How To Care For Your HVAC When You Have Pets

For many people, pets are considered part of the family and are kept indoors most of the time. However, there are some challenges that can arise when it comes to the HVAC system in your home. Pollutants pets can carry into the home after a nice afternoon walk and the dander they can shed directly impact your A/C and heating system because it’s one giant filtration system; if those pollutants are recirculating through your HVAC system then it can wreak havoc on not only your allergies but your HVAC system as well.

How to get the cleanest air quality from your AC  

It’s not only vital to your A/C system but also for your own health and the health of your family to regularly change your air filters.

There are a few factors to take in to consideration when determining how often you should change your home’s air filters. For example, if it is a vacation home with no pets, then changing your filters once or twice a year may be fine. If it is a modern suburban home with no pets, changing your filters every 90 days works. But, anytime a pet occupies a home, it is standard to change your filters every 30 days.

Never use low quality air filters, as they allow the pet dandruff and dust to recirculate into the home, and can end up costing more money down the road. Overtime, costs add up because of the low air quality and the damage it does to your health and to your HVAC unit’s vents, ducts, coils, etc.  Don’t place objects that have dirt or dust on them near your intake vent, such as a vacuum, shoes, laundry basket, or pet crate.   

By grooming your pets regularly, preferably outside the home you will also keep your pet happy and your home’s air cleaner. Doing this should also mean there is noticeably less pet hair in your air filter when you change it. Dogs and cats who have longer, thicker coats should be brushed every 2 days and should be bathed every 2 weeks. You can double the time in between brushing and bathing if your pet has shorter hair, which means they should be brushed every 4 days and bathed at least once a month. 

Keeping your carpet vacuumed daily is another important step to having healthy air quality and maximizing your systems performance and longevity.  Using a quality vacuum that is tailored specifically for pet dandruff and hair is another plus, as it removes specific allergens that pets have naturally.  

Keeping your temperature settings as moderate as possible will not only save you some money, but will also reduce the amount of hair your pets shed. In the summer months dogs and cats shed their winter coat and keeping the A/C settings too low or high can have an adverse effect on how the natural shedding process takes place.    The recommended setting for climates such as Florida is between 69-76 degrees during the summer months and in the winter months the setting should be from 68 to 72 degrees. A mistake pet owners make is turning the thermostat up to 80 degrees when they leave the house which causes shedding to be a year-round problem – adversely impacting the air quality and air conditioning unit.  

While you can do much to limit the effects of pet hair and dander on the quality of your indoor air, you’ll need some specialized help now and then. That’s why it’s always a good idea to schedule regular HVAC maintenance with EasyBreezy A/C, recommended at least twice a year for pet owners.   

During our routine inspections, we’ll make sure that your HVAC system is cleaned carefully, and we’ll identify any issues that should be resolved quickly. A checkup helps keep your HVAC system working smoothly, keeps your system running longer and saves you money!



How To Clean Your Air Conditioner’s Condensate Drain

A common reason people tend to call technicians for air conditioning repair is problems with the external unit that is responsible for expelling air and condensing water. The condensate drain is a ½ to 1 inch pipe, usually made of plastic or PVC, that is located near the outdoor unit and expels water that is caused by condensation around the evaporator coil.

Cleaning out this pipe is an easy task you can DIY. Lack of maintenance can result in the growth of harmful fungi, algae, and bacteria. The fungal spores can get backed up and recirculated in the room and cause allergies and illnesses. Another important reason this pipe needs regular maintenance is that the mechanical sludge and residue that builds up over time can obstruct the condensed water, which could leak into your walls and your home causing long-term and expensive water damage.

If you have a problem with your air conditioner, your technician may check the condensate drain as a part of the standard procedure to diagnose the problem. However, it can be useful to learn to diagnose any blockage and keep up with regular maintenance yourself so you can avoid having to call for air conditioning repairs every time.

What You Will Need

Cleaning out your air conditioning drain pipe will not require any special equipment. Often, you can simply use the chemicals or equipment you have around your home. There are two primary types of residue you should clean out, namely, mechanical sludge, and harmful germs/organic residue.

  • Firstly, you will need a dry/wet vacuum cleaner to pull out mechanical sludge that might be physically clogging up the pipe.
  • The drain pipe is often made of extremely sturdy and durable material. You should be able to use most household chemicals like bleach or vinegar to kill any bacteria, fungi, or any biological growth in the pipe.

Time needed: 45 minutes.

How To Clean Your Air Conditioning Condensate Drain

  1. Turn off the AC at the breaker

    This should be a no-brainer, but make sure the AC is turned off completely from the main switch.

  2. Find the condensate drain

    This should be a PVC or plastic pipe outdoors, that may be attached to the outdoor unit or the wall of your home.

  3. Use the vacuum to pull any blockage out of the pipe

    We will remove the mechanical sludge. Place the vacuum over the end of the drain line and begin vacuuming out the pipe. You may need to use a rubber pipe attachment to create more suction. Hold the vacuum carefully in place until any blockage has been cleared.

