The Consequences of Not Changing an Air Filter

July 26, 2021

Your air conditioner relies on the system air filter to keep debris out of the compressor unit and out of other critical parts, as well. However, over time, the filter can become clogged with pollen, dirt and other contaminants. Therefore, it is important that homeowners regularly check and replace this critical part. How Often Should an Air Filter Be Changed? Different air filter brands and models are rated for different lengths of time and may perform differently from one home to another. If you have multiple pets in your home, for instance, or live with a smoker, the air filter will probably accumulate particles more quickly and need changing more often. If your home is in an area with high pollen counts or lots of dust, your filter might also need to be replaced more often. On average, most home homeowners need to replace the filter every 30 to 90 days, but GVEC recommends visually inspecting your air filter every month to check if it needs to be changed and is properly protecting critical system parts. What Happens If the Air Filter Is Not Changed? Eventually, the filter will not be able to prevent fine debris from coating blades, motors...

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3 Reasons Why Your Home Is Too Humid

July 12, 2021

The sweltering heat during the summertime in South Central Texas, may mean you’ll spend a lot of time indoors. If your home is too humid, you might be wondering why. Read on to learn about three common causes of excessive humidity in your home and to get some tips on what you can do about the situation. 1. Inadequate Ventilation When you’re washing laundry, cooking, showering or cleaning, you create a lot of humidity. If this humidity isn’t ventilated to the outdoors, it will persist in your home. Older homes often lack exhaust fans in their kitchens and bathrooms. In these instances, you can have one retrofit. Be sure to run the fans for at least 10 minutes after you finish any activities that create steam. 2. Oversized Air Conditioning System While it might seem like a good idea to get an air conditioner with extra capacity, it won’t make your home more comfortable. The high cooling capacity will cause the unit to run short cycles. These short cycles aren’t long enough to remove excess moisture from your home’s air. It’s better to get a right-sized air conditioner for your home. 3. Inadequate AC Maintenance If you’ve skipped the past...

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What Happens If My AC/Heating System Is Too Big for My House?

June 23, 2021

The weather in La Vernia, TX, and surrounding areas often goes from one extreme to another. You’ll need an efficient and effective air conditioning and heating system to maintain consistent indoor temperatures. If your HVAC system is too big or has too much capacity, this could lead to several issues that affect your comfort and wallet. Poor Humidity Control An air conditioning system that’s too big for your home may perform short cycling. This happens when the air conditioner runs at full power for a minute or two. It reaches the temperature setting on the thermostat quickly, then turns off. However, it won’t remove enough humidity from your house during this short cycle time. As a result, your residence won’t feel as comfortable as it would with a right-sized system. High humidity levels can also worsen allergy and asthma symptoms. High Utility Bills Cooling and heating your home make up roughly 50% of your monthly energy costs. If your system is the wrong size for your home, it could operate less efficiently and cost you even more. When the unit has too much capacity for your home, it may use more power than a correctly sized system. This can result...

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3 Reasons Why Regular Maintenance Is Good for Your AC/Heating System

June 9, 2021

Lack of maintenance can cause major issues for AC/Heating systems. You may have to deal with a variety of problems if you neglect your regular tune-up. Always reaching out to a local HVAC company to service your system twice a year is an excellent way for you to stay proactive and avoid many of these issues. Here are a few of the most likely things that can happen if you fail to keep your system well maintained. 1. Costly Breakdowns Over time, a heating and cooling system may eventually break down due to a lack of maintenance. These repairs can often be expensive and create a lot of stress. The easiest way to reduce the need for repair work is to schedule routine maintenance services. An HVAC technician will inspect your entire system and make any adjustments to ensure everything is working at an optimal level. 2. Reduced Lifespan Another disadvantage of poor maintenance is that it can reduce the useful life of your system. The average lifespan of most HVAC systems is around 15 years, but this expectation can be cut much shorter if you fail to keep the equipment professionally maintained. The investment in maintenance services is well...

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What Is A VRF AC/Heating System?

May 26, 2021

The hot summers in South Central Texas, mean that you need an effective cooling system for optimal indoor comfort. When it’s time to replace an aging air conditioning and heating system, you’ll likely encounter many options in the course of researching various products. One of these you may encounter is the variable refrigerant flow (VRF) AC/heating system. GVEC does sell these systems—mostly to commercial customers—but there is a residential version known as the mini-split. In this entry, we’ll be explaining a little about VRF systems for commercial use. What VRF Means HVAC systems based on VRF technology use a chemical refrigerant to transfer heat from one location to another. These ductless systems are extremely complicated, but amount to a highly enhanced version of the mini-split systems mentioned above. VRF systems include heat pumps and smaller mini-split units. How VRF AC and Heating Systems Work VRF systems use variable motor speeds and varying amounts of refrigerant flow to transfer heat. They do this with an inverter compressor. An inverter compressor doesn’t have to be 100% on or off. It can function at 30%, 60%, or any other power level. This allows it to heat or cool a building with more efficiency...

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What Is an Electronic Air Filter? Do I Need One?

