It’s easy to be overwhelmed by all the standards and ratings of HVAC products proudly display on their labels. Knowing what these numbers mean can be the difference between choosing the right heating and air conditioning unit for your home or wasting money on a system that doesn’t quite do what you want it to do.
Thanks to recent innovations, air conditioning systems continually update with better features. One of the most prominent features that homeowners look for these days is quiet operation. After all, comfort isn’t all about temperature levels; it’s also about calm serenity.
It’s no secret that most of us love our air conditioning, but that doesn’t mean these systems are without issue. In fact, there are several problems that have been linked with climate-controlled environments.
The Top 5 Health Issues Caused by Air Conditioning
Consider these five crucial issues that can have negative consequences on your day-to-day health.
Fatigue and Illness
Feeling cold can leave you feeling drained. Employees who work in heavily air-conditioned areas are prone to headaches and fatigue. That’s because approximately 80% of our energy goes to our BMR, or basal metabolic rate. This number is a measurement of the calories it takes to maintain body temperature and other bodily functions. The colder you are, the harder your body works to keep your systems running, which can lead to feeling exhausted.
Solution: Adjust the thermostat, if you can. It may feel silly to bring a sweater to the office on an 80-degree day, but if you can’t control the thermostat, bundling up while you are there can keep your temperature at a more normal level. Drinking a hot beverage, such as coffee or tea, can help, too.
Dry and Irritated Skin
One reason we love the A/C is because it removes the humidity from the air, but that also means our skin is exposed to less moisture. Spending hours in the air conditioning can cause widespread irritation and flaking, especially in people who already have dry skin.
Solution: Use lotion whenever possible, particularly on problem areas. Consider using a moisturizing body wash, as well, if you spend a significant portion of time in an air-conditioned area. And, for most issues, staying properly hydrated can be extremely beneficial.
Enhanced Symptoms of Chronic Illnesses
Spending time in overly air-conditioned environments can be especially taxing for those with chronic illnesses. Many painful symptoms are exacerbated by the cold. Arthritis sufferers, for example, may have more difficulty moving affected joints. This stiffness causes higher levels of discomfort and can make it more difficult to complete everyday tasks. Low blood pressure and neuritis are two other conditions aggravated by cold temperatures.
Solution: Look for warmer areas of the office to do your work, perhaps near windows which would offer more exposure to sun. Try silk undergarments; they offer a layer of warmth without bulk.
Solution: Keep your AC consistent but not extremely cold. Try to temper yourself into warmer situations whenever possible.
The blowing air from air conditioners circulate germs and other microorganisms. This kind of contamination can lead to the spread of disease, particularly in office buildings. The constant presence of cold air also may irritate the mucous membrane and cause physical issues with breathing, too.
Solution: Change filters frequently, especially whenever someone has been sick. Keep your environment as clean as possible and have the system serviced regularly to prevent mold.
There are some definite concerns when using an AC system, but common sense and diligence can help you enjoy years of safe climate control. If you need help improving your indoor air quality, contact us today to discuss your IAQ options.
When you hear the word “allergies,” you might think about the allergens and air pollution outside that can affect the air quality and impact our health. However, with all of the time that we spend inside our homes, offices, and other buildings, it’s important to also consider your indoor air quality as this can also have a significant impact on allergies.
How to Improve Indoor Air Quality
Though you may not have much control over the air quality outside, you can take measures to better control the air quality in your home to reduce allergens. Here are just a few ways to improve indoor air quality to keep you and your family happy and healthy:
Vacuum or mop your floors regularly.
Allergens accumulate over time, so one of the best ways to reduce these irritants and chemicals in your home is by regularly vacuuming and mopping your floors. Use a vacuum cleaner with a HEPA filter and strong suction capabilities to make sure that these pollutants don’t end up getting blown back onto the floor. Also, be sure to vacuum high traffic areas often.
Stop outdoor allergens in their tracks.
Use large mats near every door that leads outside to help trap dirt, pesticides, and other allergens that enter your home. This helps keep pollutants from ending up on your floor or in other areas of the house. Wash these mats regularly to help keep your home clean.
Change your HVAC filter and clean your vents.
Your HVAC unit’s filter traps dust, dirt, and other irritants. It is important to clean or change these filters regularly to maintain healthy indoor air quality. You should also clean your HVAC unit’s vents regularly to ensure that the system is running smoothly and continuing to protect your indoor air quality.
Use natural cleaning products.
In addition to vacuuming and mopping regularly, you also want to make sure that other surfaces of your home where dust can accumulate are kept clean. Using natural cleaning products that are chemical-free help you reduce the toxins from cleaning chemicals which can be harmful to those with weakened immune systems like infants and the elderly.
