3 Types of Electronic Air Cleaners You Should Know for Better Home Air Quality

3 Types of Electronic Air Cleaners You Should Know for Better Home Air Quality3 Types of Electronic Air Cleaners You Should Know for Better Home Air Quality

One common question we frequently receive when visiting people’s homes is about air purifiers. Regarding air purification, there are options for both single-room and whole-house systems. However, at our company, we specialize in whole-house air purifiers. We believe that every room in your home deserves clean and fresh air. We can install our purifiers alongside your central heating and cooling system so that the air they purify is distributed evenly throughout your entire home. And as a reminder, these only work when the blower fan is on. These cleaners need air to pass through them to do their job actively. There is a function on every thermostat that allows the fan to run continuously. Some even have a feature that, for instance, allows it to only run 20 minutes of every hour.

To be upfront, though, we use the iWave-R air purifier, an ionizer that effectively removes pollutants from the air. Additionally, we like to install electronic air cleaners with 4″ or 5″ media filters combined with an electrostatic grid. We’ve also used the Air Scrubber Plus and the APCO UV light, which use ultraviolet light and a photocatalytic oxidizer to improve air quality. With these advanced whole-home air purification products, you can breathe easily and comfortably in every room in your home.

As someone who is passionate about technology, I often find myself having conversations about different brands and products. While some people are quick to declare allegiance to a particular brand, I always try to approach these discussions with an open mind. It’s important to me to remain neutral and view each type of air cleaner objectively, considering their strengths and weaknesses. This allows me to have well-rounded conversations and make informed decisions about the products I use.


These devices produce millions of negative ions that cling onto positive ions – aka all of those pesky air pollutants – and cause them to fall to the ground, where they’ll be swept up in your regular house cleaning routine. Plus, while the initial installation cost may seem steep, you’ll be set for 10 to 15 years – the lifespan of these self-cleaning machines – and won’t be paying any extra compared to other UV lights on the market. So, if you’re looking for a long-term solution to improve your home’s air quality, consider investing in an ionizer.

This is an image of the iWave-R Whole Home In-Duct Air Purifier. A very popular air purifiaction product. Visit www. iwaveair.com.

iWave-R Whole Home In-Duct Air Purifie
This is an image of the iWave-R Whole Home In-Duct Air Purifier. A very popular air purifiaction product. Visit www. iwaveair.com

http://www. iwaveair.com

Now that I’ve had an iWave in my house for a couple of years, I wonder how good the self-cleaning function is. A plastic T-shaped arm swivels back and forth every few days and sort of flicks off any dust accumulated on the fuzzy tips. I assume the more dust that accumulates on the tips reduces the effectiveness of the iWave over time.

I will tell you, though, my co-worker Keith has had his installed for a couple of years now, and he swears his son, with asthma and allergy issues, has experienced better breathing since.

Photocatalytic Oxidizer

UV lights like the Air Scrubber Plus and APCO air cleaner have recently gained popularity in purifying the air in our homes and offices. They first devised an option for increased “ozone” production to sterilize the air. Now they sell “non-ozone” air scrubbers. They still produce a very small amount, though. While these oxidizers can break down particles in the air, the process can increase breathing problems for those exposed to the ozone. Manufacturers have started putting coatings on the oxidizers to mitigate this issue to limit ozone production.

Photocatalytic Oxidizer - 3 Types of Electronic Air Cleaners
Figure 2 Remy Halo Whole Home In-Duct Air Purifiers are one of the most popular photocatalytic oxidizers on the market. Visit https://rgf.com/ for more info.

One of the downsides of using UV lights in air purification systems is the need to change the bulb every year or two. This can be costly, especially when you’re already shelling out a considerable amount of money for the air cleaner itself. Representatives may argue it’s a great way to keep customers returning for more. Still, at Fox Family, we believe in building long-lasting relationships based on trust and quality products. We don’t want to attach ourselves to our customers by relying on them to come back and purchase replacement parts constantly. Instead, we strive to provide affordable and reliable solutions for all your air purification needs.

Electronic Media Filters

If you’re in the market for an air cleaner, you may want to consider electronic media filters. These filters come in 4″ and 5″ sizes, making them perfect for targeting a wide range of airborne particles. Even better, they are some of the most efficient air cleaners on the market.

But why stop there? By adding an electrostatic grid, the filtration process becomes even more effective, resulting in statically charged particles that stick better to the media filter. If you’re looking for the best results in purifying the air in your house, the Aprilaire 5000, the Trane CleanEffects, Carrier Infinity, and the Honeywell F300 are top-notch options to consider. Check out this study on electronic air cleaners to help with your research.

The Trane CleanEffects is excellent. It can capture the tiniest particles of them all. But, you MUST keep it clean because its effectiveness decreases sharply within a few months.

The Aprilaire 5000, Carrier Infinity, and Honeywell F300 capture almost as much as the CleanEffects but continue to clean the tiniest particles longer than the Trane unit.

