Creating Humidity Indoors

IndoorHumidityAir conditioners keep the house at a comfortable temperature, but what about humidity? Often as the air conditioner absorbs heat, through its evaporation process it can also absorb moisture from the air. Humidity plays a very important role in comfort and if it is too low, it can cause issues such as respiratory issues, dry skin, and more.

It’s recommended to keep indoor humidity at 35-50% so that the air isn’t dry, but it isn’t so humid that mold and mildew start to grow. Here are a few ways humidity can be increased to a comfortable level:

  1. Plants

Plants produce moisture that is absorbed into the air, creating humidity. Having several potted plants around the house is a very effective way to increase humidity. As a bonus, some types of plants can purify the air, making it easier for everyone to breathe.

  1. Humidifiers

One of the most common ways to increase humidity is with a humidifier. Whether it is a single room or whole house humidifier, it will help add the necessary moisture.

  1. Standing Water

Place bowls or vases of water throughout the home. The water evaporates into the air adding to the humidity. These should be placed on high surfaces so children or pets can’t knock them over. Create a cute display with rocks and floating flowers to make them decorative.

  1. Boil Water

Boiling water on the stove adds humidity as the water vaporizes. To help it circulate around the house, keep fans on low and turn the AC fan on as well.

  1. Water Fountain

Decorative water fountains are aesthetically pleasing and create a soothing sound. They can also help introduce humidity into a room.

Diamond Heating and Cooling wants everyone to be comfortable while inside this summer. Homeowners who experience air conditioner problems should call Diamond Heating and Cooling to get the problem evaluated and fixed in an efficient manner.

Hazardous and Non-Hazardous AC Smells

As the weather slowly gets warmer in Boise, homeowners are getting ready to turn off the furnace and preparing the AC for the months ahead. When the air conditioner is first turned on homeowners might notice some smells emanating from the system. Some of these smells aren’t cause for alarm, while some could be hazardous. Learn the difference below.

Non-Hazardous Smells

  • Musty

Homeowners commonly notice a musty odor, especially when turning on the AC for the first time in the spring. Lingering moisture or dust in the system might produce this musty smell. If the smell persists, you will want to have your duct work checked for evidence of mold

  • Something Rotten

It’s entirely possible a small animal has become stuck in the air ducts over the winter and is now deceased, causing the horrible smell. It’s not necessarily dangerous but something that homeowners will want to take care of right away.

  • Cigarette Smoke

If someone in the house smokes or did smoke, the smell might get stuck in the condenser coil. It will then blow the cigarette smoke smell throughout the house. Cleaning the coil is an easy way to fix this smell.

Hazardous Smells

  • Rotten Eggs

This is an indication of a natural gas leak. While the gas itself doesn’t smell, most companies put a rotten egg-like scent into it so that leaks can be detected. Get out of the house immediately and seek contact Diamond Heating and Cooling to check the air conditioning system.

  • Burning

If it smells like something is burning, there could be a mechanical problem. Call Diamond Heating and Cooling right away to get the problem repaired and avoid a potential fire.

  • Sewage

This isn’t a common smell coming from the AC. If a sewer-like smell comes through the vents, it could mean there is a backed up sewer line near the ductwork. A small amount of methane can produce this sewage smell.

Many of the issues associated with these smells can be prevented with annual AC maintenance from Diamond Heating and Cooling. If any of these smells are present when turning the AC on for the first time this spring call Diamond Heating and Cooling and right away. We are available 24/7 for all your heating and air conditioning needs.

Is It Time to Replace the AC?

The people in Boise and the Treasure Valley probably won’t need to turn on the air conditioner for a couple more months, which means now is the perfect time to replace an air conditioner that might be past its prime. Not sure if it is in need of a replacement? Check for these five signs:

  1. Increasing Energy Bills

Were the energy bills last summer higher than usual? It could be a sign that the air conditioner isn’t running as efficiently as it should. As the unit gets older, it will continue to lose efficiency even with proper, routine maintenance.

  1. Age

Air conditioners are not designed to last forever. More specifically they are designed to last about 10 years. If the air conditioner is older than that, it will continue to go downhill, being less efficient each year.

  1. Inconsistent Temperatures or Humidity

Air conditioners don’t just control temperature, they also control humidity. If homeowners notice moisture accumulation around the windows the AC unit might not be properly dehumidifying the house.

  1. Noise

Some noise is expected, but rattling, buzzing, or ticking noises coming from the air conditioner are cause for concern. They could indicate a problem within the unit that needs to be addressed.

  1. Frequent Repairs

Has the team at Diamond Heating and Cooling had to come out and make repeated repairs to the air conditioner? It might be time to replace it with a newer, more efficient model. It will cost more up front, but will save money in the long run with fewer repairs and lower energy bills.

Schedule spring air conditioner maintenance with Diamond Heating and Cooling or have one of our service technicians come out and evaluate the condition of the current unit. We can help homeowners determine if the air conditioner needs replaced and if so, install the new one.

Ensuring a Cool Summer

 

Boise and the entire Treasure Valley are starting to regularly hit the high 90’s and even triple digits. In that type of heat, air conditioners have to work extra hard. To make sure the AC unit can last the whole summer, follow these steps:

  1. Filters

When the AC has to work that hard and often, filters need to be checked more frequently. Try to check it once a month to make sure it doesn’t need replaced. A clogged filter will hinder the ability of the AC unit to cool the house down even more.

