Pets and Allergies

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Pets and IAQ

Do you love cuddling up with your puppy but can’t stand the sneezing and the runny nose? Many homeowners in Lubbock, Texas, endure allergies because they love their pets, but for those who are particularly sensitive to allergies, pet allergens can be especially hazardous. Fortunately, by understanding and attacking pet allergens at the root, pet owners can often fully enjoy the company of their fuzzy friends. Learn the origins of pet-related allergies and how to fight them, and you, your family, and your pets can have a happy, healthy home.

Sources of Pet Allergies

The most abundant cause of pet-related allergies are the flakes of dead skin we call dander. But contrary to popular belief, it’s not the skin itself that humans react to. The allergens actually reside in protein-laced animal saliva, which is spread over dead skin when pets groom themselves. Those dead skin flakes are then scattered across a home. That’s why you may feel extra yucky after being licked in the face by your puppy.

Pets also bring in pollen and other allergens from the outdoors. Since that’s a possibility, it’s crucial that you be tested for what allergens you may be susceptible to. If you only tackle the dander issue, you may not be getting at the source of your allergies.

How to Breathe Easier

If you want to keep your beloved pet around, you’ll need to take some measures to avoid constant misery. You can start by bathing your pet every week to wash that protein-rich saliva off the fur. Create an allergy-free zone (such as a bedroom) where your pet isn’t allowed. Clean your home, clothes, and bed sheets often. If you do all these things and allergies still persist, install a whole-home air purifier, which will catch more irritating particles than a standard HVAC filter.

Your pets are part of your family. Enjoy their company to the fullest extent by fighting allergens before they become a hazard. To have an air purifier installed, or to raise the general indoor air quality of your home, call BTAC today at 806-589-1014.

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How Does Zoning Work to Save Money?

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Changing Air Filter

Are you considering an HVAC system upgrade? Don’t overlook ductless. Zoned systems are gaining market share as homeowners look to save money on energy costs, and zoned systems offer benefits that forced-air systems don’t. Here are three ways that zoning can reduce energy usage in your Lubbock, TX, home:

1. Targeted Heating and Cooling

Forced air systems are an all-or-nothing deal. Feeling cool and comfortable in the family room means making the rest of the house cool and comfortable too, even when no one is there to enjoy it. Ductless systems have up to eight indoor units connected to one outdoor unit, and each indoor unit has its own thermostat. With an indoor unit in the family room, you can be cool and comfortable there while the rest of the house fends for itself.

2. Customized Indoor Temperatures

It’s hard to find a thermostat setting that makes everyone happy, but with zoning, you can. On chilly nights, you can turn down the heat in the kids’ rooms when they go to sleep and keep the family room temperature warm while you catch a movie. Being able to set different temperatures in different rooms keeps everyone comfortable, and it can save a lot of money too.

3. Reduced Running Time

Carrier ductless variable-speed technology delivers precise and efficient temperatures by using just enough energy to achieve the required thermostat setting. Forced air systems, by contrast, operate on the all-or-nothing principle. They are either all the way on or all the way off.

Many Carrier zoned systems are Energy Star-qualified for state and local tax credits and utility company rebates. The energy efficiency of these units can save up to 40 percent on utility bills compared to forced-air systems. To check out some energy-efficient zoned system options, or to learn more about saving money with ductless heating and air conditioning in your Lubbock, TX, home, visit Bruce Thornton Air Conditioning or call (806) 589-1014.

3 Tips to Remember to Change Your Air Filter

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changing filter

You know all of those important jobs that you fully intend to do to be a good adult? Yeah, us too. Changing your air filter is one of the simplest and most important HVAC maintenance chores you can do regularly to make sure that your indoor air quality remains healthy and your HVAC system will function well for many years. And yet, it’s a task that’s difficult to remember. We put together a list of ways to help you remember to periodically change the air filters in your Tokio, Texas, home.

Digital Calendar

Most of us are glued to our smartphone and digital calendars to keep us up-to-date on all things in our lives, so why not use it to manage your air filters? Depending on which type of filters you purchase, they may need to be changed every month or every few months. Consider setting the reminder for the weekend when you’re more likely to be at home. If you don’t have time to make the change immediately, at least use the reminder as a prompt to put the filter in a place where you’ll see it.

Smart Thermostat

Newer digital and smart thermostats have the ability to remind you when the air filter needs to be changed. Depending on your thermostat model, it might flash a notification or send a message to your mobile phone.

Sync With Other Chores

Most of us have made habits out of certain chores, such as cleaning the bathroom or vacuuming the house. Try to sync your air filter changing to those chores, and it will soon become a simple habit to maintain.

We hope these tips make it easy for you to remember when to change your filter and how important it is to your indoor air quality and the proper functioning of your HVAC system. Another important maintenance task is scheduling your annual HVAC inspection. Give Bruce Thornton Air Conditioning a call anytime at 806-589-1014 to schedule your appointment.

