Posts Tagged ‘Indoor Air Quality’

Saving Money with a Home Energy Audit

Monday, June 12th, 2017

house-surrounded-by-rainbowWhen you hear “audit,” do you think about taxes? Most people do, and the word is definitely a bit scary in that sense. But there are many positive ways to use to word audit. It simply means “an official inspection by an independent body.” And there are parts of everyone’s life that could all use a review from an outside professional at some point.

This is what a home energy audit in all about. It’s a thorough inspection of how your home uses energy, from the insulation to the ductwork and appliances, done by experienced professionals. Although you can find some online guidelines for dong a home energy audit on your own, this isn’t recommended. It takes technicians who have the right equipment for testing a home’s thermal envelope and the training necessary to analyze the results. Professional auditors ensure you receive the right advice for how to improve your home energy performance. Call our team today to schedule a home energy audit. (more…)

Why Consider the Installation of a Whole Home Dehumidifier?

Monday, April 6th, 2015

Heat and humidity are a part of North Carolina summers, but when you add a whole home dehumidifier to your existing air conditioner, you help both yourself and your AC. Spring is a great time of year to add upgrades to your AC system, and when you hire the trained specialists at Comfort Central, Inc., to perform any kind of work to your system, you can rest assured that the work will be done correctly and efficiently the first time around. Call us today and schedule an appointment for your home in Asheville, NC.

How Dehumidifiers Help

The EPA states that healthy levels of humidity range from 30-55%. Humidity levels below 30% are too dry and levels over 55% make things too moist. Humidity isn’t just wet, though – it holds heat. This is why a humid day of 70 degrees will feel hotter and more uncomfortable than a dry day at 70 degrees. Some of the problems that can develop in your home from excessive humidity are:

  • Mold, mildew and fungi development
  • Warping of wood products, including flooring
  • Rot
  • Increased allergy issues
  • Destruction of paper products, including photographs, and fabrics

Whole home dehumidifiers remove the excess moisture from the air before it can circulate within your AC system and through your home. As such, one of the most important ways a dehumidifier helps your AC is by taking the extra work load off your AC system. In turn, this allows your AC to operate at normal levels instead of stressed ones. A dehumidifier also helps reduce energy usage. Again, it takes work to remove humidity from your home, and if your AC has to remove it all, the AC will have to work harder, thereby using more energy. Problems with discomfort are always an issue when it comes to excess humidity, and achieving a better comfort level indoors is another benefit of whole home dehumidifier usage. Excess moisture combined with air conditioning can make your indoors feel cold and clammy instead of cool and dry; a dehumidifier helps you avoid this kind of discomfort.

If you’ve been looking for a way to beat the heat without breaking your budget, it may be time to consider installing a dehumidifier. Our professionals can help you with all your air conditioning needs, so call us today!

How Heating Impacts Indoor Air Quality

Monday, November 18th, 2013

A heater can have a drastic impact on the quality of your Hendersonville home’s indoor air, which can contribute to comfort levels in ways that have nothing to do with the temperature. A good heater will provide a warm, cozy environment for your household, but it will also ensure that indoor air quality remains high. Here’s how heating impacts air quality.

The biggest issue is one of higher dust amounts entering into the air through the heating system. Furnaces operate through “forced air” systems: that is, they blow hot air into your home through a system of ducts. If dust and dirt build up in either the furnace or the ducts, they will pass into your home when the heater runs. In the process, they will exacerbate allergies, increase nose and throat irritation, and generally lower the quality of air in the home. The solution is to schedule regular maintenance sessions to clean the dust off of your heater, and possibly a duct cleaning session as well, depending on the source of the dust. You can aid in this process by regularly changing the air filters on your heater or installing a separate air filtration system.

This comes on top of a general lack of humidity in the air during the winter months. Cold temperatures breed dry air, and when you raise the temperature inside your house, it lowers the relative humidity. That can result in dry skin, mild respiratory issues and even nosebleeds if they air is dry enough. Ideally, you want the relative humidity to be between 40 and 50 percent, which you can obtain with a humidifier used in conjunction with your heater.

