Did you know that approximately 28% of the population has genes that make them highly susceptible to mold-related health issues? At a time when we are spending 90% of our days in doors, mold growing behind walls, in ventilation, or in dark damp corners of a home can become a very real concern for families.
To keep your family healthy, we wanted to break down what exactly mold is, the damage it can cause to the body, and how to know if you or a family member might be suffering from its effects.
What exactly is mold
Molds are organisms that grow both indoors and outdoors. When they are outdoors, they are an important part of the environment. Indoors, mold can create significant health issues for all that encounter its spores.
Indoors, mold enjoys growing in spaces that are in darkness more than they are in the light, and have lots of humid air or moisture. This often results in mold forming in places such as:
- Around windows
- Near leaky pipes
- In the ceiling above the drywall
- Bathrooms, Basements, and Attics
- Crawl spaces, Heating & Cooling Ducts, and Air Conditioning Units
- Inside walls if there is a lot of moisture or humidity in the house
When mold grows in a home, it releases spores that contain mycotoxins, which trigger a wide range of issues in our bodies when inhaled.
According to experts, as many as 50% of homes experience mold at some point and time. Meanwhile, 93% of chronic sinus infections are because of mold, 21% of asthma cases are due to mold reactions, and 40% of those living in homes with mold can develop asthma.
So how can you know if you have it?
What are the symptoms
Your home might have a mold issue if you experience any of the following:
- Runny nose and congestion
- Frequent headaches
- Lung irritation and trouble breathing
- Unexplainable skin rashes
- Excessive coughing or sneezing
- Brain fog and trouble remembering simple things
- Feeling like you have the flu
- Unexplainable nausea
- Chest pain
- Feeling lethargic and sluggish
Additionally, if you have any of the following conditions, you may be at an increased risk for severe complications and infections due to inhaling the mold spores and how they interact with your body:
- Chronic obstructive pulmonary disorder (COPD)
- Compromised immune system
- Cystic fibrosis
For example, if someone in your household has asthma, it can be extremely easy for them to have an asthma attack due to the bodily reaction to the mold, or a weakened immune system’s inability to fight off other allergens.
What to do if you think your home may have mold
If you believe your home may have mold, you will want to reach out to a healthcare provider for an examination and testing, and schedule an appointment for a heating and ventilation cleaning with a provider such as Haha’s heating and cooling. The provider can also check all of the concerned piping that may have leaks, as well as the air conditioning unit and ducts. Since mold can spread to places you can see as well, if there are visible mold deposits, you can open windows and use either a commercial product, or a solution of bleach, soap and water. You can consult a professional on what measurements to use.
Mold is nothing to take chances on. Often starting as a single spot, a mold colony can grow extremely quickly in places both visible and undetectable. That mold can then release harmful spores and spread throughout your home. This is why it is so important to have the inside of your ductwork routinely cleaned, and call professionals to identify potential problem areas if you find yourself with a leak, excess humidity and moisture, or water damage.
At Haha’s Heating & Cooling, we pride ourselves on keeping you safe. Give us a call at (816) 456-8535 or visit us at https://hahasheatingandcooling.com/ to make sure your family stays healthy and safe.
Did you know that the air in an office filters through your AC system five to seven times a day? And that number can be even higher in your home! This is why ensuring that your system is giving you the best air quality possible is so important. If your AC system is not thoroughly cleaned out, and your air filters are overdue for a change, your unit can continuously circulate pollen, mold, and germs throughout every room all the time. To keep everyone healthy and avoid turning your HVAC system into a superspreader, it is important to take care of your unit on a regular basis.
Here are a few things that happen when you do not regularly have your unit cleaned out or replace your filters.
Wear and tear
Over time, dust and grime will collect in the ducts and reduce how well the moving parts in your unit function. This means that they will need to be replaced much faster. The average lifespan of an HVAC unit is 15 to 20 years. Without regular maintenance, and consistent air-filter changes, the life of your unit can be shortened by 5 to 10 years. That means that you could potentially have to begin replacing parts (or the entire system) in as few as 5 years.
Higher utility bills
Filters are not designed to work forever. They eventually fill up with the dust and dirt they have captured, and need to be replaced. In this way, they act very similarly to the dryer filters you use to keep lint and dust out of your air.
