Can air conditioners spread allergens?
The answer is yes, they can. If not cleaned and properly maintained, they can put allergens into the air which contribute to a myriad of health issues namely those dealing with respiration such as allergies and asthma.
A dirty air conditioner filter prevents cool air from flowing. It takes trapped dirt, dust, dander, and pollen and distributes it throughout a room. People who spend time in the space breathe in the air and develop allergies in the process. Investing in regular AC cleaning prevents that problem from occurring.
It prevents the spreading of pollutants throughout the home. It does not, however, eliminate them. In order to do that, you must first identify the source of the problem and do your part to get rid of it before it worsens. The next section addresses the top in-home allergens so you can determine if they’re what is causing you or a family member’s allergies to worsen.
The Top In-Home Allergens
To better understand what you’re up against, it’s important to know what causes allergens to build up inside the home. Among the biggest culprit is a dirty air conditioner filter which is easily taken care of with AC cleaning. Replacing the filter every few weeks is highly recommended with the frequency increasing in homes with pets.
Other allergens that cause concern include:
- Cigarette Smoke. Second-hand smoke can cause respiratory problems in children and adults. It can also be problematic for pets. Asking that all smokers take their cigarettes and vape pens outdoors to smoke keeps the nicotine out of the home and lungs of the residence’s occupants. Most people have no issue smoking or vaping outdoors especially if the person they are visiting requests that they do so.
- Dust Mites. The parasites live in linens and gather on clothing and toys that sit untouched for a while. The best way to deal with them is to clean and vacuum the home regularly. It’s impossible to get rid of them completely but you can reduce the problems caused by the dust mites significantly by dusting, vacuuming, and washing sheets, pillowcases, and blankets frequently. Creating a weekly cleaning schedule for yourself helps you take care of all the potentially problematic areas inside the home.
- Mold. Using a dehumidifier inside the home helps reduce instances of mold. When it’s warm, dark, and damp in a room, spores appear. Hiring a professional to tackle a mold problem before it worsens is imperative. Mold is the type of problem that can get a home condemned if it gets bad enough.
- Pollen. Ensuring that your doors and windows have screens on them is one way to keep pollen out. Keeping your AC unit’s filter clean at all times does, too. Investing in the right size of filter for the make and model of air conditioner that you have makes it easier to trap pollutants and keep them from entering your home, nostrils, and mouth while you breathe.
- Pet Dander. Like dust mites, you can’t avoid a pet that sheds. If your dog or cat has long hair, make sure to brush them outdoors regularly. You’ll also want to sweep, dust, and vacuum on a routine basis. Cleaning the pet’s bedding also helps eliminate traces of hair and dander which cause a lot of people’s allergies to kick in.
- Toxic Chemical Cleaning Supplies. Switching to all-natural, organic cleaning products eliminates the level of toxicity inside the home. Individuals with chemical sensitivities notice a distinct difference in how they feel and breathe once commercial cleaners are banned from the residence. Common kitchen ingredients such as baking soda and vinegar are often used in many DIY cleaning recipes. They’re all-natural and not something that aggravates or creates allergies for people.
An indoor air quality test allows you to better understand what could be triggering you or your family member’s allergies. It makes it easier to eliminate the source of the problem by repairing a broken AC unit. AC repair makes the unit work more efficiently at eliminating the issue of indoor allergens.
Making sure that your air conditioner isn’t doing more harm than good is your responsibility. By learning what to do to keep your unit working optimally, you eliminate many of the problems caused by pollutants inside the home. You also protect your investment by keeping your AC in good working order so you can continue to use it for years without replacing it.
What You Can Do to Keep Your AC Running Well
There are things you can do to keep your AC in good working order. The first is to not put off AC repair. If you know that your air conditioner isn’t doing its job, it’s time to call in a professional. The fix could be as simple as air duct cleaning.
Staying on top of routine maintenance prevents your air conditioner from freezing up and running up your home energy bills. An AC can run non-stop, not put out cool air, cause an electric bill to skyrocket, and burn out its motor rendering the unit useless.
That’s why you should take a look at the unit routinely, remove anything blocking its air flow, switch out its filter, and have a technician service it before using it full-time in the hotter months of the year. You’re able to prolong the lifespan of the AC that way and keep yourself from paying exorbitant costs to the electric company.
What AC Maintenance Entails
If you’re unsure of what hiring a professional to perform maintenance on your air conditioning unit entails, don’t worry. Anyone who hasn’t had the experience of working with an expert isn’t sure what to expect. A company such as Anthony Plumbing, Heating & Cooling puts your mind to ease right away by remaining communicative throughout the maintenance process.
