Common Questions Allergy Sufferers May Have About Air Conditioning Systems

Posted by on Oct 14, 2016 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Common Questions Allergy Sufferers May Have About Air Conditioning Systems

The air conditioning system that is attached to your home may be an easy component of the house to overlook. However, it is a regrettable fact that there are some individuals that suffer from severe allergies. For these individuals, air conditioning systems can cause a worsening of allergy symptoms. Once you are informed about the following answers to commonly asked air conditioning questions allergy sufferers often have, you will be better prepared to minimize the effects your air conditioning system has on your symptoms. How Can An Air Conditioning System Make Your Allergies Worse? Over the course of time, it is possible for substantial amounts of dust, dirt, pollen and other allergens to start to accumulate in the ducting of the air conditioning system. This occurs due to some of the particles making it past your air filters as well as entering through small gaps and openings in the system or ducting. These substances can be transported throughout the home when the system is working, which may severely reduce the air quality in the home. If you are noticing that your allergies worsen when the air conditioning is running, you may want to have a professional thoroughly inspect the ducting.   What Steps Can You Take To Improve The Air Quality Of Your System? Luckily, there are some steps that you can take to help minimize the allergy problems that are caused by running your system. One of the more basic steps that you can do is to upgrade to hypoallergenic air filters. These air filters have much smaller gaps between the fabric, which will greatly increase their effectiveness at capturing allergens. Ideally, these filters should be changed every month to ensure that they stay as effective as possible. In addition to using hypoallergenic air filters, you may also want to invest in having your ducts professionally cleaned. During these cleaning processes, these professionals will use powerful vacuums and sanitizing solutions to ensure that the ducting is as clean as possible. By having this maintenance done every couple of years, you might be able to greatly reduce the prevalence of your allergy symptoms when you are in the home. Allergy problems can be extremely disruptive. However, it is a fact that many people are unaware of the role that their air conditioning system can play with these symptoms. By understanding why an air conditioning system can cause allergies to worsen and the steps that can be used to combat this problem, you will be better prepared to keep your home’s indoor air quality as high as possible.For more information, visit sites...

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Cleaning Your Condenser Coils

Posted by on Aug 11, 2016 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Cleaning Your Condenser Coils

Condenser coils are exposed to the elements, which means that bugs, leaves, and all sorts of yard debris can get caught in your coils. Dirty coils may not seem like a big deal, but they can reduce your overall system efficiency by up to 30%. Thus, in order to keep your system running at the optimum level and save yourself money, you need to know how to clean your coils.  How Dirty Coils Cause Problems AC coils are designed to push air through the small cracks between the fins that they are made from. As the air moves through condenser coils, it absorbs heat from the fins, which in turn absorb heat from the refrigerant running through them. Thus, the coils are able to cool refrigerant enough that it returns to a liquid state and is ready to cycle back to the evaporator unit inside your house. As dust builds up on your coils, it acts as an insulator that prevents the air from absorbing heat from the coils. If you get too much dirt and grime built up on your coils, it can actually stop airflow altogether. Thus, it is in your best interest to inspect your condenser coils regularly and clean as necessary.  How to Clean Your Coils Use the following steps to clean your condenser coils: 1. Remove the screws that hold the protective grid that surrounds your coils in place. Make sure to put these screws in a safe place where you can easily find them again.  2. Remove the protective grid and set it to one side.  3. Spray your coils with a coil cleaner and wait for several minutes to allow the solvents in the cleaner to break down that grime built up on your coils.  4. Scrub your coils clean with a stiff-bristle brush.  5. Use a fin comb to straighten and clean in between the fins.  6. Gently rinse your coils with a hose.  7. Put the protective grid back in place.  8. Put the screws that hold the grid back.  The above steps should illustrate that cleaning condenser coils is not terribly complicated. Any homeowner who is handy with a screwdriver and a hose should be able to accomplish the task. Thus, you should be able to save yourself some money and clean your own coils rather than call in an AC technician to do the job. On the other hand, if you think your AC unit might need more maintenance than a simple coil cleaning, you should call in an expert to give your unit a thorough tuneup. After all, the key to keeping your cooling costs in check is to ensure that your system is running as effectively as possible. Visit a site like for more...

