What Factors Are Taken Into Consideration When Installing a New HVAC Unit?

Installing a new HVAC system is always a significant investment. It enhances the comfort level in your home and can also increase your property’s value. However, there are many factors to consider when picking out a new HVAC system to install. Indoor Air Quality Indoor air quality is critical to a comfortable home. HVAC systems can include components such as ventilation systems and air purifiers to clean the air. Without sufficient air filtration, irritating contaminants like pollen, dust, and more can enter your space and linger. Some HVAC models can have multiple stages of air filtration beyond a simple filter. Zoning Zoning is when the temperature in different areas of your home can be independently controlled. In traditional HVAC systems, this is usually done with a series of dampers in the ductwork. With a ductless multi-split HVAC system, each interior unit has its own temperature and airflow control. Zoning allows occupants to adjust areas to their specific comfort levels. Certain zones can also be shut off to save energy when those areas are unoccupied. Energy Efficiency Energy efficiency is another important factor to consider. More efficient HVAC systems will use less energy to do the same amount of work, which...

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How Will a Mini-Split Affect My Home’s Resale Value?

When making changes to your home, it’s a great idea to consider how it can affect your home’s resale value. For years, central heating and air conditioning systems have been standard. However, there is growing popularity for mini-split system installations. Homeowners considering one of these will ask themselves this essential question: How will installing a mini-split system affect the resale value of my home? Mini-Split System Explained A mini-split is a completely ductless HVAC system. It can both heat and cool your home. While larger mini-split units can sometimes cool or heat an entire home, more commonly, you will find multiple indoor units. One for your main living area and one for each bedroom is a standard practice. These indoor units connect to a compressor/condenser outside of your home. Since you don’t need any ductwork with a mini-split installation, they are great options for a home that doesn’t already have ducts in them. They are also useful for homes that are adding rooms because there is no need to expand existing ductwork into the addition. Resale Value Effect If you are wondering if installing a mini-split system in your home will increase your home’s resale value, the answer is yes....

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Indoor Air Quality vs. Outdoor Air Quality

Did you know that the air in your Oak Harbor, WA home could be more contaminated than the air outside? According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), it could be up to five times more contaminated. While a tightly sealed home envelope promotes HVAC system efficiency, it can also trap many common allergens, pathogens, and gaseous chemical contaminants inside. Read on to find out how your indoor air quality (IAQ) measures up to the quality of air outdoors and learn how to create a healthier living environment. What Ventilation Does and Why It Matters In theory, homes should experience a constant inflow of fresh outdoor air along with the release of indoor contaminants through a process known as induction. However, if all building materials are sealed airtight, this essential air exchange doesn’t happen. The “V” in HVAC stands for ventilation, and it’s a critical part of maintaining a healthy home. All homes have some mechanical ventilation, but yours might not have enough. One of the best ways to create cleaner indoor air is by scheduling an IAQ assessment. Not only will this evaluation list the contaminants present and their concentrations, but it will also point out the need for...

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Can a Gas Furnace Be Converted to Electric?

Many homeowners rely on a furnace to keep their household cozy and warm throughout the cold winter months. Depending on the model you choose, furnaces can run on a variety of energy sources. If you currently have a gas furnace and would rather have an electric one, you might wonder if it’s possible to convert your existing furnace. Furnace Conversions When we talk about furnace conversions, we are talking about using the same furnace you already have but with a different energy source. While all these heating systems fall underneath the general name of a furnace, they have different internal components depending on the type of fuel they use to heat your home. For example, a natural gas furnace will have a burner, pilot light, combustion chamber, and gas valve inside that is responsible for burning up the natural gas that’s fed into the furnace to create heat. On the other hand, an electric furnace will have built-in heating coils that are powered by electricity to create heat. When the internal components needed for your preferred fuel do not exist in the current furnace that you have in your home, then you can’t do a conversion. A natural gas furnace...

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How Long Does an HVAC Fuse Last?

The lifespan of your HVAC unit is directly related to your unit’s fuse. The fuse interrupts the electrical current when issues arise, such as power surges or electoral overloads, keeping your HVAC unit safe. HVAC Fuses HVAC systems rely on a complex interplay of electrical components to function optimally. Fuses act as protective devices and prevent system damage from electrical faults. Fuses are used in the evaporator coils, motors, compressors, and wiring configurations. Without fuses, your HVAC system would become overloaded and break down. Fuse Lifespan Factors How long your fuse lasts depends on several factors: usage, quality of materials, and environmental conditions. Usage refers to how often you use your HVAC at home. Is it often overwhelmed with back-and-forth requests from hot to cold and back again? Do you run it 24/7 year round, or does it have breaks where the system is shut off? The more the system is used, the more wear-and-tear the fuse undergoes. The quality of materials used to make the fuse matters as well. Higher-quality materials mean a longer-lasting part. Environmental conditions refer to the type of environment your system is in. Is your HVAC system outside? That can make it more likely to...

