J & W Heating and Air Blog

How Air Purifiers Clean Your Air

December 10th, 2014

If you want to be comfortable and healthy at home, you need to be able to breathe clean, purified air every day.

While the standard heating and air conditioning system comes with a filter that helps to strain out some harmful contaminants in the home, this may not be enough to rid your living space of smaller particles that continue to cycle through the ducts. In some cases, particularly if your family members have a condition like asthma or persistent allergies, a technician may recommend that you install an electronic air purifier instead.

Electronic air purifiers utilize a process known as ionization in order to clean the air instead of the fine fiber media used in most standard one-inch air filters. There are two different types of electronic air cleaners: electrostatic precipitators and ion generators. Electrostatic precipitators contain an ionization chamber and two flat collection plates. Ions charge particles as a fan blows air through the chamber. The particles then collect on the two plates of an opposite charge, which you’ll have to clean off every one to three months or so.

Ion generators, on the other hand, project these ions into the air so that all of the particles moving in the air in your home receive a charge instead. Rather than collecting on large plates, the particles collect on surfaces in your home with an opposite charge, such as the drapes, a couch, or the walls. This is far safer than having particles float around in the air you breathe, and it will likely get cleaned up during your next home cleaning spree.

You can also choose a UV air purifier, which is installed on the indoor air handler to kill mold and microorganisms like bacteria and viruses so they are no longer a threat to breathe in. These contaminants often thrive on the indoor air handler of your HVAC system, as frequent condensation allows for ideal conditions for small organic matter to live.

We offer duct cleaning, duct sealing, humidifiers, and dehumidifiers, as well as energy recovery ventilators and heat recovery ventilators for greater control over the cleanliness of the air you breathe. Keep your home protected from contaminants by calling our office today!

Call J & W Heating and Air if you decide you need an air purifier in Jacksonville or to earn more about our many other air filtration services.

Some of Your Choices for Air Purifiers

December 3rd, 2014

Whether you realize it or not, the air in your home is full of all sorts of microscopic airborne pollutants. Some of these pollutants are simple annoyances, some can make you sick, and in rare cases a few of them can be fatal. What can you do about it? You can use an air purifier. Air purifiers are devices designed to cleanse the surrounding air of various kinds of common air contaminants. There are a variety of different methods that these purifiers use, each suited for a slightly different group of pollutants. Read on for a list of some of the more common options.

HEPA Filters

HEPA stands for High Efficiency Particulate Air. HEPA filters are very similar to normal air filters that you’ll find in furnaces and the like. The difference is in the quality of the construction. HEPA filters are composed of a fiber mesh woven over a metal frame. The mesh is woven so tightly that it can even capture microscopic viruses and bacteria, something that an average filter can’t do. HEPA filters are often used in sterile environments, like hospitals and server rooms. You may not need a filtration system of this quality, but it helps to know that it’s an option.

Ionization Purifiers

Ionization purifiers work by generating an electric field around themselves. As the particulates in the air pass through this field, they acquire a negative charge. This negative charge causes them to be attracted to any positively charged surface, including the metal plates installed in the purifier itself. These metal plates can then be removed and cleaned. Ionization purifiers can capture a wide variety of air pollutants. Be warned, however, that they can have their own side effects. The EPA has found that ionization purifiers produce ozone as a byproduct of their operation. Ozone is classified as toxic gas, and can be harmful to people. We highly recommend that you speak to a professional yourself before deciding on what air purifier to use.

If you’d like to know more about which air purifier might be right for you, call J & W Heating and Air to speak with one of our qualified technicians. We professionally install air purifiers in the Jacksonville area.

10 Facts You Should Know about Thanksgiving

November 27th, 2014

Thanksgiving has been celebrated as an official holiday in the United States for over 150 years, so you may think you understand all there is to know about this family feast. Most of us have heard the story of the pilgrims’ first Thanksgiving in 1621 after arriving in North America on the Mayflower. But did you know that only about half of the people on this ship were actually pilgrims? This fact is one of ten things that may actually surprise you about the Thanksgiving tradition!