If you are having issues with your air quality, then call upon Comfort Central for help. We treat Hendersonville heating issues of all varieties and can schedule a maintenance session to keep your household free of dust and allergens. We can also discuss other options, including upgrades to your system and installing a new system if you need it. Contact us today to schedule an appointment.

 

How Air Conditioning in Asheville, NC Impacts Indoor Air Quality

Monday, July 29th, 2013

The ideal indoor air quality would mean that your home is virtually free of pollutants such as second-hand smoke and allergens. In Asheville, NC, air conditioning is already a fact of life: we couldn’t get through those summer heat waves and humidity without it. In addition to keeping you cool, an air conditioning system has a significant impact on overall indoor air quality.

In the most obvious terms, the air filters on your AC improve air quality simply by preventing dust and other particles from entering the system. When it comes time to change your filters, look for one with a MERV (Minimum Efficiency Rating Value) of between 9 and 12. A higher MERV rating means a more efficient filter, straining more particles out of the air than a filter with a lower MERV rating. However, if the rating is higher than 12, it may create problems with the air flow in your system.  You may also be able to upgrade your air conditioning unit with a UV light, which kills germs and other harmful entities as the air passes through it.

A well-maintained duct system without any leaks can further improve air quality. Ducts can develop cracks and leaks through normal wear and tear, and that can let contaminants into your home. Dust can also build up as well, and in your AC unit, specific components like the condensate pan can create stagnant water if the drain becomes clogged. All of which can have a huge impact on air quality, especially during hot and muggy periods in the summer, when moisture content in the air is high.

The effectiveness of your air conditioning also depends on internal factors within the household. If someone in the house is a smoker or if you have pets, the AC is going to need to work harder to maintain high levels of air quality. Even if you don’t have such concerns, it pays to speak with a qualified expert about using your AC to improve indoor air quality. Comfort Central, Inc. has provided expert air conditioning services in Asheville, NC and surrounding communities. Call us today; we’ll be happy to discuss options for improving your indoor air quality.

Tips for Improving Indoor Air Quality in Asheville, NC

Monday, April 8th, 2013

Many people think that pollution is only a problem outdoors. This could not be less true. In fact, there is a pretty good chance that the concentration of pollutants within your home is actually higher than it is outside. Luckily, there are many ways in which you can improve the quality of the air that your breathe in your Asheville, NC home. Call Comfort Central today to schedule the indoor air quality services you need to boost air quality in the place you live.

One major way that indoor air quality is reduced is due to ductwork that is in poor condition. If you use a forced air distribution system when heating and cooling your home, it is necessary to keep your air ducts in the best condition possible. Not only does this allow you to heat and cool your home more efficiently, saving money in the process; it also allows you to keep from circulating airborne pollutants throughout your entire home. If your air ducts are loose fitting or damaged it is possible for pollutants to be pulled into them then distributed throughout every room of your house. Professional duct sealing services can prevent this from occurring.

Improper humidity levels are another way in which air quality in your home can be compromised. Too much humidity can lead to uncomfortable, stuffy air, peeling paint or wallpaper and even the promotions of mildew and mold growth. If your air is to dry you may notice dry, itchy skin, splitting wooden fixtures and an increase in annoying electric shocks. Rather than use a portable humidifier or dehumidifier to address this issue, consider the installation of a whole house humidifier or dehumidifier in your home. This is a great, effective way to restore proper humidity levels throughout your house to improve indoor air quality.

Another way that you can keep unwanted pollutants out of your home is by improving insulation and air sealing your home. Contact us today for more information about these services. Boost energy efficiency while also keeping dirt, dander and allergens out of your home.

For more information about the great indoor air quality products and services available in your area, call Comfort Central today. We can help you boost air quality in your Asheville, NC home.

