Quick tips on staying cool this Summer

Quick tips on staying cool this Summer

May 4, 2021

It’s almost Summertime, and Texas is about to turn up the HEAT. Just within the last few years, the United States in total has experienced some of the hottest summers to ever be recorded. Aside from the ecological impact that summer brings, these smoldering days are often a disaster for our wallets. Many of our  East Texas homeowners will notice an increase in their electricity bills between the months of June through September due to our extensive climate. 

Not to worry, we aren’t going to let you melt away in the Summer heat, just to save a few dollars. With these helpful tips from JD’s AC, you can keep the temperature and your budget within your ideal comfort zone

1.Check your air conditioning unit 

Just like you, your air conditioner needs to have routine maintenance performed to ensure the functionality and efficiency for the lifetime of your system. If neglected, your system can experience poor performance, unnecessary energy usage, or complete system failure. Certified HVAC technicians can inspect your coils, fins, evaporator cooler, heat pump, and any other parts of your air conditioning unit. Making sure that all components are in good working order, and ready to keep you cool all summer long. 

2. Replace your AC filters

 Keep your air filter clean, and clear of debris is one of the easiest and most effective things many homeowners can do to ensure the efficiency of your HVAC system. Clogged, dirty, unclean filters will block natural airflow, thus reducing your air conditioner’s ability to remove and absorb the heat passing through. You should replace your air conditioner’s filter every month to two months depending on your lifestyle, pets, and several other factors. For most, your filter can be found in your walls, ceilings, furnaces, or inside the air conditioner itself. In single room air conditioners, the filter will be mounted in the grill that faces into the room. In central air conditioning systems, you can find your filters along the length of your return duct

3. Switch to LED light bulbs

Still using outdated, incandescent light bulbs? Then it’s time you switch to the next best thing, LED lights. LED lights are the most energy-efficient options on the market, using 75% less energy, last 25 times longer, and run much cooler than competing lightbulbs. While costing a little more upfront, soon they pay for themselves with energy savings.    

Did you know? Incandescent light bulbs are extremely inefficient, only absorbing 10 – 15% of the electricity that gets turned into light, and the rest? Becomes wasted heat that contributes to your high energy bill

4. Invest in a smart thermostat 

Smart thermostats are Wifi enabled devices that automatically adjust to the temperature settings in your home, to provide homeowners with peak efficiency. With smart thermostats, your temperature habits and preferences are learned and established in a schedule that will automate adjust to an energy-saving temperature when you are asleep or away from home. Ideally, you will want to set your internal temperature at 78°F and avoid lowering your thermostat while the air conditioner is running. This will not cause your home to cool any faster and actually may result in higher energy usage.  

Pro Tip! Avoid placing lamps, TVs, or other heat-expending equipment away from your home’s thermostat. These appliances can cause your thermostat to improperly register heat that these create, causing your AC system to run longer, and harder than what is necessary. 

5. Utilize fans in your home 

Running fans is more cost-effective than running your air conditioner. As a matter of fact, running your fan for 24 hours a day, 7 days a week for an entire month, would only cost around $5 extra on your electricity bill. While they do not produce cold air, they will help to circulate air within that room. This airflow will create a ‘wind-chill effect, that helps with comfortability while making no changes to the internal temperature of your home. 

But they do work well together! By using a ceiling fan, you can set your thermostat 4°F higher with no reduction in comfort. Remember: To turn off your fans when you are no longer in the room, or not home. With nobody to feel the effects of the ceiling gan, you aren’t doing much outside of using unnecessary energy.   

6. Keep the blinds closed

Keeping your blinds closed or drapes pulled through the daytime will help reduce the greenhouse effect of the sun. In many homes, the southern, and western facing walls absorb the brunt of the sun’s heat. While north-facing windows will produce little glare, and a fair amount of natural light, without the summer heat beaming inside. Leave these windows open if natural light is desired, vs your southern or western facing windows. 

 

7. Look into an energy-efficient dehumidifier 

In hot, humid climates such as those here in East Texas, a dehumidifier is a perfect partner for your air conditioning system and a great way to reduce the overall humidity levels in your home (and your energy bill expenses too). This is because when the air in your home is too humid, the air conditioning unit will work twice as hard to not only cool the air but to remove the moisture as well. By installing a dehumidifier you can expect to reap the benefits of: 

  • A lower energy bill 
  • Less humidity inside your home 
  • A more comfortable experience

8. Avoid kitchen cooking as much as possible

Yes, you read that correctly! Cooking with a conventional oven will add unwanted heat to your home, thus causing your AC system to work twice as hard. Instead, you can utilize alternative kitchen appliances such as; microwaves, slow cookers, or even outdoor appliances such as grills, or smokers. What better time, than summertime for a backyard BBQ? Cook delicious lunches and dinners, while keeping the summer heat outside.   

