The air ducts in your Southwest Florida home are responsible for delivering conditioned air into each room so, over time, they can collect dust, pet dander, pollen and other allergens, especially when the HVAC system is not being used frequently. Periodic duct cleaning can improve your indoor air quality and may increase the efficiency of your HVAC system.
Why Duct Cleaning Is Important
Poor indoor air quality can cause symptoms such as sneezing, coughing, wheezing, itchy eyes, runny nose or fatigue, or worsen pre-existing symptoms. It is especially problematic for those who have allergies, asthma, bronchitis or other respiratory conditions. Regular duct cleaning can remove irritants like dust, dander and pollen from inside the air ducts, preventing them from being distributed throughout the home when the HVAC system is turned on. Large accumulations of dust, especially in the return ducts, can also harm the efficiency of your HVAC system by clogging the air filter and evaporator coil, making it work harder to keep your home at a comfortable temperature.
When It Should Be Done
Typically, it is a good idea to have your air ducts cleaned every 3 to 5 years, and it can be scheduled to coincide with one of your semi-annual routine maintenance appointments for extra convenience. If one of your family members has a respiratory condition, or if your area is excessively dusty or has high pollen counts, you may want to consider more frequent duct cleaning, with services scheduled annually during the spring allergy season and just before your home is closed up for the winter. Finally, if you have had recent home renovations, it is a good idea to clean the ducts afterward to remove any household dust, sawdust or other particles that may have found their way into the air ducts during the project.
To learn more about the benefits of periodic duct cleaning, talk to our HVAC professionals at Conditioned Air. We have offices in Naples, Sarasota and Ft. Myers, and we serve communities throughout the Southwest Florida region.
One of the easiest and least expensive ways to save energy in your Southwest Florida home is to install a programmable thermostat. By simply reducing the usage of your HVAC system during the times you are away from home or asleep, you can reduce your energy costs by up to 20 percent. Many of the newest programmable thermostats make it easier than ever to save money with innovative new features.
Self Programming Ability
Some of the newest programmable thermostats can automatically adjust their settings based on the times that your family is at home, away or asleep to find the most energy-efficient settings for your busy schedule. They can communicate with other sensors throughout your home, such as motion sensors, to determine when it is occupied or empty, and adjust their settings accordingly.
Many models feature WiFi connections, allowing the user to adjust the temperature or other settings from anywhere within the house with a WiFi-enabled device, such as smartphone or computer, or even over the Internet using mobile phone apps. This allows you to adjust the temperature from a distance if you are coming home early or to shut the HVAC system down remotely if there is a problem.
Older programmable thermostats could be hard to configure, with complex menus that were accessed through a very basic LCD display and a few buttons. Often, this meant that people were less likely to adjust the settings as necessary to achieve the highest energy savings, because the process was so difficult. Many of today’s models feature intuitive touchscreen interfaces that make adjusting the settings easy, and they often offer extra information, such as the current weather, thanks to available WiFi connections.
Setting the Thermostat
To save the most on your energy bills, reduce the temperature by 4 or 5 degrees when you are away from home or asleep during the winter, and raise it during the summer.
To learn which programmable thermostats would be best for your home, talk to our team at Conditioned Air. We have served the communities of Southwest Florida since 1962.
If your Southwest Florida home features a fuel-burning appliance such as a gas stove, water heater or furnace, you should take extra care to keep the appliance in good condition to avoid the dangers of carbon monoxide. Carbon monoxide is an invisible gas that is extremely dangerous and impossible to smell or taste. To ensure your family’s safety, carbon monoxide detectors should be installed throughout your home, and there are a few important things you should know to operate them properly.
Types of Carbon Monoxide Detectors
There are typically three types of carbon monoxide detectors, including hard-wired models that must be installed by an electrician, plug-in models that require a nearby outlet for installation, and battery-operated models that require no external power source. Plug-in and battery-operated models are the least expensive and easiest to install, though hard-wired models may offer more features, such as integration with your alarm system. Plug-in or hard-wired models may also include batteries as a backup power source in case of an outage.
One detector should be installed on each level of the home, near the main living areas and near your fuel-burning appliances, and one should be installed in or near each bedroom. Be sure to follow the manufacturer’s instructions, which will recommend the proper installation heights and locations for the best performance.
Carbon monoxide detectors require very little maintenance to function properly, but they do have a limited lifespan, due to the nature of the materials that detect the gas. Periodically dust the outside of the case, especially near any vents, and install fresh batteries every six months. Every month or so, use the detector’s built-in test function to ensure that it’s still operating properly, and replace it if there are any problems. Finally, check the owner’s manual or the body of the detector for its expatriation date, and replace the detector just before the recommended time.
For more information about installing or using carbon monoxide detectors, talk to our HVAC professionals at Conditioned Air. We serve Southwest Florida, including the communities of Naples and Sarasota.