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Category: Indoor Air Quality pg. 3

Category: Indoor Air Quality pg. 3

Archive for the ‘Indoor Air Quality’ Category

3 Tips to Fresh Indoor Air Quality with Purification or Filtration

Monday, August 19th, 2013

Maintenance

According to the government’s Energy Star program, “Dirt and neglect are the top causes of heating and cooling system inefficiency and failure. To ensure efficient system operation, it’s important to perform routine maintenance.” The most frequent causes of poor airflow include inadequate return duct and return grille sizing, dirty filters and coils, closed registers, and high pressure loss duct designs and installations.

Ensuring these issues are addressed results in a higher efficiency system, a better heated/cooled home, and lower utility bills. More importantly, though, a clean and efficient system results in cleaner indoor air quality within a home. Filtering pollutants keeps you and your family healthier, which also reduces healthcare costs.

 

 

Fresh Air

By incorporating a fresh air component into your HVAC system, this will help ensure a steady supply of clean air while working to keep airborne pollutants out. With a fresh air system in place, a certified technician can check to see if an indoor air quality system might also work to your advantage.

Using the correct type of air filter helps keep your system running efficiently while also keeping the air in your home clean. Installing an electrostatic air filter that attracts and holds airborne particles like a magnet keeps the air inside your home fresher by reducing pollen, dust, and airborne pollutants. Since these filters are designed to be reusable, they save you money in the long run, as well. They are easily cleaned by either vacuuming or hosing off the dirt and are far more efficient than any other type of filter on the market.

 

Cleaning the Unit

Regularly cleaning an electrostatic air filter or changing a traditional, albeit less efficient, filter cuts down on repair costs and results in lower energy bills. But you should also check and inspect the condensate drain in your central air conditioner, furnace, and/or heat pump (when it’s in cooling mode). If the drain is plugged, it can cause water damage in the house, affect indoor humidity levels, and breed bacteria and mold. All of these issues add to air quality problems and will negatively affect your health.

The blower components should also be cleaned and adjusted in order to provide proper airflow through the system. Proper airflow over the indoor coil is necessary for efficient equipment operation and reliability. Maintaining a flow of clean air throughout the home is the optimal goal. With an efficient filtration system in place and a clean unit, your family will be less likely to be exposed to the airborne pollutants that irritate asthma and other respiratory ailments.

Indoor Air Quality Testing and Your HVAC

Thursday, August 15th, 2013

Have you heard of indoor air quality testing? The EPA ranks indoor air pollution the fourth largest environmental threat to our country. And, according to a study by the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, indoor air contaminants are responsible for half of all illnesses.

In approximately 500 indoor air quality investigations in the last decade, the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) found that the largest source of indoor air quality problems, at 52%, is inadequate ventilation.

Heating and cooling issues, mold, secondhand smoke, volatile organic compounds (VOCs are often found in paints and common cleansers), viruses, pollen, animal dander, water leaks, and particles from dust mites and cockroaches, can cause indoor air quality problems and trigger health concerns.

 

Poor indoor air quality can cause or contribute to the development of infections, lung cancer, and asthma. It can also cause headaches; eye, nose, throat, and respiratory irritation, coughing, difficulty concentrating, sensitivity to odors, muscle pain, and fatigue.

The American Lung Association recommends source control as the first line of defense against indoor air pollution. Appropriate ventilation with clean, fresh air can also reduce levels of indoor air pollutants. Newer, more energy-efficient homes don’t always breathe properly and are sometimes more polluted than older homes, so there are different concerns to consider depending on the age of your home.

A clean HVAC system is crucial to your family’s health and air quality. John’s Refrigeration Heating and Cooling tests your home and the duct system to identify areas where the contaminants are getting in and will recommend actions you can take to keep the air inside your house as safe as possible.

We can determine how clean or dirty the air inside your home is and offer suggestions on how to improve its quality. We can install an electrostatic air filter, an Advanced Oxidation Air Purifier, or either aHumidification or De-humidification System. You will breathe easier once John’s identifies the air quality problems inside your home and resolves them.

Reasons to Renovate a Duct System: Heating and Air Conditioning Repair

Friday, August 9th, 2013

The efficiency of the HVAC system of your home is dependent on many factors including the duct system. A properly sized and sealed duct system eliminates dust and contaminants as well as hot air from being brought into your home through the air conditioning system. Air conditioning repair isn’t just about the A/C unit. The team at John’s Refrigeration can help you cut as much as 20% from your heating and cooling related energy costs by testing and repairing the duct system of your home.

