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Product Spotlight: Carrier Indoor Air Quality Solutions

Improving indoor air quality is an important part of creating a clean and healthy environment in your home. Sometimes homeowners need to go beyond just replacing their air filter in order to maintain IAQ. We have put together a product spotlight to give you a little more information on what Carrier indoor air quality solutions we provide to help Fort Walton Beach homeowners create a more comfortable home environment.

Carrier Indoor Air Quality Solutions

Looking for ways to improve your indoor air quality? Here is a quick breakdown of some of the indoor air quality solutions available from Carrier:

Carrier-IAQ-products

If you want to learn more about these quality indoor air quality products and find out which solutions might be right for you, don’t hesitate to contact us. We would be happy to help you find the right solutions for your home comfort needs.

3 Most Common Florida HVAC Questions Answered

Florida is one of the only places in the United States where you may very well find yourself using your air conditioner year-round. Though many refer to our state as paradise, the unique climate does pose some interesting challenges when it comes to HVAC and home comfort. Below, we will answer some of the most common HVAC questions Florida residents may ask.

Most Common Florida Home Comfort Questions

Whether you are new to Florida or have lived here your whole life, you may have questions about how to keep comfortable in the hot and humid climate that Florida provides. Here are some of the most commonly asked Florida HVAC questions:

Should I be concerned about the efficiency of my air conditioning system?

In the typical Florida home, the HVAC system is the largest consumer of energy. Air conditioning and heating can account for over 40% of home energy use and thus more than 40% of your utility bill. Since Florida homeowners rely on their air conditioning system to control humidity levels and maintain a comfortable temperature throughout the year, energy efficiency is a vital concern. The size, efficiency, placement, and proper installation of the HVAC system play an important role in home efficiency, which can significantly impact energy costs.

What are some short-term solutions for improving energy efficiency of my AC?

If you are not ready to replace your HVAC system with a more energy-efficient model, there are some temporary steps you can take to improve the energy efficiency of your current AC unit:

  • Set your thermostat to 78 degrees Fahrenheit or higher. (For every degree below this temperature, you can spend up to 8% more in air conditioning costs.)
  • Keep the home well-insulated and closed up during the hottest months to avoid letting in unwanted heat and humidity.
  • Periodically inspect and clean indoor and outdoor coils as dirt buildup is one of the most common causes for decreased efficiency.
  • Avoid using a dehumidifier while the AC is operating as this can increase the cooling load, making the AC work harder and expend more energy.

Is a bigger air conditioner better in the Florida heat?

No. Though some homeowners are under the assumption that an oversized unit will better meet their home comfort needs, the truth is that a properly sized HVAC unit provides better humidity control while also helping the homeowner save energy. Larger units will cycle on and off more frequently, which can impact the life of the equipment. Your HVAC contractor can help calculate the cooling loads to find a unit that is properly sized for your home’s heating and cooling needs. In the end, a properly sized unit will have a longer life, help maintain efficiency, and ensure that you and your family are more comfortable year-round.

Still have questions about maintaining home comfort in Florida’s hot and humid climate? We would be happy to answer them. As Fort Walton Beach’s trusted HVAC company, we know what it takes to keep your Florida home comfortable year-round. Call (850) 243-3356 today for more information.

Local Air Quality Report: Fort Walton Beach, Florida

Air pollution has become a problem in the United States, and it can have serious impacts on your health. To see if you are at risk, it is important to periodically explore the air quality in your city so that you can better understand pollution in the area and start taking steps to protect you and your family from harmful pollutants. Here, we’ve put together an air quality report for Fort Walton Beach, along with some tips for keeping your indoor air quality safe and comfortable.

 

Air Quality Report: Fort Walton Beach, FL

In the past twenty years, the air quality in Fort Walton Beach has improved overall. Air quality is measured using the Air Quality Index (AQI), which looks at CO, NO2, O3, particle pollution and SO2 concentrations. While in 1999, AQI levels in Fort Walton Beach hovered around the 60s, current AQI levels have been between 20 and 30, which is considered good. It’s important to note that air quality changes over time, and in order to stay informed you should check air quality periodically by visiting the Florida Department of Environmental Protection website and looking at the air quality monitoring data for Fort Walton.

