Combating Humidity, Allergens, and Asthma with Your A/C

For those with allergies, asthma, or another respiratory condition, the dog days of summer are difficult at best. High humidity and air heavy with mold, mildew, pollen, and other allergens work together to exacerbate symptoms, and relief may feel hard to find. Luckily, your central air conditioning system can help keep your allergy and asthma symptoms at bay, but there are 4 critical points to consider before you can rest easy.

4 Factors Affecting Air Quality and Humidity During the Summer Months

  • Air Conditioner Maintenance: An air conditioner coated in dirt cannot effectively remove humidity from the air in the home. Remove this dirt and you make it easy to remove humidity and create a cool, comfortable environment. A professional yearly maintenance check can do this for you, and as an added benefit, your a/c will lose less energy too! Read more

Furnace Troubleshooting For Beginners

On average, a service call will cost a household $100. This may seem like chump change to some but for others it could really put a dent in their wallet. With a few precautionary measures, taking a few steps to diagnose and repair the common problems associated with a furnace can be very beneficial. Before you do so, make sure that you have been maintaining your units properly and efficiently. If you believe your furnace is broken and unable to use start here…

Troubleshooting Your Broken Furnace

  • Start With the Thermostat: Make sure that the thermostat is on heat and that the setpoint is placed above room temperature. If the furnace fan does not begin to run, you have encountered your first problem.
  • Is the Power On To the Furnace: It sounds arbitrary, but ensuring the power is on to the furnace is a simple mistake that people make all the time. If the fan is not running continue to check the breaker, fuse, or switch for the furnace. If the breaker was tripped, leave it off and check the furnace for loose wiring.
  • Is the Pilot Light Working?: If your furnace uses a standard pilot light, make sure the flame is lit and is touching the top of the thermocouple. If the pilot is lit but the burners do no turn on, it could very well be a problem with the thermostat, control board, or limit control.
  • Does the Main Burner Try and Ignite: If the main burner does not try and ignite, the flue could be clogged, furnace control board could be bad, or the limit control could be at fault. If the main burner tries to ignite and goes out, it could very well be that the flame sensor is dirty and needs to be properly cleaned.
  • Do the Main Burners Turn On: Once the pilot comes on, do the main  burners light? If not, ensure that gas is reaching your furnace by checking all of the manual isolation valves.
  • Does the Blower Come On: If the blower does not turn on after all other troubleshooting precautions have been taken, you could have a broken capacitor or a faulty motor.
Furnace Maintenance With Four Seasons 
Unfortunately, in many cases, the only real way to know if your furnace has a malfunction that needs to be fixed is through a trained professional. Your yearly maintenance reminder from Four Seasons may eliminate any problems that could occur when dealing with a furnace. With our 24/7 service and no hidden fees, we would be happy to fix your furnace AFTER you have taken these precautionary troubleshooting measures.

 

What Your AC is Trying to Tell You: Diagnosing Noises

Some homeowners will do anything to deny that their air conditioner is experiencing a problem, but paying attention to what your air conditioner is trying to tell you could prevent minor problems from developing into major repair disasters. One of the ways that air conditioners communicate oncoming issues is through the noises they make. Take a moment to listen to your air conditioner, and if you identify any of the following sounds, a professional assessment may be in order.

  • Rattling: This is one of the most common air conditioner noises, and most air conditioners do make some vibration noise that can sound like rattling. However, significant rattling of the unit could indicate larger problems at hand. From something as simple as a loose panel to something as serious as a worn out fan motor, out of balance or bent fan blade, loud rattling often indicates that something is not where it should be. Keep track of any rattling noises coming from the a/c, and give your favorite HVAC contractor a call if it becomes louder over time.
  • Squealing and Chirping: An old belt or dry bearings are typically to blame for squealing sounds in the air conditioner. Old belts need to be replaced, but squealing noises from dry bearings should lessen with use or with a maintenance cleaning. If the squealing persists, have the unit professionally assessed before the problem progresses. Read more

Go Green or Go Home

Four Seasons has made a conscious effort to go green this year. Helping the environment and the community have become very important to Four Seasons as supply and demand has become scarce. Today, company buildings account for 15 trillion gallons of water and 3 billion tons of raw materials each year! Those numbers are atrocious and here are a few ways that we, at Four Seasons, help to better then environment.

Our Go Green Initiative

  • HVAC Recycling: In a 5 years span, Four Seasons recycles 70,000 furnaces and A/Cs. This accounts for 12,250,000 lbs. of copper, aluminum, and sheet metal! None of this material will ever see a landfill.
    • We also recycle the packaging used for each unit, accounting for a staggering 1 MILLION pounds of cardboard.
  • Green Office: Our office has been very conscious in taking a “go green” approach. Our paperless office consists of recycling bins near every trash can, paperless payroll, paperless monthly newsletters, and moderated printer use.
    • Our technicians in the field are equipped with smart phones and tablets allowing all forms and sales materials to become digital. Read more

UVC Germicidal Lights: Catching the Unseen

Pollutants are one of the biggest global killers in the universe, affecting over 100 million people. Not trying to scare you or anything but that is in comparison to diseases such as malaria and HIV. It is not a joke when it comes to germs, viruses, and bacteria and as a parent one should be very concerned. Luckily there is a technology called UVC Germicidal lights that help rid of these harmful substances.

UVC Germicidal Lights and What They Do

UVC Germicidal Lights are lights that are installed into your households existing duct work. They help eliminate the negative particles using ultraviolet rays that are unseen by the human eye. More importantly, they give off zero ozone emissions killing any organic contaminants that affect your indoor air quality. Air quality is becoming very important these days and making sure your family does not become accustomed to these harmful substances is essential.

