The Benefits of Home HVAC Automation

Watercolor painting of a comfortable livingroom

A quality HVAC system is critical in keeping your home comfortable during the large temperature swings between the Ann Arbor area winters and summers. Managing that system can be a hassle – especially when multiple adjustments are needed throughout the day, in the middle of your family’s busy schedule. Home HVAC automation can help you simplify that process while providing some tremendous benefits to the homeowner.

If you’re looking for a way to provide a little extra comfort and convenience for you and your family, this might be it.

5 Reasons For You to Consider Home HVAC Automation

Create a Comfortable Home Environment

Home HVAC automation systems allow you to program the temperature in your home at specific times of day. You don’t have to think about it. You can have a setting for while you’re home with your family on the cold winter evenings, and a setting for while you’re away. You can change it again for while everyone in your home is sleeping, and change it again to accomodate the person working from home.

With a smart thermostat for automation, you are covered for creating a comfortable heating and cooling environment for your family’s routine and lifestyle.

Improve Your Home’s Air Quality

We now know that the winter months can be particularly hard on your home’s air quality. If you’re using a furnace, you are pumping dry air into your home with little to no opportunities for ventilation. Home HVAC automation with a smart thermostat can help with this problem. You can monitor humidity and air filtration levels to adjust them as needed.

When you combine that with more ventilation, a smart thermostat and automated HVAC system gives you more capability to prevent the buildup of pollutants, allergens, and contaminants to help keep you and your family healthier.

Watercolor drawing of a comfortable living room

Improve Your Home’s Energy Efficiency

Automation is designed to optimize the use of your home HVAC system by empowering you to set automatic adjustments based on the weather and the season, as well as your own schedule and preferences. When you have your HVAC system running only as necessary, you are reducing your homes energy consumption while improving energy efficiency.

You get the satisfaction of knowing that your lifestyle is more environmentally friendly, with the added bonus of lower utility bills.

A Convenient System That’s Easy to Use

One of the biggest changes for a consumer new to home HVAC automation is the ability to control the settings remotely. You can set the temperature in your home while you’re at work, out running errands, or even on vacation. The settings are accessible from any movie device and can be particularly useful when you forgot to change something before you left the house, or you are experiencing unexpected changes in the weather or your plans.

You Can Count on Haley Mechanical for Home HVAC Automation

Automating your HVAC system is probably easier than you think. A smart thermostat from Haley Mechanical can get you started. We’re with you every step of the way from sales to home installation. If you’re looking to experience a more comfortable and convenient climate-controlled home, contact us today!

How Your HVAC System Helps Combat Fall Allergies

Woman with fall allergies

Many people in SE Michigan are affected by fall allergies, although most of us think spring allergies are the worst. When temperatures fall, your immune system isn’t as effective at fighting allergies off. Your HVAC system can do more than you think to combat fall allergies. We want to help those in Ann Arbor and surrounding areas who suffer from fall allergies by providing the information you can use now.

Prominent Fall Allergies

Many people think of ragweed when it comes to allergies, whether during spring or fall. While ragweed is the most common cause of fall allergies, mold is another concern as temperatures drop.

Ragweed can make you feel miserable with symptoms such as lung and eye irritation, congestion, coughing, a scratchy throat, and more. You may not realize that wind currents can carry ragweed hundreds of miles, which is why many people suffer from fall allergies.

When temperatures fall, mold becomes another air pollutant that can cause severe allergy symptoms. This is especially true if you have lots of trees around your home, as an accumulation of falling leaves is the perfect breeding ground for mold. The fall season tends to be damper; when leaves hold water and temperatures don’t warm up enough to dry them out, it can result in the growth of mold.

How can you use your HVAC system to fight fall allergies?

Consider air purifiers and other products designed to improve indoor air quality. People who have asthma, allergies, or other respiratory issues benefit from air purifiers that capture particles, allergens, and pollutants as the air circulates through.

Change your air filters if needed. One of the easiest things you can do to improve the air quality in your home and reduce pollutants is to change the filters when they have a build-up of dust and debris. A new, clean filter will capture contaminants so that you enjoy a cleaner, fresher air in your home.