  1. Although we often consider Thanksgiving a holiday unique to the United States, many other countries and cultures celebrate their own set of harvest-time and thanksgiving traditions. In Korea, Chu-Sok (or “fall evening”) is put on in remembrance of forefathers on August 15th of every year. Brazil celebrates a contemporary version of the U.S. holiday. Chinese, Roman, and Jewish cultures all have a history of harvest celebrations as well.
  2. President Harry S. Truman began the tradition of a ceremony held before Thanksgiving during which the president receives a turkey. George H.W. Bush was the first to pardon the turkey instead of eating it.
  3. In Minnesota alone, farmers raise over 40 million turkeys a year. In fact, U.S. farmers produce about one turkey for every one person in the country.
  4. According to the New England Journal of Medicine, the average American will gain about one to two pounds every year during the holiday season.
  5. On the other hand, turkey is naturally high in protein and has been known to support and boost immune systems to protect against illness and speed up healing. So feast on!
  6. Abraham Lincoln issued a “Thanksgiving Proclamation” in 1863, but a woman named Sarah Josepha Hale can be credited with the idea. While Thanksgiving had been celebrated at different times of year in many areas of the U.S. for years, it was Hale, prominent magazine editor and author of the rhyme “Mary Had a Little Lamb,” who urged Lincoln to finally establish the national event.
  7. President Franklin D Roosevelt once tried to change the date of Thanksgiving to the second-to-last Thursday of the month in order to extend the holiday shopping season and boost the economy.
  8. Only about half of the people on the Mayflower were what we would consider today as “Pilgrims.” The other (approximately) 50 people were simply trying to find a way over to the New World.
  9. Gobble, gobble! Click, click? While male turkeys make a gobbling noise, females (hens) do not; it’s often described as a clicking.
  10. Even though we celebrate Thanksgiving on the last Thursday of November, the month of June has been declared National Turkey Lovers’ Month by the National Turkey Federation so you can continue the celebration in the summer as well!

From our family here at J & W Heating and Air, we’d like to wish you and yours a very Happy Thanksgiving!

How Home Insulation Works

November 19th, 2014

Most homeowners know that insulation is important, but many do not know how insulation works and why it is so important. With so many insulation options available, it can be difficult to know which insulation products you should install into your home. Working with a trained insulation specialist can help you determine which types of insulation will be best for your home, and then professionally install it so you can gain the benefits for years to come. Let’s take a look at how insulation works and then we’ll describe the most common types of insulation currently available to homeowners.

What Insulation Does

Heat moves in three ways:

  • Convection – the way heat circulates through liquids and gases
  • Conduction – the way heat moves through materials
  • Radiation – heat that travels in a straight line and is absorbed by anything exposed to it

Heat always moves from warmer areas to colder areas. As such, the main job of insulation is to slow the transfer of heat; the second job of insulation is to form a barrier that stops your indoor air from moving outdoors. Without an effective resistance to heat flow, your home can become very inefficient and uncomfortable.

R-Values

R-values are the best way to determine how effectively a particular type of insulation will work. Specifically, R-values are the rating of an insulation material’s resistance to conductive heat flow; the higher the R-value, the greater the resistance. There are recommended R-values for every area of the country based on climate; as such, it’s important to insulate your home based on the R-value recommendation.

Types of Insulation

Here are the most common types of insulation:

  • Blanket insulation (also known as batt and roll) – this is the most well-known type of insulation, and is made primarily of fiberglass.
  • Foam board/rigid foam – foam boards are rigid boards of insulation that can be used from the top to the bottom of your home.
  • Spray foam – spray foam is an adhesive that forms an air-tight seal with whatever it comes into contact with. Spray foam also expands exponentially when it makes contact with the air, so it’s important to have a trained professional for the installation.
  • Loose fill/blown-in – loose fill is blown into your home, making it great for retro-fitting; it is mostly made of recycled materials.

