Being a homeowner comes with a lot of responsibility. Following through with routine home maintenance will help extend your home’s life and keep its value high. Keep this list handy and refer to it throughout the year to keep your home in tip top shape.
Country Air is here to help with any HVAC needs you may have throughout the year! We can help with any services on this list in bold. Joining our affordable Comfort Club Maintenance Plan will cover your yearly HVAC maintenance needs. Call us at 281-356-8564 or click here to sign-up today .
Does anyone sit around and think about their home’s heating system in Houston? No, not really. Only on the days Texas decides to turn into an artic tundra just to heat back up in the uppers 80’s the next. If you’re a Houstonian, you know what we are talking about!
The days that we do need our heating systems sure do come in handy though and because we are not used to extreme colds it isn’t fun if the heater randomly decides to quit.
At Country Air, our top priority is keeping our customers comfortable year-round, so here is a list we put together of furnace warning signs that may indicate you need service or replacement before the next winter storm.
5 Warning Signs Your Furnace Might Need Replacing
1. Your furnace is old. Some things that are old are good, like wine or grandparents. Old furnaces, however, are not. Electric furnaces typically last about 20 to 30 years while gas furnaces last about 15 to 20 years. Once their expiration date comes and goes, their parts become unreliable due to corrosion and ventilation can become restricted from dirt build up.
Cracks can also develop in the heat exchanger or flue pipes, which could cause carbon monoxide to leak into your home’s air. Pro tip: If you don’t have a carbon monoxide detector installed in your home. Make sure you get one right away. Carbon Monoxide is a deadly gas that you cannot see or smell!
2. Your heating bill is much higher than normal. This could be an indication that your furnace is having to work overtime to keep up with your temperature desires. An aging furnace will not run as efficiently as newer system which will always result in higher energy bills, and that is no fun around Christmas time!
3. Odd noises. No kids, that’s not Santa on the roof, just the furnace on the fritz! Many times, odd noises coming from your furnace can be fixed with a repair from the experts but sometimes it could mean something more. If you hear anything strange call an HVAC pro right away.
4. Furnace flames should be blue. Gas furnaces are most common so if you have one give your flame a peek and if you see it yellow or orange in color that is a sign that something is up.
5. The air in your home isn’t right. It either feels too dry or too humid. Both are problems and could mean that you have the wrong sized furnace for your home. Moisture build-up in your system can lead to other problems like mold and mildew growth which affects the air quality in your home and your family’s health. An HVAC expert can tell you if your furnace is the right size for your home.
Pro Tip: Get your furnace inspected and maintained yearly, this will catch problems before they get worse and allow your system to run efficiently which saves you money on energy bills and extends the time in which you must replace your unit.
If you need help with your furnace, give the experts at Country Air a call at 281-356-8564. We wish you all a happy, warm, and safe Christmas!
Your home is a safe space. A place to relax, be yourself and enjoy precious time with your friends and family. You take extra measures to make sure your home stays safe like adding a security system, keeping up with routine maintenance and spraying for pests, for example. But have you ever thought about how the air you breathe in your home could be negatively affecting your family’s health over time?
What is indoor air quality?
Indoor air quality refers to the quality of the air in a home, school, office, or other building environment.
According to the EPA, Americans, on average, spend approximately 90 percent of their time indoors, where the concentrations of some pollutants are often 2 to 5 times higher than typical outdoor concentrations (1).
These pollutants can include:
How does poor indoor air quality affect your health over time?
Individuals with pre-existing conditions may have a harder time with poor indoor air quality conditions but even a healthy individual may experience symptoms like increased allergies after being continually exposed to poor indoor air conditions.
Symptoms could include (1):
How to improve the air quality in your home or office.
Luckily, there are several ways to combat poor air quality conditions in your home or office.
Consult a professional.
A licensed HVAC company will be able to go over all the indoor air quality improvement options available and see which one will best suite your family’s budget and needs.
We offer a wide range of options here at Country Air and are always happy to answer your questions and give free estimates. Give us a call at 281-356-8564.
