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Indoor Air Quality Tips for a More Efficient Home

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More Efficient Home

Your Lubbock, Texas, home’s indoor air quality, or IAQ, is closely related to its efficiency. Getting rid of contaminants like smoke, dust, dirt, biological growth, pollen, and pet dander will improve your HVAC system’s airflow and prevent inconvenient, costly breakdowns. For a more efficient home, follow IAQ tips like cleaning regularly, using an air purifier, avoiding VOCs, and maintaining your HVAC system.

Cleaning Regularly

Keeping your home clean inside and out makes it more welcoming for guests. Vacuuming and dusting at least twice per week also removes pollutants, preventing asthma and allergy symptoms and unpleasant smells. You’ll also get rid of dirt and dust before it has a chance to clog your HVAC system’s air filter or reduce the airflow in your ductwork. Removing shoes before entering the house is another way to keep contaminants outside.

If you see debris like leaves or grass around your outdoor unit, remove it with a garden hose. You can also add an awning or terrace for extra protection and shade. Your heater and air conditioner won’t need to work as hard to keep you and your family comfortable, so you’ll save energy and extend your system’s life.

Using an Air Purifier

An air purifier or air cleaner will work in conjunction with your HVAC filter to capture contaminants before they can cause health problems like allergy or asthma symptoms, headaches, dizziness, or fatigue. Some models can even remove bacteria and viruses from your home’s air. You can choose a whole-home unit that’s connected to your home’s ductwork or a smaller portable version that works in one or two rooms at once. Just remember to change or clean the filter once per month when you change your HVAC system’s air filter.

You can eliminate additional viruses, bacteria, and even small pests like dust mites with a UV air purifier. A UVC lamp in your ductwork or evaporator coils will affect the genetic material of microorganisms, keeping them from reproducing. This light is stronger than the ultraviolet light that causes sunburns, and the atmosphere normally blocks it.

Avoiding VOCs

VOCs, or volatile organic compounds, like benzene, formaldehyde, xylene, toluene, and acetone evaporate at room temperature. They’re common in commercial fragrances, glues, paints, and cleaners, and they can easily end up in your home’s air. They’re even in some types of particle board and plastics. Air purifiers can’t remove them, but you can use ventilation to get rid of stale indoor air and filter fresh air before it comes in. Many types of ventilation can help you save energy, so a ventilation system is much more efficient than opening a door or window.

Whenever you can, use natural cleaners and air fresheners. Baking soda and water are great for removing stains, and you can make your own furniture polish with a little olive oil and lemon juice. You can use essential oils and potpourri to create a fragrant sachet. If you need to use products that contain VOCs, store them in a shed or storage building that’s separate from your home.

Maintaining Your HVAC System

You should have your HVAC system inspected by a professional at least once per year. Gaps in your home’s insulation or ductwork could let in contaminants and let conditioned air out. An expert like the professional technicians at Bruce Thornton Air Conditioning can catch problems like refrigerant leaks or malfunctioning thermostats before they become costly and inconvenient. You should also have your ductwork cleaned every few years to remove contaminants and any obstructions.

Check your ducts by removing one of your air registers and wiping your ductwork with a damp cloth. If you can wipe away dirt, dust, or other substances, you should have your ducts cleaned by a professional. You could cause damage or miss parts of your ductwork if you try to clean it yourself. Also, make sure that furniture or carpeting doesn’t block your air registers.

Bruce Thornton Air Conditioning has more than 45 years of experience and a fleet of over 65 vehicles. For excellent service and help with improving your indoor air quality from our friendly, knowledgeable technicians, call us anytime at 806-589-1014.

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How Installing a High-Efficiency Toilet Can Save You Money

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bathroom toilet

If you have an older toilet in your Whiteface, Texas, home, you may be flushing money down the drain. Many older homes have toilets that use large amounts of water for the flushing process, increasing your water usage. If your house was built before 1994, and you have not replaced your toilet, consider investing in a high-efficiency model. Let’s look at how replacing your older toilet with a new one can save you money.

What is a High-Efficiency Toilet?

