All You Need To Know About Indoor Air Quality

With people spending more of their time indoors every day, it is important to examine how indoor air quality can be impacting your health. Many agree that indoor air pollution is more of a concerning health hazard for Americans than outdoor air pollution, simply because we’re spending more and more time indoors. Whether you’re indoors at work or kicking back and enjoying a family dinner at home, make sure your indoor air is keeping you healthy with by checking with your Denver commercial heating and cooling company. Here’s a guide to helping you improve your indoor air quality:

 

The Inside Story: A Guide to Indoor Air Quality

Indoor Air Quality Concerns

All of us face a variety of risks to our health as we go about our day-to-day lives. Driving in cars, flying in planes, engaging in recreational activities, and being exposed to environmental pollutants all pose varying degrees of risk. Some risks are simply unavoidable. Some we choose to accept because to do otherwise would restrict our ability to lead our lives the way we want. And some are risks we might decide to avoid if we had the opportunity to make informed choices. Indoor air pollution is one risk that you can do something about.

In the last several years, a growing body of scientific evidence has indicated that the air within homes and other buildings can be more seriously polluted than the outdoor air in even the largest and most industrialized cities. Other research indicates that people spend approximately 90 percent of their time indoors. Thus, for many people, the risks to health may be greater due to exposure to air pollution indoors than outdoors.

In addition, people who may be exposed to indoor air pollutants for the longest periods of time are often those most susceptible to the effects of indoor air pollution. Such groups include the young, the elderly, and the chronically ill, especially those suffering from respiratory or cardiovascular disease.

Indoor Air Quality in Your Home

What Causes Indoor Air Problems?

Indoor pollution sources that release gases or particles into the air are the primary cause of indoor air quality problems in homes. Inadequate ventilation can increase indoor pollutant levels by not bringing in enough outdoor air to dilute emissions from indoor sources and by not carrying indoor air pollutants out of the home. High temperature and humidity levels can also increase concentrations of some pollutants.

Pollutant Sources

There are many sources of indoor air pollution in any home. These include combustion sources such as oil, gas, kerosene, coal, wood, and tobacco products; building materials and furnishings as diverse as deteriorated, asbestos-containing insulation, wet or damp carpet, and cabinetry or furniture made of certain pressed wood products; products for household cleaning and maintenance, personal care, or hobbies; central heating and cooling systems and humidification devices; and outdoor sources such as radon, pesticides, and outdoor air pollution.

The relative importance of any single source depends on how much of a given pollutant it emits and how hazardous those emissions are. In some cases, factors such as how old the source is and whether it is properly maintained are significant. For example, an improperly adjusted gas stove can emit significantly more carbon monoxide than one that is properly adjusted.

Read the full article at cspc.gov

First Posted on: All You Need To Know About Indoor Air Quality

How Zoning Can Help You Regulate Your Home’s Temperatures

Many homeowners have never heard of home zoning for their air conditioning and heating systems. It is often the best way to ensure that all the random cold and hot spots in your home are balanced to the most comfortable temperature for you and your family. Zoning can help you regulate your inside temperatures, so give your residential and commercial air conditioning repair in Denver a call to set something up today. Here’s a little more information on how zoning can help you:

Home Zoning: The Cure for the Common (and Uncomfortable) Home

What if an electrician came to your home and rewired your house so that all of the lights were turned off and on at the same time using a single switch? Most homeowners would show that electrician the door. However we still use that same impractical and inefficient concept for cooling and heating our homes. A single thermostat controls the temperature for the entire house, leaving some rooms cold, some rooms hot and some rooms in a constant state of flux.

For decades, homeowners have accepted this one-thermostat-for-all-rooms solution. They’ve begrudgingly used space heaters and window air conditioners to try to even out temperatures in attics, basements, rec rooms and bedrooms that never feel comfortable. However, there are plenty of options when it comes to controlling home comfort. Whether the problem is a single room or single area of the home, or you’re looking for a more cost-effective and energy conscious solution for the entire house, there are options.

Controlled Comfort with Home Zoning

A zoned home is divided into segments, based upon each segment’s need for conditioning. Each zone has its own indoor unit and its own controller so you use only the amount of conditioning needed in each zone, instead of one big system conditioning the entire house. This can improve energy efficiency and reduces heating and cooling costs across the board.

