At Your Service Plumbing, Heating & Air Blog: Archive for the ‘Indoor Air Quality’ 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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The Benefits of an Energy Recovery Ventilator

Monday, July 3rd, 2017

happy-family-ERV

Every prudent homeowner wants their home to be as energy efficient as possible. Our warm summers and cold winters can cost you quite a bit if your home keeps leaking that energy, and there are numerous steps you can take to keep those heating and cooling costs down. Some of them are easy to implement, such as adding weather stripping around cracks in doors or windows, or using fans to circulate the air and cool the home in the summer.

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UV Lights Help Make Healthier Homes

Monday, May 8th, 2017

UV-air-purifierSpring is typically the time when biological contaminants start to become a nuisance. Germs, bacteria and pollen flourish, increasing allergic reactions and adding to the risk of you or a family member contracting an illness. Heaters and air conditioners contain filters, but they need to be regularly replaced, and don’t always do as thorough a job as they should. If you’re looking to cut down on germs and other unwanted creepy-crawlies in your air, we have an outstanding solution for you: UV air purifiers placed in your HVAC system.

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Why You Need UV Germicidal Lights

Monday, February 13th, 2017

Indoor_Air_Quality_Filters_Duct_Cleaning_dreamstime_xl_20144812Winter season always sees a huge influx of colds and flu bugs, especially in high altitudes like ours. Illnesses go hand in hand with the winter, though not because of the cold temperatures like a lot of people think. Nevertheless, the causes of winter sicknesses can’t be easily vanquished. You can. however, ensure that there is proper protection for your home and family in the form of a UV air purifier installed at the base of your ducts. Here’s a brief look at how it all works.

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Why Is Low Humidity Such a Problem in the Winter?

Monday, January 30th, 2017

We live in the Salt Lake City, UT area, which means that none of us are strangers to the problems caused by low humidity. A desert atmosphere, high elevation and cold winters combine to make our air dry as a bone, and here in the middle of January, you can feel it more than ever. Why is low humidity such a problem in the winter, and what can you do about it? The answers can be found below.

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How to Improve Your Heater’s Performance

Monday, December 12th, 2016

Heating systems have been running throughout the South Jordan, UT for at least a few weeks, and the weather’s going to get colder before it gets warmer. We’re all used to paying more in heating bills every winter, but you shouldn’t let that reality hide the fact that you might be paying more than you should. A few upgrades around your home can make a huge difference on that front, and now is an excellent time to see if they might make a good fit. We’ve includes a brief list of suggestions below.

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Get UV Germicidal Lights this Winter

Monday, December 5th, 2016

Winter is usually a difficult time when it comes to  colds and flu bugs in your home. The low humidity levels here in Draper, UT can dry out your sinuses, which is our body’s natural defense against germs. That’s one of the reasons why winter sees a lot of illness, and because we often button up our homes to retain heat, cold bugs can easily circulate from family member to family member. 

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Is The Air in Your Home Too Dry?

Monday, November 21st, 2016

We’re no stranger to dry air here in Holladay, UT, owing to our high elevation and cold weather. You may experience excessive dry air in your home during the winter, creating a host of problems to contend with. You shouldn’t have to deal with that, especially during the holidays with a thousand more pressing matters on your mind. There is a solution, however — a whole-house humidifier — and if you don’t have one installed, now would be a perfect time to do so.

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