At Your Service Plumbing, Heating & Air Blog: Archive for the ‘Home Improvement’ Category

How Whole-Home Humidifiers Work and Benefit You

Tuesday, July 9th, 2019

As longtime residents of any part of Utah well know, dry climate just comes with the territory when you live in this state. Utah is a desert, meaning moisture is in short supply all over – not just in terms of water for various daily needs, but also in terms of moisture in the air, otherwise known as humidity.

The pros with At Your Service Plumbing, Heating & Air are well aware of the issues this dryness in the air can cause for many homeowners. For many people, low humidity levels will lead to physical symptoms like a sore throat, dry skin or chapped lips, and these levels also may impact your home itself by cracking floors and furniture or expanding and contracting various wood items.

One excellent solution we’ll offer if this is becoming a concern for you: A whole-home humidifier, which we can both install and maintain as necessary to bring your home back to reasonable humidity ranges and improve everything from comfort to home value. How does this sort of item differ from a standard portable humidifier, and what are the benefits of a whole-home option?

whole-home humidifiers work benefit

Difference Between Single and Whole-Home Humidifiers

A single, or portable, humidifier is one that, as the name suggests, is compact and only meant to provide humidity changes to a single room or area. Most of these options plug directly into a wall outlet, with a removable container you can fill with water that will be converted into steam form and dispersed throughout the room in question, raising the humidity over time.

A whole-home humidifier, on the other hand, does not involve a cord or any removable pieces. Rather, it’s an item that’s installed directly into your HVAC system, connecting to your water supply and allowing you to control the relative humidity of the air in your entire home, top to bottom. When air cycles through your HVAC system, as it does regularly while the system works to heat or cool the home, it’s humidified automatically to the levels you desire.

Benefits of Whole-Home Humidifiers

So what are some of the reasons you might consider a whole-home humidifier? Here are several of their benefits:

  • Breathing quality: For anyone with a respiratory condition like asthma or allergies, or even for those who have occasional breathing concerns, a whole-home humidifier can be a godsend. Many people struggle to breathe properly in low humidity environments, and may see sore throats or related issues more often.
  • Skin and dryness: In addition, better humidity levels will limit the risks of dry skin, chapped lips, and other results of very dry air.
  • Wood floors and furniture: Wood items in the home are also susceptible to cracking, contracting or other damage due to dry climate. A whole-home humidifier helps you attain proper levels and remove these risks.
  • Temperature: Finally, a whole-home humidifier often makes the home feel warmer at a cooler temperature, a big win during cooler parts of the year when you’re looking to warm the space without raising your energy bill.

For more on the benefits of whole-home humidifiers, or to learn about any of our furnace replacement, water heater repair or other HVAC services, speak to the staff with At Your Service Plumbing, Heating & Air today.

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Combining HVAC and Landscaping Areas for Efficiency

Tuesday, April 9th, 2019

combining hvac landscaping efficiencySpring is here for Utah homeowners, and that means it’s time to consider a few post-winter HVAC areas to ensure your system is ready to go for the spring and summer. For those who maintain theirs, it’s also an important time of year for landscape design and preparing the property for the growing season.

The pros with At Your Service Plumbing, Heating & Air, though, are here to tell you that this is one period of the year where these two areas might combine briefly. That’s right, our heating and air conditioning pros can offer you some basic expertise on how you can intelligently utilize your landscaping in ways that directly benefit your HVAC system, including saving you major costs on your bill each month. Let’s look at a few themes that are important here.

Natural Shade Options

Are you looking for a way to lower your AC and energy bills in the summer without impacting your comfort or indoor air temperature at all? Your best bet is the natural option available to you: Shade.

Your primary tools here within a landscaping perspective are trees, which can provide major shade and sun cover to huge sections of your property. Many homeowners don’t fully appreciate just how much the sun plays a role in heating your home – simply stopping it from beating down on the outer areas of your house for a few hours a day can save you untold cooling costs, up to 20 percent of your energy bill in many cases. Prioritize tall, broadleaf trees that can reach up to the highest parts of your home, including covering the roof (another major heat transfer area). If possible, look for deciduous options that will show large leaves during the summer but then shed them during the winter, allowing sun to hit the home and assist with your warming needs.

For lower areas of the home, consider shrubs and bushes. These are particularly important for stopping reflected heat, which pings off driveways, sidewalks and other surfaces and shoots into your home. Many homeowners also place shrubs around the AC unit itself to keep it cool and shaded.

Trellis or Pergola

If trees or shrubs are not realistic given your soil or other considerations, or if you simply don’t want to wait for them to grow to the proper sizes, you can consider man-made additions here as well. A trellis or pergola is the perfect choice, an item you can place against the sunniest side of your home to shade it all day long from the sun. For optimal effects, cover this area in vines, leaves or other shade providers.

