Posted on February 7th, 2020
Ways Your HVAC System Can Keep the Flu Away
As if winter itself wasn’t miserable enough, it’s also the flu and cold season. You can reduce your chance of getting sick by frequent hand washing, proper diet, exercise and lots of rest. Controlling your indoor environment will also impact the chances of you falling ill this flu season and your HVAC system plays a critical role in keeping your home’s conditions just right.
Here are some ways your HVAC system can help minimize your risk.
It keeps your air fresh
You don’t need to step out into an icy winter to get fresh air. The right ventilation system will bring in clean, breathable air that’s tempered just right. And with energy recovery, you don’t have to worry about excessive energy bills.
It keeps you warm during cold weather
Staying warm and avoiding prolonged exposure to cold weather keeps your body’s immune system functioning. That way you can fight off the bugs that threaten to keep you in bed for two weeks (or more!).
It filters out the germs
As long as you maintain your furnace and replace the filter regularly, your breathable air will have less dust and with the right filter, fewer germs. Cleaner air means less severe symptoms, a quicker recovery and a smaller chance of getting sick in the first place.
It removes excess moisture that’s a breeding ground for germs
Your HVAC system can lower moisture levels in your home, limiting the conditions in which pathogens thrive. Having exhaust in your bathrooms and kitchen removes moist air that can build up and cause problems associated with high humidity. Not only will you reduce your chance of getting the cold and flu, but you won’t have other microbes making you sick or worsening your symptoms.
It adds moisture where needed to maintain the right humidity
If, on the other hand, your problem is air that’s too dry, a humidifier connected to your HVAC system can maintain the right humidity. You won’t have to worry about a dry nose making you susceptible to the cold and flu.
It keeps you comfortable
Finally, the most basic function of your HVAC system: keeping you comfortable. In addition to keeping conditions right for your body, it also lowers stress so your immune system can work. Exposing your body to uncomfortable conditions in general will reduce your ability to deal with the germs that you will inevitably encounter.
If you need help to maintain or upgrade your home’s HVAC system to reduce your risk of getting sick this flu season, give the experts at Western Heating & Air Conditioning a call. We have a $79 heating system tune-up special going on now! Give us a call at 385-273-3200 or visit us online at www.TimeForComfort.com.
Posted on February 3rd, 2020
17 Mistakes to Avoid When Selling Your House
Selling your house can be both exciting and stressful, especially if it’s your first time. Regardless of why you decided to sell your home, there are a number of pitfalls you can easily fall into, making your home selling experience less than ideal. Luckily, we’ve put together a list of the most common home selling mistakes people make so you can sell your home knowing you have your bases covered.
- Underestimating the cost of selling your house
While you should ultimately profit from the sale of your home, many home sellers forget about the costs associated with selling a house. For starters, you should expect to use five to six percent of the total sale price of your home to cover the commissions of both the seller and buyer agents. For example, if you sell your home for $300,000 you could wind up paying upwards of $18,000 in commission. Furthermore, this hefty cost doesn’t include possible concessions homebuyers might want you to make during the negotiation phase, such as making repairs suggested by a home inspector.
- Not budgeting for your move
When you consider the moving process, you have two options: hiring a moving company or borrow your buddy’s truck and doing it yourself. By hiring a moving company, rather than doing it yourself, you’re getting someone who will pack, move, and then unpack your belongings. This means that a full-service mover can be well worth the investment when you’re preoccupied with all of the other tasks associated with selling your home. Not to mention,when you hire movers your belongings are insured so you’re covered if anything breaks.
- Selling a house you owe more on than what it’s worth
If you still have a remaining balance on your mortgage, you’ll most likely use a portion of the sale proceeds of your home to pay off the existing mortgage. Make sure you don’t owe more on your mortgage than what your house is actually worth or you won’t make enough money on the sale to pay off your mortgage. The best option is almost always to wait on selling your home so that it can build more equity. This way you can sell your home and buy a new one without having two mortgages at the same time.
- Pricing your home incorrectly
If you price your home too high, your home may fall into seller’s limbo, sitting on the market for what feels like an eternity. On the other hand, if you price too low then you will likely sell your home quickly but you risk missing out on a significant amount of money. The first step to understanding how much your home is worth is utilizing an online calculator. Afterward, meet with your real estate agent to discuss a good pricing strategy for your home. They will look at other comparable properties in your neighborhood that sold recently as well as bring keen insights into what the housing market is currently doing. Together, you’ll determine a good starting price as well as a pricing strategy that will incentivise buyers if your house begins to sit on the market for too long.
- Skipping a pre-listing home inspection
Selling a house is stressful enough, even when everything goes right. But if a homebuyer hires an inspector who catches an issue like mold, pests, or a cracked foundation, then your stress levels will multiply as you risk losing a potential sale entirely. Given the affordability of home inspections, there’s not much reason to avoid them. Getting a pre-listing home inspection will put your mind at ease as you’ll either know that your home is in sound condition or you’ll be able to tackle problems before homebuyers have the chance to bring them up during the negotiation phase. If an issue does arise, you can either fix it or you can let buyers know and then make a concession during the negotiation phase by reducing the price of your home accordingly.
- Not refinishing hardwood floors or cleaning your carpet
If you’re reading this at home, look down. How do your floors look? Even if they don’t look terrible, there’s a pretty good chance they’re starting to show their age. Since potential buyers are going to be inspecting every aspect of your home, you should start thinking of refinishing your hardwood floors and cleaning your carpet.
The best time to have your carpet cleaned or hardwood floors refinished is right before you stage your home. Since you’ll already be moving most (or all) of your furniture to either a new home or a storage unit, this is a great time to get your floors done and make them a selling point to potential homebuyers.
- Not staging your home for a quick sale
The main point of staging your home is to allow potential homebuyers the chance to picture themselves living in your space. They get to see a home with furniture and art that’s arranged in a way that highlights key features of your home, rather than an empty house that echoes every sound. Staging your home pays off too as 21 percent of agents told the National Association of Realtors that staging a home increased its’ sale price by as much as 10 percent, making it a worthwhile investment.
- Forgoing professional real estate photos
With the advent of cameras on smartphones, everyone likes to think of themselves as a photographer these days. Even though that picture you took of your dinner last week looked like it could be featured in advertisements, you’re still probably not ready to take your own real estate photos. A real estate photographer will make sure that your home looks great when you list it because not only do they have the equipment, they understand the angles that best sell a home. If you have a large home, a stunning view you want to show off, or a large amount of land, you may also want to consider having aerial photos taken of your home. The views that drones are able to capture are impressive and can help show off your home in a way that will make sure it stands out from other houses in your area that are on the market. Even better, drone technology makes this option more affordable than ever before, allowing you to get a lot more bang for your buck.
