air filter

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.

Heating

Tips To Manage Home Heating Load

Tips To Manage Home Heating Load

If you're heard the phrase “heating load” but you're not sure what it means, it's simply the amount of energy consumed by your heat pump or furnace to maintain a comfortable temperature inside your home. If you'd like to save energy and reduce your utility bills, you can use these tips to better manage your home heating load:

Seal Air Leakage Sources

Heated air losses make your heating system work harder and waste energy. To curb these losses, use weatherstripping, expandable foam and caulk to seal gaps and leaks around your exterior doors, windows, and where wiring, pipes and vents penetrate the exterior shell. Seal spots where air leakage occurs between the attic and your finished living areas and the access hatch too, and have your accessible HVAC ducting runs sealed and insulated as well.

Maintain Your Heating Equipment

Well-maintained equipment consumes less energy, so get yours professionally serviced every year. To keep your equipment running efficiently throughout the heating season, check the system's air filter once a month, and put in a fresh one when you see any dirt accumulation.

Install Sufficient Attic Insulation

According to the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), you should have a total of R-30 to R-49 installed between your attic floor joists to limit energy losses that add to your heating load. When you're insulating the attic, don't forget to do the access hatch too.

Keep Heating Vents Open and Unobstructed

When some vents are closed or blocked, it puts extra strain on your heating equipment and increases its energy consumption. You can avoid this by keeping your vent louvers open and checking periodically that they're unobstructed by household items like furniture, rugs or long window treatments.

Switch to a Programmable Thermostat

If you still have an older manual or digital thermostat, install a programmable model that allows you to automate energy-saving temperature setbacks. Ideally, these should be daily eight-hour periods, such as when everyone's away all day, or at night when your family is sleeping.

For personalized advice about managing your home heating load, contact the Broken Arrow HVAC pros 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 heating loads and other HVAC topics, call us at 918-217-8273. Credit/Copyright Attribution: “geralt/Pixabay”

Featured, IAQ – Indoor Air Quality

Oklahoma Allergy Season Tips

Oklahoma Allergy Season Tips

From ragweed to cotton, Broken Arrow, Oklahoma has its share of allergies. When allergy season hits, the itching eyes, stuffy nose, and tickly throat can be almost unbearable. Here are some allergy tips to help you reduce your suffering.

1. Upgrade Your Air Filter

The air filter in your HVAC system traps allergens to keep them from circulating in your home. Filter effectiveness is measured in Minimum Efficiency Recording Value, or MERVs, which range from 1 to 20. If you upgrade your existing filter to a high efficiency one with a MERV rating between 14 and 16, you will have fewer allergens in your home.

2. Remove Debris Around the Outdoor Unit

Plants and other debris around your outdoor unit can impact your indoor allergen levels, because the outdoor unit pulls air through that debris and into your home. Keep the area around your outdoor unit clean and clear.

3. Dust the Registers and Vents

Registers and vents that are dusty blow dust and pollen through your home. Dust these first, then dust the remainder of your home, to remove the dust and other indoor allergens that could be making your allergies worse.

4. Check for Mold

If you have never had your HVAC system checked for mold, schedule an inspection. Mold exasperates allergies and can cause other respiratory concerns. If you do have mold, have it professionally removed to ensure your family can breathe safely.

5. Consider Duct Cleaning

If you are using an efficient filter, have cleaned outside your system and have checked for mold, but you are still struggling with allergies, consider duct cleaning. Removing allergens from the ducts will prevent them from being spread around your home.

One of the best allergy tips, however, is to have your HVAC system professionally inspected and serviced at the start of the allergy season. In Broken Arrow, Air Assurance provides comprehensive HVAC service, including inspections. Contact them today to schedule your HVAC system inspection this allergy season.

