New AC Installation FAQs

New AC Installation: What You Need to Know Before You Buy

New AC Installation: What You Need to Know Before You Buy

If you find yourself needing a new New AC Installation, a.k.a., your HVAC system, you have some exciting choices about features that will impact comfort and health for many years to come. Most well-maintained HVAC systems last 20-25 years, so expect to keep this system around for a while. In order to prepare you for this important decision, here is some basic information to help you.

New AC Installation: Two Basic Systems

While it has been around for decades internationally, the mini-split ductless air conditioner system is gaining traction over central heating/air systems in the U.S. Here is a short description of the two types of systems.

  • The biggest difference between the two systems is . . . ducts. Ductless systems provide both heating and cooling using very similar technology, but the delivery system is via a wall-mounted unit instead of floor vents. These wall units are quieter than a central air system. Each room has a separate thermostat, allowing for zone heating and cooling. These systems are very energy efficient and can save money each month. They are especially useful when adding rooms or renovating older homes without existing ducts. Since mini-split systems use heat pump technology, they struggle to produce heat when the temperature drops below 320
  • Traditional central heat/air systems are good, efficient systems and can be found in most homes in the U.S. Typical central systems will have component parts indoors and outdoors. The blower motors on central systems move a lot of air—the entire volume of your home circulates every few minutes. While the air is moving, it filters well. One system can cover large areas, but creating zones is usually not possible. Central heat will use heat pump technology, just like the mini-split system. However, an auxiliary heat source, either electric or natural gas, handles low temperatures.

New AC Installation Proper Sizing and Ratings

Both mini-split and central systems are sized using the same method. A technician will complete a load calculation to determine size; square footage, insulation type, window and door openings, and other factors that are entered into an algorithm. The heating need is measured in British Thermal Units (BTUs) and air conditioning is measured in tonnage. Larger numbers are not better or worse, they just measure the need. An important fact: for a number of reasons your new system might not match the size of your old system.

Ratings measure the efficiency of heating and cooling functions. The basic information on New AC Installation ratings is:

  • Air conditioner efficiency is measured in SEER or Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio. The minimum SEER rating is 13 and the (current) maximum rating is 22: in order to qualify as EPA Energy Star, the SEER rating must be 14.5. Energy efficiency will cost more upfront and be repaid for lower bills over time.
  • The amount of energy lost by electric furnaces is negligible, so they are considered 100% efficient. Gas furnaces receive an Annual Fuel Utilization Efficiency rating that measures the percentage of fuel energy successfully captured for indoor heat. Watch for AFUE ratings between 90 and 98(%). Again, energy efficiency costs more with the purchase but is recouped with lower utility bills.

Features to Explore

The basic technology for heating and air conditioning has been around since the 1960s, but engineers keep improving system components. Some improvements to watch for include:

  • Blower motor technology. Mini-split systems have very small quiet blower motors and room occupants might not notice the noise. Central systems have larger motors and in the past, the noise was very noticeable. New technology includes variable speeds and whisper-quiet technology.
  • Air Filters. Mini-split systems may come with washable air filters and save money on the cost of replacing filters over the years. Watch for systems with better air filtration: look for a MERV rating on available filters—the higher the number the better.
  • UV Lights. Ultraviolet light will neutralize organic airborne particles, such as pollen, dust mites, mold spores, bacteria, and viruses. This is a definite plus.
  • New thermostats allow you to schedule regular temperature changes. This adds comfort and helps save on the energy bill. Programmable thermostats allow you to set the schedule and forget it. Smart thermostats include a phone app that allows you to make changes on the move.

Are you researching a New AC Installation? We can help!

Schedule your free New AC Installation consultation by calling AllCool AC & Heating at 281-238-9292 or contact us via email.

New AC Installation: What You Need to Know Before You Buy

6 Tips to Keep Your HVAC Compressor from Failing

6 Tips to Keep Your HVAC Compressor from Failing

HVAC Compressor Maintenance Tips

As a homeowner, you understand the importance of your HVAC Compressor and AC system: it heats and cools, cleans the air, and removes humidity on hot summer days. You often hear that maintenance saves you money, avoids repairs, and keeps the whole system running longer.  All that is true: maintaining the whole system is more convenient and less expensive than repairs.

This article will focus on caring for the compressor—the workhorse of your system. HVAC Compressor failure is a catastrophic loss; compressor replacement often leads to AC replacement. Let’s take a look at what makes it critical and how to take care of it.