9. Wash your clothes in cold water 

Did you know that your washing machine, dryers, and dishwasher all generate large amounts of heat. To reduce the amount of heat being used, JD’S AC recommends running these appliances with cold water, running full loads of dishes and clothing when in use. 

Pro Tip! According to the U.S. Department of Energy, water heating can account for 14-25% of your total energy usage. By turning your water heater down to a warm setting of 120°F can save you money every month!  

10. If you aren’t using it, lose it! 

Time to unplug, and save! While electronics are great and have made our lives easier in so many ways, they too generate not only heat but electricity as well. Even when turned off, the phantom energy is still being pulled, and small amounts of heat are being generated through the wiring. When you add it up, reducing this usage can make a few degree difference in the overall temperature of your home. 

11. Make sure that your home is properly sealed.

Insulation is a key factor for your home, that doesn’t just apply to you during the winter months. Preventing air leaks within your home is one of the best ways not only to keep the warm summer air out but also to keep the cool air from your HVAC system inside. By adding caulking, and weather stripping you can save an average of up to 30% on your heating and cooling costs. Insulating your home doesn’t have to cost an arm and a leg either! But it sure can save you a fair amount of cash.

Pro tip! Check your attic and basement for air leaks, as these are areas prone to large gapping in the insulation, or missing weather stipping all together. 

Are you ready to start saving on your energy bill all while keeping it cool?

No matter the season, summer or winter, many of these tips will help you save money all year long. And by creating smart energy habits, you will reduce overall energy efficiency while keeping cash in your pocket year-round

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How can I landscape around my Air Conditioner?

How can I landscape around my Air Conditioner?

May 4, 2021

Here in the heart of East Texas, the Summer heat is rarely a friend. And while HVAC units don’t do a lot for the aesthetics of our landscaping, they are 100% necessary for our comfort. Okay, we’ll just say it: they’re ugly! But who says you can’t have a functional AC unit and a beautiful yard? 

Here are 3 things to keep in mind at all times when landscaping around your HVAC unit: 

  • Provide sufficient airflow

It’s important that you provide sufficient airflow around your system. There should be an average of 2-3 feet of clearance around your outdoor HVAC unit. If there are any plants, or objects closer than this; airflow will be obstructed. This could potentially result in: 

    1. Reduction in energy efficiency 
    2. A shorter lifespan of your air conditioning system 
    3. Frequent repairs

And one thing that all 3 of these points have in common? They will all cost you MORE money! You should be excited for all the summer activities you’ve waited a year to enjoy. Plus, we will be thanking you too when our certified technician comes out to inspect and perform routine maintenance on your HVAC system (Look at all that space!). 

  • Protect your unit from debris

Protecting your unit from debris is vital. While we highly encourage and recommend for you to landscape around your unit, you will want to keep in mind to stay a fair distance away. Throughout the year, every dirt, lead, and twig that gets inside will slowly run your unit down. 

  • Provide plenty of shade

Just like us, our air conditioning unit would rather be in the shade too. While shading your condenser is relatively ineffective. By providing shade for your surrounding yard as a whole, you are able to create what is referred to as a ‘Micro-Climate”. So thanks to 1 or 2 trees, you could get savings year round! 

  • Need a break? How about a windbreak! 

A windbreak is one of the best ways that you can 

  1. Landscape your yard and 
  2. Provide protection and good airflow for your HVAC unit. 

When you begin to landscape around your AC unit, we recommend that you use evergreen plants to do so. These are great for many homeowners because they don’t require much maintenance, and will never lose their leaves. Types of evergreen trees include; 

  • Boxwood 
  • Cypress 
  • Cedar 
  • Spruce 

Remember! Keep at least 2-3 feet away from your unit at all times and ensure that your unit is accessible at all times at least on one side. This will allow our technicians to work on, and perform general HVAC maintenance

     5)  Not up for the upkeep? Landscape with Trellis, screen or lattice instead! 