 

One aspect of air quality that is important to pay attention to, especially in Florida, is the humidity. High humidity levels are not only uncomfortable, but they can cause problems like mold growth. Another common air quality issue in Fort Walton Beach and across the state of Florida is pollen levels, which can impact a person’s allergies and comfort levels. Pollen.com is a great resource for checking weekly pollen levels so that you can avoid outdoor activities when levels are high and take extra measures in your home to ensure that pollen levels do not impact your indoor air quality.

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Improving Indoor Air Quality

Indoor air quality is also an important factor in keeping you and your family healthy and happy. Here are some simple ways that you can continue to protect and improve the air quality in your home:

  • Clean or change all of the filters in your home regularly. In addition to changing the filters in your air conditioner and heater, make sure that you also clean or change those in your air purifier and vacuum.
  • Buy some indoor plants for your home. Indoor plants help reduce VOCs and improve air quality.
  • Use an air purifier in your home. When shopping around, make sure to choose a purifier that gets rid of VOCs and does not produce ozone.
  • Use a moisture or humidity gauge to adjust the levels in your home to avoid mold growth and other issues. Humidity levels over 50% are too high while levels under 30% can be too dry. Aim for humidity levels of 45%.

 

Now that you know about outdoor and indoor air quality in Fort Walton Beach, you can start making small changes to keep your family happy and healthy. Though we cannot control outdoor air quality, if you need help improving your indoor air quality, call the experts at Air Conditioning Engineers. We are ready to help you with all of your air conditioning and heating needs.

Benefits of Controlling Indoor Air Quality

Throughout the year, you spend much of the day breathing the air in your home or workplace. And whether it’s summertime or wintertime, your heating/cooling system has a major impact on the quality of that air. A system in poor shape can potentially reduce air quality in several critical ways. On the other hand, a system in good working order can help you preserve air quality and receive a number of important short- and long-term benefits.

Air Quality and Your Heating/Cooling System

Whether you have a separately installed furnace and air conditioner or an integrated HVAC (heating, ventilation and air conditioning) system, temperature control is achieved by pulling in outside air and sending that air through an indoor ducting system or an outdoor conduit system. Your system also pulls air out of your home or business. These actions inevitably make your heating/cooling system a primary influence on indoor air quality. Main examples of potential indoor pollutants that are influenced by your system include mold, bacteria, fungi, cigarette smoke, pet dander, pollen, dust and toxic gases like carbon monoxide.

Health problems that may be linked to heating/cooling system malfunctions and resulting poor indoor air quality include headaches, contagious illness, fatigue, skin irritation and eye irritation. In commercial buildings or office buildings, which often rely exclusively on an HVAC system for air, these problems may affect large numbers of people simultaneously. When this happens, the widespread symptoms are sometimes known as sick building syndrome.

Benefits of Proper Control

A properly maintained furnace, air conditioner or HVAC system gives you the ability to control or even eliminate your risks for health problems caused by substandard indoor air quality. Specific benefits include lowered odds of developing a contagious illness, reduced exposure to dust and secondhand cigarette smoke, and the elimination of exposure to potentially deadly toxic gases. In your commercial building or office building, properly controlled indoor air can steeply reduce your chances of exposure to sick building syndrome.

Steps in Air Quality Control

No matter what type of heating/cooling system you rely on, you can take a number of steps to ensure proper control over the quality of indoor air. In addition to changing your system’s filters at recommended intervals, make sure to schedule periodic visits from an HVAC specialist who can perform a professional cleaning and assessment. An HVAC specialist can further enhance your air quality by integrating an air purifier into your system, as well as a monitoring system that checks for airborne toxins and automatically adjusts your temperature and humidity settings. Professional integration of a microorganism-killing UV light into your heating/cooling system can also significantly improve your air quality control capabilities.

Make sure to follow us here for ongoing reliable information on the benefits of keeping your heating and cooling system in top working condition.

Eliminating Common Indoor Air Pollutants

178367298Indoor air pollutants are everywhere, but few homeowners do anything to limit the amount that they breath in. Most people probably don’t even give indoor air quality much thought. There are several things that can be done to make sure that the air inside of your house is nice and clean.

Dust mites are tiny organisms that live inside of mattresses and upholstery. Make sure to wash bed linens to ensure that nothing is living inside of them. Vacuuming carpets and upholstery around the house can also help to cut down on the number of dust mites living on indoor surfaces. If you’re really concerned about them leaving droppings, then you might want to try an air purifier that comes with an electrostatic filter.

