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Air Conditioning's Top 10 Benefits
Posted: May 13, 2021 by Andy
We all love our comfort, don't we? Well, did you know there's more benefits to air conditioning than just being comfy? AC can also keep us safe and provide a better quality of life for our families.
1. Decreased asthma attacks
Did you know that AC can reduce the likelihood of suffering an asthma attack? According to the Mayo Clinic, running your air conditioning not only lowers the humidity level in your home, but can also reduce pollen, mildew, mold, and other airborne allergens that can lead to asthma symptoms. An air conditioning system can also lower your exposure to non-airborne allergens, like dust mites.
Pro Tip: Prevent asthma triggers further by regularly changing the air filter in your HVAC system.
Other recommended home remedies include replacing your carpet with hard surfaces, frequently cleaning your bathrooms and other humid areas, as these locations are more likely to accumulate mold spores. Also, avoid contact with pet dander, and wear a mask while you dust.
2. Better home security
Typically, when the AC is running, we keep our windows and doors closed - and usually locked. This means enhanced security, as it is much more difficult for someone to break into your home with your doors and windows shut than with them open to cool your home with the outside air.
3. Cooler exercising
The Mayo Clinic asserts that regular exercise and maintaining a healthy weight are two effective ways to prevent asthma attacks. Air conditioning can improve your exercise routine by providing a comfortable place for indoor exercise. When your home is cooler, you're much more likely to hit the treadmill or lift those free weights after work instead of chilling out. After all, nobody wants to work out in a hot house.
4. Fewer bugs and parasites
Did you know that air conditioning can keep fleas away from your pets with air conditioning? AC filters are effective at keeping bugs at bay. This not only protects you - and Fido and Mittens - but it keeps your house more sanitary as well!
5. Sleep more soundly
It's a fact. We sleep better in a pleasantly cool room, and air conditioning is the perfect way to create that environment. Experts say that sleeping in a room between 60-68 degrees allows your body to release more melatonin, the natural compound that enables restful sleep.
6. Prevent devices from overheating
While we all know when our bodies are getting too hot, electronic devices can't always tell us when they're cooking. Heat can do damage to electronics, causing issues such as a shortened lifespan and loss of data.
7. Improved work performance
Ever had one of those days when time seems to drag because it's hot and stuffy? AC can fix that! Air conditioning has been shown to improve employee performance via enhanced comfort - keeping the staff's minds clear and ready to tackle their daily tasks.
8. Reduced risk of dehydration
This is obvious, but - lower temps mean less sweating. Many people don't realize that we're losing a large percentage of our bodies' water when we sweat. It's essential to stay hydrated when in extreme conditions, but this can easily be avoided by remaining indoors where there's air conditioning.
9. Reduced risk of heatstroke
Heatstroke has claimed the lives of countless people. Be careful when working outside during the upcoming hot summer days, and take frequent indoor, AC-cooled breaks. The CDC states, "air conditioning is the number one protective factor against heat-related illness and death." They're not wrong.
10. Lower noise levels
Benefit #2 above (better security) brings with it the ear-pleasing comfort of keeping the commotion of the outside world, well - outside. So, not only does air conditioning keep your home's indoor space cool and comfortable, but nice and peacefully quiet as well. (This helps benefit #5, too - you'll sleep better!)
Is your family looking to upgrade your existing air conditioning system? Or maybe you're looking to add one to your home? Our expert technicians are happy to handle either situation - contact us today!
Does My Water Heater Need Repaired Or Replaced?
Posted: April 29, 2021 by Andy
Conventional tank water heaters have a service life of 10-15 years, while modern tankless models can last 20 years or more before declining in performance. Over time, even the most well-maintained units will begin to lose efficiency and develop problems due to normal wear and tear. When you're having trouble with your water heater, it's worth exploring whether repair or replacement is the better option. While a service visit is often enough to restore your hot water supply, in some circumstances installing a new water heater makes better financial sense.
Do you have enough hot water?
