Home Improvement Archives | PECO Heating & Cooling

Why is Indoor Air Quality Important?

Why is Indoor Air Quality Important?

Many of us tend to think air pollution is only found outdoors. In fact, the air inside our homes can be as much as 2 to 5 times more polluted than outdoor air. Although many people recognize the hazards posed by outdoor air pollution, there tends to be less concern over the health hazards caused by indoor air pollution—even though it often has the same effects. 

What Causes Indoor Air Pollution?

Indoor air quality refers to the quality of the air in and around buildings—specifically as it relates to human health and comfort. The primary sources of indoor air pollution are items in the home that release particles or gases into the environment. If there’s not enough ventilation to disperse these pollutants, they can build up and become concentrated in the home. High temperatures and humidity levels can also increase the concentration of some pollutants. 

Some of the most common sources of poor indoor air quality include:

  • Gas appliances
  • Tobacco products
  • Building materials and furnishings, such as asbestos-based insulation, carpet, pressed-wood cabinetry, and upholstery
  • Household cleaning products
  • Personal care products
  • Products used for hobbies, such as paint or glue
  • Excess moisture
  • Outdoor sources, such as pesticides
  • Dirty or poorly maintained furnaces or air conditioners
  • Dust
  • Pet dander
  • Cooking

How Does Indoor Air Quality Affect Health?

Indoor air pollutants may cause health issues shortly after exposure or years later. Immediate effects tend to be short-term and go away after treatment. Some immediate effects include:

  • Eye, nose, and throat irritation
  • Headaches
  • Dizziness
  • Fatigue

Everyone’s reaction to indoor pollutants can vary depending on age, preexisting medical conditions, and individual sensitivity. Long-term health effects may show up years after exposure or after prolonged exposure to indoor air pollutants, including:

  • Respiratory conditions
  • Heart disease
  • Cancer

Even if there are no noticeable symptoms, it’s still recommended to take steps to improve indoor air quality to prevent potential long-term effects. 

How to Improve Your Indoor Air Quality

Although it may not be possible to completely eliminate allergens and pollutants from your home, there are several simple changes you can make to reduce them and your exposure. 

  1. Clean your home regularly to reduce dust, dust mites, animal dander, and mold. Vacuum the carpets and rugs at least once or twice a week using a vacuum equipped with a HEPA filter. Clean up areas of clutter and wash bedding, drapes, and other items that attract tend to attract allergens. 
  2. Use sterile soil for indoor plants and only water them when the soil is dry to prevent mold growth. 
  3. If you have a forced air heating system, change the filters regularly and have the ducts cleaned periodically to remove trapped dust. 
  4. Invest in an air purifier to help capture indoor irritants. 
  5. Consider using a dehumidifier in damp areas of your home to prevent mold growth. 
  6. Open your windows from time to time to allow fresh air to circulate. 
  7. Use fans while cooking to remove fumes from the kitchen. 

For the Best Air Quality Solutions, Contact PECO

Whether you need your HVAC filters replaced or would like to install an air purification system, PECO Heating & Cooling offers a number of air quality solutions to help you breathe easier. Contact us today at (864) 639-2424 to discuss your needs. 

The 2022 Inflation Reduction Act: HVAC Federal Credit & Rebates Explained

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Have you been planning to upgrade your HVAC equipment? Great news—the Inflation Reduction Act of 2022, which was signed into law in August, may be able to help you save some money. 

Investing $369 billion into the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA) is the largest federal legislation designed to include significant rebates and tax credits for homeowners who install new energy-efficient furnaces, air conditioners, heat pumps, boilers, and water heaters. Here’s a breakdown of each of these incentives.

The 25C Energy Efficiency Home Improvement Tax Credit

Although this tax credit has been available for a while, the IRA increased the value of the tax credit by 20%. Instead of being limited to 10% of your project costs, it’s now up to 30%—and it’s now possible to receive a benefit each year. 

The tax credit, which can only be used to offset tax liability, has an annual cap of $1,200, including:

  • Up to $600 for a qualified air conditioner or gas furnace
  • Up to $2,000 for gas and electric heat pumps, heat pump water heaters, and boilers
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This incentive goes into effect in 2023, and if you’re eligible, can be claimed when you file taxes in 2024. There are no income requirements and it can’t be combined with other federal programs such as HEEHR or HOMES. However, the tax credit may be able to be combined with local or utility rebates. Homeowners who had eligible equipment installed on or after January 1, 2022, may also be eligible for retroactive tax credits under this program.

