Yesterday we wrote about the arrival of allergy season and the specific challenges we face here in Southern California this year. Because this last winter was rainier than usual, we’re going to head into spring with more pollen in the air from plant blooms—and also a higher risk of mold growth. Air filters can handle the majority of pollens (provided you have professionals ensure the right type of filter is installed), but mold spores are a different issue. We recommend that homeowners look into the installation of UV air purifiers to help with the spring allergy season.
The Dangers of Mold Spores
A high mold count during allergy season (late February to early summer) is a significant danger. Many mold spores are harmless, but you can’t depend on luck that you’ll only encounter non-toxic spores.… Read more
Fall is an excellent time for making big changes to your HVAC system where necessary. For example, having a new heat pump or furnace put in, or arranging for the installation of air scrubbers and air purifiers that will keep the air circulating through the rooms free of harmful chemicals, viruses, and other contaminants.
But perhaps what your HVAC system really needs is to have parts of its old ductwork replaced. Not only might the ducts have suffered damage, they may have been poor quality in the first place!
The Effect of Poor Ducts on Your HVAC System
Ducts are mostly out of sight, making them easy to forget about. But ducts that are 1) damaged and leaking air, and 2) badly designed and installed are a huge impediment to keeping your home comfortable and energy bills under control.… Read more
This has been a hot October. Air conditioners put in serious overtime deep into fall to handle the major heat waves we’ve experienced. But we’re finally getting a break, with temperatures set to drop into the high 70s. For people in other parts of the country, it may sound bizarre to hear us call this cooling down, but life is different in the Southern California deserts.
Whatever else the temperatures are like in other places, you need to be focused on your heating and cooling needs. We’ve already discussed the need for heating maintenance (yes, even here, it’s important). Today we want to address another part of your house that may need improvement to help handle the change in seasons: the insulation.… Read more
We may not experience major seasonal swings here in the warmth of Southern California, but that doesn’t mean we miss out on seasons all together. One season that we experience like the rest of the country is “allergy season.” Because of our climate, our allergy season can start as early as February!
There are ways you can get yourself ready for allergy season, aside from taking medication. One of the best ways is to improve your home’s air quality systems to get rid of the pollen and other pollutants that create runny noses, wheezing, sneezing, and the other general ickiness that comes along with this time of the year. With the help of indoor air quality professionals, you can enjoy a much healthier first half of the year.… Read more
Allergies can be a problem around the year in a place like Southern California. Although there are many medical ways to treat mild to severe allergy problems, one of the best ways to meet the problem is to improve your home’s air quality. Because modern houses don’t allow much fresh air to circulate through them, it’s easy for many allergens to become trapped indoors and continue to move through the HVAC system and rooms.
But how do you boost your air quality, aside from throwing open the windows and doors and letting in the immense outdoor heat? It’s actually simple: you only have to get in contact with our IAQ experts. They’ll find the right service or installation to reduce the allergen count in your home.… Read more
Poor indoor air quality is a common problem for both homes and residential buildings. But it’s also poorly understood. People often don’t realize they have air quality issues until they develop serious symptoms related to whatever is floating around in their air.
Below we’ve put together a list of four things you may not have realized about your home’s indoor air quality. The purpose isn’t to alarm you—although a few of these facts may be unsettling—but to get you to take action to solve the problems before they worsen. Issues with indoor air quality in Palm Springs, CA can be solved with the assistance of IAQ professionals who work with air filters, air purifiers, duct sealing, humidifiers, dehumidifiers, duct cleaning, and more.… Read more
Dry air inside our homes can be a common problem in Yucaipa, CA, both during the long warm season and the shorter cool season. When your home suffers from low humidity, the best solution is to contact an indoor air quality professional and arrange for the installation of a whole-house humidifier to balance the humidity levels. Portable humidifiers are a good choice if you only need to increase the humidity in a single room, like an infant’s, but they are ineffective when it comes to the rest of the house. With the help of a professional, you can have the humidity raised to pleasant and healthy levels without the danger of making the home too humid (and initiating a whole new set of problems.)… Read more
Winter preparation tends to be a somewhat… mellow… affair here in the deserts of Southern California. Yes, we can expect a bit of rain, and some nights when it gets cool enough to turn on the heater for a stretch. Hey, we can even enjoy a nice fire in the fireplace! But it is nothing like Minnesota or many other parts of North America.