Before an air conditioner is turned on for the first time for the season, a technician comes out and takes a look at the unit. They remove the air filter and replace it with a new one. They check coolant levels to make sure they are adequate enough to cool your size of home for the duration of the summer.
The tech turns the air conditioner on to make sure that it gets to the desired temperature right away. They also note any strange sounds the AC makes or smells that come out of the unit. If a repair must be done to get the air conditioner back in good working order, the professional does it on the spot as long as they have the replacement part in stock.
Addressing common furnace problems is something else that we do in addition to repairing a broken AC unit and performing routine AC maintenance. Having a company you can trust to take care of your air conditioning and heating needs is essential as a homeowner. It ensures that your home remains a comfortable temperature year-round.
Contact Us to Schedule AC Unit Cleaning Today
It is highly recommended to contact Anthony Heating and Cooling to set up a time for AC unit check and cleaning. Doing so helps you remove existing allergens from the home and prevent future problems from occurring. Contact us today at 913-268-4669.
If this sounds familiar to you and you’re at your wit’s end and you’ve had enough of noisy AC parts keeping you up at night, then it is about time that you distinguish what type of noise you are hearing. In this article, Anthony PHC Kansas City experts will discuss the top five reasons why this may occur.
If you can’t figure out why your AC is making noise, you should never try and fix it yourself, otherwise, you could potentially disrupt your AC and cause damage to the unit and to yourself.
Always count on an Anthony PHC Kansas City specialist to educate and lead you to a properly working AC unit.
First, before you move forward, you need to determine the different sounds your AC is making and learn what they mean. Is the noise banging, buzzing, clicking, humming, or screeching? Perhaps it is so loud that you are only able to get a few hours of sleep per night? If this is the case, Anthony PHC experts are a simple phone call away.
1.) Bang, Bang AC
Banging sounds coming from your AC can represent the fact that something inside the unit is loose and may need tightening. It is not recommended that you open your unit by yourself, especially if you are not an expert in the HVAC craft.
2.) Buzzing AC
Buzzing sounds may indicate many issues that involve a loose part, or perhaps an air filter that needs to be changed. If the AC filter needs to be changed, this process can be completed by the building owner as long as new filters and directions are on hand.
3.) Clicking AC
This instance is not a usual occurrence. If you hear constant clicking, there could possibly be a malfunction inside of your unit, or perhaps the thermostat may be due to fail. This issue should not be handled alone, call Anthony PHC Kansas City and our general contractors will assure the noisy clicking sounds will be eradicated from your nightly and daily routine.
4.) Humming AC
Luckily, if your AC is humming and it does this every now and then, it usually isn’t a notorious issue, but if the sound is constant then it could potentially be an electrical issue, which will need to be looked at by an Anthony PHC Kansas City professional. You may need an expert to examine your AC motor and the wiring inside, as loose wires could also be contributing to the humming AC noise; the culprit keeping you up at night.
5.) Loud Pitched Screeching and Screaming
At this point, the best thing you can do to save your unit is to immediately turn off your AC and call an Anthony PHC Kansas City general contractor who can properly diagnose your problem. A loud pitched scream deriving from your AC can point to a refrigerant leak. You will need to act quickly, otherwise, your AC parts inside could become damaged and your families health will be compromised from breathing in the harsh chemicals that relate to the refrigerant leak.
AC replacements can be a costly experience, it is always a wise plan to address the problem before your unit needs to be fully replaced. Any noise that comes from your AC needs to be addressed and investigated sooner than later; if you want to avoid paying a lump sum and plan to preserve optimal health for you and your family. The Anthony PHC Kansas City specialists will be able to help you keep your AC in tip-top shape throughout the entire year. Click here to learn more about our AC replacement services today.
When summer arrives, those of us who live here in Kansas City know almost immediately. The temperature starts rising rapidly, sending us all indoors to the blessing of your air conditioner and a nice cool home.
Getting your air conditioner ready for the high temperatures is important to ensure you’re comfortable as the temperature rises. Here are a few tips from Anthony’s Heating and Cooling to get your AC unit ready.
#1 Clear Your Outside Unit
Before you start the AC up, you need to make sure the outside unit is clear of debris and other obstacles. Rake up any leaves that became trapped in the unit’s grills or vents. Cut back any plants that are blocking the air flow around the unit. Remove weeds and other unwanted plant growth near the unit.
Make sure you or an AC technician can access all sides of the unit easily. Remove any obstacles that make it difficult to access the unit.
If you covered the unit to protect it during the winter, remove the cover before you try the AC. A common reason for Kansas City air conditioner repair in the summer is running the AC while having a cover over the outside unit. This can cause severe damage to the unit and can be quite costly to repair or replace.
