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Improving Your Air Quality With Regular HVAC Maintenance

TL;DR: Indoor air quality is often overlooked but crucial for health. With most Californians exposed to harmful pollutants, maintaining HVAC systems is essential. Regular tasks like changing filters and cleaning ducts are vital for better air quality. Recognizing signs of poor air, like allergies or excessive dust, prompts action. Additional steps like using air purifiers and incorporating plants can help. Seeking professional help from HVAC experts like Elevated Comfort ensures thorough maintenance. Their “Grandma Mac Club” offers complimentary services twice a year, prioritizing consistent upkeep for healthier indoor environments.

You might not always think about the air you breathe inside your home or office, but it can affect your health without you realizing it. Results from recent air monitoring show that over 90% of Californians are exposed to harmful air pollutants, so air quality surely deserves our attention.

One way to ensure what you’re breathing in is safe is to prioritize indoor air quality through HVAC maintenance. Your HVAC system can do more than just keep you warm or cool. It can filter out pollutants and circulate fresh air in your home. Investing a little time and money into keeping your HVAC in top condition can significantly improve the air quality in your living or working space.

This article will give you information on how regular HVAC maintenance can be a game-changer for indoor air quality and discuss the tools you need to create a healthier environment.

Signs Your Place Has Poor Air Quality

Just because the air outside isn’t the best quality doesn’t mean the same must be true for the air in your house. You have to recognize a few signs that indicate the air quality in your home isn’t up to par, so you know it’s time to improve it.

  • Health Symptoms. If you or your family members are experiencing increased allergies, respiratory problems, headaches, or dizziness, it might be time to assess your air quality. These symptoms can be especially telling if they improve once you leave the house. 
  • Dust. A noticeable amount of dust, even after regular cleaning, suggests that your air filters are clogged or that your HVAC system isn’t effectively removing particles from the air.
  • Unpleasant Odors. Smells that linger can also be a sign of poor ventilation or the presence of contaminants. 

 

How the HVAC System Affects Air Quality

Your HVAC system does more than keep your home at a cozy temperature. It can also maintain the quality of the air you breathe. It does that by constantly moving the air around, controlling the moisture, and filtering out harmful particles.

  • Good air circulation ensures that air doesn’t become stagnant. The HVAC system pushes the air throughout your house, ensuring that stale air doesn’t linger in one spot for too long. That dilutes the concentrations of indoor pollutants, which can come from cleaning products, cooking fumes, and even off-gassing from furniture.
  • Humidity control is another way your HVAC system affects indoor air quality. Too much humidity can speed up the spread of mold and spores, triggering allergies and respiratory issues. If the air is too dry, it can irritate your skin, eyes, and throat.
  • Filtering out indoor pollutants is one of the most direct ways your HVAC system improves air quality. Most systems have air filters that trap dust, pollen, pet dander, and other particulates. Upgrading to a high-efficiency particulate air (HEPA) filter can further improve your indoor air quality by capturing even smaller particles.

HVAC Maintenance Tasks for Better Air Quality

While you can’t control the air you breathe outside, you can ensure it doesn’t happen inside your house or apartment. Improving the air quality in your home starts with taking good care of your HVAC system, and you can achieve that with a few simple steps.

Changing or Cleaning the Air Filters

The maintenance schedule can vary depending on the type of filters your system uses, whether they are fiberglass, pleated, or HEPA. You must replace fiberglass filters every 30 days, while HEPA filters can last up to six months. 

When they become clogged, the air quality diminishes, and your system has to work harder. That can result in higher energy bills and additional wear and tear on the system.

Deep Cleaning the Ducts and Vents

You should do this every three to five years, depending on whether you have pets, smoke, or if anyone in the household has allergies. You’ll know it’s time for cleaning if you notice dust buildup around the vent areas, inconsistent airflow in different parts of the house, or an unexplained increase in energy bills.

Checking and Refilling Refrigerant Levels

The refrigerant in your HVAC system is what cools the air in your home. If the system has a leak and the refrigerant levels drop, it can lead to decreased cooling efficiency and release chemicals into the air that are harmful to breathe. Keeping an eye on refrigerant levels and addressing any leaks helps keep your air clean and your system running smoothly.

Scheduling Professional Inspections

An expert can spot issues you might miss, from minor leaks to components that are wearing out. During a maintenance visit, a technician will clean parts of the system you can’t easily access, check refrigerant levels, and ensure every component is in good working order. They can take a look at the filters and ducts and tell you if it’s time for a good clean.

Extra Tips for Improving Air Quality

In addition to taking care of your HVAC, you can do a few other things to improve your home’s air quality. They will leave your indoor air feeling and smelling fresh and reduce the load on your air-conditioning system.

You can place a couple of air purifiers, especially in rooms where you spend most of your time. These devices filter out pollutants, allergens, and even odors, providing cleaner air to breathe.

Another thing you can do is improve air circulation. Opening windows to let fresh air in and using exhaust fans can help reduce the concentration of indoor pollutants. This is particularly important in areas like the kitchen, where cooking vents can capture a lot of the particulates and gasses that cooking generates before they spread throughout your home. 

Incorporating indoor plants into your living space can serve a dual purpose. Not only do they add a touch of nature and beauty, but certain species are known for their air-purifying abilities. They can absorb some common indoor pollutants and release oxygen, leaving your indoor environment healthier.

