Month: June 2021

Tent Air Conditioners: Best Portable Air Conditioners for Camping

If the great outdoors is calling you this summer, we’re going to help you enjoy the journey without all the heat. We’ll walk you through the benefits of a tent air conditioner, what to look for as you shop for the best model, and what you can really expect when you hit the trail with your camping AC.

WHAT IS A CAMPING AIR CONDITIONER?

Don’t think of your portable air conditioner for camping the same as your home’s central air conditioning system. While the portable units we recommend below will offer relief from the heat (some better than others), the goal isn’t to create an icy atmosphere. These tent AC units will decrease the temperature in your space by a few degrees, giving you a relaxing spot after a day of hiking or outdoor activities.

There are three primary types of portable ac units for camping:

Evaporative coolers: Consider these units more of a personal cooling fan than a full-tent air conditioner. Sometimes referred to as swamp coolers, an evaporative cooler is ideal if you’re camping in a high heat, low humidity area. The cooler relies on a fan to pull in hot air, circulates that air over wet cooling pads, and dispenses a cool mist into the direct space. 

Portable air conditioners: These units do offer cooling for small spaces, but research them carefully as many are powered by electricity. A few battery-powered options are available. We’ve listed our favorites of both styles in the tent camping air condition list below.

Window air conditioners: For those who plan their trips near a power grid or don’t mind bringing along a camping generator, a window air conditioner for camping will keep you the most comfortable. These units will easily cool a 6-8 person tent.

For those in the market for a cordless AC for camping, there is one viable option. However, the price tag makes it a considered purchase for the novice camper, so think about whether you’ll venture outdoors enough to get a return on your investment.

HOW MUCH DOES A PORTABLE AC FOR CAMPING COST?

Prices for a tent air conditioner will vary depending on the functionality and space you want to cool. For example, the evaporative coolers are the least costly but also offer little relief unless you’re sitting directly in front of the device. Take note of the size of your tent, the climate of your camping site, and your budget to determine the best camping AC for your needs.

Portable AC type Price Square feet
Small Evaporative Coolers $30 – $75 >20
Large Evaporative Coolers $175 – $1,000 100 – 800
120V Portable AC $300 – $850 100 – 450+
Tent Window AC $175 – $1,400 150 – 1,000+
Cordless Tent AC $900 – $1,700 50 – 200

Whether you’re in the market for a personal cooling device or want to chill an entire multi-person tent, our reviews and recommendations below will help you purchase the best air conditioner for outdoors. 

BEST TENT AIR CONDITIONERS FOR CAMPING

In order to find the best camping air conditioner, we considered multiple tent sizes, various climates, and of course, the cooling effect of the unit. Grab the s’mores ingredients, bug spray and one of our recommended outdoor AC units and plan your next camping trip.

Best Overall Tent Air Conditioner

SereneLife SLPAC8

The SereneLife SLPAC8 was our top overall choice for a portable AC unit for a number of reasons. For starters, it’s actually an air conditioner, unlike many of the products on the market that serve more as a personal fan. 

With a 10,000 BTU rating, it has the power to cool a multi-person tent that’s up to 225 square feet of space. Plus, it has a fan mode, which is suitable for smaller tents or milder days. Even when this outdoor AC is cooling on “high”, it’s very quiet.

While we love the cooling power that comes with this unit, there are a few drawbacks. This unit requires 120V of power. If your campsite doesn’t offer a power source, you’ll need a generator to use this device. Weighing in at 53 pounds and standing 27” tall, this unit isn’t as portable as some of the other options.

At around $540, the SereneLife SLPAC8 falls in the middle of our product price list, and outperforms many competitors.

Best Small Portable Air Conditioner 

Amacool 5000mAh Evaporative Air Cooler

If you’re in the market for a small, light-weight personal air conditioner, try the Amacool 5000mAh Evaporative Air Cooler. This portable unit comes with a rechargeable battery that’s supported by USB charging, so you don’t have to worry about finding an electrical outlet while camping.

At under three pounds, this unit is small but mighty, offering an instant cool down. Choose from the three wind speeds and three mist modes, both with separate control. Use the one-touch timer to select a run time of one to eight hours. When the battery is fully charged, you can enjoy the max cool setting for up to seven hours.

The water reservoir holds about 27 ounces and is easy to refill, even while it’s in use. At $70, this personal unit is a solid investment for anyone camping in a one to two-person tent. While we love the Amacool 5000mAh Evaporative Air Cooler for its ease of use and convenience, it’s not ideal for cooling off a large space. To get the most from this device, you’ll need to be within five to 10 feet of the breeze it creates.

Best Large Tent Air Conditioner

BLACK+DECKER BPACT08WT Portable Air Conditioner 

The entire family can cool off with the BLACK+DECKER BPACT08WT Portable Air Conditioner. This unit offers great cooling power for a multi-person tent up to 150 square feet. With more than 5,000 five-star reviews on Amazon, this $330 unit operates at a 5000 BTU rating and makes for a solid investment when purchasing an air conditioner for a camping tent.

At nearly 53 pounds and 26” tall, it’s larger than some of our other top picks, but the cooling power is worth it if you have space to give up inside your tent. While the unit is super simple to put together and start using (should take less than 10 minutes straight from the box), the cooling capacity does come with a couple drawbacks.