Zoning is very popular in new builds, but it is also possible for existing homes. Zoning is appropriate for all homes that:

  • Have two or more levels
  • Have rooms with large windows and/or vaulted ceilings
  • Make use of basements or attics as living space
  • Are built over concrete slabs
  • Experience extreme temperature swings or differentials
  • Are over 60 years old and cannot be torn up for ductwork
  • Experience family fights over the thermostat

 

Stop Treating Symptoms

In the past, homeowners have been forced to either accept cold spots and hot spots, or they have had to resort to expensive short-term solutions like window AC units or space heaters to control the temperature in different areas of their home. These spot fixes can help control comfort, but they are expensive both to purchase and utilize and they don’t solve the larger problem. It’s like taking aspirin when you have the flu – it can help treat the symptoms, but it doesn’t cure the virus.

Read the full article at hgtv.com

 

 

 

Originally Posted over here: How Zoning Can Help You Regulate Your Home’s Temperatures

10 Surprising Facts You Never Knew About Air Conditioning

One of the things we love about the HVAC business here at All Temperatures Controlled, Inc. is how vast and complex it all can be. We pride ourselves in understanding all the ins-and-outs of our business so that we know exactly how to take care of all your commercial refrigerator and HVAC needs. Here’s some fun and interesting facts that you may have never known about the many purposes of air conditioning throughout history:

10 surprising air-conditioning facts from the new book ‘Cool’

 

The easiest way to beat the heat this weekend may be to turn on your air conditioning. But the road to being able to flip a switch to cool down your house was not so simple. As author Salvatore Basile explains in his new book “Cool: How Air Conditioning Changed Everything,” the path to easy, affordable ways to cool down took a path through ice, ammonia, fans, pipes, blowers, coils and more. Here are some surprising things you probably don’t know about air conditioning.

  1. If you go to a movie to beat the heat this weekend, you’re not the first. In fact, major advances in air-conditioning technology began in 1917, when theater owners wanted to fill seats during sweltering summers. With no home air conditioning, people flocked to movie theaters, whose advertisements featured lettering dripping with icicles.
  2. In 1736, the English House of Commons was cooled by a seven-foot, hand-cranked “blowing wheel.” The man at the crank was known as the Ventilator.
  3. An ice-making machine was patented as early as 1851, but American ice interests, which had a network that stored and transported lake ice from cold regions, managed to quash it.
  4. A variety of machine cooling systems were developed, but they were slow to catch on. In 1891, a St. Louis company transformed a beer hall and restaurant into an “Ice Palace.” Chilled by refrigeration, painted with murals of a polar expedition, it displayed frost-coated pipes spelling out the prorprietor’s name to passers-by. Those who left the 90-degree temperatures outside for the 70 degrees inside considered it merely a pleasant oddity.
  5. An unnamed California millionaire was the first to try cooling an entire room in his home mechanically, in 1892. It was only 6 feet by 9 feet and required a false wall to conceal machinery, more of which was located on the roof. (Could it have been William Randolph Hearst? That’s my guess).
  6. Two early successful ventilation systems were installed in 1899 in Cornell’s dissecting rooms (for the cadavers) and 1903, at the New York Stock Exchange (for the stockbrokers).
  7. Willis Haviland Carrier, whose patents and ideas created the first widely popular factory-scale coolers, was so absorbed in creating his air conditioner that he once left for a business trip with a large suitcase in which he had packed nothing but a handkerchief.

8. The first fully air-conditioned residence was built in Minneapolis in 1913 by Charles “Spend-a-Million” Gates, heir to a barbed-wire fortune. The mansion, taking up three city lots, also boasted gold plumbing and a ballroom, but Gates never got to experience it: He died while on a hunting trip before the house was finished.

Read the full article at latimes.com

 

Originally Posted right here: 10 Surprising Facts You Never Knew About Air Conditioning

Best Ways to Keep Your Pet From Overheating This Summer

What would summer be without air conditioning to cool us down? Probably a little less fun! As humans, we can cool things down inside when the temperatures are scorching inside, and even during winter, we can heat things up inside when it’s freezing outdoors. If your HVAC system needs repair to keep the temperature comfortable inside your home or business, give your local Denver commercial heating and cooling company a call 24/7. But are your furry friends staying cool this summer too? Make sure they’re kept comfortable in the summer heat with these following tips:

 

Keep Your Pets Cool This Summer

As temperatures rise, it’s important to remember that our pets don’t have the same ability to put on shorts and a tank top when the going gets hot as we do. Our dogs can overheat quickly in warm temperatures, and heat stroke can be fatal.