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3 Types of Water Heaters

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Water Heater Maintenance

A water heater is essential for many everyday tasks in your Ransom Canyon, Texas, home, like taking a shower and washing your dishes. If your water heater’s warranty is expired, buying a more efficient model will help you save water and energy and keep you from having to pay for an expensive breakdown. You also need to choose the right size for your home for maximum efficiency. Some of the most popular types of water heaters are storage, tankless, and heat pump water heaters.

Storage Water Heaters

Conventional storage water heaters have insulated storage tanks that can hold 30 to 80 gallons of hot water. They come on when your water temperature drops, so you won’t have to wait for hot water. These models are less expensive than most other types, but they’re not as efficient and the tanks use more space. Natural gas, electric, propane, or fuel oil water heaters are available.

Tankless or Instantaneous Water Heaters

Tankless water heaters only work when they’re needed, so they use less energy. However, they can’t provide as much water at once as a conventional water heater. This means you could need more than one if you have a big family. Tankless water heaters can last about twice as long as conventional water heaters, so they’re worth a larger investment.

Hybrid or Heat Pump Water Heaters

Hybrid or heat pump water heaters work by transferring heat to a storage tank. They’re more efficient than conventional water heaters, but they take up even more space. Most heat pump water heaters are in unconditioned areas like basements for easier, more efficient heat transfers.

Bruce Thornton Air Conditioning is a Carrier Factory Authorized Dealer with over 40 years of experience and more than 100 employees. We can help you choose, install, maintain, and repair the best water heater for your home, along with a variety of HVAC equipment. Call us at 806-589-1014 for excellent service.

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Is Mold Making You Sick?

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mold hand

Many of the symptoms that residents of Shallowater, Texas, often attribute to allergies or the common cold could be caused by mold. To determine whether mold is making you sick, it’s important to know a few basic facts.

How Mold Affects Us

First, you need to understand the effect it can have on humans. As mold grows, it releases spores into the air that can enter your body as you breathe. The spores will irritate your system, causing symptoms such as sneezing, headaches, skin itching or irritation, and itchy, watery eyes.

As we already mentioned, these early symptoms of mold sickness can easily be mistaken for seasonal allergies or a cold. Prolonged exposure, however, leads to more serious complications: diarrhea, vomiting, weight and hair loss, skin rashes and sores, and short-term memory loss. You may also experience constant headaches and fatigue or chronic bronchitis and sinus infections. Without treatment, mold sickness can eventually cause long-term memory loss, brain damage, cancer, and even death.

What You Can Do About It

You should also be aware of the conditions that encourage or discourage mold growth. Since it thrives in moist environments, it is often found in bathrooms and basements. However, it can also hide in less obvious places, such as your HVAC system, carpet, or walls.

The most important way to combat mold is to manage the humidity in your home. Make sure that bathrooms are well-ventilated, and be sure to run the exhaust fans during and after hot baths and showers. If necessary, install a whole-home dehumidifier to keep humidity below 50 percent and resolve any major structural issues that could cause water damage, such as a leaky roof or a frequently flooded basement. When mold does appear, be sure to address both the mold itself and the underlying cause.

For help with handling the humidity in your home, call BTAC at 806-589-1014. We offer several products that can prevent mold growth and improve your home’s indoor air quality.

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Why You Should Hire a Pro to Design Your Office’s HVAC System

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Pro-Designed Ducts

Whether your Idalou, Texas, business needs a new HVAC system or just needs to renew an older HVAC system, you’re going to want some professional help. HVAC professionals have access to training, knowledge, tools, and high-quality parts, which are much harder for the public to get access to. Our trained, professional installers can also design and install a new HVAC system that will work to the highest efficiency and safety standards for your business.

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3 Ways to Keep Your Indoor Air Healthy

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Clean Those Coils

It’s a hot day in Lubbock, Texas and all you want to do is relax in the cool, clean air of your living room. Your home, however, could be filled with less than clean air. At Bruce Thornton Air Conditioning, we want to make sure you know how to keep your indoor air healthy, so we’ve compiled a list of ways to maintain your air hygiene.

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How to Change an Air Filter If It’s Your First Time

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Changing Your Filter

Air filters are an integral part of any HVAC system, yet many homeowners aren’t aware of their value or importance. At least once every 90 days, these filters need a replacement, otherwise the comfort of your home suffers, and your energy bills skyrocket. While this may seem like a daunting task if it’s your first time, it’s actually quite simple. Here’s a step-by-step guide to change the air filter in your Lubbock, Texas, home.

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4 Pieces of Equipment Every Restaurant Kitchen Must Have

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Couple at Restaurant

Whether you’re starting a restaurant, or you’re an established restaurateur, you should know the importance of premium kitchen equipment. Without the proper tools, you can’t do the job correctly or timely, causing employee stress and poor customer feedback. If you’re looking to stock or upgrade your kitchen, there are pieces of equipment your Lubbock, Texas, restaurant simply can’t do without.

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Save Energy with a Tankless Water Heater

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energy savings

A tankless water heater can save energy, lower your utility bills, and make hot water more accessible to you and your family. It can even increase the value of your Abernathy, Texas, home. Tankless water heaters are more expensive initially than conventional water heaters, but they’re much more efficient. This means that a tankless water heater can eventually pay for itself through energy savings. Here are some other benefits of tankless water heaters.

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