Unseen Reasons You Should Have Your Air Ducts Sanitized

If you've ever been in an area that has poor air quality, you probably notice the difference. Air pollutants are all around us but they don't always stay indoors. We'll review the signs of your home having poor air quality to help you recognize when you have a problem and may need to have your air ducts sanitized.

Keep in mind that even if your home is clean, your air quality may be poor. Everyday activities can lead to airborne contaminants. If you live in an area that has outdoor pollution, you're probably at higher risk. However, this isn't something you should leave alone. You and your family's health can be negatively impacted by this so you'll want to know the signs that you have a problem.

1. Frequent Coughing and Chest Congestion

The concentration of particles in the air is what determines air quality. You're going to encounter some of these every day and in small amounts, they're not typically harmful. However, if you step into a house that has poor air quality, you're going to notice a difference.

As your body takes in more foreign particles, you may develop a cough or congestion. This is your body's work of trying to get rid of these objects so take note if you start coughing frequently inside.

2. Fatigue or Feeling Lightheaded

Some of the compounds in the air may be extremely dangerous such as some chemical or gaseous products. Fumes or carbon monoxide may not always be noticed but they can lead to cognitive symptoms such as feeling sleepy, dizzy, or fatigued.

If you notice these symptoms suddenly or start feeling any of them, leave the house right away. Call a professional to inspect for gas leaks or similar problems before re-entering.

3. Frequent Illnesses

What may surprise you is that the particle concentration and the humidity in your home can both work together to make you sick. If your house is too dry, the airborne particles are going to move more quickly. This is why you tend to be more sick in the winter than the summer months.

If you notice that you and your family is frequently battling with colds and coughing, this can be a sign that your air quality is poor.

4. Headaches

When you're exposed to chemicals or strong odors, you may notice that you start to get a headache. Some common household items such as cleaners, garbage, and pesticides can all contribute to poor air quality and cause you to experience these symptoms. You may also notice that you have a sinus headache frequently as this can also be caused by congestion in the air.

5. Worsening Allergies

If you have airborne allergies, then you probably know the symptoms fairly well. They may be worse at certain times of the year and this is fairly normal. However, if you start to notice your allergies appearing more frequently or when they're not typically happening, your air quality could be the cause.

Poor air quality can lead to worsening allergy symptoms. You may not notice a difference though when you start to clean more or even take allergy medication. Many people notice that their symptoms don't start to improve until after they've started using an air purifier.

6. Irritated Mucous Membranes

The mucus membranes are the lining of your eyes, mouth, nose, and throat. Contaminants, as well as dry air, can irritate these areas. If this is happening to you, you may be experiencing itching, running, or even burning sensations to these sensitive areas. Some people also notice that they have more frequent nosebleeds. This is especially common when your air quality is both poor and also lacking moisture.

7. Nausea

This is not the most common sign of poor air quality but some people do notice that exposure leads to nausea when they're sensitive. If you notice that you're starting to vomit or have a prolonged period of nausea, then you should take this as a serious problem.

These symptoms may be caused by something other than poor air quality but you should try to seek out medical attention promptly. If caused by a serious air quality threat, it's likely that something is very wrong and needs to be addressed promptly.

6. Respiratory Problems

When it comes to poor air quality, you may run into more respiratory problems. A cough is always annoying, but pollutants can also lead to infections. They may be causing you to have respiratory infections and irritation.

This can happen to anyone but it's frequently going to affect the most vulnerable person in your household. Any kids living in the house, people who have a compromised immune system, and anyone with asthma is likely going to experience symptoms first. Household pets may also be affected so pay attention to their breathing if you're concerned.

7. Skin Irritation and Dryness

This is an area that often surprises people. Not only can this affect mucus membranes, but poor indoor air quality may also actually irritate your skin. If you start to notice any new skin problems such as dryness, flaking, rashes, peeling, or redness, you may want to take a closer look. People who have skin conditions such as acne or eczema may have worse symptoms as well.

