You wouldn’t drink impure water, so why breathe in impure air? Air impurities are even more dangerous than dirty water, in fact, because you can’t see them. Their effects, however, are a different matter altogether, according to air conditioning and ventilation repair experts. Read more
Wildfires can be a scary time for any household, but there are some steps you can take towards your health and safety throughout. Your HVAC unit can help during times of poor air quality. The filtration units in your system, if properly maintained, can help purify indoor air to a certain degree. Here’s how it works.
Priority One: Staying Safe During a Wildfire
When fire threatens your home and community, your first priority is obviously your family’s safety. Pay attention to public health messages from local radio and news stations, and if they recommend you evacuate, go.
However, the radius of affected households typically extends well beyond the immediate path of the flames. Smoke from fires throws air quality into havoc, creating toxic conditions that can make you or your family members very, very sick. Although healthy adults can typically handle limited exposure, people who suffer from asthma, cardiovascular problems, or lung disease may be significantly harmed by smoke inhalation. Young children are also especially vulnerable – according to the CDC, since children’s lungs are still developing, they tend to take in more air per pound than adults.
To get a sense of the air quality in your area, check out the EPA’s Air Quality Index Forecast, which lets you view at a glance at-risk locations. If their read-out for your home looks bad, follow these precautions:
- Stay Indoors As Much As Possible. Especially don’t go out if local advisories recommend that you stay inside.
Wear Protective Gear Outside. If you do have to go out, wear a protective N95 or P100 respirator mask—don’t rely on paper masks, since these don’t really filter out smoke.
- Keep Windows and Doors Shut. As much as possible, try to maintain the air quality inside (more on that to follow) by keeping openings secured. Don’t smoke, burn candles, vacuum, or use your oven—these activities will just exacerbate the problem.
Using Your Heating & Air Conditioning Systems to Help With Air Quality
When the air quality outside keeps you stuck in your home, you may be able to use your home’s air conditioning and filtration system to improve the air your breathe indoors.
- Change Air Filters. The first thing you can do is change all your HVAC air filters. Although you may have closed your windows and doors, fine particles can still filter in through roof vents or small gaps in windows and doors, and of course, pose a risk any time you have to go outside. A clean filter will be more able to handle the increase in particulate matter in the air.
- Turn on Your Air Conditioning. Running your AC will circulate air in your home through your unit’s filters, which is why clean filters are so important. Some non-residential commercial units have fresh air intakes. Usually, these small filtered vents help improve air quality, since the air outside is typically fresher than the air outside. But during a wildfire, they can pour unhealthy air into a building’ interiors. To keep smoky air outside, close the intake using the damper.
- Keep Bathroom Fans and Window Units Turned Off. Bathroom fans and window box fans commonly pull outside air into your home, so they should be shut off during a fire advisory.
We hope you don’t need to use this advice, but if a fire advisory should come down on your community, using your HVAC unit effectively can filter a fair amount of particulate matter in the air. Until then, stay safe out there!
Fall and winter nights are coming to Solano County and that’s when your heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) system becomes the most valuable item in your home. If it’s running poorly, that means higher energy bills and less comfort too. Follow these tips in the fall to help your HVAC system operate efficiently throughout the winter. This way, you can save money that can be used for better things during the holiday season.
Change the Air Filter and Clean the Vents
Monthly changing of the air filter is one of the most important things you can do, and also one of the easiest. The filter should be checked every month and replaced if it is dirty. Filters should be replaced at the very least every three months – no matter what. When you do you might also want to go through your home and vacuum off the air vents. This keeps them clean and allows warm air to flow freely, easing temperature regulation throughout the home.
Get a Tune-up
Annual service of your HVAC system ensures it runs properly. Homeowners should get a tune-up in the fall to best prepare it for the demands of winter. Lack of maintenance is usually the cause of most repairs done on furnaces and air conditioners. To see what is involved in a tune-up, Click Here.
If Your System is Old, Replace It
Replacing the home’s HVAC system costs a little money, but if your system is old and inefficient, the added comfort and financial benefits of a new system can be very real. If your system is more than 15 years old, you should call us for a free estimate. Replacing your system with a high efficiency Bryant system could reduce your home’s annual energy bill by as much as 30 percent. And if you decide to go Solar too, the sun with pick up the tab for the other 70%.
