Furnace Repair: What Happens When Your Furnace Stops

Furnace Repair: What Happens When Your Furnace Stops

Furnace Repair Pointers When Your Heater Stops Working

Winters in Texas are relatively short, but you must watch for those severe cold snaps. They can be longer than expected and wreak considerable havoc across a wide area, especially for folks not accustomed to harsh arctic blasts. Walking in from the cold causes a greater appreciation for a great furnace system in your home. Until it is not warm!

If your home is not at your desired comfort level and the power is still on, what can you do? First, search for simple things; second, stay warm; and third, call for furnace repair reinforcements.

Simple Furnace Repair Troubleshooting

Check the thermostat. Thermostats work as a sensor and switch, so check all the settings—ON/OFF and temperature settings—to make sure it is calling for heat. If you have a heat pump furnace, make sure to set the thermostat on EM Heat or Aux Heat when the outside temperature drops below 32 degrees. If the thermostat face plate is blank or giving a low battery notice, change the batteries and see if that helps.

Check the circuit breakers. Often, the electric service panel has more than one breaker assigned to the furnace. Make sure that both circuits are open. If not, turn the breaker off and then on to reset the circuit. Often, the furnace may have one or two breakers on the exterior of the cabinet to allow repairs; make sure these breakers are also in the ON position.

Check the air filter. A clogged filter can restrict airflow, hampering the hardworking furnace from achieving its goal—your comfort.

Check the gas supply and ignition. If the furnace is natural gas-powered, do a simple observation. A gas supply valve should be wide open. Find the valve near the furnace or somewhere between the furnace and an outdoor supply. Some gas furnaces will have a pilot light, a small flame that remains lit to ignite gas at the burner.

Some gas furnaces use electronic ignition, which creates an electric spark to ignite gas at the burner. The sensors around these ignition sources can accumulate a carbon buildup called soot. Soap and water with a gentle touch can clean the soot away, but the sensor is extremely sensitive.

Stay Warm

  • Fireplaces are often used for ambiance or mood, but of course, they are also used for keeping warm. They are great for heating a space but may be ineffective at warming an entire house. If bedrooms are cold and the den is kept warm by a fireplace, it might mean a fun campout in the den.
  • Electric blankets might also be helpful.
  • When using electric space heaters, be very wise. They can help heat a room but not the entire house. Keep them about three feet away from surfaces and outside of high-traffic areas. Do not leave them unattended since the heat can start a fire.
  • Layer clothes. If you must wear gloves, hats, and scarves inside to stay warm, stay warm.
  • Blankets, quilts, and throws will help conserve body heat.
  • Don’t forget to keep pets warm as well.

Don’t Delay Furnace Repair

If simple observations do not restore heat, do not delay in calling for assistance. You are likely not alone with a furnace problem, so request a furnace repair service visit ASAP while you are keeping your family warm.

Call the Furnace Repair Experts at All Cool AC!

Schedule your Furnace Repair consultation by calling All Cool AC & Heating at 281-238-9292 or contact us via email and let our NATE-certified HVAC Repair technicians put their experience to work for you.

4 Questions to Ask During Furnace Maintenance

4 Questions to Ask During Furnace Maintenance

Questions to Ask During Furnace Maintenance

Wouldn’t it be nice to ask questions of professionals, knowing you would get an honest response without it costing anything? That is why websites have Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) pages. Here are some furnace maintenance questions that you might want to ask HVAC professionals, with honest replies.

What is the appropriate temperature for a home?

Family members often have sharp disagreements about comfortable temperatures in both winter and summer months. Online sources disagree just as sharply since comfort is personal and unique to each person.

  • The U.S. Department of Energy recommends a range between 68 degrees and 78 degrees. However, they recommend 68 degrees for the wintertime and 78 degrees for summertime temperatures. Neither of these temperatures is likely agreeable to most of your family members.
  • Temperatures higher than 80 degrees are hot enough to damage drywall finishes during heating or cooling season.
  • Temperatures below 55 degrees are likely to result in frozen water lines during the winter.
  • Comfort seems to lie between 72- and 76 degrees year-round; a narrower temperature lies in personal preferences.
  • Programmable thermostats can help. Temperatures can be scheduled to enhance comfort.

