Efficiency and Comfort

Tips for Maximum Efficiency and Comfort

Are you getting the most for your comfort dollar? Or are you paying to heat and cool the neighborhood?

Whether your comfort system is old or new, in a new or old home, in an apartment or a single-family home, there are many little things you can do to optimize its efficiency and minimize your utility bills. They’re definitely worth the small amount of time and expense they take, because in the long run, they’ll save you money.

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Three Steps to Better Indoor Air Quality

1. Understand the Problem

While most people would think twice before eating from dirty dishes or drinking impure water, surprisingly few take the steps necessary to understand the quality of the air inside their own home. Yet, Indoor air pollution inside the typical American home Is typically 2-10 times higher than outdoor air pollution and by some estimates is responsible for as much as 50% of all illnesses. In fact, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) considers indoor air pollution the number one environmental health problem in the United States.

Some facts to consider: 

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Humidity

It's All Relative

Proper humidity levels keep you healthier and more comfortable.

Your heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) system can do more than heat and cool your home. It can also keep the humidity at a comfortable level in winter and summer. It’s a delicate balance: if It’s too low, you’ll feel the effects of colds, respiratory Infections, and asthma more, and some of the furnishings in your home will literally dry out. If it’s too high, you’ll be uncomfortable but mold and mildew will flourish. They love moisture! 

Residential HVAC systems balance temperature and humidity. The best person to design a system appropriate for your climate and your comfort needs is a professional ACCA member contractor. He or she understands the science of your home and applies the principles contained in the ACCA design and technical manuals to the design, selection, and installation of an HVAC system that’s right for you. 

ACCA manuals are the Industry standard, often Incorporated into local building codes and endorsed or recommended by the Department of Energy, the Environmental Protection Agency, and equipment manufacturers.

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Save Money and Make Your Home more Comfortable

Do—It—Yourself

1. Find the air leaks— First, close all your windows, doors and flues and turn off your furnace and water heater. Then turn on all your exhaust fans—this will help pull air from the outside. Now, walk around your home and feel for drafts in the following areas:

  • Doors and windows
  • Fireplaces
  • Corners, baseboards and areas where the wall and ceiling meet
  • Pet doors and mail lots
  • Window AC units
  • Electrical outlets and plates
  • Pipes If you have trouble, try wetting your hand or use a lit incense stick and watch the trail of smoke for indications of drafts.
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The Air You Breathe

What’s in your air and what can you do about it

Unfortunately, In today’s world, pollution Is everywhere. And with the type of cleaning products, man-made goods, and activities undertaken within homes and buildings, indoor environments can become very uncomfortable. Even "fresh,” outdoor air has as many as 30 million dust or pollutant particles per cubic foot. 

There are, however, measures you can take to lessen the effects of these particles In your home. Since the home is essentially an enclosed system, heating, ventilation, air conditioning, and refrigeration (HVACR) contractors are able to tackle pollution head-on by moving the air through a high-efficiency air cleaner.

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