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: “Serhiy Kobyakov/Shutterstock”

Featured, HVAC system, IAQ – Indoor Air Quality

How to Improve Your Indoor Air Quality This Fall

How to Improve Your Indoor Air Quality This Fall

Maintaining indoor comfort involves more than keeping your home's living spaces warm or cool. Indoor air quality is also a major factor that affects how comfortable your home will be. When particulates and contaminants such as dust, pollen, mold, and related materials get into your home's air, you can have problems such as allergy and asthma attacks, worsening of respiratory conditions, and the onset of physical discomforts such as irritated eyes and scratchy throats. Here are some suggestions for improving the indoor air quality in your home this fall and year-round.

  • Change HVAC system filters: The air filters in your furnace, air conditioner, or heat pump help remove particulates from your indoor air. They capture these materials as air from your home circulates through the system to be heated or cooled. Make sure these filters are kept clean and fresh. They should be checked at least once a month and changed when they get dirty.

  • Maintain your HVAC equipment: Regular preventive maintenance will improve the function of your HVAC system and boost its ability to remove particulates, reduce humidity, and keep your indoor air cleaner.

  • Clean, dust, and vacuum regularly: Keeping your indoor environment clean and free of dust, mold, and other contaminants can significantly improve indoor air quality. Dust and vacuum at least weekly.

  • Increase ventilation: Ventilation keeps a steady flow of air moving through your home, which helps remove particulates and send them outside. When weather and outdoor conditions permit, open windows and doors to let breezes move through your indoor spaces. Install a whole-house ventilation system that provides effective airflow for your entire home. Turn your window air conditioner to fan-only to provide extra ventilation.

  • Install air filtration and cleaning systems: Install high-efficiency air cleaning and filtration equipment that provides additional removal of particulates and indoor pollution. Use the highest-quality filters possible in these devices.

Air Assurance is a premier source for professional HVAC services in Tulsa and the surrounding Oklahoma communities. Contact us today for more information on indoor air quality and how to keep your home's air cleaner and fresher throughout the year.

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: “Zurijeta/Shutterstock”

Air Conditioning, Featured

Troubleshooting Steps to Follow When Dealing With Frozen Evaporator Coils

Evaporator Coils

Troubleshooting frozen evaporator coils may suggest several causes for the symptom, but the actual cure usually requires the services of a professional HVAC technician. The evaporator coil sealed inside the indoor air handler removes heat from the air and transfers it to the flow of refrigerant circulating through the coil.

While the refrigerant flow is cold—around 40 degrees—it should always remain above freezing. If the refrigerant drops below 32 degrees, condensation produced by the cooling process freezes on the coil surfaces instead of draining away. As the ice formation expands, airflow through the coil is increasingly obstructed, the system begins running non-stop instead of cycling on and off, and severe A/C component damage may result.Here are some potential causes to aid in troubleshooting frozen evaporator coils:

Insufficient Airflow

Air volume through the coil affects the amount of heat energy absorbed by refrigerant. When the airflow is low, heat transfer is diminished and the refrigerant temperature may drift into the freezing range. The most common cause of low airflow is a dirty or clogged air filter. Try replacing the air filter and see if coil freezing problems resolve. If not, contact your HVAC contractor about professional service.

Lack of Refrigerant

Another reason refrigerant may drop below freezing is because there’s not enough of it in the system. A low refrigerant charge is almost always the result of a leak somewhere, and it can't be adequately resolved by simply adding more refrigerant. A qualified HVAC technician can use leak detection methods to pinpoint the leakage and make a permanent fix.

Dirt or Dust Accumulation

Continuously exposed to system airflow, an evaporator coil often becomes coated with airborne dust or dirt. This residue on coil surfaces inhibits heat transfer into the refrigerant and triggers sub-freezing temperatures. Ice forms as condensation freezes. The sealed evaporator coil is not accessible for DIY cleaning. However, coil inspection and cleaning are a standard part of an annual A/C preventive maintenance service provided by your HVAC contractor.

