Purchasing a new HVAC system can be a big investment. But, it’s one that can pay a lot of dividends over time and help to dramatically save on energy costs.

When thinking about a new HVAC system there are many things to consider and many questions to ask. The one question that we constantly get is: How long should my HVAC system last?

The answer? It depends.

I know, I know, that’s a really vague answer but unfortunately it’s the right answer. It really depends on the quality of the system, the size of the unit (making sure it’s the appropriate size for your home), proper installation, and perhaps most importantly…how well the system is maintained.

Ok, so it depends. But what’s a ball park figure?

While all units are different, there is a common consensus that your HVAC system should last 15-20 years. With that said, the unit’s lifespan can be increased with proper maintenance, including:

Changing the air filter regularly.

A blocked air filter can restrict proper airflow. This causes the system to work harder to heat or cool to the proper temperature. This causes undue stress on the unit and decreases the lifespan. Aim to change your air filter every three months and get into the habit of checking it even more frequently. Large HVAC repairs or replacements are costly, air filters aren’t!

Having your HVAC system tuned/serviced seasonally.

Having a professional tune your unit each year will help ensure the unit is running at peak efficiency. HVAC systems are complex systems with a lot of parts that work together.  Having a professional conduct routine maintenance and make minor repairs can prevent more costly repairs in the future and dramatically extend the life of your system.

Checking your unit frequently.

While you may not be a licensed HVAC technician, that doesn’t mean you can’t check in on things! Take the time in the spring to inspect your A/C unit before turning it on. Clear away debris from your unit or your furnace. Make sure there is proper airflow and check your filters regularly.

Giving your system a break.

Imagine how you would feel working a 24-hour shift without a break! That’s how your system feels when it’s constantly running day in and day out. Don’t put undue stress on your system. Get a programmable or smart thermostat, follow our thermostat setting tips, and don’t crank the A/C or heat when you really don’t need to!

Considering a new HVAC system?

Contact the HVAC experts at TJ’s Plumbing & Heating. Our trained HVAC experts will help you evaluate your home’s system and identify the best possible HVAC solution. Whether it’s a repair or a completely new system, our team will work with you to identify the most cost-effective and efficient solution. Contact us today for a free consultation.

DryAirDry, itchy skin.

Constant sore and irritated throat.

Static electricity that won’t seem to stop.

That nagging cough that won’t go away.

It’s been a long winter. Even though the temperatures are beginning to warm just a bit, the nights are still cool and your house is still dry.

Why is the air so dry when it’s cold outside? 

The short answer, physics.

The longer answer is that colder air can’t hold as much moisture are warm air. All air contains some water molecules that bounce around in a gas state. These molecules can bump into each other and form a grouping that then drop out of the air (moisture). Since cold air can’t hold as many molecules, they don’t bump into each other as often so less moisture is produced.

Enough with the physics lesson, what can I do about it? 

Ok I get it! You might not really care too much about why it’s so dry, you just want to find a solution. Lucky for you, there are some great solutions available!

To help put more moisture back into dry air, there are some temporary solutions and then some more permanent solutions too.  Let’s look more closely at a few:

Boil water on your stove.

This is a pretty simple and easy option. As you boil the water steam will rise and add some moisture into the air. While it’s simple, it also won’t raise the humidity levels throughout the entire house. You might find some temporary relief in and around the kitchen, but it’s not a very effective whole-house solution.

Use a small free-standing humidifier.

You can purchase a free-standing humidifier that you fill with water, plug-in and place in a room. This will release a steady stream of humidity throughout the area it is in.

This will increase the humidity levels in the general vicinity of the unit. It is a relatively inexpensive option, but you will need to buy one for every room of the house and continually fill the water reservoirs. You also can’t easily control the humidity level.

Install a whole-house humidifier.

While a bit more costly initially, a whole-house humidifier offers a humidity solution for the entire home with more control. While the other options might work in a very small area of the home for a limited time, the whole-house humidifier works with your heating system to circulate more comfortable air throughout the entire home.

The whole-house humidifier allows you to choose a comfortable humidity level and ensure that too much moisture isn’t released into the air (which can damage furnishings).

As an added benefit, a steady humidity level throughout the home provides more comfort at lower thermostat temperatures. This allows you to drop the temperature a degree or two. According to the EPA, every degree you lower your thermostat can save 4% in your energy bill!

Stop Dealing with Dry Air – Call TJs Plumbing & Heating Today

So goodbye to dry! The experts at TJs will provide a free estimate and consultation to determine the most effective and efficient system for your home. Contact us today to learn more.


 Learn More About Whole-House Humidifiers

Home Air Filtration JamestownEach winter we deal with snow, sleet, blistering cold wind and more. When springtime comes around we can breathe a little easier. That is unless you’re one of the 58 million Americans that deal with allergies each and every spring.

The bad news is that there’s nothing you can do to stop Mother Nature from spewing seemingly endless amounts of pollen and other allergens into the air.  The good news is that you can take some steps to protect yourself indoors.

Here are several HVAC tips to keep the constant sneezing and itchy eyes out of your house!

Don’t ignore indoor air quality!
There is a misconception that spring allergies are worse outdoors. The truth of the matter is that indoor air quality can be 2-5 times worse than outdoors. So unless you take proactive steps to control air quality inside, closing the doors and windows might actually do more harm than good!

Replace your air filter.
If you’re like most people, you probably haven’t changed your air filter since before winter (or worse)! Over the last few months your filter has been trapping all sorts of allergens like mold, dust, dust mites and more. Get in the habit of changing your air filter at least every 60 days and possibly more during high allergen seasons like spring.

Install a Home Ventilation System
The American College of Allergists found that 50% of illnesses are caused or aggravated by poor indoor air quality.  Mold, mildew, dust and more can lurk in your air duct system and can continue to recirculate. A whole house ventilation system replaces that stale and polluted indoor air continually so the contaminated indoor air is replaced and refreshed. This not only helps eliminate pollutants but helps eliminate odors caused by pets and cooking. (Learn more about our HVAC services.)

Clean your A/C evaporator coil.
If water collected and sat in your evaporator coil all fall and winter, it could have produced mold and mildew. Be sure to inspect the area around the evaporator coil. You may even consider installing an ultraviolet lamp near the coil to stop mold growth.

Maintain your HVAC system all year.
It’s easy to take your heating and cooling system for granted – especially if it seems to be working well. But to keep it working well year-round, consider bringing in a professional for routine maintenance and inspection. This minimal expense can save you thousands of dollars in the long-run and help keep allergens at bay.

Want to improve your indoor air-quality? Contact TJ’s Plumbing today!

From routine maintenance to complete system installs, residential to commercial, TJ’s does it all. Contact us today to learn more about our Spring HVAC tune-up services.

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