An energy-efficient or high-efficiency toilet is designed differently from standard older toilets. Instead of using several gallons of water per flush (GPF), known as water volume, they use speed, called water velocity, to remove waste. Before 1992, toilets used between 5-7 GPF. After 1994, federal standards required toilets installed in new homes to use only 1.6 GPF, which is substantially lower than older toilets.

Today, a high-efficiency toilet uses between 1.28 and 1.08 gallons of water per flush. Many high-efficiency toilets offer a dual-flush option so that you can press a button that uses the least amount of water for flushing liquid waste. Using the liquid waste option, the toilet will only use about 0.8 GPF and when both buttons are pushed for flushing solid waste, only about 1.3 GPF’s are used. When purchasing a high-efficiency toilet, choosing the dual-flush option will help to save even more water. There are many benefits to installing a high-efficiency toilet that can help you save money while helping to conserve water.

Save on Water Bills

On average, a person flushes the toilet about five times per day, and the more people in the house, the more flushes there are. If you are using an older toilet, that is a tremendous amount of water going to waste. By installing a high-efficiency toilet, you will not only conserve water, but you will see a reduction in your water bill, saving you a substantial amount of money per year.

Save on Energy Bills

If your home uses an electric water pump to pump water into your home, you are using electricity every time you flush the toilet. If you are using an older model toilet, the pump is engaged more often, using more electricity. In addition, the lifespan of your water pump can be reduced if it is constantly cycling on and off for toilet flushes. By having high-efficiency toilets in your home, you can save money on electric bills and potential plumbing repairs, or a water pump replacement.

Save on Parts and Repairs

Because toilets built before 1992 are old now, it may be challenging to find parts and can be expensive to replace broken and malfunctioning ones. Because these older toilets have been used for many years, they run the risk of breaking down and may require an emergency plumbing call. Those weekend, holiday, and late-night plumbing emergencies can cost quite a bit of money. Instead of putting money into patching your old water-guzzling toilet, consider installing a new, well-built, high-efficiency one that will last for years to come. You can save on repair costs with a new modern toilet.

Save On Septic System Issues

If your home is on a septic system, water conservation is always on your mind. Excess water inside of your septic tank can cause it to overflow, creating a smelly, and unhealthy mess that requires an emergency pump out that can cost quite a bit of money. It is vitally important to install a low-flush toilet while on a septic system, or for optimum water conservation, choose the dual-flush option for minimal water use. You will save money by not having to have your septic system pumped out so often, and can also save money on expensive emergency pump outs and repairs.

With water conservation and water restrictions being set in place across the country and even globally, water conservation should be a high priority for everyone, and by investing in a modern efficient toilet, you can help to save water. Saving water can help you save money and help to save the environment.

If you would like to discuss changing your old toilets for high-efficiency or dual-flush ones, call Bruce Thornton Air Conditioning today at 806-589-1014.

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4 Reasons to Buy a Programmable Thermostat

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programmable thermostat

You can set a programmable thermostat to change your New Deal, Texas, home’s temperature automatically. That way, you won’t forget to turn down your heater or air conditioner before you go to bed or leave for work. Some devices, often called smart thermostats, can even learn your schedule over time. Programmable thermostats are available in many different styles. You should buy a programmable thermostat for energy savings, comfort, convenience, and better indoor air quality.

Energy Savings

A programmable thermostat will keep your HVAC system from overworking and wasting energy when you’re asleep or away from home. It can help you save energy and lower your utility bills while making your home’s temperature feel constant for you and your family. It also keeps your HVAC system from working as much, extending its life and preventing expensive breakdowns that could increase its power needs. Programmable thermostats are more expensive than standard models, but they can pay for themselves through energy savings in just a few years.

Comfort

You can set a programmable thermostat to return your home to a comfortable temperature before you wake up in the morning or come home at night. That way, you can enjoy the savings from running your HVAC system less without sacrificing your family’s comfort. Programmable thermostats also make adding zoning easy. Many zoned systems use dampers in ductwork to direct conditioned air where it’s needed most. Others are ductless, which have one outdoor HVAC unit connected to two or more indoor units.

