Back in March of 2020, no one was expecting the pandemic to last several months… or many years. But for over a year, Los Angeles has been battling the spread of COVID-19. Since the early months of the pandemic, we have learned a lot about how the virus spreads. Namely, we now know it spreads via aerosol droplets. When it comes to indoor spaces, optimizing the Indoor Air Quality or IAQ can do a lot to prevent the spread of the illness. We have been reading up recently-published research on the topic; our summary is below. 

Improve IAQ With Many Methods – Not Just One.

Research indicates that the buildings with the highest indoor air quality employ many techniques rather than just one or two. 

One method familiar to many LA residents is by each person taking their own safety measures. For example, social distancing, limiting large group events, and wearing face masks are all helpful in reducing virus spread. But a challenge with solely using this approach is that it relies on individual decision making. 

To promote great indoor air quality no matter what individuals decide, we can add what researchers call “engineering controls” – things that any individual person cannot change. Some examples might be adding ventilation, high-efficiency filters, and air purifiers. 

These recommendations are also reflected in the core recommendations from ASHRAE

  • Ventilation –  dilute the “dirty” air inside with fresh air from outside
  • Filtration – replace filters with high-quality air filters
  • Air Purification – air cleaners can help remove viruses and other pollutants from indoor air

Preventing Spread of COVID in Los Angeles Homes

So much of the COVID and IAQ research is focused on facilities where many people from different households will be interacting with one another. So, should we do anything about our homes? 

ASHRAE’s task force issued these recommendations for residential homes: 

  • Maintain normal temperature and humidity. Make sure your HVAC system is keeping things between 68-78F and 40-60% relative humidity (RH). It’s common in SoCal to shut off your HVAC system to save energy during mild temperatures. But when it comes to IAQ, that can do more harm than good. Keep things comfortable! 
  • Turn on those ceiling fans. The engineers at ASHRAE report that stagnant air should be avoided. So if you’ve got fans, now is the time to use them! And outside of the IAQ benefits, there are more good reasons to use fans! They are a great way to reduce your energy consumption
  • Upgrade your air filter if possible. For filter efficiency ratings, the higher, the better. But before you find the highest MERV on the market, keep in mind that more filtration means there is more resistance on your HVAC system. When there isn’t enough airflow, you can expect to see higher energy bills, reduced performance, and even iced coils. So if you want to level up your filter game, give us a call for a custom recommendation on how high of a MERV filter your system can tolerate. 
  • Air cleaners can remove pollutants. If an ultra-high efficiency filter doesn’t make sense for your home comfort system an air purifier should be your next choice. Modern whole home air purifiers are proven to improve IAQ by removing viruses, bacteria, and other particulates. A portable air cleaner, like the kind you plug into the wall, will filter air in a single room or area. A whole-home air purifier will clean all the air in your house. 
  • Maintain your HVAC system.  Getting regular maintenance on your heating and cooling system is an important part of keeping your family healthy. It all goes back to our first bullet – thermal comfort is the most important item in this list. Tuneups are essential to ensuring your HVAC systems are functioning, as long as you take care of necessary repairs.  
Indoor Air Quality and Covid

Indoor Air Quality Services in Los Angeles

Here at Brody Pennell, we prioritize education and learning for our entire team. That means we take the time to be informed about the latest research in our industry. When we combine this knowledge with our many years of IAQ experience in Los Angeles, you’ll get a trusted expert on your side. Contact our team today for help improving your indoor air quality!

The spookiest month of the year is here, and we thought we’d share some of our most frightful HVAC stories. As Los Angeles heating and cooling professionals, we see our share of “paranormal activity” with HVAC systems. And while our team may not be ghost busters, we’ve tracked down the cause of these happenings. So read on, dear visitor, there’s no need for a garlic necklace. Our team here at Brody Pennell knows exactly how to avoid these hauntings!

Air Conditioner Frozen in Fear

On another gorgeous Los Angeles afternoon, you notice a sight often unseen in Southern California… ice… on your AC unit. A chill runs down your spine, causing goosebumps to rise on your forearms. How is it possible for an air conditioning unit to freeze over, even with our mild LA temperatures? 

