Natural ventilation plays an important role in helping to keep your home fresh, healthy and clean. Simply stated, natural ventilation is created when fresh outdoor air is allowed to enter living spaces and flow freely. Natural ventilation does not require an air-conditioning unit or fans. Sometimes referred to as passive cooling, this kind of ventilation is completely free and highly effective in keeping any home looking and smelling fresh. Here are a few easy ways to improve natural ventilation in your existing home or even if you plan on building a new home.
Improved Air Movement
For example, choosing furnishings that are made of breathable materials such as wicker or bamboo can help to encourage improved air movement throughout your home. The very nature of this type of furniture allows for good airflow thanks to minimal heat retention and an overall airy construction. While this kind of furniture is frequently used outdoors it can easily be used indoors to create a unique and inviting look while improving overall interior airflow.
Improve Indoors Air Quality
Equally important is to get into the habit of opening windows frequently especially when the weather is nice. Opening windows is a great way to save energy used by electric fans and other types of air conditioning or cooling systems in your home. Keep in mind the fresh airflow can actually substantially improve indoor air quality. Those building a new home will find that proper window orientation can easily improve cross ventilation. This can be as simple as placing windows on north or south facing sides of the home. Smart design when building a home can greatly increase good airflow in all interior spaces.
Design of the Structure
Another great way of improving airflow when considering the design of a new home is to include transitional spaces throughout the design of the structure. This can include adding atriums, courts, balconies, patios and other types of open outdoor spaces that will help to encourage outdoor living and better airflow. Keep in mind that the advantages of maximizing natural ventilation cannot be overstated. Improved indoor air quality, reduced energy usage and a better overall indoor living experience are just some of the benefits of getting it right when it comes to natural ventilation in your residential home. Contact Alpine Heating and Cooling today for the best in Burlington WA HVAC services that get results.
While nothing compares to having your HVAC system maintained by a professional HVAC technician, there are some things, you, the homeowner can do between check-ups to keep your system running at peak performance. Best of all, regular HVAC care and maintenance will improve efficiency and even lower energy costs. One example of a great way to keep your system running at its best is to change filters frequently. Remember that a dirty filter will restrict airflow causing a system to work harder.
Check Refrigerant Lines
A clogged filter will also have a direct impact on indoor air quality. Plan to change the filter on your HVAC system every 90 days to gain maximum benefit. At the very least it is a good idea to check filter condition on a monthly basis and change as necessary. Equally important is to check refrigerant lines that run into your home. Look for frost accumulation and any possible leaks. If a leak is detected it is important to call in a qualified Burlington WA HVAC technician as soon as possible.
Keep the Entire Interior of Your Home Clean
Cleaning a system often is also a great way to improve efficiency and to extend the life of that system. In fact, one of the best ways to keep a residential HVAC system in top condition is to simply keep the entire interior of your home clean. A clean home that is free of dust and dirt will result in a cleaner HVAC system. Clean floors and curtains often and especially vents and heat registers. The air handling unit and the outdoor compressor unit should also be the targets of regular and frequent cleaning.
Quick Fix When Dealing with Mold
Finally, mold is a serious issue and must be addressed as soon as discovered. Keep in mind that a mold problem that goes unmanaged can quickly become a major issue for homeowners. Mold spores can spread very quickly and can be transported via airflow through the HVAC system. If you suspect mold in your home have a professional diagnose the problem and take corrective action as soon as possible. A quick fix when dealing with mold is to use household bleach to stop growth until a professional is able to deal with the problem. Contact Alpine Heating & Cooling today for the best in Bellingham HVAC services.
Saving money is more important today than it has ever been in the past. This is especially true when it comes to improving the efficiency of an existing home heating or cooling system. First it is important to understand that most heating and cooling systems are not created the same. Different systems will produce different results and can have varying levels of efficiency. Simply stated, always make a smart decision when installing an HVAC system in your home as a way to keep utility bills as low as possible without sacrificing comfort.
Heating and Cooling Costs
It is important to note that in most typical residential homes, heating and cooling costs can account for almost half of a total monthly energy bill. Those with units that are older than 10 years old should consider replacing them with an Energy Star compliant system. This simple money saving strategy alone can save a homeowner upwards of 30% or more on annual heating and cooling costs. For the absolute best in seasonal energy efficiency, few other types of HVAC systems can compare ones that are fully Energy Star compliant.