When you don’t change your filter, it will begin to fail. When this happens it stops being able to filter the air properly, letting dust and contaminants get into your system, and eventually into the rooms the unit is cooling. That dust also jams the AC’s moving parts, such as the motors and valves. Airflow is restricted which creates a strain on the system. When this happens, your system will start to draw more power since it has to work harder in every way, which can lead to utility increases of 15 percent or more.
Additionally, build ups in your system can cause some rooms to be heated or cooled to your desired temperature while other rooms never get to the temperature set on the thermostat. If your rooms are not being equally heated or cooled, it is usually a good idea to reach out to HVAC specialists like Haha’s Heating and Cooling to examine your system.
Moisture and mold
Let’s start with if you have upgraded your system to catch allergens and spores through HEPA, or high energy particulate air filters. These contain a much finer mesh than other filters, so they can keep tiny particles such as allergens, pollen, dander, and mold spores from being circulated. These filters are categorized by MERV ratings of 1 through 20, with the higher ratings indicating that they are more effective at catching small particles.
It is important to note that while HEPA filters can greatly reduce sickness, allergies, and poor air quality indoors, not every system can accommodate the high efficiency filters (especially the MERV 13 filters that are being recommended due to COVID). It is always a good idea to check with an HVAC specialist to make sure that you will not burn out your unit and to create the best possible plan for protecting your family or those in your building from particles that can cause health problems.
Additionally, if you live somewhere with a lot of humidity, or near a high moisture area, not having effective ventilation can spread mold spores and create stagnant air that allows viruses to thrive.
Coils stop working
Your AC unit has evaporative coils which help to remove heat from the air to keep your home cool. With a clogged air filter, the air will not flow over the coils correctly, which means the evaporator coils will likely stop working and this will eventually lead to a total system failure.
Your HVAC system needs regular maintenance in order to continue running effectively. At Haha’s Heating and Cooling, we specialize in servicing your home air unit so it lasts as long as possible. To schedule an appointment for us to take a look at your unit, give us a call at (816) 456-8535.
Summer is approaching. That means sunshine, warm weather, outdoor gatherings and…high utility bills? Unfortunately there are bill add-ons called summer rates which charge a premium for the electricity you use during the summer months. In fact, according to the EPA, an average household in a 1,057 square foot space can spend $2,000 a year on some of their utilities, while those in an average home with 2,301 square feet of space can pay $4,000 a year. When you combine this with rising temperatures, it can often result in skyrocketing bills for both homeowners and renters.
This summer, we at Haha’s Heating & Cooling wanted to help reduce how much people spend on staying cool, so we’re posting our top tips for reducing your utility bills.
If you are keeping your heat or air on full blast while everyone is at work and school, you are basically donating your hard earned paycheck to the utility company. Considering that your central heat and air unit is one of your largest contributors to your monthly bill, think about when you do and do not need it to be on high. By replacing your current thermostat with a smart thermostat, or programming your thermostat to not work as hard while everyone is away, you are cutting down on a significant expense that you aren’t even seeing the benefit of.
In addition to programming your thermostat to work less while you are away at work, consider scheduling it to go down 4-8 degrees at night when you are least likely to notice a difference, and then turn back up 1-2 hours before you wake up.
Finally, with most newer thermostats you can now program them to go down during peak hours. Through these steps you can potentially see a savings of 1% per 8-hour period for each degree you turn your thermostat down according to the U.S. Energy Department. Even better, if you are living somewhere with a moderate spring and fall, consider turning your unit off altogether.
Did you know that your hot water heater is an energy hog? According to energy.gov heating their water accounts for 14-18% of the total utility bill. One way to drastically reduce this cost is to turn your water heater down from its default 140 degrees, to 120 degrees. You will likely not notice a difference when washing clothes, doing dishes, or anything else that requires hot water…unless you are a fan of boiling hot showers.
Heating up the water your washing machine uses accounts for 90% of the energy it takes to operate a washing machine. Using the cold water setting when doing laundry can significantly reduce how much energy it takes to do laundry.
Even when in standby mode, there is a lot of energy being pulled by coffee makers, microwaves, refrigerators, televisions, computers, and anything else plugged into electrical outlets. By keeping these unplugged when not in use, or when you go to work, you can make an impact on your bill.