With heat pump technology, the compressor is used for both heating and cooling. The technology is based on gas science; when a gas is compressed, it heats and when the pressure is released, the gas cools. This is done at a predictable rate, so engineers make use of this science to accomplish a desired task.

As the name implies, the compressor compresses the gas and pushes it into the evaporator coil, where the gas pressure is released.

The blower motor is continuously moving air from your home through the evaporator chamber. Inside the evaporator chamber, this cold refrigerant gas completes three tasks simultaneously; cools the air in the evaporator chamber, removes humidity when the moisture condenses on the coil and absorbs heat from your home.

Now the hot gas moves outdoors to the condenser unit and the heat is released. During the winter, the same system works in reverse order; the gas picks up heat from outdoors and brings it inside.

HVAC Compressors generally fail when other components are under increased stress. Maintaining your compressor requires a few basic steps that you can accomplish and further steps that require a technician with professional equipment and training.

  1. Basic cleaning. Contaminants are the nemesis of any mechanical system. It is true of your car. It is true of your lawnmower. It is true of your computer. Your HVAC system is no different. Start by making sure to change your air filter on a regular schedule—every three months is enough for most settings. Use a garden hose and gently wash grime and dirt out of the condenser coil—the outdoor component. Ideally, you should clean your ductwork every three to five years.
  2. Professional Service. Develop a relationship with a local HVAC contractor and schedule an annual PM visit for your system. A qualified technician will ascertain the condition of your compressor and other components. Professional equipment is required to measure gas pressure and recharge the system if pressure is low.
  3. Recharging the system. A loss of cooling capacity (or heating capacity in the winter) might be an indication of low gas pressure. The refrigerant gas is kept in a closed system of copper or aluminum tubes, so low pressure indicates a leak. Before the technician can recharge the system, the leak will need to be repaired. Since some refrigerant gases pose a danger to the environment, 33all refrigerant gases are highly regulated. A professional license is required to handle these gases.
  4. Clean the evaporator coils. Dirty coils can lead to a loss of cooling capacity, gaining access to the coils requires accessing the central air unit. While the cabinet is open, the technician will also clean the evaporator drain pan and make sure the drain line is open.
  5. Inspect electrical controls, sensors, and wiring. Even a small amount of dust can interfere with the sensitive control mechanisms. This investigation can detect electrical components that are under stress and subject to imminent failure.
  6. Repair the compressor as needed. The lubrication for the compressor is in a closed system and when the system is compromised it will need to be repaired and lubed again. Your technician will have the correct parts available and the necessary skill to make repairs.

The best way to take care of your HVAC Compressor is to maintain the whole system. A preventative maintenance plan can keep your HVAC Compressor, and therefore, your entire HVAC system viable for years to come.

6 Tips to Keep Your HVAC Compressor from Failing

Let us help with your HVAC Compressor Repair

Schedule your AC Maintenance assessment by calling AllCool AC & Heating at 281-238-9292 or contact us via email.

 

5 Essential AC Maintenance Tips

5 Essential AC Maintenance Tips

AC Maintenance Tips for Homeowners

Heat and humidity seem to be our constant companions during the summer months. Your air conditioner is a critical key to keeping your family comfortable during the long Texas cooling system. We often share tips with homeowners for maintaining air conditioners, but it may be good to know there are more steps you can take to help keep your house cool beyond your air conditioner. While these steps cannot take the place of AC, they certainly can help. Let’s take a look at some of these AC Maintenance steps.

“Use” Sunlight Wisely

Everyone loves natural light flowing into their home. However, summertime sunlight equates to an increase in indoor temperature. Closing blinds and/or drapes during the day will reduce sunlight and keep your home cooler during the hottest part of the day. Tree shade and directional facing will be different for each home; know how to keep your home cooler.

Plan Meals

Oven-cooked meals might be perfect during cooler months, but they put stress on your AC and warm your kitchen significantly. There are several options available to keep your kitchen cooler.

  • Set one day aside to cool meals for the week. This reduces the number of hot days in the kitchen
  • Plan to cook outdoors.
  • Use energy-saving appliances, such as air fryers and electric pressure cookers

Schedule Cleaning

Clothes dryers and dishwashers contribute a little bit of heat and humidity to your home and impact comfort. If you plan to run these devices in the evening hours, during the coolest part of the day, they should have a minimal impact on your comfort and help with energy conservation.

