The Fashion of Wearing White and Labor Day

September 1st, 2014

You may have heard about the fashion faux pas of wearing white after Labor Day. In the present, this tradition is usually treated as old fashioned and a joke. Few people will criticize you for wearing white articles of clothing after the first Monday in September, or even take notice of it except to wonder why it was ever a major concern at all.

Where did this tradition of white clothing going out of fashion after Labor Day come from, and why did it fade away like colorful fabric washed in a hot load in the washing machine?

In general, white makes sense for the heat of summer. Light-colored clothing reflects away the radiant heat of the sun, instead of absorbing it the way dark colors do, so for thousands of years of human history people have preferred to wear white clothing during the hotter months.

However, the idea of white as strictly fashionable during the summer season only emerged in the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries—the time when the very concept of “fashion” began to spread across the Western Hemisphere.

It was only the highest level of post-Civil War society in the U.S. that strict and often bizarre rules for fashion controlled whether someone was in with the “in” crowd. Compared to our ideas of what’s fashionable today, the Czars of Style in the 1880s were true despots. Things as trivial as sleeve length could determine whether a woman in high society—no matter her level of wealth—was fashionable or a pariah.

Wearing white during the only summer, when it was common for weddings and outdoor parties, was only of these restrictive society rules. When the U.S. government made Labor Day a federal holiday in 1894, the Fashion Czars gained a definite cut-off point for when wearing white was no longer “acceptable” in the upper echelons of wealthy society.

For many decades, this rule only applied to a small number of millionaire socialites in a few big cities, but in the 1950s it reached general fashion magazines that were read around the country and started to affect more people.

But time eventually broke apart this odd rule, and during the 1970s fashion became more individual. Some fashion legends, like Coco Chanel, also purposely rejected the restriction and wore white throughout the year. Today, the “no white after Labor Day rule” is little more than an amusing gag to tease friends, and almost nobody takes it seriously.

Whatever you choose to wear after Labor Day (and if it’s white, we won’t tease!), everyone here at AccuTemp Heating and Air Conditioning hopes you have a happy end of the summer and great plans for the fall!

Duct Repair Increases Energy Efficiency: Here’s How

August 27th, 2014

Today’s air conditioners are very energy efficient – but that efficiency can disappear if your air ducts are faulty. These can easily be forgotten because it isn’t visible like the other parts of your air conditioner, but it can and will wear down over time. Duct tape won’t repair it, so if you truly want to have your ducts in St. Matthews repaired, call the experts who can help: AccuTemp Heating and Air Conditioning.

Signs It’s Time to Fix Your Ductwork

Here are some common signs that it’s time to repair your ducts in St. Matthews:

  • Constant whistling noises in your vents – whistling noises usually indicate air escaping as it passes through the duct.
  • Odors – unpleasant odors can indicate growths in your ducts such as mold or mildew, or that an odor is being pulled into your air duct through leaks.
  • Loud banging sounds at start-up – loud banging noises can indicate that sections may be collapsed.
  • Loss of air – faulty ductwork can be responsible for up to 30% of total air loss in your home, which can be evident from high monthly energy bills.
  • Uneven cooling – distinct hot and cold spots throughout your home can indicate that some vents are working better than others, or that significant amounts of air are leaking from certain vents.
  • Visible holes and cracks – any openings result in air loss for your system.
  • Excess humidity – not only does air escape when issues are present, but the outside air can get in. If you notice a higher level of humidity in your indoor air, it could be extra moisture coming in through leaky vents.

Increase Energy Efficiency with Duct Repair

All of the above situations contribute to reduced energy efficiency. Why? Your air conditioner has to compensate for the loss of air, and it does this by working harder. Any time your AC has to work harder, it needs more electricity to do so.

If you are seeing the signs of faulty ductwork, call the company that can help you professionally repair your ducts in St. Matthews: AccuTemp Heating and Air Conditioning.

