Indoor Air Quality

Regular HVAC Maintenance Enhances Indoor Air Quality

The HVAC system is the primary means of heating and cooling your home to make it comfortable.  Many people don’t realize the system also plays a crucial role in maintaining good indoor air quality.  The HVAC system brings outside air into your home.  Everything must be working properly to filter this air and remove unwanted contaminants and pollutants.  Servicing the HVAC system regularly ensures optimal indoor air quality for your family.  Here are some regular maintenance items a professional technician will perform to help your HVAC system provide better air quality in your home.

Change filters– Filters remove dust, dirt, allergens, and other contaminants from the air.  Filters should be changed regularly.  Pleated filters have more surface area to trap airborne particles that affect air quality.  These filters are worth the extra money in households with asthma and allergy sufferers. 

Clean evaporator coils– Dust, pollen, and other pollutants stick to dirty evaporator coils.  This not only affects the performance of the HVAC unit, but increases energy usage and contributes to poor indoor air quality  Coils are inspected and cleaned during regularly scheduled preventive maintenance.

Clean blower wheel– Dirty evaporator coils lead to a dirty blower wheel.  Dust build up on the blower wheel will produce a burning smell when the heating unit is turned on.  This means dust, dirt, pollen, and mold spores are spread throughout the home.  Regular system maintenance can eliminate this problem.

Clean condensation drain line–  The HVAC system gets rid of the humidity it pulls from the air by way of the condensation drain line.  Water will back up into the drain pan if the line becomes clogged by sediment, algae, or mold.  A clogged drain line increases the chance of mold in the HVAC system.  Mold may not be visible, but it can often be smelled.  Mold affects air quality and can lead to serious health problems including asthma, sore throats, and bronchitis.  Replacing air filters and maintaining drain lines can help inhibit mold growth.  A professional can test the system if a mold problem is suspected.

Regular preventive maintenance on your HVAC system increases the system’s efficiency, saves on repair bills, and enhances your home’s indoor air quality.  Call B Tucker Heating & Air today to schedule preventive maintenance on your HVAC units.

AC Unit Not Working

Is It Time to Replace Your Air Conditioning Unit?

The average lifespan of an air conditioning unit is 10-15 years.  If your unit falls within that category, it may be time to start thinking about replacement.  Even if your air conditioner is still working, there are valid reasons to consider a new one.  Newer units are more energy efficient.  This means savings for the homeowner on their monthly energy bills.  A newer air conditioner will improve the indoor air quality of the home by filtering out more impurities.  A new unit will also increase the home’s resale value.  New homeowners will not want to have to replace an old unit that is end of life.

What are some signs that an air conditioning unit should be replaced?

Noisy unit- Excessive noise when the unit is running indicates it is not working as well as it should.  A homeowner may be looking at expensive repairs in the near future in addition to downtime.

Not keeping house cool– If the system is not maintaining a consistent temperature, it may be a sign that the unit needs to be replaced.  It’s no longer working efficiently enough to cool the house.

Having to replace refrigerant– If refrigerant needs to be added frequently, there may be a leak in the system.  Older air conditioning units use R22 Freon, which is being phased out due to environmental concerns.  On January 1, 2020 the U.S. will ban the production and import of R22.  The servicing of systems using R22 will rely on recycled or stockpiled quantities.  R22 will become more difficult to obtain and the price will increase.  Newer air conditioning units are more environmentally friendly.  They use R410A to comply with federal regulations. 

Lots of repairs– The price of service calls and parts adds up over time.  It may be more cost effective in the long run and a better investment for your home to install a new unit. 

Energy bills increasing– Upgrading to a new higher efficiency unit can help homeowners save significantly on their monthly energy bill.  Older units that have a SEER (Seasonal Energy Efficient Ratio) rating lower than 13 are more expensive to operate.  New units must have a SEER rating of at least 13.  They are drastically more efficient and cheaper to run than older models.  Units with an Energy Star label can save up to 20% over older units.

Noticing more dust– Noticing more dust and dirt in the home may mean the air conditioner is not removing it efficiently.  Replacing the unit will mean better indoor quality.  This is especially important in homes with asthma and allergy sufferers.  In addition, an older air conditioner may not be controlling humidity as it should, leading to mold and mildew problems.

If you are having any of these issues, call the experts at B Tucker Heating and Air to assess your air conditioning unit and determine whether it is time to replace it.