home comfort

Dehumidifiers

5 Home Dehumidifier Benefits

The air in your Broken Arrow home can get awfully sticky in times of high rainfall, particularly in the summertime when it's warm. Whenever the humidity climbs above 50-55 percent you may find yourself wishing there was a way to keep it under control.

It's always a good idea to check your home for moisture leaks in the roof and in the plumbing, and to make sure your air filter is regularly changed so that the HVAC system does a good job of removing moisture from the air. But what if your home remains too humid? A dehumidifier can be the answer.

Read on to find out more about dehumidifier benefits.

1. Prevents mold, mildew and fungus.

Whenever relative humidity is more than 50 percent, you have a greater chance of developing mold, mildew and fungus in your home. These organisms reproduce by means of spores and can spread rapidly, destroying drywall, wood and fabrics. Mold, mildew and fungus are also the source of unpleasant odors.

2. Makes home's occupants feel more comfortable.

Warmer air holds more moisture than cool air, so that in the summer, a home's occupants may feel uncomfortable as the relative humidity climbs. A dehumidifier can dry the air out sufficiently that the occupants feel cooler.

3. Saves money on air conditioning utility bills.

The dryer the air, the cooler a home's occupants will feel, and the less likely they will be to turn down the air conditioner thermostat to a cooler temperature. By using a dehumidifier, you keep the humidity levels down and the home's occupants are more content at higher temperatures. Also, the wetter the air, the harder the A/C has to work to dehumidify the return air. A dehumidifier helps the A/C do its job, so that you use less energy.

4. Reduces the presence of dust mites.

Dust mites flourish in humid settings. By reducing humidity, you can make conditions less hospitable for these microscopic creatures, which are the source of allergic reactions.

To start reaping dehumidifier benefits in your home, contact Air Assurance. We serve Broken Arrow and the surrounding area.

HVAC System

HVAC for Luxury Living

HVAC systems for luxury homes are important for more than just maximizing comfort. They're crucial for proper maintenance of furnishings, finishes, artwork, and everything else in the houses. By failing to choose a quality unit, you could end up with devastating consequences for your expensive decor. Let's take a closer look at what HVAC for luxury living entails.

Zoned System

It's not easy to keep everything and everyone in a large home comfortable. Elevated temperatures can dry out and crack your irreplaceable wooden furnishings. The room containing your paintings and art collection may need a temperature of around 70 degrees. And let's not forget you'll need more cooling for your home gym and heat for an elderly family member or baby in a different room.

Fortunately, you can heat and cool your luxury property simultaneously with a zoned HVAC system.

Humidity Control

Excess moisture makes moldings and woodwork warp. It also leads to mold growth, which can destroy your photographs, paintings, wallpaper, upholstery, rugs, and draperies. Excessively low humidity can cause materials like ivory, paper, papyrus, and wood to dry out, contract, and become more fragile.

Consider whole-home dehumidification in the summer and humidification in the winter.

Smart Home Technology

Having to adjust numerous TVs, audio zones, lights, and climate zones spread across different rooms or buildings on your property every day is a daunting task. That's why smart home technology is a lifesaver.

You need an HVAC system with smart controls to let you adjust the temperature and even track energy usage from your phone or tablet on the go.

Air Purification

Your luxury property needs an upscale living atmosphere. Air purification systems like germicidal lights and whole-home air purifiers remove airborne contaminants such as volatile organic compounds (VOCs) and mold spores, which can cause health problems to your family and guests and damage your property.

By installing an advanced HVAC for luxury living, you'll have a truly luxurious experience in your home. If you want to modernize your HVAC system to suit your upscale living needs in the Broken Arrow area, contact us at Air Assurance.

HVAC system

Throw a Birthday Bash with These Party Considerations in Mind

Throw a Birthday Bash with These Party Considerations in Mind

When you think about hosting a birthday party, what do you consider? Providing food, music, decorations, etc. for your guests. But there are other party considerations that people tend to overlook, particularly when it comes to your HVAC system.If your guests are too cold, or too hot, it can ruin an otherwise joyous occasion. So if you're hosting a party, here are a few preparations you should make first, to make sure your house is comfortable and inviting, and that the birthday is a happy one.