LMS Technologies Test Data

Ultimately, the choice of air cleaner type is based on personal preference and individual needs. It’s always best to do the research – compare models, familiarize yourself with the pros and cons. With the right knowledge and some time spent pondering your options, you can make an educated decision that will serve you well. As for me, I’m sold on iWave-R not just because I have it in my home, but also because of its effective performance and nearly maintenance-free design. And as we all know, breathing clean air is essential to our health, so it’s worth investing in quality products that are dependable, fast, and efficient at cleaning your indoor air!

SEER Rating: How much will I save with a higher SEER Rating?


Most people know that higher SEER ratings for an air conditioner will save them money on their electric bills. But how much can you really expect to save with a higher SEER Rating? Let’s put some actual numbers behind this thought. So, stay tuned to find out how much savings you could see!

What is a SEER rating, and how does it work?

There are plenty of articles about what SEER ratings are for air conditioners and heat pumps, so I’m not going to dive into that topic. But, briefly, Trane.com says, “The SEER measures air conditioning cooling efficiency, which is calculated by the cooling output for a typical cooling season divided by the total electric energy input during the same time frame. A SEER rating is a maximum efficiency rating, like the miles per gallon for your car.”

What are the current SEER ratings seen today?

14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, and 20. Some of the heat pump systems that have come out since 2020 offer up to 25 SEER as well.

As of 2022, most states in America were mandated to install systems with a SEER rating of 14. Some northern states are still able to squeak by with 13 SEER systems because the summers aren’t as long and intense as they are in southern states.

How much money can I save by upgrading to a higher SEER rating air conditioner or heat pump system in my home?

The average cost of electricity in the summer here in Sacramento, CA, is around $0.247 per kWh. So, between 14 SEER and 20 SEER, you’ll save about 6-7% when you go from 14 to 15 to 16 all they way to 20 SEER. Take a look at these charts I made for you, considering a 3-ton system (36,000 btu’s) and you have a house around 1500 sq ft that is fairly well insulated in the attic and exterior walls:

SEER Rating How much will I save with a higher SEER Rating

I created a calculator with some formulas that customers can use to play around with these numbers too. You can find it here on foxfamilyhvac.com and I’ll leave a link to it in the description area of this video. Just give me a few weeks to get it posted on my website, since I just created it in July 2022.

Compared to your older 10 SEER system

Compared to your older 10 SEER system

A lot of systems that have been running since let’s say, 1995 to 2005 are probably running around 10 SEER. They may have started around 12 SEER, but systems lose efficiency through wear and tear over the years. So, most people agree their system is running around 10 SEER now as they are looking to buy a new system. Since 2010, the lowest SEER system we can install is 14 SEER. In 2023, it’s going up to 15 and 16 SEER-2, so we’ll update this blog when we get there. And yes, I meant to say SEER-2. Just the industry leaders and EPA mandating we get rid of the 14 SEER systems in order to make the 15 and 16 SEER systems the lowest SEER systems that we can install for customers.

Compared to your older 10 SEER system

So, with 14 SEER being the lowest, customers will also be offered options for higher-rated systems, like 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, and 20 – and yes, some systems are even higher. Let’s look at how much you might save by upgrading from your 10 SEER system to a modern 14, 16, 18, or 20 SEER system:

Compared to your older 10 SEER system (2)

So, you can see how upgrading your older 10 SEER system to pretty much anything today will save you money. Even $250 in savings each summer just by switching from an older system to a standard single-stage 14 SEER system sounds great! Upgrading to the 18 and 20 systems can save you double that each summer.  

Comparing the modern systems to each other

Now let’s compare 14 to 16, 16 to 18, and 18 to 20 SEER systems. Once again, these are numbers based on fairly well-insulated homes where the system is installed correctly, and the size of the system is right.

Comparing the modern systems to each other
Comparing the modern systems to each other

If you were given some options from your HVAC salesman – something like a 14 SEER, 16 SEER, an 18 SEER, and a 20 SEER system you might be thinking, “Well, what kind of savings would I get if I buy a 16 SEER over a 14 SEER system if the 16 SEER costs $1500.00 more?”

From the chart, you’d save about $79 a summer with a 16 over a 14 (At 24¢ per kWh)—a 13% savings. Over ten years, that’s $793, and assuming your system lasts a full 20 years, which is a good long life, you’d be looking at about $1587 in savings.

You can mess around with the SEER Comparison Calculator to get a good idea of what you’ll save here in California based of the average rate of 24¢ per kWh at summer rates.

What are the testing requirements to calculate SEER?

Real quick, the industry’s standard for testing includes a high-speed test at 95°F outdoor temp and another at 82°F. Two-stage and variable speed systems add a low-speed test at 82°F. Each of these tests is done for 30 minutes and is performed three times to get an average. I always thought they just calculated these numbers at high-speed, including the variable speed units that typically run at their lower speeds for longer periods of time.

