Protecting Your Indoor Air Quality During the Winter

The colder months of winter can keep you and your family indoors and limit the amount of fresh air in your home. Dust, dander and mold can become trapped inside, impacting the health of the air you breathe. When the doors and windows stay shut, you want to ensure that you are reaping the benefits of a good air filtration system and controlling the humidity. Here are some tips to help protect your air quality and the health of your family during the cooler winter months.

Change Your HVAC Air Filter

All the air in your home is circulated through your HVAC system. For many homes, the HVAC filter is the main source of air purification, making it a vital component to maintain. Not only can a dirty air filter lead to poor air quality, it effects the efficiency of your HVAC system. Make sure to change it as needed to maintain healthy air and limit stress on your HVAC system.

Clean Vents and Ducts

In addition to your air filter, your HVAC vents and ducts can collect dirt, mold and dust. Make sure to regularly clean the vents throughout the winter. Ducts should be cleaned every few years to remove any debris, mold or pest residue that may collect inside, impacting your air quality.

Monitor Humidity

If mold is a common problem in your home during the winter, you may need to monitor and control humidity levels. Have your humidity levels checked and if they are above 50-60%, discuss adding a dehumidifier with your local HVAC professional.

A few maintenance items can help protect your indoor air quality throughout the winter. Make sure to keep up with HVAC maintenance to ensure good air quality and a healthy home for your family.

Posted on behalf of:
Western Aire Heating & Cooling
Marietta, GA 30066
(770) 505-7426

Why Your HVAC Filter Keeps Clogging

Does it seem like every time you check your HVAC filter, it needs to be replaced? While many filters need to be swapped out every 1-2 months, if you find your HVAC filter is clogged after just a few weeks, you may have a problem. A dirty filter impacts your energy efficiency, but you should not need to replace your filters more than once per month. Here are some reasons your filters may be clogging prematurely and how to fix the problem.

Pets, Dust and People

How much debris is floating in your air can impact your air filters. Pet hair and dander contribute to filter clogging, as does the amount of people and dust in your home. Vacuum and dust your home regularly to cut down on filter changes.

Is Your Fan On?

The fan on your HVAC system has an “on” and “auto” setting. If you leave it “on” the fan will be going 24/7, pulling air through the filter. Set it to “auto” to turn the fan on only when heating or cooling, which will extend the life of your filters.

HEPA Filters and High MERV Ratings

Filters that are designed to clean minute particles out of the air may purify the air, but they also clog quicker. HEPA filters and those with high MERV ratings can collect more dirt, but they can also put stress on your HVAC system. Changing filters to a lower MERV rating can make your filters last longer and minimize workload on your HVAC system.

If you follow these tips and still have problems with your filters clogging, call your local HVAC service company. You may have leaks in your ductwork or other issues that are causing dirty filters.

Posted on behalf of:
ClimateSmith, LLC
1925 Lena Carter Road
Buford, GA 30519
(770) 475-9528

Troubleshooting Common AC Problems

It seems like when you need your AC the most, that is when problems arise. This is not a coincidence; the hotter it is outside, the harder your unit must work to keep your home cool. If your AC seems to be struggling, it is often due to a few common problems. Before your unit stops working altogether, troubleshoot the problem and see if it is a quick fix.

Check the Thermostat

This may seem obvious, but if you have your thermostat programmed, you may not look at it that often. If your AC is not cooling effectively, it may because it is not set at the right temperature. This is the first place to look.

Is Your Filter Dirty?

During the hottest months you may need to change your AC filter every 30 days to keep it working efficiently. If your unit doesn’t seem to be performing up to par, check the filter and change it if needed.

Is There Hot Air Coming in to Your Home?

Make sure there are no windows open that are letting in hot air. Close the curtains or shades on sunny, hot days to make it easier on your unit to cool the air.

Is There Something Blocking Air on the Outside Unit?

Make sure no plants or other items are blocking the air flow on the outside compressor – there should be at least two feet of clearance around the outside unit.

If you troubleshoot these common issues and your AC unit still is not cooling effectively, call your local HVAC service. You made need a tune-up or a repair to get your unit working efficiently again.