When it comes to replacing a central heating or cooling system here are a few other useful money saving tips worth considering. For example, anytime equipment requires frequent and costly repairs or energy bills are steadily on the rise it may be time to replace your existing system. In addition, when replacing equipment always select energy-efficient systems that meet smart energy saver standard programs or that offer rebate programs or other standard rebates. Many homeowners are surprised to find that this can help offset the cost of replacing an entire HVAC system. While high-efficiency systems can be more expensive initially, the cost will almost always be offset and paid back over time in the form of lower annual energy costs.
Finally, regular maintenance can be extremely helpful in preventing future heating and cooling system related problems. Work with an experienced and knowledgeable team of professional HVAC technicians to ensure that your system is properly maintained year-round. Having annual inspections of your system and occasional cleanings can ensure that it lasts longer and performs better. Springtime is the perfect time to check your heating system for possible failure. Contact Alpine Heating And Cooling today to learn more about Mount Vernon Washington heating and cooling services that get results.
Today more than ever before it is important to take the necessary steps to make sure that your household furnace is always operating at peak levels. Here are a few useful tips on keeping your home furnace working perfectly year-round. For example, it is important to make safety a top priority when working on a furnace. Turn off the power to the unit at the main electrical panel before beginning any type of inspection if you plan to do this kind of maintenance on your own.
Furnace Fan Motor Working Harder Than Necessary
In addition, it is a good idea to get into the habit of replacing the batteries in carbon monoxide detectors and smoke detectors at regular intervals. Also make certain that clean air filters are routinely installed in the system. In fact, changing filters twice annually or even more often for those who live in environments that are dusty is a good policy. A dirty air filter will typically result in a furnace fan motor working harder than is necessary.
Duct Cleaning Company
Another way to keep a furnace working at its best at all times is to plan to have a professional ventilation cleaning company service ductwork at least every two years. Homes that have been recently remodeled are particularly susceptible to dust and debris accumulating in ductwork. A duct cleaning company should be called upon anytime renovation or remodeling work has been performed. Ventilation cleaning also helps to reduce the chances of mold growth in ducting. Preventing mold growth is especially important in homes where there are elderly or those who have allergy related problems. Another great way to keep an HVAC system operating at its best is to frequently check all vents and registers for any possible obstructions.
Normal Airflow And System Operation
Anytime a register or vent is blocked, air movement is hindered thereby causing a disruption in normal airflow and system operation. Finally, keeping a furnace running in a healthy way requires an occasional deep cleaning. This can be done by taking off the furnace access panels and using a vacuum to remove debris and dust that may have accumulated or settled over time inside the unit. Contact Alpine Heating and Cooling today to learn more about Burlington Washington HVAC services that are designed to keep your system running perfectly year after year.
Remove Odors and Pollutants
Perhaps one of the most important concerns when it comes to indoor air and health is to ensure proper ventilation in any typical residential home. Good ventilation helps to remove odors and pollutants and prevents air from becoming too stagnant. Not only will good indoor home ventilation improve health but it also serves to protect your home interior over the short and long-term. One major issue in terms of properly ventilating a home or business is that of condensation. When moist warm air makes contact with cold surfaces inside a structure condensation can occur.
Unhealthy Living Environment
Condensation can be seen forming on ceilings, walls and glass and can also accumulate in curtains and carpeting. Perhaps most concerning of all when talking about condensation is that over time it will result in the formation of mold and mildew. This can turn a healthy home into an unhealthy living environment very quickly. Keep in mind that properly insulating a home along with good ventilation will greatly reduce the chances of developing mold and mildew. One of the most alarming aspects of mold and mildew is that it may result in black mold. This can have serious health consequences.
Ventilation can take on many different forms including static ventilation as well as the installation of a fan or multiple fans for more active air movement. Ventilation that is static in nature simply involves adding interior grills or other types of fixed openings used to allow for constant airflow and air evacuation. For example, clothing dryers require some type of static ventilation. Talk with your HVAC professional to determine how best to take advantage of static ventilation in your home. This type of ventilation is particularly important in homes where there are fuel-burning appliances.
