Extreme Weather Can Affect the Air in Your Home

When heat waves, blizzards or violent thunderstorms are in the forecast, most people take shelter in their homes, hunkering down to wait out Mother Nature’s harshest punishment.

But when terrible weather strikes your home may not be quite the safe refuge you think it is. The air inside your home is often compromised by irritants, allergens, microbes, chemical traces and exhaust fumes that can make you ill if you breathe them steadily. This can be a threat at any time, but it tends to become worse when the climate turns hostile.

Indoor Air Pollution and the Weather

Bad weather outside can affect your home’s air quality in multiple ways. In high temperature conditions, for example, pollen production in plants is often stimulated, leading to dangerous pollen levels in the air that can put those vulnerable to them at risk. No matter how airtight your home might be some of this pollen-laced air will inevitably get inside, and because you’ve got the windows shut and the air conditioning turned on there will be no escape from its effects.

Mold is another threat you may face when the weather turns rotten. Thunderstorms, high humidity and melting snow from heavy blizzards can all lead to excess moisture problems inside walls, in basements and in attics, and mold invasions are one frequent result of such a scenario. Meanwhile moisture accumulation in HVAC ductwork is also fairly common following bad weather, and when this happens it can encourage the growth of illness-causing bacteria that circulate throughout your home when your heating or cooling equipment has been switched on.

While bad weather can have a direct effect on the quality of indoor air, it can also have an indirect effect. When homes are closed up tight in response to the weather good ventilation is needed to prevent stale, contaminated air, but energy-efficiency is now stressed so much that newly constructed homes are often too airtight, either by design or through excessive insulation or weatherizing.

Even in the most extreme conditions venting is needed to guarantee a plentiful supply of fresh air, and if it is lacking in your home it might be a good idea to add a ventilator or air purifier to your stock of climate maintenance equipment. Adding a UV lamp to your HVAC system can also protect you by eliminating bacteria, mold and other potentially hazardous microbes that might infest your home during difficult weather conditions.

Clearing the Air with Countryside Plumbing & Heating Inc.

In western Wisconsin challenging weather is a constant fact of life.
At Countryside Plumbing & Heating we understand that indoor air quality is negatively impacted by thunderstorms, blizzards and heat waves, and we are pleased to offer our customers the chance to purchase superior quality air purifiers, ventilators and UV lamps from Bryant, the leading name in HVAC technology and indoor air quality management.

If you live in our service area we invite you to contact us today, and we will be happy to introduce you to a plethora of exciting air quality management options.

Follow our blog for terrific tips and tantalizing tidbits about heating, cooling, plumbing and indoor air quality maintenance.

Managing your Theromstat

Managing your thermostat doesn’t seem like something you need to do right, but it could save you so much money every year. And keep your house at its perfect temperature, just a few steps and you’ll be surprise on how much easy and more relaxing life can be. Call us today for any questions or help!

Controlling Indoor Air Quality is Good for Your Health

Have you been suffering from allergy or flu-like symptoms for a prolonged period? Have your family members or your co-workers been complaining about frequent headaches, chronic fatigue, aching joints and muscles or irritation of the eyes/nose/throat?

If you answered yes to either question it might be an indication you’ve been breathing contaminated indoor air, which has been implicated in outbreaks of inexplicable symptoms just like this.

Identifying the Sources of Indoor Air Pollution

Any source of particulate matter that’s inside or very near your home or business could be contributing to your indoor air pollution problem.

Some of the possibilities include:

  • Particulate matter cycled through HVAC ductwork
  • Chemical solvents or cleaning solutions
  • Dust from decaying books, magazines or newspapers
  • Fumes from nearby factories or highways
  • Pet dander
  • Airborne bacteria, mold or fungus spores, or pollen
  • Peeling or chipping paint
  • Crumbling insulation

There is another aspect of indoor air contamination that should not be overlooked, and that is poor ventilation. If inside-to-outside air flow is restricted or inhibited no cleansing of airborne pollutants can occur, and this situation is especially common in modern buildings made airtight for the purposes of energy conservation ( special measures should be taken to improve ventilation but often are not).

