Archive for May, 2011

Cooling Season here we come!

Wednesday, May 11th, 2011

Only in Minnesota do we need to run the furnace and the air conditioning in a 24 hour period. You might have done this all ready but if you’re holding out here’s a quick checklist BEFORE you switch that button from heat to cool.

Remember, having your cooling unit serviced at a minimum of every other year insures a cooler summer with higher efficiency. A unit low on freon due to evaporation or leaking makes your unit run more frequently and for longer. Only a professional can check the freon level and gauge the pressure the freon is being delivered at. So, in the event you made the call and you’re waiting for the service guy go ahead and do these yourself.

  1. Clean your outdoor unit. This means removing your cover or cage and cleaning out the dead leaves, twigs and any pests that have taken residence. You can hose the unit down making sure you avoid over spraying the electrical connection.
  2. Make sure your disconnect is in tight and the breaker turned on.
  3. If you have a programmable thermostat check your summer settings or re-program.
  4. If you have an ERV or HRV turn the dial to summer mode and clean your unit and filters.
  5. If you have a whole-house humidifier turn it off. (If I did your install make sure you turn the damper handle from winter to summer.)

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What many mechanical contractors don’t want you to know.

Wednesday, May 4th, 2011

Is it worth putting in a better furnace filter? I fight the idea on a daily basis that a 4″ pleated filter is better than the standard $2 filter or that an electrostatic filter will catch more dust so you have to clean less. I discontinued selling anything other than the standard plain filter except for aresize.jpg lifetime washable filter. It’s true that I could make more money selling you a more expensive filter with the idea that you’ll improve your indoor air quality and such but it’s just NOT TRUE!

The majority of you indoor air and the particles you see in the air are reduced or increased very little by your furnace. Your furnace draws air from the space it’s in and the air in your home. If you’re in a newer home, you’re bringing in fresh air from outside with your ERV or HRV. If you’re in an older home it’s probably bringing in passive fresh air through a fresh air in your mechanical room or, drawing it in the less desirable way, leaky doors and windows. The fact is you need to change your filter frequently. If you filter gets very dirty or full in a week then you need to change it weekly. If you check it monthly and it looks clean then you change it less.

 If you are highly allergic to dust, cleaning with hepa filters and minimizing carpets, drapes and such are the route to go for low cost measures or investing in UV filters. For more information about filters check out this study.

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