(801) 396-2446 High-Efficiency Experts / Service & Installation
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common AC misconceptions addressed

Common AC Misconceptions Addressed, Part 2

In part one of this two-part blog series, we went over some of the unfortunate myths out there surrounding air conditioners. There are sadly a number of such misconceptions out there, largely born of misinformation that’s spread around over the years in an area that’s commonly discussed, including by non-experts At Airtime Heating & Cooling, we’re here to not only provide air conditioning repair, air conditioning installation and various other HVAC services, but also proper information and expertise on any such systems, including your air conditioner. Today’s part two of our series will go through a few more of the common AC myths out there today, plus set you straight with proper information and how to approach the situations discussed herein.

AC Maintenance Isn’t Worth It

There are some who, for some strange reason, seem to only believe they should spend money on their AC or HVAC system if something is visibly wrong. If they can’t see any problems, why spend money? This is the wrong way to look at these systems. Many of the most common issues in AC or HVAC systems begin as small, easily-remedied concerns – but if they’re left until you actually notice them, they’ll be much worse by that point. Regular HVAC maintenance, however, helps you spot these issues well in advance, which in turn allows you to avoid them growing too large. By spending a very small sum on a yearly or bi-yearly HVAC inspection, you’ll be saving yourself much larger amounts down the line.

Bigger Always Means Better

For those who are looking to upgrade or replace their AC, or those building a new construction home from the ground up, there’s an unfortunate tendency to assume size is the only relevant factor for a new AC unit. The bigger the unit, the better it will be, as the thinking goes. Not so fast. There are many AC units that will simply be too large for a given home, using way too much power and causing major cycling issues. You certainly don’t want an AC that’s too small, but one that’s too large can be just as detrimental.

Closing Vents Helps

Some figure they’ll be saving themselves some money and air by closing the vents in rooms where they don’t spend much time. Rather, however, this messes with the air distribution balance in the home, often leading to cycling issues or creating problems with the vents themselves. You should leave vents open even in areas that aren’t frequently occupied. For more on avoiding common air conditioning myths this summer, or to learn about any of our HVAC services, speak to the staff at Airtime Heating & Cooling today.
common AC misconceptions addressed

Common AC Misconceptions Addressed, Part 1

It’s the dead of the Utah summer, and home and building owners throughout the state require quality cooling solutions this time of year. There are several themes homeowners can pursue when it comes to ensuring air conditioner and HVAC quality during the summer, but also a number of myths out there regarding some of these themes – including several that not only won’t help, but also might even hurt your system in the short- and long-term. At Airtime Heating & Cooling, we’re happy to provide a wide range of AC services, from precision tune-ups to air conditioner repair and replacement. In this two-part blog series, we’ll go over a number of these air conditioner misconceptions and set the record straight so you know the proper information on several areas of AC upkeep and operation this summer.

Lower Setting = Faster Cooling

For those looking to cool their home or a given space as quickly as possible, there’s a tendency to try and turn the AC down as low as possible to speed this process up. However, you should know that this method doesn’t actually work – and actually might hurt your system. The HVAC system can only blow so much air at once, and this doesn’t change even if you drop the temperature even further. Forcing it to an even lower number might cause it to work harder just to achieve the same level of cooling, and will not speed things up at all.

Constant Running Saves You Money

We’re all looking for ways to save on HVAC costs, but anyone who tells you that running your AC constantly will help in this realm doesn’t know what they’re talking about. The thought here appears to be that constant running saves the energy of turning the system on and off regularly – but this is a misconception, and the opposite is true. Allowing the system to turn on and off as needed is a big part of what keeps its operational strain low, limiting your energy bill.

Thermostat Placement is Unimportant

For those designing a new home or replacing their thermostat in an existing one, you may not think the placement of this item matters all that much. In reality, though, it does: If it’s placed too close to vents or other cooling areas it may think the home is cooler than it really is, or the opposite effect could take place if the thermostat is in a sun spot, near the oven or in another area that’s hotter than the rest of the home. The thermostat should be located in a neutral area that represents as close as possible to average home temperature. For more on debunking common myths regarding your air conditioner, or to learn about any of our heating and air services, speak to the staff at Airtime Heating & Cooling today.
common causes home dust

Remedying Common Causes of Home Dust Accumulation

Have you begun to notice your home is increasingly dusty in recent days, weeks or months? Not only might this be an annoyance and a frustration, it may also speak to a greater quantity of contaminants and other hazards in your air that need to be removed. At Airtime Heating & Cooling, we’re here to help with a variety of HVAC services, ranging from AC and furnace repair and replacement to several solutions for indoor air quality – including homes dealing with high levels of dust and related concerns. Here are several of the primary causes of dust increases within the home, plus what you can do about each of them to limit these risks moving forward.