Redirect Your Ceiling Fans

Ceiling fans will not lower the air temperature but moving air speeds evaporation and therefore the air feels cooler. On the core of each ceiling fan is a small toggle switch that changes the direction of the fan. When the fan turns in the counterclockwise direction, it pushes air down and creates a cool breeze. Make sure each fan is turning counterclockwise during the summer to keep your home at peak comfort.

Address Problem Areas

If one or more rooms are consistently warmer than the rest of the house, don’t ignore the fact and research the root cause. Inspect every surface:

  • Check the attic for poor insulation
  • Check the windows and doors for leaks
  • Check the ducts to make sure they are intact and not leaking.

Of course, taking care of your air conditioner goes a long way toward keeping your home comfortable. Every mechanical system needs maintenance, and your air conditioner is no different. Cleaning the condenser coil, and ducts, and changing air filters are a few maintenance tasks that help your AC run efficiently. A regular preventative AC Maintenance inspection is recommended by your AC manufacturer.

Give All Cool AC a call to schedule an annual preventative AC maintenance visit with an HVAC professional.

Let us help with your AC Maintenance

Schedule your AC Maintenance assessment by calling AllCool AC & Heating at 281-238-9292 or contact us via email.

5 Essential AC Maintenance Tips

6 Most Common Residential AC Repair Issues

6 Most Common Residential AC Repair Issues

Residential AC Repair

Walking out of the summer heat into an air-conditioned space is a special feeling; it might elicit a deep sigh while crossing the threshold. When you step into that same space, expecting comfort and being disappointed will elicit a groan. A little bit of panic might grip you if your AC fails at home.

Instead of panic, let us suggest a few action steps to help you diagnose the problem and assist the repair technician upon arrival.

  • Step one, check the thermostat. The wall-mounted switch calls for cooling when the temperature climbs above a preferred setting. If the thermostat screen is blank, a battery might be the fix you need. Someone might have bumped the thermostat up a few degrees for personal comfort. Start with the thermostat.
  • Step two, check the circuit breaker. The air conditioner is one of only a few appliances that are hard-wired directly from the service panel. Flipping a circuit breaker might restore the cool air, but it might also be an indicator of a larger problem.
  • Step three, check the air filter. A clogged air filter can reduce enough airflow through the evaporator chamber to decrease cooling.

An HVAC Residential AC Repair professional will investigate the entire system to determine the problem(s) that is keeping your home warmer than desired. Common Residential AC Repair problems they might find include:

  1. Check the thermostat and power connections, verifying your findings.
  2. Check the air filter and general maintenance of the system.
  3. Low or no refrigerant. The tech will check the gas pressure. Refrigerant gas operates under high pressure and gas under pressure will find weaknesses and flows to try to escape. Low gas reduces the cooling capacity of the system. That could be the problem.
  4. Ice build-up on the evaporator coil. The evaporator removes humidity from the air while cooling the air destined for your home. Several problems can lead to moisture freezing on the coil instead of dripping down to the drain pan.
  5. Component failure. The condenser, compressor, and blower motor are the major air conditioner components that will be carefully inspected.
  6. Electrical controls and sensors. Your AC system uses very complex switches, capacitors, and temperature sensors.

The professional team of Residential AC Repair technicians at AllCool has vocational training, on-the-job training, and years of experience in inspecting and repairing air conditioners of various makes. It is unlikely that you will face a problem that our team has not corrected several times. We are committed to restoring comfort to your home and family.

Have Indoor Air Quality Issues?

Schedule your Residential AC Repair assessment by calling AllCool AC & Heating at 281-238-9292 or contact us via email.

6 Most Common Residential AC Repair Issues

How VOCs Affect Indoor Air Quality

How VOCs Affect Indoor Air Quality

How VOCs Affect Indoor Air Quality

An indoor air quality issue that is hard to grasp and even harder to mitigate is the presence of Volatile Organic Compounds or VOCs. Some VOCs have known carcinogens. Many more have a negative effect on human health and well-being. Let’s uncover the Indoor Air Quality problems and some solutions.

What are VOCs?

Organic compounds include molecules that contain carbon. Life on earth is based on carbon, both flora, and fauna; organic compounds are related to or derived from living organisms. Volatile means that something will easily evaporate. Water is volatile, but not organic. Perfume is both volatile and organic, so is included in the list of VOCs. However, not all VOCs are as harmless to your Indoor Air Quality, such as perfume and cooking odor.