If you start to notice any of these symptoms in yourself or anyone else in the home, then you should take note of these symptoms. Acute difficulties breathing should not be left untreated and consider this a medical emergency. All of these signs can mean poor indoor air quality but there may also be other problems so always seek the advice of a medical professional.

If you notice any combination of these signs listed here though, take the time to act promptly to avoid any long-term problems. An HVAC contractor is a great asset to have. This professional can recommend ways to help with the problem and address your air quality needs.

If you're concerned about indoor air quality, look for these warning signs and address the problem promptly, and prevent chronic problems.

Right now, Comfort-Now Air Conditioning & Heating has a special deal where you can get an A/C Tune-up PLUS a FREE duct sanitation. Find out more by getting your air ducts sanitized by visiting here.

 

 


The Importance Of Regular HVAC Tune-ups And Maintenance

Don't neglect HVAC maintenance. Staying on top of it ensures your system lasts longer and operates as it should. Regular HVAC tune-ups are less expensive than extensive repairs or replacing the system. When damage is done because the system wasn't taken care of, it can be a huge expense to take care of!

Take your time to find an excellent provider of the service. They should be affordable and complete a detailed inspection. Never assume they will do a great job, find out before you hire them! Ask what they look for and about their qualifications. Read reviews from other customers and evaluate the overall reputation of the provider. You need someone you can rely on to help you keep your HVAC system working properly.

A great provider will even remind you when your next inspection and tune-up are due! They will reach out by phone or email to remind you to schedule with them. This ensures it doesn't slip through the cracks. Be mindful of when such tasks need done so you don't forget about them. Life gets busy, but don't let the routine checks get pushed to a back corner.

Semi-Annual Inspection

HVAC systems help you get the cool air you want hassle-free. Newer systems are quiet and energy-efficient. Older systems need to be checked on to make sure they aren't struggling to perform. No matter how new or how old your system is, make sure it is evaluated by an expert at least twice a year. Such a system costs too much to ignore.

Scheduling AC tune-ups semi-annually is a great way to get a return on that investment. The inspection can confirm everything is working like it should. Belts and other parts can be replaced if they show signs of wear. The goal is to keep the system working efficiently without wasting power to do so. Schedule the inspection at the end of spring so your air conditioning system is ready to do for summer!

A semi-annual inspection is going to lower the risk of serious problems during the hot part of summer. It can take several days for someone to get to your home to check it out during the peak of the heat! When they come before the heat heats to check it out, you can feel confident when you turn the system on for summer you can rely on it!

A simple issue can turn into a large problem if you don't take care of it right away. It can be hard to budget for that extra cost if you have a huge bill to repair the HVAC system. Budgeting for a tune-up can fit easily into your budget and give you an inside look at the system. At the end of the inspection, they should share with you what they found and what they recommend.

If they tell you the system is in good shape, that is encouraging. If they tell you there are minor repairs it is best to do them while they are there. They can take care of it so everything operates as it should. If they tell you the system isn't going to last much longer, it gives you a heads up. It gives you time to start saving for extensive repairs or to replace that HVAC system.

While the specific services offered by a provider vary, the following should be checked with the annual inspection:

  • All belts and parts evaluated for signs of wear
  • Check all connections
  • Clean the condenser coil
  • Evaluate how efficient the system is operating
  • Functionality of the system
  • Listen for any odd noises
  • Remove any debris
  • Verify there aren't any leaks

Cost-Effective

The cost of HVAC tune-ups depends on who you rely on for the service. It is a good idea to ask about the price before you book the appointment so you aren't upset later with the bill. Typically, the cost ranges from about $65 to $279. If they need to replace any parts that will cost extra. They should share with you anything they feel needs replaced and why. Nothing should be done unless you agree to it.

Regular HVAC maintenance will extend the life of your system by several years. This is because any minor concerns are taken care of right away. When they are ignored, the system works harder and runs longer to cool the home than it really should. This takes a toll on the equipment.

