How Does Dry Indoor Air Affect You?

Posted by on Feb 9, 2016 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on How Does Dry Indoor Air Affect You?

As the temperature drops going into winter, so does the level of humidity in the air. Dry indoor air in the winter is more than an annoyance. It can cause health problems, and it can also be taxing on your HVAC system. Here’s a closer look at how dry indoor air impacts you and your furnace, and what you can do about it. How does dry indoor air affect you? Indoor air that is too dry can lead to irritated eyes, nasal passages, and sinuses. If you have allergies, the dry air can make your symptoms worse, not only because it makes your nasal passages sore, but also because it allows more dust mites, pet hair and mold spores to become airborne. Your skin is also likely to feel dry; you may need to use a lot of lotion and moisturizers. How does dry indoor air affect your furnace? When the air is dry, your home does not feel as warm. For instance, 71 degrees will feel nice and toasty in a home with moist air, but chilly in a home with dry air. If your air is dry, you’re going to be tempted to push your thermostat temperature up, causing your furnace to work harder and suffer more wear and tear. Plus, all of the dust that floats around in dry air will build up on your furnace filter quite quickly. If you don’t keep up with changing the filter regularly (and many homeowners don’t), this can lead to dust buildup on the heat exchanger, which decreases furnace efficiency. Your furnace also has to work harder to push air through a dirty filter – which again increases wear and tear. How do you know if your air is too dry? If your nose, mouth, skin and eyes feel dry, your air is probably too dry. However, if you want to be sure, you can purchase a tool called a hydrometer at your local home improvement store. This tool measures the moisture levels in your air. The ideal level is around 45 percent. If your humidity levels are much below this, your air is too dry. If the level is below 30, your air is really dry, and you’ll want to act quickly to add moisture. What can you do about dry air in the winter? The easiest solution is to invest in a whole-home humidifier, which integrates with your heating system and adds moisture to the air as it is blown through your ducts. However, whole-home systems can be expensive. Setting up a portable humidifier in the rooms you spend the most time in is a cheaper alternative that can make certain rooms feel more comfortable. However, since these units are not designed to humidify an entire home, your furnace may still be exposed to some degree of excess dust and dirt associated with dry air. For HVAC services, contact a company such as Chappel’s Heating &...

read more

Three Fun Ideas To Keep You Warm While You’re Waiting For A Furnace Repair

Posted by on Dec 8, 2015 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Three Fun Ideas To Keep You Warm While You’re Waiting For A Furnace Repair

A furnace that breaks down should warrant an immediate call to a contractor (such as one from Absolute Comfort Heating & Air Conditioning) who can visit your home and get the system up and running quickly. A house without a functional furnace can lead to issues such as frozen pipes, which can create a considerable repair bill. If you have a short wait ahead of you before the contractor can get the necessary parts to repair your furnace, there’s no sense in being miserable and shivering in the cold. Instead, you can often boost your body’s temperature — and even have a little fun — with these three ideas.   Focus On Fitness Changing into some comfortable workout attire and getting ready to break a sweat with exercise will have you feeling warm in no time — and your body will benefit from this practice, too. The activities you can perform to raise your body temperature are virtually endless. Several forms of cardio, such as jumping jacks, jogging in place and skipping rope, are all viable options to help you keep warm. Dynamic exercises such as burpees are also useful. If you have a large family, some indoor sports in the basement can get everyone up to temperature. Try a scaled-down version of basketball, hockey or soccer. Get Cookin’ Challenging your family members to a cook-a-thon or bake-a-thon can be a fun way to increase your temperature. Not only will you get a little warmer from moving around the kitchen as you cook, but the house’s temperature will also increase due to the use of the oven, stove, and even your toaster oven. Make your own rules to add some competition to the fun — one idea is to divide your family into two teams and see who can make a cake or batch of cookies the quickest. You can also shift your attention to collaboratively making some hearty foods, such as soup, stew or chili. Not only will cooking these foods heat your home, but you’ll also feel hot and cozy as you eat. Light Some Candles When you’re chilly, you’d be amazed at how lighting a few candles in the room you’re occupying can generate a pleasant burst of heat. Make the candle idea fun by gathering your family for an evening of board games around the kitchen table. Provided your children are of a suitable age for being exposed to candles, you can set a variety of candles around the table. They’ll create a fun memory in addition to helping take the chill...

