air filters

IAQ – Indoor Air Quality

Your Guide to HVAC Air Purifiers: What to Know Before You Buy

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Air purifiers, once a bit of a curiosity among ultra health-conscious individuals, have become mainstream, as more homeowners snap to the fact that the airtight construction of their homes is contributing to greater levels of airborne pollutants. These levels are much greater, in fact, than the level of pollutants found in outdoor air.

But before you go out and plop your money down for an air purifier, it's good to know something about the different pollutants in your home, and the technology needed to corral them. Here's the latest on HVAC air purifiers.

Airborne Pollutants

Among the airborne pollutants you may have in your home are these:

  • Pet dander

  • Viruses

  • Bacteria

  • Pollen

  • Volatile organic compounds

  • Cigarette smoke

  • Dust and dirt

  • Dust mites

These pollutants can all aggravate allergies, trigger asthma attacks and cause other problems for those who are sensitive to them.

Improving Indoor Air Quality

While the best way to control airborne pollutants is to eliminate them at their source, air purifiers can help.

One of the best air purifiers is the flat media filter in your HVAC system -- that is, if you use a good quality, pleated filter. These should be changed regularly to effectively trap dirt, dust, pollen, pet dander and dust mites. Electrostatic filters may also help, although the collector plates have to be washed now and then or they can't trap particles effectively.

Ultraviolet germicidal irradiation (UVGI) filters are lights installed in HVAC ductwork and near the coils. They can help dispatch bacteria and mold. The lights must be changed every couple of years.

Activated carbon filters are helpful for absorbing tobacco smoke and VOCs from the air. These may be used in a separate unit, or installed in an HVAC system.

If you don't have an HVAC system, you might choose a portable air purifier, with either a flat media-type or electrostatic filter. Some portable models use extremely effective HEPA (high efficiency particulate air) filters, which are too dense for your HVAC system. The drawback is these HEPA filters are quite expensive.

For more on HVAC air purifiers, contact Air Assurance of Broken Arrow.

Air filters

Types of Air Filters

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

Fiberglass

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

Pleated

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

Electrostatic

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

HEPA

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

Washable

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

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

HVAC system

How Fog Machines and Halloween Decorations Affect Your Home's HVAC Efficiency

How Fog Machines and Halloween Decorations Affect Your Home's HVAC Efficiency

Halloween celebrations might make a dent in your home’s HVAC efficiency if you use some kinds of candles and lamp oil or use a fog machine indoors. The sheer number of times you open the door may cool your home, but if you’re having a party, count on plenty of body heat.

Steps to Take:

  • Keep your front door closed between trick-or-treaters if it’s a cold night. Make it more fun by decorating the outside so that the kids see it as they walk to the door.

  • Nobody would argue that fog machines create an authentically scary ambience, but they’ll also cool the air off if you use the misting types. The other kinds that use “fog juice” create heat indoors. You may want to change your HVAC filter to get rid of any particulates that collect on the filter after Halloween is over.

  • Burning candles creates a good deal of ambience but they also emit a lot of heat and soot if they’re made from paraffin wax. If the party is large enough or there are enough candles, it’s conceivable that you’d need to turn on the air conditioner to cool the air.

  • Soot from candles and even lamp oil will also collect in your home’s air and could harm your air filters, The particles can quickly clog the filters and coat the inside of the air handler, reducing HVAC efficiency. If you must use candles, opt for clean burning beeswax or soy products. Look for smoke-free lamp oil. Adjust the wicks so that they don’t smoke.

  • Parties create heat. If you’re hosting a party, it won’t take long to notice that your home is warming up from all the body and cooking heat. If your party will be crowded, prepare ahead by turning down the furnace ahead of time. You may need to switch from heating to cooling if it gets too warm or open the windows.

Having your HVAC efficiency checked before the celebrations start will help you maintain comfort regardless of the weather or party size. 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.

Air filters

How to Prepare for Fall Allergens

How to Prepare for Fall Allergens

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

Upgrading the air filter.

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

Maintaining the HVAC system.

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

Ductwork inspection.

