Remember, every home is unique and has many nuances that make each HVAC installation or maintenance on a case-by-case basis. Watch out for HVAC contractors that give you a bid over the phone because there is no way they can know what exactly what your system consists of. There are many factors that go into a proper estimate such as ducting, insulation, and even windows. Make sure your contractor performs a Manual-J calculation for your air conditioning system. None of this can be done over the phone. If you get a phone estimate, take it with a grain of salt and make sure you get a proper estimate when the HVAC contractor comes over to check out your system.
Many contractors opt to install the same unit (albeit a newer model year) as before. Assuming the average HVAC unit lasts 10-15 years, you should make sure the newer model of your old unit has similar specs, otherwise, you should find something that is actually compatible with the dimensions of your home. A seasoned HVAC contractor will recommend several options to best improve the quality of your home's HVAC system.
Many HVAC companies claim they have over 50 years of combined HVAC experience or something like that! Sure, that may be true, but when it comes down to the job, you may only have one or two new contractors with little experience actually working on your HVAC system. HVAC contractors that have nothing else to show other than their "years of experience" should raise a red flag. Make sure your contractor also has great customer reviews and a lot of photos from recent projects.
Also, watch out for HVAC contractors that say they've been following the same process for years. HVAC is still a technology that evolves, and with all evolving technologies come evolving methods and processes. Make sure your contractor is on the leading edge of HVAC technology.
It has been proven that the quality of your home's indoor air can directly affect your family's health. According to the EPA, exposure to poor indoor air quality can cause immediate discomfort. They warn that the long term effects from extended periods of breathing indoor air pollution can also cause lingering and chronic illnesses. Many respiratory diseases and allergies have been linked to living in a home with dirty air.
After long periods of time, the concentrations of indoor pollution will continue to build up, and the resulting health effects can be debilitating and are often the cause of allergies. It is important to have regular maintenance of your HVAC system to eliminate or reduce the circulation of contaminants in your home. HVAC technicians that perform regular inspection and cleaning of your HVAC units and ductwork can also detect more serious conditions, such as carbon monoxide leakage which can be deadly.
HVAC maintenance may include removing dust from the register and return vents in the home. Also, a yearly replacement of your home’s furnace filters is crucial for good indoor air quality. Speak with your HVAC technician about the choices in high quality air filters that remove a greater amount of airborne particulates.
Mold can thrive within different areas of you AC unit that are prone to humidity and moisture. These include the drip pan, evaporator coils, and within air ducts. Technicians are trained to detect mold and will advise on the best measures the homeowner should take for removal. If mold is circulated from other parts of your home by way of the duct system, the fungus spores will enter nose and lungs, presenting symptoms that resemble hay fever.
If someone in your family already experiences environmental allergies, then poor air quality from outside sources can enter your HVAC system and cause increased symptoms. According to WebMD, using HEPA filtersto trap these pollutants can help bring relief from allergies. With a HEPA filter, air is forced through such a fine mesh, that harmful and allergy-causing particles are trapped. If you are considering a HEPA filter, consult with an HVAC expert to determine if an upgrade to your HVAC system is required to handle the high energy required to pass air through these filters.
Low exposure to carbon monoxide can present symptoms that resemble allergies. Low concentration levels of CO in your home over long periods of time can cause nausea, headache, dizziness, and weakness. The mucous membranes are also affected and may eventually appear cherry red in color - this is an allergic reaction to the gas. Since carbon monoxide is odorless and tasteless, your HVAC technician can recommend a high quality CO detector to protect your home.
The overall health of your HVAC system can contribute to your indoor air quality and reduce or increase allergies. From regular cleaning, to high quality filters, and regular inspection for signs of biological contaminants - regular HVAC maintenance will help reduce the allergic symptoms that your family is experiencing.