Are HVAC Maintenance Plans Worth It?

HVAC technician checking over an ac unit.HVAC systems, including furnaces, air conditioners, and heat pumps are a vital part of your home. They can control temperature and humidity while keeping you comfortable. But these systems usually require some regular tune-ups in order to keep them running smoothly and prevent expensive breakdowns. 

Many companies offer different types of HVAC preventive maintenance plans that are meant to mitigate that cost or at the very least, spread it out over a year. But are these plans worth the cost? We’ll answer a few questions you might have about HVAC maintenance plans that should be able to help you make your decision.

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How to Prepare Your AC Unit For Monsoon Season in Arizona 2019

A desert monsoon, also known as a haboob, coming in to a city. These bring high winds which stir up sand and debris.

Today we’re going to be looking at how to prepare your air conditioning unit for the upcoming monsoon weather.

Arizona has a defined season called the Arizona Monsoon.  The monsoons are also known as  haboobs (which comes from the Arabic word habb). This is a time where humidity levels increase. Weather conditions like wind storms, dust storms, and periods of heavy desert rains occur. This can be a dangerous time and it’s important to make sure you are well prepared. There are a few things you can do around your house to help protect your ac system. Let’s look at how to keep your system running strong through the monsoon season and longer.
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Should You Be Concerned About the Indoor Air Quality in Your Home?

Girl pretending to blow on a chalk dandelion, simulating allergens in the air and the quality of the air in your home.

The effects of indoor air quality have been well documented. The complications of breathing in contaminated air range from short term effects – sneezing, coughing, headaches – to more severe, longer term effects – chronic fatigue, respiratory conditions and cancer. The biggest time of concern is during the winter when homes are sealed from the cold. Although here in AZ, summer can be an even greater concern because it’s too hot to open the windows.

How Much of a Concern is Indoor Air Quality?

Indoor air quality (IAQ) is a major concern, and federal scientists have ranked it as being one of the most important environmental issues in the country. EPA studies have shown that indoor air pollutants are 2 to 5 times higher than outdoor pollutants. There are many reasons for this, including poor ventilation, the use of air fresheners, candles and cleaners that contain chemicals and more.

Believe it or not, one of the biggest culprits of indoor air pollution is funiture. Before 2006, furniture contained PBDEs, a type of flame retardant. However, even furniture purchased today might have other flame retardants that can be released into the air. These chemicals are sometimes used in children’s pajamas!

Small Steps to Improving Indoor Air Quality

In the end, IAQ is something that we should all be more aware of. We can’t avoid chemicals and pollutants entirely, but there are ways to make your home safer and healthier. Below are a few suggestions to start with.

  • Replace candles and air fresheners with essential oils. You can diffuse these oils for emotional and physical benefits, and they smell great, too.
  • Choose cleaners made from natural ingredients. They should be nontoxic, hypoallergenic, environmentally friendly and low on VOCs. Or, consider making your own household cleaners using basic ingredients such as baking soda and vinegar.
  • Change your air filters on time. Dirty air filters blow dirty air back into your home. Stock up on air filters so that you have them available to switch out, or ask our AC repair company in Gilbert about washable electrostatic air filters.
  • Open your windows daily. Fresh air acts as a filter for your indoor air. Better yet, get outdoors regularly and soak in the sun. This isn’t hard to do in sunny Arizona!
  • Be a smart shopper. Pay attention to the purchases that you make. Many laundry detergents, dish soaps and household cleaners are made in “clear & free” versions. Also be mindful of furniture, clothing and linens that you add to the home.

Consider UV Light Installation

If you are concerned that IAQ is affecting your family’s health, there’s another step that you can take. Ultraviolet lights can help you maintain a safer environment, and once installed, you don’t have to do anything extra. Our AC service in Gilbert offers ultraviolet light installation.

Here’s how the process works. UV lights are installed into your central air conditioning system, preventing the growth of harmful airborne particles such as mold, bacteria and viruses. Since these are stopped from being released into the air you breathe, your home’s IAQ is significantly improved. Also, the efficiency of your HVAC equipment is enhanced, resulting in better performance and a longer lifespan.

Let’s sum up the benefits to installing UV lights in your heating and cooling system.

  • Improve indoor air quality
  • Create optimal airflow
  • Destroy mold and bacterial on coils
  • Improve efficiency of HVAC equipment

If you have questions about how to improve IAQ in your home through UV light installation, better air filters or other measures, call Simply The Best AC. Our experienced techs will be happy to make suggestions and get you on the right track to a healthier home!

