Dry Indoor Air + Humidification

Posted on by WestAIR Heating & Cooling

Dry indoor airWinter is already uncomfortable enough with the freezing temperatures, so why not make the most of your cozy indoor living space where you can escape the dry and brittle cold air? Lower temperatures mean lower humidity levels because cold air can’t hold as much moisture as warm air. Here are two simple reasons your dry indoor air needs humidification:

Your comfort

Overly dry air can make your skin and respiratory problems flare up, from asthma and allergies to eczema and acne. If your home air is too dry, it could cause bloody noses, chapped lips, and itchy skin. Your respiratory system is lined with moist membranes in your nose and throat that prevent bacteria, viruses, dirt, and dust from getting into your lungs. If they are dry, they won’t keep particles out effectively, making you more vulnerable to sickness.

In addition, dry air increases static electricity, which produces painful shocks and zaps when you walk around on the carpet or touch metal surfaces. It will also make your hair more difficult to maintain and cause your clothes to stick to you uncomfortably.

Your belongings

Dry air will pull moisture from hardwood floors, furniture, and even the walls, doors, and general frame of your home, making it contract and shift. As the frame shifts, doors may be hard to open and close, or gaps may form between the ceiling, walls, windows, and door frames.

Books, artwork, and even the paint or wallpaper on your walls can get brittle, warped, or wrinkled in dry air. If you have musical instruments, they may lose their shape and tune. Humid air feels warmer, so moderate levels of humidity can allow you to set the thermostat lower and give your heating system a break. That way, you can live comfortably and save money on your heating bill and maintenance. But be careful: excess moisture may cause mold, bacteria, and mildew growth in poorly ventilated areas of your home.

You can keep an ideal, comfortable humidity level between 40 and 60 percent with a whole home humidifier. WestAIR Heating & Cooling offers whole house humidifiers that will keep every room of your home comfortable, even in the dry winter. Our humidifiers will automatically work with your HVAC system to distribute moisture throughout your home’s entire duct system. We offer programmable thermostats that come with a built-in humidity sensor so you can test and regulate home humidity and avoid going overboard.

Contact us to learn more about your heating and indoor air quality options.

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How to Reduce Indoor Humidity

Posted on by WestAIR Heating & Cooling

How to Reduce Indoor Humidity In the Midwest, we feel the weather to the extremes – below zero and dry in the winter to 90+ degrees and humid in the summer. For those summer months, many of us cool our homes with some sort of air conditioning, but the humidity still sticks around the house. Extra moisture makes the air feel warmer and damages your walls, floors, furniture, and cabinets. You can effectively reduce indoor humidity with three different products, but which one will work best for you?

Portable Dehumidifier

These units plug into any room and are suitable for homes with poor air circulation or no ventilation. Spaces like the basement, kitchen, or bathroom become susceptible to mold. Dishwashers, dryers, and showers add extra heat and moisture to your home. Portable dehumidifiers are the smartest solution for rooms that smell of must or feel damp and stale.

Whole House Dehumidifier

This system works best for old houses that use ductwork for heating and cooling. Older houses are prone to leaks and mold. If you often find condensation on your walls or you’ve had problems with mold before, you should consider a whole house dehumidifier. If you or a family member has asthma or chronic respiratory issues, humidity can aggravate your symptoms. Install a whole house dehumidifier to reduce moisture and improve your health.

Air Exchanger

An air exchanger has two channels of air flow, ventilating your home with fresh, filtered air.  One channel pulls outside air into the home, while the other pushes stale air out. This exchange removes humid air or pollutants. The air exchanger works seamlessly with your heating & cooling equipment to improve air quality. If you own a newer home and want a constant supply of fresh air, consider adding an air exchanger to your HVAC system.

Contact WestAIR Heating and Cooling to learn more about reducing humidity, improving indoor air quality, and installing an air exchanger in your home.

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Why You Should Change Your Furnace Filter Often

Posted on by WestAIR Heating & Cooling

Why You Should Change Your Furnace Filter

Changing your furnace filter seems to be an easily forgotten task. HVAC companies try their hardest to remind you to do these things, but do you know why you should change it more often than you think?