More harmful VOCs commonly found in your home result from:

  • Off-gassing from manufactured materials, such as carpet and furniture. The fabric fibers’ finishes, and adhesives give off residual gases for many years.
  • Common cleaners and disinfectants
  • Insect repellants and herbicides
  • Office equipment, such as markers and printer ink

Some VOCs are more serious than others; formaldehyde, for instance, is a known carcinogen and has off-gases from carpet and flooring for several years.

The Problem with VOCs and Your Indoor Air Quality

Volatile organic compounds can also be found in nature and not all VOCs are harmful. However, the problem arises in our homes when VOCs are concentrated indoors. We build our homes with products that off-gas, use cleaning products in our homes that are volatile, and close ourselves up inside for comfort and convenience. According to the EPA, the level of VOCs inside most homes is 2 to 5 times higher than outdoor air.

VOCs are at their highest concentration shortly after construction is completed; your house has a “new” smell, which is not very healthy. A major remodeling will also increase the level of VOCs. Perhaps your garage is a storage space for several compounds that are evaporating, and the VOCs enter your home every time the door opens.

VOCs tend to irritate tissue upon contact, but we rarely recognize the contact with the VOC gas, and our nose gets used to the odor. Potential health issues include:

  • Unexplained headaches, loss of balance, or nausea
  • Irritation of eyes, nose, and throat
  • VOCs can trigger asthma attacks or allergic reactions
  • In more serious cases, VOCs can damage the liver, and central nervous system, and cause cancer

Practical Steps to Reduce VOC exposure

Remember that we are surrounded by VOCs, both indoors and outdoors, so the goal is to reduce your exposure. Every building material, including unfinished wood, will produce VOCs. So here are a few steps toward reducing the concentration of VOCs in your home.

  • Research products with fewer VOCs. When you remodel, paint, or replace the flooring, do a little research. When you choose common cleaners and disinfectants, find products that give off fewer VOCs. When you need to use an adhesive, paint, or furniture finish, buy only the amount needed for a project to avoid a half-empty can being stored in the basement for years. Remove unused portions of solvents and dispose of them properly.
  • Open doors and windows regularly to reduce the concentration of VOCs inside your home. Turn off the HVAC (if necessary) and open up the house for 30 minutes or so. This vents the VOC outside and brings in the fresh air. Some homes have heat recovery air exchangers that bring in outside air for better ventilation without energy loss.
  • Consider an air purifier with an activated charcoal filter. Regular air filters cannot capture odors or gases, but the activated charcoal portion of the filter has tiny openings that trap gases. Research the available air purifiers and choose the product that is right for you. Place the air purifier(s) strategically to remove VOCs in high concentrations or in bedrooms as family members sleep.
  • Indoor Air Quality testing devices are available for home use if you are curious. If you suspect a problem or if family members have health issues that put them at greater risk, professional testing is available.

Have Indoor Air Quality Issues?

Schedule your Indoor Air Quality assessment by calling AllCool AC & Heating at 281-238-9292 or contact us via email.

How VOCs Affect Indoor Air Quality

Cigarettes and Vaping Harm Indoor Air Quality

Indoor Air Quality

How Cigarettes and Vaping Harm Your Indoor Air Quality

One of the results of an international pandemic is an increase in concern about indoor air quality (IAQ), especially as it relates to indoor spaces in multi-unit residential spaces. People are concerned about how the Indoor Air Quality of adjacent units might affect their units.

A telltale indicator is the odor of tobacco smoke in a non-smoking unit. If tobacco smoke is migrating between apartments, what other airborne particles (including viruses) might also be migrating?

The request for environmental tobacco smoke (ETS) testing has increased tremendously over the last few years. ETS is an air quality test to determine the presence of indoor cigarette smoke; the greatest number of calls come from renters and condo owners, or from landlords of renters suspected of violating a no-smoking lease agreement. Why are people concerned with second-hand cigarette smoke?

