Why Your A/C Filters Get Dirtier Faster

dirty ac filter
Dust-clogged A/C filter restricts airflow

If you find yourself having to change your air filter more often than you think you need to; there may be a few things that are causing your air filter to become dirty quicker.

Lack of regularly scheduled air conditioning maintenance and the way you operate your cooling and heating system could be causing your air filters to become dirty faster than they should!

A/C Filter Maintenance

If you are not changing your A/C filters monthly, or when necessary, your cooling and heating system will work less efficiently and cost you money.

The frequency at which you will need to change your A/C filter will depend on a number of factors such as how often you use your system, do you have pets, are you remodeling and how many contaminants are entering your home.

Quality of Your Filters

If you are not choosing one a good quality A/C filter it will not last very long before it needs to be changed. Air filter quality is measured by a MERV rating (minimum efficiency reporting value) – the higher the MERV ranking is, the more efficient your A/C system will operate.

Air Conditioning filters that have a lower MERV rating tend to be less expensive than filters with a higher MERV rating so they can be tempting to buy. While these filters may be less expensive, it is important to remember that they will last a shorter amount of time before needing to be changed, increasing your cost in the long run

Leaking A/C Ductwork

Another issue that affects how quickly your A/C filters are becoming dirty is when your system has leaking air ducts. When your system’s air ducts are leaking it causes dust and other airborne contaminants to be pulled into your unit from areas that are used less often and are generally dirtier than the rest of your home. Not only does this mean your system’s air filters will become clogged and dirty more quickly, but it also means your system will run less efficiently, use more energy and increase your costs.

Not Running Your Fan On “Auto”

Your system’s thermostat will provide you with two different fan settings to choose from – “on” and “auto”. When you choose to set your system’s fan to the “on” setting, your system’s fan will run continuously until you turn it off. When you choose to set your system’s fan to the “auto” setting, your system’s fan will turn on and off automatically as it cycles through each heating or cooling cycle. By setting your thermostat to “auto”, your system will be able to run and process the airborne contaminants coming into your unit more efficiently.



Organic Pollutants in the Home

Organic pollutants found in your home that you should be concerned about are molds, mildew, VOC’s, fungi, bacteria and dust mites. Some, such as pollen, are produced outside the home and enter your home on your clothes, your pets, your hair or simply by opening and closing the front door.

Mold and mildew that are generated in the home discharge spores into the air. Mold, mildew, fungi and bacteria are often found in areas of the home that have high humidity levels, such as bathrooms, kitchens and laundry rooms. Dust mites and animal dander are problematic when they become airborne while dusting, vacuuming, making beds or when fabrics are disturbed.

Remember that the average 1500 sq. foot home in Florida generates approximately a wheelbarrow full of dust. And each ounce of that dust contains about 4000 dust mites! Dust mites have been identified as the single most important trigger for asthma attacks.

What that means to you and your family is simple and straight forward; allergic reactions. Allergic reactions are the most common health problems associated with indoor air pollutants. Symptoms frequently include watery eyes, runny nose and sneezing, nasal congestion, itching, coughing, wheezing and difficulty breathing, headache, dizziness and fatigue.

CALL TODAY! Easy Breezy A/C’s certified technicians will be happy to help you alleviate and eliminate these contaminates.



Indoor Air Quality Distributor

Celebrating its 10-year anniversary, EasyBreezy A/C of New Port Richey, Florida, is proud to announce it has been selected as an exclusive distributor for Phenomenal Aire’s new Indoor Air Cold Plasma Technology.

Commenting on the appointment, Owner Mike Mattingly noted, “Our expertise and lengthy experience with Indoor Air Quality products along with our exceptionally trained and certified techs played a critical role in our appointment, plus we have over 50 years’ experience.”

Phenomenal Aire Indoor Air Quality an Easy Breezy A/C exclusive

Co-owner, Mike Smith went on to say, “Customers that have used this advanced indoor air cleaning technology have raved about its affordable price and no planned replacement (infrared bulbs).”

Both owners stressed the fact that the entire organization went through a comprehensive training program and are very well- versed in the product and understand the importance of educating homeowners to the pathogens, bacteria, dander, pollen and mold found inside their homes.

EasyBreezy A/C of New Port Richey, Florida, is the only air conditioning business with the expertise necessary to bring this newest and best indoor air cleaner to the market. This advanced product improves air quality and cleans the air in your home naturally and safely.