You’ll need a power source of 120V or a generator for this unit to work. Plus, it operates with a single exhaust hose, so you may need to modify your tent to accommodate for the accessory. 

Once you’re connected and powered on, let the cool down begin! This unit can be managed with a remote control, giving you easy access to its three energy-efficient functions: cool, fan, and dehumidify. 

Use the 24-hour timer to set the tent AC to your needs. We loved the easy maintenance of this unit as you only need to rinse the filter under running water once or twice monthly, depending on your use. 

Best Battery-Powered Portable Air Conditioner

Zero Breeze Mark 2 

The best and only true camping air conditioner on the market is the Zero Breeze Mark 2. It is specifically designed for portability, outdoor use, and effective cooling that has a 2300 BTU rating. The only reason this unit didn’t snag our Best Overall Tent Air Conditioner spot is the price tag.

At around $1,400 this unit is ideal for a camping enthusiast. The cooling power is impressive, especially considering the device is only about 16 pounds and 20” long. We especially love that this is a battery-powered unit and can easily go anywhere. The batteries have a lifespan of about five hours, so we recommend purchasing multiple battery packs so you can extend the cool down experience.

Personalize your comfort by choosing the best setting from the unit’s 4-speed fan, super cold AC mode, or sleep mode. The Zero Breeze Mark 2 uses a dual hose exhaust to pull in cool air and release humid air from your tent.

Best Window AC For Tents

TaoTronics 8,000 BTU Window-Mounted AC 

When cooling relief is a necessity, the TaoTronics 8,000 BTU Window-Mounted AC is our recommended solution. This unit quickly releases a refreshing breeze with minimal sound.

Set the timer on this tent camping air conditioner between 30 minutes and 24 hours to turn on and off to fit your needs. We really like the five operation modes (Cool, Energy Save, Fan, Dry, Auto) and the four-fan speed to set the temperature to your comfort level.

The LED display screen makes maintenance super easy. A filter cleaning indicator light will display when it’s time to rinse the filter under running water. In most cases, the unit will run efficiently for 250 hours before the filter will need to be cleaned.

This unit requires a power outlet or generator, as well as an adjustable height AC stand, to operate properly. The unit fits in tent windows that are 25″ to 36″ wide with a minimum height of 13.5″. This $370 investment will keep your entire tent cool and allow you to enjoy the outdoors in comfort.

COOLING CAPACITY OF PORTABLE AIR CONDITIONER

In order to choose the best portable AC for camping, you’ll need a little background on the cooling capacity of these units. If your air conditioning unit is too small, your tent won’t be cooled adequately. Too large of a unit may leave your tent feeling humid. Use these British Thermal Unit (BTU) rating guidelines to determine the cooling capacity you need. The higher the BTU, the greater the cooling capacity.

  • Up to 150 Square Feet: 5,000 BTU
  • Up to 200 Square Feet: 8,000 BTU
  • Up to 300 Square Feet: 10,000 BTU
  • Up to 400 Square Feet: 12,000 BTU
  • Up to 450 Square Feet: 13,000 BTU

Only true air conditioners will have a BTU rating. Some units we’ve introduced in this article, like the evaporative air cooler, are not ranked on the BTU scale. 

BEFORE YOU BUY 

In order to keep your tent cool in the summer, consider the type of portable camping air conditioner you can accommodate. If your campsite offers electricity, you can use the higher-powered options we’ve mentioned above. For outdoor adventures far from a power grid, opt for an evaporative air cooler or use a generator to power your portable AC.   

This post appeared first on HVAC.com

Maximizing Your AC This Summer in Ocala, FL

As the summer heat arrives in Ocala, FL, your air conditioner will experience more stress as it works to keep your home comfortable. Here are five ways to get the most from your AC on the hottest days without breaking your budget.

1. Shade Your AC Unit

Your air conditioner works by absorbing heat inside your home and transferring it outside. However, the hotter your condensing unit becomes, the less heat it can transfer out of the circulating refrigerant. A simple way to keep your condenser cooler is to shade your unit to prevent solar heat absorption.

2. Keep Your Air Filter Clean

Your system must be able to circulate air in order to provide the maximum cooling effect for your home. A clogged air filter prevents air from circulating through your system effectively. This not only reduces the cooling capacity, but the additional strain leads to preventable AC repairs.

3. Use Some Fans

Summer relief is about how you feel in your home as much as it is about the actual air temperature. While your HVAC system will circulate the air that actually cools your home, fans help, too.

Ceiling fans, desktop fans and pedestal fans add a wind-chill effect to help the air feel several degrees cooler against your skin. This allows you to set your AC a few degrees warmer, saving money without sacrificing comfort.

4. Use Blinds Appropriately

Sunlight makes everyone enjoy the living space more, but it also substantially increases the temperature. Be sure to keep blinds closed when they’re in direct sunlight to reduce solar heat transference into your home.

5. Have Your AC Professionally Maintained

Low refrigerant, a dirty evaporator coil or circulating fan or components operating inefficiently all prevent proper cooling. A technician cleans your system, checks refrigerant levels and tests each component during professional maintenance. This prepares your system to keep your home comfortable all summer long.

