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Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Dirty Sock Syndrome

During certain times of the year, like the present, when a heat pump may warm in the morning hours and then cool at noon and later hours, it can produce condensate from noon on which fuels organic debris decay resulting in microorganism growth in and around the evaporator coil for up to 16 hours — only to release odor and toxins during the next morning’s warming hours. Heat pump coil temperatures are often not sufficient enough to kill proliferating microbes. Those that may die simply serve as a future food source for continued proliferation.

A thorough coil cleaning will make a difference, but the problem will usually return.  That's why, in addition to regular cleanings by an HVAC professional, UV-C lights are a must in eradicating all microbial growth.  UV-C lights kill microbes of all kinds and types and, like bleach, disassociates their carcasses and other organic materials. UV-C lights produce very little heat, no odor, and leave no secondary contamination behind — and it operates continuously as long as the blower wheel is engaged, which means no build-up of microbial matter!  UV-C lights can now be purchased for relatively cheap and installation is usually quite brief.  Consult your local HVAC service provider today to get rid of that pesky dirty sock odor for good!

Heating & Air

Tuesday, November 1, 2016

Heat Pumps In The Heating Season

A very common concern from homeowners during the wintertime is "why is my heat pump blowing out cool air in heat mode?"  Well, there's a good chance your body is actually playing a trick on you.  Think about it, your body temperature is approximately 98 degrees at any given time, so when you run your hand or foot across that air register, odds are it's going to feel somewhat cool.  The key is to keep an eye on your thermostat.  If the heat pump is maintaining whatever temperature you are setting the heat at, then it's doing its job and there is likely nothing wrong with the heat pump.  The discharge air temperature on a heat pump isn't as warm as a gas furnace's.  When the outdoor temperature starts to get down into the mid thirties, heat pumps begin losing their efficiency and the auxiliary heat will then become the main source of heat.

If your heat pump system is having trouble maintaining the temperature you have set on the thermostat, then you probably have a legit problem such as low refrigerant, dirty air filter(s), dirty/restricted outdoor unit, etc.  As with any system, a regular maintenance plan from a licensed company can help identify and prevent problems before they happen at the worst of times.  Our certified technicians are always willing to answer any questions you may have about your heating and a/c unit as well as inform you on what to expect.  Give us a call today!

Environmental Heating & Air of NC, Inc.

Wednesday, September 7, 2016

High Efficiency Furnaces Getting Even Better

With the winter season not far away, it's a great time to take advantage of some great prices on higher efficiency furnaces!  Manufacturers are continuing to make great strides in improving overall furnace operation and convenience.  It's now getting easier and easier for homeowners to purchase high efficiency furnaces with better prices and more flexibility on installation options.  In other words, if you want to upgrade that old inefficient gas furnace with a brand new 90+ percent high efficiency gas furnace, it can now be done with little to no modifications to your existing gas lines and location!

First off, the best model furnaces to go with, efficiency wise, are the Energy Star qualified furnaces.  The efficiency of new furnaces is measured by the annual fuel utilization efficiency(AFUE), which is a measure of seasonal performance.  Furnaces today are rated between 80% AFUE and 98% AFUE.  Above 90% AFUE, a unit is considered to be "condensing", which means it recaptures some of the heat that would be wasted in traditional systems by condensing the escaping water vapor.  80-89% AFUE furnaces are still good furnaces, they are much better and more efficient than older style furnaces and are more affordable up front than the 90-98% high efficiency furnaces.  However, the 80-89% furnaces do not qualify for Energy Star programs.  The 90%-98% high efficiency furnaces are more expensive, but they do qualify for rebate programs which can earn you some nice cash in return.  Not to mention, your gas/utility bill(s) will take a noticeable dip in usage.  Great financing is currently available at really low rates!  Which in turn can make the 90-98% Energy Star rated furnaces much more affordable.  Just give us a call or your trusted heating and air company in your area a call and take advantage of the great costs and efficiencies before the actual cold season gets here.  You will be amazed at the results you see in the form of energy savings!


Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Be Proactive Now!