If you have concerns about the level of insulation in your Middleburg, FL home, call J & W Heating and Air today and schedule an appointment with one of our experts.

Reasons to Install an Air Filtration System

November 12th, 2014

Every HVAC system comes with a standard air filter, but the job of this air filter is not to improve your indoor air quality; rather, it is to help reduce the amount of dirt, dust and debris that can enter your system. To truly improve the quality of your indoor air, you’ll want to consider installing an air filtration system in St. Augustine. There are a few things to understand about air filters before you choose one for installation, and the assistance of a trained professional can help ensure that you install an air filter that’s right for you. The indoor air quality experts at J & W Heating and Air have been upgrading HVAC systems since 1966, so if you are looking to upgrade your system, call us today!

MERV Ratings: Why They Matter

Air filters come with a rating known as MERV, which stands for minimum efficiency reporting value. This number tells you how effective a particular filter is when installed into your system. MERV ratings range from 1 to 20, with residential use typically ranging from 5-12. As an example, the standard filter that comes with your HVAC system usually has a MERV rating between 1-4. Other ranges break out as follows:

  • MERV 5-8 – captures pollen, dust mites and dust mite debris, sanding dust, textile fibers, carpet fibers, some mold and mildew spores and pet dander.
  • MERV 9-12 – captures the above-listed items and these additional ones: Legionella, Humidifier dust, lead dust and auto emission particulates.
  • MERV 13+ – filters with a MERV higher than 12 can start to restrict air flow, so it’s important to consult a professional about using a filter with this high of a MERV rating.

Reasons to Install an Air Filtration System

The main reason to install an air filtration system is to improve your indoor air quality. Here are a couple of more reasons to consider installing an air filter:

  • Better energy efficiency – a stronger, better air filter removes more contaminants from the air, which can help improve the air flow in your system.
  • Less stress on your system – improved removal of items that can clog your system, like dirt and dust, allows your system to work optimally, reducing levels of stress.
  • Help for allergy sufferers – stronger air filters can remove far more allergens from your indoor air, which can go a long way toward reducing the effects of allergies.

An air filtration system in St. Augustine can help both you and your HVAC system. If you are interested in seeing what an air filtration system can do for you and your home, call J & W Heating and Air today and schedule an appointment with one of our experts.

Now Is a Good Time of Year for Air Conditioning Replacement

November 5th, 2014

Did your air conditioner end the cooling season with a sputter? Did you spend a lot on repairs this summer keeping your AC operational? With the cooler temperatures of the fall season, now is a great time for air conditioning replacement in Jacksonville. Waiting to replace your system could be more costly when the weather turns warm again, so call the company you can trust: J & W Heating and Air.

Why Replace in Fall?

There are a few advantages to replacing your air conditioning system during the fall season:

  • Better availability of technicians – now that our busy heating season is over, it is easier to schedule an appointment with our technicians.
  • Better temperatures – the cooler temperatures of the fall season allow our technicians to replace your system while it’s comfortable outside rather than during a hot summer day.
  • Potential savings – installing a new air conditioner after cooling season may yield some savings via promotions and/or sales on equipment.

Reasons to Replace Your Current AC

If you are on the fence about whether or not to replace your system now, consider the following:

  • Better energy efficiency – today’s air conditioners are far more energy efficient than those of just 10 years ago. In addition, the federal law changed in 2006 mandating that all air conditioners have a minimum SEER of 13; previously, the minimum SEER was 10. As such, if your air conditioner is more than 8 years old, you may be operating a system that isn’t as efficient as today’s models. According to Energystar.gov, each point higher on the SEER scale equates to an approximate savings of 10% on your annual air conditioning costs, which can be a significant savings for homeowners.
  • Better comfort – an aging air conditioner can struggle to achieve your set temperature due to aging components. This won’t be an issue with a new system.
  • Reliability – if you paid for numerous AC repairs this summer, you know how important it is to have a reliable air conditioner. A new system can offer you both reliability and durability for years to come.

