Air filters

Air filters

Types of Air Filters

You need to change your HVAC system's air filter regularly to keep your air clean and your system functioning efficiently. Do you know what kind of filter you need? Here's a brief guide to different types of air filters and how they work.

Fiberglass

The cheapest and most basic type of air filter, fiberglass filters are the lowest rated ones on the MERV scale. They can capture and remove large dust particles, but things like mold, pollen, and other allergens remain in your air.

Pleated

Made of cotton fabric and folded into pleats like a curtain, these filters are designed to remove smaller particles from the air, such as dust mites and pet dander. The more pleats the filter has, the better airflow it allows through it, and the more efficiently your HVAC system can heat or cool your home.

Electrostatic

Rather than simply creating a barrier to trap allergens and contaminants, this one actually generates an electrostatic charge, which attracts contaminants to it. They stick to the filter, while the clean air passes through. Electrostatic filters can remove things like mold, mildew, bacteria, and even cigarette smoke, which makes them ideal for allergy and asthma sufferers.

HEPA

High Efficiency Particulate Air filters. Designed for medical uses and laboratory clean rooms, these filters can remove 99.97 percent of impurities from the air, down to 0.3 microns. That includes viruses, sea salt, milled flour, and more. Unfortunately, these filters are too thick to fit into a regular HVAC system without damaging it. If you want extra air protection, you'll need to invest in a separate air purifier for your home, that's designed for the HEPA filter.

Washable

There are two types of air filters that are washable. Some cloth filters can be washed regularly instead of replaced. More common, though, are washable electrostatic filters. Washable filters last three to five years, making them much more practical than the expensive disposable ones, which must be replaced every few months.

To learn more about different types of air filters, contact us at Air Assurance. We proudly serve all of Broken Arrow's HVAC needs.

Air filters

How to Prepare for Fall Allergens

How to Prepare for Fall Allergens

Have you started to experience the annoyance and discomfort associated with fall allergies yet? Areas in northeastern and eastern Oklahoma rank among the top 15 areas in the U.S. where people suffer the most from allergies. Local culprits in the fall include ragweed pollen, the inevitable mold spores, and dust mites.Allergy season in this part of Oklahoma is long lasting, according to the Weather Channel who estimate it lasts from April through November. With such a long season, it’s worth considering what you can do to alleviate them using your HVAC system.Your heating and cooling system handles much of the air in your home and it’s the perfect place to start reducing the impact of fall allergies caused by airborne particulates by:

Upgrading the air filter.

A denser, higher quality air filter will trap more particles that will reduce your allergy symptoms. Look for one whose MERV (minimum efficiency reporting value) rating is 8 or higher. You can also go by the manufacturer’s quality descriptions, which normally range from good to best.Upgrade the filter as long as your HVAC system can handle one with a MERV rating between 8 and 12 or qualified as “best.” It’s important to verify the maximum density you can use because installing too thick a filter will slow the air flowing through the air handler, which harms your equipment.

Maintaining the HVAC system.

Ask your HVAC contractor to service your system, which reduces the amount of dust and pollen inside it. They're able to access every part of the system for cleaning and adjusting,

Ductwork inspection.

Have your HVAC pro check the ducts for dust. You may need to have the ducts professionally cleaned to clear accumulations of dust and debris. If you or a previous owner have run the system with dirty air filters, allergens can easily collect inside the ducts. Besides clearing the air, clean ducts deliver air more efficiently and quietly.

For more information about managing fall allergies with your HVAC system, contact Air Assurance, providing HVAC services for Broken Arrow homeowners.

Our goal is to help educate our customers in the Tulsa and Broken Arrow, Oklahoma area about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems). For more information about other HVAC topics, call us at 918-217-8273.

Air filters

It's Time to Change Your Air Filters

It's Time to Change Your Air Filters

The air filter makes a significant contribution to your HVAC system's performance and efficiency. You should pay attention to your filters and prevent them from becoming too dirty. So when should you replace them? Here's a look at why you should change air filters after summer:

Heavy Summer Air Conditioner Workout

You rely on your A/C system a lot to keep you comfortable in the summer. The increased operating hours imply a great volume of air flows through your system throughout the season.Along with the air comes airborne particulates – such as dust, dirt, dust mites, volatile organic compounds (VOCs), and pet dander – that are trapped by the air filter. With the good summer workout that your air filters get, it makes sense to replace them after summer.

Prevent Damage to Internal HVAC Components

Your air filter keeps contaminants in the air from getting inside your HVAC system, where they can harm critical motors and capacitors. When it's dirty, it captures these contaminants less effectively.When dirty air clogs up your filter, it could potentially pollute your whole system. As a result, your system could need additional repair and service that wouldn't be necessary had you changed your filter on schedule.

Improve Indoor Air Quality

Mold spores and pollen are generally more widespread in the warmer months than in the winter. A filter that's full of trapped mold spores and pollen can act as a breeding ground for the microorganisms and degrade your indoor air quality.Changing air filters after the summer helps reduce the allergy triggers inside your home.

Dirty filters reduce your home's air quality and your HVAC system's overall efficiency, so make sure you replace them regularly. For more information on when and when to change air filters, please contact us at Air Assurance. Broken Arrow residents have counted on us for quality heating, plumbing, and air conditioning services since 1985.