For both types of zoning systems, thermometers throughout your home are connected to a programmable thermostat, letting you change the temperature of one room or zone without affecting the other parts of your home. That way, you can avoid cooling or heating empty rooms, and you can adjust the settings in each zone to eliminate warm areas or drafts. Also, your family members won’t need to argue about the most comfortable temperature. Each of them can choose a different setting for the zone they spend the most time in.

Convenience

You can control many programmable thermostats from your computer or smartphone. This feature makes checking your home’s temperature or making a change to your settings easy, whether you’re relaxing in your living room or vacationing many miles away. Many models also come with password protection to keep kids or guests from changing your settings.

Programmable thermostats are easy to install and program. You can choose a programmable thermostat that lets you set a different schedule for weekdays and weekends or a separate schedule for each day.

Better Indoor Air Quality

Dirt, dust, pollen, bacteria, and other contaminants in your home’s air can cause unpleasant smells. Poor indoor air quality can also lead to health problems like eye irritation, rashes, fatigue, headaches, asthma attacks, or a runny nose. Pollutants in your HVAC system can cause inconvenient breakdowns and reduce your airflow, as well.

Fortunately, many programmable thermostats will remind you when you need to change your unit’s air filter. They can also tell you when there’s another problem that might make your home uncomfortable, cause unpleasant smells, or need a repair from a professional. They can also monitor the humidity levels and the amounts of many common contaminants in your home’s air. That way, you can keep your family comfortable and healthy. You can also prevent biological growth on your walls or ceilings caused by high humidity.

Bruce Thornton Air Conditioning is a family business with more than 45 years of HVAC experience and a fleet of over 65 vehicles. We have more than 100 employees, and we can help you repair, maintain, and install a variety of heating and cooling equipment, including programmable thermostats. Call us anytime at 806-589-1014 for more information and excellent service from our knowledgeable, friendly technicians.

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HVAC Tips for the Pet Owner

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girl with cat

When you have furry friends sharing your New Home, Texas, home, they often bring a lot of love and affection to your family members. However, many pet owners don’t realize that dogs, cats, and other domesticated animals can impact the efficiency of their HVAC systems, as well as the indoor air quality and safety of the system’s operation. We’re not saying to get rid of Fluffy or Fido, but be aware of how their presence can impact your HVAC, and take steps to protect your family.

Keep it Clean

Pet hair is one of the main things that impact HVAC efficiency in homes with animals versus those without. Both indoor and outdoor air contain many different contaminants, including skin cells, dirt, dust, pollen, and other debris. However, a cat or dog in the house will also shed their fur or hair regularly, which can move into the HVAC system and clog the ducts. Your system’s filter should keep some of the hair out, but many homeowners don’t change their filters as regularly as they should.

When you have a pet, you should increase the frequency of filter changes to ensure it can do its job and keep hair, dust, dirt, and other debris out of the ducts. You can also choose a filter with a higher filtration range, which can prevent smaller particles from moving through the system. Pet owners should also have their ducts cleaned out more frequently to eliminate any debris that has settled. By keeping the ducts clean and free of hair, dander, pollen, and dust, you can enjoy better indoor air quality and improved HVAC efficiency.

Routine Maintenance

It’s always important to keep up on routine HVAC maintenance, but it’s especially crucial for pet owners to schedule these services twice per year. Schedule your furnace tuneup in the fall, before the cold weather hits, and your AC tuneup in the early spring. By keeping up with the required maintenance, you can ensure that your HVAC system is running properly.

As a pet owner, it’s especially important because your system is more likely to get overloaded with pet hair, particularly if you have a furry dog or long-haired cat. The extra hair can wrap around moving parts of the HVAC or clog up an area where air should be moving through, which your HVAC technician can spot during a tuneup. Maintenance can also keep your system running more efficiently, which can help you save money on monthly bills. Air conditioning and heating systems that are well-maintained typically require fewer repairs and last longer than units that sit ignored.

Maintain a Comfortable Temperature

When you adjust the temperature on your thermostat, you’re probably thinking about the comfort of your human family members. But don’t forget about Fluffy and Fido! Their bodies are covered with a layer of fur, so if you’re allowing your home to get too warm during the summer months, they could suffer health effects as a result.

