Categories hvac efficiency, Indoor Air Quality

Why you should care about indoor air quality in 2022

Since mid-2020, we have thought about indoor air quality more than ever before. Due to fears about viruses and the spread of illnesses, you may have seen an increase in the use of air purifiers indoors. Whether in medical offices, schools, or businesses, people have taken steps to ensure the air inside is cleaner. 

But the truth is, air quality has always been important to monitor, and viruses aren’t even the biggest offenders when it comes to poor air quality. Scary pollutants can include noxious gasses, while dust, pet dander, and mold are among the top culprits for poor indoor air quality. Each of these pollutants can start or worsen health issues. 

Why you should care about indoor air quality

If you or anyone in your family is immunocompromised or has any respiratory issues— the most common being asthma— then you are already aware how extremely important air quality is for ensuring their health. Small dust particles, fumes from cooking or smoking, excess humidity… any of these can be devastating for someone already struggling with respiratory problems. 

On the other hand, you might consider yourself and your family members to be perfectly healthy. However, poor air quality in your home can still affect your health. 

Maintaining indoor air quality 

The EPA recommends ventilating indoor spaces with fresh outdoor air, using HVAC systems with good filters (that are cleaned or changed regularly!), and using air purifiers as ways to improve indoor air quality. The EPA published this guide in 2018 on how to choose air cleaners for improving indoor air quality in the home. The guide details how different cleaners or systems work and which options are available. 

Call us

Make sure your indoor air quality is good and that your HVAC system is contributing to the circulation of healthy air by calling in the professionals at Exxel Mechanical Services. An HVAC professional will be able to examine areas in your system that might be contributing to air pollutants and ensure that your HVAC system does its part in keeping your air clean.
Call or email us at Exxel Mechanical Services today at (443) 821-1040 or bob@exxelmechanical.com. It would be our pleasure to see how we can help you.

Categories Heating & Cooling Systems, hvac efficiency, Indoor Air Quality, quality hvac

Ways to Increase HVAC Air Quality

One of the many benefits of a first-rate HVAC system is that you can rely on it to improve the air quality in your home. During the winter or summer when you’re unable to crack a window for fresh outside air, you want to be able to know your HVAC is doing one of its many jobs: keeping the air fresh and contaminant-free. 

What do we mean when we say contaminant-free? We’re talking about eliminating all kinds of contaminants regularly linger in the air, including: 

  • excess moisture,
  • smoke from a fireplace, cooking or cigarettes,
  • regular house dust and dust from home renovations,
  • pet dander,
  • pollen. 

More serious air contaminants or pollutants include mold, bacteria, carbon monoxide, asbestos, or lead particles. If any of these types of contaminants are an issue in your house, you need to address them through more direct means than simply relying on an effective HVAC unit. However, for the “every day” contaminants such as those listed above, an HVAC system in good working order can improve and maintain air quality. 

To make sure your HVAC is circulating healthy air around your home, consider these 4 ways to improve air quality inside your home.

  1. Clean your air filters

When researching the question of how to make your HVAC system work better, the most common answer you’ll find is to clean or replace your air filters. Not only are clean filters able to pull more dust and other contaminants out of the air, but they won’t block air flow which increases the problem of dust and other particles collecting all over your house.

Full or clogged air filters can also damage your HVAC unit. Dirty filters make the HVAC system work harder and can even lead to broken parts or even a total unit breakdown. When it comes to air quality, it’s important to consider clean air filters your go-to for keeping the air fresh in your home.

Another consideration is the use of the correct air filter for your HVAC system. While having your HVAC serviced, ask your HVAC technician if there’s a preferred filter type or size for catching more particles and keeping your air cleaner. 

  1. Check on ductwork & other components of the HVAC system

The air conditioned by your HVAC system flows through your ductwork. Keeping your ductwork clean is another way to combat contaminants from growing and blowing around your house. Dust or even mold can build up inside ductwork (especially if the ducts were not installed well). During a tune up with an HVAC technician, ensure that the ducts are examined and given a good cleaning. 

Another area of the HVAC system that is prone to getting dirty with potential mold or bacteria is the coil inside the HVAC system. It’s possible to install special ultraviolet lights that can kill any growth inside the unit, making the system more efficient as well. 

During tune ups, the HVAC technician will also clean unit parts like the air handlers, grills, fans, and motors. These are functional parts of the HVAC unit that should only be handled and cleaned by a professional. Keeping your HVAC system and ductwork clean is one of the best ways to make sure the air blown through the system is also clean.

  1. Make use of air purifiers

You might consider using multiple means of cleaning the air, aside from your HVAC system, to improve air quality and reduce the strain on your HVAC system. The use of plants, cooking vents in the kitchen, air purifiers, humidifiers or dehumidifiers are all helpful tools to keep the air fresh. Whether you are fond of cooking foods in oil or butter, or you have a full house requiring daily showers and extra loads of laundry causing increased humidity or are enduring an especially frigid winter leading to cracking dry skin because there’s no humidity – all these place additional strain on your HVAC system. Whatever stress may be placed on your air quality, your HVAC system will thank you (through the longevity of the heating and cooling units) if you take steps to mitigate air quality issues through creative means.

  1. Run the fan more often 

Running your HVAC system’s fan more often can also help with air quality. Depending on the age of your thermostat, you should be able to turn the fan to the “on” mode. If it’s a newer, programmable thermostat, you may have the option to set the fan to remain on for a certain number of minutes per hour. 

While keeping the fan on can cost more on your utility bill or even bother you due to the sound of the fan running, it can help to filter the air as it will run the air through the air filters. But remember that if you are running the fan more often, you might need to clean or change the air filters more often. 

