A Comfortable Retreat

Duct Cleaning FAQ

Posted by on May 20th, 2015 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Duct Cleaning FAQ

Duct cleaning services can improve the efficiency of your HVAC system while preventing dust and debris from clogging airways, clinging to mechanical parts of your air conditioner and furnace, and lowering your indoor air quality. Yet many homeowners don’t know much about duct cleaning, or why they should seek these services. Knowing more about duct cleaning services will help you decide if duct cleaning is right for you and will help you pick the right duct cleaning company for your needs. 

How can I tell if my ducts need to be cleaned?

If your ducts need to be cleaned, you can most easily tell by removing the cover over the duct and shining a flashlight into the duct. If your ducts are dirty, you’ll probably see a soft layer of dust covering the interior of the duct like a blanket. Of course, some dirt, debris and mold can be hidden inside your ducts without being seen, so even ducts that appear to be relatively clean can still benefit from duct cleaning services. Other indications that your ducts need to be cleaned include:

  • Odor coming from the ducts when the HVAC system is running.
  • Dust inside your home becomes worse when the HVAC system is on.
  • Turning on your HVAC system exacerbates your allergies.

If you suspect that your ducts need to be cleaned, contact a duct cleaning service to have your ducts professionally inspected. Duct cleaning services use various technologies, including cameras, that can conduct a more thorough and accurate inspection of your ducts. 

How often should I get my ducts cleaned?

There is no recommended schedule for cleaning ducts. Duct cleaning can improve your indoor air quality and can also improve your HVAC system’s overall efficiency. If your system is running inefficiently, your indoor air quality is not up to your standards or if the state of your ducts seem to be causing other problems in your household, then it’s a good time to get your ducts professionally inspected. 

What criteria should I use to pick a duct cleaning service?

Beware of companies that offer deals that are too good to be true. Some sources say that duct cleaning services should cost between $300 and $500, but this number can vary somewhat by region, by house size and so on. Companies that offer the lowest prices possible are unlikely to offer the best services. Pick a company that has a good reputation in your community, positive ratings on the BBB website, and is licensed, bonded, and insured.

How long does duct cleaning take?

After the initial consultation, duct cleaning is typically finished in one afternoon. Your duct cleaning company will schedule your appointment and tell you how much time to allow for the entire process. 

For more information about duct cleaning, contact a reputable and reliable duct cleaning company in your area. 

How To Manage Humidity In A Home With A Central Air System

Posted by on May 18th, 2015 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on How To Manage Humidity In A Home With A Central Air System

Managing the humidity in your home with a central air conditioner can be important for both health and comfort. Most central air solutions do not have additional humidity features, and an air conditioner in a home that does have too much humidity can become dangerous. Simply turning up the air conditioner isn’t usually a solution, and even just getting a dehumidifier may not be enough to change the humidity of the entire home. 

Get a Central Humidifier/Dehumidifier Solution Installed

Ranging anywhere from $1,000 to $3,000 dollars, there are humidifiers and dehumidifiers that can be directly installed within your central air conditioning system. This has a very clear benefit: it will be one contained system and it will react automatically to adjust your environment to your preferences. Humidity controls are usually less expensive if they are added with the initial central air installation.

Keep the Air Circulating Within Your Home

Make sure that you have your home’s fans on to circulate the air in your home. Air that is sitting is often air that will maintain a higher level of humidity. Additionally, circulating the air with ceiling fans and standing fans will also ensure that your central air system works more effectively. 

Improve Your Property’s Insulation

Insulating both doors and windows can help significantly if the humidity may be entering your home from outside. You may also want to pay attention to the insulation between your home and your attic, as this can be broken or degraded by pests such as insects and rodents. Keeping your doors and windows closed may be advisable during periods of more significant humidity.

Keep Laundry Rooms and Bathrooms Contained

Both laundry rooms and bathrooms can adversely affect the central air system. Laundry rooms, especially those that don’t vent outside, will build both heat and humidity — as will bathrooms, following a hot shower or bath. It’s often best to keep the doors and central air vents closed and to air out these rooms through the use of a window or an exterior door, until both temperature and humidity has normalized. 

In humid areas, air conditioners of all types can breed mold and bacteria, so they do need to be cleaned out on a regular basis. You should consult with your local HVAC contracting company like W.F. Hann & Sons to find out more about how to properly clean and maintain your air conditioning system. Humidity isn’t just an issue of comfort. High humidity can also lead to physical illness, such as lung issues. 

What Causes Stale And Musty Air Conditioner Odors?

Posted by on May 13th, 2015 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on What Causes Stale And Musty Air Conditioner Odors?

If you’re noticing a stale or musty odor when your air conditioner is running, it’s likely a humidity problem. Some of the most common causes of humidity problems for air conditioners involve skipping regular maintenance.

Not Replacing Filters

The Problem: If the filters in your air conditioner aren’t regularly replaced, they can become clogged with dust. As moisture in the air makes this dust damp, it can become a haven for mildew or mold. This mold or mildew can even spread throughout the interior of the air conditioner, so the sooner you catch the problem, the better.