Get the most from your air conditioning this summer by keeping it running efficiently. Call to schedule your AC maintenance with our experts at Senica Air Conditioning.

Image provided by iStock

This post appeared first on Senicaair.com

Causes & Fixes for Black Specks in Your Water

You’re never supposed to have black stuff in the water you get out of your home’s tap. Water from your home tap is supposed to be crystal clear without any visible contaminants (and hopefully as few invisible contaminants as possible).

If you turn on a water source and see black specks in hot water or black specks in cold water, there’s a problem present that needs to be investigated. If you’re wondering what causes black stuff in your water, then keep reading because we’ve laid out 7 reasons why you may have black stuff in water at home as well as solutions to each of these problems.

1. Decaying Rubber Gaskets or Washers

faucet coming off

Problem: If you find black stuff in your water coming from the tap in your home, this may be the result of decaying rubber gaskets or washers. Check the black specks to see if they’re at all rubbery.

If the black stuff is rubbery, then it’s likely that a decaying washer or gasket is the source of the issue. Rubber washers, gaskets, and even supply hoses are there to help make your plumbing water-tight and leak-proof. Over time, however, they can break down or come loose and will need to be replaced. 

Solution: To solve this problem, check all your water sources—showers and sinks—to see if there are black specks everywhere or just in one faucet. If the black specks are only coming out of one faucet, unscrew the head to check if the washer inside is decaying. Replace the washer and the faucet head, then see if the black stuff stops.

If there is black stuff in the water that comes from many faucets in your home, then you have a more serious issue at hand. You may have decaying supply hoses or many worn-down washers and gaskets. Consult a professional in this case for the best solution to your problem.

2. Rusting Hot Water Tank

Problem: If the black stuff in your water wasn’t due to pipe corrosion, it could be due to a corroded hot water heater. This is especially possible if you keep finding black specks in hot water but not the cold. The water can also appear rusty. In this case, check your hot water heater immediately.

The average lifespan for most hot water heater tanks is about 10-12 years—15 if you’re lucky and have been taking great care of your unit. If you know your unit is old and hasn’t been maintained in a while, then you find black specks in hot water, it’s likely that your hot water heater is to blame.

Solution: To solve this problem, you’ll likely need to replace your hot water heater altogether. If your hot water heater is new, it’s possible that you might be able to drain it and flush the lines, but in most cases, a replacement is necessary.

Contact your plumbing professional for advice on your corroded hot water heater.

3. Iron or Manganese Deposits

Problem: A somewhat harmless possibility for why you’re finding black specks in your water is mineral deposits. Trace amounts of iron or manganese can build up in your water supply, and while there is a filtration system in your plumbing to keep these deposits out, sometimes they make their way through.

Thankfully, mineral deposits typically aren’t harmful or toxic, so there’s nothing huge to be worried about in this scenario.

Solution: While the appearance of black specks in your water can be unpleasant, small traces of minerals aren’t harmful to your health. However, it’s important to have the water tested to make sure the mineral levels are safe. Consult a professional plumber about additional filtration options to keep your water crystal clear.

4. Corroding Pipes

rusting water spouts

Problem: If you find black specks in hot or cold water coming from your home’s faucets, it could be due to a corroded pipe (or multiple pipes). This is more likely if your home is on the older side and hasn’t had its plumbing updated in a while.

Black specks in your water can be a clear warning that the insides of your home’s pipes are wearing away. As the corrosion flakes off, the black specks make their way into your water supply. You should stop using the water until you get the issue fixed.

Solution: Corrosion in your piping is a serious issue, so if you find black stuff in water coming from your home’s faucets, stop using it and don’t drink it, as there’s a risk of lead getting into your plumbing supply. At any sign of pipe corrosion, call your plumber to help get an idea of how much of your plumbing is compromised.

It could be that you only need partial repiping, but if the corroded pipes have created any leaks or if the issue is widespread, it could be a substantial repair. Get the issue fixed as quickly as possible to protect the health of you and your family and to prevent additional damage to your home.

5. Silt or Sand

Problem: If your home draws its water from a private well, it’s possible for trace amounts of sand or silt to make their way in. These tiny particles can be pumped in along with the water taken from the ground. While they aren’t typically harmful to drink in small quantities, they can be annoying, gritty, and damage your appliances.

Solution: To solve this problem, you’ll likely need to improve the filtration on your plumbing system. While your system likely has a filter already, you’ll need something designed to remove tiny sediments like sand and silt from your water if it continues to be a problem.

6. Granular Activated Carbon Particles

Problem: Carbon filters are a common means of water filtration. Any filter with granular activated carbon (GAC) has been proven to help remove certain chemicals from your water and keep your water safer for drinking and bathing. 

GAC filters work by removing certain chemicals—especially organic chemicals—that have been dissolved in water by forcing everything through a filter armed with GAC. This “trap” allows the GAC to absorb the chemicals and keep your water pure.

If used past their recommended duration, however, you can end up with particles from a GAC filter in your water that look somewhat like coffee grounds. 

Solution: To solve this problem, try replacing the filter. If you’re not sure how or if you don’t like the idea of finding granular activated carbon particles in your water ever again, consult with a professional to discuss other means of water filtration for your home.

