If you spend any amount of time online, you’ve seen the variety of quotes and memes about we’d like to get back to some “certain” and “precedented” times. We’re weary from living through 2020’s crazy events, and we’re sick of hearing “the new normal” – but we’d sure as heck like to start settling back into some kind of normal!

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So, without using the pandemic buzz words, let’s just say we’re experiencing something “different” this year, and that we’re all doing our best in spite of the difficulties. American families are working hard to do their best to care for yourself and your family during both health and economics uncertainties. Everything is topsy-turvy, and the long-term stress can take its toll. The sanctuary our homes provide is something we might take for granted during “precedented” times. But the importance of home comfort shouldn’t be underestimated right now. It’s where we now spend much more of our time. If we must be “stuck” at home more than ever, we deserve to be as comfortable as we can be.

As an essential business, Arendosh is available to assist homeowners like you across the Pittsburgh area. If you find yourself needing immediate repairs, give us a call today, and we’ll do our best to take care of your ASAP. We’re doing all we can to support our community and keep our local families well at home.

As you and your family continue to practice social distancing – which includes everything from keeping your distance from others while shopping to far fewer in-person events with friends and family – your home comfort has never mattered more. And since the health guidelines have limited what activities are available to us, we’re spending time indoors, the air quality, and not just the temperature, can make a difference in how you feel. Here are a few reminders about the simple steps you can take today to take care of your air for your family.

Keep the Air Circulating in Your Home

It’s important to keep the air moving around your home so your family is breathing fresh, clean air. To do this, turn on the circulate feature on your thermostat to keep the air moving through your filtration system. This will ensure the air is flowing through the filter and getting cleaned more often. If you have an iComfort® Ultra Smart Thermostat, check out this video to see how you can adjust your fan mode. Other options for moving air include using a fan or two and opening the windows on days when the temperature is mild.

Replace or Upgrade Your Filter

We can’t stress enough the importance of routinely changing your filters with the change in the seasons to keep the dust and allergens in your indoor air to a minimum. But now is a good time to double check and ensure your filter is clean. If it’s not, replace it immediately and consider an upgrade to a higher-efficiency filter, if you aren’t already using them. When looking at air filters, you should look at the MERV rating, or Minimum Efficiency Reporting Value. This measures how successfully it filters pollutants. The higher the MERV rating, the higher the percentage of small-sized particles that are trapped by the filter. It is these fine-sized particles (smaller than 2.5 microns) that pass through our nose unfiltered and are known to possibly cause respiratory issues.

Flat-panel fiberglass filters, or washable filters, are the most basic and economic filters, and they typically rank between 1 and 4 on the MERV register. These filters are designed to protect your HVAC equipment from damage, not to clean your air. Pleated media filters are better and are rated between 5 and 16, but we advise that you settle for nothing less than a MERV 13you’re your HVAC system allows for it. Keep in mind that many of the filters available in the market are very restrictive to airflow at higher efficiencies, but we recommend the Healthy Climate Solutions™ filters from Lennox, as they are designed to provide minimal restriction to air flow while providing MERV 13 and MERV 16 filtration efficiencies. 

Although the materials in these filters do a great job of filtering particles from the air, please note that material from the filters cannot be repurposed into masks. Lennox MERV16 filters contain a glass backing that make them unsafe for any personal use. They should only be used for filtration associated with compatible HVAC systems.

High Efficiency Particulate Air (HEPA) filters are regarded as the gold standard in air filtration, because they’re usually in use at hospitals. They’re effective at trapping 99.97–99.99% of indoor pollutants, including pollen, pet dander and smoke.

Get Your Best Night’s Sleep

There’s a direct correlation between your body’s temperature and sleep cycle. Research suggests that the ideal condition for sleep sits somewhere between 60 and 67 degrees. If that seems on the cool side, there’s a reason: your core body temperature drops to a lower level during sleep. An overly warm temperature interferes with your brain’s messages that it’s time to get some shut-eye. (Yes, the winters in Western Pennsylvania can be brutal at times, but good sleeping whether is an underrated perk of living where we experience all four seasons!)

Adjust Your Temperature for Your Fitness Routine

As we’re all sticking to social distancing guidelines, many of our routines have required adjusting, including how, when, and where you do your fitness routine. If you’re working out at home now, you may want to look up how to adjust the temperature for workouts accordingly. For example, practicing traditional yoga calls for a temperature between 70 and 76 degrees, but you might want to raise or lower your thermostat by a few degrees depending on your personal preference. 

You also want to keep in mind your home’s humidity, airborne pollutants and even a general perception of how the air “feels.” A good HVAC system integrated with the right indoor air quality solutions lets you control all of these factors so that your workout leaves you feeling great inside and out.

Call the Professionals

Whether you have questions around upgrading your filter, seasonal maintenance, or whether you need to repair or replace your system, our team is here for you during this time. Before you try to correct a system error or make a purchase on your own, give us a call and get an an expert opinion from one of our certified technicians.

We know these are challenging times. If you need us, the Arendosh team is here to help and are committed to keeping your air, and your home, perfectly comfortable. Here’s to home. 

*Based on in-duct testing that shows Healthy Climate® filters reduce airflow restriction. Greater restriction of airflow creates a greater load on a unit’s fan motor, increasing energy consumption.

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