Spring HVAC Checklist

Posted on by WestAIR Heating & Cooling

spring hvac checklist

Some of the most pressing concerns for Minnesota homeowners are humidity levels, poor air quality, and increased utility bills. In the spring, those HVAC issues are a hot topic as the warm weather approaches. Follow our spring HVAC checklist to inspect and prepare your equipment for summer.

  1. Turn off power to your outdoor unit from the electrical disconnect and clear away plants, weeds, fallen leaves, and branches. Use a garden hose to gently rinse off the condenser coils. If the unit doesn’t get enough air or the coils are covered in dirt, it could overheat.
  2. Change your filter, and plan to do so monthly when your furnace and air conditioning are in use. Filters keep dust and dirt from entering your system, extend equipment life, reduce energy costs, and improve indoor air quality.   
  3. Clean return air vents and floor registers in your home with a vacuum. If dust gets in the system, it could compromise energy efficiency and air quality. For a deeper clean, remove the vent, wrap a butter knife in a rag to scrub the individual grill spaces, and rinse with warm water and soap.
  4. Check the batteries in your carbon monoxide detector(s) and replace if needed so you know it is working properly to keep your family safe.
  5. Caulk windows and doors to minimize air leakage so the cool air your system produces isn’t wasted. According to the U.S. Department of Energy, the best time to apply caulk is in low humidity when the temperature is about 45 degrees, making spring the ideal time for this simple maintenance.
  6. Dust and mop so dirt, allergens, and other airborne particles don’t end up in your ductwork. Schedule duct cleaning if you haven’t done so in a while or you suspect your ductwork is dirty.
  7. Clean windows, blinds, and curtains so you can let the sunlight into your home and enjoy a clear view of the outdoors without producing a cloud of dust each time you open them.  
  8. Dust ceiling fan blades and reverse their direction to rotate counterclockwise so they’ll blow air straight down and produce a wind-chill effect. Most fan models have a small switch on the motor housing.
  9. Power up your air conditioning to see if everything is working properly. You should visually inspect the unit for any leaking chemical fluids and check your home for burning, gas, or musty odors.
  10. Schedule service with your HVAC contractor for a thorough inspection. They’ll clean, lubricate, and troubleshoot your equipment so it will run smoothly and efficiently.

Midwest summers can be particularly hot and sticky, and homeowners can spend up to 250 dollars a month running their air conditioner. WestAIR Heating & Cooling is here to help you save money in every season with a variety of specials on our services. We also provide indoor air quality solutions so you can minimize spring allergies and live comfortably. If you are having trouble with your HVAC system, contact us for repair and replacement services.

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The Importance of Air Duct Cleaning

Posted on by WestAIR Heating & Cooling

Professional air duct cleaning can keep harmful pollutants from circulating and settling in your ductwork, improving indoor air quality and your family’s health. Learn more.

Air ducts are like the lungs of your home, supplying your HVAC system with a steady stream of fresh air. With so much dust, pollen, mold, and other harmful particles floating in your indoor air, your ductwork can quickly become a home for dirt. Professional air duct cleaning can keep harmful pollutants from circulating and settling in your ductwork.

What is air duct cleaning?

Your technician will inspect the system to make sure there’s no asbestos-containing materials, as those materials require specialized procedures to disturb or remove. They may cut out small holes in the ductwork to get inside. Using vacuum equipment and bristled brushes, your technician will dislodge and draw out particles and dust. Then, they’ll seal and re-insulate holes. Make sure to research and hire a qualified contractor with the resources and expertise to clean your air ducts safely. If not properly cleaned, you could face problems like damaged HVAC components or holes that have not been tightly sealed, compromising an airtight system.

How often should I schedule air duct cleaning?

