Frequently Asked Questions

How often should I change my air filter at home?

How often to change your air filters can depend on the following:

  • the type of air filter you are using
  • the overall indoor air quality
  • how many pets are in the home
  • the number of people occupying the home, and
  • the level of air pollution and construction around the home

For basic 1"-3" air filters, manufacturers usually direct you to change them every 30-60 days. If you suffer from light to moderate allergies, you could upgrade the air filter or change them even more often. Or, if you're in a more remote area or less occupied home (like a vacation home) and there are fewer cars around, annually may be often enough.

Here are averages that might help you know how often you should change the air filter at home:

  • Vacation home or single occupant and no pets or allergies: every 6-12 months
  • "Average" suburban home without pets: every 90 days
  • Add a dog or cat: every 60 days
  • Add more than one pet or anyone has allergies: 20-45 days
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What are the benefits of having a central humidifier?

When in heating mode, people are confined indoors with unusually dry air for many months each year. Humidifiers help the right comfort level of humidity, and properly maintained levels of humidity are beneficial for your respiratory system. Whole-house humidifiers work like your more typical room humidifiers. They distribute moisture into the air, making harsh, dry air much easier to breathe. And whole-house humidifiers add humidity throughout the house, no more moving a humidifier from room to room, spilling water on the floor as you go.

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What are the effects of carbon monoxide?

When entering the body, carbon monoxide attaches to with the red blood cells in the blood and displaces the oxygen our bodies need to survive. Carbon monoxide combines with the red blood cells over 200 times more easily than oxygen and creates a condition known as carboxyhemoglobin saturation. Carbon monoxide, instead of oxygen, then gets carried to the vital organs through the bloodstream. Our organ tissues require oxygen; without it, our organs start to asphyxiate or suffocate. It takes the body a long time to eliminate carbon monoxide, however it can be absorbed much faster.

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What are the health benefits of clean air?

Allergies and asthma are two health concerns that could be helped with cleaner indoor air. When airborne irritants are removed, allergy and asthma sufferers often find relief from their symptoms. Even those in good health who may have never suffered from allergies could benefit from clean air. Dust, smoke and other particles float around in the air, causing your drapes and furniture to gather dust. By removing airborne dust particles, you reduce the amount of exposure your respiratory system has to them.

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What are the symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning?

Unfortunately, the symptoms that are a result of carboxyhemoglobin saturation are easily overlooked because they appear to be flu-like. With mild exposure, most people experience headaches, fatigue and nausea. Medium exposure could cause a severe throbbing headache, drowsiness, disorientation, confusion and an accelerated heart rate. Extreme exposure could even cause unconsciousness, convulsions, cardiorespiratory failure, coma and possibly death.

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What can be done to protect my home from carbon monoxide?

Prevention is the most important step. Taking proper safety precautions will reduce your risk of carbon monoxide poisoning. Because automobiles are a major cause of carbon monoxide poisoning, always take your car out of the garage to let it warm up. Never leave it running in the confined space of a garage. The same holds true for lawn mowers or snowmobiles.

Never use ovens or grills as a heater. These items are designed to be safe and efficient and not produce substantial amounts of carbon monoxide. However, homeowners need to check all combustion appliances to be sure they are operating as designed and to be sure that all chimneys and vents are connected properly and not blocked. Schedule annual maintenance by a qualified technician to check the condition of these appliances.

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What causes indoor air pollution?

Many everyday household items may contribute to poor indoor air quality. Compounds found in carpeting, furniture, upholstery and drapery fabric constantly emit gases or fumes. Other sources of pollutants include cleaning agents, paint and personal care products.

Though they are usually more efficient, newer homes do not breathe (ventilate) the way older homes have. Tight-sealing weather stripping and storm doors keep indoor air in and outdoor air out. This provides more energy savings, but the limited exchange of outdoor and indoor air can mean a buildup of contaminants on the inside of the house. In these circumstances, a whole home ventilation system is recommended. Ventilation systems exchange polluted indoor air for more breathable outdoor air, without sacrificing energy savings.

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What is carbon monoxide?

Carbon monoxide (CO) is a colorless, odorless, tasteless gas that is created by the incomplete combustion of fuels such as wood, natural gas, gasoline, diesel, kerosene, coal and charcoal. It is caused by lack of oxygen or a disruption in the burning process. Household heating mechanisms such as a furnace, water heater, stove, space heaters, charcoal grill and gas dryer can be sources of carbon monoxide, especially if they are not in proper working condition or have been installed improperly. Vehicle exhaust fumes from attached garages, as well as poorly operating fireplaces may also be a source of carbon monoxide. CO is poisonous to the body and is fatal at high levels or with long exposure.

