Household allergens can cause or aggravate a range of health problems, from asthma and hay fever to skin rashes and seasonal allergies. To keep your family healthy and comfortable, it’s essential to identify and address the sources of allergens in your home. Here are four of the most common household allergens to watch out for.
Dust mites are microscopic arachnids that feed on dead skin and dander, making them common in mattresses, bed sheets, carpets, and upholstered furniture. While dust mites don’t bite or spread disease, they can irritate a person’s airways and nasal passages if inhaled, aggravating asthma and other respiratory problems. Washing linens regularly in hot water and steam-cleaning carpets and furniture can help minimize the effects of dust mites.
If you’re considering welcoming a new pet to your household, you should know that pet dander can cause allergic reactions and exacerbate respiratory problems, especially from animals that shed heavily. Adopting a hypoallergenic pet that sheds minimally is one way to reduce allergy risks. You’ll also want to regularly clean floors, surfaces, and your pet’s bed, as well as train your pet to avoid specific furniture, such as beds and couches.
Pets who spend time outdoors may also be bringing pollen into your home. A year-round problem for people with allergies, pollen can drift in through open windows and doors, as well as on your family’s clothing and shoes. Bathing pets when they come in from walks or playing outside, leaving shoes at the door, and regular vacuuming and dusting are all ways to minimize the presence of pollen.
Roaches and Other Insects
Roaches and other insects are irritating enough when they’re crawling or flying around, but they can also be a significant allergen after they’re dead. Pests leave behind droppings, body parts, and saliva, all of which can cause illness and make allergies worse. In addition to thoroughly cleaning, keep food and garbage containers tightly sealed to deter insects from hanging around in the first place. Ensuring that you have an efficient HVAC system with clean, functioning filters is a critical way to minimize allergens in your home. American Energy Air and Solar provides a full range of residential and commercial HVAC services across the greater Sacramento area, including emergency services and repairs. For a free estimate, contact us today by calling (916) 782-3139.
Regardless of the age of your home’s HVAC system, you may occasionally notice unusual odors while running the air conditioning or heater. Strange smells are sometimes part of a normally functioning HVAC system, but they may also point to problems that need to be addressed. Here are three common odors you may notice and a look at their possible causes.
Electrical or Burning Odors
When you turn on the heater for the first time in months, you’ll likely notice a burning, electrical smell as dust burns away from the heating elements. In this case, the odor isn’t a cause for concern, but if you notice a burning smell that persists or appears out of nowhere, you may have an electrical problem that requires professional repair. Simply turn off your system until a technician can inspect and diagnose the issue.
Moldy or Musty Odors
Moldy and musty odors are common issues with residential HVAC systems. While running, air conditioning units create a lot of condensation. If that water doesn’t drain properly, it can seep into ducts and quickly cause mold or mildew buildup. Such issues should be addressed as soon as possible, as mold and mildew can cause a range of respiratory and allergy problems.
Gassy or Rotten Egg Odors
Natural gas is naturally odorless, but many utility providers add a sulfurous scent that alerts homeowners to a dangerous gas leak. A gassy smell similar to rotten eggs coming from your HVAC system could indicate a gas leak. If you suspect this to be the case, act quickly. Open several windows and leave your house until the gas company arrives to address the problem.
HVAC odors are sometimes harmless, but they can also indicate dangerous functional problems. Since 1979, American Energy Air and Solar has been addressing a wide variety of residential and commercial HVAC issues in Greater Sacramento, as well as offering HVAC installations, commercial refrigeration services, and solar energy systems. If you notice strange odors from your system, call us at (916) 782-3139 for a free estimate or emergency assistance.
Photo courtesy of Flickr.
Walk-in coolers play a significant role in keeping a business’s perishable items fresh. Restaurants and breweries make use of this equipment to preserve their drinks and beverages at desired temperatures. Selecting a cooler to suit various business needs requires an owner to consider multiple factors. Below is a guide on how to choose the right walk-in cooler based on your business.
What Size Walk-In Cooler Does Your Business Need?
There are different walk-in cooler sizes and purchasing one bigger than what a business size demands can be an expensive mistake. Business owners should purchase a cooler that suits the needs of their business size. The fan in a remote system refrigerator occupies the interior space, so these coolers hold a smaller number of products as compared to self-contained refrigeration systems. If you need a large amount of space for perishables, then you should consider purchasing a self-contained walk-in cooler.
Consider the Exterior Influences
Cool boxes ought to maintain a consistent British Thermal Unit (BTU) output level and temperature. A low BTU output could cause the equipment to overwork, requiring frequent repairs. To select the right walk-in cooler, consider the nature of your business and the equipment’s frequency of use. If you plan to place your refrigerator outside or you need to continually open it to access goods, acknowledge that your equipment will have a higher BTU unit output in the summer.
