Cleaning the Ductwork this Fall

Just like replacing your furnace filter, air duct cleaning should be a part of your routine maintenance for any home containing a central air conditioning system, and there is no better time to have the ductwork cleaned than the later part of the fall season.

The air in your home could have pollutants because windows are often kept open at night to avoid running your cooling system. Increased foot traffic in and out of the home carrying with it air contaminants is also a reason. More time being spent outside means more time for you to accumulate contaminants that can find their way back inside your home and in your air duct system can lead to a decrease in air quality.

The fall is the best time to hire an HVAC contractor for air duct cleaning for a variety of reasons. The fall is typically a slow time for heating & cooling companies, which allow them to schedule dates much faster and usually offer seasonal discounted rates. With winter right around the corner, it is important to make sure any potential pollutants are removed so you and your family are not stuck breathing in dirty recycled air. This can often lead to health problems heading into the months where children and adults are much more susceptible to illnesses.

Many air duct cleaning also offer routine maintenance furnace tune-ups. Air duct cleaning can be a great opportunity to also have your furnace inspected to avoid potential furnace repair heading into the cold months ahead. Many factors go into your air duct cleaning cost, which can include the size of your home, layout of the ductwork, and also the amount of ductwork in your home.

If you are not sure if your home is in need of ductwork cleaning, there are some things to consider. If your home has pets, small children, anyone with allergies, or residents who smoke, duct cleaning is recommended. You can also contact us and we can advise you on if the ductwork needs to be cleaned.

The Benefits of Having Cleaner Air in your Home

 

Having a tight home is essential for energy-efficiency, but it can also cause poor indoor air quality if air pollutants are not properly filtered out. Pet dander and dust mites in the home can cause allergy and breathing problems, and more and more homeowners are looking for ways to improve air quality for themselves and their families.

Whole-home air-cleaning systems are increasingly popular and can be incorporated into almost any HVAC system—whether a new build or a retrofit—and are available in various sizes, types and price ranges.

One of the most economical options is an electrostatic recessed air cleaner. Designed to be low profile, these air cleaners look like register vents. They are concealed within a return air box and installed inconspicuously in a ceiling or a wall. The units are not tied to the HVAC system, so the installation takes only a few minutes. As air passes through the return vent, particulates and gases are trapped and filtered by the polarizing process in the core and an activated carbon filter. The core captures particles using a non-ionizing process; this means no creation of potentially harmful ozone. These types of cleaners are easy to maintain, requiring only a simple cleaning and replacement of the filter every 30 to 60 days. Other high-end electrostatic air-cleaning systems can be tied directly to the HVAC system and mounted between the air handler and the return ductwork.

When it comes to improving indoor air quality, whole-home air cleaners are powerful tools. With so many options available, you can also contact us, and we can advise you which one may be best for your home and lifestyle.

 

Why Changing the Filter is Important

There are a number of different types of filters available on the market, each offering different benefits, but the fact remains that all types of filters need to checked, maintained and changed in order to function properly and safely.

First of all, a clogged air filter can cause extensive damage to your system. If you check your air filter’s condition regularly, you ensure the longevity of your system, saving yourself thousands in possible repair and replacement costs. Dirt and neglect are one of the leading causes of heating and cooling systems failing, yet such failure is completely avoidable.

Changing the air filter in your system ensures cleaner, fresher, healthier air. This is better for everyone in your home, particularly children and the elderly, and most especially for those suffering from allergies or asthma. A clean air filter means you are not constantly circulating dust, dust mites, pollen and other small particles in the air. Instead, your system will be able to purify the air, leaving it clean and healthy.

Besides protecting the HVAC system from unnecessary damage, cleaning out or changing a clogged air filter will also save you a significant amount on operating costs. In simplest terms, a dirty air filter uses much more energy than a new, clean air filter, which means a much higher electricity bill for you. You can, by keeping your air filter clean and in good condition, save up to 15% on utility costs.

An air filter that is clogged means a harder working HVAC system, thus it also means a lot of carbon monoxide and other greenhouse gasses by extension being released. Something as simple as changing an air filter regularly can go a long way in making a difference. If you need to know how often to change the filter, make sure to contact us and we can advise you on a schedule that is beneficial for you and your home.