If you have ceiling fans, definitely try to use them as much as possible. Why? Your air conditioning unit uses about 25% of your household’s energy. A ceiling fan may not bring down the temperature of the room, but by circulating air it can make a room feel significantly cooler. A ceiling fan also takes approximately 1/36th the energy that a central heat and air conditioner uses.
If you run appliances like dishwashers, washing machines and dryers late in the evening, or before bed, you can save money by pulling energy at the time it is its cheapest. During high peak times energy providers charge a premium for electricity, but that same energy goes on sale later in the day when there is low usage on the network.
Upcoming Northland Kansas City Summer Camps
We know this year has brought a lot of challenges when it comes to activities and getting together for events. Despite the restrictions, there are still some great camps coming up in the Northland of Kansas City that you can still participate in!
MCC’s College for Kids
3200 Broadway, Kansas City, MO
From their website, MCC’s College for Kids offers enrichment opportunities for kids and teens ages 5-16 in a fun and safe environment where they enjoy educational and hands-on learning activities. The classes are designed to engage your youth in new experiences, develop new interests, teach meaningful skills and excite students about learning. College for kids is available on all Metropolitan Community College Campuses. Click here to find out more!
Sylvan Learning of Kansas City, North – Camps
8409 N Main St, Kansas City, MO
According to their website, Sylvan is the place to stop summer learning loss! Programming includes reading, writing, math, study skills, ACT/SAT prep, and homework support. We employ certified educators and conduct instruction (typically) in a 3 to 1 learning environment. We guarantee results for our core programming and our ACT/SAT courses. We offer FREE ACT practice exams throughout the year, and overall instruction is designed to increase student abilities and improve confidence. We use a token system to encourage hard work, raise confidence, and increase attendance. Click here to find out more!
Oakhill Day School Summer Camp
7019 North Cherry St, Gladstone, MO
From their website, Oakhill Day School offers care for students grades Toddler (2 years old) through 8th Grade. Currently, registration is only open to Oakhill families. Participation will involve social interaction with others as well as physical activities. Click here to find out more!
Kansas City Ballet School – Camps
500 W Pershing Rd, Kansas City, MO
According to their website, Kansas City Ballet School is now offering virtual classes for all ages. Under the direction of School Director Grace Holmes, the School offers a complete, professional curriculum for students. Kansas City Ballet School provides an encouraging environment where all ages are invited to find and refine their artistry. Click here to find out more!
Coterie Theatre – Camps
2450 Grand Blvd, Suite 144, Kansas City, MO
On their website they ask citizens to join in the fun of The Coterie Theatre School’s summer drama classes! Both virtual and in-person classes at four Kansas City metro locations are available. The Summer Drama Classes and Performance Camp will be a mix of live, interactive online classes, as well as in-person classes (whenever possible). Click here to find out more!
We hope you have a fun and very safe Summer! Right now we are offering Summer Tune Ups to air conditioning systems for only $75! Call 816-456-8535 and tell us you saw this ad on our blog to get quickly scheduled today!
The best time for you to schedule your Summer Air Conditioning Tune Up is in the Spring because that’s just before HVAC specialists have their busiest season. By preparing ahead, you can also get some great deals, including our offer for a complete tune up appointment for only $75. Here are five signs that you should watch for when it comes to the unit in your home.
- High Energy Bill
Most homes have a normal pattern of usage over time that can be estimated from month to month by your energy bill. If you have noticed a significant change in numbers, you should schedule an AC tune up, to be sure everything is working right.
- Something Doesn’t Sound Right
If you turn your unit on and hear a noise that doesn’t sound right, you’re going to want to schedule a time for us to come out and do a check. If there is a part that is loose or malfunctioning, you’ll want to identify it right away so there aren’t larger problems in the future.
- Too Much Humidity
Another issue that you might notice that would prompt you to want your system checked would be the amount of humidity or lack thereof in your home. Your HVAC system should balance the air quality in your home. If there’s a problem, we have humidifiers and dehumidifiers that will help.
- Something Doesn’t Smell Right
If something doesn’t smell right when you turn your system on, turn it off and call a HVAC technician right away. If there’s a burning smell, that could mean that you have an electrical problem and there would be a risk of possible fire. If there’s a musty smell, that probably means there is some kind of a mold or mildew growth from humidity in your unit.
