The Coronavirus and Our Promise to You

April 16th, 2020

We know that readers usually come to our blog for informative and educational posts about the systems and services that we offer. However, as is the case across the country and the globe right now, there is one topic at the forefront of our minds. That is COVID-19, or the Coronavirus. 

We understand that homeowners everywhere are exercising extreme caution when it comes to mitigating the chance of exposure to this virus in their homes. Trust us, we are doing the same in ours. And we promise you that every member of our team will take these same precautions when working in your home and on your property. 

If you have an appointment scheduled with Greenhart, rest assured that we’ll continue to provide you with the exceptional service that you deserve in this uncertain and trying time, and that we’ll do so while making your health and safety our top priority. 

Our entire staff is well aware that prevention starts at their homes, that it continues in the workplace, and that it extends into the residences of our valued clients. They have the information and supplies that they need to do their jobs while protecting both themselves and the clients that they serve.

If you have any questions or concerns about your upcoming appointment, or if you are thinking about booking an appointment but want to know more about our specific preventative measures, please do not hesitate to contact a member of our team.

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How Often Do I Need to Schedule Duct Cleaning?

January 25th, 2021
duct-cleaning-with-vacuum

The ducts in your house are hidden from sight, so you won’t have a good idea about how much dust, dander, lint, and other debris builds up inside them over the years. To give you an idea, a six-person home circulates on average 40 lbs. of dust through the ventilation system annually. Plenty of that will stay on the duct walls, and the more that collects, the more dust it will catch. This eventually leads to ductwork with so much build-up that it affects the energy efficiency of the HVAC system and adds to the amount of debris and allergens blown out into the air.

Professional duct cleaning will restore the ducts to near-pristine condition and help significantly to improve the HVAC system. But how often does your home need this service?

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How High-Efficiency Furnaces Work So Well

January 11th, 2021
gas-furnace

Heating and air conditioning systems have improved their energy efficiency vastly over the past 20 years. Today, the US Department of Energy’s ENERGY STAR program certifies the most efficient of these systems, which sometimes perform at 40% greater efficiency than older models. 

The high-efficiency furnace is one of the big success stories in energy-friendly comfort. For many years, the standard efficiency of most furnaces was between 70 to 80% AFUE, meaning that 70 to 80% of the furnaces’ fuel source was converted to heat, the rest lost to exhaust. Today, there are high-efficiency furnaces that score higher than 95% AFUE. 

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What You Need to Know About Heating Efficiency Ratings

December 28th, 2020
money-saving-house

Choosing a new heating system for your home requires balancing several different factors. One you’ll pay close attention to is the energy efficiency rating of the new heater. The number matters because you want to find a system that will save you money and help the environment with its performance. 

But energy efficiency ratings can be a bit confusing and people often are unaware of what a higher rating means. Below, we’ve provided some essential information to help you understand how ratings work for furnaces and heat pumps.

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Combating the Spread of Winter Illness With Air Purifiers

December 14th, 2020
virus-cells

This winter people are more worried than ever about the spread of illnesses inside their homes. Winter is traditionally a time when people are more exposed to colds and cases of flu because they’re spending a larger amount of time indoors in close proximity to other people. Additionally, many viruses and cold germs thrive in drier, colder environments, and these conditions contribute to dried mucus and sinus membranes that lower the body’s natural defenses. 

You do have options for improving the quality of your indoor air during the winter. There isn’t anything that can guarantee to stop the spread of all germs and microbes but using a professionally installed air purifier in Stockton, CA can significantly reduce the number of harmful particles circulating through your house. These same air purifiers can provide help against allergens and asthma triggers during the spring allergy season.

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How the Right Thermostat Makes a Difference for Winter Efficiency

November 30th, 2020
remote-home-controls

What type of thermostat do you have to control the climate in your home? If you have a basic dial thermostat or one that uses manual sliders, that might seem like all that’s necessary. What’s wrong with going with something simple as long as it works? 

But the truth is that older thermostats can mean lower energy efficiency in your house, and we can use the coming winter as an example. There are many great options for new thermostats in Modesto, CA if you want to make the change to climate controls that help you cut down on energy expenditures in winter without missing out on comfort.

The Efficiency of the Modern Thermostat

Today’s thermostats can be extremely advanced: Wi-Fi “smart” thermostats take care of the work of keeping a home comfortable without much input from the homeowner. They can also be controlled from almost anywhere through their Wi-Fi connection: from a tablet, a computer, a smartphone. This makes them extremely convenient. But how do they make for better winter efficiency?

