How a Programmable Thermostat Can Save You Money This Summer

As we enter the warmer months of spring and summer, it’s a great time to consider installing a programmable thermostat to stay cool while keeping your cooling costs low.

Installing a programmable thermostat allows you to reduce energy usage and save money by scheduling your temperature settings based on when you’re awake, asleep, and away from home. There are additional benefits as well, including that it allows you to control your comfort by managing a more consistent temperature in your home and spending less time adjusting your temperature.

Also, installing a programmable thermostat can increase your home’s efficiency and keep your HVAC system working it’s best.

Plus, a programmable thermostat works just as well in winter to reduce your heating costs and save you money throughout the year, making it an inexpensive upgrade that can be a cost-effective investment for your home and comfort season after season.

Count on Aspen Air Duct Cleaning for all your heating, air conditioning, air duct cleaning and dryer vent cleaning needs. Our team of trained and experienced professionals provide HVAC system services to all makes and models. Aspen Air Duct Cleaning is Massachusetts and New Hampshire’s air quality cleaner choice, specializing in residential, commercial, and industrial ventilation cleanings.

By Mr. Duct

Health Benefits of a Home Humidifier

The season of dry hands and sore throats is around the corner. If you’re looking for ways to combat these inevitable winter symptoms, a whole house humidifier might be just what the doctor ordered. When you get a home humidifier, here are some health benefits that you could experience during the long winter months.

Better Sleep

One of the immediate benefits of a whole house humidifier is it may help you stay asleep. When humidity levels are low, your respiratory system dries out quickly causing snoring, sneezing, coughing, and sore throat that can disrupt a good night of sleep. Having a whole house humidifier can potentially relieve these symptoms and make it easier to breathe while you sleep, allowing less disruptions.

Alleviate Dryness

We’ve all experienced that annoying pain of dry, cracking hands. No matter the amount of moisturizer, sometimes dry skin just won’t go away. With a home humidifier, you can bring natural moisture back into the air of your home, which could improve the look and feel of your skin. Not only could a home humidifier benefit dry skin, but it can also help other forms of dryness like cracked lips, bloody noses, and itchy eyes.

Reduce Illness & Allergies

One of the worst side effects of winter is the corresponding health problems that arise with the lower humidity levels. Unfortunately, viruses and allergens thrive in climates with low humidity. When our respiratory systems are already dried out from these low humidity levels, it makes the transfer of illnesses that much easier and harder to get rid of. Additionally, if you have weather-related allergy symptoms, the side effects of low humidity can make your nose and throat feel that much worse. By adding a whole house humidifier to your home, you can restore humidity in the air that could help improve your illness and/or allergies.

Not only are home humidifiers great for your health, they also could save you money in the long run! Adding more moisture to the air in your home with a whole house humidifier can make it feel warmer so you can lower your thermostat and reduce your energy bill during winter.

By Mr. Duct

5 Risks You Face When Your Air Ducts Aren’t Cleaned Properly

Air ducts are a key component of any HVAC system. Unfortunately, they don’t receive the recognition they deserve. In fact, air ducts are often overlooked entirely. Many people either wait too long to have them cleaned or avoid the procedure altogether. Both of those practices wreak havoc on your HVAC system and your health.

Not only that, but many people fail to replace their filters on a regular basis, which adds to the dirt and debris that builds up inside the ducts. Before you go another year without cleaning your ducts, take a look at the list provided below. These are the risks you face when you don’t keep the air ducts in your home as clean as they should be.

1. Increased Carbon Monoxide Risks

Carbon monoxide is a serious threat to you and your family. Carbon monoxide exposure can cause headaches, dizziness, and vomiting. Moderate exposure to carbon monoxide, over a prolonged period of time, can be fatal.

Unfortunately, if you don’t have your ducts cleaned on a regular basis, you increase your risk for carbon monoxide exposure. That’s because the dirty ducts cause your heater and air conditioner to overheat, which leads to elevated carbon monoxide levels.

2. Decreased Air Quality

If allergies, asthma, or other breathing-related medical conditions are a problem for your family, you need to have your ducts professionally cleaned. Your ducts attract and trap dirt, allergens, and pollutants.

Once the ducts are clogged with those particles, your air will no longer be clean, which means you and your family will breathe in more of the contaminants. If you have dirty filters, the problem will be exacerbated. That’s because dirty filters increase the amount of dirt and allergens that flow through your ducts.

3. Diminished Air Flow

Whether you want to stay cool during the summer, or warm during the winter, maximum air flow through the vents is crucial. After all, you can’t keep your home a comfortable temperature when air flow is down to a trickle.