May 19, 2021

Spring is in the air, and, unfortunately, that means pollen and allergens are as well. Keeping these particulates out of your home is a challenge in the subtropical climate of South Central Texas. Electronic air filters offer one possible solution for helping filter allergens from the air. Although we don’t sell these filters, we think it important for readers to understand their options regarding home air filtration. We do, however, offer a number of UV-light based home air filtration systems, which we’ll mention briefly near the conclusion of this blog. What Is an Electronic Air Filter? The most common type of electronic air filter is known as an electrostatic air filter. These complex systems work by creating an electrostatic charge that ionizes the air passing through the system. The ionization process causes the particles in the airflow to become positively charged. While passing through the system, the negatively charged filtration plates trap the positively charged particles. How Effective Are Electronic Air Filters? Electronic air filters can be efficient at trapping larger particles and finer particles that pass through the system. Mid-sized particles may still pass through, however, as these particulates don’t always receive a charge. Also, the filters will not...

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What is Indoor Air Quality, and Should I Worry About It?

April 19, 2021

Many people in this day and age spend quite a bit of their time indoors. In a typical home, air can be two to five times more polluted than the outdoor air. Breathing polluted air all day can have serious impacts on your health, comfort, and quality of life. Here’s what you need to know about indoor air quality and why you might be concerned about your home’s air quality. What Air Quality Means Air quality refers to the cleanliness of the indoor air and how it impacts your health. When a building or home is tightly sealed, pollutants stick around. Circulating the same air all day means you keep breathing those pollutants. The elderly, babies, and people with chronic breathing disorders are especially susceptible to the effects of poor indoor air quality. Pollutants That May Be in Your Home’s Air Every home has indoor air pollutants. Some of the most common pollutants that could be in your home include formaldehyde, benzene, and other volatile organic compounds. They may come from pressed wood products, dry-cleaned clothing, sealants, adhesives, paints, and pesticides. Your home may also have carbon monoxide and nitrogen dioxide. These come from the combustion process. Tobacco smoke, radon,...

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What’s the Proper Indoor Humidity Level for My Home?

April 5, 2021

You have probably heard about how low humidity can impact your health, but too much humidity may also affect it. It is important to monitor humidity levels to avoid health issues. Controlling humidity levels also helps your HVAC unit run more efficiently. Why Humidity Level Matters Low and high humidity both impact health and homes, but in different ways. High humidity in your home plus high temperatures could interfere with the body’s natural way to cool itself. The body sweats to lower its temperature, and if the body can’t cool off, it may cause a heat stroke. Low humidity commonly causes dry throats, chapped lips, dry and itchy skin, cracked wood, and static electricity. High humidity increases the chance of mold, which often worsens allergy symptoms, and too much moisture may damage wood and other fixtures. Measuring Humidity Level in Your Home There are methods you can use to find the humidity level in your home. Place a few ice cubes in water in a clear glass in any room but the kitchen, and check them in four minutes. Condensation on the glass commonly indicates high humidity levels, and no condensation indicates low humidity. If the home has balanced humidity,...

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How to Prevent Mold From Forming in Air Ducts

March 22, 2021

Mold spores are everywhere. When conditions are ripe, they can form into colonies that grow, releasing pollutants into the air and negatively impacting your health. However, you can take some precautions to prevent mold from taking root and growing in the air ducts of your home.  1. What Conditions Lead to Mold Growth? There are a few conditions that promote mold growth. Mold grows best between 77 and 86 degrees Fahrenheit, which is the temperature your air ducts are at when your home is being heated. It thrives in damp conditions and needs oxygen. It also needs food, which it has access to in your air ducts. Mold may make you feel nauseous or fatigued and can also cause or contribute to allergy symptoms. 2. What Are the Signs of Mold Growth? Signs you have a mold problem include a musty smell across your home. If your respiratory system feels irritated when your AC runs, this could be a sign of mold. 3. Keep Your Air Ducts Clean The best way to prevent mold growth in air ducts is to keep them clean.  The fully licensed HVAC professionals at GVEC AC/Heating services are here to help. We can inspect your...

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GVEC’s Free Energy Audit for Members is a Great Way to Save on Electricity Bills

March 10, 2021

A home energy audit is a great way to reduce energy expenses, and GVEC offers this free service to electricity members. GVEC’s energy solutions specialist perform this free inspection, reviewing your home electricity usage, and performing tests to help determine how to best achieve maximum efficiency balanced against your home’s overall energy consumption. Our specialists will explain the audit procedures to you and conduct and conduct the inspection, identifying things you can do to reduce your usage. Afterward, they’ll thoroughly review the results with you, providing suggestions for reducing consumption and answering any questions you may have. Visual Examination The primary component of GVEC’s free energy audit for members is the visual inspection. Our energy solutions specialist carefully examine your home. They look for both easy-to-identify ways to reduce energy waste and others that may not be so obvious. Over the years, our specialists have seen a lot, but there are certain issues we see over and over from one inspection to the next:  Window and Door Cracks, Crevices, and Leaks Leaking air around the door and window frames of your home can be a major source of waste. Tiny cracks and crevices allow conditioned air to leak out, raising...

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