Items filtered by date: May 2020

Tuesday, 30 June 2020 12:10

Keeping Your Home Cooler This Summer

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When the temperatures rise, you need every tip and trick in the book to help keep your home cool and comfortable. Here are 8 tips to keep your home cooler this summer. 

1. Heat reducing window film - Install heat reducing window film on windows to help block between 70-90% of the infrared heat and UV rays from the sun. This helps prevent your house from getting warmed up by the sun while still allowing you to enjoy plenty of natural light. 
2. Close the blinds - Closing the blinds reflects the sun's rays back out of the window and prevents those rays from warming up your home. If you can't afford window films (tip #1), this is a good alternative, though it does restrict natural light. 
3. Use your ceiling fans - First, it's important to remember that fans cool people, not rooms. It's the airflow moving across your skin that cools you down when sitting under or in front of a fan. Using your ceiling fan can help you feel as if the room is four degrees cooler. 
4. Use a programmable thermostat - If you are gone most of the day, use a programmable thermostat to conserve energy and operate at a higher temperature when you are not home, then gradually cool down to your desired temperature by the time you normally arrive home. This keeps you comfortable and cool when you are home while saving you money during the day. 
5. Install a ductless unit - If you have a particularly warm room or rooms that the ductwork doesn't reach, a ductless system is a great option. It mounts on the wall and cools the room down with a low carbon footprint. It can save you money while keeping the desired room cool and comfortable. 
6. Plant trees - Trees and shrubs create shade and shade helps block some of the sunlight reaching your home. Less sunlight reaching your home is less sunlight to warm up your home by the sun's rays. A shaded home is a cooler home. 
7. Cook outside more - Use your grill or outdoor kitchen to cook more of your meals. This keeps the residual heat from cooking outside. You won't be artificially heating up your home with the stove or oven with indoor cooking. 
8. Keep inside doors open - To allow for the best airflow through your home and an overall cooler home, keep your interior doors open. 
Summers in South Carolina can get really hot. We hope these 8 tips to keep your home cooler this summer help you ride out the heat in comfort. 
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Summertime is here and so is the heat and humidity. If you haven't already done so, now is a good time to prep your Bryant system for the sweltering summer. 

1. Clean or replace air filters - Dirty air filters restrict airflow and cause your system to work harder. Also, dirty indoor air circulating through your home can trigger asthma and allergy symptoms. 
2. Have your system cleaned and inspected twice per year - Once per year is the minimum but twice per year is the recommendation. You should have your system cleaned and inspected in the fall for your furnace and again in the spring for your air conditioner. This will keep your system running as optimally as possible and help you reap all the benefits of a well-maintained system. 
3. Remove debris from around the outdoor unit - Regularly inspect and clean away debris from your outdoor unit such as leaves, twigs and grass clippings. It's also important that your outdoor unit have a good amount of space for airflow around it. Make sure any shrubs or bushes are trimmed away from the unit to allow a two-foot clearance between the plant and the unit for proper airflow. 
4. Install a smart thermostat - Bryant's Homewise smart thermostat helps your system run more efficiently. It can sense when no one is home and automatically adjust itself to an away temperature or you can use your smartphone to adjust your home's temperature while you are on the go. When all of the great features are used, this smart thermostat can save as much as 20% on your utility bills. 
5. Keep vents open - Check and make sure at least 80% of the vents in your home are fully open. When more than 20% of the vents are closed, it creates strain on your Bryant system that can cause a breakdown or lead to additional wear and tear on your system. This can shorten the lifespan of your Bryant system. 
6. Set ceiling fans in the right direction - While not directly related to your system but a tip that will help your system keep your home cooler, make sure your ceiling fans are going in the right direction. During the summer, you want the downdraft to help circulate cool air so fans should run counterclockwise. During the winter, you want an updraft to pull cooler air up and force warmer air down so fans should run clockwise. 
Summer has begun here in South Carolina with much warmer and more humid days yet to come. If you haven't already prepped your Bryant system for summer, now is the time to do so. Keeping your Bryant system prepped and maintained will keep it working hard all summer long to keep you cool and comfortable. 
Published in Blog
Monday, 01 June 2020 10:39

Protecting Your Indoor Air Quality

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Did you know that the air inside your home can be up to 5 times more polluted than the air outside your home? Pollutants such as smoke, pet dander, dust, radon, cooking residue, cleaning supplies, viruses, bacteria, mold and building materials can all be sources of indoor pollution. Most homes have at least one indoor air quality problem. Poor indoor air quality can also cause breathing difficulties for people with asthma and allergies. There are an estimated 25 million people with asthma in the U.S. and 50 million who suffer from allergies. Poor indoor air quality can also impact children, pregnant women and the elderly. The air quality in newer homes can be even worse than air quality in older homes due to current air-tight construction practices. Air-tight means air from outside doesn't replace the stale indoor air as easily.