Sources: 1: Indoor Air Quality | US EPA
The cooler months are right around the corner which for most Texans is a sigh of relief. Although our heaters aren’t running all the time in the winter here, we do get some days where it is needed (cough, cough Snowmageddon 2021?) That brings us to the topic of the hour: what is a fall heater check for and why is it beneficial to you?
A fall heater check keeps the warranty on your system valid.
Imagine this: a part unexpectedly breaks on your HVAC system, but you’re still covered by warranty, ahh a sigh of relief. But - when you call the warranty department you realize that your warranty is no longer valid – oops. You’ve been DIYing the maintenance on your system instead of leaving it to the professionals and now you have to fork the bill.
You can avoid this headache by simply calling a professional like Country Air to come do the maintenance for you. Most companies offer a maintenance plan that saves you money and offers other perks - like same day service.
Most HVAC manufacturers require proof of annual maintenance so they know the equipment was properly cared for as some of the parts that make an HVAC system work can be costly to replace.
A fall heater check increases the life expectancy of your system.
Your HVAC system is a machine. Just like your car is a machine. You wouldn’t drive your car for 60,000 miles without changing its oil or doing any kind of maintenance on it and expect it to last a long time. The same is true of your HVAC system. It needs routine maintenance to ensure all the parts are working harmoniously together for a long life.
A fall heater check ensures your HVAC system is running at optimal efficiency and lowers the cost of your energy bills.
A well-oiled HVAC system means your spending less month per month on energy. According to the U.S. Department of Energy, you could see a savings up to 30% on your energy bill.
A fall heater check helps discover problems before they get worse.
It’s the worst when the crazy Texas weather goes from 80 degrees one day to 30 degrees the next. You turn the heater on, but nothing happens – there goes the heat!
Routine maintenance checks allow the professionals to find problems in your system before they bust. This means your system is less likely to go down when you need it most and you’ll save money on costly repairs.
My mom always used to say, “Prior proper planning prevents poor performance.” And well, she is right again with this one. Give us a call at 281-356-8564 to schedule your fall maintenance inspection. We look forward to serving you!
Your AC works hard to keep you comfortable during hot summer days. These tips will make your AC more efficient and keep your home feeling good all summer long (and here in Texas, you know we are talking through December).
1. Have a professional come out to do a spring maintenance check before it gets hot. This will ensure your AC system is tuned up and ready to perform wonders all summer long. Regular maintenance also helps to:
2. Program your thermostat. The less your air conditioner is in use, the less wear and tear it endures and the longer it can last! If you have a programmable thermostat, setting the temperature by day and time is a great way to reduce the unit’s overall usage. Some people think turning their unit off completely while away will result in more energy savings, but this is not true.
We recommend setting the temperature higher during the time you are away and lower during the time you are home. A few degrees higher than your desired indoor temperature is a good general temperature to set for most homes when you are away.
Don’t have a programmable thermostat? We highly recommend getting one! You’ll save money in the long run.
4. Change your air filters. Changing out your HVAC unit’s air filter is a simple process that many of us don’t do as often as we should. Around every 90 days you should replace your filter to help maintain good air flow and help keep particles and allergens out of the air you breathe.
If you have multiple pets in the home or your air conditioning unit is working harder, like in the summer, you may want to replace your filter sooner than 90 days.
5. Turn off exhaust fans. After cooking or bathing, turn off your exhaust fans once they have been running about 20 minutes. If you ever need to replace your exhaust fans consider installing high-efficiency, low-noise options. Never leave exhaust fans running for long periods of time as it can become a fire hazard.
5. Draw the curtains. During the hottest part of the day or times when the sun is shining in your home’s windows, keep your blinds closed and shades drawn. This will help keep your home’s interior temperature from rising and keep your AC from running harder than it needs to. Additionally, planting large shade trees or installing awnings on your home with also help to diffuse the sun’s intense heat.
6. Turn on a fan. If you feel the afternoon heat creeping in, don’t turn down the thermostat just yet. Try turning a ceiling fan on first. This will help to circulate the air and instantly cool you down without making your AC unit run harder.
7. Check your attic insulation. If you have an older home that is not energy efficient you may want to get your attic inspected to see if you need additional blown in attic insulation. The smaller particles of blown insulation fit tightly in all the nooks and crannies of your attic which provides a superior seal, preventing hot or cold air from entering your home.