- Trying to sell a poorly lit home
You want to show your home in the best light, so take the time to really gauge the quality of your lighting by closing your curtains/blinds and looking at each room as though you’re a potential homebuyer. Make a note of any rooms that are poorly lit or just seem dark and then call an electrician so that you can have some additional lighting installed.
Even worse than a poorly lit room, however, is when the lights don’t work at all. Sometimes the light bulb is just burnt out, while other times the socket itself is in need of repair. Consider calling an electrician before you begin showing your home to make sure it’s shining its brightest. Potential buyers (and your bank account) will thank you for the investment.
- Not making your home energy efficient
If you’d like to spend less on your utility bills, you aren’t alone. A study by the National Association of Realtors found that 33 percent of homebuyers see high-efficiency HVAC systems as an important factor when looking at a new home. If you have an older home, you should look into either retrofitting or replacing your HVAC unit altogether as your current system might be using a lot more energy than it needs to be. This will ensure that you have a system that is meeting your home’s needs, while also lowering your utility bill.If you’re committed to energy-efficiency then there are a few extra things you can do. These options include making sure your home is properly insulated, ensuring that you don’t have any leaky air ducts, and buying a smart thermostat. Whichever route you pursue, having an energy-efficient HVAC system will make your house stand out from the competition.
- Not cleaning your house before trying to sell it
Most of us would probably be lying if we said our homes weren’t overdue for a good cleaning, so don’t forget to check this box before listing your home for sale. There’s nothing more off-putting during a home tour than realizing the house is dirty, and potential homebuyers may wonder what else you’ve been neglecting. By hiring a professional cleaning company, you’ll guarantee that not only is your home spotless but that you’re going to make a great impression on homebuyers when they tour your house.
- Not addressing the exterior of your house
Over the years, your home’s exterior has taken a beating from the elements. With everything mother nature throws at it every year, the paint on your home’s exterior and the stain on your deck have likely lost a bit of their luster. So before listing, be sure to pressure wash your house first. In addition to making sure your house looks its best in the listing photos, you will also enhance the overall curb appeal when buyers eventually show up for a tour. In addition to pressure washing your house and deck, you can also take the time to pressure wash your garage door, fence, patio, driveway, and any walkways you may have.
- You never got around to repainting
One of the first things a potential buyer will notice when they pull up to your home is the paint. If you want to make a good first impression, then you’ll need to ensure that your home is painted an inviting color and that the quality of your paint job is top-notch. While the job of repainting your house might take a few days, the value of painting your house before selling will be well worth the effort. A recent study found that painting the exterior of your home has a 51 percent return on investment. Don’t stop with the exterior though! We’ve all seen some pretty questionable color choices on the walls of homes. If you happen to have a lime green or bright purple wall, you’ll want to repaint them to be a more buyer-friendly neutral color. Doing so will make it easier for buyers to be able to picture themselves living in your home as it makes them think of your walls as a blank canvas.
- Selling a home with a yard in need of some TLC
The other way to make a great first impression is by wowing potential buyers with your yard. Start by cleaning up anything that may be cluttering your yard, porch, or pathways (things like gardening equipment or a child’s bicycle). Then you can move onto mowing the lawn, weeding your garden, and planting some new flowers. If your yard has a damaged pathway, you may also want to think about fixing or even replacing it as well. If these touch-ups seem like a lot to tackle while you’re trying to sell your home, don’t be afraid to hire a landscaper as the cost is well worth it. A study by Turf Magazine found that a home’s value tended to increase by as much as 10 to 12 percent after making upgrades to the landscaping.
- You have mismatched appliances
Maybe your black stove died a couple of years ago and you replaced it with a brand new stainless steel one. Or maybe you swapped out that white kitchen faucet you always hated with a copper one that caught your eye. Either way, the result is mismatched appliances. While it won’t necessarily impact the overall sale price of your home, many homebuyers are going to find the mismatched color scheme off-putting, so consider making some changes before you sell.
The best way to proceed is to decide which kitchen appliances are your favorite and base the color scheme off of them. So if that fancy new stove you bought last year is stainless steel, then make sure your other appliances are too. Luckily, many appliance manufacturers offer discounts if you purchase multiple appliances with them at once.
- Lingering during a home tour
Nobody likes a lingerer, especially when they also happen to be the owner of the home you’re currently touring. If you don’t leave the home during a showing, then potential buyers feel awkward as they attempt to discuss what they like and dislike about the house. You also prevent your listing agent from being able to do their job to the best of their abilities as you’re naturally going to want to answer any questions the buyers have rather than leaving those questions to your agent. So instead of staying in your home during a showing, try taking the opportunity to go shopping, run errands, or visit some friends instead. Your agent will thank you.
- Taking a Lowball Offer Personally.
Regardless of your reasons for moving, the fact that you’ve probably lived in your home for years means that you have a lot of strong feelings attached to it. So when you receive a lowball offer, it’s natural to be offended. Instead of walking away, send them back a counteroffer that you and your real estate agent think is fair. If they really are interested, then you’ll be glad you didn’t let your emotions get the better of you.
We are grateful for our friends at Redfin for allowing us to share their post.
Posted on January 22nd, 2020
Dangers of Waiting to Call for a Furnace Repair
When it’s cold outside there’s nothing quite like coming into a home that is warm and comfortable on the inside. Even if a winter storm is raging, you can relax knowing that you are protected from the elements as long as your furnace is working properly. When your furnace stops working, however, your home may no longer be the safe haven you need it to be. At Western Heating & Air Conditioning we know how important prompt furnace repair is for avoiding serious dangers that can put you, your home, and your family at risk.
People that avoid calling for furnace repair after their heaters stop working frequently are forced to turn to alternative heat sources. Candles, generators, and stove tops can all be fire hazards if used to heat a home and are not handled properly. Even space heaters can be dangerous if used as the only source of heat.
Carbon Monoxide Poisoning
Portable generators and other heating sources can also carry the threat of causing carbon monoxide poisoning. In addition, furnaces that have not had routine maintenance, and are improperly ventilated can cause dangerous levels of carbon monoxide to accumulate in a home. Equipment older than 10 years is especially prone to cracked heat exchangers which can leak dangerous gases into the home.
Homes that are left without heating during the cold winter months for too long also run the risk of the plumbing freezing. Furthermore, pipes that freeze can break causing even more extensive problems due to water damage.
High Utility Bills
When furnaces are not running at their peak efficiency, hundreds of dollars can be wasted each month. A certified technician from Western Heating & Air Conditioning can evaluate the performance of your system and thoroughly inspect, adjust, and clean the components that keep your system running clean and efficient.