EASY BREEZY A/C

Serving Pasco, Pinellas, Hernando and Hillsborough counties for over 10 Years! Trusted, Licensed, Insured, Reliable. LIFE’S HARD. COMFORT’S NOT.

727-856-4822
Info@EasyBreezyAC.com
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How Your HVAC Plays A Role In Lingering Odors In Your Home

The biggest reason for the lingering odors in your home is your HVAC system. As it runs continuously in the background every day and night, the air filter and air ducts pick up the substances that cause odor and disperse it throughout your home. Studies show that individuals living in a household cannot detect odors that have become a staple smell in their dwelling. For example, a family that frequently cooks with olive oil will not notice the smell of lingering olive oil in their home over time, but those who don’t visit their home often will pick up on it.  

How to minimize the lingering odors in your home

  • When cooking food, it’s important to have proper ventilation and use the aerator above the stove. If something begins to burn, open windows and doors to help with ventilation.  
  • Pets are a large source of many odors; ones they carry in from outside and smells they produce on their own. Keeping pets regularly bathed and brushed will help reduce the odors. 
  • Avoid mildew smells by maintaining a stable temperature in your home even when you’re not there. A big mistake people make is turning the AC off when they go to work or leave their home. This can create an ideal circumstance for mold and mildew.  These fungi not only have a very distinct potent odor, but they can also pose a serious health risk too. 
  • Keep your sink drains well maintained and clear of any food after all meals. Gunk can build up easily inside the sink drain and cause foul odors in the home.  
  • Every one to two months, deep clean your carpets with hot water and carpet-safe shampoo to remove any allergens or odors trapped in the carpet.  
  • Keep the trash bin empty overnight. Take any food waste or organic material such as diapers, food scraps, or coffee grounds out to the main bin outside. Keeping them in the home for any period will produce odors.  
  • Clean your ceiling fans.   Wipe your fan blades down with an antibacterial cloth or cleaning agent every month. As an added bonus, this will help to minimize the dust in your home as well.   
  • Regularly clean your ovens, toasters, and microwaves along with your stove tops. These common appliances can easily become dirty and hold on to odors.  
  • Ensure you are using the right HVAC filters and replacing them on time. Using a high-quality HVAC filter will not only eliminate up to 50% of lingering odors in the home, but will also improve the overall smell and quality of air in the home.  
  • It is also advisable to get your AC duct work cleaned twice a year and sanitized. Doing this eliminates the odors and bacteria trapped inside and helps to reduce dust and dirt circulated through your home.

To schedule your next routine maintenance appointment, contact the professional, certified technicians at EasyBreezy A/C today!



Why Air Conditioning Systems Are One Of The Best Inventions Ever

Today, our air conditioning systems are generally a benefit we take for granted unless it breaks down or isn’t working properly.    Before air conditioning was invented, people had to find creative ways to stay comfortable throughout the day.   When we think of the best inventions ever made, most of them were created within the 20th century.    From advancements in technology to modern medicine, it is difficult to think of inventions that can be considered among the best ever that were not made in the 20th century.      One of the few inventions that has stood the test of time is modern-day air conditioning systems.

 

Here is why we believe AC is one of the best inventions ever:

 

One of the most common ways to stay comfortable indoors without the air conditioning turned on is to open the windows.  But keeping windows open only provides a mild increase in comfort, especially when living in warmer and more humid climates such as Florida.   Additionally, having the ability to keep the windows closed because you have a functioning air conditioning system also provides health benefits.

 

The health benefits of keeping windows closed include:

 

  • Decreased risk of contracting blood borne illnesses such as Malaria and Zika that are contracted as a result of mosquito bites
  • Decreased exposure to air borne illnesses and other air borne allergens and toxins that lead to illness.
  • Increased comfort also results in increased happiness. Both the increased comfort and increased happiness also encourage more productivity as the body uses less energy to keep comfortable.
  • Improved ability to fall asleep and stay asleep longer. Science has proven that people sleep better in cooler temperatures. Getting a quality night of sleep also increases our overall happiness and productivity.

Being able to rely on our air conditioning units to keep us comfortable instead of having to keep a window open also improves the overall safety of our home as it is more difficult to gain ungranted access into the home.

You may have thought about the many advancements technology provides, such as computers, smart phones, and access to the internet, and you recognize the way your life would be impacted without it; you probably can’t imagine what life would be like without modern air conditioning.    Without air conditioning, most of us would be expelling substantial energy just to stay comfortable and healthy.    When we take into consideration the improvements air conditioning has on our everyday lives, it is undoubtedly among the best inventions ever.

