dust

 

With St. Patrick’s Day behind us and Easter around the corner, we’re in the middle of spring. Spring may be the right time for some bunnies, but you shouldn’t have massive dust bunnies in your home. If you find yourself dusting a lot, whether it’s more than usual or just more than you’d like, your HVAC system could be part of the problem, as well as part of the solution.

The Dust Problem

Dust is an aggregate of microparticles that have been released into your home environment. What that means is that dust is little bits of lots of things, but mostly skin and hair, with some lint thrown in for good measure. It’s hard to say if there’s anything you can do to produce more or less dust in general; the fact is, if your home seems dusty, the problem is likely in dust management. Basically, it’s not that too much dust is being created, but that it’s not being effectively removed.

Dusting won’t fix this issue. Imagine all the dust in your home: the dust on your furniture is just a fraction of that total amount. The rest of the dust is in the air, in the ducts, in the HVAC system, and outside waiting to come in — it’s no wonder dusting does so little good. And vacuuming can actually make the problem worse: unless your vacuum filter is very, very effective, vacuums often suck dust out of the carpet and put it back into the air.

So what can you do? Well, there are two big steps to take that will help, and another step that may not be necessary but will help to prevent more dust from coming into your home. Whether you live in an old home that’s dusty and drafty or are constantly sweeping dust off the counter in your suburban dream house, these steps will help you combat dust and achieve better quality of life in your house.

Step 1: Your HVAC Filters

Ideally, you’re changing your filters every 2-4 months. If your home seems really, really dusty, changing your HVAC filter can only help. The fact is, a lot of dusting is doing the same thing as vacuuming — simply putting dust back into the air. If you live in a hot climate you’re probably getting a fair bit of dust coming in from the outside. Your filters combat both of these issues: as air passes through them, particulate matter (like dust or pet dander) gets caught and stays put.

But if the filters are filthy, air won’t pass through, and dust will simply bounce off and settle somewhere else in the house. Invest in quality filters; you can get a recommendation on brands from a trusted HVAC contractor. Change your filters regularly, stay on top of routine maintenance, and make sure you’re not skimping on filters.

Step 2: Your Ducts

Leaky ducts can also cause real trouble. When your ducts leak, not only does that make your system work harder and less effectively, but it also allows air to escape and enter the system without passing through filters. It’s like running water through a hose with a bunch of holes in it — it’s not going to work very well.

This makes a perfect storm to spread dust around the home, drawing it up from one place (in or outside the house) and depositing it somewhere else. Take a look at a vent cover in your home. If it looks “linty,” your ducts might be a problem.

Sealing up those ducts and giving them a good cleaning will fix these issues. You’ll probably notice less dust, and you’ll also see a boost in performance — and possibly a drop in your utility bill!

Step 3: Outside Air, Humidity, and Everything Else

Making sure the outside air that comes into your home is clean is a good step toward eliminating dust. Our air-purifying technology blasts even the smallest debris from the incoming air, resulting in clean and fresh air in your home.

Humidity is also a factor in dust control. Dry air can mean more dust (and dust, in turn, is a sign of dry air), so it’s important to strike a balance with the humidity in your home. If your air is too dry, it can be a sign of HVAC issues present or on the way.

There are many other factors that can contribute to dust in the home. If you’re having these issues, don’t hesitate to Right Way Heating and Cooling. They’ll take your specific situation into account and help come up with a game plan to make your home low-dust and low-maintenance.

petLike people all over the country,  We take pet ownership pretty seriously. Dogs and cats are often as much a part of the family as anybody else, and whether you’re walking your dog downtown or getting their check-ups at the vet, we know they’re near and dear to your heart.  It might be a surprise, however, to learn that pets and HVAC are not unrelated—which is why we’re going to discuss a few pet-focused HVAC topics today that you may not have thought of.

