High-Efficiency Indoor Air Quality and Ventilation

Good Deals Heating and Cooling air qualityAir quality inside your home is an essential part of keeping your home habitable. There are a lot of resources that are available to keep your air quality at a reasonable level. In this article, we are going to cover a couple of options for monitoring and maintaining excellent air quality in your home.

Foobot Air Quality Monitor

Foobot is a monitor that allows you to track the quality of your air in your home. The device connects to your smart thermostat and displays results on an online dashboard. These monitors let you know if additional methods need to be put in place to keep your home’s air clean.

Energy Recovery Ventilator (ERV)

When this type of ventilator is installed in your home, it uses the energy that comes through your existing air exhaust to power air purification technology. This energy efficient ventilator allows air to flow better through your home.

Commutated Fans

Commutated fans are powered via direct current from your air conditioning system. This system is more energy efficient than other methods of power available to fans. The blowers on board do a fantastic job at ventilating your home or business. Fans and blowers that use commutated air control have enhanced control over the speed at which they ventilate the house.

UV Advanced Photocatalytic Oxidation

If you want to ensure good air quality, then a system like UV advanced photocatalytic oxidation is the way to go. This system is installed inside your centralized air system and scrubs all air that comes into the house. It works to keep your whole home filtered. When using this system, it also prevents mold from growing in the air ducts and dispersing spores throughout your house.

Talk to an HVAC Contractor

A lot of different options have been invented to help you with air quality. Talking over your specific needs with an HVAC contractor will help them identify the best solution for you. They can come out to your property and address your particular needs.

Good air quality is essential especially for persons suffering from respiratory ailments or allergies. Being able to control the quality of your in-home air can make a big difference – it means healthier living and easier breathing. What is your home air quality? The best way to discover this is to work with a heating and cooling company that specializes in providing air quality solutions.

For more information on improving the air quality in your home contact Good Deals Heating and Cooling at 215-947-1166.

7 Solutions to Improve Indoor Air Quality

Good Deals Heating and Cooling air qualityA large portion of the population is aware that the air quality outside can often be polluted. That tends to be pretty straightforward but what goes unseen is indoor air quality. Many homes have worse air quality than the air outside.
We are going to take a look at seven solutions to improve indoor air quality.

Use A Quality HVAC Air Filter

Your HVAC air filter is responsible for capturing any air impurities before they enter your home. Many options are available on the market, based on how much you want to filter your air. The most strict air filters may cost a little more, but they will help you a lot when it comes to improving air quality.

Buy An Air Purifier

One of the best ways to improve air quality inside your home is to buy an air purifier. There are air purifiers that will purify just one room and others that work to clean your whole house. Each one has its benefits. But they can significantly improve your air.

Change Your Filters

Both your HVAC system and air purifier have filters. These filters work by trapping the contaminants or eliminating them from the air. Over time these filters lose effectiveness due to build up debris and dust. Make sure to change or clean your filters at the recommended intervals to get clean air.

Reduce the Chances of Mold

Mold produces air quality contaminants. Fix leaks in your home and ensure a good seal to reduce your chances of getting mold. Good seals on your windows and doors will also help to keep good air quality in the home.  Keep the proper humidity in the home to reduce mold growth.

Avoid Using Chemicals

Chemical cleaners and other household chemicals may make your surfaces cleaner, but they can affect the air quality. Avoid using chemicals in your home and look for natural alternatives. Plenty of natural or non-chemical cleaning options exist that will help keep your home air safe.

Keep Your Home Clean

Yes, it can be hard to stay on top of all of the cleaning chores you may have, but a clean home makes a real difference when it comes to air quality. Particulates on the ground can be stirred up into the air and cause breathing problems. Dust and other particles can also build up and cause problems.

Groom Your Pets

Pet dander and fur can significantly impact your indoor air quality. Staying on top of your pet’s grooming will help to reduce the impact. Fur removers are easy to find and can help to get rid of loose hair.  Vacuum and sweep floors frequently to keep dander and fur from accumulating in corners of the house and to prevent air filters from clogging quickly.

These seven solutions for improving your indoor air quality will create a healthier home. Most of these only take a little more work than you are already doing and pay off well.

For more information on improving the air quality in your home, contact Good Deals Heating and Cooling at 215-947-1166.

