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Here’s the “Bold” Guide to Carbon Monoxide

Carbon Monoxide (CO) is extremely difficult to detect. This odorless, colorless, toxic flammable gas has been dubbed the “silent killer” due to the fact that if there’s a leak, it is undetectable by our five senses. Due to the fact that CO is used in most household appliances including air and water heaters, as well as gas stoves and fireplaces, the prevalence of this gas in homes poses a real threat at all times. According to the Center for Disease Control (CDC), During 2010–2015, a total of 2,244 deaths resulted from unintentional carbon monoxide poisoning, with the highest numbers of deaths each year occurring in winter months.

We at Bold City Heating and Air believe it is our privilege and responsibility to keep our friends and clients as safe as possible, so here are some tips to help prevent carbon monoxide poisoning in your own home.

Install CO detectors in your home

Florida statute requires that Carbon Monoxide detectors be installed in any home or addition built after 2008. So more than likely, you should already have them, but if not, please go out and purchase a couple right away. The law states they should be installed within 10 feet of each room used for sleeping purposes a good rule of thumb is to replace batteries every six months (Spring forward, fall back, change batteries) to make sure they remain operable.

Check your HVAC vents for proper air flow

It may be tempting to close some air vents around the house to save money, thinking that if the air is blocked, you’ll use less energy. Well, unfortunately that is not the case. In order for your system to work properly, you need to make sure all vents are open and unobstructed. Not only can a blocked vent actually drive the cost of your heating and air up, but it can also cause your furnace to over work and inevitably, overheat. This can lead to a cracked heat exchanger, which could allow Carbon Monoxide to leak into your home. So, long story short, keep all the vents open people.

Schedule regular maintenance

The best way to ensure your system is working properly, and in order to prevent any leaks or mishaps, it’s a good idea to schedule regular system maintenance every year by a professional, or better yet, call the experts at Bold City Heating & Air and we will get you set up right! Give us a call at 904.299.8684 and experience the BOLD difference.

No matter which system you use, the primary benefits of a smart thermostat is the ability to save money and preserve energy efficiency for your household. And here’s an industry tip, in order to get the most out of your smart thermostat, give Bold City Heating & Air a call at 904.299.8684 and we will perform a system inspection to make sure your home is running as efficiently as possible.

Carbon Monoxide data sourced from:

https://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/volumes/66/wr/mm6608a9.htm

Florida Statute information:

http://www.leg.state.fl.us/STATUTES/index.cfm?App_mode=Display_Statute&Search_String=&URL=0500-0599/0553/Sections/0553.885.html

Smart Thermostats

Smart thermostats are the way of the future, and bring with them a multitude of benefits from saving you money to ease of use. Over time, they can become your personal temperature assistants, learning your habits and anticipating your needs!

Here are some benefits of upgrading your home system to using a smart thermostat.

It’s Easy

They say change isn’t always easy, but in this case, they’re wrong. Installation is a breeze, and most systems come with an accompanying app to help you seamlessly transition to efficiency. Contrary to what you might think, if you’re feeling intimidated, most smart thermostats install just like your old one did. You simply pop off your old thermostat, and plug in your new one, most installations should take less than 30 minutes. Then you’re off to the races in savings!

Fast Learners

No matter which system you choose, they all have the same basic abilities to learn your habits and self-adjust after a period of time. By intelligently monitoring your use, they can learn when you wake up in the morning, and at what temperature you like to sleep. The apps that accompany these devices can follow your phone to know when you’re out of the house. With this knowledge, the thermostat can then self-adjust to a more energy efficient temperature when you and your family are out of the house. Whether we like it or not, humans are creatures of habit, but with smart thermostats, that can turn into increased efficiency and comfort.

Money Saver

After the initial investment, smart thermostats are designed to save you money, and lots of it. Some systems boast an average savings of 10% to 12% on heating bills and 15% on cooling bills after only two years of use. Because these devices have the ability to learn your routines, they quickly adapt to life as you know it, they become an active member of the household, adjusting the temperatures for you based on how you like it! Along with the ability to make adjustments remotely, as well as track your usage, energy efficiency and progress, you’ll notice the ease and comfort, but you’ll love the savings!

No matter which system you use, the primary benefits of a smart thermostat is the ability to save money and preserve energy efficiency for your household. And here’s an industry tip, in order to get the most out of your smart thermostat, give Bold City Heating & Air a call at 904.299.8684 and we will perform a system inspection to make sure your home is running as efficiently as possible.