The EPA has made studies of the improvement in energy savings for homes that switch from manual to programmable thermostats. They found that on average a home reduces its energy usage over a season by 5–15%. Just going digital improves the precision of the thermostat, but programmability allows a homeowner to adjust temperatures automatically, even when they aren’t home, and to automate lowering the temperature at night when there’s less need for heat. Factor out basic human error with settings, and the improvement is significant. You can program the thermostat for 68°F during the day when you’re home and have it lowered to 60°F at night, or program it to come on a half hour before you get home. 

Now consider using an advanced smart thermostat. This type of climate control learns from your programming and your house so it can create its own changing program that matches your needs while maximizing energy efficiency. Smart thermostats even provide you with reports so you can see how much you’re saving. You’ll also add life to your heating system because there will be less strain on it.

There are also the environmental benefits of using improved thermostat technology. This is something we take seriously at Greenhart, because we want to help our customers save energy and also live greener. Thermostats reduce energy consumption, which helps the environment. They also do not contain any mercury like old thermostats, which is toxic to add into landfills.

Making the Upgrade

Something we want to caution you about: only professionals can install an advanced thermostat for an HVAC system. You cannot purchase one online and then attempt to install it, and you can’t have a professional install one you purchased yourself. The new thermostat must match the HVAC system. The advanced algorithms in the thermostat may damage older HVAC systems. Leave the job of selecting the new thermostat to the professionals so that you’ll have the ideal match between the controls and your heating. Our team is glad to help you find the best new climate controls so you can save money this winter and in every season. 

Look to Greenhart in Modesto, CA, for energy-saving options for your house. Live Green, Save Green!

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A Few Sources of Poor Indoor Air Quality in Homes

November 16th, 2020
woman-with-allergies

The quality of air in many homes is much worse than it should be. This isn’t because polluted air from outside is moving inside. It’s because too many pollutants indoors are trapped there, with scant circulation of fresh air to remove them. This is an unfortunate side-effect of the improvement in home construction to make houses more energy efficient. The tight construction limits the ventilation that removes the concentration of pollutants.

The Pollutant Sources

“But where are these pollutants coming from?” That’s the big question. There’s no single answer because there are a range of sources for indoor pollutants that lower the quality of the air in a house. Below we’re going to look at some of the most common.

Appliances the combust fuel

If you live in a house that uses natural gas for cooking, heating, and other tasks, that is one of the main sources for harmful chemicals. True, you aren’t dealing with a toxic level of carbon monoxide (you have CO detectors to warn you if this is the case) or other gases, but they still have long-term health effects.

Building materials

Many modern materials used for the construction of homes have potentially harmful chemicals in them that will enter the house. An older home may have asbestos in it. Pressed-wood, which is much more common in homes today than even ten years before, often has chromated copper arsenate (CCA) in it, which contains arsenic, chromium, and copper, all of which can create health problems.

But the most common harmful chemical found in building material is formaldehyde—which also can result from combustion and cleaning products. Formaldehyde is often found in particleboard, hardwood paneling, and fiberboard.

Cleaning/Hobby/Personal Care Products

A large number of volatile organic compounds (VOCs) arise from these materials that can be found in almost every household. VOCs include numerous chemicals that can affect people’s health in both the short and long-term.

Mold

Yes, you may have mold hidden somewhere in your house, possibly in the ductwork or located under floorboards where excess moisture has allowed it to grow. Toxic mold spores are a significant danger in homes where mold is growing.

The Horror! What Can I Do About This?

You’re probably not likely to tear out all the walls and throw away every cleaning supply you have and then stop using your gas stove. But although you don’t have many options for reducing these sources of air pollutants in your house (aside from mold and asbestos remediation), you do have options for better indoor air quality in Modesto, CA when you work with us. We offer numerous IAQ solutions, including:

  • Air filters and air purifiers to remove contaminants.
  • UV air purifiers to target organic pollutants, including mold spores.
  • Heat and energy recovery ventilators, which allow for fresh air circulation without a loss of energy efficiency in the house.
  • Dehumidifiers to remove the source of mold growth.
  • Duct sealing and repair to improve ventilation.

Get in touch with our professionals, and they’ll get started finding out exactly what your house needs for better, healthier indoor air quality.

Your home should be a breath of fresh air. With Greenhart, you can Live Green, Save Green!

