Stop Using the Wrong Air Filter

Stop Using the Wrong Air Filter

You may never think about it, but your air filter is the first line of defense against harmful organisms inside your home like viruses and bacteria. Unfortunately, maintaining the filter and your health isn’t always as easy doing a simple replacement. Follow these tips to find the perfect fit for your air filter before you succumb to haphazard comfort and poor air quality in your Lucedale, Mississippi, home.

Avoiding an Improperly Sized Air Filter

An improperly sized air filter doesn’t do its job. When it’s too small, it lets dust, mold, and other contaminants into your air vents. These then spew into your air, providing air quality problems. Fortunately, the fix is cheap and easy.

Finding the Right Filter Size

If you just bought a home, you’re renting, or you’ve bought the same filter each time it needs replacing, there’s no guarantee that you have the right one. The best plan is to measure the area where the filter goes. This is pretty straightforward. Use a tape measure to get the length and width of your filter’s holding area. Remember that most filters are about a half-inch smaller than your measurements, so there’s no need to panic if it’s not exact. When in doubt, consult an HVAC service technician.

Picking the Right Mesh Level

Each air filter comes with a Minimum Efficiency Reporting Value, or MERV, rating. This rating describes how fine the mesh of the filter is. In residential settings, this ranges from 4 to 12. However, a 12 rating doesn’t necessarily make it better. When the mesh is super fine, it doesn’t allow air flow that benefits your home. When in doubt, opt for a rating between 7 and 10.

While a clean air filter makes a world of difference for HVAC efficiency and air quality, it isn’t the be-all, end-all of home comfort. You still need the professionals at Air Specialty to keep your HVAC system in tip-top shape. Call us today at 251-545-3337.

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I Got a Wi-Fi Thermostat — Why Are My Bills Still High?

I Got a Wi-Fi Thermostat — Why Are My Bills Still High?

Smart thermostats are one of the best home inventions of this century. They give you a boost in efficiency for your Semmes, Alabama, home, saving money and energy in the process. However, that doesn’t mean that they’re entirely foolproof. If you’ve upgraded to a smart thermostat but still have sky-high bills, your settings, HVAC unit, or another culprit may be to blame.

Installation Location

It seems like a no-brainer, but many homeowners and technicians aren’t always sure where to install the thermostat. This has a profound effect on the efficiency of your HVAC system. Avoid installing a smart thermostat near places with extreme temperatures, like exterior walls, places in direct sunlight, and locations that release heat such as a kitchen or bathroom. The best place for your smart thermostat is an unobstructed interior wall, as it provides the most accurate reading.

Unnecessary Heating and Cooling

Although smart thermostats learn your behavior over time, they can’t help you save money unless the settings you choose are reasonable to start. One of the biggest pitfalls faced by homeowners is picking the right temperature throughout the year. According to the EPA, you can save 10 percent annually on energy bills by turning your thermostat back 7 to 10 degrees for eight hours a day. That means when you’re at work, you can actually save money on the bill while you’re out earning money to pay it.

Keeping the Same Temperature

There’s a common misconception among homeowners that keeping your HVAC system at the same temperature year-round is a great way to save money. This couldn’t be further from the truth. When you set the thermostat to the same temperature, you don’t adjust for outdoor temperatures or times that you’re away. Adjusting the temperature around these factors puts some extra cash in your pocket.

Smart thermostats are a wonderful addition to any house, but only when they’re used correctly. If you need some advice or work done on anything related to smart thermostats, call Air Specialty today at 251-545-3337.

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How to Choose and Change an Air Filter

How to Choose and Change an Air Filter

Change Air Filter

With Mobile, Alabama’s summer heat and humidity around the corner, our creature comforts depend greatly on our AC units. One of the simplest things you can do to help your AC unit work properly is keep the air filters clean. It’s imperative that your home cooling system has the right size and type of filter to beat the summer heat.

When to Change the Air Filter

Typical Mobile home cooling systems need the filters changed once a month through the warmer months. If the AC and heater use the same intake, then it’s a safe bet to change the filter every month, year round.

How to Choose a Filter

If you were to go to the air filter aisle at any store, you’d probably be overwhelmed by the options. Choosing one is much simpler when you keep a few things in mind. Measure your current filter’s length, width, and depth. Most filters have measurements on the side, but they are sometimes undercut by a bit which makes a secure fit a challenge.

What kind of air quality does your home have? Smoking, pets, poor ventilation, nearby construction, or indoor remodeling can lower air quality. Lower quality air requires a better quality filter to cut the amount of irritants in your home.

Now you have to decide what type of filter you need based on the breathing needs of your family. Do you have children with allergies or asthma? If so, you’ll need a HEPA filter that helps eliminate allergens and bacteria. Does your house smell? A carbon filter could help reduce odors.

How to Replace a Filter

Turn off your system. Open the cover and remove the dirty filter. Check packaging to ensure proper placement of the clean filter. There shouldn’t be any gaps, and the filter shouldn’t move when the system is on.

Call our friendly staff at Air Specialty at 251-545-3337 if your system doesn’t turn back on, your filter becomes excessively dirty before routine changes, or you hear or see anything out of the ordinary.

