How Viruses Spread and Why Air Purifiers Can Help

What Air Filtration Systems Can Do To Reduce Virus Particles

Most viruses spread via person-to-person contact, and most often through the air (coughs, sneezes, etc.), according to the CDC. Water vapor attached to the virus particles are carried in small droplets that move in a fine mist. The main symptom of most respiratory viruses is coughing, which just further adds to the chances that the air could be contaminated with virus particles.

One of the main reliable ways to remove these virus particles from the air is to circulate all of the air in a room or enclosed space, and to do this multiple times per hour. This increases the likelihood that a filter can catch the virus particles and remove them from the total volume of the air.

Air Filtration Is Just One Part of Prevention

Air purifiers aren’t the only preventive measure you can take to lower the chances of catching a virus. Keeping distance from someone thought to have a virus is necessary to lower the chances of breathing in virus particles. Also, keeping your hands clean and surfaces clean is an important part of keeping yourself safe from catching a virus. Taking one, or more of these preventive measures can drastically decrease your chances of catching an airborne virus.

Official Preventative Guidelines Given By The CDC

According to the CDC, here are the top seven ways to protect yourself from viruses every day:

  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after going to the bathroom; before eating; and after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing.
  • If soap and water are not readily available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol.
  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.
  • Stay home when you are sick.
  • Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces using a regular household cleaning spray or wipe.

If you are interested in installing an Air Purifier in your home, please contact us on our website or give us a call.

The Difference Between Regular and Emergency Furnace Repair

Furnaces typically work without any issues, especially if they are less than 3 years old.  Regular maintenance decreases the likeliness of running into a trouble with your furnace as well.  However, there may be times where a furnace just isn’t working right, so it is important to understand the difference between a regular furnace repair need and an emergency repair need.

If you live in the Tri-state, you understand what kind of emergencies can occur in the dead of winter.  There are instances in which you may be in need of emergency furnace repair or system replacement.  With some general investigation, you should be able to determine whether your furnace only needs some minor attention, or if it will take a licensed expert to solve the problem.

How To Know If You Should Call In A Professional

1. The Problem Seems to be With the Electrical Components

Electrical components play a vital role in how your entire home functions.  You are reliant on the electrical system in your home to provide power you need to continuously run your heating or cooling systems.

If your lights flicker when your system is running, it may be a good indicator that it is time to call a professional to come diagnose your unit.  A solid understanding of even the basics of your electrical system can provide you with the knowledge you need to spot potential hazards, but you should still consult a professional.

View the video below if you’d like to see some basic information about every home’s electrical system and also basic electrical system safety.

ESFI.org – Electrical Safety Foundation International, Home Electrical Safety, via Youtube

If you are uncertain about exactly what is the problem with the electrical system, do not try and repair the system yourself.  Electrical systems can be dangerous to tamper without the proper knowledge and training.

2. The Furnace System is Making Loud or/and Unusual Noises

Even when a furnace appears to be running without any issues, they can start making loud or unusual noises, seemingly out of the blue.  If you are certain the noise is coming through the ductwork, you may need to insulate your ductwork in order to bring down the noise.  If the furnace itself is to blame for the noise, it could be one of several things:

  • Pilot light is improperly adjusted
  • The blower motor lubrication ports need oiling

Sometimes, the nature of the noise can hint at what the underlying problem is.

a. Popping/Pinging Noise: This could perhaps be due to thermal expansion.  That is, the ductwork is expanding or contracting due to the change in temperature.

b. Squealing Noise: Perhaps a belt that connects the fan to the motor is slipping or may need replacement.

c. Rattling Noise: There may be loose panels that should be tightened.

d. Grinding Noise: Possibly motor bearings in need of repair.  Definitely call a service professional if this is happening to you.

3. The HVAC System is Repeatedly Turning Itself Off and On

If your issue with your furnace seems to be that it continuously turns itself off and then on, you may have a worn out air filter.  Try remember when the last time you had your air filters replaced, as that could hint at whether it actually is an air filter or not.

If the filter is new and the problem is still occurring, it may mean that your system has a more serious underlying issue.  It is recommended to call a service professional at this point, as continued use without addressing the issue could stress the compressor and lead to a mechanical failure.

 

The Benefits of Managing Your Home’s Air Quality

how is the air quality in your home

Would you say that you take your home’s air quality seriously enough?  With so much on your plate it’s easy to neglect or flat out forget to take care of your home’s air quality.  Traces of particle allergens, chemical pollutants, mold, harmful bacteria, carbon monoxide and carbon dioxide can be lingering in your home.  It’s actually not very difficult to take the proper steps to ensure that the air quality in your home is both clean and safe for you and your family.  We’ll show you the downside of not monitoring your home’s air quality and the benefits of being proactive with your air quality.  We’ll also show you what you can do in order to make sure the air in your home is as comfortable, healthy, and safe as it it can be.

