How to Keep Your Home Free of Allergens: a Guide

hvacSpring is here and that only means one thing — sniffly noses and frustrating spring allergies. Unfortunately, there are many different common allergens that are lurking in your home that can only exacerbate this problem. Here are some tips on how to keep your home free of those sneeze-causing culprits!

Dust with a damp cloth
Never dry dust as this just will kick up the dust particles into the air and cause them to resettle in different areas. Instead, dust only with a damp cloth that was treated with a special cleaning agent that attracts dust rather than pushing it around.

Wash bedding and linens in hot water
Not only does this include your comforter, towels, and sheets, but your throw carpets and curtains all need to be washed in hot water to thoroughly eliminate their dust and allergens. Don’t forget to tumble dry afterward!

Pay attention to your air flow
Your HVAC system and air conditioning unit push air through the home, so if they are dirty your air quality will suffer and your allergies will get worse. If you are noticing that your home is dusty, exceptionally dry, and smelly, check out the cleanliness of your HVAC unit. It may require a deep clean or for installation experts to come in and fix broken components that are hindering air quality.

Clean the air ducts
As a rule of thumb, homeowners should have their air ducts cleaned every three to five years. This will both remove lingering dust while promoting maximum cooling and heating efficiency.

Invest in an air humidifier
Most of the time a person’s allergies are exacerbated because the air around them is dry and stale. A small humidifier is all you need to make each room more comfortable, and your hair, skin, and eyes will thank you!

Clean and flip your mattress
When was the last time you gave your mattress a good deep clean? If you can’t remember, then it has been too long. Vacuum, air out, and then seal your bed with inexpensive dust mite covers to keep the allergens at bay. Just make sure to wash this cover once a week!

With these tips in mind, your home will be allergen-proof for the upcoming summer!

Home Health Hazards Associated with Neglecting HVAC Maintenance

residential heat and air unitsHaving your residential heat and air units inspected in the spring and fall might not seem like the most important thing in the world, but there’s a reason licensed AC technicians recommend HVAC inspections twice a year. Whether you realize it or not, your HVAC systems might not be functioning the way they’re supposed to, which can lead to health hazards in your home.

Here are a few of the health issues you might run into if you’re not attentive to your residential heat and air units‘ maintenance.

Poor Air Quality Indoors
Part of annual HVAC maintenance requires changing your air filters every month or so. And your indoor air quality relies on your AC unit’s ability to filter out harmful substances from the air passing through it. If the filters are dirty and clogged, you’re going to notice bad smells, poor air flow, and even more dust and dirt in your home. It’s especially bad if you suffer from allergies, as a dirty air filter could make them worse.

Mold Growth
It’s no secret that mold is not something you want in your home. Even to those who don’t have respiratory issues, mold can be a harmful substance. When you don’t have a reliable air conditioning company coming to inspect your HVAC unit at least twice a year, you increase the potential for unchecked leaks and increased contaminant levels. If you notice any mold in or around your AC unit, make sure to call your air conditioning company immediately for an inspection. Mold issues should be dealt with as soon as possible after they’re spotted.

Potential for Ventilation Fires
In extreme cases of clogged filters and ducts, you could have a serious fire on your hands. A dirty air filter is already a fire hazard, but if it becomes so clogged that it gets sucked into the system, it’s essentially just a ticking time bomb. You might not need an AC technician to change your air filter, but you do need to make sure it’s checked regularly.

Twice-yearly inspections can reduce soot buildup, help increase airflow, and prevent all of these hazards from ever happening in the first place.

Is Your AC Unit Ready for Summer? Here’s How to Prepare

is your AC unit ready for summerIs your AC unit ready for summer? It might barely be spring, but that doesn’t change the fact that summer is coming just around the corner. And above all else, it’s important to make sure you’re prepared.

Approximately two-thirds of all homes in the U.S. own AC units, but not all of them take the time to prep for seasonal changes. If you want to make the most of your HVAC system and save more money this coming summer, here’s what you need to do.

Have an Inspection Performed
Twice-yearly inspections come with a myriad of benefits, the biggest of which is ensuring that your HVAC systems are up and running as efficiently as they should be. A licensed AC technician should be entrusted with your inspection. It’s possible to run a simple inspection yourself, but if you really want to know how your AC unit is faring it’s important that you leave the inspections to the professionals.