Get an Inspection

It would be a a disaster if your HVAC system suddenly stopped working in the middle of your party. That's why important to have an HVAC technician inspect your system annually, to make sure your home is being heated and cooled as it should be.If you haven't done it yet this season, schedule an inspection for a few days before the party. Your HVAC technician will fix or replace any parts that are causing problems, oil your motor, check your thermostat settings, and make sure everything is in good working order when your guests arrive.

Other Party Considerations

Check and see what the humidity is scheduled to be like around the time of the event. If it's high, try running the HVAC system for a day or two beforehand, to dehumidify your home. On the other hand, if humidity is already low, running your system could make things too dry, giving your guests cracked skin and fostering viruses and bacteria - which, in a house full of people, could lead to a whole lot of illness spreading quickly. In fact, you might even consider getting a small humidifier, to counteract your HVAC's dehumidifying effects.On the day of the party, be sure to turn on your HVAC system a few hours before everyone arrives. Set the thermostat to a comfortable temperature and give the system time to condition the whole house, so it's pleasant and comfortable when the first guests arrive.

For more HVAC party considerations, contact us at Air Assurance today. We provide quality HVAC solutions to Broken Arrow.

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

Heating

Emergency Heat During Winter Storms

Emergency Heat During Winter Storms

Having a source of emergency heat in the winter can make the difference between staying safe and healthy or having to leave your home to wait out a bad storm or a prolonged power outage. Each of these suggestions is a sound way to supply enough heat to wait out an emergency. Always make sure your CO detector is working before using any of these heaters.

Emergency Heating Equipment

  • Tent heaters. You can find these at sporting goods and big box stores, as well as online. They’re small heaters that use propane canisters and are capable of heating small spaces. They’re safe as long as you crack a window open and use them as the manufacturer intends.

  • Ventless heaters. These heaters are available from specialty stores and online. They burn clean, which means they produce few toxic gases, including carbon monoxide (CO). Each heater, whether a ventless fireplace or heater, has an oxygen depletion sensor that turns the unit off when the oxygen in the room gets too low. Whenever you use a ventless heater, be sure that there’s a window open or a door cracked to bring in fresh air.

  • Fireplaces. If you’re lucky enough to have a gas or wood-burning fireplace in your home, it will provide reliable heat during the outage. If it’s gas and lights electronically, it may start if you hold a lighter near the gas orifice inside the firebox. If it’s wood burning, keep a supply of seasoned firewood to use in the event of emergencies.

Retaining Heat

  • Be sure you have at least three days of food on hand. Eating enough calories gives you plenty of energy to keep yourself warm.

  • Dress in layers. Instead of wearing a one layer of heavy clothing, wear a few layers. They trap your body heat better so that you won’t feel as chilled.

  • Plug as many air leaks as possible to prevent drafts throughout your home.

If you’d like more information about using emergency heat because of power outages or a furnace breakdown, 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.

Heating

Do Fireplaces Efficiently Warm Your Home?

Do Fireplaces Efficiently Warm Your Home?

Fireplaces are much beloved for the coziness they bring to a room on a blustery winter night. However, they are also much reviled on several fronts. Fireplaces are inefficient, allowing most of the energy they produce to go up the chimney. Fireplaces can be unsafe, leading to fires in the chimney or from smoldering embers. Wood burning gives off smoke, and with it, unhealthful particles that can compromise your indoor air quality. Wood burning gives off massive amounts of carbon emissions, and is actually banned in some cities.Add to the list of disadvantages the fact you've got to store firewood, which can harbor rodents and termites.So should you buy a house with a fireplace? If you have a fireplace in your home, should you stop using it and replace it with a more efficient type of heating?Our best answer: It depends on how much any of the above disadvantages bother you. Read on for further considerations on fireplace warmth.