For more about troubleshooting frozen evaporator coils, as well as professional service to resolve the cause, 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).  Credit/Copyright Attribution: “Raywoo/Shutterstock”

Air Conditioning, Featured

5 Facts About Air Conditioning All Homeowners Need to Know

5 Facts About Air Conditioning All Homeowners Need to Know

If you're like a lot of folks, you take for granted the hard work your central air conditioner does in your home. The fact is, the more you know about its workings, the better equipped you'll be to properly maintain your A/C and troubleshoot problems that may arise. Here are five facts about air conditioning that should pay long-term dividends in comfort and energy savings.

How It Works

In a split-system central A/C, the condenser/compressor component located outside your home works in tandem with the indoor evaporator/air handler unit to cool and dehumidify the home. A chemical solution called refrigerant boils at a very low temperature and allows heat exchange to occur inside and out. As refrigerant flows through the evaporator coil, it's allowed to expand and boil, a physical process that extracts heat and moisture from the indoor air. That results in cool air, which is circulated in the home via a powerful fan, ductwork and registers. Outside, the hot refrigerant is compressed into a liquid, which releases heat energy into the outside air. Then the process starts over.

The Importance of the Air Filter

An air filter located in the return ductwork removes dust and other particulates from the air before it's drawn into the A/C. This protects sensitive components, enhances the efficiency of the cooling process and improves indoor air quality.

Maintenance Is Essential

Schedule annual professional maintenance on your central cooling system for optimum efficiency and comfort. Basic homeowner maintenance is also important, such as regular air filter replacement.

Help Your Air Conditioner Out

If you lower your home's cooling load, you'll give your air conditioner an easier workload. This will improve its performance and extend its service life. Seal air leaks in your home's outer perimeter and make sure insulation meets standards. Seal duct leaks, too.

Don't Forget Ventilation

You should have an effective exchange of inside and outside air several times a day, using both passive and mechanical ventilation.

For more information on the central air conditioning that's cooling your Broken Arrow area home, please contact the HVAC experts 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: “GrandeDuc/Shutterstock”

Featured, IAQ – Indoor Air Quality

Get the Facts About Indoor Air Pollution and How to Improve It

Get the Facts About Indoor Air Pollution and How to Improve It

Most people are aware that poor air quality is detrimental to health. However, a recent survey showed that many Americans are unaware that indoor air can be more polluted than outdoor air and that many common products and behaviors contribute to indoor air pollution. The following tips will help you improve your home’s air and safeguard your family against many pollutants.

Change Your Air Filter

At minimum, you should change your HVAC air filter every three months, whether it appears soiled or not. More than half of the people surveyed did not follow this recommendation. Consider your air filter as one of the most important lines of defense against dust, pollen and other common pollutants. In dusty environments or during times of increased system operation, such as winter and summer, it is often best to check air filters every month and replace if needed, especially if someone in the home suffers from allergies.

Maintain Good Ventilation

Proper ventilation in the home helps remove harmful gasses and other pollutants. Keep features such as gas stoves and fireplaces properly maintained and have all ventilation professionally assessed. Many homes benefit from whole house ventilation systems. Also, remember the importance of having carbon monoxide (CO) detectors installed in your home. CO is odorless and any fuel-burning device or appliance can emit it.

Avoid Adding Pollutants

You might be adding to indoor pollution in ways you do not expect. Fifty-two percent of those surveyed said they burned scented candles in the home. While this seems harmless, burning scented candles puts particles of soot into the air. Other ways you could be contributing to indoor pollution include using a lot of household cleaners and deodorizers or storing paint and other chemicals indoors.

Keep Things Clean

Clean the home often to keep dust levels down. Use high quality vacuum cleaners with great suction and HEPA filtration, damp mop floors and use dusting cloths that trap dust.

For more advice about indoor air pollution and keeping a healthy home environment, 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: “Avesun/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”

Preventative Maintenance, Service & Maintenance

Find Out Why Preventative HVAC Maintenance Is So Important

Find Out Why Preventative HVAC Maintenance Is So Important

The equipment and systems that heat and cool your home are just like any other mechanical devices. If they aren't properly maintained, they won't operate with optimum efficiency, they'll malfunction more often and they won't last as long. While cooling and heating systems need annual professional maintenance, they also need TLC from the homeowner in the form of preventative HVAC maintenance. Following are some steps you can take to help your HVAC systems keep your home comfortable while using energy efficiently.