We just endured a pandemic; what can be done to improve indoor air quality, especially concerning bacteria and viruses?

This is a good question, and the answer is—there are several good options for indoor air quality.

  • Change your air filter regularly, at least every three months.
  • HVAC air filters capture most airborne particles; the percentage of particles captured is determined by particle size and filter openings. Filters rated MERV 8 capture about 90% of particles. The higher the MERV rating, the smaller the openings in the filter and the higher the percentage captured.
  • Check with HVAC specifications to determine proper ratings since filters with extremely small openings may restrict airflow and interfere with heating and cooling functions.
  • In addition, system modifications can neutralize and eliminate biological particles from the air. Ultraviolet lights can be installed inside the ductwork. UV lights disrupt cell walls, destroying pollen, mold, bacteria, and virus cells.
  • Your HVAC professional may have further recommendations for your unique setting.

Be honest: is annual furnace maintenance really necessary?

This is a just question, and the correct answer might seem a little self-serving, but the answer is—yes, indeed, it is necessary.

  • Everyone involved in this industry agrees that annual maintenance is needed. Individual components and the function of the whole are thoroughly tested and cleaned.
  • While you might question the wisdom of HVAC maintenance, you probably insist on regular maintenance on vehicles: regular oil and filter changes and the replacement of brakes or tires. Maintenance functions in the same way for an HVAC system.

Why are HVAC ratings so complicated?

Let’s look at what the ratings mean.

  • Furnaces are rated by the Annualized Fuel Utilization Efficiency or AFUE. An AFUE rating measures how much energy is converted to heat by a furnace. Natural gas furnaces capture energy in a range of 90 and 98.5% of the available energy. Electric furnaces capture 100% of the energy in electricity. Hopefully, this is understandable.
  • Air conditioners are rated by the Seasonal Energy Efficiency Rating or SEER. It is a complicated rating since it measures efficiency during normal temperatures and extreme hot snaps, daytime heat, and the cool of summer evenings. Efficiency is measured and averaged. The higher the number, the greater the efficiency. All new systems will have a SEER rating higher than 15 in Texas.
  • Heat pumps used for heating are rated by the Heating Seasonal Performance Factor (HSPF), which, like the SEER rating, captures efficiency over an entire season. All heat pump systems will have an HSPF between 8 and 9.

Call the Furnace Maintenance Experts at All Cool AC!

Schedule your Furnace Maintenance consultation by calling All Cool AC & Heating at 281-238-9292 or contact us via email and let our NATE-certified HVAC Repair technicians put their experience to work for you.

5 Furnace Repair Checks to Winterize Your Home

5 Furnace Repair Checks

Furnace Repair: Is Your Heater Ready for Winter

The U.S. Department of Energy, manufacturers, and professional technicians all agree that HVAC systems should be inspected and tested by trained HVAC personnel. Often, manufacturer’s warranties depend on regular maintenance. But what is involved, and why are these inspections necessary?

Winter Furnace Repair Check 1: Performance

First, a technician will investigate the proper function of the system. That is achieved by calling for heat (or cooling) and measuring the temperature difference in a room and at supply vents. There is a range of acceptable temperature differences that signal proper function. Both acceptable and unacceptable temperature output are important to the technician.

Winter Furnace Repair Check 2: Cleaning Tasks

Dirt is the enemy of any mechanical system, and that is especially true for an HVAC system.

  • The technician will check the air filter and may replace a relatively clean filter just to make sure the system has a clean filter.
  • The technician will check the evaporator coil and drain pan. Heat pumps still use this coil, usually associated with air conditioning. Dust and contaminates can reduce the transfer of heat, so it will be cleaned away. The blower fan blades will be checked along with the airflow performance.
  • The technician will clean the condenser unit outdoors. Leaves, limbs, dirt, and lawn clippings will need to be cleaned away for the same reason as the evaporator coil—heat transfer.

Winter Furnace Repair Check 3: Coolant Pressure

The transfer of heat is important to air conditioning and, with heat pumps, to the heating function as well. Heat transfer is accomplished by a refrigerant, which exists as a gas while under pressure and a liquid when released from the pressure. The change of state achieves heat transfer. The technician will check the refrigerant pressure on both the high-pressure and low-pressure sides. A low refrigerant level indicates a leak and will interfere with heat transfer.