Kill and remove any signs of mold. If you find any patches, then get gloves and a respirator mask before grabbing a stiff brush. A cup of bleach mixed into a gallon of water will usually eliminate any visible spores. Rinse the area with clean water once you’re done.

You might want to take a vitamin D supplement to bolster your natural defenses against mold as well. Ask your doctor which type of supplement might be right for you.

Radon is probably the most serious of any of the indoor air pollutants that most people have in their homes. This radioactive gas is completely invisible. Get a short-term radon test kit at the hardware store to see if there are elevated levels in your home. Call a certified radon specialist if the levels exceed 4 pCi/L over a certain amount of time.

Perfluorinated compounds are often embedded into consumer products to prevent stains. They can alter hormone levels if ingested, so it’s best to avoid these. If you’re shopping for new furniture, then avoid any product that brags about how it can resist stains. Use cookware that doesn’t have artificial coatings as well, since many of these coatings contain PFC-based chemicals.

Try a few of these tips and see if they help you eliminate some of the indoor air pollutants that are currently infesting your home. It’s easy to cut down on how many toxins are in the air. Keep following us for more articles that can help you keep your heating and cooling systems clean.

Is The Air In Your Building Unhealthy?

The effects of contaminated air cannot be seen but manifests through the constant coughing or sneezing whenever you walk in your house or when you pay a visit to the doctor for respiratory complications. Statistically, indoor air quality is about 5 times more contaminated than outdoor air. The big question is how safe is the air inside your home?

 

Real Quality of Indoor Air

The American Society of Heating, Refrigeration and Air Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE), is responsible for setting standards for indoor ventilation and comfort. A room is considered to have indoor air quality if it adheres to ASHRAE standards and only 20% of its occupants express their dissatisfaction with air quality. But if the number of complaining occupants is more than 20%, then indoor air quality is considered to be unhealthy.

 

Improving Indoor Air Quality

Unhealthy indoor air quality is always a first sign of poorly working or faulty HVAC appliances. According to experts, a preventive approach is more practical in solving indoor air quality issues. This can be done by hiring a professional licensed HVAC technician to design, install, and maintain your HVAC systems. These experts are able to prevent any breakdown of your HVAC system thus ensuring commercial indoor air quality is maintained to ASHRAE standards.

 

The Benefits of Improving Indoor Air Quality

When commercial indoor air quality is improved, working environments become healthier for employees or tenants to thrive in. There will be more productivity from workers and few sick days to talk about. The risk of illness is reduced which in turns lowers the cost of operating a commercial business. Legal wise, maintaining quality indoor air prevents unnecessary law suits from employees who are dissatisfied with the quality of their working environment.

So it is important to contract a HVAC technician with years of experience in maintaining air quality in commercial HVAC systems. They can assess and recommend tips on improving as well as protecting the quality of air circulating in your building. Follow our blog today for more advice on assessing indoor air quality and hiring a trained HVAC technician to assess and recommend ways of promoting healthy indoor air.

Should I Be Concerned About Carbon Monoxide In My Home?

Carbon monoxide is a poisonous gas. It is released into the air when carbon is burned in an environment where there is insufficient oxygen. Thus when carbon burns indoors, it is highly likely to produce carbon monoxide gas. Carbon monoxide gas is often referred to as the silent killer. It has no taste or smell. It has no color. Carbon monoxide is responsible for between 20 and 30 thousand people becoming severely ill in the United States each year. Worse yet, a further 500 people per year lose their lives to carbon monoxide poisoning. You’d be wise, therefore, to feel at least some level of concern regarding carbon monoxide dangers in your home.

Since humans cannot detect the gas, how can you make sure everyone living under your roof is protected against potentially fatal carbon monoxide poisoning? The solution, thankfully, is very simple. You need to make sure that your home is fitted with a fully functioning carbon monoxide alarm, and that the battery is working at all times. Bear in mind that a carbon monoxide detector is not the same as an alarm. With a detector, you have to look at it several times a day just to make sure it hasn’t activated. An alarm will make a noise if carbon monoxide is detected.