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Why Your AC Is Freezing Up and How to Prevent It

When the days are warm in Oak Harbor, you want to use your air conditioning to ensure that your home is comfortable. However, there are times when the equipment might freeze up. That can make your home uncomfortable and put your system at risk for damage. The good news is that knowing why it happens and how to prevent it can reduce the chances of your AC freezing and leaving your home too hot. Why an AC Freezes Up Low refrigerant and poor airflow are among the most common reasons an air conditioner freezes up. To cool the air, warm air goes over the air conditioner’s evaporator coils. There is refrigerant inside the coils that absorbs the heat so that the air becomes cool. These coils can get too cold if the refrigerant is low or there is an airflow restriction. As the coils get too cold, the condensation that accumulates on them will eventually freeze. Signs of AC Freeze Up There are several main signs that can occur when your air conditioner is freezing. Reduced airflow is common. If you are near a vent and you notice that the airflow is weak or it feels warmer than usual, this...

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How Often Should You Change Your AC Filter

It’s no secret that air conditioner filters play a major role in maintaining healthy indoor air quality. But did you know that the frequency you replace them can impact your home, family, and budget? Taking too long to change your AC filter can lead to many problems, from high energy bills to poor indoor air quality. But how often should you change your AC filter? The answer isn’t exactly simple; it depends on several factors: 1. Types of Filters The type of filter you have affects how often it needs replacement. Types of filters include the following: Fiberglass Filters Fiberglass filters are the most basic type of AC filter available. They aim to protect your air conditioning system rather than improve indoor air quality. Despite being inexpensive, they need replacing monthly due to their low efficiency at trapping dust and pollutants. Pleated Filters Pleated filters are better than fiberglass filters in terms of performance and cost. They have more surface area to trap particles. The thicker the wrinkles, the better the filter’s efficiency. These filters need replacing every three to six months, depending on the air quality in your home. High-Efficiency Particulate Air (HEPA) Filters HEPA filters are the best...

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5 Simple Tips for Lowering Your Energy Bills This Summer

Even in places like Oak Harbor which typically experience mild summer weather, keeping your home cool can still be quite costly. The steadily rising energy prices mean that most homeowners are constantly looking for ways to lower their energy costs without sacrificing their home comfort. If you’re looking to save some money on your energy bills this summer, here are a few simple tips you should definitely consider. 1. Schedule an AC Tune-Up Having your AC system professionally serviced, cleaned and inspected is essential for limiting how much energy the system uses. If the system isn’t serviced yearly, it can start to experience a variety of issues that reduce its energy efficiency and limit its effectiveness. Issues like leaking ductwork or a dirty evaporator coil can potentially increase energy usage by 25% or more, and these can easily be avoided by scheduling an annual AC tune-up service. Having the system inspected is also important for identifying and preventing issues that could cause the system to break down or shorten the lifespan of your AC unit. 2. Keep Window Coverings Closed During the Day Windows are always one of the biggest sources of heat gain. If you leave your curtains, drapes...

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Top Reasons to Clean Your Air Ducts

Air ducts are responsible for distributing heated or cooled air from the HVAC system throughout a building. Air ducts consist of steel, aluminum, fiberglass, or flexible plastic, which work similarly to circulate air. The primary purpose of an air duct system is to ensure each room or living space maintains the desired temperature and humidity level. Air ducts also reduce noise, odors, pollen, and allergens from entering a home. Over time, dust, dirt, and pet dander can build up in the air ducts, leading to poor indoor air quality. To keep your air ducts in optimal working condition, you’ll want to clean them often. A professional cleaning service can remove accumulated dust and debris from your ducts to ensure your HVAC system runs well. Here are some reasons why you should have your air ducts cleaned. Reduces Allergens and Irritants When dust, dirt, pet dander, and mold build up in a system, it increases the number of allergens and irritants circulated through a house. Cleaning your air ducts reduces airborne pollutants, allergy symptoms, or other respiratory conditions. Investing in air duct cleaning is suitable for health reasons and will improve your home’s indoor air quality. Enhances Performance of HVAC System...

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How to Know What Size of Ductless Mini Split You Need

Ductless mini splits are a unique type of HVAC unit that can both heat and cool. These units are designed for use in buildings with no central heating or air conditioning system, as they operate without the need for ductwork. They are also a great option for additions that aren’t connected to the central HVAC system or for any rooms or areas where you may need to supplement your heating and cooling. As with any other type of HVAC unit, it is vital that you choose a ductless mini split that is the right size for the space. If not, the unit may not heat or cool sufficiently. An oversized or undersized unit will also lead to higher energy bills, experience more frequent issues and likely break down much sooner. With all this in mind, here is a quick overview of how to calculate what size of ductless mini split you need. Determining Your Needs Most mini splits are designed to heat or cool just one room or space, but there are systems that can control the temperature throughout an entire home. These systems still have one outdoor heat pump that is connected to multiple indoor air handlers. In order...

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