Advice From the Pros

Flu Season

Tips for Avoiding and Stopping the Spread of Flu

Flu Season

February is peak season for germs and bacteria, the flu hits hardest at this time of year. Thankfully, there are steps to keep to your home safer and prevent it from spreading even if you have someone that has become ill already. The virus that causes cold and flu are airborne, and your HVAC plays a key role in whether you become ill yourself – or stay healthy.

Moving Air allows your filters to do their job

Running your system, hot or cold doesn’t matter as much as actually having it operate, creates movement of air and allows the filtration system to work as intended. When the air in your home stays still for too long, airborne viruses stick around and that increases your chances of becoming infected.

This same concept is one of the reasons subways are so prone to causing the spread of infection. The lack of moving air allows infectious viruses to be deposited and easily picked up by casual contact.

Cold weather drives us inside and for longer periods of time. While that isn’t a bad thing on its own, please be mindful that to keep your environment healthy, you need to circulate the air you are breathing.

Whole House Humidifiers

Dry air lets flu and cold virus run unchecked. Moisture not only makes the environment more pleasant and helps with overall heating costs, but it also dramatically reduces how contagious a virus is. See our article last month on whole house humidifiers, they can bring a lot of benefit to your life. Not only can they stop flu viruses from spreading, but they can also treat the symptoms if you have already caught the flu and are suffering.

Sore throat, congestion? Whole house humidifiers help ease these symptoms dramatically. And they do it effortlessly, so you can stay tucked in bed and recover that much easier.

A Warm Home is Good for the Body

Your body’s natural defenses are strengthened when the home is warm and it is not having to spend energy keeping the body at a warmer temperature. When you come in from the cold, a warm home temperature can help prevent a cold from setting in.

Invest in Air Filtration

Dry, recycled air is more prone to airborne germs. During the middle of winter, it is not practical to open up the windows and let fresh air in. It is these times that great air filtration becomes so important. The most effective filter types come with a High-Efficiency Particulate Air (HEPA) filter. Doctors and allergists prefer these as they are the most effective air purification tools available. They are essentially mats of randomly arranged fiberglass fibers, somewhere between 0.5 and 2.0 micrometers. Many HVAC systems meet the requirements of hospital air filtration systems, but they require the filters to be replaced on a timely schedule to work as effectively as possible.

When you’re ready to replace your air conditioning unit, contact Gentry Air Conditioning!

 

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Repair or Replace

Has Your HVAC System Broken Down? When to Repair vs Replace  

HVAC System Broken Down

It happens. Air conditioning units don’t last forever and over time they can break down and stop working the way they should. We’re here to help and part of helping is letting you make the best decision you can. We never try to make unnecessary sales and if it makes sense to repair a unit, we’re more than happy to do the work.

There are many reasons why you may not want to replace your system, and we understand. Cost and downtime are important factors but sometimes you get to a point where you are throwing good money after bad. What should you know about your HVAC system when trying to decide whether to replace it or repair it?

How Old Is It?

Unfortunately HVAC systems don’t last forever. The expected lifespan of a system is ten to fifteen years and if you’ve lost track of time that means that if you have a system that was installed before 2009, then there is a chance it is time to get a new one.  If your unit is over 10 years old and it is starting to break down more frequently, this is the time that we will discuss new models with you.

How expensive is the repair?

At a certain point, costs to repair become more expensive than the value you get for the repair. What is that price point? An unwritten rule is that if the repair parts cost over $1000 then it is time to consider replacement. Consider past repairs on the unit. Are the costs adding up year after year? Are you throwing good money after bad?

Is the repair for a permanent part or simply maintenance?

The nature of the repair is another consideration. Is the repair just a bandaid, like adding refrigerant because there is a small leak somewhere that is letting it escape? Is it something permanent like a motor replacement?

Repair work that needs to be done repeatedly is a sign that your system is could continue seeing failure as other parts begin to break down. If component parts of the system are replaced and other connected parts of that system then fail, it may be time to replace the full unit.

Energy Efficiency

In the last ten years, systems are becoming more and more efficient all the time. Newer systems will always be more efficient than the original if it is 4 years or older, but there is another metric you can check against new models. The Efficiency of unit has a rating called SEER.  SEER stands for “seasonal energy efficiency Ratio”.

What rating is considered inefficient today? A 12 SEER or lower is inefficient and units with these ratings should be considered for replacement.

Refrigerant Leaks and Type of Refrigerant

Refrigerant leaks are like leaks in your tire. They do not go away and if they are not tracked to the source and repaired, treating the symptom and not the cause will guarantee it comes back. Leaks need to be corrected through repair or replacement.

A final consideration is the TYPE of refrigerant your system uses. R22 refrigerant is phasing out in 2020. If your system runs on R22 then it is worth considering a replacement to get away from it. It won’t cause your system to fail, but the cost to repair will become higher and higher as supplies become harder to source.

When you’re ready to replace your air conditioning unit, contact Gentry Air Conditioning!

 

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Home Allergies

Allergies Giving You Trouble? Benefits of an Electronic Air Cleaner 

Home Allergies

More than 60 million Americans suffer from asthma and allergies. Indoor allergens such as dust mites, pet dander, mold, and cockroach droppings can trigger allergy and asthma symptoms in millions of allergy sufferers. In fact, a survey published in the Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology found that at least six allergens were detectable in more than more than 50 percent of homes. Carried in through the air, allergens can be found on furniture, floors, and other surfaces around the house. While no home can be completely allergen-free, a whole-home air cleaner can be EXTREMELY effective at removing allergens.

Allergens collect in pillows, mattresses, duvets, upholstery and carpets and your standard air filter is limited by the size of the filter pores. HVAC air filters are important for removing contaminants from the air to improve your home’s air quality. The better the air quality, the better your HVAC system runs and the better your family’s health. Standard filters are very dense, and they stop dust by trapping it in a porous filter. “Pressure drop” is caused when a filter’s porous material is too small to allow for proper airflow in the system.

The way to beat that is by having the finest filter materials in a separate unit called an electronic air cleaner.

Small Particles, Large Effects

Trane CleanEffects for Allergy Problems

The Trane CleanEffects Air Purifier can help with your seasonal allergies.

Particles like dust, smoke and bacteria are often .3 microns or less. At that size, allergens can get deep into your lungs because they aren’t filtered well by your nose and throat. An effective Trane air cleaner, such as Trane CleanEffects™, can reduce the presence of potential asthma and allergy attack triggers in your home, like dust, pollen, pet hair and dander, dust mites, mildew, lint, fungus, most tobacco smoke, cooking grease, and even bacteria.

Patented Innovation

The Trane CleanEffects™ Air Cleaner utilizes patented, breakthrough air cleaning technology to remove up to an astounding 99.98% of airborne allergens from the air that passes through the filter. It catches particles as small as .1 micron, making it 8 times more effective than even the best HEPA room filters and up to 100 times more effective than a standard 1-inch filter.

It is able to remove of up to 99.98% of particles and allergens from your filtered indoor air. It removes particles as small as .1 microns – 1/1,000th the diameter of a human hair – a size that eludes most air cleaners.

No Replacement Filters To Buy

Maintenance is as simple as looking at Cleaning indicators easily visible on the outside of the unit. Cleaning the filters requires you to just vacuum or rinse them once every 3 to 9 months (depending on usage).

If you’re interested in having the best air quality for your home, or concerns about your families allergies, give us a call at 817-488-6733 and schedule a consultation. Trane Clean Effects systems are the premier whole-home air cleaning solutions.

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