7. Supply Hoses Connecting Plumbing

Problem: Similar to the way rubber gaskets and washers break down over time, your home’s supply hoses that connect to your plumbing can do the same thing. The black stuff in water can end up being decaying pieces of a supply hose.

Solution: While the decaying rubber gaskets and decaying supply hoses are similar, decaying supply hoses are a much more serious job that will require a professional plumber to fix. Don’t attempt to solve decaying supply hoses on your own, as you could end up causing far more harm than good. Call in a plumber you trust to handle the job.

Contact the Plumbers at John C. Flood

A safe rule of thumb to follow when you see black stuff in your water is to stop drinking it and call your plumber to get the issue inspected and resolved as quickly as possible. It’s crucial that your home’s drinking and bathing water is clean, and our expert team at John C. Flood can provide the professional plumbing services needed to keep you safe. Schedule a service with us online. 

John C. Flood, Inc. cannot be held liable or responsible for any personal or property damages incurred if the end-user attempts any of the aforementioned DIY tips and instructions.  

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7 Commercial HVAC Maintenance Tips for Multi-Location Businesses

What value does your commercial HVAC maintenance vendor bring to your business? Getting commercial HVAC maintenance services for a multiple-location business is different than sourcing those same services for a single location. Especially when you’re managing upwards of 20 or 30 locations, you need more than a vendor who’s technically competent and shows up on … Continued

The post 7 Commercial HVAC Maintenance Tips for Multi-Location Businesses appeared first on Arista.

Do Explosion-Proof Vacuums Matter?

dust-explosion-fire

The combustive power of airborne particles, like dust, is astounding. Explosions of combustible dust can potentially destroy an entire factory. As the 2008 Imperial Sugar refinery catastrophe demonstrated, dust explosions usually follow a similar pattern – a small blast disperses accumulated dust into a cloud, igniting and fueling a powerful chain of secondary explosions. This is why Explosion-Proof Vacuums matter.

So, what can we learn from accidents like this? If you remove accumulated dust and debris, it can’t become airborne, drastically reducing the risk of explosions.


DID YOU KNOW?

  •  The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) in the United States defines combustible dust as “a solid material composed of distinct particles or pieces, regardless of size, shape, or chemical composition, which presents a fire or deflagration hazard when suspended in air or some other oxidizing medium over a range of concentrations. [i]

The Implementation of the Combustible Dust National Emphasis Program

Since 2008, the Combustible Dust National Emphasis Program (NEP) has focused on how workplaces create or handle combustible dust. Following a 25-year study by the U.S. Chemical Safety and Hazard Investigation Board that identified 281 explosive dust incidents that resulted in 119 worker deaths and 718 injuries, in response, OSHA launched the Combustible Dust NEP.  As a result of the NEP’s aggressive inspection campaign, more than 30,000 facilities in 70 different industries were considered “at-risk.” These aggressive standards for combustible dust beg the question – is your plant taking all the precautions to keep safe and pass inspection?


  DID YOU KNOW?

  •  According to OSHA, in the year after the NEP was put in place, federal inspectors found over 4900 infractions during combustible dust inspections.

Check out our Vacuum Buying Guide here.

Industrial Vacuum, Wet/Dry, Explosion Proof Cleanup

TAKE THIS SHORT OSHA QUIZ.

ONLY 100% CORRECT PASSES.[ii]
  •  Does the facility have separator devices to remove foreign materials capable of igniting combustible dust?
  •  Are the dust-containing systems (ducts and dust collectors) designed, so that fugitive dust cannot accumulate in the work area?
  •  Does the dust collector system have spark detection and explosion/deflagration suppression systems? (There are other alternative measures.)
  •  Are all components of the dust collection system constructed of noncombustible materials?

Why does combustible dust collection matter?

To reduce explosive risks, industries that create industrial dust (aka process dust) greatly benefit from finding the proper explosion-proof vacuum during the manufacturing or production process. In a manufacturing process that includes cutting, drilling, grinding, welding, and sawing, tiny particles are generated; when these particles are not adequately filtered and enclosed, they can be highly hazardous for employees and the manufacturing plant itself.

Large Volume Industrial Vacuum HEPA, Wet/Dry, Explosion Proof Vacuum, 120V

Between 2006 and 2017, 111 incidents of combustible dust caused 66 worker deaths and 337 injuries, according to data collected by the Chemical Safety Board. In many of these incidents, catastrophes occurred during secondary dust explosions. Even if the primary blast is small, it can disrupt your manufacturing plant, which can stir up more dust, which can cause a deadly second dust explosion. What can you do to prevent this? This type of accident can be prevented by implementing a cleaning program that removes dust accumulation using an explosion-proof vacuum. For vacuuming in these hazardous environments or collecting dangerous materials such as paint chippings or fine powder within a facility, an industrial vacuum must be certified for use in Class I, Class II, or Class III by the Occupational Safety & Health Administration (OSHA).

OSHA recommends the Three C’s for fuel and dust fire avoidance:

  • Capture dust before it escapes into a work area using adequately designed, installed, approved, and maintained dust collection systems.
  • Contain dust within the equipment, systems, or rooms built and operated to handle combustible dust safely.
  • Clean work areas, overhead surfaces, and concealed spaces frequently and thoroughly using safe housekeeping methods to remove combustible dust not captured or contained.

