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Homeowner Help: Improving Your Air Quality Post-Renovation

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The winter season is upon us and it’s likely that most renovations or new home construction projects are either finished or nearly completed. However, home construction, whether from minor repairs or big home improvement projects, produce a variety of airborne contaminants that impact your home’s indoor air quality, even after a project is done. Indoor air pollutants like chemicals, construction dust, and other particles can hang out in your home for weeks after a renovation and can cause both short and long term health effects if not addressed properly.

The air inside your home can become stale during colder months from the lack of ventilation and proper air circulation, making it harder to maintain good air quality. As people spend more time indoors, air pollution can build up and cause more harm than good to a person’s health. If you’ve recently had renovations done to your home, keep reading to find out how you can improve your home’s indoor air quality for better health, comfort, and peace of mind this holiday season.

Air Ducts

Construction dust and other airborne particulates leftover from a renovation project drastically increases the air pollution inside a home and can cause a myriad of health related side-effects. Demolition of old drywall, concrete, vinyl flooring, and more, could contain asbestos, one of the leading causes of indoor air pollution in older home renovations. Many people unknowingly release microscopic asbestos fibers into the air during home improvement or maintenance projects and run the risk of inhaling the fibers and developing asbestos-related diseases. To help stop the spread of airborne debris, ensure that the air ducts are cleaned. Your home’s air ducts are an important part of keeping the air flowing throughout your home. So, when construction dust and debris accumulates, it contaminates your whole home. Eliminate the dust and get your ducts cleaned by an indoor air quality technician to help keep your home healthy and hygienic.

Air Purifier

Volatile organic compounds (VOCs) are another common byproduct post renovation and come from varnishes, paints, and other building products and materials. Both short term and long-term exposure to VOCs can cause health effects ranging from eye, nose, and throat irritation to liver and kidney disease. To reduce indoor air contaminants consider using either a portable air purifier or an air purification system on your HVAC unit to remove common biological pollutants like pet dander and mold, and to combat the harsh odors VOCs produce. Having a home air purifier is a great way to maintain control over your home’s air quality. Plus, there are several options you can choose from, so you can have cleaner, healthier air post-renovation.

Filter Replacement

It is always a good idea to change your air filter regularly. However, you should change it sooner if you’ve had renovations done, otherwise you’ll continue to contaminate your home with airborne particulate matter and construction debris. With our HVAC filter replacement program, we can provide you with new filters delivered to your doorstep every 90 days. With 6 different filter sizes to choose from, you can rest easy knowing that you're keeping your HVAC system efficient and improving your indoor air quality.

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Prepping Your Home for the Upcoming Winter Season

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As the winter season approaches faster than many of us had hoped for, it becomes more critical to prepare your home and keep your mind at ease when the weather starts to turn. Many may not realize how much winter can impact your home, so taking the proper precautions will help to get you and your home ready for the winter season. It is very important to take care of your home's exterior and interior when preparing for the chilly weather. Who wants to worry about having to take on any home projects when it’s cold out? Our guess is, no one!

This article will walk you through what you should have in your home for winter and what to mark off of your checklist before the first snowfall.

Invest in a Smart Thermostat

After returning home from a long day at work on a cold winter afternoon, the last thing you want is to walk into a frigid house. If you’re wondering how you would be able to avoid that, we have the answer for you – smart thermostats! A smart thermostat can be controlled from your smartphone, so you’re able to turn your heat on and off with the tap of a finger. This makes it quick and easy to manage your home’s temperature while the system itself helps to save you money and energy.

If you don’t already have a smart thermostat and are considering one, making the choice sooner rather than later will add to a comfortable home and reduced utility bills. Installing this type of thermostat is something that should be done before winter hits in case any incidents occur, such as faulty wires or power outages. If you’re unfamiliar with thermostats and their installation, Bob’s Heating & Air Conditioning can help you install a smart thermostat for your home.

Check your Home’s Insulation

Before winter hits, creating a checklist of what needs to be done will also help you to get your home ready. One of the items on the checklist should be to check your home’s insulation during the summer or fall to allow you to find and resolve any problems that arise. Due to the temperature drop outside as winter progresses, ensuring your home is properly insulated will help keep your home warm. Your windows, siding, attic, and basement should all be insulated to avoid any cold air from entering your home.

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Bob’s Heating & Air Conditioning Named a Nextdoor 2022 Neighborhood Favorite Local Business

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Woodinville, WA — Bob’s Heating & Air Conditioning has been named to the winning list of Nextdoor’s 6th annual Neighborhood Favorites, an awards program recognizing local businesses committed to helping their neighborhoods thrive. Winners of the 2022 Neighborhood Favorites were determined based on the number of neighbor recommendations a local business receives on Nextdoor across various categories.

“On Nextdoor, small businesses are a trusted and core member of the community. These local businesses go above and beyond to make their neighborhoods a kind, welcoming place. It is a true honor, and good for business, to be voted a Neighborhood Favorite by your most loyal customers — neighbors.” said Nextdoor CEO Sarah Friar.

With more than 55 million business recommendations from neighbors, Nextdoor connects neighbors with each other and everything nearby.

“We’re very honored to have been recommended by so many wonderful neighbors in our local community. Bob’s has been serving homeowners throughout Western Washington since 1957, so we are proud to see our values recognized and appreciated by local community members,” wrote Gabby Roppo, the marketing coordinator at Bob’s Heating.

The complete list of winning businesses in each city is available at nextdoor.com/favorites. Join the neighborhood network by downloading the Nextdoor app or visiting nextdoor.com.