Our goal is to help educate our customers in the Tulsa and Broken Arrow, Oklahoma area about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems). For more information about air filters and other HVAC topics, call us at 918-217-8273. Credit/Copyright Attribution: “geralt/Pixabay”

Air filters

How to Remember to Change Your Air Filter

How to Remember to Change Your Air Filter

Changing your air filter is one of the simplest things you can do to maintain your heating and cooling system. Unfortunately, it’s also the one thing that many homeowners forget to do. Forgetting about this small yet important task can have a negative impact on your HVAC system’s performance and your home’s overall indoor air quality.If you find yourself forgetting to change your air filter time and again, you can use these tips to give yourself a reminder when the time comes:

  • Put it on your chore list - One of the best ways to remember to change your HVAC air filter is to include it in your list of household chores. The chore list itself should be placed in a highly visible and commonly visited spot in your home. Your refrigerator door makes a perfect spot for a chore list.

  • Use your phone or computer to set a reminder - you can also use technology to help remind you of those all-important filter changes, along with other HVAC maintenance items. The vast majority of phones, tablets and computers have calendars with built-in alerts and notifications. All you’ll have to do is pick a date when you want to change your HVAC filter, add a brief message and set your audio or visual alert.

  • Keep spare filters in an obvious spot - Another thing you can do is place a brand-new air filter in a location where you’re bound to see it on a daily basis. This way, you’ll always have a reminder to change your filter. You can even slap a bright sticky note on the filter with the intended date of your next change.

  • Have someone else remind you - You can even have a friend, roommate, family member or other loved one reminds you of when it’s time to change your HVAC filter.

To learn more about air filters and other HVAC accessories, contact the professionals at Air Assurance, addressing the heating and cooling needs of Broken Arrow residents since 1985.

Our goal is to help educate our customers in the Tulsa and Broken Arrow, Oklahoma area about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems). For more information about air filters and other HVAC topics, call us at 918-217-8273. Credit/Copyright Attribution: “3402423/Pixabay”

Air filters, Featured

Should You Change Your Air Filter More Frequently in the Summer?

Should You Change Your Air Filter More Frequently in the Summer? | Air Assurance

Summer brings substantial heat and humidity to our area, and that means air conditioners get a good workout. You probably know you should change your air filter to keep things running well, but you might hear different opinions on how often. Here are reasons you should play closer attention to the filter in summer and avoid letting it get too dirty.

When the HVAC System Works Harder, Filters Collect Dust Faster

Hot weather plays a big role on how frequently you will need to change your air filter. The more your air conditioner has to run, the more air blows through the filter. When more air is moving through the filter, greater amounts of particulates get trapped.Unless Oklahoma has an unusually cool and dry summer, which is very rare, then chances are you will be using your air conditioner a lot and it will work hard to keep your home comfortable. This means you should check your air filter every month during the season, even if you don’t think you will need to change it.

How Often to Change the Filter

Many air filters, especially the low cost ones, will need to be changed every month during summer. You will be able to see very quickly how much dust it has already collected.Thick, pleated filters can sometimes last longer without needing to be replaced, but you should still check them every month and avoid going longer than 3 months without replacing them. The only exception to this is if the manufacturer or your HVAC technician specifically states otherwise.

Why Dirty Filters are Harmful

One of the primary problems with dirty filters is they restrict the volume of air getting through. This places a burden on the air handler and in turn takes a toll on the entire system. Soiled filters can also lead to:

  • Frozen coils

  • Dirty ducts

  • Worsening allergies

  • Higher energy bills — the restricted airflow makes your air conditioner cycle more and expend more effort.

To learn more about air filters and your Broken Arrow home, please contact us at Air Assurance.

Our goal is to help educate our customers in the Tulsa and Broken Arrow, Oklahoma area about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems). Credit/Copyright Attribution: “Steve Heap/Shutterstock”

Air filters, Featured

What Kind of HVAC Air Filter Should You be Using?

Why you need an HVAC Air Filter

With the dust and pollen common in the Broken Arrow area, the right kind of HVAC air filter is essential for maintaining healthy indoor air. To choose the best kind of filter for you, you'll need to understand the factors that play into a filter's effectiveness.

Quality Filters Protect Your Health

Standard fiberglass flat-panel filters may be cheap, but they also offer little benefit. They keep large debris particles out of your HVAC system, but do nothing to improve your air quality. For cleaner air, you'll need a filter with a Minimum Efficiency Reporting Value (MERV) of at least 5. These are usually fiberglass or synthetic fiber flat-panel filters. Synthetic fibers are packed more densely than fiberglass, allowing them to trap smaller particles, such as mold spores.If anyone in your home has seasonal or dust allergies, or another respiratory concern, look for an air filter of MERV 11 to 12. This range includes pleated filters made of synthetic fiber. The accordion-like folds in these filters provide a greater surface area to trap particles, increasing their efficiency and lifespan.

