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Low Temperature = Quality Sleep
Posted: September 17, 2020 by Andy
Sleeping comfortably can be challenging, especially during Northeast Ohio's seasonal transitions. What works for one sleeper often doesn't work for someone else. There's really no magic formula that'll work for everyone when it comes to getting a good night's sleep. That said, whatever your preferred temperature is when bedtime rolls around, sleeping in a cold room offers many health benefits:
You'll sleep better
A cold room will help you fall into a deeper, less interrupted sleep, which means less tossing and turning. Consistently sleeping well can also save you money on over-the-counter sleeping aids or prescription drugs. You won't need those energy drinks or that double-shot of espresso as often, too!
You'll fall asleep faster
We're not doctors or scientists, but we do know that sleep is good for you. However, if your room feels too hot, you'll probably sweat in bed and not find comfortable rest. Likewise in a frigid room - you probably won't be able to get comfy. But, a room that's just cold enough? Now that feels good, doesn't it? In a pleasantly cool room, your body doesn't waste energy trying to adjust temperature, which means you'll fall asleep fast! So, it makes sense - the faster you fall asleep, the more sleep you get, right?
Your body will age better
Insomnia patients are often instructed to take melatonin as a sleep aid. Interestingly, experts say that sleeping in a room that's between 60-68 degrees will allow your body to release more melatonin. Also, melatonin is a known anti-aging hormone. So, it not only helps you get a good night's sleep, it helps you age more gracefully too. On the flip side, you don't need a medical degree to know that people who don't sleep well tend to age badly. Dark circles and eye bags can make a 30-year-old look much older than they actually are!
And there's other benefits too
Studies have proven that sleeping in a cold room will improve your metabolism, brain function, and will even help prevent diabetes. But again, we're not doctors or scientists, so we won't get into the details of that research.
Ways to sleep cool
Get naked. Yes, seriously - the less clothes you sleep in, the less insulation there is on your body, trapping less heat against your skin. So, if you sleep in the buff, you'll sleep cooler. Simple.
Become a fan of your, um... fan. It's designed to help cool the room, and the people in it, so use a portable or ceiling fan to circulate your room's air and create a cooling effect. You'll love your fan once it helps you fall asleep!
Get yourself a cold pillow. Have an extra pillow laying around? Leave it out from under your covers and let it get nice and cold. And when it's bedtime, grab that cold pillow and snuggle up to it to help cool your body. This will help cool your bedding and your other pillows - including the one that goes under your head - to help keep you cool.
Cuddle up with your partner. This one sounds odd, at first. You've learned that a cold room is good for you, but keeping comfortable can be difficult, especially if you share your bed with somebody whose idea of "cold" is far chillier than yours. Sharing body heat of another person in the bed can keep you feeling just right in a room that might otherwise feel too cold for you. Also, cuddling is a wonderful stress reliever, and the less stressed you are, the better you'll sleep!
Get a bigger bed. This is the opposite of cuddling. If you can't fall or stay asleep while snuggling, a bigger bed enables you to break away from cuddling and get some quality sleep. When you have a bed with more space, you can scoot away once your partner conks out and sleep without disrupting each other. And, you can use two different bed covers - perhaps a thicker one for them, and a thinner one for you.
Stick a foot out. Leaving a body part exposed while sleeping will help keep you cool. If you like to stay wrapped up snugly all night but then you overheat, try sticking one foot outside of the covers. It'll help you stay cool.
Adjust your thermostat. When it comes to comfort, the ideal thermostat setting for sleep might be a struggle. If you share a home with others, not everyone will agree on what the thermostat should be set at. If you find yourself at odds with your housemates over what the temperature should be at night, consider upgrading to a zoned heating and cooling system, which allows for different thermostats - and temperatures - in each room.
Now that you've learned about the benefits of sleeping in a cold room, make sure you can sleep at the perfect temperature all year long. We're here for you 24 hours a day, 7 days a week - call us!
What Does HVAC Mean, And What Does It Stand For?
Posted: September 3, 2020 by Andy
You've heard the common term HVAC many times, but do you know what it stands for? What does it mean? While you may have a rough idea of what the term refers to, you may wonder how it relates to your home and the systems that keep it hot and cold. Hey Neighbor Heating & Cooling provides HVAC repairs and new installations, and we have all the details on HVAC fundamentals. Read on!
