Does My Home Need a Humidifier in the Winter?

Humidity inside your home can be important for improved comfort and lung health during the winter. Too much humidity, on the other hand, can be a bad thing, promoting the formation of mold, mildew and other unpleasant things. Too little humidity can lead to a variety of other problems, including: Dry nose/nose bleeds Dry skin Static electricity Respiratory ailments Itchy throats So, what’s the right amount of humidity to have in your home during the winter? According to the EPA, homeowners should ideally have between 30 and 50 percent humidity inside their home. Lower humidity is often better. How Can You Tell Humidity Levels in Your Home? The easiest way is to use a device called a “hygrometer.” You can purchase them at your local hardware store or online if you prefer. They are a small investment that can help you determine your indoor humidity levels accurately and consistently. If your hygrometer indicates that your humidity level is above 50 percent, you may want to look into methods for removing humidity from your home. If it indicates levels are below 30 percent, you may want to consider options for adding moisture into your home. Are Humidifiers the Only Option for...

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How Do I Check My Home for Air Leaks?

Living in Trinity, TX and surrounding areas, you know it can get really hot in the summertime. Air leaks in your home can have your cold air blowing right out your doors, through your windows, and countless other places you might not even realize. Detecting these leaks helps you identify where the air is coming in or escaping so you can seal the leaks for good. Visually Inspect Your Home’s Exterior Walk around the outside of your home looking for areas where leaks may occur. Obvious culprits include the corners of your home’s exterior, areas where the siding meets your chimney, areas where exterior bricks or your home’s foundation meets the siding, and areas around outdoor water faucets. Check Out the Usual Suspects Inside Your Home Inside your home, there is a treasure trove of potential hot spots for air leaks. Some you may know about already. Others may come as a total surprise. These are some of the first places you’ll want to check: Electrical outlets and switch plates Door and window frames Weather stripping around your doors Services into your home (including gas, electrical, cable and telephone) Vents and fans (including dryer vents) Lighting and plumbing fixtures inside...

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How To Save Money On Energy Bills This Winter

As colder temperatures arrive here in Texas, many residents are seeing their utility bills skyrocket. Here are some tips to help you reduce energy costs this winter. Insulate Your Home Homes that are not adequately insulated allow warm air to escape and cold drafts to enter, causing your furnace to work overtime. You can begin recouping your losses by weather-stripping doors and windows. Take Advantage of the Sun The solar orb is a free heat source, so keep curtains on south-facing windows open on sunny days to help warm your home. Be sure to cover the windows again at sunset to keep heat inside. Humidify Your Home If your home becomes especially dry during the winter, invest in a humidifier. Adding moisture to the air holds heat better and helps you feel warmer. Another way to raise indoor humidity: purchase a set of houseplants. Unplug Your Appliances Be sure to unplug your holiday lights before leaving the house or retiring for the night. Unplug your appliances when you’re not using them, too. Even when they’re turned off, they still draw power as long as they’re connected to an outlet, adding to your energy bill. Use exhaust fans sparingly, also, as...

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Furnace vs. Boiler

With Huntsville’s average low temperature hovering near 40 degrees Fahrenheit during the winter months, making sure your central heating plan is dialed in is certainly a top priority. While you can go with individual space heaters if you’re not going to be moving around a lot, when it comes to efficiently heating the whole house, there’s really one heavyweight bout to consider. Furnaces A furnace works by heating air centrally and then blowing that air around your house through ductwork to heat up the room. Any room with an open vent is going to get a fairly even warm air distribution. This ductwork is also used by your central cooling, which, if you are familiar with summer in Trinity, you know how important central air is to your sanity. So, on the upside, you are repurposing the same ductwork, so your infrastructure cost is pretty low. The downside is that you have to keep warm air constantly moving, which can spread dust, pet hair, and other particulate matter which may have a negative effect on indoor air quality. So it is important to have your filter changed often and serviced regularly. Boilers Boilers work on a different principle, known as...

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Is a Filter Absolutely Important for Running Your Furnace?

The filter in your furnace serves a number of essential functions. Many do not understand what these functions are and thus, run their furnace without a filter or do not change the filter as suggested. If you are one of those people – or you simply want to know more about your furnace and how it works – then read on. What Does a Filter Do? One important function of the filter in your furnace is to clean the air before it is sent back into your home. As air is sucked into the furnace it goes through the filter to trap and prevent the circulation of germs, contaminants, and allergens like dust, pollen, and pet dander. Basically, it improves the quality of the air that you breathe in your home. This function is a secondary benefit provided unintentionally through the original design of furnace filters. The original purpose of filters is to prevent debris from pummeling the system, lodging in the fan, and/or jamming up the motor. Thus, it is there to help prevent permanent damage and extend the life of your furnace. Why Filters are Essential Over time, the damage caused by debris in your furnace can create...