Remedies for Indoor Air Contamination

Thorough and periodic cleaning can help to correct the problem of excessive indoor pollution, as will throwing out or relocating any items or substances that might be contributing to the contamination. When cleaning or clearing out you should pay special attention to basements, attics and connected garages, since it is so easy to forget about the spaces we visit less frequently.

Improving ventilation is always helpful. This could involve remodeling to add windows, installing screen doors where appropriate or adding ceiling fans or whole-house fans that really move the air and make it more difficult for airborne particulates to linger.

Having your HVAC system cleaned, both the ductwork and the equipment, is another potentially constructive step. Contact your favorite HVAC contractor (in western Wisconsin that would be Countryside Plumbing & Heating, of course) and ask them to send someone out to inspect your HVAC system to see if a cleaning is needed. On your own you should change your HVAC air filters often, perhaps even monthly, and always use filters with a MERV rating or 11 or higher to make sure the smallest airborne particles are being captured.

While all of these actions can help, if you have continuing difficulty with indoor air contamination you should strongly consider purchasing one or two air quality control products from an excellent manufacturer like Bryant. Countryside Plumbing & Heating is an authorized dealer of Bryant air quality products, including ventilators, humidifiers, UV lamps and air purifiers, and if you live in western Wisconsin we would be glad to meet with you to discuss your options.

Don’t Let Your Buildings Make You Sick

If you’re home or business is making you sick you should act quickly to address the problem. Your health and welfare depend on it, and any investments you make to improve your air quality will surely improve your life as well.

At Countryside Plumbing & Heating we take indoor air pollution seriously, and if you suspect it’s a problem for you we invite you to contact us today—together we will create a plan of action that can restore your good air quality once and for all.

Be sure to follow our blog for a treasure trove of great information about heating, cooling, plumbing and air quality improvement.

3 Ways you can Improve Overall Indoor Air Quality and Reduce Pollution

Improve Overall Indoor Air Quality and Reduce PollutionHere are 3 ways you can improve the Overall Air Quality and Pollution in your Home. Doing these can greatly improve your overall health and prolong your HVAC system life span. For more questions or service please give us a call, we service Ellsworth, Glenwood City, Hammond and surrounding area’s.

Advice On Controlling HVAC Costs

Do you know how to slash your heating costs? We have a wealth of energy saving tips to help you reduce the cost of heating and cooling your home. Our team recognizes the importance of Controlling HVAC Costs. Implement small energy saving measures to make your home more energy efficient. There are various ways to improve home energy efficiency; in fact, many no-cost or low-cost power saving tips will help you to control annual HVAC running costs. However, various ways to save energy and money depend on climate, age and type of HVAC system, current energy pricing and energy management. Here are some simple ways to manage HVAC energy usage:

  • Replace standard thermostats with programmable heating controls
  • Swap your classic room thermostat for intelligent heating controls
  • Use energy-efficient lighting
  • Install a simultaneous heating and cooling system to lower energy usage
  • Learn how to use your heat pump thermostat wisely


Controlling Commercial HVAC Running Costs

The above tips are good ways of Controlling HVAC Costs; however, we must also learn how to reduce commercial HVAC costs. An HVAC Economizer helps the system to run efficiently. This energy-saving device uses cool outdoor air to warm the indoor air. Commercial buildings are costly to heat or cool, but a correctly installed wet bulb economizer or dry bulb economizer will lower energy usage by around ten percent.

Variable air Volume systems or commercial VAV systems are ideal for business owners who must control heating, ventilation and air conditioning cost. Installing a VAV unit helps you to control room temperature precisely. This type of cooling and heating system is thermostatically controlled, enabling owners to cut HVAC bills.

Insulating heating ducts and pipes conserves energy and saves money. Any home or business owner who is trying to control HVAC running costs should install foil-backed fiberglass or vinyl duct insulation to the HVAC unit supply ducts. The return ducts need no insulation. Seal all system air leaks with silicone or duct tape before insulating.

We have written many articles about Controlling HVAC Costs. Our team have also discovered numerous unique energy saving tips and ways to help you keep your heating and cooling system running efficiently. We hope you have enjoyed reading this article and trust you will follow our further energy-saving advice.