You don’t have to go all plant based when laying out your landscaping plan.  

  • Trellis: A trellis is a beautiful way to hide your condenser. You can dress them with vines, or other forms of greenery. 
  • Screens: If you do choose to screen in your air conditioning unit, you will want to make sure that your unit remains easily accessible through either a door or an open side.
  • Lattice Box: This is one of the best options for many homeowners. Lattice offers a good neutral combination of trellis and screen, with a visual appeal and no plants to maintain.   

Keeping both your yard and your air conditioner in tip-top shape!

While our crew here at JD’s AC can’t help you cut the grass, trim your trees, or plant flowers in your garden bed; we can keep your air conditioning unit running efficiently. Before you begin your landscaping for the year, give us a call for annual maintenance and inspection! Our certified HVAC technicians will catch any issue before it becomes a larger problem.

Don’t wait for the stringent Longview, TX summer to hit its stride; make your next appointment today! JD’s AC proudly serves residential and commercial properties within Longview TX, Marshall TX, Gilmer TX, Gladewater TX, Tyler TX, Hallsville TX, Diana TX, Ore City TX, and surrounding areas within East Texas.

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Going Green With Energy Efficient Systems

Going Green With Energy Efficient Systems

April 6, 2021

Going green is all the rage in 2021.

And it’s understandable why that is! We are all responsible for the well-being of our planet, not only for ourselves but for future generations too. According to the U.S Department of Energy, heating and cooling homes across America account for 56% of energy use in the average American home. And while that number may shock you, commercial buildings make up 73% of energy use just to heat or cool their establishments.

 

The average American household spends more than $2,200 a year on energy bills! What if you could reduce that amount for your household?

What are the benefits of going green with my HVAC or heating system?

There are several benefits of going green at home! The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has the resources available to help you make smart decisions about your home’s heating, ventilating, and air conditioning systems. These resources can help many homeowners save on energy costs, improve your overall comfort level while at home, and help in the fight against global warming. 

  • Save energy 
  • Reduce utility costs
  • Reduce carbon emissions
  • Conserve water
  • Create a healthier environment for your community 
  • Easier to maintain 

The U.S. EPA has phased out the use of R22, which was once a common standard in air conditioning and heat pump systems. R22 is an ozone-depleting refrigerant, and it is now illegal to manufacture in the United States. 

Can I enhance my current HVAC system to be economically friendly

In short, yes! There are several green HVAC options available to homeowners or business owners who aren’t quite ready to replace their current HVAC system. So if you are looking to improve the energy efficiency of your current HVAC system, see below! 

  • Smart thermostats

Smart thermostats will allow homeowners to control your HVAC systems temperature and settings anytime, anywhere. Whether you’re using your smart app on your phone, tablet, or laptop, you have full control even from a remote location. This is a quick, easy, and affordable way to enhance your current HVAC system.

 

  • Zoned HVAC systems

Zoning HVAC systems will allow you to divide your space into multiple heating or cooling zones while controlling each zone according to your comfort preferences. Zoning works well with traditional ducted split HVAC systems, VRF systems, and ductless mini-split systems. Allowing you to keep occupied spaces comfortable, while shutting off or simply adjusting unused areas. Watch your energy bill drop! 

  • HVAC economizer 

An HVAC economizer will pull cooler air in your indoor space to provide what many would say is, “free cooling”. This green HVAC technology reduces the run time of your AC unit, reducing the amount of mechanical cooling needed by up to 75%! Be sure to ask your certified HVAC technician if your current unit has an economizer installed. If they find you do not, one can be installed without much structural or mechanical changes to your current setup.  

You can make a difference for future generations to come. 

By going green with an energy-efficient system, we can build a healthier environment for all living creatures, both for our current inhabitants and future generations yet to come. Did you know that the energy used in the average household is responsible for twice as many greenhouse gas emissions as the average car? By using less energy, you can help reduce emissions responsible for their contribution to global warming. Always be sure to ask your certified HVAC technician about the SEER rating of your system. 

Energy rebates are available through your local electricity provider! Give us a call to find out how!

Contact JD’s AC for your Green HVAC Solutions 

Our team would be happy to share with you all of our other available green HVAC options. We proudly serve those in East Texas and surrounding areas such as Longview, Marshall, Gilmer, Gladewater, Tyler, Hallsville, just to name a few.

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Talking Temperature, Sleep, and Savings!

Talking Temperature, Sleep, and Savings!