Preventative HVAC Maintenance Steps

  • Check the air filter. The air filter for your furnace, heat pump or A/C plays an essential role in delivering cooled and heated air throughout your home. If the filter is clogged or dirty, the HVAC equipment will have to work harder to push air through the system. This will waste energy and stress system components. A dirty air filter also will result in dust coating sensitive parts, causing friction and wasting energy. Finally, when a filter gets clogged, eventually your blower will start pushing particulates around the filter and into your indoor air. Inspect the filter monthly and when it looks dirty, change or clean it (depending on the filter).

  • Keep vents and registers clear. Rugs, furniture, toys and other objects can block heating and cooling registers. This impedes airflow and reduces HVAC performance.

  • Similarly, keep yard debris such as leaves, sticks and grass cuttings away from the outside unit of a split-system A/C or heat pump. Anything that restricts airflow to the condenser coil will erode efficiency and performance.

With today's complex heating and cooling systems, most homeowners are better off letting a professional technician handle any but the simplest preventative HVAC maintenance. During an annual or semi-annual maintenance tune-up, a trained technician will run through a lengthy checklist of tasks and checks to make sure your heating or cooling systems will operate efficiently and safely till the next regularly scheduled visit.

To schedule a preventative HVAC maintenance visit, or to discuss an extended service protection plan, please contact us at Air Assurance. We provide quality HVAC services to the greater Tulsa metro 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). Credit/Copyright Attribution: “ducu59us/Shutterstock”

Heating, Technicians

Should You Leave These Heating Equipment Tasks to a Pro?

Should You Leave These Heating Equipment Tasks to a Pro?

Taking care of your home's heating system is essential if you want to provide your home with reliable, comfortable heating throughout the winter. This is true whether you use a gas furnace, an electric heat pump or a combustion boiler. As with all HVAC systems, heating equipment maintenance involves a mixture of do-it-yourself steps and professional tasks.

So, how to you know which heating equipment tasks should be left to a professional? Here's a basic explanation:

Do-It-Yourself

  • Inspect and change air filters when they get dirty. Make sure to check your filter at least once a month. A clean filter allows for a smooth airflow through your system, keeping damaging dust and debris out of sensitive components. As a result, you'll save money on energy and reduce the chance of breakdowns.

  • Seal leaky ducts. If you find loose connections or actual holes or cracks, seal them with duct mastic and metal-backed tape. Then, insulate ducts that run through unconditioned areas, such as your crawlspace or basement.

  • Remove obstructions from heating vents and registers. You'll be surprised by how many household objects get shoved atop vents, including rugs, furniture and drapes.

Call a Professional 

  • Check ignition and combustion components for fuel-burning furnaces and boilers. All components should be clean, and moving parts should be lubricated.

  • With combustion heating systems, your technician should make sure the venting, exhaust and chimney set-up is safe and up to code. Otherwise, you're risking carbon-monoxide poisoning and/or fire.

  • Electric wiring and terminals should be assessed for proper connections and operation in heat pumps, furnaces and boiler systems.

  • Heat pump systems should be inspected for correct refrigerant level, while indoor and outdoor coils should be cleaned. Airflow should also be checked and adjusted.

  • In both furnaces and heat pumps, the condensate drain should be inspected for blockages and cleaned.

For more advice on helpful heating equipment tasks to complete this season, please contact Air Assurance. We serve the Greater Tulsa 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). Credit/Copyright Attribution: “mushan/Shutterstock”

Efficiency, HVAC system

What's the Easiest Way to Make Your HVAC System More Efficient?

What's the Easiest Way to Make Your HVAC System More Efficient?