Winterizing Your Tankless Water Heater

481723049With winter always comes the opportunity for things to freeze up. One of the last things you want to have freeze up on you is your tankless water heater. Fortunately they have been designed to take on even the worst winter weather. That doesn’t mean they can be totally neglected while winter is wreaking havoc on the temps. Here are a few ways to winterize tankless water heaters that can help to ensure you have warm water all winter long –

Check the Gas

Anytime your gas appliances need more gas than the meter size can handle, you could experience an insufficient supply of fuel that can and will hinder performance. If you see that your meter capacity comes to less than what your total household Btuh load is, then you need to contact the gas company.

Insulation on External Pipes

While a tankless unit does contain freeze-prevention heaters there are still hot-and-cold-water lines that lead from both to and from your heater. These plumbing lines need to be protected as well. If you do experience freezing, this is where it happens. You want to protect those pipes with insulation, even if it’s something as easy and simple as using aluminum foil.

Check Your Venting

When the weather reaches extreme cold temps, back draft coming into the vents on your unit can become problematic. To avoid this try running your vent vertically rather than horizontally.

Keep The Power On

The freeze prevention heaters on your tankless water heater needs electricity to operate. You never want to unplug or disconnect the power and stop the flow of electricity to your unit in the winter time. You should actually thing about purchasing a backup generator in case your power ever does go out.

Water Flow

You have much less of a chance for your pipes to freeze when there is water flowing through the them. If you are on a re-circulation plumbing system, let it run frequently during cold winter months. Of course that will cost you more on your energy bill but it’s better than being without warm water. If you’re not on a re-circulation system, then let your faucet drip a little to prevent freezing.

Keep The Unit in an Area That is Warm

If you live where the temps can get really low, then try to place your unit in a place that is fairly warm. It will lower the risk of your unit freezing over.

Please follow us for more tips and tricks on your HVAC System and Repairs.

What It Means To Be A Bryant Factory Authorized Dealer

Consumers throughout the country can access the highest quality HVAC products and services through Bryant factory authorized dealers. Less than 5 percent of HVAC dealers and contractors in the country hold the prestigious title of being a Bryant factory authorized dealer. This is because Bryant Corporation requires businesses to adhere to the highest standards of customer service and satisfaction. Authorized dealers must be able to offer 100% satisfaction guarantee and honor warranties. Once approved, factory-authorized dealers can use the Medal of Excellence on their website and promotional material.


What to Expect from Factory-Authorized Dealers

Consumers can expect the following products and services from any Bryant factory authorized dealer:

  • Factory-authorized parts
  • All types of heating and cooling services ranging from furnace installation to air conditioner repair
  • NATE (North American Technician Excellence) certified technicians
  • Extended warranties for Bryant products
  • Cutting edge HVAC technologies and techniques as well as business practices achieved through ongoing training offered by Bryant Corporation
  • Protection from liabilities since factory-authorized dealers are licensed, insured and bonded
  • 100% customer satisfaction guarantee


Qualities of Factory-Authorized Dealer

Transparent – Bryant factory authorized dealers have a transparent billing structure. This means you can expect them to give you a detailed breakdown of costs and work with you to ensure the project is within your budget.

Expertise – Authorized dealers are either vendors of Bryant HVAC equipment or contractors with technicians who have been trained at the Bryant Corporation factory on how to design, install, maintain and repair HVAC systems manufactured by the company. Therefore, you will benefit from the expertise of factory-trained technicians who will get the job done right the first time.

Award-Winning Customer Service – If there is one thing that dealers and contractors must prove before they can be awarded the title – Bryant Factory Authorized Dealer – it’s their ability to provide excellent customer service.

If value for money is what you are looking for, you may want to find a dealer or HVAC company with the Medal of Excellence displayed on their website. Follow us for more articles that your HVAC systems running comfortable and efficiently.

What Are The Different Kinds Of Air Conditioning Systems?

There are many times of air conditioning systems designed to serve the same purpose — to cool the air inside of a house or a room. These systems differ not in their functioning but the scale on while they supply conditioned air and the area they serve.

Some Air Conditioner Types:

  • Window air conditioners

These units are installed in the windows and hence the name. The unit consists of a single housing containing all the components required for the working of the system. The inner part of the air conditioner blows cool air while the outer exposed part flushes warm air to the exterior.

