Monthly Archives: November 2011

How Do You Measure Your Air Cleaner’s Performance? A Question from Tucson

Your air cleaner is designed to keep your family comfortable and healthy, regardless of what contaminants make their way inside in your Tucson home. This is important because homes these days are sealed up tightly to minimize the loss of heating or cooling, but as a result they have poor ventilation and frequently they will suffer a buildup of excess contaminants like mold, dust, pollen and dander.

To ensure you get the best possible air cleaner for your home, there are a number of measurements available to help you in the purchasing process. Let’s take a look at a couple of those measurements and what they mean.

MERV

MERV ratings are used to measure the ability of a filter to remove dust from the air that passes through it. The higher the MERV rating, the better the filter works at removing particles. The MERV rating scale goes from 1-16 with 16 being the best possible rating you can obtain from a residential (non-HEPA) grade filter. Usually, they are designed to measure things like dander, dust, smog, wood smoke, spores, bacteria and mold.

When choosing an air cleaner, it is recommended that you look for a MERV rating of at least 8, which is good enough to remove almost all common household contaminants. Higher MERV ratings (17 and up) are found in HEPA filters which are considered among the best on the market, able to remove particles as small as 0.3 microns.

CADR

This rating stands for Clean Air Delivery Rate and is a measurement of how efficiently the air cleaner delivers clean air for tobacco smoke, pollen and dust (the common measurements given for each device). This is not a measurement of the efficiency of the device, so much as the speed of it the device. So, the higher the CADR measurement for all three contaminants, the faster those particles are removed from the indoor air.

The best way to choose a device to match your needs is to look for a CADR rating of at least 2/3 of the size of the room you are cleaning. So, if you are cleaning the air of a 150 square foot bedroom, you should get a device with a CADR rating of at least 100.

When choosing a good air cleaner for your home, make sure you do your research and choose on the best possible option for the space you need to clean. MERV and CADR allow you to do this.

Testimonial – Jack W. from Tucson

We at Cool Breeze Air Solutions always try to offer superior customer service, and our expert technicians do their best to arrive promptly and answer all your questions. Here is what Jack W. from Tucson wrote to us about his air conditioning repair and heat pump installation:

Thank you for the great service that your company provided for me. Your company came out to service my air conditioner, it was making a loud noise. Your service technician was at my house within the hour from when I called to set up my appointment. He was very helpful and professional. He was neat and lean he also left my house in perfect condition! I am amazed at how quiet our new heat pump system is. I just wanted to let you know that we are very happy with the service Cool Breeze provided for us. And I would recommend your services to anyone.

– Jack W., Tucson area

Emergency Plumbing Tips

I am Tim from Boulden Plumbing based out of Newark, DE, here to share some plumbing tips.

When you have a plumbing emergency, the last thing you want to do is make the problem worse, but if you don’t act fast, that’s exactly what might happen. To help you take the right actions and avoid the wrong ones, here are some quick tips for how to handle a plumbing emergency.

  • Shutting Off the Water – If a pipe bursts or you have standing water somewhere, the very first step you take is to shut off the water. Cleanup is pointless if more water pours in. So, we need to stop the flow. Usually, this water valve is located outside, but it can be found under an access panel or in the basement in some cases.
  • Flooding Toilet – Watching the water slowly rise in a toilet, dangerously close to the rim, can be scary. But, there are tricks to slow or stop the flow until the plumber arrives. The first is to turn on your sink faucet to slow down the water flow to the toilet. If you can reach it, turn off the cold water supply to your toilet as well. As soon as the tank is empty, no new water will enter.
  • Turning Off an Appliance – Sometimes the problem isn’t a house-wide problem but a specific appliance overflowing. If your washing machine or dishwasher is about to overflow, turn off the supply valve immediately. It could be several gallons of water per minute if you don’t.
  • When Electricity is Involved – If your basement floods, don’t go down there until you can be sure there is no electricity flowing into the water. That much water with live electricity is incredibly dangerous. If you can’t be sure, get a plumber out there fast.
  • Gas Leaks – Sometimes, a plumbing problem is really a gas problem. If this is the case, don’t try to fix it yourself. Get everyone out of the house and call the gas company immediately.
  • Hot Water Leakage – If you notice that hot water is leaking somewhere in your home, turn off the main water supply and then turn off the hot water heater’s energy source. There should be an emergency shutoff valve on the hot water heater for gas and a switch on the device if it is electric.

In each of these cases, the very next step you take should be to call a professional, but if you act fast you can hopefully mitigate the damage.

Tim is the president of Boulden Plumbing, a full service plumbing and drain company that serves the Wilmington & Dover metropolitan area. For more great plumbing and drain advice, visit their blog.