Maintenance

Getting an oil change for your car is as important as changing the furnace filter for your house. It simply extends the life of your equipment. A dirty filter means that less air is circulating, which then means that your furnace is working harder to keep your house warm. Over time, having a furnace go into overdrive for too long can overheat the system or break down the entire unit. This is not something you do want to deal with in subzero temperatures.

A little dirt can do a lot of damage. If your furnace filter is dirty, not only will it make your HVAC unit work harder, but it will also make your heating bills go up over time. All the extra effort that this heater is putting out digs a deeper hole into your wallet. While a new furnace filter might cost money, ignoring it will cost more in your gas bill, except you’re doing more damage than good by trying to be frugal.

Air Filter Quality

Skip the fancy furnace filters. A furnace filter is designed to protect your furnace, not improve indoor air quality. Some people swear by these special filters, but you’ll most likely have to run your furnace fan year-round to get the benefit of a high-efficiency filter. Extra work and extra care (replacing them often) will cost you more in the end.

There is a happy balance that you could achieve between cost and efficiency. For homeowners, we recommend purchasing a MERV 7 or 8 pleated filter, which traps 80 to 95 percent of air particles. If you are looking to get rid of pollutants and breathe cleaner air, consider getting an air cleaner instead.

When to call your HVAC technician

– Unit fails to turn back on
– Noisy or slow fan
– Bent fins
– Coils are extra dusty

Remember to change your furnace filter every month when fan is in use for heating and cooling seasons.
Got more furnace questions? Call us at (763) 498-8071.

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Six Tips to Reduce Your Heating Bill

Posted on by WestAIR Heating & Cooling

Lower Your Heating Bill

Winter has arrived in full force, but that doesn’t mean you have to blast money from your wallet as you turn up the heat. WestAIR Heating and Cooling offers six easy ways to reduce your heating bill this winter and for years to come.

1. Control your Thermostat

Using a thermostat is an easy way to control your home temperature and maximize your savings. While you are away, set it 10 degrees cooler than your regular setting. So, if you feel comfortable at 69 degrees, you would program it to be 59 degrees while you’re at work or on vacation. Some newer thermostats have capabilities to be controlled by a phone app or website!

2. Insulate Windows and Walls

You can lose half of your heat if your home is not well insulated! Is your attic or basement insulated? If not, fill all the gaps with fiberglass insulation. If your windows are drafty, fill in the leaky spaces with caulk.

3. Look at those Ducts

Heat can leak right through your air ducts too. You can patch them with aluminum foil tape (not duct tape) and mastic sealant. First, clean the surface near any leak you find in your air ducts. The aluminum foil tape works best on flat surfaces. Mastic is for curved surfaces that would be difficult to tape. Use both for leaks bigger than a quarter-inch for extra protection!

4. Keep Up on Filters

Did you know that you should change your furnace filter each month? Not only will it let warm air flow freely, but it will reduce the need for costly repairs. Inexpensive fiber filters work fine, but standard pleated filters are better for airborne dust.

5. Take Care of your Furnace

Many people forget this step, but tune-ups are necessary for furnaces just like an oil change is for your car. Nobody wants to wake up shivering in the middle of the night because the furnace isn’t working properly. Although we do offer same-day and emergency service in case this happens, avoid breakdowns with a scheduled maintenance check. Take advantage of our current promotion and save $10 on any repair or service call.

6. Invest!

Sometimes you must kick your old furnace to the curb. If your repair costs more than 50 percent of the cost of a new furnace, or your monthly heating bills have significantly increased, you should most likely consider a replacement. Upfront costs may seem daunting, but today’s furnaces are more energy efficient and will save money in the long run. If you think it’s time to replace that old furnace of yours, we stand by Rheem heaters for quality. Rheem is a leading provider of top-quality, innovative heating products that offer the latest technology, lasting performance, great warranties, and excellent service and support. As a proud Rheem Pro Partner, our highly trained, licensed technicians can recommend a Rheem furnace or other heating product to best meet your needs.