Replacing an HVAC system costs thousands of dollars, so it is worth it to invest in regular maintenance. Such prevention can conquer small issues so they don't become expensive problems down the road. If your system is under warranty but you don't take care of it, the manufacturer may not honor the warranty. It depends on the terms and conditions.

Keep the records for your maintenance as proof of the effort on your part to keep the system working well. If you have to file a warranty claim, those records will help get the case decided in your favor. The company won't feel you have neglected this system and not done your best to keep it operating correctly.

Emergency repairs can be expensive. The cost of getting someone out to your home on the weekend or a holiday to fix the air conditioning can be high. Not all providers have the means of emergency crews to send out. They take calls as they come in and schedule accordingly. It could be days or a week before they can get to your needs. If they do come out immediately, there may be extra fees for after-hours emergency calls.

Stay Comfortable

It is extremely hard to sleep well or relax in a home when you are too hot. This can cause health problems too including dehydration. In the worst case scenario, people have died due to the heat in their home when their AC system wasn't working properly. Don't let it get to that point, stay on top of your system needs so you can stay comfortable.

In addition to routine maintenance for your HVAC system, make sure you report anything out of the ordinary. If your system seems to run all the time or the home isn't cooling down, something may be off. If you hear odd sounds from your system, call a professional to come take a look. It is rare you will need repairs between tune-ups but it may be necessary at some point. Taking care of the problem immediately reduces the risk of serious damage to the HVAC system.

Cleaner Air

Issues with an HVAC system can cause various particles to get into the air you breathe. When the system is tuned up regularly, the air you take in will be cleaner. You may not see the risk around you in the air, but they can cause health problems. They can increase breathing issues for those with asthma or COPD.

A good system operation can help reduce the risk of carbon monoxide poisoning. While you should have carbon detectors in your home, the HVAC system can reduce the risk of any such problem causing serious health problems for those in the home. It doesn't take much carbon monoxide to make someone ill.

A poorly operating system can create foul odors and smells to linger in your home. They can be a telling sign the air isn't circulating as it should. Don't ignore it or try to mask the odors. Instead, contact a professional to help you find the underlying problem. They can troubleshoot the issue and get your HVAC system working as it should again.

Help the Environment

We all have a responsibility to make the environment cleaner and healthier for all. When your HVAC is working correctly, it reduces emissions. Doing your part to help the environment has a positive impact. As more people are encouraged to take such steps, it can add up to a huge difference overall!

Save on your Utility Bill

AC tune-ups ensure everything works correctly. This will help you save on your utility bill each month when you run the air conditioning. You need to stay cool in your home, but you don't want to have a bill that doubles or triples because the system is less than efficient. On average, a home can save about 15% on their utility bill when the system is functioning at optimum level.

Conclusion

Regular HVAC maintenance and tune-ups can almost double the life span of a typical HVAC system. If yours hasn't been tuned up in the last year, now is the time to get it done before the hot temperatures of summer roll in! Don't count on luck to keep your system running. Rely on a reputable company to check it out and help you keep that system going strong.

A system without proper maintenance is going to last about 7 years on average. When it is maintained and given a tune-up annually, it can extend that life to about 15 years! It can have a huge impact on staying cool, saving money, and getting the most value before you have to replace your system. Peace of mind with your system is important.

Related Article: Do Your Really Need HVAC Maintenance


Do You Really Need HVAC Maintenance? What the Experts Say

When your HVAC system is working great, you may ask yourself if you really need to schedule maintenance. After all, does this need to be done every year? Wouldn't it be better to save on costs?

In general, an HVAC system is a fairly inconspicuous part of your home's function. It's usually tucked away in a closet, working away and you probably don't think about it very often. When you schedule maintenance, you probably don't notice a difference either. So, why are you paying for this service?

One of the reasons why people question the value of HVAC maintenance is that they often don't see how their system looked and worked before and after service. They probably don't know the role of the technician and see how this service will prevent problems. To get an idea of what can go wrong without this service, you may want to learn more.

