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5 Items to Add to Your Home for Better IAQ

Most homeowners want to create the healthiest home environment possible for their families. Indoor air quality plays a vital role in keeping your home clean and comfortable. However, sometimes homeowners need a little help maintaining the quality of their indoor air. That’s why we’ve put together this short list of items you can add to your home to improve IAQ:

5 Items for Better Indoor Air Quality

  1. House Plants

Certain house plants can help you purify the air in your home by filtering out volatile organic compounds (VOCs) that are commonly found there. Different plants work to filter out different VOCs. For instance, aloe vera helps clear out formaldehyde and benzene, while the English ivy works to filter out formaldehyde and airborne fecal-matter particles. If you’ve been considering adding a few plants to your home, now may be the time!

  1. Humidifiers

Controlling the humidity in your home is an important part of maintaining a healthy indoor air quality. Humidifiers can help you increase the humidity in your home to an optimal level, which helps prevent certain concentrations of pollutants. Not to mention, it can improve breathing for those who are sensitive to dry air.

  1. Carbon Monoxide Detectors

Did you know that carbon monoxide poisoning claims the lives of more than 400 people each year? That doesn’t even account for those who become ill after being exposed to this dangerous odorless gas. You can protect yourself and your family from exposure to this pollutant by installing carbon monoxide detectors in your home.  

  1. Ultra Violet Lights

Ultra violet lights are another HVAC upgrade that can help you improve the quality of your indoor air. UV lights kill the growth of airborne bacteria, mold, and viruses that can appear in your home, ductwork, and cooling coils. This can help you prevent respiratory issues or other serious illness that results from these contaminants in your home.

  1. Air Purifier

Air purifiers are the ultimate IAQ products as they work to trap and eliminate different pathogens and pollutants that enter your home from the outdoors. Carrier leads the industry in air purifier technology, providing state-of-the-art air purifiers that filter out contaminants in your indoor air to provide a cleaner and healthier home environment.

Indoor Air Quality Testing in La Verne, CA

Are you concerned about your indoor air quality? It may be time to call in the experts at McLay Services. Our HVAC team provides free in-home IAQ consultations and can recommend the right indoor air quality products for your home. Whether you need a new air filter or want to upgrade to something more powerful like an air purifier, our team is ready to help you get the IAQ products you need to keep your home environment safe, healthy, and comfortable. Call us today to set up an appointment: (909) 326-6106.

La Verne Air Duct Cleaning: What Homeowners Need to Know

It’s safe to say that every homeowner wants to create a safe, healthy, and comfortable home environment for their family. That’s why it’s not surprising that indoor air quality is a big concern for many Southern California homeowners. No matter how hard you work to keep your home clean and free of pollutants, dust and other contaminants will start to accumulate in your air ducts over time. Below, we’ll go into a bit more detail about why you need air duct cleaning, and how McLay can help ensure that your air ducts are clean.

La Verne Air Duct Cleaning: What You Need to Know

It is probably no surprise that over time, dust and other particles build up in your air ducts. This not only starts to impact the air that you breathe, but it can also cause your HVAC system to work harder, driving up your monthly energy costs. It is important to keep your ducts clean to prevent a buildup of these contaminants that can start to impact your family’s health, especially if you or someone in your family has asthma, allergies, or a weakened immune system.

Below is a quick guide to what you need to know about cleaning your air ducts and how McLay provides quality La Verne air duct cleaning services:

la-verne-ca-air-duct-cleaning

Southern California Air Duct Cleaning Services

McLay Services loves serving the La Verne community. In addition to Air Conditioning and Heating repair, installation, and maintenance, we also provide Southern California air duct cleaning services for those living in La Verne and beyond. Our indoor air quality specialists will ensure that your home is comfortable and the air inside your home is healthy to breathe year-round.

Since every home is different, it may be difficult for you to determine whether or not your air ducts need to be cleaned, even after taking a quick peek into your ducts. Our team can inspect your air ducts and let you know whether or not this service might be right for you. For more information about our services or to schedule an appointment, contact us today.