Avoid these four serious dangers by contacting the professionals at Western Heating & Air Conditioning for a furnace repair at the first signs of trouble. At Western Heating & Air we are available 24 hours a day so that you never have to wait to call for the service you need. Give us a call at 385-273-3200 or visit www.WesternHeatingAir.com to schedule your service today.
Posted on January 17th, 2020
As an HVAC Contractor, some of our greatest challenges involve keeping your home’s indoor environment at the right conditions while reducing your energy bills. Here are some things we want you to know that will give you the best outcome for your HVAC system.
- Your home will never be the perfect temperature everywhere
Heating and cooling a home to the perfect temperature year-round is virtually impossible. The American Society for Heating, Refrigeration and Air Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE) spends tons of time figuring out the details of components and comfort requirements for HVAC systems. There’s always something new to learn. Getting the perfect system that meets the individual needs of your family all the time would be expensive and cumbersome, if not completely impractical. What we can do is get you as close as possible while saving you money in the process.
- Ventilation is important
You might not feel ventilation the way you feel heat and cold, but you will still feel the effects of poor ventilation. Increased sickness, poor air quality, the spread of pathogens and deterioration of your home are all effects of limited fresh air.
- Mechanical rooms are not for storage
Storage is always a challenge and it might be tempting to put those old suitcases or books in your furnace room. But the space around your equipment is important for its function. Limiting clearances can cause your furnace to burn without proper oxygen levels or cause a fire. It also makes repair and maintenance challenging. Keep this room clear at all times.
- You must keep vent openings clear
In addition to keeping your mechanical equipment clear of other items, you must ensure that vent openings outside are not blocked. Poor venting of gas equipment can cause carbon monoxide production which will endanger your family.
- Old equipment is costing you big
You might be saving on a huge expense like a furnace replacement when you repair your old equipment, but the money that you pour into repairs is only part of the expense. Old equipment is inefficient and this costs you every time you pay your energy bills, which will add up over time. Replace your equipment now, and we will also include a free duct cleaning ($699 value).
- Skipping maintenance will cost you more in the long run
This seems obvious when you think about it but it’s so easy to procrastinate on regular maintenance, especially when things get busy. But dealing with a repair or complete replacement that could have been prevented will cost you more time and money. Not to mention the additional cost of having HVAC equipment run inefficiently.
If you want to discuss your HVAC concerns, we’d love to talk to you! Please give us a call at 385-273-3200 and we can help you optimize your home’s heating. You can also our website at www.WesternHeatingAir.com for more information.
Posted on January 15th, 2020
Performing DIY repairs on any large appliance, especially a furnace, can be intimidating. Thankfully, one of the most common furnace maintenance projects can be done with no specialized knowledge.
Learning how to replace a furnace filter should be part of every homeowner’s skill set. If you aren’t sure where to start, read on to find out how to know it’s time for a replacement and how to install a filter.
How Do You Know It’s Time to Change a Furnace Filter?
Many people leave the same filter in their furnace for months (or years) at a time. It’s an easy thing to forget, but filters should be changed out every 30-60 days to keep your heating system working at its best. The exact amount of time will change depending on your home’s existing air quality, whether you have pets, and if anyone in your family has breathing issues.
Single-use paper and fiberglass filters should be white and free of buildup or debris. If you notice that the filter is gray and dirty, don’t just shake off the dust and put it back. It’s time to replace it altogether.
If you have a permanent or reusable filter, you can still follow the steps below. The only difference is that instead of replacing it with a new one, you’ll clean it out with a water sprayer and let it dry off before putting it back in.
How to Replace a Furnace Filter
How long has it been since your filter was replaced? If it has been more than a few months (or you aren’t sure if it has ever been replaced) it’s time to open up your furnace and take a look at what’s inside.
1. Turn off the Furnace
Before opening up any appliance for maintenance, the first step is always to turn it off. Even though the danger of electrocution is small, you could burn yourself if the furnace has been running. There’s also a chance that the system could kick on while the filter is out and send debris circulating through the rest of your HVAC system.
Shut down your heating system by setting your thermostat to “off” and disconnecting power from the furnace. If it’s hot, wait for it to cool down before opening it up.
2. Open the Filter Compartment
Your furnace should have a marked service panel on one side. If you aren’t sure where to look, check the manual or look up your furnace model online. For old furnaces that don’t have manuals, look around the ductwork and blower compartment for a small door panel.
3. Remove and Inspect the Old Filter
Now that the service panel is open, you should be able to peek inside and see your old filter in place. Before you take it out for the first time, make a note or take a photo of how it’s installed so you can put the new one in the right way.
Pay special attention to the direction of airflow—you may want to mark it with an arrow on your furnace or ductwork for future reference. The arrow should point toward the fan. If you reinstall the new filter backward, its efficiency will decrease.
Take the old filter out and immediately seal it in a trash bag to keep the dust from becoming airborne. It should slide out of the furnace with little effort.
With the filter slot empty, take a moment to brush out any visible debris from inside your furnace. A large buildup of debris is a sign that it’s time to schedule a heating tune-up.
4. Purchase a Matching Replacement Filter
Check your furnace’s manual and the existing filter to make sure you buy the correct replacement. You can find furnace filters at most stores with a hardware section. Ordering them online is also simple and can give you a wider selection to choose from.
When buying a replacement, make sure you choose the correct size, material, and MERV rating for your furnace.
5. Install the New Filter
Now that you’re ready to put the new filter in, use the directions you left for yourself earlier to insert it in the right direction. Match up the airflow direction on the filter with your filter’s fan unit and slide it into place. Then, close up the service panel and you’re ready to go.
6. Record the Date of Installation
To make sure you don’t forget to check your filter before it’s too late, write the date down for later reference. Place a sticker or magnetic notepad on or near your furnace to record the dates of your filter changes and any other furnace maintenance and repairs.
7. Restart the Furnace
Now that everything is back in place, you can reconnect the power to your furnace and turn your HVAC system back on with the thermostat. If your old filter was caked with dust before you replaced it, there may be a noticeable improvement in your home’s air quality.
Why You Should Never Ignore a Dirty or Damaged Filter
Not only can keeping your filter clean and updated extend the life of your furnace, but it will also make a huge difference in your home’s air quality.
The EPA recommends using a variety of methods to improve your indoor air quality (IAQ). Using clean filters in your furnace and HVAC unit is one of the easiest ways to trap pollutants before they enter your lungs. If your filter is damaged or caked with dust, your furnace will recirculate harmful particles back into your home’s air.