Keeping your HVAC system's air filter clean may not seem like it would make much of a difference in terms of performance. In reality, it's the most important thing you can do to keep your system running both efficiently and durably. Dust found on your filter and inside your air handler can significantly reduce your system's overall performance

Importance of Airflow

Engineers design forced-air HVAC systems to pull a specific amount of air through the air handler for peak efficiency. A dirty filter slows airflow, reducing the volume of air that passes through the ductwork. As a result, it will take longer to heat or cool your home, driving up energy consumption.Air handlers also house the components that exchange heat in both the heating and cooling mode. A gas furnace has a heat exchanger, while a heat pump has an evaporator coil that can both heat and cool. When your heat exchanger and coil are dust-free, the heat exchange process is faster and more efficient.

Reducing Dust

Air filters trap airborne particulates of varying sizes, depending on the quality of the filter. Running your system with a dirty filter will eventually cover the parts inside it with dust. A heat exchanger that's covered with dust holds onto heat longer, which can cause it to crack. When the cracks go all the way through, carbon monoxide can escape into your home's air. An HVAC system with a cracked heat exchanger needs to be repaired or completely replaced.When too much dust covers the evaporator coil, the refrigerant inside it will stay cold long enough to freeze the condensation coming off the coil. Unless your system shuts off to give the coil a chance to thaw, the exceptionally cold refrigerant can burn out the compressor inside the outdoor condenser. Keeping your filter clean reduces the likelihood of compressor failure or water damage from a frozen coil.

To learn more about keeping your HVAC system running as efficiently as possible, contact Air Assurance. We've been providing top-notch HVAC services for Broken Arrow homeowners 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: “Fulop-Zsolt/Shutterstock”

IAQ – Indoor Air Quality

How is Dust Buildup Dangerous for Your Health?

How is Dust Buildup Dangerous for Your Health?

Every home has a little dust floating around, but when dust starts to build up it can negatively affect your health. Most people feel the effects of dust to some extent and may experience symptoms like sneezing, coughing and fatigue. This is because dust contains a variety of pollutants, including soil, sawdust, carpet fibers, pollen, skin cells, pet fur, chemical emissions, mold particles and bacteria.

The dangers of dust buildup include:

  • Attracting dust mites. Dust mites have been associated with the occurrence of nasal polyps, which are tiny, uncomfortable, swollen lumps in the nasal cavity that can affect your immune system over time.

  • Prolonging and circulating illness. If someone in your house is sick, bacteria can linger in the air and be recirculated through your home, passing the illness on to others.

  • Uncomfortable symptoms that may turn serious. Headaches and other effects of dust are uncomfortable to the average person. Dust buildup is more dangerous for vulnerable people, including the elderly and individuals with lung ailments, such as asthma, emphysema or weakened immune systems. Eczema symptoms, for example, are aggravated by dust and may progress into chronic dermatitis (skin inflammation). Children are more affected by dust partly because they play on the floor and touch dusty items more often.

Fortunately, you can minimize dust buildup in your house by:

  • Eliminating or reducing the amount of fabric furniture, drapes and carpets in your home. These items attract dust and shed particles, creating more dust.

  • Keeping your home clutter-free.

  • Eating in the kitchen or dining room and keeping food debris contained.

  • Cleaning and dusting surfaces and vacuuming floors, carpets and cushioned furniture regularly.

  • Replacing HVAC air filters monthly.

  • Using an indoor air purifier or installing a whole house air purification and humidity control system.

Are you concerned about the amount of dust accumulating in your home? You can count on Air Assurance to help keep your Broken Arrow home healthy and comfortable.

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: “Alfonso-de-Tomas/Shutterstock”

HVAC system

Extend HVAC System Life and Get the Most Out of Your Home Comfort Investment

One of the most expensive issues that you'll have to deal with as a homeowner is the replacement of your HVAC system. But don't worry -- there are ways to extend HVAC system life. You can start with these tips:

Extend HVAC System Life and Get the Most Out of Your Home Comfort Investment
  • Get it serviced -- As you might imagine, the more you use your HVAC system, the faster its performance will deteriorate. To keep it running efficiently and prolong its operating life, hire a technician to give it a little tune-up.