So, with less of the really hard work of winter preparation to take care of, there are some tasks that may not have occurred to you that are great to schedule at this time: professional duct cleaning is one of them.
Air Duct Cleaning Frequency
Cleaning the air ducts in a home has often gotten a bit of a bad rap because disreputable door-to-door offers that are really nothing more than at too-expensive fast vacuuming job.… Read more
One of the most important services we provide for homeowners in the Inland Empire and Desert Communities is installing air filters and air purifiers that improve air quality. Most homes can benefit from some type of filtration or purification system, and our experts are skilled at finding the right type of filter/purifier to deal with the pollutants circulating through the HVAC system and the rooms of your house.
A type air purifiers that we often install is the APCO Air Scrubber. The APCO (Advanced Photocatalytic Oxidation) system is integrated into the air ducts of a home, where it uses a combination of UV light and activated carbon to clean air of germs, viruses, and volatile organic compounds (VOCs) like formaldehyde.
The benefits of an APCO Air Scrubber
The Air Scrubber isn’t the ideal match for all homes, which is why you should always consult with a professional regarding your different options.… Read more
Your air conditioning and heating system comes standard with an air filter that helps to clean the air, keeping contaminants from recirculating through your ducts. But these weren’t originally designed with health in mind. Air filters serve another key purpose: protecting your HVAC equipment from damage. While all filters are effective enough to block large debris from the AC unit, not all filters can reduce some of the main allergens common to most homes. If your indoor air quality is at stake, you may consider an electronic air filter or a UV air purifier as a supplementary device.
Call Russell’s Heating and Air Conditioning to talk about your Yucaipa air filtration system’s effectiveness and to decide whether a new electronic unit can benefit your home.… Read more
How much do you really know about the ducts in your home? Unfortunately, ducts are known to develop holes and cracks that can greatly interfere with your home heating and air conditioning system. Of course, your ducts are most likely hidden from view, and it’s very difficult for most homeowners to detect whether this is a problem in their homes. Detecting leaks requires professional equipment and a trained eye, so when you notice you’re spending far more on heating or cooling than you’d like, contact the experienced professionals at Russell’s Heating and Air Conditioning for duct repair and leak detection in Yucaipa.
The Trouble with Leaky Ducts
When a duct collapses, the problem may be obvious, but minor holes and cracks are not usually so apparent.… Read more
The blazing hot weather of summer has arrived, with days starting to crest over 100°F. You’ll certainly have your home’s air conditioning system putting in plenty of extra work to keep your family cool. (We hope you’ve already gotten the AC’s annual maintenance inspection and tune-up taken care of.)
You’ll expect to see a rise in electricity costs at this time of year because of the increased use of the air conditioner. However, you might be paying much more than you should to run the AC and not realize it. If the ducts in your home are in poor condition, they might be stealing money from you every time the air conditioner comes on!
Duct Leaks vs. The Air Conditioner
Unless you use a ductless air conditioning system, your central AC sends air to the rooms through a series of ducts.… Read more
We offer a wide range of services to help homes stay comfortable around the year. Among them are services to clean and repair the ductwork of HVAC systems. We’ve recently discussed the importance of regular duct cleaning. Today, we’re going to look at another service, duct sealing, that many homeowners don’t realize they need.
Why would my ducts need sealing?