Allow us to break the spell. A frozen AC unit or coil is not the work of a ghostly creature; it’s typically either a refrigerant leak or an airflow problem. If your AC system doesn’t have enough refrigerant, the pressure inside the pipes changes, causing the coils to freeze up. 

The other issue is an airflow problem. Air conditioners need a clear airflow path. So if you have witch’s hats and brooms blocking the vents to your system, that could be the cause. If you need any help, contact our team for AC repair and service.

Screeching and Squealing 

Recently, a customer called us complaining about whining and howling coming from their attic. The man said the ghost hunters who came last week were unsuccessful in detecting any paranormal phenomena. The Brody Pennell team arrived on the scene and discovered the high-pitched crying belonged to… the heater

Screeching noises from the attic COULD be ghosts, but it’s more likely that a damaged fan belt or another component that requires replacement. Squealing sounds like this are a sign that your unit is dying for a repair… or maybe it’s time to put your aging system to rest and replace it. Contact our team for an HVAC professional’s opinion

Hovering Dust Bunnies

Have you ever been alone in a room and had an unsettled feeling? And out of the corner of your eye, you think you see someone. Maybe it was a shadow. Or a reflection in the window. Yes, that’s it. 

Or perhaps it’s the most terrifying of all. 

Dust and pollen floating in the air of your home. 

There will always be dust in your home, but when the particles are large enough that they are visible to the eye, the air is not being filtered completely. And dust isn’t the only villain; there are invisible particles (such as bacteria and viruses) in your home as well. And if you do nothing about it, they just keep recirculating through your HVAC. 

It’s time to take control of your IAQ (indoor air quality). First, replace the air filter in your furnace. If you still see mysterious hovering orbs after 48 hours, it may be time to investigate an in-ductwork air purifier or UV sterilizer to eliminate the problem. 

Don’t Get Spooked This Holiday Season!

Brody Pennell wishes you a spooky and safe Halloween holiday! Got an unsolved mystery with your HVAC system? Since 1945, we’ve been courteous and friendly to the ghosts residing in Los Angeles, so you can trust that your HVAC repair, maintenance, or new installation will go on with no unusual activity. Contact us now!

A thick layer of smoke coating the Los Angeles skyline is a sure sign that wildfires are active. Longtime LA residents know that preparing for a wildfire can put your mind at ease and keep your family safe. When the outdoor air quality becomes very poor, local officials may advise residents to stay indoors. That might make you wonder: is the indoor air quality (IAQ) any better than the outside air quality during a wildfire? 

In this blog, we’ll explain more about indoor air quality specifically as it relates to outdoor smoke and wildfires in California. 

Is Indoor Air Any Better than Outdoor Air During a Wildfire?

The reason that officials advise homeowners to stay inside during a wildfire is because most homes in Los Angeles do not have any openings to the outdoors. That means the air inside your home is recirculating continuously.

If you have air conditioning, the fan inside your AC does all the work. The blower pulls indoor air across an air filter and a cooling coil before pushing that refreshingly cold air to your living spaces. 

This recirculation process has both advantages and disadvantages. On the plus side, your home is mostly sealed off from the outdoors. So during a wildfire, your indoor air quality can be better than outside. Here’s the downside: since the air is recirculating, any addition of pollutants to the air will stick around for a while.

So, indoors is definitely better than outdoors during a wildfire. But since you are relying on your home’s air to be clean and healthy to breathe, it’s important to protect – and even improve – your home’s indoor air quality. 

