The Fashion of Wearing White and Labor Day

September 1st, 2014

You may have heard about the fashion faux pas of wearing white after Labor Day. In the present, this tradition is usually treated as old fashioned and a joke. Few people will criticize you for wearing white articles of clothing after the first Monday in September, or even take notice of it except to wonder why it was ever a major concern at all.

Where did this tradition of white clothing going out of fashion after Labor Day come from, and why did it fade away like colorful fabric washed in a hot load in the washing machine?

In general, white makes sense for the heat of summer. Light-colored clothing reflects away the radiant heat of the sun, instead of absorbing it the way dark colors do, so for thousands of years of human history people have preferred to wear white clothing during the hotter months.

However, the idea of white as strictly fashionable during the summer season only emerged in the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries—the time when the very concept of “fashion” began to spread across the Western Hemisphere.

It was only the highest level of post-Civil War society in the U.S. that strict and often bizarre rules for fashion controlled whether someone was in with the “in” crowd. Compared to our ideas of what’s fashionable today, the Czars of Style in the 1880s were true despots. Things as trivial as sleeve length could determine whether a woman in high society—no matter her level of wealth—was fashionable or a pariah.

Wearing white during the only summer, when it was common for weddings and outdoor parties, was only of these restrictive society rules. When the U.S. government made Labor Day a federal holiday in 1894, the Fashion Czars gained a definite cut-off point for when wearing white was no longer “acceptable” in the upper echelons of wealthy society.

For many decades, this rule only applied to a small number of millionaire socialites in a few big cities, but in the 1950s it reached general fashion magazines that were read around the country and started to affect more people.

But time eventually broke apart this odd rule, and during the 1970s fashion became more individual. Some fashion legends, like Coco Chanel, also purposely rejected the restriction and wore white throughout the year. Today, the “no white after Labor Day rule” is little more than an amusing gag to tease friends, and almost nobody takes it seriously.

Whatever you choose to wear after Labor Day (and if it’s white, we won’t tease!), everyone here at Envirotech Air Quality Services hopes you have a happy end of the summer and great plans for the fall!

Infrared Diagnostic Imaging and Mold Removal

August 27th, 2014

As many people know, having mold growth in your home can be a serious issue. However, finding the mold can be akin to a scavenger hunt as you try to find the areas of your home in which the mold is growing. Mold thrives in moist, cool, dark places, so it can be hard to detect exactly where it may be, and the places may be difficult to reach, like the inside of your ductwork. A great tool that can help detect potential mold growth is infrared diagnostic imaging. But not just anyone can use infrared light; it takes trained personnel to calibrate and read the results of the imaging. Envirotech Air Quality Services has the trained experts who can help you with mold problems using infrared technology.

How Does Infrared Imaging Help?

Infrared imaging, also known as thermal imaging, creates a picture or pictures from the infrared radiation of things, objects and living beings. This radiation is created by the heat energy of the object; the higher the temperature of the object, the brighter the color of its imaging. The image collects the infrared radiation from objects in front of it and creates an electronic image based on information about the temperature differences. The colors range from dark purples and blues, which indicate low temperatures, to bright reds and yellows, which indicate higher ones.

Trained technicians use infrared imaging to detect air leaks and pockets of moisture that aren’t readily visible to the naked eye. Infrared allows this detection without opening walls or ceiling, or pulling up carpets and floorboards. The technology is very precise and can map hard-to-reach places.

Once specific areas are noted to have excess moisture, they can be tested for mold growth. The infrared helps pinpoint locations that may have gone unnoticed without the help of the imaging.

Infrared diagnostic imaging can be an important tool to help with the removal of mold in your home. Mold side effects can range from uncomfortable to dangerous, so it’s imperative to completely rid your home of all mold growth. If mold growth has become an issue in your home, schedule an infrared diagnostic imaging appointment to help with your mold removal in West Palm Beach, FL. Envirotech Air Quality Services has the trained experts you need – call us today!