Unfortunately, you won’t get peak airflow through the vents when the ducts are clogged with dirt and other particles. The best way to ensure maximum airflow is to have your ducts professionally cleaned at least once a year.

4. Damage to Limit Switch

Your furnace contains a variety of essential components. One of those components is the limit switch. The limit switch serves two functions. First, the limit switch helps the blower remove excess heat from the heat exchanger.

Second, the limit switch shuts down the system if the heat exchanger does get too hot. A clean air duct system protects the limit switch, and prevents malfunctions. However, if your air ducts are clogged, your limit switch and your heat exchanger are at risk.

5. Increased Energy Bills

If you’re like most people, you look for effective ways to reduce your energy bills. One simple way that is often overlooked, is to have your air ducts cleaned whenever you see dirt on the walls around your air vents. In most cases, that’s once every one or two years.

If you live in a particularly dusty environment, or you deal with high pollen counts on a regular basis, you should stick to the once a year schedule. A clean air duct system helps your HVAC system operate more efficiently, which reduces those monthly energy bills.

If you’ve encountered problems with your HVAC system, the problems could lie with your air ducts. Dirty ducts pose a variety of problems for you. If you haven’t had your ducts cleaned in several years, and you live in Massachusetts or New Hampshire, contact us at 978-681-5023. We’ll come out and remove the dirt that’s got your ducts clogged up.

By Carolina Ductmasters

3 Types of Duct-Related Maintenance to Keep Your AC Running Smoothly

Your AC system needs more than a yearly coolant top-off to stay healthy and function optimally. It requires great airflow, a functioning duct system, protection from pests, and more. Here are three types of duct-related maintenance you need in order to keep your unit at the top of its game.

1. Duct Cleaning and Testing

In addition to losing cooled or heated air, duct leaks can also allow polluted air into the system. So, if you discover that your ducts have been leaking, that could mean it’s time to have them cleaned out. If your HVAC system has recently been operating with clogged air filters or even without air filters, that could also allow dust and dirt in, meaning a cleaning is a good idea.

Other reasons for duct cleanings include a mold problem or simply needing better indoor air quality. This could be because someone in your home has allergies, asthma, or other respiratory issues affected by air particulates. Your indoor air may be especially high in contaminants if, for example, you have a lot of pets or you don’t open your windows often.

Duct cleaning can be helpful for many allergy sufferers. When used in conjunction with a high-quality AC filter, regular duct cleaning could reduce the severity of allergy symptoms experienced in the home by reducing the amount of pollutants in the air your ducts pump through the house. If you find duct cleaning helps your allergies, consider making it a yearly event.

2. Pest Control

You may be under the impression that you don’t have to worry about pest control if you don’t have a pest problem at the moment. However, thinking ahead can help you avoid a smelly, expensive, and even hazardous infestation.

An HVAC professional or a pest-control expert can help you to check your ductwork and air vents for vulnerabilities. Pests such as cockroaches, mice and rats, ants, and even bats are more common in HVAC ducts than you might expect.

Close up any gaps, place better screens on vents, and use preventive traps to help avoid problems. An HVAC or pest-control expert can help you come up with a detailed and customized plan to avoid housing critters in your HVAC ducts.

3. Duct Sealing and Insulation

Many homes lose a lot of their cool air through ductwork leaks and uninsulated ducts, meaning only some of the cool air produced is actually used. If you haven’t had your ducts sealed and insulated recently, your home could fall into this group.

Problems such as leaky ducts and insulation damage are more common than you might think. Sometimes a more drastic problem, like disconnected ducts, is also present. If you have one room in your house that doesn’t get as cool as it should, this could be why.

Even if you have had your ducts sealed in the past, it could be time to have it done again. Consider getting your ducts inspected and checked for leaks anytime you’re having them cleaned; rodent damage, thermal expansion and contraction, and other factors can cause leaks to appear in ductwork over time.

These three types of maintenance can act as ancillary factors to your yearly professional maintenance visit. With regular professional maintenance for your AC and ductwork and complementary home maintenance, such as changing the filter regularly, you’ll be able to keep your AC unit in top form where efficiency and effectiveness are concerned.

By Carolina Ductmasters

Is Cheaper Better?

With the cost of living continuously on the rise, the desire to get the best bang for your buck is stronger than ever. Some deals are simple like a BOGO coupon for your favorite product at the grocery store. Other deals promise to save you much more.

