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How To Reduce Dust In Your Home
Posted: May 9, 2019 by Andy
Every home has dust, and nobody wants it. But, what exactly is it? Paraphrased from Wikipedia, "Dust is fine particles of solid matter. In homes, offices, and other human environments, dust contains small amounts of pollen, human and animal hair, textile fibers, paper fibers, minerals from outdoor soil, human skin cells, and many other materials found in the local environment."
That's a little wordy, but it's also easy to see how dust can affect your home's indoor air quality (IAQ), leading to allergens. We know how vital clean indoor air is for your home and your family.
This might surprise you, but the air in your home is typically dirtier than the air outside. You should take steps to reduce indoor pollution - both for your health and your home's. Keep in mind, though, that eliminating dust from your home is an impossible task. Just by Wikipedia's description alone, it's easy to understand why it'll always exist in your home. Fortunately, you can dramatically reduce your home's dust levels by following our recommendations below.
Don't neglect your filters
The purpose of your heating and cooling system's air filter is to trap dirt, dust, and debris flowing through the system. Your home's air is vented through the system and forced through the filter. Using the best filter available recommended by your system's manufacturer, you will trap most of the dust and stop it from traveling through the air. Pay particular attention to a filter's MERV (Minimum Efficiency Reporting Value), the measurement system implemented by the American Society of Heating, Refrigeration and Air-Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE) to rate a filter's efficiency and effectiveness. It's also important to purchase filters with an appropriate MERV rating for your system.
Inspect your filter monthly and replace it regularly, depending on how quickly it accumulates dirt. Ideally, we recommend changing it every month, but at the very longest, every three months. When your filter is clogged, aside from potentially hurting your HVAC system, it can't do its job of reducing the amount of dust in your home.
Inspect your air ducts
Your home probably has a forced-air HVAC system, which means you have air ducts carrying your home's air to and from your system. If your ducts have leaks, unfiltered air sneaks out into your home. You could have as much as 30% air leakage due to poor sealing - air that hasn't reached your filter and is spreading dust throughout your home.
It's even worse if your air ducts are dirty. The air passing through the ducts picks up extra dust and dirt and distributes it throughout your home. If you see a consistently high level of dust in your home, we recommend calling in an expert to check your ducts' seals and inspect for leaks. You should also consider getting your ducts cleaned, especially if you can't remember when they were last cleaned (or they've never been).
Add an air purifier
Though eliminating the sources of dust in your home is the ideal approach, adding an air purifier will help your dust problem. A whole-home air purifier - we highly recommend Air Scrubber Plus® - works with your home's heating and cooling system to remove dust, allergens, and other particles and allergens from the air. Compared to small portable purifiers, a major benefit of a whole-home purifier is the fact that it purifies all of the air in your home at one time. Portable units only purify the air in the one room they're in. You would need a separate portable purifier in every room of your home to achieve a similar result.
Check the humidity level
It's crucial to ensure that your home has the appropriate level of humidity. If it's too high, it encourages dust mites to multiply. Too low, and dust spreads and accumulates more easily. Ideally, keep it between 40% to 50% percent in the warmer months, and below 40% in the winter to avoid condensation.
Keep a tidy home
In addition to the HVAC system-focused steps you can take to reduce dust, cleaning your house will definitely help:
• Eliminate clutter, as it provides more surfaces for dust to collect on.
• Vacuum at least weekly, and use one with a HEPA filter if possible. Also, empty your vacuum's bag or canister regularly, to prevent dust from recirculating into the air.
• Dust regularly with a microfiber or damp cloth to capture as much dust as possible, and always dust from top to bottom.
• Wash all of your bedding regularly - launder your sheets and pillowcases once a week, while blankets, duvets, and other linen at least once per month.
We know that dust is a nuisance as well as an allergen. If you notice higher-than-normal dust levels in your home, please call us to visit your home soon - we'll do our best to get to the bottom of the problem and make your home and family comfortable once again. That's how neighbors should treat neighbors!™
The Importance Of Annual AC Tune-Ups
Posted: April 25, 2019 by Andy
In Ohio, we rely on air conditioners to keep us comfortable during our hot, humid summers. A neglected AC unit can cause your energy bills to soar and is much more likely to fail when temperatures climb. An annual tune-up by our licensed, expert HVAC technicians will help you save money on cooling costs and avoid emergency repairs later.