April 6, 2021

Are you ready to save as much as 10% on your annual heating and cooling costs, all while getting quality rest

If you answered yes, then this blog is for you. 

Many homeowners are making the switch from traditional thermostats, to the next best thing, programmable thermostats. This gives homeowners the ability to control their homes comfortability levels, and their energy bills simultaneously. By adding a programmable thermostat to your heating, ventilation, or air conditioning unit you can sleep better knowing you are saving money while keeping your family comfortable. 

 

Smart Thermostats – Saving You Money and Electricity.

You can save up to 10% a year on your heating and cooling bill just by turning your thermostat down an average of 7-10° for an average of 8 hours per day. Most households will do this while the family is away such as at work or school. To save energy during the Winter months, it is recommended by the Department of Energy that you set the thermostat to 68° while you are at home and awake, and even lower while you are sleeping or away from your residence. During the hot, East Texas Summer months, the Department of Energy recommends a setting of 78° and even higher when you are away from home. You will want to avoid adjusting your temperature abruptly once you do arrive home. Doing this will not cool your home any faster, and actually may in fact cause your unit to overwork to cool the same amount of space. With a programmable thermostat, your home can be controlled remotely, and can have temperatures returned to your liking before you even come home! 

Note from the pros: The smaller the difference between your indoor and outdoor air temperature the lower you can expect your utility bills to be! The lower the interior temperature, the less heat loss your home will experience, in turn saving you more energy and reducing your bill. The higher the temperature, the more energy your home creates, causing your bill to increase. 

Benefits of Programmable Thermostats

  • Saves money
  • A consistent temperature
  • Less time adjusting 
  • Increase the efficiency of your home 
  • Keep your HVAC unit optimized 
  • Take advantage of time 
  • Maximize your zoned heating and cooling

Note from the pros: It’s important to have your smart thermostat professionally installed by a licensed HVAC technician to avoid “ghost readings”. Ghost readings are often caused by exposure to heat, drafts, doors, skylights, windows and other sources of direct sunlight and can cause your system to overwork.   

Now, let’s talk sleep.

According to The National Sleep Foundation, it is recommended that you set your thermostat to 65° at night while sleeping. This temperature may vary based on your personal preferences, however most doctors will recommend keeping your thermostat set between 60-70° for the most comfortable sleep. Naturally, our bodies are programmed to reduce our core temperature in the evening time. And by turning your thermostat down, you help your body regulate its temperature and signal to your body that it’s time for sleep. 

Dancing to the circadian rhythm

The circadian rhythm is a system based on the light and dark cycles of the sun and moon. This cycle is controlled by a part of your brain called the ‘suprachiasmatic nucleus’ which is essentially your body’s clock. This clock will receive cues from numerous sources, such as environmental factors, personal factors, the amount of light exposure, exercise and temperature. 

Tips for keeping your bedroom cool during our Texas summers

Higher temperatures at night can cause not only discomfort, but a disruption in your REM sleep, as well as blood pressure! 

  • Keep your blinds closed. This will reduce heat build up within your home during the day. 
  • Turn down your thermostat at night to the recommended temperature.  
  • Use a fan or a portable air conditioning unit to help circulate air throughout the room.  
  • Keep your humidity under control.
  • Use breathable bedding materials, and light comforters. 
  • Take a warm bath an hour or two before bedtime to help encourage a natural “cool down”.  

If you are ready to optimize your home, and decrease your monthly electricity bill, it’s time to give the pros at JD’s a call! We have a highly trained team of certified HVAC technicians who are ready to help you achieve your maximum level of comfortability. Proudly serving those in Longview, Marshall, Gilmer, Tyler, Gladewater, Hallsville, Harleton, White Oak, Lakeport, and surrounding areas.

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Tips to Improve The Effectiveness of Your A/C Unit

Tips to Improve The Effectiveness of Your A/C Unit

April 6, 2020

Summertime is upon us, and here at JD’s A/C we want to help you stay in the know on how to improve the effectiveness of your A/C unit! 

