How to Stay Cool Without AC

If you live in the South, you’re well aware that summer can bring sweltering temperatures, immense amounts of humidity, and really, really, bad hair days. You’re probably used to cranking your stay-cool-without-acthermostat down into the 60s, but if your AC suddenly stops working, what do you do? While you wait for repairs or a replacement, these are some ways you can stay cool without AC.

  • Close the Shades: During the day when the sun is shining onto your house, keep your shades closed to block out the extra heat that could otherwise warm your home.
  • Open the Windows: When the temperature outside drops at night, crack a few windows to let cooler air enter and circulate your home. Just be sure to close them before the temperature starts to rise again.
  • Use Your Fan: Turn your fans on, and have them spin counterclockwise. They won’t cool the air in your home, but they’ll circulate it to make the room feel less stuffy.
  • Insulate Your Home: Make sure cool air doesn’t have any place to escape by caulking any drafty areas around your windows and doors.
  • Don’t Use the Stove: As long as you can, avoid using your stove and oven since they’ll add a lot of heat to your home.
  • Ditch Incandescent Lights: These use a lot more energy and produce a lot more heat. Switch to LED lights instead.

Just because there are ways to stay cool with AC, it doesn’t mean you have to. Air Treatment Company in Fairfax County provides comprehensive AC repairs and installations to keep you cool in the summer. For more information or to schedule a service, call us at 703-938-0550.

AC Myths You Need to Ignore

It seems that there can be myths about everything these days — foods, history, Bigfoot (although the jury’s still out on that one). There are even false rumors about your air conditioning. While some myths get busted on TV, we’re here to debunk a few for you now. These are the AC myths you need to ignore. ac-myths-air-treatment-company

Myth #1: It’s best to just get the biggest-sized AC you can afford.

Nope. The size AC you get should depend on the size of your home. You should take the general size of your home, the number of windows, amount of air leakage, and the type of roof you have into account when deciding what type and size AC you get.

Myth #2: Your AC won’t run as often if you’re using ceiling fans.

Ceiling fans only move air around, not cool it, so your AC will run normally with them on. It can actually help you feel cooler if you use ceiling fans to move the air in your home.

Myth #3: You’ll get a cold from using AC.

This is one of the biggest AC myths we’ve heard. Getting a cold depends on the virus itself, not the temperature of the room. In fact, being in a warmer room can actually allow the virus to fester and infect more people, so your AC may be keeping you healthy.

Myth #4: You save money by always having our thermostat set at the same temperature.

Incorrect. It actually saves you money in energy costs to use a programmable thermostat to allow your house to warm up when you’re not home and to start getting cool again before you get home.

Myth #5: It’s a waste of money to get your AC serviced.

Totally false. Just like a car, your AC needs regular maintenance and tune-ups in order to keep it running well. A lack of maintenance could result in your unit breaking down and leaving you sweating in your own home.

At Air Treatment Company, we offer comprehensive AC maintenance plans to keep your air conditioner in good working order and keep you cool for the summer. For more information or to schedule a service, call us at 703-938-0550.

5 Rookie Mistakes You’re Making with Your AC

In your lifetime, you will probably make thousands of mistakes. You’ll forget to put the garbage out, you’ll be late for your child’s parent/teacher conference, and you’ll forget to DVR your favorite show and miss out on the water cooler talk Monday morning. But we all know mistakes can be prevented as you get older — especially as you learn how to manage your home. When it comes to your cooling system, here are five mistakes you’re making with your AC.  

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1) You aren’t changing your filters.

You should be changing your AC’s filters at least every three months, if not more often. If you leave them dirty, you’re causing your unit to work harder to do its job (costing you more money in utility fees), not to mention pushing unfiltered, dirty air to your home.

2) Your thermostat is in a bad spot.

If your thermostat is in a location where the sun shines on it all day, the sensor could be thrown off and your AC could be working harder than it has to. If you can, make sure your thermostat is shaded from any additional heat.

