Friday, July 19, 2019

5 Ways in Which Air Conditioning Is Beneficial for Health

People often think of air conditioning as a comfort or even a luxury and not a necessity. However, there are times and situations in which an air conditioner is not a frivolous expense but a necessary one. If you live in an area where you experience extreme heat, air conditioning becomes a necessity, just like heating is a necessity in places which are cold. There are certain days every year when heat warnings are issued, even in places which are not usually that hot. So on these days at least, it's best to stay in an air conditioned environment. Here are 5 ways in which air conditioning is beneficial for health:

1. Prevents Dehydration: This is probably the most important way in which air conditioning can benefit you. It's easy to get dehydrated in the summer, even if you aren't doing anything very strenuous. Simple activities like cleaning and cooking can lead you into sweating more and becoming dehydrated.

2. Prevents You from Getting Summer Colds: Wandering around in the sun, sweating, and being exposed to the elements can lead to summer colds. Staying in an environment with a controlled temperature can actually help keep you healthy.

3. Prevents Heatstroke: Heatstroke is a real concern when temperatures are high. It's caused by an excess of heat or doing something strenuous, like working out in the heat. If left untreated, heatstroke can cause serious damage to your organs and even be fatal. If you are thinking of doing something strenuous, it’s better to do it in a climate-controlled space.

4. Prevents Allergies: The air you breathe in with air conditioning is not just cooler, it's also cleaner, with less dust and other. If you are allergic to something in your environment, you can prevent an onset of sneezing by being in air conditioning.

5. Prevents Stress: Even if you're not terribly dehydrated or sneezing all over the place, an excess of heat still places quite a bit of stress on your body and, as a result, your mind. You can reduce the extent of your stress and increase your work productivity by being in an air conditioned environment.

Are you interested in installing a new air conditioning unit or maintaining or repairing the one you have, contact us today.

Thursday, June 20, 2019

Prevention Is Better Than Cure: Get an Air Conditioning Tune-up

Have you ever heard the saying, "Prevention is better than cure?" It's true of human beings and our health, but it's also true of air conditioning! When it comes to human beings, you'll find that exercising regularly and eating well lead into maintaining health and preventing illness. Similarly, when it comes to air conditioning, getting your unit serviced or getting a tuneup can help to prevent it from breaking down in the future and needing repair. Here are some of the benefits of getting a tune-up:

It Keeps Your AC Running Smoothly

Do you find that you have to keep turning the temperature lower and lower in order to keep your AC running the way it should? Or do you find that it works well at some times and not at others? Maybe it's emitting strange noises. A tune-up should take care of any inconsistencies in the way your AC is running. Just as an annual checkup with the doctor helps a human being in taking care of their health, an air conditioning tune-up helps an AC to stay in the best condition possible.

It Prevents It from Breaking Down

If your AC is not working perfectly but you keep ignoring the problem, it's going to break down sooner or later and stop working altogether. And when this happens, it means that you're going to have to spend some time without an AC because AC repair is not immediate. In order to prevent this, you can get an air conditioning tune-up. It's not a guarantee against your AC breaking down, but it does reduce the chances of that happening.

It Lowers Your Energy Bill

When your air conditioner isn't working perfectly, it's going to suck in more energy. You may not think that the difference is going to be much, but it all adds up in the long run. So, if you want to keep your energy bill low, it's better for all your appliances and your air conditioning unit to be in good condition.

The experts at Blackie’s Heating & Cooling can help provide you with the tune-up your home needs. Get in touch with our team today by requesting service through our website or giving us a call at (217) 442-1440.