There are way more considerations when calculating these SEER ratings. Some of the terms and testing they use are:

  • Voltage tolerance
  • Low temperature
  • Insulation efficiency
  • Condensate disposal
  • Maximum operation (115°F)
  • Extra high maximum operation (125°F)
  • Wet bulb
  • Dry bulb
  • Piping length
  • A proper refrigerant charge
  • Proper installation

Even just looking at some of the equations these guys use to determine the SEER ratings is crazy. Look at these!

the SEER ratings

And that’s just one calculation and the considerations for determining it. As I scroll down the page on the AHRI document, I have to use the roller to scroll 5 or 6 more times down the page to get to the end of this section!

In conclusion… how much will I save with a higher SEER Rating?

I thought this was a pretty interesting topic. So often, when people ask Google what SEER rating is, they’re just told – it’s a measurement of how much cooling effect they can get for the electricity used to cool the house. Like miles per gallon on a car. And it’s correct. But today, I wanted to put some numbers behind how much you can actually save when choosing between today’s modern air conditioners.

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Best Gas Furnace for 2023

Best Gas Furnaces 2023

One of the most common questions I get as an HVAC contractor in Sacramento is, “Which gas furnace systems are the best?” Or more specifically what are the best gas furnace for 2023?  I see a ton of articles online about this topic – many that someone who’s not even in the HVAC industry wrote! Some compensated blog writer wrote it or gave you a list of top-rated systems. Systems they’ve never even touched. These bloggers are telling people that nationally recognized economy line systems are better than those that will truly last you a long time.

Best HVAC Systems

Just like my summer post in 2022 on Which AC Systems are the Best, I have always felt like three manufacturers have had the best reputation for the last few decades. And in no particular order, they are:

  • Trane/American Standard
  • Carrier/Bryant
  • Lennox

Best Gas Furnace for 2023A Special Note:

Before I list the rest of the systems, I want to mention furnace systems come fully assembled at the factory and are ready to work. However, it takes experienced technicians to modify the unit per the manufacturer’s instructions to conform to your specific home’s demands. The last step of installing it “in the field” and adding whatever additional parts to bring it up to the proper building code in your area is up to the contractor you choose.

That’s an important point because buying a Trane, Carrier, or Lennox includes buying it from a professional, detail-oriented, reliable contractor you trust and are comfortable with bringing to life. If someone is going to install it for you, but you can’t find them after the installation because they sell systems so cheap they’re out of business, or they simply won’t pick up the phone, that’s not going to help you when you need some follow-up.

You can buy any system, but if the blower settings, gas pressures, static air pressures, high and low voltage wiring, fuse sizes, a precision refrigerant charge, airflow, water drainage, gas piping, intake air, exhaust system, thermostats, and other safety codes aren’t set up correctly, you’ll find your new system not lasting nearly as long as it could have. It can be the difference between your system lasting ten years or 20 years.

Consumer Reports

So, Consumer Reports asked over 36,000 gas furnace owners who had their system installed between 2005 and 2021. Their owner satisfaction ratings are based on the percentage of members who are extremely likely to recommend their gas furnace brand to friends and family.

The manufacturers of today’s residential heating and cooling systems are:

  • Rheem, who also makes:
    • Ruud
  • Daiken, who makes:
    • Goodman
    • Amana
    • Daiken
    • Janitrol
  • Bosch recently started making their own systems. Pretty good ones too. We sell their inverter split systems and package units.
  • Nortek, who makes:
    • Intertherm
    • Maytag
    • Frigidaire
    • Nordyne
  • Johnson Controls, who makes:
    • York
    • Coleman
    • Luxaire
  • International Comfort Products (ICP) who makes several brands. The most prominent are:
    • Day & Night
    • Tempstar
    • Comfortmaker
    • Heil
    • Keeprite
  • Lennox also makes:
    • Armstrong
    • Ducane
    • Aire-Flo
    • Concord
  • Carrier also makes:
    • Payne
    • Weathermaker
  • Trane also makes:
    • Ameristar
    • RunTru
    • Oxbox

Isn’t it crazy the limited number of true manufacturers but the 30+ brands we have to choose from? No wonder it’s hard to determine the best gas furnace for 2023!

Here is where they fall as far as owner satisfaction. And keep in mind that some of these brands like Bosch, Daiken and others didn’t make the Consumer Reports survey results due to their obscurity and low number of installations during that 2005 to 2021 timeframe.

Highest Rated for Owner Satisfaction:

  • Trane rated 5/5
  • American Standard rated 5/5

Second Place for Owner Satisfaction:

  • Carrier rated 4/5
  • Bryant rated 4/5
  • Lennox rated 4/5

Mid-Tier HVAC Systems

  • Rheem rated 3/5
  • Ruud rated 3/5
  • Armstrong rated 3/5
  • Concord rated 3/5
  • Ducane rated 3/5
  • Amana rated 3/5
  • Comfortmaker rated 3/5
  • Day & Night rated 3/5
  • Heil rated 3/5
  • Keeprite rated 3/5
  • Tempstar rated 3/5
  • Payne rated 3/5
  • Goodman rated 3/5
  • Coleman rated 3/5
  • Luxaire rated 3/5
  • York rated 3/5

Lower-Tier HVAC Systems

  • Frigidaire rated 2/5
  • Maytag rated 2/5
  • Westinghouse rated 2/5


When it comes to deciding which gas furnace systems are the best, you have three systems perennially at the top of the list. Trane, Carrier, and Lennox. While their single-stage and two-stage systems have the same capabilities, efficiencies, and life spans, it’s the higher-tier variable speed systems where you’ll start seeing the differences.