- Poor Air Ventilation
If you notice that part of your home isn’t receiving air flow or there’s an imbalance in temperatures from room to room, you should schedule an appointment. Our technicians will be able to identify where your problem is coming and help you to fix the problem.
These are just some of the reasons why you should schedule an appointment. Having a regular check up each Spring and Fall will assure you that your system is running at its best for the comfort and efficiency that you and your family deserve. Give us a call today at 816-456-8535.
- Age of System
If your unit is 12 years or older, you may need to consider a replacement. Many older system use Freon refrigerant, which is being phased out and is expensive. These systems are much less efficient as well and often have higher repair costs.
- Frequency of Repairs
If this is your third or more major repair on your unit, it’s time for a full replacement.
- Cost of Repairs
You should consider replacement when the costs for repairs are more the 50% of what it would cost for a new unit. High end, newer units can seem pricey, but are more efficient and save money over time.
- Extent of the Problems
If there are minor problems, such as an electrical problem or clogged drain line, that wouldn’t be something you would need to replace your system over. But if you had problems with the blower motor, compressor, or condenser coils, you would need to consider whether it’s worth it to repair or replace.
- Efficiency of the Unit
If your unit has less than 13 SEER or less than a 10 EER rating, your system is costing you in efficiency each month. Newer units have up to 250 SEER efficiency ratings, reducing monthly costs significantly.
- Size of the Unit
An over-sized unit constant cycling leads to poor humidity control and premature failure. If your system was installed properly and professionally using heat gain calculations, the unit will last longer and run more efficiently.
We are offering a 10 Year Manufacturer Warranty on any new Air Conditioning system! We would be happy to put together a free estimate on new equipment, as well. Give us a call or schedule an appointment online today.
The air quality of your home or office has never mattered as much as it does now. With this being allergy season, the high pollen in the air can make things difficult for those who have allergies or asthma. While our hope is to keep allergens out, Haha’s has the solution for those who may find themselves suffering.
Traditionally people have used cleaning methods such as dusting, vacuuming, and mopping to clean their space. Haha’s Heating and Cooling is able to offer the latest technology with our Ultraviolet Air Purification System that will rid your home of contaminants that may be in the air.
Haha’s Ultraviolet Air Purification Systems are designed to help by doing the following:
• Reducing airborne pathogens, such as, mold, bacteria, viruses and odors.
• Reducing volatile organic compounds through an advanced absorptive photocatalytic oxidation process.
• Provides surface treatment of coils, heat-strips, and blowers
Easily installed, Haha’s Heating and Cooling will be in and out in no time and the environment of your home or office will be best for those living and working in that space. Call us today at 816-456-8535!
There are many benefits that you will receive when scheduling a Summer Tune Up! Preparing for hot weather now is better than waiting and risking a problematic system when you need it most. Here are five good reasons why you should consider calling us today:
1. Better Air Quality
The air quality in your home has never been more important. If you have a system that is accurately operating, you’ll have less dust, pollen, and other contaminants circulating in your home. Not only will we do the basic check of your systems filter, we also have professional Ultraviolet Air Purification lamps that can be easily installed and will rid your indoor air of allergens.
2. Lower Utility Bills
When you have a system that is running efficiently, you’re not going to have as high of utility bills. When your system’s parts have reached their limit, it will work harder, resulting in a higher amount of electricity used.
3. Extend Machine’s Lifespan
Just like owning a car, your cooling system is in need of regular checks and tune ups. With a short appointment with one of our technicians, you’ll be making an investment in the quality of your machine, extending it’s lifespan overall.
4. Fewer Repairs and Breakdowns
When a system isn’t running right, it will work harder to try and keep up, leading to lower quality and a risk for a breakdown. During a Summer Tune Up, we check all parts of your system. This allows us to repair what is needed to keep your system running regularly.
5. More Comfort
Not only will you be living in the perfect environment as temperatures go up, you’ll also have peace of mind knowing that you have had your system checked and any trouble areas have been addressed. You can enjoy your space knowing it’s the best for your health.
We would be happy to add you to our schedule of Spring and Summer Tune Ups! Give us a call at 816-456-8535 today!