Better Filters, Better System Performance

Higher-efficiency filters help maintain your HVAC system's energy efficiency by keeping the components cleaner. Dust on your blower fan and A/C evaporator coil places strain on these components and increases their energy demands, which in turn raises your utility bills. The more efficient the filter, the less dust and other debris enters your system.Pleated filters are less likely to clog quickly, reducing the risk of airflow problems. Very high efficiency filters, however, can be dense enough to interfere with airflow. Consult a technician before installing a filter of MERV 12 or higher.Your filter's size also influences its effectiveness. An undersized filter can blow out of the holder or fail to handle your system's airflow rate. Most systems use 1-inch filters, but some use 4-inch models. To make sure you get the right size, take your old filter with you when shopping for a new one.

For professional help finding the best air filter for your needs, contact us at Air Assurance anywhere around Broken Arrow.

Our goal is to help educate our customers in the Tulsa and Broken Arrow, Oklahoma area about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems). Credit/Copyright Attribution: “Sonia-Sorbi/Shutterstock”

Air filters, Featured, IAQ – Indoor Air Quality

How Can You Make Your Home a Healthier Environment?

How Can You Make Your Home a Healthier Environment?

The agricultural production and manufacturing around Broken Arrow can make maintaining a healthy home environment difficult at times, but there's still plenty you can do to keep your home clean.

Keep the Contaminants Out

Because chemicals such as paint, pesticides and harsh cleaners give off harmful fumes, these products should be stored outside your home. Choosing paint, carpeting and other household materials labeled low-VOC can also reduce chemical fumes in your home.High humidity encourages the spread of dust mites, mold and bacteria. Aim to keep your indoor humidity level between 40 and 50 percent. Run your exhaust fans after showering or cooking, and repair leaks in your plumbing, roof or basement. Regularly disinfecting your sponges, mops and other cleaning supplies also cuts down on the bacteria and mold spores floating around your home.Using an HVAC air filter with a MERV rating between 5 and 10 and replacing it on schedule will reduce the level of dust, pollen, mold spores and pet dander in your air.

Good ventilation helps remove contaminants from your air and controls your humidity, doing double duty to support a healthy home environment. If you live in a modern airtight home or an older one that's been air sealed for energy efficiency, you'll benefit from a whole-house ventilation system.

Stay on Top of Health Risks

Any fuel-burning appliance, such as a gas stove or fireplace, can release carbon monoxide. Even trace amounts can cause headaches and fatigue. To protect your health, install CO detectors on every floor and within 15 feet of every sleeping area.Around one in 16 homes has a dangerously high level of radon, a natural yet cancer-causing gas that enters through the foundation or water lines. The Oklahoma Department of Environmental Quality's Radon Program offers test kits for this gas.Investing in professional air quality testing is another way to find out what harmful contaminants are in your home's air so you can take steps toward getting rid of them.

For more information on maintaining a healthy home environment, contact Air Assurance. We've been serving Broken Arrow since 1985.

Our goal is to help educate our customers in the Tulsa and Broken Arrow, Oklahoma area about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems). Credit/Copyright Attribution: “design36/Shutterstock”

Air filters, Furnaces

Bewildered About What Type of Furnace Filter to Choose? This Guide Can Help

Bewildered About What Type of Furnace Filter to Choose? This Guide Can Help

Buying the right furnace filter can make a big difference. With all of the choices out there, it can be hard to make a proper decision. However when you take into account all of the factors that are important to you in regards to your family’s health, indoor air quality and cost, the choice becomes much easier.First you must consider the efficiency of your filter by looking at its minimum efficiency reporting value, or MERV rating. The MERV ranges from 1-20, with 1 being the cheapest and least restrictive to airflow and 20 being the most efficient, collecting 99.9 percent of all airborne particles.A low-MERV filter provides just enough protection to keep larger particles out of the furnace. These are cheaper to use but do little to improve air as they are solely to keep your HVAC unit dust free. A cost-effective MERV 4 filter allows for decent airflow and catches most large particles like dust and lint and are good if you’re not overly concerned with air quality.These filters may be fine if you don’t have allergies; however, if you are sensitive to airborne allergens, you may want to consider installing an electrostatic furnace filter with a MERV rating between 8-10 that will catch pollen, spores and dander. If someone in your family has low immunity, consider a high efficiency, pleated synthetic cotton filter with a MERV of 14 or higher. These can be removed and cleaned, catch bacteria, most smoke and can last up to six years, if properly maintained.  While they do cost more, they will save you money in health care costs.Whichever you do choose, remember that filers with higher MERV ratings require more attention and regular cleaning or replacement. While higher quality filters remove more particles, they also put more strain on your unit due to reduced airflow so it is advisable to contact a qualified HVAC technician before making a change.For more information on furnace filters and HVAC needs, contact Air Assurance, servicing the Tulsa Metropolitan region since 1985.Our goal is to help educate our customers in the Tulsa and Broken Arrow, Oklahoma area about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems).

Credit/Copyright Attribution: “Jezper/Shutterstock”

Air filters

What Do Those Air Filter Ratings Other Than MERV Mean?

What Do Those Air Filter Ratings Other Than MERV Mean?

The heating/cooling (HVAC) system in your Tulsa-area home requires relatively little maintenance, but this maintenance needs to be provided on a regular basis. Besides annual check-ups from a qualified HVAC technician, the most important aspect of an efficiently running heating/cooling system is the proper selection and regular replacement of your equipments' air filters. Choosing appropriate filters according to universally accepted air filter ratings such as MERV is where you should start.