  • The smoke that results from burning tobacco contains at least 4,000 chemical substances. According to the EPA, at least 40 of these substances are known to cause cancer in humans and many more substances are known to be strong irritants. Second-hand smoke also includes the smoke released from the lungs of smokers after it has been inhaled.
  • Second-hand smoke is a serious health issue (EPA). Approximately 3,000 nonsmokers die each year from lung cancer. “Passive smoking is responsible for between 150,000 and 300,000 lower respiratory tract infections in infants and children under 18 months of age annually, resulting in between 7,500 and 15,000 hospitalizations each year.”Second-hand smoke elevates the risk of asthma attacks in children with existing asthma conditions. “Between 200,000 and 1,000,000 asthmatic children have their condition made worse by exposure to secondhand smoke. Passive smoking may also cause thousands of non-asthmatic children to develop the condition each year.” EPA

ETS testing tests air samples for the presence of nicotine and other products that result from burning tobacco.

Mitigation of ETS

Landlords can determine their options when they discover the presence of tobacco smoke in no-smoking apartment units. Apartment or condo dwellers might consider measures to prevent the migration of smoke into their apartments.

  • Each apartment should have independent HVAC ducts; the smoke should not be migrating between apartment or condo units through the HVAC vents.
  • Examine electrical and plumbing penetrations between shared walls with other apartments; seal these penetrations to limit the amount of air migrating through openings. Don’t forget floor or ceiling penetrations.
  • Create positive air pressure (bringing outside air into the apartment) and use exhaust fans sparingly. Exhaust fans pull air into the apartment as it removes existing air. This can pull air from the apartments with shared walls.

What about vaping or e-cigarettes?

One thing is clear—e-cigarettes do not produce the same number of chemical byproducts as regular cigarettes. But that is about all that is clear.

  • E-cigarettes use a small electric charge to atomize nicotine instead of a flame and combustion.
  • Various brands use different flavoring additives—no two brands are alike. Some brands use additives for different effects, including erectile dysfunction and weight loss drugs.
  • The vapor that results from e-cigarette use contains chemical compounds, including carcinogens that are different from traditional cigarette smoke. Health professionals have been studying traditional cigarette smoke since 1920, measuring the various compounds and their effects on the human body. E-cigarettes were introduced in the mid-2000s; the measurement and study has only just begun.
  • Currently, e-cigarette manufacturing is poorly regulated; the health effects of inhaling various additives are far from being known.

If you smell the flavored vapor from e-cigarettes, you should take the same measures as with traditional cigarettes.

Have Problems with Indoor Air Quality?

Schedule your upcoming Indoor Air Quality assessment appointment by calling AllCool AC & Heating at 281-238-9292 or contact us via email.

Indoor Air Quality

 

6 Tips HVAC Maintenance Tips for Homeowners

6 Tips HVAC Maintenance Tips for Homeowners

6 Tips HVAC Maintenance Tips to Better Energy Efficiency

Air conditioning is such a comfort during the summertime; stepping out of oppressive heat and humidity into a cool, dry environment is both welcoming and relaxing. The converse is also true.

Stepping into a home and expecting air conditioning but being disappointed is very stressful and troubling. Wise homeowners don’t just assume their AC will work but take the HVAC Maintenance extra steps to ensure it is kept in good working order.

Change Your Air Filter Regularly

A dirty, clogged air filter leads to two major problems for air conditioners. First, it causes your blower motor to work harder than it should. While the blower fan moves large volumes of air—the entire volume of your home every 2 or 3 minutes—a clogged filter reduces the airflow, and the blower motor must work harder to complete its task.

Second, the evaporator coils bring very cold refrigerant gas into the evaporator chamber. Warm air from the house is being drawn through the filter and exchanged the heat for cold.

Reduced airflow causes humidity to freeze on the coils and this reduces the exchange of heat and cold. Expect warmer air from the air conditioner with an extremely clogged filter.

 Clean Your Evaporator Coils and Drain Pan

In addition to exchanging heat with cold, the evaporator removes humidity from the air when it condenses on the coils. By tripping the circuit breaker-marked AC and removing a few bolts, you can access the evaporator chamber and do a little maintenance. First, observe the coils—often a V-shape—and vacuum away any accumulated dust.

Second, observe the drain pan, looking for debris or algae buildup. Carefully pour a cup of bleach or vinegar into the drain pan as a deterrent to algae growth. You may need a wet/dry shop vacuum to clean out algae buildup in the drain lines. After you have returned the chamber cover and flip the circuit breaker back to the ON position.

Clean Your Condenser Unit

Stepping outside, locate the air conditioner condenser unit, a small, boxy component with a prominent fan on the top. The refrigerant gas has collected heat from your home in the evaporator chamber and brings it outdoors for release. The entire box is composed of a network of tubes with very small fins.

