September 8, 2017 Newsletter

Proper HVAC Installation

HVAC InstallationFor the best efficiency and comfort possible, the HVAC system needs to be installed properly. A poorly installed system will use more energy, become damaged more easily, and not last as long. It can also raise energy costs by up to 30%.

Each home has different needs, and different heating and cooling loads from room to room. The HVAC experts at Diamond Heating and Cooling know how to accurately assess these loads to make sure everything is correctly matched.

Some common mistakes that can occur during a poor HVAC installation are:

  1. Wrong Size

There is a complex formula to fitting an HVAC system with a home. If the calculations are off, the system could end up being too large or too small. This results in a higher energy bill and an uncomfortable home. The desired temperature may never be fully reached, or the HVAC will constantly cycle on and off, creating excess humidity.

  1. Leaks

If the ducts in the home are not properly sealed, air leaks are bound to happen. The air ducts should be fully inspected before installation to reduce leaks, making the system more efficient.

  1. Refrigerant Problems

When installing the air conditioner, it needs to have the proper refrigerant charge. Low refrigerant can cause the system to ice over, causing damage and cooling issues. An overcharged system won’t run efficiently, which can be seen on the energy bill.

Avoid these problems by choosing a trusted HVAC installation and maintenance company like Diamond Heating and Cooling. We will walk homeowners through the installation process, and also keep the system running efficiently with yearly maintenance.

 

Indoor Air Quality Pollutants

Indoor Air QualityPoor indoor air quality due to pollutants can cause health effects that are felt right away or years down the road. Knowing how air pollutants affect residents and which ones to be aware of can help reduce these health effects.

Exposure to some indoor air pollutants can result in health issues right away. Common effects are headaches, fatigue, irritation of the nose, eyes, and throat, and dizziness. Those with asthma, allergies, or other pulmonary issues can feel the effects faster or more intensely than others.

After being exposed to certain pollutants for long periods of time, more severe health effects can appear. Some illnesses include respiratory diseases, heart disease, and cancer. Symptoms of these might not be noticeable for years, unlike the immediate effects listed above.

Here are five common indoor air pollutants that can cause health issues:

  1. Carbon Monoxide

This odorless, invisible gas stops the body from obtaining the oxygen it needs. Having a carbon monoxide detector installed is the best defense against this pollutant. Also have the furnace checked for leaks yearly.

  1. Smoke

Tobacco smoke can cause a plethora of health issues in homes, even for those who don’t smoke. Keep all smoking outside in a designated area to limit exposure.

  1. Asbestos

This group of minerals is not hazardous when intact, but disturbing the fibers sends them airborne and makes it possible to inhale the asbestos. When inhaled, asbestos can cause lung disorders. Intact asbestos can be left alone, but having it safely removed can eliminate worry.

  1. Mold

Not all mold is dangerous, but some types can trigger allergic reactions and asthma attacks, along with more severe illnesses. Keep humidity and moisture levels in check to prevent mold and have it professionally taken care of when it is present.

  1. Lead

Lead was used in house paint until it was banned in 1978. Some houses still have lead paint in them, which can become airborne. Exposure is very dangerous, especially to children. If the home has lead paint, keep all areas clean, mop frequently, and wipe down window ledges often with a damp cloth.

Talk to the team at Diamond Heating and Cooling about how to improve IAQ and reduce the risk of health issues.

 

Healthy After School Snack

With school back in full swing, kids are going to need a brain-boosting after school snack to get them through homework. Try these PB&J bites! They’ve got the taste of the sandwich, but with denser nutritional ingredients.

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup chunky natural peanut butter
  • 1/3 cup pure maple syrup
  • 4 cups old-fashioned oats
  • ½ unsalted sunflower seeds
  • ½ cup quinoa
  • 1 12-ounce jar strawberry preserves

Directions:

  1. Mix peanut butter, maple syrup, and 1/3 water in a saucepan over medium-low heat.
  2. In a large bowl, mix the oats, sunflower seeds, and quinoa. Then stir in the peanut butter mixture until combined.
  3. Line two 12-cup muffin pans with wrappers. Scoop 2 tablespoons of the peanut butter and oats mixture into each wrapper, and press it down with a spatula. Spread 2 tablespoons of the strawberry preserves over that before adding 2 more tablespoons of the peanut butter and oats mixture on top.
  4. Bake at 350 degrees for 25-30 minutes, until brown. Cool in the tins for 10 minutes before transferring them to a wire rack. Store in an airtight container.

