July 24, 2018

What Causes Indoor Air Quality Problems?

Most people associate polluted air with industries and urban centers and fail to acknowledge that the air within their homes could be equally polluted. As most people spend most of their time in their residential places, it is prudent to know what causes indoor air quality problems. Dust Do you have your floor, carpet, and surfaces scrubbed spotlessly clean but you are still sneezing? Dust or other irritants could be the victims. Dust within your heating, ventilation and air conditioning unit due to irregular cleaning is a common cause of indoor air quality problem. Carpet Fumes Once a new carpet has been installed within a living space, its vinyl backing and the glue used to hold it in place produces fumes in a process known as off-gassing. This pollutes the air and may result in dizziness, nausea, headaches, and asthma aggravation. Rooms with new carpets should be well ventilated and aired for a minimum of 3 days. Smoke Whether it be from stoves, cooking places, fireplaces or cigarettes, smoke is a major cause of indoor air quality problems. Prolonged exposure to smoke may cause or aggravate respiratory conditions, while continued smoking leads to lung cancer. Homes should be well ventilated...

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June 11, 2018

Can Rainy, Humid Weather Damage My AC Unit?

Most A/C units are built to withstand typical changes in the weather, but severe conditions are capable of causing damage. Continuous rain and prolonged levels of high humidity can affect your air conditioner in many ways. Humidity and Your Air Conditioner To understand why humidity can affect your air conditioner’s ability to cool your home and cause costly repairs, you first need to have a fundamental grasp of how your A/C works. An air conditioner cools the air inside your home by converting hot air into a liquid and then back again using several processes. One of these processes uses an evaporator coil which draws heat from the air. When the humidity level is high, the evaporator coil needs to work extra hard to remove all of the heat. This additional strain can cause your A/C unit to overheat and stop working. But besides the potential to cause damage to the operation of your air conditioner, there are other hazards A high level of humidity means more water will run off into the water collection area. This excessive amount of water can encourage mildew, mold, and algae to grow. This results in a situation which is not only harmful to...

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May 21, 2018

Which AC System Is Best For You?

There are plenty of AC systems and it may be difficult to decide which one to buy. The most important step in choosing the AC system that is best for you is by knowing what your needs are depending on the details of your home and how warm or cold you like it to be. The following are some air conditioning systems and when best to use them. Window Air Conditioning Systems Window air conditioners are often overlooked even though they can be pretty affordable. Purchasing them is not expensive and neither is maintaining them. Even though prices depend on different brands, the average cost is about $300. Bigger rooms require AC units with bigger BTU capacity so they are more expensive than small ones. Another factor that contributes to the price is the features that a window AC has. The more features it has, the more expensive it will be. Windows ACs are very energy-efficient so you do not have to spend much. They are easy to install and they do not take up much floor space because they are meant to fit inside a window. If you are looking to spend little on your AC system or you...

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April 30, 2018

How Often Should You Get AC Maintenance?

Our air conditioners are an integral part of our lifestyle. They create that conducive habitable environment for us. That is why they need a lot of care. Even if your air conditioning unit does not pose any threat or technical problems, the cooling and heating experts always advise that you should have it AC maintenance once a year. As your AC system runs, it often accumulates dirt and dust in its key areas that affect its efficiencies like the air filters and the condensing coils. When all this build up, your AC cannot function to its maximum capability since clogged filters block the normal airflow. Some filter types can be replaced while others are reusable. Cleaning or replacing a filter lowers your air conditioners’ energy consumption by 5% to 15%. Every time a technician comes to check your AC, they should: Test for leaks using a leak detector. Check the correct amount of refrigerant present. Capture instead of illegally releasing any refrigerant that needs to be evacuated. Check and seal duct leakage. Measure the airflow. Ensure the electric control sequence is perfect, the cooling and heating systems should never run simultaneously. Check the electric terminals tighten and clean connections. Inspect...

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March 22, 2018

Does Unpredictable Weather Cause Damage to My HVAC Unit?

Depending on where you live, the weather is pretty much the same during certain parts of the year. For those who live in regions where the temperature and weather can change unexpectedly, your HVAC unit works overtime. The weather’s mood swings can have a direct effect on your HVAC system. During those fluctuations, the unit may have to work overtime one day because it’s hot – but, may have to run the heat a day or two later. This stress on the system affects the efficiency of its performance, resulting in high energy bills. Ways to help prevent damage to your HVAC unit While not overusing the system is the number one way to prevent damage, living in extreme weather fluctuations doesn’t leave you much choice. Here are a few ways to help your system withstand unpredictable weather: Smart Thermostat A programmable or smart thermostat will help regulate the use of your HVAC system. You won’t have to worry about using heat when you don’t need it, or running the air during those times when it’s cool outside. This will also help monitor your energy bill, resulting in lower costs. Servicing your System Regular maintenance of your HVAC system can...

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February 9, 2018

Heat Pumps and Furnaces. What’s the Difference?