According to the National Air Duct Cleaners Association (NADCA), air pollutants like dander, dust, and chemicals are re-circulated in your home five to seven times a day, on average. You should have your air ducts cleaned every three to five years, or more, depending on your lifestyle. In a home with pets, cigarette or cigar smoke, water damage, or renovation projects underway, more pollutants may be circulating. Schedule duct cleaning service if

  • You’re unsure whether previous homeowners cleaned the air ducts in your current residence.
  • There’s mold growth on visible parts inside your ducts or other heating system components.
  • Your ducts are infested with vermin like rodents or insects.
  • Your supply registers spew out dust when your HVAC system turns on.
  • Your family is experiencing unusual or unexplained respiratory problems (allergies, asthma, sore throat, etc.).

How do I keep my ducts clean on a daily basis?

Follow these tips from the pros:

  • To prevent dirt from getting into your system, use a high efficiency, manufacturer-recommended air filter for your HVAC system and change it regularly, especially if they clog frequently. When installing, make sure that air cannot get through gaps around the filter holder/frame.
  • When you schedule your regular HVAC maintenance service, ask your provider to clean cooling coils and drain pans.
  • If you are having renovations or construction work done, seal off supply and return registers throughout your home and don’t turn on your HVAC system until you’ve cleaned up the dust.
  • Vacuum and dust frequently.

WestAIR Heating & Cooling provides duct cleaning service with our innovative Rotobrush equipment. Using a powerful, specialized vacuum and cleaning devices, we draw air through your duct system to dislodge any debris that may be stuck on interior surfaces. We also offer air exchangers, air cleaners, whole house humidifiers, replacement filters, and more to improve indoor air quality. Contact us to learn more.

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How Indoor Air Quality Impacts Your Family’s Health

Posted on by WestAIR Heating & Cooling

Indoor AirHumans inhale 11,000 to 15,000 liters of air per day. Most families spend more time in their home than anywhere else. Without proper ventilation, your indoor air could hold gases, chemicals, or other pollutants that can cause headaches, eye and skin irritation, allergies, asthma attacks, fatigue, and even cancer or long-term health complications. What’s even scarier? Ninety-eight percent of all airborne particles are below one micron (1/25,000 inch) in size and invisible to the naked eye.

Imagine a toxic soup of pollutants constantly re-circulated throughout your home, through your respiratory system, and into your bloodstream.

The most obvious pollutants are secondhand smoke, radon, and carbon monoxide, but harmful airborne particles could come from any of the following:

  • Gas, oil, kerosene, or wood stoves and fireplaces.
  • Building materials like insulation, carpet, cabinetry, and pressed wood products.
  • Personal care products and household chemicals like cleaning solutions, glues, and pastes.
  • Pesticides, pollen, pet dander, hair, or other fibers.
  • Dust mites, molds, and bacteria.

Children are more susceptible to all these things because their bodies are still developing. They breathe more air and eat more food in relation to their body weight than adults do. Properly maintained indoor air quality is especially important for people with asthma, allergies, chemical sensitivities, respiratory diseases, suppressed immune systems, or contact lenses. Here are some basic tips to make sure your home has clean, fresh air free of pollutants:

  • Invest in a whole house humidifier or a smaller unit. The Mayo Clinic recommends you keep your home between 30 and 50 percent humidity.
  • Make sure all vents are clear of obstructions and working properly.
  • Have your ducts cleaned and change your furnace filter regularly (check it once a month).
  • Buy a houseplant like a peace lily, dracaena, or garden mum to act as an air purifier.
  • Use an exhaust fan when cooking, running the dishwasher, or bathing.
  • Make sure gas stoves are well ventilated.
  • Avoid smoking.
  • Use craft supplies in well-vented areas.
  • Minimize clutter.
  • Remove carpeting if possible.
  • Don’t wear outdoor shoes around the house.
  • Keep the trash covered.
  • Test your home for radon and use carbon monoxide detectors.
  • Fix water leaks.
  • Dust surfaces.
  • Vacuum frequently, and open windows when you do.
  • Wash bedding weekly.
  • Keep a lid on scented candles when not in use.