read more

How To Clean Your House Of Mold Without Toxic Chemicals

Posted by on Nov 18, 2015 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on How To Clean Your House Of Mold Without Toxic Chemicals

While it’s true that using more traditional methods such as ammonia or bleach can often be an effective way to get rid of mold, there are some downsides to this approach. It’s often better to try other methods if you want to stay green. The Problem with Ammonia and Bleach The reason why ammonia is so effective at killing mold is because it will basically kill everything. It’s dangerous to humans as well as mold. It’s an eye irritant, and it’s poisonous if you get it in your body either by having it touch your skin or breathing in the fumes. You actually need a respirator just to use it at all in an enclosed area without proper ventilation. Bleach can also be dangerous since it has such a strong ability to kill organisms. In addition, if you combine the use of bleach with straight vinegar, as many people may do since they are two of the more common ways of killing mold, this can be quite dangerous because it actually produces chlorine gas. This gas can actually be lethal to humans if you aren’t careful, which can actually be more difficult than you might think. It’s not always immediately apparent what has vinegar or bleach in it. Sometimes, these ingredients are only mentioned in passing or in small text. They may only be part of the cleaning product that you’re using Greener Alternatives Here are a few alternatives to using the more dangerous chemicals if you want to get rid of mold in your house: Tea Tree Oil– All you have to do is combine two teaspoons of tea tree oil with 2 cups of water and then spray the combination onto the mold. You can usually find this substance at most grocery stores. Grapefruit Seed Extract-You’ll want to use about 20 drops of this with 2 cups of water. This is also effective at killing mold. Citrus Seed Extract-Citrus is known for being a strong natural approach to getting rid of organisms you don’t want around. Again, you’ll want about 20 drops with 2 cups of water. Straight Vinegar-Vinegar by itself is effective too; you just need to make sure that you don’t combine it with a genuinely dangerous chemical like bleach. Some studies have shown that it can kill over 80 percent of mold spores in an area. The agent is harmless by itself to humans. For more information, contact Atlantic Heating and Cooling or a similar...

read more

Gas Furnace Not Heating The Home? Check The Fresh Air Intake Pipes

Posted by on Nov 11, 2015 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Gas Furnace Not Heating The Home? Check The Fresh Air Intake Pipes

If your gas furnace isn’t heating your home properly, you may think that there’s a problem with the appliance. Although furnaces can break down or stop working because of fuel problems, leaks and clogs, the problem could actually lie on the outside of the home instead of inside it. The fresh air intake pipe may be the cause of your furnace’s inability to heat the home. Here’s how you can repair or secure the fresh air intake pipe to help your furnace work better. Clear the Area Around the Fresh Air Intake Pipe First, locate the fresh air intake pipe. The large, white pipe sticks out on the side of the home where you keep your furnace. After you locate the pipe, remove any plants, shrubs and other items from around it that obstructs your view of the pipe. The pipe’s opening shouldn’t have anything covering it, including snow or ice. Don’t use anything hard to remove the snow from the pipe, or you may damage it. It’s a good idea that you use a damp towel to wipe down the pipe. You want to remove all signs of debris, including dirt, that can weigh down the pipe. However, don’t apply oils, sprays or some other type of chemical to the pipe. The chemicals can travel into the pipe and enter the furnace and mix with its fuel. After you clear out the area and clean the surface of the fresh air intake pipe, it’s time to clean the inside of it. Clean the Inside of the Fresh Air Intake Pipe You’ll need a cleaning brush with soft bristles and a long, flexible handle to clean out the intake pipe. The intake pipe curves at the top, so you need a brush flexible enough to slide down the pipe without breaking through or damaging the sides of the pipe. Before you begin, use a flashlight to examine the inside of the intake pipe. If you see a bird’s nest, dead or alive animals, or something else that’s large enough to obstruct the pipe, contact a professional HVAC contractor to clean out the pipe for you. Your brush can push the items further down into the pipe and block it permanently.  If you don’t see anything that can block the pipe, follow the instructions below: Wet the brush, then carefully insert it into the intake pipe. Don’t use soap or any other cleanser to clean out the pipe to avoid damaging your furnace. Move the brush back and forth along each side to clean it.  Remove the brush, then use a dry towel to wipe down as much of the inside of the pipe as you can. You don’t want the wet surfaces to freeze or ice over. Return to the inside of the home, then wait an hour. If the home feels warmer during this time, the problem is solved. If the home still feels cold, contact a contractor right away. There may be something wrong with the furnace, or deeper inside the fresh air intake pipe. To learn more, contact a company like Jackson Heating &...

