Clean Air in the Home for Asthmatics

How to Find Pesky Air Leaks in Your Home

Posted by on January 24, 2017 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on How to Find Pesky Air Leaks in Your Home

Your AC unit may not be cooling your home like you think it should. You might think that it is time for an AC repair or replacement but the problem may have nothing to do with the unit itself, but instead is the result of leaks in your home. Fortunately, there are many ways you can find air leaks on your own and you can also perform an air blower test. Common Air Leak Locations In many cases, the air gaps are obvious after a quick visual inspection. The areas that are the most likely to have gaps are those areas where building materials meet. Look for outdoor faucets, locations where both the siding and the chimney meet, areas near the foundation where brick and siding meet and all corners. Of course, cracks can form on any materials that will require that the cracks be repaired in order to eliminate air leaks. On the inside of your home, inspect any areas where wires or dryer vents pass through. Look for ways to insulate areas where air would obviously pass through, such as fans and fireplace dampers.  Windows and doors are also common places where air leaks can occur. If you are able to rattle the door or window, air will likely be able to pass through. If this is the case, you may need to have the window or door repaired or replaced so that no air passes through. Performing a Pressure Test The best way to ensure that your home does not have any air leaks is to perform a building pressurization test. This will increase the amount of air that will infiltrate the windows and doors, which will make it easier to determine where the air leaks are coming from. You will need to turn off exhaust fans that release air outside and any large window fans. All windows and doors that lead to the outside must be shut. Make sure that all combustible appliances have been turned off. Choose a cool, windy day to perform this test. Then, use a lit incense stick to determine the locations where air is entering by checking if the smoke is moving and if the light flickers. While each of these tests is inexpensive, there are some cases when you are simply unable to determine where the leak is coming from without the help of a professional. Fortunately, resources like can...

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2 Excellent Reasons Why You Should Hire An HVAC Contractor

Posted by on January 5, 2017 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on 2 Excellent Reasons Why You Should Hire An HVAC Contractor

If there is a problem with your HVAC unit, calling an HVAC contractor to come and look at it for you is likely going to be one of your best options. They are there to help you and will do all that they can to get your system functioning properly for you once again. This article is going to discuss two excellent reasons why you should hire an HVAC contractor.  They Can Educate You On Your System  The first reason to hire an HVAC contractor when something goes wrong with your HVAC unit is because they can teach you a great deal about how your system runs. This information is going to be invaluable to you if something happens to go wrong with your system again, because you will be able to try some basic things to fix it before calling in an expert. This can save you money and help you get your HVAC unit up and running faster. It can also help you to identify a problem that you wouldn’t have otherwise been able to see, thus making it easier for you to call the HVAC contractor right away and have them repair your unit for you. They can even show you basic things like how to turn your system on and off, change the filter, etc.  Their Work Is Guaranteed When you try and fix your HVAC unit on your own, your work isn’t going to be guaranteed. On the other hand, if you hire a professional HVAC contractor to do the work for you, it is going to be guaranteed. This means that if they happen to break something on accident, if their repair doesn’t hold, or if another problem arises, they are going to be back to fix it for you and the warranty on your HVAC unit is likely going to cover the cost. On the other hand, if you try to repair your HVAC unit yourself, you will likely void any warranty that is on your system because you are not an experienced professional who is trained to work on an HVAC unit. If you end up doing more damage than good, you will have to pay more money to fix what you damaged. It would’ve cost you less to hire a professional HVAC contractor to come in and look at and repair your unit for you. If you have questions about your HVAC unit, talk to a company like Hartman Heating, Air and...

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3 Simple-To-Follow Tips To Help Ensure Optimal Running Of Your HVAC System

Posted by on December 13, 2016 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on 3 Simple-To-Follow Tips To Help Ensure Optimal Running Of Your HVAC System