This is especially important to consider if anyone in your home has asthma or allergies or if you have dander-producing pets. Even if everyone has healthy lungs, a dusty furnace can fill your entire house with an unpleasant burning odor.
Looking for Help with Furnace Repairs?
Even though you now know how to replace a furnace filter yourself, sometimes you need a professional to help you out with repairs.
When that happens, call us at Western Heating & Air Conditioning. We can help you tune-up, fix, and replace your furnace when it’s no longer working at its best. Contact us today to schedule your appointment with a 24/7 service technician.
Posted on January 8th, 2020
Our Promise To You!
Highly trained, clean professionals
Consistent, quality performance
We respect your home and family
We are honest and do things the right way
Educate you on your system
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Posted on December 31st, 2019
Benefits of a Smart Thermostat
If you lived in the era before the invention of thermostats, you would have to go to the boiler and manually adjust the heat output every time it got too hot or too cold. Thanks to the thermostat, you can set it and forget it. Most of the time, anyway. There are some limitations to thermostats, even programmable ones.
Nowadays, you have the option of installing a smart thermostat to deal with some of those shortcomings. Here are some benefits of smart thermostats that make it almost a no-brainer for your home.
Smart thermostats learn your patterns and some monitor the weather to adjust set points accordingly. This means that instead of constantly tweaking the thermostat because you’re too hot or cold, the adjustments are carried out to maintain your comfort levels.
Energy use monitoring
One of the features of a smart thermostat is the energy use report that shows you how much you are consuming and how that changes over time. It allows you to assess your habits to find ways to save energy based on your needs and lifestyle.
Reduced energy use
The energy report is one tool that helps you save energy by allowing you to change habits. The other feature that smart thermostats have is the ability to use your patterns to know when to reduce heating and cooling while you’re away or asleep. This setback function saves you energy while you go about your daily routine.
Better performance from HVAC equipment
Smart thermostats allow your HVAC equipment to work at optimum efficiency and to reduce the time they run at full capacity. Overall this extends their lifespan and saves on energy and maintenance.
Remote monitoring in case of equipment failure
If you’re away for the holidays and your furnace falls, you don’t have to wait until you walk into a frozen house to find out. Remote access to your thermostat allows you to see if anything goes wrong so you can take steps to prevent a major disaster.
When you combine lower energy consumption, improved equipment performance and reduced maintenance, you have a recipe for cost savings. The initial investment for a smart thermostat pays for itself while you experience increased control and comfort.
If you want to upgrade to a smart thermostat, give the professionals at Western Heating & Air Conditioning a call at 385-273-3200 or visit us at www.WesternHeatingAir.com and we can help you benefit from this great technology.
Posted on December 21st, 2019
Joy to the world! The holiday season is upon us, bringing chilly weather and the seasonal spirit along with it.
If you haven’t scheduled your annual HVAC preventative maintenance check yet, you might want to soon.
Otherwise, you may find your season isn’t as cheery and bright as expected.
HVAC repairs and maintenance typically cost between $100 to $150 an hour. If it’s an emergency in the middle of the holidays, this cost can skyrocket. There’s also the chance you might find yourself without heat while friends and family are trying to celebrate the season with good cheer.
To ensure your system works year-round, you need HVAC maintenance. Keep reading to discover the benefits of scheduling your maintenance check every year!
Once you do, you can celebrate the season without worry!
1. Reduce Emergencies
What if you’re hosting a dinner party and your HVAC breaks down? Maybe you’re running late for work when it happens. Either way, there’s never a good time to need HVAC repairs.
You might also have a difficult time calling in a repairman when the appointment is last minute.
Instead of waiting for the worst to happen, schedule your HVAC preventative maintenance ahead of time.
Scheduling an annual checkup will help you avoid costly repairs. Instead, you can maintain your unit so it doesn’t crash unexpectedly. If repairs are necessary, you can schedule them on your schedule instead of when the timing is at the worst possible moment.
2. System Longevity
Scheduling HVAC preventative maintenance every year can increase your unit’s lifespan. Without proper maintenance, however, the unit will overwork itself. This can lead to the very repairs you’re trying to avoid.
A new system can also cost thousands.
Instead of paying for a new unit at the last minute, make sure your existing unit lasts.
Think of annual preventative maintenance like an annual checkup. The HVAC technician can take a look, note any problems, and suggest changes. Then, you can keep your system healthy and working at its best for an extended lifetime.
3. Healthy Air
Every day, we breathe in dust and other indoor allergens without realizing it. These often include:
- Pet dander
- Dust mites
- Cigarette smoke
These allergens can cause dozens of respiratory issues and harm your family’s health. For example, these allergens can irritate a family member’s asthma.
When you leave your HVAC unit unchecked or fail to replace your filters, these airborne pollutants will start to fill the air.
Improve your home’s air quality by calling an HVAC technician. They can check for these allergens and professionally clean your air ducts. Regular HVAC maintenance will also ensure your unit is working to limit these allergens.
Once your vents are clean and well-filtered, fresh air can pump through your home again.
4. Lower Utility Bills
In 2017, the average residential monthly electric bill was $111.67.
When you fail to clean your filters, your HVAC unit has to work twice as hard to push air through the system. As a result, this cost will slowly start to rise.
Annual preventative maintenance will ensure your unit is working at its peak efficiency. When your unit is working properly, it won’t have to use as much energy. As a result, you can cut your energy bills and start saving money.
Without AC preventative maintenance, however, your utility bills will only continue to increase.
Carbon dioxide is an odorless, poisonous gas. Without you realizing it, this gas can invade your living space when it’s not properly venting out of your home. Older furnaces that aren’t regularly maintained are also likely to produce additional carbon dioxide.
If not vented properly, this could put your family members at risk.
It’s important to schedule your annual HVAC maintenance to avoid this issue. Then, a technician can check to confirm your gas is venting and burning properly. After their checkup, you’ll have peace of mind that your home is safe for family members and guests.
You expect your HVAC unit to keep your cool in the summertime and warm during the winter. When you neglect to schedule regular maintenance, however, your system won’t work at its best. As a result, your system might fail to keep you and your family members comfortable.
You might find your system doesn’t produce and distribute air evenly and steadily throughout your home.
If the system isn’t working properly, it might not respond to the settings on your screen, either.
Many people take HVAC preventative maintenance for granted until it’s too late. Instead of waiting for your unit to leave you chilly through winter weather, schedule a checkup. A technician can clean your ductwork and take other preventative steps to make sure your unit is working as it should.
7. Help the Environment
If you’re worried about your green footprint, make sure your HVAC unit is working properly. Otherwise, it could consume more fuel than necessary, which can hurt the environment.
