April 28, 2016 Newsletter

Oversized Air Conditioners Inflate Bills

Bigger isn’t always better. This is especially true when it comes to air conditioning systems. If the system is too large or powerful for the building it is cooling, it can lead to a lot of wasted money and energy. Here’s how air conditioner technicians determine the proper size needed:

Load Calculation

To calculate how large an HVAC unit a home will need, technicians first look at the size of each room the system will be cooling. Then they also take into account the home’s orientation toward the sun, any shade that is present during the day, window type, insulation, building materials, and regional weather patterns. Together, these factors will help them decide which system will work the best and be as energy efficient as possible.

How can homeowners tell if their current air conditioning system is too large? The system will turn on and off very quickly. This allows it to cool the house quickly, but it won’t remove humidity. Removing humidity is a very important part of comfort during the warmer months.

To remove the moisture in the air, the air conditioner needs longer runtimes. The air moving over the cold evaporator coil causes water vapor to condense, so the more air to move over it, the more water vapor gets condensed and carried away. The system needs about 15 minutes of runtime before there’s serious dehumidification of the air, something an oversized system doesn’t allow.

If high energy bills, humid air, and short runtimes are making homeowners question the size of their air conditioning system, they should give Diamond Heating and Cooling a call. They can determine if the system is too large, and help homeowners install a new, properly-sized HVAC system.

How Mold Affects Indoor Air Quality

Many factors affect indoor air quality. One of the worst is mold and mold spores. Different types of mold are present at all times, but generally in low levels. They don’t become a problem until their presence increases. People with allergies, asthma, and suppressed immune systems are at a greater risk of being affected by mold and mold spores.

Some types of mold don’t have any effect on people because they don’t produce mycotoxins. These compounds are toxic to other organisms. It is believed molds produce mycotoxins as a protection against competing organisms.

About 400 mycotoxins have been identified by scientists, and some of them are extremely hazardous to humans. When people come into contact with mold that produces mycotoxins, they can exhibit a range of symptoms such as:

  • Flu-like symptoms
  • Skin rashes
  • Lesions
  • Bleeding
  • Fatigue
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Depression
  • Long-term nerve and organ problems
  • Altered immunity
  • Cancer

People have villainized “Black Mold” to be the culprit of many health issues, but it isn’t strictly the species of mold that has an impact on what type of mycotoxin will be produced. The growing conditions, and nutrients also have a say in what type of mycotoxins the mold will produce.

The severity of symptoms and health issues cause by a certain mold depend on the type of mycotoxin it is releasing. At least 400 different types exist, and some have a lower effect on people than others. Some mold might only cause mild allergy symptoms while others can be quite severe.

Since it can be difficult to determine the type of mold without having it identified in a lab, homeowners who discover mold in their home should take steps to get rid of it, whether it is harmful or not. The longer it is present, the more mold spores are allowed to drift into the air, affecting the indoor air quality.

Ask Diamond Heating and Cooling about improving the indoor air quality in a home or business. It will give owners peace of mind, and allergies and asthma sufferers more comfort this allergy season.

Spring Recipe: Rhubarb Apple Pie

The weather is warmer, the sun is shining, and fresh produce is starting to be in season. To celebrate, try to new springtime-inspired recipe, such as this Rhubarb-Apple Pie.
Ingredients:

  • ½ package refrigerated pie dough
  • Cooking spray
  • 3 ½ cups sliced fresh rhubarb
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • 2 Granny Smith apples, peeled, cored, and sliced
  • ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 3/8 teaspoon salt, divided
  • 4.22 ounces all-purpose flour, divided
  • ½ cup packed brown sugar
  • 6 tablespoons cold butter, cut into small pieces
  • 1/3 cup chopped walnut halves (optional)

Preparation:

  • Preheat the oven to 425 degrees.
  • Put pie dough on a lightly floured surface, then roll into a 12 inch circle. Coat a 9-inch pie plate with cooking spray before putting the dough into it. Turn the edges under, flute.
  • Combine the rhubarb, granulated sugar, lemon juice, and apples. Sprinkle the mixture with cinnamon, ¼ teaspoon salt, and 3 table spoons of flour, then combine again before putting it into the pie crust.
  • Weigh and spoon remaining 3.38 ounces of flour (about ¾ cup) into a dry measuring cup, then level with a knife. Combine this with remaining 1/8 teaspoon of salt, and brown sugar. Cut butter into the flour mixture until it resembles coarse meal. Stir in the walnuts if desired. Sprinkle this mixture evenly over the rhubarb mixture in the pit crust.
  • Bake at 425 degrees for 15 minutes
  • Reduce oven temperature without removing pie to 375 degrees and bake on this temperature for about 30 minutes until golden brown and bubbly. Let the pie cool on a rack for 15 minutes before serving.

May & June Diamond Hugs

For the months of May and June, We will be focusing on Hope House in Marsing, Idaho.

”Hope House exists to provide a home for children who are emotionally impaired, developmentally disabled, and/or come from disrupted adoptions or dysfunctional families.  Hope House exists to provide a home for children who are emotionally impaired, developmentally disabled, and/or come from disrupted adoptions or dysfunctional families.”

We are super excited to help Hope House as our Diamond HUG for May and June! We plan on taking our team out to work on their grounds and perhaps even their HVAC equipment. We will also be collecting monetary donations to give to them in June.