Air Filters and HVAC

Regardless of how advanced and sophisticated HVAC systems have become in the past couple of decades, the reality is that they still operate under the same concept. There might be more than a handful of ways in producing an ideal and comfortable indoor environment, but majority of these systems need an air filter to work efficiently. Therefore, it is safe to say that if the talk is about HVAC, there always will be a mention of air filters.

If you’ve been reading a ton of material about the proper maintenance of your residential HVAC system, then it is easy to bet that you are very much aware of the importance of changing the air filter on a regular basis. There are situations in which you only need to clean the filter, but the idea really is to ensure it is clean for it to function and work the way it is supposed to.

Today, there are so many different types of air filters available for purchase, with each one giving you unique benefits and advantages. Regardless of the price, design, and distinctiveness, they all are similar in a way that they must be changed regularly.

The Value of the Air Filter in an HVAC System

Being a homeowner comes with it the responsibility of knowing what could potentially damage your HVAC system. One of those things you usually ignore but could largely impact your system is a clogged air filter. As the term suggests, an air filter is supposed to “filter” the air that goes in and out of the system. If it is clogged, there is no way for it to work like it is supposed to. By checking the condition of the filter, you are ensuring that your system lives longer and operates with optimum efficiency. If the HVAC is efficient, it translates to saving hundreds or even thousands of dollars on repair, replacement, as well as energy consumption costs.

Why It Needs to be Cleaned or Changed

air filter

Keep in mind that dirt and the homeowner’s gross negligence of maintaining the system are the two primary causes of heating and cooling system failures. Fortunately, you can prevent those two from damaging your investment in keeping your home comfortable by simply acknowledging the value of maintenance, more particularly in making sure the air filter is clean and free from any build-up of debris.

In changing the air filter in your HVAC, you also are making sure that the air you and your family is breathing inside your living space is clean, fresh, and healthy. If you have kids and elderly people living with you, all the more reason you have to make sure that no dirt or any other debris gets in the way of your air filter. When it is clogged or dirty to say the least, the filter brings with it and distributes contaminants to the air inside, which in turn can cause certain diseases and illnesses, including allergies.

By keeping the air filter clean and regularly changed if the need arises, you are in a way protecting your equipment from getting damaged beyond repair. You know for a fact that modern heating and cooling systems are designed to last for at least ten years, but yours will not reach that age if you do not make it a habit to change the filters regularly. With a dirty air filter, you are forcing your system to work harder than it should, which means it is put under unnecessary pressure and stress, not to mention the fact that in working harder, it also uses more energy or fuel.

By simply adhering to the responsibility of regular air filter maintenance, which by the way takes less than fifteen minutes to do, you are doing yourself a favor. It keeps your indoor air clean, ensures optimal performance of your HVAC, promotes energy efficiency, and prolongs the life of your heating and cooling systems.

CO detector

CO Detectors, Why They Are Important

One of the deadliest gases out there is carbon monoxide, and what makes it even more dangerous is the fact that it is odorless and colorless. As a poisonous gas, CO is unfortunately a by-product of many different fuels, more particularly when they are incompletely burned. The list includes that of coal, kerosene, oil, wood, propane, and even natural gas.

You should know that most if not all equipment and machines that use internal combustion engines like cars, power washers, generators, and lawnmowers product carbon monoxide, and when they do, everyone around or near those machines risk exposure to it.

How carbon monoxide poisons you and your family.

While the number of people who die from carbon monoxide poisoning is not that alarming, at least in the U.S., the fact remains that the gas is indeed more than capable of ending a life. And while we mostly account carbon monoxide poisoning with automotive emissions, there actually is an increasing number of fatalities caused by non-automotive equipment. To be more specific, the machines and equipment we use to keep our homes comfortable are the same ones that could very well expose us to carbon monoxide.

Fortunately, there is one way of preventing the exposure to carbon monoxide in an indoor space. The carbon monoxide detector is specifically designed to detect the presence and build-up of the gas right before it can reach a dangerous and toxic level. If there is a leak of carbon monoxide in your home and you are not aware of it (remember, it is odorless and colorless), you can quickly get killed by it while you are sleeping. Thanks to a CO detector, an alarm sounds if there is a leak, allowing you to safely evacuate and ventilate your indoor space by opening the doors and windows. Keep in mind that time is very important when responding to that sound of the alarm. If you do not act fast, everyone in the family is put at risk of poisoning.