If you are unfamiliar with ways to keep your HVAC system running smoothly and efficiently, it is important that you learn a few tricks to have up your sleeve. This is particularly true for when summer comes around. Here are three things that you can do that will ensure the optimal running of your HVAC system: 1. Clean or Replace Your HVAC Filters Throughout the year, it is a good idea to check your air conditioning filters on a monthly basis. This is particularly important during the summer when your HVAC unit will be used on a more frequent basis and when dust and pollen will be heavy in the air. When the filter gets too dirty, it will keep sufficient air from moving to and from the AC unit, which will result in your HVAC system working twice as hard to cool your home. Depending on the type of filter that you have, you can either clean it or replace it when it becomes too dirty. 2. Minimize Clutter Around the Exterior HVAC Unit When it comes to your HVAC system, you will have an interior component as well as an exterior component. The exterior component will be exposed to all sorts of things, such as various weather elements, falling debris, etc. Anything that gets near or on this exterior unit can impact its efficiency. Therefore, it is extremely important that you keep the immediate area around the outside unit free from any type of debris and clutter. You may want to consider some type of enclosed structure or fencing it in, which will not only protect it from debris but will also hide it from view. If you opt to do this, just make sure that there is still plenty of room around the unit for adequate air movement so that there is no risk of overheating. 3. Keep Heat Away from Your Thermostat To ensure that your thermostat does not provide any type of false reading, it is critical that you do not have it placed in direct sunlight or in any area where there are unnatural sources of heat, such as lamps, TVs, flood lights, etc., that may come into contact with it. Otherwise, the heat from these sources can cause the thermostat to assume that it is hotter than it really is and will result in the air conditioner working more and harder than necessary. If your thermostat is placed in an area where it may be receiving a false reading, you should consider having it placed in a more ideal location.  Contact a company like A Bailey Plumbing for more...

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How to Insulate Your Furnace Ducts

Posted by on October 14, 2016 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on How to Insulate Your Furnace Ducts

Did you know that the furnace is actually responsible for the airflow of both your heating and air-conditioning system? Some homeowners mistakenly think that the furnace is only involved in the actual heating of their home. As a result, they fail to attribute AC problems to the furnace. However, there are several simple furnace repairs that can dramatically increase the efficiency of your central AC. This article explains one very simple but effective way to increase airflow into your home. Insulating the Exposed Ducts There will be a small section of the ducting that leads from your furnace into the walls of your home. Since the furnace is usually in a garage or basement, there is a chance that the ducts can get nudged or knocked loose. Even if they are properly installed and tight, they could still be inefficient if your furnace is in a room that doesn’t have temperature control. For instance, during the cold winter, the exposed ducts can be affected by lower temperatures if your furnace is in your garage. So, you should invest in a roll of foam insulation. This is cheap and easy to apply. It is very itchy if it comes in contact with your skin, so wear long sleeves and gloves when working with it. Applying the Tape and Insulation It is always a good idea to reinforce the exposed ducts with a little bit of wool insulation and tape. First, you should use duct tape to seal each exposed seam before you add any insulation. After you wrap the ducts in the insulation, it will be hard to repair (or even identify) loose seams or air leaks, so it is smart to tape them beforehand. A couple of layers of tape can secure your ducts and reduce air leaks. The insulation can be easily cut with large scissors or a utility knife. You want to use duct tape to securely tape the insulation to the ducts. If there is room, you can even double-wrap them to further prevent heat loss. Also, you should tape the ends of the insulation together. Basically, you want to make the ducts as warm and cozy as possible. When you are done, you shouldn’t even be able to see any ducting, just the insulation. This is an obviously simple job, but it can have a dramatic effect on the functionality of your furnace and AC condenser and ultimately save you some money. Talk to a company such as Kenny Adams Heating & Cooling LLC for more...

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Suffering From Cold Spots And Cold Toes In Your House Each Winter? Consider Kickspace Heaters

Posted by on August 11, 2016 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Suffering From Cold Spots And Cold Toes In Your House Each Winter? Consider Kickspace Heaters