You can’t see most of the ductwork that serves your house, so it’s hard to get a gauge on the condition it’s in, or how durable it is. Unfortunately, ducts are prone to a number of issues that can lead to them developing air leaks. Corrosion, insects, and simple wear from air pressure are all causes of air leaks, although the main cause is that the ducts were poorly installed in the first place.… Read more
Duct sealing is often cited as the best way to improve the energy efficiency of your home’s forced air system. Most homes are in desperate need of it. The US Department of Energy has found that the average home heating system loses approximately 30% of its total heat output to leaks in the ductwork. That’s nearly one-third of your total heat that’s completely going to waste. Beyond drastically improving heating and cooling efficiency, though, duct sealing can also help improve the air quality in your home. Why do you need your air quality improved? Let’s take a look at some of the common airborne contaminants that can be found in an average home, and how duct sealing helps to get rid of them.… Read more
The winter season, even in a place as warm as the desert towns of Southern California, is also cold and flu season. People are more likely to get sick during the coming months than in any other time of the year, as cold and flu bugs proliferate and drier air makes it easier for them to spread from person to person. You can defend against this in a number of ways (such as with a humidifier). There’s another powerful indoor air quality tool you can use, the UV air purifier.
How UV Air Purifiers Help Out with Winter Illness
It’s difficult to get rid of microbes moving through the air of a home without using some type of chemical against them—and these chemicals often cause as many problems as they cure.… Read more
The ductwork in your home that carries heated and cooled air from your HVAC system to the various rooms will gradually pick up dust, lint, dirt, dander, and other debris. It takes about a year for a thin layer of dust to form inside the ducts, and after a few more years the build-up will begin to place resistance against air flow and can even contribute to a decline in indoor air quality.… Read more
We sometimes receive questions from our clients about problems that can occur with their ductwork. Specifically, “Can animals damage my ductwork?” The answer is yes. In fact, this is one of the more common ways that the ducts in a house can develop air leaks that will lead to a drop in energy efficiency and comfort. Let’s take a look at how animals can give your HVAC system a hard time.
Rats, squirrels, and raccoons
The biggest critter catastrophe that your ductwork can run into is from rodents such as rats, squirrels, opossums, and from raccoons. This is mostly a problem at this time of year, when these animals start searching for shelter from the cooler weather. Your attic and between your home’s walls are ideal spots to hide out if you’re a small animal, and ducts are perfect pathways for them to move around and even nest.… Read more
You’ve probably heard people complain about humidity levels in the air before. When forecasts explain that humidity levels will be high that day, you usually dress for warm weather. Many people complain about feeling hot and sticky in a humid climate and some even complain about the effects on their hair. But did you know that too little humidity can have an impact on your home and the people who reside there as well?
At Russell’s Heating and Air Conditioning, we provide and service whole-house humidifiers to customers in the Beaumont area who are concerned about low humidity in the home.
3 Reasons to Choose a Whole-House Humidifier
There are a few different reasons homeowners choose to install a whole-house humidifier.… Read more
If you are experiencing high levels of illness in your home, or if people who suffer from asthma and allergies are having a harder time coping than normal, one solution you should look into is a UV air purifier. Homes that are dealing with low indoor air quality because of viruses, microbacteria, mold spores, and other biological pollutants need to have special types of purifiers installed; standard air filters are usually insufficient.
Contact indoor air quality professionals first to help you identify the troubles that are affecting your home. These experts will determine if a UV air purifier is the right match to deal with your home’s air issues.
The basics of a UV air purifier
The UV air purifier is also known as a UV germicidal light, since it uses the power of ultraviolet light to kill off germs and other microbes that can reduce air quality.… Read more
Improving a home’s indoor air quality involves more than finding ways to remove unwanted particles that might be drifting around through the HVAC system and into the rooms. Often, finding the right humidity balance is essential for a healthy, comfortable, and protected indoor environment. Both air that is too dry and air that is too damp can result in serious problems. In this post, we’ll focus on the former, and how installing a whole-house humidifier can help you achieve much better indoor air quality.