 

A Little Training

Most homeowners with air-conditioning have their condenser—that’s the outdoor AC —unit in the back or side yard. Not too many think about the implications of that when it comes to their dog who, over the course of his or her furry lifetime, probably pees or marks on just about everything in the yard more than once. That’s normal dog behavior, and there’s no harm in it if they can’t get to your condenser. But if you notice Fido lifting his leg near your outdoor AC unit, it might be time to train him out of it. We’re big fans of positive reinforcement early on, but there are a number of great ways to stop the dog from using the condenser as a bathroom. Although we do install condenser covers, they will not protect against damage caused by dog urine.

It does sound silly—after all, the condenser is outdoors, right? It’s surely designed for rugged conditions! But there are chemicals in dog urine that you don’t regularly encounter in nature and certainly not in ordinary rain and other kinds of moisture. If your condenser appears to be falling apart, has bubbling paint, or has “crumbling” fins, it could be connected to your dog. And then you could be looking at condenser replacement sooner rather than later.

HVAC and Pet Dander

We love having our pets indoors, and even in a temperate climate like ours, most animals in the region spend a lot of time inside the house with the family. That means we need to be especially thorough and stay on top of routine maintenance. As you probably know, pets shed a lot of hair. And with that hair comes dander that you can’t see as easily. But hair and dander both get circulated throughout the home and that means they wind up in the HVAC air filters. As a result, people with pets are likely to need more frequent filter changes than those without pets. Frequent blog readers will know that we’re big on filter changes, and that clogged filters will cause your system to overtax itself, shortening its lifespan and leading to costly repairs.

In addition, many pets live in homes with people who suffer mild pet allergies or other respiratory conditions, none of which are alleviated by all that hair and dander floating around. It’s important to get filters changed so the system continues to catch as much of that stuff as possible. If this is a real concern in your home, you may want to consider a home air purifier.

Part of the Family

HVAC is about home comfort for your family, and our pets are members of the family! We might not think about their comfort as much, but it’s important to remember they live in our homes too—especially if we’re gone during the day. It may come as a surprise, but cats and dogs don’t sweat like humans do. Sweating is an important part of heat regulation for us homo sapiens, but most animals don’t have enough sweat glands to do things that way. This leaves them more at the mercy of the elements. We all know not to leave a dog in a car on a hot day, but it goes even further than that. A hot house isn’t like a hot car, but while your pet won’t die, they may become very uncomfortable. If it’s too warm inside for you, it’s probably too warm for them. If you have a programmable thermostat, make sure to leave the AC on a bit for your pets. You may save money if you cool only while you’re home, but you’re not doing your pets any favors. And comfort for the while family —including the furry ones—is the whole point of HVAC in your home.

Cold and flu season is upon us, and many homeowners here in the Columbus area  are feeling a little (or a lot) under the weather. And while they go to the doctor or pick up over-the-counter cold remedies, lots of people overlook one of the key factors when it comes to “getting sick” and getting better: their home air quality. And while we’re not doctors, the home environment is something we know a thing or two about!

Maintain Your Home Air Quality for Health

We often think of disease as being brought in by members of the household, contracted at school or work and brought back home. We don’t often think about how the home itself can affect the health of its occupants. But once disease has entered your home, it’s not uncommon for it to make the rounds from family member to family member, which means lots of people will be making their recovery mostly at home.

And the home can have a big effect on recovery. It doesn’t take too much thought to realize that a clean house will have a positive effect when you’re getting over an illness–that’s one of the reasons hospitals are so sterile!  But even if your home looks clean, the air itself might not be. Hospitals use industrial scrubbers and filters to keep their air pure, and they stay up-to-date on their HVAC maintenance. It’s just another part of preventing disease and promoting health inside the building.

Fostering Illness

It’s also a pretty smart way to prevent HVAC-related illness from spreading inside the hospital, and that’s something all homeowners should be concerned about. It certainly was on the mind of a client in Reynoldsburg who had us check on some wet air filters last August. Turns out, her condensate line was clogged and the moisture content of her HVAC equipment was way too high! That’s because wet filters and condenser coils can lead to wet ducts and fans. In turn, this can foster the growth of mold and mildew. If that happens, your HVAC won’t just be failing at air-cleaning; it’ll be causing disease itself! HVAC-related respiratory conditions are no joke, and any mold or mildew needs to be treated before it spreads (which it will, quickly!) and has the chance to affect folks’ health.