Service after a Shutdown

Being turned off for a few hours likely won't affect your HVAC system significantly. However, prolonged periods of being off can be a problem. Starting your HVAC system after being shut down for a few months without an inspection and maintenance isn't really a safe option. Think about a car that's been sitting unused for months. Just like your car's battery or tires may be problematic, an HVAC system also likely needs a tune-ups before re-starting.

HVAC Maintenance Needs

Every maintenance task that's completed helps the system to work well and at maximum efficiency. If you want to know some of the basic tasks, these are the common ones that a technician will complete.

1. Air Conditioner Coil Cleaning

The air conditioner coils work by transferring heat. They absorb heat from the surrounding air and then transfer it outside the building. These coils can become dirty over time. When they're covered in dirt and dust, they can't function optimally. The condenser is usually outside of the house and collects dirt from many outside sources. Just having 1/100th of an inch of dirt on the condenser coil will lower its efficiency by 5%.

Evaporator coils can also freeze up and then lead to water damage in your home. If this problem persists, it will likely end up ending in compressor failure which may then lead to your needing to replace the entire unit.

Lower efficiency means your system has to work longer and harder. It eventually will stop working, leading to an expensive repair. However, regular coil cleaning will prevent this from being a problem.

2. Filter Cleaning and Replacement

An HVAC filter is the part of your system that keeps dust and debris out of your equipment. If you didn't clean your home for a month, imagine the dirt that would build-up. Your HVAC filter works in the same way.

When it's dirty or clogged, dirt can get into your system and build up. It may even jam the moving parts such as the fans or motors. The system will try to work harder to overcome this problem which will lead to short-term higher energy costs. You'll also have more dust and other contaminants in your house which may lead to worsening allergies and health problems. This is a serious concern if you have allergies, asthma, or any respiratory problems.

It's important to clean or replace your HVAC filters frequently. You may be able to replace the filters yourself. If you're concerned about contaminants in your home, then you may want to look up types of filters. There is a range of quality and the better filters will get rid of more pollutants in your air system. Anyone who is concerned about air quality or may have other allergens in the house such as pets should probably look for filters that are going to get rid of more particles. Your HVAC technician can help you decide or choose which one is right for your needs as well.

3. Cleaning Condensate Pumps and Pans

These lines, pumps, and pans play an important role in air conditioning. They remove water that's collected while removing the humidity and heat from the air. When you have a grimy drain line, pump, or pan, this can lead to water leaks that may damage the. When the water condensing can't drain away easily, you can end up with an expensive and messy problem on your hand.

In addition to having a high repair bill, you may not always notice that the system is leaking right away. Cleaning out these areas as a part of your regular HVAC maintenance is fairly inexpensive when compared to the high cost of having a water leak. Water that's collected and can't drain through the system well may also not be noticed right away. A slow leak can cause damage but not be evident. Since your system is likely in a closet area, you might go for months without noticing it leaking. However, by the time you start to notice a problem, it's probably going to have significant damage.

Not All HVAC Maintenance is Equal

Now that you understand the importance of having regular HVAC maintenance, you may be convinced that it's essential to complete. However, you should also know there is not one standard HVAC maintenance service. Some technicians may just change the filters in your system and take a quick look, without doing any deeper work. It's not surprising when your technician only does a basic assessment and then you end up with problems down the road.

As this article has demonstrated, there are multiple tasks that have to be done when you have your HVAC system serviced. One good way to get an idea of your technicians' diligence is to ask them about the steps that they take to service the unit. If they're not speaking about these specific areas, then you're likely better off looking elsewhere for service. Even a new unit will likely have some needs so it's a good idea to pay attention to their work in order to get the best results.

 


Does Your Home Need An Air Quality Evaluation: 5 Warning Signs

We all have fears but probably one of the greatest fears is what we can't actually see. While our childhood fears likely involved monsters or similar creatures, adults tend to also have concerns about the world where they live.

When it comes to the quality of air in your home, this is something that you can't see but should be concerning. There are a number of risks when it comes to indoor air quality that you might never know.