Thursday, May 16, 2019

5 Things That Your Air Conditioning Contractor Should Never Do

When deciding who to choose for your air conditioning contractor, there are certain characteristics and behaviors to look out for. Good air conditioning contractors typically have positive reviews and recommendations, an easily navigable website, punctuality, professionalism, and reasonable rates. It's important as a consumer to understand what types of things a reputable air conditioning company would never do, so we’ve listed a few of them below:

  • Take All the Money Up Front: When it comes to tune-ups and repairs, an air conditioning contractor will typically finish the work first and then bill you for it. When it comes to AC installation, they may ask for some money first, as they will have to make large purchases. But a good AC contractor will typically not ask upfront for all the money.
  • Show Up Two Hours Late: Punctuality is the sign of any good contractor. So, even if someone comes highly recommended to you, don't trust them if they can't show up at the time they say they will.
  • Return a Repaired AC Which Breaks Down Two Days Later: If a contractor takes away a window unit and brings it back, saying that it is repaired, only to have it break down after a couple of days, this is not a sign of reliability.
  • Advise You to Go for Outdated AC Systems: If you've been looking at AC systems and want to get something new but your AC contractor is telling you to get something outdated, either because it's cheap or because they are more familiar with that system, don't listen to them. Speak to some other contractors and get their opinion too.
  • Advise You to Replace a Newly-Installed System: Why would an AC contractor ask you to replace something that you just got a year or two before? It just indicates that they are out to get money from you. Go with someone who gives you reasonable, logical advice instead.

If you're interested in learning about our team's experience and getting an estimate for any of your HVAC needs, contact our team today!

Monday, April 15, 2019

Helpful Tips for Preparing your HVAC System for Spring

When the warm weather hits, issues with your HVAC system will be the last thing you’ll want to worry about. A properly functioning air conditioning system is essential for spring and summer comfort. Consider these four tips to help you prepare your HVAC system for spring.

Air Filter

When was the last time you gave any thought to your air filter? If you haven’t replaced your air filter in a while, now is the time to think about it. By purchasing a new air filter and replacing your current one, your air quality and efficiency will be improved. Also, be sure to have your air filter checked every thirty days during the warm weather months and replace it when needed.

Ductwork 

To ensure proper duct performance for distributing conditioned air in a home or building, have an air conditioning repair or installation contractor test your ductwork for leaks this spring. Having leaks in your ductwork repaired will increase your system’s efficiency and help your HVAC system cool your home more effectively.

Consider an Upgrade

An air conditioner has a typical lifespan of around 10 to 15 years. Therefore, if your air conditioner is acting up, and it is over 15-years-old, then it might be better to upgrade and replace it. Spring is a great time to have a new air conditioning system installed. If your system is old, having it replaced by a new, efficient system will save you money and reduce your cooling bill.

A Programmable Thermostat 

Are you trying to find the best way to save energy? If you do not have a programmable thermostat, have one installed sooner rather than later. You will enjoy better control of the temperature in your home and will lower your energy bills as well.

For example, if you go to work all day, during that time, you can raise the temperature in your home. This way, you can avoid wasting energy dollars cooling a vacant home. Then, you can program the thermostat to kick on at a lower temperature about a half hour before you are scheduled to get home. Therefore, you won’t miss a minute of optimal comfort!

For more information, or to schedule an air conditioning service or repair, please contact us here at Blackie's Heating and Air Conditioning.

Wednesday, March 13, 2019

4 Ways to Improve Your Indoor Air Quality

Most people think of the outdoors when they think of air pollution. However, the air inside your house can be up to five times more polluted than outdoor air. Children, elderly people, and those with asthma are especially affected by indoor pollutants. Here are four ways you can improve your indoor air quality.

Replace Air Filters

Keeping your furnace's air filters clean is one of the best ways to improve the air quality in your home. Dust, debris, and dirt will build up in your heating and cooling system over time. How often your furnace's filters need changing depends on what type of filter you use. Follow the recommendation of the manufacturer. Not only will changing your air filters improve your air quality, it will also boost your HVAC system's performance.

Adjust Your Home's Humidity

Dust mites and mold thrive in a humid environment. Make sure that you repair any water leaks as quickly as possible. When you shower, run your bathroom exhaust fan to reduce humidity. Have your heating and cooling system inspected to ensure that it's keeping your humidity at an optimal level. Consider having a whole-home dehumidifier installed.

Keep Your Home Clean

Dirt and dust collect on your floor. Vacuum your home at least once per week. Use a vacuum cleaner with rotating brushes and strong suction power. Make sure it has a high-efficiency particulate air (HEPA) filter, which will pick up allergens. If any dust is left after vacuuming, mop your floors. Use a microfiber dust mop, which will pick up more dust and dirt particles.