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How High Humidity Can Make Your Family Sick

How High Humidity Can Make Your Family Sick

Whether you’re a longtime Lucedale, Mississippi, resident, or you recently moved to the area, you know that humidity can be a major concern for homeowners. While you can’t control the moisture outdoors, you can certainly take steps to limit the humidity in your home. Learn how high humidity can make your family sick, causing problems from mold to arthritis flare-ups.

You’ll Have Trouble Cooling Down

At Air Specialty, we know you want to keep the whole family cool all summer long. When the humidity level is over 50 percent, however, your little ones could have trouble cooling down after playing outside, which can lead to major discomfort. If you’re dealing with uncomfortable humidity levels, try getting the family to take short showers and baths in the early morning or late evening.

You Could Suffer From Arthritis Flare-Ups

High humidity doesn’t just affect the kids. Excess moisture can also contribute to painful arthritis flare-ups, which make it difficult to do just about anything around the house. If you feel your joints flaring up regularly, check to make sure your dryer, kitchen, and bathroom vents push wet, stale air outdoors. The last thing you want is for exhaust to build up inside.

You Could Develop a Dust Mite Problem

If your family deals with allergies or asthma, you know how irritating dust can be. But did you know that dust mites thrive in humid environments? Our team recommends installing a Performance Whole-Home Dehumidifier DEHXX to make whole-home dehumidification seamless, while getting dust mites under control.

Your Home Could Welcome Mold

Mold and mildew love wet environments, and a humid home can create the perfect setting for this fungus. Mold growth in your home can lead to serious health concerns, especially if your family members are allergic to this substance. To keep mold at bay, change your HVAC air filters regularly to keep your air supply fresh and your HVAC system running smoothly.

Could you use some help improving indoor air quality in your home? Call the Air Specialty team at 251-545-3337 to learn more about our healthy IAQ solutions.

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Controlling Mold Growth

Controlling Mold Growth

Controlling Mold

If there’s a musty smell in your Mobile, Alabama, home or you have unexplained health problems like sinus trouble, eye irritation, headaches, or fatigue, you could have mold. Mold can grow on the back of wallpaper, underneath carpeting, on drywall, and almost anywhere else in your home. Since they’re microscopic, there’s no way to keep all mold spores out of your home, but you can prevent most mold growth. Using a dehumidifier, improving your indoor air quality, and watching for water damage can help you control mold.

Using a Dehumidifier

Excess moisture encourages mold growth, exacerbated by Mobile’s high spring and summer humidity. A dehumidifier can prevent mold problems and make you and your family more comfortable. Since drier air feels cooler, you won’t have to use your air conditioner as much with a dehumidifier. You can also use it in winter to prevent condensation on your windows, walls, or pipes.

Improving Your Indoor Air Quality

You can lower the number of mold spores and other contaminants in your indoor air by improving your indoor air quality. Change your HVAC system’s air filter once per month, and use a ceiling exhaust fan when you cook or take a shower. You can also have a UV lamp installed in your ductwork to kill mold, dust mites, viruses, and bacteria. These devices can’t remove the dead mold spores, but they can help you make sure the number of spores in your home stays low.

Watching for Water Damage

Even a minor leak in your plumbing or a spilled glass of water on your carpet can turn into a mold problem if you don’t repair it and clean up any excess moisture promptly. After water damage, you should replace anything that doesn’t dry in one or two days. After storms, check your roof for damage and watch for dark spots on ceilings or walls.

Air Specialty has more than 20 years of experience, and we can help you install, maintain, and repair a wide range of HVAC equipment. Call us anytime at 251-545-3337 for more information on controlling mold growth and excellent service.

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3 Ways a Ductless HVAC System Can Keep Your Home Comfortable

3 Ways a Ductless HVAC System Can Keep Your Home Comfortable

Ductless HVAC systems usually have several indoor air handling units connected to an outdoor compressor or condenser by a small conduit. Ducts to move air aren’t necessary because the indoor air handlers can heat or cool the air that’s already in rooms. Ductless heat pumps are usually more expensive at first than conventional systems, but lower utility bills and other savings make them more economical over time. A ductless system can keep your Mobile, Alabama, home comfortable by improving your indoor air quality, making zoning easy, and preventing warm spots or drafts.

Improve Your Indoor Air Quality

Many ductless heat pumps have multi-stage filtration systems to remove pollutants like dust, dirt, mold, pollen, pet dander allergens, and bacteria from the air. This prevents uncomfortable asthma attacks, allergy symptoms, and many other health problems. Also, ductless systems don’t have ducts that can leak and spread contaminants through your home.

Make Zoning Easy

You can use zoning to set a different temperature in each room or area for each of your indoor units. Each unit has its own thermostat, and you won’t have to heat or cool unoccupied rooms. Guests and family members can also change the temperature in the room or zone where they’re relaxing or doing household chores. Many systems come with a remote or a programmable thermostat to help you stay comfortable easily.

Prevent Drafts

With a ductless system, your home won’t have as many uncomfortable warm areas or drafts. If parts of your home tend to be warm or chilly, you can place units in those areas to make sure your family stays comfortable. Indoor units with a variety of looks are available, and you can have them installed almost anywhere.

Air Specialty is a Carrier Factory Authorized Dealer with more than 20 years of experience. We can help you install, maintain, and repair a great ductless HVAC system, along with a range of other equipment. Call us anytime at 251-545-3337 for expert service from one of our friendly technicians.

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