Contact us to learn more about a furnace tune-up or questions!

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Furnace Replacement from WestAIR and Rheem

Posted on by WestAIR Heating & Cooling

Furnace replacement

Steadily rising heating costs. Strange noises and weak air flow. Frequent repairs. These are all signs that your older furnace may be nearing the end of its life cycle. When the time comes for furnace replacement, look to the experts at WestAIR and Rheem.

FACTORS TO CONSIDER

There are several factors to take into account when considering a furnace replacement:

    • Age – Find out the year your unit was manufactured, either by looking in the owners’ manual or contacting the manufacturer with the model number.
    • Average Lifespan – Although today’s models can last more than 20 years, it’s not a bad idea to have a technician inspect the furnace for possible replacement at 15 years. Our Annual Service Maintenance Program will not only check the condition of your furnace, we’ll be able to make any necessary repairs before they become big issues, extending the life of your unit.
    • Energy efficiency – New models are more highly energy efficient. Even if your older unit seems to be running well, it may not be running efficiently, resulting in higher energy usage and heating costs. While a higher efficiency unit will mean a higher initial investment, a more efficient heating system will save money in the long run.

Rheem manufactures top quality, innovative furnaces and heating products offering the latest technology and long-lasting performance, with up to a 98.7% energy efficiency rating.

Founded in 1925 by brothers Richard and David Rheem, Rheem Manufacturing Company offers nearly 100 years of heating and cooling manufacturing excellence. WestAIR is proud to be a Rheem Pro Partner, with highly trained, licensed, professional technicians.

Contact WestAir today to discuss your current heating system and your furnace replacement options. Together with Rheem, we’ll ensure the comfort of your family this year and for years to come.

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Top Tips: How to Lower Your Summer Cooling Costs

Posted on by WestAIR Heating & Cooling

How to Lower Summer Cooling Costs - WestAIR

Summer has arrived. And even though the temps are soaring, your energy costs don’t have to. We’ve put together our top tips to keep your cooling costs in check this summer.

Monitor Your Thermostat

Keep an eye on your thermostat settings. If your family is curled up under blankets on the couch, it’s a good sign that your thermostat is set too low. Aim for between 72 and 78 degrees in summer. Even bumping up the number 2 to 4 degrees will have an impact on your bill.

Install a Programmable Thermostat

For the ultimate in home comfort and energy efficiency, install a programmable thermostat. Today’s technology allows you to access and control your home’s temperature remotely, and some thermostats will even “learn” and adjust to your family’s schedule. If you’ve already got a programmable thermostat, make sure you’re using it correctly.

Change Your Air Filter

Change out your air filter on a regular basis to ensure maximum air flow, improve overall efficiency, and prevent coil ice-ups.

Close Your Blinds

Blocking out sunlight by closing your blinds can not only reduce your cooling costs, it also can keep out harmful UV rays.

Cook Outside

Things can really heat up in the kitchen during the summer. Fire up the grill instead.

Bonus Tip: Flip the Switch

Unplug unused electronics or appliances. Use surge protector power strips or switched outlets that can be easily turned on and off. Don’t leave lights on in unoccupied rooms. While this may not directly keep your cooling costs down, you’ll still save on your electric bill.

Call WestAIR for an Annual Service Maintenance Check

It’s not too late to have your system checked by our professional technicians. We’ll make sure your system is running at the highest level of efficiency, determine if any repairs are needed, and make recommendations for replacement if necessary. We carry top quality air conditioning brands for the highest in energy efficiency.

Contact the cooling experts at WestAIR today. Call us at 763-498-8071.

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Save Money with a Programmable Thermostat

Posted on by WestAIR Heating & Cooling

Upgrading your home’s thermostat to a programmable set-back unit is one of the simplest things you can do for your home, and the most practical. Today, home owners expect these units to do more than just regulate temperature — they demand units that enhance energy efficiency, indoor air quality, maintain consistency and more.