Consider How Much Cooling Your Business Requires
Businesses that store perishable goods like flowers and groceries require refrigeration equipment with temperatures as low as 36-42°F. It is worth noting that coolers that maintain temperatures of about 42°F consume less power than those that need cooling down at 36°F. When selecting a walk-in cooler for a business, owners should not only choose one that minimizes energy consumption, but they should also ensure it is efficient and reliable. At American Energy Air and Solar, we provide homeowners and businesses in the Granite Bay, CA area with installation and maintenance services of HVAC systems, commercial refrigerators, and solar panels. Contact us today for a free estimate.
If you’ve ever found yourself wondering if solar batteries actually work, then you’re not alone. Learn how solar batteries and solar energy systems can save you money in the long run.
Solar Batteries vs. Solar Panels
At first glance, you may think that solar batteries and solar panels are interchangeable terms. In reality, they are both parts of a larger solar energy system. While solar panels collect energy from the sun, the surplus energy is stored in a solar battery. This way, a home or other building can utilize the power even when it’s raining or dark outside. Some batteries can even power homes during a blackout.
The Cost of Solar Batteries
The cost of solar batteries should be considered in both gross price and price per relative capacity. The initial purchase price of a solar battery will usually range from $5,000 to $7,000, although it can vary. Despite these initial costs, you may be able to receive a full return on this investment—and then some—after greatly reducing your energy payments.
What Makes Solar Batteries Cost-Effective?
For most homeowners, the most important aspect of deciding how to power your home is the cost. In this area, solar batteries offer many advantages. For example, if your utility has demand charges, it means that you pay fees based on the total electricity use in your home. Using a solar panel system can greatly minimize the amount of electricity you buy from the grid, keeping demand charges low. Utilities may also offer Time-of-Use (TOU) rates. This means you may be paying higher rates during peak hours. Using a solar energy system can, therefore, reduce your bills, even if you’re only using it during these peak hours.
Considering Net Metering Credits
If you use solar energy to power your home, you may stand to benefit if your utility offers net metering credits, meaning you can receive credits for any excess solar energy you send back to the grid. But if you live in an area where your utilities only offer these credits at wholesale rates, it’s actually more cost-effective to use the energy at home. This is another benefit of a solar battery, as you can store the energy for later use and not send it back to the utility’s grid at a loss. There are many factors to consider when it comes to installing a solar energy system. American Energy Air and Solar are the solar energy experts of the Granite Bay, CA area, and we can answer any of your questions about cost, installation, benefits, and more. Call us at (916) 782-3139 for a free estimate.
The compressor is one of the four basic parts of an air conditioner. The system works by replacing warm indoor air with outdoor air that has been cooled by a refrigerant. When air coming from the vents does not feel cool, it could indicate a problem with the compressor.
How Does a Compressor Work?
Air conditioner compressors must maintain a consistent pressure level, use the correct amount of refrigerant, and release pressure safely if necessary. Refrigerant is a liquid or gas that cools system air before it is released into your home. The compressor starts the cooling cycle of an AC unit by drawing the refrigerant from inside the home and pressurizing it so it heats up. The compressor pushes the resulting substance to the condenser coil. This apparatus pushes the gas out of the unit, where fans cool it. This extracts the heat and transfers it out of the home. After the heat has been extracted, the refrigerant is pressurized into a warm liquid that passes through a special valve that removes pressure and heat. This liquid enters the evaporator coil and becomes a gas that enters the home to cool its ambient air.
What Are the Different Compressors?
A home AC unit will likely have one of these four compressor types:
- Rotary compressors: Inexpensive and long-lasting, these are less efficient than other options and most commonly used in window units and some central air systems.
- Reciprocating compressors: An affordable model found in split-air systems, but may not last as long as durable compressor models.
- Scroll compressors: A more efficient model found in high-end AC systems that has a long lifespan but is on the expensive side.
- Variable speed compressors: The most expensive system, but also the most efficient and durable.
Is My Air Compressor Broken?
When an air compressor needs to be repaired, the homeowner may notice strange sounds coming from the HVAC unit. Rattling, clicking, or rumbling sounds are causes for concern that should be serviced. Other signs of a compressor issue include leaking refrigerant fluid from the unit, blown fuses when the AC is running, limited airflow, and air that feels warm rather than cool. American Energy Air and Solar provides air conditioner replacement and repair services for homes and businesses in Sacramento and surrounding areas, including emergency services. If your AC is giving you trouble, contact us at (916) 782-3139 for your free estimate.