The sole purpose of a water heating system is to create hot water for use in your home. Depending on your daily hot water usage, a water heater that once provided enough hot water may struggle to keep up with your current demands, especially if your needs have changed. Discussing with one of our friendly Comfort Consultants, you can quickly evaluate your water heater's capacity and the volume of hot water your family requires now and may need in the future. If your water heater isn't meeting your needs, upgrading to a new water heater is probably the best choice.
Are your water and energy bills expensive?
The cost of hot water is a determining factor when deciding whether to repair or replace. If you've noticed that the cost of heating your home's water has been steadily increasing, your water heater is losing efficiency with age, and that most likely can't be corrected by a service call. The best water heating solution for you is the one that provides the amount of hot water your family needs at the lowest cost. As time passes, a water heater loses efficiency through regular use. A new water heater offers you all the benefits of a new unit and the efficiency and reliability advancements that have occurred since your current water heater was installed.
Are repair costs piling up?
The money you're spending on water heater repairs can help you determine whether it's smarter financially to opt for a new installation over repairing your existing unit. Talk to our Comfort Consultants about the cost of the needed repairs to get your current water heater's working again versus the cost of a new system. If the repair cost is more than half the cost of a new water heater, your home will benefit more from new water heater installation, rather than making extensive repairs to an older unit that may break down again before long.
Also, some types of damage can't be repaired and require system replacement, regardless of the age of your current water heater. If your water heater's tank is leaking, the only solution is to schedule a new water heater installation to replace the unit entirely, as the tank can't be patched.
We can help!
Are you considering upgrading to a new water heater? One of our expert Comfort Consultants can help evaluate your current water heating system's suitability for your family's everyday needs and provide the best option for your home and your budget. Schedule a visit today, and we'll have your shower and bath toasty warm and relaxing in no time!
Protect Your AC Condenser From Bad Weather
Posted: April 15, 2021 by Andy
With periodic hail, flooding, tornadoes, and other inclement weather types, Ohio homeowners can find it challenging to keep their living spaces safe and comfortable. Most of us rely on our HVAC systems to keep us cozy indoors as spring's wind and rain bring inconsistent temperatures and keep us fiddling with the thermostat.
Your family might be safe inside, your air conditioning system's condenser unit outside may not be. Hail wreaks havoc on your roof, windows, and that SUV sitting in your driveway. Your AC condenser is also at risk of being damaged as well. How can you protect your outdoor AC unit in bad weather? Here are five tips to keep your AC working through the harshest of storms.
Cover your condenser
The two biggest enemies of condensers are hail and flying debris. If heavy winds or hail are in the forecast, place a thick cover on your outdoor unit. This provides protection during the storm and allows you to rest easy, knowing that your AC is shielded from impacts.
If hail is common where you live, you might consider adding hail guards over the most vulnerable areas of your unit.
If you do use a cover, don't forget to turn off your system until the storm has passed and wait until after you've removed the cover once again to turn your AC back on.
Don't use your AC during a storm
When a thunderstorm threatens, it's wise to turn your air conditioning system off until the storm passes. Power surges caused by nearby lightning strikes might cause damage to your HVAC system's electronic components. You might even consider unplugging your unit to add an extra measure of damage prevention. Taking this extra precaution will also prevent any excess electrical current from entering your home if your unit gets hit by a surge.
In the case of a power outage, leave your system unplugged until power is restored. The sudden initial surge has the potential to cause considerable damage.
Elevate your AC
Along with spring's thunderstorms comes the danger of flooding. Placing your AC condenser in an elevated area reduces the likelihood of water damage. Consult your area's floodplain maps to learn where floodwaters are likely to rise around your home.
Have one of our HVAC experts out for a visit to discuss raising your AC unit above the flood line if you feel this might be an issue for your property.
Keep your property clean
Debris and branches can be blown into your AC unit and cause considerable damage. Ensure that any nearby trees and bushes are neatly trimmed, and that dead branches are removed to prevent costly repairs.
Lawn furniture can also pose a problem to both your AC and your house itself. Consider storing all objects inside that could be blown around or secure them to the ground before a storm arrives to avoid any problems.