The High-Efficiency Electric Home Rebate (HEEHR) Program

This new $4.275 billion program covers 100% of electrification project costs for low-income households and up to 50% of project costs for moderate-income households—up to $14,000 for both income groups. Qualifying projects and maximum rebate values include:

  • $8,000 for electric heat pumps
  • $4,000 for an electric panel upgrade
  • $2,500 for electric wiring
  • $1750 for an electric heat pump water heater
  • $1,600 for home insulation

Project costs include both purchase costs and installation costs; rebates are given as point-of-sale discounts. 

The HOMES Rebate Program

Unlike the HEEHR program, the all-new $4.3 billion Home Energy Performance-Based Whole-House (HOMES) rebate program isn’t restricted by income levels; instead, they’re based on the performance of energy efficiency and electrification improvements installed in your home. For example, homeowners who install energy-efficient appliances that allow them to cut their energy usage by at least 35% can get up to $4,000 in rebates—and that amount is doubled for low- and middle-income households. 

It’s important to know that you can’t participate in both the HEEHR and HOMES programs, so you’ll need to decide which program is right for your project. If you would like help deciding which program would be best, we’re always happy to help!

Should You Get Home Upgrades Now or Wait Until 2023?

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Although these incentives can provide significant savings, there are several reasons why you may not want to wait until 2023 if you’ve been considering upgrading your home:

  • The current state and utility rebates you qualify for now may not be around in 2023—and depending on your income, the federal rebates may not be as much of an incentive. It’s not clear at this point how the federal rebates will work with existing state and utility programs; it’s possible the federal rebates will result in lower local rebates. 
  • Inflation will likely continue (and possibly worsen) in 2023; the rise in equipment prices may offset some of the savings you would receive from the rebate programs. 
  • Energy costs are rising, especially the cost of natural gas—and although costs are expected to stabilize, reducing your home’s energy use today is an excellent way to mitigate uncertainty about energy prices in the future. 
  • Due to the rebate programs, there will be a higher demand for work for HVAC contractors in the future, which could delay your project. Getting ahead of the demand will ensure you have your new equipment installed in a timely manner. 

In addition, you deserve comfort! If your existing equipment isn’t keeping your home comfortable, it’s not worth putting off the work for potential savings. 

Contact PECO to Learn More

Regardless of when you’d like to upgrade your home, PECO Heating & Cooling is here to help! We’re happy to work with you to find the best upgrades and rebate programs to help you save money and improve your home’s energy efficiency. 

If you’re interested in the 25C tax credit, all Dave Lennox Signature Collection products in the Ultimate Comfort System qualify; Lennox also offers an assortment of ENERGY STAR-certified products that are eligible for the rebate program, including the most efficient heat pump (SL25XPV), air conditioner (SL28XCV), and furnace (SLP99V) on the market. For more information on the IRA incentives contact your accountant or to schedule an installation, contact PECO today at 864-639-2424.

Maintenance Tips to Get Your Air Conditioning Summer-Ready

Few things are worse than discovering on the first sweltering hot day of summer that your air conditioner isn’t working! Unfortunately, this is often the case if your annual maintenance is overdue. However, spring is the perfect time to schedule a service call or perform some basic maintenance to ensure your AC is ready to keep you cool this summer. 

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So why does this happen? Central air conditioners use an indoor air handler and an outdoor compressor. The condenser (which is the part of the unit that needs to be cleaned and maintained) is usually located outdoors. During the cold winter months, while your air conditioner has been sitting idle, it’s been collecting leaves and other types of debris. To get your AC into shape for the warm weather ahead, it’s important to clean the condenser, replace the filters, and perform some minor checks. 

How to Perform Basic Maintenance 

Although we recommend staying up-to-date with your annual maintenance service, we have several tips to help you get your AC ready to cool your home efficiently this summer.

  1. Shut off power to your AC unit and condenser

Safety always comes first! Before performing any maintenance, be sure to turn off the circuit breaker to your AC unit. You should also turn off the power to the condenser at the service panel. The condenser unit will look like a large metal box with a fan and grilles on the sides. Condensers usually have a 240-volt weatherproof disconnect box containing a lever, fuses, or a circuit breaker to shut off the condenser; this will be located near the unit and should be turned off as well. 

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  1. Clean or replace the AC filters

The filters should be cleaned or replaced whenever they start to look dirty and clogged with dust and debris. At the very least, make a point to clean or replace them twice a year. If the air filters are dirty, it will restrict airflow and affect how efficiently your AC runs. Dusty filters can also cause respiratory issues because they recirculate the dust into your home. 

  1. Clean your condenser coils.

It is not recommended you disassemble the outdoor or indoor units as there are electronic circuit boards, high and low voltage wires as well as delicate refrigerant lines.  