Check Refrigerant Lines
There are two refrigerant lines going into the house from the outside unit. The smaller one sends the refrigerant into the house while the larger one brings it back out. Make sure both lines are straight and undamaged. If there is any damage, call for AC repair immediately.
The larger line should have insulation around the entire run of the pipe going from the outside unit to the side of the house. This helps keep the refrigerant cold as it arrives into the outside unit. This improves efficiency and prevents damage to the outside unit. If the insulation is damaged or missing, replace it. You can get inexpensive insulation sleeves at any hardware or home improvement center.
The smaller line does not require insulation, though it will not hurt to have it in place.
Change Your Air Filters
To run properly, your AC needs a clean flow of air. Filters help keep dust and debris from getting into the AC unit. However, if the filter is clogged, airflow gets slowed down or blocked, which can cause the AC to work harder than necessary. This is a common reason for a broken air conditioner.
Before starting the AC for the first time, change or clean the air filter. Then, at least once a month, check the filter to make sure it’s not clogged. Change or clean as needed.
You can purchase air filters at your local big box store or home improvement store. It’s a good idea to have a few on hand so that you won’t run out.
Clear Your Condensate Drain
Your inside air handler has a pan beneath it with a drain attached. When warmer air hits the cooler surface of the coils, water will condensate on the exterior. This water drips off into the condensate pan below. That water then goes down the drain and outside the house. If that drain isn’t in place or is clogged, you may have water flowing out of the pan onto the floor.
Make sure the drain is firmly attached to the tray. Also, check where it comes out of the house to make sure it’s still intact and that there’s nothing blocking it.
Pour a small cup of water down the drain to make sure it’s flowing freely down and out of the house. If it isn’t, you may have a clog. You can use a shop vacuum to try to clear the clog. Place the vacuum hose over the end of the drain pipe outside, and turn the vacuum on. Use your hand to close the end of the hose over the pipe for enhanced suction. Run for a few minutes, then check the drain to see if the clog is gone.
Pouring a 1/4 cup of vinegar down the drain can help prevent algae and mold growth.
Clear and Clean Your Vents and Grills
Walk through your house and locate the supply vents and return grills for your air conditioner. Remove anything obstructing the front of them, such as curtains, furniture, and toys. Airflow restriction can cause the unit to work hard, causing excessive wear and tear and avoidable costly repairs.
After removing obstructions, use a vacuum attachment to remove dust and debris from the vents and grills. You don’t want the dust getting blown into the house and it doesn’t need to get sucked into the AC unit either.
While you are cleaning the vents and grills, take a moment to assess the inside of your ducts. If you see holes or split seams, you need to have an AC expert make repairs. Every opening in the ducts allows cooled air to escape, driving up your energy costs. If the inside of the ducts are dusty or show signs of mold, you need to have them cleaned.
Change the Batteries on Your Thermostat
Many thermostats have a battery backup to make sure they work even if the electricity is off. The spring is a good time to change the batteries for fresh ones. While you are at the thermostat, take a moment to dust it. Accumulated dust can interfere with the thermostat’s ability to detect the room temperature.
Also, if you don’t already have a programmable thermostat, spring is the perfect time to have one installed. A programmable thermostat allows you to automatically control the house’s temperature at any time, day or night. You can have the temperature higher when you are gone during the day and have it cool down just before you get home. It will lower your energy bill without compromising your comfort.
Schedule Spring Maintenance
A common cause for Kansas City air conditioner repair is delayed maintenance. Your AC unit requires routine maintenance to run effectively and efficiently. Delaying maintenance can cause minor issues to become major ones; costly AC problems could be avoided. Delayed maintenance also shortens the expected lifespan of the entire system.
Spring is an excellent time to get routine maintenance performed. The technician will clean the unit, make sure it’s properly calibrated, and check for any problems. Resolving minor issues early will prevent costly AC repair in the future.
Consider signing up for an annual maintenance program. You get an annual tune-up for your cooling system and discounts on repairs if needed.
Time to Repair or Replace Your Broken Air Conditioner?
Call Anthony PHC today for any AC problems you have. We’ve been serving Kansas City, MO, and surrounding areas since 1951. Our commitment is to provide the best AC service possible to each and every one of our clients.
Air-conditioning systems are one of those appliances you rarely think about until something goes wrong. And if you’re caught without AC in the middle of summer when HVAC technicians are at their busiest, you could face some miserable days of heat at home.
Fortunately, there are some telltale signs homeowners can usually identify before an AC system breaks down completely. Are you seeing any of the following? Better get your air conditioner replaced sooner than later.