So, how do you exactly know if you need CO detector? Well, it’s actually very easy to figure that out. For example, if you practice the burning of coal, wood, or kerosene for heating or cooking in a confined space, it means you need it. The same thing applies if you use natural gas and propane in a confined space.

Furthermore, you need a CO detector if you are using a backup generator at home. Know that even if you place the generator and use it outside, the fumes it produces can still find their way inside via the doorways, windows, cracks, duct work, and vents. The lack of proper ventilation and seals in your home is good enough reason to install a detector.

You also will need a carbon monoxide detector if the hot water tank at home uses either natural gas or propane, and the same thing applies if the building where you live have a burner for heating that uses oil or natural gas. As a matter of fact, even the so-called bio fuel which is described as clean burning still emit carbon monoxide.

Majority of carbon monoxide detectors today are cost-effective and energy-efficient since they only use batteries, although those batteries need replacement from time to time. You have to be certain when the batteries need replacement since the last thing you want is to assume the detector is working when it no longer is. There also are some more sophisticated CO detectors that can be hardwired to the electrical systems. In fact, you’ll see it common for most homes to have CO, heat, and smoke detectors installed as a single unit and hardwired to the system. Now, if you happen to fancy this kind of setup, be sure that you also integrate a battery backup system so that you still can use the CO detector when there is a power outage.

The Benefits of Digital Setback Thermometers

A digital setback thermostat helps you save money in the long run.

Heating your property in the winter comes with it the reality of having to spend more money on energy bills. Regardless of the type of heating fuel you’re using, you still will end up paying more just to keep your home comfortable. Well, it also does not mean you just have to accept it with open arms and do nothing. The good news is there are ways to keep the costs down, including that of using a digital or programmable thermostat.

In using a thermostat to control and manage your HVAC, you generally have two options. First, you can leave it at the same comfortable level for the entirety of the day. Second, you can turn the temperature down once you leave your home and then just raise it to a more comfortable level the moment you return. While most people think that leaving the HVAC on all day is the more cost-effective and practical strategy, that notion is actually inaccurate. As a matter of fact, you are better off setting your digital thermostat back. But the problem is adjusting the HVAC temperature manually is way too arduous and burdensome. Simply put, it is borderline impossible to consistently remember to turn the heat up and down in intervals.

But do not lose hope. You still can do it, but this time, there’s help coming. The best way to turn back the temperature inside your home without you having to manually deal with it is by installing a digital setback thermostat. As the term suggests, it does exactly what its name says. For starters, this small device you simply hang on your wall has what it takes to help you save energy and money.

For newly-built dwellings equipped with central heating and cooling systems, an automatic setback thermostat is already integrated. But if your home is older and you still are using the old type of thermostat, there is the option of replacing it with a more sophisticated setback variety. Expect to have some difficulties in using this type of thermostat at first, but mind you, the challenge and effort are all worth it once you finally get a grasp on how it is used. Think about the potential of saving hundreds of dollars on energy bills if you give it a try.

The prospect of saving money is remarkable. More than a couple of studies reveal that using a digital setback thermostat allows you to reduce the heating costs by up to 70%. In the summer months, the potential of lowering cooling costs can reach up to 25%. All models of setback thermometers work by automatically starting and then stopping the heating or cooling system in unique frequencies, depending on how you want it. Usually, switching is done at least twice every 24 hours.

Typically, this is how you do it:

First, program the thermostat to lower the temperature at night once you’re about to call it a day. Program it again to turn the heating system on in the morning, thereby raising the temperature in time for you to get out of bed. Allow it to shut the system down as soon as you leave home. Next, set it to start moments before you expect to return home in the evening after work. This operation appears too complicated if you are doing it manually. But with the help of a digital setback thermometer, you will greatly benefit from it instead of running the HVAC for the entire day without someone benefiting from it.

But just like all other products related to heating and cooling your home, you must put in the effort in looking for the right variety, depending on your needs and preferences. Be sure to get one from a renowned or reputed brand or manufacturer.