What Can I Do to Improve IAQ During a Wildfire

Luckily, there are a lot of things you can do that will make a big difference during California’s wildfire season: 

  • Check Door and Window Seals – Remember how we said your home is mostly sealed off from the outside? One way that smokey air can make its way into your home is through small cracks and openings. Door stripping and window sealing break down over time, creating holes that allow air inside. A quick trip to the home improvement store to seal air leaks can repair most of these issues. And perhaps it goes without saying: keeping windows and doors closed during a wildfire is paramount. Only open windows and doors if it’s absolutely necessary.
  • Upgrade and Replace Your Air Filter – We normally recommend replacing an air filter every 3-4 months, but if wildfires are rampant, replace them monthly. And don’t be fooled by the color of the air filter – replace air filters before they discolor. Upgrade to the highest efficiency filter your unit can accept, remembering that a filter which is too high of efficiency can cause performance issues for your air conditioner and furnace. If you’re not sure what type of filter is suitable for your HVAC system, call us!
  • In-Duct Air Purifiers are the Real Deal – During the COVID-19 pandemic, room air purifiers grew in popularity. If you own an air purifier, make sure you have it at the ready. But if you’re in the market for one, or if you’re looking to upgrade your air purification game, we strongly recommend a whole-home air purifier. We install these air purification devices inside the ductwork of your HVAC system. This way, as air recirculates through your system it passes through the air purifier – treating every molecule of air inside your home. The Carrier Infinity Air Purifier is the best solution to treat the air in your home and eliminate many pollutants from smoke, to pollen, even to the coronavirus. 

One other recommendation: take care not to generate any new pollutants that dirty up your indoor air. Things like burning candles, spraying room scents, cooking greasy food, and even vacuuming introduce more particulate matter into the air. 

Brody Pennell Can Help Prepare Your Home for Wildfire Season

The IAQ experts at Brody Pennell can offer solutions to improve the health of your home to prepare for the wildfires. We have been serving the LA area for over 75 years, so we know a thing or two about how wildfires impact indoor air quality. Families here trust us because we invest in training our team on the latest industry technology and best practices, which is why we have a sparkling reputation. If you’re ready to get started on your IAQ project, call us at (310) 896-4911.

Carbon monoxide, or CO, is a colorless, odorless gas that can kill. It’s something we take very seriously as a provider of repair, service, and installation of heating systems, because furnaces are a source of carbon monoxide gas. Here at Brody Pennell, we see this as a very important health and safety issue. Homeowners should have a full understanding of the dangers of carbon monoxide and know what the warning signs are of CO poisoning. And most important of all, what you can do to prevent carbon monoxide poisoning in your household. 

How is Carbon Monoxide Produced?

Carbon monoxide is found in the fumes of any fuel-burning device. The gas is created when there is an incomplete combustion of fossil fuels or hydrocarbons. It’s normal for fuel-burning equipment to produce carbon monoxide; the problem is more in how the CO is dispersed. 

Since the gas is poisonous to living beings, it’s important to ensure that systems are in place to remove any carbon monoxide gas to the outside air. Some examples of this include the exhaust pipe on a car, or the chimney on a fireplace. When these exhaust systems become blocked, enclosed, or leak, it becomes a safety risk. 

The most common sources of carbon monoxide include: cars with gasoline or diesel engines, stoves, furnaces that use heating oil, grills, lanterns, furnaces, and any other item that works by burning fuel. 

Symptoms of CO Poisoning

Since carbon monoxide has no color or smell, you may not even be aware when the air in your home has high concentrations of the gas. So, it’s critical to be aware of the symptoms of CO poisoning. 

The onset of symptoms is usually gradual, and sometimes the individual may not be fully aware that it’s even happening. The most common symptoms include: 

  • Dizziness, headache, and fatigue
  • Nausea, upset stomach, and vomiting
  • Vertigo
  • Loss of alertness or consciousness
  • Weakness

As you can see, these symptoms are very similar to other conditions. A person might think they have the flu or a bad migraine. That’s what makes carbon monoxide poisoning so dangerous. Many people who suffer from CO poisoning do so while intoxicated, sleeping, or even just sitting in a chair. 

Preventing Carbon Monoxide Poisoning at Home

While CO poisoning may have serious consequences, prevention is actually very easy. 

Every home should have a carbon monoxide detector. It is your first – and best – line of defense in detecting high levels of carbon monoxide. According to the EPA, locate your carbon monoxide detector at least 5 feet above the floor and nearby sleeping areas so it can wake you up in the night. Although it might make sense to put it right next to the garage doorway or near your furnace, that may trigger false alarms. Finally, remember that every floor in your home needs at least one carbon monoxide detector. 