You can speak to your HVAC technician about a programmable thermostat or switching to a natural gas system. Both steps can help minimize your impact on the environment.
8. Peace of Mind
Investing in regular preventative maintenance for your HVAC unit will also give you peace of mind. If something goes wrong, you’ll know you’ve already taken steps to make sure your unit is working at its best. When sometimes does happen, it will end up minor compared to the larger problems you avoid through preventative maintenance.
9. Warranty Requirements
Most HVAC manufacturers require evidence you’ve scheduled your annual maintenance check before you can make a claim. By keeping up with your HVAC checkups, you have an insurance policy in place.
Clear the Air: 9 Reasons You Need HVAC Preventative Maintenance
Now that we’ve cleared the air, when was the last time you scheduled your HVAC preventative maintenance? By scheduling an annual checkup, you can prevent disasters before they strike.
That means celebrating the holidays without a hitch, too!
Ready for your checkup? Schedule your HVAC preventative maintenance appointment today!
Posted on December 17th, 2019
How To Prevent Cold Spots in Your Home
There’s nothing like being inside your toasty house during winter while the wind howls outside and the snow accumulates everywhere. But if there’s a cold area that sends shivers down your spine, your home has a heating problem that needs to be addressed.
Here are some reasons why you need to put on your parka indoors even when the heat is on (and how to fix it).
Your furnace is undersized
If your furnace is too small, the heat won’t reach the areas furthest away. The first step when dealing with cold spots is to ensure your heating equipment can handle the coldest nights. Have a professional review your home’s construction and calculate the correct size for your furnace, especially if you’ve recently added a room or two.
Your system needs to be balanced
If your furnace is the right size and you still have that cold room or corner, your system may not be balanced to provide the right amount of air to each grille. Have your distribution system assessed to make sure there are no obstructions or leaks and the system is properly balanced.
Your windows are leaky
This is a common reason for cold spots. Air from outside enters your home through small gaps around your windows and will give you a ghostly draft, especially when the wind blows. You also waste energy trying to heat the cold air that enters. Seal around your windows and doors to keep warm air in and cold air out.
Your heating equipment needs to be repaired or replaced
If your furnace’s fan is dirty or your burner isn’t working, you won’t get enough heat for your whole house. After years of use, your furnace’s performance will drop, leaving you with less heat while consuming more energy. If your heating equipment is past its life span, consider upgrading to a new, more efficient system to take care of your home (and save on heating in the process).
Your furniture is blocking airflow
Sometimes the solution to a cold spot is simply to rearrange your furniture. If you block vents or radiators, the air won’t flow freely to heat your home. Think carefully about how you lay out your room to make sure you’re not shivering while your armchair heats up.
If you have cold spots at home and you need help with your equipment or distribution, give us a call at 385-273-3200 and we can make your entire home toasty warm this winter. Take advantage of our New Year Special! Our air flow specialist will inspect your home and offer solutions for just $49 ($89 value). Visit www.WesternHeatingAir.com for more information.
Posted on December 17th, 2019
Spread the Holiday Cheer this Christmas!
Holidays can be chaotic and stressful as you search for the perfect gifts, plan family visits and prepare your home for guests, which may include getting your furnace tuned-up… if so we are here for you! In the midst of that, it’s important to take time to focus on spreading joy. Here are some ways to extend holiday cheer this season.
Visit the poor and sick
Throughout the year, those less fortunate can get forgotten. Visit a hospice, orphanage or volunteer with an organization that helps the poor. Who knows? You might find your new year’s resolution while putting smiles on faces.
Feed the hungry
Donate to your local food bank or volunteer at a soup kitchen to bring food to those in need. Boxing Day, the day after Christmas, was traditionally the day for “boxing” leftovers and giving to the poor. Consider doing your own version of this tradition.
Christmas is a depressing time for many. Some may have lost loved ones around this time, others may be lonely. Caroling in your neighborhood brings music of hope and joy to those who need it most.
Reach out to someone who hurt you
You don’t have to reach out to strangers to bring cheer. Extending an olive branch to someone who hurt you in the past can bring forgiveness and joy to that person. Even the attempt to mend a broken relationship can bring joy to you as well.
It’s easy to get caught up in life’s dramas and forget that others are lost in their own darkness. Be a light to someone who needs it and you’ll discover your own light shining brighter.
Do a favor for a stranger
Pay for the next person’s coffee, carry someone’s shopping, or help a young mother distract a wailing toddler. The options are endless as you go about your daily tasks.
Donate to charity
Instead of buying the most expensive gifts for everyone on your list, consider holding back some cash and donating extra to your favorite charity. You can even make it your family’s tradition to give extra during the holidays.
Spend extra time with your family
Surprise the kids with one on one time or a special outing. Sneak away early one afternoon to bake cookies or to take a walk in the snow. You’ll boost your family’s joy and make memories they’ll talk about for many years to come. Regardless of your plans for the season, may you and your family have a joyful Christmas spreading cheer.
From our family to yours, Merry Christmas! – Ryan and Angie Snow, Western Heating & Air Conditioning
Posted on December 6th, 2019
This was a special week for a deserving family in Springville. Amy Sherman was surprised early Wednesday morning by Western Heating & Air Conditioning and FM100, when she learned she was the winner of the Gift of Heat – a brand new furnace! Her daughter, Whitney, had nominated her for the furnace, and was so excited when her mother was chosen.
In the past four years, Amy has undergone 11 surgeries in and recently came out of a coma. Her home has been without heat for over a year. With all the medical bills piling up, the family simply couldn’t afford to have their 26 year old furnace looked at, so they used space heaters to warm their home. Not only do space heaters eat up energy, they can be dangerous, and don’t provide adequate warmth for a recovering patient.
“To know that my family will actually be warm and that my family won’t have to use space heaters means the world to me,” said Sherman. “I never thought anything like this would happen to us because we have terrible luck. This is great! This a turnaround for us.” You can watch highlights from our experience here.
Western Heating & Air Conditioning has been giving the “Gift of Heat” to deserving families for the last 4 years. Owner Angie Snow said, “This is the best thing we do all year. We love to be able to give back to a community that has given so much to us.” Her husband, and co-owner, Ryan Snow added, “When we find families like Amy’s, it makes it all worth it! We just love giving back.”
In the upcoming years, Angie would like to build this program by enlisting the help of additional sponsors so they can warm more homes and hearts. To find out more about the Gift of Heat program or to be involved in helping additional families, you can contact Western Heating & Air Conditioning at 385-515-2448 or visit www.WesternHeatingAir.com.
