humidity control

How To Know if You Need Whole-Home Humidity Control Services in Bellaire, TX

Living in Bellaire, TX, means experiencing a subtropical humid climate for a significant part of the year. On certain days in the summer, the humidity can reach 90% and that can be stifling and suffocating.

While air conditioning systems help manage indoor temperatures, they might not always adequately control humidity levels. High indoor humidity can lead to various issues, affecting both your health and your home.

Here's how to determine if you need whole-home humidity control services to achieve optimal indoor comfort levels.

Understanding Indoor Humidity

Indoor humidity refers to the amount of moisture present in the air within your home. Ideally, indoor humidity levels should be between 30% and 50%. Levels outside this range can cause discomfort and damage.

High humidity levels are common in Bellaire, TX, due to its climate, and controlling these levels is crucial for maintaining a comfortable and healthy home environment.

Signs You Need Whole-Home Humidity Control

If you think you are used to the humid weather in Bellaire, think again. It's not only your health that can suffer due to long-term humid weather but also your home. Here are the key indicators to consider:

1. Persistent Dampness and Musty Odors

If you notice persistent dampness in your home or a musty odor, it's a clear sign of high humidity. Dampness can make your home feel uncomfortable and contribute to a musty smell.

This is often caused by mold and mildew growth. These odors can be particularly strong in basements, bathrooms, and closets.

2. Mold and Mildew Growth

Mold and mildew thrive in moist environments. If you see black or green spots on walls, ceilings, or other surfaces, it's a sign of mold growth due to high humidity.

Mold can cause serious health issues, including allergies, respiratory problems, and other infections, making it essential to control humidity levels.

3. Condensation on Windows

Condensation on windows, especially during the summer, indicates excessive indoor humidity. When warm, moist air comes into contact with a cooler surface like a window, it condenses into water droplets. Frequent condensation can damage window frames and sills, leading to rot and decay.

4. Warping and Damage to Wood

High humidity levels can cause wood to warp and swell. If you notice doors, windows, or wooden furniture becoming difficult to open or close, or if you see visible warping or cracking, it might be due to excessive moisture in the air.

5. Increased Allergy Symptoms

Excessive indoor humidity can exacerbate allergy symptoms. Dust mites, mold, and mildew thrive in humid conditions, leading to increased allergic reactions. If you or your family members experience worsened allergies or asthma symptoms at home, it might be due to high humidity levels.

6. Uncomfortable Indoor Environment

High humidity levels can make your home feel sticky and uncomfortable. Even with air conditioning, if you still feel hot and sticky indoors, it's likely due to excess moisture in the air. This discomfort can affect your overall well-being and make it difficult to relax at home.

7. High Energy Bills

Running your air conditioner constantly to combat humidity can lead to higher energy bills. Air conditioners are designed to cool the air, not necessarily to control humidity.

If you notice a significant increase in your energy bills during the humid months, it might be time to invest in a whole-home humidity control system.

Benefits of Whole-Home Humidity Control

Proper humidity levels make your home feel more comfortable, reducing that sticky feeling during the hot months. You can bear that sticky feeling for a little while, but after months and months, it can be torturous.

Controlling humidity helps prevent mold and mildew growth, reducing allergens and improving indoor air quality. Proper humidity levels prevent damage to wood, paint, and other materials, preserving your home's structure and aesthetics.

Maintaining optimal home humidity levels can reduce the load on your air conditioning system, leading to lower energy consumption and bills.

Types of Humidity Control Systems

So which humidity control system will work for your home? It's best to consult with an HVAC specialist about that. There are several types of humidity control systems available, each with its advantages:

Whole-Home Dehumidifiers

These systems are integrated with your existing HVAC system to control humidity throughout your home. They work by drawing in humid air, removing the moisture, and then circulating dry air back into your living spaces.

Standalone Dehumidifiers

These portable units can be placed in specific areas of your home, such as basements or bedrooms, to target high-humidity zones. While effective for smaller spaces, they are less comprehensive than whole-home systems.

Ventilation Systems

Proper ventilation can help manage humidity levels by bringing in fresh air and expelling moist indoor air. This can be achieved through exhaust fans, attic ventilation, and whole-house ventilation systems.

