Should I have an air humidifier in my home or office?

Humidity is something that we generally think of as a warm-weather thing, but humidity can also play a big part in your comfort over the winter. Humid air can make you uncomfortable, but so can air that is not humid enough. You might be wondering if you should have air humidifiers in your home or office. Air humidifiers help to control the amount of moisture in the air. An air humidifier can help with stuffy noses, coughs, and other ailments that are common during flu season.  To help keep a comfortable humidity level in your home, you might want to consider adding an air humidifier to your HVAC system. There are many benefits, not just your overall comfort.

Heating Bill

A money-saver for heating your home is the humidity level. In the summer months air that has a lot of moisture in it can make a space feel warmer. The moisture that amplifies the heat in the summer makes things feel colder in the winter. If you have humidifiers in your home, you won’t have to adjust the thermostat as much to feel comfortable. Turn the heat down a few degrees in the winter, and the humidifier will help maintain a nice temperature indoors. If you are able to adjust  the heat just three degrees, you could save up to 5% on your heating bill.  

Home Maintenance

Because most are made of wood, homes move and change with the weather. If you have wood floors, door frames, or other wood products in your home – these will all shrink and swell with the amount of moisture in the air. Too much humidity can cause wooden floors to warp, or grow mold underneath. Too little humidity will cause things like wooden furniture or door frames, to shrink and crack. If you add a humidifier to a space, you can provide a steady level of humidity and prevent these issues. Humidifiers help keep your home or office in good shape while you are living or working there. They also help when it is time to sell – a well-maintained home is much more attractive to potential buyers.

Health Benefits

Being hydrated is important all year, but it can become more difficult with the cold because of the drier air. Your skin is your first line of defense against illness and germs, and skin that is well-hydrated makes your body more prepared to ward off winter colds. Washing hands is definitely an important step in keeping away germs, but what about all the things you are breathing in? Winter is known as a time for sniffles, colds, coughs, and the flu. When your body is properly hydrated, it can more effectively deal with the pollutants and irritants in the air. While drinking water is important, you can also help your body hydrate by using a humidifier in your home or office. 

Types of Humidifiers

  • Central humidifiers: can be added to the HVAC system, are meant to control humidity in the whole house or building
  • Evaporators: blow moistened air through a filter using a fan, meant for one room
  • Impeller humidifiers: create moisture through the use of rotating discs, meant for one room
  • Steam vaporizers: heat water, then cool it and release the moisture into the air, generally single room use
  • Ultrasonic humidifiers: produce a cool mist through ultrasonic vibrations, come in varying sizes

At Weather Crafters, we are here to help. If you have any questions about selecting the best humidifier for your home or office, give us a call. We can talk to you about the best option for you, help you pick out the ideal humidifier, and complete the install. Winter is coming – let Weather Crafters help you get ready!

The Importance of Indoor Air Quality

According to the EPA, indoor air can have 5 times more pollutants than outdoor air. With all the pollution coming from transportation, manufacturing, and daily life in general, it may seem odd to hear that statistic. We work hard to keep our homes clean and safe, but many times we miss out on air quality. Clean air is always important but it becomes even more vital to our health in the fall and winter. Whenever you keep the windows closed the same air constantly cycles through our HVAC system. Think about all the particles floating around your home – dust, pet dander, chemicals, bacteria, mold, mildew, and allergens – the list goes on. Outdoor air becomes more diluted when polluted air mixes with fresh air, rain, and clouds. Trees and plants also play a key role in providing clean oxygen for the world. Indoor air is unable to dilute and clean itself with these natural tools. So you have to look at other indoor air quality solutions to clean the air in your home.

  • Change your HVAC Filter – the simplest and easiest way to improve the air quality of your home, and extend the lifespan of your HVAC unit is to change the filter regularly. This removes irritants from the air as they circulate through the system. While traditional filters do remove some particles from the air, they miss the smaller stuff.
  • Indoor Plants – studies show that having plants in your home can improve your mood and your air quality. Humans breathe out carbon dioxide → plants breathe in carbon dioxide → plants breathe out oxygen. They also remove certain toxins, such as formaldehyde, benzene, and xylene. Some plants that are easy to take care of and that produce a lot of oxygen include: Devil’s Ivy aka pothos plant, peace lily, dwarf date palm, and the philodendron.
  • Whole House Air Purifiers – although the traditional HVAC filter and plants can improve air quality some, the best solution to clean air is to bring a whole house air purifier into your home. There are many different sizes and styles to choose from. In order to find the right fit for your home or office, give Weather Crafters a call. Here are just a few benefits that whole house air purifiers provide
    • Reduces odors – have you ever been away from home or the workplace for a few days, and come home to “that smell”? Generally lingering odors occur when the air in a space is trapped – whether its from cooking, pet dander, or just a mustiness. Installing a whole house air purifier ensures that any bacteria or particles that are causing the smell are removed, leaving clean air.
    • Removes airborne irritants – if you or a loved one suffers from allergies or breathing issues, then you are familiar with the struggles of allergy season. Whole house air purifiers are great because they remove irritants all year long, in every part of the home. Imagine the relief of breathing regularly, without a runny nose or watery eyes. Air purifiers provide clean air by removing not just seasonal allergens, but also other particles like dust and other things you may not realize are irritating you.
    • Better health – removing allergens and irritants are an obvious health benefit, but whole house air purifiers provide more than just that. Think about all the things that are in your home – cleaning products, chemicals, and other pollutants. It may not seem like much, but if you are constantly breathing things in, they can take a toll on your overall health. Some air purifiers are even able to destroy airborne viruses and microorganisms, making your home a safe space for you and your loved ones.
    • Increased productivity – studies show that improved air quality can lead to a more productive space. Think about it – when you step outside and breathe in that fresh air, it can be invigorating. Air purifiers can provide the same effect in your home or workspace.