 

Keep Your Air Conditioning Systems Running Efficiently

 

To keep your air conditioning system performing at its maximum efficiency, contact EasyBreezy AC today to schedule an annual maintenance check up with one of our certified HVAC specialists. We are proud of the work we do to keep our clients’ homes healthy and comfortable!



Your Heating And AC Unit Might Be Making Your Home Dusty

Your house is brimming with plenty of duties: washing dishes, doing laundry, vacuum cleaning, on top of the never-ending job of dusting. Although each of these projects tend to be inescapable, a few may seem as though they must be done constantly. When you are having difficulties managing your dusty house, it is possible your heating and cooling unit is making the issue worse.

The good news is, for virtually any heating and cooling issue which could result in extra dust, we have an easy and productive answer to the problem.

Create a trap for the dust

If you are inspecting your HVAC machine to find signs to what is causing such a dusty environment, your current air filter is the place to begin. Air filters need to be examined monthly at a minimum in addition to being changed or wiped clean if they’re too dusty. If your house is unusually dusty or you have shedding pets, it is a good idea to switch your air filter more regularly.

Most of the particles you find in the old filter is dust that has been removed from the air flow in your home. Any time your current air filter gets obstructed, your HVAC machine cannot effectevly remove dust out of the air, so a greater portion of it remains inside your home.

Not every filter is the same, and you will probably find air filters with a higher MERV rating to be more effective. Investing in these better-quality air filters comes with a compromise; they will probably have a longer lifespan and will also pick up smaller particles that many lower rated filters will not, but are pricier and can be slightly less energy efficient.

Any time you’re replacing your HVAC filter, you also need to look to confirm that it fits snugly with a firm seal around every side. Space between the filter and your unit or inadequately sized filters enable dirt and dust particles to pass easily through the unit and into your living space.

Fix all air leaks

Leaking ducts are extremely common and are a more difficult issue that leads to unnecessary dust. Tiny spaces may form in the ductwork as a result of old age, deterioration, low quality, or substandard installation, and are often found in especially dirty sections of the attic and basement. Such cracks allow airborne dirt and dust to move past your home’s air filter, straight out the vents, and into your home.

Check a number of your home’s air vents closely and if you find an accumulation of dust built up on the fins or near the air vents, you might have leaky ducts.

If the structure and design of the house and your air conditioning unit will allow it, you could safely check a large amount of the ductwork yourself. Shut off all lighting and use a flashlight to check the ducts. This will make it easier for you to watch the movement of dirt and dust floating around, which will direct you to the area of a leak. A lot of modest leaks are able to be appropriately patched using duct tape if they are within your reach.

To complete more difficult checkups or servicing, think about hiring a licensed heating and cooling specialist with the necessary expertise. They are able to spot and fix leaks in areas you cannot access, and these areas are usually among the dirtiest pieces of the HVAC unit.

Try not to run dry

People located in more humid environments often get a break from issues with more excessive dust in their homes, while people who live in drier locations encounter many more challenges with dust. Airborne debris is able to move without restraint over moisture less air, allowing it to make its way substantially further within an air conditioning unit. Any time the environment is more humid, dirt and other debris settle more quickly, leaving greater opportunities for it to get caught by the filters.

This isn’t just an issue in less damp environments, but also throughout the more arid season of winter. And of course, if your HVAC unit has leaking ductwork attracting the drier wintry air out of the attic, you are likely forming particularly welcoming conditions for dust within your home.

Aside from properly sealing the ducts, the most effective defense from really dry air is using a good humidifier within the home. For those living in extremely arid climates, it is worth looking into a whole-home humidifier, which sometimes also assist in preserving furniture, floors, and trim made of wood.

Dusting effectively

All of these tips could help you minimize the volume of dust inside your home, nevertheless they will not totally relieve you of your dusting duties. That being said, when you take on the task again, use this secret to help: change the thermostat’s fan setting into the “on” position. As long as the filter is clear, it is going to capture the majority of the dust that gets pulled up. Just be sure you return it to the “auto” position once you are done.

If you have exhausted all of our how-to tips, or simply feel you need or would prefer an experienced AC technician to do the job for you, contact the skilled professionals at EasyBreezy A/C Services today!



Are You Overworking Your Furnace This Winter?

