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The quality of the air inside your home has a significant effect on both health and comfort. Here are some of the signs of poor indoor air quality you should be watching for. If you notice these signs, contact your local trusted HVAC professional for help.

poor indoor air quality1. Increased Discomfort or Health Problems

Poor indoor air quality can contribute to physical discomfort while also making some health problems worse.

  • Dust, pollen, mold, pet dander, and particulates in the air can trigger allergies or asthma attacks.
  • Particulates can irritate eyes, noses, and throats, causing unpleasant scratchy feelings.
  • Particulates can cause sneezing, coughing, watering eyes, and skin irritation.
  • In severe cases, poor indoor air quality can cause dizziness or nausea.

2. Increased Amounts of Dust

Take a look at the shelves and other surfaces in your home. If there is an increased amount of dust on these surfaces, it could indicate a problem with indoor air quality. More dust and particulates can be present in poor-quality air, and over time, this dust will settle on surfaces in your home. You may even see more dust floating through the air if it’s made visible in sunshine or other light sources.

3. Bad Odors

If you notice more bad odors than usual, or unpleasant smells that will not go away, you may have poor indoor air quality. Certain activities, such as cooking, may produce temporarily strong odors, but if the smells you’re noticing are frequent or consistent, it could indicate a reduction in indoor ventilation and a drop in indoor air quality.

4. Higher Humidity and Mold Growth

Higher humidity in your home could be an indicator of poor air quality. This is especially true if the increased humidity is also accompanied by more mold growth.

Since 1962 our people have made Conditioned Air a top choice for heating and cooling services in Bradenton, Sarasota, Ft. Myers, and the surrounding Florida communities. Contact us today for more information on identifying poor indoor air quality and what you can do to improve the quality of the air inside your home.

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Any gaps or leaks that allow conditioned air to escape your Florida home (or that allow unconditioned air to enter it) can reduce the efficiency of your heating and cooling system, leading to increased energy costs. By finding and sealing air leaks with these tips, you can save money and be more comfortable throughout the year.

sealing air leaksWindows and Doors

Poorly-sealed windows and doors often feel drafty and can contribute significantly to higher energy costs. Use weatherstripping along the bottoms and tops of windows to seal gaps between the window and the frame, and use caulk to seal around the edges of the window frames, inside and out. Install weatherstripping around the inside of the door frame, where the door meets it, and use caulk around the edges of the frame. Install a door sweep to seal any gaps at the bottom of the door.

Attic

Warm air often escapes into the attic during heating season. Use caulk to seal around holes drilled for electrical lines, plumbing vents or lighting fixtures, or expanding foam if the gap is larger than ¼ inch. Seal around appliance flues and chimneys using high temperature caulk, and install a metal baffle to keep insulation away from any hot surfaces. Install baffles around recessed lighting, and seal soffits using caulk and insulation. Use unfaced insulation in plastic bags to seal any empty stud bays.

Exterior Walls

Any holes in the exterior walls can increase energy usage. Use caulk or expanding foam to seal holes drilled for plumbing, electric, or gas lines, as well as dryer vents or exhaust fan openings. Seal around any light fixtures, and repair or replace damaged siding. Use foam gaskets on interior outlets to seal the outlet covers.

Basement

Cool air often enters through the basement and is drawn into the rest of the home. Use caulk to seal around rim joists and the sill plate, as well as any holes drilled for plumbing or electric lines.

For more information about sealing air leaks around your home, talk to our experts at Conditioned Air, serving Southwest Florida since 1962.

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Properly insulating the attic in your Florida home is important to the overall efficiency of your HVAC system, but there are many myths and misconceptions about the process. Here is the truth behind some of the most prevalent attic insulation myths.

insulationInsulating the Attic is Not Necessary in Warm Climates

Even in Southwest Florida, insulating the attic is important, as it prevents heat from escaping to the outside during the winter and prevents the hot air in the attic from warming your home during the summer. For the areas around Naples and Ft. Myers, the recommended insulation levels in the attic are from R-30 to R-60.

Insulating the Attic Will Seal Air Leaks

Attic insulation alone will not seal air leaks, though some types, such as sprayed foam, do a better job than others at sealing during the installation process. To properly seal the attic, there should be a separate vapor barrier installed if it is required in your area, and all holes drilled for electrical lines, plumbing vents, light fixtures and appliance flues should be sealed with caulk, expanding foam insulation, or for flues, chimneys and some recessed lighting fixtures, a combination of flashing and high-temperature caulk.

R-Value is Constant

R-Value is a measurement of a material’s resistance to the flow of heat, and it is assigned according to standard tests done in a lab. In actual use, the effective R-Value of an insulating material can vary based on many factors. Materials like fiberglass can increase or decrease in R-Value according to the temperature, and R-Value can be significantly reduced if the material becomes wet or is subjected to drafty conditions.

Insulating the Attic Automatically Increases HVAC Efficiency

Properly insulating your attic is only one factor in how efficiently your HVAC system operates. Some other examples include whether the HVAC system is sized properly, whether your ducts leak, how drafty your windows and doors are, and how many sources of heat gain are present, such as heat-generating appliances or windows without shades.

To learn more about how attic insulation affects HVAC efficiency, talk to our experts at Conditioned Air.We’ve been serving the southwest coast of Florida from Bradenton to Everglades City since 1962.