Category: News and Tips

10 Ways To Improve The Air Quality In Your Home

Our homes are the places where we should feel the safest and most comfortable. In order to enjoy our living spaces to the fullest and make them havens for well-being, we have to pay attention to the quality of our indoor air.

 

What we bring into our homes and the appliances we use to support our lifestyles can be sources of comfort and safety, or they can damage our environment. Since we spend so much time inside – sleeping, being with family and even working – it’s important that the air we’re breathing is healthy.

 

Aerosols, cleaners, smoke, cosmetics and more contribute to toxic indoor air quality. Though it might not be possible to completely purify the air inside our homes, here are 10 easy ways to improve your indoor environment:

 

  1. Make Sure Your Home is Well Ventilated

 

Keeping windows and doors open as much as possible is a simple way to ventilate the air inside your home. You can also promote healthy indoor air quality by having a good air intake component on your HVAC system.

 

  1. Monitor the Humidity in Your Home

 

Ideally, an interior environment with between 30 and 50 percent humidity will prevent mold build-up, which grows rapidly in homes with humidity exceeding these numbers. Mold spores can cause illness and some mold may even be fatal.

 

  1. Use an Air Purifier

 

Volatile organic compounds in textiles, furniture, and building materials can pollute the indoor environment, as can pollen, dust mites, dust and pet hair. An air purifier removes these particles from the air in your home, and it may reduce the suffering associated with allergies and asthma.

 

  1. Bring the Outdoors In

 

Decorate your indoors with houseplants, which work to freshen your air and produce a cleaner indoor atmosphere. If you have pets, choose animal-friendly varietals or place plants up high.

 

  1. Cut out Smoke

 

Fewer people are smoking today, but smoke remains a cause for concern in many households. Cigarette smoke contains thousands of dangerous chemicals including 43 of which are known carcinogens.

 

  1. Skip the Aerosols

 

Aerosols are hazardous for homes because they can cause people to inhale toxic chemicals or even lead to skin reactions. Some allergies are aggravated and many heart problems are triggered by aerosol sprays.

 

  1. Choose an Eco-Friendly Carpet and Furniture Cleaner

 

Carpet and furniture cleaning professionals often use harmful toxin-filled detergents that can settle deep into fabrics and other surfaces, just to be released when someone sits on a piece of furniture or walks on a rug. Even if you clean your own carpeting and sofas, consider going with an environmentally-friendly cleaner.

 

  1. Install Carbon Monoxide Detectors

 

Many people underestimate the importance of having carbon monoxide detectors in a home. These small and affordable devices detect harmful gases that can make your family sick or worse.

 

  1. Maintain Your HVAC System

 

To prevent your loved ones from getting sick due to poor-quality indoor air, make sure you regularly maintain your heating and air-conditioning units. Ensure they’re always clean and in good working order.

 

Precise Air Systems offers a range of products and services that will help garner the cleanest air possible in your home. Contact us to learn more.

 

Keep Your Air-Conditioning Working Well With These 5 Maintenance Tips

Keep Your Air-Conditioning Working Well With These 5 Maintenance Tips

The Department of Energy reports that cooling and heating bills often make up more than half of a household’s utility expenses. This means that using your air-conditioning unit could be one of the largest energy expenses in your budget.

With warm weather comes rising cooling costs, so it makes sense to find ways to reduce energy use and money paid to energy companies.

These 5 air-conditioning maintenance tips will help you keep your cooling bill down and, as a bonus, extend the life of your AC unit. All of these suggestions are completely free too, helping you to keep your money in the bank.

1. Clean Around Your Outdoor Condenser Unit

Your air-conditioning will work most efficiently when it’s clear of debris and kept clean. It doesn’t take much time or effort to clean your outdoor condenser unit, but sometimes leaving it to the HVAC pros makes sense. The goal is to remove dirt, foliage, and any buildup so that air flows freely through the condenser and optimizes performance.

2. Vacuum Indoor AC Vents and Keep Them Unblocked

Vacuum away any dust and debris from your indoor AC supply vents to maintain steady airflow from the system and your vents. Also, keep furniture, blinds and other household items away from air-conditioning vents to maximize airflow.

3. Bump Up Your Thermostat

Your air-conditioning unit is going to be working hard to cool your house, so give it a little break and increase the thermostat 5 to 8 degrees. You’ll save money and years on your unit, and possibly not notice too much of a shift in comfort level. Use a programmable thermostat to control temperature while you’re away from home or sleeping. You don’t want your AC to work any more than it needs to.

4. Keep Blinds and Curtains Closed

Pulling the shades down or curtains closed will help keep heat out of your house during the day. When direct sun hits your windows, it warms up the temperature inside of the house fast. You’ll notice a huge difference in your home’s indoor temperature if blinds and curtains are closed before the sun first enters your windows for the day.

5. Insulate Exposed Ductwork

If you properly seal the ductwork that runs through your spaces that are not air-conditioned, you’ll avoid losing any of your cool air. Modest visible leaks can be easily fixed with duct tape. You may need a professional to help you take care of large defects. Your ductwork should also be properly insulated with the correct thickness of the insulating material.

You spend quite a bit of money on your home’s comfort. With just a few tweaks or a bit of attention to simple things, you can enjoy more comfort in the future with lower bills and a long-lasting air-conditioning system.

6 Top HVAC Brands And Why They’re Rated So High

Making an investment in an HVAC system is serious business. First, it will cost you a substantial sum of money. Second, it will be with you, hopefully, a long time. So it is important to do your homework and find a reputable make and model that fits your needs and your budget. Having said that, it is equally important to find a good installer, as this can impact the unit’s effectiveness as much as the quality of its production.