WestAIR Heating & Cooling wants to help you live a healthier life with safe indoor air quality. We offer air exchangers, air cleaners, whole house humidifiers, replacement filters, and more to equip your HVAC system against contaminants. We also provide duct cleaning service so you can rest assured your air has clean, unobstructed passage throughout your home. Contact us to learn more.

This entry was posted in Duct Cleaning,Health Tips,Indoor Air Quality and tagged , , , , , , , ,

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.

This entry was posted in Energy Savings,Furnace,Health Tips,Heating,Humidifier,Indoor Air Quality,Tips,Winter and tagged , , , ,

Four Benefits of a Humidifier During Cooler Months

Posted on by WestAIR Heating & Cooling

Winter is here, and so is crisp Minnesota air. As the temperatures drop, so does humidity levels which can cause poor indoor air quality in our homes and negative effects on the body’s immune system. If you’re concerned about your health and comfort this season, consider using a humidifier during the cooler months.

  1. Dry air dries out your sinuses, nose and throat making it harder for your body to fight off unwanted germs. A humidifier increases humidity levels in your home, helping you breathe easier. Small portable humidifers work well for one room, or consider installing a whole house humidifier which works in conjunction with your HVAC system. Whole house humidifers also benefit allergy and asthma sufferers by keeping the throat, lungs and sinuses well lubricated.
  2. Whole home humidifiers also regulate indoor air quality to ensure the proper balance of humidity in your home.
  3. If you or someone you know suffers from eczema or other skin conditions, you know first-hand how dry air affects them. Moisturizing the skin helps, in addition to maintaining the proper humidity levels in your home.
  4. Have you ever woken up in the morning with a dry, sore throat? Your throat, chest, nose and mouth become progressively drier during the winter months. Maintaining the proper humidity levels in your home can help manage the air, giving you a better night’s sleep.

To learn more about indoor air quality, whole home humidifiers, or to schedule an appointment with one of our knowledgeable WestAIR service techicians, call us today at 763-498-8071

This entry was posted in Indoor Air Quality and tagged , , , , , , ,

Dry Winter Months

Posted on by WestAIR Heating & Cooling

During the Upper Midwest winter months the air inside of our homes tends to get etremely dry. There are simple signs such as dry skin, dry nose, and dandruff. A humidifier is the best solution to combat dry winter air in your home.

Portable humidifiers are like a piece of furniture taking up extra space in various rooms. They also involve the inconvience of always having to be refilled with more and more water. Even with this type of humidifier, you may still experience dry skin and dry air at times. Coming home to a dry house is just as unpleasant as coming home to a cold house after a long day at work or a weekend away.

A whole house humidifer is the number one solution to all of the discomforts and hassles of dry winter air. No more refilling the humidifier with water and no extra furnitiure in rooms throughout the house. Our whole house humidifiers involve a simple installation and will deliver healthier air to you and your family. If you would like to read more information about Aprilaire humidifiers please visit our website via the following link: WestAIR Whole House Humifidiers. Give us a call today for a free estimate on a whole house humidifier designed just for your home.

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Fall is a Great Time to Clean Your Air Ducts

Posted on by WestAIR Heating & Cooling

The coldest months of the year are on the horizon which means Minnesotans will spend increasingly more time indoors. That also means we’ll be breathing the indoor air from our home’s HVAC duct system. Improving your indoor air quality is simple.

As a HVAC system circulates air throughout your home, it also moves around dust, dirt and allergens. Over time, these substances collect in your duct system, causing your system to work harder to provide the level of comfort you desire. Having your ducts cleaned by our professional WestAIR technician will ensure your ducts are free and clear of pollutants, and that you and your family are breathing in the cleanest indoor air possible.

Fall is a great time to schedule this preventative maintenance before the winter season hits. Not only will you breath easier, but you’ll also save money in the long run by performing this simple step.

Learn more about Duct Cleaning by contacting WestAIR Heating & Cooling today at 763.498.8071 or check WestAirHeating.com for more info and current specials.

