hvac system

Safety

How to Babyproof Your Home and HVAC

Your home’s HVAC system is an important item to add to your babyproofing list. This equipment can cause injuries to curious children who get too close. Even if your baby is a newborn, it’s never too early to start making your Broken Arrow home safer with the following HVAC system babyproofing tips.

Check Your Metal Vents and Registers

The metal vents and registers around your home can be hazardous to kids due to their edges. Children can get cut on these edges if they come loose from the floor or wall. Check each metal vent and register in your home to see if any are loose, and secure them to the wall or floor. If you want to avoid having to worry about these metal edges, you can switch to plastic vents and registers instead. Plastic ones are easy to secure and don’t have any sharp parts.

Put Screens in Registers and Vents

Young kids can sometimes lose toys that fall through vent and register slats, but there’s an easy way to prevent this. Cut out a piece of vinyl window screening that matches the size of the register or vent, and attach it beneath the cover. This screening will catch any objects that fall into your registers and vents, so that they’re easy to retrieve. This will also prevent your child from getting fingers stuck in the slats trying to reach toys that fall in.

Enclose Your HVAC’s Outdoor Unit

The outdoor unit of an HVAC system is among the biggest dangers for children. These units have wiring, blades that move when the system is running, and metal pieces with sharp edges. It’s important to make sure that your child isn’t able to access this outdoor unit at all. You can do this by putting up a fence all around your outdoor unit. This allows you to easily access it if needed while also keeping your child from being able to get near it.

If you’re looking for help with HVAC system babyproofing your home in the Broken Arrow area, please contact Air Assurance.

HVAC System

The Best HVAC System for a Multifamily Home

If you thought finding the best HVAC system for a single-family home was tough, imaging having to find one that meets the needs of multiple families. Choosing the best HVAC system for multifamily homes is a challenge that countless developers and building owners face often. Not only is there the short-term cost of procurement and installation involved, but there are also long-term implications to consider.

Your Options for Multifamily HVAC

There are plenty of choices at your disposal when it comes to finding the right HVAC system for multifamily homes. Most systems come in the form of centralized and decentralized systems, each with their own pros and cons:

  • Centralized HVAC systems consist of a single unit located in the building’s basement or penthouse. Popular in high-rises and other large multifamily buildings, these systems are typically more energy efficient than their decentralized counterparts, but more expensive to install and maintain.

  • Decentralized HVAC systems consist of separate units designated for each family or building unit. Installation and maintenance are more cost-effective, but these systems lack the maximum efficiency that centralized units offer.

Two-pipe and four-pipe heating and cooling systems are common examples of centralized HVAC systems. Other examples include hot water baseboard and geothermal systems. The latter offers the greatest efficiency of all centralized HVAC systems due to its energy source.

Wall-mounted air conditioners and electric baseboard heating units represent decentralized HVAC systems. Packaged thermal air conditioners and self-contained forced air units are also commonly used in decentralized applications.

Crucial Factors to Consider

Important factors including building size and layout, unit airtightness and the stack effect’s impact on building airflow can easily influence your choice for a multifamily HVAC system. Don’t forget that when it comes to maintaining HVAC systems for multifamily homes, the responsibilities for maintenance and upkeep fall on the landlord, as per the Oklahoma Landlord-Tenant Act.

If you need help choosing the best HVAC system for multifamily homes, turn to the experts at Air Assurance, helping Broken Arrow property owners with their HVAC needs since 1985.

HVAC System

Different HVAC Types and Their Benefits

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Driven to boost the efficiency levels in American homes and businesses, the HVAC industry over the last decade has revolutionized HVAC equipment so that it runs cleaner, more efficiently and delivers greater comfort than ever. If you're poised to replace your HVAC system and are planning to shop around among the various HVAC types, read this brief summary on the latest trends.

1. Forced Air/Central Air

The most common type of heating and cooling system, forced air/central air has come a long way. Air is heated or cooled and then delivered through a system of ducts, and distributed through various vents and registers. New technology has vastly improved this type of system, and includes condensing furnaces, modulating air handler fans, scrolling compressors, as well as smart thermostats so you can adjust the temperature when you're away.

