Choosing the Best Air Filter for Your Home

Clean vs Dirty Air Filter

Choose the best air filter when you are replacing your old air filter. This can greatly benefit the air quality inside your home. Many illnesses are associated with airborne contaminants so indoor air quality is a very important consideration.

Regularly replacing your air filter(s) is important in increasing the quality of air as it circulates throughout your home. Your heating and air conditioning units will have improved performance with a clean air filter.

Your air filter(s) should be checked every month and replaced at least every three months. It is best just to replace your air filter if it appears dirty. Do not attempt to clean it.

Your Indoor Air Quality

Your indoor air quality can be affected by several factors:

  • Volume of air circulated.
  • In- home pollutants such as smoking, pets, number of people in the home, ventilation and insulation.
  • Poor ventilation can lead to poorer indoor air quality. Fine particulates, germs, dirt, dander and other pollutants will be more concentrated indoors.

Types of Air Filters

There are many types of filters: Hepa, Carbon, Electrostatic, after market and manufacturer’s branded filters. If you have smoking in your home, have pets or generally high traffic then you will require a higher quality air filter.

Those benefitting from Hepa or electrostatic filters are:

  • Infants
  • Elderly people
  • Anyone in your home that suffers from breathing problems, has allergies or other illnesses.

Hepa or electrostatic filters greatly reduce pollutants, allergens, pollen, bacteria and most other airborne contaminants. Additionally, carbon filters can reduce odors and chemicals.

When selecting a replacement air filter, it is wise to choose a well made filter to maximize air filtration and higher quality air output. It is important that the filter fit properly. It should be measured by width, height and depth.

Air Doctor Heating and Air encourages you to check your filter often and replace regularly to maintain safe indoor air quality in your home.

We at Air Doctor Heating and Air can help you with solutions to problems with your indoor air quality. Reducing pollutants and having a cleaner, healthier home will benefit your health and comfort.

 

How to Properly Care For Your Gas Fireplace

Gas Fireplace

How to properly care for your Vented or Non Vented Gas Fireplace. A Gas Fireplace can be a warm, inviting addition to your home. It is of the utmost importance that it be clean and operate properly for full enjoyment and safety for you and your family.

Cleaning Your Gas Fireplace

Most of the regular cleaning can be done by you, but the system should be inspected by a professional once a year prior to it’s first use of the season to be sure it is operating safely.

In order for you to properly maintain and clean your Vented Gas Fireplace  the following steps should be done:

• Turn the gas off and pilot light and allow the logs to completely cool.
• Remove each log and the burners.
• Brush each piece with a stiff brush.
• Vacuum the interior of the fireplace to remove any debris and scrub with a brush and water if needed.
• Inspect the interior of the chimney to make sure it is clear from debris and open.
• Replace burners and logs.
• Turn on gas and light pilot.

**If you smell gas or if the pilot will not light, then turn off the gas and call your service professional. Air Doctor Heating and Air will provide prompt service and repair to make sure your system is running properly and safely.

• If the flame looks different that normal, then turn it off and call your service professional.

Cleaning a Non Vented or Vent Free System:

• Never clean with chemicals or cleaning agents.
• Do not remove the logs or any parts
• If you need to clean, then make sure the gas and pilot are off
• Vacuum the area and gently brush the area
• For any other service on your vent free system, contact your service professional. Air Doctor Heating and Air is ready to serve all your HVAC and gas furnace needs

Always be safe with your Gas Fireplace system!

Do-It-Yourself HVAC Do’s and Dont’s

Homeowner be like...Dont

Do It Yourself HVAC Do's and Dont's

HVAC Do's and Dont's. You may be able to troubleshoot your HVAC systems to a certain degree, but for bigger issues repairs and installations should be left to the professionals. Some of the troubleshooting that can be done prior to calling a professional service provider would be:

• Check thermostats- make sure they are set correctly and have power
• Check Air Filters- make sure they are clean and free from debris. If not, change them
• Check to make sure there are no obvious breaks in the lines or equipment and that any power switches are on, check circuit breakers if there is no power.
• If you have a gas furnace, check to make sure the red switch is in the on position.

Your HVAC equipment represents a major investment in your home. Having it properly and professionally serviced by a licensed, insured HVAC specialist is the best way to protect that investment.

Additionally, working on the unit yourself may void any warranties you may have, which can lead to added expense later on.

Malfunctioning HVAC systems can cause very costly problems if not properly addressed. At the first signs of a problem, it is best to address it right away. Some issues requiring prompt attention:

• Loud Noises
• Non Operational after checking thermostats, filters and power supply
• Leaking
• Excessive vibration
• System runs, but little or no air distributed
• Icing visible on coils or pipes
• Visible water damage

Your HVAC specialist will be able to safely and properly inspect the problem and offer solutions. Air Doctor Heating and Air responds promptly and professionally to have your system up and running. If a replacement is needed, we can provide a no cost quote for you.