Poor Air Quality Increases Your Chance of Allergies

A major source of what causes allergies stems from dust and pollen in the air.  Studies show that the effects of dust and pollen are even more prominent in children.  It’s especially important that children four and under breathe clean air.  They have the highest chance of developing asthma because of harmful air pollutants.

Poor Air Quality Can Increase the Chance of Spreading Poisonous Mold in Your Home

If mold is found in the air, it can cause serious illness and even fatalities in some cases.  If ignored, the problem only gets worse and continue to spread.  Being proactive in monitoring and managing your home’s air quality helps to reduce the chances of mold repopulating.

Poor Air Quality Can Cause Expensive Problems

Issues due to poor air quality can become costly over time.  Excess pollen and dust means your HVAC system filters tend to need to be replaced more often.  In some instances, clogged filters made worse by poor air quality can force your HVAC system to overwork because of the dust, which can mean that its lifespan is reduced drastically.

A Solution…?

You may be wondering what you can do to monitor and prevent any of these problem from occurring due to lackluster air quality.  The first step is to get an air quality test.  We recommend an AirAdvice Indoor Air Quality Home Test.  These tests check for and detail any problems your home might have with humidity, heating/cooling, carbon dioxide levels, carbon monoxide, etc.  They only take around 30 minutes and are well worth the price, which is typically very reasonable (~$199).  The report you receive from the test will detail the health, comfort, and safety levels in your home, and provide solutions to improve your environment.  You can always contact us to get tested – Our number is (812) 858-4000 or schedule an appointment here.

 

The Single Piece of Equipment that Saves You Thousands

Do you know what a surge protector is? No, not the outlet strips that get tangled behind the television! Those are designed to manage small variations in voltage that your many household electrical items may require.

What we’re talking about are surge protectors that are more robust! Our devices affix to your HVAC unit to make sure that, if lightning strikes or there’s a sudden electrical event in your home, your unit will be protected from being damaged or destroyed. They’re important to have, because the small price you pay to protect your unit could save you thousands of dollars in repair or replacement costs.

We’re often asked: “If you’re at risk for lightning striking, wouldn’t you want your entire home protected?” If this is a major concern for your home, it may be worth the investment to have a whole-house surge protector installed. These, however, are incredibly expensive and not a viable option for many of us.

The surge protectors we offer are simple to install and affordable. They’re a simple way to protect one of the most vital components of your home.

The only catch? Once these surge protectors have done their job and successfully absorbed the electric shock headed towards your unit, they have to be replaced. That’s why recommend getting yours checked for replacement at your maintenance visits. Yours may have already protected you without you even knowing it!

Make the smart move and take advantage of our June offer! This month only, you can get $10 off up to three units. Stock up!

Have more questions about the products or services we offer? Go ahead and give us a call so that we can help you today!

Can Dirty Air Filters Cause A House Fire?

The simple answer? Yes.

It’s one of the main reasons that we constantly remind our customers to change their air filters. Dirty air filters not only negatively impact your home’s air quality, but they also inhibit your system’s ability to perform. If you’ve allowed your air filters to get severely clogged, you could be blocking air flow completely. This will result in your furnace working too hard—yes, even in the spring and summer months, your furnace works hard to keep your air cool—and can eventually cause system failure.

Even worse than system failure—which could cost you thousands in either repair or replacement costs—is an overheated motor. An overheated motor can start a domino effect of bad reactions. Does your furnace have faulty wiring? If so, the overheated motor (or a rise in voltage) could spark a fire. Are there flammable objects around your furnace? Those could also catch fire. Trust us—there are lots of opportunities for things to go terribly wrong, but that’s what our experts look out for on our regular maintenance visits.

Another way a fire could start? When your furnace is working hard to pull air through, the dirty air filter could eventually get sucked back into the system. When this happens, air flow is compromised and you’re at serious risk of a fire starting at the furnace level. And, bad news, the smoke from the fire will travel through your ventilation system quite easily.

We don’t mean to scare you. We only mean to remind you that your home is running on a sophisticated system, and that system needs to be maintained regularly. The cheapest and easiest way you can do that is to keep those air filters clean!

If you’d like a thorough inspection of your home’s unit, don’t hesitate to give us a call. We’re ready to send one of our technicians to your house today!

Carbon Monoxide Poisioning Prevention and Safety

The awareness of carbon monoxide (CO) causes and hazards is slowly growing, but the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) estimate 430 people in the U.S. die each year from accidental poisoning. The worst part is that this tragedy is totally preventable, as long as you know what to look out for. In this post, we’re going to cover exactly what CO is, the symptoms of CO2 poisoning to look out for, and what you can do to prevent it from happening in your home.

What is Carbon Monoxide?

Carbon monoxide, or CO, is an odorless, colorless and toxic gas. It’s created in small quantities in the natural world, but most commonly, it’s created when there isn’t enough oxygen to form carbon dioxide (CO2), like when fuel isn’t completely burned. Incomplete fuel burning usually happens when operating a stove or appliances that rely on internal combustion, like a generator, a car’s engine, or a furnace, in an enclosed area.