Smart Thermostats

Some smart thermostats have built-in humidity sensors and can work in conjunction with your HVAC system to maintain optimal home humidity levels. There are many good ones on the market right now with Nest being the most well known.

Choosing the Right Humidity Control Service

Start by having a professional HVAC technician assess your home's humidity levels and recommend the best solution. They can identify problem areas and suggest the most effective system for your needs.

System Compatibility

Ensure that the humidity control system is compatible with your existing HVAC system. A professional can help you choose a system that integrates seamlessly with your current setup.

Energy Efficiency

Look for energy-efficient systems that can help reduce your overall energy consumption. This not only saves you money but also benefits the environment.

Cost

While the initial investment in a whole-home humidity control system might seem high, consider the long-term benefits and savings on energy bills and potential home repairs. It could save you a ton in the long run.

Humidity Control Tips to Create a Comfortable Home Environment

It's easy to lament the fact that you live in such a subtropical humid climate like that of Bellaire, TX. But you don't have to live like this.

Following the humidity control tips laid out above, you can create a comfortable space in your home for your loved ones.

Need more help in this regard? McCann Services Air Conditioning & Heating has been offering AC services in Bellaire, Texas for over three decades now. Speak to our team about your HVAC needs and let us help you thrive in Bellaire's humid climate.


indoor air quality assessment

Why Spring Is the Best Time for an Indoor Air Quality Assessment in Bellaire, TX

Did you know that 4% of global deaths are attributed to poor air quality? That's 2.3 million preventable deaths in a single year. Failing to schedule an indoor air quality assessment in Bellaire, TX could put your health at risk.

Schedule your next assessment before spring weather rolls in. Why is spring the best time for indoor air quality testing? Read on to find out.

Spring Indoor Air Quality Testing

As spring weather rolls in, allergy season will as well. Poor outdoor air quality can contribute to poor indoor air quality. Seven of Texas' ten largest counties, including Harris County, received an F grade for ozone pollution

Neglecting to schedule testing during the spring can mean a difficult (and unhealthy) summer. Here are a few reasons why spring is the best time to schedule an assessment. 

It's Prime Allergy Season

As spring weather heats up, plants that were laying dormant over winter will come back to life. Flowers will start pushing through the soil and producing pollen. Grass and trees will add color to your previously dull yard.

While the transition from winter to spring is beautiful, it releases more pollen into the air. Spring is allergy season.

Increased rain and humidity could lead to mold and mildew growth within your home. Spores can proliferate on grass, rotting wood, or damp leaves. They can spread through your air vents or grow in damp areas.

These allergens can affect your home's indoor air quality. Consider having your air quality and HVAC system checked.

HVAC maintenance services ensure your unit is functioning as intended before temperatures rise. As part of your AC tune-up, ask to have your HVAC filter replaced.

The filter will collect tiny airborne particles, including pollen. If the filter clogs, the HVAC system will struggle to push air through. You may need more expensive AC repairs if the system breaks down.

Your HVAC technician can replace the filter to ensure better airflow. They can recommend a new filter with a stronger MERV rating. These filters are more effective at catching tiny airborne particles.

Replacing your air filter will help you breathe easier at home. You can minimize allergens for better air quality. 

Spring Cleaning Affects Air Quality

With warmer temperatures rolling in, you're probably ready to store away blankets and start cleaning. About 80% of people plan to spring clean (a 10% increase from three years ago). About 45% take three or more days to fully spring clean their homes.

Spring is a time for airing out your home. Throwing the windows open, however, can invite pollen and other airborne particles inside.

Your cleaning habits can also contribute to poor air quality. Many household cleaners contain volatile organic compounds (VOCs). VOCs can contribute to allergic reactions, headaches, and respiratory problems.

There's a link between exposure to chemicals from cleaning supplies and respiratory illnesses. Products that contain VOCs include:

  • Oven cleaners
  • Air fresheners
  • Dry cleaning chemicals
  • Aerosol spray products
  • Chlorine bleach
  • Furniture and floor polish
  • Rug and upholstery cleaners
  • Detergent and dishwashing liquid

Avoid mixing bleaching with ammonia. The combination can create gasses that cause breathing problems and death.

Spring cleaning using these products can release chemicals throughout your home. Consider using natural cleaners to minimize pollution. You can mix white vinegar with water as a low-cost alternative.

