A Home Humidifier Can Help Relieve Your Allergies

A humidifier is an important part of most HVAC systems, especially during the winter when air is naturally drier. This attachment adds moisture to the air making the indoor environment more comfortable. More humidity relieves dry skin and eyes and reduces static build up that gives you those little shocks when you touch tings. But did you know that another way humidifiers make your home more comfortable is by reducing allergy symptoms?

How Moisture in the Air Can Help You Feel Better

When air is too dry anyone will feel it in their airways. Your throat gets dry and scratchy, your nasal passages are sore, and even your sinuses may start to ache. Imagine how much worse allergy symptoms are when the air is dry.

Just a little more moisture in the air can relieve the dry itchy eyes, scratchy throat, inflammation in the nose and sinuses, and the pain and irritation that goes along with all of these common allergy symptoms.

Greater humidity won’t cure your seasonal allergies, but having a humidifier add a little extra water to your indoor air can make a huge difference to how comfortable you feel in your own home each allergy season.

Take in Fewer Allergens and Prevent Symptoms before They Happen

Minimizing symptoms isn’t the only benefit you get from installing a humidifier. By soothing your airways with more humid air, you are better able to expel the allergens you inhale both outdoors and indoors.

With moist and healthy airways, you can sneeze and cough more efficiently and expel dust, pollen, and other allergens before they cause serious symptoms. With dry and irritated airways you are less likely to cough or sneeze.

Balance Moisture and Dryness for the Best Indoor Air Quality

If you suffer from seasonal allergies, a humidifier could make your home environment significantly more comfortable, but striking the right balance is important. Too much humidity creates an environment that promotes the growth of dust mites, mold, and other allergens.

The right balance for relief, without letting allergens thrive, is a humidity level between 40 and 50 percent. Our professionals at Air Quality can help you find the right humidity for your HVAC system and will show you how to measure the humidity in the air so you can adjust it to be at just the right level.

The irritation and discomfort of seasonal allergies is something you don’t need in your own home. Let the professionals at Air Quality Heating & Air Conditioning help you figure pick out and install the humidifier that will bring you allergy relief.

Can I Save Money With a Programmable Thermostat?

The Energy Information Administration estimates that over 40 percent of home energy costs come from cooling and heating our homes. As a result, reducing the amount of energy we use for heating and cooling can significantly lower our overall energy bills.

Programmable thermostats may seem like a great way to do this. These thermostats are often advertised as energy-saving devices that will save you a great deal of money. However, studies have found that programmable thermostats frequently fail to live up to their supposed energy saving potential. The problem, it turns out, is that many people don’t use their potentially efficient thermostats in a very efficient way.

The Human Element

One key to lower heating and cooling costs is to turn down your thermostat for at least eight hours every day or night. Programmable thermostats make this easy, since you can preset temperatures for different times of day. In the summer you can set your air conditioner to turn off while you’re at work, and during the winter you can have your thermostat switch off while you’re sleeping.

However, many people set their programmable thermostats to run the air conditioner during the day and the heater at night. This may ensure maximum comfort but it uses an enormous amount of energy and causes energy bills to skyrocket.

Moderate indoor temperatures are also key to lowering energy use. Indoor temperatures of 68 degrees in the winter and 78 degrees in the summer are considered ideal for energy efficiency. However, one study found that people with programmable thermostats used less cooling energy while they were away but more when they were home because they set their thermostats lower.

Choose a Thermostat That Works for You

Programmable thermostats are likely to benefit some people, while others may be able to save more money on a consistent basis with a manual thermostat. If you prefer to let the thermostat do the work, and often forget to turn your system up or down at appropriate intervals, then a programmable thermostat is a reliable way to ensure that your system has enough down time.

However, if you prefer to have hands-on control of the temperature in your home, a manual thermostat may actually be the more efficient option. Small differences, such as turning your system on when you actually get up in the morning instead of one hour before, can add up to moderate savings over time.

In the end, human beings are the most important variables in the quest to reduce energy use and save money. If you are determined to lower your energy use, you can do so with any kind of thermostat. Make sure to turn your system off for at least eight hours every day and choose moderate temperature settings, and you will see the difference in your energy bills.

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Why Is Changing My Air Filter So Important?

Your home’s heating and air conditioning air filter has two primary jobs. The first job is to remove particles and contaminates from the air. The second job is to act as a barrier that prevents particles from getting into your HVAC system’s motors, fans or coils. If your air filter isn’t able to do these jobs effectively, your health and your HVAC may system can both suffer.

