2 Tips from the Experts for Choosing the Best Air Filter for Your Home
Jul 21, 2017
When people think about what they can do to improve their home, indoor air quality is an often ignored consideration. Only when they suffer from a respiratory problem or the indoor air quality becomes bad do they start wondering how to improve their air. One of the first things they can do is choose the best air filter.
If you find yourself wondering how to choose the right air filter for your home’s HVAC, here are two important tips to consider:
Tip #1: Choose a Filter with a MERV Rating Between 5 and 14
An air filter’s minimum efficiency reporting value, or MERV rating, is a system of classifying air filters based on their ability to remove particles and contaminants from the air. The lowest MERV rating is one and the highest is 20. Higher ratings remove more contaminants from the air.
An air filter with a MERV rating of five will remove the most mold, hairs, fibers, pet dander and other allergens from the air without resulting in more frequent air filter changes, decreased HVAC efficiency or higher filter costs.
For individuals with special respiratory issues, it’s probably a good idea to choose an air filter with a higher MERV rating, such as 10 or 12. Any filter with a MERV rating of 4 or less won't do a very good job of removing the most common allergens from the air. However, anything higher than 14 won't do a significantly better job of cleaning the air yet will be a significant strain on your HVAC system's air handler.
Tip #2: Avoid HEPA Filters Unless Your HVAC System Can Handle It
HEPA or high-efficiency particulate air filters are a buzzword when it comes to indoor air quality. But due to the density of most HEPA filters, many HVAC systems won't be able to use one. That's because the air handlers won't be able to move air through the thick filter material effectively. Even if your HVAC can run with an HEPA filter installed, you may see a dramatic drop in energy efficiency without much of an air filtration performance boost over an air filter with a MERV rating of 12 or so.
Our team of indoor air quality professionals at Climatech Air, Inc. is happy to discuss what it takes to choose the right indoor air filter for your exact needs. Get in touch with us today.
3 Ways You May be Unknowingly Decreasing Your Energy Efficiency
Jul 14, 2017
Energy efficiency is front and center during the summer months as home and business owners endure high energy bills. Sometimes, these high energy bills are the result of things individuals do that can decrease the energy efficiency of their HVAC system. Below are three things you may be doing inadvertently to lessen your HVAC system's energy efficiency:
Mistake #1: Not Cleaning the Air Filter
A dirty air filter is a leading cause of reduced efficiency and poor indoor quality for most users. When an air filter needs replacing or cleaning, all those airborne contaminants can clog the filter and severely restrict the flow of air. This can drastically reduce the efficiency of an HVAC system.
Mistake #2: Blocking Air Vents
Whether it’s a rug, furniture or storage boxes, many people block the air vents where warm or cool air exits the HVAC ductwork. With blocked vents, the HVAC system won't heat or cool the indoor areas as it should. This can lead to setting your thermostat to a temperature that is higher or lower than necessary to compensate.
Mistake #3: Not Getting Regular Maintenance
Heating and air conditioning systems need regular maintenance, just like your car does. When it doesn’t get this maintenance, it’s more likely to break down or not work properly. For most people, as long as the HVAC system appears to work, they won’t give it a second thought. This means neglecting maintenance. The HVAC unit’s efficiency will slowly decline as moving parts lose lubrication and air filters get clogged.
To discover other ways to improve the energy efficiency of your home and HVAC system, contact our expert team at Climatech Air Inc.
Two Summer HVAC Troubleshooting Tips from the Experts
Jul 07, 2017
When the heat rolls in, you’ll want to know that your heating and air conditioning system is working as it should and will be ready when you need it most. If you are unlucky enough to have a broken or failing air conditioner this summer, here are a couple of tips you can try yourself when troubleshooting your air conditioner:
Troubleshooting Tip #1: Check the Thermostat
A broken thermostat can result in an air conditioner that does nothing but take up space, even if the air conditioner itself is working just fine. The first thing you can do is make sure it’s set to cool. Then, set the thermostat several degrees cooler than the current indoor temperature. If the thermostat is working properly, it should quickly activate the air conditioner.
If it doesn’t activate the air conditioner, your thermostat should at least indicate it recognizes the new temperature setting and is trying to activate it. Depending on the thermostat you may hear it "click" on when it senses the set temperature is lower than the actual indoor temperature.