Enhance the efficiency of your HVAC system. Consider having your ducts cleaned by a professional as dust, dirt, and other debris can build up inside the ducts. Your southeast Michigan HVAC professional can also seal any areas that need repair, helping keep out pollutants. You should also check the outdoor AC unit to ensure dirt, leaves, dust, and other debris are cleared away.

Clean inside and outside your home. While these are everyday chores you probably already do, it’s especially important during the fall season to vacuum your floors frequently, rake up the leaves, and perform other tasks that reduce pollutants and allergens such as ragweed and mold.

Fall has arrived, and now you know how to fend off those miserable fall allergies that often come along with the season. By doing just a little work and investing in an indoor air purifier, you can breathe easier! For more information on indoor air quality or help with your HVAC system, give Haley Mechanical a call today.

Preventive Measures We Take During Flu and Virus Season

Woman with fall allergies

This is the prime time of year for viruses and flu, and while this season the concerns are more far-reaching, comfort is still important – especially considering you may be spending more time at home than usual. Homeowners in Ann Arbor and throughout southeast Michigan rely on their HVAC systems for a cozy, comfortable space. That said, our heating and cooling technicians are responsible for keeping your equipment in good working order. 

While we are serious about keeping our community safe and preventing the spread of viruses or other illnesses throughout the year, we want to remind you of some of the preventive measures we take in an effort to keep flu or emergent viruses in check. 

You can help by doing your part, which is simple. If someone in your household is ill, contact us to reschedule your appointment.

Haley Mechanical Flu Season Protocol

Wash hands for at least 20 seconds. This is mandatory and performed not only after visiting the bathroom, but at every break. Thoroughly washing hands is the simplest way to avoid spreading germs.

Hand sanitizer is supplied in all of our company vehicles and used following customer interactions, deliveries, or prior to entering another establishment.

Disposable gloves are used when possible for removing filters, trash, or other items at customers’ homes or place of business. Wash hands right away upon disposing of gloves.

Customer service reps inquire about illness when confirming appointments. As mentioned earlier, if you or a family member are sick we ask that you reschedule your appointment.

Anti-bacterial wipes are provided in our vehicles and are used to thoroughly wipe down all devices we use following every interaction with customers. You know that the equipment we bring in to diagnose or make repairs is sanitized to prevent spread of germs or viruses.

Proper storage and removal of trash. Air filters and other trash taken from customer homes is contained completely within a trash bag and removed immediately from vehicles for trash pick-up by field staff.

Items brought in from homes where someone is being treated for the flu are disinfected prior to entering Haley Mechanical’s office or company vehicles, or before entering a customer’s home. Our technicians relay any information regarding customer illness to managers.

Call in sick. If any technician is ill or has symptoms similar to those of the flu, he/she communicates with the manager by calling in. We do our part not to spread those germs and viruses around!

At Haley Mechanical we have a device that cleans air circulating throughout our premises, the Clear Sky DM by RGF Environmental Group. If you are in the SE Michigan area you can rely on our team to not only ensure your family’s comfort, but to support wellness during a tough flu and virus season. Give us a call today!

How to Prevent Mineral Buildup in Your Humidifier

Beautiful Condo with Wood Flooring

Indoor air that’s too dry or lacks moisture can result in a whole host of problems, not only in terms of your health but your home. Many Southeast Michigan homeowners use humidifiers to achieve the right humidity level, which helps prevent sore throats, respiratory problems, static electricity, and other problems. As with other equipment used in your home, proper maintenance is key to proper functioning.

When limescale or calcium build up in your humidifier, it will prevent it from functioning properly. Thankfully there are various things you can do to help avoid the buildup of minerals in your humidifier.

Tips for preventing mineral building in your humidifier

  • Use distilled water and avoid tap water. Distilled water that’s treated to destroy impurities is recommended for filling your humidifier, as regular tap water is loaded with impurities and minerals that can result in the buildup.
  • Clean your humidifier frequently. Regular cleaning will help ensure your unit stays clean and help avoid mineral buildup.
  • After each use, empty the water reservoir. Most people know that standing water can stagnate, and that moisture is a great breeding ground for mold and mildew. To ensure mold doesn’t migrate to other areas of your humidifier and avoid buildup, empty the water after use.