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

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

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

HVAC system

Ways to Protect Your Home from Dust Mites

Ways to Protect Your Home from Dust Mites

Dust mites are tiny creatures that feed on dust inside your home. If dusty areas make you sniffly, this is an allergic reaction to these mites. You can keep them at bay by keeping your home as clean as possible and taking other steps. Find out more about dust mite protection for your home in Broken Arrow.

Maintain the Right Humidity Level

Dust mites thrive when your home is more humid than it should be. Ideally, the humidity level in your bedroom, where dust mites are commonly found, should be kept at 50 percent or lower. Dust mites do best in environments where the humidity level is 70 percent or higher. Using a portable dehumidifier in your bedroom or having a whole-home dehumidifier installed makes it easier for you to control the humidity level and reduce these pests.

Change Your HVAC Filter

Changing your HVAC filter on a regular basis, such as every month or every other month, helps cut down on the amount of dust you have in your home. This helps keep dust mite populations down in your home. Consider switching to an HVAC filter that offers higher efficiency, which helps ensure that it’s able to trap as many dust particles as possible.

Dust and Vacuum Regularly

One of the most effective dust protection methods is to reduce the amount of dust in your home overall. You can do this by dusting and vacuuming your home on a regular basis. You should dust and vacuum a few times a week or more often if you have pets in your home, since their dander can create more dust.

Invest in an Air Purifier

Air purifiers won’t get rid of dust mites, but they do help remove dust from the air inside your home. This helps cut down on the amount of dust you have, which can help reduce the dust mite population you have.

If you need help with maintaining the right humidity level or need dust mite protection advice, please contact Air Assurance. Our HVAC team can provide you with the service you need to discourage dust mites.

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.

HVAC system

Keeping Bugs Out of Your System This Summer

Keeping Bugs Out of Your System This Summer

Pesky bugs showing up around your house? Here are some quick tips that you can implement right now to avoid bugs in HVAC equipment.

Change the Air Filter

While there's a good chance that you know how a clogged air filter can impede the flow of air and affect the efficiency of your HVAC system, you may not be aware that it can also cause a moisture build-up. This moisture becomes an attractive spot for bugs, which is one more reason why you should change the filter on a regular basis.

Seal the Home's Ductwork

Over time, our home's ductwork becomes stressed from contstant use, causing tears and holes to appear. This is how insects are able to get inside your ductwork, which then leads them to the HVAC equipment itself. Foil tape and sealant are all you need to solve this problem, but if you need professional assistance, don't be afraid to ask.

Clean Up Around the Outdoor Unit

All types of insects, including bees and wasps, have been known to invade an HVAC system's outoor unit. Many of these little creatures are attracted by vegetation, debris, and moisture surrounding the system. Your best bet is to keep the area clean and free of vegetation approximately two feet in all directions around the unit.

Call an Exterminator

It's always a good idea to call a pest control expert on a regular basis to keep bugs out of your home. Insects are a nuisance, and no matter where they hole up - whether it's in your HVAC equipment or someplace else - an infestation can be damaging to your home itself. This is especially true if the area you live in is known to be a haven for the tiny creatures. 

For more expert advice on preventing bugs in HVAC equipment, or if you have any other home comfort concerns, please contact the professionals at Air Assurance. We serve the needs of Broken Arrow and the surrounding areas.

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.

IAQ – Indoor Air Quality

The Differences Between Air Filtration and Air Cleaning

The Differences Between Air Filtration and Air Cleaning

Keeping your indoor air fresh and clean can be a challenge, especially during the winter months when you are more likely to keep doors and windows closed. There are two choice available for keeping particulates and other contaminants out of your indoor air: air filtration and air cleaning.

Air Filtration

Air filtration involves the removal of particulates such as dust, pollen, fibers, and other small pieces of debris from your indoor air. The air filters in your heating and cooling systems are designed to provide this type of filtration. Air circulating through your HVAC system passes through the filter where the particulates are caught and held in the material of the filter, often a type of spun fiberglass or pleated cloth.Higher quality filters with a higher MERV (Minimum Efficiency Reporting Value) rating can capture smaller particles. More efficient types of air filtration systems are also available that can be added to your HVAC equipment. HEPA filters, for example, can remove extremely small particulates from your indoor air.There are some disadvantages to air filtration systems:

  • They can remove only those particulates that are pulled back into your HVAC system through the air return.