Fireplaces as Backup, and Other Options

One of the best reasons to have a fireplace is it can be a backup source of heating in an all-electric house when the power goes out and your furnace won't come on. The fireplace will keep you from freezing, albeit inefficiently.Why else have a wood-burning fireplace? They're great for roasting marshmallows.Seriously, you may want to look into using that fireplace space for a catalytic wood stove. These stoves trap smoke and other combustion byproducts. A chemical coating on the catalyst interacts with smoke and ignites it at a lower temperature than the 1100-degree F temperature normally required, thus making it burn more efficiently. These wood stoves also release fewer carbon emissions and burn wood slower than non-catalytic models. The downside is they are more expensive than non-catalytic types, and the catalysts generally break down after 10 years or so.You might also look into a pellet stove. These are more efficient than a traditional wood stove or fireplace.

For more on fireplace warmth, and whether it's worth the trouble, contact Air Assurance of Broken Arrow.

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

HVAC system

Why You Shouldn’t Use Registers for Temperature Control

Why You Shouldn’t Use Registers for Temperature Control

Even though you may read online articles about controlling the indoor temperature in a room by adjusting the register, it’s not a good idea in most situations. Doing so can harm your HVAC system, which will eventually cause a problem requiring professional attention.

What It Does

When you close off the vent in a room, the amount of air pressure in the ductwork increases. Ductwork is designed to carry a certain amount of air pressure and closing even one register, especially if it’s not far from the air handler, raises it beyond its capacity. Over time, the extra pressure will weaken the seams and joints in the ductwork, creating leaks.Leaking ductwork drives up energy bills because conditioned air is lost before it reaches your rooms. The leaks pull in dust from the areas through which they run. In homes with vented gas appliances like water heaters and furnaces, the leaks create backdrafts that can pull carbon monoxide into your rooms.It may seem like a contradiction, but the higher airflow pressure inside the ductwork will reduce the amount of air going through air handler, which stresses the heating and cooling components inside the air handler. In the summer, lower airflow contributes to a frozen evaporator coil that may contribute to compressor failure, the system’s most expensive part. In the winter, reduced airflow causes the furnace to run hotter, which harms all its parts.

Better Options

The best way to control the indoor temperature in a room is by using a zoning system, which uses automatic dampers in the ducts to control the airflow. Each zone has its own thermostat and when it needs conditioned air, it sends a signal to a control panel. This part turns the HVAC system on, opens the damper and the air flows to that zone.In lieu of zoning your home to control the indoor temperature, it’s a good idea to leave the registers open. In the long run, the energy costs will be lower than the repairs. 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.

Furnaces

Then vs. Now: Furnaces

Then vs. Now: Furnaces

Since prehistoric days, when people gathered around a fire in the dead of winter, humans have sought ways to keep warm. How have those ways evolved over the centuries? How have they led to the technologies that heat our homes today? Let's take a look at the history of furnaces.

History of Furnaces

Among the first to develop central heating were the ancient Romans. They introduced radiant floor heating by building a fire in the basement, which would heat the stone floor above it. And since hot air rises, the heat from the floor would soon spread to the rest of the house.The first heating sources used wood for fuel. This included the Franklin Stove, invented by Benjamin Franklin in 1741. Made of cast iron, it was designed to produce more heat than a regular fireplace, with less exhaust.Then in 1885, a new furnace was developed, which burned coal, which replaced wood as the standard. It produced more heat and used a system of ducts in the basement to transport that heat to the rest of the home. Then in 1919, Alice Parker invented the first modern central heating system. It replaced coal with natural gas, and distributed heat evenly throughout the home using a system of pipes.