Do you have a couple spots in your house that you struggle to heat? If you’re constantly fighting cold spaces (and cold toes), you may want to consider adding some kickspace heaters (also called toe-kick heaters) to your home. These tiny heaters can make a big difference in the way your rooms heat. This is what you should know. What are they? Kickspace heaters are designed to be virtually invisible. They’re usually installed just above the floor, underneath cabinets and along the base of walls. If you look at the space between your bottom kitchen cabinets and the floor, that strip is an ideal spot for something like a kickspace heater. There are two different types available on the market—hydronic units draw in the cold air and heat it using the water from your boiler or water heater and electric units run the cool air over hot coils to heat it. Either way, they’re an effective supplement to your main heating unit when you have a spot that just doesn’t seem to warm up, no matter how high you have the temperature set. Where can you put them? The ideal spot for a kickspace heater, of course, is wherever you think you need one—but they make great replacements for their less-invisible (and more dangerous) cousin: the space heater. There are also some locations you probably wouldn’t ordinarily consider; although, they have the potential to make your home environment much more cozy this coming winter: underneath the bathroom vanity behind or beside the toilet beside the shower door in the laundry room near the folding table under stair risers, especially if the stairs face an outer door under the garage or basement workbench under a sewing table or crafting table in attics that have been converted to living space One of the advantages of kickspace heaters over both space heaters and baseboard heaters is that they preserve your available floor space, which makes them useful anywhere it would be inconvenient to have the others. They also have the advantage of being able to operate independently off your main heating system, which means that on mildly cool days you could use them instead of turning on the whole heater. How hard is installation? Electric kickspace heaters are cheaper and easier to install because they come in prepackaged kits and only require access to an outlet in order to work. They’re not quite as efficient as hydronic kickspace heaters, but hydroponics have to be hooked into your existing plumbing system, which means that they’re also more expensive to install. Either way, you may want to consult with your HVAC contractor before you start, especially if you aren’t sure about your basic carpentry...

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Air Conditioners: Common Air Supply Duct Obstructions

Posted by on July 19, 2016 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Air Conditioners: Common Air Supply Duct Obstructions

Air conditioning systems usually work by sucking air from a building, cooling the air, and then dumping the cooled air back into the building. This process is usually made possible by a system of ducts. Obstructions in any part of an air conditioner’s duct system are bound to cause restricted airflow, something that will then have a negative impact on the air conditioner’s performance. The following are common air supply obstructions that may be to blame for the drop in your air conditioner’s performance. A sucked-in air filter Air filters usually help to not protect air conditioning systems from the negative effects of dust accumulation, but also improve air quality in air conditioned spaces. Unfortunately, the force with which the air is being sucked into the system can sometimes be too much for an air filter to handle. It may also be that the fasteners of a filter get loose. This may then cause the filter to be sucked into the air duct system. And since the filter is likely to be sucked into the duct system at an angle, it will make it almost impossible for air to pass through. This will restrict the rate at which air flows through the system. To prevent this from happening, making sure that you tighten your air filter fasteners is important. Cleaning the filter will allow for smoother airflow through the filters and will thus create less resistance. Doing so will, therefore, help to reduce the risks of the filter getting sucked into the air duct system. The collapsed sections of flex ducts Sharp bends, an inadequate support structure, and restricted installation space usually increase the chances of flex duct blockage. When the material used to hold the flex duct in place is tied tight or forces the flex duct to hang on its own weight, it creates crimped sections that may not allow smooth flow of air through the system. This may then lead to restricted airflow problems such as coil icing that may then reduce the ability of your air conditioner to cool incoming air. This is a problem that can be avoided by providing the appropriate support structure to the flex ducts. Avoiding sharp bends during installation will also help. Stuck zone dampers Zone dampers are usually used to control the flow of air in a building with multiple spaces that need air conditioning. The dampers can be used to encourage cooled air to flow into a given space by restricting air flow to another. This is usually necessary especially in cases where a building has different lengths of ducts running into different rooms. When a zone damper gets stuck while closed, it can completely block airflow to a certain section of the building. The resulting obstruction will then starve the section of cool air, making it uncomfortable. Zone dampers that get stuck when in an open position can also restrict airflow to spaces that can only get air if the damper is closed. In such cases, changing the defective zone damper is usually enough to get the air duct system working as efficiently as it should.  For more information on air conditioning maintenance and repair, check out websites...