So, how do you choose the correct explosion-proof vacuum for your facility? One recommended approach is to work with your safety director and then match the debris type to the appropriate NEC hazardous class. Then you can research solutions matching those classes.

   

Understanding NEC Hazardous Classes

Understanding an area’s explosion and fire risk is essential for facility maintenance personnel when selecting industrial explosion-proof vacuum cleaners or other power tools. To help with the proper electrical equipment selection, NEC Chapter 5, Articles 500-506, use the class/division/group system to indicate the different risk levels. Some also use a zone/group system based on Articles 505 & 506 of the NEC and developed by the International Electrotechnical Commission. Understanding the NEC classes can be challenging, so Goodway has put together a brief guide to NEC classes to make it easier.

[i] Combustible Dust: OSH Answers. https://www.ccohs.ca/oshanswers/chemicals/combustible_dust.html

[ii] Combustible Dust National Emphasis Program | Occupational …. https://www.osha.gov/enforcement/directives/cpl-03-00-006

Next Steps:

  • Check out our Vacuum Buying Guide here
  • View our line of Explosion-Proof Vacuums
  • Learn more about preventing dust explosions

This post appeared first on Goodway.com

Whole House Humidifiers and Portable Humidifiers: The best humidifiers for your home

Constantly living and breathing in dry air can affect your skin and respiratory health. A whole house humidifier offers a number of benefits, like relieving the discomfort of dry throat and lips and alleviating cracks to your wood furniture or floors. While the benefits of humidifiers for home are plenty, you need to know which one is built to meet your needs at your budget.

We’ve taken the time to research the market, gather key information, and offer it here. Your decision on which home humidifier to purchase just got much easier. Before we dive into the best systems on the market, let’s cover what a humidifier is and what it is not, to ensure you’re making the best investment for your family and home. 

Just want our top picks? You got it:

Best humidifier for a bedroom: Pure Enrichment® MistAire™ Ultrasonic Cool Mist Humidifier 

Best humidifier for large rooms: Levoit LV600HH Hybrid Ultrasonic Humidifier 

Best ultrasonic humidifier: TaoTronics Cool Mist Humidifier 

Easy-to-clean humidifier: Honeywell HCM350B Germ Free Cool Mist Humidifier 

Best small humidifier:  Mooka 2-in-1 Cool Mist Humidifier

What is a humidifier?

A humidifier is a home appliance that typically relies on cool or warm mist ultrasonic technology that creates water droplets that are dispersed into the air, increasing a room’s humidity level. Depending on the type of humidifier unit you purchase, it will create and expel moisture in different ways. As you consider the moisture-creating device for your home, evaluate whether a whole house humidifier is appropriate or if you simply need to create change in a single room.

Ideal Indoor Humidity Level 

The ideal indoor humidity level falls between 30-50%, according to the Environmental Protection Agency. While you want relief from your dry indoor air, you don’t want to add too much moisture to the environment. A humidity level above 55% can often feel sticky and hot. Plus, the added moisture can support mold and mildew growth, so keeping your home in the recommended indoor humidity level window keeps your family comfortable and your home and furniture in good condition. The best indoor humidity level for your home can also be skewed based on different climates.

A home humidifier is not a device you want to rely on in place of medical recommendations from your doctor. Never swap a good device for necessary quality treatment. As helpful as a humidifier is, it does need upkeep (even if it’s minimal). Your humidifier is not a self-cleaning device. Read the directions thoroughly, and, depending on the model you purchase, clean or change the filter as recommended. If you’re in the market for a model that takes very little upkeep, skip to our list of easy-to-clean humidifiers.  

Cool mist humidifiers vs Warm mist humidifiers 

The difference between a cool mist humidifier and a warm mist humidifier is pretty straight forward. The cool mist unit creates a room-temperature vapor that adds humidity to the designated space. As the name implies, a warm mist humidifier creates a warm vapor that can create a cozy atmosphere during cold winter months.  

When deciding which is best for your room, it’s mostly a matter of preference. The pros and cons of each style will help you decide which will make a bigger impact in your space. In our humidifier mist explainer, we list the benefits and potential challenges of each style and why many parents prefer cool mist in a child’s room.

How to measure indoor humidity 

A hygrometer is the simplest way to measure your indoor humidity level. The small device is relatively inexpensive and makes it easy for you to determine if your home needs more or less moisture in the air.  

The winter months are notorious for sweeping in cold, dry air that can spark the need for a home humidifier. However, you’ll experience the benefits of the device throughout your home year-round. Before tapping a shopping app and grabbing the first option that’s generated from your search, explore the different types of humidifiers below. Use our product insights to help you purchase the best whole house humidifier or portable humidifier for your family and home needs. 

Best humidifier for a bedroom 

With more than 42,000 five-star reviews on Amazon, the Pure Enrichment® MistAire™ Ultrasonic Cool Mist Humidifier is our top choice for a bedroom humidifier. Enjoy year-round comfort and relief from sinus and allergy congestion with the dual misting speed (high or low) function. The 360° mist nozzle allows you to maintain a consistent flow of humidity throughout a small- to medium-sized room. We especially love this model for nighttime use thanks to its ultra-quiet fan and automatic shut off. Plus, the night light feature makes it a great option for a child’s room. You won’t mind adding this sleek design to your nightstand or dresser and easy tank refill and cleaning mean you get all the benefits of a bedroom humidifier with minimal maintenance. 