  1. Annual Tune-Up

Have the experts at Diamond Heating and Cooling come to the house to do an annual tune-up? If not, give them a call now! Annual tune-ups can extend the life of the AC unit and catch any small issues before they turn into a costly problem later on.

  1. Debris

With trees shedding flowers and lawns being mowed more often, debris can pile up in the yard. While mowing or trimming the landscaping, check to make sure there is no debris around the outdoor portion of the air conditioning unit. Debris can restrict air flow, making the air conditioner less effective and increasing the energy bill.

  1. Circuit Breakers

If homeowners notice the air conditioner has stopped working, the first thing to check is the circuit breakers. Flip the breaker off and then back on again to see if that does the trick. If it doesn’t, turn it back off. It’s likely broken, it doesn’t need the power.

  1. Thermostat

Don’t let the AC run at a very cool temperature all day long if nobody is home. Using a programmable thermostat will keep the home comfortable while everyone is there, but will avoid using the extra energy when it is not necessary. Also, give the AC a break while on vacation, set it to a more moderate temperature to save on energy bills.

If the AC unit does have issues, call Diamond Heating and Cooling. They can install a new system at a straight forward price. They also offer emergency AC repairs if something goes wrong in the heat of the day.

Leaky AC Units

Air conditioners often have condensation from the dehumidifying process. However, when water begins to pool or increase in frequency or amount, it’s not part of the normal process. Here’s what could be going on:

  • Broken Pump

This is the most common culprit. Homeowners can test this possibility by pouring water in the condenser pan to see if it properly pumps out the excess.

  • Improperly Installed

When not level, air conditioners can leak, causing water to pool.

  • Drain Hole Blocked

Dirt and debris can get into the drain hole and clog it.

  • Outside Temperature is Too Cold

When mornings and nights start to get colder, it can cause water build-up. Usually this goes away as the temperature goes up.

  • Air Leakage

Seals that are not tight can cause moisture to pool below the unit. Excess air makes its way into the unit, which then condenses.

Routine maintenance and system checks can help alleviate the possibility of most of the above problems. However, sometimes the drain pan in the furnace can get a build-up of water and create a musty smell. To solve this issue, Diamond Heating and Cooling can install a pan treatment. This reduces the build-up in the condensate lines and neutralizes odors. The treatment is just $39 and the service technicians have them on hand.

Fixing Noisy AC units

Although air conditioning systems make some noise while running, if the volume increases or frequnecy, there could be something wrong with the system. With so many different components to the AC unit, there could be a variety of problems causing it to be louder than normal.

Compressor Motor

When the compressor motor starts to develop problems, the motor can start to rattle, causing excess noise. If this is the case, the noise will usually only occur when the system is starting or shutting off.

Fan Motor

Both the inside and outside air conditioning units have fan motors, which may start making noise when they need lubrication. The bearing could also be going bad in the motor.

Fan Cage

If the cage surrounding the fans becomes damaged, the blades may rub against it. This creates excessive noise and can cause issues.

Fan Blades

The air conditioning fan blades can also get bent and damaged from debris. By clearing away bushes and low-hanging branches from the outside AC unit, debris will be kept away from the fan blades.

If the AC unit starts making worrisome sounds, contact Diamond Heating and Cooling a call. They can figure out why it’s being more vocal than usual and fix the problem.

AC Maintenance

Not everyone is familiar with the mechanics of how their central air conditioning works, and that’s where the experts at Diamond Heating and Cooling come into play. However, there are some things everyone should know about their AC units to ensure proper functionality:

• Air filters – One of the most important rules to keep in mind when it comes to AC is to change the air filter every three months. Not following this rule will drastically reduce the life of the unit. Think about it like changing the oil in a car. If the owner forgets, the car engine could burn up and the whole thing will be ruined. It’s the same with heating and cooling units! They need maintenance and care as well. Homes that experience more wind or are in an area with large amounts of construction should replace the filter more often than the standard three months.

• Filter or Freon – There should be a 15 to 18 degree difference between the air coming out of and the air going into the air vent. If there is a greater difference between the two, the filter could be clogged. If the difference is less than that, the AC could be low on Freon. If this is a concern, the professionals at Diamond Heating and Cooling would love to inspect the unit and help solve the problem.

• Quick cooling – When cooling down a home that has gotten too warm, don’t turn the thermostat down to a significantly lower number. It will not cool down the house any faster, it just causes the AC to work longer, costing the homeowner more money.

• Ductwork Leaks – Have the ductwork checked for leaks. This is something Diamond Heating and Cooling does during AC maintenance and safety inspections. Cold air can leak into attics, causing the AC to run more often and wasting energy.

• Cleaning the Unit – The outside unit should be cleaned annually, preferably before turning it on during the warmer months. This can be done by the homeowner, or by a HVAC professional. For those Do-It-Yourselfers, make sure the power is off, then use the garden hose to gently rinse it.

• Conserve Water – During the summer months, the air conditioner can create over five gallons of condensate, which is clean water. Homeowners can set a barrel or bucket under the condensate line to catch the water and use it for gardening or other household purposes.