Posted on October 30th, 2019
5 Things That Happen When You Don’t Change Your Air Filter
Getting the most value out of your home can be as easy as changing out your air filters. Homeowners that ignore the filters in their heating and air conditioning systems risk higher energy costs, damaging expensive equipment, and diminishing indoor air quality and personal health. See below to find out what can happen if you don’t change your air filters.
There are many particles floating in the air around us at the microscopic level: flakes of skin, pet dander, and the fumes and residue from cooking, to name just a few. And with the holidays around the corner, these particles increase with more activity and more time spent in your home.
Changing your air filters is one of the most important and overlooked basic home maintenance tasks. If you want to keep the air in your home clean and avoid unnecessary repairs, consider replacing your air filters every 30 to 90 days.
In our experience when talking to customers, contractors, and other industry experts, here are the five harmful effects of not changing your air filters regularly:
- You Spend Money on Energy Costs without Seeing the Benefits
No matter the rate of airflow, your HVAC system is either running or not running. If the conditioned air sits around the coils, then you are heating or cooling the same air and not pushing it through into the ducts. Slow-moving air in the ducts will not stay the same temperature by the time it reaches each room.
With a dirty air filter, expect to increase the run-time of your HVAC system while only changing air temperature in small increments.
- Your Air Conditioning System Runs Longer, Gets Clogged and Fails
Air conditioning systems can be big, complex, and very expensive. All of the air in your home, along with airborne particles, cycle through this single point multiple times in a single day. Similar to dust that settles on a flat surface, the spinning fan blade and air pressure in your HVAC system can force particles onto different surfaces, crevices, heating and cooling coils, and electrical and mechanical components.
The longer particles remain in the air, the more likely they will build up inside the unit, block air flow and cause damage.
HVAC components are engineered and manufactured with an expected lifespan of 15 years. The faster you can heat or cool your home, the less you have to run your HVAC system and the longer the equipment will last.
- Heating and Cooling the Air Takes Longer with an Old Air Filter
Your HVAC system is one of the only methods of moving air inside of your home. Consider the location of your HVAC unit relative to air vents. As air filters load, the ability for air to move through the filter diminishes.
Have you ever noticed some rooms are warmer while others are cooler in your house? Depending on the distance, hot or cold air may need to travel further through ductwork. Without adequate air flow, rooms further away may stay cold in the winter and hot in the summer, while other areas get the majority of the air flow.
- The Air in Rooms Becomes Stagnant
When air doesn’t move, it becomes stagnate. Odors, dust, moisture and other particles sit in the same space and fall onto surfaces, into carpeting, and places you don’t see. Wiping down surfaces isn’t enough, especially if you are using a chemical spray. The ingredients in cleaners get into the air with the other particles. Just because surfaces look clean doesn’t mean the room is clean.
Some people have reported that rooms with poor air flow can even change the color of walls and furniture.
If you have a home in Miami or other areas where there is often moisture in the air, other problems can occur, including bacterial growth that can make you sick, and mold that can take over and be expensive to remove. Even more reason to make sure air flow is unrestricted throughout your home.
- Indoor Air Quality Gets Even Worse When You Don’t Change Your Air Filter
According to the EPA, indoor air quality is on average two to five times worse than the air outdoors. In some locations, air quality can be 100 times worse than the air outdoors. Much of this results from the energy crisis in the 1970s. To save energy, we improved our methods of construction and changed the materials we used to better seal buildings.
This is good news for energy costs but bad news for our respiratory systems, especially for allergy sufferers.
Sealed buildings that are using old filters allow poor quality air to recirculate indoors. We inhale these particles, and depending on your sensitivity, they can cause minor problems like watery eyes, coughing, sneezing, or trigger asthma-related symptoms and other long-term respiratory complications.
Changing out filters can have a profound impact on indoor air quality, energy costs and maximizing the value of your home on the US housing market.
Consider that shopping for air filters online is not only convenient, but bulk purchase discounts and auto-renewal options can save you time and money.
How often should you have your furnace/HVAC unit serviced?
Calling an HVAC professional to inspect your furnace/HVAC unit once a year can save a lot of hassle and money in the long run. Your unit likely contains moving parts like belts that can get cracked and dry if not taken care of. Additionally, your ventilation ductwork needs to be inspected for gaps, rusting, and cracks, and your coils and fans require lubrication to ensure clog-free operation. Unless you have the training required to perform this maintenance on your own, it is recommended that you call your local professional.
Originally posted on Redfin by Ryan Smith
Posted on October 28th, 2019
Posted on October 9th, 2019
Get to Know your Friends at Western Heating
Both Ryan and I were born and raised in Utah. We met in 1997 while attending Snow College and were married shortly thereafter. (Yes, the Snows met at Snow!) We have four children and reside in Salem. My career goals led me to elementary education, while Ryan’s education in Technology Management and work experience was focused in the HVAC industry.
After working as a technician, an installer, project manager, distributor, and general manager, Ryan decided in 2007 that it was finally time to purchase his own Heating and Air Conditioning Company – Western Heating & Air Conditioning in Orem, Utah. I knew nothing about HVAC, but I loved my husband and I wanted to help him make his HVAC dreams come true!
I officially hung up my 2nd grade teacher hat to help him and our four technicians as we ventured in the business of HVAC and home comfort. It was tough running the business out of my home with three small children. We knew that we wanted to grow and become be the best HVAC service company in Utah. We joined amazing organizations, received phenomenal training, and put in the work to help us build the reputation that we have today.
Here we are 12 years later and I now understand my husband’s passion for this amazing industry! Over the last 12 years we have grown to 35 employees, 2 locations (Orem, and Lehi) and received national and local awards for our growth and innovative practices in this industry. We attribute our success and growth from the values and standards that we have put in place in our business.
Shortly after I started working with Western, I began to hear many horror stories from clients who had worked with other contractors who were very dishonest. I knew that if we could set ourselves apart by simply being honest, we would be able gain clients for life. Western has truly been built on integrity and trust. We are gratefully for the relationships we have with our clients. They trust us and often refer us to their friends and family. Their reviews and referrals they give us are the icing on the cake.
It is also an honor to have won the “Best of Utah Valley” award for Heating & Air Conditioning four years in a row. I believe it is because we treat our customers and our employees like family. My employees love their job and love the culture that we have developed here. We invest a lot in their training and education so that they can have the tools, knowledge, and resources to be the best technicians out there. They really take time to educate our clients on their equipment and HVAC systems, and our clients really appreciate that.Community is another one of our company values. We are continually striving to find ways to give back to the community. Our deepest connection is with the Emily Effect, a non-profit organization that helps spread awareness for new mothers who may be suffering with postpartum depression or other anxieties. This organization was created in behalf of Emily Dyches, who lost her life due to the effects of post-partum depression. She was my dear friend, and no one should have to lose a mother, daughter, sister, or friend in that way. She would have been celebrating her birthday this month. You can learn more about their organization at www.theEmilyEffect.org. We have wrapped two of our vehicles in Emily’s honor and give a portion of our revenue to this special organization.