Sleeping With the Windows Open: 5 Mistakes That Increase Utility Bills

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Shutting off your home air conditioner and sleeping with the windows open seems like a great way to save energy. After all, doesn't it make sense to give your HVAC a break when the sun goes down and temperatures drop? Unfortunately, that's not always the case. Sleeping with the windows open is just one of many ways you might be unknowingly driving up your monthly utility bill. Keep reading to find out lesser-known mistakes that are costing you money.

Sleeping With Windows Open

Residents of the Pacific Northwest know the joy of cracking a window on summer nights. While people should enjoy a night of fresh air from time to time, it's essential to be aware of potentially higher energy costs.

When you leave your windows open all night, you essentially undo all the hard work your air conditioning system has done to cool your home. During the day, the air conditioning system works to remove heat and humidity from the indoor air. If the outside air is even one degree warmer than your home's internal temperature, the system will have to work harder to restore your desired temperature.

Additionally, outside air usually contains more humidity than the inside air, leaving your rooms feeling stuffy and uncomfortable. Humidity makes temperatures feel warmer than they actually are. If you let your home get too damp, you might feel inclined to compensate by setting your thermostat to an even lower temperature, increasing HVAC system workload.

Some research has revealed the optimal conditions for sleeping with open windows. If the outside temperature is about 70 degrees and humidity levels are low, you can crack a window overnight. However, try to shut them as early as possible in the morning to keep outside moisture and sunlight from increasing your internal temperatures.

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How Much AC Do I Need?

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At first thought, it may seem like you cannot go overboard with air conditioning. After all, the whole point of having an AC is to control the air temperature in your home and you can hardly have too much control now, can you? Well as it turns out, if you figure in the cost of installation and running the unit, there are situations where your AC is oversized for your home. To answer the question "How much AC do I need?" you need to factor in various aspects and understand the airflow in your home. So, to help you out, we will cover these aspects and help you determine the right amount of air conditioning for your household.

Understanding How Air Conditioners Work

For measuring the effectiveness of air conditioning, we use BTUs. A British Thermal Unit is a measurement that shows how much heat an AC unit can remove from the airspace within one hour. The recommended BTU per square foot is 20. With that in mind, there are a couple more factors to consider…

Room

To properly cool a room, you must consider its size and purpose. Take the square footage of the room and multiply it by 20. That is the recommended BTU for your AC. Before you opt for a unit, remember that it is usually better to go a bit above your recommended BTU than below. This is especially true if your room gets a lot of natural light or if it’s a common gathering area for your family. Kitchens and laundry rooms will also require stronger air conditioning, as the appliances in them will produce heat on their own.

House

If you plan on cooling the entire home with a single AC unit, you will have to consider the layout of your home. The more freely air can flow through your home, the easier it will be to cool it off. Just like with rooms, you can choose to multiply the size of your house by 20 to understand the amount of BTUs required to cool your whole home. Large-scale AC systems use “tons” for measurement, where one ton equals 12,000 BTUs.

Local Climate

Another critical aspect to consider is the local climate. Namely, if you live in a warmer climate, you may need a more powerful air conditioning unit. On the other hand, if you live in a cooler coastal climate, you might need to consider the unit’s specific protective coating to prevent sea air erosion.

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3 Things to Know Before Choosing and Installing a Smart Thermostat

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Who doesn't love home devices that make life comfortable, convenient, and conscientious? Smart thermostats provide all three by maintaining the ideal temperature for your home, offering access from anywhere, and reducing your carbon footprint. As you begin your search for the perfect smart thermostat, it’s important to arm yourself with the right information. There are a few lesser-known things you should keep in mind before upgrading, so read on to learn more.

Choose Your Upgrade Timing Wisely

Everyone loves saving energy, and it makes sense to swap to an energy-saving thermostat sooner rather than later to save the most energy. While it's tempting to make the switch to a more energy-efficient thermostat right before you'll most need it, like in the thick of summer or dead of winter or before you host a family gathering, that's not always the best time. If things go wrong during a DIY installation, you might be stuck without a functioning HVAC system until you can get it fixed. It might be better to wait for milder weather. If you've got any concerns about the installation, consider calling in a professional from Bob’s Heating & Air Conditioning.

Check For Compatibility Before Buying a Smart Thermostat

When shopping for a new thermostat, it's important to check for compatibility with your existing HVAC system. Most smart thermostats require "low voltage" 24-volt HVAC systems, often called "central heat" or "central air." You likely have this type of system if:

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How to Prepare Your Home’s HVAC Equipment For Summer

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Photo by Ethan Robertson on Unsplash

While the summer months might bring a break for most of us, it's the hardest-working time of year for your HVAC equipment's cooling components. To help keep your AC running all summer, we've compiled some easy tasks that every homeowner can do to prepare their air conditioner for summer. Ready to save money and feel more comfortable? Keep reading to learn how to get your AC ready for summer.

Why Do You Need to Prepare Your HVAC Equipment For Summer?

The last thing you want is your air conditioner to break down in the middle of a heat wave. If your air conditioner has been dormant for most of the year, you shouldn't expect it to work at total capacity with the flick of a switch.

Understanding how the average central air conditioning system works will help you make a summer preparation plan.

The cooling process starts inside the home with the evaporator. This part of the system absorbs heat, converts it to gas, and sends it to the compressor, located in its outdoor unit. The compressor and the condenser work together to cast away heat so the cooling properties can work effectively.

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