Winter Furnace Repair Check 4: Electrical Testing

The whole system functions on electrical sensors, switches, and controllers. Each of these components can show wear, create stress on other parts, and fail. The wear and stress can often be detected with a tester. Finding a part under stress before it fails is very beneficial, saving you from a repair bill.

Winter Furnace Repair Check 5: Combustion Check

Natural gas-powered furnaces receive a thorough inspection of the ignition and burner assembly and the heat exchanger. The connection fittings for the gas supply will be checked for leaks. The ignition source, either an electric ignitor or a pilot light, will be cleaned and tested. The burner assembly will be inspected and cleaned as needed. The heat exchanger and exhaust stack will be inspected for weakness or cracks. All of these are both safety and performance checks.

A technician will complete the appropriate tasks, give the homeowner a report of findings, and suggest corrective actions.

If Your Heater is not Ready for Winter, Call the Furnace Repair Experts at All Cool AC!

Schedule your Furnace Repair consultation by calling All Cool AC & Heating at 281-238-9292 or contact us via email and let our NATE-certified HVAC Repair technicians put their experience to work for you.

5 Furnace Repair Checks

3 HVAC Maintenance Tips to Improve Efficiency

3 HVAC Maintenance Tips to Improve Efficiency

3 HVAC Maintenance Tips for Homeowners

Air conditioning is such a comfort during the long, hot summertime. All winter long, we look forward to summer fun in the sun. However, since the heat and humidity are so relentless, we seek relief whenever we go inside. Air conditioning has become so essential to our summer. It would be nice to find ways to enhance the air conditioning experience. Here are a few suggestions to enhance your HVAC Maintenance experience.

1 Keep the Heat Outside and the Cool Inside

This seems like a no-brainer, but to do it well it takes intentional actions.

  • The quality of insulation will become very evident during times of extreme temperatures—both hot and cold temperatures. Getting into the attic to add insulation during triple-digit or single-digit temperatures is not a wise decision. However, preparing for extreme temps while the temps are mild is a wise decision.
  • Windows transfer a tremendous amount of energy in the form of heat into the home. Sunlight is not the problem; it is the accompanying infrared energy that creates the heat. Floor and furniture surfaces are heated and retain the heat. Additionally, heat passes through glass readily, heating the inside air. Keep blinds and drapes closed during the midday period, opening them in the mornings and evenings to enjoy the natural light.

2 Keep the Thermostat Steady

It is tempting to use the thermostat inside like the fan switch on our car’s air conditioner, turning it up when you enter and down when the temperature drops. That might work in the small confines of a car, but it doesn’t work for a home air conditioner.

  • When the thermostat is set at 740 and the temperature rises to 750, the thermostat instructs the air conditioner to begin cooling the air. The cooling cycle may last for 5 to 10 minutes if it is functioning normally. Dropping the thermostat to 640 will also instruct the air conditioner to begin cooling the air. It will also take 5 to 10 minutes or so—not a minute less. Dropping the thermostat setting does not cool the space faster, but it does put tremendous stress on the air conditioner.
  • A better approach is to schedule the temperature setting, including any changes you might desire, and let the air conditioner do its job. If your family has a steady summertime schedule—leaving and returning at regular intervals—temperature changes can be programmed to coincide with the schedule. Program temperatures change and do not alter the schedule.

3 Schedule Filter Changes and HVAC Maintenance

Homeowners can enhance their air conditioner system by keeping it clean. Change the air filter regularly to keep indoor air clean and ensure a free flow of air. Scheduling annual preventative maintenance increases the performance of air conditioners and uncovers small problems before they become big problems.

We Specialize in HVAC Maintenance to Reduce Your Utility Bills

Schedule your free HVAC Maintenance consultation by calling AllCool AC & Heating at 281-238-9292 or contact us via email and let our NATE-certified HVAC Maintenance technicians put their experience to work for you.