  • Change the filters -- When your system's air filter gets dirty, it won't work as efficiently. Start each season with a fresh filter and then change it every 1-2 months, as needed.

  • Install a programmable thermostat -- These devices are more accurate and flexible than manual thermostats, which means your HVAC system won't be in operation when it doesn't need to be, thereby decreasing the strain placed upon it.

  • Clean the outdoor unit -- If your system uses an outdoor condensing unit, which most do, you'll want to clear off any debris that has accumulated on it. This can be done by simply spraying it off with a water hose.

  • Keep the air flowing -- Even if you don't spend any time in a particular room, it's important to keep the air flowing by leaving the vents open. The same goes for rooms that aren't occupied -- keep the doors open to maintain good air flow.

  • Clean duct grills -- Each year at this time, you should clean the vents and grills of the duct in each room. To clean them, simply put it out and wipe it down with a microfiber cloth or vacuum it.

  • Leave discharge pipes open -- A clogged-up discharge pipe, the one that runs outdoors from your HVAC system, can lead to costly repairs. To prevent this, be sure to keep it clean and free of debris.

For more expert advice on ways to extend HVAC system life, or if you have any other home comfort concerns, get in touch with the knowledgeable technicians at Air Assurance. We've been serving the HVAC needs of the Greater Tulsa Metropolitan 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). Credit/Copyright Attribution: “bitt24/Shutterstock”

Air Conditioning

Save Every Cent You Can With These Summertime A/C Tips

Save Every Cent You Can With These Summertime A/C Tips

If you treat your air conditioner well, it will return the favor. Use these summertime A/C tips and save those pennies to use to water your yard instead.

Proper Size

Bigger is not always better. Larger systems may cool your home faster, but at what cost? They require extra energy to serve the same purpose. And quick cooling isn't the only end goal. Your air conditioner also works to remove humidity in your home, but it needs to run a certain amount of time in order to do so. Larger systems that cool faster will shut off before the humidity issue is addressed. Do some research to determine if the air conditioner you have is the right size for your home.

Proper Maintenance

Dirt, dust, hair, lint and pet fur can cover coils and impede the efficiency of your A/C. Simply put: clean systems run less. Proper maintenance keeps the inside and outside coils clean, changes the air filter regularly and manages the refrigerant charge. These minor tune-ups save you money on energy and repairs, extending the life of your A/C along the way.

Proper Duct Sealing

Before conditioned air flows through the vents in your home, it must first travel through a system of ducts. Ideally those ducts will transport the air without losing any along the way. Gaps and cracks in your ductwork allow conditioned air to escape into your attic. Seal gaps and replace damaged ducts to ensure that the air you've paid to cool keeps you and your family comfortable. Insulated ductwork prevents the radiant heat of your attic in the summertime from altering the coolness of the air inside the ducts.

Proper Help

These summertime A/C tips, along with a programmable thermostat, keep your A/C running as efficiently as possible. If the maintenance, installation, sizing or repairs are too far outside your DIY comfort zone, don't hesitate to give the professionals at Air Assurance a call. We've been serving the Tulsa 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).  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

Furnaces

Fall Furnace Inspection: Highly Recommended for Your Tulsa Home

Fall Furnace Inspection: Highly Recommended for Your Tulsa Home

Broken Arrow will soon see winter weather arriving in force, and if you haven't already scheduled your fall furnace inspection, now is a good time to do it. Your furnace works 24/7 throughout the winter to keep you comfortable, and over time it loses efficiency. Maintaining your furnace will lower your energy bills, increase system safety and efficiency, extend its life and help prevent common problems this winter. 

A comprehensive tune-up by a reputable company should include these key tasks:

  • Lubricate the system to prevent damaging friction.

  • Clean and inspect the blower assembly, heat exchanger and other essential components.

  • Measure the voltage and current on the motor to ensure they meet system specifications.

  • Test the burner combustion and gas pressure for safety and efficiency.

  • Check for dangerous carbon monoxide leaks.

  • Measure the flue gases to ensure they comply with system standards.

  • Inspect the ventilation system for proper venting of combustion gases.

