There are many steps you can take to create a more air-friendly indoor environment. Some of the devices and claims can make the topic of air filtration confusing. Well, it doesn’t have to be. Read our blog and take a look at the simplified diagram to see if we can help clear the air on which solution is the right fit for you. And if you still have a few questions, call an HVAC consultant for an on-site evaluation.
First, let us give you a quick fact: According to the EPA, pollutant levels can be two to five times higher inside your home than they are outside. We bring pollen in on our shoes, clothes, and hair; mold spores enter through open doors and windows; high indoor humidity levels cause mold growth and attract dust mites and bacteria. We seal our so homes tightly—making sure conditioned air doesn’t leak out—that our HVAC system is not bringing in fresh air to dilute the concentration of the indoor air contaminants. If you suffer from allergies or have concerns about the air your family is breathing inside your home, simple choices you make can have a significant impact on your indoor environment.
Simply Open Your Doors.
Turn off your HVAC and open the windows on occasion when pollen is not in full force. And have indoor plants like Aloe Vera, Bamboo, and English Ivy to name a few, to mitigate the pollution. Check the toxicity of the plants to make sure they are pet-friendly.
Have An HVAC Maintenance Check. (Just Do It.)
Because your HVAC system moves air around your home, the first time you start up your AC for the season, you may have an allergic reaction because resting pollutants (dust mites, mold spores, and pollen) become airborne. If you’re not changing your filter frequently or getting regular maintenance on your HVAC system, you’ll keep blowing particulates throughout your home! Your HVAC system doesn’t just spread these particles, it can harbor them as well. Schedule a maintenance check, you’ve probably got dust, pollen, moisture, and other allergens on the blower fans and in your ductwork. Plus maintenance will extend the life of your HVAC system—just like an oil change extends the life of your car.
Use High-Efficiency Air Filters And Note The MERV.
Changing your filter every six months helps. But during allergy season, you might consider replacing your filter more often if you suffer significantly from allergies. Choosing the right filter can make a big difference, too. Use high-efficiency air filters: these filters are rated by a Minimum Efficiency Reporting System (MERV) and range from about 14 to 16. The MERV scale measures a filter’s ability to remove particles from .30 to 10 microns in size. (To give you a comparison of the scale of a micron, 100 microns is approximately the thickness of a human hair strand!) The higher the MERV, the smaller the particles they can remove.
Caution: Washable Filters May Not Be The Best Choice.
Washable filters are more expensive than disposable filters, they have lower MERV ratings, and if you don’t clean a washable filter regularly, it will become clogged, and contaminants could start growing on your filter. Contaminants also grow on washable filters when they are replaced after washing without proper drying time. And a moldy air filter will spread contaminants throughout your entire home.
Install An Air Purifier/Electronic Air Cleaner (EAC)
Air purifiers or EACs are installed in your HVAC system’s return (see diagram below) and treat the air throughout your entire home. These devices are filter-based and use fans to pull the air in your home through a series of filters that remove harmful airborne particles like dust, pollen, mold, and bacteria prior to going into your HVAC unit.
Install An Air Scrubber.
Filters are essential; however, contaminants like mold, bacteria, allergens, and pet odors, are so small they can pass through filters. An air scrubber is installed directly into your HVAC system’s supply to clean and purify indoor air going into your home. When you turn on your air conditioner, fan, or furnace, air flows through UV light waves and activated carbon filters which destroy viruses, germs, bacteria, mold, chemicals, odors, and allergens.
From regular HVAC maintenance checks to frequent high-efficiency air filter changes you can decrease the number of pollutants inside your home and breath cleaner air. Ask an HVAC consultant to discuss the benefits of an air purifier and/or air scrubber. There are a lot of models on the market and understanding the benefits of each one and how they work to clean your air can help you find the right value.
This blog is based on W.E. Brown best practices.
