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5 Products That Affect Indoor Air Quality This Winter & Beyond

When the weather outside is frightful, subsequent closed windows and doors make indoor air quality maintenance even more important. Help your maintenance efforts this winter by learning about common products that decrease air quality while considering air purification options from your local HVAC contractors. 

Commercial Air Fresheners

The air fresheners you place around your home from assorted retail and grocery stores frequently contain a variety of toxic chemicals that pollute indoor air. These chemicals also coat the interior of your nose and can eventually affect your ability to smell. Stick to natural air fresheners from reputable brands or make your own using dried herbs such as lavender. Bowls of potpourri featuring assorted dried herbs function as decor pieces in addition to releasing aromatic scents. 

Commercial Candles

Like commercial air fresheners, the candles you find at most stores contain a variety of toxic chemicals that do nothing for indoor air quality. They may smell pleasant, but the addition of chemicals to the air can increase respiratory problems such as asthma and assorted allergies. Stick to natural candle options instead, including those made from soy and beeswax. 

Cigarette Smoke

It can be tempting to smoke indoors on frigid days; however, all you’re doing is polluting your indoor air with dangerous chemicals including ammonia, acetone, carbon monoxide, butane, and formaldehyde among many others. Cigarette smoke also stains walls, upholstered furniture, assorted decor, and clothes. Consider quitting as part of a healthy new year and if you must smoke, do it outside or in a well-ventilated, detached garage. 

Commercial Cleaning Products

Bleach, ammonia, and other toxic chemicals found in many commercial cleaning products won’t help your indoor air quality. Switch to inexpensive, all-purpose, non-toxic options instead such as white vinegar and baking soda. Use them on a variety of surfaces or combine these products to create a fizzy cleansing mixture that makes scrubbing showers and tubs easier. The mixture also helps unclog drains when it’s allowed to stand for about 30 minutes before flushing with hot water. 

Paint & Paint Thinner

Those cans of paint and paint thinner sitting in your attached garage or basement workshop slowly put off-gas, releasing VOCs (volatile organic compounds) that damage indoor air quality. Keep these items in a detached, well-ventilated shed and look for environmentally-friendly versions to breathe easier at home. 

Discuss your indoor air quality needs with the air purification experts at Precise Air Systems today. 

Why You Can’t Afford To Skip Annual HVAC System Checks

Your HVAC system works hard most months of the year to maintain a comfortable interior temperature. And while there are plenty of DIY methods that help this system avoid extra stress and wear, such as by sealing air leaks and keeping outdoor units clean, scheduling annual maintenance in the fall is still important. It may seem like an extra expense, but it isn’t. Here’s why. 

It Identifies Small Problems Before They Become Bigger–MUCH Bigger

Annual HVAC system maintenance can be likened to annual wellness examinations and semi-annual dental checkups because it identifies minor issues before they become serious problems. A faulty part or another issue that may not be a big deal now wears on your system, causing it to work harder. Your energy bills increase because of this extra stress, and that’s in addition to paying for costly repairs in the future. Save your wallet by making annual HVAC maintenance a must. 

Your System Gets Cleaned & Lubricated

In addition to inspecting your HVAC system and making small repairs, your contractor cleans the unit and lubricates its many moving parts. This also contributes to system efficiency to keep your home comfortable and your energy bills reasonable. Think of your unit as a vehicle engine–without the proper lubrication, what happens? Increased friction, heat, and wear. 

It Prolongs HVAC System Life

Routine maintenance ensures your system runs as long as it should instead of “dying” prematurely from excessive wear and tear. Preventive maintenance avoids mid-winter breakdowns that leave you and your family chilled, as well as untimely replacements that cost serious money you planned to spend on other things. 

Your Contractor Provides Free HVAC Maintenance Advice

Most HVAC contractors happily dispense maintenance advice that keeps your system in great condition throughout the season, such as sealing any air leaks around your home, insulating pipes, and cleaning vents. They can also order parts specific to your system so it continues to operate efficiently. 

You’ll Learn If It’s Time For A Replacement 

Sometimes a routine maintenance check turns into a call for the system’s replacement. If yours is older and subject to seemingly-endless repairs, replacing the unit with a modern, energy-efficient option will save you money over time. It also prevents those mid-season breakdowns that are as uncomfortable as they are costly. 

Schedule your annual HVAC maintenance check by contacting the team at Precise Air Systems today. 

Do’s & Don’ts Of Wintertime HVAC Maintenance

Your HVAC system works especially hard when the weather outside is frightful, making a little TLC extra important. Keep your system working at an optimal level throughout the coldest months of the year with a few essential do’s and don’ts. These tips will prevent energy bills that make your wallet weep, as well as premature system failures and replacements. Read on, and save your system.

Do: Clean The Filters

Clean your air filters regularly to avoid airflow restrictions that cause the system to work extra hard…and increase your energy bills. Check and clean the filter every month and replace it as necessary. Filter longevity is based mainly on thickness, so refer to your manufacturer’s instructions if you have questions about the cleaning/replacement schedule.

Don’t: Forget About Your Thermostat

Get in the habit of checking your thermostat before you leave for the day and go to bed. Keeping your thermostat up when no one is home or everyone is sleep is a waste of energy that also contributes to dirty filters and premature system wear. If remembering to look at the thermostat is an issue, leave notes or consider a programmable thermostat installation.

Do: Keep Flammable Items AWAY From The System

Ensure everything that could possibly catch fire is nowhere near your HVAC system. This includes all paper products, fabrics and clothing, and holiday decorations. Maintain a distance of at least five feet around the entire system, and keep flammable objects away from your radiators for the same reasons.

