Archive for the ‘Air Quality’ Category

At Casteel we understand that energy costs are starting to rise and the global climate is changing. Going green doesn’t have to stop at recycling. If you are looking for an energy alternative- look no further. Residential solar panels for your home are something to be considered. They are a great investment to help keep your electric bill down and help contribute to society’s effort to stop global warming. Still not convinced? Here’s the top 5 benefits of solar energy from Renewable energy development.

Top 5 Reasons for Solar Energy

  • It is not only sustainable energy, but it is also renewable.
  • The use of solar energy requires very little maintenance.
  • They are silent! No more noisy generators!
  • Solar energy technology is constantly improving and making it more affordable for everyone.
  • Solar electric power plants produce zero emissions. Leaving no mark on the environment.
  • Not only will solar energy help you get a peace a mind about your impact on the environment, it also contributes to many new jobs. According to a CNN article, solar energy’s employment base grew 6.8% the past year which equals more than 100,000 jobs. It is expected to grow by 24% next year!

    Solar energy panels are a great investment for your home. Start the trend in your neighborhood! You will not only be helping the environment but you will be supporting jobs in this tough economy!

    Winter is just around the corner and that means dry indoor air! Do not fall victim to waking up with a dry, itchy throat – there is a solution! A humidifier is a great way to release cool or warm moisture into your home.

    Using a humidifier has a variety of benefits especially to those who suffer from allergies and asthma. Some benefits include easier breathing, lesser chance of a cold or respiratory infection, reduces dry skin and throat and it will get rid of that annoying electric shock! Not to mention a humidifier will help keep your wood products like flooring, cabinets, and decorations from getting damaged.

    It is important to keep balanced humidity levels in your home; you don’t want to have too much moisture! Too much moisture in the air can create a sticky or damp feeling or cause the air to smell musty. Keep your humidity balanced with the Honeywell Humidifier and don’t worry about suffering from dry air this winter!

    There are three major factors to consider when deciding to replace your furnace.

  • The efficiency of your furnace
  • How much is your fuel costing you?
  • How much energy is required to keep the temperature inside your home at 65 degrees?
  • Gas prices are competitive, so there is no need to switch to oil or electricity. You may however want to consider switching to a condensed-type gas furnace. This type of furnace is able to capture about 97 percent of the fuels energy. If you do decide to make the switch to a condensed type furnace, you will be cutting your heating bills by about 20 percent. Take a look at your past winter heating bills and decide if the 20 percent savings are going to be worth the cost of the furnace replacement in the long run. According to an article from This Old House, it’s going to be around a $3,000 investment.

    If you are taking good care of your furnace, the average lifespan should be about 25 years. Chances are your furnace still has plenty of life in it! Other things to think about are ways to reduce the heating load around your house. For instance, adding some insulation or weatherstripping will help keep the cold air out and your costs low. These are inexpensive quick fixes that can help you save without putting a big dent in your wallet!

    We’ve told you once, and now we’re telling you again: it’s time to prepare your furnace and get it in tiptop shape for fall! Sure, the weather is gorgeous today… but what’s it looking like a month from now? Now is the time to take advantage of our fall furnace cleaning and tune up special.

    The furnace tune up includes the following 25 items:

    • Check for Carbon Monoxide Leaks
    • Inspect Igniter
    • Inspect Rectifier Probe
    • Check Differential Pressure Switch
    • Inspect Draft Inducer
    • Inspect Exchanger for Micro Holes
    • Inspect Exchanger for Rust
    • Inspect Exchanger Face Plate
    • Check Pilot Assembly
    • Check Gas Valve Operation
    • Check for Gas Leaks
    • Check Gas Pressure
    • Inspect Limits and Safety Switches
    • Inspect Flue Conditions and Codes
    • Inspect Electrical Disconnect Wires
    • Inspect Electrical Component Wires
    • Inspect Door Switch for Safety
    • Check Safety Drain Pan Switches
    • Check Blower Motor
    • Inspect Indoor Coil for Visible Leaks
    • Minor Cleaning of Indoor Coil
    • Check Condensate Drain Line and Pump
    • Check Thermostat Operation / Calibration
    • Cycle System and Test Safety of Operation
    • Includes Standard 1″ Filters

    Keep your family safe and your house cozy for the upcoming holiday season. It is something to keep in mind, after all it is already October! Call Casteel today or schedule online.

    Can you prove it?

    Beyond closing windows and changing air filters, many opt for the installation of UV Germicidal Lights to ensure the air in their homes is disinfected. Unfortunately, mold and bacteria can prosper in an array of conditions. It is not uncommon that bacteria will spread through heating and cooling systems; in fact, UV irradiation is used in schools, hospitals and restaurants to prevent it from spreading.

    How can you get rid of the mold and bacteria in your system?

    Honeywell’s Ultraviolet Air Treatment Systems can get rid of mold and airborne bacteria that may be found in your HVAC system. Honeywell’s UV system kills any bacterium that passes by the UV Germicide Light, preventing it from being re-circulated into your home.

    “The Honeywell UV Air Treatment System can kill up to 87% of certain airborne bacteria* in the air passing through your heating/cooling system, reducing the presence of these harmful agents in the air your family breathes.”

    The UV germicidal lights (shortwave lights) are easy to add to your current HVAC system and easy to replace if needed. If you have any questions about UV Germicidal Lights and how you can add them to your existing heating and cooling system, give us a call at Casteel Heating and Cooling.

