home AC unit

Warmer Days Approaching: Schedule an AC Coil Cleaning

Spring has finally arrived in CT and warmer days are approaching. Soon we’ll move away from cranking our thermostats up to keep our homes warm to lowering the temps so the AC kicks on and keeps the home cool as temperatures are rising outside.

The constant use is taxing on the units and make yearly maintenance and cleaning critical. Especially for AC systems that can stop working and leave you melting on the hottest days of the year.

An AC coil cleaning will improve energy usage, ensure your home is cooling efficiently and prevent costly repairs and system breakdowns.

Spring AC Coil Cleanings

Spring time in Monterey is perfect for AC coil cleaning services because the snow has melted, the temperatures are mild and your windows are likely open letting a breeze into your home. It’s also the time just before the hot weather and extreme temps enter. July and August have historically been extremely hot in CT so your AC system is working hard around the clock to cool your home. You want to be sure it can do this and do it without increasing your bill or breaking down mid-season.

home AC unit

During an AC coil cleaning, the dirt and debris that’s accumulated around the condenser unit (grass clippings, leaves and dirt that’s kicked up from the ground are all culprits) are cleaned off of the coils so that they can properly absorb heat and have necessary airflow. In addition to cutting down utility bills this will also help extend the life of your AC system.

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A well trained technician will clean the coils without damaging them and can also spot other issues with the system that may need to be addressed. So while it will help to keep the AC units area clear of debris, you still need to schedule a cleaning once a year to keep your system working properly.

Based in Monterey, CA, Preferred Hood & Duct has over 20 years of experience cleaning air ducts, kitchen hoods, dryer vents, and more. Contact Preferred Hood & Duct today to schedule an AC coil cleaning appointment.

office space

Air Quality Zapping Productivity in Your Office?

office spaceThe desire for maximum productivity is something all businesses strive to achieve. Employees who work smarter and faster get more done and bring the most benefit to a company. But a workplace that isn’t operating optimally may have other factors at play. An unhappy workforce, lack of training and skills or even the layout of the office could all be culprits behind decreased motivation and lower productivity.

For this post, we’ll look deeper at another important topic many don’t factor in as the reason your office seems to be moving in slow motion: Air quality.

Sick Building Syndrome

A poor work environment isn’t a totally new concept, in fact there is a term “sick building syndrome” that’s used to describe a workplace where occupants have issues such as cough; chest tightness; fever, chills; and muscle aches that cannot be explained and where relief occurs only after leaving the building. Pollutants present in these spaces can be the cause. The best way to improve these issues is to locate the source and offer the cleanest air possible for workers to breathe.

Office Air Quality Problems

Still, office air quality issues continue to plague many. Absenteeism, increased sick time and illness are only a small part of the problem. The larger impacts of breathing poor quality air can be life threatening. Airborne particulate pollution, formaldehyde, active mold growth, and so many other air quality issues can be present. Poor ventilation and a limited amount of fresh outdoor air circulating through a building is also a large concern.

How to Fix Air Quality at the Office

If you want to maximize the health and productivity of your employees, take care of the indoor air quality by scheduling regular cleanings of your office’s air duct system. In fact, the EPA says that unclean HVAC coils can result in a 21 percent decrease in system efficiency.

At Preferred HD, our commercial air duct cleaning services include detailed assessments of your systems’ condition, post-job quality assurance checks, and restoration of the fiberglass insulation that commonly wears out in commercial HVAC duct systems.

Schedule a free consultation today!

clean air office

Clean Your Ducts for Fresher Indoor Air

Interior air quality is an important factor for homes and buildings because it can affect the health and quality of life of occupants. Things like mold, bacteria and chemicals can all pollute the air and should be handled with care. Opening the windows and using fans will help to reduce the effects on the space but in situations when you cannot open the windows, more will need to be done.

Having an HVAC professional come out for regular cleanings of your home or businesses air ducts and heating and cooling systems is the best way to ensure the air in your space is safe.

