The Fascinating Evolution of Staying Warm

Ever since human beings first discovered how to start fires, keeping warm has been a priority for survival and comfort. Looking back at how heating has evolved is a fascinating journey that reveals the innovations of human beings. We no longer rely solely on woodburning fireplaces and stoves but have an array of options to heat the homes in Pierce and King counties, including some that demonstrate a commitment to protecting the environment. Roman Hypocaust The first concept of central heating was developed by the Romans. Their hypocaust expanded upon the single woodburning fireplace to heat an entire room. Flues for the hypocaust were built into the walls and floors. As the exhaust from the fireplace moved to the chimneys through the flues, the heat warmed the entire room. While a brilliant advancement in home heating, hypocausts were eventually phased out because they could only be used in homes that were built of non-combustible products due to the risk of fires. New Fuel Sources Wood continued to be the only method for generating heat in homes until the 18th century when it was replaced with coal. In the 1940s, natural gas replaced coal, and in the energy crisis of the...

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Should I Cover My Air Conditioner or Heat Pump In The Fall And Winter?

Is It a Good Idea to Cover Your Air Conditioner or Heat Pump When It’s Not in Use? Although most people in Puyallup, WA, stop using their air conditioner sometime in September, the outdoor unit that powers your air conditioner remains outside all year long. Since other outdoor items, such as patio furniture and swimming pools, get covered up in the fall and winter, it makes sense that your outdoor air conditioner unit or heat pump would need to be covered, as well. Before you spend your hard-earned money on a cover, though, we have a few things that you should know. Quality-Tested Before air conditioner units are shipped to consumers, they are put through a series of torture tests to ensure they can stand up to almost any weather condition. This means that your air conditioner or heat pump can withstand the abuse that Mother Nature throws at it. The best part is that the units are tested without covers of any kind, meaning that a cover isn’t necessary to protect your unit against rain, sleet, snow or any other kind of precipitation. Downsides of a Cover Beyond not really being necessary, a cover can cause problems that may...

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Facts About UV Light and Indoor Air Quality

Ultraviolet light is the highest frequency known on the visible light spectrum. UV light is almost entirely invisible to the naked eye. Most of the UV light we experience comes from the sun and causes sunburn and increased risks of skin cancer. Thankfully, most UV radiation gets absorbed by the ozone layer of our atmosphere before reaching our skin. UV Light’s General Uses Ultraviolet light has several uses. Ultraviolet lights have been used for biological applications, in food processing centers, and for the treatment of water. However, indoors, it is usually used for air purification. Ultraviolet air cleaners are a great defense to use in order to defend your HVAC system from allergens and bacteria that are bioaerosols, or airborne particles made up of living organisms. How Do UV Lights Protect the Indoor Quality of Air? UV lights and allergens have a common link. UV lights dramatically reduce allergens in indoor environments, especially when installed in an HVAC system. This is because UV air cleaners kill tiny microbes as they pass through the HVAC system, which is especially useful for the millions of Americans who suffer each year from allergies and asthma attacks from air ducts that contain allergens, mold,...

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HVAC and Airborne Viruses: Separating Fact from Fiction

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention as well as the Environmental Protection Agency have brought attention to the fact that indoor HVAC systems can affect airborne viruses. This concern has come even further to the forefront as the country and the entire world navigate the COVID-19 pandemic. With that in mind, let’s look at some common misconceptions in addition to some truths that deserve more exposure. We want to help you separate the facts from the fiction. Fact: Ventilation Can Distribute Airborne Viruses A ventilation system can certainly distribute some airborne viruses throughout a home. However, this does not apply to all airborne viruses. Distribution occurs more with germs that can be transmitted through aerosols. In such cases, inadequate ventilation can exacerbate the situation because, just as with pollution particles, those aerosols will accumulate over time. On the other hand, strong ventilation or even natural ventilation, such as opening a window, can mitigate this buildup by introducing fresh air. Fiction: Strong Ventilation Alone Is Enough to Combat Airborne Viruses Strong ventilation helps to ensure that virus-laden aerosols do not accumulate and increase your risk of infection. Your greatest risk of exposure, however, is immediate contact. You should socially...

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The Pro and Cons of Air Purifiers

You might have thought about putting an air purifier in your home to improve your indoor air quality. It’s important to pick the right one based on what you’re trying to accomplish. Here are the differences between the various types of air purifiers and their pros and cons. What Is an Air Purifier? An air purifier is a device that removes pollutants from the air. Different types of air purifiers are designed to remove various types of pollutants. An air purifier can either be portable or one that is installed into your home’s centralized heating and cooling system. To remove pollen, dust mites, mildew, pet dander, bacteria, and viruses from the air, you should get an air purifier with a HEPA filter. This filter removes pollutants from the air as small as 0.3 microns and is over 99% effective. People with asthma and allergies really benefit from HEPA filters. The air purifier may also have a filter made of activated carbon. This filter is effective at removing smoke and lingering odors from the air. They capture smoke and smells from cigarettes, cooking, pets, and other sources. Helps You to Breathe Easier Air purifiers can help everyone, but especially people with...