The Ultimate Los Angeles County Spring Cleaning Checklist

Spring is just around the corner, and many Los Angeles County homeowners have already gotten a head start on their spring cleaning. Though it may seem like a daunting task, a deep cleaning of your home is important to do at least once a year. Not only does this help you stay organized and get rid of things that you don’t need anymore, but cleaning your home can also help you improve your indoor air quality so that you can breathe easier throughout the year. Below, we offer the ultimate checklist for spring cleaning in Los Angeles County.

Los Angeles County Spring Cleaning Checklist

Are you ready to start your spring cleaning? Use the checklist below to make sure that you don’t forget anything important when cleaning your home this spring:

Get all the spring cleaning supplies you need.

Before you start cleaning, take inventory of your cleaning supplies. Make sure that you pick up anything you might need before you get started. The last thing that you want to do is make a trip to the store when you are in the middle of deep cleaning your home. You are much more likely to be successful if you have everything that you need right from the beginning.

Here’s a list of supplies you might need:

  • A good all-purpose cleaner
  • Wood polish for any wood furniture
  • Reusable towels or cloths for dusting and cleaning
  • Vacuum cleaner
  • Clothing that you don’t mind getting dirty

Declutter your home.

Spring cleaning isn’t just about making sure your home is clean. This is also the perfect opportunity to declutter your house. A clean and organized space makes it easier for you to think, relax, and unwind. However, many people tend to hold onto things they don’t need anymore, which can cause quite a bit of clutter in your home.

Here are some ways that you can declutter your home:

  • Go through your closet, and get rid of any clothing that you have not worn in the past 6 months.
  • Round up anything in your garage that you do not need such as sports equipment, tools, or boxes full of old items.
  • If you have any furniture or appliances that you don’t want anymore, call a professional to haul these items away.

You can donate any items that you don’t use anymore to thrift stores or charities. For items that may have resale value, you can put them up for sale in local online forums or hold a garage sale.

Clean your heating and cooling system.

This is a spring cleaning step that many homeowners forget about. Though you may use your heating and cooling system less in the spring when temperatures are more moderate, your HVAC system is in between periods of high use. There is a good chance that you used your heater a lot during the wintertime and that you will use your AC more in the summer. A routine maintenance visit can help you make sure that your system is clean and running optimally before summer gets here.

It’s also important that you stay on top of air filter changes in the spring. Many allergy sufferers may experience discomfort during the springtime when allergens increase. Checking your air filter at least once a month and changing the filter when it becomes dirty or clogged is a good way to keep allergens to a minimum in your home.

Get Your Spring HVAC Tune-Up

Does your heating and cooling system need a spring cleaning? We recommend that homeowners have their HVAC system cleaned and inspected at least once a year. Many Los Angeles county homeowners like to have their service visit in the spring to make sure that everything is clean and running smoothly after using their system all winter. This helps ensure that your system is working efficiently before you start cranking up the AC this summer.

Call us today to schedule an HVAC service visit: (909) 326-6106.

Rancho Cucamonga Air Quality Report

Getting to know the air quality in your city is vital to understanding what air quality issues you may face throughout the year. Though some homeowners may think of air pollution as being a problem outside the home, the truth is that particles and pollutants from outdoor air can make their way into your home and impact your indoor air quality. If you don’t take the right steps to combat these IAQ problems, you may be facing a range of home comfort issues. The key to making sure that the air in your Rancho Cucamonga home is clean and healthy to breathe is understanding air quality issues in the area and taking steps to correct them.

How Air Quality is Measured

There are many different factors that go into measuring a city’s air quality. The United States Environmental Protection Agency uses the National Air Toxics Assessment (NATA) to evaluate toxins in the air across the United States. Using emissions data from 2011, this evaluation method uses models to make estimates about air health risks across different U.S. geographic areas.

The EPA released the most recent update to NATA in December of 2015. This method of measuring air toxins can provide more details than the organization’s previous model, which was based on results from air monitoring stations. The NATA can assess respiratory illness and cancer risk down to the zip code level, making it a helpful assessment for better understanding air quality risks across the United States.