What’s All The Noise?: When Your Outdoor Unit Is Making A Racket

There’s nothing quite like the sounds of the season: jingling bells, children’s laughter, Christmas music, popcorn popping, and… an indiscernible outdoor noise? Wait, is that your HVAC unit? If it is, we’ll be upfront in saying that you’ll probably need a professional to come to check it out. However, in narrowing down the probable causes of your unit’s racket, it’s all about narrowing down what it is, exactly, that you’re hearing.

For example, if you hear buzzing, you might be tempted to let it slide, depending on how quiet it is. However, if the buzzing is persistent regardless as to whether or not the unit is running, you likely have an electrical problem on your hands. From faulty relay switches to an inefficient connection of parts to a problem with the condenser fan motor, it could be one of many electrical issues.

If you hear screeching, however, you likely will be looking at necessary repairs to or a replacement of fan motor parts, such as the bearings. A similar noise, such as screeching or a whistling noise, though, means a different problem entirely. Particularly if it persists for several minutes after you turn your unit on, there’s probably a build up of high refrigerant pressure, which could be dangerous or even cause your unit to turn on and off repeatedly on its own.

Finally, if you hear any slamming or knocking noises, it could either be that the internal fan is being obstructed or that the springs have been damaged and are now faulty. If the noise is only occurring when your unit is being turned on or off, it’s probably the springs. If you hear knocking while your HVAC is running, however, then the fan has probably come loose and is now banging around.

In any case, as stated before, you’ll always want to reach out to professionals you trust in order to properly diagnose and fix the source of the loud noises. And Bold City Heating and Air is ready and waiting to help you figure the mystery out! We’re a locally owned and trusted Jacksonville company, so call us today to schedule an inspection and experience the bold difference!

Not All Air Filters Are Created Equal

Did you know that you have options now when it comes to choosing an air filter. This is not a ‘one size fits all’ scenario anymore. You have options to choose from that can impact the air quality in your home, and we’ve done the research for you to help decide which is best for you and your home.

According to Consumer Reports, some essential terms you should know when shopping for air filters are as follows:

MPR

This is the Micro-Particle Performance Rating developed by 3M. It rates the filters on the ability to capture airborne particles smaller than 1 micron. The best filters have MPRs between 1500 and 1900.

FPR

Home Depot uses its own rating system on a scale of 1 to 10 called the Filter Performance Rating. The higher the number the better it filters.

Now, when it comes to choosing a specific filter for your house, you have a variety to choose from. Here is a list of some available options, along with their individual benefits.

BASIC/GOOD (MPR 100, FPR 4-5) air filters will likely capture the most common air contaminants such as pollen, dander, dust and dust mites. These are the most affordable and minimal of the filtration options. If allergens or odor are not a concern – this could be a sufficient solution for your home.

The next step would likely be a “better” or “clean air” type filter that has an MPR of 300-600 or an FPR of 6-7. These filters are just a step above the basic, however this will also trap mold, which is a common household occurrence and a major allergen for many.

For added coverage, upgrade to a more substantial filter specifically designed for allergen filtration (MPR 800-1200, FPR 8-9). These filters have the ability to clean the air as it passes through the filters, eliminating most key allergens such as smoke, mold, pollen, pet dander, and other microscopic elements that tend to float through the air.

The top teared filters (MPR 1200+, FPR 10-12) are your best chance at complete air cleaning technology. If you are looking for a filter that can do it all, these are your best bet. Not only do filters in this range clean the air, ridding your home of dust, mold, mildew, smoke, smog, bacteria, and pet dander, but they also have the ability to eliminate all household odors and airborne viruses as well.

If you have any questions or concerns about your air quality and which filters might be best for your home, give Bold City Heating and Air a call at (904) 379-1648.

My Air Filter Is Wet. What Do I Do Now?

It’s common to take a peek at the various parts of your HVAC system and wonder, “Is that… normal?” But if you’re staring intently at your air filter and scratching at your head, chances are, whatever it is, it’s not normal. For instance, your air filter is not supposed to be wet. If it is, that means you likely have a clogged condensate drain line and your filter could actually be aiding in the spread of mold and mildew around your home. So, if your filter is wet, what exactly should you do?

For starters, change the filter immediately. As stated above, mold and mildew are going to love a sponge-like filter, and the moisture will certainly seep into the ductwork of your property and also decrease the indoor air quality around your home. Plus, your HVAC system’s efficiency is going to take a hit if your filter isn’t dry. That is, the heavier and more contaminated your filter is, the less air is going to be able to actually pass through the way it’s supposed to. The more this builds up, the longer and harder you system will have to work, thus increasing the overall cost of your energy bill.