Here are some other ways to prevent CO poisoning at home: 

  • Make sure heating appliances, such as stoves and furnaces, are well-vented. This will prevent accumulation of carbon monoxide in the room.
  • Schedule heating maintenance annually and make sure the service is done by a qualified HVAC contractor.
  • Never burn charcoal indoors or underneath an overhang.
  • Do not use a fuel-burning generator indoors, in a garage, or underneath an overhang
  • Ensure the doorway to your garage is well-sealed and never run a vehicle with the garage door closed.
  • Improve the ventilation of your home by opening screened windows on a nice day or adding a mechanical ventilator to your HVAC system. 

Keep Reading About Carbon Monoxide:

Tips For Preventing Carbon Monoxide Poisoning In Your HomeShould I Be Concerned About Carbon Monoxide In My Home?

Feeling like an electricity generator? We’ve all been there. It seems like everything you touch results in a ZAP! Even the gentle touch of a loved one can cause that quick, sharp shock. Static electricity is a symptom of a bigger problem: the air in your house is just too dry. 

Static electricity is frustrating, sure. But dry air isn’t just an annoyance. 

The Problem with Dry Air

The air in your home has two main properties: temperature and humidity. Ideally, the humidity level in your house should be around 45%. 

Most of us are familiar with the problems caused by too much moisture. Besides the dampness, you’d feel, too much humidity can be breeding grounds for bacteria and mold. 

We don’t often hear about the problems caused by air that is too dry. Dry air causes noticeable changes, like static electricity. You might also notice that your skin gets crackly or scaly, or your lips stay dry and chapped. 

But there’s also the changes internal functions to be aware of, like mucous membranes (yes, we’re talking the stuff inside your nose). When mucus is too dry, it loses its natural barrier against inflation of the respiratory tract. As a result, you can be more prone to sickness. 

How do I know if the air in my house is too dry? 

There are a variety of ways to monitor the moisture level of the air inside your home to ensure it is not too dry. Any of the following methods would work: 

1 – Sensing – If your home is at the right humidity level, you won’t have any of the problems associated with dry air. For example, no one in your home will suffer from extra-dry skin, chapped lips, or bloody noses. Also, you won’t be subjected to static electricity at every doorknob. 

2 – Changes in your Home – Dry air will pull moisture from your house’s structure and furnishings. So, warped and creaky wood is an indicator of air that’s too dry. You can also check for chipped and flaking paint. 

3 – Monitoring – Many thermostats these days come with a humidity sensor built-in. This way, you can know for sure the moisture content of the air in your house. But if your thermostat doesn’t have this feature, not to worry. You can purchase temperature and humidity monitors very inexpensively. 

What solutions are there for dry air? 

Although there are many short-term solutions for dry air, we encourage you to consider a permanent solution for your house. Installing a humidifier alongside the rest of your HVAC equipment will ensure that your humidity levels never drop below the acceptable range. This way, you can avoid the inconvenience of air with low humidity levels. 

And yes – there are many cheap space humidifiers available. The problem with these local humidifiers is that you have to remember to turn them on, power them off, and then to add water. And, a small humidifier will only help the air nearby – not all of the air inside your house. 

A whole-home humidifier is installed with your heating and cooling equipment. This way, all of the air in your home will get treated. And best of all, you’ll never have to worry about turning it on or off, or remembering to refill any water reservoirs. A whole-home humidifier is connected to your water line. 

In short, a whole-home humidifier can help preserve comfort and healthier air in every space.

Dry Air Solutions from Brody Pennell

Don’t let dry air make you uncomfortable or susceptible to illness. Take control with a whole-home humidifier and enjoy the air all year long. Contact us today for a no-obligation consultation on adding a humidifier to your HVAC system.

When it comes to your health, indoor humidity levels is probably not the first thing that comes to mind. But, relative humidity can actually play a big role in how you’re feeling day to day. And since we spend over 90% of our time indoors, it’s definitely something worth paying attention to.

Here in Los Angeles, it’s more likely that you’re feeling dry. Despite the proximity to the coast, we don’t experience the extreme humidity and afternoon showers like our friends in Florida. Still, you could encounter either high or low humidity levels in your home. 