2. Heat Pumps

Heat pumps are taking more market share in the cooling and heating industry, as their ability to heat in colder climates is improved. Heat pumps move warm air from the outdoors into the home to heat it, then move warm air from the home outside to cool it. Heat pumps are efficient and clean to run. They generally employ ductwork to distribute conditioned air. Some efficient features available for heat pumps are two- or variable-speed motors for air handlers; two-speed or scrolling compressors to regulate output and backup burners to boost the heat pump's ability to heat during cooler weather.

3. Ductless Mini Splits

As the name implies, ductless mini splits don't require ducts, bur distribute air through air handlers placed around the house. They are a kind of heat pump, so are efficient and clean to run. These are a good choice for a home that has never had ductwork installed.

4. Geothermal systems

Geothermal systems are heat pumps that move heat from the ground or water source into the home for heating and out of the home for cooling. The configuration of your property will be a factor in determining if you can accommodate a geothermal system.

For more on the various HVAC types, contact Air Assurance.

Service and Maintenance

New Home HVAC System: Your Checklist

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If you're moving into a new home, it's a good idea to get to know your new appliances and equipment. Turn things on, look at the owner's manual and find out all the dos and don'ts. And nowhere is that more important than with your new home HVAC system.

The HVAC encompasses the heating, air conditioning and ventilation systems, all of which, when working at their peak, are designed to keep you comfortable. Of the several different kinds of systems, the most common is the forced air furnace and air conditioner, which use ductwork to distribute conditioned air. Whatever type of system you have, be sure to schedule a maintenance visit from your HVAC technician to check it for any potential problems. It always pays to fix things before they turn into major repairs or breakdowns. You don't want a breakdown in the midst of the cooling or heating season.

Here are a few tips for caring for your new home HVAC.

Caretaking for Your HVAC System

  1. Change the air filter. This is the most important thing you can do with a forced air system. Change the filter whenever it's dirty to improve airflow and indoor air quality. Learn which type of filter works best with your system.

  2. Maintain good airflow with your outside compressor/condenser. Clear away dirt, debris, leaves, weeds, grass, shrubs and limbs, as well as garden furniture and tools so that your condenser can adequately exhaust the heat that the refrigerant carries from the home.

  3. Find out whatever you can about your HVAC system. How old is it? If your system is 10 years old or older, schedule a visit from the HVAC technician to check it out and see if it's the right capacity for your home so you can plan for the right size replacement when the time comes. Also, have the ductwork assessed to see if it needs repair or if it is adequate to deliver the right volume of air for your home.

To learn more about new home HVAC issues from Air Assurance. We serve Broken Arrow and the surrounding area.

HVAC System

Smart HVAC: System Automation

In upgrading your HVAC system, you have a lot of different choices. One increasingly popular option is automation. It can be a bit pricey, but there are a number of benefits. Here's a brief guide to help you determine if a smart HVAC system is right for you.

What Is Smart HVAC?

A smart system learns your household's heating and cooling preferences over time and adjusts to them automatically, to provide enough air to keep you comfortable, without wasting energy. They also factor in outdoor temperature when setting the indoor temperature. A variable-speed air handler can provide more air on hotter days, or less air on milder ones.

The system learns your habits, too: whether you like things a little warmer in the morning or a little cooler at night, etc. Some systems even have sensors to detect when someone enters or leaves a room, so that air isn't sent to unoccupied areas.

And in addition to learning your preferences, the system also connects to your phone or other mobile device via an app. This way, you can remotely control the temperature, and even the vents, closing one and opening another as needed.

Benefits of a Smart System

An automated HVAC system is more expensive than your standard model, but it's an investment. It can cut your energy bill by around 20 percent, paying for itself over time. It also ensures you're always comfortable, learning and automatically adjusting to your preferences, rather than making you set and reset the thermostat throughout the day.

Is HVAC automation right for you? To find out, have a professional conduct an energy audit of your home and determine where you're wasting energy. They can also examine your current HVAC equipment, to see if it meets your needs, or what upgrades might be beneficial to you. Then, they can help you choose the smart features that will best benefit your home, and set them up for optimal comfort and energy savings.

To learn more about smart HVAC systems, contact us at Air Assurance today. Broken Arrow trusts us for all its heating and cooling needs.

HVAC System

Importance of an HVAC Water Filter

Everyone knows the importance of air filters in their HVAC system. They keep airborne contaminants from entering the unit and reducing the components' efficiency. But water flows through your system too. Here's why an HVAC water filter is also essential, for commercial and residential systems alike.