Filter Issues

The first area to look at if you’re experiencing dust issues is your HVAC filter. Filters should be changed at least once every few months, and sometimes more often depending on the filter type you used – for washable filters, these should be cleaned regularly as well. Failure to do this will result in filters accumulating dust and other materials over time. When they build up too much, they become ineffective and allow dust to spread throughout the home, including in your ducts and vents plus within any room where air is pushed to.

Humidity Levels

While this is less common in a dry state like Utah, high humidity levels within the home or a certain part of the home are still easily possible. These often lead to dust building up, plus to the formation of mold and mildew. If you’re concerned this is the cause of your dust, purchase a basic hygrometer to test for humidity levels, plus consider a whole-home humidifier or dehumidifier.

Air Duct Leaks

In some cases, your filters will be clean and working well – but dust will still make its way around because it was already present in your ducts. This often is due to leaks that cause dirty air from your attic or other spots to enter your standard air supply, including within ducts that are supposed to be supplying recently-filtered air.

Window Cracks

Another of the most common causes of dust in the home is major gaps to the outdoors, and maybe the most frequent situation here is a crack or gap around a window area. You might be surprised how much dust will be prevented simply by re-caulking any small crack or gap areas in windows.

Shoes

Finally, one of the simplest dust causes in some homes is dust being tracked in by occupants, especially in homes with several people living in them. This is simply avoided by requiring shoes be taken off before entering the house. For more on the common causes of dust in your home, or to learn about any of our indoor air quality solutions or other HVAC services, speak to the staff at Airtime Heating & Cooling today.
spring air conditioner allergy

Limiting Spring Air Conditioner Allergy Risks

Homeowners across Utah have moved firmly into air conditioner season, and for those who suffer from seasonal allergies, this spring transition period is often the toughest of the year. Spring allergies are known to be the most significant out there for many people, and there are certain situations where they may be exacerbated by an AC setup that’s not conducive to preventing allergens and similar risks from spreading into your air. At Airtime Heating & Cooling, we’re proud to assist with numerous areas of air conditioner repair and upkeep services, including several important air quality themes that will help you limit even minor allergen risks in your home and protect those who suffer from seasonal allergies. Today’s blog will focus on how allergens and other particles enter the home through a faulty AC system, plus the importance of your air filters and additional measures you can take to ensure allergens are not a heightened risk due to your air conditioner this spring.

How Particles Enter Through the AC System

In some cases, the mode of entrance for allergens and various related particles into your air supply is based on cracks or other seal issues with your air conditioner, ducts or related components. When these issues are present, air that has not yet passed through your filter system will be able to make its way into breathing areas, meaning contaminants like allergens and others have not been removed. In addition, however, it’s important to note that having a proper exhaust system for your HVAC system is also vital. This allows various contaminants or particles that have not been caught by the filters to exit the home properly – these particles will be present no matter how good your filters are.

Filter Factors

Speaking of filters, you should be sure that the filters installed in your HVAC system trap allergens – most do, but some on the cheaper end do not. Also be sure areas like pet dander, which may carry allergens, are caught as well. As we noted above, however, not all the air in your home necessarily makes it to the air filter before reaching your lungs. For this reason, those homes with significant allergy sufferers may want to consider additional measures.

Other Measures

Here are a few such options available for both allergen prevention and other areas of indoor air quality:
  • Whole home filtration: We offer the “Clean Effects” filter system from Trane, arguably the top home air filtration system in the world, which will remove all pollutants, allergens, bacteria and viruses within the entire space.
  • UV lights: There are also UV air cleaner options that attack mold, mildew and other bacteria within your air ducts, common collection locations for these contaminants.
  • Electronic purifier: A different purifier system that charges particulates in the air and forces them to stick to metal surfaces, which can be easily cleaned.
For more on preventing allergens and other air risks in your home this spring, or to learn about any of our air quality or other HVAC services, speak to the staff at Airtime Heating & Cooling today.

Why Spring is Often Ideal for Heater Replacement

We’re firmly finished with winter and onto the warmer parts of the year in Utah, and some homeowners assume they can simply stop thinking about their furnace or heater until fall comes. And while heating is indeed less of a concern during the spring and summer, did you know that spring is often an ideal time to consider replacing a furnace or heater that’s nearing the end of its lifespan? At Airtime Heating & Cooling, we’re happy to offer heater replacement service to our clients at any time of year, along with basic AC and furnace repair services to cover your entire HVAC system no matter which season we’re in. Why is spring often a sneaky-good time to consider such a replacement, and what are some signs your system might be giving you that now is the time for this decision? Here are some general tips to be aware of.

