Categories Indoor Air Quality

6 Tips to Improve Indoor Air Quality in the Spring

Many of us are spending more time than usual at home, and whether you’re working remotely or enjoying time with family instead of heading out on the town, the air you’re breathing in matters. While most of us associate air quality with the air outside, the air inside of your home is also critical to your health. Taking time to improve indoor air quality will ensure that the only thing you are breathing in is fresh, clean and healthy air. How can you improve your air quality in just a few steps?

1.    Use Green Cleaning Methods

One of the best ways to improve indoor air quality is paying close attention to the things that you are putting into the air inside of your home. Whenever you are cleaning around your house, remember that most fragrances are chemicals. The fresh pine or citrus scent that our brains naturally associate with a space being clean is just in products to cover up the harsh chemical scent underneath. Pay close attention to the cleaning products that you use and focus on ones that use natural scents, like essential oils, if you prefer scented products.

2.    Don’t Forget Your Air Ducts

The air ducts in your home are responsible for delivering air conditioned air and heat throughout your home. If they are filled with dust, debris and other allergens, those will be pushed throughout your home any time that you turn on your air conditioning. To improve indoor air quality, take care to have your air ducts cleaned regularly. Professional air duct cleaning is the easiest hands-off way to ensure a thorough cleaning without doing it yourself.

3.    Change Your Filters

At Exxel Mechanical Services, one of the problems we often encounter when checking over HVAC systems is old filters. The filters in your system help to improve indoor air quality in your home, and they are particularly important when you are running your air conditioning unit frequently in the spring and summer. Depending on how many pets are in your home and the baseline air quality, you should plan on changing your indoor air filter every 30-90 days. Make a habit of checking your filter once a month so that you understand how dirty it is at any given time.

The filters and screens you should check to ensure great air quality include:

  • HVAC filters
  • HEPA filters
  • Vacuum cleaner filters
  • Bathroom fan exhaust fan grilles

If you haven’t scheduled an HVAC tune-up yet, spring is the perfect time to do so. Exxel Mechanical Services can come to your home this spring to ensure that your air conditioner is ready for the summer ahead.

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4.    Enjoy Your Houseplants

Houseplants are one of the most fun ways to decorate your home, and they are also great for the air quality indoors. Houseplants help to filter out air pollutants in your home, and if you use one plant per 100 square feet inside of your home, you can achieve a noticeable amount of air purification. Some of the best plants for filtering the air inside of your home include:

  • Aloe vera
  • Spider plants
  • English ivy
  • Ficus
  • Weeping fig
  • Gerber daisies
  • Azaleas
  • And more!

5.    Maintain the Right Humidity Level

A home that is too humid or too dry is more likely to experience air quality issues, so investing in a humidifier and dehumidifier can do the trick. Humidity levels that are at or below 55% should ensure the best possible indoor air quality in the spring. You should avoid letting the air get too dry and falling below 40%, or you might experience dry eyes, bloody noses or skin that feels perpetually dry. If you aren’t sure how dehumidification or humidification could be integrated in with your HVAC system, be sure to ask your professional at Exxel Mechanical Solutions. We are here to help make your home as comfortable as possible.

6.    Schedule Preventative Maintenance

One of the best ways to keep your system running smoothly all year long is with preventative maintenance. Many issues that snowball into repairs could be identified and repaired before you are suddenly without air conditioning on a hot summer morning. Failing to invest in preventative maintenance can mean parts wearing out and eventually causing problems that require significant repairs or even the replacement of the entire unit.

If you are looking for an easy way to take care of your preventative maintenance and avoid costly downtime, Exxel Mechanical Services offers exclusive maintenance agreements that include annual inspection, priority service, customer service and the expertise you expect from our HVAC contractors. Our different maintenance plans are offered in two tiers, silver and gold, to meet your needs and adjust for the age of your HVAC unit. Our base plan includes a detailed inspection of the inside and outside of your unit and a discount on parts, while our gold plan gives you a major discount on any parts and labor that you require. We are here to support you through the year and take care of all of your A/C maintenance needs, as well as performing repairs when necessary. To improve indoor air quality, you need the right partners to keep your system maintained, and we are here to help you with that.

How Can I Improve Indoor Air Quality at My Home?

Exxel Mechanical Services is here to support all of our residential and commercial clients and keep their HVAC systems in excellent condition, as well as help you improve indoor air quality at your property. We are always available to help assess your system, provide you with a free quote or come out to restore your heat or air conditioning in the event of an emergency. To learn more or get a free quote, call us at 443-821-1040 or email us at bob@exxelmechanical.com. We look forward to keeping your family comfortable.