Inspect your AC before turning it back on
Once a storm passes, you'll be tempted to use your AC right away. Don't do this. Instead, head outside to look over your unit and ensure that it's sustained no damage.
While you're at it, look around for any debris that has fallen nearby. Branches, leaves, and other potentially problematic items could have been blown onto - or into - your system and should be cleared away before using your air conditioning again.
Power lines could also be down near your unit. If you see a downed line, you should notify the electric company immediately. Absolutely do not approach the area until the line has been removed by a professional.
We can protect your investment
Was your AC unit damaged during a recent storm? Are you considering upgrading to a new AC unit? Hey Neighbor Heating & Cooling has been helping homeowners with their HVAC systems for decades. Our expert, trained technicians can help with your air conditioner problem, conduct manufacturer-recommended maintenance and even install a new air conditioning system. Whatever the weather, Hey Neighbor can keep your family safe, comfortable and help protect your HVAC investment. That's how neighbors should treat neighbors!™
Air Purifiers 101
Posted: April 1, 2021 by Andy
We're about to be in pollen season here in Northeast Ohio, and you're probably starting to look for ways to make your indoor air healthier. Opening your windows periodically to ventilate your home helps, but adding an air purifier helps even more.
An air purifier uses an internal fan to pull the air in your home through filters to remove allergens such as pollen, dust, and bacteria from your home's air. This process is repeated throughout the day, keeping the air that you and your family breathe clean and healthy.
Does my family need an air purifier?
The EPA estimates that, on average, a home's indoor air is two to five times dirtier than outdoor air - and sometimes it's up to 100 times more filthy! A quality air purifier keeps your family healthy. There are some compelling reasons to consider adding one.
Air purifier benefits include:
• Air purifiers don't just clean your home's indoor air; they also help eliminate unpleasant odors.
• We all love our furry family members, but your pets release dander, fur, and other airborne allergens into the air of your home. Air purifiers combat these allergens before they have a chance to settle into your home's porous surfaces, where they're more difficult to get rid of.
• Smoke stinks. There's no denying it. If a family member smokes in your home, or you use your fireplace when it's chilly outside, an air purifier will filter out smoke before it ends up lodged in your furniture.
• As every homeowner knows, there's always dust in your home. It's a fact. An air purifier helps trap dust before it has time to settle, which reduces build-up and enables you to spend less time cleaning your home.
• Air purifiers remove up to 99% of airborne bacteria in your home, such as mold, pollen, viruses, and bacteria.
• HEPA air purifiers with ultraviolet (UV) bulbs neutralize up to 99.97% of airborne germs and allergens to help your family stay healthy year-round.
• Air purifiers come in various sizes and with different features that will keep the air healthy in every room of your house.
What type of air purifier should I get?
To create an allergen-free space for your family, these four types of air purifiers are the most recommended:
True HEPA + UV-C - These are the best air purifiers that money can buy. While naturally more expensive than the other types, they are worth it for those who live in high allergen areas, have lung issues, and are more susceptible to pollen allergies. HEPA + UV-C air purifiers combine HEPA filters with germicidal UV light to trap 99.97% of airborne allergens and 99% of airborne germs and bacteria.
True HEPA - True HEPA air purifiers offer the minimum level of protection you should look for, especially if you or a family member struggles with chronic allergies. They rid your home of mold, pollen, and dust mites to keep allergies at bay and keep your home smelling fresh and clean. True HEPA and HEPA + UV-C purifier filters should be replaced at least once every three months.
HEPA-type - These less-expensive air purifiers are the less-effective cousin to True HEPA purifiers. If pollen or dust mites don't seem to be a problem in your home, this type may be a good option. They still trap 99% of small airborne particles such as smoke, dust, and pet dander, but they don't eliminate smaller allergy-causing particles like dust mites or pollen.
Permanent HEPA-type - These air purifiers work like HEPA-type air purifiers, but their filters don't need to be replaced. Their reusable filters do require occasional cleaning, though, so make sure you set a calendar reminder.