Rancho Cucamonga Air Quality Report

According to the NATA, as of December 2016, the air quality in Rancho Cucamonga, CA is 61.7 on a scale of 100, with 100 being the best. The air quality in this city is better than the national average of 58.4. This rating is based on the number of ozone alert days as well as amounts of seven pollutants including particulates, lead, carbon monoxide, volatile organic chemicals, and sulfur dioxide.

Seasonal changes can significantly impact air quality. In fact, air quality in your city can change day to day. For the latest report on air quality in Rancho Cucamonga, CA, head over to WeatherBug. Each day, the site provides the area’s air quality index (AQI), which tells residents how clean or polluted the air is and what health concerns could be associated with the air quality. The site also provides a list of the area’s major pollutants so that you know exactly what you’re dealing with on a daily basis.

Get Comfortable in Rancho Cucamonga

Pollutants are not the only thing that can impact your indoor air quality and home comfort levels. Factors like humidity, temperature, and airflow can also play a role in how difficult it can be to get comfortable in your home.

If you need help getting comfortable, McLay Services offers a range of quality HVAC services to help you maintain home comfort year-round. When it comes to indoor air quality, we provide free in-home IAQ consultations to help you find the right products to meet your home comfort needs. Whether you need a humidifier, ultra violet lights, or just a better air filter, our team has got your covered.

Call us today to find out which indoor air quality products might be right for you: (909) 326-6106.

Why You Should Choose a Smart Thermostat

Smart technology is changing the way we live, and home comfort is no exception. Smart thermostats make it possible for homeowners to have greater control over temperature and other elements of the home environment such as humidity control or airflow, all from their mobile smart device. If you have not considered a smart thermostat, you may want to learn a little bit more about how this smart device can transform the way you keep your home comfortable for you and your family.

Smart Thermostat Benefits

One of the greatest benefits of the smart thermostat is that it allows you to remotely control your home’s temperature and other home comfort settings. This is great for people with busy schedules who need to be able to turn their thermostat up and down remotely to save energy. For instance, if you are running late coming home from work or extending your vacation, you can make sure that the thermostat is set to an optimal temperature so as not to heat or cool an empty house.

Ultimately, a smart thermostat can help you save more energy over time, which can have a significant impact on your energy costs. Many smart thermostats begin to “learn” your habits, helping you automatically heat and cool your home more efficiently overtime. Being able to adjust the thermostat remotely also helps you have more control over your energy usage. By using your smart thermostat to monitor your energy usage, you can also start to make small changes that help you save more energy overtime. The more efficiently you heat and cool your home, the more money you will save on energy costs year after year.

Carrier® Smart Thermostats

As a factory-authorized dealer of Carrier HVAC products and systems, McLay Services can help you find the right Carrier thermostat to meet your needs and provide expert installation so that you can start reaping the benefits. Here are a few of the options you have for smart thermostats from Carrier:

  • Infinity® Series Controls – The Infinity series controls represent the highest degree of comfort management from Carrier. This device is designed to work with Carrier’s Infinity system products and offers homeowners excellent energy management as well as remote access features.
  • Performance™ Series Thermostats – The Performance series thermostats have a sleek design with easy-to-use interfaces. In addition to the Cor™ Wi-Fi® thermostat, which offers remote access, this series also offers other programmable options for convenient home comfort management.
  • Comfort™ Series Thermostats – The Comfort series offers more flexible, economical solutions for homeowners who want an affordable smart thermostat. This series offers the Carrier® Wi-Fi® Thermostat with remote access and energy savings intelligence as well as programmable models for convenient home comfort management.

If you are ready to make the upgrade and install a new smart thermostat or you would like to try a programmable option, contact us today. We would love to help you find the right thermostat for your home comfort needs.

What should you expect from an HVAC routine maintenance visit?

