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Featured

How to Properly Winterize Your HVAC

How to Properly Winterize Your HVAC

With the arrival of colder weather in the Broken Arrow area, it's time to get your home's HVAC system ready for the coming winter. You can ensure your family's comfort, and protect the system's various components from damage by taking these steps to winterize your HVAC now:

Promote Good Airflow and Air Quality

There are some simple tasks that you can tackle to prevent airflow restrictions and boost air quality when the heating system is running. Replace the HVAC air filter first, then clean the vents throughout your house by removing and wiping down the covers and vacuuming inside each duct opening. Make sure your registers are fully open too, and that nothing is blocking the return air grilles.

Protect the Outdoor Component

If you have a central split-system air conditioner, you'll want to shut down the outdoor unit so it won't get harmed if the thermostat accidentally gets switched over to cooling mode during the winter. This is easy to do by via the breaker in your main electrical panel, and the switch that's located outside near the unit. To shield the unit from falling ice, place a board or piece of plywood on top, and weigh it down with a brick or concrete block.

Clean Up Around the Outdoor Unit

Yard debris like piles of dead leaves around the outdoor unit make it more attractive to rodents and other nesting pests. To discourage them from setting up housekeeping, trim back and clear away dead vegetation, then open the cabinet and vacuum/sweep out any accumulated debris from inside.

Schedule Professional Maintenance

Having a certified technician service your HVAC system can give you peace of mind that it's operating safely and efficiently. A pro will inspect and clean the furnace and verify that critical components like the blower, venting, heat exchanger and electrical are in good repair. If you have a heat pump, they'll check the refrigerant level and clean the coils, and make sure that the defrost and back up heat are functioning properly.For more advice about how to winterize your HVAC, contact us 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). For more information about other HVAC topics, call us at 918-217-8273.

Featured

HVAC-Inspired Costumes for the Whole Family

HVAC-Inspired Costumes for the Whole Family

Before long, neighborhoods will be teeming with ghouls, superheroes, cartoon characters, and all other sorts of wacky and amazing Halloween costumes. But, did you realize that HVAC-inspired costumes are often easy to put together and can really stand out in a crowd? Here are a few of our favorites for this year:

HVAC Worker Costumes

You have two routes you can take here. First, you can play it straight and dress up as a service technician, plumber, electrician, etc. The second choice is to get a little more inventive. For instance, you could use a ton of hairspray and go as an electrocuted electrician orsplatter yourself with brown paint and go as a plumber who's experienced a sewer backup (gross, we know... but funny, right?). Plus, you could add a little flare and scare by using make-up to create a zombie look for the costume.

Dryer Vent Costumes

Who would've thought that your dryer vent could give you so many options for Halloween costumes? You can use them as the arms and legs of an awesome looking robot, fashion them into the mechanical arms of Dr. Octopus, create your own Tin Man from The Wizard of Oz, or go all out and celebrate the holiday as Slinky from Toy Story.

Fortnite Costume Accessories

This year, costumes based on the insanely popular video game Fortnite are likely to be everywhere. A big part of the game concerns weapons used against your opponents, but fake guns are so yesterday. Instead, we suggest that you use a plunger to create either the clinger weapon or the game's grappling hook (you can easily Google what they look like). Just be sure that you purchase a new plunger for the costume. We definitely don't want kids running around outside with one taken from a toilet.

For more expert advice on HVAC-inspired Halloween costumes or any home comfort topics, contact the professionals at Air Assurance. We've been serving the needs of Broken Arrow and the surrounding area for more than 30 years.

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.

Featured, HVAC system

What To Do Before Turning on Your Heater

What To Do Before Turning on Your Heater

Turning on your heater is an annual event marking the start of a new season. With the hot summer behind, you’re looking forward to staying comfortable in cold weather to come. Making sure a few start-up essentials are done first can help ensure a smooth transition into the heating season. Here are some suggestions for turning on your heater in an organized procedure to make sure all parts of the system are working together.

Inspect the vent duct

Verify that the furnace connection to the vent duct is secure and the duct is intact. Go outside and look up at the vent cap where the vent duct terminates on the roof. Verify that the cap is in place and look for any signs of bird’s nests, leaves or other obstructions.

Ensure adequate clearance

Make sure no items are placed within three feet of the furnace on all sides. Flammable liquids, paints, solvents, etc, should never be stored in the same room as the furnace at all.

Install a new filter

Don’t start the heating season with a dirty filter left over from the cooling season. From now on, continue to change the furnace filter at least every other month.