Did you know?

  • As little as 70% of the work the HVAC unit does actually ends up in your home. This is due in large part to the duct system being inefficient.
  • As much as 20% of the air that moves through the duct system is lost due to leaks or improper installation.
  • Our high quality and experienced home comfort specialists are authorized by SRP and APS for duct testing and repair.
  • You may be eligible for SRP and APS rebates for duct testing and repair services.

 

 

Your home may have ducts that are not properly installed if you experience:

  • Extremely high energy bills during the hottest or coldest months
  • Rooms that are stuffy or difficult to keep cool or warm
  • Excessive dust and unpleasant odors

What creates the inefficiency? The duct system is basically like the veins in your body. It carries the air from inside, through the HVAC system and back into your home. If the ducts are not sized properly, or the wrong filter is used, it creates high pressure in the HVAC system similar to high blood pressure in your body when your veins aren’t functioning properly. This makes the HVAC system work harder costing you more money.

Renovating the duct system helps the system run efficiently costing you less money.

Typically HVAC units are placed in the attic of the home. The system pulls air from the house, through the system and back into the home. In the summer the air pushed back into the home is cool and in the winter is warm. An efficient HVAC system will take all the air from the home and return the equal amount of air back into the home and will maintain a season-appropriate temperature

A proper duct system is sized, sealed and insulated properly. Having the duct system sized wrong can create high blood pressure in the system. Many times the duct system is sized wrong but it still working because of leaks. This is why we pay attention to both the sizing and the sealing of the system.

At John’s Refrigeration we want to create a healthy and efficient home environment for you and your family. Contact us today to learn more about testing and repairing the duct system of your home and applying for rebates from APS or SRP.

Air Conditioner Filters: How to Choose an Air Filter for Your Home

Friday, July 26th, 2013

The dry, dusty Arizona climate makes it especially important to change the air conditioner filters in your home. Indoor air filtration is your first line of defense in achieving good health but is often overlooked. You’ve seen the air filter commercials on television; what the manufacturers don’t tell you is how restrictive some of these filters can be. Restricting air flow makes the system work harder which in turn increases your electric bill.

Resistance and Efficiency: Select a filter that is low resistance and high efficiency. If the filter you use is “sucked” into the space, you are using a filter that has too high a resistance. You’re actually making the system work harder; it’s like it is breathing through a small tube or having an asthma attack – the system has to work hard to cool your home. Less resistance is like breathing without asthma – it is smooth and efficient.

What size do you need? Not all homes or HVAC systems are the same. The proper size filter will help reduce the dust, dirt and other allergens that enter your home through the system. The technicians at John’s Refrigeration can verify whether your current filter is the proper size for the current system and filter selection.

Has your system been serviced recently? At John’s Refrigeration we offer preventative maintenancepackages to help keep your system running efficiently even through the heat of the Arizona summer. We check the HVAC system of your home or business annually making recommendations as we walk through our complete assessment. Regular maintenance means catching issues before they become major repairs.

What is a MERV Rating for an air filter? MERV Ratings measure the ability of an air conditioning filter to remove dust from the air as it passes through the filter. The higher the rating the more particles removed before they reach the air in your home. Ratings range from 1-16. The most common particles are pet dander, dust, smog, viruses, smoke, spores, pollen, bacteria and environmental contaminants such as pesticides. A rating of 5-8 is good for a residence; a rating of 9-12 is better for a residence. Our technicians can verify whether the current filter is the proper size for the current system and filter selection.

Changing the filter: Whichever air filter you choose for your home, it is important to change them regularly, perhaps once a month especially during the high-use, dry, dusty summer. Not cleaning or replacing the air filters causes the system to work harder. The results can be higher utility bills and repair costs.

At John’s Refrigeration, we want you to feel comfortable breathing clean air in your home or business. We recommend the Air Care electrostatic filters Silver Series which are low resistance and 84% efficient.

 

Call us to learn more about these filters and any HVAC questions and concerns.

 

 

Monsoons, Haboobs and Air Conditioning: Phoenix Dust Storms

Friday, July 12th, 2013

Arizona’s official monsoon season is June 15ththrough September 30th. These storms range from minor dust storms to intense thunderstorms. The monsoon usually starts with heavy winds, which can turn into a wall of dust hundreds of feet high moving across the Mesa area Valley. Phoenix dust storms, called haboobs, are often accompanied by thunder and lightning and sometimes lead to heavy downpours. It’s the only season during which Arizonans don’t use the phrase “it’s a dry heat”.

