Category Archives: Tips for your Home

5 Easy Tips for Reducing Seasonal Allergies in your Home

indoor air quality

AH-CHOOOOOO!!! It’s that time of the year once again. Spring will soon be in full swing. Do you find yourself sneezing, coughing, and having an itchy, runny nose? Other than rushing to your nearest convenient store for temporary relief, you can follow these 5 easy tips for reducing those pesky seasonal allergies.

  1. Cleaning out your air ducts is one of the most important things that you can do as a home owner to reduce in home allegies and improve air quality. When the weather begin to get warmer, turning on you A/C system is the first thing  that comes to mind. Although, throughout the year, dust, dander and pollen can accumulate to high amounts! Schedule a duct cleaning before turning it on to avoid the spread of irritants in your home!
  2. After a successful duct cleaning, you can further improve air quality by replacing the filters located in your return air duct. We recommend you change your filter every 4 to 6 weeks to introduce clean air into the home as it cycles through the system.
  3. Pollen is the number 1 culprit when it comes to seasonal allergies. The crisp air may feel refreshing, but believe it or not, closing the doors and windows can dramatically reduce the amount of pollen in your home. Washing the curtains and dusting the blinds go hand and hand in this method. Doing this step will make sure no pollen is left behind!
  4. Did you know that humidity can play a major roll in the batltle against seasonal allergies? Proper humidity levels will allow the air to become dry enough to eliminate the spores that reside in damp conditions.
  5. If you find yourself still congested and sneezey by the end of those steps, there is one last step you can take to eliminate in-home pollen once and for all. Go and purchase an Air Purifier with a HEPA filter. These filters are made to reduce any air pollution left in the home.

If followed correctly, these steps will help you be able to achieve a clean, fresh and happy home without congestion and the added headaches. DO NOT forget to schedule an annual duct cleaning and Air Conditioning Maintenance BEFORE turning on your A/C System.

Energy Saving Tips

Chilled beams can offer facility managers energy-efficient alternatives to standard air conditioning systems in retrofits, renovations or new construction.

First developed in Norway in 1975, the technology has been used successfully throughout commercial applications in Europe for at least 20 years, according to ASHRAE. But chilled beams are just starting to see more use in the United States as an alternative to conventional systems.

Chilled beams are hydronic HVAC components that circulate chilled or heated water. Such systems use pumps to move water instead of using fans to move air and they run more quietly than conventional cooling systems, according to the U.S. General Services Administration (GSA).

There are two types of chilled beams: passive and active – each of which has a cooling coil, notes ASHRAE. The passive chilled beam consists of a casing with a cooling coil inside where the chilled water circulates throughout the coil. Warm air in the room rises, passing through the cooling coil. The cooled air, which is less buoyant than the warm air, flows down, resulting in a gentle circulation of the air.

In the active system, rather than using warm air from the room, air from the building’s air handling system introduces warm air into the beam. Chilled beams are either located in the ceiling or exposed just below the ceiling. There are also some in-floor active chilled beams.

ASHRAE claims there is up to a 30% reduction in energy use when chilled beams are used. Chilled beams save space by eliminating the need for ductwork. Such systems have a simple mechanical design so not much mechanical room space is needed.

In most chilled beams systems a one-inch diameter water pipe is able to handle as much cooling energy as an 18-inch air duct on conventional systems. Because chilled beams don’t need most of the components (i.e., filters, moving parts, air-handling units, etc.) that conventional cooling systems need, maintenance costs are purportedly less.

Additionally, chilled beam systems last longer; they require little regular maintenance; and most systems remain dirt and dust free – requiring minimal cleaning.

One drawback to a chilled beam system might be the cost of switching to the system. Installing chilled beams requires a reconfiguration of the mechanical and ceiling systems. That’s why chilled beams are best used in situations where there is new construction or a major retrofit/renovation is already underway.

Another drawback, is that chilled beams don’t handle high internal loads well, and using such a system requires a tighter control of the facility’s humidity, according to the GSA.