Holistic veterinarian Dr. Kathy Wentworth, who owns PetPoint Medical Center & Resort in Irvine, says heat stroke symptoms will typically begin with excessive panting as dogs attempt to cool themselves down.

They can have difficulty breathing, bright red gums, foaming and salivating of the mouth and even nosebleeds. As symptoms worsen, they can suffer vomiting, diarrhea, tremors, seizures and cardiac arrest. A dog’s normal body temperature ranges between 100 and 102.5 Fahrenheit. Moderate heat stroke can occur between 104 and 106, and above that, “then you’re in trouble,” Wentworth says.

Here are some tips for keeping pets cool in warm temperatures:

Know your dog. Big, heavy and dark-coated dogs can get hotter quicker than light, white dogs. Wentworth says dogs like bulldogs and boxers with flatter faces, which can restrict breathing, and that have large mass have trouble cooling down. “I have seen a bulldog who had a nosebleed because he was just so overheated,” she says.

Pay attention to temperature. Don’t think that just because you’re indoors, your dog can’t get hot. Keep your dog indoors with fans running or the air conditioning going on hot days and always find shade for your dog when he goes out.

Orange County-based Certified Professional Dog Trainer Kate Connell generally recommends keeping your thermostat at 78 and run fans as necessary to keep pets cool. “Dogs who stay in air conditioning all day are more likely to get heat stroke when out on a hot day because their bodies aren’t used to the heat,” Connell says.

Don’t overdo exercise. Keep exercise on the less intense side on warm days. After any walk or hike, give your dog a place to cool off afterward, and take whatever breaks are necessary during the excursion. Always have plenty of water available.

Act quickly at any sign of overheating. Wet your dog down with cold, wet towels, a water bottle, a hose or in the shower – but avoid ice water as it constricts blood vessels, which can stop the release of heat from the body, Wentworth says, although an ice pack under the armpits or on the head is OK. Offer your dog some water, bring him into air conditioning and turn the fans on. As soon as you can, head to the vet, who can run intravenous fluids to cool your pet’s internal body temperature, Wentworth says. She says dogs who’ve had heat stroke once are at increased risk of getting it again.

Shaving your dog isn’t the answer. While some pet owners feel shaving their pet is a good idea, Wentworth says a dog’s coat is meant to protect him from both cold and heat. “For most dogs, that coat is probably protective, insulation-wise,” she says.

Keep track of the time. Wentworth says to exercise with your dog in the morning or evening, when temperatures are coolest. Connell recommends not staying out later than 10 a.m. on warm days. “If you’re out with your dog on a warm day – hiking, beach, etc. – always turn back to go home before you’ve reached the halfway point with your water,” Connell says.

Read the full article at ocregister.com

First Seen on: Best Ways to Keep Your Pet From Overheating This Summer

10 Ways You Might Be Wasting Money and Energy In Your Home

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Energy bills can be high especially in summer when air conditioners are constantly running. Is your walk in cooler or air conditioner running as it should, or is it eating up your energy bills each month? Here are the top ten habits that might be causing your energy bill to sky rocket: 

The 10 Biggest Energy Wasting Habits at Home

Without paying much attention, we use a lot of energy each day — from charging electronics to watching TV. In fact, in 2014, the average U.S. residential household consumed 10,982 kWh of electricity and spent around $2,200 annually on utility bills. Luckily, households can lower this amount up to 25 percent by being more proactive with energy conservation tips.

The following are 10 of the biggest energy-wasting oversights people make at home and how to adjust to more eco-friendly practices.

 

1. Leaving the Lights On

One of the most obvious energy-wasting habits is leaving the lights on, and it’s also one of the easiest habits to fix. By simply turning off the lights when you leave a room or your home, you will save electricity and help your lightbulbs last longer. If you think you might forget, use a smart home system to remotely monitor your lighting from your smartphone.

 

2. Using Incandescent Bulbs

Incandescent lights consume an exorbitant amount of energy. A quick way to reduce energy use is to switch to energy-efficient bulbs. ENERGY STAR certified bulbs — such as halogen incandescents, compact fluorescent lamps (CFLs) and light-emitting diodes (LEDs) — use 25–80 percent less energy than traditional incandescent bulbs and last up to 25 times longer.

 

3. Leaving Electronics Plugged In

Appliances and electronics use energy even when they’re turned off. One tip to help save on utility bills is to unplug all electronics — including TVs, computers, and phone chargers — when they aren’t in use. Connecting multiple electronics to a power strip makes it easier to switch off unused devices all at once.