Check the vents

Check supply vents in each room to verify that they're fully open. Check return vents (or there central return if there’s only one) and make sure they’re not obstructed by furniture, drapes or other objects.

Start the furnace

Follow manufacturer’s instructions for starting up the furnace.

Feel for airflow

Check for warm airflow at every supply vent. If you don’t feel warmth from one or more vents, shut down the furnace and call for professional HVAC service.

Schedule an annual tune-up

Get professional preventive maintenance performed by a qualified HVAC technician. The service includes manufacturer-recommended maintenance procedures to ensure maximum furnace efficiency, lowest cost and reduced wear and tear. It also includes an up-close inspection of furnace components to detect and resolve any incipient problems now, before they become a major issue later.

For qualified service when it's time for turning on your heater, contact 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). For more information about other HVAC topics, call us at 918-217-8273.

Featured

How Does Duct Design Affect Heating and Cooling?

How Does Duct Design Affect Heating and Cooling?

If you're asked which of your home's HVAC components are most important, you'd probably say your furnace, air conditioner, or heat pump. Another component that you shouldn't overlook is the duct system that distributes your conditioned air, because it directly affects your heating and cooling equipment's performance.

If the duct design is flawed, the ductwork is poorly installed, or it's damaged or leaky, you can experience problems with:

Temperature control.

Damaged or leaky ductwork that lets conditioned air escape can make it difficult or impossible to maintain your desired comfort level.

Air quality.

Pressure imbalances due to duct design flaws can pull in contaminants and allergens from unconditioned areas and erode your indoor air quality.

Energy consumption.

Overcoming duct deficiencies increases the workload of your HVAC equipment, so it uses more energy.

Component longevity.

That extra workload can also shorten your costly HVAC equipment's lifespan.

Fundamentals of Effective Ductwork Design

A properly-designed duct system should deliver the correct volume of air, at your desired temperature, to the various rooms in your home. Also, it should return stale air back to the HVAC equipment for reconditioning. An effective duct design is based on principles of air distribution and thermal gains and losses, and requires quality materials, construction and installation. Such a system also relies on:

Proper duct sizing.

Individual ducts must be sized to match the capacity of the HVAC equipment. Undersized ducts can't carry a sufficient volume of air, and oversized ducts will reduce the system's efficiency.

Balanced airflow.

To avoid creating positive or negative pressure within the house and HVAC system, the duct system must have the right number of supply and return ducts to deliver an equal volume of air.

Duct location.

Whenever possible, ducts should be placed inside the home's conditioned envelope. If ducts must be routed through unconditioned areas like a garage or attic, they need to be properly sealed and insulated to limit energy losses.

If you have concerns that flaws in your HVAC duct design are affecting heating and cooling in your Broken Arrow home, contact us today at Air Assurance for expert help.

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.

Featured

Garage Ventilation Needs

Garage Ventilation Needs

While keeping the interior of the home adequately ventilated has proven benefits, the importance of garage ventilation hasn’t received as much attention. However, in a home with an attached garage, healthy air quality in the living spaces can be impacted by the garage environment.

Garage Air vs. House Air

The house wall shared with the garage often isn’t a vapor-proof barrier. Tiny cracks and gaps in the structure can allow fumes originating inside the garage to enter the house. Pollutants include exhaust from vehicles in the garage, as well as vapors from gasoline, solvents, paints and cleaning solutions that are typically stored there. Hot summer temperatures inside an unconditioned garage enhance vaporization of volatile chemicals and increase infiltration into adjacent rooms of the house even more.

Fresh Air In, Toxic Fumes Out

To reduce the accumulation of fumes inside the garage, a powered ventilation fan pulls in fresh outdoor air and flushes out toxic vapors. Usually installed in the roof or one wall of the garage, the fan draws outdoor air in through a passive vent grille in an opposite wall. The cross-ventilating action purges the garage space, exhausting fumes into outdoor air and also generating lower air pressure inside the garage. Lower air pressure, in turn, counteracts the tendency of garage vapors to infiltrate the house.Options to activate a garage ventilation fan include:

  • A simple manual on/off switch to run the fan as long as desired.

  • A manual "on" switch with an adjustable timer function that runs the fan for a preset interval before shutting it off automatically.

  • Sensors installed in the garage door that detect when a vehicle enters the garage and activate the fan, then turn it off automatically.

Variable-speed garage vent fans are also available to adjust to specific circumstances. For example, when activities such as spray painting are underway in the garage, or when high temperatures inside the garage make it uncomfortable to work in.

For more about the benefits of effective garage ventilation, contact Air Assurance.