  • They cannot remove biological contaminants such as bacteria and viruses.

  • They cannot remove odors, fumes, and gases.

Air Cleaning

Air cleaning systems, on the other hand, are designed to remove not only particulates but also biological contaminants and odors. They usually combine a high-quality filtration system for removing physical particulates with additional elements that remove biological pollutants. These include:

  • Ultraviolet light: UV light can destroy bacteria and other potentially harmful microorganisms.

  • Activated charcoal layers: Charcoal is effective at absorbing and removing fumes and odors from air passing through a layer of it.

  • Electrostatic precipitators: These devices transfer an electrical charge to particulates which are then attracted to a collection plate, removing them from the air.

Air Assurance provides top-quality HVAC services to customers in Tulsa and the nearby communities. Contact us today for more information on air filtration and for expert help with deciding if a filtration or purification system is best for your 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 indoor air quality and other HVAC topics, call us at 918-217-8273.

Air filters

It's Time to Change Your Air Filters

It's Time to Change Your Air Filters

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

Heavy Summer Air Conditioner Workout

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

Prevent Damage to Internal HVAC Components

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

Improve Indoor Air Quality

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

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

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

Air filters

How to Remember to Change Your Air Filter

How to Remember to Change Your Air Filter

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Fans, Featured, Ventilating, Ventilation

Areas of Your Home That Need the Most Ventilation

Areas of Your Home That Need the Most Ventilation

When it comes to home comfort and energy efficiency, ventilation – aka effective air exchange – plays a crucial role. Without adequate fresh air in a home, indoor air quality will suffer, with the environment becoming stale, stuffy and unhealthy.Learn what areas of your home will benefit from effective ventilating strategies, along with why whole-house mechanical air exchange may be necessary as well.

Nowadays, with energy efficiency increasingly stressed in building construction, working mechanical ventilation has become more important than ever. In the past, much of a home’s air-exchange needs were satisfied incidentally, with abundant air exchange through cracks and gaps in the home’s exterior envelope. That’s not the case any longer with the tight home construction of today.

The most common type of mechanical ventilation in a home is the bathroom exhaust fan. Most bathrooms are equipped with this fan, which not only de-fogs the room but also carries away unpleasant and noxious odors and contaminants.Next on the list is the kitchen, which almost always has a stovetop fan that carries away smells from cooking and food preparation, keeping them from spreading through the rest of the house.

One area where many homeowners neglect ventilation is the attic. Yet, effective air exchange is essential in the attic. Without it, during the summer, an attic can get superheated, and that heat eventually will transfer into the living spaces below. During the heating season, an attic without proper venting may help cause ice dams on the roof that can lead to extensive structural damage in a home.

In many homes, mechanical air exchange is necessary on a whole-house basis. Increasingly popular are balanced and supply-only systems, with the most common balanced system being Energy Recovery and Heat Recovery ventilating systems (ERV and HRV, respectively). Using parallel air streams, one blowing out and one blowing in, these systems ensure fresh air while also transferring heat and moisture (in ERVs) to help with home heating and cooling and humidity control.

We can help devise an effective ventilation strategy for your Broken Arrow area home. Please contact us at Air Assurance.

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

Featured, IAQ – Indoor Air Quality

Controlling Dust in Your Home

Controlling Dust in Your Home

Winter is a season when dust problems are amplified as homes are closed up for the cold. Controlling dust can feel like a full-time job in your Broken Arrow home, but there are some steps you can take to make it a little easier to keep the space clean. Here are some tips for controlling dust in your home.

Change the Air Filter

When was the last time you changed the air filter in your HVAC system? One of the air filter's main jobs is controlling dust, so take some time now to swap it out with a clean one. If you've changed it recently and are still having troubles with dust, consider installing a more efficient model. Check with an HVAC professional to see which models are recommended for your home.

Clean the Ducts

If your ductwork is lined with dust, it's going to get circulated through your home. Consider having it professionally cleaned to remove that dust, then trust the air filter to do the job of keeping further dust at bay.