The Necessity of Water Filters

There are all sorts of contaminants that can come from your water and build up in your HVAC system. If you have hard water, it can cause scale: a layer of mineral deposits, such as calcium and magnesium, inside your system.

There can also be algae growth on and around the water, as well as just regular dirt. However, the calcium and magnesium cause a chemical reaction when the unit is warm, leading the other contaminants to bond with the surface and stick there. As this debris accumulates, it creates a barrier in your system that reduces heat transfer, forcing the system to use more and more energy.

A water filter eliminates these contaminants, improving energy efficiency. It also prevents corrosion and other problems that can necessitate more maintenance and ultimately shorten the lifespan of your system. Much like your air filter, a good water filter will improve efficiency, reduce overall maintenance, and help your system last longer.

Types of Water Filters

There are several different HVAC water filter types that can help keep your system clean. For a residential system, the best option is most likely a screen filter. Water passes through a screen similar to the way an air filter works. The screen captures debris, while letting clean water flow through.

For commercial or industrial systems, there are more efficient options. A centrifugal separator spins the water, so that debris sinks down to the bottom. And a microsand filter can filter out contaminants up to 50 times smaller than an ordinary screen filter. By choosing the right water filtration system for you, your system will stay healthy and efficient for years to come.

For help buying an HVAC water filter for your system, contact us at Air Assurance. We're Broken Arrow's trusted source for quality HVAC solutions.

HVAC system

Understanding Airflow in Your Home

Understanding Airflow in Your Home

Understanding Airflow in Your Home

Most of us don’t give airflow much thought, but it’s a physical phenomenon surrounding us every moment. Inside our homes, the movement of air, or lack thereof, drives its air quality and the costs for keeping it comfortable. Even though it’s largely intangible, air has some of the same physical qualities as water. Air moves just as easily as water does, but instead of being affected by gravity, it’s affected by pressure that’s always trying to equalize itself. Where positive pressure exists, it moves into a negative space and vice versa. 

Why It Matters

A home’s energy efficiency depends on a few important factors. Insulation in the attic and walls makes a big difference, as does its degree of air infiltration. A leaky home will be hard to heat and cool because air is either moving in or out. You’ve probably experienced how a drafty room feels on a cold day. The draft probably came from a window, exterior door, or around the floor. Another way to encourage the movement of air from positive to negative is to close off a room in a home that has a forced-air HVAC system. Closing off the duct without stopping the return airflow will create a negative pressure gradient that will pull unconditioned outdoor air inside. 

Air Infiltration and Quality

While homes with low air infiltration rates cost less to condition, they may have air quality issues. The U.S. EPA reports that the air quality in many homes is among the worst that people encounter. Pollutants include volatile organic compounds (VOCs) from products made from hydrocarbons, carbon monoxide, and radon, dust, pollen and dander. All homes need some fresh air ventilation. The most energy efficient way to introduce fresh air without driving up energy costs is with a heat recovery ventilator (HRV) that uses technology to capture the energy in the outgoing air and put it into the incoming air. If your home isn’t as comfortable as you’d like or your air quality is low, you may have airflow issues.

To learn more, 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,download our free Home Comfort Guide or call us at 918-217-8273.

HVAC system

Do You Need Climate Control in Your Garage?

Do You Need Climate Control in Your Garage?

It’s possible to make your garage usable year-round by installing climate control equipment for winter heating and summer cooling. Plenty of workable options are available that provide the comfort you want in the garage, whether it’s a hobby space or you use it as additional livable space.

Heaters

Ductless mini split heat pump.

This system tops the list because it provides both heating and cooling in one easy to maintain, affordable and energy efficient appliance. Unless the weather is exceptionally cold, a heat pump provides adequate warmth in the winter. Ductless systems are similar to central HVAC systems except they blow the air directly from an air handler and don’t need ductwork.

Electric heaters.

Whether they’re space or baseboard heaters, these kinds are better at spot heating than overall garage heating since they’re the most expensive kinds to use on an ongoing basis.

Vented gas heaters.

A gas heater that hangs from the ceiling and vents to the outdoors will provide comfortable heat for cool-season use. Your HVAC contractor will securely hang it and extend a gas line to the heater. Unvented heaters are available, as well, but aren’t considered completely safe. If you do use such a system for climate control, keep a window or door slightly open to pull in fresh air and don’t use it more than a few hours at a time.