  • Inspect your ductwork for obstructions and loose joints that can restrict airflow.

  • Check your thermostat for accuracy and calibrate it if necessary.

  • Inspect the wiring and terminals for corrosion, and apply a nonconductive coating.

Maintaining the efficiency of your system is essential for season-long comfort and savings. These tips will help you lessen the load on your furnace to keep it operating efficiently all winter long:

  • Check your furnace's air filter every month. When it's caked with dust, replace it with a good-quality, pleated filter. A dirty filter restricts the air flow to your system and can cause overheating and expensive related damage.

  • Reverse the direction of your ceiling fan blades to push warm air down and throughout your rooms, keeping you comfortable at lower thermostat settings.

  • Seal around doors and windows with caulk and weatherstripping to keep warm air in and cold air out. The typical home loses up to 20 percent of conditioned air through leaky doors and windows.

If you would like to schedule your furnace inspection with one of our qualified technicians in the Broken Arrow area, please feel free to contact us at Air Assurance Heating, Air Conditioning & Plumbing.

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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). 

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UV Lights

UV Lights: Good Choice for Pollutant Control

UV Lights: Good Choice for Pollutant Control

UV Lights: Good Choice for Pollutant Control

Mold, bacteria and viruses in your air ducts present a major risk to health. However, the small size of these pathogens makes them hard to detect and impossible to remove with standard air filters. One of the most economical and effective ways to minimize your exposure to these micro-organisms is to eliminate their growth through the installation of UV lights in your air ducts.Ultraviolet lamps emit nonvisible light of the same wavelengths as that emitted by the sun. Microorganisms, including bacteria, molds and viruses, cannot grow in the presence of UV light. UV lamps look similar to fluorescent light bulbs, and they are easy for our HVAC technicians to install into your existing air system. They do not leave behind any harmful chemical residues.It is important to consider the location of the UV lamps when having them installed in your air ducts. Lamps can be installed in the main supply duct, return air duct or air handler unit. Positioning them near the A/C coil is highly effective in reducing mold levels; this area is a breeding ground for mold because it attracts moisture, pollen and dust. This is especially a problem in humid areas such as Tulsa. Placing UV lamps in the return and supply air ducts purifies the air as it travels through your system, removing pollutants that are brought in from the outdoors.The newest UV lights are an economical choice for pollutant control. Upon installation, ultraviolet lights eliminate the biofilm of bacteria and mold that develops on the inside of air ducts. This improves airflow and heat exchange, lowering your energy costs. New, automated UV disinfection systems supply exactly the amount of UV light needed to kill the mold, bacteria and viruses present at a specific time. This saves 60 to 80 percent on energy costs when compared to traditional UV lamps, which operate at a set intensity all day long.Contact us to learn more about the benefits of UV disinfection systems or to have UV lights installed in your A/C system. We take pride in offering premier HVAC services to the Tulsa Metropolitan area.Normal0falsefalsefalseEN-USX-NONEX-NONE/* Style Definitions */table.MsoNormalTable{mso-style-name:"Table Normal";mso-tstyle-rowband-size:0;mso-tstyle-colband-size:0;mso-style-noshow:yes;mso-style-priority:99;mso-style-parent:"";mso-padding-alt:0in 5.4pt 0in 5.4pt;mso-para-margin:0in;mso-para-margin-bottom:.0001pt;mso-pagination:widow-orphan;font-size:10.0pt;font-family:"Calibri","sans-serif";}

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). 

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HVAC system

Ductless Mini Splits: Learn How to Use Them During Cooler Weather

Ductless Mini Splits: Learn How to Use Them During Cooler Weather

Ductless Mini Splits: Learn How to Use Them During Cooler Weather

More people are turning to ductless mini splits as an efficient way to condition spaces without the use of ductwork. While their ability to cool is a given, in climates where winter temperatures fall below 30, like ours do occasionally, the mini split may have to work harder to keep your room or space comfortable. These tips can help you improve the performance of your mini split when temperatures fall:

  • Place the indoor air handler approximately 18 inches off the floor. Heat rises and if the air handler sits high on the wall or hangs from the ceiling, the air will be colder near the floor and in the mid-levels in the room. If your system has already been installed and it would be difficult to move the air handler, consider hanging a ceiling fan with a reversible switch to move the heated air down toward the floor to increase comfort.

