Boehmer Heating & Cooling Blog : Posts Tagged ‘Indoor Air Quality’

“Does My Furnace Produce Dust and Allergens?”

Monday, February 25th, 2019

close-up-with-white-background-of-woman-blowing-her-noseNo, although this is a common misconception. Your furnace or ducted heat pump doesn’t produce dust any more than a boiler or a ductless system might. What your forced air heater does do, though, is circulate dust, allergens, and other debris throughout your home. That’s not to say you shouldn’t use your heater! It just means that you’ll need the right indoor air quality system(s) in place to combat this—such as a whole-house air purifier.

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Indoor Air Quality Solutions Should Be Tailored to Your Needs

Monday, June 18th, 2018

Window sill of a house in ruralNo matter what part of the Pittsburgh area you live in, there are aspects of the air quality in your area that are less than optimal. And whether allergens, contaminants, or humidity levels, your indoor air quality can actually end up being worse off than that of the outdoor air quality.

That said, not everyone will have the same indoor air quality needs as their neighbor. While one home may benefit from the installation of UV germicidal lights, another may have household members with allergies who need an air cleaner. No matter what it is that you’re in need of, you can turn to our team for quality indoor air quality solutions in Pittsburgh, PA.

Keep reading for an overview of some of your options!

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The Best In-Home Solutions for Pollen Allergies

Monday, April 10th, 2017

sneeze-woman-tissueDid you know that about 20% of Americans are allergic to pollen? If you are one of the millions, you might notice that your symptoms don’t discriminate based on location. Whether you are indoors or out, allergies can come up and bring you down, and this is particularly upsetting when you are in your own home.

Pollen allergies can act up anywhere—mostly because pollen can be just about anywhere. It travels well, moving easily in the air and into your lungs, but you may be able to take some control at home.

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Prepare Your Home for Spring Allergies

Monday, February 27th, 2017

cells-indoor-air-qualityEach year, you struggle to truly enjoy the beauty that spring brings as your allergies are at their worst. And, unfortunately, even when you step inside, it can be difficult to keep allergies under control. In fact, it’s possible for your air quality to be even worse inside than it is outside.

Most likely, you keep your home sealed up tightly as you run your air conditioning and heating systems. While this is better for efficiency, it allows contaminants to recirculate throughout your home, contributing to worsening symptoms and potentially making you sick. Prepare your home with the help of our expert indoor air quality tips.

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How an Energy Audit Can Make Your Home Safer and Healthier

Monday, December 5th, 2016

We offer energy audit services, in large part to help local homeowners improve energy efficiency throughout their homes. After an energy audit, and after you make recommended changes to your home or HVAC system, the heating and cooling systems run more smoothly. That means lower monthly bills and a more comfortable home.

This is a primary reason to schedule this service—but not the only reason local homeowners ask about home energy audits. This service can also make your home a safer and healthier place.

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Would I Benefit from a Humidifier in Pittsburgh?

Thursday, August 29th, 2013

Humidifiers can augment and enhance your air conditioning unit by maintaining comfortable levels of moisture in the air. Most people are comfortable with humidity levels between 30% and 65%. In towns like Pittsburgh, that’s not usually a problem in the summertime when humidity levels are high. In the winter, however, humidity levels can drop severely as heating systems and furnaces dry out the air inside your house. In those situations, would you benefit from the addition of a humidifier in your house? Chances are, you will.

First and most importantly, a humidifier will help you maintain your personal health and comfort levels. Dry air can irritate the mucus membranes in your nose and throat, making you more vulnerable to colds and infections. Nosebleeds are not uncommon with low humidity, and people with asthma or allergies may notice their symptoms becoming worse. Low humidity can also damage furniture, wallpaper and other home furnishings: wood can contract when it becomes dry, leading to cracks in hardwood floors and wooden furniture.

A humidifier counters that by introducing water vapor into the air, mitigating the dryness brought about by your furnace or heater. In addition, it helps your body feel warmer and more comfortable, aiding the heater with its job and helping your system function more efficiently. Humidifiers list their capacity in gallons; a home between 1000 and 2000 square feet, for example, should use a humidifier with 8 to 9 gallon capacity.  A trained professional can find the right size humidifier for you, as well as explaining options such as hydrometers, which measure the moisture in the air.

If you’ve decided that you need a humidifier, call the experts at Boehmer Heating & Cooling to talk about installation options. We have served the greater Pittsburgh area since 1933, and we have considerable experience in installing humidifiers into people’s homes. We can size your home for the right humidifier to meet your needs, then discuss your options for brands and models. We pride ourselves on efficiency and professionalism, and won’t rest until you are completely satisfied with our installation. Call us today to set up a consultation.

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Why Use a Humidifier This Winter? Pittsburgh Heating Question

Monday, November 12th, 2012

The winter is typically a very dry time in Pittsburgh. You can tell when it gets dry because your throat will get scratchy or your skin might start to dry out. While you obviously can’t control the humidity outside, you can definitely do something about it inside your home. Whole house humidity systems are a great way monitor how much moisture is inside the air in your home. These systems have a number of benefits that we will explore here.

Your Health

When the air gets dry, it lowers your body’s ability to fight off infection. Dry air can irritate your sinuses and your throat. Your skin can also be affected by dry air. Using a whole house humidity control system can help improve your comfort level and could potentially keep you healthier through the winter.

Your Property

Dry air can also wreak havoc on your property. In particular, wood floor and wood furniture can start to dry out and crack in excessively dry climates. Also, if you have any paintings, dry air may cause them to deteriorate prematurely. You may start to notice that your wallpaper has dried out and started to peel in some places.