While the hazards of heat sources, like potential fire and burns are well-known, the hazards of CO are less well-known. People who are unaware of CO’s dangers may use appliances that produce fumes in an enclosed space, which can cause poisoning. These people are not necessarily negligent with their use of application, and many are related to usages necessitated by natural disaster. According to the CDC, outages due to weather cause an increase in generator use, which when used incorrectly, can lead to poisoning. After Hurricane Katrina, an estimated 47 deaths occurred due to improper generator use.

What does CO poisoning look like?

Indoor pollution is a huge cause of CO poisoning, and if you suspect someone has been poisoned, there are some symptoms to watch out for:

  • headache
  • weakness
  • dizziness
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Shortness of breath
  • Confusion
  • Blurred vision
  • Loss of consciousness

These symptoms can be especially dangerous if someone is sleeping or intoxicated, because they can appear to be related to those two conditions, rather than CO. If the development of these symptoms is sudden and seemingly unrelated to something else, seek fresh air and help immediately.

How can I prevent CO poisoning?

First, if you suspect someone has been poisoned, call 911 and the American Association of Poison Control Centers at 1 (800) 222-1222.

One of the first steps to preventing CO poisoning is to be aware of this condition, and know what to look for should you suspect it’s occurrence. Luckily, prevention of CO buildup is easy and completely within your control. CO detectors function like your smoke detectors, and will alert you to the presence of toxic levels of CO in your home. Make sure to regularly test your CO detectors. If you’re installing them, place one near each sleeping area, and at least one on each level of your home. Connect them all, so if one detector goes off, they will all go off, and each member of your family will be alerted to the presence of CO.

Although CO detectors are widely available at many retail stores, BNG recommends the Kidde CO detector, which detects CO and warns you at a much lower CO level than discount store models. It also has a digital read-out so you can see what the level is and what the highest recorded level has been, even if it is within “Safe” limits. This robust unit uses AC power and has a ten-year life on the backup battery and a 10 year warranty. At just $99 (or less than $10 per year) it provides great peace-of-mind that you won’t be unaware if dangerous CO is present in your home.

If your CO detectors go off, get outdoors or to an area where you can access fresh air, like a door or window. Once you’re sure each member of your family is present, call for help. Stay near the fresh air area.

If you must use a generator, heater, grill, lantern, or fireplace, use it only in a well-ventilated area. Never use a grill or generator indoors.

During snowy weather, make sure your dryer, furnace, stove and fireplace vents are clear of snow, which can trap smoke and fumes.

Get your furnace checked annually by a technician trained to spot areas of leakage or combustion chamber corrosion! Many people forget the fact that their furnace creates heat through a combustion chamber. Over time, the chamber can corrode, and the exhaust flue, which moves CO outside of the home, can leak or have holes. A trained HVAC technician, like those at BNG, can spot these potential hazards and make repairs to prevent the spread of CO into your home. The best solution here is prevention, so schedule your furnace maintenance annually, and ideally, before we get into heavy-use furnace season.

For more information on CO safety, you can visit the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission’s website. For annual furnace inspection and maintenance, you can call BNG at 812.858.4000 to schedule an appointment.

Cold Weather Safety

Brrrr! Cold and wind in Boonville, Newburgh, Rockport, and Evansville this winter will cause all of us to feel the pinch in our wallets as it will cost more to keep our homes and businesses warm. Certainly all the energy-saving tips you have learned over the years are still valid: turn your thermostat down when you are away from home, insulate your walls and attic, seal up all the cracks in your windows and doors, change out your older inefficient furnace for a new more energy-efficient one, and of course, wear warm clothes and blankets!

But while you are trying to stay warm, don’t neglect safety! Make sure that your heating system has been professionally cleaned and tuned-up so that it is running at its best. Regular maintenance by a professional heating & air conditioning technician can prevent breakdowns at inconvenient times–like weekends, the middle of the night, and on the coldest and windiest days of the winter! You sure don’t want to be without heat when those cold winds are blowing! Maintenance of your heating system is money well-spent, because your technician can spot issues that can affect your family’s safety, too, such as the potential for Carbon Monoxide production from a poorly-maintained or defective furnace.

Make sure Kidde CO detectoryou have a working Carbon Monoxide detector on every level of your home, especially in sleeping areas. The ones sold in the big box stores give you some very basic protection, but the higher quality models, such as the Kidde model sold by BNG Heating & Cooling, gives you a digital readout of the Carbon Monoxide level in your home, and detects it at a much lower concentration than the basic models. This means your family is better protected from this dangerous,  odorless gas.

BNG also provides and installs smoke detectors that fit INSIDE the ductwork of your heating system, detecting smoke at very low levels and shutting down your HVAC system to keep the deadly smoke from spreading throughout your home. Ask your technician about it!