Categories Heating & Cooling Systems

5 Benefits of Having Your HVAC System Serviced Every Year

The heating and air conditioning systems in your home are a critical part of how you stay comfortable and safe throughout the snowy winters and hot summers. Without a properly functioning HVAC system, you could be wasting money, putting yourself in danger of extended HVAC downtime and be unnecessarily uncomfortable in your own home. Exxel Mechanical Services provides homeowners with expert HVAC preventative maintenance and service that comes with many different benefits. What are some of the benefits of having your HVAC system serviced?

1.    Lower Energy Bills

One of the biggest benefits of having your HVAC system serviced is lower energy bills. A steep energy bill or one that suddenly spikes is often a sign that you need to complete repairs or have maintenance performed. When an HVAC system is not running efficiently, it can cost you a great deal over the course of the year. Preventative maintenance helps to catch problems before you might notice them yourself and avoid wasting unnecessary energy at your home.

2.    Fewer Repairs

An HVAC system that is properly maintained will help you to avoid both minor and major repairs. One of the most expensive things that can happen to you is your air conditioner suddenly breaking down during a heat wave or your heater breaking in the middle of a snowstorm. Serious, emergency repairs can cost far more than ongoing preventative maintenance. Investing in having your HVAC system serviced will mean catching many problems before they are allowed to fester and cost you more in the end.

3.    Prolonged Lifespan

HVAC systems are a serious investment, even if you chose a more affordable option. One of the best ways to extend the lifespan of your heating or air conditioning system and ensure that your investment goes as far as possible is by having your HVAC system serviced. A system that is in good repair and cleaned regularly will run as efficiently as it is capable of, which can prevent serious issues that might cause the entire system to malfunction and shut down.

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4.    Safety Matters

Tragically, some homes catch on fire and have serious accidents due to heating systems that are broken or in disrepair every year. Beyond physical damage to the home, furnaces can also lead to carbon monoxide poisoning in rare cases. One of the most important roles that the trustworthy technicians at Exxel Mechanical Services can provide is serving as a safety inspector to make sure that your unit is safe and not a health hazard. Regardless of what type of HVAC system you have, using a carbon monoxide detector and smoke detector near your unit is a must. You should also rely on regular appointments to have your HVAC system serviced to catch smaller safety issues that could turn into serious hazards.

5.    Preserve Your Warranty Protection

Did you know that some HVAC manufacturers require proof that you did due diligence in maintaining the unit before they will allow repair claims to be submitted in accordance with the warranty? The manufacturer wants to know that you made an honest effort to take preventative care of the unit before they foot the bill for the issue. If you want to make sure that your warranty remains active for as long as possible, you should have your HVAC system serviced. It’s always important to read your warranty and understand the specific terms so that you know what your obligation might be under the warranty.

What Things Does a Tune-Up Include?

Exxel Mechanical Services offers a comprehensive tune-up that can pinpoint issues and ensure that everything is working smoothly. Depending on the type of system that you own, the steps that are taken could vary a great deal. Some of the services that you might receive during a tune-up include:

  • Lubricating the motors, gears and other parts
  • Cleaning the outdoor coils
  • Removing any debris from the exterior of the unit
  • Changing and cleaning filters
  • Inspecting ventilation systems and ductwork for signs of leakage
  • Testing all electrical connections
  • Testing temperature control and airflow throughout the interior of your home
  • Checking refrigerant levels
  • Troubleshooting any refrigerant leaks
  • Inspecting the interior and exterior units
  • Inspecting the heat exchanger
  • Checking all connections on gas and oil lines
  • Testing carbon monoxide levels
  • Inspecting and clean the burner
  • Testing the ignition system
  • Testing the exhaust system
  • Verifying and alter the gas pressure as needed
  • Examining the thermostat to ensure efficacy and recalibrating it to ensure accuracy
  • Evaluating the pilot and gas pressure in your furnace system
  • Completing a written assessment documenting any issues and recommending any necessary repairs
  • Checking the clearance around the exterior and interior equipment
  • Assessing all safety controls
  • Measuring voltage and amperage
  • Examining and clean the flower
  • Examining and clean the condenser and evaporator coils
  • Discussing any concerns that you have noticed and come up with a plan to prevent issues in the future
  • Providing maintenance documentation that you can use if you do need to make a claim against the warranty on your HVAC system
  • Scheduling regular service reminders that will make sure that you never forget when you need to have your HVAC system serviced again

Where Can I Find a Company to Get My HVAC System Serviced?

Exxel Mechanical Services is here to support all of our residential and commercial clients and keep their HVAC systems in excellent condition. We are a leader in helping homeowners who want to keep their HVAC systems in peak condition, improve their energy efficiency and prevent future costly issues. If you are interested in learning more about our maintenance, were are always here to help. We are always available to help assess your system, provide you with a free quote or come out to restore your heat or air conditioning in the event of an emergency. To learn more or get a free quote, call us at 443-821-1040 or email us at bob@exxelmechanical.com. We look forward to keeping your family comfortable.

