How To Improve Indoor Air Quality Naturally

Some people don’t know that poor indoor air quality can be dangerous to your health. However, the reality is that indoor air can contain harmful contaminants that lead to health problems. Fragrances, pet dander, household cleaners, and dust are some examples of indoor pollutants that often appear when a home air quality test is performed. Since you spend most of your time indoors, it would be wise to keep your indoor air clean for a comfortable environment. Here are some tips to ensure that you protect and clean the air that you breathe indoors all year long. Check Your Furniture Some furniture is made of toxic materials and glues that can pollute your indoor air. The toxic glues contain harmful chemicals. Some finishing products like varnishes can affect the health of asthmatic people and those suffering from allergies. You can prevent indoor air pollution naturally by avoiding furniture treated with chemicals and furniture pieces assemble using toxic glues. Salt Lamps Salt crystal products are great at reducing airborne irritants, allergens, and pathogens by extracting water vapor from the air. A salt lamp is a natural way of cleaning your indoor air because it works by pulling toxins from your surroundings...

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How often should air ducts be cleaned?

If you’ve noticed more dust in your Oak Harbor, WA, home, you might be wondering if it’s time to schedule air duct cleaning. Dirty air ducts reduce heating and cooling system efficiency and make it more difficult to breathe. Use these tips to schedule duct cleaning so that you can enjoy clean indoor air. General Air Duct Cleaning Recommendations For most households, professional duct cleaning every three to five years is a wise plan. If your air ducts get filled with debris more frequently than this, there could be some other issue with your heating and cooling system, such as a gap, failed seal or dirty filter. A good way to keep track of the condition of the air ducts is to clean the vent covers once a month. Wipe down the vent covers with a damp microfiber cloth. If you see a lot of buildup in the wall opening, use the vacuum cleaner’s extension hose to remove it. If you can see a lot of buildup in the ducts within a few months, you should have the ducts professionally inspected and cleaned. Circumstances That Warrant More Frequent Air Duct Cleaning While three to five years between professional duct cleaning...

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Are There Ways to Make Holiday Heating More Efficient?

The holiday season comes with many concerns for homeowners. Whether guests visit during the winter season or the homeowner spends time by him/herself, there’s no escaping the cold weather. During harsh winter seasons, keeping a home heated at desired levels supports both comfort and safety. Cost considerations may arise, as running a furnace comes with unavoidable bills. In general, there are ways to heat a home “a little better.” Here are some ideas to think about. Avoid Clutter Near the Furnace When expecting guests, you may think about their safety and move objects out of the bathroom, living room, and other areas. Since few people may walk near or around the furnace, the area becomes a preferred spot for storage. That could turn out to be a drastic and dangerous mistake. Putting anything flammable near the furnace might turn into a tragedy, which is why cluttering the heater area seems like an awful plan. Better to be safe and keep the area clear of clutter. You’ll sleep easier for it. Put a New Filter Into the Furnace If the furnace’s filter is both old and dirty, putting a new one in its place seems advisable. An old furnace presents air...

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5 Signs Your Home Heating Unit Needs an Upgrade

With temperatures in the State of Washington rising into the 90s in the summer and falling below freezing in the winter, you need a reliable heating system to keep your loved ones comfortable during seasonal temperature swings. Unfortunately, these temperature fluctuations take their toll on your system. During the summer, heat exchangers have to work overtime and transfer thermal energy through the evaporator coils. In the hot season, they circulate the refrigerant through the same coils to lower the temperature. Whenever the key units break down or start to wear out, they’ll hurt the entire system. Here are the signs your home heating and cooling unit requires an upgrade. 1. The System Takes Time to Respond to Settings An efficient heating system should respond immediately to the default settings. If the system doesn’t respond as quickly as it should, it’s an indication that something may be wrong with the heating system, the ducts or the thermostat. One way to test this is to turn the temperature way up on a hot day or way down on a cold day. If the ducts continue to heat a hot room or cool a cold room, even when you make the necessary adjustments,...

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The Truth About 5 Common Heating and Cooling Myths

Roughly 90% of American homes are outfitted with heating, cooling, and ventilation systems. Despite how common residential central air systems are, many people perpetuate myths about heating and cooling. Interested in uncovering the truth behind what you’ve heard? Look no further! This short guide will shine a light on several oh-so-common air conditioning and heating myths you may have come across. 1. Ceiling and Box Fans Reduce Indoor Temperature You’d be hard-pressed to find a home without at least one fan. These devices use electric power to spin fan blades, circulating air in the process. Box and ceiling fans both use the same power conversion processes to move air around. Ceiling fans also serve a decorative purpose for homeowners. Most people have heard that fans make indoor spaces cooler. You’ve probably deduced this “fact” on your own. While fans can make you feel cooler, they don’t lower the temperature indoors. If anything, due to the release of energy by fans, they make indoor spaces hotter. In actuality, however, this effect is negligible. As you know, your body sweats to release heat. Evaporation is responsible for transferring heat from your body to your immediate environment. Water’s rate of evaporation increases as...