HVAC and Humidifiers: What to Set Humidifier at in Winter

Good Deals Heating and Cooling HVAC and humidifiersEveryone worries about the indoor air quality of their home in the winter, which can be not only dry but also cause discomfort for the residents. Dry air can result in significant health consequences. The best resort for avoiding such extreme circumstances is the use of a humidifier. Striking a balance between HVAC and humidifiers is of considerable help in enhancing the indoor air quality. The improved quality of air is results in a pleasant environment in the house. Nonetheless, the humidity of the air inside the home should be optimum and must not create conditions for the growth of molds inside.

What is Relative Humidity?

Relative humidity is the amount of water vapor present in the air; inside a given place. The temperature is an essential determinant in altering the relative humidity levels. In winters, the air cools down and retains less water; similarly, in summers, the atmosphere is warm and can hold a considerable amount of water. The temperature inside any given place, too, varies with changes in the outdoor temperature.

What are Humidifiers?

A humidifier is a device, which is responsible for increasing the humidity or moisture of the air in a room.

What is HVAC?

The HVAC, heating, ventilation, and air-conditioning is a technology for improving environmental comfort indoors, mostly temperature.

HVAC & Humidifiers: Settings

The humidifier, used in homes, is usually attached to the furnaces or the HVAC system. The value set on the humidifier is based on the levels of the relative humidity. The comfortable level of relative humidity lies between 30 to 50 percent. If the humidifier is set anywhere between these values, the indoor atmosphere and quality of air become cozy for the resident.

However, readjustment is required during the winter when the temperature drops significantly. A humidity level of around 50 percent may cause condensation on the windowsills. A humidifier should be set at 25 percent when the temperature is somewhere between 0 and 10 degrees Fahrenheit. Similarly, an increase in temperature somewhere around 10 to 20 degrees Fahrenheit will require the humidity level to be set around 20 percent.

Health conditions improve significantly, and there are lesser instances of illness once humidifiers are installed at any given place especially for persons suffering from pulmonary problems.

For more information on HVAC and humidifiers, contact Good Deals Heating and Cooling at 215-947-1166.

Is a Ductless HVAC System Right For Your Home?

Good Deals Heating and Cooling ductless HVAC systemHVAC systems are crucial to keeping the climate right in your home. There isn’t a one size fits all solution to choosing an HVAC system. You need to select the option that is right for your home. One of the options out there is the ductless HVAC system. A ductless system provides excellent comfort at a stable and consistent temperature.

Is Your Home Already Built?

Ductless systems are great for homes that are already built because they require only a minimal amount of alteration. A small hole needs to be drilled into the wall to feed hose from the compressor to the unit. The size of this hole is only a fraction of the size of a standard HVAC hole. You will also need to mount the unit, but that is simple.

Looking For Energy Efficiency?

HVAC systems can be a significant consumer of your power system, costing you a lot of money. A ductless HVAC system, on the other hand, is a very energy efficient solution. Your HVAC duct is taking around 25% of your energy from your home. Compressor startup on the hand will still consume a good portion of your energy.

An Energy Star rated ductless HVAC system can save you even more money. Energy efficiency isn’t only about the money that you are saving, but also about protecting the climate.

Flexible Option

With a ductless HVAC unit, you have plenty of options. You don’t have to worry about where in the room, or home, you put the unit. It doesn’t require a connection to a central unit.
Each room can also be set to different air temperature. People will be able to get the desired level of comfort in each room.

Need A Quick Installation?

Don’t want a significant disturbance around your home during the installation process? Putting in a ductless HVAC system is quick and easy. A qualified individual can have the work done in a day or two. On the other hand, a traditional duct system can take weeks to install, during which time you won’t be able to use rooms.

Which HVAC duct system you get will be up to you. Ductless HVAC systems have a lot of benefits. Make sure that you do your research and read into the benefits of ducted HVAC systems. Being well-versed makes you able to make an informed decision. An essential part of a substantial investment.

For more information on a ductless HVAC system contact Good Deals Heating and Cooling at 215-947-1166.

Does My HVAC Need an Air Filter?

Good Deals Heating and Cooling HVAC filterAs you move into your new home, one of the things you’ll want to be mindful of is the HVAC unit. Short for “heating, ventilation, and air conditioning,” this unit is important because it will play an essential role in how comfortable or uncomfortable your home’s climate feels. Heating and cooling are two of the main concerns, but one thing that new homeowners may forget is that the filter used within the HVAC is just as important.

Let’s get the big question out of the way first: do you need to have an HVAC filter for your unit to function? Technically speaking, no you don’t. Air will still push through the system, and your house will cool down or heat up as you desire. However, in the long run, there will be some significant issues that will crop up.