Here are some simple ways you can get the most out of your A/C unit

  1. Close windows and doors 
  2. Plug leaks in your attic, doors, and windows
  3. Set, or program your thermostat and forget about it 
  4. Keep your condenser in the shade 
  5. Maintain regular filter changes
  6. Maximize airflow around your condenser 
  7. Invest in a zoning system 
  8. Set your thermostat to a reasonable temperature
  9. Keep up with regular maintenance of your unit 

Close Windows and Doors 

It is highly recommended that you close all windows and doors when the air conditioner is turned on. This will keep the cool air inside the room and keep the temperature moderate. In addition to cooling efficiency, leaving the windows open will also put stress on the air conditioner. This is because the open windows let warm air inside. This extra stress may cause the air conditioner to become faulty prematurely.

Plug Leaks Around The Home

When it is said that the room should be leak-proof, it means that warm air from the outside shouldn’t come in.

  • Make sure that the doors and windows are closed
  • Check for small spaces under or on the side of the door
  • Check near the windowsill for any gaps in the panels that can let cool air out and warm air in

Your AC is designed in a way that it turns off automatically to conserve power and improve efficiency. If an air conditioning unit does not turn off, it will run on a constant basis, causing your electric bill to be higher than it should, or needs to be! 

Ready, Set, Program Your Unit

Programmable thermostats function optimally when your home and away intervals are 8 to 10 hours each. Frequent adjustments to your thermostat cost you more energy, while constant temperatures boost the efficiency. Each degree beyond the recommended temperature of 78-degrees, will increase your heating and cooling costs by 2%. 

Here are helpful tips on how to adjust your thermostat to save money year round! 

Cooling Settings

  • Start the day with the thermostat set to 78 degrees.
  • Program a 7-degree setback that starts before you leave.
  • Have the thermostat lower the indoor temperature to 78 degrees before your arrival in the evening.
  • For additional savings, set the temperature back by 4 degrees at night.

Heating Settings

    • During the coldest months you should keep your thermostat around 68 degrees when you’re home.
    • Set the thermostat to warm your home to this temperature before you wake up. 
    • Start the first 8-degree setback when you leave the house in the morning.
    • Program a temperature increase before you return in the evening.

  • Schedule another 8-degree setback at your bedtime.

Keep Your Condenser In The Shade

Keeping your condenser in the shade can improve not only the efficiency of your unit, but the energy cost on your bill too! Planting trees to shade your air conditioner can make the unit 10% more efficient, according to the U.S. Department of Energy. Planting just three trees in strategic areas near the compressor can reduce your annual cooling costs by $100 to $250 depending on the size of your cooling unit.

Shade trees keep outdoor temperatures down by cooling the air around them and blocking unrelenting sunlight from heating the ground. After a long day of absorbing heat, the ground releases it into the air and makes your air conditioner work harder than it needs to. 

However, when shading your ac unit, here is a couple NO-NO’s: 

  • Don’t restrict the airflow around your unit. This includes providing plenty of clearance for low-hanging trees, bushes, and any other shrubbery.
  • Don’t allow vegetation like leaves, moss, or any other materials clog your unit
  • Keep a reasonable distance around your condenser 

Change Your Filters Regularly 

It’s important to change the air filter for your heating and air conditioning system every month. Regularly replacing your air filters will provide several benefits. 

  • It helps extend the lifespan of your HVAC unit, as the most common reason for heating and cooling equipment breakdowns is a dirty air filter. When dirt accumulates, air can’t pass through, reducing the life of your equipment causing system overheating issues. 
  • Changing your air filters can also keep energy costs down. A clean air filter puts less strain on the equipment, so your HVAC system will consume less energy to keep you comfortable. 
  • In addition, new air filters will help maintain good indoor air quality. Clean air filters can prevent dirt and allergens from entering your home. This helps protect people suffering from allergies. 
  • Replacing your filter every month is also inexpensive and easy. Keeping your heating and cooling system clean can prevent unplanned repairs from happening in the future. 

As experienced HVAC service providers, we recommend paying close attention to your air filters during the winter and summer months. Be sure to schedule yearly maintenance to maximize  and maintain the life of your unit.

Maximize Airflow Around Your Condenser 

Don’t do something like build a deck over your condenser to conceal it. Interfering with airflow around your condenser unit will make your air conditioning system work harder, which costs you more money. Allow space around it for the air to move and flow freely.

Invest In A Zoning System 

When zoning systems are in use, temperatures can be adjusted in a single area without affecting the rest of the home. Each zone has its own thermostat which communicates with the zoning system – a zoning panel and zone dampers installed within the ductwork that allow the heating or cooling unit to deliver conditioned air to only the zones where it is needed.