Cooling Systems

If you opt for a ductless heat pump, you will have a high-efficiency cooling system. These appliances are also available as air conditioners that provide cooling only.

Portable, window and wall air conditioners will also provide cooled air for the garage. The size you need depends on the cubic footage in the garage and its insulation levels, along with the amount of air infiltration. These re the same factors that will impact the size of heating system you need as well.

Adding climate control equipment to the garage helps you enjoy your time with hobbies, lucrative work, or in an alternative living space. To learn more about any of these systems, 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.

Service & Maintenance

Puppy-Proof Your HVAC System

Puppy-Proof Your HVAC System

Owning a puppy is an incredibly rewarding experience. However, it can harm your HVAC equipment in more ways than one.Dogs come with dander that can pose a severe problem to the equipment. What's more, the notorious nature of young puppies to chew on just about anything can land them in lots of trouble while damaging your HVAC system. Use the HVAC protection tips below to keep both your system and four-legged friend safe.

Safeguard Your Outdoor Unit

The outdoor air conditioning unit is usually installed in the side yard or backyard. That means your pooch can easily access it when going outside to play or for bathroom breaks. The unit's wires, sharp edges, and metal pieces can create perilous situations for your dog.On the other hand, your furry child can damage the unit by scratching or chewing on it. Dog urine can also be extremely harmful to the unit. Consistent urination will degrade your unit and cause problems like erosion of fins and refrigerant leaks, forcing you to shell out hundreds or thousands of dollars for repairs.You can prevent accidents by putting up a reasonable barrier like a small fence around the outdoor condenser to prevent the puppy from accessing it. Just make sure you leave at least three feet between the barrier and the unit.

Control Hair and Dander

Dander and hair from your puppy can quickly become airborne and get into your HVAC system. Besides clogging up your filter, they can wrap around critical parts like the coils and cause severe damage. You can prevent such issues by:

  • Replacing your filter frequently

  • Cleaning your entire home including the air intakes regularly

  • Washing and brushing your furry friend often to keep the dander and hair it sheds to a minimum

Remember, having a puppy requires you to make an extra effort toward HVAC protection. Don't forget to schedule a furnace or A/C tuneup regularly to ensure reliable performance and efficiency even if you have a furry friend. If you need dependable HVAC maintenance or repair in the Broken Arrow area, contact the experts at Air Assurance.

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

Service & Maintenance

Why Is My Heat Pump So Loud?

Why Is My Heat Pump So Loud?

When your heat pump suddenly becomes noisy, the first thing that may come to your mind is that it's about to break down. But don't panic just yet. Loud heat pumps could be just that — loud. At times, the loud noise could be a sign of a problem. So how can you tell the difference? Read on to find out the common noises that heat pumps make and what they indicate.

Normal Noises

Heat pumps usually make some strange sounds while they operate. For instance, those that have a Scroll-type compressor make clicking and tapping sounds as they shut down. When coming on, they make rickety sounds. Swooshing sounds are also to be expected when heat pumps go into defrost mode. Shifting valves are responsible for the sounds, which shouldn't be a cause for concern. Rattling sounds at startup or shutdown that resemble an unbalanced washing machine are also typical.

Unsettling Noises

Some loud noises can be signs of trouble. They include:

  • Gurgling — Low refrigerant charge often causes gurgling noises. It can severely downgrade your heat pump's performance.

  • Rattling — Frequent rattling or vibration-like sounds could be caused by loose components or unsecured ducts.

  • Metal-to-metal noises — At times, a heat pump can make banging or clanging sounds like metal hitting against metal. The fan blades could be hitting a chunk of ice or other components. The contact could damage the fan or the parts that the fan blades are hitting. To avoid costly repairs, turn the unit off as soon as you hear these noises.

  • Popping — This sound could be as a result of liquid refrigerant entering the compressor. You should have it fixed soonest possible.

  • Squealing — A high-pitched squealing sound could indicate your unit's motor is going bad. It could also be due to your compressor putting too much pressure on the refrigerant.

If your heat pump is making any of these worrisome sounds, call in an HVAC professional to examine it. If you need help with a noisy unit in the Broken Arrow area, contact the heat pump specialists 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.