Change the Filters
Unlike with inspections, you don’t have to be a professional air conditioner contractor to change out your dirty or clogged AC filters. This is a simple task that should actually be performed almost once a month while your AC is in use. This task ensures that your home has the best air quality throughout the seasons and it’s an essential piece of maintenance to perform before summer comes.

Clear Debris from Your Outdoor Unit
Outdoor units are extremely efficient, but even the most efficient outdoor AC unit can get clogged up with debris. In order to ensure maximum efficiency and functionality, it’s important that you take the time to clear out any leaves, twigs, or other forms of debris from around your outdoor unit.

Clean the Condenser Coils
Like the outdoor unit itself, a clogged condenser coil is going to cause some issues. Leaves, twigs, and other things can get lodged in there if you’re not careful to cover the unit when it’s not in use. That’s why it’s important to clean this part of your AC out before you start using it. Otherwise, you might have a few issues with functional air conditioning.

So is your AC unit ready for summer? If you haven’t performed these maintenance tasks, the answer is probably no.

Why Are Proper AC Installation Techniques so Important?

installation techniquesNo matter the season, it’s important to make sure you’re receiving quality HVAC services. But spring is here, which means if you’re getting a new AC unit you need to pay extra mind to the installation techniques your HVAC company is using.

It might not seem important to ask about and monitor your HVAC installation techniques, but improper equipment installation can actually decrease heating and cooling efficiency by up to 30%. Here are some other reasons why you need to pay attention to proper AC installation techniques.

What does proper installation mean?
Unfortunately, proper installation isn’t necessarily something that you can spot right off the bat. An AC unit that’s not installed properly might seem to work just as well as any other unit, but you might be in for a nasty surprise when your next energy bill comes. Proper installation means taking the time to ensure that every component of an AC unit is secure and functioning before leaving the premises. In addition, in-depth inspections of the AC unit’s location should be performed before it’s placed there. This can go a long way in preventing future issues with your HVAC systems.

How does proper installation benefit me?
Well, that’s simple. Proper installation ensures that your AC will have a long, productive, and efficient life cooling your home. Replacing your AC unit is definitely a smart idea, but unless you’re working with professional air conditioner contractors, you might run into some unforeseen issues in the future.

How to make sure your AC is installed properly:
Ask questions. Be thorough in your inspection of your own property and in your search for professional air conditioner contractors. Knowing when to ask a question is extremely useful, and if your HVAC company is willing to answer and explain the steps to you, then you’re in good hands. Don’t be afraid to voice your concerns. After all, we’re here to ease them and ensure excellent service.

Whether you’re looking for a completely new AC or you’re simply in need of repairs, make sure a thorough inspection is performed before and after installation is complete. You’ll definitely be glad you learned why AC installation techniques are so important.

Important Questions you Should be Asking Your HVAC Contractor

how to winterize an air conditionerWhether you’re getting a brand new AC unit put in or you’re simply getting a tune-up on your HVAC system, there are certain things that you should absolutely know about your home’s heating and cooling systems.

That being said, it helps to know the right questions to ask. If you’re not asking the right questions, you’re not going to have all the information you might need. Here are all of the important questions you need to be asking your HVAC contractor.

What size system do I need?
It’s inevitable that at some point in your life you’ll need a new air conditioning unit, but one size absolutely doesn’t fit all. Depending on the size of your home and your heating/cooling needs, you’re going to end up with a size that’s just right for your home. But you won’t know how to determine that size without asking first.

How do I prepare my HVAC system for the seasons?
How to winterize an air conditioner is a particularly important piece of information to know. When it gets chilly, you might not be using your AC as much as you’re using your heater, so it’s important to know how to winterize an air conditioner so it still works in the warmer months!

When should I have maintenance performed?
This one is extremely important. Efficient HVAC systems should be inspected twice a year: once in the spring and once in the fall. But if you notice any issues with air flow or temperature consistency in your home, it’s definitely a good time to call for HVAC repairs.

How efficient would a new system be?
Energy efficiency should always be on the top of your priority list. Not only will you be running a more sustainable household, you’ll be saving a few hard-earned dollars with a high-efficiency AC unit.

No matter what kind of AC unit you decide to install, it’s incredibly important to make sure you have all the necessary information to properly care for it. Don’t hesitate to ask these questions to your HVAC compan