Low-Quality Air

The filter is put into your HVAC for a significant reason: to help filter out airborne particles that are bad for your health. With a filter, mold, dust mites, and other things will not be collected and will run rampant in your house. They can make you sick, and because the particles are circulating in your home, you run the risk of getting sick again and again.

Freon Tube Damage

Your air conditioner functions by having air blown onto the perpetually wet tubes filled with freon. Because they’re wet, anything that wasn’t caught with the filter will get stuck onto them. Eventually, all the gunk will build up, and they won’t function the way they should. Your AC may not cease to produce cool air.

Humidity Level

The filter helps to keep your AC functioning so that water condensation evaporates and doesn’t assist breeding mold and other airborne particles (which are bad for your health). This is also important because if you rely on your AC for dehumidifying your home, it won’t be able to without a filter.

Ductwork Damage

Much like your freon tube, your HVAC’s ductwork will be affected by condensation that collects in its aluminum casing and eventually will have mold spores growing within them. These will travel down from the ductworks and spread across your house via the ventilation shafts. Mold can cause health issues for you and your visitors.

When moving into your new home, we strongly advise that you not only make sure to have a filter in your HVAC for the reasons above but to make sure to change it periodically. We recommend checking it each month and replacing it based on your living situation. If you’re in a climate in which you have the unit on year-round, you may want to change it as often as every one-two months. If you live with multiple pets, you’ll also want to change filters every couple of months due to animal hair and dander floating around. Every three months is recommended for those who don’t use the unit that often. But you should be able to determine which frequency works for you if you’re checking it each month.

For more information on HVAC filters, contact Good Deals Heating and Cooling at 215-947-1166.

What Are The Different Types Of HVAC Air Filters

Good Deals Heating and Cooling HVAC air filtersOne of the most critical parts of your HVAC system is the air filter. The air filter is responsible for keeping the air that enters your home clean of contaminants. Bad air quality can also clog your HVAC system. Understanding the different types of HVAC air filters will help you to determine which is best for your home.

Fiberglass or Synthetic Filters

If you are looking to spend the least amount of money, what you are looking for are fiberglass and synthetic filters. These are both affordable and disposable. Particles 50 microns or larger are filtered out up to 80% by these filters. Particles between the size of 3 and 10 microns are filtered at 25%. BY using these filters, you can filter out dust and dirt but not all harmful contaminants from your home or office.

Polyester Based Filters

Filters made from polyester are one of the highest quality that you can get. Particles at or above 5 microns are filtered between 80 and 95%. You will get extreme filtration but at approximately four times the cost of the fiberglass or synthetic filters mentioned above.

Electrostatic Filters

The fibers in these filters are self-charged to create electrostatic attraction. Both standard versions of electrostatic filters and washable versions are available. Between the two there will be a MERV (Minimum Efficiency Reporting Value) rating of 4 to 10 depending on the specific filter. Washable filters will last longer than disposable filters.

Pleated Filters

For those that desire to catch the smallest particles floating around, the pleated filter is the right option. They can catch particulates that are down to .3 microns in size. That includes most contaminants and allergens. At the same time that pleated air filters give you the best filtration, they allow decent airflow.

HEPA Air Filters

Out of all of the HVAC air filters, a HEPA filter is the most effective. It will capture up to 99% of particles that are .3 microns or above. HEPA filters provide fantastic filtration at the cost of some airflow. Your system will have to work slightly harder when using these filters, costing more money.

Now you know the major types of HVAC air filters out there you can make an informed decision about which one is best for your system. Are you okay with minimum filtration with the benefit of cost saving or do you need something more robust? If you already have an HVAC system in place, make sure that the filter you decide to use is compatible with your system.

For more information on HVAC air filters contact Good Deals Heating and Cooling at 215-947-1166.

5 Tips For Better Indoor Air Quality

Good Deals Heating and Cooling air qualityWe spend most of our home maintenance time investing in stuff like window screens, weather-proof sealants, and air-tight doors and windows. We’re taught to keep things like bugs, the heat, and cold out of our homes. It keeps us from getting sick, we tell ourselves, and yes this is true. However, if you trap the air inside your house, you’re risking air quality problems.

Believe it or not, your furniture can lower the quality of your indoor air. According to the U. S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, “Some sources, such as building materials, furnishings, and household products like air fresheners, release pollutants more or less continuously.” So your couch, your blankets, and other things you’re around for hours a day can emit harmful gases and chemicals.