Airflow through this network transfers the heat to the moving air and cools down quickly. Quickly, unless the airflow is restricted by the accumulation of dirt, grass clippings, and debris. Use a garden hose—not a power washer—to gently clean the spaces between the tubes and promote good airflow. Trim any hedges and remove any debris within about 3 feet of the condenser.

Check Vents and Registers

In order for air conditioning to work properly, air must flow in large volumes. A normal 15-minute cooling cycle will move the entire volume of your home 7 or 8 times, maybe more. It moves that volume of air unless, of course, the vents and registers in the home are covered. Check each room and find one or more registers on or along the floor.

Rooms with more square footage will have more than one register. Make sure they are not covered by furniture or drapes. Each level of the home will have one or more return air vents.

Observe the vents about ¾ of the way up walls, perhaps in hallways or open spaces. Make sure that furniture and drapes do not cover your vents and reduce air movement.

Program The Thermostat for Summertime

Many homes have programmable or Smart thermostats. This allows homeowners to customize the temperature settings to match the family schedule and comfort levels. Summertime schedules change, so make sure to keep the settings adjusted to the season.

Consider adjusting the setting while the family is sleeping or away, reducing the demand for energy. Create a 30-minute buffer right before the alarm clock sounds or the first family member returns.

Plan an Annual HVAC Maintenance Tune-up

Scheduling a visit from an HVAC Maintenance professional to clean, inspect, and test the system is a sure way to keep your system running for as long as possible. The additional HVAC Maintenance care ensures that components function properly, gas levels are appropriate, and connections are maintained. This HVAC Maintenance TLC lengthens the serviceable life of your entire system.

Time for HVAC Maintenance?

Schedule your upcoming HVAC maintenance appointment by calling AllCool AC & Heating at 281-238-9292 or contact us via email.

6 Tips HVAC Maintenance Tips for Homeowners

6 Common Causes for Poor Indoor Air Quality

Indoor Air Quality Katy Tx

Causes for Poor Indoor Air Quality Katy Tx

A comfortable house is a great source of happiness. It ranks immediately after health and a good conscience. ~Sydney Smith

Coming home! Ah! Home can be such a retreat, a respite from a tough day at work or school. Gathering together with the people and pets that you cherish the most is special. Such a special place needs to be as safe and healthy as we can make it.

Studies reveal that several changes in building techniques and building materials make indoor air several times more polluted than outdoor. Couple that with how much we appreciate our homes—we spend the vast majority of our time indoors—homeowners should pay special attention to indoor air quality (IAQ).

Poor IAQ can irritate the sinus and eyes with symptoms similar to pollen allergies/hay fever. It can also lead to breathing difficulties, dizziness, and fatigue. Here are a few common sources of indoor pollutants and some steps you can take to improve indoor air quality.

  1. Be Careful with Allergens.

Allergens are a general class of pollutants that cause an inflammation reaction to the skin, sinuses, eyes, and throat. Often allergens are organic and sourced from living organisms. Some of the most common allergens include:

  • Dust and dander, small particles that flake off of living surfaces, including human and pet bodies
  • Pollen from grass, trees, and flowers. Pollen enters your home through small gaps, every time your door opens and can be carried in on clothes and shoes.
  • Mold spores are actively blowing about and enter your home in the same manner as pollen. Mold can also find moist, dark spaces in your home.
  1. Be Aware of Household Chemicals.

Chemicals find their way into our homes and contribute to indoor air quality. Drawing attention to some of these sources will help you make wise decisions.

  • Manufacturing items, including furniture, flooring, paints, and adhesives will give off volatile organic compounds (VOC) for several years after they are installed. There is nothing to prevent this, but remember they are contributing to your IAQ.
  • Often your garage also serves as a storage space for lawn care products, including mower/trimmer fuel, pesticides/herbicides, and fertilizers. Every time you open the garage door, small amounts of these chemicals enter your home. NEVER “warm” your vehicle inside your garage, since a large portion of the exhaust will find its way indoors.
  • Household cleaning chemicals also contribute to IAQ.
  1. Tobacco Smoke.

Smokers are aware of the health hazards tobacco smoke poses to themselves and to others as secondhand smoke. To reduce the impact of tobacco smoke on Indoor Air Quality, find a favorite spot outdoors to smoke and avoid smoking indoors.

After addressing the most common pollutants, let’s look at some top measures you can take to improve IAQ.