In some states, you have to have a carbon monoxide detector in your home because if not, you are breaking the law. However, some people are not very good at obeying laws, despite the fact that carbon monoxide dangers are very real. Even in situations where a family does have a carbon monoxide alarm or detector, some people are not vigilant enough about checking that their piece of equipment is in good working order or ensuring the battery isn’t dead.

If you don’t have either an alarm or a detector fitted in your home, it would be very prudent to go out and purchase one at the nearest opportunity. This is true even if there is nothing to your knowledge that burns carbon in your house or garage. If you have neighbors in the next apartment, they might burn carbon indoors, and if they do, you will be at risk. You see, carbon monoxide can easily pass through porous materials such as dry wall.

If you have found this article to be of use to you, it might be a good idea to follow us. That way, you will have access to other articles about heating and air conditioning systems, as well as other household essentials that may help to keep you safe and comfortable.

Indoor Air Quality Creates A Better Environment For Employees & Customers

When it comes to making a comfortable work environment or your employees can give their best, and your customers are at their most comfortable, you need to take a serious look at the quality of your indoor air. Commercial indoor air quality is overlooked way too often, however this is an extremely important part of creating a positive environment for both customers and employees. Just how much of a difference can clean-air versus polluted indoor air make? Read on to learn the answer!

The first thing understand is that the quality of air inside the building can directly affect the health of those who were there. There are many people who are extremely sensitive to certain allergies like mold, cat hair, cigarette smoke, and other smells that can cause runny nose, watery eyes, or even coughing and asthmatic attacks in severe situations. You don’t want these people to be hurting just because the air inside isn’t at its best. Even if you aren’t it naturally sensitive to that type of stuff, do you really want to be breathing in air that can have that type of an effect on people?

All of us have had that experience where the air was especially dry and so you had irritated eyes, a sore and dry throat that hurt and made a hard to talk, and the general unease that can come with that. If you’re not comfortable you’re not going to do your best work likewise, your customers are less likely to stick around and make a deal if they are having trouble breathing are talking.

The good news is there are many things you can do to improve the quality of air inside to your building. One of the most important steps is to look at the ventilation your building and make sure it is up to par. You may have to replace an old system, or at the very least make sure you practice regular filter changes to keep the moving air as fresh and clean as possible.

If you do not have a commercial HVAC system, that is another way to make investment that really pays off for you, your employees, and your customers. For more information on all manner of HVAC issues, make sure to follow our blog!

Clean Fresh Air Is Only A Duct Cleaning Away

The Indoor Air Quality surrounding us has either a positive or negative effect on our health. Our respiratory system is very similar to how an HVAC unit works. The respiratory system is responsible for collecting air, removing airborne particles and supplying the body with oxygen. The HVAC unit uses similar techniques to provide safe air for us to breathe.

An air handling unit located on the outside of a building is responsible for drawing the outdoor air inside. A large fan pulls air inside and pushes it through a highly advanced filtering/cooling system. For the most part an A/C unit is perfect; however, it does have a serious flaw. That flaw would be the fact that this comfort inducing equipment can also cause discomfort and health hazards. As air is sucked in from the outside, so are other things like dust, debris, and microscopic allergens that can wreak havoc on the human respiratory system.

High winds are a huge culprit in pushing these potential dangers inside a home. When the fan is drawing air inside high winds encourage dust and debris along with allergens of all kinds to be forced into the air entering the A/C unit. These unwanted items are likely to clog filters, pipes, coils, and settle into the condensation from coils. Mold spores feed upon these uninvited pollutants on the coils as well as in the drain pan.

Though many invading pollutants are flushed out of the air through the filtering system, these invaders still end up in the ducts and eventually in the lungs of unsuspecting humans. This is why the quality of the air in our homes is so important. Especially for those who have severe allergies to dust and other air pollutants such as mold and pollens. One way to ensure that Home Air Quality is always at its best is to schedule regular HVAC Vent Cleaning.

A skilled technician will clean the ducts, coils, and ensure that a clean and appropriate filter is being used in an A/C unit. Since many parts of the U.S are being troubled with high winds that are forcing contaminates into the indoor air, these regularly scheduled cleanings are about the only way to ensure that the air inside a home is safe for all to breathe. Having an HVAC service clean the ducts, coils, and other components of an A/C unit can prevent musty smells and costly repairs. Clean HVAC systems provide cool and clean air and don’t have to over work to do it.