Author archives: Dan Riggs

3 Products to Improve Your Indoor Air Quality

In our previous post on air filters, we talked about one of the essential factors for indoor air quality. Today, here’s some advice on the other two options for improving your indoor air quality: Humidity Control and Ultraviolet Lights. There’s three products we’ve seen to be useful in this realm, so here’s some more info!


humidifierHumidifiers:
We’ll keep this brief as we, in our experience haven’t ever seen a good use for humidifiers in Florida, except in the case of a winter stuffy nose. The lack of humidity can dry out your skin and mucous membranes. Low humidity also makes the air feel colder than it actually is. Excessively dry air can also dry out the wood in the walls and floors of your home or business. As this drying wood shrinks, it can cause creaks in floors and cracks in drywall and plaster.

Dehumidifiers: These on the other hand, are more commonly used in Florida to improve indoor air quality. High humidity can usually leave one with that muggy, heavy feeling that fills the air. Often this occurs when it’s rainy, foggy, or hot outside (sounds like Florida!). Excessive humidity can make your hair frizzy and may seem to dampen everything, as well as allow spores to grow and wood in the home to swell and … well you get the idea. An average home, when talking relative humidity, typically maintains from 30-55% humidity when the air conditioner is operating properly. An air conditioner in cool mode is acting as a dehumidifier by condensing moisture on the coil and draining it outside. Increased dehumidification is offered on a lot of new systems by pairing variable speed blowers with single or two stage condensers. If your home is not maintaining a low comfortable living space, it may be an issue with AC system or a system being over-sized for your home.

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Ultraviolet light: Another option for indoor air quality is an invisible form UV Lightof electromagnetic radiation that can be a great friend! UV light is not visible to the naked eye, but it can cause some substances to emit visible light, which is known as fluorescence. This form of light, which is present in sunlight, can be beneficial to yourhealth, as it stimulates the production of Vitamin D. It also kills many harmful microorganisms. UV light has many uses, and it can help keep your equipment and air safe from these microorganisms, when placed in an air handler. UV lights are an effective way to keep molds and spores from growing, and increases the air quality of the whole home or business.   If you’re interested in any of these indoor air quality options for your home or business, or need some more questions answered, please visit www.KalosFlorida.com or call us at 352-243-7088!

Is Your Air Filter Costing You Money?

You know you do it; you just grab the filter off the shelf at your local store, without giving a second thought to whether you are buying the right filter for your needs. The kind of air filter you buy can make a huge difference, and you should be aware of a few things when planning on how to maintain and choose the correct filter for your home or business’ air conditioning system.
Air FilterA discussion on air filters can be everlasting, but here are three things to be aware of when planning on how to maintain and choose the correct filter for your home or business’ air conditioning system.

MERV Rating: MERV is a measurement scale designed in 1987 by the American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers to rate the effectiveness of air filters in indoor air quality. MERV stands for Minimum Efficiency Reporting Value, and you can check out a chart in a previous post if you want to know what the numbers mean. In general, filters with a higher MERV rating need to be changed more often, since they pick more contaminants out of the air — but that’s why you want them, because they get more out of the air! Another factor to consider is the air filter’s thickness. For example, a MERV 8 pleated 1 ” filter doesn’t filter any better than a MERV 8 pleated 4″ filter, but the 4″ filter will last longer because of the increased surface area compared to the 1” filter.

Changing intervals: There is a common myth sold to homeowners concerning the infamous “30-Day Air Filter” vs “90-day Air Filter.” As filters pull things out of the air, they block your air more and more, making your equipment work harder even while keeping it from cooling the house well! Running your system with a dirty filter can make your costs skyrocket. The reality is each home has different conditions within it, and those conditions will affect how much is in the air for the filter to remove. If you have pets, or if your kids are going in and out of the house all day, your filters are probably not going to last what the box says. There are options for those who do want a filter that will last longer than 30 days, but they often aren’t cheap, the most common being purchasing a system that uses a larger filter. Go to our indoor air quality page for some information on these types of systems. Lower air flows, due to a dirty filter can decrease capacity and consequently the energy efficiency ratio or performance factor of the system and can increase your heating and cooling cost. A filter should be periodically checked and replaced when needed, not just every 30 days!change-air-conditioner-filter-2

Correct Sizing: Using correct size filter for your return is essential when selecting your air filter. Your filter is meant to protect your air-conditioning equipment, not just you. Under-sizing a filter can result in the air flowing into the return grill, bypassing your filter, dropping dog hair and dust on the expensive, heat-exchanging coil instead of the changeable filter. This would allow the components of your system to suffer the consequences from a lack of protection from your air filter, essentially wasting the money you spent on an air filter, and it might result in higher energy bills and possibly damaging the equipment. The most common under-sizing would be in cases where a filter is an inch or less from a more common size — like 15×20 or 20×21½. If you are under-sizing, the dust and debris that you see on your filter every month may be only a part of what is traveling through your air system, or even clogging up expensive equipment!

We hope this helps your selection process and if you have any questions please visit our homepage www.KalosFlorida.com or call us at 352-243-7088.

Is Your Contractor Licensed?

Avoid Scams and Theft

In the State of Florida and around the country, you hear stories all the time about unsuspecting homeowners being the victims of theft or scams by unlicensed contractors that work, or say, they will do work on their homes.

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It’s essential that when you let someone in your home or business, that you know they are a licensed professional. Hiring a licensed contractor offers many additional protections to the property owner, especially regarding residential property. First of all, a contractor can not obtain a license without possessing a minimum amount of experience and must pass a business management test. The applicant also may be subjected to a criminal history background check, and must not have any unresolved contracting complaints outstanding.

Five Minutes Can Save You One Huge Headache

So, here’s our Five Minute Process that could potentially protect you from a huge financial mistake.

*We will be using The State of Florida as our example. If you live in another state, laws will be similar, but check your government’s regulations and laws for differences.

For fastest results just follow this link to arrive at the search page.

This is part of the MyFlorida.com website, and can be navigated to by clicking on the large red italic font “Licensee Search”, near the top of the page. To some, the link will look like a heading, but it is clickable.

Find the type of Contractor you’re looking for and click that category. You’ll be be taken to a screen with various search options. If you are checking a particular company or a certain individual, click on Search by Name, but there are other options available as well. Click the Search button at right.

Now you can enter in the information you know to search for a particular person or company. Usually, you will be able to find who you are looking for with their name and correct city.

You’ll see a list of licenses on the screen, and in our particular case see the Air Conditioning, Electrical and General Contractors license we hold. (You can also click into the entry to further investigate the company – to ensure that everything is up to date with their Florida license and that you are looking at the right company.)

Contractor Check Complete

There you go! Though this won’t completely protect you from incompetence, it will at least protect you from scammers. This can be a great resource when you’re doing business with anyone that you have not properly vetted or without solid referrals. Check out website like Angie’s List or the Better Business Bureau for some reviews on how that company does business and if their customers are pleased with them!

 

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