Water Features

For both ambiance and some cooling effects, consider water features like ponds, waterfalls or others in your landscaping. These will cool an entire yard space by a degree or two at least, making a significant impact on the temperature of air as it reaches your home.

For more on using landscaping to improve your HVAC efficiency, or to learn about any of our heating or cooling services, speak to the staff with At Your Service Plumbing, Heating & Air today.

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Utilizing Your HVAC System for a Good Sleep

Tuesday, March 12th, 2019

utilizing hvac system sleepWith proper HVAC technology and maintenance services, like the kind provided by our technicians with At Your Service Plumbing, Heating & Air, you can control the air quality and comfort levels of your home or business to the full extent. Modern systems allow for complete grasp over everything from basic temperatures to several other HVAC areas, allowing you to make life more comfortable without running up a huge energy bill.

One particular area where your ability to control your comfort levels comes in handy? Sleep. You may not realize it, but there are several HVAC areas that relate directly to your body’s consistent ability to get a good night of sleep – let’s look at a few of these areas and how you can optimize them while still keeping your utility bill low.

Proper Temperature Range

The simplest task of your HVAC system is maintaining your desired temperature, and the range you should be in here is more specific than you might think when it comes to sleep. The National Sleep Foundation recommends all humans sleep with the temperature somewhere between 60 and 67 degrees Fahrenheit.

If your room is significantly colder or warmer than this, it could lead to restlessness and the disruption of REM sleep, a vital bodily cycle. You should be on the higher end of this range if a baby or toddler sleeps in the room with you, but never exceed 70 for any reason.

Humidity Concerns

Beyond just the temperature, the humidity of your room is also very important. Too much can lead to a damp, muggy feeling that’s both unhealthy and can risk the wood in your home. If humidity is too low, on the other hand, the room – and possibly your skin, throat, hair and nasal passages – will feel very dry.

The optimal range for humidity is between 40 and 45 percent in general, and humidity level detectors are cheaply purchased at any home improvement store. If your home has consistent low humidity issues, speak to our pros about a whole-home humidifier.

Thermostat Options

The thermostat controls much of the above, and which option you choose will play a big role in how tight your grip is. Most homes today have at least a programmable thermostat, which allows you to set a schedule that includes sleep hours – you can have the temperature drop into the proper range if you prefer it higher than 67 during the day, for instance.

There are additional options out there as well, however. A zoned HVAC system includes multiple thermostats that are each responsible for their own area, allowing you to adjust bedroom temperatures only if you want. There are also smart thermostat options that can be controlled from anywhere using your smartphone.

Utilizing Fans

If you’re looking for a low-cost way to cool your room down at night, consider your ceiling fans. These not only can lower the temperature by a degree or two, they circulate air and keep it fresh all night.

For more on utilizing your HVAC system for a good night’s rest, or to learn about any of our HVAC or plumbing services, contact the pros with At Your Service Plumbing, Heating & Air today.

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Benefits of Installing a Whole-Home Water Filtration System

Tuesday, March 17th, 2015

There are a lot of ways homeowners can clean their home’s water, but the most effective way to make sure that all of the water in your home is clean is to install a whole-home water filter system.

When you integrate a whole-home water filtration system into your home, you’ll know that every single water outlet in your home will have fresh, filtered water – not just the kitchen sink or the water contained in your fridge. Your shower, your laundry, even the water coming from your garden hose will be purified. The At Your Service Plumbing, Heating & Air experts have been helping customers improve their water quality since 1980, so if you are interested in a water filtration system, call us today!

The Benefits

There are a number of benefits a whole-home filtration system can offer you that you can’t get with a single kitchen or pitcher type of water filtration device:

  • Better water for showers and baths – when you use a point-of-use water filtration system, such as a water filter that attaches directly to your kitchen faucet, you are getting a singular use from the filter. With a whole-home filtration system, all your water is cleaned and purified, so whether you decide to take a bath or water your roses, you’ll always have clean, filtered water to do so.
  • Protection against breaches in the system – when you have a whole-home water filter, you won’t have worry should a problem develop with your municipal water supply as all the water coming into your home will pass through the filter.
  • Helps protect water-using appliances – sediment and minerals can build on water-using appliances, shortening their life spans. This includes hot water heaters (tank and tankless), washing machines and dish washers.
  • Less fading of clothes – hard water can be tough on clothes and anything you wash. When the water is filtered, it is softened and cleans your clothes without beating them up.

We’ve all enjoyed the taste of filtered water at one point or another – why not enjoy the benefits it has to offer throughout your entire home? Call us today and schedule an appointment for a whole-home water filter in your Salt Lake City home!

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