Posted on behalf of:
Western Aire Heating & Cooling
264 Buchanan Highway
Dallas, GA 30157
(770) 505-7426

4 Ways to Improve the Air Quality in Your Home

Have you noticed your nose gets stuffy when you are at home, but not at other places? Or maybe you have mold that seems to grow quicker than you can clean on walls, windows or in the bathroom? If so, you may have an issue with your air quality in your home, stemming from your HVAC system. Here are four ways to improve your air quality to keep you and your home healthy.

  1. Change your air filter. Check the filter on your HVAC and change it if needed. Most HVAC filters need to be changed monthly to be effective.
  2. Check the humidity in your home. If mold is a problem, have your local HVAC service test the humidity in your home. If it is too high, adding a dehumidifier to your HVAC system can help improve the moisture level and decrease mold problems.
  3. Upgrade to a better air filter. The MERV rating on your air filter is important for reducing contaminants. Consider upgrading if you are using an air filter with a MERV rating of 8 or less – the higher, the better.
  4. Have your air ducts cleaned. If there is dirt, mold and other debris in your air ducts, it could be spread throughout your home. Consider having your air ducts cleaned if it has been 2-3 years or more since your last duct cleaning.

Doing a few service items on your HVAC system can make a big difference in your air quality. Make sure to keep up with air filter changes and routine service on your HVAC system to maintain the best quality of air in your home.

Posted on behalf of:
ClimateSmith, LLC
3870 Peachtree Industrial Blvd. Suite 340-129
Duluth, GA 30096
(770) 475-9555

Pets, Pollen, Mold and Other Allergy Issues in Your Home

Do you notice that when you are at home, your allergies are at their worst? Lurking in the air of your home may be the contaminants that are triggering your allergies. If your nose is stuffy when you wake up in the morning, or you use your asthma inhaler more often at home than anywhere else, you may have an air quality problem that is making you sick. Here are some of the contributors to poor air quality in your home.

Pets

Dander and hair from cats, dogs and other pets is a common trigger for allergy symptoms. Keep in mind that even if you were not allergic to animals in the past, that doesn’t mean that is still the case. Allergies change as you get older and you can become sensitive to allergens that were not a problem in the past.

Pollen

Is the pollen from outside getting circulated and trapped in your home? While there is more pollen outside, there is also more air. When it gets trapped in a small space, pollen can have a powerful punch on your allergies.

Mold

Mold can be dangerous for anyone in your home, even if they are not allergic to the spores. Air borne mold is a health risk, but especially tough on those with allergies or respiratory issues.

Dust and Other Contaminants

Besides the common offenders, dust, chemicals and smoke can all impact your home’s air quality if not filtered effectively.

To make your home healthy and reduce your allergy symptoms, talk to your local HVAC service about improving your air filtration in your A/C and heating system. There are HVAC accessories such as HEPA filters that can do a better job filtering your air while helping keep your HVAC system efficient when changed regularly.

Posted on behalf of:
Western Aire Heating & Cooling
Marietta, GA 30066
(770) 505-7426

How Often Should You Change HVAC Filters?

One of the most important DIY maintenance you can do for your HVAC system is ensure the air filter is kept clean. A dirty or clogged air filter can put extra stress on your HVAC system, causing it to work harder and be more likely to have system issues. Plus, air filters help improve the quality of the air in your home for the health of your family. So, how often should you change your HVAC air filters?

First, there is not a set rule on changing your HVAC air filter as each home and filter is different. An air filter manufacturer may say to change the filter every two months, which is a good rule of thumb, but not always accurate for all filters. Most 1-3-inch filters are suggested to change in two month intervals, but you should check the manufacturer recommendations for your filter.

Secondly, consider the environment. If you use your HVAC every day and have kids, pets and a full house, your air filter is working overtime. It may need to be changed more often than recommended. On the other hand, if you only have 1 person living in a big home and only use the HVAC system when you are home, the filter may not need to be changed for 3-4 months. The best advice? Check it regularly – if it looks dirty before it is scheduled to be replaced, switch it for a new one.

Changing the air filter is just part of maintaining your HVAC system. You should also schedule regular tune-ups and maintenance inspections 1-2 times a year. Your HVAC service tech will also check your filter and change it out if needed.

