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McMaster’s Guide to Home Comfort in Southern California

Need some tips for ways to make your Irvine home more comfortable? We’ve got just what you need. Here are our top home comfort articles from our blog archives. They’re packed with some great information about how you can control your home environment for improved comfort year-round.

Irvine Indoor Air Quality

With all of the outdoor pollution we are exposed to each day, it’s important to make sure that we are doing all that we can to keep our indoor air safe to breathe for ourselves and our families. Here are just a few articles that can help homeowners better understand and work to improve IAQ:

  • Did you know that weather can impact the air inside our homes? In How Extreme Weather Can Affect the Air in Your Home, we talk about just that. High temperatures can cause an increase in pollen while prolonged wet environments may also result in mold growth. Use the tips in this article to stay safe in any environment.
  • Most homeowners know that they should regularly change their HVAC filter each month to keep breathing easy. However, not every home owner is on top of this important task. In Changing Your HVAC Filter: Why is it so important? we explain just why you should be. This is a great article to share with someone you know who hasn’t changed their air filter in awhile.
  • How clean is the air inside your home? There is no way to tell for sure without testing your IAQ. In our post, What is Indoor Air Quality Testing? we explain what IAQ is and how it can help you improve the quality of the air that you and your family breathe in on a regular basis. This is a must-read for any homeowner with allergy or asthma sufferers in their family.
  • You may or may not have heard about the power of UV lights and how they can keep your indoor air clean. We’ve written a blog post all about it. UV Lights: How They Can Improve Indoor Air Quality tells you just what you need to know about improving indoor air quality with UV lights.

Controlling Home Comfort in SoCal

There’s more to home comfort than clean air. Temperature and humidity control are also an important part of maintaining a comfortable home environment. Here are some posts with valuable information on how to maintain your home environment:

  • Programmable thermostats have become a popular device for homeowners across the country. But why all the hype? In our post, Programmable Thermostats: Do They Really Benefit Me? we explain how these devices can benefit you from both a home comfort and monthly energy budget perspective. This is a great read for those who have been considering a programmable thermostat.
  • Another type of digital device that is changing the way that homeowners stay comfortable is the smart thermostat. This device offers even more benefits to homeowners who want to stay comfortable while conserving energy. We give you all the details you need to know about these devices from the home comfort experts in Carrier Cor Smart Thermostats. This is a great read for those of you who like to stay connected through the internet of things.
  • Many Irvine homeowners find that as the seasons change, sometimes it is not hot enough for air conditioner or cold enough for heat. This can result in some home comfort challenges that are difficult to tackle. But have no fear! The McMaster team covers this and more in our post, The Goldilocks of HVAC: How to Ensure Just Right Home Comfort When It’s Not Too Hot and Not Too Cold. Use this article for information about how to stay comfortable in those in between moments.
  • Dog may be man’s best friend, but sometimes the furry members of our families can wreak havoc on our indoor air quality. Any Irvine homeowners with pets will want to read 5 HVAC Tips for Homes with Pets in order to get the information they need to keep their homes healthy and comfortable for every member of the family.

Staying Comfortable in Irvine, CA

Want to learn more about how to keep your Irvine home comfortable year-round? Check back on our blog each month for new and informative content about home comfort, home improvement, and HVAC. Also, be sure to follow us on Facebook and Twitter so that you never miss an update from McMaster Heating and Air Conditioning.

The Importance of Changing Your Air Filter

Changing your heating and air conditioning air filters is quick and easy to do, but it’s also easy to overlook. Many people don’t realize the importance of this simple task and the negative consequences that can result from using the same air filter for many months.

Air filters play an important role in the quality of your indoor air and the function of your HVAC system. With old and dirty filters, you may begin to suffer symptoms connected to poor air quality and see heating and cooling bills rise.

Protect Your Indoor Air

Air filters trap dirt particles and other contaminants that would otherwise circulate through your interior spaces and pass through your HVAC system. Depending on the quality of your air filter, these barriers remove everything from large dust particles to smaller contaminants like mold spores, bacteria and viruses. Air filters that become dirty and worn with overuse are no longer effective at removing these particles from the air you breathe.

The consequences of breathing contaminated air can range from merely unpleasant to truly serious. Headaches, congestion, sinus irritation and itchy eyes are all common problems with poor indoor air quality. With prolonged exposure to contaminated air, respiratory or cardiac disease become real concerns.

Keep Your HVAC System Clean

In addition to removing harmful particles from the air you breathe, filters also prevent these particles from getting into your HVAC system. Contaminants from a dirty filter can make their way into your heating and cooling equipment, and potentially cause damage to or impair the function of your coils, motor or fans. All of these components are crucial to your system’s performance, and problems with any of them will reduce the efficiency of your heater or air conditioner. In the event of damage, repairing or replacing any of these parts will be much more expensive than replacing your air filter.

A dirty air filter can also make it harder for air to pass through your system. These filters are designed to be air permeable barriers that will catch particles without blocking air circulation. However, as contaminants build up on your filter the particles themselves begin to block air flow, your system has to use more energy to heat and cool your home. More energy use means higher energy bills, and this hidden cost can also add up to much more than the cost of a new air filter.

Change Frequently and Choose Wisely

In general, you should change your air filter every 3-4 months. To ensure the best results from your air filter, you should also put some careful thought into your choice of filter. Some options offer great air flow but trap only larger particles, while others offer a more formidable barrier for contaminants but can also make it a little harder for air to pass through.

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Do I Really Have To Change My Air Filter Often?

Many homeowners are not sure when to change their air filter or whether or not they should change the filters at all. Knowing when to change the air filter depends on a number of factors, and is something that every homeowner must know how to do to ensure that the air around the home is safe for everyone to breathe.

Factors to consider when thinking about changing your filter include:

–the type of filter

–air quality in the house

–presence or absence of pets

–the number of people in the home at any given day

–surrounding areas

Different types of filters have different lifespans. Look at manufacturer instructions to determine recommended times when a filter needs to be changed. For example, high efficiency filters have a working life of 6 months to a year. Home filters need to be changed every 3 months. Commercial filters such as those in restaurants, stores and offices where there is a high number of foot traffic may require filter changes every 4 to 8 weeks.

The air quality around the house, which can be affected by the presence or absence of pets and how many people are in the house at any given day, will also contribute to the amount of dirt, dust and dander flying around. Living in an area with high pollution, such as near highways or construction sites, also means that more dust and pollutants can get into the house. Your filter does the main job of cleaning these up, so frequent changes may be needed.

How often should you change your air filter?

The best answer would be to change your filters when they are dirty. Knowing the factors above, you now have an idea how often you should be checking if the filters need to be changed. Even if a thin layer of dust is present, changing filters is a good idea especially if there are very small children or elderly individuals living in the house.

Air filters serve as the barrier between your home and the pollutants outside, so proper maintenance is a must. Not only are you keeping the air inside safe and clean, you are also prolonging the life of your air conditioning systems.

Follow us for more tips and ideas on proper HVAC maintenance and ensure the efficiency of your air cooling and conditioning systems today.