Photo Credit: Jack Moreh

Maintaining Home Air Quality All Summer Long

For many homeowners in the greater Phoenix area, windows and doors are kept tightly shut during the summer to keep cool air in and to minimize blowing dust from monsoon storms. With reduced natural ventilation, air quality can be negatively impacted. Yet, there are steps to improving your home air quality during these months.

Clean or Replace Your HVAC Filters

The most important task to not only maintain air quality, but also ensure the efficiency of your air conditioner, is to regularly replace or clean your air conditioner’s filters. Clogged, dirty filters hinder airflow and can blow dust and pollen in your home. Not sure where to find your HVAC system’s filters? The most common filter locations are in walls, ceilings or in the air conditioner itself. Some filters are reusable and can be cleaned periodically. Other filters need to be replaced. Cleaning or replacing filters is something that should happen at least every month or two, if not more frequently during monsoon season.

Schedule Air Duct Cleaning

Of course, dirt and dust from a Phoenix dust storm doesn’t just sit in your air conditioner’s filter. It can collect throughout the ductwork leading into your home. Airborne particulates, including bacteria, spores, mold and toxins can reside in your HVAC system’s ducts. When your air conditioner is turned on they can blow through the registers and into your home. This is why it’s necessary to have your system professionally cleaned. Call Simply the Best to learn more about this cost-effective solution for improving your home air quality.

Consider UV Light Installation

At Simply the Best, we also encourage homeowners to consider UV (ultraviolet) lights to improve their air quality. This solution, which involves UV lights being installed in your central air conditioning system to prevent the growth of harmful mold, bacteria, viruses and other microbes, can improve air quality and air flow.

Want to learn more about indoor air quality solutions? Contact the experts at Simply the Best to find out the latest solutions to help you breathe easier.

Can Your HVAC System Help with Those Annoying Seasonal Allergies?

While much of the United States is mired in cold winter weather, springtime has officially arrived in Arizona. Trees and plants are in full bloom, and sneeze-inducing pollen is already blanketing the Phoenix metro area. For anyone who suffers from seasonal allergies, this time of year means struggling with the very uncomfortable symptoms of hay fever, which include itchy, watery eyes, sneezing, wheezing and coughing. To make matters worse, the pollen doesn’t just stay outside. It enters our homes and workplaces via open windows, doors and vents. The result can be around the clock symptoms that can make life very unpleasant.

While a trip to the allergist is always a good idea if you’re struggling with seasonal allergies, it’s good to tackle the problem from multiple fronts. This includes allergy-proofing your home’s climate control system. The following strategies can help make your HVAC system more hypoallergenic.

Schedule an AC Tune Up

Air conditioners require regular cleaning and maintenance. This includes cleaning or replacing filters to eliminate pollen, dust and mold growth. Electrostatic filters can be particularly beneficial because they can remove a high percentage of allergens. Make sure to ask your technician to turn on the recycle switch on your air conditioning system. This will recirculate clean air, as opposed to continuously pulling in pollen-loaded air from outside.

Don’t Forget Your Furnace

During the late winter and early spring, temperatures in Arizona can vary wildly. It’s not uncommon to require both air conditioning and heating in a single day. If you have forced-air heating, it’s important to clean furnace filters and vents at least twice per month to reduce pollen and dust.

If you don’t have a forced-air HVAC system, you may want to consider investing in a portable HEPA filter that can help reduce the pollen count in a single room. Place the filter off the floor in the middle of a closed room and away from dusty areas for optimal results.

Is It More Than Seasonal Allergies?

Of course, pollen is not the only allergen of concern for many individuals. Other household particulates can also cause irritating allergy symptoms. These include:

  • Dust
  • Mold spores
  • Pet dander
  • Smog
  • Environmental pollutants

If you or your loved ones are struggling with allergy symptoms year-round, consider UV (ultraviolet) lights to improve overall indoor air quality. These lights are installed in your central AC system to prevent the growth of airborne particles, such as mold, bacteria, viruses and other microorganisms that can cause breathing difficulties and other allergy symptoms. UV lights also improve air flow, and reduce overall energy costs by providing greater system efficiency.

Our Expertise Is Nothing to Sneeze At

At Simply the Best Heating & Cooling, improving indoor air quality is one of our specialties. If you’re struggling with hay fever, asthma or just want cleaner air inside your home, give us a call today at 480-361-8458. Our team of experts is here to help.