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HVAC Tips and Tricks Blog

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Welcome to the One Hour Air Conditioning & Heating Tips & Tricks Blog! Read the latest posts or explore our archives for ideas about how you can maximize your energy efficiency, extend the life of your HVAC system and make your home as comfortable as possible. You can also learn about current trends in climate control and emerging technologies in the heating and air conditioning industry.

In the average household, heating and cooling accounts for nearly half of all energy expenses. But with the right know-how, you can stretch your climate control dollar and even take care of some of your own routine maintenance. And since new HVAC systems and efficiency standards are emerging at an ever-increasing pace, it’s more important than ever before to stay on top of the latest opportunities to make cost-effective upgrades.

On the Tips & Tricks Blog, you’ll even find solutions for problems like reducing indoor allergens and cleaning up pet hair and dust – everyday annoyances that can be resolved with quick fixes related to your home HVAC system.

Bookmark our blog and check back regularly so that you know how to save energy, save money and get the most out of your HVAC equipment.



Adjusting thermostat

Tweak Your HVAC for the Best Night’s Sleep

  • 09/20/17

One of the most important things you can do for your health and happiness is get a good night’s sleep. But if you’re having trouble with that, or would just like to make your sleeping experience a little bit better, there may be some HVAC solutions that can get you
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hurricane

Repairing Your HVAC System After a Flood

  • 09/06/17

Floodwaters have receded in Texas and Louisiana following Hurricane Harvey, but hundreds of thousands of homes and buildings are left with extensive damage. However, hurricane season isn't over. Coastal areas are likely to suffer the impact of additional storms, as Florida braces for Hurricane Irma. 

After a flood, homeowners and workers
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Is a Swamp Cooler Right for You?

  • 08/30/17

For most North American households, air conditioning is the go-to means of keeping cool indoors. But in some regions -- mostly in the driest deserts and mountainside communities -- you might find households using swamp coolers to stay comfortable throughout the summer.

Swamp coolers are relatively rare because they only work
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pets

HVAC Care for the Pet Owner

  • 08/02/17

Proud pet owners have to put up with a lot in order to keep their furry friends around. Pet hair on furniture and dander floating in the air are among the most irritating downsides of sharing your home with a dog or cat. But if those hairs and particles are
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dirtyfilter

Why Does Your HVAC Filter Get Dirty So Quickly?

  • 07/19/17

Responsible homeowners know to replace their HVAC system filters on schedule. But sometimes, “on schedule” just isn’t good enough. If you check your filter at replacement time and find that it’s completely covered in dust, hair and other particles, you might start wondering what causes it to clog up prematurely.

There
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rodent

What to Do When a Rodent Dies in Your Ductwork

  • 07/05/17

It’s a horrifying thought, but it’s nevertheless a situation many homeowners face: a mouse, rat or other small animal has died in an air duct and is spreading foul air all over the home. While the process is unpleasant, the good news is that the area can be completely cleaned
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Air pollutants and allergens

Make Things Fresh With Air Duct Cleaning

When you do your routine daily or weekly house cleaning, you probably don’t clean every little thing in your home. Some areas may remain untouched until it’s time for spring cleaning – and the more hidden away the mess is, the more likely it is to be overlooked.

The insides of
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dirtyfilter

Dirty Filter? Trouble Lies Ahead

  • 05/31/17

Your HVAC system is like a respiratory system for your home. It breathes in and breathes out. And just like your own respiratory system, if it can’t breathe in sufficiently, it suffers and eventually suffocates.

The key to keeping this airflow moving is a clean filter. Unfortunately, HVAC filters are usually
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windowwash

Clean Your Windows and Screens Before the First Heat Wave

  • 05/10/17

It never seems to last long enough, but open-window weather is in full effect across much of North America. It’s the perfect time of year to give your HVAC system a break and let the natural breeze send fresh air coursing through your home.

Why not make the most of this
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filtercloseup

What Do MERV Ratings Mean?

  • 04/26/17

Have you ever taken a close look at your HVAC filters when replacing them? If so, you may have noticed that each filter has a MERV rating -- and this number has important implications.

MERV stands for “minimum efficiency reporting value” and the MERV rating is a measure of how effectively
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mold

Mold and Mildew Can Pose Health Risks

  • 04/12/17

Mold is everywhere. In the outdoors, mold serves an important role in breaking down decaying matter. And because it’s everywhere, it’s even in our homes -- at least in trace amounts.

Tiny amounts of mold pose no serious risk to most of us, but if more substantial mold growth occurs in
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Air pollutants and allergens

Monitoring Indoor Air Quality the DIY Way

  • 04/05/17

You’re probably aware that professional HVAC technicians can install special filtration and UV light systems designed to purify indoor air. And while most indoor air can be noticeably freshened with this technology, it’s not always obvious which homes need it the most.