Because HVAC circulates air throughout the home, it can also circulate contaminants pretty effectively. If there are illness-promoting substances in the system, your HVAC will disseminate those substances throughout the home. That’s part of why it’s important to stay on top of HVAC maintenance, especially air filter replacement.

Mold and mildew aren’t the only concerns when it comes to this sort of thing: your HVAC pulls air from the outside into your home. If that air isn’t clean (say there are some nasty chemicals near the intake, or lots of smoke in the air) the system is going to pull it in and spread it around your home. Taking a look at air intake is an important part of HVAC inspection; we want to make sure the intake is clear of debris and isn’t bringing in anything harmful to your health.

Going a Step Further

Our client in Reynoldsburg had other concerns besides a wet, moldy air filter. Her son was asthmatic, and she was having trouble keeping the home air clean enough for comfort. Obviously mold in the HVAC system wasn’t going to help anything, but she knew she wanted to do more than a repair and cleaning job. Earlier, we mentioned that hospitals clean their air rigorously. Many choose to do so in an active manner, using an air purifier that blasts contaminants into oblivion. These devices ensure than only the cleanest of air enters the home in the first place. We’d already repaired and cleaned out her HVAC system, and then we installed an air purifier.  Her son’s asthma attacks in the home were greatly reduced, and he seemed to breathe easier in general. Other members of the household noticed improvements in how they felt,  too. After all, even non-asthmatics shouldn’t be breathing in allergens, smog, pollution, and all the other things that often enter the home!

Air purification may not be for everybody, and good old-fashioned passive filtration–using those air filters we know you’re changing regularly–is still the standard method for maintaining your home air quality. And it’s reliable and effective in most cases. But it can only do so much, and despite the initial cost of an air purifier and the installation, purification technology has a lot of benefits in the home. If air quality is a serious concern for you or someone in your family, those benefits can be amazing!

No matter who you are or what your needs, we hope you’ll keep your home air quality and system maintenance in mind during flu season. You wouldn’t want to recover in a bed with dirty sheets–why do so in a home with dirty air?

furnace-making-odd-noises

When you consider the mechanics of an HVAC system, it seems like the kind of thing that could make some noise: heating up a bunch of air and pushing it through enclosed ducts so it can be delivered around the home could alarm any homeowner. But we’re often surprised when we go on routine furnace tune-ups and hear awful noises that the client has either given up on fixing or doesn’t notice anymore. “I thought it was supposed to sound that way” is a common refrain in this situation. Furnaces can be loud at times, but that’s not the last word on the subject. There’s a lot we can do to make your furnace and ducts quieter, and if the noise is getting to you (or getting worse!), it’s worth getting a contractor for your sanity and the health of your system.

The Old Furnace Rattle

Most people thinking about noisy furnaces probably remember the scene in “A Christmas Story” where Ralphie’s dad goes down to the basement to deal with a “clinker” that’s causing a racket. As funny as the scene is, you won’t be dealing with a clinker if you have a modern forced-air furnace in your home because your furnace doesn’t work that way. Your noises are going to be something else entirely.

Awful metal-on-metal noises require immediate attention. These noises could vary, but anytime you hear something truly horrendous, it’s time to turn off your furnace and call your HVAC contractor. Something has broken inside — probably the blower wheel — and needs to be fixed or replaced. Serious, serious damage is occurring or will occur if this is not addressed.

A squealing or high-pitched whine is a sign of an aging furnace or worn-out parts. It’s not as serious as other issues, but your furnace should be examined anyway. That way you’ll know how long the furnace has left or if you can do anything to prolong its lifespan. Keep in mind that any furnace made more than ten years ago has a lifespan of 10-15 years at the most. Furnaces made recently, however, are designed to get at least 20-25 years of use if they’re maintained properly.