Florida winters are mild compared to the vast majority of the United States – but that doesn’t mean we don’t crank up the heat when the temperatures dip into the 40s and 50s (or for some, the 60s!). But have you stopped to check your thermostat settings before turning on the heat? If not, you could be overworking your furnace – and draining your wallet.

Understanding Your Thermostat Settings

Most people understand the basics of a thermostat – you adjust the temperature to have the ac or heat run at a desired level and the HVAC system kicks on and gets to work. Some even program their thermostat to maintain specific temperatures throughout the day.

There is something many individuals miss – the fan setting.

The fan runs with both the AC and the heat settings. It is the HVAC system’s blower, the device that circulates the hot/cold air through your home. There are two settings at which the fan can or will run:

  • ON: Whether or not your HVAC system is heating (or cooling) the air, this setting leaves the blower on 24/7. Which means the blower is constantly working to circulate the air through your home.
  • AUTO: This setting tells the blower to only circulate the air when the AC or furnance is actively working to cool/warm the air.

The Problem With ON

If your fan setting is turned to ON, then your blower is working non-stop. Which means it is using energy all day long – something that will not only drive your bill up but will put extra wear and tear on your HVAC system. In addition, having your thermostat fan setting to ON is a bit of a waste in general – according to Energy Star, at least 20% (but up to 30%) of a home’s air is lost through leaks in the duct work.

This loss in air can result in your HVAC system not registering the home warm or cool enough according to the temperature set on the thermostat and kick on another warming/cooling cycle sooner than it should be. Further increasing the energy consumed by your HVAC unit and your energy usage.

AUTO helps to minimize wear and tear while still occasionally circulating the air when needed. With minimal air loss throughout the day, your HVAC system won’t be working nearly as hard while till managing to keep your home at a comfortable temperature.

Extra Tip

For individuals with allergies, pets in the home, or those trying to improve their indoor air quality through increased air circulation, check your thermostat for a fan setting for “CIRCULATE”. Not all thermostats have it but if yours does, it enables you to run your blower for a short one-time cycle or intermittently for a period of time to cycle the air through your HVAC system; cleaning it through the air filter. It helps to circulate the air more often than AUTO but not as constantly as it does when set to ON.



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.



Dirty Sock Syndrome Part 1

Upon entering your home, the first thing you noticed is the stinky odor. It is not the garbage, neither the piled-up laundry of your little munchkins. What could be the culprit then?

Your air conditioning.

Your house might be suffering from dirty sock syndrome.

The average American spends almost 93 percent of their life indoors, which makes indoor air quality an immediate issue. Dirty sock syndrome attacks most homes, and you need to pay strict attention to it.

In this two-part article series, we will discuss what dirty sock syndrome actually is, what causes it, and how to solve it efficiently.

You can jump to part two here.

What Is Dirty Sock Syndrome?

Dirty sock syndrome is a stale, foul-smelling odor that is often produced from an air conditioner with a dirty coil. This coil is the heat pump coil in the blower or air handler of your AC. Apart from a very dirty coil, there are also little microbial organisms present that feed on the dust, dirt, and other things that’s accumulated on it. This is why your home is dealing with a terrible smell.
The smell travels as your AC pushes air around the home, making all rooms have a disgusting odor. Some homeowners mistake dirty sock syndrome as a mold problem because of its mold-like smell. This can cause for a serious concern since mold leads to headaches and other health issues.

What Causes Dirty Sock Syndrome?

Bacteria and fungus growing on the evaporator coil.
Constant use of your air conditioning can cause moisture formation on the evaporator coils. Dust will then be collected inside the system and fasten itself to the coils.
Once attached, the dust and moisture can grow bacteria. The cold and hot temperatures used by the air conditioning makes it an excellent place for the bacteria to flourish.
The bacteria and fungus growth will lead your AC system to slow rot from within. It is because of the decomposition that you smell a stinky odor when the unit is on.

Is Dirty Sock Syndrome Dangerous?

No doubt, dirty sock syndrome smells horrible and is a real annoyance. But fortunately, it is not usually considered devastating or life-threatening since the mildew and bacteria are not extremely hazardous to the health but could irritate asthma or other respiratory conditions.
Though at some point, dirty sock syndrome can pose health risks if mold occurs in the air conditioning unit and starts to develop. It can cause sneezing and coughing and those with severe allergies, asthma, or have respiratory problems will likely the suffer most.
You may also experience eye irritation and difficulty breathing if mold grows within your system. The strong smell from the AC unit can make you feel sick too. Long exposure to mold also carries long-term health risks as it emits microbial volatile organic compounds – gasses which generate the odor that associated with mold.