How UV Germicidal Lights Help Protect Your Indoor Air Quality

August 20th, 2014

Mechanical air filters are great for indoor air quality, but capturing certain kinds of biological contaminants with air filters alone can be challenging. This is because many bacteria and viruses are very small, and can slip through the filter media. Additionally, even if they are captured in a filter, they are not eradicated. To truly remove biological contaminants from your home, you may want to consider an option like UV germicidal lights for your Jeffersontown property. UV germicidal lights can be easily added to your current air conditioning system by trained professionals from Accutemp Heating and Air Conditioning.

What Do UV Germicidal Lights Do?

UV germicidal lights emit radiation from UV-C rays. These types of rays kill the DNA of cells and destroy the life-sustaining proteins the cells need to reproduce and survive. So not only do UV lights kill existing biological contaminants; they also destroy any ability for them to reproduce, thereby eradicating them from your air conditioning system. UV lights are over 99% effective in destroying contaminants.

Where Are UV Lights Placed?

UV lights can be easily placed in a variety of spots, but two of the best places are the evaporator coils and ductwork. This is because growths like mold, mildew, algae and fungi thrive in cool, moist, dark places.

What Are the Other Benefits of UV Lighting?

Aside from destroying biological contaminants, UV lights also:

  • Eliminate odors
  • Destroy volatile organic compounds (VOCs)
  • Create negative hydroxyl ions

Do UV Lights Filter the Air?

UV germicidal lights do not filter pollutants out of the air, so they are often paired with an air filtration system. Additionally, UV lights do not attract particles to them; particles have to pass underneath the light to be affected by the radiation.

If you are concerned about biological contaminants in your home, one of the best options available for both your health and peace of mind is the installation of UV germicidal lights to your Jeffersontown AC.

Correct installation is important to proper functioning, so be sure to hire professionals, like the trained experts at Accutemp Heating and Air Conditioning. Call us today!

Why Has Indoor Air Quality Become Such a Major Concern?

August 13th, 2014

At AccuTemp Heating and Air Conditioning, we offer a range of services to homeowners to help increase indoor air quality in Louisville, KY. This includes duct cleaning, duct repair, duct sealing, and installation of air filtrations systems, humidifiers, dehumidifiers, and UV germicidal lights.

But why has protecting the indoor air in homes become so important that many professional HVAC companies now offer specific services for it? You’ve probably thought to yourself when hearing about indoor air quality: “Is the air inside my house really that bad?”

The answer to that is… yes, it can be that bad. In fact, studies have shown that indoor air can be 100 times worse than outdoor air.

This information comes to us from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, which has identified a decrease in indoor air quality as one of the major health threats in the country today. The EPA’s Indoor Environments Division (EID) does continuing research and education to combat the health risks from poor quality air inside homes, schools, and businesses.

The main reason that indoor air quality is under threat is that the heat sealing on buildings has significantly improved over the past few decades. To conserve energy, homes and other buildings have strong seals against the outdoor air: this means less heat loss during cold weather, and less heat gain during warm weather, resulting in improved comfort and a reduction in stress on heating and air conditioning systems. But a side effect of making homes nearly airtight is that very little fresh air can circulate through the rooms and remove the stale, dust-filled air. The stale air remains, and contamination starts to build up inside the ventilation system, creating a reservoir of pollutants that can negatively affect people’s health. The lack of outdoor ventilation also results in trapping gas particles from household chemicals and emission from appliances.

Although a home can increase its ventilation to remove some of this contamination by opening up windows and doors, this is not practical during all weather conditions and during long stretches of the year. This is where professional indoor air quality services come in handy: with the right filters and regular duct cleaning, you can vastly improve your indoor air quality in Louisville, KY.

We will find the right solution for cleansing the air you and your family breathe every day.

If you are concerned about the well being of the air in your home, contact indoor air quality experts at AccuTemp Heating and Air Conditioning.

How Much Space Do I Need for Geothermal Installation?

