Pet owners all know the struggle of pet hair floating through the air, dander collecting on your couch and tufts of hair rolling through your living room like a tumbleweed in the desert. Now imagine all of that hair and dander clogging your vents and living in your HVAC filter. Gross, right? That’s just one of the many ways owning a pet can affect your energy efficiency. Here are a couple tips and tricks to maintain your system and control your energy usage:
Your pets can function in a wider range of temperatures than you can. You may prefer your home to be at 72 degrees all year, but an average size dog can get along great with temperatures as high as 78 degrees in the summer and as low as 68 degrees in the winter. While you are out of the house, set a schedule on your thermostat to reflect higher and lower degrees. It will save you money, and your pet will be perfectly comfortable.
Diligently replace your filters. While this is necessary for all homes, as a pet owner you should be more aware of your filter than ever. It can easily clog with dander and hair, and if this isn’t caught you’re looking at a potential malfunction. If the filters are clogging at an alarming rate, consider switching to a reusable filter.
Vacuuming is your friend. This is another necessary task in every home, and as a pet owner you’re automatically inclined to vacuum twice as often. Look into a lightweight cordless vacuum to get pet hair and dander up easily. If you hate vacuuming, consider getting a robot vacuum to do the dirty work while you’re away.
Clean your ducts! Every few years have a professional come out and look at your ducts to see if a thorough cleaning is warranted. The filters will catch most things, but they can’t catch everything. This will help deodorize your home and keep things clean and fresh.
There are many other things you can do to minimize the pet hair in your home, like regular grooming and bathing, but you don’t have to do it alone. If you’re interested in getting your ducts cleaned, upgrading your system or switching to a smart thermostat, don’t hesitate to call us!
It’s that time of year again, we’re facing a quick change of leaves and a soon to be first frost. We’re reaching the end of those fun summer sandals and pulling out our coats in preparation for fall, so strike early and get your house ready for the seasons turn now. Save yourself the time and energy, and get this done while it’s still nice out and you don’t have to worry about a last minute attempt at preparing your home for the impending weather. Here’s a few tips to consider adding to your list of home maintenance this fall:
Allergies are annoying. Constant sneezing, dry eyes, sore throat, the whole lot drives a vast number of people insane, and if you’re one of them, you know just how frustrating they can be. What if we told you that indoor air pollution can trigger your symptoms quicker and more severely than what you’re facing outdoors? Indoor air pollutant levels are two to five times higher than the pollutant levels outside. Allergies affect more than 50 million Americans, and are the 6th leading cause of chronic illness in the United States. (1)
Common indoor allergens can be a number of things, from pet dander or mold, to dust mites and pollen it’s hard to determine the exact cause in your home without the help of a professional. When these pollutants become airborne, you’re breathing them in which causes your allergies to flare. The HVAC system in your home harbors and then spreads these allergens throughout your home, but you can manage this through proper repair and maintenance.
HVAC filters come in many different shapes and sizes, and the effectiveness of each one is measured in minimum efficiency recording value, or MERVs. Filters are typically placed on a scale of 1 to 20, with 20 being the most effective. Most HVAC systems are originally manufactured with a flat panel filter, that is somewhere between a one and four on the MERV scale. These original filters are not meant to improve your air quality, but are in place to protect the furnace, making them an obvious addition to the discard pile.
Medium and high efficiency filters range from five to sixteen, they cover a larger surface area by utilizing pleats to filter more particles out of the air. The farther up the scale, the more particles are being filtered out. High-efficiency particulate air filters (or HEPA filters) are somewhere between 17 and 20 MERV’s, but are not recommended for centralized home HVAC systems. They are high energy and can be too efficient for certain HVAC systems, putting them into overdrive. While you may think that purchasing the highest grade filter available will be best for your home, it’s suggested to stick with medium efficiency filters, to avoid stressing your HVAC system prior to an upgrade.
These filters should be replaced every two months, with your specific HVAC maintenance plan carefully followed. If the air quality in your home is still poor and you suspect there is mold, request a professional to come out and clean your air ducts. An HVAC system that replaces indoor air with filtered outdoor air can also be a great investment for those with extreme allergies, or if you’re looking to upgrade your system. These systems increase the ventilation in your home and reduce indoor pollution. Either way, call and get a quote on services to see how we can help you feel better in your own home!
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