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Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Allergy & Asthma Season Is Here

With the 2011 allergy and asthma season already under way, there are some very simple things you can do to reduce the amount of indoor dirt, dust, pollen, and other indoor air pollutants that enter your home.  Most of these things are relatively inexpensive and can prevent a lot of sniffling and sneezing, especially if you or a member of your household is very prone to having allergy and/or asthma problems.
  1. purchasing a UV light to go in your hvac system is a huge difference maker in that it kills a massive amount of mold spores, bacteria, and germs that circulate throughout your home.
  2. an obvious step is simply keeping your air filters changed regularly.  Opt to purchase pleated air filters over cheap fiberglass air filters.  Fiberglass air filters only take a minuscule amount of particles out of the air as opposed to the pleated filters which catch much more harmful particles and dust.  Whole home filters with high MERV ratings can work wonders, though a little more pricey, it is top of the line air filtration.
  3. turn on your heating and air system while vacuuming and cleaning.  You stir up a significant amount of dust and dirt when cleaning your home so if your air is running while you clean most of the particles you stir up will be picked up by your return vents and in turn filtered out.
  4. have your air conditioner and furnace maintained annually to keep mold, dirt and other pollutants from accumulating in your system.  At Environmental, we have a great preventative maintenance plan that ensures you system stays running at peak efficiency so you don't have to worry!
  5. the duct work in your home is also something to take very seriously.  Have a professional look over your duct work, as deteriorated duct work is a major source of indoor air pollution and wasted energy. 
  6. whenever possible, keep pets off of couches and beds as their hair and dander can build up in these areas and will become a constant source of indoor air pollution.
These are some ways you can breathe easier at home.  All it takes is just a little time and effort to make sure the air you breathe at home is safe and healthy.  At Environmental, we carry a full line of products dedicated to promoting clean air in your home, just give us a call and let us help you today!


Thursday, March 24, 2011

Which Brand Should I Get?

The problem most people face when deciding to buy a new heating and air conditioning system is choosing which brand is best for you.  At Environmental our salesman John Van Orden can break down for you, based on how you keep your temperatures and the size of your home, exactly which size and SEER rating would benefit you and your home the most.  But something the majority of people don't know is that the quality of installation actually matters more than the brand you choose.

A recent addition of 'Buyer's Guide To Heating & Air Conditioning' suggests that quality of installation greatly outweighs equipment brand.  "It is often stated among insiders that a good HVAC technician can make lousy equipment heat or cool pretty well, while a poorly trained or inexperienced technician can make the best equipment in the world heat or cool unreliably and incredibly inefficiently."  The Buyer's Guide goes on to say that the customer should "focus first on the validity, training and experience of the company and employees who will install your equipment.  Remember, these are also the folks who will provide maintenance or warranty work on your system."

That's why at Environmental we only hire properly trained and certified technicians.  We want to make sure the customer is comfortable and satisfied with choosing to go with us to take care of their heating and air conditioning needs.  Environmental Heating & Air is available 24/7, so give us a call with any questions you may have and we'd love to answer them for you and provide you with all the info you need to make smart decisions when it comes to your heating and air conditioning system(s).


Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Heating And Cooling New Spaces

Sometimes it can be difficult to heat or cool a specific space in your home, such as a recent addition, single room, basement or sun room.  In this situation, ductless heating and cooling options can help circulate warm or cool air to these hard-to-reach spaces.  Ductless heating and cooling systems are practical, versatile alternatives to duct-dependent options. 

The biggest advantage of ductless heating and cooling systems, also called mini-splits, is their size. They’re small enough to heat or cool individual zones in your house. You can install a unit in a single room, or opt for a system that has up to four different indoor units controlling four different zones. Each has its own thermostat, allowing you to control their individual temperatures or turn them off entirely if no one is in the space, thereby saving you energy and money. Many models are even managed by remote control, making it easy and convenient for you to control the temperatures throughout your home.

Another advantage to mini-splits is their easy installation. Two units — an outdoor compressor and an indoor air handler — are linked together by a conduit that goes through a three-inch hole in the wall. The conduit can be up to 50 feet long, allowing you to place the indoor units as far from the outdoor one as necessary.

If you’re interested in learning more about ductless heating and cooling options, just give Environmental a call and we would be glad to answer all your questions and help you decide if a ductless system is right for you.


Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Duct Cleaning Companies

It recently has come to our attention at Environmental that there are duct cleaning companies out there that have been pulling the "ol' bait and switch" with their customers.  What these companies do is advertise a really cheap price up front, then they will come to your residence and look at your duct work and add on a bunch of seemingly extra charges until the cost is sometimes four and five times the advertised price.  But upon review, there is always some fine print located some where in the advertisement that states "additional charges may apply" or something to that affect.  So bottom line, to save yourself some money and time, make sure and read the fine print and choose your duct cleaning company carefully.  Here is the link for a great segment Dateline NBC did on duct cleaning companies:


While we don't currently offer duct cleaning as one of our services here at Environmental, we can make recommendations on a good company that specializes in duct cleaning that won't rip you off and surprise you with hidden fees.  So give us a call today and let Environmental steer you in the right direction.


Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Spring is right around the corner!

Well, it's really warming up outside and March 22nd will be the official first day of spring!  It's time to start checking out your a/c to make sure it's going to run at peak efficiency once it gets hot and stays hot.  I figured I would compile a simple list of things you can do at home to make sure you are ready for the warmer months:

Outdoor Condensing Unit: Make sure this unit isn't blocked by high grasses, weeds, or other lawn and garden components. The unit needs to draw air into the system in order to cool and circulate inside, but the process is hindered if it cannot pull in enough outside air.
Change the Air Filter: Dirty filters will destroy your unit's energy-efficiency or, worse, cause the evaporator to ice over.  Remember, don't settle for those cheap fiberglass filters, get yourself some quality pleated air filters.  They're not that much more expensive and they take a lot more dust and other harmful particles out of the air you breathe.
Set and Double-Check the Thermostat: Be sure the thermostat is set in the cooling mode. Just setting the dial below room temperature will not activate the air conditioner if it is still set in the heat mode. If you have a programmable thermostat, customize your cooling for various time periods throughout the day.
Conduct a Test Run: Some time in the spring, crank your system and let it run for up to an hour. If you can identify problems early, the sooner you can get one of Environmental's technicians out to your residence to get you fixed up and ready for those hot months to come.
Professional Air Conditioning Maintenance: A thoroughly cleaned air conditioning unit will operate at top efficiency, but homeowners should also be aware of their own limitations. Each year, some homeowners attempt to clean their air conditioner with a garden hose, creating a serious risk of electrocution or electrical damage to the unit. It's always best to let one of Environmental's fully certified technicians come in and check out your system from top to bottom for a thorough cleaning and diagnostics check.  There are a lot of things the homeowner does not know to look for in their systems that when caught early, can save a lot of money and heartache.

Environmental Heating & Air has technicians dedicated solely to the maintenance and upkeep of heating and air conditioning systems, so put your mind at ease and let us worry about keeping your system running at peak efficiency this year by signing for a very cost effective and environmentally friendly Preventative Maintenance Contract.  Just give us a call and we can fill you in on all the details!