3 Simple Steps Before You Upgrade Your Kilgore Heating System

Woman Cold Winter Clothes

3 Simple Steps Before You Upgrade Your Kilgore Heating System

September 29, 2014
Woman Cold Winter Clothes

Have you put replacing the furnace high on your list of things to do in the near future? Maybe you’re tired of shelling out money for frequent furnace repairs or you think your heating bills are too high. Replacing your old furnace with a new high efficiency system can take care of both of those problems. Before upgrading a heating system, though, take these three steps so you know you’re getting the correct system for your home.

Perform a Home Energy Audit

You can do a simple energy audit yourself to uncover sources of energy losses around your house, or you can hire a professional energy expert to do a more thorough inspection and analysis for you. With the audit report in hand, select the energy-saving projects that will cost the least and have the greatest impact on your home energy use and do them before upgrading a heating system.

Sealing air leaks and adding insulation, repairing leaky ductwork and insulating ducts are a few of the recommendations you may see in the audit report. Anything you can do to reduce your home’s heating demand will lower the upfront cost of a new system as well as reduce monthly energy bills.

Find a Qualified, Licensed HVAC Pro

Look for a licensed, NATE-certified HVAC contractor or technician to help you with the design and installation of your new heating system. An experienced professional will save you time and money by selecting the right equipment for your home’s needs and installing it correctly the first time around.

Get Load Calculations Specific to Your Home

Be sure your HVAC contractor takes your home’s unique features into account when calculating the heating load for a new system. Factors such as shading from trees or adjacent buildings, quality of insulation, and the number of windows in your home should be taken into account while the contractor is applying industry standards to your new system design.

Before upgrading a heating system in your Longview area home, contact JD’s A/C for professional advice, system design and installation.

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Indoor Air Quality Plays a Role in Your Family’s Health

Child Window Winter

Indoor Air Quality Plays a Role in Your Family’s Health

Sep 29, 2014

Child Window Winter

According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) indoor air is two to five times more polluted than the air outside. Living in a home with poor air quality puts your family at risk of serious health repercussions. Indoor pollution also impacts your comfort level, household operating costs and even the structure itself. It’s vital to learn more about the causes and negative effects of poor indoor air quality so you can take the steps necessary to protect your home and family.

What Makes Indoor Air Go Bad?

Polluted air inside a home can contain a cocktail of unhealthy allergens, poisonous gases, biological contaminants and harmful particles from a variety of sources, such as:

  • Exhaust fumes from fuel-burning appliances and equipment that contain harmful nitrogen dioxide (NO2) and lethal carbon monoxide (CO).
  • Hazardous volatile organic compounds (VOCs) from carpet, paint. furnishings and building materials.
  • Allergy-inducing particles such as plant pollen, pet dander and dust mites.
  • Toxic chemicals released into the air from the many maintenance, laundry, cleaning and personal care products used and stored in a home.
  • Mold, mildew, bacteria and viruses that flourish in a warm, humid environment.
  • Cancer-causing radon gas present in the soil under a home that seeps in through cracks in the foundation.

How Indoor Pollution Impacts Health

Exposure to contaminated air can cause symptoms such as nasal congestion, sore throats, itchy or watering eyes, chest congestion and coughing. Unexplained complaints including headaches, fevers, nausea, nosebleeds, fatigue and upper respiratory infections can also be attributed to poor indoor air quality. High levels of pollutants and/or long-term exposure can worsen existing health problems and cause serious or life-threatening illnesses, such as:

  • Chronic bronchitis
  • Allergic reactions
  • Asthma
  • Multiple chemical sensitivity (MCS)
  • Heart disease
  • Lung disease
  • Carbon monoxide (CO) poisoning
  • Lung and other forms of cancer

Additional Negative Effects of Poor Indoor Air Quality

When air quality issues in your home aren’t addressed, they can impact your day-to-day life in various ways including:

  • Higher energy bills – If the airborne particles circulating through your HVAC system block the air filter, crucial airflow declines. When there’s less-than-adequate airflow, the equipment consumes more energy, and your utility bills increase.
  • HVAC equipment damage – Restricted airflow puts extra strain on the equipment, and a clogged air filter allows pollutant particles to build up within the system. These two factors can lead to the premature failure of various system components.
  • Decreased comfort – When excessive amounts of pollutants plug up the filter and impair proper airflow, the HVAC equipment isn’t able to remove moisture effectively. High humidity makes a home uncomfortably hot and sticky during the cooling season, and offensive musty odors can develop.
  • Structural deterioration – When humidity is excessive, water stains start to appear on ceilings and walls. Paint begins to peel, and wood trim and floors warp and buckle. Warmth and humidity also create the ideal conditions for the mold and mildew growth that can deteriorate organic surfaces.

Effective Solutions for a Poor Indoor Air Quality Issue

There are a number of steps you can take to improve the quality of the air in your home:

  • Boost air exchange – Open windows whenever possible. For a year-round source of clean, fresh air, consider adding whole-house mechanical ventilation to the HVAC system.
  • Decrease humidity – If the A/C isn’t removing humidity effectively, have it professionally inspected to ensure it’s sized correctly. You may need to supplement it by having a dehumidifier installed on the HVAC system. During heating season, run bathroom and kitchen exhaust fans to remove moisture from bathing, showering and cooking.
  • Increase air filtration – Replace the HVAC air filter monthly to help control allergens. Talk to your HVAC specialist about what system modification are involved in switching to high-efficiency particulate air (HEPA) filters for more effective filtration.
  • Maintain all fuel-burning equipment – Have yearly maintenance performed on all combustion devices, including the gas furnace, range, dryer and water heater. This ensures that they’re operating safely and efficiently so there’s less risk of exposure to harmful exhaust fumes.
  • Limit VOC off-gassing – Only purchase low-VOC or environmentally-friendly household products and furnishings. If you must buy items containing VOCs, purchase the smallest amounts possible and avoid storing them for extended periods.
  • Check for radon – Schedule a professional test or buy a do-it-yourself kit. If radon is present, you can hire an experienced professional to remove the threat.

If you are concerned that poor indoor air quality is negatively affecting your Longview area home and you need expert advice, contact us, the professionals at JD’s A/C. for your Indoor Air Quality evaluation.

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