Featured, HVAC system

Keep Guests Cool at Summer Parties

Keep Guests Cool at Summer Parties

Summer parties are the best, but when guests are uncomfortable because of the sweltering heat, they can turn into a disaster. We'd hate to see that happen, so we've compiled some of our favorite tips to help you keep your guests cool:

Get a Checkup for Your HVAC System

Like clockwork, you should be scheduling a yearly inspection of your cooling system by an HVAC professional. This will keep your system running more efficiently for your guests (and you, of course) while prolonging its lifespan.

Change the Air Filter

If you want to keep your guests cool, then you need to make sure that your HVAC system is as efficient as possible. If the air filter is dirty, then that's not happening. Replace it at the beginning of the summer season and then get it replaced every 30 days or so after that, as needed.

Consider an Evening Party

Everyone loves a good BBQ in the middle of the day, but the heat might bother some guests. A great way to keep them cool during summer parties is by taking away the sun. No, they don't have an app for that, so your best bet is to schedule your party in the evening.

Serve Plenty of Liquids

Guests who become dehydrated are not only unhappy, but could be in serious danger. You can solve this problem by providing plenty of water and other refreshing drinks. This is essential if you're serving alcohol since those will add to the dehydration.

Provide Tons of Shade

If you prefer to have an outdoor party during the day, then you should ensure that your guests have plenty of shade to shield themselves from the summer sun. If your backyard is lacking, there are plenty of shading choices that can be set up and taken down for each get-together.

To schedule services to ensure your guests stay cool at summer parties, reach out to the professionals at Air Assurance. We've been serving the HVAC needs of Broken Arrow and the surrounding areas for more than 30 years.

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.

Featured

Water Heater Maintenance Can Affect Your HVAC

Water Heater Maintenance Can Affect Your HVAC

If you have a forced-air central HVAC system and a gas water heater like many area homes, and you're looking for ways to save energy, you need to understand that there's a maintenance correlation between the two. What this means is when you're taking steps to boost the efficiency of your HVAC, you'll waste potential savings if you ignore water heater maintenance.

Why Water Heater Maintenance is Important

When it comes to home comfort, your HVAC system and water heater are two necessities you rely on daily. They're also the two biggest energy users in most households. Just as twice-yearly maintenance is vital to keep your HVAC operating efficiently, it's essential for your water heater too.Having your water heater serviced regularly by an experienced professional not only helps with efficiency, but it also keeps the appliance running reliably and can prolong its lifespan too. Here are some key maintenance tasks that a pro will tackle:

  • Testing the T&P valve. This valve needs to be fully functional so excess pressure/hot water can exit the tank. If it's seized up, it should be replaced to prevent a dangerous rupture or explosion.

  • Checking/replacing the anode rod. This metal rod is in place to attract corrosion so it doesn't eat away at the tank material. Eventually, the rod will disintegrate, so it should be checked routinely and replaced as needed.

  • Flushing sediment from the tank. Some minerals present in water form into sediment particles during the heating process, then settle to the tank bottom. Draining, flushing and refilling the tank every year is necessary to clear out sediment so it doesn't affect the unit's energy efficiency, or cause it to fail prematurely.

  • Inspecting the tank for corrosion. If your plumber finds considerable rust development along the tank's seams and at various connections, it can be a sign that your water heater might start leaking or even rupture unexpectedly. If the appliance is badly rusted, having a new water heater installed will probably be recommended.

To schedule HVAC system or water heater maintenance in your Broken Arrow home, contact us 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). For more information about other HVAC topics, call us at 918-217-8273.

Featured

How Planting Trees Can Lead to HVAC Savings

How Planting Trees Can Lead to HVAC Savings

We all know that shade trees make a difference when it comes to keeping cool in the summertime. But did you know that planting trees can also boost HVAC savings on your energy bill? Read on for how the trees you plant today can earn their keep by saving on your HVAC energy bill in the future.

Keeping Cool With Trees

Shade trees keep the temperature down in your home in two ways. They block solar radiation from entering the home, sure, but they also cool the air around them through a process called transpiration. The trees pull water through the roots, which changes from a liquid to vapor as it is released through the leaves. As the vapor enters the air, a cooling effect takes place. A dense planting of shade trees can cool the air around them by as much as 6 degrees.

Where to Plant Trees

Think carefully about where you want to plant trees. Shorter shade trees work well on the eastern and western sides of the home, since that's where the sun will shine closest to the horizon. Taller trees on the south face of the home offer midday cover and can keep the walls and roof cool.Don't plant trees too close to the home -- 10 to 20 feet away from exterior walls is recommended. Planting trees too close can cause foundation problems. You may also have to do extensive trimming to keep limbs from damaging the roof during storms.

