clean air home

Keep Your Indoor Air Quality High with Regular HVAC Maintenance

In the summertime, when temperatures rise, outdoor air quality can often be poor thanks to pollution and smog. Air quality issues don’t disappear in the Connecticut winter cold, however: they simply move indoors, particularly if there are problems in your home’s heating and ventilation system. One of the problems is that indoor air pollutants are often invisible.

“Most of the things that cause problems are odorless,” says Dr. Nicholas BuSaba, associate professor of otolaryngology at Harvard Medical School. “So, in many cases, there’s nothing to alert you to the problem.”

Nothing except the symptoms these pollutants and allergens can trigger, such as respiratory problems (including asthma flare-ups), fatigue and sleepiness, nasal allergies or even digestive issues. The problem often resides in your heating and cooling system.

Importance of a Home’s HVAC System

Think of your heating and cooling system as the lungs of your home. The HVAC (or just heating, if you don’t have air conditioning) takes air in and “breathes” it out through the air ducts in your home. Unfortunately, these air ducts are ideal places for indoor pollutants to lurk.

It’s estimated that dirt and dust are recirculated throughout your home five to seven times a day, on average, depending on your heating system. Over time, this can cause a buildup of gunk in the ductwork. These dirty ducts can reduce the air quality inside your home, contributing to health issues, especially in people who already have respiratory conditions such as asthma, autoimmune disorders or allergies.

Improving Indoor Air Quality

Keeping clean air in our homes is important for the health of the entire family. Dirty, dusty air ducts can aggravate allergies and asthma by blowing dust, pet hair and other allergens into living spaces. Cleaning the air ducts in your home removes dirt and dust, leading to better indoor air quality. It also helps to install filters in the HVAC system and ensure they are changed regularly. Electrostatic filters can help ensure that dust and other airborne irritants get trapped instead of being recirculated throughout your home. Dehumidifiers and air purifiers can also be installed to help improve indoor air quality.

Get Your Ducts Professionally Cleaned

Preferred Hood & Duct offers competitive rates on all residential air duct, dryer vent, and kitchen exhaust system cleaning. Visit our website to view our services or call 860-613-1130 to discuss how we can help keep your home a cleaner, healthier place, either with a new installation or routine cleaning and maintenance.

Yearly Air Duct Cleanings Bring Fresh Air & Save Energy

Cleaning our home’s is part of a regular routine to keep our space healthy and livable. Everything from dusting to mopping floors and keeping the bathroom clean and sanitized are important weekly routines. Other cleaning tasks might happen less frequently. Such as pulling out appliances and deep cleaning behind their insides, but the task is still a necessary one.

Another cleaning that has to happen at least one time per year if you want to stay healthy and lower your energy bills is an air duct cleaning.

Your home’s air ducts, while out of visual sight, plays an important role in carrying cold and hot air through the home to keep you comfortable throughout Connecticut’s various seasons. Like the other areas of your home, these ducts accumulate dust and debris.

Clean Air

Just think about all the times you pull out the stove or refrigerator to clean behind it and are amazed by the dust that’s managed to accumulate. Now think about this same dust and debris being forced into the air in your home as the ducts deliver heat or AC to the rooms? Not only is that poor for health reasons, but combustible dusts are also a real problem.

Energy Efficiency

A dirty air duct isn’t just pushing pet dander, dust and other contaminants into the air, but the whole system is working harder than it has to and can potentially need premature, costly repairs. Having a professional technician preform regular cleanings will lead to less stress on the system and less energy usage.

Seasonal maintenance and duct cleaning services are the best way to inspect your HAVC system and diagnose problems early. Everything from leaky ducts to coils covered in dust and debris, can lead to performance issues that are costing you money and putting your family at risk.

Schedule a Duct Cleaning

Preferred Hood & Duct provides air duct cleaning services that help improve air quality in buildings and homes across Connecticut.  Get a free consultation and quote by getting in touch with our easy online form, or call (860) 613-1130.

fireplace burning

Little Known Ways to Save Money on Your Heating Bill

Winter in New England is usually predictable: At some point there will be snow (some years more than others) and there is always a decent period of time when temperatures are frigid. While the last few years have been a bit scattered with winter weather, it looks like we’ll be bracing for some brutally cold temps this year. According to AccuWeather we’re looking at a colder season than last year with an above normal snow fall.