If you go too long without changing your air filter, it will become much less efficient at trapping particles from the air and allow more contaminants to seep through its barrier into your HVAC system. Furthermore, a dirty filter will impede the air flowing through your system and force it to use more energy to heat or cool your home.

Dirty Filters Can Damage Your Health and Your HVAC System

When your air filter stops trapping contaminants from the air, your indoor air quality (IAQ) will suffer. Poor IAQ is linked to various health problems ranging from the minor discomfort of headaches and sinus irritation to debilitating illnesses like respiratory or cardiac disease.

The consequences for your HVAC system can also be serious. As dirt builds up on your air filter, your system’s efficiency may drop by as much as 15 percent. As a result, your energy use will increase and your energy bills will start to rise. Dirt will also begin to infiltrate your equipment, which can lead to damage in addition to affecting your system’s efficiency. Replacing an air filter is quick, easy and inexpensive, but replacing another part of your HVAC system can be a costly headache.

In general, you should change your system’s air filter every three to four months. Depending on your system, your air quality and your choice of filter, you may need to change it even more frequently to ensure the best performance.

Efficiency Vs. Air Flow

In addition to changing your air filter regularly, it’s also worthwhile to consider your choice of air filter carefully. You want your filter to strike a good balance between trapping as many particles as possible and allowing air to flow smoothly. Air filters that present a stronger barrier for contaminants are also more likely to slow your air flow, while filters that promote air flow may only trap large particles and allow small irritants to pass through.

Cost is also a factor in choosing an air filter. Expensive options are more likely to achieve good efficiency and air flow, while affordable options are more likely to compromise one or the other. Ultimately, no single filter will be the right choice for every home and every system. Don’t be afraid to experiment with several filters until you find the one that works best for you.

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All About Carrier Cor Thermostats

Smart thermostats are changing the way homeowners heat and cool their homes. The Cor thermostat, from Carrier, allows users to take better control of their HVAC systems in an easy and hassle-free way.

The Benefits of Carrier Cor Thermostats

These thermostats use smart technology to help warm and cool air distribute through your home more efficiently. The Cor thermostat has a variety of benefits that make it an excellent choice for anyone looking to improve the use of their system.

Carrier Cor Design

Cor thermostats have 3.5-inch screens against a sleek black design. Instead of having a bulky, traditional thermostat take up space on your wall, you can instead have this small device installed. The color touchscreen makes it easy to navigate between different menu options, just as you would with any smart device. Since one button isn’t used for many functions, like you’d find on a traditional thermostat, you can enjoy a variety of features that make heating and cooling your home easy.

Carrier Cor Features

With this smart thermostat, you can set a variety of features, including:

  • A 4-day weather forecast
  • A monthly energy report
  • Interactive tips for energy efficiency
  • Remote access

The Cor thermostat makes it easy to save money on your heating and cooling costs. The energy report and energy saving tips help you know just how much energy you’re using each month, and ways you can make your system even more efficient. One of the best features about the Cor thermostat is that it allows you to access all your controls remotely. Just download the mobile app on any smart device, and you can adjust your settings away from home. This can come in handy for a variety of reasons, including forgetting to change your settings before leaving for vacation and lowering the heat if you’ll be home later than you anticipated.

Carrier Core Smart Setback

The Cor thermostat also has a smart setback feature that monitors the temperature and humidity both inside and outside the home. This monitoring enables it to make automatic adjustments in heating and cooling. The Cor thermostat can even remove humidity from the air and decrease condensation on the windows.

To change the way you monitor and control the temperature inside your home, consider getting a Carrier Cor thermostat. All Cor thermostats are installed by a qualified Carrier technician.

Can I Replace Just the Outdoor Unit on an Older HVAC System to Save Money?

If it’s time to replace your air conditioner, you may be wondering if you can simply replace the outdoor unit instead of getting a completely new system installed. Though it might seem as though the indoor and outdoor units of your HVAC system work separately, they actually have parts that work together in order to heat your home efficiently. Replacing just the outdoor unit without also replacing the indoor unit can result in greater cost.

How Air Conditioners Work

Air conditioners work by removing warm air from inside the home. This process is completed in tandem by both units of the HVAC system. Refrigerant goes through the system via the copper tubing. The refrigerant then absorbs the heat once it reaches the indoor evaporator coil and transfers the heat to the outdoor unit. As it reaches the condenser, the liquid refrigerant is squeezed by the compressor, and the absorbed heat is released outside. The process then continues until the home reaches the preset cooling level.

