Kilowatt Heating, Air Conditioning and Electrical Blog:
Archive for the ‘Indoor Air Quality’ Category

Unhealthy Air Quality Concerns in Southern California

Monday, December 3rd, 2018

We’ve written about indoor air quality for homes before, since making IAQ (indoor air quality) improvements is part of what we do. But it’s urgent to talk with customers and potential customers in Southern California because of the recent destructive fires that blazed through the region during November. By the time the fires ended, more than 20 cities in California had unhealthy air. The Woolsey fire in Malibu was the most destructive for us in Southern California, and it released into the air many harmful particles that can lead to respiratory issues and worsening of previous medical conditions.

Even though the fires are vanquished and we’ve had rain, air quality doesn’t automatically switch back to “healthy.” The short-term concerns about being outside may be gone, but your home may be suffering from poor air quality for the near future. Sadly when homes burn the smoke is much more toxic than the smoke from a wood campfire. But you can do something about the air quality inside your home!

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Do I need a UV Air Purifier?

Friday, October 5th, 2018

Mold inside of air ducts can make you sick!

Flu season is coming up and it’s great to know that the very same technology used in hospitals to keep staff and patients safe is available to you in your own home.

UV Air Purifier

UV light is effective at eliminating living airborne organisms. Namely, viruses, mold and mildew. With the use of germicidal UV light in air purifiers, you not only trap mold spores, you effectively destroy them, keeping the spores from forming new mold.

Symptoms that mold allergies cause include:

  • Cold or flu like symptoms
  • Coughing
  • Sneezing
  • Sore throat
  • Irritated, itchy throat
  • Blocked nose
  • Itchy nose
  • Runny nose
  • Sinus congestion
  • Sinus headaches
  • Difficulty breathing, shortness of breath
  • Wheezing
  • Irritated, itchy skin
  • Skin rash, hives
  • Watery eyes
  • Red, bloodshot eyes
  • Itchy eyes
  • Itchy ears
  • Hair loss, baldness
  • Hay fever symptoms

Please call Kilowatt 818-780-0701 to find out about the special cost we give to our Maintenance Club customers on a UV Air Purifier.

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Do I Need HVAC Professionals for Balancing My Home’s Humidity?

Monday, February 12th, 2018

portable-humidifierLos Angeles and most of Southern California don’t suffer from the same type of high humidity issues that you’ll find in other hot parts of the country, like Florida. But humidity can still be an issue in our homes, and it isn’t always the fault of the weather. Our homes produce a large amount of moisture that can make them stuffy and unpleasant. Air conditioning systems do have some dehumidifying abilities, but they aren’t designed specifically to handle this job (unless they have a dehumidifier integrated into them) and may even make the air too dry.

So how to balance the humidity in your house? Can you handle doing the job on your own? Well, maybe if humidity is only a minor issue and you’re okay throwing open the windows on hot days. Otherwise, we recommend you call on a professional HVAC company in Los Angeles, CA to find the best way to keep the humidity under control.

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Humidifiers and Dehumidifiers for Spring

Monday, April 17th, 2017

*Kilowatt Heating, Air Conditioning and Electrical no longer services whole-home humidifiers. For a full list of our indoor air quality services, please visit our website.

blonde-woman-and-fanThe temperatures in Southern California haven’t reached summer levels yet, although we’ve experienced a sprinkling of days above 85°F (hotter if you live farther inland). This is a time when we encourage all of our customers to prep their home cooling systems for the mid-year heat waves. It’s something we’ve brought up in recent posts, and whether you need to schedule regular air conditioning maintenance or you know it’s time to have a new AC system installed, now is the ideal time to act.

Today we want to focus on a factor, aside from the heat, that affects indoor comfort: humidity levels. The Los Angeles and San Fernando Valley areas swing between different humidity levels through spring and summer, and extremes on both ends aren’t enjoyable. But we offer solutions: installing a whole-house dehumidifier and/or humidifier.

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Why Old Air Conditioners Pose Health and Safety Risks

Thursday, October 1st, 2015

Upgrade Your HVAC System For Better Safety & Health

We rely on our air conditioners to escape the heat, which, in Southern California can be year-round. Unfortunately, older units may not provide much relief, tend to need more repairs, and can sap electricity. But did you know they could also put your family at risk? Replacing a damaged or outdated A/C system could not only keep your loved ones cool but also safe and healthy.

Safety Risks

Old air conditioning units rely on outdated parts and power sources, including old electrical wiring, which can be a fire hazard. In fact, the National Fire Protection Association reports that old wiring in HVAC equipment, including A/C units, space heaters, and fans, caused 14% of all electrical house fires between 2007 and 2011. Since electrical wiring is often hidden within the equipment, problems can go unnoticed. One added benefit of hiring an HVAC company to professionally install or upgrade a system, notes The Refrigeration School, is that technicians gain access to all the wires that powered the original unit. Before they install your new equipment, they thoroughly check these wires and identify any red flags to prevent hazardous electrical damage.

Health Risks

A good air conditioner can improve indoor air quality, but old units may sometimes cause or intensify allergies and asthma, states the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Common problems that can leave your family sniffling and sneezing include inadequate draining pans, contaminated ducts or filters, poor ventilation power, or other flaws that affect air quality and filtration. Older units can also have problems with mold—which we definitely don’t want in our homes!