Improve the Air in your Home

 

If you think of pollution as something that happens outside, you might be surprised to learn that indoor air pollution can actually be worse than the grime and smog that occurs outdoors. In fact, those same energy-efficient, wonderfully-sealed windows that help keep pollutants out also help keep pollutants in. Dust mites, pet dander, chemicals from fragrances and cleaners, even chemicals from new paint, furniture and carpets can all accumulate to become harmful to your health, especially if you suffer from respiratory issues or allergies.

Warmer months bring higher humidity, and while we may go to great lengths to increase humidity during winter, too much humidity is bad for your health, too. Excess moisture in the air can lead to mold, which is a hazard even to the healthiest among us. For the very young or old, for those with compromised respiratory systems or illnesses, and for those who suffer allergies, mold can lead to serious respiratory complications. Increased moisture leads to an increase in bacteria, and it can also lead to the growth of dust mites.

If you have pets, summer is the time of year you probably find yourself following your four-legged friends around with a vacuum cleaner. During warmer months, pets shed more profusely, leading to an increase in airborne allergens like dander.

It’s a good idea to follow some simple precautions to keep air free of excessive pollutants, like making sure you keep pets groomed, vacuum often, and be sure to change the filters on your HVAC system regularly. You can also take advantage of HVAC technology to substantially reduce particles that contribute to indoor air pollution, respiratory problems and allergies, including UV lights and air purification systems.

The challenge inherent in air conditioning units is that the coil is perpetually wet, which can make it a breeding ground for mold and bacteria. To combat this, you can have UV lights installed inside your ductwork, the purpose of which is to disrupt the damp, dark environment loved by mold and bacteria. The UV rays also damage the physical structure of biological pollutants, preventing them from growing and multiplying, which is why hospitals use UV light to protect against infectious diseases. Another option is to use an air purification system, which will reduce airborne mold and bacteria particles. A good air purifier can eliminate as much as 99% of these harmful particles.

Some air purification systems use electrostatic precipitators to put an electrical charge on particles that are then trapped on collector plates that act as magnets. This works well for odors, too, because it can trap smoke particles that can pass through media filters. If you have any questions about your current HVAC system, or a new one, make sure to contact us.

Keeping your Home Cool and Comfortable

 

HVAC units are not all about the cold or warm air that is pumped into your home. Whether you need air conditioning repairs or you want to install a new system, you want to be sure that you understand more about HVAC units and their options to be sure that you will get maximum value from the money that you are spending. From indoor air cleaners to solar heating and cooling to hybrid systems and more, you want to do your research to ensure that you will get what you want and what you are paying for. If you are considering purchasing a new HVAC unit or are thinking about repairing your own, you want to understand more about the systems in general. This can go a long way to allowing you to get the most value from the system that you choose, as well as get the system that you will be most comfortable with.

 

Ductwork is the foundation of any HVAC unit, unless you have a ductless air conditioning system, as it is the conduit in which your air travels from the unit into your home or business. Having the ducts in the right location in your rooms can make the difference between keeping your home cool during the summer and warm during the winter. Duct cleaning can keep these ducts efficient for your use and make sure that you have the best chance possible at keeping your home or business in a comfortable temperature zone.

 

The energy that your HVAC unit will run on is another decision maker that you will have to consider. Whether you choose energy-efficient boilers, a geothermal heating and cooling system, or a solar heating and cooling system, you will want to be sure that you consider your needs as your wants as far as energy usage. Whether you choose a system that will work entirely on alternative energy or you choose one of the many hybrid systems, you will find one that will work great for you.

 

Some optional things that you will want to consider in an HVAC unit are indoor air cleaners, in-floor heating, comfort zone finder, and more. While you may think that these are not necessary options, you may be surprised by how much that they can add to your home. Keeping the air clean can help to keep everyone healthier, while having a comfort zone finder can help you to save money on your electrical costs. If you are tired of your feet being cold when you walk around during the winter, in-floor heating may be something you want to consider. By thinking about your family and your life, you will be able to determine which optional features you want to include.

The Benefits of a Generator

 

There are several reasons why a generator can be installed on your house, no matter what age it is, would be a good idea for the future. By having a generator, you will be able to keep your home running in the time of a crisis or bad weather. If you have a generator, make sure to inspect it so it can operate efficiently when you need it to. You can also invest in a generator so that you will have one incase the power goes out. If you are not sure what type of generator is right for your home, make sure to contact us, and we can recommend one.