Another common noise is a popping or ticking noise as the furnace heats up. This noise in particular can be tricky to figure out, because it could be a lot of things — a loose fan, a worn motor bearing, a problematic gas valve, or maybe just undersized air ducts. If it’s the fan, it could be a problem and result in the metal-on-metal noise we just talked about. A bearing that’s going bad can be fixed unless it goes on too long and the motor burns out — this isn’t a cheap fix, so you the sooner you replace a bad bearing, the better. Too-small ducts aren’t as immediate of an issue, but it will shorten the lifespan of your furnace, often by a few years or more.

If your furnace is newer, it’s all the more reason to get strange noises taken care of. With newer furnaces, it’s usually cheaper to fix than to replace, and you’re less likely to have to replace it if you take good care of it. Older furnaces may be a different story—some things can be fixed, but some can’t or are so expensive to fix you might as well get a new furnace. Your mileage will vary, and that’s why it’s important to work with a trusted contractor when dealing with these issues.

It’s in the Air Vents!

Just like the alien in the movie Alien (or every Mission Impossible film), bad things can happen in the ducts. A “furnace noise” might actually be a duct rattle or shake that’s occurring close to the furnace. These rattles and noises can also occur far away from the furnace and can sound pretty weird. If you’re hearing furnace noises across the house from the furnace, it’s probably an issue with the ducts.

As with furnace noises, however, these duct noises can have many causes. It’s hard to pin down one reason when debris, vibration, and lack of air flow could all be the cause of the noises. Temperature and pressure difference are often the biggest culprits, and they’ll make your ducts vibrate like a tuning fork or bang like a gun. An HVAC contractor is the way to go with this one. They’ll figure out what the problem is and fix it, or at least point you in the right direction so you can decide how to proceed. Like furnace noises, not all duct noises are a death knell, but well-maintained and well-designed duct systems should not make much noise.

Furnace Sleuthing

Sherlock Holmes never ignores a clue, especially the ones that other people miss. Furnace noises are easy to miss because we just get used to them. But the next time yours comes on, pay attention and see what it’s trying to tell you. Sometimes it will be screaming for help, and sometimes it’s just very quietly drawing your attention. But no matter what the strange noise is, it needs to be checked out by a pro. These are the warning signs that things can get worse (and they will eventually get worse) if they aren’t dealt with by an HVAC company you can trust.

Remember to call Right Way Heating and Cooling at 614-751-0193 if you need help with any noises your furnace starts to make.

 

UV LampIndoor air quality is a huge problem for many homes without you even knowing. The problems can be caused by simple everyday things like pet dander, pollen, dust and even mold. The problems come in where your family is allergic to certain items and it can be quite uncomfortable. Keeping your indoor air quality safe and breathable can be done many ways and our technicians here at Right Way Heating and Cooling are ready to help you make it simple.

One way you can help with your IAQ is with a UV Lamp. These units help to clean the air coming into your home through the unit itself. Take a look at why many choose this as their cleaner of choice and what you can do to help prevent problems.

What Is an UV Lamp?

This product is installed in your HVAC system and helps to keep the air clean and free of items such as mold. It uses ultra-violet rays to purify the air coming into your home.

What Type Do I Need?

There are many products on the market and our technicians can assist you in making an informed decision on the product that fits your needs. They will come out and discuss your concerns with you and offer you a product that will help you with your home and your budget.

After installation you may have some concerns with the UV lamp. If this is the case, our technicians will come out to help you with the problem.

What if I have a Unit Already?

You may be sensing problems with your current UV lamp system. Our technicians can assist you with that as well. For example, some people have a problem with a smell coming in from the AC system while running their lamp. This can be due to a lot of different situations. One of those issues is improper installations.

When the UV Lamp is not installed as it should be, it can destroy items around the lamps such as the duct board. This can deteriorate over time due to the UV rays coming through the system itself. When this happens it can start to blow an unpleasant smell into the home while the AC is running.