Heater Maintenance Tune Up

Heater Maintenance Tune Up

Benefits of an Annual Heater Maintenance Tune Up

The time to use our heaters is upon us. We’ve had some extreme temperature drops and we are expecting more to follow. The key to keeping your furnace running consistently is an annual tune-up of the electrical and mechanical components. Here’s a quick look at the Heater Maintenance Tune Up tasks we complete during a tune-up and how this benefits your home and family.

What You Can Expect During a Heater Maintenance Tune Up

Your technicians will arrive on time and ask you a few questions. In order to make a thorough inspection and tune-up, they will need access to various parts of the property indoors and outdoors. Prepare for someone to be present for a couple of hours, although the tasks may not take quite that long.

Outdoor Tasks 

  • The technicians will inspect the condenser unit. You may associate the condenser with air conditioning functions, but the same system can be accessed for heat when the weather is moderate. The condenser will be cleaned as needed and the refrigerant gas level checked.
  • Because this unit uses a lot of power, the electrical components will be tested and cleaned.
  • If your furnace uses natural gas or propane, the technician will check the supply lines as they enter the house.

Mechanical Room Tasks

  • The electrical controls, switches, sensors, and capacitors will be cleaned and tested. The furnace is a finely tuned system that requires precise controls; wear and tear can weaken these switches and put stress on the entire system.
  • The blower motor will be cleaned and lubed, and the blower fins will be cleaned as needed.
  • The air filter will be replaced by a new, high-quality filter.
  • For natural gas furnaces, the heat exchanger, supply line, and valve will be checked for leaks, soot, and any corrosion will be cleaned away from the burner units.

Indoor Tasks

  • The thermostat will be inspected tested and calibrated as needed. New batteries will be installed.
  • Supply vents and return air will be inspected to ensure they are not covered.

The Benefits of an Annual Heater Maintenance Tune Up

  • Your system functions more efficiently when the furnace components are cleaned and worn parts are replaced. An efficient system uses less energy, reducing your monthly utility bills.
  • Tune ups result in fewer major repairs. When technicians address minor issues, such as a worn electrical component, they prevent potential stress on other parts of the system and oftentimes the need for major repairs.
  • Annual tune-ups add years to the life of your system. The key is avoiding the catastrophic failure of major components, like the compressor unit. No system lasts forever, but you can delay replacement with regular tune-ups.
  • When your furnace functions well, it responds better to sudden or extreme temperature changes. Your technician can even demonstrate the scheduling function of your programmable thermostat.
  • Airborne particles –dust, pollen, and mold spores— can threaten your family’s health, even if the air quality seems fine. Cleaning the system and changing the air filter regularly ensures good air quality in your home and helps keep your family healthy.

Have questions about Heater Maintenance Tune Up? We can help!

Schedule your free Heater Maintenance Tune Up consultation by calling AllCool AC & Heating at 281-238-9292 or contact us via email.

 

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.

 

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

Choosing the Right HVAC Unit for the Best Indoor Air Quality

Katy Tx Indoor Air Quality

Katy Tx Indoor Air Quality can be improved by choosing the right HVAC unit

Living in the highly industrial and urban environment of the Houston Metro area we often worry about the quality of the air in our homes. According to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), we sometimes focus on outdoor air pollution and neglect our indoor air.

Additional EPA studies found that our indoor air can possess up to five to eight times the air pollutants and Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs) as the air outdoors. A majority of homeowners spend more time inside with poor ventilation which can create major health risks, especially for those with respiratory or cardiac pre-existing conditions.

Common >Katy Tx Indoor Air Quality Concerns

Seasonal allergens such as pollen seem to seep into our homes and pollute our indoor space. That yellow dust that seems to paint Southeast Texas finds its way through windows, doors, and every possible opening it can sneak into. In addition to our open doors and windows, pollen can be drawn into your HVAC system.

Considering factors beyond seasonal allergens, Houston’s industrial complex can add hazardous pollutants to our air. VOCs such as synthetic building and household materials, pesticides, cleaning agents, paint, air fresheners, and cigarette smoke can also reduce our air quality significantly.

Our homes can also harbor pet dander, dust mites, mold, and mildew, all of which can affect your health. This category of indoor air quality pollutant may be the most dangerous since they tend to go unnoticed and build up over the course of time.

No matter the source, each of these pollutants can be extremely dangerous for those who are chronically ill.