Your pets are likely home even when you’re not, so consider their comfort before you allow the interior of the house to get too warm. You certainly don’t need to keep it set at 68 degrees when you’re away, but don’t shut off the system completely, even if you’re on vacation or away for a few days.

Pet Safety

Pets are often too curious, which can put them in precarious situations. When it comes to HVAC, curiosity really could kill the cat and dog, so it’s important to keep them safe. If your pets go outside, consider building a fence around the air conditioner’s compressor to prevent them from getting too close. Some animals will claw at it, stick their wet noses in it, or worse, mark their territory on it, which can cause damage that’s expensive to repair. As the condenser coil fins spin, animals are especially fascinated by these moving parts.

Indoor pets should be kept away from the furnace and air conditioning system as well, for their own safety.

If your pets are causing trouble with your HVAC system, our technicians are able to help. Contact our HVAC team at Bruce Thornton by calling 806-589-1014.

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4 Ways to Cut Your Heating Bills This Winter

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Cut Your Heating Bills

You can lower your heat bills this winter by adding insulation, using a humidifier, installing a programmable thermostat, and maintaining your HVAC system.

Winters are usually mild in Lubbock, Texas, but you’ll occasionally have to deal with chilly days. Heating is responsible for a large chunk of utility bills in winter, so heating more efficiently can help many households save hundreds of dollars per year. You can lower your heating costs and stay comfortable this winter by adding insulation, using a humidifier, installing a programmable thermostat, and maintaining your HVAC system.

Adding Insulation

Many types of insulation become compact over time. Leaks can form, and mold can grow on them. Even if your insulation is in good condition, adding more and replacing any damaged portions will keep additional heat inside your home and conserve energy. This also prevents drafts and makes your home more comfortable. 

Look for drafts by turning your heater off to eliminate airflow. Then, hold a candle, a piece of string, or some incense near any cold areas in your home. When the string or the smoke from the incense moves or the candle flickers, it’s near a gap in your insulation. You can get rid of drafts underneath doors or windows by adding weatherstripping. Use caulk to fix smaller leaks near electrical outlets and light fixtures.

Using a Humidifier

Humidity is naturally lower in winter, and using your heater can make the air in your home even drier. Dry winter air can lead to nosebleeds, sore throats, dry eyes, and itchy skin. It can also make your home feel cold and cause cracks in wood floors and furniture.

Using a humidifier makes your home feel warmer and lets you save energy by running your heat less often. It can also keep viruses from spreading and prevent costly damage to your home. You can have a whole-home humidifier installed in your ductwork or use a less expensive portable version in one or two rooms at a time.

Installing a Programmable Thermostat

A programmable thermostat is more accurate than most manual thermostats. You can set it to turn down the heat when you’re away or sleeping and then return your place to a comfortable temperature half an hour before you return or wake up. A more sophisticated smart thermostat can learn your schedule on its own over time so you won’t even have to program. You can control many of these thermostats from your computer or smartphone. Some models can control more than one indoor HVAC unit, and it’s easy to add a separate unit for new additions or different floors.

Other HVAC systems have programmable thermostats that can direct heat or air conditioning to the rooms where it’s needed most through specially designed ductwork. This feature, called zoning, lets you avoid heating or cooling empty rooms. It also allows people to choose the temperature they want for their bedrooms, home offices, or any other areas where they spend lots of time. That way, everyone can save energy while staying more comfortable.

Maintaining Your HVAC System

Regular maintenance helps you catch energy-wasting problems like leaky ductwork or a malfunctioning motor before you waste lots of energy or have to make expensive repairs. You should have your heater checked by a professional at least once per year. Also, change your system’s air filter at least every three months. A dirty, clogged filter can reduce your airflow, lower your indoor air quality, and force your HVAC system to run more and use additional energy.

You should check your outdoor unit for sticks, leaves, grass clippings, and other debris as well. These obstructions and reduce airflow and cause costly malfunctions. If your utility bills start rising suddenly, if you hear strange noises, or if you notice a burning smell when your system has been on for a while, an expert should check your system and repair it if needed.