1. Your AC is more than 10 years old
Air conditioners wear out just like any other household appliance. A well-maintained AC system will last 10 to 15 years, according to the National Association of Home Builders.
However, systems that have not been maintained over their lifespan will not last the full 10 years. Steve Burbridge, owner of Anthony Plumbing, Heating & Cooling, recommends having a tune-up by a professional HVAC technician to keep your system in good working order. The technician can inspect the unit’s components, identify and fix any issues and clean the indoor and outdoor coils.
2. Your energy bills are rising
Before you blame global warming for your rising energy costs, consider whether your high energy bills could be the result of faulty, failing or inefficient machinery. An AC system that is working inefficiently will run more frequently, using up more electricity while not adequately cooling your house.
Many utility companies provide comparison charts of how your bill has changed month over month and year over year. They also often provide an average temperature for each day of the month, information that can help you identify whether higher utility costs are associated with outdoor temperature or something else.
Newer cooling systems will also tend to be more energy-efficient than older models. Investing in an energy-efficient system could provide you dividends in the long run.
3. Your system uses ozone-depleting refrigerant (R22)
In 2020, the ozone-depleting refrigerant R22 will no longer be manufactured. Used as a coolant for air conditioners beginning with the first models produced in the 1950s, R22 has been found by researchers to be contributing to the thinning of the earth’s ozone.
Burbridge recommends homeowners have an HVAC technician inspect their system to determine what kind of refrigerant it uses. More recently produced models use ozone-friendly refrigerant, such as 410A.
“If their system uses ozone-depleting refrigerant and it needs any repairs, it doesn’t make sense to invest any money in it,” Burbridge said.
4. Repeat breakdowns
Whether your AC system has reached the end of its lifespan or not, having multiple serious repair jobs in a row could indicate it is near wearing out. Recall that systems last only as long as they’re maintained well, and some simply don’t last as long as others. If you’ve already fixed one issue and more are popping up, it might be best to cut your losses and replace.
Older air conditioners will also have more aesthetic issues. “Rust is a major problem, along with being noisier than newer models,” Burbridge said. “People with air conditioners that are near windows or backyard patios could benefit from the newer and quieter AC units built today.”
For more information on how to recognize when your cooling system needs replacing, contact Anthony Plumbing, Heating & Cooling in the Kansas City area today. Call us at A-N-T-H-O-N-Y (268-4669) KS or MO.
Central Air Conditioning Got You Down? Need a Repair or Replacement in Kansas City? Cool Off In 2019 With Hot Tips from Anthony PHC
Of course in the winter, people are always waiting for the next season—summer. But when the hot weather has finally hit, some central air conditioning systems go out of service or do not work as efficiently.
You may have to decide whether or not to repair or replace your air conditioner unit. The experts at Anthony PHC Kansas City will be able to help you determine what solution will save you time and money, but there are ways to judge if you need a professional or not.
A non-working air conditioner is not only annoying, but it can also be uncomfortable and sometimes unbearable. If you want to stay cool this summer than we advise you to follow the tips below:
- Seal any areas where hot air may be able to seep in. You can buy a door and window sealant at your local hardware store. The directions are easy-to-use. Once you finish this step; you will be able to keep cool air inside and hot weather outside of your structure.
- Make sure that your home or commercial property is properly insulated, otherwise you may be too cold in the winter and too hot in the summer. If you want to conserve energy prices then it is essential that you insulate.
- If your air conditioner is not working properly, you may look into having a professional from Anthony PHC Kansas City replace or repair your AC unit.
- Opt for a duct cleaning, sometimes your vents could be filled with debris, this could be blocking cool or hot air from efficiently exiting your vents. A duct cleaning every 3-years is usually recommended.
- These days, with technological advancements we are able to utilize data and information to our advantage. You may want to invest in a smart thermostat. This can help you visualize how much you are using your energy for heat and air.
- Make sure to change your filter every quarter, this will help you maintain cool air throughout the summer months.
- Perhaps it is a simple fix; try to open your air vents if you don’t feel any cool air coming out. Your vents could be tightly shut and you will need to open them for cooling relief.
Trying to fix your AC unit on your own is difficult and dangerous, especially if you have no clue what you are doing. We recommend you give the Kansas City air conditioning experts a call.
It is never fun to suffer from a hot summer; if your air conditioner is inefficient or needs a repair or replacement, then be wise and reach out to the Anthony PHC Kansas City professionals who will be able to thoroughly assist you with all of your summer cooling needs.
Call the Anthony PHC experts today at 913-353-8444 and our general contractors will provide a solution for your air conditioning repair and replacement issues.