Insulate the Attic
One of the easiest ways to help your HVAC system operate at peak performance is to lighten its load. Insulating the home’s attic keeps warm air in the home and prevents it from escaping outside. This allows your HVAC system to do less and still maintain the home’s proper temperature. Per EnergyStar.gov, a simple visual test will determine whether the home’s attic is sufficiently insulated. According to their recommendation, insulation in the attic should be high enough to obstruct the view of the floor joists. If this is the case, additional insulation will offer little to no benefit.
The Bryant Housewise Thermostat is an excellent addition to your system. The right temperature inside a home depends largely on who is there at the time, and when no one is in the home, the right temperature a lower temperature. Homeowners, however, often fail to adjust their thermostats when they leave their home because they either forget, or they don’t want to return to a cold home. The Bryant Housewise Thermostat solves that problem and allows you to set the temperature in your home for different times and it will keep to that schedule, day after day, week after week. Plus, you can even adjust the temperature from your smartphone.
We’re Here When You Need Us
If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to call us at (707) 400-6875. And remember to “Like” us on Facebook: Click Here.
As Spring comes to an end, it’s time to start getting ready for summer. Your house and home comfort systems have worked their hardest during the winter, and they are about to get another workout once summer arrives. That’s why it’s important to perform seasonal maintenance and repairs around your home to make sure that it is ready to keep you safe and comfortable as the seasons change.
The best way to avoid damage to your home and keep everything running smoothly and efficiently is by preparing for the seasons ahead.In this post, we will cover some of the important spring maintenance tasks that homeowners should complete before summer arrives.
Spring Home Improvement Checklist
It’s time to get your home ready for the summer. Here is a simple checklist of things that you need to take care of this spring before the season starts to change:
- Check your roof shingles. Your roof can take a beating during the winter. Before the summer weather arrives, you’ll want to check for any loose, damaged, or missing roof shingles. Replace any shingles that are cracked or loose in spring to avoid more serious damage in the coming months.
- Examine your gutters. Check your gutters in spring to make sure that they are not damaged or loose. It’s vital that your gutters drain properly to avoid water buildup in your basement. While examining your gutters, make sure that downspouts are free of debris and draining away from your home’s foundation.
- Inspect your concrete. Homeowners also need to check their concrete slabs for cracks or signs of movement. Damage to your concrete can present safety issues for you and your family. If you find cracks, be sure to fill them with caulk or concrete filler. You should also power-wash and seal the concrete to protect it long-term.
- Get an HVAC tune-up. Your HVAC system works hard to keep you warm in winter and cool in the summer. That makes spring the perfect time to get a seasonal HVAC tune-up. Schedule a service visit with a qualified HVAC technician who will clean and lubricate your system while also checking for any repair needs.
- Look for leaks around windows and doors. Insulation is important to keeping your home comfortable no matter what the temperature is outside. One way to improve your insulation is by checking for and repairing any cracks or leaks around your doors and windows.
- Prepare your outdoor area. Don’t forget to prepare your lawn and other outdoor areas for summer. Get rid of any weeds, trim your plants and bushes, and make sure all debris is removed from your outdoor HVAC system. Clean off your patio furniture and make sure that you store any grills, lawnmowers, or other equipment in a shed or other location to protect it from the summer sun.
If a pre-summer HVAC tune-up is on your list of spring to-do’s, All Weather Heating, Air, & Solar is here to help. Our team of experienced HVAC technicians provides preventative maintenance and seasonal tune-ups to homeowners in Vacaville, Fairfield, and the surrounding Solano county and Napa County areas. Call us today to schedule a service visit: (707) 400-6875. And remember to “Like” us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.
Did you know that the air inside your home can be dirtier than the air outside? Well, the Environmental Protection Agency says it can be. Dog or Cat hair, other pets, various cleaning products, building materials, tobacco smoke, radon, and even cooking residue are normal inside of homes, and can be the cause of air inside your home being dirtier than the air outside. All Weather Heating, Air & Solar can help.