Benefits of UVC Germicidal Lights

  • HVAC Protection: Not only does this piece of equipment help keep the air in your home clean, it also protects your heating and cooling systems from the damaging effects poor indoor air quality may have.
  • Installation: The ability to install and maintain this product in an exisiting HVAC system is simple and can be done to any model at anytime!
  • No Ozone Emissons: This is very important to the health of your family. Ozone emissions damage the lungs and cause many respiratory problems. Although this product uses ultraviolet rays, it gives off zero ozone emissions making it a safe purchase.
  • Helps to Protect Your Family: The last and most important benefit. The reduction in respiratory ailments and sickness will decrease in your home by tenfold when using this product. UVC Germicidal Lights help keep loved ones safe and sound.
Protecting investments are important when time and money are involved. The ability to protect your family while ensuring your heating and cooling systems will not be affected is sure to please.

 

 

Low Freon Levels to Blame for Lack of Home Comfort

Air conditioner season is in full swing for much of the country, but countless homeowners are finding that their a/c isn’t quite performing as well as it once had during previous cooling seasons. Sometimes a decrease in air conditioner cooling power can be attributed to a lack of maintenance. Dirty coils take longer to cool the home than clean ones. However, even the cleanest air conditioner cannot cool the home properly with low Freon levels.

Why Is Freon So Important to My Home Comfort?

Freon, or refrigerant, is the gas your air conditioner uses to extract heat from the air circulating over the coils. When it is held at the proper levels and pressures, the home is dehumidified and cooled, but when the levels are awry, comfort is hard to find. Wondering whether or not your Freon levels are off? Consider these common symptoms of a low Freon charge:

  • High Energy Costs: This is typically the symptom that tips the homeowner off to a problem. No one wants to pay more than they have to for energy, and a significant increase in your bills will not go unnoticed. The air conditioner must consume more energy to keep the home cool when the Freon levels are low.
  • Around the Clock Cycles: The air conditioner should cycle on and off every hour or so throughout the day. If your air conditioner runs nonstop all day to maintain the desired temperature, you may be low on Freon. Read more

How to Prepare Your Frozen Air Conditioner for Repairs

As summer weather moves in, many homeowners are finding out the hard way that their air conditioner needs repairs. For many, turning on the air conditioner for the first time did not bring comfort to a hot humid home, but instead brought a block of ice preventing proper operation. Ice on the air conditioner can be cause by a few different problems but no matter the cause, the result is an uncomfortable home. Having the system repaired quickly is your only option, but before the technician arrives, there are few steps you can take to aid in the repair process.

Prepare Your Air Conditioner for Repair

Thawing the system is your number one concern at this time as well as the prevention of irreversible damage. Follow these steps to make sure your air conditioner is as repairable as possible when the technician begins his assessment:

  • Shut the A/C Down: Running the air conditioner while it is frozen wont cool the home, will encourage further freezing, and could even damage the compressor beyond repair. Shut the unit down to protect it and to facilitate thawing of the ice. Read more

How Humidity is Hampering Your Home Comfort

The biggest challenge facing many homeowners this summer is keeping their home comfortable at an affordable price. This is often difficult at best because we rely on air conditioning systems to provide this source of comfort, and their operating costs aren’t cheap. Before you give up and suffer through the heat, consider other ways that you can increase comfort while decreasing the workload on the air conditioner. Reducing humidity, the amount of moisture in the air, is one relatively easy way to do just that!

5 Ways to Reduce Humidity in Your Home

  • Turn off the Humidifier: Humidity is your air conditioner’s enemy. In order to create a comfortable environment, the air conditioner must first remove moisture from the air. When you are using the humidifier you add extra moisture to already humid air. This places a strain on the air conditioner wasting energy and decreasing comfort.
  • Maximize the Use of Fans and Vents: The kitchen and bathrooms have fans and vents for a reason. These are used not only to pump odors out of the home but also excess moisture! Leave the fan on while cooking and after showers to prevent extra moisture from building up in the home. Read more

3 Ways Your Leaky Roof is Destroying Your Home

Last week, a massive amount of rain swept through the Midwest, and now the Southeast is taking a hit as well. With all the rain, flooding is a major concern, but there are other areas of the home that can suffer from much more insidious damage. Roof damage from severe storms is an example of a problem that may not immediately make itself known in the home.

Leaky Roof Damage

You could have a leak in your roof that drips into the attic for weeks or months before the water reaches the ceiling of the floor adjacent to the attic and roof. However, not inspecting your roof for leaks and damage after major storms could lead to some devastating problems in the home.

  • Structural Damage: Wood, drywall, and many other building materials are easily compromised when exposed to water. That leak in your roof could expose your attic and eventually your home to costly structural damage. Read more

Decorate Your Way to a Bigger Kitchen

For many, a small kitchen is often the motivating factor in searching for a new home. If the cramped space has you longing for a new home with a new kitchen, consider this! You don’t have to move in order to feel less cramped in your kitchen.  Instead, you can redecorate your way to a bigger kitchen by implementing a few of these tips in your home!

  • Back-less Stools and Arm-less Chairs: Fit more people at your kitchen table by replacing arm chairs with arm-less versions. Where you may have only been able to fit 6 people with arm chairs, you could fit 8 or more with this minor change. If you have an island or bar, eliminate the table all together and go with back-less stools. They tuck easily under the overhang on the island or bar. Read more