We live in a time in which most of us spend a majority of the day indoors. Consider the time someone sleeps in their bed, wakes up and goes to work, sits in their car to transition between home and work, and then return home. On average, many of us spend more time indoors more than outdoors now. Exposure to these pollutants are problematic for not just for people with asthma, in poor health, or are differently-enabled, but can have long-term effects on anyone if precautions aren’t taken. Here are five ways you can make the quality of your indoor air better.

Switch From Chemical to Natural

DIY (Do It Yourself) projects are all the rage online. Hundreds of videos are available and can teach you how to make virtually anything from home. These videos are helpful for creating Galaxy-style tennis shoes, and they’re also very helpful in helping raise your indoor air quality. Many chemical-based products, such as aerosols, are doing your house more harm than good. While it may make your house smell good and leave your counters sparkling, these products are also leaving hazardous particles in your home.

The better way to clean your house is to use natural products. For instance, for the removal of hard stains, instead of going to your local store and buying a chemical product, consider investing in baking soda, vinegar, and natural citrus oil to create cleaning products that are eco-friendly and smell good!

Mop, Sweep, and Vacuum Regularly

Sure, this seems like something people regularly do but how many of us admittedly wait until our floors look dirty before cleaning them? Dust isn’t just an annoyance; it’s also a breeding ground for dust mites. So, you’ll want to make it a habit to clean your floors at least once a week.

When you’re cleaning once a week, consider taking a few other “shortcuts” to help keep the dust at bay. Mopping after sweeping is a good idea because it helps to get up what the broom didn’t. Vacuuming with a HEPA filter will aid in your fight as well. Lastly, don’t keep the cleaning and vacuuming to just the floors. Remember that dust settles in your upholstery and furniture as well!

Watch the Humidity Level

In especially higher humidity climates, mold and humidity love to be in each other’s company. Between 30-40 percent is the ideal humidity range. If your home is naturally more humid (i.e., if you use a swamp cooler), you’ll want to invest in a dehumidifier. Those of you with air conditioners are in luck as these can help keep the humidity down.

Also, consider places like your bathroom. Showering creates humidity, which can create mold. Consider investing in a ventilation system if you don’t have one. Open a window, or crack the door. Wiping down the tiles after a shower also helps.

Don’t Smoke Indoors

According to the American Lung Association, cigarettes “create more than 7,000 chemicals. At least 69 of these chemicals are known to cause cancer, and many are poisonous.” These chemicals linger in everything, from the furniture to clothing, to the walls and are why a “cigarette smell” lingers in smokers’ cars and houses. These chemicals, especially when you’re exposed to them over an extended amount of time may result in health issues.

Bring the Outdoors In

Don’t underestimate the power (and beauty) of indoor plants. Not only are there a wide variety of indoor plants to pick from, but your relationship with it is symbiotic. They need CO2, and you need oxygen. It’s a win-win scenario! They help to filter your indoor air as well. Some of them even give off natural fragrances, so you don’t need to buy air fresheners anymore!

Speaking of the outdoors, don’t be afraid to open up your doors and windows in specific intervals. Get a cross-breeze going by opening them on each side of the house. Doing this for five to ten minutes a few times a day will work wonders.

Keywords: Air quality, American Lung Association, US Consumer Product Safety Commission, DIY (Do it yourself)
*Author’s note: Sources are hyperlinked.

Is My AC Low on Freon?

Good Deals Heating and Cooling air conditioningAir conditioners are fantastic at keeping a home cool. Unlike fans, air conditioning adjusts to maintain a home at a precise temperature. Throughout the summer, people trust that their AC will be there to keep their house cool. That is, as long as the air conditioner has the proper level of freon. How do can one tell when an air conditioner is running low on freon? We are going to examine some of the signs today.

AC Isn’t Keeping The Room/House Cold

There are two main reasons that an air conditioner might not be keeping a home or room cold. One reason is that the unit is the wrong size for the overall area to be cooled. But, if the AC unit usually works fine for cooling the area, but now it is not then it probably lacks freon. Then It is time to call a technician to check the freon levels. If the freon levels are fine, then the technician can check the rest of the unit for problems.

When the temperature in a room doesn’t feel right, compare the temperature on which the air conditioner is set with the actual room temperature. This check is an excellent way to verify if the AC unit is keeping the area regulated.

Ice Is Building Up On the AC Unit

A specific part of the AC unit, called the evaporator coil, handles the chilling of air. That means this is the only part of the unit that could build up condensation during normal operation. If ice is noticed building up around the air conditioner unit, it is running low on freon. Replace the freon before continuing to run the system. Water leaking into the wrong part of the AC unit can cause a short circuit.