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How to Tell if You Need Air Conditioning Repair Work

It is highly likely that you rely on your air conditioner to regulate the temperature in your indoor environment. Therefore, you need your AC system to be operating in top condition to keep you cool during the hot summer weather. Unfortunately, your AC unit could malfunction every once in a while. If that’s the case, it is a good idea to turn to our professionals for effective repairs. There are certain key hints you need to watch out for if you suspect that your unit is backfiring. Some of these issues may appear as minor hitches while others are more conspicuous. Make sure that you pay close attention to the condition of your AC system. The following are seven common signs that your AC is in need of urgent repairs. 1. Short Cycles Short cycling is what happens when your AC unit shuts off too quickly before attaining the required level of cooling. In many cases, you will notice that your AC unit keeps going on and off frequently. When this happens, it is difficult to maintain a comfortable indoor temperature. Moreover, your electric bills will be affected. There are several reasons why your unit may be acting this way....

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How To Paint Your Home Without Impacting Your Indoor Air

Painting your Puyallup, WA, home is a fast and low-cost way to revamp the interior. When you want to change the look and mood of a room, painting offers a simple solution. However, many paints contain volatile organic compounds, which cause poor indoor air quality. Cleaning up the mess with solvents can make the situation worse. Here are some tips on painting your home without causing a negative impact on your indoor air quality. Test for Lead If your home was built before 1978, test for lead before painting. The local health department has lead-testing kits, or you can have someone do the lead testing for you. Chips or dust from old lead paint can build up around windows, baseboards, and door frames. When you sand those areas in order to smooth them or remove the old paint, the lead particles can become airborne. Breathing in lead particles is particularly dangerous for infants, children, and pregnant women. Avoid Creating Dust As much as possible, avoid creating dust when painting your home. Keep dry sanding to a minimum. Wet sanding is safer, but it can still generate dust. You could also mist the area that needs sanding. Just use a spray...

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6 Spring HVAC Tips

Springtime is an exciting time of change for the world, and your HVAC system is no exception. After being used to heat your home for months on end, spring represents a transition of duties for your home’s HVAC. Normally, this is a seamless transition, but there are still many things you can do to make sure that your HVAC system is working its best this spring. Here are the top six tips: 1. Replace Your Filters After a long winter of running a furnace, it is common for the filters to become dirty or clogged. This has two impacts. First, it means that the air you breathe is not as clean as possible. Dirty filters can lead to a musty or dirty odor throughout the house. Further, dirty filters require your HVAC system to work harder and less efficiently. By having to push air through a clogged filter, your HVAC system will use more energy to achieve the same goal. Luckily, cleaning or replacing your filters is an easy job that can be done in minutes. 2. Clean Any Debris Around Your Air Conditioner Over the winter, it is common for leaves, branches, and other debris to accumulate around exterior...

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Are HVAC Maintenance Contracts Worth The Money?

For over 70 years, has been helping the residents of Puyallup and the southern Puget Sound area keep their homes comfortable throughout the year. Our skilled technicians have worked with hundreds of heating and cooling systems of every make and model. If there is one thing that we would want our customers to know, it is the importance of annual maintenance for your home-comfort equipment. Nevertheless, we have customers who try to skip this vital service to save a little money. The long-term financial benefits of a maintenance contract far outweigh any short-term gains of going without it. When you become a preferred customer at by signing onto one of our contracts, you will see significant savings over the long haul. Benefits for Your Heating System Your furnace works hard during the winter months to keep your home comfortable. Over time, the heat and vibration of regular operation will cause it to work less efficiently. You may notice that you use more fuel to maintain your home. During an annual inspection, our technicians will check out your whole system and make the small adjustments that will keep it running at its best. They will replace clogged filters that can restrict...

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Do Plants Help Indoor Air Quality?

There has been some debate over the years about whether having plants inside your home improves the air quality. An earlier study by NASA indicated that this is the case, but later studies have partially contradicted that conclusion, especially concerning the quantity of plants people would need to have in their homes. NASA Study NASA’s study was released in 1989. The goal of the research was to find out how to clean the air inside space stations. The study found that plants could clean the air in a closed, restricted environment. The experiment took place in a small chamber, and the plants did remove harmful substances such as formaldehyde from the air. However, this study didn’t translate to the reality of most people’s homes. Home environments are nothing like that of a space station. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency reviewed this study in 1992 and determined it would take 680 plants in a typical home to clean the air. This is, of course, far more plants than anyone would want or be able to fit inside their home. Fortunately, there are other ways to clean the air in your residence. Throughout the Puyallup area, provides services and equipment to maintain...

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