After July 3, 2019, residential furnace manufacturers must include energy-efficient electronically commutated low-wattage motors (ECM’s) on their furnace fans, instead of the permanent split capacitor (PSC) induction blower motors normally used.
The Department of Energy (DOE) has updated their Furnace Efficiency Rating (FER) standards, mandating that these energy conserving motors be used starting July 3, 2019 in all new furnaces, with the expectation that these new standards will result in significant conservation of energy and reduction of carbon pollution.
For homeowners, this means the initial price of residential furnaces will be increasing due to the higher cost of the ECM motors. But though the initial cost for a new furnace will be going up, the DOE estimates these motors will save an average consumer about $340 to $500 over the lifetime of their furnace, even after accounting for the increased upfront cost, due to significant savings in energy costs.
ECM motors are expected to keep homeowners more comfortable, too. First, they provide more efficient airflow. Second, they reduce temperature swings in the home by allowing the fan to run for a longer time at a reduced speed. And homeowners will be more inclined to operate their furnace fans all the time, therefore cleaning the air consistently.
The net effect on the homeowner’s energy usage by the ECM motors may be reduced by as much as 46%, which depending on the home and the furnace model, could result in as much as $67.00 per year in energy savings.
Although the old furnaces with PSC induction motors may still be in stock for a short time after July 3, they will only be available while supplies last. Some homeowners may opt for repairing an old furnace, but it can be a costly decision when compared to the energy savings of replacing it with an energy efficient furnace. The question then is, “how expensive does a furnace repair need to be before it’s not worth it?” Even for less expensive repairs, depending upon how old your furnace is, replacement may be a more cost-effective option.
To help you make the best choice possible, Anthony Plumbing, Heating & Cooling will help you assess when and if you should replace your furnace. Call us at A-N-T-H-O-N-Y (268-4669) KS or MO.
The Clock is Ticking – What’s Your Plan?
If your AC uses the refrigerant known as R-22, it is time to plan your replacement strategy. If you have to add refrigerant to your AC unit, then your time may be up this year.
Because of Environmental Protection Agency concerns about R-22 effects on the ozone, it will not be produced after January 1, 2020, and the only way to acquire it will be through recycled or stockpiled supplies which will be prohibitively expensive to purchase. The price of R-22 has been increasing steadily over the last few years already, which has made R-22 AC systems too expensive to continue to run, making replacement the more affordable option.
The last AC units using R-22 were manufactured in 2010. So if your AC unit is one of these, it is already old enough to consider replacement. If your AC uses R-22 refrigerant and you’ve had to add refrigerant recently, then it is time to replace your AC system. Refrigerant doesn’t get used up – the only time you have to add refrigerant is if you have a leak. And if you have a leak, you will have to add more and more refrigerant each year.
Refrigerant leaks happen to all units eventually as they age. Refrigerant circulates under high pressure and therefore wears down and thins the inside of the tubing. Because AC units last only 10 – 15 years on average, it is time for your R-22 unit to be replaced, especially if it is leaking refrigerant.
How Do I Know if my AC Unit uses R-22?
Steve Burbridge, owner of Anthony Plumbing, Heating & Cooling, recommends homeowners have an HVAC technician inspect their system to determine what kind of refrigerant it uses. Age of the system is one determinant – no R-22 units were manufactured after 2010. But R-410A units have been manufactured since 1996, so just because your unit is old it doesn’t mean that it uses R-22.
Can I Wait One More Year?
Making a choice to wait will also put you in the same boat as all of the others who are waiting until the last minute, and prices for new AC systems go up when demand is high. And even if you are lucky enough to get a reasonably-priced replacement unit, the wait for available technicians to install it might be long. And the last thing you want to do is be faced with weeks without air conditioning during the summer heat.
What if I Can’t Afford to Replace Right Now?
Replacing a central AC unit can cost thousands of dollars, more than many of us have saved up. This is where financing comes in. Fortunately, there is financing available for just about any credit score. Click here to review the many financing options available through Anthony Plumbing, Heating & Cooling: https://www.anthonyphc.com/financing/.
Rebates from energy companies can also help financially. KCPL offers rebates when you purchase energy-efficient AC systems installed by authorized contractors like Anthony Plumbing, Heating & Cooling. For more information on rebate programs, call our us at Anthony or click here: https://www.kcpl.com/save-energy-and-money/home/rebates/heating-and-cooling.
The one bright side to incurring an extra monthly expense through financing is the reduction of energy costs that you will receive when a new unit is doing the cooling, which will help offset this expense. New AC units outperform old units significantly, no matter what their Energy Star rating is. And you will no longer have costly repair bills to pay either.