Next, you’ll want to have your condensate drain unclogged, otherwise you’ll never be able to keep your filters dry. You can do this yourself by locating the PVC pipe attached to the outside of your house that allows for your system to drain and using a wet vac to clear it all out. Simply attach the wet vac to the drain, cover the connection in order to make it airtight, and run the wet vac repeatedly for about 10 seconds at a time until your system is unclogged.

Otherwise, you can always call local professionals to help you do this in a manner that is efficient and safe on your system! If you are having an issue with your HVAC system or simply need to schedule routine maintenance, contact Bold City Heating and Air! We’re a locally owned and trusted Jacksonville company, and we want you to experience the bold difference!

I Should Be Looking At… What?

Answer: Your condenser fins!

Why? Well, these small aluminum slats or “fins” cover the outdoor system of your HVAC unit, and if enough of them are damaged or bent, your entire system is going to have a pretty hard time functioning efficiently. If a few are bent or damaged, it may not be an issue at all, but if too many are, you’ll start losing money on your energy bill.

In that case, how does it all work?

Put simply, the condenser fins help your unit “breathe” and regulate heat. They assist expediting and smoothing out the process by which your entire system expels heat, thereby allowing your HVAC to cool your home down. If they’re bent, however, they can’t push heat out of your system’s condenser; on the contrary, they’ll hold it in! Then, you’ll find yourself continually turning down the thermostat, losing money, and scratching your head when it starts to take longer to cool down than before and you don’t know why.

After all of this, you may be wondering what can cause bent or damaged fins. Here are some of the most common causes of fin damage:

  • Storms that can throw branches or debris against your unit
  • Yard work or landscaping
  • Pressure washing

These fins, however, are small and thin enough that not many people think to stop and give them a good look. The goods news, though, is that it’s not catastrophic by any means, and it’s also a relatively simple problem to fix!

All you have to do is buy a condenser fin “comb” to straighten them out if they’re bent or, if they’re damaged, call a local professional you trust, like Bold City Heating and Air! We believe in treating every customer as if they were family and giving them the respect and dependable HVAC service they deserve. So call us today to schedule your inspection and experience the bold difference!

How To Tell If Your Air Ducts Are Leaking

How To Tell If Your Air Ducts Are Leaking

If your air ducts are leaking, then your wallet is certainly leaking all of your hard-earned money. In fact, leaking air ducts are considered to be one of the top ways some people waste energy without even knowing it… but wait, how do you know if your air ducts are leaking? Just look for some of these tell-tale signs:

  1. You can’t seem to maintain your desired temperature in certain rooms
    With leaking ducts, your air is going to escape at a rate you just can’t keep up with. Therefore, hot air will escape in the winter and cold air in the summer; either way, you’ll be left uncomfortable. But it may not be true of your entire house, so be wary of isolated spots where the temperature is not consistent, and call your local professionals, like Bold City Heating and Air, if you’re left scratching at your head.
  2. Your energy bills have risen, regardless of the season
    If you can’t maintain the temperature consistently throughout your house, chances are your initial reaction was to play with your HVAC’s thermostat in an attempt to find equilibrium. But if this goes on for too long with the underlying reason escaping your notice, then you’ll notice your energy bills have also gone out of whack. As the questions you face start to compound, it’s likely that they’re trying to point you in the direction of your leaking air ducts.
  3. The air quality in your home seems to have decreased
    When you don’t have control over your home’s temperature, you also don’t have control over what may manifest as a result of the varying heat and cold. Being at the whim of the seasons, you may start to notice more mold where there are hotspots in the spring and summer, or maybe more dust and dander wherever the colder air seems to be seeping in. Regardless, the quality of air in your home may go down—think musty smells, increased asthma attacks, or a greater suffering at the hands of your allergies while indoors.

If you and your HVAC can’t seem to keep up with the air inside of your home, it may be time to reach out and ask for help. Call Bold City Heating and Air today to schedule your inspection! Once you’ve worked with a locally owned company and experienced the bold difference, we guarantee you’ll never go back.

Winter Is Coming: Proper HVAC Maintenance for the Season

Winter Is Coming: Proper HVAC Maintenance for the Season

Florida winters may not be quite as brutal as in other states, but especially here in Northeast Florida, we can’t disregard the season as irrelevant… especially as it pertains to our homes. In fact, your HVAC system should have routine maintenance performed before the coldest of the Florida weather sets in, and you should also check on certain aspects of your unit on your own whenever possible. So, what specifically are you looking at?