What about mineral build up that already exists?

If you are noticing signs of mineral buildup in your humidifier, undiluted white vinegar, and a scrubbing brush or toothbrush are highly effective for dissolving lime and calcium deposits after you have disassembled your unit.

If the buildup is substantial and you have more serious calcium or lime deposits, use white vinegar to thoroughly soak the area for a few hours or even overnight depending on how tough the deposits appear to be. After time has elapsed, rinse with distilled water and use a clean cloth to wipe away residue.

Need other ideas on how to avoid calcium and lime deposits or mineral buildup in your humidifier? Contact the experts at Haley Mechanical, proudly serving residents in Ann Arbor and surrounding areas in SE Michigan.

HVAC Maintenance Helps Improve Indoor Air Quality

Lady Relaxing on Couch

Is the air inside your Southeast Michigan home as clean and healthy as it could be?  Regular HVAC maintenance makes a big difference – and when you ignore your heating/cooling system, it can result in health or respiratory issues.  How can you ensure the air inside your home is a clean as possible?  We have a few tips.

Check/replace the filter each month.  The filter is the component of your HVAC system that air circulates through first, capturing dust, dirt, pollen and other irritants.  Check your filter every month and change if it’s dirty, as a clean filter equals cleaner indoor air.

Have the ducts cleaned.  In most cases, if you’re vigilant about changing the filter, the ducts won’t get too dusty or dirty.  However, if you’ve neglected to change the filter over a period of months, having the ducts cleaned by one of our professional technicians will ensure cleaner air circulating throughout your SE Michigan home with less dust or other debris.

Choose a filter with a high MERV rating.  Pleated filters with a MERV (minimum efficiency reporting value) of 5 to 8 is recommended to filter out irritating dust and debris.  Filters with a MERV rating of higher than 8 are not recommended as they can impact the efficiency of your HVAC system.  Cheaper fiberglass filters common in many homes and rated between 1 and 4 are not effective against the infiltration of pet dander, dust mite waste, or other common airborne contaminants.

HVAC maintenance and repair is critical to the health and well-being of your family, ensuring the air you breathe inside your Ann Arbor home is the freshest air possible.  A clean system also impacts efficiency, which affects how much you pay for heating or cooling.  Give Haley Mechanical a call today!

Enjoy Fresher, Cleaner Indoor Air

Technician installing a furnace filter

Many newer homes today are nearly airtight and well insulated.  While this is great in regards to energy efficiency, it means more polluted indoor air, as volatile organic compounds and other airborne particles are trapped inside your home.  We want to introduce a new air purifier that absorbs odors while helping to clean the air inside your home.

The Honeywell 24V Ultraviolet Air Purifier with AirBRIGHT Odor Absorption utilizes ultraviolet light and provides many benefits including:

  • Improves overall air quality
  • Inhibits the growth of certain bacteria and mold spores by up to 99%
  • Improves comfort and HVAC efficiency
  • Energy savings

You may not realize it, but your HVAC equipment will not perform as efficiently as it should when mold and mildew grow in the system.  The Honeywell air purifier is installed directly on your HVAC system where bacteria grow.

How does the 24V UV Air Purifier work to eliminate particles and odor-causing bacteria in the air?  Most mold spores are located in the air conditioning coil.  This air purifying system works by using carbon cells and ultraviolet rays to capture particles floating in the air, transforming them into harmless water vapor.

For years, restaurants and hospitals have been using a similar type of light to help prevent the spread of germs and disinfect the environment.  Studies have proven that the air inside most people’s homes is far more polluted than outdoor air, which means more illness, aggravated conditions such as asthma, allergies, or other respiratory problems.  The growth of mold has even been connected to serious health issues.

Is the Honeywell 24V UV Air Purifier with Air BRIGHT Odor Absorption right for your family’s needs?  It may be if:

  • You experience odors caused by cooking, pets, tobacco smoke, or from other sources
  • The climate is humid
  • You are concerned about HVAC efficiency and energy costs
  • The doors and windows in your home stay closed the majority of the time
  • Family members have an allergy or asthma problems

At Haley Mechanical, we know the importance of clean, fresh air inside your home, and the problems contaminated air can cause.  We invite SE Michigan homeowners to learn more about this air purification system, and how it can not only freshen and clean the air inside your home but help you save on energy costs as well!