  1. Improve Ventilation.

Houses are built for energy efficiency, allowing very little air to enter through gaps and cracks. This allows the pollutants mentioned above to concentrate indoors. Planning improved ventilation can help you improve Indoor Air Quality Katy Tx.

  • Often extreme weather keeps our windows and doors closed for energy efficiency. But during every season, we experience a few days of relief, with very pleasant temperatures. On those days, pull the screen doors closed and open doors and windows to let in the fresh air. While fresh air is coming indoors, pollutants are migrating outdoors.
  • Be mindful of pollen and mold counts if family members have allergies.
  1. Change the Air Filter Regularly.

Your HVAC system has an air filter that removes most pollutants each time the blower circulates the air during a heating or cooling cycle. Every airborne particle trapped by the filter improves Indoor Air Quality Katy Tx. However, eventually, the dust and pollen clog the filter and reduce its effectiveness. Changing the air filter at least every 3 months will ensure most particles are removed and no longer circulate.

  1. Further Steps to Improve Indoor Air Quality Katy Tx

Sometimes families find a need for improved indoor air quality; severe allergies, asthmas, and illness that makes breathing difficult require quality indoor air. These improvements might require professional help.

  • Dust and pollutants collect in the ductwork and may need to be removed by duct cleaning professionals.
  • If you suspect that a mold infestation has developed, removal will also require a mold mitigation specialist.
  • If pollen, dander, and mold cause severe allergic reactions or trigger asthma, talk to All Cool about an inline ultra-violet (UV) air cleaner. A UV air cleaner functions in this manner:
    • We are often warned that UV light damages human skin with prolonged exposure. UV light damages the cell walls of living organisms.
    • A UV inline air cleaner is installed inside the ductwork of your HVAC system. Enclosed in this space it cannot harm family members or pets.
    • The UV light will damage the cell walls of organic pollutants such as pollen, bacteria, and mold spores.
    • The dead cells are neutralized and more easily collected by the air filter.

Need Help with Your Indoor Air Quality Katy Tx?

Let us help you with improving your indoor air quality Katy Tx by calling AllCool AC & Heating at 281-238-9292 or contact us via email.

Indoor Air Quality Katy Tx

Air Conditioning Hurricane Preparedness Tips

Air Conditioning Hurricane Preparedness

Air Conditioning Hurricane Preparedness – Start Your Preparation Now!

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) is set to predict the 2022 Atlantic Hurricane season in a few days.1 Early indication is that it will be active and storm intensity seems to have increased over the past decades. Residents in coastal communities should take measures to prepare homes and lives for a hurricane event this year. As part of these measures, make sure you follow our Air Conditioning Hurricane Preparedness Tips!

Measures to Take Before a Storm

While NOAA makes predictions for the 6-month hurricane season, The National Hurricane Center actually tracks storms as they develop over the south Atlantic. When a significant storm approaches land, they issue a warning 36 hours in advance to let residents make final Air Conditioning Hurricane Preparedness steps for the storm. However, some preparations should be made well in advance of a hurricane.

Schedule Routine Maintenance

Both your HVAC manufacturer and HVAC professionals recommend annual maintenance to help your system perform efficiently over many years. Preventative maintenance includes cleaning dust buildup in hard-to-reach places, inspection, and testing key electrical components, and paying close attention to the refrigerant gas needed for proper function.

If your system is poorly maintained before a hurricane puts great stress on the air conditioner, it can sustain greater damage from the storm.

Air Conditioning Hurricane Preparedness: Protect your Outdoor AC Unit

  • If your outdoor condenser unit is in a low-lying area, consider elevating it to avoid water damage. It should be set on a concrete slab as a firm foundation.
  • Tie-Downs. Make sure your condenser unit is securely fastened to the concrete slab with hurricane tie-downs. While it may appear large, it is constructed of lightweight material and can be moved by violent winds.
  • Check with the manufacturer for a hurricane weather-proof covering for the AC condenser unit. Local home improvement stores may also carry them. A covering, installed after the AC has been powered off, can prevent water damage from heavy rain. Be sure to remove the cover before restoring power to the air conditioner.

Purchase Emergency Supplies in Advance

State and local governments provide emergency preparedness plans that encourage you to purchase food, water, flashlights, batteries, first aid kits, etc. You are encouraged to make these purchases in advance of a hurricane warning to make sure supplies are available.