We are now less than a month away from the first day of autumn!  Right now is the best time to take advantage of what we call the "in-between season".  So what are the advantages of being proactive in an in-between season?  Everything from reduced pricing on new furnaces, heat pumps, and air conditioners to simply having the peace of mind that your heating system will be ready for the upcoming fall and winter seasons with a proactive Preventative Maintenance done by a certified and licensed pro.  So if you are willing to get your fall Preventative Maintenance done a little early this year, you will get any replacement parts you may need and / or any other service done that you may require as identified by your Preventative Maintenance technician at the quickest turnaround time of the year!  

A Preventative Maintenance contract can more than pay for itself in fewer emergency repairs and lower utility bills alone.  There are a multitude of things that can cause your heating and a/c unit to fail as well as take years off it's life, and most of these things can't be found unless you are proactive and have someone with a trained eye who can spot the immediate warning signs.  Whether it's low refrigerant in your heat pump(which can cause your heat strips to stay on all the time during the winter = high energy bill) or a furnace with a cracked heat exchanger(which produces the deadly gas Carbon Monoxide), there really is no downside to signing up for a Preventative Maintenance Contract.  If nothing else it will be to have the peace of mind knowing that you don't have to worry about your heating and a/c, as we keep a detailed record of your system's specifications and tendencies.  To learn more about our Preventative Maintenance Plan or if you have any questions about anything else we can help you with, please visit our website or give us a call!


Thursday, July 21, 2016

Air Quality Products

Environmental Heating & Air is a proponent of air quality improvement specializing in HVAC system replacements and air quality products.  We offer everything from free estimates on system replacements to an extensive assortment of air quality products including air filters of all sizes by the case, air purification systems, UV lights and mold / odor eliminators!  Routine maintenance service is also offered at a discounted rate!  Environmental Heating & Air proudly services the Raleigh / Durham area of central North Carolina!  Check out some prices below as well as the link to Environmental Heating & Air's website....

Case (12) 20x20x1 Filter MERV 8 Pleated:  $49.00
Case (12) 10x20x1 Filter MERV 8 Pleated:  $35.00

Semi-annual Preventative Maintenance Service Plan:  $119.00 per year (2 visits)

For more products and services, please visit http://www.enviro-nc.com

Environmental Heating & Air of NC, Inc.

Tuesday, May 10, 2016

Simple Info That Can Save Time & Money

At Environmental, we've discovered that the more information a customer is able to provide about their a/c and/or heating system, the more prepared our service technicians can be to expedite getting the customer's system back up and running.  While our service technicians have a wealth of knowledge and can solve really any problem with a malfunctioning hvac system, a lot of times it's the customer that can provide the most important observable information that saves everyone both time and money. 

For example, there are instances when a customer will call and say their a/c is no longer cooling.  We then ask if they are receiving any air flow at all or is it a case where the air that is coming out is just warm or room temperature?  By simply knowing this, the customer can quite possibly eliminate one whole part of a system and isolate right away where the malfunctioning part likely lies.  Again, every bit of info a customer can provide us before the initial service appointment can possibly end up saving them a good deal of money on labor costs and return trips.  By no means are we asking people to be experts on the subject, just simple observations noted by the customer can provide time saving clues much like a witness to a crime.  This is especially crucial for those mysterious intermittent problems that need to be directly observed in order to properly diagnose the issue.  There are separate autonomous electrical and mechanical systems at work within any single hvac system.  If one of these independent circuits or refrigerant flow systems were to begin to malfunction, it can cause the whole system to perform inefficiently or very likely not at all.  So when a customer is able to report their direct observance, it often allows the servicing technician to know beforehand what to expect and where to start.

Any information is good information when reporting a problem with your home's hvac system.  Your professional servicing technician and your wallet will thank you!

Environmental Heating & Air of NC

Friday, April 22, 2016

Landscaping For Shade And Energy Efficiency

Did you know that proper landscaping can can have quite a significant effect on the energy efficiency in your home during the warmer months?  The Department of Energy claims that the shade from having trees properly planted around your home can lower the surrounding air temperature by as much as 9 degrees.  It might not sound like a lot, but that actually can have considerable impact on your air conditioner's energy consumption.  Proper landscaping involves planting the right kind of trees and shrubs in strategic locations to accurately account for the positions of the sun throughout the day and the moving shadows your trees and shrubs will create.  The Department of Energy website goes in-depth on this as well as choosing trees that will also be helpful during the colder months as well.  The link is provided below.  Please take a moment and check out the Department of Energy website and learn how to start saving money while staying cool....

Department of Energy

Environmental Heating & Air of NC