring, they couldn't get out there fast enough for me. We didn't want another summer like the last few years. The problem was getting fixed.

Their guy came out and did an energy assessment. Guess what! The air conditioner was sufficient, working and didn't need replacing. It was the insulation and other factors in the attic. Sure, it’s hot up there, but I assumed my problem was the compressor or condenser outside. Neighbors had replaced theirs? Not only were their gaps and cracks allowing air to transfer between the attic and the living spaces, but the insulation was way below what it should have been. The duct work also needed cleaning and servicing.

I jumped to the conclusion all the houses were built with inadequate insulation. Actually, it was the type of insulation and the fact it had settled over the years. Who knew you were supposed to add insulation after a while? I assumed that was a forget it and leave it type of thing.

He told me this happens in a lot of homes and the insulation was commonly use in Georgia's hot humid weather. Overtime, it settles and foot traffic and storage causes compression. It was only doing a fraction of the job it was meant to.

I can't remember all the technical terms or help you there, but we decided the best option was to avoid this in the future and replacing the existing insulation with spray foam. This filled the cracks and properly restored the insulation to what it should have been. They also installed something called a radiant barrier to fight heat in an additional way.

It has been about a week and for the first time our single air conditioner, the same one there when we purchased the home, has kept the downstairs and more importantly, the upstairs, in the low 70s. I wish I had known all this before wasting money on portable ACs and those $300-400 electric bills we've averaged the past few summers.


If you're hot natured like us and have experienced similar problems, I strongly urge you to look at having an assessment. Your problem may be different, but it doesn't hurt to find out. Do some research... call who you want, but these guys really solved my problem. You can go to their website, or call them at 770-442-1503.

I'm ready for my next power bill and to compare it with last year's. Well, I take that back… I really don't want a bill, but it will be interesting to see how much I save over the summer.

By J.H.

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