8. Upgrade your AC unit. If you are looking to replace your AC unit, consider energy-efficient equipment for the best cost savings long term. Ask your HVAC professional about 2-stage or variable speed options.
If your AC unit still can’t keep up it might be time to get it professionally inspected. A Certified HVAC Technician can easily identify and often fix cooling problems on the spot.
Country Air provides 24/7 AC service. Give us a call at 281-356-8564 and let us earn your trust.
I need to get my ducks cleaned – what?!
NoOoOo, not your ducks, your ducts!
Your air ducts are conduits that run throughout the attic space in your home. They deliver and remove air for both the AC and heating system. Each room in your home is connected to the ducts with a supply register and some rooms will also have a return register.
Why do air ducts need to be cleaned?
A buildup of mold, fungi, bacteria, and dust in your air ducts directly affects the indoor air quality of your home.
Poor air quality can result in a decline in the overall health, comfort, and well-being of the building occupant. People who are more sensitive to their environments that have allergies or certain diseases may be impacted further by poor air quality in the home.
Getting your air ducts cleaned when needed will help improve indoor air quality and your overall health and wellness. Clean air ducts can also result in more energy savings on your monthly bills depending on how clogged they were before cleaning.
How often do air ducts need to be cleaned?
A general rule of thumb is every 3 to 5 years, but this depends on several factors, like:
Depending on how these factors may affect you and your home will determine how often your ducts need to be cleaned. Some homes can go longer than 5 years before needing a good duct cleaning.
Look for these clues to know when it might be time to get your air ducts cleaned:
What can I do to prolong the time between duct cleanings?
Make sure you are taking care of your home and HVAC system properly. This includes:
How should a residential HVAC system be cleaned?
An air duct system should be cleaned by a reputable professional. The air duct system will be placed under negative pressure using a specialized duct cleaning system that functions like a vacuum cleaner.
While the vacuum draws air through the duct work, a rotating brush head is inserted into the ducts through the registers of each room which dislodges any debris and gets sucked into the vacuum, leaving the system like new again.
How much does duct cleaning cost?
Costs for duct cleaning vary depending on how many HVAC units your home has, whether you own a one or two story and how large your home is.
Country Air specializes in whole home air duct cleaning and provides free quotes. Give us a call today at 281-356-8564 and we’ll be happy to answer any more questions you have about duct cleaning and provide you with a free quote at no obligation to you.
The relentless Texas heat is here which means HVAC replacement season is in full swing. Investing in an HVAC system is a big decision, and you don’t want to pick the wrong one for your home – so how do you know which system is the right one?
First, get familiar with the following equipment and efficiency ratings:
The table below shows efficiency ratings for good, better and best heating and cooling equipment.
There are 3 types of ratings that you should be aware of :
Why it’s important to have the right sized system.
Now that you understand the types of equipment and their efficiency ratings you can look at what size equipment is right for your home.
One of the biggest mistakes people make when selecting an HVAC system on their own is they tend to get a larger system than what they need which can lead to multiple problems.
Humidity is a key factor when talking about cooling a home – which Houston has plenty of. A cooling system that is too big will cool down the temperature in your home quickly, but it will not run long enough to remove the amount of humidity necessary from the air. This will result in your air feeling cool but clammy, yuck. To get rid of the clamminess, you'll end up turning down the thermostat even more which makes the unit run longer and increases the energy bill. Other disastrous results can occur from not ridding your home properly of humidity like mold and mildew growth along with other moisture related damage.
A properly sized unit will run just long enough to remove the necessary amount of humidity from the air allowing you to sit comfortable in your home at a higher thermostat setting which ultimately saves you money on your energy bill.
Photo: Mold and mildew growth along with other moisture related damage.
How to calculate the right system for your home.
To understand which system is a perfect fit for your home whether installing from scratch or upgrading an existing unit you’ll need to calculate the load of your home.