Time and Money Savings

For starters, you’d be surprised how much time and money you can save by arranging furnace replacement in spring. For one, furnace replacement schedules tend to be far less filled at this time of year, meaning you’re more likely to get your ideal appointment time range within a few days of calling for an appointment. You also might be able to get good deals on installation or even sales, as some manufacturers offer discounts on furnaces during their slower season. Additionally, choosing the spring offers you more time flexibility on your end. If you decide to wait on signs that replacement is needed, you could suddenly be staring at a late-fall cold front – and all of a sudden, furnace replacement appointments are much harder to get. Taking the time to cover this area now allows you a full range of product choices, plus ensures you aren’t chasing the game.

Maintaining Comfort

Another benefit of replacing the heater during spring is the comfort retention the process offers. We’re mostly past the point where homes need to have their heaters on to keep the temperature comfortable – this means it’s no big deal if our pros have to turn your heating system off for a few hours while we replace the system. If you wait on replacement, however, this process might take place during a cooler period where things won’t be so convenient.

Signs It’s Time

Some general signs your furnace or heating system is giving you that it’s time for replacement:
  • Common repairs: If you’re making the same kinds of repairs over and over again, this is a sign that the heater has worn down and needs to be replaced.
  • Age: Any furnace or heater that reaches above 15 years of age should at least see replacement considered.
  • Lost efficiency: If you notice your HVAC costs rising compared to previous years, or if you can’t seem to get the proper heating levels, this could mean the furnace is worn down and needs a replacement.
  • Noises: Finally, some malfunctioning furnaces make loud noises like rattling, clanging or electrical humming, all of which may signal replacement needs.
For more on why spring is often an ideal season for heater replacement, or to learn about any of our HVAC services, speak to the staff at Airtime Heating & Cooling today.
dry air health hvac system

Dry Air Impact on Home, Health and HVAC System

As anyone who has lived here for a significant period is well aware, the state of Utah is known for its desert qualities, namely dry air. Humidity levels are generally fairly low in Utah, and this can have an impact on everything from your home’s air quality to the impact dry air has on your HVAC system. At Airtime Heating & Cooling, we offer a wide range of HVAC services, from new furnace and air conditioner products to several indoor air quality solutions, including humidity-related areas. How does dry air impact your HVAC system, particularly on the severe end of the spectrum? Today’s blog will dig into this area and why you might be well-served looking into humidification solutions for your home if you’re dealing with consistently dry air.

Dry Air and Health

First and foremost, it’s important to realize that dry air is more than a nuisance for many people – in plenty of cases, it actually has a direct impact on human health. This is often the case in relatively minor areas, such as dry skin, chapped lips and related areas. However, in some cases these risks will be even more significant. Many, especially those with previous respiratory conditions or weakened immune systems, will experience coughing, sore throats and even sometimes illness due to mucous membranes that have dried out as a result of extremely dry air.

Home and HVAC System Impact

In addition to having a potential impact on your health, dry air may also have an impact on your home. This begins with the HVAC system, which often has to use far more energy to warm the home during the cooler months – this is because warm air and humidity tend to go together, and vice versa. If your air is overly dry, you may find your winter heating bill is far higher than it should be. In addition, there are other home areas that could be damaged due to dry air. Spit wood is a common occurrence, for instance, as is damage to electronics, chipping paint and split wallpaper due to static shock or related factors.

Humidification Benefits

Luckily, we offer the “Clean Effects” system from Trane that provides a whole-house solution for several items, including humidity control. Offering the proper levels of humidity to your home not only keeps you more comfortable and healthy on a daily basis, it also improves your HVAC system’s efficiency by limiting its strain, particularly during winter months. Using a whole-home system also prevents dry air issues from cropping up in certain areas and then re-appearing in others, as the entire space is covered. For more on dry air and its impact on your health and home, or to learn about any of our indoor air quality or other HVAC solutions, speak to the staff at Airtime Heating & Cooling today.
AC HVAC preparation checklist

Pre-Spring AC and HVAC Preparation Checklist

We’re nearing the end of the winter period, and for homeowners throughout Utah, this means it’s almost time for an important transition. The move from winter into the spring and summer seasons means your HVAC system will switch from heating to cooling, and ensuring the entire system is ready for this transition is vital. At Airtime Heating & Cooling, we offer a variety of furnace and air conditioning tune-up services, the type that are perfect for these transitional seasons during a given year. In addition to these, here are several basic areas we recommend you keep a careful eye on as you prepare your system for the spring, ensuring your air conditioner and other vital HVAC components are in great shape as the temperatures change.

