The days are getting longer and soon we’ll be enjoying warmer temperatures and springtime blooms. Spring is a refreshing and energizing time but it can also come with some down sides – April showers that bring high humidity, not to mention pollen and even mold.
Your home should be a sanctuary against the irritations and hazards of the outside world, a place where you’re comfortable, healthy and safe. But unless you take some steps to ensure that your HVAC system is up to par, you may be inviting the opposite into your home this spring.
Here are three top priorities for prepping your HVAC to keep you healthier and more comfortable as one season blends into another.
Get Your HVAC System Serviced
We can’t overstate the importance of getting your system serviced twice a year – once in spring, and again in fall. If you do nothing else to protect your investment *and* your health, at least take this one simple step. It’s as easy as calling an HVAC contractor and getting on a regular maintenance schedule. We promise it will be worth it!
But why is service and maintenance so important? Myriad reasons, not least of which is that your system will become less efficient over time without it. That means less cooling capacity during summer, poorer filtration, and a host of potential problems that can cost you in comfort, health and cold, hard cash.
During regular maintenance, your contractor will check refrigerant, clean and lubricate fans and coils, make sure the compressor, electrical components and thermostat are functioning properly, change dirty filters, and perform many other checks and adjustments to make sure your system is functioning at its peak.
Without service to maintain the health of your system, you risk safety hazards from sparks to fires to carbon monoxide poisoning. You also risk a hit to your wallet as parts start to wear out and break down. Worse, neglecting maintenance almost certainly voids your manufacturer’s warranty, which means repairs are going to be solely your headache.
On the other hand, regular professional service will help you avoid the dreaded mid-summer meltdown (you know what we mean, that 98 degree day when the AC zonks out). It will guarantee that dirty filters are swapped with clean ones so that you can breathe better. And if you have a yearly maintenance contract, it may also mean you can enjoy discounts, expedited service and other perks that will come in handy when you need them most!
Spring is allergy season, and while some folks look forward to fresh, new greenery, others dread the misery that comes with it. Pollen can be a real problem for allergy and asthma sufferers, and just because you close the door doesn’t mean those spores and particles stay outside where you want them.
Inevitably, you’re going to end up with dust particles, pollen, and even mold spores floating around inside your home. In fact, thanks to those windows and doors that you shut so diligently, you may actually be sealing up allergens inside with you, making your indoor air just as bad as, or even worse than, the air outside!
Don’t despair, there’s a lot you can do to get your HVAC system on your side, providing you with cleaner, healthier and more breathable air. It starts with maintenance and ensuring filters are clean. But it doesn’t stop there.
If you suffer springtime allergies then you may need to change filters more often – as often as once a month. It’s a simple step that can make a big difference in improving air quality.
But improving air quality doesn’t stop at filters, either. If you spend days and weeks at a time sniffling, sneezing, managing red, puffy eyes, or even experiencing difficulty breathing, it’s time to consider having an air purification component installed.
A whole house air purifier typically consists of multiple components that work together to clean and filter irritants from the air. Media filters capture the largest of the particles, while ultraviolet light kills airborne bacteria and prevents mold buildup on susceptible air conditioner components.
Plus, whole house purifiers are unobtrusive and don’t require extra work on your part. Unlike portable units, they actually cover your whole house, don’t require constant cleaning, and won’t emit the high levels of ozone that can make symptoms even worse.
Too dry during winter, too humid during summer – just a typical year here in New Jersey! Either extreme can have unpleasant and unhealthy consequences, from dry eyes, bloody noses, and an increased incidence of colds during winter, to mold growth and damage to your home during spring and summer.
High humidity is responsible for everything from worsening allergies to warped hardwood floors. It’s the source of many a musty smell and provides a breeding ground for bacteria and dust mites that cause summer colds and provoke asthma symptoms. Plus, it’s just plain uncomfortable!
Given how drastically humidity can shift – from single digits during winter to 60% or more during summer – you may need a little help from your HVAC system to maintain an optimal level of 30-50%.
If you live near the shore or have a basement, you probably know just how uncomfortable high humidity can be. Sure, you can mitigate some of its effects by keeping windows closed and the AC on, but your air conditioner is not designed to be a dehumidifier. So if humidity is an issue, a whole house dehumidifier can be a big win.
But how do you know if humidity is an issue? As a rule of thumb, if it’s reading at 45% or above for most of the season, then it can pose problems for your health and home.
A whole house dehumidifier can be set to maintain a consistent and comfortable humidity level so that the air in your home is optimal for you, your valuables, and even the lifespan of your air conditioner.
Spring is almost here, and if you want to spend it comfortably, if you want to maintain your health, and if you want to maximize the lifetime of your HVAC system while minimizing your energy bills, it’s time to think about what you can do to make it happen!
If you need service or could benefit from either an air purifier or dehumidifier, contact us for a free consultation and estimate. We’ll visit your home, evaluate your needs and make recommendations that will make your spring and summer more enjoyable.