Air filters generally carry MERV ratings, a widely accepted rating system developed by ASHRE, the American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air Conditioning Engineers. The acronym MERV stands for Minimum Efficiency Reporting Value. The rating numbers, which extend from 1-16 for residential air filters, apply to the particle size a specific filter is capable of trapping. MERV 1-4 filters can capture particles that are 10 microns or larger in size. Filters rated between 5-13 capture increasingly smaller particulate down to as tiny as 1.0 micron. Most experts recommend homeowners use air filters with ratings of from MERV 8-12 for the best balance of economy and efficiency. Anything higher than a MERV-12 will certainly be more aggressive in its filtering capabilities but may also restrict airflow to a point that could be harmful to your equipment.

Some air filter sales outlets have started using alternative air filter ratings other than MERV. These are not approved by ASHRE and may cause some confusion when you're trying to compare efficiency and cost of different filters. Home Depot is one example of a company that's switched from MERV to something called FPR, which stands for Air Filter Performance Rating. An FPR-8, however, is not equal to a MERV-8. MPR, or Microparticle Performance Rating, is another arbitrary rating system used by a certain filter manufacturer. Neither FPR nor MPR are recognized by ASHRE, whose MERV system has been universally recognized and used for decades.

As the largest full-service HVAC equipment and service provider in the Tulsa area, Air Assurance has been providing excellence to our clients since 1985. Contact us for more info or advice on air filter ratings or any indoor air topics.

Our goal is to help educate our customers in the Tulsa and Broken Arrow, Oklahoma area about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems). 

Image courtesy of Shutterstock

Air filters

Why a Better Quality Air Filter Is Worth the Price

Why a Better Quality Air Filter Is Worth the Price

The phrase “you get what you pay for” rings true for just about any purchase, especially when it comes to heating and cooling equipment. In most cases, buying the best equipment possible gives you the best results. When you look for your next air filter, you’ll want one that offers the best defense against common airborne pollutants including dust, pet dander and various bacteria.

Finding the best air filter isn’t easy, but it’s a task made easier by looking at its minimum efficiency reporting value (MERV). MERV ratings allow consumers to compare air filters based on their overall efficiency in removing airborne particles from an HVAC system’s air stream. These ratings range from as low as 1 to a high of 16 for standard filters and 20 for true HEPA filters.

The higher the MERV rating for a filter, the more airborne particles it’s capable of capturing. Here’s a brief rundown of what air filtration media are capable of at their specific MERV ratings:

MERV 1 to 4 – Common flat or panel air filters for residential heating and cooling systems. These filters can capture pollen, dust mites and other airborne pollutants more than 10 microns in particle size.

MERV 5 to 13 – Medium efficiency filters capable of capturing mold spores, pet dander, most bacteria and other airborne pollutants as small 1 micron in particle size.

MERV 14 to 16 – Higher efficiency filters capable of trapping viruses, bacteria and a broad range of other airborne pollutants as small as 0.3 microns.

MERV 17 to 20 – True HEPA filters capable of trapping 99.997 percent of airborne particles smaller than 0.3 microns.

A cheap air filter may have a lower MERV rating than your climate system was designed for, which can cause a noticeable drop in indoor air quality. Don’t hesitate to get your money’s worth by choosing a high quality filter with a MERV rating matched for your unit.

To understand more about your home’s air filtration options in the Broken Arrow area, contact the professionals at Air Assurance today.

Our goal is to help educate our customers in the Tulsa and Broken Arrow, Oklahoma area about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems). 

Image courtesy of Shutterstock

Air filters

Air Filters: What Do You Want Yours to Do?

Air Filters: What Do You Want Yours to Do?

Air Filters: What Do You Want Yours to Do?

Ever feel overwhelmed at the prospect of choosing an air filter for your HVAC system? Fortunately, the Minimum Efficiency Reporting Value (MERV) provides a small, yet important glimpse into the world of effective air filtration.

Rated from a scale of 1 to 16 for standard air filters and 17 to 20 for HEPA filters, MERV measures an air filter’s ability to efficiently capture airborne particles and other pollutants. With these ratings, you can choose the right filter for your HVAC application:

  • 1 - 4 MERV: Provide affordable and disposable filtration for residential applications, capturing up to 80 percent of pollen, dust mites and other particles greater than 10 microns in size.

  • 5 - 8 MERV: Ideal for both residential and industrial use, these filters capture over 90 percent of airborne particles ranging from 3 to 10 microns in size. These particles include mold spores, cement dust and pollutants from dusting aids and hair spray.

  • 9-12 MERV: Offer superior residential filtration, capturing over 95 percent of airborne pollutants as small as 1 micron in size, including Legionella bacteria, vehicle emissions and dust from humidifiers.

  • 13-16 MERV: Commonly used in “clean room” environments, including hospitals. These filters trap over 98 percent of pollutants, including all types of bacteria, most tobacco smoke and other particles ranging from 0.3 to 1 micron.

  • 17-20 MERV: Reserved for HEPA filters in order to signify their superior filtration properties. These filters can capture over 99.997 percent of airborne particles less than 0.3 microns.

High-MERV filters often require higher performance fan motors or specialized ductwork to make up for airflow issues. Air filters rated at MERV 7 to 13 offer similar performance to HEPA filters without the need for stronger fans or reworked ducts. Be sure to check these filters monthly, as they get clogged more easily.Remember, not all air filters are measured the same, therefore, it's best to buy from reputable sources who understand how this affects the system performance, not just because it's made by a large company.