  • Gently hose down the outdoor coils with a hose.  High pressure can cause damage to the coils and splash on the electrical circuit boards.  Never use a pistol sprayer or high pressure washer to clean your coils.  
  • If it looks like you still can’t see through the coils after this or there is dirt matting them, call PECO and we can professionally clean them for you.
  1. Remove debris from the base

After you’ve cleaned the condenser coils, clear out all the leaves and debris that have accumulated at the base of the condenser. If your AC unit has a drain, you’ll also need to make sure it’s clear of any debris. 

  1. Check the coolant lines

The coolant lines are usually covered with foam insulation, and run from the AC’s evaporator on the air handler to the condenser. Check the insulation for any damage; if you see areas that are frayed or missing, replace them with new foam insulation sleeves. If you don’t have foam insulation sleeves, you can wrap the lines with foam insulation tape. 

  1. Test your AC unit
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Once you’ve finished cleaning the unit, it’s time to turn the power back on and test it using these steps:

  • Turn the thermostat in your home off.
  • Turn the power on at the disconnect box and the main panel. 
  • Switch your indoor thermostat to cool. 

If your AC is working as it should, great! If not, you’ll need to schedule a service call. Although basic maintenance can be DIY, repairs should always be handled by a skilled HVAC professional. 

PECO Will Help You Get Your AC in Gear for Summer!

If you feel uncomfortable performing maintenance yourself or your AC isn’t working right, PECO is here to help! We’ll check the entire system, including refrigerant levels, electrical connections, wiring, and other components, so you can be confident your system is in proper working order. Our expert technicians can quickly diagnose any issues and get your AC up and running in no time. Don’t put off your AC maintenance until the dog days of summer! Contact PECO today at (864) 639-2424 and enjoy comfortable indoor temperatures all summer long.

PECO: Here for your Comfort and Safety

PECO here for your comfort and safety

When coronavirus first hit the United States, many people put their life on hold. We understand why some people took this pause. With the fear of the virus spreading, some people chose to stock up on groceries and stay at home to prevent catching and passing on the virus. Some may have put home repairs or maintenance on hold so that they wouldn’t come into contact with repairmen.

As the months have gone on, we have all had to adapt to our daily lives to get essential tasks while staying safe. If you do need assistance with your heating and cooling systems, electrical, generators, or other home repairs, please know that PECO can safely help you. 

How We’re Adapting to COVID-19

We want you to know that we take health – both yours and ours – very seriously! At PECO, we want to ensure that our customers and our service technicians stay healthy. There’s no need to live with hot temperatures because of a broken air conditioner or other home issues. Our team can fix the problem while following stringent health protocols! Remember that high temperatures can be dangerous, particularly for children, seniors, and pets. Keep everyone in your home comfortable and safe with a properly working HVAC system. You can count on PECO service technicians to wear proper PPE while on every service visit. Our regulations include:

  • Wearing gloves, facial mask, and shoe covers 
  • Sanitizing our hands before we put on gloves and enter a home 
  • Practicing social distancing 

If you have any questions about how we’re handling COVID-19, please feel free to call (864) 639-2424. The comfort and safety of our customers comes first!

Prepare Your Home for an Elderly Relative

Having an elderly friend or family member come to live with you can be a blessing. Oftentimes grandparents step in to watch children and help around the house in various ways. You get the benefit of spending more time with your friend or family member, and you don’t have to worry about how they are managing on their own. This can be a rich and rewarding experience for everyone involved. 

Of course, you have to move them in first! It’s not as simple as setting up the guest bedroom. You want to make sure that your home is safe and comfortable for your senior relative, and it can be tough to know where to start. 

Prepare Your Home For An Elderly Relative

PECO Heating and Cooling is a family-owned and operated business that knows about keeping relatives comfortable! We take it upon ourselves to make sure that your home is ready for an elderly occupant. First, consider your HVAC system. While extremely hot days can be miserable for many, they can be downright dangerous for older folks who can suffer ill effects. It’s important to have a fully operational air conditioning unit for warm summer days. We can inspect your unit, perform any necessary maintenance and repairs, or even install a new unit. You’ll enjoy the refreshing cool air as well!

Other Things To Consider

Just as hot days should be considered, so should cold ones. As we grow older, many people become less and less able to handle cold weather, which can increase joint and bone pain. We can make sure your furnace or heating unit is fully functioning so you’ll be ready for those cold winter nights. 

Having a properly working HVAC system is crucial to keeping your home within a range of comfortable temperatures. There are other considerations to think about as well, such as what bathroom will be used or how many stairs need to be navigated. Fortunately, PECO can help with many home repair and maintenance tasks around the house as well, such as fixing drywall and painting. 

