We love getting in the spirit of fall and Halloween by buying lots of pumpkins and planning how we will carve our Jack O’Lanterns. Sometimes, we just can’t resist the kids when they beg to carve a pumpkin or two way ahead of Halloween. Unfortunately, when we set our carved Jacks outside in our often warmish Georgia fall too early, we suffer the consequences: a Jack O’Lantern that looks more like a large orange prune than a pumpkin.
Happily, the fine art of Jack O’Lantern preservation has become well known in recent years. In case you aren’t up on it, here are some tips, including a few suggestions for enlisting your HVAC system to help in pumpkin preservation.
Jack O’Lantern Preservation
1. Choose pumpkins that feel hard to the touch. Make sure they don’t have any dark spots on top — a sign of frost damage.
2. Keep your pumpkins indoors, especially in warm weather. If temperatures happen to be between 55-65 degrees, then it’s alright to leave them outdoors. Otherwise, if you’re still using your air conditioner, set your thermostat no higher than 68 degrees F. You can also keep the pumpkin in the …
You’ve probably seen those alarming commercials where you’re told that the weight of your mattress can double in 10 years due to the presence of dust mites and their droppings. So is it true? Probably not.
What is true is that there are hundreds of thousands to millions of dust mites in our pillows, mattresses, and carpets. They love being where we are, because they feed off our dead skin cells, which also adds to the weight of your mattress.
What does all that mean to you? Maybe you and your family need dust mite protection.
What Are Dust Mites?
Dust mites are a kind of arthropod — like a tick or a spider. They prefer moist, warm environments and find living in our homes — in linens, carpets, rugs, upholstered furniture, and bedding — just right. What’s more, all that human skin that flakes off in our homes is their primary source of food. That means that in addition to dust mite bodies and skin flakes, these creatures are adding to the mix by producing feces.
We’re lucky to experience relatively mild winters on average in Peachtree City. Every now and then, we even get to turn off the heating and open a window or two when the weather is mild. But during cold spells, the air in our homes can get mighty stuffy, as we keep the heating on and the windows closed. There are ways to freshen your home’s air in the winter, however, with the following ventilation options.
Fresh Air From a Window
If you have an older home, you may have cracks and crevices that allow a bit of fresh air to move inside. Although this isn’t an efficient way to ventilate, at least your indoor air quality is probably better than that in an airtight home. You can open windows a bit during the winter, just long enough to let stale air out, and let fresh air in.
Exhausting Stale Air
Bathroom and kitchen exhaust ventilation systems are often recommended to get rid of damp air in areas where moisture is likely to build up, causing mold and other problems. The air in these areas is also often stale, retaining cooking and bathroom odors. Exhaust ventilation should be ducted to the …
A heat recovery ventilator (HRV) represents a new solution to household ventilation issues. With today’s tightly-sealed energy efficient homes, it’s more critical than ever to get fresh air into the house. In the enclosed environment, indoor air quality suffers as pollutants, water vapor and airborne particulates accumulate.
Exhaust Fans Aren’t Enough
Simply exhausting indoor air with one-way exhaust fans isn’t an optimum solution. Because stagnant air removed from the house isn’t replaced by equal amounts of fresh air, the home becomes depressurized. This makes temperature control more difficult, causes the HVAC system to run longer and compromises indoor air quality due to infiltration of unfiltered air.
A Balanced Approach
A heat recovery ventilator consists of a central controller that incorporates separate intake and exhaust fans. The intake system draws fresh air through a filter and distributes it throughout the house through dedicated, small-diameter ductwork. Meanwhile, the exhaust system draws stale air out of the house through separate ducts and exhausts it outdoors. The controller ensures that the volume of air drawn into the house by the intake fan equals the air volume removed by the exhaust fan, thus maintaining balanced indoor air pressure.
Heat Recovery Matters
Although they require professional installation and incur maintenance costs over time, UV lights could be the most effective and convenient way to improve your indoor air quality (IAQ). These lights are silent, have no moving parts and create no odors.
What They Do
Selecting a UV lighting system for air purification and better IAQ reduces the number of harmful viruses, bacteria, mold spores, allergens and volatile organic compounds (VOCs) in the air. They work by altering the DNA of organic compounds that prevents them from reproducing. They’re one of the few ways of reducing harmful VOCs in the air. VOCs are especially stubborn and can cause serious health problems.
Installation and Operational Issues Their placement. The safest and most effective placement for these lights is inside the HVAC system, where they will treat all the air blowing through it. The lights need to be hidden from view, since the spectrum they emit will harm eyesight, even with a short exposure.
In this humid climate, the lights can sit inside the air handler to shine on the evaporator coil to prevent mold and biofilm growths during the cooling season. They can also be installed inside the ductwork in a position where …