If the thermostat doesn't recognize the new temperature and try to turn on the air conditioner, something may be wrong with your thermostat. Check to see if it needs new batteries or if the wiring is okay. If it’s not the batteries, it might be a good idea to seek professional assistance to fix your thermostat.
Troubleshooting Tip #2: Check the Circuit Breakers
Occasionally your HVAC system can trip a circuit breaker. If this occurs, resetting the breaker can restore normal operation to your air conditioner. However, if your HVAC system tripped the breaker, there's a good chance it will trip it again. If that's the case, something is likely wrong with your HVAC unit. If it happens again, don't reset the breakers. Instead, try calling an HVAC professional.
A malfunctioning heating and air conditioning system can be particularly frustrating during the summer season. If the basic troubleshooting tips can’t help you, try contacting our team at Climatech Air Inc. today.
Tips from the Experts for Staying Cool at the Office This Summer
Jun 23, 2017
Maintenance agreements can help employees and customers of Beaufort businesses stay comfortable during the brutal summer heat.
When it's hot outside, keeping your air conditioner running as dependably as possible is easy when you use maintenance agreements. These service plans allow you to get the consistent and professional HVAC maintenance your air conditioner needs to keep the office cool.
How Do Maintenance Agreements Help Me Stay Cool at the Office?
Before the summer season, a specially trained HVAC professional will examine and inspect your office air conditioner and HVAC system. This professional will ensure everything is working as it should be and take steps to keep it that way. One thing your HVAC professional will do is check the refrigerant levels in your air conditioner. Not having enough refrigerant will make it seem like your air conditioner is working, but it won't provide the coldest air it possibly can.
Another advantage of maintenance agreements is that if you do need repairs, discounts are available. You also won't have to wait as long for repairs. Priority repair status allows your HVAC professional to service your air conditioner before anyone else who does not have a maintenance agreement. In the rare instance your air conditioner needs service during the summer, you can have it fixed sooner than most customers can.
Other Ways to Stay Cool
Besides enrolling in a maintenance agreement, other tips you can take to keep your office cool this summer include:
- Install sun shades or blinds on windows that face the sun most of the day.
- Install a programmable thermostat.
- Use indoor fans.
- Replace any incandescent light bulbs with CCFL or LED bulbs. They are not only more energy efficient but produce far less heat when used.
Maintenance agreements are a hassle-free way to make sure your air conditioner will run properly this summer and keep your Beaufort business cool. For more information about enrolling in one of these service plans, contact our friendly team at Climatech Air Inc.
Three Steps to Alleviating Your Spring Allergies in Your Richmond Hill Home
Jun 16, 2017
The spring season brings more pleasant weather, but poorer indoor air quality for allergy sufferers. Here’s what you can do about it.
Indoor air quality matters for the health and comfort of those who live inside your Richmond Hill home. And for those who suffer from allergies, maintaining the quality of indoor air is especially important. Even though most spring allergies originate from outside sources, there are several steps you can take to help alleviate springtime allergies while inside. Let’s take a look:
Step #1: Keep Windows and Doors Closed
It may be tempting to have the windows open when it's pleasant outside, but doing so can allow pollen to make its way indoors. This can lead to allergy symptoms when inside. But you don't have to keep the windows closed all the time. When it's raining outside, the water will scrub the air of pollen. Opening a window while it rains shouldn’t lead to a higher pollen count indoors.
Step #2: Wash and Clean
Pollen sticks to your clothing and body when you are outside; when you come inside, you bring it with you. To reduce the amount of pollen that makes its way indoors and into your respiratory system, take a shower as soon as you get home. Wash your clothes after wearing them outside the home. Additionally, wash your pillow cases and bed sheets frequently.
Step #3: Use an Air Filter
A standalone air filter, especially one with an impressive HEPA rating, can further clean the air of any pollen and unwanted airborne contaminants that can lead to allergies. You can also install a specialized air filter in your HVAC system to capture pollen, dust, dander and other indoor air pollutants. Just make sure you use a filter that your HVAC’s air handler can efficiently use.
If the above steps don’t provide notable relief for your springtime allergies, there could be other causes of indoor air pollution. You’re probably better off contacting Climatech Air Inc. today and speaking with one of our HVAC professionals to learn more about your best options to improve the indoor air quality in your Richmond Hill home.
Checklist for Keeping Your Energy Costs Under Control This Summer
Jun 09, 2017
The summer season is often a time when a Statesboro homeowner can most appreciate appliances with high energy efficiency.