The professionals will look for the presence of mold in your system which can lessen air quality and then treat and prevent it. They’ll also clean the system and seal up any leaks.

Here are some additional things you can do to freshen up the air in your home.

Bring in Plants

Adding plants to our daily indoor spaces can help to improve air quality by adding necessary oxygen to the space. As plants grow they give off oxygen needed in the air and also pull in dangerous containments like carbon dioxide. Popular plants for improving air quality include mums, spider and dracaena plants. Be sure to check labels and research which plants are used to remove pollutants as well as the conditions they require to thrive and whether or not the plant is toxic to pets before you purchase.

Add an Air Purifier

There are many devices on the market today that you can purchase and setup in your home to help with purifying the air. These work by removing toxins we cannot see in the air from smoke, pet dander and pollen and filter it through a HEPA filter so it is better to breathe in. It is best to speak with an expert about your particular needs and which option would best prior to making an investment in one of these devices.

Never Skip HVAC Maintenance

HVAC maintenance appointments are critical to the health and safety of your homes heating and cooling system. Yearly cleanings and checkups will ensure the system is running optimally and can even prevent premature breakdown or other costly issues from happening. You should never skip these appointments if you’d like to keep your home or building operating efficiently.

Preferred Hood & Duct provides commercial and residential services including cleaning, sanitizing, inspection and service for ducts, HVAC systems, AC condenser coils, dryer vents, and more.

Contact us today for a free consultation.

fireplace shoes

Fireplaces & Indoor Air Quality: What You Should Know

fireplace shoesThis winter’s been an exceptionally cold one in the northeast with no shortage of snow storms. As we get ready for another snowy week, you may be thinking about lighting your fireplace to keep warm. But before you do, you should know that having your fireplace lit is also affecting indoor air quality which is essential for your family’s health.

Here are some questions to ask before you start that fire.

Does Your Fireplace Actually Heat Your Home?

According to the Indoor Air Quality Association, “most fireplaces draw heated air into the fire.” So as you sit by the fire that’s radiating with heat, you’re also letting cold air from outside back in and reducing the warm air your home’s heating system is struggling to already provide. If this is the type of fireplace you have, it may not make sense to light a fire in hopes of making it warmer in your home.

What about Wood Burning Alternatives?

You may be considering an unvented fireplace that uses natural gas to create the fire and warmth in your home as a good alternative to the traditional open, wood burning fireplace – but not so fast. If you also want to keep your indoor air quality safe, this option isn’t as beneficial as it sounds. All of the combustion gases are now released into the room. And that means carbon monoxide and other dangers become a concern.

For the best indoor air quality while adding a heating element to your home, the Indoor Air Quality Association recommends opting for a direct vent sealed combustion fireplace. These deliver heat efficiently into the home without bringing in dangerous combustible gases.

At Preferred Hood & Duct we take indoor air quality seriously and provide air duct cleaning services for residential and commercial locations throughout Monterey. Improve air quality and keep people safe.

Get a quote today!

house in snow

Battling the Deep Freeze: This Year’s Hottest Tips for Home Heating

house in snowSnowy, cold weather seems to be the norm for this winter season in New England. And while we may have learned the best ways to shovel and salt our driveways, there’s always something to learn when it comes to heating our homes more efficiently. Especially this winter as a “deep freeze” has so many scrambling to find ways to keep their homes warm without breaking the bank.

Dangerously low temperatures continue to occur and home heating tanks are emptying quickly. Once this happens, homeowners aren’t just dealing with cold temps but there are risks like frozen pipes and other issues that could crop up.

Here are some of this year’s hottest home heating tips.

Look for Gaps

Beyond just keeping doors closed and windows shut, you should be doing a check around the house to seal any gaps that could be letting cold air in. Use seals in thresholds, re-caulk windows and consider having an energy audit done to find more ways to maximize efficiency in your home.