While indoor humidity levels may seem inconsequential, the impact it can have on your health can range from minimal and annoying to severe and life-altering.

Humidity and Asthma, Allergies and Immunodeficiencies in Los Angeles

If you or a loved one suffers from allergies or immunodeficiencies, especially respiratory conditions like Asthma, humidity will have an even greater impact. 

Indoor air is notoriously polluted (containing up to 5x the pollutants as outdoor air) due to poor circulation. Humidity can either foster these pollutants or exacerbate your symptoms. 

For some people, humidity swings cause flare-ups in symptoms. Those that are more susceptible and sensitive to humidity will experience a host of health issues, even in their own homes. 

Luckily, there are solutions that work to improve the quality of indoor air. Outfitting your LA abode with IAQ products that work to purify the stuffy air can address the negative effects of humidity and common allergens.

Understanding Humidity

Humidity is expressed as the amount of water vapor in the air. 

Humidity can be measured as absolute humidity (the total amount of water vapor in the air regardless of temperature) and relative humidity (the percentage of humidity in the air compared to how much the given temperature could support). Most commonly, meteorologists and HVAC professionals will cite humidity in terms of relative humidity. 

As air warms and cools, the moisture in the air also heats up or cools down. That creates another element of discomfort to contend with. 

Consider the difference between a sauna and a steam room. While they are both very hot in terms of air temperature, the amount of moisture creates a different feeling for the body. You might be very uncomfortable in the dry environment of a sauna, or feel suffocated in the 100% humidity of the steam room. The difference isn’t the temperature – it’s the humidity. 

The ideal humidity range is between 40-50%. Not only do most people feel most comfortable at this range, it’s the ideal level for health purposes too. Read on to discover the concerns and solutions with moisture levels that are too high, as well as too low. 

High Humidity in Los Angeles Homes

Most people in LA won’t ever deal with high humidity. But, there are some special cases where humidity could become a problem in your home. When we experience those rare rainy days, moisture can make its way into your home. High indoor humidity can make a rainy day even worse! Here’s why:

Why High Humidity is Bad

High humidity in your home will not only lead to physical discomfort, but it could also impact your health and wellbeing. High humidity can cause these symptoms:

  • Overt mucus production 
  • Moisture in lungs – coughing, trouble breathing 
  • Dehydration
  • Fatigue
  • Muscle cramps

The risks of mold exposure

High humidity is the ideal environment for mold, mildew, and fungus to spawn. Many household items as well as building materials support the development of mold. While some reactions to mold exposure can be mild, others can be severe. 

The longer mold is left to fester in a home, the larger it will grow. This creates a greater likelihood of residents experiencing adverse health effects including all of the aforementioned symptoms of high-humidity, as well as fatigue, shortness of breath, fever, the potential for a fungal infection.

Solutions for High Humidity Homes

Even if symptoms are manageable, no exposure to mold is healthy to endure for any extended period. It’s best to take preventative measures by outfitting your home with these products designed to combat high-humidity:

Low Humidity in your LA Home

A more common curse for LA residents to contend with is low humidity. During droughts, Los Angeles can experience significantly low levels of humidity. While this skirts the issues presented by high humidity, moderate humidity (40-50%) is more ideal than low levels that fall below 40%. 

Why Low Humidity is Bad

Beyond a few instances of static shock, you will also experience further discomfort if your home is too dry. The symptoms of low humidity closely reflect allergy or asthma symptoms. These symptoms include:

  • Dryness of the throat and eyes
  • Dry, unproductive cough
  • Itchy skin and cracking
  • Bloody noses 
  • Raspy breathing
  • Brittle hair and nails

Solutions for Low Humidity Homes

Addressing low humidity indoors is a simple approach. The first step is to produce humidity through a whole home humidifier. This ensures that every inch of your home is accounted for. 

Sure, there are mini humidifiers you can buy at local stores. But to get the same results as a built-in humidification system, you’d need one of those small units for every 100 square feet of your home. Plus, you’d need to keep the trays full of water and remember to turn them on and off.