3) You’re not using your fans.

Whether it’s a standing or ceiling fan, you should be using the fans in your home to promote better air circulation and take some of the weight off your AC’s shoulders, so to speak. Just make sure the fans are turning counter-clockwise so they push cold air down.

4) You’re cooling empty rooms.

Do you really think it’s necessary to cool the guest bedroom that hasn’t been used all year? Close the vents in that room so you’re not wasting energy and money cooling empty spaces.

5) You’re not getting your AC serviced yearly.

This is probably one of the most common mistakes you’re making with your AC. Yearly maintenance services can help catch any problems before they get worse and help keep your unit running well.

For more advice on mistakes you’re making with your AC, contact Air Treatment Company. We offer comprehensive AC maintenance plans, as well as AC repairs and installation to keep your home cool and comfortable as efficiently as possible. For more information or to schedule a service, call us at 703-938-0550.

How Poor Indoor Air Quality Affects Your Health

Have you ever noticed that your allergies start acting up more when you’re in your home than they do when you’re outside? That’s probably because your indoor air quality is causing you to breathe in harmful pollutants and allergens. Even if you’re not too worried about some sniffles and a cough, you should be. Poor indoor air quality affects your health in more ways than just irritating your allergies.

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Indoor Air Contaminants

There are more air contaminants in your home than you probably would’ve thought.

  • Carbon Dioxide: found in tobacco smoke, body odor, and perfume.
  • Formaldehyde: found in dust and some gases.
  • VOCs: found in cleaning products, pesticides, disinfectants, and glue.
  • Microbial contaminants: mold, fungi, and other bacteria found in damp areas.
  • Dust mites: found in carpets, upholstery, and drapes.

Symptoms of Poor Indoor Air Quality

These symptoms are often linked to poor IAQ.

  • Irritation or dryness of eyes, nose, throat, and skin
  • Hypersensitivity and allergies
  • Sinus congestion
  • Coughing and sneezing
  • Shortness of breath
  • Dizziness
  • Nausea
  • Headache
  • Fatigue

Many of these symptoms are the same ones you would experience if you had a cold or other illness, so watch where you experience them. If you’re in a location that may experience poor indoor air quality but feel better away from that area, actions should be taken to make the area healthier.

Health Problems That Result from Poor Indoor Air Quality

If you are exposed to poor indoor air quality over a long period of time, you may suffer from more serious ailments, including:

  • Increased Asthma Attacks
  • Respiratory Disease
  • Heart Disease
  • Cancer

Don’t live with poor air quality — breathe easy with Air Treatment Company instead. We can outfit your home with air purifiers and better air filters to catch and kill 99% of viruses, bacteria, and fungi in your home’s air. For more information or to schedule a service, call us at 703-938-0550.

What to Expect When You Use Air Treatment Company

Let’s be real — if your HVAC system is going to break down, it’s going to happen when you need your unit the most. That’s just the way this funny world works. If that’s the case, you’re already going to be stressed out, so you don’t need the added stress that comes with worrying if your repair service is going to perform to your expectations. That’s why we’ve taken the guesswork out of things — this is exactly what to expect when you use Air Treatment Company.what-to-expect-when-you-use-air-treatment-company

Upfront Pricing

On top of offering free, no-obligation estimates, we charge by the job, not by the hour, so we’ll give you the price for your repair or installation before we even start working. And there’s none of that “changing the price after the fact” nonsense. When giving you your upfront price, we also get your written approval and keep working at that price until you’re 100% satisfied with the job.

Top-Notch Service

At Air Treatment Company, we do everything possible to make sure we provide you with the best service experience.

  • We arrive at your home on time and treat it as if it was our own, wearing shoe covers and using work mats.
  • We begin every job by attentively listening to you explain the problem and then offer our professional opinion.
  • After the job is complete, we follow up with you to make sure you’re completely happy.