 

4. Powering an Empty Chest Freezer

Having an extra freezer in the garage is great for storing food, but does more harm than good when it is empty. A running chest freezer consumes around 103 kWh and costs an average of $14 per month. When your chest freezer is empty, unplug it to save energy and money.

 

5. Browsing Your Refrigerator

Those few seconds staring into the refrigerator add up. Every year, people spend around 10 hours looking at an open fridge or freezer, accounting for 7 percent of the appliance’s total energy use. Another helpful tip is to open the fridge and freezer only when necessary and save your browsing for the pantry.

 

6. Running the Dishwasher Half-Full

The average dishwasher requires around 1,800 watts of electricity to run — running it daily would cost $66 per year. You can cut down on energy use by running the dishwasher only when full. You can also save around 15 percent of the dishwasher’s total energy use by switching its setting from heat dry to air dry.

 

7. Washing Clothes in Hot Water

Almost 90 percent of a washing machine’s energy is spent heating water. You can cut energy use in half by switching from hot to warm water, and reduce it even further by using cold water. Unless you are trying to remove oil or grease, cold water sufficiently cleans clothing, towels and sheets.

 

8. Setting the Thermostat Too High

In many households, water heater temperatures are set too high. Even though many water heaters are set at 140 degrees by default, the Department of Energy recommends 120 degrees for energy efficiency. Cut your energy bill by 3–5 percent for every 10 degrees you lower the thermostat.

 

9. Not Programming Your Thermostat

Heating and cooling consume nearly half of a home’s energy. A programmable thermostat helps cut down on unnecessary heating or cooling when you aren’t home. Smart thermostats are even more energy efficient — they are remote controlled, can “learn” your preferred temperature, and default to energy-saving mode when no one is home.

 

10. Forgetting to Change Air Filters

Any home with an HVAC unit has air filters that need to be regularly cleaned for the HVAC to function effectively. As your HVAC runs, the air filter traps air particles. Once the air filter clogs, the HVAC expends more energy pulling in air. To reduce an HVAC system’s energy use, replace its air filters every three months. For the more forgetful among us, a simple phone notification can keep you up to date and breathing cleaner air.

 

Electricity is essential for living comfortably, but there are simple ways you can reduce your energy use, save money, and improve your home’s sustainability without hindering your daily life. Try an idea or two from the above list– or even better, all of them – and see the savings pile up. 

Read more at ase.org

     

Originally Posted over here: 10 Ways You Might Be Wasting Money and Energy In Your Home

Air Conditioner Busted? Here’s Some Reasons Why It Might Not Be Working

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Is your AC not keeping you cool like it should? It just might be broken. You know you can always rely on All Temperatures Controlled for all residential and commercial air conditioning repair in Denver, but you may be curious about why your system is always breaking. The following article provides a few reasons why your air conditioning unit might not be functioning the way it should:

AC Not Working? Here Are Some Possible Reasons Why

A faulty residential AC is a problem that you should deal with sooner rather than later. You might be dealing with issues with your refrigerant, or you might have fallen behind on maintenance. In some cases, the thermostat could be the culprit. If your AC isn’t working, continue for some possible reasons why.

Refrigerant Problems
There are only 2 possible reasons why your residential AC might be low on refrigerant: Either your HVAC pro didn’t fill it up enough in the first place, or you have a leak. Otherwise, there’s no reason for refrigerant to run low. If you didn’t have enough refrigerant in the first place, then adding more might do the trick. If you did, however, then you should address the leak before you top your residential AC off again. Your owner’s manual should let you know how much refrigerant you should have in your air conditioner.

Lack of Maintenance
Residential AC maintenance is easy, but not everyone remembers to stick to the schedule. Your conditioning coils and your air filters can both become dirty, which will hinder the efficiency and performance of your air conditioner over time. Lack of maintenance can also cause your unit to stop functioning altogether, which means you would need a new appliance to stay comfortable throughout the summer. Commit to your maintenance schedule to avoid this kind of problem.

Thermostat Communication
Your residential AC relies on input from your thermostat to determine how much cool air to pump out into your living space. If your air conditioner and your thermostat are not communicating properly, your unit won’t know how cold you want your air to be. Before you start taking your residential AC apart, make sure that your thermostat is passing the necessary information along to your unit.