We thank you for welcoming us into your neighborhood and into your homes. Our goal is to help your family stay comfortable by providing affordable solutions to keep you healthy, save you money, and protect the investments in your home. We would love an opportunity to maintain your heating and cooling equipment and improve your indoor air quality with solutions such as humidifiers and air scrubbers. We thank you again for the opportunity and hope to meet you soon! Please give us a call at (385) 515-2448 or visit us online at www.TimeForComfort.com
Angie Snow, owner and VP of Western Heating & Air Conditioning
Posted on October 2nd, 2019
Is Your Furnace Ready for Winter?
Fall is here and winter is just around the corner. Many home owners are already thinking about getting their furnace serviced, cleaned, and tested to make sure it’s in prime condition before winter arrives. The last thing you want is for a cold spell to hit and find that your furnace isn’t working as it should. Here are 4 simple steps to make sure your furnace is working great so your family stays nice and warm this winter.
1 – Test
We always advise that you start running the heating system early on in the fall. This allows you to make sure that it is actually working as it should. It also allows the system to run through its proper cycle to make sure all the safety sensors and switches are working properly. A simple test also can give you the peace of mind that you will have plenty of time in case a repair is needed.
2 – Filters
Changing the filters in your system will improve efficiency and ensure you that there will be no debris circulating. A dirty or plugged filter is typically the most common repair that we encounter. A good maintenance schedule will mean that filters are generally replaced anyway, but they are always worth checking. How often should you change them? That depends on the quality and type of filter. Most standard 1-inch filters need to be changed monthly, while pleated filters can last longer. An indicator is to hold the filter up to a light to see if the light can filter through. If not, it is time to replace. We are upgrading many systems with advanced filters that only need to be changed yearly. Ask us if your system eligible for an upgrade.
3 – Inspection
Depending on where your unit is located (ie. attic, basement, crawl space), could mean an extra bit of work before getting the system running again – make sure that the unit is thoroughly cleared of any debris before use. Give the system a thorough inspection and make sure that there aren’t any major & visible problems. Call out a professional if something seems wrong.
4 – Professional
Having a professional look at the system before running it is always sensible. They can advise you as to what should or shouldn’t be done to run the system. They can also ensure that the system is working at peak efficiency, meaning your bills will be the lowest they can be. At Western Heating, our service is more than a check up or tune up, it’s a rejuvenation. Mention this article to receive an additional $50 off our $129 rejuvenation for October only.
For more information on fall maintenance, talk to one of our friendly and professional team members at 385-273-3200 or visit www.WesternHeatingAir.com and we’ll be glad to help.
Posted on September 19th, 2019
Why Ventilation Matters During Cold Weather
Ever since we’ve discovered the impact of our energy consumption on the environment, we’ve taken more and more steps to reduce use. By limiting the heating and cooling loads of our HVAC systems, we help both the environment and our pockets.
But as we strive to reduce the energy we use, it’s important to remember that some loads are worth keeping, like ventilation. Bringing in fresh air might use more gas and electricity but if we limit outside air, the effects can be detrimental.
Here are the reasons why ventilation is vital to your family, especially as winter starts creeping in.
Exhaust removes moist air
Ventilation consists of introducing fresh air as well as getting rid of stale air. Exhausting air from moisture-prone areas like your kitchen and bathroom is important for preventing issues like mold and bacterial growth.
A simple exhaust fan can do wonders as long as you use it when required and it works to its full capacity. Ensure that your exhaust fans are well-maintained to keep these areas well ventilated.
Ventilation reduces the buildup of unwanted gases
Too much carbon dioxide and exposure to gases like volatile organic compounds (VOCs) can make you sick. Carbon dioxide builds up in your home if it isn’t replaced with fresh outdoor air. This can lead to fatigue and restlessness as well as headaches. VOC exposure causes eye, throat and lung irritation in the short term but can lead to problems with the liver and central nervous system with ongoing exposure.
For many years we dealt with outdoor air pollution but studies show that poor ventilation leads to higher levels of indoor air pollutants. Adequate ventilation is the only way to ensure acceptable indoor air quality.
In addition to unwanted gases, ventilation reduces the buildup of germs during flu season. Since you’re more likely to spend time indoors during winter, getting rid of viruses and bacteria will keep your family healthier and reduce the spread of winter misery from colds and the flu.
The best part is that you don’t need to accept a massive increase in your heating load to get enough ventilation. Energy recovery ventilators (ERVs) help with energy while allowing you the benefit of fresh air. If you want fresher, healthier air in your home, especially as it gets colder, give the professionals at Western Heating & Air Conditioning a call and we can help keep your family healthy. Call us at 385-273-3200 or visit us at www.WesternHeatingAir.com.
Posted on September 11th, 2019
Commercial HVAC systems seem to get all the love with engineers devoting months to designing them to be just right. Many homeowners don’t have this luxury and their systems are often sized based on square footage. And while these rules of thumb are quick and easy, the long-term effect of poorly sized equipment can be costly and stressful.
It may seem obvious that if your furnace is undersized, you just won’t get the heating you need. You’ll shiver winter after winter while you wait for the temperature to go up. But that’s not the only indicator. You may find some parts of your home get warm while others are cold. One typical reason is that the airflow isn’t properly balanced. Another possibility is an undersized furnace that simply can’t heat your entire house.
More often than not, though, the problem is that your unit might be oversized. Unfortunately, this means a higher initial cost and potentially higher energy consumption to power a larger fan. If you have a single stage furnace, you might find it cycling on and off more frequently. Your home’s temperature will fluctuate and your furnace will experience more wear. Modulating furnaces aren’t prone to this problem but they will run at a less than optimum efficiency, consuming more fuel than if properly sized.
Poorly designed cooling
In northern climates, air conditioners are sometimes considered less important. While heating is more critical for severe winters, cooling systems are vital for both temperature and humidity control in the summer. An undersized air conditioner will struggle to cool your home and run longer, drawing more power. It will also take a long time to bring the temperature and humidity down, leaving you at risk for all the issues associated with high humidity.
Similar to furnaces, some air conditioners may be oversized, especially in hotter climates where air conditioning is critical for extreme temperatures in the summer. The problem is that oversizing your air conditioner can increase wear as the compressor cycles on and off for single stage cooling systems. It can also lower humidity too much, leaving your home dry and uncomfortable. Added to that is the higher initial cost and energy use for a unit that is bigger than it needs to be.
