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How to Start Improving Indoor Air Quality in Every Room

How to Start Improving Indoor Air Quality in Every RoomConsidering the fact that the average American spends around 90 percent of each day indoors, it’s important to think about the quality of your indoor air. Polluted air can cause allergic reactions, respiratory ailments and discomfort in the form of headaches, congestion or nausea. Common sources of indoor air pollution include pet dander, mold, volatile organic compounds, mold and dust mites. Improving indoor air quality in every room in your home is easier than you think. Following is a guide to get you started.

Bedrooms

  • Pets. Avoid sleeping with pets in the bedroom, keeping them out altogether if possible.
  • Air cleaners. A whole-home air cleaner can help you breathe easier whether you’re asleep or awake.
  • Bedding. Invest in allergen-proof pillows and mattress covers, and wash them and your bedding in hot water each week.

Kitchen

  • Appliances. Prevent mold growth in your refrigerator by wiping away excess moisture and periodically cleaning the seals around the door. Use the exhaust fan above your stove when cooking, and make sure it vents outside, rather than to the attic.

Living Room

  • Plants. Place aquarium gravel around the base of houseplants to reduce mold and dust.
  • Furnishings. Keep pets off of soft furniture to reduce dander.

Bathrooms

  • Ventilate. Use the exhaust fan when bathing or showering to reduce excess moisture and prevent mold and mildew.
  • Lose the mats. Toss old, moldy mats and shower curtains.
  • Walls. Choose tile over wallpaper or paint with enamel-based, mold resistant paint.

Whole Home Tips

  • Control humidity. One of the easiest ways to go about improving indoor air quality in every room is by keeping humidity levels between 30 and 50 percent. At these levels, mold and dust mite growth are inhibited.
  • Keep things neat. Use a vacuum with a HEPA filter and dust with microfiber cloths to trap, rather than spread, dust.
  • Maintain. Change your air filter every four to six weeks, and schedule annual preventive maintenance each spring and fall.

For more tips on improving indoor air quality in every room in your home, call Sherlock Heating & Air Conditioning. We serve homeowners in San Diego and surrounding areas.

Our goal is to help educate our customers in the greater San Diego and San Marcos, California area about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems).

Credit/Copyright Attribution: “Kletr/Shutterstock”

Efficient Spring Energy-Saving Tips for Your Vista Home

Efficient Spring Energy-Saving Tips for Your Vista HomeWhile spring cleaning this year, take advantage of some energy-saving tips that can reduce your energy costs and improve your home’s energy efficiency.

Evaluate the Air Conditioner

With warmer weather quickly approaching, now is the ideal time to evaluate your air conditioner. If your A/C is more than 10 years old, it may be time to replace the unit with a more efficient model. Replacing an inefficient system can result in energy savings of as much as 20 percent.

Use Ceiling Fans

Try using ceiling fans to help supplement air conditioning. Switching your fans to run counterclockwise can push cool air down. The movement of the air makes you feel cooler while saving electricity costs. Just remember that ceiling fans only cool people, not rooms, so turn them off when you’re out of the room. And be sure to clean fans first to remove dust and debris.

Utilize Exhaust Fans

Be sure to turn on the exhaust fan over your stove when cooking. This both reduces heat from being released into your home. Exhaust fans should also be run in bathrooms while the shower is in use.

Replace Light Bulbs

Replace incandescent bulbs with more efficient compact fluorescents. These more efficient bulbs both reduce energy costs and generate less heat.

Lower Your Water Heater Temperature

Tank style water heaters run continually to keep the stored water hot. Lowering the temperature to 120 degrees provides comfortably hot water and drastically reduces the likelihood of scalding.

For additional spring energy-saving tips or information on how to make your home more energy efficient, contact Sherlock Heating & Air Conditioning. Our locally owned business is dedicated to serving the HVAC needs of Vista, San Diego and the surrounding areas.

Our goal is to help educate our customers in the greater San Diego and San Marcos, California area about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems).

Credit/Copyright Attribution: “kotss/Shutterstock”

A/C Overwhelmed by Humidity? Here’s What to Do

A/C Overwhelmed by Humidity? Here's What to DoIt can be a real struggle to keep comfortable in California when the humidity spikes. Humidity makes air feel warmer without changing the actual temperature, which is what leads to those sticky days that make you argue with the thermostat. In addition to discomfort, excess humidity can also cause damage to your home and its surfaces over time, so it’s best to keep the humidity level indoors somewhere between 30% to 50%. An air conditioner automatically takes some humidity out of the air as it operates, so here are on tips on how you can get the most out of an A/C overwhelmed by humidity.

  • Make sure the fan is set to automatic. If the fan keeps blowing while the compressor is off, it can blow moisture back into the room from the wet compressor coils, giving the A/C even more humidity to overcome when it turns back on.
  • Use the exhaust fans in your bathroom and kitchen to make sure any excess moisture from cooking or showering is vented outside and not into your home.
  • Make sure your dryer is properly vented to the outdoors, so its heat and moisture is not accumulating in your home.
  • If it’s time to replace the A/C, think about getting one that has a two-stage compressor to allow greater humidity control.
  • Shut the house up tight and make sure you don’t have air leaks in your home that are allowing humid air back in. This usually happens around windows and doors and can be fixed with weatherstripping, or caulk.
  • Start the A/C early in the morning, so it has more time to take moisture out of the air before the hotter parts of the day put more strain on its cooling capabilities.
  • If you’ve tried all of the above, and it’s still not helping, consider getting a separate whole-house dehumidifier. It is specifically designed to take care of humidity, but will need to be used in tandem with a cooling solution.

For more information on how to help an A/C overwhelmed by humidity, contact Sherlock Heating and Air Conditioning, a locally owned business.

Our goal is to help educate our customers in the greater San Diego and San Marcos, California area about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems).

Credit/Copyright Attribution: “iQoncept/Shutterstock”