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What is Indoor Air Quality (IAQ)?

Indoor Air Quality is a term used to denote the level or amount of air pollution that exists inside a house or building, particularly occupied areas or rooms. Exposure to air pollutants can be up to 100 times higher indoors than outdoors, and the American Lung Association estimates that most people spend 90% of their time indoors. So the IAQ level and IAQ products that can increase air quality and eliminate indoor air pollution have become an important concern for many families, especially those suffering from allergies and respiratory issues.

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What is involved in a whole-home humidifier installation and maintenance?

Installing a humidifier is generally an easy job when, at the same time, you change out your furnace. But you can also have a humidifier fitted to your existing heating and cooling system. Periodic cleaning and draining of the reservoir is strongly recommended to maintain the system. Service Experts Heating & Air Conditioning can provide maintenance on the humidifier as needed, or proactively as part of our PLUS Maintenance Agreement. Call 866-397-3787 for more information about humidifier maintenance or for a free estimate on a new humidification system.

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866-397-3787 for more information about humidifier maintenance or for a free estimate on a new humidification system.">
What is the proper amount of indoor humidity?
Indoor Air Quality Experts recommend a home's humidity level be between 30 and 60 percent. However, during extremely cold weather, a home loses humidity to the outdoors and the level may drop to as low as 10 percent. When humidity levels drop, we suggest you have a whole-home humidifier to help ensure that the proper level of moisture is present throughout the house. Not having enough moisture in the air can cause dryness in the membranes of the nose, throat and bronchial tubes and can be the source of several health-related problems. Relative humidity also has a significant effect on controlling the occurrence of airborne infections.
In addition to the health benefits, humidifiers are an easy way to help your entire home be more comfortable. Whole-house humidifiers work like old-fashioned room humidifiers. They put moisture into the air, making harsh, dry air easier to breathe, however, they work on a larger and more efficient scale. A humidifier uses from 1.5 to 12 gallons of water per day — just enough to raise the humidity in the home to the desired level, but not enough to make a difference on the water bill. And because a humidifier is installed into the ductwork, there is no need to carry one from room to room.
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Why is my throat dry when I’m home?

Dry air is what tends to make your throat feel dry or aggravate respiratory ailments. During cooler or cold weather, your home rapidly loses its humidity to the outdoors. Humidity levels could drop to as low as 10 percent. The American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE) recommends that homeowners maintain a humidity level between 30 and 60 percent.

Dry air may also begin to cause more than health problems. Static electricity is a direct result of very dry air and houseplants may suffer from "winter drought" caused by low humidity levels. A whole-home humidifier integrates moister with your indoor air and can help relieve ailments related to dry respiratory membranes and would be our recommended solution to this issue.

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How can I better control my home energy costs?

With energy costs climbing, there are a few steps you can take to help reduce the expenses of heating and cooling your home. HVAC equipment usually uses more energy than any other appliance in the home. This inevitably shows up every month on utility costs each month, but it's important to remember that energy costs can be controlled in several ways.

Maintenance: One method to control energy costs is to schedule annual maintenance to help be sure that your furnace and air conditioner is running properly and efficiently. Operating dirty heating or cooling equipment can result in unnecessary loss of efficiency and may even damage the unit.

High Efficiency: If you are in the market for a new home comfort system, consider investing in a high-efficiency system. They are designed to help reduce your energy costs as well as help conserve natural resources. When selecting a new home comfort system, pay close attention to the SEER rating of the air conditioner and the AFUE of the furnace. The higher the SEER or AFUE, the higher the efficiency and savings.

Zoning: Zoning can dramatically lower your heating costs. Zoning divides your home into separate comfort areas, which are heated or cooled based on the occupancy of the rooms. That means a zoning system allows each room in your home to potentially have its own temperature setting. With a zoning system, you no longer pay to heat or cool the space of your home that are rarely used, and you can have the exact temperature you want in highly occupied rooms.

Programmable Thermostats: Programmable thermostats can make a big difference in energy consumption. Since you can proactively set a schedule for the days and times that the home is occupied, these thermostats are able to deliver exact comfort, efficiency and energy savings. For example, if you're going to be away, you can set the whole house at an energy-saving temperature to avoid heating or cooling an empty house and conserving energy in the process.

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