Cleaning Areas

For starters, there are two major cleaning areas to perform before spring hits:
  • Outside unit: Many homeowners take good care of the interior elements of their HVAC system, but neglect the vital unit outside the home. This is the AC condenser, the one in charge of cycling out warm air and providing cool air during the summer – you should take the time to clean off all dirt, debris, branches, leaves or other items from this area. This will prevent costly maintenance on this unit that may arise due to built-up deposits, which can slow the unit down and damage it.
  • Air ducts: It’s also vital to clean your air ducts and visible vent areas of all dust and debris, allowing the system to work without any strain or air loss.

Changing Filter

HVAC filters should be changed regularly throughout the year, including during the winter-to-spring transition if they have not been swapped out recently. Filters that are left too long will build up significant blockages and clogs, slowing the passage of air through the system and raising your monthly energy bill. In the process, they will also diminish your air quality.

Test Run

Chances are, your air conditioning system has been completely unused for most or all of the previous winter. Take the time to switch the system to cool and run it for around 30 minutes – check in individual rooms to ensure cooling is taking place, and listen/look for any issues that may come up. If you’re scheduling professional maintenance, be sure to mention any such issues to your HVAC expert.

Schedule a Tune-Up

Finally, as we noted above, there are few better ways to guarantee the quality of your AC and HVAC system headed into spring and summer than to hire our pros for a quick, affordable tune-up. We’ll inspect and clean basic elements of the system, plus check for minor issues that have arisen over time to ensure your unit is in tip-top shape headed into cooling season. For more on pre-spring HVAC tips to consider in your home, or to learn about any of our heating and cooling services, speak to the staff at Airtime Heating & Cooling today.
air quality indoor candle burning

Health and Air Quality Tips for Indoor Candle Burning

As your comprehensive HVAC specialists throughout Utah, one area our team at Airtime Heating & Cooling is always cognizant of when providing services for your home is indoor air quality. Our whole-home air purifier solutions offer the kind of air that improves breathing, skin quality, sleep and numerous other potential actors for home occupants, plus allows you to control humidity throughout the year. One area that often is perceived incorrectly by homeowners when it comes to their air quality: Burning candles inside the home. While many forms of candles are fine to burn inside, there are also several popular types that research has shown to be harmful to indoor air quality, and you should be very careful about regularly burning these types. Let’s look at everything you need to know about which candle materials to avoid and how to burn candles in safe, healthy ways if this is something you enjoy.

Candle Materials and Air Quality

When it comes to determining whether a given candle is good or bad for your indoor air quality, the primary theme is assessing the materials the candle is made from. Specifically, research has shown that candles containing a substance known as paraffin – one of the most popular types available, sadly – emit toxic chemicals such as toluene, benzene and even formaldehyde. These chemicals can lead to everything from respiratory concerns like asthma to nervous system disorders and even heightened risk for certain forms of cancer. Now, not all candles are made using paraffin. The same research showed that soybean candles or beeswax did not have the same outputs of toxic chemicals, though there is still debate about whether these types are truly safer. Overall, researchers noted that even for paraffin-based candles, occasional use is generally okay and will not pose a health or air quality threat. If you constantly are lighting these candles, however, especially in spaces with poor ventilation, this is when issues can begin.

HVAC Filter Impact

One note for those who burn candles often, even if you’re burning beeswax or soybean candles that don’t emit toxins: Soot and smoke released from candles will generally clog up your HVAC filters faster than they would have otherwise. You should check your filters often and replace them more commonly if you burn candles regularly.