 

This entry was posted in Duct Cleaning and tagged , , , , , , ,

Breathe Easier with Indoor Air Quality Products

Posted on by WestAIR Heating & Cooling

Asthma is a lung disorder that makes breathing difficult for millions of Americans. There is no cure for the disease, but fortunately it can be managed in a variety of ways.

Many triggers inside your home can contribute to asthma flare-ups. An improperly maintained HVAC system carries pollutants like dust mites, pet dander, mold and pollen through ductwork, making it difficult for asthma and allergy sufferers to breathe.

Fortunately, there are several ways to improve indoor air quality. Scheduling a professional service cleaning through WestAIR Heating & Cooling helps remove built-up pollutants from inside air ducts, stopping them from blowing throughout the home.

Whole house Air Exchanger Ventilation Systems provide a healthier indoor environment by delivering a continuous flow of fresh, filtered outdoor air to the home. Recirculation provides constant flow of air to prevent stale air in your home for premium indoor air quality.

WestAIR also offers both electric and non-electric air cleaners that work to efficiently trap particles at the source, providing you a cleaner and healthier environment.

Give us a call at 763-498-8071 to learn more about the indoor air quality options available to you. We’ll have you breathing easier in no time!

This entry was posted in Duct Cleaning,Indoor Air Quality,Tips and tagged , , , , , , , , , ,

Four Simple Ways to Improve Air Quality

Posted on by WestAIR Heating & Cooling

The quality of air we breathe inside our homes is important for comfort, but it’s also critical for maintaining good health. Poor indoor air quality (IAQ) has been tied to symptoms like headaches, fatigue, trouble concentrating, and irritation of the eyes, nose, throat and lungs. Some diseases have even been linked to specific air contaminants or indoor environments, like asthma with dampness.

Here’s 4 simple ways to improve your home’s air quality:

Eliminate the Source of Allergens
Cleaning your home regularly reduces the amount of dust, pollen, mold and pet dander in the air. Frequent dusting and vacuuming removes particles trapped in carpets and on counter top surfaces.

Change Your Air Filter Regularly
Using a high efficiency air filter can remove harmful allergens and dust pollutants from the air in your home. Set a calendar reminder to change your air filter 30 to 60 days (for 1″ filter) or annually (for air cleaner filter).

Our WestAIR Heating & Cooling professionals can install an air cleaner in your home to trap floating particles and clean the existing air you breathe.

Get More Fresh Air
Not all home heating and air conditioning units allow fresh air to come in from the outdoors. Opening windows and doors when weather permits can help circular fresh, clean air indoors.

Installing a high quality air exchanger can also help to bring fresh, filtered outside air into your home.

Bring The Outdoors In
Houseplants like aloe vera, mums, bamboo palm, golden pothos, ficus, Chinese evergreen, peace lillies and even Gerber daisies help filter allergens and pollutants from the air. Consider keeping plants in areas of the home where toxins are the strongest such as the kitchen, bathroom and laundry room.

At WestAIR Heating & Cooling, we have the knowledge and experience to ensure you and your family are breathing healthy air into your home throughout every season. Give us a call at 763-498-8071 today to learn more.

This entry was posted in Indoor Air Quality,Tips,Uncategorized and tagged , , , , , , , ,

HVAC Humor

Posted on by WestAIR Heating & Cooling

Our friendly team at WestAIR Heating & Cooling loves a good laugh once in a while …

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but we also take duct cleaning seriously. Count on our experts at WestAIR to eliminate your dirty duct problem with our Rotobrush cleaning system. Our “Source Removal” cleaning method uses a powerful, specialized vacuum. While the vacuum draws air through your duct system, we insert devices into your ducts to dislodge any debris that might be stuck to the interior surfaces.

Call us today to learn more about our duct cleaning services. 763-498-8071

This entry was posted in Duct Cleaning,Indoor Air Quality and tagged , , , , ,

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