Categories Heating & Cooling Systems

7 Signs It’s Time to Replace Your HVAC System

Even with proper care and maintenance, every HVAC system will eventually need to be replaced. Old or damaged systems can lead to serious problems for homeowners including poor indoor air quality, increased energy bills and decreased reliability during the winter and summer months. If you are not sure whether or not you need to replace your HVAC system, here are some of the signs you need to look for.

1. Your HVAC System Is Over a Decade Old

In general, you should replace your HVAC system every ten to fifteen years. Heating systems and air conditioners are designed to be durable and long-lasting. While minor components should be replaced more frequently, major components wearing down after a decade can lead to costly repairs that make replacing the entire unit a better use of your money. Sometimes replacing one major component now will only temporarily fix the issue and another major component might fail only months down the road.

Are you not sure how old your HVAC system is? Check the indoor and outdoor unit to see if there is a manufacture date printed on the label. This date will tell you when the unit was created, so if the date is 10-12 years in the past, you should plan on potentially replacing it soon.

2. Repairs Exceed 50% of the Cost of a New Unit

For both air conditioning units and heating units, once repairs will cost over half of the price of a new unit, it’s a good idea to replace your HVAC system. It is normal to have small repairs over the lifespan of a heating or cooling unit, but as major pieces start to fail and you find yourself spending a great deal to fix them, you can find yourself spending more on repairs over the course of a couple of years than you would on a new unit. The money that you spend today to temporarily fix things could get your HVAC system working now, but there’s no guarantee that another critical and costly part won’t fail tomorrow.

3. Your Home Can’t Maintain a Comfortable Temperature

Old heating and cooling units often have trouble getting a home to a consistent temperature and keeping it there. This can have a variety of causes, including a broken thermostat component, clogged filters, motor damage or duct damage. Exxel Mechanical Services can troubleshoot the problem with your HVAC system and recommend repairs. Depending on the amount of repairs needed, it could be a more cost-effective route to replace your HVAC system. New systems are designed to heat homes efficiently and maintain the same comfortable temperature in every room.

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4. Your Energy Bills Are Climbing

There will always be slight variation month to month in energy costs as temperatures change and inclement weather occurs. However, you should see comparable energy bills from year to year when looking at ranges in the same temperature. If your bills are climbing year after year or suddenly spike, it’s a sign that your HVAC system might be losing its efficacy. As systems age, the parts inside of them can require more energy to do the same amount of work that they were doing before. Over time, this problem can snowball and lead to more and more energy being used. Particularly if you don’t have your system maintained on an annual basis, this might mean it is time to replace your HVAC system.

5. Poor Air Quality

The air quality in our homes is critical to our health and safety, particularly if you are working from home. The HVAC system goes beyond keeping you comfortable and also works to move air throughout your home. If you have a properly functioning HVAC system in good condition, it should improve your indoor air quality by filtering out dust and other debris. If your home has more dust than usual, you have odd smells coming out of your HVAC system or you find that the air is not as fresh as it should be, it’s a sign you should call Exxel Mechanical Services.

6. Freon Refrigerant

Older air conditioning systems might still need to be charged with R-22 refrigerant, which is also known as Freon. In 2010, the Environmental Protection Agency banned the sale and import of any air conditioner and heat pump systems that were pre-charged with R-22. Because R-22 is toxic to the environment, there have been increasing regulations around selling and producing it. Today’s systems do not rely on Freon for the most part, and the supply is dwindling and very costly. Most modern refrigerants are priced around $15 per pound, but the cost of Freon including labor can be $80-100. If your system still relies on Freon, Exxel Mechanical Services is happy to help you weigh the benefits of choosing to replace your HVAC system with something new.

7. Strange Noises

Another one of the big signs that you might need to replace your HVAC system is a furnace that makes strange noises. Whether you hear popping, banging, clanging or rattling, something might be wrong. In many cases, older furnaces make strange noises like these near the end of their lifespans. Additionally, the blower turning on and off often or blowing out cold air could signify that there are age-related issues present. Your heating system and air conditioner should be able to fully turn off before they kick on again later.

Call Exxel Mechanical Services to Replace Your HVAC System

Exxel Mechanical Services is here to support all of our residential and commercial clients and keep their HVAC systems in excellent condition. We can help if you need repairs or to replace your HVAC system. We are always available to help assess your system, provide you with a free quote or come out to restore your heat or air conditioning in the event of an emergency. To learn more or get a free quote, call us at 443-821-1040 or email us at bob@exxelmechanical.com. We look forward to keeping your family comfortable.