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. 

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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.

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.


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 We look forward to keeping your family comfortable.

Categories Furnace, Indoor Air Quality

How Your Furnace Affects Indoor Air Quality

It’s nice to be warm — but it’s also nice to be able to breathe securely in your own home! Furnaces are very efficient at warming the home, but if your furnace is improperly maintained or damaged, your indoor air quality can suffer. This can pose several risks to you and your loved ones’ health.

However, a healthy, well-maintained furnace will keep you warm and healthy! Here’s how you can manage the health of your furnace and protect your indoor air quality.

Does My Heating System Negatively Affect Indoor Air Quality?

It’s true: a furnace can lower your air quality if it’s improperly maintained and/or damaged. The impacts of this can range from minor air contaminants to life-threatening issues.

While it’s not necessarily life-threatening, one common issue with furnaces is pollen and dust accumulation and circulation. This is usually caused by a dirty or outdated air filter in the furnace.

Basic furnace maintenance provides an easy fix, as the filter can be professionally cleaned or replaced to restore freshness in your home. If you or your family suffer from allergies, it is important to have HVAC specialists inspect your heating system before the cold temperatures set in and you need more heat from your unit. Aside from preventing discomfort and possible illness, this maintenance can prevent other, more serious risks to your air quality.

One of the biggest dangers a furnace can pose to your air quality is carbon monoxide (CO) contamination. Because some furnace types rely on gas and combustion to produce heat, CO is a potential byproduct of the unit doing its job.

Unfortunately, CO is tasteless, colorless, and void of odor. This is why — if your furnace is combustion-based — it’s critical that you have a carbon monoxide detector implemented as soon as possible. Having a properly-installed CO detector is the only way to know for certain whether your air quality is safe. Our fully certified HVAC professionals at Exxel Mechanical Services can ensure that your CO detector is installed and functioning correctly. Don’t take a gamble with your family’s health!

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It is also imperative that you know the signs of CO poisoning in your house’s air quality. You should seek medical attention immediately if you, your loved ones, and/or pets are experiencing a sudden onset of the following symptoms:

  • Shortness of breath
  • Dizziness
  • Confusion
  • Loss of coordination
  • Vomiting

Contact trained furnace specialists should also be contacted to assess the situation. CO contamination requires trained professionals to resolve safely, so don’t try to resolve the issue yourself —just get to safety.

Remember, a properly working furnace doesn’t pose a risk to your home’s air quality, so keeping the unit maintained is definitely a good investment.

Signs of Furnace Issues

If your air quality seems off, take a moment to listen to the furnace itself. If you hear rattling, this probably indicates loose or broken components that could damage or clog the air filter.

If the atmosphere feels heavy, this can also indicate that the air filter in the heating system is blocked and needs repair and/or cleaning. Additionally, strange or unpleasant smells, particularly ones that spread throughout the house, can indicate mechanical problems. A smoking furnace is a clear indicator you need HVAC repair; these fumes can also impair health.

Any mechanical issues that occur in the unit will be accelerated due to furnace construction. Individual components constantly work together to create heat, making it easy for damaged sections to break other sections of the unit. When this happens, your air quality will suffer. You can avoid air quality problems, including CO contamination, by simply keeping your furnace maintained.

Healthy Furnace = Good Air Quality

A healthy furnace makes a healthy, warm home. Don’t wait for problems to get worse when you can easily correct the problems. In addition to saving you money on repairs, this is a major safety precaution for the whole family. You’ll be able to use your furnace with true peace of mind!

Contact Exxel Mechanical Services 

Are you experiencing furnace problems or concerned about the upcoming winter weather? Uncertain what’s wrong with your furnace? We offer free consultations to examine your unit and give you the best options for quality furnace performance. Give us a call at (443) 821-1040 to get started!