Category: Indoor Air Quality

Tips to help keep you and your family safe this Winter

 

Whether winter lasts for several months like our friends out in the north, or just a mild month or two here in northwest Florida, our homes need to be equipped for winter heating for us to be comfortable. We want everyone to be safe this winter so here are some tips to help keep you and your family safe.

1. Space Heaters

They’re so small and efficient, as soon as you turn it on, you feel some instant relief. However, with effectiveness that strong, they also come with a few hazards.
The first thing to pay attention to about a space heater is its location. You will want to make sure there are three feet of space on every side of the heater. Anything that could potentially go up in flames may do just that. Never place a space heater on the carpet. You also want to purchase the ones with the tilt shut off. Meaning if it falls over or gets knocked over it will shut off automatically to prevent catching fire.

2. Open Ovens

Some people like to heat up their oven and leave it open to warm the house. While this seems like a great theoretical idea it’s a bad practice. First, it’s highly inefficient. It may heat the surrounding area in your kitchen, but it won’t be able to heat your entire home. Also, it poses another safety risk to children or pets who may be passing by and get burned on it.
If you do this regularly and your gas flame isn’t working correctly, you could be leaking and causing carbon monoxide poisoning to you and others in your home.

3. Candles

Candles are not specific to winter but no matter what time of year it is there are rules to follow when burning a candle. Let’s start with one of the lesser-known hazards. If you’re not buying candles made with natural products, then you could be breathing countless harmful chemicals into your lungs? Consider beeswax candles or ones scented with essential oils and not factory scents. There are also hazards that are akin to space heaters. You never want to place your candles near paper, curtains, or blankets. This could instantly start a fire and get out of hand very quickly. You also don’t want to position them in places where they can easily be knocked over.

4. Carbon Monoxide Poisoning Risk

The Center for Disease Control reports that nearly 50,000 people succumb to carbon monoxide poisoning each year in the US. Unfortunately, the winter months are the biggest culprits because home heating systems can run for hours at a time. The best ways to prevent carbon monoxide poisoning is to have a detector in your home similar to a smoke alarm. Also, Getting your heating system serviced by a qualified professional will prevent leaks from happening.
You will also want to check for blockages in your vents that could prevent proper air flow.

5. Fireplace Fires

If you’re lucky enough to have a fireplace in your home, Nothing beats the ambiance it creates and the winter heater temp it sets. However, you have to be very careful to handle it with care and maintain it well. You will want to clean out all the burned ashes after each usage and place them in a metal container at least ten feet away from the house. You will also want to have a screen standing in front of the fire to prevent any ongoing ashes from jumping out and possible setting your rub or curtains on fire. This is also the time to make sure your chimney is in order.

We care about your safety. In Florida, we have a huge range of heating needs and Air Design is here for homeowners throughout the Pensacola area. Don’t hesitate to contact us today to improve your unit’s performance. We’re here for you 24 hours a day, seven days a week, and 365 days a year.

What is the REME HALO® Air Scrubber?

 

Reme purifier
An air purifier can provide peace of mind when you’re struggling with allergies or wanting to reduce airborne microbes in your Pensacola home. We recommend the REME HALO® air purifier. It can reduce three major types of indoor pollutants; its exclusive technology follows the natural processes of hydrogen-peroxide molecules cleaning air like in a forest.

How does it work?

The REME Halo® Air Scrubber uses the same process nature does to purify the air. In our environment, lightning, which holds a negative charge, activates hydrogen peroxide molecules. Once activated, the molecules clean the air, leaving behind a fresh, natural smell. Since the REME HALO® harnesses this same power, some homeowners report a similar pleasant scent.
It is an in-duct air purifier by RGF that can be installed into the supply plenum of your air conditioning or heating system by one of our professionals. It uses Reflective Electro Magnetic Energy (REME) to produce Hydro-Peroxide plasma, creating the same effects as found in nature. The plasma travels through the air ducts and into conditioned spaces throughout the home. Instead of filtering out air as it’s drawn into your AC system, the plasma will spread throughout your entire home/space, actively removing allergens and germs.

Why do I need cleaner air?

Besides the obvious killing of viruses, if someone in your household has respiratory issues or bad allergies, spending more time indoors can be uncomfortable and activate sinus issues. According to the Environmental Protection Agency, many air pollutants can be 2-5 times higher inside than they appear outside. Airborne irritants can worsen asthma in children and be very uncomfortable. The REME HALO® Air Scrubber can reduce all three categories of indoor air pollutants. With one small addition to your HVAC system, you can purify your house and keep your family safer.

How do I get one?

All of our techs are certified to install the REME HALO® Air Scrubber. We have been recommending them for a while now and have many happy customers currently using them. Give us a call today at 202-COOL and start breathing easier.