Read the full article at estesairatlanta.com

       

Article Source here: Air Conditioner Busted? Here’s Some Reasons Why It Might Not Be Working

5 Tips to Beat the Colorado Heat

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As Colorado continues to heat up, we all look for more and more ways to keep ourselves cool without blowing our energy budgets. Our biggest tip is to rely on your Denver commercial hvac repair experts to keep you cool and comfortable all summer , but if you need just a bit more than air conditioning, check out these money-saving ways to keep your home or business cool.

5 Ways to Beat the Heat

No, it’s not your imagination—it definitely is getting hotter. The eight warmest years on record occurred over the past decade. But staying cool this summer doesn’t necessarily mean you have to pay a fortune to keep the air-conditioning running day and night. Here are 5 tips—most costing less than $25—that will keep you comfortable and cut the typical $1,000 cooling bill by as much as half. What’s needed to get the temperature to drop? Only a little time and a few changes in your routine.

Tip 1: Install a Programmable Thermostat

A programmable thermostat lets you preset temperatures for different times of the day, so air-conditioning is working only when you are home. The least expensive thermostat models ($30) let you set four cycles that, unless manually overridden, repeat every day. Higher-priced models ($50 and up) allow you to create settings for each weekday and for each weekend day.

These thermostats come with complete directions and are easy to install. Just remove the old thermostat, unscrewing the wire leads attached to the terminals on the back. Reattach those wires to the terminals on the new model (in a system with separate A/C and heating units there may be four leads on the back, two for each unit). AA batteries maintain the settings if the power ever goes off.

Tip 2: Set the Dial Higher

If you have central air, set your thermostat above 78 degrees (all temperatures cited here are in degrees Fahrenheit). You’ll save 5 to 8 percent on cooling costs with each degree above that mark. For a typical household, setting the thermostat at 80 degrees saves 10 to 15 percent; raising it to 85 degrees will save 35 to 55 percent.

When you leave home for more than one hour, set the thermostat to 85 or 90 degrees. Reset it upon your return, and the room will cool down in only 15 minutes. The system will use less energy during the cool-down period than if you had left it running at a lower setting while you were out.

Typical air-conditioning settings for a programmable thermostat at different times of day:

6 a.m. to 9 a.m. = 75 degrees
9 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. = 85-90 degrees
5:30 p.m. to 11 p.m. = 75 degrees
11 p.m. to 6 a.m. = 80 degrees

Tip 3: Use a Fan

A fan, which costs two to five cents per hour to operate, will make a room feel 4 to 6 degrees cooler. Also, a fan works well in tandem with an air conditioner because the dehumidifying action of the air conditioner provides drier air that the fan can then move around.

In frequently used rooms, install a ceiling fan (set it to spin counterclockwise in summer). You’ll save the most money by running the fan only when you’re in the room. A motion-detector switch (around $20), which turns the fan on when you enter a room and off when the room is empty, is a good addition. However, if you have pets that move in and out of the room, make sure the switch can be turned off manually. Otherwise, your pets can cause the fan to run while you’re away.

If nighttime temperatures drop into the 70s where you live, you might want to purchase a whole-house fan, which runs $300 to $600 installed. This type of unit goes in an upstairs ceiling, ideally in a central hall. When run at night with the windows open, the fan will pull cool air into the house as it vents hot air out through the attic. Most models are designed to slip in between joists for easy installation. Whole-house fans, which draw only as much power as a couple of lightbulbs, are usually outfitted with a variable-speed switch and/or timer. If you install one, be sure to get an insulated box to cover the portal in winter.

Tip 4: Practice “Texas Cool”

“Texas cool” is a morning and evening routine that takes advantage of cool outdoor temperatures at night and keeps the heat at bay as much as possible during daylight hours. It’s very simple to do: At night when the temperature drops, open windows and bring in cool air with window fans or a whole-house fan. As soon as the sun comes up or the air starts to heat up, shut the windows and shades and keep doors closed.

Tip 5: Use Sunblockers

As much as 20 percent of summer heat enters your home as sunlight shining through windows. To cut “solar gain,” add curtains or blinds to rooms that get direct sun and draw them in daylight hours. With the shades drawn, a well-insulated house will gain only 1 degree per hour when outdoor temperatures are above 85 degrees.

Pay special attention to west-facing rooms late in the day. Shades and blinds to consider include roller shades (the least expensive option), venetian-type micro-blinds, reflective curtains and insulated curtains (the most expensive, at $100 per window). Two exterior options are to install awnings or plant shade trees.

For more tips, visit thisoldhouse.com

     

Originally Posted here: 5 Tips to Beat the Colorado Heat