  • Do what you can to make the space more energy efficient. All ductless mini splits perform better when the heating load is lower. Adding more insulation to the attic will help, as will sealing air leaks and tending to the windows. Hanging thermal drapes will cut the amount of heat that moves through the glass, as will installing thermal or Energy Star windows.

  • If you're installing a new mini split, choose a unit that has a high HSPF (heating season performance factor). The minimum is 7.7, but units are available that surpass 10 HSPF. Mini splits with scroll compressors provide more heat than those with a standard compressor.

  • Keep snow away from the outdoor condenser by either building a shelter over the top, allowing plenty of space above and beside it for air circulation.

  • Keep the air filter clean and follow the maintenance schedule the manufacturer recommends for evaporator and condenser coil cleaning, along with professional maintenance. A clean filter and evaporator coil promote efficient heating.

To learn more about getting the most out of ductless mini splits during cold weather, contact Air Assurance. We've provided trusted HVAC services for the Broken Arrow area since 1985.Normal0falsefalsefalseEN-USX-NONEX-NONE/* Style Definitions */table.MsoNormalTable{mso-style-name:"Table Normal";mso-tstyle-rowband-size:0;mso-tstyle-colband-size:0;mso-style-noshow:yes;mso-style-priority:99;mso-style-parent:"";mso-padding-alt:0in 5.4pt 0in 5.4pt;mso-para-margin:0in;mso-para-margin-bottom:.0001pt;mso-pagination:widow-orphan;font-size:10.0pt;font-family:"Calibri","sans-serif";}

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). 

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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). 

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Heat Pumps

Your Air-Source Heat Pump Is Also for Cooling: How It Does a Good Job

Your Air-Source Heat Pump Is Also for Cooling: How It Does a Good Job

Your Air-Source Heat Pump Is Also for Cooling: How It Does a Good Job

An air-source heat pump provides Broken Arrow homeowners efficient heating, but it also delivers efficient cooling and humidity management. If you’ve ever wondered how your heat pump does all these tasks season after season, keep reading to learn the basic technology involved, and you may discover a few tips to help maximize energy savings and home comfort.Air-source heat pump technologyAn air-source heat pump doesn’t produce heated or cooled air; it moves heat from one air source to another air source. These are the components of heat-pump technology.

  • Evaporator and condenser: An air-source heat pump has two heat-exchanger coils. One is located inside your home (evaporator) and the other coil (condenser) is in a metal cabinet outside the home. Heat is absorbed and released, whether inside or outside your home, at the heat exchangers.

  • Refrigerant: The refrigerant is the magic ingredient that moves heat from one heat exchanger to the other. For instance, in cooling mode, the refrigerant inside the evaporator coil absorbs heat from the air inside your home as the air circulates through the duct system. The refrigerant flows through copper tubing to the outside condenser where the heat is released.

  • Compressor: The compressor is the heart of the heat-pump system. The compressor prepares the refrigerant for optimal heat exchange, and then pumps it to either the condenser or evaporator.

  • Reversing valve: The reversing valve is the component that separates heat pumps from your typical air-conditioning system. The reversing valve changes the flow direction of the refrigerant, which allows for both heating and cooling. When the refrigerant leaves the compressor, it has been squeezed in preparation for heat release. The reversing valve sends the refrigerant to the appropriate coil to release the heat -- outside condenser for cooling mode and indoor evaporator for heating mode.

  • Air filter: A quality air filter protects the coils and other components from debris accumulation and mold growth, which would hinder heat exchange. Check your air filter regularly to ensure peak performance.

For more information about your air-source heat pump, contact the professionals at Air Assurance in the Greater Tulsa Metropolitan Area 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