When you start looking for a vehicle, you pretty much have a brand name in mind. You might get a higher or lower-end model with fewer bells and whistles, but maybe you’ve always felt comfortable driving a GMC truck over a Toyota truck.

In another post, let’s talk about the other heating systems in homes across America – Best Heat Pumps for 2023

Let me know what you think about this in the comments below. I see a ton of articles online about this topic – many that someone who isn’t even in the HVAC industry wrote. Some paid blog writers wrote it. You’ve got to take it from someone who actually installs them and services the equipment out in the field.

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How Does Comfort-R Work?

How Does Comfort-R Work?

Comfort-R is the HVAC manufacturer Trane and American Standard’s dehumidification mode on variable speed air handlers.  So, if you live in an area affected by high humidity levels, Comfort-R mode is a great way to automatically adjust how that humidity translates inside your home. It’s an added feature that separates Trane’s premium models from their standard models. The premium units with variable speed motors (…not ECM motors) are the S9V2 and XC95 gas furnaces, the XL16c packaged units, and the TAM9, TEM6, and TEM 8 air handlers. 

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A quick refresher:

The two main functions of an air conditioner are to (1.) remove heat and (2.) remove humidity.  When the AC is turned on, the moisture (or humidity) in your home is brought to the evaporator coil (the cold coil.)  The warm air from the house comes into contact with the cold evaporator coil and condenses to make water on the coil. That condensate then drains out to the side of the house and onto the ground.

Check out my video https://youtu.be/FttQa2r-C0A  and blog https://foxfamilyhvac.com/310-1-condensate-drains-understanding-the-codes/  regarding condensation drainage if you’d like to know more about that side of the air conditioning system. It’s an important part of your system.

Now, evaporator coils only have so much room for air to pass through when the AC is on.  They have very thin blades for air to pass through. If the coil gets too wet, the blower is getting a lot of resistance when it’s trying to push the air, so the dehumidification process becomes more difficult, cooling the house takes longer, which increases the electric bill for your home!  Whew! 

How does Comfort-R work?

In the most basic sense, Comfort-R Mode regulates airspeed at start-up to carefully control humidity levels.  Lower humidity can lead to savings by reducing moisture levels in the air so you can keep the thermostat at a higher setting and still feel comfortable.  Comfort-R mode also offers a warmer start-up with an all-electric heat pump during the heating season, so you don’t feel that blast of cool air when you turn on the heater when you’re looking for warm and cozy air.

Now I’m going to get a little technical here, but I’ll try and keep most of you with me.  I always try to talk in basic terms, so everyone understands. Let’s learn about this with a simple single-stage system.

  • On a call for cooling, a single-stage air conditioner and its indoor blower motor both turn on and begin cooling immediately at 100% speed or capacity.  (And yes, people do buy upgraded variable speed furnaces like the S9V2 furnace to match their standard single-stage outdoor condenser.)
    • So when the AC starts, the outdoor unit comes on at normal speed.  100%.  But, the indoor blower with Comfort-R enhancement will slowly ramp up to 50% speed over the first minute. This will allow the indoor evaporator coil to get cold quicker – because you don’t have as much room temperature air going across the coil to compete with the coil, allowing it to get colder, faster.
      If you have a heat pump match-up, this 50% ramp-up during the first minute will let your indoor coil get hot, quicker.
    • Over the next minute or two and up to about 8 minutes, the fan will run at 80% capacity to help further dehumidify in cooling mode or enhance warm air heating for heat pumps.
    • If necessary, after 8 or 9 minutes of the AC being on (or heat pump), the fan will increase to 100% capacity boosting its function until the thermostat is satisfied.
    • Now, normally when the temperature is satisfied, the outdoor compressor shuts off, AND the indoor blower turns off. There’s no delay.  In Comfort-R mode, the outdoor compressor shuts off, but the indoor fan will ramp down to 50% capacity.
      For 3 minutes.  This is for efficiency because the indoor coil will still be cold for a bit, so why not utilize the cold coil and run some air across it and have it sent into the house’s rooms?
  • In a general sense, everything works the same. Two-stage systems operate at a 70% speed and 100% speed or capacity. It’s a slow ramp-up to 50% of whatever stage it’s in (1st or 2nd stage.) Up to 80% for a few more minutes, even if it’s in the same stage, and then up to 100% fan speed for that stage if needed until the setpoint is reached.  Back down to 50% blower speed after the compressor shuts off and the temperature in the room is reached. That last three minutes for efficiency; and then shuts down entirely.
  • Fully-modulating systems can fluctuate widely – usually 25% to 100% in very small increments.  And these will always come with a variable-speed blower to match the outdoor condenser.  The ramping up and down happens accordingly.
ECM Fan Control
Enhanced Mode

Two things to know:

  1. Your HVAC company has to set this up for you at the time of installation.
  2. You have to use the 824, 850, or 1050 thermostats for the system to interpret the humidity levels (and that’s in 2021 at the time of this video.)