August 6th, 2014

If you know a little bit about how a geothermal heat pump works to provide comfort for a home, you’ll know that the loops that carry the refrigerant (a mix of water and antifreeze) need sufficient space in order to work correctly. This is often a point of concern for homeowners debating geothermal installation in Crestwood, KY: do they enough space on their property to make geothermal heating and cooling feasible?

Before you start to doubt if your property has the space necessary, schedule an appointment with specialists to give you a solid idea. AccuTemp Heating and Air Conditioning has done numerous geothermal installations in the greater Louisville area, and our technicians will find the best way to fit your property for the underground loop systems. (And if your home and property are unsuited to geothermal energy, our specialists will find an excellent energy-efficient alternative).

How much space do I need for geothermal?

There isn’t a simple answer to this, because geothermal systems can use a variety of loop configurations, and homes have different heating needs based on their size and their insulation level. The condition of the soil and the landscape will also affect the amount of space necessary.

The most common loop configuration is horizontal, where the loops lay out approximately 6–10 feet below the frost line. This is the most space-consuming configuration, but also one of the most effective and low-cost; if you have sufficient room from horizontal loops, this is the best option. Horizontal loops usually need 400–600 feet of loops for each ton of heating necessary for your home. An average sized home uses a 3-ton unit, and would need 1200–1800 feet of loops.

If you lack space for horizontal loops, geothermal drilling can put the loops in a vertical configuration, which buries them much deeper. This takes longer to install and costs more, but it will work well for smaller properties. Because the temperature is more stable at the depth the vertical loops are placed, the loops can be shorter.

When it comes to the space necessary to install a geothermal system in your home, the short answer is: We don’t know… yet. But it is easy to find out.

Call AccuTemp Heating and Air Conditioning and arrange for one of our geothermal experts to survey your home and talk to you about your options for geothermal installation in Crestwood, KY.

Why Are Commercial AC Units Often on the Roof?

July 30th, 2014

Whenever you’re up high enough to catch a glimpse of the tops of some commercial buildings, you may notice the large AC units resting on the rooftops. Of course, you rarely see residential air conditioners installed so high above the ground, so why must commercial AC units be positioned on the roof?

While not all commercial units are on the roof, it’s the ideal location to choose during commercial air conditioning installation in many instances. Commercial air conditioners are usually installed as packaged units, which means all of the components of a standard split-system air conditioner, such as the ones found in many homes, are contained in a single cabinet. Packaged units, therefore, are larger than most residential units. Besides, commercial air conditioning units must cool very large spaces and run for long periods of time, so they tend to have a much higher cooling capacity than residential systems.

Business owners like to keep their property as aesthetically pleasing as possible for potential customers, employees, or tenants, so a large outdoor unit may be somewhat off-putting in certain situations. Furthermore, if an air conditioning unit is installed outside, it’s more susceptible to vandalism, which could mean unexpected clean-up costs you won’t have to deal with for a rooftop unit.

Another big plus for business owners is that rooftop units cause fewer workplace disturbances. Because these large units must work hard to cool large spaces, they may be somewhat noisy and distracting in a work environment or for the tenants in a building. Keeping the unit outside eliminates such distractions. Furthermore, the occupants of your commercial property won’t have to deal with technicians whenever you call for maintenance or repairs.

If you need a new commercial AC unit, don’t trust just any air conditioning service to get the job done. This is a job best left to the commercial specialists, since some technicians may not be as familiar with these large, complex units.

For professional commercial air conditioning installation in Crestwood, call the commercial HVAC technicians at AccuTemp Heating and Air Conditioning today!

The Differences between Air Purification and Air Filtration Systems

July 23rd, 2014

Indoor air quality is a big part of your overall indoor comfort; this is why AccuTemp Heating and Air Conditioning offers indoor air quality services to our customers. Two great ways to improve indoor air quality is through the use of air purification and air filtration systems. Each does something different to improve your air quality, so understanding how an air filtration system works in your Clarksville home versus an air purification system can go a long way toward determining what is best for your needs.