The Problem with Mismatched Components

The indoor and outdoor units have components that need to match with one another in order for the HVAC system to work properly. Older evaporators and condenser coils meet with the following problems when matched with new ones:

  • Undue stress placed on the system from the decreased efficiency of older coils. This often leads to high energy consumption from a diminished cooling capacity and can cause compressor or motor failure.
  • Low SEER (seasonal energy efficiency ratio) ratings from an older coil being matched with a new air handler/evaporator unit.
  • Incompatibility between older and newer coils due to enhanced tubing, increased surface space, efficiently designed fins and grooved surfaces on newer coils.
  • Limited movement of the refrigerant to the compressor due to the new shut-off feature of new units that is detrimental to older compressors.


Results of Industry Testing

Industry standards set forth by the American Society of Heating, Refrigeration and Air Conditioning point to issues caused by mismatched parts in tests performed by manufacturers. The manufacturers found the following problems when they combined SEER 13 and 10 air conditioner components into one unit:

  • A significantly lower operational efficiency
  • A diminished capacity to adequately cool the home
  • An undependable system

In order to keep your HVAC system working for the long term, it’s imperative to replace the entire system instead of just the outdoor unit. Doing so can ensure that your system works properly and efficiently, which ultimately saves you money.

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Simple Steps To Controlling HVAC Costs

Controlling HVAC costs is something that everyone would like to accomplish. Lowering cooling and heating costs is more than just a matter of replacing a furnace or installing new windows and expecting your HVAC energy bills to be cut in half. Heating and cooling your home uses more energy than any other system in your home and represents roughly 48% of your utility bill. No single method will make a serious impact on lowering your energy bill. It will take a combined effort of changing old habits and being consistent in practicing energy-saving methods and ideas to effectively control HVAC costs. Here are a few tips to get you started.

Install some upgrades

Switching to energy-efficient heating and cooling products is a good first step, especially if you’re already due for an upgrade or need to replace a damaged or non-working heating or cooling system.

Break bad habits

Turning up the temperature when you enter a cold home will not cause it to heat up faster. Leave thermostats set at the lowest, comfortable setting possible in winter and the highest comfortable setting in summer.

Block unwanted heat

In hotter months, close draperies and blinds in south-facing windows to reduce incoming heat and sunlight. In winter months, keep them open to add natural heat to rooms

Adjust programmable thermostats

Lower your thermostat when you’re away from home or at night while asleep. A few degrees lower can add up to significant savings.

Perform regular maintenance

Change air filters once a month or as recommended by your owner’s manual. Also, have an HVAC professional perform semi-annual check-ups on your heating and cooling systems.

Turn off exhaust fans

After you finish cooking or when you’re done in the bathroom, turn off exhaust fans within 20 minutes to prevent losing warm or cool air.

Don’t heat or cool the neighborhood

Seal cracks around windows and doors with weather stripping to maintain comfortable room temperatures and eliminate having to adjust your thermostat.

Controlling HVAC costs is a matter of applying the correct energy saving principles and maintaining energy-efficient products on a regular, consistent basis. Follow us for more tips and information on how to keep your heating and cooling systems running efficiently.

When You Must Replace Your HVAC Heating And Air Conditioning Systems

491836769If you are considering HVAC system replacement for your home, there are certain things to consider. These heating and cooling systems have become almost indispensable items at every household today and we also know that they account for a good part of your utility bills.

The first thing you should ask yourself is why you want to replace and whether you really need a replacement. Some systems may last long, but over time, they become less efficient and consume a massive amount of energy. And a time may come when periodic repairs or annual servicing will not solve the problem. This is when you know that you need to go for a brand new unit.

There are several indicators for this. First of all, if you notice that your utility bill is consistently rising from one season to next even when the thermostat settings are kept constant, you know that there is something seriously wrong with your unit and a replacement is on the cards.

If your system is making loud, unusual noises, that is another indication that something serious is the issue with your system. Normally these noises occur when you are trying to reset your thermostat. But some systems may also experience occasional pinging sounds/noises which gradually become louder and more frequent. If this happens, contact a HVAC specialist and ask for advice and recommendations regarding the replacement.

As we have already mentioned, most HVAC systems come with a lifespan. More sophisticated systems will last a maximum of 15 years, but most units will give out inside 10 years. Running old and inefficient systems will not only result in higher utility bills, but may also contaminate the air within house and the household members and especially the children may suffer critically from this.

So, if your HVAC unit is experiencing any of these issues mentioned above, you know that it is high time for a replacement. Call an HVAC service and request for estimates and recommendations before you decide to invest your money on a particular model.

For more articles that will keep your heating and cooling systems running efficiently, follow our upcoming articles on this blog.

What Does The Air Handler Do For My HVAC System?