It’s something your installers have to set up for you at the time of installation. They have to cut the BK jumper on the integrated control board for Comfort-R Enhancement to work.  Air handlers also may have dip switches to dial in for the indoor variable speed motor to match the airflow required for the outdoor unit size.
Field Wiring Diagramn For Two Stage Headting Thermostat,Two Stage Heat PumpYou also have to have a Trane (or American Standard) 824 thermostat. The Comfort-R function doesn’t work with any thermostat except its 824 on the non-communicating systems and the 850 or 1050 thermostats on communicating systems. That’s because the thermostat senses the humidity in the house, not a sensor that one might think is located in the air handler itself. So, you can’t use Nest, Ecobee, Sensi, or other popular smart thermostats with Comfort-R technology.


Who needs Comfort-R Technology the most?

Alaska and Hawaii have some of the highest humidity levels every summer! Other than that, it’s the states in the Southeast, Midwest, and Northeast that have to deal with high relative humidity, like:

  • Florida
  • Louisiana
  • Mississippi
  • Iowa
  • Indiana
  • Michigan
  • Vermont
  • New Hampshire
  • Maine

You don’t have a lot of people west of the Rockies complaining about heavy, humid air in the summertime. The atmosphere is so dry in California that wildfires spark up and blaze on for weeks at a time because there’s very little moisture in the air to keep them at bay. 

Dehumidification is rarely discussed here in the Sacramento Valley. That’s why Comfort-R dehumidification may not necessarily be needed quite as much in the western states as in the eastern ones. But you’ll still find homeowners discussing it with their installer to try and keep precise tabs on the humidity level in their home. And, some people like to invest in the latest technology for their homes. So, let’s talk about it!

What Energy Star says about humidity:

Energy Star says anything above 50% indoor humidity in your house is considered high. It can not only cause added stress to your air conditioner but the human body as well. High humidity in a home can make people struggle to get a good breath because of all the moisture that comes into the lungs with the air they’re trying to breathe in. Energy Star says 30% to 50% humidity in a home is just about right. 

Modern thermostats have humidity levels readily available for you to view on your smartphone or the face of the thermostat itself. See how the thermostat below shows outdoor temperature and humidity as well as indoor temperature and humidity? That’s great information to have for someone trying to monitor humidity levels in their home.


The benefit of having a furnace, packaged unit, or heat pump air handler with a variable speed motor is that Comfort-R technology can be utilized. This allows for:

  1. Easier dehumidification of the home.
  2. The home to cool down faster.
  3. Keep your electric bills lower.
  4. Keep money in your pockets.
  5. 5(On heat pumps) Remove that cold blast of air that comes out when starting heating mode.

Hopefully, this gives a better idea of how Trane and American Standard Comfort-R mode works and what is needed to make it happen. We also discussed if Comfort-R mode is something that your home even needs depending on where in the country you live.

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How to Get 99% of the Dust Out of Your Home

How to Get 99% of the Dust Out of Your Home

We all know that air pollution is a problem. We can see the smog hanging over cities, and we know that car exhaust and factory emissions are harming the environment. But what many people don’t realize is that air pollution can also have a direct impact on our health. Dust, smoke, odors, and certain viruses and bacteria can be suspended in the air you breathe, even when you don’t see them. This can cause respiratory problems, headaches, dizziness, and other health issues. So it’s important to be aware of the air quality in your area and take steps to protect yourself when necessary.  But how can you get 99% of the dust out of your home?

It’s definitely frustrating when you spend all that time cleaning your home, and the dust just comes back in a couple of hours. But don’t worry – there are some things you can do to make your cleaning routine more effective. Here are a few tips:

Start at the top and work your way down 

When it comes to cleaning your home, there is one cardinal rule that you should always follow: start at the top and work your way down. This rule applies to every room in your house, from the living room to the bathroom. So grab your step ladder and follow along.

You should start at the top because dust tends to collect in high places, such as on ceiling fans, light fixtures, kitchen cabinets, the refrigerator, and the tops of door frames.

Other items at the ceiling level are your air supply registers. If they haven’t been cleaned in a while, you’ll see the same color dust as the dust that cakes up on your air return filter. The filter caught most of the suspended dust in your house, but not all of it. That dust on the registers clings to the metal and builds up over time.

Once you’ve tackled the dust bunnies up top, you can move on to the next level of surfaces:

Dust prevention hack #1

Feather dusters may seem like a great idea at first, but in reality, they just worsen the problem. They create a magnet for more dirt and leaves, which will settle around your home with nowhere else to go! To get rid of this unwanted debris, use moist wipes or damp cloths to clean the higher areas of the house without making matters worse.