If you have an elderly relative coming to live with you, PECO can help! Our experienced team will make sure that your home is safe and comfortable for the whole family.

PECO Heating and Cooling Provides Top-Notch Service

PECO Heating and Cooling works hard to provide top-notch service in HVAC, electrical, plumbing, generators, and home repair. We are a family owned business that takes our work seriously; we want to offer our customers helpful, professional, expert maintenance and repairs so that you are comfortable in your home. You can see what our customers think of us in reviews on GoogleFacebookHomeAdvisor, and Angie’s List.

PECO Heating And Cooling Provides Top Notch Service

First and foremost, we want to thank our customers for taking the time to share reviews of PECO online. Thank you! Your effort lets future customers the different work we have done and your satisfaction. It also gives our employees a boost. We love seeing our customers appreciate different employees for their hard work! If you have received a service from PECO, please leave a review on your preferred platform.

We Are Dedicated To Our Customers

We are proud to say that our hard work and dedication to customers is shown in our numerous 5 star reviews. We are happy to announce that PECO shows a rating of 4.5 or higher on every reviews website! Simply Google PECO and see:

  • 4.8 rating on Google
  • 5 rating on Facebook
  • 4.5 rating on HomeAdvisor
  • 4.5 rating on Angie’s List
  • Here are some recent 5 star reviews:

Top notch experience. The install crew was amazing and exceeded our expectations. Max and his crew were a joy to be around, worked hard and kept us informed throughout the process. Highly recommend to anyone considering work on their heating/cooling system! – Brock Bailey

Great response to our issue. Thank you for taking care of us. Jeremy is a great guy!!! Home town type service. We felt more like family than clients. – ccaracc420

Highly recommend Jeremy! He came out and gave us a second opinion after another company said my AC unit needed $1500 in repairs and recommended we purchase a new unit. Turns out the first company had overcharged my unit with way too much freon causing all the problems! Thanks to Jeremy my unit is working perfectly again and saved me $thousands$. We are very grateful! He is so knowledgeable and explained everything while troubleshooting the issue. PECO is lucky to have him! – Amy Tucker.

If you need home maintenance or repairs, call PECO!

How to Conduct a DIY Home Electrical Safety Check

Electrical issues are more than an inconvenience – they can be a serious hazard. According to the U.S. Fire Administration, approximately 24,000 home fires are caused by electrical problems annually. Sadly, many electrical fires can be prevented by conducting occasional safety checks. Electrical safety checks are quick, easy, and can potentially save you from property damage or injury. In some cases, they may even save a life! Understanding the common causes of house fires, as well as warning signs of electrical trouble, can help prevent an electrical fire in your home.

Here’s a list of nine things homeowners should make a point to check each year:

The Breaker Panel

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Inspect your breaker panel and the surrounding area. You should make sure that there are at least 3 feet of clear space around it. Open the panel and examine the breakers. Do you see any signs of rust, corrosion, or rodents? Flip each of the circuit breakers on and off, noting any that are sticking or not working properly. If you often experience tripped breakers, this could be an indication that your system is being overloaded.

GFCI Testing

All outlets that are at risk of being exposed to water (near a sink, for example) should be ground fault circuit interrupt (GFCI) protected. These outlets can wear out after a while, so it’s essential to test them to make sure they’re still functioning properly. If you look at the face of a GFCI outlet, you’ll notice two rectangular buttons that say “Test” and “Reset.” To test your GFCI outlet, press the test button with your finger. You should hear a snapping sound that trips the outlet and cuts off power to the plug connections.

To confirm that the power is off, you can plug in a lamp or radio into the outlet. If the outlet is working as it should, the device you plugged in shouldn’t turn on. You can also check to see if the outlet is supplying voltage by using a voltage tester or multimeter. There are also GFCI outlet testers, which can alert you whether the outlet is wired correctly. Once you’ve confirmed that the safety function is working, you can press the reset button to restore power to the outlet.  

Test Your Outlets

Like your GFCI outlets, regular outlets should also be tested. One of the best ways to check them is by using a receptacle tester, which is also called a “cube” or “block” tester. This device plugs directly into the outlet and indicates whether it detects common wiring issues. These tools are handy and affordable, so we recommend them for any home toolkit!

Exposed Wiring

Many attics and basements have exposed wiring, which can become worn and cracked over time. You should inspect all visible wiring to make sure it’s free of cracks or splits. Rodents love to chew on wires, so you should also keep an eye out for areas of rodent damage. While you’re there, it’s also a good idea to check for other signs of rodents, such as nests or scat. Any damaged wiring should be replaced. If you’ve found evidence of rodents, this should also be dealt with as soon as possible.