With autumn on its way, we are enjoying some open windows but we are also bracing for those upcoming seasonal allergies. Don’t spend another day breathing in pollutants, irritants, and germs. Call Weather Crafters today to discuss the best whole house air purifier for your family.

Air Quality Solutions

Have you ever entered your home after a few days away, only to breathe in stale, or stuffy air? While living in our homes, we often become used to the smell of it and don’t realize that maybe our air should be fresher. Having clean air in your home is very beneficial, whether you have a loved one with respiratory issues, or just for your own comfort. You can have your friends at Weather Crafters install a media cleaner, electronic air cleaner, or hybrid air cleaner, but there are also many small adjustments you can make to increase the air quality in your home.

  • Change your air filter – HVAC systems have filters in them designed to filter out dust, pollen, and other irritants that circulate throughout your home. However, if you don’t change the filter regularly, that can be a problem. Filters that are overfilled with particles are not able to do their job of cleaning the air. They can also be detrimental to the overall health of your HVAC system. A clogged filter means the system must work harder to push air through the clog, and working harder can shorten your HVAC’s lifespan.
  • Open Windows – Although this is not ideal in the dead of winter, or the height of summer, cracking windows allows fresh air to come in. The HVAC system cycles the same air into your home over and over. If you crack a few windows for a few hours a day, you allow fresh air to come. Try this during the cool, early morning hours of summer. Older homes don’t have issues with drawing in fresh air. They generally leak air out and draw in fresh air because they are not as airtight as newer homes. If you own a newer home, talk to one of our specialists at Weather Crafters about installing heat recovery ventilators (HRVs) if you don’t already have them. These work by removing old, stagnant, polluted air from the kitchen, bathroom, or utility room. It then replaces it with fresh air, drawn in from outside and cycles it into bedrooms, living rooms, and other common spaces.
  • Trap dust and dirt – Help keep dust and dirt from becoming airborne by cleaning regularly with a vacuum and dusting. Door mats are also helpful in trapping irritants. You should also consider cleaning more often if you have a pet because pet hair and pet dander can be a common irritant for many people. The more irritants you remove from the air, the less irritants there will be to travel through your HVAC filter.
  • House Plants – They call the Amazon Rainforest the “lungs of the world” and that is because they turn carbon dioxide into oxygen for us to breathe. A 1989 NASA study showed that house plants could filter 87% of toxins from an area in a 24 hour period. Now, we obviously don’t bring toxins into our home on purpose, but they are there. Having house plants can improve your quality of air and your quality of life, and they can be very easy to care for. If you are new to the plant world, try to choose something that is low-maintenance: aloe, rubber plants, English ivy, dracaena, snake plants, and bamboo. Many of these can survive in low-light, require little attention, and are great at filtering toxins out of the air. An aloe plant may even turn brown if it is taking in a lot of toxins – like a canary in the mine.
  • Regular HVAC Maintenance – There is nothing more important to the health of your HVAC system than regular HVAC preventative maintenance by a trained professional. And a healthy system means you are breathing healthy air. Most HVAC specialists recommend having your system maintained at least once a year, but it is better to schedule a visit twice a year – once right before you start running your air-conditioning and once before your switch on the heat. Trained professionals can make sure your system is running safely and efficiently. They check for leaking air ducts, clogs, and ensure that the furnace is working well. Because all the air that you breathe runs through the HVAC system, it is important to make sure the system is working properly. Call Weather Crafters today to schedule your next maintenance check!

Prepare your HVAC for Spring

Spring flowers are starting to peek through and things are starting to warm up outside, which means your HVAC will be switching over from heating to cooling pretty soon. To get the most out of your HVAC unit, routine maintenance on your A/C should be completed every spring and fall to ensure that things are running efficiently. This should be part of your spring cleaning checklist every year. Properly maintained HVAC units run more efficiently and have a longer lifespan, which means you spend less money on your heating and cooling bills and you don’t have to replace your current unit as quickly.