Install an Air Cleaner

In high-dust households or in families where dust allergies cause significant problems, an air purifier is a great asset. These clean the air in a specific room, or they can be installed in the HVAC system directly for whole-house purification. Air cleaners trap dust particles and other allergens to help your family breathe freely.

Clean up Clutter

Clutter, including piles of toys or clothes on the floor, is a breeding ground for dust. Cleaning them up will help keep dust from settling in or on them, so you will have less dust circulating through your home.

Dust Smart

Don't rely on a feather duster to eliminate dust. Instead, use a microfiber cloth, which will trap dust better than a feather duster. Also, consider dampening the cloth slightly before dusting most surfaces.

Are you looking for more ideas for controlling dust in your Broken Arrow home? Contact the Air Assurance team for expert tips to help you keep your home's air less dusty.

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 controlling dust and other HVAC topics, call us at 918-217-8273. Credit/Copyright Attribution: “hans_pixabay”

Air Conditioning

It's Almost Off Season for Your Air Conditioner. Here's How to Get it Ready

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When the sweltering Oklahoma summer finally winds down, it is time to start getting the home ready for cooler weather. At the top of your fall home maintenance list, make sure you include preparing your air conditioner for the off-season.Here is how to care for your A/C during fall and winter so it runs well next spring.

Have it Checked

Schedule a maintenance visit from your HVAC technician , who can check for any problems that might have developed over the summer. This gives you extra time to schedule repairs during the cold months when you don’t need to use the air conditioner.

Change the Filters

Leaving dirty filters in the system allows mold growth and potential airflow issues. Don’t forget to change all of the air filters. This is one of the easiest maintenance tasks for the homeowner, but it is also commonly forgotten.

Clean the Coils

Dirty coils can lead to serious problems such as frozen coils, which can cause the air conditioner to stop working. To clean the coils yourself, you will need coil cleaner and a special fin brush. Remember to turn off all power to the A/C system before doing these maintenance tasks. Alternatively, ask a technician to clean the air conditioner for you.

Clean Around the Outdoor Unit

Leaves, dirt and other debris collecting around or on top of the unit attract mold and pests, invite rust, and obstruct airflow. Turn off the air conditioner and brush away all of this debris. You can use your garden hose to rinse off excess dirt and debris as well.Rake the ground around the unit and trim all grass or bushes nearby. Fall leaves will probably continue to collect around the unit, so consider this cleanup as an ongoing task.

Cover the Outdoor Unit

Cover the outside unit with an A/C cover when it is no longer in use. This protects it from winter storms.For more about getting your home’s air conditioning system ready for the off-season, please 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 air conditioners and other HVAC topics, call us at 918-217-8273. Credit/Copyright Attribution: “Peggy_Marco/Pixabay”

IAQ – Indoor Air Quality

What's Triggering Allergic Reactions in Your Tulsa Home?

Allergic reactions can be caused by a large number of triggers not only outside your home, but also inside your home. This can be especially frustrating for you, since you should feel better protected from allergies when you are indoors. A few of the things that can trigger your allergies indoors include:

What's Triggering Allergic Reactions in Your Tulsa Home?
  • Mold

  • Pets

  • Pollen

Getting Rid of MoldMold can trigger some very severe allergies in some people, which makes it very important that if you do come across any mold, you take care of it immediately. Paint additives are available for bathrooms and kitchens which inhibit mold growth, but for mold already growing, a solution of warm water and bleach can eliminate it. You still must find out why exactly the mold is growing though and take out the root of the problem.Pet DanderA pet that sheds often is going to leave a lot of hair and dander throughout your house and ventilation system, but especially around the areas your pet frequents. Giving your pet baths frequently can significantly reduce the amount of dander they shed, which should cut down on allergic reactions. Getting a breed of cat or dog that is known to shed less can also help you avoid allergies caused by pet dander.Pollen Making Its Way IndoorsWhile it may be next to impossible to keep all pollen out of your home, you should be taking some basic steps to reduce the amount of pollen getting in if you generally have allergic reactions to it. Pollen is one of the biggest allergens, and one of the only ones that you will never eliminate completely from around you. Vacuuming and shampooing carpets often, along with changing your air filter frequently, can help out immensely with pollen allergies.To get more valuable information about how your allergies are triggered indoors, or for any other home comfort concerns, get in touch with us at Air Assurance. We have been working in the residential heating and cooling business for almost 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).

