By RAYMOND NALTY
Summer is a great time to catch up on your reading, and with the brutal Mississippi summer heat, you’ll probably want to read your favorite authors from the comfort of your reading chair indoors.
But how comfortable will your indoors be? Read on for the fictions and facts about your AC and learn how to make your home live better this summer—and all year.
FICTION: If it “ain’t broke,” I don’t need service.
Would you run your car without a tune-up? A clean air conditioner is a happy air conditioner. Cleaning and maintenance make your unit run more efficiently, which translates into increased cooling output and enhanced dehumidifying capability. Want your home to live better? Give it a happy AC.
FICTION: My unit needs Freon every year.
Unless your AC unit has a leak, it shouldn’t require Freon. If it is leaking Freon, it’s time for a repair. Freon works like water in a radiator. Correct levels protect your compressor, while helping your unit run cooler, more effectively, and run more efficiently. It also prevents your unit from overheating. Want your home to live better? Don’t make your AC work like a dog during the dog days of summer without adequate help and support.
FICTION: If I can stand the heat, there’s no reason to run the AC.
You’ve heard the expression, and it’s true: It’s not just the heat, it’s the humidity. High humidity—as well as dramatic changes in humidity—can cause damage throughout your home, from your electronics to your books, artwork and photographs to wood furniture, wood floors, and joints in metal furniture. Even musical instruments will start to play out of tune. Want your home to live better? Don’t make it sweat the summer. Keep it cool, crisp and safe for your belongings.
FACT: The average life of an AC is about 12 to 15 years.
It would be convenient if there were a crystal ball that could tell you the exact date that your unit is scheduled to “expire.” Unfortunately, that doesn’t exist. Longevity depends on many factors, including service. Regular service and maintenance can extend the life of your unit by up to 30%. Want your home to live better? Don’t take your AC for granted.
FACT: Freon-22 is being phased out by the EPA, and it is now very expensive.
You’ve probably heard of ozone. Inside your house, it’s not a good thing. But as a protective layer around the earth, ozone works like a kind of sunscreen protecting the planet from damage. Because research showed that Freon R-22 damaged the ozone layer, the EPA began a phase-out of this type of Freon several years ago, and the agency is now accelerating its efforts. Supplies of newly manufactured R-22 have been radically reduced, with further reductions coming. That means the price of Freon R-22, used in older AC units, is skyrocketing—making repairs costly. Want your home to live better? Make it a good citizen of the earth.
FACT: Newer AC units use half the electricity to cool your home.
Cutting energy consumption is good news all the way around. It’s great for your finances, and it’s good for the future of the planet. Want your home to live better? Remember that energy efficiency isn’t just smart, it’s wise.
FACT: Your smartphone can put you in command of your AC wherever you are.
In addition to energy efficiency, new AC units also give you a newfound freedom to manage the operation of your HVAC from anywhere. New Wi-Fi thermostats can be controlled from your smartphone, meaning you can manage and control your energy usage wherever you are—at home, at work, on vacation. Thermostats can even be set to turn on and off as you approach your home. Plus, you can use your schedule and patterns to maximize your HVAC efficiency. Want your home to live better? Make it smarter!
FACT: Indoor air can be up to 5 times as polluted as outdoor air.
According to the EPA, indoor air levels of many pollutants may be 2 to 5 times higher than outdoor levels—sometimes more than 100 times higher. And with dirty dogs and kids running in and out all day, the summer situation doesn’t get much better. Fortunately, there are a number of purification options that you can install to create a beautifully breathable environment, eliminating airborne particles like pollen, germs, and bacteria, chemical vapors, and odors, as well as mold and mildew. Whole-house air purifiers work in conjunction with your HVAC system; they don’t restrict airflow and they don’t produce harmful ozone. Also, new models are highly energy efficient, and some don’t require any extra energy usage at all. UV germicidal lights installed in ductwork use ultra-violet power to destroy mold, mildew, and other contaminants, while reducing airborne microorganisms. Want your house to live better? Keep it clean!
So before you curl up with your favorite author, make sure you’ve got your facts and fictions straight to help you enjoy a safe, happy and comfortable summer—the happy ending you’ve always wanted!
For more information on how to make your home live better this summer, call Environment Masters, Inc. at 601.353.4681 or visit www.environmentmasters.com.
Raymond Nalty is the owner of Environment Masters, Inc.,which was started by his father, Raymond Jr., in 1957. He and his wife, Jane, live in Madison.They have three sons: R.J. (he and his wife, Lauren, have one son, Crinan, and a baby on the way); Ben; and Wilson.