Although you can purchase portable humidifiers from stores, these are not much good at solving humidity issues past a single small room, nor are they sized to achieve the ideal humidity balance. You need to have professionals install a whole-house humidifier that will do the job you need.… Read more
Faulty ductwork can account for up to 30% of your home’s total air loss, plus serious problems with indoor air quality. However, sometimes the faults in the ductwork are too great and/or numerous to consider duct sealing or repair; in these cases, duct replacement may be necessary for your La Quinta home.
Signs You Need Replacement
Here are some signs that can indicate that it is best to replace your ductwork:
Ductwork should be designed so that there are as few turns in the system as possible; the route from your HVAC system should also be as straight as possible to allow for the highest capacity of air to blow. The ductwork should also be the correct size for your HVAC unit so that the air pressure inside allows for system balance.… Read more
Most homes use a network of ducts in the walls and ceilings to provide circulation of air from the heater and the air conditioner throughout the year. But every few years, it’s necessary to call on ductwork professionals to clean the entirety of this ventilation network.
But why is it necessary? And couldn’t you just do the job on your own with a vacuum cleaner?
Duct cleaning is necessary for two very important reasons!
First, the amount of dust and debris that can build-up within ductwork over only a few years is enough to seriously harm the energy efficiency and performance of your whole HVAC system. It only takes a thin layer of dust to start to place strain against airflow through the ducts, which places extra strain on the AC and heater.… Read more
“The Change in Seasons” isn’t a harsh shift here in Southern California. The summer heat stretches far into fall, and winter might mean some more rainy and overcast days, with the heat popping up again to force air conditioners back into service.
But there is still change in the air, and even if you don’t need to have a new heating system installed, there are other steps you can take to benefit your comfort and your household’s health during the end of the year. One of these steps is to have air filters and purifiers installed.
But aren’t these for spring and allergy season?
It’s true that spring is the prime period for allergies in most of the country. But in Southern California we encounter trouble during fall and winter because of the dry Santa Ana winds, which carry fungus spores and other sources of flu-like reactions in people.… Read more
We’re proud to offer our customers many indoor air quality services that can help to keep down the irritating pollutants that can make spring allergies miserable for many people. We install air filtration systems that keep the majority of harmful pollutants from circulating through a home. We also install UV air purifiers that eliminate dangerous molds, bacteria, viruses, and germs from the ventilation system.
But UV air purifiers have another important function in households: they can help air conditioners work more energy efficiently and last longer. Even if you haven’t experienced trouble with organic pollutants in your household, you should consider a UV air purifier installation for the summer to benefit the air conditioning system.
Why is a UV air purifier helpful for the air conditioner?
APCO stands for Advanced Photocatalytic Oxidation. This air purifier is installed into the ductwork of a central air conditioning system and cleans the air as it passes using a combination of UV-C light and activated carbon that eliminates both germs and odors. An APCO system is especially effective against one of the most common of all indoor air pollutants, volatile organic compounds (VOCs) such as formaldehyde.… Read more
Welcome to another summer in the desert region of Southern California. You know what that means: scorching hot temperatures. A cool day might drop into the low 90s. Hot days may climb above 110°F. We already had one of 110°+ days last week. And we can expect these conditions to remain with us through September.
Ah, but it’s a dry heat, right? We’re much better off than someplace like Florida where they’ve got all that icky humidity making the heat feel substantially worse.
Well, yes and no. As we’ll talk about below, dry conditions do make it easier to tolerate hot temperatures. But it’s better to have humidity levels balanced between too humid and too dry, since extremely dry air causes trouble as well.… Read more
In Palm Springs, CA, indoor air quality is harder to come by than it seems. Our desert climate means that there’s a lot of dust in the air, augmented by pollen and allergens in the spring. Your home should be a respite from that, which means keeping your indoor air quality as high as possible. Doing so takes diligence and effort, but you can get help from your air conditioning service technician. Here are 3 steps to breathing cleaner air in your home.