Choosing Trees

If you aren't particularly tree savvy, talk to a nursery professional before you choose trees based on looks alone. Avoid trees that are too fast growing, as these species may be subject to disease or breakage before they grow big enough to shade your home. Ask about maximum height, growth habit and the tree's ability to flourish in the microclimate that your home will provide. Don't choose trees that shed fibers or seeds that might clog your outdoor condenser unit.

We've got more tips on HVAC savings at Air Assurance of 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). For more information about other HVAC topics, call us at 918-217-8273.

Featured

What is an Air Exchange Rate and Why is it Important?

What is an Air Exchange Rate and Why is it Important?

One of the unfamiliar terms you may encounter as a homeowner is “air exchange rate.” Understanding what the term means is vital, because it's a key factor in how well your HVAC system heats and cools, and whether you and your family enjoy a comfortable, healthy living environment.

Air Exchange Rate Basics

Air exchange rates, or “air changes per hour,” simply refer to the number of times that air gets replaced in each room every hour. The American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE) provides guidelines for air changes per hour, and they vary depending on the room: bedrooms should have five–six, kitchens 7–8, and laundry rooms require 8–9 changes.HVAC contractors use these “changes per hour” recommended ranges to calculate the amount of airflow that's needed in different rooms to ensure adequate house-wide air exchange. Each room's volume (height × width × length) is multiplied by the recommended number of hourly changes, then divided by 60.

Why Air Exchange Rates Are Important

Homes today are built and weatherized to minimize energy losses and maximize efficiency. Here in Oklahoma, homes also tend to be closed up to keep conditioned air indoors during our lengthy cooling seasons. If air exchange isn't sufficient, trapped allergens, pollutants and irritants can degrade the indoor air quality and affect the well-being of a home's occupants.If your home is older and not as tightly-built or weatherized, air exchange can occur through leaks in the exterior envelope. If that's not enough, or you have a well-sealed home, your HVAC pro may advise you that extra measures are needed to ensure good air quality, such as:

  • Installing a ventilation system to remove stale air and pull in fresher air from outdoors.

  • Adding an air cleaner to the HVAC system to help reduce airborne allergens and pollutants.

  • Consistently maintaining your HVAC, ventilation and air cleaning equipment, and making filter changes as recommended to keep everything operating at an optimal level.

If you're wondering whether the air exchange rate in your Broken Arrow home is adequate, contact us at Air Assurance to schedule an HVAC system assessment.

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.

Featured

Why You Should Leave Customer Reviews for Your HVAC Contractor

Why You Should Leave Customer Reviews for Your HVAC Contractor

In this brave new world of social media, no business owner can afford to ignore online customer reviews. That includes HVAC contractors, who are responsible for seeing expensive installations and repairs of some of the most sophisticated equipment in your home. Those contractors need to know when a customer is satisfied on all fronts and when there's room for improvement.

Sites such as Yelp, Angie's List, Houzz and Nextdoor are leading the way in providing consumers with a forum to rate their experience in HVAC, and much more. In turn these sites help businesses get a sense of how they can fine-tune customer service. So if you've never thought about giving your HVAC company a boost after a satisfactory experience, maybe you should. Here are some additional reasons why you might want to opt in and write a customer review for your HVAC contractor.

1. Good reviews can boost sales.

Good reviews give consumers the information they need to decide on a product or service. Customers want to compare the experiences of other customers, to ensure they are making the right decision before they commit to a contractor.

2. Improve service.

Online reviews help your HVAC contractor do a better job, resolving any issues you might have had in a forthright and positive way. There's never anything wrong with constructive criticism. It's always helpful to keep the discourse courteous, and forego the snarky and snide. If your experience was horrific enough to warrant trashing the contractor, then you need to speak to him before you get to the review stage, and see if you can resolve the issue satisfactorily.

3. Boost rankings.

The more your HVAC company gets mentioned on these sites, the higher their search engine ranking.

4. Boost keyword content.

Online reviews help a business's website maintain an influx of SEO (search engine optimization) keywords, so the business has a more prominent online presence. You're helping other customers find your preferred HVAC company.

For more on how customer reviews can benefit your HVAC company, contact Air Assurance. We've served the Broken Arrow area for more than 30 years.

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 Conditioning, Featured

Name That Tune: What a Humming Air Conditioner Means

Name That Tune: What a Humming Air Conditioner Means

All air conditioners make noise as they run, mainly from the blower fans and the compressors. When the dominant sound is a humming air conditioner, odds are, something isn’t working as it should. The most common problems associated with the humming sound include:

Indoor Noises

  • When you hear humming sounds from the air handler, it may be caused by a frozen motor. Some blower motors require periodic lubrication to keep their bearings turning smoothly. A lack of oil will seize the bearings and prevent the motor’s shaft from turning. It could conceivably run until it burns out.