Keep efficiency in mind

Air quality is certainly important, especially if you live with someone who is immunocompromised or has a respiratory issue like asthma. And the Covid-19 pandemic made us more aware of airborne contaminants and ventilation than ever before. We need to think about air quality and controlling contaminants that might be getting into indoor air.

It’s also important to note that air quality also impacts the efficiency of your HVAC system. Air filters clogged with dust or pet dander can cause issues within the whole system, and high humidity will strain the system as it tries to keep it under control. Keeping the air clean helps your HVAC system heat and cool more effectively.

Call us 

Indoor air quality is an important part of a working HVAC system. Our HVAC technicians have experience with a variety of air quality problems, and we’re ready to answer your questions and provide solutions.
Exxel Mechanical serves a 30-mile radius of Winfield, Maryland, serving Westminster, Owings Mills, and Frederick. Our reputation in this area precedes us, as we pride ourselves on placing our customer as our highest priority. Call us today at (443) 821-1040, and it would be our pleasure to see how we can help you.

Categories hvac efficiency, hvac system

How to find rebates on HVAC Systems

When you are considering a new HVAC system or thinking about upgrading your current HVAC system, rebates are a fantastic way to offset the steep initial cost of a HVAC installation.

The most common rebate offer is designed to encourage energy efficiency. For those upgrading their homes’ heating or cooling systems, or installing entirely new HVAC systems, there are rebates available that promote selecting energy efficient systems. The efficiency of a system is measured by Seasonal Energy Efficiency Rating (SEER), or for heat pumps, the Heating Seasonal Performance Factor (HSPF).

Rebates are offered two ways: either by the state or federal government or your local utility company and may be subject to change. It’s always a smart idea to look up the current rebate offers by checking the website for your state’s energy department as well as your utility company. Additionally, the Database of State Incentives for Renewables & Efficiency, the U.S. Department of Energy, and the Energy Star websites all offer updated information about rebates.

Opportunities in Maryland

Every state has different incentives to consider when buying or upgrading HVAC systems. As Exxel Mechanical Services serves the Frederick, Westminster, and Owings Mills areas in Maryland, we are happy to share resources for Maryland residents who want to take advantage of statewide energy policies and incentives.

HVAC system rebates, or any type of heating and cooling rebate that Maryland offers, fall under the “EmPOWER Maryland” initiative. The state works with utility companies to improve energy consumption by providing money-saving deals for customers. HVAC rebates differ depending on which utility company provides service in your area, your yearly income, and other pertinent information.

BGE or Potomac Edison provides service to many of our customers, and they both offer rebates between $300 and $1500 on several types of systems. We list those rebate offers on our website. Click here to check those out.

Maryland’s Energy Administration offers plenty of information on their website, including links to the different utility companies and their offers. Click here to go to the Maryland Energy Administration website and look for the tab titled, “Find Incentives,” for the utility company that serves your area. Additionally, by completing the form on their website, you’ll be able to search for any deal or rebate available to you. Click here for the form.

Call us
Our dedicated professionals at Exxel Mechanical Services are always here to answer any questions you have about relevant rebates or other money-saving deals. Call (443) 821-1040 or email bob@exxelmechanical.com.

Categories hvac efficiency, hvac westminster md, Indoor Air Quality, quality hvac

How indoor air quality affects hvac efficiency

When you think about bad air quality, you might think about factories billowing smog, or fires causing clouds of smoke in the air. While pollution and outdoor air quality is a health consideration, indoor air quality– the air circulating in sealed homes and buildings– is also extremely important and often overlooked, as most people spend the most of their days inside. 

Cleaning the air: the importance of HVAC systems

As Covid-19 spread, many of us have turned our attention to improving ventilation knowing that the air we breathe in sealed environments can truly impact our health. When it comes to indoor air quality, the biggest offenders that we concern ourselves with are humidity, dust, carbon monoxide, and radon. Other culprits we might not think of immediately (from this list from the EPA) include: smoke from cigarettes, cooking emissions, or dust from remodeling. And as the pandemic showed us, viral contaminants are also factors in air quality. 

HVAC systems are vitally important when it comes to reducing these air quality contaminants. They filter, condition, and circulate the air. But what happens to HVAC systems when there is an excess of contaminants in the air?

Poor air quality and the impact on HVAC systems

While we rely on HVAC systems to clean the indoor air, we should also be aware that an overabundance of contaminants will make HVAC systems work harder. For example, excess humidity increases the workload on an AC unit, forcing the unit to work harder and longer to achieve low humidity to make your home comfortable. Another example is cigarette and other smoke, which causes air filters to get clogged. Clogged filters make it difficult for air to flow, making the unit work overtime.

When it comes to indoor air quality, we expect our HVAC system to be doing the work. Understanding the ways you can improve air quality in your home or office will help your HVAC system do its job, become more energy efficient, and have an extended life. 

Contact us!

If you have children or older adults in the home, someone with asthma or other immunocompromised health issues, or if you simply notice the air quality in your home or workplace seems off, it’s worthwhile to have a professional check it out. 

Whether adding a dehumidifier or air purifier, having your air filters or ductwork cleaned or replaced, or servicing or replacing your entire HVAC system to remedy a poorly functioning system that is cycling bad air, our professionals can provide insight on the issue you are facing. Even a simple fix can make a substantial improvement to your air quality. 
Indoor air quality is important! Exxel Mechanical serves a 30-mile radius of Winfield, Maryland, serving Westminster, Owings Mills, and Frederick. Our reputation in this area precedes us, as we pride ourselves on placing our customer as our highest priority. Call us today at (443) 821-1040, and it would be our pleasure to see how we can help you.