Extension Cords

All extension cords should be checked for cuts, cracks, exposed wiring, or other types of damage that can occur during home projects. You should also check that any cords used for power tools are within their amperage rating.

Exterior Outlets

Exterior outlets are subject to the elements, so it’s important to make sure that they’re sealed and free from animal intrusion. All exterior outlets should be GFCI protected, so you’ll want to test them to make sure they’re working correctly. If something has been plugged into one of your exterior outlets for an extended period of time, check to make sure it’s not keeping the weather cover propped open. If you do use your outlet for an extended period, you should have an outlet with a cover that has access holes. This will allow the cover to completely close while you’re using it.

Test Your Outlets for Tightness

Outlets, like most things, can wear out over time. If you notice plugs sitting loosely in an outlet, or they slip out enough to expose the plug pin, the outlet should be replaced. If the outlet itself is loose in the electrical box, it can be quickly fixed using plastic outlet shims.

Voltage Testing

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If you’ve noticed that your electrical devices seem to be working irregularly when plugged into a particular outlet, it’s a good idea to test the voltage. The issue could be caused by a loose wire, but a voltage test will help you determine if it’s a more extensive problem. Check the power to that outlet using a voltmeter or multimeter. Standard residential outlets should read between 110 and 130 volts. If you see readings outside of that range, it may be time to call in the professionals!

Use Your Other Senses

Beyond visual inspections, it’s also essential to take note of other things you notice using your sense of smell, sound, and touch. Place your hand on outlets and light switches. Do you notice excessive heat? It’s normal for dimmer switches to get warm when the lights are on, but they shouldn’t be uncomfortable to touch. Do you notice any acrid smells when you plug in a device or flip a switch? Do you hear popping or cracking noises near an outlet or switch? These are all signs that there’s something wrong with the switch or outlet. It could be that it’s defective or worn, or it could be a sign that there’s a problem with the wiring. In any case, it’s best to address the issue as soon as possible

I Found a Problem – Now What?

So, you’ve gone through your home and found some issues that need to be addressed. Now what? In some cases, you may need to replace a switch in the wall. In other cases, you may need to have areas of your home re-wired. At best, electrical work can be complicated. At worst, it can cause damage to your home or put you at risk for injury. Many times, electrical work is best left to the professionals. We offer a variety of electrical repair services, from minor outlet and switch replacements to major repairs and remodels. We hold both mechanical and electrical licensees and offer a 1-year parts and labor warranty on all repairs. If you’ve discovered an electrical issue or don’t feel comfortable conducting an electrical safety check on your own, contact us today at (864) 639-2424 to schedule a service call!

Debunking Common Home Maintenance Myths

As any homeowner knows, keeping your house well-maintained is a lot of work! There’s always something that needs to be done around a home, but how do you know if you’re doing the task correctly or as often as you should? To make matters more confusing, home maintenance misconceptions abound through word of mouth. We’ve compiled – and debunked – some of the most common home maintenance myths you may have come across.

Myth: Cutting Your Grass Shorter Will Allow You to Mow Less Frequently

Mowing the lawn is many people’s least favorite chore. While it may be tempting to cut your grass short so that you don’t need to do it as often, this can have consequences on your lawn. Grass that’s cut too short is more susceptible to weeds, disease, heat damage, and drought. Each species of grass has an ideal mowing height that will keep it lush and strengthen the root system. Once you’ve identified your lawn’s perfect height, it’s best to follow the one-third rule. Set your mower blade to your grass species’ recommended height and mow it often enough that you cut off no more than the top third of the grass.

Myth: Turn Off Your AC When You’re Not Home to Save Energy

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It seems like you would save energy by turning off your air conditioner when you’re away from home, right? Unfortunately, that’s not the case. An AC unit that has been turned off for hours has to work much harder to cool down your home. Any money or energy you may have saved during the day is negated by the extra energy it uses once it’s restarted. Also, your AC doesn’t just cool the air – it also dehumidifies it. Turning it off completely allows the humidity in your home to climb, which can lead to mold growth or insect infestations. Instead of turning your AC off entirely, it’s best to turn your thermostat down by 5 – 10 degrees.

Myth: Gutters Only Need to be Cleaned in the Fall

Gutters are incredibly important for directing the flow of rainwater away from your roof, walls, foundation, and landscape. While the fall season certainly brings an increase of leaves and tree branches, debris can accumulate in your gutters throughout the year. Your gutters can’t do their job when they’re clogged, which puts your home at risk for interior or exterior water damage. Clogged gutters can also attract uninvited guests, like rodents, insects, and mold. To keep your gutters clear and working properly, it’s best to clean them in the spring and fall.