At Air Assurance, we make it our business to take care of your home comfort needs and we've done the testing on filtration so that we know what kind of filtration works best with your system.  We have even had our filters specially made to our specifications so that you know there the best.  Contact us to learn more about air filters and your filtration options in the Broken Arrow area.

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Our goal is to help educate our customers in the Tulsa and Broken Arrow, Oklahoma area about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems). 

Image courtesy of Shutterstock

Air filters

Air Filters: The More You Know About Them, the More You'll Get Out of Them

Air Filters: The More You Know About Them, the More You'll Get Out of Them

Air Filters: The More You Know About Them, the More You'll Get Out of Them

You're probably already aware that replacing your air filter should be part of your routine air-conditioner maintenance. But it can pay to know more about this essential component of your cooling system. Actually, the more you know about air filters, the more you'll get out of them -- in terms of peak efficiency and home comfort. Here are some facts about air filters:

  • MERV ratings: All air filters have minimum efficiency reporting values. This value is a reflection of a filter's ability to remove particulates such as dander, dust and smoke from the air stream. A MERV 1 filter is the least effective, and a MERV 16 is the most effective. A MERV 9 to 12 filter is generally recommended for homeowners who want highly effective dust control. If you decide to go with one of these filters, make sure you check it monthly. Because a filter in this range is denser than a filter with a lower MERV rating, it can get clogged more easily and restrict airflow, which can ultimately cause damage to your air conditioner. If you have any doubt about the type of filter you should be using, get in touch with your HVAC professional. There is no real Standard testing procedure that regulates how MERV ratings are established, so it's best to consult your HVAC professional first.

  • Whether to clean or replace: Some types of air filters are meant to be disposable. These filters should not be cleaned and reused. Check this type of filter every month, and change it when it looks dirty. Some filters, however, can be cleaned. A washable filter should be checked frequently and cleaned as often as every few weeks. Make sure it's thoroughly dry before you return it to the air conditioner. If you're wondering whether your filter is the disposable or washable type, check your owner's manual or contact your HVAC-system professional.

  • NOTE: Filters can be rated high on the MERV scale, but low in the ability to let air pass through easily. This causes restrictions making the system less efficient with lower air flow, and could cause harm to your system. Air Assurance carries Clean-Climate filters which are made to Air Assurance specifications and have been tested for both MERV and Static Pressure, giving you the best of both worlds.

  • HEPA filtration. High efficiency particulate air filtration is the top-of-the-line option in particulate removal and is widely used in hospitals, where it's important to have air that's as free of organic pollutants as much as possible. But these filters are extremely dense and not appropriate for many cooling systems. If air quality is a special concern in your home, and you're serious about HEPA filtration, consider a whole-house air purifier.

If you have any questions about air filters, don't hesitate to contact Air Assurance. We can help you find the filter that's best suited to your system. And we can help you with all your other home-comfort needs, as well. We serve homeowners in Broken Arrow and greater Tulsa.

Our goal is to help educate our customers in the Tulsa and Broken Arrow, Oklahoma area about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems). Image courtesy of Shutterstock

Air filters

Air Filter Know-How: Here's How They Work

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In the cold winters and hot summers, keeping a home well-insulated is key.  But as insulation becomes more efficient and less air is exchanged between your house and the outside environment, air quality may suffer.  In this article, we'll be going over one of the simplest ways to improve your air quality: the pleated air filter.Filters can be found in just about any appliance or machine that deals with air in an enclosed space, from automobiles and aircraft to home furnaces and air conditioners. Filters in heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) systems intercept air as it flows through your home, sending the air through a fibrous material which catches and holds particles such as dust, bacteria, pollen, mold, and pet dander.  Pleated filters take this to another level of efficiency by pleating (partially folding) the material, resulting in a filter with much greater surface area.  This means that not only can the air filter catch more particles from the air, but their buildup is spread over a greater area, extending the filter's usable life.  The EPA notes that pleated filters also use a finer mesh fiber, trapping inhalable particles other filters might miss.Air filters come in various Minimum Efficiency Reporting Values, or MERVs, and choosing a pleated filter with a high MERV value (above 10) is known to ease suffering from indoor allergens.  But even filters with MERV values of 6 or 8 can be a worthwhile investment for your home, offering significant advantages over panel (non-folded) filters.Remember that air filters should be checked monthly and changed quarterly to keep them operating at their highest efficiency.  As it filters out dust and particles from your home, the air filter will retain particle buildup, and its efficiency will slowly decrease.  If left unchecked for extended periods of time, filters may even clog and cause damage to your HVAC systems. Air Assurance has invested in making filters to their specifications in order to make sure the best air quality and air flow both exist for a great value.If you have any questions, contact us at our Air Assurance website or at (918) 615-5760.  We're proud to serve the Broken Arrow and Tulsa areas, and are ready to assist you with anything you might need.Our goal is to help educate our customers in the Tulsa and Broken Arrow, Oklahoma area about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems). Image courtesy of Shutterstock

Air filters, Service & Maintenance

Routine Filter Maintenance Is Essential During The Peak Of Cooling Season

Routine Filter Maintenance Is Essential During The Peak Of Cooling Season

Routine filter maintenance is a must during the cooling season. Changing your filter regularly offers a number of benefits you can’t afford to miss.The premise underlying air filters is twofold: They should provide basic protection for the cooling system in general so as to avoid problems due to dirt buildup, and they should offer minimum air quality protection for home occupants.The only way to ensure protection against poor indoor air quality and dirt buildup is to change the filter often, because over time, as the filter collects dirt and debris from the air, the filter’s surface space becomes full. At this point, it will no longer function.There are several key benefits to routine filter maintenance:

  • A clean system – A clean filter space will allow the appropriate amount of airflow into the system. When airflow is restricted, it will place undue pressure on the compressor, for instance, which will eventually wear out and cause a complete system failure.

