Allergies? During The Winter? Common Causes and How to Deal With Them

hvac systemBelieve it or not, you can still have allergies during the winter. While it might sound crazy, the truth is that most of the allergens that cause them are a result of your own home. If you want to eliminate some of these allergens from your home this winter, follow this short guide.

Allergen: Dust Mites
That’s right! Those little critters can actually contribute to your at-home winter allergies. They thrive on dry, dusty air that your HVAC system produces during the winter.

Solution: Wash Those Sheets
To prevent dust mites from irritating you in your sleep, wash your sheets in hot water at least once every week. This kills dust mites and can help prevent them from returning in such large numbers. In addition, you should be using hypo-allergenic sheets and pillowcases.

Allergen: Pet Dander
Everyone’s skin gets dry and itchy during the winter, including your pets! Pet dander is a huge issue for a lot of people, especially during the winter when skin is dry and flakes off more frequently.

Solution: Bathe and Brush
You should be brushing your shedding friends at least once every day, no matter the season. In addition, make sure they’re getting bathed properly and regularly. However, keep in mind that over-bathing can make dry skin even worse.

Allergen: Dry, Dusty Air
This is the number one culprit of winter allergies, and believe it or not, it comes straight from your heating systems. Turning up the heat can make air hot, dry, and full of dust.

Solution: Manage Your HVAC System Efficiently
First thing’s first: if your home is excessively dry, have your HVAC system inspected. Improper equipment installation can reduce efficiency by up to 30%, and can make your furnace do strange things. Home heating repair is an absolute must if you’re noticing issues with the air quality in your home. Your heating and air conditioning company should be able to handle any necessary repairs.

Winter allergens are no fun, but once you know how to successfully manage them within your home, you should have a mostly sniffle-free winter!

A Few Clever Ways to Reduce Your Heating Bills This Winter

air conditioning repair servicesWinter is here, which means your highest heating bills of the year are on their way, too. While it can be nice to have a toasty house, it’s not always nice to see the heating bill afterwards.

Fortunately, there are ways to keep your house warm this winter without breaking the bank. Here are a few helpful tricks to keep the heating bills down this winter.

Use the Sun
The single biggest source of heat in the world is the sun. Why not use it to your advantage? If you keep your curtains open during the day, your house will naturally warm right up with the sun’s rays. Just don’t forget to close them again at night to keep that heat inside where it belongs.

Bundle Up
If you’re not wearing a sweater and socks, you need to put them on before you crank the heat. One of the easiest ways to save on that HVAC bill is to bundle up with scarves, hats, and sweaters!

Cover Windows With Plastic Film
If you can, buy plastic sheets to put over your windows. Most hardware stores sell special plastic film that can be applied with a common blow dryer. Not only will it keep more heat in your house, but set up and tear down are super simple. This is especially important if you live in an older home with terrible insulation.

Rearrange the Furniture
If your heating vents are covered up, they’re not going to heat your home very well. Sometimes, furniture can block those vents, so before you blast the heat, make sure that all of your vents are uncovered. Besides, it’s fun to rearrange the living room every once in a while.

Have Your HVAC System Inspected
If you called for air conditioning repair services over the summer, those same people can complete a pre-winter home heating system inspection. The biggest reason people overspend on their HVAC systems and heating bills is because they’re not working properly in the first place. Before you turn the heat up and overspend, give your heating and air conditioning repair services a call and see if they can take a look at your HVAC system before the cold weather settles in.

Approximately 25% of your home’s heat escapes through small cracks and holes, but if you take these steps, you’re sure to save some cash this winter.

Winter is Coming: Important Signs That You Need to Call for Home Heating Repair

home heating repairEven though the summer weather has been slow to fade this year, there’s no denying that winter is coming. In fact, it’s getting to that point in autumn where your heater might even be warming up already.

If you’re one of the people out there who has already turned the heat on, there are a few things you should be wary of. Here are a few telltale signs that you should be calling for home heating repair before autumn ends and you’re left in the cold.

Your Electric Bill is Unusually High

Whether you use a gas or electric system to heat your home, it’s important to pay attention to your utilities. If, in the first month that your heater is on, you notice a steep increase in your bills, it could mean your heater is in need of a few repairs. Using more and more energy to make your home a comfortable temperature is usually a sign that your heater isn’t running efficiently or has reached the end of its shelf life.

Uneven Heating and Cold Spots

While some believe cold spots are a sign of paranormal activity, they’re more likely a sign that your heater isn’t working properly. If your heating system seems to heat some rooms well while leaving other rooms cold and drafty, you should probably call your HVAC company to take a look. If it’s not a problem with your heating system, then they may be able to show you where that warm air is leaking out of the house.