  1. Check on your air filter
    If your air filter is dirty or in need of replacing, your entire HVAC system is likely to function improperly. And on the cold days where all you want to do is curl up on your couch under blankets with hot soup in hand, you’re not going to feel so keen on taking care of your air conditioning. Before the cold snaps decide they’re here to stay, check on your air filter now and, if the time is near (but not quite here) to replace it, contemplate buying a backup filter to have on hand later down the road.
  2. Check on your thermostat
    The last thing you need is for your thermostat to be in dire need of batteries in the middle of a cold night. Be sure your system is charged and consider setting your thermostat to a slightly lower temperature than normal in order to save money on your energy bill. Bundle up at night in order to compensate for the temperature difference and prevent your heat from blowing constantly!
  3. Schedule a routine inspection
    Ideally, you would have had a heating inspection performed at the start of the fall season. But if not, it’s okay! Just be sure to schedule one now in order to ensure that your HVAC system is in working order and will be running efficiently for the coming cold months ahead.

Preparing for winter is nothing to sweat about, particularly if you contact Bold City Heating and Air. You can rest assured your HVAC system is being checked and repaired by locally trusted professionals! Call us today to have your annual winter inspection scheduled today!

How Your Air Filter Gets So Dirty, So Fast

How Your Air Filter Gets So Dirty, So Fast

Ever find yourself breezing through your air filters faster than anticipated? If it feels like there’s more and more dirt just about every time you look back and blink, then it may be time to reassess both your unit and your strategy for keeping the air in your home clean. In fact, here are three of the most common reasons you may be struggling to keep your air filter clean for a given length of time:

  1. You have leaky air ducts
    Your ductwork is one of your first lines of defense against dirt and dust. But, if it’s leaking, you’ll start to notice a steady and regular accumulation of grime on your filter. Why? Because defective ducts actually pull dirt in from areas that are unconditioned in your home, like an attic or crawlspace, making it difficult for your filter to stay clean or function optimally.
  2. Your thermostat fan is always left in the “ON” position
    It’s a common misconception that leaving your A/C fan switched to the “ON” position keeps your unit functioning efficiently. Of course, this is problematic because you’re not only burning more energy (thereby increasing your energy bill) by leaving it running, but you’re actually keeping a steady stream of air flowing over your filter… nonstop. Therefore, you’ll actually want to keep your system fixed to the “AUTO” setting, which will both save you money and ensure that your HVAC unit only runs when necessary. In effect, less grime will build up because your air filter won’t be catching contaminants constantly.
  3. You have continual visitors and continual dirt
    The more people that cross the threshold into your home, the more dirt is being dragged in right along with them. Especially if they’re visiting with their furry loved ones, you never know what dust, dirt, dander, or fur may be floating around in the air! Try asking guests to leave their shoes at the door or take the time to learn more about what you can do to maintain healthy indoor air quality.

Whether you’re looking to buy a new filter, have routine maintenance performed on your HVAC unit, or you just want a proper inspection from a local company you can trust, be sure to call Bold City Heating and Air today! With quality workmanship and guaranteed satisfaction, we promise you’ll experience the bold difference!

Choosing A New Thermostat: What You Need To Know

Choosing A New Thermostat: What You Need To Know

You may not often need to do a double take to reconsider whether or not you need a new thermostat. After all, in comparison to all of the other parts of your HVAC unit that may need more immediate replacing, the thermostat can be rendered all but an afterthought. However, it may be time to purchase a new one if you’re upgrading your HVAC system or if your current thermostat doesn’t offer all of the features you want.

Moreover, thermostats tend to malfunction on their own once they reach the ripe age of ten years old, as not even this type of technology is immune to the defects that come with the passage of time. That being said, what should you consider or keep in mind when choosing a new thermostat?

To start, your first step is going to be hunting for thermostats that are compatible with your current HVAC system, or new system if you’re upgrading. Not only will the console need to fit your wall space, but it needs to match your system’s voltage as well as include the appropriate heating and air capacity. If you’re not sure what this looks like, be sure to contact your local professionals, like Bold City Heating and Air!

During this hunt, be sure to also consider the specifics. Do you want a programmable thermostat? A traditional, manual thermostat? Or maybe even a smart thermostat? In all, the level of control you desire over your unit is going to help you narrow down your prospective systems, so research the current market thoroughly and have an idea of what the ideal thermostat looks like to you.

Finally, always be sure to call for professional help when it comes to installation. Not only will this serve the purpose of making the whole process easier, but it will also ensure the safety of all parties involved. Plus, if your new thermostat is not installed properly, a variety of new problems will begin to pop up over time: HVAC malfunctions, continual repairs, higher energy bills, less control over your home, and more.

If you’re not sure who to call when it comes to finding HVAC and thermostat advice or maintenance, just contact Bold City Heating and Air! We’re a locally owned and trusted company, so call us today to schedule an inspection and experience the bold difference!