Routine maintenance is vital to keeping your heating and cooling systems working efficiently, avoiding costly repairs, and prolonging the life of your equipment. If you are a new homeowner or have just started caring for your own HVAC system, you may be wondering, what exactly does routine maintenance entail?

Some homeowners mistakenly think that changing their air filter is enough to keep their system running efficiently and preventing breakdowns and malfunctions. But the truth is, checking and replacing your air filter is just a small part of heating and cooling system maintenance. Below, we will delve a little deeper into what homeowners can expect from an HVAC routine maintenance visit and how it helps them keep their system running optimally year-round.

What is Involved in Planned Seasonal Maintenance?

If you have not scheduled a seasonal air conditioner or heater tune-up then you may not know exactly what this service entails. Though all HVAC companies may be a little different, McLay offers the following services as part of their routine HVAC maintenance visits:

Performance Furnace Tune-Up

During a Performance Furnace Tune-Up, an experienced HVAC technician will clean the burner assembly, ignition assembly, and blower motor while lubricating any moving parts as necessary. He or she will then inspect the filtration system, flue draft, combustion, vent piping, and humidification system. This tune-up also involves adjusting of the blower components, tightening of the electrical connections, and calibration of the thermostat.

Performance Air Conditioner Tune-Up

During a Performance Air Conditioner Tune-Up, your McLay HVAC tech will clean the condenser coil, condensate drain, and blower motor while adjusting any blower components necessary. The technician will also inspect the evaporator coil, filtration system, and refrigerant leaks. In addition, the tune-up involves testing the condensate pump and starting capabilities, tightening electrical connections, monitoring refrigerant pressure, lubricating moving parts, and measuring air temperature differential, amperage, and voltage.

What to Expect During Your Service Visit

During your service visit, you can expect your McLay HVAC technician to arrive on time and greet you in a warm and friendly manner. As a family owned business, we like to treat our customers like family. Our technicians always serve customers in a courteous and friendly manner as they would their own friends and family.

During your maintenance visit, your HVAC technician will be checking for any issues with your heating and cooling system that may need to be addressed. Our NATE certified HVAC technicians are knowledgeable and trained to recognize any areas of concern during your routine maintenance visit. If they happen to find any issues during your tune-up, they will explain the issue to you and clearly explain what needs to be done. At this time, you can plan your next steps to ensuring that your HVAC system is in working condition. If the HVAC technician finds no issues, you are good to go until your next service visit.

Are you ready to schedule your next routine maintenance visit? Call us today to set up an appointment time: (909) 326-6106.

Your AC is Shut Off, and It’s Too Soon for Heat: How to Control Temperatures in Between Summer & Winter

 

Now that fall is here, you might find yourself not needing to turn on your air conditioner as much as you did in the summer. However, the temperatures are not yet cold enough to warrant the heat. So how do you keep your home environment comfortable when temperatures are in between? You can use the tips below to help you control temperatures in the fall.

Maintaining a Comfortable Home Environment in Fall
What do you do when the weather is not hot enough for air conditioning, but not yet cold enough for heat? Here are some tips for maintaining a comfortable home environment in the fall when you plan on using your air conditioning less.

Adjust temperature on your programmable thermostat.
A programmable thermostat can help you control temperatures when you are not at home, reducing energy waste and saving on electricity costs. Use a programmable thermostat to turn the temperature up when you are not home. Since outdoor temperatures are typically more moderate in fall, it will not take you long to cool your unit back down when you return. This can help you save energy by not keeping your AC running while you are away.

Turn on your fans to keep air circulating in the room.
Fans are not meant to replace your HVAC system as they only circulate the air in the room, not cool it down. However, if you are going to be using your air conditioning unit less given the more moderate climate, it is important to still circulate the air in the room to help regulate temperature, reduce the build-up of allergens, and control moisture.

Improve your insulation.
Proper insulation keeps the temperature in your home consistent while keeping humidity out. Make sure that your home is well-insulated for better temperature control of your indoor environment. Not only will this help you use your HVAC unit less in fall, but it will also help you make your system run more efficiently in winter by preventing heat loss when you use your heater.