So, what is HVAC?
The acronym HVAC is short for Heating, Ventilation, and Air Conditioning. Simple, eh? The term refers to all the systems used in your home to move air between areas and the temperature adjustment of your space. Your HVAC system's primary responsibilities are to keep you warm and cozy in the winter and cool and comfy in the summer. Your HVAC system also cleans and filters the air that you breathe and regulates your home's humidity levels. They're all essential tasks that your HVAC system performs day-in and day-out with exceptional reliability.
How does an HVAC system work?
Your home probably has a central heating and cooling system that uses the same blower to circulate heated or cooled air via your home's ductwork. Your HVAC system does a bit more than just heat and cool your space, though. It also enhances the quality of the air in your house. You may be aware that there are many different types of HVAC systems, but they all have the same general components:
Drawing in fresh air
Known as natural ventilation, this process is how fresh air is delivered into your home. It refers to open doors, windows, vents, and so on. This type of ventilation is essential to remove odors, moisture, and carbon dioxide (CO2) and replenish your home's oxygen levels.
Mechanical ventilation typically uses a powered blower or fan to forcefully move air in and out of your house. Once the air is drawn in by the ventilation system, it is pulled into an air handling unit where it pushes the air through a filter that removes dust, dirt, allergens, and other particles from your home's air. Next, depending on the season, the air is either heated or cooled. Once your air is cleaned and heated or cooled, it's distributed throughout your home via the ducts.
HVAC's main components
While the HVAC acronym piles heating, ventilation, and cooling together, each of these functions utilize different equipment to do the job.
Your furnace is the primary piece of equipment in your HVAC system, the most important, and uses the most energy. It takes heated air from the heat exchanger and moves it through the ducts in your home, warming your home's interior.
Your air conditioner operates similarly as your furnace and uses your furnace's blower. Air passes over refrigerant-filled tubes or coils and is then pushed out through your home's ducts to make your space cool and comfortable!
Your home's ductwork is responsible for moving the warm or cool air throughout your home - in other words, ventilating it. For your system to function properly, air must be pulled back into the system to be recirculated. Without ventilation, your HVAC system wouldn't work! During the ventilation process, your home's air is also passed through filters, making it clean and healthy for your family to breathe!
As you can see, your home's HVAC is responsible for your comfort in every season! Now you know how it works and what the letters stand for. Knowledge is power, and it'll help you make more informed decisions regarding its service and when the time comes to upgrade it to a new, more efficient system.
If you're considering a new HVAC system installation or need repairs to your furnace or AC, give us a call at 877-247-7661. We're licensed, bonded, and insured, and our expert technicians are available 24/7 for all of your HVAC needs. That's how neighbors should treat neighbors!™
My AC Runs But Isn't Cold - What's Up?
Posted: August 20, 2020 by Andy
Picture this: it's a hot summer day (we've had a lot of those this year), and you realize that the air coming from your home's registers is warm. What gives? Your top rated Northeast Ohio repair company Hey Neighbor has some useful tips on how to deal with a central AC system that's running but not cooling. Also, if you need to call in the professionals, we have you covered with fast 24-hour service!
We know how irritating it is when you encounter a problem with your air conditioner. It always happens at the worst possible time, right? Before you stress out, here are some things you should check before you call in our AC pros!
An incorrectly-set thermostat
While this may seem like too easy of a fix, sometimes the cause of your AC system running but not cooling is just the result of accidentally switching the thermostat's fan setting from Auto to On. When the fan switch is set to automatic, the thermostat turns on the air conditioning when your home's indoor temperature rises above the preset temperature. If the switch is set to On, your AC blows air through your duct system, but no cooling takes place most of the time. Take a moment to verify the switch is set to Auto.
A dirty filter
If you can't remember the last time you replaced the filter in your HVAC system, it's probably filthy, which, in turn, negatively affects airflow. When a filter gets clogged with dust and pet dander, your AC system isn't able to draw adequate air, and as a result, only a minimal amount of air flows out into your home. Inspect your air filter, and if you notice dust and debris, replace it. But if it isn't dirty, then the problem lies elsewhere.