Bruce Thornton Air Conditioning, has more than 45 years of experience, and we’re a Amana Factory Authorized Dealer. We can help you lower your heating bills this winter by installing, maintaining, or repairing a variety of systems, including humidifiers and programmable thermostats. Call us anytime at 806-589-1014 for outstanding service from friendly, knowledgeable professionals.

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These 3 Shocking Things Can Be a Sign of HVAC Trouble

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Sign of HVAC Trouble

When you adjust the thermostat in your Lorenzo, Texas, home, you probably expect the system to kick on and start heating or cooling your home. Most homeowners don’t spend a lot of time thinking about their HVAC systems, at least not until something goes wrong. However, surprising warning signs like an increase in dust, strange odors or sounds, or uncomfortable allergy symptoms can all indicate HVAC trouble. Keep an eye out for these signs and bring in a professional to do an inspection if you notice anything concerning.

Strange Smells or Odors

Odd sounds coming from your heating or cooling system can mean you have a more concerning problem. You might hear shuddering, clanking, grinding, or squealing noises, which all indicate some type of problem. Shuddering or clanking sounds might mean that a component has moved out of its normal position, causing it to grind against other pieces or shake and clank as the system runs. Grinding and squealing noises often mean that a part is wearing out and needs replacement. Ignoring a sound could end up costing you more, especially since continuing to run the system would cause further wear and tear on the damaged part.

Unpleasant odors are never fun to deal with, but they nearly always indicate an issue. You might catch a whiff of burning electrical wiring, which can mean that you have a circuit issue or something is sparking where it shouldn’t. Since this odor could indicate an increased risk of a fire, it’s critical to bring in an HVAC technician to carry out an inspection, rather than ignoring it. Another concerning odor is the smell of natural gas, which could mean you have a leak. A gas leak can also increase the risk of a fire, as well as cost you more in energy bills.

If you smell mildew, you could have excess moisture in your ducts, which could allow mold to grow. As the air moves through the system, the mold spores decrease the indoor air quality and can lead to serious allergy symptoms, including headaches, congestion, and a sore throat. It’s best to keep up regular duct cleaning to avoid mold growth and keep the symptoms under control.

Unpleasant Health Symptoms

Another warning sign of an HVAC problem is a sudden increase in allergy symptoms. You might notice that you’re sneezing and coughing more often, or you could wake up in the morning with a sore, dry throat. Other signs include increased congestion, headaches, and itchy, watery eyes. One easy way to tell if you’re suffering from an allergy to something in your indoor air is if the symptoms disappear when you leave home. If you’re allergic to something outside, your symptoms tend to stick around whether you’re home or outside; while indoor allergies are worse when you’re in the house.

An increase in indoor allergies can indicate an HVAC issue, such as mold growth in your system or a buildup of dust or other allergens. Duct cleaning can make a big difference in reducing your symptoms and help you feel better. The service will also improve the quality of the air you breathe, which can help you feel better overall.

More Dust 

Dust is normal, but a sharp increase in how much dust accumulates in your home can indicate HVAC problems. The most common problem is excess dust and dirt in your ducts, which moves around as the air circulates. When the system stops running, the dust will settle on tables, countertops, and other surfaces. The movement of dust and debris in the air can also lead to allergies, causing you to feel uncomfortable in your home.

Regular duct cleaning can also minimize this issue since it gets rid of the dust in your ducts. Another benefit of duct cleaning is improved efficiency, which helps to reduce monthly utility bills and extend the life of your HVAC system.

If your HVAC system is showing any of these signs, contact our team at BTAC (Bruce Thornton Air Conditioning) to schedule an HVAC inspection by calling 806-589-1014.

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How to Know Packaged Is the Way to Go

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Go Packaged

A packaged HVAC unit is a great option when you don’t have the space in your Morton, Texas, home or office building for multiple parts of the system. Packaged units contain all of the necessary parts within a single box that sits on the roof or to the side of your building. When you’re trying to decide whether a packaged HVAC unit is the right choice, check out these benefits of this type of system.