  • Humming from the breaker box. Whenever you hear humming sounds near the circuit breaker panel, suspect a serious electrical problem and turn off the noisy breaker. If you can’t identify which, turn off the main breaker and contact a licensed electrician immediately.

Outdoors

A humming sound is much more likely to originate in the outdoor condenser and it could be coming from:

  • The compressor. This part does the heavy lifting in cooling systems and it could hum or buzz when it’s at the end of its lifetime. It could also indicate an electrical problem involving the compressor.Compressors sit on rubber isolation feet that can wear out or crack. Damaged feet can cause the compressor vibrations to amplify and cause humming sounds.

  • Frozen coil. It might seem counterintuitive, but a humming air conditioner may have a frozen coil. Coils freeze when the refrigerant level is too low or they’re too dirty. A frozen coil can do serious damage to a heat pump or A/C should the compressor continue to run.

  • Fan problems. The condenser uses a large fan to blow the heat off the hot refrigerant. There could be a problem with its motor or the fan blade, which could be loose or bent.

Whenever you hear a humming air conditioner and it’s not working as it should or the sound is isn’t part of its normal operation, contact the pros at Air Assurance to diagnose and fix it. We proudly provide 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.

Featured

A Room-by-Room Look at Where You Can Maximize Energy Efficiency

A Room-by-Room Look at Where You Can Maximize Energy Efficiency

Increasing your home’s energy efficiency may not be out of your reach, regardless of your budget. Even the smallest efforts you make on a room-by-room lower the amount you use, leaving more money in your pocket.

Overall Improvements

  • Look for air leaks around windows and exterior doors and seal with caulk or fresh weatherstripping.

  • Identify areas in the attic where insulation is lacking and add more.

  • Make a note to check the air filter for the HVAC system when it’s running often. Dirty filters increase energy bills and shorten the life of HVAC systems.

Living Areas

  • As you upgrade your home’s electronics and entertainment system, choose Energy Star-rated models.

  • Install reversible ceiling fans to use summer and winter for greater comfort. A fan increases comfort in the summer and when reversed, will actually warm the room in the winter.

Kitchen

  • Use the ventilation fan in the summer to remove heat while cooking.

  • Turn to the microwave and slow cookers during exceptionally hot weather. They use less energy and emit less heat than using the stove or oven.

  • Run full loads in the dishwasher and let them air dry instead of using the dry cycle.

Bathrooms

  • Run the ventilation fans when bathing during the summer to remove hot, humid air.

  • Replace old or leaking faucets with WaterSense fixtures that use much less water.

  • Turn the water heater down to 120 degrees F. Not only does it increase water heating energy efficiency, it also reduces the risk of scalding and extends the life of the water heater.

Bedrooms

  • Whenever the HVAC system is running, make sure the windows are locked to prevent air infiltration.

  • Use ceiling or floor fans to lower the “feels like” temperature when sleeping.

  • Install shade screens on south- or west-facing windows that receive direct sunlight.

  • Use smart power strips or surge protectors that turn off when it detects the devices are idle.

Taking steps to increase energy efficiency at home reduces your monthly overhead and often increases indoor comfort. For more information, 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.

Featured

How to Combat Your Allergies with Your HVAC System

How to Combat Your Allergies with Your HVAC System

We're always thrilled to see spring arrive in Broken Arrow, but with it come the inevitable discomforts of spring allergies. Fortunately you've got a friend in combating them that you may not have even been aware of: your HVAC system. Learn how to effectively use your HVAC system to get your household's suffering from allergies and other respiratory ailments under control.

Control Allergens at the Source

No matter what you're allergic to -- be it pollen, pet dander, dust, mold or chemical pollutants in your home -- they should be controlled at the source. Your springtime allergic reactions are most likely caused by flowering plants and the pollen they produce. Reduce the pollen that gets into your home by doing the following

  • Keep doors and windows closed.

  • Brush off clothes and pets before entering the home.

  • Sequester pollen-bearing plants in one room with the door closed, until they are finished producing pollen.

  • Fit wire mesh or plastic filters on window screens to block pollen when windows are open.

Trapping Pollen

Pollen that is circulating in your home's air can be trapped in the HVAC system with a good quality, pleated air filter. Low cost fiberglass filters won't do much to improve your indoor air quality, so choose a filter rated from MERV (minimum efficiency reporting value) 8-12.