  • Enhanced indoor air quality – Once your filter becomes full, dirt and debris will potentially bypass it and circulate through your home.

  • System protection – When components inside the A/C are full of dirt, they will quickly begin to fail, leading to the costly repair (or replacement) of components, such as the compressor or the coils.

  • A/C efficiency – When you regularly change your filter, you’ll ensure that your system can operate a peak capacity, keeping parts like the coils and air handler clean and locking in energy savings.

As you ramp up your regular use of the air conditioner, you’ll need to check the filter about once a month, changing it as it gets dirty. Homeowners who have allergies, ongoing construction projects or pets might need to change it more often. Homeowners who don’t can get away with changing their filters less often.Put routine filter maintenance at the top of your list this season to preserve your system’s efficiency, avoid repairs and ensure energy savings. For more information, contact Air Assurance Heating, Cooling & Air Quality-- serving homeowners in the Greater Broken Arrow area.Our goal is to help educate our customers about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems). Air Assurance services Tulsa, Broken Arrow and the surrounding areas. Visit our websiteto see our current promotionsand get started today!     Air Filter image via Shutterstock

Air filters, Attic Sealing, Filtration, IAQ – Indoor Air Quality, Insulation

Sealing Those Air Leaks? Don't Neglect The Attic Hatch

Taking steps to prevent air infiltration helps your energy bills -- and home comfort. But when you’re undertaking this kind of project, if you neglect to address your home’s attic hatch, you’ll likely counteract any measures that you take to keep heated air inside of your home.When sealing air leaks in your home, it’s important to evaluate the outer perimeter of your home, such as its walls, an area where air typically enters the home. You can use caulk to seal areas around window frames, doors, electrical outlets and plumbing protrusions.However, one of the main ways that homes lose conditioned air is through the attic, or crawl space, so you’ll also want to pay attention to these spaces. Seal air leaks that exist in the attic where walls abut other walls, the ceiling and floor. Pay close attention to plumbing and electrical elements that penetrate the attic floor.  Canned lights are a huge area where improvements can be made.If your home has an attic hatch, efforts to seal this access point will pay off. An attic hatch is generally constructed from a flat piece of plywood, which doesn’t offer much by way of protection.Here’s what you can do to prevent air infiltration into the attic via the attic hatch:

  • Apply insulation to the door. Make sure it adheres by using duct or foam tape.

  • The ideal insulation material to use is something durable and rigid, since you’ll be accessing the attic through the hatch. Rigid foam insulation works well.

  • Seal air leaks that may occur around the frame of the attic itself.

If your home has stairs that you can pull down from the attic, you can purchase an attic tent to do seal off the space, generally installed on the attic side of the home.Ensure that your home can resist the movement of heated air out of your home, and be sure to pay attention to your attic hatch as well. For help with this project, or any other heating and cooling needs, contact Air Assurance Heating, Cooling & Air Quality -- serving homeowners in the Greater Broken Arrow area for more than 30 years.Our goal is to help educate our customers about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems). Air Assurance services Tulsa, Broken Arrow and the surrounding areas. Visit our website to see our current promotions and get started today!     

Air Conditioning, Air filters, Filtration

Get A Handle On Furnace Efficiency -- Change Your Filters

Get A Handle On Furnace Efficiency -- Change Your Filters Tulsa, Broken Arrow

Replacing your furnace filter is a practical way to efficiently get the most from your furnace. Buildup occurs when your filters accumulate dirt and other particles, resulting in clogs that don't allow for proper airflow. To compensate, your furnace must waste more energy, costing you more money. By replacing your filters on a regular basis, you can improve your home's comfort, reduce fuel use and even reduce wear and tear on the furnace blowers.Some things that you will need to do in order to guarantee your furnace runs at optimum efficiency are:

  • Check your furnace filter - You should change your filter at least once every six months, with the actual frequency of changes depending on the dust and dirt conditions of your household.

  • Replace your furnace filter - This easy enough that you can do it, but if you are not comfortable doing it, a furnace technician can do it for you. Before you replace the filter, be sure to turn off the power to prevent the possibility of electric shock. Be sure to sweep and vacuum out all of the accumulated dust. Change out the filter, and you are done!

  • Check the MERV filter rating - The higher the rating, the more efficient the filter. Always check the owners manual, or ask a technician, before adjusting the MERV filter. If you adjust it too much in one direction, you could reduce airflow to the furnace, damaging equipment that is not capable of handling abrupt changes to the system.