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AC On The Fritz? 2 Reasons Why You Shouldn’t Postpone Repairs

Posted by on June 1, 2016 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on AC On The Fritz? 2 Reasons Why You Shouldn’t Postpone Repairs

A broken air conditioner can really take a big chunk out of your budget. Unfortunately, leaving it in disrepair during the summer can end up costing you more problems in the long run. If you’re thinking about waiting to have repairs done until you can find room in the budget, you might want to rethink that decision. Here are three reasons why you shouldn’t wait to fix your air conditioner. Problems for Your Home You might be surprised to find out that a broken air conditioner does more than just make you uncomfortable. It can also wreak havoc on your home. Take a look at two problems your home could develop if you leave your air conditioner in disrepair. Roof Damage As the inside of your home gets hotter, the hot air rises towards the attic. Over time, the excessive heat inside the attic will begin to radiate out towards your roof. If you have asphalt shingles on your roof, that excess heat could spell disaster for your shingles. The heat will cause your shingles to curl around the edges, exposing the underside of the roof. To help reduce curling until you can get your air conditioner repaired, you can place a fan in the attic. This will allow the air to circulate and keep the temperatures down. Mold Growth If your air conditioner has developed a leak that’s causing it to malfunction, you should stop using it until you can get it repaired. The leak could cause excess moisture to build up in your home, which could lead to mold growth. Because mold needs moisture to grow, a leaky air conditioner provides the perfect environment for it to flourish. If you notice liquid draining from your air conditioner, or you see a build-up of condensation on your windows, you may have a leak in your air conditioner. Health Problems If your broken air conditioner has you feeling under the weather, you may be developing heat-related complications. Elevated temperatures inside your home can leave you susceptible to a variety of heat-related illnesses, including heat cramps and heat exhaustion. Heat Cramps If the temperatures inside your home goes too high, you could start feeling your muscles tensing up. You could also begin experiencing cramping. Those feelings are caused by your body trying to compensate for an increase in core temperature. Heat Exhaustion If you continue to overheat after developing heat cramps, you may develop heat exhaustion. Heat exhaustion occurs when the air is too hot for your body to sweat properly. As a result, your core body temperature continues to elevate to dangerous levels. Unfortunately, heat exhaustion can quickly turn into a medical emergency.  If you experience the following symptoms while inside your home, be sure to seek immediate medical attention. Some of the symptoms you should watch for include: Headaches Nausea Weakness Vomiting If your air conditioner stops working in the middle of summer, you need to get it repaired as quickly as possible. Delaying AC repairs could cause damage to your home or serious health problems for you and your...

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Temperature/Pressure Relief Valve Discharge Tube: Mistakes To Avoid

Posted by on February 9, 2016 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Temperature/Pressure Relief Valve Discharge Tube: Mistakes To Avoid

A Temperature/Pressure Relief (TPR) valve is a water heater safety feature that is designed to help reduce the risks of heater explosions. It does this by providing a pressure outlet in cases where things go wrong. In such cases, it is normal to have hot water, and steam, dripping out of the TPR valve. While the TPR valve plays an important role in helping to prevent boiler disasters, the fact that it usually leaks water can be a nuisance. These water drips can cause mold growth in a home. They can also damage wood floors and any other valuables that are not-so-friendly with water. And the fact that it usually emits hot water and steam means that scalding is one more thing that a homeowner needs to worry about. This is where a TPR valve discharge tube usually comes in handy. A TPR valve discharge tube is simple a tube that is attached to the TPR valve with the sole purpose of guiding the hot water, and steam, to a safe discharge location. By doing so, it reduces the risks of scalding accidents while also protecting property from water damage. However, these are benefits that one can enjoy only when the TPR valve discharge tube is functioning properly. Here are some of the mistakes that you should look out for. “Piped-up” TPR valve discharge tube For the TPR valve discharge tube to work properly, it has to be installed in such a way that it encourages the water to flow smoothly through it. When the tube is piped upwards, the water has to flow against gravity. This is usually hard especially in cases where the output of the TPR valve is small. A piped up discharge tube will therefore reduce the efficiency with which the TPR valve relieves boiler pressure, something that may increase the risks of a boiler explosion.  Blocked TPR valve discharge tube A working TPR valve discharge tube usually drips with water every time a TPR valve has to release boiler pressure. It is therefore tempting for a homeowner to mistake these drips for boiler leaks. He or she may then attempt to prevent the “leaks” by sealing off the end of the tube by using a valve, a cap or a plug. Doing so is a mistake that essentially eliminates the safety powers of the TPR valve, increasing the risks of a boiler explosion. However, not all blocking mistakes are intentional. One may end up blocking the pipe accidentally when he or she is installing water heater insulation – the insulation may clog the pipe. If you have questions about TPR valves, click here for more...