Takes Up Less Space

The main reason that property owners choose a packaged HVAC unit is to save space. Newer buildings are typically designed with enough space for a split system while older homes and offices may not have the room to accommodate both sections of the unit. Even if you have a newer home, you can still take advantage of the extra space that comes with choosing a packaged system. The outdoor unit of an air conditioning system tends to be the bulkiest, and many property owners would rather give up their outdoor space.

Packaged AC systems don’t need separate units for indoor and outdoor use. Instead, you’ll have one single unit that your technician will install, freeing up valuable space at your property.  

More Accessible

One of the problems that HVAC technicians face when working on split heating and cooling systems is accessibility. The process of examining the system is basically doubled since the technician has to look at components within two different units. As a result, you’re left for a longer period of time without a working air conditioner. During the summer months in Texas, this is something that most property owners simply can’t bear. At an office building, a lack of air conditioning could even result in having to close down for the day since comfortable working conditions are a legal requirement for employees.

With a packaged system, your HVAC technician can easily reach all components within the unit for faster, more efficient service. A packaged system is a benefit for you as the property owner as well as the technician since maintenance and repair services are easier to tackle. When you keep up on regular HVAC maintenance, you don’t have to worry as much about your unit giving out in the middle of the summer or winter. An HVAC technician will perform a thorough inspection of all components of the heating and cooling system and make recommendations for repairs or replacements to make sure that it keeps up with the changing seasons.

Improved Efficiency

When you choose a government-certified Energy Star packaged system, you can enjoy the benefits of lower heating and cooling bills. In fact, these options tend to be 15-25 percent more efficient than split models. Most packaged systems are more efficient than split options since they are self-contained. Air doesn’t have to travel as far, which can often lead to loss and reduced efficiency.

These systems also don’t have to work as hard, reducing the amount of energy it takes to heat and cool your house. While putting the packaged HVAC unit into your home or business will require an initial investment, you can start taking advantage of cost savings right away, making it well worth the installation cost.

It Can Keep Up

Some owners of large buildings worry that a packaged HVAC unit won’t be able to keep up with the demands, especially when the weather gets hot and humid during the summertime. However, a packaged unit is just as efficient, if not more so, than a split system. In fact, most units are between three and 20 tons in size, which means that they can cool at an average of 12,000 BTU (British Thermal Units) each hour.

Larger homes and commercial buildings can rely on larger units to ensure a comfortable temperature, while a three-ton unit is typically large enough to keep a home cool or warm. Your HVAC technician can determine which size of packaged unit will be most efficient in your home or office building.

Contact us at BTAC (Bruce Thornton) by calling 806-589-1014 to learn more about packaged heating and cooling units and how they can improve the efficiency in your home or office.

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How to Improve Air Quality at Your Business

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good iaq at work

Indoor air quality is one of the most important, yet overlooked aspects of the day-to-day operations of your Lubbock, Texas, business. When properly maintained, good air quality improves employee health and productivity, as well as customer and client comfort. If you’ve overlooked this part of your business, don’t fear. Here are a few ways to improve the air quality at your business.

Change Your Air Filter

One of the easiest, quickest, and most cost-effective ways to improve air quality and even energy efficiency at your business is simply to change the air filter. Located between the HVAC unit and the ductwork, these filters help trap particulates that diminish air quality. Over time, the filter becomes clogged with these contaminants, making the air less breathable and even dangerous for those with allergies or asthma.

Make sure to replace your filter every 30 to 90 days depending on how much you use your HVAC system. Not only will you breathe easier, but you’ll also have a more efficient system that lowers energy bills and improves your bottom-line.

Add a Humidifier or Dehumidifier

According to studies, the ideal indoor relative humidity is somewhere between 35 percent and 60 percent depending on the climate and location of the business. However, winter weather often causes humidity to drop low during this time. When the air becomes too dry, it leads to a number of health issues such as sinus infections, dry, cracked skin, and difficulty breathing.

Fortunately, there are several ways to improve the relative humidity in your business. Plants actually give off a bit of humidity, so adding a few extra to the office is always a good idea. Another option is portable humidifiers or whole-business humidifiers, which provide ample moisture to the air. Not only will your employees and clients breathe better, but the humidity also provides the impression that it’s warmer, adding comfort to your business. If summer brings too much humdidity, a dehumidifier will do the trick and help you feel cooler.