Wipe down your windowsill and drapes/blinds 

One of my favorite business personalities on YouTube is Angela Brown Cleaning. She has a ton of helpful hints for getting your house super tidy. The video she has on cleaning those wooden or faux wood blinds is next level. You might think taking a rag or duster will do the trick, but if you follow Angela’s helpful tips, you be ready for the next step in getting your house dust free. Here is the link to the video on How to Clean Your Blinds, and this is the link to her actual YouTube channel – Angela Brown Cleaning

Dust prevention hack #2

We’ve been taught that fresh air is good for us and that it’s important to open the windows to let in a breeze every once in a while. However, many people don’t realize that this can actually be doing more harm than good, at least when it comes to dust. That’s because dust gets in through the windows and doors in the form of mold spores, pollen, and airborne pollutants that can create a buildup on your windowsills. So, if you’re trying to keep your home dust-free, it’s better to keep the windows closed. Of course, this doesn’t mean you should never open your windows. Just be sure to do so on days when the air outside is relatively clean.

Next up: The television 

What room doesn’t have a television these days, right? Over time, a lot of dust can accumulate around televisions. While it may not be noticeable at first, eventually, the buildup can become quite noticeable, especially when watching in HD. (Get it? Wink!) Fortunately, you can do a few things to reduce the amount of dust that collects on your TV. First, make sure to dust your TV regularly with a soft cloth. Be sure to avoid using abrasive cleaners since they can damage the screen.

Cleaning the TV with a lightly damp soft cloth will collect the dust better than using a duster and just flipping the dust further down to the ground. The less we have to vacuum off the ground at the end, the more thorough the job will get done.

Keep the shelves in your closet clean 

Take the stuff off of your shelves in the closet (from the top down) and give them a good wipe down. If you haven’t reached up there in a while, this is a great place to eliminate dust in your house. Using a damp terry cloth will do better than a microfiber towel. Shelves can be just rough enough to snag those softer cloths.

If it’s been a while, you might want to cover your hanging clothes with a sheet so the dust doesn’t just fall right onto them.

Midway down now – Bookcases

Anyone who loves books knows that they can quickly become a source of clutter. Books have a way of taking over a space, whether it’s a stack of hardcovers on the nightstand or a pile of paperbacks on the coffee table. But while it may be easy to let the bookshelves get dusty, taking the time to clean them can make a big difference in the overall appearance of your home. The good news is that cleaning bookshelves don’t have to be a time-consuming task. A quick dusting with a microfiber cloth or clean paintbrush will remove most of the dirt and grime. You can remove the books and vacuum the shelves with the upholstery attachment for a more thorough cleaning. Either way, knocking the dust off the bookcase shelves will reduce the amount that can affect your air quality.

“National Clean Out Your Bookcase Day” is February 20th 

Books can quickly take over your home if they’re not properly organized. A bookcase is essential for keeping your books organized and dust-free. Still, it’s also important to regularly purge your collection to get rid of books you no longer want or need. Set aside a day each year to declutter your bookcase. Start by taking everything off the shelves and sorting through your books. Donate any books you no longer want or need, and then put the rest back on the shelves.

Take this opportunity to reorganize your bookcase to be more functional and aesthetically pleasing. For example, you might want to organize your books by genre or author. Or, you may want to create a “to be read” section to help you keep track of the books you still need to read. Whatever system you choose, ensure it works for you and helps you keep your bookcase organized.

Furniture, nightstands, coffee tables 

Like most people, you probably don’t think much about the dust that settles on your furniture. After all, it’s just dust, right? Wrong. Dust is actually a mix of different things, including human skin cells, pet dander, and bits of fabric. And while it may not seem like a big deal, dust is harmful to your health. Studies have shown that exposure to dust can trigger allergies and respiratory problems. It can also aggravate existing conditions like asthma. So how do you keep your furniture dust-free? The best way is to clean it regularly with a vacuum cleaner or damp cloth. You should also try to avoid using harsh chemicals, as these can damage the finish on your furniture. After hitting these items in your house, you can move on to the final phase!


Many people don’t realize how important vacuuming is to the overall cleanliness of their homes. Not only does vacuuming remove dirt and dust from carpets and upholstery, but it also helps to remove allergens that can cause respiratory problems. Vacuuming can help prolong your carpet’s life by preventing the buildup of dirt and grime.

Vacuuming must be done regularly, at least once ahttps://iwaveair.com/ week, to ensure that your home is clean and free of allergens. To get the most out of your vacuuming, move the furniture around and reach all areas. And don’t forget to empty the bag or canister when it becomes full.

If you have pets, you may need to vacuum more often to remove pet hair and dander. A good vacuum with a HEPA filter cleaner will go one step further for leaving your carpets and upholstery looking clean and fresh.