A plugged condensation drain
Part of your air conditioner's job is to remove humidity from the air in your home, and that moisture has to go somewhere. This is where the condensation drain comes into play - it directs accumulated water away from your HVAC unit - to a floor drain or the outside of your home, depending on your system's configuration. Over time, a condensation drain is susceptible to blockages such as mold or algae growth. When this happens, some systems will stop cooling, while others will shut down altogether.
If you think a clogged drain might be the issue, check it visually. If you see an obstruction, carefully clear it out with something small, such as the end of a screwdriver. If there's a clog in the drain hose, suction on the end of the line will usually remove it. A wet/dry vacuum is generally sufficient to clear the clog.
ProTip: After removing algae or a mold clog from your system's condensation drain, pour some diluted white vinegar into the condensation pan below the evaporator coils in the blower unit. Vinegar kills residual mold buildup and helps prevent future clogs.
Faulty electrical wiring
Nearly 85% of all HVAC repairs stem from electrical issues, so ensure that you visually inspect all of the wiring in and around your unit, especially the wiring connected to an outlet. Reset any tripped breakers. If one or more trip again, it's time to call an electrician.
The ducts snaking through your home deliver cooled air where you need it most. If your ductwork is old, it may be separated or cracked. Inspect all duct seals and joints to ensure that your ductwork is efficiently distributing cold air throughout your house. If you notice anything amiss with your ductwork, it's time to call in one of our friendly HVAC experts to inspect and replace that leaky, old ductwork.
Outside condenser issues
If the AC unit outside your home (the condenser) is dirty or covered in debris, you'll need to tidy it up so it can effectively release any heat buildup. Otherwise, it'll struggle to cool your home. After you've removed any debris and overgrown plant life, the next step is to use a garden hose and gently spray the unit's exterior. Be very careful to avoid bending the aluminum fins inside the unit with water from the hose.
Know when it's time to call the HVAC pros
If you've done the DIY steps above and your AC system still isn't cooling, it could be due to a refrigerant (Freon or Puron) leak or a failing compressor unit. Refrigerant is federally regulated and may only be handled by a trained and certified HVAC professional, like our techs at Hey Neighbor. Unfortunately, a failing compressor usually means it's time for a new AC, especially if your central air conditioning system is ten years old or more.
AC issues needing professional attention
These problems must be addressed only by professionals, so make the call - don't attempt to fix them on your own!
A broken condenser fan. Your outside unit's fan dissipates the accumulated heat. Without a properly working fan, your AC system isn't able to cool your home.
Low refrigerant levels. Refrigerant is the liquid in your system that absorbs heat from your home and cools it. If you see ice on the refrigerant line or hear a hissing sound, you probably have a leak. If you notice either of these things, turn your AC off immediately and call the pros at Hey Neighbor. If you keep your system turned on, it could damage your compressor, or worse.
A faulty compressor. Your AC system's compressor is its heart. It moves refrigerant between your inside and outside units, and without that movement, you have no cooling. Unfortunately, compressor repair can be expensive, and it's best to have one of our expert techs in for a visit if you suspect that your compressor is the culprit.
Being northeast Ohio residents ourselves, we know how aggravating it can be to be without cool air, especially during Ohio's muggy summer months. If you're suffering due to your AC running but not cooling, and you can't find an easy solution like the ones described above, give the pros at Hey Neighbor a call - 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, we'll get your house back to cool in no time! Call us today at 877-247-7661 to schedule a quick and easy appointment!
Is Your AC Prepared For Summer's Thunderstorms?
Posted: July 30, 2020 by Andy
Summer's severe thunderstorms bring high winds, blinding flashes of lightning, and torrential downpours that wreak havoc on your HVAC system. The following six steps will help protect your heating and cooling investment, your comfort, and your safety.
1. Raise your unit above the ground.
Having your air conditioner's outdoor condenser unit installed at a higher level will prevent it from being water damaged by flooding. Even a simple one-foot-tall platform can make the difference between continued comfort and a condenser replacement. Ask our friendly experts for more information about raising your AC unit above flood level.