When it comes time to handle all of your furnace filter needs, Air Assurance can help. In fact, Air Assurance has designed their own filter to accomodate the needs of getting the most out of filtering dust, while not sacrificing air flow.  Serving the Broken Arrow area, we offer the best products on the market, special promotions and customer financing. Our goal is to not only provide home comfort and energy savings, but to educate our customers about these issues as well. For more information on how Air Assurance can help you with your furnace and other HVAC needs, contact us, and one of our friendly, professional technicians will assist you.Our goal is to help educate our customers about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems). Air Assurance services Tulsa, Broken Arrow and the surrounding areas. Visit our websiteto see our current promotionsand get started today!      Photo courtesy ofShutterstock.

Air filters, Furnaces, Planned Maintenance, Service & Maintenance

Cooler Days Aren't That Far Off -- Now's The Time To Schedule Your Service Check

The cooling season is coming to a close in Broken Arrow and that means it's time to start preparing for the colder weather that comes with fall and winter. You will begin using your heating equipment more and it's important to have it ready so that you don't find out too late that you have problems that need repairing. Now is the best time to have your heating equipment checked out. If there are any problems, they can quickly be taken care of without causing a hassle to you. Though your heater may have worked fine last winter, plenty could have happened in the months since you last used it. A planned service check will ensure that there are no parts that have deteriorated and could cause major problems shortly down the road. This protects you from  losing access to your heater in the middle of winter, when you need it most and a lack of service would be most inconvenient. To avoid any gap in service, have your heating equipment inspected now.During a planned maintenance check, all of your gas or electrical connections will be inspected. Even a small gas leak can be harmful if you are exposed to it for an extended period of time. The burner will also be inspected and cleaned to make sure it is operating as safely and efficiently as possible.Here are a few other routine steps typically performed during an HVAC inspection:

  • Moving parts lubricated

  • Electrical connections tightened

  • System controls verified

  • Blower components adjusted

  • Carbon Monoxide analysis performed

A service check will allow you to get the most from your air system.  It ensures that all components are clean and working at their maximum efficiency, as well as making sure the unit is operating safely. The savings you create can be enough to offset the cost of the maintenance itself.For more information about inspections for your HVAC equipment, contact Air Assurance Heating & Air Conditioning.  We have proudly served the Broken Arrow area for over 30 years.Our goal is to help educate our customers about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems). Air Assurance services Tulsa, Broken Arrow and the surrounding areas. Visit our website to see our current promotions and get started today!      

Air Conditioning, Air filters, Duct Sealing, Furnaces, Insulation, Programmable, Tax Credits, Technicians, Thermostats, Water Heaters

Eighteen Ways To Get Your Home Ready For Cool Weather

With fall on the horizon for residents of Tulsa, it's time to start thinking about how to get your home ready for the cold weather.  Here are eighteen different ways to stay warm and energy efficient this winter.

  • Stop Drafts: Drafts can waste up to 30 percent of your energy. There are various products that can be used to block drafts under doors and windows.

  • Change Furnace Filter: Change, or at least check your filter each month. With heavy dirt, comes less airflow, which means higher bills.

  • Run Fans in Reverse: Simply switching your fans to run clockwise will make your air warmer.

  • Drain Hoses and Air Conditioner Pipes: This prevents dangerous freezing.

  • Turn Down Your Water Heater: Lowering the temperature can reduce your water heating costs by 10 percent.

  • Install Storm Windows and Doors: This reduces drafts and can increase energy efficiency by 45 percent. Be careful though, the ROI can take years to pay you back.

  • Get a Tuneup: A preventive maintenance tuneup by a contractor will ensure that your heating system stays working efficiently, and most important, safely!

  • Program Your Thermostat: Set it intelligently, so you aren't paying to warm an empty house.

  • Use Plastic Insulation: Covering your windows adds a buffer against drafts.

  • Use An Energy Monitor: These inform you when you have been using more energy than usual.

  • Use Weatherstripping: This helps prevent air leaks.

  • Add Insulation: This is particularly helpful in the attic and basement.

  • Insulate Your Pipes: This will help decrease the chance of freezing pipes.

  • Seal Ductwork: Up to 30 percent of your conditioned air can leak out of your ducts before it reaches its destination.

  • Use Tax Credits to Your Advantage: These can make energy-efficient upgrades for your home more affordable.

  • Be Wise When Selecting a Contractor: Hire an Energy Star home comfort contractor who is certified to help you make the right choices for your home.

  • Use Alternative Energy Sources: These are often much more energy efficient than traditional methods.

  • Upgrade Your Furnace: Newer models can save you up to 50 percent when compared to older models.

For more information on how to prepare your home for winter, contact Air Assurance. We can help you turn these ideas into concrete action.Our goal is to help educate our customers about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems) .Air Assurance services Tulsa, Broken Arrow and the surrounding areas. Visit our website to see our current promotions and get started today!      

Air Conditioning, Air filters, Ceiling, Duct Sealing, Ductwork, Energy Star, Fans, High Efficiency, Insulation, Sealing Air Leaks, Thermostats

Innovative Tips That Make Home Comfort And Savings A Priority

Home comfort and energy savings should be a priority in every Tulsa area household. To help you get optimal performance from your cooling system this summer, we’ve compiled this list of innovative energy-saving tips.