Electric Bills Are Going Up

When an air conditioner unit is low on freon, it has to work harder to keep the air cold. That means that it requires additional electricity. There can be a lot of reasons that an electric bill might go up, but when troubleshooting the problem, place check freon level to the list.

While an air conditioner is capable of running without the freon topped off, it should be filled as soon as possible. Many people start to notice the lack of freon when it starts to hurt their wallets. At the same time, running the risk of a unit breaking down when the freon is low will cost more in the long run because a service call to have the freon level checked is much less expensive than replacing a unit.

If you have a question about your air conditioning unit contact Good Deals Heating and Cooling at 215-947-1166.

What Temperature Should I Set My Air Conditioning While On Vacation?

Good Deals Heating and Cooling air conditioningThe summer vacation is the ideal time to give residential air conditioning units a break. In fact, it is pointless and expensive to have the central air conditioner running if no one is present at the house. The one exception is if the pets are left at home, in this case, the air conditioner must not be completely turned off. Instead, the air conditioning unit should be but can be set at a higher temperature than usual.

By setting the thermostat to a warmer temperature, you can cut your electricity bill. Raising the temperature by one degree, cuts about 3% off the electricity bill. However, just because a higher setting will cut a monthly utility bill, a homeowner should not increase the temperature too much. Remember air conditioning does not only regulate the temperature in your home it also controls the humidity level. When the atmosphere within the home becomes exceptionally humid and hot, microorganisms and mildew can thrive making the indoor air unhealthy.

When the temperature is too high within the house, appliances like refrigerators can start to emit moisture and run harder to stay cool. Also when you return from vacation, cooling down the home to a comfortable temperature, the air conditioning unit will have to work hard thus eliminating some of the savings.

Therefore, the temperature should be raised about 4 degrees above the comfortable temperature the homeowners generally use. For instance, if the normal temperature is 72, increase it to about 76 before everyone leaves the house. With such a setting, the house will maintain an adequate temperature (which is not too hot) and still save some electricity. However, if there are pets in the house and the family is leaving for several days adequate measures must be taken. That means the pets should be sent to a care center or ask a friend or a relative to look them after. Even when the pets are left at the house for about a few days, the best practice is to ask the veterinarian about the best temperature setting according to the type and size of the animal.

If you have a question about your air conditioning system contact Good Deals Heating and Cooling at 215-947-1166.

How to Lower the Humidity in Your Home

Good Deals Heating and Cooling air conditioning repairHumidity inside the house can be pretty annoying. Constant moisture can cause various health issues, ruin the interior’s appearance and may even weaken the home’s structure. Therefore, it is imperative to take all possible measures to control the humidity in the house. According to experts, indoor humidity level should stay within a range of 30 – 50%.  When the level is above that there are some things you can try before calling for air conditioning repair.

Maintaining appropriate humidity levels can deliver several benefits: personal comfort, indoor appearance, prevent mildew, reduce odor in clothing, better air quality, reduce dust mites, etc. Many times people feel uncomfortable not because of the temperature in the house, but the humidity level. High humidity gives a person that sweaty, sticky feeling. Lower the humidity and the thermostat can be higher and still be comfortable.

Some homeowners manage to control humidity levels in their home with the assistance of air conditioners. However, to expect the best out of air conditioning systems there are a few additional tips to follow.

Letting the fan run. If you keep the fan on, the AC unit will add moisture to the air as the air passes a wet coil. Make sure the fan turns off when the AC unit isn’t running.

Vent the clothes dryer to outside. When a clothes dryer is running, the evaporating water is released into the air. By venting the dryer to the outdoors, most of that moist goes outside instead of remaining in the home.

Bathroom and kitchen vents. Both of these rooms in the house are locations of moisture producing activities. Showers and cooking both produce steam. By having vents, the air is circulated and the moisture is removed or at least reduced in these rooms.

Moisture-absorbing plants. There are plants that absorb water directly from the air. Placing these plants in the home helps keep humidity levels in check. These plants include Boston fern, English ivy, reed palm and peace lily.

Repair broken air ducts. A broken or separated air duct will leak moisture back into the home instead of circulating it outdoors.

Install a whole house de-humidifier. Homes located in tropical or highly humid climates may need to install a de-humidifier to keep from overtaxing the AC system.
Reducing the humidity in the home not only makes for a more comfortable summer, but also may save some money on the energy bill.

If none of these tips help the humidity level in your home, you may need to call for air conditioning repair. In the Philadelphia area contact Good Deals Heating and Cooling at 215-947-1166.