Best humidifier for large rooms 

Adding moisture to the air in a large space has never been easier than with the Levoit LV600HH Hybrid Ultrasonic Humidifier. The 1.5-gallon tank modifies the humidity level in rooms up to 753 square feet. The larger tank also allows up to 60 hours of operation time on the lowest mist setting. We found the built-in humidity sensor to be a great bonus. The sensor reads the room and adjusts the mist flow to keep the humidity level consistent. If you want to change the settings from across the room, use the handy remote control included in the packaging. Set a time for auto shutoff and add essential oils for a touch of aromatherapy. 

Best ultrasonic humidifier 

The TaoTronics Cool Mist Humidifier climbed its way to our top ultrasonic choice with its nearly-silent operative performance and consistent distribution of humidity in the room. We also like the LED display sleep mode for uninterrupted rest, or you can opt for a soft glow that’s perfect for a little one’s room. The TaoTronics Cool Mist Humidifier also adjusts the humidity in a 400 square foot room in a little over an hour, which is faster than other tested ultrasonic humidifiers and why it’s our pick as the best ultrasonic humidifier. Select from the three mist levels for up to 30 hours of run time without refilling the tank. The ability to control the device from your smartphone via the SunHome app makes creating the optimal environment easy, even when you’re on the go. 

Easiest-to-clean humidifier 

If you’ve researched humidifiers for any amount of time and wondered, “How good is the Honeywell humidifier?”, we have the answer! Make adjusting the humidity level in your space fuss-free with the Honeywell HCM350B Germ Free Cool Mist Humidifier. This device has a patented process that kills up to 99.9% of water-borne germs and bacteria, eliminating the pollutants before they’re distributed into your home. With three different levels of moisture output and sound, you can customize the humidity level and volume to your comfortability. When it’s time to clean the humidifier’s tank, simply add the parts to your dishwasher. We chose it for our easiest to clean humidifier because cleanup really couldn’t get any easier than that. 

Best small humidifier

Get big results in a small space with the Mooka 2-in-1 Cool Mist Humidifier. We voted this device as the best small humidifier because of its dual-mist levels, 180° mist nozzle, and run time of up to 21 hours. This small humidifier is a great option for an office, mudroom, or other small space. You can also enhance your room with essential oil fragrances diffused by this humidifier. The base and tank will need to be cleaned every two to three days, and you never have to worry about the unit running while dry thanks to the auto-shutoff when the water reservoir gets low. 

Choosing the best portable humidifier for your home depends on a variety of factors. From the size of your space to the desired moisture output level, selecting the unit that works best will create a comfortable environment that allows you to breathe easy. If, however, you’re more interested in keeping a consistent humidity level throughout your entire home without refilling or cleaning a mobile unit, a whole home humidifier is the better option.

What is a whole house humidifier?

When you need a humidifier for the whole house, you need a unit with more reach than one of the portable devices we’ve mentioned above. Complete home humidifying systems are integrated into your heating system and ductwork. The humidifier will release a set amount of moisture, which travels through the ductwork and into the rooms of your home.

Unlike portable humidifiers, there’s no tank to refill on home humidifiers that connect to your heating system. Plus, each room in the house benefits from a consistent, healthy indoor humidity level. Below are our top three picks for the best whole house humidifier.

Best whole home humidifier

Aprilaire 800 Steam Humidifier

The Aprilaire 800 is a steam humidifier that is capable of delivering balanced humidity across areas up to 6,200 sq ft, making it ideal for large homes and other spaces. Customize the humidity level in your home with this unit’s six output levels that can disperse between 11.5 to 34.6 gallons of moisture into the air per day. The Aprilaire 800 Steam Humidifier is truly a set-it-and-forget-it unit, as it operates automatically for perfectly balanced humidity levels. This unit snagged the top spot for humidifying the whole house thanks to its minimal maintenance of changing the steam canister, which typically needs to be done only once a year.

Honeywell H280 By-Pass Humidifier

The Honeywell H280 By-Pass Humidifier offers easier installation than most whole home humidifiers with fewer wire and ductwork connections. The unit is powerful enough to offer a consistent humidity level for homes up to 4,000 sq ft. We like that this unit comes with a one-year warranty and the maintenance only requires yearly replacement of the humidifier pad and cleaning out any mineral deposits (more frequently if your home has hard water). 

Aprilaire 700 Power Humidifier

The Aprilaire 700 Power humidifier is a fan-powered whole-home humidifier that is installed with your HVAC system. The unit can operate independently or with your furnace, delivering an 18 gallon per-day output that effectively humidifies homes up to 4,200 sq ft. Our favorite feature is the dual sensors that monitor and respond to the outdoor temperature and your home’s indoor relative humidity to deliver optimum humidity. 

Portable humidifier or whole home humidifier? 

Determine if a whole house humidifier or portable humidifier is best based on your family’s needs. For homes in extremely dry climates, a humidifier for the whole house is likely best. To create a more comfortable sleeping environment, try a portable unit. Explore more benefits of maintaining a healthy indoor humidity level with our humidifier fact sheet.