Measures During the 36-Hour Warning

Anticipate that hurricane-force winds (+74 mph) will damage the power grid and cause a power outage. In the process, power will blink on and off several times; each time that happens, it creates a power surge. Since even small power surges can damage computers, we plug sensitive equipment into power strips with surge protectors.

  • Your HVAC system may have a power surge protector installed inline to protect the system.
  • Whether your system has a power surge protector or not, turn off your HVAC system during a hurricane to protect it from potential damage.
    • Turn your thermostat to the Off position
    • Flip the breaker at your electrical service panel for both AC and furnace

Cool Down

Knowing that you will turn the AC off for an extended period, use the 36-hour time period to cool your house down. Lower the temperature a few degrees, anticipating the warm and humid air outside will quickly move indoors. Close blinds and curtains, even if your windows are covered. Continue to use ceiling and floor fans for as long you have power.

Measures to Take After a Storm

After the storm has passed and power has been restored, carefully follow the needed steps.

  • Remove any cover you might have placed on the outdoors AC unit
  • Check your power surge protector for the HVAC system. If it has tripped, reset it.
  • Flip the breaker for your system at the electric service panel and wait a few minutes.
  • Turn the thermostat to the COOL setting and set the temperature to the normal setting.

If your power is not restored, you will need to call an electrician. If your power is restored but the AC does not come on or does not cool properly, give All Cool a call.

Have Questions About Air Conditioning Hurricane Preparedness?

June begins the start of hurricane season on the Texas Gulf Coast. Let us help you with your Air Conditioning Hurricane Preparedness this season by calling AllCool AC & Heating at 281-238-9292 or contact us via email.

Air Conditioning Hurricane Preparedness

1 https://www.noaa.gov/media-advisory/noaa-to-announce-2022-atlantic-hurricane-season-outlook

Indoor Air Quality – Celebrating Clean Air Month

Indoor Air Quality - Celebrating Clean Air Month

Indoor Air Quality – Celebrating Clean Air Month

May is Clean Air Month, but don’t expect to celebrate with fireworks! In 1972, the American Lung Association began sponsoring Clean Air Month with the following goals in mind:

  • Educate people about the impact clean air has on our lives
  • Encourage people to take positive steps to improve air quality—both globally and locally
  • Celebrate improvements made in indoor air quality over the years

To understand the importance of this celebration, take a quick trip down memory lane and remember some environmental crises of the late ‘60s and early ‘70s.

  • Smog (a contraction of ‘smoke’ and ‘fog’) was a haze of pollution visible hovering over major US cities. A steep increase in asthma and emphysema resulted. Smog results from auto emissions and industrial pollutants.
  • Sulfur and nitrogen pollutants were collected in precipitation and fell as “acid rain,” damaging both flora and fauna nationwide. It also caused corrosion on stone and concrete structures.
  • The Cuyahoga River in Ohio caught fire 13 times—yes, you read that correctly. The river was covered with a thick soup of oil and waste. The largest, most notable fire was on June 22, 1969.

These crises led Richard Nixon to encourage the Clean Air Act of 1970 and established the Environmental Protection Agency to clean up the air, water, and soil. This led to setting emission guidelines for automobiles and industrial waste and eliminating waste being dumped into rivers, lakes, oceans, and on land.

How Can You Celebrate Indoor Air Quality and Clean Air Month?

What can one family possibly do to improve air quality globally? More than you think!

  • Reuse, Reduce, Recycle. Small things do make a difference.
  • Reduce your carbon footprint with wise decisions.
  • Reduce energy use in your home
    • Replace incandescent light bulbs with LED bulbs
    • Watch for ENERGY STAR ratings on appliances
    • Heating and air conditioning account for 43% of your energy use, so keep your HVAC system clean and well maintained.
  • Replace toxic cleaning supplies with safer, greener choices
  • Improve your indoor air quality
    • Remove your shoes immediately upon entering your home. This reduces the amount of dust and dirt your spread inside
    • Vacuum and dust your house often to remove airborne contaminants
    • Run your air conditioner as needed. It removes moisture from the air; a home with high humidity is susceptible to the growth of mold and mildew.
    • Replace your HVAC air filter regularly—at least once every 3 months
    • Purchase an air purifier if needed to remove indoor contaminants.

How Can We Help You Celebrate Clean Air Month?

This month is a great time to celebrate indoor air quality. Let us help you make a difference in the clean air in your home,  call AllCool AC & Heating at 281-238-9292 or contact us via email.

Indoor Air Quality - Celebrating Clean Air Month