Set Thermostat To Reasonable Temperature 

Setting your thermostat to 78-degrees Fahrenheit is the most efficient setting for your AC unit during the warmer months. Keeping your home’s temperature at a lower degree, such as 72-degrees for example, could increase your cooling cost by as much as 47%! 

Keep Up With Routine Maintenance

When your air conditioner needs more than regular maintenance, hire a professional service technician with JD’s AC. One of our well-trained technicians will find and repair problems with your AC unit! 

Our Certified HVAC Technician will:

  • Check to insure the correct amount of refrigerant
  • Test for refrigerant leaks 
  • Capture any refrigerant that must be evacuated from the system, properly disposing of it
  • Check for and seal duct leakage in central systems
  • Measure airflow through the evaporator coil
  • Verify the correct electric control sequence
  • Inspect electric terminals, clean and tighten connections, and apply a non-conductive coating if necessary
  • Oil motors and check belts for tightness and wear, repairing if needed
  • Check the accuracy of the thermostat and efficiency

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Improve Indoor Air Quality and Enjoy A Snug Winter in Longview

Air filter duct

Improve Indoor Air Quality and Enjoy A Snug Winter in Longview

Jan 20, 2015

Air filter duct

When you picture pollution, images of smoke stacks and vehicle exhaust probably come to mind. However, according to the Environmental Protection Agency, indoor air quality is often several times worse than outdoor air, even in the most polluted city. Here’s how to prevent indoor air pollution in your Longview home so you can breathe easier this winter.

Increase Air Ventilation

One reason indoor air quality suffers today is because of the obsession with creating more energy-efficient homes. While the goal to save money on energy bills is commendable, living in an airtight home can have a negative impact on indoor air quality.

Instead of surrendering to higher energy bills by opening the windows on cold days for a rush of fresh air, use ventilation when appropriate. For example, run the kitchen and bathroom exhaust fans when cooking or cleaning. If you’re repainting the bedroom, block off the room and open the window to dissipate the fumes.

You can even have a whole-house ventilation system installed. This systematically replaces the air in your home with fresh outdoor air while preheating it on its way in. This prevents energy bills from getting out of hand while introducing much-needed fresh air to the space.

Know What’s in the Air

Some pollutants are obvious because of the smells they give off, but others are more clandestine. Take radon for example. This radioactive gas rises up from the ground, entering your home through the basement. Radon is the second leading cause of lung cancer. You can’t smell it, but you can check for it with an inexpensive testing kit. If you discover high levels, speak with a contractor about installing pipes to divert rising radon.

Another example is carbon monoxide, a tasteless, odorless, invisible gas resulting from incomplete combustion. All fossil fuel-burning appliances give off carbon monoxide, but under normal conditions, it’s vented safely outside. To ensure this remains the case, install carbon monoxide detectors in your home to alert you of a potentially deadly leak.

Reduce Indoor Chemical Use

The most common chemicals used indoors are household cleaners. Switch to natural cleaning products that don’t use chemicals to get the job done. When harsh cleaning agents are necessary, use them sparingly and run an exhaust fan or open a window to ventilate the space.

You might not think of them, but items such as air fresheners, candles, aerosol sprays, paint and strong adhesives introduce chemicals into the air as well. These chemicals are called volatile organic compounds (VOCs). To lessen your exposure to them at home, look for labels that indicate the product is low or no VOC.

Use a More Efficient Furnace Filter

The filter that came with your furnace isn’t designed to prevent indoor air pollution. All it does is trap dust, dirt, hair and other large particles with the purpose of protecting the furnace blower from this debris. Large particles are rarely the source of respiratory problems.

What you need is an air filter with a higher minimum efficiency reporting value (MERV) rating. The higher the number, the smaller the particles it can trap. To balance cost and filtering efficiency, aim for MERV 7 or 8. Anything that exceeds 12 on the MERV scale is likely too dense for residential applications. To counteract airflow restrictions and maintain proper furnace function, you may need to have the furnace blower motor adjusted if you install a filter with a denser weave.

Run an Electronic Air Cleaner

A higher-efficiency filter is a great place to start, but to prevent indoor air pollution from irritating sensitive individuals, you should consider an electronic air cleaner. These come in many forms. One popular option is a portable unit you can run in the bedroom.

For whole-house air cleaning capabilities, replace the furnace filter with a professionally installed air cleaner. This type of unit extracts up to 30 times as much dust and debris as media filters. This could make a huge difference for people with severe allergies or asthma.