An air conditioner with high energy efficiency is a great way to keep your energy costs low this summer. However, it's not always practical to install a brand-new air conditioner. The following checklist provides other ways to save money during the hot months of summer:
#1: Use a fan
The feeling of moving air is a very effective way to feel cooler without running your air conditioner at a lower temperature setting. Fans are cheap and use far less electricity than your air conditioner while being just as effective.
#2: Install Window Shades
Letting in less sunlight during the summer will keep your house much cooler. You can apply films or install shades or curtains to keep out the sun's rays in the middle of the day.
#3: Adjust Your Water Heater's Thermostat
In the summer, it's not likely you'll desire extra-hot showers, so why keep your water heater set to a temperature that produces extra hot water you won't use? Instead, turn it down a few degrees. You'll never notice a difference.
#4: Cook Wisely
Your oven and stove can significantly contribute to the uncomfortable heat inside the home during the summer. If at all possible, try to schedule the stove and oven's use on days that aren't as hot or days where you can have the window open to circulate the hot air generated by those appliances into the outside.
#5: Check Your Home for Drafts
Any opening to the outside, such as doors and windows, can provide an opportunity for your cool air to leak outside. Reduce this by checking for leaks. If you find any, install caulk, insulation or weather stripping as necessary.
For additional methods and tricks for saving energy and improving your energy efficiency in your Statesboro home during the hot summer months, feel free to contact Climatech Air Inc. today.
How Geothermal Systems Save You Money & Help the Environment
Jun 02, 2017
Geothermal HVAC systems represent the ultimate in heating and air conditioning energy efficiency for your Hilton Head area home.
Improving the energy efficiency of your heating and air conditioning is a sure-fire way to both save money and help the environment. Geothermal HVAC systems are some of the most energy efficient and highest performing HVAC options available. But why is this so?
Geothermal Is Extremely Energy Efficient
A geothermal HVAC system will save anywhere from 20-60% on your heating and cooling costs when compared to a conventional HVAC system. Geothermal provides roughly four units of heating or cooling for every one unit of electricity used. Compare this with a conventional HVAC system where one unit of heating or cooling requires the use of one unit of energy!
If your energy comes from a non-renewable source, such as coal or nuclear power, the geothermal HVAC system's lower use of electricity means less dependence on fossil fuels and nuclear energy which, in turn, leads to a healthier environment.
Geothermal Energy Produces Fewer Greenhouse Gases
Many Hilton Head homeowners use fossil fuel for their heating needs. With geothermal, a home no longer needs propane, natural gas or fuel oil to help heat the home. Therefore, heating a home with geothermal produces no carbon dioxide or other greenhouse gases. Fewer greenhouse gases produced means less global warming.
(Almost) Free Hot Water
Depending on your geothermal setup, you can use the waste heat from the geothermal HVAC system to provide your home’s hot water. Instead of sending the waste heat into the ground, the geothermal HVAC system can instead send the heat to your water heater. So not only do you save a large amount of energy heating and cooling your home, you save energy heating up your water too.
Conventional heating and air conditioning costs can be expensive and place a burden on the environment. This is especially true when they use electricity, rely on non-renewable energy sources and produce greenhouse gases. To get more information on what it takes to have a geothermal HVAC system for your Hilton Head home, contact Climatech Air Inc. today.
Signs It's Time to Call in the Experts for an HVAC Maintenance Visit
May 26, 2017
HVAC units are large, complex and expensive systems that can benefit from maintenance agreements. With such a sizable investment, you'll want to make sure it lasts and you get the largest benefit possible. But to do this, proper and regular maintenance is strongly recommended, especially just before the summer or winter seasons. If it's spring or fall, it's time for preventative maintenance.
What Are Maintenance Agreements?
Maintenance agreements are plans in which an HVAC professional inspects and conducts routine maintenance of an HVAC system at least once, but often twice per year. The purpose of these inspections is to check up on the HVAC system and make sure it's working properly and safely.
Benefits of a Maintenance Agreement
Maintenance agreements have a variety of advantages. The specific benefits depend on the maintenance plan an individual enrolls in. However, the following benefits are common:
- Automatically scheduled HVAC inspection visits. This takes the guesswork out of finding the right time for the preventative maintenance visit.
- Taking care of routine maintenance, such as cleaning or changing air filters.
- Inspecting moving parts for damage and lubricating components as necessary.
- Fixing any potential problems before they result in major issues, such as frayed wires.