You might also look into some type of electrostatic filter to install in your HVAC system. These filters attract airborne particulates with an electric charge. The particles stick to the filter, which must be cleaned periodically to be effective. They are somewhat expensive, but on the other hand, will last a long time so don't have to be changed and discarded the way other filters do.

Room air purifiers may also help. They use HEPA (high efficiency particulate air) filters to clean air before it is recirculated. These portable models are sold according to the size room you want to purify. More effective are whole-house air cleaners, installed in the HVAC system.

For more on using the HVAC system to combat allergies, contact Air Assurance. We serve Broken Arrow and the surrounding area.

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.

Featured

Do You Need Additional Insurance for Your HVAC Unit?

Do You Need Additional Insurance for Your HVAC Unit?

Your HVAC system contains some of your home's most essential and expensive equipment, so you need to have the assurance that it's fully protected against damage. HVAC insurance can provide this peace of mind, but it's vital to know if your equipment has adequate coverage now under your existing policies, or if you need to purchase additional insurance. Here's a look at the various ways your HVAC can be protected:

Typical HVAC Equipment Coverage Under Homeowners' Insurance

If damage occurs to your HVAC equipment from one of the named perils listed in your homeowner's policy, it's most likely covered. These types of events can include:

  • Accidental fires

  • Hail, wind or similar storm damage

  • Vandalism and theft

  • Power surges and lightning strikes

  • Impact from falling objects, like a tree limb

  • Floods caused by ruptured pipes

Exceptions to Homeowners' Insurance Coverage

If your HVAC system components are damaged accidentally, your homeowner's policy likely won't cover you for repairs or a replacement. Equipment breakdowns and failures due to normal wear, old age or maintenance issues aren't covered either. Plus, HVAC damage caused by flooding that occurs during a natural disaster isn't typically covered under standard homeowner's insurance, unless you have a separate flood insurance policy.

Major Appliance or Home Warranty Insurance

There are companies that offer supplemental warranties that act as insurance coverage against breakdowns/failures and the repair or replacement of major appliances and household equipment, such as your HVAC components. The cost of these policies can vary greatly, as well as the exact coverage and terms.

HVAC Contractor Service Plans

Reputable local HVAC contractors usually offer service plans for household heating and cooling systems. This kind of coverage focuses on preventive maintenance, so it's rather like a hedge against equipment breakdowns and failures. A good service plan should give you a variety of benefits that include twice-yearly maintenance visits, savings on parts, labor and after-hour service, extended warranties on new equipment, and priority service.To learn more about HVAC insurance or how our extended service plans can protect the comfort equipment in your Broken Arrow home, contact us today 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). For more information about other HVAC topics, call us at 918-217-8273.

Featured

Using Voice-Enabled HVAC Products for Efficiency

Using Voice-Enabled HVAC Products for Efficiency

"Siri! Play songs from my newest playlist!" "Alexa! Order more ink for my printer!" Smart devices simplify our lives in many ways. You can control virtually everything in your home by voice command -- including your HVAC system. Here's how you can use voice-enabled HVAC products in your home.

Voice-Controlled Thermostat

The first thing you need is a smart, WiFi-connected thermostat. This lets you control your HVAC system from your mobile device. You can program it to go into energy-saving mode while you're out of the house, or tell it to turn the system back on just a few minutes before you get home, so your house is comfortable when you arrive. It can also keep track of weather forecasts for your area and adjust accordingly.Furthermore, you can use an app to connect your WiFi thermostat with Alexa or a similar device, to control the temperature with your voice. Commands like, "Alexa, turn the temperature down to 68 degrees," can be issued from, say, your bedroom, and the adjustment will be made immediately, without your having to walk to the thermostat or even get out of bed!

Other Voice-Enabled HVAC Products

Your thermostat is just the beginning. There are all sorts of smart HVAC products that can make things easier and save energy. For instance, a smart fan senses when people are in the room and won't waste energy circulating air in an unoccupied space. And by connecting it to your voice-enabled device, you can tell it to speed up or slow down, as well as reverse the direction of the blades.You can also install smart vents. Air is distributed only to the rooms that have people in them, so you aren't heating or cooling empty bedrooms while everyone is in the living room. And with Alexa or another smart device, it's easy to say, "Turn off the vents upstairs," while you're downstairs in the kitchen making dinner. With smart HVAC devices, the possibilities are endless.To learn more about voice-enabled HVAC products, contact us at Air Assurance today. We're Broken Arrow's trusted source for heating and cooling solutions.

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.