read more

Setting Up Your Own Greenhouse? Better Have a Backup Generator

Posted by on Nov 10, 2015 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Setting Up Your Own Greenhouse? Better Have a Backup Generator

If you have your own greenhouse, you need to make sure it stays the correct temperature in case you have a power outage and your heater(s) or HVAC unit shut down. You may also have an irrigation pump that needs to stay running all the time. One way you can ensure your greenhouse has power is by using a backup generator. This way, your plants and flowers are still provided with their proper environment to grow. This is especially beneficial if your power outage lasts for an entire day or more. Equipment Used in a Greenhouse Some types of equipment you may use in your greenhouse that need to have power include Gas heaters Electric heaters Fluorescent lighting Halogen lighting Heat mats Heated propagators Types of Backup Generators There are two main types of backup generators: portable and standby. Portable With a portable backup generator, when the power goes off, you have to start it up and plug it into a subpanel. How you start it up depends on the type of generator you purchase. The generator should be placed on a flat surface outside your greenhouse a few feet away from it. Do not set it inside a garage, your home, or under a carport or canopy. This is because carbon dioxide emits from the generator while it is running. The generator will have electrical outlets that you will have to plug several of your things into at once using extension cords. Make sure the backup generator you purchase has enough outlets for what you need power to. You can use the portable generator without having to use extension cords. You can do this by installing a transfer switch subpanel off the main circuit in your home. You will then need to install a dedicated line to power your subpanel. This is a very complex job, and you should hire an electrician to do this for you. You will still have to start up the generator yourself, however. This type of generator may work well for you if you are home most of the time. Standby A standby backup generator is powered by propane or natural gas, and starts up automatically when the power goes out. Because you have a greenhouse, you should consider the standby generator. You may not be at home when the power goes out, and you do not want to come back to dead plants and flowers. Most standby backup generators are powerful and can keep everything in your greenhouse running simultaneously. These generators also run quieter, and you do not have to use extension cords for them. If you choose this type of generator, you will have to hire an electrician to install the generator, transfer switch, and subpanel for you. This type of generator works well if you are away from home a lot or if you live in an area that has a lot of storms and power outages. Once you decide on the type of generator you want, you will need to decide on the size (wattage) that you need. The generators you look at will have a label showing the model number, year it was made, and the wattage. You should consider hiring a contractor, such as one from Childers Enterprises Inc, to help you with this to ensure you...

read more

Trouble With Toilets: 3 Fixes For A Sweaty Tank

Posted by on Nov 4, 2015 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Trouble With Toilets: 3 Fixes For A Sweaty Tank

Toilets are subject to a wide array of issues and malfunctions, none of which are more baffling than a sweaty tank. But while many consider this phenomenon a mere curiosity, the fact is it can lead to costly damage to your bathroom. If you have a toilet that’s got a case of the sweats, read on. This article will introduce three ways to neutralize the issue. Drip Tray When the condensation on your toilet tank builds up enough, it will begin to  drip down onto your floor. As a result, the area around a sweating toilet tends to remain perpetually damp. This will soon lead to problems such as mold and mildew, bubbling vinyl, and rotting sub-floors. While a toilet tank drip tray won’t keep your tank from sweating, it will help to protect your floor by catching excess moisture. Just be aware that you will have to empty and clean the tray on a regular basis. For this reason, drip trays are best used on a temporary basis, until the cause of the problem can be corrected. Alter Your Bathroom Habits Toilet tank condensation happens because of the temperature difference between the water in your tank and the air of your bathroom. This is especially true when the humidity level happens to be high as well. Therefore, anything you can do to lessen these factors will have a noticeable effect on the sweatiness of your toilet. Start by making sure you always turn on your bathroom fan when you’re in the shower. If you don’t have a fan, make a point to leave the door slightly ajar. This will help to draw in drier, cooler air from the rest of your house. Finally, try not to flush the toilet while the room is still hot and steamy, as this will increase the chances of condensation forming.  Inspect Your Flapper If your toilet has only recently begun to sweat, the problem may be mechanical. When a toilet flapper becomes corroded or worn out, it will begin to allow water to trickle out of the tank. This will cause the toilet to automatically switch on, refilling the tank with cold water. This cold water makes the tank much more susceptible to condensation. Luckily, it’s easy to determine if you’ve got a leaky flap on your hands. Just add several drops of food coloring to the tank and wait. If you notice after an hour that the water in the bowl is colored, chances are you’ve got a leak on your hands. Plan to replace your flapper as soon as possible. For more help, contact a service like A Absolute Plumbing &...