How Can I Save Money with Air Conditioning Maintenance in Wellington?

August 20th, 2014

An effective air conditioning system is a must for living in Florida. Unlike many other states, Florida can experience hot weather throughout the year, and air conditioners will often work through the winter months in addition to the heavy strain of the summer. You have to take good care of your AC to make sure that all this stress doesn’t end up causing it to break down and require an early replacement.

Air conditioners need regular maintenance each year to keep away repair problems. But maintenance isn’t just for preventing malfunctions and breakdowns: it will help you save money. Considering how much you will need to keep your air conditioner running during the year, you can save a significant amount from your cooling bills with AC maintenance. We’ll explain how.

To schedule air conditioning maintenance in Wellington, FL, call Envirotech Air Quality Services. We offer preventive maintenance programs that will service both your air conditioner and your heater.

The Money-Saving Benefits of Air Conditioning Maintenance

Studies of AC operation have shown that if a system receives maintenance every year, it will retain 95% of its energy efficiency performance over its lifetime. However, each year that it goes without maintenance will see on average a 5% drop in efficiency. If you have a high-efficiency air conditioner with 20 SEER, it will only take four to five years without maintenance for it to drop down to 15 SEER, which is close to dropping below the ENERGY STAR minimum requirement for ACs. You can expect to see utility bills start to mount every year.

What maintenance does to protect and air conditioner’s efficiency is to tune-up the systems so that age can’t get a grip on the components. Technicians clean the evaporator and condenser coils so they effectively remove and release heat, clean the lubricate the motors so they don’t overwork, check on the motor draw for optimum performance, change out the air filters, look for air leaks, and tighten electrical connections. This will result in an AC that runs with as few impediments to performance as possible, and therefore without draining extra energy.

There’s another way that maintenance will save you money: fewer repairs, and a reduced likelihood that you will need to replace the system early. An air conditioner kept in the best shape should meet or exceed its manufacturer’s estimated lifespan. One that goes without maintenance might not even make it halfway—and replacing an AC is the most expensive “repair” of all.

Sign up today for air conditioning maintenance in Wellington, FL with Envirotech Air Quality Services. Our program not only provides you with quality AC and heating maintenance, but also a 10% discount on repair parts. Should you need repairs, our skilled staff is ready 24/7 to assist you. Call us today to set up an appointment.

West Palm Beach Air Conditioning Repair Question: Is It My Compressor?

August 13th, 2014

The compressor is one of the most important components of your AC system. As refrigerant travels through your air conditioner, it must go through several phase transitions in order to remove heat from the home. As it enters the compressor, refrigerant is compressed into a high-pressure gas so that it can condense into a liquid at the condenser coil and release heat into the air. While the compressor is built to last, strain on your system, low refrigerant, a damaged part, or exposure to the elements may cause it to malfunction.

The following list includes a few of the problems that may indicate compressor damage. However, it’s important to note that any of these problems may also result from another source. Compressor damage is not a problem you should try to handle on your own. If you notice any of these issues, call a professional for air conditioning repair in West Palm Beach.

  • Hard Starting: If your air conditioner has trouble turning on and shuts off sooner than it should (commonly referred to as “hard starting”) it’s often a sign of compressor damage.
  • Compressor Will Not Turn On: When the unit will not turn on at all, the compressor may have overheated. However, this can also indicate thermostat problems or electrical issues.
  • Reduced Cooling: Reduced cooling can be a sign of wear and tear on the compressor. However, it may also mean the refrigerant is low, a coil is blocked, or it can be one of several other common problems that interfere with heat exchange.

Regular maintenance is the best way to prevent the need for air conditioning repair. During maintenance, a technician checks for problems like low refrigerant, which can seriously damage the compressor. Furthermore, you should call a technician at the first sign of trouble, as a broken part may damage other components of your system. The compressor works especially hard to compensate for damaged components, so it’s important to schedule repairs quickly.