Once you have done everything you can to get rid of the dust off all of the surfaces in your house, add an I-Wave air purifier to your HVAC system. When the fan is on, ionization will eliminate dust, single-cell DNA and RNA, and multicell bacteria and keep mold and spores from developing in unseen parts of your house. You can get an I-Wave installed by one of our professional technicians at Fox family Heating & Air. They last about 15 years and are self-cleaning every three days. So there’s nothing left for you to do to maintain it. And there are no extra costs associated with maintaining the effectiveness of the air cleaner. Unlike Ultra-Violet bulb cleaners, the I-Wave doesn’t have a light bulb that needs to be replaced every couple of years. Those bulbs can cost an extra $400 every time you change them.

With an I-Wave Air Purifier, the price you pay upfront for it is the only time you’ll ever reach into your wallet.

I hope this has given you a different take on indoor air quality for your home. From an HVAC technician’s point of view, if you can just keep that dust in check around your house, a quality air cleaner, and we think the I-Wave is the best one, is the way to go.

SEER-2?? What Happened to SEER-1??

SEER-2?? What Happened to SEER-1??

The Department of Energy has adjusted their SEER testing on air conditioners and heat pumps to more accurately reflect what’s going on inside homes across America. New M1 testing procedures will force today’s 2022’s 14 SEER system down to 13.4 in 2023, rendering it inadequate for use in America. What’s being amended with SEER-2?

  • Fan-off delays for the air handler blower motors
  • Limiting the surface area of the evaporator coils being tested
  • Raising the external static pressure level to (almost) “real-world” levels
  • The method for how they test and calculate heating performance (heat pumps)
  • And a better testing methodology for variable speed systems

The term M1. You know how you make a multi-level list for a document like an AHRI Standard? Like:

  1. We are the DOE and we have the authority to blah, blah, blah
    1. Blah, blah, blah
    2. All the way down to M – The style of testing before 2023
      1. And then M has a number under it – M1, the new style of testing we are moving to.
The Department of Energy has regulated residential central air conditioning and heat pump efficiencies since 1992.  An average sized home can use over 2,000 kilowatt-hours of electricity each year causing the average power plant to emit around 3,500 pounds of carbon dioxide and 31 pounds of sulfur dioxide into the air.

We finally got everyone to realize that systems today use 25% to 50% less energy than those installed just 20 and 30 years ago.  The DOE did that by increasing the required minimum SEER ratings of systems and doing so through a strict testing process. Just since 1992, we’ve gone from a minimum 10 SEER mandate, to 2006 upgrading that minimum rating to 13 SEER. Ten years later, in 2015 every state in the southwest and southeast were required to step up to 14 SEER minimum efficiency since the summers are more intense there.

Efficiency Requirements for Residential Central AC

So here we are 7 years later, faced with higher standards.  Actually, it’s understandable that the DOE wants to bring the standard of testing to meet “real world” situations and the upgraded technology of the equipment being used in today’s systems. After all, doing this increases overall efficiency again by another 7% by switching to M1 testing.

Which is why distributors with today’s 14 SEER systems will not even be able to sell those units after January 1st, 2023.  Heat pumps have a little different rule as far as what can be used and for how long, but they will have to meet 15 SEER2 after they all sell off.  It’s just that 14 SEER air conditioners will dwindle away probably by September or October because distributors can’t just send back the old units. They have to time their inventory just perfectly so that they DON’T have any 14 SEER units left by January 1, 2023.

SEER 2From what I can see, In the southwest and southeast, 1.5, 2, 2.5, 3, and 3.5 ton split systems will be required to have a 15 SEER2 minimum. Northern states that are 13 now, will be 14 SEER2.

While southern 4- and 5-ton unit minimums will be 14.5 SEER2 – Northern units will still require 14 SEER2.

All heat pump efficiencies will be required to meet 15 SEER2 after January 1, 2023.

So, what you’re going to see is 2022’s, M standard 16 SEER systems and technology become the new minimum standard since they’ll be rated 15.2 under the new M1 style of testing.

That means the new minimum tier system is going to become even more expensive, than the current 14 SEER’s which increased about 25% since the beginning of COVID in 2020.

Let me know your thoughts on this.

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The “Lag of Season” – Why it Stays Hotter Longer into the Summer

"Lag of Season" – Why it Stays Hotter Longer into the Summer
As anyone who has ever stepped outside on a hot summer day knows, the air can take some time to heat up. The same is true for the atmosphere as a whole. Though the summer solstice marks the longest day of the year, it is not necessarily the hottest. That’s because it takes time for the atmosphere to absorb the Sun’s energy and convert it into heat. Similarly, midday is not necessarily the hottest time of day. That’s because it takes some time for the Sun’s rays to travel through the atmosphere and reach the ground. The same principle applies to the summer solstice: it can take some time for the atmosphere to heat up, even though the Sun is at its highest point in the sky.  Today we are going to talk about why it stays hotter longer into the summer or the “Lag of Season”.