Today's Furnaces

Today's furnace designs have come a long way since then. Top furnaces can operate with over 98% efficiency, providing more heat for less energy. Zoning systems now allow you to heat each part of the house according to its individual needs. Some can even sense whether or not a space is occupied, so you don't pay to heat empty rooms. And smart thermostats let you adjust your home's temperature from anywhere, via your mobile device.There are a variety of amazing features available on today's furnaces. When buying a new system, make a list of your home's heating needs and talk to an HVAC expert to find the furnace that's right for you.

To learn more about the history of furnaces, and tips for furnace buying, contact us at Air Assurance. We proudly serve Broken Arrow's HVAC needs.

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

IAQ – Indoor Air Quality

Fall Indoor Air Concerns and How to Counter Them

Fall Indoor Air Concerns and How to Counter Them

As the weather gets cooler and you start spending more time indoors, you should think about how healthy the air in your home is. Fall allergens and other particles can lower your indoor air quality, which can put you and your loved ones at risk of developing health issues. Find out more about these concerns and how to deal with them.

Outdoor Allergens

Ragweed and other outdoor allergens can make their way into your home during fall. You might bring these in on the clothes you’re wearing, or you might spread them around if you walk around your home with your shoes on. These allergens can also get inside if you open your windows to let fresh air in. You can keep these allergens out of your home by changing clothes after coming in, taking off your shoes and keeping your windows closed during fall.

Dust

Dust can build up inside your home’s ductwork and on your HVAC system’s air filter over time. When you start using your heating system in fall, all of that dust can be blown into your home through your ducts and vents. You can lower your risk of having to deal with a lot of dust by having your ductwork cleaned and changing your air filter on a regular basis. You should also vacuum and dust your home frequently.

Pollutants

Pollutants are found in some household items, such as cleaning products and certain kinds of finishes. When you’re inside more during fall, you risk being exposed to these pollutants more often, which can result in respiratory problems and other health issues. Having an air purification system installed or making changes to your home’s ventilation can help reduce your risk of exposure to these particles. Working with an HVAC technician can also provide you with more ways to boost your indoor air quality by eliminating pollutants.

If you need additional information on improving your indoor air quality, please contact Air Assurance. We offer dependable HVAC services that can help make the air in your home healthier.

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

Air Conditioning

What Are High-End Air Conditioners?

What Are High-End Air Conditioners?

When you’re looking for a way to combat the summer heat without having high cooling costs, look for a high-end air conditioner. Its upgraded standard features increase its energy efficiency and your comfort.The U.S. Department of Energy requires all HVAC equipment to be evaluated for energy efficiency. They measure the efficiency of central air conditioners by testing them over a simulated cooling season and measure the amount of electricity they use.The minimum stands energy efficiency rating stands at 14 SEER (seasonal energy efficiency ratio) for air conditioners in Oklahoma. A high-end A/C will have a 15 SEER rating and higher. It may also carry the familiar Energy Star logo. High-end HVAC systems do cost more initially but make up for their high price in lower energy bills and reduced maintenance costs.The features to look for in high-end air conditioners and heat pumps to look for that that increase the SEER include:

Dual-speed compressor.

Such a compressor can adjust its running speed from low to high, depending on how much cooling your home needs. The compressor uses the most electricity of any other air conditioner part. When it runs on low, it uses less power, which saves you money.

Variable-speed air handler.

A variable-speed motor in the air handler will blow the air throughout your home at different speeds based on its need for cooling. They also ramp up and slow down slowly. The longer running time distributes all the cooled air from the ductwork that would otherwise be wasted.

Zoning systems.

A zoning system lets you control the temperatures individually in each room of your home. They use dampers in the ductwork and individual thermostats so that each area of your home will be a comfortable temperature, instead of having a single thermostat setting for the entire home. Zoning eliminates hot and cold spots throughout the house.Because summers are hot and fairly long in this region, a high-end air conditioner will pay for itself in lower energy costs and greater comfort. For more information, contact Air Assurance, providing HVAC services for Broken Arrow homeowners.

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

Ventilation

How Does Ventilation Affect Temperature?

How Does Ventilation Affect Temperature?