If you attempt repairs without a qualified technician, you may cause permanent damage to the system. When you need air conditioning repair in West Palm Beach, call the experts at Envirotech Air Quality Services. We offer 24 hour emergency service so we can get your system in working condition as soon as possible.

Can I Do the Steps of Air Conditioning Maintenance on My Own?

August 7th, 2014

Your energy bills tend to be highest during the summer, but air conditioning maintenance is a great way to save some money by restoring efficiency to your system. However, many homeowners may try to save a little more by skipping professional maintenance in favor of trying it on their own.

While DIY projects are often a great way to save a little cash, air conditioning maintenance is a job that should be handled by professionals. In this post, we’ll cover a couple of the things you can do on your own to increase efficiency and reduce the need for repairs, and we’ll tell you why it’s actually more beneficial to call a technician for complete maintenance of your air conditioning system.

Maintenance Steps You Can Take on Your Own

There are a couple of ways you can help keep your air conditioner running smoothly throughout the season.

  • Clean or Replace Filters: The air filter in your AC unit helps regulate air quality and allows the necessary amount of airflow to move through your system. But if the filter becomes too dirty, your system may not get the proper airflow. This can cause the evaporator to freeze, reducing efficiency and possibly leading to costly repairs. To prevent this, clean or replace air filters once a month.
  • Keep Unit Free of Clutter: Another maintenance step you can take on your own is keeping the outdoor unit free of outside clutter or vegetation. Dirt and debris may get inside your condenser unit and block heat exchange or interfere with the condenser fan.

Maintenance Steps Best Left to the Professionals

While keeping air filters and the outside condenser unit free of debris is important, there are some steps you should leave up to the professionals. An experienced technician has the skills to disassemble and clean components and ensure they are put back properly. Additionally, an experienced technician will inspect your system completely, checking for low refrigerant and other repair needs you may not know to look for on your own.

Scheduling air conditioning maintenance is one of the easiest ways to save money on your bills this summer. For air conditioning maintenance in Lake Worth, FL, call Envirotech Air Quality Services today!

Why Rely on Professionals for Your Commercial Refrigeration Installation

July 30th, 2014

If you need commercial-grade refrigeration to run your business, you want to make sure that you receive the best possible installation for the units. A failing refrigerator or freezer, or one that doesn’t live up to your cooling needs, isn’t something you can afford if you run a quality restaurant, manage a cafeteria, or own a delicatessen. To avoid these problems, entrust the installation of your commercial refrigeration in Wellington, FL only to experienced commercial experts.

Envirotech Air Quality Services has served South Florida since 1987 with quality commercial services. We handle installation and maintenance for all types of commercial cooling needs: air conditioning, walk-in coolers, freezers, ice machines, refrigerators. We also keep a staff on call 24 hours a day for repairs should your commercial refrigerator or freezer encounter problems.

The Professional Installation Difference

Putting in refrigeration for a business isn’t anything like taking a trip to an appliance store, pointing at a model that matches the available space you have, and saying “I’ll take that one.” You need have the right refrigerator to fit the specific needs of your business. It must be large enough for your storage requirements, but not too large that it becomes a needless energy drain. The level of cooling is also crucial, since not all food and liquids need the same temperatures. When you meet with your professional installers, you can describe in detail what you need from your new refrigerator, and they will know how to match you with the right new unit.

Putting in the new unit takes skill (not to mention some equipment and extra people to manage the heavy lifting). The refrigerator must be correctly hooked up to the power system (you wouldn’t want a refrigerator that causes the power to short-circuit every time its compressor kick in!) and necessary water lines hooked into it. The installers will make certain that the system vents exhaust correctly and safely and won’t cause your workspace to overheat unnecessarily.

Perhaps most important of all, the installers will make certain that your refrigerator will keep your business up to health codes. You don’t want a faulty refrigeration unit and spoiled food to cause your establishment to fail a health inspection! Skilled commercial installers will keep health code regulations in mind throughout the job.