Installing a fan really is a great way to remove stale air and replace it with fresh air in a house. As mentioned, fan installation and air movement is particularly important in homes using fuel-burning appliances or wood-burning stoves. This is simply due to the fact that carbon monoxide exposure can become a problem. Finally, exhaust fans are frequently used to ventilate homes and especially kitchens and bathrooms. This type of fan is usually ducted to the outside of the house as a way to evacuate stale or stagnant air. To have an exhaust fan installed in your home consult with your Burlington WA HVAC expert to learn more. Content Alpine Heating and Cooling today for quality Mount Vernon WA HVAC services.
Even with the summer coming to a close in Skagit County, it is never too late to save money on energy through better HVAC operation. Here are a few simple yet important tips that will save you money on your utility bill without the need to sacrifice comfort. For example, one of the easiest ways to enjoy greater levels of efficiency with your HVAC system is to replace an old outdated air conditioning unit with a newer more efficient model.
Eventually Pay For Itself in Energy-Savings
This is especially true if an older unit has not been maintained in the right way. Consider investing in a new model that will greatly improve efficiency and lower energy bills each month. While initial replacement costs may deter your desire to upgrade to a newer system, in the long run the unit will eventually pay for itself through real energy-savings. When considering a new air conditioning unit only choose one that has the Energy Star label. An Energy Star HVAC unit consumes up to 50% less energy than a unit that is not Energy Star compliant.
Skagit County HVAC Services
Equally important is to change AC or furnace filters frequently. Getting into the habit of changing air filters on a monthly basis can ultimately result in more efficient operation and better system performance overall. Air filters that are dirty or clogged can result in a disruption of airflow and even lead to health related problems. Most importantly, dirty air filters force an HVAC system to work harder. This ultimately can result in a unit wearing out much sooner than would otherwise be the case. Another great way of saving energy is to invest in a programmable thermostat.
Today’s Latest Digital Programmable Thermostats
A thermostat that is fully programmable allows you to more effectively control your HVAC system even when not at home. This type of thermostat can be programmed to fit your schedule and improves efficiency ultimately saving money on energy bills. Exact temperatures can be set while targeting specific rooms for temperature control is even possible when using today’s latest digital programmable thermostats. Finally, have your unit inspected annually by a trained professional as a way to detect problems before they become more costly. Contact Alpine Heating and Cooling today to learn more about Burlington Washington HVAC system maintenance and system care services.
Allergens typically cause serious health problems for millions of people each year and frequently result in seasonal allergy conditions. For example, airborne particles such as dust mites and pet dander as well as mold and other particulates can make it difficult to breathe and may result in sneezing and coughing as well as a runny nose and red eyes. The good news is that there are ways to address the issue of allergens in a residential HVAC system.
Using The Right Type of HVAC System Filter
Here are a few ways to properly care for an HVAC system in order to remove allergens and keep air clean and healthy. For example, using the right type of HVAC system filter can make a big difference. In fact, the right type of furnace or AC filter is one of the first lines of defense against poor air quality in most residential homes. When selecting a filter choose one that has at least a MERV 8 rating. This type of filter will in essence be more effective at trapping microscopic particles.
When choosing the right type of filter is combined with the frequent replacement of filters, the end result is cleaner air and better health. Equally important is to remove any debris near the outdoor portion of your HVAC unit. A typical AC system draws air from the outside the home. This air is eventually circulated throughout the home’s interior. As such it is important to keep this area outside clean and free of debris. Regularly inspecting an outdoor unit for surrounding debris can greatly improve efficiency and even lower energy costs. Finally, keeping air-conditioning registers clean is another great way to reduce allergens in your home.
Particulates That Circulate Throughout Your Living Environment
When dusting your home it is important to consider first dusting the returns and registers of your HVAC system. Follow this by dusting the rest of the home as a way to reduce the amount of airborne particulates that circulate throughout the living environment. One of the best ways to dust a home is to make use of the damp rag. This helps to reduce the amount of dust and even dust mites that could be sent airborne by using a dry dust cloth. Contact Alpine Heating and Cooling today for the best in Mount Vernon Washington HVAC system services and care.