Spring Cleaning Time! While Cleaning Your Home, Consider the Air

Picture of a Cute Puppy

Spring is a time we all love; as nature renews the outdoors, we are more invigorated and ready to refresh the indoors by doing a little cleaning. Cleaning the windows, ceiling fans, maybe even cleaning out the closets and doing a few of those chores we only do once in a blue moon – while you are cleaning your home, don’t forget about the air your family breathes! You may not know it, but we breathe about 3,000 gallons of air each day. Shouldn’t the air in your home be as clean as possible?

The invisible problem – indoor air pollution

Spring is a time we all love; as nature renews the outdoors, we are more invigorated and ready to refresh the indoors by doing a little cleaning. Cleaning the windows, ceiling fans, maybe even cleaning out the closets and doing a few of those chores we only do once in a blue moon – while you are cleaning your home, don’t forget about the air your family breathes! You may not know it, but we breathe about 3,000 gallons of air each day. Shouldn’t the air in your home be as clean as possible?

No matter how much you vacuum, dust, and mop, it does not clean the air inside your home. If you do not know it, the air inside your southeast Michigan home can be 100 times more polluted than the air outdoors! Considering most people spend as much as 90% of their time inside rather than outside, this can be a serious issue, especially for those with asthma, allergies, or other respiratory conditions.

How to clean the air inside your home? A whole-home filtration system
A whole-home filtration system such as the PureAir Air Purification from Lennox cleans the pollen, dirt, and dust from every inch of your home, unlike devices designed for a single room which improves the air quality only in the immediate area. Each time a window or door is opened, more pollen, dust, and other contaminants make their way into your home. A whole-home filtration solution continuously filters the air in every room, cleaning the air and keeping it clean.

The culprits

The primary pollutants in the indoor air include airborne particles, bacteria and germs, and chemical odors/vapors.

Airborne particles include cloth fibers, pet dander, pollen, household dust, dirt – the things found in most homes.

Bacteria and germs such as those found in viruses, mold, spores, mildew, and other tiny organisms can make your family sick, as these organisms can enter the lungs. Allergy sufferers will find these germs and bacteria also trigger their symptoms.

Chemical odors/vapors that originate from paints, cleaning products, gas fumes, even cooking smoke also irritate allergies and may increase the risk of serious health issues and breathing difficulties.

How can you effectively fight all three pollutant types in your home?

There are many whole-home filtration solutions on the market today, but none uses multiple technologies to address all three types of pollution like the PureAir system.

The Carbon Clean 16 Filter media and charcoal filter removes 95% of fine particles and infectious bacteria, and 99.9% of pet dander, dust, pollen, and mold spores. Talk about clean air! The Carbon Clean 16 Filter also helps reduce ozone levels.

PCO Cartridge and Ultraviolet Light. PCO, or Photocatalytic Oxidation, is a process that breaks down potentially harmful fumes, vapors, and odors using a catalyst plate; these vapors and fumes are reduced to harmless water and carbon dioxide through the combination of UV light and PCO.

No ozone, no odors!

Lots of localized and whole-home filtration systems create ozone while they are operating, which can have a negative impact on the lungs of your family members including frequent bronchitis, asthma, and irritation. PureAir is different from other solutions in that it is capable of breaking down existing ozone in your home and generates zero ozone, so your air is cleaned while you enjoy knowing there is no potential harm. Unlike some systems, the air inside your home will be fresher, cleaner, and nearly free from odors, so you know it is truly clean. In a 24-hour period, PureAir will destroy half of the vapors and/or odors in your household*!

At Haley Mechanical, our goal is to help you achieve the cleanest, freshest, healthiest air possible inside your southeast Michigan home. To learn more about the PureAir system, contact us today. As a trusted Lennox dealer, we know a thing or two about improving indoor air quality!