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How Our Professionals Do Duct Cleaning

November 2nd, 2020
duct-cleaning-brush

Cleaning air ducts in the HVAC system of a home is an important service to help with energy savings and protecting indoor air quality. Ductwork naturally collects dust, dander, lint, and other debris; after about a year a thin layer will already build up inside the ductwork. Given enough time, this build-up creates resistance against airflow that lowers HVAC efficiency. It also turns into a reservoir of pollutants that circulate through the house, affecting air quality and making the home generally dirtier.

Thorough professional duct cleaning removes almost all of this debris and cleans other parts of the ventilation system. We recommend scheduling duct cleaning in Modesto, CA every three to five years with our team.

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Ways We Can Improve Your Home’s Ventilation System

October 19th, 2020
vent-cover-in-ceiling

The ventilation system in the walls and ceilings of your house is often neglected as part of the overall comfort system. People focus on the heating and air conditioning, but ventilation misses out on the upgrades, tests, and repairs it needs.  A poor ventilation system can ruin the best AC or heater, create massive energy waste, and harm indoor air quality. 

What can you do about it? In fact, is there anything wrong with your ventilation system?

We can answer the second question easily with duct testing services. This will give us the data about the state of your ventilation system we need to know so we can decide what else needs to be done. Below are three major services we offer to improve your ventilation system.

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How Can I Tell If I Have Leaking Air Ducts?

October 5th, 2020
duct-sealing-with-caulking

Leaks in the ductwork of a home are a major problem, and they are unfortunately one of those problems that often goes unnoticed or unrepaired for far too long. The consequences of leaking air ducts can be extremely high, so it’s important to know if your house has duct leakage. You can then arrange for a professional to seal the ducts and restore the integrity of the ventilation system.

Of course, that leads to the question of how to detect if you have duct leakage in the first place. The ducts are well-hidden within a home, so you can’t visually inspect them. But there are other signs you can watch for:

A drop in airflow from the vents

One of the immediate effects of leaks in the ductwork is that it lowers the air pressure in the ventilation system. Ducts must be kept airtight to maintain air pressure, and the consequence of a drop in air pressure is that the airflow from the vents will also drop. If you put your hand to the room vents and notice the airflow is weaker than normal, it may be duct leaks.

Uneven comfort around the house

Lower airflow will also mean rooms cool down/heat up slower, which will lower comfort around the house. This will happen unevenly: certain rooms will still feel normal, while hot and cold spots will appear in others. Duct leaks aren’t the only cause of uneven comfort, but it’s a serious problem no matter what the source.

Odd odors from the vents

Leaks in the ducts will allow air from closed-in spots of the home to infiltrate the ventilation system, such as between walls and from the attic. This will carry a musty and sometimes moldy odor to the rooms.

A rise in energy costs

The biggest chronic effect that duct leaks have on an HVAC system is that they place more stress on the blower, heater, and air conditioner. Around 30% of the air moving through the ductwork can disappear through leaks, and this is air you’ve already paid to heat/cool and push into the ventilation system. The HVAC system will need to put in extra work to overcome this deficit—and that means energy bills will rise. If you see steeper bills to heat and cool your house and you can’t account for the change, you probably have duct leaks.

Solving the Problem

If you suspect duct leaks, the next step is to contact our professionals. We will test the ventilation system to find out if it has leaks and how extensive they are. If you do have leaky ducts, the next step for us is to seal the leaks. We use a range of methods to ensure your ducts will be restored to airtight condition once more. (By the way, store-bought duct tape isn’t a method we use. This “duct tape” is not actually useful for ducts.)

To schedule duct testing and duct sealing in Modesto, CA, call our professionals. We’ll help you live green and save green.

Greenhart serves Modesto, CA and offers duct repair services for leaking air ducts. Live Green, Save Green!

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Understanding Air Conditioning System Efficiency Ratings

September 21st, 2020
air-conditioner-on-leaves

We aim to help our customers save money while enjoying comfort. We put it in our slogan: “Live Green, Save Green.” One of the ways to save money while helping the environment is to invest in HVAC equipment with improved energy efficiency. The more efficient a device, the less energy it consumes to provide comfortable temperatures for a household. There’s also less energy taken from power plants, which helps everyone to live greener.

This is why we encourage looking into high-efficiency air conditioning in Modesto, CA. We’re going to examine the efficiency ratings of modern air conditioning systems and what they mean—as well as how to ensure they make a difference for you, since a high-efficiency rating isn’t a guarantee of savings, although it puts you on the right path.

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