Care for a Few Houseplants

Potted English ivy, Boston fern, spider plant, areca palm and peace lily are natural air filters. These varieties in particular are capable of removing toxins, such as formaldehyde, benzene, xylene and other VOCs. They don’t require electricity to operate, nor do they look out of place in your home. To enjoy noticeably cleaner air, place two plants per 100 square feet.

If you like these tips to prevent indoor air pollution, contact JD’s A/C in Longview for more useful indoor air quality tips.

Image Provided by Shutterstock.com

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Does Your Kilgore Furnace Go Bump in the Night?

Man holding hand up to ear

Does Your Kilgore Furnace Go Bump in the Night?

Dec 11, 2014

Man holding hand up to ear

Some furnace noises are just normal mechanical sounds while other noises can mean mechanical malfunction. There are many online discussions about furnace noises because so many people experience the same thing in their Hallsville or Gladwater homes. The fact is, there are a variety of sources for furnace noise — some serious, some signaling the need for future attention, and some that are noises you may choose to live with. Learn how to distinguish what those furnace noises are and how seriously you need to take them.

What’s That Noise?

Furnace noise comes in a variety of pops, bangs, whistles and whines, rattles and hums. While you should always get a professional to diagnose a noise properly, here’s a brief list of sounds your furnace may be making:

  • Low rumble
  • Squeal
  • Motor hum
  • Rattling
  • Boom or popping when heat comes on
  • Whistling from vents
  • Clicking

What to Do?

Troubleshooting these various noises and their causes is obviously for the expert, but it never hurts to have a better understanding of how your system works, and awareness as to what might go wrong.

Most of us grow familiar with the sounds the heating system makes during normal operation, so it can be disturbing when we notice something new. Sometimes, if you address the noise quickly, you can prevent further deterioration and a costly repair. 

Let’s analyze some of the noises listed above, and the implications for the system once the problem arises.

  • Low rumble: When you hear a rumble from the furnace, it could be that the air filter isn’t doing its job of keeping contamination out of the system. Check the filter and change it if it’s dirty.
     
  • High-pitched squeal: This sound can result from ball bearings that need lubrication.
     
  • Low hum: A humming sound can be a signal that a motor is failing. If a motor has been overworked and hasn’t had the proper maintenance, it may start to die. 
     
  • Rattling: If the rattling is due to carbon monoxide leaks from a cracked heat exchanger, this requires urgent attention. 
     
  • Popping or booms: Sometimes these booms or pops are caused by the ductwork expanding as the system comes on. Often, after a duct cleaning, homeowners report that these sounds weren’t occurring before. That’s because prior to cleaning, the pressure in the ducts was diminished by dirt and debris on the duct walls, the fan, the coils and in the return vents. After cleaning, the pressure is more intense and the popping or boom ensues. 

    Systems that haven’t been cleaned may also produce booms or pops when the heating comes on and as the duct walls expand.

    Popping and booming may also be caused by delayed ignition due to dirt buildup on the burners. Test for this condition by having someone stand by the furnace while you call for heat at the thermostat. If you hear a boom within the furnace many seconds or even minutes after the adjustment to the thermostat, or if flame from the burners doesn’t appear for a good while, chances are you have a clogged burner. Make sure you get it cleaned, or you could risk a cracked heat exchanger. 
     

  • Whistling vents: Whistling vents are probably not a major issue, and if whistling is caused by an improperly sized vent cover, it may be an issue you just have to learn to live with. If the whistling proves too annoying, you might lower the fan speed — but only in winter. You shouldn’t do this when the air conditioner is on or you could risk freezing the coils.
     
  • Clicking: This can be due to a variety of causes, including a loose fan in an older oil-powered furnace, worn bearings in the fan, a faulty gas valve (intermittent clicking), faulty pilot light with gas furnaces, gas issues or faulty wiring.

    If you have an older oil-powered furnace and you hear clicking, chances are its due to a worn fan. Soot buildup can also impede the performance of the fan. Worn bearings should be replaced immediately before the motor burns out, while a faulty gas valve should be fixed by the homeowner’s gas provider.

    Pilot lights can wear out over time, and may need to be replaced. Don’t hesitate to call a professional when you have pilot light issues. 

JD’s A/C is here to help you diagnose the reasons for any mysterious furnace noise and other HVAC issues you may have. We serve Longview and the surrounding area. 

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