Watch Your Thermometer

If you’re lucky enough to have a smart thermometer this step is a bit easier as you’ll be able to control temperatures from a distance and ensure your home is always set to efficient temperatures. But even if you’re not using a connected thermostat, you can monitor the degrees set and change them throughout the times of the day. For example, you can lower the temps a bit while you leave the house or even at night when you’ll be tucked under your blankets to keep warm. Just be cautious to not lower the temps too much or you’ll risk frozen or burst pipes if the temps get low enough.

Never Skip Inspection

While it’s unfortunately too late in the season for some to do this step, let this be a lesson. In the future, it’s better to have your yearly routine HVAC cleanings and tune-ups done before winter weather rolls around and larger issues can surface. Not only cleaning the system but also performing checks and preventative measures in advance will keep issues at bay by catching them early on.

Preferred HD provides HVAC system inspections and cleaning as well as insulation restoration services and more.

Get a free consultation.

dog on carpet

Caring for Your HVAC System When Pet Hair Overruns Your Home

Caring for a pet is something most people take seriously. Today our furry friends have become another member of the family – sharing the couch, meal-time and even vacations. Our love for them often surpasses accidents they may have in the home or the aggravations we may feel when trying to keep up with all the hair and dander some breeds leave behind.

While you may have grown accustomed to the tumble weeds floating around and have learned to overlook it until you have the time to clean it (again) you may want to consider getting that task done sooner than later as pet hair can cause your HVAC system to loose efficiency.

dog on carpetHere are some tips to help you keep energy costs in control when you have pet hair invading your home.

Schedule Regular Baths

Keeping your dog free of loose hairs is no easy task. High shedding dogs can be brushed for long period of times with additional hair falling regardless of attempts to brush it all away. But scheduling regular bathing and brushing can help you to reduce the amount of hair you’ll find all over your furniture and throughout your home. Besides being unpleasant to look at, these clumps of hair can find their way into your HVAC system and cause problems and even breakdowns if a clog occurs.

Change Filters Frequently

Keeping your home’s air filters clean is important for safety and health. But if your pet is shedding excessively you should make it a habit of changing them more frequently than is recommended to keep problems at bay. A professional duct cleaning can also help to remove dust and debris in you home’s air system and keep the air you and your family breathe fresh.

Never Skip Routine Maintenance

You may be tempted to skip a yearly cleaning of your HVAC system if things have been running smoothly but that’s never a wise decision. Regular cleanings help prevent breakdowns, identify issues and keep your system running optimally. If you have a pet in your home, it’s especially important to have these cleanings done since fur and dander you can’t even see could be getting into your system and causing problems.

Preferred Hood & Duct provides Monterey businesses and residents with HVAC services that improve air quality and keep your home warm and safe.

Get a free consultation and quote by using our easy online form, or call (860) 613-1130.

A man repairing an air conditioner.

The Problem with Dirty Air Filters in Your Home’s HVAC System

A man repairing an air conditioner.Keeping your home cooled and heated are probably two of the most important things that make it a comfortable place to stay throughout the seasons. Once one of these capabilities is gone, dealing with uncomfortable temperatures can be frustrating. One tell-tale sign that you have an issue or will soon, is a dirty air filter. Here’s a closer look at the problems a dirty air filter in your home’s HVAC system can bring.

Less Efficiency & Money Wasted

Replacing air filters in your home should be something you do regularly. The cost of the filters themselves are low and it’s a task you can do yourself. But forgetting or letting the replaceable filter sit for too long will comprise the efficiency of your system. All of the dust, pet hair and other dirt clogging the system takes extra work to get your home heated or cooled. As it works harder, it’s also increasing your utility bills.

Allergens & Other Air Quality Issues

HVAC systems do more than just keep your home warmed or cooled. They also circulate the air you’re breathing. When allergens and dust particles are clogging the system, they’ll make their way into the air you’re breathing too. This can lead to respiratory issues and a host of other problems for you and your family.

