Duct Systems Archives - PECO Heating & Cooling

Beat Allergy Season with Clean Air

Do you find yourself sneezing, coughing, or wheezing during certain times of the year? If so, you could be one of more than 50 million Americans who suffer from seasonal allergies. Seasonal allergies can range in symptom severity. Mild symptoms may be a general annoyance, while more severe cases can make you wonder whether you have allergies or an illness.

What Causes Seasonal Allergies?

Seasonal allergies can be triggered by many environmental factors. While seasonal allergies can strike throughout the year, they often affect most people as the weather turns from cool to warm, when plants and trees begin to bloom. During the warmer seasons, different plant species release airborne pollen, which causes an immune response in people with allergies. Histamines and other chemicals get released into the bloodstream, which causes an allergic reaction.

Seasonal Allergy Symptoms

Many pollens can trigger seasonal allergies, but the most common ones include:

Beat Allergy Season With Clean Air
  • Grasses, like Timothy or ryegrass
  • Ragweed
  • Birch
  • Cedar
  • Alder
  • Horse chestnut
  • Willow
  • Poplar
  • Sagebrush
  • Tumbleweed
  • Thistles

Seasonal allergies are commonly traced back to these trees and plants because their pollens are particularly irritating. Warm, windy weather is generally the worst for seasonal allergies because pollen counts rise in warm temperatures, and the wind spreads it far and wide. Common symptoms of seasonal allergies include:

  • Allergic rhinitis: a stuffy or runny nose, nasal irritation
  • Sneezing
  • Watery, itchy eyes
  • Itchy throat
  • Congestion in the ears, throat, and nose
  • Postnasal drip
  • Coughing
  • Headaches

Some types of seasonal allergies can also cause a secondary illness, like:

  • Contact dermatitis
  • Hives
  • Asthma or mild breathing problems
  • Itchy skin, nose, and throat
  • Conjunctivitis

Seasonal allergies can affect people of every age, but they’re especially important to treat in children because they can cause re-occurring earaches and other infections.

What to do for Seasonal Allergies

Thankfully, there are many things you can do to get some relief from seasonal allergies, including:

  • Reducing pollen exposure by staying indoors
  • Avoiding yard work or gardening
  • Washing your hands and showering after you’ve been outdoors
  • Using a pollen mask outside
  • Allergy shots or immunotherapy
  • Oral antihistamines
  • Decongestants
  • Nasal sprays and sinus rinses
  • Plant supplements, like butterbur and spirulina
  • Acupuncture

HEPA Air Filters and UV Lighting

In addition to these methods, keeping the air in your home clean is one of the best and most essential ways to prevent the symptoms of seasonal allergies. The Mayo Clinic recommends always using your air conditioning and high-efficiency particulate air (HEPA) filters in your home. HEPA filters are a type of mechanical air filter that works by forcing air through a fine mesh. This traps small particles that can cause allergies and asthma, like pollen, pet dander, dust mites, and tobacco smoke.  For those with severe allergies, it may also be worthwhile to invest in a whole-house central air purifier.

Installing UV lights throughout the home can also help with seasonal allergies. UV lights eliminate contaminants that can lead to poor air quality, including mold, mildew, fungi, airborne viruses, bacteria, and spores. While UV light doesn’t filter the air, its been shown to play a huge role in secondary allergy prevention, especially when used in combination with HEPA filters.

The best way to prevent seasonal allergy symptoms and stay comfortable year-round is to take a multi-pronged approach. Reducing your exposure outdoors while keeping the air inside your home clean and free of contaminants can greatly reduce your exposure to allergy-causing contaminants. At PECO, we offer several types of HEPA filters, as well as UV lights. Some of our filter options include Lennox 5” HEPA filter, PureAir HEPA filters, and MERV 11, 13, and 16 HEPA filters. Experts are predicting 2020 will be a bad year for allergy sufferers, especially here in the eastern United States. Above-normal rainfall and near-average temperatures are expected to contribute to above-average pollen levels. If you suffer from seasonal allergies, now is the best time to get your home prepared! If you’d like to learn more about installing HEPA filters or UV lighting in your home, give us a call at 864-639-2424.

Lennox Sponsors HGTV’s 2019 Smart Home!

We regularly work with Lennox smart home products, so we’re very excited to see that Lennox is sponsoring HGTV’s 2019 Smart Home in the Dallas suburb of Roanoke TX! Using some of the most innovative smart technology, HGTV’s smart home showcases how automated HVAC systems can deliver unsurpassed comfort and convenience. Learn more about some of the high-quality HVAC products used in the home below!

XC25 Air Conditioner

The XC25 is one of the finest air conditioning units that Lennox makes. It’s incredibly energy efficient and has been designated as one of the most efficient Energy Star certified products of 2019 with an efficiency rating of up to 26.00 SEER, allowing you save hundreds of dollars on electricity costs yearly. The XC25 can easily be combined with solar roof modules for even more drastic cuts to your utility bill. As a nice addition, it also has SilentComfort technology that reduces sound levels to 50% quieter than that of a standard air conditioner.