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Warning Signs You Need Furnace Repair

It would be nice if we had a forewarning that our furnace is about to fail. There actually are some telltale signs that can give you a clue that your furnace is either getting ready to fail or is close to a time when that will be a real possibility. Age Furnaces normally last between fifteen and twenty years. The date your furnace was installed should be somewhere on the outside. If it is getting close to the fifteen-year mark, have your furnace checked now. Cold Air If your furnace seems to turn on but the air it is blowing doesn’t get warm, there is something going wrong. There could be a few different reasons for this but all are a reason for repair. Strange Noises Furnaces that have started making pops, rattles and other strange noises are in need of repair. These noises can indicate such problems as internal parts coming loose. No Flame If you turn on the furnace and smell gas and the coil seems to heat up but the flame doesn’t appear, turn off the furnace and call for a repair immediately. This normally indicates the igniter needs to be replaced. Yellow Pilot Light This is...

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4 Benefits of Annual Furnace Maintenance

During the frigid months of winter, you rely on your home’s furnace to keep you warm and comfortable. And more than likely, you take your functioning furnace for granted—until something goes wrong. The good news is that many common furnace problems can be avoided with an annual furnace inspection and tune-up. Not entirely convinced? Consider four key benefits of scheduling annual furnace maintenance. 1. Prolong the Life of Your Furnace When you take care of any appliance in your home, including your furnace, it’s more likely to last longer before needing replacement. And when you consider the fact that a new furnace can easily cost you several thousand dollars installed, it’s worth extending the life of your home heating system as much as possible. 2. Avoid Costly Problems and Repairs With routine maintenance and tune-ups, you’re also less likely to run into the need for major repairs. That’s because a furnace inspection will likely detect issues before they turn into larger (and more expensive) problems. As a result, you can tackle small repairs as needed and keep your furnace running strongly. 3. Save on Your Utility Bills A well-maintained furnace is also more likely to run efficiently—and when you take...

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Why Product Warranties are Important

Whether buying a new car or a new furnace, it is important to consider the product warranties. The product warranty, regardless of a product, is the company standing behind what it sells and the services it provides. It means the business knows the level of craftsmanship it offers and stands behind it. The longer a product warranty the higher quality the service or equipment a company believes it will list. Due to this, it is important for you to always look into what kind of warranty comes with a service or product. Companies Standing Behind Services they Offer A business offers a warranty because it knows the service or product it offers should last the length of the warranty. A lifetime warranty means the company believes what it offers should never fail you or break. A two-month warranty means the company believes the product will last you at least two years without any issue. It also shows they stand behind what they offer. If a company does not offer a warranty it’s because they know there’s a greater potential of the product or service failing you prematurely. Don’t Confuse Warranty With Extended Warranty The warranty is what comes with the...

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3 Energy Efficiency Tips

Home energy involves both the consumption of energy (typically your heating, air conditioning, electricity, and ventilation) as well as the prevention of consuming more than is necessary. Both cost a consumer money, which folks realize the most when they get their monthly utility bill as well as when environment changes are extreme (i.e. dead summer and the coldest part of winter). Here are three ways the folks at WA Air Conditioning have see repeatedly produce big results: 1. Weatherstripping The fact is, homes shift over time. Little gaps appear in doorways, window frames, patio doors and similar. And all of these small holes allow cool and warm air to move back and forth, almost always to the detriment of your home utility bills. This transfer is due to the air trying to balance out differences in temperature naturally. But with improved weatherstripping done every two years or so, your home can have its sealing improved, which in turn starts saving your utility real, hard-earned cash. 2. Poor Duct Channeling Your home HVAC system relies on clean, open ducts to move to improve air (cool or heated) to various parts of your house. Over time dust builds up in the ducts...

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Careers in the HVAC Industry

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the number of jobs for HVAC mechanics and installers is predicted to grow by 15 percent from 2016 to 2026. On the other hand, the average profession is expected to increase by just seven percent in the same period of time. Based on these predictions, there will be about 50,000 new jobs in the HVAC industry. If you’re interested in capitalizing on this increased demand, here is some information about various careers in the HVAC industry. AC Technician An AC technician is responsible for making sure the temperature in a controlled climate remains consistent and accurate. AC technicians typically work for businesses and in homes. However, AC technicians often find themselves working in other places, including hotels and hospitals. While AC technicians generally work 9 A.M. to 5 P.M., they also need to be on call in the event HVAC systems for businesses and homes need emergency repair. HVAC Engineer HVAC engineers are in charge of coordinating and planning system installations. They are also responsible for performing evaluations on the performance of already existing systems. HVAC engineers may make recommendations to boost efficiency. These HVAC professionals may also design climate control systems. HVAC...

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