 

September Diamond Hugs

For the month of September, the Diamond Heating and Cooling staff will be supporting the Garden City Police Department through fundraising. On September 16th, we will be participating in the Garden City Police Department Golf Tournament. This is their fundraiser for the Shop With a Cop program and we are excited to be part of this event.

 

August 10th, 2017 Newsletter

Northwest Begins to Rely on AC

The northwest region of the United States has relied on air conditioning less than anywhere else in the country. However, that looks like it might be changing. So far, this summer, temperatures in the region have consistently stayed in the upper 90’s and low 100’s, making more residents of Oregon, Washington, and Idaho crave the comfort of air conditioning.

While other regions depended on air conditioning to grow, the Northwest didn’t. Summers were still livable without air conditioning. Compared to the rest of the country, the number of homes with air conditioning has been lower over most decades. A study done by the Northwest Energy Efficiency Alliance in 2014 indicated, in rural Idaho, it is estimated that only 53% of homes have AC while in urban Idaho, 72% of homes have AC. Comparing that to new homes being built in the Midwest or Northeast, eighty-six percent of new single-family homes in the Northeast are built with AC, while 94% in the Midwest are built with AC.

These new homes are increasingly built to accommodate central air, and not much thought is given to using windows and cross breezes to keep homes cool. Before the 1940’s that was not the case. Then, only 33% of homes had central air, with 47% having room air, and 20% having no air conditioning.

Still far below in the number of households using central air or in-room air conditioning units, the Northwest has seen a pretty sharp uptick in that number. Whether it’s getting and staying hotter for longer, or people are getting less tolerant of the heat, the region is turning to air conditioning for comfort.

For those looking to add central air conditioning in their home, or upgrade to a newer system, talk to the team at Diamond Heating and Cooling. We want to make sure everyone in Boise and throughout the Treasure Valley is comfortable during these extreme temperatures.

 

Using Shade to Conserve Energy

While increasing curb appeal, landscaping can also have an impact on energy usage and expenses year-round. Properly placed trees, shrubs, and even vines can be beneficial for homeowners and their energy bills. Here’s how to go about using shade to conserve energy:

Trees

Large, deciduous trees should be planted on the east, west, and northwest sides of the house. While they might take a few years to grow enough to provide shade, they will live quite long, which is a bonus for those who don’t plan on moving anytime soon.

To help block the wind, dense evergreen trees are a great choice. They’ll also continue to provide shade during the fall and winter since they don’t lose their foliage.

No matter what type of trees are planted, you will want to keep them an adequate distance from the home. Once the trees mature, their roots systems and branches could damage the home or foundation if planted too close.

Shrubs

Keep walls and windows shaded with a row of shrubbery. Within a few years they should start providing good shade. They can also be used to shade the ground or pavement around the home. Be careful planting dense shrubs too close to the house. This limits the airflow, creating a warm, moist environment perfect for mold growth.

Vines

Add a lattice or trellis with climbing vines along the side of the house. While providing shade, it also allows for circulation of cool breezes.

These tactics provide shade in summer and insulation in the winter. This can help lower energy expenses by reducing the need to run the air conditioner or furnace.

Talk to Diamond Heating and Cooling about other ways to reduce energy expenses like installing a newer, more energy efficient AC or furnace, regularly scheduled maintenance, changing out the air filter, and more.

 

DIY Back to School Teacher Gift

Make heading back to school a little easier on everyone with a gift for the teacher that’s not only cute, but useful. This mason jar organizer holds extra pens and pencils for when students needs a writing utensil.

Supplies:

  • Serving tray
  • Pint mason jars
  • Chalkboard paint formulated for glass
  • Multi-surface paint (any color)
  • Painting tape
  • Chalk
  • Paint brush
  • Pens
  • Pencils

Instructions:

  1. Put tape around the jars around the halfway mark. Clean the jars well with rubbing alcohol before painting.
  2. Paint the top half of the jar with the multi-surface paint. Do as many coats as necessary for desired color.
  3. Once dry, take the tape off. Re-tape over the already painted area to keep a clean line for the chalk paint. Add two coats of the chalkboard paint to the jars, allowing it to dry between coats. Remove the tape once it is dry.
  4. Write “Pens” on one jar and “Pencils” in the other before placing them in the tray. Add pens and unsharpened pencils before gifting it to the teacher.

For more detailed instructions and pictures, click here.