Don’t: Skip Register & Vent Cleaning

Walk around your home with a dust rag and non-toxic cleaning solution to clean every vent and register. These things get coated with dust and other debris easily, again restricting airflow and increasing your utility bills. Clean vents promote healthy indoor air to reduce allergy symptoms among your family members.

Make certain the registers are not blocked by area rugs as well.

Do: Schedule A Professional Inspection Every Year

Have your local HVAC maintenance company inspect your system every year before winter sets in. Annual inspections check the system for potential and actual problems to make repairs before they become severe and costly. Routine inspections keep any issues from worsening to prolong the life of this important system and subsequently save money over time.

Schedule HVAC services with Precise Air Systems to keep your heating and cooling components in excellent condition this winter and beyond.  

Christmas And Your HVAC System: Safety Tips

‘Tis the season for merriment and for making sure your family home is safe.


Christmas is the perfect time to deck the halls with fresh garland and trees. And, to cozy up by the fire or in a warm heated home. But, along with bringing nature and beauty into a house during the chilliest time of year, some homeowners invite fire risk inside.


While you most certainly should enjoy all of the decorations and traditions that come with Christmastime, just take care to go over some safety precautions. Making a fire safety checklist as fall turns into winter is a good idea so that you’re not caught off guard with an emergency.


You will have the best cheer and joy for Christmas if you consider the little extra steps that are needed to stay safe when you bring new items into your home. Even piled up packages can pose a safety hazard if left near a furnace or heater.


Lights strewn too close to a heating unit can be just the overload of warmth that ignites drapery or furniture. And, of course, Christmas trees and fresh garlands along with real wreaths need to be placed far from HVAC systems or else you risk turning a festive mood into a nightmare.


To protect yourself, your loved ones and your home from accidental fire this Christmas, here are some safety tips to consider:


Pick a Tree with Needles that Stay Put


Many Christmas tree varietals have leaves that stay on the branches rather than wither away and fall off, leaving a pile of potential fire fuel on the floor. Choose trees known to last a while, and opt for a short tree season to avoid dead and dried branches.


Choose Your Tree in Consideration of Your Home


When you pick a Christmas tree, know exactly where you’ll put it. Avoid having to crowd out furnaces and heaters with a tree that is too large for the area. Ideally, there should be a 3 to 4-foot gap between your Christmas tree and heating sources, which include fireplaces and radiators.


Water Your Tree Daily


Christmas trees need to be watered, or at least monitored, daily. Ensure your tree doesn’t become brown and lose a lot of needles. If it does and you still have days to go until Christmas, don’t take the risk. Swap your real tree for an artificial one.


Don’t Use Candles to Light Your Tree


There are plenty of low-heat lights you can string on your Christmas Tree. Even though picture books and old movies make it seem like a tree adorned with candles is a good idea, it absolutely is not.


The National Fire Protection Association says that one-third of all Christmas tree fires are started because of electrical issues. Before the Christmas season, make sure you schedule a check of your HVAC system by a qualified professional.




Top 10 HVAC Energy Saving Tips For Winter

As we head into the holidays, we’re likely going to be busy preparing, shopping and engaging in fun activities. Before it gets too hectic, consider doing a quick check of your HVAC system to make sure you’ll be able to enjoy comfort in the most energy-efficient way possible.

In particular, you’ll want to make sure your maintenance schedule is up to date so you’re not hit with any big breaks that require unexpected costs. You’ll also want to look for any fixes that need to be made, such as leaks, so you don’t waste energy.

No one wants to be in the middle of a holiday gathering or winter chill and realize their HVAC system is not working properly. This means costly repairs and surprisingly high bills come the new year.

By putting in a bit of effort now to make sure everything is functioning and looking as it should, you can save yourself a lot of worries and money.

Here are our top 10 HVAC energy saving tips for winter:

1. Have Your HVAC System Inspected

You should service your HVAC system yearly to make sure it’s working properly. If you can, schedule your appointment well before your holiday parties, events, and gatherings. Fall is the perfect time to prepare for winter’s demands.

2. Replace Your Old Heating System

Ancient heating systems are huge energy drains. With the help of a certified contractor, evaluate your system for energy use and functionality. While it’s not always fun to part with money for system upgrades, in the end, your bank account and comfort will thank you. Systems that are more than 10 years old can likely be replaced with new high-efficiency models to reduce energy bills by up to 40 percent.

3. Insulate Your Attic

Insulating your attic is one of the easiest ways to ensure your HVAC system is operating optimally. You can lighten your system’s load by keeping warm air in your home and preventing it from escaping outside. This helps your HVAC system do less to control temperature, which saves energy.

4. Install a Programmable Thermostat

Cutting down on energy costs during winter is easier when you can precisely control your indoor air temperature. A programmable thermostat is a great way to do this. You can program and teach smart thermostats to keep a certain air temperature when your family is away and home, and turn it off when you’re not in a particular room or part of the house.

5. Upgrade Your Heating and Cooling at the Same time

You might not be thinking of cooling your home right now, but if you’re considering upgrading your heating system, you can save money and energy by purchasing new heating and cooling solutions at the same time.

6. Clean or Replace Your Air Filters

If your HVAC filters are dirty, they will restrict airflow and reduce the energy efficiency of your entire system. Fall is the perfect time to clean or replace your air filters. This should actually be done every 1 to 3 months.

7. Unblock All Registers and Vents

Make sure all of your registers and vents are clean and clear of furniture, rugs, and draperies.

8. Reprogram Your Thermostat

Consider whether or not you can be comfortable in indoor air that is not quite as warm as you usually have it. You might be able to save yourself tons of money and energy by adjusting your settings.

9. Check Your Home for Drafts

Inspect every room in your home for cracks and places where cold air can come in.

10. Make Energy Education a Priority

Stay on top of the energy efficiency in your home by committing to ongoing education on HVAC maintenance and repair procedures.