Featured

A Guide to Managing Humidity Levels by the Season

A Guide to Managing Humidity Levels by the Season

Along with warming weather there comes an increased concern about higher humidity levels in the home. When the humidity rises much above 50 percent, we feel more uncomfortable. Higher humidity prevents perspiration from evaporating on our skin and cooling us off, so we tend to lower the thermostat in order to feel cooler. That means you're paying higher utility bills than you need to.Your air conditioner will help dehumidify your home, as long as it's in good running order and you keep the air filter changed. Read on for additional information on managing humidity levels in your home.

Tracking Your Home's Humidity Levels

Your home should have a relative humidity level within the range of 40-50 percent. It should be at the lower range in the summer, and at the higher range in the winter when the cold air holds less moisture. Cold, dry air tends to dry out our respiratory tracks, which can lead to respiratory infections, while triggering allergies and asthma attacks. Cold, dry air also accounts for more annoying static in the air, which at worst can damage sensitive electronics.To keep track of your home's humidity levels, buy an inexpensive hygrometer at the home convenience store.

Adjusting Humidity Seasonally

If your home tends to be too damp in the summer or too dry in the winter, there are things you can do. Here are some of them.Winter: Boil pots of water on the stove; take longer showers and leave the bathroom door open; add plants to your home.Summer: Fix leaking plumbing; take shorter showers; sequester plants in one room or leaks in the ceiling. Also, change the air filter often so the air conditioner has good air flow; this will help the A/C remove moisture from the air better.Depending on the season, you may want to use a humidifier or dehumidifier. These come in portable models, but the whole-house models do the best job.For more on managing humidity levels, contact Air Assurance. We have served Broken Arrow and the surrounding area 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 humidity and other HVAC topics, call us at 918-217-8273.

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28 Days of Home Comfort

28 Days of Home Comfort

Broken Arrow in February is pretty cold. Fortunately, your HVAC system can keep you warm and comfortable. But is it functioning at peak performance? How much energy is it using? Here are some tips you can use each week in February to optimize your home comfort levels.

Week 1: Improve your airflow.

There are two ways you can do that this week. First, check your air filter and replace it if it's clogged. This allows air to flow through it more easily, saving energy, reducing strain on your HVAC system, providing you with clean air, and keeping your house comfortable. Second, check your ductwork for leaks. Leaks keep heated air from reaching your home. Repair them with metal tape or mastic sealant to maintain optimal airflow.

Week 2: Turn down the thermostat.

A temperature of 68 degrees while you're at home is plenty to keep you comfortable without wasting a lot of energy. Then, while you're at work and the kids are at school, use your programmable thermostat to lower the temperature even more. By keeping things 15 degrees cooler while no one's in the house, you can lower your energy bills up to 15 percent.

Week 3: Reverse your ceiling fan.

In summer, your fan helps you feel cooler. But by reversing the direction of the blades, it can actually warm things up. Hot air rises, but your fan can take that heat that's risen to the ceiling and push it back down into your home.

Week 4: Install attic insulation.

Rising heat doesn't stop at the ceiling. It goes all the way into the attic, where it's of no use to you in terms of home comfort. That's why it's important to make sure you have proper insulation. It slows the flow of heat, keeping it in your home. Inspect your attic insulation levels. If the insulation comes past the joists, you have enough. If not, put in some more to keep the heat where it belongs.

For more tips on improving home comfort, contact us at Air Assurance. We proudly serve all of Broken Arrow's HVAC needs.

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 home comfort and other HVAC topics, call us at 918-217-8273.

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How to Control Static Electricity in Your Home

How to Control Static Electricity in Your Home

This time of year, static electricity in your home can cause painful shocks when you touch a light switch, a metal doorknob or another person, and make it difficult to separate laundry that's fresh from the dryer or even comb your hair. Even worse, these random electrical discharges can also permanently damage electronics and appliances, like your computer, TV, cell phone or microwave.

Why Static Electricity Occurs

Static electrical charges are created by the transfer of electrons when two materials come in contact. One ends up with a positive charge, and the other with a negative charge. Opposite charges attract, and when materials or objects with excess charges come close together, the extra electrons leap across the gap, and the charge is released with a jolt or shock.

Dry Vs. Humid Air and Its Effect on Static Electricity

Static electrical shocks tend to occur in the winter because the air is dry. Cold air doesn't retain moisture very well, and your heating system dries out your indoor air even more. When the air in your home is moist or humid enough though, water molecules collect on the surface of everything. Since water is a superb conductor, excess electrical charges can easily move between different materials without a jolt or shock.