 

 

Even though there is the initial expense of the generator, that will pay for itself over the years as the power shuts on and off and you save in other ways. The first way is to think of the contents of your refrigerator and freezer. Having a standby generator to kick on when the power goes out will prevent any spoilage of the food. Therefore, since you do not have to empty the contents of the freezer or the fridge, you will save money. Restocking one or both can be very expensive and costly, especially if there was a large supply of meat on the inside. Another way generators save money is that if your own few lights, they will turn on during a power outage, then you can stay in your home. Even with minimal functions on, the house can be comfortable and lived in until the power comes back. Then there will be no expense for a hotel stay where the air is the right temperature and there are lights to see by.

 

Since the generator can run several functions through the house, then you can be comfortable. Your house will not be affected much because the generator will still run and power the air conditioning unit that will keep the house at a more comfortable level than if the power were to go completely off and leave you in the sweltering heat. The same is also true for the reverse conditions. Having a generator kick on during any electrical malfunction can also be a safety factor. No matter what type of device it is, with a generator on standby, then you know it will always work and be able to help your loved one, no matter if the real power is off for one hour or one whole day. If you need help deciding what type of generator is right for your home, make sure to contact us and we can recommend one based on your home.

Getting the Most out of your Air Conditioner

 

Most of the electricity used in the home during the warmer months is by the air conditioner. This is one area where homeowners can save money. By becoming aware of certain habits that need to change, the home will run more smoothly. The first tip for saving money is to choose the air conditioner size correctly. Sometimes, people think that bigger air conditioners will provide more home comfort and feel that it is the best for the home. This is not always true. Using an air conditioner unit that is too big for the home will not provide uniform temperatures or lessen humidification, so in this case, bigger is not necessarily better.

 

 

Placement of the thermostat and proper usage can help save money. Many times when people come home from work, they flip the thermostats to an excessively low level thinking it will make the air conditioner get colder faster. This is not true and can damage the unit and cost more money when the unit works harder to get to the low temperature. It will not enhance the air conditioning and repairs may be necessary from overuse. The placement of thermostats is another great factor to consider when saving money. It should never be located around warmer items, like televisions, lamps, or stereos. This could accidentally trick the thermostat into working harder than is required.

 

 

Another common mistake that wastes money is placing the air conditioner in a spot that collects heat. Just because there is an available space beside the house does not make it the best choice. Make sure that the unit is placed in a shady spot or else it will have to work harder than necessary. Being in direct sunlight hinders the unit from working properly. Similarly, you will not want to place it behind bushes or shrubs to hide the unit. This will obstruct ventilation and can clog the condenser coils so that repair is needed, along with making it less efficient to run.

 

 

If your home currently uses several window air conditioning units to provide home comfort, it would be less expensive to cool the area with ductless air conditioning. These units are revolutionary cooling solutions and situate in one or two story homes. Many homeowners are switching to the ductless air conditioning these days, due to the money saving factor of running traditional air conditioning units. If you have any questions about your current air conditioner, or if you are looking for a new one, make sure to contact us, and we can advise you on the options you have.

Why having a Dehumidifier is Beneficial

 

A dehumidifier may be the simple solution you are looking for to decrease the humidity in your home.  Many people don’t realize humidity is their issue because the air “feels” dry.  Air with humidity levels as low as 50% or less can substantially reduce your comfort level and cause permanent damage to your home.  There benefits of using a high quality dehumidifier in any enclosed spaces of all sizes.

Mold and dust mites thrive in moist environments.  Most people associate mold with standing water or areas with that damp, musty smell.  The truth is the rate of mold growth skyrockets when the relative humidity reaches 50%.  Not only does this mean more mold but more mold spores contaminating the air you breathe.  Dust mites react to humidity in the same way mold does.

Humidity is nothing more than the amount of moisture in the air.  Unfortunately, moisture is the perfect container for dirt, dust, mold, spores, and other allergens.  The higher the relative humidity is, the more likely an allergic reaction will be triggered.  This is especially true for people with a very low tolerance to light-weight allergens like dander, mold, and dust.

Humid air acts a tipping point in the favor of mold, fungus, and rot.  While every home is less durable when it contains humid air over an extended period of time, wood is particularly vulnerable.  This includes flooring, cabinets, furnishing, and the wood supporting the weight of your home.