How Katy Tx Indoor Air Quality Can Be Improved with Quality HVAC Systems

All residential HVAC systems are equipped with an air filter that removes indoor air pollutants and VOCs. The air passes through the system to remove particles such as dirt, dust, bacteria, viruses, and pet dander. However, not all HVAC system filters are created equally.

We strongly encourage the use of High Energy Particulate Air Filter (HEPA) air filters. HEPA filters remove particles that are smaller than standard HVAC air filters. For a filter to be HEPA-rated it must effectively remove 99.97% of all particles that are 0.3 microns or larger.

Ultraviolet light purification systems can also be added to improve indoor air quality. These systems burn microbes that have entered your HVAC systems. UV-C light systems kill viruses, bacteria and other pathogens to improve indoor air quality.

How to Select the Right HVAC System for the Best Katy Tx Indoor Air Quality

If you are in the market for a new HVAC system, you must select a unit that can efficiently cool and heat your home, while providing the best indoor air quality. The first criteria is often a homeowner’s top priority.

Remember that a unit too small for the space will not adequately cool or heat the living space. If you select a system too large, it may not remove the humidity to the desired comfort level in your home.

For those that require superior indoor air quality, or that are just looking to breathe cleaner air, one of the HEPA Whole Home filter systems, and UV-C light purification systems previously mentioned are strongly recommended.

Purchasing an HVAC system that provides efficient heating and cooling and removes harmful toxins from the air to improve indoor air quality is the best buy for your money.

Need Help Choosing an HVAC System that Betters Katy Tx Indoor Air Quality?

Let us know how we can help you with your Katy Tx Indoor Air Quality HVAC replacement to better your indoor air quality, call AllCool AC & Heating at 281-238-9292 or contact us via email.

Katy Tx Indoor Air Quality

Tips to Have a Mold Free HVAC System in Your Home

How to Have a Mold-Free HVAC System

How to Have a Mold Free HVAC System

If the problem of mold keeps reoccurring, please consult with a mold remediation professional.

Your heating, ventilation, and air conditioning system (HVAC) are designed to heat and cool, freshen, clean, and dehumidify the air in your home for your protection and comfort. When the system ceases to provide one or more of these functions it can lead to a mold infestation.

A serious mold infestation is hard to eradicate and can be very harmful to your family; do not wait—call a professional.

Since it is so serious, let’s consider some ways to make sure mold does not become a problem inside your home. Let’s start with your HVAC system.

Humidity Regulation is the Key to a Mold Free HVAC System

The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission determines the ideal humidity for indoor air is between 30 and 50% humidity; expect between 30-40% in the winter and between 40 and 50% in the summer months.

Mold needs three things to grow: moisture, organic matter (it’s not picky), and a dark place, with little to no sunlight. Keeping the humidity low throughout the house restricts the places mold can grow. The indoor air should not feel “sticky,” even on summer days with high humidity outdoors. Use bathroom exhaust fans when showering. If it does feel “sticky,” call your HVAC professional.

Preventative Maintenance Promotes a Mold Free HVAC System

The second thing mold needs are organic material. Mold can bloom on wall paint, chalk, or wooden doors, but it can also feast on collected dust and dander. Matter of fact, the mold pollen will most likely travel together with dust, just waiting for moisture to activate it.

Make sure that you change air filters regularly, every three months at a minimum. Have an HVAC professional service your unit regularly, annually is recommended. Make sure your ductwork is cleaned as needed.

A preventative maintenance inspection can remove dust and repair components that contribute to water leaks. Prevention is much more effective—and safer than remediation.

Mold Removal

Even with these measures, it is not uncommon to find small quantities of mold. So how can you safely remove it?

  • If the affected area is larger than 9 square feet, the problem is large enough to call a mold remediation professional. Smaller areas can be cleaned with proper preparation and technique.
  • Mold spores can be harmful to your respiratory system; be very aware of the danger. Take the precaution of wearing a mask and gloves before cleaning or scrapping mold away.

Find the right cleaning supplies to keep a Mold Free HVAC System

Mold elimination products are readily available. They generally consist of harsh chemicals, so make sure you wear a mask and have good ventilation for the fumes.