If you’re noting a smell in the home, please don’t hesitate to give our office a call. This could be a sign of something going on in your system that can wreak havoc if not taken care of. As anything sensitive to UV light will deteriorate over time, any products in your HVAC system that are not protected will as well. This can be due to improper installation or other factors in the system that maybe you aren’t aware of. The smell coming through your home could be a sign that something significant is going on.

Call our offices at Right Way Heating and Cooling to see what is going on if you have the smell. Whether you need to install a UV Lamp or you have one already, our highly trained technicians can assist you in this area. These products are great for cleaning the air in your home if you are in need of an air purifying system. Protect your family from mold and other contaminants in the air. If you family has some symptoms of allergies or asthma, this is a great product to consider when you need to make sure you have the best air possible.

Don’t hesitate to give our office a call today about your UV lamp needs. We will come out and assist you in making informed decisions and help you find out what is going on with your current system.

Heating & Air Conditioning Service Experts Since 2009

We’ve been providing reliable heating, air quality, and air conditioning services since 2009. Our focus is to provide utmost support to our customers.

To this end, we train and retrain our technicians, and make sure they have all the knowledge and experience needed. We’re constantly staying up with the latest technologies and it shows in our work.

We’ve had our share of frustrations with breakers. They’re great safety devices and there’s certainly good reason to have them, but man is it irritating when one keeps tripping and you don’t know what to do! If you’re having repeat issues with your breaker, obviously the smart thing to do is call an electrician. But did you know that the solution might be to call an HVAC company as well? Many issues with breakers tripping can be traced back to HVAC equipment in the home. Today we’ll cover a couple of causes as well as possible solutions. Keep in mind that, as always, all work should be done by a licensed electrician or HVAC professional as appropriate. This is not an area for DIY at all.

Improper Installation

If you’ve recently had HVAC equipment installed, an improper installation could be the cause of breakers tripping. That could mean a mistake was made during install, or that the wrong equipment was selected for the home’s wiring. Last summer, we had a client with a broken central AC system. Instead of getting it fixed, he’d set window AC units in three of the rooms of his home. He didn’t know it at the time, but due to some wiring quirks, those units were all running on the same circuit, and they tripped the breaker if they tried to run at once. An HVAC professional can help you identify and troubleshoot simple problems like these.

Overheating

Dirty air filters can cause your system to overheat. Whether running the AC or the furnace, your system will run hot when pushing air through a dirty filter. It just has to work harder, and that can trip the breaker. This will also happen if your ducts leak air, and if your home itself is not optimized to retain temperature.

Dirty condensers also can overheat. The condenser—or the outside air conditioning unit as we often call it—has to get rid of a fair amount of heat. If yours is uncovered and filthy, you may find it overheats and trips the breaker. Its location outside the home makes it prone to becoming dirty and possibly damaged, although a cover can help with this.

Shorts

No, not short pants —we’re talking about electrical shorts. Your breakers are designed to trip if something bad happens electrically in the home; this prevents fires, damaged electrical components, and potential hazards to life and limb if a person came into contact with the home electrics.

If your AC, furnace, or fans short, you can expect the breaker to trip. This may happen when they try to kick on, when they cycle, or at other times during their operation—making this issue particularly hard to solve without a pro. It could be a small short-circuit, a grounded compressor, or an issue elsewhere in your home electrics otherwise unrelated to HVAC.

Age

Age gets us all, in the end. The older your system gets, the harder it works to make your home comfortable. And the harder it works, the more electricity it uses. If it uses too much power in too short a time, the breaker may believe that a short has occurred. Even if it hasn’t, circuit breakers are designed to err on the safe side and trip off just in case.

This is a tricky issue: there may be no solution other than system replacement. That said, as with all of these issues, it can be avoided and mitigated by regularly scheduled maintenance by a professional HVAC tech.