For Health And Wealth, A Tune Up Is A Worthwhile Investment

Wednesday, March 20th, 2013

( North Carolina, Pisgah Forest), March 20, 2013–Air, whether indoor or outdoor, contains pollutants such as dust, dirt, pollen, grease, mold, bacteria or moisture.  As the air moves through your cooling equipment the pollutants adhere to surfaces, greatly impacting your comfort system.  A priority of your Spring To Do List, should be cleaning or replacing your air filters.    However, it is also strongly recommended that you consider having your cooling system professionally tuned up.

According to a study conducted by Pacific Gas and Electric (PG&E,) a dirty outside unit can increase your monthly electric bill as much as 30%. The unit’s cooling performance is also decreased because it limits the coils ability to transfer heat.  This causes your compressor to work harder, and that generates heat.  On the hottest days, the PG&E study revealed you can lose up to 30% of your cooling capacity as well—leaving you feeling clammy and uncomfortable.

This extra work that the compressor is doing can actually create conditions that reduce the life expectancy of your unit.  Running hot continually affects internal lubrication, leading to acid formation that will eventually compromise the compressor.  And that is a very expensive repair that can be avoided with a little maintenance.

Another significant benefit of maintenance on your cooling system is ensuring your indoor coil and fan are clean and refrigerant levels are optimal.  All three can restrict air flow, causing similar concerns as stated with dirty condenser coils.  Since your indoor coil is a perfect breeding ground for mold and bacteria, there’s a health impact too.

Studies by both a Vermont Utility and the California Energy Commission stated that incorrect or improper refrigerant levels were found in 66-75% of systems surveyed.  Refrigerant levels should not be adjusted unless the indoor/outdoor coils and the fan are clean.

Your savings from proper maintenance through lower utility costs, peak equipment efficiency, enhanced reliability, longer system life and improved indoor air quality will exceed the cost of a professional tune up in as little as two months according to a US Department of Energy Study.

When you do your part for yourself, society benefits too.  Summer air conditioning accounts for 60% of peak electricity load.  Power from peak generation typically costs a multiple of base load generation.  When more people keep their cooling equipment in good condition, peak power needs are slashed.  This benefits the environment as well as our wallets.

Comfort Central, Inc. provides Heating, Cooling, Indoor Environmental and Energy Services as well as installations and maintenance for the Western North Carolina Region.  To find out more, or to receive cited sources, please visit www.comfort-central.com.

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Asheville, NC Indoor Air Quality Guide: Tools of the Trade

Monday, March 18th, 2013

At Comfort Central we do not think that it is enough for you to simply enjoy comfortable temperatures in your home. We believe that you must also have access to the best, highest quality air possible in your home. Breathe easy knowing that our team of indoor air quality experts has the tools and devices you need to improve the air in your Asheville, NC home. Call today to schedule the services you need to experience the true, uninhibited comfort that we believe each and every one of our customers deserves.

One of the most basic ways in which you may improve indoor air quality in your home is to schedule the installation of a good quality air filter. Mechanical air filters’ efficiency is measured with a MERV (minimum efficiency reporting value). While your heating and air conditioning system does have a factory installed air filter already, this filter likely has a low MERV rating, between 1-4, and is designed more to protect your HVAC equipment than to improve air quality.

An electronic air cleaner is a more advanced way of removing pollutants from the air that you breathe. Devices such as an electromagnetic precipitator pull air through an ionization chamber. In this chamber the particles in the air are given an electrical charge. This charge then causes them to become stuck on a collector plate. This plate is then simply removed, cleaned off and reinstalled into the device to continue the cycle.

For more information about the tools at your disposal to help you improve indoor air quality in Asheville, NCcall Comfort Central.

Check Out Our Blog for the Latest in HVAC Technology

Wednesday, January 23rd, 2013

Be sure to bookmark the Comfort Central blog for updates on the latest advances in HVAC technology.

We’ll feature money saving promotions here as well.

Call Comfort Central for all your Heating, Air Conditioning, Indoor Air Quality, and Commercial HVAC needs.