The Fix: If you have a musty smell coming from your air conditioner, pull out the air filter and see what condition it’s in. If it looks dirty, replace it with a new one. This may clear up the problem completely. However, if you replace the air filter and the smell continues, you may need to disassemble the conditioner completely and clean the interior. If you aren’t sure how to clean the interior, you may need to talk to a professional, like Cape Fear Air Conditioning & Heating Co., Inc. to get some help.

Skipping Regular Checkups

The Problem: The air conditioner as a whole is a complicated machine, so it’s important to have a professional take a look at it regularly. Having your air conditioner checked annually means catching problems like dirty condensation coils, clogged drains, or leaky lines. All of these can lead to a buildup of humidity within the air conditioner, potentially leading to mold and mildew.

The Fix: You can use your air conditioner’s manual to disassemble it and check the interior for obvious signs of mildew or mold, which can be cleaned away with bleach and water. However, you should still have a technician give your air conditioner a complete check-up to pinpoint any problems in the unit’s interior. In addition to a technician’s expertise, air conditioners use refrigerants to cool the air, and these refrigerants are environmental hazards that should only be handled by trained professionals.

Using an Air Conditioner That’s Too Powerful

The Problem: Air conditioners both cool and dehumidify the air in your home, but dehumidifying takes time. An air conditioner that’s the right size will simultaneously cool the air and dehumidify it. An air conditioner that’s too powerful – designed for a larger space than it’s installed in – will actually cool the air too quickly.

The Fix: Choosing the right size air conditioner depends on many factors – the size of the area to be cooled, the climate you live in, your home’s insulation, and even how many people are living in the house. A certified contractor will be able to do a load calculation for your home. If it turns out that your air conditioner is not the right size, you will need to have it replaced with a new unit.

3 Tips For Air Conditioning Maintenance

Posted by on May 13th, 2015 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on 3 Tips For Air Conditioning Maintenance

Dealing with air conditioning problems in the home can leave you hot and frustrated. The last thing you ever want to do is go into the muggy summer months with an air conditioner that is either not working or working shoddily. To avoid having your air conditioner fail you, you’ll need to keep up with some practical tips that will allow your system to always work the way that it should. Consider these tips so that you can maintain your air conditioner, along with your comfort. 

#1: Look Into Your Fuses And Circuit Breaker

Sometimes when your air conditioner is flat out not working, the problem is more simple than you would think. If this happens, the first place you should look is the electrical control panel. A blown fuse or tripped circuit is one of the main causes of your air conditioner system shutting down. If you notice this, the fix is as simple as flipping your circuit back in place, or purchasing a replacement fuse. Checking into this first can allow you to save some money on having to call in an air conditioning repair professional. 

#2: Change Out Your Air Conditioning Filters

Your air conditioning filters work hard every day to block debris from entering your airways, and must be changed so that they can keep performing well. The best timetable to keep is to make sure that your air conditioning filters are swapped once per month. Not only will changing your air filter prevent your air conditioner from breaking down on you, it can also help you to decrease the energy consumption in your home between 5 and 15 percent. That will allow you to save plenty of money on your utility bills and make your home a lot less wasteful on a regular basis. 

#3: Call In An Air Conditioning Repair Contractor For Routine Inspection And Maintenance

Before you allow your system to break down on you, call in an air conditioning contractor who can look out for you. If they provide you with preventative maintenance, you won’t have to worry about missing any glaring issues. Your contractor will be able to inspect the system and fix things as they are needed, so that you get the best performance possible out of your HVAC system throughout the years. 

Take advantage of these pieces of advice so that you are able to keep your air conditioner in the best condition possible. For more information, contact a company like McCrea Heating & Plumbing Inc.

Three Reasons To Clean Your Ducts

Posted by on May 12th, 2015 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Three Reasons To Clean Your Ducts

Air conditioning ducts are easy to ignore. You never have to look at them, so you don’t have to worry about what kind of sediments are accumulating inside your ducts. However, if you don’t have your ducts cleaned from time to time, you can pay the price in higher health risks, increased HVAC costs, and depreciating home values. 

The Health Risks Associated with Dirty Ducts

All kinds of contaminants can accrue in your home. Pollen, pet dander, dirty, mold, and mildew—everything that can make your allergies act up can accumulate in your ducts. Even if you don’t have allergies, contaminants in your ducts can cause breathing problems, which can lead to lung infections and breathing problems. If you want your home to be a refuge full of clean air, you need to have your ducts cleaned from time to time. 

Higher Heating Costs

As sediment builds up inside your ducts, it creates a rough surface, which can create eddies in the air flowing through ducts, which will, in turn, create enough friction to slow down the air flowing through ducts, and the slower air speeds will make your HVAC system take longer to condition the air in your home. Thus, dirty ducts can undermine the efficiency of your HVAC system and increase your costs. 