WestAIR offers set-back thermostats with four settings (wake, day, evening, sleep) that allows you to set and monitor your home’s climate to your liking:

Wake: Program your thermostat to reach your favorite comfortable temperature about 10 minutes prior to your alarm going off in the morning. It’ll be the perfect start to your day.

Day: Daytime is the perfect opportunity for energy savings. Set your thermostat 10-15 degrees up or down from your preferred comfort temperature, then program it to resume 10 minutes before you arrive home.

Evening: Set your thermostat to your preferred “at home” temperature in the evenings. Energy Star recommends setting your thermostat to 68 during the winter months and 78 during the summer.

Sleep: Overnights are a great opportunity to save energy as well. Program your thermostat a few degrees higher/lower than your preferred comfort temperature.

Learn more about programmable thermostats by contacting WestAIR Heating & Cooling today at 763.498.8071 or browse our website for more info.

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HVAC Humor

Posted on by WestAIR Heating & Cooling

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The first hot days of summer are upon us. Are you worried your air conditioner might not be up to the job of keeping your home cool? Call WestAIR Heating and Cooling at 763.498.8071 to schedule a tune-up.

Scheduling a regular check-up for your air-conditioner can greatly reduce your energy costs, extend its lifetime and improve the system’s performance. Contact WestAIR before June 30, 2016 to save with one of our current specials of $95 for a tune-up of your air-conditioning system.

This entry was posted in AC,Air Conditioning,Cooling,Energy Savings,Spring,Tips,Uncategorized and tagged , , , , ,

Money Saving Tips for Heating Your Home

Posted on by WestAIR Heating & Cooling

Winter has arrived in Minnesota and with it, increasing costs to heat our homes. Here’s a few ways you can save money on your heating bill this winter:

Turn Down The Thermostat
You can save 5%-15% a year on your heating bill by simply turning down your thermostat to 68°F while you’re awake, or lower while you’re sleeping or away from the home. An easy way to do this is to purchase a programmable thermostat so you can set it and forget it.

Winterize Your Windows
Purchase plastic film to help seal leaky windows from cold air drafts.

Use The Fan
Toggle the fan on your thermostat to ‘on’ to force warm air into rooms throughout your house.

Keep Vents Open and Unblocked
Be sure vents are open and furniture isn’t blocking them so air can properly circulate the room.

Let The Sun Shine
Open drapes and shades over windows facing sun to naturally warm up your home.

Layer Up
Wear a sweatshirt, socks or cover up with a blanket before reaching for the thermostat dial.

Service Your Furnace
It’s important to have annual service performed on your furnace to ensure it’s running safely and efficiently. If your unit isn’t working properly, it can end up costing you more to heat your home.

The team at WestAIR Heating & Cooling would be happy to come to your home and personally assess your heating system. Give us a call today at 763-498-8071.

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Tips to Keep your Furnace Working Properly

Posted on by WestAIR Heating & Cooling

Remember that improper care of your furnace may be lessening its efficiency.

  • Regular/Monthly filter changes.  A dirty filter forces your furnace to work harder, which leads to a decrease in energy efficiency and can wear down the working components of the furnace.
  • Regular system Check and Cleans. Your furnace requires regular maintenance just like your car. An annual check and clean of your furnace will help it to run at its peak ability. Smaller problems may be detected early before they develop into big problems requiring unexpected service.
  • Clear the space around your furnace. Keep the area around your furnace free and clear of clutter. This reduces a fire hazard and helps the furnace to get all the air it needs for proper combustion.
  • Use a Set-back Programmable Thermostat. Lowering your temperature settings when there is no one home and/or sleeping at night will reduce the load on your furnace and help you save money.

Follow these tips to extend the life of your HVAC equipment and help prevent breakdowns.

As your furnace continues to battle the Cold Days of Winter, remember to call your local professional at WestAIR Heating & Cooling if your furnace is giving you any trouble. We’d be happy to come out to your home and personally assess your heating system. We want you to be comfortable in your home, all year long.  Contact us today at 763.498.8071

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