General Tips

Some general ventilation and other tips for burning candles safely and without health or air quality risks:
  • Stick with beeswax or soybean candles, and cotton or paper wicks
  • Ensure candle wicks are trimmed down to limit smoke and soot output
  • Use a lighter instead of a match for lighting candles – the former emits fewer toxins
  • Burn candles in a properly-ventilated area
  • When possible, choose odorless candles and use essential oils for improved aromas
For more on the possible issues with candles and air quality, or to learn about any of our HVAC services, including central air, furnace repair or even pre-spring air conditioner installations, speak to the staff at Airtime Heating & Cooling.
locating removing rodents HVAC ductwork

Locating and Removing Rodents in HVAC Ductwork

No one enjoys the presence of rodents like mice or rats anywhere in their home, and they can be particularly problematic if they invade – and eventually die in – your HVAC system’s ductwork. Often entering this area to attempt to find shelter and warmth, such rodents can lead to not only health issues and contaminants in your air, but also damage to your ducts and related HVAC performance issues. At Airtime Heating & Cooling, we’re happy to assist with a variety of areas, from furnace replacement to general upkeep and tune-ups of various HVAC systems, including your ducts. If you believe a rodent has died in your duct system somewhere, here are some general steps to take in terms of locating it, removing it and remedying any damage that was created – either on your own or with the assistance of our HVAC professionals.

Tracking Odor

For starters, the most common indicator that will signal a rodent’s presence in the duct system is the odor that comes from it. At the same time, however, such a smell could be coming from several sources or locations, and you have to follow it to determine the precise area. If you’ve already checked other primary areas or believe the ductwork is the location, find the strongest area of smell nearest to a vent cover you can access. Remove this cover and use a flashlight to check inside.

Careful, Safe Removal

In cases where you can see the dead rodent and it’s close enough to the vent opening to reach it, you can likely perform this task yourself if desired. It’s vital, however, to take proper health and safety precautions: Wear gloves, use disinfectant products and ensure you have a strong, durable garbage bag for storing the remains. If the rodent is out of your reach, however, you may need to call our team for assistance. We have special tools and expertise that will allow us to reach the rodent and remove it without damaging your ductwork in any way. Once the rodent has been removed, thoroughly disinfect the area, including any section that was touched by the animal.

Repairing Leaks or Damage

Finally, once the area is clean and sanitary, it’s important to inspect the system and understand how the rodent was able to enter it to begin with. Our pros will be able to help you ascertain this location, which often includes a small leak or hole that allowed the rodent to get in. We’ll also assist with simple, affordable repairs or replacement to ensure this cannot happen again, plus increase your energy efficiency. For more on what to do if a rodent has died in your HVAC duct system, or to learn about any of our heating and air services, speak to the staff at Airtime Heating & Cooling today.
preparing HVAC system holiday guests

Preparing the Home’s HVAC System for Holiday Guests

With winter upon us, homeowners and families everywhere are preparing for the festive holiday season, or have already kicked it off in some cases. Those who plan to host guests in their home during the holidays, particularly family or friends staying for long periods, have a few important areas to think about, one of which is comfort and air quality – both dictated by a strong HVAC system. At Airtime Heating & Cooling, we’re here to help. We offer a variety of quality HVAC services, from furnace installation to heater repair and even air quality solutions to keep your home comfortable and healthy for anyone who visits over the holidays – plus you and your family, of course. Here are several areas to prioritize, from those we’ll assist you with to others you can handle on your own in many cases.

Inspection and Maintenance

For starters, having your HVAC system and furnace inspected and maintained by our quality HVAC pros during the late fall or early winter is vital, both for this and several other reasons. The last thing you want to be running into is a broken furnace or some other temperature issue while company is around, the kinds of issues that could have been prevented with a basic inspection and upkeep appointment. We’ll perform tasks ranging from basic cleaning to minor repairs as needed, also lengthening the lifespan of your system.

Filter, Vents and Ducts

Changing HVAC filters is important throughout the year, and especially so if your home will have additional occupants for a period of time – this introduces a wider array of contaminants that need to be removed from the air. Ensure your filter is up-to-date and clean. In addition, take a few minutes to clean the accessible areas of your vents and air ducts, particularly if any dust or other buildups are present. This will limit allergens and other air quality detractors while also making it easier for the system to function at peak capacity.

Specific Room Prep

When preparing guest rooms or other areas where guests will stay, take some time to ensure all vents are both open and free of any impediments, such as furniture. Even if you don’t normally keep vents open in this room, you should now. You may also consider leaving an extra blanket just in case your guests need additional warmth.

Large Groups and Thermostat Considerations

Finally, for some minor cost savings, you might consider lowering your thermostat a degree or two during large holiday gatherings. This is because large groups of people give off significant body heat, often warming the room or even the entire home on their own. Combine this with potential oven use and lots of lights being on, and you can likely give the thermostat at least a minor respite during events. For more on preparing the HVAC system and your home for holiday guests, or to learn about any of our furnace, air conditioning or air quality services, speak to the staff at Airtime Heating & Cooling today.
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High-Efficiency Experts / Service & Installation
(801) 396-2446 High-Efficiency Experts / Service & Installation
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