Open your windows to let some fresh air in.
If you find yourself enjoying the outdoor temperatures, why not bring a little fresh air into your home? Open up some of your windows to enjoy the breeze. Turning on your fan can help better circulate the air in the room, but make sure that you are monitoring humidity levels and you close your windows before leaving the house.

Make use of drapes or curtains to control heat from the sun.
Even if the temperature outside is comfortable, the heat from the sun can heat up your home environment and cause you to reach for the thermostat. You can help control this heat by using drapes or curtains to keep the sun out. This is a relatively inexpensive way to help regulate temperatures within your home without turning on the AC.

Even if you are using your HVAC system less in the fall, it is still important to continue with regularly scheduled maintenance. If your unit needs a tune-up or you need help getting your system ready for winter, don’t hesitate to give us a call.

The Important Differences Between Humidifiers, Dehumidifiers, and Air Purifiers

Unfortunately, the air inside our homes is not always as comfortable or clean as we would like it to be. Your HVAC system plays a big role in helping keep you and your family healthy and happy. However, sometimes you may need some extra help in controlling humidity levels and filtering out allergens. This simple guide will explain the differences between these three devices and discuss when you should use each to adjust your indoor air quality.

When to Use a Humidifier

Mayo Clinic suggests that ideal indoor humidity is between 30 to 50%. When humidity levels drop below this percentage, the dry air indoors can cause health issues like respiratory distress and dry skin. Low humidity can also cause damage to wooden furniture and cause paper, books, an artwork to warp. A humidifier helps add moisture into the air by emitting water vapor or steam. You can use a stand-alone device to increase humidity in just one room, or add a humidifier as an attachment to your HVAC system to increase moisture levels throughout your home.

Use a humidifier when:

  • Using your heater in winter has caused the air inside your home to feel too dry
  • You are experiencing dry skin, nose, lips, throat, or sinuses
  • Dry indoor air is caused you or your family to have difficulty breathing
  • Dry air has triggered nose bleeds, asthma attacks, or allergy symptoms

When to Use a Dehumidifier

Just as the air in your home can become too dry, it can also become too humid. Increased humidity levels and moisture can also cause health issues. Too much moisture not only impacts the comfortability of your home environment but also provides a perfect breeding ground for mold and other bacteria, which can impact your family’s health. A dehumidifier can help you control humidity levels in your home. This device removes moisture from the air, so that you and your family can relax and breathe easier.

Use a dehumidifier when:

  • Summer has caused humidity levels to increase inside your home
  • The humid air in your home is causing breathing difficulties
  • Humid air has triggered allergies for you or your family
  • You have experienced flooding in your home
  • Your home feels damp or smells musty

Relative Humidity in Los Angeles

Here is a chart for the Los Angeles area (courtesy of weatherspark.com):

The relative humidity typically ranges from 38% (comfortable) to 90% (very humid) over the course of the year, rarely dropping below 13% (very dry) and reaching as high as 100% (very humid).

The air is driest around December 6, at which time the relative humidity drops below 56% (mildly humid) three days out of four; it is most humid around July 31, exceeding 86% (very humid) three days out of four.

Los Angeles Humidity

The average daily high (blue) and low (brown) relative humidity with percentile bands (inner bands from 25th to 75th percentile, outer bands from 10th to 90th percentile).

When to Use an Air Purifier

The air purifier does not help adjust humidity levels in your home, but it does help protect you and your family against harmful pollutants. An air purifier traps allergens, chemicals, and other tiny particles that can enter your home from outside, triggering allergies, asthma attacks, and other health issues. This device helps you improve indoor air quality to help keep the air in your home or office clean and healthy.

Use an air purifier when:

  • You or someone in your home suffers from asthma
  • Someone in your household has allergies
  • You or someone in your family is sensitive to chemicals
  • You have pets, which increase the level of dander in your home

Not sure which device is right for you? If you need some help adjusting your indoor air quality, we are here to help. Contact us today to speak to an HVAC specialist who can help you create just the right environment to keep your family healthy and comfortable.