Other types - When it comes to air purifiers and filters, there's plenty of options to choose from. Some can even be integrated into the choices that we've discussed above. Here are some other air purification options to be aware of.
• Activated carbon filters use tiny absorbent pores to capture air pollutants as they pass through. The pores chemically react to airborne particles, so they're great at removing odors, chemicals, and smoke, but they don't remove dust or allergens. If you have persistent odors in your home, look for HEPA filters with activated carbon to help freshen up the place.
• UV purifiers remove viruses and bacteria from your home's air with germ-killing ultraviolet light. These usually aren't used alone, and they work best when combined with HEPA air purifiers.
• Ionic air purifiers don't actually purify the air in your home. Instead, they project negative ions into the air that attach to airborne particles, making them too heavy to remain airborne. These negatively charged particles then settle on the surfaces in your home. So, while these particles are removed from the air, they still need to be cleaned from the surfaces of your home to effectively reduce allergens and their effects.
Remember, the air in your home is usually considerably more polluted than the air outside. Indoor air purifiers remove pollutants and allergens from the air in your home, making it healthier for everyone in your family.
Purify your air with Hey Neighbor Heating & Cooling!
Are you ready to purify the air and prevent allergens and pollutants from being circulated throughout the home? Call on our pros! We'll recommend HEPA air purification systems and install them in your home.
3 Factors That Affect AC Efficiency
Posted: March 18, 2021 by Andy
High-efficiency cooling wastes less energy, which translates directly into monthly utility bill savings for you. There are many ways to improve your air conditioner's efficiency, from small changes in how you cool your home to purchasing a new, high-efficiency unit when it's time to replace your old, inefficient one. Hey Neighbor Heating & Cooling has the answers you need to start living a more comfortable and high-efficiency lifestyle.
SEER is an acronym for Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio. It's an air conditioner's efficiency rating, measuring how well a unit converts input energy into cooling performance. At present, the current minimum SEER rating at which an AC unit can be manufactured is 13. Of course, units are produced with SEER ratings much higher than 13 and offer increased efficiency for every increment in rating. Units manufactured before 2006 may have lower SEER values, as current efficiency regulations weren't in effect before that time. If your AC unit is over 15 years old, you could be paying over 30% more than you'll pay to operate a newer model. When considering a new AC system for your home, it's wise to select a unit with the highest SEER rating you can comfortably afford. Spending a little more up-front will help you enjoy energy savings throughout your system's lifetime.
The temperature target
The temperature target set on your thermostat has a significant effect on your air conditioning's efficiency. Trying to maintain a wide temperature differential between your home and the outdoor environment is hard on your air conditioner. Your AC system must consume more energy for every degree of difference created between the inside and outside temperatures. Keeping your home at 75-78° usually achieves a good balance between efficiency and comfort. Avoid setting your thermostat lower than 75 for long periods, and never set the temperature very low to try and cool your home more quickly. Setting the temperature target too low will overwork your air conditioner, causing it to lose efficiency and increasing the cost to cool your home. Setting the temperature lower while you're home and raising it a few degrees when you're away allows your air conditioner to work less for an efficiency boost without causing it to work too hard when you return home.
Airflow and ductwork
The ductwork in your home distributes the air cooled by your AC unit throughout your home. So, if your ducts are dirty, clogged, or leaking, your conditioned air can't be distributed effectively, and efficiency is lost. Just like the other factors we mentioned above, airflow limitations will cost you money. Nobody wants that.
We recommend scheduling regular air conditioning maintenance because it helps keep your AC system running as efficiently as it can. Along with that, you should have your ductwork inspected regularly. Patching holes and cleaning out dust and debris will ensure your ductwork performs its job properly, enabling you to get the most from your system and raising its overall cooling efficiency for improved temperature control and air circulation.
Are you looking for more ways to conserve energy and enjoy better performance from your heating and cooling system? We invite you to contact us online to schedule an in-home visit for air conditioning evaluation, maintenance, or repair. You can also learn much more about improving your home's HVAC performance and energy efficiency on our online blog - along with many other relevant topics and tips!
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