Schedule indoor air quality testing after completing your spring cleaning. You may recognize it's time to switch to alternative cleaning options.

Summer AC Repairs

Most HVAC units break down during the summer (when they're working harder to keep homes cool). Many HVAC companies are overwhelmed by requests during this time.

Scheduling an air quality assessment during the spring can help avoid an emergency. Instead, you can ensure your unit is functioning effectively before temperatures rise.

Consider investing in routine maintenance. A technician can keep your unit running at its best year-round. 

Improving Your Indoor Air Quality

Before your air quality deteriorates, contact an experienced indoor air quality specialist. They can make customized recommendations based on your needs.

They may recommend installing humidifiers, UV air treatment systems, or electronic air cleaners. Their solutions can keep bacteria and pollutants from spreading throughout your home. 

Recognize Pollution Sources

An experienced air quality specialist can recognize where airborne pollutants within your home are coming from. These sources may include:

  • Fuel-powered engines in your garage
  • Gas stoves or unvented heaters
  • Radon gas rising from the ground
  • Your cleaning supplies
  • Nearby plants
  • An unserviced HVAC

Recognizing where the pollutants are coming from will allow you to take preventative action. For example, perhaps your HVAC system has contributed to mold growth within your home. 

Your HVAC and Mold

When you leave your HVAC system on cool during the cold winter months, moisture in your home will condense. Mold will grow. When you start your HVAC system up for the spring, these spores will spread throughout your home.  

Mold can grow in your HVAC system's drain pan. Your AC unit or high-efficiency furnace draws moisture from the air.

The moisture condensates in the drain pain. If neglected, the water can contribute to mold growth.

Your HVAC technician can check the condensate drain line. This pipe removes water from the drain pan. If the line isn't flushed, sludge can build, causing mold.

The evaporator coil draws heat and moisture from your indoor air. It can become coated with dust, causing mold to grow.

Schedule routine air conditioner cleaning and maintenance checks. A technician will assess your unit to ensure it's running properly. With their help, you can minimize mold growth for better air quality. 

Schedule an Indoor Air Quality Assessment 

Don't wait until a hot summer in Bellaire, TX to request an indoor air quality assessment. Instead, call your local HVAC company right away. They can assess your home's air quality and HVAC unit.

Trust our team at McCann Services to clear the air and improve your home's indoor air quality. We cater our services to each household's unique needs.

Rely on our skilled technicians and three decade's worth of experience. Contact us today to schedule your air quality assessment. 


furnace repair

7 Signs You Need to Hire Furnace Repair Services in Houston, TX

83% of newly built homes in America utilize forced-air furnaces. 

In Houston, there may not be much use for your furnace during most of the year. The last thing you want when the temperature dips is a furnace that doesn't work. Fortunately, your furnace will let you know when it has problems, so you can fix them if you know how to recognize them.

In today's post, we will tell you 7 of the biggest signs that you need furnace repair. Getting prompt furnace repair services will ensure that you don't end up with costlier issues, or worse, needing total furnace replacement. Keep reading and make heating your home in the winter a priority.

1. Not Producing Enough Heat

One of the clearest signs your furnace will give you that it's got problems is when heating your home becomes difficult. When you turn up the temperature on your thermostat, your furnace should kick in and start producing heat immediately.

When you don't feel the heat, you've got furnace problems. The issue could be as simple as a faulty thermostat that you can replace for $100 or more intensive issues like a broken blower motor or malfunctioning pilot light. To properly diagnose and fix the problem, you need an HVAC professional. 

2. Making Unfortunate Sounds

All types of furnaces make noise as they fire up to heat your home. This should raise an alarm, but when your furnace won't stop making noise or makes unusual noises, it's cause for concern. 

If you hear loud banging, rattling, or squealing, the best thing to do is turn off your furnace and call in a professional. Banging and rattling could signal loose or broken internal components, so continuing to use the furnace could risk further damage.

Similarly, squealing noises could have something to do with the ignition system. If your furnace ends up with a resulting gas buildup, it could become dangerous over time.

3. Making Unfortunate Odors

You'll notice a trend of relying on your senses to detect furnace problems. It's not unusual to smell fuel odors when you turn the furnace on for the first time after a long period of dormancy, but this smell dissipates in a minute or two.