Keep Contaminants Out

Another source of poor air quality at work is contaminants and volatile organic compounds (VOCs). These two types of pollutants come from many sources, and create poor indoor air quality that can linger for weeks or longer. The most common types of VOCs are air fresheners or candles. If possible, don’t allow your employees to use these at their desks unless they can find a natural alternative.

However, it’s not just your employees that cause these contaminants to stay around the office. If you’re in a business that uses equipment with hazardous by-products, you need to keep the area separate from workspaces. You should also require your employees to wear proper safety masks or breathing apparatuses when necessary.

If you spray each year for insects, you should also schedule the appointment on a date that’s the furthest away from people being in the office. A Friday afternoon or Saturday morning should do the trick unless your business does most of its work over the weekends.

Get a Tuneup

As a business owner, it always seems like you’re short on time. Instead of trying to solve the indoor air quality problem on your own, leave it up to one of our professionals. We’ll ensure your system has adequate airflow, ventilation, and is free from any contaminants such as pet dander or dust. You can even opt for a maintenance plan, which gives you priority treatment and discounted prices for service that will improve your air quality.

Test for Carbon Monoxide

Carbon monoxide is an odorless gas that comes from the burning of fuels. If you have a gas stove at the office or any other type of appliance that operates of natural gas, oil, or wood, carbon monoxide poisoning could be a cause for concern. To combat this issue, install a carbon monoxide detector in high-risk areas and places that are most frequented by employees and customers. We can also test for carbon monoxide and provide advice on how to adequately vent areas of your business.

When it comes to improving the indoor air quality of your business, don’t leave anything to chance. Instead, contact BTAC, Inc. for all your air quality needs. Give us a call today at 806-589-1014.

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What HVAC System Is Best for My Home?

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Ductless HVAC

You’re on the hunt for a new home and looking for ways to pay less on utilities than you did in your previous home. Or maybe you’re finally ready to replace that old HVAC system that’s been giving you trouble for years. Before you install a new HVAC system, know that simply a newer version of your previous system may not be the best fit for your home and lifestyle.

But remember: the system you choose will determine the efficiency and comfort of your home for at least the next decade. Consider the size of your home, your budget, and the level of energy efficiency you want, and decide which of these systems works best for you.

Central Heating and Cooling

Central HVAC systems, which generally consist of a furnace, air conditioner, outdoor compressor, and a duct network that connects it all, are powerful and reliable. With proper care, a central heating and cooling system can keep your home at whatever temperature you prefer, with relatively little maintenance. No matter how extreme the temperature outside may be, you can be comfortable.

When compared to other types of heating and cooling, however, central HVAC systems tend to be less efficient. Leaks in the ductwork can contribute to high energy bills and reduced comfort, and central heating and cooling systems use a substantial amount of power. And while central heating and cooling can be relatively cheap to install when compared to some other systems, costs can go up if your home doesn’t have existing paths for a duct network.

Heat Pump

Heat pumps are somewhat similar to a central heating and cooling system in that they both use indoor and outdoor components and a duct network, but one particular difference sets them apart. While standard central heating and cooling systems require both an air conditioning unit and a furnace, heat pumps are a two-in-one system. During the summer, heat pumps draw heat from your home and deposit it outside, while in the winter, the process reverses and the system brings heat indoors.

Heat pumps are known for their efficiency, especially when compared to a central heating and cooling system. And if you’re replacing an old central heating and cooling system, putting a heat pump in its place will be relatively inexpensive. They are, however, less powerful than regular central systems.

Ductless

In contrast to central heating and cooling and heat pumps, ductless systems do away with the duct network and instead only consist of an outdoor air compressor that pumps refrigerant directly to an air handler unit that hangs right on the wall of your living room or bedroom. By eliminating the duct network, ductless systems retain the efficiency that could be lost thanks to issues with that network. And since air handlers are installed into individual rooms, you can customize the comfort of each area of your home.

While having multiple air handlers can be a benefit, it can also end up costing a lot of money to put an air handler in every room of your home.