When a breaker trips in your home, it’s due to overcapacity or a short: The breaker trips, stopping the flow of electricity as a safety measure. A tripped main breaker will cut the power off to your entire house. SOME COMMON CAUSES CAN INCLUDE: too many appliances; appliances that require too much electricity; damaged breakers;Read More
Routine maintenance makes sure your heat pump is working at peak performance. But if one room is typically colder than the rest of your home, here are a few DIY tips you can do to help. Test your thermostat. Affix a thermometer on your wall next to your thermostat. Place a towel behind the thermometerRead More
To ensure that your toilet doesn’t overflow, remove the lid from the toilet tank and close the rubber flapper—unless you have a pressure-assisted tank. You may also reach behind the toilet and turn off the water supply. (Make sure you turn the supply back on when you’re ready to flush again.) PLUNGER Grab a heavy-dutyRead More
What is emergency heat—and why do I need it? As a follow-up to our recent blog “My A/C won’t keep my house cool enough on a 95-degree day,” we’re taking a look at how heat pumps use emergency heat to perform adequately during the winter. Emergency or auxiliary heat is a supplemental heating component installedRead More
It’s 95 degrees outside, and you can’t get your indoor temperature to go below 75 degrees—even with your thermostat set on 72 degrees. It seems as if the AC can’t keep up. First thing you might think; okay, let’s get a larger AC to keep perfectly cool when summer temperatures hit above 93 degrees. However,Read More
One year ago in May, severe rain in Charlottesville, Va. caused the banks of rivers and streams to flood; so much so that people lost their lives. I recently sat with Diana and Scott outside their home in White Hall to talk with them about the flood and how it changed their perspective on service.Read More
If your air conditioner was installed before 2010, an R-22 refrigerant phase-out has been taking place in the air conditioning industry (since 2013) that will affect you—if it hasn’t already. (Some systems after 2010 were manufactured with the use of R-22. You can check the nameplate on your condenser for the refrigerant type.) The R-22Read More
Defined as relative worth, merit, or importance: value is different for everyone. The “best” may not always be the right value for your home. And this nuance is important to consider when it comes to replacing your HVAC system. Start with the right HVAC consultant or technician; they will walk you through a series ofRead More
Snow and ice are in the forecast for us (again). If you’re off to grab a few provisions, don’t forget to build in a little time to make sure your heat pump is ready for snow. A few simple steps can go a long way in ensuring you stay comfortable and safe during the snowRead More
There comes a time in every home owner’s life when they realize their furnace just isn’t what it used to be. Years of wear took its toll, and your once young and powerful heating system is now struggling to keep your room warm. We know it is hard to say goodbye, but delaying its replacementRead More
As you prepare to welcome your little one, there are probably a million things running through your mind when it comes to “baby-proofing” your home. While we cannot cover every safety tip out there, there are some important steps you can take to keep your family comfortable and safe during this new stage of life.Read More
A Smarter and More Efficient Way to Manage As manager of the call center, there is never a dull day for Chrissy Kelly. Her job involves overseeing all of the operations in the department, meaning she must keep track of a lot of information. The call center team works together to handle all follow-up coordination,Read More
There is a reason why more and more homeowners are making the switch to programmable thermostats every year–well… ten reasons actually: 1) It Saves You Money (Really) The best way to combat those high bills is to reduce your energy usage. Instead of heating or cooling your house while you are away, you are ableRead More
After decades of experience providing reliable plumbing, electric, and HVAC services, W.E. Brown has expanded their products/services to include smart-home technology. While the idea of smart-home devices may be intimidating for some, Jay Taggart (CEO of W.E. Brown) saw this addition as a natural progression for the company. After all, they have been installing theRead More
Seven years ago, Jessica Pritchett began to dream about becoming an electrician, but put her goals aside to care for others. Despite all odds, her unwavering passion led her to pursue that dream at W.E. Brown years later. Her whole life, Jessica has been passionate about fixing things and discovering how they worked. However, pursuingRead More
When a family’s cat was in serious danger, duct mechanic Roy Haislip and call center employee Jennifer Perry did not hesitate to come to its rescue. Their heroic actions and compassion for others exemplify what we always aim to achieve at W.E. Brown. Read about how the event unfolded through the eyes of Roy andRead More
Everything working together to create your whole-home comfort (your HVAC, dishwasher, washer, and dryer) has a lifespan. A lot of people tend to wait until their system fails or gets entirely run into the ground before having it replaced. Something to consider, however, if you know the manufacturer’s lifespan on any of your products, isRead More
New Look, Same Reliable Service Here at W.E. Brown, we are always striving to go above and beyond for our customers, and there is no detail too small when it comes to providing an excellent experience. From the moment our trucks hit the road, our goal is to provide customer service that is both personalRead More
Yep, and we give this video ‘Two Thumbs Up.’ As a routine check-up, a Sewer Camera video inspection of your main sewer line is a noninvasive and cost-effective way to forecast your home’s plumbing health as well as identify an invasive root before it grows, collects debris, and turns into a significant clog in yourRead More
Let me cover another W.E. Brown focus group favorite—knowledge sharing. Something that is near and dear to my heart is new construction and home efficiency. It’s not obvious and so I’ve created an article and blog on the topic: The choices you make behind the drywall should be as remarkable as the ones in plainRead More