Introduce house plants into your home.
House plants are not just for decorative purposes. Many different types of house plants can help you improve the air quality in your home. Through their normal photosynthesis process, these plants are able to reduce common household toxins like benzene, formaldehyde, and trichloroethylene.
Control humidity in your home.
Keep humidity between 30-50% in your home to keep dust mites, mold, and other moisture-loving allergens under control. A dehumidifier can be used to reduce moisture in the air, and running your air conditioner can also help reduce allergens by filtering air from outside.
If you have questions about indoor air quality or how you can improve air health in your home, don’t hesitate to give us a call. We can clean your unit and make sure it is running smoothly to help protect you and your family from allergens and other pollutants.
We might be living in a modern world where information is easily available but many of us still fall victim to a lot of myths. Take for instance the proper usage of air conditioners. False notions continue to hinder efficiency in many homes. Owners have a number of undesirable habits that result in higher energy consumption than is truly necessary. Here are three of the most prevalent air conditioning myths:
Myth #1: Cooling happens faster when you turn the thermostat down low.
When we get home during a hot day, the first thing we reach out for is usually the A/C remote control. We crave for relief from the warm weather by turning the thermostat down low. Some even go to extremes thinking that the room will cool faster if the settings are cranked lower. This simply isn’t true. Heat will be moved out of the room at a constant rate no matter the settings so there will not be a change in speed. The air will just feel much colder than usual, to the point that it might be uncomfortable.
Myth #2: Electric fans will contribute to cooling in empty rooms.
Electric fans can be used in tandem with air conditioners to increase the cooling effect while keeping energy consumption low. Homeowners should understand how fans are able to do their job so as to use them more effectively. Many think that keeping them turned on will contribute to cooling when there’s no one in the room. This is false. To reap their benefits, a person must be in the direct line of the fans. The moving air is what causes evaporative cooling on the skin.
Myth #3: It’s better to keep the system on during idle hours than to switch it off.
Allowing the system to keep going in an empty house is wasteful. Energy is expended without anyone benefiting from it. Those who are leaving for school or work should turn the air conditioner off and just turn it back on when they get back. Better yet, use a programmable thermostat to turn the system on 15 minutes or so before the usual time of arrival for a cool welcome.
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It is not uncommon to have a frozen air conditioner. The finely tuned mechanism that helps a unit avoid this can get bogged down by several issues that lead to overcooling. Just like any extreme, this is not good for the system. It makes work harder for the individual components and could lead to eventual damage if continued to operate under this condition. Understanding why this sort of thing happens is the first step towards prevention.
Slow Fan Speed
When the cold refrigerant reaches the evaporator coil, the air around it will begin to cool as well. The cool air needs to be blown into the room by the fans to lower the indoor temperature. This blowing action also prevents the coils from freezing over because of overcooling. If the speed of the fan blades is inadequate, then things might get too cold that the coils become frozen. Try to increase the speed of rotation to avoid this. If the fans are busted, call for repairs immediately.
Air Filter Blockage
Air filters are designed to block dirt and dust while allowing enough air to pass at a decent rate. After all, airflow is a necessary element in the heat transfer mechanism of the entire system. The buildup of dirt should be monitored as too much can hinder airflow. If there is not much hot air flowing into the system, then the coils can easily freeze up. Efficiency will also suffer. Change the filters every couple of months depending on the manufacturer’s recommendations, the level of air pollution in the area, and the kind of filter being used.
Holes around the system will cause the refrigerant to leak out slowly into the atmosphere. Old air conditioners contributed to global warming due to the destruction of the ozone layer by CFCs. New refrigerants are not as harmful to the environment but leaks are still a problem because they can cause units to freeze up. They need to be found and fixed right away. Technicians will then have to replace the lost refrigerant to get things back up to the optimum level.
Often, homeowners only consider having Air Conditioning Installation done in the winter. They do not realize that installation as well as Air Conditioning Replacement, can actually be done all year round. In fact, there are a multitude of reasons as to why having an air conditioner installed in the winter months is actually easier. Although at this time homeowners have their furnaces going and heat pumps functioning and maximum speed, it is only a matter of a few months before an air conditioning will be needed. If your home needs an air conditioning system, or a replacement now is the time to buy.