If you are in need of air conditioning replacement in Jacksonville, fall is a great time of year to schedule installation. Make an appointment with a J & W Heating and Air expert today!

Why Attic Insulation Is So Important

October 29th, 2014

Good insulation is critical to maintaining the energy efficiency of your home year-round. But, if only certain parts of your home have the proper amount of insulation, you’ll still experience issues around energy efficiency and comfort. One of the more overlooked areas for installing proper insulation in Ponte Vedra is your attic space. Your attic space can have a big effect on your home’s energy efficiency, which is why it’s important that the area is properly insulated. If you aren’t sure if you have enough attic insulation, or you know you need more, call the people you can trust to correctly and effectively install insulation in your attic: J & W Heating and Air.

How Insulation Works

The main job of insulation is to slow the transfer of heat. Heat flows in 3 ways:

  • Convection – the way heat circulates through liquids and gases
  • Conduction – the way heat moves through materials
  • Radiation – heat that travels in a straight line and is absorbed by anything exposed to it

When your attic isn’t properly insulated, the intense heat of your attic in the summer easily transfers into your living space, which can force your AC to work harder. During the winter, the heat from your home will move toward the cold air in your attic and outside, forcing your heating system to compensate for the lost heat. By properly insulating your attic, you can significantly reduce heat transfer during all seasons.

Benefits of Good Attic Insulation

Here are some of the benefits of good attic insulation:

  • Better energy efficiency – as we mentioned above, having the right amount of insulation throughout your home is critical to maintaining good energy efficiency in your home all year. In fact, the EPA estimates that having the right amount of insulation in your home can reduce your annual energy usage up to 20%.
  • Better comfort – unwanted heat loss or gain can make your indoor temperature fluctuate and become uncomfortable. Having the right amount of insulation starting from your attic space helps you retain the heating and cooling inside your home.
  • Decreased noise pollution – insulation acts as a sound barrier, so with added insulation in your attic, your home will be quieter.

When it comes to having the right amount of insulation in your home, it’s important not to overlook your attic space. Call J & W Heating and Air today and schedule an appointment with one of our experts to review your attic insulation in Ponte Vedra.

Should I Just Wait Until Next Year for Air Conditioning Maintenance?

October 22nd, 2014

Your air conditioner worked hard this past summer, and it is very likely it has wear and tear, dust and dirt, and may be in need of some minor repair work. Scheduling fall maintenance for your air conditioning in Jacksonville ensures that your system will be ready to work on your first day of air conditioning next year, and will run optimally; this may not happen if you wait to schedule maintenance. Call J & W Heating and Air today and schedule your fall AC maintenance in Jacksonville with one of our trained experts.

Reasons to Schedule Maintenance Now

Here are a few reasons you’ll want to consider scheduling maintenance now:

  • Helps prevent repairs – during a maintenance visit, your system is thoroughly inspected, cleaned and adjusted, and components are lubricated as needed. The thorough inspection allows the technician to detect any existing or developing problems, which can help you get ahead of potential repairs.
  • Helps maintain energy efficiency – your air conditioner was made to work at a specific level of energy efficiency. When it is worn and dirty, it can’t achieve this. The tune-up your system receives during a routine maintenance appointment helps your system to retain its original energy efficiency level.
  • Helps extend life of equipment – dirt, dust and wear and tear can act as a drag on your system. When you operate your system for a long period of time with this kind of stress, it can prematurely age your equipment. Maintenance keeps your system in good working order so that it runs optimally, which helps reduce premature aging.
  • Any repairs will likely become worse – if there are repairs that need to be made to your system, simply shutting your AC off for the season doesn’t make them disappear, and may actually make them worse. It’s always best to attend to needed repairs as soon as possible.