If you are looking for an environmentally friendly cleaning solution, start with soap and water; sometimes that is all that is needed. Another easy remedy is baking soda and water; it kills even black mold and acts as a bleaching agent. Since you are near the mold, always wear a mask.

If you have asthma, allergies, or other breathing issues, it is best for you to stay away and let someone else take care of the problem.

Throw Out Food Items

As mold grows on food, it is reproducing well beyond what you see. Some molds produce a toxin, known as mycotoxins, which will make you very ill. If you see mold on a food item, consider it lost and dispose of it; it is not worth the risk.

Interested in a Mold Free HVAC System? 

Let us know how we can help with your indoor air quality concerns and creating a Mold Free HVAC System, call AllCool AC & Heating at 281-238-9292 or contact us via email.

How to Have a Mold-Free HVAC System

Indoor Air Quality Tips for Immunocompromised People

Indoor Air Quality Tips for Immunocompromised People

Safer Indoor Air for Immunocompromised Families

When this viral pandemic began in 2020, cleaning methods and indoor air quality became hot topics. Hand washing methods, buying runs on cleaning supplies, and questions about wearing masks inside your home were real issues. While things seem to be slowly changing, everyone is more cautious and stays alert to the latest updates.

But many families were dealing with airborne threats from common situations before 2020. When a family member faces severe allergies, suppressed immune systems, or medical treatments, such as radiation or chemotherapy for cancer, making your home a safe environment was a daily challenge.

If you need to keep your home as sterile as possible, here are some helpful tips to consider.

Change Your Cleaning Supplies

Harsh chemicals are not the only solution to keeping a home clean and safe, and they often contribute to poor indoor air quality. Common household items, including vinegar and hydrogen peroxide, can be safe alternative cleansers, without adding harmful aerosols to the indoor air. You might also find it quite satisfying, natural air fresheners, soaps, and lotions will make your home a safer environment.

Is your vacuum cleaner enough?

Vacuum cleaners become necessary tools in homes with health concerns; removing dust, pollen, and dander from soft surfaces is essential. However, vacuum cleaners can contribute to poor air quality if the vacuum filter is not fine enough to trap small particles rather than recirculating them. Do some research and find the right vacuum cleaner, but make sure it has a High-Efficiency Particulate Air (HEPA) filter. A HEPA filter will collect the vast majority of airborne particles before they settle on surfaces again.

Watch out for Mold!

Mold and mildew are common fungi in every part of the world. Airborne microscopic spores, similar to plant seeds, are carried on the wind and they will make their way into your home. A few spores are not a problem. Cleaning surfaces and vacuuming regularly will take care of most spores.

However, spores are looking for wet, warm surfaces and your home has a few of these. If ignored, mold and mildew can rapidly reproduce and this is a problem. A lot of mold or mildew spores will cause breathing issues in humans and pets, whether healthy or compromised.

  • Fix any leaking plumbing fixture immediately.
  • Use bathroom fans to remove excess humidity.
  • Check under sinks and around toilets for puddles or condensation
  • Attics, basements, crawl spaces, and garages should also be inspected
  • Attack mold growth quickly, before it can spread.

Maintain your HVAC system well promotes better indoor air quality

Your HVAC system is working hard to keep your indoor air clean, dry, and safe. Work with the system to maximize the benefits.

Use a quality air filter—HEPA filters are available for HVAC systems as well.

Make sure to change the filters as often as needed—at least every three months.

Schedule a regular preventative maintenance visit with your heating/cooling professional, to ensure the system is clean and functioning properly.

Clean your ductwork as often as needed. They become a reservoir for all kinds of particles when neglected.

Consider an air purifier

If all of your efforts to keep ahead of cleaning seem fruitless, research additional filtration, UV lights, ionic filters, and external air purifiers. Very good HEPA filters are remarkable, but if your situation requires more, pursue your options until you find what works for your family’s needs.

AllCool has the professional experience to answer questions, make suggestions and point you to the right product(s).

Do You Have an Immunocompromised Family Member Who Needs Proper Indoor Air Quality?

Let us know how we can help with your indoor air quality concerns, call AllCool AC & Heating at 281-238-9292 or contact us via email.

Indoor Air Quality Tips for Immunocompromised People