Myth: More Insulation = a Better Insulated Home

At some point, many homeowners will need to add more insulation to their homes. While you may think more insulation will result in a better insulated home, you don’t want to go overboard with it. Too much insulation can cause more problems than it solves. For example, putting too many layers of insulation in your attic can cause it to compress, making it less effective. Excessive attic insulation can also block your home’s eaves or soffit vents, which can lead to heat and moisture buildup.

Myth: Test Your Smoke Alarm Using the Test Button

Ask most people how to test their smoke alarm, and their answer will probably be to push the test button. This is a potentially dangerous misconception. When you push the test button, you’re only testing whether the batteries and sound are working. While these are both important, it doesn’t let you know if your smoke detector is actually able to detect smoke. To test that, you can hole a freshly burned out match under it. If the smoke detector is working the way it should, the alarm should sound. As a safety precaution, you should check your smoke detectors twice a year. Since dead batteries account for most smoke alarm failures, it’s also a good idea to replace the batteries once or twice a year as well.

Myth: Your Carpet is Dry if it Feels Dry

Cleaning up water from leaks or flooding is never pleasant, but it becomes particularly troublesome when it involves carpeting. Wet carpet doesn’t always appear wet, and to make matters worse, water can seep down into the lower layers of your carpet and into the subfloor. Even if your carpet feels dry, your floor could be at risk for mold, rot, or other serious issues.

Myth: You Bathroom Exhaust Fan Doesn’t Need Maintenance

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Cleaning out your bathroom’s exhaust fan may not sound like a thrilling chore, but it’s one that should be on everyone’s to-do list. All the heat and humidity that accumulates in bathrooms make them the perfect breeding ground for mildew and mold. Your bathroom fan prevents mold and mildew growth – but it can only do that when it’s working properly. Over time, your fan collects dust and grime, which can gunk up the motor. It’s best to clean the grille and vacuum out the mechanical parts every 6 – 12 months to keep it well-maintained.

Myth: Furnace Filters Only Need to Be Replaced Once a Season

Your furnace filter plays a vital role in preventing contaminants from reaching the living areas in your home. Indoor air contains a lot of pollutants – as many as five times as much as what you’d find outdoors. Some homeowners try to save money by only replacing their filters once a season, but in most cases, they should be replaced more often. If you live in an area that’s dry and dusty, have allergies, or own pets, it’s recommended that you replace them once a month. For homes that are in more humid, lush locations, you can generally get by with replacing them every three months. Wondering how you can tell it’s time to replace your filter? Hold it up to the light. If you can’t see light shining through, it’s time for a replacement!

Myth: You Can Add Chemicals to Your Pool Any Time of Day

If you have a pool, you may have heard that it doesn’t matter what time of day you add chemicals. Many pool chemicals, like chlorine, are sensitive to the sun’s UV rays. Adding chemicals during the day can reduce their effectiveness and even cause them to dissipate. For this reason, it’s best to add pool chemicals in the evening.

Myth: You Should Always Remove Asbestos from Your Home

If you live in a house that was built before 1980, there’s a good chance you have asbestos somewhere in your home. Asbestos was once a widely used building material because of its insulating and fire-resistant properties. It was banned in 1978 because the fibers were found to cause several health conditions. However, if you have asbestos in your home, there’s no need to panic or have it removed. According to the EPA, asbestos is only a health concern if it becomes “friable.” Friable means easily crumbled by hand, which releases the fibers into the air. If the asbestos in your home isn’t damaged and you don’t plan on disturbing it, there’s no need to worry about having it removed. The EPA recommends that any asbestos in good condition should be left alone.

Myth: Your Dishwasher is Self-cleaning

It may seem like your dishwasher gets a deep cleaning with every use, but that’s unfortunately not the case. Periodic cleanings are recommended to keep it running well and prevent odors from accumulating. Begin by removing any debris or the tub and filter, so that it can drain properly. Place a couple of cups of vinegar in a clean bowl near the center of the bottom rack and run your dishwasher on its normal cycle without detergent. This will clean and deodorize your washer. If there are leftover mineral deposits, you can use a dishwasher cleaner like Affresh to remove them.

Myth: I Have to Do My Home Maintenance Myself

Home maintenance often gets pushed on the wayside, but it’s essential to protecting your investment and preventing more expensive repairs down the road. If you don’t have the time, tools, or skill set to do your own home maintenance, never fear – call your Home Service Heroes at PECO! We’re a licensed home contractor offering high-quality home repair and maintenance. We’re fully insured and have decades of experience in everything from minor repairs to remodeling. Give us a call today at (864) 639-2424 or contact us online!