Reduce Humidity in Your Home

 

High humidity levels in your home in the summertime? You’re hot, sweaty, uncomfortable, and all around miserable when it’s too humid in your home. Not to mention it starts to make your clothes and bedsheets and carpets stink. All you want is a way to relieve the discomfort and get your indoor air quality back on track. Air Design has got your back.

The magic range for ideal indoor humidity is 30-50%. Too much moisture in the air can have you feeling hot, and uncomfortable, and can have a damaging effect on your home. Too much humidity causes mold growth and can create condensation in your walls and on your ceiling. This leads to structural damage and wood rot. This is especially true in the south, where we live. Too much humidity is also bad for you and your lungs. It can lead to respiratory problems, allergies, and more. At a humidity level of 30-50%, you find the balance between too much moisture and not enough, which keeps both you and your home comfortable.

How Can I Tell If My Home is Too Humid?

The easiest way to find out the humidity levels in your home is to purchase a hygrometer. They’re not expensive and you can find them at your local hardware store.

How Can I Reduce My Humidity Levels?

  1. Run Your Air Conditioner. Your air conditioner naturally helps reduce indoor humidity because it’s introducing cooler air while removing warm, humid air. Keep humidity under control by getting your air conditioner tuned up by a professional, and frequently change the filters. Anything that restricts airflow or causes your air conditioner to stop working is no friend to you.
  2. Use Your Vents. When you take a shower be sure to run your vents or open a window to let the hot steamy air flow back out of your home. When cooking on a stove top run your vents so the steam has somewhere to escape.
  3. Fix Any Leaking Pipes. Leaking pipes and faucets will add moisture to the air. Fix any leaks you have and wrap your exposed pipes in insulators to keep condensation from forming. Signs of leaks include stained drywall, wet spots, and irregular water bills.
  4. Dry Your Laundry Outside. Most of us have clothes we can’t put in the dryer. Some people hang these in the laundry room to air dry. In the summer, all those damp clothes will just help make your home more humid.
  5. Get a Dehumidifier. The most effective way to reduce indoor humidity is to get a dehumidifier. These can be small units in your problem rooms or installed as part of a whole home system. The best part is you will use your air conditioner a lot less, because it now has help keeping down the humidity. That means less cash spent on cooling bills.
  6. Move Your House Plants Outside. Plants are beautiful and provide oxygen, but they do release their fair share of moisture as well. If your home has a lot of indoor plants, this could be causing your humidity level to increase. Just place them outside when you can or move them to a more ventilated room.

We know summers in Florida are hard to keep your home humidity levels low, especially with all this rain we’ve been getting but try a few of these tips and see if your levels don’t even out more. If you’d rather have a professional assess your options give us a call at 202-COOL today.

 

How to Save Energy with a Few Tips

 

In Florida, you can’t comfortably live without an AC system. With energy bills spiking and kilowatt prices increasing, saving money on your power bill has become a necessity. As a homeowner you may be wondering, what can I do to save energy. We have some tips to help with that.

 

HVAC Maintenance

The better your HVAC system runs, the lower your monthly energy bill will run you. Plus, when your AC system runs efficiently, it helps your household be more “green”. You can substantially reduce repair needs and strain, so you get the best performance, saving you money and stress. Here are a few things you can do:

  • Upgrade to programmable thermostats and controls
  • Change your air filters regularly
  • Install plenty of insulation
  • Check, repair, and replace seals and caulking around windows and doors

If your AC is old, struggling and due for replacement soon – do your research on a higher SEER (Seasonal Energy efficiency Ratio) piece of equipment. Getting a more efficient unit can make a huge difference in your energy costs.

 

Windows

When you stand outside of your windows, can you feel the AC leaking from inside the home? Many older homes have aluminum framed single-paned windows. These types of windows can make your system strain trying to equalize the temperature in your home. Replacing the windows with double-paned newer Custom Window Blinds can decrease your power bill substantially.

 

Timing Your Usage

Running your dishwasher and doing laundry late at night can also decrease your energy costs. Many power companies offer options for a rated plan where you can plan your energy usage during the lower-rated times, saving you cash. Running your water heater on a timer that turns on an hour before bath time can also conserve energy.

 

Lighting

Replacing your old incandescent bulbs with Halogen bulbs, compact fluorescent lamps, or LED bulbs can save energy and improve your lights’ longevity. The average home uses 40 bulbs meaning your savings can be multiplied.

 

Stay Unplugged

In a digital world, we have tablet chargers, iPhone chargers, and a multitude of other device chargers. Making sure they are not left plugged in when we are not using them can save energy. The charge still pulls slight amounts of power even when not charging a device. This also works for small appliances such as toasters and blenders.