Equipment Breakdown

In addition to higher bills and poor air quality, HVAC systems layered in dust and air filters that haven’t been replaced will eventually also lead to premature equipment breakdown and costly repairs. In fact, fans, motors and other internal components covered with layers of dust will work harder and are even a fire hazard you should avoid.

Contact Preferred Hood & Duct for inspection, cleaning, sanitizing, and service of residential and commercial air ducts, HVAC systems, dryer vents, kitchen exhaust systems, A/C condenser coils, air vents, and more. Improve the indoor air quality of your home, business, school, hospital, and other facilities. Get a quote

tool belt

Why You Should Never Skip a Furnace Inspection

For those of us living in New England, the AC units have long been turned off and the heat has likely already been turned on. With cold temps expected to really hit the area in the coming weeks, you should be sure all your home’s heating equipment is running efficiently before you crank it up to stay warm. There are dangers involved with foregoing scheduled maintenance that you should be aware of.

Here are some of the reasons you shouldn’t skip your furnace inspection.

Premature Breakdown

There are many things you can do to keep your furnace in good working order. That includes checking and changing air filters regularly and keeping the area around the furnace swept and clean. Breakdown of the system can also occur when dust and dirt are kicked up and make their way into the motor or other internal elements of the system.

Carbon Monoxide Leaks

One of the most dangerous things an inspection can catch are CO2 leaks. Carbon monoxide is a silent killer that claims the lives of so many each year. While most homes today are equipped with CO2 detectors, there are many that still are not. During your furnace inspection and cleaning you may be able to catch a leak in advance before it has a chance to wreak havoc.

Fire Hazard

A good rule of thumb is to check filters, schedule furnace and chimney cleanings and change all smoke alarm batteries at the same time as the clocks are turned back for the season. Early warning of an issue goes a long way in ensuring you and your family can get out safely. Never clutter the area around your furnace and schedule routine cleanings and maintenance to avoid house fires.

Before the really cold temperatures make their way to the state, give Preferred Hood & Duct a call. Specializing in the inspection, cleaning, sanitizing, and service of residential and commercial air ducts, HVAC systems, air vents, and more, you’ll get quality service from qualified professionals.

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 Monterey. Contact us to schedule an appointment before the cold weather hits.

A point of view view of a man with his feet up in front of a fireplace.

3 HVAC Tips to Cozy Up Your Home for Fall

Each season presents different reasons to admire that particular the time of the year. Whether it’s the long days and beach you favor, the holidays and romantic snowfall, or if it’s the colorful foliage in fall that calls out to you, there is something for everyone to appreciate.

Fall is best known as the season to get comfortable. We start dressing in layers, pulling out the coats and blankets and turning on the heating system in our homes.

With proper care and planning, starting up your furnace in fall requires only the push of a button. But getting there involves some maintenance steps you shouldn’t forego.

Here are some HVAC tips to cozy up your home come fall.

Open Vents

Depending on the type of system in your home, you should open the vents on the floor and the ceiling in your home if they aren’t already. This will ensure every room is getting a fair amount of heat circulated through it. While you’re opening them, you should also use a vacuum to suck up any dust or debris in the vents to further improve air flow.

System Cleaning

The fall season is the perfect time to test out your furnace and have it cleaned. Since its not frigid cold yet, you have some time to have necessary repairs done if needed without having to sit in a cold home waiting for it to work again. In addition to cleaning any dust or debris that’s collected in the system before you turn it on for the season, a professional maintenance job will also ensure all moving parts in the system are in working order.

Check Insulation

One of the best ways to ensure your home stays warm while its cold outside is to have the proper insulation in place. Your furnace can only work so hard to combat the cold temperatures. Taking the strain off of the system will also alleviate premature breaking or other costly replacements. It is recommended that at least 12 inches of insulation be used in the attic and you might even consider insulating the basement walls to keep your home warm and cozy and lower your energy bills.

If you’re in Monterey and ready for fall, contact Preferred Hood & Duct for combustible dust control and HVAC inspections and cleanings now.