How Does Winter Affect Indoor Air Quality?
If you’re like most Seattle residents, winter makes you turn up the thermostat, dress in warm clothes, and reach for that extra blanket. But there’s one effect of winter that you may not have considered before—its impact on your indoor air quality . You might be surprised to learn that the cold season affects your household’s air at all, but it does. These are some of the ways in which winter weather influences the quality of your air:
More insulation means more contaminants
Most of us are more likely to notice drafts when it’s cold out, which means we’re more likely to have professional insulation installed. What you may not realize is that making it harder for warm air to escape your home also means that contaminants such as mold and bacteria are trapped inside. As a result, your indoor air quality can decrease drastically after you have your house reinsulated.
A dirty furnace can contribute to poor air quality
When you use your furnace frequently, dust, dirt, and other pollutants can get clogged in the vents. One of the best ways to ensure that your furnace continues to work efficiently—and that your air stays clean—is to change out your air filters once every 90 days or so. If you use your furnace constantly, you may want to change the filter even more frequently.
Pre-winter furnace inspections are a must
It’s important to remember that simply changing your air filters won’t keep your entire furnace clean. Having your HVAC system inspected by a professional before the start of the winter season is a good way to guarantee that your furnace is clean and that all its components are fully functional. A pre-winter furnace inspection will provide you with the assurance that you won’t have to deal with poor indoor air—not to mention a malfunctioning furnace—when the weather is cold.
Make Your Central Air More Efficient
Are you concerned that your central air conditioning system isn’t working as well as it could be? If your utility bills are high or if you need to run your AC for long hours to keep your Seattle home at a comfortable temperature, there are some steps you can take to make your system more efficient. You might begin by buying a programmable thermostat, which keeps your bills lower by ensuring that you aren’t cooling your home when you’re asleep or when nobody is home. You should also change out your air filters regularly—at least once a month during periods of heavy AC use. Don’t forget to have your system serviced from time to time by an HVAC professional. For more tips, check out this video.
Is Your AC Unit Leaking Refrigerant?
Your air conditioning unit needs just the right amount of refrigerant to continue to function properly—neither too much nor too little, in other words. If your AC unit is low on refrigerant, the most likely cause is a leak. If you have reason to think that there could be a leak in your AC unit, you should call an air conditioner contractor in the Seattle area so that your leak can be tracked down and repaired. These are some of the most likely signs that your AC unit may have sprung a leak.
Your utility bills are unusually high. When there’s a refrigerant leak in your system, your AC unit has to run for more hours to keep your household at a comfortable temperature. You’ll see the expensive results of this when your electric bill arrives. If you want to ensure that the cost of cooling your home doesn’t get out of hand, always be quick to respond to any suspected AC leaks.
Your home isn’t staying cool. If you keep running your air conditioning and your house is still uncomfortably warm, a leak could be the culprit. When your AC is low on refrigerant, it’s much more difficult for it to effectively cool the air inside your home. If the air coming out of your registers is warm—or if there isn’t much air coming out at all—that’s another strong sign that your AC doesn’t have enough refrigerant.
There’s ice on your refrigerant lines. If there’s a refrigerant leak, the copper wire line on your outdoor AC unit can become covered with ice—even if it’s hot outside. When your AC has low refrigerant, it causes the remaining refrigerant to become too cold and cause freezing in your evaporator coil. To avoid expensive damage to your compressor, turn off your AC unit right away and call an HVAC professional.
Common Causes of AC Compressor Failure
There are numerous reasons why you might need emergency service for your home’s air conditioning system, but one of the most common issues arises when your AC compressor fails. Replacing your compressor too frequently can be costly, but you can reduce your need to do this by investing in routine preventative maintenance for your AC system. Before you call an air conditioning contractor out to your Seattle home, take a look at this list of the most frequent causes of a failed AC compressor.
Refrigerant leaks. When refrigerant leaks through a gap or crack in the lines, the level of refrigerant in your air conditioning system naturally begins to decline. This means that a great deal of strain will be put on your compressor—which can eventually lead to a breakdown. If your refrigerant lines become blocked, the same problem can result. Periodic inspections of your refrigerant lines can help to prevent this from becoming an issue.