HVAC system

HVAC Considerations for Home Renovations

HVAC Considerations for Home Renovations

If your home renovations involve creating new spaces that need to be heated and cooled, it’s a good idea to bring your HVAC contractor in early on to help you choose the best HVAC option for your comfort and budget.

Extend the existing system.

If your HVAC system has the capacity to condition the new space, you might be able to run the ductwork to it. Your HVAC professional will run a sizing calculation first. Improving home energy efficiency throughout, including the new space, might make it possible to use your current equipment.

Replace your old equipment.

Even if your existing equipment has enough capacity, if it’s old or has had frequent breakdowns, you would probably be better off replacing it. If you choose one with high energy efficiency and meet the criteria, the lender or local government agencies might give you financial incentives to replace the old, inefficient equipment.Your home will have lower heating and cooling costs, greater comfort and you’ll have a warranty that might be transferable to the next owners should you sell your home.

Install a separate system.

Putting independent A/C systems in a new addition is fairly easy, but it provides no heat. You can use electric heaters, but they’re the least efficient kind of heating available. Ductless mini splits have become the go-to heating and cooling system for home renovations that require conditioning.The mini splits that are heat pumps provide comfortable heat without using a combustible fuel by extracting the heat from the air outdoors. Ductless heat pumps offer many advantages. They’re easy to install, each has its own thermostat, and they’re energy efficient. When you’re not using the space, turn the thermostat off for more energy savings.If your considering making home renovations, contact Air Assurance before you get started We can help you make the best decisions regarding home comfort and your budget in your Broken Arrow 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 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.

Featured

How to Properly Winterize Your HVAC

How to Properly Winterize Your HVAC

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

Promote Good Airflow and Air Quality

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

Protect the Outdoor Component

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

Clean Up Around the Outdoor Unit

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

Schedule Professional Maintenance

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

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

Winterizing

Are Snow Melt Systems Right for Your Home?

Are Snow Melt Systems Right for Your Home?

When snow falls in Broken Arrow, it means you have to get out your shovel to clear off your driveway and other outdoor areas. While shoveling snow is good exercise, it’s also exhausting and even dangerous for some individuals. With snow melt systems, you don’t have to worry about clearing your driveway to make it safer for your loved ones and your car.

How Snow Melt Systems Work

These systems provide a convenient way to keep driveways, patios, and other outdoor areas free of snow and ice by serving as an outdoor heating system. Some systems use electricity to accomplish this, while others use a combination of hot water and antifreeze circulating through a series of tubes and pipes. Snow melt systems sometimes have manual controls that homeowners can turn on and off when needed. Other systems have sensors installed to detect the presence of snow on the surface. When there is enough snow, these systems turn on automatically.

Benefits of a Snow Melt System

A snow melt system offers convenience for you as a homeowner. With one of these systems installed, you won’t need to spend time shoveling snow from your driveway. This is highly beneficial if you have health conditions that make it difficult or dangerous for you to shovel snow. These systems also help keep your driveway safer to drive or walk on by clearing away snow and ice. This helps lower the risk of personal injuries from falling and damage to your car if you slide.

HVAC and Energy Bills

Your snow melt system doesn’t use the same source of heat as your HVAC system, but it can be integrated with it. Keep in mind that running a snow melt system leads to increased energy usage. You can make up for this by lowering your home’s heating bills through routine HVAC maintenance for improved energy efficiency and replacing air filters regularly.If you need more information on snow melt systems, please contact Air Assurance. Keep in mind that our company can also provide your Broken Arrow home with HVAC maintenance and other services this winter.

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 to Properly Vent your Kitchen During Thanksgiving Preparation

How to Properly Vent your Kitchen During Thanksgiving Preparation

Hosting Thanksgiving dinner at your house fills it with the aromas of the turkey, dressing, and pies baking, along with all the heat the stove and oven generate. Taking a few minutes to assess your kitchen ventilation before the holiday arrives might help you stay more comfortable while you put this celebratory meal on the table.The combination of heat plus the steam that the cooking creates is a recipe for discomfort in the kitchen. It’s the same thing that happens in the summer when the humidity combines with warm temperatures that has you reaching for the air conditioner’s thermostat. Add it all the body heat your guests will generate, and things could get uncomfortable.Fortunately, by Thanksgiving, there’s plenty of cool air outside to use instead of the A/C. Getting inside is all a part of ventilation methods for getting rid of the humidity and the heat. To start, determine if:

  • Your kitchen fan exhausts outside or just recirculates the air. Look above the fan to see if there a vent pipe that leads up through the ceiling or goes out of a wall. If you see either, your fan exhausts air outdoors.