Geothermal

If you’re looking for the greenest option of HVAC systems, then go with the geothermal heat pump. Rather than exchanging heat with the air, as a standard heat pump does, geothermal heat pumps exchange heat with the relatively constant and reliable temperature of the ground through a system of rods placed in the earth.

But while geothermal systems are the most efficient of this group of HVAC systems, they would also likely be the most expensive for you to install since doing so requires digging up your yard to install the rods. On the up-side, those expensive costs can be made up by the money you’ll save thanks to its efficiency.

Since your HVAC system is such an integral part of your home, installing a new one can be a stressful procedure. Each system has its pros and cons, and it’s up to you to decide which will benefit you and your family the most We’re happy to provide information and make recommendations that will help you make the best decision for your situation . To have any of these systems installed in your home, call BTAC at ,strong>806-589-1014.

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3 Ways to Greenify Your Home

Posted on in Articles

Greenify Your Home

Looking to save a few bucks, and the environment while you’re at it? Energy efficiency is more than a fad with money-saving benefits, it’s a lifestyle with positive monetary, comfort, and environmental consequences. If you raise the energy efficiency of your home, you’re not only helping the environment, but you’re also bringing your Lubbock, Texas, home closer to that sanctuary you’ve always wanted it to be. “Greenify” your home and you’ll save money and increase comfort and health for you and your family. Here’s three ways to help you get started.

Cut Out Commercial Cleaners

You may think that the best way to start cleaning up your environment is to clean your home, but watch how you do it. Many household cleaners contain dangerous chemicals that are rarely listed with the ingredients of the cleaner, though they often fall under the vague category of “fragrances.” So, even if your home smells lemon-y, with every breath of that “fresh” air, you’re breathing in noxious chemicals that can cause headaches, allergic reactions, and other health issues.

Instead, start a habit of using more organic cleaners. When you aren’t sure if a cleaner contains those dangerous chemicals, you’re always safe sticking to the classic water and soap combination. If you’re having a hard time getting out those stains, add some baking soda to the mix. Rather than using Windex on glass, mix vinegar and water for a healthy mirror-cleaning solution.

Install a More Efficient HVAC System

Over time, HVAC systems lose efficiency and reliability. Eventually (usually around 10 years), your HVAC system will need to be replaced. And fortunately, in the decade that you’ve been using that original HVAC system, improvements have been made in the industry so that more efficient systems are available to customers.

Every type of HVAC system has become more efficient over the years, but some systems are naturally more efficient than others. For example, ductless (or mini-split) heat pumps eliminate the possible energy waste that can take place because of duct networks. By directly heating or cooling a room via an air handler, ductless systems are far more efficient than central heating and air.

Geothermal heat pumps, another efficient method of heating and cooling your home, transfers heat with the cool ground underneath your yard. While costly to install, geothermal systems will pay themselves off with the money you save while using them. Whether a ductless system, a geothermal heat pump, or a more efficient central system is the best fit for your family depends on your needs and your budget. But no matter what you choose, a more efficient system is bound to greenify your home.

Seal Thermal Envelope

You wouldn’t allow your car tires to continue leaking air if you knew it was happening. Instead, you would either have them patched or replaced. It’s possible, however, that you may be unaware of areas of your home leaking air. Any room that is poorly insulated or has breaches in the thermal envelope (any part of your home that separates the indoor air from outdoor air) is allowing your heated or cooled air to escape while allowing the cooler or warmer outdoor air inside.

Sealing your thermal envelope could turn into quite the DIY project, but containing that air will pay off. If you have one, your attic is a great place to start, since attics tend to be less insulated and prone to letting out air. Once you have sufficient insulation in your attic, check for breaches in the seals around windows or doors. A little weather stripping around doors and some caulk around windows will often do the trick, but some old windows may need to be replaced to truly seal off your home.

These three steps are only a few of the foundation stones to an energy-efficient lifestyle. But by putting your plan into action with this head start, you’ll be on your way to building the environmentally-friendly, comfortable, and healthy home that you and your family have always wanted. For more help raising the energy efficiency in your home, call BTAC at 806-589-1014.

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