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3 Different Ways Heat Pumps Can Be Used For The Mechanical Systems In Your Home

Posted by on February 9, 2016 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on 3 Different Ways Heat Pumps Can Be Used For The Mechanical Systems In Your Home

When you hear the term heat pump, you probably think about your AC and the outdoor unit with the noisy fan. This is just one way heat pumps can be used for the mechanical systems in your home. Today, modern technology also allows for heat pumps to be used to efficiently heat water or to make a refrigerator more efficient. Here are some of the ways heat pumps can be used to make the mechanical systems in your home more efficient: 1. Using Heat Pumps To Make Modern AC More Efficient  Many modern heating systems use heat pumps to cool air. These systems have become more efficient and can even have more compact heat pumps to cool your home, which are also quitter than the older systems. These systems work by removing the heat from your home to help keep it cool. If you want to have a ductless AC system installed in your home, these systems use this type of technology to cool your home. 2. Modern Heat Pump Water Heater For Efficient Hot Water Solutions Today, the heat pumps available are also small enough to be used to heat the water in your home. A heat pump water heater can be much more efficient than conventional gas or electric water heater. These systems take the heat from the surrounding environment to provide hot water for your home. If you have the water heater installed in an area like a garage, it will also give you the benefit of keeping this area cool during the summer months. 3. AC And Heating With A Heat Pump In A Ductless HVAC System Ductless HVAC may be an improvement that you are considering for your home. This can be a good system to provide your home with cooling, but it can also be used for heating. There are now combination systems available, which work in reverse when you need heating for your home. If you are planning on adding ductless AC to your home, you may want to consider one of these systems that help provide heating through the use of a heat pump as well. These are some of the ways heat pumps can be used to make the mechanical systems in your home more efficient. If you want to have one of these systems added to your home, contact an HVAC contractor and talk with them about systems, such as a heat pump water heater to make your home more...

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3 Types Of Air Duct Problems That Affect Heating And Cooling Efficiency

Posted by on January 5, 2016 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on 3 Types Of Air Duct Problems That Affect Heating And Cooling Efficiency

The air ducts in your home control the air flow of your central heating and air conditioning system. If there’s a problem with the ducts, your system will not work efficiently. Such problems can also be costly as you turn up your system to compensate for the lack of air flow. Air duct problems can be caused by a number of reasons, including those listed below. Poorly maintained ducts: One reason why ducts fail is failure to do proper maintenance or failure to do it at the recommended intervals. Dust and other debris can accumulate and not only restrict air flow, but contribute to poor indoor air quality as dust, mold and pollen are circulated around the home. Having a professional clean and inspect your air and heating system regularly may also be a good way to check on other problems or damage within the system. Collapsed or obstructed air ducts: Broken or collapsed air ducts have a direct effect on how efficiently your system works. Soft or flexible ducts, such as those usually found in the attic, can easily collapse for a variety of reasons including depressurization, movement (such as an earthquake), excessive debris, roof damage or invasion by animals. Ducts can be obstructed by poor alignment or balance. Poorly designed or improperly installed air ducts may be prone to kinking or problems that physically restrict air flow. Leaking air ducts: Not only can leaks cause you to lose money simply by letting out your air-conditioned or heated air, but they can cause the system to become less efficient by affecting the pressure in the air duct system. Leaks can happen because of age, poor maintenance, weather issues or poor construction materials. Rusting connections may cause duct work to become loose and cause gaps and openings. Animals can also chew through soft air ducts. Flexible air ducts are easily damaged and torn. Ducts that are poorly insulated are also a common source of air leaks. Leaks can also happen at the registers inside your home. Most people will find that regular maintenance, such as cleaning, may solve many of the inefficiency issues with their heating and air conditioning system. Mechanical issues, such as broken or obstructed air ducts or leaks, may need more work. It’s important to fix problems while they are small rather than risk having to tear down walls to replace any of the ducts. Call a heating, ventilation and air conditioning technician, like those at Crystal Coast Heating & Air LLC, as soon as you think your system is working poorly to prevent more serious...

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