  • Portable air conditioners

These units are used in places where window air conditioners and other types of units cannot be used. These units are usually placed on the floor of the room in a corner. A hose is installed with these units which discharges hot air to the outside of the room. These units are also used in conjunction with other air conditioners when there is need of an additional air conditioner to keep the room temperature in favorable range.

  • Split air conditioners

When the component of air conditioning unit is placed both inside and outside of a room, it is called a split air conditioner. In this type of the unit, the evaporator (blows cool air inside of the room) is placed on the inner wall of the room while the compressor and other component are installed on the outside wall or the roof. These two components on the inner and outer side of the room are connected by a duct and a hose to supply cool air.

  • Central air conditioners

These types of units are installed where there are multiple rooms. Various ducts are planted all through the building or the home — supplying fresh and cool air. With this single unit, you can control the temperature of air across your entire house without the need of an individual unit for every room.

If you are looking for help with choosing the best air conditioner for your home or office, you may call us for professional support and recommendation.

Things To Do Before A Furnace Replacement

Having a furnace replacement performed is something that always inevitably happens with all furnaces. Eventually, they will wear down because they are not performing as well, or you may want to change your furnace in order to better keep up with your energy bills. No matter the reason, remember these following tips that will help you prepare for a replacement.

The first thing that you will need to do is carefully track your furnace’s performance. The first step is to make sure that your furnace actually needs to be replaced, because you do not want to buy a new unit too early and lose money. Consider the age of your unit and whether or not it has been performing up to your standards lately.

Do a little bit of personal research before you figure out what furnace you need. Explore your options and see what brand names will be able to provide you with the best deal and services for your unit. It is important for you to learn everything you need to know about your house’s energy and heating needs before you even begin to look at your potential options.

Try to schedule for a tune up as soon as possible. This will help you prepare for any problems that may occur. The winter season is when your furnace will be working its hardest to keep up with your needs, so if you are sure that you need to have a replacement done, it is a good idea to have it done before the winter. Forcing your furnace to work harder during the colder season will put more strain on your home and on your bills.

If you are not sure about what type of replacement you need, or even if you need one, it is always recommended to speak with a professional. Contacting a Countryside Plumbing and Heating Inc., HVAC specialist will allow you to explore your options in a much more definable way. Our professionals will not only be able to inspect your unit and help you determine the right conclusion, but they can also provide you with advice on future maintenance.

Contact us today for all your cooling and heating needs.

Energy Efficient Products Can Help Save Money In Winter

When winter temperatures fall well below freezing, many homeowners begin to worry about how high their heating bills will be. What most people don’t realize, however, is that little things can go a long way when trying to save a few extra dollars when it’s cold outside. Here are some valuable energy savings tips for winter that that will save money during colder weather, but can also result in energy savings when the weather is warmer.

Turn It Down
Heating systems typically account for about 40% of energy usage in winter. Set your thermostat at 68 degrees or lower, if possible. For every degree above 68°F, your furnace will use 3% to 5% more energy for each degree above that benchmark. Set the thermostat to 56°F when you’re out. By reducing home temperature 10°F to 15°F for an average of eight hours, you can save as much as 15% on heating costs.

Laundry Savings
When doing wash, put clothes in cold water to save about $30 per year in annual energy costs if you have a gas water heater. If your washer is over 10 years old, buy a more efficient ENERGY STAR® model that can save energy. Clean the lint trap every time you put a load in to dry. By doing so, you’ll save about the same amount in gas costs. Similarly, don’t over dry your clothes. Let your dryer’s moisture sensor detect when clothes are dry to determine shut off.

Replace Old Windows
Today’s ENERGY STAR®-rated windows keep out cold and keep in heat much more efficiently than windows made 20 years ago. Even if you can’t replace all at once, consider replacing those in your draftiest areas. New windows can reduce heating and cooling costs by 15%. At the same time, take a look at your home’s insulation. Properly sealed and insulated attics, walls, crawl spaces and basement rim joists can provide a 10% annual savings.

Check Your Heating System
Even if its running properly, considering replacing your furnace if it’s more than 10 years old to take advantage of more energy efficient models. At the same time, have an HVAC contractor look for leaks in ducts to minimize heat loss.

Check back with us often for more HVAC and energy savings tips.