Keeping your home comfortable takes more than just your HVAC system. The amount of air that’s able to pass through your home can also have an effect on indoor temperatures. Most modern homes are designed to be as air-tight as possible, making proper ventilation a challenge. Read on to learn how poor air flow impacts indoor temperatures, as well as ways to make your home more comfortable.

Poor Air Flow Leads to Stuffy Rooms

Stuffy air is one of the most common complaints among homeowners. High humidity levels in poorly ventilated spaces can also raise indoor temperatures, which in turn allows the air to hold more humidity until simply becomes too saturated to hold moisture in vapor form. These issues contribute to a feeling of stuffiness from most people. High concentrations of carbon dioxide (CO2) can also make the air feel stuffier.

A home with good ventilation is able to push out hot, humid air and draw in cooler air with less moisture content. When your home’s not able to do that, the stagnant air simply collects more moisture, causing your improperly ventilated spaces to become progressively stuffier as time goes on.

Tips for Improving Air Flow

Here are a few ways you can improve your home’s air flow issues and bring temperatures back down to normal:

Open up windows and doors to improve air flow.

Cracking open a nearby door or window can help push hot, humid air out of a room and encourage cooler breezes to flow through. Good air flow also helps eliminate severe dust and debris buildup.

Use existing exhaust fans to promote better air flow.

Bathroom and kitchen exhaust fans can draw away stuffy air and promote improved air flow.

Invest in balanced mechanical ventilation.

These systems provide both indoor exhaust and outdoor supply air flow, providing balanced ventilation that keeps indoor temperatures at comfortable levels throughout the year.

To learn more about how ventilation affects your home, turn to the experts at Air Assurance. Contact us today to explore heating and cooling options for your home.

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

IAQ – Indoor Air Quality

Factors Affecting Home Comfort

Factors Affecting Home Comfort

Differing factors account for your home comfort in the summer and the winter. Let's take a look at some of the things you should be paying attention to now as the long, hot summer proceeds so that you can maximize your comfort without your utility bills going through the roof.

Humidity

Humidity is one of the major factors affecting comfort in the summertime. When your home's relative humidity exceeds 50-55 percent, you will experience difficulty cooling off, as moist air inhibits the evaporation of perspiration on our skin and its subsequent "wind chill" effect. Humid conditions in the home's interior may occur for a number of reasons, such as these:

  • Ceiling and plumbing leaks

  • Air conditioner not dehumidifying properly (dirty air filters and condenser coils may contribute to this)

  • Activities such as cooking, showering, clothes washing and drying

  • Poor or no exhaust ventilation

You can lower humidity by fixing leaks, changing filters and having coils cleaned, limiting moisture-producing activities and installing exhaust ventilation.

Temperature Control

If your air conditioner isn't in good working order, it may not increase your comfort to keep turning the thermostat down, down, down. Many factors can be at play when an A/C doesn't cool, among them:

  • A/C is wrong size.

  • Air filter is dirty.

  • Ductwork is poorly designed, or may be leaking air.

  • A/C refrigerant is leaking.

While you can change the filter regularly, fixing the other situations may be more challenging -- particularly getting the right size A/C. Whenever it's time to replace your A/C, make sure it's neither too large nor too small.

Air Quality

You may not be that aware of your home's indoor air quality, but a summertime accumulation of airborne pollutants, such as pollen, pet dander, chemical particulates, dust mites, dust and mold can actually make you sick. Switch to a good quality, pleated air filter (rated MERV -- minimum efficiency reporting value -- 8-12) in your HVAC system and vacuum often with a HEPA (high efficiency particulate air) filter.

For more on home comfort, contact Air Assurance of Broken Arrow. We've provided quality products and service in 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). For more information about other HVAC topics, call us at 918-217-8273.

HVAC system

Guest House Comfort Considerations

Guest House Comfort Considerations

Giving overnight visitors a separate space inside or adjacent to your home makes it easier to host others overnight. When you’re looking for ways to provide guest house comfort when the weather is hot, one of these options might work well for your particular space.