Budgeting for Air Duct Cleaning

With intentions of great savings and a checkmark next to your to-do list, it’s easy to jump at these bargains. Before diving in, it’s important to take a pause and ask yourself, “Is the deal going to save me money or will it cost me more in the long run?”

Even the best bargain hunters will tell you there are some instances where you can skimp, but other times it’s worth the investment. When it comes to taking care of your home cheaper isn’t always better, especially concerning your air duct system, the lungs of your home.

It’s common to find ads from air duct cleaning companies promoting “$99 whole house specials” while flipping through your latest coupon book. Beware of these low-ball prices as this is a popular tactic used by fraudulent air duct cleaning companies to get their foot in the door. Those prices hardly cover the cost of the service, let alone the equipment used, leaving you to unexpectedly pay more while the service is in progress.

These bait-and-switch companies are also known to only clean what can be seen by the naked eye, leaving behind the main build-up of dirt and contaminants found deep within the system. Often, companies like this try to sell you on unnecessary up-charges, exceeding the price listed in the ad.

Avoid having to repeat the process and ensure the job is done right the first time by hiring a NADCA-certified Air Systems Cleaning Specialist. With advanced training and certification in HVAC system cleaning, you can be confident in knowing that you received top quality cleaning at a fair price.

Are Those Real?

When it comes time to hire a reputable air duct cleaner, one of the first things you’ll likely do is check company reviews. Good or bad, millions of people use reviews to make informed decisions. A favorable review or convincing testimonial may influence your decision to hire. On the other hand, a bad review could make it easier for you to write off a company.

Have you ever stopped to think, “What’s stopping a company from posting false reviews?” Not all company reviews are legit, and some may be the tactics of a scammer. Some disreputable businesses will pay a freelancer or even create fake profiles to positively review themselves. Others may go as far as writing negative reviews on the competitions’ profile in an attempt to discredit them.

How do you weed out the fake reviews and find trustworthy, reliable testimonials?

There are several ways to validate a real customer’s identity:

  • Real customers typically have a non-generic name and picture
  • Some sites will have a verified customer tag
  • Real customers have a presence on the site, such as friends or other connections. This would be specific to review sites such as Yelp
  • Despite fake reviews being against the law, they’re hard to regulate, so you’ll have to educate yourself on how to spot a fake review.

Signs of a fake review include:

  • Vague details and description
    • Someone who used a company’s services will have specific details about their experience. The review will be longer than a couple sentences and will likely mention results, how they found the company, and if they will (or will not) hire them again.
    • Pay special attention to the words of the review. Fake reviews will be short, sound generic, or use dramatic language. Real reviews are more moderate in praise.
  • Incorrect spelling or grammar
    • Because companies may hire freelancers to write reviews, a review that is full of errors can be a red flag. This could indicate that the reviewer was in a hurry, possibly because they were hired to write a lot of reviews, or the review was outsourced from another country. Correct spelling and grammar are signs of an honest review.
  • Reviews containing similar pictures or language
    • The odds of many reviewers saying the same thing about a service are small. When it comes to reviews you should expect to see a variety of testimonials. Multiple reviews using similar phrasing may be a sign of a scam.
    • The same goes for pictures. If multiple reviews have a similar profile photo, they’re probably fake.
  • Timing and number of reviews
    • Typically, it takes a while to accumulate reviews. Multiple reviews in a brief span of time (about 30 minutes) can be a red flag.

Hiring a NADCA member will help you weed out the scammers.

All air duct cleaning contractors must meet strict requirements to be a member of NADCA. These requirements were established to provide a higher level of assurance to consumers. Part of being a NADCA member means complying with NADCA’s code of ethics, which includes being honest and forthright with advertising.

Hiring a NADCA member to clean your air ducts will not only ensure the work is getting done by a legitimate company, and because NADCA members are certified, you can trust they have extensive knowledge in HVAC inspection, cleaning, and restoration methodologies.

When speaking to a contractor, make sure they can show proof of NADCA membership and certification. Luckily, NADCA makes it easy for consumers to find a legitimate air duct cleaner with the Find A NADCA Professional tool. Protect yourself from scammers by hiring your local NADCA-certified contractor.

Extend the Lifespan of Your Furnace

Did you know furnaces typically last around 15 years before they need to be replaced?  Heating systems need proper maintenance to reduce the risk of breaking down unexpectedly. With these tips for extending the life of your furnace, you can keep it running smoothly for as long as possible.