Benefits of an AC tune-up
It helps prevent a breakdown. A pre-season checkup will detect problems like refrigerant leaks or a faulty motor before they become a problem, reducing the chance of a bigger problem down the road. One issue can often lead to another because it puts stress on your entire cooling system.
It saves you money. Aside from the savings you'll enjoy by avoiding emergency repairs later, you'll save up to 30% on your summer energy bills. When you consider the fact that more than half of your home's energy costs are for heating and cooling, improving your air conditioner's efficiency is a worthwhile investment.
It will extend your AC unit's lifespan. Just as regular oil changes help keep your car running smoothly for years, annual maintenance will help your air conditioner have a longer service lifespan. Keeping your unit free of dirt and dust and ensuring all parts are lubricated and working properly will help you avoid the expense of replacing your cooling system.
Your air conditioner tune-up will include:
• Checking the refrigerant level
• Replacing your system's air filter
• Testing the cooling system and capacitors
• Cleaning the evaporator and condenser coils
• Inspecting and testing all electrical connections and controls
• Cleaning and adjusting the blower
• Checking and cleaning the condensate drain
• Lubricating all motors and bearings
• Checking and calibrating the thermostat settings
• Measuring the voltage and amp draw of the blower motor, compressor and condenser fan
Spring is the best time for an AC checkup
The key is to make sure your cooling system is well-cleaned and in good repair before it gets hot outside. We advise our customers to schedule an air conditioner maintenance check during the spring or early summer at the latest. Depending on the weather, that could be anywhere from March through June. Our professional heating, ventilation, and air conditioning technicians inspect, test, clean and repair most central air conditioner brands. They're well-trained and experienced at detecting and correcting issues before they become big problems. To ensure your home - and your family! - stays cool and comfortable all summer long, schedule your spring tune-up, AC repair, or replacement today by calling us at 877-247-7661.
Improve Your Indoor Air Quality
Posted: April 11, 2019 by Andy
When you think about air pollution, what pops immediately to mind? A giant industrial smoke stack? Cars spewing toxic exhaust? Burning trash in an incinerator? Chances are you haven't considered that your own home is loaded with air pollution. According to the EPA, you could be exposed to 2-5x more airborne pollutants indoors than outside. To protect your family, here are four easy ways to improve the indoor air quality (IAQ) in your home.
1. Stop smoking indoors.
Cigarette smoking, as we're all aware, is a very unhealthy habit. It's also unhealthy for your house. Smoking inside causes a greater inhalation of secondhand smoke, but it also produces thirdhand smoke, where the hazardous molecules seep into your clothes, curtains, furniture, walls, and other items. Thirdhand smoke can lead to health issues, such as asthma, allergies, migraines, and more. In addition, the permanent damage from smoke can significantly lower your home's value on top of reducing its indoor air quality. Quitting smoking altogether is the best option, but if you don't want to quit smoking, at least do it outdoors.
2. Use fans and dehumidifiers.
Areas in your home that harbor moisture are bad for your indoor air quality. Why? Because mold and mildew thrive in these areas. If anyone in your family suffers from allergies or asthma, damp conditions can make the symptoms even worse. To limit moisture buildup, run the fans in your bathrooms and kitchen. The circulating air keeps the area drier and dissuades mold growth. If your basement often gets damp, we recommend purchasing a dehumidifier. If that doesn't help enough, consult a basement waterproofing company.
3. Tidy up the place!
Dust is a significant contributor to indoor air pollution. Be sure to sweep and mop regularly to keep dust to a minimum. Doormats do a great job of preventing excess debris from getting into your home. Always be sure to vacuum the doormat you keep inside as well. Also, vacuums with disposable bags or emptiable canisters are better for dust reduction than ones with reusable bags.
4. Replace your system's filter regularly.
Your heating and cooling system's air filter is an essential component, and you should replace it regularly, based on your manufacturer's recommendations. If you haven't been following our first recommendation, you should check your filter right now. Cigarette, pipe, and cigar smoke clogs a filter much faster than normal.