Replace the filters in your air conditioner regularly and keep your HVAC unit clean. The filters help keep dirt and dust out of your AC system, which can be distributed through your house via the air ducts. Replacing your filter often will prevent this from happening, as will routine maintenance sessions from an air conditioning service expert.
Without ductwork, your HVAC system simply could not function. As long as your system is regularly maintained and cared for, your ducts have the potential to last for decades. However, at some point you may need a replacement. This is due to age, natural wear and tear, or even damage from outside forces. If you’ve had repairs done before, and yet notice any of the following problems, this is typically a sign that your ductwork is beyond repair and it’s time to replace some or all of your ducts.
Increased Energy Bills
Damaged ductwork allows for significant air loss from cracks, holes, and disconnections This means that you are losing cool air and causing your air conditioner to make up for the loss by working harder.… Read more
We often hear this question from our customers, and we understand why people may feel hesitant about scheduling duct cleaning work. The unfortunate truth is that there are a number of disreputable companies and individuals that claim to offer duct cleaning, but are actually only looking to upsell homeowners on other products while providing the most minimal job possible when it comes to the actual cleaning. They’ll only clean what you see, pretending they’ve done a complete cleaning when they’re really done your HVAC system no good at all. (Basically, they just push the dust back farther into the ductwork.)
But just because there are inferior duct cleaning services out there who try to lure customers with extremely low prices doesn’t mean that duct cleaning isn’t an important service.… Read more
Southern California isn’t known for its brutal, bone-rattling winters. In fact, for many days during the season we won’t need to turn on our heating systems at all to stay warm. If a home has good insulation in its walls and attic and the doors and windows remain shut, it often traps enough heat indoors to keep a home comfortable during mildly cold days.
But you trap more than heat when you have your house sealed off from the outside like that: you also trap air. Over the season, the concentration of contaminants in your home’s air will start to grow, coming from a variety of indoor sources like paint, hobby and personal care products, building materials, and pets.
You don’t need to fling open your doors and windows on cold days and make your home energy inefficient, however, to enjoy better air.… Read more
What is the best way to seal up leaky air ducts? There are a few options available:
Do it yourself by using duct tape. (This actually won’t work! Please forget we even mentioned it.)
Using a special resin-based mastic sealant. The mastic is applied along the leaks and breaks to create a flexible seal.
Apply metallic tape (the true “duct tape”) to the leaks to create a mechanical seal.
The second two methods, the ones that actually work, require HVAC professionals. They’ll first test the ducts to determine how serious the leakage is, then target the holes and gaps and close them and make the network of ducts airtight.
Oh, there’s one more method for duct sealing, and it’s not one you’ll find at every HVAC contractor.… Read more
The drought in Southern California is expected to make allergy season worse this year, with a dramatic increase in the pollen count in the air. If your household has people in it who suffer from allergies and asthma, this may be a particularly difficult spring season for them. But there are ways that you can reduce the problem in your house with professional indoor air quality services. Call our offices and ask about some of the installations and other services we offer that will reduce the pollen count in your home, as well as eliminate other airborne pollutants.
The weather over the last month here in Southern California has taken some strange shifts, with colder temperatures than normal and stretches of heavy rain. The rain is great news for dealing with our drought problem, but the downpours have also brought cold weather. We’d guess that you have put your heating system, whether an electric furnace, gas furnace, or heat pump, to good use this winter season. Maybe the most use you’ve gotten from the heater in years.
So this may be one of the first opportunities in a while for you to notice if something’s amiss with your home’s heating. For example, cold spots. As you move around your home when the heater is running, are you finding rooms that don’t feel as warm as they should be?… Read more
If you read the post headline and thought, “Of course I don’t pay to heat and cool my attic! Hardly anybody goes up there during the year, so why would I have it heated or air conditioned?” It’s true that, unless you’ve converted the attic into a living space of some kind, there’s no reason to have vents from the AC and heater opening into it. And when you consider how incredibly hotan attic gets here during much of our warm-to-roasting year, it would take an immense amount of air conditioning power to cool it down.