  • Does the kitchen have a window that opens? Sometimes builders put in fixed windows or windows can stick over time if they’re not opened periodically.

  • Is there a door leading outdoors or into the garage? A door that leads outdoors will give you ample kitchen ventilation.

  • Do you have a portable fan?

This list of ventilation options will provide the basis for your approach to Thanksgiving dinner. If your kitchen fan vents outside, increase its speed from low to high as the heat in the kitchen increases. Opening a nearby window or door will pull in cooler, fresher air. If your kitchen fan recirculates only, place your portable fan inside the doorway or window and exhaust the air outdoors.Home and kitchen ventilation matter even when it’s cold outside. If you find that it’s hard to ventilate your home, contact Air Assurance for expert advice. We provide HVAC services for Broken Arrow homeowners.

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.

HVAC system

HVAC During Mild Weather

HVAC During Mild Weather

Setting the thermostat for fall, when the weather is still mild, can be rather perplexing. Since it may be still a bit too warm in the daytime to turn off the air conditioner altogether, or not yet chilly enough at night to turn on the heating, you may have to do some adjusting with your fall HVAC settings.

Let the Fresh Air In

If the weather allows, by all means, turn the system off in fall and fling open the windows so you can enjoy some fresh air before winter arrives. Be sure you turn the system to "off" so that it doesn't come on while the windows are open.

Setting the Thermostat

If you've created an energy-efficient schedule with your air conditioner by raising or lowering the thermostat for periods throughout the day depending on when people are home, sleeping or inactive, you will probably need to adjust the schedule as the weather cools, and for time changes.For the fall, it may be you will want to change that schedule to turn the air conditioner on for just a couple of brief periods each day, and leave it off for the rest of the day so you can open windows. Or, as the season advances and it gets chillier, you will want to turn on the heating just for brief times in the morning, when people are getting ready for work, and in the evening, when you're dining or getting ready for bed.To save money, you can use ceiling fans, portable fans and even an occasional space heater to cool off or warm up those who aren't comfortable with your thermostat settings. If they are chilly, they can add layers of clothing or an extra blanket at night. That way, you may even be able to turn the system off altogether at night.

Obviously, the chances for a serious cold front to make its way into our region will mount as fall advances, so be ready to reset the thermostat as needed.Need more advice on fall HVAC settings? 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.

Thermostats

Thermostat Best Practices for Fall

Thermostat Best Practices for Fall

The fall season is finally here and you know what that means - time to reevaluate your home's heating and cooling needs! Since many of these needs are tied to your home's thermostat, let's take a look at a few thermostat best practices that you should immediately put on your to-do list.

Upgrade to a More Advanced Unit

If your home still has a manual thermostat, it's definitely time to upgrade to a programmable model. This will allow you to set the dates and times when your heating or cooling system kicks on, which will allow you to have greater control over energy costs.

Pick a Schedule and Stick to It

Once you've set the days and times for your HVAC system to run, make sure that you stay with this schedule whenever possible. Making changes on a regular basis will cause your energy usage and costs to fluctuate.

Enlist the Help of a Qualified Technician

The fall season is a great time to get your HVAC system checked out by a qualified technician, and while he or she is there, why not have your thermostat checked as well? After all, without a fully functional thermostat, you''ll have difficulties with the heating and cooling of your home.

Install a Zoned System

Traditional heating and cooling setups are forced to condition your entire home and eat up valuable energy resources, but this problem can be solved easily with the installation of a zoned system. This system uses multiple thermostats - one for each designated "zone" in your home - to give you better control over your home's comfort needs.

Replace the Batteries

Modern thermostats will tell you when the batteries need to be replaced by either emitting a beeping sound or flashing a small light. Simply open the battery compartment, remove the old batteries, and put in the new ones. It couldn't be easier.

If you need more advice on thermostat best practices or any other home comfort concerns, please contact the friendly professionals at Air Assurance. We've been serving the HVAC needs of Broken Arrow and the surrounding area for over 30 years.

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

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.

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.