Nonetheless, here is our choices for the top six brands currently on the market:

1) Maytag: Though it is a smaller company, this maker seems to be one of the best HVAC producers at the moment, thanks to some cutting-edge advances in its production and design. Its M1200 PSA4Bl iQ Drive has garnered praise for its efficiency and quietness. It is Energy Star-qualified and meets CEE Tier 3 requirements, plus its stainless-steel cabinet is impressive, as is its 12-year warranty.
2) Trane: This Company also gets good grades from its customers, particularly in regard to its efficient and quiet operation. In fact, the Trane XV20i uses less energy than almost any model made by any other producer. Though it earned just a 21 SEER rating, its ability to sync with and be controlled by a downloadable phone app wins it extra points.
3) Lennox: This Company maintains its standing as one of the best because of the dependability of its products, and its insistence to only allow qualified installers to install their products. The Dave Lennox Signature XC25, in particular, is one of the most efficient HVAC products on the market. In addition, it is solar-power ready, so it can be used in conjunction with and powered by solar panels. How’s that for forward thinking?
4) Carrier: Carrier’s low percentage of units needing maintenance and its generous 10-year warranty keep it in the top six brands. Its 21 SEER has been surpassed by a number of brands, but the Infinity 21 24ANB1, in particular, is winning rave reviews for its ability to extract humidity from indoor spaces.
5) Rheem: This Company continues to make efficient, cutting-edge HVAC units that have low incidences of customer complaints. Rheem also offers above-average warranties on all of its models.
6) American Standard: Yes, this Company can be a bit pricey, but you get what you pay for. In American Standard’s case, that means excellent reliability and far fewer problems with such components as air conditioning and heat pump units.

In the end, which make and model of HVAC unit is right for you depends on a number of things. Spend the time studying the market and ask an expert their opinion. Chances are, you’ll end up with a system that lasts you many years.

Often-Overlooked HVAC Winter Maintenance Tips

Depending on where you live, summer can be the season that puts the most strain on your HVAC unit. Regardless, it often seems as if your trusty cooling machine has to battle through the blistering heat, often without a break for weeks at a time. Many homeowners are then thrilled when the weather breaks and they are able to give their HVAC a rest and, soon thereafter, clean it up and shut it down.

However, that quick once over is often doing your unit an injustice. The truth is, many homeowners overlook a handful of necessary and effective measures they can take during the winter to keep their mean machine in tip-top shape. Here is a list of a few overlooked actions you can take during the cold-weather months so there are no surprises at other times of the year:

Clean, Clean, Clean
Many homeowners clean around the outside of their unit after autumn’s leaves make their descent and reach their final destination. If they are smart, they also clean out the inside of the unit, too. However, it is vitally important to keep the area in and around your unit clean and debris-free throughout the winter, whether it experiences a build-up of dry, dusty debris, dead branches or even snow. So make it a point to clean around your unit once or twice a month, even for just a few minutes, to prevent any potential complications in the future.

Insulate Your Attic
This is an often-forgotten step, as it does not apply directly to the heating unit. Still, adding a fresh, thick layer of insulation to your attic can cut your heating costs and the demand on your machine greatly. In addition, insulation works both ways, keeping the warm in and cold out during the winter and vice-versa in the summer. Isn’t that worth the time and effort?

Get Your Ductwork Cleaned
This is imperative, as not only can dirty ducts spread allergens and dust throughout your living space, but they can decrease your heating unit’s efficiency by as much as 15 percent. So contact a professional and have this service done periodically so that you and your family can breathe easier, literally and figuratively.

As you see, these steps are as easy as pie to complete and offer you tremendous peace of mind so you can enjoy the changes of seasons without fear.

The Advantages of Central Air in The Summer

Depending on where you live, summer can be the season that puts the most strain on your HVAC unit. Regardless, it often seems as if your trusty cooling machine has to battle through the blistering heat, often without a break for weeks at a time. Many homeowners are then thrilled when the weather breaks and they are able to give their HVAC a rest and, soon thereafter, clean it up and shut it down.

However, that quick once over is often doing your unit an injustice. The truth is, many homeowners overlook a handful of necessary and effective measures they can take during the winter to keep their mean machine in tip-top shape. Here is a list of a few overlooked actions you can take during the cold-weather months so there are no surprises at other times of the year:

Clean, Clean, Clean
Many homeowners clean around the outside of their unit after autumn’s leaves make their descent and reach their final destination. If they are smart, they also clean out the inside of the unit, too. However, it is vitally important to keep the area in and around your unit clean and debris-free throughout the winter, whether it experiences a build-up of dry, dusty debris, dead branches or even snow. So make it a point to clean around your unit once or twice a month, even for just a few minutes, to prevent any potential complications in the future.

Insulate Your Attic
This is an often-forgotten step, as it does not apply directly to the heating unit. Still, adding a fresh, thick layer of insulation to your attic can cut your heating costs and the demand on your machine greatly. In addition, insulation works both ways, keeping the warm in and cold out during the winter and vice-versa in the summer. Isn’t that worth the time and effort?

Get Your Ductwork Cleaned
This is imperative, as not only can dirty ducts spread allergens and dust throughout your living space, but they can decrease your heating unit’s efficiency by as much as 15 percent. So contact a professional and have this service done periodically so that you and your family can breathe easier, literally and figuratively.

As you see, these steps are as easy as pie to complete and offer you tremendous peace of mind so you can enjoy the changes of seasons without fear.