Knowing the difference between a heat pump and a furnace will help you determine which is the better choice for your home. Most people are more familiar with furnaces as opposed to heat pumps. A furnace uses fuel (such as natural gas, oil, or wood) to produce energy that results in heat that is sent throughout the home. A heat pump on the other hand, uses electricity and coolant to generate heat from the air outside of the home by reversing the refrigeration cycle. Let’s take a look at some of the pros and cons of both. Pros: Furnace Longer average life-span than heat pumps More energy efficient in areas with long winters Less costly to purchase and install than a heat pump Cons: Furnace Powered by limited resources (i.e. gas and oil) Can be more costly to operate depending on the fuel the furnace uses (natural gas is less expensive than electricity in many areas, but oil is much more expensive than electricity, for example) Typically requires more maintenance over time Pros: Heat pump Doubles as an air conditioner in warmer months; only needs one system to install versus having a furnace and separate central air Can improve indoor...

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January 25, 2018

Why Does an AFUE Rating Matter?

It’s always important to make sure that you are making the most informed decision when you are shopping for any new appliance. Purchasing a new heater or having an old one replaced is no exception. You’ll want to keep in mind the energy efficiency of any potential heating system because it greatly affects how well the heater is going to work for your home. One of the easiest ways of determining the energy efficiency level of a furnace is looking at its AFUE rating. What Is AFUE Rating? AFUE is a short name for Annual Fuel Utilization Efficiency, a particular rating that’s usually attached to heating systems. This rating measures how well a boiler or furnace turns the energy it uses to heat. For instance, if a heating system has an AFUE rating of 90 percent, it can only convert 90 percent of the energy it uses to heat, and the 10 percent that remains is wasted. How Is AFUE Rating Determined? The AFUE rating doesn’t have much to do with the system’s overall power level – keep that in mind. It can only measure how well the heater utilizes the energy/fuel it expands. AFUE ratings are expressed in percentages as you can see in the example given above. The figure represents the exact...

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December 7, 2017

How Do Heat Pumps Work in the Winter?

Heat pumps are the popular decision when choosing how to warm your home. Winter is cruel, and heat pumps work. With both efficiency of the equipment and an energy saver that keeps more money in your pocket. Warming Winter During the summer, a pump takes the heat from the inside of your home and replaces it with colder air. Think of the reverse. A heat pump takes the bitterly cold air outside and warms it to blast through your ventilation system. The pump can even pull from 20 degrees or lower and warms your home when you need it the most. People who live in an ever-changing climate sometimes use both heat pumps and a variety of furnaces. The heating hybrid system ensures you will never have to rely on one to work. You will have a back-up if you are in need of heat pump maintenance, repair, or replacement installation. Doable Defrost Heat pumps have the pro of the ability to defrost when the elements force it to freeze over. If the outside air freezes your pump over, the defrost will quick on. Do not worry. The process does not take long, and it will be acting normally, soon. If your defrost kicks on...

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November 14, 2017

How Often Do I Need to Change a Furnace Filter?

Changing your furnace filter on a regular basis helps to improve the indoor air quality in your home. Filters can be filled with dust and other contaminants making them unable to trap new particles. If you don’t change your filter, the air impurities are left to circulate in your home, and you will be breathing them in.  Furthermore, the motor of a dirty furnace filter runs more, and it becomes less energy efficient. The basic recommendation for furnace filters replacement is every 3-4 months for MERV 8, every 6 months MERV 10 and 11 and every year for MERV 16. There are other several factors to consider when determining when to change your home air filter. Here are some key guidelines that can help you determine how often to change your furnace filters. What type of Filter do you have? The type of filter you have installed in your home is a major influence of how often you need to change it. Various filter types are different in make, form, and thickness.  A fiberglass filter requires regular changing compared to a pleated filter. Likewise, a 1-inch pleated filter will need more frequent change as opposed to a 4-inch pleated filter which can last up to six...

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October 9, 2017

Insulating Your Attic – Hickman NE

How to Insulate Your Attic When you’re ready to try your hand at DIY projects, start with insulating your attic. It can be a chore, but not impossible. This three-step guide will help you successfully insulate your attic and reap the benefits. Three Steps Choose the right insulation Lay fiberglass rolls Create barriers Choosing the Right Insulation The two types of insulation are loose fill and batt, however, batt is the easiest to use for DIY attic insulation. Loose fill insulation can be used, but it will be more difficult to use for insulation than batt. Laying Fiberglass Rolls The tops of joists should be covered to ensure heat and air do not escape or enter the attic. When you’re laying fiberglass rolls, look for insulation between rafters. If you have them, you’ll want to install the second layer of fiberglass perpendicular to the first fiberglass layer you laid, making sure the second layer has no vapor retardant and unfaced. Create Your Barriers Creating barriers is difficult to do without the help of wire mesh or sheet metal. These items will help you create strong, sturdy barriers around items, including vents and fixtures. Before you begin your insulation project, check the fixture...

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