It can be tempting to turn off your air conditioning at the end of the cooling season and wait until next year to maintain or repair it. However, it’s better for you, your system and your wallet to schedule air conditioning maintenance in Jacksonville now. Call J & W Heating and Air and schedule an appointment for maintenance today.

Air Conditioning Services for After the Cooling Season

October 15th, 2014

Here in Ponte Vedra, cooler weather does not last for very long. But when temperatures are in the 70s, you may feel relieved that you can open up a window and enjoy the fresh air instead of cranking up your air conditioner or running a heater. Because you may not use your air conditioner very often, if at all, for the rest of the cooling season, you have an opportune chance to schedule some much needed services. Here are some of the air conditioning services available in Ponte Vedra that you should consider scheduling sooner rather than later, long before the cooling season begins again.

Air Conditioning Repair

When there are minor problems with an air conditioning system, some homeowners may choose to simply ignore it and shut off the system until high temperatures return. But scheduling air conditioning repair now means that technicians may be more readily available, so you can schedule service on your own time. And if you wait too long, there may come an unseasonably warm day that requires you to run your air conditioning system, which will only amplify problems and lead to more costly repairs.

Annual Maintenance

Maintenance is a service you should schedule every year to prevent problems from occurring and to restore some efficiency to your unit. Now is a great time to schedule maintenance so that you can be sure your unit is working as it should as soon as temperatures begin to rise. This service involves cleaning some components, making adjustments, and a full inspection to determine whether there are any major problems.

Replacing an Older System

Finally, the cooler months are an excellent time to schedule new AC installation, partly due to the availability of technicians. You can discuss your options with a heating professional, who will help you find an efficient model that is sized properly for your home and fits into your budget. Besides, waiting too long may mean that your system will break down entirely, which can sometimes cost more to replace.

For air conditioning services in Ponte Vedra even after the cooling season, call J & W Heating and Air today!

Improve Your Insulation in Time for Winter

October 8th, 2014

Insulation is usually associated with colder weather, but the truth is, good insulation is necessary to keep your home energy efficient year-round. There are several types of insulation from which to choose, and many homeowners use a combination of types to achieve the best level of insulation possible. Improving your insulation has several important benefits, and fall offers a perfect window of opportunity to improve your insulation in Orange Park before the cooler weather of winter arrives. J & W Heating and Air has been helping customers with insulation issues for over four decades, so let our experienced and trained technicians improve your insulation.

Why It’s Important to Have Good Insulation

The main job of insulation is to slow the transfer of heat; this is because heat will always move from warm areas to cold areas. There are 3 ways heat flows:

  • Convection – the way heat circulates through liquids and gases
  • Conduction – the way heat moves through materials
  • Radiation – heat that travels in a straight line and is absorbed by anything exposed to it

Without good insulation, heat will enter your home during the warm months and exit your home during the cool months. Insulation creates a barrier that significantly reduces the movement of heat, allowing you to maintain your heating and cooling as needed.

Types of Insulation

There are 4 main types of insulation:

  • Batt insulation (roll insulation)
  • Foam board/rigid foam insulation
  • Loose-fill insulation (also known as blown-in)
  • Spray foam insulation

Batt insulation has been around for a long time and is what people usually picture when they think of insulation: pink layers. Foam board insulation can be used from top to bottom in a home, but because of its inflexibility, it is best used in walls, floors, ceilings and trusses. Loose-fill insulation is great for retro-fitting because it is blown directly into the walls of a home, and it fills crevices that can be hard to reach. Spray foam is relatively new, but has become very popular quickly. Spray foam is an adhesive that expands tremendously when it hits the air. Because it’s a foam, it covers all areas, especially hard to reach ones, and once it hardens, it becomes an airtight seal.

Benefits of Good Insulation

  • Better energy efficiency
  • Improved comfort
  • Reduced noise levels
  • Less wear on your heating and cooling systems

Having the proper level of insulation in Orange Park is good for you and your wallet. If you need help with your insulation, call the people with over 40 years’ experience: J & W Heating and Air. Contact us today to schedule an appointment.