87508556There’s no question the importance that HVAC systems play in our day to day lives and that goes whether you’re talking about a house, a commercial building, or even a general building like a library or college. Being able to have the inside of your building warm when it is freezing out, or cool when it’s scorching hot, is part of what makes modern convenience possible. However not many people understand the most important parts of these critical systems. This brings up a common question: what exactly is an air handler?

Introducing Your HVAC System’s Handler
An air handler is involved in dealing with the indoor air inside your HVAC system. This is what takes air that would be freezing from the outside and warms it during the winter, or takes air and filters it to be cool in the summer. If you know about certain components or parts like the blower and the evaporator coil, both of these are parts of the air handler.

If you’ve ever wondered how the same system can warm or cool air, or keep the air within a structure at a much different temperature, humidity, and feel from the outside weather, then you’re looking squarely at the function of the handler. When this piece breaks or begins to run down, you’re going to notice it since it affects every other part of your system!

What Can You Do to Keep Your System Running Smooth?
Unless you’re a certified HVAC specialist who knows these systems inside and out, you’re going to need professional help if anything major breaks down. The best thing you can do is change the filters on a monthly basis to make sure the air is as clean as possible while going through the season and then call twice a year for regular maintenance. If you follow these steps, your system’s air handler will be happy and that will keep you happy!

In Conclusion
As you can see from this post, it’s important to understand the important role that a good air handler unit plays in the heating or cooling done by your HVAC system.

Top HVAC Technologies For The Coming Year

Every year homeowners hear about how the latest improvements in all sorts of fields will make their lives easier. The heating and cooling industry is no exception. Constantly shifting energy standards affect how manufacturers produce new equipment and what customers looking for when they buy. Here are some top trends to expect in HVAC technology in 2016.


Smarter Equipment

The HVAC industry is a leader in the smart equipment movement. From thermostats to equipment integration and IoT technology, simply expect more of it in 2016. Smarter equipment will also mean better efficiency. Data points are becoming more numerous in the industry so consumers can expect contractors to be able to explain pertinent HVAC statistic better through big data and analytics.


Better Contractor Management

Most, if not all, HVAC contractors are the lookout for simple-to-use software that will allow them to run their businesses more efficiently to make delivering indoor air comfort easier and more efficient. After all, HVAC systems when properly installed last more than a decade, so maintenance is where it’s at. As a customer, you are more likely to repeat annual maintenance and emergency repair with a contractor who deals with issues effectively. Expect your contractor to develop strong mobile applications on his end to respond to your requests more quickly.


Better Maintenance and Service

Some of the most important HVAC industry issues over the past few years have concerned how HVAC maintenance and service can become more personal.The last decade has seen huge gains in HVAC unit efficiency, now success in preventive maintenance programs needs to follow.

Although residential installations are still on the rise because of the improving economy, improving and implementing preventive maintenance programs will help contractors position themselves for growth as newer systems begin to dominate home installations. Because HVAC systems are much more complex these days, establishing regular preventive maintenance programs with technicians trained to service them will become more important. Most successful preventive maintenance programs in 2016 will be driven by technology and mobile apps. Increased mobility enables timely and more accurate dispatch to the field along with worker safety.

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Reasons To Replace Your Attic Insulation

Having effective home insulation is necessary to enjoy proper heating and cooling inside your home. The insulation in newer homes are of a higher quality and tend to function well, while the insulation in older homes is not of a high quality and usage over the years make the insulation a candidate for replacement. If you choose to ignore the warning signs, you may end up with a sauna in summer or cold room in winter. For those who are big on energy savings, it may also lead to an increase in your electric bill. So replacing a faulty or old insulation system is best.

Heating and cooling of the home contributes significantly to utility bill. If you notice that the electricity bill is higher than normal, you should get your insulation checked. Once you have your temperature withing the home regulated, you should notice a reduction in your electricity bill. If you experience inconsistent rooms temperatures, where one room is cold and another warm, it is a sign that you insulation needs to be checked and possibly replaced. What you should also remember is that the insulation used in those days, in old homes were not as high quality as the ones used these days. One way of testing whether or not the insulation is worn out, if to put a glove on your hand and feel the attic insulation. If you find that it is crumbly, you definitely need to get it replaced. Another problem that can arise from not checking your insulation regularly is a pest infestation. The enjoy a cozy environment and what better place to thrive than in your insulation. Water damage also tends to pose a problem when you have insulation. If your home is flooded, water will seep through your dry walls and insulation, making it an ideal breathing ground for bacteria and mold.

While many people choose to opt for DIY home insulation, it can present some challenges. However, the main advantage of having a professional do it for you is the assurance that comes from knowing that your home is insulated by professionals and experts in the field. Follow us for more information on how to save money on your HVAC system.