For your Wellington, FL commercial refrigeration needs, look to Envirotech Air Quality Services. We are a one-stop location for installation, replacement, repairs, and maintenance for commercial cooling… available 24/7 for your convenience and peace of mind. Give us a call today to schedule your next appointment with us.

Is It Too Late for Air Conditioning Maintenance?

July 21st, 2014

In Lake Worth, FL it’s important to have a well-maintained air conditioning system that will last throughout the years. There are many things you can do for your system that will improve both performance and efficiency, including cleaning or changing the air filters every month, calling for repairs as soon as they’re needed, and calling for air conditioning maintenance once a year.

A good time to schedule annual air conditioning maintenance is right before the cooling season, when you get the most use out of your air conditioner. But in the middle of summer, is it too late to schedule air conditioning maintenance?

When It’s Not Too Late

Air conditioning maintenance can improve performance and restore the efficiency of your system any time of year. If your air conditioner seems to be running just fine, maintenance is still important for the continued performance of your system and to prevent the likelihood of future repair needs.

During maintenance, an AC technician inspects your system, cleans components such as the condenser and evaporator coils, checks the refrigerant levels, and lubricates motors. If these parts are not maintained, you may spend more on your energy bills every month than you need to. Also, if any part of your system needs repair, the technician will inform you so that you can get it fixed as soon as possible. This is a vital service for the well-being of your system, as it saves you money every month and much less costly than repairing a sudden breakdown.

When It’s Too Late

However, if you notice problems with your air conditioner, you should call for air conditioning repair instead. Repairs should be addressed as soon as possible to prevent further damage to your system. If you notice significantly reduced cooling capacity, loud noises, or any other problems, it could indicate a serious repair need. You should schedule repairs now, and ask about scheduling maintenance later on to prevent the likelihood that the problem will occur in the future.

Remember, scheduling AC maintenance service in Lake Worth may save you a lot of money later on. To schedule service, call Envirotech Air Quality Services today!

How to Help Your AC Unit Cope with High Humidity

July 15th, 2014

Here in West Palm Beach, the humidity can really slow you down. You can usually cope with high humidity by walking into an air conditioned room, but how do you help your air conditioner deal with the effects of humidity, too?

Air conditioners help dehumidify the air as they cool. As the temperature of the air is reduced in the indoor evaporator unit of your AC, condensation forms on the evaporator coil and is released through a condensate drain line. If your home is very humid, there will be more moisture in the air, which means more condensation will form.

If the humidity is too high, however, your air conditioning system may use so much effort removing moisture from the air that it cannot properly cool your home. This is particularly true if your system is older or if it was sized improperly for your home. Older systems often simply cannot perform as well as newer AC units, while over-sized systems run for short periods of time, which means they cannot run long enough to remove humidity. Your best option in this case may be to replace the entire system.

There are a few things you can do on your own to help your AC unit cope with high humidity:

  • On a humid day, keep the doors and windows shut to prevent increased humidity levels. Ventilating your home during the hottest part of the day will only allow more moisture into the air, which means your air conditioner will have to work harder to keep you cool.
  • Use exhaust fans in your home when you take a shower, cook, or do any other activities that may produce excess moisture in the air. This allows the moisture to exhaust outdoors so your AC won’t have to deal with it.
  • Schedule regular maintenance so that an AC technician can inspect your indoor evaporator unit and your condensate line to ensure nothing is decreasing the performance of your system.

Envirotech Air Quality Services offers air conditioning services in West Palm Beach, FL. For air conditioning repair, maintenance, or replacement, give us a call today!

How Does Duct Cleaning Benefit My Home?

July 10th, 2014

Duct cleaning is something that homeowners often neglect. This makes sense in some ways: the ductwork of a house remains hidden from sight most of the time, so it doesn’t often cross people’s minds that it might become dirty and dusty. But make no mistake, regardless of how clean a home you have, contamination will start to develop inside the closed environment of the ducts. The air that circulates into the return air vents on average will move 40 pounds of dust a year through the ductwork. It only takes about two years for the interior of a home’s ventilation system to develop serious clogging from dirt, dust, and other debris.