* Based on field and laboratory studies

Plants That Can Improve Indoor Air Quality

Picture of Household Plants

Being in the outdoors is excellent when the weather is warm and sunny in SE Michigan.  You may be an avid gardener who loves outdoor plants that add to your landscape and curb appeal.  Going outdoors and enjoying natural surroundings is useful for many things – depression, reducing stress and giving you an overall sense of calm and well-being.  Something about the trees, flowers, greenery, and other flora is just relaxing and soothing.  However, did you know that certain types of plants can not only brighten your home and add to the decor but purify the air as well? While you may not have room for them all in your Ann Arbor or Ypsilanti home, all of the plants below help improve indoor air quality and offer other benefits as well. English Ivy not only absorbs formaldehyde, but it also filters the air inside your home.  According to NASA, English Ivy is a top houseplant for homeowners and is easy to grow as long as you have medium sunlight filtering through your home and a moderate temperature. Peace lilies thrive in cooler temperatures and shade and are beautiful to look at as well.  A plant that requires little maintenance, peace lilies are capable of reducing the levels of numerous toxins that may be in the air inside your home. Like English Ivy, the philodendron is excellent for absorbing formaldehyde and can live for many years when properly cared for.  A little sunlight and water are all it takes to care for this heart-shaped plant. You’re probably already aware of the healing properties of aloe vera for cuts, sunburns, and stings, but did you know aloe helps purify the air by clearing pollutants found in many chemical-based cleaning products?  Brown spots will appear on the leaves if the level of harmful chemicals in your indoor air becomes excessive. While the name may sound a bit frightening, the snake plant is exceptional when it comes to absorbing carbon dioxide, and grows with a minimum of care considering it doesn’t need much water or light.  A good choice for the bedroom, the snake plant releases oxygen during nighttime hours. Rubber trees are common in households and offices, and for a good reason – they don’t require much nurturing.  If your home lacks sunlight, the rubber tree is a perfect choice, and it also eliminates toxins in the air. Also on NASA’s list of the most effective air-purifying plants, the spider plant is easy to grow and decorative, capable of fighting off carbon monoxide, xylene, benzene, formaldehyde, and other pollutants. Another of NASA’s favorites for indoor air purification is the bamboo palm, a plant that is said to intensify the peace in a home. Just place in indirect sunlight or shade and water frequently, and your bamboo palm will clear out trichloroethylene and benzene. A plant capable of growing to ceiling height, the red-edged dracaena is perfect for a bare area in your home that could use a little decor and removes xylene, formaldehyde, trichloroethylene, and other toxins from the air. The golden pothos thrives in shade or indirect sunlight and cool temperatures and is a beautiful plant that grows in cascading vines while removing formaldehyde from the air.  Hang one in your living room, and enjoy the simple beauty along with cleaner, healthier air. Why not enjoy tropical, lush surroundings in your Michigan home while every member of your family benefits from a cleaner, healthier air?  Many plants offer fantastic benefits, including indoor air purification. In addition to plants, there are other ways to purify the air in your home.  Contact Haley Mechanical today to learn more!

The Importance of a Quality Furnace Filter

Technician installing a furnace filter

Southeast Michigan homeowners are advised, over and over again, to change their furnace filters often, yet many neglects to take care of this simple task. The fact is, there is no other factor that affects the performance of your system and energy efficiency like a dirty or clogged filter, which will impede airflow. Most homeowners aren’t aware that the blower of their systems sends all the air volumes in their homes through the filter countless times each day. Along with the air, imagine all the airborne particles including lint, dust, dirt, pet dander, and other contaminants! Not to mention pollen, mold spores, and other tiny microorganisms that aren’t visible.

Cheap Filters are Inexpensive for a Reason

A dirty filter can reduce airflow from your system, which can result in several consequences including poor indoor air quality, excessive wear and tear on your system, and increased energy consumption which results in higher utility bills. You can prevent most of the above by installing a high-quality filter and make sure you change it each month during the winter season.

What type of furnace filter should you get?