A whole-home humidifier is a set-it-and-forget-it system.These units will keep your indoors at the ideal humidity levels all year round. We’ve had many customers call us back after installation to remark what a difference it has made within just a few HOURS! 

Start at home to limit humidity’s impact on your health

We spend a significant amount of time at home, even if just for a good night’s sleep. If you or someone in your family is especially susceptible to humidity, you unfortunately can’t snap your fingers and uproot your family to move to an area with ideal humidity. However, you can utilize HVAC products, IAQ products in particular, to combat humidity within your own home. 

At Brody Pennell, we know the Los Angeles climate better than anyone. Let us recommend a unique solution to calibrate the humidity level in your home. From self-correcting HVAC systems to IAQ products that purify and restore your air, we provide solutions for every threat to your air quality. Together, we’ll take your air quality from top-of-mind to peace-of-mind. Give us a call at (310) 896-4911 or schedule online to start breathing easier!

With Fall nearly upon us, it’s about time for scarves, soups, and… sick days. Everyone has experienced a bug going around the office. Did you know that an uptick in sick days could be related to your HVAC system?

It’s true. When there is a properly-maintained indoor air quality system installed, the number of allergens and bacteria in the air you breathe are being significantly reduced.

If you own or operate a commercial building, then you know how important it is that the people in your building stay healthy. If workers are sick, then productivty drops. So, it’s critical to provide a healthy and safe work environment.

Most Americans spend up to 90 percent of their time indoors. Many of those hours are spent at the workplace. So when the indoor environment is clean, you can save on health insurance costs and reduce absenteeism.

Some common indoor air quality problems that are common in offices include:

  • Not enough ventilation
  • Uncomfortable temperatures
  • Humidity that’s too high or too low
  • Not controlling emissions (like smelly microwaved lunches or toner from the copy machine)
  • Improper cleaning and disinfecting of surfaces

The best way to reduce sick days for the people in your building is to improve your indoor air quality (IAQ). One way to do that is to control humidity. Another way is to install an IAQ device within your heating and cooling system.

IAQ Devices IN HVAC SYSTEMS REDUCE SICK DAYS

Even though commercial buildings require specific amounts of outdoor air, that doesn’t mean the air is fresh. Pollen, ragweed, and other particulates from the outside can make it into the building through doors and windows. Also, a majority of the air in commercial buildings is recirculated. So any bacteria, viruses, or other particles stay in the building’s air for extended periods.

Every heating and cooling system should have a standard air filter. But, some particulates are too small for the filter to catch. Even if bacteria or pollen makes its way to the filter media, those cold-causing particles can still make it through the filter. Then, they’ll get sent in the ductwork right back into the building.

Two solutions that can put an end to the germs circulating in your building.

  • Electronic air cleaners are basically an air purifier for your entire space. It’s installed inside your ductwork, so it cleans 100% of the air in your building.
  • Ultraviolet sterilizers eliminate bacteria upon contact. The coil-based model kills up to 99.9% of surface mold on your central AC components.

Air Quality Solutions from Brody Pennell

As the winter nears and allergies become an issue in your building, be sure to call Brody Pennell for your air quality needs. We have the experience and technology the best solutions for your business. For 70 years Brody Pennell has served Los Angeles businesses. Our technicians are the best in the business. Let us assist you with your IAQ needs today!

Now that the holidays are here, many homeowners have started thinking a little more about what they might ask Santa for in order to make their home a little more comfortable. Luckily, we know just what you need – HVAC accessories!

Though your HVAC system does a good job of keeping your home environment safe, healthy, and comfortable, sometimes you need a little extra help, depending on your home comfort needs and lifestyle. For example, families with allergy sufferers might need to go the extra mile to make sure their family members can breathe easy when allergies start to hit hard by purchasing an indoor air quality product.

Below, we’ll guide you through the world of HVAC accessories, so that you can make a more informed decision about which might be right for you:

Electronic Air Cleaners

Most standard air filters only trap about 7% of home pollutants like dust, dirt, tobacco smoke, mold, bacteria, and other allergens. This leaves 93% of these irritants traveling around your home left to damage your furnishings and aggravate allergies, asthma, and other breathing issues. Indoor air quality products like an air purifier or electronic air cleaner help remedy these issues.

