Maintaining Good Indoor Air Quality During the Winter

Summer days when you could open your windows and enjoy a fresh breeze are long gone, and spring is still a couple months away. As a result, you and your family are breathing more indoor air than in months past. Unfortunately, having your house closed up all winter long could be keeping contaminants trapped indoors. The good news? There are several things you can do to improve the quality of the air inside your home. Check out these tips for maintaining good indoor air quality during the winter.

Keep Your Vents and Registers Cleanindoor air quality

Vents and registers inevitably get dusty. When that happens, the dust is circulated throughout your home every time the system kicks on. Clean them with a want attachment for your vacuum or even a flexible duster regularly to cut down on the amount of dust being circulated throughout your home.

Replace Filters Regularly

It’s always important to replace HVAC filters regularly, but it becomes even more important during the winter months. Your family and pets are spending more time indoors, so there is more hair and other debris in the air. This causes filters to fill up faster and need replaced more frequently.

Clean Ceiling Fan Blades

If your ceiling fan blades are coated in a layer of dust, they’re circulating that dust throughout your home every time you switch the fan on.

Add an Air Filtration System

Air filtration systems are a great way to improve indoor air quality year-round. There are several different types and models on the market, making it possible to find one that’s perfectly suited to virtually any budget. Air filtration systems are especially beneficial for pet owners.

Schedule a Professional Duct Cleaning

Over the years, dust and allergens can build up inside your ductwork. When this happens, it is constantly circulated through your home every time you use your HVAC system. Dirty ductwork also forces the system to work harder and could cause premature failure. Help your family breathe easy and take care of your HVAC system by having your ducts cleaned professionally.

At Larry & Sons, we can help you take care of your HVAC system and reduce dust and other allergens in your home. Contact us today to learn more.

5 Spring and Summer HVAC Tips for Homeowners

You might not give it much thought, but you depend on your HVAC system for a lot. You rely on it to remove contaminants from the air your family breathes and keep your comfortable throughout the year. Even the best HVAC system needs some TLC from time to time.

Check out these spring and summer HVAC tips to learn how to keep your system in excellent condition over the next few months.

Clean or Replace the Filter

Keeping up with cleaning or replacing filters is one of the most important steps when taking care of your HVAC system. We recommend performing filter maintenance in the spring and fall, or according to the manufacturer’s specifications. In addition to allowing airborne contaminants to circulate throughout your home, a dirty filter could force your system to work harder, resulting in higher bills and even system failure.

spring and summer hvac tips
Air conditioner flickr photo by Open Grid Scheduler / Grid Engine shared into the public domain using Creative Commons Public Domain Dedication (CC0)

Give Your AC Some Breathing Room

Whether you’ve already fired your AC up for the season or you’re getting ready to for the first time this year, make sure it has some room to breathe. The outdoor unit needs to have at least 1’ of clearance on all sides. Get rid of dirt, leaves and other debris, and trim any bushes that are touching the unit.

Examine Your Ducts

Leaky ducts add up to serious heating and cooling loss. This drives up your bills and forces your system to work harder to keep your home cool during the summer and warm during the winter. Check for holes and gaps periodically, and repair any you find right away.

Keep the Vents Open

Closing a few vents in rooms you don’t use often might seem like a good way to lower your energy costs, but it actually could drive them even higher. When some vents are closed, the system is forced to work harder to achieve the correct temperature inside your home.

Schedule Professional Maintenance

Having your HVAC system professionally maintained is, by far, the absolute best way to save money and avoid breakdowns. At Larry & Sons, we recommend having us service your system annually. When you call us, we will clean or replace filters, clean and inspect motors and blowers, test safety controls, inspect your ducts for leaks and much more.

At Larry & Sons, we are here to help with all of your HVAC maintenance needs in Hagerstown and the surrounding areas. If you have any questions about these HVAC tips or need help taking care of your HVAC system this spring or summer, please call 301-733-5428.

Pre-Season Furnace Inspection

Inspect and Maintain your heater before winter startsWhen you’ve used it, your HVAC unit has worked splendidly this year, but, even though it uses the same thermostat, your furnace is a different system and should be treated differently.  The end of September marks the closing of summer and the beginning of winter, which means it’s time to schedule a pre-season maintenance for your heating system, before you start it for the first time.  Regular maintenance and a pre-start inspection with cleaning are essential to the health of your heating unit.  Every year that you start up the system without conducting an inspection and basic maintenance is a slightly higher chance that your heating system will fail, leading to expensive repairs.  While we recommend getting a professional inspection every fall, there are a few things you can do on your own first. Continue reading “Pre-Season Furnace Inspection”

Which Air Conditioning System Is Best for You?

Having to choose a new air conditioning system for your home can be a stressful and confusing time. With all the various types of units on the market, the possibilities may seem overwhelming. Depending on your situation, you might even be under a time constraint and have to choose a new system soon.

different air conditioning systems

 

4 types of air conditioners available to you:

Central Air Conditioning:

This is the most common type of cooling system as it is the most preferable for larger homes. Central air conditioners circulate cool air through supply and return ducts. Supply ducts and registers, which are in the wall or floors, carry cooled air into the home. Then, once the air becomes warm it circulates back into the supply ducts and registers where it will then be transported back to the air conditioner.

Installing a central air conditioning system requires a lot of planning and preparation as sizing is crucial to the functionality of the system. If you install a system that is of the wrong size, even if it’s energy efficient, you’ll find that your utility costs are more than they should be.

Ductless, Mini-Split Air Conditioner:

Ductless, mini-split systems are most common in parts of the home that have been retro-fitted. Like central air conditioning systems, these systems have an outdoor compressor/condenser and an indoor handling unit.

If you’re looking to cool individual rooms your house, this system might be just for you. Many ductless, mini-split systems can have as many as four indoor handling units, which are all connected to the outdoor unit.

Each zone has its own thermostat, allowing you to adjust the temperature for each room accordingly. This is especially advantageous if you’re wanting to cool only a particular part of the house that is being used.

Window Air Conditioner:

Think of a window air conditioner as a compact unit that cools only one particular room. Also known as a “unitary unit,” this system is installed in the window of a room.

Window units cool a room be emitting the warm air out the back of it and blowing cool air into it. These types of units are best for those who live in small spaces. It would not be ideal for a larger home as you will discover that it doesn’t cool efficiently in that kind of environment.

Portable Air Conditioner:

Portable air conditioners are considered as the next generator of window units. This type of air conditioning unit takes in air from the room and cools it, then directs it back into the room. The unit then vents any warm air outside by means of an exhaust hose that is installed in a window.

Like window air conditioning units, portable air conditioners are designed to cool only one room. They’re easy to install, versatile, and an affordable option. You’ll find that the portability of your air conditioner makes staying cooling on a hot summer day that much easier.

 

For a more in-depth look into the different types of air conditioning systems, check out the U.S. Department of Energy’s infographic.

HVAC air conditioning systems

 

Watch this video for a recap of the different air conditioning systems available to you:


Count on Larry & Sons as your  number one source for all things HVAC and Plumbing related. We can educate you on all the different types of systems and help you choose the one that is best for you and your budget. We will then provide you with upfront pricing and ensure proper sizing and code compliance so that you know exactly what we are doing and for how much, before the work even begins.

For more information, visit us online or give us a call at 301-733-5428.

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