SLP98V Gas Furnace

The SLP98V has Precise Comfort technology that allows it to keep the temperature distributed evenly throughout your home at the exact temperature you like. Say goodbye to cold spots around the home! It has an industry-leading energy efficiency of up to 98.7% AFUE, as has also been named one of Energy Star’s most efficient products of 2019. Like the XC25, it also boasts the SilentComfort technology and is up to 10x quieter than competitive models. With AirFlex technology, you can adjust the airflow in your home to best match your lifestyle and home design. It can also be paired with the iComfort S30 Ultra Smart Thermostat for the most precise comfort.

iComfort S30 Ultra Smart Thermostat

The iComfort only needs to be programmed once, and then you’ll never have to think about it again! With adaptive technology, it adjusts the temperature within your home according to your schedule. It actively monitors your HVAC systems and can alert you to any issues that may arise, as well as when it’s time for routine things like a filter replacement. Keep track of your system’s operation and performance with it’s daily and hourly reports via the web portal, or simply check out the monthly report that’s automatically emailed to you. It’s compatible with Google Home, Alexa, and the Apple Home Kit.

You can control and monitor your system with your smartphone (Android and Apple compatible) and with the Smart Away mode, your thermostat can detect your location using your phone’s GPS to adjust your HVAC system to be more energy efficient when you’re not at home. You can also balance the temperature and humidity using the “Feels Like” feature to create the temperature you want to feel. It’s also a great choice for allergy sufferers; the iComfort’s Allergen Defender will monitor the air quality and pollen levels in your area according to zip code and automatically turns on the fan to clear your home’s air when levels are high.

iHarmony Zoning System

The iHarmony Zoning system allows for room to room temperature control for iComfort integrated equipment. Used in combination with other Lennox equipment, you can redirect airflow to have heating and cooling wherever you’d like it in your home. It can also help you use less energy and cut costs by up to 35% when used with a programmable thermostat. The iHarmony allows every family member to have the ultimate comfortable space and can be controlled remotely with your smartphone.

Lennox MPB Mini-Split Heat Pump

The MPB is an ideal option for small spaces and add-on rooms where it isn’t practical to extend or install ductwork. It’s incredibly energy efficient with efficiency ratings of up to 24.50 SEER and 11.50 HSPF and has inverter technology that adjusts motor speeds based on outdoor weather and temperature conditions. The MPB is also very quiet, allowing you to enjoy optimal comfort without additional noise.

Pure Air S Air Purification System

Unlike many air purification systems, the Pure Air S filters out particles, germs, and odors, giving you the ability to combat the 3 main household air contaminants. The Pure Air S removes 99.9% of mold, spores, pollen, dust and pet dander, as well as 90% of flu and cold viruses, infectious bacteria and other microorganisms down to 0.01 microns. In addition, it removes approximately 50% of household odors and volatile organic compounds from sources like cooking fumes, pets, cleaning supplies, paint and more. Its smart features allow it to monitor the life of the filter as well as its purifying UVA light, so you don’t have to! When it’s time for a replacement, it will send a notification to your iComfort thermostat. The Pure Air S system doesn’t produce any ozone byproduct and actively works to reduce ozone, giving your home the healthiest, freshest air possible.

Want to learn more about any of these great smart home products, or would like to have them installed in your home? Give us a call today and we’d be happy to discuss the best products for your heating and cooling needs.

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Duct Diseases You Can Cure

There are a pretty large number of issues that HVAC technicians constantly battle, but one of the most common are the afflictions that your duct systems face. If you have noticed a lackluster performance from your ventilation system – don’t panic, because the team of professionals at PECO Heating & Cooling are here to help.

The first step to fixing something is to determine the problem, and a faulty duct system could have several. A common one is poor duct static pressure. If you weren’t aware (which many aren’t), static pressure in a duct refers to the resistance of airflow in your system. You need to make sure that the push of the air is greater than the actual resistance to the flow, otherwise the flow could be too low or even non-existent. Think of it like your body’s blood pressure, if the amount is too high or low, then that is an indication of poor health/performance.

Duct

Excessive noise, improper airflow, equipment degradation, and total system failure could all be results of improper static pressure. Our team can identify these problems by performing an airflow or static pressure check. An airflow check is the process of checking the amount of airflow that your fan is producing and how much of that airflow is delivered to each register or grill. After taking these measurements, we will compare the results to standard pressure and airflow rates. If the measurement does not meet the expected standards, then you have a problem. Here are a few common causes and how they can be identified:

– Undersized Air Ducts
One potential cause for this could be undersized air ducts, the common solution for which is to perform a complete renovation of your duct system. Our technicians will identify which ducts need work by performing an airflow test, and then will replace them with ducts that are the appropriate size. Sometimes replacements are not always necessary though, and the solution could be something as simple as opening a closed balance dampener.

– Blocked Ducts
Another issue that can be identified by measuring and comparing airflow to the necessary standards, although you may be able to check just looking to see if the grill is squished to the point that nothing could pass through or is blocked by debris. Sometimes blockage can also be caused by a dead animal that managed to make its way in there, though this probably isn’t the case (you would definitely smell it). The solution for a blocked duct may be as simple a quick cleaning, but it could also require more extensive repairs or an outright replacement.

– Duct Leakage
Duct leakage is an issue that will affect virtually every duct system at some point. Leakage can be identified by improper air flow (starting to see a pattern?) or by checking a duct’s tightness level. A common cause is a lack of sealant or proper duct sealing material. Acceptable sealants vary by state, so be sure to leave it up to the professionals to provide you with the right materials.

These are just a few of the potential problems and causes of a faulty duct system, there are many more. Thankfully, the team here at PECO Heating & Cooling can easily identify and fix whatever problem is causing your duct system to perform poorly. Feel free to give us a call at (864)-639-2424 if you have any questions or would like to schedule an appointment today!