Change Air Filters Frequently

Most people do not change their air filters as often as needed. This can lead to poor indoor air quality inside your home and potentially damage your furnace.  When your filters are dirty, your furnace must work harder to maintain airflow and as a result, the lifespan of your system is shortened. Changing your air filter regularly is one of the easiest and least expensive things you can do to maintain your heating and cooling system.

Upgrade Your Thermostat

If your home has an outdated analog thermostat, consider upgrading to a programmable thermostat. Older thermostats don’t have the same precision of newer, advanced models, resulting in your furnace working harder to provide the temperature you want.

Keep Your Home Well Insulated Hot air lost through window

There are many places for heat to disappear, like the attic or windows, leading to a less comfortable home and a harder working furnace. Adding some insulation and sealing up any leaks in your air ducts can keep your home warm all season long. Addressing air leaks can be done by pursuing a home energy audit or by having a yearly air duct inspection.

Schedule an Annual Inspection

Don’t make the mistake of ignoring your furnace until something major is wrong. An annual inspection could have caught that issue early on and saved you from costly repairs.

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Get Your Air Ducts Cleaned

Like cars, heating and cooling systems perform better with regular maintenance. When done correctly, air duct cleaning is very beneficial to the longevity of your air handling units. Despite using filters, your heating and cooling system still gets dirty through everyday use. This dirt is filled with contaminants and air pollutants that can harm your indoor air quality and cause your heating and cooling system to work harder, shortening the lifespan of your system.

There are several factors that can increase the need for regular air duct cleaning. The number of occupants in your house, whether you have pets, and if anyone in your house has allergies can all increase the frequency with which you should clean your air ducts. Reduce the need for potentially costly repairs by scheduling an air duct cleaning with your local NADCA-certified contractor.

Original article written by NADCA

What is Growing in Your Air Ducts?

Just because you can’t see mold doesn’t mean it’s not hidden behind wall or worse in your duct work. Mold thrives in dark, damp places, and can begin to grow within your ductwork undetected. If not removed quickly and carefully, this fast-growing fungus has the potential to take over your entire ductwork system.

So how harmful is mold? Not only can mold present serious health hazards, it can contaminate your ductwork and eventually break down the structure of your property. When mold levels begin to increase, those who are more sensitive to the fungus will experience greater effects. If left untreated, mold can present complications with both the respiratory and nervous system.

Our NADCA certified team has been providing quality duct cleaning services throughout Massachusetts and New Hampshire since 2005. Contact our team of professionals today to have your ductwork inspected for mold.

  • Mold Symptoms

If ingested or inhaled, mold spores can cause a variety of unpleasant and dangerous symptoms for everyone in the home. Some symptoms of mold exposure include:

  • Rashes
  • Chronic fatigue
  • Chronic coughing and sneezing
  • Irritation of the eyes, nose, or throat
  • Reoccurring headaches

If you are exposed to mold for a longer period, health risks can be more dangerous. Mold poisoning can produce symptoms such as nausea, vomiting, and bleeding in the lungs and nose. If you are experiencing any of these symptoms and suspect mold growth in your home, call our team right away to have your ductwork inspected. You can rely on the professionals at Aspen Air Duct Cleaning for prompt and careful mold removal.

Learn more about the dangers of mold growth from the Global Healing Center.

Preventing Mold Growth in Ductwork

Once the mold has been properly removed, you will want to prevent a future infestation. First, you should try to identify what caused the mold to grow the first time. High levels of moisture, warm temperatures, and limited lighting are factors that will make it easy for mold or mildew to spread. To prevent mold from growing in your home, we recommend you:

  • Reduce humidity levels. Elevated humidity levels will increase your risk of mold exposer. Use a dehumidifier to remove excess moisture from the air or speak with your local HVAC dealer to find a less humid heating and cooling system for your home.
  • Prevent water leaks. Inspect all moisture-creating sources to be sure they are directed and vented outside your home or building. Remember, mold can grow in as little as 24 hours, so it’s important to identify and stop leaks quickly.
  • Schedule annual ductwork service. Regular maintenance will help you prevent future mold growth and increase energy efficiency. Schedule your duct sealing service today and we will send out our qualified professionals to inspect air flow and seal all ducts.

If you are experiencing any of these symptoms and suspect mold growth in your home, call our team right away to have your ductwork inspected. You can rely on the professionals at Aspen Air Duct Cleaning for prompt and careful mold removal.