Use bedding that's machine-washable, and wash it weekly to reduce allergens. Minimize the amount of dirt that's tracked into your home from outdoors. Place a mat at each door, and consider asking guests to take off their shoes when they come inside.

Avoid Smoking While Indoors

A number of health problems are caused by exposure to secondhand smoke. If you or your guests are going to smoke, do so outside to keep your indoor air clean.

For more information, or to schedule heating service, please contact us today.

Tuesday, February 19, 2019

Is a Gas or Electric Furnace Better?

If you are in the market for a new furnace, you not only want a new model that is within your price range, but you also want the best model. However, another factor that you need to consider is whether you want it to be gas or electric, as the fuel source can play a crucial role.

For houses with overly difficult gas hook-ups or no gas hook-ups at all, sometimes electric may be the only option available. However, electric furnaces come with some distinct benefits. Typically they require less of a financial investment when you purchase them and last slightly longer. Unfortunately, they will be more expensive to operate. You also get the benefit of having no risk of carbon monoxide poisoning.

Alternatively, gas furnaces run more efficiently, so while they are more expensive to purchase, they cost less to run overall. Gas furnaces will heat up the home faster and reach a higher temperature. However, they have a lower life span and can potentially run a small risk of carbon monoxide poisoning.

In most cases, you may want to choose electric if it doesn't get very cold in your area. For areas that experience extreme cold temperatures, it may be best to select a gas furnace due to its efficiency and how optimal of a fuel source it is for heating.

While there seems to be minimal advantages and disadvantages between these two furnace fuel sources, they do make a big difference. If you are still having doubts on which furnace to pick, you may want to look at other important factors such as cost. Furthermore, you will also want to make sure the furnace of your choice is actually an appropriate size for your home. In terms of furnaces, bigger is not better. In actuality, bigger is significantly less energy efficient no matter what fuel source it runs on.

If you have any questions about which type of furnace is right for you, contact us today. Our team of professionals will be able to advise you on the right decision given your home’s characteristics, budget, and any other needs.

Tuesday, January 22, 2019

Five Questions to Ask a Heating Contractor

It’s only a matter of time that your HVAC unit runs into problems. Whether it’s a minor problem like a dirty air filter that’s easily and quickly fixed, or something major like the pilot light failing to ignite or a gas leak, you will need to seek out a heating contractor to perform the necessary repairs or replacement.

Not Always a "Quick Fix"

When repairing or replacing a heating unit, there are many pieces to examine and time is needed to ensure the entire unit is ready to operate successfully. Even the smallest mistake can result in a lack of heat, or worst case scenario, the carbon monoxide poisoning.

Ask the Important Questions

In order to avoid these problems, you want to ask your heating contractor some important questions to help determine if they are a good fit for you. Here are five questions to start out with:

1. How do they handle estimates?

The contractor should provide a written and certified estimate ahead of any work that displays the breakdown of costs between parts and labor. In addition, it should contain an approximate time of completion. If there are any changes in cost or timeframe, you must approve them before the contractor can move forward.

2. Who supplies their parts?

An HVAC unit is not a vehicle. In other words, you can't go with a certified used heating unit or parts. You must know who their suppliers are or what manufacturers they're connected with. Don't go with unfamiliar names because it saves a few dollars.

3. What type of warranty to they provide?

If the contractor is replacing certain parts, then they must provide a warranty on them. This should be somewhere between one year and the part's lifetime. If it's a new heating unit, then you need to know how long the manufacturer's warranty is and if it covers both parts and labor.

4. Do they install Carbon Monoxide detectors?

State and federal regulations require carbon monoxide detectors be installed on all floors of a home when utilizing a gas heater. Your heating contractor should provide these as part of the installation package. In addition, they should be warrantied in case they begin to fail.

5. Are you allowed to speak to previous clients?

If the heating contractor says they don't want you speaking with them, then it's time to say goodbye and look elsewhere. While you can find online reviews, some of them are from customers who are disgruntled for something other than the service or price. It’s most valuable to speak with people the contractor has directly dealt with.

Take these actions first to ensure you heating repairs are done right the first time. If you have any questions, we encourage you to contact us today.