A dirty system. Everything in your house needs to be cleaned from time to time, and your air conditioning system is no exception to the rule. Over time, the inside of your air conditioning system can become clogged with dust and dirt, which can reduce the effectiveness of your air conditioner and can also put unwanted pressure on your compressor. A routine professional checkup of your entire AC system will ensure that it stays clean, efficient, and effective.
Grime on the coils. If dust and grime are allowed to accumulate on your AC condenser coil, it will force your air conditioning system to work harder in order to provide your home with cool air. This increase in pressure can overwork your compressor and make a breakdown much more likely. The best way to ensure that this doesn’t happen is to schedule routine checkups and cleanings from an experienced air conditioning professional in your area.
Should I Replace My Air Conditioner?
When the summer season arrives in Seattle, you will want to make sure that your air conditioner is ready to keep your home’s interior cool and comfortable. If your air conditioner is more than 15 years old, it could be reaching the end of its lifespan. With services from an HVAC company that specializes in air conditioning near Seattle , you will be able to replace your unit before the summer months kick into full gear. To help you decide whether it is time to set up an appointment with your HVAC contractors, here is a look at some signs that it is time to replace your air conditioner.
Your System Is Getting Old
Age is a primary factor to consider when you are deciding whether to replace your air conditioning unit. When you install a brand new air conditioner in your home, it will have an expected lifespan of about 15 years. Relying on the same air conditioning system for 15 years or longer could eventually lead to efficiency and maintenance problems.
You Are Facing Costly Repairs
At a certain point, the cost of repairing your old system may be more than the price of purchasing a brand new unit. If you are deciding between air conditioner repair or replacement, you can ask your HVAC technician to provide you with an estimate for the costs of your repairs. Rather than footing the bill for a major repair service, you may be better off simply purchasing a brand new unit.
You Can No Longer Purchase the Right Coolant
Older air conditioning systems typically rely on R-22 Freon, which is a special type of refrigerant. Due to the environmental impact of R-22 Freon, this type of refrigerant is harder to find and more costly to install. If your air conditioner needs to be recharged wit R-22 Freon, you may end up spending hundreds of dollars on this service. With a brand new air conditioner, you can rest assured that your system runs on a coolant that is affordable, environmentally friendly, and easy to find.
A Look at the Fireplace Insert Installation Process
If you want to boost the heating power of your heat pump or furnace, you may want to consider installing a fireplace insert. In this video from This Old House, you will take a look at how the professionals install fireplace inserts. After the original fireplace has been prepared, your technicians will carefully run a vent pipe through the damper. A company that repairs your heat pump near Seattle can also assist you with a fireplace insert installation.
If you have questions about whether a fireplace insert will work for your home, be sure to consult a team of experienced HVAC technicians. Your professional contractors can evaluate your current fireplace and determine whether an insert can be safely installed.
Three Reasons to Invest in AC Maintenance
When the days begin to grow warmer, most Seattle residents begin using their air conditioning more frequently. If you want to keep your air conditioning system operating at top capacity, it’s important to invest in routine maintenance. Here are some of the most critical reasons to have your air conditioner serviced by an HVAC professional on a regular basis.
You’ll need fewer repairs. The longer your system goes without a professional inspection, the more time it has to malfunction. All too often, these minor issues go neglected—and turn into major issues. When a qualified HVAC technician looks at your air conditioning system, he or she will be able to look for signs of trouble and prevent them from turning into expensive repairs for you. Routine maintenance is an investment that can pay off in the form of fewer calls for emergency AC repair.
Your system will be more efficient. When your air conditioning system goes without a professional checkup for too long, it will inevitably begin to operate less efficiently. This will translate into subpar performance, which means that you’ll need to run your air conditioner more often to keep your house cool. Eventually, your AC system may not provide you with good service at all. You can dodge this problem by having your system professionally serviced from time to time.
You’ll enjoy better performance. The best reason to have your air conditioning system routinely serviced is that it will result in a more comfortable home for you and your family. If any element of your air conditioner is failing, it is bound to affect the performance of the entire system. If this happens during the warmer months, you could be left without a fully functional air conditioner—which is something that no homeowner wants to contemplate. Fortunately, you can reduce your chances of a malfunction by investing in routine professional HVAC service.