If you have seasonal allergies, you’re probably well aware of the pollen, dander, and other allergens that fill the outdoor air every spring. Most modern, well-maintained A/C units will filter out these contaminants before they reach your indoor spaces. Outdated systems, unfortunately, just aren’t up to the task—another good reason to upgrade to a cleaner, more efficient and safer HVAC system.

Cooler Homes, Cleaner Air, Lower Utility Bills

Like our other appliances, our air conditioners only live so long. The U.S. Department of Energy reports that the majority of central A/C units will last an average of 20 years. Updating your system sooner, however, could cut electricity usage by to 40%. The DOE recommends replacing old units after 10 years to reap these savings. Of course, the health and safety of your family is the best benefit of installing a new air conditioner—cutting costs on your utility bills is just an added bonus!

written by Monica Gomez

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Some Reasons That Air Ducts Develop Leaks

Monday, September 14th, 2015

IMG_7555_2Professional duct sealing is a job that most residential air ducts will require at some point. Even the best installation job of excellently designed ductwork is not fully immune to the troubles that can create air leaks. Even small holes in the ducts will lead to energy waste and a decline in comfort. If you’ve never had duct testing done for your ventilation system before, we strongly suggest you arrange for this service with our experienced technicians. This will allow them to find out if your ducts are suffering from leaks and need sealing work.

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Air Purifiers, Asthma, and Infants

Monday, September 7th, 2015

poster air filterTwo things that have been on our mind a lot the last few months are babies and air purifiers. We’ve recently had two babies added to the Kilowatt family, and that’s made us think a lot more about the importance of air purifiers in homes. When you consider that EPA studies have shown that the air inside home’s is often 4 to 5 times worse than that outdoors, you can see why so many people recommend using air purifiers in babies’ rooms, even if the baby shows no symptoms of allergy or asthma problems.

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Is Fiber Glass Insulation Safe for My Ductwork?

Monday, July 6th, 2015

Fiber glass insulation has been used as thermal insulation inside ventilation systems for homes (as well as other buildings) since the widespread use of forced-air heating and cooling systems after World War II. This insulation is important for preventing heat loss during warm weather and heat infiltration during cold weather. Without proper ductwork insulation, a home’s HVAC system would be highly energy inefficient—and probably much less effective at providing comfort.

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When Should I Schedule Duct Testing for My Home?

Monday, June 29th, 2015

Duct testing is a process where professionals check on the integrity of the ductwork that makes up a home’s ventilation system. Ductwork can suffer from holes, gaps at connection points, and other air leaks that will cause them to lose the conditioned air moving through them. These leaks, according to the U.S. Department of Energy, can account for up to a 30% loss of heated and cooled air from the HVAC system. That’s a great deal of air that you pay to heat or cool from which you won’t receive any benefit. Duct testing will discover if your ducts are leaking and what work needs to be done to fix them.

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AccuClean™ Whole House Air Cleaner by American Standard®

Wednesday, January 14th, 2015

Are you concerned about the air quality in your home?

Most Los Angeles homeowners think that their existing heating and cooling system is cleaning the air of these pollutants and allergens. The typical 1-inch throwaway filter that comes with most heating and air conditioning systems is designed only to prevent large particles from damaging the equipment. It is not there to make the air cleaner for YOU and your family.

You see, the average person takes 20,000 breaths per day of air that can contain particles and allergens. For children this number doubles, making them especially sensitive to air quality problems. Today’s homes are better insulated and more tightly sealed. This is great from an energy standpoint, but it also means that humidity, dust and indoor air pollutants are being sealed inside your home. According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, 50 percent of all illnesses are either caused or aggravated by poor indoor air quality.

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In one year, more than 40 pounds of dirt and dust can accumulate in a typical Los Angeles home. With American Standard’s AccuClean, the majority (99.8%) of irritating particles like dust, pollen, pet hair and dander, lint, cooking smoke and even bacteria are removed from the air as it is heated or cooled.

AccuClean is eight times more effective than even the best HEPA room appliance and 100 times more effective than a standard filter or ionic-type room appliance. There is nothing on the market that cleans indoor air better. In fact when AccuClean was being tested, the independent testing facility thought the testing equipment was broken because the readings came back with a zero particulate count three times!

American Standard AccuClean filters the air in a three-step process:

  • The air in your home circulates through your heating and cooling system, carrying millions of airborne particles through the ductwork. As the air goes through the pre-filter, it traps the majority of the large particles.
  • Then, the air is passed through many small electrical fields, where each particle receives an electric charge.
  • Then, the charged particles are sent through a filter that traps particles down to 0.3 microns in size. This is the size at which allergens can get deep into your lungs because they aren’t being filtered by your nose and throat.

American Standard AccuClean is eight times more effective than even the best HEPA room appliance and 100 times more effective than a standard 1” throwaway filter or ionic-type room appliance.

Find out more about how to create a clean and comfortable home environment for your family by scheduling an appointment with Kilowatt Air Conditioning & Heating in Sherman Oaks and surrounding areas either on the web or by calling us at 818-780-0701. We will do a Complimentary In-Home Consultation.

A letter from Lisa Gilford:

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