Allergies

The dust in your home is primarily made up of dead skin cells. If you have pets in the home, dry air can allow more skin to fall off and increase the amount of dust in your home. Dry air can also cause dust mite droppings to become airborne which can aggravate allergies as well.

Efficiency

Having a properly humidified home can potentially increase the efficiency of your home. Humans generally feel warmer when the air has proper humidity. Also, when you start to invest in the air quality of your home

If you have any questions about the humidity levels in your home in Pittsburgh, call the experts at Boehmer Heating and Air Conditioning. We have years of experience offering humidity control services and other indoor air quality control services in Pittsburgh. We would be more than happy to talk with you about the options for your home and how you can stay comfortable all year long.

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Your Monroeville Heating and Air Conditioning System and Ventilation

Monday, August 20th, 2012

The vent system in your home is vital to the operation of your Monroeville HVAC system. Without successful ventilation, your home won’t have the necessary clean air to keep you and your family healthy. So, what does proper ventilation require and how can you ensure your home has it? Here are some quick tips.

Install the Right Parts from the Start

Proper ventilation should result in even air pressure in your home to avoid problems with gas pilot lights. It should also be as energy efficient as possible and provide clean air through proper filtration and cleaning of the air that comes in.

Energy Loss

Another major ventilation issue to keep in mind is energy loss. Ventilation tends to remove heated or cooled air from your home, forcing your furnace or air conditioner to work harder to replace it. As a result, you pay more for energy and it’s never quite comfortable inside.

To avoid this problem, ask your contractor about how you can improve your system’s energy efficiency.

Supplements to Ventilation

Proper ventilation should not only provide fresh air, but it should also ensure your home has clean air. The air outside may be fresher, but it can be filled with pollutants like pollen, dander and smoke. These should be removed if possible. To do this, you need a full sized air cleaning system that removes particles from the air down to 0.3 microns.

HEPA filters can do this, as will electronic air cleaners which can ionize and remove smoke and gas particles. Make sure you discuss filtration and cleaning with your Monroeville HVAC contractor when they visit your home. If you have any questions about your HVAC system or you need to schedule a service, give Boehmer Heating & Cooling a call!

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Monroeville HVAC Tip: How Indoor Air Quality Controls Can Help People with Asthma

Monday, July 30th, 2012

If you, your child or anyone else in your family suffers from asthma, you know that it can be brutal. There is evidence to suggest that higher quality air can help keep asthma symptoms in check. While you can’t control air quality everywhere you go, you can be in charge of the quality of the air in your Monroeville home. Take a look at how controlling indoor air quality can help ease the suffering of asthma symptoms.

One study at Johns Hopkins found that indoor air pollution plays a large role in increasing asthma symptoms, especially among children. Without getting too technical, essentially the study explains that there are particles in the air we breathe, including indoors. Aside from the standard mixture of oxygen, carbon dioxide and other gases, air contains these solid and liquid particles, which are essentially pollutants. Common household tasks like dusting and cooking can generate more of these particles.

When these particles get into the respiratory system, they can irritate the lungs, which triggers asthma symptoms. Since children spend about 80% of their time indoors, this is a very big deal.

To help this problem, there are ways to control and improve the quality of air in your Monroeville home. One simple way to do this is to have filters with high minimum efficiency reporting value (MERV) ratings in your heating and cooling system. MERV ratings describe how well filters catch particles of certain sizes and keeping them out of the air—and your lungs.

The particles identified in the Hopkins study were as small as 2.5 microns, which would require a filter with a MERV rating of about 12 to catch. Higher MERV ratings mean more efficient filtration, but they need to be replaced more often. If you or child has asthma, it’s worth it.

For severe asthma or allergies, consider even higher-rated filters, like HEPA filters, which sport a MERV of 17 or higher. These will catch nearly all allergens, irritants and other particles that can make you sick. If you are wondering which system will work best in your home, give Boehmer Heating & Cooling a call today!

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Pittsburg Air Conditioning Tip: How to Fix Wrong Sized Air Filters in HVAC Systems

Monday, July 23rd, 2012

If you moved into a new home or had someone change the filters on your Pittsburg heating or air conditioning system for you, you may notice that whoever did the job put on the wrong size filter. This is not uncommon and is usually the result of an effort to save either time or money. However, in the long run it actually costs both. Here is how you can fix the problem of a wrong size filter.

The WRONG Way

If you have a filter that is too big for your system, it may seem like an easy enough fix– just fold it over or trim it down, right? Not so fast. 

Folding the filter over makes for an imperfect seal. Air will leak through and around the bend, bypassing the filter entirely. This causes dirt and debris to build up on the fan, slows down air flow, degrades performance, decreases air quality and overall makes a big mess that you will have to pay to fix or clean up later.

Bending or cutting the filter also decreases its structural integrity. The whole filter can collapse while installed, creating not just a performance issue and a potentially costly repair, but also possibly creating unsafe conditions.

Furthermore, don’t give into the temptation to run your Pittsburg HVAC system without a filter for the time being. The debris will quickly build up in your AC system, as well as being blown into your home. Heating and cooling systems should always be operated with the proper filter installed.

The RIGHT Way

So, what do you do when you have an air filter that is the wrong size? The only solution is to find the right size. If you are having trouble finding the right air filter for your system, try these tips:

  • Refer to your owner’s manual for the filter model number.
  • Have a Pittsburg air conditioning professional inspect your system and replace the filter. (You should have a professional inspection once a year, anyway.)
  • For HVAC systems that are large or have special dimensions, special order custom filters to fit.

Above all, never operate your HVAC system without a clean, correctly sized filter properly installed. Call Boehmer Heating & Cooling today if you need any help with your HVAC system!

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