When it’s a separate structure.

A ductless mini split heat pump may be the best option for conditioning a separate guest space to use it year-round. Ductless systems offer a high degree of energy efficiency for both cooling and heating. They’re easy for an HVAC pro to install, use little interior space and operate quietly.If you only want to cool the structure, you may find that a portable A/C or window air conditioner will work well, as long as your homeowner’s association permits them.

When it’s a space inside or attached to your home.

Besides using a wall or window air conditioner for individual cooling, there are two other options that use your existing HVAC system. The first is to install a zoning system that lets your guest select the comfort level that works for him.

A zoning system divides your home into separate areas, each of which has its own thermostat. It’s an ideal solution for families that have different temperature preferences or in homes where temperature variances are wide.

You could put the guest quarters on a separate zone, so that the area only received conditioned air when someone wanted to use the space. Two-story homes, those with unequally-sized windows, or variable ceiling heights throughout benefit from zoning systems because their temperatures vary quite a bit. These systems can be installed with new HVAC equipment or as an upgrade for an existing system.

If your guest space isn’t part of the conditioned area, ask your HVAC contractor if your system is large enough to extend the ductwork. The contractor will evaluate the capacity of the system and the cooling load inside the guest space.

For more information about which guest house comfort option will work best for your home, contact a pro at Air Assurance, providing HVAC services for Broken Arrow homeowners.

Featured

How Planting Trees Can Lead to HVAC Savings

How Planting Trees Can Lead to HVAC Savings

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

Keeping Cool With Trees

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

Where to Plant Trees

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

Choosing Trees

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

We've got more tips on HVAC savings at Air Assurance of Broken Arrow.

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

HVAC system

Career Day: Teaching Kids about HVAC and Energy Efficiency

Career Day: Teaching Kids about HVAC and Energy Efficiency

From leaving the lights on to taking long showers to turning the thermostat up and down in a bid to achieve instant temperature control, children can significantly increase your utility bills due to their wasteful habits. For that reason, teaching kids about HVAC and energy efficiency should be a priority. Use the tips below to get them involved in saving energy at home.

Discuss the Thermostat

Your HVAC system is a major energy consumer. One of its parts that you interact with the most is the thermostat. Take the time to talk to your kids about how its settings affect energy efficiency. Explain to them why they should leave the settings alone to make them appreciate the need to have adults solely responsible for managing the device.

Do Basic HVAC Maintenance Together

Kids love doing adult work. Ask them to help you in doing basic maintenance tasks, such as:

  • Inspecting and cleaning or replacing air filters

  • Cleaning air vents

  • Looking for air leaks

  • Hosing down the exterior A/C unit

As you perform these tasks, make sure you explain to them the importance of what you're doing.

Give Rewards

A great way to prevent children from viewing conservation as a new chore is by turning it into a game. For example, you could come up with a game to find out and reward the person that best remembers to unplug unused appliances or turn off the lights. You could also keep track of their energy-saving habits and reward them once they meet certain goals.

Involve Them in HVAC Decisions

Are you planning to upgrade your thermostat? Let the kids help you choose a new programmable thermostat. If your furnace or air conditioner needs repair or replacement, talk to the young ones about the process. Allow them to watch your HVAC technician work and encourage them to ask questions.

Teaching kids about energy efficiency helps them develop good habits that will yield lifelong benefits. For more tips on energy efficiency, contact us at Air Assurance. Our friendly all-NATE certified technicians serve the Broken Arrow area with safe, effective, and efficient HVAC services.

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.

Fans

Have You Changed Your Ceiling Fan Direction Yet?

Have You Changed Your Ceiling Fan Direction Yet?

When you're making the transition from heating to cooling your home this year, a related task that's well worth tackling is changing your ceiling fan direction. Once the blades are going in the right direction, you can use your ceiling fans strategically to boost your comfort, help you save energy and make your HVAC equipment last longer too.