One of the most popular reasons people add a dehumidifier to their home is comfort.  Air with a lot of moisture tends to feel much warmer than it actually is.  As a result, people force their air conditioners to work extra hard which shortens the unit’s lifespan and drive up utility bills.  A simple dehumidifier will go a long way in helping you save money and feel more comfortable. If you notice an issue with the air in your home, or comfort level, make sure to contact us. We can inspect the HVAC system in your home, as well as advise you on the type of dehumidifier you may need. This can help you to have a cool and comfortable home this summer.

Getting the Air Conditioner Ready for Summer

 

You will want to make sure that your air conditioner is in the best condition for the upcoming summer months. By doing so, you can help to ensure your home stays cool and comfortable during the summer months. If you notice anything out of the norm, make sure to contact us so we can inspect the HVAC system for you.

On the first really hot day of summer, the last thing you want is to flip the switch on your central air conditioner only to find that it doesn’t work. When an air conditioner sits idle for months, collecting leaves and debris, a bit of maintenance is often needed to get it running properly. If you don’t do this maintenance before summer arrives, you may end up waiting several hot days before we can come and inspect it.

A central air-conditioning system employs two main components: a condenser unit, which is typically located outdoors, and an evaporator unit mounted on the air handler or furnace. Together these extract heat from room air through refrigeration technology. The air handler or furnace blower blows the resulting chilled and dehumidified air through ductwork to the home’s rooms.

Clean or Replace the Filters

This is the easiest and often most important step. Clean or replace your furnace or air-handler filters twice a year or whenever they begin to look clogged with dust. If you don’t, air flow will be restricted, reducing efficiency, and you will recirculate dust into your home

Clean the A/C Condenser Coils

A central air conditioner’s condenser unit, typically located outdoors, is like a large fan in a metal box with sides that look like grilles. Ideally, it is protected through the winter by a condenser cover or tarp to prevent accumulation of debris inside it. Otherwise, it is likely to contain leaves, yard debris, and dirt—and you will need to clean it. A large fan inside the metal box moves air across radiator-style condenser coils. If debris has gotten inside the unit, dirt has probably clogged some of the coils, as shown at right. Anything that obstructs the flow of air will cut down the condenser’s efficiency, so these coils should be cleaned at the beginning of every cooling season if they are clogged.

 

Why you Should not Ignore the Thermostat

 

The thermostat is a vital component in your heating and cooling system’s ability to maintain a comfortable temperature in your home.  It detects the temperature of the air in your living space while the system is running.  The thermostat gives you the ability to set a comfortable temperature for your home.  If the thermostat detects that the temperature in your home has surpassed your personally preferred temperature, it will pause the air conditioning unit until the temperature has dropped to the level you indicated as desirable.  Likewise, the thermostat will activate your heating system if it detects that your home’s temperature has dipped below your desired set point.

There are a variety of types of thermostats that can provide you varying levels of climate control in your homes.  The two most commonly used types of thermostats are the digital non-programmable thermostat and the programmable thermostat.  The digital non-programmable thermostat provides consumers with manually controlled settings and accessible, easy-to-read buttons and LCD display.  These types of thermostats use electronic means to determine your homes temperature and control the cooling and heating of your living space accordingly.  They offer programmability, quick response time, and automatic setback.

The programmable thermostats provide consumers even more control over the heating and cooling of their home.  These systems present the ability to set different desired temperatures for your home based on the time of day.  With the ability to coordinate hours of absence with less temperature variation, consumers can conserve energy.  This allows consumers to avoid wasting money and energy on an empty house and provide their families with the most comfortable and cost effective environment while they are at home.  These systems provide a wide range of programmability, from simple daytime and nighttime options to the option to program appropriate temperatures for different days and times of the week.  Programmable thermostats give consumers the ability to make the most productive use of their system, resulting in the most efficient energy use and lower energy costs.

Regardless of your choice of thermostat, it is important to maintain this essential component of your climate control system.  Thermostats control when your heating and cooling system turns on and off, how long it runs, and the subsequent temperature of your family’s living space.  They control how much energy your system uses and, consequently, how much money you spend on your home’s climate control.  If your thermostat is installed improperly or calibrated incorrectly, it will not measure your home’s temperature correctly which can result in sporadic, inappropriate activation of your heating and cooling systems.  Consequently, this will decrease your systems energy efficiency and create an unpleasant environment for your friends and family.