The load of the home is partly dependent upon the home’s square footage. However, a true load calculation goes beyond that. An accurate load determination includes building construction; orientation to the sun; “R” value of the insulation; number, size, and placement of rooms; number, size, and placement of windows and doors; types of windows and doors (thermal efficiency); number and arrangement of floors; and the climate. 
Sounds like a lot to consider, right? It is! Which is why relying on a professional is usually best for fitting a new system to your home.
Hiring a professional.
Country Air will take the headache out of choosing the perfect HVAC system for your home. Our experts will work with your budget as well as the needs of your home to find the perfect fit. We offer free estimates, second opinions and financing options on HVAC replacement. Call us with your list of questions today and we’ll be happy to get you back to cool comfort fast in your home. 281-356-8564
You probably don’t think about your trusty HVAC system often. It’s kind of like breathing, your lungs are always working to pull new air into your body but it’s not something you think about. Just like your HVAC system runs behind the scenes to keep you comfortable in your home. As long as you’re comfortable, it’s just not on your mind. But the minute dull, hot air wraps around you like a blanket while watching TV – you instantly think, “Uh oh, what’s wrong with the AC?”.
What to look for when your HVAC system starts to fail.
Luckily, you don’t have to wait until your HVAC system stops working on a 95-degree day when your friends and family are coming over in an hour to celebrate your Son’s Birthday (that’s always when it happens, right?)
Be on the lookout for signs that your HVAC system might be reaching the end of its life:
1. No cool air. Period.
If you keep turning down your thermostat lower and lower and no cool air comes out at all, it’s pretty much a dead giveaway something is wrong. It could be that you need a Freon refill or something more troublesome like a blown compressor.
2. Wacky thermostat.
One second your thermometer reads 72-degrees, the next it reads 80-degrees. If your thermostat is set to one temperature but you keep noticing a fluctuation throughout the day, it could mean your thermostat needs replacing or it could be signs of a larger problem to come.
3. Run Forest Run.
If your AC is running all day long and never stops it could mean a multitude of things – anything from a dirty air filter, to your unit being undersized, to your ducts being clogged, to your unit simply being old. Usually, it is a combination of any of these. Like a beloved dog, HVAC units have a life span of around 15 years. If your AC is running all day, it’s a good idea to have it checked to see what’s up.
4. This room’s hot – this room’s cold.
If you feel like Goldilocks going from room to room trying to find the temperature that is just right for you – your AC might be ready to call it quits. An AC that isn’t working efficiently might not be able to pump cool air to the parts of the home that are further away, resulting in rooms that are cold and rooms that are hot.
5. Something doesn’t smell right.
Did that pesky squirrel hit the dust in the attic or What. Is. That. Smell?! If you’re picking up something stinky it could mean your unit’s wiring has burned out or there could be a build up of mold and/or mildew in the duct work, AC unit or both. This growth can have negative health implications for your family so if something smells bad, it’s time to have a professional come inspect your HVAC system.
6. A decline in the quality of air.
Last summer the house felt crisp, brisk and comfortable all summer long, like taking in a breath of fresh mountain air. This summer, the air feels heavier, almost like taking a deep breath on an ozone warning day in downtown Houston. Somewhere along the way, you feel like the air quality in your home has declined. This could be due to your ducts needing a good cleaning or it could mean your compressor or capacitor is failing. Either way, it’s time to get your unit checked out.
7. That doesn’t sound right!
If you start hearing bangs, clanks, screeches, whistles, grinding or grating from your HVAC unit, something’s up – usually broken motor bearings, slipped belts, or the system just needs a good tune-up with lubrication.
8. Is that a damp spot?
Woah – that area is supposed to be dry! Maybe your refrigerant is leaking or your conduit that disposes of condensation is broken or blocked. Don’t let obvious signs of dampness go unchecked – it can lead to mildew and mold growth that will cause even more complications down the road.
9. Higher energy bill.
Ouch – that energy bill hurt to pay! If you notice your energy bills climbing at a rate that is not normal for the time of the year, it could be that your HVAC unit is not running as efficiently and needs to be inspected.