When to Call an HVAC Professional

If you’re consistent with all the cleaning and maintenance tasks for taking care of the HVAC but still notice the air feels stuffy or has a persistent unpleasant odor, it might be time to call a professional. Or, if your HVAC system isn’t cooling or heating as it should, you could be dealing with refrigerant leaks or electrical issues.

These problems can affect air quality but are dangerous if not handled correctly. An HVAC professional can give your system a complete once-over, spotting and fixing any potential issues right away. Professional maintenance often comes with warranty protection, guaranteeing a job well done.

 

Get the Freshest Air in Santa Rosa, CA

Prioritizing indoor air quality through HVAC maintenance is how you make sure it’s clean and healthy. Simple actions like replacing filters regularly and keeping vents clear can help improve the air quality in your home. While your daily practices make a difference, sometimes calling the experts is best.

If you want to have the best indoor air quality and live in the area of Santa Rosa, California, look no further than Elevated Comfort. We’re a local family business that has been operating for 20+ years. If the air in your home is making it harder to breathe, we’re here to inspect, clean, or replace any part of your system.

You can join our “Grandma Mac Club” and get free HVAC service twice a year. So don’t wait; call us and let us elevate the quality of your home today!

 

FAQ’s

What services does Elevated Comfort offer?

Elevated Comfort specializes in comprehensive HVAC services, including installation, maintenance, and repair of heating, ventilation, and air conditioning systems. They also provide air quality assessments and solutions to ensure a healthy indoor environment.

How often should I schedule HVAC maintenance with Elevated Comfort?

It’s recommended to schedule HVAC maintenance at least twice a year with Elevated Comfort. Their “Grandma Mac Club” offers complimentary services twice annually, ensuring your system remains efficient and your indoor air quality stays optimal.

What sets Elevated Comfort apart from other HVAC companies?

Elevated Comfort is a local family business with over 20 years of experience serving the Santa Rosa, CA area. Their dedication to customer satisfaction, attention to detail, and expertise in improving indoor air quality make them stand out in the industry.

I’ve noticed a decline in indoor air quality. What should I do?

If you’re experiencing issues with indoor air quality, such as increased allergies or persistent odors, contact Elevated Comfort for an assessment. Their team of HVAC professionals can inspect your system, identify any problems, and provide effective solutions to improve air quality and comfort in your home.

Best AC Setting for Sleep, Work, and Savings

Best AC SettingSummer may be coming to an end, but it’s never too late to start thinking about how to lower your energy bill. One way to shrink your energy bill is to find the best AC setting for your needs. Elevated Comfort has found the best AC setting for sleep, work, and savings! With the right AC settings, you can keep your house cool and comfortable while keeping your energy bill manageable. Keep reading for more information on how to find the best AC setting for you!

The Best AC Setting For Sleep

According to the Sleep Foundation, the best AC setting for getting a good night’s sleep is 65℉.  This temperature is cool enough to promote restful sleep but not so cold that you’ll wake up shivering in the middle of the night. If you have trouble sleeping, give this AC setting a try! You can even drop it down to 60℉ if you’re still feeling too toasty.

What Is the Most Energy-Efficient Setting for Bedtime?

Here’s where things get a little tricky. If you ask a medical doctor for their recommendation for a nighttime AC setting, you’ll find that most of them recommend a cooler temperature—somewhere between 60℉ and 72℉ at the highest. This is because heat typically disturbs sleep more than cold (and why winter naps are so famously refreshing). But if you ask Energy Star for the best setting to save money, the recommendation jumps up to a sweltering 82℉.

The Best AC Setting For Work

AC Setting for Sleep, Work, and SavingsOSHA (Occupational Safety and Health Administration) recommends keeping office thermostats set somewhere between 68℉ and 76℉. There isn’t nearly as much research available on the best AC setting for productivity, but 72℉ falls right in the middle of this range and provides the best opportunity to please everyone at your office. Happy people are more productive (and there is research to back that up).

What to Set Your Home AC to While You’re Gone

While you’re at work or running errands, there’s no reason to keep your home as cool as it needs to be when you’re there. In fact, most people find that their homes are actually more comfortable when they’re set a few degrees warmer than usual when they’re gone. The recommended temperature is around 85℉, leaving enough slack to save money and keeping cool enough that your HVAC system won’t struggle to get down to temp when you get home.

The Best AC Setting For Savings

The Best AC Setting for Sleep, Work, and SavingsNow let’s get into the savings side of things. The Energy Star program recommends keeping your thermostat at 78℉ when you’re home and awake for the most significant energy savings.  But, of course, this temperature might not be comfortable for everyone in your home. If that’s the case, aim for the middle ground between comfort and savings by setting your thermostat to 68℉ or above. You’ll still see some energy savings while keeping things comfortable for everyone in your home.

AC Maintenance for More Energy Savings

We hope you have found these recommendations for the best AC setting for sleep, work, and savings helpful in deciding on the ideal temperature for your home and office! By following these simple tips, you can keep your home cool and comfortable all summer long while shrinking your energy bill. Give our team a call today to learn more about how we can help you save money on your energy costs with our AC maintenance services and our maintenance program!