Why To Install In The Winter Months
In the cooler months the installation of an air conditioner is actually easier. Most often in order to install an air conditioner the attic space must be accessible. In the heat working in an attic can be dangerous as the temperature may be too hot. By installing in the winter time you can ensure that the temperature is a safe condition. This will also save time, which will reduce the cost of the system. Often, buying an A/C system in the winter is cheaper anyway because it is not in demand. If you have an older system, you should consider replacing it now. Replacing an older system now, will ensure that the first day of hot weather your system will start of beautifully. You do not want to attempt to operate your system on the first hot day only to find out that you are unable to. By purchasing in the early winter you can guarantee a better price. Manufacturers tend to increase pricing in the late winter. This allows them to capitalize on the demand for air conditions in the summer months.
There are a variety of reasons to consider purchasing an air condition system now. Having it installed in the winter is not only cheaper, but it will also save time. Replacing an old air conditioner in the winter months can ensure a cheaper system as well as lower labor costs. Your neighbors may think your nuts, but go ahead and have your air conditioning installation done now.
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It is always fascinating to know how things around us work. Air conditioner is one the most used machine around the world, especially in hot climate, for bringing room temperature down to comfortable margins. However, very little is known to the user about how it works. If you want to know ‘how does air conditioning work?’, then this article is for you.
Air conditioning system works much the same as refrigeration system. The basic concept in both the systems is the same except that refrigeration generally brings the temperature drastically down in a small and closed space while air conditioning generally brings temperature down to comfortable levels in larger spaces. However, the most common principle in both the systems is the use of compressor and condenser. Also, a chemical is used in both the processes. This chemical converts to gas and liquid form quickly thus helping in bringing the temperature down.z
To understand the basic function of this chemical, you can consider it like an agent which propels the heat from the inside of a room to the outside environment. This is done in cycles over and over again. The main components of an air conditioning system include a compressor, a condenser and an evaporator.
The chemical, which begins as a fluid, enter the compressor. At this stage it is a cool low pressure gas. The compressor applies pressure on the fluid. This leads the liquid turn to gas owing to the higher energy state it has been brought to.
Its temperature is also raised in the process. This hot gas is routed into the condenser. The condenser works more or less like the radiator of a car and helps to dispose of the heat into the environment. The gas, which is now once again converted to liquid, exits the condenser. Its temperature is lower now as it has dissipated heat. This liquid now enters the evaporator through a narrow opening. Once again, the liquid changes to gas and extracts heat from the room air. When it gets heated, it again turns to gas and the complete cycle is repeated. There’s a suction pump in the air conditioner which sucks the hot air of the room. After the complete process, cold air is released into the room once again. How air conditioners work is just one of the amazing principles of science, there’s more if you want to know.
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Summertime can be really hot. It is very important to be certain your air conditioning unit works properly before the summer heat hits. If you are not able to maintain and make minor repair services to your own AC unit, it is a good time to call in a professional to do that for you. Below are 3 reasons you should call in an AC technician.
AC Unit Will Not Turn On
The most obvious thing to check on your thermostat is if it is set to cool rather than heat or off completely. You also want to be certain the thermostat is set below the present room temperature. Also, check your air conditioning circuit breaker and the one that the furnace is controlled by. Replace any damaged fuses and reset popped ones. Turn all the cooling unit switches to ON which includes the external safety switches as well. You can typically find this next to the condenser on the outside wall. The overflow tray should be checked as well. Often if the tray holds too much water, it will trigger the unit to shut off automatically. The blower door which is located on the air handler should be securely closed. If none of these tips seem to work, it is most likely a much more complicated issue and a technician should be called.
Properly Sized AC Unit Won’t Dehumidify
If your AC unit is the correct size and you are still experiencing too much moisture in your home, it might be the result of excessive humidity from water leaks, open windows or condensation drainage problems coming from the furnace evaporator coil. First, be sure all your windows are closed so the outside humidity does not enter your home. Be sure the drainage system is functioning properly. You can also use a portable dehumidifier in some spots to boost dehumidifying power. If none of these seems to help the problem, call in a technician.
ON Cycle is Too Short
First check to make sure there is nothing blocking the thermostat. Things like dirty or bent condensing fins can also interfere in the cooling cycle of your unit. You can fix bent fins on the outside condensing unit with a fin comb. Air filters should be checked and replaced if they are dirty. If you are unable to remedy the problem with these tips you may need to call in a technician. They will also check your refrigerant charge to see if there are any leaks or may have to replace a large condensing unit.
Any type of problem with your air conditioning unit should not be played around with and if it is more than just a simple issue with a simple solution, do not hesitate to call in a professional to take a look at it. If you have a newer unit, all repairs might still be covered under your manufacturer’s warranty. If it is not a newer unit, having a technician come in and evaluate the problem and fix it quickly will save you some much great hassles and expenses down the road.