Posted on behalf of:
Western Aire Heating & Cooling
Marietta, GA 30066
(770) 505-7426

Tips on How to Keep AC Mold at Bay

Your air conditioning system is full of moisture, making it a perfect haven for mold. The condensation that occurs during the cooling process allows moisture to get trapped in your air conditioner or HVAC system, which creates an ideal place for mold to grow. It is not uncommon to find mildew or black mold growth in your A/C vents; however, you should be aware that mold growth can be dangerous to your family’s health, especially black mold. Here are some tips to keep AC mold at bay.

Clean Your Vents

Take off your vents and wash them thoroughly every few months. If there is any sign of mold, make sure you wear gloves and an air mask to protect yourself. Simply cleaning the vents with warm water and soap and drying them completely can remove spores.

Keep Filters Clean

Your HVAC filters help control mold spores in your air. Make sure you are keeping up with your air filter changes to maintain clean, healthy air in your home.

Duct Cleaning

Mold can hide in your air ducts if you have central air. This means every time the air passes through, it is also picking up mold spores to spread throughout the home. You should have your air ducts cleaned every few years as needed to keep mold spores out of your duct system.

Routine Maintenance

Schedule your annual maintenance on your HVAC system to keep your system clean and free of mold. Part of routine maintenance should include cleaning the inside of your system, including the coils which can also grow mold. This is a good time to have your air ducts, vents and filters checked to stay on top of mold issues.

Posted on behalf of:
ClimateSmith, LLC
3870 Peachtree Industrial Blvd. Suite 340-129
Duluth, GA 30096
(770) 475-9555

How Long Do Furnaces Last?

When considering replacing your furnace, it is common to want to know how long your new furnace will last. It is a large investment, so it is understandable to consider the longevity of your new heat supply. However, there is not a simple answer to the question as it can depend on many different factors. Here is some basic information on furnace life-spans and what you can expect.

The main component in a furnace that determines when it may need replacement is the heat exchanger. While other components are easily replaced, once the heat exchanger fails, that is usually the time to replace the whole furnace. Decades ago, the heat exchangers in furnaces were built using heavy metals like cast iron that could last 30 or more years. However, these older models were not as efficient. Newer models use stainless or aluminized steel for their heat exchangers, lasting 15-25 years in most cases, but providing improved energy efficiency.

So, how do you get the longest life from your new furnace? The best option is to begin a solid maintenance plan from the beginning to reduce wear and tear on the equipment. Annual tune-ups on your furnace should be planned to keep it maintained. Also, follow the manufacturer recommendations for replacing air filters to reduce stress on the system and keep humidity low to reduce risk of rust. If the A/C unit is on top of the furnace, make sure the coil and drain is kept clean to avoid it overflowing onto your furnace’s heat exchanger, which can also cause rust.

With regular maintenance, you can expect your furnace to last for 15-20 years or more. Make sure to keep up with your annual tune-ups and other maintenance to extend the life of your new furnace.

Posted on behalf of:
Western Aire Heating & Cooling
264 Buchanan Highway
Dallas, GA 30157
(770) 505-7426

Pet Hair and HVAC Systems 101

Furry companions are commonplace in many homes. They become part of the family and can add joy to your life. They can also add extra hair and dander in your home, a problem when you have an HVAC system. If you have furry family members, it is important to know how their hair and dander are affecting your air quality and HVAC system.

Dogs and cats are notorious for shedding. Their hair is everywhere, on furniture, your clothing and your floors. In addition, their skin or dander is constantly flaking off, creating dust around your home. All this hair and dander floats and can be filtered through your HVAC air ducts and filters, causing havoc on your system.

Tips for HVAC and Pet Owners

If you have an HVAC system and pets, you need to be aware of how the hair and dander of your pets can impact your system. Filters can become clogged, and you may have less efficiency. Plus, your system will circulate the dander throughout the home, which can trigger allergies. Here are a few tips to protect your HVAC system from the pet hair and dander:

  • Brush pets regularly to remove excess hair
  • Bath dogs routinely to remove dander and dirt
  • Vacuum and dust your home 1-2 or more per week
  • Change your HVAC filter at least once per month
  • Use an air purifier to help collect hair and dander from the air

You can have your furry friends and an efficient HVAC system, you just need to minimize the amount of hair and dander that is released into the air and keep your filters changed. Talk to your local HVAC service about the best filters to use for homes with pet to get the efficient results.

Posted on behalf of:
ClimateSmith, LLC
5950 Shiloh Road East
Alpharetta, GA 30005
(770) 475-9555