Tips for Controlling Static Electricity

There are various ways to control static discharges to prevent discomfort and damage in your home:

  • Wear clothing and socks made of natural fibers like cotton, and leather-soled shoes, because they pick up less static charge than synthetic materials.

  • Spray diluted fabric softener or an anti-static product on your clothing, furniture and carpets to make the materials less conductive.

  • Add some potted plants, and/or place containers of water in various spots around your home so water can evaporate into the air.

  • Talk to your HVAC pro about installing a whole-house humidifier on your HVAC system so you can add a precise amount of humidity to the air circulating through your home in the wintertime.

To learn more about controlling static electricity in your Broken Arrow home with a whole-house humidifier, 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). For more information about home comfort and other HVAC topics, call us at 918-217-8273.Credit/Copyright Attribution: “ErikaWittlieb/Pixabay”

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HVAC Upgrades that Qualify for Tax Credits

HVAC Upgrades that Qualify for Tax Credits

If you're considering replacing the heating or cooling equipment in your Broken Arrow home, you may be able to take advantage of federal tax credits when you choose energy efficient models. A knowledgeable local HVAC contractor can give you personalized advice about the specific equipment and efficiency level to best suit your needs and budget that might qualify you for extra savings like:

Tax Credits on Solar Energy Through 2021

Having a solar-ready heat pump or air conditioner installed in your home before December 31, 2021 may qualify you for a federal tax credit of up to nine percent of the equipment's cost. There's also an additional credit available on the solar module used to generate electricity for your new HVAC components:

  • Until the end of 2019, the credit is thirty percent of the module cost and installation, with no dollar limit.

  • In 2020, the available credit will be reduced to 26 percent, and for 2021 it drops to 22 percent.

The credits are available for equipment installations in existing and newly-constructed homes that are either principal or second residences (rental property doesn't qualify).

Prior Tax-Savings on Energy Efficient HVAC Equipment

Through December 31, 2016, the federal government offered tax credits for different types of high-efficiency HVAC systems. They applied to Energy Star-qualified equipment installed in an existing home/principal residence, and the amount varied depending on the equipment type:

  • Central air conditioners, packaged units, heat pumps and ductless mini-split systems qualified for a credit of up to $300.

  • Propane, natural gas and oil furnaces and boilers qualified for a tax savings of up to $150.

  • Geothermal heat pumps qualified for a credit of 30 percent of the cost, with no upper limit.

While the above-mentioned tax-saving credits have expired, they could be reinstated at some point in the future, so it's worthwhile checking for available credit updates on the federal government's Energy Star program website.

If you're thinking about upgrading to new energy-efficient HVAC equipment for your Broken Arrow home and you'd like to explore your options or learn whether there are tax credits available, 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). For more information about HVAC upgrades and other HVAC topics, call us at 918-217-8273. Credit/Copyright Attribution: “stevepb/Pixabay”

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4 Things to Know Before You Replace Your Furnace

4 Things to Know Before You Replace Your Furnace

When it comes to your home's central heating system, you don't want to be the guy or gal who's totally surprised when the furnace conks out on the coldest day of winter. It's better to be ready for that inevitable time when your heating system needs to be replaced, and then know the correct steps to take before installing a new system.

In general, you should start preparing to replace your furnace when it nears the end of its estimated service life. That's typically 15-20 years, though it can be shorter or longer depending on the amount of usage and maintenance the furnace gets. Certain red flags will tell you more specifically that it's time for replacement, including frequent repairs (more than one significant repair in a year) and lost heating effectiveness.

Once you've made the decision, consider these tips:

Work with an HVAC contractor whom you trust when it's time to replace your furnace. This is much too great an investment to make without feeling secure about your contractor.

Discuss with the contractor what capacity furnace is needed for your home. They should perform a heating load calculation that takes into account your home's size and layout, airtightness and insulation, window coverage, and many other factors. The heating load is the amount of heating required to make your home comfortable.

Likewise, discuss what level of energy efficiency is desirable in your particular home. In general, higher efficiency comes with a higher purchase price but lower operating costs once the furnace is installed. Climate is a key factor when considering furnace efficiency, since you'll reap more monthly energy savings in a climate with a colder, longer winter. Your contractor can tell you what efficiency level makes the most sense in our Broken Arrow climate.

Your contractor also should discuss what advanced features are available for your new furnace. This can include add-ons that increase furnace efficiency, and supplemental systems for whole-house air cleaning and humidity control.

For more advice on upgrading your Broken Arrow area home's heating system, 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). For more information about furnaces and other HVAC topics, call us at 918-217-8273. Credit/Copyright Attribution: “TheDigitalArtist/Pixabay”