Original Article written by Atlantic Duct Cleaning

Air Loss in Your Home

Air duct leakage is a big deal and according to Green Building Advisor, on average your air ducts leak nearly 10% of your air supply, making your air duct one of the biggest wastes of energy in your home. How can you tell if your air ducts are leaking? Thankfully, there are tell-tale signs of air duct leakage, and ways to avoid the extra costs and dangers of air duct leakage in your home. Here are signs our experts encourage you to look for:

  • High Utility Bills

If you are often surprised by your monthly utility bill, your leaking air ducts could be to blame. When your air ducts leak, it forces your HVAC unit to work harder in order to keep your home at a comfortable temperature. This, in turn, causes energy deficiency within your home, and costs your wallet unnecessary fees for heating and cooling.

  • Varying Temperatures Throughout Your Home

Leaking ducts can cause conditioned air to escape to the attic or the outdoors and can inhibit air from reaching the right rooms in your home. If you feel weak airflow exiting the vents in certain rooms of your home, you can likely attribute it to leaking air ducts.

  • Poor Indoor Air Quality

Leaky ductwork can create high humidity in your home, which, in turn, can cause excess mold growth. When mold grows excessively in your home, you and your family are breathing in dangerous spores and aggravating those with allergies or asthma that live in or visit your house.

In addition to mold growth, leaky ducts can be the cause of back drafting. When your return ducts leak air, it depressurizes your home, and that can cause air to be pulled in from outside. When this happens, harmful gases and dirty air can circulate through your home, which could harm the health of your family.

  • Excessive Dust in Your Home

Duct leaks in unconditioned areas of your home, like the attic or crawl spaces, can pull in dust and distribute it to various rooms. If you find that you are always dusting, yet never see results, it could be due to a leak in your air ducts.

  • Duct Sealing Services in MA and NH

Are the rooms in your home uncomfortably cold or too warm? Do you have excess amounts of dust or mold growth? Are your utility bills unusually high? These could be signs of leaking air ducts. Stop wasting money on conditioned air that’s escaping your home and diminishing the quality of your indoor air. Save money, and allow your HVAC unit to work more efficiently, by scheduling professional duct sealing services now.

At Aspen Air Duct Cleaning, we have been a trusted industry leader since 2006, providing professional indoor environmental solutions that improve air quality in your residence or commercial property. We can improve your leaky air ducts with Aeroseal® duct sealing, an advanced technology that allows us to seal every leak from the inside out!

Are you ready to increase your indoor air quality and save on your utility bill? Learn more about Aeroseal® duct sealing and schedule an appointment now! Article written by Atlantic Duct Cleaning

Can Duct Cleaning Help You Conserve Energy?

Most homeowners want to find ways to reduce living expenses, especially regarding their utility bills. The good news is that there is no shortage of ways to reduce energy consumption and lower electric bills.

Having an airtight home can help to stop energy waste through leaks around windows, doors, pipes, and vents. Homeowners will also enjoy the benefit of maintaining a set interior temperature. Using a programmable thermostat to roll back the temperature during the time you’re out of the house could significantly cut the costs for heating and cooling your home.

However, you might not realize that your ducts also play a role in the overall energy efficiency of your home. Just as a good dryer vent cleaning can ensure that your appliance operates at peak efficiency, regular residential air duct cleaning can help you to conserve energy and reduce your costs, not to mention improving interior air quality. Here are just a few ways in which air duct cleaning makes your HVAC system more efficient.

Blocked Vents

Think about what happens when you fail to dust and vacuum your home. Over time, dust, dirt, dander, and other detritus begins to build up on surfaces. You can see visible particulates gathering on surfaces in as little as just a few days.

When was the last time you had a professional clean your ducts? Never, you say? Imagine all the dust that’s been building up in them over the months and years that you’ve lived in your home.

Servicing your furnace and AC unit regularly and replacing filters can go a long way toward maintaining clean ducts. However, filters can’t catch everything. In addition, failing to check your vents could mean families of rodents may have taken up residence over time, building nests and leaving messes.

These conditions can even cause health concerns. They can also have a negative impact on energy efficiency as you place higher demand on your system to push air through and meet your heating and cooling needs. Regular vent cleaning can eliminate such concerns and improve efficiency.

Leaks

Ductwork is built to last, but over time fittings can deteriorate, this breakdown can lead to spots where your air leaks into the walls and crawl spaces in your home instead of making it to your living spaces. This will cause you to crank up the air in order to maintain your desired temperature, wasting energy and air in the process.

Other Issues

When you hire professional technicians to clean your ducts regularly, they may notice issues like moisture or mold. These signs may indicate your ducts have inadequate insulation. With properly insulated ducts you can greatly reduce energy needs and lower utility bills in the process.

Written by Fresh Aire