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Your home heating and cooling system is your primary tool for keeping your home comfortable, but insulation is another factor that can have a significant effect on indoor comfort. The type of insulation you use in your home must be carefully chosen, and the insulation R-values must be appropriate for your geographical area. Here is a brief guide to insulation R-values and why they are important.

Insulation R-values For a Comfortable HomeThe Purpose of Insulation

Insulation prevents the flow of heat from warmer to colder areas. In a residential setting, insulation keeps warm air in during the cooler months and out during the hotter part of the year. Without insulation, or without enough insulation, heat from your furnace or heat pump escapes from your home in winter, while your air conditioner is overwhelmed with incoming heat during the summer. This makes your indoor spaces uncomfortable and increases the amount you pay for heating and cooling every month.

R-Values and Their Meaning

Insulation R-values indicate how effective a particular type of insulation will be at resisting the flow of heat. There are several types of insulation available to choose from, including fiberglass, cellulose, and foam. Each type of insulation will have an R-value, while better-quality insulation of each type will typically have a higher R-value. The higher the R-value, the better the insulation will be a resisting the flow of heat.

The R-value of insulation can also be affected by the thickness and density of the material, and whether or not the insulation material is compressed. Each layer of insulation is considered separately when calculating R-value, with the values of each layer added together to reach the final R-value rating.

In southern Florida, the U.S. Department of Energy recommends insulation with an R-value of R30 to R60 for attics, R13 to R15 for walls, and R16 to R19 for floors.

Conditioned Air serves heating and cooling customers in the Florida communities of Sarasota, Bradenton, Ft. Myers, and the surrounding areas. Contact us today for more information on insulation R-values and the benefits that proper insulation can have for your home.

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Uneven temperatures in your Southwest Florida home are not only uncomfortable, but they may also indicate a problem with your HVAC system or the house itself. By troubleshooting hot and cold spots in your home, you can find the source of the problem and take steps to correct it.

Malfunctioning HVAC Systemtroubleshooting hot and cold spots in your home

An improperly-sized or malfunctioning HVAC system can easily lead to hot or cold spots in your home. Make sure the air filter is not clogged or excessively dirty, and replace it if necessary. The air filter should last several months, but it is a good idea to check it at least once a month. Inspect both the indoor and outdoor coils of a heat pump or air conditioner. If the coils are dirty or clogged with debris, the system will not heat or cool properly, and they will need to be cleaned. If you have a furnace, make sure that the burners are free of dirt and soot to keep it heating efficiently. If the problems remain, have a professional inspect the system and make sure that it is sized properly.

Duct Problems

Blocked or leaking ducts can also cause uneven temperatures. Make sure all the vents are open, and check inside the ducts for obstructions and remove them, if possible. Inspect the outside of accessible ducts for cracks, holes, disconnected joints and missing or damaged insulation. If the ducts are leaking, missing insulation, excessively dirty or obstructed, have a professional repair them.

Drafts or Air Leaks

Hot or cold spots can be caused by air leaking into or out of your home. Seal drafty windows, doors, and any holes in the exterior walls with weatherstripping, caulk or expanding foam insulation, and make sure that your home is properly insulated.

Thermostat Problems

Make sure that your thermostat is working correctly, and replace it if necessary. Also, make sure that it is in a suitable location to get a correct reading, and not in a drafty or sunny spot.

For more tips about troubleshooting hot and cold spots in your home, talk to our experts at Conditioned Air today.

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When choosing an air filter for your home heating or cooling system, you must be aware of the air cleaning and filtering capacity of the filter you choose. Filters have efficiency ratings that can help you determine which filter is best for your particular needs. These ratings, called MERV numbers, can tell you whether or not the filter will be able to remove particulates such as dust and pollen to clean your air to a suitable level. Here is a brief introduction to MERV ratings and what they mean.

The Meaning of MERVMinimum Efficiency Reporting Value Ratings

MERV stands for Minimum Efficiency Reporting Value, which is a standard measure of air filter efficiency and performance. A filter’s MERV rating indicates how effective it is at capturing small airborne particulates as air circulates through your HVAC system. MERV ratings indicate a filter’s capacity to remove particulates between 0.3 and 10 microns in size.

Uses of MERV Filters

MERV ratings for filters used in most residential settings range from 1 to 16. There are filters available with MERV ratings of 17 to 20, but these are usually extremely high-quality filters that require specialized mountings. Higher-MERV filters are also thicker and more dense than lower-MERV models. Before using a high-MERV filter, you must be certain that your HVAC system has the airflow capacity to support it.

MERV Specifics

Lower-MERV filters are often very inexpensive, but their ability to filter your indoor air is limited.

  • MERV 1-4 filters are usually only good at collecting larger particles of 10 microns and above.
  • MERV 2-8 filters are medium-quality, and can remove particles of 3 microns and larger.
  • MERV 9-12 filters are considered high quality and can easily capture particulates of 1 micron and larger.
  • MERV 13-16 filters are the highest quality typically used in residential systems and work best at filtering out smaller particulates.

Conditioned Air provides professional, courteous HVAC sales, installation, and repair services for customers in Sarasota, Bradenton, Ft. Myers, and other communities in southwest Florida. Contact us today for more information on MERV ratings and choosing the proper filter for your home heating or cooling system.