 

What Is the Difference?

The main difference between an air purification system and an air filtration system is this: an air filtration system traps and removes particles from your air while an air purification system destroys pollutants.

What Types of Air Filters Are There?

There are several kinds of air filters available, but they are divided into two main types:

  • Mechanical filters
  • Electronic air cleaners

Mechanical filters come in a frame and act as a sieve to the air coming into your home. They strain the air as it passes through, trapping particles in the media of the filter. Mechanical filters can be pleated and/or extended, and should be changed every 3 months.

There are 2 types of electronic air cleaners:

  • Electrostatic precipitators
  • Ion generators

Both types use electrostatic attraction to capture particles, but there is a difference in the way each manages the particles. With an electrostatic precipitator, air is drawn into an ionization chamber where the particles are charged; these particles are then passed over oppositely-charged plates that capture and collect the particles. With an ion generator, particles are also charged, but they are not collected; instead, they will attach themselves to other oppositely-charged particles and then collect on surfaces in your home.

What Is an Air Purifier?

An air purifier destroys biological material. There are several types of air purifiers, but the most commonly-used one is UV germicidal lighting. UV lights utilize the radiation in UV-C rays to destroy the DNA of pollutants, rendering them unable to reproduce or sustain life. UV germicidal lights are good for removing biological pollutants such as:

  • Viruses
  • Bacteria
  • Allergens
  • Mold spores

One item to note is that UV lights do not remove dust or dirt.

Put Them Together for Total Effectiveness

The best way to get the best air quality in your home is to use both of these products in combination with one another. Pairing an air filtration system in your Clarksville home with UV germicidal lights is equal to a one-two punch for indoor air pollutants.

Interested in finding out how an air filtration system can help you? Call AccuTemp Heating and Air Conditioning today and schedule an appointment with one of our experts.

 

 

 

Why Do I Need a Dehumidifier in My Home?

July 14th, 2014

Humidity is the level of water moisture in the air. Extremes—air that is too dry, air that is too damp—can lead to a multitude of issues in a home that affect comfort, energy use, health, and furnishings. However, installation of a humidifier or a dehumidifier from a professional can combat these problems and create the ideal humidity balance inside a home.

AccuTemp Heating and Air Conditioning handles installation of humidifiers and dehumidifiers in The Highlands, KY, as well as other indoor air quality services such as air filters and UV sanitizing lights. Call our skilled team today to talk about your option to achieve comfortable and safe humidity levels in your home.

Why you may need to install a dehumidifier

In this post we’ll concentrate on the dehumidifier, which is often necessary during a hot and damp summer. You will probably already have a good idea of when a dehumidifier is necessary: uncomfortable, sticky air inside your home; water condensation along the windows and walls; and towels that dry slowly.

Here are some of the specific reasons you should have a dehumidifier installed:

  • Comfort: High humidity makes it difficult for the human body to release heat through sweat. This means more trapped heat that makes a hot day feel even hotter. Lowering the humidity in your home will make summer heat waves much more bearable.
  • Energy savings: In connection with feeling more comfortable in the summer weather, you will need to run your air conditioning system much less. Dropping humidity from an unpleasant 80% to a balanced 50% can mean lowering your air conditioning usage by a third… and that’s a difference you will notice on your utility bills.
  • Improved health: High humidity encourages the growth of a number of toxic molds that will damage your indoor air quality and will have severe effects on people with allergies and asthma. It can also lead to respiratory problems in otherwise healthy people.
  • Water damage: Layers of moisture are destructive for many surfaces, especially wood, which can develop wood rot. Mold and mildew will also cause rapid damage to a house.

Have a whole-house dehumidifier professionals installed

The proper way to combat high humidity is with a dedicated whole-house dehumidifier fit into your HVAC system. A standard air conditioner will lower humidity somewhat, but this is not what an AC is designed for and is rarely sufficient to combat high water vapor levels. Call on a professional to find the right size and type of dehumidifier for your home (you don’t want the humidity level to drop too far) and install it.