HVAC professionals can also conduct inspections and tests to
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cockroach

Don’t Let Your HVAC System Open the Door for Pests

  • 02/01/17

For an HVAC system to work well, there must be some exchange of indoor and outdoor air, which can provide an opening for the creepy-crawly critters of the great outdoors. While a well-maintained system has numerous safeguards to prevent them from getting inside, many unwanted house guests only need a
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green

Purify Your Indoor Air With Houseplants

  • 12/21/16

Even though you may work hard to keep your home clean and fresh, your indoor air is almost guaranteed to be more polluted than the air outside. That's because even those products that we consider clean and safe can contain volatile organic compounds, and the enclosed spaces in which we
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cozy

Breathe Easy While Staying Warm Indoors

  • 11/30/16

A well-maintained furnace is the key to staying warm and comfortable all winter long. But just because your furnace is working doesn't mean your indoor air is especially clean - and if it's not, you could suffer adverse effects while taking refuge from the cold outdoor air.

Indoor air quality
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Air pollutants and allergens

Foul Smelling HVAC Air Can Have Many Causes

  • 09/14/16

Your HVAC system's primary functions are to control air temperature and airflow -- not air odors. And from time to time, you may notice that the air flowing out of your vents smells a little off.

Certain odors are temporary and harmless, while others can be persistently irritating or may
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ACfan

HVAC Fan Settings Affect Your Air Quality and Utility Bills

  • 08/31/16

Whenever your air conditioner is running, so is your HVAC fan. But it’s up to you whether the fan should continue to run after your home reaches its target temperature -- and the choice is generally between cost and comfort.

Auto vs. On

Most HVAC systems only have two fan settings: “auto”
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Cat sleeping on radiator

Indoor Air Quality Technology Can Help Pet Allergy Sufferers

  • 07/20/16

It’s hard for most people not to love dogs and cats; they’re adorable, they offer unconditional love and can be all-around great companions. But for people who are allergic to pet dander, this can be a forbidden love.


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ACfan

Did You Tune-Up Your Air Conditioner for Summer?

  • 06/15/16

The summer heat has arrived, but the hottest weeks are yet to come. Is your air conditioning system cooling as effectively as it was this time last year? Was your first summertime energy bill comparable to last year’s? If the answer to either is no, the time to schedule an
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insulation

Attic Insulation Upgrades May Increase Home Resale Value

  • 04/27/16

When you think about remodeling or upgrading your home, you probably think about things like new kitchens or bathrooms, luxurious patios or sleek flooring materials. And while these can greatly improve how much you enjoy your living space, the cost
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sick

Is Your Heating System Making You Ill?

  • 12/01/15

Most Americans rely on their heat and air conditioning systems to stay safe and comfortable. The harsh winters that hit much of the United States would not be tolerable without furnaces, boilers and heat pumps to keep us warm. A recent review of scientific literature, however, has suggested that central
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energyaudit

What to Expect from Your Home Energy Audit

  • 11/17/15

A residential energy audit is one of the best ways to cut back on your heat and air conditioning bills. When a qualified inspector comes to your home, he or she will identify various ways in which your home falls short when it comes to efficiency, and make recommendations for
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heatingcooling

Integrated Systems Approach for Improved Comfort and Savings in Home HVAC

  • 09/17/15

Your HVAC system has a variety of different functions, all geared toward maintaining comfort in your home environment. There's the furnace, boiler or heat pump to keep you warm in the winter time, and on the other hand, there's the air conditioning system to help mitigate the summer heat. The
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ductworkretrofit

How to Retrofit Your Home for a Central Air Conditioning System

  • 09/10/15

Did you just suffer through another sweltering summer without air conditioning? The world endured the hottest July on record in 2015, and with temperatures projected to keep on rising, even families who have made it this far without a central air conditioning system might find themselves rethinking their
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ragweed

How to Beat Allergies During Ragweed Season

  • 09/03/15

Sometimes, your sinuses just can't catch a break. It seems like just yesterday that allergy sufferers across the nation were struggling through a spring “pollen tsunami.” Now, just when you've finally stopped sniffling and sneezing, it's time for ragweed season and a whole new round of crippling allergies.
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mansion

Thinking About a High-End Air Conditioning System?

