Envirotech Air Quality Services Blog : Archive for May, 2012

West Palm Beach Indoor Air Quality Tips: Improving Indoor Air Quality with UV Germicidal Lights?

Tuesday, May 29th, 2012

Ultraviolet germicidal lights improve indoor air quality in your West Palm Beach home by killing the harmful bacteria, viruses, and toxic mold that can cause respiratory problems and other health concerns. These microorganisms spread by releasing airborne spores containing the genetic material used to create a new organism. UV lights use a wavelength of ultraviolet light to destroy the organism’s DNA, which takes away their reproductive capabilities and also kills them.

UV germicidal lights are fairly inexpensive and can be installed to work with your existing forced air HVAC system. They are typically used in tandem with either an electronic or mechanical air cleaner. While air cleaners can filter pollen and other irritants, UV germicidal lights destroy the viruses and mold spores once these pollutants have been trapped by the air cleaner. After the air has been filtered through your HVAC, it will circulate more easily through system and increase the efficiency of the unit. In addition, UV lights are useful in killing hidden mold growth, which can only be detected by special thermal imaging equipment.

Homeowners with particularly chronic allergy problems or extremely poor indoor air quality choose to install both types of air cleaners, in addition to a UV light, for the ultimate protection from indoor air pollutants—from bacteria to pet dander.  If your home lacks adequate ventilation, or if you are unable to control the source of common pollutants, you might benefit greatly by installing UV germicidal lights. Poor indoor air circulation can exacerbate the spread of harmful microorganisms, so make sure you have proper ventilation if you don’t have UV lights in your home.

UV germicidal lights have also been used to filter tap water because they are more reliable and easier to install than other water treatment systems. However, they are typically used to provide cleaner indoor air.

Call the indoor air quality experts at Envirotech Air Quality Services if you have questions or concerns about the quality of the air inside your West Palm Beach home.

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Programmable Thermostat

Friday, May 25th, 2012

Programmable Thermostats | West Palm Beach | Envirotech Air Quality ServicesDid you know that you can save up to $180 per year by installing and properly setting a programmable thermostat? With a programmable thermostat you can set temperature to your comfort level at different times during the day. Some models even have a vacation or away mode to help save you money in energy costs. There are many useful features to a programmable thermostat such as auto-changeover from cool to heat, or filter change notifications that remind you when it is time to change the filter in your AC system. Even though you can program the thermostat to remember your preferences, you can always use the program override feature for instant changes to temperature. The wireless and smart-phone connectivity available on some models, allows user to control ac systems from anywhere at any time. Some models will even sense the temperature outside and respond accordingly, there are variations of models available to fit every need and budget.

Call Envirotech Air Quality Services of West Palm Beach today to find out how a programmable thermostat can help improve your home’s comfort and save you money. We provide heating, air conditioning, mold removal, and duct cleaning services throughout South Florida.

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Air Conditioning in West Palm Beach and The Energy Star Label

Monday, May 21st, 2012

The Energy Star program is a joint program of the US environmental protection agency and the US Department of Energy. The program’s goal is to help consumers save money and protect the environment through energy-efficient products and practices.

The best-known aspect of the Energy Star program is the Energy Star label, which is awarded to appliances and other items that are significantly more efficient than average. Energy Star efficiency guidelines vary depending on product category, but in general, Energy Star products use 20%-30% less energy than minimum federal standards.

The Energy Star guidelines were designed both with energy efficiency and performance in mind. While low energy use is one of the most important criteria for selecting Energy Star appliances, product performance, features, warranty, safety, and durability are also taken into account. Price is also a factor: if a product costs significantly more than other products in its category, it will only receive the Energy Star label if the up-front cost will be recovered through savings in operating costs within a reasonable amount of time.

The first Energy Star labels were given to computers and monitors in 1992. Now labels can be found on many other products, including:

  • Air conditioners
  • Dishwashers
  • Refrigerators
  • Light bulbs (florescent and LED)
  • TVs

Energy Star products can be found wherever appliances and electronics are sold. Look for the blue and white Energy Star label. You can also look for the yellow EnergyGuide label that is affixed to most heating and cooling systems and household appliances. This label is created by the Department of Energy and shows a product’s annual cost of operation compared to similar models. It will often indicate whether a product is Energy Star.

It’s important to note that while an Energy Star label indicates that a heater, air conditioner, or household appliance is more efficient than the minimum guidelines, it does not always mean that you are getting the most energy efficient option on the market. If you are making a major appliance purchase, use the Energy Star label to be sure every model on your “short list” is energy efficient. Then, look carefully at the EnergyGuide label to compare the efficiency of the models you are considering.

The EPA has also extended the Energy Star label to cover new homes and commercial and industrial buildings. To qualify for the Energy Star rating, a new home must use at least 15% less energy than standard homes (built to the 2004 International Residential Code). Energy Star homes usually include insulation, high-performance windows, energy-efficient heating and cooling systems, appliances, lighting, and water heaters.

The Energy Star standards and label have been recognized in many other countries, including Canada, Australia, Japan, New Zealand, Taiwan and the European Union.

For more information about how upgrading your air conditioning system in West Palm Beach can make your home more environmentally friendly, give Envirotech Air Quality Services a call!