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Air Conditioner Health: 3 Questions To Help You Decide Whether To Repair Or Replace It

Posted by on Jul 18, 2016 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Air Conditioner Health: 3 Questions To Help You Decide Whether To Repair Or Replace It

Air conditioners work hard during the summer months to keep your home cool and comfortable. Unfortunately, both minor and severe issues can suddenly occur that make your air conditioner a lot less effective. Whether your unit is blowing out warm air or is freezing over, you’ll be faced with the tough question: “Should you replace the unit or repair it?” If you aren’t sure whether you should replace or repair, don’t fret. By asking yourself these three questions, you’ll be able to make a good decision when it comes to your AC unit: 1. Does It Keep Your Home Comfortable? One of the easier questions to answer is how comfortable the unit keeps your home. If the unit keeps your home relatively comfortable—and you aren’t sweating indoors—you can probably just have your unit repaired or tuned. A good cleaning can make a huge difference, so it might not be worth replacing it. However, if your unit barely provides any relief from the sweltering temperatures outside, it’s probably best to replace it. While repairing it is certainly an option, a unit that doesn’t provide any cooling likely has some serious issues. These repairs could be costly, so it might just be more efficient to replace the unit entirely. 2. How Are Your Energy Bills? Another thing you might want to consider is your energy bill. Inefficient air conditioners can significantly increase your energy—or utility—bills during the summer. If your energy bills don’t have a significant difference, repairing your unit is a good option. A quick repair, tuning, and cleaning can make your unit a lot more efficient. If, however, you’ve noticed that your energy bill creeps up every year, you might want to replace the unit. Continually rising energy costs during the summer months indicate that your unit just isn’t running properly. Plus, if you haven’t had it looked at for many years, the chances of a large problem are higher. In this situation, replacing it is good idea. Additionally, you might want to replace it if your unit is old and outdated; because newer models will be more efficient in both energy usage and cooling.  3. How Many Repairs Has It Had? Finally, consider how many repairs your unit has had. If your unit has had minimal repairs—or none at all, yet—repairing it is a good idea. Since it hasn’t undergone significant repair work, it likely won’t cost too much to fix the issue. However, replacing your unit is a good idea if it has undergone several repairs. This is because constant repairs are time-consuming and costly. Plus, you don’t want to throw all of your money at this air conditioner, especially if repeat problems occur. So if you’ve spent a lot of money on repairs recently, or in the past, definitely consider having it replaced with a new unit. While it might be difficult to decide when to repair or replace your air conditioner, it doesn’t have to be. By asking yourself these questions, you can easily determine whether you want to repair it or replace it. If you are still in doubt, have your unit examined by an HVAC professional. To learn more, visit a website...

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2 Easy AC Maintenance Tasks

Posted by on Jun 1, 2016 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on 2 Easy AC Maintenance Tasks

Before cooling season starts, you want to make sure that your air conditioner is in good shape. Doing that will make sure that your air conditioner is in good shape and runs as efficiently as possible. The more efficiently your air conditioner runs, the less your cooling bills are going to be, which is always a good thing for you. There are several things that you can do to make sure that your AC is ready to go.  Clean Out Around the Condenser The condenser is the big part that is outside of your house. It may have some kind of cage-like structure that protects it. Unfortunately, it’s easy for weeds and grasses to grow up around the condenser, and the condenser can get dirty from grass cuttings from when the yard is mowed, plus any naturally occurring dirt and debris. The less air flow that the condenser gets, the less efficient the condenser is going to be. So trim out the grass and weeds around the condenser. If you can’t get a mowing tool around it, you are going to have to do it by hand. Hedge clippers would work well. Make sure that you wear work gloves and eye protection if you are going to do that.  You can clean out the coils of the condenser with a hose. You don’t want to use a strong spray because that could damage the coils, but a gentle spray starting at the top of the condenser and working your way down will make sure to get rid of as much dirt as possible. You always want to start at the top because the dirt and water will run down and work to clean off the rest of the condenser until you get to the bottom.  Change the Filters Another thing that you need to do is make sure that all the filters on your air conditioner are changed. Like the condenser, if the filters get clogged, the air flow is diminished, which can make the air conditioner have to work harder. Clean filters will make the AC run more efficiently, and they will be able to catch all the things like pollen and other allergens.  Making sure that your air conditioner is running well before summer comes is important. It will make your house cooler and it will keep your energy bills from skyrocketing. It’s pretty easy to do some maintenance to do that.  For more information and assistance with maintaining your air conditioner, talk with professional air conditioning service companies, such as Mike’s Bremen Service...

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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 &...

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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...

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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...

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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 &...

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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...

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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 &...

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