  • Raising temperature settings at the thermostat is a surefire way to reduce monthly cooling bills. To maximize savings without sacrificing home comfort, try keeping your thermostat at 78 degrees when you’re in the home and raising thermostat settings as high as 85 degrees while you’re away. But don't do this when it's over 95 degrees outside. That can actually cause energy bills to rise while the unit tries to catch up.

  • One way to take advantage of higher temperature settings without sacrificing home comfort is to utilize household ceiling fans. While ceiling fans don’t actually cool your home, running them while you're in the room can create a wind chill effect that will help you remain comfortable, even when thermostat settings are increased by as little as four degrees. Just remember to turn ceiling fans off when you’re not in the room.

  • Clogged air filters are notorious for restricting airflow and putting unnecessary strain on your air conditioner. Inspect filters monthly, cleaning and replacing as necessary.

  • Another cost-effective means of improving household energy efficiency is to address air leaks using caulking, seal and weather stripping. Common leakage points include areas around doors and windows, and gaps around lights, wiring, ductwork and plumbing.

  • Inadequate attic insulation can be a major drain on monthly energy costs. For an additional 10 percent savings, try boosting attic insulation to a minimum R-value of 30. If you can see your attic rafters, you are wasting lots of money on energy.

  • It also pays to properly seal ductwork. If your ducts leak, you could be losing as much as 20 percent of the air you pay to condition. While accessible ductwork can be addressed using metal tape or duct mastic, a professional can ensure that your entire duct system is sealed properly.

  • If your air conditioner is over ten years old, upgrading to a high-efficiency Energy Star-qualified model could save you as much as 10 percent.

  • In fact, Energy Star-qualified products are an ideal means of long-term energy savings. Look for products ranging from water heaters to light bulbs.

For a more customized assessment of your household energy efficiency, consult our NATE-certified technicians. Contact Air Assurance today!Our goal is to help educate our customers about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems).  For more information, click here.Air Assurance services Tulsa, Broken Arrow and the surrounding areas. To get started, check out our website or see our current promotions.

Air Conditioning, Air filters, Attic Sealing, Electric resistance, IAQ – Indoor Air Quality, Insulation, Programmable, Technicians, Thermostats, Ventilation

Broken Arrow Homeowners In Oklahoma Can Avoid Common Air-Conditioner Problems Using These Tips

It’s not uncommon for homeowners to panic when their air conditioner seems to be malfunctioning, especially in the dead heat of a Tulsa, OKlahoma summer. Luckily, many common issues are easily addressed, with most being the direct result of simple, albeit unintentional, neglect.Perhaps the most common issue is a lack of cooling. Often, the cause of this problem is as simple as an improperly programmed thermostat or a thrown circuit breaker.

  • Check the thermostat for desired temperature settings and ensure that the cooling system is actually turned on. If everything is as it should be, the next option is to try resetting the thermostat. If this does not correct the issue, a professional assessment is recommended.

  • If the culprit is a thrown circuit breaker, resetting the breaker should correct the problem. Of course, if this is a common occurrence, there is likely an underlying electrical issue that needs to be addressed by a professional.

If lack of airflow is the issue:

  • Dirty filters can restrict airflow and put a strain on your system in terms of efficiency. If filter replacement doesn’t seem to correct the problem, consult a trained technician.

  • If you suspect a frozen indoor coil, try adjusting the thermostat for a few hours to unfreeze the system. If this doesn’t work, contact your HVAC contractor.

Another common complaint is spiking energy costs. This can be the result of several factors, including:

  • New appliances

  • Extreme summer heat

  • Extreme thermostat settings

  • Local utility rate increases

If your energy increases can’t be explained away logically, you may be the victim of improper system cycling or some other system malfunction. Of course, the best way to ensure that your system is running properly when you need it most is to maintain a routine preventive maintenance schedule. This allows your technician to evaluate and adjust every aspect of your cooling system, including:

  • Proper system cycling

  • Thermostat accuracy

  • Electrical safety

  • Air filter maintenance

  • Cleanliness and efficiency of indoor and outdoor coils

  • Condensate drains

Last but not least, during extreme temperatures, your system may not be able to keep the temperature as low as it does normally.  This can be due  to several factors:1. Your system may not be sized properly for your comfort.  A professional is needed to do a load calculation on the house to determine the correct size. Maybe your system cooled better in previous years?  Did something change like the loss of a large shade tree or did you replace wood shingles with asphault shingles?  Has your ductwork or insulation been disturbed by remodeling or other services?  Is the system clean?2. Your attic may have inadequate attic ventilation.  With extreme temps comes extreme attic temperatures.  And if your attic can't properly remove the extreme heat, this puts excess heat gain on your home's interior.3. With extreme temperatures come extreme heat on your duct system.  If your ducts are not properly insulated, this can cause your air to "lose it's cool", therefore making your unit run longer and less efficient.4.  What is the level of attic insulation in your home?  If this is not at least 12" you are putting extreme pressure on your system to cool at levels it was probably not designed for.If you’ve been experiencing problems with your air conditioner, don’t wait until the entire system shuts down. Call the trained technicians of Air Assurance today for an expert consultation.Our goal is to help educate our customers about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems).  For more information, click here.Air Assurance services Tulsa, Broken Arrow and the surrounding areas. To get started, check out our website or see our current promotions.