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3 Ways to Help Your AC Perform Better

Your air conditioning system is the main thing in your household protecting you and your family from the searing heat of the summer sun in Kendall. Unfortunately, your AC could potentially be accounting for the majority of your home energy expenses during the summer months.

If you are like most homeowners, you might be searching for ways to improve your air conditioner’s efficiency and cut down on energy bills. While it is easier said than done, we have some tips that can help your AC perform better and cost less through the course of the year.
We’ve created this guide to tell you about three ways you can help your AC perform better so that you can cut down on energy costs without compromising on your comfort.

3 Ways to Help Your AC Perform Better

These three measures can help you improve the overall efficiency of your air conditioning system while reducing the expense of operating it during the hottest months of a Floridan summer.

1. Keep thermostat settings reasonable

We understand that the heat can become unbearable on some days, and you want nothing more than to enjoy the cool breeze coming from your air conditioner when you get home. Unfortunately, many people think turning the thermostat settings to a colder temperature will cool down their home faster. That is never the case.

The thermostat setting determines how often the AC will turn on to regulate the temperature. It does not affect the speed. If you keep the thermostat set to a temperature that is too low, it will only make the AC work harder for much longer than necessary to try to cool things off according to your demands. The Department of Energy advises that 78°F is the ideal temperature setting to balance out power consumption and get you good results.

2. Schedule prompt repairs

It is completely normal for air conditioners to develop problems over time due to wear and tear. If there are any pending repairs for your AC, you should make it a point to schedule services to repair it immediately.

We say immediately because delaying repairs can result in the problems becoming worse. This is bad for two reasons. The first is that it can lead to increasingly high energy bills; the second is that the issues can worsen to the point of causing a full breakdown and even lead to a need for an early replacement.

3. Schedule maintenance each year

Just like any other mechanical appliance, air conditioners wear down over time and need a tune-up to help them run well. Regularly scheduling maintenance for your air conditioner can help you ensure that the unit is working efficiently. In addition, the more energy-efficient it is, the less energy it will use while providing you with the cooling you need to make your home feel more comfortable during the summer.

Contact Air On Demand today if you are looking for professionals to handle air conditioning tune-up in Kendall, FL. We’ll keep your AC is working right when you need it most.

This post appeared first on AironDemand.com

4 Ways to Allergy Proof Your HVAC System in Damon, TX

More than 50 million Americans suffer from seasonal allergies. With the heat and humidity around Damon, TX, allergens can abound in your HVAC system. Here are four ways you can help allergy proof your HVAC system this summer.

1. Keep Your HVAC System Air Filter Clean

Your air filter is the main line of allergy defense in any HVAC system. It removes airborne contaminants from the air as the breeze enters your system. However, if you neglect the filter, it cannot do its job properly.

Further, when you change or clean your filter you’re fully removing the contaminants it has collected. As long as it remains in place, the circulating air picks those particles back up, and they can continue affecting you.

Plan to check your filter every month so you can replace it when it’s appropriate. Most filters will only need replacing about every 90 days, depending on your air quality and filter type.

2. Control Humidity

Humidity is a significant part of managing indoor air quality and household allergies. When the air is too dry, various allergen particles remain in the air rather than falling onto surfaces. When the air is too humid, it cultivates an environment perfect for spores and other allergens to grow.

The EPA suggests the ideal indoor humidity is 30% to 50%. To achieve this, you may need to look at various dehumidifier options during the warm humid months. You also may need to consider whole-house humidification during the cooler dry months.

3. Perform Regular HVAC Maintenance

As your system runs, it will naturally collect dust and other allergens. These allergens build up on the circulating fan and evaporator coil, among other places. When you have routine HVAC maintenance, a technician will clean these areas, fully removing the allergens from your system.

4. Add Additional Air Purification

You may consider additional air quality measures for your home. This may include additional mechanical ventilation, HEPA filters, or even an ultraviolet purification system.

Keep your family healthy and allow your HVAC system to run more effectively by minding your air quality. Call to schedule your indoor air quality consultation with one of our experts at Davis Air Conditioning & Heating today.

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Boilers vs. Water Heaters: 7 Key Differences

Making sure you have enough hot water for showers, dishes, laundry, and other daily activities is important to keeping your home operational. Heating your home during cold winter months is equally important.

But which will do the job better, a boiler or water heater?

Let’s explore boilers versus water heaters, seven key differences between the two, and how to decide which is right for your home.

What is a Boiler?

While its name might suggest that it boils water, it does not. In fact, a boiler is a little more complicated than it may seem. Boilers work by turning water into steam, which is an efficient, inexpensive way to transfer heat throughout a home. Steam can easily be pumped through pipes since the gaseous form weighs much less than liquid water, and the gas holds heat better than air.

Boiler Installation

A boiler works by bringing cool water into the heating chamber where a gas burner heats the water. This transforms the water into steam, which is then pushed through the pipes in the home. Boilers can heat water very quickly and are usually tankless—though some may come with a tank and cylinder hot water storage system. 

While some boilers can and are designed to heat potable water, it’s important to note that not all boilers are. Most boilers are on a closed-loop system—meaning they don’t use new water when sending steam through the home but rather recycle water that’s been sent through the system already. Used water simply returns to the starting point to get reheated and reused.