    We here at Casteel Heating and Cooling value the environment we both live and work in. Since 2005, we have been committed to improving our environmental quality by partnering with local businesses, community leaders and neighbors. For us to do our part, our initiatives became:

    • Promote environmentally friendly air conditioning refrigerant (R-410a)
    • Reclaim and properly dispose of harmful refrigerants
    • Recycle all metals and plastics
    • Offer whole house energy reduction solutions to homeowners
    • Buy recycled office products
    • Reforestation projects through Georgia Forestry Commission
    • Endorse Energy Star programs

    Here’s how you can help:

    • Recycle
    • Change incandescent light bulbs with compact fluorescent light bulbs – they use 2/3 less energy and last 10 times as long.
    • Reduce energy consumption at home – seal air leaks in walls, windows, attics and air duct systems. This may reduce your heating and cooling energy usage by 20-30%.
    • Change your air filters regularly
    • Have your HVAC system tune up yearly
    • Get active in the community

    Remember, everyone can make a difference and improve our environment.

    When cooling or heating your home, you want to make sure that air gets to the proper areas. If your air flow is lacking, and you’ve already checked and replaced your filter, your air ducts may be leaking and costing you money. 25-40% of your air can be lost due to air duct leaks, and in turn result in decreased efficiency of your HVAC unit and an increase in your utility bill.

    Symptoms of are duct leaking are:

    • High summer and winter utility bills
    • Difficulty in heating or cooling different rooms in your home
    • Certain rooms that seem stuffy and uncomfortable
    • Some or all of your duct work is located in an attic, crawlspace, or a garage
    • Some of your flexible ducts are tangled or kinked within your system

    If you feel that you may have a leak, have a professional test your air flow to determine if there are leaks within your system that need repaired. According to the U.S. Department of Energy, “Air duct testing and repairs to leaky duct work could be the most important home improvement homeowners can make.” Luckily, we here at Casteel Heating and Cooling are experts at testing and repairing leaky duct work.

    For more information on how we can help you with possible air duct leaks, visit us at Casteelair.com, or feel free to call us at 770-565-5884.

    On our blog we have written fairly often about indoor air quality and all of the factors that can affect you and your family. This time, we would like to expand on one factor in particular — VOC emissions. What is a VOC? VOC’s (Volatile Organic Compound) come from synthetic materials used to make your carpet, and are a major contributor to indoor air pollution. Formaldehyde, Xylene, Methylene chloride and Vinyl Chloride are just a few of the VOC’s found in carpets.

    Have you ever noticed that “new carpet” smell? That smell is actually VOC emissions — that’s right, emissions! The compounds actually release gaseous emissions into the air, which are then sucked into your A/C system and circulated throughout your home. VOC emissions can cause a variety of health effects which include difficulty breathing, confusion, dizziness, sinus and throat irritation, skin irritation, vomiting and nausea, and can also exacerbate asthma and allergies. Although these emissions decrease with time as well as lose their odor, they are still present.

    You can easily limit exposure to yourself and your family by doing a few things. First you can replace some or all carpet in your home with hardwood or tile flooring. If you find that you need to replace the carpet, make sure to ask if it is a low VOC emitting carpet. Also keep in mind that the less synthetic material in the carpet, the lower the VOC. If either of those options are not a viable solution, or if you would like to further reduce your exposure to indoor air pollutants, we offer superb air filtration solutions. For more information on how we can help reduce your indoor air pollution, visit us at www.casteelair.com, or call us at 770-565-5884.

    Do some of the rooms in your home vary in temperature? Don’t worry you’re not alone. Every home has one side, which is affected by the sun, that’s either warmer or cooler than the opposite side. Today, the interior of new homes vary in architecture–one room may have vaulted ceilings and an open floor plan while the next room is small and cozy. Expecting just one or two thermostats to equally distribute desired temps is impossible. The only area where temps align with the thermostat is around the actual thermostat. With a zoning system, you can solve this problem and save money doing it!

    A zoning system controls each room, or zone, to your temperature specifications. The system uses the dampers in your air ducts to direct air as needed. The dampers can also be closed in rooms that you don’t use which can save you money on your electric bills.

    Luckily, we at Casteel Heating and Air have expert knowledge and skills with this system. For more information on how we can help you control your zoning temperatures, call us at (770) 953-6229 or fill out our contact form at http://www.casteelair.com/.

    With the hot summer temperatures and no reprieve from the humidity, the current environment is a rich breeding ground for mold growth. Mold, given the right environment, can also grow at unhealthy levels within your home. So how does mold grow, what are the health risks, and can one get rid of it?

    Mold is a fungi that loves to grow in areas with lots of moisture. While we are always exposed to some level of mold, health problems can develop after being exposed to and breathing in high levels of the spores that mold releases. Symptoms of mold intake can be as simple as a cough, eye and sinus irritation to memory loss, headaches, asthma, difficulty breathing and in the worst case, death. Considering we spend the majority of our time at home, eliminating indoor mold growth is extremely important.

    So how can you prevent and eliminate mold within your home? Often times, you can easily determine if you have mold by seeing it, or if you notice a strong dingy or stale smell. It’s a good idea to check all areas that involve water and heat such as your bathroom, AC indoor unit, kitchen and laundry areas. If you do spot mold, promptly clean it with a biocide such as bleach. It is also a good idea to have your duct work professionally cleaned and sanitized, in addition to having an air handler with a mold killing UV light installed to solve any mold problem in the future.