Ceiling Fan Direction Simplified

Ceiling fan blades are purposefully designed to spin either forward or backward, and the direction of the spin is controlled via a small button found on the fan housing. This simple button adjustment allows you to change the blade rotation on a seasonal basis: in the summer, you want the blades spinning forward, in a counter-clockwise direction, so they create a cooling breeze. This “wind chill” helps perspiration evaporate and makes the body feel more comfortable.Making the change on all your ceiling fans isn't a difficult or time-consuming chore. Once the blades are set to spin counter-clockwise, you can:

  • Save energy without sacrificing comfort by dialing up your usual thermostat temperature setting a few degrees. Doing so can help you lower your energy bills for the entire cooling season.

  • Help lighten your heat pump or air conditioner's workload. By reducing strain and wear on your cooling equipment, there's less chance that it will break down at the height of the cooling season, and it will likely last longer as well.

Important Details to Know About Ceiling Fan Use

In our climate, ceiling fans can't completely replace air conditioning when the weather heats up, because they can't change the actual air temperature. What ceiling fans do is move air very effectively, and it's the cooling sensation created by air movement that lets you feel more comfortable. Understanding this makes it easy to see why it's only beneficial to run the ceiling fan in an occupied room. To avoid wasting any energy by having fans running unnecessarily, just make sure you switch the fan off whenever you exit a room.

To learn more ways to make your Broken Arrow home more comfortable this summer, 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 other HVAC topics, call us at 918-217-8273.

Air Conditioning

How Often Should You Clean Your A/C's Condensate Drain Line?

How Often Should You Clean Your A/C's Condensate Drain Line?

Your air conditioner’s condensate drain line is a critical component on Oklahoma summer days. In addition to cooling the air inside your home, the central A/C also extracts water vapor from the air. Lots of it. On a humid day, the evaporator coil sealed inside the indoor air handler can produce many gallons of liquid condensate.If everything’s functioning correctly, condensate collected in the drip pan underneath the air handler flows into the drain line and is safely conveyed away. If a clog develops in the condensate drain line, however, the drip pan will rapidly overflow, potentially spilling gallons of water every time the air conditioner cycles on. Before the problem is even noticed, severe indoor water damage may result.

What Causes Clogs?

The typical culprit in condensate drain line clogs is algae in the drip pan. The warm, wet, dark environment inside the pan provides ideal conditions for growth of algae. Eventually, the sticky, gooey substance invades the drain line and causes a clog. Overflow quickly follows.

What Can Be Done To Prevent Clogs?

DIY prevention can help stop clogs by inhibiting algae growth. Once a month, prepare a mixture of one cup of white vinegar and one cup of water. Pour it into the wide, shallow drip pan underneath the air handler. Take the opportunity to also check out the status of the drip pan. If it’s wet, that’s normal. However, if you notice standing water, that indicates a clogged or sluggish drain line. Turn off the A/C and call a qualified HVAC service contractor.

Professional service to clear a condensate clog includes blowing out the drain line with air pressure, then cleaning and sterilizing the drip pan and drain line to eliminate residual algae. For long-term protection, time-release biocide tablets can also be placed in the drip pan to prevent recurrence of algae growth.

For professional service to resolve condensate drain line problems, contact Air Assurance.

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

Featured

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

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

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

Overall Improvements

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

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

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

Living Areas

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

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

Kitchen

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

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

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

Bathrooms

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

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

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

Bedrooms

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

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

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

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

Taking steps to increase energy efficiency at home reduces your monthly overhead and often increases indoor comfort. For more information, contact Air Assurance, providing HVAC services for Broken Arrow homeowners.

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

Featured

How to Combat Your Allergies with Your HVAC System

How to Combat Your Allergies with Your HVAC System

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

Control Allergens at the Source

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

  • Keep doors and windows closed.

  • Brush off clothes and pets before entering the home.

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

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

Trapping Pollen

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

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

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

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

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

Humidity

Can Indoor Humidity Affect Your Energy Bills?