Electronic air cleaners act as an extra line of defense against these pesky pollutants by cleaning the air in your home and removing these allergens before they impact your home comfort or health. Carrier’s patented  Captures and Kills™ technology traps and kills bacteria, viruses, mold, and other irritants, re-purifying the circulated air as many as 8 times an hour.

Who Needs an Air Purifier?

Though we can all stand to breathe air that’s a little cleaner, not every home needs an air purifier. This IAQ product is ideal for homes with family members who suffer from asthma, allergies, or other respiratory issues. It is also the perfect accessory for homes that have family members with weakened immune systems such as elderly folks or infants.

Smart Thermostats

Thermostats are a must-have for any homeowner. This device allows you to control the temperature of your living space, ensuring that the whole family is happy, healthy, and comfortable all year round. However, not all thermostats are created equal! While some homes have a simple electronic thermostat, other homeowners opt for a smarter option that gives them better control over their home comfort.

Smart thermostats provide enable you to reach optimal home comfort by giving you more control over the temperature and comfort settings within your home. With a Wi-Fi thermostat, you can adjust the temperature and other settings on your thermostat from any device with an Internet connection. That means you’ll no longer have to come home to a cold house on a chilly winter night or worry about leaving the AC blasting when you leave for work this summer.

Who Needs a Smart Thermostat?

Smart thermostats are the ideal HVAC accessory for homeowners who prioritize comfort and convenience above all else. They are also a great gift idea for families that are into the latest and greatest gadgets or want to work toward transitioning to smart home technology. If you’re in the market for a new smart thermostat, be sure to check out our selection of Carrier smart thermostats.

UV Sterilizers

Did you know that your indoor air is often dirtier than the air outside? (Yes, even in LA!) UV air sterilizers create a cleaner, healthier, and safer home environment by eliminating mold, bacteria, and germs from your home and the air circulating through your home. These devices are located in the duct work upstream of your HVAC system where they work to kill a high percentage of airborne bacteria and germs as they pass through the UV light.

A single UV lamp model kills up to 70% of the airborne bacteria that passes through your HVAC system. While the coil irradiation model kills up to 99.9% of surface mold on your central AC components and cooling coil. This not only creates a cleaner and healthier home environment for you and your family, but it also helps protect and improve the performance of your heating and cooling equipment.

Who Needs UV Sterilizers?

UV sterilizers are ideal for those who suffer from respiratory issues, allergies, and asthma. It can also be great for those who find themselves getting frequent cold and flu headaches, runny nose, itchy and watery eyes, sore throat, and fatigue.

Need help deciding which HVAC accessories are right for your home? The home comfort experts at Brody Pennell are standing by to answer your questions. After asking you a few questions about your home environment, comfort needs, and HVAC system, we’ll pair you with the right HVAC accessories to meet your needs.

Call us today to improve your home comfort levels: (310)896-4911.

How often do you replace your HVAC filter? The air filter in your heating and cooling systems plays an important role in helping you keep your home comfortable while maintaining indoor air quality year-round.

One of the best things you can do to keep your HVAC system running smoothly and efficiently is to regularly replace or clean your HVAC air filter. That’s why we’ve put together a helpful HVAC filter replacement schedule as well as some tips for choosing the right filter. With these, you can make sure that you’re taking the best care of your HVAC system.

HVAC Filter Replacement Schedule

At Brody Pennell, we often get asked the question, “how often should I change my air filter?” In all honesty, the answer to this question depends on a number of factors. Below, we’ve put together a quick guide to HVAC air filter replacement, based on your lifestyle and home needs.

General HVAC Filter Replacement Schedule

As a general guide, you should replace your pleated HVAC air filter every 90 days. However, the more dirt, dust, allergens, and other debris the filter traps, the less efficient the filter will be. Therefore, you should as a rule check your HVAC air filter once a month and change more often if needed.