From an Expert

It always sticks in my mind as an HVAC technician, but I’m reminded of it when KCRA weatherman Mark Finan talks about it every Summer. In an article on the channel’s weather blog, he said, “June is the month with the highest sun angle and the longest hours of daylight. By the time we get to the solstice (June 20 this year), we have 14 hours and 51 minutes of daylight. By August, we are seeing shorter days and a lower sun angle. By mid-August, we have lost about an hour and a half of daylight. Despite the shorter days, August is a hotter month than June. The average high on June 1 is 85. On August 1, it is 94. June averages four days in the 100s, while August has 6. So why? It’s called the lag of seasons…As we transition from Spring to Summer, the Sun gradually warms the surface of the Earth. The gradual warming lags behind the length of the day. So the hottest part of the year is roughly a month after the solstice. The opposite is true in the winter when you’ll find the coldest part of the season is often in January, a month or so after the Winter solstice.”

Lag of Season Explained

What I gather from this is that even though the Sun is at the same angle in the sky in June as it is in August, or May as it is in September, the Earth’s surface is cooler in the earlier summer months tater in the Summer. The winter cools the Earth’s surface, so less radiant heat is absorbed and retained in the atmosphere. We notice this same phenomenon during the day as noon is not the hottest part of the day; it always falls around 4 pm to 5 pm. That’s the atmosphere heating up and trying to put on the brakes as night comes. It just takes a little longer to reject the day’s heat, which is why it can still be 90 degrees outside at bedtime. This was a topic I’ve wanted to mention this topic in the Summer before, but I found it hard to explain on paper. Seasonal Lag, or as Mark Finan calls it, “Lag of Seasons,” makes it hotter in the later months of Summer than it is in the earlier months. It’s directly linked to the surface temperature of the Earth and its ability to retain heat as the warmer days upon the surface earth as well as its rivers, lakes, and strea

4 Components That Make Up The SEER Rating

4 Components That Make Up The SEER Rating

If you have been in the market for a new central air conditioning system, you have been doing research online or getting quotes from a few HVAC companies installing new systems.  Undoubtedly, you have been hearing terms like SEER and EER ratings.  What is the SEER rating (pronounced like a steak you’d “sear” to perfection), and what influences the actual rating of the system you will buy?

Using a quote from Trane.com, “The SEER measures air conditioning cooling efficiency, which is calculated by the cooling output for a typical cooling season divided by the total electric energy input during the same time frame.  A SEER rating is a maximum efficiency rating, like the miles per gallon for your car.”

If you go on to AHRI Directory to find out what is involved in measuring these SEER ratings, you’ll find terms like Wet-Bulb, Dry-Bulb, Static Pressure, Enthalpy, Steady-State Tests, and Cyclic Tests.  But it really comes down to a few things.

  1. The outdoor condenser coil.
  2. The indoor evaporator coil.
  3. The compressor.
  4. The blower motor in the furnace pushing the air across the coil.

The condenser coil – Ever wonder why the outdoor air condensers we are installing today are larger than the ones 20 years ago?  Heat transfer and surface area.  The outdoor condenser coil can take the heat absorbed inside and get rid of it easier when the unit’s surface area is larger.

The evaporator coil – Jeez!  Talk about getting larger.  The evaporators are almost as big as the furnaces we are installing today.  Some of the larger evaporator coils are 30 inches tall or more.  Again, it’s all about efficiently absorbing heat and humidity from the house and sending it outside.

The compressor – Today’s modern scroll compressors have minimal moving parts.  There are single-speed compressors, two-speed, all the way up to fully modulating.  The scroll compressor can move more refrigerant in a single cycle than previous versions, like the rotary and piston compressors.

The blower motor in the furnace – Motors are more efficient when they run at lower speeds.  A 3-ton air conditioner blower motor will run at one amperage, while a 5-ton blower motor, with its speed taps adjusted down to a 3-ton capacity, will run at less amperage than the 3-ton motor.  That lowers the amount of energy used by the system, increasing its SEER rating.

SEER ratings on AHRIdirectory

SEER ratings on AHRIdirectory.org

Let’s look at the SEER ratings on AHRIdirectory.org for a Trane split system where the AC/condenser is located on the side of the house, and the furnace is located in the garage, closet, or attic.

In the example, we have the same 4TTL6036A1 condenser.  In model number nomenclature, the first “6” in “6036” means 16 SEER.  The “36” stands for 36,000 btu capacity – a 3-ton system.  We can adjust the actual SEER rating of this “16 SEER” condenser by changing the evaporator coil and furnace matched up with it.

4 Components That Make Up The SEER Rating

So, unless you see the actual copy of the AHRI certificate listing the model numbers of the furnace, condenser, and evaporator coil, you might think you are buying a 16 SEER 3-ton split system but only be getting a 15.50 SEER system. Then again, if your contractor matches that outdoor unit up with a larger furnace and coil, you could be getting an even more efficient system than 16 SEER.

Let’s get into how higher SEER systems save you money in the long run in another blog, but for now, I wanted to share this particular information.