1st Day of Spring is Today 3/20/18
Post-Winter HVAC Care for Homeowners
A faulty thermostat is a typical problem for a heating and air conditioning system. Often, the fault lies with the thermostat itself. However, a damaged furnace can also be a culprit. The lack of proper airflow can lead to some parts of the furnace to heat up too quickly, causing the emergency stop system to activate. Call the experts at ATS so we can diagnose and fix whatever ails your unit.
Dirty Air Filters
The purpose of your heating and air conditioning system’s air filters is to remove particles from the air moving through your system. Debris will steadily accumulate in your filters and form clogs if the filters are not replaced in a timely manner.
March HVAC Maintenance
21 Indoor Air Quality Solutions to Care for Your Air
When it comes to indoor air quality we're sure you would go above and beyond to keep your family safe and breathing the best air possible.
The solutions are simple that will bring more fresh air into your home and improve your indoor air quality and reduce those pesky household contaminants.
If you're looking for actionable tips that you can use today, then you'll love this article.
Many homes fall short when it comes to healthy indoor air quality.
Solution #1 - BRING NATURE INDOORS FOR CLEAN AIR
The benefits of houseplants cannot be overstated. Houseplants clean the air. Houseplants actually breathe. They take in carbon dioxide and breathe out oxygen. People and animals take in oxygen and breathe out carbon dioxide. By bringing plants into your home, you're creating a symbiotic relationship, filtering the air, creating fresh oxygen, and beautifying your home. Here are some good houseplants you may want to consider:
Aloe Plant - the Aloe plant is a great choice because it's pleasant to look at and it's easy to care for, but it has some other great attributes:
it is great for cuts, burns, and detoxing your body
its leaves will show brown spots when there is an abundance of harmful chemicals in the air
English Ivy - English Ivy is another easy to care for houseplant, with amazing attributes. NASA scientists have rated English Ivy as the best houseplant for filtering air. It is also the best known houseplant for filtering formaldehyde.
Rubber Tree - Rubber trees clean the air, thrive in poor lighting, do well in cooler climates, and require minimal care. They also efficiently remove toxins from the air.
Snake Plant - the Snake plant is unusual because it releases oxygen during the night, while most plants only release oxygen during the day. It doesn't need much water or light.
Red-Edged Dracaena - this vibrantly beautiful plant is great for adding some flair to your decorating, as well as cleaning toxins from the air, such as xylene, trichloroethylene, and formaldehyde.
Solution #2 - CRACK THE WINDOWS AND KEEP THE FLOORS CLEAN
Your home, especially if it is newer, does not breathe well. It re-circulates the same air, over and over. This can be a real problem for indoor air quality. By cracking the windows, you are letting fresh air into your home.
By keeping the floors clean, mopping, vacuuming, and utilizing doormats, you are removing particles that will eventually end up in the air.
Solution #3 - TURN YOUR FURNACE OR AIR HANDLER BLOWER ON
One of the best indoor air quality tips that will keep your air quality at optimum levels is to just turn your furnace blower on. This serves to re-circulate the air, in your home, through your intake and back out of your home's supply ducts.
Also make sure your furnace has a filter system with UV lights. UV lights kill microbial bacterial and mold spores. A furnace equipped with a UV light filtration system cleans your air as much as 90% better, which dramatically increases your indoor air quality.
Make certain your furnace has been serviced. If your furnace isn't working up to par, it will not clean your air as well. It can also cause more maintenance problems or even stop working altogether. It is important to keep your furnace serviced regularly. Contact your furnace service provider for the best maintenance program for your unit.
Solution #4 - CHANGE YOUR FILTERS PER THE MANUFACTURES RECOMMENDATIONS
The air filter in your HVAC system is the front line of defense against poor indoor air quality. A typical central heating and cooling system circulates over 1,000 cubic feet per minute of air through the filter. This means the entire air volume in your house passes through the filter multiple times every day.
A clean filter effectively removes airborne particulates, ranging from dust to invisible microscopic particles. A dirty filter, however, can actually make indoor air quality worse by acting as a reservoir for dirt, dust and other airborne contaminants that are continuously circulated back into your breathing air.
During both the heating and cooling season, change the air filter monthly. Instead of cheap, throwaway fiberglass panel filters, choose quality pleated fabric filters rated to trap airborne particles down to a size of 3 microns.
Solution #5 - KEEP YOUR VENTILATION SYSTEM CLEAN
Replacing stale indoor air is another option for homeowners asking how to improve indoor air quality. Simply opening doors and windows isn’t a viable option in frigid winter weather or the heat of summer.
The goal of proper ventilation is balance. Remove stagnant, unhealthy air and replace it with an equal amount of fresh, filtered outdoor air to dilute indoor contaminants and restore healthy air quality. Heat recovery ventilators (HRV) are now the gold standard for residential ventilation.
Solution #6 - REDUCE HUMIDITY AND MOLD BY USING DEHUMIDIFIERS AND EXHAUST FANS
Humidity accumulates in tightly-sealed residential environments due to activities like cooking, bathing and simply breathing. The Environmental Protection Agency recommends indoor humidity levels between 30 percent and 60 percent. High indoor humidity creates a breeding ground for toxic mold and bacteria.
High humidity will make your home IAQ take a considerable effort to maintain. Using a dehumidifier will help you manage the quality of your air that can trigger health issues in your home.
The optimum humidity level in your home depends on your personal preferences, clothing, and level of physical activity.
ASHRAE* suggests a range of 45% - 55% humidity to manage health effects and illnesses.
How Does a Furnace Work?
Most people know furnaces heat their homes or businesses, but have HVAC questions about how exactly that is done. Furnaces heat your home or business by warming air and circulating it into the living or work areas indoors. Furnaces are electric, or powered by a heating fuel such as oil, natural gas, or propane.
In a gas furnace, when a heating cycle is called for by your thermostat, the system’s pilot light or ignitor will fire up the burners in the combustion chamber. The burners produce heat, that moves into the heat exchanger. Within the heat exchanger, that heat is transferred to the air cycling through the furnace. The system’s blower then moves the heated air through the duct system and into your home or business. The system keeps running like this until the temperature in the room reaches the temperature called for by your thermostat.
In an electric furnace, electricity starts the heating process rather than a pilot light or ignitor. Heating elements are used to warm the air rather than a gas burner. Air passes through the heating element’s electric resistance coils, where heat is transferred to the air supply. Then the blower circulates heat to interior areas.