Depreciating Value of Your Home

If your ducts ever get wet, any mold or mildew spores in your ducts can start to grow. Mold is always a problem, but certain kinds of mold are worse than others. A black mold infestation, for example, creates a toxic situation. If a home inspector finds that you have black mold growing in your ducts, you are looking at a serious expense before you can sell your home. In some cases, your home may even have to be condemned, which means you will lose the money you have wrapped up in it. 

You really can’t afford to ignore your ducts. When you move into a home, you should have your ducts inspected to determine if there is a need for cleaning. If you have breathing problems, you should have your ducts cleaned every year by a company like Doc Dancer Heating, Air Conditioning & Generators to make sure that they stay clean. Finally, if you have any concerns about water getting into your ducts, you should have your ducts cleaned immediately to forestall the formation of mold inside your ducts. In this way, you can protect your home, the function of your HVAC system, and your health. 

Your Furnace Went Out And You Have Puppies Getting Cold: 3 Ways To Help Them Stay Warm

Posted by on May 8th, 2015 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

If it’s cold outside and your furnace has broken, you’re going to need to find creative ways to keep warm. If you have young puppies, you’re also going to need to keep them warm. Puppies are particularly susceptible to cold weather. Luckily, there are some simple things you can do to help your puppies stay warm.

Hot Water Bottles

You’re going to need to prevent your puppies from losing valuable body heat. An easy way to do that is to use hot water bottles. If you don’t have an actual hot water bottle, you can make one.

How to Make a Hot Water Bottle

Fill a heavy-duty zip lock baggie with hot water and seal it. Place that bag inside another zip lock bag. Seal that bag and then place a strip of duct tape along the seal. Wrap the bags in a lightweight towel and place it inside the bed with your puppies.

Homemade Heating Pads

Heating pads are another easy way to help keep your puppies warm when the heater goes out. These can also be made out of items that you probably already have at home — they are easy to make. The great thing about them is that once your furnace is working again, you can use the heating pads for yourself.

How to Make a Heating Pad

Fill an old sock with uncooked rice or beans. Tie a knot in the end of the sock. Place the sock in the microwave for about 2-3 minutes. Remove the sock from the microwave and place it in with your puppies. Reheat the sock whenever it cools down.

Miniature Space Heaters

If your puppies don’t want to sit still long enough to get warmed by the hot water bottle or the heating pad, you can make a miniature space heater. This space heater will work well to heat a small room, such as a bathroom or service porch.

How to Make a Miniature Space Heater

Place 4 or 5 tea light candles in the bottom of a cake pan. Light the candles and then place a clay pot over the candles. Tip the pot up slightly so that one side of it rests on the edge of the cake pan. This will allow the heat to escape from around the base of the pot. Leave the top of the pot open so that it acts like a small chimney for the heat.

If your furnace has gone out, you need to stay warm. If you have small puppies, they’re depending on you for warmth, as well. These simple tips will help keep your puppies warm until the furnace can be repaired by professionals like Allied Air Conditioning & Heating Corp.

Uneven Heating And Cooling: How To Make Sure Your Entire Home Is The Perfect Temperature

Posted by on May 7th, 2015 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

One of the most annoying things during the winter or summer for many homeowners is uneven temperatures throughout the home. After all, you don’t want to be chilly in the living room and then head to the bedroom and burn up. Even temperatures throughout the home are crucial to peace in the family and comfortable living. Luckily, it is possible to regulate the temperature in all rooms of your home with this step-by-step process:

1. Locate All Return Air Vents And Ensure The Area Is Clear.

Your home’s ductwork not only pushes cold and hot air into the rooms of your home, but it also pulls the cold and hot air out. The ones that pull the air are called return vents and do not feature any type of lever to control the flow of the air. You need to locate these return vents and make certain that there is nothing blocking these return vents. Otherwise, you could be causing the area to cool and heat unevenly.

2. Open All Vent Registers In The Home.

If clearing the area around the return vents do not fix the problem, then you need to go around the home and ensure that all of the other vents, which are called registers, are completely open. Once this has been done, set the home’s thermostat to your desired ideal temperature.

3. Make Adjustment To The Coolest/Hottest Room First.

Find the room in the house that seems to always be the coldest or hottest in the entire home. Locate the register vent and shut it halfway. Hold off for a little while, maybe an hour or so, and inspect the temperature of the room once again. If it is still too hot or too cold, then shut it halfway again. Once you get this room at your desired temperature, you can move on the next room.

4. Make Adjustments To All Of The Rooms In The Home.

Continue following the advice from Step 3 until all of the rooms in the home are at a desirable temperature. Ultimately, the trick here is that you are reducing airflow to the hottest and coldest rooms of the home, which frees up more air to travel into the rooms that aren’t as hot or cold.

If you have gone through all of the above and are still experiencing difficulty maintaining the right temperature throughout the home, it may be time to have your home zoned. This will help you control how cold or hot separate rooms are throughout the home. An HVAC specialist like Daryl’s Heating & Air Inc can schedule a consultation and provide more information about home zoning.