5 Great Tasks To Keep Your Home At Its Best!

It is important to provide your home with routine care and maintenance so that it stays at its very best, but it is very common for homeowners to neglect doing so. Here are a few highly effective – yet simple – home maintenance tasks that will greatly benefit you and your home.

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Cleaning the inside of your dryer and dryer vent

According to the US Fire Administration, 2900 fires are caused by built-up lint inside of a dryer every year, which has led to over $35 million in property damage. If excess amounts of lint have built up, it can be ignited from things like gas burners or electric heating elements, which will cause the flames to travel through the lint-lined exhaust vent. These fires can cause extensive damage and easily destroy a home, thankfully, they can be easily prevented. Simply check the exhaust vent as well as the inside of your dryer’s cabinet and clean it on a routine basis to prevent these disasters from occurring.  Many older dryer vents are not up to the new code – metal pipe – they are the plastic flexible lines, those must be replaced.

Cleaning faucet aerators

In case you weren’t aware, a faucet aerator is typically found at the tip of most indoor water faucets and serves multiple purposes. It helps to conserve water and energy costs, reduces faucet noise, prevents splashing, and provides slight filtration of debris. If the water from a faucet has recently started to flow unevenly or slower than normal, then it may be time to clean your faucet aerator.

Cleaning the aerator is a simple process that can help increase the quality and pressure of the water that comes from your faucet. To do this, unscrew and disassemble the aerator, and use something like an old toothbrush to scrub any debris or buildup. While you are there, it is also a good idea to do a quick scrub on the inside of the neck of the faucet, as it is very common for buildup to also occur there. After reassembling, you should find that the quality of the flow of water should be greatly increased.

Cleaning the oven door

Aside from just looking gross, spills and remnants of old food/liquids can cause pretty significant smoke and smell issues. Cleaning the big spills and messes as they happen is a great way to keep your oven looking good, but if you really want to make it shine it is sometimes necessary to go a bit further. To do this, you are going to want to remove the front panel on your oven by removing the screws, if you don’t know where to find the screws consult the manual or do a quick search online to find your model. Once you have it removed, simply take a nylon scrubber and degreaser and get to work! Once you are done, reattach the door and admire the pristine look of your oven.

Cleaning your bath Fan

Your bath fan is very important for the health and comfortability in your bathroom by helping air circulate. However, it’s very easy for it to become downright filthy, thanks to the combination of dust, moisture, and debris that constantly passes through. Cleaning your bath fan is an easy task that provides great benefits.

Before you start, make sure that the switch for the fan is turned off, and then squeeze the springs on the fan’s cover to remove it. Once you have taken off the cover, the next step is to remove the actual fan. First, remove whatever is holding the fan in place, which is most likely a screw. If there is no screw to be found, then there is probably a tab that is holding the fan in place, remove this tab and then push out the metal fan housing. Make sure to watch where you stand though, because there is a high chance that debris will fall out! Now that the fan is out, it’s time to clean. Use a damp rag or moist wipes to clean off all the buildup and use a Q-tip to clean any of the hard to reach sections. Now that your fan and cover are squeaky clean, just reverse the previous steps to reattach your fan and enjoy the benefits!

If you are still disappointed by the lack of performance after cleaning the fan, then you may need a new fan altogether, but that is a topic for another time.

Many older homes have the fans exhaust into the attic and not outside.  The code is to vent them to the outside with either a soffit or roof vent.  If you aren’t sure if yours does, go into the attic, find the fan box and there should be a duct that leads outside.  This is the new code standard…same for exhaust for a vent hood.

Cleaning your trash can

When we say cleaning the trash can, we don’t just mean routinely taking out the trash, although we certainly hope you are doing that as well! Even if you use big hefty trash bags, that doesn’t mean the actual trash can is free from exposure to germs. Sometimes your bag leaks or tears and some garbage manages to make its way to the bottom of the bin, which can cause lingering smells or stains to stay. Thankfully, the solution to this is extremely simple. All you have to do is spray some disinfectant into the bottom of the trashcan each time you take out the trash, take the time once a month to wash it out with some bleach and hot water, and boom, you’re all done.

Keeping your home at its best is something that all homeowners want to do, but a lot of them simply don’t know the best ways to do it. The professionals at PECO Heating & Cooling are your local experts when it comes to home maintenance. Be sure to give our team a call at (864)-639-2424 to learn more!

5 Common Household Emergencies Faced by Homeowners

It is a simple fact that every homeowner is going to experience some issues, some of which are more common than you may think. Here is a list of the top 5 household emergencies faced by homeowners and what you can do to deal with them!