Credit/Copyright Attribution: “Piotr Marcinski/Shutterstock”

IAQ – Indoor Air Quality

Reduce Allergies in Your Home By Reducing Dust

Dust, dust mites and other allergens annoy all of us. For someone with asthma or other sensitivities, dust can trigger coughing, wheezing, stuffy nose, skin rash and more severe allergic reactions. You can reduce allergies in your Broken Arrow home by reducing the amount of dust that enters and collects inside your home.

Reduce Allergies in Your Home By Reducing Dust

Air Filters

By keeping windows closed and using your HVAC system, you reduce allergies by reducing the amount of contaminants that enter your home. Before air enters your living area it passes through the air filter. This filter traps pollen, pet hair and other pollutants. These particles collect on the filter surface and eventually will restrict air flow. With too much buildup, dust begins to break loose and enter your air. It is important to change air filters on a regular basis for them to perform effectively.

The more expensive, high efficiency particulate air filters (HEPA) do not necessarily last longer. They trap smaller particles and may need to be replaced more often. Not all HVAC systems are designed for these dense filters. Too much air restriction could result in system damage as well as air leaks and defeat the original intent of the filter. Consult with an HVAC technician before switching to HEPA filters. If reducing allergies is a major concern for you, you may benefit from a whole-house air purifier.

Cleaning

  • Run a damp mop over hard surfaces each day.

  • Use a vacuum with a HEPA filter. Paper bag vacuum filters allow dust to re-enter the air.

  • To further reduce allergies: Wet-vacuum and use a steamer when possible. Wet-vacuum cleaning washes the carpets and the heat from steam cleaning kills dust mites.

  • Choose tight-weave pillow and mattress covers. They are easier to clean and dust is less likely to penetrate.

Contact Air Assurance for more information about protecting the air inside your home. We began serving the residential and commercial HVAC system needs of the Tulsa metropolitan area in 1985. Our experts will evaluate yours system and consult with you so that you can make informed decisions about maintaining your air quality and HVAC system.

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

IAQ – Indoor Air Quality

Fall Allergies: Good Filtration Can Help You Get the Upper Hand

Fall Allergies: Good Filtration Can Help You Get the Upper Hand

Fall Allergies: Good Filtration Can Help You Get the Upper Hand

Are you in Tulsa and suffering with fall allergies? It isn’t your imagination! Tulsa was recently rated tenth in the lists of worst cities for allergy sufferers. The climate is perfect for the allergy triggers that make so many people miserable.

Here is a list of allergens causing the worst reactions in the area:

  • Weeds are a very common allergy trigger. Most people with spring allergies react to ragweed. Ragweed’s pollen is released from August until September or even October. Other troublesome local weeds include mugwort, nettle and sorrel.

  • Allergy sufferers are likely to strongly react to the large amounts of sugar berry and hackberry tree pollen released in the autumn.

  • Grasses are a very common allergen in Oklahoma. Not only are the grasses on lawns problematic, other plants related to grass cause allergic reactions. Many people also react to pollen from edible grasses like corn.

  • As the fall weather becomes cool and damp, mold can grow rapidly in wet leaves or wet places in your home.

  • Closing windows and turning on the heat stir up dust and dust mites indoors.

There are several things that you can do in order to protect yourself from fall allergies:

  • Check the pollen counts at pollen.com to know when it’s better off to stay indoors with closed doors and windows.

  • Your furnace should be fully serviced in the fall complete with cleaned ductwork and changed air filters. An indoor air cleaner system with HEPA filters will help to remove mold, pollen and other allergens from the air.

If you are suffering with fall allergies, please call us at Air Assurance. We have been helping customers to breathe more easily in the Broken Arrow and Tulsa metropolitan areas 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). 