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The Benefits of Controlling Your Indoor Air Quality

The average person breathes in over 10,000 liters of air each day, and about 90 percent of that is indoor air. But there’s a problem. As well as carrying the oxygen your body needs to function, the air you breathe might also be laced with varying levels of indoor air pollutants that could adversely affect the health and productivity of the people breathing it. Those persistent headaches, niggling allergies and feelings of lethargy could be down to the air you breathe, so controlling your indoor air quality has a lot of potential benefits.

Improving Health and Wellbeing

There are many ways that poor indoor air quality could affect the health of the people who spend time there, and the general discomfort it causes has been given the name “Sick Building Syndrome.”

This is when symptoms like airway irritation, congestion, headaches, dizziness and fatigue occur when in a particular building but clear up when you leave. This is particularly common in large open-plan offices, but it can occur anywhere.

Additionally, poor indoor air quality can lead to a build-up of allergens, which cause problems for the approximately 20 percent of people who suffer from hay fever. Improving your indoor air quality often clears up these persistent symptoms.

Improving Productivity

For offices in particular, a huge benefit of controlling your indoor air quality is that it boosts productivity. When indoor air is of poor quality, the physical symptoms it causes have knock-on effects on your productivity. Simply put, you work more efficiently (and happily) when you aren’t battling these symptoms or dealing with allergies caused by poorly-controlled air quality.

Indoor Air Quality, Efficiency and Your HVAC System

It’s estimated that 70 percent of all problems with indoor air quality are linked to the operation and maintenance of your HVAC system. One of the most common issues faced by HVAC systems is the build-up of bacteria and dirt in the fiberglass insulation. When moisture is added to this mixture, mold, fungi and bacteria can thrive and spread around your home or office. Professional cleaning, replacing the system’s air filter and making use of ultra-violet (UV) light – which neutralizes microbial growth – can rectify these issues.

An additional benefit of keeping your HVAC system in tip-top condition is that it will generally improve the efficiency of the system as well as keeping your air clean. This is great for the environment, but most of all, it saves you money too.

McLay Services, Inc.’s Indoor Air Quality Services

Using our indoor air quality testing service and our products – including air filtration products, humidifiers, ventilators, UV lights and carbon monoxide detectors – keeps your indoor air as clean as it can be, and goes a long way towards improving the well-being, health and productivity of everybody who breathes it.

For more information about how our indoor air quality testing and services can benefit you, give us a call on (909) 326-6106 or follow us on social media.

How High Winds Across The US Are Affecting Indoor Air Quality

HVAC vent cleaning performed by a skilled technicianHomeowners may be surprised to learn that the high winds the country has been experiencing lately has likely had an impact on their HVAC and A/C systems. Indoor air quality can easily be compromised when HVAC components become dirty and damaged due to blustery weather conditions. Not only is it a financial concern, due to damage to parts, but it can also become a health issue.

Strong winds kick up dirt and debris, and once the air settles, it is possible to find that debris has been deposited in HVAC system components. This is especially true if elements of the HVAC and A/C unit have suffered any damage as a result of wind. The quality of the air circulating throughout the home can become poor, leading to allergy and breathing problems for family members.

If the A/C unit is turned on and the air that is blowing out of the vents has a musty or moldy smell, it should be checked out right away. A musty smell is an indicator of potential problems, like mold growth. The HVAC system is comprised of many different parts, and an HVAC vent cleaning can be performed by a skilled technician. This is the best way to get dust, mildew, and mold effectively removed.

Taking a feather duster or damp cloth to the vents is a good way to remove surface dust. Unfortunately, you will not be able to reach all areas of the ducts and vents. That is why it is best to reach out to the professionals, as they have the proper equipment and skills to ensure a thorough cleaning.

Don’t allow your home air quality to be compromised. Contact the professionals for duct cleaning, maintenance, and indoor air quality testing, to ensure that your HVAC system is performing well at all times. Protect your home and your family’s health in every season.