- If repairs are necessary, exclusive discounts are available to members of a maintenance agreement.
- Those enrolled in a maintenance agreement will have priority for repairs if there is a backlog of HVAC problems in the area.
Why Not Do the Maintenance Yourself?
The average homeowner can handle some maintenance tasks without resorting to an HVAC professional. However, many of the tasks require extensive experience and training, such as identifying potential problems, making necessary repairs and determining both current damage and possible points of future damage within the HVAC system. The average homeowner can't open up an air handler or air conditioning condenser and identify any potential problems.
If you're a resident of Jasper or Bryan Counties or surrounding areas and are interested in enrolling in one of the convenient maintenance agreements available, or you'd like more information on how they work and what will take place during a maintenance visit, contact one of our experts at Climatech Air Inc. today.
Four Things You Should Know About Indoor Air Pollution in Your Stilson, GA Home
May 19, 2017
When it comes to making home improvements, improving the indoor air quality is often ignored. However, air quality can have a long-term and significant impact on the health of those living inside. The following is a list of four things you should know about indoor air pollution:
Fact #1: Indoor Air Quality Can Be Really Bad
The quality of the indoor air can be as much as 60% worse than the air outside. Remember that just because the pollution has no odor doesn't mean it's not there or the air is safe to breathe.
Fact #2: Indoor Air Pollution Can Come from Anywhere
It might be easy to assume smoke from a candle or fumes from a cleaning chemical are the only major sources of indoor air pollution. But many other things can cause poor indoor air quality. The indoor air pollution can come from mold in HVAC ductwork, new home renovations, dust, the use of craft supplies or even from the ground itself, in the form of radon. All these can contribute to a significant indoor air pollution problem that can have harmful effects on a building's occupants.
Fact #3: Indoor Air Pollution Can Cause More Than Just Respiratory Problems
When most people think of ill effects from poor indoor air quality, they think of allergy symptoms or asthma. But the problem can be far worse. According to the EPA, indoor air pollution ranked as the fourth leading cancer risk out of 13 total environmental problems.
Fact #4: Indoor Plants Are Great Ways to Improve Indoor Air Quality
To improve indoor quality, you must find the sources of the indoor pollution. In the meantime, one way to help clean the air of contaminants is to keep house plants inside. Plants such as the spider plant and aloe vera can be very effective air scrubbers.
For more information and guidance about sources of indoor air pollution and ways to improve indoor air quality in your Stilson area home, contact our friendly team at Climatech Air Inc. today.
How to Boost Your Ellabell Area Home’s Energy Efficiency
May 12, 2017
By improving the energy efficiency of your home, you can significantly improve your HVAC unit's performance while saving money at the same time. But your home's heating and cooling system isn't the only place where you can save energy. Keep reading for some other steps you can take to conserve.
Replace All Incandescent Lights
Incandescent lights are usually cheap to buy and produce a warm, pleasing light. However, they are very inefficient and put out a lot of wasted energy in the form of heat. That is especially wasteful in the summer, when the air conditioner is cooling down what the light bulbs heated up.
CCFL bulbs use about 1/4 to 1/5 the energy of incandescent bulbs and usually last longer. For even greater energy savings, try installing LED bulbs, which use about 1/3 the electricity of a CCFL bulb.
Install Energy Efficient Appliances
This is a pretty obvious suggestion that can result in significant cost savings in the long run. However, getting a new HVAC system, refrigerator or washing machine isn't cheap and is usually only done when the old one wears out.
Lower the Temperature on the Water Heater
Most of the time, homeowners don't even need water as hot as the water heater is capable of producing. This means energy wasted on heating water to a temperature the user will cool down with cold water anyway.
Beware of Vampire Appliances or Devices
Many electronics, even when turned off, still use electricity. TVs, computers, microwaves and video game systems are just a few examples of devices that run on electricity as long as they're plugged in. Over the course of a year, these multiple devices can add up to a significant amount of wasted electricity. To prevent this vampire draw, unplug the devices or plug them into special power strips that cut off all power to the device when not in use.
Check All Seals
Make sure there are no air leaks in the openings of the home, such as around windows and doors. Add weather stripping or caulk as necessary. This will keep the cool air in during the summer and cold air out in the winter. The HVAC unit will also appreciate the better sealing.
These are just a handful of ways you can increase the energy efficiency of your home. To learn about more options in Ellabell and surrounding areas, call our team of experts at Climatech Air at 912-355-0923.