If a fuel odor appears out of nowhere and doesn't go away, you must turn your system off immediately. It could be a minor issue, like dirt or debris clogging the unit, but the worst scenario is that you have a gas leak.

Gas leaks are extremely dangerous. The more gas that builds up in your home, the greater the risk of explosion. It also poses a major carbon monoxide poisoning risk, which can be deadly.

4. Cycling Problems

Short cycling is a common issue with older furnaces as they wear out and struggle to reach the desired temperature in your room. You'll notice this behavior when your furnace frequently turns on and off, but it could signal a few other issues beyond age-related ones.

For instance, it could be something simple like a clogged air filter. As a furnace owner, it's important to change your air filter regularly. These prevent allergens and contaminants from entering your home, but the filters will become clogged over time.

The more clogged they are, the harder the furnace will have to work, which can create a lot of wear and tear. Simply changing the filters will ensure your system works well for the long haul.

Cycling issues could also be related to airflow or thermostat issues. If you're diligent about changing your air filter and you're still experiencing cycling problems, get a professional in for an HVAC inspection.

5. Poor Indoor Air Quality

Americans spend about 90% of their time indoors, much of which is spent in the home. For that reason, indoor air quality should always be a major priority for every homeowner, especially here in the South, where the muggy air is a breeding ground for bacteria.

Often, you can tell if your indoor air quality is suffering. When you start to notice more debris, dust, and allergens in your home, it's time to start considering your air quality. 

As mentioned above, this is most likely due to a clogged air filter. This is a simple bit of HVAC maintenance you can perform on your own, every 90 days or so. It could also have something to do with the filtration system, so regular professional HVAC maintenance is also integral to maintaining air quality.

6. Visible Damage

The average homeowner doesn't spend much time inspecting their furnace for damage. Most types of furnaces should last between 15-20 years, or more with proper maintenance. Near the end of that lifespan, however, you may start to notice visible signs of wear and tear.

Things to look for include cracks, rust, and corrosion, which compromise the structural integrity of the unit itself. If you can see visible damage on the outside of the unit, you can bet that there's as much on the inside. An HVAC professional can tell you if it's time for repairs or replacement.

7. Spiking Energy Bills

One of the clearest signs that you need furnace repair services is a spiking energy bill. When your bills go up suddenly and severely, it tells you that your furnace is using a lot more energy than usual. 

A furnace's energy efficiency is directly related to how well it's functioning. Of course, using less energy is great for the environment, but it's also important for your finances. As soon as you notice higher energy bills, schedule an appointment to have your unit inspected.

Simple additions can improve your HVAC system's efficiency. A smart thermostat, for example, can make it so that you only use your furnace at certain times of day or in certain parts of your home. This alone will greatly reduce your energy usage and bills.

Get the Best Furnace Repair Services in Houston

All of these signs indicate some problem with your furnace, so it's important to get furnace repair services as soon as you notice them. To get your furnace repaired by the top HVAC company in Houston, look no further than McCann Services.

For over 30 years, we've been helping Houston residents maintain and repair their HVAC systems. Contact us today to schedule an inspection to get your furnace repaired and working optimally.


heating maintenance

5 Benefits of Regular Heating Maintenance in Bellaire, TX

With an excellent education system and crime rates lower than the U.S. average, there's a lot to love about Bellaire, TX. It's undoubtedly charming, too, with its tree-lined streets, majestic parks, and beautiful houses.

However, Bellaire also has downsides, including its hot, sometimes brutal summers. So, residents have no choice but to rely more on air conditioners. No wonder they spend $3,240 yearly on electricity, 55% more than the U.S. average!

Sounds familiar?

If so, here's a tip to help you control your bills during fall and winter: regular heating maintenance. This, plus regular AC tune-ups, can help you save on energy bills. Moreover, it can help keep your home cozy, warm, and safe, especially in a rare (yet possible) snow event.

So, read on, as we'll discuss how heating maintenance in Bellaire, TX, can benefit you. 

1. Services That Go Beyond Cleaning

According to Energy Star, the top causes of HVAC inefficiency and failure are dirt and neglect. This is why it recommends hiring professional HVAC contractors for routine maintenance. For your heating system, the ideal schedule is every fall, before the peak heating season.