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Trane Spring Rush Sale

Thursday, May 17th, 2012

Trane | West Palm Beach | Envirotech AirIt’s never been easier to afford a Trane! Envirotech has partnered with Trane to provide very affordable prices on 16 Seer XB14 Systems and 14 SEER Silverline systems. These systems qualify for FPL rebates up to $1,005 making these systems even more affordable. Now is the perfect time to invest in a new Trane system!

Call us today for pricing information or visit our website to find out how we can improve the total comfort in your home.

16 SEER 2 Ton 2.5 Ton 3 Ton 4 ton 5 Ton
SALE PRICE AFTER REBATE $2,763.57 $2,774.57 $2,780.73 $3,004.43 $3,581.20
14 SEER 2 Ton 2.5 Ton 3 Ton 4 ton 5 Ton
SALE PRICE AFTER REBATE $2,009.27 $2,564.85 $2,602.23 $2,814.19 $2,879.87

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West Palm Beach HVAC Guide: Simple Filter Tips to Keep Your Ducts Clean

Monday, May 14th, 2012

If there’s one thing you can count on with your West Palm Beach HVAC system, it’s that there will be higher energy bills in the summer and an increase in dust and debris in your ductwork. But, luckily the latter can be fixed with a few simple filtration upgrades in your home.

The Nature of a Forced Air System

When you flip the switch on your thermostat and your air conditioner or furnace turns on, it starts drawing air from inside your house, conditioning it to the right temperature, and then circulating it back into your rooms through an air handler and ductwork. Of course, a good system should have proper ventilation to circulate new air into the house, but let’s face it – no matter how much ventilation you have in your home, there will always be dust and debris from things like pets, plants and other common household items.

So, when the air gets circulated back through the ducts, all sorts of debris and sediment build up. That’s not to mention the possible presence of actual contaminants like bacteria or mold. Luckily, because of how your forced air system is built, these are not tough problems to deal with.

Installing the Right Filters

Filtration is incredibly important for adding the right level of protection to your home’s ductwork. Usually placed directly within your air handlers, whole house air filters are designed to capture particles as small as 0.3 microns (if you purchase a high quality HEPA filter). That pretty much covers all dust, sediment, pollen, dander and other common allergens.

There are a number of other upgrades you can make to capture just about everything you house spits into those ducts – from bacteria and viruses to smoke and other air pollutants, but at the very least a good filter system will save your lungs, cut back on duct cleaning costs and make it much easier to maintain your home’s air quality throughout the year.

To learn more about HEPA filters and the specific ratings offered in various products, here is a link to the EPA’s guide to home air cleaners. It has a handy breakdown of different types of filtration and what each filter grade can capture.

For more information about how improve indoor air quality in West Palm Beach, give Envirotech Air Quality Services a call today!

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If Your AC Stops Working, Don’t Panic!

Friday, May 11th, 2012

Air Conditioner Tips | West Palm Beach | Envirotech AirIf your air conditioner suddenly stops working, don’t panic! AC systems are built to last a long time, so there are a few things you should check before you assume it needs a major repair. Here is a helpful tip for trouble shooting. First, check your circuit breakers or fuses to make sure your air conditioner has power. You should give you air conditioner some time to cool down before you try resetting it. If you suspect this could be the problem,you can often reset the system with a button on the compressor’s access panel. If that doesn’t fix the problem, give Envirotech Air Quality Services a call to have a professional assess the issue.

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West Palm Beach HVAC Guide: Heat Pump Refrigeration Problems

Monday, May 7th, 2012

Your West Palm Beach heat pump is a very complicated piece of equipment that uses a number of moving parts to compress and circulate refrigerant and extract heat from one environment and place it in another. So, if your heat pump has refrigeration problems, it will almost certainly cause problems for the heating or cooling of your home.

Common Refrigeration Problems

There are a number of potential problems your heat pump might face, especially as it begins to age and components become worn. Some common issues include:

  • Compressor Issues – The compressor is a component in your heat pump that compresses the refrigerant gas into a liquid. This liquid is what circulates through the device and extracts heat from the outside air (or inside your home when in cooling mode). If the heat pump doesn’t turn on properly, isn’t producing enough heat or is using a large amount of electricity suddenly, it may be a compressor problem.
  • Refrigerant Leaks – Your heat pump doesn’t consume any refrigerant during operation. So, if it starts to leak refrigerant, there is likely another problem and it should be repaired immediately (for health and environmental reasons). Common signs of a leak include suddenly higher electrical bills, inefficient heating and possibly even a faint odor near the device.
  • Freezing Up – If your heat pump freezes, you should check for any blocked air vents or registers, check the condensate line and check your filter for blockage. Most often, a freezing problem is directly related to something being clogged and is a relatively easy fix. The only way to know for sure is to call a professional to investigate, however.

A heat pump is a very complex piece of machinery with a number of moving parts that can all cause issues if not properly maintained. If your heat pump stops heating or cooling effectively and it is not a simple fix such as a filter or belt, you should call a West Palm Beach HVAC professional to inspect for more significant problems such as the compressor or refrigerant. Call Envirotech Air Quality Services today if you need any maintenance or repair on any of your HVAC equipment!

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