HVAC Filter Replacement for Families with Allergies

If someone in your home has asthma or allergies, they will be more sensitive to the airborne particles that float around your home. To help improve indoor air quality for those who suffer from asthma or allergies, change your air filter every 6 weeks. You may want to check on it periodically in between if you notice a change in indoor air quality.

HVAC Filter Replacement for Homes with Young Children

If you have babies or young children in your home, you will need to be more careful about your HVAC air filter changes. As a general rule, change your air filter every two months to maintain the quality of your indoor air. The same is true for homes with elderly family members that may also have compromised immune systems.

HVAC Filter Replacement for Pet Owners

Dogs may be man’s best friend, but pet hair and dander can negatively impact your indoor air quality. If you have pets in your home, you need to change your air filter every two months to ensure adequate IAQ. Typically, dogs and cats shed more in the beginning of spring and fall, so these are the best times to replace the air filter.

3 Tips for Choosing the Right HVAC Air Filter

Not all HVAC air filters are created equal. Use the tips below to find the right air filter for your home:

  1. Get to know your filter types.

There are many different types of air filters, and understanding the different types can help you make the best decision for your home:

  • Pleated air filters are the most common type of residential HVAC air filter and typically need to be replaced every 90 days.
  • Reusable filters can be cleaned, but they tend to have low efficiency ratings and require significant upkeep.
  • HEPA filters are very efficient. However, they are more expensive than your typical pleated filter.
  1. Pay attention to MERV ratings.

When you look at your options for air filters, you’ll want to consider efficiency. The Minimum Efficiency Reporting Value (MERV) rating tells you how efficient the air filter is at trapping airborne particles. MERV ratings go from 1 to 20, with higher numbers indicating higher efficiency. Typically, standard air filters will have a rating between 5 to 8, indicating that they capture most indoor air pollutants.

  1. Don’t forget the filter resistance.

While it may seem smart to go with a higher efficiency rating when choosing an air filter, the most efficient filter is not always the best choice for your HVAC system. Depending on your heating and cooling system, some filters may have resistance levels that may prevent your unit from operating effectively. Take a look at your HVAC system manual or ask your HVAC technician about the best type of air filter for your system.

Los Angeles Indoor Air Quality

Still have questions about your indoor air quality? We’d be happy to help you find the right HVAC air filter for your air conditioning and heating system. Our team of HVAC experts can also help recommend the best indoor air quality products for your unique home needs.

To get started improving your IAQ, give us a call: (310) 896-4911.

Humidity is the level of moisture, in the form of water vapor, present in the air. It’s one of the most important aspects of ensuring comfort in a home but it is also one of the most overlooked. Homeowners tend to focus more on other factors such as temperature when planning out or choosing heaters or air conditioners.

The amount of humidity in your home has a spectrum of effects, ranging from beneficial to potentially harmful. In this guide, we’ll discuss what extremely high or low humidity can do to the human body, and learn the correct recommended level that will provide your home the most comfort.

Low Humidity

Low humidity often occurs in the winter when your home’s system of heaters or air conditioners continuously pump out warm but dry air. Dry air is a result of low levels of humidity. Extended exposure can cause dry and irritated skin and itchiness in the eyes, nose, and throat. Warm, dry air is also the perfect condition for flu viruses to thrive, increasing your chances to contract the disease.

Additionally, dry air draws moisture from almost anywhere it can, which can dry out wooden fixtures in the home, leading to damage and costly repairs.

High Humidity

On the other hand, air conditioners during the summer can often increase the humidity levels inside your home. While the dangers of dry air can be easily visible, the effects of high humidity may be more subtle. High humidity increases your risk of suffering a heat stroke, by lessening the amount of heat your body can dissipate. This is frequently accompanied by dehydration, fatigue, and muscle cramps. In extreme cases, it can also lead to heat exhaustion and heat stroke.

The Right Amount With Brody Pennell

Experts on heaters and air conditioners recommend maintaining a level of humidity at around 30% to 50%. You can help maintain healthy levels with whole-home humidifiers. Contact Brody Pennell at (310) 836-0606 about humidifier options for your home. Our services are available in the Greater Los Angeles Area.