Now that you know what to expect when you use Air Treatment Company, don’t stress over a broken HVAC system — just give us a call. We offer HVAC repairs for homes in Vienna, Fairfax, and the surrounding areas and guarantee you’ll love our service. For more information or to schedule an appointment, call us at 703-938-0550.

 

Generator Safety Tips You Should Know

If you’ve ever experienced a blackout, you know how inconvenient and sometimes scary it is to be without power. You start worrying about all the food in your fridge that could spoil before the electricity comes back, and your children may get scared from being in the dark, not to mention bored and restless without any shows or movies to occupy them. That’s why it’s a smart move to add a generator to your home as a backup power source. But you’ll also want to make sure you’re following proper generator safety to avoid any harm or injury to your home and family. generator-safety-tips-air-treatments-company

Generator Safety Tips:

  • Make sure to keep your generator dry. It’s supplying you with electricity, so adding rain or snow could result in your getting electrocuted. Cover your generator with a raised tent or tarp, and never have wet hands when operating it.
  • Let it cool before you refuel it. Before adding more fuel to your generator, turn it off, and let it rest and cool down for a bit since spilled gasoline could start a fire.
  • Store your fuel properly. Keep spare fuel in the proper container, and make sure to keep it out of living areas. It’s best to keep it in a locked shed away from any appliance that burns fuel such as your furnace or water heater.
  • Don’t plug your generator into a wall outlet. This could cause “back-feeding” and potentially risk electrocuting you, your neighbors, or utility workers.
  • Protect yourself from CO poisoning. Only use your generator outdoors, away from windows or vents, and always make sure your carbon monoxide detectors are working properly.

Air Treatment Company offers highly tested, five-year-warrantied Kohler generators to give your and your family backup power options. We can handle all installation, repairs, and maintenance of your Kohler power system and offer free in-home consultations and cost proposals for whole house electrical generators.  For more information or to schedule a consultation, call us at 703-938-0550.

How to Prevent Carbon Monoxide Poisoning

They call it the silent killer for a reason. You can’t see, smell, or hear carbon monoxide leaks, making them one of the most dangerous gases in your homes. On average, 400 people die each year from carbon monoxide poisoning, but there are ways to protect you and your family.carbon-monoxide-poisoning-air-treatment-company

To Prevent Carbon Monoxide Poisoning:

Always Have Your HVAC Unit Inspected

A common place carbon monoxide can leak from is your water heater, heating system, or other gas/oil/coal burning units. Regular inspections can help detect leaks early or before they even start.

Install Carbon Monoxide Detectors

Detectors should be located near your heating system and in all bedrooms. Make sure to check the batteries regularly to ensure your detector is working properly.

Never Run Your Vehicle Inside

Always leave running cars or other vehicles that emit transmission fumes outside. Even if you leave the garage door open while they’re inside, the carbon monoxide fumes can travel into your home.

Never Heat Your Home with a Gas Oven

Cooking with your gas oven is fine, but using it to heat your home only spreads dangerous gases that can not only harm your family’s health but can also cause fire hazards.

Never Use a Generator or Grill Inside

These items, along with other charcoal or gasoline-burning device will fill your home with harmful fumes, putting you and your family at greater risk for carbon monoxide poisoning.

To prevent carbon monoxide poisoning from threatening your home, contact Air Treatment Company. We offer comprehensive HVAC maintenance and water heater maintenance to keep you and your family safe from harm. For more information or to schedule a service, call us at 703-938-0550.

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Vacation Prep Checklist

Summer is the perfect time to take a vacation with your family. The kids are off from school, you have days to take off, and there’s more time to get away for a few days. Amidst packing your swimsuits and planning what adventures you’ll have on your trip, it’s important to also make sure your home is ready for your vacation. Follow this vacation prep checklist to ensure you return to a safe and clean home.

Vacation Prep Checklist:

Make It Look Like Someone is Home

  • Set up at least one timed light, so it gives the illusion that someone is home.
  • Have your neighbor park in your driveway.
  • Have your neighbor or friend collect your mail each day.
  • Install motion-sensing lights outside your home to ward off burglars.