Summertime in the Skagit Valley
Life doesn’t get much better than this. There is so much to do here in the summer, like the Skagit County Fair in August. The temperatures and humidity are usually in the comfort range. For the times they aren’t, many of us have air conditioning to turn to. With so much to do in the summer, and no cold days or nights, it’s easy to forget about furnace maintenance. Remember, though, the fall and winter will come…
At the time of this writing, late July, it’s as hot as it gets here in the Skagit Valley of Western Washington state. Those of us with air conditioning are probably enjoying it for at least a couple hours most days. If you haven’t had an HVAC professional out since last fall, this is a good time. One service visit can cover both air conditioning and heating maintenance. Therefore, a summer furnace maintenance from Alpine Heating and Cooling can stretch your HVAC maintenance dollar.
While it may seem silly to have your furnace maintenance done in the summer, there are several compelling reasons. While we’re there, we can make sure your AC is running at top efficiency, saving you money all summer, and Alpine also has the most flexible scheduling right now.
Don’t wait to schedule furnace maintenance until everyone cranks up their heating system at once in the fall. You might find yourself in a long waiting line to get a technician out to your house.
What Does a Summer Furnace Maintenance Include?
For a comprehensive, point-by-point list of what we do when we perform a furnace maintenance, please refer to our Annual Service page. For a more general overview, please read on. When it’s running smoothly, it might seem like there’s not much going on in your heating system; However, today’s carefully engineered HVAC systems allow numerous adjustments that can improve efficiency, function, and safety. Filters, safety equipment, feedback systems, and more can all be checked and brought into spec.
Visual Inspection of the HVAC System
First, we’ll check over the unit for broken, missing, or incorrect parts, substandard installation, obvious leaks, and code and safety issues. It is astonishing, the number of HVAC systems we see that include massive efficiency and safety problems (often easy to resolve) resulting from poor quality installations. Consequently, we always recommend checking the basics first.
Clean the HVAC Unit and Change the Filter(s)
Moving from winter into summer is an important time to check the cleanliness of your HVAC unit. After a long winter of closed windows, elevated indoor humidity, and poor ventilation and indoor air quality, your system’s controls, filter(s), and ducting can be layered with dust and debris. Dust buildup on electronic components can cause overheating and premature failure. Plugged filters overwork fans and significantly reduce air movement while providing a breeding ground for bacteria and mold.
Depending on your filter’s MERV rating, filters should be changed not less than every six months. A clean furnace filter is inexpensive insurance against poor performance, premature failure, and poor air quality in your home.
Checking the safety and integrity of the electrical supply to and throughout your HVAC unit is important. If the supply is inadequate or if safety cutoff equipment, like breakers and fuses, is missing or improperly sized, damage to your HVAC system or even catastrophic failure resulting in fire is possible. Rather than wonder, it’s best to know.
Summer Is a Great Time to Upgrade Your Furnace
If you’ve been considering upgrading to a more efficient unit, summertime is ideal. The leaps in efficiency and reliability in recent years are incredible. You won’t have to shiver through even one cold night without heat, and you avoid the inconvenience and expense of a system failure in winter.
If your system is old and inefficient, call for a free estimate to replace it. We can even estimate the payback time based on the fuel savings you’re going to enjoy.
DIY or Call a Professional?
As homeowners, it’s important to many of us to maintain a level of self-reliance. Changing the filter in your HVAC system or installing a carbon monoxide detector are good for homeowners. Turning off the pilot light in your furnace for the summer is useful and safe. We all need to know our limits, so when one of Alpine’s service trucks needs maintenance, we’re not pulling out the furnace tools to give it a shot. So, we head to a professional mechanic!
Not everyone is or even can be an expert on how to maintain their HVAC system. If you are unsure if your system is in good condition or you aren’t trained, call a professional. Alpine Heating and Cooling is fully licensed, insured, and bonded. We have years of experience to keep your HVAC system running right, and we want customers for life. We will work hard to earn your trust.
Call Alpine Heating and Cooling in Burlington, Washington at 360-755-5146 360-293-6210 for a free consultation over the phone or to schedule a furnace maintenance, HVAC repair, or upgrade. We can’t wait to help you!