2. Cover your condenser.
While the outdoor components of your HVAC system are built to withstand the elements, a thunderstorm is still a threat. Placing a protective cover over your outdoor unit during severe storms will stop damage caused by hail and other flying debris. Some homeowners opt to build a more permanent awning above their condensers, and these clever solutions double as sunshades to help your AC run more efficiently.
3. Keep your yard clean.
Mowing your lawn and maintaining your flower beds will prevent wind-blown dirt and debris from entering your AC condenser during a storm and causing damage. Also, remove any dead branches from your trees and keep shrubs and plants at least three feet away from your unit.
4. Eliminate potential flying objects.
In addition to keeping your yard tidy, always bring in any outdoor objects, such as patio furniture, toys, and lawn ornaments that could become airborne and strike your HVAC unit. That plastic lawn chair might feel light, but it can cause severe damage when high winds fling it across your yard.
5. Install a sump pump.
If your heating and cooling system is located in your basement - and that's where it is in most Northeast Ohio homes! - consider having a sump pump installed to prevent indoor flood damage. When rainwater begins to fill your basement, a sump pump automatically starts pumping out the rising water.
6. Turn your system off.
During severe summer storms, shut your air conditioner off at the thermostat. Electrical surges from a power outage or a lightning strike can fry your unit, so keep it turned off until the storm has passed and power has been restored. We also offer surge protectors for new and existing systems as an added layer of security.
Has a storm damaged your HVAC system? We can fix that! Call us today at 877-247-7661 or schedule online.
Something's Wrong With My AC!
Posted: July 16, 2020 by Andy
It's been a muggy and sweltering July in Northeast Ohio so far. Just when you think it can't get any worse, you return to your home at the end of a long workday expecting a blast of frosty cold air, only to run smack into a wall of heat instead. Clearly, something's wrong with your air conditioner, but you don't know what. You're overheated, tired, cranky - and desperate.
But wait - don't make a snap decision that could cost you! Before you call one of our friendly expert techs out for a visit, it's wise to make sure the issue isn't something you can easily fix. Possibly the only thing worse than malfunctioning AC in the summertime is realizing that you scheduled a service call over something as obvious as a tripped breaker.
If your central air conditioning system is acting up this summer, work through each of these four simple steps before calling us.
Step 1: Check your thermostat.
If your air conditioner isn't cooling when it should (or at all), check to see if the thermostat is working. Is it reading the room temperature accurately? Is it set to Cool and calling for cooling when it's supposed to? Is the display visible? The fix could be as easy as swapping out dead batteries for some fresh, new ones. Along that line, it's a smart plan to write a reminder on your calendar to replace your thermostat's batteries annually. You'll save yourself from potential thermostat-related headaches in the future.
Step 2: Check the breaker box.
Is your HVAC system getting power? Make sure the power switch on the indoor unit is on. Next, pay a visit to your breaker box and see if any circuit breakers are tripped. If you spot any, switch them off and then on again, and then wait 15 minutes to see if your unit starts. If a breaker trips again, call for service immediately, as this could indicate other, more severe problems.
Step 3: Check your system's airflow.
If your AC seems to be operating normally but isn't blowing enough cool air, it could be that something is preventing the proper flow of air through your system. Is your filter dirty? It should be changed frequently - as often as monthly if you have pets or if you smoke. Is anything blocking airflow to the outdoor condenser unit, such as debris or vegetation? Inspect the ductwork you can see to make sure it's not kinked, damaged, or disconnected. If you discover a problem with your visible ductwork or suspect that the ductwork inside your walls has come apart or is broken, call us.
Step 4: Check your unit's doors.
HVAC units built within the last 20 years or so have a safety switch feature that cuts power to the unit if its door panels aren't closed. Check to make sure these are secure. You should be able to close a dislodged door with ease, but if not, give us a ring.
We definitely do want to make sure you're calling for actual emergencies, not something you can fix on your own. If none of these easy fixes work, it's time to call your friendly neighborhood HVAC experts - us! Our experts will quickly diagnose your AC problem and give you an honest, up-front estimate for repair or replacement. That's how neighbors should treat neighbors!™
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