read more

Ancient Furnace And No AC? Get With The Times And Save

Posted by on Nov 2, 2015 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Ancient Furnace And No AC? Get With The Times And Save

Did you purchase a home that had an old outdated furnace and no air conditioning? If so, there are a couple of options to consider before you purchase any new appliances for the home. You can get units that are going to make the house comfortable and save you money at the same time. When you have a heating and cooling professional come to your home to tell you what the cost will be for a new furnace and possibly more, ask what the most energy efficient options will be. Energy efficient options lower utility bills and improve the resale value of the home, so ask for quotes for the two following things. Energy Star Furnace When choosing a new furnace you want something that has the Energy Star label because this means the unit meets the federal standards for being an energy efficient appliance. Upgrading the unit in the house can also qualify you for a federal or state tax rebate, depending on where you live and what unit you choose. When getting the new unit installed, ask about a programmable thermostat as well to help with heating expenses. Geothermal Heat Pump Ask about a geothermal heat pump instead of a central air conditioning unit because it works to save you money in the winter and the summer. The heat pump will pull heat and humidity out of the house in the summer to keep the space comfortable, dry, and cool, but will also help heat the house in the winter. The unit takes heat out of the earth and brings it into the home, letting the furnace run less frequently. The geothermal heat pump can also heat the house in the fall and spring when temperatures are moderate so you don’t have to run the furnace at all. Some geothermal heat pumps don’t just heat and cool the home, but they also heat water, if you are looking to replace your hot water heater. The old furnace you have now is probably sucking energy and gas, and costing you a fortune to run without getting the house as warm as you like. Consider getting the furnace replaced, and maybe having the ducts sealed throughout the ventilation system to help prevent even more air loss throughout the year. The company should also offer removal of your old heater when they come to your house to do the furnace installation. For heating and air conditioning repair, click the link or do an online...

read more

Why You Shouldn’t Tackle Your Own Home Mold Removal

Posted by on Oct 29, 2015 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Why You Shouldn’t Tackle Your Own Home Mold Removal

If you are dealing with a mold problem in your home — which can often be caused by leaks or other sources of excessive moisture in the house — then you might be thinking about cleaning it up yourself. Although you might have heard that you can use a solution of water and bleach to get the job done, it’s generally best to hire a professional house mold removal service to help you get rid of all of the mold spores. These are some of the reasons why you should not attempt to remove the mold yourself. It’s Dangerous First of all, you should know that mold can be quite dangerous. Breathing in mold spores can put you at risk, particularly if you have breathing problems or if you are allergic to mold. Plus, along with worrying about the dangers of mold spores, you also have to think about the fumes from your bleach mixture. Although you can wear a mask to help protect yourself, this might not be sufficient. Mold removal services have the proper safety equipment to protect themselves from fumes and mold, however, and they can stay safe while getting rid of the problem. In the meantime, you and your family can stay out of the way until the mold is gone and it is safe to breathe in your home again. Mold Removal Is Not Easy It might seem simple to get rid of mold. You might assume that you can simply spray on a bleach-and-water combination and wipe it away with a cloth or a cleaning brush. Unfortunately, it’s not that easy. For one thing, mold spores can quickly spread, and a mold problem can grow out of control before you know it. The mold can grow in tiny cracks and crevices and can spread into your walls, underneath your flooring and elsewhere in your home. Even if you wipe away all of the mold that you see, you may not truly eliminate the problem, and the mold could come back rather quickly. If you hire a mold removal company, however, you will have a team of professionals on your side to help you. Your mold removal professionals will ensure that the mold has not spread and will get rid of it completely so that you don’t have to worry about it coming back. As you can see, removing mold on your own generally is not the best choice. Instead, consider these reasons to hire a professional mold removal specialist like Advanced Air Quality Services to help you with this troubling...

