Tips For Improving Natural Ventilation in Your Home

A Woman stays warm and enjoys a cup of cocoa in her cozy house

Good Airflow and Better Indoor Air Quality

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.

How to Care For Your Residential HVAC System

Heating and Air ConditioningWhile 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.

American Standard Heat Pump

American Standard Heat Pump

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.

Replacing Equipment

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.

Annual Inspections

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.

Why Proper Home Ventilation is so Important

skagit_anacortes_mount_vernon_burlington_wa_hvac_heating_air_condition

An American Standard Heat Pump

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.

Fuel-Burning Appliances

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.

Wood-Burning Stoves

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.

Honeywell 4 Filter

Honeywell 4 Filter

Cutting In The Honeywell 4 Filter

Sometimes I really feel the need to pat myself on the back for doing this blog, meaning I have no real writing talent, I struggle to get my words out to my fingers. But I do feel a sense of accomplishment when I post my tidbits of information and a customer mentions my blog, so here we go.

 

Best Bang For The Buck

I truly feel a Honeywell 4" pleated filter bank is the the best bang for you buck in filtration. Lets face it...we all hate changing filters and this filter setup allows you to go 6 months to a full year without changing filters and have a quality filtering system that is easy to change.

 
Fitting In The Honeywell Filter

To the side you see the Honeywell Filter Bank with the 4" pleated filter next to it. You can see where I took 2 pieces of ducting that I made, both with 1" flange folded inward creating a 6.5" gap in the ducting. The Honeywell filter bank will slide into this space and get screwed internally into the 1" flange. The filter bank MUST be at least 7" above the furnace for clearance on venting.

As you can see in the picture of the filter bank installed. It slides into the gap, screwed and then sealed. Quick and easy if done at the same time of the furnace installation.

Honeywell 4 Filter
Honeywell 4 Filter
Honeywell 4 Filter Installed

American Standard Furnace

American Standard Furnace 80%

Like for like 80%

Here we have an American Standard Furnace 80% that was replaced with a new American Standard Furnace 80%. What we call "like for like". It is by far one of the easiest types of replacements, especially if its located in the garage.

Older Trane Furnace

Older Trane Furnace

Now in my opinion this furnace should have lasted a lot longer. One issue that caused a short life was a poorly sized filter system, a small filter gets clogged way to fast making it difficult for the owner to keep up with and then eventually causing high limit failures(over heating). Also if the furnace had been vented with double wall pipe instead of galvanized single wall pipe, there would have been less internally corrosion (white dust) that clogs up pressure ports and causes excessive wear on the inducer. We find this a lot in very cold garages.

Like for like 80% cont.

Here you see the new American Standard furnace and a Bradford White hot water tank installed. The new equipment is vented with type B double wall venting that will eliminate internal corrosion. We also added a Honeywell filter system.

New American Standard furnace 80% and Bradford White 50 gal

New American Standard furnace 80% and Bradford White 50 gal

And as you can see the Honeywell F100 4" fits perfectly on top and usually provides annual protection but I do recommend checking every 6 months.

Need a Heat Pump, Air Conditioner, Furnace, Boiler or Tankless Water Heater? We install them all over Skagit county including Mount Vernon WA, Burlington WA, Anacortes, Sedro Woolley, La Conner, Stanwood WA, and on Camano Is.

Lennox To American Standard

Old Lennox Electric Furnace

Lennox To American Standard

My customer was having some very expensive electric furnace bills and wanted something much more efficient and reliable. The American Standard brand has been number 1 if not number 2 for at least the past 5 years in consumer reports for furnaces, Heat Pumps and Air Conditioners. I am very fortunate to be an American Standard Dealer.

As you can see the new American Standard furnace adapted very well in to the space with very little transition work. We also added a New Honeywell 4" pleated air filter system.

Need a Heat Pump, Air Conditioner, Furnace, Boiler, Ductless, Mini-Split or Tankless Water Heater? We install them all over Skagit county including Mount Vernon WA, Burlington WA, Anacortes, Sedro Woolley, La Conner, Stanwood WA, and on Camano Is.

Lennox To American Standard 95

Rheem 90 to American Standard

A Rheem 90 to American Standard

My customer was done with her Rheem imperial 90% gas furnace , the age and condition of the furnace simply did not justify the amount of money she was about to put in to it for repairs.

Another Rheem 90 to American Standard

Rheem 90 to American Standard

Like I have said in many past posts “I love replacing Rheem furnaces” and here is another opportunity to do just that.

Single Stage American Standard 95% gas furnace

Single Stage American Standard 95% gas furnace

The new American Standard 95% single stage gas furnace has the exact same foot print as the Rheem furnace, but is a little shorter. All that was needed was a simple transition to adapt to the existing return ducting and it slipped right in to place. Because the existing Rheem furnace was an high efficient model we where able to reuse the existing PVC venting and condensate line.

We also converted the Honeywell electronic air cleaner to a 4″ pleated air filter bank so she did not have to worry about washing her cells every 3 months.

Heating And Cooling Skagit County

Need a Heat Pump, Air Conditioner, Furnace, Boiler, Ductless, Mini-Split or Tankless Water Heater? We install them all over Skagit county including Mount Vernon WA, Burlington WA, Anacortes, Sedro Woolley, La Conner, Stanwood WA, and on Camano Is.