Can Indoor Humidity Affect Your Energy Bills?

The level of indoor humidity in your home makes a big difference in your comfort and it will affect your energy bills. Humidity drives the “feels like" temperature, which is how your body perceives it versus the actual temperature as measured on a thermometer. The amount of water vapor in the air makes people feel warmer or cooler, regardless of the temperature.Humans use evaporation to cool their bodies and when there’s less humidity in the air, water evaporates faster. When the humidity is higher, evaporation occurs more slowly. You’re much more likely to be comfortable on a hot day with low humidity compared to a warm day with high humidity.

Managing Humidity in the Home

Ideal indoor humidity levels range between 30 and 50 percent year-round. The most efficient way to manage humidity includes central humidifiers and dehumidifiers. They attach to the air handler and will either increase or lower water vapor levels.Both operate automatically using humidistats, similar to thermostats, to keep humidity levels comfortable and healthy throughout the home. These systems require little maintenance and use less energy than using portable humidifiers or dehumidifiers.You can also achieve lower humidity in the summer by:

  • Using kitchen and bathroom ventilation fans to remove excess water vapor.

  • Running ceiling fans to increase comfort by evaporating skin moisture faster, although they won’t change the air temperature.

  • Verifying the clothes dryer vents outdoors.

  • Using dehumidifiers in unconditioned basements.

Increase humidity in the winter by avoiding the use of the kitchen and bathroom fans and supplementing it with indoor plants, simmering water on the stove, or using portable humidifiers or vaporizers.

The Benefits

The primary benefits of managing humidity levels are greater health and comfort along with lower cooling and heating bills. In the summer, lowering the level reduces cooling costs and in the winter, increasing it trims heating bills. Your health and that of your home also improve when the humidity stays between the recommended ranges.To learn more about indoor humidity and maintaining a healthy level, contact the pros at Air Assurance, providing HVAC services for the Broken Arrow region.

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

HVAC system

How to Eliminate Odors in Your 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). For more information about TOPIC and other HVAC topics, download our free Home Comfort Guide or call us at 918-217-8273. Credit/Copyright Attribution: “Name”

The air that flows from your HVAC registers should make your home more comfortable. When certain conditions exist, though, that airflow can also spread bad odors throughout the house. Eliminating odors wafting from your HVAC system air vents is not only crucial for your comfort, but it can help you avoid possible health and safety risks as well.

Why Do Unpleasant HVAC Odors Occur?

Your conditioned air can carry various kinds of disagreeable scents for a number of reasons. Here are some common types of HVAC odors and where they typically originate, as well as advice on the best way to eliminate them.

  • Chemical fumes. Off-gassing VOCs and hazardous vapors from common household chemical can stay trapped in your indoor air supply if your home is tightly constructed and well-sealed for efficiency. To achieve a fresher, healthier indoor air quality, talk to your HVAC pro about effective solutions like installing a ventilator or adding a whole-house air cleaner to your HVAC system.

  • “Burnt” electrical odors. A burnt-wiring smell is usually a telltale warning that an electrical component like a fan motor or circuit board is overheating. To avert the danger of a fire, shut off the HVAC system via its breaker in the main electrical panel, then contact your HVAC professional for help.

  • Acetone-like vapors. If your conditioned air carries an odor that reminds you of nail polish remover, there's likely a refrigerant leak somewhere in the system. Your HVAC technician will need to locate and fix the leak, then top off the system's refrigerant level to prevent damage to key components like the compressor.

  • “Dirty-sock” or musty smells. These kinds of pungent odors are especially unpleasant, and they're the result of algae, bacteria, mold or mildew growth within your HVAC system. The underlying cause may be debris/dampness in the ducts, a clogged cooling coil or air filter, or a blockage in the condensate drain lines. A trained technician can pinpoint the source and clean the component to eliminate the odor.

For more advice or help eliminating odors in your Broken Arrow home's HVAC system, contact us at Air Assurance.