There’s no question that much thought needs to go into choosing the right equipment for your home. If your HVAC system isn’t performing despite proper repair and replacement, give the experts at Western Heating & Air Conditioning a call and we can assess the design to help you deal with those issues. For a limited time, we are offering a free home analysis ($79 value). Call 385-273-3200 or visit us online at www.WesternHeatingAir.com.
Posted on September 3rd, 2019
Signs Your Water Heater Needs to be Replaced
Your water heater is a very important appliance in your home. Many people may not even think about their water heater until the hot water is gone. The last thing we would want is for you to wake up to a cold shower, or a flooded home from a broken water heater. Here are a few signs that may indicate your water heater needs to be replaced.
Is your water heater keeping up with the needs of your family? I have four children, and when we all want to shower or bath around the same time, we often run out of hot water. The recovery time is measured by how long it takes to heat the water up after all the water is used from the water heater. If it takes a while or if it is running out of hot water frequently, then that may indicate a problem.
Have you ever heard strange noises from your water heater? You may not unless you are close to your water heater when it turns on. Listen closely and if you hear crackling, bubbling or popping noises, that could indicate that your tank is getting full of sediment. This can be harmful to a water heater, causing it to not heat the water properly. When this happens, the water heater over works and it causes unnecessary, extra stress on your water heater.
Water heaters typically last 8-10 years. If your water heater is getting in this age range, you may notice some of the symptoms above. At this age it’s best to consider replacing it if these symptoms are occurring.
To keep your water heater running safely and efficiently, we suggest an annual water heater safety check. Our friendly, certified technicians are trained to effectively test and maintain your water heaters for optimal performance. They recommend installing a water sensor by your water heater to alert you of any flooding.
Western Heating & Air Conditioning’s owner, Ryan Snow, shares additional insights and information on water heaters here.
Schedule your annual furnace tune-up now, and get a complimentary water heater check for the month of September 2019 only. Or if it’s time to upgrade that water heater, we have our BLOWOUT water heater pricing for this month only. Our certified technicians are Utah’s most wanted and most trusted technicians. They treat you like family and leave your home nicer than they found it. Visit Western Heating & Air Conditioning online at www.TimeForComfort.com or call 801-515-2448 to schedule today!
Posted on August 21st, 2019
Finding the Right Summer Indoor Temperature
The ideal temperature setting is something we rarely think about when fiddling with the thermostat in summer. Though the perfect temperature may seem purely based on opinion, there are some factors we must all consider before setting the dial.
According to the American Society of Heating, Refrigeration and Air Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE), the ideal indoor temperature for comfort is between 75°F (24°C) and 80.5°F (27°C) in the summer. This temperature range is based on factors like clothing, humidity levels, individual metabolic rate and airflow speed. Your personal comfort levels may deviate from this range, based on your body’s metabolism, but not by very much.
We must consider our health when setting our home temperature. The ideal body temperature is 98.6°F (37°C) so try to maintain that when possible. When you set your thermostat, the humidity of your home is also affected. Air conditioning lowers humidity, which can then dry out mucus membranes. This leaves you susceptible to colds other respiratory issues.
Temperature also affects sleep quality, which impacts your immune system and overall health. For most people, a temperature range of 65°F to 72°F (18°C to 22°C) works best. In the summer, this might mean running your air conditioner on hot nights. As with daytime temperatures, ideal sleep temperatures will vary depending on your body and how bundled up you are.
You can save energy on cooling by finding other ways to cool down in summer. Keeping your thermostat set to slightly higher temperatures will cut your energy bills by 6-8% per degree. You can use a fan with your air conditioner set to a higher temperature to keep cool while consuming less electricity.
Equipment performance and life cycle
Depending on how your equipment is sized, setting the temperature wrong may cause it to cycle on and off or cause it to run excessively. This has the undesired effect of reducing your equipment life cycle as it works harder and experiences more wear and tear.
Make sure that whatever your preferred indoor temperature, your air conditioner is correctly sized so it doesn’t experience too much run time or too much cycling. Have a professional from Western Heating & Air Conditioning review your system to make sure it’s the right size for your home.
Keep your cooling equipment ready to go
With more hot days ahead, you will want your cooling equipment running at its best. Give Western Heating & Air Conditioning a call at 385-273-3200 for any maintenance issues or simply to review your air conditioning so you’re never stuck without cooling. Learn more at www.WesternHeatingandAir.com.
Posted on July 26th, 2019
Your HVAC Independence Plan
Nearly two hundred and fifty years ago, the United States gained independence from the British Empire. It took dedication, hard work and tenacity.
But how independent are we in our own lives? Figuring it out requires close self-examination. Even the small aspects of our daily existence affect our independence. One aspect is our home environment, figuratively and literally.
In the literal sense, our home’s systems affect the freedom we experience. Here are some tweaks you can do to ensure your HVAC system helps boost your independence.
Independence from high utility bills
You’re unlikely to gain full independence from utility bills but you can be independent from the ones that keep you up at night. HVAC systems use a substantial percentage of energy so lowering consumption with the right upgrades will bring those bills down.
High efficiency furnaces, air conditioners, boilers and water heaters are designed to reduce energy use and bring you closer to independence. Using solar collectors for hot water can lower your bills even more.
Independence from indoor air pollution
Indoor air pollution is an invisible enemy that can make you sick and you won’t even know why. You can’t gain true independence with health problems, especially ones you can avoid.
Keep indoor air pollution at bay with properly maintained exhaust fans, filters upgraded to high efficiency or an energy recovery ventilator (ERV) that boosts air quality with minimal impact to your heating and cooling bills.
Independence from allergies
Speaking of health, allergy symptoms can rob you of true independence by leaving you too miserable and sick to function.
Minimize your exposure to allergens in your home with proper furnace maintenance: replace filters (or upgrade them to HEPA filters), clean the fan and ductwork and install an air purifier. Proper ventilation combined with the right filtration and purification will bring you closer to allergy independence at home.
Independence from humidity issues
Achieving comfort at home is about more than just getting the temperature right. Your home must be at the right humidity as well, and not just for comfort. Humidity that is too high or low can cause problems with your home (damage to walls and structure) and your health (triggering allergies, making you more susceptible to colds, drying skin and mucus membranes).
When evaluating the health issues that your family has, and because of the dryness in Utah Valley, you may want to consider installing a humidifier, or air conditioner to control the moisture levels and keep you independent of humidity problems. If you need help achieving more independence in your HVAC life, give the Certified Comfort Experts at Western Heating & Air Conditioning at call at 385-273-3200 or visit us online at www.WesternHeatingAir.com.