However, we’re not talking about intentionally heating or cooling the attic. You may be accidentally doing it, and wasting money.
If you have concerns about the quality of the air in your home, you’re not alone. Numerous residential (as well as commercial) buildings today suffer from an excess of airborne contaminants circulating through the HVAC system. The heavy insulation that seals off buildings from outdoor temperatures tends to worse these problems, since it prohibits fresh air from sweeping through to remove the contaminant build-up. But there are methods to improve your air quality, and here are some good ways to get started.
First, take stock of what problems in your house have altered you to the air quality problem. Increased allergy and asthma symptoms? A higher level of dust that requires more cleaning than normal? A general stuffy feeling to the air?
How long has it been since you’ve had the air ducts in your home cleaned? If your first thought upon hearing this question is, “I need to have my air ducts cleaned?”, you are definitely overdue for the job! In general, duct cleaning should be arranged every two to three years, depending on how much dust and dirt circulate through your home on average.
Ways to tell that you need fall ductwork cleaning
The fall is a good time to have your duct cleaning done. Your air conditioner has just gone through a long season of heavy work, and you’ll experience a break now as the temperature cools down. Here are some ways to tell that your ducts are ready for fall cleaning:
Take a look inside: This is easier than it sounds.
When does it officially become “allergy season”? There’s no date for it like there’s a date for the start of spring or the beginning of daylight savings time; it depends on what part of the U.S. you live in and the changes in temperature from one season to another. However, the average range for allergy season is from late February until the early summer. Here in Southern California, we’ve experienced a wetter and colder winter than usual, and right now in March with the warmer conditions arriving is the time to begin to worry about allergies—and how best to prevent them or lessen their severity.
The Reason for the (Allergy) Season
Allergies can strike at any time of the year, but there are reasons they become pronounced as winter ends and the warmer spring weather starts.… Read more
We recently discussed the danger of cracked furnace heat exchangers and how this can lead to carbon monoxide (CO) entering your home and posing major health risks. Any use of natural gas in a home presents some risk of CO leaks, and it’s important that you take steps to prevent this from occurring and to provide a warning should they happen.
First, Always Schedule Heating Maintenance
Without fail, arrange to have an HVAC professional visit your house each fall or early winter—the time before you have to first turn on your furnace—to inspect the system and make sure that it has no repair needs. A properly maintained natural gas heating system will be at the lowest possible risk for CO leaks. … Read more
Low indoor air quality is a problem that can affect us here in Southern California around the year. With our houses so well insulated against outside heat—a necessity considering our long hot seasons and heat spells during other parts of the year—too many contaminants from indoor sources start to build up without escape. Building materials, cleaning products, hobby products, cosmetics, and exhaust from appliances all are sources of indoor pollution. Standard air filters can trap larger particles, but for many smaller ones, the filters need to be paired with electronic air purifiers, i.e. air cleaners.
There’s no single type of air purifier. They can work through a variety of methods. Here are three ways an air purifier can operate to clean your home’s air:
The most common type of whole-house air purifier uses ionization to remove small airborne contaminants.… Read more
Leaks in air ducts are one of the major sources of energy efficiency loss in an HVAC system. Studies by the U.S. Department of Energy have shown that up to 30% of the heated/cooled air moving through a ventilation system can be lost to air leaks. That’s energy needlessly going to waste. If you have noticed that your heating and cooling bills are going up and you can’t account for it, you may need to have duct sealing done.
Professional Air Duct Sealing
However, you cannot do duct sealing on your own. (Duct tape isn’t an option, since it actually was never intended for use on ducts in the first place.) It requires professionals who have tools such as mastic sealant and metallic tapes.… Read more