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Summer may seem like it’s a long time away, but it’s never too early to think about summer air conditioner maintenance. By scheduling your summer air conditioner maintenance visit now, you can make sure that your system is completely ready for the hot and humid weather of Southwest Florida. You’ll also avoid your HVAC contractor’s busy season which is often during the early summer when people discover that their air conditioners are not working as expected.

summer air conditioner maintenanceWhy Routine Maintenance is Critical

Routine maintenance extends the life of your air conditioning system by eliminating unnecessary causes of major system problems, such as a compressor that overheats and fails due to dust accumulation on the evaporator coil. By performing regular maintenance and correcting small problems that could cause major failures, you not only extend the life of the system, you also ensure that it continues to run efficiently, reducing energy usage, lowering your utility bills and protecting your system’s remaining manufacturer warranty.

What is Done During the Maintenance Visit

The HVAC technician will inspect your system thoroughly, checking for problems such as dirty coils, refrigeration leaks and electrical problems. The technician will then perform routine maintenance, which typically includes cleaning the condenser and evaporator coils, checking refrigerant levels, cleaning the blower fan, adjusting the blower motor belt, lubricating the blower motor and pulleys, changing the air filter and inspecting the electrical system. If any problems are found, the technician will recommend possible solutions and perform any repairs that you have agreed to.

What You Can Do Between Visits

There are also several things that you can do between service visits to keep your system running properly. This includes checking your air filter regularly—about once a month—and replacing it when it becomes dirty. You should also keep the supply and return vents free of obstructions, such as furniture or curtains, and keep the area around the condenser coil clean and free of debris.

For more information about summer air conditioner maintenance, talk to our cooling experts at Conditioned Air.

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In southwestern Florida, the mild weather of spring is often the best time for outdoor activities—before the oppressive heat and humidity of summer makes air conditioning necessary. But if you have allergies, spring weather brings allergens and marks the start of several months of suffering. To make yourself more comfortable during the spring, there are several things you can do around the house to minimize the effects of springtime allergies.

springtime allergiesReplace the Air Filter Often

The air filter in your HVAC system helps to remove pollen and other allergens from the air, and it should be changed at least every three months. During spring, it is a good idea to replace it at the beginning of the season and check it monthly thereafter, replacing it as necessary. Consider upgrading to filters with a higher MERV rating to remove more allergens, or consider installing a HEPA or electrostatic filter for even better overall filtration. It is also beneficial to have your HVAC system serviced, during which the evaporator coil, the air handler and other components will be cleaned, minimizing the amount of dust and allergens in the air.

Use Proper Ventilation

When the weather is mild, it is tempting to open the windows and let fresh air in. If you have springtime allergies, though, this invites pollen and other allergens into your home. To reduce your allergy symptoms, consider using the air conditioner more often, which filters and cools the air, or consider installing a whole-home ventilation system, which supplies plenty of fresh air while also filtering it to remove allergens.

Minimize Dust

Vacuum your home often using a machine that features a HEPA filter to minimize dust and allergens, and dust at least weekly using moist cloths or electrostatic wipes. Minimize clutter—especially in the bedrooms, closets and living areas—to reduce the amount of surface area that collects dust, and store items that you do not use often in sealed bags or containers to minimize dust accumulation.

To learn more about preventing springtime allergies, talk to our air quality experts at Conditioned Air, serving the Southwest Florida region.

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Because most people spend significant amounts of time indoors—especially during the excessively humid summers in Southwest Florida—the indoor air quality of your home is an important factor in your overall health and comfort. Pollutants such as dust, pollen or other substances can cause or contribute to symptoms like runny noses, congestion, itchy eyes, coughing and sneezing, especially for those who already suffer from breathing conditions such as asthma or allergies. Indoor air quality testing can help to determine if there may be a problem with your home’s air quality, and what steps are required to mitigate it.

indoor air quality testingHow Indoor Air Quality is Tested

The indoor air quality testing procedure typically includes a blower door test, which places your home under negative pressure using a large fan placed in an exterior opening. A professional HVAC technician can then find the sources of air infiltration, determine how often per hour the air in your home is exchanged, and use specialized equipment to sample the air for pollutants. Depending on the equipment used, the technician can test for:

  • Dust
  • Pollen
  • Pet dander
  • Microorganisms
  • Carbon monoxide
  • Radon
  • Volatile organic compounds or chemical vapors

The samples often have to be sent off for laboratory testing, and after the technician receives the results, he or she can recommend solutions such as upgrading your air filters, installing air purifiers, cleaning your air ducts or installing a ventilation system.

What to Expect From the Tests

Indoor air quality testing can help pinpoint the source of a suspected air quality issue, and with professional help, you can work to improve the quality of the air in your home. Except for carbon monoxide and radon, there are no explicit rules about the allowable amounts of air pollutants, only guidelines. Indoor air quality testing should only be used as a guide to improve air quality in general, and not as a specific diagnosis of a problem.

To learn more about indoor air quality, talk to our HVAC experts at Conditioned Air. We serve many areas in Southwest Florida, including the communities of Naples, Ft. Myers and Sarasota.