Enjoy Better Indoor Air Quality with Duct Cleaning
Maintaining good indoor air quality is essential for your health, and keeping your air ducts clean is key to ensuring that the air inside your house stays clean. Your HVAC system’s ducts are traps for numerous pollutants, including dust, pollen, mold spores, and even bacteria and viruses. If you’re concerned about your indoor air quality, you might consider scheduling professional duct cleaning at your Seattle home. An HVAC expert can thoroughly clean out your air ducts, ensuring that the air circulating through your home will be clean and safe for you to breathe. This is especially important if you or anybody else in your household suffers from allergies. In addition to improving your home air quality, having your ducts cleaned can help to make your HVAC system run more efficiently, which in turn can help to reduce your energy expenses. To keep your air ducts as clean as possible, you may want to have them professionally cleaned every few years.
Reasons to Make This the Summer You Get a New Air Conditioning Unit
Upgrading your air conditioner serving Seattle can be a great investment , and now might be the time to pull the trigger. Your heating and cooling appliances contribute to a bulk of your energy bills, and today’s units tend to be more efficient than older models. In addition to saving you money and reducing your carbon footprint, this will make your home more comfortable and more valuable. Keep reading for more on the reasons to make this the summer you get new air conditioning.
Save Energy and Money
The longer you wait to upgrade your air conditioner, the longer you’ll spend more than you have to on your energy bills. A new air conditioning installation will improve the efficiency of your home, so you can expect your energy bills to drop. If you care for your HVAC units and follow the right steps, you can even make your money back in savings over time. More efficient air conditioners require less energy, which also lessens your carbon footprint. If you’re looking for a way to go green and save some money at the same time, make this the summer you get a new air conditioner.
Efficiency isn’t just about expending energy. Efficient heating and cooling units will also do a better job of keeping you comfortable in your home. A high quality air conditioner will cool down your living space evenly and thoroughly, and you’ll have plenty of control over the temperature. Older air conditioners tend to cool the house unevenly, do an inadequate job of keeping you comfortable, or simply fail to cool your air at all. You won’t have to worry about these issues when you upgrade to a new unit.
Make Your Home More Valuable
Even if you don’t know how long you’ll be staying at your current house, a new air conditioner still might be a worthwhile investment. A modern, high quality air conditioning system can increase the value of your home. This means you can raise your listing price, and it might be easier to find a buyer who is interested. Consider upgrading your air conditioner this summer.
Signs You Could Benefit from a New Air Conditioner
A quality air conditioner serving Seattle will help you beat the heat without breaking the bank, but how can you tell if it’s time to upgrade to a new unit? Higher energy bills often indicate a problem with the efficiency of your HVAC units, and a new air conditioner could solve the issue. Upgraded air conditioning can also make your home more comfortable and refreshing throughout the warmer months, so think about the age of your existing unit when you wonder if it’s time to make a change. Here’s a look at some signs that you could benefit from a new air conditioner.
Your Bills Are Too High
An efficient air conditioner will do its job using a minimal amount of energy, and many newer models are praised for their energy savings. If you’ve been using your air conditioner with the same frequency and on the same settings as you usually would, you shouldn’t notice a spike in your energy bills due to your unit. On the other hand, a malfunctioning air conditioner can suffer a significant drop in efficiency and thus cause your energy bills to increase. When this is the case, talk to your HVAC professional and see if it’s time to upgrade.
Your Home Is Uncomfortable
What good is paying for an air conditioner that doesn’t keep your home comfortable? A faulty unit might fail to cool your home evenly, or it might not even cool your home at all. If your air conditioner no longer does it for your home, it may be time for a replacement. This is especially true if you’ve already had your unit repaired.
Your Air Conditioner Is Old
In addition to the fact that they lose efficiency over time, older air conditioners might not have started off very efficient in the first place. If your unit has been around for quite some time, you may want to explore the market and see what other units are out there. A new air conditioner may lower your energy bills and keep your home more comfortable, even if your old one wasn’t necessarily broken.
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