read more

How To Weatherize Your Home To Keep It Comfortable For Cheaper

Posted by on Oct 15, 2015 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on How To Weatherize Your Home To Keep It Comfortable For Cheaper

You want to keep your home as comfortable as possible without spending a lot of extra money on your bills. A good way for you to do this is to weatherize your home so you know you aren’t losing the hot or cool are you are trying to keep inside the house when you are running your unit. Not only will leaks make it harder to control the temperature and raise your bills, but it also puts more wear on your unit by making it work harder to reach the desired temperature. Follow the advice in this article to weatherize your home. Apply tint to your outside windows: Applying tint to your outside windows can help in both the winter and summer months. During the summer, the tint will help to keep the heat from the sun from absorbing through the windows which can affect the coolness. In the winter, the tint provides one extra layer of material to help keep the coldness from coming through the windows. Install double-paned windows A single window is quite thin and this means the weather from outside can affect the conditions inside. However, when you have double-paned windows installed, it offers you two pieces of glass for added protection from the outside temperature. Plus, there is a cushion of air between those pieces of glass that acts as a bit of insulation. Insulate your attic If your attic is unfinished, then it doesn’t have the added insulation that can be very important to controlling the temperature of your home. Having your attic insulated provides another layer of protection from the weather to keep your house at the degrees you want. Otherwise, the sun penetrates on the roof causing heat to pour in the attic and escape into your house. In the winter, the cold rain and snow can cause the attic to allow in a coldness your heater will need to work harder to combat. Have your air conditioner and heater maintenance No matter how well you weatherize your home, it won’t mean much if you haven’t made sure your system is working correctly. You should have an HVAC technician (such as one from Ricks Repair Service) look your unit over annually. This way, they can ensure that there are no problems with the unit, such as leaks or parts that are going out. The advice in this article will help you to keep your home more comfortable year-round. Plus, you will save on your bills and ensure you aren’t wearing your heating and cooling system out....

read more

3 Possible Contaminants Lurking In Your Ducts

Posted by on Oct 14, 2015 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on 3 Possible Contaminants Lurking In Your Ducts

Homeowners often don’t stop to think about the ducts in their home. They simply know that the ductwork is what pushes the hot and cold air through their system and into their home. Even though many don’t think about what might be lurking in their ducts, you should. There are a number of different contaminants that could end up making you and your loved ones sick without your even realizing it. Dust Some people assume that there is no way possible for dust to end up contaminating their ducts. They figure it cannot get inside there since the system is sealed up. However, that isn’t the case. As your system blows the air through your home, it is also blowing around the dust and debris in the air around you. That same dust that gets blown around in your living room will end up making its way into your system through the air intake and creating buildup along the way. For allergy sufferers, this can pose a major problem. You need to get the ducts cleaned to eliminate the buildup and prevent circulating dust throughout your home. Rodent Droppings Mice only need a small space to squeeze into the ducts in your home. Before you know it, they have crawled all over your home leaving their droppings everywhere they roam. No one should breathe in the toxic fumes associated with mice droppings and urine. Just because you never saw a mouse inside of your home, that doesn’t mean they weren’t there at some point. Duct cleaning will eliminate all of that and sanitize the system along the way. Mold Depending on where you live, there is a chance that you might have mold growing in your ductwork. Areas with a lot of humidity can cause immense amounts of condensation in ductwork. That condensation will in turn allow for the growth of mold. Mold can be toxic and breathing in the spores as the system blows the air around isn’t good for you. You need to clean it out and help protect your health. The mold spores can contaminate everything if you allow them to grow, and the HVAC spreads the spores throughout the house, allowing mold to grow other places as well. Your best bet is to call in a duct cleaning specialist who can get the job done for you and make sure you and your family are breathing in clean air each and every time your system turns...

read more