Prep the Plumbing & Electric

  • Unplug all of your small electronics and appliances so you don’t waste electricity.
  • Shut off the main water valve to prevent any leaks or bursts.
  • Turn your water heater to “vacation mode.”

Clean Out the Kitchen

  • Get rid of any foods that may go bad while your home.
  • Sweep and get rid of any crumbs, so you don’t attract bugs and other pests.
  • If you’re going on an extended trip, consider unplugging your fridge and leaving the door open.

Handle the HVAC

  • Turn up your thermostat so the temperature is closer to what is it outside.
  • Check your smoke alarms to ensure they’re working properly.

Make sure your cooling system is working well so you can return to a comfortable home. Air Treatment Company offers air conditioning installation, repairs, and maintenance to keep your home cool all summer long. For more information or to schedule a service, call us at 703-938-0550.

 

Tips for Maintaining Your Portable AC

Portable air conditioners offer convenience and easy maintenance while keeping your home cool and comfortable. However, easy maintenance doesn’t equal zero work. If you want to keep your portable AC running well, follow these simple maintenance tips.portable-ac-wahl-family-heating-cooling-plumbing

Shut It Down

Always turn your unit off and unplug it before performing any maintenance to prevent any injury. Then remove it from the window frame or wall to begin cleaning it.

Remove the Filter

The air filter greatly affects how well your unit works. Replace it or clean it if it’s reusable. Your manufacturer’s instruction will indicate whether or not you have to fully replace the filter.

Vacuum the Fins

Use the brush attachment on your vacuum to remove any dust and/or grime from your unit’s fins. If any of the fins are bent, straighten them with a special comb from a hardware store.

Oil the Motor

Use electric oil to loosen up the motor. Usually, five drops or so in the access ports should be fine, but it’s best to check your owner’s manual for specific instructions on how to do this.

Wash the Filter and Drain Tube

The Filter:

  • If your filter is reusable, cleaning it each month is a must to keep your portable AC running well. Use warm water and a drop of dish soap to remove any grime, and let it completely dry before placing back in your unit.

The Drain Tube:

  • If you notice any algae growth on your drain tube, insert a piece of wire to remove any buildup, and pour a teaspoon of ammonia down the drain to prevent future buildup.

If you need help maintaining your AC unit, contact the experts at Air Treatment Company. We offer comprehensive maintenance plans to help keep your cooling system in top-running condition. For more information or to schedule a service, call us at 703-938-0550.

How To: AC Maintenance

AC maintenance is the key to keeping your unit performing well. And as the hotter temperatures continue rolling in, you’ll want your air conditioner to be at its peak performance. If your unit could use a bit of TLC, follow these steps for how to properly take care of your air conditioner. ac-maintenance-air-treatment-company

How to Perform AC Maintenance:

Turn Your Unit Off: You’re working with electricity and moving parts, so totally turn off your unit’s power to keep yourself safe.

Get Rid of Debris: Use a screwdriver or wrench to remove the cage from the top of your outside condenser unit, and get rid of any leaves and debris from the inside using your hand or a wet/dry vacuum.

Clean and Straighten the Fins: Take your garden hose and spray the fins from the inside out to get rid of any dirt that could be built up on them. Inspect the fins, and use a butterknife to straighten any bent ones.

Clear Out the Surrounding Area: Rake leaves and other debris away from your unit, and trim away any plant life that is growing within two feet of your condenser. When the winter months roll around, make sure to place a piece of plywood on top of the unit so debris doesn’t fall inside.

Level Your Unit: After a few years, the pad your condenser sits on can tilt, causing the unit to potentially fail earlier than it should. Check the leveling, and use rust-resistant shims to get it even again.

If you need help with your AC maintenance, contact Air Treatment Company. All of our maintenance services are performed by skilled NATE-certified HVAC technicians, and we even offer maintenance service plans. For more information, call us at 703-938-0550.