Ironically, new houses and buildings can be at risk for dirty indoor air because of better, more air-tight construction techniques and materials that can trap pollutants inside.
All Weather Heating, Air & Solar offers a number of Bryant IAQ products (click here). Call us at (707) 400-6875 or (877) 447-9855 for a free estimate.
Indoor Air Quality (IAQ) is rated according to particle allergens, volatile organic compounds, temperature, carbon dioxide, relative humidity and carbon monoxide. Bad IAQ can irritate health conditions such as allergies and asthma, and adversely affect children, the elderly, pregnant women or anyone with chronic respiratory issues. Also, improving the quality of the air in your home can help keep dry skin and cracked wood furniture at bay, lessen the viruses and bacteria that can circulate throughout your home and enjoy more customized home comfort.
Call All Weather Heating, Air & Solar for you indoor air quality needs: (707) 400-6875 or (877) 447-9855. And remember to “Like” us on Facebook: Click Here.
Have you “felt the heat” recently? In 2017 Spring Equinox starts on Monday, March 20, bringing with it rising energy bills for air conditioning and home comfort.
You can save money, reduce energy usage and be ready for summer when the heat really hits us by installing or upgrading to high-efficiency rated heating, ventilating and air conditioning systems (HVAC) and going solar to power it all.
Depending on factors like the age of your current system, lifestyle, etc., you could cut your monthly energy bill in half.
Tax credits are available for purchases made in 2017. ENERGY STAR products eligible for tax credits are independently certified to save energy, save money and protect the environment. Use up to 30% less energy in your home by outfitting it with ENERGY STAR products available across more than 70 categories. Click Here for more details.
Solar Energy in California
The Investment Tax Credit (ITC) is a 30% federal tax credit for solar installations on both residential and commercial properties, reducing the tax liability for individuals or businesses that purchase qualifying solar energy technologies.
In addition to the federal ITC, California also has state and municipal incentives that can be seen via the Database of State Incentives for Renewables & Efficiency (DSIRE). We can provide most up-to-date information on solar incentives when you schedule a FREE estimate with us. Click Here for links with more information.
More Ideas for Savings
Most importantly, you should practice preventative maintenance on your systems, new or old, for optimal performance.
We recommend getting a tune-up before the summer to make sure everything is in proper working order. Like an oil change on a car, you really should do it to help make sure that the engine won’t break down.
Check the air filter often for dirt, pet hair, grass and other debris. Shutting the system off when mowing the lawn can help prevent clogging, and will help those who have allergies in your home.
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Now you can monitor and control components of your home from virtually anywhere. This remarkable new system puts remote access to your thermostat, lighting, home security and more right in the palm of your hand. Optional add-on equipment and over-the-air software upgrades make this system highly customizable, expandable and future-proof. Watch this brief video, then call us to schedule an appointment for a free estimate: (707) 400-6875.
If it’s time to purchase a new air conditioner for your home, you need to consider the size of unit that will best serve your needs. That’s because selection of an undersized or oversized AC can lead to significant, unnecessary problems for as long as the next 12 to 15 years. It’s not that easy to account for all the factors that affect conditioner size estimates. Guidance from a qualified HVAC specialist will help point you in the right direction.
What Sizes Are Available?
The typical air conditioner used to cool an American home has a size of two tons. This doesn’t mean that the unit actually weighs two tons. It means that the unit has an hourly cooling capacity of 24,000 BTUs (British thermal units). Essentially, an air conditioner of this size has enough power to cool down 24,000 lbs of water by one degree. Larger residential ACs (typically found in bigger houses) come in a three-ton size, and have an hourly cooling capacity of 36,000 BTUs. A small home may only require a one-ton (12,000-BTU) air conditioner for adequate cooling.
How Are Size Needs Estimated?
Air conditioner size estimates are so complicated because so many different details have an impact on the required calculations. Many of the critical details relate to your house itself, including such things as its layout, interior volume, number of windows, window positioning, current ducting system, level of airtightness and age. Other details center on your home’s relationship to the environment and local surroundings, including its typical pattern of exposure to sunlight and the amount of sunlight protection provided by nearby greenery. In addition, there may be other specific factors related to your house or property that don’t arise in the typical situation.
