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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Should I Add a Ventilator to My AC/Heating System?

February 20, 2021

If you’ve noticed that the air in your South Central Texas home is often stale, sutffy or smelly, you might be wondering if a ventilator would help. Home ventilation is essential for indoor air quality, comfort and health. Consider these pros and cons of using a ventilation unit in your home. Indoor Air Quality Adding active or mechanical ventilation to your home could improve your indoor air quality. This is important if your household includes anyone with allergies, asthma or another respiratory disorder. Ventilators exhaust the stale, particle-filled air from your home and bring in fresh air from the outdoors. The fresh air is filtered before it reaches your living spaces. Is Natural Ventilation Enough? Small cracks and holes in homes can provide some level of natural ventilation. However, these are the same opening you want to seal to help your energy efficiency. Natural ventilation in a home is also often unpredictable and beyond a homeowners’ control, especially during extreme outdoor temperatures and weather. Utility Bills If you install balanced, exhaust or supply ventilators, your heating and cooling costs could increase. Installing an energy or heat-recovery ventilator will lower your heating expenses, but these systems cost more to install. In...

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Why Do I Have Mold in My Air Ducts?

February 10, 2021

Having mold in your air ducts isn’t a rare occurrence. There are multiple ways this can happen to you. Signs of Mold One sign of mold in your air ducts is a musty smell in your house after your HVAC system comes on. You may see visible mold in your air conditioner’s drip pan. Another sign is if your family develops symptoms like nausea, itchy eyes and headaches. Oversized AC Unit Having an AC/heating system that is too big for your home can also result in mold in your air ducts. An oversized AC unit may cool your home too quickly, which means it doesn’t have time to dehumidify your home. This can lead to moisture building up in the air ducts, which creates an ideal place for mold to grow. GVEC of Gonzales, TX, installs HVAC systems. We always make sure we install the right size unit for your home. Temperature Set Too Low If you set your temperature too low when cooling your home, mold can grow around the vents. The vents are where warm and cool air meet, which can cause condensation on surfaces. If the surfaces don’t get the chance to dry out, mold will grow....

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How Does a Dehumidifier Work, and Would My South Central Texas Home Benefit from One?

January 20, 2021

High humidity during summer can make your South Central Texas home an uncomfortable, sticky and sweaty place. If the humidity gets too high, your body won’t be able to use evaporative cooling (i.e, sweating) as effectively to lower the temperature of your skin. Generally speaking, modern AC/heating systems are designed to effectively dehumidify the home as part of the cooling process. In other words, removing moisture from the air is an essential function used by modern central air conditioners to achieve a comfortable temperature. However, in an environment as typically and consistently humid as our part of Texas, it wouldn’t be unusual for certain areas of the home to have less-than-ideal humidity levels, especially bathrooms, walk-in closets, garages and other, similar spaces. For these kinds of trouble spots, a home dehumidifier can help maintain proper moisture levels, making those areas more comfortable. Pulling Water From Air Dehumidifiers can remove large amounts of water from the air while still keeping everything at the right temperature. Incoming air passes over cooling coils and has its temperature dropped significantly. Since cold air can’t hold as much moisture as warm air, the water condenses out of it and onto the pipes and is collected...

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Three Reasons to Change Your AC/Heating Filter More Often

January 10, 2021

While it can be easy not to think about, there are three good reasons why you might need to change your AC/heating filter more often than you currently do. Keep in mind that different HVAC filters are rated for different usage spans. The majority are rated for 1, 3, 6 months. If your filter is rated 1 month, you’ll want to change it every month, year-round. However, because conditions in every home and individual AC/heating system are unique, even if your filter is rated for 3 or 6 months, we recommend checking it at least once a month and changing it as needed if it’s dirty. Here are three reasons why changing your filter more often can be beneficial. 1. HVAC Systems Can Last Longer with Clean AC/Heating Filters When the filter is clean, your heater and air conditioner don’t have to work as hard as when the filter is dirty. An excessively dirty filter allows more dust and particulates to work their way into the delicate parts of your AC/heating system, which can lead to overheating and other problems. In the long term, this can significantly shorten the lifespan of your system. It’s much less expensive to regularly replace...

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What is Mechanical Ventilation? How Does it Affect Indoor Air Quality?

December 19, 2020

While a lot of thought is given to regulating the temperature of the air in your home, there is often less thought given to the quality of that air in terms of particulates, pollution and pathogens. However, home air quality is just as important as air temperature; in some respects, it’s more important. Modern AC/heating systems are designed to not only cool or warm indoor air, but also to keep that air at a minimum level of safe breathability. One of the primary ways AC/heating systems achieve this minimum air quality standard is through a process known as mechanical ventilation. Mechanical ventilation expels indoor air from the home and replaces it by drawing outdoor air into its place. The process is continuous throughout an AC/heating system’s operation. The ventilation function of modern AC/heating systems is so critical to their operation that “HVAC” stands for “Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning.” Indoor air quality can be further improved many times over when the mechanical ventilation of an AC/heating system is paired with an in-duct air filtration system. In-Duct Air Filtration Depends Mechanical Ventilation At GVEC, we are proud to offer quality indoor air-filtration solutions that attach directly to the home AC/heating system....

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I think I May Have Mold in My Air Ducts? How Can I Know for Sure?

December 9, 2020

The unseen world inside your air ducts can hide multiple problems. Among the most serious of these is mold growth. In some cases, it can be hard to know for sure whether you have mold growing in your air ducts. To help determine if this is a problem, we at GVEC AC/Heating services recommend taking the following steps. 1. Do You Smell Mold? When? How Frequently? A tell-tale sign of mold growth is the musty smell that often accompanies its appearance. If you’ve noticed this smell in your home, we encourage you to carefully consider exactly when you notice it. If you notice such an odor all the time, the problem may extend beyond your air ducts, with mold growing elsewhere in the HVAC system or in the home. However, if you only notice the smell when your HVAC system is running, this is more likely to mean that the mold is growing in your air ducts. 2. Look for Mold Around the Edges Although the interior of your ductwork isn’t visible, the vents in your home are easy to see. Therefore, you can use the vents to “take the temperature” of your home’s ducts to see if you may...

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