Posted on February 27th, 2020
Why Clean Air Ducts?
Answer: Because they get dirty!
Many people don’t think about air duct cleaning until it is absolutely necessary. Because the air ducts are hidden from sight, it is easy to forget about them. However, nothing is more important to your indoor air quality than your duct system. To have a healthy and efficient home, you need to schedule regular duct cleaning.
The Facts About Indoor Air Quality
Through normal occupation in a home, we tend to generate a lot of contaminants and air pollutants, such as dander, dust, and chemicals. These contaminants are pulled into the HVAC system and re-circulated 5 to 7 times per day, on average. This re-circulation can cause a build-up of contaminants in the duct work over time.
In addition to normal accumulations of dust and dirt found in all homes with air ducts, there are several other factors that can increase the need for regular HVAC system cleaning:
- Cigarette or cigar smoke
- Water contamination or damage to the home or HVAC system
- Home renovation or remodeling projects
Some occupants may be more sensitive than others to these contaminants. Allergy and asthma sufferers, as well as young children and the elderly tend to be more susceptible to the types of poor indoor air quality that air duct cleaning can help address.
With a professional duct cleaning, here are two of the many benefits you will experience.
Your heating and cooling system are the lungs of your home. The system takes air in and breathes air out. Dirt, bacteria, and even viruses can lurk in your duct system and then are blown all around your home. Dirty ducts can cause the following symptoms:
- Increased asthma symptoms
- Increased allergy symptoms
- Runny nose
- Tightness in the chest
These symptoms can be quickly resolved with a thorough duct cleaning. If the symptoms persist or get worse, you should seek medical attention.
Contaminants in the heating and cooling system cause it to work harder and shorten the life of your system. Although filters are used, the heating and cooling system still gets dirty through normal use.
When an HVAC system is clean, it doesn’t have to work as hard to keep the right temperature in your home. As a result, less energy is used, saving you money in energy bills.
Choose a Quality Air Duct Cleaning Company
There are many companies out there that claim ridiculously cheap pricing for their duct cleaning. The truth is, you get what you pay for when it comes to air duct cleaning. You should never trust just anyone with the health and safety of your home. Western Heating & Air Conditioning are Certified Comfort Experts who take pride in doing a job the right way, even if it’s not the easy way. Westen has a long history of customer satisfaction.
MARCH DUCT CLEANING SPECIAL
For the month of March, Western is offering a FREE duct cleaning with the installation of a new high efficiency system. To learn more about the benefits of air duct cleaning or to take advantage of our March special, contact the experts at Western Heating & Air Conditioning at 385-273-3200 or visit us online at www.TimeForComfort.com.
Posted on February 20th, 2020
Repair or Replace?
It is not always completely obvious on when you need to replace your furnace. The signs may be subtle and easy to ignore. However, this is a question that Utah’s Most Wanted Technicians at Western Heating and Air Conditioning get all the time, particularly as winter sets in. There are a few key factors that play into replacing a furnace. If your system meets any of the characteristics below, it may be time to replace it. If you need replacement, you can always count on Western Heating and Air Conditioning for installation and maintenance.
- Your Furnace Is Old
If your furnace is older than 15-20 years old, it likely needs to be replaced. If you have not maintained it properly, then it’s lifespan may be a bit shorter. Newer models of furnaces are much more energy efficient. Choosing a newer model will save you monthly on utility bills.
- Increased Repairs
If you find that your furnace needs frequent repairs just to have it work properly, it may be time to call it quits. If your repairs are getting expensive, it may be worth it to just put that money towards a new unit. General rule of thumb is, if the cost of repair is 50% of the cost of a new furnace, you should just replace it instead of repair it.
- Increased Energy Bills
If you have noticed that each year your heating bills have gone up without more usage (taking into account your rate) then you may need to replace your unit. As stated above, a newer unit will be much more energy efficient and will help you save on a monthly basis.
Replacing your heating equipment is an important decision and an investment that can save you money in the long run. As a company you can trust, Western Heating & Air Conditioning has many cost-effective options that will align with your family’s budget and needs.
Right now, we are offering a complimentary Home Comfort Analysis to help you find ways to save and ways to upgrade the comfort level in your home or business. We are also giving away a FRESH AIR FRENZY bonus package which includes a free duct cleaning, a wifi thermostat, air scrubber and carbon monoxide detector with every supreme system replaced. Visit www.TimeForComfort.com or call 385-273-3200 to schedule your free consultation now.
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.