With those kind of temperatures coming, your home heating system and your wallet will be challenged. Here are some little known ways you can save some money on your heating bill.

Eliminate Drafts

Keeping the doors closed might be one thing you already know helps to keep cold air out and warm air in, but there are other ways to eliminate drafts around your home that you may not have considered. Did you know cold air could be coming in via an electrical box? If insulation isn’t done properly around the boxes they can easily let air escape. There are foam gaskets available for purchase that actually seal around the inside of an outlet. Be sure to also look around all of your doors. Check that weather stripping around the frame is still intact. These tend to get dried out or crack and that could cause an energy loss issue. Also, be sure that the bottom threshold on the doorway doesn’t have a gap for air to pass through.

Winterize Your Windows

Of course we all close our windows for the season, but going around and ensuring they are also all locked is a great way to keep drafts at bay since many windows will seal tighter once the lock is turned. You can purchase thermal window treatments too and keep them over the window at night (let the sun in for added warmth during the day). Additionally, you can further improve efficiency by wintering the windows and applying things like weather strips or other clear plastic films made specifically for sealing your windows and keeping the cold air out.

Don’t Neglect Maintenance & Repairs

You home’s HVAC system is taxed in the winter months as it works hard to heat water and keep the home’s temperature at a comfortable setting. Consider layering up with extra socks and warm clothing while home and keeping your thermostat a bit lower to give the system a break. You could also invest in more advanced, programmable or connected thermostats on the market today that are smart enough to keep the house warm only while you’re there – reducing your home heating costs. Regardless of how your home heat is being delivered, you need to keep that system running efficiently. That means doing all scheduled maintenance work and having repairs done in advance to avoid being left in the cold.

At Preferred Hood & Duct, we offer competitive rates on all residential services throughout Connecticut. Contact us to schedule an appointment before the cold weather hits.

cabin winter snow

Winter Cleaning & Prep Tips for Your Home

Winter’s cold chill is soon to come knocking on the door of many New England homes. Before that day comes, you’ll want to be sure your home is prepped and ready for everything the wonderful winter has to bring. From sealed doors and windows, to chimney sweeping and furnace cleaning – there’s a long list to be checked.

Here are some tips to get you started on winter cleaning and preparation before “Old Man Winter” makes his entrance.


Having hot, running water is an amenity many of us have come to enjoy. From being able to wash clothes and dishes, to taking a shower, going without it can be difficult. In the winter, when temperatures are dropping really low, the risk increases substantially for pipes bursting. Consider having insulation put around those pipes and in other areas of your home that may need extra layers of protection from the cold. This can also help reduce energy usage while protecting your home from flood damage.


Coming indoors after being out in the cold should feel great. But if you’re home has drafts coming in, you might not want to take your jacket off. As part of your winter preparations, go around all of your home’s windows and doors and be sure no air is escaping or entering around the seals or other cracks. Consider replacement windows, storm doors or other draft protectors to shield your home from letting cold air in and warm, expensive air, out.


Heating your home in the winter is necessary. It can also be very costly. To ensure your home’s furnace and heating system is performing optimally, you should have it professionally cleaned and inspected each year. HVAC technicians will check that all airways, filters and vents are clear of dirt and debris and that all thermostats in your home are operating. If your home is in need of a new furnace, this is also something you’ll want to do before winter comes along and the bitter cold comes along.

If you’re a Connecticut homeowner, you can schedule a duct cleaning or consultation for your home with Preferred Hood & Duct by calling (860) 613-1130 or by using this convenient online form.

Save Money on Home Heating This Winter with Clean Ducts

A photo of a stack of coins.Cold weather is fast approaching here in Connecticut, and that means it’s almost time to fire up the furnace for the first time. The upside is a perfect excuse to cozy up under a blanket with some hot chocolate. The downside is how expensive heating your home can be.

If you want to maximize the efficiency of your home heating system (and who doesn’t), one wise step to take is having your air vents cleaned and inspected by a licensed professional.

How Does Air Duct Cleaning Save Money on Home Heating?