This is one of the key differences to remember between boilers versus water heaters.

What is a Water Heater?

A hot water heater (unlike a boiler) does exactly as its name suggests: it heats water. This water can be used in your showers, sinks, laundry room, and more, since your hot water heater takes cold water from your clean supply line.

Once quickly warmed up and used, the water drains into your sewage system. Water heaters are designed to heat potable water that is safe for cleaning, cooking, and drinking.

Residential Water Heater

The two types of water heaters you’ll find today are tanked and tankless water heaters. In a tanked water heater system, the cold water coming in is warmed by a gas or electric burner system within the tank. Once the water has reached the desired temperature, it’s stored inside the tank until you use it from your sink or shower.

A tankless water heater works instantaneously rather than keeping a supply of heated water on hand. When you turn on a faucet to the “hot” side, a tankless hot water heater heats up water as it goes up to the appropriate faucet and keeps heating it until you turn off the faucet.

As you compare boilers versus hot water heaters, keep in mind that the latter doesn’t send steam through your home to heat it; it sends hot water directly to the desired locations.

What are the Differences Between a Boiler and a Water Heater?

Let’s explore the seven key differences between a boilers and water heater, including comparisons of efficiency, cost, lifespan, and more.

1. Types

When considering a boiler versus hot water heater, be sure you keep in mind the different types of each system. 

A boiler can come in two types: combination or conventional. A combination boiler (or a “combi” boiler) is a mix of a high-efficiency water heater and central heating boiler, all built into a single unit.

No type of water storage cylinder is needed with this unit. A conventional boiler works best within homes that already have a hot water heater system in place (for heating potable water) since it will likely be used to replace an older, already existing radiator system.

A hot water heater can also come in two types: tankless or conventional. As mentioned above, a tankless hot water heater doesn’t rely on hot water storage to heat your home’s water but rather heats the water as it’s required. A conventional hot water heater has a water storage tank and keeps hot water ready and waiting for when you need it.

2. Efficiency

It’s important to compare boiler and water heater efficiency when considering both systems. Most modern conventional boiler systems are capable of achieving efficiency ratings as high as 98 percent (which means they convert nearly all the energy used into heat for your home). Some older systems are in the 50-70 percent range. Most hot water heaters today have an Efficiency Factor of around 58-60 percent.

3. Cost

While the price of replacing a boiler or a hot water heater ranges pretty widely, there are some averages that can help you get an idea of what you’re dealing with.

Typically, a boiler replacement will cost anywhere from $4,000 to $7,500 and tends to include the removal of an old system and the installation of the new system. A new hot water heater can cost anywhere from $500 to $10,000 depending on the system you choose—though most are between $1,000 and $3,000.

Always be sure you work with a licensed professional when getting any plumbing work done, especially for something as important as a boiler or hot water heater installation. A bad installation job can end up costing you thousands in repairs or replacements down the road.

4. Water Storage

Most water heaters store hot water until it’s needed (unless it’s a tankless hot water heater) while boilers typically don’t store hot water at all. Most boilers heat water as it passes through the boiler system, which doesn’t require water storage.

5. Maintenance

Both boilers and hot water heaters require maintenance to remain operational. Since they both operate differently, however, they both require widely different maintenance jobs.

Water Heater Repair

A boiler’s vents and flues need to be kept clean. The water levels need to be monitored monthly (too little water can seriously damage your unit). The boiler needs to be inspected for leaks regularly.

All its moving parts require lubrication every six months. Any lime buildup needs to be descaled. The water needs to be flushed and replaced every six months.

For a hot water heater, the valve needs to be tested regularly to ensure it’s working properly. The anode rod must be checked and replaced if corroded. The drain tank needs to be kept clean. Pipes should be insulated to retain heat. The heater itself can be insulated to help keep stored water warm.

6. Lifespan

The average lifespan for a boiler is 15 to 20 years, though they should be properly maintained if you expect them to be around that long.

The average lifespan for a hot water heater is between 6 and 15 years. Again, well-maintained units are able to last much longer and units that are poorly maintained may quit on you early.

7. Versatility

Boilers can be used to heat the air of your home in forced air heating systems or floor radiating systems. They can be a fairly efficient way of heating your home and many homeowners enjoy the addition. Typically, boilers aren’t used to heat potable water in your home.

A hot water heater can be used to heat water wherever it is required: sinks, showers, dishwasher, laundry machine, etc. Hot water heaters aren’t usually used to heat the air in your home. 

How to Decide Which is Right For Your Home

When you really understand the difference between a boiler and a hot water heater, it should become much clearer which one you need for your home. While they both might sound like they do the same thing, a boiler is more like a furnace and is typically used in a radiator system to heat your home while a hot water heater is used to heat the water used in your home.

When trying to decide between a boiler versus a hot water heater, consider what you need most in your home and what system would best serve those needs.

Contact John C. Flood About Boilers and Water Heaters

Choosing between a boiler and a hot water heater for your home is complicated enough. Let us handle all the installation and repair work with our experienced and licensed team. John C. Flood can repair and install both boilers and water heaters, so reach out with any questions and schedule your service today.

The post Boilers vs. Water Heaters: 7 Key Differences appeared first on John C. Flood.

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