  • 07/23/15

Do you ever wonder how the rich and famous cool their homes? Imagine efficiency ratings taken to the extreme. Geothermal heat pumps. Multiple air conditioning systems in the same house. If you want an HVAC system you can aspire to, read on to learn how some of the wealthiest people
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filterchange

Changing Filters is Essential to Air Conditioning Maintenance

  • 07/21/15

Air conditioning is a lifesaver in the summertime. There's nothing like a blast of cold air to bring relief from oppressive heat and humidity. Your AC unit won't keep you cool forever all on its own, however. It's important to perform regular air conditioning maintenance to keep your system running
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U.S. Department of Energy seal

Department of Energy Investing in Heat and Air Conditioning Technology

  • 07/09/15

There will always be a demand for better, more efficient heat and air conditioning technology. The less energy we consume to heat and cool our homes, the more money we save. Plus, we can reduce our impact on climate change by burning fewer fossil fuels to meet our home comfort
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changefilter

Routine Cleaning is Crucial to Air Conditioning Maintenance

  • 07/02/15

With the summer cooling season now underway, air conditioners across North America are humming along to provide precious household cooling. Millions of people rely on AC in the summer, but the cooling units won't work forever without a little care and attention. With regular cleaning, you can ensure that your
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headache

How to Avoid Headaches Related to Air Conditioning

  • 06/23/15

Does air conditioning cause headaches? Unfortunately, for some people the answer is yes. AC is a necessity during the summer in many parts of the country, but too many homeowners and office workers pay the price. Read on for some reasons why air conditioning could be causing your headaches and
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ACfan

Choosing Fan Settings for Your Air Conditioning System

  • 06/16/15

Your air conditioning system doesn't just produce cold air. It also uses a fan to circulate the air around your home, allowing you to enjoy cooler temperatures in every room. However, there are usually several fan settings, which can be confusing to homeowners who aren't familiar with how their air
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Air conditioning and home cooling

Energy Saver 101: Everything You Need to Know About Home Cooling

  • 05/26/15

Most of us depend on our home's AC system to keep us comfortable when temperatures rise, but how much do you know about the equipment that keeps the summer heat at bay? Check out the U.S. Department of Energy's infographic to learn all you need to know about home cooling.

 

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allergens

How to Protect Your Indoor Air From Spring Pollen

  • 05/19/15

Are you suffering from itchy eyes, a runny nose, coughing, sniffling and sneezing? This year's spring allergy season is a doozy. A variety of factors have combined to create what experts are calling a "pollen tsunami," especially in the northeastern United States. You don't have to break your budget on
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blueprints

What Type of HVAC Should You Use for Your Home Addition?

  • 05/08/15

Congratulations on planning an addition to your home! You'll get the benefit of extra space, laid out just the way you like it. But while you’re creating the blueprint for this exciting add-on, don't neglect your heating and cooling infrastructure. It's possible to simply extend your current HVAC system into
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Technician testing condenser

Get Your Air Conditioner Tuned Up for Summer

  • 05/05/15

It's hard to believe, but summer is almost here. You can finally quit worrying about furnace breakdowns and heating bills – only to shift your attention to your air conditioner instead. You may not have cranked up the AC yet, but there's no better time to have the unit serviced
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Home heating and cooling

Heating and cooling systems: what to look for when buying a new home

  • 04/28/15

When you're in the market for a home, there are a lot of boxes to check off. Right neighborhood? School district? Good yard? Somewhere near the top of your list should be the quality of the home's HVAC system. Read on for tips on what to look for when evaluating
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Dirty air filter

Protect your family from indoor air pollution

  • 04/07/15

Car exhaust. Smog. Industrial pollutants. Pollen. Sometimes, the air in the great outdoors doesn't sound all that friendly. If you hear about pollution and think you're better off just breathing in the air in your house, you're not alone. Unfortunately, this is a common misconception. As it turns out, indoor
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House frame with tools

Open building makes heating and cooling maintenance simple

  • 03/17/15

Performing maintenance on your heating ducts can be messy, and sometimes accessing parts of the system can be nearly impossible without opening your walls. Fortunately, home builders and researchers are working toward a solution. One concept gaining momentum is that of open building, which focuses on flexibility, ease of access
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Heat recovery ventilator

Improve indoor air quality with a heat recovery ventilator

  • 02/16/15

By now, you’ve insulated your house down to the last crack. Not even the tiniest draft of air can escape to the outdoors. That’s great! It means you're saving money on your winter heating costs. Unfortunately, it also means that your indoor air quality could suffer. All the dust, debris,
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Air pollutants and allergens

Protecting your home's air quality in winter

  • 11/17/14

During the long winter many of us end up huddled inside with the windows shut tight and the heater blasting. But while enjoying the protection from the elements, don't neglect to monitor your indoor air quality. Chemicals, heaters, pet dander and other irritants can cause respiratory and other health problems,
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