Regular duct cleaning from professionals to clear out your ventilation system will benefit your home in multiple ways. We’ll look at the most important ones here.

Call Envirotech Air Quality Services for duct cleaning in Wellington, FL that will do the thorough job you need. We can also handle any repairs and replacements necessary for your ductwork.

The Ways That Duct Cleaning Benefits Your Home

  • Increased indoor air quality: The heat and air sealing on modern houses means they have scant circulation of fresh air, and this leads to stale and polluted indoor air that can adversely affect the health of residents. Low indoor air quality can trigger asthma and allergies, and cause cold- and flu-like symptoms such as coughing, breathing trouble, skin and eye irritation, problems sleeping, headaches, and nausea. Eliminating the reservoir of contamination inside ductwork will help reduce these problems and improve health in general.
  • Better heating and cooling efficiency: Even a thin layer of dust inside ductwork will place resistance against the airflow from a home’s forced-air heater or air conditioner. This will force the HVAC system to work harder and drain more power to compensate, and bills will rise. The worse the contamination grows, the more it will cost to keep the HVAC system running—and it may even end up needing serious repairs or early replacement. Duct cleaning gives your heater and air conditioner “clean” lungs so they can work their best.
  • A cleaner home: All the dust that the ventilation system collects and then blows out into your air is that much dust that you can’t easily eliminate from your home. You may notice that your house turns dusty soon after you clean it, and no amount of cleaning takes hold for long. Cleaning inside your ducts will help you with cleaning outside the ducts.

Cleaning a house’s ventilation system requires special equipment and training, so make certain you call experienced professionals for the job. In Wellington, FL, duct cleaning from Envirotech Air Quality Services will make sure you have the cleanest ventilation system possible. Our technicians are NADCA (National Air Duct Cleaners Association)-certified so you know you will get a top-quality job. Contact us today to schedule your next service appointment with us.

The Famous Painting of the Declaration of Independence Isn’t What You Think It Is

July 4th, 2014

If you grew up in the United States, you probably first saw John Trumbull’s painting of the Signing of the Declaration of Independence in an elementary schoolbook. This oil-on-canvas 12’ x 18’ painting hangs in the rotunda of the United States Capitol in Washington, D.C. It is one of the most famous symbols of freedom in the country and almost every citizen can conjure it from memory.

Except… the painting isn’t of the singing of the Declaration of Independence. The actual title of the work is Declaration of Independence, and although it does portray an important moment in the history of the document that announced the Thirteen Colonies’ decision to break away from British rule, the event in the painting occurred on June 28, 1776, not July 4, 1776.

John Trumbull, a Connecticut native who fought in the Revolutionary War and whose father was the state governor, was commissioned to create the painting in 1817. He did painstaking research on the figures in the picture and also visited Independence Hall to see the actual chamber where the Second Continental Congress met. Trumbull only included 42 of the original 56 signers, because he could not find adequate likenesses for 14 or them, and added a few figures who were not present (most of whom declined to sign the actual document). In fact, the men depicted in the painting had never been present in the same room at one time.

So if the painting does not portray the signing of the Declaration of Independence, what is happening in the image? The Trumbull’s scene depicts the presentation of the draft of the declaration to the Continental Congress for editing and approval. The five-man drafting committee (John Adams, Roger Sherman, Robert R. Livingston, Thomas Jefferson, and Benjamin Franklin) is handing over their finished work, which congress would then edit carefully over the next few days before voting on it and signing it on the day that we now celebrate as the start of the United States of America.

One last, odd, fact: two of the five-man drafting committee, John Adams and Thomas Jefferson, both died on July 4th—although many years later.

Our family at Envirotech Air Quality Services hopes that your Fourth of July (or Twenty-Eighth of June if you decided to start celebrating early) is a memorable and happy one.