Understandably, many homeowners in Ann Arbor, Dexter, and surrounding areas buy the cheapest filters available – fiberglass panel filters, which are only capable of filtering larger dust particles. These filters are nearly useless when it comes to improving indoor air quality. By purchasing pleated polyester or cotton filters in multi-packs, you enjoy a great value and much-improved efficiency. The efficiency of filters is measured by the MERV (minimum efficiency reporting value) displayed on the package. The higher the rating, the more airborne contaminants you can expect your filter to remove from the air. If you want a filter that is capable of trapping mold spores and other invisible particles, be sure to get one with a rating of 6 to 8. Those rated higher than 10 can severely restrict the airflow of your system, so be aware of the fact.

Changing Your Filter

In most cases, the filter on a furnace is installed in a slide-in slot placed vertically at the bottom of the unit, in the area where the return air duct enters the furnace cabinet. When changing the filter, be sure to turn the thermostat to the “off” position. Slide the old filter out, clean the furnace frame to remove any accumulation of dirt and dust using a soft rag, then slide the new filter in while making sure the side with the printed arrow is pointing in the direction of airflow. Turn the thermostat to the “on” position, and you’re ready to enjoy improved efficiency and better indoor air quality.

Need help selecting a filter to replace your old one, or changing the filter on your furnace? Contact the SE Michigan heating and cooling professionals at Haley Mechanical for all your furnace needs.

How Often Should You Change Your Furnace Filter?

Picture of a furnace filter

As a Southeast Michigan homeowner you probably already know that changing the furnace filter is one of those things you should often do, but it slips your mind. The fact is that while you forget to do it when you should, it’s one of the simplest but more essential tasks to not only ensure the best indoor air quality but prevent costly repairs and keep your furnace functioning smoothly.

Perhaps the easiest way to make sure you change your furnace filter each month is to mark it on the calendar. If it’s clogged or dirty when you hold it up against the light and you can’t see through it, is time to replace. If you can’t keep up with monthly changes, replace the filter every three months at a minimum.

Air Filters are an Essential Component of Your HVAC System

Most Ann Arbor homeowner don’t realize just how important the air filter is when it comes to heating and cooling their homes. Not only does the filter ensure better functioning and indoor air quality, but it also protects vital components of your system from becoming clogged or dirty while reducing the risk of particle build-up that can contribute to potentially costly issues. When your filter is clogged, and your system can’t operate at its best, you will probably notice higher monthly energy bills.

Repair Costs are Often Avoidable

A dirty or clogged air filter can result in more problems than you might think. It could cause your furnace to overheat, and during the summer season your air conditioner could completely shut down if the coils freeze due to restricted airflow. Why face expensive repair costs when many issues can be avoided by just changing or cleaning your air filter?

Enjoy Healthier, Fresh Air in Your SE Michigan Home

When the air filter is dirty or clogged, it cannot filter out dust, pet dander, allergens, pollen, bacteria and other contaminants that pollute the air inside your home; This not only impacts those with allergies but other issues such as COPD, asthma or other respiratory problems. While a clean filter helps tremendously with fresh, healthier indoor air, you may also want to think about an electronic air cleaner if you do have family members with allergies, asthma, etc.

Which Type of Filter Should You Choose?

Many homeowners choose the cheapest furnace filter, which is understandable but not always the best choice. To determine which type is best for your HVAC system, ask your Ann Arbor HVAC contractor or look in your furnace manual. Disposable filters are usually the cheapest and reusable filters are more expensive but more effective. High-efficiency filters or those with higher MERV ratings are capable of filtering out smaller particles than more inexpensive filters. However, they are not recommended for all HVAC systems and do cost significantly more. Before choosing these types of filters, it is a good idea to discuss it with your HVAC contractor.

While the filter may seem like the most minor and insignificant component of your heating and cooling system, it plays a significant role.

At Haley Mechanical we know the importance of keeping your HVAC filter clean throughout the seasons whether it’s winter or summer. When your heating or cooling system is running, filtering the air is critical to not only your family’s health and comfort, but the longevity of your system, how it performs, and how much you pay in energy costs. To learn more about monthly inspections and which filter is best for your needs, contact our Southeast Michigan HVAC experts today.

Filters are available on site at Haley Mechanical or delivered directly to your door through Filter Fetch.

Financing available

Make no payments until 2023 and pay as little as $132 a month when you finance a new Lennox system. Talk to a comfort advisor today!