10. Multiple Breakdowns.
If your HVAC system is being maintained as it should twice a year by a professional – it shouldn’t be randomly breaking down as most common AC issues are caused by a lack of maintenance. If you notice multiple instances where you’ve had to get repairs on your unit, it’s probably a sign that your system will need replacing soon. Talking with your HVAC professional will help you determine if it’s better to replace your unit now or continue risking costly repairs in the future.
When it comes to replacing your unit – nothing goes in the same way it came out. There are always newer, more efficient units on the market and better options for your home. Our specialists at County Air will help fit a system to your home and budget’s needs so you can stay comfortable year round.
Give us a call at 281-356-8564 for any questions you may have. We are happy to provide free quotes and second opinions on HVAC system replacements.
A sigh of relief: it always feels good to check that last item off your spring-cleaning to-do list, but check it twice, did you remember to clean your dryer vent?
It’s not something you probably think about much but cleaning your dryer vent is an important part of routine maintenance in your home.
How to know when it is time to clean your dryer vent:
What does a professional dryer vent inspection and cleaning include?
Here is a step by step of what to expect a professional service to provide:
How frequently should the lint trap vent and dryer vent be cleaned?
Your parents probably taught you to clean the lint trap after every load – and they were right! Be sure to pull out all visible lint before you dry a new load and vacuum out any hard-to-reach areas. As far as cleaning the dryer vent, we recommend once per year or more often if:
You have a large family.
More people in the family = more loads of laundry. The more loads of laundry, the more lint and debris that build up in the vent. If you notice signs that your dryer vent needs to be cleaned, even after getting it done in the same year, it’s a good idea to go ahead and have it done again.
You have pets.
Pet hair – it’s everywhere! Especially in your dryer vent after wearing it on your clothes all day. Since dryer vents get clogged more quickly with fur babies present, it’s a good idea to get your dryer vent cleaned more often.
You wash a lot of bedding.
Ever notice how full the lint trap is after washing your favorite blanket? Bulky laundry tends to shed a lot more than your normal weekly load of clothes, so if you do dry a lot of blankets, your vents might become clogged faster.
What are the benefits of regular dryer vent cleanings?
Can I clean my dryer vent myself?
Of course! Your local hardware store can provide you with the tools you need to thoroughly clean your dryer vent. But – if the hassle and the mess is something you don’t want to deal with, call a professional like Country Air to come help you out. We offer free quotes and competitive pricing for dryer vent cleaning. Call us today at 281-356-8564.
ActivePure Technology by Aerus Kills COVID-19 and 99% of Surface and Airborne Contaminants in Your Home
In today’s world, people are seeking out ways to keep their home and the air they breath as clean as possible. We are thrilled help our customers looking to fight not only COVID-19 but many other viruses, bacteria, and contaminants.
A clean home is a healthy home.
Aerus, the global leader in surface and air purification solutions came out with scientific evidence this past year from a FDA-compliant, independent lab establishing that their ActivePure® Technology available in their products kills COVID-19 on surfaces and in the air. This is exciting news for homeowners and small business owners because ActivePure® Technology is available in Country Air’s number one selling indoor air quality product: the Air Scrubber.
The Air Scrubber is an affordable piece of equipment that easily installs into your HVAC system’s ductwork. It continuously works to remove surface contaminants, air pollution, VOCs, pet dander, odors, and dust, resulting in a clean and healthy environment for the people you care about.
Benefits of the Air Scrubber:
How does the Air Scrubber work?
ActivePure® Technology inside the Air Scrubber uses light waves and a catalytic process to produce scrubber ions hydro peroxides that destroy contaminants on surfaces and in the air. It features a high intensity UVC light that makes use of the same oxidation and ionizing properties of light as naturally occurring in sunlight.
Houston, we don’t have a problem.
The ActivePure® Technology built into each Air Scrubber by Aerus is based on a variation of the technology originally developed for use on the International Space Station and is recognized as the exclusive Certified Space Technology™ in its category. Which is pretty cool if you think about it - telling your neighbors that your home is protected by space technology can be a great conversation starter.
Ready to breathe easy in your home or office?
Call us at 281-356-8564 or fill out the form below to be contacted today. We look forward to answering your questions and earning your indoor air quality trust.
Learn more about the Air Scrubber by Aerus.