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All About MERV Filters and Their Benefits

Before air enters the heating and cooling portion of your HVAC system in Oak Harbor, WA, it passes through an air filter. Some people think that the only difference between air filters is their size. Choose the correct size, they think, and there’s nothing left to consider. However, there is a wide range of filters that differ based on their MERV rating, giving you far more to choose from than just the size of the filter. By reading through this guide from on MERV ratings, you’ll be better able to understand how to use this measurement to keep your home healthy and comfortable. What Is a MERV Rating? Every air filter is assigned a MERV rating. The acronym MERV stands for Minimum Efficiency Reporting Value. While this sounds complicated, you can think of it simply as a measure of how much particulate matter a filter can capture in its fibers. Filters that are tightly woven and can catch a wide variety of particles have a higher MERV rating, while filters that are less dense have a lower MERV rating. You can find the MERV rating on any filter by checking the package when you buy it in the store. Typically,...

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Want To Save Energy and Money? Consider a Zoning System

Although there are plenty of perks to owning a larger home, one of the downsides is that it costs more to keep it comfortable. Whether you’re running your furnace or your air conditioner in Oak Harbor, the amount of energy it takes to maintain the perfect temperature can leave you with less money to spend on things you actually want to buy. The good news is that there is a way to keep your Oak Harbor home comfortable while saving significant amounts of energy and money. That great solution is a zoned HVAC system. What Is a Zoned HVAC System? A zoned HVAC system essentially exists to take advantage of the fact that you don’t use all areas of your home equally. While there are some areas, such as the kitchen, living room, bedrooms and bathrooms, that are used frequently, there are other areas that aren’t used that often. A zoned system, then, seeks to split up these areas into two or more sections that can be heated and cooled separately from each other. Literally, HVAC zones in a home are separate HVAC systems from that can be controlled independently to allow you to fine-tune the comfort of your home....

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How to Improve Seasonal Allergies with Better Indoor Air

Many people who battle allergies on a seasonal basis think of their homes as sanctuaries where they can seek respite from their symptoms. Often, this is not actually the case. The Environmental Protection Agency has identified poor indoor air quality as a serious health risk for Americans. The average home has allergens, contaminants and pollutants from both outdoor and indoor sources that can trigger allergies and worsen symptoms. There are, however, steps you can take to change this. Ensure Optimal Ventilation The first step is to ensure that your home has adequate ventilation. Due to advancements in construction, new homes tend to be well-sealed. If the ventilation is inadequate, allergens, contaminants and pollutants can persist in the home at highly concentrated levels. Older homes are at less risk of these elevated levels. However, older homes are more susceptible to pollen and other allergens from outside sources. Have your home ventilation assessed and perhaps even a home energy audit performed. Schedule AC maintenance on a seasonal basis and duct cleaning every several years or so, and ensure that your air filters are changed as needed, which can vary from home to home. Allergen-Proof Your Home Your next goal should be to...

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How to Reduce the Indoor Dust In Your Home

If you’ve ever dusted your furniture only to have it be covered in dust again after a few hours, you know how frustrating indoor dust can be. Made up of millions of particles from a variety of sources, dust is impossible to eradicate completely. This is especially true when you consider that a large portion of dust is made up of dead skin cells, something your body is losing on a constant basis. Even though dust will always be a part of your Oak Harbor home, there are some steps that we at can offer to help you to keep the dust at bay. Here are a few ideas to help you get started. Use a High-Quality Furnace Filter One of your best allies in the fight against dust in your house is your HVAC system. As the system circulates air to condition it, the air is pulled through a filter that stops dust in its tracks. The types of dust that the filter can capture are determined by the filter’s MERV rating. MERV stands for Minimum Efficiency Reporting Value. Essentially, this refers to how tightly wound the filter fibers are, which ultimately determines the size of particles that can...

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What Does An AC Compressor Do?

Most people know what an air conditioner compressor is. After all, because it sits outside, your compressor is one of your Oak Harbor home HVAC system’s most visible components. At the same time, very few people actually understand what an air conditioner compressor does. Understanding the functions of your compressor will help to shed light on the operation of your air conditioner as a whole and also make sense of any problems you may be experiencing with the compressor. A Word on Refrigerants The reason a compressor is needed at all is because of how an air conditioner works to cool your house. An air conditioner uses a refrigerant, most commonly a gas called R-410A, to remove heat from your home and expel it into the outside air. In order to perform this heat exchange, though, the temperature of the refrigerant has to be changed. In a closed system, the easiest way to change the temperature of a gas is to change the pressure of the gas. That’s what the compressor does. Changing Temperatures and Forms As its name suggests, the compressor compresses the refrigerant, which causes it to become superheated. This superheated refrigerant is hotter than the outside air...

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