When air ducts become dirty or otherwise blocked up, it can interfere with proper airflow, causing the furnace to work harder and use more fuel. This is especially problematic if your home uses heating oil rather than natural gas, as it makes the possibility of running out more likely.

Having your air ducts cleaned will also let duct specialists see if you have any leaks or damage in your ductwork that might otherwise have gone unnoticed. Obviously a hole or other leak in your heating vents won’t be good for energy efficiency!

If you’re a Connecticut homeowner, you can schedule a duct cleaning or consultation for your home with Preferred Hood & Duct by calling (860) 613-1130 or by using this convenient online form.

What Are Some Other Ways to Save on Home Heating Bills?

Of course, there’s more to having an efficient home heating system than just taking care of your ducts (as important as it is). Here are some other tips for saving money on home heating in winter.

Make sure your home is properly insulated. There’s not a lot you can do about your walls, but one common mistake homeowners make is not having their attic properly insulated. This can lead to heat loss and even problems like ice dams in the gutters.

Make sure your windows are up to snuff. Another common way people lose heat (and money) is through old or outdated windows. Having your windows replaced with vinyl, double-pane, or other EnergyStar-approved windows will pay off in the long run with energy savings.

Winter is flue season… No, we’re not talking about getting sick. If your home has a fireplace and chimney, make sure it’s properly insulated. Warm air likes to rise and if it can, the warm air in your home will fly right out the chimney. Chimney caps might not be a great option if you like to use your fireplace, but glass fireplace doors are another good way to keep them insulated.

Of course: turn the thermostat down. The easiest way to save on your home’s heating is simply by turning the thermostat down. You don’t have to freeze, but keeping the heat ay 68 instead of 70 can save a lot over time. This is an especially good idea during hours when no one is home. Why pay extra to heat an empty house?

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Is Your Furnace Blowing Lukewarm Air? This Might Be Why.

A girl in winter clothing at her laptop computer. Via Justin Hall on Flickr.The weather is getting colder here in Connecticut, and that means people are turning on their furnaces for the first time of the year. If you’ve turned on your home’s heat and found the air coming out of your home heating vents is lukewarm at best, you’re probably pretty frustrated.

Unfortunately, there can be many answers to the question, “Why is my furnace blowing lukewarm air?” Here are some of the most common explanations. Some are easily remedied by any homeowner, and some will require an HVAC professional to address.

Leaking Air Ducts

If your home’s air ducts are leaking, cold air could be making its way inside and mixing with the hot air produced by the furnace. This results in mild, lukewarm air emerging from the vents. Duct leaks can be caused by deteriorating seals, improper installation, and damage from pests. If you’re experiencing lukewarm are from your ducts in addition to symptoms of duct leaks like higher than usual utility bills, call a heating and cooling expert to diagnose the problem.

Problems with the Filter

If your furnace’s air filter is clogged or improperly installed, it may restrict the flow of air to the furnace burner. If the blower is still operating however, this will result in lukewarm air coming from the vents. A simple visual check should be enough to tell you if your furnace’s air filter is dirty. If it is, throw it away and replace it with a fresh one. If you’ve just done that, and there’s still a problem with the burner, the filter might be improperly installed. If you’re not confident replacing it yourself, call a professional.

The Thermostat is Set to “On” Instead of “Auto”

When the thermostat is set to “on,” the furnace system blows air whether or not the furnace is actually producing heat. This will result in lukewarm air emerging from the vents. Set the thermostat to “auto” and the fan will only run when the burner is actually producing heat.

A Problem with the Gas Supply or Furnace

If your furnace isn’t getting any or enough gas, it won’t be heating anything, much less the air coming from your air vents. Make sure there’s no problem with the gas supply. This problem could also be caused by a faulty thermocouple or flame sensor. If the burner’s not igniting and there’s no problem with the gas, contact a professional to investigate.

If your heat isn’t working and it’s cold outside, it’s imperative that you get it working as soon as possible. If self-troubleshooting isn’t doing the trick, call a professional right away.

For HVAC inspections and duct cleaning in Connecticut, call Preferred Hood and Duct.

Image Credit: Justin Hall, licensed via Creative Commons