Household Emergencies

1 – Getting Locked Out of Your Home

Ever lock your doors and walk out of your home, only to realize that you left your keys inside? The fact that this is the number one issue means that most of us have been there, but that doesn’t make it any less embarrassing or irritating when it does happen. Here are a few tips for when you find yourself in this unfortunate situation so that you don’t have to resort to breaking into your own home.

–          Having a spare key:

Okay, so this one is kind of obvious, but it still should be noted that having a spare key is one of the best methods available. If you have a friend or family member that you can trust, it is a great idea to let them have a spare key so that you have another way to get into your home if you lock yourself out. It also means that you have someone else who can get into your home if you need something done, but can’t be there to do it yourself. If you don’t want to give someone else a key, then you can always buy a key hider.

–          Call a locksmith:

It is best to avoid breaking the locks on your home if you ever lock yourself out. It will cost you money and time to get it fixed, and it will be way more of a hassle than simply waiting for a local locksmith to come to your home. Find out who your local locksmith is and give them a call, they will be able to get you back into your home and save you far more time and money than breaking in would.

2 – Losing Power

Something that is practically inevitable for everyone is experiencing a power outage. Nine times out of ten it is out of your control, but that doesn’t mean that there aren’t things you can do. Be sure to remember to follow these steps in order to help protect you and your wallet, before you head over to the breaker panel.

–          Shut the fridge:

The simple solutions are often the most beneficial. Simply shutting the fridge or keeping it closed will help keep the interior cold, which will help the food inside from spoiling. This will help you avoid having to buy new groceries and can help you from getting potential food poisoning.

–          Unplug your electronics:

Power surges can seriously damage or outright destroy any electronics that are still connected to an outlet. Make sure you unplug any important devices to help prevent the need for buying a replacement. Alternatively, you may want to consider buying a UPS (unlimited power supply, not the shipping service). These are extension cord-like devices that will regulate the power supply to any connected devices in order to prevent damage from things like power surges, which means you don’t have to worry about unplugging them. Some even store power to help keep your devices on even after a loss of power.

–          Get a backup generator:

Having a backup generator is a great way to avoid completely losing power, and is generally just a good idea to have, especially in the event of an emergency. There are different types of generators, and the best choice will depend on your home as well as your needs. Be sure to give our team a call to determine the best solution as well and to get one of the best installation services you can find.

3 – Frozen Pipes

There are few things worse than a lack of hot water, especially when the weather is starting to cool down. Frozen pipes also run the risk of bursting, which can result in serious damage to a home that could require repairs that could cost thousands of dollars.

–          Turn off the faucet

If the stream of water from a faucet has recently stopped, or even slowed down to a trickle, then this could be an indication that you have a frozen pipe that is ready to burst. You can help prevent further damage by turning off the faucet and calling a professional to come over as soon as possible.

–          Turn up the heat

In the event that a frozen pipe is behind a wall, turn up the heat in your home or use something like a hair dryer in order to help the pipe thaw.

4 – Overflowing Toilet

The panic caused by an overflowing toilet is something that is hard to beat, but it is important to keep a clear head and act fast if you want to avoid more serious damage.

–          Stop the flow of water:

When most people notice the water start to overflow, their first instinct is to grab some towels, but what they should be doing is stopping the flow of water. You can do this by taking the lid off the toilet, pressing down on the flapper valve, and lifting the float in order to cut off the supply of water.

–          Grab a plunger:

A tool as old as the toilet itself… okay not really, but it is one of the oldest and most effective tools to have available. If there is a plunger nearby then it is time to act. If there is enough water to cover the plunger then your task is simple, put the device in the toilet and plunge until the suspected blockage is gone.

5 – Heating or AC goes out

Aside from making your home uncomfortable, excessive heat or cold can also be damaging to your health. Here are a few things you can do to keep your HVAC system running smoothly and what you should do if it breaks.

–          Keep your system maintained:

Just like most other machines, the best way to avoid your HVAC system breaking down is to provide it with proper care and maintenance. If you have noticed a dip in performance, strange noises, or the filters are particularly dirty, then this could indicate that your HVAC system needs some maintenance.

–          Call a professional:

Fixing your heating and cooling system is not a do-it-yourself task. Improper care could result in more damage which will cost you even more time and money. If your system breaks down, then your best bet is to call a professional and have them take a look as soon as possible.

At PECO Heating & Cooling, we stand by our work, which is why we offer a 1-year parts and labor warranty on all our repairs. We have a team that offers service 24/7, and we offer same or next day services for all your heating and cooling, or electrical needs. Call us at (864)-639-2424 to schedule your appointment as soon as possible!