Shippensburg Indoor Air Quality Guide: How Electronic Air Filter Works

For a long time, the most frequently used kind of air filter in Shippensburg has been the mechanical variety. This is the kind you probably think of when you hear the terms air filter, air cleaner or air purifier. They use pleated fibrous filters in-line with an air handler to trap particles in the air before circulating it back out into the home.

Many models of these work very well and have for many years. They have the added benefit of being flexible because you can put in whatever filter you need depending on what size particles you need to trap.

However, these traditional devices are not the only option. A second kind of air filter exists for trapping particles in the air– one that does not use a fibrous filter that physically snags them out of the air on the way through.

These electrostatic — or electronic — air filters work in a different way to produce a similar result. The filtering component is still a fibrous sheet, but the difference is that the fibers are made of plastic, which becomes charged when air passes through it and causes friction.

(Think something like when you rub a balloon and stick it to the wall.)

These friction-charged fibers carry an electronic charge, which attracts the ions in the air around it. These ions — and the particles that they are a part of — get trapped in the fibers and stay out of your air supply.

Electronic air filters are generally very good at trapping particles that are 1 micron in size or higher, putting them about on par with a mechanical air filter that carries a MERV rating of 12. The electrostatic method works well for many common household air pollutants, such as dust, pollen, mold and pet dander.

As with many ventilation-related decisions, the choice of what kind of air filter is right for you depends on your needs and those of your family. If you are having trouble deciding, then a consultation with Shippensburg plumbing, heating and air conditioning contractor Larry & Sons is  can be a good way to reach a decision.

Blue Ridge Summit Heating Replacement: What You Should Consider Before Upgrading Your System

Many Blue Ridge Summit homeowners who heat their homes with an older heating system—whether it’s a furnace or a heat pump—may want to consider upgrading to a more efficient system. Older furnaces with an AFUE rating of less than 80%, for instance, could be costing you a lot more than you realize in heating bills.

While it is a significant initial investment, upgrading to a more efficient furnace or heat pump will pay for itself in energy savings. Before you decide on whether or not an upgrade is right for your Blue Ridge Summit home, here are some things to keep in mind.

Fuel Costs

Some types of fuel, such as electricity, are more expensive in certain areas. Depending on where you live, you may want to compare the cost of fuel before choosing a heating upgrade. In fact, natural gas may or may not be available to your home. Check with your utility company to find out what types of fuel are available and which ones would be more cost-efficient for heating your home. You can always call a qualified HVAC technician if you have any questions about a heating system upgrade.

Insulation

Whenever you are thinking about upgrading your heating system, you’ll want to make sure your home is properly insulated and sealed. If you purchase and install a highly efficient furnace, it won’t save as much in energy bills if your house is poorly insulated. Get a home energy audit with a local energy resource organization if you aren’t sure. You might want to also consider upgrading your old windows and doors, or installing storm doors and windows to improve air tightness.

Property Value

A lot of homeowners forget that any upgrade or remodeling project will increase the value of their home. Not only will a heating system upgrade lower your heating bills; it will also add value to your home and property. Always make sure you choose the right system for your home so that it lasts as long as possible.

If you are considering upgrading the heating system call Larry & Sons to speak with one of our in your Blue Ridge Summit heating repair experts to ask about our quality products and installation services.

Waynecastle Plumber’s Guide: Emergency Plumbing Tips

When you have a plumbing emergency in your Waynecastle home, the last thing you want to do is make the problem worse, but if you don’t act fast, that’s exactly what might happen. To help you take the right actions and avoid the wrong ones, here are some quick tips for how to handle a plumbing emergency.

  • Shutting Off the Water – If a pipe bursts or you have standing water somewhere, the very first step you take is to shut off the water. Cleanup is pointless if more water pours in. So, we need to stop the flow. Usually, this water valve is located outside, but it can be found under an access panel or in the basement in some cases.
  • Flooding Toilet – Watching the water slowly rise in a toilet, dangerously close to the rim, can be scary. But, there are tricks to slow or stop the flow until the plumber arrives. The first is to turn on your sink faucet to slow down the water flow to the toilet. If you can reach it, turn off the cold water supply to your toilet as well. As soon as the tank is empty, no new water will enter.
  • Turning Off an Appliance – Sometimes the problem isn’t a house-wide problem but a specific appliance overflowing. If your washing machine or dishwasher is about to overflow, turn off the supply valve immediately. It could be several gallons of water per minute if you don’t.
  • When Electricity is Involved – If your basement floods, don’t go down there until you can be sure there is no electricity flowing into the water. That much water with live electricity is incredibly dangerous. If you can’t be sure, get a plumber out there fast.
  • Gas Leaks – Sometimes, a plumbing problem is really a gas problem. If this is the case, don’t try to fix it yourself. Get everyone out of the house and call the gas company immediately.
  • Hot Water Leakage – If you notice that hot water is leaking somewhere in your home, turn off the main water supply and then turn off the hot water heater’s energy source. There should be an emergency shutoff valve on the hot water heater for gas and a switch on the device if it is electric.

In each of these cases, the very next step you take should be to call a Waynecastle professional, but if you act fast you can hopefully mitigate the damage.

How Do You Measure Your Air Cleaner’s Performance? A Question from Waynecastle

Your air cleaner is designed to keep your family comfortable and healthy in your Waynecastle home, regardless of what contaminants make their way inside. This is important because homes these days are sealed up tightly to minimize the loss of heating or cooling, but as a result they have poor ventilation and frequently they will suffer a buildup of excess contaminants like mold, dust, pollen and dander.

To ensure you get the best possible air cleaner for your home, there are a number of measurements available to help you in the purchasing process. Let’s take a look at a couple of those measurements and what they mean.

MERV

MERV ratings are used to measure the ability of a filter to remove dust from the air that passes through it. The higher the MERV rating, the better the filter works at removing particles. The MERV rating scale goes from 1-16 with 16 being the best possible rating you can obtain from a residential (non-HEPA) grade filter. Usually, they are designed to measure things like dander, dust, smog, wood smoke, spores, bacteria and mold.

When choosing an air cleaner, it is recommended that you look for a MERV rating of at least 8, which is good enough to remove almost all common household contaminants. Higher MERV ratings (17 and up) are found in HEPA filters which are considered among the best on the market, able to remove particles as small as 0.3 microns.

CADR

This rating stands for Clean Air Delivery Rate and is a measurement of how efficiently the air cleaner delivers clean air for tobacco smoke, pollen and dust (the common measurements given for each device). This is not a measurement of the efficiency of the device, so much as the speed of it the device. So, the higher the CADR measurement for all three contaminants, the faster those particles are removed from the indoor air.

The best way to choose a device to match your needs is to look for a CADR rating of at least 2/3 of the size of the room you are cleaning. So, if you are cleaning the air of a 150 square foot bedroom, you should get a device with a CADR rating of at least 100.

When choosing a good air cleaner for your home, make sure you do your research and choose on the best possible option for the space you need to clean. MERV and CADR allow you to do this.

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