If you have Dirty Sock Syndrome or mold has grown inside your AC, you need have a professional  conduct an immediate, thorough inspection and cleaning of the HVAC system.

See Dirty Sock Syndrome Part 2 for solutions and tips for prevention.



Why Does My AC Smell?

Common Air Conditioning Odors And Their Causes

Air conditioning falls under the category of basic necessities (like food, shelter, and water do) given how important it is in a home in the present era. However, unlike most other necessities, air conditioners require maintenance and if not kept up with. Luckily, air conditioning systems typically give off warning signs when something is not right – poor air flow, warm air instead of cold, buzzing or other odd noises, and smells.

The following are some of the common smells that you might experience when something is wrong with your air conditioner, along with the likely culprit.

Smell musty or smell like mildew

This is a result of excessive humidity in your AC system along with the presence of mold or mildew in the ducts, clogged drain lines, or stagnant water in the drip pan. To solve the problem of this particular smell, you usually do not need help from expert. Check where the drip pan or wherever the AC releases the moisture pulled from the air for standing water or poor drainage. Also check the drain pipe – if it is dry, then there is likely a clog somewhere. Be sure to change all of the intake filters and continue to do so regularly. If your home is prone to humidity, install a humidifier in one of the main rooms to help pull moisture from the air and lighten the burden placed on your air conditioning system. If the smell persists, then your duct work may need a thorough cleaning. If you have never done this before, it is recommended to give us a call to ensure that no damage befalls your duct work or system.

Smell like dirty socks

Dirty Sock Syndrome is an actual “illness” that can affect your air conditioning system. The dirty socks smell (or gym bag, work boot, 3 day pile of wet laundry smell) is usually a product of mildew somewhere in your system. It could be in the duct work or around the evaporator coil.  Like the above smell, it is typically the cause of high humidity in the home or clogged drain pipes only stage of mildew is long past changing filters to resolve the issue. This will require an in-depth cleaning of your system.

Cigarettes

You guessed it – this smell is caused by of the presence of tobacco smoke residue in your AC system. Even if the smoker uses a designated room or part of the house for their smoking habit, the smoke can and will inhibit the air conditioning system and be filtered to the rest of the home. Change the filters more often and encourage the smoker to some only outdoors. At a minimum, better ventilate the areas where smoking is occurring by opening a window and using a fan to help circulate the air.

Acetone

The scent of acetone, or nail polish remover, is an indication that you have a refrigerant leak in your system. A refrigerant leak can not only be disastrous for the efficiency of the system, but also your health. It poses serious health hazards so if you smell this odor in your air conditioning system then turn off the system immediately and get help from an expert.

Rotten Eggs

This will only be a concern for residents or commercial offices who have gas-drive AC units. The smell of rotten eggs is a common description used when there is a gas leak. If you smell this in your house and you’re sure that it is coming from the air conditioning system, then immediately call a professional for help. Also, open the windows and turn off the appliances to avoid any spark that can result in an explosion, then wait outside for assistance to arrive.

Burning Smell

In Florida, this smell is typically not a concern. You may experience a burning smell after turning on your systems heater after it is dormant for the majority of the year. When you don’t use your heater for a long period of time dust can settle on the heating coils. When you do start using it the dust gets burned off, resulting in a burning smell. The smell will eventually dissipate and fade away.
However, if you have been running your heater for the last 24 hours and the smell has already dissipated, or you never experienced it and you now are, then the smell could be an indication of overuse. When parts are dormant and do not receive regular maintenance, they can wear out from lack of use (just like a tool in your garage that never gets used may rust). It can also be a sign of a bad or malfunctioning compressor. If you smell burning several hours after the heater is in use, then turn off your unit and contact us to evaluate your system.

Smell like Rotting Carcass

Sounds gross and the smell itself can be really disturbing and you can’t help but notice it. As the name shows, this smell is due to a bird, mouse, squirrel, or other creature dying after getting caught somewhere in your system. So, if there is a rancid, rotting smell and no other indication to its cause, you should turn off your air conditioner and contact an AC repairman. A decomposing body of a small mammal can be very harmful to your health and you don’t want your AC system to circulate it through your home.

In all cases, you can avoid, reduce, and prevent smells with routine maintenance and a whole home indoor air quality product.



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