Image courtesy of Shutterstock

Air Conditioning, Service & Maintenance

Keep Those A/C Coils Clean for Top Efficiency

Keep Those A/C Coils Clean for Top Efficiency

Keep Those A/C Coils Clean for Top Efficiency

You have to wonder how earlier generations survived the hot, muggy summers here in the Broken Arrow area without an air conditioner (A/C). Most homeowners know that regularly changing their air filters is a crucial to maintaining air conditioner top efficiency; however, many don’t realize that keeping the coils clean is just as important.

Dirty coils can cause your equipment to use 37 percent more energy, and can reduce its cooling capability by as much as 30 percent. Due to increased pressure on the system, equipment failure is possible, requiring the need for an experienced HVAC technician. Additionally, dirty coils and their condensate pans can become breeding grounds for bacteria and mold, greatly reducing your indoor air quality (IAQ).

Following are various methods for cleaning your A/C coils. Remember that for best results, you should call your HVAC pro to do the job.

  • Compressed air. If the coils are not contaminated with adhered matter, blowing compressed air across the coil fins may suffice. A soft-bristled brush may also be used to remove light dust.

  • Steam cleaning. Be careful to apply steam at a low pressure, and keep the stream parallel to the fins to avoid possibly bending them.

  • Foaming chemicals. Using a garden-type of pump sprayer, apply a foaming chemical to the surface of the A/C coil and let it sit until it saturates the fins. Vacuum the dried foam, repeat the process, and then rinse with clean hose water.

  • Pressure washing. Pressure wash in the normal airflow’s opposite direction, being careful not to bend the fins. If desired, apply a cleaning solution first with a hand sprayer or the built-in chemical injection system on the pressure washer. Repeat the process until the rinse water is free of particles. This method may increase Macromolecular Organic Dust (MOD), which must be contained in the cleaning area.

Remember to turn off the system at the thermostat and to clean the condensate pan along with the A/C coils. If you have any questions, or to schedule professional maintenance on your unit, contact us here at Air Assurance. Our all NATE-certified staff will be happy to assist you.

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

Air filters

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Air filters

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

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

Ventilation

Why Adequate Ventilation Makes A Difference During Summer

Why Adequate Ventilation Makes A Difference During Summer

When the summer heat hits Oklahoma, it is vital that your home is properly sealed. If not, cooled air will flow out and hot air will infiltrate your home, greatly increasing the demand on your air conditioner and costing you a ton on energy bills. But you still need fresh, clean air to keep your home healthy. That's where your ventilation system comes into play.Proper and adequate ventilation:

  • Removes pollutants - Over time, pollutants and toxins will make their way into your home and they need to be removed. Quality ventilation equipment exchanges your interior air for outside air at the recommended rate of roughly 15 cubic feet per person per minute.

  • Balances moisture - Humidity levels in your home are critical to your comfort. If there is too much moisture, you will feel uncomfortable and set your thermostat higher during the summer. That means your A/C has to run longer and you have to pay for more energy.

There are three strategies for ventilating your home:

  • Natural ventilation - Older homes had natural ventilation because they were not airtight, so air flowed in and out fairly easily. That was good for bringing in fresh air, but bad for controlling cooling costs. You can naturally ventilate your home by opening windows or doors, but this is not a reliable way to balance humidity and remove pollutants.

  • Whole-house ventilation - These systems are becoming more popular. They use vents and fans throughout your home to work in conjunction with your thermostat and A/C unit to maintain the needed air exchange rates consistently.

  • Spot ventilation - Fans and vents are placed in areas where moisture, heat and pollutants are concentrated. Bathroom fans, exhaust fans and oven vents are examples of spot ventilation that remove air before it reaches other parts of the house.

To speak with an HVAC expert about ventilating your home, contact Air Assurance. With over 25 years of service to Broken Arrow and the surrounding areas, we can help you find the best equipment and strategies.Our goal is to help educate our customers about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems). Air Assurance services Tulsa, Broken Arrow and the surrounding areas. Visit our website to see our current promotions and get started today

Air filters, Service & Maintenance

Routine Filter Maintenance Is Essential During The Peak Of Cooling Season

Routine Filter Maintenance Is Essential During The Peak Of Cooling Season

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

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

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

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

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

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