While not strictly HVAC-related, the age of your home wiring may also be an issue. We’ve seen plenty of houses where the wiring was inadequate for the job at hand, and we’ve told homeowners more than once that they needed an electrician to fix current issues before we could install HVAC equipment. Obviously this issue goes beyond the purview of HVAC, which means there are a lot of good reasons to fix faulty wiring in your home.

Diagnosing a Tripping Breaker

As you can see by now, a breaker that frequently trips because of the HVAC system can be the result of many causes, and it’ll be hard to tell as a lay person without extensive HVAC experience. Sometimes it will be obvious—for example, if the breaker trips every time the air conditioner starts up, you can safely assume the AC has something to do with the issue, and if it just started happening, that something has broken in your HVAC system recently. But more often than not you’ll be left scratching your head—is it the system? The wiring? Too much on one circuit? You can mess around with unplugging stuff and see if that helps, but if it’s more than that, you might need to be able to figure it out by yourself.

And there’s nothing wrong with that! Sometimes the best troubleshooting advice is to call a professional as soon as the problem becomes apparent. Recognize the pattern early on; once you do, call for help. You’ll find that an HVAC tech is your best tool against electrical and HVAC damage, as well as a great resource for information and a wonderful contact for the future. If you have any questions that Right Way Heating and Cooling can help answer for you give us a call at 614-751-0193.

 

tstatUpgrading your thermostat can be a daunting task but we here at Right Way Heating and Cooling  want to make that a simple, painless experience. Your thermostat is the control center for your heating and cooling system. If it is not working properly it can result in higher power bills, uncomfortable temperatures in the home and an unhappy family. Working with our team can assist you in making the right choice for your entire home and keep everyone happy and cozy.

When you work with our technicians, there are a few things to keep in mind. Here are three things to consider when you upgrade your thermostat in your home.

Manual or Programmable Thermostat?

Our technicians can help you decide whether a manual thermostat or programmable thermostat is the best choice for your home. Most homes have a manual thermostat in them to begin with and you might want to just stick with that. Talking with our technicians, you can learn some of the benefits to upgrading to a programmable system. This thermostat will help you keep your home at a manageable temperature at all times. Going on a trip but don’t want the air running the whole time? Program your thermostat to moderate the temperature before your return.

Our technicians are knowledgeable and trained on all makes and models of thermostats to assist you in making the best choice.

Thermostat Features

Another important question is to ask yourself what features on the thermostat would you want. There are many newer models that have a ton of extra features that you can set for your home. Our highly trained technicians at Right Way Heating and Cooling will show you a variety of options that are available. You can set your thermostat to be a different program for each day. Turn the air off when you’re at work and have it come on before you return so it’s a comfortable temperature when you arrive. Program the thermostat to a vacation setting or have different sensors set for each room of your home. The options are endless and are whatever you’d like them to be.

Thermostat Compatibility With Your HVAC

You may find that not all thermostats work well with every system out there. While most companies try to make it easy to upgrade, you’ll want to talk to our techs on site to make sure it will fit with your system. You may have to choose a different thermostat or work with the team to upgrade more than just your thermostat, depending on the age of the system itself.

It’s very important to know when a thermostat upgrade is needed. You can save yourself time and money by talking with our team here at Right Way Heating and Cooling to find out how it can help you. Keep your home more consistent with an upgraded model and watch your power bill come down.

Our highly trained staff is here to assist you with all your heating and cooling needs and ready to help you make the most of your upgrade. You never want to let your thermostat go too long when it’s not functioning correctly. Over time they can start to lose their effectiveness and not run your system like they should. This can cost you money on power bill and will cost you efficiency with your system. Our team offers assistance with making it easier on your wallet and your comfort. Be sure you talk with a team member when you’re ready to upgrade to a more consistent thermostat in your home .

Heating & Air Conditioning Service Experts Since 2006

We’ve been providing reliable heating & air conditioning services since 2006. Our focus is to provide to most support to our customers by delivering certified technicians who understand HVAC and can pass along knowledge to you on your HVAC system. We’re constantly staying up with the latest technologies and it shows in our work.

Call us today to schedule your next service appointment!(614)751-0193.