The Arizona Division of Public Health Services describes AZ heat as “more than a nuisance – it is lethal.” And the severity of annual monsoons affects our roadways – including driving visibility and flash flooding – as well as air quality. A 10,000 foot-tall wall of dust, 30 or more miles wide can do a lot of damage, especially to a home’s HVAC system.

Since a home’s air conditioning system filters the outside air, the dust storms that are part of a monsoon can put strain on your unit, making it work harder and less efficiently. Because the a/c unit may run longer than normal due to the higher humidity, homeowners may need to lower the thermostat setting in order to keep comfortable. 77 degrees in a 50% humid home does not feel good.

Cleaning the unit’s condensate drain will help keep your HVAC system clean and clear out any debris, which makes the unit more efficient. Not cleaning the drain out can put so much strain on the system that it can cause damage. Air conditioning pulls humidity out of the air while it cools, and that moisture has to go somewhere. Making sure your unit’s condensate drain is clean and clear of debris will prevent the drain from overflowing and potentially causing property damage (from a ceiling caving in, for example).

When the electricity goes out during a monsoon, it’s best to turn your air conditioning unit off so there’s not a huge power draw when the electricity comes back on. In fact, investing in surge protection is also a wise move, considering your a/c is the biggest power draw in your home.

You should call John’s Refrigeration Heating and Cooling if you have issues with your a/c unit during the monsoon. After all the dust has settled, make an appointment to have our certified technicians check your home’s HVAC, including duct work and air quality, to ensure your family is breathing fresh air. After all, we are your indoor comfort specialists.

Are you checking the pollen count, Phoenix? Pollen, dust and your HVAC system

Monday, June 17th, 2013

Many people move to the Phoenix metro area from other parts of the United States thinking their allergy problems will go away. But there can be a high pollen count in Phoenix and Arizona’s desert dust creeps into every nook and cranny of our homes, though there are many things we can do to prevent this pollution intrusion.

Ragweed, a common irritant in Phoenix

Poor indoor air quality is a major pathway for pollen and many other airborne pollutants. A poorly maintained a/c unit and compromised ducts can be prime real estate for germs. Inefficient filters can be home to many types of bacteria and viruses. Air coming through leaky doors and windows circulates dust, pollen, gasses, and odors through your home. And while some bacteria will cause odors, others won’t, so don’t count on a tell-tale scent to know if your system is housing mold and other pollutants.

Pollen is by far the most difficult allergen to avoid. All types of plants generally favor warm, sunny days for releasing pollen, and they prefer the kind of dry air typical of Arizona. Although these pollen grains are tiny, compared to other allergenic particles, they are big and heavy. This makes them easier to trap in an efficient filtering system.

Between proper air balancing, duct sealing, and using the correct filter, you can prevent pollen and other allergens from getting in your house, significantly reducing allergies and asthma symptoms.

John’s Refrigeration Heating and Cooling offers several solutions to your filtering problems. Our Advanced Oxidation Air Purifier will reduce 97% of airborne bacterial and 97% of the airborne mold in your home.

Our Electrostatic Air Filters are more than 84% plus efficient, versus 15% efficiency for the disposable filters commonly used. These reusable filters are also backed by a lifetime warranty.

John’s can improve the air quality in your home because we take a holistic, whole house approach and understand how your home, duct system, and A/C system work together.

3 Tips to Fix Pressure Balance Problems in Heating and Cooling

Friday, June 14th, 2013

Heating and Cooling Air Balance is a Tightrope Walk

Pressure balancing is probably the least understood, yet one of the most important, services provided by heating and cooling companies. Bottom line, it’s all about achieving the right balance of negative and positive air pressure. Too much of either can create problems. A neutral system is ideal and what is ultimately needed for the healthiest air inside a home. Neutral will also result in lower utility bills since conditioned air is not escaping through cracks and crevices and outside air isn’t making its way indoors. A neutral to slightly positive air pressurization will provide the most comfortable atmosphere and prevent outdoor contaminants from entering the home.

An energy audit can determine if your home has positive or negative air pressure, what’s causing it, and how the home can be brought to neutral. Audits should be done by honest, certified technicians who work at established heating and cooling companies.

Negative air

The condition in which too much air is drawn into your home and not enough allowed to pass through is called negative pressure. This means that unfiltered and unhealthy air has a welcome mat waiting for it. Outside air contains many pollutants and, especially here in the desert of Arizona, dust has a way of infiltrating even the cleanest of houses. All that outside air being sucked into your home because of a negative pressure system can lead to asthma and allergy problems and other health risks caused by dust, mold, carbon monoxide, and other airborne contaminants.