If you've taken the time to read this far, then it's likely that you have some idea that you need to be concerned about air quality. Whether you've started to notice odors in the home, health concerns, or other comfort issues, you may be wondering if it's time to get your air quality tested.

If you're still on the fence though, these are five reasons why you should consider taking the next steps to ensure that the air in your house is safe.

5 Reasons You May Need An Indoor Air Quality Evaluation

1. Presence of Volatile Organic Compounds

If you've ever put in a new carpet or shower curtain, you probably notice a chemical smell that lingers for a few days. What's you're actually smelling is the VOCs that are coming from that material. However, they're not the only ones that can emit them.

Cleaners, paint, and even furniture can all give off these compounds. Even though you may not always be able to smell them, they're present in most houses to some level. They may cause short-term health effects such as headaches and nausea. You can also experience long-term health concerns.

Testing for COVs may not always be helpful since there aren't good standards in this area. However, you can detect the presence of dangerous VOCs such as formaldehyde. This is a carcinogen that's found in a number of common household products.

2. Carbon Monoxide

As a byproduct of combustion, carbon monoxide can be present if you have a gas stove, furnace, fireplace, or woodburning stove. They may produce dangerous gases such as carbon monoxide that can't be smelled but can have a deadly effect if not treated. Any combustion can also produce particles into the air that may make it more difficult to breathe.

3. Mold, Mildew, and Bacteria

Chemical contaminants are always a concern but there are also many more commonplace contaminants such as mold, fungus, and bacteria. These microorganisms grow best in the warm, humid air. This means that it's best to be careful about the humidity in the house and especially the bathrooms. Fixing any water leaks promptly is also recommended.

Mold can produce a number of respiratory problems in addition to irritating your eyes and skin. Other contaminants may be more difficult to spot but mold can be seen through a visual inspection although you may also want to consider air quality testing.

4. Pest Droppings

Biological agents such as insects and rodents can leave behind droppings that may cause respiratory problems. This is a higher risk factor when you have children and elderly people in the home. Once again, a visual inspection is often all that's needed to determine if they are present but consider indoor air testing as well.

5. Pesticides

Now that you've taken the time to get rid of the insects in your home, the solution may also be concerning. Pesticides used to get rid of pests can increase the dangers of your indoor air quality.

The EPA estimates that households typically use at least one pesticide a year. This means that if you have a test done, you'll probably find some level of pesticides in the air. However, you can also use this to find unusually high levels which are more concerning..

What to Know Before Getting An Air Quality Evaluation

Most buildings are going to have some level of particles in the air. Interpreting what those results actually mean is more challenging. For most areas, there aren't actually any standards that can tell you the level of VOCs or mold that are unsafe or safe.

Also, since each person has a different health profile, you may be experiencing health concerns that wouldn't be present with others.
Steps to Take Before Getting Your Air Quality Assessment
It's best to confirm or deny a certain source such as mold or the presence of carcinogens. To get an idea of where the air quality could be a problem, you'll want to start by inspecting the space. These are the areas to pay attention to:

Water Damage: Any leaks or damp spots in the house could cause mold and mildew. Review the plumbing, roof, and HVAC water areas to see if there are any leaks present. Fixing any leaks right away and removing water-damaged items such as carpet will help to eliminate any mold growth.

Odors: You can't see air contamination usually but there are compounds that you may be able to smell. Cleaning products, pesticides, fireplaces, and musty smells are often noticed. Try using a cleaning product that won't produce odors and remove any products that have chemical contaminants.

Ventilation: Does your house actually have the appropriate amount of fresh air intake? Are they located in an appropriate area? If too close to the exhaust vent or sources of outdoor air pollution, this could be a problem. You might also have too much humidity as a result of a poorly functioning air conditioner. The HVAC ducts could also be a source of mold, dust, or other pests. For this and other concerns, it's best to use a qualified HVAC professional.

By taking the time to review your house and note any problems that you can see, you'll be in a much better place to find the source of the problem and resolve it faster. A quick visual inspection of your home can help to hone on what might actually be a concern so that you can better address any concerns.