While keeping your system clean is essential, professional Bellaire, TX, heating services do more than that. During a maintenance service, an experienced HVAC technician will:

  • Thoroughly inspect your system and identify any potential problems
  • Clean all essential components (e.g., air filters, burners, and heating elements)
  • Lubricate moving parts
  • Calibrate and fine-tune the system's settings
  • Test the heating system's functionality and efficiency

After that, expect the HVAC expert to make recommendations based on their findings.

Suppose your furnace's burner still works but has developed rusting. The pro may recommend replacing it soon, as rust flakes can clog the burner ports. 

2. Maintain Your Heating System's Efficiency

Inadequate airflow, often caused by dirt, dust, and debris, can lower your heating system's efficiency.

A perfect example is poor airflow caused by a dirty air filter. Since the filth on the filter acts as an obstruction, it reduces the amount of air entering the system. With less air to heat, your system works harder as it tries to compensate by pulling more air in.

That increases the heater's workload, leading to increased energy bills.

Another example is when gas furnace burners get clogged with dirt (and rust flakes). These clogs impair the burners' ability to create flames that burn evenly. As a result, the system's heating efficiency drops, forcing it to work harder and burn through more gas.

That wastes resources and money. You don't want that, especially not as natural gas prices typically rise during winter.

Since professional heating maintenance involves a thorough cleaning job, it helps keep your system efficient. 

3. Keep Heating-Related Dangers at Bay

Heating fires are among the top culprits behind home fires in the United States. Indeed, they were the second leading cause of U.S. home fires in 2021, linked to 32,200 incidents. They caused hundreds of injuries and nearly half a billion dollars in property loss.

Failure to clean the equipment and delaying necessary heating repair can contribute to such risks.

A gas leak is another danger that faulty or ill-maintained heating systems can cause. This can happen due to pipe or valve damage or a cracked heat exchanger. Either way, it's dangerous as it can leak natural gas or toxic gases, such as carbon monoxide (CO), into your home.

That's another reason to hire reputable HVAC companies in Bellaire, TX. With their comprehensive maintenance services, they'll clean and clear your system of debris that can cause fires. They'll also inform you of any severe issues that require urgent repairs. 

4. Minimize Indoor Air Pollutants

Significant dirt build-up can cause your heating system to produce annoying whistling noises. Your heater can also reintroduce pollutants into your indoor air.

Take a clogged air filter as an example. When the heating system pushes air through the filter, it can knock dust and dirt loose. These particles can then mix with the air, lowering indoor air quality (IAQ).

Poor IAQ can negatively affect your health and the well-being of your family. For instance, it can irritate the eyes, nose, and lungs and cause headaches or fatigue. It can also trigger allergies and asthma and worsen the symptoms of existing health woes.

So, before any of that happens, have your heating system undergo comprehensive maintenance.

It's also wise to ask the HVAC technician to teach you how to replace your air filters. They'll change or clean it for you during the service, but you should still learn how as you may have to do it yourself every one to three months. You may have to do it more often if you have pets, cook a lot (with a gas stove or oven), or use a wood-burning fireplace. 

5. Prolong Your System's Life

Whenever your system has to work harder than it should, it develops premature wear and tear.

Let's use impaired airflow caused by dirty filters as an example. As mentioned above, this forces your heating system to work harder. It does so by prolonging the heating cycle to reach your desired temperature.

In a furnace, that can mean the heating element stays hot for extended periods. Another is the system's blower motor having to run longer than necessary.

Over time, all that added but unnecessary strain can cause the components to overheat. This chips away at their lifespan, ultimately leading to their early failure.

Now, remember that new heating installation can cost thousands of dollars. That's why you want your existing system to last as long as it should. For the same reason, shower it with the attention and TLC it deserves by having it tuned up every fall. 

Reap These Benefits of Regular Heating Maintenance

Regular professional heating maintenance can help make your system perform efficiently and safely. It also helps maintain optimal IAQ while protecting your equipment from early failure.

So, as part of your home winter prep, have your heating system tuned up as early as fall.

Our team of HVAC experts here at McCann Services can help. For over 60 years, Bellaire and Greater Houston residents have relied on our high-quality services.

Call us today to schedule your HVAC maintenance! We'll happily ensure your system keeps you warm and cozy throughout winter.