The important don’ts are:

• Don’t attempt to handle any wiring
• Do not remove any parts from the unit
• Do not open any of the protective plates from your unit
• Do not disassemble your unit or add anything to your unit

It can be very dangerous to work on this equipment on your own, can ruin your equipment and void any warranties you may have.

Multizone Heating and Cooling Benefits

Zones

Multizone heating and cooling systems can be a big benefit for many reasons. Comfort being one and energy savings the most substantial other. This type of system can involve:

  • Multiple units
  • Valves
  • Pumps
  • Thermostats
  • Other controls depending and the size and scope of the home and the needs which must be met.

Comfort

From a comfort standpoint, multizone systems make great sense. Whether there are few or many people residing in the home, all can benefit. Multizone systems can allow maximum control over temperatures in specified zones or regions in the home. Keep bedrooms cooler or at varying temperatures than the living areas for example or vice versa. Multizone systems can be tailored to fit your individual or family’s specific needs. Programmable smart thermostats can maximize your control over the temperatures in all areas of your home.

It can be very difficult or impossible to have even heat or cooling distribution if your home has multiple levels. Heat naturally rises and so can interfere with your heating and cooling comfort and lead to unnecessarily heating a lower area where heat is escaping.

Energy Savings

Lower temperature settings in zones less frequently used rooms. This can add up to substantial energy savings and far less energy waste. Properly zoned systems can save up to 30% off non- zoned systems.

Generally speaking multizone systems utilize more components than standard central systems. Over the long term there are bigger potential savings to the homeowner. A home can be zoned into two or more zones. Typically the zones or regions are established based on locale and similarly desired temperature settings for those areas. Many zoned systems also come with remote controlled thermostats for added convenience.

Air Doctor Heating and Air would be pleased to consult with you to help you determine if a multizone system would be beneficial for your specific needs. Contact us today for a Free Quote for installation or retrofitting your existing system.

HVAC and Your Pets

Dot

Your HVAC System and your pets. 

There are several things you can do to make yourself, your home and your pets safer, healthier and more comfortable.

Cleaning

Obviously you need to clean up after your pets regularly and often. Regular vacuuming and cleaning your home will help keep visible debris under control. Keeping the pets themselves clean by bathing and grooming will help keep dirt and dander at a minimum. Both cleaning your home and your pets will help keep you, your environment and your pets healthier.

Pets (and people) produce dander and debris which accumulates in the environment as well as becoming airborne. Once these contaminants are in the air they will negatively impact the air quality in your home. You will breathe these contaminants in and they can affect your health.

Your HVAC system is designed to remove some of these contaminants and debris with your air filter(s). Your air filters need to be checked often, at least once a month and changed whenever they appear dirty, at least every three months.

Cords and Wires

Always keep your wires and power cords protected from pets. Chewing on and playing with cords and wiring can be very dangerous. Check often to see if wire and cords have been disturbed. If so, take measures to protect them by safely enclosing wires and cords.

It is also important to check your outside unit(s) periodically to make sure they are not being tampered with by pets. Sometimes your outdoor unit(s) can become a target for pet or wildlife urination. Urine can cause corrosive damage to your unit. You may need to fence in or cordon off the unit so that it is inaccessible by the culprit(s). Make sure it can be easily accessed  so the unit can be serviced properly by your HVAC technician.

Air Doctor Heating and Air encourages you to take measures to protect your system inside and out.

Lowering Heating Costs in the Winter

Lowering your heating costs in the winter can save money and energy. Heating costs are always a big concern in the Winter and can get very expensive as temperatures drop. There are several things you can do to maximize your heat, heating system and save on these costs.

Here are some helpful tips to lower heating costs:

  • You can keep your furnace, heat pump, vents and filters clean, free of dirt, debris and clutter so air can circulate freely.
  • Change your air filters often so your system runs more efficiently and uses less energy.
  • Make sure the vents are cleaned, vacuumed regularly and that the coils are not collecting dirt which may cause them to work harder.
  • Use programmable thermostats so that the areas in your home that you are using at certain times of the day or night are kept at the correct temperature. Other areas are kept cooler and not using heat.
  • Only heat rooms which are in use. Close off vents, keep doors closed in extra rooms so the heat will not be wasted.
  • Allow the sun in! Open curtains on south facing windows to allow the sun’s natural heat to warm those rooms.
  • Make sure your home is properly insulated and sealed at the windows and doors. Invest in insulation and seals if necessary which will help keep the warm air inside.
  • Add humidity if your air is excessively dry. Heating systems can dry the air out, adding humidity can help you feel warmer at lower temperatures. Adding house plants can increase humidity naturally.
  • Use ceiling fans to increase circulation. Setting ceiling fans on low will circulate the air and heat. Using fans moving clockwise at low speed will help push heat downward into the room. In the Summer having the fans move counter clockwise will help pull the heat up and cool the room.

Air Doctor Heating and Air can help you if your Heating system is not running efficiently or wasting energy. Call us for an inspection if your suspect your system is not operating properly or if you are not lowering your heating costs.