  4. Fill drain line with germicide

    You will need to look for an access point in the drain line, either outdoors or from the drain pan below the evaporator coil inside the unit. You can use this port to pour in your germicidal chemicals.
    You can use bleach, vinegar, hydrogen peroxide, or any antibacterial soap solution mixed with a bit of hot water to clean out the pipe. Since this is the exit pipe, you need not worry about these chemicals affecting the air conditioning.

  5. Flush drain line with water

    Let the chemicals sit for about 30 minutes and pour water through. Ask a friend to check if the water is running freely from the outdoor pipe.

This should resolve any issues you have. If not, you may have to call in a technician. But making this a part of your bi-yearly or yearly home maintenance routine will go a long way in preventing drain pipe related issues and keep your air conditioning system working as well as it should.



Dirty Sock Syndrome Part 2

As we saw in Part 1, Dirty Sock Syndrome is caused by bacterial and fungal growth on the evaporator coil. In this article, we will discuss how to treat prevent the problem.

So, you have Dirty Sock Syndrome. Now What?

The good news is that there are ways you can fix dirty sock syndrome and enjoy high-quality indoor air.

Cleaning is your first remedy. You will need to do a thorough cleaning of the evaporator coils to get rid of mold and bacteria living inside as well as stop your house from smelling like an old gym bag. Use cleaning products along with gloves and wear clothes you don’t mind getting messy. Although, a DIY job is only recommended to those who have sufficient knowledge and proper tools.

Otherwise, call in a professional to do the work on your behalf. The HVAC professionals at EasyBreezy AC will first diagnose the problem and then clean the coil and drain pan. Specialists make use of non-acid or low-acid cleaners to effectively kill mold while not damaging the subtle inner workings of your AC unit. Book an appointment with a trusted air conditioning company now to treat your Dirty Sock Syndrome. Don’t forget to have regular maintenance and inspections scheduled once or twice a year to prevent further issues from happening.

You should also consider coating the drain pans and coils. The coating material should contain an antibacterial agent which prevents regrowth of mold. While the antimicrobial coating is effective, it is still imperative to keep your coils clean as possible because the buildup of organic material produces a base for mold and mildew to grow. Doing so will assure smooth performance of your air conditioning.

If any of these measures do not prove to be highly effective for you, then it is time to replace the coils and maintain them to ensure the problem won’t return. You have to take into account your unit’s age, though. If it is already fairly old (12+ years), it may just be time to get a whole new unit.

How to Treat Dirty Sock Syndrome

  1. Choose a high-quality air conditioning filter

    Bacteria, mold, and mildew need porous substances to grow. Get rid of them from the air before they get in your coils.

  2. Use a whole home air purifier

    They prove to be an excellent aid in killing mold and bacteria. Here at EasyBreezy A/C, we recommend cold plasma ionizers. They are especially ideal for people with compromised immune system, asthma, or allergy problems. A UV light is another option we can provide (though we prefer non-ozone producing IAQ products).

  3. Hire a professional to clean your coil

    While you can perform basic cleaning all alone, it is far better to team up with a professional for help. They will have special cleaners available to them that are designed to clean evaporator coils.

Prevention is Key!

Your AC unit is one of the biggest investments you can make for your home. Don’t let dirty sock syndrome give you so much stress. Early prevention is your best solution.

How to prevent Dirty Sock Syndrome?

1. Keeping up with the routine maintenance of your air conditioner is one of the best ways to prevent all sorts of problems with your AC.
2. Change your air filters regularly. If your filter tends to get dirty quickly, then there may be another problem with your system.
3. Installing a whole home indoor air quality (IAQ) product, like the Phenomenal Aire, will dramatically help reduce and prevent bacteria, fungus, and mold growth in your home.

No matter what the season is, it is always important to make sure your air conditioning unit is working efficiently and not converting into an ideal ground for dirty sock syndrome.



How-to Tips For AC Use In Florida Winter

Winter is just around the corner! You are almost ready – how about your air conditioning unit? Check out our important tips you can take so as to ensure the best performance of your unit in the next summer season!

How to prepare your AC for Winter

  1. Check And Replace The Air Filter

    When was the last time you look over the filter of your AC unit? Cleaning the filter is specifically crucial if you run the unit often. The filter’s purpose is to ensure healthy air and good airflow as well as prevent and protect air conditioning from breaking down. This will also save your energy costs. Replace the air filter at least every two months, preferably every month. We recommend changing your filter every time you get your power bill. It is an easy reminder that it has been a month.

  2. Change The Thermostat Settings

    In order to enjoy electricity savings and home comfort during winter months, consider programmable thermostats. A programmable thermostat allows you to set humidity and temperature according to the weather condition and to your schedule.

  3. Give The AC System A Thorough Cleaning

    Winter can cause debris and leaves to accumulate around or on your AC system. Debris is responsible for minimizing the flow of air and can lead to other issues. Give the exterior casings, inner coils, and other frequently used parts a rigorous cleaning before the wind gets chilling. Another important air-conditioning component you should thoroughly clean is the outdoor condenser.