How Do HVAC Specialists Calculate Size?
HVAC specialists must have a reliable way to estimate the proper size of air conditioner for any given household. In addition, for the sake of consistency, the same standard must be used by all qualified specialists. The standard currently in use in the heating and cooling industry is called “Manual-J.” When applying “Manual-J,” an HVAC professional will include all the details from your house itself, as well as the details associated with its relationship to various environmental factors and its surroundings. The most thorough type of AC size analysis treats each room in your home individually, although a cheaper whole-house analysis also works well in many cases.
As you can see, a lot of work goes into determining the proper size of air conditioner for your home. Fortunately, no matter where you live, you can typically find an HVAC professional who can help you with every step of the process. For additional timely information on home air conditioning and other important heating and cooling topics, bookmark this blog and check back with us often.
Replacing an old, worn out and inefficient HVAC system is a necessary but daunting task. In order to make an informed decision when replacing your HVAC system, you’ll need to know what you are up against. This article provides you with information on the steps to take to ensure you do it right.
The first thing you’ll need to do is find an HVAC service provider that offers a free estimate for the HVAC system replacement. The estimate should include the unit’s energy efficiency, warranty specs, cost of parts and labor cost. All Weather Heating, Air & Solar offers free estimates!
It will also be important to find out what system size your home or business requires. Most people will simply match their existing unit’s specifications, which is not always a good idea, especially when remodeling. Our HVAC specialists will be able to advice on the best size system to go for.
Find out from your contractor whether you require multiple cooling and heating zones. A qualified contractor should be able to advice on the best zoning system equipment that will improve energy efficiency and provide more comfort.
Learning more on available filter options can save you money on energy bills, increase your system’s life and protect your family’s health. There are many options to choose from when it comes to air filters. Some of them are washable and can be used a number of times before they need replacing, and there are also disposable ones which require replacing every few weeks. The ones you go for will mostly depend on your budget, the type of system you have and preference.
Before investing money on a HVAC service provider, find out whether they offer service plans to protect and maintain your unit. This will not only ensure that your system continues to serve you well, but will also save you money on maintenance contracts.
HVAC replacement is a huge investment, but one that will save you money in the long run. Take as much time as you can learning more about your options and only make a decision when you are certain. Follow us for more articles that will keep your heating and cooling systems running efficiently. Call us at (707) 400-6875 to schedule a free estimate and learn more about our maintenance agreements. Oh, and remember to “Like” us on Facebook.
Persistent myths surround the use of air conditioning systems even in this age of connectivity and information overload. These myths are unfortunate as they lead to sub-optimal efficiency and greater energy consumption than is necessary. It’s time to correct the misconceptions starting with the three most pervasive air conditioning myths below:
Myth 1: Lowering the temperature setting hastens room cooling.
Once you get back to your house after a long day out, all you really want is to lie down and relax inside your room. You turn on the air conditioner for cooling but it takes a while to work its magic. A lot of people will try to set the thermostat to an extremely low temperature hoping that this will speed up the cooling effect. Yet the reality is that the rate of cooling remains steady no matter the settings. Install a programmable thermostat and set it to start working 15 minutes before your typical arrival to avoid the long wait.
Myth 2: Fans cool down an empty room.
The high cost of ownership of HVAC systems is a reality that everyone has simply learned to deal with. Air conditioners consume a great deal of power but the comfort they bring is worth the cost. Of course, this doesn’t prevent people from trying to lower their monthly bills. A popular strategy is to use a fan jointly with the AC. Fans enhance air circulation and evaporative cooling on the skin which definitely helps. However, it must be emphasized that people must be present inside a room to reap their benefits. They should be turned off if everyone will go out.
Myth 3: Unit positioning is unimportant so it can be installed anywhere.
Air conditioners do allow a great deal of flexibility when it comes to positioning but careful consideration is necessary to find the most favorable location. The amount of sunlight that will hit the unit on a daily basis is a big factor. A shaded area is best to avoid overheating which will only push it to work harder than it needs to.
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