AccuTemp Heating and Air Conditioning carries a variety of dehumidifiers for The Highlands, KY. Let our indoor air quality team help you find the right one and eliminate your home’s damp air.

What Are the Benefits of Packaged Air Conditioning Units?

July 7th, 2014

If you’re used to seeing home air conditioning systems, you’ve probably become accustomed to split systems—those that rely on both an indoor and outdoor unit to remove heat from your home and release it outdoors. Usually, an indoor unit with an evaporator coil helps to absorb heat in your home and circulate cool air, while a large outdoor unit with a condenser coil and a compressor dissipates the heat into the air.

This type of system is very common for residential use, but there are other options. Packaged air conditioning units are self-contained systems, meaning that the indoor and outdoor components typically separate in most air conditioning systems are located in one unit. For some types of homes and for commercial properties, this can have many benefits.

Ease of Maintenance and Service

One benefit of packaged air conditioning units is that maintenance and service are often easier when an air conditioning technician can access all of the different parts of your system from one location. Most systems separate the evaporator and condenser coil, so a maintenance technician may need to spend a lot of time in your home to inspect and clean all components. With packaged units, a technician can inspect every area of your AC with ease. Similarly, technicians can often locate repair issues more easily when you experience problems with your unit.

Convenience of a Single Unit

Furthermore, a single unit may be more convenient for homeowners and businesses that have special requirements for space and design. Packaged air conditioning can be installed in many ways including wall-mounted, window, and rooftop units. Wall-mounted and rooftop units can remain fairly hidden from view while continuing to function like any other system, using the building’s ductwork to cool one or multiple rooms. For homes without ducts or those without space for an outdoor unit, a window or wall mounted packaged unit can be the perfect solution.

Accutemp Heating and Air Conditioning offers professional installation on packaged air conditioning units in the New Albany area. Call us today!

The Famous Painting of the Declaration of Independence Isn’t What You Think It Is

July 4th, 2014

If you grew up in the United States, you probably first saw John Trumbull’s painting of the Signing of the Declaration of Independence in an elementary schoolbook. This oil-on-canvas 12’ x 18’ painting hangs in the rotunda of the United States Capitol in Washington, D.C. It is one of the most famous symbols of freedom in the country and almost every citizen can conjure it from memory.

Except… the painting isn’t of the singing of the Declaration of Independence. The actual title of the work is Declaration of Independence, and although it does portray an important moment in the history of the document that announced the Thirteen Colonies’ decision to break away from British rule, the event in the painting occurred on June 28, 1776, not July 4, 1776.

John Trumbull, a Connecticut native who fought in the Revolutionary War and whose father was the state governor, was commissioned to create the painting in 1817. He did painstaking research on the figures in the picture and also visited Independence Hall to see the actual chamber where the Second Continental Congress met. Trumbull only included 42 of the original 56 signers, because he could not find adequate likenesses for 14 or them, and added a few figures who were not present (most of whom declined to sign the actual document). In fact, the men depicted in the painting had never been present in the same room at one time.

So if the painting does not portray the singing of the Declaration of Independence, what is happening in the image? The Trumbull’s scene depicts the presentation of the draft of the declaration to the Continental Congress for editing and approval. The five-man drafting committee (John Adams, Roger Sherman, Robert R. Livingston, Thomas Jefferson, and Benjamin Franklin) is handing over their finished work, which congress would then edit carefully over the next few days before voting on it and signing it on the day that we now celebrate as the start of the United States of America.

One last, odd, fact: two of the five-man drafting committee, John Adams and Thomas Jefferson, both died on the July 4—although many years later.

Our family at AccuTemp Heating & Air Conditioning hopes that your Fourth of July (or Twenty-Eighth of June if you decided to start celebrating early) is a memorable and happy one.