 

These are all different ways you can cut back on your energy costs. If you are still unsure if your AC is in peak performance mode, give Air Design a call today for a check-up at 202-COOL.

What you should expect from a new AC installation

 

Pensacola homeowners shouldn’t wait until the dead of summer when the AC goes out to schedule a new AC installation. You should be getting your AC inspected regularly so that you can plan out the purchase of a new unit. This will make it less stressful for your family and your wallet. Even the best cared for AC unit still needs to be replaced at a certain point. With flexible payment options and quality installers, Air Design can make this process as easy as possible for you and your family.

Before the Installation

Before you choose to buy a new AC unit you should first choose a qualified company to inspect the unit and make sure it needs replacing. Ask for referrals from friends, families, and neighbors to ensure you hire a reputable company with a good track record. The company that you select will help you choose a new unit that is the proper size for your home and give you a transparent quote of the installation cost. Before the technician arrives be sure to remove any breakables or furniture that may be in the way of the workspace for the technicians. Finally, make sure your children and pets are confined to an area away from the installation area.

During Your Installation

During the installation of your new AC unit, your HVAC technician will cover your flooring with a drop cloth to protect it from dirt and scratches while removing the old unit. Many of the newer units come in multiple pieces so the tech will ensure all pieces are there and that they all fit into the crawl space. The HVAC tech will install the outside unit first as well as complete an installation checklist by ensuring that all air vents, registers, tubing, and wiring are fully secure. After all inspections the air conditioning system will be plugged into an outlet.

Once your AC unit is replaced, the HVAC technician will double-check that the system is cooling correctly and will clean up the installation area. Before he leaves, your tech will discuss the cleaning and maintenance instructions, recommend a maintenance plan, warranty of components, and all rebates and tax credits with you. This is the time when you’ll be able to ask questions and give feedback about your experience.

After Installation

Once you have had all your questions answered it is important to know that a quality company will allow you to call with questions if they should arise after the tech has left. Most reputable HVAC companies offer maintenance plans to ensure your new unit stays in tip-top shape.

Not Sure if You Need a New AC

Give Air Design a call today and we can have one of our certified techs come out and give you the rundown on your current AC unit. It may only need repair and not replaced; we are an honest company that puts the needs of our customers first.

How to Calculate the Right Unit Size for Your Home

 

When it comes to the size of your home’s HVAC unit, most homeowners have been told that bigger is better, but surprisingly, that is not always true. An air conditioning unit that is too large can lead to moisture issues inside your home. The larger system won’t run a long enough cycle to pull the humidity out of the air. The larger unit will also use more energy than is necessarily needed for your home. However, a unit that is too small won’t cool or heat your home to an even proper level, leading to discomfort and elevated energy bills when your system struggles to cool your home properly.

How do you find the right size ac unit for your home? To help answer that question, our team of skilled experts at Air Design have taken the time to create a checklist for you.

Measure the area

The very first step in finding the correctly sized unit is to measure the area you want cooled, whether you are just looking to air condition certain rooms of your residence, or the entire thing. Measure the length and width of each room, hallway, or space in your home. You can also often look at your mortgage or deed paperwork which will have your homes square footage listed. When taking these measurements, there is no need to include closets or an attic.

 

Determine square footage

Unable find your mortgage documents? Don’t worry, we can walk you through calculating it yourself. You will want to do this equation for each room. (Length times Width = SQFT) Then add each room together to get the total square footage of your household.

 

Calculate cooling power

The measure of how fast an air conditioning unit is able to cool the air is measured in BTUs per hour. In a warm climate like Pensacola, you will want roughly 30-35 BTUs per hour for every square foot of your homes space.

 

Have a professional come out to assist

When in doubt, you can also give us a call at 202-COOL. We will do all the measuring for you and fit your home with the perfect size unit. Our professionals are very friendly and will walk you through exactly what you need and offer fair pricing, upfront for your new unit. We don’t try to oversell, and we do quality work the first time.

Benefits of a Fall Heating Tune Up

A woman works at a laptop in the kitchen

 

With what can be called fall weather finally peaking around the corner, there are many of us who are taking this opportunity open to our windows and air out our homes. Whether you are taking this time to enjoy the crisp weather, enjoying an afternoon walk now that the kids are back in school, or you are excited about your morning pumpkin spice lattes, it is important for all of us to make sure that we are taking steps to properly prepare your home for the coming winter months. One of those checklist items is contacting a local heating service specialist like Air Design to come out to give your home’s heating system a professional tune up before our few freezing weeks of winter. What are some of the reasons you should do this, you may ask…