This winter, many of us will become ill with flu or cold-like symptoms, and though we may blame the season, the source of the problem may actually be the quality of your indoor air. The cold weather forces us to spend much more time indoors than we normally would if the weather were warm, and in doing so, many of us are exposing ourselves to some very contaminated air.
Now is the time to take back your indoor air quality and do something about the contaminants you and your family are breathing in every day. This info-graphic highlights some of the most startling facts about indoor air quality, and will be sure to motivate you and your family to make some changes now!
Via: FH Furr
Now that the summer heat is a distant memory we need to make sure we are ready for what winter has in store for our homes. Part of getting ready for winter includes winterizing your air conditioner. Every year in the spring we repair and replace many units because they were turned on during the winter months by accident. Sometimes kids playing with the thermostat are to blame and sometimes we push the wrong button. Other times the cause is excessive heat trapped indoors that causes us to use the air conditioner for some relief. No matter how it happens if your unit starts in the winter serious damage can occur.
Reduce Heat Gain
Running the air conditioner when it is less than 60 degrees outside can cause serious, irreversible damage to the system’s compressor. It must be 60 degrees for at least a few days before you can safely use the air conditioner without worry of blowing the compressor. If the home is gaining too much heat, turn down the temperature at the thermostat and consider closing drapes or blinds. The sun may be heating up the inside of your home and closing the blinds will help bring the temperature down. If the house is still too warm, shut down the furnace and crack of few windows on opposite sides of the home. Take advantage of the free cold air outside, but don’t waste energy by running the furnace at the same time. Continue reading
As hurricane Sandy blows herself out, cities and states along the East coast begin to assess the damage done to many areas that are not accustomed to hurricanes. New York and New Jersey were hit especially hard, and whenever there is a disaster like this, scam artists come crawling out of the woodwork from all over the country. They flock towards disaster because it usually means easy money. These states will be especially vulnerable because disasters of this magnitude rarely if ever impact this area. Before you throw your money away on a fly-by-night contractor, consider these tips in order to prevent another disaster on top of the hurricane damage.
Tips to Prevent Post-Disaster Scams:
- Slow Down and Take a Deep Breath! Many homeowners rush into repairs and find themselves in the middle of a scam simply because they tried to rush through the process. We know you want to get back to normal, but haste is something scam artists are counting on in order to make a quick buck. Continue reading
Some air conditioning systems are plagued by the same problem year after year. No matter how many times the homeowner replaces a part, they only get one or two years of function out of it. The air conditioner could be a lemon, but there may be another issue causing the same damage to the part every season. Get to the source of the problem and you could put the problem to bed for good. Although we may be entering the winter season, problems you are having during the summer may be caused by damage that is done during the winter. The condenser motor and condenser fan are costly parts to replace, but many homeowners are replacing them every other season without ever finding and correcting the source of damage.
Air Conditioner Fan Function
As the refrigerant or Freon inside your air conditioner pulls heat from the air, the condenser fan and motor work to cool the refrigerant down so that it can continue to absorb more heat. If the refrigerant is not cooled down, the air conditioner will overheat and cease to work properly. Continue reading
Posted in Cooling, HVAC Contractors, Informative, Maintenance
Tagged AC, air conditioner, air conditioner cover, air conditioning, condenser, damage, fan blades, fan motor, HVAC manufacturer, repair, snow, winter
As you turn on your furnace for the first time, you may notice a smell as the heat starts coming out. Most times that smell is the dust and lint that has built up over the summer months burning off in the unit. It sounds nasty and can be if this is a regular occurrence in your home every winter season. The best way to get rid of the dust in your unit is to have it cleaned at the beginning of the heating season.
Eliminate Odors and Prevent Problems
However, the smell could be caused by something else. Electrical malfunctions and debris from inside the duct could also cause a burning smell in the furnace. The only way to be sure is to have your yearly maintenance cleaning performed by a professional. Regular maintenance will not only help to eliminate potential odors from your unit but will also help to keep your unit running efficiently and safely.
We have officially entered the fall season. The weather is changing as well as the color on the trees and it’s my favorite time of year. However it is also a time of year were many people while enjoying the fall colors forget about preparing for the winter just ahead.
Have you done the pre-winter maintenance? Checked your humidifier for proper operation? Replaced the bulbs in your UV light? Changed your filter and had the furnace and hot water tank combustion compartments cleaned? What about covering your air conditioner with a proper fitting cover has that been taken care of too? Continue reading
Posted in Air Quality, Heating, Humidifiers, HVAC Contractors, Maintenance
Tagged energy bills, fall, furnace, Heating, home maintenance, Humidifier, Maintenance, winter
Finally, the nights are cooling down enough to allow us to open the windows and with the chill of fall comes fresh air into the home! But, before you know it the temperatures will be too cold to leave the windows open, so before you lock up the windows for the rest of the year, ask yourself, “How is the air quality in my home?” Dirt, dust, dander, and millions of other particles build up in our HVAC duct system all year long, and as long as the debris is stuck in the ducts, it will continue to circulate into the air you and your family breathes!
Dirty Duct Work
Dirty ducts could be the source of continued allergy and respiratory irritations and unexplained illnesses. Luckily, there is something you can do to get this mess out of your ducts, and the results could last up to the three years or more! Continue reading
The severe flooding that hit the coast of Louisiana caused millions of dollars worth of damage and put the lives of residents in danger. You may not live in Louisiana and you may never have that much water inside your home, but flood waters at any height do pose a safety risk. If a severe rainstorm causes flooding in your home, you need to know how to properly protect your family from harm. These are four tips that every homeowner should keep in mind when the flood waters begin to rise:
- Gas Leaks: Any appliance that uses gas for fuel and comes in contact with a flood can pose a risk to safety in the home. Once the water is gone, these units need to be cleaned and inspected before they are operated. If you ever smell gas in the home, quickly evacuate and call your local fire department. They can repair the leak safely and prevent a fire or explosion! Continue reading
Posted in Air Quality, Safety
Tagged bacteria, electricity, fire department, flood waters, flooding, gas leaks, health, Mold, Safety, water, water damage
With the severe storms that recently came through the Chicagoland area, it is once again worth mentioning that you need to check on your air conditioner occasionally to ensure debris-free operation. Heavy winds blow down tree branches among other things and sometimes they end up stuck in our air conditioners. Turning a unit “On” in this condition could cause damage to your unit.
Clear the Way for Proper Operation
To avoid any possible damage you to your unit you simply need to take a moment and check the unit before turning it on! If you do find debris lodged in the unit simply turn the unit off and remove anything that may obstruct proper operation. After the debris is removed, take a moment to pull the weeds or plants surrounding the system that may impede proper air flow. Once everything is cleared out of the way, test your air conditioner. Everything should be working properly, and these few moments of your time could have saved you hundreds in air conditioner repairs.
Posted in Cooling, Informative, Save Money
Tagged AC, air conditioner, air conditioner repair, air conditioning, air flow, Chicago, cooling system, debris, home cooling, prevention, save money, storms, tree branches, weather, weeds