Some of these issues can be addressed by simply sealing windows and doors with weather stripping and caulking, especially if the home is older, though any leaks in ductwork should always be repaired before adding more insulation.

Positive air

When conditioned air is allowed to escape through windows, doors, into your attic, and beyond, this is called positive air pressure. All the warm or cool air your system just worked so hard to create goes right out of the house when there’s positive air pressure. Just as in a home that has negative pressure, weather stripping, caulking, and proper insulation are important requirements towards reaching neutral air pressurization. Beyond that, installing baffles, vents, transfer grilles and ducts, or return ducts, or closing existing ones, may be the answer, depending on each room’s pressure issue.

Quality Home Comfort Award to John’s Refrigeration

Tuesday, June 4th, 2013

 

John’s Refrigeration of Mesa AZ was recently named one of Contracting Business.com magazine’s 2013 Quality Home Comfort Award winners.

Their project is a system renovation and retrofit in the 4,000 sq. ft. home of Bill and Aimee Edwards of Scottsdale, AZ. The Edwards suffered from a lack of comfort in their home and were looking for someone who could provide a cost-effective solution. By listening to their customer and doing a thorough investigation of their home and mechanical system, the team at John’s was able to discover that the homeowners had uneven temperatures throughout their house, high utility bills, and a significant dust problem. They also discovered that the Edwards’ home suffered from major duct leakage, not enough return air, and a lot of duct routing problems.

By paying attention to the details, working to correct the problems in a cost-effective manner, and then testing their work and properly commissioning the system, Johns’ Refrigeration was able to solve the issues and create a much more comfortable and healthy indoor environment for the Edwards family.

The Quality Home Comfort Awards is a program the Contracting Business.com magazine launched in 1991 to recognize quality in professional residential HVAC contracting. Since that time, more than 100 outstanding HVAC projects have been recognized. Winning projects, like the John’s Refrigeration effort, will be featured in the July, 2013 edition of ContractingBusiness.com magazine and posted online.

John’s Refrigeration Has the Cure for Your Home’s Illness: Indoor Air Pollution

Monday, June 3rd, 2013

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has named indoor air pollution as one of the top 5 environmental risks to public health. They also report that indoor air can be up to one hundred times more polluted than outside air. These pollutants, combined with the Valley’s excessively dry air, make you more vulnerable to harmful viruses and respiratory ailments.

Since your home’s HVAC system helps control the environment (temperature, humidity, air flow, and air filtering) where you and your family spend so much of your time, having a clean and efficient system results in cleaner air within that home. Filtering pollutants keeps you and your family healthier, which also reduces healthcare costs. With an efficient filtration system in place and a well-maintained unit, your family are less likely to be exposed to the airborne pollutants that irritate asthma, allergies, and which even contribute to fatigue.

To contribute to the health of the home’s occupants and ensure efficient HVAC (heating, ventilation and air conditioning) system operation, it’s important to perform routine maintenance. Think of it like preventative medical care, but for your house. After all, you wouldn’t wait more than a year to have your teeth cleaned.

John’s Refrigeration offers an Advanced Oxidation Air Purifier for your house. The oxidants this unit creates circulate around your home, along with the treated air, and neutralize microbials at the source. This means your home will stay cleaner, smell fresher, and be healthier for you and your family. This whole-house air cleaner filters through our state-of-the-art system every time your system runs, reducing allergies and removing odor, bacteria, mold, and viruses.

John’s also recommends using electrostatic filters, which have filtration media made from unique polyurethane and polypropylene blends. Unlike fiberglass and pleated air filters, electrostatic air filters tend to hold onto particles so well that they will remain in the filter from the time they’re caught until the time they’re flushed out. Also unlike fiberglass and pleated filters, electrostatic filters are reusable and are cleaned by simply removing the filter from the vent and vacuuming off the dusty side with the hose attachment on a vacuum cleaner. If dirt and dust remain after vacuuming, the filter can be flushed out with a hose and left to air dry. So, not only are these filters more economical because you don’t have to keep buying a new one every month, they’re also better for the environment: both inside your home as well as by not contributing to landfills.

John’s Refrigeration Heating and Cooling will install an electrostatic filter or Advanced Oxidation Air Purifier, making you breathe easier and feel healthier, all the way around.

 

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