So, what can be done to protect your indoor air quality?

Air Purification 

One of the biggest ways to make a change in your indoor air quality is with a whole home indoor air purifier. For example, Bryant's Evolution Air Purifier treats the whole home and gets rid of 95% of particles, dust and debris in the air. Equipped with a MERV 15 air filter along with Bryant's Captures & Kills technology, this air purifier is germicidal grade and gets rid of up to 99% of infectious pathogens that could be in your air. It captures and eliminates things such as the cold virus, influenza and streptococcus. Having an air purifier installed also gives you more mileage out of your HVAC system as it removes particulates that can gunk up your system, thus protecting your heating and cooling system against unnecessary wear and tear caused by debris. 

Air Ventilation

Air ventilation particularly addresses the issue of air-tight construction. Bryant's Energy Recovery Ventilators cycle fresh, filtered air in and help cycle stale, polluted air out. The difference with ventilation is that it cycles fresh air in but doesn't filter or purify the air inside your home the way an air purification system would. However, it does improve indoor air quality by bringing in that fresh air.


Other Options

There are other options you can use or add to the options above to address your indoor air quality. One such option is to have germicidal UV lights installed. These UV lights are the same technology used to kill airborne germs in hospitals and medical settings. They can also help kill mold that could build up on the coils due to natural condensation and other moisture. If you're already using an air purifier and still have concerns about germs in the air, this can be a good option for you.

If humidity is a contributing factor to the poor air quality in your home, there is a solution for that as well. High humidity in a home fosters mold growth and allows germs to thrive. If your existing system isn't bringing the humidity level in your home down to a safe level, you can have a dehumidifier installed to pull moisture out of the air. This option also helps protect your HVAC system as excess moisture can lead to mold growth on the coils and within the drain system.

You don't have to live with poor indoor air. You have options to address and protect your indoor air. Call Carolina Comfort Systems today to review the options that would be best for your home.

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In a standard system, there is generally only one speed so your system is either cycled off or cycled on full speed. When the temperature drops or rises and triggers the HVAC system to turn on, the system must ramp up to the one full speed and run until the temperature reaches the desired level before cycling off. Bryant has variable speed technology. What this means is that the speed your HVAC needs to ramp up to for a cycle can vary. Your system's speed only ramps up as far as is necessary to keep the comfort level steady to heat or cool your home. Let's take a look at some other benefits. 

1. Your system doesn't work as hard or as long - Because variable speed allows for speeds below the "full speed" of most other systems, your system doesn't have to work as hard to get to a lower speed. Lower speeds don't require as long to cycle fully on and then fully off so your system also doesn't run for as long when you have variable speed options. 
2. Maximizes comfort - Creates more interior temperature sensitivity and also better humidity control when your system can react more precisely to fluctuations in temperature. This means your temperature stays more steady and constant and you stay more comfortable. 
3. Energy efficient - By only ramping up to the speed necessary to maintain comfort, Bryant's variable speed technology is energy efficient. A slower speed, faster cycle with a Bryant system uses less energy than a full speed, complete cycle with a standard system. Any time you are saving energy, you're also saving money on your utility bill. 
4. Quieter operation - Because the system can use slower speeds, it operates at a quieter level than a standard system at full speed. Slower speeds aren't as loud and noisy as traditional systems with only one speed. You can enjoy maximum comfort with the quietest operation necessary to keep your home at the right temperature. 
Bryant's variable speed technology can be found on many of the Evolution line of comfort systems and the Preferred Geothermal Heat Pump as well. To explore the different variable speed technology can make for your home and comfort, call Carolina Comfort Systems to learn more. 
Published in Blog