  4. Don’t Forget The Ducts

    Dirt and debris, dust mites, pet dander, pollen, and other allergens can get stuck in the air ducts, contributing to a dangerous living environment. You are likely putting yourself at risk for health issues (e.g., hay fever flare-ups) if you are sensitive to allergens or contaminants. Therefore, it is hard to overlook the importance of getting your air ducts clean. Cleaning your ducts can also help reduce odors in your home.

  5. Cover Your Unit

    There are two benefits associated with a covered air conditioning unit: (1) keep your system from freezing rain, winds, and animals; and (2) prevent thieves who might be looking for air conditioning units to ransack for copper wiring. Your local store will give you lots of options to choose from.

  6. Change Worn-Out Components

    If you want your unit to work smoothly and efficiently year-round, most especially in the cool months, now is the right time to replace parts that are worn-out or have outdated. Assuming the AC you own is more than five years old already, have it inspected by an HVAC professional. Any parts or damages will be detected to do replacement before a major issue arises.

  7. Maintain A Consistent Temperature

    As much as possible, avoid big temperature changes. Otherwise, you will notice a big spike in your energy bills. Consider using a ceiling fan or turning off your AC during cool nights or days. Aside from reducing the work of your air conditioning, it is also an excellent way for improving your overall comfort.

  8. Schedule A Maintenance Check Up

    Preventive maintenance is one of the great solutions to protect air conditioning units from potentially expensive repairs. Spending a little bit now on an annual maintenance checkup means saving plenty by avoiding costly repairs later. Most companies or AC service providers offer new duct systems and replacement of air conditioning and heating equipment aside from preventive maintenance, so if there is an issue, they can easily get to work.

Winter is a perfect time to get warm inside and do things you love most, such as cooking your favorite food and having movie marathon – all with the warm air coming from your HVAC unit. Take advantage of the season while it lasts!



How To Stay Cool When Your AC Breaks Down

We are now in the full heat of summer, and it seems like an air conditioning break down always happens during the hottest part of summer or right before you are having out of town guests coming to visit. When your AC breaks down during the busiest time of year it can be difficult to get an available tech to come out to your house right away, and sometimes you might have to wait a few days before someone is able to come out and help. There is nothing more frustrating than having to battle the heat and humidity in a stuffy home with no AC, but luckily you don’t have to lose your cool just because your AC is broken. Here are some creative ways to help you stay cool when your AC breaks down:

  1. Reduce Heat Generated Within Your Home

    The first step to keeping your home cool with a broken AC is to reduce the amount of heat you are producing within your home. While you probably don’t realize it when your AC is working, everyday appliances us a lot of energy and produce a lot of heat when they are using this energy. Of course, you want to try to avoid cooking with heat by not using your stove or oven, but if you must cook with heat try to do so with a microwave, toaster oven, or crock pot. You should also be careful using other appliances in your home like your dryer and dishwasher, which also produce heat. Finally, minimize the use of technology and electricity in your home by using the fewest lights possible and not watching TV or playing on the computer. For the lights in your home that you must use, try using more energy efficient light bulbs as they will also produce the least amount of heat.

  2. Use Fans Wisely

    One of the most obvious things to do when your AC breaks down is to turn on all the fans in your home. But in order for this to actually help keep you cool, you need to understand how fans actually work. Fans do not do anything to keep a room cool, but they do make you feel cooler because of the effect of air moving over your body and evaporation. If you are using a ceiling fan, make sure the blades are moving counter-clockwise to push air downward off the ceiling and create a breeze. During the day increase the efficiency of the fan by placing a bowl of ice in front of the fan, the fan will pick up the cool air as the ice melts and evaporates creating a cooling mist effect as the fan oscillates air through the room. At night if it is cooler outside you can open a window and put the fan in front of the window to draw in the cool air from outside.

  3. Use Your Freezer (The Right Way)

    When we say to use your freezer the right way we definitely do not mean to leave your freezer door open to try to keep the room cool. Unfortunately, we have seen many people try to do this in a last-ditch effort of desperation to keep cool, but not only is it extremely inefficient for your freezer, it could also lead to mechanical problems with your freezer later on. What we do mean is to use your freezer creatively by freezing a couple washcloths or hand towels and maybe even your bedsheets. You can use the washcloths and hand towels to wrap around cooling points across your body (around your neck, wrists, and feet) which will help keep your body temperature down. And placing your sheets in the freezer before you go to bed will help keep your entire body nice and cool when you do get ready to lay down for the night.

  4. Take A Cold Shower

    One of the quickest ways to cool your own body temperature down is to take a nice cold shower. Taking a cold shower will help drop you body temperature immediately. Once you are done with the shower you might not want to completely dry off right away. You can put your clothes on and let them soak up the water, by wearing clothes that are slightly damp your body will be able to maintain a lower body temperature a lot more easily. Keeping your hair wet after the shower and letting it air dry is also a great way to help keep your body temperature done naturally for hours.

Now that you know how to stay cool until you can get your AC running again, contact EasyBreezy A/C today! Whether you are looking to repair a broken AC system or completely replace an old worn out system with a new one, we have the cooling solutions you need!



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