Here are some quick tips to prepare your HVAC for spring.

Replace Filters – the easiest way to help your HVAC unit run smoothly is something you should be doing regularly, throughout the year: change the filters. Most filters should be changed every 3 months, but the packaging will tell you the exact lifespan. Another factor to consider is your home environment. If you live in a home with pets, smoking, or with someone who has severe allergies, you may want to change the filters more frequently. If you love to have your windows open, and notice pollen floating into your home, its probably in the filter as well. There are many benefits to having a clean filter. Air quality is important to the health of your family and the filter removes mold, mildew, allergens, bacteria, and other particles that float through your home. As the filter fills with these airborne irritants, it may not filter as well. Another issue is that as the filter becomes full, the HVAC unit must work harder to push through the filter. This means your unit may not be performing as efficiently as it could and you could be shortening its lifespan.To prepare your HVAC for spring, simply replace the filter every 3 months. If you aren’t sure how to do this, talk to Weather Crafters and we will be happy to walk you through it. Another great idea is to have scheduled filter deliveries. This way you don’t have to keep track of when to change the filter. When the new filter arrives, you know it’s time to change the old one!

Remove Debris – As part of spring cleaning, you are probably doing yardwork – landscaping, raking up old leaves, and sprucing things up. Spend a few extra minutes cleaning up around your outdoor HVAC unit. The big grey box, known as the condenser, needs to have room to work. If you stand next to it when it’s running, you will probably feel some warm air coming out. The condenser’s job is to take the hot air that is collected in your home, and release the heat outside. If the vents and fan are blocked by debris, such as leaves and sticks, then it can’t release the air as efficiently. A machine that is working harder uses more electricity and has a shorter lifespan than one that is able to run efficiently.

Remove Covers – this is an easy step that can be disastrous if it is skipped. If you have a cover on your condenser (the large grey box outside your home), make sure you remove it before running the air conditioning. Covers are great for when you are not running the air conditioning, because it prevents debris from getting in. However, if the cover stays on, the unit won’t be able to make much cool air.

Thermostat Upgrade – To prepare your HVAC for spring, consider an upgrade. If you have a traditional thermostat, install a smart thermostat that can be controlled by a smartphone. This allows you to remotely control the temperature in your home. If you go away on vacation and forget to set the temperature, no problem. Simply use the app on your phone to adjust things while you are away. Another great feature of smart thermostats is that they learn your habits. If you adjust the temperature just before bedtime every night, the thermostat will remember and start doing it for you. Smart thermostats use data to help your HVAC unit run more efficiently, saving you stress and money.

Routine Maintenance – the best way to prepare your HVAC for spring is to have annual maintenance scheduled at the same time each year. Most HVAC specialists recommend having a trained technician complete maintenance every spring and fall – right before you switch from heat to air conditioning, and vice versa. At Weather Crafters we are highly trained HVAC specialists who have years of experience. Not only can we complete regular checks and tune ups, but we have the knowledge to catch small issues before they become big problems. By working with the same HVAC company every time, the specialists can become familiar with your unit and help it to run efficiently.

At Weather Crafters we are here to help with all your HVAC needs. If you have questions about what filter to use, or what that noise is, we’ve got you covered. Give us a call today to schedule your routine maintenance!

For more information on how to prepare your HVAC for spring, check out https://esmithair.com/articles/5-ways-spring-clean-hvac-system

Indoor Air Quality Monthly Specials

Recently we have all heard that we should be more aware of the quality of the air on our homes. Pollen, mold, viruses, and other allergens reside in our homes every day. If you suffer from ailments related to the air you breathe, we may have a solution for you. Look at these products we offer to help you breathe cleaner, healthier air. Ask your technician for details.

Air Scrubber

UVPhotoMAX™ uses the power of UV light and an exclusive photocatalytic process to make the air in your home healthier. It reacts with and destroys millions of bacteria, viruses, allergens—especially mold—in the air circulating through your HVAC system.

  • From $950.00

UV Germicidial Light

Microscopic mold, viruses, and other microbial contamination will colonize in the moisture on HVAC interior surfaces, reducing energy efficiency and can be a major source of household allergens. Germicidal UV light systems get rid of HVAC microbial contamination.

  • From $325.00 each

Whole House Air Cleaners

Whole-home air cleaners are integrated into your central home comfort system. Consequently, they can remove particles from the airstream that circulate in every room of your house. There is less dust in circulation, so your home stays cleaner — and there are fewer airborne organisms, so your family stays healthier.

  • Media Cleaners from $450.00
  • Hybrid Cleaners from $1350.00