You Can’t Stop Cranking the Heat

Some people might like a nice, toasty house, but if you have to crank your heat well past the desired temperature to keep your home even remotely warm, you’re wasting money and resources. Remember: if you set the thermostat to 72 degrees, your heater will work overtime until the house reaches that temperature. If open windows or other issues are keeping the temperature lower than 72, then your HVAC unit will work itself to death.

Your HVAC system should be inspected twice annually to help prevent this common issue.

Bad Air Quality

If you notice the air in your house is hazy or dusty, no matter now much you clean, you shouldn’t hesitate to schedule a check up for your HVAC system. Debris and dirt in the air are sure signs that something is wrong, and they could be seriously damaging the air quality in your home. Of course, it’s normal to notice a slight odor the first time you activate your heater during the fall. If the smell persists or grows stronger, that should throw up a major red flag.

Home heating repair is something you should take advantage of, especially in the beginning of the cooler seasons. If you notice any of these issues in your home, you should call your local HVAC services immediately.

3 Reasons Why You Should Get Your HVAC System Inspected in the Fall

hvac systemAfter one of the hottest summers of all time, it’s nice that we’re finally enjoying some fall weather. Football is on, baseball playoffs are heating up, we can wear jeans again, and a warm cup of coffee is so much better during the fall. This time of year, however, goes by seemingly in the blink of an eye, and we’ll soon be in the middle of winter, reminiscing those hot summer days.

It’s important that homeowners maintain their HVAC systems in the fall before those chilling winter months make their way to us. You should have regular contact with a professional heating and air conditioning company throughout the year, but fall is one of the most important times to do so.

Your AC unit made it through the summer, but now you have to make sure your heating HVAC system is working properly. If you’re just moving into a new home, contact installation experts who offer HVAC services so you can have a working system for the winter. If you’ve already been living there, though, you should know that fall is a great time to have your HVAC systems inspected.

HVAC systems account for about half of the energy use in the average U.S. home, which is the largest energy expense. There are a few reasons why fall is the perfect time to get your heating systems inspected:

Less Wait Time
No time is busier for HVAC companies than during a snowstorm, and it can be a pain scheduling service time because so many other homeowners are doing so. Take advantage of the downtime during the fall and get all your systems inspected before you’ll actually need them. When other homeowners are frantically calling HVAC companies in the middle of winter, you’ll be warm inside your home with your newly repaired heating system.

Prevent Future Emergencies
Having your heating systems regularly inspected can help prevent future breakdowns and failures. The worst thing you could go through is a busted heating system during a frigid winter night, so making sure these systems are properly working will give you that peace of mind you need.

Prevent Other Serious Issues
Just being cold isn’t the only thing that could happen from heating system malfunctions. Some heating issues could be extremely bad for both the health of your home and your entire family. Get the necessary repairs and inspections done to avoid these problems.

Contact Pioneer Heating and Air Conditioning today for assistance.

5 Common Furnace Problems

One of the most important parts of maintaining a home is making sure the heating system works and is in generally good condition. Half (50%) of all home heating fires occurred in December, January, and February, and many of them can be attributed to lack of maintenance and upkeep, especially during the time of year that they are the most heavily used. A heating repair service can always help you, but it’s good to know what some common furnace problems are before you call:

1. Lack of Maintenance: If you let furnace maintenance and inspection fall to the wayside, small problems could get very serious in a very short time. These routine inspections are preventative in the same way as are your trips to the doctor for check ups. Twice-a-year inspections also reduce the likelihood of soot build up in the burners, which usually are the result of poorly adjusted gas valves, so make sure to invest the time and energy in this every year.
2. Dirty Filters: Dirty filters, clogged with dust and debris, can seriously reduce airflow and make a furnace work much harder to circulate hot air. Damaged and dirty filters have been known to damage the limit switch, which controls the fan.
3. Electrical ignition or pilot control issues: Thermocouple problems — drafts or clogs in the appliance — could result in an unlit pilot light, which in turn can make it difficult to heat up any given space.
4. Thermostat issues: A faulty thermostat can not only result in bad comfort levels, but can end up costing you a lot of money in energy bills. Thermostats are key in helping control your heating costs. For every two degrees you lower your thermostat, you can save approximately five percent on your heating costs. While you sleep, thermostats should be turned down or turned completely off (health permitting), so a faulty one could interfere with this type of energy planning.
5. Continuously running blower: If your blower is continuously running, there may be an issue with the limit switch.

From heat and air repair to HVAC system maintenance, it is important to have a solid relationship with a reliable AC repair and furnace repair company. Your heating repair service will be your home’s best friend for many years to come!