For more recommendations, give us a call! We're always happy to help. If your current system doesn't seem to be doing the job adequately, our experts will get it working as well as possible or replace it with a new, more efficient unit to ensure your family's comfort. That's how neighbors should treat neighbors!™
Reduce Allergens In Your Home
Posted: March 28, 2019 by Andy
Pet dander, dust mites, mold spores, and dust are some of the most common indoor allergens that trigger reactions, asthma attacks, and eczema flare-ups. Here are some easy ways to reduce allergens in your home.
Maintain a regular cleaning routine
If you or another member of your family suffers from allergies, regular cleaning is essential. Clean your floors and other hard surfaces with damp rags or mops. Avoid using a dry cloth or feather duster, as these only cause dust to float into the air. If you have carpet, vacuum at least once a week. A clean home is one of the quickest and easiest ways to reduce allergens.
Dust your vents
It's not uncommon for allergens and other debris to accumulate in your heating and cooling system's vents. Before long, this creates a favorable environment for mold to flourish. It's imperative to inspect and clean your vents periodically. When inspecting your vents, check if there's dust coating the air-return registers grilles. Also, take note of wisps of dust coming from the vents when your system's fan comes on - these are an indication that your air ducts are overdue for a thorough cleaning.
Clean or replace your air filter every few months
The warmer months of the year can be unbearable without an air conditioner. In order for your AC to function efficiently, you need to keep your air filter in mind.
Air filters trap dust, dirt, and other allergens that would otherwise circulate throughout your home. If you ignore your system's air filter, it'll eventually become clogged, making your air conditioning system work harder. In addition, allergens will be blown back into your home, aggravating allergies and possibly even triggering an asthma attack! To reduce the indoor airborne allergens in your home, we recommend checking your air filter every month then cleaning or replacing them as needed. Ideally, your air filter should be cleaned or replaced every 30 to 90 days.
Add an air purifier
If the above steps aren't quite getting the allergens in your home down to an acceptable level, you might consider adding an air purification component to your HVAC system. We recommend adding an Air Scrubber Plus® unit, which reduces up to 99.9% of surface micro-organisms and 90% of airborne micro-organisms. Even better, our licensed experts will install it properly for maximum effectiveness!
If your home's indoor environment is causing allergy and respiratory problems for your family, call us today and breathe easier!
Warmer Weather And Your Thermostat
Posted: March 14, 2019 by Andy
Spring is just around the corner! Are you ready for warmer weather? We definitely are! Spring isn't here just yet, though, but we're already thinking about sunny days, gardening, and other outdoor activities. What's your favorite part of Spring?
Before temperatures rise, you'll want to make sure your air conditioner is ready for the heat. Call us to schedule spring maintenance so your cooling system operates properly when you need it most. Our expert technicians will catch and correct minor issues before they become big problems!
Of course, your air conditioner is only one piece (though it's the biggest piece) of the cooling equation. It's also good to keep your thermostat in mind.
The Department of Energy suggests a thermostat setting of 72° during the summer for maximum efficiency and cost-effectiveness. You're likely to save more money on cooling at this temperature, but, you also want to make sure you make the seasonal transition at the right time. Drastic temperature swings can inflate your energy bills and decrease your system's performance.
During your maintenance appointment, ask us about your thermostat upgrade options. You can opt for anything from a traditional analog thermostat with a dial to a smart, WiFi-enabled model that'll learn your family's behavior patterns and tailor your interior environment for ideal comfort. Programmable thermostats fall between these two. You can set the temperature with a programmable model based on your schedule. It thinks for you, making airflow adjustments based on when you're home and when you're not. This way, you're using the ideal amount of energy to cool your home at all times.
Dramatic temperature swings aren't good for your comfort or your wallet, but small adjustments made by your thermostat on its own can make a significantly positive impact. A programmable thermostat might seem intimidating at first, but they're as easy to use as the ancient mercury unit that's been on your wall since your home was built! Modern thermostats are inexpensive, and they'll save you hundreds on your energy bills every year.
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